Finland to be carbon neutral by 2035. One of the fastest targets ever set

(Photo: Flickr/Mikko Muinonen)

Finland will go carbon neutral by 2035, under a coalition deal published on Monday, setting one of the world’s earliest timelines for reaching that mark.

After more than a month of negotiations, five parties agreed on the goal championed by incoming Social Democrat prime minister Antti Rinne.

Rinne told reporters it was time to “invest in the future”, presenting the climate strategy as part of a package with increased welfare spending.

The new government said it would legislate the target and then review it in 2025.

Unlike neighbouring Norway, which has an even earlier 2030 carbon neutral target, Finland does not intend to rely on buying credits for carbon cutting projects in other countries – although that is subject to review in 2025. Continue reading “Finland to be carbon neutral by 2035. One of the fastest targets ever set”

BNEF Report: As Prices Fall, Renewables Rise Worldwide

A new report from BloombergNEF (BNEF) predicts about half of the world’s power will come from renewable resources, including solar and wind, by 2050. The group’s New Energy Outlook 2019, released June 18, noted the trend will be driven by falling prices for solar, wind, and battery storage, along with trillions of dollars of investments in renewable energy projects.

BNEF said hydro and nuclear power will provide more than 20% of the world’s power by mid-century, but global coal-fired electricity production will continue to plummet, with its share of worldwide power generation dropping from 37% today to 12% in 2050.

The BNEF report said wind, solar, and battery storage will enable the power generation industry to meet its share of emission cuts required by the Paris climate agreement, at least until 2030, but other technologies will be needed to continue that trend, according to Matthias Kimmel, the report’s lead analyst.

“To get emissions where we want them to be, we need something else,” Kimmel said. Continue reading “BNEF Report: As Prices Fall, Renewables Rise Worldwide”

Spain’s Iberdrola stakes its claim on Ireland’s renewables

Dunluce Castle. Image credit: Wilkimedia

Spanish utility Iberdrola has announced its entry into the Irish energy market. The Iberdrola Ireland brand will offer customers 100% green electricity tariffs, with gas and electric vehicle charging infrastructure, the latter set for launch at an as-yet-unconfirmed date.

Iberdrola also plans to invest over €100 million in battery storage and renewable energy projects in the country by 2025. Continue reading “Spain’s Iberdrola stakes its claim on Ireland’s renewables”

People, planet and profits: Impact investing exceeds $500bn

[ Image: Eddie Seal/Bloomberg]
Annual survey shows investors ‘increasingly see alignment between business objectives and transformative impact’.

In a world where the dual scourges of immense poverty and global warming often overwhelm even the most optimistic people, investors of a new breed are stepping into the breach and staking hundreds of billions of dollars on solving the massive problems facing humankind.

But this path to positive impacts isn’t just about doing good. It’s also about making money.

“Global challenges like entrenched inequality and climate change require large-scale, urgent action,” Amit Bouri, CEO of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), told Al Jazeera. “And impact investors are stepping up to help fuel positive progress.” Continue reading “People, planet and profits: Impact investing exceeds $500bn”

‘Super battery’ for Scottish Power’s Whitelee wind farm

A huge “super battery” will be built on the site of the UK’s largest wind farm, after plans were approved by the Scottish government.

It will store power generated by the 215 turbines at Whitelee wind farm on Eaglesham Moor, near Glasgow.

Scottish Power, which operates the wind farm, said the battery storage site would be the size of half a football pitch.

Its planned capacity will make it largest wind farm battery in the UK.

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  • Scottish Power to use 100% wind power

The energy firm said the facility would support the National Grid in maintaining the resilience and stability of the electricity grid, even when the wind is not blowing.

It will be able to achieve full charge in less than half an hour. Continue reading “‘Super battery’ for Scottish Power’s Whitelee wind farm”

‘Nature is the biggest proven technology to address climate impacts’

Rainforest Alliance’s Ana Fortin highlights how sustainable forestry practices by communities have led to a net increase in forest cover in the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala

Around World Environment Day we hear many devastating stories about habitat loss, species decline and biodiversity collapse. But there is also some positive news to highlight, for instance, on natural climate solutions.

