U.S. energy-storage systems may get tax credits
Four U.S. Senators have proposed legislation offering tax incentives to homeowners and companies that install energy-storage systems in an effort to boost investment in renewable power, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Improving storage technologies and installing them will enable the use of solar and wind power, especially during peak hours of power usage, providing stability to the energy grid and lessening the need for high-cost peaking electricity.
Germany's Energiewende needs further action
Germany has successfully implemented a broad suite of robust energy policies across all sectors notably in energy efficiency and climate change, says IEA in its review of German energy policies. But further action is needed if Germany's energy transformation (Energiewende) is to maintain a balance between sustainability, affordability and competitiveness. In the report, IEA calls for cost reductions, investment in networks and closer regional co-operation.
IEA praises Finland's way to sustainable energy
The International Energy Agency praised Finland for its commitment to a sustainable energy future in a review launched today. The IEA recommended energy efficiency improvements in the transport sector and developing a regional gas market. Finland should also actively contribute to finding a mutually acceptable solution at an EU level regarding the discussion on sustainability criteria for biomass and the development of a robust certification scheme.
Promoting residential positive energy buildings
A new collaboration aiming to encourage the construction of one billion square meters of positive energy and affordable social housing by 2023 has been launched by the Global Buildings Performance Network (GBPN) and REEEP. The project's main challenge consists in reversing the mainstream trend around building performance by making buildings become net energy providers, instead of energy users, in all climates and for all consumers, rich and poor.
World microgrid market more robust, grows rapidly
As a sector microgrids are beginning to move into the mainstream, with a greater focus being placed on viable business models. The result is a much more robust microgrid market than just a few years ago, shows a new report from Navigant Research. The report's findings demonstrate the rapid growth in the sector. More than 480 microgrid projects are proposed, planned, under construction, or operating worldwide - representing nearly 3,800 megawatts of capacity.
Businesses urged to tackle disaster risk reduction
Large multinationals' dependencies on international supply chains, infrastructure and markets poses a systemic risk to "business as usual", according to a new report by the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and PwC. It marks a new initiative led by these organizations to link private sector businesses of all sizes in disaster planning - offering an assessment tool to help companies identify where their plans stand, and where gaps exist.
Arctic states present vision for future cooperation
Ministers from the eight Arctic states (Arctic Council) and representatives of the Arctic indigenous peoples have adopted a vision for future cooperation in the Arctic. The states also signed a new, legally-binding agreement on cooperation on marine oil pollution preparedness and response. China, Japan, South-Korea, India, Singapore, and Italy granted observer status. Between 2013-2015, a Circumpolar Business Forum will be established to provide new opportunities for business to engage with the Council.
World wind energy continues to power ahead
The global wind capacity reached 282 gigawatts (GW), out of which 44.6 GW (or 19 percent) were added in 2012, more than ever before, shows a new report from World Wind Energy Association (WWEA). The turbines installed by the end of 2012 can provide 580 terawatt hours (TWh) per annum, more than 3 percent of the global electricity demand. The WWEA expects a global capacity of more than 500 GW by the year 2016.
Solar cooker to bring quality of life for rural areas
A solar cooker that harnesses the sun's energy to cook food and purify water would significantly improve the quality of life for rural communities in the developing world. As well as heating food, the cooker is able to store heat and could generate electrical power for essential mobile communications or air conditioning. People in developing countries are at risk of illness every day because of their inability to heat food or purify drinking water effectively.
Cleantech - a key driver for Finnish economy
Cleantech was one of Finland's fastest-growing business sectors in 2012 - a year of economic downturn. Combined turnover for cleantech companies was EUR24.6 billion and annual growth 15 percent, shows a survey by Cleantech Finland. The companies expect strong growth also in 2013. The majority of cleantech companies get more than half of their turnover from abroad. In 2012, key export markets were Germany, China, Sweden, France and Russia.
New system guides Kenya on concrete climate action
A new system will enable Kenya to measure, report and verify mitigation actions, monitor and evaluate adaptation actions, and highlight the synergies between these actions. It will help inform and guide the Government on concrete climate change response actions, whether in the form of policies, projects, programs or business ventures. The system will also help the country fulfil its reporting obligations and provide a platform for attracting international finance.
China's smart grid deployment progressing rapidly
The development of a smart grid has become the major focus of power grid construction in China. With the support of the government-owned State Grid Corporation of China, as well as many provinces and cities, this effort is progressing rapidly, according to a recent report from Navigant Research. Annual revenue from smart grid deployments in China will reach USD15.4 billion by 2020. The strongest smart grid growth area will be transmission upgrades.
Carbon dioxide level reaches new milestone
Daily mean concentration of CO2 in the sub-tropical atmosphere of Mauna Loa, Hawaii, surpassed on Thursday 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time since 1958, said NOAA. Last year its all Arctic sites reached 400 ppm milestone. The Southern Hemisphere will follow during the next few years. Concentration has increased every year and the rate of increase has accelerated. CO2 needs to be below 350 ppm to keep the global warming below 2 degrees Celsius this century.
Scientists should be in the Arctic before businesses
Scientific stations should come to the Arctic before businesses begin encroaching. They must have enough time to protect polar areas from human influence, Arkady Tishkov, deputy director of the Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, told RIA Novosti. According to Tishkov, there are few real steps being undertaken in order to explore the Arctic. The most important thing is to promote scientific investigations.
World PV market to experience growth, changes
The world added more than 31 gigawatts (GW) of new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in 2012 - roughly the same amount as in the record setting year of 2011, shows a new EPIA report. Under a pessimistic business-as-usual scenario, the global annual market could reach 48 GW in 2017. Under a policy-driven scenario, it could be as high as 84 GW. The report also shows that Europe's leading role in driving the global PV market is coming to an end.
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