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In the headlines: total capacity of US Department of Defense renewable energy installations will quadruple by 2025 and more international news

Date
22 July 2013
In the headlines: total capacity of US Department of Defense renewable energy installations will quadruple by 2025 and more international news

Clean Revolution news stories you may have missed:

Asia-Pacific

Australia's largest solar electricity plant using satellite dishes covered in mirrors has officially opened in north-west Victoria. Solar System's 1.5-megawatt power plant south of Mildura has 40 solar dishes that generate enough electricity to power 500 homes. Chief executive Michael Goldsworthy hopes a 12-month trial will encourage Commonwealth and state governments to invest in an expanded project to install 2,000 solar dishes capable of powering 40,000 homes. ABC Rural, July 18.

Western Australia's Kimberley region is set to get the state's first full-scale tidal energy power station. The WA government has approved Tidal Energy Australia's plan to build a wave power station at Doctor's Creek, near Derby. It will generate 40 megawatts of electricity - enough to power up to 15,000 homes. The Sydney Morning Herald, July 22.

China

Support for a carbon tax within China appears to be growing after reports the nation’s finance minister has backed plans “in due time”. The Reuters Point Carbon website says Lou Jiwei signalled his approval for a price on carbon dioxide emissions during US-China talks in Washington last week. RTCC, July 19.

China has asked the European Union to help it tackle some of its most severe pollution problems, the EU's environment commissioner said on Thursday, underscoring Beijing's concerns about addressing a key source of social discontent. The European Union and China, the world's biggest carbon dioxide emitter, have frequently clashed over climate policy. But both sides recently agreed to cooperate, striking a deal last September to cut greenhouse gases through projects including the development of Chinese emissions trading schemes. Janez Potocnik, the EU Commissioner for the Environment, told Reuters in an interview that China had asked the European Union for help in tackling pollution related to heavy metals and water and waste treatment. Reuters, July 18.

Europe

Plans to link the Australian and EU emission trading schemes are likely to be brought forward after Kevin Rudd signalled Australia’s carbon tax would be phased out in 2014. The Prime Minister indicated the tax would be replaced with an emissions trading scheme on 1 July 2014, the day after the tax officially ends. In a tweet EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard promised that talks aimed at linking Europe’s scheme with Australia’s were likely to be accelerated. RTCC, July 16.

India

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has approved India’s largest solar project as part of its emissions trading scheme. The Clean Development Mechanism’s (CDM) latest project is a 100MW concentrated solar power (CSP) installation to be constructed in Rajasthan. RTCC, July 18.

Pakistan has sought India's cooperation in the renewable energy sector, especially use of solar power for agriculture, Pakistan High Commissioner Salman Bashir said Tuesday. "A team from Pakistan is already in India to study renewable and energy sector. The team is studying the use of solar power for agriculture and solar power plants in India. It is an area where we can benefit," Bashir said. Business Standard, July 16.

North America

After fielding an unprecedented number of questions and coming under sharp attack from several Republicans, Environmental Protection Agency official Gina McCarthy won Senate confirmation to head the agency in a 59 to 40 vote. McCarthy, who headed the EPA’s air and radiation office during Obama’s first term, has played a key role in the administration’s efforts to address global warming as well as curb traditional pollutants such as soot and mercury. Environmentalists see her as a key ally in efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants over the next few years, but she has also won praise from business officials who view her as open to compromise. Washington Post, July 18.

According to Pike Research, part of Navigant's Energy Practice, the total capacity of US Department of Defense (DOD) renewable energy installations will quadruple by 2025 – from 80MW in 2013 to more than 3200MW by 2025. “US military spending on renewable energy programmes, including conservation measures, will reach almost $1.8 billion in 2025,” says research analyst Dexter Gauntlett. “This effort has the potential to not only transform the production, consumption, and transport of fuel and energy within the military; it will likely make the DOD one of the most important drivers of cleantech in the US.” Renewable Energy Focus, July 17.

UK

James Cameron, the founder of Climate Change Capital and one of the UK's leading advocates for green economic growth, has revealed ambitious plans to establish a giant clean energy company capable of raising the billions in capital needed to drive the transition to a low carbon economy. Speaking to BusinessGreen to mark his winning the BusinessGreen Leader of the Year Award, Cameron revealed he was working with a number of colleagues on plans for a major new enterprise. BusinessGreen, July 22.

The government has outlined plans to give tax breaks to companies involved in the UK's nascent shale gas industry. It has proposed cutting the tax on some of the income generated from producing shale gas - found in underground shale rock formations - from 62% to just 30%. The plans would make the UK the "most generous" regime for shale gas in the world, the government said. BBC News, July 19.

The Customer-Led Network Revolution (CLNR) – the UK’s largest smart grid project, run by Northern Powergrid, British Gas, EA Technology and Durham University – is looking at how to accommodate increasing numbers of low carbon technologies in a more cost-effective way. CLNR project, part-funded by Ofgem’s Low Carbon Networks Fund (LCNF),aims to understand how the use of low carbon technologies, such as solar panels, electric vehicles and heat pumps, impact on the current electricity grid network. Renewable Energy Focus, July 17.

LED Lighting

According to the latest report from LEDinside, a research arm of TrendForce, China LED lighting market will post 36 per cent annual growth rate this year. Residential lighting market is the major growth momentum with a growth of 96 per cent in 2013 as it becomes the second largest general lighting applications market only second to commercial lighting, noted the market analytics company. EET Asia, July 16.

Innovation

The University of Prince Edward Island's climate research lab has developed a first-of-its-kind tool to forecast global climate change. The tool was created using 40 up-to-date models from across the globe. Researchers can zoom in on anywhere in the world to see how weather may change in that area. CBC News, July 21.

The UK's first hydrogen-fuelled ferry has been officially launched in Bristol harbour. The 11 metre boat was developed to run on four air-cooled fuel cells that produce zero emissions and refuels at a purpose-built dockside station provided by Air Products. BusinessGreen, July 19.

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