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In the headlines: China is to fast-track expansion and investment in energy saving technologies and Gujarat plans solar power plants over 10km of canals

Date
19 August 2013
In the headlines: China is to fast-track expansion and investment in energy saving technologies and Gujarat plans solar power plants over 10km of canals

Clean Revolution news stories you may have missed:

Global

Negotiations aimed at developing a global emissions reduction deal are ready to “shift gears” in the coming months, according to UN officials. A report presented on Tuesday by the co-Chairs of a working group tasked with developing a climate treaty [ADP] also says there is general agreement that the proposed 2015 treaty will be guided by science. This is significant, as current projections leave the planet on course for 4C warming by 2100, and scientists say emissions will have to be radically cut by 2020 to ensure dangerous levels of climate change are avoided. RTCC, August 16.

The frequency and severity of heat waves are likely to increase significantly over the coming decades, according to a new study that raises fresh fears about the likely impact on agricultural production and public health. The new research, published this week in the journal Environmental Research Letters, models the impact of climate change on "heat extremes" and warns that conditions that are currently regarded as "extreme" will become the "new normal" throughout the summer months. BusinessGreen, August 15.

Asia-Pacific

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) on Monday urged the federal government to green its building stock, which could raise its productivity by up to $2 billion per year. For example, there is the City of Melbourne’s Council House 2, which saw an 10.9 per cent increase in productivity when staff relocated to the Green Star-rated office. From the private sector, one example is the eco-certified headquarters of Macquarie Bank in Sydney, where some employees reported a 15 per cent increase in perceived productivity. Eco-Business.com, August 12.

China

China is to fast-track expansion and investment in energy saving technologies in an attempt to tackle its worsening pollution problems. China's cabinet, the State Council announced plans on Sunday to make the energy saving sector a "pillar" of the economy by 2015. In a statement the council said that under the new plan the environmental protection sector will grow by 15% on average annually, reaching an output of 4.5 trillion yuan (£474 billion). The Guardian, August 14.

The worldwide financial crisis in 2008 failed to halt the huge growth in the global wind energy market from 2006 to 2012, according to a new report. According to the report, Wind Power - Global Market Size, Turbine Market Share, Installation Prices, Regulations and Investment Analysis to 2020, by research firm GlobalData, installed capacity increased at a compound annual growth rate of 25%. This translates into to a jump from 73.6GW in 2006 to 280.6GW in 2012. China was the global leader in wind power in 2012 with the US coming second. The US lost out on the top spot due to the economic slowdown and uncertainties relating to the future of the industry because of a lack of long-term policies supporting the wind sector. Wind Power Monthly, August 16.

Europe

Scandinavian countries are renowned for their environmental credentials, from significant renewable energy supplies to their love of cycling. So it is perhaps not so surprising to discover a new study has named Sweden the most sustainable country in the world. A report from the Swiss investment group RobecoSAM launched late last week ranked 59 countries on a broad range of environmental and social governance issues such as carbon emissions, social cohesion and civil liberties. BusinessGreen, August 19.

The Danish government has come up with 78 possible projects to help cut the country’s carbon emissions. The plan, intended to lay the foundations for a Climate Law in the next parliamentary year, sets out a variety of ways in which the country can reach its target of a 40% reduction in emissions by 2020. The already efficient country is currently on target to reach a cut of 34% by 2020, thanks to last year’s energy plan to transition the country towards renewables, and the 78 point plan is an attempt to find a way to make up the final 6%. RTCC, August 15.

India

The India state of Gujarat aims to save water and boost electricity production by installing solar power plants over canals. It plans to construct a 10MW plant over waterways in the Narmada Valley, which supply water to the arid regions of Saurashtra and Kutch. The new project is said to cover nearly 10 kilometres of the canal and will generate around 16 million units of electricity per year, which will be fed back into the grid. Investment in the project by SSNN is reported to be US$19.5 million. RTCC, August 15.

If you generate power from a rooftop solar project, the Delhi government will soon incentivize your efforts. A new solar policy upholds "production-based subsidy" which means that the government will pay you for the units of energy you save by using solar power. As of now, there is a "capital subsidy" scheme which involves a rebate of a fixed sum on installation of solar water heaters in Delhi. The Times of India, August 18.

North America

Solar panels are being installed on the White House roof, an official said Thursday, more than two years after the administration said such a move would underscore President Barack Obama’s commitment to renewable energy. The panels, part of an energy retrofit of the executive mansion, are made by an unnamed U.S. company, the official said. The project to improve the White House’s energy efficiency includes installing updated controls and variable-speed fans, and “will help demonstrate that historic buildings can incorporate solar energy and energy efficiency upgrades,” the official said. The Wall Street Journal, August 15.

The US shareholder proxy season saw a near record 110 shareholder resolutions filed relating to climate change and sustainability issues, securing a host of concessions from high-profile corporates in the energy and retail sectors. According to figures released in recent weeks by the Ceres group of sustainable investors, 110 resolutions were filed with 94 US companies demanding a host of improvements in sustainability reporting, climate risk disclosure and clean technology investment. BusinessGreen, August 15.

UK

The global offshore wind energy market will enjoy rapid growth over the next seven years, led by the deployment of a new fleet of offshore wind farms in British waters. That is the conclusion of a new report from analyst firm GlobalData, which predicts global offshore wind capacity will grow from 5.5GW in 2012 to 51.2GW by the end of the decade, largely as a result of the UK's plans for new offshore wind farms. BusinessGreen, August 15.

The ability of cities to combat the cause of climate change and to adapt to future weather patterns depends on where we live in the UK, new research suggests. Scientists at Newcastle University have revealed a “postcode lottery of preparedness” across the country based on what each city is doing to not only reduce greenhouse emissions but also adapt to future climate change and extremes of weather such as flooding and drought. Devising a new way of ranking cities - the ‘Urban Climate Change Preparedness Scores’ - the team scored 30 cities based on four levels of readiness: Assessment, Planning, Action and Monitoring. Newcastle University, August 13.

Innovation

After much anticipation, Tesla's Elon Musk reveals plans for the Hyperloop - a fast, sustainable and cost-efficient train system without rails yet topped with solar panels and propelled by both electric motor and air cushion dynamics. The design addresses all requirements of speed, cost and sustainability. A large part of this is through the self-powering system incorporated in the design, using solar panels atop the tube, enabling the Hyperloop to generate more energy than it needs to operate. The energy is simply stored in battery packs that allow the pods to continue running at night or during days with cloudy or rainy weather. Eco-Business.com. August 13.

LanzaTech, a producer of low-carbon fuels and chemicals from waste gases, has partnered with India’s Centre for Advanced Bio-Energy to create a process for the direct production of low-carbon fuels from industrial carbon dioxide emissions. The company says this application of its gas fermentation technology will enable a new supply of biofuels, creating economic growth and reducing CO2 emissions across India. Environmental Leader, August 15.

LED lighting

Energy-Efficient LED Street Lights Could Be in Middletown's Future. The city's energy coordinator says the technology, rolled out in waves if voters approve a request to buy the lights from CL&P, could significantly reduce electricity costs and Middletown's carbon footprint. If the common council approves the mayor's plan to send a $1.15 million street light purchase to referendum in November, taxpayers could see $3 million in savings over the next decade. Middletown Patch, August 14.

The KESC and a company on Tuesday signed an MoU for the conversion of all lights at the Governor House to LED, a move that is expected to save over Rs6 million in annual electricity costs. According to the agreement, signed as part of the environment-friendly policy of the companies, both, the external and internal, lights of the Governor House will be replaced with LED lights. The News, August 15.

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