Last week at Shell’s Eco-marathon Americas, the winning team from Quebec’s Université Laval achieved the equivalent of 2,584 miles per gallon with a car students designed and built themselves. This year, the company added a side event to the regular competition — a symposium entitled Powering Progress Together, which featured a number of prominent thinkers in fields related to motor transportation who came to share their views on the future of this critical sector.
Climate change is a potential threat to the welfare of mankind and its mitigation is becoming urgent. Nuclear energy, which provides one-fifth of U.S. electricity generation, is currently the leading utility-scale, carbon-free baseload power source in America. But it is expensive, controversial, and regulated in a way that poses challenges to technological innovation. So how does nuclear power fit into U.S. climate change mitigation goals going forward?
Held on April 21, the Shell Powering Progress Together forum brought together leaders from business, academia, NGOs and government from Detroit, the Great Lakes Region and the Americas for an interactive forum to discuss and debate opportunities and challenges of energy transitions and the climate challenge. This focused on the need for technology, policy and innovations in mobility and other key sectors to boost efficiency and supply more energy in an increasingly carbon constrained world.
What happens when a nuclear power plant is shut down Detroit News, feat. Catherine Hausman
Most climate debates have focused on cutting the use of coal in electricity production. But besides a few high profile scuffles over the transition to cleaner energy, political leaders have ignored nuclear power as a necessary component of an effective climate strategy.
New Toyota autonomous vehicle hub boosts region’s leadership in transforming mobility
U-M News Service
In a step that bolsters the region's strong driverless technology development ecosystem, the University of Michigan will be collaborating with Toyota in the automaker's plan to establish a major autonomous vehicle research base in Ann Arbor.
More than 700 miles of Great Lakes shoreline potentially vulnerable to Straits of Mackinac oil spills
University of Michigan News Service, feat. U-M Water Center
More than 700 miles of shoreline in lakes Huron and Michigan are potentially vulnerable to oil spills if the pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac ruptures, according to a new University of Michigan computer-modeling study.
As part of the U-M Energy Survey’s ongoing reports regarding the affordability of energy, this brief focuses on the newest wave of data through January 2016. We measure American consumers' views of their energy costs with two affordability indices, one for home energy and the other for gasoline. Each index is based on the costs that consumers say they would find unaffordable compared to their actual energy costs—that is, their own home energy bills and the national average price of gasoline—during the month they were surveyed
It’s Friday, so it’s okay to goof off and watch a video, right? Here’s a short animation by Faculty Affiliate Ming Xu, showing 1500 vehicles moving through Ann Arbor during the day: https://vimeo.com/160034086
Low gas prices create a detour on the road to greater fuel economy
New York Times, feat Michael Sivak and UMEI board member Christopher Grundler
As business between the United States and Cuba grows following President Obama’s historic Havana trip this week, forging ties in the energy sector would benefit both countries.
Cuba’s energy infrastructure is an odd mix of old and new. On the one hand, Cuba still burns crude oil for most of its electricity (one of very few countries to do that). Its antiquated electric grid includes decaying, half century-old equipment. Its vehicle stock is famous for Buicks and Pontiacs dating to the 1950s.
Up for debate: RFS has increased rather then decreased the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere (scroll to bottom)
Bloomberg Government, feat. John DeCicco
The claims that biofuels reduce CO2 emissions rely on lifecycle analysis, a method for comparing the so-called carbon footprint of various fuels. When it expanded the RFS through the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), Congress required EPA to evaluate the lifecycle emissions impact of non-grandfathered biofuels. The agency also adapted the method for its RFS impact assessments. EPA did not originate lifecycle analysis. Rather, the methods used were largely developed by the Department of Energy and academic proponents of renewable energy, and their use was advocated by green groups that back the RFS.
Unfortunately, these lifecycle analysis methods make a serious mistake by assuming that biofuels are automatically carbon neutral. In reality, only under certain conditions does replacing a fossil fuel with a biofuel neutralize the CO2 leaving the tailpipe. For that to occur, harvesting the corn or other feedstock must greatly speed up how quickly cropland pulls CO2 from the air.
Retail gasoline prices are now as low as they were in the “roaring ‘90s.” The 1990s, that is, when the energy crisis of the 1970s had faded from American consumers’ memories, the economy was strong and the market share of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) had more than tripled over the decade.