30 September 2014

World solar power calls for credible policies

The sun could be the world's largest source of electricity by 2050, ahead of fossil fuels, wind, hydro and nuclear, according to a pair of IEA reports. But clear, credible and consistent signals from policy makers are needed to lower deployment risks to investors and inspire confidence. Solar PV and CSP are very capital intensive thus lowering the cost of capital is of primary importance. Each publication offers a set of key actions for policy makers for the next five years.

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28 September 2014

Interaction - an opportunity for solar PV actors

The retail price of PV electricity is now the same or lower than the retail price of traditional electricity price for 79 percent of the EU population. This gives the PV industry an opportunity to broaden the scope of its research and production activities linked to energy storage, smart grids and building integration, according to a JRC analysis presented during a major solar PV conference in Netherlands. Speakers emphasized the importance of interaction that also brings together policy, finance as well as social aspects.

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26 September 2014

Biomass plays major role in doubling renewables

Biomass makes up 10 percent of world's primary energy supply today. A IRENA report says that it also has an auspicious future in the supply of renewable energy. Modern, sustainable biomass technologies play a major role in efforts to double the share of renewables in the global energy mix. If all the technology options are deployed, total biomass demand could reach a 20 percent share of the total primary energy supply and 60 percent of total global renewable energy use.

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25 September 2014

German offshore wind attracts new investment

Germany's offshore wind parks are attracting fresh money after laws were passed to ensure ambitious renewables targets are met, writes Reuters. Offshore wind start-up costs are high, but thanks to guaranteed feed-in tariffs over a period of eight years returns are better than for solar and onshore wind power. However, risks include construction process at sea and also output is a worry. But falling costs and a stable regulatory could persuade risk-averse players to enter the sector.

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24 September 2014

China pledges to cap its emissions at UN summit

After the protests, speeches and corporate pledges, world leaders ended the UN climate summit facing as tough a slog as ever to get a global deal, writes Bloomberg. China said it would cap emissions. Previously, it had promised only to reduce rate of emissions. The U.S. and China showed they are ready to act. France pledged USD1 billion to the Green Climate Fund - a similar pledge than Germany. More than 1,000 corporate leaders signed on to support a tax or cap on carbon.

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23 September 2014

Philanthropies shift investments to clean energy

The Rockefellers and other philanthropies and high-wealth individuals on Monday announced pledges to divest a total of USD50 billion from fossil fuel investments and shift into clean energy, writes Reuters. The Global Divest-Invest coalition announced the new pledges and members one day before the UN climate conference in New York. Since the movement launched three years ago, it now consists of some 650 individuals and 180 institutions, including 50 new foundations.

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20 September 2014

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.

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19 September 2014

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.

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17 September 2014

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.

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16 September 2014

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.

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14 September 2014

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.

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12 September 2014

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.

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11 September 2014

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.

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10 September 2014

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.

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9 September 2014

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.

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