Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Climate Central: most interesting climate findings of the year

Climate Central reviewed last year's climate research and studies that are crucial to shaping both what we know about the world we currently live in and what we can expect in the future depending on how we respond to climate change. The list of most interesting and fascinating findings includes:

Monday, December 28, 2015

Liquid air energy storage demonstration plant in the UK

The pre-commercial scale 5MW liquid air energy storage (LAES) plant has received delivery of its main components and will be built in Manchester (UK).The project is expected to have a 15MWh storage capacity and should be completed by the end of this year. LAES operates by using excess electrical energy to drive an air liquefier. The liquid air is stored in an insulated tank at low pressure, which functions as the energy store.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

New Alberta climate change strategy includes carbon tax and cap on oilsands emissions

Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan accelerates the transition from coal to renewable electricity sources, puts a price on carbon pollution for everyone, and sets emissions limits for the oil sands. Other measures include broad programs to improve energy efficiency, support green technological innovations, reduce methane, and provide supports to ensure that families and small businesses are protected.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Scientists in Germany have developed a revolutionary nuclear fusion machine

The Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics completed the world’s largest nuclear fusion machine called a stellarator - 16-metre wide machine, which costs US$1.1 billion. The key to a successful nuclear reactor of any kind is to generate, confine, and control a plasma — a gas that has reached temperatures of more than 100 million degrees Celsius.  

Friday, December 18, 2015

Solar PV system prices are declining fast

Average U.S. PV system prices over time. - NREL, 2015
Photovoltaic system pricing trends were analysed in the presentation of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (see above). In 2007 - 2014, prices for residential and commercial PV systems came down by 55 - 65%.
The report from the Solar Electric Power Association states that in U.S. average residential solar prices in 2014-2015 clustered around $3-$4 per watt, while prices for nonresidential and utility-scale projects came in lower at $2-$3 per watt.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Key provisions of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change

Paris Agreement to combat climate change and unleash actions and investment towards a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future was agreed by 195 nations in Paris on December 12, 2015. The agreement’s main aim is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The crucial areas identified as essential for a landmark conclusion:

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

How Paris Agreement's "ratchet mechanism" could limit warming below 2°C

According to analysis by Climate Interactive and MIT Sloan, the commitment to review national pledges every five years, starting in 2018, and willingness of nations to offer deeper, earlier emissions cuts at that time and continue progress, projected warming could be limited to 2°C.  Analysis is made with the C-ROADS (Climate Rapid Overview and Decision Support) computer simulation, which is calibrated to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report results.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

U.S. negotiators ensured Paris climate agreement is Republican-proof

As a result of U.S. insistence, the 31-page agreement was explicitly crafted to exclude emissions reductions targets and finance from the legally binding parts of the deal. Other areas of the deal, including five-year review cycles, do carry legal force. That would free Obama from having to submit the deal to Congress. Also, any clauses in the agreement that would expose the U.S. to liability and compensation claims for causing climate change were avoided.

Monday, December 14, 2015

The former NASA scientist about Paris climate agreement: “It’s a fraud really, a fake”

James Hansen, considered the father and respected voice of global awareness about climate change, criticizes the talks, intended to reach a new global deal on cutting carbon emissions beyond 2020, as ‘no action, just promises'.  According to Hansen, the international celebration is pointless unless greenhouse gas emissions aren’t taxed across the globe, because only this will force down emissions quickly enough to avoid the worst devastating effect of climate change.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Main takeaways on the Paris climate deal

The Paris deal doesn’t make national emissions reduction targets legally binding, so its success will largely depend on the effectiveness of a new system to revisit each country’s progress and raise targets every five years. The Paris agreement attempts to lay down new rules to make sure all countries calculate and publicly report their emissions reductions in the same way after 2020, making it possible to keep track of global progress. However, even if all the greenhouse gas cut pledges made by countries ahead of Paris are carried out, the result would be a world that warms by about 3 degrees.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Paris climate deal have signalled an end to the fossil fuel era

It took almost two decades to come to an ambitious agreement to hold states to emissions targets. Negotiators from nearly 200 countries signed on to a legal agreement in Paris to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to avoid the most dangerous effects of climate change.

Christiana Figueres: adopted Paris Agreement at COP21 unites the world for the better future

Friday, December 11, 2015

More than 38,000 delegates had registered in Paris for the COP21 climate talks

A provisional list of participants at the UNFCCC COP21 includes delegates who represent countries, UN agencies, charities, campaign groups, universities, companies and media organisations. According to this list, there are around 15,000 participants here on behalf of a particular country/party, 638 participants from 36 UN bodies, 453 people from 20 “specialised agencies”, and 1,226 participants from 71 intergovernmental organisations. Over 7,000 participants represent non-governmental organisations and 3,704 - medias.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

UNDP Administrator on aggregating financing for low-carbon energy

More than 1.1 billion people around the world currently lack basic access to electricity. Huge investments will be required to meet these needs and to enable developing countries to meet rapidly growing electricity demand  - and to do so in sustainable ways. UNDP, in partnership with the GEF, is already supporting innovative solutions for transformation of the energy sector so that the proportion of renewable provision in the mix can rise. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

IEA: energy efficiency is a key solution to climate change

According to IEA's Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP 2015), which examines innovation in the energy technology sector, energy efficiency can deliver 38 percent of what is needed to keep our planet within the two degree scenario of global warming by 2050. The technologies and solutions to make it happen already exist, and make good business sense.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

700 cities from around the world agreed to cover all their energy needs from renewables by 2050

The contributions submitted by national governments ahead of the COP21 will limit the average global temperature rise to around +3°C; far from the objective of +2°C. Seven hundred city mayors from around the world met in the margins of the COP21 at the Paris town hall on Friday to pursue a more ambitious agenda than that supported by their national governments.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Major cooperative initiatives launched at COP21 under the Lima-Paris Action Agenda Focus on Energy

Recognizing that transformation of the global energy system forms the backbone of climate action, hundreds of governments, businesses, and cities are making strong commitments to accelerate the energy transition. With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goal 7 on energy, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy access, the international community set itself a clear roadmap towards a clean energy, sustainable future.

