America just reached a tipping point. New EVs account for more cars on the road than the growth in the auto market. In other words, there are fewer gas powered cars on the road. And with all the tax incentives for EVs, it’s hard to imagine the trend will reverse. All that means that sometime in the past year or so, the U.S. passed peak gasoline. We are never going to buy as much gasoline as we once did. What will it mean for the American economy and the country’s politics when the fossil fuel industry starts to behave like a shrinking sector? At the same time, the renewable energy industry is only limited by its own supply issues. Solar is inevitable. Investment in manufacturing is pouring into once-moribund regions, bringing good-paying technical jobs for non-college workers. What kind of political realignment will come from that kind of economic revitalization flooding into the heartland? The rhetoric of grievance that has driven our national conversation for decades will change. Will it make a difference?
For the last Weekly Sun of 2022, I dive into what the fusion announcement means for renewable energy, the difference between fission and fusion, and how Einstein’s most famous equation fits into it all. Also, I take a walk through a dying West Virginia steel town that is being resurrected by a whole new iron manufacturing model.
More and more, the world we immerse ourselves in is fraught. It’s not just the news that is troubling, but the way we discuss it. Social media makes us miserable, but it also draws us back time and time again.
Of late, my work at ADT Solar has me writing The Weekly Sun, a weekly look at interesting news in the renewable energy field. I’ve been surprised by how much pleasure it brings me. I get to be a little goofy, pick a theme song for the week, and write about progress toward a worthy goal.
It turns out that writing about hopeful things makes you more hopeful. Who knew?
This week I wrote about the quest to find useful things to do with the space around solar panels in utility scale installations. Don’t be surprised in sheep grazing amongst the panels becomes a common sight in coming years. It turns out cows don’t fit and goats have a bad habit of chewing up the wiring and jumping on the panels.
I also look at the federal governments effort to fix the Puerto Rican power grid with solar energy.