Sustainable Energy for All

June 26, 2012

Energy access

India Expands Strengthens Renewable Energies - India's Union Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Dr. Farooq Abdullah has said that India is committed to increasing the share of renewable power in the electricity mix to 15 per cent by the year 2020. (Dominik Stephan, Process Worldwide)

Solar Power Beamed From Space Inches Toward Reality - High above the atmosphere, virtually limitless power is raining down on the Earth. Dreams of launching a satellite to collect this sunlight and beam it back to Earth as clean power remain science fiction--for now. (Fast Co.exist)

U.S. Leaders Working Toward 'The Future We Want' in Rio - As more than 40,000 people and delegates from nearly 200 countries -- including heads of State, parliamentarians, mayors, U.N. officials, business and civil society leaders -- attended the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development last week, the United States was stepping up to the plate and committing to solutions for a sustainable future that benefits not only our own domestic interests but also powers the global economy. (Peter Yeo, The Huffington Post)
UN Initiative Promises Trillions of Dollars in Clean Energy Investments - Last Thursday at the Rio+20 U.N. development conference in Brazil, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said goals to double global renewable energy and rate of energy efficiency improvements are on their way due to new energy strategies in more than 50 countries and private investments of over $50 billion. (Jeff Cobb, Hybrid Cars)
Green businesses set to lead creation of Rio's+20 "Future We Want” - It has been impossible to avoid the glut of criticism from green NGOs and politicians left deeply disappointed by the lack of ambition on display at the Rio +20 Earth summit last week. (Jessica Shankleman, GreenBusiness)
World leaders pledge $513bn to sustainable development – At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), some $513 billion in funding has been committed by governments, the private sector, civil society and other groups to achieve a sustainable future. (Engineering News)
Alternative energy finds support during Rio+20 - The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) has come to an end. (John Max, Hydrogen Fuel News)

Renewable energy

US agency grants $360m to boost overseas renewables - An agency of the US government has approved $360 million in funding for two overseas renewables development schemes, in an effort to bring Western-built technologies to the developing world. (Renewable Energy Focus)

These Solar Panels Are ASnap - A Midwestern solar power firm has discovered a novel method of convincing big box retail stores and factories to go solar: Giving them massive solar panels that stack like children’s building blocks and can be easily moved and relocated.  (Fast Co.exist)

Solar Park to be China's Biggest Investment in Chile - Chinese renewable energy company Sky Solar, state-backed China Development Bank and Chilean industrial group Sigdo Koppers plan to make a Chinese firm's biggest investment in the Andean country: a $900 million solar energy park, export promotion agency ProChile said on Tuesday. (Anthony Esposito, Reuters)

Sustainable energy policy

Officials: North Dakota energy policy is model for country - North Dakota’s robust and diverse energy sector can provide a model for creating jobs and help reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, officials said Monday. (James MacPherson, The Jamestown Sun)

MPs seek answers from Treasury on Energy Bill - The House of Commons energy committee says the Treasury should explain its influence on energy policy. (Roger Harrabin, BBC News)

Christie expected to sign solar energy bill to bolster weak demand for credits - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, whose administration has called solar power an economic “albatross,” is expected to sign legislation that would increase the amount of solar energy state utilities must buy. (

Energy efficiency

Sir David King: quantitative easing should be aimed at green economy - The billions of pounds the Bank of England is pouring into banks in a bid to get lending flowing should have strings attached to ensure that much of the liquidity is directed towards greening the economy, the UK's former chief scientific adviser has urged. (Fiona Harvey, The Guardian)

Families waste £86 a year on electricity bills because they don’t switch off televisions and other gadgets - Families are squandering up to £86 a year on electricity bills by leaving gadgets on standby or plugged in but not in use, a study suggests. (Matt Blake, Daily Mail)

US energy use to slow, get cleaner - Energy use in the U.S. is expected to grow less than one percent per year through 2035 and the U.S. will become less dependent on foreign energy sources, the government reported. (Bloomberg Businessweek)


June 22, 2012


UN Foundation Head Tim Wirth on Sustainable Energy for All - As the president of the UN Foundation, former U.S. Senator Tim Wirth’s job is to connect people, ideas, and resources to help the United Nations solve global problems. (Willie Shubert, National Geographic)

Rio+20: Making this Moment Count - Economic security and political instability are immediate problems that capture attention and require urgent action. (Kathy Calvin, Diplomatic Courier)

The Energy Future We Want- Think about your life without electricity and other modern energy services: no light to read this by, no appliances, no refrigeration. No computers to link you to the outside world or transport to get you there. For nearly one of every five people in the world, that is everyday reality. (Charles Holliday and Kandeh Yumkella, All Africa)

Plethora of happenings vie for attention as media zeroes in on Rio - With an estimated 50,000 people taking part in the UN Conference on Sustainable Development — delegates, observers, campaigners, media folk and peddlers of every kind — hype is everything. (Frank McDonald, Irish Times)

In Rio, Secretary-General Praises Establishment of Global Green Growth Institute, Says Will Help Support Global Push for Low-Carbon Economy These are Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, at the signing of an agreement on the establishment of the Global Green Growth Institute. (Press Release, UN News)

Agreement Reached in Rio+20 Negotiations - The delegations from the UN member states have agreed on a draft outcome document for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20. (Press Release, Government of Norway)

Engaging the world in a conversation about sustainability - It was not too long ago when large meetings of world leaders were simply stories on the evening news. (Cailee Olson, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide)

Rio+20: Development banks to invest $175 billion in sustainable transport - The eight largest multilateral development banks (MDBs) announced today at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) that they will invest $175 billion in sustainable transportation systems over the coming decade. (UN News Centre)

Rio+20: Ban announces more than 100 commitments on sustainable energy - Speaking at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced that more than one hundred commitments and actions have been already mobilized in support of the UN’s global sustainable energy initiative. (UN News Centre)

Clinton speaking at Rio+20 environment summit as talks conclude in Brazil - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has arrived in Brazil where she’ll join leaders from 192 other nations at a big United Nations environmental conference. (The Washington Post)

Remarks of Michelle Bachelet at Rio+20 high level panel on sustainable energy for all - It is my pleasure to facilitate this session on how Sustainable Energy is Enabling Future Generations. (Michelle Bachelet, UN Women)

Equator Prize Winners Honored at Rio+20 for Community-Led Environment and Poverty Solutions - he Equator Initiative celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Equator Prize last night with a gala event at the Vivo Rio concert hall, as part of the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. (Brazil Business Today)

Sustainable development at Rio +20 actively supported by EBRD - The Rio +20 summit has been hailed by the EBRD and other multilateral development banks as a “unique opportunity” to launch a renewed strategy for sustainable development which aims for inclusive green growth. (Green Economy)

Renewable energy

UN chief unveils clean energy pledges, investments - U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday that more than 50 governments have launched new energy strategies, while private investors have pledged more than $50 billion to help carry out his goal to double the share of global renewable energy and the rate of energy efficiency improvement by 2030. (Valerie Volcovici, Reuters)

The Russian renewable energy market-a green giant which remained untapped - The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is a member of the World Bank Group, focused on private sector development. Our mission is to attract private sector investment to sectors which we believe are crucial to mitigating climate change, creating jobs and alleviating poverty. (Stanislava Gaydazhieva, New Europe Online)

Salazar approves first-ever commercial solar energy project on American Indian trust lands - As part of the Obama Administration's all of the above approach to American energy, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today approved a 350-megawatt solar energy project on tribal trust land of the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians (Tribe) in Clark County, Nevada.  (Power Engineering)

Energy access

OFID commits US$ 1 billion to address Energy Poverty Alleviation - OFID Director-General, Mr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish made this announcement to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during a meeting of the UN Secretary –General’s High Level Group on Sustainable Energy for All. (Mauro Hoyer, Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development)

World Bank to Boost Access to Electricity and Clean Fuels, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency - The World Bank Group announced today that it will boost efforts to expand energy access, while also increasing support for renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries, responding to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative. (Robert  Bisset, The World Bank)

UN aims at universal access to clean energy by 2030 - UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Thursday outlined plans at the Rio+20 summit to provide universal access to energy by 2030, with tens of billions of dollars in funding from business and investors. (Phys Org)

Sustainable energy policy

Director-General Yumkella says Sustainable Energy for All initiative to benefit over a billion people worldwide - Kandeh K. Yumkella, the Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and head of UN-Energy, said today that more than a billion people in the developing world will benefit from the Sustainable Energy for All initiative which is gaining momentum, with pledges of billions of dollars coming from governments, multilateral development banks, international and civil society organizations. (Mikhail Evstafyev, UNIDO)

Global Energy Assessment identifies pathways to a sustainable energy future - This new global energy study outlines a range of 41 alternative sustainable energy pathways that offer viable, cost effective choices for policy makers to achieve necessary human health and environmental sustainability goals by 2050. (IIASA)

U.S. Grants for Clean Energy Will Create Jobs in Africa - The U.S. will provide $20 million in grants for clean-energy projects in Africa, an industry that will create new jobs in the region, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. (Alex Morales and Reed Landberg, Bloomberg)

Utilities and the Challenges of Sustainable Investing - Sustainable investing is an increasingly mainstream activity. But utilities are only beginning to adjust their business approaches to get in on the popularity of using those sustainability metrics to evaluate company performance and outlooks. (Jared Anderson and Peter Gardett, AOL Energy)

Energy efficiency

ClimateWorks Supports UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative With U.S. $15 Million Commitment - The ClimateWorks Foundation announced today its commitment of up to U.S. $15 million over the next three years to help India, China, Brazil and Mexico double both their rate of improvement in energy efficiency and the share of renewable energy in their energy portfolios by 2030. (MarketWatch)

IKEA to Use Rooftop Solar Power Plants in China - Once complete, the solar project is expected to provide 10% to 15% of the power requirements of IKEA’s buildings in China, and 100% of the power required by its distribution centers. This is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 6,000 tons per year. (Nicholas Brown, CleanTechnica)

Workshop on green buildings - Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) will conduct a media briefing workshop Build them 'green': Deconstructing the building sector in India, 2012,'' at the Magnolia, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi from June 28-29. (Dipannita Das, Times of India)


June 21, 2012


Rio+20: WWF and African Development Bank rally leaders to invest in Africa’s Natural Capital - The African Development Bank (AfDB) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) released a joint report on the state of environment in Africa, and are calling world leaders to invest in Africa’s natural capital. (WWF Global)

Rio+20 Needs An Ideas Overhaul To Address Global Challenges - For advocates of all things “green”, the Rio+20 Summit is supposed to charter a new path forward for the world to address its biggest challenges: reduce greenhouse gas emissions, eradicate poverty, end hunger, limit environmental destruction and increase access to clean water. (Matthew Stepp, The Energy Collective)

Zambia: Sata to Address Rio UN Conference - President Michael Sata will today address the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development which opened yesterday. (AllAfrica)

Ericsson Participates in Rio+Social - To continue raising awareness about the role that technology can play in addressing sustainability challenges, Ericsson (ERIC) participates in Rio+Social which takes place today in Rio de Janeiro, alongside UN's Rio+20 summit (June 13-22). (Yahoo! News)

Ban at Rio+20: 'Time is not on our side' - "Time is not on our side" to make economic growth and social progress truly serve humanity, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at the Brazil U.N. Earth summit. (

Press Release:Sustainable Energy for All Initiative Releases Major New Commitments to Action by Governments, Private Sector and Civil Society ahead of Rio+20 Conference - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Sustainable Energy for All initiative today released further commitments to action from a wide range of stakeholders in support of the Secretary-General's vision of achieving sustainable energy for all by 2030. (Sustainable Energy for All website)

Energy access

Can increased energy access levels go hand-in-hand with lowering our climate emissions? - Rio +20 is occurring as we enter a phase of planetary emergency - we've recently surpassed 400 ppm in the Arctic, biodiversity loss is occurring at an exponential pace and global warming is magnifying global abnormal weather conditions. (Charles Arthur, The Energy Collective)

The World’s Poor Deserve Greener Energy, Too - With oil costing close to $100 a barrel, and most imported Asian coal about $120 a ton, fossil energy costs are crippling emerging economies in Asia and Africa. (Carl Pope, Bloomberg)

Energizing Women: Revolutionizing Women’s Lives Through Sustainable Energy Access event held - In Belgium, Partners for Euro‐African Green Energy (PANGEA) and ENERGIA organized the event “Energizing Women: Revolutionizing Women’s Lives Through Sustainable Energy Access”, as part of EU Sustainable Energy Week on Tuesday. (Meghan Sapp, Biofuels Digest)

Sustainable energy policy

UN Launches a Public-service Film as Rio+20 Opens, Sharing the Hopes of Chinese People for a Sustainable Future - As world leaders gather in Brazil to hold discussions on sustainable development at Rio+20, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), together with the UN Department of Public Information launched today a public-service film entitled '2032: The Future We Want'. (Environmental Expert)

Actor Mark Ruffalo Pushes New York Solar Jobs Bill - Mark Ruffalo is throwing his celebrity behind legislation in New York that would lower the cap on emissions (mostly from coal-fired power plants) and help provide hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives for solar energy. (Michael d’Estries, MNN)

Africa: 11th Agoa Forum Ends in Washington - Senior U.S. and African government officials, private sector business executives, African civil society representatives and women entrepreneurs from across sub-Saharan Africa have concluded the 11th African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum in Washington, ending meetings that covered a wide range of issues intended to help reach their common goal of enhancing U.S.-Africa trade to promote shared economic growth. (AllAfrica)

Energy efficiency

Aggressive Energy Efficiency Goals Are Transforming the Building Industry, According to Pike Research - Despite significant growth and much publicity, the green construction and technology market still accounts for only a small percentage of the commercial building stock worldwide. (MarketWatch)

Green buildings gain momentum in India - An R&D center gives back more power than it takes; a residential complex and a hospital have cut power and water consumption by 40-60 per cent. Green buildings are gaining momentum and could account for 20 per cent of all construction by 2030. (Hari Pulakkat, Times of India)
EBay Plans Data Center That Will Run on Alternative Energy Fuel Cells - EBay plans to build a data center to handle its billions of dollars in retail transactions that will draw its power from alternative energy fuel cells rather than the national power grid, which is heavily dependent on coal plants. (James Glanz, The New York Times)

Cutting energy use by adopting automation - From carmakers to textile plants, China's factories are introducing automation and advanced energy-saving devices into their production lines as rising wages bite profits. (

Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program Teams Up With Chicago Fire Soccer Club to Tackle Energy Waste - As soccer season heats up, the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program and the Chicago Fire Soccer Club have teamed up to encourage fans to "Take the Pledge" to save energy at home. (Annette Martinez, MarketWatch)

Renewable energy

Skeptical about renewable energy predictions? - In 2000, IEA projected that there would be 30 gigawatts of wind energy worldwide by 2010, but the estimate was off by a factor of 7. (Michael Noble, REVE)

Asia Report: U.K.-Korea Unite Behind Offshore Wind, Tidal Prospects - Two nations with vast plans for offshore wind development are forging an alliance that may help each become a dominant presence in their respective regional markets. (Renewable Energy World)


June 20, 2012


U.S. Support for the Sustainable Energy for All Global Action Agenda - The UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative represents an important opportunity for the international community to address issues critical to the future of sustainable development, energy access, and economic growth. (Press Release, U.S. Department of State)

Rio+20: UN Conference on Sustainable Development kicks off with call to action - More than 100 Heads of State and government today gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the start of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), which seeks to shape new policies to promote global prosperity, reduce poverty and advance social equity and environmental protection. (UN News Centre)

Rio+20: Progress on Earth issues 'too slow' - UN chief - The UN sustainable development summit in Rio de Janeiro has formally opened with a warning from UN head Ban Ki-moon that progress on the issue is too slow. (Richard Black, BBC)

Rio+20: at downtown gathering, citizens voice concerns at People’s Summit - Thousands of citizens and members of civil society organizations from around the world have been gathering in downtown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to voice their concerns on the issues being discussed at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). (UN News Centre)

Rio Earth Summit - Then and now - Looking back, it is clear that the excitement and energy of that moment two decades ago, and the ambitious goals we set, have not yet put us on a path to a sustainable planet. (William K. Reilly, The Hill)

Rio+20: protecting the environment is not enough - Rio+20 is a landmark for the future. As more than 190 countries gather in Rio, we are witnessing a historic moment. The recent global crisis has shown that old-fashioned views about development are misleading. It is now time to rethink the very foundations of how we consider development, wellbeing and wealth. (Antonio Patriota, The Guardian)

UN Global Compact Boosts Voluntary Commitments at Rio+20 to Date - The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) Secretariat has reported on the latest submissions of voluntary commitments, which it is compiling in an online compendium on the Rio+20 website. (IISD)

Energy access

Universal access to energy: Getting the framework right - Improving access to affordable and sustainable energy services is absolutely central to broader development efforts to reduce poverty, and improve education, health, gender equality and environmental sustainability. (Veerle Vandeweerd, UNDP)

IRENA to Pitch Morocco as Africa’s Renewable Energy Pilot at Rio+20 - Renewing Africa’s Energy Future is the theme of an International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) side-event scheduled to take place today at the Rio +20 conference underway in Brazil. (Tafline Laylin, Green Prophet)

Energy needs demand 'massive transformation' - A massive transformation in society and technology is needed over the next two decades if the world is going to meet its energy needs sustainably – and it is up to governments to shape the agenda, starting at Rio+20, writes think-tank. (Måns Nilsson and Charlie Heaps, Public Service Europe)

AfDB Boosts Access to Low Cost Sustainable Energy in Zambia - The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a USD 35-million senior loan and a USD 3 million standby facility to Itezhi-Tezhi Power Corporation (ITPC) and a concessional loan of USD 18 million to the government as Zambia Electricity Supply Company (ZESCO)'s share of the equity to develop the Itezhi-Tezhi hydropower plant project that will provide reliable, low-cost power and sustainable energy to the country. (All Africa)

Sustainable energy policy

Give Solar Panels a Break - When I helped Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger create the Million Solar Roofs Initiative in California a few years ago, we designed it to stimulate mass production of solar panels to bring down cost. (Terry Tamminen, The Huffington Post)

Southern Africa: Angola Reaffirms Commitment to Sustainable Development- Angola will reaffirm its commitment to sustainable growth in different fields during the "Rio+20" Summit of Heads of State and Government on sustainable development, set from 20 to 22 June in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, said the Angolan minister of Environment. (All Africa)

Energy efficiency

Focus on energy as Rio+20 prepares to kick off - The United Nations’ Rio+20 conference starts today in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, twenty years after the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development held in the same city. (Adam Lane,

Racold Thermo to focus on energy efficiency, renewable solutions for water heaters in India - Racold Thermo, one of the country's largest manufacturers and seller of water heaters, is going to focus on high efficiency and renewable solutions to ensure that 80% of its business comes from such products by 2020. (Writankar Mukherjee, Financial Times)

Renewable energy

Power Finance of India Says Lending Rising on Renewables Growth - Power Finance Corp. (POWF), India’s largest state lender to electricity utilities, said a renewable-energy boom will support growth in loans as the country seeks to double clean-power capacity by 2017. (Sally Bakewell, Bloomberg Businessweek)

Are we wildly underestimating solar and wind power? - Right now, renewable energy sources like solar and wind still provide just a small fraction of the world’s electricity. But they’re growing fast. Very fast. Three new pieces of evidence suggest that many policymakers may be drastically underestimating just how quickly wind and solar are expanding. (Brad Plumer, Washington Post)

Cheap Coal Is Dead. Long Live Renewables. (Part 1) - “Sustainable Energy for All” is the main theme for this week’s Rio+20 United Nations gathering in Brazil. The challenge of making energy both accessible and sustainable has grown more complicated in the past year or so, and also more exciting. (Carl Pope, Bloomberg)

Infographic: G20 Renewable Energy from 2002 to 2020 - The NRDC predicts that the G20 will produce less than 4 percent from renewables by 2015 and 6 percent by 2020, up from only 2.6 percent currently and 0.86 percent in 2002. (Amanda Northrop, Circle of Blue)

Surat civic body to install solar panel on science center - Following the mantra of Going Green, Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) has called for tenders to install 100 KW solar panel atop its Science center building located at city light area of the city. (Himanshu Bhatt, The Times of India)


June 19, 2012


Rio Environment Meeting Focuses On 'Energy For All' - Diplomats and activists from around the world are meeting in Rio de Janeiro this week to talk about how the planet's growing population can live better lives without damaging the environment. (Richard Harris, NPR)

Ban Ki-moon: the momentum for change at Rio+20 is irreversible - There may be disagreement between nations going into the Rio Earth summit, but much has been achieved already. (Ban Ki-moon, The Guardian)

Zayed Future Energy Prize will hold panel discussion at Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro - With the ever increasing importance of implementing a synergetic approach to the adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures, the Zayed Future Energy Prize tomorrow will hold a panel discussion to discuss ways to expedite solutions at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. (Emirates News Agency)

Rio+20: sustainable energy for all - Working with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), Accenture is shaping the role of the private sector in achieving Sustainable Energy for All. (Accenture, The Guardian)

UAE- Masdar to present solar energy atlas at Rio +20 - A solar power atlas for the world's hot and sunny regions will be presented by Masdar at the Rio + 20, the United Nations conference on sustainable development starting in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday. ( via Khaleej Times)

Rio+20 Earth summit moves to boost UN environment program - Brazilian draft deal sets out new sustainable development goals, but EU delegates and others demand concrete timelines. (Jonathan Watts, The Guardian)

Rio Summit Must Make a Difference for Clean Energy - World leaders have debated the merits of sustainable development and a green economy at Rio + 20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro. (Mike Nemeth, Ezine Articles)

Energy access

Pressure builds on Rio+20 to target energy access for all - UN leaders, business chiefs, NGO activists and celebrities have joined forces in Rio de Janeiro in a concerted endeavor to assist 1.4 billion people around the world with no access to electricity and 2.7 billion with unsafe cooking stoves. (Bill Gunyon, Yahoo! News)

U.N. sees natural gas a key to forests, helping poor - Natural gas, including non-traditional shale gas, should play a major role in cutting greenhouse gases, protecting forests and improving the health and living standards of the world's poor, the co-head of a U.N. sustainable energy program said on Monday. (Jeb Blount, Chicago Tribune)

Rio+20: The benefits of energy access in Ghana (video) - Kassim Gawusu, Executive Director of Greener Impact International, talks about the importance of engaging youth in sustainable development and the organizations plan to take what they learn in Rio back to Ghana and share it at a youth conference. (RTCC)

Energy access key to Rio+20 summit - Practical Action Chief Executive Simon Trace has urged global leaders to maximize the opportunity presented by the Rio+20 Summit next week in a pre-conference video blog. (Practical Action)

The cost of being connected: A phone for every woman needs an affordable charging solution - James Wolfensohn’s New York Times op-ed highlighted the role that mobile phones can have on fighting the inequalities women in the developing world face. But a phone is not enough: phone charging remains a significant barrier in unlocking the potential of mobile for development. (Mary Roach, mWomen)

Renewable energy

India committed to increase share of Renewable Energy: Farooq - Union Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Dr. Farooq Abdullah has said that India is committed to increasing the share of renewable power in the electricity mix to 15 per cent by the year 2020. (State Times)

Masdar PV supplies modules to solar park in Northern India - The emerging solar market in India represents an important sales area for Masdar PV, the innovative producer of large-area thin-film photovoltaic products. (

Solar power consumers growing globally - On Tuesday, Applied Materials, Inc, the market leader in solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing equipment, released its fourth annual solar energy survey to measure consumers' understanding and awareness of this renewable energy source. The results are quite heartening. (Saswati Mukherjee, Times of India)

Small Island states with ambitious energy ambitions ahead of Rio+20 In a recent blog post at the World Bank blog, it is written about the ambitious energy agenda that small island states are setting for Rio+20. (Lxrichter, Think Geoenergy)

Renewable energy in the EU: which countries are set to reach their targets? - Energy obtained from renewable sources is estimated to have contributed to 12.4% of the European Union's (EU) overall energy consumption in 2010, up from 11.7% in 2009, according to latest figures published this week. (Ami Sedghi, The Guardian)

Sustainable energy policy

Energy bill must vow to 'decarbonise' sector or face losing investment - The government must set a clear "twilight" on gas-fired power generation in its forthcoming energy bill, or face a dearth of much-needed investment into the power sector, according to a top Tory MP. (Fiona Harvey, The Guardian)

Cameron backs UK low carbon tech export drive at G20 - David Cameron is at the G20 Summit in Mexico promoting British companies, some of which manufacture low carbon technology, and saw the launch of a Green Growth Action Alliance. (David Thorpe, Energy & Environmental Management)

Energy efficiency

China creates model for sustainable living - At first glance, Tianjin Eco-City looks much like any other upscale Chinese urban development, with its rows of identical apartment blocks, wide roads and manicured verges. (Claire Cozens, Mother Nature Network)

Mobilizing Information and Communications Technology in Rio - One of the centerpieces of this month’s Rio+20 summit is an important initiative called Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All). (Steve Seidel, The Energy Collective)


June 18, 2012


Rio+20: An open letter from the United Nations Foundation - I am writing you this e-mail because I think you are a person of influence.  People listen to you.  I listen to you.  We all know you’re smart and want to follow the things that you think are important. This is why I am inviting you to attend a Summit meeting with me. (Aaron Sherinian, UN Foundation)

