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Weekly Highlights | From storing data to storing CO2 from the atmosphere

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By illuminem

· 5 min read

1. Key World Energy Statistics 2021


  • International Energy Agency (IEA) just released 2021 edition of Key World Energy Statistics (KWES)
  • IEA Key World Energy Statistics is an introduction to energy statistics, providing top-level data across the entire energy mix
  • KWES is part of the IEA’s annual edition of the world’s most comprehensive series of energy databases and data services, which include World Energy Statistics and Balances

2. World’s Largest Carbon-Sucking Plant Starts Making Tiny Dent in Emissions

By Bloomberg

  • The facility, called Orca and built by Swiss startup Climeworks AG, will suck CO₂ out of the air. Icelandic startup Carbfix will then pump it deep into the ground
  • The plant will capture 4,000 tons of CO₂ a year, making it the largest direct-air capture facility in the world
  • Activists argue that focusing too much on carbon-removal technologies could become a distraction from the work of immediately reducing emissions

3. Big Oil’s Delay Tactics Are the New Climate Science Denialism

By The Guardian

  • Oil companies stopped pushing overt climate denial more than a decade ago. Instead, fossil fuel industry tried to downplay climate change severity and the urgency for solutions
  • A frequent delaying strategy is the so-called “wokewashing”. This practice stands on the principle of warning that a transition away from fossil fuels will adversely impact poor and marginalized communities
  • The argument is based on the assumption that these communities value fossil fuel energy more than concerns about all of its attendant problems, and that there is no way to provide them with affordable renewables

4. Lithium-ion Batteries just Made a Big Leap in a Tiny Product

By MIT Technology Review

  • Sila Nanotechnologies, a California based materials company, has developed silicon-based particles that can replace the graphite in batteries to boost their storage capacity
  • Sila partnered with automakers including BMW and Daimler, to develop battery materials that could eventually pack as much as 40% more energy into lithium-ion batteries
  • Gene Berdichevsky, Sila’s CEO, says that their battery materials will fully replace graphite in its next commercial product, which he says “locked and loaded” with a partner that he can’t yet announce

5. Depleting the Climate Trust Fund

By Energy Monitor

  • At COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009, developed countries committed to mobilise $100bn a year by 2020, to support developing countries as they mitigate and adapt to climate change
  • The US is only contributing $15bn a year to the fund, or 15% of the total needed, despite representing almost half of developed countries’ GDP and GHG emissions
  • At the G7, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said rich nations need to “build their credibility” when asking developing countries to cut their carbon emissions. “That is why the UK has put another £11.6bn into climate finance” by 2025

6. 9/11: A Sustainability Story

By GreenBiz

  • Joel Makowe (Chairman & Co-founder of GreenBiz) recounts how on 9/11 he was part of a brainstorming session on behalf of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, established to invest in clean-energy
  • “We actually believed that we were going to really make a shift… and finally a major oil company publicly admitted that climate change was due to human activity”, said Anita Burke (at the time sustainability executive at Shell International)
  • Those conversations, says longtime entrepreneur Gifford Pinchot III, contributed to the design of what became Bainbridge Graduate Institute, the first school offering an MBA in sustainable business

7. Europe Is Seeing a Data Center Boom. But Can the Environment Sustain it?

By DW News

  • The US data center market is predicted to grow by 14% in 2021 in terms of MW capacity, and according to IEA data centers currently account for 1% of global electricity use
  • George Kamiya, energy analyst at IEA, says water efficiency is an area where the data center sector “can do more”, along with decarbonizing supply chains
  • According to DCP, revenues accrued form European data centers will rise around €15 bln by 2024, an increase of 46% from 2020

8. Oil Industry Flaring Needs Immediate Action to Keep Net-zero Hopes Alive

By Energy Monitor

  • According to IEA, in 2019, 150bcm of ‘associated gas’ was burnt in a process known as ‘flaring’
  • Almost 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions every year come from oil and gas production, says the World Resources Institute. And “a significant share of that” – around 35% – comes from flaring
  • In the US, flaring is currently on a steep downward trajectory, falling by 32% between 2019 and 2020, says the World Bank

9. Cylindrical Solar Panel for Street Lighting

By PV Magazine

  • Italian start-up Fly Solartech Solutions Srl has developed a lightweight cylindrical solar panel that can be retrofitted on already existing lighting lamp posts
  • The overall efficiency of the 240 W panel is 17.3% and its temperature coefficient is -0.32%
  • The solar panel can also be made with an anti-glare protective coating to allow its application on roads and highways where the use of an anti-reflection product is necessary

10. The Next Best Electric Car Cattery Is here, Cheaper than ever

By Mint

  • China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. unveiled its latest sodium-ion battery claiming that it could provide a cheaper, faster-charging and safe alternative to the current crop on offer
  • These power packs could cost almost 30% to 50% less than the cheapest electric car battery options currently available
  • The product is expected to have an energy density of 160 Wh/kg and will take 15 minutes to reach 80% of its charge, being on par with batteries currently on the market

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