Friday, December 4, 2015

India’s climate adaptation gap is over $1 trillion by 2030

Estimation of the adaptation gap, between what needs to be spent and what is spent, was made by independent study conducted in India. According to the study, as many as 800 million people living across nearly 450 districts in India are currently experiencing significant increases in annual mean temperature going beyond the 2°C warming pathway.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

New UNFCCC report reveals huge policy potential for greenhouse gas emission reduction

A new report, published by The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate,  presents best practice climate policies from across the world and describes existing opportunities to immediately scale up reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while powering up ambition to keep the global average temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Water and climate change adaptation pact launched in Paris

A broad coalition of nations, river basin organizations, business and civil society announced US $1 billion to support the agreement which goal is to make water systems more resilient to climate impacts. Almost 290 water basin organisations are engaged under the Paris Pact to protect most climate change vulnerable water basins, including Niger Basin (9 African countries involved), Mediterranean Water Platform (7 countries), Mexico Valley, Hai river basin in China, Ecocuencas program (4 countries), and others.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Expert: how Canada can move beyond empty promises in Paris

Just setting a target for reducing Canada’s CO2 emissions does not mean much. Mark Jaccard, professor of sustainable energy at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, remembers several targets set and then missed by federal governments during last 20 years. He thinks that another ambitious Canadian target will not help in Paris. But applying the lessons from dismal target-policy charade just might.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Paris climate summit: if not now, then when?

Nearly 200 countries were expected to agree on collective action to fight climate change in Copenhagen in 2009. For the first time, the United Nations claimed, countries were on the verge of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions. However hopes were buried during two weeks of misunderstanding and mistrust. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

IEA's key messages for UNFCCC COP21

International Energy Agency presented its four key messages for the upcoming UN climate negotiations, which could help UNFCCC shift the energy sector onto a low-carbon path while supporting economic growth and providing energy to more people. The four messages emphasise necessity to :

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Five technologies signaling about energy revolution happening now

The 2015 Revolution…Now report, recently released by the U.S. Department of Energy, shows a dramatic increase in deployment and a decrease in cost of  transformational technologies: wind turbines, solar technologies, electric vehicles (EVs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). 
Between 2008 and 2014, land-based wind turbines accounted for 31 percent of all new generation capacity installed in the U.S., while their cost was reduced by about 40%. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Underwater compressed air energy storage in Toronto

Canadian company Hydrostor Inc. has developed first utility scale underwater energy storage solution that addresses intermittent (solar & wind) load balancing, reserve capacity, and peak-shaving. The system uses electricity to compress air in a building on Toronto Island and then pumpe through a pipe into six large balloons anchored on the lake bed about three kilometres offshore, 60 metres below the surface.

Monday, November 23, 2015

French experts propose Carbon Price-and-Rebate Plan

Suggested mechanism simultaneously sets a price on emissions above a certain threshold and defines how the revenues raised should be used. The price-and-rebate mechanism is inspired by the “bonus/malus” scheme in France, in which buyers of new cars are taxed or given a bonus depending on the vehicle’s CO2 emissions. Under the mechanism, a country exceeding the worldwide average for per capita emissions would pay a specified amount on every ton of CO2 (or its equivalent) above a set threshold. The specific carbon price would depend on the objectives of the agreement.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Global coal consumption in 2015: largest drop on record.

Total world coal consumption fell by between 90 and 180 million tonnes (2.3% to 4.6%) in the first half of this year.  China's 3-5% decrease  (43-69 Mtce) accounts for more than half of the world’s coal consumption reduction.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Fifty years since the first-ever government report warning of the dangers of climate change

Report prepared by advisory committee and presented  in November 1965 to US President Lyndon B. Johnson warned, that releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere would lead to higher global temperatures, causing ice caps to melt and sea levels to rise rapidly. Report accurately predicted that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere would increase by close to 25% over the course of the twentieth century. Another landmark report, the 1979 “Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment”, prepared by the US National Academy of Sciences, estimated that doubling the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere would warm the earth by about 3° Celsius – a number that is well confirmed today.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Exxon Mobil under climate related investigation

The New York attorney general’s office opened an investigation of Exxon Mobil  to determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how such risks might hurt the oil business. Many oil companies have funded lobbying efforts and research on climate change, and resisted pressure for years from environmental groups to warn investors of the risks that stricter limits on carbon emissions could have on their businesses.  

Friday, November 13, 2015

China dominates global clean energy market

Solar capacity in China has expanded almost five times since 2012, and about 17 percent of the world’s solar capacity now is in the country. China was the biggest renewables market in the world with 433 gigawatts of generating capacity at the end of 2014, more than double the U.S. in second place with 182 gigawatts.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

EBRD financing for sustainable energy has grown from 15% in 2005 to 34% in 2014.

For the first time the Bank’s investments in renewables overtook those for thermal power generation. Between 2006 and the end of 2014, the EBRD invested €16.4 billion in sustainable energy and climate change projects under the framework of the Sustainable Energy Initiative. Financing for renewable energy generation represented roughly 23 per cent or approximately €4 billion. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The House of Energy in Germany generates five times more energy than it uses

It has an annual heating demand of only 8 kWh / sq m (0.7 kWh / sq ft) and a 250 sq m (2,691 sq ft) photovoltaic system on the roof. The building in Kaufbeuren, Germany, is the first to receive Passive House Premium certification.

Monday, November 9, 2015

National Geographic: Half of Weather Disasters Linked to Climate Change

Such conclusion was made by researchers who examined 28 weather extremes on all seven continents to see if they were influenced by climate change or were just normal weather. From a deadly snowstorm in Nepal to a heat wave in Argentina that crashed power supplies, at least 14 extreme weather events last year were related to human-caused climate change.

