LINKS OF THE WEEK: Oct 15-21, 2023
Green cement, solar-generated hydrogen, America's $3.5 billion grid investment, and "the most important climate policy you've never heard of." Plus: Micromobility America recap coming soon!
I’m a day late in getting this installment of “Links of the Week” out because I went to the Micromobility America expo in San Francisco last week and it's taken me a couple of days to catch up on all the things I didn’t do while I was there.
I’m so glad I went, though, because the event itself was awesome! It was super interesting to spend a couple of days hanging out with some of the people and organizations that are pushing the micromobility industry forward in many different ways.
I’ll be writing a recap of the event and sending it out later this week – so stay tuned for that if you’re interested to learn more about the many types of “smaller than a car” electric vehicles and supporting technologies that are being developed now and could play a role in creating our transportation future.
In the meantime, here are some of the other interesting stories that made the headlines last week:
The money will go to 58 different projects across 44 states to strengthen and decarbonize the country’s power grids. The Department of Energy says the projects will get more than 35 gigawats of renewable energy online and also support 400 microgrids for locally generated energy and protection from outages that affect the larger grid.
British non-profit think thank Ember has released a report saying that half of the world’s economies are already five years or more past their peak in generating power from fossil fuels. According to the report, emissions from these 107 economies – which represent 38% of total energy demand – have fallen almost 20% in the last decade.
The National Academy of Sciences has released a 600-page roadmap that offers 80 recommendations for how the U.S. can reach net-zero by 2050. It can be done! We just need the public support and political willpower to make it happen.
Companies within the EU now have to declare the embedded emissions associated with any imported goods that are covered under the legislation, such as such as concrete, steel, iron, and fertilizers. Wired magazine says it could be “the most important climate policy you have never heard of.”
Brimstone Energy CEO and co-founder Cody Finke says his company’s calcium silicate cement is cheaper to make than traditional Portland cement and absorbs carbon in the atmosphere instead of emitting it. Given that the cement industry is responsible for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, here's hoping his cement lives up to his claims.
But wait! Looks like his company isn’t alone! →
Former LA Laker and Oz actor Rick Fox is the co-founder and CEO of another new company claiming to make carbon-negative concrete. Last week the company presented a house in Nassau, the Bahamas, that was made without emissions and is expected to remove 180 metric tons of CO2 as it solidifies.
The fact that numerous companies are making similar claims gives me some hope that maybe this technology will pan out. 🤞
The author of a new report exploring the potential of developing offshore wind farms off the coast of Atlantic Canada says that harnessing the power of wind could turn that region into an “energy superpower” akin to Texas and its oil fields. The report says turbines on Sable Island Bank alone could generate 70,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity a year – twice the amount of energy currently used in the region.
Engineers at MIT say they have designed a new solar-powered hydrogen creator that could harness 40% of incoming sunlight, making it much more efficient than current solar thermochemical hydrogen systems, which capture only 7%. File this one under, “good news if true!”
(Quick side note on the headline of the article linked above – when I first read it, my initial reaction was like, wait, 40% OF THE SUN'S HEAT? Are we talking about the same ball of fire that burns at 5,600C°??? I realize now that's not what the article is saying - but it did make me do a double take... 🤔)
I’m always a sucker for a good seaweed article! Especially one that highlights how seaweed has long been a traditional food source for humans. (Side note: I just started reading The Seaweed Revolution: How Seaweed Has Shaped Our Past and Can Save Our Future by Vincent Doumeizel and YES, you can bet your booty I’ll be writing a review of it when I’m done.)
Speaking of topics I can’t help but be a sucker for….
This Walrus article by Anne Thériault offers an interesting look at the magic of mushrooms and why they’re currently having a moment. (And oh yes I am totally going to try making Lion’s Mane “crab cakes” now.)
Finally, to get you hyped for my Micromobility America update, here’s a Washington Post article provides a good overview of why ebikes are becoming more popular: “An E-Bike Is Not An Expensive Bike. It’s A Cheap Car.”
… as well as an article I wrote a while back to explain why I think micromobility is going to play a significant role in creating a transportation future that works for all of us: “The Massive Appeal of Micro-Vehicles.”
I hope you enjoy them and have had a great start to your week! ✌️