Latest news and insights from various sources relating to UN Sustainable Development Goals.

European airports’ carbon neutrality 2030 goal passes half way point as Gatwick and Lyon reach highest level

Wed 31 May 2017 – London Gatwick and Lyon-Saint Exupery have become the latest European airports to achieve the highest carbon-neutral level of the industry’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme. This brings the total of carbon neutral airports in Europe to 27, over half way to reaching an industry goal of 50 by 2030, with four other airports in Asia and one in North America also having reached Level 3+ neutrality. Lyon initially entered the programme at the first ‘Mapping’ level of the programme in 2013 and has since worked its way up through the four levels. To coincide with its announcement of reaching carbon neutrality status, Gatwick has published its ‘Decade of Change’ report for 2016 which charts progress against 10 environmental and community-focused targets the airport has set itself for the 2010-2020 period.

Geneva Airport partners with local energy utility to install 50,000m2 of solar panels

Wed 18 Oct 2017 – Geneva Airport has entered into a contract with public energy utility Geneva Industrial Services (SIG) to install solar panels on 50,000 square metres of roof space – the equivalent of about eight football pitches. The array will produce around 7.5 GWh of electricity per year, the equivalent of the annual power consumption of 2,500 local homes. The photovoltaic solar panels will be installed on 10 roofs located around the airport, with an expected completion date of 2020. SIG will build and own the panels for 25 years and has committed 13 million Swiss francs ($13.2m) in funding for the project. The electricity produced by the facility will primarily be used to power the airport, which already boasts solar panels covering 10,000 square metres.

“Sustainable development has been defined as a strategic objective in all activities of the airport,” said André Schneider, Director General of Geneva Airport, announcing the project.

Since 2012, the airport has purchased a combination of renewable energy – solar and biomass – and hydropower from SIG. A solar heating installation enables hot water to be produced for the airport fire brigade building and in 2006 a solar power plant was installed on the main hangar roof and operated by Edisun Power. Hot water for domestic and heating use by more than half the airport is produced by an extra light oil-fired thermal station. In 2010, two solar panel arrays were installed on airport buildings that are now supplying 470 MWh of electricity.

Following a Swiss referendum in May, the country plans to decommission its nuclear power plants over time and shift to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal power, with the aim of generating 20% of the country’s electricity through solar alone.

SIG currently owns and manages 39 solar power plants in the canton of Geneva with a production capacity of 48 GWh, and by 2025 expects to ramp this up to 150 GWh of solar power per year.

Last month, Geneva Airport announced it was collaborating with Finland’s Neste to supply renewable jet fuel from late 2018 to airlines serving the airport (see article).

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