Ban Ki-moon: the momentum for change at Rio+20 is irreversible - This week, world leaders gather for a momentous occasion – the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro. Will it be a success? In my opinion, yes. To be sure, the negotiations have been lengthy. Even now there is more disagreement than agreement on the details of the so-called "outcome document" that will emerge. Yet that will not be the defining measure. Far more important is what the Rio conference has already accomplished. And that is to build a global movement for change. (Ban Ki-moon, The Guardian)

Going Green: Pioneering Private Sector Already Embracing Sustainable Future - Businesses making the transition towards the green economy are already reaping rewards worth hundreds of millions of dollars in savings and high return on investment, while benefiting consumers, communities and the environment, says a new report entitled The Business Case for the Green Economy: Sustainable Return on Investment. (Nick Nuttall, UNEP)

Rio+20: 'Encouraging progress' made on outcome document - “Encouraging progress” was made by countries on the final day of the last round of talks aimed at reaching agreement on the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), a UN official said today. (UN News Centre)

Rio+20: 'Extraordinary' coalition warns governments can't go it alone - By their own admission, it is an "extraordinary" group of leaders from across business, NGOs, trade unions and science that have come together to find a new path towards sustainable development. But then again, these are extraordinary times. (Jo Confino, The Guardian)

Rio+20: Prince Charles in climate change warning - The Prince of Wales has warned of the "catastrophic" consequences of inaction on issues such as climate change, at a UN sustainability conference in Brazil. (BBC)

Africa: Putting Forests At the Heart of a New, Greener Economy - The world's forests have a major role to play in the transition to a new, greener economy, a theme being discussed at the Rio+20 Conference. But to spark that shift, governments must enact programs and policies aimed at both unlocking the potential of forests and ensuring that they are sustainably managed, FAO said today. (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)

Why Mashable Is in Rio to Build the Future We Want - The world is round. And now more than ever, we are all connected. This means that we are all responsible for building the future we want. (Stacy Green, Mashable)

Africa: Women and Sustainability - Recognizing the Role of Women At Rio+20 - Nourishing the Planet is collaborating with Women Deliver to highlight the important role of women, youth, and reproductive and sexual rights in sustainable development at the upcoming Rio+20 conference. From sustainable cities to renewable energy, some of the most crucial areas of development policy remain devoid of any mention or dialogue on the issue of women's rights. (Seyyada Burney and Emilie Schnarr,

High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability and The Elders Prepare Declaration for Rio+20 - The Nobel Laureate Symposium Series on Global Sustainability convened an event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, gathering Nobel Laureates, members of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability (GSP) and members of The Elders to focus on the scientific support for policy action, in particular for the actions contained in the GSP report. (IISD)

Energy access

Power and Progress - We grew up in entirely different regions of the world: one in Norway, the other in Sierra Leone. The gap between our two countries in terms of development could hardly be starker: Norway’s GDP per capita is more than 50 times that of Sierra Leone. (Helge Lund and Kandeh Yumkella, Project Syndicate)

Eight19 to drive energy access at Rio+20 - Eight19 has joined forces with leaders in their respective fields to push for action at the Rio+20 conference to address energy poverty. (Eight19)

Sustainable energy policy

International Solar Energy Survey Reveals Consumer Optimism and Misperceptions - In celebration of the summer solstice on June 20, the day the sun shines for the longest period of time all year in the northern hemisphere, Applied Materials, Inc. today announced the results of its fourth annual solar energy survey, which measures consumers' understanding and awareness of this renewable energy source. (Amaya Wiegert, Reuters)

Rio+20: Coke, Unilever, Other Giants Lead Natural Capital Initiative; Plus a Summit Business News Roundup - The Coca-Cola Company, Dow Chemical and Duke Energy are among 24 major companies that have agreed to develop a methodology to assign value to the world’s forests, freshwater and marine systems. (Environmental Leader)

Denmark Pushes Through First-Ever EU Energy Efficiency Law - With the clock running out on its EU presidency, Denmark achieved on June 13 one of the chief aims of its six months in control of the European agenda. (Justin Gerdes, Forbes)

Renewable energy

India's Jammu and Kashmir Pursuing Massive Hydroelectric Expansion - The government of Jammu & Kashmir reemphasized its commitment to adding about 8,000 MW of hydropower capacity in the next decade, has learned. (Michael Harris, Renewable Energy World)

Japan approves renewable subsidies in shift from nuclear power - Japan approved on Monday 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. (Reuters)

Renewable energy use surged worldwide last year - Renewable energy reached a big milestone in 2011, surging to a record $257 billion in global investments, the U.N. Environment Program announced, up 17 percent from 2010 and a six fold increase over the past seven years. (Russell McLendon, Phys Org)

Energy efficiency

Sales of electric vehicles in India - The withdrawal of subsidy by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) on March 31 has drastically affected the sales of electric cars. (REVE)

EU Sustainable Energy Week: Commission will present financing opportunities for renewables - Between 18 and 22 June 2012, an estimated 150,000 people across Europe will discuss energy efficiency and renewable energy during the seventh edition of the EU Sustainable Energy Week. (European Commission Press Release)

Green Campus Partners and Citi Launch Financing Solution to Fund Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Projects - Green Campus Partners ("GCP") announced today the closing of a $50 million warehouse funding facility with Citi that will give GCP dedicated capital access to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. (MarketWatch)


June 15, 2012


Rio+20 Feature: Seven Issues, Seven Experts – Energy - World leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and other groups will come together next week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to take part in the UN Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20). (UN News Centre)

Going to Rio to improve the world - Next week, world leaders gather for a momentous occasion - the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro. (Ban Ki-Moon, The Canberra Times)

Rio+20: Seizing the Opportunity for a Sustainable Future - The 1992 Earth Summit was a bright moment for the environmental movement. For the first time, presidents and prime ministers—more than 100 in all—were “coming together to save the earth,” as a headline on the cover of Time magazine put it. (Manish Bapna, World Resource Institute)

229 Voluntary Commitments Reported to Date at Rio+20 - The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) Secretariat has reported on the latest submissions of voluntary commitments, which it is compiling in an online compendium on the Rio+20 website. (IISD)

The Road To Rio Goes Through Mexico: Connecting the G-20 Summit to the Rio+20 Conference - The Group of 20 developed and developing nations will meet Monday in Los Cabos, Mexico, for their seventh meeting since the initial G-20 summit in November 2008, hosted by the George W. Bush administration in Washington, D.C. (Andrew Light and Rebecca Lefton, Think Progress)

Virgin Unite and the United Postcode Lotteries Celebrate Businesses Protecting Mother Nature at Rio+Social - Today, the United Nations Foundation, Mashable, 92nd Street Y, Ericsson, Energias de Portugal (EDP), LiveAD, and Planeta Sustentável announced the support of Virgin Unite and the United Postcode Lotteries as additional sponsors of Rio+Social, a global event about the nexus of social media, technological innovation, and sustainable development. (Yahoo! News)

Rio+20 Earth summit is too important to fail, says Ban Ki-Moon - The UN secretary general said the international community was in danger of squandering a once-in-a-generation opportunity. (Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian)

Energy access

Sustaining Women - The United Nations “Rio+20” Earth Summit this month will be a staging ground to chart the course for inclusive economies, social equality, and environmental protection. For that reason, it must place sustainable development at the forefront of the global agenda. (Kandeh K. Yumkella, Michelle Bachelet, and Margaret Chan, Project Syndicate) 

IRENA publishes new report on Renewable Energy Access and Jobs - The report, released by the International Renewable Energy Agency examines job creation in the context of rural access to energy, a topic which to date has received insufficient attention. (Alliance for Rural Electrification)

Africa: Seizing the Opportunity for a Sustainable Future - The 1992 Earth Summit was a bright moment for the environmental movement. For the first time, presidents and prime ministers - more than 100 in all - were "coming together to save the earth," as a headline on the cover of Time magazine put it. (Manish Bapna, All Africa)

Energy efficiency

Energy efficient ratings to be made mandatory for TV sets - The energy efficiency ratings, which are currently seen on refrigerators and air-conditioners, will soon be applicable to LCD, plasma and CRT categories in television sets. (Times of India)

It's Summertime and Energy Is on Our Minds - As the days get longer, more and more Americans are cranking up their air conditioners and turning on their fans. (Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, The Huffington Post)

Renewable energy

Harnessing Energy for Sustainable Development in Africa - A great amount is at stake for Africa at the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), or Rio+20, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Joe Gurowsky,

Renewable energy seminar to focus on cutting dependence on conventional fuels - “It is natural to think about transport when you talk about diesel consumption. But, nearly one-third of the 65 million tonnes of the fuel is used to generate electricity,” asks Mr Narasimhan Santhanam, Director, Energy Alternatives India. (The Hindu)

Sustainable energy policy

The Government of Samoa Shows the World the Way With Renewable Energy and Awards Contract to Sunlogics Power Partner Group - DayStar Technologies, Inc. and Salamon Group, Inc., under contract with the Government of Samoa, shows the world the way on renewable energy in a bold and historical initiative. (MarketWatch)

Make Greening the World Your Foreign Policy: Green Transatlantic Relations - Amartya Sen gave us a good definition of a universal value: something that most people would agree with. (Jerome Simons, NRDC Switchboard)


June 14, 2012


Volkswagon, Siemens and Deutsche Bank join rallying call at Rio+20 - The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has issued a call for greater collaboration between business and governments in order to maximize the impact of the Rio+20 summit. (John Parnell, RTCC)

Governments Need to Act in Rio for a Sustainable Energy Future - Friday 15 June is Global Wind Day, when thousands will experience the power of wind energy at more than 200 events in at least 40 countries around the world. (

Why The Rio Earth Summit Matters More Than Ever - From June 13 – 22, an estimated 50-to-100,000 people will be present for the United Nations Conference on Sustainability and Development in Rio de Janeiro, at RioCentro, 20 years after the first Rio Summit in 1992 (hence the name, Rio+20). (Michael Charles Tobias, Forbes)

Getting Down to Business in Rio - For governments in the West, this has been a common refrain of the financial and economic firefighting over the past four years. (Nader Mousavizadeh and Georg Kell, The New York Times)

Scientists urge Rio moves on population and consumption- More than 100 science academies around the world have called on world leaders to take action on population and consumption at the Rio+20 summit. They say past failures on these issues threaten the natural world and prospects for future generations. (Richard Black, BBC)

Road to Rio: Improving energy use key challenge for world’s food systems - Agriculture’s heavy dependence on fossil fuels is undermining the sector’s ability to feed the world, perpetuating poverty and undermining efforts to build a more sustainable world economy, FAO said today. (Odisha Diary)

Renewable energy

The Zayed Future Energy Prize invites submissions for the 2013 award - The Zayed Future Energy Prize is inviting submissions for the 2013 award before the deadline of July 16, 2012, for an opportunity to be awarded with part of a US$4 million fund. (News Blaze)

Renewable energy: Green electricity sector will grow faster when it gets head of wind - High quality global journalism requires investment. At first glance, Poland’s renewable energy sector appears to be doing quite well, and the government’s target of producing 10.4 per cent of the country’s final energy consumption from renewable energy by 2012 has already been exceeded. (Adam Easton, Financial Times)

U.S. Solar Industry Booming Despite China Trade War - The solar industry may be in turmoil, what with the U.S.-China photovoltaic trade war and a growing roster of companies tipping into bankruptcy, but business continues to boom, according to a report released Wednesday. (Todd Woody, Forbes)

Sustainable energy policy

U.S.-India Bilateral Cooperation on Energy and Climate Change - Recalling the 2009 U.S.-India MOU on clean energy, energy efficiency, energy security, and climate change, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Minister of External Affairs S.M. Krishna reaffirmed their countries’ strong commitment to work collaboratively in bilateral and multilateral fora to help ensure mutual energy security, combat global climate change and support the development of low-carbon economies that will create opportunities and fuel job growth in both countries. (Press Release, US Department of State)
UN Urges Africa to Create Green Economy - The United Nations said African countries can avoid the mistakes of early-industrialized countries by growing their societies in an environmentally sound way. (Lisa Schlein, Voice of America)

EU agrees energy savings text, still needs to sign it - European Union negotiators agreed early on Thursday the text of a law designed to make governments and utilities improve energy efficiency and lower the bloc's fuel bills. (Reuters)

Energy efficiency

Deputy Prime Minister Launches ‘Observatoire de l’Energie' - The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Dr Rashid Beebeejaun, proceeded this morning to the official launch of the  ‘Observatoire de l’Energie’ at the seat of the Mauritius Institute of Training and Development House in Phoenix. (Press Release, Government of Mauritius)


Crown Estate study says wind costs could drop by a third – The costs of offshore wind farms could be cut by almost a third by the end of the decade, according to a new study. A report by the Crown Estate said measures such as building bigger turbines and improving design could reduce costs by 30%. (BBC)

Corporate energy conservation effort adds participants - Starbucks and Staples plan today to join the growing ranks of a voluntary Obama administration program to slash energy use at least 20% by 2020. The companies will post their annual power usage and details on their conservation projects on a U.S. Department of Energy website, aimed at becoming a "playbook" for others to follow. (Wendy Koch, USA Today)

Energy access

Africa: Improving Energy Use Key Challenge for World's Food Systems - Agriculture's heavy dependence on fossil fuels is undermining the sector's ability to feed the world, perpetuating poverty and undermining efforts to build a more sustainable world economy, FAO said today. (African Seer)

Welspun Energy to invest $1 billion in wind energy projects - Welspun Energy has decided to develop 1.7 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy with investments exceeding $1 billion (Rs 5675 crore) in the state of Karnataka. (Piyush Pandey, Times of India)

Players bet big on solar water heater business - With India facing electricity shortage coupled with the ministry of new and renewable energy promoting the use of solar energy devices with a 30% subsidy on solar products, water heater companies like Racold Thermo expect solar water heaters to become big growth drivers over the next few years. (Aparna Ramalingam, Times of India)


June 13, 2012


To Enable Development, Start With Energy - Next week, world leaders, businesses, and civil society organizations will convene in Rio de Janeiro for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development -- known as Rio+20 in honor of the Earth Summit 20 years ago. (Timothy E. Wirth, The Huffington Post)

A Global Movement For Change - Next week, world leaders will gather for a momentous occasion — the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro. (Ban Ki-moon, Modern Ghana)

Clinton to attend Rio+20 conference - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will lead a delegation of officials to the United Nation's sustainability conference in Rio de Janeiro from June 20-22, the State Department said Tuesday, signaling a stronger U.S. commitment to the summit. (Reuters)

Linkin Park to Stream Performance from Rio+Social Event - Linkin Park are joining forces with the United Nations Foundation and several other organizations for  Rio+Social.  As part of their involvement, LP will stream a performance from Los Angeles on June 19. (Loudwire)

Rio+20, Sri Lanka and the future we want - Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Environment is reportedly pursuing active preparations for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, commonly known as Rio+20. (Senel Wanniarachchi, Asian Tribune)

NRDC Rates G20 on Renewable Energy, Urges Greater Action at Rio+20 - The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) yesterday released its 2012 Renewable Energy Scorecard, a report that ranks and analyzes G20 member nations’ renewable energy production and investment from 2002-2012. (Andrew Burger, Triple Pundit)

Energy access

Infographic of the Day: Universal Access to Energy - Sustainable Energy for All is a new initiative of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon that sets three concrete goals for humanity to achieve by 2030. (Mark Leon Goldberg , UN Dispatch)

Rio+20 a chance to engage smallholder farms in sustainable agricultureThe draft outcome document of the Rio+20 summit mentions smallholder farmers – many of them women – in growing acknowledgment of their importance in terms of food security, with the continued threat of famine in the Sahel, and environmental sustainability, as farming accounts for at least 14% of global greenhouse emissions. (Mark Tran, The Guardian)

Energy efficiency

Mini Hydropower Project to Benefit Five Regions - FIVE regions are set to benefit from a mini hydropower project that targets to generate 3.2MW and boost economic development activities in Ruvuma, Iringa, Mbeya and Rukwa regions the nine target sites will produce. (All Africa)

Surat to have country's first sustainable building - The thrust to make Surat, Gujarat's second biggest city, country's first sustainable city has begun in earnest. After drawing a plan to make Surat an eco-city in five years’ time with the help of UK-based charity The Ecological Sequestration Trust (TEST), the Surat city climate change trust (SCCCT) consisting of local civic authorities, NGO members and other bodies decided to come up with the first sustainable building in the city. (Himanshu Bhatt, Times of India)

Renewable energy
How a Clean Energy Startup Used Social to Help Others Go Green - Sure, most of us would like to power our homes and businesses with renewable energy, but that doesn’t mean we know how to find a provider that can give us clean energy without much of a hassle. Clean Currents has created a simple solution for clean energy-seeking residents of the Mid-Atlantic. (Zoe Fox, The Huffington Post)\
Offshore wind power cost 'could fall one-third by 2020' - According to new reports by the wind industry and government, the costs of offshore wind power generation could be brought down by one-third by the end of the decade, making this form of renewable energy commercially viable in the UK. (Fiona Harvey, The Guardian)

U.S. Renewables Use Rose Faster than China in 2011: BP - The U.S. increased its use of renewable energy other than nuclear and hydroelectric by more than China last year, BP Plc said. (Mathew Carr, Bloomberg)

Sustainable energy policy

U.S. renewable energy investment jumps 57%, reports find - The U.S. increased renewable energy investment by 57 percent to $51 billion in 2011, as developers sought to take advantage of three incentive programs expiring in 2011 and 2012, two reports show. (The Business Review)

Report: UN to consider $1,300 green tax on US - Diplomats at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Conference in Rio de Janeiro next week will consider proposals that would levy taxes on American families and energy industries in order to support international efforts to combat global warming, according to a draft agenda for the conference. (Joel Gehrke, The Examiner)


June 12, 2012


Rio+20: megacities strive to survive – and thrive - In Rio de Janeiro, a gray-green river running thick with waste is flanked by the squatter settlement of Mandela on one side and the ornate turrets of the national public health ministry on the other. Kids paddle on hoods of cars and swim in the murky water, which the state environmental service condemned as having "pathological contamination" from sewage. (Taylor Barnes, Christian Science Monitor)

The pace of the talks still needs to be accelerated - Negotiators concluded on 2 June the last round of Rio+20 preparatory talks in New York on the Rio+20 Outcome Document, a round that had been added to give negotiators additional time to resolve differences before they arrive in Rio. (UN News Centre)

Rio+20: The Young Can't Wait - It was 20 years ago this month that Severn Suzuki, then 12, gave the speech of her life. As she stood on the podium at the first Earth Summit, Severn's admonition to dignitaries from 178 nations also became the speech of her generation. (William Becker, The Huffington Post)

Despite agreed environmental goals, world still on unsustainable path – UN - The United Nations environment agency today warned that the world “continues to speed down” an unsustainable path in spite of hundreds of internationally agreed goals to protect the planet, and stressed that drastic actions and big-scale measures are needed to reverse this pattern. (UN News Centre)

Rio+20 goes social for change - The UN conference on Sustainable Development taking place in Brazil, in June, will take advantage of social media to foster global conversation on 21st-century sustainability issues. (Lezette Engelbrecht, ITWeb)

Rio+20 conference's search for green solutions hampered by deep divisions - Twenty years after trying and failing to halt humanity's destruction of our planet, the governments of the world will gather again in Rio this month for a "once-in-a-generation" Earth Summit that will open with great fanfare but low expectations of success. (Jonathan Watts, The Guardian)

Will Rio+20 Advance Sustainable Development? - Expectations are high for Rio+20, but the outcomes are likely to be very different from the first Rio conference twenty years ago. (Francis Vorhies, Forbes)

Energy access

Linkin Park and Music for Relief Launch "Power the World" Campaign Through Imani's Story About Energy - Linkin Park and Music for Relief have pledged to support UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s Year of Sustainable Energy for All through Power the World. (Yahoo! News)

Rio+20 Business Focus: Ditching diesel in Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest - Politicians make the policy. But it’s often left to business to implement it. For this reason RTCC is featuring submissions from business across the globe in the lead up to Rio+20. (RTCC)

Renewable energy

Global Investment in Renewable Energy Powers to Record $257 Billion - Solar energy generation (photovoltaic and concentrating solar thermal power) surged past wind energy to become the renewable energy technology of choice for global investors in 2011. (REVE)

Natural Gas: An Important Part of a Sustainable Energy Future - Last week I had the opportunity to attend and participate in the 25th World Gas Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Peter Voser, Environmental Leader)

Energy efficiency

Rebuilding Together and National Center for Healthy Housing Announce Strategic Alliance at CGI America Meeting in Chicago - Rebuilding Together, along with the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH), today announced their Energy+Health program--committing to make 2,400 older, run-down homes of low-income homeowners, safer, healthier, and more energy efficient. The team will also train 500 Rebuilding Together volunteers nationwide in the Energy+Health practices. (MarketWatch)

Green Economy In The Context Of Sustainable Development - From June 20 to 22 this year, the United Nations will once again convene a major summit, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also referred to as RIO+20, in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro to deliberate on the important issue of environment and development. (Joshua Awuku-Apaw, Daily Guide)

Sustainable energy policy

Who's funding the green energy revolution? - Money invested in renewable energy reached new heights last year, topping $257 billion. So is the world finally going green? The figures come from The Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2012 report, a UN Environment Program backed study that has tracked the finance flowing into green energy across the world since 2004. (Eoghan Macguire, CNN World)

What’s holding up Rio+20 outcome document talks? - A leaked copy of the draft Rio+20 outcome document provides the most detailed glimpse yet at priority issues to be highlighted at the conference, as well as key sticking points holding back talks to finalize the document. (Ivy Mungcal, DevEx)


June 11, 2012

Energizing Rio+20 - Economic growth and improved living standards require access to reliable, affordable, convenient, and safe cooking fuels and electricity. Today, 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity and roughly 2.7 billion are without access to clean, safe cooking fuel. (Center for Global Development)

David Cameron criticized for skipping Rio+20 Earth summit - The chair of an influential group of MPs slated David Cameron on Monday for not going to next week's Rio+20 Earth summit, saying it sent a signal to the world that Britain does not see sustainability as a priority and that the PM is not showing global leadership. (John Vidal, The Guardian)

Earth Summit: Can Rio +20 solve world's environmental problems? - Rio +20, a major international environmental conference held in Brazil this month, is being billed by its organizers as a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to safeguard our planet for generations to come. (Barry Neild, CNN)

TCA Abu Dhabi joins official UAE delegation to RIO+20 - Abu Dhabi's growing credentials as a sustainable tourism destination will be under the spotlight at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 13-22 June with senior environmental advisors from Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and its subsidiary Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) among the official UAE delegation to the event. (AMEinfo)

Swaziland team ready for Rio+20 Summit - The Swaziland team that will be participating at the Rio+20 Summit, which will be held in Brazil this month, has already made advanced preparations. (Hlengiwe Kunene, Swazi Observer)

Energy efficiency

We Need New Action on Renewable Electricity at Rio+20 - Since 2002 the amount of wind, solar, and geothermal electricity in the energy mix throughout the world has risen from nearly non-existent levels to something that shows up in energy statistics. (Jake Schmidt, NRDC Switchboard)

Engineering Societies Engage World Leaders on Sustainable Development - On 22 June, world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other groups will gather in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil to participate in the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (aka Rio+20). (IEEE)

Schools need to champion a sustainability mindset - This week is the 20th anniversary of the UN’s 1992 Rio earth summit. (Anthony Buono, Jean-Christophe Carteron and Matthew Gitsham, Business Education)

Energy access

INFOGRAPHIC: Energy Access in the Developing World - Over a billion people worldwide have no access to the electricity that is a crucial facilitator of modern education, human health, economic development, etc. (Jared Anderson, AOL Energy)

Red light for green energy in Latin America and the Caribbean - Latin America and the Caribbean are failing to attract private capital to clean energy projects, raising questions about the extent to which market mechanisms can deliver sustainable development in the region. (Gavin O'Toole, The Guardian)

Renewable energy

New Solar Installation in Ghana - A 50-MW, ground-mounted tracking solar installation is being planned in Ghana with the recent announcement of a PPA between Canadian company Siginik Energy Ltd. and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG). (Alternative Energy Africa)

ScatecSolar to start photovoltaic solar energy project in Africa - IFC and ScatecSolar, a Norwegian company specializing in photovoltaic solar energy, have signed an agreement to develop solar power projects that will supply renewable energy in parts of West and Central Africa. (REVE)

Bank of America targets $50 billion for energy projects - Bank of America Corporation, which has faced criticism for dealings with coal companies in recent years, on Monday set a new 10-year, $50 billion goal to provide loans and other financing for environmentally friendly energy projects. (Rick Rothacker, Reuters)

Sustainable energy policy

A Global Dialogue on Sustainability: Rio+20 Kicks Off This Week - For the next two weeks, the city of Rio de Janeiro will host a truly global dialogue on sustainability. Though the main official event will not start until Wednesday, June 20, a 3rd ‘Prep Com’ begins this Wednesday. (Francis Vorhies, Forbes)

The wind tax credit does a whirl of good - Wind power is the second-fastest-growing energy source in the country, generating enough energy for 10 million homes. Since 1998, the amount of wind power generated in the United States has increased by nearly 40-fold. (Washington Post)


