Friday, April 27, 2012

Switching to solar energy

 If you’re thinking about switching to solar energy, now’s the time. Prices have never been lower, and in some areas, PV systems can now produce electricity at a cost that’s competitive with — or even lower than — conventional electricity from coal, nuclear or natural gas.
That’s right — the day we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived. The cost of solar energy rivals electricity produced by much less environmentally friendly sources. What’s more, the cost of solar power will continue to fall while the price of conventional fuels spirals upward.
The cost of a residential solar power system has dropped about 40 percent in just the last two years. As a result, the lifetime cost of solar electricity produced by these systems now competes with conventional electrical power plants. In places where electricity sells for a premium, it’s competitive even without subsidies. In New Jersey, for instance, conventional electricity costs about 17 cents per kilowatt-hour (kwh). A residential solar power system can produce electricity at or slightly lower than that price, without any incentives.
Families in many major cities are paying 10 to 12 cents per kwh for conventional power, and soon, many in the Midwest will pay up to 15 cents/kwh for conventional power. Meanwhile, in the Midwest, the unsubsidized cost of solar power is about 13.7 cents/kwh, and a 30 percent federal tax credit drives that cost down to 9.6 cents/kwh.
Rebates that are available from some utilities lower the price even more. In St. Louis, Ameren offers a $2 per watt rebate based on installed capacity. A 5 kilowatt system would receive a $10,000 rebate as soon as the system is up and running. This incentive drives the cost of solar energy down even further — to 7.1 cents/kwh. That’s much cheaper than conventional power. In addition, the cost of solar electricity will remain the same for the life of the system — at least 30 years, maybe longer. This provides a tremendous hedge against inflation.
 Ameren and other U.S. utilities also are currently buying renewable energy credits from their customers, which help utilities meet state-mandated goals for renewable energy production. Ameren pays $50 for every 1,000 kwh of electricity a solar electric system will produce for 10 years, regardless of the amount of power consumed by the system owner. For instance, if a system is projected to generate 40,000 kwh in the first 10 years of operation, Ameren will pay the homeowner a one-time payment of $2,000. That lowers the lifetime cost of solar electricity to 4.3 cents/kwh.
Businesses throughout the country receive even more financial incentives. They can apply accelerated depreciation to solar power systems, which lowers the cost of solar energy by 15 to 30 percent, depending on the company’s tax bracket. Rural businesses can receive a 25 percent grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It may actually be possible for some businesses to install a large solar power system at virtually no cost!
The challenge of most renewable energy systems is that you have to spend money now to save money over time. If you don’t have the funds to purchase a solar electric system upfront, you can consider financing one, or look into leasing options. Some companies will install a system on your home at their expense, then sell electricity to you at a rate that’s the same or lower than you’re currently paying.
Solar electricity and other forms of renewable energy are desperately needed to combat costly climate change and other serious environmental problems. They’ve always been good for the environment — now they’re great for the wallet! 
 CCRES special thanks to  Dan Chiras
Croatian Center of Renewable Energy sources (CCRES)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

News and Events by CCRES April 26, 2012


Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources

News and Events April 26, 2012

Energy Department Offers $9 Million to Improve Solar Forecasting

The Energy Department on April 23 announced that $9 million is available this year to help utilities and grid operators better forecast when, where, and how much solar power will be produced at U.S. solar energy plants. Enhanced solar forecasting will allow power system operators to integrate more solar energy into the grid and help ensure the economic and reliable delivery of renewable energy. The selected projects, part of DOE's SunShot Initiative, will last up to three years and will require more than 20% of the total funding from private and other sources.
Changes in weather conditions can cause variations in solar power production. Improved forecasting technologies will help utilities and power system operators better predict when clouds and other weather-related factors will reduce the intensity of incoming sunlight at solar facilities. This information will allow utilities and operators to more accurately anticipate changes in solar power production and take actions to ensure the stability of the national power grid. This can reduce the cost of integrating solar power plants into the grid.
DOE will competitively select one or two projects for this funding, potentially partnering with national laboratories, universities, and industry. Awardees will strive to improve the accuracy of solar forecasting in the sub-hourly, short-term (1–6 hours), and day-ahead timeframes. The Energy Department plans to fund projects that could improve advanced weather modeling, find breakthrough methods for accurately predicting solar energy output, work to incorporate solar energy forecasts into power system operations, and demonstrate the economic benefits and improved system reliability from more accurate forecasts. See the DOE Progress Alert, the full announcement on the Funding Opportunity Exchange, and the SunShot Initiative website.
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Energy Department Announces Solar "Plug-and-Play" Funding Solar

