German court grands Tesla permission to cut trees for giga-factory

February 24, 2020

Tesla has restarted the cutting of trees on a 92-hectare site where the first European plant of the electric car manufacturer will be built. Several environmental organizations had opposed the felling of trees, but the German judge swept away the objections. First European plant The American carmaker is in a hurry to get its colossal […]

Electric Touring Car Championship ready for take-off

February 20, 2020

In 2021 a new touring car championship will start with strictly electric cars. This year the Pure ETCR championship will be presented during promo events and in the context of existing WTCR races. This was officially presented in Paris last week. Another Formula E? After the Formula E championship for single-seater electric cars, there will […]

Brussels-City joins forces with the Solar Impulse Foundation

February 20, 2020

The City of Brussels signed on Wednesday with Bertrand Piccard, the Solar Impulse pilot with two world tours under his belt, a collaboration agreement for its ecological transition. The agreement aims at providing concrete and immediate responses to the climate emergency. It is valid for a renewable period of two years, but the partnership is […]

‘Fake’ plug-in hybrids pay a lot more taxes in 2020

February 20, 2020

Plug-in hybrids that don’t fulfill the new requirements are much more expensive this year. The fiscal advantage of those lease-cars dwindles: halving of the fiscal deduction percentage, up to four times more benefit of all nature. Fraud use of these so-called ‘fake’ plug-in hybrids has caused new, more stringent requirements for PHEVs to comply with. […]

Coronavirus: ‘CO2 emissions in China down with one quarter’

February 20, 2020

The breakout of the coronavirus that is slowing down economic activities in China made CO2 emissions in the country go down with one quarter. That is the conclusion of a study by climate organization Carbon brief. The effect, however, would only be temporary. Drastic measures After the coronavirus broke out around the Chinese New Year […]

‘Fine particles in the air affect our brains’

February 19, 2020

Fine particles in the air are not only an unseen killer, but the polluted air also affects our mental capacities. Pollution can cause infections in the lungs, which in turn can lead to infections in our brains. Chess players More and more studies show that fine particles in the air can harm our intellectual capacities. […]

Nature’s extinction is costing a fortune

February 18, 2020

For the first time, the cost of damaging nature is calculated in money. Conclusion? The extinction of species and the erosion of natural habitat is extremely expensive. Without any urgent measures, the world economy will have to sacrifice thousands of billions of euros in the coming thirty years to save the planet. Macroeconomic costs The […]

Ghent LEZ will be expanded after evaluation

February 18, 2020

The Ghent Low-Emission Zone (LEZ) will be extended during this legislature. However, when and in which districts will be thoroughly examined the next few years. The Ghent majority parties confirmed this on Monday during the municipal council. There will be a phased, zonally introduction, and a study to evaluate the social impact and flanking measures […]

Tesla’s German giga-factory delayed by ‘illegal logging’

February 18, 2020

The felling of a part of the German forest in which Tesla’s European giga-factory is to be located has been halted. The environmental movement ‘Grüne Liga Brandenburg’ has gone to court because Tesla already felled trees without a building permit. Some 300 hectares of trees have to be cut down for the factory. Many German […]

‘Carmakers to pay €14 billion in CO2 fines’

February 17, 2020

According to a study from PA Consulting, the thirteen carmakers active in Europe will have to pay 14 billion euros in CO2 fines in 2021. PA adds that to keep emissions under the 95 g/km limit, EV sales should increase by 1 280%. 2020 is already an exciting year for the automotive sector. Most major […]

CMB: ‘Hydrogen is fuel of the future’

February 17, 2020

The Belgian shipping company, CMB, is planning to have a first large container ship operational on hydrogen. “We have to do something about the climate,” the company says. Turning point Shipping is a polluting sector. More than 95% of the 60 000 vessels that transport 12 billion tons of goods overseas use polluting fuel oil. […]

Belgian renewable energy production up 20%

February 14, 2020

Electricity production through solar panels and windmills grew 20% in Belgium in 2019. The jump from 9,7 TWh in 2018 to 11,5 TWh in 2019 is mostly due to wind energy. Those are the results published by the Regulating Commission for Electricity and Gaz (CREG). Solar and wind energy installations represented 16% of the total […]

