Archive for the ‘Green Energy’ Category

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China takes the lead in wind

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Initial reports are showing that in 2010 China lead the world with installed wind capacity. The US company, American Superconducter, estimated that there was 16,000 megawatts of new capacity added last year in China. The US ranked second with about 5,000 megawatts of capacity coming online.

This is the second year in a row where China has lead the world in new wind installations. In 2009 there were 13,000 megawatts of new installation in China and 10,000 megawatts in the US. China has 40,000 megawatts of capacity and this should eclipse total capacity in the US. Germany, Spain and India round out the top 5.

Read more: China’s Galloping Wind Market

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Conservative party secretary promises Britain will speed up switch to green energy

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Chris Huhne, the UK energy and climate change secretary, has  promised that over the next decade Britain would increase the amount of energy it gets from renewable sources more quickly than any other state in the European Union.

Huhne, a member of the conservative party, was recently quoted in The Guardian as saying

[The UK is] exceeded in our paucity of delivery only by Malta and Luxembourg. This is the legacy we have inherited. The essential legacy is pretty damn poor. We have got massive catch up. We will be the fastest improving country on renewables in the EU between now and 2020. I’m absolutely determined about that and it will happen.

A recent report carried out by Bloomberg Energy Finance for Pew Charitable Trusts corroborates Huhne’s assertion. The report forecasts that, based on current policies, $114bn (£73bn) will be invested in renewable energy in Britain between 2010 and 2020. This ranks as the fourth highest amount in the world. Germany will spend more, but its rate of investment will fall, according to the report.

Huhne’s comments are seen as reassuring environmentalists that David Cameron’s post-election pledge to be the “greenest government ever” remains a priority.

Read more on the developing British Green Economy

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European Wind Companies Seed Competitive Advantage To China

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Chinese wind turbine companies have rapidly ascended to a market leading position in China. Five years ago they controlled a tiny percentage of their domestic market but today now control 85% of the domestic market and half of the $45 billion world wide market. The New York Times reported in an article how the larger European wind turbine leader like Gamesa and Vestas handed over their technology to the Chinese to gain access to the lucrative market.
Local rules required that wind turbines sold in China needed to be made with components made in China. This lead to a technology transfer from Vestas and Gamesa to local Chinese companies.
Read More: NYT - To Conquer Wind Power, China Writes the Rules

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Electric Delivery Vehicles Are Starting To Move

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Electric vehicles are gaining transaction among delivery trucks. The Wall Street Journal and New York Times had articles that highlighted why companies like PepsiCo, FedEx and AT&T are making the switch from diesel or gasoline powered vehicles.

Read More: WSJ – As Electric Vehicles Arrive, Firms See Payback in Trucks

Read More: NYT – Ford Starts to Ship an Electric Delivery Van

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Shift to resource efficient economy in EU predicted to create business opportunities

Monday, December 6th, 2010

The European Environment Agency (EEA) report released last week concludes that a fully integrated approach to transforming Europe to a resource-efficient green economy can not only result in a healthy environment, but also boost prosperity and social cohesion.

The Executive Director of the EEA, Jacqueline McGlade, told a press conference at the European Parliament that this is “the most comprehensive report that we have up to date on Europe’s environment. Environmental legislation as we’ve known it is no longer able to meet these challenges” she warned.

The President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek stressed the urgency of the environmental challenges saying that “It’s affecting our citizens, the quality of water we drink, food we eat, and the air we breathe. There’s no simple solution. So regulators, businessmen and citizens need to act together.”

Representatives from the European Commission agreed with this sentiment and stressed the importance of improving the efficiency of resource usage.

Environment Minister Joke Schauvliege said that “these challenges are an opportunity to shift to a resource efficient economy that would boost the EU, create new business opportunities, drive innovation and provide a crucial contribution to green and sustainable employment.”

More article on the need for developing a green economy in EU

UK economic recovery ‘poses threat to environment’

Butterflies or Business – Europe can have both

Growing demand for resources ‘threatens EU economy’

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Green Business Could Become Economic Engine if Congress Sees the Light

Monday, November 29th, 2010

The nonprofit Next 10 and Collaborative Economics report that green manufacturing jobs in California grew 19% between 1995 and 2008, while during this same period overall manufacturing jobs fell by 9%. In the first half of 2010, California green business attracted almost $3 billion in venture capital, making it the top state for green technology patents. In fact, between 2007-2009 over 450 patents for solar, wind and advanced battery technologies were registered in the state, far outpacing any previous two year period.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration released a report “Measuring the Green Economy” – a first step toward measuring the size and composition of the emerging green economy and the number of green jobs it’s created. The report found that green products and services contributed 1-2% of US GDP in 2007, with revenues between $370 and $516 billion. In 2009, there were 1.8 – 2.4 million green jobs, mostly in green services, not manufacturing. Energy efficiency, resource conservation and pollution control accounted for 80-90% of employment and revenue.

