#32. 🏢Carbon Re clean cement | 🛩️France banning short flights | 🚘Apple Car pushed to 2026
Plus: AC spikes in Europe | Zimbabwe's strained grid | Renewables on top in 2025 | Electric planes' power needs | Tesla adopts radar | US National Forests embrace Ford F-150 Lightning EV
🌡 CLIMATE CHANGE
Europe’s climate crisis in data: Homes need less heating and more cooling in these countries (long read)
Europe's climate has warmed nearly 2°C, significantly more than global average temperatures which have increase around 1.12°C from pre-industrial times. As a result, the need for heating buildings has decreased while the need for air conditioning has increased. In the European Union, the need for heating has fallen 11% between 1979 and 2021, while the need for cooling has risen nearly threefold.
Carbon Re (Crunchbase) has raised $4.8m to build AI to decarbonize energy-intensive industries. Its Delta Zero AI platform is claimed to reduce over 50 kilotons of CO2 emissions per plant. It models the unique production environment of each plant and uses advanced machine learning and AI techniques to optimize production processes. The investment will be used to focus on rolling out its product to the global cement market, with a view to expanding into other energy-intensive, and heavy carbon-emitting industries such as steel and glass.
Water shortage in Zimbabwe had reduced electrical output from the Kariba Dam to just 300 MW on the Zimbabwe side (from 1,050 MW capacity) and 800 MW on the Zambian side (from 1,080 MW capacity). Today total output is just 500 MW and power is often only supplied between midnight and 4am. Additional coal plants are hoped to mitigate the power shortage.
🔋 CLEAN ENERGY
The European Commission is allowing France to start banning short flights within the country for which there are suitable alternatives by rail both in terms of availability and duration, which must be less than 2.5 hours . The ban starts with three flights from Paris-Orly Airport (LFPO/ORY) to Bordeaux (LFBD/BOD), Nantes (LFRS/NTE), and Lyon (LFYL/LYS). Private jets are also slated to be heavily limited, if only via punitive taxation and restrictions, if not outright banned, at least between popular routes such as between Paris and the French Riviera. France has the highest number of private jet flights in Europe.
From 2025, wind and solar will be the largest source of electrical power generation globally, finally overtaking coal. They currently account for more than 90% of current electrical expansion, driven largely by China, India, and the US; China alone should account for nearly half of all new clean energy growth between 2022-2027. Utility-scale solar and onshore wind are the least expensive options.
This is an impressively deep dive into the decarbonization of the aviation space. The bottom end of the aviation market is the most likely to electrify, with smaller, regional air mobility (RAM) aircraft being flown by electric and increasingly autonomous planes augmented by remote air traffic controlled-aircraft.
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🚗 AUTONOMOUS & ELECTRIC VEHICLES
After eschewing all alternative sensor technologies and focusing solely on computer vision with its suite of cameras, FCC communications now indicate that Tesla is planning to deploy radar on its vehicles once again. Tesla had recently removed an earlier implementation of radar as well as ultrasonic sensors in a move to cut costs and further push its vision-only approach dubbed “Tesla Vision.” The new radar is anticipated to be incorporated from mid-January.
Apple Car on track for 2026 release, under $100K price, custom chip, and no full self-driving at launch (long read)
Rumors of a fully electric, fully Level 5 autonomous Apple Car have swirled since about 2017. After numerous delays, and even alternative speculation that the Apple “Car” was all software and no vehicle, it now appears a physical vehicle is indeed in the works for release in 2026 with no autonomous driving functionality.
The test is a pivotal step towards replacing the US Forest Service’s fleet of 17,000 gas-powered vehicles to fully electric vehicles; the base Lightning also costs less than its ICE cousin. The F-150 Lighting EV has already sold nearly 14,000 copies; by December 2021, over 200,000 reservations (three years’ worth) had been reserved and the Lightning is now the number-one selling EV truck beating out Rivian’s R1T.
🎉 THAT’S ALL FOR TODAY!
Thank you so much for reading, see you tomorrow!-Marc