This Week in Climate & Clean Energy Wins: Week of 7/7/23:
The percentage of American voters who support funding more research into renewable energy sources, according to a study by Yale and George Mason.
The Biden Administration’s investment in growing the clean hydrogen economy – projected to boost clean job growth.
The number of homes that will be powered by the New Jersey Orsted A/S’s Ocean Wind 1 project, approved by the Biden Administration.
Hyundai is looking to expand its EV footprint in North America, with new plans for a second manufacturing facility. Meanwhile, Tesla and BYD hit record sales numbers in the second quarter of this year, as demand for EVs continues to surge. As the world continues to grapple with extreme weather events, Sunrun is launching a first-of-its-kind program in Puerto Rico that could tap residential solar-battery systems to power the island’s grid – preventing rolling blackouts and prolonged outages in the midst of severe storms.
A new report from Clean Energy Associates found that global usage of electric vehicles went up by 72% last year – with North America leading the way. According to a Yale and George Mason study, the majority of Americans feel that global warming should be a high or very high priority for the Biden Administration and Congress. New research shows that a safe and economically practical solution for recycling old solar panels exists – and it involves microwaves! Using a microwave to heat solar panels can unseal valuable raw materials like glass, copper, and silver.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $10 million grant to expand federal technical assistance and resources to address energy justice concerns in New England communities. The Biden Administration is encouraging folks to get excited about clean hydrogen – announcing a $1 billion investment to insure market certainty in the early stages of developing supporting technologies. This comes after a team of researchers at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and the Department of Energy (DOE) celebrated new capabilities to help companies expand clean hydrogen energy generation. The Biden Administration also approved Orsted A/S’s Ocean Wind 1 project, bringing as many as 98 turbines to New Jersey – generating enough energy to power 380,000 homes. President Biden traveled to South Carolina yesterday to announce the groundbreaking partnership between solar firm Enphase Energy and manufacturer Flex Ltd, which will create 600 jobs in South Carolina.
Lastly, a new report found that a change in regional transmission organization PJM Interconnection’s approvals process for electricity projects will bring more than $3 billion in investment and over 19,000 job-years to Pennsylvania. In Michigan, the legislature passed its fiscal year 2023 budget, which makes a variety of investments in clean energy and will add new jobs across the state. In Texas, experts are saying that renewable energy is helping keep electricity costs from skyrocketing during this heatwave.
- Hyundai is looking into expanding its all-EV building footprint in North America with plans for a second manufacturing facility. [Inside EVs, 6/3/2023]
- Construction is already underway for a facility in Georgia, while a second EV factory breaks ground in Canada.
- Sunrun is launching a first-of-its-kind program in Puerto Rico that could tap thousands of residential solar-plus-battery systems to help keep the island’s grid online during extreme weather events. [Canary Media, 6/27/2023]
- Whenever Puerto Rico’s power plants threaten to go offline due to severe storms, the residential systems can immediately send power to the grid to prevent rolling blackouts and prolonged outages.
- Tesla and BYD set sales records in the second quarter of the year, as the surge continues for EV demand. [Bloomberg, 7/2/2023]
- Tesla delivered 466,140 vehicles in Q2, while BYD sold 700,244 cars, roughly half of which were all-electric.
- North America is leading the way in battery cell manufacturing for EVs due to the Inflation Reduction Act. [Yahoo Life, 7/3/2023]
- According to a new report by Clean Energy Associates, global usage of EVs went up by 72% last year and is expected to grow even more in the coming years.
- Although China is still ahead in the manufacturing of battery cells, its share is expected to decline in the next few years.
- A new Yale and George Mason study found that the majority of Americans say global warming should be a high or very high priority for the President and Congress. [Yale Edu, 6/28/2023]
- 66% of registered voters said developing sources of clean energy should be a priority, 78% support funding more research into renewable energy sources, and 70% say corporations and industry groups should be doing more to address global warming.
- According to new research, microwaves may be the solution to recycling solar panels – making it easier to recover materials like high quality glass. [Washington Post, 7/5/2023]
- While the lifespan of panels is increasing, recyclers have been trying to find a way to break down old panels without the use of harsh chemicals.
- Using a microwave to heat solar panels can safely unseal raw materials and allow for the retrieval of aluminum, glass, silicon, plastic, and valuable metals such as copper and silver.
- The EPA announced a $10 million grant opportunity that seeks to expand access to federal technical assistance and resources to New England communities. [EPA, 7/3/2023]
- Earlier this year, the Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Center was created and received $177 million in funding.
- These grant opportunities address energy justice concerns after general disinvestment in the region.
- The Biden Administration announced a $1 billion investment in growing demand for clean hydrogen. [DOE, 7/5/2023]
- Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the initiative aims to ensure both producers and users have market certainty in the early stages of a blossoming clean hydrogen economy.
- The clean hydrogen economy has the potential to create 100,000 new jobs by 2023.
- DOE and a team of researchers at INL are celebrating a new capability to help companies scale up clean energy production. [East Idaho News, 7/4/2023]
- INL’s lab is designed to support the testing of steam electrolysis technologies and systems to improve performance and safety for several companies.
- This capability helps reach DOE’s goal of producing hydrogen for less than $2 per kilogram by 2026.
- The Biden Administration approved Orsted A/S’s Ocean Wind 1 project, which will bring as many as 98 turbines to the waters off New Jersey. [Bloomberg, 7/5/2023]
- The project is estimated to have a generating capacity of 1.1 gigawatts, capable of powering more than 380,000 homes.
- This week, President Biden traveled to South Carolina to debut the new groundbreaking partnership between solar firm Enphase Energy and manufacturer Flex Ltd. [Bloomberg, 7/6/2023]
- The $60 million investment by Enphase will create 1,800 new jobs across the US, including 600 jobs in South Carolina. This new project came to fruition thanks to President Biden’s clean energy plan.
- PJM Interconnection is changing how it approves new electricity projects in an effort to speed up the process and advance renewable energy development in the mid-Atlantic region and Washington, D.C. [StateImpact Pennsylvania, 6/30/2023]
- According to a new report, this change in process could bring more than $3 billion in capital investment and over 19,000 job-years to Pennsylvania.
- The Michigan legislature passed its fiscal year 2024 budget, making key investments in clean energy and adding jobs across the state. The budget is now awaiting Governor Whitmer’s signature. [Solar Industry Magazine, 7/3/2023]
- The budget includes grants for renewable energy projects at schools; incentives for communities to site renewable energy projects; grants for businesses, local government, and nonprofits to deploy renewable energy projects; federal funds to improve grid resiliency; funding for Michigan Saves Green Bank to spur investment in residential and commercial clean energy; etc.
- According to Axios, renewable energy is helping keep electricity costs from skyrocketing in Texas, as the heatwave continues to swamp the state. [Axios, 7/5/2023]
- “Having solar provide during the hottest parts of the day is allowing our thermal [i.e. fossil fuel] fleet to not run itself into the ground as fast,” Josh Rhodes, a research scientist at the University of Texas at Austin said.