‘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. […]

World first: DEME’s sea drill for windmill foundations

February 13, 2020

DEME, the Belgian world leader specialized in dredging operations, has developed a special kind of sea drill, together with the German construction expert Herrenknacht. A world first. The company usually uses a giant hammer to anchor the foundations of an offshore wind farm into the sea-floor. For some locations, however, like the French wind farm […]

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 […]

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 […]

Volvo CEO: ‘We have no intention to pay EU fines’

February 07, 2020

Volvo CEO, Hakan Samuelsson, was in Brussels on Thursday to comment on the good results of the Swedish/Chinese car manufacturer last year. The Ghent factory is playing a major part in these positive evolutions. In 2019, Volvo sold 705.000 cars (+9,8%), (first time more than 700.000), and turnover increased with 8,5% to 26 billion euros. […]

Peugeot: ‘We’re right on track’

February 06, 2020

French car manufacturer Peugeot, part of the PSA Group, has no fear about the stringent EU average CO2 rules. At a driving presentation of all their electrified models, they confirmed to be ‘right on track’ to meet the European standards. The brand strategy of Peugeot is focused on three elements: serenity, pleasure, and simplicity. Peugeot […]

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 […]

Mercedes stops development new internal combustion engines

February 05, 2020

German vehicle manufacturer, Daimler, has announced that it will no longer develop new internal combustion engines (ICE) for passenger cars. Instead, it will concentrate on battery technology and electric motors. It was the Head of Development, Markus Schäfer, who declared that there were no development projects anymore for future ICE. Emission rules and fiscal measures, […]

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 […]

Dutch to build first hydrogen-powered residential area

February 04, 2020

The municipality of Hoogeveen is going to build the first hydrogen-powered housing project in The Netherlands, called Van der Veen home zone. The project will consist of about a hundred houses, and the construction works will start by the end of 2020 to be ready by 2023. Hydrogen-heated homes The installation of technical hydrogen systems […]

BMW takes lead on Belgian car market in January

February 04, 2020

According to figures from Febiac (Belgian car federation), BMW takes the lead of all brands in January 2020. There are also interesting shifts to be seen between the different drive modes. BMW accounted for 5.397 registrations or a market share of 10,41 %. Volkswagen ranks second with 5,071 registrations (market share of 9,78%), Peugeot third […]

Lack of charging points slows down car-sharing in Ghent

February 04, 2020

In 2015, Ghent Alderman for Mobility, Filip Watteeuw (Groen) launched the ambitious plan to have 20.000 shared cars by 2020. Today, five years later, his project apparently was too ambitious. In the meantime, there are more than enough cars, but the infrastructure is lagging. Ambitious goal In Ghent, the number of drivers willing to share […]

Interview: Frans Timmermans on the EU Green Deal

February 03, 2020

Flemish newspaper De Morgen interviewed Frans Timmermans, ‘Mister climate’ of the European Commission, about the European Green Deal. Timmermans does not see the Green Deal as a fixed plan, but rather as a guideline with the ultimate goal of climate neutrality by 2050. For Timmermans, the Green Deal combines three major challenges in Europe: the […]

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 […]

Bosch snares its firsts clients for new fuel cell stacks

January 31, 2020

German automotive supplier Bosch has presented in Feuerbach near Stuttgart (Germany) its new fuel cell stacks for trucks and cars, developed with Swedish PowerCell. American electric truck builder Nikola is the first to order it for its H2, along with a ‘non-disclosed’ carmaker. Fuel cell technology, based on (green) hydrogen, is considered an alternative to […]

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 […]

French to push aviation to 50% bio-kerosene by 2050

January 29, 2020

The French government has launched a ‘call of interest’ to the industry to set up a national bio-kerosine production, five times the size of Total’s current bio-refinery La Mède. It wants to push aviation to use 2% of bio-kerosine by 2025, 5% by 2030, and 50% by 2050, compared to 0,1% today. France is likely […]

Will Flanders keep its EV promises?

