The most compelling stories in life are those about interesting people, interesting artifacts, and– of course– interesting places. We’ve already talked about some of the people and things we’re most excited to hear more about in 2019, so it’s time to wrap up the year with a list of the places that we’ll be following closely throughout the year.
As always, we invite you to check out the list, consider our choices, and then let us know what places you’re most looking forward to most in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Enjoy that, and have a happy and prosperous 2019!
Spain | No More Coal
Spain has committed to closing ALL of its coal mines this year. Not most of its coal mines, not nearly all of its twenty-six active coal mines. 100% of its coal mines— every. Single. One. With Spain’s coal-burning energy plants set to close by 2020, as well.
The closure of these mines will affect more than 2,000 Spanish workers, but that number is already down significantly from 1985, when more than 51,000 Spaniards worked in the coal mines. It’s believed that those displaced workers will be able to find work in growing “clean energy” markets like solar and wind, however, so here’s hoping that’s the case, and that those same 2,000 families can enjoy their cleaner air with some fancy, cleaner jobs, too!
Costa Rica | 100% Clean Energy
Costa Rica has sourced more than 98% of its electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar since 2015. For 2019, the beautiful country’s goal is perfection: 100% clean energy.
For what its worth, very few people– even within Costa Rica– believe that 100% goal is going to be achievable, but just imagine what it would mean for the clean energy sector if a country like the US or Canada made 100% clean electrical power generation its goal! Here’s hoping that Costa Rica can pull it off, and show the big guys how its done.
Indianapolis | the Triple Crown
The Grand Prix of Monaco, the 24 Hours of LeMans, and the Indianapolis 500. These three, thrilling spectacles make up the Triple Crown of motorsport. In more than a century of auto racing, only Graham Hill has successfully won all three events– and that was in 1969. In 2019, fifty years later, Fernando Alonso is going to try and become the second.
The two-time World Drivers’ Champion has already won at Monaco twice, and scored his first LeMans victory behind the wheel of a Toyota hybrid last June. As for Indy, Alonso was leading the race in 2017 (his first attempt) when the Honda engine powering his Andretti racer gave up on him. With any luck– and more dependable Chevy power!– 2019 will be Alonso’s year, and a once-in-a-lifetime chance for race fans to see someone take the Triple Crown!
Miami | the Grand Prix of Miami
Back in the 1980s and 90s, the streets of downtown Miami hosted one of IMSA’s flagship sprint races, with awesome, fast GTP cars taking center stage. It’s been more than 20 years since top-level racing cars have graced the streets of Miami (Formula E notwithstanding), but 2019 brings us new hope … because 2019 is the year we expect an honest-to-goodness Formula 1 Grand Prix of Miami to be announced.
If everything goes well and the race actually happens, it will more or less cement my old hometown as the de-facto capital city of South America (a title it holds now, facetiously). It will also give me a reason– finally!– to go back and visit. See you in 2020, Miami!
Shanghai | Tesla Gets Real in China
Tesla cars are selling well. Depending on who you believe, they’re the best-selling cars in each of their respective classes. Even so, for Tesla to really endure it has to be more than an American carmaker. It has to be a global carmaker. That’s why Tesla’s Shanghai factory– set to begin building cars for Chinese consumption in the latter half of 2019— is so very, very important.
Tesla is looking to build production capacity directly in China to avoid the uncertainties surrounding Trump’s trade war, the trade rift between the US and China has already caused the carmaker to raise prices by 20% after a new round of tariffs were announced on both Chinese and US goods in July.
Producing cars in China may also allow Tesla a way to reduce manufacturing costs and sell its cars at less-than-current prices (or for more-than-current profits) in markets like Asia, Australia, and the EU, where Chinese-made cars are already more common that one might expect. We’re a long way from that, though– here’s hoping this is one production deadline that Tesla hits!
Original content from Gas 2.