Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Visualization tools for energy flows in Canada's energy systems

Canada Energy Systems Analysis Research (CESAR) in partnership with whatIf? Technologies Inc. have developed interactive, multi-year Sankey diagrams showing the energy systems of Canada and its provinces between 1990 and 2013.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Energy efficiency already accounts 30 times more jobs in the U.S. than coal mining

Energy efficiency is a growing employer with 1.9 million jobs nationwide and thousands of jobs in each state. These findings are revealed by the report Energy Efficiency Jobs in America, which is prepared by E2 and E4TheFuture and based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and a survey of tens of thousands of businesses across the country. It is projected that 245,000 more jobs  to be added over the next year - very impressive 13 percent growth rate. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Clean Energy Economy: how to get there

The new report, From Risk to Return: Investing in a Clean Energy Economy by the Risky Business Project, demonstrates that not only is managing the risks implied by climate change both economically and technically viable, but it also would create significant new business opportunities. The transition to a cleaner energy economy rests on three pillars: moving from fossil fuels to electricity wherever possible, generating electricity with low or zero carbon emissions, and using energy much more efficiently.

Monday, December 5, 2016

EC's new Clean Energy for All Europeans package: energy efficiency first

The European Commission has proposed a binding EU-wide target of 30% for energy efficiency by 2030. EC plans to reach this target through:

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

India now claims the number three spot in utility-scale solar power

This happened after the Kamuthi solar plant in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu was connected to the power grid. The 648-megawatt Kamuthi plant is considered the world's largest solar project in a single location after leapfrogging the world's second largest solar plant, the Topaz Solar Farm in California, which has a capacity of 550 megawatts.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Canada’s first tidal turbine in the Bay of Fundy now powering 500 homes

The 1,000-tonne heavy and five storeys tall two-megawatt turbine has been successfully connected to the power grid in Nova Scotia and now is providing energy to hundreds of homes. It has a subsea gravity base that allows it to sit on the sea floor under its own weight at the eastern end of the bay in the Minas Passage, a five-kilometre-wide channel near Parrsboro, N.S.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

COP22 in Marakech pledged to move ahead with implementation of Paris Agreement

In the Marrakech Action Proclamation Parties to UNFCCC confirmed heir “commitment” to the “full implementation” of the Paris Agreement and called for “the highest political commitment to combat climate change” and “strong solidarity with those countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change”. In the Proclamation, developed countries reaffirmed their $100 billion mobilization goal per year by 2020 to support climate action by developing countries.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Acceleration of energy efficiency implementation in industry as solution to climate and competitiveness challenges

The world's manufacturing industry is responsible for about one-third of total GHG emissions and includes the highest carbon-emitting sectors - the production of iron and steel, aluminum, chemicals and cement. A report published by The World Bank Group A Greener Path to Competitiveness provides recommendations and guidance on how companies and countries can stay competitive while implementing more climate-friendly technologies and strategies.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Volcano eruption mitigated sea level rise by quarter of an inch per decade


The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991, which sent tens of millions of tons of sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere and caused reflection of solar heat and cooling ocean temperatures, has masked the worsening effects of industrial pollution on global sea levels.

Monday, November 7, 2016

UNEP report: world is still heading for temperature rise of 2.9 to 3.4 °C this century

World must urgently take actions to reduce roughly a further quarter off predicted 2030 global greenhouse emissions to have any chance of minimizing dangerous climate change, says just released UNEP's annual Emissions Gap report. The report states that 2030 emissions are expected to reach 54 to 56 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent – far above the level of 42 needed for limiting global warming to 2°C this century.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Vancouver is leading the way towards zero emission buildings

Vancouver's Zero Emissions Building Plan, approved by City Council in July, is to fundamentally shift building practice in Vancouver within next 10-15 years. The Plan includes detailed actions to ensure the majority of new buildings in Vancouver use 100% renewable energy and have no operational greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, and that all new buildings achieve these outcomes by 2030.