Photo of people looking at a house with solar panels.
A new SunShot Initiative effort is supporting plug-and-play photovoltaic for homes.
Credit: MSB Energy Associates
The Energy Department on April 24 announced that up to $5 million is available this year to develop "plug-and-play" photovoltaic (PV) systems. These are off-the-shelf systems that can be purchased, installed, and operational in one day. This effort is part of the Energy Department's strategy to spur solar power deployment by reducing non-hardware, or "soft" costs, such as installation, permitting, and interconnection, which currently amount to more than half of the total cost of residential systems. The funding, part of the Energy Department's SunShot Initiative, will help drive innovations to fundamentally change the design and installation of residential PV systems, reducing costs for homeowners and simplifying installations and grid connectivity.
As the costs of solar PV modules continue to come down, soft costs and other non-module hardware costs, such as electronics and mounting hardware, now account for a majority of the total costs of systems. This offers significant opportunities to bring down costs through more efficient installation and permitting processes or new ways to affordably and effectively connect solar panels to the grid.
Plug-and-play solar energy systems will make the process of buying, installing, and connecting solar energy systems faster, easier, and less expensive, potentially unlocking major cost reductions in this area. Plug-and-play PV systems could be installed without special training or tools, and simply plugged into a PV-ready circuit. An automatic detection system would initiate communication between the solar energy system and the utility. Plug-and-play systems are already in wide use in the computer and automotive industries, and DOE believes that similar innovations can be made in the solar energy industry to reduce costs and simplify installations. As part of a planned five-year program, DOE will invest an initial $5 million this year for two projects that will develop innovative plug-and-play prototypes through partnerships with universities, industry, utilities, and other stakeholders. The Energy Department plans to make an additional request of $20 million to Congress over the next four years to support these efforts. See the DOE press release, the full funding opportunity announcement, and the SunShot Initiative website.
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Small Business Efficiency, Renewable Research Funding: Energy Department

The Energy Department on April 9 announced that up to $9 million is available this year to fund about 50 small businesses to advance innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. This initiative will help businesses with promising ideas that could improve manufacturing processes, boost building efficiency, cut oil reliance, and generate renewable electricity.
DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is offering the funding through the department's Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. These allow federal agencies with large research and development budgets to set aside a fraction of their funding for competitions among small businesses. Small businesses that win awards in these programs keep the rights to any technologies they develop and they are encouraged to commercialize them.
This broad topic research solicitation gives small business broadly framed problems to work on and goals to achieve, and gives them the freedom to innovate. It also encourages small businesses with groundbreaking concepts to become part of the EERE programs' research teams. The funding opportunity includes 8 broad topics and 30 subtopics in areas including advanced manufacturing, energy-efficient buildings, biomass, hydrogen and fuel cells, solar energy, and wind and waterpower technologies. The Energy Department will fund selected small businesses with one-year awards of up to $150,000. Awardees with successful projects will have the opportunity to compete for more than $1 million in follow-on funding. See the EERE Progress Alert and the funding opportunity announcement on the Funding Opportunity Exchange website.
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Michigan Company Unveils EV Systems Manufacturing Facility

The Energy Department on April 16 announced the opening of an electric vehicle (EV) component manufacturing facility in Grand Blanc Township, Michigan. The Magna E-Car Systems plant received $40 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funding from the Energy Department. The facility will provide components for EV systems, including those in the 2012 Ford Focus EV. It helps support the department's EV-Everywhere Challenge, a broad initiative to make EVs more affordable and convenient to own than today's gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 10 years.
The 50,000-square-foot-production facility will be able to manufacture a variety of EV components in high volume under one roof, and next year it will be able to produce 500,000 EV components. Production has already started, and at full production, the plant will be able to manufacture electric motors, power electronics, battery chargers, and vehicle controllers, enabling it to assemble complete electric vehicle drivetrains. The Magna E-Car Systems plant is one of 30 advanced battery and electric drive manufacturing facilities supported by the Recovery Act. See the DOE press release and the DOE Vehicle Technologies Program website.
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Biomass Cogeneration Facility Opens at Energy Department Site

