Germany’s Transition from Coal to Renewables Offers Lessons for the World  
Germany's Transition from Coal to Renewables Offers Lessons for the World
Credit: Krisztian Bocsi Getty Images

From Ensia (find the original story here), from an article commissioned by Courier; reprinted with permission.

August 1, 2017—Seventy-seven-year-old Heinz Spahn—whose blue eyes are both twinkling and stern—vividly recalls his younger days. The Zollverein coal mine, where he worked in the area of Essen, Germany, was so clogged with coal dust, he remembers, that people would stir up a black cloud whenever they moved. “It was no pony farm,” he says—using the sardonic German phrase to describe the harsh conditions: The roar of machines was at a constant 110 decibels, and the men were nicknamed waschbar, or “raccoons,” for the black smudges that permanently adorned their faces. Continue reading “Germany’s Transition from Coal to Renewables Offers Lessons for the World”


Can coal miners become solar technician?

Nothing on Earth moves without energy, and most of the energy that people use is of the fossil variety: coal, oil, and natural gas. Although renewable energy is beginning to make inroads, fossil fuels still account for 78 percent of global final energy consumption as of 2014, according to REN21’s Global Status Report 2016It is abundantly clear that a fundamental energy makeover is needed if we are to avoid climate chaos—especially with regard to coal, the dirtiest fuel of them all. Until recently, global coal production and use were still growing.

Advocates for renewable energy are typically consumed with matters like technology development, cost competitiveness, and policy support for deploying solar, wind, and other renewables. But the social dimension of the energy transition is just as crucial: in moving away from polluting sources of energy, we need to make sure that the workers who for decades have dug up coal aren’t left in the lurch. These are the people who have often paid with their health so that the rest of us could power air conditioners, refrigerators, TVs, and gadgets galore. Continue reading “Can coal miners become solar technician?”

Thuế than ở Philippine tăng 400% thúc đẩy sự phát triển của năng lượng sạch

Mức tăng thuế than 400% vừa được phê duyệt ở Philipin cho chương trình tài khóa 2018 là một biện pháp kinh tế thận trọng sẽ thúc đẩy phát triển năng lượng sạch hơn và rẻ hơn, theo Viện Năng lượng Kinh tế và Phân tích Tài chính (IEEFA).
“Thuế than là một tín hiệu đáng mừng cho thấy chính phủ đang có ý định chuyển đổi
đất nước xa nhiên liệu hóa thạch không đáng tin cậy và tốn kém “, nhà phân tích của IEEFA
Sara-Jane Ahmed.
Mức thuế hiện nay là 10 Php sẽ tăng lên 50 Php/tấn vào năm 2018, 100 Php/tấn vào năm 2019, và 150 Php/tấn vào năm 2020. Việc tăng thuế này có thể dẫn đến khoản thu nhập thuế của 750 triệu Php vào năm 2018, 1,5 nghìn tỷ Php vào năm 2019, và 2,25 tỷ Php vào năm 2020. Sự thay đổi này đã được Nghị viện Philipin phê chuẩn và Hạ viện ngày hôm nay như là một phần của chương trình CẢI CÁCH TĂNG TRƯỞNG TOÀN DIỆN (TRAIN).
Nguồn doanh thu này có thể được sử dụng để đầu tư vào cơ sở hạ tầng, đặc biệt là nâng cấp hệ thống lưới điện và các hệ thống quản lý cung-cầu.

Continue reading “Thuế than ở Philippine tăng 400% thúc đẩy sự phát triển của năng lượng sạch”

Renewable Energy Benefits: Measuring The Economics – Lợi ích kinh tế của năng lượng tái tạo

IRENA report

The need for scaling up renewables is now undisputed, and the full range of benefits they can bring has come to the fore in global discussions. As countries consider options at their disposal, understanding the socio-economic benefits of the transition to a renewable energy future is of vital importance. Renewable Energy Benefits: Measuring the Economics provides the first global quantification of the macroeconomic impacts of renewable energy deployment. It finds that doubling the share of renewables by 2030 would bring a range of positive impacts including an increase in global gross domestic product (GDP) up to 1.1 percent, improvement of global welfare by 3.7 percent and over 24 million people working in the renewable energy sector. This report provides the latest evidence that mitigating climate change through the deployment of renewable energy and achieving other socio-economic objectives are mutually beneficial. Thanks to the growing business case for renewable energy, an investment in one is an investment in both. A full understanding of these benefits can tip the balance towards low-carbon investments and future-proof our energy system.

