For_All_Humanity OP t1_jad1ry5 wrote

Note that a typo was found in the article and was corrected by OP

> Brussels pencilled in a 40% renewable energy target by 2030 in the Fit for 55 package it unveiled in summer 2021, but the 27-country bloc is now projected to reach 45%, according to a new report released on Tuesday by Ember.

> This is partly due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine which started in February 2022, and which exacerbated an energy crisis across Europe, as European economies sought to wean themselves off Russian fossil fuels and Moscow stopped delivering gas to many countries.

>In response, European countries "turbocharged" their energy transition, the independent energy think tank said, with investment in clean technologies jumping by nearly a third year-on-year to reach new record highs.

>Such was the case for solar deployment, with more than 40 GW installed across the EU last year, a 47% increase on the previous year. Meanwhile, estimates put new capacity in 2023 at over 50 GW.

> This exponential growth should see the Fit for 55 solar target reached four years early, in 2026, with Germany, Spain, Poland, Italy, the Netherlands and France seen as the countries that will add the largest amount.

>Significant growth was also observed last year in both heat pumps and electric vehicles.

>A record 3 million heat pumps were sold across the EU in 2022 — equivalent to roughly four billion cubic metres of natural gas. This brought the total stock to about 20 million, attaining an interim objective set for 2026.

>Projections now put the number of heat pumps installed by 2030 at between 60-72 million, significantly higher than the 40 million units modelled in the Fit for 55 package.

>Meanwhile, sales of electric vehicles continued to climb despite a challenging year for car sales in general. The automotive industry is now confident that it can achieve the transport electrification target, which plans for a fivefold increase between now and 2030.

>Unlike wind, solar did not defy expectations last year and new onshore capacity installed actually came in below the Fit-for-55 target, despite a 40% increase on the previous year. The outlook for offshore wind is more positive as projects under development would add 70.5 GW capacity, close to a new interim target set earlier this year of 111 GW by the end of the decade.

>For Ember, the positive trends observed over the past 12 months should prompt the EU to revise its targets upwards.

>"A new energy reality has unfolded across Europe since the Fit-for-55 package was presented eighteen months ago, with record-breaking clean energy investments reflecting the security and economic imperatives for increasing renewables," Elisabeth Cremona, an Ember energy and climate data analyst, said.

>"Clean technologies are forecast to outpace Fit-for-55 expectations, putting the EU on course for at least 45% renewables by 2030. As 40% renewables no longer reflects where we are heading, sticking with the lower target means aiming for failure," she added.

>Both the European Commission and Parliament have indicated they are in favour of boosting targets ahead of final negotiations on the EU’s renewable energy target for 2030 scheduled to take place in March. But some member states would prefer the target to remain unchanged at "at least 40%."

The EU should power ahead at full speed, and help nations which may be struggling to transition. This will help provide self-sufficiency to Europe and starve authoritarian regimes of revenue from their lucrative energy businesses.


For_All_Humanity OP t1_j8rtv6t wrote

Probably less than an hour, what’s more important is the project. Dual usage of offshore wind farms for seaweed farming could have great benefits as noted in the article. Not only can it provide more jobs making the farm more attractive, but it can serve as animal feed, clothing materials, an alternative for plastic, or just sit as a carbon sink.


For_All_Humanity OP t1_j8rt3qb wrote

>Web giant Amazon will fund what's billed as a world-first commercial-scale scheme to grow seaweed between offshore wind turbines, said the team planning the venture.

>Amazon will give Dutch non-profit North Sea Farmers €1.5m ($1.6m) to develop the eco project, which could be up and running by the end of 2023 covering 10 hectares in the North Sea off the Netherlands.

>North Sea Farmers is currently in final talks with developers in the Borssele and Hollandse Kust zones over which project will host North Sea Farm 1, slated to produce 6,000kg of fresh seaweed in its first year.

>The first project will serve markets for seaweed-based products that range from animal feeds to cosmetics, and research the ability of seaweed to act as a natural sequestration tool for carbon.

>Roeland Donker, Netherlands country manager for Amazon in the Netherlands said: "Like trees, as seaweed grows it absorbs carbon from the atmosphere, and it can be used to create biodegradable packaging, as well as food and fashion products.”

>The money will come from the web giant's climate fund.

>North Sea Farm 1 is the latest move in a growing effort to harmonise offshore wind development with aquaculture.

>Other pilot projects are slated for the North Seawhile China has unveiled plans for unified offshore wind and fish farming off Shandong province.

>However, the offshore wind sector has also sometimes found itself at odds with local fishing industries, with some projects facing stiff opposition.

While 6000kg isn’t a lot of seaweed, it is an interesting example of how we can see dual use in our clean energy projects as noted by the article. Hopefully projects like this can become a blueprint for future endeavors and works out well. Both for us and the planet.


