Vice Premier Li Keqiang Thursday underscored the development of energy-saving industries and pushing for advancement in optimization of energy structure to ensure the country’s energy supply and safety. Earlier this month, China established the first batch of national energy development and research centers. The 16 centers will research and study technologies of nuclear power equipment, wind power, and smart grid, among others.
Renewable energy specialists in China have questioned the significance of a recent amendment to the country’s 2006 Renewable Energy Law, saying it will have little, if any, effect on renewable energy companies on the ground. However, others contend that the amendment provides an important framework to help address several issues plaguing the fast-growing sector, and sets the stage for a long-awaited stimulus policy and funding package.
Statoil became the first company in Norway to offer 5 per cent bioethanol to general consumers. From January 2010 onwards 40 per cent of Statoil’s stations will be selling the new biofuel “Bensin 95”. “Drivers are now able, for the first time, to refill their cars with biofuel at Statoil filling stations, regardless of whether they have petrol or diesel engines. Our customers can now help save the environment without changing their routines. This is a very pleasing development,” says managing director Dag Roger Rinde.
Venture funding for agricultural and industrial biotechnology gained considerable momentum over the past decade, soaring from $47 million in 1998 to $1.2 billion last year. Yet, of 170 companies backed during that period, only nine have seen successful exits to date. That’s left venture capitalists (VCs) with few clues to predict which sectors hold the most future promise, according to Lux Research’s latest report, titled “Finding Exits for Biofuels and Biomaterials Investors.” The report digs below the surface of agricultural and industrial biotechnology to reveal more nuanced patterns of VC investment in genetically modified food and energy, pest resistance, biomaterials, chemicals, industrial enzymes, and first- and next-generation bio-energy.
Preliminary statistics released on Wednesday showed that 2009 would be a record year for the number of clean-tech venture capital deals worldwide. "Record levels of activity from investors, governments and corporations in 2009 demonstrated that the market for clean technologies continues to strengthen regardless of any non-binding global climate change agreement," Nicholas Parker, executive chairman of Cleantech Group, said in a statement.
The latest trend in building architecture in China is being driven more by the urgency of sustainability than by the desire for sublimity. Building green is becoming "trendy" in China, according to William Wong, associate director at the Hong Kong office of Arup, a global firm of independent designers, engineers and consultants that helped build the Bird’s Nest, the Water Cube, Beijing International Airport’s Terminal Three and the new CCTV tower. Environmental concerns are no longer being overlooked by many developers, who have begun to take advantage of the politically correct, socially responsible image that being "green" provides, especially to attract multinational tenants.
China’s top legislature has adopted an amendment to the renewable energy law to require electricity grid companies to buy all the power produced by renewable energy generators. The amendment, approved by lawmakers after it was heard the second time at a five-day meeting of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, aims to support the country’s fledgling renewable energy sector.
It may well be that when the history of the 21st century comes to be written, that will be seen as the moment when the new world order was born. By early Friday evening, the last day of the conference, President Obama had decided he needed another one-on-one meeting with the Chinese premier Wen Jiabao. Obama also wanted to set up meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, and Jacob Zuma of South Africa. So when Barack Obama arrived for his 7pm appointment with Wen Jiabao, imagine his consternation to discover the Chinese premier already locked in discussions with – wait for it – Messrs Singh, Lula and Zuma.