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Energy

The Role of General Motors in the U.S Transition to Unsustainable Renewable Energy

The latest announcement from General Motors was about 180-megawatt solar projects. One exciting part about this project is that its power is equal to approximately 47,882 homes annually. The solar energy source is photovoltaic solar modules, whereas its location will be First Solar, Inc. solar field in Arkansas. According to the agreement, General Motors will be at liberty to store energy then use it in the future.

The agreement is significant for the company because it could change some statistics associated with it. One of them is its 11th position in the list of the largest renewable power off-takers in the United States. It will also see its renewable energy use go beyond 1 gigawatt. Nevertheless, it can only cement that it is leading in the same way as the manufacturing industry. The purchase agreement will see two General Motors Site transform to being powered by solar energy fully. They are both in the Midwest, namely Wentzville Assembly and Lansing Delta Township Assembly in Missouri and Michigan. The rest of the power will be directed to the Lansing Grand River Assembly.

First Solar official, Georges Antoun, who serves as the chief commercial officer, expressed the company’s appreciation towards the decision by General Motors. According to him, it is evident that GM supports solar technology, and the investment will go towards powering factories that play a huge role in industrial resurgence around the Midwest. On the other hand, he added that the company is happy to help GM manufacture using sustainable solar electricity. Consequently, GM will be better suited to move towards a zero-emission future while maintaining its track record in automotive excellence. 

First Solar is among the nine largest solar manufacturers globally. Still, it is the only one with headquarters in the U.S. Its investment in expanding the Ohio factories exceeds $1 billion so far. In addition to the cash flow, it offers direct jobs to 2500 employees in the U.S and a considerable fraction, 1600 employees, work in the manufacturing facilities. There are also indirect jobs since it has over 240 supplies across Ohio.

Dane Parker, Chief Sustainability Officer at GM, explains the reason behind the solar project. He claims that sustainability is also paramount as much as the goal is towards zero-emissions and all-electric future. No wonder GM is looking for a source of power that is emission-free and renewable and powerful enough to support the factories and the vehicles simultaneously.

It is the third renewable project by GM. It is relentless in supporting green power use voluntarily through such projects. Fortunately, the company has already received recognition for the same. It was the winner of the 2020 Green Power Leadership Award. GM continues to support green power through power purchase agreements and on-site renewable energy and green tariffs projects.

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Space

The deployment of a satellite composed by a student put on hold

Students of the University of Georgia have completed their research satellite development and are waiting for the green light to deploy it to space. The institution conducted a trial launch of the Spectral Ocean Color (SPOC) satellite, which they called off a few minutes after takeoff.

The satellite will be part of the Antares rocket that will be departing from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. This satellite’s purpose is to observe the marine life on the US coastal line.  The satellite will be instrumental in the research by UGA and other marine agencies. The satellite’s optic system will enable it to magnify the aperture of the coastline and send alerts when something poisonous enters the ocean due to industrial and economic activities.

UGA’s Small Satellite Research Lab professor, Deepak Mishra, explained that this satellite is a product of the partnership between aggressive students and professional researchers at UGA. Mishra explained that the students utilized their skills for this project while the researchers handed them a scientific vision to pursue. 

Mishra explained that the students incorporated their skills and labor in the project throughout the past the coronavirus pandemic. She added that the researchers were there to give their prospects and guidance on research development.

The students explained that they sought for something challenging to pursue and give solutions from scratch. The UGA researchers facilitated this prospect by guiding through the production process and giving out pointers since they know about satellite development.

Mishra divulged that NASA saw their research had potential and decided to support the prospect by securing them a rideshare opportunity on one of the international rockets. The research lab developing the satellite has been expanding, with more students registering for classes and gaining practical skills in engineering and projectiles’ physics.

The program has graduated some of the students into space engineering and technology, with some of them pursuing internships at NASA’s research center in Silicon Valley. Nevertheless, the project has also encountered challenges ranging from malfunctions to postponement of test flights.

Additionally, the coronavirus outbreak put more operations on hold, considering that the engineers and students had to follow the measures proposed to curb the virus’s spread. Currently, operations have resumed, with few students being at the research centers and others observing and learning via zoom meetings.

To sum up, NASA stated that the UGA students have an opportunity to chip into their programs with their ideas, provided they are relevant. The agency also plans to display launch operations for students to learn more details and rectify where they view amendments will be tolerable.

Categories
Space

World Space Week 2020 Celebration to be Held

 An international celebration run by the U.N to celebrate space science is expected to take place next week, and it will allow for public participation in the event. The celebration, referred to as the World Space Week, is held every year, running from 4th October to 10th October, and this year’s gala program will be mainly focused on satellites.

The week features events presented by space agencies involved, aerospace companies, museums, schools, and astronomy clubs. With the Covid19 pandemic, this year’s event is expected to be different though strict measures have been put in place to ensure there is no spread of the virus. 

During an interview with Space.com, Maruska Strah, the executive director of the World Space Week Association, this year’s theme will be the satellites’ comprehensive advantages as things that we do not usually have in our thoughts and take them for granted. He further stated that while the world is still connected even with the pandemic, it is thanks to the satellites. 

While speaking to Space.com, the World Space Week Association President, Dennis Stone, stated an ongoing revolution in the satellite sector with a heightened range of ease of access and uses. There is a need to view with open minds what’s taking place in the satellite sector. On giving his examples of the industry’s emerging trends, Dennis talked about the development of CubeSat and the LEO mega-constellations. He further stated that satellites over a broad array of applications, especially in global issues like animal migration and the spread of diseases.

