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Nearly All New Grid Capacity in 2024 Will Come from Clean Energy


Monday, February 26th, 2024


Today’s newsletter is: 908 words; 4 min.


A U.S. Air Force service member set himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C. The man reportedly declared he will “will no longer be complicit in genocide” and shouted “Free Palestine” as he burned.

The U.S. imposed new sanctions on 500 individuals and entities over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the murder of Alexei Navalny. President Joe Biden said the sanctions are aimed at ensuring Russian President Vladimir Putin “pays an even steeper price for his aggression abroad and repression at home.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said 31,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed in Russia’s invasion. Zelensky said he was sharing the number to counter the figures “Putin and his deceitful circle have been lying about.”

Hungary removed the final barrier to Sweden joining NATO. The two countries struck a defense deal that clears the way for Hungary’s parliament to approve Sweden’s NATO bid in a vote today.


A new study found vaccinated people are significantly less likely to develop long COVID than people who aren’t vaccinated


Vaccinated People Are Significantly Less Likely to Develop Long COVID

A new study by researchers at the University of Michigan found the prevalence of long COVID at 30 and 90 days post-infection was 43% to 58% lower among adults who were fully vaccinated prior to infection compared to those who were unvaccinated. 

Why it matters: 

  • The researchers chose the 30- and 90-day timeframes to compare different definitions of long COVID, since a consensus definition of the disease doesn’t exist yet.

  • “These findings support the growing evidence that COVID-19 vaccination may be an important tool to reduce the burden of long COVID,” the authors wrote.



A new report by the CDC shows stress is the most common reason U.S. teens use substances


U.S. Teens Are Using Drugs to Feel Less Stressed

A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found American teens (ages 13 to 18) who have used substances like alcohol, cannabis, or other drugs most commonly report doing so “to feel more mellow, calm, or relaxed” (73%). 

The kids are stressed:

  • The report found other stress-related motivations were among the top reasons for using substances, including “to stop worrying about a problem or to forget bad memories” (44%) and “to help with depression or anxiety” (40%).

  • The most frequently reported reason for using alcohol and nonprescription drugs was to have fun (51%) or experiment (55%), while relaxation (76%) was the most commonly reported reason for using cannabis.



A new report found most adults on TikTok have never posted to the platform


A Quarter of TikTok Users Produce Nearly All of the Videos on the Platform

A new report by the Pew Research Center found the top 25% of TikTok users post 98% of the publicly accessible videos on the app, and only around half (52%) have ever posted a video on the platform. 

What to know: 

  • While only half of U.S. adults who use TikTok have ever posted a video to the platform, an even smaller share (40%) have posted videos that are publicly available and most (70%) don’t even have information in their bios.

  • Pew says the findings suggest most content on TikTok is discovered through the “For You” page, which 40% of users say delivers them content that is either “extremely” or “very” interesting.


Nearly all new electricity plants built in 2024 will be clean energy

Nearly All New Grid Capacity in 2024 Will Come from Clean Energy

Next year is setting up to be a big one for U.S. energy generation, with American companies projected to add 55% more capacity than in 2023, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

  • The EIA says the 62.8 gigawatts (GW) expected to be added this year will be the most in a single year since 2003.

Even better, nearly all (96%) of that new capacity will be carbon-free.

Going clean:

According to the EIA’s forecast (handily put together in a chart by the brilliant team at Canary Media), 58% of the new capacity will come from solar, 23% from battery storage, 13% from wind, and 2% from nuclear, leaving just 4% coming from natural gas.  

  • Solar capacity alone is expected to nearly double in 2024 (from 18.4 to 36.4 GW) to reach a new record high, with almost half of the new capacity planned for Texas (35%) and California (10%).

  • Battery storage is also expected to reach record levels, bringing on 14.3 GW, nearly doubling the current total capacity of 15.5 GW.

Why it’s happening:

The EIA says the boom in clean energy capacity has been accelerated by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), one of President Joe Biden’s signature bills, which created a host of tax incentives encouraging companies to install clean energy.


  • $16.6 billion - The value of U.S. farmland held by investment firms in 2023, up from $7.4 billion at the end of 2020 and $1.8 billion in 2008, according to the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (everything has a council nowadays). 

  • 48% - The percentage of the most widely used news websites across 10 countries that are currently blocking OpenAI’s web crawler, according to new data from the Reuters Institute. 

  • 49x - The increase in head trauma from e-bike accidents between 2017 and 2022, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. The study also found only 44% of e-bike riders report wearing helmets.


Long Video. Meet the plastic-eating worms that can help the planet. (10 min) 

Short Video. Step inside this Chinese ghost town full of abandoned mansions. (5 min)

Fun Video. Listen to a surprisingly beautiful medieval version of “I’m Just Ken” from Barbie. (3 min)

Good Read. A quick read about what would happen to a dead body in space. (661 words; 3 min)

Neat List. Here are the 10 most popular and lucrative side hustles, according to tax data.


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Written by Ryan Wittler