The vanishing veneer of frozen ocean isn’t just important for polar bears. The Arctic has seen better years than 2012. Its sea ice melted to an all-time low this summer, and by fall it was 18 percent smaller than at any point in recorded history. As U.S. scientists noted in their annual Arctic Report Card, the region’s sea ice is now “a younger, thinner version of its old self” — and that’s not as flattering as it sounds.
The trucks that ply the rough road to the Murum dam under construction in Malaysia’s Sarawak state kick up clouds of dust that obscure the trail and make driving treacherous. Within an hour, at least 40 of them go by, laden with freshly cut timber. The dam on a tributary of the Rajang river is just the start of a staggeringly ambitious plan to block many of the state’s major waterways by 2020 to tap cheap energy and turn one of Malaysia’s poorest states into a Southeast Asian industrial and energy hub.
Six years ago Dutchman Ruben Beugels was on an Amsterdam tram that broke down, leaving him stuck in an out-of-the way place, and late for an appointment when he couldn’t quickly find another means of transport.
“I was very frustrated at being late, and it was then that I thought, hey a scooter would be able to get me to my meeting on time,” said Beugels, founder of Hopper, Europe’s first electric taxi scooter service, which will debut in Amsterdam on Monday.
Stung by concerns that using Google is bad for the planet, the Internet search giant has revealed exactly how much electricity the company uses and how much greenhouse gases it produces in an effort to show its business model is environmentally friendly.
Renewable energy developers will take Bulgaria’s energy regulator to court and alert Brussels over what they called “illegal” new fees on wind and solar installations that will deal a heavy blow to the sector, they said on Wednesday.
Japan will aim to create a $628 billion green energy market by 2020 through deregulation and subsidies to promote development of renewable energy and low-emission cars, a draft of the government’s growth strategy showed.
The government will also work with the Bank of Japan to ensure the country exits deflation and achieves stable price growth, according to the draft obtained by Reuters on Tuesday.
In a bid to encourage green technology, Bangladesh is set to unveil solar powered lights on one selected street and install solar powered traffic lights at intersections in the capital. The measures are still unusual for Bangladesh, where only 45 percent of its more than 150 million people have access to electricity. Most still depend on kerosene and wood for their daily energy needs.
Any German politicians hoping private equity investors will cough up some of the billions needed to finance the shift to green energy should probably think again, if comments at an industry conference on Wednesday are anything to go by. Speakers at the conference said renewable energy projects, vital if Germany is to achieve its goal of a sustainable shift away from nuclear power, were too bound by red tape to be an attractive destination for the huge sums which private equity firms allocate.
The solar and wind-power equipment business is in a development phase that, like the car industry of the 1900s, is leading to a slump in numbers of manufacturers before it can mature, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
“In 1903, the United States had over 500 car companies, most of which quickly fell by the wayside even as the automobile sector grew into an industrial juggernaut,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Liebreich said in a statement accompanying the release of two reports today based on data compiled by BNEF.
Europe must agree 2030 milestones as soon as possible to spur investment in renewable energy, or green power growth will fizzle once firm policy runs out in 2020, the European Commission said on Wednesday in its latest strategy statement.
Many in the renewable energy sector agree there is a need for strong guidance, but they want binding targets, rather than vague aims. At the other extreme, some of the 27 member states are strongly opposed to legal goals for renewables.
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