the 5th GreenEvents Europe Conference is edging closer day by day. The fifth edition will be held on November 3rd and 4th, 2014, at Wissenschaftszentrum Bonn, Germany. The programme is shaping up and almost complete – and it looks amazing. A huge variety of sustainability related topics and the 2014 focus issue is “sustainable food & beverage at events” will make this event worthwhile and combined with the planned networking opportunities form a conference to remember. As always GreenEvents Europe offers high-level input by speakers from international major events such as Roskilde Festival, Extrema, Sziget Festival, Velomax, Shambala Festival, We Love Art/We Love Green Festival, Berlin Festival, Tollwood, Eurosonic Noorderslag, Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag with expert help from the likes of Julie’s Bicycle, WWF, Green Music Initiative, A Greener Festival, Foodshare, Green Events Nederland, Powerful Thinking, The Round Table / Stop Wasting Food, 10.000 hours, Yourope and Deutsche Pfadfinderschaft Sankt Georg. You can find the whole programme here http://www.green-events-germany.eu/The_Program_2014.73.0.html
And the International Music Festival Conference (IMF CON) has added an exciting new ‘ State of the Industry’ panel – It’s been a hard dayys night‘ providing the picks & pans of the year’s top trends and forecasts for 2015 as you begin to plan your event, andfeaturing Kevin Lyman, Producer & Creator, Van’s Warped Tour; Stuart Ross, Red Light Management; Maureen Ford, President of LiveNation venues; and Robert Richards, Commercial Director, the Glastonbury Festival. It’s December 7th-9th in Austin Texas – More here on IMFCON.
The launch of the 16th annual Environment and Energy Awards is now well underway with 2 weeks to go until the early bird entry rate of £65 expires. Supported by the Energy Institute; Business in the Community; wrap; eef; Global Action Plan and part of Sustainability Live, these prestigious awards will once again recognise excellence in business sustainability through a variety of categories including water and energy management; environmental leadership; renewables innovation; sustainability communications; behaviour change and energy and environmental technology innovation.
Edie.net reports that the German Bundesliga football league’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) plant has been installed next to the Wirsol-Rhein-Neckar arena in Sinsheim. Wind and solar company Wircon was commissioned by the Turn-und Sportgemeinschaft (TSG) 1899 Hoffenheim football club to build the 10,000sq m 1MW carport PV system which consists of 4,025 solar panels. The plant provides about two thirds of the power needed by the arena.
Generating electricity from onshore wind is cheaper than using gas, coal and nuclear according to an Ecofys study approved by the European Commission. Analysis of the report by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) suggests that onshore wind has an approximate cost of £80 per MWh which is cheaper than gas (£130), nuclear (£105) and coal (between £128-184). Offshore wind has a cost of nearly £147 and solar PV comes in at around £171 per MWh. DuPont and Kingspan have joined a chorus of big businesses, energy firms and trade associations calling on EU heads of state to deliver a binding renewable energy target of at least 30% by 2030. The two companies, along with the European Photovoltaic Industry (EPIA) and 13 other firms and bodies, have authored an open letter to national leaders ahead of the European Council meeting starting today (23-24 October).
Bird populations that make the great journey between northern Europe and Africa – including the nightingale and turtle dove – are drastically declining, conservationists have warned.Nearly half of the 29 summer migrants, who appear in the UK in spring to breed before returning in the autumn, show long-term population declines. The nightingale, famed for its song and for inspiring English poets, is one of a group of birds that spend winter in the African humid zone of Sierra Leone, Senegal, the Gambia and Burkina Faso that are suffering particularly badly. Of this group of 11 humid zone species, eight are declining in number. More on the Guardian website here.
Ideal weather has heralded a bumper English apple harvest. Sunshine and rain has resulted in one of the best crops in living memory – but growers still face losses due to glut of apples and supermarket price wars
Almost 500 wind turbines spread across four offshore wind farms have received development consent from the Scottish Government, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing announced today (10 October). The 485 farms, in the Forth and Tay region, could generate up to 2.3 GW of electricity, enough to power 1.4 million homes and save 135 million tonnes of C02 over their lifetime. Ewing said: “Granting consent for these developments will enable them to bid for an offshore wind Contract for Difference (CfD) under the UK Government’s Electricity Market Reform process.” More on wind power below.
