Berkeley, CA is looking to make strides in the clean energy business. Currently, Berkeley is the only city in the United States that has implemented a ban of Natural Gas in residential and low-rise construction. This natural gas ban is falling in line with the current west coast trend to cut down on fossil fuel dependencies. According to Berkeley City Council member, Kate Harrison, natural gas accounts for 27% of the greenhouse gas emissions.
Over the past 18 months the coal-fired capacity outside of China has shrunk, but China continues to drastically increase the amount of coal-fired power plants, according to a study from Global Energy Monitor. China grew their coal-fired plants by 42.9 gigawatts (GW), while the rest of the world saw a decrease of 8.1 GW, averaging out to a net growth of 34.9 GW globally. While the country is a clean energy leader, the amount of coal usage has yet to slow. According to Global Energy Monitor, this large growth of coal is not compatible with the Paris Agreement’s plan to keep global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius.
Seattle is making an attempt to move aggressively towards cutting the city emissions. In September, Mayor Jenny Durkan signed a bill that would tax home heating oil an additional 24 cents per gallon. This tax would be on top of the existing 10% heating oil tax that currently exists for the residents of Seattle. This tax will take effect starting during the summer of 2020.
Alternative energy is certainly an interesting concept in many aspects. Often referred to as “Clean Energy,” alternatives can also include solar, wind and water based production. As our current world tries to push for a change on how power is sourced, there has been an effort and an investment to change from fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gasses towards alternatives to create sustainable and inexpensive options for energy production.
New big rig player, Nikola Motors, is looking to add their mark in the transportation industry. Nikola is a startup operation based in Arizona that is “all in” on Hydrogen powered semi-trucks. While the theory of Hydrogen powered transportation has proven to be enticing, the actuality has eluded engineers over the past 50 years. The largest hold back in the eyes of Nikola Motor, is that the tank sizes necessary for passenger vehicle operation has proven to be bulky and inefficient. Nikola Motors is thinking around the scenario. If you can’t condense the storage, increase the vehicle size.