Accelerate is our weekly briefing on the new sustainable technologies which will help us solve climate change.
This week we had some sensational news thanks to the release of data on wind power auctions, where builders of wind turbines bid against one another to agree a price to supply power to the national grid.
The data showed that the cost of wind power had fallen by half in just two years. That's an incredible leap, and makes wind power cheaper than nuclear and cost competitive with coal. If builders of wind turbines can continue this rate of cost savings for another couple of years, wind power will be considerably cheaper than fossil fuel energy, making its adoption a no-brainer.
Wind energy already provides 11% of UK electricity, and has recently overtaken coal power in terms of power output. Soon it will be able to take on gas in terms of cost per megawatt, and then we can completely de-carbonize our electricity supply. This is a big step on the way to creating a zero-carbon society.
We also had good news from a brand which has rightly come under a great deal of scrutiny for its environmental policy. VW announced this week it would be placing orders for 50 billion euros worth of batteries to power a massive shift towards electric vehicles. The car maker said it would be creating electric versions of every one of its 300 models by 2030. We'd rather they accelerated that, but it's a great step forward. We need to transition to completely fossil fuel transport as soon as possible.
Mercedes-Benz has also announced that they will be creating hybrid or all electric versions of all their models by 2022, showing that the electric car revolution is starting to get into full swing.
There was more good news coming out of the world of electric transport this week. Telsa announced it will soon be unveiling its designs for an electric lorry, which will be able to transform road supply chains and help de-carbonise the highly polluting haulage industry.
Scotland was doing what it loves this week, beating England at something. That something was announcing it would phase out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032, a full 8 years before the rest of the UK. It also announced 60 million pounds for low carbon infrastructure in Scotland. Not bad Scotland. Given that Scotland's population is one tenth that of England, we'd need a 600 million pound low carbon infrastructure fund to match that on a per capita basis. Here's hoping.