How Solar Is Central To The Energy Transition

(Credit: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Barcroft Media via Getty Images

THE EDGE — SIMON FLOWERS

Solar is king of the low-carbon technologies. Its new-found competitiveness makes solar central to decarbonising power markets and, in time, it can fuel green hydrogen’s push into hard-to-abate sectors. I chatted to Ravi Manghani, Wood Mackenzie Head of Solar, who forecasts in Horizons that solar costs will continue to fall.

What’s driving the growth in solar? It’s economics rather than just the environmental agenda – solar is now competitive. Solar costs have fallen by 90% this century, most of that in the last decade. Nearly all capacity installed until now has been supported by feed-in tariffs and power purchase agreements subsidised by governments, in many cases, to get renewables off the ground. The guarantees attracted the capital, which delivered the scaling up. That’s all led to a steep reduction in costs.

We’ve reached the point in 2021 where, without subsidies, solar is cheaper than any other technology in 16 US states and some markets elsewhere in the world. Solar will dominate new power capacity as the world electrifies with as much as 8,000 GW added by 2050 in our AET-2 scenario – twice as much as wind (AET-2 is WoodMac’s 2 °C energy transition scenario).

Can costs fall further? We think we’ll see another 15% to 25% reduction over the next 10 years from a host of technology innovations. Two stand out. Bi-facial modules, which allow electricity generation on both sides of the panel, could lead to efficiency gains of up to 15%; and increasing wafer size on the module from the 158 mm in use today to 210 mm could double the power rating.

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UK slashes grants for electric car buyers while retaining petrol vehicle support

The UK government has cut grants for electric car buyers, to the horror of the automotive industry as it tries to rapidly shift away from fossil fuels.

The maximum grant for electric cars was reduced from £3,000 to £2,500 with immediate effect on Thursday. The government also lowered the price cap for cars eligible for the subsidy from £50,000 to £35,000.

The cut is likely to be controversial, only a fortnight after the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, extended a generous implicit subsidy for drivers of petrol and diesels by freezing fuel duty.

Electric cars cost more than those with internal combustion engines, but they are seen as a crucial part of meeting the UK’s decarbonisation targets. Other European countries such as Norway, Germany and France subsidise electric cars.

Electric cars rise to record 54% market share in Norway

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Feeding cows seaweed could cut their methane emissions by 82%, scientists say

Feeding seaweed to cows is a viable long-term method to reduce the emission of planet-heating gases from their burps and flatulence, scientists have found.

Researchers who put a small amount of seaweed into the feed of cattle over the course of five months found that the new diet caused the bovines to belch out 82% less methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.

The race to zero: can America reach net-zero emissions by 2050?

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The finding builds on previous research that showed that seaweed could reduce cows’ methane output over a shorter timespan. “We now have sound evidence that seaweed in cattle diet is effective at reducing greenhouse gases and that the efficacy does not diminish over time,” said Ermias Kebreab, director of the World Food Center and an agricultural scientist at University of California, Davis.

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UK foreign secretary pushes Australia to 'stretch' climate commitments before global summit

The British foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, has stressed he expects Australia to “stretch” climate commitments and set out a plan to meet them before a major summit later this year.

The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, continues to shift how he talks about the climate crisis without making new commitments to address it. But Raab expressed confidence the Morrison government would “step up to the plate” on climate.

Doubling uptake of wind and solar power could set up Australia for net zero emissions by 2040

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More than 100 countries have a target of reaching net zero emissions by mid-century. There is a push led by the UK and US for them to back it up with stronger commitments for 2030 before the conference in Glasgow in November.

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EV Upstart Arrival Plans $41 Million ‘Microfactory’ To Make Electric Vans For UPS

Arrival says its electric delivery vans are much lighter than competing models and will sell for thousands of dollars less.

Arrival

Arrival, a U.K.-based electric truck startup backed by Hyundai Motor and BlackRock, is planning a second U.S. “Microfactory” that will make battery-powered delivery vans for UPS as the company also gets ready for a Nasdaq listing.

The new $41.2 million assembly facility will be set up in suburban Charlotte, North Carolina, where Arrival also has its U.S. headquarters, near Charlotte Douglas International Airport. It will employ about 250 people and be able to produce about 10,000 electric vans a year when it opens in late 2022. UPS, which has been testing Arrival vehicles in the U.K. and plans to buy up to 10,000 units for use in the U.S. and Europe, will likely be a primary customer, the company said. 

