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."
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."
August 02, 2020
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."
July 29, 2020
Forbes: “'I'm so confident that the United States nuclear-energy technologies can and will play a major role in providing the United States and the world clean reliable energy for many decades to come,' said Rita Baranwal, assistant secretary for the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy."
"Nonetheless, nuclear has to compete with cheaper natural gas, renewables, and battery storage."
“'Nuclear energy is revolutionary beyond electricity generation, though,' Baranwall continued. 'It can provide low-emission energy for water desalination to achieve worldwide water security. It can be used to decarbonize the industrial sector with process heat. It can also be used to decarbonize the transportation sector with hydrogen and electrification.'”
"Nuscale Power expects to receive approval in September from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for its small, modular light-water reactor. The phone has been 'ringing off the hook' as the reactor approaches approval, Nuscale Chief Strategy Officer Chris Colbert said, because the stringent NRC approval is attractive to other countries."
"The approval process has taken 42 months so far, Colbert said. Now the challenge is to reduce costs for those customer countries."
June 28, 2020
The Atlantic: "Two months ago, the world experienced a historic collapse in oil prices, as coronavirus-related shutdowns cratered global demand, briefly turning prices for May delivery negative. Prices have since rebounded modestly, but they remain unsustainably low for countries that depend on oil exports to generate government revenue.
"The resulting instability, from the Middle East to Africa to the Americas, raises a flurry of immediate national-security concerns. But the current crisis also offers a stark preview of the challenges the world will face if it negotiates a climate accord without also moving to stabilize the more than a dozen countries that depend on oil exports as their primary source for generating government revenue."
May 18, 2020
Dr. Rita Baranwal: "Sadly, California’s remaining reactors are planning to close in 2024 & 2025 at the end of their operating licenses. These units could have been extended another 20 years, pending approval by the NRC, and continued to serve the state’s aggressive clean energy goals."
May 18, 2020
EarthBeat: "More than 40 faith institutions committed to divest their finances from fossil fuels while at the same time calling for the post-pandemic economic recovery to shift the world toward a low-carbon future.
"The announcement was made from Rome on May 18, at the beginning of Laudato Si' Week, the Vatican-sponsored celebration of the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis' encyclical on ecology, 'Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home.'"
March 26, 2020
Florida East Coast Railway provides local intermodal freight service. For example, at Ft. Collins, Florida, they transfer containers without the necessity of a costly gantry crane. "We are committed to providing our customers with sustainable intermodal and carload supply chain solutions, providing reduced highway congestion, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions."
March 14, 2020
New York Times: "Halimah Marcus’s bike had been collecting dust for five years. But as coronavirus fears exploded in New York, she pumped air into the tires and replaced the batteries in the light mounted on the handle bar. By Monday, Ms. Marcus, 34, was biking daily to work instead of taking the R subway train. She has not been back on the subway. And she has a lot of company in the bike lanes."
"Citi Bike, the city’s bike share program, has seen demand surge 67 percent this month: Between March 1 and March 11, there were a total of 517,768 trips compared with 310,132 trips during the same period the year before. A growing wave of New Yorkers are embracing cycling to get to work and around the city as their regular subway and bus commutes have suddenly become fraught with potential perils, from possibly virus-tainted surfaces to strangers sneezing and coughing on fellow passengers."
“'It reduced my anxiety,' said Ms. Marcus, the executive director of a nonprofit digital publisher in Downtown Brooklyn. 'For me, riding is manageable, and I felt it would be beneficial to my mental health.'”
February 11, 2020
Vox: "Climate activists are fond of saying that we have all the solutions we need to the climate crisis; all we lack is the political will."
"While it’s true enough as policy goes — we certainly have enough solutions to get started and make big changes — as a technical matter, it is incorrect. Truly defeating climate change will mean getting to net-zero carbon emissions and eventually negative emissions. That means decarbonizing everything. Every economic sector. Every use of fossil fuels."
"And actually, there are some sectors, some uses of fossil fuels, that we do not yet know how to decarbonize."
"Take, for instance, industrial heat: the extremely high-temperature heat used to make steel and cement. It’s not sexy, but it matters."
"Heavy industry is responsible for around 22 percent of global CO2 emissions. Forty-two percent of that — about 10 percent of global emissions — comes from combustion to produce large amounts of high-temperature heat for industrial products like cement, steel, and petrochemicals."
"To put that in perspective, industrial heat’s 10 percent is greater than the CO2 emissions of all the world’s cars (6 percent) and planes (2 percent) combined. Yet, consider how much you hear about electric vehicles. Consider how much you hear about flying shame. Now consider how much you hear about ... industrial heat."
"Not much, I’m guessing. But the fact is, today, virtually all of that combustion is fossil-fueled, and there are very few viable low-carbon alternatives. For all kinds of reasons, industrial heat is going to be one of the toughest nuts to crack, carbon-wise. And we haven’t even gotten started."