About the Author

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at michelle@9to5mac.com. Check out her personal blog.

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Today

Bill Magness, CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), Texas’ power grid, was fired by ERCOT’s Board of Directors yesterday after the state’s disastrous cold weather power outages. This follows the resignation on Monday of DeAnn Walker, the chair of the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas. Seven ERCOT board members have also stepped down over several weeks – many of whom did not live in Texas. 

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  • Apex Clean Energy has sold its fourth clean power purchase agreement to Facebook.
  • The IMF has some advice for the US on how to implement climate mitigation goals.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

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March 3

Electrek‘s Michelle Lewis asked Anthony Allard, EVP, head of North America, Hitachi ABB Power Grids, how the US can make its power grids more resilient and better support clean energy, and what Hitachi ABB is doing to support large-scale electric vehicle deployment.

Hitachi ABB Power Grids digitizes all elements of the energy value chain and brings power grids into a sustainable energy future. In July, Hitachi ABB announced Grid eMotion Fleet, an EV charging system for large-scale public transport and commercial mobility. The company will also be providing energy storage systems to support large-scale EV deployments. 

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  • Moscow’s Department of Transport says all of its public transport vehicles will be electric by 2032.
  • Smart electric motor company Turntide Technologies completes an $80 million funding round.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

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March 2

Six utilities today announced the formation of the Electric Highway Coalition. It’s a plan to ensure that electric vehicle drivers have access to a network of charging stations on major highway systems on the Atlantic coast, in the Midwest and South, and in the Gulf and Central Plains regions.

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  • Connecticut has approved a 120-megawatt solar farm covering 485 acres.
  • The UK’s 857 megawatt Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm starts to produce its first power.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

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March 1

The Petaluma, California, City Council this week unanimously moved to ban new gas stations, and existing stations won’t be allowed to add new gas pumps – but they can add electric chargers. The council must approve the ban during a second reading in order to make it official.

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The Biden administration is calling for action in order to stem climate change for a wide range of sectors, and that of course includes buildings and transport as major emitters. It’s going to require the rapid implementation of innovative new ideas and products.

Enter ready-to-roll – literally – “organic energy company” GO-OPV. All the products and applications are manufactured by GO-OPV from organic film printed by Brazilian company Sunew. The product is a thin film called ORENgE that can capture any light and convert it to clean energy in a more efficient way than traditional solar panels. The panels are thin, flexible, ultra lightweight, and can be used both vertically and horizontally.

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  • A research team has developed a way to use a material found in plants to help create safer batteries.
  • The Biden administration raises the cost of carbon, making it easier to approve climate-change actions.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

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February 26

During last week’s power crisis in Texas, prices surged to the market price cap of $9,000 per megawatt-hour for several days, resulting in some huge bills for a lot of homeowners. (To put that in perspective, the state’s seasonal average is $50 per megawatt-hour.) The entire US, not just Texas, has a lot of infrastructure work to do in order to avoid more power crises like this. But in the meantime, how can consumers protect themselves from exorbitant surprise power bills when extreme weather increasingly occurs?

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  • Toyota breaks ground on a green prototype city to foster innovation at the foot of Mount Fuji in Japan.
  • Jennifer Granholm is confirmed by the US Senate as secretary of energy.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

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February 25

Consumer Reports has launched a new Green Choice program for cars. It will use a green leaf icon to identify the new cars, SUVs, and minivans with the best fuel efficiency and lowest contributions to atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and smog formation.

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  • The state of Mississippi is getting its first wind farm, which will deliver 200 megawatts of power.
  • Deb Haaland appears to be headed for confirmation for US secretary of the interior.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

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Systemic tax abuse, corruption, and money laundering slow down climate action, says the United Nations’ High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda (FACTI Panel).

The FACTI Panel, which includes former world leaders and central bank governors, business and civil society heads and academics, says bankers, lawyers, and accountants who enable financial crime must face punitive sanctions.

The panel has today released its final report, “Financial Integrity for Sustainable Development,” in which it says stronger laws and institutions are needed to prevent cross-border corruption and money laundering. As much as 2.7% of the global GDP is laundered by criminals annually.

Electrek spoke with Dalia Grybauskaitė, FACTI co-chair and the former president of Lithuania, about how governments can tackle climate change with global finance reform.

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February 24

Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries, given their light weight and theoretical high capacities, are a promising alternative to conventional lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries for large-scale energy storage systems and electric vehicles. But Li-S batteries currently suffer from poor longevity.

Now, scientists from the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) in Korea have discovered a new catalyst material’s ability to significantly improve lithium-sulfur battery life, giving them great commercial potential.

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  • Xos Trucks to become publicly traded on Nasdaq through merger with NextGen Acquisition Corporation.
  • EV charging industry association ChargeUp Europe gains its 12th member, ABL + reev.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

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February 19

Newly inaugurated US President Joe Biden wasted no time in rejoining the Paris Agreement to fight climate change on January 20. After 30 days, the US has today officially once again become part of the 189-country agreement.

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  • Texas utility ERCOT said that frozen wind turbines were the “least significant factor in the blackout.”
  • The US installed record amounts of wind and solar in 2020, despite the pandemic.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

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February 18

Electrek spoke with Derya Baran, assistant professor of material science and engineering at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, about solar trends.

Baran’s work pushes boundaries in the solar sector, including inventing inkjet-printed solar panels so light they can rest on a soap bubble. She was recognized by the MIT Technology Review as a 2020 Innovator Under 35 in the MENA region.

We asked Baran what she sees as the top 5 future solar trends. This is what she said.

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  • Geothermal company Dandelion closes a $30 million Series B funding round led by Breakthrough Energy.
  • Scottish-made tidal turbine generates power in Japan.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

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