“Our newest Microfactory will be producing two different classes of EV vans for our U.S. customers, expanding the zero-emissions options for fleet operators and accelerating the mass adoption of electric vehicles,” said Michael Ableson, CEO of Arrival Automotive and former General Motors executive. 

What sets Arrival apart from Tesla and a wave of other electric vehicle startups is an intention to sell its models at prices matching diesel- and gasoline-powered vehicles. The company says it can do that because its vehicles are much lighter due to aggressive weight-saving from an aluminum chassis and body panels made of proprietary composites. That allows them to have smaller, cheaper battery packs–the biggest expense for EVs. Battery vehicles also offer lower fuel and maintenance costs so a manufacturer that can sell them at price parity to carbon-fueled trucks could see substantial demand from cost-conscious fleet operators. U.S. policy changes coming from the Biden Administration, which is prioritizing electric vehicles and transit to curb carbon emissions, may also prove helpful for Arrival.

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EV Upstart Arrival Plans $41 Million ‘Microfactory’ To Make Electric Vans For UPS

Arrival says its electric delivery vans are much lighter than competing models and will sell for thousands of dollars less.

Arrival

Arrival, a U.K.-based electric truck startup backed by Hyundai Motor and BlackRock, is planning a second U.S. “Microfactory” that will make battery-powered delivery vans for UPS as the company also gets ready for a Nasdaq listing.

The new $41.2 million assembly facility will be set up in suburban Charlotte, North Carolina, where Arrival also has its U.S. headquarters, near Charlotte Douglas International Airport. It will employ about 250 people and be able to produce about 10,000 electric vans a year when it opens in late 2022. UPS, which has been testing Arrival vehicles in the U.K. and plans to buy up to 10,000 units for use in the U.S. and Europe, will likely be a primary customer, the company said. 

“Our newest Microfactory will be producing two different classes of EV vans for our U.S. customers, expanding the zero-emissions options for fleet operators and accelerating the mass adoption of electric vehicles,” said Michael Ableson, CEO of Arrival Automotive and former General Motors executive. 

What sets Arrival apart from Tesla and a wave of other electric vehicle startups is an intention to sell its models at prices matching diesel- and gasoline-powered vehicles. The company says it can do that because its vehicles are much lighter due to aggressive weight-saving from an aluminum chassis and body panels made of proprietary composites. That allows them to have smaller, cheaper battery packs–the biggest expense for EVs. Battery vehicles also offer lower fuel and maintenance costs so a manufacturer that can sell them at price parity to carbon-fueled trucks could see substantial demand from cost-conscious fleet operators. U.S. policy changes coming from the Biden Administration, which is prioritizing electric vehicles and transit to curb carbon emissions, may also prove helpful for Arrival.

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Texas Power Blackouts: Last Standing PUC Commissioner Resigns Amid Controversy

Texas Governor Gregg Abbott speaks to the press after attending the public viewing for George Floyd ... [+] at the Fountain of Praise church in Houston, Texas on June 8, 2020. (Photo by Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

How do you run a state commission with no commissioners? The state of Texas is about to find out, at least for a while until Governor Greg Abbott can find some Texans who are eager - or at least willing - to serve in what have become three of the hottest seats in the state’s government.

That’s because the last standing member of the Public Utility Commission - Chairman Arthur D’Andrea - resigned late Tuesday after Texas Monthly magazine published a recording of a telephone conversation he conducted in early March with executives from various out-of-state power trading firms. D’Andrea’s two former colleagues on the three-member appointed commission, Shelly Botkin and ex-Chair Dee Anne Walker, had already both resigned during the aftermath of the blackouts. Governor Abbott had made D’Andrea the new Chairman in late February after Walker resigned under pressure from Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.

During the recorded call, D’Andrea promised to work to protect the windfall profits the companies had gained as electricity rates allowed by the PUC and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) skyrocketed during the tragic arctic freeze event in mid-February that resulted in the deaths of 57 Texans and saddled some ratepayers with gigantic utility bills.

