Nissan announced that it will build its next two cars, the new Qashqai and the X-Trail SUV, at its Sunderland plant following ‘support and assurances’ from the UK Government about its exit from the EU. Nissan is known for its innovation – its electric vehicle is the best seller in the world – and will likely benefit from remaining in an area that aims to become a world-leader in advanced manufacturing. Read more about Nissan’s decision here.
The Iceland Deep Drilling Project is currently drilling 5km into old lava flows at Reykjanes in an attempt to create a 50MW geothermal well to provide a long-term energy source. Such a well, if successful, would easily be the most powerful well of its kind ever drilled and would provide energy for 50,000 homes – significant in an island with a population of only 323,000. Read more about the project here.
A report released this week by the Business Commission estimated that sustainably meeting the challenges of the food and agriculture sectors could unlock 14 major business opportunities worth $2.3 trillion annually by 2030. Read the report here.
Millions of modified mosquitos will be sent to Brazil and Colombia early in 2017 to combat the Zika virus that has been troubling the region. The mosquitoes are infected with a bug called Wolbachia, a naturally occurring bacterium that infects 60% of insect species worldwide, and reduces their ability to spread viruses to people. The $18m dollar project is funded by an international team of donors, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, local governments of Latin America, the USA, and the UK. Read more here.
The International Energy Agency announced that global capacity to generate electricity from renewable sources has now overtaken coal. Half a million solar panels were installed every day in 2015 and, in China, there were two wind turbines set up every hour. Elsewhere, researchers from Washington State University have found a way to more efficiently create hydrogen from water – a process crucial to making renewable energy production and storage viable. Read more here.