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China tops renewable investment index

Ernst & Young’s Country Attractiveness Indices (CAI) report has deemed China to be the country most likely to attract renewable investors. 2012 is expected to be a mixed bag in terms of the fortunes of many global economies.

The professional services firm predict that the coming year will be a difficult one for more mature, established markets, because of financial constraints. However, impressive installation rates will see the economies of emerging market economies prosper.

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Ernst & Young’s Country Attractiveness Indices (CAI) report has deemed China to be the country most likely to attract renewable investors. 2012 is expected to be a mixed bag in terms of the fortunes of many global economies.

The professional services firm predict that the coming year will be a difficult one for more mature, established markets, because of financial constraints. However, impressive installation rates will see the economies of emerging market economies prosper.

The CAI report ranks 40 countries in terms of their renewable energy markets and infrastructure, as well as their suitability for individual technologies.

China, followed by the US, Germany, India and the UK, make up the overall top five.

Click to enlarge.

Out of the four all-encompassing renewable energies – wind, solar, biomass/other and geothermal – China scoops first place for wind, the US tops solar and geothermal, and Germany holds biomass.
Phil Dominy, senior executive in sustainability and cleantech at Ernst & Young, told Blue & Green Tomorrow how it calculated the ranking.

“We look at what the current hotspots in terms of investments are, so we look at analyst reports and forecasts for the next five years, government targets, and we have our own estimations, too”, he said.

“In terms of total investment over the next five years, we expect these 40 countries to be the ones that are ahead.

“There may be other, more emerging markets, like in the Middle East or North Africa, but they’re starting from almost nothing, so there is very high growth but they’re still not huge yet.”

Ernst & Young assessed the renewable infrastructure and technology of each of the 40 countries. Infrastructure included electricity market regulatory risk, planning issues, grid connection issues and access to finance, whilst technology included power off take attractiveness, tax climate, grant/soft loan availability, market growth potential, current installed base, resource quality and project size.

Each parameter was weighted to determine an overall score out of 100. Then, to create the All Renewables Index, Ernst & Young took a 65% contribution from technology and 35% from infrastructure.

The technology share was split up into onshore wind, offshore wind, solar photovoltaic (PV), concentrated solar power (CSP), biomass, small scale hydro, geothermal and wave and tidal, again with each receiving a weighted percentage contribution to the total.

Speaking about the results of the index, Dominy said, “The big thing is that the developed market – places like Western Europe and the US – is going to struggle this year, and that’s symbolised by the recent German and UK reductions to the feed-in tariff rates.

“These sorts of markets are struggling to cut back on its budget, so it’ll be the emerging markets that will probably gain the highlights over the coming years, so places like Latin America, the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, India, China, and Eastern Europe to an extent as well.”

Looking towards the future, Dominy said that Ernst & Young’s research suggests there will be a wholesale shift in the ranking.

“If you look at the top ten, it’s still predominantly European”, he pointed out.

“Over time, the top ten, apart from probably China and India, will gradually slip down and others will move up the index from the middle or lower.”

Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Oman are picked out by the firm as countries with big potential for renewable energy growth.

Another – Morocco – is already well on its way, after it became the first country to announce it was to play host to the innovative Desertec scheme in December last year, with Algeria quickly following suit.

A breakdown of the index can be found in the infographic below.

Click to enlarge.

Ultimately, the Ernst & Young ranking highlights some interesting trends in the global renewable market. It’s widely reported that this year is going to be tough economically, so this is certainly not something that is unique to the renewables industry.

One thing is clear; the clean energy industry is spreading. To invest in renewable energy or make other more sustainable investments, get in touch with your IFA, or fill in our online form. If you want to support green energy at home, contact Good Energy, the UK’s only 100% renewable electricity provider.

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Environment

How to be More eco-Responsible in 2018

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Shutterstock / By KENG MERRY Paper Art | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/kengmerrymikeymelody

Nowadays, more and more people are talking about being more eco-responsible. There is a constant growth of information regarding the importance of being aware of ecological issues and the methods of using eco-friendly necessities on daily basis.

Have you been considering becoming more eco-responsible after the New Year? If so, here are some useful tips that could help you make the difference in the following year:

1. Energy – produce it, save it

If you’re building a house or planning to expand your living space, think before deciding on the final square footage. Maybe you don’t really need that much space. Unnecessary square footage will force you to spend more building materials, but it will also result in having to use extra heating, air-conditioning, and electricity in it.

It’s even better if you seek professional help to reduce energy consumption. An energy audit can provide you some great piece of advice on how to save on your energy bills.

While buying appliances such as a refrigerator or a dishwasher, make sure they have “Energy Star” label on, as it means they are energy-efficient.

energy efficient

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By My Life Graphic

Regarding the production of energy, you can power your home with renewable energy. The most common way is to install rooftop solar panels. They can be used for producing electricity, as well as heat for the house. If powering the whole home is a big step for you, try with solar oven then – they trap the sunlight in order to heat food! Solar air conditioning is another interesting thing to try out – instead of providing you with heat, it cools your house!

2. Don’t be just another tourist

Think about the environment, as well your own enjoyment – try not to travel too far, as most forms of transport contribute to the climate change. Choose the most environmentally friendly means of transport that you can, as well as environmentally friendly accommodation. If you can go to a destination that is being recommended as an eco-travel destination – even better! Interesting countries such as Zambia, Vietnam or Nicaragua are among these destinations that are famous for its sustainability efforts.

