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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Renewables Global Status Report

Transformation Continues Despite Economic Slowdown

This fourth edition of REN21’s renewable energy report comes in the midst of an historic and global economic crisis,” says Mohamed El-Ashry, chairman of REN21. Although the future is unclear, he says, “there is much in the report for optimism.”

Global power capacity from new renewable energy sources (excluding large hydro) reached 280,000 megawatts (MW) in 2008 – a 16 percent rise from the 240,000 MW in 2007 and nearly three times the capacity of the United States nuclear sector.

Solar heating capacity increased by 15 percent to 145 gigawatts-thermal (GWth), while biodiesel and ethanol production both increased by 34 percent. More renewable energy than conventional power capacity was added in both the European Union and United States for the first time ever.

“The recent growth of the sector has surpassed all predictions, even those made by the industry itself,” says El-Ashry, adding that much of this growth was due to more favourable policies amidst increasing concerns about climate change and energy security.

Read more & Download the full report

Friday, May 1, 2009

Energy Efficiency Could Save India 183.5 Billion kWh

With an investment of US $10 billion dollars in energy efficiency improvements, India's economy would benefit from its potentially vast annual energy savings of 183.5 billion kilowatt hours, according to a new report from the World Resources Institute (WRI).

“India’s energy demand is expected to more than double by 2030. There is a dramatic need for domestic and international energy efficiency technology providers, service providers, and equipment manufacturers to develop innovative ways to conserve energy,” said Robin Murphy, WRI vice president of external relations.

A key element in realizing this potential is the energy service company (or ESCO) sub-sector. ESCOs operate on the basis of energy-performance contracts, wherein revenue is earned based on the amount of energy cost savings produced. In India, the ESCO industry had an annual growth rate of 96 percent from 2002 to 2007 and is estimated to have grown by an additional 62 percent in 2008, according to financial information provided by these companies to WRI.

WRI’s report, Powering Up: The Investment Potential of Energy Service Companies in India is being released as part of the New Ventures India Investor Meet, a gathering of leading investors and other stakeholders interested in the intersection of environment and enterprise.