In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Mystery Science is providing free science lessons online for school-age kids.
  • The Battery and Critical Mineral Recycling Act of 2020 aims to provide grants to recycle batteries in the US.
  • The Monterey Bay Aquarium is live-streaming its jellyfish, and it’s a relaxing reminder of why we want green energy.

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

Remote green energy

Are your kids, or any kids that you know, now moving to remote learning while we socially isolate due to the coronavirus?

Here’s something fun and educational for them to do. Mystery Science, a website that provides science lessons for school-age kids, has lots of really cool free modules, including a great activity (click the link) about “energy, motion & electricity.” That particular lesson has 4,073 reviews with a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. (And if your Wi-Fi connection isn’t great, you can print it out.)

The activity involves figuring out how to help the town of Boulderville get all the energy it needs by using sunlight, wind, and water “without polluting the air… the people of Boulderville want to get their energy using alternative energy sources.”

The lesson suggests kids research the towns featured in the readings. One is “Ranchtown,” which is actually a pseudonym for the 100% solar-powered Babcock Ranch in Florida.

These lessons are super, and adults will also have a lot of fun doing them with their kids. I’m tempted to stop writing this column and do the lesson instead. 🙂

Thanks, Mystery Science!

Li-ion battery recycling

Senator Angus King (I-ME) introduced the Battery and Critical Mineral Recycling Act of 2020 this month. The groundbreaking bill aims, as simply stated in the bill itself, “to support the reuse and recycling of batteries and critical minerals, and for other purposes.”

According to King’s website, the legislation aims to incentivize, through grant programs, the recycling of rechargeable and electrochemical batteries in the US to meet green energy needs and decrease mineral imports.

King, who is a founding member of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, said:

Critical minerals like lithium and cobalt are vital to developing clean energy technology — and the good news here is that we have these materials on hand already, from old phone and computer batteries in the desk drawers of American homes and offices.

Why pay the economic and environmental cost of importing these minerals from countries like China, when we could meet a large portion of our need by simply encouraging the American people to turn in their old batteries to be recycled back into the industry?

This act is a key step toward reducing waste, developing clean energy technology, and revolutionizing the way we produce and utilize critical minerals.

Just jellyfish and chill

The biggest reason why we want to convert to green energy is to preserve our planet. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is streaming a “Live Jelly Cam” on YouTube — and watching it is about the most soothing thing ever. So take a couple of minutes and watch this video of their sea nettles, take a breath, and think about how, despite the hit the economy is taking, in the long run, green energy is going to prevail — because beautiful creatures like these are worth protecting.

Photo: Mystery Science

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