Monday, October 31, 2016

GHG standards for light-duty vehicles: U.S. automaker performance report

National Program consisting of standards for light-duty vehicles that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve fuel economy was established by U.S. EPA  and requires compliance with progressively more stringent GHG emission standards for the 2012 through 2025 model years. According to the annual GHG Performance Report, which formally documents the status of auto company compliance with the GHG standards, the auto industry outperformed the GHG standard by a substantial margin for the fourth consecutive year.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Building energy use per floor area for world's major economies declined in 2000-2012 by 5-30%

IEA's report "Building Energy Performance Metrics" presents data and analysis needed to evaluate progress and identify opportunities for improvement in building energy performance. Building energy use per floor area (see the table above) provides a measure of building energy performance relative to building space.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Energy efficiency standards and labelling not only reduce appliance energy use but also induce price decline

Contrary to common assumption that raising energy efficiency levels will push up purchase prices for equipment, in Australia the real price for new refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers, sold between 1993 and 2014, dropped by 33 - 49%, while energy consumption decreased by 20 - 44% (see the table above). The similar changes are happening also in EU countries and in the U.S. These data are presented in the recent IEA's report "Achievements of appliance energy efficiency standards and labelling programs".

Monday, October 24, 2016

Green Climate Fund contributes US$ 378 million to EBRD projects

This contribution will be made in support of sustainable energy financing facilities the Bank is offering in Armenia, Egypt, Georgia, Jordan, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Serbia, Tajikistan and Tunisia. The program, with overall cost of more than US$ 1.4 billion in the 10 countries, is expected to leverage a five-fold additional financing by participating private sector banks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 2 million tonnes a year.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Global EVs sales have risen nine-fold over last 5 years, while price of battery packs fell 65%

Costs of lithium-ion battery packs used in EVs fell 65 percent over the period 2010–15 – down to $350/kWh, and continue to drop. It happens faster than was expected because economy of scale, improvements in battery chemistry and better battery management systems.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Asia Super Grid will connect China, Japan, Russia and South Korea to boost renewables

In March this year, SB Energy Corp. (Japan), State Grid Corporation of China, Korea Electric Power Corp., and Rosseti, a Russian electric power and grid operator, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to conduct technical and economic feasibility studies toward creating the international electricity transmission network in Northeast Asia. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Kigali HFCs agreement - climate deal which may be more practically important than Paris accords

The amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer endorsed in Kigali is the single largest contribution the world has made towards keeping the global temperature rise 'well below' 2 degrees Celsius. Leaders from 170 countries agreed to cut the worldwide use of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, which are used in air-conditioners and refrigerators.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

World's top GHG emitting industries

According to the World Bank report, about a third of both global carbon dioxide emissions and the world’s energy consumption are attributable to manufacturing industries.e. Industrial sector emissions grew 63 percent from 1970 to 2010. Report provides a ranking of the top emitting industries. Iron and steel, nonmetallic minerals (cement) and (nonferrous metals ( aluminum) industries are the major GHG emission contributors within manufacturing industries.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Paris Agreement will enter into force on 4 November 2016.

On 5 October 2016, further to the deposit of the instruments of ratification to the Paris Agreement by 74 Parties to the Convention, the per cent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions achieved was 58.82 per cent.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Now we are living in a 400 ppm CO2 world...

September 2016 is a major milestone for the world’s climate change history - according to Mauna Loa CO2 program at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the monthly value of atmospheric carbon dioxide failed to drop below 400 parts per million. It means, that 2016 will be the year that CO2 officially passed the symbolic 400 ppm mark, never to return below it in our lifetimes.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Globally number of electric cars on the roads has doubled in 2015 and reached 1.26 million

In 2014, only about half of today’s electric car stock existed, while in 2005, electric cars were measured in hundreds, according to new IEA report. 80% of the electric cars on road worldwide are located in the United States, China, Japan, the Netherlands and Norway. China is leading the global deployment of electric bus fleets, with more than 170 000 buses already circulating today.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Taking a bus for commute is 30 times safer than driving a car!

This finding comes from a new study by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). Travel by public transportation is far safer than car travel. Intercity and commuter passengers have about one-20th, urban rail and bus passengers about one-30th, per billion passenger-miles as car travel. Public transit-oriented communities have less than a fifth the total (pedestrian, cyclist, automobile and transit passenger) per capita traffic fatality rates as in automobile-dependent communities.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Extreme weather disasters, induced by global warming, cost U.S. $67 Billion

Between 2005 and 2015, the presidents of the U.S. issued 832 separate emergency or disaster declarations for which Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided either public assistance—defined as funding for state, tribal, and local governments—or individual assistance in the form of grants typically made to homeowners and renters whose home damage was not covered by homeowners insurance.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The launch of the world’s first large-scale tidal energy farm in Scotland

The initial phase of MeyGen tidal wave project was launched in Scotland in September. Four tidal wave turbines will be installed underwater simultaneously. The turbine is about 15 metres tall (49ft), with 16 metres blades diameter, and weighing in at almost 200 tonnes, each will produce 1.5 megawatts electricity.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Ukraine is going to transform Chernobyl nuclear wasteland into huge solar power farm

