Renewable Energy

Can We Awaken the Sleeping Giant?

Friday, December 1, 2006
A Renewable Future for US is Achievable by Daniel Kammen Dec. 2006 World Rivers Review The sorry statistics are by now well-known: the United States has just 5% of the world's population, but produces 25% of its greenhouse gas emissions. Efforts to reverse this trend have lagged significantly, and the US continues to block efforts toward international progress. Here, Dan Kammen – one of the nation's top energy experts – lays out a plan to de-carbonize the US economy.Renewable energy science and technology has undergone dramatic advances over the past several decades. Renewab

China Speeds Up Renewable Energy Development

Friday, December 1, 2006
Statistics show that in 2005, a total of US$38 billion was invested in renewable energy development worldwide. China topped the list with a commitment of US$6 billion, excluding spending on large hydropower projects. China has good reason to speed up its renewable development, as the country is fairly poor in many energy resources in per capita terms. China's proven reserves of petroleum, natural gas and coal could last 15, 30, and 80 years, compared with world averages of 45, 61, and 230 years. At a Sino-European economic summit held in September in Germany, Chinese Premier Wen J

Harvesting Sweet Energy from Africa's Sugar Industry

Friday, December 1, 2006
Sugar is king in Mauritius, accounting for 90% of cropland, 25% of foreign exchange earnings, and supporting 1 in every 18 residents of this tiny island nation. But sugar is not the only export coming from the cane fields – electricity is a valuable byproduct of the harvest.For nearly 50 years, Mauritius has been using agricultural waste from its sugar industry to help electrify the nation. Not only does Mauritius have the highest electricity access rate in Africa – often cited at 100% – but more than a third of its electricity comes from power plants using bagasse, the fibrous waste fr

World Bank: Lending Up For Coal and Large Hydro, Down For Renewables

According to a report soon to be released by Oil Change International, the World Bank Group increased its lending for coal by an astonishing 256% in 2008. Lending for large hydropower projects increased from $751 million to $1,007 million. Support for renewable energy stagnated at a low level. According to the new report, World Bank support for all fossil fuels combined amounted to $3,061 million in 2008. The Bank’s lending for energy efficiency increased sharply to $1.192 million. In comparison, support for new renewable energy technologies such as wind, solar, biomass and hydropower pr

World Bank lending for coal up 256%

Wednesday, October 8, 2008 Relying exclusively on the World Bank's own figures, a new analysis shows World Bank Group lending to coal, oil and gas is up 94% from 2007, reaching over $3 billion. Coal lending alone has increased an astonishing 256% in the last year. This is the same World Bank that would like to lead - and control the finances of - global efforts to fight climate change. By comparison, the Bank reported that renewable energy and energy efficiency lending is up 87%, with the vast majority going to support large hydropower projects and s

Strategies to Scale-up Renewable Energy Market in Africa

Friday, April 11, 2008
A position paper developed by NGOs and other stakeholders for the International Conference on Renewable Energy in Africa, 16-18 April 2008, Dakar, Senegal Coordinated by Community Research and Development Centre, Nigeria Preamble Energy is essential for socio-economic, human and technological development. Although there is no MDG on energy, access to energy is a fundamental ingredient to achieve the MDGs. Access to clean modern energy services is an enormous challenge facing the African continent. Africa accounts for about 3% of world energy consumption, the lowest per capita modern e

World Bank behind the curve on renewable energy

A new report shows that investment in wind and solar energy surpassed support for large hydro projects in 2007. The World Bank has missed the trend on emerging renewable technologies, and continues to focus its support on large dams. According to its latest status report on renewable energy and energy efficiency, the World Bank spent $1,433 million on hydropower, new renewables and energy efficiency projects in FY 2007. The figure somewhat overstates the case in that it includes $151 million in carbon finance and $128 million in resources from the Global Environment Facility, neither o

The Silver Lining in South Africa's Power Crisis

Tuesday, March 25, 2008
March 2008 World Rivers Review  South Africa is in the grip of a severe energy crisis, complete with rolling blackouts, industries stopping operations, much blaming and frustration - and plenty of opportunities. The crisis now squeezing Africa's most industrialized (and electrified) nation has been brewing for some time. Eskom is one of the largest single electricity utilities in the world - it produces 96% of South Africa's electricity and 85% of Sub-Saharan Africa's electricity. Its electricity is the cheapest and among the dirtiest in the world. South Africa has be

Here Comes the Sun: Taking Solar Power to Grid-Scale

A line-concentrator solar power plant in the Mojave Desert, California.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
March 2008 World Rivers ReviewWhat renewable energy source is highly reliable and predictable, especially productive during the hours of highest electricity use, can be scaled small enough to power one building or big enough to electrify a town, is a proven technology whose costs keep dropping, creates more jobs than gas or coal, and could, with a major rollout, displace 2-3 billion tons of carbon annually worldwide? The answer is concentrating solar power, which uses mirrors and the power of the sun to run steam turbines. Unlike some other energy innovations being put forth today - "cle

Micro-Hydro Powers Rural Development in Cameroon

Building a Community-based Microhydro Project in Cameroon
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
World Rivers Review, August 2006 It is cooking time in Bansoa, and rush-hour for Mrs. Tagme at her corn mill and cassava grater. She offers her services to other women in the small village situated in the hilly West Province of Cameroon. Her corn mill and cassava grater are the only ones within a 5-kilometer radius. A small Pelton turbine connected with pipes to the creek behind her house turns her mill. In the evening she connects it to a generator for electricity. Her children use the light for additional learning hours; she listens to the radio and can even offer TV evenings to friends. T


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