BusinessGreen rounds up all the green business news from the world this week
Reports: Germany preps new Climate Action Law
Germany could become the latest country to set a legally-binding net zero emission target, after reports suggested an upcoming Climate Action Law could include greenhouse gas 'neutrality' goal.
Clean Energy Wire reported that a draft version of the legislation prepared by Environment Minister Svenja Schulze proposes an emissions reduction target of "at least 95 per cent" by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. It also includes a "neutrality" target that would require the remaining emissions to be offset by negative emissions measures or technologies.
The bill would significantly strengthen the government's current target to cut emissions by 80 to 95 per cent by 2050. It would also put existing interim targets for 2020, 2030, and 2040, as well sectoral targets for different industries on a legal footing.
Under the proposed regulation Germany would have to buy emissions allowances from other EU countries if it missed the targets with the costs falling on the ministries that failed to meet their goals.
The draft bill could yet be watered down with a number of industrial groups expected to lobby against the plans and the proposals set to spark fierce debate within the ruling coalition government.
However, it forms part of a wider trend. The UK government is currently reviewing whether to set a net zero emission target, as is the EU as a whole. Meanwhile, the Spanish government this week announced plans for a new €47bn green investment drive.
Plans unveiled for world's largest solar and storage project
Texas could soon be home to the world's largest solar and storage project, after plans were unveiled for a facility that would combine nearly 500MW of solar capacity with 500MW of storage capacity.
Utility Dive reported that renewable energy developer Intersect Power has proposed for the 495MW project in Borden County, Texas. If completed, the project would become the world's largest battery system when it comes online in 2021.
However, it is not yet guaranteed the project will proceed. "We make a lot of filings and hold lots of land positions for many reasons across our portfolio, the bulk of them never reach operations. This is the nature of our business," Sheldon Kimber, CEO and founder of Intersect Power, told Utility Dive.
India launches $12bn emission-busting programme
Reuters reported this week that the Indian government is planning a major new investment drive to tackle air pollution from coal plants and accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles (EVs).
A government statement proposed a package worth 885bn rupees ($12.4bn) to incentivise energy companies to install equipment to curb sulphur emissions from power plants and develop EV charging infrastructure.
The bulk of the promised funding has been earmarked for power plant upgrades with R835bn focused on tackling sulphur emissions and the remainder set to support EV infrastructure in 70 cities through to 2025.
China's giant 100MW concentrated solar plant comes online
Sky News reported from Gansu China this week, where the country's largest concentrated solar power plant came online for the first time. Using 12,000 mirrors to focus the sun's rays and use the heat to drive turbines, the government hopes the project will act as a forerunner for other larges CSP installations.
WOW. China's first 100 MW #Solar CSP #Power Plant Just Started Producing Energy.— Mike Hudema (@MikeHudema) February 16, 2019
We have the solutions, let's raise our ambition and implement them. #ActOnClimate #Renewables #CleanEnergy #Renewables #GreenNewDeal #PanelsNotPipelines pic.twitter.com/bHnxtuOCjT
Germany plans bold new insect protection law
Germany's Environment Minister Svenja Schulze has been busy this week and accompanied the news of a potential new net zero emission target with unveiling of a new law to curb pesticide use and protect insect populations.
The law would provide €100m of funding to support an "actionplan for protecting insects", including tigher planning rules, increased R&D spending, and new measures to curb pesticide use.
"We human beings need insects, they deserve to be protected with their own law," she told weekly Bild am Sonntag.
BNP Paribas plans IT refurbishment venture
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions has teamed up with IT lifecycle management specialist 3 Step IT to expand its IT equipment refurbishment and remarketing services across Western Europe.
The companies said they planned to work together to "take a lead in promoting the circular economy with services that help maintain equipment in use, and recondition returned equipment for resale to extend its life".
The firms plan to form a joint venture company to provide the service by the end of 2019. Named BNP Paribas 3 Step IT, the new venture will be 51 per cent owned by BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions and 49 per cent by 3 Step IT. It will have a head office in France, but will also operate in the UK, Italy, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. In 2020, the new company plans to extend its services to Poland, Spain, Portugal, Austria and Switzerland.
"With this announcement, BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions complements both its European network, particularly in the Nordic and Baltic countries, and accelerates its commitment to the circular economy," said Charlotte Dennery, CEO of BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions. "3 Step IT is the ideal partner to develop an offer that promotes the recycling and resale of technology equipment made available to our customers and partners. This transaction aligns perfectly with the BNP Paribas group's strategy and its 2020 commitment plan, which includes the circular economy."
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