According to the Ukrainian government, the contaminated nuclear wasteland around Chernobyl could be turned into one of the world’s largest solar farms, producing nearly a third of the electricity that the exploded plant generated at its height 30 years ago. 6,000 hectares of “idle” land in Chernobyl’s 1,000 square mile exclusion zone, which is considered too dangerous for people to live in or farm, could be turned to solar, bio-gas and heat and power generation.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Motorised wheel can turn regular bicycle into electric bike

With EVELO's Omni Wheel, virtually any bike becomes an electric bike within 30 minutes, that gives you a boost of power when you need it. You can ride with the speed up to 17 miles per hour. 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Ancient civilizations that were destroyed by climate change

This isn't the first time climate change has threatened civilisation. Many scientists speculate that devastating environmental changes caused by climate change are largely to blame for disappearance some famous past civilisations. The decline in Ancestral Puebloans, who suddenly abandoned their distinctive homes in the Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon villages, located on Colorado Plateau, "coincided with a prolonged drought in the San Juan Basin between 1130 and 1180. Lack of rainfall combined with an overtaxed environment may have led to food shortages". 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Globally, solar power has doubled seven times since 2000

Solar power has grown 100-fold in the U.S. in the past decade and it cost come down by a factor of 150 since 1975. The price drop and the sales volume increase are directly linked - over the past four decades, for every doubling in scale of the solar industry, the price of solar modules has dropped roughly 26 percent.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Electric car market n Europe is set to surpass the 200,000 units by year end

Despite some slowdown in sales, European EV  market had more than 13,000 sales in July

Friday, August 19, 2016

Sea level rise may put millions of U.S. coastal homes underwater by 21 century

Storm surges and higher tidal flows caused by climate change could gobble almost 1.9 million houses in hundreds of cities, according to a report by the real estate company Zillow. In total, homeowners could lose some $882 billion by 2100.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Mitsubishi can now transmit solar energy from space

Using microwave technology, Mitsubishi has sent 10 kilowatts of power wirelessly through the air to a receiver positioned 1,640 feet away. Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said that it also moved power wirelessly, sending 1.8 kilowatts of power through the air. Japan is looking for ways to expand its ability to power themselves, especially since the Fukishima Daiichi nuclear reactor meltdown in 2011.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Too hot to work... rising temperatures reduce productivity

Global warming will cost the world over $2 trillion a year in lost productivity by 2030, according to the study, published by the researchers from New Zealand.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Greenland lost 1 trillion tons of ice in just four years

A satellite study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, suggests that the Greenland ice sheet lost a staggering 1 trillion tons of ice between the years 2011 and 2014 alone. Combining the satellite observations with modeling the researchers found that the Greenland ice sheet lost mass at an average rate of about 269 billion tons per year.

Friday, July 22, 2016

What is a wind turbine and how it works

Article, posted on US DOE web portal, describes technical principles and types of wind turbines, variety of their applications and future of wind turbine technology.
Since the turn of the century, total U.S. wind power capacity has increased more than 24-fold. Currently, there’s enough wind power capacity in the U.S. to generate enough electricity to power more than 15 million homes.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Average price for carbon offsets looks like a good deal for companies trying to reduce their climate risk

A new report by Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace “Buying in: Taking Stock of the Role of Carbon Offsets in Corporate Carbon Strategies” found that companies buy carbon offsets to accelerate their deep economic transformation, rather than just to create a good environmental reputation.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Solar power to expand sixth fold by 2030 and to become cheapest energy resource

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency's report solar plants utilizing photovoltaic technology could account for 8% to 13% of global electricity produced in 2030, compared with 1.2 % at the end of last year. The average cost of electricity generated from solar panels is expected to drop as much as 59% by 2025.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Scarcer water creates new challenges for energy

Water scarcity challenges industries around the world. The report Water-Energy Nexus: Business Risks and Rewards looks at three regions where industries that face risks related to water and energy supply are finding emerging solutions to address their reliance on scarce resources - the Middle East and North Africa, China and the United States.

