In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Green New Deal co-sponsor Ed Markey returns fossil-fuel-linked donations.
  • Various companies are carrying out tests to see how concrete roads could charge EVs.
  • Edinburgh releases its plan to make city carbon neutral by 2030.
  • The Republic of Ireland has cut green energy tax by 16% for 2019-20.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Green New Deal’s Ed Markey returns fossil-fuel donations

Green New Deal co-sponsor Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) returned nearly $47,000 in donations from fossil-fuel-connected lobbyists. The donations violated the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge, which Markey signed in December 2018.

Markey co-sponsored the Green New Deal with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

The No Fossil Fuel Money pledge states:

I pledge not to take contributions over $200 from oil, gas, and coal industry executives, lobbyists, and PACs and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.

Activists who supervise the pledge sent updated guidelines to the more than 1,800 signers last week. That included a list of fossil fuel companies to avoid.

According to the Huffington Post:

“Following this clarification, the campaign identified donors who met a technical requirement of the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge, of which we were previously unaware,” John Walsh, Markey’s senior campaign director, said in a statement. “We quickly worked to ensure technical compliance with the pledge.”

Concrete roads could charge EVs

Britpave believes that concrete roads that charge up EVs as they drive on the road could be a game-changing EV charging solution.

UK-based Britpave describes itself as the “industry focal point for the development and promotion of concrete and insitu-cementitious infrastructure solutions.”

Electric vehicle (EV) charging points are being rapidly installed all over the world, but people still worry about whether they’ll run out of charge if they buy an EV, commonly known as “range anxiety.”

The company explains how it would work:

Primary coil modules to create a magnetic field were installed within the road surface. The magnetic field creates an electric current in a secondary coil placed on the vehicle’s undercarriage which feeds the charge to the vehicle’s batteries.

Belgium’s Flanders Make has tested inductive charging systems in concrete and asphalt roads. France’s the FABRIC project charged two Renault EVs with 20 kW at speeds of over 62 mph. In Israel, ElectReon Wireless charged a Renault Zoe on a 20-meter-long section of track with coils embedded in the road. And finally, Australian company Talga Resources is mixing graphene into concrete to make it conductive.

Edinburgh’s net-zero-by-2030 plan

Edinburgh Council has released a plan that details 37 short-term actions it will take to achieve net zero by 2030. It will release its broader sustainability strategy in 2020.

According to the Construction Index, council leader Adam McVey said:

‘We’ve identified initial immediate, short-term actions we can progress now to reduce our carbon impact while we continue to develop far-reaching plans towards our 2030 target.’

The council’s immediate action plan includes proposals to:

  • Accelerate the transition to electric vehicles within the council’s fleet and expand and accelerate provision of electric vehicle charging infrastructure

  • Embed sustainable development and low-carbon energy across the council’s new build housing programme

  • Carry out a targeted energy-efficient retrofit of the council’s operational buildings and commit to Passivhaus Standard as the default standard for all council new-builds

  • Finalize a new tourism strategy for Edinburgh

  • Increase the use of green infrastructure within new and existing developments in order to increase permeability and cooling effects in the city

  • Implement an approach to evaluating and reporting on the sustainability impact of council decisions in committee reports

Ireland cuts green energy tax for 2019-20

The Republic of Ireland has cut its green energy tax by 16%, which takes €33 million off residents’ and commercial electricity bills for the next 12 months, according to the Irish Times.

Ireland has pledged to generate 70% of all electricity from renewable sources by 2030, so why the tax cut? The Irish Times explains:

The actual cost of support renewables is close to €330 million. However, the [Commission for the Regulation of Utilities] CRU is clawing back €186 million over the coming 12 months to compensate for the fact that the companies benefiting from the scheme were overpaid in the 12 months ended September 30, 2018.

Since the Fianna Fáil-Progressive Democrats coalition originally introduced the levy to support investment in renewable electricity, all subsequent governments have maintained the policy and the charge.

Ireland adds the tax to electricity bills every October for a year to pay for price supports given to green energy. The tax is in addition to what consumers and businesses actually use.

Overall, households will contribute €72.18 million of the total over the next year while small businesses will hand over €21.31 million.

Photo credit: Al Drago/Bloomberg

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