Happy New Year from Around the Globe

Happy New Year to you all!

It has been quite some time since you heard from me. Hope you didn’t think I was gone for good, but sometimes in life tactical retreat is a necessity. I didn’t retreat on you, I just took a little time off to strategize on how to serve you better.

While I was away I kept thinking about the best ways one would keep people interested, engaged and even win their concern about issues of the environment. Like most of you are aware, sometimes being an environmentalist can be very depressing especially when one starts to think deeply about stuff like global warming, world poverty and climate change. It’s no wonder some people have chosen to put blinders and ear plugs on so that they may not see or hear a thing. However, that’s not the right thing to do in a situation where our lives are on the line such is the case with climate change.

So this semester onwards, I have chosen to, on top of my regular blogs such as this one you’re reading, create a weekly segment that I have called “Around the Globe.” Around the Globe will present current news, mostly positive, about what people, organizations and governments around the world are doing to ensure a better life for all on planet Earth. This week the segment focuses on clean and renewable energy, but in the future we will go around the globe in an expansive manner and look at advancements in several sectors at a go.

Around the Globe
This week during my journey around the globe, I stumbled upon several astounding things that I wish to share with you. For purposes of space, I will limit my self to three that I believe deserve your attention the most:

According to reports coming out of the recently concluded International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) third assembly held in Abu Dhabi, renewable energy capacity is increasing globally. According to details revealed on the first day of the two-day IRENA meet, the installed capacity of worldwide solar photovoltaic sources currently stands at 100 gigawatts (GW), having grown 10-fold over the last five years. The capacity for wind-generated power has also reached 280 GW globally, including more than 100 GW in Europe alone. “The rapid deployment of renewables, combined with high learning rates, is leading to significant cost declines, and this is helping wind and solar technologies to become competitive with fossil fuels in many circumstances,” Ameen – IRENA Director General. During the same conference, IRENA launched a global renewable energy atlas, which incorporates solar and wind resources and infrastructure across the globe. IRENA hopes to include geo-thermal, bio-energy and marine energy in the datasets behind the map by next year. All these will help countries to assess their renewable energy potential, as well as supporting companies considering investments in renewables.

Over now to India, where what may be termed as the world’s first solar powered fishing boat went live late last year. According to the Hindu Business Line, fishing could become more environment-friendly and commercially viable with the introduction of a fishing trawler that runs on solar energy. The boat owner had this to tell Business Line reporters when they interviewed him, “My old boat consumed enormous amount of petrol, diesel and kerosene resulting in huge expenditure. Using solar boat for fishing does not entail any expenditure on this front.” The solar boat was developed by two private companies in India.

Now closer to home, in Columbus, Ohio, according to media reports the chairman of Public Utilities Commission of Ohio last week joined a 3-1 vote rejecting American Electric Power’s proposal to incorporate power from the Turning Point Solar project into its renewable energy portfolio. The vote ignored the advice of commission staff. The sooner we embrace cleaner energy sources the better.

Until next week, stay eco-conscious.

Sources:

IRENA Story:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/15/irena_renewables_map/

http://gulfnews.com/business/general/renewable-energy-capacity-increasing-globally-1.1131659

Solar boat story:
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/states/solar-fishing-trawler-launched-in-gujarat/article4306696.ece

PUC’s story:
http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Ohio-regulator-blasts-renewable-energy-on-Twitter-4192470.php

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