January 29, 2020

According to Flemish Environment Minister, Zuhal Demir (N-VA), Flanders is keeping its promises regarding the number of electric vehicles and charging points by the end of the year. The installing companies, on the other hand, sound the alarm bell. Five years ago, the previous Flemish government launched a plan of action called ‘Clean Power for […]

German lithium processing plant to prevent battery shortage

January 29, 2020

Advanced Metallurgical Group (AMG) wants to build a lithium plant in Germany. The aim is to prevent a shortage of batteries once the European production of electric cars is running at full speed. The German automotive world warned for such a crisis last week. According to analysts, there will inevitably be a shortage of raw […]

Car manufacturers try to secure cobalt supply

January 28, 2020

While the price of cobalt has decreased due to an over-offer on the market, car manufacturers are nevertheless negotiating multi-year contracts to secure supplies. Tesla, for example, is negotiating with Glencore for its cobalt supply, like BMW already did. But why are manufacturers trying to secure a material that seems abundant? According to George Heppel, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

‘88% of Brussels’ grid not suited for fast charging’

January 17, 2020

While Brussels grid management company Sibelga just stated that it would be capable of coping with charging 20 to 30% of the car fleet being electric by 2030, experts say there is a problem for fast charging. 88% of the streets in Brussels are equipped with 230-Volt cables, while 400 Volt is needed. At least […]

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 […]

‘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 […]

29% of Belgian consumers ready to buy hybrid

January 16, 2020

According to the Global Automotive Consumer Study 2020, done by Deloitte, 29% of the Belgian consumers are ready to buy a hybrid electric car, and 9% want a fully electric vehicle. These findings corroborate the study of the Belgian car magazine, AutoGids/Le Moniteur Automobile, where one-third of the respondents was ready to drive an electrified […]

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 […]

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 […]

‘EV charging at company 80% cheaper than diesel’

January 14, 2020

Driving electric can be 50 to 80% cheaper than driving on diesel if you can charge at home at night or at the company during the day at a lower tariff. Financial newspaper De Tijd did the calculations but warned that charging is not always that advantageous. If you want to get away quickly, using […]

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 […]

Second-hand gasoline cars have become 22% more expensive

January 13, 2020

For most private users, a diesel car is no longer economically interesting. This is the conclusion of the mobility association, VAB, based on a new budget test. As a result of this ‘diesel anxiety’, second-hand gasoline cars have become 22% more expensive in two years. “Hardly anyone wants a diesel that is no longer allowed […]

EV charging at home paid by the boss (still) tax-free?

January 13, 2020

While fuel cards are taxed as a benefit in kind by the Belgian government, electricity charged at home and even the EV charging station installed at the bosses’ expense aren’t. At least for the time being, financial newspaper De Tijd dug out. With company cars being more and more electric, often, a specific EV charging […]

‘Only 0,6% of Belgian company cars are electric’

January 10, 2020

According to HR organization Acerta, 0,6% of the Belgian company car fleet currently has electric propulsion. There is still a lack of infrastructure, although in the near future car taxation will discourage internal combustion engines and promote electric propulsion. Switch from diesel to gasoline Acerta publishes these figures based on an analysis of more than […]

Elia: ‘Belgium produces more energy than it uses’

January 08, 2020

Last year, the total consumption of electricity in Belgium decreased by 3%. In 2019, consumption was 84,7 terawatt-hours or the lowest level since 2014. Older figures are not available. Decreasing consumption “We have seen a decline in the energy consumption for some years now,” says Elia spokeswoman, Marleen Vanhecke. “Especially the industry has improved its […]

Engie jumps with Arval onto lease market for EVs

January 07, 2020

Together with the leasing company Arval, the energy company Engie will lease electric cars. Under the name Numobi, they want to manage a fleet of 30.000 electric cars in Belgium by 2030. All-in The energy company Engie and the leasing company Arval expect the demand for electric company cars to skyrocket in the coming years. […]

French-German pilot battery factory to be inaugurated

January 06, 2020

The first tangible example of what has to become Europe’s ‘Airbus of Batteries’ will be inaugurated in Nersac (France) on January 24th by the French Minister of Economics, Bruno Le Maire, and his German colleague, Peter Altmaier. It’s a pilot project involving Opel, Peugeot, Total, and its daughter Saft. The new plant will employ 200 […]

Booming business: driving and flying on used deep-frying fat

January 03, 2020

The East Flemish family company, Quatra, collects 65.000 tons of used deep-frying oil annually, which is used as fuel for cars and will soon also be used for airplanes. “In ten years’ time, we have become the biggest in Europe.” At the beginning of 2019, Quatra invested 10 million euros for the construction of a […]

Hidden costs of electric mobility

January 02, 2020

Switching to an electric car might imply a few hidden and unexpected costs, especially concerning charging issues. Home electrical grid updates could be required for optimal charging performances. Contrary to what the electric car aficionados and some members of the government would make us believe, everyone isn’t ready to switch to an electric car. In […]