Friday, November 6, 2015

U.S. Energy Policy Simulator

San Francisco-based think tank Energy Innovation (EI) unveiled its Energy Policy Simulator, a powerful tool for testing dozens of decarbonization strategies in the U.S. economy and evaluating their costs. The simulator is capable of calculating changes in generation capacity, emissions of greenhouse gas and other pollutants, and economy-wide investments and costs for more than 50 separate policies, among other impacts.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Renewable Energy Era?

Last year, for the first time in four decades, the global economy grew without an increase in CO2 emissions.  70 percent of new power capacity added in Europe in 2011 were renewables. Developing countries became home to more than one-third of global wind power capacity.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

World Bank Group will increase climate financing by one-third

Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group announced that Group will increase climate financing to potentially $29 billion annually with the support of its members, giving a huge boost to global efforts to mitigate climate change and move toward low-carbon growth. Currently, 21 percent of the Bank Group’s funding is climate related, but it could be risen to 28 percent in 2020 in response to client demand.

Monday, November 2, 2015

India on the way to become a solar super power

Last year India's Prime Minister has outlined his vision for increasing country’s renewable energy capacity more than five-fold from 30 GW to 175 GW, including a boost in solar power generation from 20 GW to 100 GW, by 2022. Taking advantage of 300 to 330 sunny days a year, India could easily install around 1,000 GW of solar generation — equivalent to four times the current peak power demand (about 250 GW) — using just 0.5 percent of its land.

Friday, October 30, 2015

COP21 Climate Change Calculator - online tool for tracking and projecting GHG emissions from major economies

The COP21 Climate Change Calculator  was co-created by the Financial Times and Climate-KIC, and it allows tracking and projecting greenhouse gas emissions from China, US, EU, India, Russia, Brazil, Japan, Canada, Australia and the Rest of the World (“Others”), over the period 1870 to 2100. Emission values for each country are built into the tool but it is possible to alternate emissions trajectories on a country-by-country basis.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Google invests in Africa’s biggest wind power project

The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project in Kenya is expected to generate 1,400 gigawatt-hours of power per year, or 15 percent of the country’s electricity consumption. New project will include 365 wind turbines spread along the shore of Lake Turkana.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Carbon Pricing Panel is launched by global leaders ahead of Paris climate talks

The Carbon Pricing Panel aims to provide political momentum to complement the voices of government and industry leaders in the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, an action-based platform set up at the UN Climate Summit in September 2014. It is based on the support for carbon pricing from 74 countries and 1,000 companies.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Newly elected Canadian leader Justin Trudeau faces a tough task meeting climate protection expectations

According to CBC environmental journalist Étienne Leblanc, "over the last ten years Canada has developed a very bad reputation as a country that doesn’t care about climate change and lets companies pollute as much as they like, and Justin Trudeau’s main challenge in Paris will be to restore Canada’s reputation on the world stage.” Trudeau has less than 40 days before the Paris conference begins to forge a common position with Canada's provinces on carbon emissions cuts. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

EU is on track to beat 2020 emissions target

Climate Commissioner Miguel Cañete launched a report by the European Environment Agency, which predicted that if no additional measures were taken, the EU would beat its 20% 2020 goal, slashing emissions by 24%. Transport was the only sector which had increased its emissions by 19%, over the 1990 to 2013 period. The report also warned that Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg and Austria would miss the 2020 target. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Banks provide financing for geothermal development in Eastern Caribbean

New $71.5 million loan and grant package, called the Sustainable Energy Facility (SEF), is approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). Program will support geothermal and other sustainable energy development projects in the Eastern Caribbean.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

UK spends 0.7% of national income on foreign aid - highest rate among developed countries

According to  The Economist , since 2010, the UK's aid budget has risen by 40% and reached $19 billion. Only America disburses more - $33 billion, what represents just  0.2% of its gross national income. About 62% of UK Department for International Development (DFID) spending now goes to multilateral organisations, up from 56% in 2009. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Energy efficiency improvements over the last 25 years saved globally a cumulative $5.7 trillion

IEA's Energy Efficiency Market Report 2015  shows that in 2014, investments in energy efficiency over the past 25 years saved IEA member countries $80 billion in fossil fuel imports. According to the report, energy efficiency improvements since 1990 in IEA member countries reduced primary energy consumption in 2014 by more than 760 million tonnes of oil equivalent. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Most and least energy efficient U.S. states in 2015

To identify the most energy-efficient states, the personal finance website WalletHub measured the efficiency of car- and home-energy consumption in 48 U.S. states. New York, Vermont, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Utah are among most energy efficient states, and Arkansas, Kentucky, Texas, Louisiana and South Carolina are least energy efficient. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Ukraine makes carbon reduction pledge ahead of Paris climate change summit

Ukrainian government issued executive order approving Intended Nationally-Determined Contribution (INDC) of Ukraine to a New Global Climate Agreement to keep greenhouse gas emissions under 60% of its 1990 emissions level.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

SolarCity and Panasonic claim setting world records for solar module efficiency

SolarCity’s panel was measured with 22.04 percent module-level efficiency by the Renewable Energy Test Center. The silicon-based bifacial PV cell combines n-type substrates, copper electrodes, thin-film passivation layers, and a tunneling oxide layer that yields high conversion efficiencies.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

EU heating strategy: more district heating and renewables

The European Commission (EC) is finalising recommendations on heating and cooling with an intention to update EU energy legislation and possibly draft new directives. Currently heating and cooling account for around 40% of European Union energy consumption, but are only indirectly targeted by existing EU policies, which focus more on power production with renewable energy. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

New California law boosts renewable energy and energy efficiency to fight climate change

According to the law, which builds upon standards already on the books, California will need to generate half of its electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind by 2030, and, at the same time, the state will need to double energy efficiency in homes, offices and factories. A third goal, cutting gasoline use in half, was removed from the bill amid stiff opposition from oil companies. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

The SAMSET project: supporting African municipalities in sustainable energy transitions

The SAMSET project involves six cities in Ghana, Uganda and South Africa. Secondary and smaller cities, which are experiencing massive social and economic expansions, but have less capacity to cope, are the main focus for the support.

