Daily Media Briefing

Daily Media Briefing

 

Posted in: Daily Media Briefing, Energy, Environment, Policy & Research, Technology & Innovation

Top Stories

September 30, 2016

Energy

Wind power is about to get a whole lot cheaper

Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in California, have conducted research that suggests that the cost of electricity from wind could drop by 24–30 percent by 2030 relative to 2014 prices, and by 35–41 percent by 2050. The key driver of this price drop is more efficient turbines, according to the experts. The researchers asked experts about three wind power applications: onshore wind, fixed-bottom offshore wind and floating offshore wind. The results indicate that onshore wind should remain cheaper than offshore.  The actual cost of offshore wind will drop more by 2050 than onshore. The reasons for dropping prices varied by type of wind installation. For all types, one key factor was larger turbines with wider rotors. Another common reason was lower upfront capital costs and, for offshore wind, lower financing cost. (Eco-business)

Technology & Innovation

Salesforce is said to question Microsoft-LinkedIn deal in Europe

Salesforce has raised concerns with Europe’s antitrust authorities about the potential takeover of LinkedIn by Microsoft.  Salesforce is questioning whether Microsoft’s proposed deal would hinder access by people and companies to the vast collection of data held in the social network. Salesforce has also suggested that the deal would give Microsoft an unfair advantage over rivals by combining its own software services with the information held in LinkedIn. The comments came in response to a questionnaire sent by the European Commission, a step that allows interested third-party companies, including competitors, to comment on prospective takeovers. Microsoft had already received antitrust clearance in the United States and Canada and was working with other global authorities on similar approval. The company has yet to submit its LinkedIn deal to European competition authorities, but it is likely to do so by early November. (New York Times)

Environment

Coca-Cola bottler serves up new sustainability goals

Coca-Cola HBC, the second-largest Coca-Cola bottling company, has today set out new sustainability targets designed to minimise the company’s environmental footprint and improve its production efficiency. By 2020 Coca-Cola HBC aims to source 40 percent of its total energy from renewable and clean energy sources. It also aims to recover 40 percent of its total packaging for recycling and source 20 percent of the PET plastic in its bottles from recycled or renewable material. The new targets are built on Coca-Cola HBC’s existing pledges to cut water use by 30 percent and the carbon emissions intensity of the firm by 50 percent, both by 2020. Last year, the firm cut its carbon emissions by 11.7 percent and bumped its use of recycled PET up by 19.5 percent. Meanwhile, it said the use of PLANTBottle, grew by 254 per cent last year. The recyclable bottle is now available in 10 of the 28 markets in which Coca-Cola HBC operates. (Business Green)

England needs almost double the number of marine zones to ensure healthy seas

Conservationists have called for the creation of a further 48 protected areas in English waters to ensure healthy and productive seas. If designated, they would add to the 50 existing marine conservation zones and create an “ecologically coherent network” where habitats and wildlife could flourish, according to a report from the Wildlife Trusts. The Trusts call for the government to acknowledge the widespread public support for marine protection and be “as ambitious as possible” to allow England’s seas to recover and thrive. The 48 areas proposed would fill in the gaps in the “blue belt” around England’s coast protecting wildlife including seahorses, starfish and seabirds. It also includes recommendations for six sites in Welsh offshore waters, which have been postponed as they await devolution. (Guardian)

Policy

France tops sustainable real estate ranking

France’s real estate sector is the most transparent in its reporting of environmental performance and issues, according to the biennial index, released by JLL. The French real estate industry narrowly beat the UK, Australia and Japan, although all four countries were listed in the top “highly transparent” tier. France achieved a perfect score on all seven environmental transparency questions, which JLL said was largely thanks its consistent roll-out of legislated low carbon mandates across the property sector. Minimum energy standards for new buildings were found to be the most common environmental transparency instruments used by policymakers. Market-specific green building certification schemes are also common, with around two thirds of the countries surveyed supporting such initiatives. (Business Green)

 

Image source: Paris by unsplash / Public Domain

COMMENTS