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Bright Days: How India Is Reinventing Solar In 2009, when policymakers in New Delhi set a goal to produce 20,000 megawatts of solar energy by 2020, few gave India more than a slim chance. The world’s solar-savvy countries put together were generating that much solar power at the time, and India was contributing virtually nothing. But today, with acres of land in its arid, sun-drenched northwest carpeted with thousands of gleaming solar panels, analysts say India is poised to exceed its target. On paper, India has always had a good case for going solar. But last year, the promise of affordable solar came one step closer to becoming a reality. MORE: Light for Haiti Driven by its ambitious new solar policy, the government agreed to buy solar power at 17.91 rupees (36 cents) for a kilowatt-hour. In doing this, India veered from the global story by sidelining the fixed-price subsidy framework. MORE: The China U.S. MORE: Red State, Green City
Tony Abbott agrees windfarms may have 'potential health impacts' | Environment Tony Abbott finds windfarms visually awful and agrees they may have “potential health impacts”, and says the deal on the renewable energy target was designed to reduce their numbers as much as the current Senate would allow. Speaking to the Sydney radio host Alan Jones – a long-term windfarm critic – the prime minister said: “I do take your point about the potential health impact of these things … when I’ve been up close to these windfarms not only are they visually awful but they make a lot of noise. “What we did recently in the Senate was to reduce, Alan, capital R-E-D-U-C-E, the number of these things that we are going to get in the future … I frankly would have likely to have reduced the number a lot more but we got the best deal we could out of the Senate and if we hadn’t had a deal, Alan, we would have been stuck with even more of these things … The opposition leader, Bill Shorten, said the comments would create investor uncertainty. “There’s Tony Abbott at it again,” he said.
The end of baseload? It may come sooner than you think One of the principal architects of Germany’s push into renewable energy technologies, Hans-Josef Fell, believes that the country could achieve 100 per cent renewables in its electricity sector by 2030 – and may do it quicker. The rest of the world could follow soon after. Fell, a Greens politican and architect of the the feed-in-tariffs that have helped the country already produce 20 per cent of its energy from wind, solar, biomass and geothermal sources, and pushed it to the forefront of clean energy technologies, says the growth of renewables will continue at an exponential rate. This is partly because of the growing cost of conventional fossil fuels, and partly because of their inability (apart from gas) to balance the intermittent nature of renewable energy generation. In an interview with RenewEconomy, Fell says a 100 per cent renewables electricity grid in Germany may be 40-50 per cent wind, 30-40 per cent solar, with the rest coming from other sources. Q: What about CCS? A: CCS?
Liberal senator wants windfarm inquiry to recognise 'adverse health effects' | Australia news A new federal inquiry could call for commonwealth oversight of windfarm regulations and demand recognition of the alleged health impacts of turbines on people living near them, according to Coalition senators. The prime minister, Tony Abbott, dismayed the wind industry on Thursday when he told Sydney radio announcer Alan Jones that he wished the government had been able to reduce the number of new windfarms more than was possible in a recent renewable energy deal with Labor, and agreed windfarms had “potential health impacts”. The government had previously claimed it was demanding a reduction in the renewable energy target because the industry would be unable to meet it. West Australian Liberal backbencher Chris Back, who sits on the new senate select inquiry into windfarms, said it was looking at “what role the federal Clean Energy Regulator [CER] should have in checking that wind farms are compliant with state laws and guidelines.”
