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Europe to invest €100 million to boost bioeconomy

The European commission is investing €100 million (£88 million) into scaling up bio-based sectors and improving innovation as part of a strategy to improve Europe’s sustainability and enhance its bioeconomy.

The action plan is necessary, the commission says, to provide Europe with food, clean water and energy without damaging the environment and climate or using up finite biological resources. It believes that driving forward the bioeconomy – which includes sectors such as food, agriculture and forestry – will also boost growth and investment, with the potential to provide 1 million more green jobs in just over 20 years. However, it acknowledges that this will require industry and public authorities to make a concerted effort. Continue reading “Europe to invest €100 million to boost bioeconomy”

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Dubai solar park wins green energy prize

An artist’s impression of the third phase of the Dubai Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MBR) Solar Park, awarded Solar Project of the Year. Courtesy: Masdar

A Dh50 billion solar park at the heart of Dubai’s drive to increase its use of renewable energy has won a global seal of approval.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MBR) solar park – currently in the third phase of its development – has been named the 2018 Solar Project of the Year at the Asian Power Awards in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Abu Dhabi’s clean energy company Masdar is developing phase three of the solar park in partnership with Shua’a Energy 2.

The eco-friendly project is set be a significant contributor to the nation’s green energy strategy by 2020. Continue reading “Dubai solar park wins green energy prize”

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‘Forgotten lands’ to receive forestry boost

New Forestry Investment Zone launched in Cumbria to help unlock the economic benefits of forestry.

A new project to help landowners create vital new woodland and unlock the economic benefits of forestry has been launched in Cumbria’s ‘forgotten lands’.

The government’s Tree Champion Sir William Worsley today visited forestry project Snowdon Close in the area to launch the pilot Forestry Investment Zone.

The government will trial a new approach in Cumbria’s ‘forgotten lands’ and work to encourage investment in the zone through measures such as the existing Countryside Stewardship and Woodland Carbon Fund grant schemes. A Forestry Investment Zone officer will also offer tailored support to businesses.

Government will also work nationally with the forestry and timber processing industry to accelerate planting as new approaches to rural funding and payment for public goods are developed.

Continue reading “‘Forgotten lands’ to receive forestry boost”

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Google is searching for a way to be zero emissions all the time

[Photo: Flickr user Mark Skipper]
Buying enough clean energy to make up for your dirty energy is one thing; using all clean energy 24/7 is another, and it could signal a new approach.

Our time to move away from dirty energy to green sources is limited. Federal governments can’t be relied upon to push the conversion–especially not the one in the U.S., which is actively working against large-scale adoption of green energy. Much of the progress we’ve seen so far has come from big corporate energy buyers demanding carbon-free power. There is an ecological motivation, but it’s also driven by a desire to get in on the falling cost and high cost predictability of renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

The largest corporate buyers are big tech companies that rely heavily on global networks of large power-hungry data centers, storing and serving up most of the internet’s digital content: videos and movies, webpages, search results. No surprise: Google is a gigantic energy hog, but it’s also currently the world’s largest buyer of renewable energy, in its various forms—over 3 gigawatts—according to a March report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. (This particular Fast Company article comes to you via a server hosted by Amazon Web Services, the world’s largest cloud provider and No. 2 on Bloomberg’s list; Microsoft, Apple, and the U.S. Department of Defense round out the current top 5.) Continue reading “Google is searching for a way to be zero emissions all the time”

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45 years after oil embargo, U.S. renewable energy production has tripled

Forty-five years ago, on October 17, 1973, Arab oil producers cut production by 5% and instituted an oil embargo against Israel’s allies, including the United States. Production cuts deepened in the ensuing weeks. By year’s end, production had been cut to 25% of September levels. The embargo lasted until March 1974. The experience prompted then-President Richard Nixon to call for an national effort to secure “energy independence” and thereby launch a decades-long quest to refashion the nation’s energy policies and energy consumption.

An analysis by the SUN DAY Campaign of both historic and recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) suggests that while progress has been made on some fronts, in other ways America’s energy situation may have actually worsened over the past 45 years.

On the plus side, renewable energy sources (biofuels, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) have nearly tripled the amount of energy, as measured in quadrillion Btu’s (quads), they contribute to the total energy mix. In particular, since 1973, wind, solar and biofuels have emerged from being essentially non-existent to become significant players in the energy market today while biomass and geothermal both showed strong growth. Continue reading “45 years after oil embargo, U.S. renewable energy production has tripled”

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Finnish pilot develops a new solution for sustainable forestry

Finnish pilot develops a new solution for sustainable forestry New unique mobile application puts forest Big Data to more efficient use .

