China’s renewables market is the most attractive destination for investors looking to invest in the sector, according to EY’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) published today.
The RECAI ranks 40 renewables markets on the attractiveness of their energy prospects. In a significant reshuffle at the top of the index, China returns to the top for the first time since May 2013, while Europe and the US continue to lose ground to emerging markets. Despite significant deployment and investment opportunities in the US renewables market, congressional gridlock and drawn-out approvals have had a negative effect on the country’s ability to provide investors with long-term certainty, causing it to fall to second place.
Gil Forer, EY’s Global Cleantech Leader comments:
“China’s government is placing increased emphasis on renewable energy as the country battles pollution, ushering in new market opportunities for foreign investors. Aggressive policy targets, an increased focus on consolidation and the roll-out of pilot carbon emissions trading schemes also support the country’s pollution reduction initiatives and reflect the renewables sector’s strategic economic value.”
Elsewhere in the index, only two of the traditionally attractive markets managed to hold on to their previous rankings. Germany and Japan remain static, in third and fourth place respectively, as their markets reflect on the latest legislative and energy strategy updates. In contrast, mixed signals and policy tinkering have prompted yet another drop in the rankings for the UK and Australia, to seventh and tenth place respectively. At the same timeItaly and Spain are seeing the repercussions of retroactive changes to support mechanisms, with both falling several places down the index.
On the other hand, dynamic emerging markets are becoming more prominent in the index. India jumped to sixth place as an energy sector overhaul by the new government looks set to galvanize public and private renewables investment. In what is becoming a consistent theme, Brazil, Chile, South Africa and Kenya have again risen up the index thanks to robust deployment pipelines and consistent policy support while major project financings in the Netherlands and Israel have prompted a boost in the rankings for these markets.
Forer continues, “The significant movement in our index reinforces the view that attractive renewable energy prospects are no longer the remit of only a few mature markets – they are truly global, providing opportunities in both developed and developing markets. This shifting landscape will drive corporations and governments to review their energy strategy to ensure long term competitive advantage.”
The latest report highlights that Europe is currently at an inflexion point, striving to become a global sector leader but facing strain funding, infrastructure and supply capabilities.
According to Ben Warren, EY’s Global Cleantech Transactions Leader, “The industry must liberate itself from the shackles of the past and go in search of grid parity as the fastest route to secure and affordable energy. The role of policy-makers therefore becomes one of enablement rather than fiscal support, as well as looking to create a level playing field across all energy sources through greater cost transparency.”
Microfinance models to become more than just a trend
The report highlights that smaller-scale distributed applications are becoming increasingly more critical to both developed and emerging markets with the outlet for localized financing models, such as crowd-funding is expanding as a result. The pool of capital available for such financing has significant potential to increase if the risk-reward profile can be structured such that it becomes a viable alternative to other retail investment channels.
Warren comments: “Far from just being the remit of the ‘socially conscious’ investor, crowd and community sourced finance is increasingly becoming a smart investment channel with a significant role to play in shaping our future energy mix and creating the stimulus for new funding models to emerge.”
The report also focuses on the imperative for more cost-effective and sustainable energy across the world’s island nations, representing significant investment and deployment opportunities as well as the potential to lead in the creation of new energy microsystems. According to Warren, “The question is whether today’s investors, developers and innovators want to be at the forefront of creating an island model of energy with potentially far-reaching implications for the global energy sector, or just wait to ride the second wave as micro goes macro.”
With new clean energy investment of US$63.6b in Q2 representing the strongest quarterly performance in two years and indicating a rebound in annual global investment for 2014, the latest RECAI report concludes that an increasing shift toward democratic finance and the opening up of new markets will be critical in maintaining this uplift in global investment volumes.
“Consumers, including home owners, commercial businesses and corporations, are becoming more empowered to take control of their own energy supply and demand. As a result, investors are also becoming increasingly motivated and empowered. This is not only driving the democratization of energy, but is also channeling significant volumes of capital to where they are most needed,” concludes Forer.
“Looking forward, advancements in technology, changes in policy, and continuous reduction in cost will enhance the new energy landscape and drive affordable, reliable and low carbon energy in more areas around the globe.”
