South Africa Approves $3.3 Billion for 17 Clean Energy Projects
South Africa approved 33.8 billion rand ($3.3 billion) for 17 clean energy projects in the third of five bidding rounds of a program to reduce its reliance on coal. Of the 17 preferred bidders named in the third round, seven will provide power derived from wind, six from solar PV, two from concentrated solar and one each from biomass and landfill gas. These projects are in line with South Africa’s goal of adding 3,725 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by the end of 2016.
Labor Expresses Qualified Support for Australia Carbon Repeal
The Australian opposition may support Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s proposal to abolish the nation’s carbon tax if the government agrees to retain an emissions-trading program, says Labor leader Bill Shorten. Labor believes that the best, most cost-efficient way to deal with carbon pollution is an emissions-trading scheme, adds Shorten. Abbott, whose Liberal-National coalition was elected Sept. 7, has pledged to repeal the mechanism established by then-Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard in 2011 as a step toward a carbon market, saying it has driven up energy prices and impeded investments.
Stifled Iran Set to Lead World’s Biggest Natural Gas Exporters Group
Iran will lead a group of the world’s biggest natural gas exporters as its own shipments abroad are stifled by U.S. and EU sanctions forcing the country to burn off billions of dollars worth of the fuel. Mohammad Hossein Adeli, Iran’s former deputy foreign minister, was elected secretary-general of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, whose 13 member countries hold 60% of the world’s reserves. U.S. and EU trade sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program have reduced its crude exports, its largest revenue source, by half since 2011. In 2011, Iran burned off 11.4 billion cubic meters of gas because it lacks the infrastructure to deliver it to markets.
Leading Scientist Suggests Nuclear is Key to Slow Global Warming
Four of the world’s leading climate scientists have published an open letter saying that wind and solar energy is simply not enough to impede global warming, and they are asking environmentalists to support the growth of safe nuclear energy as a means to rid our reliance on fossil fuels. The letter was written by Dr. Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution, Dr. Kerry Emanuel of MIT, Dr. James Hansen from the Columbia University Earth Institute, and Dr. Tom Wigley from the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The author’s are hoping that their letter will spark public interest and create political dialogue to develop safer nuclear plants.