For_All_Humanity OP t1_j8ku69k wrote

>Project Nexus is a $20 million pilot in California’s Turlock Irrigation District that launched in October of last year. The project team is exploring solar over canal design, deployment, and co-benefits using canal infrastructure and the electrical grid. >India already has solar panels over canals, but Project Nexus is the first of its kind in the US. The Turlock Irrigation District was the first irrigation district formed in California in 1887. It provides irrigation water to 4,700 growers who farm around 150,000 acres in the San Joaquin Valley. >About 8,500 feet of solar panels will be built over three sections of Turlock Irrigation District’s canals. The three sections feature areas of various orientations and canal widths that range from 20 to 100 feet wide. >Project Nexus will explore whether the solar panels reduce water evaporation as a result of midday shade and wind mitigation; create improvements to water quality through reduced vegetative growth; reduce canal maintenance as a result of reduced vegetative growth; and of course, generate renewable electricity. >The California Department of Water Resources, utility company Turlock Irrigation District, Marin County, California-based water and energy project developer Solar AquaGrid, and The University of California, Merced, are partnering on the pilot.

Iron flow battery storage

>Long-term iron flow battery storage is now going to be added to Project Nexus; Wilsonville, Oregon-based long-duration iron flow battery maker ESS is going to supply two 75kW turnkey “Energy Warehouse” batteries.

>ESS says that its technology was selected for its “inherently safe and non-toxic characteristics, making it preferable for siting adjacent to water infrastructure.” Its iron flow technology can provide up to 12 hours of flexible energy capacity. Iron flow chemistry doesn’t use critical minerals such as lithium or cobalt – it uses iron, salt, and water. Hugh McDermott, ESS senior vice president, said:

>“Long-duration energy storage is the key that will enable Project Nexus to not only conserve water and generate renewable energy, but provide on-demand, clean power 24/7. >This project addresses multiple climate challenges at once and is the kind of innovative approach that will build a climate-resilient future.”

>If all 4,000 miles of California’s canals were covered with solar panels, that could produce 13 gigawatts of renewable power. A gigawatt is enough to power 750,000 homes, so that would be enough power for 9.75 million households. For perspective, as of July 2021, there were 13.1 million households in California.

It’s very exciting to see non-LI batteries getting deployed in real world environments. Battery technology is largely ignored in the mainstream conversation about renewables, but is absolutely vital for our energy future.


For_All_Humanity t1_j6lm62l wrote

Multiple countries already have that capability. Of course, the proliferation of abilities to do it cheaply might be a concern, but really for the good of us all we need to have the means to quickly and cheaply remove debris from orbit. It is inevitable that something breaks or there’s an accident or there’s debris that needs to be moved before it collides with something important. Or perhaps in the aftermath of a war which may see certain satellites annihilated we’ll need to do cleanup efforts.


For_All_Humanity t1_j6eysqp wrote

It’s super exciting to see all the advances in battery technology we’ve made over the past 20 years. Heck, the last 5 years have been incredible. LI is great like you said, but the mining can have harmful effects on local ecosystems and communities. So if we can spread out what batteries we use and advance in multiple directions there can only be benefits.

Like you said, the potential to save a lot of money here is going to be driving a lot of development. Plus spreading out what materials we use for utility-scale storage and personal usage we can help ensure we avoid shortages.


For_All_Humanity OP t1_j1s0bk4 wrote

> Over recent months, sets of sturdy, brightly-branded battery swapping stations have cropped up around Kenya's capital Nairobi, allowing electric motorcyclists to exchange their low battery for a fully-charged one.

>It is a sign of an electric motorcyle revolution starting to unfold in Kenya where combustion-engine motorbikes are a cheaper and quicker way to get around than cars but environmental experts say are 10 times more polluting.

>East Africa's biggest economy is betting on electric-powered motorcycles, its renewables-heavy power supply and position as a technology and start-up hub to lead the region's shift to zero-emission electric mobility.

>The battery swapping system not only saves time - essential for Kenya's more than one million motorcyclists, most of whom use the bikes commercially - but also saves buyers money as many sellers follow a model in which they retain ownership of the battery, the bike's most expensive part.

>"It doesn't make a lot of economic and business sense for them to acquire a battery...which would almost double the cost of the bike," said Steve Juma, the co-founder of electric bike company Ecobodaa.

>Ecobodaa has 50 test electric motorcyles on the road now and plans to have 1,000 by the end of 2023 which it sells for about $1,500 each - roughly the same price as combustion-engine bikes thanks to the exclusion of the battery from the cost.

>After the initial purchase, the electric motorcyle - designed to be sturdy enough to traverse rocky roads - is cheaper to run than petrol-guzzling ones.

>"With the normal bike, I will use fuel worth approximately 700-800 Kenyan shillings ($5.70-$6.51) each day, but with this bike, when I swap a battery I get one battery at 300 shillings," said Kevin Macharia, 28, who transports goods and passengers around Nairobi.


>Ecobodaa is just one of several Nairobi-based electric motorcycle startups working to prove themselves in Kenya before eventually expanding in East Africa.

>Kenya's consistent power supply which is about 95% renewable led by hydroelectricity and has a widespread network, was a major support for growth of the sector, said Jo Hurst-Croft, founder of ARC Ride, another Nairobi-based electric motorcycle startup.

>The country's power utility estimates it generates enough to charge two million electric motorcycles a day: electricity access in the country is over 75%, according to the World Bank, and even higher in Nairobi.

>Uganda and Tanzania also have robust and renewables-heavy grids that could support electric mobility, said Hurst-Croft.

>"We're putting over 200 swapping stations in Nairobi and expanding to Dar es Salaam and Kampala," said Hurst-Croft.