According to WRAP food waste contributes 6x the greenhouse gas emissions that aviation does. That came as a surprise to me.

Company news

Lightsource bp completes financing on Bighorn Solar
Lightsource bp has successfully closed on a $285 million financing package for its Bighorn Solar project, which will be located on EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel mill property in Pueblo. Xcel Energy, as the electrical provider for the steel mill, will purchase the power generated by the solar facility under a long-term contract with Lightsource bp. The competitive price of solar energy and its long-term budget certainty helps to ensure that the steel mill, along with 1,000 local workers, will remain in Pueblo.(lightsourcebp)

Total Leads Investment Into Fuel-Cell Truck Maker Hyzon
Total SA is leading an investment round into US fuel-cell truck maker Hyzon Motors as part of the French energy company’s target to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
Total said that the strategic investment is made by its European venture arm Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures and other specialist hydrogen investors, including Ascent Hydrogen Fund, Hydrogen Capital Partners and Audacy Ventures Ltd. The terms and size of the investment weren’t disclosed but according to Bloomberg they totaled more than $15 million and valued Hyzon at around $200 million. It could rise to $20 million, according to the Bloomberg report.
The investment will help ramping up Hyzon’s manufacturing and support engineering centers in Honeoye Falls in New York, Groningen in the Netherlands and Shanghai in China. Hyzon already has around 400 commercial buses and trucks on the road using its own fuel-cell technology. (yahoofinance)

photo: Hyzon

UK news

Crown Estate delays next round of offshore wind leases
Just a week after Boris Johnson ramped up the UK’s offshore wind ambitions, the manager of the seabed has pushed back the timetable for awarding the next round of leases
The government’s plans to drastically increase the UK’s offshore wind capacity received a setback, after the Crown Estate announced it was pushing back the timetable for awarding the next round of leases for offshore wind developers.
The agency, which is tasked with managing the UK seabed, announced it has updated the timeline for the Round 4 Leasing Round that is expected to deliver around 7GW of new offshore wind capacity, making a major contribution to the government’s target of having 40GW in place by 2030.
The Crown Estate said it had previously expected successful Round 4 projects to be awarded agreements for lease in 2021. But the new timetable means it now expects that awards are likely to take place in spring 2022, subject to the outcome of Habitats Regulations Assessments (HRAs). (businessgreen)

Wasted food produces more greenhouse gas emissions than aviation
Food waste is wrecking the environment and driving catastrophic climate change, according to sustainability charity WRAP.
A new report published by the organisation warns climate change cannot be stopped if society doesn’t stop wasting food and reveals that shockingly, less than a third of people know that wasting food contributes to climate change.
Currently, 9.5 million tonnes of food are wasted every year across the country, with 70% of this coming from our homes – of this amount, 4.5 million tonnes could have been eaten but was needlessly disposed of.
The report suggests if every person in the UK wasted no food at home for one day, the resultant greenhouse gas reduction would be equal to planting half a million trees.
Domestic bread waste alone generates 318,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, the same as 140,000 cars, while the 920,000 bananas wasted each day use up 330 billion litres of water to grow annually. (energylivenews)

UK Export Finance should reallocate funds from oil and gas
Research carried out by Vivid Economics, on behalf of the European Climate Foundation, has found that the UK Export Finance (UKEF) could support 42,000 jobs in the renewables sector each year by 2035, up from 2,000 today.
It could do so by matching the same support it provides to the oil and gas sector. The research report notes that the Government currently underwrites each job in the oil and gas sector at a sum of around £250,000. However, this finance could be better used to support small renewable companies.
While the oil and gas sector has warned that 30,000 jobs could be lost as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the low oil prices, the report found that reallocating UKEF funding from oil and gas to renewables is unlikely to have a “meaningful negative impact” on current employment in the sector. (edie)

EV of the week

Renault to take on ID.3 with the new Megane Electric
Renault-Nissan were in danger of squandering the lead they had in electric vehicles in Europe, thanks to the success of the Zoe and Leaf. However they have not been asleep at the wheel, and first evidence of a joint platform appeared when Nissan showed off the Arriya SUV earlier this year.
This week Renault revealed their move which will give them an ability to compete head on in Europe against the VW ID.3 in the most popular hatchback sector.
The big reveal is going to be called the Megane, so Renault will run with their existing branding rather than create a new bespoke EV brand. The logic, they say is that the Megane has been popular across many formats, hatch, MPV, convertible, estate that it can carry an EV offering too. Hopefully it is a sign of commitment that the EV of the next Megane is being shown before the petrol.
The car will launch late next year and will have one of the slimmest batteries offering a range of 281 miles and up to 130kW charging speeds, which sound competitive.
The car shown is a concept technically, but the company say it is 95% of what the eventual car will look like.

photo: Renault


Every new European wind turbine installation ‘generates €10m of economic activity’
That’s according to a new report by the European association WindEurope, which suggests if governments fully implement their national energy and climate plans, Europe will have more than twice as much wind energy capacity as today by 2030.
This translates to 50% more jobs in wind by 2030, reaching a total of 450,000.
By this time wind would also generate 30% of Europe’s electricity consumption and provide a €50 billion contribution to Europe’s GDP, according to the report.
Analysts estimate wind energy pays €5 billion in taxes across Europe every year, often directly to deprived rural local authorities. (energylivenews)

