Monthly Archives: February 2013

Greentech News for the week ending 24 Feb 2013

The bioethanol market got caught up in transatlantic trade tensions as the EU imposed a 5 year tariff on bioethanol imports from the US.

UK prime minister David Cameron underlined his support for green technology on a trade visit to India.

The Scottish parliment aproved plans for a 96 tubine wind farm for Wigtownshire.

The Canadian government announced that it would be ending subsidies for the production of biofuels in 2017 as part of planned cuts aimed at reducing the government deficit.

Principal Power announced official partners for the WindFloat Pacific Demonstration Project.

Hundreds of thousands of Scheuten-manufactured solar modules were declared a fire risk by the Dutch Food and Goods Authority.

Greentech News for the week ending 17 Feb 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama gave Congress an ultimatum on climate change. Come up with a plan to reduce greenhouse emissions or the White House will do it on it’s own.

A British company that produces coloured glass capable of generating electricity announced a £2m funding boost.

Indian utility company West Bengal State Electricity Development Corporation (WBSEDCL) announced that it would be focusing on hydro power instead of coal.

A row broke out between electric sports car manufacture Tesla and the NY Times with the car maker claiming the paper faked battery problems on a test drive.

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Investing in renewable energy makes economic sense

Sceptics who claim that there is no need to invest in renewable energy sources because the link between human activity and Global Warming is disputed weren’t paying attention in Economics 101. Whether or not you believe that CO2 emissions have a part to play in the warming of the Earth there is sound economic rationale for making the investment. (For the record we think that there is a link between greenhouse gases and Global Warming but that is another post…)

Not even the most ardent supporter of fossil fuels can dispute the fact that oil, coal and gas are all subject to a finite supply. It is true that improvements in engine efficiency can extend the length of time that our reserves will last. New oil and gas fields continue to be discovered and new extraction techniques are being developed that can tap previously uneconomic supplies. However there is no getting away from the fact that the supply of fossil fuels is limited and one day they are going to run out. At the same time the demand side of the equation continues to increase due to population growth and industrialisation in developing countries. Any high school economics student can tell you that increasing demand coupled with a restricted supply will lead to higher prices.

Renewable energy sources are as the name suggests unlimited in their supply. Sunlight, wind and tidal energy will be a feature of life on Earth for longer than humans are likely to be. Technological advances continue to improve the amount of energy that can be derived from solar, wind and hydropower. Improved efficiency and an unlimited supply will result in lower prices.

With the price of carbon based fuel climbing ever higher at the same time that the cost of producing energy from renewable sources is falling there will inevitably come a time that energy from fossil fuels is more expensive to produce than that from renewable sources. That day may not be too far away. Already in Australia the cost of producing electricity from solar power has fallen bellow new oil and gas based production. It is only a matter of time before this trend is replicated on a global scale.

We have a choice. We can battle rising prices and continue to invest old fossil fuel based technology or we can make the leap and reap the potential benefits offered by renewable energy. It is a similar choice to that faced by the automotive industry. Those carmakers that invested in new production techniques saw costs fall and productivity increase and they became leaders in their field. Those manufactures that remained wedded to old outdated production methods found that they could not compete and they failed.

Greentech News for the week ending 10 Feb 2013

Nepal – The 456-MW Upper Tamakoshi Hydro power station appointed (CIT) to float shares within the current fiscal year.

The UK government approved a large onshore windfarm for Lincolnshire.

Electricity production from Spanish wind mills topped that of nuclear, coal and solar for the first time.

Unsubsidised renewable energy in Australia passed a significant milestone to become cheaper than electricity from new-build coal and gas power stations.

 

Greentech News for the week ending 3 Feb 2013

This weeks round-up of greentech news

The UK govenment launched the Green Deal scheme which will provide loans to homeowners to help make their homes more energy efficient

The French government introduced a new law that will require businesses to turn off lights at night

Two wind turbines in the UK collapsed in strong winds raising concerns about safety

Saudi Arabia completed a 3.5 MW photovoltaic plant as part of it’s goal of sourcing one third of it’s energy requirements from the sun by 2032

And NASA announced plans to launch a giant solar sail next year to demonstrate  propellantless propulsion

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