There are a number of countries who are well placed to become major exporters, the UK and Australia are two of them as sories below demonstrate. It is slightly disappointing that neither seem that keen to pick up the baton


Sainsbury’s cuts ribbon on ‘most energy-efficient supermarket ever’
Sainsbury’s has today officially opened its new flagship supermarket in Hook, Hampshire, hailing the store as the ‘most energy-efficient supermarket ever’.
The retail giant said the cutting edge site features a raft of innovations that will mean it uses 25 per cent less power than its previous most efficient store and half the energy of a similar sized standard supermarket.
The company said the 25,000 square foot supermarket will use 100 per cent renewable electricity and will “not rely on any fossil fuels”.
As such, it will use a cold aisle retrieval system, which takes any air that leaves the fridges and displaces it to other areas of the store to keep those aisles cooler. Meanwhile, warm air is to be taken from the back of the fridges and freezers and re-purposed to heat other sections of the store. The approach means about two-thirds of the energy consumed by the chiller units will be reused by the cold aisle retrieval system.
The store is also part of a new trial that uses doors on chilled cabinets, which is expected to reduce their energy demands by up to 60 per cent, while ambient air door curtains are to be used to help reduce the store’s heating requirements.
Moreover, the roof features over 700 solar panels, which are expected to provide up to 300MWh of energy each year, while 100 per cent LED lighting has been installed throughout the store and shop floor sensors will enable lights to adapt in response to the level of natural daylight available so that energy is not wasted. (businessgreen)

photo: Sainsbury

UK Government considering mortgage rate cuts for energy efficient homes
Homeowners who make their properties more energy efficient could see their mortgage rate cut under a new government-backed pilot in which Perenna Bank will receive more than £193,000 in government funding to help develop their long-term, fixed-rate mortgage that will incentivise customers to make their homes more energy efficient by offering to reduce their mortgage rate.
Another trial will see buy-to-let landlords add the cost of making properties more energy efficient onto their mortgage – enabling them to borrow the money for the improvements and include it in their monthly repayments. (renewableenergymagazine)

London flood defence plan brought forward by 15 years
Major plans to bolster London’s flood defences in the Thames Estuary are being accelerated by 15 years in response to heightened climate risk and sea level rise projections, the Environment Agency (EA) has announced today.
The EA said flood defences protecting the UK capital are to be raised 15 years sooner than previously expected as part of an updated plan to ensure communities in London and the wider Thames Estuary are ready to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
New and improved climate models have illustrated heightened risk of flooding from a warming climate and rising sea levels, which have compelled the partners behind the existing plan – dubbed Thames Estuary 2100 – to move forward plans to raise flood defences upstream of the Thames Barrier in inner London by 2050, the EA explained. (businessgreen)

photo: John Cameron/Unsplash

UK could unlock £70bn a year in renewable energy, report claims
A new report has found that by increasing Britain’s clean electricity generation 50% above its current projections for 2050 it could become a clean energy superpower capable of exporting £17bn of green electricity to Europe a year.
The ambition to generate more green electricity than needed to meet the UK’s climate targets could also create an additional 279,000 British jobs, and support a total of 654,000 British jobs, across the UK’s clean energy industries, according to the report.
The analysis by former government economist Chris Walker for the UK Business Council for Sustainable Development found that it was “plausible” that the UK could transform from a net importer of energy to an exporter of green electricity by taking a lead in the global race to “net zero”.
By going “beyond net zero” the UK’s economy would attract trillions of pounds of global private investment and double the £35bn a year economic benefit forecast for its current path, according to Walker.
However, Britain could miss the “once in a lifetime opportunity” unless government policymakers remove the barriers holding back the UK’s green energy ambitions, the report said. (guardian)
Download the report HERE