(more…)

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Japanese Oil Company Invests in Solar

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Oil companies have discussed moving into clean energy for several years. Some have made a real commitment to this by investing in alternative energy technologies while others have spent more on marketing themselves as “green”. The Wall Street Journal wrote about a Japanese oil company who has invested in solar cells as a way to shift their business model from refining oil. Showa Shell Sekiyu is the parent company of Solar Frontier.

“We know that the oil industry is not disappearing today or tomorrow. But if we don’t take this chance on solar now, we feel like we won’t get another chance,” says Shigeaki Kameda, Solar Frontier’s chief executive.

Solar Frontier is focused on CIS cells opposed to silicon based cells.

Solar Frontier specializes in thin-film CIS cells, which are made from copper, indium and selenium. They cost less to make—and buy—than thicker silicon-based crystalline cells, which are more efficient at converting light into electricity.

But the thin-film sector is expected to grow faster as its energy efficiency improves and mass production pushes costs lower still.

Read the full article here: Japanese Oil Company Looks to the Rising Sun

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EU uses Sale of Carbon Permits to Advance Clean Energy Economy

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

In January 2005 the European Union Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading System (EU ETS) commenced operations as the largest Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading System in the world.

Under the EU ETS, large emitters of carbon dioxide must now monitor and annually report their CO2 emissions to the government. The EU ETS then sets a level or cap on the amount of a pollutant that can be emitted by a firm and the firm then receives or is sold emissions permits. Firms that need to increase their emission permits beyond those allocated by the EU ETS may buy permits from businesses that require fewer permits.

Government profits from the sale of permits is providing large start-up capital for projects in such areas as solar power, wind power and “carbon capture and storage,” the process by which greenhouse gases from power stations are pumped underground.

At current market prices, the sale of permits is expected to raise 4.5 billion Euros (6.3 billion dollars) for the development of the clean energy economy. National governments and private businesses are expected to match the EU funding bringing the total expected financing to 9 billion Euros.

The new fund will help ensure that Europe continues to lead the green revolution.

To lean more read EU Launches 4.5bn Clean Energy Fund

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A new energy wave

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

The image of wind and solar farms are the universal icons of renewable power. While wind and solar have seen tremendous gains in efficiency they are both still reliant on an input source that can sometimes be unpredictable. Another technological is nearing a “turning point” according to a report written by IHS Emerging Energy Research. Tidal energy is a renewable resource that captures energy from waves and currents in the ocean. The Green blog from the New York Times added:

Tides are particularly attractive sources of power because they are predictable, unlike sunshine and wind. Not surprisingly, countries with rough seas like Britain and Portugal are leading the way in exploring ocean power.

The potential of tidal energy is enormous:

The European Energy Association estimates that, globally, the oceans could yield more than 100.000 terawatt hours a year if the technology to harness that power can be perfected. That is more than five times the electricity the world uses in a year.

While the promise of tidal energy as a renewable energy source is undeniable it will be a few years before the technology is commercially viable.

Read Tidal Power: The Next Wave?

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Wind turbines hit a speed bump

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

The Economist recently wrote about the struggles the wind turbine market is experiencing this year after a banner year in 2009. A slowdown in the US, difficult credit markets and European nations reaching their renewable energy targets have all been contributing factors to this decline.  

Inaction by the American government to curb greenhouse gas emissions could also affect industry growth. 

In America, meanwhile, a proposed cap-and-trade bill got nowhere this year. New wind installations are likely to remain lower than last year’s for the next five to ten years, predict analysts at HSBC and Bernstein Research. 

Over the long-term the future of wind power appears to lie with the larger firms. 

Amid the gloom, however, is some respite for the biggest manufacturers. During the boom of the past five years there was a proliferation of small manufacturers and a fragmentation of the market. The market share of Vestas, for instance, slipped from 28% in 2005 to 15% last year. In these leaner times, buyers in Europe and America are placing orders mainly with the biggest firms, since they seem less likely to go bust. 

Identifying which wind firms are likely to succeed in the coming decade will be a challenge for green investors. As conventional energy supplies become more limited, however, investing in industry leaders could prove profitable. 

Read Economist Article: Wild is the wind: Wind power is in the doldrums

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