"Sputnik" Era Upon Us, Steven Chu Estimates
We’re in a new “Sputnik” era according to U.S Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who spoke yesterday about the success of China’s clean energy industries and the potential for the United States to emerge in a new “Sputnick Moment.”
"When it comes to innovation, Americans don't take a back seat to anyone - and we certainly won't start now," said Secretary Chu. "From wind power to nuclear reactors to high speed rail, China and other countries are moving aggressively to capture the lead. Given that challenge, and given the enormous economic opportunities in clean energy, it's time for America to do what we do best: innovate. As President Obama has said, we should not, cannot, and will not play for second place."
Chu outlined a series of clean energy innovation efforts to jumpstart the “Sputnik” revolution, including the Recovery Act funded electric vehicle batteries at 500 miles on a single charge and a project established by the Energy Innovation Hub led by the California Institute of Technology for converting sunlight into usable fuel.
In risk of faltering behind China and other countries, Chu recommended the United States begin focusing on improving the work within high voltage transmission, high speed rail, advanced coal technologies, nuclear power, alternative energy vehicles, renewable energy and supercomputing. While China has been advancing in the last few years with scientific partnerships and global testing, Chu stressed the importance of continuing innovation while focusing on keeping all program local. As China continues to invest in clean energy technologies, so too will the United States, estimates Chu, with 17 National Labs and leading scientific and computing resources already established via the Department of Energy.
Amazon's renewable energy projects surpass 200 milestone
Amazon claims it is now Europe's largest corporate buyer of renewable energy as its projects surpassed 200 globally.
Broken down, it has 136 solar rooftops on facilities and stores and 71 utility-scale wind and solar projects, nine of which were announced today covering the US, Canada, Spain, Sweden and UK. They include:
First solar project paired with energy storage Based in California’s Imperial Valley, Amazon’s first solar project paired with energy storage allows the company to align solar generation with the greatest demand. The project generates 100MW of solar energy, and includes 70MW storage.
It now has more than 2.5 GW of renewable energy capacity, enough to power more than two million European homes a year, and aims to power all its activities with renewables by 2025 and net zero by 2040.
Amazon and Global Optimism co-founded The Climate Pledge in 2019, a commit ment to reach the Paris Agreement 10 years early and be net-zero carbon by 2040. The pledge now has 53 signatories, including IBM, Unilever, Verizon, Siemens, Microsoft, and Best Buy.
A map of all of Amazon’s renewable energy projects around the world can be found here.