EGEB: UK, Netherlands call on US, China to ban gas cars by 2035

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

  • The UK and Dutch transport secretaries call for China and the US to take more dramatic steps.
  • An abandoned 114-year-old paper mill in New Jersey gets a second life as a solar farm.
  • A large luxury home builder will now include solar on all their new California homes.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

US and China, ditch the gas cars

British and Dutch government leaders today called for the US and China to commit to ban gas and diesel cars by 2035 ahead of COP26 in November in order to meet the Paris Agreement targets.

The British and Dutch governments have banned the sale of gas and diesel vehicles from 2030, and hybrids from 2035.

In an opinion piece in I News published today, on Zero Emissions Day, UK transport secretary Grant Shapps and Dutch state secretary for infrastructure and water management Steven van Weyenberg wrote to governments:

Today is an important staging post on the road to COP. It is both Zero Emissions Day – the global 24-hour moratorium on the use of fossil fuels – and the third virtual meeting of the Zero Emissions Vehicle Transition Council, which represents over 50% of the global car market.

We – the governments of the UK and the Netherlands – support the European Commission’s proposals being agreed by the Member States and the European Parliament and, ahead of COP26, call on the US, EU, China, and other major markets to join forces in committing to 100% of new cars and vans being zero-emission by 2035 at the latest. The more countries that make this commitment, the faster investment will shift to EVs, and the faster their costs will come down.  

The European Commission has submitted a plan for all new registered EU vehicles to be zero emission by 2035, but it is not yet finalized. 

Shapps and Van Weyenberg also call on automakers to abandon gas cars:

Fiat, Jaguar Land Rover, Ford Europe, and VW Europe have all recently committed to selling 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2030 – 2035, and we call on other manufacturers to match this commitment ahead of COP26. This explosion in demand for and supply of EVs means that their costs are now predicted by some analysts to reach price parity with conventional vehicles by the mid-2020s.

You can read the whole opinion piece here.

Paper mill gets a solar second life

The 8 MW first phase of the Milford Solar Project on the abandoned paper mill site. Photo: CEP Renewables

Red Bank, New Jersey-based CEP Renewables specializes in building solar farms on unusable land such as landfills, brownfields, Superfund sites, and mining sites.

The company has completed construction of the first 8 megawatt phase of the 16 MW Milford Solar Project on the land of the abandoned Hughesville Paper Mill in Milford, New Jersey (above), and construction will begin on phase two in the fourth quarter of 2021. Once complete, the Milford solar farm will provide enough energy to power almost 3,000 homes annually. 

The Milford Paper Mill was built in 1907 and closed in 2003. It was listed as a Superfund site – which is a polluted location in the US requiring a long-term response to clean up hazardous material contamination – in 2009. The Environmental Protection Agency conducted several elements of the site’s cleanup, including removing hazardous materials, storage tanks, oil-containing electrical equipment, asbestos, construction and demolition debris, concrete, scrap metal, and over 10,500 cubic yards of contaminated soil.

California rooftop solar

Photo: Toll Brothers

Luxury home construction company Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL), which operates in 24 US states, has made a multi-year agreement with San Jose-headquartered solar company SunPower to be Toll Brothers’ exclusive solar technology provider in California.

So that means that the California homes Toll Brothers builds will include a SunPower Equinox home solar system, which uses Maxeon solar cells. Homebuyers will also have the opportunity to install SunPower’s SunVaultä energy storage system.

Toll Brothers and SunPower will potentially expand its partnership to additional states.

Read more: These ‘stick-on’ solar panels just got a cash injection


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