The Darkside Of The Green Revolution – Lithium extraction really messes things up

I should very quickly say – the way things are done now. The mining industry, as it functions in the past and now, destroys things no matter what it is extracting – gold, lead or lithium. So if we are going to have a real revolution we are going to have to change the entire extraction industry. This point is larger for me than this article implies because capitalism is the problem. We as a society can achieve a carbon negative atmosphere and humans will still threaten the planet because that it what capitalism does – destroys thing. Still you have to start somewhere.

https://logicmag.io/nature/what-green-costs/?utm_source=digg

Issue 9 / Nature

December 07, 2019

What Green Costs

Thea Riofrancos

Deep in the salt flats of Chile lies the extractive frontier of the renewable energy transition.

Clean energy advocates envision an electrified home running on 100 percent renewable energy with a Tesla parked in its garage, solar shingles gleaming on its rooftop, and a smart meter dutifully collecting usage data and uploading it to the cloud. But swim upstream and eventually you arrive at the extractive frontiers of the renewable energy transition.

It was 8:45 am on the first day of the 11th Lithium Supply & Markets Conference in the basement level of the W Hotel in Santiago, Chile. There was no way for me to blend in. “Providence College” on my name tag rendered me a curiosity. Still, I was glad I remembered to wear lipstick and that my backpack had straps that converted it into a tote.

I found an empty seat in the sea of suits, almost all men but of different ages. They hailed variously from China, Australia, Chile, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Argentina. They were market analysts and prospectors; equipment salesmen and regulators; executives, consultants, and peddlers of information in the notoriously opaque world of lithium, a “space,” in Silicon Valley talk, not quite meriting the word “market.”

As I slid into my seat, the chairman of one of the largest lithium companies in the world, with a sordid past in a corrupt privatization process under Augusto Pinochet’s brutal dictatorship, took to the stage. “Mining is the spine of Chile; mining runs through our veins.” I might have been the only person in the room who immediately thought of Eduardo Galeano’s anti-colonial page-turner, Open Veins of Latin America?—?incidentally penned the same year Pinochet came to power, brutally crushing the dream of democratic socialism in Chile. But I don’t think the chairman meant to call to mind the vampiric iconography of global capital. The dead sapping the living; the blood and sweat and tortured landscapes of extraction, especially in its colonial variant.

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Go there and read. More next week, if there is a next week.

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We Are Going Over The Climate Cliff – At least these people are trying

Natural Gas will be the death of us. Let me repeat that. Natural Gas will be the death of us. Why? Because Capitalists will sell it as a bridge to renewables and humans will die half way across the bridge. Let’s be honest, METHANE is a much more corrosive long lasting green house gas. While using natural gas will decrease the Volume of green houses gases. It will speed up Climate Change. Humans do not want to face up to what is killing us – Greed sped on by a pernicious economic system. If we stopped venting green house gases tomorrow it would be a 100 years before the effects wore off. We are not stopping today, are we?

Illinois offering affordable solar installation for low-income housing

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Rivian Could Be The Car Marker Of The Future – or a Billion Dollar bust

It is so hard to imagine that Bloomington/Normal may be the next Detroit. All that glamor. All those people. Well all those robots and some new people. All the international stylin.  All that money which means banks. It could also be well… a mirage. Still, Amazon is ordering vehicles already. Ford is the leader in self driving cars. This could be amazing. I can hold my breath for 2 or 3 years I guess.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/15/rivian-announces-700-million-investment-round-led-by-amazon.html

Autos

Electric truck start-up Rivian announces $700 million investment round led by Amazon

  • Amazon led a $700 million round of funding in Rivian, a Michigan-based electric vehicle startup.
  • Rivian plans to launch an electric pickup and electric SUV in the U.S. in 2020.

https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2019/04/24/rivian-500-million-investment-ford.html

Rivian Announces $500 Million Investment from Ford; Partnership to Deliver All-New Ford Battery Electric Vehicle

  • Ford and Rivian form strategic partnership through $500 million minority investment
  • Ford to build all-new battery electric vehicle using Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform
  • The investment is subject to customary regulatory approval; Ford’s Joe Hinrichs to join Rivian’s board of directors

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/rivian-announces-350-million-investment-from-cox-automotive-300915155.html

Rivian Announces $350 Million Investment from Cox Automotive


News provided by

Rivian

Sep 10, 2019, 09:41 ET

PLYMOUTH, Mich., Sept. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Rivian today announced an equity investment of $350 million from global automotive services company Cox Automotive. In addition to the investment, the companies will explore partnership opportunities in service operations, logistics, and digital retailing.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Global Warming Is Speeding Up On Us- Here is part of the problem

One day I was in Mason City at my parents house, my mom said that “they” are  going to build a wind turbine catercorner from Patty Jackson’s mom’s place. I was really surprised. I said who is “they”. She said I don’t know but they their headquarters are up where the civic center used to be. So I drove out toward rt. 136 but I saw nothing. I got to researching it and here are the two stories I found. Check out the dates.

https://www.pekintimes.com/article/20090415/NEWS/304159939

Mason County plans for wind farms

HAVANA — The Mason County Board took the first step Tuesday toward adopting an ordinance to regulate wind farms in unincorporated Mason County. With several proposed wind farms throughout the county, Mason will soon follow in the footsteps of other central Illinois communities and be host to the wind powered energy sources.

