Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Renewable Energy News, July 19, 2011

OPIC to invest up to $820m in India's renewable energy sector
US government-owned financial entity Overseas Private Investment Corp (OPIC) plans to invest up to USD 820 million (about Rs 3,600 crore) in the fast- growing Indian renewable energy sector by the end of 2011.

As part of efforts to boost clean energy initiatives, OPIC will make investments to the tune of USD 520 million in India's renewable energy sector, including the solar segment, OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield said today.

Further, it would also make private equity investments worth USD 300 million, especially in small solar companies.

These investments, totalling USD 820 million, would be made by the end of this year, Littlefield said.
Salazar approves 550MW of renewable energy developments
US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has approved four new renewable energy projects on public lands, as well as launching environmental reviews on three others.

Salazar has also laid out the next steps in a comprehensive environmental analysis to identify ‘solar energy zones’ on public lands in six western states.

“The focus we have placed on smart planning and coordinated reviews of permit applications is paying dividends with new large-scale renewable energy projects that are springing to life, powering communities, and creating jobs across the West,” said the Secretary of the Interior last week.
Maine tidal-power firm joins Canadian venture
A Maine tidal power company is partnering with a Canadian project developer to break into a much larger market by installing underwater turbines off the coast of Nova Scotia, the parties said Monday.

Portland-based Ocean Renewable Power Co. and Nova Scotia-based Fundy Tidal Inc. plan to install underwater turbines in the Petit Passage off western Nova Scotia in the fall of 2012, about six months after installing Ocean Renewable's turbines off eastern Maine, the companies said.

The partnership would get Ocean Renewable into a lucrative market, one that's subsidized by Nova Scotia's government as it seeks to make the province a world leader in tidal power.

Maine shares the Bay of Fundy with Canada, and development potential in Canadian waters "is 10 times larger" than it is in Maine, said John Ferland, Ocean Renewable's vice president.
Solar ovens, renewable energy offer hope for Afghanistan
At first, she noticed Afghan children hauling brush. Then, in Afghan family compounds, she noticed women tending small fires and trying to cook over them.

But it wasn't until U.S. diplomat Patricia McArdle realized how often it was sunny in Afghanistan that she put it together with a youthful memory of cooking with solar ovens and realized this was a low-tech option offering long-term hope to the war-torn nation, which is preparing for a draw-down of U.S. troops.

"My concern is that it (renewable energy) really hasn't been part of our talk of reconstruction," said the now-retired McArdle, who spent a year in northern Afghanistan from 2005 at the end of a diplomatic career, in a telephone conversation.

"My hope is that we will focus a bit more on renewable energy as we start to pull out."

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