Steve September 18, 2020
  • The UK’s Labour Party wants the government to phase out ICE cars five years earlier than planned.
  • Microsoft submerged a data center in the sea to keep energy and operation costs low.
  • Green hydrogen will run ferries, trains, and buses in Scotland.
  • Arcadia Power is committed to making clean energy work for the planet and your bank account — all without changing your utility company. Sign up to receive your $20 Amazon Gift Card.

EVs by 2030 in the UK

The UK’s Labour Party has called for the Conservative Party-led government to bring forward the phasing out of ICE cars from 2035 to 2030. Labour wants to ensure the country meets its Paris Agreement targets and also more rapidly reduce air pollution.

The government originally banned the sale of new ICE cars from 2040. In February, Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved the ban forward to 2035. A large number of Conservative members of Parliament support the Labour Party’s call for a quicker move to electric vehicles.

Rebecca Newsom, head of politics at Greenpeace UK, said:

Hats off to Labour for backing a 2030 ban for all new petrol, diesel, and hybrid cars and vans.

They have joined the chorus of businesses and councils that have also been calling for a more ambitious phase-out date and policies to support workers to transition, in order to dramatically reduce emissions and help secure a future for the UK automotive industry.

Now that Labour and over 100 Conservative MPs have thrown down the gauntlet, will the government live up to their claims of being a world leader on climate, and back a 2030 ban too?

Submarine servers

Microsoft put a shipping container-sized data center on the sea floor off the coast of Scotland’s Orkney Islands. It’s known as Project Natick, a two-year pilot program, reports the World Economic Forum. The tech giant wanted to see whether it could reduce energy consumption and costs of data centers. It can cost around $4 million a year to power a large data center’s servers and cooling systems. Energy makes up around 60% of the operating costs.

The Orkneys are powered by 100% wind and solar, and the renewables easily met the power needs of the submerged data center.

Microsoft pulled the data center up out of the water at the beginning of the summer and spent the last couple months studying it to see if it worked.

The data center operated with better power efficiency due to the lack of a need for artificial cooling — the cold water took care of that. In fact, the data center worked so well that the servers proved to be up to eight times more reliable than their land-based counterparts.

Microsoft hopes that it can increasingly use “submarine servers” to provide fast cloud services to coastal users. Nearly 40% of the world’s population lives within 100 km of the coast.

Green hydrogen in Scotland

Scottish Power’s wind and solar farms will help produce green hydrogen to run buses, ferries, and trains.

ScottishPower Renewables, ITM Power, which manufactures integrated hydrogen energy equipment, and BOC, which specializes in compressing and distributing gases and will help transport the hydrogen gas to councils, will create the facilities needed for vehicles to be fueled by hydrogen. The three companies seek to create an end-to-end solution.

The Construction Index explains how they’ll work together:

The partnership’s first project is ‘Green Hydrogen for Glasgow.’ A proposed green hydrogen production facility located on the outskirts of the city would be operated by BOC, using wind and solar power produced by ScottishPower Renewables to operate a 10MW electrolyzer, delivered by ITM Power.  The project aims to supply hydrogen to the commercial market within the next two years.

The plans are expected to be replicated across the country. Lindsay McQuade, the head of renewables at Scottish Power, said:

Our revolutionary approach — which really will be a game-changer — fully supports the large-scale transformation needed to replace heavy diesel vehicles with cleaner, greener alternatives.

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