Two of Canada’s biggest pension funds opened the year with new investments in offshore wind and overseas renewable energy projects, after a year of taking sustained criticism for their continuing commitment to fossil fuels. A leading sustainability consultancy profiled Canada’s clean energy powerhouses, Calgary-based ATCO Ltd. bought $713 million worth of solar and wind projects from oilsands operator Suncor Energy, and bids opened for onshore wind projects across nearly 1.7 million hectares of government-owned land in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Trottier Energy Institute’s Normand Mousseau warned that Quebec’s power distribution grid is “very fragile”, pressure tubes in Ontario nuclear plants were deteriorating faster than they should, and the Canada Green Building Council began looking into the carbon capture potential of concrete. Documents showed the RCMP spending nearly $50 million policing pipeline and logging protests in British Columbia, and federally-owned Trans Mountain Corporation had its fine for harming nesting birds along its construction route reduced from $88,000 to $4,000.
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Clean energy in the U.S. is now almost always cheaper than gas plants thanks to new tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act, and Rhode Island aims to be the first U.S. state to use IRA tax credits to deliver solar to low-income homeowners.
Google wants more clean electricity than some southern U.S. utilities want to supply, a Louisiana utility is considering 10 gas-fired microgrids to build resilience against severe storms, and gas stoves are linked to 12.7% of childhood asthma cases, according to a new study. Seniors were particularly vulnerable during weather disasters, heat waves compounded with drought threatened “socio-ecosystem productivity”, and the Biden administration’s Environmental Protection Agency put off plans to limit smog from fracking operations in the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico.
A former steel town in West Virginia will get a new lease on life building long-duration iron-air batteries, two California utilities are planning the country’s biggest long-duration storage project featuring batteries and green hydrogen, and U.S. grid planners are concerned about a looming transformer shortage.
Wind supplied a record 26.8% of the United Kingdom’s electricity in 2022, India aimed for 125 GW of new renewable energy and Scotland set its sights on 20 GW of onshore wind by 2030, China started work on a massive green energy megaproject in Inner Mongolia, and Norway and Germany signed a green energy development deal. North America was on track for a terawatt-hour per year of electric vehicle battery production by decade’s end.
The first U.S. tanker carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) arrived in Germany, a U.S. government auction for oil and gas drilling sites in Alaska generated one bid for just one block of land out of 193 on offer, and solar manufacturers were urged to use less silver in their panel designs. Forests in the Australian state of New South Wales could become net carbon emitters in the decades ahead, and a rogue geoengineering experiment began releasing reflective particles into the atmosphere.