15 April '10
7:35 AM UTC
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Top Ten Players in Green Energy

March Top Ten Players In Green Energy

Welcome to the March edition of G.E.R.’s Top Ten Players in Green Energy. This month Chevron and its pragmatic green strategy takes the lead. Our ranking looks back over the previous month and  takes into account a player’s ability to influence the cleantech industry, whether it be because of a forceful policy position, access to funding or a combination of the two.

1: Chevron

Over the last decade, some oil and gas majors jumped right into the green energy revolution, hoping to leverage their considerable cash and energy expertise into a profitable sideline in renewables. That tactic has not weathered the recession well, as BP has shown in the last year. Enter Chevron with a new approach. The California-based company has been easing into green energy with an eye towards making its core oil and gas business less energy intensive. In March, The company opened Project Brightfield, an 8-acre facility to test solar panels under different conditions and compare the performance against benchmark technologies. Chevron is also testing concentrating photovoltaic technology at a mine in New Mexico and solar steam technology in Central California. It’s not a strategy that’s going to save the world, but it is moving green energy forward.

2: Steven Chu, Energy Secretary

Every day, there is one thing you can be sure Energy Secretary Chu thinks about: China, and how can the U.S. beat the rising green power to lead the global green economy. These days, the Secretary is not mincing words, reminding anyone who’ll listen that failure is not an option. He’s blunt and says that  right now, void of any climate change law and paralyzed by the loud voices of climate change deniers, the U.S. is losing that race! At a press briefing last month, Chu told reporters that on China, “the U.S. should sit up and take notice.” He added: “The [Chinese] leadership increasingly sees economic opportunity in cleantech… Having missed the industrialized revolution and the semiconductor revolution, they do not want to miss this opportunity.”

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24 March '10
9:20 AM UTC
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  Policy

France Shelves Carbon Tax

Sarkozy is walking away from his campaign promise to tax carbon

France has abandoned its carbon tax, fearful that it would hurt the competitiveness of French businesses.

The decision underscores how difficult pricing carbon is not just in France but in the U.S. and across the globe. The law was actually one of French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s cornerstone campaign promise and it came close to becoming law, before being slammed down by the country’s constitutional court.

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17 February '10
3:24 PM UTC
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  Solar

Desertec Set to Add Five New Partners

So far it remains an initiative that’s yet to graduate to full blown project status. However, even in these early days Desertec,  formerly known as the Desertec Industrial Initiative (DII), knows a good PR yarn. Read More »

30 December '09
8:51 AM UTC
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  Policy

French Government Scrambles to Rescue Carbon Tax [UPDATE]

Its back to square one for President Sarkozy's carbon tax

It's back to square one for President Sarkozy's carbon tax

UPDATE | 10:10 AM: The tax was set at 17 euros ($24.38) per ton of carbon-dioxide emissions. However, to ensure passage the legislation ended exempting almost 93 percent of all industrial carbon emissions in France. Read More »

29 July '09
8:39 AM UTC
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  Solar

POWEO Set to Launch Construction on €40M Solar Plant in Southwestern France

Poweo, a French power supplier, has received  a regulatory green light to start construction on a 12 megawatts solar farm in      southwestern France, close to the Spanish border.

The plant is expected to cost about €40 million ($56.9 million) and begin operating next summer, in 2010. Poweo, based in Paris, operates about 3 megawatts of solar power and about 71 megawatts of hydro and wind generation.

The company says it plans to grow its clean energy  generation so that it accounts for 25 percent of its energy mix.

France, which lags behind compared to Spain and Germany, as a clean energy generator, is now trying to catch up to its neighbors. Last week First Solar and EDF Energies Nouvelles announced that  they would jointly construct a €90 million PV plant.  The plant — the first of three such facilities to be constructed in France — is part of the government’s goal  to more than quadruple the country’s solar generation capacity from a current 121 megawatts to 500 megawatts by 2012.

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