California bans gas cars, half a billion for better energy and Amazon’s green hydrogen bet

California bans gas cars, half a billion for better energy and Amazon's green hydrogen bet

Of this week Current Climatewhich brings you the latest news on the sustainability profession every Saturday. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every week.

On thursdaythe Department of Energy announced that it is granting $540 million in awards from 54 universities and 11 national laboratories for researching innovations in both clean energy technologies and production methods that produce lower amounts of carbon dioxide emissions. Projects include research into better commercial solar technologies, research into direct air capture of carbon dioxide, reducing the cost of hydrogen production and long-term energy storage on the grid.

“The research projects announced today will strengthen the science base the United States needs to remain a global leader in clean energy innovation, from renewable energy to carbon management,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.

The Great Lecture

Utah Fintech Entrepreneur Clay Wilkes and His Wife, Marie, Donate $20 Million for New University of Utah Climate Center

Wilkes, who built and then sold fintech company Galileo Financial Technologies, says there is an urgent need to tackle climate change — and he hopes other universities will take up the same challenge.

Read more here.

Discoveries and innovations

PepsiCo announced that it is expanding its use of supply chain materials such as displays and shipping pallets made with biodegradable plastics manufactured by UBQ Materials.

Researchers of MIT to have developed a battery architecture the use of cheap materials such as aluminum and sulfur instead of rare materials such as lithium. The batteries can be used for different applications.

Concerns about climate change have prompted researchers to look for more environmentally friendly air conditioners. A possible new solution: air conditioners made with solid refrigerantsof which Harvard researchers have developed a prototype.

Sustainability deals of the week

Carbon cycle: Carbon management company Carbon direct has announced that it raised a $60 million funding roundwhich will be used to expand its business to help its customers achieve their goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Rural solar energy: Solar contractor ES Solar and energy storage company sonnen partner with energy company Rocky Mountain Power to expand its Wattsmart program, which supplies batteries to customers purchasing solar energy systems.

Wildfire Fighting: Germany-based Dryad, which builds solar-powered sensors for early detection of wildfires, has announced that it will: raised $10.5 million series A financing round.

on the horizon

Heat and low rainfall have brought the Colorado River to a “tipping point,” causing the federal government to drastically reduce the amount of water available for use. If trends continue, it could threaten a number of activities, including power generation from the Hoover Dam.

What else are we reading this week

China’s fragile economy is plagued by driest riverbeds since 1865 (Bloomberg)

Why congestion prices reduce traffic better than new highway lanes (Popular Science)

Actions on climate change are far more popular than people in the US realize (Scientific American)

Green transport update

CCalifornia is the biggest buyer of passenger cars in the US and is the main electric vehicle market, with 15% of new car sales being battery powered so far this year. But the Golden State has even bigger goals for zero-emission cars: This week it officially passed a rule banning the sale of gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035, the most aggressive target set yet. The state accounts for about 11% of all new vehicle purchases in the US and states including New York, Massachusetts, Washington and Oregon follow California’s auto pollution rules, so the new law has the potential to become a de facto national standard. to become.

The big transport story

Amazon buys ‘green’ hydrogen from Plug Power in $2.1 billion stock option deal

Hydrogen is receiving much more attention from governments and heavy industries looking for an additional tool to reduce carbon emissions. Now Amazon is making a big bet on the clean fuel with a plan to buy a whopping $2.1 billion of “green” hydrogen — made from water and renewable electricity — from fuel cell maker Plug Power. As part of the deal, Amazon may also own 16 million shares of Plug.

Read more here.

More green transport news

Falling gas prices expose fickle EV flirtation

Introducing Electrify America’s Roaming EV Test Fleet

Gatik and Cummins Powertrain Optimization Partner

Audi E-Tron GT, an EV where the letters really mean Grand Touring

Electric car sales in Europe expected to accelerate, but doubts remain

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