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Cleantech news you might have missed: 27 Jan. 2009

newspapersCouldn’t wade through all the cleantech headlines yesterday? Following are some of the stories you might have missed:

  • In yet another sign of an environmental and scientific turnaround in Washington, DC, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is holding off its approval of a new coal-fired power plant in South Dakota. The EPA sent a letter to state officials saying their proposed permit for the Big Stone II plant did not meet Clean Air Act requirements. Officials in South Dakota have 90 days to respond to the EPA.
  • Who’s one of the biggest greenhouse gas polluters in the EU? Surprisingly, it’s hydroelectric-powered, green-minded Norway, according to a recent article in The Economist. The story points out that, since adopting one of the EU’s first carbon taxes in 1991, Norway has seen its greenhouse gas emissions rise by 15 percent. The nation’s green cred is also compromised by the fact it’s one of the world’s top exporters of oil and natural gas, which leads to rising carbon dioxide emissions in other parts of the globe.
  • Agence France Presse reports that German officials are still at odds over the wisdom of a plan to seed the South Atlantic with iron sulphate, an experiment aimed at promoting blooms of phytoplankton to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sequester it at the sea bottom. While the German research ministry, led by Christian Democrats, supports the experiment, Social Democrats leading the environment ministry have called the government’s approval regrettable.
  • Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband yesterday published a shortlist of five potential projects for harnessing tidal power on the Severn estuary. The candidates include three different barrage designs and two “lagoon” projects; the projects would generate anywhere from 625 megawatts of electricity to more than 1.36 gigawatts. The government next plans to seek public comment on the proposals. While the Severn’s tidal range is second only to North America’s Bay of Fundy, making it a huge potential energy source, enviros are expressing concern about possible harm to the area’s wildlife and ecosystems.

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