KCET said renewable energy power installations accounted for 46% of newly installed US electric generating capacity in 2012. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says renewable energy projects include solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal and biomass. New natural gas-fired power plants accounted for only 5.7 GW of new US generating capacity, or 37.8% of the total for the year. New coal plants totaled 2.27 GW or 15.1%t of new capacity. Wind led the renewable sector with 5.4 GW of new capacity or 35.8 percent of all new renewable capacity this year. Solar power projects accounted for just over 1 GW of new capacity in 2012, or just under 7% of the total. Hydro, geothermal, and biomass together accounted for 544 MW or about 3.6% of the total.

The Hindu Business Line found renewable energy costlier in India than US and Europe. A study carried out by the Climate Policy Initiative and the Centre for Emerging Markets, Indian School of Business, Hyderabad concluded the cost difference is due to higher interest rates and the relatively short-term loans available for renewable projects in India. These factors increase the cost of renewable energy in India by one-quarter to one-third above similar projects in the US and Europe. The Indian government has set a goal of reaching 4 to 10 GW of renewable energy by 2017 and 20 GW by 2022. Meanwhile, the cost of solar energy in the US continues to fall according to hydrogenfuelnews. The US Department of Energy reported the average cost of solar installations fell by 14% in 2011 as a result of cheaper technology combined with state and federal government subsidies.

Renewable energy is headed to the Middle East. Al Arabiya noted that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emerites are poised to undertake a clean energy revolution, greener ideal said Qatar is investing billions in solar energy, while PVTECH observed that Kuwait wants 15% renewable energy by 2030.

UK renewable energy investment is declining wrote The Independent. Investment in industrial-scale wind, water, solar, biomass and nuclear power projects has more than halved in the past three years, in the face of government indecision over its green energy policy. Political “uncertainty has shaken the confidence of potential financiers who need a clear sense of their likely returns along with certainty that the government is in favour of green energy and won’t suddenly change its policy.”

Renewable energy could rise to 4.5% of Russia’s total electric power generation by by 2020 reports POWER Engineering. Currently Russia’s renewable sources include hydro power, solar and wind. Russia relies on natural gas, crude oil, coal and nuclear energy to generate most of its electricity.Russia requires renewable energy because the country has remote locations to which it technically difficult to deliver electricity in a centralized manner. See also Russia’s energy: electric power sector.

CleanEnergyAuthority reported that the price of photovoltaic (PV) solar cells will reach parity with other forms of electric generation by 2020.

Ghana is about to have the largest solar project in Africa said BBC. The Nzema project will be able to provide electricity to more than 100,000 homes. The 155 MW plant, which will increase Ghana’s generating capacity by 6%, will use photovoltaic (PV) technology to convert sunlight directly into electricity. Construction should start within the next year on the 630,000 PV solar modules. Demand for renewable energy has been held back in emerging economies like Ghana by high costs, but a recent glut of solar panels on world markets has seen prices drop substantially – to the advantage of African countries.

The Taipei Times let us know that the government of Taiwan has initiated a LED light bulbs program aimed at helping low-income households and social welfare organizations replace traditional light bulbs to save NT$130 million (US$4.48 million) a year in electricity fees. Next year the government will distribute 500,000 LED light bulbs, each of which will be less than 10 watts, to 220,000 low-income households and 1,429 social welfare organizations. By using LED light bulbs, low-income households could save about NT$520 in electricity fees a year, while social welfare organizations could see their bills cut by NT$6,200 per year.







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