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In the headlines: Germany’s share of renewable electricity production hit its 2020 target of 35% & 15,000 new green jobs announced across America in 3Q

Date
09 December 2013
In the headlines: Germany’s share of renewable electricity production hit its 2020 target of 35% & 15,000 new green jobs announced across America in 3Q

Clean Revolution news stories you may have missed:

Global

A recurring challenge faced by businesses looking to become more fundamentally sustainable is how to demonstrate the value of their initiatives to shareholders and investors. This problem was highlighted by the triennial CEO study conducted by Accenture and the UN Global Compact (UNGC), which examined the views of more than 1,000 CEOs. In 2007, just 18 percent of CEOs reported a failure to link sustainability to business value. In 2010, this figure rose to 30 per cent. By 2013, 62 per cent of CEOs said they couldn't accurately quantify the business value of their sustainability initiatives. BusinessGreen, December 5.

Asia – Pacific

Japan gave its strongest signal yet that it wishes to keep nuclear power following the meltdown in Fukushima almost three years ago, shifting away from the previous government’s intention to phase out the technology. Bloomberg Businessweek, December 6.

An upcoming energy white paper will consider reforms to make the sector more attractive to overseas investors. Terms of reference released today show the white paper will focus on delivering affordable energy while securing Australia's long-term energy needs. It will examine government regulation of the sector and consider opportunities to improve energy efficiency and distribution. The Australian, December 5.

China

China doubled the pace of adding renewable energy capacity in the first 10 months of the year as the government worked to cut pollution in its largest cities. Including nuclear power, the nation installed 36 gigawatts of clean energy capacity in the 10 months through Oct. 31, the National Energy Administration said today in a statement on its website. Windpower increased by 7.9 gigawatts, while solar rose 3.6 gigawatts and nuclear expanded 2.2 gigawatts. Hydro electric power accounted for the remainder. Renewable Energy World, December 4.

Shanghai authorities ordered schoolchildren indoors and halted all construction on Friday as China's financial hub suffered one its worst bouts of air pollution, bringing visibility down to a few dozen meters and obscuring the city's spectacular skyline. The financial district was shrouded in a yellow haze and noticeably fewer people walked the city's streets. Vehicle traffic was thinner, as authorities pulled 30% of government vehicles from the roads. They also banned fireworks and stopped all public sporting events. The Guardian, December 6.

Europe

Record output from wind farms lifted Germany’s share of renewable electricity production above its 2020 target of 35 percent today as a storm from Scandinavia battered the nation’s northern coast. Bloomberg, December 5.

Forest fires, heavy flooding and confused Lithuanian birds – these are some of the effects that climate change is already having in Europe, according to a new report. The study, assembled by the Climate Action Network (CAN) campaign group, examines how climate change is already affecting Europe from the perspectives of ecology, health and food security. RTCC, December 5.

India

Anil Ambani group firm Reliance Power on Friday said it is on track to commission a 100 MW solar project in Rajasthan's Jaisalmer district by March next year. "Pre commissioning activities have commenced (at the 100 mega-watt) Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project in Rajasthan's Jaisalmer district," the company said in a statement. The Economic Times, November 29.

Mahindra & Mahindra, the country's largest utility vehicle maker, is developing the world's first hybrid technology that can be deployed in vehicles with manual transmission and enhance fuel efficiency by almost 20%. The Economic Times, December 5.

North America

Temperatures may have started to cool across America as summer turned to fall, but the clean energy economy remained red hot, announcing 15,000 new green jobs in third quarter (3Q) 2013. 80 projects ranging from renewables to recycling and clean transportation were announced in 30 states, according to the latest green jobs report from Environmental Entrepreneurs. Clean Technica, December 4.

SolarCity Corp., the second largest U.S. solar company by market value, is offering power-storage systems to commercial customers that will reduce utility bills and provide electricity during blackouts. The systems will let retailers, schools and offices in parts of California and New England lower their peak power consumption from the grid and reduce demand charges from utilities, said Chief Executive Officer Lyndon Rive. The storage offering is another way that SolarCity and other companies are providing systems that let consumers and businesses produce and manage their own electricity, threatening utilities’ revenue, he said. Renewable Energy World, December 5.

UK

After a week of pre-briefing and speculation, chancellor George Osborne finally announced the government's full spate of green levy reforms in today's autumn statement. The reforms could significantly change how the government and energy companies cut greenhouse gas emissions and help consumers save energy - and money. Click to read a summary. Carbon Brief, December 5.

London is set for the largest-ever single investment to modernise its street lighting in a move that should reduce energy consumption by 40 per cent. Around 35,000 of the capital's 52,000 street lights will be replaced by energy-efficient LEDs by 2016, while a new system will also be introduced to remotely manage and control lighting levels in line with traffic flows and road usage. BusinessGreen, December 3.

Innovation

An interesting read on funding for renewable energy projects in the UK -- New Earth Solutions, a Dorset renewables company with a patented technology to treat municipal waste, is considering an initial public offering to fund the expansion of its power generation division. Raising funds for renewables projects remains tough for companies, with listings rare events. However, there are signs that the climate is improving. Financial Times, December 8.

China may have a solution to its extensive air pollution problems. According to local media, the government is mulling over a plan to combat China's smog with artificial rain. Beijing News obtained a document released by the China Meteorological Administration that stated local authorities will be able to manipulate the weather to improve air quality during bouts of heavy smog by 2015, reports independent news site China Dialogue. The plan would involve cloud seeding, a process of releasing chemicals -- silver iodide, for example -- into the upper part of clouds in an attempt to stimulate precipitation. The Huffington Post, December 5.

Sir Richard Branson has become the latest high-profile name linked to Formula E after his Virgin Racing team entered the inaugural series of the all-electric racing championship. Virgin Racing becomes the ninth team to sign up to the FIA-backed Formula E, leaving one more slot to be filled before the 10-race season kicks off in Beijing next year. BusinessGreen, December 6.

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