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Did You Know? August 2022

Did you know that Tesla has asked customers not to charge their cars? Well, those in Texas anyhow. Turns out that according to The UK Independent newspaper, Tesla has asked Texans not to charge their cars during a heat wave in order to avoid overloading the electric grid. This alert comes as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates that state’s grid, is asking residents to conserve energy in order to avoid the grid becoming overloaded. Makes you question the plan for renewable generation, or lack thereof one.

As we all know and have felt in our pockets, oil and gas prices are high and it seems that is going to be the case for some time to come. Why is that? Well, did you know that over the past ten years, investment in oil and gas exploration and development has dropped in half from approximately $3.2 trillion to a projected $1.65 trillion by 2025? Don’t forget that oil has many more uses than internal combustions engines.

Did you know that the just passed U.S. Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 promises a $7,500 tax break on purchases of new electric vehicles (EVs)? Looks good on paper, but there is a catch. It seems, according to The Verge, USA News, CNBC and several other sources, that the rules are written in such a way to effectively disqualify every EV that’s on the market today. Evidently, there’s a requirement that at least 40% of battery materials must be sourced from North America or a U.S. trading partner, and according to the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, “The $7500 credit might exist on paper, but no vehicles will qualify for this purchase incentive over the next few years.”

Did you know that nuclear energy is more than 3 million times more efficient in generating electricity than coal? According to Credit Suisse, 1kg of coal can generate 7kWh, the same amount of oil can generate 13kWh, whereas, 1kg of uranium-235 is capable of generating 23,000,000 kWh. 

Did you know that while many areas in the US and around the globe are experiencing record heat, which means an increase in energy consumption, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) issued a study in May stating that “in terms of electricity consumed, a typical home will average about 1,050kWh per month between June and August 2022, which would be 2.9% less than the summer of 2021?” This forecast decline is primarily a result of an expectation that summer weather will be milder than last year. Tell that to the folks in Texas and Europe! 

Did you know that global coal fired generation is increasing despite efforts to curb it and augment it with renewable energy? The BP Statistical Review of World Energy reveals that in the 20 years since 2001, global energy derived from coal had increased from just over 6,000 terraWatt-hours (TWh) to 10,244 TWh. Seems like new coal burning plants are being opened a lot faster than they are being closed down. This is looking like a giant seesaw between West and East, where as the West declines the East (Asia) goes up. 

It looks like things are slowly changing on the battery front. Lithium may no longer be king of the castle. Did you know that more and more EV, Energy Storage, and some UPS users are looking at other technologies? And now the reason is not just because of safety issues and the fact that competing technologies are becoming available, but other factors such as the rising costs of lithium battery materials and supply chain issues. For example, an International Energy Agency (IEA) report claims that global battery and mineral supply chains need to expand ten-fold to meet projected critical minerals needs by 2030. This would require 50 more lithium mines, 60 more nickel mines, and 17 more cobalt mines to meet needs. The IEA says that after extractable sources are identified, feasibility studies, permits, engineering work and construction, which can take up to 16 years, it can take four to more than 20 years for a mine to begin commercial production. Do the math!

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