#2. 🫀 Climate change & cardio health | 🇨🇳 China’s huge offshore wind farm | 🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia embraces EVs
🌡 CLIMATE CHANGE
The chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, Prof. Dame Jenny Harries, said that a warming planet will bring wide spread adverse health impacts including food security, floods, and diseases commonly found in more tropical latitudes. This past summer’s record breaking heatwave that breached 40°C (104°F) was responsible for 2,800 heat-related deaths; 2050 is projected to see triple the number of such deaths, with today’s record-breaking summers the new “normal.”
Recent research aiming to understand the relationship, if any, between increased heat events and cardiovascular mortality (CVM) in the United States has found a definitive correlation. Nearly 6,000 additional CVM deaths were linked to extreme heat between 2008-2017, with each additional extreme heat day per month increasing the monthly CVM by 0.12%. On average, 600-700 additional CVM deaths per year affect adults in the US. But increased CVM-related deaths are not linked only to extreme heat, but to extreme cold as well. Other factors like increased air pollution and demographic factors like age and socioeconomic status also play a role. The study also noted the indirect effects of climate change such as damaged health care infrastructure caused by extreme weather events such as wildfire, excess hurricanes, or flooding.
The French insurance company AXA SA now considers climate change to be society’s biggest risk over the next five to 10 years. The threat of war, meanwhile, has increased to second place from number four last year. Despite the obvious threats caused by Russia’s war against Ukraine, insurers still rank climate change-fueled risks like wildfire and flood to be of paramount concern. Exacerbating these worries is the looming energy crisis including and especially the supply and delivery of gas and oil.
🔋 CLEAN ENERGY
The West’s biggest source of renewable energy depends on water. Will it survive the drought? (long read)
The West Coast of the United States depends heavily on hydroelectric power. The recent drought has brought critical water supplies that power the hydro plants to their lowest levels in history, triggering the first ever Federal water shortage emergency. But a study by scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory suggest that due to the enormous geographic scale and diversity of the West’s hydroelectric plants, the system is actually more robust than commonly feared. The conclusion is not that climate change is not a real risk, but rather to calm fears that catastrophic power losses across the West’s major cities is imminent.
A city in China is planning an offshore wind farm so big that it could power all of Norway (quick read)
An offshore wind power farm is slated to begin construction by 2025 some 75 km to 185 km (47 mi to 115 mi) off the coast of Chaozhou in Guangdong province. Due to unique meteorological features, it is expected that there will be sufficient wind to run the wind turbines nearly 50% of the time, for an average sustained output of 47.3 GW, in excess of Norway’s combined power plants’ output. Despite a relatively late net-zero goal of 2060, China’s 26 GW of offshore wind capacity already accounts for half the planet’s 54 GW offshore wind power.
Facing pressure from global clients, investors, and its new leftist President Gabriel Boric, Chilean mining operations like Codelco are keen to shift their operations to greener, more environmentally friendly operations. Key to such transitions involve both electrification of various operations and equipment as well as the adoption of greener fuels. Examples include a transition to 100% electric underground mining as hydrogen fuel alternatives. Challenges include limited space for trialing new technologies; relatively low adoption of new technologies; a large delta between investment opportunities and desired goals; and a need to re-skill existing workers.
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🚗 AUTONOMOUS & ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 strategy is built around diversifying its investments in electric and other renewable technologies including electric vehicles, the latter of which includes a partnership with EV maker Lucid. Bowing to pressure from most rich countries to drastically cut internal combustion vehicles and recognizing the extreme volatility of oil prices as demonstrated during the pandemic, the Kingdom has placed its money where its mouth is with a 61% ownership of Lucid, which began construction of an EV manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia this past May.
Saudi Arabia autonomous vehicle markets, competition, forecast & opportunities, 2027: Favorable government policies and high-end investments by key market players (quick read)
In addition to its EV ambitions as set forth in its Vision 2030 goals, Saudi Arabia is likewise focused on bolstering its investment in autonomous vehicles in an effort to increase road safety. With government policies enabling easy testing of AV technology and Saudi Arabia’s nascent NEOM City project, embracing AVs with EVs is a logical next step in the Kingdom’s playbook for the future.
GMC introduces 2024 Sierra EV Denali Edition 1 with 400 mile range and crab walk, starting at $107K (quick read)
It’s expensive, but this first GMC EV is clearly targeting the likes of GM’s own Hummer EV, at least on price if not street presence. With impressively good looks, it has a robust list of legitimate EV-type features including a healthy 400 mile (643 km) range; a 9,500 (4,300 kg) towing capacity; an EV-typical 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) run of 4.5 seconds; the ability to power a home for up to 21 days; and trick four-wheel steering to mimic the crab walk of GM’s Hummer EV.