Monthly Archives: February 2016
Any curbs would be aimed at weeding out the weak, said a senior executive with the state-backed auto manufacturers’ association, and they may push as many as 90 percent of EV startups toward extinction, a government-linked newspaper said. So far, only two ventures have obtained approval to build cars, based on a review of National Development and Reform Commission documents. Three others say they plan to apply for permits.
Vox: California Is About to Find Out What a Truly Radical Climate Policy Looks Like
Within the United States, California is No. 1 (by far) in solar power and No. 3 in wind power. It boasts the third-lowest carbon dioxide emissions per capita behind New York and Vermont. Since 2000, the state has managed to shrink its overall carbon footprint slightly even as its population grew and economy boomed.
But now California is taking on a far, far more audacious task: trying to prove to the world that it’s possible — desirable, even — to pursue the really drastic emission cuts needed to stave off severe global warming
The state is already on track to nudge its greenhouse-gas emissions back down to 1990 levels by the year 2020. Then last week, after much fierce debate, the California Assembly and Senate passed a new bill, known as SB 32, that would go much further, mandating an additional 40 percent cut in emissions by 2030
Electrek: Tesla Will Soon Introduce New Autopilot Safety Functions
After the recent and widely covered series of Tesla accidents while on Autopilot, Tesla CEO Elon Musk talked about focusing on better educating Tesla owners on how to use Autopilot features. Last month, he mentioned an upcoming blog post to highlight “how Autopilot works as a safety system and what drivers are expected to do after they activate it.”
We have yet to see that blog post, but now Electrek has learned that Tesla will introduce new Autopilot safety restrictions in order to reduce the risk of similar accidents happening again. Tesla owners are often wary of new Autopilot restrictions. They feel like Tesla is rolling back features that they have paid for, but they shouldn’t worry about the new restrictions, since they will not really affect owners using the system properly.
Nature World News: Scientists Create ‘4-D Printing’ Useful for Solar Energy and Aerospace
Objects created through the 3-D printing process may be extremely versatile. However, once the printing is done, the objects are limited to one form. The new advancement in 3-D printing discovered by scientists hopes to change this. Through 4-D printing, objects can change shape once subject to electricity, light or heat.
The new process called 4-D printing would greatly help in a number of scientific fields, including aerospace and solar energy. Changes in the shape of the objects printed through 4D printing are made possible through “shape-memory polymers.” These polymers have the ability to “remember their original shape even after the shape has been radically distorted.”
Science: Just 90 Companies Are to Blame for Most Climate Change, Says This ‘Carbon Accountant’
Richard Heede has compiled a massive database quantifying who has been responsible for taking carbon out of the ground and putting it into the atmosphere. Working alone, with uncertain funding, he spent years piecing together the annual production of every major fossil fuel company since the Industrial Revolution and converting it to carbon emissions.
The world’s largest automaker has so far sold about 270 hydrogen fuel cell cars in the state, where it delivered nearly 400,000 gas-powered vehicles last year, according to an Edmunds.com analysis of IHS Markit data. Toyota does not currently sell an electric vehicle.
And yet the automaker will have no trouble meeting California’s zero-emission vehicle mandates — because it can satisfy those obligations with state-awarded environmental credits instead of current zero-emission vehicle sales.
ETEnergyworld: Government Revokes India’s Coal Target
The government’s plan to push Coal India Ltd. to produce 1 billion tons of coal by 2020 has taken a back seat as officials now think the Indian economy is not yet equipped to consume the quantity — and huge unsold stocks are testimony to it. Now the company has been asked to produce to match demand.
“Risk, reliability & recovery” – An ABB Automation & Power World Digital Conference
This is likely to mean that Coal India will have to be content with producing less than the initial targets set for each year, leading to less than 1 billion tons of production by 2020. “Coal India has now been asked to produce as much as the market can consume. It has also been asked to devise ways so that more coal is sold, including import substitution, as well as to devise new types of e-auctions that can lead to more coal sales,” a coal sector official said.
Toronto Star: Toronto Electric-Car Owner Stuck Trying to Charge on Street
The province is offering citizens big rebates to upgrade to an electric car — but for the thousands of people in Toronto without a garage, it’s not money that’s stopping them from reducing carbon emissions — it’s parking.
After buying a shiny new Chevy Volt in April 2016, Todd Anderson was ready to start saving on gas and the environment with the help of a $12,500 provincial rebate.
But without a garage or driveway, Anderson says he’s stuck trying to charge his car on the street, and city bylaws and red tape don’t make it easy.
Reuters: In China’s Electric-Car Boom, Global Automakers Select a Different Gear
As China’s electrified vehicle production booms, some international industry officials warn in private that the ambitious electric goals of domestic firms could prove too costly, too risky, too far from what consumers actually want — and not a good fit with their operations elsewhere. Still, China doled out $4.5 billion last year alone in green-car subsidies.
“In 2020, most cars we will sell will be combustion engines, so to fulfill [fuel consumption targets] you have to improve the consumption of each and every car of the Audi model range,” Audi China chief Joachim Wedler said at the opening of the new plant. Wedler didn’t comment on Chinese peers’ electric-car plans.
Automakers globally have struggled to agree on what a greener future will hold for the industry. In China, Beijing and state-linked automakers have thrown their weight behind electric vehicles — despite the fact that the electricity they need may be generated from burning coal.
Vox: What the Media Misses in Doomsday Stories About the West
For a journalist, few things make better headlines than a good resource crisis. Which is why reporters writing about water issues in the American West are often attracted to the prospect of apocalypse — the notion that the region is going to run out of water someday.
As the world awaits Elon Musk’s master plan for Tesla, we provide a glimpse into America’s master plan for transportation on this week’s podcast.
Reuben Sarkar, the deputy assistant secretary for transportation at the Department of Energy, joins us to talk electric cars, natural gas cars, autonomous cars, car efficiency and how the public sector can make automotive innovation easier in the private sector. We ask him: How optimistic should we really be about what all the changes underway in the sector?
In the second half of the show, we’ll discuss the end of nuclear power in California. We’ll also ask about Sungevity’s novel approach to going public — a worrying sign, or a clever way to raise money?
In December 2014, energy giant NextEra Energy offered to acquire Hawaiian Electric Industries in a transaction valued at $4.3 billion, which includes the assumption of $1.7 billion in HEI debt. HEI shareholders would receive a premium of approximately 21 percent on the share price. Citigroup Global Markets was the financial advisor to NextEra Energy. J.P. Morgan Securities advised HEI.
NextEra owns and operates a sizable share of U.S. wind and utility-solar capacity and a number of nuclear reactors. As Hawaii’s utility, HEI supplies power to almost half a million customers on Hawaii, Oahu and Maui. Hawaii has the nation’s highest electricity prices, and roughly 75 percent of the island’s electrical power comes from imported oil. The entire island chain of Hawaii has just 2,400 megawatts of generating capacity.
On the day of the proposal, NextEra CEO James Robo said that NextEra would “find Hawaiian solutions to Hawaiian problems.”