Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Commercial, Industrial, Sourcing Renewables  -  February 16, 2019

Weekend reads: Can big oil ride RE & EV waves?; The unsexy part of climate policy

It's the weekend! Kick back and relax with these must-read energy stories from around the web:

Does The Renewable Energy & EV Wave Include Shell & BP? (CleanTechnica) The electric car world stops when Tesla shareholder calls happen, but another significant development occurred in late January when Shell New Energies US, LLL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shell, acquired Greenlots, an electric car charging software and hardware company. The acquisition raises questions about fossil-fuel companies and their approach with the electric vehicle charging landscape and profit expectations going forward. Shell and British Petroleum (BP) are incredibly profitable companies. 

Energy Department Announces $42 Million in Project Selections for Innovative Buildings Research (Glass Magazine)  The U.S. Department of Energy announced up to $42 million in project selections to support early-stage research and development of innovative residential and commercial building technologies for energy efficiency. Buildings use 75 percent of U.S. electricity and account for 40 percent of U.S. overall energy use. Energy efficiency is a key driver of overall economic efficiency and part of DOE’s mission to increase energy affordability and energy security, says the department. 

A California coalition is tackling one of the hardest, unsexiest parts of climate policy (Vox) Ask most people about reducing carbon emissions to tackle climate change and they will mention solar panels or electric cars — the sexy stuff. But scaling up the sexy stuff is only half the job. The challenges of decarbonization fall into four basic buckets. There’s the electricity grid, which is rapidly getting less carbon-intensive as coal fades and renewables rise. There’s transportation, where there’s a long, long way to go, but the path is clear, namely electrifying the vehicle fleet as rapidly as possible and reducing vehicle use through densification and public transit.

Six Reasons to Be Hopeful About Fighting Climate Change (Earth Institute) These days, it can be hard to keep a positive attitude when it comes to climate change. A new report warns that our warming climate could cause Himalayan glaciers to shrink by a third by 2100, jeopardizing the water supply to millions. Another study found that oceans are absorbing 60 percent more heat than previously thought, which means that the rest of the planet may also be warming more than scientists realized. And last October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) asserted that the impacts of 1.5˚C of warming will be much more painful than expected. 

Simpler, cheaper renewable energy system uses waves to inflate rubber (New Atlas)  Although we've seen a number of experimental wave-power systems in recent years, a new one is claimed to be less expensive and to incorporate fewer moving parts, while still remaining durable in rough seas. It's known as a Dielectric Elastomer Generator, or DEG for short. The prototype system was developed by scientists at Scotland's University of Edinburgh, and at Italy's Universities of Trento, Bologna and Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna Pisa.

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