Wind, solar and other renewable power capacity grew at its strongest ever pace last year and now produces 22% of the world’s electricity, the International Energy Agency said in a report published at the end of August 2014.
More than $250bn (£150bn) was invested in “green” generating systems in 2013 Worldwide, although the speed of growth is expected to slacken, partly because politicians are becoming nervous about the cost of subsidies.
However, the US wind energy industry is poised for solid growth in the next few years, according to a major new report from the US Department of Energy (DoE). As costs continue to fall and the technology approaches grid parity in many parts of the country, the second-largest wind energy market in the world and is on track to double renewable electricity generation by the end of this decade.
The Wind Technologies Market Report assesses the state of the US wind industry in 2013 and concludes that despite a tough year, the sector is now well placed for several years of solid growth. Confirming that the total installed wind capacity in the US in now 61GW, meaning that nearly 4.5 per cent of US electricity demand can now be met using wind in an average year.
This compares favourably with the UK, which according to The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) report; Renewable sources of energy: chapter 6, Digest of United Kingdom energy statistics (DUKES)‘ 5.2 % of energy consumption in 2013 came from renewable sources.
Europe may be leading the way, but the US is hot on their heels.
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Nothing makes a business stand at attention more quickly than a potential threat to its bottom line.
ThinkProgress has a report today on big food companies that are at least thinking about the effects climate change could have on their business models. In March, Mexican restaurant chain Chipotle mentioned in its annual report to investors, filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the possibility that climate change could threaten its guacamole supply. Following up on that story, reporter Emily Atkin found seven more companies that alerted investors to possible climate impacts to their businesses in their latest SEC reports.
Keurig Green Mountain Coffee noted in its SEC filing, “Decreased agricultural productivity in certain regions of the world as a result of changing weather patterns may limit availability or increase the cost of key agricultural commodities, such as coffee and tea, which are important sources of ingredients for our products, and could impact the food security of communities around the world. Increased frequency or duration of extreme weather conditions could also impair production capabilities, disrupt our supply chain or impact demand for our products.”
That theme was echoed by Michaels Food Group, which makes products like Simply Potatoes and Better’n Eggs. It cited extreme weather and increased pest infestations as potential threats to its supply sources. Heinz, Big Heart Pet Brands (Meow Mix, Kibbles ’n Bits) and Coca-Cola all also cited extreme weather, crop disruption and pest infestation in their reports.
“The growing political and scientific sentiment is that increased concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are influencing global weather patterns,” said Coca-Cola’s SEC filing. “Changing weather patterns, along with the increased frequency or duration of extreme weather conditions, could impact the availability or increase the cost of key raw materials that the company uses to produce its products. In addition, the sale of these products can be impacted by weather conditions.”
Two other companies, Omega Protein, which makes organic fish solubles like omega-3 fish oil, and Marine Harvest ASA, the world’s largest producer of Atlantic salmon, have an additional concern: the state of the oceans.
“Climate change poses a potential challenge to our industry,” said Marine Harvest ASA’s AprilSEC filing. “Fish farming is dependent on thriving aquatic ecosystems which are particularly vulnerable to the effects of a warming planet. … Our fish stocks can be depleted by biological factors such as algal blooms, low oxygen levels and fluctuating seawater temperatures.”
It added, “Furthermore, we may not be able to prevent contamination of our fish by pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, dioxins or heavy metals. Such contamination is primarily the result of environmental contamination of fish feed raw materials which could result in a corresponding contamination of our fish feed and our fish.”
“While politicians continue to bicker over whether or not climate change exists, companies now have no choice in the matter—they must acknowledge the science and the risk and disclose the reality of that risk to their investors’ pocketbooks,” said ThinkProgress’ Atkin. “Whether that risk actually manifests itself is another matter, but the fact that companies are increasingly putting climate change on their threat lists speaks volumes to the severity of the problem.”
Building upon the successful launch of its on-site green energy program in 2013, Verizon this year is investing more than $13 million to expand the program at three company locations across New Jersey. This year, Verizon will install 3.5 megawatts of new solar power systems at facilities in Carteret, Freehold and Piscataway. Installation of the systems is taking place over the next two months, with completion scheduled by year-end.
