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.
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.
News: New Tech Could Turn Algae Into the Climate’s Slimy Savior https://t.co/D6S2eqabza
— Mark Lemos (@AlgaeU) May 30, 2018
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.
Supercritical CO2 can be pumped, compressed, and driven to spin a turbine with an efficiency that steam may never reach. Now, one company is building a power plant that will use it to burn fossil fuels without emitting carbon. https://t.co/cq4YkqlcPT #MiracleBlueprints #energy pic.twitter.com/sEswVTXec5
— IEEE Spectrum (@IEEESpectrum) May 31, 2018
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.
This is evidence that renewable energy might be able to grow without government subsidies. https://t.co/6CxIvPJMXd
— Vox (@voxdotcom) May 31, 2018
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.
BREAKING: On #biofuels, the Commission declared it was not ready to consider the Parliament’s request for a ban on #PalmOil used as transport fuel. More soon on our live blog here: https://t.co/zh4jMtF3go
— Frédéric Simon (@FredSimonEU) May 31, 2018
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.”
Great to see investors and companies getting really serious about climate risk. Note that the conversation is no longer just about greenhouse gas emissions, but also about physical climate risk of extreme events directly hurting business. @EBRD @GCECANews https://t.co/KzRbJpMBN4
— Maarten van Aalst (@mkvaalst) May 31, 2018
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.
— GreenBiz (@GreenBiz) May 31, 2018
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.
— CleanTechnica (@cleantechnica) May 28, 2018
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.
— Doing Things Differently (@dtdchange) May 30, 2018
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.
Dutch inventor Janjaap Ruijssenaars has built a gravity energy generator that harnesses the force of gravity to produce a new kind of renewable energy: https://t.co/WW3DBFZM5o
— Pod Point (@Pod_Point) May 30, 2018
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.
— WWF EU (@WWFEU) May 25, 2018