The Energy Department and Ameresco, Inc. marked the successful operational startup of a new $795 million biomass-fueled cogeneration facility at DOE's Savannah River Site (SRS) in Aiken, South Carolina, on March 12. The 20-megawatt project created an estimated 800 jobs, and when fully operational, the plant will employ 25 fulltime jobs onsite and support the local logging community. The facility replaced a deteriorating and inefficient 1950s-era coal powerhouse and oil-fired boilers and will generate an estimated $944 million in savings in fuel costs and operation and maintenance costs over the next 20 years. Biomass, consisting of local forest residue and wood chips, and bio-derived fuels will be the primary fuel source for the high-tech renewable energy facility, which has the capacity to combust 385,000 tons of forest residue annually. The projects also was the "Renewable Recipient" of the 2012 Renewable Energy World Excellence in Renewable Energy Award for Biomass Project of the Year. SRS is a key DOE industrial complex dedicated to environmental management and cleanup, nuclear weapons stockpile stewardship, and nuclear materials disposition in support of the U.S. nuclear non-proliferation efforts.
The project is also the single largest renewable energy savings performance contract (ESPC) in U.S. history. DOE signed a 20-year fixed-price contract with Ameresco, a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company, in 2009 to finance, design, construct, operate, maintain, and fuel the new biomass site. ESPCs are contracts in which private companies finance, install, and maintain new energy- and water-efficient equipment at federal facilities. The government pays no up-front costs, and the company's investment is repaid over time by the agency from the cost savings generated by the new equipment. This allows the government to use the private sector to purchase more energy-efficient systems and improve the energy performance of their facilities at no extra cost to the agency or taxpayers. See the SRS press release.
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  special thanks to U.S. Department of Energy |

Harvesting the Sun at the West Tennessee Solar Farm

The West Tennessee Solar Farm (WTSF) is now open for business!
Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman attended the WTSF's ribbon cutting recently. At a capacity of five megawatts, the WTSF is the largest photovoltaic installation in the state of Tennessee and the seven-state Tennessee Valley Authority region. Located off I-40 in Haywood County, the WTSF is projected to produce enough energy to power 500 homes and offset 250 tons of coal per month. With $31 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funds from the Energy Department, the WTSF is the largest funded project under DOE's State Energy Program.
Over 100,000 hours of work were required to install 21,434 solar panels and connect the WTSF to the grid. Proceeds from the power sales will be used to operate, maintain, and expand the array, as well as fund education and demonstration related activities. The Tennessee Department of Transportation will soon begin construction on an Information and Welcome Center at the WTSF. The center, which will house an interactive educational display, is expected to be completed in 2013. Read the complete story on the Energy Department Blog.

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Emissions Trading System (ETS)


The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is a cornerstone of the European Union's policy to combat climate change and its key tool for reducing industrial greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively. Being the first and biggest international scheme for the trading of greenhouse gas emission allowances, the EU ETS covers some 11,000 power stations and industrial plants in 30 countries.

With a turnover of some €90 billion in 2010, the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS) is the world's largest carbon market. Around 80% of it is traded in futures markets and 20% in spot markets.

The ETS aims to encourage companies to invest in low-polluting technologies by allocating or selling them allowances to cover their annual emissions. The most efficient companies can then sell unused allowances or bank them.

After a series of VAT "carousel" and "phishing" frauds in 2009, the European Commission proposed tighter security measures. But a number of member states declined to implement them because they said they could not afford to.

One Commission official pointed out that tens of thousands of euros spent on security could prevent millions of euros in losses.

A review of the Emissions Trading System (ETS) has been brought forward a year, offering “a golden opportunity” for a re-examination of the current rules to prop up the depressed carbon market, said Connie Hedegaard, the EU's Climate Action commissioner.

