1. Morocco has ambitious plans to be the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy. Its new agreement with the European Union removes tariff barriers, and it is importing huge amounts of German equipment for wind and solar generation. Morocco subsidizes the green projects, and plans to export electricity to Europe. ( Desertec is constructing a major solar electricity-generating plant in Morocco).
2. Japan’s Prime Minister, Yoshihiko Noda, has put in very attractive rates and incentives for solar power in Japan, such that it will likely overtake Germany as a solar energy market soon. Japan is still reeling from the loss of its Fukushima reactors in the tsunami and subsequent reactor failures. Public opinion in Japan has turned decisively against the nuclear industry, which had generated a third of Japan’s electricity. The Japanese government is therefore scrambling to go green, and taking very serious practical measures to promote that sector. Ironically, Japanese firms had been pioneers in solar panels and other green technology, but the government had been wedded to the nuclear industry or hydrocarbon imports. Japanese engineers and inventors are among the best in the world, and this transition has the potential, at least, to kickstart the Japanese economy, which never really recovered from the burst bubble of the early 1990s.
3. Crowdfunding could revolutionize the solar industry in the United States, according to Bloomberg study. Some $90 bn. could be injected into the industry in this way. Investments in solar on the part of individuals are also a good idea, since the returns will be decent.
5. A group of African and European companies is planning to install 365 wind turbines in a 64 square mile stretch in Kenya. In this desolate region, the wind is strong and regular. The complex will be Africa’s largest wind farm.
6. A US AID survey has found that Pakistan could generate some 346 gigawatts of power from wind energy. Punjab has been racked by electricity riots in recent weeks, as Pakistan continues to face outages and increasing removal of subsidies. If Pakistan’s politicians and businessmen were smart, they get those turbines up and running.
7. The Indian state of Gujarat is planning to put in a big wave-power installation. Given that India has an enormous shore line, wave power could be important to its future.