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In bid for healthier cities, Ethiopia aims to boost urban green
15 October 2018 - For the past few years, several regions and cities in Ethiopia have been planting trees and increasing green spaces to improve the lives of their residents. Now the Ministry of Forestry, Environment and Climate Change (MoFEC) wants to build an integrated approach among local, regional and federal government institutions to spread the benefits of urban greening to even the most congested cities. Those benefits can include a cooler and shadier environment; less noise pollution as trees muffle the sounds of traffic, loud music and factories -- and fewer climate changing emissions in the atmosphere. (more)

World: In two months, Ikea sold 1 million of its new veggie hot dogs
14 October 2018 - At the food counter past the checkout lanes at Ikea stores, where the company sells giant frozen yogurt cones for a dollar and other snacks to keep guests satiated and ready to buy more sofas, it's now possible to buy a hot dog for just 75 cents. And the hot dog has no meat in it at all. Made from a blend of kale, red lentils, carrots, and ginger, and served on a soft bun slathered in sweet and spicy mustard, pickled red cabbage, and crispy onions, the vegan dog (the bun makes it just vegetarian) is designed in part to appeal to a growing number of customers who want to eat healthier and plant-based food. But it's also part of Ikea's much larger ambition to cut its carbon footprint. (more)

The Magic Kingdom is going green
13 October 2018 - The Walt Disney Company is just months away from generating enough renewable solar energy to fully power two of its four parks at the Walt Disney World Resort in central Florida, USA. However, Disney's solar and renewable efforts are not limited to Florida. In Tokyo, Disneyland's electrical parade light show is fueled by solar panels from eight building rooftops, which generate more than 600 kilowatts of power. In Europe, Disneyland Paris uses geothermal energy to power two of its theme parks and a hotel. (more)

Bankset Energy announces GW-scale plans for solar railways the world over
12 October 2018 - Bankset Energy Corporation has ambitious plans to install gigawatts of solar PV on railway sleepers across the globe. While the first installation took place in Switzerland, work is underway on projects in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, the United States, China and Italy; and gearing up in Austria and Spain. (more)

Netherlands: How Amsterdam's canal boats are going electric
9 October 2018 - By 2020, Amsterdam aims to have decreased energy consumption by 20 per cent and increased use of renewable energy by the same percentage. The electrification of canal cruise boats is a significant part of this plan. While retrofitting canal boats with electric engines and batteries is a time-consuming and expensive task, Amsterdam is hoping the cleaner air and waterways will attract more tourists, be better for wildlife, and contribute to carbon emission reduction targets. (more)

Demand for Indian organic produce is high in global market: Radha Mohan Singh
8 October 2018 - Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh today (8 October) said that the demand for Indian organic produce is high in the global market. He was addressing at Jaivik Krishi Sammelan organized by the National Centre of Organic Farming at Pandit Deen Dayal Dham in Mathura. The Minister said, the Modi government is committed to promoting organic farming and is providing every possible help to farmers for the development of organic farming in the country. (more)

US economists win Nobel prize for work on climate and growth
8 October 2018 - The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said William Nordhaus and Paul Romer were being honoured for their research into two of the most 'basic and pressing' economic issues of the age. The academy said that the two men had won the prize, which is not one of those originally instigated by Alfred Nobel, because they had 'designed methods for addressing some of our time's most basic and pressing questions about how we create long-term sustained and sustainable economic growth'. The two men, it continued, had 'significantly broadened the scope of economic analysis by constructing models that explain how the market economy interacts with nature and knowledge'. (more)

US: Soon, gas stations will also have electric vehicle chargers
8 October 2018 - In the not-too-distant future, your local gas station may have chargers for electric cars near the gas pumps. Gilbarco Veeder-Root -- one of the largest suppliers of fuel dispensers to gas stations -- just invested in Tritium, an electric vehicle charging company. More electric cars sold in the U.S. in 2017 than ever before, and 2018 is on track to break that record. Tesla's Model 3 is the best-selling car, by revenue, in the country. In China last year, drivers bought nearly four times more electric cars than U.S. drivers. In Norway, electric cars and hybrids made up more than half of all vehicle sales. Overall, 40 per cent of Europeans say their next car will be electric. (more)

Electric cars feature strongly at Paris Motor Show
7 October 2018 - Electric models of leading car brands take the spotlight at the Paris Motor Show this year. Euronews science and technology correspondent Denis Loctier reports from the world's busiest automotive event. Tightening environmental regulations in many countries including France make zero-emission electric cars increasingly attractive. (more)

UK: 'A banking app helped me beat my addiction'
6 October 2018 - Tens of thousands of people have signed up to a new service from two mobile-only banks designed to help problem gamblers. One former addict says this 'gambling block', available on the banks' apps, helped him beat his addiction. Monzo CEO Tom Blomfield says the block was introduced because customers asked for it. (more)

Volvo installs solar power at Belgian factory
5 October 2018 - Autos giant Volvo has installed 15,000 solar panels at a car factory in Ghent, Belgium. 'Installing solar panels in Ghent ­adds to our broader efforts to minimize our environmental footprint,' Javier Varela, head of manufacturing and logistics at Volvo Cars, said in a statement. The company has said it wants its global manufacturing operations to be carbon neutral and fully electric cars to account for 50 percent of global sales by 2025. (more)

