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This week’s ten biggest climate innovation stories – 31 May

Could eating algae reduce food emissions?

Image via Flickr: pmillera4
Could eating algae reduce food emissions? Image via Flickr: pmillera4

Could eating algae help reduce food emissions? Could coding help countries become more climate resilient? And, what will the EU’s future targets for renewables

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

  1. New tech could turn algae into the climate’s slimy saviour

The new hope for algae is that they could rebalance the global carbon equation as a food, not a fuel. Despite appearances, algae are an excellent source of protein. If meat-eaters started to eat more algae, the industry’s theory goes, that shift could slash carbon emissions by reducing demand for beef and pork.

Read more on IEEE Spectrum

  1. This Power Plant Runs on CO2

Under just the right conditions, CO2 can also sustain combustion. That counterintuitive fact is at the heart of a new power plant being built in the US city of Houston. The natural-gas-fired plant’s novel design, uses a fuel mix that is 95 percent carbon dioxide at the point of combustion. What’s more, it captures and sequesters carbon dioxide at virtually no additional cost.

Read more on IEEE Spectrum

  1. Europe is building more wind and solar without any subsidies

New renewable energy projects are expected to be profitable with little government support. The French electric utility Engie announced last week that it’s going to develop 300 megawatts of wind energy across nine wind farms in Spain, backed by $350 million (€300 million) in investment. Here’s the key: It’s doing all this without government support.

Read more on Vox

  1. Trilogue time for EU clean energy laws

EU Parliament, Council and Commission have been discussing renewable energy and energy efficiency. With a decision not reached as talks concluded on 31 May, another meeting is planned for 13 June. The compromise proposed may see a 32-33% target for renewables by 2030.

EU Parliament would have to make concessions on renewables self-consumption and a sub-target for renewables in the heating and cooling sector, as well as accepting the Council’s request for a 14% objective for renewables in transport, and freeze the share of 1st generation biofuels in transport in each member state at the level of production reached in 2020/21.

Read more on Euractiv

  1. Europe’s Largest Asset Manager Sees ‘Tipping Point’ on Climate

The world’s deepest-pocketed investors are starting to take climate change seriously, according to Amundi SA.

“We are really observing a tipping point among the institutional investors on climate change” said Frederic Samama, co-head of institutional clients at the Paris-based firm. “Until recently, that question was not on their radar screen. It’s changing, and it’s changing super fast.”

Read more on Bloomberg

  1. Electric scooter networks charge up as Scoot drives into Barcelona

Scoot Networks has announced that it’s launching a scooter and e-bike sharing network in Barcelona, Spain, which includes 500 high-performance electric scooters, and 1,000 electric bicycles.

Read more on GreenBiz.com

  1. Carbon Capture & Conversion Could Fuel New Possibilities In Energy

“By using renewable energy to convert CO2 into a fuel, one can store that renewable energy, and then, when that fuel is burned, the CO2 can be captured again, closing the carbon cycle”.

Phil De Luna, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto says the idea is at the cusp of becoming commercially viable. His team are semi-finalists inthe NRG COSIA Carbon XPrize, a $20 million competition to accelerate the development of technology that can capture CO2 and convert it to usable products.

Read more on CleanTechnica

  1. This sustainable district in Sweden features carbon-positive towers

Nacka Port, a new urban district between Nacka and Stockholm could feature carbon positive towers constructed from renewable materials that promote a healthy microclimate and sustainable lifestyle.

Read more on Inhabitat

  1. Gravity energy generator could revolutionise renewables

Dutch inventor Janjaap Ruijssenaars has built a gravity energy generator that harnesses the force of gravity to produce a new kind of renewable energy.

Read more on Reuters

  1. EU tables ground-breaking ‘low-carbon benchmark’ for green finance

The European Commission has presented a set of proposals aimed at boosting private investment in low-carbon technologies like renewable energies while increasing transparency in sustainable finance to avoid green-washing.

Read more on EURACTIV

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