Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, GHG Emissions, Regulation, Solar - November 4, 2023
Weekend Reads: The Shrinking Carbon Emissions Budget; Five Green Tech Breakthroughs
It’s the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web:
What happens when solar panels wear out? (Grist) Most solar has been installed in the last decade, and that pace is expected to continue, as it becomes cheaper due to federal incentives, new technology and higher demand. Many of those panels are meant to last for at least 25 to 30 years, and could produce power for much longer. Eventually, that will pile up and we’ll need to dispose of them. But there are no federal requirements for recycling solar panels, and states have different regulations for what to do with them.
Five tech innovations that could help save the planet (Newsweek) Around the world, entrepreneurs are trying to turn green tech ideas into viable businesses. Many are working with technology that has been proven to work, but is too expensive for widespread use. The challenge is finding ways to bring the costs down enough so that their solutions can be scaled up to effect real change. Here is a collection of innovative companies and inventors who believe they are close to hitting that mark with products ranging from the world's whitest paint to high-efficiency electric batteries made from one of the most plentiful elements on Earth.
Heat pumps are hot, but commercial retrofits face cold realities (UtilityDive) Heat pumps are gaining recognition across many parts of the U.S. for their energy efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions compared with other building heating and cooling options. Facilities managers looking to deploy heat pumps in existing buildings are finding that cost concerns — despite the availability of federal incentives — along with the significant work and disruption involved in a retrofit pose challenges, however.
Climate crisis: Carbon emissions budget is now tiny, scientists say (The Guardian) The carbon budget remaining to limit the climate crisis to 1.5C of global heating is now "tiny," according to an analysis, sending a "dire" message about the adequacy of climate action. The carbon budget is the maximum amount of carbon emissions that can be released while restricting global temperature rise to the limits of the Paris agreement. The new figure is half the size of the budget estimated in 2020 and would be exhausted in six years at current levels of emissions.
A smoking gun for Biden’s big climate decision? (The New Yorker) The Biden Administration faces one of its most profound climate choices this autumn: Should it continue to allow the expansion of liquefied-natural-gas exports, or should it halt the rapid buildout of this industry at least until it can come up with new guidelines? The stakes are enormous — the buildout of L.N.G. infrastructure in the United States is by far the largest example of fossil-fuel expansion currently proposed anywhere in the world. But there’s some new data that may make the Administration’s choice easier — or certainly starker.
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