Features for June 2008

Features Archive

Renewable energy in the carbon market

Part 2: The burgeoning trade in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is viewed by many as one of the most effective methods to reduce the environmental damage related to the combustion of fossil fuels and one which holds significant potential for renewable energy technologies in the short-term future.

EU directive: trading places

The convoluted (and complex) debate surrounding the trade of guarantees of origin for renewably-generated electricity in a target-driven EU policy landscape rumbles on. To trade or not to trade (and what's legal and what isn't?)- that seems to be the thrust of the debate at present, as member states weigh up what the flexibility mechanism means for them.

Ocean energy: technology basics Ocean energy: technology basics

Among the family of renewable energy technologies, ocean energy is the least developed, with just a few MW in operation worldwide. Nevertheless, companies predominantly in Europe, the USA, Canada, are developing a dizzying array of technologies to try and exploit the vast kinetic and potential energy of the world's oceans. Government support is strongest in Europe, but a number of projects are at various stages of development in the US and Canada.

Is the offshore wind market poised for scale? Is the offshore wind market poised for scale?

The global market for offshore wind energy has reached a critical juncture in its path towards large-scale deployment. but what will the next steps be? A new report from Emerging Energy Research (EER) offers some perspective and Renewable Energy Focus gets a sneak preview.

Q-Cells: Solar PV at the sharp end Q-Cells: Solar PV at the sharp end

Q-Ccells has come a long way since it was founded in Germany in 1999. It started producing solar photovoltaic (PV) cells in 2001 with just 19 employees and within a decade, it has become the largest solar PV cell manufacturer in the world. Alice Hohler speaks to Q-Cell's CEO, Anton Milner.

Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV): innovation puts spotlight on solar Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV): innovation puts spotlight on solar

In a time when solar PV is characterised as being a prohibitively expensive alternative form of energy (subsidies notwithstanding) one application area that could make a real difference to perceptions is BIPV (Building Integrated PV). This application can effectively enable building owners to save on construction costs of new buildings while at the same time generate a portion of their own electricity. Further progress requires a high level of innovation to truly bring solar PV into buildings, while making the technology even more affordable. Fortunately, there are signs that such inventiveness is now making a difference.

Former east Germany gains solar boost Former east Germany gains solar boost

Twenty years ago, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the prospects for the economy of what was previously East Germany were bleak. but the federal states of Saxony, Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt have emerged as Europe's prime solar industry region. The key to success has been Germany's feed-in tariff (FiT) legislation and well-coordinated efforts between Government departments, regions and industry.

Tapping into the power of energy from waste Tapping into the power of energy from waste

Old paradigms are being transformed and reshaped as alternative, sustainable solutions to meet the world's growing energy needs. This challenge is being fuelled in part by expanding economies of both China and India, coupled with issues of global warming, energy security and depleting resources of fossil fuels. One leading energy from waste (EfW) player, Covanta, looks to what extent EfW technology could really play a role.

Australia: ready for renewable investment Australia: ready for renewable investment

Despite having renewable resources that some countries can only dream of, Australia's antipathy towards the Kyoto Protocol- not to mention its vast sources of coal- have contrived to give it something of an image problem amongst clean energy investors. This has made it difficult for the country to be seen as financially viable when it comes to renewables investment. But with the new administration that has addressed the Kyoto question, could times be changing? Invest Victoria's Ben Foskett gives a perspective from the State of Victoria and ISES President Monica Oliphant reports back from Adelaide's Solar Cities 2008 Congress.

New Energy Finance summit proves a success amidst stock turmoil New Energy Finance summit proves a success amidst stock turmoil

During the period 1 February to 28 March 2008, the Wilderhill New Energy Global Innovation Index (NEX) fell a further 18%, on top of the 15% fall if the previous two months. Against this backdrop New Energy Finance held its inaugural summit in London on 28-29 February 2008. Tom Greenwood casts his eye over the NEX performance while Alice Hohler gives her view from the summit.

SeaGen tidal installation moves forward SeaGen tidal installation moves forward

What's new on the offshore wind and marine project front? Adam Westwood brings us up to date with the latest developments including the news that Marine Current Turbines has successfully completed the first installation phase of the 1.2 MW SeaGen tidal system in Strangford Narrows, Northern Ireland.