I see signs of transformative change all around. Do you?

This page collects examples of people, businesses, countries, cities, industries, etc, taking steps to reduce greenhouse gases, transform their economies and adapt to climate change.


11 November 2013. Apple announced its plans to open a new factory in Mesa, Arizona — a facility that will run on 100 percent renewable energy from day one.  Source: ReNew Economy

27 May 2013. India. Coal India, the largest coal mining company in the world, will invest in solar power in order to reduce energy bills and to diversify. Unlike ExxonMobil, Coal India is preparing a succession plan. Source: Christian Science.

3 May 2013. USA. Carbon trading in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), involving nine states in the U.S. Northeast, has produced $1.6 billion in economic value added to the region. They have been so successful at reducing emissions that they plan to tighten the cap. Source: Grist.

27 April 2013. Worldwide. In 2012, Unilever topped the Climate Counts Scorecard for the second consecutive year. Climate Counts ranks the largest 145 companies worldwide on their actions to address climate change. Source: ClimateCounts.

12 April 2013. Australia. The largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere opened in SW Victoria with 140 turbines across 5,500 hectares and 420 megawatts of generating capacity. Source: ReNeweconomy.

12 April 2013. Portugal. 70 per cent of electricity was generated by renewable technologies during the first three months of 2013, thanks to recent investment in wind and hydro-electricity capacity.  Electricity is now an export industry for Portugal.  Source: BusinessGreen.

8 April 2013. USA. US Military Base, Fort Bliss, has commissioned the US military's largest solar array to will produce 20MW from 94,000 solar panels. This is in addition to putting 13 MW of solar PV on the roofs of 4,000 houses on the base. Fort Bliss aims to be Net Zero by the end of 2018, when it will have zero carbon emissions. As part of the Net Zero program, the Base has reduced power consumption by 45%, and water use by 36%,  in the past five years, and planted 14,000 trees.  Source: El Paso Times.

3 April 2013. Worldwide. Consumer goods manufacturing giant Procter & Gamble is now sending zero waste to landfill at 45 of its sites across the globe. Procter & Gamble says less than 1% of its waste currently goes to landfill worldwide. The company has reduced the amount of waste it produces by 68% since 2008. It aims to achieve zero waste at all sites. Source: LetsRecycle.

6 February 2013. Germany. Germany installed 7.6 GW of photovoltaic power plants in 2012, a new record. Source: ReNewEconomy.

5 February 2013. Denmark. In 2012, 30% of Denmark’s electricity consumption was supplied by wind. Denmark has set a goal to get 50% of its electricity needs from wind power by 2020 (it appears to be well on its way there), and is aiming for 100% renewable energy by 2050. Source: ReNewEconomy

5 February 2013. Norway loves electric cars. In 2012, electric vehicle sales were 5.2% of total vehicle sales. Electric and petrol vehicles are a similar price and EV drivers avoid congestion taxes, can drive in bus lanes and city street parking is free for them.  It is predicted that by 2020 there will be 200,000 EVs in Norway. Source: Treehugger.

4 February 2013. China accounted for more than a third of all newly installed onshore wind power capacity in 2012. China installed 15.9 gigawatts of onshore turbines in 2012 to be the world’s largest wind market in terms of annual installed capacity. In comparison, the U.S. installed 13.2 gigawatts in the same year. Source: Bloomberg.

 31 January 2013. Saudi Arabia: The kingdom opened the 3.5-megawatt PV plant in Riyadh. It uses 12,684 Suntech panels. By 2032, one-third of Saudi Arabia's electricity will be solar powered. Source: Bloomberg.

30 January 2013. California: A 150MW solar thermal with salt storage (CST + storage) plant will go ahead in the Sonora Desert. It will meet peak demand from up to 65,000 homes. It will be dry cooled and will use only 20% of the water used by conventional power stations.  Source: CleanTechnica.

23 January 2013. Australia: Carbon emissions fall 8.6% in the six months since the introduction of a carbon price. Source: The Australian.

24 November 2012. Abu Dhabi: The largest single-unit solar power plant in the world is expected to be completed by the end of 2012 and officially open in the first quarter of 2013. Source: CleanTechnica.

15 November 2012. Kazakhstan - 2,000 MW (2 GW) solar power plant has been commissioned with construction to start in 2013. The first €80 million phase will deliver 24 MW of power. Source: RenewableEnergyWorld.

