Author: Alex Colvill, Research Analyst at 350 PPM.
Welcome to the second edition of Weekly Environmental News. Each Friday we will select a few choice environmental titbits from the preceding week, a mixture of news headlines, interesting third party research, 350 PPM company news and perhaps some random stuff thrown in to make things slightly less dull.
In this edition:
Event: 350 PPM Sponsored Evening with the Environment Minister
This week 350 PPM sponsored an evening with the Environment Minister Michael Gove, in an event to raise funds for Simon Clarke MP’s election campaign in the swing constituency of Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland. The event took place at The Reform Club in London and by all accounts went very well. Our thanks goes to all those involved and we hope our guests enjoyed the evening. We’ll provide a fuller update about this event in our next quarterly report.
Event: CleanTech Innovate 2018
This week saw the annual CleanTech Innovate 2018 conference take place at the Royal Institution in London. At the heart of the event were a series of five minute pitches from a bewilderingly varied selection of cleantech startups. When the videos of these pitches come out, I urge people to watch them as it gives a great overview of the ideas percolating in the cleantech sector and gives an insight into the inspiring people trying to make these ideas a reality.
I may cover this event in more detail in a later blog post, so I’ll just point out one of the more interesting aspects of this event and that was the multiple companies pitching the idea of using tethered drones to create electricity – Twingtec and Skypull. The idea is to send a drone up considerably higher than wind turbines can be built, where the wind is obviously stronger. The wind-powered motion of the drone pulls on a tether, creating electricity. This is quite a crowded space, and there are other companies that are using a tethered kite, rather than a drone, though it is easy to see that having the maneuverability of a drone could well be a significant advantage.
Our very own Storelectric – grid-scale energy storage using compressed air – made the final selection of pitches, and director Mark gave a strong pitch. Well done Mark.
Article: Sustainable Flight with Biofuels
Lowering carbon emissions from aircraft is one critical aspect of the fight against climate change that has only just begun to be addressed. This short article from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) delves into the only really credible solution for making a significant dent in this problem: using biofuels for planes, or ‘biojet’ fuels. These plant based fuels are barely used at the moment due to cost, but if this comes down, perhaps with the help of subsidies, there is a good chance they will ‘take off’ as it is possible to use them without modifications to planes. Read the article here.
Random Stuff: Curiosity Rover – 2,000 Days on Mars
Nasa’s Curiosity rover, also known as the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), is celebrating 2,000 martian days (sols) investigating Gale Crater on the Red Planet. In that time, the robot has made some remarkable observations. Read more on the BBC website.