Spain outlaws all gas cars in 2050, plus UK builds worlds first geothermal rum distillery. Dept. Of Energy announces $12 Million fund for Enhanced Geothermal Systems projects, and it’s the must-see Kenyan eco-doc, “Thank You For The Rain.”
Spain Outlaws Gas Cars In 2050, UK Builds Worlds First Geothermal Rum Distillery, Dept. Of Energy Announces $12 Million Fund for Enhanced Geothermal Projects, Must-See Kenyan Eco-Doc “Thank You For The Rain”
SPAIN’S NEW CLIMATE LAW ENDS SPANISH FOSSIL FUEL USE BY 2040
A decade after it was first called for, Spain’s parliament has finally approved a potent climate law. The Climate Change and Energy Transition Act bans all new coal, gas and oil exploration and production permits immediately. It prohibits the sale of fossil fuel vehicles by 2040, and driving an internal fossil-fueled powered vehicle will be outlawed beginning in 2050! The law also codifies Spain’s goal to generate 74% of the country’s electricity with renewable sources by 2030, thus committing the country to cut emissions 23% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels.
“For the planet, for our future and for the next generations. From today, Spain has a climate law on which to build a green, sustainable, fair and prosperous future for all,” prime minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted.
Why does this law matter to us? Because it’s the first in the world requiring all companies to set out clear climate action plans with emissions reduction targets that must be achieved over a period of five years. In other words, it creates certainty at the world’s stock exchanges, and if you listen to Marketplace, then you know the world’s stock exchanges love nothing more than certainty.
The law’s passage demonstrates to the world that a nation united around CC can overcome past failures. Spain’s CO2 emissions levels in the last decade had risen to the levels it saw in the 1990s. This new law exceeds even targets set by France, Germany and the UK.
Spain’s energy and environment minister Teresa Ribera described the legislation as “an essential law we must continue to build on that should have been put in place 10 years ago”.
WORLD’S FIRST GEOTHERMAL DISTILLERY
The pandemic has made a lotta people want to drink. They’re still going to want to drink in the post-fossil fuel era. So it only makes sense that a distillery would want to go net-zero. Britain’s first geothermal rum distillery and cask maturation facility could be coming to Cornwall, after the ambitious project was granted outline planning permission ^ by the Cornwall Council.
It’s called Celsius, the Sustainable Distillery Research Center, and is set to be built on the edge of a former landfill, next to where Geothermal Energy Ltd is planning to begin producing zero carbon, renewable power in 2022. The distillery would feature a carbon-neutral design that makes use of geothermal power not only to run the facility but also to mature the rums in casks.
Under the proposals, waste heat would be piped from GEL’s geothermal plant directly into the Celsius center, where pioneering heat pump technology would boost its temperature. The heat will then operate both a copper still for distilling rum and a facility to ‘geothermally’ mature rum in casks.
Matt Clifford, Cornwall Geothermal Distillery Company’s founder pointed out that G7 delegations and world media examining climate change and green job creation will be in Cornwall in June. “What a message it is that Cornwall is the place to invest in renewables – all supported by our local and national governments and business leaders.”
And that’s why this matters to us—this collaboration between a geothermal energy provider and a distillery prove the sky’s the limit when it comes to potential synergies between old-world industries and green tech.
Looks like the “Rodney Dangerfield of renewable energy” suddenly is becoming quite popular…
D.O.E ANNOUNCES $12 MILLION FOR NEW EGS SYSTEMS
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $12 million for technologies that can make geothermal systems more efficient for clean, renewable energy production. This funding will help scientists and engineers unlock the full potential of geothermal power to help tackle the climate crisis, and achieve the Biden Administration’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Called the “Innovative Methods to Control Hydraulic Properties of Enhanced Geothermal Systems” program, the funding opportunity will support the research, development, demonstration, and deployment of technologies and techniques to control the fluid flow in EGS reservoirs, enhancing the connectivity of pre-existing fracture networks and optimizing them for heat mining.
The ability to customize reservoirs will increase their efficiency and longevity—driving down EGS costs, reducing the risk of development, and accelerating the path towards widespread commercialization.
And this is why this matters. A 2019 GeoVision study by DOE’s Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) concluded that the United States has vast geothermal energy potential. We currently generate less than 4 GWe of geothermal energy currently deployed domestically. GTO is using its research and development portfolio to advance technologies and projects that can rapidly increase that number, while supporting thousands of good-paying jobs for American workers—including those in the oil and gas industries that already have matching skills and expertise.
Hey, so if you think you live on a geothermal hotspot, or have just want to get in the game, GTO is looking for you. Applications that address the funding opportunity and a full review of criteria are on their website @doe.gov. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. ET on June 15, 2021.
CLIMATE CULTURE: “THANK YOU FOR THE RAIN”
Released in 2017, Thank You for the Rain is the personal story of a Kenyan farmer’s journey from hardship to empowerment in the rapidly changing climate of his home. Documentary filmmaker Julia Dahr originated the idea. She approached Kenyan farmer Kisilu Musya to see if he would be interested in telling his story. He agreed on one condition—that he be allowed to shoot parts of the film himself in video-diary format.
Said Kisilu, “I agreed to be filmed because I understood that that was how my story and the work I am doing could reach everyone around the world and inspire future generations.” Over a four-year period, he used his camera to capture the impacts of extreme weather on his family and village in Kenya. He filmed floods, droughts and storms.
Kisilu grows mango trees and crops like cassava on his farm where he relies on increasingly unpredictable weather for irrigation. Similarly, his community also suffers climate-induced challenges. So Kisilu took it upon himself to help them understand the problem and explore solutions.
He began mobilizing his community through small group conversations and training sessions on climate-smart agriculture, and progressed from there. Ultimately, he traveled to Paris in 2015 to present his footage to delegates at the UN Climate Talks, where found himself on the biggest political journey of his life.
Thank You for the Rain’s impact producer, Emily Wanja, said, “This film tackles one of the biggest global human threats of our time, which is also an injustice.”