007_Global12_InBox_V5

Global issue 12

Inbox EnErgy watch Trends around the world Germany looks for market- least 1,000 TWh of electricity annually. Profes- Energi, is also being launched, with a based energy solutions said the study would serve as a guide for de- brand’s appeal, Ford is offering non-hybrid100 mpg equivalent. And to maintain thesor Mark Jacobson, who directed the research, Federal German research velopers looking to site offshore wind farms. versions averaging between 26–29 mpg. and environment ministers have invited experts to dis- cuss how market instruments Calls for single European A zero energy breakthrough could be used to achieve sus- tainable production, pricing and consump- market in energy in New Zealand tion of energy. Although the EU operates a A house designed to achieve “Opportunities in the market are enor- single market for goods, capi- the equivalent of zero power mous,” Environment Minister Peter Alt- tal and labour, it has no such billing has been erected in a maier told a recent wind energy conference. system for electricity, and the suburb of Auckland, New Zea- “Energy and resource efficiency are in- target date of 2014 for such a land, as a showcase for solar creasingly becoming a competitive factor.” market is unlikely to be met, notes a report power roof tiles and a new hot water system. Commentators have, however, noted that a published by the European Wind Energy As- The Labour Party leader David Shearer major downside of Germany’s switch to re- sociation (EWEA). The creation of a single said that the high levels of sunshine and newables is that it is relying on coal-fuelled market would allow for the large-scale uptake mild climate around the country provided power while it weans itself off nuclear power. of wind and other forms of renewable energy, the perfect opportunity for reducing reli- Newly built coal-fired power stations are now it says. The report also urges the removal of ance on carbon fuels. He noted that 3,500 the main backup for the country’s renewable subsidies for coal, gas and nuclear generation new homes in Christchurch were fitting so- energy supply, which is intermittent given before they are removed from renewables. lar technology as standard. the weather-linked nature of solar and wind The CEO of the solar panel manufacturer sources. And the soft lignite coal that Ger- SolarCity, Andrew Booth, claimed that the many has in abundance is one of the worst Swedish wind farm reaches price of power in New Zealand is 70 percent offenders for greenhouse gas emissions. high and wide is very little point switching power companieshigher than in Australia and the USA. “ThereGermany’s decision to abandon nuclear A supply of 26 wind energy power has meant that emissions of carbon in the face of such high prices. Homeowners turbines to stand at a height dioxide have not decreased by as much as would be far better off switching to solar.” of 115 metres each are be- had been hoped and that the country’s use The solar tiles on the house are fitted to ing installed in Sweden’s of coal has, in fact, been rising. standard wooden battens, using traditional Sollefetå and Strömsund roofing methods, with one solar tile cover- municipalities. The new Stamåsen wind ing the width of several conventional tiles. US east coast’s enormous tended eventually to have 50 turbines and The solar tiles are intended to provide 45-farm, being developed by Statkraft, is in wind potential an installed capacity of 115 MW. and the solar heating system to meet mostpercent of the power needs of the home, The weather conditions from The Stamåsen facility is one of seven of its water heating needs. the state of Virginia north- farms planned in the area by Statkraft, wards up the coast to Maine which claims to be the largest European are highly favourable for producer of renewable energy. Blackfriars Bridge shines up offshore wind turbines, says a study produced by engineers at Stanford its image University. The historical lack of hurri- The new hybrid Fusion hopes As the UK’s Network Rail canes in the region is an encouraging factor. for mass appeal on Blackfriars railway bridgerebuilds the Victorian stationWind energy that peaks during times Ford in the USA has intro- of high electricity demand is more valu- in London, it is installing a duced a new hybrid car, the able and can offset fossil fuel generation new roof with 4,400 solar Fusion, in a bid to reclaim the that runs for only a few hours a day. The panels, to generate up to 50 percent of the midsize market from Toyota researchers used a weather model to gener- station’s energy needs. and Honda, while appealing ate five years of hourly wind speeds at 90 “Blackfriars’ iconic location spanning the to consumers interested in eco-friendly cars. metres above the sea surface and validated River Thames makes it a showcase for the At its launch event in New York, the com- this against real data from offshore towers. potential of solar power, and an important pany said the car performs with a 47 miles- After factoring in standard transmission benchmark for Network Rail as we look to per-gallon (mpg) consumption rate, which is losses and other inefficiencies, they calculated make the best use of sustainable technology close to the 50 mpg average of Toyota’s Prius, that the US east coast could generate enough on the network,” said Paul Byrne, senior and better than that of the Honda Accord. power to meet the demand of the entire east programme manager for Network Rail. The A plug-in hybrid version, the Fusion coast region or for one third of the USA, at solar panels are manufactured by Panasonic. global fourth quarter 2012 www.global-briefing.org l7


Global issue 12
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