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Issues about local weather change, a bonanza of decisions, falling costs and authorities help imply {that a} decade after the primary fashionable, mass-market electric vehicles appeared, the American public is starting to embrace them—and the transition they characterize.

Electric vehicles are more and more mainstream, with People selecting them as a result of they’re low-cost to run, not far more costly than gasoline-fueled vehicles and enjoyable to drive.

Generally it comes as a shock. Casey Herman works for a medical firm in Indianapolis and was in search of a brand new automotive in 2017. He stopped by an area Chevy dealership for some take a look at drives, together with the corporate’s Bolt electric automotive.

He purchased it on the spot.

“I used to be blown away. I completely was not going to purchase a automotive that day however I simply cherished it,” he stated.

When the primary fashionable electric vehicles hit the market within the late 2000s, neither their pricing nor know-how had been prepared for , stated Britta Gross, a former Normal Motors director who now works on the Rocky Mountain Institute, an environmental assume tank.

Within the final 5 years, that modified.

“I’ve by no means seen a second just like the one we’re sitting in proper now,” she stated. “It feels very inevitable, lastly, that that is going to occur, and customers are going to like these autos.”

In 2017, solely about 115,000 purely electric autos had been bought in the USA. In 2021, People purchased 657,000, in keeping with a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Whereas that also represents rather less than 4% of all new automotive gross sales, the quantity bought final yr was double that of 2020. At present sellers are promoting out each EV they will ship, and any used ones they will get their fingers on, stated Gross.

The USA is dedicated to shifting to vehicles that run on electrical energy reasonably than burning fossil fuels due to world warming. The U.S. transportation system is answerable for virtually 30% of the nation’s greenhouse fuel emissions, making electric autos essential to reducing America’s carbon footprint. President Joe Biden has set a objective for half of latest automotive gross sales in the USA to be EVs by 2030.

Automotive firms are embracing the change to fulfill world demand. On the U.N. local weather convention in November, six main automakers together with Ford and Normal Motors, pledged to cease gross sales of latest fuel and diesel autos by 2040.

Canada, the UK, France, Spain, the Nordic nations—and California—plan to part out new gross sales of inside combustion vehicles by then. Globally, 9% of latest automotive gross sales at the moment are electric, in keeping with the Worldwide Energy Company.

Final yr, 20% of latest vehicles bought in Europe had been electric. In Norway, which has thrown beneficiant and considerable incentives at motorists, 90% of latest vehicles bought had been electric. And in China, the world’s largest automotive market by far, electric autos are anticipated to make up 20% of vehicles bought this yr.

An evolving market

Local weather change could also be motivating many American EV consumers, however a shocking variety of homeowners right this moment could not care much less in regards to the environmental advantages.

“I am not a tree hugger,” stated Karsten Blok, an IT supervisor who lives outdoors Austin in Hutto, Texas. “I am not attempting to avoid wasting the world. I identical to the way it drives and I like what it does to my pockets.”

In Bowling Green, Kentucky, Mark Minotti describes himself as “an ultra-conservative Trump supporter.” On condition that, he says individuals are all the time telling him they cannot consider he drives an electrical automotive.

“I say, ‘It is cheaper than an everyday automotive, why would not you?'” stated Minotti, who commutes 20 miles every solution to work on the Smuckers Uncrustables plant there. “I’ve by no means spent greater than $20 a month to cost it. I am saving $100 a month in fuel.”

These next-generation EV consumers will make the distinction between the U.S. reaching a climate-aligned future or not, stated Bradley Lane, a professor of city planning who researches electric car uptake on the College of Kansas.

“These are the households who’re making plenty of journeys and have a look at their bank card payments they usually see $450 for fuel and begin considering, ‘Possibly once we exchange this automotive, perhaps an electrical car is sensible,'” he stated.

Already, virtually 1 in 4 People say they’re no less than considerably prone to severely take into account going electric subsequent time they purchase a automotive or truck, in keeping with the Pew Analysis Middle.

Research carried out by the College of California, Davis pinpoint the shift factors in electric automotive possession. The primary consumers had been who simply wished to have the latest tech. The subsequent group likes innovation however desires to verify the know-how works.