The reappraisal would be completed within two months, she said at a press conference outside an informal council of energy and environment ministers in Horsens, Denmark.

With regards to the 2013-2020 auctioning period, "there is a tendency [of] much more allowances going into the market in the early phase, rather than the later stage,” Hedegaard said.

“We think it's time to look into whether that makes sense.”

Other options on the table could include imposing a reserve carbon price, withholding allowances (so-called 'set-asides'), and creating thresholds beyond which allowances trading would be frozen.

While there was “almost unanimous support” among ministers for keeping the ETS as the backbone of EU climate policy, member states were “not very clear” about how exactly this should be done, he said.

Carbon price plunge

Earlier this month carbon prices plunged to a record low of €6.14 per tonne, way below the €30 a tonne price the architects of the cap-and-trade scheme once envisaged.

Analysts blame a massive over-supply of credits, uncertainty over the climate investment outlook after 2020, and an economic recession which has prevented a growth in emissions needing to be offset.

In March, the European Parliament called for Brussels to withhold carbon allowances to boost their market price before the third period of ETS trading begins in 2013.

The renewable energy industry believes such a move would send a price signal to investors encouraging market stability and more green investment. 

However, one paper submitted to the informal EU council by Poland, a coal-dependent opponent of further climate legislation, proposed allowing credits traded under the Kyoto Protocol into the ETS, a move likely to lower carbon prices still further.

Poland isolated

Poland is isolated but has already used its veto twice to prevent the European Council from adopting the Commission’s 2050 energy roadmap. 

It has also disrupted the EU nominations procedure for the UN’s planned $100-billion-a-year Green Climate Fund board, by demanding a permanent seat and, submitting and then withdrawing a separate application for a seat through a non-EU bloc.

One informed source said that Warsaw’s positioning was a gambit to prise more funds from the EU’s budget, with no strings attached. 

“They don’t have a plan,” he said. “Their key priority is getting the EU to give them a lot of money from the Multi-Annual Financial Framework but it’s inevitably going to fall apart.”

“You can’t keep poking states like Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands in the eye and expect them not to retaliate.”

Business divided

The ETS issue divides the energy business sector too, with companies such as Shell - which have invested heavily in carbon capture and storage - calling for a billion allowances to be set aside from auctioning, a move strongly opposed by BusinessEurope, the umbrella group for Europe’s employers' confederations.

“The ETS is delivering,” Philippe de Buck, director of BusinessEurope, told the EU ministers in Horsens. “It is on track to reach its target of reducing emissions by 21% compared to 2005 by 2020. I hope you will consider this as an important achievement.”

But he conceded that “some have expressed concerns about the lower than expected price for ETS allowances - also within the business community.”

Market players such as the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, whose members – mostly large European pension funds and asset managers – claim a combined €7.5 trillion in assets, take a very different view.  

A statement by the group called for a one-off set-aside, a revision of the EU’s 2020 emissions target, and a rethinking of ETS allocations more generally.

“The European Union’s emissions trading scheme is not producing the outcomes originally envisaged and needs fixing,” Stephanie Pfeifer, the IIGCC’s director said.

“At under €7 per tonne, the carbon price is not even high enough to support a switch from coal to gas,” she added.

Making a difference

The EU ETS has put a price on carbon emissions and shown that it is possible to trade in greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions from installations in the scheme are falling as intended. The changes to be introduced in 2013, notably a progressive move towards auctioning of allowances, will further enhance its effectiveness.
The success of the EU ETS has inspired other countries and regions to launch cap and trade schemes of their own. The EU hopes to link up the ETS with compatible systems around the world to form the backbone of a global carbon market.

