Raw materials are an essential part of both high tech products and every-day consumer products, such as mobile phones, thin layer photovoltaics, Lithium-ion batteries, fibre optic cable, synthetic fuels, among others. But their availability is increasingly under pressure according to a report published today by an expert group chaired by the European Commission. In this first ever overview on the state of access to raw materials in the EU, the experts label a selection of 14 raw materials as ?critical? out of 41 minerals and metals analysed. The growing demand for raw materials is driven by the growth of developing economies and new emerging technologies. The list was established in the framework of the 2008 EU Raw Materials Initiative1 in close cooperation with Member States and stakeholders. The results of the report will be used for the drafting of a forthcoming communication on strategies to ensure access to raw materials which the Commission will publish in autumn 2010.
The Spanish plan centres on giving preferential access to the wholesale electricity market for power plants that run on domestic coal, and was announced by the government in February, after months of behind-the-scenes tussling with Brussels.
At the same time, the Spanish government wants to retroactively cut previously agreed tariffs for its ?20bn photovoltaic solar energy sector by 30 per cent. As FTfm reports, such a move could be devastating for investors in highly-leveraged solar photovoltaic projects.
Millions of householders will face a hosepipe ban from Friday, a utility company has confirmed.
United Utilities, which supplies water to north-west England, said the measure will help “safeguard essential supplies”.
Water levels in many reservoirs and lakes have plummeted to less than half their capacity due to the region’s driest start to the year since 1929.
In a new IEA report intended to inform and guide climate and energy policy decision makers, the Energy Technology Perspective 2010 demonstrates that the clean technology revolution will require an additional $46 trillion investment (beyond energy infrastructure investment expected in BAU scenarios) if we intend to halve carbon emissions by 2050 (from 2005 levels). And, the IEA adds, a carbon price alone will not be sufficient to drive that level of investment.
The U.S. Department of Energy announced today that it will be funneling $67 million into 10 projects working on capturing the carbon dioxide produced by coal-fired power plants. Over the next three years, these projects will be developing ways to make current carbon capture techniques work with existing power plants.
A new report from Pike Research forcasts good news for renewable energy and mobile base stations (the wireless communications station used to connect cell phone networks). Clean energy will power 4.5% of base stations by 2014, and while that doesn’t sound like much, it’s a boost up from the mere 0.11% in 2010, or a 40.9% increase. But even more exciting is the percentage of base stations powered by renewable energy in developing countries will jot up to 8% by 2014. With mobile phone subscriptions hitting 5 billion worldwide, a boost in clean energy is a big deal for carbon emissions.
The smart grid investing gurus at Foundation Capital and the venture firm that helped launch the likes of Cisco, Apple and Google ? Sequoia Capital ? have pumped more money into smart meter software maker eMeter. The 12-year-old firm, which?makes software for smart meter systems, announced this morning that it has raised $12.5 million from its current investors, Foundation and Sequoia, and as well as new investor Northgate Capital.
A majority of servers in data centers operate at only four percent average utilization, representing a huge opportunity for organizations to reduce energy use through better design and operation, according to findings by Greening Greater Toronto
If you attend enough cleantech events or are pitched by enough startups, you start to see the same few PowerPoint slides over and over again. Here is a collection of the best or at least the most notorious and historically significant slides in our industry.