Power Surge 7.7

Power Surge 7.7

Volume 7, Issue 7
April 14, 2019 – April 20, 2019
Neha Chauhan '21 | Joseph Kawalec '21 | Amy Amatya '21 | Patrick Huang ‘21 | Rei Zhang ‘21 | Sabrina Reguyal ‘22

China Targets Nuclear Fusion Power Generation by 2040   April 12, 2019 | Reuters | David Stanway  A senior scientist involved in China’s nuclear fusion energy project stated that the project aims to begin producing power from an experimental reactor by around 2040. China has already spent around 6 billion yuan ($893 million) on the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), which is located in the city Hefei of Anhui province. EAST is a large doughnut-shaped structure that heats hydrogen isotopes until they turn into a plasma and begin to fuse, releasing energy. Song Yuntao, deputy director of the Institute of Plasma Physics at the Hefei Institute of Physical Science, said on Thursday that the project had been awarded an additional 6 billion yuan in funding. He states that the institute plans to begin construction on a fusion reactor, to be completed in ten years, and afterwards set up a powergenerator by 2040. At the same time, Song stated that fusion research remains dependent on international cooperation rather than competition, and China remains an important member of a 35-nation consortium devoted to ITER, a 10-billion euro ($11.29 billion) fusion project in France that is projected to generate first plasma by 2025. -SR

China Targets Nuclear Fusion Power Generation by 2040
April 12, 2019 | Reuters | David Stanway
A senior scientist involved in China’s nuclear fusion energy project stated that the project aims to begin producing power from an experimental reactor by around 2040. China has already spent around 6 billion yuan ($893 million) on the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), which is located in the city Hefei of Anhui province. EAST is a large doughnut-shaped structure that heats hydrogen isotopes until they turn into a plasma and begin to fuse, releasing energy. Song Yuntao, deputy director of the Institute of Plasma Physics at the Hefei Institute of Physical Science, said on Thursday that the project had been awarded an additional 6 billion yuan in funding. He states that the institute plans to begin construction on a fusion reactor, to be completed in ten years, and afterwards set up a powergenerator by 2040. At the same time, Song stated that fusion research remains dependent on international cooperation rather than competition, and China remains an important member of a 35-nation consortium devoted to ITER, a 10-billion euro ($11.29 billion) fusion project in France that is projected to generate first plasma by 2025. -SR


After Pollution Crisis, Puerto Rico Aims to Eliminate All Coal Power Next Year   April 10, 2019 | Forbes | James Ellsmoor  Puerto Rico very recently committed to ending all coal power-based electricity generation in 2020, as announced by Governor Rosselló. This initiative is part of Puerto Rico’s new push to become more self-reliant, which includes the Puerto Rico Energy Public Policy Act, passed in March of this year. The Act lists several clean energy goals, with the aim of Puerto Rico’s achievement of 100% renewable energy by 2050. While the Act sets a hard deadline to end coal-burning for power by 2028, Governor Rosselló has committed to the earlier date of 2020, due to his pledge to end fossil-fuel reliance as soon as possible. The country’s push for renewable energy is aimed at increasing Puerto Rico’s self-sufficiency, stability, and sustainability. -RZ

After Pollution Crisis, Puerto Rico Aims to Eliminate All Coal Power Next Year
April 10, 2019 | Forbes | James Ellsmoor
Puerto Rico very recently committed to ending all coal power-based electricity generation in 2020, as announced by Governor Rosselló. This initiative is part of Puerto Rico’s new push to become more self-reliant, which includes the Puerto Rico Energy Public Policy Act, passed in March of this year. The Act lists several clean energy goals, with the aim of Puerto Rico’s achievement of 100% renewable energy by 2050. While the Act sets a hard deadline to end coal-burning for power by 2028, Governor Rosselló has committed to the earlier date of 2020, due to his pledge to end fossil-fuel reliance as soon as possible. The country’s push for renewable energy is aimed at increasing Puerto Rico’s self-sufficiency, stability, and sustainability. -RZ


