Weekend reads - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Procurement, Energy Storage, Regulation, Commercial, Industrial, Regulation, Sourcing Renewables  -  November 18, 2017

Weekend reads: Solar tariff backlash on bourbon; GM's battery profits; quark fusion power & more

Every Saturday, we'll bring you five of the most interesting energy stories from around the web that you may have missed this week (we get it, you're busy). This weekend's energy reads:

Cheaper batteries will help GM profit off electric vehicles by 2021 (Detroit Free Press): General Motors intends to make a profit on its next generation of electric vehicles because the batteries will cost nearly one-third less than the batteries in today's Chevrolet Bolt, CEO Mary Barra said Wednesday. "We are committed to a future electric vehicle portfolio that is profitable," Barra said during a presentation to the Barclays 2017 Global Automotive Conference in New York.

Cheese and Bourbon May Face Backlash From U.S. Solar Tariff (Bloomberg): If President Donald Trump imposes tariffs on solar panels, Wisconsin cheese and Kentucky whiskey may pay the price. U.S. duties on imported solar equipment would almost certainly prompt challenges from China, South Korea and other nations at the World Trade Organization, trade lawyers say. That would open the door for retaliatory tariffs.

Study Claims Quark Fusion May Be the Energy Source of the Future (Big Think): In a new paper, scientists have envisioned a new power source straight out of Star Trek. While nuclear fusion reactors, which produce energy in the same way as the sun, are still not a viable reality, researchers from Tel Aviv University and the University of Chicago are proposing quark fusion. Quarks are super-tiny elementary particles that combine to form protons and neutrons. There are six kinds of quarks, including up and down quarks, which are found in protons and neutrons, and heavier charm quarks.

At least 15 states join global alliance to phase out coal by 2030 (Reuters): At least 15 countries have joined an international alliance to phase out coal from power generation before 2030, delegates at U.N. climate talks in Bonn said on Thursday. Britain, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Mexico and the Marshall Islands have joined the Powering Past Coal Alliance, delegates said.

Facebook data center to be powered by $430 million wind farm in Nebraska (CNBC): Construction has begun on a wind farm that will supply 100 percent of the power required to operate a Facebook data center in Papillion, Nebraska. The Rattlesnake Creek wind farm in Dixon County, Nebraska, will have a capacity of 320 megawatts (MW). Under a power purchase agreement, Facebook will buy power from 200 MW of the farm's capacity to operate its data center. 

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