Fusion Power Funding, a new electric vehicle battery plant in Kansas and how food waste is costing taxpayers


This week Current climatewhich every Saturday brings you the latest in sustainability business. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every week.

In the first four months of 2022renewable energy sources provided 25.5% of electricity in the United States, according to a report by Clean Technica based on figures from the Energy Information Administration. This is an increase from 21.7% during the same period in 2020. It is also more electricity than what is supplied by coal in the United States, which was 20.2%, as well as nuclear. Natural gas supplied 34.7% of US electricity during this period, or 34.7%, down from 39.6% of US electricity in the first four months of 2020 .

And here’s what could happen next: fusion energy. According to a new report, investment support for private fusion energy startups increased 139% year-over-year to a total of $4.8 billion. Eight new fusion energy startups have also started in the past year, and private investment in fusion energy now exceeds government funding for development. This interest from private investors may be a sign that fusion power plants could be within reach, a development that would help accelerate the shift away from energy sources that cause pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

The big read

Food waste costs US taxpayers billions of dollars a year

Every year, $400 billion ends up in dumpsters, and because they reduce corporate profits, companies can treat them as tax deductible. Learn more here.

Discoveries and Innovations

New research shows that smoke large fires can spread hundreds or even thousands of miles, causing air pollution that affects people’s health.

biotechnology company Vaxa uses geothermal energy to grow algae that can be converted into protein and omega-3s for food production – and the company says the whole process is carbon negative.

Light pollution in urban environments influences the growing season of plants, which could delay their ability to protect themselves from frost and disrupt ecosystems.

Sustainability Deals of the Week

American-Australian packaging company Amcor is collaborating with the Minderoo Foundation for a $300 million investment to build new plastic recycling schemes around the world, starting with the Netherlands, Brazil and Indonesia.

Natural gas producer CNX has signed a fifteen-year agreement with New technologies to capture residual methane that would normally be vented into the atmosphere and use it instead to produce a biodegradable form of plastic for a variety of applications.

San Francisco-based artificial intelligence company Aquabytefounded by Forbes 30 Under 30 alum Bryton Shang, raised a $25 million Series B round. The funding is intended to expand the company’s product offering, an AI system used by fish farmers to manage the health of their fish.

on the horizon

The United Nations predicts that by November this year, the world’s population will reach 8 billion people, just 11 years after Earth’s population reached 7 billion.

What else we read this week

Can redesigned aluminum help meet copper demand? (Cable)

Catching Fire: Past efforts to coax geothermal energy from hot, dry rock at depth have failed. But new techniques could solve the problem (Science)

Why NASA is sending a dust scanning spectrometer to the ISS (Popular Science)

Green Transportation Update

Jthe electric vehicle revolution is shifting into high gear in the United States, with battery-powered models accounting for 5% of new vehicle sales in the United States at the start of 2022 and expected rapid growth through the end of the decade. To meet this demand, auto and parts manufacturers are pumping billions of dollars into new production capacity. Panasonic Energy, Tesla’s longtime battery partner that has already made billions of lithium-ion cells in the United States, is bringing the EV party to the Kansas prairies with plans for a massive $4 billion battery factory. dollars in De Soto, a suburb of Kansas City. When completed, the plant will employ 4,000 people and create a total of 8,000 new jobs, including at suppliers.

The great history of transport

VW and Audi to recycle electric vehicle batteries through Tesla co-founder’s company

The metals and materials needed to make electric car batteries are expensive and not always mined in the most environmentally friendly way. To ensure that the movement of electric vehicles is as sustainable as possible, it is essential to recycle and reuse lithium, cobalt, nickel and other materials in batteries. Redwood Materials, a fast-growing battery recovery company launched by Tesla co-founder JB Straubel, has added Volkswagen and its luxury unit Audi as new partners and has begun collecting used batteries from their US dealerships. The brands join Toyota, Ford and Volvo Cars in collaborating with Redwood, which hopes to revolutionize the recycling of electric vehicle batteries. Learn more here.

More green transport news

Cummins promotes Jennifer Rumsey to CEO as diesel giant seeks cleantech overhaul

EV Update: Toyota Reaches Tax Credit Phase-Out, GM Refunds Price Cuts to Current Owners

Fuel and electric vehicle prices are going in opposite directions

GM and Lead Company to Build Coast-to-Coast EV Fast-Charging Network

Electric vehicle makers gain ground on Tesla as Chinese rivals loom

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