Apr 4, 2018 - 2min read
From solar sails in space to the National Grid welcoming the rise of EVs, Tonik's MD, Chris Russell, picks his favourite green tech news stories from the past few weeks:
Ocado’s near zero levels of food waste
Ocado has engineered such an efficient supply chain that it wastes only 0.02% of the productsit processes. They say they use software to calculate ways to pack items while reducing product damage and decreasing food waste while also increasing the time customers have to enjoy their goods with a project that increases shelf life by over 50% for many items. When 7.3 million tonnes of food is wasted in UK homes every year, I think that many more retailers should take a leaf out of Ocado’s book.
Solar sailing in space
“Flight by light” is the pioneering mission from The Planetary Society, having designed the first spacecraft to test the use of solar sails. The aim is controlled ‘solar sailing’ while orbiting the Earth, allowing the propulsion from the push of photons streaming from the sun to move the spacecraft around. For this to work the spacecraft needs to reach an altitude where solar pressure dominates over atmospheric drag. If this is successful, NASA can explore the possibility of flights where fuel doesn’t need to be carried on board.
NatWest’s £7 billion pot for eco projects
Have you ever had an idea you think might make the world a better place? Now that NatWest is lending £7 billion to energy efficiency projects by 2020, it might be the time. The company fulfilled their pledge from 2015 to lend £3bn over 3 years, and are pushing themselves to lend a total of £10bn by 2020. NatWest also sources 100% of its energy from renewables.
Crackdown on petrol and diesel cars in East London
Great news from East London: in Shoreditch they’re banning petrol and diesel cars during peak hours on certain roads. Only electric vehicles, e-bikes, bicycles and hybrids will be able to travel on the road between 7am and 10am, and 4pm and 7pm.
National Grid ready and waiting for surge in electric cars
More electric vehicle initiatives – and this time supported by National Grid. The company which runs the UK’s electricity network has said it could cope with an earlier surge in electric car numbers if the government brought the ban on new petrol and diesel car sales, planned for 2040, forward by a whole decade. The company is confident that 12 years will be enough time for them to build superfast car charging points at motorway services.