Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Climate Change in the American Mind: May 2017 – Four in ten Americans (39%) think the odds that global warming will cause humans to become extinct are 50% or higher. Most Americans (58%) think the odds of human extinction from global warming are less than 50%. – I don’t believe the species will go extinct, however, we might fall back from being a globally dominating species to multi regional species. And we’d probably lose our ability to get into space due to supply chain destruction…which in the long game (1 million years) might mean species (along with all other living things on this rock) extinction. Either way – 39% is a large group of people who will hopefully vote.

‘Something isn’t right’ in Mont. wheat fields – “You can see the leaves are starting to roll up,” Edwards said, tearing one off for a closer look. “I consider this a real problem. I’m losing yield already.” – We will have to evolve our tools and techniques, it is what homo sapien sapien does – In their toolbox: plant varieties that are more tolerant of heat and drought. Strains of wheat that aren’t as appealing to stem sawflies, which can flatten a wheat field and aren’t easily controlled with pesticides. Cover crops such as chickpeas, which conserve moisture, enrich the soil and make a good rotation with wheat since they don’t attract the flies.

A Seaweed Derivative Could Be Just What Lithium-Sulfur Batteries Need – “It turns out carrageenan is used as a food thickener. And it actually worked just as well as the synthetic polymer—it worked as a glue and it immobilized the polysulfide, making a really stable electrode.” – The basics. Electrodes are inherently unstable in their current form. We’ve used other materials that physically stabilize these structures – kinda like glue. This compound actually bonds – remember how in chemistry atoms/molecules shared electrons? – the electrodes in a fundamentally more stable structure. The end game – “We want to get to thousands of cycles,” Gao Liu said. Lithium-sulfur batteries have more than twice the energy density of lithium-ion batteries, which now dominate the market. They are also much more lightweight so they have potential application in airplanes and drones.

Native Americans Sue Frackers Over Manmade Earthquakes – Oklahoma typically experienced zero to a couple magnitude 3 or greater quakes annually, the rate shot up to 20 in 2009. In 2013, the state had 109 such earthquakes followed by 579 in 2014, 903 in 2015, and 623 in 2016. In other words, the state went from some two sizable quakes a year to two or three a day. – Key point, the fracking itself isn’t the issue. It’s when we inject the waste water back into the ground, though it is hard to separate the two as they’re currently inseparable.

Coal CEO admits that ‘clean coal’ is a myth – “It is neither practical nor economic, carbon capture and sequestration,” he said last week. “It is just cover for the politicians, both Republicans and Democrats that say, ‘Look what I did for coal,’ knowing all the time that it doesn’t help coal at all.” – This isn’t some weekday solar guy writing a column who says this, this is a Coal company CEO with far more knowledge and practical experience than I. You and I now know the truth, let’s spread this to the masses.

I know we just published this a few hours ago…but – Tesla wins contract for massive 100/129 MWh Powerpack system in Australia – Holy heck man. This is exciting, and not because it’s a bunch of Tesla PowerPacks – not because its Musk – and not because I have $ down on a Model 3 – it’s because this is the largest lithium-ion energy storage system on the planet, and it won’t be the largest for long now that the world knows we can do it. Australia will need about 500MW more to fix their grid issues per Bloomberg – expect more deals to follow now that the wheels are greased and original contracts made.

5,000-MW Solar PH rollout plan to challenge energy mix – “Solar Philippines has submitted to the country’s electric utilities a plan to lower consumer rates by 30-percent, by replacing all planned coal plants with solar battery farms,” company president Leandro L. Leviste – This is what we need to hear more of. Solar+storage lowering the cost of energy versus coal. I don’t know much about the cost of energy in the Philippines, but I do have a few connections that have been installing large volumes there for a few years now – so this pitch from a company President isn’t from left field.

Here is the progression of the crack as the oves across Antarctica, below this is a tweet focused on the final cracks –

This won’t increase the sea level – the iceberg is already in the ocean, but the volume of ice does sit between warming ocean water and ice on the land mass of Antarctica. And now that there isn’t a chunk of ice the size of Delaware to buffer it, there will be fresh water hitting the ocean.

Header image from a reader of ours – ‘I loved your picture of the yurt with the solar panel. It reminded me of the reed hut I visited on a floating island on Lake Titicaca in 2011. The solar panel powered a single light bulb and (more importantly) a TV for watching the football games!’ – Thanks David. Though, the amount of energy being produced here is small – solar panels like this save human lives by offering small scale refrigeration for medicine, and lighting to limit burning of coal. Every small victory matters.

Considering residential solar?  will connect you with local contractors. Tweet me to pick apart quote.

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