Friday, October 9, 2015

India's commitment before Paris climate summit to reduce the growth rate of its greenhouse gas emissions

India, the world’s third-largest carbon polluter, was the last major country to issue its plan before a climate summit  in Paris in December. Under the plan, India does not commit to an absolute reduction in carbon emissions levels, unlike other major polluting economies, but will take measures to slower down the pace of emissions growth comparing to "business as usual" scenario.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

China will launch the world’s largest national carbon trading program in 2017

The targeted industries in China include power generators, steel and cement producers, and other industrial sectors. Program will incentivize major polluters to reduce emissions by handing out a limited number of permits based on a national emissions cap.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

After spending $7 billion Shell quit drilling in the Arctic

Royal Dutch Shell announced it will indefinitely suspend its Arctic drilling off the Alaska coast after finding insufficient oil and gas in one of its exploratory wells to justify costly development.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

IPCC elects a new leader

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has elected South Korean Professor Hoesung Lee as its new chair. On Tuesday, October 6  his proposed IPCC direction earned him the chair of the UN-body, beating off strong opposition from three European physicists, an American physicist and a last-minute candidate from Sierra Leone.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Catastrophic flooding as a result of Hurricane Joaquin devastated South Carolina, U.S.

Fourteen people were killed as a result of weather-related incidents in South Carolina since Thursday. Thousands of homes are damaged, hundreds of roads and bridges remained closed. At least nine dams breached or failed completely, state emergency management officials said. Damage from the storm across the state  has been estimated at more than $1 billion.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Foods with the biggest carbon footprint

According to the report published by two American research organizations and called the "Meat Eater's Guide to climate change + health", meats are among most carbon intensive foods. Lamb is a leader with 39.2 kg CO2 per kilogram, what is equivalent to  driving about 90 miles on the car with average gas mileage.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The United States and China Joint Presidential Statement: Common Vision for an Ambitious Global Climate Agreement in Paris

The Joint Presidential Statement was made on the occasion of President Xi’s State Visit to Washington, D.C.and it includes significant domestic policy announcements and commitments to global climate finance. Statement builds on last November’s historic announcement by President Obama and President Xi of ambitious, respective post-2020 climate targets, describes a common vision for a new global climate agreement to be concluded in Paris this December.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Storage solutions for renewable energy in UAE

Renewable energy is a big business in the UAE, its solar-power sector is growing really fast. It was forecasted that the industry would add 1,000 jobs over the coming two years. Still, a major difficulty remains in how to store the electricity the sector generates for the times when it is needed most.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Héla Cheikhrouhou: the Green Climate Fund goal is to support low-emission, climate-resilient development

This statement was made by Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund in her speech, given on the occasion of World Water Week held in Stockholm, Sweden at the end of last month. GCF is the only international financing institution set up with the sole goal of supporting the UNFCCC’s objective of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Unanimous adoption of the historic global New Sustainable Development Agenda

A new global agenda to end poverty by 2030 and pursue a sustainable future was unanimously adopted by the 193 UN Member States. It happened on September 25th at the start of a three-day Summit on Sustainable Development in UN Headquarter in New York. The new agenda includes 17 global goals at its core and commits every country to take an array of actions that would not only address the root causes of poverty, but would also increase economic growth and prosperity and meet people’s health, education and social needs, while protecting the environment.

Friday, September 25, 2015

GRACE satellites: humankind is running out of water

Twin GRACE satellites, launched by NASA in 2002, provided data for a study of the world's 37 largest aquifers, which  found that more than a third of them are being used at unsustainable rates — they are being drained far faster than natural processes can restore them. 13 of the 37 aquifers, from California to the Middle East to China, are running out of water.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Graphene to improve cars' energy efficiency

Scientists from The University of Manchester working with European Thermodynamics Ltd have increased the potential for low cost thermoelectric materials to be used more widely in the automotive industry. Adding a small amount of graphene to the base oxide thermoelectric materials, operating temperatures of which can be around 700 degrees Celsius, can reduce the thermal operating window to room temperature which offers a huge range of potential for applications.

Monday, September 21, 2015

First dedicated sub-Saharan African renewable energy fund is now fully capitalized

The African Renewable Energy Fund (AREF), a renewable energy fund focused on sub-Saharan Africa successfully reached USD200 million of committed capital to support small to medium scale projects, with investment at the final close from European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (GEEREF).

Friday, September 18, 2015

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: climate change is a real threat

According to The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development document climate change is no longer a distant or abstract threat.  The annual losses from natural disasters now average U.S. $250 billion to U.S. $300billion

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Long-term corporate purchase commitments for renewable power already have topped 1500 MW of installed capacity

Recently 13 of America’s largest companies visited the White House to endorse a strong outcome in the Paris climate negotiations. The companies also pledged at least $140 billion in new low-carbon investment and more than 1,600 megawatts of new renewable energy.

Monday, August 31, 2015

World energy leaders discussed a path forward to accelerate a global clean energy revolution

More than 20 countries from six continents met recently at the sixth Clean Energy Ministerial, or CEM, in Mérida, Mexico and agreed on  the importance of supporting the rapid growth of  global clean energy economy, in particular, energy efficiency and a diversity of renewable resources such as solar, wind, hydro, sustainable biomass, and geothermal.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

New tidal energy system

Conventional propeller-type tidal turbines  can be used in waters at least 30 meters deep. The THAWT (Transverse Horizontal Axis Water Turbine) technology, by contrast, is designed for deployment in shallower, lower velocity, tidal waters. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Swiss researchers tested solar-powered aircraft

An experimental solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse 2 has large fixed wing covered from tip to tip with 17,000 photovoltaic cells providing 340kW of electric power. The aircraft is powered by taking off in the daylight and rising to an altitude of 9,000m as the sun charges its batteries.

