Weekend Reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

September 17, 2022

Weekend Reads: How the Zero Carbon Push Could Save $12 Trillion; VA Workers Trade Coal Mines for Solar

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

Accelerating zero-carbon push could save globe $12 trillion: study (The Hill) While switching to renewable energy sources is often framed as an expensive if necessary sacrifice, a new study suggests a transition away from fossil fuels will ultimately save the world’s economies trillions of dollars. The study from Oxford University suggests that transitioning away from fossil fuels represents a “win-win-win,” researchers say, yielding bigger worldwide cost savings the faster it’s implemented.  “There is a pervasive misconception that switching to clean, green energy will be painful, costly and mean sacrifices for us all – but that’s just wrong,” lead researcher Doyne Farmer said in a statement.

Coal plant sites could host 265 GW of advanced nuclear, costing 35% less than greenfield projects: DOE (Utility Dive) About 80% of operating and recently retired coal-fired power plant sites could host an advanced nuclear power reactor, with nearly 265 GW in total potential nuclear capacity, according to a Department of Energy report released Tuesday. Using transmission, switchyard facilities and other infrastructure at the coal plant sites could reduce the overnight cost of capital of a nuclear facility by 15% to 35% compared with a greenfield project, according to the analysis.

Exploding The “Electric Cars Will Destroy The Grid” Myth (CleanTechnica) The news and the internet are aflame with stories about how electric cars will destroy the electrical grid. Here’s how that argument works: 1) A few weeks ago, California announced that the sale of passenger cars and light trucks powered by gasoline or diesel engines would be prohibited beginning in 2035. 2) Last week, CAISO, which operates the electrical grid, warned that a punishing heat wave had pushed demand for electricity to record levels and rolling blackouts could follow if demand was not reduced. 

‘This is the future’: rural Virginia pivots from coal to green jobs (The Guardian) When Mason Taylor enrolled at the local vocational school with dreams of becoming an electrician like his dad, it was assumed that the ninth-grader would eventually end up moving away from Wise county, Virginia, to find a decent job. Now 19, Taylor just bought a truck after a summer apprenticing with a crew of electricians installing rooftop solar systems at public schools in the county. He was among a dozen or so rookies paid $17 an hour, plus tools and a travel stipend, as part of the state’s first solar energy youth apprenticeship scheme.

This Man Is Trying to Put Mirrors in Space to Generate Solar Power at Night (Vice) Ben Nowack is a 26-year old inventor and entrepreneur. After a mechanical engineering degree, a raft of gigs, and an appearance on Mythbusters he is now the CEO of Tons of Mirrors. Tons of Mirrors is using satellite-mounted reflective surfaces to redirect sunlight to earthbound solar panels at night. Nowack didn’t invent the idea of using space mirrors to alter localized lighting conditions. A Senate Subcommittee on Energy Production and Supply proposed a similar concept in 1977. In 1988, the Russian Znamya Project successfully deployed a 65-foot mirror into orbit, sending a five kilometer-wide roving beam of light traipsing across Europe.

Keywords: Weekend reads

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