Dan Kammen highlights the value of renewable energies

September, 2011
The Sydney Morning Herald
Dan Kammen presentation at Australia's Ecogen conference were reported by the Sydney Morning Herald:

"[...] World Bank renewable energy specialist Dan Kammen told the Ecogen conference there were major economic opportunities for developed economies to partner with China in building and selling renewable energy technology.

Mr Kammen said there had been too much focus on the “intense battle” being waged publicly by skeptics of human-caused climate change.

Even without helping to combat climate change, he said promoting renewable energy with policies including feed-in tariffs would increase energy security, business profitability and promote jobs growth.

Organisers said the conference, which ends tomorrow, was being held at a “critical time” for the clean energy industry."

Awards for Change: How prizes can help us achieve energy goals

September, 2011
Development in a Changing Climate Blog
What will it take to foster and spread the ideas and practices needed for sustainable development? One thing that has stirred innovative thinking are the positive results of recent prize competitions.

Perhaps the most notable of these – so far – has been the Ansari X Prize. The Ansari X Prize was a space competition in which the X Prize Foundation offered a US$10 million reward for the first non-government organization to launch the same reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks. It was modeled after early 20th-century aviation prizes, and aimed to spur development of low-cost spaceflight. There is real brilliance in this idea, but in the specific terms of the prize, which prompted other competitors – each of whom spent far more than the prize money. The prize, claimed by Scaled Composites in 2004 for its Tier One project launched or accelerated a diverse portfolio of private space ventures, “spaceports”, and an industry now worth billions.

More (and Targeted) Financing Needed to Expand Energy Access

July, 2011
Development in a Changing Climate Blog
Energy poverty cripples development prospects. Where people don’t have access to modern energy services, like reliable electricity, their ability to earn a livelihood is sabotaged. That’s why UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called — admirably — for “a revolution that makes energy available and affordable for all” in 2012, designated the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.

Correcting Faulty Math on Renewable Energy

July, 2011
The Great Energy Challenge
Renewable energy:  Scientists, governments, and significant elements of the business community now are in agreement that it is the basis around which we can build a low-carbon, sustainable, global energy economy. And yet, misinformation is being propagated by interests favoring the status quo.

A June 7 op-ed,  The Gas is Greener, by Robert Bryce in The New York Times is a sad example. Using rhetorical arguments and faulty calculations, Bryce argues that technologies such as wind and solar are somehow more environmentally destructive than natural gas and nuclear energy. This opinion is at odds with the findings of the several hundred analysts who developed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources released last month. It is also at odds with the community of nations who reviewed and endorsed the report and its finding that 17 to 77 percent of global energy needs could come from renewable energy by 2050.

So, what is the truth? Can we build this new energy economy?