Over the last two years, Verizon has invested more than $34 million in its on-site green energy program in New Jersey. Upon completion of the new solar projects, Verizon will operate roughly 7 megawatts of green energy systems in the state. The systems will produce more than 23 million kilowatt hours of green energy — enough to power more than 2,000 homes annually. Verizon’s total green energy efforts in New Jersey are also expected to offset more than 6,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.
“From network investments to philanthropic investments to investments in on-site green energy, Verizon is improving the quality of life in the communities we serve in New Jersey,” said Leecia Eve, vice president of state government affairs for Verizon New Jersey. “Verizon’s investments in, and commitment to, New Jersey are helping to position to state to compete and move forward economically.”
Top Solar-Power Producer Among U.S. Communication Companies
Verizon is on track to become the No. 1 solar power producer among all U.S. communications companies, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the U.S. trade association for companies that research, manufacture, distribute, finance and build solar projects domestically and abroad.
“Based on its existing solar power capacity and on-site generating systems, combined with its new solar energy expansion plans for 2014, it’s clear that Verizon is on a path to become the solar power leader in the U.S. telecom industry,” said SEIA president and CEO Rhone Resch. “In fact, we project that Verizon will be among the top 20 of all companies nationwide in terms of the number of solar installations it operates, and one of the top 10 companies in the U.S. based on solar generating capacity.”
To date, Verizon has invested nearly $140 million in on-site green energy. Upon completion of its new solar projects, the company is on track to deploy upward of 25 megawatts of green energy across the United States. Verizon has long been focused on energy efficiency and instituting sustainable real estate practices. As an early adopter of fuel cell technologies, Verizon invested in one of the largest fuel cell sites of its kind in 2005 – helping to power a call-switching center and office building in Garden City, New York.
Verizon also uses 26 solar-assisted cell sites in remote areas in the western United States to help power a portion of the nation’s largest and most reliable wireless network.
In addition to various solar and fuel cell installations, Verizon has also implemented better cooling efficiency and energy-consumption reduction measures in its data centers. In 2009, Verizon developed new standards for energy consumption on select telecom equipment, with a target of 20 percent greater efficiency.
All of Verizon’s energy-efficiency strategies support the company’s ultimate goal of cutting its carbon intensity – carbon emissions produced per terabyte of data flowing through Verizon’s global wired and domestic wireless networks – in half by 2020.
The company also is a key sponsor of the upcoming New Jersey Sustainability Summit Sept. 18 at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, which will focus on how small businesses can reduce their environmental impact and increase profits.
Naomi Klein, Canadian author and social activist, best known for her international bestsellers; No Logo and The Shock Doctrine, is back with her new book; This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate.
Klein characteristically takes a critical look at capitalist big business, exposing the hypocrisy of green champions such as Bill Gates and Richard Branson, for not doing enough and living up to their original ‘pledges’ to invest $billions into green innovation.
“Gates has a similar firewall between mouth and money.” Klein writes, “Though he professes great concern about climate change, the Gates Foundation had at least $1.2bn invested in oil giants BP and ExxonMobil as of December 2013, and those are only the start of his fossil fuel holdings. When he had his climate change epiphany, he, too, raced to the prospect of a silver-bullet techno-fix, without pausing to consider viable – if economically challenging – responses in the here and now. In Tedtalks, op-eds, interviews and in his annual letters, Gates repeats his call for governments massively to increase spending on research and development, with the goal of uncovering “energy miracles”.
“By miracles, he means nuclear reactors that have yet to be invented (he is a major investor and chairman of nuclear startup TerraPower), machines to suck carbon out of the atmosphere (he is a primary investor in at least one such prototype) and direct climate manipulation (Gates has spent millions funding research into schemes to block the sun, and his name is on several hurricane-suppression patents). At the same time, he has been dismissive of the potential of existing renewable technologies, writing off energy solutions such as rooftop solar as “cute” and “noneconomic” (these cute technologies already provide 25% of Germany’s electricity).”
The fix she proposes broadly relies on people power; groups of activists, indigenous peoples and grassroots climate organisers, who are already prepared to take on corporate power. She is a member of one such group, 350.org which has been instrumental in delaying a pipeline project in Nebraska, which Obama has repeatedly put off making a decision about.
