IRENA demystifies renewable energy costs
The lack of up-to-date, accurate and reliable data on cost and performance was often seen as a barrier to the uptake of renewable energy technologies. A new web portal developed by International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) ensures that this will not be the case in the future and the debate about the role of renewable energy technologies in the energy sector can be based on the facts. The unique portal dedicated to renewable energy cost analysis provides access to data and analysis at no cost to users.
UK power producer opens coal-to-biomass plant
Britain's coal-fired power producer Drax opened its coal-to-biomass conversion plant on Monday as part of a 700 million pound (USD1.1 billion) project to clean up emissions from the country's biggest coal power station, writes Reuters. The biomass conversion will see three of the six generating units at the power station converted to burn wood pellets. Each converted unit will provide enough renewable electricity to meet the annual needs of over one million homes.
U.S. solar industry on course for full-year record
Developers installed 930 megawatts of photovoltaic solar capacity in the United States during the third quarter and are on pace to almost double that, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, writes Bloomberg. Total installed solar power grew 35 percent from last year. A capacity of 1.83 gigawatts is expected to be installed this quarter, putting the country on pace to reach 4.27 gigawatts for this year that will be a record year for the U.S. solar industry.
Latin American nations to open electricity markets
Extensive policy initiatives have been drafted and efforts made across several Latin American countries to enhance the security of the electricity supply and boost economic growth through opening electricity markets for competition, writes GWEC Newsletter. For example, Mexico will open the energy sector for private investment, aligned with a greater share of renewables in the energy mix. Brazil's opening for wind power could serve as an excellent reference.
Transforming sea waves efficiently into energy
A prototype developed by European consortium "snaps" energy out of the rise and fall of the swell, allowing for efficient extraction of energy. With a generator that is relatively small, light and cheap, the prototype is designed to be environmentally friendly. During the project, a solution to connect it to an electrical distribution grid was also elaborated. The project consortium is capable of taking the project concept forward to market.
Global fuel cell market to undergo massive growth
The use of stationary fuel cells is expected to increase significantly in several applications. Installations will increase manifold and the global market is forecast to grow at an annual rate of near 45 percent by 2020. The cost of fuel cell systems would fall by at least half, says a report from GlobalData. Drivers behind this development are increasing interest in fuel cell technology and the help of governmental subsidy programs.
Canadian fund to invest in Indian renewables
One of the world's largest pension fund that managers with over USD175 billion in assets has put India on its priority list for infrastructure investments, preferring the country over China for long-term core sector bets, writes The Economic Times. The Quebec-based Caisse De Depot fund is also interested in investing in India's renewable energy, for example in wind power, but wants to ascertain if there is good quality data about past wind conditions in such projects.
Tackling solar's big challenge - soaring soft costs
The non-hardware "soft costs" of a solar energy system now account for up to 64 percent of the total price of installing residential solar energy systems in the United States, says a EERE blog article. These costs stand as the greatest barrier to deploying more residential solar energy systems throughout the country. The Energy Department's SunShot Initiative is working to lower soft costs in order to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources by 2020.
Green energy groups say EU lacks climate ambition
EU policymakers have bowed to industry concerns about the cost of environment policy without even exploring the potential for deeper emissions cuts, green energy groups said in a letter to the European Commission, writes Reuters. The policy document in January is likely to settle on a carbon-cutting goal of 40 percent, but the letter says a greenhouse gas reduction scenario of more than 45 percent to be inexplicable. Many stakeholders call for a reduction of 50 percent or more.
Renewable sources can soon provide stable power
A three-year research project shows that a Germany-wide power grid could be stably operated even if it were fed only with electricity from renewable sources. The project also demonstrated that solar, wind, and biogas power plants can contribute to system stability if they are connected with one another to form an intelligently controlled power plant. Balancing the fluctuations caused by wind and solar power may soon be solved.
Small-wind power to experience strong growth
With growing incentives announced by various governments and larger end-user awareness, the global small-wind power market is expected to grow almost five-fold to USD3 billion and capacity more than six-fold to 4.6 gigawatts by 2020, according to a new report from GlobalData. Streamlining the permitting process will be crucial towards ensuring that the growth of wind installation is not hampered by administrative issues.
Building energy resilience in Central Asia
Tajikistan is one of the least developed countries in Central Asia. Two-thirds of the population live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for livelihoods but the productivity remains low, partly due to energy shortages. The World Bank has started to help the Government of Tajikistan to move towards secure and sustainable energy that is a key requirement for country's future development. After completion of this task, the Bank will focus on regional studies.
China launches pilot carbon trading schemes
China launched today a new pilot carbon trading scheme in Beijing and will launch new scheme in Shanghai on Thursday. China's most populous and heavily industrialized Guangdong province is to launch a carbon trading next month. This will be the world's second biggest scheme after the European Union, writes Reuters. The schemes belong to the seven pilot markets that generate experience for a national trading scheme later in this decade.
Rusnano to invest in new renewable solutions
Rusnano - one of Russia's largest high tech investors - wants to actively buy into new renewable energy projects and is negotiating terms with a number of potential partners, writes Marchmont Innovation News. Rusnano is primarily interested in joining projects developing new solutions for solar and wind energy. The investor will be able to at least double the capacity of its renewable energy assets - talking about dozens of billions of rubles.
UN talks step towards global 2015 climate deal
Governments at UN climate talks in Warsaw agreed that a new deal in 2015 would consist of a patchwork of national offers to curb emissions, and would blur a 20-year-old distinction between the obligations of rich and poor nations, writes Reuters. The two-week meeting also set up a new Warsaw International Mechanism to help the poor cope with loss and damage from climate change - although rich nations refused to pledge new cash.
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