Clean energy stocks have outperformed their fossil fuels peers over 10 years and throughout Covid-19, reveals a new report, as the world’s largest all-electric aircraft takes to the skies for the first time in the US. Meanwhile, a product that keeps fruit and vegetables fresh twice as long as normal bags Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry as investors, the COP26 climate change talks are to go ahead in Glasgow in 2021, the UK’s biggest solar farm gets the green light and Triodos supports four green projects to attract private investment. It’s the Good With Money weekly news brief.
Clean power outperforms fossil fuels in global markets
Renewable power is outperforming fossil fuels in US and European markets, reveals a new report.
The study by Imperial College Business School and the International Energy Agency shows that publicly-traded renewable power portfolios have brought significantly higher returns for investors and lower volatility over fossil fuels during the past 10 years, and throughout the Covid-19 crisis.
The report authors analysed the performance of listed companies in the US, UK, Germany and France who are engaged in fossil fuel supply, versus those active in renewable power over the past 10 years.
Dr Charles Donovan, executive director of the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College Business School, said: “There’s real momentum gathering behind renewable power, based purely on their economic advantage. Our results show that renewable power is outperforming financially.”
It comes after Good With Money revealed that sustainable funds had fared better during the coronavirus outbreak than their non-sustainable counterparts.
World’s largest all-electric aircraft takes to the skies for the first time
The world’s largest all-electric aircraft has taken its maiden flight over Washington State, according to manufacturers magniX.
A solo test pilot flew the nine-seater plane for 30 minutes over Moses Lake on Thursday followed by a small chase plane. The plane is a Cessna Grand Caravan – one of the most used medium-range planes in the world – which has been retrofitted with an electric engine.
For the flight test the electric plane took off and climbed to 2,500ft, dropped to 1,000ft and then spent 25 minutes cruising over the large airport facility.
Called the eCaravan, magniX hope to be able to have a commercially available version of the plane late for sale next year – with a 100-mile range.
Food-waste firm bags Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry as investors
A US startup that pioneered a high-tech solution to reducing food waste has secured personal investment from Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry in its latest fundraising drive.
Apeel Sciences claims to keep perishable produce such as avocados, lemons and limes ripe for twice as long as usual due to an edible spray-on coating on their skin made from plant materials.
The company says it has raised further capital of $250 million (£203 million), led by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Government of Singapore Investment Corporation GIC. It will use the funds to support its expansion and tackle the disruption to the global food supply chain caused by Covid-19.
Earlier this year, Apeel Sciences said it could save 20 million pieces of fruit from going to waste at retail outlets this year, while also extending shelf-life in the home where food waste rates are three times as high.
Crucial climate change summit set for Glasgow 2021
The COP26 UN summit on climate change in Glasgow will now go ahead in November 2021 after delays caused by coronavirus.
The crunch talks were scheduled to take place in November 2020, but have now been rescheduled for November 1 to 12, 2021. Dozens of world leaders will attend the gathering, the most important round of talks since the global Paris Agreement to tackle climate change was secured in 2015.
This year’s event was due to take place at the Scottish Events Campus in Glasgow, which has been turned into a temporary hospital in response to coronavirus.
COP26 President Alok Sharma said: “While we rightly focus on fighting the immediate crisis of the coronavirus, we must not lose sight of the huge challenges of climate change.”
UK’s biggest solar farm gets green light
The UK’s biggest solar farm – which will stretch across 900 acres on the north Kent coast – has been given the go ahead by the government.
The project will supply power to 91,000 homes and could include one of the world’s largest energy storage systems.
It has been fiercely opposed by many local people and has divided green groups, with Greenpeace, the RSPB and the countryside charity CPRE all against the plan.
They say it’s industrialising the countryside – and may harm an adjacent wildlife site. However, Friends of the Earth offered qualified support, on the grounds that the current intensively-farmed land was bad for wildlife.
Green projects get support to attract private sector investment
Four projects to protect and restore valuable habitats are to receive funding in a pilot scheme to encourage sustainable private sector investment in the natural environment.
Defra, the Environment Agency (EA), Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (EFF) and Triodos Bank UK have formed a collaboration to support environmental projects to create sustainable funding models.
Having been sourced and evaluated by Triodos Bank UK the projects will receive grant funding from Defra, the EA and EFF to support their development, complete business plans to attract private sector investment, and deliver long-term environmental benefits and sustainable financial returns.
The projects receiving funding are Devon Wildlife Trust’s restoration of the Caen wetlands, Rivers Trust’s work on natural flood management in the Wyre catchment in Lancashire, NFU’s work to reduce nitrate pollution in Poole Harbour and Moors for the Future Partnership’s restoration and conservation of peatlands in the Pennines.