“The third one is whenever you begin to get to the mass market. They should see the profit, they should see individuals driving it for just a few years. We name them the early majority,” stated Gil Tal, director of the college’s Electric Automobile Analysis Middle.

That early majority has already emerged in California, the place greater than 663,000 EVs have been bought, in keeping with the California Energy Fee.

It has been slower to come back to different components of the nation. In Indianapolis, “most individuals assume vehicles ought to run on fuel,” stated Herman. However his Chevy Bolt will get plenty of curiosity.

“Individuals cease me on a regular basis and ask me questions,” he stated. “They’re scared to demise of it however they’re all the time blown away” in the event that they go for a drive.

Sticker shock?

Individuals usually cite price as a cause to dismiss buying an electrical car. However Lane stated increasingly more EV fashions fall right into a value vary individuals are keen to pay for a automotive.

“Within the close to time period, there can be extra,” he stated. Automakers plan to introduce no less than 30 new fashions within the subsequent two years.

There’s large curiosity in Ford’s F-150 Lightning electric truck. Virtually 200,000 individuals put down a $100 for a nonbinding deposit earlier than the corporate closed the waitlist in December. Deliveries of the car, anticipated to start out at $40,000, are to being this spring.

Whereas the worth of EVs will be greater than gas-powered vehicles, the distinction will be offset by incentives comparable to federal tax credit, which for some fashions will be as excessive as $7,500.

For the 2022 mannequin yr, the sticker value for a Nissan Leaf begins at $27,400, the Chevy Bolt at $31,500 and the Hyundai Kona Electric at $34,000. The fundamental best-selling Tesla 3 is $44,990.

Upkeep charges are decrease on electric vehicles as a result of they do not have engines so do not require oil adjustments and have far fewer mechanical components to interrupt down.

Matthew Moran, a biology professor at Hendrix School in Conway, Arkansas, says there’s nothing a lot to do together with his Ford Mustang Mach-E however drive it.

“I’ve 8,000 miles on mine, and to date all I’ve spent on upkeep was $23 to rotate the tires,” he stated. “Ford has actually hit it out of the park. That is the primary Ford I’ve ever purchased and I’ve been extremely impressed with their high quality.”

He loves his automotive’s little touches. Like most , the house the place the engine can be is a entrance trunk, known as a frunk. The Mach-E’s has a drain within the backside—fill it with ice, add a case of beer and also you’re prepared for soccer.

“We took it tailgating just a few instances and had a blast,” Moran stated.

The low per-mile price to function EVs additionally is widely known by homeowners of their quite a few Fb teams.

Nissan Leaf proprietor Brent Newman largely prices at evening.

“That is when electric charges are cheaper, so it prices me about $2.60 to fill my ‘tank’ with electrons,” the Denver resident stated final week, as the worth of gasoline on the pump soared. “Does not that sound engaging proper now?”

Whereas some media stories recommend EVs have greater gasoline prices, they presume most charging is completed at public charging stations, which will be costly. The Division of Energy estimates on common 81% of charging is completed at house, 14% at work and 5% at business chargers.

On March 7, when the typical value of fuel was $4.10, Division of Energy chief analyst Matteo Muratori calculated that filling up a brand new midsize gasoline automotive price over $55. The equal fueling price for an electrical car was between $20 and $45 at public fast-charging stations, however $16 or much less when charging at house the place most charging is completed, together with charging tools prices.

Vary nervousness

The largest draw back of electrical autos is their restricted vary and that charging stations usually are not but as ubiquitous as gasoline stations. However this “vary nervousness” is turning into more and more outdated, stated Tal.

“There’s plenty of misconceptions available in the market about vary,” he stated. “5 – 6 years in the past we had 80-mile-range vehicles. That is now a historic artifact, like a Mannequin T.”

At present, the typical, totally charged EV can go 250 miles; some can go as much as 400. That is greater than sufficient for the driving wants of the overwhelming majority of People, Tal stated. Earlier than COVID-19, the everyday American traveled 40 miles a day, in keeping with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

In Texas, Blok thinks of his electric automotive as masking 95% of his transportation wants. His pals inform him they might by no means drive one as a result of yearly they go searching.