10 October 2012. Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda invest in hydropower. Blackstone Group LP is investing in energy projects in Africa worth $3 billion.  Projects include the 360 to 480-megawatt Ruhudji hydropower plant in southern Tanzania, Rwanda’s 150-megawatt Ruzizi hydro project,  and Uganda’s 250-megawatt Bujagali hydropower plant. Source: RenewableEnergyWorld.

6 October 2012. Australian governments are implementing ambitious programs to retrofit government buildings like schools, hospitals, police stations, and offices. Led by the government of Victoria, the projects are let to contractors who guarantee the energy savings for retrofits with a seven-year pay back period. In Victoria, the program will save the government $1billion over 25 years. The program grew out of a collaboration between government bean counters (i.e. Treasury) and industry representatives for engineering contractors. Source: FifthEstate.

6 October 2012. China plans to build 3GW of solar thermal power stations by 2020. By the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015), China’s installed capacity of solar thermal power will exceed that of photovoltaic generation. The 2000-MW in Shaanxi by Shandong Penglai Dianli and eSolar is the biggest project on the drawing board.  Source: CleanTechnica.

2 October 2012. The EU will establish a system to measure shipping emissions as a precursor for a formal levy on the sector’s emissions. Shipping emissions could be taxed globally or in an international emissions trading scheme. Source: RTCC.

29 September 2012. The British city of Milton Keynes has begun to replace diesel buses with electric buses that use wireless charging. The wireless charging will allow the buses to charge when power transmitted from a primary coil buried in the road is picked up by a secondary coil on the bus, which needs spend only 10 minutes parked over a coil to replenish two-thirds of the energy consumed by the bus’s route. Source: CleanTechnica.

29 September 2012. Scotland announced that 2011 was a record year for renewable electricity generation, with 35 per cent of Scottish electricity demands being met from renewables, breaking the 31 per cent target. Scotland is on target to meet its goal of 100% renewables by 2020. Scotland has about a quarter of Europe’s wind and tidal energy and ten per cent of its wave power and it is positioning itself to be a clean energy exporter. Source: NewNet.

29 September 2012. Australia will join the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, a U.N.-led initiative to cut short-lived climate pollutants such as soot and methane. Other countries that have joined the initiative include major emitters such as Germany, Japan, the UK and the U.S, and developing nations such as Bangladesh, Ghana and Nigeria. Source: Reuters.

28 September 2012. Thailand hosts South Asia’s largest photovoltaic power plant. The 44 MWplant at  Bang Pa-In has an exhibition center that promotes a green environment and sustainable business. Source: CleanTechnica.

27 September 2012. England's biggest polluter will spend $1 billion to convert from coal to wood. The Drax Group will spend $1 billion to turn the U.K.’s biggest coal-fired plant into western Europe’s largest clean-energy producer. The utility plans to convert one of the site’s six units to burn wood pellets. It intends to switch two more units to wood at a later date. Source: Bloomberg.

21 September 2012. Great Britain and Ireland have been joined by a 260km electricity cable capable of transporting 500 megawatts. It plug Ireland into the UK National Grid, allowing it to export any surplus electricity from wind power to help the UK increase the amount of renewables in its energy mix. It is a key part of building a single European energy market. Source: BusinessGreen.

20 September 2012. Chinese city of Shenzhen will launch an emissions trading scheme in 2013 to curb CO2 from over 800 companies, regulating over 40 million tonnes of CO2 per year. Source: PointCarbon.

19 September 2012. Worldwide renewable sources supplied 16.7 % of global final energy consumption in 2011. A total of 118 countries have implemented RE targets with more than half in developing countries. Source: REN21.

18 September 2012. Tanzania - only 15% of people have access to electricity, but 89% of its energy is from renewables, mostly hydro. The challenge is to expand the electricity network using more renewables. Lack of funding is the main constraint.  Source: REN21and REEP.

14 September 2012. Netherlands. Researchers at Utrecht University have developed a catalyst that enables the production of plastics from wood-based biomass using waste such as branches, plant stalks and prunings. They have produced bioplastics with the same characteristics as petroleum-derived plastics. No special facilities or technology are needed to produce biomass plastic as it uses current technology. The new catalyst sets the stage for plastics manufacturers to produce no-carbon plastics. Source: PackagingProfessional.

13 September 2012. Stockholm is a low-carbon leader with strong initiatives across many areas. By 2015 electricity will be 100% renewable and CO2 emissions will be 3 tonnes per capita (cf. USA at 22 tonnes). Most (80%) buildings  have district heat mostly fueled by the city's combustable waste. Sewage plants provide biogas for 6,000 cars, all municipal waste vehicles and some 300 buses. Stockholm is well on the way to being carbon neutral by 2050.  Source: BusinessGreen.

