We often hear people complaining that electric vehicles are dirty in their own way. Is this true? Or is it a deception spread by those who fear the decline and fall of the oil industry? This video explains things for those who want to know.
We have seen a few statistics in the video that seem slightly inaccurate. The video is actually rather conservative about numbers. For example, the number given for the efficiency of internal combustion engines is actually a little high, making these engines appear a bit better than other sources might make them. But even giving that allowance, electric vehicles are far less polluting, and far less costly to run, than those that burn petroleum products.
In particular, we are told that the video has a miscalculation that should be mentioned. It, and t fact that the new 2021 Tesla model 3 is more efficient than the 2019 version, means 70,250,400 cars can be powered by the energy used to pump oil out of the ground in the US and offshore, not 19,500,000 as mentioned in the video.
This video was created by the GasTroll uTube Channel with the help from the Fully Charged Show narrated by Robert Lewellen.
“California, Texas, And Florida Had Large Small-Scale Solar Capacity Increases In 2020” • As of December 2020, the states with the most small-scale solar PV capacity were California (10.6 GW), New Jersey (1.9 GW), and Massachusetts (1.8 GW). Of the 4.5 GW of small-scale solar capacity added in the US in 2020, 31% was in California. [CleanTechnica]
Increase in small-scale PVs (EIA image)
“New York State Adopts Rules To Streamline Large Renewable Energy Project Reviews” • New York State has adopted new rules designed to streamline the siting and construction of renewable energy facilities of 25 MW or more. The regulations result from a law enacted in April 2020 to consolidate environmental review and permitting processes. [pv magazine USA]
“Humans, Not Nature, Are The Cause Of Changes In Atlantic Hurricane Cycles, New Study Finds” • The idea of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation may have been dealt a deadly blow by Michael Man, who had named it. He concludes the AMO is likely an artifact of climate change in the modern era and big volcanic eruptions in pre-industrial times. [KLFY]
“Volvo CEO: Totally Convinced No One Will Want A Gas Car In 2030” • When Volvo Cars revealed the fully electric Volvo C40 Recharge, CEO Håkan Samuelsson made such a strong statement about the change to 2030, that it warranted an extra article: “I am totally convinced there will be no customers who really want to stay with a petrol engine.” [CleanTechnica]
“BlackRock Investment Institute Is Bullish On Tackling Climate Change” • The leaders of BlackRock Investment Institute issued a Capital Market Assumptions whitepaper in February that begins with this assertion: “The popular notion that tackling climate change comes at a net cost to the global economy is wrong, we believe.” [CleanTechnica]
“The US Installed More Wind Turbine Capacity In 2020 Than In Any Other Year” • According to data published by the Energy Information Administration, 2020 was a record year for wind turbine capacity additions in the US, at 14.2 GW. The previous record was 13.2 GW in 2012. The total wind turbine capacity in the US is now 118 GW. [CleanTechnica]
“Biden’s Energy Secretary Vows To ‘Leave No Worker Behind’ In The Clean Energy Revolution” • Fossil fuel workers will not be left behind in the Biden administration’s push to embrace clean energy. That’s the promise from new Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, addressing workers worried that their livelihoods will be disrupted. [CNN]
“Morgan Stanley: The Oil Industry Is About To Become Worthless” • We are starting to see the transformation under way. In a survey of institutional investors, Morgan Stanley found that 17% of respondents think internal combustion engine technology has zero or negative value today, and 60% said its value was only slightly positive. [CleanTechnica]
“Offshore Wind Hails Gamechanger UK Budget” • Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget has been described by Renewable UK as a gamechanger for offshore wind manufacturing in the country. R-UK chief executive Hugh McNea said, “This is a big-bang moment for offshore wind manufacturing in the UK which will drive investment …” [reNEWS]
“Ford Mustang Mach-E Gets Nearly 4,000 Sales In First Full Month! 70% Conquest Sales!” • Ford reported February sales (it’s one of the few automakers that still reports monthly US sales), and the headline news is that the Mustang Mach-E had nearly 4,000 sales in its first full month on the market. And 70% of the buyers switched from other brands. [CleanTechnica]
“Volkswagen Uses Pollution-Absorbing Paint To Advertise ID.3 In UK” • Volkswagen ID.3 EVs are manufactured using 100% renewable electricity. Volkswagen plans to recycle the batteries in its EVs. Now, its large outdoor ads for the ID.3 use a special paint called Airlite to paint the exterior walls of buildings in London. Airlite absorbs several pollutants. [CleanTechnica]
Volkswagen ID.3 ad (Courtesy of Volkswagen)
“Low Carbon Concrete – Starting From The Ground Up” • Of all global CO₂ emissions, 8 to 11% come from the manufacture of concrete. Several companies use CO₂ or reduce CO₂ emissions in their products in different ways to produce “green” concrete products that range from somewhat lower carbon, to zero carbon and carbon negative. [CleanTechnica]