Extreme weather conditions are forcing European Governments to reassess their climate change policies, but most countries have identified barriers to taking action, a report has found. A total of 30 countries responded to a survey from the European Environmental Agency (EEA), with 24 claiming that climate change adaptation is now on the national agenda. An overwhelming majority (28 of 30) said extreme weather was driving this change, while 19 countries also identified climate change adaptation policies being enforced by the EU as an important influence.
Fracking could be a financial boon to poor and remote parts of the UK, according to former environment secretary and climate change sceptic Owen Paterson. The Conservative MP, sacked by David Cameron in July, also said the government was losing the battle to develop shale gas to a very powerful “green blob” of environmental campaigners. Paterson also said the UK’s legally binding target to cut climate-warming carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 was impossible to meet and should be scrapped. He dismissed most renewable energy as unable to keep the lights on and instead advocated shale gas, though he said fracking faced intense opposition. But an unrestrained global fracking boom that unleashes plentiful and cheap gas will not tackle global warming by replacing coal and cutting carbon emissions, according to a comprehensive analysis that takes into account the impact on the rest of the energy supply. Burning natural gas produces half the carbon dioxide released by coal, and shale gas proponents argue that gas can therefore be a “bridge” fuel, curbing emissions while very low carbon sources such as renewable and nuclear energy are ramped up. The new analysis published in the journal Nature shows that a gas boom would cut energy prices, squeezing out renewable energy, and is likely to actually increase overall carbon emissions.
More on how mad the Tories are now on our (lack of) energy security. The UK’s latest Environment Secretary, Liz Truss, has removed the £100 per acre subsidy for solar farms for farmland, saying she did not want to see farmland ‘blighted by solar farms’. So no solar farms – but fracking is OK??!!! It’s a funny old world. Even Labour is having problems: with more Labour MPs opposing fracking (36%) than supporting it (32%) according to a new survey from Dods Monitoring you would have though that might be Labour’s policy – but no Labour seems keen to mess with the environment and water supply as well – with shadow environment secretary Caroline Flint seen as generally pro fracking. 26% of Labour MPs are undecided. In the blue corner, 9 out of 10 Tory MPs support fracking. Solar subsidies, funded by a levy on consumer bills, remain for larger solar farms and the government is keen for these to be built on ‘brownfield’ sites. The risks and benefits of fracking for the UK are to be examined by a “independent” task force, led by the former head of the Environment Agency, Lord Chris Smith, and funded by shale gas companies. “We will assess the existing evidence, ask for new contributions and lead a national conversation around this vitally important issue,” said Smith, who as chair of the Environment Agency oversaw key fracking regulation. “The Task Force on Shale Gas will provide impartial opinions on the impacts, good and bad, that the exploitation of shale gas will have on the UK.”
The UK’s recent surge in wind power output appears to be reflective of a global trend, with new analysis estimating that global wind-generated energy could supply up to 20% of the world’s electricity by 2030. The analysis by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Greenpeace International, indicates that wind power capacity will hit 2,000GW; creating over two million green jobs and reducing CO2 emissions by more than three billion tonnes a year. Recently a blustery Sunday saw 24% of the UK’s electricity supplied by wind which meant a number of coal plants were taken offline as they were surplus to requirements. It follows a record-breaking summer for the renewables industry, as wind overtook coal-fired plants for generation on five separate occasions in August – the first time this has ever happened.
Booooooooo! Retail giant Sainsbury’s has announced that it will stop rewarding shoppers with Nectar points for every bag they reuse from April next year, as part of wider changes to its loyalty programme. Hooray – last Monday (20 October), Scotland introduced its levy on single-use carrier bags (SUCB), meaning they can no longer be given away free of charge.
Edie.net reports that Wales is leading the green agenda and is on track to secure a resource efficient future, according to WRAP chief executive Liz Goodwin. Goodwin announced her views during her keynote speech at the WRAP Cymru conference in Cardiff. She said that Wales had secured many resource-efficient ‘firsts’. Goodwin told delegates: “On UK recycling rates, Wales is in first place at 54%, and with no signs of slowing. Wales is the first and only nation in the UK where every local authority offers a separate food, or food and green waste collection.
Ahead of the European Council meetings which start today (23-24 October), 49 companies and business associations, including Philips and Unilever, have sent a letter to EU President Herman Van Rompuy calling for a binding energy savings target of 40% by 2030.The report adds to growing pressure on EU policymakers, as last week 15 energy firms and trade associations demanded a binding renewable energy target of at least 30% by 2030.