“I say, ‘Effectively, perhaps that one time of yr it is advisable hire a automotive,'” stated Blok. That is what he does when his household goes tenting. “Renting a truck for a weekend is lots cheaper than what I might pay if I had a fuel automotive,” he stated.

The largest adjustment to an electrical car is the charging course of, which might take from minutes to hours relying on the velocity of the charger, how low the battery is and the automotive kind. However as a lot as 95% of charging takes place at house, stated Gross, largely utilizing a 110 customary electric plug or, for sooner prices, a 240-volt dryer plug.

That was one of many completely satisfied discoveries made by Steward Eastman, of Abita Springs, Louisiana, about his Nissan Leaf.

“I assumed I might should go to the charging station on a regular basis. However I simply plug it right into a 110 socket on the surface of my home at evening and once I get up, it is charged,” he stated.

Whereas new electric automotive drivers fret about operating out of energy, it is unusual, stated AAA’s director of automotive engineering, Greg Brannon. “Principally it is that they’ve locked their key of their automotive or run right into a ditch,” he stated.

To this point, solely about 2% of the calls AAA will get for are as a result of they’ve run out of cost. In some markets, nevertheless, AAA has begun providing roadside charging.

Way forward for charging

Whereas nonetheless a piece in progress, America’s charging infrastructure is bettering shortly. Final yr’s federal infrastructure package deal, which Congress handed in November, included $7.5 billion so as to add 500,000 chargers to the nation’s community.

And by Might 13, the Division of Transportation will publish for EV chargers, an vital first step for the still-evolving community the place not all chargers work the identical. Tesla, for instance, which makes America’s finest promoting electric automotive, has a proprietary community of 1,300 “superchargers” which are presently open solely to its clients.

“The nationwide charging infrastructure system can be simply as vital and confidence constructing because the nationwide freeway system,” Gross stated.

Quinton Lawman lives in Parma, Ohio, and makes common journeys to Buffalo, New York. 4 years in the past when his household first acquired their Chevy Bolt, there was only one charging station alongside the way in which.

“Now there are six,” he stated.

For longer journeys, planning is required. There are apps that map the varied charging stations across the nation and calculate the perfect route.

“In the event you do a street journey, it’s a must to plan. Nevertheless it’s not laborious,” stated Lawman. “I spend like 10 minutes on the apps after which I am good to go.”

The trouble, he and lots of different EV homeowners say, is price it.

“I can inform you till I am blue within the face how a lot enjoyable on the spot torque is, however till you drive one you are not going to expertise it your self,” stated Lawman.

Kelly Davis, of Huntington Seaside, California, purchased a Ford Mustang Mach-E final yr and hasn’t regarded again.

“To be completely trustworthy, I fell in love with its seems to be. I am going to admit it, I am shallow. However the automotive is superior,” she stated. “You have to watch out of the velocity as a result of oh man, does it go quick. I inform my husband he cannot drive my automotive as a result of he’ll get a ticket.”

Paul Bordenkircher, who owns a Chevy Spark, does sound for giant exhibits on the Las Vegas Strip. He loves the quiet.

“Flip the radio off,” he stated, “and the one noise is the wind in my hair and the wheels on the street.”

GM program to install more EV chargers across US, Canada

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Electric vehicles approaching quick: Local weather worries, sinking costs put highlight on EV gross sales (2022, March 14)
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Energy Tech

Could coal communities shift to nuclear?



New modelling shows China's demand for coal imports will dramatically drop by 2025

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A significant financial invoice headed to the president has “game-changing” incentives for the nuclear energy business, specialists say, and people tax credit are much more substantial if a facility is sited in a group the place a coal plant is closing.

The transformative bill supplies essentially the most spending to battle local weather change by anyone nation ever in a single push. Among the many many issues it may do nuclear energy specialists say is spur extra tasks like one Invoice Gates is planning in Kemmerer, Wyoming. Gates’ firm, TerraPower, plans to construct a sophisticated, nontraditional nuclear and make use of employees from a neighborhood coal-fired energy plant scheduled to shut quickly.

