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Western steelmakers have long complained that their Chinese competitors operate under a different set of rules.

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Mills run by Nucor and Steel Dynamics legitimately claim to be some of the most environmentally responsible steelmakers in the world, operating as they do under a raft of US legislation that controls a wide range of water, air, noise, dust and waste control standards that few mills in the developing world are forced to meet.

These operating standards benefit the environment particularly of those working in or living near to the steel mills, but indirectly the wider global community, too. It is not that emerging markets such as China do not have environmental laws it is more that they are rarely, if ever, enforced.


India wants more solar power. On Feb 25, in pursuance of its stated goals, the Indian government sanctioned groundbreaking on 15,000 megawatts (MW) of grid-connected solar projects, to be completed in three stages.

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While this is welcome news for proponents of clean energy, coming especially on the back of a research report that showed that India’s rate of solar installation in 2014 was 883 MW, down 12% compared to 1,004 MW installed in 2013.

A lot of churn has happened on the renewable energy front in India in the last nine months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his government’s commitment to the sector. India relies overwhelmingly on coal for its energy needs, but the falling cost of solar power has refocused interest in its use for both grid-connected solar parks and home applicati


It is one of the neglected metals sectors in India. The metals recycling business suffers from government apathy and to some extent, even a lack of awareness on part of the various participants within the metals ecosystem. How else can one explain that India’s recycling rate is just about 25%, putting it at the bottom of the global list of recycling nations. In the US metals are recycled at a rate of 90%.

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Slowly, though, realization is creeping in that recycling metal scrap is a must in the modern world since the nation’s carbon footprint reduction has become imperative.


Although coal and oil will decline relative to other energy sources the three carbon fuels will still dominate the supply market down from 86% now to 81% by 2035 – not exactly a low carbon future.

Power generation is expected to account for an ever-increasing share of primary energy consumption BP says as the world continues on a long-term trend of electrification: even if the share rises from 42% today to only 47% by 2035. While coal is set to fall as a percentage of the whole and renewables are projected to rise by 2035, BP does not expect to see wind or solar farms on every open space. They will contribute only 8% by 2035 up from 3% today.

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Although predictions by other bodies such as the US Energy Information Administration vary, they all show an increase in total carbon emissions from energy consumption of a similar nature. BP’s and the EIA are two of the closest showing an increase of around 25% between 2013 and 2035 (1% p.a.), with the rate of growth declining from 2.5% over the past decade to 0.7% in the final decade of the Outlook.


With base metal prices down and oil, while recovering a bit, still far below its 2014 highs, more trucks and SUVs are being purchased and the cost savings of even the most proven renewable technologies, such as roof-mounted solar panels, isn’t the savings it was just a few months ago.

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Yet, much of our coverage was devoted to renewables this week. BP released its Energy Outlook 2035 and the predictions were, well, not good.


Whether you are a fully signed up member of the Armageddon-is-just-around-the-corner-due-to –global-warming camp or a complete naysayer is, with all due respect to most of us in either camp, irrelevant.

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The point is those that form policies and pass laws on the whole a) accept climate change due to human activity is a real and present danger to the future of life on earth and b) have on the whole been totally incapable of taking any action that will have the impact they (mostly) agree is needed. The reason is not hard to see, the consequences are long term, the costs are short term, and politicians work very much in the here and now.


The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) the U.S. Green Building Council, and the Illuminating Engineering Society are considering the developing biomass requirements for inclusion in their new, co-sponsored green building standard.

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Prior to the current biomass debate, the USGBC had a years-long internal feud over the use of wood as a building material and which organizations could certify wood as “sustainable” for LEED projects.


India took its first step on the road to coal mining reform by initiating the auction of select coal blocks over the weekend. Environmentalists, though, were not too happy about it.

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In September, India’s top court canceled 98% of coal mine permits previously allotted to companies over the last two decades, leaving many analysts shell-shocked and pondering the future of the country’s energy sector.


Turner Construction‘s 2014 Green Building Market Barometer shows that interest in alternative green building rating systems is up a massive 250% in two years.

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The US Green Building Council‘s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program has been the de facto standard in building certification since the middle of the last decade.