HAVANA — The Mason County Board took the first step Tuesday toward adopting an ordinance to regulate wind farms in unincorporated Mason County. With several proposed wind farms throughout the county, Mason will soon follow in the footsteps of other central Illinois communities and be host to the wind powered energy sources.The board did a first reading of the ordinance Tuesday, said City Clerk Bill Blessman. Adoption of the ordinance will be considered at the county board’s May meeting, he said. The main point in Tuesday’s reading, said Blessman, was to make the proposed ordinance available for public viewing.

The proposed ordinance sets forth various regulations for turbines and wind farms built in Mason County. According to the ordinance, 1,000-foot setbacks are required between towers and any primary structure, and all towers must be placed at least 1.1 times the tower’s height from public roads, transmission lines and communication towers.

https://www.lincolncourier.com/x2011266604/Wind-picks-up-in-Mason-County

Wind picks up in Mason County

Two different wind farm corporations have been securing leases in Mason County, according to county officials, who say the tax revenue a wind farm could bring would be welcome.

Two different wind farm corporations have been securing leases in Mason County, according to county officials, who say the tax revenue a wind farm could bring would be welcome.

Mason County Board member James Miller said two wind energy companies have secured leases in Mason County, though the specifics of the companies’ plans are still unclear. The securing of leases is typically the first thing wind companies do before testing and, ultimately, obtaining the permits to erect the turbines. Overall, the process can take a few years.

However, when completed, the wind farms could prove a financial boon for the county which has lost population since the 2000 census — something that affects tax revenue for local governments in the county.

“The county would love to have (the wind farms), and for the school districts this is a big deal,” Miller said. “Some one or two or three of them would benefit.”

Please notice the last article was in 2011. 9 years later it is still “ongoing”/ At this rate they will put up the turbines when the prairie catches on fire.

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Got there and read. More next week.

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Commercial Airplanes Are A Huge Cause Of Global Warming – People say no way

Her is why I say that Airplanes are the prime culprits of Global Warming. First: They Fly High. While fossil fueled Power Plants and Surface Transport Fleets emit huge green house gases many of them are mitigated before they can have much of a green house effect. But most jets fly right up there. I mean even some prop planes do too.

Second: The Fuel. Especially military flight fuel is bloody near kerosene.

Third: There are so many. It may be a myth but after 911 when so many planes were grounded the tempeture dropped a degree.

So this is kinda cool. Maybe we should call them personal air taxi’s or something. Yes they will be expensive. So what.

https://www.vox.com/2019/5/14/18535971/electric-airplane-aircraft-aviation-clean-energy

Aircraft fuel is notoriously dirty. This airline is betting on clean electricity.

Harbour Air wants to become the world’s first all-electric airline and start flying passengers by 2022.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that air travel is a massive and growing problem for the global climate.

In the US, transportation is now the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, and aircraft account for 12 percent of transportation emissions. US air travel reached a record high last year, pushing up overall emissions even while the power sector saw a decline.

To make matters worse, demand for flights is growing. Emissions from air travel are poised to spike up to sevenfold globally by 2050 if nothing else changes.

That’s why it’s so urgent to decarbonize air travel. Yet the technical challenges are immense. Alternatives like carbon-neutral biofuels remain far too costly. And the stodgy rules in the heavily regulated, risk-averse aviation sector lag far behind advances in electric drivetrains.

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They are currently flying small electric planes on a regional basis.

Go there and see the future. More next week.

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Carlinville Got Solar Going On – Blackburn College and Carlinville School District seek solar

This is so amazing. This is everything I hoped for 30 years ago or so. We do not need coal. We do not need oil. We do not need natural gas. All we need is ourselves.

Shining a Light on the Solar Array

https://www.cusd1.com/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=1552877&type=d&pREC_ID=1678920

School Board discusses solar energy

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Batteries Replace 195 megs of Natural Gas – Every day in SoCal

I do not need to bemoan, because this is a real good thing, but BEMOAN I shall. Now that the feed backs loops have begun to kick in. They were only speculation before. And now that the plastic has begun to swamp the ocean and permeate our food chain. This maybe a little bit too late. Had we done this type of thing 30-40 years ago our species would not be in danger. Still it is a good step. But maybe it would be better off to just plant a trillion trees, to give us breathing space literally for this type of thing to catch up

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/sce-picks-major-battery-portfolio-in-place-of-puente-gas-plant#gs.84l0ki

Energy Storage

Southern California Edison Picks 195MW Battery Portfolio in Place of Puente Gas Plant

How a California community succeeded in pushing for a reliability fix that will see the installation of storage projects rather than a natural-gas peaker plant.

What started as a routine gas plant procurement ended as a testament to the changing electrical grid.