During the call, which was hosted by Bank of America Securities, D’Andrea is quoted as “promising to put ‘the weight of the commission’ behind efforts to keep billions of dollars from being returned to utilities that were forced—thanks to decisions by the PUC—to buy power at sky-high prices, even after the worst of the blackout had passed.”

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Lithium Deal Could Signal An End To The China-Australia Trade War

Chinese demand for lithium and other energy metals to power its growing fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) is proving more powerful than its anger with Australia over disputed Covid-19 pandemic claims.

With the price of lithium almost doubling since the start of the year, a Chinese lithium chemical company has prepaid for future delivery of the metal from an Australian mining company.

Didi Chuxing's new D1 electric vehicle on display during a launch event in Beijing in November 2020. ... [+]

Xin Yue/Huanqiu.com/VCG via Getty Images.

Sichuan-based Yibin Tianyi earlier this week signed an “offtake and prepayment agreement” with Australia’s Pilbara Minerals for the provision of up to 40,000 tons a year of concentrated spodumene (lithium ore).

The deal has a modest value of just $15 million, but it could be one of several signs that the war of words between two natural trading partners is fading in its intensity.

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VW Starts Delivering ID.4 Electric Cars In U.S.

Dozens of VW ID.4 EVs lined up in parking lot.

VW

This bit of news is just one part of VW's overall electrification efforts, but it's an important step nonetheless. Volkswagen announced it has started delivering the first units of the ID.4 to dealers in the U.S. This is a global vehicle, and the first ID.4 customer deliveries start in Europe and China next week.

While VW has sold other electric vehicles, like the e-Golf, the ID.4 is the first EV that the company is pushing in a big way. The global nature of the ID.4 is reason VW hopes to sell 150,000 of these "long-range electric SUVs" around the world this year and over two million over the course of the model's life.

The automaker says EVs need extra attention while in transit, including one that is foreign to gas-powered cars: maintaining enough of a state of charge in the battery throughout the entire trip from factory to the dealership. To get the cars ready for test drives and customer deliveries, VW has also installed a number of Level 2 EV chargers at "many" of its dealers in the U.S. over the last two years. Some dealers that are receiving the ID.4 also needed to get "appropriate vehicle lifts to unload the [ID.4] into showrooms and service bays," the company said in a statement. VW has over 600 dealerships in the U.S.

Over the last ten years, dealerships have emerged as a contentious space for EV adoption. On the one hand, they're the only game it town to buy an EVs from most automakers. On the other hand, some dealers have shown themselves to be resistant to change and the number of stories from EV advocates about less-than-fully-informed salespeople are common. VW said it has offered its dealers "comprehensive training to become certified in EV" sales and some Volkswagen dealers employ EV Specialists who can answer customer questions about the ID.4 or EVs in general. Plug In America offers an independent dealer education program called PlugStar that has an EV sales training component for dealers. You can find a PlugStar-certified VW dealers here.

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VW Starts Delivering ID.4 Electric Cars In U.S.

Dozens of VW ID.4 EVs lined up in parking lot.

VW

This bit of news is just one part of VW's overall electrification efforts, but it's an important step nonetheless. Volkswagen announced it has started delivering the first units of the ID.4 to dealers in the U.S. This is a global vehicle, and the first ID.4 customer deliveries start in Europe and China next week.

While VW has sold other electric vehicles, like the e-Golf, the ID.4 is the first EV that the company is pushing in a big way. The global nature of the ID.4 is reason VW hopes to sell 150,000 of these "long-range electric SUVs" around the world this year and over two million over the course of the model's life.

The automaker says EVs need extra attention while in transit, including one that is foreign to gas-powered cars: maintaining enough of a state of charge in the battery throughout the entire trip from factory to the dealership. To get the cars ready for test drives and customer deliveries, VW has also installed a number of Level 2 EV chargers at "many" of its dealers in the U.S. over the last two years. Some dealers that are receiving the ID.4 also needed to get "appropriate vehicle lifts to unload the [ID.4] into showrooms and service bays," the company said in a statement. VW has over 600 dealerships in the U.S.

