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Archive for the ‘Green Economy’ Category

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What’s the Rio+20?

It is a conference on sustainable development ended almost a month ago (in Rio de Janeiro, Bra) and left many wondering about next steps, and what countries will do to act on their commitments.

The conference covered issues including hunger, poverty, and access to renewable energy. Rio+20 aimed to provide solutions to the mounting uncertainty of a safe and prosperous environment for future generations. A relevant topic that was only briefly covered at Rio+20 is MigratioN.

Is there a relationship between S.D. & Migration?

Migration is a high priority for the international community, and can contribute positively to socio-economic development as stated in the Rio 2012 Issues Brief on Migration and Sustainable: Development including:

  • Transferring skills and knowledge between receiving areas and origins
  • Remittances, which allow for consumer investments, poverty reduction within families and communities, an increase in human capital, financial investments and business ventures
  • Urbanization, a factor in sustainable development and poverty reduction
  • Economic growth in the destination and origin areas by promoting business connections, the sharing of knowledge and poverty reduction

As UNDP’s Paul Ladd says, “If development does not allow people to migrate safely, it is not sustainable.”

Leaders at Rio+20 didn’t fully take advantage of this opportunity. Key development issues like remittancesurbanizationhuman traffickingrural development and border management are strongly linked, and are affected by MigratioN Flows.

At the Rio+20 conference, the international community addressed and realized the need for sustainable migration policies. They committed to protect human rights regardless of migration status. They committed to further international, open dialogue and cooperation on migration policies, as well as taking care to recognize their responsibilities as origin and destination countries. While this is a positive signal, it says little on how this will actually translate into national policies….

 

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After the opening ceremony on Friday night, the organizers have been keen to emphasize the Games’ sustainability credentials, so we are going to have a look at it and see what is on offer.

A program called “Active Travel Programme” enables to the visitors have access to walking and cycling routes across London and other cities hosting the Games. £10m (US$15.5m) has been invested in making improvements to over 75km (46.6 miles) of key walking and cycling routes in and outside London. Thanks to this program people will able to walk and cycle, prevent emissions and improve human health.

Thereby, the organizers have set up an energy centre producing energy for the Olympic stadium using a biomass boiler fueled with biomass. 

Besides, 60 percent of construction materials by weight were delivered by rail or water transport. Like this, 90 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfill and was reused or recycled instead. The Olympic Stadium is said to be the most lightweight Olympic Stadium to date, thanks to a minimal use of steel. Moreover, the Velodrome is almost 100 percent naturally ventilated. Rainwater is collected from the roof for flushing toilets and for irrigation.

Controversy:

However, the list of corporate sponsors is not so green…The culmination of the ceremony involved green custard being poured over the heads of three company representatives of Dow Chemical, British Petroleum and mining giant Rio Tinto, which sponsor the Games. The Olympic medals are provided by Rio Tinto, which is responsible for such a string of international environmental and human rights controversies.

These cannot be the most sustainable games ever when the medals have been sourced so irresponsibly,” said Richard Solly of London Mining Network.

The issue of corporate sponsorship is particularly strong in the UK, where protesters often criticize the ethics (or lack of) steeming from the acceptance of money from companies that pollute.

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According to U.N. report, global investment in renewable energy reached a record $257 billion in 2011 (a 17% increase from the amount invested in 2010). Globally, renewable energy covers approximately 16.7% of energy consumption.

  • Modern technologies such as solar and wind accounted for just 8.2%,
  • the 8.5% is contributed by biomass.

By comparison, more than 80% of electricity consumed worldwide still comes from fossil fuels.

Top 5 Countries for investment in R.E.

China was responsible for almost one-fifth (1/5) of total global investment, spending $52 billion on renewable energy last year. The United States was close behind with investments of $51 billion, as developers sought to benefit from government incentive programs before they expired. Germany, Italy and India rounded out the list of the top five countries.

China’s goal is to have 20% of its total energy demand sourced from renewable energy by 2020.

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In 2011, solar power led the way as far as global investment in renewable energy, with investment surging to $147 billion, a year-on-year increase of 52%, due to strong demand for rooftop photovoltaic installations in Germany, Italy, China and Britain. Large-scale solar thermal installations in Spain and the United States also contributed to growth during the year. Wind power investment slipped 12% to $84 billion as a result of uncertainty about energy policy in Europe and fewer new installations in China, according to the report.

Despite the substantial investments in solar energy, the industry is in turmoil. While China pricing has been devastating for American and European solar manufacturers, it has been no less devastating for their Chinese rivals.

The economics for the solar industry, both globally and in China, have never been worse, and there are no bright spots on the horizon. Clearly, solar investments in the United States and Europe will take a hit in 2012. However, the underlying unprofitability of the industry is in sharp conflict with China’s long-term goal to derive 20 percent of its energy needs from renewable energy sources as well. How can the Chinese companies continue to operate in the face of such losses? Will China continue to support the industry’s development?

