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In the headlines: scientists discover new breakthrough in producing clean hydrogen & new energy efficient LED lamp designed by Philips

Date
15 April 2013
In the headlines: scientists discover new breakthrough in producing clean hydrogen & new energy efficient LED lamp designed by Philips

Clean Revolution news stories you may have missed:

Global

Scientists have harnessed the principles of photosynthesis to develop a new way of producing hydrogen – in a breakthrough that offers a possible solution to global energy problems. The researchers claim the development could help unlock the potential of hydrogen as a clean, cheap and reliable power source. In a paper published today in the journal Nature Chemistry, scientists at the University of Glasgow outline how they have managed to replicate the way plants use the sun’s energy to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen at separate times and at separate physical locations. The Independent, April 15.

Millions of people could become destitute in Africa and Asia as staple foods more than double in price by 2050 as a result of extreme temperatures, floods and droughts that will transform the way the world farms. Frank Rijsberman, head of the world's 15 international CGIAR crop research centres, which study food insecurity, said: "Food production will have to rise 60% by 2050 just to keep pace with expected global population increase and changing demand. Climate change comes on top of that. The annual production gains we have come to expect … will be taken away by climate change." The Observer, April, 13.

Australia

Shenhua Group, China's biggest coal producer, and Hydro Tasmania could jointly invest $1.6 billion by the end of the decade to build Australian wind farms. The Chinese company and Hydro Tasmania reached an agreement to evaluate a further 700 megawatts of wind projects, expanding their partnership on previous developments, the Australian energy company said. The two companies haven't identified any specific projects, Hobart-based Hydro Tasmania said in an e-mail. Sydney Morning Herald, April 12.

Australia's greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation have fallen to a 10-year low as coal-fired power slumped to its lowest level in a decade, a new report says. At the same time, the share of renewable energy in the National Electricity Market (NEM) has soared beyond 12 per cent and looks set to continue rising. In its latest quarterly emissions outlook, energy and carbon research firm RepuTex found coal power made up 74.8 per cent of the NEM in the three months ended in March - its lowest point in 10 years. Sydney Morning Herald, April 11.

China

China's economy, the world's second-largest, has slowed and performed worse than many analysts expected in the first three months of the year. Annual growth was 7.7% in the January to March quarter, compared with 7.9% in the previous three months. Analysts had forecast a figure closer to 8%. China wants to spur growth after it hit a 13-year low in 2012. BBC News, April 15.

Europe

Saudi Arabia, which is planning massive investment in renewable energy, hopes to export solar electricity to Europe in winter, when cooler temperatures reduce the need for air conditioning in the kingdom. It would be viable for Saudi Arabia to export up to 10 gigawatts, the equivalent of 10 nuclear plants, via North Africa and Italy or Spain, Khalid Al Sulaiman, vice president for renewable energy at the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) told a conference in Paris. Reuters, April 11.

India

Germany will provide India a soft loan of euro 1 billion (Rs.71 billion) for strengthening the transmission system of renewable energy in several states, a top official said. The loan will be used for developing a "renewable energy corridor", the official added. Watal said the states that will benefit from the German financial assistance include Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. News Track India, April 10.

India is preparing to take on absolute emission reduction cuts under the new global climate compact to be signed in 2015. As part of the preparation, the government is likely to commission four studies including one assessing by when India's emissions will peak in absolute terms. The year when India's emissions trajectory peaks before it starts to dip is expected to influence the date from when the government will be ready to take on a cap in absolute terms on greenhouse gases under the 2015 agreement. The government is also expected to commission a report on how the principle of equity would be embedded as a formula in the way emission reduction targets are distributed between different countries. The Times of India, April 10.

North America

Wind power was the top source of new electricity generation capacity installed in the US last year, as the market grew by 28 per cent and investment across the sector soared. That is the stark conclusion of a new report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), detailing the industry's progress during a record-breaking year that ended in a rush of investment sparked by uncertainty over the future of the government's Production Tax Credit (PTC) incentive scheme. BusinessGreen, April 12.

UK

Last month the government gave the go-ahead for the first two new reactors to be built at Hinkley Point C in Somerset. It also announced funding awards, totalling £31m, to enhance the nuclear supply chain and boost opportunities to commercialise new technologies in the sector. The review of nuclear R&D was sparked by a November 2011 report from the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee into the country’s capabilities. This found the government was too complacent about the UK’s nuclear R&D capabilities and recommended the development of a strategy looking beyond 2025. The funding will support 35 R&D projects across the UK, bringing together innovative small and medium-sized enterprises such as OC Robotics, as well as universities and larger companies including Laing O’Rourke and Sheffield Forgemasters. Financial Times, April 14.

Electric Vehicles

New York will have more than 360 electric vehicle charging stations installed throughout the state to help reduce fossil fuel use, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced. The electric vehicle and plug-in charging stations, which will include locations in Westchester and Rockland counties, are part of the Charge NY initiative to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuels and to promote the use of electric vehicles, Cuomo said. “Building this network of innovative charging stations will encourage New Yorkers to use fuel-efficient alternatives like electric vehicles as well as grow the green industry and jobs in the state,” Cuomo said. Lohud.com, April 11.

LED Lighting

Electronics giant Philips has unveiled a new lamp, which it claims to be the most energy efficient in the world, potentially paving the way for a global transformation in the way we light out offices and homes. Philips new LED lamp protoype claims to use half the amount of energy compared to current LED lights, making it the first in the world to deliver 200 lumens per watt of high quality light. The protoype was unveiled late last week and Philips said it is now hoping to produce the lamp commercially in 2015, with an initial focus on the business market. BusinessGreen, April 15.

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