‘Floating lab’ Energy Observer to restart zero-emission world tour

February 13, 2020

The ‘floating hydrogen and solar energy lab’ of French captain and sailor Victorien Erussard, the Energy Observer, is ready to start next week the second phase of its six-year round-the-world tour with zero emissions. The goal is to show the world the technologies that can make a difference in the battle to fight climate change. […]

Discussion about LEZ flares up in Flemish Parliament

February 13, 2020

A motion by the opposition party, Vlaams Belang, to introduce a ‘standstill’ in the area of low-emission zones (LEZ) did not obtain a majority in the Flemish Parliament on Wednesday. However, the doubts about the sense/nonsense of the LEZ also seem to be growing among parties. For example, sp.a also wants the LEZ not to […]

IEA: ‘Global CO2 output from energy production stagnates’

February 12, 2020

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global CO2 emissions from energy production barely increased last year. Emissions amounted to 33,3 billion tons in 2019 compared to 33,1 billion in 2018. And this despite the growth of the world economy by 2,9%. Total CO2 emissions are still going up, though. The stagnation is mainly because […]

‘Belgium won’t reach 2030 CO2 reduction goal’

February 11, 2020

According to economist Philippe Defeyt, chief of the Sustainable Development Institute (IDD), at the current rate, Belgium will fail to reach its -35% CO2 reduction objective for 2030 even if all cars become hybrid and electric. The economist calls for drastic measures in the form of a global speed reduction and intelligent kilometer tax. Belgium […]

NMBS/SNCB study: majority of passengers rest, surf or read

February 11, 2020

The Belgian national train company, NMBS/SNCB, has asked itself what its passengers do on the train. In a survey conducted by the research company Ipsos, the majority of the 1.000 commuters surveyed (83%) said that train travel allowed them to do things they could not do when commuting by car. Not surprisingly, half of them […]

Flanders brushes aside climate experts’ advice

February 11, 2020

Flemish authorities are turning a deaf ear to the warnings of the climate experts that were selected to assist the Flemish government in working out a Climate and Energy Plan. Hardly one year ago, former Minister for the Environment, Koen Van den Heuvel (CD&V), decided to make up a team of scientific experts to support […]

Emissions of CO2 in Antwerp reduced by a quarter

February 10, 2020

The new emissions inventory 2017 shows that in Antwerp CO2 emissions have been reduced by 23,5% compared to the 2005 reference year. The largest profits were made by the industry outside the port area (-48%) and households (-38%). With this, Antwerp meets the climate target of a 20% reduction before the 2020 deadline. Nevertheless, the […]

FlixBus: charging on the way by solar energy

February 07, 2020

The green buses of German FlixBus on the Dortmund-London line, which also runs through Belgium, are equipped with solar panels. The initiative fits in a green test project of FlixMobility, the German company behind the FlixBuses that cross Europe at low prices. Wafer-thin solar mats from the British tech company, Trailar, have to charge the […]

50% of Belgians won’t pay 5 euros to return online purchase

February 06, 2020

Approximately half of Belgians would change their online buying behavior if 5 euros had to be paid to return orders. This is the conclusion of a study commissioned by the Federal Minister of Economy and Consumers, Nathalie Muylle (CD&V). “We think climate awareness is important, but returns are massive.” Established habit Returning parcels free of […]

Is there a future for the solar car?

February 05, 2020

Several young companies like German Sono Motors and Dutch Lightyear are fighting for the breakthrough of the so-called solar car, but is there a future for this type of car? A year ago, the Dutch startup showed the  Lightyear One, an electric car with a 600 km range that recharges itself with solar panels and […]

Britain’s air industry sets zero carbon target for 2050

February 05, 2020

In spite of the 70% planned increase in air traffic, the British air industry sets an ambitious zero carbon target for 2050. This plan is being driven by the organization Sustainable Aviation. Cleaner airplanes and carbon offset are the cornerstones of the project. After the ‘flygskam’ or ‘flying shame’ emerging from the Scandinavian countries, the […]

Ryanair sentenced by ASA for greenwashing

February 05, 2020

The British publicity watchdog, Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), condemns Ryanair for a campaign, in which the Irish budget airline had positioned itself in the market as “the company with the lowest emissions in Europe”. Lowest emissions? “Everybody knows Ryanair has the lowest tariffs,” the campaign said, “but did you know it’s also the airline with […]

