‘We’re fully in.’ Utilities eye electric transition

Stephan:  Today's SR is given over entirely to good news. There is so much bad news, that I thought we all need a break, and we need to know about some of the positive things that are happening, particularly on our transition out of the carbon era. So I will start with this, which shows that are least some power companies are getting the message and planning a transition.
Claudine Hellmuth/E&E News (illustration);Internet Archive Book Images/Flickr (drafting sketch); Peretz Partensky/Flickr (nuclear); MaxPixel (turbines); NeedPix (car drawing); boboroshi/Wikipedia (sign)

ORLANDO, FLORIDA — Leaders in the electric utility industry converged here last week to discuss ways to address major challenges facing their sector, from increasing demand for clean power to high energy costs.

The annual meeting of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), which represents investor-owned electric utilities in the U.S., was the first held in person since before the Covid-19 pandemic. It was significant given the outsize role electricity is expected to play in moving the country toward carbon-free energy.

Over a dozen states have set goals to achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity or net-zero greenhouse gas emissions within less than 30 years, and many states — as well as the Biden administration — are seeking to promote electric technologies like heat pumps and battery-powered cars. A number of major utilities have also set their own goals to achieve carbon-free electricity or net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner.

Utility executives said they’re prepared to lead a transition to a […]

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Biden Admin and 11 States Enter Partnership to Boost Offshore Wind Power

Stephan:  This is good news, and what really stood out for me is that I think this is also part of the Great Schism Trend which, I think, is going to end up moving power to the states or, like this partnership between states and the federal government. Further, I think this has a strong possibility that this is what the Red Blue struggle will produce. The Red states are declining as measured by factual social outcome measures.
President Joe Biden at a meeting with states who are part of a partnership to increase offshore wind, on June 23, 2022 in Washington, DC. Credit: Drew Angerer / Getty 

The Biden administration is teaming up with 11 East Coast states to boost offshore wind energy. 

The new Federal-State Offshore Wind Implementation Partnership will bolster President Joe Biden’s goal of creating 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030. This will generate 77,000 new jobs and power 10 million homes while working towards the administration’s plan to fight the climate crisis by getting the nation’s power sector to net zero by 2035. 

“The partnership will support efforts to provide Americans with cleaner and cheaper energy, create good-paying jobs, and make historic investments in new American energy supply chains, manufacturing, shipbuilding, and servicing,” the White House said in a statement Thursday. 

The new partnership was launched with a White House gathering, also on Thursday, between Biden, administration officials like Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, labor and wind industry leaders and governors from the participating states, as AP News reported. 

“Together we’re stepping up. We’re about to build a better America,″ […]

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Transform our energy grid now with renewable microgrids

Stephan:  Microgrids, I think, are the way the transition out of the carbon era is going to manifest, and I think that is good news. I also think this change is going to become part of the Great Schism Trend. We have a mega trend really taking off, the difference in the social outcome data between Red and Blue states.
High tension power lines and wind turbines at the San Gorgonio Pass near Palm Springs, California
Credit: Getty 

Recent inflation reports and increases in interest rates confirm what consumers everywhere are experiencing — the cost of living is rapidly rising. Energy costs are the single most important factor in rising inflation. If we can stabilize those costs, we can begin to rein in inflation.

A solution to stabilize energy prices is within our grasp. Acting now can also make the energy we need become more reliable, efficient and local in the long term. That solution is renewable microgrids: localized grids composed of interconnected solar panels or micro wind turbines and storage units like batteries with the ability to disconnect and serve communities if the larger grid isn’t working. More and more common among homeowners, businesses and critical facilities, microgrids provide a path forward to lock in affordable energy prices and facilitate the transition away from reliance on coal, gas and oil, a critical reason for global conflicts and energy insecurity.

Microgrids are increasingly becoming part of a new, modern electrical energy system as communities, businesses and government institutions see them as unique solutions to meet the demand for clean, […]

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New Type of Vehicle Developed by Einride Gets NHTSA Approval to Operate on US Public Road

Stephan:  This is a press release with the usual bias. But fundamentally the details are subordinate to the main point which is accurate. Driverless trucks are authorized on the roads. This is the future, particularly when you add to it that roads are going to be built that charge the vehicles that drive over them. It is going to change the entire economy of trucking.
  • The approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration marks the first time a purpose-built autonomous, electric truck without a driver on board receives public road permission
  • The pilot is a historic step for the U.S. road freight industry, following a pilot in 2019 where Einride’s Pod was the first autonomous, electric vehicle to operate on public road in the world  
  • Einride client GE Appliances will serve as the key partner in showcasing commercialization capabilities of the Einride Pod 

June 23, 2022 – Freight technology company Einride announced today that it has received approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to operate its Autonomous Electric Transport (AET) vehicles on U.S. public roads. With this approval, Einride will conduct a public road pilot to support operational flows for customer GE Appliances, a Haier company, showcasing the Einride Pod’s purpose-built functionality for future commercialization. The autonomous and electric Einride Pod’s design does not leave room for a driver on board and is instead remotely monitored by a Remote Pod Operator, marking this pilot as an industry first for this new […]

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Does Hungary Offer a Glimpse of Our Authoritarian Future?

Stephan:  If you listened to or watched the 6 January Committee hearings today, you heard a former insider, Cassidy Hutchinson, describe the mindset, the behavior, and the intentions of a man so psychologically damaged, so self-centered that he throws plates of food at the wall when upset, and is okay with the idea that his vice president may get murdered by a mob of his followers. What amazes me is that someone this sick mentally and emotionally still has loyal staffers and followers. So what are these people trying for? They want to make America an anocracy like Hungary. We are a nation in desperately difficult times. Read this well-researched article and think, would I like to live in a country like Hungary today? Then figure out what you can do to make sure that doesn't happen.
“Why are we doing this?” Miklós Szánthó, an organizer of CPAC Hungary, said. “We are doing this to make the liberals’ nightmare true.” Illustration by Tyler Comrie

The Republican Party hasn’t adopted a new platform since 2016, so if you want to know what its most influential figures are trying to achieve—what, exactly, they have in mind when they talk about an America finally made great again—you’ll need to look elsewhere for clues. You could listen to Donald Trump, the Party’s de-facto standard-bearer, except that nobody seems to have a handle on what his policy goals are, not even Donald Trump. You could listen to the main aspirants to his throne, such as Governor Ron DeSantis, of Florida, but this would reveal less about what they’re for than about what they’re against: overeducated élites, apart from themselves and their allies; “wokeness,” whatever they’re taking that to mean at the moment; the overzealous wielding of government power, unless their side is doing the wielding. Besides, one person can tell you only so much. A more efficient way […]

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