Friday, July 1, 2016

IEA: around 6.5 million people die globally each year due to poor air quality

Georgia, Bulgaria, China, India, and Russia are among the countries with the highest mortality rates caused by air pollution, while Brazil, Denmark, Norway, United States and United Arab Emirates are among countries with the lowest rates. Air pollution is the world's fourth-largest threat to human health, behind high blood pressure, dietary risks and smoking.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

IRENA forecasts further solar and wind power cost downfall

In its recent report The Power to Change: Solar and Wind Cost Reduction Potential to 2025, International Renewable Energy Agency finds that by 2025 – with the right regulatory and policy frameworks in place – average electricity costs could decrease 59% for solar photovoltaics (PV), 35% for offshore wind, 26% for onshore wind, and up to 43% for concentrated solar power compared to 2015.  

Monday, June 27, 2016

Over 127 thousand Ukrainian homeowners received "warm credits" for energy efficiency improvement

Since the beginning of so called "warm credits" loan program, total amount of loans provided to Ukrainian homeowners have reached UAH 2 billion (around $80 million). Last week was record high in terms of program activities - 6352 new loans were provided for total amount of UAH 104 million ($4 million). 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Remarkable decline of the solar power auction prices in developing countries

Based on the “levelised cost” of electricity, which estimates the net present value of the costs of a generating system divided by the expected output over its lifetime, solar power is getting close to gas and coal as an attractively cheap source of power. Auctions of long-term contracts to purchase solar power in developing countries such as South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Peru and Mexico provide real-world evidence of this phenomena.

Monday, June 20, 2016

U.S. researchers: climate change is a significant threat to the human health

New report The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment, published by U.S. Global Change Research Program, examines how climate change is already affecting human health and the changes that may occur in the future. Climate change endangers people's by affecting food and water sources, the air we breathe, the weather we experience, and our interactions with the built and natural environments.

Friday, June 17, 2016

EV battery prices are expected to drop 2-4 times in next six years

IEA's report states that the year 2015 saw the global threshold of 1 million electric cars on the road exceeded, closing at 1.26 million. In 2014, only about half of today's electric car stock existed. 2015 also saw more than 200 million electric two wheelers on the road,and 170 000 buses, primarily in China.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The water footprint of energy

Water and energy are connected and highly interdependent - we need water for our energy systems and we need energy systems for our water. For example, in the United States, more freshwater (41 percent) is used to cool power plants than for any other use. From other side, about 8 percent of global energy generation is used for pumping, treating, and transporting water.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Global electricity output from wind and solar will surpass nuclear electricity in 8 years and coal – in 20 years

Bloomberg's  New Energy Outlook 2016 forecasts a significantly lower track for global coal, gas and oil prices than previous projection,  and also shows a steeper decline for wind and solar costs. BNEF’s long-term forecast sees $11.4 trillion investment in global power generation capacity over 25 years, with electric vehicles boosting electricity demand by 8% in 2040.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Researchers: all 36 countries with emission caps under the Kyoto Protocol met their commitments

The results of the analysis, published in the Climate Policy journal, show that significant efforts, made by the EU, Japan and others countries, signed up to the Kyoto Protocol, helped them to collectively surpass their commitments. That might happen even without a rapid emissions drop in Russia, Ukraine and others as they shifted to market economies.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Scientists from Iceland convert carbon dioxide into basaltic rock

Turning Carbon Emissions to Stone from Earth Institute on Vimeo.

According to a paper published in the journal Science, carbon dioxide emissions from an   geothermal electric power plant have been captured, pumped underground and solidified. Scientists, working on a project called CarbFix were able to turn CO2 into a chalk-like solid material in two years, while earlier studies suggested it could take thousands of years for large amounts of carbon dioxide to be converted to chalk.

Friday, June 10, 2016

EU debates about energy efficiency target are ranging between 27% and 40%

The European Commission is studying a range of options for the revision of the 2030 energy efficiency target, from the current 27% target to the European Parliament’s preferred goal of 40%. The Commission’s own analysis shows that the higher the target, the better the results for jobs, energy security and economic turnover.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Carbon cap and trade system is the core of Ontario’s new climate action plan


Ontario Government made announcement about the province’s Climate Change Action Plan, which commits up to $8.3-billion over five years to driving down greenhouse gas emissions. It contains 76 new programs, including financial incentives for homeowners and landlords to retrofit buildings and for drivers to buy electric vehicles. A mid-term goal is to cut province’s GHG emissions by 37% below 1990 levels by 2030.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

First ever grid-connected wave power station in Europe was launched in Gibraltar

Last month, the first ever grid-connected wave power station in Europe was opened for business in Gibraltar, tiny British territory. Eco Wave Power (EWP) developed innovative wave energy station, which is installed on the ammunition jetty and will be producing 15 percent of the territory's energy needs.