This week, utility Southern California Edison selected a roster of energy storage projects to supply local capacity needs around the coastal city of Oxnard, instead of the 262-megawatt natural-gas peaker plant it had chosen previously.

If regulators give their approval, Strata Solar will build and own a 100-megawatt/400-megawatt-hour system in Oxnard, and dispatch it on behalf of SCE.

This system will tie for largest lithium-ion battery in the world when it comes online in December 2020; the AES Alamitos plant of the same size is due around the same time.

SCE wants to complement the massive battery with a portfolio of smaller units, ranging from 10 to 40 megawatts, scattered around the area. Developers of those smaller include E.ON, Able Grid, Ormat, AltaGas and Enel. Swell, which aggregates fleets of home batteries into grid assets, won a 14-megawatt contract for behind-the-meter demand response.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Death Is Near – UN releases a report that says by 2050 we are toast

That report said that the World had to shift to renewables by 2050 or face dramatic changes. The report says that Society as we know it will be destroyed. Everybody went wild. But I prefer to keep things positive. Even Utility Companies are trying to change and Duke is one of the worst.

https://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2018/10/10/duke-energy-pegs-battery-investmentat-500m.html

Duke Energy pegs battery investment at $500M

By  – Senior Staff Writer, Charlotte Business Journal
Updated

Duke Energy Corp. expects to spend $500 million over the next 15 years installing more than 300 megawatts worth of storage batteries on its Carolinas grid.

Charlotte-based Duke (NYSE: DUK) released the estimate Wednesday morning, days after proposing its first microgrid project — including a two-megawatt solar farm and a four-megawatt storage battery — for residential and business customers. That will serve the remote mountain town of Hot Springs, on the North Carolina-Tennessee border north of Asheville.

Duke says it plans to expand the use of batteries beyond storing and dispatching of energy. Its long-range plan includes deploying batteries for other purposes such as system balancing, increasing reliability of “end of the line” power supplies and to defer other traditional grid upgrades.

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Go there and cheer up. More next week.

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Replacement Batteries For EV – The Secondary Markets are developing

I haven’t written or posted about environmentally sound cars, but this article caught my eye. Having robust Secondary and Tertiary markets means that EVs are here to stay and will eventually conquer the market.

https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1116722_nissan-begins-offering-rebuilt-leaf-battery-packs

Nissan begins offering rebuilt Leaf battery packs

Starting this month, Nissan has begun offering rebuilt battery packs for the older Leafs, filling a gap for drivers of older cars whose packs have begun to run down.

The company built a new facility in Japan to rebuild the packs, and will sell them for about $2,850 (based on the price in Japan), according to Inside EVs. A Nissan spokesman told Green Car Reports that the company is investigating offering the program in the United States, but has not yet made a decision.

Electric car repair trainer Craig Van Batenburg, of the Automotive Career Development Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, said the refurbished battery packs are new among electric carmakers. Previously, older battery packs had to be replaced with new ones, which cost more than $6,500 (minus a $1,000 trade-in, or core charge, on the old battery pack.)

The cost covers the 24-kwh battery pack in the original Leaf, which was rated at only 73 miles of range when new.

Owners of early Leafs had problems with the cars losing range after only a year or two in hot climates such as Phoenix, Arizona.

READ THIS: Nissan Buys Back Leaf Electric Cars Under Arizona Lemon Law [2012]

 

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Renault Aims To Prove We Can Live Without Fossil Fuels – I wish then well

I am so amazed by this, that I do not know what to say. I wish these type projects had started 30 years ago. You would say, impossible. I would say the technology would have been different and the work harder, but it could have been done. Still I am so proud of Renault and I hope more companies try this out. GO Renault!

https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/21/renault-ev-second-life-batteries-smart-island/

Renault’s ‘smart island’ runs on wind power and recycled batteries

The experiment in Portugal aims to prove you can live without fossil fuels.

Renault has launched a “smart island” in Portugal that uses its Zoe electric vehicle, home batteries, smart charging and vehicle-to-grid (V2E) energy storage to run without fossil fuels. The idea is to make the Madeira island of Porto Santo energy independent and stimulate renewable energy production. “[We want] to build a model that can be carried over to other islands and cities,” Renault Electric Vehicle Director Eric Feunteun told Engadget.

Unlike Tesla’s massive Powerpack installation, the Renault project is more of a community endeavor on the small (16 square mile) and sparsely populated (5,483 inhabitants), tourism-oriented island. It will unroll in three phases: In the first, 20 fortunate Porto Santo volunteers will get 14 Zoes and six Kango Z.E. utility vans to use every day. They’ll benefit from 40 new connected public and private charging stations set up by Renault and local utility Empresa de Electricitade da Madeira (EEM).

“Let’s say you come home from work at 7 PM with a decent charge left, and only need two to three hours of charging,” said Feunteun. “The smart charging system we’re testing will decide when the best time to do that is, based on usage, energy availability and other factors. Then, it can charge up to eight times a day in chunks as small as 15 minutes.”

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Go there and read every glorious word. More next week.

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