Intelligent highways and underground bins: the best green innovations of the week
A number of eye-catching and potentially transformational innovations have emerged that could help businesses and nations deliver on resource efficiency, low-carbon transitions and combat climate change. Here, edie rounds-up six of the best.
Zero-carbon Humber cluster to rollout carbon capture and hydrogen production
Plans to create the world's first zero-carbon industrial cluster in the Humber region reached another milestone this week, as Phillips 66 and Uniper signed an agreement to deploy a carbon capture and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen production facility.
Europe's draft 'green recovery' plan leaked
The European Commission's promised green recovery plan will focus on building renovation, renewables and hydrogen as well as clean mobility and the circular economy, according to a leaked working document obtained by EURACTIV.
Government launches £40m Clean Growth Fund to assist with net-zero vision
The UK Government has unveiled a £40m Clean Growth Fund to support start-up companies in the fields of low-carbon power, waste, transport and buildings, with hopes that funding could rise to £100m by 2021.
Planning application for UK's first waste-to-jet fuel plant given green light
A planning application backed by Shell and British Airways to create the UK's first commercial-scale waste-to-jet fuel plant in North East Lincolnshire has been granted planning permission.
Report: UK manufacturers boosting profits by focusing on energy efficiency
UK manufacturers that have taken steps to improve energy efficiency and decarbonise operations are reaping benefits, with 40% reporting increased profit margins and 30% experiencing increased competitiveness.
Intel targets net-positive water use and world's 'most sustainable' PC
IT manufacturer Intel has unveiled new sustainability targets for 2030, committing to achieving net-positive water use, being powered by 100% renewables and launching the "most sustainable and energy-efficient PC in the world".
Viridor signs agreement on UK plastics chemical recycling initiative
Waste management firm Viridor has agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with chemical recycling company Plastic Energy to explore a system that treats non-recycled plastic waste using low-carbon electricity to create recycled plastic feedstocks.
Switching all UK cars to electric vehicles would slash emissions by 12%, researchers claim
Switching all cars on UK roads to available electric vehicles (EVs) like the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3 would cut the nation's emissions by almost 12%, new research from Nottingham Trent University (NTU) has found.
2,500 by 2030: Government unveils rapid charging vision for England's roads
The Government has unveiled plans to roll out 6,000 new electric vehicle (EV) charging points across A-roads and motorways by 2035, in order to spur the adoption of zero-carbon transport.
Northern Powergrid unveils community engagement decarbonisation plans
The distribution network operator (DNO) for the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire has unveiled a new community energy engagement strategy outlining steps to use community-based consumption and power to respond to the climate emergency.
edie launches free Decentralised Energy Toolkit for businesses
edie has today (13 May) launched a new toolkit, in association with UK Power Network Services, to outline and showcase how businesses large and small can explore distributed energy solutions to assist with decarbonisation strategies and give them more control over energy usage.
Severn Trent rolls out 350 electric vehicle charging point at UK facilities
The UK's second-biggest water company, Severn Trent, is installing more than 350 electric vehicle (EV) charge points across its sites, as part of its commitment to covert 100% of its transport fleet to electric by 2030.
Gravity-based energy storage project set for Edinburgh
A demonstrator project aiming to transform old mine shafts into energy storage systems is set to be up and running in December, after the company behind the innovation agreed to a land rental agreement at a site in Edinburgh.
Centrica and Lotus partner up on electric vehicle energy storage
Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, has announced a new strategic partnership with auto manufacturer Lotus to give electric vehicle (EV) owners more viability to store electricity and reduce household emissions.
New kids on the block: How Minecraft is shaping the next generation of green workers during lockdown
With 1.5 billion children globally unable to attend school during the lockdown, companies including TEDEd, EIT InnoEnergy and the makers of gaming sensation Minecraft have rolled out engaging online content aimed at harnessing the momentum of the 2019 climate strikes.
Green stimulus can repair global economy and climate, study says
Green economy recovery packages for the coronavirus crisis will repair the global economy and put the world on track to tackle climate breakdown, but time is running out to implement the changes needed, new analysis has shown.
Local energy trading market launched on Orkney islands
A trial focused on delivering real-time trading between renewable generation and local grid flexibility on the Orkney islands has been successful, with project lead Electron noting that more than 1,300 trades have been completed as part of a demonstration projected.
Government-funded Vehicle-to-Grid project completes grid balancing trials
A Government-funded Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) project has successfully participated in a trial aimed at providing real-time control of when and how electric vehicles (EVs) are charged and discharged to help balance the grid.
