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Agriculture Image Credit: Solar panel, wind turbine & globe via Shutterstock

Published on October 11th, 2013 | by David L Roberts

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10 Top Cleantech & Environment Stories From September

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October 11th, 2013 by
 
Here’s my latest monthly report of the “Top 10” most compelling non-CleanTechnica clean energy and environment-related news stories encountered last month. These articles may have an impact on your business, your life, and the world we live in. Or, at the very least, might surprise you about what’s going on. Over a thousand articles were reviewed across various energy platforms, 30+ were found to be of particular interest and are available in my newsletter upon request. The 10 most interesting to me are shown here, most important posted last.

Image Credit: Solar panel, wind turbine & globe via Shutterstock

Image Credit: Solar panel, wind turbine & globe via Shutterstock

10. Here’s a report of renewable energy platforms for 2011 and 2012, highlighting the top wind and solar companies and the top consuming countries. In summary, renewables are entering a 5-year period of essential innovation, consolidation, and bankruptcies. Late bond payments and defaults on $8.4B in debt abound for recent Chinese leaders: Suntech, LDK, GCL, ZK and Yingli.

9. GlobalData reports that renewable energy sources will account for 20% of the global energy mix by 2030, with natural gas rapidly transitioning, but with solar thermal being the predominant renewable.

8. A study of the 6000 power plants in the US reports that the “50 dirtiest” produce 33% of US GHG emissions, but only 16% of the electricity. They account for 2% of the global GHG total and, if they were a country, would produce more than Canada, Germany, and North Korea. They are located in coal-lobbying states of Alabama, Missouri, Texas, and Georgia.

7. There’s more scientific evidence that manmade contributions to global warming are responsible for many recent extreme weather events. The report states that as GHG emissions and global temps increase, agricultural yields will decline; storm severity will worsen, producing flooding; droughts will extend; and forest fire burning acreage will increase. Germany’s Environment Minister claims humans are the primary cause of global warming.

6. New “leaked” report from climate watchdog IPCC, challenges the direct relationship between atmospheric CO2 and global temperature warming. Whereas CO2 levels have increased 1997-2012, global temps (they say) have risen at a quarter of the rate predicted in 2007, leading to a renewed debate about climate change correlations. Stay tuned, as this could be huge!

co2 emissions global

Projected increases in global CO2 emissions over the next century by developed and non-developed countries. Note, we are already at the stabilization point.

5. According to Climate Central, the current amount of climate warming CO2 in the atmosphere has already “locked in” over 4 feet of rising tides along US coastlines by 2100. This will displace over 3 million folks in over 300 communities, most notably Florida, Texas, and the East Coast.

4. Giant Honeywell, a Fortune 100 Co, introduces interface software that enables partner organizations to integrate their energy management (EMS) programs with Honeywell’s Wi-Fi thermostats. Not to be outdone, French energy giant Schneider delves into the home EMS market with its “Wiser” line of hardware and software. Both are principally for the home EMS market with adaptability to smartphones, tablets, or computer.

3. Energy management (EMS) programs that are widely adopted across Europe and the US are finally taking hold in China. Their first formal program is being piloted in industrial Dezhou City between the Dezhou Energy Conservation Center, 52 Chinese industrial companies and the Institute of Industrial Productivity (IIP) — a global company based in DC.

2. Surprisingly, the oil & gas industry accounted for 49% of all the investments in CO2 mitigation technologies 2000-2012. Of the $336B total invested, it breaks out this way: O&G invested $165B ($84B is for shale gas alone), private industry $91B, and the federal govt $79B.

THE NUMBER ONE CLEAN ENERGY ARTICLE IN SEPTEMBER

1. The largest fossil fuel company, Exxon/Mobil, admits that global warming is real, that fossil fuels are the main cause, and that society must shift to renewable power sources. Embedded chart shows progression of GHG pollution thru 2100, suggesting we have already reached the point of safe “stabilization.”

BONUS NEWS FEATURE – FOR FUN

Keep your eyes open — and nostrils closed — for developments on this discovery by researchers in Australia. The Mediterranean legume — Biserrula — when fed to livestock, is shown to reduce methane flatulence in livestock by 90%. This is important because livestock are estimated by some researchers to contribute at least 51% of the worlds’ GHG emissions.

Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

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About the Author

is a marketing consultant to renewable energy startups.



  • dave roberts

    James,

    Thanks for the catch. The livestock number should be 11% not 51%. Here’s what I submitted originally to be posted:

    BONUS NEWS FEATURE – FOR FUN
    Keep your eyes open — and nostrils closed — for developments on this
    discovery by researchers in Australia. The Mediterranean
    legume — Biserrula — when fed to livestock, is shown to reduce methane
    flatulence in livestock by 90%. http://www.sciencewa.net.au/topics/agriculture/item/2368-exotic-legume-improves-livestock-feeding.html Important
    because livestock are estimated to contribute 11% of the worlds’ GHG emissions.

