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In the headlines: climate change to be pushed up the World Economic Forum's agenda and the green economy is worth £25bn to London's economy

Date
09 September 2013
In the headlines: climate change to be pushed up the World Economic Forum's agenda and the green economy is worth £25bn to London's economy

Clean Revolution news stories you may have missed:

Global

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has revealed plans to push climate change up the agenda at next year's Davos Summit, in a move designed to help drive business engagement with climate change risks and in particular the melting of the Arctic ice cap. Writing for BusinessGreen Plus, Dominic Waughray, senior director and head of environmental initiatives at the WEF, today revealed that the group will dedicate "an unprecedented number of sessions at the next Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters in early 2014 to climate change". BusinessGreen, September 6.

Asia-Pacific

Australia's opposition has crushed the governing Labor party in a general election that has returned the Liberal-National coalition to power for the first time in six years. The coalition won 88 seats to Labor's 57 in the 150-seat parliament. Liberal leader Tony Abbott, who will be prime minister, promised a competent and trustworthy government. Outgoing PM Kevin Rudd earlier admitted defeat and said he would not stand again for the Labor leadership. BBC News, September 7.

ANZ and National Australian Bank will become the first to provide banking finance for a large scale solar project in Australia, after agreeing to provide non-recourse project finance for the 20MW Royalla solar PV project near Canberra. As revealed by RenewEconomy in May, project developer FRV two Australian banks over eight international and local candidates for the $50 million project, which is only the second utility scale solar farm to be built in Australia, but the first in the National Electricity Market, and the first to get bank finance. RenewEconomy, September 3.

Wind energy records were broken in four states in August in Australia, according to new figures, as the Coalition gears up to place the wind power industry under greater scrutiny should it win power on Saturday. The Clean Energy Council said that the amount of power produced by Australia’s wind farms in August was enough to power Sydney Opera House for the next 57 years. The Guardian, September 6.

China

A new report released today by NREL and MIT suggests that China’s current advantage in the PV manufacturing market is not due to lower labor costs as previously thought, but rather its vast scale of production, which has resulted in manifold supply chain benefits. The study also suggests that China’s advantageous market conditions could be reproduced for the U.S. and other markets provided sufficient technological innovation was implemented. PV Magazine, September 5.

Europe

EU policy on biofuels reaches a critical stage on Wednesday with a scheduled vote by the European parliament on proposed limits on the use of crop-based fuels. The plenary vote in Strasbourg comes amid lobbying by the industry to push back against votes at the committee stage in June. In key votes, the environment committee voted to limit the use of biofuels to 5.5% of total transport, while the industry committee voted for a 6.5% limit. The Guardian, September 9.

An investment fund run by a London-based investor group has agreed to buy two wind farms in northern Finland. Impax Asset Management will purchase the pre-construction stage projects – with a total capacity of 75MW – from their co-developers, Finnish utility Fortum and state-owned land administrator Metsahallitus. The Kuolavaara-Keulakkopää project will consist of 17 turbines with a total output of around 50MW whilst the Joukhaisselkä wind farm will include 8-10 turbines with an expected output of around 25MW. Energy Live News, September, 7.

India

Greenpeace announced a one of its kind rural electrification model based on a smart micro grid in Dharnai village in Jehanabad district of Bihar. This ambitious solar powered micro-grid is being installed to showcase that the real solution for rural electrification lies in decentralised renewable energy. Co-implemented with BASIX and Centre for Environment and Energy Development, the micro grid will involve about 100 kilowatts of solar panels that will supply affordable, sustainable and round the clock electricity to 350 households in Dharnai. The micro grid is targeted to become operational by next year. Ciol, September 4.

Hero Group, the parent of India’s biggest motorcycle maker, plans to build 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2017. Its new unit, Hero Future Energies, completed its first 37.5-megawatt wind farm in Rajasthan state and has won a license to build a 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant in Karnataka, Hero Future Managing Director Rahul Munjal said in an e-mailed statement today. The company expects to develop 100 megawatts of wind and solar projects this year, according to the statement. Bloomberg, September, 4.