“John Kerry Has A Warning For Big Oil” • John Kerry had some tough talk for the leaders of Big Oil. The message: embrace clean energy or get left behind. “You don’t want to be sitting there with a lot of stranded assets. You’re gonna wind up on the wrong side of this battle,” Kerry said at the energy conference CERAWeek by IHS Markit. [CNN]
“Joby Aviation Set To Take Its EVTOL Public In $6.6 Billion SPAC Deal” • Toyota put a $394 million investment Toyota put into Joby Aviation last year, before the first of the company’s tilt-rotor aircraft even took to the air. Now, through a reverse merger with a special purpose acquisition company, it’s being valued at $6.6 billion on the NYSE. [CleanTechnica]
“Most Georgians Believe In Global Warming, Favor More Solar” • As the Biden administration gets more aggressive on climate change, 77% of registered Georgia voters surveyed say they believe global warming is occurring and most say they are willing to pay more to combat it, according to a poll from the University of Georgia. [Atlanta Journal Constitution]
“100% Renewable Energy Could Power The World By 2030, Experts Say” • Electricity from solar, wind, and water could power the entire world in less than 10 years, leading energy experts say. Renewable energy could also be the sole energy source for the world’s heating, cooling, transport, and industries by 2035. [Yahoo News Canada]
“Yara Kickstarts Green Ammonia Industry With Green Hydrogen” • Just a couple of months ago, the US DOE was pushing for green hydrogen with a venture aimed at teasing farmers into the market. Now, the global firm Yara has a green ammonia project in Norway that is similar, but different, and much, much, much bigger. [CleanTechnica]
“Against The Odds, South Australia Is A Renewable Energy Powerhouse. How Did They Do It?” • Less than two decades ago, all of South Australia’s electricity came from fossil fuels. Last year, renewables provided 60% of the state’s electricity. The progress came as national climate policy was all but paralyzed. So how did it happen? [RenewEconomy]
“Has Renewable Energy Become Cheaper Than Fossil Fuel?” • Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s research shows that renewable energy is now cheaper than all new-build coal and gas power stations – the same ones that are touted as the more economical way to produce electricity. And renewable energy is not just cheaper. It is a lot cheaper. [Energy Matters]
“Biden Administration Sets Social Cost Of Carbon At $51 Per Ton” • The social cost of carbon measures the economic cost of the damage done to people and the Earth by emitting billions of tons of CO₂ every year. The Biden administration set the social cost of carbon at $51 per ton – 7 times higher than the price set by the prior administration. [CleanTechnica]
RENEWABLES TOP 20% OF U.S. ELECTRICAL GENERATION IN 2020AND OUTPERFORMED COAL & NUCLEAR POWERPRODUCTION BY SOLAR + WIND WAS 17% MORE THAN A YEAR EARLIERINCREASE IN SOLAR & WIND GENERATED ELECTRICITY MORE THAN DOUBLE THAT OF NATURAL GAS
Washington DC — Electrical generation by U.S. wind and solar set new records in 2020. In fact, it was 16.7% greater in 2020 than a year earlier, according to a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of new data just released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration(EIA). Similarly, annual electrical production by all renewable energy sources combined (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) reached an all-time high last year and provided more than a fifth of the nation’s electrical output.
The latest issue of EIA’s “Electric Power Monthly” (with data through December 31, 2020) also reveals that solar-generated electricity – including distributed (e.g., rooftop) solar – expanded by 24.1% (compared to 2019) and provided almost 3.3% of the nation’s total. Wind grew by 14.1% and accounted for 8.3% of total generation. No other energy sources experienced similarly high growth rates.
During the year, electrical generation by geothermal energy and hydropower also increased – by 9.4% and 1.1% respectively, but that from biomass fell by 2.5%. While total U.S. electrical generation from all sources decreased by 2.7% – due at least in part to the Covid-19 pandemic, the electrical output by the combination of renewables increased by over 9.2%. Collectively, renewables provided 20.6% of the country’s total electrical output – up from 18.3% a year earlier. In fact, renewables modestly surpassed an EIA forecast, issued just two weeks ago, of 20.0% of U.S. electricity coming from green sources in 2020.*
For perspective, renewable sources accounted for 13.6% of U.S. electrical generation at the end of 2015 and just 10.4% at the end of 2010. Thus, renewables have doubled their share of the nation’s electrical generation over the past decade.
Moreover, as forecast by the SUN DAY Campaign a year ago, renewables’ share of U.S. electrical generation in 2020 eclipsed that of nuclear power (19.5%) and coal (19.1%). Renewables produced 7.8% more electricity than coal through December 2020. In fact, electrical generation by coal was 19.8% lower than a year earlier. In addition, renewable energy sources produced 5.6% more electricity than did nuclear power whose output fell 2.4% during the same twelve-month period.
