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.
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.
EU ministers set out timetable for ETS reform
Energy and environment ministers from nine EU member states have signed a joint statement on reforming the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS). The statement sets out clear direction and deadlines on next steps including calls for governments and MEPs to come to a resolution to backloading proposals by July this year at the latest. European Commission's task is to produce a legislative proposal to deliver proper structural reform by the end of this year at the latest.
EU engine for growth needs planning security
European the 'green revolution' somehow doesn't seem to be getting off the ground because of the financial sector is in turmoil and investors do not have enough long-term planning security, writes DW. Political leaders need to set up the legal parameters and financial incentives in a way that creates opportunities for sustainable investment. New jobs will only come once the economy picks up, says the article "The 'green economy' as an engine for growth".
EU adopts new strategy for green infrastructure
The European Commission adopted today a new strategy for encouraging the use of green infrastructure, and for ensuring that the enhancement of natural processes becomes a systematic part of spatial planning. Green infrastructure like green roofs, parks and greenways contribute to human health, help address social problems, save energy and ease water run-off. Better planning also contributes to more efficient mobility and building-policy.
UK bank and Masdar form investment alliance
The UK Green Investment Bank and Masdar, Abu Dhabi's state-backed renewable energy company, are signing a Memorandum of Understanding today to explore project investment opportunities in the UK's clean energy sector. The deal will be worth around USD1.5 billion and will cover a range of green infrastructure projects over the next seven years, UK media reports. This new alliance is expected to unlock the potential for further investment.
Share of renewables grows in all EU countries
During the period 2004-2011, the share of renewable energy in final energy consumption grew in all EU member states. Between 2010 and 2011, almost all states increased their share of renewable energy, according to Eurostat. In 2011, twenty of the 27 member states were on track towards their 2020 target. But the indicative trajectory grows steeper towards the end. More efforts will still be needed in order to reach the 2020 targets. Estonia was the first to exceed its 2020 target.
European renewable projects gain investor appeal
Renewable energy production and infrastructure are gaining investor appeal as they become less dependent on government support in more European markets, said insurer Allianz, writes Reuters. The market is also becoming bigger and more comfortable for institutional investors. Further advantages of a move to green systems were the decoupling from rising global fuel costs and proven viability of the new technologies, which ensured long-term cash flows.
EU faces energy policy vacuum after 2020
EU ministers meeting in Dublin stood far apart on what energy and environment policy could follow a set of 2020 targets, with a binding legal deal unlikely before 2015, writes Reuters. The European Commission has outlined possible 2030 goals. But agreement will take time because of European Parliament elections and a new set of commissioners who will take office next year. However, binding legal decisions on 2030 goals are expected in 2015 at the latest.
Europe must act on encouraging green growth
In a broad ranging discussion on the green economy, the EU environment ministers have highlighted the important growth opportunities arising if Europe successfully transitions to a low carbon, climate resilient and resource efficient economy. "If the EU is to compete effectively in the global marketplace it must prioritize action on encouraging green growth," said Irish Environment Minister Phil Hogan, who chaired the two-day meeting in Dublin.
EP rejects "backloading", work on deal continues
The European Parliament today voted against on a Commission's proposal to postpone (back-load) the auctioning of EU ETS allowances from the years 2013-2015 until 2019-2020. This measure was aimed at rebalancing supply and demand and reducing price volatility. The proposal will now go back to the Parliament's Environment Committee for further consideration. Irish Presidency reacted today to urgently pursue and conclude discussions among member states.
Results of EU energy efficiency projects accessible
A EU-wide database provides information on success stories relating to energy efficiency and renewables in buildings and districts. The database, presented by the EU CONCERTO initiative, includes major construction and retrofitting projects in 58 European municipalities and communities. In addition to overview of the technologies used in projects, the results include highly usable indicators such as CO2 avoidance costs and amortization periods.
Strengthening the course for a bio-based economy
The major gathering of world biomass experts - the annual European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (EU BC&E) - will take place this year at the beginning of June in Copenhagen, Denmark. The event focuses on balanced solutions to common challenges such as efficiency of conversion from biomass to bioenergy, biofuel or bio-product that is of utmost importance in achieving both the greatest possible greenhouse gas savings and the best economic performance of a process.
First algae-powered building to open in Germany
An algae powered building will be opened later this month in Hamburg. The BIQ house is the world's first pilot project that demonstrates a bio-reactive facade for heating and cooling. At the same time, the system integrates additional functionality such as dynamic shading, thermal insulation and noise abatement, highlighting the full potential of this technology. It might become a sustainable solution for energy production in urban areas.
Changing behaviour to result in big energy savings
Up to 20 percent of the energy European households currently consume can be saved through changing behaviour, according to a report of the European Environment Agency (EEA) that reviews recent studies on behaviour change and energy use. To complement the report's findings, the EEA would like to know the opinions of energy users on proposed measures to facilitate a reduction in energy use by households. For that, the EEA launches an online call.
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