 special thanks to 
Connie Hedegaard 
EU Commissioner for Climate Action 


Thursday, April 19, 2012

News and Events by CCRES April 19, 2012


Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources

News and Events April 19, 2012

Hydropower Gets a $5 Million Energy Department Opportunity

The Energy Department on April 17 announced that up to $5 million is available this year to assess opportunities to increase power production at up to 40 existing hydropower facilities around the nation. Through this competitive funding opportunity, the Energy Department will work with hydropower professionals to conduct standardized assessments to identify opportunities to increase generation and value at hydropower plants.
As much of America's aging hydropower infrastructure is more than 50 years old, this effort could help accelerate the deployment of upgrades at existing hydropower facilities, creating jobs and increasing the supply of renewable energy to American families and businesses. Conventional hydropower already supplies more than 6% of the nation's electricity. The assessments to be completed through this solicitation are part of the Energy Department's larger Hydropower Advancement Project, which seeks to accelerate the improvement and expansion of U.S. hydropower plants. See the DOE Progress Alert and Funding Opportunity Announcement.
Also, the Energy Department on April 17 released a report detailing the potential to develop electric power generation at existing U.S. dams that aren't equipped to produce power. The renewable assessment estimates that without building a single new dam, the available hydropower resources could provide more than 12 gigawatts (GW) if fully developed. That total would be roughly 15% of current U.S. hydropower capacity.
The report, titled An Assessment of Energy Potential at Non-Powered Dams in the United States, analyzes more than 54,000 sites that could be developed to generate power. The results indicate that the non-powered dams could provide enough energy to power over four million households. The greatest hydropower potential was found at locks and dams on the Ohio, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas rivers in facilities owned by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The top ten sites alone have the potential to provide approximately 3 GW of generating capacity, while the top 100 sites together could potentially provide 8 GW. Many of these dams could also likely be converted to power-generating facilities with minimal impact to critical species, habitats, parks, or wilderness areas.
The assessment by DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory in partnership with Idaho National Laboratory also concludes that many potential hydropower sites are in areas with fewer wind or solar resources. And because hydropower provides reliable baseload power day and night, developing existing dams could also provide flexibility to the electric grid, and allow utilities to integrate other renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. See the Energy Department press release and the full reportPDF.
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Energy Department to Back $30 Million Storage Competition

The Energy Department on April 11 announced a $30 million research competition for improving the performance and safety of energy storage devices, including hybrid energy storage modules being developed by the U.S. Department of Defense for military applications.
DOE, through its Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E), is funding the Advanced Management and Protection of Energy-storage Devices (AMPED) program. It is designed to seek out transformational, breakthrough energy storage technologies that are too risky for private-sector investment.
Specifically, AMPED technologies have the potential to create a new generation of electric and hybrid-electric vehicles; increase the fuel efficiency of military generators to help reduce the need for fuel convoys on the battlefield; improve the reliability of military aircraft generators to help to reduce operation and maintenance costs; enable next-generation high-power weapons systems and fuel-efficient operations for U.S. Navy ships; and enhance the efficiency and reliability of the U.S. electricity grid. See the DOE press release and the ARPA-E website for funding details.
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Energy Department Offers $2.5 Million for Biomass Stoves

The Energy Department announced on April 13 that up to $2.5 million will be available this year for applied research to advance clean biomass cookstove technologies for use in developing countries. The funding will support the development of innovative cookstove designs that allow users to burn wood or crop residues more efficiently and with less smoke than open fires and traditional stoves. DOE, along with other federal agencies, is a founding partner of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a public-private partnership to advance cookstove technologies that improve indoor air quality, reduce carbon emissions, and deliver important benefits for developing nations around the world.
The World Health Organization cites indoor smoke from cooking and heating as one of the top 10 threats to public health in developing countries, contributing to nearly two million deaths each year. Clean cookstoves with reduced emissions and increased energy efficiency will help prevent some of these deaths caused by smoke exposure. Energy-efficient cookstoves also reduce fuel use, slow deforestation, and reduce the time families have to spend collecting fuel.
The Energy Department encourages organizations including small businesses, non-profits, universities, and national laboratories, to submit proposals for applied research and development grants to develop clean and efficient cookstoves. To help ensure the technologies developed will be usable and adopted, the research and development work will be based on assessments of user needs, and prototypes will be tested in the laboratory and in the field. DOE is also interested in supporting the development of a software tool that integrates research findings to help stove designers and manufacturers improve a wide range of cookstoves. See the Energy Department press release and the Funding Opportunity Announcement.
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Selections Named for U.S.-India Joint Energy Center

