May 9 new: Denmark tops cleantech producers, with China #2, U.S. #17; Reid preps bill to cut oil subsidies

Denmark tops list of clean technology producers; China is No. 2; US at 17 is rapidly expanding

Denmark earns the biggest share of its national revenue from producing windmills and other clean technologies, the United States is rapidly expanding its clean-tech sector, but no country can match China’s pace of growth, according to a new report obtained by The Associated Press.

China’s production of green technologies has grown by a remarkable 77 per cent a year, according to the report, which was commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature and which will be unveiled on Monday at an industry conference in Amsterdam.

“The Chinese have made, on the political level, a conscious decision to capture this market and to develop this market aggressively,” said Donald Pols, an economist with the WWF.

Denmark, a longtime leader in wind energy, derives 3.1 percent of its gross domestic product from renewable energy technology and energy efficiency, or about euro6.5 billion ($9.4 billion), the report said.

China is the largest producer in money terms, earning more than euro44 billion ($64 billion), or 1.4 percent of its gross domestic product.

The U.S. ranks 17 in the production of clean technologies with 0.3 percent of GDP, or euro31.5 billion ($45 billion), but those industries have been expanding at a rate of 28 percent per year since 2008.

Renewable energy fund will invest in Louisiana

A California investment firm has created a $250 million private equity investment fund that will provide capital to renewable energy and clean technology businesses with operations in Louisiana.

SAIL Capital Partners, an Irvine clean energy venture capital firm, through its subsidiary SAIL Sustainable Partners of Louisiana LLC, has created the Louisiana Sustainability Fund. The private equity fund intends to attract investment from private pension funds in Louisiana, said Walter Schindler, the fund’s chairman and a native of New Orleans, who now is based in California.

The companies that the fund invests in will also be required to have some operational presence in Louisiana, though they would not have to be based here.

“They have to have some definable nexus to the state of Louisiana that is significant,” Schindler said. “But we’ll judge them on a case by case basis.”

The investment firm chose Louisiana, Schindler said, because the state’s low operating costs for businesses and tax and economic incentives set the stage for larger returns.

“It’s a great place to go to escape from investing in China, for example,” Schindler said.

Reid primes Senate for controversial oil-tax bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) signaled Monday that the Senate would soon turn to a controversial piece of legislation to do away with billions of dollars in tax breaks for large oil producers and increase breaks for clean-energy producers.

As Reid welcomed Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) to the Senate Monday afternoon. he noted the upper chamber would soon have opportunities to “make tough choices” and referred to the upcoming energy legislation.

“We’ll continue our conversation about how to save taxpayer money and lower our nation’s deficit,” Reid said.

“We have to recognize that we cannot do either so long as we keep giving away money to oil companies who clearly don’t need taxpayer handouts,” Reid said. “As gas prices and oil company profits keep rising, each senator will soon have the opportunity to stand with millionaires or with the middle class.”

Details are still emerging on when the bill might hit the floor. It represents the first controversial Senate-originated piece of legislation the upper chamber will take up this year.

U.S. gas prices hit $4 a gallon, but may retreat

The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States rose 11.98 cents in the past two weeks, but last week’s fall in crude oil prices may signal lower costs to come, an industry analyst said on Sunday.

The national average for self-serve, regular unleaded gas was $4 per gallon on May 6, up 11.98 cents from April 22, according to the nationwide Lundberg Survey.

This was still below the all-time high of $4.11 on July, 11, 2008, and last week’s fall in crude oil prices may lead to a 8- to 12-cent drop in prices at the pump over the next few weeks, according to Trilby Lundberg, the survey’s editor.

“If the current oil price stays, gas prices will slide,” Lundberg said, adding that gas prices had peaked around May 4, prior to a $12.06 drop in crude oil prices between May 4 and May 6.

There is already some evidence that gas prices are on a downward trend. In the wholesale market, which is made up of retailers and commercial buyers, prices are already dropping. Unbranded gasoline is down 21 cents per gallon, while branded gasoline is down 14 cents per gallon since Monday, May 2, Lundberg said.

12 Responses to May 9 new: Denmark tops cleantech producers, with China #2, U.S. #17; Reid preps bill to cut oil subsidies

  1. Michael T says:

    NOAA/NCDC released their monthly U.S. State of the climate report for April 2011:

    •The average U.S. temperature in April was 52.9 degrees F (11.6 degrees C), which is 0.9 degrees F (0.5 degrees C) above the long-term (1901-2000) average. April precipitation was 0.7 inch (18 mm) above the long-term average, the tenth wettest such month in 117 years of data.

    •April was a month of historic climate extremes across much of the United States, including: record breaking precipitation that resulted in historic flooding; recurrent violent weather systems that broke records for tornado and severe weather outbreaks; and wildfire activity that scorched more than twice the area of any April this century.

