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Asia Report: U.K.-Korea Unite Behind Offshore Wind, Tidal Prospects

Two nations with vast plans for offshore wind development are forging an alliance that may help each become a dominant presence in their respective regional markets.

Both nations have wide offshore wind project pipelines, and both are looking at ways to help launch viable tidal and wave industries. Now the United Kingdom and South Korea are teaming up on the U.K.-Korea Ocean Energy Technology Co-operation Project, which follows in the footsteps of another agreement signed this year between RenewableUK and the Korean Wind Energy Industry Association.

The latest deal will focus on academic research and international collaboration between the two emerging powers.

The U.K. is the world leader in installed offshore capacity with 1,858 megawatts (MW) online. It also has 2,359 under construction and more than 42,000 MW in the pipeline. South Korea, meanwhile, has 2,500 MW of offshore wind power under development, and it has plans to build a 100-MW wind farm by 2014, a 400-MW project by 2016 and a 2,000-MW development by 2019, according to UPI. The country also last year completed the 254-MW Siwha Lake Tidal Power Station, the largest such facility in the world.


IN THE NEWS

Solar Boom Heads to Japan: Japan is poised to overtake Germany and Italy to become the world's second-biggest market for solar power as incentives that begin July 1 are expected to drive sales for equipment makers from Yingli Green Energy Holdings Co. to Kyocera Corp.

Vestas Sells Tower Factory to Titan Wind: Danish wind turbine maker Vestas will sell a tower factory in Denmark to Chinese group Titan Wind Energy for an undisclosed sum, allowing the world's biggest wind turbine maker to cut costs.

U.S. Imports of China Solar Cells, Panels Drops: Imports of Chinese solar cells and panels into the United States declined sharply in April, marking the second month of declines from record levels as duties to combat unfairly traded goods began to take effect in the marketplace, according to the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing.

India Regions Plan Hydro Expansion: The governments of Jammu and Kashmir reemphasized their commitment to adding about 8,000 MW of hydropower capacity in the next decade.

India Banks Face Solar Setback: Banks may restrict loans to Indian solar projects after the government fined 13 projects for delays, including one owned by Indian Oil Corp. An inquiry found 13 of 20 projects in northwestern Rajasthan state missed their deadline, according to a list from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

G20 Rankings: How Asian Nations Measure Up: As world leaders from industrial giants and developing nations alike pack their bags for the Rio+20 Earth Summit later this month, the Natural Resources Defense Council used the opportunity to examine how G20 nations are faring on both renewable generation and clean energy investment.


THE WAY FORWARD

China Creates Model for Sustainable Living: Construction work on Tianjin Eco-City, about 95 miles east of Beijing, began in 2008 and although it will not be completed until 2020, about 60 families have moved in this year. By the time it’s done, much of the city's electricity will come from renewable energy sources including wind, solar and geothermal power, and the transportation system will rely on hybrid vehicles.

Link Between EVs and China’s Biomass Industry: The Asian consortium planning to rescue Swedish automaker Saab Automobile from insolvency is led by a mainland Chinese alternative energy tycoon whose company has close ties with China's State Grid electricity utility. Being linked to the acquisition of Saab's car making assets could help bring the huge, state-owned utility a step closer toward its long-sought goal of breaking into the electric vehicle market.

South Korea’s Solar Vision for Schools: The Seoul municipal government and the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education signed up for a project that will develop solar power facilities in about 1,000 schools in the South Korean capital. According to The Korea Times, the city will first install solar power panels in 200 schools in the area within this year based on the agreement. By 2014, approximately 1,000 schools are expected to be equipped with solar power plants, with a capacity to generate a total of 100 megawatts.

LCD Makers Could Drive Thin-Film Cost Reduction: LCD panel manufacturers could be the driving force in reducing thin-film solar panel production costs, according to solar PV and clean technology developer Manz AG. Leading LCD panel manufacturers, such as South Korea’s LG, Samsung Electronics, and Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Co. can produce thin-film solar PV modules at about $0.30 per Watt or less by converting their glass-manufacturing production lines to produce thin-film modules, Manz said.


A LOOK AHEAD

Boeing, PetroChina Aim for Second Biofuel Flight: Boeing, in cooperation with Air China and PetroChina, will press ahead with a second test flight that will be partly powered by plant oil, company executives said this week. The test, scheduled for the third quarter of this year, is likely to involve a trans-Pacific trip, far longer than the one-hour test flight that was conducted in China last October.

Welspun to Invest $1 Billion in Wind Projects: Welspun Energy has announced plans to develop 1.7 gigawatts of renewable energy with investments exceeding $1 billion in the state of Karnataka. The company has already signed memorandum of understanding and expression of interest with the state government for setting up 100 MW and 750 MW of wind power projects, respectively.

Biomass Town Gains Attention in Japan: While the rest of Japan is worrying about power supply shortages this summer, many of the more than 300 "biomass towns" across the nation offer a glimpse at a range of new energy alternatives.

Indonesia’s Geothermal Push: The Indonesian government is planning to expand use of the direct appointment mechanism to award geothermal concessions in a bid to boost the sector’s development, Energy Minister Jero Wacik said.


INVESTING IN INDIA

Nation Looking for International Partnerships

India is setting up an Investment Promotion Cell for the energy sector to provide a single point of contact for investors, Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Farooq Abdullah, has said.

In the next five years, the country plans to invest $50 billion in renewable energy, including $19 billion in wind, $25 billion in solar and $3 billion each in the hydro and biomass segments, he said.

“The cell will be our window for potential investors to engage with us and bring their efforts and ideas to fruition,” Abdullah said after addressing an investors’ meeting.


HAVE YOUR SAY

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

June 4-11, 2012 Asia Report: As EU Trade Case Looms, Market May Shift East
May 21-29, 2012 Asia Report: China’s Solar Giants Unite to Confront Tariff
May 14-21, 2012 Asia Report: Solar Stocks Tumble After Solar Ruling
May 7-14, 2012 Asia Report: Solar Dumping Announcement Set for May 17
May 1-7, 2012 Asia Report: European Ruling Could Cut Into Palm Oil Exports
April 23-30, 2012 Asia Report: U.S., India Strike $125 Million Investment Deal
April 16-23, 2012 Asia Report: Japan Solar FiT Likely In Line With Industry Request
April 9-16, 2012 Asia Report: Are China’s Sinovel, Goldwind Seeking Vestas Takeover
April 2-9, 2012 Asia Report: 200-MW Solar Project Planned in Japan
March 26-April 2, 2012 Asia Report: India Slashes Wind Incentive
March 19-26, 2012 Asia Report: India’s Wind Potential 30 Times Greater Than Believed
March 5-12, 2012 Asia Report: After Quake, Japan Pushes for Asia Supergrid
Feb. 27-March 5, 2012 Asia Report: Decision on Trade Dispute Looming

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