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EGEB: UK will get ‘green’ license plates for EVs in the fall

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

  • Green license plates for EVs will be rolled out in the UK, the DoT announced today.
  • Energy storage technology company Fluence launches a new integrated grid storage product.
  • Building new net zero ships won’t offset the old polluting ships’ emissions, says new study.

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

Green EV license plates in the UK

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed today that green (literally) license plates for electric vehicles are set to be rolled out from autumn under plans to drive a green economic recovery from the pandemic in Britain.

The government announced:

The plates will make it easier for cars to be identified as zero emission vehicles, helping local authorities design and put in place new policies to incentivize people to own and drive them.

For example, drivers could benefit from local initiatives such as cheaper parking and cost-free entry into zero-emission zones where those with a green number plate will be recognized as eligible.

As pictured above, EVs’ plates will be identifiable by a green stripe on the left-hand side on both front and back plates. The front plate will be white and the rear plate will be yellow, as is the current norm for UK license plates.

Further, £12 million funding for research into the zero-emissions market has also been announced to develop greener vehicles and improve vehicle charging technology.

New smart grid storage

Energy storage technology company Fluence, a Siemens and AES company, has launched a sixth-generation integrated grid storage product. It has already signed orders for 800 megawatts/2,300 megawatt-hours from Enel, LS Power, sPower, and Siemens.

Over the last 12 years, Fluence has reduced the total cost of energy storage systems by 90%; the new technology stack helps drive down the non-battery costs of energy storage systems by up to 25%.

The new technology will help customers deploy larger projects faster and more efficiently for less cost.

The latest version is a 10-foot cube, which Fluence will use as a building block for storage plants. It replaces the previous rectangular containers. The first installations will be completed by the end of 2020.

Fluence COO John Zahurancik said:

Instead of these large containers that are difficult to transport, we can build this replicable form factor over and over again.

Ships’ emissions

New, cleaner-energy ships won’t be enough to achieve the necessary emissions reductions in order to meet Paris Agreement targets, according to a new study published in BMC Energy.

The new research shows that emissions from existing ships could swallow up shipping’s entire “safe carbon budget.” The shipping sector can’t wait for new, low-carbon ships to enter its fleet if it is to cut emissions on time. The authors suggest a solution:

The sector does, however, have significant potential to reduce this committed emissions figure without premature scrappage through a combination of slow speeds, operational and technical efficiency measures, and the timely retrofitting of ships to use zero-carbon fuels.

Simon Bullock, co-author of the report of the University of Manchester, told Electrek:

This research shows shipping cannot play its part in meeting the Paris Climate Agreement goals without strong and fast policy action to reduce emissions from the existing fleet of ships. Of course, getting zero-carbon fuels is new ships is essential, but measures targeting the existing fleet are also critical — for example on slower speeds, shore power, and wind-assisted technology retrofits. Cutting emissions from the existing fleet should be an urgent priority for the [International Maritime Organization] IMO.

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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.