21 countries decouple economic growth from emissions

21 countries from Austria to the United States have cut their greenhouse gases emissions while growing their economies in the past 15 years. This proves that decoupling economic growth and greenhouse gases emissions is feasible. 

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The European Union already cut its emissions by 23 percent

While the European Union officials – not ” leaders ” – keep on clinging to 20 % emissions reductions by 2020, the Union has already slashed its emissions by 23 percent. This is taking place ahead of the Paris Climate Conference later this year.

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Wind energy was top energy source in Spain in 2013

Many European nations have seen a boom in their renewable energy sources in the past few years. Among them is Spain. Here is the introduction to an article on that topic I wrote for Cleantechies : ” 2013 was an excellent year for wind energy in Spain as this renewable energy source became the first … Read more

Saving water and energy with a single invention

AquareturnWe have all experienced it : before having hot water at the faucet, cold water arrives. This could be something of the past thanks to a Spanish invention, AquaReturn, which enables its users to save both water and energy.

AquaReturn recirculates the cold water around the pipes until the desired water temperature is reached. To the company, their invention could save up to 8,000 liters per year per person, ie. 120 euros per household.

Spread to the whole country of Spain, water savings could reach 350 million cubic meters and carbon dioxide emissions could be slashed by 2.42 million tonnes.

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Graphene could bring solar PV efficiency to 60%

GrapheneAccording to TreeHugger, graphene could offer 60% solar cell efficiency if it were to replace silicon in PV panels. As they note : ” Researchers from the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Spain have just published results from their experiments.”

” While their results so far will probably be more useful to make better image sensors, they still show promise for third-generation solar cells which could, in theory, reach efficiencies in the range of 60% (!),

As current efficiency levels for commercial panels are below 20 percent, you can imagine the boost this could be to solar. As a matter of fact, when it will happen, it will bring a total paradigm shift.

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Cleantech investments fell in 2012

Dutch windmills performing a balletAccording to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, investements in clean technologies fell by 11 percent in 2012 compared to their 2011 levels. They still amounted to 268.7 billion USD or over 200 billion euros.

These news aren’t all that bad even if this decrease marks the end of a seeminlgy unstoppable increase but i has to be mitigated as the amounts invested in 2012 are still five times higher as in 2004.

Another mitigating factor is the decreasing prices of solar and wind energy as less money can buy more panels and turbines.

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EU countries could pay back their debts With renewables

” What if the European Union solved the triple crisis – economy, energy, environment – by solving the financial one ? Alice Stollmeyer sent me last week a link of project to do just that. “ ” Some European nations – Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal – are owing more and more money to the European … Read more

Hiriko, the folding electric car

Here is a new article I wrote for Cleantechies : ” Cities are facing many problems, including the lack of parking spaces and air pollution. Regular electric vehicles would solve the air pollution issue, but not the parking one.” ” This is probably why the (MIT worked on a folding electric car codenamed CityCar. The … Read more

Global wind capacity grows to 238 GW

Here are great news concerning wind energy. To Sustainable Business : ” In 2011, just over 41 gigawatts (GW) of wind capacity was installed, bringing the world total to 238 GW, reports the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). “ ” This represents an increase of 21%, with an increase in the size of the annual … Read more

Precarity is another reason for a green New Deal

I seldom write about social or economic issues on this blog as I am more prone to tackle environmental ones, and this even if they are part of the sustainable development triptych.

But each time I blog about social topics it seems I am watching Rom burn and collapse. My last post here was on youth unemployment. And the situation on this front haven’t changed for the good but for the worse.

One of the latest issues of Courrier International [Fr] (see the cover above) is on youth unemployment and the massive precarity.

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16 GW of solar PV capacity added in 2010

According to Reuters : ” The world added about 16 gigawatts of new solar photovoltaic (PV) power in 2010, double the growth seen a year earlier, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association told Reuters on Monday.”

Out of these 16 gigawatts, Europe is behind the vast majority of the growth with an impressive 13 gigawatts. Out of these, Germany account for seven GW and Italy three (and not six as I wrote there…)

Still to Reuters : ” Estimates for the other major European players included the Czech Republic (1.3 GW), France (0.5 GW), Spain (0.4), Belgium (0.25) and Greece (0.2). “

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Desertec gets international support

According to Enerzine [Fr] and other sources the Desertec Project is getting international support as several companies from Europe, America and Africa are joining the Desertec Industrial Initiative (Dii). The US company First Solar was the first to join in and five more companies from Morocco, Tunisia, France, Spain and Italy followed suit. Desertec is … Read more

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