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Renewables & clean tech - May 23

Click on the headline (link) for the full text.

Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage

Competing in the Green Economy
Mike Splinter, New America Foundation via Energy Policy TV
Washington, DC - Steven Clemons, Director of the American Strategy Program, New America Foundation; Rhone Resch, President, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA); Mike Splinter, President and CEO of Applied Materials

Mike Splinter, President and CEO of Applied Materials, raises the issue of record-high energy prices; oil prices are rapidly rising and the cost of coal has doubled in the last year. There is a great demand from the American people for energy alternatives. Splinter believes renewable energy is the solution. He says that within a century renewable energy could provide 100 percent of the world's primary energy needs.
(14 May 2008)

Green Cement
(video and transcript)
Graham Phillips; Catalyst, ABC (Australia)
An Australian company has started to make concrete which promises to dramatically cut the carbon dioxide ordinarily emitted during production. Concrete is the second most widely used material on earth, after water. Figures vary, but it’s estimated that the manufacture of cement, the reactive ingredient in concrete, is responsible for over 5% of the world’s CO2 emissions.

Using a technique to make geo-polymers similar to those found in some natural volcanic rocks, a concrete alternative called E-Crete is now being manufactured in Melbourne, which claims to have reduced the amount of CO2 ordinarily emitted in the manufacture process by an estimated 80-90%.

Narration: What’s the fast growing source of greenhouse gas?

You might be surprised but it’s cement.

Cement’s already the 3rd largest man-made source of carbon dioxide - more than two billion tonnes of it a year. That’s after fossil fuels and defrorestation.

And because of all the construction going on around the world, cement’s carbon footprint is growing rapidly.
(22 May 2008)

UK Microgen
(video, transcript)
Jonica Newby; Catalyst, ABC (Australia)
In May 2007, the Mayor of London laid down a gauntlet: 60% cuts in carbon emissions by 2025 - that’s 25 years ahead of the UK’s national target - 25 years ahead of anywhere else in the world. So can a city do what a nation can’t?

London has faced many challenges in its long and colourful history, but this could be its biggest. Like all great cities, it has an insatiable hunger for power. 75% of the worlds’ carbon emissions come from cities. And yet cities are some of the places most at risk from climate change.

Stopping the City drowning is an unenviable responsibility, but it has fallen on the shoulders of Allan Jones MBE because of the extraordinary thing he did in the English town of Woking. Once there, he set the town on the path to independence of the national electricity grid, by generating all its own power.

Now, Allan has been asked to repeat what he did for Woking in Greater London - a city 75 times the size. London has a proud history of transformation under duress, but like the barriers on the Thames itself, the barriers that Allan and his compatriots face are immense.

Narration: In 2007, the Mayor of London laid down a gauntlet … 60% cuts in carbon emissions by 2025 - that’s 25 years ahead of the UK’s national target - 25 years ahead of anywhere else in the world.

Jeremy Leggett: Sixty percent by twenty, twenty five is a big hairy audacious target

Nicky Gavron: I mean if we’re not going to do big cuts quickly, London’s going to be under water.

Narration: So can a city do what a nation can’t?

And why did history choose this man to take on the new Battle of London?
(22 May 2008)

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