Energy briefs

** Bill Gates and his energy company are starting construction at their Wyoming site for a next-generation nuclear power plant he believes will “revolutionize” how power is generated. Gates was in the tiny community of Kemmerer Monday to break ground on the project.

** The Supreme Court solicited the Biden administration’s views on two lawsuits by the city of Honolulu that accuse the oil and gas industries of knowingly suppressing the truth about their roles in climate change. “The Solicitor General is invited to file a brief in these cases expressing the views of the United States,” the court wrote Monday.

** California’s attorney general on Monday sought to force the world’s biggest oil companies to give up profits the state alleges they made while deceiving consumers about their role in contributing to climate change. The legal action comes months after a new state law took effect that allows the attorney general to seek profits earned by companies while they violated laws against unfair competition and false advertising.

** The federal Bureau of Land Management’s preferred alternative for a proposed large-scale wind energy farm in southern Idaho would shrink its size by nearly half and move it farther from a national historic site.

** The sales growth of fully electric vehicles in the U.S. has slowed in the past year, but the sales of hybrid vehicles surged by 53% in 2023. Surveys show Americans are hesitant to go fully electric because of high sticker prices and the lack of reliable charging infrastructure.

** Atlanta’s recent water woes are part of larger infrastructure issues impacting broad swaths of the country, experts say, reported The Hill. Three water mains in the Georgia city broke on May 31, leaving numerous residents without water. Many residents remained under a boil water order for days, even as a major pipe was repaired.

** West of San Antonio, Texas, a massive 208-megawatt solar farm has come online, per an article published in Electrek. The solar + storage has 80 megawatt-hours of storage and can power 41,600 homes.


** The amount of crude oil and oil products flowing around the Cape of Good Hope, located at the southern tip of Africa, increased nearly 50% in the first five months of 2024 compared with the 2023 average as commercial vessels avoided chokepoints in the Middle East.

** An Italian energy start-up is pursuing plans to build 20 mini reactors across the UK, as it seeks to capitalise on the country’s nuclear power expansion.  Newcleo is aiming to build a fleet of so-called mini-nukes on up to six sites in Britain, all of which will be situated near energy-intensive industries.

** China has a “near monopoly” on the mining of many raw materials that are critical for the production of semiconductors and other technologies, JPMorgan said Monday, highlighting the importance of key minerals in the escalating U.S.-China trade war.