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US approves $400 billion war chest to bankroll emerging clean energy projects and technology


Welcome to another fortnightly edition of SnippETS.


We kick this week off by looking at how the US intends to invest $400bn to move away from fossil fuels. Not to be outdone, the EU has stepped up with its own series of funding, committing $270bn to green initiatives, in order to remain competitive with both the US and China.


We then take a look at where a lot of this funding might wind up: renewable energy, as low-emissions sources are set to cover almost all the projected growth in global electricity demand. And much of this renewable energy will come from solar power. In Australia, one of the recipients of the world’s most prestigious engineering prize for his work on solar photovoltaic technology, predicts solar will soon be cheap enough to wipe fossil fuels out of the global economy. Jumping on the solar bandwagon in Aotearoa, are several energy companies looking to bring a combined 500MW in solar generation capacity to the land of the long white cloud.


Beyond just renewables, we must also invest in natural capital, to ensure the land, water, and ecosystems we are so dependent on remain reliable producers. Some of the best ways to invest in natural capital are by protecting ecosystems. A good way to do this is to recognise indigenous lands, allowing local communities to protect the lands they rely on. And a newly recognised reserve in Ecuador looks to do just that, adding 3 million acres to protected lands. In Brazil, Lula’s government is looking to undo the harm done under Bolsonaro by launching a massive operation to drive out illegal miners from Yanomami lands.


Finally, we round out this edition by looking at the architectural firm Atelier Ten, which uses biomimicry to intelligently design buildings that work with nature.





The United States has revitalised their Department of Energy’s loans programs office, approving a $400 billion war chest to bankroll emerging clean energy projects and technology. With 125 current applications seeking $119 billion dollars worth of loans, the loan programs office will help accelerate growth in climate tech companies across all corners of the energy sector, acting as a “bridge to bankability”. This will be essential to the effective implementation of the Biden administration’s goal of eliminating planet heating emissions by 2050. Read more...


Across the Atlantic Ocean, the European Union has committed $270 billion to their “Green Deal Industrial Plan” in hopes of keeping competitive with the United States and China. The Green Deal Industrial Plan simplifies regulations, helping proposed clean energy projects obtain funding more quicker. This will help the EU reach its 2050 goal of carbon neutrality, while also enabling further climate tech developments within their borders. Many observers have seen the move as a direct response to the Biden Administration, which may signal further green loan and subsidy programs around the world. Read more....

Low-emissions sources are set to cover almost all the growth in global electricity demand in the next three years. The strong growth of renewables means their share of the global power generation mix is forecast to rise from 29% in 2022 to 35% in 2025, with the shares of coal and gas-fired generation falling. As a result, the CO2 intensity of global power generation will continue to decrease in the coming years. Increasing the flexibility of supply options is crucial. Read more....

Decades of work have steadily increased the effectiveness of solar cells, so much so that they are impacting the need to even look at fossil fuel-powered energy. Australian scientists and researchers have been at the forefront of improvement in the solar arena and their prediction is it will wipe fossil fuel-powered electricity out of the economy. In their own words, “It’s quite clear that a solar and wind dominated grid is going to be much more reliable than a fossil fuel dominated grid”. Read more....

Solar development here in NZ is gathering pace, with some 500MW of generation in the pipeline. This includes a 52MW project near Christchurch, a 39.4MW Kaitaia solar farm, and a 400MW PV project on the North Island planned by Nova Energy. Solar is a good addition to New Zealand’s generation mix. When it reaches scale, it will play an important role in helping manage dry year risk and when the wind doesn’t blow.. Read more....


A new report by Ceres and the Natural Capital Investment Alliance highlights the growing interest in natural capital investment among investors. The report shows that the natural capital investment market is expected to grow to $10 billion by 2025, driven by the increasing demand for investments that provide environmental benefits while delivering financial returns. The report also highlights the need for a standardised framework to measure and report natural capital investments, which can help build investor confidence and drive further growth in the market Read more....

A significant component of our natural capital is in forests. And one of the best ways to save our forests is to legally recognise indigenous lands. A recent Brazilian study found that legal recognition of indigenous lands can have real, and measurable, impacts on centuries of deforestation, as it provides the legal recognition of Indigenous peoples’ land rights and territorial autonomy, which support efforts to address longstanding human rights violations, land grabs, biodiversity loss and climate change.. Read more....


And as an example of what is possible, Ecuador has established Tarímiat Pujutaí Nuṉka Reserve, a new reserve covering over 1.2 million hectares of Amazonian and Andean forests. The new reserve has been established to protect Indigenous land from threats like mining, logging and cattle ranching. The area is home to cloud forests, sandstone plateaus, Amazonian lowlands and floodplain forests, among other ecosystems. They contain over a thousand species of birds -dozens of them endemic to the region -as well as large mammals like jaguars and tapirs.. Read more....


As another example of what is possible, the Brazilian government launched its campaign to drive tens of thousands of illegal miners from the country’s largest Indigenous reserve, with special-forces environmental operatives destroying aircraft, and seizing weapons and boats. Lula’s new government has vowed to reverse Bolsonaro era policies that caused havoc for Brazil’s environment and Indigenous communities. Lula stated, “We will put a complete end to any kind of illegal mining. This can’t be simply through a law -it must be almost a profession of faith,”. Read more....

This article talks about how Atelier Ten's intelligent green buildings are inspired by nature, using biomimicry to create energy-efficient designs. The buildings mimic the natural world through passive design features such as natural ventilation, daylighting, and energy-efficient lighting. The firm's projects include the renovation of New York's Empire State Building and the sustainable retrofit of London's Serpentine Gallery. The company aims to create a sustainable built environment that will benefit both people and the planet. Read more....










This week we have a few innovation articles we hope you find interesting:











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