8 Responses to Energy and Global Warming News for February 10: China to create powerful, new national renewable energy center
China plans to build a national renewable energy center to further support development of the industry, an energy official said yesterday.
The center will be responsible for policy-making, key project and program management, market and industrial operations, database and information platform establishment and international exchange program coordination, Han Wenke, director general of Energy Research Institute under the National Development and Reform Commission, said yesterday.
The establishment of the center is still in the preliminary planning stages, Han said at the launch of the Sino-Danish Renewable Energy Development Program.
The Danish government will invest 100 million Danish krone (130 million yuan) in the program, which is slated to last until 2013.
The combination of Denmark’s sector experience and China’s strong economic position offer a good starting point for the program.
Nasdaq and an arm of Deutsche Bank launched a global alternative energy and clean technology stock index on Wednesday that attempts to provide a pure signal of how the business is performing.
DB Climate Change Advisors, the climate change investment and research branch of Deutsche Bank’s asset management business, and Nasdaq OMX Group, Inc said the DB NASDAQ OMX Clean Tech Index is comprised of 119 companies.
Mark Fulton, Deutsche’s global head of climate change investment research, said companies in the index derive at least a third of their revenues from clean technology. And 106 of the companies have more than half their revenues in the space.
“These are companies that have very definitely declared a large stake in the clean tech sectors,” Fulton told Reuters. “We tried to produce an index that sends a purer, concentrated set of signals.”
Presenting the outcome of the Copenhagen climate change summit in a positive light, the top US climate change negotiator said on Tuesday that the interim accord reached in the Danish capital would give the international community more time to craft a binding agreement.
Todd Stern, the State Department’s special envoy for climate change, said things were far from certain until President Barack Obama arrived late in the negotiations to help craft the “Copenhagen Accord” with the leaders of China, India, Brazil and South Africa.
“It became clear the positions of key parties were far part,” said Stern. “The UN process was on the rocks. The president was extremely effective, particularly on issues of transparency and verification.”
Although the December summit may well be remembered chiefly as a “snarling, chaotic event,” Stern believes that a binding agreement can be built on the back of the Copenhagen Accord.
The interim agreement involves new commitments on transparency, the promise of $100 billion in additional resources by 2020 to help poor countries adapt to a low-carbon economy, and a broad agreement to stabilize the increase in global temperatures at less than 2° Celsius.
Funds from the $787 billion stimulus package and other federal assistance kept growth in the renewable energy sector strong in 2009, a trend that will probably persist as federal investment continues to pay off over the coming year, industry leaders said in a teleconference Tuesday.
The picture was especially good for the solar industry, which created almost 20,000 new jobs in 2009 while adding 470 megawatts in generating capacity, a record, according to Rhone Resch, the president of the Solar Energy Industries Association. The solar industry could create as many as 45,000 new jobs in 2010 if Congress extends several tax incentives and grant programs set to expire at the end of the year, Mr. Resch said.
“I think 2010 is going to be a bigger year than 2009,” he said. “Most analysts expect the solar industry to grow by 100 percent this year.”
Yet while the near-term outlook for renewables is mostly positive, the industry’s long-term prospects will be shaped significantly by energy legislation under consideration by Congress, the executives said. At the top of renewable executives’ wish list was the passage of a national renewable energy standard, which would require all utilities to generate a certain fraction of electricity from sources like wind and solar.
Legislation introduced in the US Senate yesterday would encourage the installation of 10 million solar power systems and 200,000 solar water heaters on the rooftops of homes and businesses over the next decade.
The Ten Million Solar Roofs and Ten Million Gallons of Solar Hot Water Act was introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), chairman of the Senate’s green jobs subcommittee, along with nine cosponsors.
A similar bill was introduced in the US House by Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee.
It would authorize rebates and other incentives to cover up to half the cost of the solar power and heating systems.