Corporations designing and constructing the subsequent technology of nuclear reactors may decide one in all two new tax credit obtainable to carbon-free electrical energy mills, reminiscent of wind and {solar}. To make sure coal communities have a spot within the energy transition, each tax credit embrace a 10-percentage level bonus for services sited the place residents have relied on or mining— a “sizeable incentive” to find them there, in response to Matt Crozat, senior director for technique and coverage growth on the Nuclear Energy Institute.

That would embrace cities in coal-dependent West Virginia, because the state eradicated a ban on this yr. Or in Maryland, the place the state introduced a partnership in June to have a look at repurposing a fossil gas web site for a small nuclear reactor. Or in Montana, the place lawmakers are taking a look at superior nuclear reactors as a doable alternative for coal boilers.

Staffan Qvist, an knowledgeable in energy programs evaluation and decarbonization methods, has extensively researched the feasibility of changing coal vegetation with emissions-free options in China and Poland. He discovered that coal vegetation typically make perfect websites for superior, high-temperature nuclear reactors.

“It is a rising pattern,” Qvist mentioned, “now it is being talked about in all places.” Qvist can also be founding father of Qvist Consulting Restricted in the UK. “You’ve gotten a web site, you may have a grid connection. You’ve gotten tools that may stay in use, and you’ve got a workforce that could possibly be retrained.”

A design by NuScale Energy is the primary to be totally licensed in the US and the corporate is planning to start working a small modular reactor in 2029 on the Idaho Nationwide Laboratory. The corporate’s , Chris Colbert, mentioned former coal vegetation are perfect areas for superior nuclear know-how, partly as a result of transmission strains are already in place.

Colbert additionally mentioned he thinks potential prospects shall be extra within the firm’s small superior reactors due to the incentives within the invoice.

There are practically $375 billion in local weather incentives within the Inflation Discount Act. Amongst them, there is a new tax obtainable to any carbon-free electrical energy generator. That features new superior nuclear reactors that start development in 2025 or later. Current nuclear vegetation that broaden their output may get credit score for that extra electrical energy manufacturing. The credit score is price no less than $25 per megawatt-hour for the primary decade the plant operates, in response to NEI, the business’s commerce affiliation.

Or, house owners of a brand new carbon-free electrical energy generator may reap the benefits of an funding tax credit score, price 30% of the quantity they paid to construct the power.

The invoice additionally has $700 million to provide the uranium gas in the US that many superior reactors want. And there is a tax credit score for present nuclear vegetation price as much as $15 per megawatt hour from 2024 to 2032. That is sufficient of a lift that it is extremely probably no nuclear vegetation will shut throughout that interval for financial causes, Crozat mentioned. There are expanded choices for a way the credit score can be utilized, with direct funds for sure house owners, reminiscent of municipal utilities.

The incentives are a recreation changer for the nuclear energy business, mentioned Jacopo Buongiorno, professor of nuclear science and engineering on the Massachusetts Institute of Know-how. Buongiorno has studied the way forward for nuclear energy in a carbon-constrained world.

“That is actually substantial,” he mentioned as he learn the listing of tax credit. “This could transfer the needle by way of making these applied sciences economically viable proper off the bat.”

Buongiorno preferred that the credit can be found to many carbon-free applied sciences.

“It isn’t simply nuclear, it isn’t simply {solar}, it is all the above, which is what we now have been preaching as the fitting strategy for decarbonization,” he mentioned. “It’s worthwhile to kind of push all people right here.”

However Grant Smith, a senior energy coverage adviser on the Environmental Working Group, mentioned tax credit for small modular nuclear models is a waste of taxpayer {dollars}. They divert sources from commercially-viable rising applied sciences, Smith mentioned, and stokes “the persevering with false narrative of low cost, easily-deployed nuclear know-how that the sector has been spinning for many years.” Smith leads the nonprofit’s work on accelerating the transition to renewables.

Georgia has the one nuclear undertaking at the moment below development within the U.S. Two conventional giant reactors had been projected to price $14 billion and at the moment are anticipated to price greater than $30 billion.

Due to that, Buongiorno mentioned he’d be shocked if there’s one other order for a standard giant reactor within the U.S. The notion of economic danger, or undertaking danger general, can be too excessive, he mentioned.