The Energy Department on April 13 announced the selection of three consortia that will make up the $125 million U.S.-India Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center. The consortia are led in the United States by DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, as well as the University of Florida. They will bring together experts from national laboratories, universities, and industry in both the United States and India. Consortia researchers will leverage their expertise and resources in solar technology, advanced biofuels, and building efficiency to unlock the potential of clean energy technologies that can reduce energy use, cut dependence on foreign oil, and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy sources.
The three lead U.S. institutions have partnered with three lead Indian institutions: the Indian Institute of Science-Bangalore, the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology-Hyderabad, and CEPT University-Ahmedabad. The Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center is part of the U.S.-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy.
As part of a planned five-year initiative, DOE will make $5 million available in fiscal year 2012. The Energy Department plans to request as much as an additional $20 million of Congress over the next four years, subject to available appropriations, to support research conducted by U.S. institutions and individuals. The Indian Government also committed to funding $25 million over five years that will be used to support work by Indian institutions and individuals. In addition, U.S. and Indian consortia members have pledged more than $75 million in matching funds, for a combined funding total of more than $125 million for joint research and development in solar energy, advanced biofuels, and building energy efficiency. See the DOE press release.

U.S. Wind Industry Grew 31% in 2011 over Previous Year: Report

The U.S. wind industry installed 6,816 megawatts (MW) of energy in 2011, a 31% gain over 2010, according to a report released April 12 by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The U.S. wind industry's trade association reported a total of 46,916 MW installed in the United States last year. The report noted that more than 8,300 MW are under construction.
Five states received more than 10% of their electricity from wind in 2011, with South Dakota leading the way with 22.3%. Iowa, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wyoming completed the list. In terms of wind power under construction, Kansas leads with 1,189 MW, followed by Texas, California, Oregon, and Illinois. See the AWEA press release.


  special thanks to U.S. Department of Energy |

Site News

Energy Savers Tips Are on the Go

Screen photo of the Energy Savers mobile website.
The new Energy Savers mobile website provides tips to homeowners on the go.
Credit: DOE

The Energy Department recently launched a new Energy Savers mobile website, which conveniently provides homeowners with tips through mobile devices. Whether on the road, at the store, or talking with a home improvement contractor, as an Energy Savers mobile user, you can find ways to make your home more comfortable and easier to heat and cool—and save money at the same time.
The site features energy-saving tips you can try today, including suggestions for your roof, landscaping, appliances, and lights. These solutions are good for your wallet and for the environment, and also help with U.S. energy independence. See the Energy Savers mobile website to explore and learn more.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Light Bulb Conspiracy

Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)

To mark the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All
Ciné-ONU, in partnership with UNIDO and the
Millennium Film Festival, invites you to

The Light Bulb Conspiracy

Tuesday, 24 April 2012 - 6:30pm at the Goethe Institute Brussels

The film will be followed by a Q&A with:

Mr. Joan Úbeda (Executive producer of the film)
Mr. Christophe Yvetot (Director of the UNIDO Office, Brussels)
Mr. Chris Vanden Bilcke (Head of UNEP’s Liaison Office to the EU)

The film is in English and has a runtime of 75 mins.

Please note that we have a limited number of places therefore it is important to register by sending an email to:, with the subject field ‘The Light Bulb Conspiracy’ and your full name and full name of guest (if applicable) - Maximum tickets per person: 2

About the movie

Once upon a time..... products were made to last. Then, at the beginning of the 1920s, a group of businessmen were struck by the following insight: 'A product that refuses to wear out is a tragedy of business' (1928). Thus Planned Obsolescence was born. Shortly after, the first worldwide cartel was set up expressly to reduce the life span of the incandescent light bulb, a symbol for innovation and bright new ideas, and the first official victim of Planned Obsolescence. Read more...

How to get there

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Algae is uniquely suited to serve as the foundation for a new generation, the next industrial age of renewable and low carbon transportation fuels. It addresses and solves many of the pressing issues of our time, from climate change, to energy security, to jobs. It sets an infrastructure that will require fewer compromises and more reliance on ourselves to feed our own energy consumption needs.