And in what appears to be a harbinger of things to come, the increase in new electricity from wind and solar was greater than the increase in electrical generation by natural gas. That is, during 2020, solar and wind produced 67,365 gigawatt-hours (GWh) more than they did in 2019. By comparison, electrical generation by natural gas increased by only 30,934 GWh. While it continued to provide the largest share (39.9%) of the nation’s electrical output, natural gas grew by only 2.0% during the year. It actually dropped by 8.6% in November and by 4.7% in December, compared to the corresponding months in 2019.
“With wind and solar costs continuing to drop and more supportive leadership now in Washington, D.C., the prospects for even stronger growth in 2021 and beyond seem very promising,” noted the SUN DAY Campaign’s executive director Ken Bossong. “Within the next five years, renewables will probably be providing more than a quarter of the nation’s electrical generation … and quite possibly more.”
NOTE: Unless otherwise indicated, the electricity figures cited above include EIA’s “estimated small-scale solar photovoltaic” (e.g., rooftop solar systems) which account for almost a third (31.5%) of total solar output and just a bit over five percent (5.0%) of total net electrical generation by renewable energy sources.
The latest issue of EIA’s “Electric Power Monthly” was officially posted late on February 24, 2021.
For the data cited in this news update, see:
Organic Gardening Webinar Hosted By Monadnock Food Co-op
The Monadnock Food Co-op will host the “How to Grow a Totally Organic Garden” webinar on March 22, 2021, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. with author Celeste Longacre.
The COVID-19 pandemic drove many to start their own gardens last spring. Longacre will teach those new to organic gardening the tools they need to plant and maintain their garden, including soil preparation, planting, weeding, and thinning.
“The Co-op strives to offer workshops, such as this one with Celeste, that empower individuals to help create a more sustainable food system and ensure healthy food access for all,” said Jen Risley, Monadnock Food Co-op Marketing Manager.
Celeste Longacre is the author of Celeste’s Garden Delights. She is also an accomplished gardener who has been growing most of her family’s vegetables for 40 years. Celeste preserves the garden’s bounty by canning, freezing, drying, and fermenting it as well as storing her produce in a root cellar. For further information, please visit her website at celestelongacre.com.
“Atlantic Ocean Circulation Weakest In A Millennium” • The Atlantic Ocean circulation underpinning the Gulf Stream is weaker than at any point in the last 1,000 years largely due to climate change, and that could cause disastrous sea level rise along the US Eastern Seaboard, new research published in the journal Nature Geoscience says. [CleanTechnica]
“Will Tesla Hit Elon’s 20 Million Vehicles Per Year By 2030 Target?” • One of the bolder targets announced by Tesla CEO Elon Musk last year was to reach a 20 million-vehicle-per-year production capacity before 2030. He projected 30 million EVs sold annually by all companies in six to seven years. Are those goals really possible? [CleanTechnica]
“Community Microgrids – ‘Cornerstone Of Future Energy Operations'” • A full description of microgrids would go beyond their use for energy resilience to make them the “cornerstone of future energy operations.” The Solar Energy Technologies Office announced in 2020 it would award $34 million for integration projects, including community microgrids. [CleanTechnica]
“GreenPower Ramping Up Electric Commercial Vehicles, Electric School Buses, Autonomous Transit …” • Forest River, Inc, a Berkshire Hathaway company with revenues exceeding $5 billion, signed a purchase agreement with GreenPower for 150 GreenPower EV Star Cab and Chassis. If all goes well, that could be just a start. [CleanTechnica]
“RWE Notches First Power At Triton Knoll” • RWE Renewables has delivered first power from the 857-MW Triton Knoll offshore wind farm off east England. The generation milestone follows the successful delivery of electrical infrastructure on schedule, despite the construction challenges during the Covid pandemic, the German company said. [reNEWS]
The fifth annual Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair for the Greater Capital District will be held Saturday, March 6 from 10am-4 pm. Come participate virtually in: workshops, networking, an exhibition hall and in affinity groups which will provide an opportunity to “mingle” and “meet” new people.
The Fair is sponsored by the local non-profitCommunity Advocates for a Sustainable Environment (CASE).
Choose from 4 workshops from 11am-12 noon: Solar Energy, Food Waste & Composting, Renewable Heating, or Political Action for a Climate in Crisis.
