Lithium-ion is likely to remain the king of energy storage and expand its kingdom as companies like Tesla work to make batteries a common household appliance alongside its electric cars. Batteries in these roles consist of dozens of smaller lithium-ion cells in packs that store much more electricity than mobile phones, so the potential harm from a thermal runaway is much greater. On the other hand, large battery packs mean that a single failing cell doesn’t have to take out the entire system, and with sophisticated power management systems, vehicle, household and grid batteries can be made even safer.
The release of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions in the first half of this year sank to their lowest level since 1991, the Energy Information Administration said yesterday. The agency attributed the decline to a warm winter, slumping use of coal-fired electricity, and strong growth in renewable and hydroelectric power. It was the first time in 25 years that emissions during the first six months of any year were that low.
Wind energy has been a major driver of Iowa’s economy and an important part of its electricity mix, despite the inaccurate and misleading claims in Grant Kidwell’s Oct. 6 commentary. Iowa leads the nation by reliably generating over 30 percent of its electricity using wind power. When Wind XI comes online, the Hawkeye State will near 40 percent. The results of this development have benefited Iowans across the state. As Gov. Terry Branstad has explained,“Every wind turbine you see in Iowa means income for farmers, revenue for counties and jobs for Iowa families.”
The United States pumped out the least climate-changing pollution from fossil fuels in the first six months of this year than at any such period since 1991, federal energy officials said Wednesday. That’s in part because those six months were the third-warmest on record in the country. From January to June, the number of days that Americans needed to turn on their heating dropped to the lowest level since at least 1949, when the U.S. Energy Information Administration began keeping those records nationwide.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) spends many Mondays on the Senate floor, talking about the dangers of climate change. Yesterday, he took his presentation to Austin, Texas, where he sharply criticized Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) for his decision to subpoena New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D) for documents from their investigations into Exxon Mobil Corp. “Rep. Smith is not just here doing something unprecedented to obstruct state officials in the performance of their duties, he’s doing it on behalf of the very subject of their investigation,” Whitehouse said in a brief speech from the state house.
Farms are the top story in Iowa — for food, for energy and for the waste that the state’s 20 million or so hogs and millions more cattle produce. “In Iowa, water quality and clean energy continue to remain front and center,” said Ralph Rosenberg, executive director of the Iowa Environmental Council.
Financing for large solar and wind energy plants sank as governments cut incentives for clean energy and costs declined, said Michael Liebreich, founder and chairman of the advisory board of the London-based research company, a unit of Bloomberg LP. Total investment for this year is on track to be “well below” last year’s record of $348.5 billion, according to New Energy Finance.
Leaked emails from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign show scientists, a former U.S. EPA chief and governors were invited to serve as her primary advisers on energy, climate, environment and infrastructure. In an Oct. 27, 2015, email, Milia Fisher, an aide to campaign chairman John Podesta, asks her boss to approve an invitation for eight people to serve as “senior partners” on the campaign’s policy working group.
To many residents in this tiny town in southern Vermont, the last-minute offer of cash was a blatant attempt to buy their votes.
To the developer that offered the money, it was simply a sign of how attentively the company had been listening to voters’ concerns. The company, Iberdrola Renewables, a Spanish energy developer, wants to build Vermont’s largest wind project on a private forest tract that spans Windham and the adjacent town of Grafton. The project would consist of 24 turbines, each nearly 500 feet tall, and generate 82.8 megawatts of power, enough to light 42,000 homes for a year if the wind kept blowing, though the houses could be in Connecticut or Massachusetts.
Los Angeles has suffered the worst ozone pollution of any American city for three years running. Coastal areas of the city could be swallowed by the Pacific by the end of the century as a warming climate causes sea levels to rise. A natural gas leak in northwestern Los Angeles, finally plugged in February, was the most disastrous in American history. Small wonder that Los Angeles is joining a growing movement to confront environmental challenges at the local level.