Growing Consensus Among CEOs

October 12, 2020

Wall Street Journal: "CEOs increasingly are embracing the idea that a company’s environmental, social and governance practices will play a role in its future success. For example, a quarter of CEOs now strongly agree that investing in climate-change initiatives could lead to significant new product and service opportunities for their businesses, up from 13% in 2010, according to a 2020 survey of more than 1,500 global CEOs by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC, an accounting and consulting firm."


Executive Director, International Energy Agency

October 10, 2020

Moderator_Fatih_Birol.jpgFatih Birol: "The Covid-19 crisis not only delivered an unprecedented shock to the world economy. It also underscored the scale of the climate challenge we face: Even in the current deep recession, global carbon emissions remain unsustainable."

"If the world is to meet energy security and climate goals, clean energy must be at the core of post-Covid-19 economic recovery efforts. Strong growth in wind and solar energy and in the use of electric cars gives us grounds for hope, as does the promise of emerging technologies like hydrogen and carbon capture. But the scale of the challenge means we cannot afford to exclude any available technologies, including nuclear power — the world's second-largest source of low-carbon electricity after hydropower."

 


Rare-Earth Elements

October 05, 2020

Wall Street Journal: "Rare-earth elements, used in batteries and electronics, are one of the 35 types of minerals that the U.S. government has deemed critical to economic and national security. The U.S. says it imports 80% of its rare-earth elements from China, with further supply coming indirectly from the country. For 14 of the 35 critical types of minerals, the U.S. has no domestic production. "


Colorado River

September 17, 2020

Washington Post: "The Colorado River’s average annual flow has declined by nearly 20 percent compared to the last century, and researchers have identified one of the main culprits: climate change is causing mountain snowpack to disappear, leading to increased evaporation."


Heat Waves Driving Peak Electric Load Up

August 31, 2020

Catherine Wolfram:  "As climate change leads to more heat waves and people like me eventually get air conditioning – both because it is hot and because the outside air is bad – heat waves will lead to higher and higher peak electricity demand."

"The thing about air conditioning demand is that it ramps up late in the afternoon, just as solar electricity is fading away."


Microreactors

August 22, 2020

Dept. of Energy:  "Nuclear is getting smaller … and it’s opening up some big opportunities for the industry."

"A handful of microreactor designs are under development in the United States, and they could be ready to roll out within the next decade."

"These plug-and-play reactors will be small enough to transport by truck and could help solve energy challenges in a number of areas, ranging from remote commercial or residential locations to military bases."

Utility Dive: "The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) released a final safety evaluation report on Friday for NuScale Power's small modular reactor (SMR) design. The NRC's staff determined that the design met all the safety requirements for the design certification stage of licensing."

 


Wildfires and Climate Change

August 22, 2020

New York Times:  “'Behind the scenes of all of this, you’ve got temperatures that are about two to three degrees Fahrenheit warmer now than they would’ve been without global warming,' said Park Williams, a bioclimatologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. That dries out vegetation even more, making it more likely to burn."


Rolling Blackouts and Discarded Renewables

August 17, 2020

Wall Street Journal:  "During peak daylight hours, California produces a surplus of solar energy, and power generators may be ordered or paid to cut back their production so the grid isn’t overloaded.  On Friday and Saturday Caiso reported about 1,000 mega-watt hours (MWh) were curtailed—enough to power 30,000 homes. This year 1.3 million MWh of power have been curtailed."

"But this means supply shortages can occur in the evening when solar energy plunges but demand for power remains high. That’s what happened this weekend."

Rocky Mountain Institute: "Relatively high levels of curtailment are already an issue in California."


Advanced Reactor Designs

August 04, 2020

 

Dept. of Energy:  "The U.S. Department of Energy and its national labs are supporting research and development on a wide range of new advanced reactor technologies that could be a game-changer for the nuclear industry. These innovative systems are expected to be cleaner, safer and more efficient than previous generations."

 


Equivalent to Removing 1 Million Cars from the Road

August 02, 2020

vogtle2.jpg

U.S. Department of Energy:  "Two of the most advanced commercial reactors in the world are under construction in Waynesboro, Georgia — marking a new era for the industry."

"The successful completion of Vogtle Units 3 and 4 will set the tone for what could be a nuclear resurgence in the United States. . . ."

"Vogtle Units 3 & 4 are expected to generate more than 17 million megawatt-hours of clean and reliable electricity. That’s enough to power more than 1.6 million average American homes."

"The reactors will also prevent up to 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually—the equivalent of removing 1 million cars from the road each year."