Britain to pronounce combustion engine dead by 2035

February 05, 2020

Britain is going to ban – ‘subject to consultation’ – the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars, even hybrids by 2035. That’s five years earlier than initially planned and it can be even sooner, if feasible. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK has a responsibility to compensate for the historic CO2 emissions of […]

OECD sees room for CO2 tax and road-pricing in Belgium

February 04, 2020

In its annual report on Belgium, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) sees room for a CO2 tax and road-pricing. In this context, OECD senior executive, Angel Gurria, points to international tendencies whereby countries reduce corporation tax and tax on labor because that is good for stimulating economic growth, but, on the other […]

Swiss UBS bank predicts price war on plug-in hybrids

February 04, 2020

According to a study by Swiss business bank UBS, a price war on plug-in hybrids (PHEV) is a serious risk in 2020, as car manufacturers will struggle to comply by the end of 2020 with the EU’s stricter CO2 emission rules. The bank’s analyst warns that carmakers “will likely need to push PHEVs to their […]

Emission-free sailing by burning iron powder?

February 03, 2020

Running an engine on iron power, turning it into rust by burning it and extracting a load of energy out of it this way to move a vessel with 15.000 containers; it is theoretically possible. And the good thing is: there are no CO2 emissions, and the rust can be captured and turned into iron […]

Vias: ‘Belgians prefer car to walking for short distances’

February 03, 2020

Belgian drivers are devoted to their cars, even for short distances. That is the conclusion of the mobility barometer of traffic safety institute Vias. The organization also launches a call “to cover short distances on foot or by bike”. “It’s a small effort, but it has a large effect, also on one’s health.” Mobility behavior […]

Maps for estimating bicycle travel times in Ghent

January 31, 2020

The Ghent blogger and cycling enthusiast Dries Robberechts has created a map of Ghent that shows the travel time between various locations. The maps, taken from Google maps, allows the user to calculate what his time savings will be if he travels the route by bicycle instead of by car. With this project, Robbrechts follows […]

Norway’s oil industry goes for CO2-neutrality by 2050

January 30, 2020

Norway’s biggest oil company and energy supplier, Equinor, the former Statoil, wants to cut CO2 emissions together with other companies in the oil and gas industry with 40% by 2030 to become CO2-neutral by 2050. Equinor claims that by doing this, in 2030, Norway’s total CO2 emissions will be reduced by 10% already. That’s to […]

Mobility club VAB doesn’t want any extra LEZs

January 30, 2020

Mobility Club VAB advises Belgian cities and municipalities not to introduce new low-emission zones (LEZ), for the time being. There are still too many uncertainties, they say. Measurements taken by the Flemish Environment Agency show that the impact on air quality is not convincing, especially when it comes to nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Consequently, according to […]

Ostend joins ‘bidding’ for Belgian hydrogen plants

January 28, 2020

The Port of Ostend and two partners, dredger DEME and the Flemisch investment trust PMV are planning a 50 MW ‘green’ hydrogen plant by 2022, to result in a 300 MW installation by 2025. ‘Hyport’ is to convert surplus electricity of offshore wind parks into hydrogen both for energy backup as for transport use. The […]

‘Extremely difficult to keep nuclear power plants open after 2020’

January 28, 2020

“If we want to keep the existing nuclear power plants open after 2020, it is time for action,” warns the CEO of Electrabel, Philippe Van Troeye, in a press release, in which he presents the 2020 plans for the company. Environmental effects As of 2021, it will become very difficult to keep them open due […]

Increasingly fewer offenders of Antwerp LEZ

January 28, 2020

Last year, the city of Antwerp caught 20.774 Belgian drivers for entering the low-emission zone with an unauthorized vehicle. The number of infringers more than halved compared to the 42.455 the year before. In 2019, only 0,25% of all Belgian cars were offenders. Whether the number of foreign infringers has reduced is not clear. Fewer […]

Can e-fuels keep combustion engine alive in the future?

