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In the headlines: clean energy investment rose 22% and Germany beats its solar power output record

15 July 2013
In the headlines: clean energy investment rose 22% and Germany beats its solar power output record

Clean Revolution news stories you may have missed


Clean-energy investment rose 22 percent in the second quarter from the prior three months as increased spending in the U.S., China and South Africa countered a slump in Europe. The $53.1 billion invested in the industry was still less than the $63.1 billion spent in the same period a year earlier as Europe’s spending fell to the lowest in more than six years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Investment in the region shrank 44 percent from the first quarter to $9.5 billion. Bloomberg, July 11.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), by 2018 renewable should overtake natural gas to become the world's second-largest source of energy (oil is #1). Of course, no single source of renewable energy can beat gas on its own (yet), but if you combine solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and biofuel/biomass, we can definitely get there if we maintain solid growth rates; the current projection sees a 40% growth in clean energy over the coming 5 years, which would bring the total to about 25% of total energy consumption, with hydro still accounting for the lion's share (17%). TreeHugger, July 9.

Global warming could be reversed using a combination of burning trees and crops for energy, and capturing and storing carbon dioxide underground (CCS), according to an analysis by scientists. But experts cautioned that trying such an approach after temperatures had passed dangerous levels could be problematic, as climate change reduced the number of trees available for "bioenergy". The bioenergy and CCS method was the most cost-effective way of tackling carbon emission, said the team at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, publishing their research in the journal Environmental Research Letters on Thursday. Such an approach could offset and even reverse other emissions from fossil fuels, they claimed. Guardian, July 11.


China, the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, plans to widen the number of cities curbing auto purchases to fight pollution and congestion, threatening vehicle sales, the government-backed car association said. Eight cities -- Chengdu, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Shenzhen, Shijiazhuang, Tianjin and Wuhan -- will probably introduce measures limiting auto purchases, Shi Jianhua, deputy secretary general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said in a briefing in Beijing yesterday, without being more specific about the timing. Bloomberg, July 10.

The US and China have agreed to work together on a series of climate change initiatives, including new joint efforts to tackle emissions from coal-fired power plants, manufacturing facilities, and large trucks.The plan, which is set to be implemented from October, is not legally binding, but US Secretary of State John Kerry said that co-operation between the two countries could only improve the prospects for a global climate agreement. BusinessGreen, July 12.


As part of its three-year Sustainable Urban Mobility campaign “Do The Right Mix”, the European Commission has released the names of another 18 campaigner-led actions to be awarded funding. Each action will receive up to Eur7000, which can be used to strengthen activities promoting sustainable urban mobility, from cycling courses, to car-sharing, fun activities for children and more. Since the launch of the campaign in 2012, nearly 380 sustainable urban mobility actions have been registered on the central website. Environment and Energy Management, July 9.

Around twice as many offshore wind turbines were added to the power grid in Europe in the first half of 2013 compared with a year ago, but financing for new projects has slowed, industry body the European Wind Energy Association said on Friday. In the first half of this year, 277 new offshore wind turbines, totaling 1,045 megawatts were fully connected to the power grid, compared with 523.2 megawatts in the same period last year, EWEA said in a report published on Friday. Reuters, July 11.


Delhi will host trials for hybrid three-wheelers , mini-buses and buses from August as the government explores the use of alternative fuel-based transport under a policy regime expected to involve subsidies to incentivize production. A review of "strategic industries" conducted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday approved pilot projects for use of electric and hybrid vehicles for public transport as they are non-polluting and help conserve fossil fuels. Times of India, July 10.

NTPC Ltd., India’s largest electricity generator, has begun construction of a third solar power plant to help mitigate the risk of fuel shortages faced by its coal-fired projects. The utility awarded the contract to build the 5-megawatt plant at Jhajru village in the northern state of Haryana to Eversun Energy Pvt., NTPC said in an e-mailed statement. Enmas GP Power System Projects Ltd. will connect the plant to the grid. Bloomberg, July 10.

North America

The United States has become the fourth country in the world to break through the 10GW barrier for solar PV capacity, after installing more than 1.8GW in the first half of the year. According to the North America PV Market Quarterly report produced by analysts at NPD Solarbuzz, the US has joined Germany, Italy and China as the only countries to have installed more than 10GW. Business Green, July 11.

The Solar Impulse’ sun-powered plane journey (from San Francisco, California, to Phoenix, Arizona, then to Dallas, Texas, to St. Louis, Missouri, and ending in Washington D.C. and New York City), finally was completed on Monday. The historic series of flights - it wasn't done in one hop - successful landed at JFK airport in NYC. TreeHugger, July 8.


Households installing renewable heat technologies will from next year be eligible for hundreds of pounds a year in incentive payments, after the government today announced the detail of its long-awaited domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) confirmed that tariff levels for air source heat pumps have been set at 7.3p/kWh, biomass boilers will earn 12.2p/kWh, ground source heat pumps will be eligible for 18.8p/kWh, and solar thermal systems will receive 19.2p/kWh. BusinessGreen, July 12.

A group of activists from Greenpeace on Thursday scaled the Shard, the tapered 310m glass tower next to London Bridge station, as a protest against oil and gas drilling in the Arctic. In an action that was perhaps inevitable at some point after the completion last year of western Europe's tallest building, visible across much of central London, the six climbers began their ascent in the early hours of the morning. The activists reached the top of the building at around 7.10pm. Guardian, July 11.


Developers will spend more than $134 billion annually by 2020 on solar-energy systems, up 51 percent from this year, as falling panel prices make electricity produced from sunlight cost-competitive with power from other sources, according to a report from Navigant Consulting Inc (NCI) Bloomberg, July 10.

Germany has just broken its solar power output record, jumping from its previous 22 gigawatts capacity to 23.9 gigawatts over last weekend, July 6-7. Solar power manufacturer, SMA Solar, recorded the electricity increase. Germany’s peak electricity demand at midday is about 60 GW, so at 1:45pm or so, solar power was providing about 40% of the country’s electricity demand. CleanTechnica, July 7.


The UK has invested £1bn in an Advanced Propulsion Centre designed to research and commercialise technologies that will power the vehicles of the future. Government funding of £500m over the next 10 years will be matched by £500m from 27 companies in the auto sector, including manufacturers and supply chain companies, in line with a recommendation first made by think tank IPPR in April. BusinessGreen, July 15.

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