Reasons for Hope Nov 29, 2020: First country to make Ecocide a crime
OMG Julian too much text what's the gist
Sorry! There's just too much exciting good news. I'm trying to go t-shaped from now on: I deep dive one area of particular interest, and skim the others.
In this issue I deep-dive into virtual power plants, with a case study from Forbes on how it works practically.
The cash continues to flow to enable climate crisis solutions. Both in vertical areas (such as hotel investment funds) and horiztonal (Europe-wide)
Lots of positive progress on country policies. France's doing some particularly interesting things!
January is a special time for the US because two Senate seats will decide the level of friction Biden & Harris will have on policy enforcement for the rest of the 4 years. This is a critical event on the world stage.
Energy: virtual power plants are a proving to be a huge win for everyone
Property developers have huge opportunities to make a big difference because they're enabling consumption at scale.
Soleil Lofts is a 600 apt complex that has a virtual power plant built-in. It's pretty exciting because of its scale (12MW), making it one of the largest in the world.
The complex is completely littered with solar panels for capture. (Utah has a bunch of sun.)
But oversupply and undersupply is a drag, so batteries are a way of smoothing it out.
Microgrids and Virtual Power Plants are different ways of sharing energy across households.
Another drag: each of the 600+ "swarm-controlled" batteries are super pricy still, $50k or more.
So property developers for Soleil Lofts have decided to keep ownership of the batteries. Apt owners get more reliable, discounted and green energy.
Obviously as batteries get cheaper, there's a future where this cost is something everyday consumers can afford.
More on virtual power plants:
Virtual Power Plants and The Future Ubiquity of Energy Creation -- article from which most of my notes came from
Drawdown.org section: Distributed Energy Storage
Natural Resources: Google tree shade tracker
Google Canopy Lab tracks shade: Starting with Los Angeles, CA, Google has launched project Tree Canopy Lab. It looks satellite images of green bits in a map, and makes a judgement on the coverage. Apparently 40% is a key milestone; LA is at 10%. Stay tuned: fingers crossed Google doesn't get bored of this before it scales to global scale.
Policy: France to make ecoside a crime
The Paris Agreement sets emissions objectives for each country and part of it was to update them every 5 years with more ambitious targets. Great news -- 150 countries have updated their committments. This includes China and most of Africa. Russia & the US stand out but the last Reasons for Hope edition gave me hope that this will change within 3 months or so, with news from both camps.
Activism: Why Georgia, USA in Jan 2021 could decide the fate of the planet
The ease at which Biden-Harris can execute on their climate change plan will be decided by who wins the George, USA senate run-off. I know almost nothing about most of those words, but I care deeply about the future of a habitable Earth for my kids. So for those who have cash or time, this is a list of things you can do to help the Democrats secure Georgia.
Finance & Investment
There's a simple message coming from a growing number of investors: "be nice to the Earth or we pull our cash".
What about Christmas?
A global cleanup operation: we're talking people all over the world, walking around and collecting thousands of tonnes of rubbish then sorting it and in some cases recycling it.
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