June 8, 2012


For the Future of Our Planet, a Dialogue Between Generations - The month of June is upon us and as Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, draws nearer, I find myself reflecting on the many great changes the past 20 years have brought, since that first Earth Summit, also in Rio, when the world met to announce a vision for its collective future. (Desmond Tutu, The Huffington Post)

Africa: The People of the World Confront the Advance of Capitalism: Rio +20 and Beyond - Governments from all over the world will meet in Río de Janeiro, Brasil, from June 20-22 2012, to supposedly commemorate 20 years since the "Earth Summit", the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development, that established for the first time a global agenda for "sustainable development". (

Earth Summit: Can Rio +20 solve world's environmental problems? - Rio +20, a major international environmental conference held in Brazil this month, is being billed by its organizers as a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to safeguard our planet for generations to come. (Barry Neild, CNN)


20 years after Rio 1992: company initiatives do make a difference - The 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro is an opportunity to further intensify international dialogue on the future of our planet. (The Guardian)


Cameroon: UN Unveils Rio+20 Stakes, Challenges - Ahead of the United Nations conference on sustainable development code-named, "Rio + 20" billed for June 20 - 22 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the UN System in Cameroon has made public the stakes and challenges of the conference on which Africa and Cameroon in particular could base their arguments. (Godlove, Bainkong,

UAE to play major role at Rio+20 - The UAE will have a strong presence at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), said Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber on Thursday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Khaleej Times)

Rio + 20 And Thereafter — Is Ghana Prepared? - The global community is due back in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the United Nations (UN) Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), also known as Rio 2012 or Rio + 20, is scheduled to take place from the 20th to the 22nd of June 2012. (G. D. Zaney, Government of Ghana)

Energy efficiency

Israeli technology turns greenhouse gas into fuel - A new Israeli solar technology is able to transform greenhouse gas emissions from the dirtiest of pollutants into a useable fuel for automobiles. (Sharon Udasin, The Jerusalem Post)

UN Calls for Aggressive Energy Efficiency Initiatives (Info-graphic) - The UN is calling on governments, businesses and civil society to double energy efficiency efforts, which could significantly reduce energy consumption, decrease greenhouse-gas emissions and save considerable sums of money. (Jared Anderson, AOL Energy)

Smart hand pumps promise cleaner water in Africa  - UK researchers have developed data transmitters that fit inside hand pumps and send text messages if the devices break down. (Matt McGrath, BBC News)

Renewable energy

Africa: First African Renewable Energy Confab in Accra - The first conference in Africa solely focused on off-grid renewable energy technologies will be held in Accra in October this year with a special look at applications in rural communities of developing countries. Off-grid technology is extremely important throughout Africa with many of the continents inhabitants without access to the grid. (Ayuureyisiya Kapini Atafori,


Cobs and Stalks: India Looks at New Biofuels - As consumers struggle to cope with rising petrol prices, India is looking at a new generation of biofuels derived from agricultural waste to revive an ambitious program for blending ethanol with gasoline. (Biman Mukherji, The Wall Street Journal)

 Energy access

Deployment of renewable energy creates access and jobs in rural areas - It presents twelve original case studies from involving a variety of renewable energy technologies, including biogas, solar energy, small-scale hydropower and improved cookstoves. (REVE)

United Nations Foundation and Virgin Produced Take Social Good to New Heights - Social good reaches new heights - 35,000 feet - this month as the United Nations Foundation and Virgin Produced announced a new partnership. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Sustainable energy policy

Sustainable energy for all (SE4ALL) - The Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) 4-day mission to Nepal ended with a hope to get different partners working together on energy sector in the country. (United Nations Development Program)

Canadian Solar and Horizon Energy Solutions Announce Canadian EPC Turnkey Solutions Agreement - Canadian Solar Inc. , one of the world's largest solar power companies, announced that its subsidiary, Canadian Solar Solutions Inc. and Horizon Energy Solutions Inc., have entered into an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) agreement to construct commercial rooftop solar electricity generating facilities. (MarketWatch)


June 7, 2012


Rio Earth summit nears as scientists warn planet faces grave threats - As thousands of people prepare to convene in Brazil this month for the Rio+20 Earth Summit, scientists and environmentalists alike are sending a sharp message: The planet is in dire straits. (Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post)

#RioPlusSocial: What’s Your Vision for the Future? - Now, with the power of social media, we have the opportunity to make a change through one of our greatest assets: voice. (Jeremy Cabalona, Mashable)

Rio+20 Earth summit: Ban Ki-moon 'optimistic' about sustainability deal - The United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, expressed cautious optimism that the upcoming Rio+20 conference will result in a "once in a generation" blueprint for global sustainable development. (Jonathan Watts, The Guardian)

World Faces Stark Choice at Rio+20, UN Report Warns - Irreversible environmental damage threatens to destabilize the world's life-support systems unless urgent action is taken, according to the latest Global Environment Report (GEO-5) which looks to the Rio+20 summit as a crucial opportunity to halt this decline. (Isabella De Grave, IPS)

Rio+20: Getting Global Governance to Work for Hunger and Climate Change - Agriculture stands at the nexus of three of humankind's greatest challenges in the 21st century: achieving food and nutritional security, adapting to a changing climate that will severely hit agricultural production, and making a significant contribution to reducing the environmental footprint of agriculture. (Bruce Campbell Ph.D., The Huffington Post)

What Can Premier Wen Do For the Climate at Rio+20 - In less than two weeks, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will join as many as 135 heads of state and 50,000 participants at the Rio+20 Earth Summit. (Michael Davidson, NRDC Switchboard)

Energy access

A Solar Suitcase To Treat Medical Emergencies In The Dark - Laura Stachel practiced as an obstetrician-gynecologist for over a decade before a back condition made it impossible for her to perform surgery and deliver babies. (Ariel Schwartz, Fast Company Co.Exist)

Low-Cost Solar Brightens Lives in the Developing World - A decade ago, Katherine Lucey oversaw a heavily subsidized $1,500 solar-light installation in the rural district of Mpigi in central Uganda. (Jeff Smith, National Geographic)

2012 Ashden awards announced - Last week saw the announcement of the 2012 winners of the Ashden Awards, with the National Trust scooping the UK Gold Award and £20,000 of prize money. (Sahiba Chadha, The Architects’ Journal)

Energy efficiency

Transformation to a Green Economy Through Green Buildings and Resource Efficient Cities - A new report was released by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the United Nations Environment Programme's Regional Office for North America (UNEP RONA) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). (Levent Ozler, Dexigner)

UN: Humanity speeding down "unsustainable path" - A United Nations report warns that the earth's environmental systems "are being pushed towards their biophysical limits" and that sudden, irreversible and potentially catastrophic changes are looming. (CBS News)

WED - UN Advocates Sustainability of Global Resources - While marking World Environment Day, United Nations officials Tuesday highlighted the need for a change in thinking and approach to ensure the sustainability of the Earth's resources as the world population grows. (Abimbola Akosile, All Africa)

Ahead of Rio+20, "The Economy is Already Turning Green" - While governments make a last desperate attempt to agree on a plan of action for next week's Rio+20 summit on sustainable development – including plans on the transition to a green economy and a set of sustainable development goals – the real economy is already turning green, according to Italy’s minister of environment, Corrado Clini. (Sabina Zaccaro, IPS)

Renewable energy

Irena Says Renewable Energy May Create 4 Million Jobs by 2030 - The International Renewable Energy Agency said the United Nation’s goal of providing sustainable energy for all by 2030 may create up to 4 million jobs in the off-grid electricity industry alone. (Mahmoud Kassem, Bloomberg)

How Renewable Energy Solutions Reduce Poverty Around the World - 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. (Peter Bosshard, The Huffington Post)

Volcanoes, seaweed and space lasers: Five energy technologies to fight climate change - With Ban Ki-moon pushing his Sustainable Energy for All initiative at the Rio+20 Summit this month and the IEA recently espousing the potential for gas, the energy question is being pulled in different directions. (John Parnell, RTCC)

Sustainable energy policy

Mexico's president enacts climate change legislation – Mr. Calderon said on Twitter that the law would make Mexico the "first developing country with integral legislation against climate change". The law, which sets targets on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the use of renewable energy, is only the second of its kind in the world. (BBC)

UN chief talks region with Saudi King - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday met with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and the pair discussed a range of regional issues, according to Ban’s spokesperson. (Bikya Masr)

Europe Calls for Green Goals Beyond 2020 - As if Europe’s member states did not have enough pressure from above these days, yesterday saw European Commission Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger push for greater cooperation and immediate action to carry the region beyond the EU’s 2020 goals. (Christopher Coats, Forbes)

Tweaking U.S. tax code could spur green energy: senator - A freshman Democratic senator thinks he may have found a way to encourage investment in wind, solar and biofuel projects without sapping too many taxpayer dollars or injecting new venom into a bitter partisan battle over energy incentives. (CNBC)


June 6, 2012


Rio+20: Wanted Sustainable Energy for All - In Europe, when children need to study after dark, they switch on the lights. When we are sick, we go to a doctor’s office or hospital, where electricity powers the equipment. When we go to our offices and shops in the morning, we turn on the lights, computers, coffee makers and printers. (Andris Piebalgs and Kandeh Yumkella, IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint)

Ahead of meeting, Ban urges public to vote on solutions to achieve ‘the future we want’ - Ahead of a major conference on sustainable development, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on people around the world to cast their votes in an online global poll on solutions to the planet’s most pressing social, economic and environmental challenges. (UN News Centre)

Young People Know What's at Stake at UN Rio Conference: Their Future - Some of these questions will be answered two weeks from now at the United Nation’s Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. This gathering of heads of state, environmental leaders, corporate executives, and activists has the power to shape what kind of future we create. That’s why young people must make their voices heard in Rio. (Frances Beinecke, NRDC Switchboard)

Rio+20 must result in ‘concrete’ decisions to advance sustainable development – Ban - With just two weeks until the start of a major United Nations sustainable development conference, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged countries to step up efforts to achieve concrete decisions to reduce poverty while promoting decent jobs, clean energy and more sustainable and fair use of resources. (UN News Centre)

Rio+20 can inspire leaders, spur progress – World Bank - The upcoming Rio+20 meeting on the environment could inspire a new generation of leaders to take a greener, longer-term view of development, said World Bank Vice President Rachel Kyte in an online chat on World Environment Day. (Ghana Business News)

U.N. sounds environment alarm ahead of Rio summit - Population growth, urbanization and consumption are set to inflict irreversible damage on the planet, the United Nations said on Wednesday, and called for urgent agreement on new green targets to save the environment. (Reuters)

Energy access

Reconciling Sustainable Development and Climate Change - The international climate summit, COP17, in November/December 2011 and the upcoming sustainable development conference, Rio+20, from 20-22 June, highlight key national choices that will help determine the fate of the planet and its people. (Anna Azarch, All Africa)

Incentives Watch: Small Businesses Seek Access to Renewable Energy Incentives - As states offer more and more renewable energy tax incentives, small businesses are seeking to take advantage of the situation by getting into the renewable energy business. (Kathleen Caggiano, Bloomberg BNA)

Energy efficiency

Free Energy Efficiency Tools for World Environment Day - On World Environment Day, June 5, Johnson Controls, a global leader in delivering solutions that increase energy efficiency in buildings, launches Driving Transformation to Energy Efficient Buildings: Policies and Actions. (EDC Magazine)

Solar energy plane completes maiden intercontinental trip - A solar energy plane landed in Morocco on Tuesday, completing the world's first intercontinental flight powered by the sun to show the potential for renewable-energy air travel. (The Guardian)

Ethiopia: Four Companies Inch to Seal U.S.$16 Million Contract By Energy Ministry - Around four companies are on the verge of being awarded a 16-million dollar project to supply 25,000 rural households across Ethiopia with solar powered electricity once the World Bank gives its stamp of approval. (Elleni Araya, All Africa)

Consumption driving environment damage: UN - Population growth and unsustainable consumption are driving Earth towards "unprecedented" environmental destruction, the UN said in a report Wednesday ahead of the Rio Summit. (AFP)

Sustainable energy policy

Green energy needs milestones to grow -EU Commission - Europe must agree 2030 milestones as soon as possible to spur investment in renewable energy, or green power growth will fizzle once firm policy runs out in 2020, the European Commission said on Wednesday in its latest strategy statement. (Reuters)

House Bill Takes a Scythe to Spending - President Obama’s energy-efficiency and renewable energy efforts would be gutted, along with international climate change programs. And regulations to force new efficiency standards in federal buildings would be blocked. (Jonathan Weisman, The New York Times)

UN Environment Programme names its ‘2012 Champions of the Earth’ winners - A country president, a banker, an aeronaut, a scientist, a renewable energy businessman and a conservationist were today named as the six winners of the United Nations Champions of the Earth 2012 award, given to those whose actions and leadership have had a positive impact on the environment. (UN News Centre)

Renewable energy

Rio+20: Exploring the livelihood and environmental impacts of biofuels in the tropicsThe economic and climate mitigation promises of biofuel expansion into tropical forests and woodlands are often elusive; in some cases land users struggle to reconstruct their livelihoods following displacement, while in others land use change may lead to the release of large amounts of carbon emissions that are difficult to reverse, says a set of CIFOR papers on biofuel impacts in a special issue of Ecology and Society(Laura German, Pablo Pacheco, and George Schoneveld, Forest News)

Solar Industry Has One Year of Inventory, French Lobby Says - Makers of solar panels and cells have inventory representing about a year of sales, meaning that the industry will see further bankruptcies and consolidation, the head of France’s Renewable Energy Association said. (Francois de Beaupuy, Bloomberg)

Power Corporation to Propel U.S.$250 Million Wind Farm Feasibility - EEPCO is to conduct a feasibility study for a 250 million dollar wind farm in Assela using a loan of a million dollars from the African Development Fund. (Mahlet Mesfin, All Africa)


June 1, 2012


Call for commitments for Rio+20 - The negotiation document which is currently under preparation by governments for Rio+20 is becoming a very large paper with little concrete actions. There is no agreement on the governance framework yet and sustainable development goals have not been formulated. (The Guardian)

Rio+20: A Momentum for Resource Economics - Growth. Even before the concept is defined, we know what's on the agenda. It's not about plant growth, hair growth or growth in quality of life, it's about economic growth. (Peter Bjerregaard, The Huffington Post)

China vows to play positive role at UN environment summit but stresses economic needs - Chinese officials promised Friday to play a positive role in this month’s U.N. environment summit but stressed the needs of their country’s poor, apparently trying to dampen hopes for major concessions. (The Washington Post)

Energy efficiency

UNRISD Magazine Highlights Social Dimension of a Green Economy - The UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) has published a magazine on the green economy and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20). (IISD Reporting Services)

Midwest Study: Adding More Wind Power Will Save Money - Adding more wind power to the electric grid could reduce wholesale market prices by more than 25 percent in the Midwest by 2020, according to a new analysis. (Carl Levesque, Renewable Energy World)

Embrace Natural Sources of Energy - Minister Kamanzi - The Rwandan people have been urged to embrace the use of naturally-occurring eco-friendly sources of energy such biogas and solar power, and to practice environmentally-conscious activities such as terracing to fight soil erosion. (News of Rwanda)

New Partnership to Promote Use of Renewable Energy - The Rwanda Housing Authority and a Korean firm, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) plan to include the use of renewable energy technologies within the urbanization plan of Kigali City. (Ivan R. Mugisha, All Africa)

Energy access

Clean Energy, Water Projects Provide Access to Technologies - The clean energy projects currently underway in the country, and coverage of the national "Water for All" program have ensured the progress, well-being of people, productivity and access to environmental technologies, said Friday in Luanda, the Environment minister, Maria de Fátima Jardim. (Angola Press)

There’s An Energy Revolution Brewing in Bihar, India - Something’s brewing in Bihar. After decades of being India’s most notoriously “backward” state, the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has tempered corruption, built roads and spurred development. (Justin Guay, Climate Progress)

From Collecting Fire Wood to Installing Solar Home Systems: Gender Equality and Women’s Access to Energy - The UN General Assembly has designated 2012 as the International Year of Universal Energy Access, and the UN system has undertaken a global initiative on Sustainable Energy for All by 2030, led by the UN Foundation. (Gail Karlsson, Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America)

Sustainable energy policy

Fossil fuel subsidies must end, says Indian microfinance firm - Governments must end subsidies for fossil fuels and focus instead on supporting renewable energy sources, the executive director of an award-winning microfinance organization said this week. (Liz Ford, The Guardian)

EU Plans Guidance on Support Plans for Renewables, Draft Shows - The European Union is planning to prepare guidance on the overhaul of renewable energy support programs after curbs on state subsidies by some nations undermined investors’ confidence, a draft EU document shows. (Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg)

UN study foresees job gains with greener policies - Some 15 million to 60 million jobs could be created worldwide over the next two decades if nations took better care of the planet, according to a U.N. study released Thursday ahead of an international summit on sustainable development. (John Heilprin, Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

Sri Lanka says open trade could counter climate change - Sri Lanka's environment minister has said liberalized trade could mitigate climate change, helping spread energy-saving technologies and enabling countries facing scarcities to import to cover their requirements. (Lanka Business Online)

Liberia: Government Promotes Programs to Address Climate Change - Liberia's Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, and National Focal Point on Climate Change Benjamin Karmorh has told a conference of environmental and sustainable development experts that Liberia has put in place measures to address the climate change situation in the country. (AllAfrica)

Renewable energy

Almost Half of Big Corporations Plan Renewables Increase, Study Says - Nearly half of the world’s largest corporations plan to moderately or significantly increase investment in renewable energy over the next five years, according to research by Ernst & Young. (Environmental Leader)

Tide turns towards undersea energy - A 30-meter- turbine anchored to the seafloor off the Scottish coast is proving that tidal farms are a turn closer to being a viable renewable energy source. Scottish Power completed preliminary trials of the giant undersea turbine in the fast-flowing coastal waters off the Orkney Islands. It found that the turbine produced one megawatt of electricity, enough to power 500 homes and businesses. (Eoghan Macguire, CNN)

May in review: International renewable energy - International renewable news for the month includes alarming worldwide CO2 emission figures for 2011, coal vs. wind/solar pollution statistics, long-distance undersea energy connectors, an IMF forecast of unstable, rising oil energy costs, and stalled renewables in Spain. (Sandy Dechert, Examiner)

Renewable power: Developing markets are a ray of sunshine - High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. (Financial Times)


May 31, 2012

Energy access

WBCSD: energy needs of 9 billion people can be met sustainably - A new publication released today by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) outlines how the 30 per cent increase in global energy demand forecasted for 2050 can be met sustainably. (WBCSD)

Solar powered phones recharge Kenya's conversations - The upcoming Rio+20 conference on sustainable development will try to identify solutions to worsening resource scarcity and climate change, but Habiba Rage may already be holding one in the palm of her hand. (David Njagi, AlertNet)

EDF to Build South African Wind Farms in 2013 after Award - Electricite de France SA, Europe’s biggest power generator, plans to start work in 2013 at the three wind projects awarded in a South African auction to boost alternative energy sources. (Sally Bakewell, Bloomberg)

9 Reasons CleanStar Mozambique is Rio-Ready - CleanStar Mozambique’s founders and investors have this crazy idea that they can make the lives of a few hundred thousand people in Mozambique a lot better, avoid climate-change inducing deforestation, and make money at the same time. (Jen Boynton, UN News Centre)


U.N. chief tries to 'light a fire' under Rio+20 talks - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday urged negotiators here to get past "microscopic examination" of text and produce a clear agenda document on sustainable development that will shape debate next month at the Rio+20 international summit. (Colin Sullivan, E&E reporter)

Rwanda: Hit the Reset Button for Development, Says Ban - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged countries to seize the opportunity provided by the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) to set the world on a path towards a sustainable future, stressing that collective power in the form of partnerships will be crucial to address the challenges the planet is facing. (AllAfrica)

Goals and actions for sustainable future at center of Rio+20 talks - With less than one month to Rio+20, the next round of negotiations between governments to forge the outcome document for the major global conference on sustainable development will take place at the United Nations from 29 May to 2 June. (Press Release, UN News Centre)

This Forest Is Our Forest - Twenty years ago, the world came together in Rio de Janeiro for a historic summit meeting to tackle the environmental issues that threaten the very sustainability and preservation of our planet. Now, as world leaders and thousands of other participants prepare for the Rio+20 Conference, we are facing an even more urgent set of environmental challenges. (Luis Ubiñas, New York Times)

Time is ripe for a global commitment on mandatory reporting at Rio+20 - When governments meet at Rio+20 in June, one defining, decisive and positive outcome for the planet and its people could be a global commitment to corporate sustainability reporting. (Mervyn King and Herman Mulder, The Guardian)

U.N. chief joins chorus urging a non-treaty outcome in Rio - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday echoed calls for a non-treaty approach during sustainable development talks next month in Brazil. (Colin Sullivan, E&E reporter)

Global development podcast: what can Rio+20 achieve? (podcast) - As delegates prepare for June's Rio+20 UN Earth summit on sustainable development in Brazil, we ask what tangible measures the conference can hope to produce. (John Vidal, The Guardian)

Sustainable energy policy

Ellen Challenges Africa At Sustainability Summit - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has called on participants at the Summit for Sustainability in Africa to promote the sustainable use of natural capital worldwide. She said to do this requires the change of incentives faced by the people of the African continent and indicated that there is a need to put value on the contribution biodiversity makes to the global environment. (All Africa)

India Solar Energy Advisory Council meets for first time - Indian Union Minister of New and Renewable Energy Dr. Farooq Abdullah has urged the industry leaders to invest in solar energy projects in the country. (India Press Information Bureau, Solar Server)

Sen. Bingaman Tells Sandia Wind Turbine Blade Workshop That Renewable Energy is Important to US Policy - Sen. Jeff Bingaman said Wednesday the on-again, off-again nature of U.S. energy tax incentives and the uncertainty over federal spending on research and innovative technology presents a major challenge to the wind energy industry and other alternative energy industries. (Power Engineering)

Energy efficiency

Green Growth: Developing Productive Capacity - The move came as negotiators discussed the United Nations zero draft in New York on 29th May – 2nd June. (UN News Centre)

Geothermal energy could meet a fifth of UK's power needs – report - The UK could meet a fifth of its power needs – the equivalent of nine nuclear power stations – by exploiting geothermal power, a new report into the technology has found. (Fiona Harvey, The Guardian)

Surat to be India's first 'Eco City' - After selecting Surat as one of the three cities in the world for a demonstration project for "eco city" development, UK-based charity The Ecological Sequestration Trust (TEST) has decided to spend nearly Rs 50 crore over a period of five years to build a sustainable development model that will be more environment-friendly. (Himansshu Bhatt, Times of India)

Renewable energy

Wind turbine creates water from thin air - Wind turbines have long produced renewable energy but a French engineering firm has discovered another eco-purpose for the towering structures. Eole Water claims to have successfully modified the traditional wind turbine design to create the WMS1000, an appliance that can manufacture drinking water from humid air. (Eoghan Macguire, CNN)

What Electric Grid Operators Want: Good Wind Energy Forecasts - Improving wind energy forecasts is critical for integrating this variable power source into the U.S. power grid, especially when the country has seen a big jump in wind energy generation, according to a report released on Wednesday on whether various regional grids in the country will be ready to meet peak energy demand this summer. (Ucilia Wang, Forbes)

Solar Energy Momentum Building in the Middle East as Qatar Banks Finance $1.1 Billion Polysilicon Plant - Local banks have come together to finance Qatar’s first solar-grade polysilicon production plant, a planned $1.1 billion, 8,000-metric-ton facility being built by Qatar Electricity and Water (QEWC), and Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec), a joint venture of the Qatar Foundation that supports efforts to transform the Gulf Coast country’s economy from a carbon-based to a knowledge-based one. (CleanTechnica)

Solar RECs listed on Power Exchange for first time - In a first, as many as 100 solar renewable energy certificates (RECs) were traded on the Power Exchange of India (PXIL), out of which five were bought at a price of Rs 13,000 per certificate. (The Economic Times)


May 30, 2012



Countries begin last round of talks on outcome document ahead of Rio+20 conference - Countries today began the last round of negotiations on an outcome document before they meet in Brazil next month at the United Nations Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20), which seeks to shape new policies to promote prosperity, reduce poverty and advance social equity and environmental protection.(UN News Centre)


Road to Rio+20 continues to heat up - Negotiations on the outcome document of Rio+20 are on their final stretch. (Ivy Mungcal, DevEx)


Rio+Social Invites the World to Make History and Help Write the Next '6-Minute Speech' - Today the organizing partners Rio+Social launched the “6-Minute Speech Project,” a platform for a worldwide dialogue around the upcoming Rio+20 Summit in support of the UN’s theme of “The Future We Want.” (PRWeb)


Can self-interest drive sustainable energy for all? - A bold plan to bring every person on Earth sustainable energy within 18 years will face its first test of international acceptance at the Rio+20 Earth Summit (the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development) next month (June 20-22). (Smriti Mallapaty, SciDevNet)


Rio+20 is Everyone's Conference - The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, otherwise known as Rio+20, is a once-in-a-generation opportunity.(Sha Zukang, IPS)


Energy efficiency


Energy-Saving Solution Monitors Individual Appliances - Two PhD students at the University of Sydney have developed a solution to monitor the energy use of individual appliances in an effort to help consumers decide how and when to use or replace them. (Joshua S Hill, CleanTechnica)


Sustainable development flourishing in Wales's green economy - Wales is fast becoming Europe's test bed for sustainable development and what the UN would call "the green economy". (John Vidal, The Guardian)


