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In the headlines: 13 stories you may have missed

Date
05 November 2012
In the headlines: 13 stories you may have missed

Here's a global snapshot of some of the biggest clean technology, economy and policy headlines, from the week commencing November 5, 2012.

Australia

Statistics ranking penetration of solar panels and hot water systems by electorate find climate advocate Malcolm Turnbull's has the lowest uptake. But Prime Minister Julia Gillard's working class electorate of Lalor in Melbourne's western suburbs scored second-highest spot, with more than 25,000 households installing solar PV or hot water systems. The Solar Council of Australia has ranked every electorate in Australia, smashing the myth solar panels are just middle-class welfare. Mortgage belt and marginal seats, where families are sensitive to rising electricity prices, have embraced solar panels. But federal electorates with more Greens voters have fewer solar panels than anywhere else in the country. The Australian, November 3.

China

A public survey has shown that 93.4 percent of the Chinese public understands the idea behind climate change, and 77.7 percent of Chinese citizens have expressed concern, according to the newly released China Public Awareness Survey Report on Climate Change and Climate Communication. On the issue of how to deal with the situation, 76.3 percent of the interviewees agree that if human do not change their behavior, negative consequences will follow and 87 percent express that they would like to buy environment-friendly products at higher prices. China.org.cn, November 1.

China’s development of the green industry during its 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) will resultin 3.6 trillion yuan in investment opportunities, a senior commerce official said on Tuesday. China Daily, October 30.

Europe

Germany's solar power systems market continued to grow strongly in September, putting Europe's biggest economy on track for a new installation record this year and increasing pressure on the ruling coalition to curb the spiralling costs to consumers. Capacity grew by around 7.4 GW in all of 2010 and 7.5 GW in 2011, far above the 2.5 to 3.5 GW Berlin would like to see each year. Reuters, October 31.

A new corporate coalition which says it will advance a low-carbon energy policy for Europe launched in Brussels last week. The coalition unites energy majors which so far include Alpine Energie, DONG Energy, First Solar, GE Energy, and Shell – all big investors in gas and renewable projects, who have taken strong positions supporting EU climate action. Executives from these firms stressed “the ideal partnership of gas-fired and renewable portfolios” at the launch event on 31 October, although the issue is contested in policy circles. EurActiv, November 5.

Global

The slow rate of emissions cuts in major economies has put the world on track for "at least six degrees of warming" by the end of the century, analysts will warn today. New research by consultancy giant PwC finds an unprecedented 5.1 per cent annual cut in global emissions per unit of GDP, known as carbon intensity, is needed through to 2050 if the world is to avoid the worst effects of climate change and meet an internationally agreed target of limiting average temperature increases to just two degrees above pre-industrial levels. BusinessGreen, November 5.

India

Germans perceive India’s rise as an economic power as more of an opportunity than a threat, with a third of them saying that India is of major significance for Germany as a political partner in Asia, showed an opinion poll conducted by an influential think-tank. Germany should work more intensively with the Asian countries and with India, and insist less on asserting its national interests, concluded the latest representative public opinion poll from the Bertelsmann Foundation. Gulf News, November 4.

Marking a new first, Puri's famous Jagannath Temple will soon turn green with a Kolkatta-based solar module-making firm Vikram Solar installing a 30kW solar power facility on its premises. The project is part of the initiative of Odisha Renewable Energy Development Authority(OREDA). The successful implementation of this project would result in a pioneering move by this ancient historical temple which will be reducing its dependence on grid power during the day time and use the solar power generated by it. The Times of India, October 31.

North America

US presidential rivals Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are approaching the final day of their election battle in a frantic fight for swing state votes. Mr Obama is scheduled to appear in Madison, Wisconsin, accompanied by Bruce Springsteen, before going on to Iowa and Ohio. Mr Romney is due in Florida - where polls suggest he is ahead - in Virginia, New Hampshire and Ohio. Analysts say the election will come down to a handful of swing states. Mr Obama and Mr Romney are running almost neck-and-neck in national polls, but polls of many key battlegrounds show Mr Obama narrowly ahead. BBC News, November 5.

In a surprise announcement, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Thursday that Hurricane Sandy had reshaped his thinking about the presidential campaign and that as a result, he was endorsing President Obama. Mr. Bloomberg, a political independent in his third term leading New York City, has been sharply critical of Mr. Obama, a Democrat, and Mitt Romney, the president’s Republican rival, saying that both men had failed to candidly confront the problems afflicting the nation. But he said he had decided over the past several days that Mr. Obama was the better candidate to tackle the global climate change that he believes might have contributed to the violent storm, which took the lives of at least 38 New Yorkers and caused billions of dollars in damage. New York Times, November 1. Read our story President Obama's track record on climate change secures Mayor Bloomberg's vote.

UK

'Green' and 'growth' must not happen in isolation – article by Environment Agency chairman Lord Smith. BusinessGreen, November 1.

Electric Vehicles

The market for electric vehicle charging stations is due to rise from $140 million in 2012 to $1.15 billion by 2020, a CAGR of 30 percent, according to a report by Lux Research. Europe will lead the global market with 2020 annual sales of 480,000 units, and after a slow start, China will forge ahead to 277,000 units by that year. In 2020, plug-in vehicles in China will also consume 23 percent of all energy used by plug-ins, the most of any individual country. Environmental Leader, October 30.

Plans to build a national network of electric car charging points designed to make it easier for drivers to travel greater distances have taken a step forward, after two major schemes in London and Eastern England announced they were to link up. Transport for London confirmed an agreement late last week, which means members of Source London and Source East will be able to use each others charge points free of charge after paying a £10 annual membership fee. BusinessGreen, October 30.

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