Friday, August 21, 2015

New energy efficiency business model with no upfront costs

Historically upfront costs were the greatest barrier to energy efficiency upgrades. The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program in California created the ability to use energy cost savings as a source of cash.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

University of California study says high-elevation California forests fires are likely driven by climate change

A team of researchers from the Institute of the Environment at the University of California analyzed data for the last 105 years and found that high-elevation California forests fires have seldom happened in the past.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Lessons to be learned from the failure of the UK’s Green Deal residential weatherization program

Last month, the U.K. stopped  the Green Deal, an ambitious energy efficiency program that never took off the way the government had hoped. The U.K.’s government wanted to build a public-private partnership that would give homeowners £10,000 to support energy efficiency improvements, with no upfront costs.

Friday, August 14, 2015

EU is the largest donor of official international development assistance and the top contributor in tackling climate change

According to European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica, EU is the biggest donor in the world, collectively providing over €58 billion in Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2014,  and it is expecting to mobilise €100 billion through blending by 2020.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

IEA's chief economist warns about risks of investments in fossil fuels when ignoring climate change

Speaking at a major climate science conference in Paris IEA chief economist Fatih Birol said that the world’s fossil fuel companies risk wasting billions of dollars of investment by not taking global action to fight climate change seriously.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Mexico’s solar and wind sectors have experienced triple-digit growth rates over the last 10 years

The country will require an additional 22 gigawatts of power generation in the next ten years and its government is set on transforming the country’s power mix in order to reach the goal of generating 35 percent of total electricity from clean sources by 2025. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Facebook and Apple want to be powered by renewable energy

Both companies invest heavily in renewable energy to cut costs. Facebook says that its new data center in Fort Worth, Texas, like the Iowa one, will run on 100 percent renewable energy, powered by wind turbines only 90 miles away.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

UN reached an Agreement on New Sustainable Development Agenda to be adopted in September

Earlier this week the 193 Member States of the United Nations reached a consensus on ambitious new agenda which would end poverty by 2030 and universally promote shared economic prosperity, social development and environmental protection. The new sustainable development agenda builds on the success of the Millennium Development Goals, adopted in 2000, which helped more than 700 million people escape poverty, slash hunger, disease, gender inequality, and access to water and sanitation by 2015.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

U.S. clean power plan as strongest ever climate action

The new targets in the Clean Power Plan demand carbon emissions from the power sector be slashed 32 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030 – that is 2% more than in the original proposal that was released for consultation a year ago. Washington has promised to slash greenhouse gas emissions economy wide by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2025, and will do so partly by focusing on the 40 per cent of US carbon-dioxide emissions that come from power stations.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Germany met 78% of the day’s electricity demand using renewable energy sources

It is happened on July 25 due to a sunny conditions in southern Germany (where most of the country’s solar panels reside), and storms across northern Europe (most of Germany’s wind turbines have been installed in the north). On that day wind and solar generated 40.65 gigawatts (GW) of power.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Scientist from Columbia University about climate change in Central Asia

Climate change may promote cooperation in Central Asia because it will pressure countries to find solutions.  Central Asian republics differ from each other not only in adaptation techniques but also in mitigation issues.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Scientists consider volcanic eruptions as a reason of pause in climate change

International team of scientists published results of the study which lays responsibility of recent climate change slow down on volcanic eruptions, whose particles it has found reflect twice as much solar radiation as previously believed, serving to temporarily cool the planet in the face of rising CO2 emissions. Combining and analyzing data from the two sources led the scientists to conclude that, while the impact of volcanic eruptions was small between 1999 and 2002, between 2005 and 2012 they had a big influence.

Friday, July 10, 2015

U.S. government announces new initiative to increase solar access for all Americans

New initiative will help to scale up solar for all Americans, including those who are renters, lack the startup capital to invest in solar, or do not have adequate information on how to transition to solar energy. The key components of the initiative  include install of 300 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy in federally subsidized housing, creation of  a National Community Solar Partnership to unlock access to solar power for the nearly 50% of households and businesses that are renters, expanding solar energy education and opportunities for job training, and others. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

2015 Climate Summit of the Americas kicks of in Toronto, Canada

On July 8th Ontario officially opened the Climate Summit of the Americas and welcomed more than 300 delegates from 20 states and regions who came to Toronto to work towards commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and discuss opportunities to invest in a global low carbon economy. States and regions attending the summit have a combined GDP of $6.6 trillion, what, for example, exceeds combined GDP of UK and France

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

High-efficiency transformers allow to save enormous amount of energy

Small increases in efficiency can result in substantial savings because power transformers typically operate continuously. According to power management company Eaton, over the next 30 years, meeting  U.S. Department of Energy's  new efficiency standards for distribution transformers will eliminate the need for 3.63 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) of energy, which is roughly equivalent to the energy consumed by 40 million American households in one year.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Сlimate change and dams are among biggest threats facing Himalayan rivers in India

Himalayan rivers account for nearly two-thirds of India's national river flows, and 43 per cent of India's population depends on just the Ganga for their water needs. India has 4,857 large dams (more than 15 m in height or 10-15 m if it fulfills some other conditions) in operation and 314 under construction. While nine out of 10 dams in India have irrigation as their main purpose, in the Himalayan region, which accounts for 70 per cent of hydro power potential. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Solar cookers in Tajikistan help to survive blackouts and reduce CO2 emissions

Tajikistan suffers blackouts during winter due to the declining capacity of its domestic energy infrastructure, yet hosts strong potential for renewable energy with over 200 sunny days during the average year and significant hydro resources. In  December 2014, the village of Roshorv, located at an altitude of more than 3000m in the Bartang Valley of Tajikistan was presented with a solar cooker by Tajik environmental organization Little Earth.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

U.S. federal government and states are taking significant actions against climate change

Despite 41 percent of Americans say global warming has more to do with natural causes than human activity, and Congress doesn’t want to pass a cap-and-trade bill to reduce carbon emissions, President Obama has made climate change a focus of his second term agenda.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Nuclear power -- a major source of emission-free electricity?