Energy access


We won’t achieve the MDGs without tackling energy access - Ban Ki-moon recently announced that the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water had been halved, meeting target 7.C of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the international development goals that world leaders agreed back in 2000 to achieve by 2015. (Sarah Butler-Sloss, Ashden Blog)


Electricity Program Expands Access to Energy for Ethiopians with Support from the World Bank - The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank today approved a US$200 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA*) to the Government of Ethiopia to increase rural coverage and to provide access to affordable, modern, cost-effective electricity services to its citizens. (Press Release, The World Bank Group)


Africa: Is Environmentally Sustainable Water, Energy and Land for All Possible? - How do you ensure access to safe water, energy and land in a way that benefits the poorest people on the planet but does not harm the environment? The latest European Development Report (EDR), launched in Brussels on Wednesday, sketches out a few broad ideas, but the big question is how do we translate this 200-page document into practical action? (All Africa)


Renewable energy


Renewable energy offset increase in greenhouse gas emissions - A new study released today shows that renewable energy has off set an increase in greenhouse emissions in 2010. Were it not for renewable energy, greenhouse gas would have increased towards the 1990 level. (Robert Bowen, Examiner)


Australia Renewable Energy Fund Set to Invest in Solar, Biofuels - Australia’s A$200 million ($196 million) renewable energy venture capital fund is set to unveil its first two investments in the solar and biofuels industries by the end of September.(James Paton, Bloomberg Businessweek)


On Clean Energy, Time To Follow Where Google, GE, Buffett Lead - Google is backing it. So is Warren Buffett, America’s most-watched investor. GE, one of the world’s biggest manufacturers, is too. Each of these corporate icons is placing big bets and hundreds of millions of dollars on a future powered by wind and solar power. (Manish Bapna, Forbes)


Sustainable energy policy


Wind turbines plan near Broads rejected by High Court judge - Sea & Land Power and Energy Limited's wanted to erect four 344ft (105m) turbines near Hemsby, Great Yarmouth. The borough council refused the plan in 2009, over concerns about the adverse impact on the landscape. (BBC)


Distrust could hamper Green Deal - Public mistrust of the "big six" energy firms may undermine the UK government's planned Green Deal, according to the International Energy Agency. The energy firms are supposed to deliver a mass program of home insulation under the Deal. (Roger Harabin, BBC)


May 29, 2012


Rio+20's opportunity will be squandered without courage and vision - As Elders, we have been involved in public life for quite a long time. We know that change takes time and don't get too worried when progress seems slow. (The Guardian)

Environment: Will Rio+20 Spark a Green Revolution? - Think of Rio+20 as the hothouse to grow the green ideas and values humanity needs to thrive in the 21st century. (Inter Press Service, Scottrade)

Brazil readies 15,000 security forces for Rio summit - The Brazilian military will coordinate the deployment of 15,000 security personnel during next month's UN summit on sustainable development here, Defense Minister Celso Amorim said Monday. (France24)

Energy access

Access to Low-Cost Energy Vital to Eradicate Extreme Poverty - With more than a billion people continuing to live without access to electricity, the President of the UN General Assembly Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser today said making low-cost energy readily available is vital to eradicate extreme poverty. (Mina Fabulous, News Blaze)

Continental Geothermal Energy Project Receives US$ 11.5 Million Grant - Continental Energy Corporation, an emerging unconventional energy company concentrating its efforts in Southeast Asia, today announced that the Government Of Malaysia, acting through its Public Private Partnership Unit of the Prime Minister's Department, has awarded a grant of 35 Million Malaysian Ringgit (approximately US$ 11.5 Million) to Tawau Green Energy Sdn. Bhd. ("TGE"). (MarketWatch)

Namibia: Energy Reform Crucial for Private Investment - A "largely non-existent and partially outdated regulatory framework" for Namibia's energy sector is discouraging private players from entering the industry to help boost the country's power generation capacity. (Jo-MarÉ Duddy, All Africa)

Energy efficiency

Linkin Park aim for green on tour - Linkin Park has unveiled a Honda Civic Si Coupe and CBR250R motorcycle for the car brand. (Brand-m)

Let There Be Light: Clean Energy Innovation at Home Supports Stability Abroad - Last week, President Obama traveled to Newton, Iowa to visit TPI Composites, a provider of, among other things, wind energy composites. (Erin Mazursky, The Huffington Post)

Germany in 20 billon euro grid upgrade as it quits nuclear - Germany mapped out a 20 billion euro ($25 billion) plan on Tuesday to expand its power grid and avoid a "power gap" as Europe's largest economy switches away from nuclear to renewable energy. (Reuters)

Renewable energy

Status update of solar policies and allocations across India - Last summer, Ritesh Pothan blogged about India’s Central Government Policy as well as certain key state policies for solar power in Part 2 of his Indian Solar Saga series. In this latest piece, he updates us on the state of play of these policies across India. (Ritesh Pothan, Renewable Energy Magazine)

Guernsey renewable energy projects 'on right path'- Twenty-four undergraduates were in the island for 10 days to study the potential for renewable energy. Their initial findings were of "a vast wind, wave and tide resource" and "good potential for financial returns". (BBC)

Solar Power Plants in Kashmir - Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah and Union minister for new and renewable energy Farooq Abdullah today inaugurated a 18-KW Solar Power Plant at Sub-District Hospital at Charar-i-Sharief in Budgam district. (Times of India)

Sustainable energy policy

Asia-Pacific region must adopt low carbon policies to sustain growth – UN - Asia-Pacific nations must adopt low carbon policies to reduce poverty and sustain their economic growth, according to a United Nations roadmap launched today, which puts forward a series of strategies to help developing countries in the region deal with shrinking natural resources and climate change and drive sustainable development. (UN News Centre)

Africa: Presidents Commit to Nurturing Africa's 'Natural Capital' - Until Africa's forests are valued for the oxygen they produce for the world's ecosystems, they will be worth more when they are dead than alive, said Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at a summit for "Sustainability in Africa" held in Botswana from May 24-25. (Sue Valentine, AllAfrica)


May 25, 2012


UN’s Ban Sees Industry Advancing Climate Treaty in Rio - The United Nations will pursue partnerships with global industry leaders to help drive clean energy in Rio de Janeiro next month as governments struggle to find common ground on climate change, Secretary General Ban Ki- moon said. (Christopher Martin, Bloomberg)

How You Can Power the World - Richenda Van Leeuwen, Executive Director of the Energy & Climate Team at the United Nations Foundation, has made sustainability her life’s work. We sat down earlier this week to talk about what that really means and how it applies to critical global conversations happening in Rio this coming June at the Rio+20 Summit. (Million Moms Challenge)

An Ailing Planet’s Path to Rio+20 - Our planet’s health is ailing. That’s the message in short from the 2012 Living Planet Report. (Robynne Boyd, Scientific American)

Uganda: Government Struggles to Balance Development, Environment - Uganda is considering establishing a National Sustainable Development Council (NSDC) in a move to position itself to fast-track the resolutions of the upcoming Rio+20 conferences. (Simon Musasizi, AllAfrica)

From Webcam to World Leaders: A New Voice at Rio for the Facebook Generation - We can’t make the future with what we did in the past. I mean that is ridiculous, isn’t it? The past actions are what caused the problems in the first place. We need innovation and imagination. (Michael Davidson, NRDC Switchboard)

Energy access

Access to low-cost energy vital in fight against poverty – General Assembly President - The President of the General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, today underlined the urgent need to provide sufficient and low-cost energy to people across the world who lack access, stressing that making energy readily available can boost efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.(UN News Centre)

How Small-Scale Solar is Helping One Rural Indian Community Thrive - A serene village with green paddy fields and unpaved lanes dotted with huts and shops, Laxmikantapur provides a glimpse of the stereotypical rural India. (Gautham Krishnadas, Earth Island Journal)

Energy efficiency

Lighting up lives - Husk power plants in Bihar will now guzzle less water and churn out cheaper electricity. (Sujay Mehdudia, The Hindu)

Duke Energy Teams Up With China's ENN For 'Eco-City' Projects - When Duke Energy’s chief technology officer David Mohler visits China next week, he’ll stop by the city of Langfang to check out a project that aims to show what a city of the future might look like if it incorporates coal-based and renewable energy generation, biofuel production and water recycling. (Ucilia Wang, Forbes)

Cover story: Save energy, lower costs with home audit - When Jason Schlosberg and Donna Lombardo bought their house in Arlington in 2009, they were pleased with many aspects of their new residence. The house was spacious, the location was convenient to Metro, and an ample deck was perfect for entertaining. (Kim A. O'Connell, The Washington Times)

Sustainable energy policy

Subsidizing the wrong energy - Despite the logic behind encouraging businesses to switch to renewable energy, governments still provide much larger subsidies for fossil fuels. (Roger Cowe, The Guardian)

Obama urges Congress to extend clean-energy tax credits - The president says continuing the production tax credit and an investment tax credit would save 37,000 jobs that otherwise would be at risk. (Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey, Los Angeles Times)

Trade War Looming as China Rebukes U.S. Support for Solar  - China’s allegation that renewable- energy subsidies in five U.S. states violate free-trade rules ratchets up a potentially costly trade war between the world’s two largest economies. (Ehren Goossens, Justin Doom, and William McQuillen, Bloomberg Businessweek)

Renewable energy

Goldman Sachs Investing $40 Billion More in Clean Energy - Not even a couple weeks ago, Mridul wrote that Goldman Sachs–backed firm ReNew Power Limited was investing Rs 6,000 crore (over $1.1 billion) to build 1 GW (1,000 MW) of wind power projects across India. Apparently, Goldman Sachs has much bigger plans than that, though. (Zachary Shahan, CleanTechnica)

Undersecretary Promotes “All of the Above” Renewable Energy Strategy - Rural America has great potential in helping the U.S. meet the future energy demand by deploying alternative energy and energy efficiency sources and practices, so says U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Under Secretary for Rural Development, Dallas Tonsager, who visited the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland Wash., with other members of a technical advisory committee exploring ways to further the use and development of advanced bio-fuels. (Phil Eggman, USDA blog)

South Africa Approves $8.8 Billion Clean Energy Plan - South Africa approved 19 wind, solar and hydropower proposals in a second bidding round, increasing the cost of renewable-energy projects given the go-ahead to 73 billion rand ($8.8 billion) as the nation boosts cleaner energy. (Carli Cooke, Bloomberg Businessweek)


May 22, 2012


Top UN officials stress need for concrete commitments ahead of Rio+20 conference - United Nations top officials today stressed the need to achieve concrete commitments ahead of the Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20) in Brazil, and called on countries to make progress in the last round of negotiations before the Conference starts next month. (UN News Centre)

Water, energy and land access, Rio+20, and palm oil's toll on West Papua - Last week, the EU published its flagship annual European Development Report, which this year focused on fair access to water, energy and land. (Liz Ford, The Guardian)

Energy access

Africa: Solar Power Pioneer Brings Affordable Energy to Rural Africa - A company specializing in providing affordable solar power products for Africa's poor has been selected alongside six other organizations from India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Peru and Afghanistan as a finalist for the 2012 Ashden Awards, the world's leading green energy prize. (All Africa)

India Targets Doubling of Renewable-Energy Installations to 2017 - India plans to more than double its amount of clean power generation capacity to almost 53,000 megawatts by 2017 under the latest five year plan. (Natalie Obiko Pearson, Businessweek)

South Africa green lights another 1GW of wind and solar power - Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas emerged as a major winner in South Africa's latest tender round for new renewable energy projects designed to boost the country's energy security and drive down emissions. (Business Green)

Sustainable energy policy

WBCSD Blueprint Details Business Policy Pursuits for Rio+20 - The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has launched “Changing Pace,” a detailed blueprint of policy recommendations to scale up business solutions that can tackle our most pressing sustainability challenges. (Sustainable Plant)

Biomass-based power producers seek regulators' help to resolve issues - Amid growing regulatory and administrative uncertainties the biomass-based power producers have sought the intervention of Forum of Regulators (FoR) for early resolution of issues relating to open access, cross subsidy, CDM sharing, penalty clause imposed by certain distribution companies for maintaining plant load factor and the tariff structure. (Sanjay Jog, Business Standard)

Energy bill to boost clean energy production - The government's draft energy bill, designed to encourage major investment in clean energy generation, could result in higher consumer bills, critics have said. The government's draft energy bill, designed to encourage major investment in clean energy generation, could result in higher consumer bills, critics have said. (BBC)

Energy efficiency

Massachusetts Addresses "Biomass Loophole" and Limits Subsidies - The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) issued regulations recently limiting ratepayer-funded subsidies known as renewable energy certificates (RECs) to only those biomass power plants which adhere to scientific standards for climate and forest impacts. (Erica Gies, Forbes)

Kenya: Kengen to Construct Sh57 Billion Power Plant - Kenyan electricity generating company KenGen plans to raise funds from private investors for a $686 million gas-fired power plant to run on imported liquefied natural gas (LNG), Managing Director Eddy Njoroge said on Friday. (Reuters)
Renewable energy

Renewable energy

South Africa shows Australia how to do green energy - South Africa is pushing forward with its ambitious renewable energy rollout, announcing overnight it has awarded contracts for another $3.4 billion of renewable energy developments, with 19 wind, solar and hydropower projects totaling 1,043MW getting the nod. (Giles Parkinson, RenewEconomy)

Renewables Help Soothe Texas Power Adequacy Concerns - Hardly a week has passed since Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association, TREIA, hosted the Electric Generation Adequacy & Reliability Forum at the Texas State Capitol on Tuesday, May 8 where Texas PUC Commissioner Pablos and industry leaders spoke to a standing room only audience about issues facing energy industries in Texas. (MarketWatch)


May 21, 2012


Rio+20: "We Are Made Wise by the Responsibility of Our Future"- In less than a month, world leaders will gather in Rio de Janeiro for the United Nation's 2012 Earth Summit. (Aiko Stevenson, The Huffington Post)

Environmentalists urge Obama to attend Rio Earth summit - The leaders of nearly two dozen environmental groups called on President Obama to attend next month’s Rio+20 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, underscoring the uncertainty that continues to cloud the historic meeting. (Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post)

U.N. Readies Largest Ever 'Save the Planet' Summit - Next month, the United Nations will hold what is expected to be the largest ever gathering of leaders to discuss sustainable development at a time when inequality is on the rise from the U.S. to China. (Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes)

Energy access

South Africa picks next 19 projects in green energy drive - South Africa has chosen 19 renewable energy projects in the second stage of its drive to cut its reliance on coal-fired plants, and bidders have until December to prove the projects are financially viable, the energy minister said on Monday. (Agnieszka Flak, Reuters Africa)
Report examines how land, water and energy must be managed as a whole - Politicians globally must confront growing scarcity of natural resources in order to enable a transformation towards inclusive and sustainable growth over the coming decades concludes the team leader of a major new European Commission report, led by the Overseas Development Institute, in co-ordination with the German Development Institute (DIE) and the European Centre for Development Policy Management. (Toby Price, Renewable Energy Magazine)
Energy efficiency

Eco-friendly buildings in Ranchi - Like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and other big cities, Ranchi will also get green buildings now. (Alok K N Mishra, Times of India)

Green investment must not suffer in dash for growth, MPs warn - Environmental protections must not be slashed in an "irresponsible" and "desperate dash for growth", an all-party group of MPs has warned. Green investment should play a key role in the UK's economic recovery, the group reports, but accuses Prime Minister David Cameron of a lack of leadership and George Osborne's Treasury as regarding environmental measures as hampering economic development despite the green economy growing at 4% a year. (Damian Carrington, The Guardian)

U.S. Energy Department Offers Hackers $100k to Crowdsource 'Apps for Energy' - Launched a little over a month ago, the crowdsourcing initiative offers $100,000 in prizes to software developers for the best new apps that help utility customers make the most out of a new open standard for sharing electricity usage data called Green Button. (Reuven Cohen, Forbes)

Renewable energy

South Africa Approves $3.4 Billion Renewable Power Plan - South Africa approved 19 wind, solar and hydropower-plant proposals costing 28 billion rand ($3.4 billion) in a second bidding round as it expands generation capacity and boosts cleaner energy. (Carlie Cooke, Bloomberg Businessweek)

Official report recommends step up in PV manufacturing in India - The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) concluded in a report that increased investment and support for the manufacturing industry is necessary for the National Solar Mission to truly "unleash its potential". (Matt Carr,

Asian Power Sector Review: Growth Potential Matched by Challenges - Asia is the world's largest infrastructure market, with $4.1 trillion in power market spending expected over the coming decade, experts told industry participants and journalists at a recent quarterly power sector briefing held by infrastructure firm, Black & Veatch. (Jared Anderson, AOL Energy)

Sustainable energy policy

The necessary allies: Jobs and environment - Two of the world’s most urgent tasks — protecting the environment and creating jobs — both have enormously broad public support. (Bill Drayton, DevEx)

G8 summit urges action on global energy and climate change issues - As the latest G-8 summit closed at Camp David, Maryland this weekend, the eight countries involved agreed that a key component to greater global economic prosperity involves finding long-term solutions for affordable access to energy resources globally while at the same time finding ways to identify and manage global climate change. (Raymond Gellner, Examiner)

Greens' concern for draft energy bill - Environmentalists now fear that the UK government's draft energy bill to be published on Tuesday will end in a new "dash for gas". They want the bill to be guided by the government's stated wish to almost completely de-carbonize the electricity industry by the 2030s. (Roger Harrabin, BBC)

Western Cape wants to be SA green hub: Zille - Opening the first Southern African Solar Energy Conference in Stellenbosch, she told delegates that the province aimed to draw at least a tenth of its power from renewable sources within two years. (TimesLIVE)

Q+A-Where next for EU renewable energy policy? - An energy policy vacuum is looming in the European Union after a firm set of policy goals for renewable energy, carbon cutting and energy saving expires in 2020. (Barbara Lewis, Reuters)


May 18, 2012


UN chief asks youth to ‘make some noise’ ahead of Rio+20 conference - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today asked young people from all over the world to “make some noise” to help accelerate progress on the negotiations of the United Nations Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20) which will take place in Brazil next month. (UN News Centre)

Head of UN Development Program says Rio summit is about motivation, not binding agreements - The head of the U.N. Development Program says next month’s summit on sustainable development is less about binding agreements than about motivating countries into action. (The Washington Post)

Rio+20 and sustainable commerce: More efforts on the way - There are 35 days to Rio+20, and within about the same time Microsoft will start to act on its dramatic announcement few days ago that it is going to join the “green” ranks and move toward carbon neutrality starting this July. (EcoSeed)

Rio+20 must address the process of change, not just its content - A few weeks ago, the Government of Brazil, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program, launched an interactive website intended to support discussion in the lead up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), which takes place next month. (Nick Perkins, SciDevNet)

Sustainable energy policy

U.S. Solar Tariffs on Chinese Cells May Boost Prices - The U.S. yesterday imposed tariffs of as much as 250 percent on Chinese-made solar cells to aid domestic manufacturers beset by foreign competition, though critics said the decision may end up raising prices and hurting the U.S. renewable energy industry. (Ehren Goossens, Brian Wingfield and William McQuillen, Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

China rejects US solar dumping ruling, companies warn tariffs might hurt clean energy industry - China’s government on Friday rejected a U.S. antidumping ruling against its makers of solar power equipment and Chinese manufacturers warned possible higher tariffs might hurt efforts to promote clean energy. (The Washington Post)

CM stresses on developing non-conventional energy sources - Chief minister Nitish Kumar said the energy requirements can be fulfilled only with the renewable energy through generation of more biomass, husk power and solar plates. (Times of India)

Renewable energy

Small Island Nations Banding Together for Hydroelectric, Renewable Power Development - A declaration adopted by 20 small island developing states could potentially increase the percentage of hydroelectric power in their overall energy mixes. (Michael Harris, Renewable Energy World)

Apple to use only green power for main data center - Apple Inc. plans to power its main U.S. data center entirely with renewable energy by the end of this year, taking steps to address longstanding environmental concerns about the rapid expansion of high-consuming computer server farms. (Poornima Gupta, Reuters)

Energy efficiency

Project on Development and Promotion of Solar Heating Applications Launched - Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Shri Gireesh B. Pradhan today launched a project on development and promotion of solar concentrator based heating applications in India. (Press Information Bureau, Government of India)

Small Wind Energy Goes Urban In Italy, Korea, Brazil And Texas (video) - Streetlights usually operate at electricity rates like the ones we pay in our private homes. So having that energy provided by some form of renewable energy, means that every cent is saved and for municipalities, whose budgets are being squeezed, that’s something serious to consider. (Jennifer Hicks, Forbes)

Demand for energy needs inquiry - Peter Hughes said that although his body supported renewable options, he wanted to see a balanced, affordable, sustainable and secure energy policy. (BBC)
Energy access

Nigeria: From Dirty Diesel to Clean Energy - "When I call my family in Lagos, Nigeria, my dad complains about power being out again. Because of inadequate power-generation capacity, blackouts are common and many residents and businesses rely on diesel generators for their power supply," said entrepreneur Bimbola Adisa. (Kathryn Mcconnell, All Africa)
Is environmentally sustainable water, energy and land for all possible? - How do you ensure access to safe water, energy and land in a way that benefits the poorest people on the planet but does not harm the environment? (The Guardian)


May 17, 2012

Sustainable energy policy
Global Governance and African Reality - There are few hotter topics on the international agenda than sustainability. The theme has been a mainstay of international conferences, and the biggest of them all — the UN's Rio+20 conference — will begin just over a month from now. Kandeh K. Yumkella, head of UNIDO, the UN agency that promotes industrial development, explains what's at stake for Africa. (Kandeh K. Yumkella, The Globalist)
Water policy needs 'radical' change to protect people and environment - Ahead of Rio+20, a report is calling for a joined-up approach to managing the world's water, land and energy demands. (Liz Ford, The Guardian)
SolarCity: Ditch Your Big Utility And Get A Free Rooftop Solar System - In states with deregulated electricity markets, power providers must compete for customers who can switch to a competitor much like they change cellphone services. (Todd Woody, Forbes)
UK carbon targets 'at risk over local authority funding cuts' - Funding cuts to squeezed local authorities are putting the UK's carbon targets at risk, the government's climate advisers warned in a report published on Thursday. (Fiona Harvey, The Guardian)
Business and governments discuss green economy ahead of Rio+20 - A two-day consultation addressed how to best leverage business strengths in innovation, adaptation and implementation to facilitate the transition to a green economy. (The Guardian)
How Green is My Occupy? Rio+20 Enviromentalists Team With #OWS - I imagine that in the Main Street Media, this will be billed as, "Tree Huggers Meet Wall Street Bashers." You can be certain that something close to this will be the spin put on the conjoining of the still-fledgling Occupy Movement with the veterans of the environmental movement -- the latter now gaining its second breath and much traction. (Jerry Ashton, Huffington Post)
Brazil hotels set to cut rates for June's Rio+20 summit - Rio de Janeiro hotel owners have agreed to cut prices during a major UN summit next month, amid fears that spiraling costs were putting off visitors. (BBC)
Renewable energy
Research paper shines light on competitiveness of solar PV power - New working paper argues that common perceptions about the lack of competitiveness of solar photovoltaic power are misleading and out-of-date. (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)
Tidal power gets a stormy birth off coast of Scotland - Unlike wind, the tides are totally predictable for decades ahead. The turbines, well below the waves, are also out of sight and probably out of mind. And the tidal currents are of course utterly carbon-free. (David Shuckman, BBC)
A Bright Future for Renewable Energy - The current market for the renewable energy sector in the United States and around the world is a mix of challenge and opportunity. However, the long-term future of clean energy is bright. (Phyllis Cuttino, The Huffington Post)
Energy efficiency
Energy Efficiency Gaining Ground in Inefficient States, ACEEE Says - Energy efficiency is gaining momentum in states that have traditionally been behind the curve in pushing such technology, according to research by the American Council for Energy-Efficient Economy. (Environmental Leader)
Sustainability Emerges as Key Focus in $53 Billion Architectural Coatings Market - Lux Research launches a Lux Sustainability Grid to assess the true value and commercial prospects of established and emerging "green" coating technologies. (MarketWatch)
LG Electronics Brings New, Innovative Energy-Efficient Commercial HVAC Solutions To LEED-Focused Architects - Marrying innovative design with higher efficiency, Multi V III VRF technology delivers AHRI certified ratings, fast response cooling and space-saving smaller footprint. (MarketWatch)
Energy access
Nigeria: 27 Japanese Firms in Country for Investment- About 27 Japanese firms met the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Dr Samuel Ortom on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of investing in the Nigerian economy. (Sunday Williams, All Africa)


May 16, 2012


Innovative collaboration critical to advance sustainability globallyThe private sector delivers key messages on green and inclusive economy ahead of Rio+20. (The Guardian)

Rio+Social Announces New Speakers: Entrepreneurs, UN Leaders and Global Advocates Join the Social Good Discussion - Michelle Bachelet, Ertharin Cousin, Sergio Fernandez de Cordova, Ricardo Guimarães, Kate James, Anthony Lake, Ronaldo Lemos, Mary Robinson, Matthew Shirts, and others to speak at innovative global event uniting social media and social good. (Yahoo! News)

Private Sector gears up for Rio+20 - In a 2010 study by Accenture and the UN Global Compact, 93% of the 766 CEOs surveyed believed that sustainability will be “important” or “very important” to the future success of their company. (Alana Chloe Esposito, Media Global News)