There are already signs of a push back on Twitter from some environmental bloggers, but Klein is no stranger to controversy. I invite you to read the book and make your own minds up.
Allen & York are leading International Environmental Recruitment Consultants. Current Job Opportunities include;
The California Energy Commission approved more than $5 million in grants to promote efficient use of natural gas, reduce emissions from natural gas-burning cooking systems, and improve indoor environmental air quality during its monthly business meeting today. The Energy Commission also approved $8 million in grants to advance biofuels as a low-carbon transportation fuels.
Grant recipients include:
Fisher-Nickel, Inc.: More than $900,000 to demonstrate a suite of energy-efficient, natural gas-fired cooking appliances for restaurants and commercial applications. The company also received about $900,000 to demonstrate an energy-efficient hot water system for commercial food service.
Institute of Gas Technology: Received about $800,000 to demonstrate a boiler heating system with ultra-low emissions.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: Received three grants totaling about $2.4 million to develop a new type of burner that can reduce emissions from commercial and residential cook tops and ovens, develop technology to better control outdoor air ventilation rates in new and existing commercial buildings, and to conduct a field study to determine how 2008 Title 24 building efficiency standards have impacted indoor air quality in new homes with natural gas appliances.
GFP Ethanol: Received $3 million to develop a program that provides an expanded and reliable supply of grain sorghum feedstock for production of low carbon transportation fuel.
AltAir Fuels: Received $5 million to expand production of renewable diesel fuels at its Paramount facility in Los Angeles County. AltAir currently produces 30 million gallons of renewable diesel fuel a year and will expand production to 40 million gallons a year.
Natural gas grants are funded by the Energy Commission’s Natural Gas Research and Development Division that invests in technologies and projects that have the potential to improve the delivery and use of natural gas, benefit the environment and lower costs. Biofuel grants are funded by the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) and advance the development of California-based biofuel production facilities. The projects will support the state’s goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and the Bioenergy Action Plan target of producing 40 percent of all in-state biofuels by 2020. To date, the Energy Commission’s ARFVTP has provided more than $125 million to promote in-state biofuel production from low-carbon feedstocks.
Additionally, the Energy Commission approved a water supply amendment to its May 2000 Decision for the High Desert Power Plant, which is an 830 megawatt natural gas-fired generation facility in Victorville. The Energy Commission ordered the High Desert Power Plant owner to secure a temporary backup of limited regional groundwater for addressing the drought impacts on its primary supply from the California State Water Project. The owner must also file a plan for a drought-proof, sustainable water supply by November 1, 2015.
A detailed list of all items before the commission at today’s business meeting can be found online.
# # #
About the California Energy Commission
The California Energy Commission is the state’s primary energy policy and planning agency. The agency was established by the California Legislature through the Warren-Alquist Act in 1974. It has seven core responsibilities: advancing state energy policy, encouraging energy efficiency, certifying thermal power plants, investing in energy innovation, developing renewable energy, transforming transportation and preparing for energy emergencies.——————
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Allen & York are a leading international Sustainability Recruitment Consultancy and we have been partnering global business for 21 years. Our Planning & Built Environment Group work with; Consultancies, Private & Public Sector, Surveyors, Architects and Construction companies to source quality talent worldwide.
The global economic upturn has seen a marked increase in Planning, Surveying and Design jobs coming onto the market and as such, Allen & York have strengthened their Planning & Built Environment Group to meet the growing demand.
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Sarah Kerr as Team Leader, Planning & Built Environment. Originally from Boston USA, Sarah has a BSc in Environmental & Coastal Management, recruitment experience across the environment and energy marketplace, with a more recent move into Planning & Built Environment.
Her focus is the delivery of high calibre recruitment services across a variety of infrastructure projects and opportunities.
Allen & York Planning & Environment Group would like to talk to you if you are currently looking for a career move or to recruit into your planning teams.
For more information about our services, please contact;
Sarah Kerr, Team Leader Planning & Built Environment
+44(0)1202 888 986
The California Energy Commission became the sole administrator of the New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) September 1. The program provides incentives to homeowners, builders and developers installing solar energy systems on new homes in Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) territories.
“The decision was made in part to increase consistency by having a single point of contact for stakeholders,” said Energy Commission’s Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller. “Plus, administering the program at the Energy Commission will reduce administrative costs so that more money can be spent on rebates.”