The are robust arguments for nuclear energy, especially in the context of climate change - nuclear fuel is among the most energy-dense fuels known to humanity, and because of its limited pollution and the ample amount of electricity it produces, nuclear energy is also the safest power source on a per-kilowatt basis.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Polar bear populations in Alaska and Canada have declined by nearly half

The bears rely on floating sea ice to mate, travel, and hunt. But thanks to climate change, this ice is melting quickly, forcing polar bears onto land, far away from their typical prey—namely, seals. Without seals to eat, many bears starve to death.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Bill Gates claims to have invested $1bn in renewable technologies

Microsoft founder and billionaire  has called for international Governments to triple R&D funding for renewable technologies in order to find a 'magic solution' to climate change.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Alberta increases province’s carbon levy to $30 in 2017

Alberta government announced plans to increase province’s carbon levy on January 1 from its current $15 per tonne to $20, before a further hike to $30 in 2017. The hikes will coincide with a near doubling of efficiency targets large polluters must meet. Companies will also be required to reduce emissions by 20 per cent over time, compared with a 12-per-cent target today. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

All renewable energy supply for U.S.?

Researchers from Stanford have a plan to get all 50 U.S. states operating on 100% renewable energy by 2050. They think that that's completely possible with existing technology, however it will require huge shift from business as usual for the energy sector.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Imprisonment for violators of new South Africa’s National Greenhouse Gas Emission Reporting Regulation

New regulation was published by Environmental Affairs Minister in the Government Gazette for public comment. It sought to penalize people convicted of an offence in terms of the regulation to a fine up to  R10-million, or prison sentence not exceeding ten years.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Factoring energy efficiency costs into home mortgages in the U.S.

The Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015, passed in the U.S. this spring, includes provisions to support a program to improve energy efficiency practices in commercial buildings and require federal agencies to utilize energy assessments in their leased buildings. It is expected, that in near time energy efficiency legislation also will be extended to include incentives for federal mortgage underwriters to take into account energy efficiency in the process of valuing homes.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

EU is expected to meet 20% renewable energy target by 2020

The European Commission's renewable energy progress report shows that 25 of 28 EU countries are going to meet their 2013/2014 interim renewable energy targets. In 2014, the projected share of renewable energy in the gross final energy consumption is 15.3%.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Climate change costs in Australia are rising fast

Variety of climatic conditions in Australia’s puts it particularly at risk to economic, physical and social loss when it comes to extreme events – droughts, floods, storms and extreme temperatures.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Energy efficiency financing in Europe – governmental vs utility programs

Well known German economist Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke, who 30 years ago co-authored the book "The Energy Revolution Is Possible", now is concerned about his country’s insufficient progress in energy efficiency, comparing to other EU countries. Germany, the continent's largest user of energy, ranks now 18th in terms of final energy intensity out of 28 E.U. countries. It has been overtaken by number of other European countries, including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and France, and dropped down now even below the E.U. average level.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Scientists are not sure if species hybridization, caused by climate change, is good or bad for biodiversity

The phenomena of increased species interbreeding, as a result of climate change impact on the habitat, became a subject of discussions and different points of view among scientists. 
The eastern coyote, for example, is a wolf-coyote hybrid that has expanded its range across the eastern US and Canada. Scientists have discovered that these super-sized coyotes are only about two-thirds coyote.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Why global carbon emissions stalled in 2014 while world economy grew by 3.2%?

According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2015 it happened because of sharp deceleration of global primary energy consumption and strong shift of energy production growth from fossil fuels to renewables.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Renewables offer today better return on investments than fossil fuels

Investors and business leaders got an in-depth look at different ways investors are measuring carbon risk exposure at  ‘Finance and Climate: Metrics’ event during  Climate Week Paris in May. Stranded assets – wasted capital of fossil fuels remaining unburned due to climate impact - is particularly central to carbon risk methodology.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Rainfall rise in the Sahel region of Africa - a rare positive effect of climate change

Study, conducted by scientists from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at Britain's Reading University, states that  continued rise in greenhouse gas emissions was likely to help more rainfall and caused a greening of the Sahel region, south of the Sahara Desert from Senegal to Sudan.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Renewable power can help more than half of rural Pakistanis, who still do not have access to electricity

According to  International Energy Agency, 38 % of all Pakistani population and 54% of the rural population (97 million)    currently have no access to electricity, forcing them to live a sub-standard life of poverty and social inequity. Renewable energy is a potential resource that can be tapped immediately to overcome the current energy crises and warrants energy security.

Friday, June 5, 2015

U.S. renewable energy accounted for 9.8% of total domestic energy consumption in 2014

According to U.S. EIA  this is the highest renewable energy share since the 1930s,. Average annual growth rate for renewables for the last 14 years was quite  impressive - 5%, while wind, solar, and bio-fuels were growth leaders.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Guardian's snapshot of preparations to the Paris climate summit and its expected outcome

In its publication British newspaper gives overview of upcoming UNFCCC COP-21 answering important questions:
-  What is happening in Paris this December and why now?
What progress have we seen on a global agreement and why is this important?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

China begins power sector reform and focuses on energy efficiency and renewables

In April  Chinese government issued four documents on power sector reform, which  outlined long-awaited upgrades to the functioning of the world's largest power utility. The reforms cover a number of important topics, including:

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Climate change may affect coffee lovers

Recent study, published in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology Journal, predicts severe negative climate change impacts on Arabica coffee production in Africa. The results of  another research, based on global circulation models, suggest  decreased areas suitable for Arabica coffee in America and Asia. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

EIB's investment plan for Europe: energy efficiency, renewable energy, and strategic energy infrastructure projects

The  European Investment Bank (EIB) Group’s Board of Directors approved loans with total amount of EUR 8 billion for 21 projects, The projects will also be supported from an EU budget guarantee under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) once it is formally established. The loan package contains support to several sustainable energy projects, including:

Friday, May 29, 2015

About hidden costs of greenhouse gas emissions.

