Categories
Energy

Washington D.C Council plans to decree the installation of electric vehicle charging resources in a refurbished building

 

The D.C. Council hopes to compel the owners of the buildings within the District under renovation to develop a charging system doe electric vehicle to hasten the transition to renewable energy. The new bill by the Council proposes that not less than a third of parking lots under refurbishment or in new buildings must create space for the charging of electric vehicles. This bill implies that the buildings must have a constant and sufficient power source that meets the recharging capacity of the electric vehicles. Nevertheless, the house owners do not need to wire their houses with the equipment provided the electricity flowing to the parking lot is enough to charge the electric vehicle. The Council is waiting for a single vote from its members and the authentication by Mayor Muriel Bowser and Congress. 

Bloomberg statistics indicate that almost two-thirds of the vehicles that will be on the roads in the next two decades will be electric. This statistic has necessitated the development of electric vehicle charging stations countrywide and the compelling of real estate agents to plan their houses to accommodate the recharging facilities.

The Council explained that they want more people in this District to purchase electric vehicles to accelerate the transition to clean energy and realize the climatic objectives. This bill’s authorization to become law will hasten the uptake of electric vehicles by residents since range anxiety will be resolved. If this plan goes through, it will take three decades to realize a net-zero carbon emission city.

The acceptance of this bill to become law would make it effective in the next two years. Buildings with more than four parking units will be forced to subscribe to a utility service that provides enough electricity to meet these demands. Nevertheless, the bill has an advantage for house owners who cite financial struggles because they do not adhere to this regulation.

The Energy Department revealed that the charging units’ cost ranges from $300 to $40000 depending on the charging rate of the unit. This data was supplied by the Department five years ago, and hopefully, the values have changed with the introduction of more renewables. Currently, a building with as many as 100 parking spaces would have to invest over $20000 in the charging infrastructure to meet the regulations articulated in this bill.

To sum up, the Council stated that they are forcing this bill to be accepted as law to cushion the District and its buildings from future costly changes to align with the electric vehicle charging resources. The Council added that people wishing to rent in this District would not have the burden of installing recharging systems since they will be readily available in the buildings.

Categories
Space

Doug Lamborn explains that the US must strategize on the training of workers for the expanding space industry

 

Doug Lamborn thinks it would be best if the US Space Force and the space industry start training people for the different exploits in science and technology. This strategy will prepare people to work in this expanding industry. 

Numerous organizations ranging from the US military, the nongovernmental institutions, and academic experts are advocating for the uptake of people into the science-oriented programs. Lamborn advised the education experts to streamline their academic programs with what the space industry demands. 

Lamborn is serving his seventh term as a leader in the US. His hometown hosts the US Air Force Academy, Space Command, and other army units. Lamborn hopes that the homegrown talents can take up the jobs in the space industry by receiving the appropriate training from these institutions. 

Last week, Lamborn organized a joint meeting with various space industry stakeholders to discuss the integration of the training and academics with the job opportunities for the graduates coming from these institutions. 

The discussion narrowed around how they can integrate various departments to establish a dedicated workforce for space operations. Lamborn explained that each stakeholder is performing their duty to prepare the graduates for space jobs in various fields like engineering, scientific exploits, and control technicalities. 

Lamborn anticipates Colorado to become a hub of space workforce preparation since it hosts aerospace facilities and military details. Additionally, the discussion emphasized that space companies must create internship opportunities to train graduates for practical field operations, research, and technology development. 

Lamborn advocates for the Defense Department to authenticate security details for the military space programs to allow students to enroll for training as early as possible. The military should be aligning itself to start bringing in new energetic staff to resume operations on space projects. 

Lamborn has been an instrumental figure in Space Force operations and advocates for the Biden administration to increase its support for these operations. Lamborn hopes that the Biden administration will give the space industry more attention, if not the same as what the Trump administration did to ensure that the US retains its position as the space leader. 

To sum up, Lamborn is keen to ensure that Space Command leadership remains in Colorado to prepare the youth for this sector’s jobs. He added that he would abide by what the House and Congress come up with to accelerate the space industry’s expansion.

