The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
On Wednesday, Danish energy company Orsted announced a major investment program as it seeks to become one of the "renewable majors" leading a global shift away from planet-warming fuels, Reuters reported.
Copenhagen Mayor Wants to Phase Out Diesel Cars: 'It's Not a Human Right to Pollute the Air for Others'
"It's not a human right to pollute the air for others," Lord Mayor of Copenhagen Frank Jensen told Danish newspaper Politiken (via The Local DK's translation). "That's why diesel cars must be phased out."
Other than the one male wolf that was spotted wandering the Jutland peninsula in 2012, the country's last verified wild wolf sighting was in 1813, Peter Sunde, a senior researcher at Aarhus University, told Newsweek.
Denmark generated 97 gigawatt-hours (GWh) from wind energy Feb. 22, enough to meet the entire country's electricity needs. According to Wind Europe, 70 GWh came from onshore wind and 27 GWh came from offshore wind, which is enough to power "the equivalent of 10 million average EU households."
By Mike Gaworecki
The eleven-year-old C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group brings together officials from 85 of the world's great cities that collectively represent one quarter of the global economy. The group's focus is spurring urban initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while increasing the health, well-being and economic opportunity of the more 650 million people who call those 85 cities home.
Sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies and Chinese green-tech developer BYD, the C40 Cities Awards recognized the "best and boldest" work being done by mayors to fight climate change and protect their constituents from climate risks.
"The winning projects show that great progress is being made on every continent, and they serve as an inspiration to other cities," C40 President of the Board and U.N. Secretary General's Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael R. Bloomberg said in a statement. "They also show how cities can help the world meet the ambitious goals set a year ago in Paris."
A panel of former mayors and climate experts selected the ten cities that they felt had adopted the most ambitious and effective urban sustainability programs in the world—and C40 partnered with the Associated Press to capture images of each winning city's projects, allowing you a sneak peek whether you live near one of them or not.
"Today, we celebrate some of the projects that are key to delivering on the world's climate ambition and will help put us on a path to a carbon-safe future," Chuanfu Wang, chairman and president of BYD Co. Ltd, said at the awards ceremony. "We recognise the incredible human power and thoughtful consideration that goes into making these projects reality."
1. Addis Ababa, Ethiopa
The city of Addis Ababa is a winner of the C40 Awards 2016 in the Transportation Category. The Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit (LRT) Project has improved the city's public transport system and created more than 6,000 jobs. The cumulative emission reduction potential of the LRT system is forecasted at 1.8 million tCO2e by 2030.
A lady holding her baby wrapped in a white shawl is transported on an Addis Ababa LRT. Mulugeta Ayene / AP Images for C40
An Addis Ababa Light Rail Tram passes through Ethiopia's largest business district Merakto. Mulugeta Ayene / AP Images for C40
Pedestrians look out over commercial and residential buildings on the city skyline. Nearby an Addis Ababa light rail tram passes by.Mulugeta Ayene / AP Images for C40
Sweden's Vattenfall set a world record for the lowest price ever paid for offshore wind power. The state-owned energy company bid EUR 49.9 (or $54) per megawatt-hour to develop the Danish Kriegers Flak, a 600-megawatt offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea, about 15 kilometers off the Danish island Møn. Kriegers Flak. For comparison, the average cost of offshore wind is around $126 per megawatt-hour.
Kriegers Flak, the world's first offshore electricity 'Supergrid'Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
The Kriegers Flak is set for operations by 2022 and will be Denmark's largest offshore wind farm. The farm will be able to supply 600,000 households with renewable energy, or 23 percent of all Danish households.
As a pioneer in wind power, having installed its first turbines in the mid-1970s, Denmark's latest renewable energy project puts the country on track to meet its 2020 goal of getting 50 percent of its power from renewables. The nation plans to ditch fossil fuels entirely by 2050.
“The announcement is an essential milestone for our ambition to increase our production of renewable power," Vattenfall CEO Magnus Hall said. "We are already the second largest offshore player globally. The winning bid of EUR 49.9 per megawatt-hour proves that Vattenfall is highly competitive and brings down the costs for renewable energy."
Kriegers Flak, expected for operation by 2022, is a 600 megawatt offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea.Vattenfall
Vattenfall has now won tenders for three major offshore wind farms—Horns Rev 3, Danish Near Shore and Kriegers Flak. The company invested between 1.1–1.3 billion EUR in Kriegers Flak, pending a final investment decision.
"Our winning bid for Kriegers Flak is 58 percent below the original cap of EUR 0.12. For the Danish Near Shore project the bid was also substantially below its cap," Vattenfall head Gunnar Groebler said. "Proceeding with these two projects, Vattenfall provides Denmark with a cost efficient contribution to meet the country's climate targets and customers's demand for renewable energy."
Denmark's newest offshore wind farm will be constructed in a 132-square-kilometer area in the Baltic Sea, an area that will be home to the world's first "Supergrid." The area actually consists of three sections dedicated to wind power development in Germany, Sweden and Denmark.
The Supergrid will ideally supply cheap renewable energy to a large swath of European consumers and enable electricity trading between individual countries—all while decreasing Europe's need for imported fossil fuels. The idea is that it's always windy somewhere.
"In close partnership with their regional neighbors, Sweden and Germany, the Kriegers Flak area in the Baltic Sea, has been chosen as the first place in the world to have an offshore electricity grid," Denmark's Ministry of Foreign Affairs website boasts. "The planned 600 megawatt offshore wind farm will act like a 'Supergrid,' eventually being able to transmit renewable energy through power grids to all three countries.
"The 'Supergrid' would serve three purposes: Bring renewable energy to European consumers, strengthen regional energy markets and increase the security of supply by providing transmission capacity."
According to a Vattenfall press release, the Swedish part of Kriegers Flak has a building permit that expires in 2018 and the German part has not yet been tendered.
By Kelly McCartney
Leave it to Germany to build a bicycle autobahn that connect 10 cities within its borders. The goal? To take some 50,000 vehicles off the actual highways and make commuting by bike a much easier—and safer—proposition.
The idea was sparked six years ago when a cultural project caused the one-day closure of the road between Duisburg and Dortmund and more than three million people flooded the road on bikes, skates and feet. Last December, Germany's first stretch of bike highway opened for business between Mülheim an der Ruhr and Essen. Eventualy, the Radschnellweg will link 10 cities and four universities with 62 miles of bike highway.
The bikeways—and parallel pedestrian paths—are completely separated from the vehicle lanes, with a 13-foot width, tunnels, lights and snow clearing because safety and accessibility issues are two of the biggest obstacles to biking. Coupled with Europe's blossoming affection for electric bikes and Germany's limited proximity between cities, the Radschnellweg stand to attract a new wave of pedal-powered commuters. Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich and Nuremberg are also undertaking bike-related feasibility studies in order to curb traffic and pollution in those urban areas.
Of course, the Germans are only the latest to enter the bike highway fray. The Netherlands started building their 20-strong network of bikeways 10 years ago and continue to expand it, while Denmark focused their efforts on Copenhagen. Norway will soon be getting in on the action too with bikeways connecting nine cities.
This article was reposted with permission from our media associate Shareable.
By Nicole D'Alessandro
Worldwide, a trillion single-use plastic bags are used each year, nearly 2 million each minute. Usage varies widely among countries, from more than 400 a year for many East Europeans, to just four a year for people in Denmark and Finland. Plastic bags, made of depletable natural gas or petroleum resources, are often used only for a matter of minutes. Yet they last in the environment for hundreds of years, shredding into ever-smaller pieces but never fully breaking down.