Welcome to our December Newsletter, the final Newsletter of 2019! Here we dish out all of the renewable energy industry news. Read on for the full article:
Renewable Energy Industry – What’s Happening?
UK Renewables Now Generating More Electricity Than Fossil Fuels1
A new report has revealed that the UK saw more energy being generated by renewables than by fossil fuels in the third quarter of this year. The UK has produced the majority of its energy from non-renewable sources since the opening of its first coal power plant in 1882, so this is a landmark event for the country. Wind farms, solar panels, biomass, and hydropower produced 29.5 terawatt-hours of energy between July and September of this year. Fossil fuels generated 29.1 terawatt-hours. And in May, the UK attained all of its needed power for two entire weeks without the use of coal.
Mexico Mayor Orders Tesla Cybertrucks for Police Use2
The mayor of Cuidad Valles, a municipality in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, announced that he has reserved 15 units of the newly released all-electric pickup truck. These trucks will be utilized by the police force, and are estimated to save millions per year due to their low operating costs. The Cybertruck has a tough exoskeleton, is able to reach high speeds, and is very affordable to maintain and run.
Lithium Produced for Tesla’s Batteries is Less Polluting than 31 Cups of Coffee3
In light of electric vehicles becoming more popular and mainstream, many people are concerned about the environmental impact of creating lithium batteries for these vehicles. However, to produce the lithium needed for a 64 kWh battery pack, about 3840 litres of water are evaporated. This is roughly comparable to the production of 250 grams of beef, 30 cups of coffee, or half a pair of jeans. In addition, lithium-ion batteries are already widely used in universally accepted devices such as mobile phones and laptops. Telsa’s lithium-ion batteries are actually less polluting than everyday items such as steak or coffee, since they have the potential to remain in service for a very long time.
Canada’s Oil Town Building Carbon Neutral Community Powered by 100% Renewables4
The City of Edmonton, Alberta has an ambitious plan to build a sustainable community, which is on the site of a 536-acre decommissioned airport site. It will be the largest purpose-built sustainable community in the world, and will be about the same size as Edmonton’s current downtown area. This community, dubbed Blatchford, will be home to 30,000 people and will provide a greener, bike- and pedestrian-friendly community that has its own energy utility. It will also feature permeable green spaces, including an 80-acre park, as well as offices and retail shops. The energy utility will distribute heating and cooling via geothermal pipe network.
First US Steel Plants Powered by Wind, Solar Energy are Coming for the Industry5
The steel industry is responsible for 6-7% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to a Rocky Mountain Institute study. However, a new steel microplant in Missouri owned by Nucor is trying to change this statistic. This steel plant is the first U.S. steel plant to run on wind energy. Sustainability goals are becoming increasingly important and plants such as this could be built more frequently. The Midwest is the perfect location for this plant because it has great wind to meet current prospects. It reduces environmental impacts and creates jobs.
Renewables to Become the New Normal at Remote Mines6
Mining companies see the need to decarbonise and pursue initiatives that go well beyond renewables, such as electrification of mining vehicles. These initiatives could further increase the electricity demand in mining and in the long run the need for locally generated renewable energy.
Miners are gaining trust in renewable energy solutions. The fear of production losses has been decreasing over the past years with every new renewable energy system that has been added to a mine globally. Before, the general attitude was characterised by ‘wait and see’, but the mode has been changing in 2019 to ‘let’s act now’. The individual decision makers today run a relatively low perceived risk by driving forward renewable energy projects. The solutions that are being built now are often more sophisticated than they were before, and they incorporate a higher share of renewables that is also enabled by storage solutions.
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1Moore, Sarah. (December 4, 2019). UK Renewables Now Generating More Electricity Than Fossil Fuels. Retrieved from azocleantech.com: https://www.azocleantech.com/news.aspx?newsID=26817
2Alvarez, Simon. (December 2, 2019). Mexico Mayor orders Tesla Cybertrucks for police use: decision was ‘common sense’. Retrieved from teslarati.com: https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-cybertruck-order-mexico-mayor-common-sense/
3Alvarez, Simon. (December 3, 2019). Lithium produced for Tesla’s batteries is less polluting than 31 cups of coffee: researcher. Retrieved from teslarati.com: https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-model-3-batteries-less-polluting-than-30-cups-coffee-researcher/
5Douglas, Jacob. (December 7, 2019). First US steel plants powered by wind, solar energy are coming for industry with big carbon footprint. Retrieved from cnbc.com: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/07/first-us-steel-plants-powered-by-wind-solar-energy-are-coming.html
6Cope, Elizabeth. (December 16, 2019). Renewables to become the new normal at remote mines. Retrieved from globalminingreview.com: https://www.globalminingreview.com/environment-sustainability/16122019/renewables-to-become-the-new-normal-at-remote-mines/