Palm oil biofuels push up global food prices

Palm tree seeds Adjamé Market, Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Remember ten and 15 years ago when everyone was talking about investing in biofuels? Scientists like Helmut were against the efficiency claims… While we love the idea of renewable energy crops for palm oil and sugarcane used in ethanol and biofuels have pushed out food producers, causing an alarming shift to rising costs for food. While we might not feel it in the price of a falafel or hummus, biofuels threaten those people already food insecure.

According to the United Nation’s FAO, world food prices rose for the third consecutive month in December, 2019 as a strong rally in vegetable oil prices drove the FAO Food Price Index to its highest level in five years.

The FAO Food Price Index averaged 181.7 points during the month, a 2.5 percent increase from November and the highest level since December 2014.

For 2019 … Read more

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Global leaders make plans at world’s biggest energy shindig – IRENA in Abu Dhabi

IRENA was founded a decade ago to solve the world’s energy problems. It’s like the United Nations of Renewable Energy and anyone who is a serious stakeholder in renewables from government to news to suppliers goes to this annual event.

This year it’s happening today, with more than 1,500 delegates and high-level participants including prime ministers, bank CEOs and leaders from the private sector will gather for the 10th assembly in Abu Dhabi tomorrow. It’s a serious meeting because people don’t travel all that way for nothing. They also dovetail their attendance at the event prior to the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and the World Future Energy Summit, taking place from 13 to 16 January 2020.

Green Prophet has been invited to these events in the past, and they are a great way to see emerging technologies and use in the Middle East. Solar energy and renewable energy stakeholders should … Read more

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Energy UN group: we need 31% more renewables by 2020

It’s easy. If you don’t want to read the whole article, here is the sum up: We need 31% more renewable energy to play it climate safe by 2030. It will cost $750 billion USD – but this can be investment stimulus people, and wind and solar can get us there. Let’s do it!

There is a meeting of the “energy” global superpowers every year in Abu Dhabi. It’s called IRENA, or the International Renewable Energy Agency. They function like a United Nations group, doing research, conducting meetings and presenting recommendations to the world.

Can we save the earth without the Arctic ice?

This year they issue a report: The share of renewables in global power should more than double by 2030 to advance the global energy transformation, achieve sustainable development goals and a pathway to climate safety. Renewable electricity should supply 57 per cent of global power by the Read more

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Arab loan offers $105 million USD to fund renewables globally

Cuba will receive an Arab fund loan to develop solar power.

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (likened to USAID and the UK and German’s foreign aid) announced last week that it will provide renewable energy loans to 8 projects around the world. The projects will go to building resilience, mainly in island communities which will be able to repay the loans after the renewable energy projects go online. The Abu Dhabi Fund is partnered with IRENA, a global entity that assesses renewable energy opportunities and expectations from countries to stop climate change.  

Among the recipients are the island nations of Antigua, Cuba and Barbuda, but also the Maldives and Nepal. The full list is below. Like any nation seeking allies it is commendable that the fund went outside of the Middle East region, even though so much is needed here. 

Funding sustainable development

Investing in renewable energy Read more

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Ethiopian Nile dam to destroy about half of Egypt’s agriculture

When you think of the Nile, what comes to mind? Egyptian cotton, Baby Moses in a bassinet, waiting among the reeds to be found and brought into the Pharaoh’s palace, a Nile cruise along the riverbanks? An ancient and modern empire?  These things might come to mind if you are sitting on your couch somewhere in the west reading this.

felucca boat, nile cruise

If you are from Ethiopia, Sudan or Egypt your concerns are very different. And they could spell life and death, prosperity or war. And this is a serious time and the world needs to get involved, especially those funding renewable energy projects:

Ethiopia is about to finish the largest hydro-electric dam in Africa and the 7th largest in the world. It’s called the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). We have been writing about the dam for years. But now world leaders are paying attention because the dam is … Read more

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