January 27, 2020

Can e-fuels or synthetic fuels based on ‘green hydrogen’ keep the combustion engine alive in the future? In theory, it looks promising, but being twice as expensive as fossil fuels today, it will be hard to find an economical business case. The petrochemical industry is very much in favor: it is a question of survival […]

Mechelen introduces first shared cargo e-bikes

January 27, 2020

The city of Mechelen is planning to introduce a shared cargo bike platform by the end of this year. The first two e-models were launched on Saturday for a test ride at the presentation of a regional vegetal garden on the median strip. Mobility solution The Cargoroo bikes, as they are called, will be parked […]

Benelux tail-enders in EU’s renewable energy goals

January 24, 2020

On Thursday European Union published the ranking of the Member States for renewable energy. Especially the traditional industrial countries in the core of Europe – the Benelux, France, Germany, the UK, but also Poland – are failing well. A serious leap is still needed there to achieve the EU’s 2020 targets: a 20% share of […]

Nuclear fusion, holy grail for the climate?

January 24, 2020

Flemish investment company GIMV is participating in a Canadian nuclear fusion project which, if it ever succeeds, could be a solution to the climate problem. Harnessing nuclear fusion could provide a nearly inexhaustible source of energy, the holy grail of the energy world. Nuclear fusion is the process that makes the sunburn. When the nuclei […]

‘European car market will shrink for the first time in 7 years’

January 23, 2020

ACEA, the association of 16 European car manufacturers, predicts that the European car market will recede by 2,0% in 2020. This will be the first time in seven years. “We stand before a shrinking market,” says newly appointed ACEA president, Mike Manley, also the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobile. In 2019, the market still progressed […]

Germans to build 100 MW power-to-hydrogen plant

January 23, 2020

The German daughters of Dutch Gasunie and grid operator Tennet are joining forces with gas manager Thyssengas to build a 100 MW power-to-gas hydrogen plant in Diele, near the Dutch border. When operational in 2022, it should be one of Germany’s biggest hydrogen operations. The location for the so-called ‘Element Eins’ project was chosen after […]

‘Battery-trucks’ to sustainably power ToyChamp stores

January 22, 2020

Children’s toy retailer ToyChamp is going to use trucks to supply batteries to its stores in Belgium and the Netherlands. The batteries will be charged by the solar panel park on the roof of its distribution center in Genk. Flemish Minister for Energy, Zuhal Demir (N-VA), was invited to the presentation of the project. Demir […]

Interparking: cleaner air underground than outdoors?

January 22, 2020

Belgian Interparking is equipping several major Brussels’ underground parking garages with air cleaning technology that makes the air actually better than outdoors. The system filters 7.500 cubic meters of air per hour, removing up to 70% of particles. Interparking is Europe’s third-largest parking operator active in nine countries and one of the first to invest […]

Pressure for more international night trains from Brussels

January 21, 2020

The arrival of the Nightjet, the night train connection between Brussels and Vienna, has aroused a lot of interest. There is not only the mobility and ecological aspect, according to action groups, but the climate impact of such a night train is also eleven times smaller than the impact of the same journey by plane. […]

EU ‘Green Deal’ will cost at least €1.000 billion

January 21, 2020

European Commissioner Johannes Hahn estimates that the European ‘Green Deal’ will cost at least 1.000 billion euros. He now has to convince the European finance ministers of the ‘Sustainable Europe Investment Plan’. That plan is the investment structure of the ‘Green Deal’ that was proposed in December. To achieve its main goal, a climate-neutral Europe […]

Brussels Motor Show sees growing interest in electric

January 20, 2020

From the 500.000 visitors to the Brussels Motor Show, there were a lot more interested in purchasing a car than last year. One-third of them showed interest in electrified vehicles, especially hybrids and plug-in hybrids, less in pure electric cars. Hesitation The full-electric car still scares a lot of people. It’s still too expensive for […]

Night train from Brussels to Vienna back on rails

January 20, 2020

More than fifteen years after the demise of the Donauwalzer, a night train has been running between Vienna and Brussels since Sunday. For 2020, a round trip is planned twice a week, from Brussels on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Austrian railway company ÖBB, which stands for Österreichischen Bundesbahnen, is running the route, in cooperation with […]

Dutch provinces order 20.000 extra public chargers

January 20, 2020

After a joint tender, three Dutch provinces, Noord-Holland, Flevoland, and Utrecht, are ordering 20.000 additional public charging stations on top of the 5.000 installed today. The Netherlands is a worldwide forerunner in public chargers and counts on needing two million of them by 2030. The order was announced on Monday by MRA-E (Metropool Regio Amsterdam […]

