This week Current climatewhich every Saturday brings you the latest in sustainability business. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every week.
Ono benefits part of working at Forbes is the fact that it’s been publishing for over a hundred years, which means there’s a wealth of history at your fingertips when you’re feeling curious about something. It was in that spirit this week that I found myself reading a 1929 interview with Thomas Edison, who was then 82 years old. Even at that age, Edison proclaimed himself optimistic about the future of electricity, an industry he described at the time as a “screaming baby” in terms of maturity.
Perhaps of particular interest to readers of this newsletter, Edison believed that “the time is coming when mankind will derive large-scale electrical power directly from the sun,” the article reads. For the great inventor, the amount of energy dumped on Earth every day in the form of sunlight was a huge opportunity and lamented that in his time harnessing this energy was not possible. “As if we were beings who walked under a constant golden shower of silver and yet were unable to bend down and pick up a single coin.”
The big read
BP bets $4 billion on green landfill gas, earning another big payday for Rice Brothers ‘Shalennial’
Thanks to federal subsidies, sucking up methane from landfills is twice as cost effective per unit of energy as pumping oil, with zero carbon emissions.
Discoveries and Innovations
A new report reveals that Germanythe decision of reduce your investment in wind power in 2015 was a key factor in increasing its reliance on Russia for natural gas imports.
Colombian chemist Maria Camila Aguilera work on iron-based catalysts for chemical manufacturing, which could open up cheaper, more abundant and less toxic alternatives to current palladium catalysts.
Fusion Power Company Tokamak Energy announced that he had highest “triple product” result for its reactor to date, which is a key step in the development of a commercial fusion power plant.
Sustainability Deals of the Week
Best Battery Factory: Sila, which marketed silicon anodes that allow conventional lithium batteries to improve their capacity, was just awarded $100 million from the Department of Energy to finance the construction of its manufacturing plant.
Fight against deforestation: A consortium of investment firms including Norfund, British International Investment and Finnfund have iinvested around 200 million dollars in the African Forestry Impact Platform to reduce deforestation on the continent.
Fund ‘Narwhale’: Climate tech venture capital firm Propeller launched its first $100 million fund in partnership with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to invest in companies developing sustainable ocean-based technologies.
on the horizon
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warns that this winter will see a third consecutive season La Niña conditions. This likely means drier than average conditions in the south and wetter than average conditions for other reasons. This is also likely to extend drought conditions across the Great Plains and western states.
What else we read this week
This Barbie was trash (Bloomberg)
If You Don’t Already Live In Sponge Town, Soon You Will (Wired)
Global CO2 emissions have increased by less than one percent this year thanks to renewable energy (Popular Science)
Green Transportation Update
Jhe runs to electrify the auto market shows no signs of slowing down in the near term, as every major automaker commits to adding new zero-emission vehicles and making the batteries and motors they need. The latest to join the fray is the German luxury giant BMW, which pours 1.7 billion dollars to modernize its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and produce batteries at a new plant in nearby Woodruff. The company says it will offer six electric models in the United States by 2030, ensuring more competition for electric vehicle leader Tesla.
The great history of transport
Elon Musk’s fortune plummeted by more than $100 billion in less than a year
Elon Musk is still the richest person in the world, resulting from owning more than 20% of Tesla, but he has taken a big financial hit due to decidedly bearish stock market conditions. In fact, his fortune plummeted by more than $100 billion in less than a year due to Tesla’s declining market value. In quarterly results released this week, the electric carmaker’s revenue fell short of some analysts’ expectations. Add to that worries about a possible recession and investors are spooked. “He sells high-priced cars, so a recession won’t be good for his business,” said Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak + Co. Forbes.
More green transport news
By the Numbers: Comparing Resale Values of Electric Cars
Waymo expands its electric robotaxi service to Los Angeles
Classic Jaguar E-Types offered as electric vehicles
Jeep goes all-electric with Avengeance at the Paris Motor Show
Europe’s electric revolution demands affordability, but the Paris Auto Show won’t oblige