Cute Dutch sports car with impeccable retro looks
The Netherlands is becoming something of a hub for bespoke EV’s. The Lightyear Zero is the world’s first solar powered luxury EV, although it’s arrival in the market is still uncertain, the Donkervoort F22 is a bonkers supercar which is has outsold its production allocation, and last weekend Carice showed off their cute TC2. It is extremely light by EV standards, boasts a 300km range and rocks a 60’s sportscar vibe, all toggle switches and analogue dials. You could imagine Jason King cruising the Kings Road in it.
The first batch is sold and order books have opened for a second.

photos: Carice


Amprion and E.ON launch ‘world’s first decentralised grid booster’
The projects will help stabilise the electricity grid, reduce interventions and reduce system costs. The Grid Booster initiative was launched three-and-a-half years ago in Germany and could see the country’s TSOs, of which there are four major ones, deploy as much as 1,300MW to help replace the function of additional transmission infrastructure, and do it more cost-effectively.
Amprion claimed it would be the world’s first decentralised Grid Booster, with the first to be deployed in the area of LEW Verteilnetz (LVN), a regional network operator of E.ON, in Bavarian Swabia. That first project is expected to come online in 2026.
The projects will help to counteract grid overloads when faults occur in the transmission network to ensure consequential damage is prevented. Battery storage technology’s near-instantaneous reaction time also means the system operators do not need to reduce equipment utilisation through preventive re-dispatch before the fault occurs. (energy-storagenews)

UK-Germany energy link: Historic interconnector project advances
Survey firm GEM has been assigned the task of surveying the extensive route for the NeuConnect Interconnector project, spanning approximately 705 kilometres.
The NeuConnect Interconnector is an ambitious project that aims to establish a high voltage direct current electricity transmission link between the Isle of Grain in Kent, UK and Wilhelmshaven in Germany.
Scheduled to take place from 25th May to 13th July, the survey will primarily cover the UK territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone.
The survey will commence with a geophysical assessment, followed by a survey to identify unexploded ordnance (UXO).
Leading this venture are global investors Meridiam, Allianz Capital Partners, Kansai Electric Power, and TEPCO. (energylivenews)


One of the first innovators in EV were Better Place, an American/Israeli business that looked to build a global network of swapping stations. That story did not end well, but maybe this technology’s time is about to come.

Nio has10 battery swapping stations in Europe
The Chinese electric car manufacturer Nio has now installed ten battery swapping stations in Europe, with seven more due to go into operation soon. The ten European battery-swapping stations are located in Norway, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands.
By the end of 2023, Nio plans to have 120 such stations across Europe. The Chinese company already has local manufacturing organised to spread its stations across Europe. In September 2022, Nio has opened its production facility in Hungary. The plant has already produced Germany’s first Nio battery swapping station.
In China, Nio’s battery-swapping network is to grow by more than 400 new locations to over 1,700 in 2023. As of 30 December 2022, Nio had 1,294 battery exchange stations in operation in China. The company revealed its network plans for northern China in 2019. In August 2022, Nio began testing battery swapping stations that can feed power back into the grid. (electrive)

Ample unveils next-generation battery swap station
Leveraging its experience working with rideshare companies like Uber and last-mile delivery startup Sally, Ample has been able to not only test its modular battery swap technology but also gather plenty of data to address client needs.
The Bay Area based startup states that electric last-mile fleet vehicles, in particular, can spend upward of 10-12 hours of a work week sitting at a charging station. For passenger EV drivers in crowded cities like San Francisco, Ample says it has recognized that there is a lack of reliable EV charging, especially for those who don’t have access to garages to replenish overnight.
Ample’s solution is its second-generation swap station, designed the support all of the EV types mentioned above, with the goal of converting more drivers to electric by offering a lateral “refueling” solution on par with a trip to the gas station. In Ample’s own words:

Approaching the Ample station, the car is recognized by the station and its door is automatically raised. Once perfectly parked inside, the driver initiates the swap from the Ample app on her phone. Five minutes later, the driver is back on the road resuming her work day. While it may sound simple, the next generation of our EV battery swapping system is a major feat that took years of R&D, thousands of swaps and more than a million electric miles driven behind the scenes to make it possible. 

