Weekend Reads - Smart Energy Decisions

February 3, 2024

Weekend Reads: Renewables' Role in Pandemic Recovery Efforts; Introducing Hydrogen Fuel Cell Aircrafts

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

How Clean Energy Can Power A Post-Pandemic Industrial Renaissance (Forbes)  Post-pandemic, many industries suffered significant setbacks. The Clean Energy sector, however, has shown resilience and growth. Investment in renewable energy infrastructure can create numerous local jobs, from manufacturing and engineering to construction and maintenance. These are often high-skilled, well-paying jobs, contributing to a more robust and sustainable economy. The decreasing cost of renewable technologies is making them more appealing for industrial and private use, making Clean Energy more affordable than ever and fostering a new market for innovative projects.

US and global climate policy: Can Podesta do both? (Climate Wire)  John Podesta is no stranger to climate policy, but he’ll face new challenges as he takes on dual roles in managing America’s domestic and international efforts to address rising temperatures. President Joe Biden on Wednesday tapped Podesta to be the nation’s top climate diplomat when John Kerry exits his post as special envoy this spring. It adds a sprawling global portfolio to Podesta’s job of overseeing the disbursement of nearly $370 billion in climate funding from the Inflation Reduction Act.

Hydrogen Electric Aircraft Scheme Hatched By EU Nations (CleanTechnica)  CleanTechnica has been following the development of electric aircraft alongside the development of sustainable aviation fuels. Both have faced significant challenges, but year by year there have been signs of progress in both fields. So far it’s been a three-way race between hydrogen fuel cells, battery packs, and biobased liquid fuels. More recently, the liquid fuel space has expanded to include electrofuels, which refers to synthetic fuels made from hydrogen and carbon. From a planet saving perspective that’s a no-go, considering that the global hydrogen supply is sourced primarily from natural gas or gasified coal. 

Can Ocean Energy Power Carbon Removal? (NREL)  The Caribbean has a problem, and it stinks. Atop the Caribbean Sea’s famously pristine waters floats a 5,000-mile-wide heap of rust-colored, brambly seaweed. When that seaweed, a form of sargassum, clumps up on beaches and decomposes, it emits hydrogen sulfide gas (also known as swamp gas), which smells like rotten eggs and, in high doses, can be toxic. For obvious reasons, this seaweed swarm is a huge problem for the Caribbean’s tourism industry and residents—and potentially for Florida, where the heap is headed next. But this stinky seaweed could also be part of a solution.

Across the country, houses of worship are going solar (Grist)  As of 2021, about 2 percent of houses of worship in the United States have solar systems, according to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which the University of California manages for the U.S. Department of Energy. That’s disproportionately high; houses of worship make up only 0.6 percent of all non-residential buildings. But these projects can be difficult to execute. Congregations can have tight budgets, older buildings and more pressing priorities. And switching energy systems can mean a lot of bureaucratic paperwork for which they might not have the staff. And, because houses of worship generally don’t pay taxes, they’ve also had trouble capitalizing on renewable energy tax benefits.

Keywords: Weekend reads

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