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26 March 2013 - The Sydney Morning Herald
Australia’s neighbours in Asia – especially China – are emerging as the countries best placed to prosper from moves to cut greenhouse gas emissions, an international study has found.
In their second study of the ”low carbon competitiveness” of the world’s largest economies, multinational GE and the Climate Institute found the momentum for action on climate change had shifted from Europe and the United States towards emerging Asian economies…Read more
8 March 2012 – Hybrid Cars
Following his recent State of the Union outline to boost domestically produced clean energy and related transportation, this week President Obama announced $4.7 billion in proposed plans to enable an “all of the above” approach.
Speaking at a Daimler truck plant in North Carolina, the president said his administration wants to give compressed natural gas vehicles a tax credit similar to that for which plug-in vehicles are eligible. In all, the proposal would commit $3.7 billion toward clean energy tax credits.
Obama also announced a new $1 billion National Community Deployment Challenge to spur deployment of clean, advanced vehicles in communities around the country, and an “EV Everywhere” plan to make electric vehicles as affordable and convenient as any ordinary car within a decade.
As part of his ambitious plan to get there, Obama reiterated the sentiment spoken by his administration officials since last year to make the plug-in tax credit a transferable point of sale rebate, instead of making consumers wait until filing their taxes.
As outlined in a White House press announcement, the President proposes to improve the current tax credit for electric vehicles by:
- Expanding eligibility for the credit to a broader range of advanced vehicle technologies;
- Increasing the amount from $7,500, making it scalable up to $10,000;
- Reforming the credit to make it available at the point-of-sale by making it transferable to the dealer or financier, allowing consumers to benefit when they purchase a vehicle rather than when they file their taxes; and
- Removing the cap on the number of vehicles per manufacturer eligible for the credit and, instead, ramping down and eventually eliminating the credit at the end of the decade.
Calling it a “Race to the Top,” the $1 billion National Community Deployment Challenge wants to catalyze up to 10 to 15 model communities to invest in infrastructure, remove regulatory barriers, and create the local incentives for advanced-tech vehicle deployment to the point of “critical mass.”
“This proposal embraces a strategy similar to that outlined by Senators Merkley and Alexander in their Promoting Electric Vehicles legislation,” the White House said. It differs from it however in that it is “fuel neutral” so if communities favor EVs or CNG or some other technology, the government would like to help level the playing field. Read more…
4 March 2012 – Jakarta Globe
Four of Japan’s top automotive manufacturers are set to produce cheap and green cars in Indonesia by the end of the year.
And while the government has agreed to exempt the vehicles from the luxury tax to boost domestic sales, the vehicle industry has condemned the alternative decision to impose an excise tax.
The four companies — Toyota, Daihatsu, Suzuki and Honda — plan to produce a combined 500,000 low-cost green cars (LCGC) a year with total investment at $1.8 billion, according to Industry Minister M.S. Hidayat.
The plans follow the introduction of a government program offering carmakers incentives if they manufacture LCGC in the country as parts of an effort to make Indonesia an automotive production base for Southeast Asia and promote the use of local content.
“This program will employ many workers, from the primary industry to the spare-parts industry,” Hidayat said on Friday…Read more.
29 February 2012 – InAudit
While 2011 saw record levels of new investment into clean energy, especially solar technologies, the outlook for 2012 is far less certain, particularly in developed markets according to Ernst & Young’s latest quarterly global renewable energy Country Attractiveness Indices report (CAI).
The report says that the sector will continue to prosper in 2012 in the emerging markets, thanks to ambitious installation programs securing investments, while more established markets will face increasing financial constraints, especially within the Eurozone.
The sovereign debt crisis continues to stifle renewable energy investment in the Eurozone, along with Governments scaling back their ambitions for the sector. Simultaneously capital scarcity and increased competition from Asia will continue to put pressure on developed markets for the foreseeable future. The report also suggests that this will lead to almost inevitable consolidation of the wind and solar sectors and increased vertical integration, as equipment manufacturers seek ever more innovative routes to market.
Commenting on the tough global economic environment facing the renewable sector, Gil Forer, Ernst & Young’s Global Cleantech Leader, says “During 2011 we saw increased M&A activity signaling that the solar market is starting to mature, coupled with record levels of investment in a rush to beat declining government incentives.
“Early indications for 2012 are that it will be more challenging for stakeholders, with mature markets getting softer due to continued liquidity constraints and the ongoing withdrawal of government incentives. However within emerging markets we continue to witness growth in the levels of capacity, as energy security concerns and demand for jobs drive increased government commitments to renewable energy.” Read more…
27 February 2012 – Renewable Energy World
China continues to take aggressive steps to secure itself as the leading manufacturing base for renewable energy. And it’s increasingly doing so with an eye on how that base can help it take a lead in project development as well.
Last week, China furthered that agenda on a couple of fronts. First, it established a national think tank that will focus on renewable energy programs and policies. According to China Daily, the China National Renewable Energy Center will also draft industry standards and carry out international cooperation programs.
“In China, developing policies and strategies for renewable energy is a complex task because government leaders have to weigh all aspects to ensure that it will benefit the entire country,” said Wang Zhongying, head of the center. “That is not to say that our government doesn’t have the courage to make policy. Rather, a strong think tank can provide solid research to support policymakers.”
Later in the week, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology posted a plan that called for certain polysilicon producers to reach 50,000 tons of annual production and for certain module makers to hit 5-GW scale. The intent is two-fold — to continue feeding into existing and developing markets while pushing to pump up its own solar capacity. Read more…