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Cheating the climate change problem

  • Paul Krugman é prêmio Nobel de Economia (2008), colunista do jornal “The New York Times” e professor na Universidade Princeton (EUA). Um dos mais renomados economistas da atualidade, é autor ou editor de 20 livros e tem mais de 200 artigos científicos publicados. Escreve às segundas, no site daFolha, e aos sábados, na versão impressa de “Mundo”.

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10.) Statkraft’s Osmotic Power Projects — Norway

Europe’s leading renewable energy company, Statkraft is a global pioneer in osmotic energy. Through the natural process of osmosis, fresh water and salt water are guided into separate chambers, divided by an artificial membrane. The pressure of the process generates waterfalls that can be utilized in a power generating turbine. As the company continues working on pilot projects, Statkraft claims that osmotic power has the potential of 1600 to 1700 Twh—nearly the equivalent of China’s total electricity consumption.

9.) Andasol—Andalusia, Spain 

Alongside an empty mountain plateau in Andalusia, some 600,000 parabolic mirrors are now connected and operating in the world’s largest solar power station (150 MW). Located 1,100 meters above sea level, the clear and less turbulent atmosphere allows for the capture of more solar energy than the entire Saudi Arabian peninsula. It’s as big as 210 football fields and will generate enough energy for half a million people.

8.) Rance Tidal Power Station—Brittany, France

The world’s first tidal power station, located on the estuary of the Rance River, is now the world’s second largest tidal power station—after holding the number one spot for 40 years. With an annual output of about 600 Gwh, the station has a peak rating of 240 MW generated by its 24 turbines, and attracts about 200,000 visitors per year.

7.) Solnova Solar Power Station—Sanlucar la Mayor, Spain

As the largest CSP power station in the world, Solnova’s plant consists of five separate units of 50 MW each (250 MW total), each owned and operated by Abengoa Solar. Each power station utilizes parabolic troughs, while some are also equipped to support natural gas as a secondary fuel source for power generation.

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6.) Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Plant—Sihwa Lake, South Korea

Completed last year, the 254 MW Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Plant is the largest tidal power installation in the world. Ten 25.4 MW submerged bulb turbines are driven in an unpumped flood generation scheme that makes use of a seawall constructed in 1994 for flood mitigation and agricultural purposes.

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5.) Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS)—California, USA

As the largest solar energy generating facility in the world, SEGS consists of nine solar power plants in California’s Mojave Desert with an installed capacity of 354 MW. Additionally, turbines are utilized at night by burning natural gas. According to NextEra, the plant powers over 230,000 homes and displaces 3,800 tons of pollution annually.

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4.) Walney Wind Farm—Cumbria, U.K.

With 102 turbines stretching 28 square miles off the coast of Cumbria, the Walney wind farm recently became the world’s largest offshore wind facility. However, DONG Energy, a major stakeholder in the project, is also involved in an even larger London Array wind farm, which could produce an upwards of 1000 MW when completed. As of now, the Walney wind farm has a maximum output of 367.2 MW, and involved some of the fastest wind farm construction of its type.

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3.) The Tilbury—Tilbury, U.K.

The world’s largest biomass-fueled power plant just came online in the UK, generating an upwards of 750 MW of base load renewable power. The new station burns wood pellets to produce electricity and is located on the site of Tilbury’s aging coal-fired power plant, which is set to shut down in 2015.

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2.) Roscoe Wind Farm—Texas, USA

Among the many large wind farms across the state of Texas, the Roscoe wind farm is the largest, with a capacity of 781 MW. Owned and operated by E.ON Climate & Renewables, the 627 wind turbines were set up in four phases since 2008, costing over $1 billion to supply power to 250,000 homes.

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1.) The Geysers—California, USA

The Geysers is a complex consisting of 22 geothermal power plants, drawing steam from over 350 wells, with an active installed capacity of 1517 MW. About 72 miles north of San Francisco, 19 of the 22 plants are owned and operated by Calpine Corporation with the other two under Northern California Power Agency and Silicon Valley Power. Since the activities of one plant affect those around it, the consolidation of plant ownership at the Geysers has been beneficial in allowing the plants to operate cooperatively rather than in their own short-term interest. Currently, the Geysers produce enough electricity for 1.1 million people, but techniques developed from Enhanced Geothermal Systems are expected to increase future production. Geothermal energy accounts for over 10,000 MW of installed capacity around the world, with the largest capacities in the U.S. (3,086 MW), Philippines and Indonesia.

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ACCIONA looks to issue $335m of wind bonds

  • Energy and infrastructure developer Acciona to raise $335 million from bond investors to refinance 2 Mexican wind farms; Oaxaca II and Oaxaca (singular capacity of 102MW, and are located in the southwest Mexico state)
  • According to Bloomberg News, Acciona has engaged five banks – Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Banco Santander and Société Générale – to arrange meetings with bond investors this month.

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Internationalized Pemex

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