By 2030, Over Half Of New Electricity Connections Will Be Off-Grid   April 11, 2019 | Forbes | Miriam Tuerk  With 2018 being a record year for investing in off-grid power investments, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that “71% of new electricity connections will be via off-grid or mini-grid solutions.” The central electrical grid infrastructure is becoming increasingly unstable, and strategic investors are seeing off-grid investments as replacements. The pay-as-you-go (PAYG) business model enables recurring revenue over time. It is a proven method and an attractive choice for companies such as Zola Electric. PAYG provides a steady source of income to finance energy projects and early markets for off-grid electricity that have been maturing in recent years, making it interesting to follow for the future. -JK

By 2030, Over Half Of New Electricity Connections Will Be Off-Grid
April 11, 2019 | Forbes | Miriam Tuerk
With 2018 being a record year for investing in off-grid power investments, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that “71% of new electricity connections will be via off-grid or mini-grid solutions.” The central electrical grid infrastructure is becoming increasingly unstable, and strategic investors are seeing off-grid investments as replacements. The pay-as-you-go (PAYG) business model enables recurring revenue over time. It is a proven method and an attractive choice for companies such as Zola Electric. PAYG provides a steady source of income to finance energy projects and early markets for off-grid electricity that have been maturing in recent years, making it interesting to follow for the future. -JK


China's plans for the electrified, autonomous and shared future of the car    April 4, 2019 | The Economist  Although China's carmakers do not boast the same manufacturing pedigree as their American and European counterparts, they may hold a number of advantages as the industry makes transitions. Firstly, China is one of the world’s largest battery producers, and current policies favor electric vehicles and the development of charging infrastructure. Furthermore, a credit system has been implemented to encourage Chinese car-making companies to shift away from traditional designs that use an internal combustion engine. China’s car-making industry may also take significant steps forward in the sectors of autonomous driving and car sharing because of the collaboration and resources of big tech giants and artificial intelligence research. In these aspects, China’s differences from the rest of world both in technology and policy may enable the country to take an important role in the future of transportation. -PH   America is Losing the World’s Biggest Manufacturing and Climate Race: Electric Vehicles   April 8, 2019 | Forbes | Paul Bledsoe  In the U.S., the electric vehicle (EV) industry represents the creation of thousands of new jobs, lower costs for vehicle owners, and the reduction of the country’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Electric vehicles are also predicted to drive the global auto industry in the next decade. However, the U.S. is falling behind in electric vehicle production to China, which is responsible for 40% of global manufacture of electric vehicles. This is partly due to inadequate tax incentives: current policies limit tax credits for EV manufacturers to 200,000 vehicles per company (which Tesla and GM have already exceeded). This article encourages Congress to create no-cap tax credits, credits that are inversely proportional to vehicle price (to increase the volume of EV sales), and incentives for trading in low-mileage vehicles for electric vehicles. In light of opinion polls showing that almost three-fourths of consumers would consider tax credits in their decision to purchase an electric vehicle, these policies could be effective. -AA

China's plans for the electrified, autonomous and shared future of the car
April 4, 2019 | The Economist
Although China's carmakers do not boast the same manufacturing pedigree as their American and European counterparts, they may hold a number of advantages as the industry makes transitions. Firstly, China is one of the world’s largest battery producers, and current policies favor electric vehicles and the development of charging infrastructure. Furthermore, a credit system has been implemented to encourage Chinese car-making companies to shift away from traditional designs that use an internal combustion engine. China’s car-making industry may also take significant steps forward in the sectors of autonomous driving and car sharing because of the collaboration and resources of big tech giants and artificial intelligence research. In these aspects, China’s differences from the rest of world both in technology and policy may enable the country to take an important role in the future of transportation. -PH

America is Losing the World’s Biggest Manufacturing and Climate Race: Electric Vehicles
April 8, 2019 | Forbes | Paul Bledsoe
In the U.S., the electric vehicle (EV) industry represents the creation of thousands of new jobs, lower costs for vehicle owners, and the reduction of the country’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Electric vehicles are also predicted to drive the global auto industry in the next decade. However, the U.S. is falling behind in electric vehicle production to China, which is responsible for 40% of global manufacture of electric vehicles. This is partly due to inadequate tax incentives: current policies limit tax credits for EV manufacturers to 200,000 vehicles per company (which Tesla and GM have already exceeded). This article encourages Congress to create no-cap tax credits, credits that are inversely proportional to vehicle price (to increase the volume of EV sales), and incentives for trading in low-mileage vehicles for electric vehicles. In light of opinion polls showing that almost three-fourths of consumers would consider tax credits in their decision to purchase an electric vehicle, these policies could be effective. -AA

