Top 5 Tuesday - March 14

The massive quest for the minerals we need in a clean energy future
By Anca Gurzu, Cipher, March 8, 2023

As the world shifts away from the legacy fossil-fuel system, green technologies and infrastructure will drive the demand increase for critical minerals over the coming decades.

To be sure, we're talking about huge amounts of new resources, but still fundamentally fewer than our current energy system requires. Oil and natural gas must be continually extracted and burned to produce energy, whereas minerals once mined will be used for technologies with much longer lives, like solar panels or car batteries.

Inside The Race To Tap A Controversial Source Of Carbon-Free Energy: Nuclear Waste
Alexander C. Kaufman, Huffington Post, Feb 7 2023

Last year, Congress earmarked billions in President Joe Biden’s landmark climate law for tax credits and subsidies to boost nuclear power and revive the domestic supply chain for the atomic energy industry.

The Department of Energy just recently picked three uranium mining companies to build up the federal government’s strategic reserve of the metal.

Inside the Global Race to Turn Water Into Fuel
By Max Bearak, Giacomo d’Orlando, The New York Times, March 11, 2023

A consortium of energy companies led by BP plans to cover an expanse of land eight times as large as New York City with as many as 1,743 wind turbines, each nearly as tall as the Empire State Building, along with 10 million or so solar panels and more than a thousand miles of access roads to connect them all.

But none of the 26 gigawatts of energy the site expects to produce, equivalent to a third of what Australia’s grid currently requires, will go toward public use. Instead, it will be used to manufacture a novel kind of industrial fuel: green hydrogen.

Ammonia could become an essential fuel in a low-carbon future because it emits no carbon when combusted. We could use it in ships, heavy industry and even mixed with coal or gas in power plants.

So what are the barriers to using it as a low-carbon fuel? And why would you use it instead of hydrogen, which you already need to make ammonia?


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