In the headlines: EV sales to surpass 17,000 in India by 2018 and Google backs its first African solar project
- 03 June 2013
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Over 16% of the world’s 7 billion inhabitants lack access to electricity, while a further 40% are forced to rely on wood or biomass for heat and light, according the World Bank’s Global Tracking Framework report. The study says that energy investments need to double in order for the UN to successfully meet its Sustainable Energy for All pledge, in which it aims to provide electricity to everyone on Earth by 2030. It added that strong policy measures, carbon pricing and the redistribution of fossil fuel subsides would also help. Blue & Green Tomorrow, May 31.
Google Inc., which has invested more than $1 billion in renewable-energy projects, is considering spending more on clean power in Africa after backing its first solar project on the continent. Google, based in Mountain View, California, put $12 million in the $260 million Jasper solar project in South Africa that will have 96 megawatts of generating capacity, the company said in an e-mailed statement. A group led by SolarReserve LLC, a closely held U.S. developer, is building the plant near Postmasburg in the Northern Cape province. Bloomberg, May 30.
Australia is on course to surpass its renewable energy target by deriving 22.5% of its power from sources such as solar and wind by 2020, according to a new study. The analysis of government agency data, by consultancy Green Energy Markets, forecast a long-term decline in fossil fuels, with the use of coal for electricity falling by a third over the next 20 years. Brown coal, the most carbon dioxide-heavy of all coal varieties, is set to be phased out as an energy source completely by 2050, as is oil. The Guardian, May 30.
Climate change, and its associated variability, is posing a challenge for farm businesses in Western Australia. The grainbelt has experienced a 20% decline in rainfall over the last several decades, more than any other wheat-growing region in Australia. The magnitude of drying, especially since the mid-1970s, has been far greater than was projected in the late 1980s by the then best-available global climate models. The Conservation, June 2.
China and the U.S., the world’s two biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, pledged to cooperate in addressing climate change amid stalled international talks on protecting the environment. The two nations in April established a climate-change working group, National Development and Reform Commission Vice Chairman Xie Zhenhua said on Friday after meeting Todd Stern, the U.S. special envoy on climate change. The working group will report its findings to U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue talks in July, Stern said. Bloomberg, May 31.
Chinese solar companies will have to prepare for heavy duties imposed by the European Commission, although the plan has lost the support of an overwhelming majority of EU members, industry insiders said. A total of 18 EU members, including Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom, opposed to the commission’s plan to impose hefty tariffs on solar products imported from China, in a vote conducted last Friday. China Daily, June 1.
A proposal by the US for nations to set their own greenhouse gas reduction targets could put the goal of limiting warming to 2°C at risk. That was the warning from the EU’s chief climate negotiator Artur Runge-Metzger ahead of a meeting of governments in Bonn starting June 3. The US has suggested that the new 2015 treaty on climate change should be based on countries setting their own emission reduction targets that would then undergo the scrutiny of their peers, a system referred to as pledge and review. RTCC.org, May 31.
Gujarat has registered highest growth in wind power generation during past four years. Installed wind power generation capacities in the state has increased by 36 per cent during 2011-12 to 2,966 megawatt (Mw), making the state second only to Tamil Nadu in India's wind energy sector. As per the Indian Wind Energy Association (IWEA) data, growth in wind power generation capacity has been highest since 2008-09. The state has outperformed the national average growth of 22 per cent for the wind power generation capacities. Business Standard, May 30.
A new research report suggests plug-in electric vehicle sales will surpass 17,000 in India by 2018, by which time the subcontinent will be well on the way to becoming the third largest car market in the world. Navigant Research found that several factors contribute to the potential wide-scale embrace of plug-in electric vehicles, including India's demographics, traffic patterns, and natural resources. Additionally, the reinstatement of the government incentive for EV purchases in 2013 is expected to spur Indian automakers to develop new models. Renewable Energy Magazine, May 28.
The US was seriously affected by weather extremes last year, accounting for 69 percent of overall losses and 92 percent of insured losses due to natural catastrophes worldwide, according to a Worldwatch Institute report. Hurricane Sandy, the summer-long drought in the Midwest and severe storms with tornadoes accounted for $100 billion of those global overall losses, the report says. The insurance industry covered $58 billion of the losses. These losses were the second highest overall and insured losses since 1980 in the US. Environmental Leader, May 30.
Tesla Motors is set to announce an expansion to its network of rapid electric car chargers, enabling drivers to cross the Continental US by the end of the year. Co-founder and chief executive Elon Musk said that the company will triple the area covered by its solar powered "superchargers" so drivers of the carmaker's Model S sedan can travel from New York to Los Angeles. BusinessGreen, May 30.
A European Union programme aimed at helping green innovators bridge the so-called "valley of death" when bringing their product to market is paying off, according to a new report which shows each €1 invested has generated a 20-fold return. The EU's Eco-innovation programme has funded more than 240 business projects since it started in 2008, including innovative projects that aim to make algae from omega 3 fatty acid, enable pollution-free leather production and use bamboo to clean up waste water. BusinessGreen, June 3.
Around 213 new low-carbon buses are expected to roll out across the UK following a total of £12 million worth of grants being awarded to bus companies and local authorities. On Monday (27 May), the Department for Transport (DfT) announced that it had awarded £12 million of funding from the fourth phase of the Green Bus Fund to eight bus companies and four local authorities. The remaining £8 million left in this phase will be announced to winning bidders ‘in due course’. Resource, May 29.