Hitachi pours millions into Gridserve's electric forecourts project
Hitachi Capital UK has announced a multi-million-pound investment to support Gridserve's ambitious project to develop more than one hundred electric forecourts across the UK to spur the low-carbon transition.
Government planning to replace RHI with Clean Heat Grant
The UK Government has outlined its intentions to replace the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) with a new Clean Heat Grant that will aim to help households and businesses decarbonise through technology and push the nation towards its net-zero target for 2050.
Wrightbus unveils plans to produce 3,000 hydrogen buses for use across UK cities
The owner of Northern Ireland bus manufacturer Wrightbus has unveiled a vision to put 3,000 hydrogen-powered bus into operation across key UK cities in a bid to reduce air pollution and spur job growth.
Onshore wind and solar 'cheapest' form of energy for two-thirds of global population
Utility-scale solar PV and onshore wind are now the cheapest forms of new-build energy generation across two-thirds of the global population, according to new analysis from BloombergNEF (BNEF) that shows that costs for renewables and battery storage have plummeted in recent years.
Google's green software and New York's innovation drive: The sustainability success stories of the week
As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.
Flexitricity and Devonshire food firm deliver first 'virtual' balancing mechanism trade
A Devonshire catering company has become the first business in the UK to trade into a virtual balancing mechanism in response to a demand request from the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO).
Oxford City Council adds electric vehicles to fleet as part of net-zero journey
Oxford City Council has had its first batch of electric vehicles (EVs) issued as both the council and the city gear up to deliver an "energy superhub" as part of a net-zero emissions trajectory.
SodaStream's 67 billion plastics pledge and Timberland's letter to nature: The Earth Day success stories
To mark Earth Day 2020 edie has rounded up some of the shining examples of business commitments to delivering sustainable products, services and campaigns.
First funding phase approved for Humber net-zero industrial cluster
Plans to develop the world's first zero-carbon industrial cluster in the Humber region have been boosted after leading energy companies joined an existing consortium of project partners in the same week that Government funding was secured for the project.
Coronavirus and globalisation: What next for supply chain sustainability?
Covid-19 has brought global economies to a standstill and knocked the confidence in global and connected trade. Would businesses benefit from pivoting to more localised value chains, or do global supply chains enable a global shift towards a climate-resilient future?
Honda expands European electric vehicle battery recycling initiative
Honda is extending a European battery recycling initiative to ensure the collection and reuse of old batteries from the carmaker's hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) and give them a second life as stationary storage assets.
LG's solar arm targets carbon neutrality by 2030
LG Electronics' solar division has unveiled a new strategy of measures that will enable the business to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Planetary Computer: Microsoft launches data-driven platform to accelerate global biodiversity efforts
Microsoft has announced the creation of a "Planetary Computer" that will give charities, business and policymakers access to scientific data on how land use, reforestation and other wildlife initiatives can improve biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation, as the company pledges to protect more land than it uses by 2025.
Tesla to unveil 400-mile range Model 3 as production ramps up in China
Tesla has placed a new electric vehicle (EV) onto the Chinese market with a driving range of more than 400 miles, with the firm's Shanghai facilities now manufacturing more vehicles than before the shutdown caused in the country by the coronavirus.
Focusing on people and the planet this Easter
While Easter celebrations will almost certainly be different for many of us this year, it will still be synonymous with chocolate. Cocoa production worldwide hit a record high of 4.85 million tonnes last year and shows little sign of slowing down as, in the face of the pandemic, consumers reach for familiar comforts like chocolate.
Scientists report huge upswing in efficiency for enzyme-based plastic recycling solution
A breakthrough recycling method that using a novel enzyme to breakdown plastics and is backed by a consortium of global businesses including Lucozade Ribena Suntory and PepsiCo is a step closer to commercialisation following improvements to the breakdown process.
Company car tax rates for electric vehicles slashed to spur market uptake
New UK regulations that came into force this week will ensure that any businesses purchasing electric vehicles (EVs) will not pay any benefit-in-kind (BiK) tax, as the UK Government attempts to incentivise the market for EVs.
UPS integrates AI software at Camden depot to optimise clean EV charging
Logistics delivery giant UPS will spearhead a new project exploring how Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems can optimise how businesses charge electric vehicle (EV) fleets and integrate onsite renewables to reduce emissions and energy costs.
BNEF: Green hydrogen could slash energy, transport and industry emissions by one-third
Large-scale, global deployment of renewable hydrogen across the energy, transport and industrial sectors could reduce their annual emissions by up to 34% by 2050 - at a "manageable cost".