13 September 2012. USA, Arizona - the world's largest operating photovoltaic (PV) power plant will have a generating capacity of 290 MWAC when completed in 2014. The first stages are connected to the grid and delivering peak generating capacity of 250 megawatts (MW)AC. Source: Bloomberg.

10 September 2012. China has once again doubled its targeted installation rate for solar PV. In the current 5-year plan they started 18 months ago with a goal of 5GW, then it was doubled to 10GW, then to 20GW and now to 40GW.  The targets are lifting to reflect actual roll-out - China’s installation rate is estimated to be around 7GW this year. Source: ReNewEconomy.

10 September 2012. Wind power in South Australia provided more than half of the state's power on Wednesday, September 5, 2012. In 2011, wind provided more electricity than coal generators in South Australia, however the market continues to dominated by gas.  Source: RenewableEnergyWorld.

10 September 2012. USA solar boom. In 2011, about 1.8 GWDC of photovoltaic installations were completed at 64,000 sites. This is twice the amount installed in 2010 - due to falling photovoltaic prices, strong consumer demand, and financial incentives from the federal government, states and utilities. 
More utility-scale systems, and an increase in the average system size accounted for this dramatic growth. Source: RenewableEnergyWorld.

5 September 2012. Private investors are putting almost $1 trillion annually into green businesses and technologies, bringing the total invested worldwide since 2007 to $3.6 trillion as of July 2012. Germany, Japan and the US lead in private green investments and China, Brazil and India lead among emerging nations. R&D investments are strongest in the automotive, semiconductor, and electrical components and equipment sectors. Source: SustainableBusiness.

5 September 2012. Germany installed 4.9 GW of photovoltaic capacity in Jan-Jul 2012 - double the amount installed in the first seven months of 2011. Source: PVmagazine.

3 September 2012. Australian wind generator, Meridian Energy Australia, has 1 gigawatt of projects in the pipeline. Many developers see improving markets for wind farms and some are able to go ahead without prior Power Purchase Agreements. Source: ReNewEnergy.

2 September 2012. Scotland's biggest offshore windfarm is due to come on stream in 2018 and produce enough power for 40% of Scotland's households. It will have 339 turbines covering 300 square kilometres off Caithness. This 1.5 gigawatt project is part of a total of 18 gigawatts expected to become operational over the next eight years. Source: Guardian.

31 August 2012. Ocean shipping companies achieved a 5% reduction in the levels of carbon dioxide emitted per kilometer between 2010 and 2011. The data covers 13 of the world’s leading ocean container carriers, which operate more than 2000 ships and account for around 60% of ocean container capacity worldwide. Source: CorporateRegister.

30 August 2012. India's government has approved a $4.13 billion plan to spur electric and hybrid vehicle production over the next eight years, setting itself an ambitious target of 6 million vehicles by 2020. Source: PlanetArk.

30 August 2012. UK government and energy companies will install smart meters in all of the country's 30m homes by 2019.  Smart meters can provide real-time energy use via small wireless displays that encourage energy-saving. Source: Guardian.

28 August 2012. Europe's two largest electricity utilities in Germany – E.ON and RWE – have declared they will build no more fossil fuel generation plants because they are not needed, challenging a widespread belief that the phasing out of nuclear in Europe’s most industrialised economy will require more coal-fired generation to be built. Source: ReNewEnergy.

28 August 2012. Australia's carbon tax raises funds for clean energy projects like the Mackay Sugar Mill that has received a $9.1 million grant for its Cogeneration Efficiency Project which will cost $120 million in total. The project will increase energy efficiency and generate renewable power for the Mill and for 30% of the town using bagasse - agricultural waste from sugar milling. Source: Mackay Sugar.

27 August 2012. Pakistan. Chief Minister of the Punjab has issued a request for proposals for the installation of half a million solar home solutions in low income households. Source: PV Magazine.

26 August 2012. Spain has 35 operational concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) plants. In July, they contributed 3-4% of grid electricity. Source: Solarnovus.

25 August 2012. Japan Mega Solar is investing $1.3 billion in solar plants with plans to build 250 plants with a combined capacity of 500 MW over the next five years.  The business is responding to Japan's mandated feed-in tariff that requires utilities to pay $0.53 cents per kilowatt-hour for 20 years for solar. Source: SustainableBusiness.

