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U.N. chief welcomes announcements made in Climate Summit

U.N. chief welcomes announcements made in Climate Summit

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed bold new actions to addres...

Climate Summit sees intiatives and commitments

Climate Summit sees intiatives and commitments

Various bodies and entities on the Climate Summit in New York have announced the...

Climate Rally reaches 310,000 participants

Climate Rally reaches 310,000 participants

The number of people who joined the People’s Climate March this September 21 rea...

China takes big step in reducing ozone depleting gases

China takes big step in reducing ozone depleting gases

China has taken a big step towards reducing its hydrochlorfluorocarbons by closi...

Ozone layer on road to recovery – U.N.E.P., W.M.O.

Ozone layer on road to recovery – U.N.E.P., W.M.O.

The ozone layer is on the road to recovery, but unified action is still needed t...

Green vacation: Go on an eco-friendly safari

Green vacation: Go on an eco-friendly safari

The primary goal of modern-day eco-friendly African safaris is to lessen the ove...

Nepal, the Maldives, and Bhutan could lose around 2 percent G.D.P. due to climate change – A.D.B. report

Nepal, the Maldives, and Bhutan could lose around 2 percent G.D.P. due to climate change – A.D.B. report

Nepal, the Maldives, and Bhutan could be looking at economic losses of around 2 ...

Business

Technology

New oxygen-removing catalyst developed for better biofuel production

New oxygen-removing catalyst developed for better biofuel production

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Researchers from Washington State University have developed a new catalyst that can remove oxygen from plant-based materials for a more efficient biof...

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Politics

New Yorkers support renewables, opposes fracking – N.R.D.C. poll

New Yorkers support renewables, opposes fracking – N.R.D.C. poll

Sunday, 12 October 2014

A state-wide poll commissioned for the Natural Resources Defense Council reveals that New Yorkers oppose fracking and support clean, renewable energy....

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Living Green

Why saving chinchillas is important for saving the earth

Why saving chinchillas is important for saving the earth

Friday, 24 October 2014

Chinchillas make expensive pets and they are a long time commitment as well. They have a life span of around 15 to 20 years. Hence, people who adopt t...

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Renewables

World’s largest convention center solar array completed in Las Vegas

World’s largest convention center solar array completed in Las Vegas

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The world’s largest rooftop solar array on a convention center has been completed at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. NRG Energy, Inc....

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Low-Carbon

What needs to be injected In the core DNA of urbanity

What needs to be injected In the core DNA of urbanity

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Urbanization has taken an unprecedented upward turn in recent years. In 2007, half of the world’s population – around 3.6 billion people – lived in ur...

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Opinion

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Nutrition plays a critical role in everyone’s chance at a better future. Hunger, said Benjamin Franklin once, is the best pickle. Some say “pickle”...

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Emerging markets fertile ground for future clean technology innovation

While North America and Europe have taken the lead in the development and commercialization of clean technology startups, developing countries in the Asia Pacific region are poised to take a large slice of the clean technology innovation market.

This is based on the Cleantech Innovation Index, a report by the Cleantech Group and the W.W.F. which looked at 38 countries to determine which had the best conditions to produce entrepreneurial clean technology startup companies and commercialize clean technology over the next 10 years.

Denmark was found to be the home of a number of high-impact clean technology startups, with public support for research and development.

The world's largest economy, the United States, placed fifth in the overall index, topping the list for venture capital investment. The country was found lacking in strong governmental policies supportive of clean technology.

But currently, India and China rank 12th and 13th, respectively, in the index.

"These are two huge power markets that need the innovations and are giving birth to companies such as Suzlon and Suntech," said Richard Youngman, the Cleantech Group's managing director for Europe and Asia.

The two countries were cited as having the strong potential to rise through the ranks in the coming years due to supportive governments; large sums of private money ready to be invested; and massive domestic markets - traits they shared to some extent with top performer Denmark.

"The technology is not groundbreaking but the get-to-market deployment is impressive," added Mr. Youngman, speaking at a webinar held by Cleantech and the W.W.F. to discuss the report's findings.

Government support

Governments can indeed influence clean technology innovations by pushing R & D spending as well as putting in place favorable policies to help companies achieve competitiveness and facilitate the wider adoption of the technologies.

Government support played a crucial part in one of the decade's most relevant clean technology success stories, that of solar module giant Suntech. While the company is based in China, its technology originally came from Australia.

"When companies come to China, the government, or the support or the ecosystem here for commercialization helps those companies," said Fred Chang, managing director of venture capital firm Chrysalix Clean Energy.

Mr. Chang said in the case of Suntech, this resulted in the company becoming the leading solar manufacturer in just 10 years.

He expects that China will rise in the index to become one of the top 10 clean technology companies in the next few years.

"The Chinese government is really focused on trying to promote innovation at the university levels and in research institutions. I think China has a long way to go in terms of catching up, but we are finding pockets of interesting innovations," said Mr. Chang.

Innovation and the low-carbon fight

For the W.W.F., which is pushing for an 80 percent global emissions reduction by 2050 in order for the planet to avoid dangerous climate change, the innovation and commercialization of clean technology has a huge role to play.

"China is now the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, with the U.S. being number two, and the speed and urgency by which these countries address their emissions and the speed and urgency with which they deploy capital and technology expertise are really critical influences to global climate change," said Samantha Smith, who leads the W.W.F.'s Global Climate and Energy Initiative.

The W.W.F. had previously said in a report that the world could achieve all its energy needs via renewables by 2050, but this would necessitate rapid up-scaling of both renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

In order to achieve this, the W.W.F. estimates that investment in clean technology would need to reach about 1,000 billion euros worldwide in this decade, with clean technology solutions reaching the market over the next 10 to 30 years.

Currently the global clean energy technology market has grown 31 percent per annum between 2008 and 2010, from 104 billion euros to 178 billion euros. Cleantech statistics also show that from 2005 to 2011, investment in clean technology has been in an upward curve, with the fledgling market weathering the 2008-2009 financial crisis a lot better than more traditional industries, a trend that will hopefully continue in the future.

"We think [clean technology companies] are going to take us down the road towards a lower-carbon, climate-resilient world," added Ms. Smith. (Katrice R. Jalbuena)



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