Monthly Archives: February 2008
The world’s largest solar farm has opened in Jumilla, a wine-growing region in southern Spain. The solar farm has 120,000 solar panels covering about 100 hectares. It has a peak capacity of 20 megawatts and is capable of producing sufficient energy to power 20,000 homes. Renewable energy currently accounts for about 7% of total power production in Spain. This will rise to 10% in 2010 and more than 20% by 2020. Meanwhile, in the United States, plans for 59 coal-fired power stations have been abandoned and many more are in doubt. Last year, the US Department of Energy listed 151 … Continue Reading
February 13th, 2008 At a United Nations climate change meeting on Monday, Sir Richard Branson, head of the Virgin Group, called for a "war room" to co-ordinate the work of scientists, engineers, government agencies and other groups. He likened the effort need to to slow global warming to the intensive research projects of the second World War which produced radar, early computing equipment for code-breaking and the atomic bomb. He pointed out that there was no shortage of ideas about how to tackle the world’s problems but there was no co-ordination. "In a war situation, you literally have a war … Continue Reading
The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki’Moon, has described the world as being on the threshold of the "age of green economics". He said that, if global investment in green energy rises to the projected $us1.9 trillion by 2020, the transformation will rival the industrial and technology revolutions of the past two centuries. "Businesspeople in so many parts of the world are demanding clear and consistent policies on climate change — global policies for a global problem," he said But added that "Operating effectively in today’s world requires partnership. It requires co-operation, engagement and dialogue — as well as global rules."
The rapid increase in the number of renewable power generators, particularly wind and solar, in the United Sates is creating a serious shortage of technicians – a situation which is expected to get much worse. Last year, almost 3,200 wind turbines were installed in the U.S. – boosting the nation’s wind enegy capacity by 45%. But wind power still accounts for only 1 percent of the U.S. electricity supply and the growth surge is expected to continue. However, an increasingly significant limiting factor is the number of technicians available to service the turbines. At its current rate of growth, with … Continue Reading
The U.S., Brazil and the European Union have released an analysis of current biofuel standards with the aim of establishing common standards. Such standards are considered critical for the world biofuel market to develop. Between them the three groups have sixteen different standards for the composition of ethanol and biodiesel. Reaching common standards will facilitate international trade in biofuels. It is hoped that other significant producers, such as China, India and South Africa, will also adopt the standards. Currently, Brazil, which is the largest exporter of ethanol, requires up to 25 percent ethanol with all petrol sold and the European … Continue Reading