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California 🤝 Geothermal // Concerns with the energy transition // Norway explores nuclear power

Welcome to Grid Brief! Here’s what we’re looking at today: California’s geothermal play, is the ‘energy transition’ underway, and Norway explores nuclear power.

California Turns to Geothermal for Clean Power Goals

Geothermal plant in Iceland

From its first demonstration to providing power to Google’s data centers, Fervo Energy has had a busy past 12 months. Now the geothermal startup has reached another milestone.

This week Fervo signed an agreement with Southern California Edison to supply 320 megawatts to one of California’s largest utilities. The power will be generated at a new geothermal power plant in Utah and will provide enough energy for 350,000 homes.

In 2021 the California Public Utilities Commission directed the state’s utilities to procure clean energy from baseload sources such as geothermal to ensure grid stability. Fervo specializes in advanced geothermal technology which is not as geographically constrained as its traditional counterpart.

Is the Energy Transition Underway?

Last week the Energy Institute’s Statistical Review of World Energy—an annual report on global energy markets—was released. While some policymakers, influencers, and activists are adamant that an “energy transition” is possible, the numbers from the Statistical Review tell a different story:

  • Daily global oil use reached a record 100 million barrels;

  • Coal use jumped 1.6%, led by growth in India; and

  • Fossil fuels met 84% of the developing world’s energy needs.

While fossil fuels use may be growing, so is clean energy:

  • Renewable energy generation jumped 13%, a record high;

  • Nuclear power production increased by 2%; and

  • Emissions in Germany, Japan, the U.S., and the U.K. fell.

So is the energy transition underway? Or is the world experiencing an energy expansion?

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Conversation Starters

  • Carbon cleanup comes to Louisiana (Bloomberg)

    Heirloom Carbon has announced plans to build a direct air capture (DAC) facility near Shreveport, Louisiana. A part of a larger regional DAC hub funded by the Department of Energy, this facility will capture 17,000 tons of atmospheric CO2 annually.

  • Norway explores nuclear power (World Nuclear News)

    Norway’s Minister of Energy plans to create a commission to explore adding nuclear power to the nation’s energy portfolio. While neighboring Sweden and Finland have embraced the power source, Norway has shelved nuclear power production since the 1970s.

  • Western supply chains spring into gear (Reuters)

    Germany, France, Australia, and the U.S. are looking to reduce China’s dominance of the rare earth supply chain. Australia’s Lynas Rare Earths, for instance, is planning to open a rare earth processing facility in Texas by 2027.

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