Flexible prices proposed to encourage renewables consumption. Why Sweden is winning at climate change, and could the tide be turning to make this renewable energy viable? This and more, in this week’s ten biggest climate innovation stories.
Sweden leads EU’s climate change fight
Sweden is leading the fight against climate change with the greatest commitment and action to fulfilling the Paris Agreement, according to the EU Climate Leader Board ranking.
NGO network Carbon Market Watch and NGO Transport & Environment released the “EU Climate Leader Board” ranking this week to coincide with negotiations over the EU’s legislation on climate action.
The ranking reflects how seriously nations take the Paris agreement and comprises five Paris-related goals contained in a European Commission proposal, including moves to close loopholes on land use and emissions trading, governance, and climate ambition.
Sweden is the only country rated excellent, with Germany and France the only countries rated moderate. The remaining 25 countries are rated insufficient, poor or very poor. EU Member States are currently negotiating the legislation which covers 60 per cent of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Climate Leaders Board Board
-Sweden, Germany, France Top at Delivering on Paris Agreement
-Poland Pushing Hardest In Opposite Direction pic.twitter.com/cq2ZcETUz5
— Assaad Razzouk (@AssaadRazzouk) April 2, 2017
New EU rules aim to make power cheaper when the sun shines
Utilities in the European Union may have to offer more flexible prices from 2020 to encourage consumers to use more electricity when supplies are abundant and cheap, according to proposed new rules. Most European utilities sell at fixed prices, regardless of price swings on wholesale markets, which makes sense when most power comes from coal and nuclear plants that are always on. More flexible price structures would be responsive to the ebbs and flows of renewables and would help align consumer behaviour.
— Geert De Clercq (@gvdeclercq) March 31, 2017
Northern Irish energy storage cave project secures €90m grant
A project that plans to use renewable energy to compress and store air in naturally occurring salt caverns deep underground has won a €90m EU grant. Once compressed, the air could then be released to power generators, providing up to 330MW for periods of between six and eight hours.
Energy Storage innovation? EU grant for Gaelectric cave compressed air project at Islandmagee https://t.co/xCN7oV8Q2J
— James Joule (Energy) (@armjbond) April 4, 2017
Renewables cut Europe’s carbon emissions by 10 per cent in 2015, says EEA
Increasing wind and solar use meant Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions fell about 10 per cent in 2015. Renewables use rose to 16.7 per cent of Europe’s total energy use.
UK emissions fall 10% in 2 years. Global renewables sector enjoys record deployment in 2016. Some good news, folks. https://t.co/PDVWixFBJE
— James Murray (@James_BG) March 30, 2017
Paris and London mayors announce scheme to gauge car emissions
The mayors said a scoring system would identify real-life emissions from cars, providing consumers with more accurate information. The scheme will rely on road and “real world” testing and allocate car models a score based on the air pollutants emitted.
— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) March 29, 2017
European Investment Bank & BPER provide €50 million for Italian energy efficiency projects
The banks committed €50 million for energy efficiency projects in Italy, for implementation by businesses of all sizes. It is the first project in Italy to receive assistance from the EU’s Private Finance For Energy Efficiency (PF4EE) instrument.
— EU Climate Action (@EUClimateAction) April 3, 2017
Tidal turbine maker bids for government contracts to generate electricity
British tidal power company Atlantis Resources Ltd is one of a number of companies vying for around €250 million of government contracts to generate electricity. Atlantis is bidding to build power turbines under the sea in Scotland and is looking to show that tidal power is now commercially viable.
— Frank Lusk (@Frankie78209) April 3, 2017
Airline food and why so much of it ends up in landfill
Airlines generated 5.2m tonnes of waste in 2016, most of which went to landfill or incineration – and it cost them almost €400 million. Setting a better example is Madrid’s Barajas airport, aiming to recover 80 per cent of cabin rubbish. Barajas airport is looking to encourage separation, low-packaging meals, reusable cutlery, and data-led solutions to anticipate meal preferences.
The ridiculous story of airline food and why so much ends up in landfill https://t.co/Xxhdt8SAXI
— Guardian Business (@BusinessDesk) April 1, 2017
London gets giant coffee cups to recycle five million small ones
London’s financial district is using giant coffee cup shaped bins to persuade drinkers to recycle. Only 1 per cent of coffee cups are recycled, with 5 million going to landfill or incineration.
— Elizabeth Walters (@Elizabeth_BCS) April 3, 2017
Huge leap forward at biotech business
Salmon will soon be fed using leftover protein from Scotland’s whisky fermentation process with a biotech firm close to completing its first such processing facility.
The whisky leftovers, a barley protein extract will replace food made from fish and brought from South America. By 2020, the first operating plant should produce enough protein to feed about 15 per cent of the Scotland’s farmed salmon.
— Kevin Scott (@KevinScottHT) April 3, 2017