REA and UK EVSE merge to deliver unified voice on electric vehicle infrastructure
The REA has announced that members of the UK Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Association (UK EVSE) will join its 75-strong group of companies involved in the delivery and operations of electric vehicle (EV) chargers and services in the UK.
BYD to offer electric vehicle components to auto rivals
Chinese automaker BYD has announced that it will "open its technology and products to the whole world" by sharing its electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing components with rivals and the rest of the industry, on the same week that it fully formed a joint research venture with Tesla.
SMEs and households to benefit from energy efficiency clean technology trials
The UK Government has backed a new digital energy efficiency platform for SMEs to receive automated advice to save energy, in the same week that a smart homes project that uses AI technology on hot water systems to generate storage capacity and manage grid demand commenced.
Energy storage boom stalls in Europe
Europe's energy storage boom stalled last year due to a slowdown in large-scale schemes designed to store clean electricity from major renewable energy projects, according to the European Association for Storage of Energy (Ease).
Coronavirus: Tesla pauses EV production at two key sites as BYD pivots manufacturing
Tesla will temporarily suspend production at two of its US factories from the end of today's (23 March) working hours - making it the latest electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer to scale back plant operations in light of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Coronavirus: Carmakers including Nissan pause EV manufacturing
Several of the world's largest carmakers, including Nissan and Toyota, have paused manufacturing lines in light of the coronavirus pandemic, including those producing electric vehicles (EVs).
Upskilling roadmap set up to decarbonise North West industrial cluster
An energy and hydrogen cluster set to be developed in the North West has pledged to create a roadmap to combat existing skills gaps for the low-carbon transition, as part of wider government plans to fully decarbonise industrial clusters in the UK.
Total launches France's largest energy storage project as new global battery company emerges
French energy firm Total has confirmed it will be developing France's largest energy storage system, while UK-based redT energy has announced plans to merge with a US battery company to drive global demand for heavy-duty battery technology.
Triodos Bank joins Tesco in funding Pod Point's EV charging rollout
Ethical finance firm Triodos Bank has joined Tesco and Volkswagen in providing funding to Pod Point to accelerate access to electric vehicle (EV) charging points across the UK, including 600 supermarket locations.
Planning applications for UK clean energy projects hit new high
The number of new renewable energy projects applying for planning permission reached a four-year high in the UK last year as energy companies raced to meet the rising demand for clean electricity.
UK Government funnels £90m into electric scooters and delivery drones
The UK Government has unveiled a £90m funding package to be spent on "making journeys easier, smarter and greener", with the bulk of funding set to be allocated to electric scooters and low-carbon deliveries by drone.
New digital tool launched by Government to simplify SECR reporting
The Government agency and reporting council overseeing compliance for the upcoming Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) standards have launched a new taxonomy to submit relevant data in better aligned digital formats.
Lucozade Ribena Suntory gets go-ahead for edible seaweed sachets in gym vending machines
Following a successful pilot at races in 2018, Lucozade Ribena Suntory (LRS) is trialling drinks housed in plastic-free, edible seaweed-based sachets in vending machines in gyms.
Starbucks trials compostable paper cups, places ban on reusables due to coronavirus
Starbucks has announced it will trial the use of recyclable and compostable paper cups in the UK, but has placed a ban on customers using personal re-usable cups due to concerns over the coronavirus.
Ground broken at UK's first rapid-charging EV forecourt
Work has begun today (10 March) on the installation of an "electric forecourt" featuring rapid electric vehicle (EV) chargers, battery storage and onsite renewables in Essex, meaning the facility will open for public use this summer.
UK's net-zero target possible with 'unprecedented' low-carbon innovation
Reaching net-zero emissions in the UK by 2050 is possible but would require "unprecedented innovation across the economy" that could see electricity generation triple, hydrogen generation grow exponentially and land use to be radically overhauled across the country.
General Motors unveils $20bn electric vehicle transition plan
General Motors (GM) will spend $20bn (£15.25bn) on electrifying its vehicle portfolio by 2025, as part of a new electric vehicle (EV) strategy.
'Formula One Fridges' delivering carbon savings for Sainsbury's
Sainsbury's has announced that its new Battersea Park Station has been fitted with its 400,000th Aerofoil technology solution that helps improve the energy usage of fridges, as it builds on its net-zero emissions target for 2040.
Virtual power plant trial in Yorkshire hailed a success
A two-year project in which combined solar and battery storage arrays across Yorkshire homes were used as a virtual power plant (VPP) has proven a success, both in terms of grid decarbonisation and lowering energy bills.