Ample’s modular battery technology not only expands swap capabilities beyond passenger EVs to last-mile delivery vehicles, but its latest swap station cuts its entire process down from ten to five minutes.
Additionally, Ample states that its new stations are even easier to implement and can be installed and operational in three days. The station is delivered as a few pre-built sections that are erected on site, all without the need for any digging – just like Ample’s first-generation design. The stations can also be stacked side-by-side so that multiple EVs can receive swaps simultaneously. (elektrek)

photo: Ample


Danish giant adds green hydrogen hub to 30GW Australia pipeline
Plans to develop a massive green hydrogen production hub in South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, backed by around 14GW of solar and wind capacity, have been unveiled by Danish renewables giant Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.
The $30 billion project, dubbed Evergreen, aims to include roughly 4GW of solar, a massive 10GW of onshore wind and 7GW of hydrogen electrolysis capacity in the SA region bookended by the Spencer Gulf and the Great Australian Bight, and with the Gawler Ranges to the north.
It adds to what CIP vice president Matthew Stuchbery says is now a 30GW development pipeline that the Danish renewables behemoth is working up in Australia, including the more advanced Murchison Renewable Hydrogen Project in WA. (reneweconomy)

Big farming could look to greener perennial grains
Of the nearly 3 billion tons of grains produced in 2020, the vast majority – equivalent to 60% of the world’s calories – came from annual varieties. These crops must be planted anew each year, though, resulting in soil degradation, loss of biodiversity, and the release of carbon into the atmosphere.
Perennial grains could be sustainable agriculture’s silver bullet, potentially doubling farmer profits and increasing nutrient uptake by half. And companies from General Mills to Patagonia are starting to take notice.
There are a few issues that need to be overcome: Initial seed costs may be high, perennials tend to mature later in the season, and large agribusinesses have so far shown a notable lack of interest in grains that as yet don’t match the yields typical of annual varieties.
So far only one strain of perennial wheat is commercially available — trademarked as Kernza. Still, it is fielding commercial interest from companies that want to make sustainability claims and offset their Scope 3 emissions.
Patagonia – a B Corporation and ‘1% for the Planet’ certified company – is offering Kernza fusilli pasta. Perennial Pantry is selling Kernza flour, crackers and wholegrain products. Cascadian Farm, which is part of General Mills, has produced Honest Toasted Kernza Cereal. And the varietal is making its way into adult beverages: a Kernza Pils from Patagonia Provisions and Dogfish Head is available in 15 states in the US, and a handful of small distilleries have released Kernza whiskeys.
Kernza is picking up steam, and its yield per hectare could surpass that of annual wheat by around 2030. (bnef)


Using seawater to capture carbon
SeaChange is a new technology designed that captures CO2 using ocean water
Developed by the University of California Los Angeles engineering faculty, SeaChange takes advantage of the fact that seawater can absorb 150 times more carbon dioxide per unit volume than air. Ocean water has already helped the planet absorb 30 percent of greenhouse gases emitted since the Industrial Revolution, working as a natural “carbon sink” and protecting the ecosystem from the effects of early climate change.
While seawater is more efficient than air in absorbing emissions, a carbon-rich ocean becomes more acidic with dire consequences to coral reefs and marine life. SeaChange is designed to mitigate acidification, while exploiting the ocean’s natural abilities to absorb emissions.
UCLA researchers have built a floating laboratory on a barge moored at the Port of Los Angeles and installed seawater-filtering tanks on it. An electrical charge is applied to the flowing water, inducing a series of chemical reactions which ultimately trap carbon dioxide into a calcium carbonate-based mineral. The mineral-rich seawater is then returned to the ocean, where it can help capture more carbon dioxide from air while calcium carbonate sinks to the seafloor. (techspot)