Over the last ten years, dealerships have emerged as a contentious space for EV adoption. On the one hand, they're the only game it town to buy an EVs from most automakers. On the other hand, some dealers have shown themselves to be resistant to change and the number of stories from EV advocates about less-than-fully-informed salespeople are common. VW said it has offered its dealers "comprehensive training to become certified in EV" sales and some Volkswagen dealers employ EV Specialists who can answer customer questions about the ID.4 or EVs in general. Plug In America offers an independent dealer education program called PlugStar that has an EV sales training component for dealers. You can find a PlugStar-certified VW dealers here.

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Here Come The Farm Robots: Startup Raises $20 Million For Autonomous Electric Tractors

The electric Monarch Tractor can operate in autonomous, "driver optional" mode and has a base price of $50,000.

Monarch Tractor

Monarch Tractor, a startup cofounded by a member of the Mondavi wine family, is leveraging technology more commonly associated with battery-powered Teslas and autonomous Waymo vans to create electric robotic tractors it says can make farming safer and more sustainable. The Silicon Valley-based company just raised $20 million as it prepares to start deliveries. 

Monarch, which came out of stealth in late 2020, said funds from its Series A round will help it expand operations beyond the U.S. to international markets. Deliveries of its first tractors, priced from $50,000, begin in late 2021. Investors in the round include Japanese auto-parts maker Musashi Seimitsu Industry, European agricultural and commercial vehicle maker CNH Industrial and India’s VST Tillers Tractors. Silicon Valley-based At One Ventures and private capital group MUUS also invested in the round.

“The food ecosystem is ready for transformation with farmers demanding sustainable tools that can increase efficiency and farm profitability,” CEO and cofounder Praveen Penmetsa said. “We have seen an incredible and accelerating demand for our Monarch Tractor.”

Livermore, California-based Monarch, along with industrial giants like John Deere, see big opportunities to make farming more efficient and provide new options for farmers in regions where human labor may be scarce through the use of advanced sensors, software and computing power. And unlike self-driving vehicles operated in cities and on public roads, low-speed autonomous ag equipment doesn’t require federal or state approval for use on offroad and on private land.

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How Rich Countries Must Help Developing Economies Afford The Clean Energy Transition

HUAI'AN, CHINA - JANUARY 3, 2021 - A coal fleet is carried along the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal in ... [+] Huai 'an, Jiangsu Province, China, On January 3, 2021. China's coal supply growth is limited, Electricity coal market prices at a high level.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Costfoto / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Barcroft Media via Getty Images

It’s hard enough for rich industrialized countries to tackle carbon reduction goals. For emerging economies to do the same can be downright daunting. But rich or poor, it must be done. That’s the sentiment from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which is helping countries move from dirty energy forms to cleaner and lower-carbon ones.

But developing countries must have energy-access: India, for example, says that while it is shedding coal-fired power plants, the fuel will still make up 30% of its electricity portfolio in 2040. And emerging countries lack access to finance and technologies — noteworthy, given the $131 trillion that IRENA says is needed to get to carbon neutrality in 2050. 

“We need to be clear, we cannot envisage a different path between the developing and the developed world,” Francesco La Camera, director-general for IRENA during a Zoom conference on Monday. “Oil, coal, and natural gas can play a role said. But it is the worst option. The developing countries can leapfrog (over them). This has to be a common effort … New energy systems will be decentralized.” 

What then is the path to keeping temperature rises to no more than 1.5% by 2050 and thereby mitigating the worst effects of climate change? IRENA, which released its World Energy Transitions Outlook yesterday, says that renewables and green hydrogen are central to the cause. Renewables, it adds, should supply 90% of all energy needs. If that happens, fossil fuel usage would fall by 75%. 

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How Rich Countries Must Help Developing Economies Afford The Clean Energy Transition

HUAI'AN, CHINA - JANUARY 3, 2021 - A coal fleet is carried along the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal in ... [+] Huai 'an, Jiangsu Province, China, On January 3, 2021. China's coal supply growth is limited, Electricity coal market prices at a high level.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Costfoto / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Barcroft Media via Getty Images

It’s hard enough for rich industrialized countries to tackle carbon reduction goals. For emerging economies to do the same can be downright daunting. But rich or poor, it must be done. That’s the sentiment from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which is helping countries move from dirty energy forms to cleaner and lower-carbon ones.