Energy access

Ghana: Bioenergy for Sustainable Development - the Role of Sugar Cane in Africa - Sugar cane has been used to make sugar (sucrose) in varying forms for thousands of years but only in recent decades has its potential as a renewable energy source been exploited on any significant scale. (Francis X. Johnson and Vikram Seebaluck, All Africa)

Energy efficiency

Britain is rising to the challenge of greening our economy - It's clear that with unprecedented pressure on our natural resources and our climate, the world economy needs to "green up". I want UK businesses to be in the vanguard of that move. (Caroline Spelman, The Guardian)

Nigeria: Power Promise a Year After - Expectations for Electricity Get Darker- Against the backdrop of President Goodluck Jonathan's promise of a remarkable improvement in power generation and distribution , the country still supplies barely 3,600 to 3,800 megawatts of electricity currently. (Charles Kumoul, All Africa)

Only biofuels will cut plane emissions- We need something that can deliver emission reductions from existing fleets of planes – and the solution already exists. As a small, maritime trading nation Britain has always been some distance from big international markets. (Ben Caldecott, The Guardian)

Renewable energy

WWF urges switch to renewable energy - An "AGGRESSIVE" switch to renewable energy, in South Africa and worldwide, would be the right place to start reducing humanity’s effect on the globe, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) SA CEO Morné du Plessis said yesterday. (Sue Blaine, Business Day)

Sticking solar power station where the Sun shines- There's always the Sun. It burns four-million-tons of fuel every second and gives the energy away for free. But, while solar power is already generating many megawatts worldwide, the weather and the night tend to spoil things somewhat. (Kenneth Macdonald, BBC)

Sustainable energy policy

Shift by U.S. Muddles Solar Imports Case - Renewable energy companies around the world are awaiting a decision Thursday by the U.S. Commerce Department on whether to impose anti-dumping tariffs on solar panels imported from China, as a little-noticed policy shift by the department last year has made the outcome of the case unusually hard to predict. (Keith Bradsher, The New York Times)

Angola: British Under Secretary for Energy, Climate Change Expected in Luanda - The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and Chairman of the British Business Ambassadors by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), Lord Marland, is expected Wednesday in Luanda for a two-day visit to Angola. (All Africa)


May 15, 2012


Sha Zukang Shares Insight on Rio+20 - Countless hours of planning, debate, and careful deliberation will come to their culmination in Rio de Janeiro this June, when the United Nations holds its Conference on Sustainable Development there, known more colloquially as Rio+20. (UN News Centre)

Earth Summit Strives for Energy for All - More than 130 world leaders are expected to gather in Rio de Janeiro next month for the summit, which is also referred to as "Rio+20," a nod to the 20th anniversary of the original Rio Summit. (Zulima Palacio, Voice of America)

Ghana: Nation Gears Up for Rio+20 - As the days for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) draws nearer, the country is feverishly preparing its delegates to participate in this all-important event which is scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil next month. (Mohammed Suleman, All Africa)

Energy efficiency

World living way beyond its resources: WWF - Biodiversity has decreased by an average of 28 percent globally since 1970 and the world would have to be 50 percent bigger to have enough land and forests to provide for current levels of consumption and carbon emissions, conservation group WWF said on Tuesday. (Times of India)

Microsoft Taxes Itself to Go Carbon Neutral - This week, Microsoft is announcing an unusual initiative that it hopes will change how the company operates: an internal fee on carbon. (Andrew Winston, The Huffington Post)

Renewable energy

The Artificial Leaf and Sustainable Energy for All - In case you missed it, do check out the New Yorker profile of Daniel Nocera, a scientist who has designed a “a cheap, playing-card-size coated-silicon sheet that, when placed in a glass of tap water and exposed to sunlight, split the water into hydrogen and oxygen.” (Mark Leon Goldberg, UN Dispatch)

Green energy funds: Germany to go for full bidding in power from 2013 - Germany, considered as a major green force among the European Union countries, will go for full auctioning in its electricity sector from 2013. (Times of India)

Google's offshore wind cable moves forward - A proposed $5bn transmission line connecting wind farms off the East coast of the US to the mainland is on track to come online by 2017, after the Google-backed project cleared another regulatory hurdle. (The Guardian)

Energy access

Nigeria: Power - FG Seeks Japan's Assistance - The Minister of Environment, Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia has called on the Government of Japan for assistance in the areas of renewable energy, capacity building and proper procedures that would help the country get proper environmental assessment of projects, pre-and post-project execution. (Omotola Oloruntobi, All Africa)

Sustainable energy policy

Green politics: a movement in search of a voice - Voting blue to go green was always going to require a leap of faith, and six years on from David Cameron coining that slogan it sounds a hollow ring. (The Guardian)

Government to make new policies on renewable energy: Modi - Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, on Monday, said that the government was ready to make new policies with focus on solar, bio-mass and hydro power. (Times of India)


May 14, 2012

Renewable energy

Willing to Pay (a Little) More for Clean Energy - The perception that the American public is adamantly opposed to higher energy costs is at the root of most political opposition to policies favoring the adoption of renewable energy. (Justin Gillis, New York Times)

GE Energy looks out for alternative energy opportunities - Renewable energy industry, nuclear program and natural gas discoveries in Mozambique make Southern Africa an attractive destination. (Siseko Njobeni, Business Day)


Why Rio+20 Will Succeed- The global environmental agenda overflows with meetings. According to unofficial estimates, formal conferences on biodiversity, climate change, and desertification consume more than 240 days per year. (Gustavo A. B. da Fonseca, The Green Line Blog)

Energy access

What Is Our Energy Future? - Global energy consumption will double by mid-century, regardless of what the United States does. It’s not from the 1 billion people already using vast amounts of electricity, or the 1 billion using modest amounts of electricity. (James Conca, Forbes)

China building power transmission line of world's largest capacity - Construction of an ultra-high voltage power transmission line designed with the world's largest capacity started Sunday in China's far western Xinjiang region. (Xinhua, China Daily)

Agnihotri college students invent hybrid solar tricycle - Eight students of Shri Shankarprasad Agnihotri College of Engineering, under the guidance of Prof Vikram Pakhale, have invented a hybrid solar tricycle, keeping in mind the requirement of physically challenged persons. (The Times of India)

Energy efficiency

Development cooperation will play key role in gaining sustainable development - Partnerships and development cooperation among countries will play a key role in accelerating sustainable development, a top United Nations official said today, stressing that assistance will need to focus on helping developing countries find longer-term solutions to eradicate poverty and transition into a green economy. (UN News Center)


Sustainable energy policy

UK wants EU focus on new CO2 cuts, not renewables - Europe should focus on cutting carbon emissions, rather than just repeating an existing range of EU green policy targets that expire at the end of the decade, Britain's energy and climate chief said on Monday. (Nina Chestney and Barbara Lewis, Reuters)

New tariff order to mandate use of 2% green energy - Alongside the revised domestic tariff for financial year 2012-13, Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) is all set to start the process for green energy. (The Times of India)

Govt working on wind farm allocation policy - The government has initiated the process of putting in place a policy to auction, or award, offshore wind farms in a way that could be similar to the auction of oil and gas blocks. (Sanjay Dutta, The Times of India)


May 11, 2012


Rio+Social Registration Open - As world leaders gather in Rio de Janiero for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to negotiate and fine tune a series of agreements on development, energy, and sustainable growth,  a more open “people’s forum” will be underway across town. (Mark Leon Goldberg, UN Dispatch)

How can investors drive the sustainability agenda at Rio+20? - The financial crisis has highlighted the importance of companies having business strategies that are sustainable over both the short and long term (Mark Robertson, The Guardian)

Sustainable Energy for All - With 2012 as the “International Year of Sustainable Energy for All”, Ericsson, as member of the UN Global Compact Task Force for the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative, supports the UN goals:Ensuring universal access to modern energy services, Doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency, doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. (Ericsson Press Release)

Vietnam supports UN sustainable energy initiative - Vietnam welcomes the United Nations’ Sustainable Energy for All Initiative and is working hard to attend the upcoming Rio+20 Conference on sustainable development in Brazil. (VietNamNet Bridge)

Energy access

Press Release: Linkin Park and Music for Relief to Bring Solar Power to Uganda Health Clinics - Band's 'Power The World' campaign allows fans to sign pledge for Sustainable Energy for All. (Press Release, Sustainable Energy for All)

Renewable Energy in Mali - Achievements, Challenges and Opportunities - As Mali strives to become an emerging economy, it is focusing on energy sector reforms to support growth and improve quality of life. (All Africa)

First 2 MW solar power plant of Uttar Pradesh switched on - The state got its first megawatt-capacity solar power plant operational on Thursday. Situated in village Sandauli of Barabanki, the 2 MW project was inaugurated by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. (The Times of India)

Energy efficiency

25x’25 initiative highlights energy-saving efficiencies for livestock operations - The 25x’25 Alliance recently held a webinar highlighting how energy projects in the livestock sector can reduce energy usage and contribute to the goal of producing 25 percent of our energy from renewable resources like wind, solar and biofuels right here in the United States by the year 2025. (Peggy Coffeen, Agri-view)

5 Green Tech Stories You Should Be Reading: May 11, 2012 - Everyone’s reading about solar power for Japan, new EV charging standards, and green developments for a U.K. waterfront and a Boston transit center. (Laura Caseley, CleanTechnica)

Norway aims for carbon leadership - Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg did not shy away from superlatives as he formally inaugurated the carbon capture test facility at Mongstad near Bergen, on Norway's west coast. (Richard Black, BBC)

Renewable energy

India’s Solar Capacity Rises to 979 Megawatts, Ministry Says - India’s solar power capacity has risen to 979 megawatts, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said in a statement today. (Natalie Obiko Pearson, Bloomberg)

Scottish Renewables Draw Asian Interest Before Independence Vote - Scotland’s expanding renewable energy industry is attracting attention from Asian investors who are unfazed about the country’s prospects for gaining independence from the rest of the United Kingdom. (Sally Bakewell, Bloomberg)

The French Revolution In Green Technology - If you are the CEO of a green technology company, you might want to brush up on your language lessons. (Michael Kanellos, Forbes)

Biomass power production unit on the cards - The day is not far off when the state will have its first biomass power production unit in Ramgarh. (Jaideep Deogharia, The Times of India)

A solar boom in India (graphic) - Among the Group of 20 countries, India’s clean energy sector was the second-fastest growing in 2011. India is likely to see a continued rise in renewable energy generation in the next decade. (Washington Post)

Sustainable energy policy

Bureau of Energy Resources Coordinator Ambassador Carlos Pascual Travels to India - Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs Carlos Pascual will travel to Delhi and Mumbai, India, May 14-17 to meet with Government of India officials, energy industry experts, and members of civil society. (Greg Adams, U.S. Department of State)

'Save the planet', science leaders urge G8 governments - Leaders of the global science community have issued joint statements to world leaders meeting at the G8 summit later this month in the US. (Pallab Ghosh, BBC)


May 10, 2012


Ban urges progress in Rio+20 negotiations, names post-2015 High-level Panel co-chairs - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged countries to make progress in their negotiations of the outcome document for the United Nations Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20) next month. (UN News Centre)

Analysis: Political shift will make or break Rio+20 summit - The shifting sands of geopolitics, marked by rapid growth of big, emerging economies such as Brazil and China while traditionally rich countries fall behind, could undermine progress to define sustainable development goals at a United Nations conference next month. (Valerie Volcovici and Nina Chestney, Reuters)

Rio+20: Stockholm Conference Issues Call for Action - In the run-up to the Rio+20 summit June 20-22 in Brazil, an international conference in Stockholm has agreed on a set of 13 recommendations for governments, businesses, organizations and individuals to promote and contribute to sustainable development. (R. Nastranis, The International News Magazine)

Renewable energy

International Geothermal Energy Sector Prepares For DC Gathering- Geothermal energy has struggled to grow in recent years but remains an area of distinct potential in a world where much of the growth in baseload power demand remains distant from the fuel that could generate that needed energy. (Peter Gardett, AOL Energy)

Saudi Arabia Aims For 41 GW Solar Power By 2032 - Saudi Arabia and renewable energy probably doesn't roll off your tongue right now. (Mat McDermott, Treehugger)

U.S., India glimpse a bright future together in solar power - There are few places in the world where the opportunity for solar power is more blindingly obvious than India. (Simon Denyer, The Washington Post)

Energy access

UN's Action Agenda drives progress on energy access for all - The UN's launch of its Global Action Agenda will implement the Sustainable Energy for All initiative and marks an important step toward putting ideas into action, according to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). (The Guardian)

Energy Access Entrepreneurs Seek $500 Million from World Bank at Rio +20 - Twenty of the world’s leading off-grid clean energy entrepreneurs sent a letter today to World Bank Group president Robert Zoellick requesting $500 million in financial commitments to help them deliver on the world’s energy access goals. (Sierra Club Compass)

SIDS High-Level Conference on SE4ALL Adopts Barbados Declaration - On the second day of the SIDS High-Level Conference on Sustainable Development for All (SE4ALL), which convened in Bridgetown, Barbados, from 7-8 May 2012, delegates from the three SIDS regions – the Pacific, Caribbean and Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, and South China Sea (AIMS) – unanimously adopted the Barbados Declaration, which will be taken to the Rio+20 Conference in June. (IISD)

Energy efficiency

Asia-Pacific cannot afford to grow without addressing environmental concerns – UN - Countries in the Asia-Pacific region must find ways to continue to grow economically and lift millions out of poverty while also responding to climate change and environmental concerns, according to a United Nations report released today, which stresses that new methods of production are needed to meet this goal. (UN News Centre)

Sustainable energy policy

Africa: World Bank Urges Governments to Think Green for Inclusive Growth - The World Bank today released a report urging governments to think green when pursing growth policies, which can be inclusive, efficient, affordable and above all necessary to sustain economic expansion in years ahead. (All Africa)

Friends of the Earth takes clean energy access debate to Parliament - The United Nation's Sustainable Energy initiative accepts community involvement is crucial in providing clean, affordable energy for all. (Friends of the Earth)

Top scientists urge governments to solve environmental 'dilemmas' - The world's leading scientific institutions have urged governments to focus on three "global dilemmas": growing demands for water and energy, natural disasters and measuring carbon dioxide. (Fiona Harvey, The Guardian)

Rifkin Urges U.S. to Follow Europe’s ‘Revolution’ in Energy - The U.S. should follow Europe’s lead in boosting renewable energy as part of “the third industrial revolution,” according to Jeremy Rifkin, a Wharton Business School professor. (Sangim Han, Bloomberg)


May 9, 2012


Small island nations commit to new steps at UN forum to reduce fossil fuel use - Twenty small island developing nations have announced new actions to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and end poverty, as they wrapped up a sustainable energy conference organized by the United Nations and the Government of Barbados. (UN News Centre)

Food security, climate change and global resource scarcity - Global demand for food will double in coming decades, through population growth and rising levels of consumption. Ensuring the planet produces enough food for all in a sustainable way will be a real challenge, and climate change will hamper our efforts if it is not tackled. (Stephen O'Brien, DevEx)

The World is Watching: Will G20 Countries Lead this June at the Earth Summit? - Three years ago, the Group of 20 countries pledged to phase out environmentally-harmful and ineffective subsidies. (Jake Schmidt, NRDC Switchboard)

UNCSD High-level Roundtables - Four high-level roundtable sessions will convene in parallel with the plenary meetings of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20). (IISD)

Sustainable energy policy

Barbados: National Sustainable Energy Policy Launch - Barbados will soon have a National Sustainable Energy Policy to guide policy initiatives and the development of an operational framework to generate incentives that would result in substantial energy savings for the island. (Caribbean Press Release)

Renewable Energies Need New Incentives - Clean, renewable energies contribute to economic growth and job creation while decreasing dependency on imports. (Fabíola Ortiz, IPS)

Energy access

Joint UNIDO and Kenya biomass project to begin in June - According to a report by the news agency Xinhua, the joint UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has joined forces with Kenya to implement a five-year biomass project, which will kick off in June. (Toby Price, Renewable Energy Magazine)

Renewable energy faces access issues - Ambitious plans to roll out green energy may fail if companies do not get access to the electricity grid and land as competition among bidders intensifies. (Siseko Njobeni, Business Day)

South Africa: Inga Project Could Help Meet Renewable Energy Target - South Africa may be able to tap into thousands of megawatts in renewable energy to meet its six percent target of hydro-electricity in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) when the Inga hydro-electric project on the Congo River goes live. (All Africa)

Energy efficiency

South Africa looks to ocean currents for nonstop energy - Durban, the fourth largest city in South Africa, has made plans to become a world leader in ocean current energy as it endeavors to put an end to recent power outages. (Alex Blackburne, Blue & Green Tomorrow)

Renewable energy

Record-Breaking Welsh Wind Farm Approved - While this 299-MW wind farm just approved for South Wales doesn’t compare with the insane 20,000-MW Gansu Wind Farm slowly being built in China, or even the 3,000-MW Alta Wind Energy Center that leads the US (currently at 1,020 MW of capacity), the Pen Y Cymoedd Wind Energy Project is huge by most standards and will be the largest wind farm in England and Wales when completed by Vattenfall. (Zachary Shahan, CleanTechnica)

Chinese solar panel makers eye a nuclear-free Japan - Since the start of this year, at least five Chinese solar panel manufacturers, including Hebei-based Yingli Green Energy, Jiangsu-based Hareon Solar Technology Co Ltd and Shanghai-based Chaori Solar Energy Science & Technology Co Ltd, have set up offices in Japan, eyeing the world's third-largest economy for new business opportunities. (China Daily)

Latin America Report: Work Starts on Chile's Largest Wind Farm - Construction has begun on what will become Chile's largest wind farm, a 115-megawatt development in the Antofagasta region in the northern part of the country. (Renewable Energy World)
CBD Energy Signs Definitive Deal For Westinghouse Solar - CBD Energy Ltd. (CBD.AU) agreed to acquire Westinghouse Solar Inc. (WEST) in an all-stock deal that values Westinghouse at roughly A$2.49 million ($2.5 million) as the Australian renewable energy company looks to gain access to the U.S. market. (The Wall Street Journal)
Private Equity investors line up to cash in on wind energy sector - Trishe Energy, the Chennai-based wind power developer is currently in talks with a number of private equity firms to raise about $100 million, which it plans to re-invest in infrastructure, including land development and power allocation. (Biswarup Gooptu, The Economic Times)


May 8, 2012


Janez Potočnik European Commissioner for Environment Rio +20: Oceans, land, water, fisheries Sessions on Rio +20 during the Informal Ministerial Roundtable on Climate Change Brussels, 7-8 May 2012This press release details the sessions on Rio +20 during the Informal Ministerial Roundtable on Climate Change. (European Commission) 

Rio+20 leadership event will solidify business recommendations - The BASD Business Day will bring together governments, businesses, and other stakeholders for a day of discussion ahead of Rio+20. (The Guardian)

Mashable Is Heading to Brazil for Rio+Social - Mashable is thrilled to announce that we'll be co-hosting Rio+Social on June 19, during the historic UN's Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20. (Zoe Fox, Yahoo News)

Energy efficiency

London hospital gets a sustainable diagnosis - St Bartholomew's (Barts) and the Royal London Hospitals in London are being redeveloped into state-of-the-art facilities with sustainability integrated into all stages of the project. (The Guardian)

Adam Werbach: lifelong sustainability champion - Adam Werbach enjoyed a meteoric rise to sustainability stardom as the youngest president of the Sierra Club, America's oldest environmental campaign group. (Felicity Carus, The Guardian)

Energy access

Small Island States Combining Forces In Preparation for Rio+20 - By the time small island developing states (SIDS) arrive at the Rio+20 conference in Brazil in June, they will have worked hard to co-ordinate their message to the rest of the world about the importance of sustainable development for their countries. (Peter Richards, IPS)

Barbados and the region moving towards a Green Economy - As the island seeks to become more focused on sustainable development, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart announced the completion of a Green Economy Scoping Study. (The Barbados Advocate)

Reducing Dependence on Fossil Fuels Essential for Sustainable Progress in Small Island Developing States, Says UN Secretary-General - Small Island Developing States (SIDS) need to free themselves from dependence on fossil fuel imports and transform their energy sectors to encompass modern, efficient, clean and renewable sources of energy, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message to an audience of prime ministers, ministers, international experts, civil society leaders and business executives at the Barbados Conference today. (PR Web)

Ethiopia: Electric Power Expansion Projects Underway in Gambella – According to the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation, electric power supply expansion projects are currently underway in Gambella State to enable the public get access to a 24 hour service. (All Africa)

Renewable energy

The Indian biomass sector (part 1) - The story thus far - In the first of a two-part blog piece, Ritesh Pothan's colleague, Jai Rathod, takes a look at the milestones reached by India's biomass sector. Jai reports that India's biomass industry faces a number of challenges, but concludes that "in adversity lies opportunity". (Ritesh Pothan, Renewable Energy Magazine)

Three days of wind farm delivery trials start in Swansea - Wind farm developers have started delivery trial runs in south west and mid Wales, using an empty trailer mimicking an abnormal load. (BBC)

Southampton biomass power station designs - The developer of a proposed £300m biomass power station in Southampton has released revised designs for the plant. (BBC)

Vattenfall Cleared to Build 299 MW Wind Farm in Wales - Swedish utility, Vattenfall, has been cleared to build a 299 megawatt wind farm at an active coal mine in south Wales, the British government said on Tuesday. (Reuters, New York Times)

Sustainable energy policy

Few Seize on a U.S. Bond Program Backing Green Energy - With the country reeling in 2008 from the financial crisis, Congress created a special program to help struggling local governments finance clean energy projects. (Diane Cardwell, New York Times)

Renewable energy: Clean power needs serious investment - Since the start of Europe’s financial crisis, Greek-German relations have been marked by growing acrimony. (Joshua Chaffin, Financial Times)


May 7, 2012


Countries agree to extend negotiations on Rio+20 outcome document - Representatives from governments negotiating the outcome document for the United Nations Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20) today agreed to add five more days of deliberations to bridge differences that have kept them from making further progress in negotiations. (UN News Centre)

Green economy a key sticking point in Rio+20 talks - Negotiations for the outcome document of an upcoming major U.N. conference have hit a snag as developing and developed countries failed yet again to bridge differences after two rounds of talks. (Ivy Mungcal, DevEx)

A long series of environmental events will energize the city during Rio+20 - In June, Rio+20 will transform the city into the environmental capital of the world. In addition to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, several other events will “green” the city all over. (O Globo)

Big three likely to meet in Rio - The big three --- Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, US President Barack Obama and Chinese premier Wen Jiabao --- are likely to meet in Rio De Janerio, capital of Brazil, in June end. (Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times)

Energy efficiency

Greening New York's most iconic skyscraper - The Empire State Building has long been a signature feature of Manhattan's skyline. But owners of the iconic edifice, planning a $1 billion initial public offering, hope to convince investors and tenants that it's what's on the inside that really counts. (Nick Zieminski, Reuters)

Climate ship plots course through the battering waves - Last December's UN climate summit, in the South African port of Durban, saw heated discussions on a proposal that governments should commit to agreeing a new comprehensive global emissions-limiting deal with some kind of legal force before 2015. (Richard Black, BBC)

Push for energy-efficient buildings - Beijing wants energy-efficient buildings to account for 30 per cent of all new construction projects by 2020 to bring the nation's building energy consumption ratio closer to that of developed countries, Xinhua reported yesterday. (Reuters, South China Morning Post)

The Environmental Impact Of Your Pointless Googling - Each time you use the internet, massive data servers need power, and power causes emissions. (Ben Schiller, Fast Company)

Kenya: Nairobi's Green Roofs Save On Energy, Water Use - Kenyan architects are designing buildings with green roofs covered in vegetation to cool their interiors, conserve energy and water, and help curb greenhouse gas emissions. (Gitonga Njerum, All Africa)

Energy access

Uganda: EU to Lead New UN Energy Initiative - The United Nations has designated the European Union to be the lead agency for an ambitious new initiative that see all Ugandans get access to affordable electricity by 2030. (Peter Nyanzi, All Africa)

Renewable energy

Forget Fuel, Algae Could Help Feed the World - Five years ago, algae was the “it” feedstock in the biofuel realm. The idea of taking an organism that feeds off of CO2 and using it to create fuel was as intoxicating to research scientists as it was to venture capitalists. (Amy Westervelt, Forbes)

AFDB to Accerelate Green Investments in Africa - The Tunis-based African Development Bank (AFDB) will channel more funds towards projects that accerelate the transition to green economy among member states. (Naftali Mwaura, African Science News)
Sembcorp acquires power assets in China for $85.5m - Sembcorp Utilities, a whollyowned subsidiary of SGX-listed Sembcorp Industries has signed a transaction with the New York-listed AES Corp to acquire part of its power asset portfolio in China for S$106.7 million ($85.5 million), according to the company's news release on Monday. (China Daily)
Sustainable energy policy

Clean Energy Startups and Small Businesses Now Have Access to Capital Markets via the JOBS ActThe new “Jumpstart Our Business Startups” (JOBS) Act, was overwhelmingly and quickly passed by both houses and signed into law by President Obama April 5.(David L Roberts, CleanTechnica)