There are roughly 40 severe ideas in growth for the subsequent technology of superior nuclear reactors worldwide, Qvist mentioned. China was the primary to attach one of many subsequent technology of reactors to its grid to provide about 200 megawatts of electrical energy. A high-temperature, gas-cooled reactor started working final yr.

Kairos Energy has utilized for a allow to assemble a take a look at reactor in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. GE Hitachi is engaged on a reactor in Ontario, Canada, and if it is profitable, there’s plenty of curiosity in it in the US, Poland and elsewhere in Europe, Qvist mentioned.

The most important public energy firm within the U.S., the Tennessee Valley Authority, launched a program this yr to develop and fund new small modular nuclear reactors as a part of its technique to dramatically scale back greenhouse fuel emissions. The TVA is targeted on GE Hitachi’s design.

At the least a dozen superior reactors are projected to come back on-line within the 2020s.

“It isn’t far off and it isn’t speculative and it isn’t on paper,” Qvist mentioned. “There are literally plenty of issues actually occurring.”

Nuclear industry hopes to expand output with new reactors

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Human-machine interfaces work underwater, generate their own power



Human-machine interfaces work underwater, generate their own power

(Left) Photograph of the magnetoelastic sensor array, which conforms to human pores and skin and may operate even when uncovered to liquid. It could work together with a music speaker’s command elements: play, pause, subsequent, and former. (Proper two) The self-powered magnetoelastic sensor array is rollable and stretchable. Credit score: The Jun Chen Analysis Group at UCLA:

Wearable human-machine interface units, HMIs, can be utilized to regulate machines, computer systems, music gamers, and different programs. A problem for typical HMIs is the presence of sweat on human pores and skin.

In Utilized Physics Opinions, scientists at UCLA describe their improvement of a kind of HMI that’s stretchable, cheap, and waterproof. The machine is predicated on a smooth magnetoelastic sensor array that converts mechanical stress from the press of a finger into an .

The machine includes two essential elements. The primary element is a layer that interprets mechanical motion to a magnetic response. It consists of a set of micromagnets in a porous silicone matrix that may convert the light fingertip stress right into a magnetic subject variation.

The second element is a magnetic induction layer consisting of patterned liquid steel coils. These coils reply to the magnetic subject modifications and generate electrical energy by way of the phenomenon of electromagnetic induction.

A programmable magnetoelastic generator-based management panel for distant speaker management. Credit score: The Jun Chen Analysis Group at UCLA,

“Owing to the fabric’s flexibility and sturdiness, the magnetoelastic sensor array can generate steady energy beneath deformations, akin to rolling, folding, and stretching,” mentioned writer Jun Chen, from UCLA. “Because of these compelling options, the machine will be adopted for human-body powered HMI by remodeling human biomechanical actions into .”

The ability required to run the HMI comes from the wearer’s actions. This implies no batteries or different exterior energy elements are required, rendering the HMI extra environmentally pleasant and sustainable.

The machine was examined in a wide range of real-world conditions, together with within the presence of a water spray, akin to may exist within the bathe, a rainstorm, or throughout vigorous athletic exercise. The machine labored properly when moist, for the reason that magnetic subject was not enormously affected by the presence of water.

The investigators studied a spread of fabrication and meeting strategies to optimize the biomechanical-to-electrical energy conversion of the machine. They discovered they may obtain a steadiness between efficiency and adaptability by controlling the thickness of the versatile movie and the focus of the magnetic particles.

To check their system, the investigators carried out a sequence of experiments during which a topic utilized finger faucets to show a lamp on and off and management a .

“Our magnetoelastic sensor array not solely wirelessly features because the on and off buttons of a lamp but in addition controls a music participant’s command options, representing the actions of play, pause, subsequent, and former,” Chen mentioned.

These assessments promise new functions for versatile waterproof HMIs that can be utilized to regulate many sorts of sensible units.

The article is titled “A programmable magnetoelastic sensor array for self-powered .”

Bioengineers develop new class of human-powered bioelectronics

Extra data:
A programmable magnetoelastic sensor array for self-powered human-machine interface, Utilized Physics Opinions (2022). DOI: 10.1063/5.0094289

Human-machine interfaces work underwater, generate their very own energy (2022, August 9)
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Low Rhine deepens Germany’s energy crisis



Low Rhine deepens Germany's energy crisis

The prospect of extreme, longer-term limits to site visitors spells a brand new headache for the industries lined up on the banks of the Rhine.

