A bet on green hydrogen, GM expects EV profits by 2025 and world population hits 8 billion

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Eearlier this week, the United Nations has estimated the world population to be 8 billion people. It’s only 11 years after the world’s population reached 7 billion. Earth’s population reached 4 billion people in 1974, which means it took less than 50 years for the population to double. That said, this rate of growth is not expected to continue. The UN estimates that the rate of growth has started to slow and is expected to affect only about 10.4 billion people by the end of the century. And this growth will be concentrated mainly in about 8 countries, while the rest of the world is experiencing lower birth rates coupled with aging populations. Thanks to advances in medicine, the proportion of the population over the age of 65 will increase from about 10% today to 16% in 2050. According to UN estimates, India is expected to overtake China as as the most populous country in the world next year. Together, the two countries are home to around 2.8 billion people, more than a third of the world’s population.

Quick interview note: there will be no edition of Current Climate next week. Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday!


The big read

Is green hydrogen the fuel of the future? This CEO is betting on it

Plug Power’s longtime CEO is repositioning the fuel cell maker to become a producer of water-based hydrogen and renewable energy to reduce climate-warming industrial carbon pollution in steel, oil and agricultural industries.

Learn more here.


Discoveries and Innovations

Rising global temperatures and the spread of air pollutants could worsen the symptoms of neurological diseases including dementia, stroke, Parkinson’s disease and ALS, researchers have warned in a new report.

This week, 54 species of sharks have been granted increased international conservation protections, bringing almost all species of sharks hunted for their fins under the treaty protection of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

A major seafood organization has announced that it will no longer recognize lobsters caught in the Gulf of Maine as sustainable, dealing a blow to lobster fishermen amid an ongoing environmental battle to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale.

MIT researchers have discovered a method that could pave the way for the practical production of solid state batteries.


Sustainability Deals of the Week

Bioplastic foam: Cruz Foam, which has developed a bioplastic foam made from shrimp shells, announced that it had secured an $18 million Series A round.

Direct aerial capture: Carbon Engineering announced this week that it has received “millions in investment” from Air Canada and Airbus to advance direct air capture technology to industrial scale.

Solar south: First Solar announced earlier this week that it had chosen a location for its fourth manufacturing plant in Lawrence County, Alabama. Investment in the facility will total approximately $1.1 billion and is expected to go into production in 2025.

Geothermal energy: GoogleX spin-off Dandelion Energy has announced that it has raised a $70 million Series B1 funding round to expand its geothermal energy business.


COP27 titles

Instead of our usual “on the horizon” section, here we highlight some Forbes stories related to this year’s climate change conference.

COP27: All eyes are on Belize, ready to sell carbon credits worth up to $100 million

‘Brazil is back’ Lula tells COP27, vowing to protect Amazon rainforest

From COP27, the call for a Green Blue Deal

Groundbreaking nutrition and climate initiative launched at COP27

China sticks to plans for massive coal expansion


What else we read this week

Bureaucracy blocks the green energy revolution (hardwired)

Schools of Herring Fill a Once Dead Waterway (Folk Science)

Ultrathin Organic Solar Cells Could Turn Buildings Into Electricity Generators (Science)



Green Transportation Update

Jhere is a lot New electric vehicle battery factories are popping up in the United States, but none, not even Tesla’s, produce the key components that make them work: cathodes and anodes. That’s about to change. Tesla co-founder JB Straubel says Redwood Materials, his Nevada startup, has struck a multibillion-dollar deal to supply cathodes and anode materials for lithium-ion batteries that Panasonic will use at its new Kansas plant. Above all, they will be made with recycled materials that Redwood generates from batteries and used electronics.


The great history of transport

GM targets electric vehicle profitability by 2025

Supply chain challenges and an incredibly slow ramp-up of new electric vehicle production continue, but General Motors is still having a very strong year financially and expects it to continue. During a presentation at Investor Day in New York this week, Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson announced higher guidance for free cash flow and earnings for 2022. GM also confirmed that he expects that its range of electric vehicles will be profitable by 2025, in part thanks to the reduction in cell costs for lithium-ion batteries.

Learn more here.



More green transport news

EVs, Pickups Tank In Consumer Reports Reliability Rankings

Improving Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure for All: Takeaways from GreenBiz Group’s VERGE 22

Rymic’s budget Infinity 3 adds seven options to the single-speed urban e-bike idea

Audi Of America Chief Reveals Aggressive EV Strategy And Auto Show Absence

The Fiat 500e returns to America in 2024

Feel the flow: Erik Buell continues his smooth e-bike with an equally unconventional electric motorcycle

LEGO Design for Hexagon Purus Class 8 Fuel Cell Truck Systems

Review: Aventon’s Pace 500 stepper e-bike is nothing special, which is its greatest strength

Ferrari funds Trump Aston Martin, but powerful backers may sponsor electric response


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