Low-carbon innovation platform launched

The Carbon Trust has launched the Energy Systems Innovation Platform (ESIP), an initiative to solve issues preventing a more-effective transition to a low-cost and low-carbon energy system.

Members of the ESIP include Centrica, DONG Energy, SSE, Scottish Power, Statoil and Wood Group, which together account for almost 50% of the UK’s electricity supply market.

Andrew Lever, Director of Innovation at the Carbon Trust, said: “We now have a window of opportunity to foster new business models and put in place the regulatory mechanisms that will give investors the confidence to stop chasing market distortions and focus on the long term.”

> Read the Carbon Trust's announcement


‘Subsidy-free’ solar projects deal

NextEnergy Solar Fund (NESF) has bought four development projects that will together be able to generate 59.8MW of power without public subsidies.

NESF said: “These assets, once constructed, will be remunerated without subsidies by selling the electricity generated into the market or via power purchase agreements with individual off-takers.”

“The company’s investment advisor expects subsidy-free solar plants to become financially viable in the UK over the next 12- to 24-month period as investment values and operating costs continue to decline significantly.”

> See NESF's statement


Apple launches $1bn bond

Consumer electronics giant Apple has raised $1 billion by issuing a “green bond” to raise cash for its environmental initiatives.

The company aims to reduce its impact on climate change by using renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency, using greener materials to make its products and conserving resources.

The 10-year bond will pay investors 3%.

> Find out more about Apple's environmental policies


London mayor launches clean tech push

Sadiq Khan has opened Better Futures, a £1.6 million clean technology incubator.

The Mayor of London wants the facility to support 100 small businesses to deliver low-carbon and clean-tech products.

Khan said: “From air pollution and climate change to housing and transport, new technologies and data science will be at the heart of the long-term solutions to urban challenges.”

> View the Mayor of London's announcement


Marine energy impact on wildlife limited says report

Marine mammals and seabirds will continue to use the waters around wave and tidal devices, according to a new report by environment agency Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

The study was based on 10 years of observations around the Orkney Islands, which are home to the European Marine Energy Centre.

George Lees, Marine Energy Manager at SNH, said: “These initial results are reassuring and show that the deployment and testing of multiple wave and tidal energy converters in the seas off Orkney over more than a decade has not had a significant impact on the diverse and abundant wildlife living there.”

> Download the report