Power Surge 7.6

Power Surge 7.6

Volume 7, Issue 6
April 7, 2019 – April 13, 2019
Neha Chauhan '21 | Joseph Kawalec '21 | Amy Amatya '21 | Patrick Huang ‘21 | Rei Zhang ‘21 | Sabrina Reguyal ‘22

First Images of Saudi Nuclear Reactor Show Plant Nearing Finish    April 3, 2019 | Bloomberg | Jonathan Tirone  Saudi Arabia’s first nuclear reactor facility was identified in Google Earth satellite imagery by Robert Kelley, a nuclear technology expert who was a former International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director and a remote sensing expert for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). It is located in the southwest corner of the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology in Riyadh and was sold in 2013 by the Argentinian state-owned firm INVAP SE. The Saudi energy ministry published a statement saying they intend to “engage in strictly peaceful scientific, research, educational and training activities in full compliance with international agreements.” However, the Saudi government has not adopted the most recent set of inspection guidelines put out by the IAEA, which will severely limit its ability to acquire nuclear fuel. This news comes after the recent revelation that the U.S. DOE permitted the sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia without consulting Congress, as well as a past statement by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that the country would pursue nuclear armament if Iran developed a nuclear bomb. - SR

First Images of Saudi Nuclear Reactor Show Plant Nearing Finish
April 3, 2019 | Bloomberg | Jonathan Tirone
Saudi Arabia’s first nuclear reactor facility was identified in Google Earth satellite imagery by Robert Kelley, a nuclear technology expert who was a former International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director and a remote sensing expert for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). It is located in the southwest corner of the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology in Riyadh and was sold in 2013 by the Argentinian state-owned firm INVAP SE. The Saudi energy ministry published a statement saying they intend to “engage in strictly peaceful scientific, research, educational and training activities in full compliance with international agreements.” However, the Saudi government has not adopted the most recent set of inspection guidelines put out by the IAEA, which will severely limit its ability to acquire nuclear fuel. This news comes after the recent revelation that the U.S. DOE permitted the sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia without consulting Congress, as well as a past statement by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that the country would pursue nuclear armament if Iran developed a nuclear bomb. - SR


A Virtual Solar Power Plant for L.A.? ‘It Will Happen’    April 5, 2019 | New York Times | Jill Cowan  Mayor Eric Garcetti’s plans to retire three natural gas plants in Los Angeles, CA, by 2029 are leading to talk of replacing this output with virtual solar plants. Such plants would involve thousands of new solar panels connected to a cloud, from which people can buy and sell power on the electricity market. Currently, only 2.5% of Los Angeles homes are outfitted with solar panels, and it’s estimated that it would take over twice as many solar homes to replace just one natural gas plant, with hopes of this happening in 2030. The switch to virtual power plants, however, has the potential to gain momentum before 2030 because it both provides a backup energy source, and counters the up-front costs that push potential participants away from traditional solar. Engineer Bill Powers says that the main roadblock is the challenge virtual plants pose to long-standing modes of operation in the energy industry, but Powers remains confident that “[virtual solar power] is the future, and it will happen.” -AA

A Virtual Solar Power Plant for L.A.? ‘It Will Happen’
April 5, 2019 | New York Times | Jill Cowan
Mayor Eric Garcetti’s plans to retire three natural gas plants in Los Angeles, CA, by 2029 are leading to talk of replacing this output with virtual solar plants. Such plants would involve thousands of new solar panels connected to a cloud, from which people can buy and sell power on the electricity market. Currently, only 2.5% of Los Angeles homes are outfitted with solar panels, and it’s estimated that it would take over twice as many solar homes to replace just one natural gas plant, with hopes of this happening in 2030. The switch to virtual power plants, however, has the potential to gain momentum before 2030 because it both provides a backup energy source, and counters the up-front costs that push potential participants away from traditional solar. Engineer Bill Powers says that the main roadblock is the challenge virtual plants pose to long-standing modes of operation in the energy industry, but Powers remains confident that “[virtual solar power] is the future, and it will happen.” -AA