Download full report

Increasing World’s Share of Renewable Energy Would Boost Global GDP up to $1.3 Trillion

Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., 16 January 2016 – Achieving a 36 per cent share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030 would increase global gross domestic product (GDP) by up to 1.1 per cent, roughly USD 1.3 trillion, according to new analysis by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Continue reading “Increasing World’s Share of Renewable Energy Would Boost Global GDP up to $1.3 Trillion”

Cứu dòng Mekong: Việt Nam nên tăng cường mua điện từ Lào?

Thủy điện không còn hấp dẫn và cơ hội của dòng Mekong


Cứu dòng Mekong: Việt Nam nên tăng cường mua điện từ Lào?

  19:50 | Thứ năm, 07/12/2017

Phát triển dựa vào dòng dòng Mekong, từ vấn đề và bài toán phát triển năng lượng của Lào hiện nay, theo các phân tích, Việt Nam có thể và nên đóng vai trò chủ động hơn nữa trong vấn đề phát triển thủy điện thượng nguồn sông Mekong.

ĐBSCL hình thành là nhờ lượng phù sa của sông Mekong bồi đắp nên trong 6.000 năm qua. Việc xây thủy điện trên các dòng chính sông Mekong là một trong những nguyên nhân khiến ĐBSCL tăng sạt lở, dần “tan rã”. Ảnh: TL  Continue reading “Cứu dòng Mekong: Việt Nam nên tăng cường mua điện từ Lào?”

Global Electric Car Sales Jump 63 %

  • China made more than half of EV purchases in the third quarter
  • Bloomberg New Energy Finance expects 1 million sold this year

Electric vehicles sales surged to a record in the third quarter, largely driven by strong demand in China.

Sales of battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids exceeded 287,000 units in the three months ended in September, 63 percent higher than the same quarter a year ago and up 23 percent from the second quarter, according to a report released Tuesday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. China accounted for more than half of global sales as its market for electric cars doubled amid government efforts to curb pollution.

“The Chinese government is very focused on pushing up EV sales,” said Aleksandra O’Donovan, advanced transport analyst at BNEF and one of the authors of the report. “One reason for that is the local pollution levels in the cities, and a second is for China to build domestic heroes to compete internationally in this market.”

BNEF expects global EV sales to surpass 1 million units this year for the first time. The market for electrified transport is starting to pick up speed as charging infrastructure becomes more accessible and manufacturers roll out models with longer driving ranges. In 2017, many established carmakers from Jaguar Land Rover to Volvo Cars announced plans to bring electric versions of their vehicles to market in the next few years. Continue reading “Global Electric Car Sales Jump 63 %”

German villages go 100% renewable

Thermal solar plant at Neuerkirch, Germany, part of the country’s transition towards clean energy. [AEE/Adelphi/Tobias Vollmer]

Local communities are at the forefront of the clean energy transition in Germany, with some villages relying 100% on renewables. EURACTIV Slovakia spoke to mayors there.

Neuerkirch and Külz are two small villages in Western Germany – of 300 and 500 souls respectively. And yet, they feel a part of something bigger that goes even beyond the country’s energy transition, the ‘Energiewende’. Continue reading “German villages go 100% renewable”

Australia in plans to export colossal amounts of wind and solar energy to Southeast Asia

An international consortium of energy companies has presented its plans to develop a 6 gigawatt (GW) solar and wind hybrid project in Western Australia, designed to export clean energy to Indonesia through subsea cables.

Western Australia is set to take advantage of its significant solar and wind resources to export renewable energy to Indonesia, contributing significantly to the country’s clean energy future and energy security through reducing reliance on imported fossil fuels.

