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  • #15. 👶 Parenting delayed due to climate change | ⚖️ 87 countries reach clean energy tipping point | 🐂 Lamborghini goes EV

#15. 👶 Parenting delayed due to climate change | ⚖️ 87 countries reach clean energy tipping point | 🐂 Lamborghini goes EV

🌡 CLIMATE CHANGE

A startup in Google parent company Alphabet’s X division, Tidal, is trying to analyze ocean ecosystems to better understand the impacts of climate change, pollution, and overfishing. Specifically, Tidal is focusing on seagrass, an aquatic plant that grows quickly and absorbs a lot of CO2 from shallow water. Tidal’s approach is to 3D-map seagrass beds to understand how much CO2 can be sequestered by the plant, in order to better estimate how much needs to be revitalized around the world.

According to a poll by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), nearly 50% of young Africans are reconsidering whether to have children due to the adverse impacts of climate change. Primary concerns were based on access to clean water, ample food supplies, and exposure to extreme heat or flooding events.

A survey of 167 agricultural financial institutions spanning North America, Europe, and India, announced yesterday at the COP27 conference by the Environmental Defense Fund, concluded that most have not yet incorporate climate change into their risk assessments. Some 87% of respondents to the survey expect climate change to adversely impact their business; nevertheless, some 75% don’t compensate accordingly, while 59% have not set goals with climate change in mind. In the US, 1/3 of such financial institutions don’t consider climate change a risk factor for their farmer clients; in Canada, 9% remain unconcerned; n Europe and India, the proportion of those not concerned drops to just 2% and 0%, respectively.

🔋 CLEAN ENERGY

The failed materialization of the so-called “red wave” of America’s midterm elections spurred optimism amongst climate investors. iShares Global Clean Energy, an ETF, was up 1%; SPDR S&P Kensho Clean Power gained 1.5%.

Countries producing at least 5% of their power output from clean energy have crossed a threshold beyond which there is no going back. The US, for instance, achieved 5% clean energy output in 2011, and it’s now on track to hit 50% by 2032, several decades sooner than previous forecasts. As new technologies expand, cost becomes less of an issue than logistics and permitting. The cost of solar, for example, drops 30% every time there’s a doubling of global solar panel supply. Going forward, however, the pairing of grid-scale batteries with various clean energy production sources will become an essential component; one without the other is not sufficient. Similar progress can be seen not just with power generation but the conversion to electric vehicles; currently, transportation is responsible for 25% of global energy consumption. At current rates of adoption, the US should see EVs accounting for 25% of all new vehicle sales in just three years.

Backup power for the Viejas Tribe of the Kumeyaay Indians will be provided by a $31M grant to build a 60 MWh long-duration energy storage system. The system will include a 10 MWh vanadium redox flow battery developed by Invinity Energy Systems as well as a Zn hybrid cathode battery system developed by Eos Energy Enterprises. Some 30,000 solar panels will also output 15 MW. The entire system should be online by summer 2024, but California’s target is 1 GW of such long-duration storage, necessary to meet 2030 and 2045 targets.

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🚗 AUTONOMOUS & ELECTRIC VEHICLES

The Volvo EX90 is the electric successor to the popular XC90 and boasts an 111 kWh battery pack, 300 mi (482 km) of range on the EPA cycle, and a mid-four second 0-60 (96 km/h) run. Most impressively, the EX90 will come standard with LiDAR provided by Luminar and is said to be “hardware-ready” for full autonomous driving.

LiDAR rivals Ouster and Velodyne have merged. This, at a time when the perpetually nascent autonomous vehicle industry has been shaken top to bottom. Though often associated only with the development of fully autonomous vehicles — except, infamously, Tesla — the technology is still useful for ADAS and other technological applications.

Lamborghini once said it would never adopt dual clutch manual gearboxes because they were essentially too civilized. Likewise, fully electric bulls have long since been shunned because they lack the mechanical savagery of Lamborghini’s glorious Italian engines. But times change, and come 2028, Lamborghini will at last unveil its first all-electric supercar.

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