Your monthly briefing on the journey to fossil freedom
Issue #3 Net zero, May 2023
Breaking down the science behind net-zero targets
What to know: Net-zero targets are designed to balance the amount of greenhouse gases produced and the amount removed from our atmosphere. “The concentration of greenhouse gases is important because it determines how much warming occurs, the new equilibrium in a sense," says Mark Radka of the UN Environmental Programme.
Why it matters: Our planet's livability depends on limiting the amount of harmful greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Science tells us that the only way to achieve this is by reducing global emissions to net zero by 2050. This is critical for limiting the rise in global temperatures and preventing the damaging effects of climate change.
Why ignoring net-zero targets is riskier than embracing them
Business opportunity. Persisting with business as usual poses greater risks than pursuing net-zero targets, says Anna Borg, CEO of Vattenfall. Other successful companies agree and are now taking action to reach their net-zero goals.
How the factory next door can keep you warm
Innovative district heating. Pharmaceutical company AstaReal uses algae cultivation as part of their production process, which generates excess heat. Instead of wasting this heat, they utilise it to warm more than 2,000 homes in Sweden.
Down to net zero – an energy company’s path
Fossil-free future. Vattenfall is committed to doing its part in preventing global warming from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius, by reaching net-zero emissions in 2040. The remaining emissions will be neutralised via negative emissions.
The future of wind energy lies beyond the horizon
What: Blue mussels, sugar kelp, sea lettuce and dulse will be produced on lines at an offshore wind farm in the North Sea.
Why: Demand for food with a low climate footprint is increasing, and an offshore wind farm could provide favourable conditions for underwater farming.
3 x quick updates from the energy world
Pulling power from gravitation
Tidal power works well alongside solar power, generating electricity when the sun is down – but rising sea levels might create a need for mobile tidal energy operations
Huge savings with eco-design
Revised rules on electric devices in stand-by mode will save €530 million a year for consumers by 2030
North Sea power potential
Countries surrounding the North Sea aim to turn the region into a green power engine by building wind farms and work on carbon capture and renewable hydrogen projects.
And finally …
Drawing energy out of thin air – with the help of bacteria
A relative of the tuberculosis bacterium draws energy from atmospheric hydrogen, enabling it to survive in extreme, nutrient-poor environments. The bacteria can be used to power small portable electrical devices, researchers claim in The Conversation.