Categories
Energy

Volkswagen is developing the ID4 electric vehicle to challenge Model Y in China

 

Volkswagen has taken the bull by its horns, announcing that it would start developing the ID4 crossover electric vehicle in China to compete with the Tesla brand Model Y on the brink to garner the global market share. Volkswagen ID4 is the latest electric vehicle with its roots in Wolfsburg and will be rivaling Tesla’s Model Y to determine its performance and gain popularity.

The development of a car that rivals the Tesla models has been growing since the company expanded its operations and set a high price for its electric vehicles. Volkswagen made a public statement earlier about developing an electric SUV in China with $6.54 billion. The Volkswagen efforts seem to have yielded results because this model’s sales escalated in China by a whopping 3% when the overall sales plummeted due to the coronavirus pandemic. This rise in sales has granted Volkswagen the right to claim itself a giant in the European electric vehicle production as stipulated by JATO’s records.

The manufacture of ID4 in China will place Volkswagen in a competitive position with Tesla’s Model Y, which started gracing the Asian market not long ago. Volkswagen is also preparing to unveil a manufacturing site for this model in Australia to beat the schedule to reach out to various markets.

Automotive News reported that Volkswagen is rolling out ID.4 Crozz and ID.4 X, brands of ID.4, in China to give consumers a test of its manufacturing performance. In a real sense, the company is testing the market with these two models as pilot designs before it can decide whether to bring in more brands to China or not.

All the details available about these two brands is that they are emerging from different factories in different Volkswagen sites in China. Additionally, ID.4 X si slightly enormous than ID.4 Crozz. Reports indicate that ID.4 Crozz is under development at SAIC Volkswagen’s assembly point in Anting, China. This facility is worth $3.5 billion with the purpose to develop and assemble electric vehicles. The factory revealed that they could manufacture 300000 electric vehicles annually courtesy of the MEB electric vehicle production strategy.

On the other hand, ID.4 X is going into production at Volkswagen’s factory in Foshan, China, a company being run under Volkswagen’s partnership with the FAW Group. This factory also produces 300000 electric vehicles in a year.

Finally, Volkswagen revealed that the two models would be unveiled in the Chinese market very soon during the Beijing workshop. They unraveled the Golf 8 and Tiguan X. Nevertheless, the company resumes the development of the brands in its German facilities.

Categories
Space

Virgin Orbit Acquires Shares in Sky and Space Global

The bailout for Sky and Space Global (SAS), a satellite constellation facing financial difficulties, came in the form of Virgin Orbit with the company planning to invest in SAS and partner in launch and satellite services. In a statement given on 28 October, SAS disclosed that Virgin Orbit would acquire not less than a 14.7 percent stake by purchasing each share at $0.20 Australian ($0.14). Virgin Orbit is also expected to have the option to buy a further seven million shares at $0.40 each in the coming three years and also have an observer in the SAS board of directors.

Although the magnitude made on the company by Virgin Orbit was not disclosed, a different filing in the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) stock market indicated that SAS intended to auction 11 million shares at $0.20 or $2.2 million Australian. To pave the way for the investment, the two parties will be required to terminate an earlier launch agreement valued at $55 million Australian. The two companies will then sign a three-year deal that will see SAS receive $ 1 million each year from Virgin Orbit. The companies are also expected to agree to and promote each other’s services. 

SAS chairman Xavier Kris echoed his delight to have partnered with Virgin Orbit both as a partner and a stockholder in this crucial time. The company is working on the recapitalization of its operations short-term commercialization of its nanosatellite communication technology. Kris joined the company July this year as part of a company shuffling after SAS entered voluntary administration, a form of bankruptcy fortification after failing to raise funds.  SAS had projected to launch a constellation of 200 CubeSats to offer communication services but were unable to raise the required funds after the initial launch of three satellites back in 2017. SAS, which had entered a contract with Danish smallsat builder GomSpace to construct its constellation, failed to make payments prompting the latter to cancel the contract. 

