China plans to build more than 60 nuclear plants in the coming decade, according to Zheng Mingguang, vice president and chief nuclear designer at China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation.  Each of China’s major nuclear companies — SNPTC, CNNC and CGN — will start building a minimum of two new reactors a year.

Automaker General Motors said its plans to power its 350 operations across the globe entirely on renewable electricity by the middle of this century. GM consumed nine terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity last year to build its vehicles and power its buildings. Currently the company has 22 sites which use solar power, four which are due to use wind, and several which utilize landfill gas to produce electricity.

Approximately 25% of Australian businesses are using rooftop solar to generate electricity for their operations, according to energy management company Energy Action. 84% of Australian commercial operations said they were seriously considering investing in technologies like solar PV, battery storage and smart energy management systems to make their firms more energy efficient.

Recently the city of San Diego in the US state of California announced it was going 100% renewable energy by 2035.  It turns out that is not quite correct.  The city has now acknowledged it will continue to use fossil fuels (ie. natural gas) for its heating, stoves, and hot water heaters.  The renewable energy will be solely for electricity generation.

The natural variations in wind and solar energy, and the lack of adequate electricity storage facilities, results in about 15-20% of all renewable energy generated in India going to waste, according to experts at Panasonic. “On average, if 24 hours is the potential of electricity generation, then you can easily say that 15-20 per cent is wasted because the grid can’t manage the kind of variation in the electricity sourced from wind and solar generation,” said Atul Arya, Head, Energy Systems, Panasonic India. “The variability of generation from renewable sources — where wind changes direction and speed on an hourly basis and solar intensity can vary by the minute — becomes horrible from a grid stability point of view.”

The last petrol-powered car will have to be sold by about 2035 to put the world on track to limit global warming to the most stringent goal set by world leaders last year, a study by a Climate Action Tracker revealed. The study says a drastic shift is needed towards electric cars and fuel efficiency since transport emits about 14% of world greenhouse gas emissions.  The study assumes the last fossil-fuel vehicles will be on the world’s roads until 2050. The phase-out is earlier than currently being planned by most automakers. The authors of the report did acknowledge that at the current rate of deployment, electric cars will not meet the challenge:

“Electric vehicles are still more expensive to purchase than other cars, and policy projections still only see a share of around five percent of electric vehicles in the total European Union, China and U.S. fleets by 2030.” 



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