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In the headlines: $675m saved in energy costs thanks to LEDs and Germany supports expansion of renewable energy in India with €1 billion

Date
10 June 2013
In the headlines: $675m saved in energy costs thanks to LEDs and Germany supports expansion of renewable energy in India with €1 billion

Clean Revolution news stories you may have missed

Global

United Airlines announced it has agreed to buy low carbon renewable jet fuel for flights from its Los Angeles International Airport produced by a local refinery. AltAir Fuels will retrofit part of an existing petroleum refinery near California to become a 30-million-gallon advanced biofuel facility. It will convert non-edible natural oils and agricultural waste into approximately 30 million gallons of biofuel every year, which is expected to help achieve at least 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Energy Live News, June 5.

Dell has committed to sustainable packaging initiatives including goals for a waste-free packaging stream by 2020 and a new wheat straw material that turns agricultural waste into boxes. The company says it will achieve its waste-free packaging goals by:

  • Ensuring that 100 percent of Dell packaging is sourced from sustainable materials, including recycled and rapidly renewable content, or material that was formerly part of the waste stream.
  • Ensuring that 100 percent of Dell packaging is either recyclable or compostable at the end of its life. Environmental Leader, June 6.

Australia

Bill McKibben, the US environmentalist, has insisted that a looming election defeat for Labor will do little to alter growing activist pressure on Australian superannuation funds and businesses to withdraw funding from fossil fuel companies. McKibben, whose Do the Maths lecture tour of Australia concluded with an appearance in Brisbane on Sunday, told Guardian Australia there was increasing momentum behind the anti-coal movement, despite a clear polling lead for opposition leader Tony Abbott, who has pledged a “blood oath” to repeal the carbon pricing scheme and scrap various clean energy initiatives. The Guardian, June 10.

Renewable energy supplied a record 13.14 per cent of Australia’s electricity in 2012, according to new figures released by the Clean Energy Council in its 2012 Clean Energy Australia Report. Earlier this year the millionth solar power system was installed, while last year was a record one for Australia’s wind power businesses. Ecogeneration, June 7.

China

China will become the world's energy laboratory for decades to come, as the country continues to create a greener economy, experts said at the Chengdu Fortune Global Forum on Friday. "The transition from fossil fuels to green energy will take decades, but we can start with something such as natural gas," said Sun Simin, chairman of the Asia Clean Energy Innovation Initiative. He said that China and the United States have already launched cooperation projects to facilitate such a goal. For instance, some major State-owned enterprises are importing liquefied natural gas from the US to benefit from the low energy prices caused by the shale gas revolution in the country. China Daily, June 8.

The Chinese government is undertaking extensive retrofits to increase energy efficiency, the Chemsunny World Trade Centre in Beijing being a recent notable example. China's building sector accounts for more than 25% of China energy use and Chinese buildings are on track to become responsible for one-fifth of the world's coal consumption by 2020 -- stretching the limits of what China can supply. Improving the efficiency of its buildings, new and old, is a key part of China's strategy to reduce energy demand. GreenBiz.com, June 4.

Europe

A trade dispute has been developing between China and the European Union. The EU accused China of "dumping" solar panels in Europe - selling them at below cost to steal market share - and then said it would impose import tariffs of up to 68% on them. China promptly retaliated by claiming EU farm subsidies have resulted in Europe "dumping" wine on China, and said it may respond in kind. BBC News, June 7.

The EU’s climate action slowdown is likely to end later this year, an MEP has told RTCC. During the last year enthusiasm in Brussels to fix the EU carbon market has been on the wane, emission reduction targets remained static and there was a perceived shift towards economic priorities and maintaining low energy prices. Dutch Green MEP Bas Eickhout said circumstances have conspired against those pursuing effective climate policies in the EU but the situation can change as rapidly as it emerged. “I really think that September will see a change in the mood,” said Eickhout. RTCC.org, June 7.

India

Seeking to further strengthen bilateral ties, India and Germany on Thursday signed an umbrella agreement on financial and technical cooperation in the field of energy, environment and management of natural resources. Germany has committed to support expansion of renewable energy in India with one billion euros. Hindustan Times, June 7.

Goldman Sachs’s private equity arm will add to its investment in an Indian wind farm company, putting another $135m into ReNew Wind Power, in a sign of the increasing interest in Asian renewables. The planned investment follows last month’s pledge from Goldman to invest up to $487m in JRE, a solar power generation company in Japan, where guaranteed electricity prices for 20 years is making investment highly attractive. Financial Times, June 5.

North America

The US and China agreed to work together to phase down the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) or "super greenhouse" gases as part of their joint effort against climate change. "A global phase down of HFCs could potentially reduce some 90 gigatons of CO2 equivalent by 2050, equal to roughly two years' worth of current global greenhouse gas emissions," the White House said at the conclusion of the two-day US China summit at Palm springs in California. DNA, June 9.

Increasing natural gas use in businesses and homes as well as within the transportation and manufacturing sectors can help the US cut greenhouse gas emissions in the near to medium term, according to a report by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. The report, entitled ‘Leveraging Natural Gas to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions’ recommends increasing direct use of natural gas in homes and businesses by replacing certain electric appliances, such as space and water heaters, with natural gas models. Opportunities to increase use also include substituting natural gas for diesel and gasoline in fleets and heavy-duty trucks and using it in more efficient combined heat and power systems in manufacturing facilities. Environmental Leader, June 6.

UK

The U.K. will give residents more say over onshore wind farms and higher payments to communities affected by them, an effort to heal a rift over the technology that’s divided lawmakers and sparked local resistance. New planning guidance will require that communities are consulted earlier on applications and that more weight is given to concerns about the impact on the landscape. Bloomberg, June 6.

An interesting infograph showing how MPs voted on the Energy Bill by Friends of the Earth, June 7. Read Mark Kenber's views on the UK Energy Bill decarbonisation target vote.

LED Lighting

US Department of Energy did a study of how much electricity was saved last year thanks to the use of LED in nine kinds of applications (various kinds of indoor lights, streetlights, etc). The annual energy cost savings amount to $675 million. TreeHugger, June 7.

Innovation

DHL is trialling a prototype hybrid truck that it claims is the first of its kind in the UK. The series hybrid was conceived by the logistics company's engineering and sustainability teams before being developed over two years by Sheffield manufacturer Magtec. Its unique design features an on-board power generator plus a super capacitor energy storage system, which DHL said will help cut fuel consumption and carbon emissions by up to 25 per cent compared to standard delivery trucks. BusinessGreen, June 10.

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