#44. 🇬🇱Greenland's glaciers melting faster | 🔋rusty batteries | 🔌F-150 Lightning earthquake backup
Plus: Climate change in US university books | NY emissions plan | world's most powerful wind turbine install | Sun King solar energy in Africa & Asia | Model Y Norway record | Lion Electric batteries
🌡 CLIMATE CHANGE
University biology textbooks in the US published in the 2010s had less climate change content than those in the 2000s, and the passages moved further back in the books, with more information about its impacts but less about solutions, according to a survey of 57 textbooks from the past 50 years. The median number of sentences per climate change passage rose to 52 in the 2000s, but dropped to 45 in the 2010s.
Arctic glaciers could be melting up to 100 times faster than previously predicted due to a lack of data and incorrect assumptions, according to an updated model developed by scientists at the University of Texas at Austin (UT). Climate scientists have been using data from Antarctica's more accessible 'glacier tongues' as a substitute for the Arctic, but the two regions are not the same. The updated model uses the shape of glaciers and the temperature and salinity of the surrounding waters to predict submarine ice loss in Greenland and suggests that when Arctic glaciers melt, they become particularly vulnerable to underwater melting.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has been given the power to implement a range of climate policies that would significantly reduce the state's emissions, including a "cap and invest" programme similar to California's cap-and-trade system that would impose limits on emissions and require polluters to buy allowances to emit greenhouse gases. The plan, which was approved on Monday, also calls for the electrification of almost everything including buildings and vehicles, using a combination of incentives and mandates. The plan aims to reduce emissions by 50% from 1990 levels by 2030 and 85% by 2050.
🔋 CLEAN ENERGY
The three blades for the prototype of Vestas' V236-15.0 MW offshore wind turbine have been transported to Denmark's national Østerild Test Center on the north-west coast, where they will be installed and ready to produce power, according to a company statement. The turbine, which has a rotor diameter of 236 metres and wind-swept area of 43,743 sq metres, will be capable of producing 80 GWh per year, enough to power around 20,000 European households, the company said. It will debut at Denmark's Frederikshavn wind farm in 2024, and has also been selected for use in the Atlantic Shores offshore wind farm in New Jersey, as well as New York's Empire Wind 1 and Empire Wind 2 projects.
Form Energy (Crunchbase), a Massachusetts-based company co-run by a former Tesla official, is designing an iron-air battery that uses widely available iron metal and operates on the principle of "reversible rusting" to store electricity for several days during periods of low solar and wind power generation. The iron-air battery, which can store and discharge power for up to 100 hours, could be used to bridge renewable power gaps in the U.S. grid, decarbonize industrial operations, and support the Defense Department's plans to rely more on renewable energy. Form Energy has raised $832 million from investors, including Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and signed contracts to build battery storage facilities for two utilities in Georgia and Minnesota.
Sun King (Crunchbase), a provider of off-grid solar energy products, has secured a $70m equity investment from LeapFrog Investments to extend its $260m Series D round. The funds will be used to expand Sun King's pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar distribution networks and introduce larger setups that can power appliances such as refrigerators. The company claims to be profitable and to have grown its business by 95% year on year since the initial Series D investment nine months ago. It provides solar energy to 165,000 homes per month across eight African countries, while in Kenya, over one in five people use its products, equivalent to 22 million Kenyans served to date.
🚗 AUTONOMOUS & ELECTRIC VEHICLES
In 2022, the Tesla Model Y became the best-selling car in Norway, surpassing the record previously held by the VW Beetle in 1969. Norway is on track to have all new cars on the road be all-electric by 2025, and is expected to close the year at a market share of 80-90% for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The success of the Model Y and other electric vehicles, such as the VW ID.4 and Škoda Enyaq iV, have contributed to Norway's high adoption rate of electric vehicles.
After a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Northern California and left many without power, a dealership in North Eureka used two of its electric vehicles, a Ford F-150 Lightning and a Kia Niro, as backup energy sources to keep the business running. Both vehicles are equipped with bidirectional charging capabilities, also known as vehicle-to-grid (V2G), which allows energy from the EVs' batteries to be used to power external devices. The Ford F-150 Lightning has Pro Power Onboard, providing up to 9.6 kW of power across 11 outlets, and the Kia Niro has Vehicle-to-load (V2L), allowing for up to 1.8 kW of power from either the front charging port or rear trunk area.
Electric truck, bus, and school bus manufacturer Lion Electric (Crunchbase) has produced its first lithium-ion battery pack at its factory in Mirabel, Quebec. The first battery pack is expected to be certified in the first quarter of 2023 and will be used to power Lion's Lion5 truck and LionAmbulance. The battery factory is expected to have an annual production capacity of 5 gigawatt-hours and will gradually ramp up production next year. Lion has also recently started production at its vehicle factory in Joliet, Illinois.
🎄🎉🎁 Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all the best for 2023!
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