Giant kite could be future of wind power By Muriel KaneSunday, February 19, 2012 18:25 EDT A California energy company is working to develop an airborne system of wind turbines that its developer believes could be superior to any of the current ground-based systems. The system essentially consists of a giant kite that looks like a small airplane. Corwin Hardham, the CEO of Makani Power, told Reuters, “We can produce power at a much lower cost than conventional wind turbines … and, more importantly, we’re able to access winds at higher altitudes that are virtually untouched at this point.” Hardham has a background in developing equipment for windsurfing and kite-boarding, and he says he thought of the idea for mounting wind turbines on a giant kite while kite surfing San Francisco Bay. He believes his system will eventually be able to produce electricity at half the cost of current wind turbines, making it competitve with even the cheapest current sources. This video is from Reuters, uploaded February 19, 2012. Muriel Kane
Greek government-debt crisis Long-term interest rates (secondary market yields of government bonds with maturities of close to ten years) of all eurozone countries except Estonia. Higher yields indicates that financial markets have serious doubts about credit-worthiness of the state. Greece's debt percentage since 1977, compared to the average of the Eurozone Overview 2010–2014 In April 2010, adding to news of the recorded adverse deficit and debt data for 2008 and 2009, the national account data revealed that the Greek economy had also been hit by three distinct recessions (Q3-Q4 2007, Q2-2008 until Q1-2009, and a third starting in Q3-2009), which equaled an outlook for a further rise in the debt-to-GDP ratio from 109% in 2008 to 146% in 2010. 2015 Financial position summary Key statistics are summarized below, with a detailed table at the bottom of the article. Greek GDP fell from €242 billion in 2008 to €179 billion in 2014, a 26% decline overall. Causes Overview 
Hot news in cleantech: algae lamps, solar bonsai Amid the various green auto happenings at this week’s Geneva Motor Show came the exciting news that Ford has finally merged into the EV lane, so to speak, with the arrival of its $39,200 Focus Electric. But the good news for Ford lovers doesn’t stop there. The US EPA has evaluated the Ford Focus Electric’s range on a single charge at 76 miles, giving it a city MPGe rating of 99 and a highway MPGe rating of 110, for a combined rating of 105 MPGe. “MPGe means ‘miles per gallon equivalent.’ And there are a couple of other importance points of difference that might help with that too, says Christopher DeMorro on MatterNetwork. Micro-algae: green light to a low-carbon future A slightly strange, and yet strangely alluring video (see below) has been doing the cleantech rounds this week, in which a French biochemist named Pierre Calleja discusses his potentially world-saving micro-algae street lamps. Solar ski helmets, coming to a slope near you *A ski helmet? Tiny, silver, solar bonsai
Exxon knew of climate change in 1981, email says – but it funded deniers for 27 more years | Environment ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest oil company, knew as early as 1981 of climate change – seven years before it became a public issue, according to a newly discovered email from one of the firm’s own scientists. Despite this the firm spent millions over the next 27 years to promote climate denial. The email from Exxon’s in-house climate expert provides evidence the company was aware of the connection between fossil fuels and climate change, and the potential for carbon-cutting regulations that could hurt its bottom line, over a generation ago – factoring that knowledge into its decision about an enormous gas field in south-east Asia. The field, off the coast of Indonesia, would have been the single largest source of global warming pollution at the time. “Exxon first got interested in climate change in 1981 because it was seeking to develop the Natuna gas field off Indonesia,” Lenny Bernstein, a 30-year industry veteran and Exxon’s former in-house climate expert, wrote in the email.
REVE - Regulación Eólica con Vehículos Eléctricos - The country’s 2011 results were a huge improvement on those of 2010, when only 1,551 MW of capacity was installed – the lowest figure since 1999. The ZSW (Zentrum für Sonnenenergieund Wasserstoff-Forschung) confirms that the 895 wind turbines installed added 2007.4 MW of wind farm capacity in 2011. If we subtract decommissioned wind turbines (123 MW) and replacement work on obsolete wind turbines (238 MW), German wind energy capacity stands at 29,075 MW. The country’s wind power output soared after a long spate of becalmed winds in 2010. December’s particularly high winds boosted output, reaching a record level of more than 8 TWh, so output should be at least 46.5 TWh, which is 10 TWh more than in 2010. The wind energy sector’s importance in Germany’s energy mix – it should rise to 8% in 2011 – calls for more investment by the grid operators to upgrade the grid in the regions where there is a sizeable wind energy share so that the sector’s output can be fully harnessed.
Coalition bans government's clean energy bank from financing wind power | Australia news The federal government has ordered the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) not to make any future investments in wind power, instead focussing on “emerging technologies”, trade minister Andrew Robb has confirmed. Fairfax media reported on Sunday that the treasurer, Joe Hockey, and the finance minister, Mathias Cormann, bypassed the environment minister, Greg Hunt, in issuing the CEFC with the directive. Robb told Sky News on Sunday that that was “a total beat-up”. “Greg was fully cognisant of what was decided,” he said. “He was perhaps the principle party, along with [resources minister] Ian Macfarlane, who put together this arrangement with the crossbenchers, and he is fully cognisant of it, drove this deal and settled this deal, understood this arrangement. Hunt took to Twitter on Sunday to refute the claims made in Fairfax, labelling them “factually wrong and misleading”. The sector has reacted to the funding news by expressing disappointment. “Tony Abbott never looks forward.