A scorching, dry July made worse by local weather change has raised the danger that the German economic system may run aground as sinking Rhine waters make transport alongside the river tougher.

The prospect of extreme, longer-term limits to site visitors spells a brand new headache for the industries lined up on the river’s banks and threatens to additional pressure Germany’s efforts to wean itself off Russian energy imports as coal counts amongst key cargo moved on the waterway.

Roberto Spranzi, boss of DTG, a transport cooperative, says the volumes that his fleet can carry are already restricted by the unusually low water ranges.

“In the intervening time we’ve got a capability the place, we’ve got to make use of three or 4 vessels the place we might usually want one,” Spranzi tells AFP.

Pointing on the worrying ebb on the entrance to the inland port of Duisburg in western Germany, Spranzi notes that “at the moment it is at 1.70 metres (5.6 ft) In concept, the conventional water stage is over two metres”.

Additional up the river in Kaub, a famous bottleneck for transport the place the Rhine runs slim and shallow, the reference stage is forecast to go under 40 centimetres by the tip of the week and squeeze site visitors additional.

“We provide factories on the Rhine with their uncooked supplies. When that is not potential any extra—or much less typically—that is a menace to German business, too,” Spranzi says.

The Rhine freight restrictions have added to the supply chain disruption seen by industry and increased the risk of scarcity
The Rhine freight restrictions have added to the availability chain disruption seen by business and elevated the danger of shortage.

Coal energy

Round 4 % of freight in Germany is carried through its waterways, together with the Rhine, which winds its means from Switzerland, alongside the border with France, via Germany’s industrial heartland and the Netherlands to the ocean.

As Berlin turns to mothballed capability to plug the hole after Russia curtailed its energy deliveries, the Rhine has taken on added significance as a key artery for coal transport.

However the sinking water stage has already led energy suppliers to warn they might should restrict output.

Uniper has stated the low stage of the Rhine could result in the “irregular operation” of two of its into September.

EnBW, which runs websites within the southwestern area of Baden-Wurttermberg, has warned that deliveries of the gas could possibly be restricted.

The dwindling waters have seen “transport prices per tonne rise”, EnBW stated in an announcement, including that it had preemptively constructed shares of coal earlier within the 12 months.

Various routes had been accessible—both by highway or rail—however capability was “tight”, EnBW stated.

Industrial heavyweights stationed along the Rhine rely on the waterway to ferry goods to and from their sites
Industrial heavyweights stationed alongside the Rhine depend on the waterway to ferry items to and from their websites.

The Rhine freight restrictions have added to the availability chain disruption seen by business and elevated the danger of shortage.

Throughout southern Germany, a scarcity of gas on the pump has been traced again to the dry climate, amongst different components.

“Low water ranges on the Rhine imply that on this space essential transportation of oil merchandise, reminiscent of petrol, diesel or heating oil cannot function as regular,” says Alexander von Gersdorff, spokesman for the German energy and gas business foyer.

‘A lot earlier’

A 2018 drought, which noticed the Rhine’s reference depth at Kaub fall as little as 25 centimetres in October, shaved 0.2 % off German GDP that 12 months, in response to Deutsche Financial institution Analysis.

“The low ranges have come a lot earlier this time,” Deutsche Financial institution Analysis economist Marc Schattenberg tells AFP.

“If the issues we at the moment are observing last more (than in 2018), the lack of financial worth turns into all of the extra critical.”

Industrial heavyweights stationed alongside the Rhine depend on the waterway to ferry items to and from their websites.

Duisburg-based conglomerate ThyssenKrupp stated in an announcement it had “taken measures” to guarantee its provides of .

The chemical large BASF, whose Ludwigshafen base sits south of the Kaub choke-point, stated its manufacturing had not but been restricted by the low ranges, however warned that it couldn’t rule out “reductions for particular items within the coming weeks”.

Drought-hit Rhine forces Germany to tap oil reserves

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Low Rhine deepens Germany’s energy disaster (2022, August 11)
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