The Energy Mix team scans about 1,200 incoming headlines each week to build our story lineup. Here’s a rundown of some of the stories that were fit to print but didn’t fit the page.
The United States counted the 100,000th energy transition job created under the Biden administration’s climate and infrastructure programs, with Republican-led Georgia, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas among the biggest winners. Arizona and Michigan also did very well. The International Energy Agency said renewables will be the world’s top electricity source within three years, solar will deliver more than half of the U.S.’s new electricity capacity this year, and renewables were pushing the power grid toward an emissions reduction tipping point.
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Rooftop solar giant Sunrun and California utility PG&E planned a 30-megawatt virtual power plant to help meet summer grid demand, and Duke Energy demonstrated a new technology when it powered a whole North Carolina town with a microgrid. New York City offered affordable, sustainable apartment units and extended its carshare program city-wide while two authors imagined the Big Apple as one of the world’s most energy-efficient cities. Multi-use land was helping renewable energy developers and rural communities in Alberta with an assist from two miniature donkeys named Starsky and Hutch, and electric vehicle chargers in multi-unit housing joined a demand response program. California feted the world’s biggest storage facility featuring used EV batteries, Vancouver expanded its electric bus fleet, and news reports explored the carbon-cutting potential and “almost unlimited” potential of deep geothermal energy, with some installations likely to be located in abandoned mines. China started work on an offshore wind farm featuring the world’s biggest turbines, wind giant Vestas said it could make all turbine blades recyclable, and CarbonCure Technologies said it had achieved the first-ever carbon storage in concrete using direct air capture.
Fossils contemplated how ending Russia’s war in Ukraine would affect global oil markets. A Bloomberg opinion columnist declared that fossils’ net-zero promises are “science fiction”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said fossils without credible net-zero plans “should not be in business,“ and notorious climate denier and Harper-era finance minister Joe Oliver finally announced his retirement as chair of Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund warned corporate directors to tackle the climate crisis or get out of the way, investors pushed European banking giants to stop financing fossil fuels, and McKinsey said it’s time for philanthropy to step up in the fight against climate change.
Survivors of the Lytton wildfire disaster attempted a class action lawsuit, legal protections couldn’t protect U.S. farmworkers from wildfires and extreme heat, wildfires were driving housing gentrification in California, and climate justice organizers tackled urban heat in Arizona’s Maricopa County. Quebec’s outdated building codes left homeowners vulnerable to flooding, climate placed as one of Calgary’s top disaster risks, more frequent atmospheric rivers were slowing down the recovery of seasonal sea ice in the Arctic, and Antarctic ice shelves faced an extraordinary marine heat wave. A study linked long-term air pollution exposure to depression and anxiety, and Hurricane Harvey turned a family of “proud Houston homeowners” into climate migrants.
Australia blocked a coal mine to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Europe considered a coordinated, mass exit from the Energy Charter Treaty, which allows fossils to sue for damages if policies limit their profits. Businesses wanted fast action on an industrial plan under the European Green Deal, and researchers called for a new, fair deal on climate trade and development. Germany said a 2030 coal exit posed no threat to its energy security, pledged rapid expansion of onshore wind, and lost an estimated €50 billion on neglected building renovations. Costly, delayed pressurized reactors were Europe’s latest nuclear disappointment.
Two Australian scientists won the “Nobel of engineering” for breakthroughs in solar design, and Carbon Brief correspondent Josh Gabbatiss completed “Josh’es [sic] Book of ANIMALS,” a nearly 22-year effort to write and illustrate his own animal encyclopedia that began when he was nine years old. Josh, if we could offer a “Nobel of editorial production,” it would be yours.