Lonmin says sacking striking miners could lead to more violence
Lonmin, the world's third-largest platinum producer, have conceded that sacking 3,000 striking workers at its Marikana mine near Johannesburg, South Africa, could lead to more violence. Police last week opened fire on strikers armed with machetes and sticks, killing 34 and raising the death toll from the week-long dispute to 44. London-based Lonmin on Monday extended its ultimatum for striking workers to return to duty to Tuesday morning, but workers continued to trickle in as the deadline expired. Lonmin, which accounts for 12% of global platinum output, was forced last week to freeze mining as a result of the violence, but essential services such as ventilation were maintained so the mines could quickly restart production. (Reuters)
China leads world in wind power generation
The installed wind power-generating capacity in China has surged from 2,000MW to 52,580MW in the past six years, surpassing the United States to become No.1 in the world, according to the country's state grid company. "We have gone through a lot to reach this point," said Shu Yingbiao, deputy managing director of the State Grid Corporation of China in a recent press conference. "As the wind-generating capacity increases, the industry standard perfects, and the technology improves, the state grid is becoming more and more vital to the fast development of the wind power generation.” According to the government's projection, China's wind-generating capacity would exceed 100,000MW in 2015 and 200,000MW in 2020. (ZDNet)
United joins airline biofuels group
United Airlines has joined the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG), an industry working group that aims to accelerate the development and commercialisation of aviation biofuels. In joining SAFUG, United Airlines signed a pledge to pursue the advancement of drop-in biofuels that achieve important sustainability criteria, work with leading organisations to achieve biofuel certification standards, and take actions to enable commercial use of aviation biofuels. The group’s members, including AirFrance, British Airways and Boeing, represent around 32% of commercial aviation fuel demand, United says. (Environmental Leader)
No 10 asks ministers: Can we now support £30 billion Severn barrage?
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has ordered ministers to consider backing a £30 billion project to harness the tidal power of the Severn estuary. Investors from Kuwait, Qatar and a number of sovereign wealth funds have expressed support for the idea. However, the project would rely on green energy subsidies paid to wind and solar plants, which add to customers' bills. The scheme, consortium Corlan Hafren claims, could provide 5% of the UK's energy needs, saving one million tonnes of carbon every year. It could generate power for 120 years, on both the ebb and flow of the tide. (The Independent)