Denmark is building an artificial island to house the world’s first clean energy hub

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Some 50 miles from the coast and surrounded by hundreds of wind turbines, the floating area will provide energy to 3 million homes and produce alternate fuels. Two months ago, Denmark said that it would stop all new oil and gas exploration in the North Sea and completely phase out fossil fuel production by 2050. The country is currently the largest oil producer in the European Union. Now it’s planning the next step in its transition: an artificial island that will serve as a clean energy hub and eventually make zero-carbon fuel using wind power. Read Full Story

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BP wants to become the world’s largest renewables producer (but still pump a lot of oil)

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Its fossil fuel production will shrink by at least 1 million barrels of oil a day compared to what it produced in 2019 as it expands its clean energy portfolio. But the company will still be a major contributor to climate change. One of the largest oil companies in the world is now making a major shift to renewable electricity. By 2030, BP plans to spend $5 billion a year on low-carbon energy, becoming one of the largest producers of renewables in the world. The company announced a new strategy today that it says “will reshape its business as it pivots from being an international oil company focused on producing resources to an integrated energy company.” Read Full Story

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New York’s notorious Rikers Island jail is closing: Now it’s time to put the land to better use.

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There are many ideas for what the 400-acre island in the middle of New York be transformed into: affordable housing, an energy hub, or a new manufacturing center. In six years, Rikers Island, a New York City jail complex notorious for inhumane treatment, will be closing, as the city opens a series of smaller jails in each borough instead of housing all its inmates in one place. A new report highlights some of the ways that the land—a 400-acre island in the middle of the East River—could potentially be transformed. Read Full Story

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The U.S. can get to 90% clean electricity in just 15 years

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And by 2045, the electric grid could be entirely renewable. Until recently, climate experts projected that it wouldn’t be possible to decarbonize the electric grid until 2050—and that moving to fully renewable energy could raise the price of electricity for consumers. But the cost of wind, solar, and battery storage has fallen so quickly that in just 15 years, the U.S. could feasibly run on 90% clean electricity, with no increase in electric bills. And adding new renewable infrastructure could create more than half a million new jobs each year. By 2045, the entire electric grid could run on renewables. Read Full Story

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Oil prices have fallen below $0 a barrel. What does it mean for the climate?

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This could be an opportunity to reshape our energy system. But it could also simply lead to a bailout of oil companies. As the pandemic has shut down much of the global economy—at the same time as a price war on oil—oil prices have cratered. In the U.S., crude oil prices went negative for the first time in history on Monday. Whiting Petroleum, a large shale oil company, filed for bankruptcy earlier this month, and hundreds of other oil companies are also now at risk of bankruptcy. Natural gas prices are also falling. At a time when the world needs to transition from fossil fuels to avoid the even bigger catastrophe of climate change, what does the state of the industry mean for the climate? Read Full Story

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Surprise: Your cleaning supplies are full of fossil fuel-based ingredients

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As part of its plan to lower its footprint, Unilever is removing petrochemicals from its home cleaning products. Benzene, a chemical found in crude oil, might also be in your laundry detergent (you might miss it—it’s often in the form of somewhat unpronounceable ingredients such as sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate). Other petrochemicals are also commonly used to make similar products. But Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies, now plans to transition the ingredients in its line of home cleaning products—including dishwashing liquid and laundry detergent—completely away from fossil-fuel-based carbon. Read Full Story

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The EU is launching the world’s greenest coronavirus recovery plan

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The proposal would invest 750 billion euros in energy-efficient renovations, clean transportation, and renewable energy. While the Trump administration tries to help struggling oil companies and continues to roll back environmental policies , the European Union is planning a green recovery, with a new proposal to pour hundreds of billions of euros into new renewable energy, clean transportation, building renovation, and other programs designed to help Europe shrink its carbon footprint. Read Full Story

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Could renewable energy be the secret to Europe’s economic recovery post-COVID-19 ?

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Bulgaria, Czechia, Poland, and Romania are among the European Union’s most coal-intensive economies. A new report shows how investing in clean energy in these countries could drive Europe’s green recovery. As European countries such as Belgium and Sweden shutter coal power plants and invest in renewable energy sources, Eastern Europe has clung to coal—in part because the switch to renewables has been an expensive investment. But with wind and solar getting cheaper , and with a need for robust economic recovery plans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report shows how four Eastern European countries could affordably invest in clean energy, and with that investment, help bring about a green recovery for all of Europe. Read Full Story

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Here’s how much it would cost to move every home in the U.S. to zero-carbon energy

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What would it take for every household to fully decarbonize? A typical American household runs on fossil fuels: natural gas for heat, hot water, and the kitchen stove, gas or diesel to power the cars in the driveway, and coal and natural gas still powering the majority of the electricity flowing in the home, even as the amount of wind and solar on the grid quickly grows. Read Full Story

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