The Indian Government has announced the approval of a new solar research and technology institute in the country. Called the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), the facility will assist the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and function as the main national centre in a bid to advance solar technologies, with maximum cost benefits in India. Energy Live News, September 5.

North America

The U.S. added 976 megawatts (MW) of new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity during the second quarter of 2013 (Q2’13), up 24 percent Q/Q from 788 MW in Q1’13, according to the latest NPD Solarbuzz North America PV Markets Quarterly report. In Q2’13, new PV installed in California alone reached 521 MW, which is a new record for PV added by any state in the U.S. for a three-month period and 53 percent of PV added in the U.S. California has added 1.6 GW in the past 12 months, with a further 1.1 GW forecast for the second half of the year, according to the report. Renewable Energy World. September 6.

There will be sufficient supply of advanced biofuels to meet the US Renewable Fuel Standard through 2016, according to Environmental Entrepreneurs’ (E2) annual assessment of the advanced biofuel industry. The report comes amidst renewed scrutiny of the RFS from Congress this summer, as the oil industry seeks to roll back the renewable fuel requirements. Environmental Leader, September 3.

UK

London’s green economy is booming as the sector is worth around £25.4 billion to the capital’s economy, a new report revealed. Figures from Mayor Boris Johnson’s Office also showed the Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services (LCGES) sector has grown from £20.9 billion in 2007/08 to £22.9 billion in 2009/10. It also rose by more than 5% over each of the last two years, with the value of exports at £2.2 billion – up from £1.9 billion in 2009/10. Energy Live News, September 6.

Campaigners have warned that Britain is hurtling towards a new economic crisis, and call for a £50bn "Green New Deal" to create more sustainable growth and better-paid jobs and equip the country for a low-carbon future. After two quarters of better-than-expected GDP growth and a batch of positive economic indicators – including rising house prices and upbeat business surveys – the coalition is hoping the summer economic bounce will turn into a longer-term recovery. The Guardian, September 9.

A new strategy to roll-out £500 million of funding to support the development and adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles in the UK has been launched. The Government is calling on businesses to submit suggestions on how best to distribute the cash between 2015 and 2020 as it aims for every new car to “effectively be zero emission” by 2050. The new strategy is expected to speed the transition to low-emission vehicles, boost jobs and improve air quality and energy security in the country. Energy Live News, September 6.

Innovation

Instead of generating electricity at sea and sending it to shore, a different kind of wave energy device is in the works in Australia, and it promises to deliver not only emissions-free electricity, but also emissions-free desalinated water. The technology, called CETO after a Greek sea goddess, is being developed by Carnegie Wave Energy Limited, and their upcoming 2MW pilot project near the Perth Wave Energy demo site will be the first wave powered desalination plant in world. Treehugger, September 2.

LED and low carbon lighting

NiteN has announced an LED retrofit lamp called the 2D-Lite LED Disk that the company says can hit the $10 price point for consumers in 2014 for an 800-lm, 60W-equivalent lamp. The unique design may not resonate immediately as a lightbulb replacement, but it appears as if it should produce uniform omnidirectional light and can be manufactured at low cost. That said, NiteN is a socially-funded startup that may or may not have the backing to launch the product and the socket-saturation clock is ticking on any new manufacturer trying to enter the retrofit lamp space. LEDs Magazine, September 4.

GE Lighting has supplied LED streetlights for a major roadway lighting project in Baguio City, the Philippines, both slashing energy and maintenance costs and improving the lighting. Bath, England is installing solid-state lighting (SSL) along the A4 roadway. The Ausgrid utility in Australia is undertaking LED projects across 41 town councils. And Horsham, Pennsylvania is replacing obsolete streetlights with LED-based fixtures. LEDs Magazine, September 3.

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