Renewables Yield More U.S. Power than Nuclear
Renewable energy trumped nuclear power in US domestic energy production for the first nine months of 2011, according to a report from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). In its latest monthly energy review, the EIA found that 11.95 percent of energy produced in the first three quarters of the year came from renewable sources, compared to 10.62 percent from nuclear.
Among the renewable sources of energy recorded, hydropower contributed the most to domestic energy, with a whopping 4.35 percent, followed by biomass (3.15 percent) and biofuels (2.57 percent). Furthermore, renewable energy accounted for 12.73 percent of net electricity generation in the US.
Despite skeptics' accusations that renewables still have a long way to go, these reports show just how fast it's actually growing—we need to be reminded by numbers every once and a while.
SEE OTHER TOP STORIES IN THE ENERGY DIGITAL CONTENT NETWORK
In the first three months of 2011, renewable electrical output increased by over 25 percent; solar-generated electricity increased by over 104 percent; wind by over 40 percent; hydropower by over 28 percent; and geothermal by over 5 percent. Comparably, nuclear-generated electricity increased by a mere 0.4 percent and coal-generated electricity dropped by 5.7 percent.
However, these numbers can be somewhat misleading. Nuclear still accounts for over 20 percent of all US electricity, compared to just 5.2 percent from all renewable energy. But, it should be noted that nuclear has had a headstart compared to most forms of renewable energy and that more projects are planned for renewable energy than any other form of energy. In solar power alone, there are 30,000 megawatts worth of projects waiting approval in the US (ten times what is already installed), according to the American Public Power Association. It's just a matter of time before renewables trump nuclear and coal completely, so long as the government enforces policies to help with the transition.
GM-backed Cruise robotaxis to operate in Dubai from 2023
Futuristic-loving Dubai is teaming up with General Motors to introduce Cruise self-driving taxis in the city from 2023 and become the first to operate the vehicles outside the US.
It plans to ramp up the vehicles, which have been operating in San Francisco, to 4,000 cars by 2030.
In a statement, it said the move supports Dubai’s 2030 vision for self-driving technology, as the emirate seeks to reduce transportation costs by AED900 million a year and save AED1.5 billion a year by reducing environmental pollution by 12 per cent.
It added that it would generate AED18 billion annually by increasing the efficiency of the city's transport sector.
Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, saidt he selection of Cruise was not taken lightly and it engage in a comprehensive, multi-year process to choose the best possible partner.
"Cruise’s technology, resources, purpose-built vehicle, automaker partnerships, approach to safe testing and deployment and strategy give them the ability to launch safely and faster than any other company," he said.
Vehicles collect petabyte-scale data daily from sensors, complementing ML, AI and robotic technology.
In January, Cruise and General Motors entered into a long-term strategic relationship with Microsoft to accelerate the commercialization of self-driving vehicles, leveraging Azure, its cloud and edge computing platform (click here).
Microsoft will join General Motors, Honda and institutional investors in a combined new equity investment of more than $2 billion in Cruise, bringing the post-money valuation of Cruise to $30 billion.
"Advances in digital technology are redefining every aspect of our work and life, including how we move people and goods,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. "As Cruise and GM's preferred cloud, we will apply the power of Azure to help them scale and make autonomous transportation mainstream."