The staggering growth in renewable energy has the potential to fundamentally change the way we generate and use power. Previously dismissed as marginal technologies, renewables have become “increasingly mainstream and competitive with conventional energy sources.” This is the conclusion of a new report on the global status of renewable energies by the REN21 Network.
Renewable energy solutions are not only good for the environment. If done well, they can pay for themselves and reduce poverty around the world. This is the message of the 2012 Ashden Awards, which just recognized inspiring renewable energy programs from Afghanistan, Cambodia, East Africa, India and Indonesia.
It was a bright year for renewable energy in many parts of the world, despite the recession. Global investment in clean energy generation capacity reached a record high of $260 billion in 2011, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Investment in solar technology grew by a third over the previous year.
The reservoir of ther Balbina Dam in Brazil emits more greenhouse gases than a coal-fired power plant Wikimedia Commons The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its Special Report on Renewable Energy on June 14, 2011. The report provides strong evidence for the large potential of renewable energy sources to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Its quality is weakened by a strong bias in the treatment of the hydropower sector. The attached critique by International Rivers points out the flaws in the IPCC report’s hydropower chapter, and complements it with critical
Pascua River, Chile According to a new report which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published today, the sky is the limit for the expansion of renewable energy. With an investment of slightly less than 1% of global GDP, renewable energy could contribute up to 43% of the world’s energy supply by 2030, and 77% by 2050. Such an increase could stabilize the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere at 450 ppm and may be just enough to avoid catastrophic climate change. It would also boost energy access for the 1.4 billion people who currently live without access to electricity
The Amazon River meets the sea - potential site for future non-dam salinity-based hydro? Norman Kuring/NASA Battery-operated electric vehicles are cutting CO2 emissions and raising awareness of our transportation carbon footprint. Recent cutting edge research now shows that batteries can also be harnessed in rivers and estuaries as a non-dam and hopefully low-impact form of electricity generation. According to Stanford University, a team lead by Yi Cui (Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering), has developed a battery that takes advantage of the difference in
From December 2010 World Rivers Review The energy issue is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity today. The intensive use of fossil fuels that made the industrial revolution possible has had many unintended consequences. In Argentina, more than 90% of primary energy is from oil and gas. Yet not only are we running out of fossil fuels in Argentina, but we are already beginning to see the impacts from climate change. The solar fair. Taller Ecologista At Taller Ecologista , we believe it essential to more quickly adopt renewable energy in Argentina not only to reduce energy consump
Getting to a Green Energy Future Daniel Kammen has just been appointed "clean energy czar" at the World Bank – a first for the bank. Currently a Professor at UC Berkeley, Dan has shared his time in the Energy and Resources Group (ERG), the Goldman School of Public Policy and the Department of Nuclear Engineering. He is also the founding Director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL), and is a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We interviewed him on a variety of energy-related topics in June 2010. Here are a few excerpts. International Rivers: How h
My recent blog comparing the global hydro industry’s stagnation with the rapid growth in the wind and solar sectors was based on preliminary data for wind and solar in 2009, and my guesstimate for that year’s hydro additions. Better statistics are now available for all three technologies. In my blog I stated that the wind industry had likely installed at least a quarter more generating capacity than big hydro in 2009. The new stats, from the “Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century,” or REN21, shows that large hydro lagged even further behind than I had guesstimated.
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