Over the next month, Energy Commission staff will work closely with each of the utilities to ensure a smooth transition with as little program disruption as possible. The utilities will continue to work with stakeholders on reservation applications and payment claims that were previously submitted and are currently under review.*
Last week, the Energy Commission also approved updated program guidelines that include a new incentive for west-facing solar energy systems. Systems that face west are designed to make the most of the late-day sunshine when electricity demand is greatest. The additional rebate can be as much as $500.
“We are hoping to squeeze more energy out of the afternoon daylight hours when electricity demand is highest,” said David Hochschild, lead commissioner for the agency’s renewable energy division, which will be administering the program. “By encouraging west-facing solar systems, we can better match our renewable supply with energy demand.”
The goal of the NSHP program is to install 360 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic capacity by the end of 2016. The Energy Commission has distributed more than $100 million with another $80 million reserved for pending projects. In 2006, the California Legislature established a statewide solar program, the California Solar Initiative (CSI), which set a goal of having residents and businesses install 3,000 MW of solar energy by the end of 2016. More than 2,200 MW have been installed under CSI, which includes the NSHP program.
The investor-owned utilities—SCE, SDG&E, and PG &E—had administered the program since its inception in 2008 and helped offset costs of more than 12,500 new systems capable of producing about 40 MW of electricity. Another 14,500 systems that are capable of generating that same amount of electricity are awaiting installations.
SaveOnEnergy.com, one of the longest-standing online energy comparison websites, is a big fan of both football and saving energy. As the college football season starts, we decided to take a look at top football universities and see how they stack up in their sustainability efforts.
We started with the Associated Press’ Top 25 preseason list and designed our own criteria for ranking these same 25 schools on their green efforts. While there are many standards to choose from when examining sustainability, we examined each school’s stadium sustainability efforts, campus green initiatives, environmental studies programs, number of active green organizations, waste diversion rate and amount spent on locally grown and organic food. Each category was weighted based on how significant we thought they were.
Every school was contacted in order to receive the most accurate information. If schools were not responsive, we used the information from the universities’ websites, the Princeton Review’s Guide to 332 Green Colleges 2014 Edition and the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS).
Our results were quite surprising. No. 25 on the AP Top 25 preseason list ranked at the top of our list!
Check out the full story at: https://www.saveonenergy.com/green-energy/top-25/
SaveOnEnergy.com has built a reputation as an exceptional resource for all energy consumers by partnering with many of the most popular retail energy suppliers in the industry. Since its creation in 2003, SaveOnEnergy.com has helped millions of shoppers find a great rate on electricity and/or natural gas.
When SaveOnEnergy.com first launched, its focus was on the Texas deregulated market. Today, SaveOnEnergy.com works with energy suppliers in 15 markets across the United States, making it easy for all consumers to make informed decisions.
Global leaders gathered in Stockholm today for the 24th annual World Water Week, urging the energy and water communities to work together to face some of the main challenges of our time, providing clean drinking water and energy for a growing world population.
The theme of 2014 World Water Week is “Energy and Water”. Water and energy are interdependent in more ways than not. We need energy for pumping, storing, transporting and treating water, we need water for producing almost all sorts of energy. An increase or decrease in one will immediately affect the other. The two resources are also inseparable from sustainable development and must be tirelessly promoted in global decision-making.
Addressing the opening session of the Week, Mr. Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of World Water Week organiser Stockholm International Water Institute, said: “The challenges are immense. With the global demand for water projected to grow by 55 per cent between 2000 and 2050 and electricity demand expected to increase by 50 per cent in the next two decades, there is an urgent need for a closer relationship between the energy and water communities if we are to provide solutions for all peoples to prosper.”
Professor John Briscoe, this year’s Stockholm Water Prize laureate, spoke about water as a platform for growth, both of other sectors and society as a whole, and said that “developing countries face big challenges. They have yet to mobilise those resources.” He added that there is “no eternal solution [to the water crisis], neither here nor there. Instead, there is a cycle of challenges and responses.”
In over 100 seminars, workshops and events spread throughout the week, delegates will discuss ongoing and future work and collaboration between the energy and water communities.
