Weekend reads: The U.S.'s thriving green economy; The ban on fast food drive-thrus - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Regulation, Sourcing Renewables, Wind  -  October 19, 2019

Weekend reads: The U.S.'s thriving green economy; The ban on fast food drive-thrus

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

The Path to 100% Renewable Power Is Looking More Achievable (Barron's) Electricity generation is the largest single contributor to the carbon emissions that are warming the planet. It accounts for 42% of global emissions, and that share is likely to grow as transportation increasingly is powered by batteries instead of oil. As countries announce ambitious plans to wean their economies from fossil fuels, their efforts to shift how they generate electricity will determine whether they can hit those goals. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which helps governments come up with plans to shift to renewables, has estimated that 86% of electricity can be generated with renewables by 2050.

US green economy’s growth dwarfs the fossil fuel industry’s (ARS Technica) While US President Donald Trump may be “the world’s most powerful climate change denier,” our latest research suggests that he took over a thriving green economy. According to new data, by 2016 it was generating more than $1.3 trillion in annual revenue and employed approximately 9.5 million people—making it the largest green market in the world. It has been growing rapidly, too—between 2013 and 2016, both the industry’s value and employment figures grew by 20%.

Why the PG&E Blackouts Spared California's Big Tech HQs (WIRED) Huge swaths of California were without power on Wednesday after the (recently bankrupt) utility Pacific Gas & Electric—whose downed power lines caused last year’s Camp Fire—preemptively pulled the plug on hundreds of thousands of customers. The unprecedented move, intended to reduce the risk of wildfires, plunged more than 500,000 homes in 20 counties (and counting) across Northern and Central California into darkness shortly after midnight, and plans are in place to cut power to over 250,000 more. In total, the estimated number of people that could be left without electricity is upward of 2 million. (A “customer,” in PG&E-speak, can be an apartment complex or other kind of multiunit building.) Though the scope of the blackout is expansive, blanketing the San Francisco Bay Area, chunks of the region remain conspicuously absent from outage maps: the seats of power for nearly every major tech giant.

Wind Power Returns To Oceangoing Cargo Ships, Finally (Clean Technica) Here’s a question for you: why did the US Office of Fossil Energy tweet out a Happy Columbus Day message on Columbus Day? Who knows! Whatever the motive, they did remind everybody that Columbus traveled across the seas, which doesn’t have much to do with fossil energy. However, the topic of seacraft does call to mind that fossil energy is on the verge of losing its grip on the global cargo shipping sector, partly because a new wind power renaissance is taking hold.

Cities ban new drive-thrus to fight climate change (CBS News) Drive-thru windows at fast-food restaurants, banks and other businesses have long represented the convenience for which American businesses are renowned. But the ease of idling in a vehicle while waiting for your order is now associated with another development: climate change. As a result, some communities across the U.S. are banning drive-thrus, citing the additional carbon emissions that are released.

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