Warren Buffett makes $2.5bn solar energy investment

By John Parnell

– The day’s top climate change stories as chosen by RTCC
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Thursday 03 January

Last updated: 1545

Africa: Researchers say increased CO2 levels could double the size of sweet potatoes, a staple of many African nation’s diets, but growing conditions for farmers and the nutritional value of the end product could decline. Researchers grew identical crops in different levels of atmospheric CO2 comparable to those linked to future emissions. (AlertNet)

Arctic: Changes in Arctic sea ice are creating a new vicious circle of warming according to new research. Younger layers of permanent sea ice, which are replacing older multi-year ice, are allowing as much as 50% more energy to be absorbed increasing future rates of melting. (EurActiv)

US: The man widely considered to be the world’s most successful investor, Warren Buffett has paid $2.5bn for a solar energy project in California. Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings added SunPower’s 579 MW Antelope Valley scheme to the $2.4bn Topaz solar it acquired last year for $2.4bn. (Renewable Energy World)

Bangladesh: The Grameen Shakti solar energy firm, part of Mohammad Yunus’ Grameen social enterprise, as now installed 1 million small home solar power units in homes across Bangladesh. An estimated 1.3 billion people have no access to electricity but the combination of rural banking and off grid electricity generation, such as solar, provide one solution to reduce this figure. (Sierra Club)

Research: The risk of political delays is more damaging to our chances of limiting warming to 2°C than waiting for new scientific or technological development, according to a new study. Results published in the journal Nature yesterday found that policy delays of one or two decades render scientific uncertainties “irrelevant”. (Nature)

US: The Californian carbon market surged during its first days of trading reaching $16.35 at their peak. The scheme, developed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, was kick-started with an auction of permits for high-emitting businesses in November last year which saw companies paying $10.09 for permits. (Point Carbon)



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