25 August 2012. British brewer, Molson Coors, is set to achieve zero waste to landfills by the end of the year. After more than halving the volumes sent to landfill from 2007 to 2011, its diversion rate currently stands at just over 99 per cent,  so the zero target is well in sight. Overall, Molson Coors report a 21 per cent improvement in carbon emission efficiency since 2008, equivalent to a 20 per cent absolute reduction. Source: BusinessGreen.

23 August 2012. China estimated it may spend $373 billion on projects for conserving energy and reducing emissions in the five years through 2015. The State Council announced a plan to reduce by 2015 the amount of energy it uses to produce every unit of gross domestic product by 16 percent from 2010 levels. In the five years through 2015, China is aiming for energy savings equal to 670 million tons of standard coal equivalent energy. Source: Bloomberg.

21 August 2012. Morocco, Saudi Arabia, UAE and South Africa are building utility-scale solar generators using Concentrated Solar Thermal technology. Source: ConstructionWeek.

20 August 2012. Sweden is ontrack to generate 49% of its power from renewable sources by 2020. Pension funds and insurance companies are investing in wind farm developments. Source: Bloomberg.

18 August 2012. Morocco maintains a national renewable energy and energy efficiency strategy that includes renewable energy sources meeting 42% of electricity demand by 2020. Source: Cleantechnica

15 August 2012. US Wind capacity has reached 50GW and will hit 60GW by end of 2012.  50 GW of wind power capacity represents the generating power of 44 coal-fired power plants, or 11 nuclear power plants. Source: RenewablesBiz.

14 August 2012. The North Wales offshore wind farm,  Gwynt y Môr, is being built by RWE and Siemens and will generate 576MW of power – enough for one-third of Welsh homes. Gwynt y Môr's substations are being installed on floating platforms ready for the 160 wind turbines to be installed early 2013. Source: BusinessGreen.

13 August 2012. The US Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank has signed an agreement with South Africa's Industrial Development Corp.  pledging $2 billion in finance for solar, wind and other clean-energy projects that use U.S. technologies products and services. South Africa has set a target to reduce carbon emissions by 34% by 2020 and by 42% by 2025.   Source: SustainableBusiness.

13 August 2012. Netherlands is home to the world's first 'cradle to cradle' building where nearly every material used to construct this building can either be recycled or returned to nature when it reaches the end of its natural life. Located 15 km south of Amsterdam, the building is home to five of the top global brands in energy efficient household appliances – Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, Neff and Constructa — and is the first structure designed for Park 20|20, the first cradle-to-cradle-inspired full-service development in the Netherlands.  Source: EarthTechling.

13 August 2012. Zero carbon buildings are rolling out in the US. The twelfth net zero certified building was opened at the Colonel Smith Middle School in Fort Huachuca in Arizona. It features  solar panels, high-efficiency HVAC units and three wind turbines, all of which will be monitored via a central energy dashboard that will send information to students’ iPads. Source: EarthTechling.

11 August 2012. Carbon-negative biomass gasification plants produce carbon negative heat and power. The process uses biomass to create renewable gas and yields biochar as a co-product. Biochar is a highly stable form of sequestered carbon with multiple uses in agriculture and industry. ZeroPoint Clean Tech has two plants operational, one in Germany and one in Ireland. Source: GreenEnergyNews.

10 August 2012. The Chinese government has confirmed it has increased its target for solar energy by 40 per cent, pledging to deploy 21GW of capacity by 2015. The move is is accompanied by new minimum targets for renewable energy use that will be imposed on energy firms and grid operators, and means that renewables will account for 9.5 per cent of the country's energy mix by 2015. Source: BusinessGreen.

10 August 2012. The Scottish government has taken another step towards its goal of generating 100 per cent of the country's electricity from clean sources, after yesterday granting planning approval for a new 55MW wind farm. Source: BusinessGreen.

9 August 2012. Between 2008-2010 US power producers reduced sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 30% and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fell 4%. Renewables, including hydroelectric, accounted for 10% of power. Source: ClimateProgress.

7 August 2012. London's Black Taxis will go electric. The Nissan NV200 prototype will be trialled next year with a view to going to market in 2014. The vehicle has the potential to eliminate 20% of the capital's exhaust pollution caused by its 22,000 black cabs. Source: Guardian.

5 August 2012. Iconic British department store Marks and Spencer has partnered with Oxfam to encourage textile recycling, branded as Schwopping. Promotions encourage shoppers to recycle old clothing every time they buy something new.  In 1,200 stores, prominent Schwopping bins are ready to receive clothes that will be resold, reused or recycled, and the money raised will go to help people living in poverty. The ultimate aim for M&S is to recycle as many clothes as it sells – that’s around 350 million a year. Strong promotion, including a Facebook ap, aims to embed the practice of schwapping and divert textiles from landfill forever more. Source: Marks & Spencer.

