Snippets for 15 September 2022



Welcome to another fortnightly edition of SnippETS.


The world has certainly seen its fair share of turbulent times, with a global pandemic, supply shortages, inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But sometimes it requires a series of destabilising events to effect change. In this case speeding up the transition to a clean energy future prompted by Russia seeking to blackmail the EU to cease backing Ukraine by withholding the supply of gas.


And the EU is already on this journey with solar PV generation capacity up from 104GW in 2018 to 162GW in 2021 meaning that it is now on par with wind and gaining rapidly on coal. We also examine how the Mission Possible Partnership – an alliance of climate leaders is seeking ways to decarbonise the challenging sectors of shipping and trucking, steel, aluminium, cement/concrete, chemicals manufacturing and aviation. Aviation has opportunities through the use of green hydrogen, electric storage for short trips and sustainable aviation fuel.


Other sectors seeking to reduce emissions and be less polluting include rail transport and shipping. France is also seeking to reduce emissions from private jets by outlawing private flights to destinations that are well served by trains or airlines, as most flights are less than 300 miles. The Dutch city Haarlem has become the world’s first city to ban meat advertising in public. But it’s more than just meat, the ban also covers holiday flights, fossil fuels and vehicles that run on fossil fuels.


We also cover the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico that went on for 18 years. The company Taylor Energy claimed only 3 gallons a day were leaking when in fact it was closer to 30,000. I guess they were not great at maths. The US Government has now instructed Taylor to liquidate and pay US$400 million towards cleanup costs. Our final article examines how it is possible to combine using a waste product – in this case recycled plastic and 3D printing to make a series of compact and affordable homes.

The last few years have been turbulent to say the least. A global pandemic, supply shortages, inflation, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine - all has led to a period of instability not seen in some time. Yet some good may come from all of this turbulence, as it may force a green transition in the global economy. We’re seeing it occurring already as more and more people support change in economic systems to look beyond profit, and focus on the planet. Read more....


Highlighting the benefits of renewable energy and marking the coming-of-age of solar PV as an energy source, is Europe's solar generation which this summer saved €29 billion that otherwise would have had to be spent on imported gas. And generation capacity is growing fast, from 104GW in 2018 to 162GW in 2021, in both mass generation farms and in small, consumer-sized solar. Solar is now on par with wind, ahead of hydro, and gaining rapidly on coal. Read more....


Aviation is known to be a difficult-to-decarbonize industry. But, the Mission Possible Partnership, an alliance of climate leaders, believes it is possible to make aviation net zero by 2050. As is often the case with climate solutions, a variety of mechanisms will be required, from fuel-efficiency improvements, to batteries, to sustainable aviation fuels. By leveraging all the tools currently available, while investing in emergent technologies, we may see this difficult to decarbonize industry go truly green, in the not too distant future. Read more....

An example of what’s happening - a train operator in Germany is now using 100% hydrogen fuel cell powered trains on their lines. These trains can go 1,000km before they need to refuel, so likely only need refuelling once a day. The owners, LNVG, aren’t buying any more diesel trains and think diesel trains won’t be economically viable in the future. We are hoping that the hydrogen they are using is green, or will be in the near future! Read more....

Another example of the trend to renewables – over 190 countries attended the UN Ocean Conference recently, and leaders have called for the maritime sector to become carbon neutral by mid-century. A growing number of governments are calling for immediate action to move away from fossil fuels, towards using green hydrogen and ammonia in their ships. Countries also need to look to increase their fleets energy and operational efficiencies as a quicker way to make an immediate difference. Read more....

And France is seeking to limit private jet use to make transport greener and fairer for their citizens. A report found that private jets are up to 14 times more polluting than commercial jets per passenger mile, and 50 times worse than trains. France is considering outlawing private flights to destinations that are well served by trains or airlines as most flights are less than 300 miles. With Paris and the French Riviera being the destinations of choice by the wealthy, this will hopefully have an impact. Read more....

The Dutch city Haarlem has become the world’s first city to ban meat advertising in public. But it’s more than just meat, the ban also covers holiday flights, fossil fuels and vehicles that run on fossil fuels. The city of 160,000 will enact the ban from 2024. Adverts will not be allowed on buses, shelters, and screens in public spaces. Ziggy Klazes, a councillor, who drafted the motion banning meat advertising said, “It is a signal – if it is picked up nationally, that would only be very nice”. Read more....

It’s hard to believe an oil spill could last for 18 years without much fanfare, but that’s what happened to a rig owned by Taylor Energy in the gulf of Mexico. After assuring the government that only 3 gallons a day was leaking, it turned out instead to be as much as 29,274 gallons per day. The sorry saga has almost come to an end after Taylor tried various tactics to avoid accountability and the government finally instructing Taylor to liquidate and pay over $400 million in cleanup costs. Read more....


We finish this week with a look at tiny 3D printed homes, that are printed from 100,000 recycled plastic bottles. Azure Printed Homes uses a range of recycled plastic to build 180-square-foot spaces (17 square metres) that start at just US$40,000. The prefabricated building process means costs are much lower than houses built from scratch on site. Could this be an answer to the housing crisis? Certainly, if unit size could be increased, and sadly there seems to be plenty of plastic available to make the units. Read more....








This week we have three innovation articles we hope you find interesting:






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