Solar tariffs, grid tech, and wind-powered cargo ships — This Week in Cleantech

Solar tariffs, grid tech, and wind-powered cargo ships — This Week in Cleantech
Pyxis Ocean retrofitted with WindWings setting sail for its maiden voyage, August 2023. (Courtesy: Cargill)

This Week in Cleantech is a new, weekly podcast covering the most impactful stories in cleantech and climate in 15 minutes or less. Produced by Renewable Energy World and Tigercomm, This Week in Cleantech will air every Friday in the Factor This! podcast feed wherever you get your podcasts.

This week’s episode features Bloomberg energy and environmental policy reporter Jennifer Dlouhy for a breakdown of the Commerce Department’s final ruling in the Auxin Solar tariff case.

This Week in Cleantech – August 25, 2023

1. Fixing our failing electric grid … on a budget NPR

New technologies are stepping in to maximize the power volumes running on transmission lines and mitigate interconnection backlogs that hamper renewable energy development. But it’s up to utilities, and their regulators, to recognize the opportunity.

A utility in Pittsburgh, Penn. is enabling 25% extra capacity from existing infrastructure using dynamic line rating technology.

2. Europe’s Gas-Guzzling Days Are Fading Wall Street Journal

Europe is benefiting from sharply declining natural gas prices and a faster-than-expected transition to an electrified future. Citing data from think tank Bruegel’s European natural gas demand tracker, the Wall Street Journal reports that natural gas usage in Q1 2023 was 18% lower than the 2019-2021 average.

In another promising development, the European Heat Pump Association said sales of heat pumps rose 39% in 2022. They are now installed in 16% of Europe’s residential and commercial buildings.

3. Pioneering wind-powered cargo ship sets sail BBC

A cargo ship equipped with a pair of “wings” made from the same materials as wind turbines set sail on its maiden voyage to demonstrate a new technology for decarbonizing the maritime shipping industry, which accounts for roughly 2% of global carbon emissions.

Cargill, BAR Technologies, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Yara Marine Technologies collaborated on the effort. They believe could reduce a cargo ship’s lifetime carbon emissions by 30%. The project was supported with funding from the European Union.

4. Solar panels to surround Dulles Airport will deliver power to 37,000 homes Associated Press

Dominion Energy has broken ground on a massive renewable energy project at the Dulles International Airport which stands to be the largest at a U.S. airport once completed.

The Dulles Solar and Storage project will co-locate 100 MW of solar with 50 MW of battery storage and will serve the needs of Dominion customers in Virginia.

In lieu of lease payments, Dominion will develop two, 1-MW solar carports that will partially power Dulles facilities and will provide 18 electric transit buses, and 50 electric fleet vehicles and charging stations for airport operations.

5. Chinese Solar Makers Face New Tariffs After US Says They’re Dodging Duties Bloomberg

Following an investigation that stymied the U.S. solar industry for more than a year, the Commerce Department has determined that some cells and modules completed in Southeast Asia are circumventing trade duties against China.

The agency determined that country-wide determinations against Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam were appropriate given their findings.

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Join us every Friday for new episodes of This Week in Cleantech in the Factor This! podcast feed, and tune into new episodes of Factor This! every Monday.

This Week in Cleantech is hosted by Renewable Energy World senior content director John Engel and Tigercomm president Mike Casey. The show is produced by Brian Mendes with research support from Alex Petersen and Clare Quirin.