Paving the way for renewables in Central America
Central America is rich in renewable energy resources. However, the region is far from harvesting its enormous resources to their fullest potentials, according to a new report from the Worldwatch Institute. The study serves as a "roadmap of a roadmap," scoping the improvements needed to facilitate the transition to a sustainable energy system and establishing the necessary methodology and groundwork for comprehensive regional and national energy strategies.
Residential solar PV continues to near grid parity
Since second half of 2012, almost every country from seven monitored countries - including Brazil, Chile, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and California - has improved its grid parity according to the second Photovoltaic Grid Parity Monitor, published by Leonardo Energy and Eclareon. Improving has been caused by a reduction in the cost of PV systems, driven by lower equipment prices across the board and increased competition in emerging markets like Brazil, Chile or Mexico.
UN climate talks see progress towards new deal
The UN climate conference in Bonn ended on Friday after making concrete progress towards a new universal climate change agreement and on creating solutions to increase existing global action to deal with climate change, according to released statements. As a result of the constructive and flexible engagement amongst governments, nations now have a clearer idea of how to move to achieve demonstrable progress at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Poland later this year and beyond.
UK to stimulate offshore wind power investment
Britain this week announced the launch of a new offshore wind investment plan at a time when some are questioning its commitment to developing the industry, writes UPI. Britain has 3.3 gigawatts of offshore wind installed - more than the rest of the world put together - but it aims to get 18 gigawatts installed by 2020. To reach this goal, the government and industry are developing an offshore wind industrial strategy to be published this year.
Renewable investment shifts to developing countries
Global capacity across all renewable energy sectors increased in 2012. Investment in renewables significantly grew in developing countries while globally decreased due to reduced technology costs and policy instability in some industrialized countries. However, with USD244 billion 2012 was the second highest year ever for renewable energy investments, which total USD1.3 trillion since 2006, show two major reports.
Linked Open Data could boost climate action
The world's leading climate knowledge brokers gathered last weekend to exchange experiences and thoughts on Linked Open Data (LOD) and how it could be a useful technology to accelerate climate change adaptation and mitigation. A strong focus on what the target users, often policy-makers or advisers, really need and want is the key. It was also agreed that proofing impact is a major requirement to access the funds available.
Breakthrough in electrical storage systems needed
Many of the medium and long-term renewable energy targets are impossible to achieve without a fundamental breakthrough in electrical storage technology, writes Leonardo Energy. The main hopes lie with hydrogen stored in the natural gas network and on innovative electrochemical battery technologies. In addition to compensating the variable output of renewable energy, these would lead to more stable electricity prices and make the entire system highly robust against blackouts.
IEA calls for intensive climate action before 2020
Warning that the world is not on track to limit the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, the International Energy Agency today urged governments to swiftly enact four energy policies that would keep climate goals alive without harming economic growth. The IEA report shows how to stop growth in energy-related emissions by 2020 at no net economic cost. Delaying the move would result in substantial additional costs to the energy sector.
EU internal energy market - a step closer to action
European energy ministers took stock of the conclusions adopted at the European Council, with regard to the internal energy market, energy efficiency, interconnections and the diversification of energy sources. The conclusions, adopted at their meeting on Friday, will help bring the rhetoric on the internal energy market a significant step closer to actions. It also is a signal from energy ministers to all market actors to accelerate their work on completing the internal energy market.
China becoming global force in renewable investment
China ranks first in the world in attracting clean energy investment, receiving USD65.1 billion in 2012. The country is also becoming a global force in international clean energy investment, writes WRI Insights. "If current trends and drivers are any indication, China's renewable energy investments will continue to grow over the coming years. If accelerated and scaled, these investments can substantially contribute to building a global, low-carbon economy," the article says.
MENA renewables to experience massive growth
The renewable energy markets of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are growing rapidly. Regional investment topped USD2.9 billion in 2012, up 40 percent from 2011, according to a new report. More than 100 projects (7.5 gigawatts) were in the pipeline presenting a 4.5 fold capacity increase in the next few years. However, several challenges need to be addressed to foster greater private investment - including market-based policies, financial uncertainty, and policy risk.
UN panel smoothes path for African CO2 reduction
Developers of emission reduction projects in ten African nations face less red tape to earn carbon credits after a UN panel agreed rule changes it hopes will re-invigorate its ailing carbon market, writes Reuters Point Carbon. The panel of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has agreed the first two areas for which developers could share greenhouse gas data, simplifying rules that previously forced them to estimate emission figures for every project.
Clean energy champions in developing countries
At the Vienna Energy Forum, REEEP ran a two-day workshop with its project implementers. The innovative projects were successfully showcased - including energy and food, up-scaling of successful business models for renewable energy and energy efficiency and projects that address the provision and innovative use of reliable energy data. The projects, implemented in the difficult environments of developing countries, were praised as champions.
U.S. and Cambodia agree on green growth efforts
Cambodia and the U.S. have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on low emissions and climate resilient development in Cambodia, states the U.S. Embassy to Phnom Penh. Cambodia is the 19th country to sign an this kind of agreement with the United States. Cambodia has made significant progress in addressing climate change challenges. The MOU reaffirms the pivotal role that climate change plays in economic development.
Poland, Finland seek cleaner Baltic, renewables
Finland and Poland are looking to cooperate on cleaning up the Baltic Sea and renewable energy investments, Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen said as he met with Polish counterpart Donald Tusk this week in Gdansk, writes UPI. "More needs to be done to bring the sea back to environmental health and preserve fish stocks," he said. "Renewable energy and biofuels are areas where Finland is very strong and is very interested in investing in Poland."
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