Record increase in global renewables capacity

A record 147GW of global renewable energy capacity was added during 2015, according to REN21’s annual Renewables Global Status Report.

A total of $286 billion (£198bn) was invested globally over the course of the year, with wind and solar proving to be the most popular technologies.

Developing nations invested more in renewables than developed countries for the first time.

> Download the report

BT on track to hit 2020 sustainability goals

Telecommunications giant BT said it was on track to hit its 2020 sustainability goals, including buying 100% of its energy from renewable sources.

The company aims to help its customers to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by “at least three times the end-to-end carbon impact of our business”, with the firm hitting 1.6 times in 2015-16.

Niall Dunne, BT’s Chief Sustainability Officer, said: “This report shows that we’re on track to meet our 2020 goals, and that we’re contributing to solving some of the bigger challenges we as a society will face over the coming years, from climate change to access to an inclusive approach to connectivity and growth.”

> Read BT's report

GIB backs £25m Welsh power plant

The UK Green Investment Bank and fund manager Equitix are together investing £25 million in a 5.4MW biomass plant at Wrexham.

The facility at Wrexham industrial estate is being developed by Liverpool-based Green Plan Energy.

It will generate enough power for 2,400 homes and could also provide heat for neighbouring businesses in the future.

> See GIB's statement

Scottish Government urged to legislate on district heating systems

The Existing Homes Alliance – a group that includes Energy Saving Trust and WWF Scotland – has called on the Scottish Government to use its Warm Homes Act to legislate for an increase in district heating systems.

They suggest local authorities should be required to produce district heating strategies and require buildings with a significant heat load to be required to be connected to a district heating system.

Sam Gardner, Head of Policy at WWF Scotland, said: “At present less than 4% of Scotland’s heat demand is delivered by renewables, with just 1% by district heating.

“Independent research suggests this figure needs to jump to 40% by 2030 if we’re to meet our climate targets.”

> Find out more about the alliance

ETI seeks CCS ‘template’ for gas-fired power stations

The Energy Technology Institute (ETI) is seeking proposals for a “generic business case” for low-cost carbon-capture and storage (CCS) systems that could be fitted to gas-fired power stations.

The template for the power plant design would help to lower the construction cost of projects, the ETI believes.

Participants have until 20 June to submit their proposals.

> View the ETI's request for proposals