Deforestation may be on the increase around the world, but in some areas, the story is different thanks to the commitment and incredible work of community groups that take care of the forest through sustainable practices.

Take, for instance, the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala, where Rainforest Alliance has a decades-long partnership with indigenous and rural communities.

Between 2016 and 2017 the net forest cover increased, for the first time in 17 years, gaining 1,087 hectares of forest, according to a new report authored by USAID, CONAP (Consejo Nacional de Areas Protegidas), Wildlife Conservation Society, and others.

Why is this good news beyond the local communities and environment? Because we need to wield forests’ power to fight climate change. Continue reading “‘Nature is the biggest proven technology to address climate impacts’”

America’s renewable energy capacity is now greater than coal

New York (CNN Business)America’s coal industry has already been left in the dust by natural gas. Now it’s under immense pressure from the renewable energy boom.
The renewable energy sector had slightly more installed capacity than coal in April, according to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report.

That means US power plants can produce more energy from clean sources than coal for the first time in history, according to the SUN DAY Campaign, a nonprofit research group supporting sustainable energy. The breakthrough reflects the plunging cost of solar and wind as well as heightened environmental concern about coal.

“Coal has no technology path,” said Jeff McDermott, managing partner at Greentech Capital Advisors, a boutique investment bank focused on clean energy. “It’s got nowhere to go but extinction.”

The clean energy revolution is on the verge of a tipping point.

Also in April, the renewable energy sector was projected to have generated more electricity than coal, according to a separate report published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. That transition was partially driven by seasonal issues.

At the same time, America has drastically cut back on its appetite for coal. Since peaking in 2008, US coal consumption has plunged 39% to the lowest level in 40 years, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Continue reading “America’s renewable energy capacity is now greater than coal”

Opportunities in sustainable timberland

This article first appeared in Personal Wealth, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on May 13, 2019 – May 19, 2019.

Interest in sustainable and impact forestry investing has been growing steadily over the past two decades, according to a new report by The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) titled “Scaling impact investing in forestry”.

This presents an opportunity for impact investors to push for social and environmental change in the forestry asset class. Continue reading “Opportunities in sustainable timberland”

Starbucks to power 3K stores with renewable energy by 2021

Starbucks is no stranger to green initiatives, particularly when it comes to cleaning up its energy usage. It has made several efforts to source sustainable energy, and is the top retailer to buy renewable energy, according to Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership.

  • Starbucks will power 3,000 locations with clean energy by 2021 via a partnership with LevelTenEnergy, according to a press release.
  • LevelTen procured a custom-built portfolio of three projects that include wind and solar farms in North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas.
  • A data sharing collaboration between the project developers and LevelTen will allow the coffee chain to monitor its renewable energy generation, track portfolio performance and streamline contract management.

Continue reading “Starbucks to power 3K stores with renewable energy by 2021”

A global 100% renewable energy system

(Image courtesy: iStock/Milos Muller)

A new report by LUT University in Finland and the Energy Watch Group (EWG) in Germany outlines a cross-sector, global 100% renewable energy system, backing up the version it released last year. The full modelling study simulates a total global energy transition in the electricity, heat, transport and desalination sectors by 2050. It claims that a transition to 100% renewable energy would lead to a system that was economically competitive with the current fossil and nuclear-based system. It could also, the study says, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the energy system to zero by 2050, or perhaps earlier, without relying on negative CO2 emission technologies.

LUT/EWG have also developed a range of national roadmaps for the transition to 100% renewable power. The new global 100% renewable study builds on that work, and earlier global studies, covering all sectors.

“The study’s results show that all countries can and should accelerate the current Paris Climate Agreement targets,” said Christian Breyer, professor for solar economy at LUT. “A transition to 100% clean, renewable energies is highly realistic – even today, with the technologies currently available.” Continue reading “A global 100% renewable energy system”