A Miscellaney of Energy News

So now we’re informed that indoor pot operations have a huge carbon footprint:

A new study by Colorado State University researchers suggests the indoor production of cannabis draws heavily on electricity needed for heating, venting, and and air conditioning no matter where in the country the operation is located. This in turn creates a relatively large carbon footprint and contributes to increased production of atmosphere-damaging greenhouse gas emissions.

Just wait till you see the carbon footprint when someone figures out crypto-weed.

With American car-makers like GM engaging in cheap virtue-signalling with announcements that they will cease making internal combustion cars by 2035, it is worth noting that Toyota, the company that first brought hybrid-electric cars to the U.S. market, is saying, “Not so fast.” P.J. Media reports:

Toyota’s head of energy and environmental research Robert Wimmer testified before the Senate this week, and said: “If we are to make dramatic progress in electrification, it will require overcoming tremendous challenges, including refueling infrastructure, battery availability, consumer acceptance, and affordability.”

Wimmer’s remarks come on the heels of GM’s announcement that it will phase out all gas internal combustion engines (ICE) by 2035. Other manufacturers, including Mini, have followed suit with similar announcements.

Tellingly, both Toyota and Honda have so far declined to make any such promises. . .

Toyota warns that the grid and infrastructure simply aren’t there to support the electrification of the private car fleet. A 2017 U.S. government study found that we would need about 8,500 strategically-placed charge stations to support a fleet of just 7 million electric cars. That’s about six times the current number of electric cars but no one is talking about supporting just 7 million cars. We should be talking about powering about 300 million within the next 20 years, if all manufacturers follow GM and stop making ICE cars.

It is worth remembering that the much-celebrated hybrids Toyota introduced more than 20 years ago came about because Toyota rightly calculated that a previous environmental enthusiasm wouldn’t work as promised. Around 1990, California mandated that 2 percent of all new vehicles sold in the state by the year 2000 would be zero-emission, which meant electric cars in practice. This was intended to be “technology-forcing,” and despite GM spending millions on developing the EV-1, the technology just wasn’t available to make a practical all-electric car.

Toyota guessed, correctly, that the mandate would be abandoned Emily Litella style (“never mind”) and that regulators would bless very-low emission vehicles as a substitute, and voila, Toyota was on the spot with the Prius, while GM wrote off millions (maybe billions) in capital costs for their crappy EV-1. Since most people only drive their cars a short distance, hybrids by Toyota and other manufacturers did more to reduce vehicle-emissions than a stupid zero-emission mandate did.

So maybe GM will indeed try to turn itself into Tesla, but I’m betting Toyota, Honda, and other foreign manufacturers won’t abandon internal combustion engine cars, and might take a larger share of the market in 15 years. And liberals will wonder what happened to our auto industry.

Remember how we’re told that China is now on board with the Paris Climate Accord? Well, somebody forgot to tell China:

China’s new coal power plant capacity in 2020 more than three times rest of world’s: study

China put 38.4 gigawatts (GW) of new coal-fired power capacity into operation in 2020, according to new international research, more than three times the amount built elsewhere around the world and potentially undermining its short-term climate goals.

The country won praise last year after President Xi Jinping pledged to make the country “carbon neutral” by 2060. But regulators have since come under fire for failing to properly control the coal power sector, a major source of climate-warming greenhouse gas.

Including decommissions, China’s coal-fired fleet capacity rose by a net 29.8 GW in 2020, even as the rest of the world made cuts of 17.2 GW, according to research released on Wednesday by Global Energy Monitor (GEM), a U.S. think tank, and the Helsinki-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA). . .

China approved the construction of a further 36.9 GW of coal-fired capacity last year, three times more than a year earlier, bringing the total under construction to 88.1 GW. It now has 247 GW of coal power under development, enough to supply the whole of Germany.

If you have 15 minutes, here’s the latest in a series of what I call “hippies for nuclear power” (or just sample a little if you don’t have 15 minutes):

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