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In the headlines: Empire State Building exceeds guarantee energy savings for second year in a row and cloud computing will save $2.2 billion

Date
01 July 2013
In the headlines: Empire State Building exceeds guarantee energy savings for second year in a row and cloud computing will save $2.2 billion

Clean Revolution news stories you may have missed

Global

As cloud computing increases in popularity, it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 95 percent, leading to savings of more than $2.2 billion, according to a study sponsored by Microsoft Europe and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI). Expanding cloud usage beyond the basics to large-scale information and communication technology (ICT) will scale those savings up to $1.2 trillion, GeSI says, Environmental Leader, June 27.

The majority of small employers — about 60 percent — believe climate change and extreme weather events are an urgent problem that can disrupt the economy and harm businesses, according to a scientific opinion poll.The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling on behalf of Small Business Majority, found four in 10 strongly believe this. It also found a third of American small businesses have seen extreme weather impact their business or someone around them. Environmental Leader, June 27.

Asia-Pacific

Kevin Rudd, sworn in yesterday for his second stint as Australia’s prime minister, may seek to amend his predecessor’s flagship clean-energy policy that’s left the nation with the world’s highest carbon price, analysts say. Bloomberg New Energy Finance joined RepuTex in Melbourne and Climate Mundial in London in predicting Rudd will try to deflect attacks on Australia’s fixed carbon price, set to rise next month to almost four times the European rate, by pledging to speed up the shift to a market-based trading system. Bloomberg, June 28.

Wind, sun, tidal, thermal - one legacy of the Fukushima nuclear disaster is a surge in interest in Japan in all things renewable within the energy industry. A rush of technology firms and investors are exploring a range of green energy projects, tapping into the anti-nuclear sentiment that remains strong across Japan. The renewable energy sector was given a significant boost last year with the launch of a government feed-in tariff, which resulted in subsidies for companies investing in the sector. The National, July 1.

China

China strengthened its environmental monitoring efforts with 344 provincial and prefectural stations established to monitor pollution by the end of 2012, a report said. Released by the China Law Society, the report on China's legal system construction in 2012 said a total of 13,248 companies were linked to the monitoring center of the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) by the end of the year. The report also applauded the authorities' intensified efforts in publishing environmental monitoring results. A total of 496 monitoring sites in 74 cities are monitoring and releasing data on six gauges of pollution, including SO2, PM10 and PM2.5, in real time, according to the report. China.org.cn, June 26.

Europe

The EU Commission has outlined plans to monitor greenhouse gas emissions from ships from 2018 as it looks to accelerate efforts to reduce the sector's environmental impact. The plan would force all ships over 5,000 gross tonnes using EU ports to report their CO2 emissions, regardless of where they are registered. Owners would also have to provide data on their ships' fuel efficiency. BusinessGreen, July 1.

India

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced that work will begin on a mega 850 megawatt hydro-electric project on the River Chenab as part of efforts to tap the hydroelectric potential in Jammu and Kashmir.The 850 MW Ratle project, which is the nation's first hydroelectric project that was bid out through tariff based international competitive bidding, will cost Rs 5,500 crore. Sustainability Outlook, June 26.

North America

Emission reduction policies announced by President Barack Obama last week could indicate the extent to which the US will commit to the new UN global climate treaty, according to experts tracking the talks. The new UN deal to be negotiated by 2015, will see all nations rich and poor, sign-up to a pledge. These will likely fall somewhere on a sliding scale from legally binding emission reduction targets for developed nations to sustainable development commitments for the poorest. The US failed to ratify the existing Kyoto Protocol treaty and has only a voluntary commitment under the UN climate change body, the UNFCCC. RTCC, June 30.

According to the team that developed it, the Empire State Building’s energy savings program has contributed savings of around $2.3m (£1.5m) offering a new model for building retrofits. The building’s ambitious energy-saving refurbishment program kicked off in 2009. Two years later, the skyscraper beat its year-one energy efficiency guarantee by 5%, saving $2.4m (£1.6m).And last year, the building surpassed the guaranteed energy mark by almost 4%. 2degreesnetwork, June 28.

UK

The government has unveiled a £15m fund designed to encourage hundreds of communities across England to invest in small-scale renewable energy projects, such as wind turbines or heat pumps. Rural communities were invited to bid for a share of the funding pot late last week, which can be used to support the first steps of a project, including investigating the potential for renewable energy in their area and applying for planning permission. BusinessGreen, July 1.

Climate change poses as grave a threat to the UK's security and economic resilience as terrorism and cyber-attacks, according to a senior military commander who was appointed as William Hague's climate envoy this year. In his first interview since taking up the post, Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti said climate change was "one of the greatest risks we face in the 21st century", particularly because it presented a global threat. "By virtue of our interdependencies around the world, it will affect all of us," he said. The Guardian, June 30.

Innovation

Electric car owners in Massachusetts pay less than half as much for fuel to go the same distance as gas car owners, the U.S. Department of Energy says. The agency has worked up a comparison it calls the “egallon” for each state. In Massachusetts, electric vehicle owners pay the equivalent of $1.46 to go about 28 miles, the average distance that gasoline car owners go by paying $3.50 for a gallon of gas (if they are driving a 2012 model car), according to the department’s calculation. Boston.com, June 28.

Former science minister Lord Drayson has broken the world land speed record for an electric car. The Labour peer, who runs his own motor racing team, reached a speed of 204.185 miles per hour behind the wheel of his prototype B12/69 electric vehicle. The new record, which was set at the Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire, beat the previous fastest speed set by an electric car by almost 29mph. The Daily Telegraph, June 26.

LED Lighting

A demonstration project meant to replace the sodium vapour lights along the Vellayambalam-Vazhuthacaud stretch with Light Emitting Diode (LED)-based streetlights is showing signs of life after a hiatus of five years. It was first proposed in 2008 by the Energy Management Cell (EMC), functioning under the Power Department. Sources in the cell told The Hindu that they were forced to retender the works, which led to the delay. Now, such processes had been completed, and the work order to install 70 lights along the one-kilometre stretch would be issued by the end of this month. The Hindu, June 25.

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