Aurore NEWS

Local and international news related to Renewable Energy. We'll try and keep you up to date!

Friday, October 30, 2009

PV 2008

Here is an excellent report on the global status of PV, as of August 2009, from the EU Joint Research Centre, Renewable Energy Unit (part of the European Commission):

Things are looking bright: in 2008 between 7 GW and 8 GW of solar PV (photovoltaic) cells was produced worldwide, nearly double the amount in 2007!

Since 2003, total PV production increased almost 10 fold with annual growth rates between 40% and 80%, whereas the thin film segment – starting from a very low level – grew in average by over 90%.

 It seems we're finally having 'take off' and starting to move away from the fossils! smile

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Barefoot Women Solar Engineers of Africa Are Finalists in the World Challenge!

The Barefoot energy venture benefiting African communities, theBarefoot Women Solar Engineers of Africa, has been selected as a finalist in World Challenge 09, the worldwide competition seeking to identify and reward projects and businesses which bring economic, social and environmental benefits to local communities through grassroots solutions.

The Barefoot Women Solar Engineers of Africa aims to improve the lives of people living away from any electricity supply in rural parts of Africa - giving them clean, renewable and low cost sources of energy.

Since 2005, 81 women, often illiterate, have trained as solar engineers at the Barefoot College in India learning how to fabricate, install and maintain solar lighting systems in their villages in Africa. Transforming the lives of over 2000 families, they are helping to reduce the impact of forest depletion in local communities and their dependence on kerosene and diesel.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


"Only 2% of total energy consumed by LED-based lamps is used in their production."
When trying to determine the greenest option among products, it is important to take into account the whole life-cycle of the thing; the manufacturing process, how it is used, and the disposal at the end of its life. The U.S. Department of Energy has already released a few life-cycle assessments (LCA) of LED lights (see here and herefor a Carnegie Mellon study), and LED maker Osram has just released a new LCA study conducted by the Siemens Corporate Technology Centre for Eco Innovations. Their conclusions are pretty interesting...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Solar-powered appliances hogs limelight

Lot of takers: Solar water heaters are becoming a more common feature on household terraces in Puducherry.

PUDUCHERRY: Increased awareness of the benefits of using renewable energy has resulted in solar water heaters and lanterns finding a lot of takers in Puducherry. The subsidies available for renewable energy appliances is an added incentive.

According to officials of the Renewable Energy Agency of Puducherry (REAP), solar water heaters of a total daily capacity of 37,125 litres have been installed in Puducherry, from 2005 to 2009.

At least ten applications for solar water heater subsidies are received every month, an official added.

Although these heaters are expensive, with a 100-litre capacity heater costing around Rs. 18,500, REAP provides a subsidy of Rs. 3000 per heater, upon producing proof of purchase along with the application.

Subsidies are granted to dealers of these appliances approved by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

People, especially fishermen have evinced a lot of interest in solar lanterns, officials say. Between 2001 and 2009, over 507 lanterns, each costing around Rs. 4,000, have been given a subsidy of Rs. 1,550 by REAP.

In recent years, fishermen from Mahe have been availing around 100 subsidies a year, officials revealed.

Apart from heaters and lanterns, REAP has been providing subsidies for a host of other appliances such as solar cookers, water pumps and solar industrial air-heating systems, in order to encourage people to decrease their dependence on polluting fuels.

Subsidies are also provided for complete solar ‘homelighting’ systems, which consist of a 37-watt solar panel, charge controller, battery and two Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs).

Appearance in public sphere

Solar-powered devices have made an appearance in the public sphere as well. The solar powered street lamps have already become a notable feature on Puducherry’s beach. Institutions and non-commercial outfits receive a subsidy of Rs. 9,600 from the MNRE on these streetlights. 417 such streetlights have been installed in the Union Territory.

The government has also set an example for the public, with the installation of a 25-kilowatt solar power plant, at the Secretariat building in 2003-04.

Officials of REAP also say that the scheme of providing two CFLs to ration card holders at the price of one, has also met with very encouraging response. With the price coming down, response is bound to get better, the official added.

The agency, which is the State Nodal Agency for the Bureau of Energy Efficiency and MNRE is currently drawing out its budget allocation and new schemes.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


EASE stands for Enabling Access to Sustainable Energy. The EASE partnership aims to bring modern energy products to the rural poor in developing countries, by facilitating the upscaling processes in the rural energy sector and local energy markets.

EASE partners do not believe that the energy problems of the poor can be resolved with a mere technological breakthrough or through large scale financial support.

Instead, EASE projects start by better understanding the realities of the energy needs of the poor, and their local energy markets of shopkeepers, technicians, promoters and (micro)financiers.

By presenting the bottlenecks in these local markets, EASE partners design and implement projects with a lasting impact.

The vast potential of energy efficiency in India

Five times cheaper than nuclear power

A recent study by the World Resources Institute (WRI) calculated that India could reduce its annual electricity usage by 183.5 billion kWh by investing US$ 10 billion in energy efficiency improvements.

India’s energy demand is expected to more than double by 2030. The country is consequently in need of a huge amount of new power generation capacity. Considering the figures of the WRI, the cheapest generating capacity for India will no doubt be energy savings.

Read more

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Sixth Revolution: The Coming of Cleantech

Technology revolutions occur about every 50 years. The current IT age should give way to the leadership of cleantech as the energy infrastructure moves back to renewables. Investors are likely to be rewarded in the irruption phase, which we see accelerating in 2010-11 after current funding problems end.