According to Strah and Stone, the event organizers will be forced to cut on the number of events expected to take place during the expo due to public safety concerns, especially when the world is faced with the covid19 pandemic. Stone further added that though this is an obstacle, there are many ways in which science can be brought to the people at home and encouraged those taking place in celebrations to honor space and satellites to do so in a safe way. He gave an example of a simple task that was not putting anyone in danger like parents and their children coming out in their backyards at dusk and searching for satellites and trying to learn more about them and their capabilities.

Strah was also optimistic about the worldwide connection, which can be brought about by virtue events where digital gatherings can bring together people from different parts globally without having to travel.

Categories
Energy

California’s transition from coal to renewable energy 

For many years, California has continued to hold potential for future development for renewable energy. California contributes to the second-highest share of the United States’ energy consumption due to its large economy driven by a high population. Despite the high energy utilization rate, the state boasts of being among the country’s energy-efficient states’ leaders. In the past decade, the state government rolled out legislative initiatives to kick-start its transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. In 2015, California mandated the SB 350 that enforce a 50% of its electrical power generation from the state’s renewable source, a vision it anticipates to achieve by 2030. The energy transition program includes the gradual phasing out of fossil-fuel-powered electricity generation facilities by replacing their infrastructure to utilize renewable energy. The technologies incorporate renewable energy storage techniques and other hybrid energy systems to produce electrical power for the national grid. 

Governor Jerry Brown, the serving California representative, enacted a law in 2018 that mandated all utility companies to strive to achieve zero-emission electricity production by 2045. Governor Gavin Newsom, the current state official, endorsed a directive ordered by the executive to ban the purchase of brand-new gasoline-powered automobiles by 2035. California continues to take additional steps to attain a zero-emission economy for the state’s future. This point of view pictures the state as the brilliance of renewable energy. 

However, a closer examination of California’s history of energy utilization during the past centuries indicates a different energy scenario. In the 1800s, experimental explorations led to identifying oil reservoirs and an abundant natural gas deposit in Central Valley. The discovery resulted in an increased demand for fossil fuels to boost California’s economy, turning the state into a crude oil supplier. Central Valley earned the name California’s oil capital. Statistic reports in 2018 indicated that California emerged as the seventh-largest supplier of the country’s market demand for crude oil. However, oil fields dispersed across different counties in Southern California are operational until today. Consequently, this perspective paints the state as a well-thriving economy driven by fossil-fuel-powered industries and businesses. 

Energy experts suggested that California’s energy history stimulated the need to transit to renewables. Most of the state’s post-war period shows how California continued to thrive on coal-fired electricity imported by the state from different out-of-state power facilities in the West. California imported electricity from Intermountain Power Plant, one of the primary coal-fired facilities in Delta, Utah. The plant supplied California with electricity since the 1980s.

In summary, California’s energy sector’s two perspectives continue to bring a mixed reaction because experts warn that it depends on the study’s intended purpose. Nevertheless, California continues to strive to improve its transition to renewable energy. 

Categories
Energy

Both Biden and Trump consented to support electrical lorries throughout the argument

Out of all the important things raised throughout the 2020 governmental argument, a minimum of one got assistance from both Trump and Biden. According to the 2 governmental prospects, they support electrical lorries. When mediator Chris Wallace inquired about environment modification and how they were preparing to safeguard the environment, they had a lot to state. The majority of the concepts were various, however a minimum of they highlighted the electrical lorries’ thing. The similarity QuantumScape, Panasonic, General Motors, Ford, and Tesla should have been delighted by the assistance. After all, they are amongst the business making charging facilities, vehicle along with battery.

From their research, the International Energy Agency concluded that 880,000 electric vehicles were sold in the United States in 2019. Including all the battery-powered vehicles sold across the world in 2019, the total was 2.1 million. However, that is only a fraction of 2.6%, considering the total number of cars sold that year. As far as HIS Markit is concerned, by 2025, the percentage will not have risen much. The forecast says that its percentage of the total will be 9.1%. According to Tom Biden, one way of protecting the environment is for the government to support electric cars greatly. One way of doing so is to put up half a million charging stations along all the highways built in the future.

Statistics from Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), under the U.S. Department of Energy, the number of electric vehicles charging stations in the United States is 68,000. Out of that number, 22,620 are in California.

The need for charging stations is to eliminate range anxiety. That’s especially for people taking long trips in electric vehicles. Despite charging the car overnight at home, knowing that they can also do that along the highway can be relaxing, no doubt. On the other hand, Trump and Wallace got into an exchange about fuel economy standards. Nevertheless, he said that he was a great motivator and encourager when it came to electric cars, which isn’t changing. However, he said that what was happening in California was crazy.

However, his annoyance regarding the vehicle emission standards in California stood out. He also didn’t seem to agree with the plans Of Gavin Newsom. The Governor plans to ensure that selling new gas-powered trucks and cars will be impossible in the state by 2035. Trump’s change of heart was noticeable. After all, he has in March 2019, through the White House, proposed to end federal tax credit amounting to $7500 to someone buying an electrical car rather of a gas-powered one. His modification of tune was very first kept in mind throughout a CNBC interview hosted by Joe Kernen. Throughout that time, Trump acknowledged that Tesla CEO Elon Musk was a genius and the nation had the duty to support its geniuses.