20 Aug 2009:
Australian Parliament Adopts
20 Percent Renewables Standard By 2020
Australia’s Parliament has passed a law requiring that 20 percent of the country’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2020
, an increase from the current level of 8 percent. The standard, which matches the European Union’s, means that the households of all 21 million Australians could be powered by renewable energy in a decade. Green Party leaders said, however, that the standard should be 30 percent, and Climate Change Minister Penny Wong noted that even with the new renewable standard, the nation’s CO2 emissions are expected to be 20 percent above 2000 levels in 2020 because of the growth of the Australian economy. Meanwhile, a new report shows that electricity generated by renewable sources in the U.S. reached an all-time high in May, with alternative energy accounting for 13 percent of total electrical generation
. That’s 7.7 percent higher than May 2008, with most of the growth coming from wind and solar power. Hydropower remains the largest source of renewable energy, accounting for 9.4 percent of U.S. electricity production.
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Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s coral reefs, which are largely intact thanks to stifled coastal development in the communist nation. View the gallery.
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The Warriors of Qiugang
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A three-part series Tainted Harvest
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