29 July 2014

China, South Korea tighten environmental cooperation

Agencies from China and South Korea have signed a strategic cooperation agreement to establish a support system for energy conservation and environmental protection, writes China.org.cn. The countries will promote the establishment of ecological parks and a Sino-Korean business cooperation base. Companies from South Korea will have access to more opportunities in the Chinese environmental market that demands more advanced technologies.

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28 July 2014

Peru creates base for low-emissions development

A Peruvian project has identified more than 70 options to mitigate climate change so that Peru adopts a low-emissions development path, says an article published by CDKN Global. Some of the benefits for the country include new investments, increase of GDP, better competitiveness, contribution to emissions reduction, greater energy security, high value forests, and improved quality of life. The project also generated active links among private, public and civil society actors.

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26 July 2014

Saudi Arabia to develop strong solar sector

The Kingdom has confirmed its commitment to allocate over USD109 billion of investment to develop a strong renewable energy sector by 2032, according to an article published by Arab News. Renewable energy should contribute 20-23 percent of the country's energy needs. Saudi renewable energy investors and project holders are instructed to invest in and conduct business with viable solar businesses around the globe, the article says, referring to energy industry sources.

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25 July 2014

UK model ensures sustainable use of biomass

A scientific model, launched by UK Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), investigates the impact on carbon emissions of biomass. The model can be used by developers to help make sure they are sourcing their biomass responsibly. The calculator takes account of changes in the amount of carbon stored in forests over the lifetime of a biomass project - giving new information about which biomass resources are likely to have higher or lower carbon intensities.

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24 July 2014

EU sets realistic 2030 energy efficiency target

The EU Commission has proposed 30 percent energy savings goal for 2030. The ambitious but realistic target builds on the achievements reached. "The energy efficiency strategy will complete the 2030 framework on energy and climate which has been presented in January 2014," said Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger. "Our aim is to give the right signal to the market and encourage further investments in energy saving technologies to the benefit of businesses, consumers and the environment."

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23 July 2014

Japan to get smaller geothermal power plants

Orix Corporation, a Tokyo-based finance and leasing company, plans to build 15 geothermal power stations in Japan in the next five years, writes Bloomberg. The company will focus on smaller plants of about 2 megawatts as these are exempt from environmental impact assessments and can be set up more quickly than larger plants. According to Nikkei Asian Review, while the power generated at smaller plants often costs more than that from larger ones, their shorter construction times raise profitability.

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22 July 2014

New technique to lower cost of advanced biofuels

Swiss scientists have developed a method for streamlining advanced biofuel production. Instead of using genetic engineering to create superior micro-organisms that enhance fermentation, they have managed to achieve analogous results purely through chemical engineering. Yields are around 80 percent converting pure cellulose into ethanol. The researchers anticipate that the new process will be compatible with existing facilities and aim within 3-5 years to establish an industrial pilot.

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21 July 2014

India to speed up wind power capacity addition

In a move that will boost the wind power market in India, finance minister Arun Jaitley has said that the Accelerated Depreciation Scheme would be restored for the wind industry, writes The Times of India. Under the scheme, companies which put up windmills can write off 80 percent of the project costs as depreciation in the first year of putting up the windmill, and thus save taxes. The scheme was withdrawn in 2012, leading to a major fall in capacity additions.

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18 July 2014

Germany wins "World Cup" of energy efficiency

Germany comes in first in a new energy efficiency ranking of the world's major economies, followed by Italy, the European Union as a whole, China, and France, according to a report published by the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The U.S. places 13th out of 16 economies. The report asks: how can the U.S. compete in a global economy? The report gives recommendations for the U.S. to increase energy efficiency.

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17 July 2014

China lags behind its offshore wind target

In 2011, China set out an ambitious plan to build 5 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity in four years. With less than 10 percent of that capacity in place, officials say they won't meet that goal, writes Bloomberg. China is cautious on offshore wind because it is more risky and costly than onshore that rivals the cost of coal or natural-gas fired plants. Offshore wind also is insignificant compared to China's onshore wind capacity of 77 GW and the plan to install an additional 18 GW this year.

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16 July 2014

UK gives consent to large offshore wind farm

The British government on Wednesday approved the construction of utility E.ON's 700-megawatt offshore wind farm off the coast of Sussex. Construction will start next year and the 2 billion pound (USD3.4 billion) project is expected to start producing electricity in 2018/2019. It could generate more than 2,100 gigawatt hours of electricity each year - enough to power around 450,000 homes. To go ahead, developers will need to make a final investment decision.

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15 July 2014

Clean energy investment gaining momentum

Global investment in clean energy increased to USD63.6 billion in the second quarter of 2014, swelling 9 percent from a year earlier, and 33 percent from the first quarter, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The investments were driven by a combination of big financings for large wind and solar projects and the installation of small-scale rooftop photovoltaics. BNEF expects this year will show a clear rebound in global investment in clean energy.

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14 July 2014

German energy act - a basis for future transition

German revamped legislation on funding renewable energy cleared final hurdle as Germany's upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, approved it on Friday, clearing the way for the law to come into force on 1 August 2014, writes Reuters. The far-reaching renewable energy act (EEG) seeks to cap support payments for renewables without jeopardizing the country's shift towards a low carbon economy. The EEG reform gives framework for long-term energy transition plan.

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12 July 2014

China to boost foreign cooperation in environment

China has designated ecological and environmental protection as a key area in opening up to the outside world, said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in a message to the Eco Forum Global 2014, writes Xinhua. The country will continue to strengthen environmental cooperation with all other countries and international organizations by pressing for implementation of the international environmental pact and jointly addressing climate change. It also sticks to a protective approach in development.

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11 July 2014

Global biofuel output expansion to slow by 2023

Global biofuel output should expand in the period to 2023, mostly boosted by increasing demand, higher crude oil prices and government policies, but the rise should be lower than in the past decade, according to the FAO and OECD, writes Reuters. The debate has heightened over the benefits of conventional biofuels in recent years. For example, the U.S. requires increasing blending of advanced biofuels made from sources such as grasses, trees and crop waste.

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