The whole of Europe is feverishly looking for new ways to use farm, forest and fishery resources more responsibly and sustainably and to promote the production of the best possible raw materials in order to increase the availability of food, energy and biomaterials. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, the Finnish Forest Centre and MHG Systems Oy Ltd are among the organisations that have joined forces to accelerate European bioeconomy with the help of big data technologies based on aerial and satellite images and on open forest data provided by Finnish Forest Centre. The Finnish partners have developed, among other innovations, a unique mobile application that puts forest data to more efficient use.
Continue reading “Finnish pilot develops a new solution for sustainable forestry”

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That $3 Trillion-a-Year Clean Energy Transformation? It’s Already Underway.

(Photo by Dennis Schroeder)

To keep global warming in check, the world will have to invest an average of around $3 trillion a year over the next three decades in transforming its energy supply systems, a new United Nations climate science report says. It won’t be cheap, but it’s also a change that’s already underway.

Much of that investment is money that would be spent on energy systems anyway. Instead of continuing to invest it in fossil fuel-based energy that worsens global warming and can harm human health, the report provides a pathway for shifting those investments to clean energy.

The landmark report, released Oct. 8 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), sums up years of research into the risks to people and ecosystems if global temperatures rise 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, and it looks at how to stop that from happening. The planet has already warmed about 1°C, and it’s gaining about 0.2°C every decade, the report says.
Continue reading “That $3 Trillion-a-Year Clean Energy Transformation? It’s Already Underway.”

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Caledonia’s lost forest to be restored to glory in £23m rewilding

Ancient woodland will be pieced back together as part of Europe-wide project that will give endangered species their habitats back

Only a few tattered scraps of woodland in the Cairngorms provide evidence that a vast forest once covered the Scottish Highlands and much of the rest of the nation. This vast arboreal canopy provided homes for wolves, lynx, elks and many other species.

Land clearances for farming, and felling trees for timber, destroyed most of that habitat hundreds of years ago, leaving only a few disconnected fragments of land to provide shelter for dwindling numbers of animals.

But conservationists believe they may soon be able to restore a substantial chunk of this lost landscape and bring Caledonia’s beleaguered forest back to some of its ancient glory. A £23m Endangered Landscapes Programme (ELP) has selected the remains of the Caledonian Forest to be the focus of a key restoration project – along with seven other major regeneration schemes – to restore Europe’s most threatened environments. Continue reading “Caledonia’s lost forest to be restored to glory in £23m rewilding”

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World to Install Over One Trillion Watts of Clean Energy by 2023

The world could install more than a trillion watts of renewable power over the next five years, more than the entire current generation capacity of the European Union.
The International Energy Agency’s latest annual report on renewables forecasts as much as an extra 1.3 terawatts of clean energy will be installed by 2023 under one scenario. Even in its more conservative central forecast, the agency predicts that global renewable energy capacity will grow by 1 terawatt, driven by a boom in solar installations and more accommodating government policy.

New Power Capacity

The positive outlook for clean energy comes with a warning that government support and market design is critical to ensuring that renewables continue to be invested in and built.

Energy from solar, wind and hydro will continue to outpace natural gas and coal over the next five years, the IEA said. Generation from natural gas will be squeezed by cheap coal and ever more competitive solar and wind technologies. Continue reading “World to Install Over One Trillion Watts of Clean Energy by 2023”

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Farmers told to plant more forestry to help achieve renewable energy targets

Farmers need to plant more forestry the President of the Irish Bioenergy Association has said.

At the launch of a report, which calls on the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten to set a target of 70pc of electricity to be generated from renewables by 2030, Des O’Toole said farmers should plant more forestry.

He said that 740,000 ha on the island of Ireland are already devoted to forestry, 10.5pc of Ireland’s land mass, but more needs to be planted.

The amount of timber on the market is set to double within the next 10 years, according to Des, as “all the forestry that was planted 15 to 20 years ago, it’ll all be coming to the market within the next 10 years.”

“We support the call for a 70pc target for renewable electricity by 2030 and we believe that the bioenergy sector will play a crucial role in delivering on this ambitious target.

Continue reading “Farmers told to plant more forestry to help achieve renewable energy targets”