Weekend Reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

July 9, 2022

Weekend Reads: The Developing Countries Leading on RE; Nuclear's Growing Public Support in the US

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

These developing countries are leading the way on renewable energy (World Economic Forum) Renewable sources of energy can help countries mitigate climate change, build resilience to volatile prices, and lower energy costs. This is especially critical now as spiking fossil fuel costs, triggered by the war in Ukraine, are debilitating poor energy importing countries. For decades, economic and scientific organizations have urged leaders to create policies to promote renewable energy as part of vital global efforts to fight climate change. In addition to reducing carbon emissions, large-scale renewable power projects also provide demonstrable economic benefits for investors, governments, and especially consumers who need reliable, low-cost electricity.

Bringing EV Fast Charging To Underserved Communities In California (CleanTechnica) One of the biggest challenges with the transition to electric vehicles is making the transition as equitable as possible. As with most new tech, EVs come at a premium (at the cash register — not over the life of the vehicle). In general, new cars are an upper-middle-class purchase, or at least middle-class purchase (depending on the circumstances). The good news is that more and more EVs are arriving on the used car market, and with enough depreciation, they are a great option to cut one’s transportation costs. Cars aside, though, an EV driver needs a place to charge, and many less advantaged portions of the public don’t have a way to charge at home. A collaboration in California is working to improve the situation for these people and make it easier to go electric.

Nuclear Power Gets New Push in U.S., Winning Converts (The New York Times) Driven by the difficulty of meeting clean energy goals and by surging electricity demands, a growing number of political leaders are taking a fresh look at nuclear power — both extending the life of existing reactors and building new ones. Even past skeptics, largely Democrats, have come around to the idea — notably in California, where the state’s sole remaining nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon, is scheduled to close in 2025. The search for clean energy has given nuclear power a spark that has drawn bipartisan support that added billions in funding for existing and new projects.

The World Is Turning Back to Coal (The Atlantic) Happy July! The year is now more than halfway over, so I want to take a look at how a few big sources of carbon pollution are shaping up in 2022. To understand what’s going on, it’s first worth reflecting on last year. In 2021, the world pumped 36.3 metric gigatons of carbon pollution from fossil fuels into the atmosphere, a record high. This pollution was largely driven by a surge in energy production in China, which produced about a third of the world’s total energy-related carbon pollution. Last year, China’s electricity demand jumped by 10 percent, a leap equivalent to adding Africa’s total power consumption, according to the International Energy Association.

There’s a lot of land under solar panels—we should plant some stuff there (Fast Company) Despite being “yucky” according to some picky eaters, broccoli is well-suited to grow alongside solar panels, according to a new study. The research from Chonnam National University in South Korea is part of the growing field of “agrivoltaics,” in which agronomists and energy experts look for opportunities for solar power and agriculture to exist on the same land in an effort to meet the world’s needs for both energy and food. The findings, published in the journal Agronomy, show that shade provided by solar panels helps to make broccoli a deeper shade of green, which makes the vegetable more appealing for grocery stores and consumers without a significant loss of the crop’s size or nutritional value.

Keywords: Weekend reads

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