According to Stephen Eisele, the vice president of business development at Virgin Orbit, the new management at SAS had offered to allocate equity and options to Virgin Orbit as part of a new agreement that favors their current recapitalization efforts. Though Virgin Orbit confirmed its plan to invest in SAS, the company stated that the deal was yet to be completed.  According to Eisele, this intervention is meant to help SAS launch its satellites together with Virgin Orbit. He said that his company was thrilled with SAS’ mission and team and was eager to help them launch their satellites aboard the LauncherOne.

Categories
Space

International Space Station value by astronaut Chiao Leroy

One of the most experienced though retired NASA astronauts addressed the world on the importance of the International Space Station. He shared his vast experiences in two talks that took place through an online channel. 

Leroy has flown into space four times, so he has a lot to share. The first talk was a panel discussion that was held on Friday, October 30, at 7:30 p.m. EDT. He talked of how he has served the International Space Station for 20 years. Among the panelists were astronaut Nicole Scott, Susan Helms, and Jack Fisher. The moderator of the panel was Pearlman Robert. The other was an individual talk that was held on Monday, November 2, at 7 p.m. EST.  

Leroy said that it is necessary to provide continued support on the International Space Station since it is a testing ground for life support systems and research, especially biomedical. He said that long period missions are faced with many challenges, one being the health of astronauts. Leroy said this is due to a lack of exercise, leading to weakened muscles, bones, and poor blood flow. When a long-time flyer is in this condition, he/she takes an extended period to come back to normal. 

Many devices have been tested by the International Space Station to help space flyers in better health. One of these devices includes the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) that helps astronauts carry weight-lifting in microgravity. 

For Leroy flying in space has helped him also gain cultural experience apart from the technical one. To participate in his first long time mission, Leroy was trained for three and a half years. He learned the Russian language to a high level of expertise. The space flyer has also taken part in spacewalks in both the Russian Orlan suit and the NASA Extravehicular Mobility Unit suit. Leroy said there are benefits and demerits of taking part in both spacesuits though he enjoyed the experience. 

Leroy said that he had an enjoyable experience when he voted from the space in the 2004 presidential election. The ISS American crew members also shared the same in the 2020 presidential election that ended on November 3. He said that the voting process was straightforward, as he only received an email from the voting registrar with an encrypted Word file. He opened it using a password, and it was the ballot paper. Leroy sent it back, and his vote got transcribed. 

Categories
Energy

The Manufacturer’s Solution of the Electric Vehicle’s Rare-Earths as per IDTechEx

 

It is no secret that one of the primary materials of electric vehicles is magnetic. For them to drive the electronic motors, their composition includes kilograms of magnetic materials. As of 2019, statistics indicated that more than 80% of their global population use motors which are permanent magnetic based. Essential materials of the magnets are dysprosium and neodymium, and the earth materials are hard to come across. It is hard to come across them, and the globally leading producer of the same is China. Some years back, almost a decade since the incident took place in 2011, there were dysprosium and neodymium export limitations in China. Consequently, the price rose by 2000% for the former and 750% for the latter.

In addition to high price volatility worries, the materials also pose a danger to the environment. That is ironic since the sole purpose of transitioning to electric vehicles is to protect the same. However, it delivers the no-emission problem, which is good for the environment. The problem is the rare-earths that create the magnets that they use. During their extractions, they are usually trapped amidst radioactive materials, and a good one is thorium. The separation needs carcinogenic compounds such as hydrochloric acid, ammonia, sulfate, and the worst part, not in small quantities. Therefore, by the end of creating a tonne of the rare-earths, you will also have 2000 times the toxic waste

There have been proposals to eliminate or reduce rare-earths when manufacturing motors from vehicle manufacturers. The likes of BMW, Audi, and Renault have recently started using rare-earth alternatives. Renault has settled for copper windings for the Zoe, whereas Audi’s e-tron uses an aluminum rotor induction motor. The truth is that the number of permanent magnet motors keeps increasing despite efforts to reduce rare-earth. Between 2015 and 2019, the percentage of permanent magnet-based motors risen from 79% and 82%. The reason is understandable since its efficiency improves the driving range. While Tesla used copper induction motors for Models S and X, they settled for the permanent magnet motor when making models 3 and Y. Another notable effort is China’s control in rare-earth supply.