Parliament panel asks government to decide fast on bio-fuels programme - Rapping the rural development ministry's land resources department for the "inordinate delay" in finalising a bio-fuels programme, a parliamentary panel has sought for the matter be placed before the cabinet at the earliest for a decision on its continuance. (The Economic Times)

Making panels where the sun shines - part 2: How India's solar manufacturing policy can more effectively support the National Solar Mission - On Friday in New Delhi, NRDC and its Indian partner CEEW (Council on Energy, Environment and Water) released our report “Laying the Foundation for a Bright Future” for the Indian audience. (Vignesh Gowrishankar, NRDC Switchboard)


May 4, 2012


Global Compact Calls on Companies to Commit to the Future We Want - The UN Global Compact, in partnership with the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), announced today a worldwide call for commitments to actions and partnerships that advance progress along the six core themes of the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum, to be held on 15-18 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro. (UN News Centre)

Rio Operations Center: Readiness is All - When C40 City Rio de Janeiro took stock of risks and challenges — from extreme weather, to traffic congestion, to upcoming mega-events such as Rio+20, it decided to create the Operations Center in the service of Cariocas (the citizens of Rio de Janeiro). (National Geographic)

UN’s Ban Ki-moon urges firms to go green in run-up to Rio - United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged companies to step up their commitment to sustainability in the run-up to the Rio+20 Earth summit in Brazil next month. (Green Business)

UN’s Action Agenda on Sustainable Energy for All will drive critical progress on energy, says WBCSD - The UN’s launch of its Global Action Agenda will implement the Sustainable Energy for All initiative and marks an important step toward putting ideas into action, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) said last week. (Toby Price, Renewable Energy Magazine)

Energy efficiency

Balance Of Power: Clean Energy And Desert Wildlife - This guest post was written by Johanna Wald, a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council in San Francisco. (Todd Woody, Forbes)

Clean Energy Development in Egypt - Egypt was once an exporter of oil and gas, but now it is struggling to meet its own energy needs. (All Africa)

University gets Rs 25 lakh to save 30% energy annually - The Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MEDA) recently provided financial assistance to seven government buildings in the state, including Rs 25 lakh to the University of Pune (UoP), to replace the old and inefficient equipment with energy saving equipment expected to save 25% to 30% energy annually. (Neha Madaan, The Times of India)

Energy access

EU green power needs market access to thrive-draft - Free access to emerging renewable energy markets such as Brazil, China and India will be a major factor in helping the European Union maintain its lead in green energy, according to draft documents seen by Reuters. (Barbara Lewis, Reuters)

Sustainable energy policy

Tim Yeo calls for urgent action over windfarms - Senior Conservative tells UK Energy Summit said energy policy has been 'neglected' to the detriment of consumers (Terry Macalister, The Guardian)

China seeks to expand green energy ties - China and the European Union will expand collaboration in the alternative energy sector to achieve shared objectives in terms of energy conservation and emissions reduction, officials said. (Lan Lan, China Daily)

Tanzania: EU to Review Renewable Energy Policy - A controversial European Union renewable energy directive which targets 10 per cent use of renewable energy sources in transport sector by 2020 may be reviewed after an ongoing impact assessment on the indirect land use change aspect. (Finnigan Wa Simbeye, All Africa)

Renewable energy

Nigeria: IPMAN Suggests Use of Renewable Sources for Power Generation - Mr Olumide Ogunmade, Chairman of Western Zone of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), on Wednesday advised Federal Government to explore alternative sources of power generation. (All Africa)

Uganda: Makerere Students Showcase Innovative Projects - Final-year students of Mechanical Engineering at Makerere University's College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology recently showcased their products at a cluster workshop. (Moses Talemwa, All Africa)


May 3, 2012

Renewable energy

Who uses renewable power, in one map - We keep hearing that renewable energy is booming in the United States, but where is it? (Brad Plumer, The Washington Post)

Gamesa Plans to Invest in India Factories - Gamesa Wind Turbines Pvt. Ltd., the Indian unit of Spain's Gamesa Corporacion Tecnologica SA, said Thursday it plans to spend 2 billion rupees ($37.8 million) between now and December on building factories in the South Asian nation as it looks to tap the country's growing demand for wind energy. (Anirban Chowdhury, The Wall Street Journal)

Japan’s renewable energy options: costs and potential - Japan’s shutdown of all its nuclear power plants leaves it with an energy gap, mostly being made up through greater use of costly imported LNG, coal and oil. Below are some details of the resource-scarce country’s “green energy” options. (Associated Press, The Washington Post)


Returning to Rio to build a more sustainable futureIn 1992, heads of state converged on Rio for the Earth Summit, a bright moment that seemed to herald a new era for sustainable development. Bold speeches were given, important treaties signed. (Manish Bapna and Kirsty Jenkinson, The Guardian)

Masdar maintains commitment to sustainable energy for all - The third High Level Group meeting for the United Nation’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative took place in London last week preceding the 3rd Clean Energy Ministerial. (EQ International)

Energy efficiency

Electric cars in China: Not yet - The main road at the headquarters of BYD, a Chinese car and battery firm in Shenzhen, seems to go on for ever. It winds from gleaming offices past enormous factories and dormitories to a renewable-energy plant and test track. (The Economist)

With electric pace car, NASCAR puts pedal down on green efforts - But in a world turned green, NASCAR is waking up to the reality that American attitudes about automobiles are shifting — from consumers’ demands for better gas mileage to heightened concern about global warming. (Liz Clarke, The Washington Post)

Energy access

Make No Small Plans: Turning On The Lights For 1.4 Billion People - At the recent Fortune Brainstorm Green conference which I attended in Laguna Niguel, California, there was a host of U.S.-focused presentations and conversations. (Ron Pernick, Think Progress)

Mozambique: Electricity Consumption Up By 15 Per Cent - Consumption of electricity in Mozambique increased by 15 per cent in 2011, according to Augusto Sousa, chairperson of the publicly-owned electricity company, EDM. (All Africa)

Offshore power generator proposed for Lynmouth - An energy company hopes to produce electricity for the national grid from the sea bed off north Devon from 2014. (BBC)

Sustainable energy policy

What does the NPPF really mean by sustainable development? - While the National Planning Policy Framework  has been well received for its emphasis on local decision-making and urban redevelopment, what the definitions contained in the framework actually mean presents a problem. (Mark Gaterell, The Guardian)

ROK approves carbon trading scheme - The Republic of Korea's lawmakers approved a national emissions trading scheme on Wednesday to tackle its growing greenhouse gas emissions, overcoming strong industry opposition and joining a growing number of nations to put a price on carbon. (China Daily)

Could a Sarkozy Loss Could be a Green Energy Gain? - Considering the year Southern Europe’s green energy sector has had, it seems that any diversion from dwindling investment and state support comes as a relief. (Christopher Coats, Forbes)


May 2, 2012

Sustainable energy policy

Working Together for Global Clean Energy - This past week the Clean Energy Ministerial met in London and had its most successful meeting to date, greatly expanding a number of its climate-friendly technology cooperation commitments, while also introducing new initiatives, including a partnership to utilize renewable energy and energy efficiency through smart grids. (Rebecca Lefton and Andrew Light, Center for American Progress)

Rivalry or friendship as EU, China hold energy talks? - Energy security, power markets and sustainable urban development top the agenda at talks on Thursday between European Commission bosses and visiting Chinese officials, led by Vice Premier Li Keqiang, as both sides scramble for supplies and market share. (Barbara Lewis, Reuters)

Energy efficiency

International conference on sustainable biomass for electricity generation opens in Austria - An international conference titled, Biomass for Electricity: Greening Electricity Generation for Energy Access, that opened in Austria today will help further bolster the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All initiative. (Mikhail Evstafyev, UNIDO press release)

Retroficiency Implements Green Button Compatibility With Virtual Energy Assessment - Company validates compatibility by identifying 34% savings potential in a building through assessment of energy interval data in green button format. (MarketWatch)

Coalition Wants to Squeeze More Energy Efficiency from Appliances - New designs for more energy-efficient household appliances are among the top goals announced April 26 at a high-level governmental forum working to speed the global transition to cleaner technologies. (SynTao News)

Energy access

Conference preview: Small island developing states to tackle universal energy access - How can small island developing countries promote universal access to sustainable energy and boost renewable energy production and energy efficiency? (Ivy Mungcal, DevEx)

BMTC will tap solar energy for its buses - Public transport will go green in a few years with BMTC  set to introduce solar-powered buses. Officials are in talks with research & development companies on manufacturing and operating these buses. (The Times of India)


UNDP Administrator to Visit China Ahead of Rio+20 - Ms. Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Chair of the United Nations Development Group, will pay an official visit to China from 16 to 19 May. (EIN News)

Works not Waste -- Visions for a Green Economy - The Rio+20 meeting is just a few weeks away. Sitting here in India's sixth largest city, Pune, there is evidence of deep transformation since the last United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio, in 1992. (Bharati Chaturvedi, The Huffington Post)

Renewable energy

Durban to Explore Sea-Current Power With Hydro Alternative - South Africa’s southeastern coastal city of Durban is considering developing plants to generate electricity from sea-currents together with Hydro Alternative Energy Inc., which says the project would be the first of its kind. (Niki Moore, Bloomberg)

Land of the rising solar industry attracts firms - Chinese solar companies are expanding into Japan, where the solar industry is receiving more government support as the country is reducing its dependence on nuclear power following a nuclear accident last year. (Liu Yiyu, China Daily)

Domestic manufacturers expand into new markets - As the European and US solar markets present more and more difficulties to Chinese photovoltaic companies, such businesses are changing their plans in an attempt at expanding into new markets. (Liu Yiyu, China Daily)


April 30, 2012

Energy efficiency

IFC Promotes Green Building Certification System -

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, launched a Green Buildings Certification System (EDGE), which aims to help small companies reduce their carbon footprint and save energy costs through an inexpensive methodology. (Sustainable Energy Policy & Practice, IISD Reporting Services)


Energy Storage: Costly but Key to Power Production - Ever wish you could just bottle up those beautiful sun shinny days? Well, some companies are trying to do just that — in the context of “energy storage.” (Ken Silverstein, Forbes)

Q&A: Greening the City’s Zoning Rules - On Monday, the New York City Council unanimously approved a package of zoning changes  that will make it easier for property owners to undertake energy efficiency upgrades and even produce their own solar and wind power. (Mireya Navarro, The New York Times)


IBON: Rio+20 must address global economic governance - As many of you know, during the previous round of informal informals here in the United Nations (UN), civil society was quite alarmed at the proposals of certain states to delete or weaken or bracket references to rights, equity and important Rio principles which are also grounded on human rights, from the negotiating text for Rio+20. (Ibon International, Rio+20: UN Conference on Sustainable Development)

Rio+20 talk point: your message to the summit on the future you want - As the world prepares to meet at June's Rio+20 summit, we want your questions, messages and pictures. (Jaz Cummins, The Guardian)

Renewable energy

Wind’s $168B North Sea Boom Lures Oil Industry - Oil service companies led by Technip SA (TEC) and Subsea 7 SA (SUBC) for the first time are working with wind energy developers in the North Sea’s 14 billion-euro ($19 billion) a year market. (Kari Lundgren, Bloomberg)

No, wind farms are not causing global warming - Scientific studies are misrepresented all the time. But now and again the distortions get particularly bad. That was the case Monday, when Fox News ran the headline, “New Research Shows Wind Farms Cause Global Warming.” A number of other media outlets did the same thing. And it’s... not true at all. (Brad Plumer, The Washington Post)

SolarCity Takes Step Toward Public Offering - SolarCity, a leading installer of rooftop solar energy systems, said on Monday that it had filed a draft registration statement for an initial public offering of stock with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week. (Diane Cardwell, The New York Times)

Wind energy gets rain boost in Tamil Nadu - Early onset of southwest monsoon in southern Tamil Nadu has brought some cheers to power managers and consumers in the state with generation from wind going from zero to 1,000MW in the last four days. (The Times of India)

Sustainable energy policy

Study Highlights Renewable Energy Potential and Policy Options for Islands and Remote Areas -

The study highlights that remote areas around the world are at the forefront of the transition toward a more sustainable energy future, with case studies used to highlight lessons learned at the community, provincial and national levels. The report summarizes the implication of these lessons learned and discusses ways in which governments can help overcome renewable energy deployment challenges. (Sustainable Energy Policy & Practice, IISD Reporting

Services) Policy must live up to energy crop potential - Up to half of the government's 2020 renewable energy target could be met by energy crops, wood and other forms of biomass such as wastes from agriculture, according to a government report. (Paul Spackman, Farmers Weekly)

Montek’s message on clean energy - The Planning Commission Deputy Chairman was in London last week for the Clean Energy Ministerial meeting – leading the Indian delegation in the absence of Dr Farooq Abdullah, the Minister for New and Renewable Energy. (Hindustan Times)

Energy access

Wind a Winner in Developing Nations - Researchers at a Swiss science and technology university testing out which is the most cost-effective renewable energy source in developing countries have made a surprising discovery. (AOL Energy)

Renewable Energy Generation is Big Business in Kenya - Take an exponentially rising need for clean, reliable energy; add a new renewable energy feed-in tariff (REFITT); and then consider erratic weather conditions that have affected over-relied upon hydropower generation in Kenya and you get an influx of interest in renewable energy by Independent Power Producers (IPPs). (Peter Kahare, Renewable Energy World)

Uganda: Govt to Focus On 600MW Karuma Power Project in Next Budget - Tinto Onywegeredde is in the agroprocessing business and boasts of five maize mills. He shelved plans to start a milk processing plant five years ago when there was acute power supply shortage. (Ibrahim Kasita, All Africa)


April 30, 2012

Renewable energy

Wind turbine creates water from thin air - Wind turbines have long produced renewable energy but a French engineering firm has discovered another eco-purpose for the towering structures. (Eoghan Macguire, CNN)

Small Businesses Want Government to Invest in Clean Energy - Across the United States, Main Street small businesses are working to rebuild our economy. These entrepreneurs are doing all they can to hire, grow and move their businesses forward. And they're doing it largely through innovation -- particularly in the clean energy arena. (John Arensmeyer, Huffington Post)


Energy efficiency

NY spends $10M in energy efficiency on LI - The Long Island Railroad used its $4 million to pay for a heating upgrade that replaced platform exhaust fans with new, insulated ducts and high-efficiency fan motors. Funds also were used to install gas-fired rooftop heaters including a gas detection system and repair a roof at a Queens facility. (Claude Solnik, Long Island Business News)

Tata BP Solar CEO Resigns - The chief executive officer of Tata BP Solar Ltd. resigned, exiting India’s third-largest panel maker as the industry struggles to cope with oversupply from Chinese competitors that’s crushed prices. (Natalie Obiko Pearson, Bloomberg)

UK, Denmark study power cable to swap wind energy - Wind power producers Britain and Denmark are studying options to build a power cable between them to import and export renewable energy and increase market competition, the countries' grid operators said on Monday. (Reuters)


Governments to Support Sustainable Energy for All Initiative - Governments are stepping up to the challenge of meeting the goals of the UN Secretary-General’s proposed goals of achieving universal access to sustainable energy by 2030. (Gordon Day, IEEE)

UNEP chief calls for urgent action to tackle environment issues - Now it is a good time to talk green, between the Earth Day on April 22 and the World Environment Day in June, when the United Nations will organize a pivotal conference on sustainable development that is known as Rio+20. (REVE)

Energy access

Eight19's IndiGo Solar - On the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya, residents have few amenities. Clean drinking water, modern sewage systems, and affordable energy are nonexistent. (Sustainable Energy for All)

UN, EU to boost renewable energy - More Ugandans may soon get access to cheaper, cleaner and more efficient energy, after Uganda was selected among 12 United Nations countries to pilot a new initiative, Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL). (Simon Musasizi, The Observer)

Sustainable energy policy

Merkel’s Green Jobs Ambition Stalls With Cuts for Solar - German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s effort to create jobs in renewable energy is faltering as subsidy cuts and competition from Chinese manufacturers forces the industry to stop hiring for the first time in eight years. (Stefan Nicola, Bloomberg Business Week)

Africa: Why Energy Should Play a Crucial Role in Continent's Development- Recent studies on energy use in Africa indicate that promoting cleaner, more efficient technologies for producing charcoal in Africa can save millions of lives and have significant climate change and development benefits. (Oscar Kimanuka, All Africa)


April 27, 2012

Energy access
UN: Developing countries offer "staggering" clean tech opportunity - Green businesses can take advantage of new markets and help UN meet its goal of universal access to energy, says UN Foundation executive. (Will Nichols, Business Green)
Praising India’s economic progress, Ban calls for more inclusive development - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today praised India’s economic development and called on the country build on it by implementing policies that reduce inequalities among society and take into account environmental and social factors. (UN News Centre)
23 National Energy, Private & Public Sector Leaders Make UN Sustainable Energy for All Commitments - Gathering in London for the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), energy ministers, and secretaries, from 23 governments around the world joined UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon’s Sustainable Energy for All program (SE4All) in committing to promote improved energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies and increased energy access around the world. (CleanTechnica)
The road to Rio+20: how has the UN process developed? (video) - Sustainability pioneers reflect on the shift of focus from the environment to sustainable development and discuss how business has become an essential element. (The Guardian)
The leadership role of cities worldwide grows as Rio +20 nears - Washington Post Writers Group Columnist, Neal Peirce, recently wrote a piece highlighting the growing demand from cities worldwide to play a greater role in the decision making process with international governing bodies, such as the United Nations. (Neal Peirce, National Geographic)
Rio+20 talks 'too focused on techno fixes', UN hears - The conviction that new technologies will solve the world's environmental and social problems has overly dominated early negotiations leading up to the Rio+20 summit in Brazil in June, a UN General Assembly meeting has heard. (Aisling Irwin, SciDevNet)
Energy efficiency
City Council Is Set to Encourage Greener Buildings With Zoning Changes - The New York City Council is expected to vote on Monday to update the city’s zoning regulations to make it easier for builders to insulate walls, install solar panels and put gardens on rooftops. (Mireya Navarro, The New York Times)
Renewable energy
Suzlon bags wind power project from UK's Eoxis - Wind turbine maker Suzlon Group today said it has bagged a contract to set up a wind power project in Rajasthan from UK-based Eoxis group. (The Economic Times)
Shell says no to North Sea wind power - Oil company insists it can't make the numbers add up to justify offshore windfarms. (Terry Macalister, The Guardian)
Maharashtra to boost power generation with three new solar energy plants - In an effort to boost power generation, Indian state of Maharashtra is looking for land to establish three solar power plants. (REVE)
Invest in renewable energy: scientist - The promotion of sustainable alternate energy sources, fuels other than oil and energy-efficient equipment are among strategies initiated in the country to achieve energy security, P. Sivakumar, Director, Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), said on Thursday. (The Hindu)
Sustainable energy policy
Ministers Wrap Up Clean Energy Meeting - Their work is not sexy and generates little controversy or media coverage, but a group of energy and environment ministers from 22 countries and the European Union is claiming substantial progress in spreading energy efficiency and more affordable energy around the globe. (John M. Broder, The New York Times)
China Carbon Blockage Begins to Ease: Energy Markets - China is starting to approve emission credits after a seven-month freeze, stoking speculation a glut that’s contributed to an unprecedented decline in European carbon prices will keep growing. (Mathew Carr, Bloomberg)
Earth Negotiations Bulletin - On Thursday, 26 April, delegates continued informal negotiations on the draft outcome document for the UNCSD. WG1 completed its first reading on the thematic areas under Section V (Framework for Action) in morning and afternoon sessions. In the evening, WG1 discussed sustainable development goals (SDGs). WG2 continued discussions on Section IV (IFSD). A number of side events were also convened. (IISD Reporting Services)


April 26, 2012

Sustainable energy policy
Cameron Urges ‘Financially Sustainanable’ Clean Energy - U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said wind and solar companies must focus on cutting costs and developing the most suitable sites to make their technology palatable to the public. (Alex Morales and Reed Landberg, Bloomberg)
White House Promotes a Bioeconomy - The plan would foster development of a bioeconomy that would include the use of renewable resources and replace harsher industrial methods. (Andrew Pollack, The New York Times)
Government may re-introduce sops for wind farms - The renewable energy ministry is planning to re-introduce incentives for the wind energy sector to allay fears that capacity addition could fall after the sops were withdrawn from April 1. (Rachita Prasad, The Economic Times)
Energy efficiency
UK to give £60m to developing countries to build CCS plants - Boost to carbon capture and storage technology as global partnership is formed to support energy efficiency projects. (Fiona Harvey, The Guardian)
Unpowered Dams: America's Hidden Clean Power Supply - The U.S. has more than 80,000 dams that produce no power at all — a neglected resource that could supply clean electricity to millions of homes in states where it is needed most, according to a new report from the Department of Energy. (David Ferris, Forbes)
Renewable energy
Green energy 'cheap within years', says 'passionate' PM - Renewables can be one of the cheapest forms of energy within years, Prime Minister David Cameron has said. (Richard Black, BBC)
Cameron to praise Britain's leadership over renewable energyPrime Minister to tell meeting of 23 countries that UK is spearheading green revolution, as Tory divisions deepen over environment. (Fiona Harvey and Damian Carrington, The Guardian)
India sparks solar energy market: Report - India's ambitious national solar programme has catalysed rapid growth in the solar market driving solar energy prices low and demonstrating how government policy can stimulate clean energy markets, according to a new report. (The Times of India)
Energy access
Coalition of World Energy Ministers Commit to Improvements in Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Energy Access - Leaders from the 23-government Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4All) today outlined specific commitments by participating countries and private sector leaders which will promote improved energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies, and increased energy access around the world. (U.S. Department of Energy)
David Cameron's remarks to Clean Energy Ministerial meeting - The UK is leading on renewable energy, the prime minister told energy ministers at a summit in London. (The Guardian)
Learning from emerging energy innovations in Asia: Contributing to the discourse on an institutional framework for sustainable development - This study has been undertaken by TERI and IGES supported by AEI, Energy for All Initiative and the ADB and it focuses on what Asia has to offer by way of practice in addressing energy access and expansion of clean energy to the international dialogue on an institutional framework for sustainable development (IFSD). (Energy for All)
Africa: Rio+20 Must Tackle Leaders' Economic Concerns - Climate ExpertThe upcoming U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro could be more positive for the environment than recent international climate summits as long as it attracts enough world leaders and tackles economic concerns as well as environmental challenges, according to a top climate expert. (All Africa)
Swedish conference calls for action at UN Rio meet - A conference of international experts and environment ministers in the Swedish capital on Wednesday urged world leaders gathering later this year in Brazil to discuss world's sustainable development to "stop talking and start acting." (Louise Nordstrom, Bloomberg Businessweek)
Asia needs clean energy to power sustainable & inclusive growth - Balancing sustainable development with high rates of economic growth requires agreement on a new energy compact for Asia and the Pacific, the top United Nations Asia-Pacific official told a forum of sector policymakers in Singapore. (The Nation)


April 25, 2012

Sustainable Energy For All - We are under 6 weeks away from Rio+20, a major global confab dedicated to sustainable development.  Late last week, Ban Ki Moon visited Washington, DC to give a keynote address to a series of panel discussions organized by Center for Global Development. (Mark Leon Goldberg, UN Dispatch)
Sustainable Energy For All: Action, not just an agenda - WWF welcomes the launch of the Global Action Agenda under the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. (WWF International)
How We Can End Energy Poverty & Bring Sustainable Energy to All - Perhaps more than anything else, access to reliably electricity is what defines civilization in the 21st century, and has for at least the past 60 years. (Mat McDermott, Treehugger)
Sustainable energy policy
Energy secretary takes a swipe at George Osborne over green economy - Ed Davey hits out at chancellor's 'burden' remarks and says green policies are 'unashamedly good for growth'. (Fiona Harvey, The Guardian)
Do Elections Matter In Energy? - Despite the high volume of attention paid to elections, national policies may matter less than raw economics and common goals applied in nationally customized ways as the energy sector becomes increasingly networked across the world. (Peter Gardett, AOL Energy)
A comprehensive energy plan is crucial - President Barack Obama told Congress he would “keep trying every new idea that works, and listen to every good proposal, no matter which party comes up with it.” Western Republicans have laid out a clear path to energy security and job creation. (Senator John Barrasso, Politico)
Energy efficiency
Climate Goals Require $5 Trillion Investment by 2020 - Five trillion dollars of investment is needed worldwide by 2020 in renewable power, energy efficiency and cleaner transportation to contain rising global temperatures, the International Energy Agency said. (Alex Morales, Bloomberg)
Essent and Tendril Partner on First-of-Its-Kind Smart Energy Application Crowdsourcing Project - Tendril, the provider of the cloud platform for the Energy Internet, has partnered with Essent N.V., the largest energy company in the Netherlands serving more than 2 million households, to collaborate on the first-of-its-kind smart energy application crowdsourcing project. (Dan O'Mahony, MarketWatch)
Energy access
Areva Solar Builds Giant Solar Farm In India - In a northwestern corner of India, rows of steel and glass are rising from the ground to form what will be one of the largest solar power plants in Asia. (Ucilia Wang, Forbes)
Renewable energy
We can have safe, sustainable energy - With renewables we can contain consumption – and climate warming at 2C – if the big users act now. (Maria van der Hoeven, The Guardian)

U.S. and India partner to research biofuel - The U.S. Department of Energy has announced that the University of Florida will be working with the Indian government on a new alternative energy project concerning biofuel. (John Max, Hydrogen Fuel News)


