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This week’s ten biggest climate innovation stories — 3 August

Aluminium Foil. Image via Flickr: clevergrrl
Aluminium Foil. Image via Flickr: clevergrrl

Could we recycle aluminium foil into biofuel? What are JPMorgan Chase’s plans for green finance? And, could there be potential to store renewable energy in salt?

This, and more, in the week’s ten biggest climate innovation stories.

1.

On Earth Overshoot Day, an ecological budget 42 per cent overdrawn

Wednesday 2 August was Earth Overshoot Day, the date when humanity’s annual demand on nature exceeds what Earth can regenerate over the entire year. This year sees an ecological budget already exceeded by almost half, according to Global Footprint Network, the research institute specialised in natural resource accounting that has developed this Ecological Footprint metric.

Read more on GreenBiz

2.

Researchers turn recycled aluminum foil into cheaper, eco-friendlier biofuels

A scientist at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland has discovered a way to turn used aluminum foil into a catalyst for biofuels.

Read more on Inhabitat

3.

IKEA teams up with Solarcentury for solar battery storage range

IKEA and Solarcentury have teamed up to launch a new range of solar battery storage products in the retail giant’s stores, claiming the offering will help cut homeowners’ electricity bills by up to 70 per cent. Read more on Business Green

4.

Electric vehicles can power buildings without degrading batteries, researchers discover

Scientists at the University of Warwick report that using electric vehicles as mobile energy storage units can actually boost vehicle battery life by around 10 per cent.

Read more on Business Green

5.

JPMorgan Chase commits to 100 per cent renewables by 2020 and €170 Billion in clean energy financing by 2025

Multinational banking giant JPMorgan Chase has announced it is committing to sourcing 100 per cent of its energy needs from renewable energy by 2020, and promises to facilitate €170 billion in clean financing by 2025.

Read more on Clean Technica

6.

Google-parent Alphabet wants to fix renewable energy’s storage problem — with salt

Google’s parent company Alphabet is developing a system for storing renewable energy, code named Malta, and involving vats of salt and antifreeze.

Read more on Bloomberg New Energy Finance

7.

Does the 2040 ban on new petrol and diesel cars mean the death of biofuels?

One question that arises from the announcement by the UK government that new diesel and petrol cars will be banned by 2040 is what it means for biofuels. If cars running on fossil fuels will be substituted by electric cars, it could imply that all liquid transport fuels will be eliminated. Around 5 per cent of the volume of the average British tank of petrol or diesel comes from biofuels at present. Meanwhile, the UK Government has been urged to boost green fuel sector as biofuel use stagnates.

Read more on The Conversation

8.

Solar heating could provide more than 80 per cent of heating energy for households in Finland

Around 80 per cent of the heating energy needed for Finnish households could be met through the use of solar energy, depending upon the method of technical implementation, according to a new study from Aalto University.

Read more on Clean Technica

9.

Europe’s wind capacity grows but concerns persist

The first half of 2017 saw 6.1 gigawatts of extra wind power capacity installed in Europe. But a lack of long-term political commitment has hit investment and market concentration remains problematic. However, last week solar dominated in Spain with a larger-than-planned renewables auction.

Read more on Euractiv

10.

Germany, steering clear of diesel bans, plans city transport fund

Germany’s transport minister announced plans last Thursday for a fund to help cities modernise their transport systems and reduce pollution, but said it was too soon to bury the internal combustion engine. On Tuesday, Germany agreed a plan to cut diesel emissions based on vehicle software updates, while a German court ordered a ban on diesel vehicles entering Stuttgart in a bid to tackle air pollution.

Read more on Reuters

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