4 August 2012. British supermarket chain Sainsbury has installed over 69,500 solar panels on its stores, laying claim to the title of Europe's top solar generator. The company said that it has 16MW of solar capacity spread across 169 of its 572 UK supermarkets, meaning that collectively the firm manages the largest solar array in Europe. Source: BusinessGreen

1 August 2012. Germany broke all records for the six months January-June 2012 when  renewable energy technologies accounted for more than a quarter of the country's electricity supply for the first time. Despite beginning to close nuclear power stations, Germany remains a net exporter of electricity. Source: BusinessGreen.

1 August 2012. Japan puts green growth at the centre of plans to revive the country's flagging economy over the next eight years. The strategy predicts Japan can create a green energy sector worth 50 trillion yen by 2020, delivering up to 1.4 million new jobs. It builds on the recent introduction of one of the world's most generous renewable energy subsidy regimes where feed in tariffs will encourage renewables. Source: BusinessGreen.

30 July 2012. The following countries have banned single-use plastic bags:  China, Bangladesh, South Africa, Botswana, Italy, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Other countries have cut usage dramatically by imposing a fee: Ireland, Spain, Denmark, Bulgaria and Wales. Single-use plastic bags generate greenhouse gases in their manufacture and pollute the environment when discarded.  Source: The Conversation and PlanetArk.

30 July 2012. The Pacific island nation of Tokelau will be the world's first 100 percent solar electric nation. Right now, Tokelau is burning about 2000 barrels a year of diesel shipped from New Zealand at a cost of NZ$1 millon. That diesel provides Tokelau's 1400 people about 16 hours a day of electricity. This is about to change as New Zealand's Power Smart Solar will replace the diesel generators with solar systems -- and improve the electricity system to a 24/7 supply. Source: Huffington Post.

27 July 2012. Bangladesh is installing nearly one thousand domestic solar systems — a day. Over nearly two decades Grameen Shakti has set up a rural network to supply and maintain small solar systems that are affordable. By the end of 2012 it will have installed a total of one million solar systems and has expansion plans to install five million systems by 2015. Source: RenewEnergy.

25 July 2012. 132 new offshore wind turbines, representing a capacity of 523.2 megawatts (MW) were connected to the grid in Europe in the first half of 2012, a 50% increase compared to the same period in 2011. Source: EnergyMatters.

24 July 2012. Saudi Arabia announced that it would install 41,000MW of solar over the next two decades (25,000 in solar thermal and 16,000 in utility-scale solar PV). The Saudis are not wasting time – there’s too  much money to be saved. The cost of the initiative is estimated at $100 billion, but it is estimated to save 523,000 barrels a day, or more than $19 billion a year at current oil export prices). This month the Saudis announced that the first of their solar auctions, totaling 2,000MW, will be held early in 2013. The second round of 2,500MW will be held in 2014. Source: Reneweconomy.

20 July 2012. The US has cut carbon emissions more than any other country in the world in recent years — down 7.7 percent since 2006.  By the end of 2012, US carbon emissions will be the same as in 1996. Reductions are due to lower oil use in the transport sector (linked to efficiency improvements, higher oil prices and the economic downturn which has cut vehicle miles travelled) and a substantial shift from coal to gas in the power sector. Source: Think Progress.

17 July 2012. US company SolarCity rolls out a $1billion five year program to put solar PV on 120,000 houses owned by the US Department of Defence. Google Inc. created a $280-million fund to help SolarCity pay for installations and maintenance costs in exchange for a cut of customer payments.  Source: LATimes.

16 July 2012. Britain will invest £9.4bn to upgrade its rail network in the biggest modernisation since the railways were built in Victorian times. The upgrades come on top of the £5.2bn of rail projects already committed. Rail transport has lower carbon emissions than road or air, and this upgrade will boost Britain's low carbon transport capacity. Source: BusinessGreen.

12 July 2012. The clean energy sector showed resilience in the face of global economic ills and policy uncertainty in the second quarter of 2012, with new investment totalling $59.6bn. The star performance in the second quarter came from China, which saw a surge in investment to $18.3bn in the April-to-June period. China has recently quadrupled its domestic goals for solar installations. Source: BNEF.

