#9. 🪲 Are insects doomed? | 🇬🇷 Greece briefly powered by 100% renewables | 🔌 Mercedes 100% EV by 2025
🌡 CLIMATE CHANGE
Are insects doomed? New study shows added threat of climate change (long read)
Larger temperature fluctuations, not just warmer temperatures, will increase the risk of insect extinction through the rest of the century. In a Northeastern University research, nearly all 38 species of insects were at risk between 2050 and 2100, despite 16 species enjoying initial increased population stability. Failing insect populations would prove catastrophic for global food chains.
New report shows rapidly accelerating effects of climate change, demonstrates importance of state actions (long read)
A California report in advance of the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) outlined four key examples underscoring the accelerating impacts of climate change: a 2.5°F (1.4°C) increase in average statewide temperature has tripled work-related heat illness in the last 20 years; 10 of the 20 largest wildfires of the past 70 years burned in 2020 and 2021; the years 2000-2021 were the driest period in the past 1000 years; Sierra Nevada glaciers decreased 75%; Salmon have dipped to their lowest levels ever in the past five years.
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Four innovations preparing cities for climate change (long read)
Smart so-called “living” rooftops capture rainwater to prevent flooding and to cool buildings during heatwaves. 3D-printed seawalls that look like natural coral reefs serve to both hold back tidal surges and to provide natural habitats for marine life. Insects can be used to break down organic garbage waste. A single tree in an urban mini-forest can capture up to 22kg (48 lbs) of CO2 in a single year; multiple species grown together can capture a further 6%.
🔋 CLEAN ENERGY
Greece says its entire electrical grid ran on 100% renewables for the first time (quick read)
A peak output of some 3.1 MWh of 100% renewable energy powered Greece for five hours last week. Greece’s electrical power comes primarily from natural gas, wind, and solar, and to a lesser degree, from hydropower and lignite, otherwise known as “brown coal.”
US and UAE sign strategic partnership deal to spur $100 billion in clean energy investment (long read)
The deal, dubbed “PACE” — the Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy" — will produce 100 GW of clean energy by 2035. Despite its reputation as an oil exporter, the UAE is now home to the world’s largest solar plant and the first nuclear power station in the Arab world; UAE is hoping to host the COP28 climate summit in 2023.
Geothermal could become workhouse of the energy transition (long read)
Today geothermal provides just 0.4% of the world’s energy, but this could increase to 50% by 2050 according to the founder of a company attempting to commercialize a drilling technique developed at MIT that would enable energy companies to tap molten sources some 12 miles (19.3 km) underground.
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🚗 AUTONOMOUS & ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Mercedes — Last ICE platform 2023, midsize EV sedan 2024 (long read)
Mercedes-Benz, like nearly all automakers, develops vehicle platforms that underpin a variety of models; these platforms are typically in production for seven years or so. Next year’s 2023 E-Class will be the final internal combustion engine platform produced by Mercedes-Benz; by 2025, all new platforms will be fully EV-only, and by 2030, production of the last ICE vehicles will be fully replaced by only-EV vehicles.
XPeng’s G9 arrives as first unmodified, mass-produced EV to qualify for autonomous robotaxi testing (quick read)
Chinese company XPeng just received the Guangzhou Intelligent Connected Vehicle Road Test Permit for its G9 SUV, establishing it as the first commercial vehicle authorized for autonomous testing on Chinese roads without any additional modifications whatsoever. The commercial goal is to launch a robotaxi service.
Volkswagen invests $2.3B to deploy autonomous vehicles in China (quick read)
Following Volkswagen’s departure from Argo AI, its autonomous vehicle joint venture with Ford, and its recent partnership with Intel’s Mobileye, VW has also just invested $2.3 billion into Beijing-based robotics company Horizon. Specifically, VW’s software unit Cariad will hold a 60% stake in Horizon for fast track AV deployments in China.