If so called “climate damages” are added , a gallon of regular gas in the United States would really cost $6.25! 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

California and Peru provide free solar panels to their poorest residents

The first California resident, who is a disabled man,  received a free rooftop solar system. If it performs as expected, the 2.5 kW solar electric system will save  $818 in the first year and $22,800 over its 30-year lifetime.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

European Commission is launching the Smart Specialisation Platform on Energy (S3P-Energy) to develop low carbon solutions

 S3P-Energy will support regions and Member States in using Cohesion Policy funding more effectively for promoting sustainable energy. For 2014-2020, more than EUR 38 billion of Cohesion Policy funding will be invested in achieving the EU Energy Strategy  and boosting the shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors. This represents more than a doubling of funding compared to the previous period. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

High death toll from India’s heat wave...

At least 1,400 people died in India in less than one week from unprecedentedly high temperatures, which reached  50C  (122F)  In some regions. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Model for the world - British Columbia significantly reduced its fossil fuel use by adopting a carbon tax


In 2008 British Columbia (B.C.) became the first jurisdiction in North America to adopt an economy-wide carbon taxStewart Elgie, a professor  at University of Ottawa, describes  the results of that tax as “remarkable”, because the move towards low carbon economy was achieved without harming province's economy. The carbon tax is revenue neutral, meaning every dollar generated by the tax is returned to tax payers through reductions in other taxes.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

75 countries signed a new International Energy Charter at a High-Level Ministerial Conference held in The Hague, the Netherlands.

The new Charter modernises the existing European Energy Charter of 1991 and widens its scope to a global level. The purpose of the new Charter is to engage as many new countries as possible who are willing to cooperate in the field of energy and who recognise the importance of energy security for energy producing, transit and consuming countries. Document promotes such important principles as efficient functioning of energy markets, investment protection, free transit of energy resources, facilitating trade in energy and energy-related goods, and cooperation in energy policy development, including energy efficiency and environmental protection. Key new points are the recognition of the importance of access to modern energy for all and the growing share of low-carbon and renewable energy. Read more at http://international.energycharter.org/

More about Ministerial Conference on the International Energy Charter, May 20-21

Friday, May 22, 2015

Global renewable energy jobs market dynamics: world is 18% up, and Europe is 4% down

Number of renewable energy jobs worldwide is growing fast, over  7.7 million people are employed across the industry now, up 18 percent from 6.5 million last year, according to IRENA’s recent report. The most renewable energy jobs now are located in Asia region, mainly in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, and Bangladesh, while the European Union and the United States now represent 25 per cent of global renewable energy jobs, compared to 31 per cent in 2012. PV sector is employment leader, where jobs have tripled since 2011 and now totals an estimated 2.5 million, most in downstream jobs such as PV system installation. Biofuels (1.8 million), wind power (over 1 million), biomass (822,000), solar heating/cooling (764 000) and biogas (381,000) are also major employers. Read more at  http://www.irena.org/

At the same time, the EU lost 50,000 renewable jobs – a drop from 1.25 million to 1.2 million. The solar energy sector was hit the most with about 35 percent of jobs lost, because of a sharp decrease in overall investment. The EC defends the EU’s renewable industry saying that  it still has twice more renewable jobs per capita than the global average. Read more at http://eubulletin.com/

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Most energy efficient U.S. cities

Boston is at the top and Oklahoma City is at the bottom of the ranking published by ACEEE. 51 major cities in the U.S. were ranked for energy efficiency efforts across five policy areas: local government operations, community-wide initiatives, buildings, energy and water utilities, and transportation.  New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis and Portland are among energy Efficiency leaders. Read more at http://nextcity.org/

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Canada is committing to a goal of reducing its GHG emissions by 30 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels

Also, Canada announced its “intention to develop new regulatory measures for the oil, gas, and chemical industries. At the same time the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) noted that Canada’s pledges were also concerning because, as of now, the country isn’t on track to meet its 2020 emissions reductions targets. Without significant new policies, Canada wouldn’t meet its Copenhagen Accord target to reduce its emissions 17 percent by 2020, compared to 2005 levels. The NRDC also called Canada’s commitment “significantly weaker” than that of the United States. Read more at http://thinkprogress.org/

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

China CO2 reduction this year could equal UK total emissions over same period

Coal consumption in the world’s largest economy fell by almost 8% and CO2 emissions by around 5% in the first four months of the year, compared with the same period in 2014.  China’s coal use fell for the first time this century and government recently ordered more than 1,000 coal mines to close. This is very encouraging news on the eve  of crucial climate talks in Paris this year. Read more at http://energydesk.greenpeace.org/
Read also about China as world’s largest energy consumer and greenhouse gas emitter

Monday, May 18, 2015

Biomass instead of natural gas for heating in the Netherlands

 biomass heating facility was recently constructed to replace natural gas-fired heating In Pumerend, a city of 80,000 residents in the Netherlands.The Dutch National Forest Service supplies the 10-inch wood chips used as feedstock under a 25-year deal. The plant is powered by 4 boilers each with 11-megawatts of capacity. Residents pay for their heat at a price level that is similar to the natural gas “reference price”. The plant’s state-of-the-art design cuts CO2 emissions by 50,000 tons compared to natural gas.  Read more at theenergycollective.com

Friday, May 15, 2015

Ontario First Province in Canada to Set 2030 GHG Emission Reduction Target

A new mid-term target is to reduce emissions by 37 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030. Ontario already has a goal to decrease GHG pollution by 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050. Ontario is joining other leading subnational jurisdictions -- including California, Québec and British Columbia -- that have or will set mid-term targets to limit global warming to 2°C. In April Ontario announced it would be putting a limit on the main sources of greenhouse gas pollution through a cap and trade program, to be linked with Québec and California. Read more at http://news.ontario.ca/



Thursday, May 14, 2015

Solar power dish outperforms the photovoltaic panels in terms of efficiency

The concentrated solar power (CSP) system, created by Swedish  company Ripasso Energy, converts 34% of the sun’s energy to grid-ready electricity, while solar panels typically convert only 23% (making that usable on the grid means efficiency drops to just 15%). Ripasso’s CSP system works by combining a parabolic 12 meter diameter mirror dish  with a Stirling engine, which doesn't require water for power generation. Read more at http://www.geek.com

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A new World Bank report lays out three steps for a smooth transition to a zero-carbon future

The study claims the first step is to “plan for the end goal and not just the short-term”, then to “get prices right as part of a broad policy package, which triggers changes in investment and behaviour”, and the  final point is to “smooth the transition for those most affected”.
The report, called ‘Decarbonizing Development: Three Steps to a Zero Carbon Future’, states the transition to zero net emissions is affordable if governments act today. Read more at www.worldbank.org

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tidal power - next big thing among renewables?

