Company news

Green Investment Group launches specialist offshore wind division
Corio Generation will commence operations next month with a project pipeline of more than 15 gigawatts (GW), one of the largest in the world.
A GIG portfolio company, operating on a standalone basis, Corio will take projects from origination, through development and construction, and into operations.
It will apply a long-term partnership approach to the creation and management of projects, underpinned by access to long-term capital sourced both within Macquarie and from third parties.
Corio will continue the development of GIG’s existing portfolio – which includes previously announced projects in the UK, Europe, Taiwan, Korea, and Australia.
Over 100 staff will be transferred into the new business as it begins operations in April 2022, with plans to recruit more staff in the coming year. (energyvoice)

UK news

GrowUp Farms secures £100m in funding for vertical farm in Kent
Vertical Farming operator GrowUp Farms has secured £100m from US green investment firm Generate Capital to fund the construction of a major new facility in Sandwich, Kent.
The investment will help deliver the low-emission Kent farm bring “fresher, longer-lasting leafy salads to supermarket shelves year-round”, grown using GrowUp’s proprietary “high-efficiency renewable energy system”, the company said.
The facility is said to use 95% less water than conventional growing methods, while the salads grown on the farm could save up to three million lorry miles per year by avoiding imports. (thegrocer)

photo: GrowUp Farms

Viridor opens Avonmouth plastic recycling and waste to energy plant
Viridor has cut the ribbon on a new “state-of-the-art” plastic recycling and waste-to-energy facility near Bristol, which it claims has the capacity to divert 320,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste from landfill each year.
The £317m resource recovery centre in Avonmouth, which was officially opened this week by Resources and Waste Minister Jo Churchill, includes a plastic recycling plant as well as an energy recovery facility that generates over 300GWh of electricity per year from incinerating non-recyclable waste.
Co-locating two such facilities in the same building marks a UK-first, and will help to drive up the amount of plastics recycled at the plant, according to the waste and recycling firm.
The plastics recycling side of the facility will be able to process 80,000 tonnes of plastic waste every year – amounting to 1.6 billion plastic items such as bottles, food tubs and trays – back into recycled raw material for manufacturing into new plastic products, Viridor said. (businessgreen)

photo: Viridor

EQUANS kickstarts £17m low carbon housing development
EQUANS, the new name for ENGIE’s services led activities, has officially started work on what is believed to be the largest gas free, new housing development in the UK.
Leading housing provider, Stonewater, appointed EQUANS for the £17m project, which will transform a former quarry into a low carbon scheme of 140 gas-free affordable homes in Flanshaw, Wakefield.
The project has been supported with Homes England funding – awarded to the long-term strategic partners Stonewater and Guinness to build 4,500 homes by 2025.
Each of the new homes will benefit from the installation of solar electricity panels, in addition to being heated with an air source heat pump. (futurenetzero)

World’s largest biomethane station opens near Bristol
The world’s largest biomethane refuelling station has opened in Avonmouth, near Bristol.
Opened by CNG Fuels, it claims the site can refuel 80 HGVs per hour and can cut 70,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.
Biomethane can cut carbon emissions by up to 90% when compared with diesel as a fuel and reduce lifetime costs by 40%.
The new station is set to support major brands already running HGV fleets on biomethane including Royal Mail, Amazon and Lidl.
The company has set a target of building 12 additional stations each year to meet growing demand, stating that in the last five years, biomethane demand has increased by 1,000% in the journey towards net zero. (futurenetzero)

photo: CNG Fuels

EV of the week

First electric Jeep breaks cover
For those who don’t follow these things Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat, Chrysler & Jeep are all part of a group that calls itself Stellantis. Stellantis are keen to be taken seriously in electric motoring and have been making promises of launching 75 EV models before 2030. Most of their brands have launched EV versions of their new models such as the Peugeot 208, but Jeep will be important for them, particularly in the US and this week they showed off a neat looking small SUV which will be followed by a van, a RAM pickup and EV’s covering the full Jeep range by 2025. No performance figures given yet for this one but Stellantis say they are targeting 500 mile range ultimately for their EV’s

photo: Jeep


German import terminals target short-term LNG, long-term green hydrogen
Tree Energy Solutions (TES) is accelerating its plans to develop a “green gas” import hub in the German port of Wilhelmshaven.
The plan would provide alternative energy security for Germany, and Europe. The project would use LNG as an intermediate source of supply before transitioning in the longer term to green hydrogen imports.
The full plan will include six independent tanks with six ship berths, he said.
Accelerating its work is in line with sustainability and diversification of energy supply, given the initial supply of LNG alongside green hydrogen.
The terminal will meet 10% of Germany’s energy demand by 2045, TES said. The company plans to source green hydrogen from countries with abundant renewable energy resources. (energyvoice)