12 July 2012. The Welsh government launched phase 2 of its Arbed program to reduce climate change, help eradicate fuel poverty and boost economic development and regeneration. The program targets social housing and low income households to offer insulation, double glazing, and other refits along with low-carbon space and water heating. The Welsh government is committed to becoming a "One Planet Nation" that uses only its fair share of the Earth's resources. Source: Government of Wales.

11 July 2012. Coal fueled 35% of U.S. electricity generation during the first four months of 2012, down from 44% during the same period of 2011.  Source: Mineweb.

10 July 2012. London's carbon emissions fell 3.6 percent to 43.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2010 from 2008 and Copenhagen's dropped 5.2 percent to around 2.5 million metric tons in 2010 from 2009. Source: PlanetArk

9 July 2012. In the Afghan province of Badakhshan, six run-of-river hydro plants with a total capacity of 1.3 MW, are bringing light and power to 63,000 people in homes and businesses. They replace smoky kerosene lanterns, diesel generators and wood stoves. Source: Guardian.

3 July 2012. Australia will fund a $20 million Pacific Climate Change Science Program in Pacific countries and East Timor to better understand how the climate and oceans have changed and how they may change in the future. The 15 partner countries are the Cook Islands, East Timor, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Source: Australian Government.

30 June 2012. United Kingdom’s wind industry switched on the world’s largest offshore wind farm, the Walney wind farm. It comprises 102 turbines and has an electricity generation capacity of 367 MW, enough to provide power for about 320,000 homes. It will be soon be surpassed by larger ones, such as the 388-MW West of Duddon Sands project and the whopping 630-MW London Array. Source: BusinessGreen.

29 June 2012. The NREL report ReFutures finds that the US can transition to 80% renewable electricity by 2050 using current technologies. This comprehensive report outlines a pathway towards that destination. Source: NREL.

27 June 2012. Ireland has signed a MOU with UK to provide renewable power. Irish businessman Eddie O’Connor, the CEO of Mainstream Renewables, has unveiled a plan to invest €12.5 billion to expand the country’s wind energy farms, and build links to supply the UK. Source: ReNewEconomy

27 June 2012. South Korea is channelling 2% of its GDP into its Green Growth Plan. The Plan aims to reduce total GHG emissions by 30% of BAU by 2020 and outlines a transition path to a low-carbon economy. Australia is one of 15 partner countries in the Global Green Growth Institute, initiated by South Korea. Source: GGGI.

25 June 2012. World solar energy usage almost doubled in one year. In 2010 the world used 30 terawat-hours and in 2011 this had risen to 55.7 terawatt-hours.  Source: e360.

23 June 2012. Vale, the world’s second-largest mining company, and leading Australian renewable energy company Pacific Hydro will jointly build and operate two wind farms in Brazil’s northeast. The power produced will be used by Vale in its mining operations. Source: Pacific Hydro.

22 June 2012. In 2010, Sweden sourced the largest amount of its energy from renewable energy at a total of 47.9%. Latvia, Finland, and Austria also did well, using renewable energy to contribute over 30% of their electricity consumption.

20 June 2012. Japan will implement incentives for renewable energy that could unleash billions of dollars in clean-energy investment and help the world's third-biggest economy shift away from a reliance on nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster. The scheme requires Japanese utilities to buy electricity from renewable sources such as solar, wind and geothermal at pre-set premiums for up to 20 years. Source: ClimateSpectator.

16 June 2012. Air China, Petro China and Boeing will conduct a trans-Pacific test flight partly fueled by biodiesel produced in China from jatropha. The project aims to demonstrate that a China-produced biofuel works, and to ensure regulators and airlines around the world are comfortable using it for commercial flights. Jatropha grows on marginal land that is not suitable for food production. Source: Reuters.

16 June 2012. The Maldives plans to be the world's first carbon neutral nation by 2020. It has set a mandatory target to generate at least 60 percent of its electricity from solar power by 2020. The latest initiative, funded by Japan, will install 675kW of solar power at schools and other public facilities. Source: PowerEngineering.

15 June 2012. Energy efficiency wins $42 million of Australian government grants. Street lightupgrades are the winners with upgrades in cities and towns like Brisbane, Bass Coast, South Gippsland, four Pilbara towns,  East Arnhem communities, Eastern Perth, Brimbank, Baw Baw, Wollongong, Parramatta, Kogarah and Booroondarah. Source: Fifth Estate.

14 June 2012. Marine reserves. Australia announced the world's largest network of marine reserves that will ring the country and cover more than 3 million square kilometres of waters to protect reefs and marine life. The marine reserves will include key waters such as the Coral Sea and pygmy blue whale habitats off the southern coast of Western Australia. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.