May be, if the tide industry continues at its current rate of development. According to GE Reports, in Scotland, for example, a major project was announced for the Pentland Firth, which will see more than 60 turbines submerged on the seabed by 2020. They should generate enough energy to power 42,000 homes. The first phase of the project will consist of four turbines over the next two years, each generating 1.2 MW.
Tidal power is a reliable form of energy, because the tide is cyclic as opposed to being weather dependent like solar and wind. Its output can be predicted and anticipated. Also, it’s limitless and out-of-sight, as it relies on machinery that lies underwater, unlike the more conspicuous wind turbines and fields of solar cells. Read more at https://gereports.ca

Monday, May 11, 2015

Chernobyl New Safe Confinement (NSC): 43 countries confirmed their intentions to finance its completion

International donors already confirmed commitments to provide €540 million of necessary €615 million. EBRD will coordinate the negotiations with countries-donors to arrange the remaining €75 million.This information is from the  briefing of Ukrainian Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Igor Shevchenko, who took part last week in international conference in London for raising funding to  build NSC structure above destroyed nuclear reactor,   Read more at http://www.menr.gov.ua
The New Safe Confinement will eventually rise to a height of 110 metres, will be 165 metres long, have a span of 260 meters and a lifetime of a minimum of 100 years. The arch-shaped structure will weigh more than 30,000 tons. Its frame is a huge lattice construction of tubular steel members built on two longitudinal concrete beams. Work on the NSC at the site started in late 2010 and, according to the current schedule, is expected to be completed by 2017. Read more at http://www.ebrd.com/

Impressive VIDEO from the construction site of Chernobyl NSC, and...  Forbes' esse about current state of Chernobyl exclusion zone, the area where humanity will not be able to return to during next 20 000 years!!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A common EU-China approach will help make the Paris climate talks a success

Federica Mogherini. EU foreign policy chief, said in Beijin last weeek she's confident the EU and China can agree to a common approach on climate change. She praised China's targets for gradually reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and said the sides should be able to agree on other goals at an upcoming bilateral summit. China is the world's biggest emitter and has pledged to level off carbon emissions by around 2030. Read more at www.sunherald.com

 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Will the world become battery-powered?

Two billion Powerpacks – low-cost batteries for homes and businesses to store power from wind or solar – could store enough electricity to meet the entire world’s needs. That’s certainly the ambition of Elon Musk, the PayPal billionaire turned would-be space explorer and electric car baron.  Read more at http://www.theguardian.com

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Climate change alert: Global carbon dioxide tops 400 ppm for first time

The first time an atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration of above 400 parts per million was measured was in the Arctic in 2012. That same threshold was reached at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii in 2013. And now, NOAA reports the monthly global average concentration of the greenhouse gas has surpassed 400 parts per million for the first time. This isn’t good. In fact, the last time it happened was up to 5 million years agoRead more at http://www.washingtonpost.com

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The BRIC nations' response to climate change is critical to the fate of the planet

 The four largest developing economies – Brazil, Russia, India and China, collectively known as the BRICs – are critically important to the cause. These four countries, with a combined population of 3 billion people and a GDP of $16tn, will have a huge direct impact on global emissions.  Read more at http://www.theguardian.com

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Better ways of using natural gas

For maximum advantage, instead of substituting gas directly for coal in the power generation sector, we should rather use every single cubic foot of gas we possibly can to displace electricity in end uses.  Attention to this issue by policy makers can save untold gigatons of carbon emissions over the coming decades.  Read more at http://theenergycollective.com

Monday, May 4, 2015

25 Cents Per Watt for Solar Panel?!

In January 2015, Saudi Arabian company ACWA Power surprised industry analysts when it won a bid to build a 200-megawatt solar power plant in Dubai that will be able to produce electricity for 6 cents per kilowatt-hour. The price was less than the cost of electricity from natural gas or coal power plants, a first for a solar installation. Electricity from new natural gas and coal plants would cost an estimated 6.4 cents and 9.6 cents per kilowatt-hour, respectively, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency. Technological advances, including photovoltaics that can convert higher percentages of sunlight into energy, have made solar panels more efficient. At the same time economies of scale have driven down their costs.  Read more at http://www.climatecentral.org/

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Obama signs bill to boost energy efficiency in buildings

The law aims to cut energy use in commercial buildings, manufacturing plants and homes.
The bill exempts some energy-efficient water heaters from pending Energy Department rules. It also requires federal agencies to increase energy efficiency in federal buildings, among other provisions. Read more at http://www.wral.com

Friday, May 1, 2015

Jean-Pascal van Ypersele: Climate change not only policy issue — but climate confusers losing ground completely

Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, professor of climatology and environmental sciences at the Universite Catholique de Louvain (UCL) Belgium, is top contender for the position of chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), vacant after the recent resignation of Indian scientist R K Pachauri. Speaking with Vishwa Mohan, Ypersele discussed his priorities if elected, his view of nations’ equations between development and environment. http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Canada’s Boundary Dam is world’s first large-scale power station to trap CO2

The International Energy Agency welcomed the launch of the world’s first large-scale power station equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, calling it a historic milestone along the road to a low-carbon energy future. The 110MW retrofit of SaskPower’s Boundary Dam coal-fired power plant in Saskatchewan, Canada will trap around 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. The captured CO2 will be injected into nearby oilfields to enhance oil recovery. Read more at ttp://www.iea.org