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Green Business Roundup – September 19th 2012

Japan Backs Down on its Commitment to be Nuclear Free by 2040

Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant Japangunnsteinlye / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Hamaoka nuclear power plant, not affected by the March earthquake, but was shut down in May due to future quakes expected in the area.

Reacting to pressure from the business community, the Japanese government has relaxed its commitment to a nuclear free energy policy.  The 2040 deadline recommended a few days ago has now disappeared and there is no longer any mention of complete phase-out during the 2030s.  The Guardian reports that Japnese business leaders have expressed concern that the plan could force companies to shift production overseas because of high gas and oil prices .  The trade and industry minister, Yukio Edano, is quoted as saying:

“Whether we can become nuclear free by the 2030s is not something to be achieved only with a decision by policy-makers.  It also depends on the will of [electricity] users, technological innovation and the environment for energy internationally in the next decade or two.”

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The Social Cost of Carbon

This is a really thought-provoking article by Joanna Foster on the NY Times blog challenging us to think about the actual cost of carbon emissions in ways which will help us to calculate the price we should pay for polluting.  Besides the complexity of the maths involved and the assumptions that have to be made, there is the huge social question of the sacrifices we are prepared to make now for the benefit of future generations.

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Solar Companies Target Service Revenue reports today that the number of completed solar projects in the US is now greater than the number being installed plus the number planned.  This has led solar companies to target service contracts as a way to boost revenue which in turn puts them in a better position to finance expansion and upgrading of systems.

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Modern Hotels Use Twice As Much Energy as Hotels Built 50 Years Ago

Finding that even ‘green hotels’ use considerably more energy than buildings constructed in the sixties, this article points to the difference between energy efficiency and energy consumption.  We face the need for ever increasing conservation and efficiency in energy use.  We also have to remember that we may need to decide to simply use less.

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