12 June 2012. Wind Enterprise Holdings is building a 207MW wind park in the Nakhon Ratchasima district of Thailand. 2-3% of revenue is paid to local communities for development projects. Source: ReNewEconomy.

12 June 2012. Clean energy investment in 2011 was a record $280bn, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Source: BNEF.

12 June 2012. Bank of America set a new 10-year, $50 billion goal to provide loans and other financing for environmentally friendly energy projects. The bank also pledged to reduce energy and paper consumption in its own operations by 2015 and to make $100 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and other groups promoting low-carbon use. Source: Reuters.
12 June 2012. A better lithium ion battery, Nanophosphate EXT, delivers 20 percent more power, works at temperatures as low as –30°C and as high as 60°C, and should be just as easy as current batteries to manufacture. It can be air-cooled, saving cost and weight. Source: Scientific American.

11 June 2012. India takes up solar power. Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd. (KREDL) has embarked upon a Public-Private-Partnersip project for a 1000 hectare solar park at Mannur village in Bijapur. KREDL has already commenced projects to generate 80 MW of solar power in Bijapur and Gulbarga districts, and is working on increasing solar power generation by 40 MW every year.

11 June 2012. In Europe, coal's share of electricity generation has declined from 39% to 26% over the past 20 years. Of the 120 coal fired power plants proposed in Europe in 2007, none have been brought to the construction stage. In 2011, clean energy accounted for 71% of the new electricity capacity in the European Union, while another 22% was natural gas-fired generation.  Source: Compass.

11 June 2012. Apple will power its Maiden, North Carolina data centre with 100% renewable power by the end of 2012.  To do that, they are building the nation’s largest private solar arrays and the largest non-utility fuel cell installation in the country. Source: Apple.

10 June 2012. $450 million solar project, to be built across two sites in western NSW, Broken Hill and Nyngan, will generate enough electricity to power 30,000 homes when completed by the end of 2015. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.

10 June 2012. Hydrovolt power generators work in canals to generate 20MW power. Tens of thousands of miles of irrigation, flood management or transport canals can be tapped for hydrokinetic power using  Hydrovolt  generators.  Countries with extensive canals include the U.S., India, Pakistan, China, Australia and Brazil. Source: Grist.

9 June 2012. Seoul's Weekly No Driving Day program is improving air quality, congestion and saving energy. Every year, two million cars stay off the road – decreasing traffic volume by 3.7%.  This voluntary program allows people to choose one day a week (Monday to Friday) as a no driving day. RFID tags or e-tags track eligibility for incentives such as petrol discounts. 30% of eligible vehicles have signed up for the program. Source: C40Cities.

9 June 2012. European carmakers will have to slash the carbon emissions of new cars sold in Europe by a  third by 2020. The European Commission plans for even stricter emissions targets for 2025 and 2030, which could only be met if hybrid or electric vehicles become mainstream. The EC wants to limit the average emissions of vehicles sold in 2020 by a manufacturer to 95 grams of CO2 per kilometre travelled. It is currently about 140g CO2/km and there is already a binding limit of 130g CO2/km set for 2015.  Source: The Guardian.

8 June 2012. Amazon deforestation is at a record low. Data from Brazil's National Institute for Space Research shows that 6,418 sq km of Amazon forest was stripped in the 12 months before 31 July 2011 – the smallest area since annual measurements started in 1988. Since the peak deforestation year of 2004, the rates of clearance have fallen by almost 75%. Most (81%) of Brazil's original forest remains – one of the highest levels of any country. Source: The Guardian.

8 June 2012. Emirates Airlines' 2012 environmental report shows that in the year to March 31,  the Emirates fleet burned 22.5 percent less fuel (litres/passenger km) than the IATA global average as well as emitting 18 percent less fossil sourced carbon by the same metrics. Most of the advantage is due to having a younger, more fuel-efficient fleet. Source: Climate Spectator.

7 June 2012. A survey of 489 cities worldwide shows that 95% of major cities in Latin America are making plans to deal with the adverse impact of climate change. The most prepared cities are often those facing the greatest changes in temperature or rainfall. Source: USA Today.

7 June 2012. The iconic British retailer M&S has become the first major retailer to become fully 'carbon neutral' five years after launching its sustainability project, 'Plan A'. The company says it is now fully carbon neutral, after reducing energy usage by 28% through more efficient refrigeration, and counting renewable energy tariffs and offsetting. M&S recycles 100% of its waste. Of its food waste from stores, 89% goes straight to anaerobic digestors to generate energy and the rest is composted. And 31% of M&S products – £3bn worth — now have a Plan A attribute such as Fairtrade, organic or made from recycled material. Source: The Guardian.

