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In the headlines: UK's wind sector grew 80% and America is investing $84 million in CCS projects

Date
11 November 2013
In the headlines: UK's wind sector grew 80% and America is investing $84 million in CCS projects

Clean Revolution news stories you may have missed:              

Global

Average fossil fuel subsidies in the world's richest countries have reached $112 per person, draining national treasuries while undermining international efforts to avert dangerous climate change, according to an influential think tank. The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) will today publish a new report arguing that fossil fuel subsidies are costing the 34 OECD countries between $55bn and $90bn a year, with the highest level of subsidies in Russia, the United States, Australia, Germany and the UK. BusinessGreen, November 7.

Wind farms and solar parks are changing hands at record rates, signaling both an increased taste for the assets among pension funds and hard times for utilities that are the biggest sellers. About 43 percent of the 275 deals completed in the power industry in the first nine months were for renewable generators, up from 37 percent in the year-earlier period, according to data compiled by Ernst & Young LLP. The value of all the deals increased to $104 billion from $93 billion. Bloomberg, November 6.

Asia – Pacific

Australia will have no government minister at the main United Nations climate negotiations next week, for the first time since the Kyoto accord in 1997. Diplomat Justin Lee, Australia’s ambassador for climate change, will represent the country at international talks in Poland, which are seen as vital to laying the groundwork for a global agreement to cut carbon emissions. Government ministers typically attend the final days of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change annual meetings. But neither Hunt, foreign minister Julie Bishop nor their parliamentary secretaries will travel to the Warsaw talks, which conclude on 22 November. The Guardian, November 7.

A clean energy fund established by the Japanese government will target projects with the potential to become business models used by regional communities to promote and profit from renewable sources of energy. “One of the green fund’s roles is to show models to regional communities which aren’t aware of their potential” to develop clean energy, said Takejiro Sueyoshi, head of Green Finance Organisation, the body selected by the Ministry of the Environment to oversee the fund. “We want to tell them you can do it in your village and town with your partners.” Bloomberg, November 6.

China

China’s loss-making makers of solar panels believe they may have found a way out of their nightmare – by becoming one-stop renewable energy shops with their own solar farms. Manufacturers of solar panels, hit hard by the scaling back of solar-power subsidies in Europe, are taking advantage of a new package of government subsidies at home and diversifying into solar-power generation. In an apparent bid to prop up its ailing solar panel sector, which has been hit by overcapacity and price and trade wars, Beijing unveiled a plan in July to quadruple solar generating capacity to 35 gigawatts (GW) by 2015. Construction costs are estimated at US$50 billion. South China Morning Post, November 8.

Beijing will cut its new car sales quota by almost 40 percent next year in a bid to reduce vehicle emissions and curb severe air pollution, according to a new policy released on the Beijing government website on Tuesday. Beijing will issue 150 thousand new license plates every year, from 2014 to 2017. That means there will be only 600 thousand new passenger vehicles in Beijing in the next four years, fewer than the city’s vehicle sales in 2010 alone, according to the Beijing government website. China.org.cn, November 7.

Europe

Hitting energy and environment targets for 2030 under discussion in the European Commission would save up to 35 billion euros ($47 billion) per year in health costs as air pollution declines, EU sources said. It would also add an estimated 0.5 percent to gross domestic product, due mainly to lower oil and gas imports, they said. The numbers are from a draft Commission assessment of the impact of 2030 goals expected to be announced early next year. Reuters, November 6.

A leading Social Democrat warned yesterday (6 November) that the EU planned to investigate German renewable energy discounts for industry, a move that could end up hitting a raft of companies operating in Europe's biggest economy. The European Commission is reassessing green subsidies as technologies such as onshore wind and solar power become more competitive with conventional energy forms. EurActiv, November 7.

India

Gujarat, India’s biggest solar power-producing state, plans to file an appeal with regulators on their decision to reject a tariff cut for photovoltaic plants. The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission will hear the appeal on Nov. 11, said Hemant Sahai, a lawyer representing solar developers that are fighting the state’s attempts to reduce the rate paid for power produced by their plants. Bloomberg, November 7.

Chicago-based renewable energy firm New Generation Power and Hyderabad-based Premier Solar Group have signed one of the largest consortium power purchase agreements in India. Under what is called the “Andhra Pradesh Solar Scheme,” the open bid process is now to be part of a 1,000-megawatt development plan to be built in the state. Expected to cost roughly about $400 million over one year, installations will be built on multiple sites in Andhra Pradesh over 20 years. NGP’s consortium will build, own and operate all of the plants. India West, November 7.

North America

As part of President Obama's climate agenda, the Energy Department announced on Thursday new projects that will help reduce greenhouse gas pollution. The Department of Energy will invest $84 million in 18 projects across the United States that will help drive down the costs of carbon capture procedures for new and existing coal-fired power plants. "In the past four years we’ve more than doubled renewable energy generation from wind and solar power. However, coal and other fossil fuels still provide 80 percent of our energy, 70 percent of our electricity, and will be a major part of our energy future for decades," Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement. The Hill, November 7.

Canadians want the Harper government to take a leadership role on climate change and give the Prime Minister poor marks for his approach, says a new poll released Wednesday by a progressive think tank in Ottawa. The survey – sponsored by Canada 2020 and the University of Montreal – found a high level of belief among Canadians that humans are contributing to global warming and that the federal government should take the lead on combatting climate change. About 59 per cent of respondents agree climate change should be a top priority for the Conservative government, while half gave the government poor marks on it. The Globe and Mail, November 6.

UK

US entrepreneur Elon Musk wears many hats - he is the co-founder of Pay Pal, the chief executive of both Tesla and SpaceX, and the apparent inspiration for Iron Man - but he is now set to add British government advisor to his resume after he was today announced as a key consultant to the government's efforts to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles. The appointment was announced today by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as part of his keynote speech on environmental issues and accompanied the launch of a new call for evidence on how the UK can drive the development and adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles and the unveiling of a new £75m to support the development of green car technologies. BusinessGreen, November 7.

The UK's burgeoning offshore wind power industry grew by nearly 80 per cent in the 12 months to June this year, according to a new industry report which predicts further growth over the coming year. Trade association RenewableUK today unveiled a state of the industry report, which shows the offshore wind industry is now installing new capacity at a faster rate that the onshore wind power industry. With four major offshore wind projects being completed in the 12 months from June 2012 to July 2013, capacity grew from 1.86 GW to 3.3GW offshore - an increase of 79 per cent. BusinessGreen, November 6.

Innovation

IBM inventors have patented a technique that enables cloud computing data center operators to dynamically redistribute workloads to lower-powered or underutilized systems, thereby minimizing their energy usage and environmental footprint. In October, IBM received US Patent #8,549,125: Environmentally sustainable computing in a distributed computer network for the invention. Energy Manager Today, November 7.

Philips Lighting, a subsidiary of the Dutch consumer electronics giant Royal Philips, today said its 45 per cent revenue would come from the LED segment in India by 2017-18 financial year. Presently, 78 per cent of Philips's global revenue comes from the conventional lighting and rest 22 per cent from light-emitting diode (LED) segment. "By 2015 share of the LED segment in the revenue would grow up to 45 per cent and rest 55 per cent would be from the conventional lighting," said Philips Lighting CEO Eric Rondolat. The Economic Times, November 7.

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