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80 Day Race to set off from Paris

15 June 2015

The organisers of 80 Day Race, a circumnavigation of the globe via sustainable transport, inspired by the Jules Verne classic 'Around the world in 80 days', have confirmed that the competition’s 'Grand Départ' will be from the front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, in April 2017. 80 Day Race competitors will cover 40,000 kilometers using land-based vehicles which do not consume fossil fuel and which do not contain a combustion engine. The competitors will be free to choose their own route between eight host cities, where qualifying events, educational programmes and tradeshows will also take place.

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2015 Ashden Awards - Max Fordham

12 June 2015 Update: Winner, UK Gold Award & Ashden Award for Sustainable Buildings, supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation

2015 Ashden Awards UK Finalist

Max Fordham has spent nearly 50 years developing sustainable building services, working closely with architects to create beautiful buildings with the highest standards of energy efficiency. The results are impressive: clients are able to cut their carbon emissions by up to 50% through increasing natural light and ventilation and installing energy-efficient equipment and insulation. The company has also pushed the concept of ‘soft landings’, working closely with occupants to make sure their new buildings work as efficiently as possible, and helping tackle what’s often a huge gap between the way buildings are designed and how they are actually used.

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2015 Ashden Awards - SteamaCo, Kenya

12 June 2015 Update: Winner, International Gold Award & Ashden Award for Business Innovation, supported by Citi

2015 Ashden Awards International Finalist

Lake Victoria’s fishing villages and other rural communities in Kenya are benefiting from clean light and power for the first time, thanks to renewable energy micro-grids. Using the natural energy of the sun, they work like mini power stations for each village, supplying enough energy to run small businesses, as well as power TVs, radios and bright lights in the home. Solar power in East Africa is not new, but what’s exciting about SteamaCo is the technology behind it: the micro-grids use an innovative cloud-based remote metering and payments system that monitors energy use, lets people pay for power using their mobile phones, and quickly troubleshoots any problems. With around 80% of Kenyans lacking access to mains electricity, SteamaCo is helping to bring the benefits of clean energy to increasing numbers of off-grid customers.

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Brazil sets date for first solar auction of 2015

First published on the BSEC Blog, 16 March 2015

The Brazilian Government has confirmed that the first dedicated solar energy auction for 2015 will take place on 14 August. Utility scale solar developers who are successful in the auction will have two years to build their projects, after which they will be awarded a 20-year PPA (contract) for the supply of energy to the national grid.

The policy of Brazil’s Ministry of Mines & Energy involves dedicated solar energy auctions, which are intended to contribute to a diversification of the nation’s energy mix. Brazil has been suffering from severe droughts, which have depleted water levels in the hydro electricity reserves (the dominant source of electricity in Brazil) resulting in outages this year. The situation has forced Brazil to import electricity from neighbours.

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