Thinking Citizen Blog — Electric Vehicle Mandate, New Battery Technology, Mammoth Wind Turbine
Thinking Citizen Blog — Wednesday is Climate Change, the Environment, and Sustainability Day
Today’s Topic: Electric Vehicle Mandate, New Battery Technology, Mammoth Wind Turbine
After a series of posts focusing on the wonders of the natural environment from the great rivers to the great mountain ranges of the world, I turn this week to news on the electric vehicle and wind turbine fronts — from Massachusetts to San Jose, California, to Rotterdam. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
ALL NEW CARS SOLD IN MASSACHUSETTS MUST BE ELECTRIC BY 2035
1. That is, according to Governor Charlie Baker’s just released plan, entitled “Massachusetts 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap.” (See second link for the full text.)
2. “Among the changes the state plans over the next decade: retrofitting 1 million homes to use electricity for heating instead of gas and oil, cutting commuters’ driving miles by 15 percent, and dramatically increasing offshore wind power generation.”
3. “The state’s new legally binding commitment to reduce the state’s carbon emissions to 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 is among the most ambitious of such pledges by governments in the United States and the rest of the world. Achieving that milestone would put the state on track to reach “net zero” fossil-fuel emissions by 2050, a goal announced this year by Baker’s administration.”
QUANTUMSCAPE, BATTERY START UP, HAS A MARKET CAP OF $40 BN AND NO REVENUE
1. The promise: more power, less cost, less risk, longer life, shorter recharging time.
2. The how: “solid state” technology that eliminates the need for the current standard of a liquid electrolyte that is both bulky and prone to overheating.
3. Backers: Volkswagen and Bill Gates. Competition: Toyota (among others)
NB: The company is based in San Jose, California. In the hottest IPO market since 1999, the stock has skyrocketed in market value since its IPO in November 2020. That value now exceeds that of the Ford Motor Company. “QuantumScape’s investors are playing a very long game. The business plan doesn’t envisage meaningful revenues before 2026.” For context, Tesla’s market cap is now $669 billion exceeding that of the combined values of the nine largest for the most part fossil-fuel powered auto companies on the planet.
THE MONSTER WIND TURBINE IN ROTTERDAM HARBOR BUILT BY GENERAL ELECTRIC
1. “Twirling above a strip of land at the mouth of Rotterdam’s harbor is a wind turbine so large it is difficult to photograph. The turning diameter of its rotor is longer than two American football fields end to end. Later models will be taller than any building on the mainland of Western Europe.”
2. “Packed with sensors gathering data on wind speeds, electricity output and stresses on its components, the giant whirling machine in the Netherlands is a test model for a new series of giant offshore wind turbines planned by General Electric. When assembled in arrays, the wind machines have the potential to power cities, supplanting the emissions-spewing coal- or natural gas-fired plants that form the backbones of many electric systems today.”
3. Another pipe dream? “G.E. has yet to install one of these machines in ocean water. As a relative newcomer to the offshore wind business, the company faces questions about how quickly and efficiently it can scale up production to build and install hundreds of the turbines.”
NB: Currently, the biggest manufacturers of wind turbines in the world are the Danish company Vestas and the German-Spanish company, Siemens Gamesa. See last two links for details.
Click here for the last three years of posts arranged by theme:
Please share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to climate change or the environment. Or the coolest, most important thing you learned in your life related to climate change that the rest of us may have missed. Your favorite chart or table perhaps…
This is your chance to make some one’s day. Or to cement in your own mind something that you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart.