Worldwide News Briefs and Information on Renewable EnergyBriefly Noted …. – Tomen Corp will spin off its wind power generation business in November to attract investment of 40 billion yen, allowing outside investors to hold up to 50 percent in a new company that will have initial capital of 5 billion yen. That amount will be doubled by next March, and generating capacity should treble to 2 million kW by 2006. – Energy ministers from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama and Costa Rica have pledged to support renewable energy projects in Central America, where 12 million people have no regular access to electricity. At present, 21 small renewables projects are being developed with funding from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration and the U.S. Agency for International Development. – In Italy, the government PV subsidy program ‘Tetti Fotovoltaici’ may run out of funds because of response. Fifty-four applications for 605 kW have been approved, requiring a government contribution of 6.5 billion Lira. If another 150 submissions under review are approved, this would exhaust the total budget. An additional 23 billion Lira has been allocated to the program. – There is enough room for 100 to 150 wind parks in the North Sea, which could meet half of the current demand for electricity in Holland, according to a coalition of environmental groups that want less CO2 emissions. Dutch economic affairs minister Annemarie Jorritsma wants to build one windfarm off the coast at Egmond as a test, and has requested a licence for a larger off shore wind park. – In a second deal this year with the same operating companies, a subsidiary of German power utility MVV has contracted to supply 17 wind turbines for operation in the regions of central Hesse and Brandenburg. The turbines, ranging in size from 600 kW to 2 MW, will start construction next spring. – Hungary and Iceland have signed a protocol of understanding on future cooperation in the use of geothermal energy. Iceland and California recently agreed on a similar program. – The Danish company, World Wide Wind, says it is having no problems raising Dkr 800 million for a new offshore windfarm in the Baltic, north of Gdansk. It says many companies want to invest in the project as a profitable investment and because they can strengthen their reputation for being green. The wind facility will start next year and the first turbines may be operational in 2003. – Indonesia’s national oil company, Pertamina, wants control over the operations of a 110 MW geothermal plant at Wayang Windu, 200 km from the capital of Jakarta. A new oil and gas bill will strip Pertamina of its power in downstream and upstream operations, forcing it to diversify. It wants to buy the full stakes in the geothermal plant held by Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, First Boston and Unocal Global Venture. – Indonesian oil company Pertamina and power utility PLN have been asked by the government to resume construction of two geothermal projects in central Java. A new joint company will handle construction following agreement to pay compensation of US$260 million to the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation compensation for unilateral termination of contract with contractor CalEnergy of the U.S. – The Danish renewable energy sources investor Greentech Energy Systems A/S has bought eight wind turbines from Nordex, worth 80 million kroner. With the ten turbines it bought in June from NEG Micon, Greentech owns 27 turbines. – Umweltkontor Renewable Energy AG, the German company that manages renewable energy projects, saw its share price lose more than half its value in August following the downgrading of its shares by several financial institutions. The share price has since recovered from 6.50 to 8.95 euros. – The last-minute end of session rush in the California legislature leaves a number of bills of importance to renewable energy advocates without a final vote. The Governor may call a special session to address unresolved issues such as the finances of Southern California Edison, and to establish a Renewable Portfolio Standard and possibly restore consumer choice for access to green power sources that was removed by the Public Utilities Commission. – Valcon of Concord Township, has won a US$139,080 contract from the Coast Guard logistics centre in Baltimore, for solar PV charge controllers for Coast Guard equipment. – Border States Electric Supply is the new distributor for Siemens Solar in the U.S. midwest. – Abattoir waste is the cheapest source of material to generate bio-gas in a successful Chinese-built system, says the Uganda Renewable Energy Association. Animal off-cuts and carcasses from slaughter-houses around Kampala could become a main source of biogas energy to ease energy costs, but tons of rejected animal parts are thrown away every day. Small scale bio-gas farming in Uganda and Kenya has failed for various reasons, including the constant water supply needed for digesters. – U.S. businesses and homes may demand solar panels, fuel cells and small generators if military action disrupts Middle East oil supplies. Analysts note that renewables are not affected by global conflict, and shares of fuel cell recently rebounded as a result.