Professor John Briscoe, a native of South Africa, will receive the Stockholm Water Prize from H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, during a ceremony in Stockholm City Hall on Thursday 4 September.
Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) is a policy institute that generates knowledge and informs decision-makers towards water wise policy and sustainable development. SIWI organises World Water Week inStockholm and hosts the Stockholm Water Prize, the Stockholm Junior Water Prize and the Stockholm Industry Water Award.
Press contacts, interview requests and further information: http://www.worldwaterweek.org/pressroom
SOURCE Stockholm International Water Institute
A new report released today shows that the voluntary set-top box energy conservation agreement between the pay-TV industry, consumer electronics manufacturers and energy efficiency advocates has saved American consumers approximately $168 million in energy bills. According to the Voluntary Agreement for Ongoing Improvement to the Energy Efficiency of Set-Top Boxes 2013 Annual Report, the improved energy efficiency of set-top boxes also represents a savings of nearly 842,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. This is equivalent to the output of one-half of a large (500MW) power plant.
Eighty-five percent of set-top boxes purchased by pay-TV providers in 2013 met the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR 3.0 efficiency levels. New set-top boxes use approximately 14 percent less energy than those previously issued by the service providers. Other 2013 milestones include:
The Voluntary Agreement led to a 4.4 percent reduction in national energy consumption by set-top boxes even as deployed stock increased in 2013.
These energy savings are even larger when compared to national energy use projections without the Voluntary Agreement. Against those projections, the improved energy efficiency of the set-top boxes procured in 2013 saved American consumers almost $350 million in energy bills and saved nearly 1,750,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), equivalent to the output of one large (500MW) power plant.
Set-top box purchases indicate early adoption of 2017 goals – 90 percent of purchased set-top boxes must meet a more stringent set of energy efficiency levels called Tier 2. Approximately 47 percent of set-top boxes purchased in 2013 meet the more efficient Tier 2 levels.
The industry now offers new whole home DVRs, which are able to deliver live and recorded content to multiple TVs in a home, providing additional energy savings as consumers no longer need a DVR on each TV.
Cable operators have deployed software updates enabling “light sleep” for set-top boxes already in homes and new set-top boxes. Telco providers deployed “light sleep” capabilities, and satellite providers have included an “automatic power down” feature in more than 90 percent of set-top boxes purchased and deployed.
“The Voluntary agreement to reduce national energy use of set-top boxes is off to a great start. With these improvements the national energy used to power these devices is now going down,”said Noah Horowitz, Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The great news is that the more efficient boxes save consumers money on their electric bill, reduce pollution, and work even better than the old ones used to.”
“These collective efforts of the cable, satellite, and telephone industries demonstrate a commitment to delivering innovative video services while at the same time saving energy in our customers’ homes,” said Michael Powell, President & CEO, NCTA. “A big part of innovation is making sure we are good stewards of the environment, so these providers and device manufacturers will continue to look for new ways to conserve energy in delivering services.”
“The Annual Report is an important obligation of the Voluntary Agreement,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA. “It provides transparency, public accountability and a progress check on this non-regulatory initiative designed to deliver comprehensive energy and related cost savings for consumers and the country, while also protecting innovation and competition within our industry. The consumer technology industry is proud of the progress we have made to date in partnership with pay-TV providers to increase the energy efficiency of set-top boxes, as our industry continues to reduce our environmental footprint and increase sustainability.”
In 2012, the pay-TV industry initiated a Voluntary Agreement that would eventually result in annual electricity savings of $1 billion or more, as the energy efficiency of set-top boxes is increased by up to 45 percent. Agreement signatories include 11 cable, satellite, and telco video companies and all major equipment vendors serving 91.9 million U.S. video subscribers, accounting for 91.3 percent of the total market in 2013. In 2013, leading energy-efficiency advocates joined with the pay-TV industry in an expanded version of the Voluntary Agreement.
One of the requirements of the Voluntary Agreement is the publication of an annual report, which was conducted by D&R International. The Independent Administrator, hired and funded by the Voluntary Agreement Steering Committee following a competitive bidding process, collected data directly from service providers before aggregating and incorporating the data in the report.
