New battery storage stabilizes grid efficiently
Europe's largest commercial battery power plant was connected this week to the grid in the city of Schwerin, state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, northern Germany. The five-megawatt battery will stabilize fluctuations in grid frequency more efficiently than conventional power plants. It demonstrates that intelligent short-term storage is already a commercially attractive investment. The storage system on this scale also is an important step towards a successful energy transition.
UN climate summit to test help for poor countries
A UN summit on climate change next week in New York will test rich nations' willingness to fill a near-empty fund to help the poor, but pledges are likely to be far short of developing nations' hopes for USD15 billion in 2014, writes Reuters. Many rich countries have indicated willingness to fund the Green Climate Fund but Germany is the only country so far to make a large contribution, pledging USD1 billion over four years in July this year.
African regions need different renewable strategies
The five African regions - Northern, Western, Southern, Eastern and Central - have relatively similar areas, but their overall potential for renewable energy sources is relatively different and they need different strategies to develop their resources, says a new IRENA report. It reveals renewable energy hotspots and indicate which technologies are most suitable for each country - helping policy makers develop effective policies and incentives.
China urges space-based disaster management
China will work more closely with other nations to better use its assets in outer space to manage disasters, said Pang Chenmin, director of the National Disaster Reduction Center, as speaking at a UN conference on space-based disaster management in Beijing. According to China Daily, Pang urged the international space community to set up a system to give nations prone to disasters universal access to space-based technologies on disaster prevention.
India continues to set strong renewable targets
India is set to introduce an offshore wind policy targeting 1,000 megawatts by 2020 and is seeking advice from the European Union that leads the world in offshore wind power, according to Bloomberg. The Ministry of new and renewable energy will seek cabinet approval for the policy shortly. The ministry also came out with a draft scheme that envisages establishment of 25 solar parks in the next five years with a capacity ranging 500-1,000 MW - an addition of 20,000 MW.
Renewable policies should focus on technologies
Countries should follow China's lead and boost markets for water, wind and solar power technologies to drive down costs, according to an article published by Nature. The main driver has been market expansion. As the scale of manufacture and use of renewables rises, market forces will make renewables more accessible, affordable and efficient. Energy policies should therefore focus on promoting manufacturing, trade and competition in low-carbon technologies.
Renewables to play key role in climate talks
Renewable energy is increasingly taking center stage in the climate discussion, says a new IRENA report and underlines that renewables must be part of any solution to avoid catastrophic climate change. The issues highlighted in the report will be of central importance at the upcoming UN climate summit in New York later this month, but especially at the Paris climate conference in December 2015 - with expectations that the outcome will define global climate efforts in the future.
India's renewables to get financing more quickly
India's biggest power trader and one of the nation's largest lenders to electric utilities have agreed to jointly finance renewable energy projects - allowing these projects to raise financing more quickly and hasten the industry's growth, writes Bloomberg New Energy Finance. A lack of affordable debt is one of the biggest constraints cited by developers in India. India's 20 gigawatts of wind and solar capacity is dwarfed by China, with more than 100 gigawatts.
IEA urges capturing benefits of energy efficiency
Energy efficiency is a key tool for boosting economic and social development, according to a new IEA report. The benefits of energy efficiency go well beyond the simple scaling back of energy demand, the report says and calls on governments to invest more resources to harness them. For instance, the report lays out the case for governments to improve understanding of their role to facilitate policy design that maximizes the benefits prioritized by each country.
World needs water goal, integration with energy
The 2014 World Water Week, focusing on energy and water, closed on Friday with participants jointly emphasizing the importance of a water goal, as well as intimate integration of energy and water in the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda. The week also concluded that water efficiency is one of the main tools in combating poverty and hunger. But sectors must move from "silo thinking" to an integrated approach by breaking barriers between them and use synergies to their full potential.
Partnerships help SIDS ensure sustainable future
Nearly 300 partnerships between governments, businesses and civil society organizations from all over the world have been registered this week at a UN conference to support small island developing states (SIDS). These partnerships - bringing the total value of commitments to over USD1.9 billion - seek to boost the capacity of these countries to achieve sustainable development by tackling such issues as climate change, environmental protection and access to energy.
Offshore wind capacity to grow five-fold by 2020
Global offshore wind capacity increased from 0.9 gigawatts (GW) in 2006 to 7.1 GW in 2013 at a annual growth rate of 33.9 percent, shows a new report from GlobalData. With an increasing number of countries exploiting offshore wind potential, the sector's capacity is expected to increase to 39.9 GW in 2020 at a growth rate of 28 percent. The UK, Germany and China will be major offshore wind power drivers, with several projects currently in the development stages.
Business taking lead on water-energy-food nexus
Managing inter-linkages between water resources, energy production and food security is critical to global sustainability. Businesses can take the lead in creating sustainable solutions within the water-energy-food nexus, shows a new report released by REEEP. But governments must do more to help small businesses benefit from the value added of integrated thinking about water, energy, and food, says the study that focuses on the food-producing agriculture sector.
Indian farmers to set up small solar power plants
Karnataka - a state in South West India - has launched a scheme that allows farmers to set up small solar plants for water pumping in their farms and sell electricity at fixed price, writes Business Standard. The farmers would get subsidy up to 90 percent and hope to get 10,000 pumpsets. In addition to pumping water for their fields, the farmers will get electricity where it is not available. India's government has allocated 100,000 pumpsets to all the states.
Building green economy advances worldwide
Green economy policies are spreading worldwide at an increasing pace, with more than 65 countries now actively pursuing green economy policies and 48 of them taking steps to develop national green economy plans, said UNEP at the Green Economy Coalition's meeting in London. UNEP also released three new reports to guide countries interested in advancing their national green economy transitions. One of these outlines how indicators can be used to measure progress.
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