California becomes first state to eliminate subsidies for gas line extensions amid electrification push
The California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday unanimously voted to entirely eliminate ratepayer subsidies for the extension of new gas lines beginning in July, amid a statewide push to decarbonize the building sector. Current subsidies for gas line extensions are “a vestige of the past,” dating back to an era when the state wanted to promote the expansion of the gas system — but that policy no longer makes sense in light of California’s greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, CPUC Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen said at the agency’s voting meeting.- Utility Dive
Federal regulators on Friday issued a final environmental impact statement that supports the demolition of four massive dams on Northern California’s Klamath River to save imperiled migratory salmon. The staff's recommendation, which largely echoes an earlier draft opinion, tees up a vote on the roughly $500 million project by the five-member Federal Energy Regulatory Commission later this year. The removal of the four hydroelectric dams on the lower Klamath River — one in southern Oregon and three in California — would be the largest dam demolition project in U.S. history. - ABC News
New research supports the hypothesis that dinosaurs were done in by climate change after an asteroid impact kicked up a massive plume of sulfur gases that circled the globe for several decades. - EOS
Five of Asia’s biggest economies are expected to see exponential growth of solar, positioning the region to become a global hub of solar power, according to independent energy think tank Ember.
Ember analyzed existing national power sector development plans across China, Japan, Indonesia, India, and the Philippines. It found that solar capacity is expected to grow an average of 22% annually across the five economies. Of the five, the fastest solar capacity growth rates are expected in Indonesia – 41.81% – and the Philippines – 34.64%: - Electrek
As a power crunch precipitated by an extended heat wave eased, the California Solar and Storage Association (CALSSA) said that the state had more than 80,000 customer-sited batteries connected to the electric grid capable of providing 900 MW of solar power. It said that while not all the batteries were set to discharge during the peak hours of 4pm-9pm on September 6, an estimated 76% were, capable of providing up to 684 MW of power at any given moment. The trade group said that 50% of these batteries’ aggregate power was put into use during peak hours. - Renewable Energy World
The heat wave that’s been gripping California and other parts of the West for 10 days and counting is the most severe ever recorded in September, weather experts have said – confirming what California’s governor is calling the “hottest & longest on record” for the month. The data supporting the assertion is overwhelming. Records began falling on Aug. 30 when Seattle and Portland set calendar day records of 90 and 100. And it’s not yet over – while the region’s heat wave peaked on Tuesday, among California’s hottest days ever observed, it’s expected to continue until Saturday, ending after a total of 12 days. In just the past week, nearly 1,000 heat records have been broken, including more than 270 monthly records. Some places, like Salt Lake City, Sacramento, California, and Reno, Nevada, have broken their September records multiple times and by large margins. - Spokane Spokesman Review
Denmark, the nation that built the world’s first offshore wind farm, has agreed to an ambitious plan for another global first – an energy island in the North Sea which could eventually be capable of supplying energy to a history-making 10 million homes. The move will create a critical boost to the world’s offshore wind capacity. - WE Forum
David Horne remembers exactly where he was when the first earthquake hit his town of Elgin, S.C., on Dec. 27, 2021.
He was relaxing on his front porch, while his wife was inside caring for their young grandson. Suddenly, Horne felt the ground shake and heard a noise like thunder boom across the sky. "And as soon as it happened, I got out of my chair and I went and told her, 'That was an earthquake. That was a 3-point-plus,'" he said. Horne used to live in Alaska, where earthquakes are more common, but his wife, Whitney Horne — a lifelong South Carolinian — said she wasn't sure what had happened. "Because I'd never experienced an earthquake," she said. "We're in South Carolina! You don't have earthquakes that you feel in South Carolina." - NPR
An annual analysis of air samples collected at remote sites around the globe that is tracking a continued decline in the atmospheric concentration of ozone-depleting substances shows the threat to the ozone layer receding below a significant milestone in 2022, NOAA scientists have announced. In early 2022, the overall concentration of ozone-depleting substances in the mid-latitude stratosphere had fallen just over 50 percent back to levels observed in 1980, before ozone depletion was significant. This slow but steady progress over the past three decades was achieved by international compliance with controls on production and trade of ozone-depleting substances in the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. - NASA
Federal regulators on Friday issued a final environmental impact statement that supports the demolition of four massive dams on Northern California’s Klamath River to save imperiled migratory salmon. The staff's recommendation, which largely echoes an earlier draft opinion, tees up a vote on the roughly $500 million project by the five-member Federal Energy Regulatory Commission later this year. The removal of the four hydroelectric dams on the lower Klamath River — one in southern Oregon and three in California — would be the largest dam demolition project in U.S. history. The aging dams near the Oregon-California border were built before current environmental regulations and essentially cut the 253-mile-long (407-kilometer-long) river in half for migrating salmon. Migratory salmon have been hit hard by warming waters and low river flows caused by severe drought and competition for water with agricultural interests. - ABC News
It’s Happened Before: Paleoclimate Study Shows Warming Oceans Could Lead to a Spike in Seabed Methane Emissions
The slowdown of a key ocean current could release methane that is frozen in layers of organic seabed sediments along some of the world’s coastlines, a new study shows. Cold temperatures and high pressure on sea floors currently sequester about one-sixth of the world’s methane, a potent but short-lived greenhouse gas, in an ice-like form called methane hydrate, or clathrates. Sudden thawing of those clathrates could result in a surge of methane emissions that would spike the planet’s fever. The new research, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that some of the shallower layers in the Atlantic Ocean could be more vulnerable than previously thought to warming that could release that methane, and that such events have happened in the distant past. - Inside Climate News
Gravitational accumulation is no longer a novelty. Since 2012, the so-called “gravity batteries” have made their official debut in the world of energy storage. And today more than one company has demonstrated its potential thanks to full-scale projects that exploit mineral wells, quarries or mountains. But researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Vienna, Austria, want to take technology to another level. Or, better, in another environment: that densely urbanized metropolis. In a new study published in the journal Energy, scientists proposed to transform skyscrapers into gigantic gravity battery. How? Through their Lift Energy Storage System, a system that would exploit lift systems and empty apartments to store energy in very high buildings. The idea is to accumulate energy by lifting containers of wet sand or other high-density materials. Basically, the LEST would benefit from any downtime of the lift, moving the sand from the bottom of the building upwards, in case of an excess of electricity production on the grid. And from top to bottom to release energy when electricity demand rises. - SEN
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