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Published on December 24th, 2009 | by Susan Kraemer


Another Economy Might be Beginning Escape From Fossil Energy Dependence

December 24th, 2009 by  

Here’s yet another reason to ignore the fear-mongering of fossil fuel companies. Another nation has reduced greenhouse gas emissions, while not taking an economic hit. Canada’s top 10 industrial greenhouse gas emitters reduced their emissions by 9% in a year, while the economy grew in the meantime by 0.5%.

Syncrude Canada alone accounted for a startling 18% reduction, among the top ten, by simply investing in efficiency technologies to reduce the heat required to extract oil. The US Department of Energy this year demonstrated a similar technology to the oil industry here. Ormat co-produces electrical power on oil-fields by tapping into the waste heat fluids to produce a temporary man-made  “geothermal” power.


This is further indication of a historical trend showing that cutting greenhouse gas emissions doesn’t have to damage economies. While Canada did no worse than before while switching to more renewable energy —  some economies that adopt more renewable energy are actually thriving:

Europe’s results, for example, as tallied by the greenhouse gas registry at the European Comission show that Europe is on track to not just meet but to exceed its Kyoto goals to get 8% reductions below 1990 levels by 2012. The first fifteen signatories (EU-15) will meet and exceed their 8% target  and 10 of the remaining 12 member states will meet and exceed their 6% target below 1990 levels by 2012.

Total EU-27 emissions are now estimated to be 13.6% lower than the base year level 1990, yet

Europe’s economy grew 44% from 1990 to 2007.

A New Energy Finance study has some interesting insight into Europe’s success. Within just five years of the introduction of its greenhouse gas emissions-trading system; the cost of greenhouse gases is now a factor in investment decisions within the fossil industry.Dirtier energy plants are beginning to be closed down, and replaced with cleaner energy sources. Kyoto succeeded.

”By 2020 the European generating fleet will be materially cleaner than it is today,” said Guy Turner, the research firm’s director of carbon market research.

And China is now investing $9 billion every month on clean energy. It is about to host a tradeshow in the largest solar powered building on the planet.

China initially invested $30 billion in renewable energy last year… and its economy had rebounded at 8% by mid 2009. Since this is happening even as exports drop sharply to a recession hit world, one can only assume that internal renewable energy infrastructure is accounting for some of this growth.

Image: ClimateProtectionCampaign

Source: Clean  Break

More from Susan Kraemer: Journalists on Twitter 


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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.

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