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Sun09282014

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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 ...

South Asian countries face economic losses due to climate change – A.D.B. report

South Asian countries face economic losses due to climate change – A.D.B. report

Various countries in the South Asian region are looking at significant losses du...

World Bank aids Laos’ hydropower with $40 million in financing

World Bank aids Laos’ hydropower with $40 million in financing

The World Bank Group has inked two agreements for around $40 million in financin...

Vestas, EP Global Energy partner for donor-funded wind farm in Jordan

Vestas, EP Global Energy partner for donor-funded wind farm in Jordan

Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas and private energy asset developer EP Global En...

Business

Technology

Largest energy storage system in North America opens

Largest energy storage system in North America opens

Sunday, 28 September 2014

A 32 megawatt energy storage system – the largest in North America – has been successfully installed in California. The Tehachapi Energy Storage Proje...

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Politics

U.N. chief welcomes announcements made in Climate Summit

U.N. chief welcomes announcements made in Climate Summit

Sunday, 28 September 2014

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed bold new actions to address climate change that were announced at the Climate Summit in New York...

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Living Green

Nineteen easy ways students can help save Mother Earth

Nineteen easy ways students can help save Mother Earth

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Students are young, creative, energetic and outspoken that is why they have the perfect qualities to help save mother earth. They can be great eco-war...

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Renewables

Glennmont begins operations at its Sleaford biomass plant

Glennmont begins operations at its Sleaford biomass plant

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The 38 megawatt Sleaford biomass plant has commenced operations. Glennmont Partners, a leading investment manager dedicated to clean energy in Europe,...

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Low-Carbon

FedEx Trade Networks brings down its carbon footprint with solar-capable building

FedEx Trade Networks brings down its carbon footprint with solar-capable building

Sunday, 28 September 2014

A new environmentally-friendly office and distribution facility in New York is helping FedEx Trade Networks bring down their carbon footprint. The bui...

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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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