Cleaning up the game – the unlikely relationship between sports and Cleantech 30/12/2017
Welcome back to Clean Talking, a fortnightly in depth take on developments in the cleantech and renewables world. This week we are casting our eye over the sporting world and its relationship with Cleantech and wondering, when you get off the pitch, is the rest of the sporting world as green?
Given their global appeal, certain sports are guilty of leaving behind an unconscionable carbon footprint. This is nowhere truer than in Motor Racing, in which events like Formula One transport hi-tech vehicles, their drivers, crews and fans around the world on a weekly basis. Whilst entertaining, few would claim the excitement justifies the negative environmental impact and cleaner rivals have emerged. Founded in 2014, the EV only Formula E continues to strengthen, attracting manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche and Leonardo di Caprio’s Venturi team. Purists may argue that Formula E will never have the look (or sound) of its gas-guzzling older sibling yet the inclusion of stars like Nico Prost and Nelson Piquet Jr. guarantees an enthralling spectacle. Whilst the writing isn’t on the wall for F1 just yet, Formula E is certainly in pole position to overtake soon. Alongside Jaguar’s recently unveiled I-Pace eTrophy and Volkswagen’s plans for its long-awaited return to the Pikes Peak hill climb in 2018, the future of Motor racing is on track not only to be bright but also clean.
There is evidently scope for positive change within motorsport, however, what’s the challenge like for those more dependent on man than machine? How, for example, could Golf become even greener? How about turning abandoned courses into solar plants? In reality, putting renewable infrastructure on the pitch/field/square is a long way off – even if certain managers produce enough hot air per game to justify a turbine by the dugout.
For sporting fixtures to become sustainable, it is the stadiums that must adapt, particularly in the US, where taxpayers are often left footing the bill. Why should they have to foot the environmental bill as well? An example of sustainable stadium development is the newly opened Mercedes-Benz Stadium (pictured), home to the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United, which includes 4000 solar panels. Kudos then to Atlanta for building an aesthetically and ethically pleasing stadium (seriously, check out this time-lapse of the roof closing). With Chelsea and Tottenham currently developing new grounds, a sustainable stadium is feasible and should be actively enforced as well as encouraged.
Like all major events, sports meetings generate a shockingly high level of waste. As shown across Europe this is avoidable thanks to bottle/glass deposit schemes Whilst this is slowly catching on in the UK, particularly in Rugby, the high praise bestowed upon Japanese fans at the 2014 World Cup, who took binbags to help clean up after a match, hasn’t encouraged a similar attitude at home.
Sport can therefore co-exist alongside the latest cleantech developments. Private ownership means the onus is upon the club to enact changes, as has already been done in the case of Arsenal (carbon neutrality). Many clubs market themselves as bastions of the local community. If they want to continue to hold (and profit from) this positioning, they owe it to themselves and their fans to promote a sustainable future.
State-Owned Energy the way forward for Scotland? 01/10/2017
Welcome and thank you for reading the very first edition of Clean Talking, a regular in depth take on developments in the cleantech and renewables world. This week's focus is Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP’s vision for the future of energy in Scotland.
Whilst political dialogue south of the border seems to be now permanently reduced to discussing the diatribe between privatisation and nationalisation, the First Minister has loftier ambitions. Speaking at the SNP’s annual conference in Glasgow on Tuesday, Sturgeon vowed to establish a state-owned energy company. calling for its implementation by 2021. Does this mean the SNP hope they have found a third-option that will deliver a sustainable and cost-effective solution to Scotland's energy needs?
Cleantech Funding Pointer: InnovateUK offers £10 million in loans to UK techs. 20/11/2017
Your company could be eligible for an innovation loan of up to £1 million for a first of a kind deployment of infrastructure technologies.
Small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) working on late-stage infrastructure systems projects can apply for a share of £10 million in a pilot loans competition – an opportunity to access Innovate UK’s new alternative financial support scheme. Their first loan competition is now open for application.
This competition aims to help businesses overcome barriers to scaling up innovation in infrastructure systems. It will do this by enabling them to demonstrate their ideas work as expected in real-world applications with users, and take their solutions to market.
The program was announced earlier this month at Innovate 2017, which the Greenbackers team attended.
Smarter, better infrastructure
The growing, ageing population, increased urbanisation and urgent need to reduce carbon emissions calls for new and novel infrastructure solutions. But developing, testing and commercialising new ideas in this sector can be risky.
You could get an innovation loan of up to £1 million for a first of a kind deployment of infrastructure technologies.
Demonstrator projects must be in one of Innovate UK’s priority areas:
Find out more here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/innovate-uk-infrastructure-systems
Link to apply: http://engage.innovateuk.org/technologystrategyboardlz//WebCapture.aspx?pID=6995&t=0
If you have any problems, please contact the InnovateUK Customer Support Service on 0300 3214357
For further support, contact a Greenbackers Associate:
London: John Steedman (firstname.lastname@example.org) +44 7767 298 495
Glasgow: Andrew Smith (email@example.com) +44 7947 722 057
Cardiff: Tony Gale (firstname.lastname@example.org) +44 7865 939 145
Managing Partner: Robert Hokin (email@example.com) +44 7957 201 203
About us: Greenbackers Investment Capital are funders and fund brokers for growth capital into the cleantech sector. We support UK and Western European cleantech companies seeking funding. Cleantech Funding Pointer: InnovateUK offers £10 million in loans to UK techs.
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