The proposed project is called Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) and is another mega energy project which underlines the significant opportunities that domestic renewable resources can provide for countries to become the ‘new’ energy exporters.

The hybrid power plant would be spread over 14,000 square km in flat desert land on the north-west coast of Australia.

It would comprise approximately 1,200 wind turbines supplied by Vestas, and 10 million solar panels with an aggregated capacity of 6GW – enough electricity to power more than 7 million households. Continue reading “Australia in plans to export colossal amounts of wind and solar energy to Southeast Asia”

Hướng dẫn tài chính cho người làm chính sách: Năng lượng tái tạo và hạ tầng xanh (P1)

Giới thiệu về Hướng dẫn Tài chính

bloomberg_Hiệp định Khí hậu Paris vào tháng 12 năm 2015 tập trung chú ý vào nhu cầu huy động các dòng vốn tư nhân lớn cho vào các giải pháp khí hậu với tốc độ và quy mô cần thiết để chống lại biến đổi khí hậu ở mức độ cấp thiết.

Việc thực hiện các kế hoạch quốc gia về năng lượng sạch hoặc cơ sở hạ tầng “xanh” sẽ đòi hỏi mức độ đầu tư chưa từng có, không chỉ vì lý do khí hậu, thông qua quyết tâm đóng góp quốc gia (Nationally determined contributions – NDC), mà còn đảm bảo an ninh năng lượng và tiếp cận năng lượng cho những người thiếu thốn, cũng như cho phát triển bền vững.

Bây giờ, hơn bao giờ hết, một điều vô cùng quan trọng là các nhà hoạch định chính sách và các bên khác không-phải-nhà-tài-trợ phải cần hiểu và giao tiếp với cộng đồng tài chính để thiết lập các điều kiện hiệu quả ở cấp quốc gia, cấp mà việc đầu tư sẽ phải được thực hiện.

Là một đóng góp thực tiễn, Hướng dẫn Tài chính cung cấp cái nhìn tổng quan thực tiễn về bối cảnh tài chính – nguồn vốn, cách thị trường hoạt động, cách các giao dịch vận hành và rộng hơn nữa để thiết lập các điều khoản tài chính chung trong bối cảnh đặt ra.

Hướng dẫn này phản ánh những thay đổi gần đây về điều kiện thị trường, cơ cấu tài chính và các cuộc tranh luận chính sách có liên quan. Các chủ đề của Hướng dẫn bao gồm:

Continue reading “Hướng dẫn tài chính cho người làm chính sách: Năng lượng tái tạo và hạ tầng xanh (P1)”

Vietnam’s Homegrown System for Saving Water

A young man returned home to invent an internet-integrated system that helps farmers produce more food with less water.

Tri Nguyen, CEO of MimosaTEK, was born and raised in Dalat, a city in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam, where the land is mountainous and fertile. He grew up surrounded by local farmers who planted a rich variety of products ­— from bell peppers and flowers to coffee and bananas. Tri moved to Ho Chi Minh City to work in the information technology sector as a young man, but when the opportunity came, he decided to return to his roots and start a strawberry farm with his friends in Dalat.

Tri turned to the local farmers to learn everything he could about growing strawberries. But he kept hearing something that didn’t seem right: The farmers instructed him to irrigate until water dripped out of the soil when he picked it up in his hands.

Tri did some research that confirmed his instincts: The farmers didn’t need to be using that much water. But when he told his neighbors, they insisted on continuing to overwater their crops. It was how they were taught and how they had farmed all their lives.

“I realized then that the farmers based their decisions on experiences instead of scientific data,” says Tri.

