1. CO2 emissions stay same for third year in row – despite global economy growing
A new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) shows that although the global economy has been growing, carbon dioxide emissions from energy have not increased for three years. The IEA puts this down to the increase in renewable power, switches from coal to natural gas, and improvements in energy efficiency.
The report highlights that emissions in the EU were mostly stable with gas demand growing by 8 per cent and coal falling by 10 per cent.
Although the stability in emissions growth was welcomed by the IEA, it warned that it is not enough to meet the targets to keep global temperature rises below 2˚c.
2. Elon Musk bets millions on fixing South Australia’s energy problems in just 100 days
Tesla’s chief executive Elon Musk has pledged to fix South Australia’s energy problems within 100 days with a money-back guarantee.
“Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free. That serious enough for you?” Mr Musk wrote on Twitter.
The Australian state has been experience severe blackouts leading to spikes in prices with local energy firms struggling to meet demand.
3. Green bonds index market heats up with BlackRock launch
Investment giant BlackRock has launched its own Green Bond Index Fund to meet growing demand from investors looking for environmental, social and governance fixed income products — opportunities for green re-investment.
“We see a strong interest in Green Bonds from clients we service as they seek to participate in climate friendly and environmentally beneficial investments without making major changes to sector allocation or liquidity risk in their holdings,” said BlackRock head of climate solutions Ashley Schulten said in a statement.
4. Stuttgart builds moss-covered wall to fight air pollution
The city of Stuttgart, often labelled as Germany’s worst city for smog, is taking steps to tackle its pollution problem. Things got so bad that residents sued the city and district president to demand action on the issue.
The local authority has responded by introducing “no drive” zones for diesel vehicles and installing a moss wall. Moss is well known for its ability to “eat up” air pollution while storing water and nutrients from rain and air. Once constructed the wall will be 100 meters long and three meters high.
5. Scientists are using sunlight to turn water into fuel
Turning water into fuel could soon become a reality. A team of scientists from Caltech and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are experimenting with newly discovered materials that could enable the conversion process.
If the experiments are successful experts suggest that this could become a long-term viable alternative to replacing the current use of fossil fuels.
6. Meanwhile, in the UK tampons and nappies set to fuel power stations
The disposal of “absorbent hygiene products” presents a huge waste problem, and companies are looking for better alternatives to landfills and incineration. The University of Birmingham is currently analysing the environmental impacts of a new process where such waste products will be converted into dry, burnable bales and used to fuel power stations.
7. How electric cars take over oil-rich Norway
Norway is working hard to phase out fossil fuel cars completely by 2025. Just 321 electric cars were registered in the Scandinavian country in 2007 but by the end of 2016 that number jumped to 100,000.
The gas and oil-rich country has nearly doubled its EV market year-on-year since 2011. Although there are still over two million fossil fuel powered cars on Norwegian roads nearly 40 per cent of all new cars sold are electric.
8. EU invests in sustainable and urban mobility in Poland
Over €121 million from the Cohesion Fund will be invested in two major projects in Poland, which will improve connectivity in the country and encourage low-emission mobility.
The first project is a €30 million investment in 35 energy-efficient trams that will serve the area of Crakow. The second project aims to complete the modernisation work on the railway line seven, which links Warsaw to Lublin along the Trans-European Transport Network.
9. UK Government aims to turbo-charge hydrogen transport sector with £23 million funding boost
A multi-million pound fund from the British government has been awarded to the hydrogen transport sector to accelerate the take-up of hydrogen vehicles.
Hydrogen cars emit water from the tailpipe and can refuel in a matter of minutes while running for hundreds of miles on a single tank.
10. Scottish government grants planning approval to latest floating wind farm
The Scottish government has approved the plans for a third floating wind warm in Scottish waters, putting the country a step closer to its goal of becoming a world-leading hub for floating wine turbine technology.
The project is expected to create around 100 jobs during construction and will delivery enough clean energy to power 8,000 homes.