Monthly Archives: December 2011

Germany’s #Solar Power Output Up 60% in 2011

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Another encouraging year-end announcement regarding renewable energy, this time in Germany. As PV Magazine reports, the German Solar Industry Association has said that the nation’s solar power producers have produced 60% more electricity in 2011 than they did in 2010—in the past year producing 18 billion kWh.

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Growth in #green energy backing

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Investment by companies into renewable energy projects in the UK has risen sharply this year but is still well down on 2009 levels.

The Government said £2.5bn of new, privately funded projects had been announced since April. That marks an improvement on the £2.1bn measured in the whole of 2010 by research group Pew Environment. The projects will create nearly 12,000 jobs across the country.

Companies held off investing in new projects in 2010 because of uncertainty around the policies of the new Government. However, with more details published, the investment taps appear to be turning back on.


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2011 #renewables investment by firms $3.9 billion – DECC

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Companies have announced plans to invest almost 2.5 billion pounds in renewable energy projects in the UK this year, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said on Thursday.

The plans could potentially create almost 12,000 jobs, DECC said, and compare with estimates from various consultants of around 2.1 billion pounds for the previous year.
“Renewable energy is not just helping us increase our energy security and reduce our emissions. It is supporting jobs and growth across the country,” Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said.

“I do not want the UK to be left behind by turning our back on the green economy,” he said, adding that Britain’s renewable targets were “less demanding than other EU member states.”
DECC said that its report to the European Commission on renewable energy progress showed that the UK had achieved a 27 percent increase in renewable energy consumption, rising to from 54 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2010 from 42.6 TWh in 2008 and reaching 3.3 percent of total energy consumed.

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Go back to Work On a #Christmas Card

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If all the UK’s discarded wrapping paper and Christmas cards were collected and fermented, they could make enough biofuel to run a double-decker bus to the moon and back more than 20 times, according to the researchers behind a new scientific study.

The study, by scientists at Imperial College London, demonstrates that industrial quantities of waste paper could be turned into high grade biofuel, to power motor vehicles, by fermenting the paper using microorganisms. The researchers hope that biofuels made from waste paper could ultimately provide one alternative to fossil fuels like diesel and petrol, in turn reducing the impact of fossil fuels on the environment.

According to some estimates 1.5 billion cards and 83 square kilometres of wrapping paper are thrown away by UK residents over the Christmas period. They currently go to landfill or are recycled in local schemes. This amount of paper could provide 5-12 million litres of biofuel, say the researchers, enough to run a bus for up to 18 million km.


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#Christmas Waste Paper Could Be Turned Into High Grade Biofuel

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If all the UK’s discarded wrapping paper and Christmas cards were collected and fermented, they could make enough biofuel to run a double-decker bus to the moon and back more than 20 times, according to the researchers behind a new scientific study.

The study, by scientists at Imperial College London, demonstrates that industrial quantities of waste paper could be turned into high grade biofuel, to power motor vehicles, by fermenting the paper using microorganisms. The researchers hope that biofuels made from waste paper could ultimately provide one alternative to fossil fuels like diesel and petrol, in turn reducing the impact of fossil fuels on the environment.

According to some estimates 1.5 billion cards and 83 square kilometers of wrapping paper are thrown away by UK residents over the Christmas period. They currently go to landfill or are recycled in local schemes. This amount of paper could provide 5-12 million liters of biofuel, say the researchers, enough to run a bus for up to 18 million km.
“If one card is assumed to weigh 20g and one square meter of wrapping paper is 10g, then around 38,300 tons of extra paper waste will be generated at Christmas time,” said study author Dr Richard Murphy from the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial College London. “Our research shows that it would be feasible to build waste paper-to-biofuel processing plants that give energy back as transport fuel.”
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Infographic – What Is Santa’s Carbon Footprint?

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Ethical Ocean delves into the serious issue of Santa’s carbon footprint. Seen by millions as a jolly old soul, this bearer of gifts and muncher of cookies also has a dark side — a dark, polluting side that the environmental movement must address. [deep theatrical voice] For centuries we have allowed this to occur every single year but the toll now is too great. Just look at these disturbing calculations:

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Facebook recruits Google green energy czar for sustainability push

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Facebook has hired Google’s former “green energy czar” Bill Weihl, in a move designed to demonstrate the company’s commitment to low-carbon computing and renewable energy. Weihl will begin the new post in January 2012, Facebook confirmed.

Weihl reportedly told online magazine Fresh Dialogues that he plans to “advance sustainability” at Facebook. While his job title and responsibilities at have not been decided, the focus will be on sustainability, clean energy and energy efficiency, he said.

The news comes just as Greenpeace winds up a long-running campaign calling on Facebook to “unfriend coal” as a source of energy for its data centres. The environmental campaign group singled out Facebook because of the company’s decision to site its first wholly-owned data centre in Oregon, using electricity from PacificCorp – an energy company which makes two thirds of its power using coal.

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‘Green deal’ will fail, government’s climate advisers warn

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The government’s flagship programme to transform the energy efficiency of 14m homes in the next decade will fail and only reach only 2-3m households, according to an unprecedented attack from the government’s own climate advisers.

The warning comes from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), which on Tuesday for the first time published an open letter criticising government policy. It follows soaring energy bills and the news that one in four homes are now in fuel poverty.

The “green deal” plan, which will start in October 2012, will allow homeowners to take out loans to pay for insulation, with the guarantee that the savings on their energy bills will be greater than the loan repayments. Currently, energy companies have a legal obligation to enable their customers to improve their energy efficiency.

“The [green deal] proposal is to take away that obligation and say ‘let’s leave it to the market’,” said David Kennedy, the CCC chief executive. “We think there is a significant risk in leaving it to the market, as that has never worked anywhere in the world and is unlikely to happen in the UK. We are talking about the transformation of the entire building stock of this country.”

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Two thirds of Brits fear elderly friends and relatives won’t stay warm this winter

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Rocketing energy bills are leading to widespread concern for the UK’s older people with two thirds (66 per cent) of Brits concerned about the elderly people they know this winter, according to a new survey released today by Friends of the Earth (Friday 16 December).

The survey follows fresh evidence released yesterday confirming that the rising cost of gas is the main reason for rocketing energy bills.  The Government’s independent advisor on energy and climate change – the Committee on Climate Change – recommended massive investment in energy saving to protect consumers from rising bills.

Almost half those surveyed (49 per cent) blamed energy company greed for the doubling of power bills since 2004, adding to pressure on the Government to get tough on the Big Six energy firms.  Friends of the Earth is calling for a public inquiry into the influence of the Big Six and the UK’s broken energy system.

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