Britain’s Climate Action group halts construction of UK’s largest gas-fired energy plant, plus a Maryland county makes record-breaking electric school bus purchase. Germany needs more renewable energy storage to keep up with its renewable energy production, and in our Climate Culture series, it’s “Storytelling with Saris.”
British Climate Action Halts UK’s Largest Gas Energy Plant Construction, Maryland County Makes Record-Breaking Electric School Bus Purchase, Germany Needs More Renewable Energy Storage, “Storytelling with Saris”
CULTURE OF CLIMATE CHANGE: “WARMING WATERS” EXHIBITION, PART OF “STORYTELLING WITH SARIS” SERIES–MONICA JAHAN BOSE
Recently, on The Climate Daily, we profiled artist/activist/attorney Monica Jahan Bose and her work with the Katakhali Project, teaching women in that small Bangladeshi island village farming and fishing adaptation and resilience strategies in the face of sea level rise and climate change.
Today, in our “culture of climate change” segment, we’re sharing with you another of Jahan Bose’s projects–Storytelling with Saris. It’s a multi-layered collaborative art and advocacy project that uses woodblock prints on saris, writing, oral history, performance, and film to empower communities in the U.S. (and Europe) to address climate justice in solidarity with the women of that same Katakhali Village.
Monica Jahan Bose, whose maternal roots are in Katakhali, collaborated with 12 women from Katakhali who have recently acquired literacy and climate adaptation skills and are valiantly fighting climate change, despite losing their homes after repeated severe cyclones. The longterm project highlights and documents the Katakhali women’s personal stories as inspiration for others to act.
WARMING WATERS is a temporary public art project and climate justice art collaboration that combined the communities in Washington DC and Katakhali Village in Bangladesh to print, write, and paint on 22 saris. The saris were then draped on the C&O Canal wall in Georgetown, along with projections in the evening. The projections showed the participants making the saris, images of the Bay of Bengal, pages from the Katakhali women’s climate diaries, and Americans making handwritten climate pledges.
DEEPER DIVE: Storytelling with Saris
CLIMATE ACTION GROUPS HALT CONSTRUCTION OF UK’s LARGEST GAS-FIRED ENERGY PLANT
A legal challenge for the U.K. government’s approval to build the largest gas power plant in Europe failed in the court of appeals. Prior to the challenge, government leadership overruled climate change and environmental pollution objections from the planning authority.
Reported by the Guardian, energy giant Drax planned to build the power station in Yorkshire, England. In operation, the power plant would have accounted for 75% of the U.K.’s power sector emissions. Back in 2019, the plan was flagged by the Planning Inspectorate on the grounds that it “would undermine the government’s commitment, as set out in the Climate Change Act 2008, to cut greenhouse emissions [by having] significant adverse effects.”
However, thanks to the work of climate action groups, construction of Europe’s largest gas plant comes to an end. In an interview with the Guardian, a spokesperson for the Department of Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy said, “we welcome the court of appeal’s ruling. As we transition to net-zero emissions by 2050, our record levels of investment in renewables will meet a large part of the energy demand.”
DEEPER DIVE: The Guardian
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD PUBLIC SCHOOLS’ ELECTRIC BUS PURCHASE LARGEST IN COUNTRY
A bit of Green Tech news. The Climate Daily recently reported on how Fairfax County, a Virginia suburb of Washington, DC partnered with Dominion Energy to deliver 8 electric school buses to its Fairfax County Public School system. Not to be outdone, Montgomery County—a Maryland suburb of Washington, DC– just announced that its school system has approved a contract with Highland Electric Transportation to deliver 326 electric school buses over the next four years. This project represents the largest single procurement of electric school buses in North America.
MCPS currently deploys 1,400 school buses to transport its 160,000 students to over 200 schools in the county. The Safe-T Lincer C2 Jouley electric bus will be built by NC-based, 105-year old Thomas Built company. Each bus will have 226 kWh of total energy capacity and an operating range of up to 135 miles on a single charge.
And why this is important is because this project isn’t just about buses. It’s about building the infrastructure, the electric ecosystem that will sustain long-term success. The project’s partners, American Bus and Proterra will electrify the five MCPS bus depots. And MCPS has reached an interconnection agreement with DC regional power provider PEPCO to use stored electricity from the buses to deliver electricity to local markets. That move helps the community integrate renewable energy and support grid resiliency, while also making the buses available as mobile backup for communities affected by power outages. The agreement represents a major shift by PEPCO, a company long-opposed to alternative power generation inside its market area
The second reason is the twin issues of health and environment. Converting the school bus fleet will reduce carbon emissions by 25,000 tons per year while cutting diesel pollution harmful to human health, contributing to both the state of Maryland and Montgomery County goals.
DEMAND FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY STORAGE SOARS AS RENEWABLE ENERGY SURGES IN GERMANY
Germany’s ambitious transition to renewable solar and wind energy requires new energy storage facilities and batteries to get the job done. Reported by DW News, roughly 42% of Germany’s electricity is sourced from renewable energy, and all coal-fired stations are expected to close by 2038. However, as wind and solar energy cannot always provide necessary amounts of electricity, the country is in demand for energy storage centers.
In the meantime, several German companies have used old and new batteries from electric vehicles to store power. One Munich-based system developer The Mobility House alongside its partners, worked to find a solution and combined roughly 2,000 lithium-ion modules from 600 Smart electric vehicles to build a power storage facility.
According to DW News, the demand for energy-storing batteries is likely to surge as more coal-fired stations close and the country relies on renewable energy.
DEEPER DIVE: DW News