Renewable Energy Now Accounts for A Third of Global Power Capacity    April 3, 2019  | GreenTechnica  | Joshua S. Hill  The International Renewable Energy Agency recently released its annual report on renewable energy statistics, which revealed that for the first time ever, renewable energy accounts for one-third of global power capacity. The increase in renewable energy generation was primarily driven by increases in the solar (55 percent of the increase) and wind (29 percent of the increase) fields. Asia accounted for the most growth (61 percent of all renewable energy increase), while Oceania added the most renewable energy relative to its size, increasing its energy generation from renewables by 17.7 percent. -RZ   ‘Historic breakthrough’: Norway’s giant oil fund dives into renewables   April 5, 2019 | The Guardian | Damian Carrington  Following Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund’s (SWF’s) selling of its last investment in oil and gas, Norway’s SWF followed suit by selling its last oil and gas assets. These SWFs describe the financial assets in a state-owned fund. Norway’s government is allowing the fund to invest in renewable energy projects that are not listed on global stock markets but make up a significant portion of the renewable energy market. This transition reflects a larger trend of divestment of fossil fuel funds, including in Middle Eastern countries that are now seeking to diversify in renewable energy. Hopefully, these changes will not bring about not only a decent rate of investment for the SWFs but also provide the resources to industries striving to help combat fossil fuels’ negative environmental effects. -PH   Industrial Hemp Is The Answer To Petrochemical Dependency   April 4, 2019 | Forbes | Ellis Talton and Remington Tonar  Petrochemical products are crucial to our ways of life, but incidents involving petroleum-based products are reinforcing the need to find environmentally-friendly solutions to the loads of plastics and paper waste piling up in our landfills and oceans. Even though most synthetic biology research is still quite a ways from commercialization, industrial hemp as a naturally-occuring and biodegradable material is gaining popularity. Recyclable, hemp-based products could considerably reduce the environmental impact of the petro-industrial complex, but a number of infrastructural challenges, including regulatory uncertainty, lay in the way. As Smart says, “If we can develop hemp products as a bio-based replacement for fossil fuels, there’s tremendous potential.” - JK

Renewable Energy Now Accounts for A Third of Global Power Capacity
April 3, 2019  | GreenTechnica  | Joshua S. Hill
The International Renewable Energy Agency recently released its annual report on renewable energy statistics, which revealed that for the first time ever, renewable energy accounts for one-third of global power capacity. The increase in renewable energy generation was primarily driven by increases in the solar (55 percent of the increase) and wind (29 percent of the increase) fields. Asia accounted for the most growth (61 percent of all renewable energy increase), while Oceania added the most renewable energy relative to its size, increasing its energy generation from renewables by 17.7 percent. -RZ

‘Historic breakthrough’: Norway’s giant oil fund dives into renewables
April 5, 2019 | The Guardian | Damian Carrington
Following Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund’s (SWF’s) selling of its last investment in oil and gas, Norway’s SWF followed suit by selling its last oil and gas assets. These SWFs describe the financial assets in a state-owned fund. Norway’s government is allowing the fund to invest in renewable energy projects that are not listed on global stock markets but make up a significant portion of the renewable energy market. This transition reflects a larger trend of divestment of fossil fuel funds, including in Middle Eastern countries that are now seeking to diversify in renewable energy. Hopefully, these changes will not bring about not only a decent rate of investment for the SWFs but also provide the resources to industries striving to help combat fossil fuels’ negative environmental effects. -PH

Industrial Hemp Is The Answer To Petrochemical Dependency
April 4, 2019 | Forbes | Ellis Talton and Remington Tonar
Petrochemical products are crucial to our ways of life, but incidents involving petroleum-based products are reinforcing the need to find environmentally-friendly solutions to the loads of plastics and paper waste piling up in our landfills and oceans. Even though most synthetic biology research is still quite a ways from commercialization, industrial hemp as a naturally-occuring and biodegradable material is gaining popularity. Recyclable, hemp-based products could considerably reduce the environmental impact of the petro-industrial complex, but a number of infrastructural challenges, including regulatory uncertainty, lay in the way. As Smart says, “If we can develop hemp products as a bio-based replacement for fossil fuels, there’s tremendous potential.” - JK