Despite that, the reduction of the same by the Electric Vehicles manufacturer is indisputable. Besides, they use motors that use less magnetic materials than previous versions. For instance, Honda and Nissan’s likes that were among the original equipment manufacturers are reducing and eliminating dysprosium. Now, the problem is the increasing demand for Electric vehicles. Regardless of the reduction of the magnetic materials, the need for the same will increase with time. Hopefully, things will be under control, eventually.

Categories
Energy

The UK realigns its renewable energy industry to prepare for the incoming rivalry

The UK government’s move to realize net-zero emissions in the next three decades, together with Ofgem’s decarbonization mission, has taken shape in the country with more utilities preparing to transition to renewables. Last year sparked the desire to restrategize and halt climate change brought about by carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. Although Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion’s efforts seemed futile last year, they invoked a sense to reclaim the atmosphere from the growing climatic changes by bringing in renewables. Renewables have helped the UK start thinking of changing the pollutive sectors like transportation and energy to clean energy and resolve the emission problems.

The ongoing plan is to substitute gas utilities with renewable energy programs and halt ICE cars’ usage. This strategy must have started taking shape by 2035 to reveal the region’s zeal to realize the climatic resolutions. These objectives’ achievement will take up more money, which the government said it would be contributing to partly. The coronavirus outbreak spiked the realization of some of the objectives since moat of the industries went into undue lockdown, minimizing emissions. Additionally, most emissive vehicles stayed out of the roads as the owners were following the shelter-in-place measures stipulated by the ministry of health. The pandemic has revealed that it is possible to substitute fossil fuels with renewables since it is a plausible strategy to revive the economy.

RenewableUK’s Nathan Bennett stated that the pandemic has not reversed the climate dilemma but has rescheduled the plan to implement renewable energy programs. This year marks the swift transition to clean renewable energy since oil and gas demand plummeted exceedingly, almost crashing the economy. A revival plan will entail renewing renewables like wind and solar energy on a large scale to boost this smooth transition that will halt environmental degradation.

It is clear that gas and oil companies have glanced at the future and are slowly investing in renewables to remain relevant in the market. In April, the big flop for these utilities revealed their vulnerabilities, making them start to strategize on new technology. The government supports the innovations and technologies gracing the energy sector with the likes of electric vehicles proving to be an efficient technique to halt fossil fuel consumption. Companies are now competing over who offers the best green energy tariffs escalating the uptake of green energy.

Ofgem has been keenly observing companies’ reports on the green energy they supply to minimize greenwashing cases. Greenwashing is where companies state exaggerated figures for the renewables that they supply. Nevertheless, more suppliers and utilities will emerge with the ongoing award of contracts to companies that give feasible proposals to generate renewable energy. Another crucial strategy in the transition is installing over 10 million electric vehicles on the UK roads and developing home charging systems to accelerate demand for these vehicles. On the other hand, companies have decided to invest in new technology to meet the research and development departments’ needs. This move will enable the smooth supply of electric vehicles to meet the demand of consumers.

Additionally, more jobs will emerge from the offshore wind energy projects, hydroelectric plants, and construction of facilities to generate renewable energy. Companies like Tesco, Google, and Whitbread have revealed their intention of utilizing renewable energy, making other bigwigs also desire this strategy for growth.

In conclusion, experts and analysts believe that the UK economy will be on its feet once again, provided the government and the citizens continue pushing for the transition.

Categories
Space

SpaceX supports 100 Mbps transfer speeds and space lasers with the new Starlink update

 

SpaceX said previous tests in its fast-developing group of internet provision satellites are providing promising results. The tests are done internally on the beta type of services of the internet from the Starlink project from the company that shows the super low latency with a more incredible downloading speed, which is higher than 100 megabits in second. The information above came from Kate Tice, a senior certification engineer at SpaceX, during the live broadcast at Starlink’s launch last Thursday. 