Germany Brings Forward Goal of 100% Renewable Energy to 2035
The German government presented legislation to bring forward to 2035 a target for the country’s electricity output to be almost completely harvested from renewable sources.
That’s 15 years earlier than the previous goal for so-called greenhouse-gas neutrality “before 2050,” the Economy Ministry said Monday in Berlin. The government also plans to introduce targets for wind and solar auctions, and build 10 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity and 20 gigawatts of solar capacity per year. German will also create a national gas reserve.
In the renewable-energy legislation, onshore wind capacity is set to increase from 3 gigawatts this year to 10 gigawatts annually in 2027. Solar expansion will go from 7 gigawatts to 20 gigawatts a year in 2028.
Offshore wind facilities are also a key part of the plan. The country foresees capacity rising from 30 gigawatts in 2030 to 70 gigawatts in 2045. (Bloomberg)

chart: Bloomberg
MAN investing up to €500M in hydrogen production

Over the next few years, MAN Energy Solutions will invest up to €500 million in its subsidiary H-TEC SYSTEMS to transform the hydrogen specialist into a mass-producer of PEM electrolyzers as quickly as possible.
On its way to becoming a market leader, the company not only benefits from a global sales network and the experience that MAN Energy Solutions has in major projects, but also from direct access to the expertise and experience of the Volkswagen Group, especially in matters relating to production scaling and the supplier-based series production business. (greencarcongress)

photo: H-Tech Systems

Research of the week

Nature report: G20 reneges on emissions pledges
Governments are spending unprecedented amounts to escape the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020 and 2021, the G20 group of the 20 largest economies spent at least US$14 trillion — close to China’s annual gross domestic product. Much of that total, rightly, went to shoring up health-care systems, wages and welfare. But climate action was widely promised, too — including ‘green new deals’ and ‘building back better’.
Our analysis suggests that, so far, those promises have not been met. We created an inventory of fiscal stimulus spending during the COVID-19 pandemic in G20 economies, and classified measures according to their likely impacts on greenhouse-gas emissions.
Overall, we found that only 6% of total stimulus spending (or about $860 billion) has been allocated to areas that will also cut emissions, including electrifying vehicles, making buildings more energy efficient and installing renewables. Worse, almost 3% of stimulus funding has targeted activities that are likely to increase global emissions, such as subsidizing the coal industry. And there’s been little change in strategies as nations have shifted from economic rescue mode during lockdowns to recovery, as shops and other businesses have reopened. (nature)


IPCC issues ‘bleakest warning yet’ on impacts of climate breakdown
In what some scientists termed “the bleakest warning yet”, the summary report from Working Group 2 for the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report says droughts, floods, heatwaves and other extreme weather are accelerating and wreaking increasing damage.
Allowing global temperatures to increase by more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, as looks likely on current trends in greenhouse gas emissions, would result in some “irreversible” impacts. These include the melting of ice caps and glaciers, and a cascading effect whereby wildfires, the die-off of trees, the drying of peatlands and the thawing of permafrost release additional carbon emissions, amplifying the warming further.
António Guterres, the UN secretary general, said: “I have seen many scientific reports in my time, but nothing like this. Today’s IPCC report is an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership.”
John Kerry, the US special presidential envoy for climate, said the report “paints a dire picture of the impacts already occurring because of a warmer world and the terrible risks to our planet if we continue to ignore science. We have seen the increase in climate-fuelled extreme events, and the damage that is left behind – lives lost and livelihoods ruined. The question at this point is not whether we can altogether avoid the crisis – it is whether we can avoid the worst consequences.”
The report says:
– Everywhere is affected, with no inhabited region escaping dire impacts from rising temperatures and increasingly extreme weather.
– About half the global population – between 3.3 billion and 3.6 billion people – live in areas “highly vulnerable” to climate change.
– Millions of people face food and water shortages owing to climate change, even at current levels of heating.
– Mass die-offs of species, from trees to corals, are already under way.
– 1.5C above pre-industrial levels constitutes a “critical level” beyond which the impacts of the climate crisis accelerate strongly and some become irreversible.
– Coastal areas around the globe, and small, low-lying islands, face inundation at temperature rises of more than 1.5C.
– Key ecosystems are losing their ability to absorb carbon dioxide, turning them from carbon sinks to carbon sources.
– Some countries have agreed to conserve 30% of the Earth’s land, but conserving half may be necessary to restore the ability of natural ecosystems to cope with the damage wreaked on them. (guardian)
Download the Report HERE

Global stuff

Plastic pollution: Green light for ‘historic’ treaty
Nearly 200 countries have agreed to start negotiations on an international agreement to take action on the “plastic crisis”.
UN members are tasked with developing an over-arching framework for reducing plastic waste across the world.
There is growing concern that discarded plastic is destroying habitats, harming wildlife and contaminating the food chain.
Supporters describe the move as one of the world’s most ambitious environmental actions since the 1989 Montreal Protocol, which phased out ozone-depleting substances.
They say just as climate change has the Paris Agreement, plastic should have its own binding treaty, which sets the world on course for reducing plastic waste. (bbc)

Techie corner

New storage battery more efficient and heat-resistant
Researchers at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Ger­many) have recently developed promising new polymer electrolytes for redox flow batteries, which are flexible, efficient, and environmentally friendly.
Thanks to this flexibility, redox flow batteries generally have a great potential to become an important means of energy storage in the future. Until now, however, they suffered from two weaknesses that have prevented their widespread use. The first was the frequent usage of environ­mentally hazardous and toxic heavy metal salts, such as vanadium dissolved in sul­furic acid, as electrolytes. The other problem was the restriction of the batteries to a maxi­mum working temperature of 40 degrees Celsius, which necessitated the usage of an elabo­rate cooling system. With the help of the new material, these two problems were solved.
The Jena team have designed a new type of polymer that is soluble in water, which makes it suitable for use in an aqueous electrolyte, and that contains iron, which provides the ability to store elec­tricity. The solution can also work at yup 60 degrees Celsius. (uni-jena)