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U.N. report: Renewable energy investment soars 540% since 2004

Investment in renewable energy last year amounted to a record 211 billion dollars, a rise of 32 percent over 2009 and 540 percent over 2004, a UN-backed report said on Thursday. China, investing 48.9 billion dollars, up 28 percent, accounted for more than a fifth of the total, marking a…

Kansas town rises green from tornado rubble

Kansas town rises green from tornado rubble GREENSBURG, Kansas (Reuters) – When community leaders in tornado-ravaged places such as Joplin, Mo., consider the future, they look to Greensburg, Kansas. Destroyed by a powerful tornado on May 4, 2007, Greensburg is renowned for its rebirth as a community of sustainable living.…

Romney: Man-made climate change is real

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (Reuters) – Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney broke with Republican orthodoxy on Friday by saying he believes that humans are responsible, at least to some extent, for climate change. “I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that,” he told a…

Renewable energies could supply 80 percent of world’s demand by 2050: UN report

ABU DHABI (Reuters) – Governments approved on Monday a U.N. report projecting that renewable energies such as solar, wind or hydropower could leap to supply almost 80 percent of the world’s demand by 2050, with the right policies. The study broadly matched a draft written by scientists before the meeting,…

Google, Japanese invest $500 million in wind farm

WASHINGTON — Google and the subsidiaries of two Japanese companies are investing $500 million in a wind farm being built in the northwestern US state of Oregon. Google said in a blog post Monday it was investing $100 million in the Shepherds Flat Wind Farm, expected to be the largest…

Want to save fuel? Fly a kite, German inventor says

THE NORTH SEA, Germany (AFP) – The blue-hulled vessel would slip by unnoticed on most seas if not for the white kite, high above her prow, towing her to what its creators hope will be a bright, wind-efficient future. The enormous kite, which looks like a paraglider, works in tandem…

Bat deaths could cost US economy billions: study

WASHINGTON – Call them creepy little creatures if you like, but insect-munching bats are so valuable to US agriculture that their deaths could cost the economy billions of dollars per year, experts said Thursday. A fungal disease known as white nose syndrome, combined with the rise in wind turbines which…

All of humanity could shift to solar, wind energy in less than 25 years, policy study group claims

Humankind has the technology, resources and capabilities to adapt to and help avert serious climate change and the crunch of a dwindling energy economy, if only the political will can be mustered — and it’s not just idealistic progressives who are saying so anymore. In a recent report, the British…

Japan nuclear crisis mixed message for climate change

PARIS – Japan’s nuclear crisis will boost interest in clean renewables such as solar and wind power but may also sharpen demand for coal, oil and gas, whose carbon pollution drives climate change, experts said Monday. Nuclear energy provides around 14 percent of the world’s electricity mix, although this is…

Voyager 1 spacecraft nears exit of solar system

WASHINGTON — NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft has reached the outer edge of the solar system where wind from the Sun is no longer blowing outward, but sideways, the US space agency said. The spacecraft was launched in 1977 and has since snapped images of Earth and other planets in the…

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