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'Aggressive' Renewable Energy Law Approved in Germany

The German Parliament has approved an “aggressive” new version of its landmark Renewable Energy Sources Act, which was first made into law in 2000.

Germany has strengthened its Advanced Renewable Tariff program, setting a minimum requirement of no less than 35% renewable energy it the nation’s total electricity supply by 2020, no less than 50% by 2030, no less than 65% by 2040 and no less than 80% by 2050.

Germany decided to abandon its nuclear power effective in 2012, and in its place, will significantly boost domestic production of renewable energy.  Besides setting ambitious generation targets, this revised Renewable Energy Sources Act will either maintain or increase tariffs for key renewable energy technologies, including biomass, geothermal, on- and off-shore wind and solar photovoltaics (PV).

Solar PV is of particular interest to Germany.  The Parliament is aiming to continue a “growth corridor” of 3,500MW of new development per year.  If this rate continues, Germany’s PV capacity is likely to surpass 50,000MW by 2020, keeping the nation firmly entrenched as the global PV leader.

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Emerging Economies Drive Growth in Primary Energy Demand: BP

Over the next 20 years, emerging economies will drive a 40% growth in primary energy use, says BP in its annual Energy Outlook 2030 report.

The total use of fossil fuels will decline as renewables such as solar, wind and geothermal, as well as nuclear and hydro-power increase their contributions to the global energy mix.

For the first time, these technologies will provide the largest source of growth in new energy, from 5% today up to 18% by 2030.

BP predicts the overall use of fossil fuels will decrease.  Fossil fuels contributed 83% to the growth in energy from 1990-2010, however between 2010-2030 levels will likely drop to 64%.

Oil’s share of this total will gradually decline as use of natural gas use rises.  Despite coal’s recent spike in response to voracious demand from China and India, BP predicts a reverse in its growth trend by 2030.

A whopping 93% of energy growth over the next 20 years will come from emerging economies as Chinese oil consumption grows by 8 million barrels a day (mbpd).  By 2030, Chinese consumption will likely reach 17.5mbpd, bringing it ahead of the United States as the world’s largest consumer of oil.

New energy regulatory policies and the deployment of clean technologies may help slow carbon emissions, BP says, however total global emissions in 2030 are predicted to be 27% higher than today.  Read more…

 

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Masdar Embarks on Middle East's 1st Geothermal Endeavor

Abu Dhabi-based Masdar has begun drilling on what will be the first geothermal project in the Middle East region.

Masdar, which was founded in 2006 to advance research, development and commercialization of renewable energy and clean technologies, has employed an Australian company to do preliminary drilling for subterranean geothermal energy sources such as steam or hot water.  Two wells have been drilled so far, with potentially more to come.

Masdar reportedly is planning to invest around $11billion into this venture, and aims to produce 5MW of power to power the air conditioning systems in MaAbu-sdar City.  Masdar City is the world’s first carbon-neutral zero waste city, and is the global headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

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Posted by on March 25, 2010 in Clean Energy, Investments

 

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Geothermal Energy- The Year in Review

Geothermal Energy 2009Despite the economic recession, the United States geothermal industry enjoyed substantial expansion in 2009, with six new plants coming online representing an investment of approximately $800 million.  Another 144 new plants have entered the construction pipeline, and may bring total installed capacity as high as 10GW in the next few years.

Increased Department of Energy support for enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) technologies, and state incentive measures have gone far to support the industry.  With increased political pressure to reduce carbon emissions, advocates point to geothermal as a low-emission baseload power source – a potential replacement for dirty-burning coal.

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Posted by on December 18, 2009 in Clean Energy

 

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U.S. Energy Dept Awards $338M for Geothermal Development

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $338 million in new funding to fuel geothermal resource exploration and advanced technology development.

Geothermal resources

123 projects in 39 states will receive funding from the government as part of the Recovery Act, as well as an additional $353 million in private funding.  Energy Secretary Steven Chu says the United States is “blessed with vast geothermal energy resources” that need to be incorporated into the nation’s energy dynamic.  “These investments in America’s technological innovation will allow us to capture more of this clean, carbon-free energy at a lower cost than ever before.”   Read the full article…

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2009 in Clean Energy, Investments

 

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New Development Push for U.S. Geothermal

DOE Funding Supports Projects in Western States

The geothermal energy sector in the United States in the midst of a major new development push, says a new report from the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA).  If all projects currently in the pipeline come to completion, the GEA says the U.S. stands to gain as much as 10GW of geothermal power, enough to satisfy the power needs of approximately 7.2 million people.   The GEA reports lists a state-by-state breakdown of new projects, as well as specifics on the potential energy they could generate.  Nevada tops the list with 64 new projects, potentially generating 3,473 MW of energy collectively.  California, Oregon, Utah and Idaho are also high on the list, with many new geothermal projects in the works.  This past May, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced $350 in new stimulus funding designed to spur development in the sector, which both the DOE and GEA call an “unprecedented” show of support for what many believe is one of the nation’s largest untapped clean energy resources.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2009 in Clean Energy

 

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DOE Launches Joint Geothermal-Oil Research Initiative

Technologies May Share “Co-Produced” Water Resources

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has launched a new initiative to explore geothermal potential in oilfield drilling sites.  The DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy have joined forces to study ways of using “co-produced” water leftover from oil drilling operations to generate electricity from geothermal drilling in nearby sites.  It is estimated that for each barrel of oil produced in the U.S., ten barrels of hot water are produced as well.  This water is largely unusable for hydration purposes, but could be a valuable untapped resource for geothermal drilling activities, which require water supplies.  The DOE joint venture will conduct its research at the Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center using a geothermal energy production unit from Ormat Technologies, a leading geothermal energy company.

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2009 in Clean Energy, Oil, Water

 

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