April 24, 2012

Energy efficiency
Intel Holds #1 Position for Corporate Renewable Energy Consumption - Intel ranks first in the nation for using renewable energy, holding onto its position since 2008. (Sustainable Business News)
GE Energy Launches the Fully Networked WattStation(TM) and WattStation Connect Software, a Complete Electric Vehicle Charging Platform - GE Energy's GE +2.26% Industrial Solutions business unveiled its new ecomagination(TM)-approved WattStation(TM) and WattStation(TM) Connect today at the SAE 2012 World Congress in Detroit, Mich. (Press Release, MarketWatch)
China may steal a march on Europe in fight against climate change - Long accused of inaction, the country has put plans in place to reverse its record on carbon emissions target. (Rob Elsworth, The Guardian)
Sustainable energy policy
Gray to unveil D.C. sustainability plan - The District could add 250,000 residents over the next two decades under a new vision for the city that Mayor Vincent C. Gray will unveil Tuesday, which includes vast long-term changes for how residents travel, eat and enjoy the outdoors. (Tim Craig, The Washington Post)
Clinton: Energy management is ‘good economics’ - Applauding a group of local high school students for their efforts to promote and participate in conservation and sustainability projects, President Bill Clinton on Monday said energy management is “good economics.” (Lorie Hailey, The Lane Report)
Renewable energy
China Seeks to Promote Development of Biofuels Industry Despite Production Difficulties - A spokesperson for the National Energy Bureau said that the Chinese government has set a goal of utilizing five million tons of ethanol fuel during the "12th Five-Year" period spanning 2011 to 2015, nearly double that set for the prior period (2006-2010). (Liu Yuanyuan, Renewable Energy World)
Wind energy can be cheaper than photovoltaics solar energy - Generating wind power is more than twice as cheap as solar power photovoltaic (PV) energy production, a study of alternative energy in six developing countries has found. (REVE)
China adds power to geothermal energy links with Iceland - China has expanded its geothermal co-operation with Iceland to include plans for electricity production. (Dominique Patton, RECharge)
Rio+20 Newsletter: Making it Happen, Volume 3, Issue 4 - We need to mobilize public support around the world for the vision of finally building a sustainable world that guarantees the well-being of humanity, while preserving the planet for future generations. (United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development)
Time to Help Power the World with renewable energy at the 2012 Earth Summit - One in five people in the world live without electricity – or around 1.3 billion people – and one billion more live only with access to unreliable electricity. (Jake Schmidt, NRDC Switchboard)
Recent crises linked to finance, fuel, food and the environment pose serious threats to global development-Report - Successful initiatives to promote sustainable consumption and production are flourishing around the globe, but further efforts are needed to embed such practices in existing policy frameworks, according to a new Global Outlook Report published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the European Commission. (Balkans Business News)
Energy access
Juwi Talking to Companies for Renewable Ventures in South Africa - Juwi Holding AG, a German renewable-energy developer, is talking to companies about partnerships to develop solar and wind power projects in South Africa, which is striving to cut its reliance on coal. (Louise Downing, Bloomberg)
Namibia: Windhoek Signs Up for Solar Power - The City of Windhoek has entered into an agreement with Invest Africa Energy Services for the provision of solar-powered electricity. (All Africa)
Unlocking the Gigawatts of Geothermal Power in Kenya - Kengen, GDC sign $700 million contracts for the development of geothermal power plants in the emerging region. (Peter Kahare, Renewable Energy World)
ADB to fund RPower’s solar project in Rajasthan - To help boost private investment in renewable energy, multilateral lending agency ADB has announced $103-million loan to Reliance Power for setting up a 100-MW solar plant in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan. (The Hindu Business Line)

April 23, 2012

Renewable energy

US and UK to collaborate on 'floating' wind turbines - The new technology could allow Britain to harness the consistently higher wind speeds available over deeper water. (The Guardian)


Renewables 'help jobs and growth' - The renewable energy industry supports 110,000 jobs in the UK and could support 400,000 by 2020, a report says. (Richard Black, BBC)


Ethiopia and Mali Set to Advance Renewable Energy Plans - Ethiopia and Mali are set to begin preparing renewable energy projects specified in their investment plan under the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program in Low Income Countries (SREP) after successfully achieving investment plan endorsement from the SREP sub-committee at their meeting on 8 March 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya. (Mafalda Duarte, All Africa)


New Rio+Social Speakers Include Innovators in Business, Philanthropy, Conservation, Journalism, Social Gaming and Government - The organizers of Rio+Social, a groundbreaking, global conversation about the nexus of social media, technology, and sustainability, today announced additional speakers who will discuss the latest innovations in multiple sectors that shape our world. (Amy DiElsi, PRWeb)

Top UN official: Accountability key at Rio meeting - A top U.N. official said Monday that efforts by states to honor their agreed environmental commitments should be measured through a performance evaluation that should be created during the upcoming U.N. gathering on sustainable development in Brazil. (Louise Nordstrom,CBS)

Mozambique: Road Map for a Green Economy Being Drawn Up - Mozambique's Environment Minister, Alcinda Abreu, announced in Maputo on Monday that the country is currently drawing up its "road map for the green economy" and its national report for the forthcoming Earth Summit, to be held in June in Rio de Janeiro. (All Africa)

Energy access

Access to energy for all by 2030? - In Europe, when children need to study after dark, they switch on the lights. When we are sick, we go to a doctor's office or hospital, where electricity powers the equipment. When we go to our offices and shops in the morning, we turn on the lights, computers, coffee makers and printers. (Andris Piebalgs and Kandeh Yumkella, EuropeanVoice)


World Bank allocates $1.8b for Pakistan this year - The World Bank has allocated an unprecedented amount of $1.8 billion for Pakistan’s development projects in the energy and water sectors. Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh made the announcement after holding a meeting with Vice President of the World Bank, Isabel Guerrero, on the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank annual spring gathering of economic leaders from around the world. (International Herald Tribune)


AfDB Calls for More Climate Financing to Africa At Leds Partnership Meeting - The African Development Bank (AfDB) joined some 125 representatives from developed and developing countries, implementing organizations and multilateral institutions at the Low Emissions Development Strategies (LEDS) Collaboration in Action workshop from 20-23 March 2012 outside of London, UK to advance a collaborative community of practice focused on promoting the low emission development agenda around the globe. (Mafalda Duarte, All Africa)

India powers up the world's largest solar plant - The West Indian state of Gujarat has flicked the switch on the first phase of the world’s largest solar power field, supplying a whopping 214MW of solar energy into India's struggling power grid. (ConstructionWeekOnline)

Energy efficiency

U.S. Teams with India in Massive New Biofuel Project - The U.S. has just launched a five-year, $125 million alternative energy research project with India, aimed partly at developing biofuels from non-food crops. (Tina Casey, CleanTechnica)


Meet the $60 ‘Earth Day’ LED light bulb - Just in time for Earth Day, Dutch electronics company Philips unveiled a new super energy-efficient light bulb Sunday with a shelf life that should last about 25 years. (Tom Cheredar, The Washington Post)


April 19, 2012

Rio + 20
Sierra Leone: President Barroso and Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon Stress the Need for Global Partnership in Confronting 'Energy Poverty' - High-level representatives from the EU, the UN, developing countries, industry and civil society have today gathered in Brussels to attend the Sustainable Energy Summit for All initiative (SE4ALL) hosted by the European Commission. (Anthony Abdul Karim Kamara, Jnr., All Africa)
Rio+20: Ida Auken, Denmark Environment Minister, Says Summit Needs Stronger Targets - EU ministers must back clear goals to clean up oceans, tackle water shortages and conserve resources if the 27-member bloc is to be a credible leader of global efforts to make the world more sustainable, the Danish EU presidency said on Thursday. (Reuters)
Renewable energy
Energy Innovation for a Sustainable America Touted by Bill Gates and Bill Clinton - From Advanced Government Research, the makers of the internet, GPS technology, and America’s journey to the moon, comes the next great idea … a clean and sustainable energy future! (Brian A. Frankel, Living Green Magazine)
Wind power: new poll finds 66% of UK public in favour - Figures showing public support for wind energy published on the same day as the launch of a national anti-wind campaign (Adam Vaughan, The Guardian)
Sustainable energy policy
U.S. Caps Emissions in Drilling for Fuel - Oil and gas companies will have to capture toxic and climate-altering gases from wells, storage sites and pipelines under new air quality standards issued on Wednesday by the Environmental Protection Agency. (John M. Broder, New York Times)
Africa: Greening Continent's Future - The 4th Africa Carbon Forum (ACF), this year in Addis Ababa, opened its doors today to over 1,000 registered participants from across the globe to foster a discussion on climate change and carbon finance in Africa. (All Africa)
Green policy gloom? Not in the states - Hope may be lost on the national stage for the moment. But, in the states, there's plenty of action. (Adam Lashinsky, CNN)
Green businesses: Don't abandon Washington - Corporations interested in green energy may be frustrated with Washington, but their voices need to be heard in D.C., says former EPA administrator Cathy Zoi. (Shelley DuBois, CNN)
Energy efficiency
Vermont Is Helping to Lead the Nation in Transforming Our Energy System - We come from Vermont. We know our small state cannot reverse global warming on our own, but we can provide a model for America which helps lead our nation and the world to a more sustainable and secure energy future. (Sen. Bernie Sanders and Gov. Peter Shumlin, The Huffington Post)
Guiding Europe Toward Clean Energy - Three years ago, Germany lobbied hard to appoint one of its own nationals to the post of E.U. energy commissioner, a move partly designed to quell anxiety among giant German utilities about the Union’s environment and climate agenda. (James Kanter, New York Times)
Clean Tech Support Is About to Fall Off a Cliff. Here’s One Way to Save It - The last few years have been very good to the clean tech industry as a whole—and the clean tech industry has been pretty good to America as well. (Bryan Walsh, TIME)
Energy Access
Exhibition Special: Expo marks dawn of solar power industry - More than 2,200 companies from around the globe will convene in Shanghai on May 16 to showcase the latest solar power technology and chart the industry's future at the sixth SNEC International Photovoltaic Power Generation Conference and Exhibition. (Zhuan Ti, China Daily)
Ethiopia: Industrial Nations Should Back Developing Countries Carbon-Free Development – EPA - The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) said developed countries should assist developing countries in their effort to realize carbon-free industrial development. (All Africa)


April 18, 2012

Rio + 20

U.N. Foundation's Wirth discusses challenges ahead of Rio+20 conference (video) - As developed nations continue to struggle economically, how will financial tensions shape the United Nations' upcoming Rio+20 conference? During today's OnPoint, former Sen. Tim Wirth, president of the U.N. Foundation, previews the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development and weighs in on the key issues that will be considered at the conference. (Monica Trauzzi, E&E TV)

Governments must stop short-term outlook, warns UN development head - A lack of political will has meant the sustainable development ambitions of the Rio Earth summit two decades ago have not made enough progress, the head of the UN's development programme has warned. (Simon Day, The Guardian)

What the UNFCCC’s Christiana Figueres is Looking to Get Out of Rio+20 - You have probably heard, by now, of Rio+20.  This is a major conference on sustainable development being hosted by the United Nations in Rio de Janeiro on the 20th anniversary of the historic “Earth Summit.” (Mark Leon Goldberg, UN Dispatch) 

Stockholm+40 Conference to Mark 40th Anniversary of the First UN Conference on the Environment - From the 23rd to the 25th of April, 2012, the Swedish Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will host an environmental conference to commemorate the first UN Conference on the Human Environment  held in Stockholm in 1972. (Michael Denney, Global Environmental Governance Project) 

Challenge to Young Thought Leaders: Can You Silence the World at Rio+20 this June? - I’ve blogged extensively about why my generation has a crucial stake in the outcomes of Earth Summit 2012 this June. (Michael Davidson, NRDC Switchboard)

Energy access

New partnership between EU and UN Women to enhance gender equality worldwide - A new partnership between the EU and UN Women set up to strengthen cooperation between the two organizations on their work on empowering women and gender equality, was today signed by High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ Vice President of the Commission Catherine Ashton and Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, with Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet. (Online Editor, Pacific Island News Association) 

UN forum notes effectiveness of documentaries in telling stories of sustainability - A two-day conference at United Nations Headquarters focussed on developing a better global future through the power of storytelling and documentary film ended today, with a call for filmmakers to help bring sustainability issues to life in a compelling manner. (UN News Centre)

Pay As You Go Sunshine: How Solar Energy and Mobile Phones are Powering the Developing World - Every night, something unusual happens in Samuel Kimani’s home on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. Samuel, 48, lives with his wife Mary and their three children. (Ken Banks, National Geographic)

Renewable energy

Is Morocco the Mediterranean's Green Energy Savior? - Amid the eager and often conflicting discussions about what it’s going to take to develop a real, tangible green economy in North Africa – one that makes the most of a seemingly endless supply of solar and wind – one conclusion keeps rising to the surface. (Christopher Coats, Forbes)

Exclusive interview with CEO of Solar Reserve - Last week Solar Reserve made headlines with their new 200MW CSP project announcement in Colorado. (Heidi Hafes, RenewableEnergyWorld)

Africa: Five Renewable Sources of Energy for Farmers in Developing Countries - According to the United Nations, access to reliable and sufficient sources of energy will be critical to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of reducing poverty and hunger by 2015. (Isaac Hopkins and Jenny Beth Dyess, All Africa)

Rwanda: Local Firm to Construct Rwf6 Billion Hydro Power Plant - A local entrepreneur, Gregory Tayi, has embarked on the construction of another mini-hydro-electric plant estimated to cost Rwf 6 billion ($10m). (Bosco R. Asiimwe, All Africa)

Lower wind, solar prices to usher speedier adoption - Rapid recent solar and wind price falls are likely to bring new markets and mass adoption a step closer over the next decade and raise the prospects of mergers. (China Daily)

Energy efficiency

UNECE Launches Green Economy Seminar Series With Discussion of Green Homes - The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) discussed residential energy efficiency at the first seminar in a series launched to promote actions towards a regional green economy. (Sustainable Energy Policy & Practice, IISD)

EU lights up another sustainable energy initiative - The European Union will be working on another initiative that will address the developing world’s hunger for energy — the missing Millennium Development Goal. (Jenny Lei Ravelo, Devex)

America could power a city on all the small-scale hydroelectric power we’re not harvesting - Every year, America misses out on 1.2 million megawatt-hours of electricity, enough to power a small city. (Christopher Mims, Grist)

Sustainability 24: setting the agenda for sustainable business - Join Accenture and Guardian Sustainable Business on Wednesday 23 May from 7am (BST) for 12 hours of live debate that will help set the agenda for sustainable business. (The Guardian)

Sustainable energy policy

EPA Fracking Rules On Emissions To Be Finalized - U.S. environment regulators are expected to finalize long-delayed rules Wednesday that aim to slash smog-forming emissions from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, at oil and natural gas wells. (Reuters)

Africa: The First African Forum On Science, Technology and Innovation Issues Ministerial Declaration - The First African Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) concluded in Nairobi on Tuesday April 3rd by issuing the Nairobi Ministerial Declaration, which announces a range of resolutions to promote and strengthen science, technology and innovations. (All Africa)

Nigeria: Jonathan on Three-Day Visit to Germany - Briefing State House Correspondent on the visit in Berlin, Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Abdu Usman Abubakar, said talks between the two leaders will focus on economic development especially in the area of renewable energy and manpower development. (Abdul-Rahman Abubakar, All Africa)


April 17, 2012


Rio+20 summit asks our children: what environmental future do you want? - Panel including Leonardo DiCaprio, Linkin Park and Christiana Figueres to judge video competition for Rio+20 earth summit. (The Guardian)

Sustainable energy for all - It is extraordinary that in 2012 nearly 7 in 10 people living in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity or modern energy sources. (Tom Wallace, ONE)

Energy Access

Ban welcomes European Union’s energy access initiative for developing countries - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed a new European Union (EU) initiative designed to assist developing countries in providing access to sustainable energy to their populations. (UN News Centre)

EU makes €50m pledge for clean energy schemes in developing countries - The European Union (EU) has announced a €50m initiative for clean energy projects in developing countries as part of an ambitious UN plan to provide sustainable energy for all by 2030. (Mark Tran, The Guardian)

Investment in green technologies will benefit India, US: Sushilkumar Shinde - US companies investing in India's green energy market will have good prospects and it will be a "win-win" situation for both the countries, Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said. (The Economic Times)

Sustainable energy policy

Roundtable on Sustainable Energy for All Initiative Highlights Civil Society Role - During the Roundtable Discussion between representatives of civil society organizations and members of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All, participants exchanged ideas and views on how to ensure the effectiveness and success of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, including the role of civil society. (Sustainable Development Policy & Practice, IISD)

No Longer a Day but an Age - Earth Day is coming.  April 22 to be exact.  How I know is my email inbox.  Every day for the past few weeks I get pitches to write about some company’s new eco product.  The words LEED certified, Eco, Green, Recycled, Renewable have become an endless blur in the subject line of in-bound emails.  This is now a spring ritual. (David Houle, Evolution Shift)

Energy efficiency

Denmark company has ambitious plans for Chinese market- "Thus, the market of energy efficiency is endowed with great potential here. And it is also in accordance with our business, since we specialize in providing energy-efficient solutions to our customers. That's why we decided to develop China as our second home market," Koniordos said. (Hu Haiyan, China Daily)

Will gas crowd out wind and solar? - Energy expert Daniel Yergin talks about the impact fracking will have on renewables.(Brian Dumaine, CNN)

Gaia-Wind wins US turbine order - Gaia will provide California-based Talco Electronics with up to 50 large-bladed 11kW turbines. (BBC)

Renewable energy

Nigeria: Dump Nuclear for Renewable Energy, Germany Tells Country - Nigeria should put more of its efforts on the promotion of renewable energy for power generation instead of nuclear energy, German Ambassador to Nigeria, Dorothee Janetzke-Wenzel said weekend. (Hamisu Muhammad, All Africa)

Exhibition Special: Solar power expo to draw industry leaders - More than 2,200 solar power technology companies from around the globe will gather in Shanghai for the world's largest photovoltaic power expo, which is scheduled to open on May 16. (Zhuan Ti, China Daily)


April 16, 2012


UN Secretary-General Welcomes European Commission's Commitment to Sustainable Energy for All - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the European Commission's Energizing Development Initiative to assist developing countries in providing access to sustainable energy for their populations. The initiative will seek to provide energy services to 500 million people by 2030. (Jean-Luc Onckelinx, Barron’s)

The Road to Rio+20: Houston is a city leading by example - Houston's sustainability strategy is impressive, an example of the key position cities have in driving the green economy forward, says Jason Hartke. (Jason Hartke, The Guardian)

Americas summit backs Rio+20 - Leaders from across the Americas on Sunday expressed their support for the United Nations- sponsored sustainable development conference also known as Rio+20, to be held in Brazil from June 20-22. (Xinhua, People’s Daily Online)

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiencyThis article summarizes the key points from the February 2012 Guardian Sustainable Business Quarterly’s energy efficiency discussion group. (The Guardian)

Plant to convert kitchen waste into biogas inaugurated in city - With a little help from an Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) scientist, residents of a colony in Gun Rock are turning their kitchen waste into biogas using a 'modular digester'. (The Times of India)

Cuba upgrades hydroelectric plant with Chinese tech - Cuba was renovating its oldest hydroelectric plant with Chinese parts and technology, local media said Sunday. (Xinhua, China Daily)

Renewable energy

A 360 degree view of the South African solar industryThe second window of the IPP programme, which closed in March, saw 79 new bidders join the race to develop South Africa's new era of renewable energy projects. (Amber Williams, RenewableEnergyWorld)

US Exim to fund Reliance Power's solar expansion - Betting big on growing renewable energy investments in India, the US Exim Bank has approved a $80 million (over Rs 400 crore) direct loan for Anil Ambani's Reliance Power to fund acquisition of solar power technology from American companies. (The Times of India)

Advocates for renewables need to change their messaging, BNEF founder says - Before Michael Liebreich established New Energy Finance in 2004, those who were deeply interested in renewable energy were essentially typecast into two distinct folds -- either they were engineers and scientists or Birkenstock-wearing granola eaters. (Dan McCue, Renewable Energy Magazine)

Energy access

"Energising Development": Commission's new initiative to help achieve energy access for all by 2030 - A new EU energy initiative will provide access to sustainable energy for an additional 500 million people in developing countries by 2030 was today announced by European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso. (Press Release, European Commission)

Uganda: New, Easy Method to Access Solar Energy - Like much of East Africa, Uganda is emerging out of an energy crisis that at one time saw load shedding hit an unprecedented 24-hour schedule. (Jerome Mukasa, All Africa)

Yavatmal to get solar energy project - Yavatmal has been selected for setting up a solar energy project to generate 125MW electricity. Preliminary procedure has almost been completed. (The Times of India)


Sustainable energy policy

Green deal under fire from climate change sceptics - The green deal, the government's big policy initiative for fighting climate change, is supposed to plug one of Britain's biggest sources of carbon emissions – draughty, fuel-poor homes. (Fiona Harvey, The Guardian)

Preparing For The Energy Generation: What You Need to KnowAs industries remain confined to their respective space, there is one big elephant stomping its way into each and every board room. (Joelle Zerillo, Forbes)

Eritrea: Implementation Process of Energy Policies As Regards Economic and Social Service Advancement Described Effective - The Ministry of Energy and Mines said that the implementation process of various energy policies adopted so as to ensure economic advancement and social services at reasonable price was effective. (All Africa)


April 13, 2012

Energy access

Ahead of the "EU Sustainable Energy for All Summit", survey shows that nine out of ten Europeans think the EU should support developing countries in energy access - A new survey today revealed that 95% of Europeans think that access to energy is an important precondition for overcoming poverty in developing countries. In fact, nine out of ten EU citizens want the EU to help people in developing countries to gain access to energy. (European Commission Press Release)

Kenya receives Sh10b for geothermal power - Kenya’s elaborate plan to meet its growing demand for electricity has received a major boost. (Jackson Okoth, Standard Media)

Renewable energy
Clean Energy Investments Continue to Soar: Time to "Triple Down" on Renewable Electricity - In 2011, new clean energy investments rose to a record $263 billion -- a 6.5 percent increase from last year.  The United States rose to the top in 2011 after having fallen behind China and Germany last year. (Jake Schmidt, The Huffington Post)

Nigeria: Country's First Wind Farm Comes On Stream in Katsina - A wind-propelled power project is due for commissioning in July this year in Kastina State, the minister of state for power, Arc. Darius Ishaku, has said. (Bode Gbadebo, All Africa)

Wind farm firm to create 1,000 jobs - An engineering firm is to create up to 1,000 new jobs after receiving a Government grant to build foundations for offshore wind farms, it has been announced. (Fulham Guardian)


Reflections on the Race to Rio: Ten weeks before the next Earth Summit -After participating in Rio+20 preparatory meetings last month at the United Nations, it appears that governments will spend thousands of hours this spring arguing over a draft Rio+20 output document now more than 200-page long. (Jacob Scherr, Sierra Club Switchboard)

Delivering Sustainable Energy for All: Opportunities at Rio+20 - Worldwide, about 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity, while 2.7 billion lack access to clean cooking fuels. Meeting their needs is central to reducing poverty but relying on existing technologies would make runaway climate change unavoidable. (Center for Global Development)

Energy efficiency

Private funding of clean energy rises 54% - The flow of private investments into India's clean energy sector rose 54% to over $10 billion in 2011, marking the second-highest growth rate for such investments among the G-20 nations. (The Times of India)

Solar pumping system installed at Kalyan Bigha - Greenpeace India installed and demonstrated a low-cost solar pumping system at village Kalyan Bigha in Nalanda district on Thursday. (The Times of India)

Sustainable energy policy
State to formulate green energy policy soon - The state will soon formulate a green energy policy to encourage efforts to exploit non-degradable sources of energy. (The Times of India)

Country 'set to remain' global clean energy hub - China invested $45.5 billion in clean energy in 2011, causing the country to cede its top ranking in such expenditures to the United States for the first time since 2009. (Lan Lan, China Daily)



April 12, 2012

Energy efficiency

US Led World in Clean Energy Investment for 2011 - The United States led the world in clean energy investment in 2011, overtaking China, new analysis from Pew Charitable Trusts shows. (Mat McDermott, TreeHugger)

Report: US Re-takes Lead In Clean Energy Race from China, But Not For Long - According to the
just-released report “Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race?”  from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the United States invested the most in Clean Energy of any country in 2011, retaking the lead from China, which had held the top sport for the last two years. (Tom Konrad, Forbes)

Zimbabwe: Green Business Indaba Begins Today - The inaugural Green Business Indaba opens in Harare today with high expectations that it will answer the call for the need for indigenous solutions to the threat of climate change. (All Africa)

Iceland's volcanoes to power UK homes - Next month Charles Hendry, Energy Minister for the UK, is scheduled to visit Iceland to discuss the possibility of tapping into its wealth of geothermal energy. (Jonny Williamson, Europe Business Review)

Dr. Chu on Profits, Horse Manure and Other Forces of Technological Change - Steven Chu, the secretary of energy, is optimistic about the future of renewable energy. (VINDU GOEL, The New York Times)


Partnering to Achieve Solutions: The Clean Energy Ministerial and the UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative - In January 2012, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4All) to achieve universal energy access, to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency, and to double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix—all by 2030. (Clean Energy Ministerial Newsletter)  

