#16. 🤥 Carbon offset myths | 🇺🇸 US launches carbon offset program | 🚖 Waymo charges for robotaxi rides in SF
🌡 CLIMATE CHANGE
Methane (CH4) is directly correlated with global warming, but it is hard to find when and where CH4 is being released. Satellite monitoring of methane emissions, such as NASA’s Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT) on board the International Space Station, can track CH4 emissions over time to help determine global annual methane emissions and, crucially, their specific locations.
The initiative should help data collection, implement new approaches to environmental conservation, and provide global education about sustainable solutions.
Carbon offsets are usually of little use since the cost of producing carbon — despite a doubling in its price over the past 18 months — is often much less expensive than finding ways to actually reduce emissions.
🔋 CLEAN ENERGY
A Washington State University study has developed a method to convert 85% of the organic material in sewage into natural gas.
US launches carbon offset program to help developing countries speed clean energy transition (long read)
A new US carbon offset plan — the Energy Transition Accelerator — would enable US companies to fund renewable energy projects in poor countries that want, but are financially unable, to transition to cleaner energy sources from fossil fuels.
Israeli startup H2Pro, has developed a more efficient method of electrolysis for producing hydrogen called E-TAC (electrochemical - thermally activated chemical). H2Pro has partnered with Moroccan renewable energy developer Gaia Energy to supply the resulting so-called “green hydrogen.”
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🚗 AUTONOMOUS & ELECTRIC VEHICLES
The California DMV just approved Waymo to provide fully driverless operations in San Francisco for things like grocery and food delivery. Once the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) grants Waymo a driverless permit — which will take a minimum of 30 days from the DMV’s approval — then passenger-paid, truly driverless, fully autonomous robotaxi rides will be a reality.
Vanderbilt University, in cooperation with several other universities and Nissan, Toyota, GM, and the Tennessee DOT, will perform the world’s largest AV test next week. A deployment of 100 AVs will drive a 4-mile (6.4 km) stretch of the Interstate-24 freeway known as the “I-24 MOTION testbed” which includes 300 4K cameras placed on poles 600 feet apart to monitor and collect performance data from the test.
The test, organized by the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) will involve four different consortiums of bus companies and local and global tech startups. Viability of both the technology as well as the infrastructure will be key metrics during the two-year pilot. An ongoing strike of bus drivers leading to a shortage of bus drivers is hoped to be alleviated by a fleet of autonomous buses.