Oil and gas giants sign up to Teesside net-zero carbon capture project
BP, Eni, Equinor, Shell and Total have all signed up to spearhead the development of the Net-Zero Teesside project that aims to develop the UK's first decarbonised industrial cluster through the use of carbon capture, utilisation and storage technology (CCUS).
Five key considerations for businesses investing in electric vehicles
On Thursday (27 February), edie undertook a masterclass with EDF on electric vehicles (EVs) and accelerating the electrification of business fleets. Here, edie rounds up five key ways businesses can kickstart their EV journey.
UK Government hints at RHI extension
Energy and Clean Growth minister Kwasi Kwarteng has claimed the Government is "absolutely committed" to exploring new support mechanisms for low-carbon heat in the UK once the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) expires in March 2021.
Gloucestershire police force adds 75 EVs to its fleet
Gloucestershire Constabulary is set to add 75 electric vehicles (EVs) to its fleet over the next few weeks, meaning that more than 20% of the force's entire fleet will be fully electric.
Solar planes and IBM's seawater batteries: The best green innovations of February 2020
Every month, numerous eye-catching and potentially transformational innovations are being developed to help businesses and nations turn their green ambitions into actions. Here, we round up six of the best from February 2020.
NIC calls for 'decisive action' to deliver flexible electricity system
The government's infrastructure advisor has told ministers that ensuring there are "no barriers" to future interconnector projects should be prioritised as the UK exits the EU.
Science-based pathway for net-zero emissions established for telecoms sector
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and the GSMA have forged a new partnership to develop a sector-specific decarbonisation pathway that will outline how all companies in the mobile sector can set science-based targets.
Peterborough unveils plans for UK's largest low-carbon 'smart-city' regeneration project
Peterborough City Council has unveiled a plan to host the UK's largest smart, low-carbon city energy system including renewable electricity generation, energy storage and heat networks.
Energy companies trial 'heat-as-a-service' to drive demand for low-carbon solutions
UK energy companies Bristol Energy and Baxi Heating have completed year-long trials funded by the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to explore whether offering heat as a service could drive demand for low-carbon heating solutions in the UK's domestic building stock.
Oxford and Kent to host 50MW grid-scale battery storage arrays
Electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure company Pivot Power has ordered two 50MW battery storage arrays to be located in Oxford and Kent respectively.
CDP: Europe's biggest corporates must double green investments to reach net-zero
Some 880 of Europe's largest businesses collectively invested €124bn (£103.8bn) in low-carbon initiatives in 2019 - but this equates to just 12% of their capital expenditure, when 25% will be needed to meet the EU's 2050 net-zero target.
Facebook's former sustainability chief now helping staff pressure corporates on climate
Facebook's former sustainability director and Google's former clean energy czar Bill Weihl has launched a new venture aimed at helping staff at corporates press their employers for more ambitious climate action.
Biggest battery in Europe set to land on British shores
Oil and gas giant Shell has plans for a 100-megawatt grid storage battery in the west of England. It is slated to be the biggest battery in Europe once it is completed later this year and will be crucial to the UK's quest to remain the continent's top wind power player.
Cheltenham retirement complex to slash emissions with ground source heat pumps
A retirement development in the heart of Cheltenham looks set to reduce the carbon emissions from heating by up to 75% following the installation of ground source renewable heat pump technology.
Government unveils plans for £1.2bn climate 'supercomputer'
The Government has promised to strengthen the UK's resilience to flooding and drought by investing £1.2 billion in the world's most advanced weather and climate forecaster.
Government focuses on hydrogen in £90m industrial decarbonisation funding
The UK Government has announced £90m in funding to help cut emissions from industrial processes and the built environment, including the backing of two low-carbon hydrogen production plants.
Tesla Gigafactory halted over German forest clearance complaint
Tesla's plan to build a new Gigafactory for electric vehicle (EV) production in Germany has been temporarily halted by a court order concerning the clearance of more than 90 hectares of forest in Brandenburg.
UK universities receive £1.26m boost for low-carbon steel roadmap
Scientists at the Universities of Sheffield and Leeds have been awarded £1.26m to accelerate their work developing low-carbon solutions for the steel sector.
RBS's climate goals and Aldi's plastic bag crackdown: The sustainability success stories of the week
As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.
EDF takes over EV charging giant Pod Point
Energy giant EDF has acquired a majority stake in one of the UK's largest electric vehicle (EV) charging firms, Pod Point.
Dissecting the challenge: How Sky is approaching its net-zero target
EXCLUSIVE: Sky is facing the daunting task of engaging with 11,000 companies and 24 million customers as part of its new commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030. The group's head of responsible business Fiona Ball outlines how Sky is "dissecting" this target to manage the transformation.
