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Global renewable energy growth continues

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Global renewable energy capacity continues to grow year after year. In 2014, around 135 GW of new renewable energy capacity were added worldwide, meaning that the total global renewable energy capacity now stands at around 1,712 GW, representing 8.5% increase from the year 2013.

In the same time, carbon dioxide emissions remained pretty much the same in 2014, as compared to 2013, even despite the 1.5% annual increase in global energy consumption.

The growth in renewable energy capacity is the main factor preventing the growth in carbon emissions. The other important factor is the improvement in energy efficiency.


Hydroelectricity gets an ecological makeover in Norvay

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Norway, a country that generates more than 80% of its electricity from hydropower, has added to its renewable repertoire in the guise of a beautifully Kebony-clad 30GWh plant. The plant is situated deep within the mountains of Helgeland, a hiker’s paradise just below the Arctic Circle. The region is known for its unique coastline and spectacular mountain formations and the architects wanted the plant’s design to be inspired by and reflect the landscape, whilst also functioning as an attraction for hikers in the back country wilderness.

The Øvre Forsland power station has been designed to educate hikers about power production by allowing visitors to experience the production of hydraulic electricity at various points throughout the process. From the nearby bridge, the powerful water flow that drives the turbines can be seen emerging from the station and the heart of the plant and the inner workings are exposed through an opening, which reveals the light design of the interior - inspired by the mystery of the Northern Lights.

Øvre Forsland is located on the river bank, in a clearing at the edge of a spruce forest. A main inspiration for the design was the verticality and the irregularity of the spruce trees. Along with extensive use of stone, slate and glass on the exterior of the building, Kebony wood is used in the building’s cladding. Kebony was chosen for the build primarily to its beauty and to its hardwearing qualities but sustainability was also of paramount importance to the architects. Kebony is a Norwegian wood, produced using sustainably sourced soft wood species which are impregnated with a non-chemical bio-based product and heated under pressure, resulting in a highly durable and maintenance free product. As such Kebony diverts demand away from our endangered tropical forests.


Stay above the smog – try these business tips

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We are living in smog – crop yields suffer in India because of nuclear power plants, the Hollywood sign is barely visible through car fumes, Chinese fashion shows feature the latest in gas mask chic, and fracking sites have become a major concern in the UK.

This is just the tip of a rapidly melting iceberg – and the situation is getting worse.

Political and environmental activist Naomi Klein has claimed that this disastrous impact on the world climate will continue so long as capitalism continues unfettered. Whencash is concerned, according to Klein, the dollar will ignore the environmental impact.

Yet, big business is also providing a light at the end of the carbon-filled tunnel.

Companies like Tesco, B&Q, DuPont and Asda have all made pledges to cut carbon – and their profits have increased as a direct result of their efforts.


Wind energy outlook in EU and United States

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Wind energy industry is still looking mighty good on global level. European wind energy developers installed 11,800 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity in 2014, which represents a growth of 3.8% in comparison to 2013.

Energy analysts expect even better results in 2014 because many countries offer favorable subsidies for wind energy developers in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The favorable government subsidies are expected to dwindle in the upcoming years and the developers want to make the most of it. It is predicted that EU will add around 15600 MW in 2015.

Germany is the EU leader in terms of installing new wind power capacity. The Germany alone accounted for approximately half of the EU's installed wind power capacity due to its aggressive renewable energy policy.


Denmark leads the way in wind energy production

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Denmark is yet again making the full use of its wind energy resources by setting another record. In 2014 this European country generated 39,1 of its electricity from wind. Transition to clean energy looks to be easy for Denmark and the country is well on track to achieve the 2020 energy goal of generating 50 percent of its power from renewables.

Denmark is these days more focused on offshore wind resources. In fact, in 2014, country added around 100 offshore wind turbines to its energy grid. Wind should play major role in Denmark's goal to achieve fossil-free energy use by 2050, especially offshore wind farms.

There are some energy analysts who believe that if Denmark continues this path of wind energy production it will soon suffer from an overabundance of wind energy. There is the fear that record wind energy production could lead to deflated prices which could result in energy companies charging customers more to account for the cost gap.


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