Toyota invests in flying taxi

January 17, 2020

Car manufacturer Toyota invests 394 million dollars in Joby Aviation, an American start-up that wants to make flying taxis. “Aviation is a long-term goal for Toyota,” says CEO Akio Toyoda in a press release taken over by De Morgen. “With this, we have the opportunity to revolutionize the future lifestyle of people and their way […]

Diess: ‘VW definitely needs to speed up transformation’

January 17, 2020

Volkswagen CEO, Herbert Diess, wants the company to speed up its transformation into a technology company. He said that at a meeting with the company’s top management. Diess pointed out the rapid developments at Tesla and Toyota. Volkswagen’s current European sales figures don’t immediately demonstrate the need for change. In 2019, the group remained number […]

Bruges replaces diesel tourist boats by electric fleet

January 17, 2020

On Wednesday, the city of Bruges has launched its first electric tourist boat. The ceremony took place near the Gruuthuse company along the Dijver watercourse. It is the first boat in a series of five that have to replace a fleet of diesel vessels. No emissions, no odors The electric boat is nine-meter-long and has […]

New record in 2019 for Brussels public transport

January 16, 2020

The Brussels public transport company, STIB/MIVB, is doing well, as in 2019 it recorded again a record number of 434 million journeys or an increase of good 16 million compared to 2018. Climate awareness is on the rise, as commuters are increasingly opting for the Brussels bus, tram, and metro. Continuing growth MIVB is doing […]

‘Grid in Belgian capital ready for electric car’

January 16, 2020

An electric car has a smaller ecological footprint than a car with an internal combustion engine. However, the critical question is whether there will be enough electricity in the future to charge these cars. For example, is the Brussels electricity network capable of supplying the electricity that a new fleet would require? According to the […]

Green Systems makes motorcycles E85-compliant

January 16, 2020

A French start-up has found a solution to prepare existing motorcycles to run on E85 biofuel via an electronic unit that is being retrofitted. In this way, motorcycling becomes ‘greener’, as the CO2 emissions of the motorized two-wheelers are significantly reduced. Different mapping The unit will check the quality of the fuel, and adjust the […]

Flemish socialists doubt usefulness of LEZ

January 16, 2020

The cameras of the newly introduced low-emission zone in Ghent registered 5.072 offenders during the first week of January. They will not be fined yet; they’ll just get a warning. Fines of 150 euros will be imposed as of February. The introduction of the measure was announced last year. Transition period The high number of […]

GM is considering (re)launch of electric Hummer

January 15, 2020

Rumour has it that General Motors is considering taking this ultimate off-road vehicle back into production. With an electric motor, it’s true, but still far from energy-efficient. Energy crisis The Hummer made its debut during the first Iraq war, and also remained an armored menace when it was introduced on the road in 1992. When […]

University think tank includes nuclear in Belgian sustainable energy plan

January 15, 2020

Metaforum, the interdisciplinary think tank of the KU Louvain, has published its vision on sustainable and feasible energy and climate policy. The text ‘Sustainable Energy Provision for Belgium’ sides with the Paris climate agreement and the European Green Deal and works out how Belgium can contribute. Renewable energy The authors of the text took up […]

Danish GreenMobility to launch electric car-sharing in Antwerp

January 14, 2020

The Danish company GreenMobility, which operates electric car-sharing services in Copenhagen and Aarhus, becomes active in Antwerp in April. Brussels and Ghent would follow. The company will set up its services in Antwerp in a joint venture with local partner Deurnese Transportmaatschappij (DTM), Green Mobility reported in a press release on Monday. GreenMobility will start […]

‘Electric car taxation is inevitable’ to fill 8,6 billion euros gap

January 14, 2020

A massive switch to electric cars in Belgium will inevitably lead to electric car taxation. That’s the opinion of a number of experts. Most think road-pricing will be used to do so. Others fear the electricity used to charge cars will be taxed. In 2018, the state raised 8,6 billion euros in excise duties and […]

Iron powder: resource for battery of the future?

January 13, 2020

Researchers at the Technology University Eindhoven want to use iron as a fuel because no CO2 is released during combustion, and the powder can be endlessly recycled. Iron powder like a charged battery Professors Niels Deen and Philip de Goey (TU Eindhoven), together with Mark Verhagen, manager of Team SOLID, have built a pilot plant […]