    U.S. temperature & precipitation data:

  2. paulm says:
    Methane contamination of water rises up to 1km near to shale gas sites, study shows | Environment |

  3. paulm says:

    surely the risk of a nuclear melt dow is going up?

    Many have been hired to handle a wave of applications from nuclear power plant operators seeking permission to operate for 20 years beyond the 40 years granted by their original licenses.

    A number of those original licenses will be expiring in the next 10 years.

    So far, 63 of the nation’s 104 operating nuclear power facilities have received a license renewal. Virtually none have been turned down since the agency granted the first renewal in 2000.

  4. paulm says:

    Japan comes to some sense….

    Japan Scraps Plan for New Nuclear Plants

    Japan would abandon plans to build new nuclear reactors, saying his country needed to “start from scratch” in creating a new energy policy.

    On Tuesday, Japan was reminded of the human costs of the disaster, when the first group of 92 people paid two-hour visits to their homes in the town of Kawauchi, within the 12-mile zone around the plant that was evacuated after the nuclear crisis.

    The Kan government appeared to agonize for weeks over whether to allow even such brief trips. Officials were concerned about whether civilians could be kept safe from exposure to potentially high radiation doses around the plant.

    Complicating their decision was the lack of scientific knowledge on the health effects of the radiation doses now seen in many of the evacuated areas.

  5. paulm says:

    This flooding is now cycling in about a 5yr cycle. We are not prepared even at this stage for Climate Change.
    It is the Great Decline and its starting to accelerate.

    La Niña and global warming blamed as torrential rains swamp Colombia

    It has never rained so much in Colombia. “Over the past 10 months we have registered five or six times more rainfall than usual,” says weather specialist Ricardo Lozano. Torrential rain and flooding have affected more than three-quarters of the country. The most recent Red Cross bulletin reports 425 fatalities and 3 million disaster victims.

  6. Prokaryotes says:

    Watch a short clip how glaciers on germanys “Zugspitze” get shielded during the summer time, vs the evil sun.

  7. Lewis C says:

    From the BBC website:

    Japan ‘to review energy policy’ over nuclear crisis

    Japan is to reconsider plans to increase its reliance on nuclear power in the wake of the crisis at the Fukushima plant.
    Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Japan had to start from scratch with its energy plans following the disaster.
    . . . . .
    Nuclear plants currently supply about 30% of Japan’s electricity.
    Addressing a news conference, Mr Kan described nuclear power as a “major pillar” of Japanese society, along with fossil fuels.
    But he said other forms of energy would also be key in the future.

    “The current basic energy policy envisages that over 50% of total electricity supply will come from nuclear power while more than 20% will come from renewable power in 2030,” he said.

    “But that basic plan needs to be reviewed now from scratch after this big incident.”

    “Better safety must be ensured in nuclear power while renewables need to be promoted.”

    He said greater focus would also be placed on ways of conserving energy, turning Japan into an “energy-saving society”.

    Given the intense pressure Kan is under from both the nuclear lobby and the entrenched government beaurocracy, this sounds as if he is starting to inform Japanese society that beside the closure nuclear plants at risk from seismic shocks, there won’t be any further building of nuclear plants in Japan.

    If Japan actually applies its RD&D capacities to non-fossil energies and efficiency to displace the planned 20% of national supply from new nuclear plants, on top of the planned 20% renewables by 2030, its profile in the global market is going to rise substantially. Its exceptional energy resources in terms of low-intermittency offshore wave and baseload geothermal seem likely to attract major investment in these options, allowing globally significant technology developments and export capacities.

    Given that the US profile in renewables markets was already likely to fall to third place after China and Germany, this news from Japan may just be the first hint that under present US policy constraints it will actually fall to fourth.

    So when will we see the rest of US industry – particularly manufacturing and finance – telling the fossil lobby obstructionists where to get off ?
    And to what extent will rising public anger at gas-prices and oil company profits advance that day ?



  8. paulm says:

    @5 Japan Scraps Plan for New Nuclear Plants

    demonstrates clearly how we manage risk. How it is low balled on till its in your face and then theirs reaction.
    I guess we are a chance taking species and this some how has something to do with survival of the fittest.

    It would do us better if we had more females at higher policy making levels. There would be much more rational decisions being made.

  9. Mike says:

    Ocean Acidification: Carbon Dioxide Makes Life Difficult for Algae

    ScienceDaily (May 10, 2011) — The acidification of the world’s oceans could have major consequences for the marine environment. New research shows that coccoliths, which are an important part of the marine environment, dissolve when seawater acidifies.

  10. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Like Maggie Thatcher Paulm #9? It’s still the same system with the same dynamics, ME

  11. Leif says:

    The Green Awakening Economy Rocks! Imagine what would happen if we would all row in the same direction?