October has been a very busy month for Bill Nussey and the Freeing Energy Project team. Bill presented at two events. First, he led a panel at a Georgia Tech event where he and the panelists discussed the forces disrupting the grid. Second, he gave the keynote presentation at the Southern Solar Summit. He’s back on the road in November, heading to Colorado to be a keynote speaker at the American Wind Energy Association’s annual Executive (AWEA) event.
Meanwhile, the Freeing Energy team is finalizing our podcast launch later this year. We will be kicking it off with a small handful of interviews that will take a more in-depth look at the visionaries driving the local clean energy movement. Stay tuned!
Now for the news…
The US is about to surpass 1 million electric vehicles. Almost one-tenth of this 1 million EV milestone came from sales during the third quarter of this year alone. Putting this in perspective, about 6 million cars were sold in the US in 2017 bringing the total up to over 230 million cars in the country (EnergyFuse).
The US Government has written off $500 million in “clean coal” research since 2010. While this has received almost no media coverage, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently reported that the DOE has written off about $500M in clean coal projects. This puts clean coal losses on par with the more public losses with Solyndra (GAO).
The US is on track for record coal retirements in 2018. The coal industry continues to struggle. In many ways, the U.S. was built on coal but it is no longer the country’s best option for generating electricity (Greentech Media).
California utilities are proactively creating blackouts. Most of the wildfires that ravaged California in 2017 were caused by power lines. To avoid repeating this in 2018, the state’s utilities are intentionally creating blackouts in regions and times where wildfires are particularly likely (San Francisco Chronicle).
Chernobyl is once again generating power. While the nuclear reactor is permanently shut down and entombed, the site is now home to a large solar array that has recently come online (Business Insider).
October Posts from the Freeing Energy Project
What are the biggest trends threatening to disrupt the power industry?
Excerpts from a presentation I gave at the Energy Leaders Symposium, hosted by Georgia Tech’s Center for Distributed Energy (read more).
The inevitability of a solar-powered future.
There are few more important questions for the 21st century than how we will power our electric grids. Literally trillions of dollars are at stake, and possibly even the future of the planet (read more).
My keynote presentation at the Southern Solar Summit. Last month I had the privilege of doing the keynote speech at the regional solar event, Southern Solar Summit. I laid out the foundation and steps for the state to be a leader in clean energy (read more).
Nuclear power and the environment: carbon-free electricity vs the impact of nuclear waste (Part 4)
The fourth in our series examining the benefits and risks of nuclear power in the US grid. This article looks at how the industry deals with (or not) nuclear waste as well as impacts like water usage (read more).