Tice added that Starlink’s latency is low to watch online games, video, and fast downloading speed with the ability to stream several HD movies simultaneously and have the capacity to bandwidth to standby. Starlink’s initiative has hopes to more than ten thousand satellites with broadband in the orbit of the Earth, covering the Earth in fast internet speed that is affordable. The CEO of SpaceX, Musk Elon, stated that he has faith that Starlink will reach the remote and rural areas. Currently, more than 700 broadband satellites for the company are in the orbit of the Earth. 

Tice continued to state that SpaceX has finished the test for two orbiting satellites, containing inter-satellite links that were informal as space laser. The space laser technology makes Starlink satellite move the orbit’s orbit to the device other than beaming to the ground then to the phone.  With the space laser’s availability, the Starlink satellites can transfer many gigabytes of data. When the space laser functions totally, Starlink is among the fastest satellites available to move data worldwide, Tice stated.  

She said that Starlink is about to complete the first part of the separate beta planning and testing, and it will bring to the public trial schedules other times this year.  The SpaceX company is contacting people who have applied to be part of program beta. On Thursday, the launch was a record-breaking activity: 180 satellites launched within a single month, the fast launch of a satellite in the world’s history. The 180 satellites followed more than 300 satellites for SpaceX company to increase the Starlink activeness.  In May the year 2019, Musk said to have an economically viable system, it needs more than one thousand satellites in orbit. 

From there, SpaceX has plans to keep soaring towards floating internet backbone which can be able to offer high-speed web access to a large part of the planet. The company has asked for permission to put a combined total of 42,000 satellites into the orbit to create a ‘megaconstellation’ around the Earth. 

Categories
Space

Russia could be preparing to resume Nuclear-powered Cruise Missile Testing

 

Satellite images are indicating that Russia is in preparation for resuming the nuclear-powered cruise missile test flights. That’s as far as experts who have analyzed the new satellite images. The testing area is the Pankovo launch site around the Arctic Circle that it dismantled before.

In September, Planet Labs captured the images. They showed a lot of activities happening on the site. The concern is that it was once the test site for the nuclear-powered cruise missile by the name Burevestnik. The findings are from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies researchers Michael Duitsman and Jeffrey Lewis.

According to the pair, the missile testing pause that Russia took in 2018 seems to have ended. They base the argument on the various activities, including new construction, including the launch pad’s rebuilding. Equally important, there has been a probable missile checkout building and many shipping containers in a pair of support areas.

According to the duo, Russia carried out a similar test flight from the same launch site in November 2017. After that, it carried out an array of similar tests for months. However, it did not register any successful test.

Claims about new construction are based on a video that Russian President Vladimir Putin released in March 2018. It was about a nuclear-powered cruise missile test, and comparing it with the new satellite images; there is a noticeable change.

Two U.S. officials commented on that, saying they are aware that in efforts to improve its advanced weapons program, Russia is preparing to resume nuclear-powered Cruise Missile Testing. Steps on the same include the Oniks cruise missile launch from Arctic’s military base and the White Sea’s test of a hypersonic cruise missile. Russian Ministry of Defense is yet to comment on the new findings.

At the moment, both Moscow and Washington are considering the extension of a key arms control agreement. The START treaty will expire in less than a year. The stagnation of the talk was evident from Marshall Billingslea’s, the top U.S. negotiator, tweet. However, hope was restored when Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the country is willing to pause its nuclear arsenals if that’s the only requirement that U.S. will table for the New START extension. The U.S. is also coming forward through the State Department spokesperson to say that the country is ready to meet and finalize the same as soon as possible under the new Russia’s condition.

According to reliable sources, Trump is eager to close a nuclear deal with Russia not later than the November election. His wish was to involve China, but that seems impossible as China keeps rejecting such talks.

Lewis says that the extension of the New START treaty is crucial to some extent. As much as it might not stop the nuclear-powered cruise missile testing since it is not part of the agreement, its absence would see the two countries begin an arms race.