Weeks after the end of the U.N. climate talks, international leaders from across the world are meeting again on the world stage to discuss fossil fuels, nuclear energy and the growth of renewables.
The World Future Energy Summit is being held this week in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and Korean Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik were among the notable foreign leaders who took the stage to weigh in on the challenges ahead.
Ban has long made curbing energy poverty through renewable energy a central theme from his seat at the U.N. Wen and Kim, meanwhile, used their platform to indicate that they are committed to moving ahead on renewable energy, but perhaps not as aggressively as some would like.
Much of the expected growth in consumption is expected to come from Asia, and leaders within the region are keenly aware that their economies have the most to gain or lose from the decisions they make. Wen and Kim each signaled that fossil fuels like coal are likely to be central to their short-term energy futures. To replace them with renewable sources, they’ll need to recommit themselves to nuclear energy.
"To accelerate the worldwide spread of renewable energy and for it to replace fossil fuels we must promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy," said Kim.
IN THE NEWS
Are Japan’s Solar Plans Falling Apart?: The notable absence from a recent Japanese renewable energy meeting by many political backers — plus blunt comments from some of them — are being interpreted as a sign that Softbank's ambitious plans for multiple megasolar plants are falling apart.
Husk Power Helps Fuel India: In Bihar, one of the poorest states in India, 85 percent of people are not connected to the electricity grid. Households use kerosene lamps when they can afford it, and businesses use expensive and dirty diesel generators. Some view this “energy poverty” as a development problem. Others view it as an environmental problem. The founders of Bihar-based Husk Power Systems view it as an opportunity to build a social enterprise.
3,000 MW Planned by 2016: India's largest wind turbine manufacturer Suzlon Energy will develop 3,000 MW in Andra Pradesh by 2016 with a potential investment of Rs.18,000 crore. The company signed a memorandum of understanding with the state government during last week's Partnership Summit 2012 in Hyderabad. Andra Pradesh is one of the fastest emerging wind energy destinations in the country.
Indonesia to Open Three Geothermal Plants: State power company PT PLN says it will open three geothermal power plants with a total production capacity of 135 MW this year. The plants were identified as the Lahendong Unit 4 plant in North Sulawesi, the Ulubelu Unit 3 and 4 plant in Lampung and the Ulumbu plant in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara.
India Region Considers Geothermal: The Hinachal Pradesh region of northern India, known for its hydro-power potential, is now looking to explore geothermal energy. A research scholar of IIT Mandi has completed a study of existing geothermal heat sources in Himachal Pradesh and its potential as a sustainable source of energy in the coming years.
Energy and India: The nation’s renewable energy minister talks with the Dubai Chronicle about its plans for growth, its reliance on renewable energy and the time frame in which it could happen.
Clean Energy Explored in Japan: Toshiba will conduct a solar power feasibility study with Taisei and Sojitz as part of Japan’s efforts to promote renewable energy in areas hit by the March 11 record earthquake and tsunami.
Asia a Power Player in Algae Biofuels: India, China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea are among the nations lauded for their algae-based biofuel achievements in a recent report in Biofuels Digest.
FOCUS ON CHINA
300 MW Offshore Wind Farm in China: China will construct an offshore wind farm with an installed capacity of 300 MW in its northern Hebei province, the largest such project undertaken by the country, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Major Investment for Shanghai: City announces a plan to pump up to $2 billion in clean energy investments. More than half would go to an offshore wind development, while the rest would provide funding for solar, biomass and geothermal projects.
China Looks to Biomass: China will issue plans to develop energy from forest biomass through 2020, the Shanghai Securities Journal reported. The nation will look to get to 1.5 percent of renewable energy generated from forest biomass by 2015 and two percent by 2020, the report said.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“This marks another step towards cementing our manufacturing base in India, where we are also implementing our best technology and practices in wind turbine production.”
Gamesa India Chairman and Managing Director Ramesh Kymal
BY THE NUMBERS
82: Megawatts of wind wind power installed in 2011.
256: Megawatts of wind power installed the previous year.
68: Percent drop between two years, which is mostly blamed on the end of a subsidy program that expired in 2010.
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