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EGEB: UN Climate Action Summit outcomes, talking generates green power in a Mexican restaurant, more

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

  • Outcomes from yesterday’s UN Climate Action Summit.
  • The Netherlands agrees to build one of the largest solar farms in the country.
  • Panasonic announces a new residential battery storage system.
  • Making noise in this Mexican restaurant creates green energy.

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

Yesterday, the United Nations Climate Action Summit took place. As promised yesterday, here are some highlights of actions from individual countries:

  • India will increase its renewable energy target to 450 gigawatts and invest $50 billion in water conservation. (India’s prime minister Narendra Modi didn’t mention coal, India’s largest energy source, or attempts to reduce national emissions.)
  • China said it would cut emissions by over 12 billion tons annually, but was not among the 77 nations that committed to carbon neutrality by 2050.
  • Pakistan said it would plant more than 10 billion trees over the next five years.
  • France announced that it would not enter into any trade agreement with countries that have policies counter to the Paris Agreement.
  • Germany committed to carbon neutrality by 2050.
  • The UK doubled its international climate finance (ICF) spend to at least £11.6 billion over the next five years to help developing countries fight climate change.
  • Russia will ratify the Paris Agreement.
  • Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, and Slovakia are among those that announced that they will phase out coal. The Republic of Korea announced it would shut down four coal-fired power plants, and six more will be closed by 2022.
  • The US said nothing.

On the private sector front: “87 major companies — with a combined market capitalization of over US$2.3 trillion, over 4.2 million employees, and annual direct emissions equivalent to 73 coal-fired power plants — committed to setting climate targets across their operations.” You can read more about that here, on the UN’s website.

Oh, and Greta Thunberg and 15 other children filed a complaint against Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Turkey over the climate crisis. (Those countries have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states children have the right to life, health, and peace.) Those kids aren’t messing around.

A big new solar farm for the Dutch

One of the largest solar farms in the Netherlands, the Vlagtwedde project in Westerwolde, has been agreed upon, according to the Construction Index.

The 110 MW solar farm will be made up of almost 350,000 panels and will cover an area of 100ha. In total, it is expected to produce enough power for approximately 30,000 households.

A blueberry farm has been planted on a further 24ha adjacent to the solar farm. The blueberry farm is designed to ensure proper integration of the solar farm within the surrounding landscape and provide employment opportunities to the local population in addition to the solar farm.

The project was initiated by PowerField and was developed with Solarcentury, which will construct and maintain the project for Impax, the owner and investor.

Panasonic’s new residential battery

Panasonic, the world’s largest manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries, has announced a new residential energy storage system at Solar Power International 2019. EverVolt is compatible with any solar system and has a range of 5.7kWh to 34.2kWh of energy storage.

EverVolt can be installed by one person and comes with advanced software and a user-friendly app for homeowners. It’s backed by a 10-year product and performance warranty.

This is great news for the solar industry, as the more choice of easy-to-use, affordable battery storage technology there is, the more incentive there is for residents to adopt solar power.

Shout for your green energy supper

Wanna warm up your tortilla? Talk louder!

A pop-up Mexican restaurant in London is using customers’ conversation to create power. Old El Paso is using piezoelectric technology to generate electricity with specialist microphones positioned around each table. The more conversation the table engages in, the more usable electrical volts they produce.

The Piezoelectric Effect is the ability of certain materials to generate an electric charge in response to applied mechanical stress.

Virtual batteries at each table store the power each table is producing. And as the battery fills up and reaches certain voltage levels, it unlocks power — and fun — for the table.

  • 250 mV: your tortilla begins to warm
  • 500 mV: a margarita tap switches on for a self-serve drink
  • 750 mV: the lighting around the table changes
  • 1,250 mV: a confetti cannon is triggered

This probably won’t overtake solar or wind in the green energy sector, but it’s a fun way of demonstrating innovation with clean power (and great for those of us with loud voices. Ahem). Shout on, folks, and enjoy your tacos.

Photo credit: VCG Photo / UN wall images by Verizon (who signed the UN Global Compact)

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.