3. Let your beauty be also eco-friendly

eco-friendly

Shutterstock / By Khakimullin Aleksandr

We all want to look beautiful. Unfortunately, sometimes (or very often) it comes with a price. Cruelty-free cosmetics are making its way on the world market but be careful with the labels – just because it says a product hasn’t been tested on animals, it doesn’t  mean that some of the product’s ingredients haven’t been tested on some poor animal.

To be sure which companies definitely stay away from the cruel testing on animals, check PETA Bunny list of cosmetic companies just to make sure which ones are truly and completely cruelty-free.

It’s also important if a brand uses toxic ingredients. Brands such as Tata Harper Skincare or Dr Bronner’s use only organic ingredients and biodegradable packaging, as well as being cruelty-free. Of course, this list is longer, so you’ll have to do some online research.

4. Know thy recycling

People often make mistakes while wanting to do something good for the environment. For example, plastic grocery bags, take-out containers, paper coffee cups and shredded paper cannot be recycled in your curb for many reasons, so don’t throw them into recycling bins. The same applies to pizza boxes, household glass, ceramics, and pottery – whether they are contaminated by grease or difficult to recycle, they just can’t go through the usual recycling process.

People usually forget to do is to rinse plastic and metal containers – they always have some residue, so be thorough. Also, bottle caps are allowed, too, so don’t separate them from the bottles. However, yard waste isn’t recyclable, so any yard waste or junk you are unsure of – just contact rubbish removal services instead of piling it up in public containers or in your own yard.

5. Fashion can be both eco-friendly and cool

Believe it or not, there are actually places where you can buy clothes that are eco-friendly, sustainable, as well as ethical. And they look cool, too! Companies like Everlane are very transparent about where their clothes are manufactured and how the price is set. PACT is another great company that uses non-GMO, organic cotton and non-toxic dyes for their clothing, while simultaneously using renewable energy factories. Soko is a company that uses natural and recycled materials in making their clothes and jewelry.

All in all

The truth is – being eco-responsible can be done in many ways. There are tons of small things we could change when it comes to our habits that would make a positive influence on the environment. The point is to start doing research on things that can be done by every person and it can start with the only thing that person has the control of – their own household.

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Energy

Top 5 Changes You can Make in Your Life to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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Saving money and reducing your carbon footprint? What isn’t to love? - Image from Shutterstock - https://www.shutterstock.com/g/thodonal88

In a world, where war rages and global warming threatens our very existence, the inhabitants of earth need to be extra vigilant in their efforts to go green. This includes reducing your carbon footprint on the earth and leading a more sustainable life.

Many homeowners feel perplexed by all of the options available to reduce their carbon footprint. They may even feel (falsely) that making their household more green will fail to make that much of a difference in the fight to save our planet.

Even a single home going green has a massive impact on the environment. We can win this battle on home at a time. If you’re interested in accepting the challenge of making your household a green home, read on below for a few of the top changes you can make in your life to reduce your carbon footprint. We all stand to benefit from making the earth safer for future generations – and your wallet won’t complain when you start to see the savings in annual energy costs.

Switch From Dirty Energy to Clean Solar

The ION Solar reviews tell it all–solar is the best way to go. Whether your goal is to slash your energy bills, or to reduce your carbon footprint, the sun is a fantastic source of renewable energy.

It’s important to get past the hype from solar installers. Instead, listen to the plethora of impartial customer reviews that mention everything from a $20 energy bill, to the incredible feeling of knowing that you are doing your part by going green and minimizing harmful emissions in to our atmosphere.

The average investment is $15,000 to $30,000 for installation and purchase of solar panels. Optional battery power packs can help provide consistent power during both night and day. And many government agencies provide federal, state or local grants to help offset upfront investments in clean energy.

Depending on which installed you choose, your household may qualify for low-interest or zero interest loans to cover the up-front cost of your installation. And the loan payments are usually less than your current monthly power bill.

It really is a win-win, as home buyers are looking for homes that feature this technology – meaning solar power installation improves the resale value of your property.

Home Modifications

And there are a number of additional home modifications that can help improve the energy efficiency of your home. A programmable thermostat can better manage energy consumption from home cooling and heating systems while you’re away from home. And weather stripping your doors can help keep cool air in during the summer, and warm air in during the winter.

Of course, energy conservation starts at home. And this includes setting a powerful example for your kids. Teach your children how to close windows, strategically keep doors open or closed based on airflow, and encourage them to leave the thermostat alone – opting for adding or removing layers of clothing instead.

Unplug Appliances and Shut Off Electronics

Unplugging your appliances when they aren’t in use, such as the toaster and the coffee maker, has more of an impact than you might think. Set your TVs and stereos on sleep timers, instead of letting them run around the clock. The cumulative impact of wasteful electronic device usage is horrible for our environment – putting unnecessary strain on our electrical grid.

Recycle

One of the simplest and easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is by recycling. You are already throwing this stuff away anyway, right? It doesn’t take much more effort to just put recyclables in a separate container to be recycled, now does it?

Oh, and did I mention that you can earn money for recycling? Yes! Many cities and towns have recycling centers that will purchase your clean plastic and glass bottles for reuse.

Minimize Your Water Usage

Water is one of the easiest things to forget about when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint. Preserve water by turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth. Shorten your shower by a few minutes and turn down the heat on that water heater. You’ll be surprised at how much lower your water bill and your energy bill will be.

Saving money and reducing your carbon footprint? What isn’t to love?

These are just a few of the top ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint and start living a greener lifestyle. And we aren’t factoring in all of the advantages that we’ll reap from public investments in a smarter energy grid.

From decreasing your water usage, to switching to solar for your home’s energy needs, you will feel good at the end of the day knowing you are doing your part to save the future of this planet for generations to come!

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