EU launches ‘renovation wave’ for greener, more stylish buildings
The European Commission launched a renovation wave this week aiming to rally popular support behind plans to cut emissions from buildings and reduce energy bills.
Three-quarters of Europe’s buildings are energy inefficient by modern standards and many are heated using fossil fuels. They are responsible for more than a third of EU carbon dioxide emissions and making them more efficient is a key part of the EU’s plans to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
The Commission plans to double the EU’s annual rate of energy-related building renovations, which is currently just 1%, upgrading 35 million buildings by 2030.
Upgrading social housing alone would require an extra €57 billion in annual investment, and EU support will come from a €672.5 billion section of its massive coronavirus economic recovery fund.
Further cash could come from carbon market revenues, while the European Investment Bank will back technical support for projects. The Commission will also rewrite state aid rules, allowing governments to boost national funding. (euractive)

Microsoft joins Norwegian carbon storage project
Microsoft has announced it is collaborating on a carbon storage project in Norway as a technology partner.
Northern Lights is a joint project between the Norwegian Government and energy companies Equinor, Shell and Total that seeks to standardise and scale CCS across Europe.
The project will capture carbon dioxide from industrial sources in the Oslo-fjord region, following which the carbon will be liquefied and shipped to an onshore terminal on the Norwegian west coast.
It will then be transported by pipeline to an offshore storage location subsea in the North Sea for permanent storage.
The group will explore how to integrate Microsoft’s digital expertise and work to find ways to invest in the effective deployment of the project. (futurenetzero)

Focus on: International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2020

IEA Is Pressing for Aggressive Carbon Cuts
In its 2020 World Energy Outlook, the IEA breaks with an approach to energy projections that has long drawn criticism for underestimating the rise of renewables and accelerating climate emergency.
The IEA looks at four different world energy future scenarios in its report: a continuation of current trends, a longer-than-expected pandemic, a sustainable-development scenario, and an even more aggressive case that would meet scientists’ mid-century deadline for eliminating emissions. The net-zero case, which activists and climate-minded investors have been demanding for years, would require aggressive—and increasingly personal—short-term decision-making. By 2030, 75% of global electricity must come from low-carbon sources, up from 40% in 2019. Just 2.5% of new cars sold last year were electric, a figure that would have to rise to more than 50% by 2030. (Bloomberg)

Solar is now ‘cheapest electricity in history’, confirms IEA
One of the most significant shifts in this year’s WEO is tucked away in Annex B of the report, which shows the IEA’s estimates of the cost of different electricity generation technologies.
The table shows that solar electricity is some 20-50% cheaper today than the IEA had estimated in last year’s outlook, with the range depending on the region. There are similarly large reductions in the estimated costs of onshore and offshore wind.
This shift is the result of new analysis carried out by the WEO team, looking at the average “cost of capital” for developers looking to build new generating capacity. Previously the IEA assumed a range of 7-8% for all technologies, varying according to each country’s stage of development.
Now, the IEA has reviewed the evidence internationally and finds that for solar, the cost of capital is much lower, at 2.6-5.0% in Europe and the US, 4.4-5.5% in China and 8.8-10.0% in India, largely as a result of policies designed to reduce the risk of renewable investments.
In the best locations and with access to the most favourable policy support and finance, the IEA says the solar can now generate electricity “at or below” $20 per megawatt hour (carbonbrief)
Download the summary to the IEA World Energy Outlook HERE

photo: Wikimedia Commons

Global stuff

Amazon shows Rivian electric delivery vans
The e-commerce and logistics giant announced last year that it had ordered 100,000 electric vans from electric-truck hopeful Rivian. Amazon, which is also a Rivian investor, plans to have 10,000 of these vans in service by 2022, and all 100,000 on the road by 2030.
The design is unique to Amazon, and vans will carry that company’s logo rather than the Rivian logo. (greencarreports)

photo: Rivian

Scientists search for cause of mass marine die-off in Russia
Massive deaths of marine life of the Russian Pacific Coast have left many scientists baffled. The mass deaths have left many Russian scientists without any explanation. Although they have ruled out that the deaths could be human-induced, they are yet to offer an explanation for the happenings. At the beginning of October, thousands of sea creatures were spotted on the Russian coast, after they had been pushed on the shoreline by waves.
Among the dead sea creatures include octopuses, crabs, sea urchins among others. The creatures were found on the Khalaktyrsky beach, which is a popular surfing destination. This week, the Russian environmental officials revealed that the water in the water near the deaths has excess amounts of phosphate ion, iron, and phenol. Although the water was found to contain excessive pollution, the cause of the deaths is still a puzzle to scientists.
Various theories have been raised to try and explain the deaths. Some experts suggest that the sea creatures may have died due to poisonous blooming algae while others suggest that the event might have been caused by seismic activity. It is common for seismic activities to cause deaths of sea creatures in the region in question since it is a volcanically active region. (inhabitat)

photo: Wikimedia Commons

Techie corner

At last, a simple way to measure air pollution in China
Many of the world’s most polluted cities are in China. It’s the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world and in 2014, the country far exceeded the national standard for pollution suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO). It isn’t always easy to get accurate pollution ratings through standard methods employed by the Chinese government. Enter the Pollution Ranger. This little machine is a self-powered air quality monitor that can be placed on cars to collect data on air pollution everywhere it goes.
The Pollution Ranger is designed for full transparency of data. Anyone can use a smartphone app to access the data gathered by the device. You can use the information to check out pollution levels in your current location, or use the app to find data on a place you’re going to. (inhabitat)