Highlights of Annual Report on Set-Top Box Voluntary Agreement
Energy Savings. The Voluntary Agreement reduced national annual set-top box energy consumption 1.4 TWh (4.4%) even as deployed stock increased. This reduction represents a consumer savings of approximately $168 million and CO2 savings of 842,000 metric tons.
Procurement Commitments. Although procurement commitments are not in effect until 2014, 85% of service providers’ 2013 set-top box purchases met ENERGY STAR Version 3.0 standards. Approximately 47% indicate performance at more efficient Tier 2 levels that take effect in 2017.
Light Sleep. Cable providers deployed software updates enabling light sleep for set-top boxes already in homes. Two Telco providers added a light sleep feature to their DVR set-top boxes.
Automatic Power Down. Satellite providers included Automatic Power Down in more than 90% of set-top boxes.
Whole-Home Systems. Satellite providers made whole-home systems available to all subscribers. Telco providers provided similar whole-home capability. Although not required by the Voluntary Agreement, cable operators also deployed new whole-home solutions.
Next generation set-top boxes. Cable providers are scheduled to begin field testing set-top boxes with next generation power management in late 2014 that should dramatically reduce set top box power use when the user is not watching or recording a show.
Consumer-Facing Energy Efficiency Information. All Pay TV providers posted energy efficiency information for new set-top boxes. Links for each service provider are included in the Annual Report, p26.
Field Verification. An independent contractor will verify the energy usage of select set-top boxes in sample homes later this year. The results of this testing will be published in 2015.
Random Audit. The Independent Administrator is conducting a random audit of one provider to verify the number and specifications of the set top boxes it purchased in 2013.
NCTA is the principal trade association for the U.S. cable industry, representing cable operators serving more than 90 percent of the nation’s cable television households and more than 200 cable program networks. The cable industry is the nation’s largest broadband provider of high-speed Internet access, serving more than 54 million customers, after investing $210 billion since 1996 to build two-way interactive networks with fiber optic technology. Cable companies also provide state-of-the-art digital telephone service to more than 28 million American consumers.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the technology trade association representing the $211 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services.
Joko Widodo, Indonesia’s president-elect, has a life story tailor-made for Hollywood. Universally known by his nickname “Jokowi,” the son of a timber salesman spent his childhood in a riverside slum. Having grown up in a home where timber put food on the table, Jokowi decided to make his living from the tables themselves, and started his own successful furniture company. In 2005, he was elected mayor of Surakarta, and became governor of Jakarta in 2012. He is, as they say, a man of the people. But Indonesia’s new leader is going to have to put that image at risk if he follows through on a campaign promise to remove a major obstacle keeping the country’s economy from achieving its full potential – namely, its fuel subsidies.
Buying expensive fuel overseas and then selling it cheap at home is fiscally ruinous, but that’s exactly what the country has been doing for 47 years. The population is now used to enviably cheap fuel prices, a luxury few other citizens of net oil importers share – gas costs Indonesians about $0.99 a liter, compared to $2.18 in the U.K. Not surprisingly, the subsidies are extremely popular, and reform efforts have bedeviled politicians for years. Former President Suharto’s 32-year regime, for example, collapsed just a year after the strongman raised fuel prices during the Asian financial crisis, under pressure from the International Monetary Fund. Last year, violent clashes between police and protesters broke out after Indonesia’s parliament raised the price of subsidized gas and diesel fuel by 44 percent, and similar protests took place in 2008.
But the gift to its citizenry has become larger than the country can afford. Fuel subsidies suck up 20 percent of the federal budget, some $20 billion a year. What’s more, domestic production is declining. Indonesia’s Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology expects the country to produce just 124 million barrels of oil per day in 2030, down from 329 million in 2011. Rising imports will put further stress on the current account deficit, which reached $9.1 billion, or 4.27 percent of GDP, in the second quarter of 2014. Without fuel subsidy reform this year, Indonesia’s budget deficit will likely grow to 2.7 percent of GDP, according to Credit Suisse Head of Southeast Asia and India Economics and Strategy Santitarn Sathirathai
,. That’s well over the government’s estimate of 2.4 percent and close to Indonesia’s legal deficit limit of 3 percent. This slim fiscal cushion could easily disappear if the rupiah were to depreciate or global oil price rise by 10-15%, making the budget position highly susceptible to the mood of the financial markets.