Subsidy-free community solar farm completed in Devon
In yet another boost to the UK's subsidy-free solar market, Community Owned Renewable Energy Partners (CORE) and Yealm Community Energy (YCE) have announced that a 7.3MW community solar farm has come online.
Bristol City Council declares 'ecological emergency', invests in battery storage
Bristol City Council has this week passed a motion to declare an 'ecological emergency' and approved plans to install a battery storage unit at City Hall.
'A critical decade': Sky commits to net-zero emissions by 2030
Broadcaster Sky has today (4 February) unveiled a new commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 through strategies to make its products more energy efficient, its film and TV more sustainable and by engaging consumers and the value chain to "go zero".
UK aviation launches net-zero commitment for 2050, but won't cap growth
Key members of the UK aviation industry, including Boeing, Virgin Atlantic and London City Airport are among a coalition that has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in the sector by 2050, to assist with the UK's overall net-zero strategy.
BT introduces fines for hardware hoarders in bid to reduce waste
Telecoms giant BT will charge wi-fi customers £50 if they do not send their routers back at the end of their contracts, in an effort to minimise its plastic and electronic waste.
DPD to add 300 electric vans to UK delivery fleet
Parcel delivery firm DPD has issued an agreement to integrate 300 Nissan electric vans into its fleet by May 2020, put the firm on track to have the largest electric vehicle (EV) delivery fleet in the UK.
New CCUS project to turn biomass emissions into plastic products
Drax Group is set to pilot technology which will see carbon emissions captured from its biomass plant in Yorkshire and used to displace oil in the production of plastics.
Corporate clean energy contracts grew by 40% in 2019
Corporate purchasing of clean energy contracts reached almost 20 gigawatts (GW) in 2019, an increase of more than 40% on the previous year's record, according to new analysis from BloombergNEF (BNEF).
Investment in infrastructure must take centre stage to drive growth in renewables
2020 will undoubtedly be the year that businesses see the true potential in renewables investment.
Carmakers make joint pledge to make battery supply chains sustainable
Volvo, Audi and BMW are among the cohort of carmakers to have joined a joint initiative aimed at creating battery value chains that are environmentally and socially sustainable.
Gresham House inks deal to optimise 74MW of storage capacity
UK-based grid battery owner Gresham House has agreed to a multi-year deal with Habitat Energy to optimise 74MW of energy storage capacity, which will see machine learning applied to maximise the value of the assets and extend their lifespan.
Big names including Amazon and Ikea spearhead new corporate EV alliance
A new alliance aimed at helping businesses to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) is being spearheaded by some of the world's most recognisable corporates, including Amazon, Ikea and Siemens.
UK commercial properties wasting £60m in avoidable energy bills
UK businesses are wasting energy to the tune of £60m in unnecessary energy bills, according to a new Green Alliance report that is calling for better commercial energy management to help reach the UK's climate targets.
Government boosts funding for on-street EV charging
The government has doubled its funding for the installation of electric vehicle (EV) chargers on residential streets to £10 million.
'Transformation through transparency': How Microsoft will collaborate to meet its carbon-negative goals
EXCLUSIVE: As it strives to meet its boldest sustainability target to date - becoming "carbon-negative" by 2030 - Microsoft will need to forge innovative collaborations with businesses across and beyond its supply chain.
Breaking the single-use cycle
With the welcoming in of the New Year humanity has entered the final decade where there is still time left to take meaningful action and undo the environmental damage caused by our consumerist habits.
UPS and Trinity College Dublin partner on new urban eco package hub
Logistics giant UPS has launched a five-year partnership with the University of Dublin's Trinity College Dublin to integrate a sustainable last-mile delivery service on campus and offer internships and graduate opportunities.
Naked products and take-back schemes: How are businesses designing their way out of single-use plastics?
To mark edie's Plastics Week of content dedicated to helping businesses design their way out of single-use plastics, this round-up features the innovative ways that business giants have started to turn the tide on plastics waste.
Electric buses to operate in Glasgow for first time in 60 years
Electric buses will run on a commercial route in Glasgow for the first time since the 1960s, after bus operator First Glasgow introduced two new vehicles to assist with the city's net-zero aspirations.
Massive rise in EV charging points needed to reach EU climate goals, analysis finds
Europe needs a fifteen-fold increase in electric vehicle public charging points by 2030 to support the EU's goal of becoming "climate neutral" by mid-century, according to new research published Wednesday (8 January).