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In the headlines: 40% of UK farmers use clean energy & Gulf countries collectively plan over £103 billion worth of solar power installation projects

08 July 2013
In the headlines: 40% of UK farmers use clean energy & Gulf countries collectively plan over £103 billion worth of solar power installation projects

Clean Revolution news stories you may have missed


Solar power will be one of the main energy sources in the Gulf by 2017, as the region capitalises on its plentiful renewable resources. Organisers of GulfSol 2013, an event dedicated to the solar energy industry, said on Wednesday that the Gulf countries have collectively planned over 570 billion dirham (£103 billion) worth of solar power installation projects. The UK’s state owned Green Investment Bank is set to be involved, investing 6 billion dirham (£1 billion) alongside energy company Masdar. Blue & Green Tomorrow, July 8.

The planet has warmed faster since the turn of the century than ever recorded, almost doubling the pace of sea-level increase and causing a 20-fold jump in heat-related deaths, the United Nations said. The decade through 2010 was the warmest for both hemispheres and for land and sea, the UN’s World Meteorological Organization said today in an e-mailed report examining climate trends for the beginning of the millennium. Almost 94 percent of countries logged their warmest 10 years on record, it said. Bloomberg, July 3.


Japan’s Ministry of the Environment set up a fund to invest in clean energy projects to support regional companies and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The ministry has set aside 1.4 billion yen ($14 million) for the fund for fiscal 2013, said Kazuhiro Okuma, an official in charge of the fund. The fund will invest in projects with private investors for as much as a half of equity. Bloomberg, July 2.

Australia: A Coalition government would tie "red tape" reduction targets to senior public servants' pay, establish a deregulation unit within the prime minister's office and hand over most environmental regulation responsibilities to the states. The opposition leader, Tony Abbott, announced the Coalition policy relating to productivity and regulation at KPMG's Sydney offices on Monday. In the 28-page document, the Coalition sets a target to reduce "red and green" tape by $1bn a year and will set aside at least two parliamentary sitting days to repeal legislation associated with "counter-productive" regulation. The Guardian, July 8.


China's thinking has shifted increasingly towards renewable energy, which is reaching the market faster than nuclear power, a German environment official has said. "If you analyse the last 10 years, the thinking in China has shifted more and more towards renewables. I see that renewables are getting to the markets quicker than expected and nuclear energy is getting to the markets slower than expected," said Karsten Sach, deputy director general for European and international environment policy at the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. He was speaking to the South China Morning Post in Berlin. South China Morning Post, July 8.


The European Commission confirmed it has received 33 applications for a share of around €750m of funding through the NER 300 programme, which offers financial support to renewable energy and carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects. BusinessGreen, July 5.

Office workers in France who leave for the night without turning out the lights may not only be in breach of their employers' environmental policies, from Monday they are also breaking the law. Legislation passed in January that requires shops, offices and public sector buildings to turn off all unnecessary lighting overnight came into effect at the start of the month, requiring organisations to turn off all unused internal and external lights between the hours of 1am and 7am. BusinessGreen, July 4.


The Planning Commission has approved a scheme to strengthen domestic scientific research on climate change and improve capabilities of state governments to understand and mitigate the global phenomena that can dampen India’s GDP growth by up to 3% by 2020. The Rs. 300-crore umbrella scheme, Climate Change Action Programme, aims to set up India’s first dedicated institution - National Centre for Climate Change Research - for research and climate modeling. Hindustan Times, July 8.

North America

As part of Apple’s efforts to meet all its power needs with renewable energy, the tech giant is planning its third solar farm. The new farm will power Apple's data center in Reno and also aims to provide energy for the surrounding community. Apple currently has two solar farm projects underway at its datacenter in North Carolina. Working in partnership with the Nevada utility company NV Energy, the solar farm should produce approximately 43.5 million kilowatt hours of clean energy. TreeHugger, July 2.

President Obama’s plan to use regulations to curb carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants could result in the economy adding jobs -- not losing them -- as well as lower electricity rates, according to an analysis released by an environmental group that favors the rules. The Natural Resources Defence Council which proposed a plan in December to curb greenhouse gases from power plants said today that its analysis showed that Obama can make good on his pledge last week to curtail the emissions blamed for global warming without harming the U.S. economy. Bloomberg, July 2.


Almost 40% of farmers are using clean energy across the UK, compared to just 5% in 2010, according to a new survey. However, the majority feel the full potential of renewables is not being met. The joint research, Farms as power stations by Nottingham Trent University, Forum for the Future and Farmers Weekly, collected the opinions of around 700 farmers. Although a large number have chosen to adopt renewable sources of energy – especially solar, wind and biomass energy – 76% believes renewable energy can still achieve a lot more in the agriculture industry. Blue & Green Tomorrow, July 1.

A poll by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers on UK energy policy has found that 51% of people think the government should support the construction of more renewable energy sources like solar, wave and tidal power. The people polled were asked about what types of technology they would favour to secure future energy supplies. Renewable energy sources like solar, wave and tidal power were the most popular, with 51% of people saying the Government should provide more support for these projects. Renewable Energy Focus, July 2.


Toyota Prius sales passed the three million mark last month, 16 years after the bellwether hybrid car was first released. Just under 70,000 of these sales were in the UK across the car's three generations to date. Later this year, the electric plug-in Prius will go on sale offering zero tail-pipe emissions. BusinessGreen, July 8.

Ford Motor Co. (F)’s expansion of hybrid and plug-in models and demand for Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA)’s luxury battery sedans helped U.S. first-half sales of electric-drive cars and trucks increase faster than even surging pickups. U.S. sales of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-only autos rose at least 23 percent to more than 287,000, based on data compiled by Bloomberg. Deliveries of full-size pickups climbed 22 percent, according to Autodata Corp. Bloomberg, July 6.

LED Lighting

The global market penetration rate of light-emitting diode (LED) lighting will rise in 2013 as LED technology improves and consumers grow more aware of the product, according to a market information advisory firm. The LED lighting penetration rate will reach 25.7 percent in 2013, up from 23.7 percent last year, LEDinside said in a recent research note. Focus Taiwan, July 3.

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