Algae is one of nature′s most prolific and efficient photosynthetic plants; in fact, it is the source of the earth′s crude oil when algae bloomed millions of years ago. Nearly all of algae′s energy is concentrated in the chloroplast—the engine that turns sunlight and CO2 into organic carbon, resulting in oils easily refined into gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. Further, algae has a short growing cycle and does not require arable land or potable water. Algae′s number one nutrient source is CO2, consuming 13 to 14 kg of C02 per gallon of green crude. Algae can be grown quickly in salt water in the desert.
The process for making algae into fuel at a very base level is this: Sunlight and CO2 are the source of energy and carbon dioxide, rather than sugar or other organic material. By applying the principals used in biotechnology, CCRES can produce oil in algae that is highly branched and undecorated - the way that traditional crude is – to get a biological crude molecularly similar to light sweet crude. This Green crude can be than processed at a refinery just as traditional crude to make all three major distillates – gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.
Algae are the most efficient photosynthetic plants on the planet as no energy goes into making roots, stems, seeds, or flowers. More energy (roughly 6-50 times more) is produced per acre, per year, with algae versus other feedstocks.
part of 
Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emission in EU

Are the European member states meeting their Kyoto 2012 carbon dioxide(CO2) emission targets?
Countries in the green do well and emit less than their 2012 target. 

The countries in the red emit more than their Kyoto target. 

Figures are in Megaton (Mt CO2-eq).









  ESTONIA   21.2   21.2   20.7   19.2   22.0   20.3   40   49.25 %
  LATVIA   10.7   10.7   10.9   11.7   12.1   11.9   23.3   48.93 %
  LITHUANIA   16.7   21.1   22.6   22.8   24.7   24.3   44.1   44.90 %
  ROMANIA   -   160.1   153.7   153.9   152.3   145.9   259.9   43.86 %
  BULGARIA   -   68.9   69.8   71.5   75.7   73.5   127.3   42.26 %
  HUNGARY   83.3   79.5   80.5   78.8   75.9   73.1   114.9   36.38 %
  POLAND   382.5   396.7   399   399.3   398.9   395.6   551.7   28.29 %
  SLOVAKIA   51.1   49.5   48.7   49.0   47.0   48.8   67.2   27.38 %
  CZECH REPUBLIC   147.5   147.1   145.6   149.1   150.8   141.4   180.6   21.71 %
  SWEDEN   70.9   69.7   67   66.9   65.4   64.0   75.2   14.89 %
  GREECE   137.2   137.6   139.2   128.1   131.9   126.9   139.6   9.10 %
  UNITED KINGDOM   658   660.4   657.4   647.9   636.7   628.2   678.3   7.39 %
  FRANCE   560.9   556.1   553.4   541.7   531.1   527.0   564   6.56 %
  BELGIUM   147.6   147.6   143.8   136.6   131.3   133.3   135.9   1.91 %
  GERMANY   1024.4   1025   1001.5   980.0   956.1   958.1   972.9   1.52 %
  FINLAND   85.4   81.2   69.3   79.9   78.3   70.1   71.1   1.41 %
  PORTUGAL   83.7   84.6   85.5   84.7   81.8   78.4   77.4   1.29 %
  NETHERLANDS   215.4   218.4   212.1   208.5   207.5   206.9   200.4   3.24 %
  IRELAND   68.4   68.6   69.9   69.7   69.2   67.4   63   6.98 %
  ITALY   577.3   580.5   582.2   563.0   552.8   541.5   485.7   11.49 %
  SLOVENIA   19.7   19.9   20.3   20.5   20.7   21.3   18.6   14.52 %
  DENMARK   73.6   68.2   63.9   71.0   66.6   63.8   54.8   16.42 %
  SPAIN   407.4   425.2   440.6   433.0   442.3   405.7   331.6   22.35 %
  AUSTRIA   92.5   91.2   93.3   91.6   88.0   86.6   68.7   26.06 %
  LUXEMBOURG   11.3   12.8   12.7   13.3   12.9   12.5   9.1   37.36 %
  MALTA   3.1   3.2   3.4   2.9   3.0   3.0   NO TARGET
  CYPRUS   9.2   9.9   9.9   9.9   10.1   10.2   NO TARGET