The clean energy industry generates hundreds of billions in economic activity, and is expected to continue to grow rapidly in the coming years. There is tremendous economic opportunity for the countries that invent, manufacture and export clean energy technologies.
Responsible development of all of America’s rich energy resources — including solar, wind, water, geothermal, bioenergy & nuclear — will help ensure America’s continued leadership in clean energy. Moving forward, the Energy Department will continue to drive strategic investments in the transition to a cleaner, domestic and more secure energy future. Continue reading
Islands at the forefront
As governments try to kick-start their economies, the UN is calling for recovery plans to be built around low-carbon technologies, to avoid a return to fossil fuel-based “business as usual”. In island economies, importing fossil fuels, such as oil and gas, comes at a considerable costs. This is one of the reasons that some of them are becoming front-runners, in the bid to reduce carbon frontprints, by investing in renewable energy sources.
Mauritius, for example, is planning to generate over a third of its electricity from renewable sources within the next five years. Projects supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), will be an important part of this transition, bringing an additional 25 Mega Watts of solar power to Mauritius, including a mini-power grid in Agalega, one of the outer islands.
Dressed in all-blue overalls, with spades and shovels in hand, a group of young men and women pound the ground digging a long, narrow furrow. The group is on site at a local business in Wau, in South Sudan’s Western Bahr el Ghazal, where they are doing work as part of a paid internship for solar installation to power nearby offices. This is their first internship and their enthusiasm to put to use the skills they learnt is undeniable.
The group is the first cohort under the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Settlement Project which trains and builds the capacity of youth who were previously displaced by protracted conflict and have now returned to their areas of residence in and around the town of Wau.
An ambitious plan to make one of the world’s largest and most complex railway networks a net zero carbon emitter by 2030 is moving full steam ahead, although without the steam, thanks, in part, to support from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
With over 68,000 kilometres of track and serving over a mind-boggling eight billion passengers a year, Indian Railways is vast and amongst the most complicated and involved transport systems in the world.
And, perhaps not surprisingly, moving hundreds of thousands of passengers each day across tens of thousands of kilometres of network requires enormous amounts of energy, energy which in the past has often been provided by burning polluting fossil fuels. Those fuels have been identified as one of the key drivers of climate change.
India’s transport sector contributes to 12 per cent of the country’s harmful climate-inducing gas emissions with railways accounting for about 4 per cent of that. One solution is to actually use the railways more and road transport less. Indian railways has committed to increasing the amount of freight transported by rail from about 35 per cent in 2015 to 45 per cent by 2030.
Investments in renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure are growing, however from January 2020 to March 2021, globally, more money was spent on fossil fuels, which when burned, create the harmful gasses driving climate change. Continue reading