Dec 18, 2017 - 2min read
As has become custom on a Monday, Tonik’s MD Chris Russell picks his favourite green tech stories from the past seven days.
Coal mines converted into solar farms
In several countries, ex-coal mines are coming back to life as solar farms. In the US for example, the Berkeley Energy Group is planning to turn a strip mine in the Appalachians into a solar power plant that could generate up to 100 MW of power in 2018. This example is also being echoed in the UK, Germany and China among others, as the now-obsolete mines find a greener purpose.
Every bus in Shenzhen to be electric by 2018
Back in 2011 the Chinese megacity, Shenzhen, rolled out a pilot programme of electric buses. By the end of this year the whole fleet, all 16,000 buses, will be electric – the first city in the world to achieve such a feat. It’s even more impressive when you consider that Shenzhen has more buses than New York and the other top five bus fleets in the U.S. combined.
Aston Martin puts a luxury spin on the EV
The Electric cars market is growing rapidly and Aston Martin is proving that green can be luxurious. The company is looking to take a bite out of Tesla’s market share, with its 1,000 horsepower RapidEwhich starts from £190,000.
The solar panels supercharged by algae
The Swedish Algae Factory, a commercial research lab, farms a type of algae called diatoms. These single cell organisms thrive in the dark conditions under the sea, thanks to one extraordinary ability: they produce tiny shells made of glass. By producing shells out of silica – the primary ingredient of glass – the algae are able to photosynthesise light more efficiently. The research lab is incorporating these microscopic shells into solar panels, increasing the panels’ efficiency by up to a staggering 60%.
5 sustainable businesses
A host of new businesses are showing that sustainability and profitability are not mutually exclusive. Take Fair Harbour, for example, a flourishing sustainable men’s swimwear company that makes its board shorts from recycled plastic bottles. Another notable mention is Paladino and Company, who work with architects and developers to help companies reduce their carbon footprint.