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The Great Transition
Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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The Chinese Solar Machine

The Chinese Solar Machine | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Chinese manufacturers have ­dominated the international ­market for conventional solar ­panels by ­building bigger ­factories faster. Now they will need to ­innovate to maintain their lead.

 

Excellent article in MIT's Technology Review on China's manufacturing of solar panels.

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UK's faith in nuclear power threatens renewables, says German energy expert

UK's faith in nuclear power threatens renewables, says German energy expert | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Jochen Flasbarth, who is advising German government on its nuclear phase-out, says UK's wind and solar industry will suffer...

 

Maybe Germany should also take the lead of Europe's energy policy as it is doing for its economic crisis?

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Denmark aims for 100 percent renewable energy in 2050

Denmark aims for 100 percent renewable energy in 2050 | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

(Reuters) - "Danish government proposals on Friday called for sourcing just over half of its electricity from wind turbines by 2020 and all of its energy from renewable sources in 2050."

 

 

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Renewables Grid Initiative: European Grid Conference 2011

Renewables Grid Initiative: European Grid Conference 2011 | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The need for a radical overhaul of Europe's electricity grid faces several major challenges. One of them is public acceptance. A coalition of corporate stakeholders and NGOs discussed this with European policymakers at an interesting conference in the European Parliament  this week.

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Solar power industry responsible for large lead emissions

Solar power industry responsible for large lead emissions | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"The study appearing in the journal Energy Policy shows that solar power is the cause of large lead emissions in China and India. The reason for this is that solar power systems in these countries rely heavily on lead batteries for energy storage, due to their inadequate power grids. This could potentially lead to a release of more than 2.4 million tons of lead into the environment, forming a danger not just for the environment itself, but also for human health."

There is no such thing as a free lunch - even renewable energy has its environmental challenges.

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European proposals: EU planners hint at fairytale future

Imagine a future in which Europe derives virtually all its power from thousands of windmills and other sources of renewable energy.

 

The FT's Joshua Chaffin calls the renewable energy scenario in the EU's upcoming Energy Roadmap a "fairytale" and warns that ultimately consumers will have to pay the price for the low-carbon future. Problem is, Joshua, that continuing to rely on "extreme" or unconventional fossil fuel energy will be no less than a "nightmare" (for climate, environment and also in price we will pay for our energy). Sometimes fairy tales do come true.

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Robert Rapier: The Scientific Challenges To Replacing Oil with Renewables

Robert Rapier: The Scientific Challenges To Replacing Oil with Renewables | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
So, assuming the Peak Oil camp is on to something, what's the likelihood for a disruption-free transition to another energy source that can replace the energy output we currently enjoy from oil?
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Renewable energy becoming cost competitive, IEA says

Renewable energy becoming cost competitive, IEA says | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

(Reuters) - "Renewable energy technology is becoming increasingly cost competitive and growth rates are in line to meet levels required of a sustainable energy future, the International Energy Agency said in a report on Wednesday."

 

Hopefully this new study from the IEA will finally stop the ideological attacks by renewable energy opponents against the "high costs" of renewables.

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Brussels discusses Greek ‘solar bailout’ | EurActiv

Brussels discusses Greek ‘solar bailout’ | EurActiv | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
EU’s energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger, the director general for energy Philip Lowe, and the head of the EU’s Athens task force Horst Reichenbach have discussed the idea of enabling Greece to repay some of its debts to EU member states, such as Germany, by providing them with solar energy.

 

Interesting approach which has the advantage that it indirectly connects the financial crisis with the sustainability crisis but several questions remain: is this in the interest of Greece or of Germany? Could solar energy become the new resource curse?

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Solarworld in Renewable Energy ‘War’ With China, Closing Factory

Solarworld AG, Germany’s largest module maker, plans to close a factory to cut costs and compete against Chinese manufacturers that its chief executive officer says are subsidized by the state.

Is the Chinesee communist model of "state capitalism" defeating Western free-market capitalism?

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