But developing countries must have energy-access: India, for example, says that while it is shedding coal-fired power plants, the fuel will still make up 30% of its electricity portfolio in 2040. And emerging countries lack access to finance and technologies — noteworthy, given the $131 trillion that IRENA says is needed to get to carbon neutrality in 2050. 

“We need to be clear, we cannot envisage a different path between the developing and the developed world,” Francesco La Camera, director-general for IRENA during a Zoom conference on Monday. “Oil, coal, and natural gas can play a role said. But it is the worst option. The developing countries can leapfrog (over them). This has to be a common effort … New energy systems will be decentralized.” 

What then is the path to keeping temperature rises to no more than 1.5% by 2050 and thereby mitigating the worst effects of climate change? IRENA, which released its World Energy Transitions Outlook yesterday, says that renewables and green hydrogen are central to the cause. Renewables, it adds, should supply 90% of all energy needs. If that happens, fossil fuel usage would fall by 75%. 

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We Just Have To Capture The Carbon Before It Enters The Atmosphere

EEMPA (red) first interacts with flue gas (black), where it absorbs CO2. The saturated solvent ... [+] (blue) is then stripped of CO2 in high and low-pressure tanks. Stripped solvent is reintroduced to the CO2 absorber, where the process begins again.

Michael Perkins/PNNL

Let’s face it – we are not decarbonizing at all. Global carbon emissions are still increasing and all serious modeling shows that will continue at least until 2040. Not surprising since we are still building coal plants like crazy in Africa and Asia, and gas plants in the developed world.

Foolishly closing nuclear and hydro plants doesn’t help, either.

In all fairness, those coal plants are being built to raise half a billion people up out of poverty, so it’s not like we can say no.

But even if we can’t decarbonize in time to stop the worst of global warming, we have to do something. And that is capturing the carbon, either directly from the atmosphere or from where it’s produced before it gets away into the atmosphere.

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We Just Have To Capture The Carbon Before It Enters The Atmosphere

EEMPA (red) first interacts with flue gas (black), where it absorbs CO2. The saturated solvent ... [+] (blue) is then stripped of CO2 in high and low-pressure tanks. Stripped solvent is reintroduced to the CO2 absorber, where the process begins again.

Michael Perkins/PNNL

Let’s face it – we are not decarbonizing at all. Global carbon emissions are still increasing and all serious modeling shows that will continue at least until 2040. Not surprising since we are still building coal plants like crazy in Africa and Asia, and gas plants in the developed world.

Foolishly closing nuclear and hydro plants doesn’t help, either.

In all fairness, those coal plants are being built to raise half a billion people up out of poverty, so it’s not like we can say no.

But even if we can’t decarbonize in time to stop the worst of global warming, we have to do something. And that is capturing the carbon, either directly from the atmosphere or from where it’s produced before it gets away into the atmosphere.

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NHTSA Launches Probe Of Tesla-Truck Crash In Detroit

Low-angle view of the facade of Tesla Motors dealership with logo and sign in Pleasanton, ... [+] California, July 23, 2018. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

Getty Images

The nation’s chief safety regulator is looking into a crash last week in which a Tesla ran into a tractor trailer leaving a passenger critically injured.

The accident occurred in Detroit on March 11 at about 3:20 a.m.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration posted Monday on its web site that it has assigned a special crash investigation team to look into the collision.

A Detroit television station ran video showing the severely damaged Tesla that was crushed beneath the truck. The male driver and a 21-year-old woman passenger were taken to a local hospital and the passenger is listed in critical condition. The driver’s condition is unknown.

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22 Out Of Top 30 World’s Most Polluted Cities In India

NEW DELHI, INDIA - FEBRUARY 8: A cyclist out on a smoggy morning at Tilak Marg on February 8, 2021 ... [+] in New Delhi, India. Air pollution and fog hindered visibility on roads in Delhi NCR. The concentration of PM 10 particles stood at 175 while PM 2.5 at 102 in the national capital region.(Photo by Arvind Yadav/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Hindustan Times via Getty Images

In 2020, 22 out of the top 30 most polluted cities in the world were from India. Climate change too played a role in increasing air pollution. Hotan in China’s northwest ranked as the world’s most polluted cities largely due to sandstorms exacerbated by climate change. These were among the highlights of the 2020 World Air Quality report by Switzerland based air quality technology company IQAir that was released on Tuesday. 