Smallholder and family farmers in Dalat water their crops based on what they see and feel. They don’t consult data on the weather or rainfall because they were never taught to do so. This is leading to excessive irrigation, which can stunt growth or kill crops, and deplete limited groundwater. Furthermore, Vietnam is still recovering from its strongest-ever drought, and every drop counts. Many of Dalat’s farmers are already suffering from water shortages. Continue reading “Vietnam’s Homegrown System for Saving Water”

Trong khi Bắc Kinh phát triển Năng lượng tái tạo, thì các công ty Trung Quốc xây nhiệt điện than ở Việt Nam và các nước nghèo – As Beijing Joins Climate Fight, Chinese Companies Build Coal Plants

When China halted plans for more than 100 new coal-fired power plants this year, even as President Trump vowed to “bring back coal” in America, the contrast seemed to confirm Beijing’s new role as a leader in the fight against climate change.

But new data on the world’s biggest developers of coal-fired power plants paints a very different picture: China’s energy companies will make up nearly half of the new coal generation expected to go online in the next decade.

Continue reading “Trong khi Bắc Kinh phát triển Năng lượng tái tạo, thì các công ty Trung Quốc xây nhiệt điện than ở Việt Nam và các nước nghèo – As Beijing Joins Climate Fight, Chinese Companies Build Coal Plants”

Skills and occupational needs in renewable energy and Green Buildings – Kỹ năng và nghề nghiệp cần thiết trong ngành năng lượng tái tạo và công trình xanh

The renewable energy sector is growing fast: about half of the new electricity-generating capacity added globally in 2008 and 2009 came from renewable energy additions. Fast deployment has led to skill shortages in technical occupations such as solar installers and electrical engineers, but also in more general occupations, such as sales and finance specialists, inspectors, auditors and lawyers.
This report brings together the findings from 33 countries and arises from a joint EC/ILO project on Knowledge sharing in early identification of skill needs.

Green Building

Download: Skills and occupational needs in green building‎pdf – 1.8 MB‎ 

Demand for workers in retrofitting and new green construction is expected to grow over the coming years but the lack of appropriate skills in the workforce can hamper the development of the sector and its potential benefits. New skill needs related to energy efficiency, water management and renewable energies in buildings are emerging. Skills-led strategies can drive the green building sector forward.
This report brings together the findings from 34 countries and arises from a joint EC/ILO project on Knowledge sharing in early identification of skill needs.


Renewable Energy: Finance guide for policy-makers – Hướng dẫn tài chính cho người làm chính sách: Năng lượng tái tạo và hạ tầng xanh

About the Finance Guide

bloomberg_The Paris UN Climate Agreement in December 2015 refocused attention on the need to mobilize substantial private capital flows into climate solutions at the pace and scale required to combat climate change with the required urgency.

Implementation of national clean energy or ‘green’ infrastructure plans will require unprecedented levels of private investment, not only for climate reasons, through NDCs, but also to deliver energy security and access to energy for those who lack them, as well as creating the conditions for sustainable development.

Now, more than ever, it is critically important for policy-makers and non-financiers to understand and interface with the financial community to establish effective conditions at national level, where the investment case will have to be made.

As a practical contribution, the Finance Guide provides a factual overview of the landscape of finance – sources of capital, what the capital markets do, how transactions work – and more broadly to set common finance terms in context.
Continue reading “Renewable Energy: Finance guide for policy-makers – Hướng dẫn tài chính cho người làm chính sách: Năng lượng tái tạo và hạ tầng xanh”

John Kerry is plotting a renewable energy future … starting in Vietnam

Vietnam wants to build a massive number of coal plants. But a former United States secretary of state is offering the country a cleaner path forward.

John Kerry is working with the Vietnamese government on an alternative to its coal plan — one that could provide the same amount of electricity, but with hydroelectric dams and solar panels instead of fossil fuels. It’s a scheme that would save the country billions of dollars, prevent pollution-related deaths, and keep greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.

Hints of this effort have surfaced in the Vietnamese press, but a representative for Kerry said he was not ready to speak about his efforts on the record. However, the former presidential candidate discussed his work last week at the Clean Energy Finance Forum held at Stanford University. While remarks made at the forum were initially off the record, Stanford’s Precourt Institute for Energy subsequently posted a video online of Kerry’s chat with Anne Finucane, a Bank of America vice chairman. (Update: Since Grist published this story, Stanford has taken down the video featuring Kerry and Finucane.)