Conservation, Energy Efficiency, Legislation, Oil

S. Africa Declares Electricity Emergency

January 25, 2008 (AP) – South Africa will ration electricity, increase prices and encourage a switch to solar energy, all part of emergency measures now being undertaken amid power outages that have caused chaos and misery nationwide and threatened to choke economic growth.

Neighbors like Botswana and Namibia, which rely heavily on South African energy exports, have also been badly hit by the disruptions in the region’s economic and political powerhouse. The outages have undermined confidence in South Africa, with more incidents like the stranding of hundreds of people on tourism icon Table Mountain spreading through the media to other countries.

South African businesses have been crippled by the outages, which usually occur without warning. In an indication of the severity of the crisis, major mining companies including AngloGold, Harmony and Gold Fields Ltd. suspended work at some of their mines Friday for fear power cuts would trap workers underground. Continue reading

Energy Efficiency, Japan, Solar

The world’s most stunning solar building (Japan)

January 16, 2008 ( – Sanyo in Japan has constructed an amazing solar-collecting building that embodies both clean-energy ideals and awesome architectural design strategies.The so-called Solar Ark has over 5,000 active solar panels generating over 500,000 KWh of environmentally friendly energy. Nearly 500 multi-colored lighting units placed between the various solar panels can be activated to create a variety of shapes and letters on the sides of this enormous structure.


Biofuels, Biomass, Cleantech venture capital, Energy Efficiency, Solar, Wind

Investment in clean energy topped $100 billion for first time in 2007

January 2, 2007 (IHT) – Despite the global credit crunch in 2007, new investment in clean energy industries like wind and solar power rose sharply to break through the $100 billion barrier for the first time, a research group, New Energy Finance, said Wednesday.

Michael Liebreich, chief executive of the group, which is based in London, said investments had risen 35 percent to reach $117.2 billion in 2007, from $86.5 billion the year before. Continue reading

Air Pollution, China, Clean Energy, Climate Change, Emissions Reduction, Energy Efficiency

China has made active response to climate challenge

December 24, 2007 (United Nations Resident Coordinator in China, Khalid Malik) – In outgoing 2007, almost all important intergovernmental panels have so far focused their core topics for discussion on climate change, and this year will surely go down into the annuals of the world history as a crucial year.Internationally, a great deal of talks or discussions globally acknowledge that China would replace the United States as the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gas in the next decade. People, nevertheless, do not known much about the unremitting, continuous efforts and contributions China has so far made in dealing with climate challenges. China was expected to invest 10 billion US dollars this year on the research and development of renewable energies, and was thus cited as the global No. 2 in term of the input made in this sphere, only next to Germany.

At a recent summit of East Asian Leaders in Singapore, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao pledged to reduce energy consumption (per unit of GDP) by 20 percent over the coming five years. This pledge of Wen’s is more or less the same with the commitment of the EU member states to reducing their greenhouse gases emission by 20 percent by the year 2020.

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Clean Energy, Climate Change, Emissions Reduction, Energy Efficiency, General, Renewable Energy

‘Bali and beyond: a new green economics’ – Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General

December 3, 2007 ( – WE have read the science. Global warming is real, and we are a prime cause. We have heard the warnings. Unless we act, now, we face serious consequences. Polar ice may melt. Sea levels will rise. A third of our plant and animal species could vanish. There will be famine around the world, particularly in Africa and Central Asia.

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Clean Energy, Emissions Reduction, Energy Efficiency, Japan

Japan Sets Asian Benchmark for Energy Efficiency

November 26, 2007 (VOA News) – Japan has set the benchmark in energy efficiency that other Asian nations are aspiring to emulate. But Japan has also found that using energy wisely does not automatically solve the problem of greenhouse gas emissions – the same problem that will be the focus of the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali. Naomi Martig reports from VOA’s Asia News Center in Hong Kong.

In Japan, energy-efficiency is not just a government policy. It is a mindset, created in large part by high utility costs in a country that has few natural fuel resources of its own. From re-using hot bath water to keeping just one room heated during the winter, many Japanese have been raised to minimize energy consumption.

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Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Singapore

ASEAN Declaration on Environmental Sustainability

November 23, 2007 (TodayOnline) – Amid the mixed emotions at Asean’s highly eventful 13th Summit — with Myanmar’s intransigence the mood dampener — significant agreements and declarations were announced at the end of the meeting and the related gatherings.

Their respective agendas should prompt us to examine the issues and initiatives these regional security frameworks have identified to respond to pressing security challenges confronting the region today.  The salient question is whether these regional structures are prepared and equipped to respond to the host of security threats that have emerged on the horizon.

Three key issues dominated the meeting this week: Climate change, energy and the environment. At the end of the Asean Summit, the leaders adopted the “Asean Declaration on Environmental Sustainability”.

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Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Power Purchase Agreement, Singapore

New energy policy will let Singaporeans choose electricity providers

November 13, 2007 (CSR Asia) – Singapore has just launched a new National Energy Policy Report (available at unveiling six key strategies an inter-ministry group called the Energy Policy Group will focus on. Attracting most attention is news that households in Singapore will be able to choose their electricity supplier, which theoretically will give them the option to choose ‘greener’ providers. The report also includes policies on energy efficiency and growing the renewable energy sector. A review of the report will be included in next week’s CSR Asia Weekly.

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China, Energy Efficiency, Solar

China: Conservation is in the Details

November 12, 2007 (Business Week) – Beijing has made big plans to save its rapidly deteriorating environment. The 11th Five-Year Plan, released in 2005, set ambitious, hard targets for the country in renewable energy use, energy efficiency, water conservation and other areas. But whether these grand strategies ultimately pay off may come down to details such as whether workmen can be trained to install better quality windows in buildings.

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Energy Efficiency, Japan

Auto biggies bet on green tech

November 5, 2007 (Times of India) – At a dinner for scores of journalists and dealers from the Asia-Pacific region hosted by him on the sidelines of the Tokyo Motor Show last week, Honda Motor Co President and CEO Takeo Fukui stopped by for a chat at a table with Indian journalists.

A veteran auto journo was quick to grab the opportunity to pop a question: How are you going to reconcile your professed commitment to environmental efficiency with the promise of making your cars fun to ride? Fukui was unfazed by the question: “You’ll find out for yourself tomorrow,” he said with a confident smile.

What the Honda CEO was referring to was the fact that the Indian journalists invited by his company to visit the Motor Show, would be test driving the FCX concept car at Honda proving grounds, about 100 km north of Tokyo the next day. With a maximum speed of 160 kmph and a sleek design, the new concept car is already a significant improvement over its earlier version. What’s more, it costs less to produce.

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