Air quality improved in 84% of all monitored countries due to Covid-19 related lockdowns in 2020, the report found. Some of the major improvements compared to the year 2019 were seen in Paris (-17%), London (-16%), Seoul (-16%), Delhi (-15%), Chicago (-13%) and Beijing (-11%).

“While many cities recorded temporary improvements in air quality due to lockdowns, the health impact of burning fossil fuels remained severe. Unfortunately, Delhi continued to be the most polluted capital city in the world in 2020,” said Avinash Chanchal, climate campaigner, Greenpeace India. 

Only 24 of the 106 monitored countries met the annual guidelines for PM2.5 set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

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Cheap Batteries Could Soon Make Electric Freight Trucks 50% Cheaper To Own Than Diesel

Heavy-duty trucks are an outsized polluter, considered one of transportation’s hardest-to-decarbonize aspects. But new research showing dramatic improvements in battery cost and technology mean zero-emission freight trucks are primed for electrification. This could bring a major clean energy success in the coming decade.

The total cost of ownership for electric freight trucks could be 50% cheaper than for diesel trucks by 2030, generating billions in savings. Plunging costs, ever-increasing battery range, and an expanding fast charging network are creating an on-ramp to an electrified trucking future.  

Hybrid electric truck being charging at charging station. Image via Chesky_W/Getty Images.

Chesky_W/Getty Images

While cheaper ownership costs and massive emissions reduction potential enable shifting to electric trucks, smart policies are still needed to help this nascent industry deliver the goods.

Billions in potential savings from electric freight trucks

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How The Texas Power Crisis Could Reshape Mexico’s Energy Policy

Emily Pickrell, UH Energy Scholar

HOUSTON, TEXAS - FEBRUARY 21: An electrical substation is reflected in water on February 21, 2021 in ... [+] Houston, Texas. Millions of Texans lost their power when winter storm Uri hit the state and knocked out coal, natural gas and nuclear plants that were unprepared for the freezing temperatures brought on by the storm. Wind turbines that provide an estimated 24 percent of energy to the state became inoperable when they froze. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Getty Images

When Gov. Greg Abbott cut off natural gas that usually flows from Texas to Mexico on Feb. 17, the hoped-for result was meeting Texas' skyrocketing demand and dwindling ability to supply it during the worst winter storm in decades. 

"I hereby mandate that all sourced natural gas be made available for sale to local power generation opportunities before leaving the state of Texas, effective through Feb. 21, 2021," Abbott wrote in a letter to the Texas Railroad Commission, the state's energy regulator.

The order had both immediate and longer-term consequences for Mexico, highlighting the country’s dependence on Texas natural gas. 

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Rising U.S. Lithium Industry: A Potential Quandary For Environmental Activists

Salt deposits sit in piles inside a state-owned lithium production facility at the Salar de Uyuni ... [+] (Uyuni Salt Flats) in Potosi, Bolivia, on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. South America controls about 70% of the world's reserves of lithium, the metal used in rechargeable batteries for mobile phones and electric vehicles, with future refining and battery-assembling facilities seen as away to help kick start economies. Photographer: Carlos Becerra/Bloomberg

© 2019 Bloomberg Finance LP

Lithium mining has been present in America for decades, although in a minimal way. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that, although the U.S. is very rich in underground lithium resources, it currently mines and processes only about 1% of annual global lithium production. According to that report, “China, with a huge chemical industry and low costs, unearths about 10% and processes about two-thirds of what’s dug up.”

Lithium mining and production appears likely to become a much bigger enterprise in the United States as the Biden/Harris administration implements policies designed to encourage and stimulate it. In February, President Biden issued an executive order directing a strategic review of supply chains of critical resources, including Lithium and other minerals that are key to the ongoing growth of the electric vehicle (EV) and renewable energy sectors of the U.S. economy.

A Key to the Growth of EVs and Renewables

Lithium is a key element in rechargeable batteries that not only power EVs, but which must also be implemented on a mass scale if wind and solar energy are ever to become round-the-clock, reliable components of the nation’s electricity grid. With demand for battery technology expected to dramatically increase in the coming years, the Biden Administration is concerned about America’s ongoing reliance on sourcing the technology from China and other countries.

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