July 12, 2022
Photo: Sam LaRussa/Unsplash
Good morning! It’s officially hot enough to make robust AC the most appealing part of heading into the office. Down in Texas, however, the July heat could spell trouble for an overtaxed electricity grid. Also coming up today: why a handful of lawmakers in North Carolina have proposed legislation that could remove public EV chargers. Buckle up!
Monday dawned bright and hot, with the news for Texans that the soaring temperatures — over 100 degrees Fahrenheit — could overtax the state’s grid.
While Texas ultimately managed to avoid outages this time around, keeping its electricity flowing is a delicate dance for the independent grid.
Texas keeps breaking electricity demand records this summer. In the midst of a heat wave, residents are cranking their AC and straining the grid. Last week, the state passed its projected peak in electricity demand a month earlier than expected.
Crypto companies have volunteered to be white knights. Or, more accurately, they have volunteered to do something by doing nothing: Crypto companies have long said they could ease demand on the grid by pausing their electricity-intensive mining, and this summer that idea is being put to the test.
As for Texas-based tech companies? It’s not yet clear how or if companies — including Tesla, Indeed, Dropbox, Dell and Oracle — are adapting their operations in response to high temperatures.
Something strange is afoot in the Tar Heel State. A bill that would allocate funds to potentially remove public electric vehicle chargers was introduced recently in the North Carolina legislature, and people are baffled.
There’s no such thing as a free charge. Or at least that’s the theory behind HB 1049, introduced in May, which would discourage companies from providing free charging stations for their customers.
The bill will undoubtedly die on the vine, according to one of its sponsors, Rep. Mark Brody, but the lawmakers are trying to make a broader point with its introduction about “fuel equity.” The premise is that things won’t be “equitable” if only EV drivers have their source of fuel subsidized.
This is a reminder of the challenges facing EV charging. Each state and even each city has a different level of enthusiasm when it comes to building out a charging network, and the lack of consistency affects who wants to actually take the EV plunge, and where.
The emissions that make up a full greenhouse gas footprint can emanate from outside the four walls of your own manufacturing operations, like in the case of PepsiCo, where 93% of emissions come from its value chain.
Demand for out-of-use solar panel parts is expected to soar over the course of the next decade, new data shows. The research outfit Rystad Energy found that the global market for retired panel materials could be worth $2.7 billion by 2030, as compared to a mere $170 million today. And demand is expected only to continue climbing; by 2050, the market could be worth $80 billion.
Why the anticipated swell in demand? Well, photovoltaic recycling is today still a budding industry trying to rationalize the high cost of transporting and salvaging the materials from a dead panel rather than simply building a new one from scratch. But — as demand builds for solar and developers continue to be thwarted by mangled supply chains — things could change.
As one of the energy transition’s most sought-after technologies, solar panels are bound to generate a growing mound of waste (27 million metric tons per year, per Rystad’s estimate). Recycling can both answer the question of what to do with all of that waste — currently landfill-bound, in most cases — and potentially alleviate some supply chain tension to boot.
A new EV retail fleet is hitting the scene: Walmart announced a deal with Canoo to buy 4,500 delivery vehicles, with the option to add even more to the fleet.
I swear it’s deja vu: Sens. Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer are still discussing a reconciliation package, with energy and climate spending to the tune of $300 billion. Sen. Mitch McConnell, however, is trying to derail their efforts.
The climate crisis is coming for the bond market, and some startups think they can use new technology to help analysts understand the potential risk.
We don’t yet have the tech to decarbonize shipping. Doing so will be both a logistical and a technological challenge, and the sector still has a long way to go, Grist reports.
Asking suppliers and associated companies to overhaul the way they work is no small feat, but PepsiCo is taking a three-pronged approach centered around the principles of educating, enabling and incentivizing. The Sustainability Action Center aims to engage and equip value chain partners with tools to undergo their own sustainability journey.
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