Nigeria: Rio+20 and Country's Quest for Sustainable Development - Nigeria, like most developing countries has begun series of activities that would facilitate its active participation in the next global Earth Summit, the United Nations Sustainable Development Conference also known as the Rio+20 Summit schedule for Rio de Janerio in June. (Alex Abutu, All Africa)

Energy access

Rural Africa Looks Beyond the Grid - Economic growth, plunging PV prices and an improving business ecosystem could spark the long-awaited takeoff of off-grid renewables in sub-Saharan Africa. (Piers Evans, RenewableEnergyWorld)

Demonstration on low-cost solar pumpsets at Nitish's village today - CM Nitish Kumar seems to be a strong votary of green systems. (The Times of India)

India one of the top performing clean energy economies: Report - With India receiving $10.2 billion investments in clean energy, the country has emerged as one of the top performing clean energy economies in the 21st century, an eminent American non-profit organization said in a report. (Hindustan Times)

Renewable energy

Beyond Southern Europe's Solar Crisis - What Next? - It seems that Southern Europe’s PV sector cannot catch a break these days. (Christopher Coats, Forbes)

'Solar hydrogen cheap alternative to fuel, energy' - How about using solar hydrogen energy to generate electricity and run vehicles? (Naveen KumarNaveen Kumar, The Times of India)

Nigeria: Katsina 10 Megawatt Wind Power Plant for Commissioning in July - Nigeria's first ever wind propelled power project is due for commissioning in July this year in Kastina State, the Minister of State for Power, Arc. Darius Ishaku has said. (Yunus Abdulhamid, All Africa)

North Tyneside offshore centre creates 80 new jobs - Up to 80 new jobs are being created with the construction of a new offshore training complex in North Tyneside. (BBC)

Sustainable energy policy

West Bengal planning new renewable energy policy - "We are planning to bring in a policy on renewable energy. It will be a policy on co-generation and generation of electricity by using renewable energy sources," said M.K. De, principal secretary, department of power and non-conventional energy resources. (New York Daily News)

Angola: Country Attends Sixth Forum On Energy - The minister of Energy and Waters, João Baptista Borges, will head a team from his governmental department that will represent the country in the Sixth Germany/Africa Energy Forum, which will happen on 22-25 April, in the German cities of Hamburg and Hanover. (All Africa)

Clegg's hymn to green economy clears stage for Cameron's solo - The deputy prime minister's radical speech undermines 80 years of economic orthodoxy. But will the PM sing the same tune, or follow his sceptical chancellor? (Damian Carrington, The Guardian)


April 11, 2012


UN official highlights role of business sector in achieving sustainable development - The business and industry sectors play a key role in leading countries towards sustainable development, a top United Nations official said today, adding that their collaboration and partnerships with governments are essential to accelerate progress around the world. (UN News Centre)
Brazil stresses need for world consensus at Rio+20 meet - The upcoming Rio conference on sustainable development must yield a commitment to manage the world economy in a way that respects the environment and fights poverty, a Brazilian official says. (The West Australian)

Energy access

Discussion round-up: how can business enable energy access for all? - Our discussion, sponsored by the WBCSD, explored the role of business in providing solutions to global energy access challenges. (Jenny Purt, The Guardian)

Don Cheadle To Speak At ENVISION: Stories For A Sustainable Future - A two-day conference to be held in New York City later this month, ENVISION 2012: Stories for a Sustainable Future will focus on developing a better global future with opportunity for all, building on three key issues: just and sustainable cities, clean water and green energy. (Look to the Stars)

Mozambique: Cahora Bassa - a Foundation for Electricity Expansion - The Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi River is "a foundation for the expansion of electricity infrastructures and for energy-intensive industries in our country", declared Mozambican President Armando Guebuza on Monday night. (All Africa)

Renewable energy

RWE May Invest in Photovoltaic Plants on Lower CostsGermany’s second-biggest utility, may invest in photovoltaic power plants because prices for solar modules are so low. (Stefan Nicola, Bloomberg)

China to become top PV market in 2012 - China's domestic demand for photovoltaic power is expected to nudge 5GW by the end of 2012, jumping over Germany and Italy to become the world's number one. (Xinhua, China Daily)

Decision on plan to build wind farm on Haworth moor - A decision is expected on a plan to build a wind farm on a West Yorkshire moor near the former home of the Brontë sisters. (BBC)

Energy Efficiency

Military 'Battle Lab' Cashes in on Solar Savings - No one ever said training for battle was easy, nor energy-efficient. The "Battle Lab" is a U.S. military facility in New Jersey where more than 20,000 soldiers prepare and train for battle. (AOL Energy)

Fuel panic buying: Are electric car owners feeling smug? - As talks aimed at averting a strike by fuel tanker drivers resume this week, electric car owners talk about whether the grass really is greener on their side. (Navtej Johal, BBC)

Sustainable energy policy

Idea of the Day: We Should All Have Access to Renewable Energy Standards - Consumers in 29 states are seeing the benefits of renewable energy today thanks to renewable energy standards. They have access to cleaner air, reliable power, and growing economies—all of which are benefits of a simple, commonsense policy. (Center for American Progress)

The Big Question: Will Lower FiTs Hit UK Solar? - Leading figures in the UK's renewables sector share their views on the impact of feed-in tariff cuts for the UK's solar industry. (Tildy Bayar, RenewableEnergyWorld)

Tax relief likely for solar energy use, green roof - In its bid to promote greenery and renewable source of energy, the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) is likely to announce tax rebate for green roof and solar panels in its budget on Wednesday. (The Times of India)


April 10, 2012

Energy access

Sierra Leone: UN Unveils 'Sustainable Energy for All' Initiative - In recognition of the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, the United Nations family in Sierra Leone last Thursday launched the Sustainable Energy For All (SE4All) initiative at the UNIPSIL compound, Signal Hill Road in Freetown. (Patrick J. Kamara, All Africa)

Achieving universal access to energy in developing countries -The year 2012 has been declared the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All by the UN, and is part of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. (Arno Behrens,EU Energy Policy Blog) 

Nigeria: Achieving Steady Electricity Supply - Task Before Nnaji, Diezani - Twenty months after, President Goodluck Jonathan unveiled strategies to end inadequate power supply in the country, Nigerians still rely on generators to power even phone chargers. (Chika Amanze-Nwachuku, All Africa)

Renewable power projects acquired - Cennergi acquires rights to renewable energy projects in the Eastern Cape and North West, a joint venture between Exxaro Resources and Tata. (Siseko Njobeni, Business Day)


Planet under Pressure 2012: here's the wrap - The Planet under Pressure 2012 Conference was held in London a fortnight back and released the first State of the Planet Declaration. (Roger Jones, World News Australia)

Bangladesh must ready itself for Rio Earth Summit - Bangladesh must prepare for negotiations at the upcoming Rio Earth Summit that will focus on economic, social and environmental sustainability, analysts said yesterday. (The Daily Star)

Energy efficiency

LED Streetlight's Price Cut in Half - Lighting manufacturer Cree Inc. says it has halved the cost of its light-emitting-diode streetlights and hopes the new lower prices will sway local governments to adopt the new technology. (Kate Linebaugh, Wall Street Journal)

Rwanda: Peace Corps Introduce Energy Saving Fuel - United States volunteer service organisation, Peace Corps, has introduced energy saving fuel in Rwanda, in an effort to help conserve the environment by reducing the impact of deforestation. (Bosco R. Asiimwe, All Africa)

Renewable energy

Renewable energy: UK making global waves - George Osborne used his Budget speech to set out his vision of a technology-driven industrial strategy, saying he wanted the UK to become “Europe’s technology centre”. “Today we also set Britain this industrial ambition. That we turn Britain into Europe’s technology centre,” he said. (Richard Tyler, The Telegraph)

All Energy 2012 preview: new features revealed - Seven weeks ahead of doors opening in Aberdeen, All-Energy 2012, one of the UK’s largest renewables exhibitions, has revealed three new “zones” that will be featured in the show. (Reinforced Plastics)

Time for a Reset On Our Clean Energy Future - Judging by the numbers, you’d be half-right to conclude that 2011 was a boom year for U.S. renewables. (Arno Harris, Forbes)

Wind energy to help meet green target in India - Sources said India is now estimated to have the potential to generate more than 1 lakh MW from wind power, up from the earlier estimate of 49,000 MW. (Reve)

Sustainable energy policy

Smarter Infrastructure Is What Will Drive Electric Vehicle Adoption - People are deathly afraid of their EVs running out of juice. The only way we’ll stop that is when there are chargers everywhere. (Allan Schurr, Fast Company)


April 9, 2012

Energy access

'Today, business can't afford a conservative ideology over science' - After two decades working as a Democrat senator in the US Congress - and five years as under-secretary of state for global affairs in the Clinton administration - Timothy Wirth quit politics to become president of the United Nations Foundation, a non-profit group established by Ted Turner in 1998.(The Times of India)

Tanzania: U.S. Charity Harnesses Solar Power For Local Schools - Several primary schools dedicated for children from the poor families in Arusha region have started to benefit from solar-powered lamps, thanks to a generous support from the United States-based charity. (All Africa)

CLP power India to invest Rs 1,800 cr in wind energy - With a decline in European markets, many renewable energy producers are looking towards India as an investment hub. (Himani Chandna Gurtoo, Hindustan Times)

Renewable energy

Cyprus Church wants to invest in solar energy, power plant to boost country’s sagging economy - The leader of Cyprus’ Orthodox Christian Church says it wants to invest in the country’s energy sector. (Associated Press, Washington Post)

Suzlon Energy Selected as Preferred Supplier by Cennergi - Wind turbine manufacturer Suzlon Energy Ltd. Monday said it has been selected as the preferred supplier by Cennergi Pty Ltd. for a 138 megawatt wind energy project in South Africa. (Rumman Ahmed, Wall Street Journal)

HHV Solar Technologies develops portable solar power generator Solarator - Leading energy firm HHV Solar Technologies Ltd  has developed a portable solar photovoltaic power generator with 600 watt capacity for emergency use in remote locations and disaster management. (Economic Times)


Brazil, United Nations Sign Key Legal Agreement 5 April to Host Rio+20 Conference - United Nations and Brazilian officials on 5 April signed the key legal agreement that allows Brazil to host the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, “Rio+20”, in Rio de Janeiro, in June. (United Nations Press Release)

Education Hub - An education hub for the Rio Earth Summit Process ( has been launched that brings together existing key publications by young people about Rio+20; interesting campaigns being run by young people and youth led organizations together onto one page. (UN Press Centre)

EU Sustainable Energy for All Summit - On 16 April 2012 the Commission and the Danish Presidency of the EU Council will host the EU Sustainable Energy for All Summit. (Press Release, European Commission)

Energy efficiency

Supporting sustainable urbanization - Urbanization is an essential element of economic development. Cities and towns constitute a country's economic, social and cultural backbone, provide economies of scale, and attract the skills and knowledge needed to push development to a higher level. (Stephen P. Groff, China Daily)

Mackie biofuel plant reflects ‘greenest’ aim - Luxury ice cream manufacturer Mackie’s of Scotland says it intends to become “the greenest company in Britain” by installing a plant to transform the slurry from its 400-strong herd of Jersey cows into biofuel. (Andrew Bolger, Financial Times)

Building codes: Small rules that help homeowners save big on energy - In energy policy, lawmakers often prefer carrots to sticks, because this strategy minimizes the opposition. (John Farrell, Grist)

Chevy Malibu: Can Power Steering Save Gas? - Chevrolet says the electric power steering in its new 2013 Malibu sedan helps to improve fuel economy by as much as 2.5% compared with traditional hydraulically assisted steering. (Jonathan Welsh, Wall Street Journal)


April 6, 2012

Energy access
Energy Access in the Developing World: Biggest Opportunity Ever? - When an energy industry opportunity sums up most of the current trends in global business and is ready for investment, how do you convince companies to take advantage of it? (Peter Gardett, AOL Energy)
Cambodia work on China-funded power transmission line - Cambodia on Thursday broke ground for the construction of a 22 kilovolt electricity transmission line in the country's eastern part. (Xinhua, China Daily)
Ashok Gehlot inaugurates solar power project (video) - Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot inaugurated a solar power project in Dhursar village in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan, during his three day long Feed Back Campaign. (Hindustan Times)
Freetown: UN Family Launches SEFA - The UN family in Sierra Leone has launched the Sustainable Energy For All (SE4All) initiative at the UNIPSIL compound, Signal Hill Road in Freetown Thursday 5th April 2012. (The Parotic Vanguard)
Renewable energy
Wind power: Renewable, job-creating, less polluting -Many recent op-eds in The Sun have discussed Gov.Martin O'Malley's wind bill. To those concerned about the cost of wind energy, I would observe that doing nothing might prove even more expensive in the long run. (Kayla Reisman, The Baltimore Sun)
Electricity Campaign  - Sri Lanka’s electricity sector’s dependency on costly thermal power has increased during the last six months, as the country’s hydro power generation has dropped significantly due to lack of adequate rainfall.  (Lanka Business Today)
Kenya: Kengen Signs Final Sh11.6 Billion Olkaria Geothermal Power Project Contract - The contract will see the Chinese company develop in the next 27 months a steam field-that comprises installation of steam pipelines, steam separators and seam filled control system to deliver steam from geothermal wells to Olkaria 1 unit 4, 6 and Olkaria IV power plants each with a capacity of 140 megawatts. (Ramadhan Rajab, All Africa)
Tanzania: Rusumo Power Project Explained - Rusumo hydropower project Manager Abdula Kabirdin has called on Ngara district residents, who would be affected by the project, to be patient while preparations for compensation were being made. (Moses Matthew, All Africa)
Energy Efficiency
Small hydropower producers in Sri Lanka save billions for the government - They say they help the government save close to Rs. 17 billion annually in power generation. (Sri Lanka Internet Newspaper)
More research on renewable energy is need of the hour - Research and development has an important role to play in increasing the renewable energy capacity in the country, Farooq Abdullah, Union minister for new and renewable energy said on Thursday. (The Times of India)
Sustainable energy policy
Minority business and civic leaders push offshore wind bill in General Assembly’s final days - Minority business owners want the Maryland legislature to use its final days pass a measure to develop offshore wind energy. (Associated Press, Washington Post)
China regulates management of green power subsidy - China has made a detailed plan for subsidy management of on-grid power generated from renewable energy sources, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said. (Xinhua, China Daily)


April 3, 2012

Renewable energy

Building A Green Egypt - What Has To Happen - Against a backdrop of withering domestic oil and gas, an ideal renewable resource landscape and a consumer base of 80-plus million, Egypt’s renewable energy future is simply a given for those active in the region. (Christopher Coats, Forbes)

Suntech 'Sun King' Sees Industry Back in Black, Eyes U.S. Duties - Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd's chief executive said on Tuesday the Chinese solar company expects to return to profit, along with the entire industry, in the fourth quarter as prices stabilize on tighter inventories and improving demand. (Reuters)

Rio + 20

Ban: new economic paradigm needed, including social and environmental progress - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today highlighted the need for an economic paradigm that incorporates social and environmental progress in efforts to achieve sustainable development. (UN News

4th Digital Earth Summit 2012 - Jointly hosted by Wellington City Council and Land Information New Zealand, the 4th Digital Earth Summit
2012 will bring over 400 scientists, engineers, educators, entrepreneurs, managers, administrators and students from around the world, who use the power of collaboration in order to address challenges to human society. (Spatial Source)

Africa: Understanding Rio+20 - A Nobel laureate, a Swedish environmentalist's idea, the "doughnut" concept, Scandinavia's sense of social capital, measuring the quality of life, and valuing the oceans are just some of the things trending in the run-up to the
Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development due to be held on
20-22 June 2012. (All Africa)

United Nations to appoint a chief scientific advisor - The United Nations could soon have its own chief scientist or panel of science advisors, the Planet under Pressure conference in London heard last week. (Natasha Gilbert,

Energy efficiency

Business must take climate change seriously say investors - Businesses must take the issue of climate change seriously if they are to enjoy the backing of institutional investors, a Business Council for Sustainable Development UK (BCSD-UK) workshop was told. (World Business Council for Sustainable Development, The Guardian)

Thinking fast and thinking slow: how our minds make us behave sustainably - The purchasing decisions we make daily are increasingly influenced by concerns beyond cost. More so now than ever the environmental, ethical and social aspects impact our decision making.
(Joe Arvai, The Guardian)

Carbon capture 'game changer' launched - The government is making a renewed attempt to encourage industry to develop ways of making power stations greener. (BBC)

New UK attempt to capture carbon - A renewed attempt to develop ways of making power stations greener has been unveiled by the UK government. (David Shukman, BBC)

Energy access

India's growth opening door of unprecedented opportunities: US - Many regions of India continue to grow rapidly and are opening door for "unprecedented" opportunities for American companies, US commerce secretary John Bryson has said. (The Times of India)


Tanzania: Nation Seeks U.S.$815 Million for Power Sector - Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) has said it needs at least Tsh1.3 trillion (US$815.82 million) to overhaul its worn out production, transmission and distribution infrastructure around the country.
(Leonard Magomba, All Africa)

Namibia: Power Shortage Looms - Namibia is facing a power shortage for the first time in its history and NamPower has asked everybody in the country to cut their use of electricity by at least ten per cent to prevent blackouts. (Jo-MarÉ Duddy, All Africa)


Sustainable energy policy

Judicial review signals green light for community solar project - An innovative community enterprise in Old Trafford has welcomed the Supreme Court's ruling last month over government plans to impose cuts on solar projects. (Mischa Wilmers, The Guardian)

Wellinghoff Details His Approach to Power Capacity Market Design – There is no point at which federal regulators will be able to throw up their hands and say "mission accomplished" when it comes to power capacity markets, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff believes. (Peter Gardett, AOL Energy)

Energy investing benefits world - China's exploration for energy and other natural resources overseas is conducted in strict adherence to international trade rules and is good for the world because it contributes to the supply of natural resources, said Zhang Guobao, chairman of the Advisory Board of the National Energy Commission.
(Zhou Yan, China Daily)


April 2, 2012

Energy Access


Five Solar Village Projects Transforming Communities Worldwide - The idea of a solar village is one that’s breathed imagination and innovation into countless communities around the world. Whether it’s state-of-the-art solar design or powering a tribal village in Africa, solar technology is demonstrating that we can replace unsustainable energy systems with viable solar alternatives and be more successful because of it. (Hans Wittich, RenewableEnergyWorld)


Leading the way - India is working with the UN to tackle these issues on a global scale. UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon is championing two new initiatives - Every Woman Every Child and the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative - because access to energy and improving women and children`s health are fundamental to achieving all our development goals. (N R Narayana Murthy and Ted Turner, The Times of India)


Rio + 20


Earth Hour plunges global landmarks into darkness (video) - Iconic buildings across the world including the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Opera House in Sydney turn off their lights as part of Earth Hour (The


Energy Efficiency


New Broadband Commission climate report confirms technology is the key to a low-carbon future - Governments urged to harness the power of information and communication technologies to dramatically cut emissions. (Sarah Parkes, Reuters)


Oil Scare Turns FedEx On To Energy Efficiency - The rising cost of oil isn't just a hit to the family budget. Businesses are hurt, too. Few are more affected than firms like FedEx. (John Ydstie, National Public


New plans for carbon capture must not repeat mistakes of the past - Carbon capture and storage (CCS) promises all the ease of continued use of fossil fuels without the carbon emissions. The UK should be a leader in its development. (Dustin Benton, The Guardian)


Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy Is No Longer a Pipe Dream - In October 2011, the global population reached seven billion. It is on its way to more than nine billion, and it took only a dozen years to add the last billion.
(Peter Ter Weeme, Environmental Leader)


From landfill to green solution (video) - Engineers in Malaysia turn an old landfill into a green energy model for the future. (CNN)


Nigeria: Kogi Biodiesel Refinery to Gulp N2 Billion - The first phase of the Kogi State biodiesel refinery will cost about N2 billion, Governor Idris Wada has said. The construction of the refinery, it was gathered, is in collaboration with the Green Development Group from the United States of America. (Usman A. Bello, All Africa)



Sustainable Energy Policy


U.S. Military Doesn't Drive Energy Innovation, Except When It Does - On Friday, the Bipartisan Policy Center  released an odd study evaluating the role the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is likely to play in accelerating the pace of clean energy innovation. (William Pentland, Forbes)


Sparx Plans Renewable-Energy Fund - Sparx Group Co., one of Asia's largest hedge funds, plans to launch a fund in July to invest in renewable-energy projects in Japan as the country reshapes its energy policy. (Kana Inagaki and Ben Lefebvre, Wall Street Journal)


March 29, 2012

Rio +20


Time Is Nigh for Global Action, Manifesto Warns - An era has dawned in which humanity’s impact on the earth could prove to be as great as ice ages or meteoric collisions, scientists, government officials and business leaders warned this week at a big environmental conference in London. (David Jolly, New York Times)


BRICS Summit-Delhi Declaration - Five emerging economic powerhouses - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - are meeting in Delhi for the BRICS summit to discuss a range of issues, including increased financial integration of the member countries, energy security and the ongoing crisis in Syria. (International Business Times)


Nigeria: Government Engages Private Sector in Preparations for Rio+20
- Federal Government has held a preparatory workshop for the private sector as part of efforts to ensure the sector's active participation in the global sustainable development forum schedule for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June. (Alex Abutu, All Africa)

Energy Access


Pay As You Go Solar: A Rural Power Solution - While many countries are trying to wean themselves off expensive and dirty fossil fuel energy, much of the world is still waiting on any type of electricity. (AOL


Energy efficiency


Ford Focus Electric will use 'build-to-order' sales model - Ford  is on track for the full US launch of its Ford Focus Electric next month, after successfully delivering the first wave of vehicles to commercial partners, such as Google, Florida Power and Light and Microsoft, late last year. (James Murray, The Guardian)


UK greenhouse gas emissions down 7% in 2011 - Last year's mild winter helped UK greenhouse gas emissions fall 7% in 2011, as people used less gas to heat their homes, provisional figures published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change reveal. (Adam Vaughan, The



Sustainable energy policy


AfDB Co-Organizes First Africa Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation - The first Africa Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) will take place from between 1 and 3 April 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya, at the Intercontinental Hotel. (All Africa)



Renewable energy


Nigeria: Enugu to Support Inventor of Wind Turbine for Power Generation - Enugu State Government has promised to support ingenuity of an indigene who has developed a wind turbine that generates 24 kilowatts of electricity at 10 metres per second wind speed. (All


Gulf has good reason to back renewable energy - Has renewable energy already lost the battle with fossil fuels? No, clean energy technologies are here to stay. (Yasser Al Saleh, The National)


China seeks UK co-op on clean energy - UK's expertise in clean energy production can help China achieve its ambitious emission reduction targets, said Chinese business leaders who came to the UK looking for cooperation opportunities on Tuesday. (Cecily Liu, China Daily)

March 28, 2012


Looking to Rio+20, world must act on sustainable development, says UN forum - The international community must "reset the global development agenda" and strengthen its commitment to sustainable development, a United Nations-backed conference in Istanbul heard today. (UN News Centre)


Energy Access

Nokero's Inventor Creates a Solar Light Bulb for Health-Clinics and Schools Lacking Electricity - Nokero International, the leader in solar lighting, announced today the release of a bright and powerful solar light bulb for schools and medical-clinics. (Press Release, San Francisco Chronicle)

Echelon Enables Micro Grids in India and South Africa - Echelon Corporation today announced two micro grid deployments in India and South Africa that integrate distributed generation to compensate for disruptions in utility-supplied power. (Press Release, MarketWatch)

South Africa: Tshwane Moves to Eradicate Electrification Backlog - The City of Tshwane will spend R323 million to eradicate the backlog of homes without electricity in informal settlements. (Nthambeleni Gabara, All Africa)

Sustainable Energy Policy

Volcker rule could raise energy prices, study says - The proposed Volcker rule crackdown on trading and investing by banks could cause gasoline, electricity and natural gas prices to rise, according to a new report. (Reuters)

No decision on carbon reporting? Tories fail every environment test - Defra secretary Caroline Spelman's non-announcement on businesses fails to follow obligations of the Climate Change Act (Mary Creagh, The Guardian)

When the World Tackled an Environmental Threat, and Won (Video) - In 1974, Dr. Sherwood Rowland, a young research scientist, warned the world that chlorofluorocarbons, man-made chemicals found in aerosol sprays and refrigerators were damaging the earth's ozone layer. (Jim Witkin, New York Times)


Energy Efficiency

Kosovo counting on the U.S. for energy leadership - The U.S. government and the World Bank can aid Kosovo with funding and technical support that will permit them to develop a holistic approach to energy diversity and security. (Daniel M. Kammen, San Francisco Chronicle)

Zipcar Launches Its Pilot Large-Scale Electric Vehicle Program In Chicago - Zipcar has launched its first large-scale electric vehicle program in Chicago. (Trefis Team, Forbes)


Renewable Energy

Zimbabwe: Call to Adopt Solar Energy - ZIMBABWE can successfully adopt solar energy as a cheaper alternative to electricity, Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre Chief Executive Dr. Robson Mafoti has said. (All Africa)

GSMA and Bharti Infratel Partner to Expand Green Energy Initiatives for Telecom Towers - The GSMA and Bharti Infratel Limited today announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop and promote green technologies for telecom tower infrastructure in India. (Press Release, MarketWatch)