  • Bob_Wallace

    RE: #1 – All the major oil corporations acknowledged the role of CO2 in causing climate change some time back.

    June, 2012

    ExxonMobil tells its investors that “rising greenhouse gas emissions pose risks to society and ecosystems that could be significant.” Chevron says on its website: “[T]he use of fossil fuels to meet the world’s energy needs is a contributor to an increase in greenhouse gases … There is a widespread view that this increase is leading to climate change, with adverse effects on the environment.” ConocoPhillips goes further: “ConocoPhillips recognizes that human activity, including the burning of fossil fuels, is contributing to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that can lead to adverse changes in global climate.” BP even cites the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on its website. And Shell urges that “CO2 emissions must be reduced to avoid serious climate change.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/issue/

    ————————————————————————————————————–

    More…

    Exxon Mobil

    Environmental performance (including GHG emissions) is assessed and recognized through the annual planning and budget process. During this process, key strategies and objectives are established for each business line for both the short and long term. During the initial planning meeting and then each quarter, results are stewarded against prior commitments.

    Society currently faces, and will continue to face, two major, global energy-related challenges. The first is to maintain and expand energy supplies to meet growing global demand. The second challenge is to address the societal and environmental risks posed by rising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

    Managing GHG emissions and energy challenges requires action by individuals, companies, and governments. This will require an integrated set of solutions, and for ExxonMobil, this includes increasing efficiency; advancing lower-carbon energy technologies; and supporting effective, national and international policies. Our efforts aim not only to reduce emissions from our operations, but also to reduce emissions by end users of energy.

    At ExxonMobil, our strategy to reduce GHG emissions is focused on increasing our own energy efficiency in the short term; implementing current proven emission reducing technologies in the near and medium term; and developing breakthrough, game-changing

    technologies for the long term.

    While climate change remains extraordinarily complex, increasing scientific evidence makes it clear that rising GHG emissions pose risks to society and ecosystems. These risks justify the development and implementation of responsible actions by governments, companies, and individuals.

    ExxonMobil believes that the long-term objective of a climate change policy should be to reduce the risk of serious impacts on society and ecosystems, while considering the importance of energy to global economic development.

    http://www.exxonmobil.com/Corporate/Files/cdp_investor_2011.pdf

    ————————————-

    Chevron

    At Chevron, we recognize and share the concerns of governments and the public about climate change. The use of fossil fuels to meet the world’s energy needs is a contributor to an increase in greenhouse gases (GHGs)—mainly carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane—in the Earth’s atmosphere. There is a widespread view that this increase is leading to climate change, with adverse effects on the environment.

    http://www.chevron.com/globalissues/climatechange/

    ————————————-

    Conoco Phillips

    ConocoPhillips recognizes that human activity, including the burning of fossil fuels, is contributing to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that can lead to adverse changes in global climate.

    http://www.conocophillips.com/EN/susdev/policies/climate_change_position/Pages/index.aspx

    ————————————-

    Royal Dutch Shell

    Population growth and economic development are driving energy demand. All energy sources will be needed, with fossil fuels meeting the bulk of demand. At the same time CO2 emissions must be reduced to avoid serious climate change. To manage CO2, governments and industry must work together. Government action is needed and we support an international framework that puts a price on CO2, encouraging the use of all CO2-reducing technologies. We believe the best way Shell can help secure a sustainable energy future is by focusing on four main areas: natural gas, biofuels, carbon capture and storage, and energy efficiency.

    http://www.shell.com/home/content/environment_society/environment/climate_change/

    —————————————-

    Saudi Aramco

    Saudi Aramco shares the world’s concern that climate change is a long-term challenge, and we are working to play a leading role in developing and implementing technological solutions in a responsible manner.

    http://www.aramcooverseas.com/en/about-us/about-saudi-aramco/

    ———————————————————–

    Hess

    We encourage the U.S. government to work with other countries to reach a global solution to climate change that encompasses developed and developing countries. We believe that establishing a global emissions market will facilitate emissions reductions in the most cost effective manner. Our experience in the European Union, its trading scheme and emissions reduction projects, provide guidance on how we manage greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions for our operations in other parts of the world.

    Our company recognizes the financial implications, risks and opportunities that come with climate change. We continue to evaluate a full range of options to responsibly manage our greenhouse gas emissions

    http://www.hess.com/reports/sustainability/US/2008/Environmental%20Performance/ClimateChange.aspx

  • http://electrobatics.wordpress.com/ arne-nl

    Why is CleanTechnica pushing denialist nonsense? The daily mail publishes these kind of ‘the debate is not over’ stories to sow doubt and keep their readers happy.

    CleanTechnica should not go down this path of promoting blog science as truth.

  • JamesWimberley

    10: The linked article about debt woes in Chinese solar does not mention market leder Yingli, which is not SFIK in any financial trouble as you suggest.

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