Raya Salter will be the Keynote Speaker at 12:30.She represents NY Renews on New York’s Climate Action Council — the group tasked with implementing the new climate law to get us to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Afternoon affinity groups are more informal and will give participants a time to talk with others in smaller groups. Topics are: Electric Vehicles, Solar Energy, Sustainability, Climate Political Action, Renewable Heating & Cooling, and Youth Activism
Renewable Energy Providers and Climate organizations will be available at the Exhibit Hall from 10 am to 4pm. Many will have zoom links so you can talk to a real person.
This is the local sustainability event of the year and attendance is free.
Alliance for a Green Economy
BEAT / No Fracked Gas in Mass
Capital District Regional Planning Commission
Citizens’ Climate Lobby
Climate Reality Project: Capital Region, NY Chapter
Community Advocates for a Sustainable Environment
Food Scraps 360 LLC
HeatSmart Capital Region
Hudson Valley Community College Office of Workforce Development
New York Youth Climate Leaders
New Yorkers for Clean Power
News from the Neighborhood
PAUSE – People of Albany United for Safe Energy
Pearl’s Premium Ultra Low Maintenance Lawn Seed
Sierra Club Hudson Mohawk Group
Spruce & Sprout
Stop NY Fracked Gas Pipeline
Sustainable Wealth Advisors
True Building Performance
Below are G.E.T.’s top picks from NY-GEO’s weekly “Just-In” Newsletter. Just In! features three fresh news item summaries on the NY-GEO home page every Monday. NY-GEO members get the full newsletter, which includes an advanced look at the website articles, plus event listings and job openings and several bonus article summaries with links, usually on the Saturday before website publication.
Upstate NY Has the Cleanest Electricity in the US, Long Island Among the Dirtiest – The USEPA has released 2019 data showing upstate New York has by far the cleanest supply of electricity of any eGRID subregion in the country. Upstate electricity suppliers emitted 233 pounds of CO2e per MWh of power produced, slightly more than half of the California region’s (CAMX) 2nd place rate, and slightly more than a quarter of the national average of 889 lbs./MWh. New York City/Westchester ranked 5th cleanest of the 27 eGRID subregions at 555 lbs per MWh. In contrast, Long Island ranks the 7th dirtiest at 1,219 lbs. per MWh. The eGRID data reinforces the importance New York’s wind projects being developed off the shores of Long Island. As a state, New York ranks 6th cleanest, just ahead of California. Vermont is cleanest, followed by Idaho and Maine. Wyoming, which borders Idaho, is dirtiest, just below West Virginia and Kentucky. Thanks to NY-GEO member Bob Wyman for this tip.
Building Decarbonization Coalition is Expanding to New York – From the organization’s website: “Creating safe, healthy & affordable communities through all-electric, clean energy homes & buildings…The Building Decarbonization Coalition unites building industry stakeholders with energy providers, environmental organizations and local governments to power California’s homes and workspaces with clean energy.” BDC is looking to hire a New York Director. See Job listings in blue below or near the bottom of this webpage.
Flagstaff, AZ – Gas Utilities Fight To Stay In Business – NPR – Facing the rising threat of wildfire and extreme drought, Flagstaff, Ariz., unveiled an ambitious effort two years ago to cut the heat-trapping emissions that drive climate change. A critical part of Flagstaff’s climate plan proposed that all new construction get to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 and that the city promote “aggressive building electrification” to decrease reliance on fossil fuels. As in many places, buildings are a big source of Flagstaff’s greenhouse gases, mainly because many are heated by burning natural gas.
But in February 2020, the Arizona Legislature blocked much of Flagstaff’s plan for its buildings. With the backing of the state’s main gas utility, the Legislature passed a bill that prevents municipalities and counties from banning new gas infrastructure and hookups. The Arizona law was a test case for a strategy the natural gas sector is now deploying nationwide. Gas utilities, with help from industry trade groups, have successfully lobbied lawmakers over the past year to introduce similar “preemption” legislation in 12 mostly Republican-controlled state legislatures, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). NPR article here. Thanks to NY-GEO member Joanne Coons for this tip.
Induction Cooking – As we electrify heating systems with geothermal heat pumps, it’s helpful to know about other electrification measures that can help wean us from fossil fuel use. The Kitchen Electrification Group has put together some great resources on cooking without fossil fuels by using induction ranges and cooktops. Several California cities and towns have induction equipment loan programs to help consumers get familiar with induction cooking appliances, which are very efficient and precise (forget what you know about typical electric ranges, whose heat can be hard to adjust). There are published survey results here, which include the chart below. Thanks to NY-GEO member Irene Weiser for this tip.
Exciting news! The Call for Participation for ASES’ 50th Annual National Solar Conference, SOLAR 2021: Empowering a Sustainable Future is OPEN. Send in your proposal(s) before January 15, 2021 at ases.org/participate2021. The conference will take place August 3-6, 2021 in Boulder, CO on the University of Colorado, Boulder campus. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. See you at #SOLAR2021Boulder!