Weekend Reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

May 21, 2022

Weekend Reads: Breaking the EU Free From Russian Energy; The Truth About Airline Climate Offsets

It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web.

U.S. Distributed Wind Energy Potential Can Meet Half Of National Electricity Demand (CleanTechnica) NREL’s Distributed Wind Energy Futures Study informs wind developers, grid planners, utilities, policymakers, and other stakeholders about opportunities for widespread U.S. distributed wind deployment in 2035. The Distributed Wind Energy Futures Study, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office, used highly detailed data and new modeling techniques to identify locations with the highest potential for distributed wind energy of all forms. The findings can help communities transition to a clean energy future.

Predicting the Future of Texas’s Grid Is a Texas-Sized Challenge (Bloomberg) A little more than a year after a paralyzing winter freeze, the Texas power market just experienced the stress of extreme heat. Last week, power prices in Houston briefly jumped above $5,000 per megawatt-hour as high temperatures coincided with a number of generators being offline for maintenance. Yet a few days earlier, power prices in west Texas had been negative $883 dollars per megawatt-hour, because at the time wind generation was abundant and demand was low. “Dynamic” is one way to describe the price swings within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (Ercot), the grid that provides the majority of the state’s power. “Jarring” or “terrifying” might be other words for it, particularly for those buying power in the spot market.

Webinar: How to optimize your energy strategy to cut costs, increase resilience and secure sustainable growth (GridBeyond) Wednesday, May 25, 2022, 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time. For energy-intensive businesses in a variety of sectors, there has never been a better time to review their energy strategies to ensure maximal resilience, cost optimization, and increased sustainability. From grid revenue schemes to smart tariffs and operational cost-savings, your business can participate in a suite of energy services to boost your bottom-line, improve energy performance and support the transition to a net zero economy. But key to maximising benefits and reducing risks is participation! REGISTER HERE

Do Airline Climate Offsets Really Work? Here’s the Good News, and the Bad. (The New York Times) Carbon offset programs have become ubiquitous. You’ve probably seen them as check-box options when booking flights: Click here to upgrade to a premium seat. Click here to cancel your greenhouse gas emissions. It’s an appealing proposition — the promise that, for a trivial amount of money, you can go about your business with no climate guilt. But if it sounds too good to be true, that’s because, at least for now, it is. The New York Times asked readers this spring to submit their questions about climate change, and several asked about carbon offsets. How do they work? Do they work at all, or, as one reader put it, “is it just guilt money?”

Brussels spells out plan to end dependence on Russian energy (Politico) The European Commission on Wednesday presented its €300 billion plan on how the EU can wean itself from Russian fossil fuels "well before 2030." It's a consequence of the Kremlin's bloody invasion of Ukraine, which highlighted the political and economic risks of relying on Russian oil and gas. The response aims to immediately hunt for alternative sources of fossil fuels while also boosting green energy and cutting energy use — the latter goals feeding into the bloc's long-term ambition to become climate neutral by 2050.

There’s a hidden, huge source of emissions companies are ignoring: their banking (Fast Company) Companies like Microsoft, Alphabet, and Meta have invested heavily in renewable energy and other ways to shrink their corporate carbon footprints. But the biggest part of their emissions, according to a new report, comes from their banking—and it’s an area that has so far slipped under the radar. Microsoft, for example, had $130 billion in cash and investments last year. The report, The Carbon Bankroll: The Climate Impact and Untapped Power of Corporate Cash, published by a banking collaborative and climate nonprofits, estimates that the emissions from the company’s banking are comparable to all of its emissions from making, transporting, and using its products, based on data about how much banks invest in fossil fuels and other carbon-intensive industries.

Keywords: Weekend reads

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