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In the headlines: 10,000 renewable energy jobs could be created on the Scottish islands and Iceland becomes the 100th country nation to deploy wind power

Date
20 May 2013
In the headlines: 10,000 renewable energy jobs could be created on the Scottish islands and Iceland becomes the 100th country nation to deploy wind power

Clean Revolution news stories you may have missed

Global

A survey of thousands of peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals has found 97.1% agreed that climate change is caused by human activity. Authors of the survey, published on Thursday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, said the finding of near unanimity provided a powerful rebuttal to climate contrarians who insist the science of climate change remains unsettled. The Guardian, May 16.

The 2012 report by the World Wind Energy Association shows 100 countries are using electricity generated by wind turbines, with Iceland recently becoming the 100th nation to deploy wind power. However, the market’s overall growth rate of 19.2 % is the lowest rate in more than a decade, despite an annual turnover of €60bn, according to the report. The association‘s World Wind Energy Report 2012 says global wind capacity has now reached over 282GW – 44.6GW was added in 2012 alone, the most ever added in a single year. Renewable Energy Focus, May 16.

Australia

Australia has launched a bid to stop the commercial use of a controversial ''geoengineering'' technique that involves dumping iron into the ocean in a bid to counter the effects of man-made climate change. The practice - known as ocean fertilisation - is proposed as a way to increase carbon dioxide absorption in the ocean and of boosting fish stocks. It rose to prominence last year when a US entrepreneur released 100 tonnes of iron sulphate into Canadian waters in a bid to increase salmon numbers for an indigenous village. Sydney Morning Herald, May 16.

China

The Ministry of Environmental Protection has given an assessment for the construction of a major hydropower plant in southwest China's Sichuan Province. The Shuangjiangkou hydropower plant will have a total installed capacity of 2 GW, with annual power generation to reach 7.93 billion kilowatt-hours upon completion. Xinhua, May 16.

The global oil market will be transformed over the next five years as faster-than-expected production growth in North America combines with a greater acceleration in demand than predicted among Asian and Africa countries, according to a new report. The Independent, May 15.

Europe

Chancellor Angela Merkel must ditch coal in favor of cleaner gas power plants to protect the climate, said the co-leader of Germany’s Greens party, urging a redoubling of efforts to raise carbon prices in the world’s biggest cap-and-trade program. The Greens will push for more ambitious European Union climate targets for 2020 to help raise CO2 prices, said Juergen Trittin, outlining his party’s strategy for federal elections in little more than four months. A higher price for carbon permits would make burning coal more expensive and so less attractive, which the Greens would complement by setting strict efficiency standards for new fossil plants, he said. Bloomberg, May 15.

India

India will toughen its stand against a potential European Union (EU) move to penalize airlines based in the country for not submitting emissions data, according to two government officials familiar with the matter. The European Commission said on Friday two Indian and eight Chinese airlines face fines totalling €2.4 million ($3.1 million) for not paying for their greenhouse gas emissions on flights within the bloc. Sustainability Outlook, May 20.

Despite poor pace of capacity addition in the states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra , India retained its position in top five world wind energy markets in 2012 . India remained third largest market for new turbines in 2012 with capacity addition of 2441 mw, revealed World Wind Energy Report 2012. World's wind turbine capacity addition grew at 19% to 44,609 mw, which is lowest in more than a decade. The Economic Times, May 18.

North America

US taxpayers faced a $100bn bill to clean up damage caused by last year's extreme weather events, more than the federal government spent on either education or transportation, a new analysis has shown. The new report by the US-based Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that spending to address the drought, storms, floods and wildfires that hit the US in 2012 accounted for one of every six dollars spent on non-defence discretionary programmes. This equates to around 16 per cent of total non-defence discretionary spending in the federal budget, larger than any official spending category. BusinessGreen, May 15.

UK

Renewable energy projects could create more than 10,000 jobs on the Scottish islands by 2030, according to a Government-commissioned report. An independent study found that investment in wind, wave and tidal energy would bring significant socio-economic benefits to the Western Isles, Shetland and Orkney and could establish Scotland as a world leader in marine technologies. STV News, May 15.

Parliament has confirmed the Energy Bill's next reading will take place as expected on 3 and 4 June, offering the industry reassurance that the landmark legislation could now pass before the summer. The move also means that the showdown over the proposed inclusion of a binding decarbonisation target in the Bill will take place in the first week of June, as a cross-party group of MPs are widely expected to table an amendment that would require the government to introduce a target next year. BusinessGreen, May 16.

Innovation

Volvo Buses’ plug-in hybrid buses — which the company says reduce fuel consumption by at least 75 percent compared with diesel buses — will hit the streets of Gothenburg, Sweden this month as part of a field test. Volvo says the plug-in technology will reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide by 75 to 80 percent, compared with current diesel buses, and reduce total energy consumption by about 60 percent. Environmental Leader, May 15.

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