Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
In 2010, for the third consecutive year, new wind power installations in the European Union will have roughly the same amount of electricity-generating capacity as newly built natural gas power plants, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).
About 10 gigawatts of new wind power capacity is expected to be added in 2010, which would boost total installed capacity to about 85 gigawatts, according to the trade organization.
Natural gas remains the EU’s leading source of generating electricity, producing about 119 gigawatts in 2007, according to industry data.
Tuesday, June 15th, 2010
The US wind power industry is facing huge problems that have led analysts to forecast a 60% drop in installations this year. This will be the first year since 2004 that the industry will not grow. The main reason for this set back is that we have nearly run out of high wind areas with easy access to transmission. This combined with extremely low prices for natural gas have led the industry back to the drawing board. (more…)
Thursday, May 27th, 2010
Whenever you suggest that renewables could one day supply a large proportion of our electricity, scores of people jump up to denounce it as a pipedream, a fantasy, a dangerous delusion. They insist that the energy resources don’t exist; that the technologies are inefficient; that they can’t be accommodated on the grid; that the variability of supply will cause constant blackouts.
I suspect that no amount of evidence will sway some of these people. There’s a large contingent which seems to hate renewables come what may. (more…)
Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
The enthusiasm is building — we’re just a few months from the U.S. launch of the first electric vehicles aimed at mainstream consumers. Nissan is touting the success of the registration program for its upcoming Leaf EV, boasting 13,000 orders for its vehicles.
It is hoped across the industry (and in Washington DC) that sales of EVs will revive the American auto industry. While Pike Research believes that sales of EVs will grow relatively quickly, EV sales would likely grow much higher if it weren’t for our relatively cheap gasoline.
China will be the global leader in EV sales, with more than a quarter million of EVs sold in 2015, according to our projections at Pike Research. Sales of EVs in Europe – even with fewer homes with convenient access to home charging – are expected to outpace the American market.
Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
Today, President Obama visited Solyndra, Inc. in Fremont California – a solar panel manufacturer that is building a new facility (and creating new jobs) thanks to funding from the Recovery Act. So far, construction of the new facility has created over 3,000 construction-related jobs and the new factory could create up to 1,000 long-term new jobs. And this is just one of countless stories that together account for the up to 2.8 million jobs the Recovery Act is responsible for by the CBO’s count. (more…)
Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
What a difference the pond makes.
The E.U. passed strict energy efficiency regulations last week, requiring all new buildings constructed in Europe after 2020 to be virtually carbon-neutral. The goal, according to Reuters, is to reduce the 36% of GHG emissions attributable to Europe’s building stock:
“With buildings accounting for 36 percent of the EU’s greenhouse gases, improving their energy efficiency is also crucial for meeting the EU’s climate change goals,” said Turmes.
Contrast this approach to a recent veto by Wisconsin’s governor of a bill aimed at making a percentage of public buildings green. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported:
Monday, May 24th, 2010
Cars promise mobility, and in a largely rural setting they provide it. But in an urbanizing world, where more than half of us live in cities, there is an inherent conflict between the automobile and the city. After a point, as their numbers multiply, automobiles provide not mobility but immobility, as well as increased air pollution and the health problems that come with it. Urban transport systems based on a combination of rail lines, bus lines, bicycle pathways, and pedestrian walkways offer the best of all possible worlds in providing mobility, low-cost transportation, and a healthy urban environment.
Some of the most innovative public transportation systems, those that shift huge numbers of people from cars into buses, have been developed in Curitiba, Brazil, and Bogotá, Colombia. The success of Bogotá’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, TransMilenio, which uses special express lanes to move people quickly through the city, is being replicated not only in six other Colombian cities but in scores elsewhere too, including Mexico City, São Paulo, Hanoi, Seoul, Istanbul, and Quito. By 2012, Mexico City plans to have 10 BRT lines in place.
Monday, May 17th, 2010
According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, tax fraud is the carbon trading market’s most egregious form of cheating, affecting about seven percent of this $125 billion market in 2009.
In August 2009, seven people were arrested near London for not paying tax on the sale of carbon permits, for a total of £38 million (about U.S. $63 million). The taxes were levied as part of the European Union Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading System, created in January 2005 and based on Directive 2003/87/EC, which was enforced beginning Oct. 25, 2003.
Carbon emissions trading, or cap-and-trade, is a system whereby governments tell industry how much carbon dioxide a particular factory or operation can emit. If the factory or operation manages to emit less than the mandate allows, it can sell its excess on the open market, but either it or its designated seller is required to report the transaction and pay taxes on it, as on any financial gain. (more…)
Monday, May 17th, 2010
Germany, one of the more frequently discussed countries when it comes to investment in renewable energy projects through its highly touted feed-in-tariff, seeks to attract a new crop of young scientists to partner with German research institutions and corporations.
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is sponsoring a competition called “Green Talents: International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development.” They are seeking 15 outstanding scientists, 35 years of age or younger, in the following fields:
Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
The European Union has announced its plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and “de-carbonize” the energy sector, reducing the air pollution that iscontributing to chronic respiratory disease in millions of people.
Yet within the Industrial Emission Directive (IED) , which underwent a second reading in the European Parliament in late April, it appears that some discussions are leaning in favor of emissions-emitting industry interests over public health and the fight against climate change.
In 2001, the E.U. Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD) was redesigned to gradually limit emissions from facilities such as coal-fired power plants. Yet even though these facilities have had 15 years to get ready to comply with a tougher nitrogen oxide emission limit value starting in 2016, some E.U. countries and their power companies are pushing for more time. (more…)