Ivory Coast gets financing for 37.5 MW solar plant
4 October 2018 - Germany's development bank, KfW signed two contracts yesterday (3 October) with the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Ivory Coast for the financing of a 37.5 MW PV project in Boundiali Department, in the northwestern part of the Ivory Coast. Although this is the first big solar park to secure financing in the country, the first PV project being developed there is a 25 MW facility planned for the town of Benguebougou, in the Korhogo department. The project, which secured government approval in May, and is scheduled for completion by the end of this year. (more)

2018 National Drive Electric Week was a huge success
4 October 2018 - Record-breaking 'National Drive Electric Week' drew over 180,000 attendees this year. According to Mary Lunetta (via Sierra Club's Compass), 'In its eighth annual celebration, National Drive Electric Week (NDEW) broke every record, with more than 180,000 people attending 321 events in three nations and all 50 states [in the United States].' (more)

Donna Strickland's long journey from laser jock to third woman ever to win physics Nobel
4 October 2018 - The 5 a.m. phone call changed Donna Strickland's life in an instant. It was Tuesday, October 2. A representative from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences was on the line from Stockholm calling to inform Strickland, an associate professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada, that she had won the Nobel Prize in physics. In winning the coveted award, which she shares with American physicist Arthur Ashkin and Gerard Mourou of France, Strickland became only the third woman ever to win the physics prize ... (more)

Here are the winners of the 2018 MacArthur 'Genius' Grants
4 October 2018 - What could possibly bring together a painter, an economist, a pastor, and a planetary scientist? If you ask the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the answer is simpler than you may think: They've all shown creativity, potential for future achievements -- and the likelihood that $625,000, meted out over five years, will help them complete their grand designs. (more)

Private PPAs for solar are proliferating in Latin America
4 October 2018 - New deals or projects related to the sale of solar power to big energy consumers were announced in Brazil, Panama, Mexico, Colombia, and Chile over the past weeks. Auctions are not the only way for large-scale solar to gain shares in Latin America's energy mix. Indeed, an increasing number of recent deals closed for the sale of solar power to big energy consumers is showing that the private PPA [power purchase agreement] segment is gaining ground in most of the region's markets, and that projects under this regime are now becoming a viable option, although auctions for big renewable energy projects are still in place. (more)

Swedish study: Even light exercise might lessen severity of a future stroke
4 October 2018 - People who regularly engage in light to moderate physical activity -- like walking four hours a week or swimming two hours weekly -- might have less severe strokes than individuals who aren't as active, a Swedish study suggests. (more)

Turkey expected to reach 14 GW of solar in 2023
4 October 2018 - Turkish solar energy association, Gunder has released a new Solar Energy Map, which predicts that PV could reach a cumulative capacity of around 14 GW in 2023. This means that an additional capacity of more than 11 GW will have to be deployed in the country over the next five years, given that in mid-2018, total registered unlicensed solar power reached 4.8 GW (AC), according to the association's report. (more)

India: 40% electricity generation from non-fossils by 2030, up to $80 billion for PV manufacturing
3 October 2018 - At the first Assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), the second IORA Renewable Energy Ministerial Meeting, and the 2nd Global Renewable Energy Investors' Meet and Expo (RE-Invest 2018), which is taking place from October 3 to 5 at the India Expo Centre, Greater Noida, just outside of Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid out a bold plan for renewables. (more)

Floating PV goes everywhere
3 October 2018 - While a large floating solar power plant is being planned in Ukraine, within a huge renewable energy complex at the water reservoir Kakhovka, the Asian Development Bank has targeted Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, and the Kyrgyz Republic as three countries possessing strong potential for this emerging technology. Big and small-sized floating PV projects have been announced across several mature solar markets over the past two years, including in most European and Asian regions, like India, China, South Korea, and Taiwan; and other Latin American countries, such as Colombia and Brazil. However, less mature markets, like Ukraine, are also starting to recognize their benefits. (more)

Four women who changed the face of physics
3 October 2018 - Donna Strickland has become only the third woman in history to win the Nobel prize for Physics [she was notified of the achievement on 2 October]. She joins Marie Curie, who won in 1903, and Maria Goeppert-Mayer, who was awarded the prize in 1963. Here are four other women who have changed the face of physics. (more)

First woman Physics Nobel winner in 55 years
2 October 2018 - The Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to a woman for the first time in 55 years. Donna Strickland, from Canada, is only the third woman winner of the award, along with Marie Curie, who won in 1903, and Maria Goeppert-Mayer, who was awarded the prize in 1963. Dr Strickland shares this year's prize with Arthur Ashkin, from the US, and Gerard Mourou, from France. It recognizes their discoveries in the field of laser physics. (more)

For African bush elephants, wrinkles are cool
2 October 2018 - A study of the African bush elephant's vast network of deep wrinkles has found it is intricately designed to help the animals keep their cool, fight off parasites and defend against sun damage, scientists said on Tuesday (2 October). (more)

Why elephants have wrinkles (or 'cracks') in their skin
2 October 2018 - Elephants' wrinkles aren't just about age. In fact, the observation that baby elephants don't have wrinkles in their skin led researchers to wonder why and how these form. What they discovered is that the skin 'cracks' to improve their quality of life, according to a study published Tuesday (2 October) in the journal Nature Communications. Elephants have adapted to form cracks in their skin to regulate temperature and protect from parasites. (more)

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