6 June 2012. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reports that renewable power generation technologies account for half of all new power generation capacity additions worldwide. Renewable technologies are now the most economic solution for off-grid electrification and grid extension in most areas, as well as for centralized grid supply in locations with good resources. Source: IRENA.

5 June 2012. Carbon pricing schemes. Countries and regions that were responsible for 19% of carbon emissions in 2008 have implemented cap and trade schemes. This includes the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, California, and Quebec. In addition, Mexico, Brazil, Japan and China are on track to implement carbon pricing schemes. Right now, about 6 percent of the world’s greenhouse-gas sources are capped and traded. Source: Washington Post.

5 June 2012. London has rolled out its RE:FIT program to retrofit public buildings with energy-saving technology. The pilot in 42 buildings currently used by Transport for London, the Metropolitan Police and the London Fire Brigade has been followed by work near completion on a further 44 buildings with the London boroughs, universities, hospitals and cultural organisations. For the organisations that took part in the pilot, the installation of the new technology helped them to identify savings of over 7,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum, generating annual cost savings of more than £1m. By 2015, 600 public buildings in the Greater London Area will have the upgrade. Source: Euractiv.
31 May 2012. The Australian Energy Market Operator released its Rooftop PV Information Paper and reported a rapid uptake of rooftop PV over the last four years, with total installed capacity rising from 23 MW in 2008 to 1,450 MW by February 2012. Energy advisory firm EnergyQuest cites the uptake of solar PV to be a contributing factor in a huge reduction in the cost of wholesale electricity during the first quarter of 2012. This reported downward pressure on wholesale electricity costs can be attributed to solar's Merit Order Effect. Source: EnergyMatters.

31 May 2012. Toyota Prius became the world’s third best-selling car line in the first quarter of 2012, indicating that hybrid vehicles have gone mainstream. Toyota is reaping the reward of being first to market with hybrids – Prius was launched 15 years ago. Source: Bloomberg.

29 May 2012. China’s ratio of CO₂ emissions per Gross Domestic Product fell 15% between 2005 and 2011.This is a dramatic improvement in energy efficiency and is especially creditable when half the population does not have access to winter heating and 2 million do not have electricity. Source: The Conversation.

27 May 2012.   Coal, the dirtiest and most carbon-intensive conventional fossil fuel, generated only 36 per cent of US electricity in the first quarter of 2012. That amounts to a staggering 20 per cent decline from one year earlier. And the EIA anticipates additional decline by year's end, suggesting a historic setback for coal, which has provided the majority of the US' electricity for many decades. Source: Aljazeera.

27 May 2012.  Jindřichovice pod Smrkem in the Czech Republic shows that villages can rejuvenate around the principles of sustainability. Eight new sustainable homes attracted 100 potential buyers to the small village that has built two wind generators and uses the profits to fund green initiatives. Source: ClimateCentral.

27 May 2012. German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour - equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity - through the midday hours on Friday and Saturday. Germany, one of the world's leading industrial nations, was able to meet a third of its electricity needs on a work day, Friday, and nearly half on Saturday when factories and offices were closed. Source: ClimateSpectator.

23 May 2012. Fedex is replacing diesal/gas powered vans with electric vans in New York, Chicago and San Francisco and internationally in London, Paris, Hong Kong, Berlin and Florence. The deployment of electric trucks is part of an initiative to increase the fuel economy of FedEx’s 40,000-vehicle fleet by 20% over a baseline set in 2005. To date, FedEx has achieved a 16.6% improvement. Source: Forbes.

14 May 2012. The electric utility NRG's subsidiary eVgo is rolling out charging stations for electric vehicles around Houston (and Dallas/Fort Worth) so that drivers in those cities are never more than 8km from a charging station.  Car owners will be able to charge their EVs as much as they like for $79/month (plus the cost of their home electricity). Source: ReNewEconomy

14 May 2012NOAA reports that a record number of fish populations have been rebuilt in U.S waters. In the last 11 years, 27 U.S. marine fish populations have been rebuilt. Source: MSN.

11 April 2012. Walmart aims to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy. On 11 April 2012 they announced the milestone of solar PV at 100 U.S. Walmart stores, clubs, and distribution centers. For transport, they are trialling biofuel and have developed hybrid petrol/electric delivery trucks. Source: SolarServer.

1 comment:

  1. What a great list! And here's one--just think if all our wastewater treatment plants created energy like this: