Power & Energy Solutions

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European Union leaders have reached a deal on a package of measures to fight global warming. The plan, agreed at the recent Brussels summit, sets out how 27 member-countries will cut carbon emissions by 20% by 2020, compared with 1990 levels.French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the summit chairman, announced that "quite historic" had happened in Brussels. {pagebreak}The measures, which will require approval by the European Parliament to become law, commit the EU to cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20% by 2020.It must also increase renewable sources to 20% of total energy use and achieve a 20% cut in energy use. EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso called the plans "the most ambitious proposals anywhere in the world"."Europe has today passed its credibility test. We mean business when we talk about climate," he said, inspiring to US President-elect Barack Obama to follow Europe's lead.Meanwhile, delegates at a UN conference in the Polish city of Poznan have been trying to find a way forward in their attempts to reach a climate change deal by the end of 2009 in Copenhagen.Al Gore won the biggest applause of the day with a speech predicting a far more active US climate change policy under President-elect

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Over the past year, DEGERenergie GmbH, Schopfloch, has set standards and established itself as global market leader with the technical finesse, innovative ideas and ongoing developments of its patented DEGERconecter controlled tracking systems.{pagebreak}The 20,000th DEGERtraker tracking system was delivered in June 2008 and turnover for 2008 is estimated at about 40 million Euros. Around 90% of this turnover comes from export business. A new technology centre is currently being built in Horb am Necker with a direct connection to the motorway. Provisional finish date for building work is December 2008.The successful product series DEGERtraker 5000NT and 7000NT is now joined by a new product generation of double axis tracking systems called DEGERtraker 3000HD and DEGERtraker 5000HD (= Heavy Duty).These systems have been especially developed for integration into building structures and for severe wind zones, for example on islands in the open sea, particularly because in many countries the solar power production on buildings brings in higher yields than on open areas.The respective wind force zones are addressed by a design tool developed by engineers at DEGERenergie and which has been used in previous systems already. The basic configuration covers wind velocities of 170km/h (+ safety reserve); individual designs allow for

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Biel, 12 December 2008. On 28 November the Spanish company Vasolar 2006 S.L. and its Portuguese business partner Cavalum SGPS, S.A. inaugurated four solar parks delivering a total output of eight megawatts in the autonomous region of Extremadura. The tracking systems produce on average 26 gigawatt-hours of energy per year, covering the requirements of about 8,300 households and saving 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. {pagebreak}250 people came to the inauguration, including the mayors of the villages of Fuente de Cantos, La Albuera, Don Alvaro and Montemolín, where the solar installations produce their electricity.For the tracking systems, operators Valsolar and Cavalum still receive the higher feed-in tariff guaranteed by royal decree RD 661/2007 for solar installations commissioned before the end of September. The decree guarantees a higher payment for installations of up to100 kilowatts. Valsolar and Cavalum have therefore divided the four solar parks into smaller systems, each with an output of 100 kilowatts. They receive 45.51 eurocents for each kilowatt-hour fed into the grid. The four solar parks cost a total of 40 million euros. Valsolar is reckoning on a payback period of 10 years.When deciding on which inverters to install, Valsolar and Cavalum chose Sputnik Engineering's 100-kilowatt central inverters.

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The UK government's latest approach to tackling climate change has been welcomed by the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA).In a report, the government's Committee on Climate Change recommends the rapid development of carbon capture and storage technology as one of the cornerstones of meeting the target for an 80 per cent reduction in UK greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.{pagebreak}Dr Jeff Chapman, Chief Executive of the CCSA commented: "In years to come I'd like to look back on this report as the tipping point at which words became firm action in tackling climate change."As the report recognises, CCS is an "essential technology for reducing global emissions."Recently, the Climate Change Bill committed the UK to a mandatory target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. Without CCS, this target will be unattainable."In his presentation at the launch of the report, Lord Turner said that CCS will make a major contribution to greenhouse gas emissions reductions, alongside nuclear, renewables and energy efficiency; "it is not an either-or situation".Mr Chapman added: "The UK has ideal geological storage resources and together with our engineering expertise, the UK is undoubtedly well-placed to lead the development of this industry. Also, the

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UK Trade Minister Gareth Thomas has encouraged low-carbon tech business leaders to spark new waves of investment opportunities in China.The Minister has endorsing the ideas coming out of China for the creation of Low Carbon Development Zones; Chinese cities and regions acting as pilots for policies to invigorate the large scale economic transformation required for a low carbon future. {pagebreak}He said: "These dynamic ideas for tackling emissions in China could form a central plank in the global effort to address climate change and present a substantial opportunity for British business partnerships in China. ‘We have the skills, expertise and technologies to take a leading role in helping China meet its ambitions to convert to an energy-secure, low carbon economy and we should seize the moment.'The concept for the zones arose from think tanks in Europe and China, and were likely to be discussed at the EU-China Summit. The UK and other EU partners were hoping a commitment will be made by both Europe and China to draw up detailed proposals for co-operation.Already, a number of large cities and provinces have expressed interest in the zones, with Guangdong province incorporating the low carbon zone into their five year plan.Mr Thomas

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The EU has agreed to adopt the Declaration of Budapest which will address wide ranging plans for renewable energy.The 8th Inter-Parliamentary Meeting (IPM8) organised by EUFORES - the European Forum for Renewable Energy Sources - {pagebreak}brought together more than 60 European and national Parliamentarians from 19 EU Member States. Parliamentarians discussed the negotiation status of the new European Framework Directive for Renewable Energy (RES) as well as the status of the national Energy Efficiency Action Plans (NEEAP).The high level meeting in the Parliament of Hungary led to the adoption of the Declaration of Budapest 2008 on future EU policies in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency.The Parliamentarians called for a clear and ambitious Framework Directive on Renewable Energy and to define key claims for the design of this new European legislation. They also urged Member States to implement, monitor and improve energy efficiency measures listed in their respective national Energy Efficiency Action Plans as well as work on the improvement of the second round of national Energy Efficiency Action Plans.During the debate, it was stressed that particularly in these times of financial crisis, energy efficiency measures and renewable energy have to be supported. The EU`s responsibility and credibility

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Trina Solar Limited, a leading integrated manufacturer of solar photovoltaic products from the production of ingots, wafers and cells to the assembly of PV modules, founded in 1997, announced that it has chosen the City of San Francisco as the location for its North America offices.{pagebreak}"This is an important step in our continuing commitment to deliver high quality Trina Solar PV modules to customers in the North American markets," commented Mr. Jifan Gao, Chairman and CEO of Trina Solar. "As our geographic footprint continues to expand, we remain committed to a location with tremendous talent to provide the support and services that have allowed us to create strong customer relationships throughout the world.""In the race to become the premiere US gateway for Chinese companies expanding into the North American market, San Francisco has scored another important win with Trina Solar," said San Francisco Mayor, Gavin Newsom. "Trina Solar's decision to locate their North American base in San Francisco highlights the City's strength as both a center for cleantech innovation and as a destination for leading Chinese companies looking for a world-class location for their US operations. I am proud to welcome Trina Solar to San Francisco". Arturo Herrero, VP of

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The renewables industry in the UK has welcomed new legislation included in the Energy Bill to introduce a feed-in-tariff.In the House of Commons debate MPs also agreed to introduce a Renewable Heat Incentive, although no clear timetable was agreed. Biogas received a boost from the heat incentive clause, as it entitles producers of renewable biogas injected into the gas network to tariff payments.{pagebreak}Little detail, however, was laid down on how these schemes will be implemented, or when.Philip Wolfe, Director General at the REA, said: "The REA is delighted that that government has recognized the advantages of a tariff-style incentive scheme which will open doors for small-scale producers of renewable heat, electricity and bio-methane.However the devil will be in the detail and the coming year will herald key negotiations over the nature and size of the benefit each technology is to receive. The REA looks forward to working with its members and Government, to flesh out the details."The REA and Friends of the Earth have been leading the renewable tariff campaign over the last year, with the backing of 35 other organisations. The Association has thanked all those involved for the support throughout the coalition campaign for a renewable

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The global growth rates for the PV market are showing excellent health, according to a new study by Bank Sarasin.The report forecasts average global growth rates of 48 per cent for the sector up to 2012, with the global market volume of newly installed PV systems rising from 4 gigawatts in 2008 to 125 gigawatts in 2020.{pagebreak}"Large-scale solar energy systems are playing a key role and are therefore likely to be increasingly financed directly by electricity utilities," says the report. "At the same time the market for solar collectors is likely to remain volatile for the time being.'The report pays particular attention to thin-film technologies, which take less material to produce, and to promising new markets.The expansion plans are impressive: according to Bank Sarasin's estimates, these technologies will be able to increase their market share from 12 per cent at present to 23 per cent in 2012.Although they currently have a comparatively low efficiency in the region of 7-11 per cent, this is likely to be compensated by lower costs and a steeper learning curve. The five most promising companies for the future are First Solar, Sharp, Calyxo (Q-Cells), United Solar Ovonics and Sunfilm.The Middle East as well as North

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Former US vice-president turned environmental guru Al Gore says Barack Obama should set drastic targets to force the US to switch to renewable energy in an effort to slow down climate change.Gore said that one of Obama's first acts as US president should be to demand a move to 100 per cent renewable energy within 10 years. {pagebreak}"We can do that," he said during the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. "The declaration from President Kennedy that we would land a man on the moon and bring him back safely was thought by many to be impossible."During his presidential campaign, Obama promised to invest $150bn (£96bn) in renewables over 10 years as part of the plan to increase US energy security amid fear of oil shortages, while also cutting carbon emissions. Many hope to see those policies enacted with a far-reaching climate-change.Gore's call for action, made at the summit, one of the hi-tech industry's leading events, included his view that the internet had a vital role to play in the mission for energy; but he stressed that people needed to start using the web for social good.Making an analogy between the march of the internet and the early development of

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