There are long-term issues to consider as well. Indonesian GDP grew just 5.1 percent in the second quarter of 2014, its lowest rate in five years. And those pinched finances are crimping growth: Indonesia spent the equivalent of 2 percent of GDP on infrastructure in 2013, compared to 5.4 percent in India and 4.6 percent in Malaysia, according to Credit Suisse, and the inability to get from here to there in the enormous archipelago makes it difficult to for companies to ship goods or expand to new locations. According to the World Bank, the country’s poor transportation network makes it “cheaper to import oranges from China than to source them from Kalimantan.”
Indonesia’s own master plan says the country needs to spend $191 billion over the next four years on infrastructure to achieve an annual nominal growth rate of 12 percent, slightly higher than the disappointing 10.4 percent achieved in 2013. But the government is due to spend just $52 billion of that amount, with the hope that state-owned enterprises and public-private partnerships will make up the difference. But even that $52 billion is at risk. Credit Suisse says fuel subsidy reforms are critical if Jokowi is to achieve his campaign goals of building 2,000 km of new roads, 10 new seaports, airports and industrial zones, and a mass transportation system.
As governor of Jakarta, Jokowi proved he knows how to get infrastructure projects done, having jumpstarted a stalled $1.5 billion monorail project and dredged canals to combat the city’s chronic flooding. But the people wanted those things. They will not be as keen about higher gas prices. To his credit, Jokowi campaigned on the promise of reforms of all kinds, and many believed he was toying with an 83 percent hike to bring prices closer to market rate over a five-year period. The only question is whether he’s popular enough to pull it off.
Above: Indonesian President-elect Joko Widodo greets supporters with his ‘three-finger greeting’ symbolizing the third of Indonesia’s five principles, “The Unity of Indonesia”, during a gathering in Jakarta. Photo by AP Images/Dita Alangkara
David Cameron assures Solar Trade Association that Government and industry will continue to work together on laying the foundations for the successful future of solar in the UK.
original source; www.renewableenergyfocus.com
The Solar Trade Association has released a letter from UK Prime Minister David Cameron, in which Britain’s leader responds to the group’s recent request, that the UK Government “act to secure the UK solar industry and strengthen the country’s position on the thriving global solar market.” Specifically, the Solar Trade Association has voiced its serious concerns about the levels of uncertainty in the solar power industry as a result of proposed policy changes by the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change. These proposed policy changes, the group argues, would restrict solar’s growth in cost-effective applications such as large-scale rooftop and ground-mounted schemes.
In its letter to Prime Minister Cameron, the Solar Trade Association stated: “Just a short period of stable Government support is needed to deliver subsidy-free solar in the UK [by the end of the next Parliament]. We very much welcome the very positive benefits solar parity will deliver for UK businesses, including improving international competitiveness, lower energy price inflation and improved electricity sector competition.”
Prime Minister Cameron indeed acknowledged the positive impact of solar, adding: “It is clear from the rapid deployment of solar PV in the UK over the last four years, that is has the potential to play a valuable part of the UK’s renewable energy mix.” The Prime Minister, in his response, went on to say that “solar PV remains one of the priority renewable energy technologies set out in the Government’s Renewables Energy Roadmap and its subsequent updates.”
However, these concerns have arisen due to plans to close the current subsidy scheme for large solar farms, a move which has angered industry representatives.
The STA’s Leonie Greene criticised Cameron for failing to recognise that the planned changes will fail to boost the wider solar market, arguing that an additional boost to the feed-in tariff for large rooftop installations was needed if the government is to realise its vision of shifting the market away from solar farms and towards large rooftop projects.
“The solar industry has done its bit to lay the foundations for the successful future of UK solar,” she said. “But we can’t start building the house if the architect keeps changing the designs. Solar can become subsidy-free next Parliament, but only if government provides a level playing field and stable policy.”
To read more and follow the debate see the following articles;
UK Prime Minister responds to industry group’s call
Renewable Energy Focus – 21 Aug 2014
PM sees bright future for solar
reNews-19 Aug 2014
Cameron defends latest proposed solar subsidy cuts
Business Green-19 Aug 2014
Cameron talks up solar’s potential under CfDs
Solar Power Portal-19 Aug 2014