August 27, 2022
Weekend Reads: The Movement for US-Made Clean Energy Tech; Wind Turbines Find a Second Life as Gummy Bears
It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web.
Americans Want Clean Energy Products Made In The USA. That Goal Is Now Within Reach. (CleanTechnica) For decades, the United States was the undisputed global leader in clean energy technology, but in recent years, American production has fallen behind. Today, there is not a single solar ingot, wafer, or cell manufacturing plant in the United States and only limited capacity for many other solar inputs. If the United States wants to achieve its energy security and climate goals while creating well-paying jobs in the clean energy economy, building a robust solar and storage manufacturing base here in America is non-negotiable.
Why the energy transition broke the U.S. interconnection system (Utility Dive) Boone Staples, director of transmission analysis for the engineering and construction group at energy developer Tenaska, has been doing essentially the same job for the last 15 years. And in spite of his tenure, he says he can’t remember a single solar project that hasn’t run into interconnection delays. “We have projects in the [Midcontinent Independent System Operator] queue that have been there for four and a half years now. In [the Southwest Power Pool]...we’re looking at eight years start to finish on a project. In PJM we have projects that have been there since March 2019 – these projects were shovel ready. They have offtake contracts completed with full permits ready to start construction, just waiting on PJM,” Staples recounts.
Solar power is booming in Germany as Russia turns down the gas (CNN Business) People on the frontlines of Europe's gas crisis are scrambling to get solar panels for their homes and businesses as they confront a "perfect storm" that's sending energy prices to record levels. In the first six months of this year, Germany saw a 22% jump in the installation of solar systems, compared with the same period last year, according to data shared with CNN Business by the German Solar Association. This included residential and commercial uses, from small installations on private rooftops to large solar farms, the group said.
For companies in the renewable energy industry, that has created a major rush in sales — and an additional strain on supply chains.
This power line could save California — and forever change the American West (Los Angeles Times) I know the wind turbine blades aren’t going to kill me. At least, I’m pretty sure. No matter how many times I watch the slender arms swoop down toward me — packing as much punch as 20 Ford F-150 pickup trucks — it’s hard to shake the feeling they’re going to knock me off my feet. They sweep within a few dozen feet of the ground before launching back toward the heavens, reaching nearly 500 feet above my head — higher than the highest redwood. They’re eerily quiet, emitting only a low hum. But in the howling wind, the tips could be barreling past at 183 mph.
Wind turbine blades could be recycled into gummy bears, scientists say (The Guardian) The next generation of wind turbine blades could be recycled into gummy bears at the end of their service, scientists have said. Researchers at Michigan State University have made a composite resin for the blades by combining glass fibres with a plant-derived polymer and a synthetic one. Once the blades have reached the end of their lifespan the materials can be broken down and recycled to make new products including turbine blades – and chewy sweets.
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