US solar installations soar 85% in Q1 2012
Doubling a record-breaking first quarter in 2011, solar installations rose in the US 85% in Q1 2012, reaching 506 megawatts (MW), reports the Solar Energy Industries Association. The industry could reach 3,300 MW this year, which would represent 11% of all solar installed worldwide. That's a 75% increase from last year and would make the US the fourth largest market for solar after Germany, Italy and China.
Offshore wind industry aims to be cost competitive by 2020
Offshore wind power will be a “vital part” of the UK’s low-carbon energy mix in the future and has the potential to compete with other energy sources – if costs come down, according to the British Energy Minister Charles Hendry. A report produced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change claims that the UK is on track to reduce the cost of electricity from offshore wind “substantially” over the next seven years and is on track to be cost-competitive.
China threatens to impound aircraft over EU emissions policy
China says it will take counter-measures that could include impounding European aircraft if Chinese airlines are penalised for not complying with the EU’s cap-and-trade scheme. The China Air Transport Association issued the ultimatum in response to EU Climate Commissioner C0nnie Hedegaard’s warning that carriers had until the end of this week to submit their carbon emissions data or face enforcement action.
Rio+20 earth summit: scientists call for action on population
The Rio+20 Earth summit must take decisive action on population and consumption regardless of political taboos or it will struggle to tackle the alarming decline of the global environment, the world's leading scientific academies warned. The authors point out that while the Rio summit aims to reduce poverty and environmental degradation, it barely mentions the two solutions that could ease pressure on increasingly scarce resources.
Policy & Research
Global renewable energy investment must double by 2020, says IEA
Global investments in renewable energy must double by 2020 to $23.9 trillion to keep global temperatures from rising beyond 2°C, says the International Energy Agency in its new book, Energy Technology Perspectives 2012. The book also states investments must rise by $140 trillion by 2050. The forecast is $36 trillion more than previously projected and is the equivalent to $130 per person each year.