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EGEB: Los Angeles approves largest solar and storage system in the US, more

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Los Angeles has approved the largest solar and storage system in the US — enough for nearly 1 million residents.
  • Italy is going to make climate-change study mandatory in state schools.
  • A new report names the countries responsible for the most fossil-fuel emissions. 

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

LA goes big with solar and storage

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti is the new chair of C40, a coalition of 94 global city mayors who have committed to a Green New Deal and are recognizing the climate crisis. Looks like Garcetti is putting his money where his mouth is.

According to the mayor’s website:

Eric Garcetti [yesterday] announced unanimous City Council approval of power purchase agreements for the Eland Solar and Storage Center — the largest solar and battery energy storage system in the United States.

The Eland Solar and Storage Center will help Los Angeles reach 55% renewable energy by 2025, 80% renewable energy by 2036, and 100% renewable energy by 2045.

The Eland Solar and Storage Center will be LADWP’s [Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s] first utility-scale, integrated solar and battery project engineered to provide fully dispatchable power to customers in the evening and night time hours — reducing reliance on natural gas when renewable energy is unavailable.

The center is located on 2,650 acres in Kern County, California. It will include two solar facilities that will capture 400 MW of solar energy and store up to 1,200 MWh of energy. The site will be capable of powering 283,330 homes across Los Angeles.

The project will create 700 jobs over the 14-month construction period and employ 40 operations and maintenance staff once it’s up and running.

Italy’s schoolkids to study climate change

Italian education minister Lorenzo Fioramonti confirmed that starting in 2020, Italy will become the world’s first country to make it compulsory for children to study climate change and sustainability in school, in an exclusive interview with Reuters.

Fioramonti said all state schools would dedicate almost one hour per school week to climate-change issues from September 2020. This will add up to 33 hours per year. Further, the subject will also be integrated into other traditional subjects such as geography, math, and science.

The education minister is a former economics professor at Pretoria University in South Africa. Fioramonti told Reuters at an in-person interview at his office in Rome:

The entire ministry is being changed to make sustainability and climate the center of the education model.

I want to make the Italian education system the first education system that puts the environment and society at the core of everything we learn in school.

Worst emissions offenders

Consultancy Capgemini has released its “World Energy Markets Observatory 2019” report, which names the countries who are causing the largest rises in greenhouse gas emissions with fossil fuels. While renewables are definitely making progress, emissions rose by 2% globally in 2018, compared to 1.6% the previous year, thanks to these offenders.

The top three? India, the US, and China. (US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who just said he was “proud of [the US’s] record as a world leader in reducing all emissions,” are you listening?)

According to Bloomberg Quint:

Emissions jumped 6.3% in India, rose 3.4% in the U.S., and 2.3% in China… Southeast Asia, where coal use continues to grow, also saw emissions jump, led by Vietnam and the Philippines.

The increase was driven by a 2.3% rise in energy consumption, nearly twice the average annual growth rate since 2010, with the bulk of it coming from oil, coal and gas-fired power, according to the report.

However, there was also some good news:

  • The European Union leads the world in emissions reduction, with greenhouse gas output falling 2.5% last year and by 22% since 1990.
  • Global renewable generation rose 14.5% in 2018 as the cost of installing wind and solar power continues to fall.
  • Electric vehicle sales surged 78% in China, 79% in the U.S. and 34% in the EU.

Bottom line, more money needs to be invested in the clean energy sector by all countries.

Photo credit: Martin Adams/Unsplash

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Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.