Time filter

Source Type

Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen S.I.,Wageningen University | Jollands N.,European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) | Staudt L.,Dundalk Institute of Technology
Ecological Economics

Achieving a sustainable energy future requires a revolution in the energy system. At the heart of such a transformation lies strong and coherent governance at all political levels, including the global level. While the need for global governance is taken for granted in a number of issue areas such as health, peacekeeping and environment, pursuit of global energy governance has been almost a taboo in political and foreign policy circles and has also had limited attention in the literature. In this paper, we explore how the viewing of a sustainable energy system as a global public good could serve as one approach to reducing the sensitivity towards global energy governance. The global public good concept together with the principle of subsidiarity is applied as a framework for understanding the role that the international community could play in, and the key ingredients for, global energy governance. Using two examples of international energy efficiency and renewable energy policy, we identify some types of international collaboration measures that would be both efficient and necessary to support a sustainable energy system. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Brown M.,University of St. Gallen | De Haas R.,European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
Economic Policy

Based on survey data from 193 banks in 20 countries we provide the first bank-level analysis of the relationship between bank ownership, bank funding and foreign currency (FX) lending across emerging Europe. Our results contradict the widespread view that foreign banks have been driving FX lending to retail clients as a result of easier access to foreign wholesale funding. Our cross-sectional analysis shows that foreign banks do lend more in FX to corporate clients but not to households. Moreover, we find no evidence that wholesale funding had a strong causal effect on FX lending for either foreign or domestic banks. Panel estimations show that the foreign acquisition of a domestic bank does lead to faster growth in FX lending to households. However, this is driven by faster growth in household lending in general not by a shift towards FX lending. © CEPR, CES, MSH, 2012. Source

Crawled News Article
Site: http://cleantechnica.com

Egypt is set to start raising funds for an ambitious wind energy project that will result in setting up of 2 GW of operational capacity. The New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) has announced that it is at the final stage of negotiations to raise €180 million for a large-scale wind energy program. The project will have a final installed capacity of 2 GW and will be set up by German company Siemens. The first phase of this program will cover 180 MW capacity and is expected to require a total investment of €2 billion. The 2 GW wind energy capacity of the entire program shall be distributed across twelve wind projects. Siemens is expected to commission the entire capacity by 2022, supplying around 600 turbines, and investing €100 million to develop a manufacturing facility to product equipment for turbines worth 340 MW capacity every year. The NREA is in talks with several financial institutions and banks including the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), the Commercial International Bank (CIB), Banque Misr, Audi, Emirates NBD, International Finance Corporation (IFC), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the German Development Bank (KfW), and the African Development Bank (AfDB). The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has allocated several million dollars for the development of renewable energy projects. The French Development Agency Group also announced that it would provide €60 million for the development of renewable energy projects, having signed an agreement with Egypt’s Commercial International Bank for this purpose. Egypt plans to add 2 GW wind energy capacity by 2022; this part of the 4.3 GW renewable energy capacity addition by the same year.   Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”   Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.  

Attanasio O.,University College London | Augsburg B.,IFS | De Haas R.,European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) | De Haas R.,University of Tilburg | And 2 more authors.
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics

We present evidence from a randomized field experiment in rural Mongolia to assess the poverty impacts of a joint-liability microcredit program targeted at women. We find a positive impact of access to group loans on female entrepreneurship and household food consumption but not on total working hours or income in the household. A simultaneously introduced individual-liability microcredit program delivers no significant poverty impacts. Additional results on informal transfers to families and friends suggest that joint liability may deter borrowers from using loans for noninvestment purposes with stronger impacts as a result. We find no difference in repayment rates between both types of microcredit. Source

The quality of images captured with smartphone cameras improves dramatically with each new generation of devices. In fact, we’re getting to the point where photos taken with top of the line smartphone cameras like the Lumia 1020 and iPhone 5, and pictures captured by basic dedicated point-and-shoot cameras are nearly indistinguishable. But right now there’s only so much that camera sensor and optics makers can do in the small amount of space available in today’s razor-thin smartphones. What if that limitation was somehow eliminated entirely, however, and almost any iPhone or Android smartphone currently on the market could be instantly transformed into a top-notch Cyber-shot camera? With Sony’s new QX10 and QX100 smartphone accessories, the company has achieved just that. Sony on Wednesday unveiled its brand new Cyber-shot QX10 and Cyber-shot QX100 accessories during the IFA trade show in Berlin, Germany. The two devices create an entirely new category of smartphone accessory that completely eliminates the current barriers that stand between smartphones and high-quality imaging by moving the camera outside the device. I recently spent some hands-on time with both of Sony’s new Cyber-shot smartphone accessories and I came away impressed. Of course it’s important to first note that these are not mass-market devices Sony expects average consumers to purchase. The QX10 and QX100 are specialized devices aimed directly at big-time photography enthusiasts, and they are intended to bridge the gap between a smartphone and a DSLR. If you pretty much only use your phone to take selfies, snap pictures of sunsets and occasionally capture photos of your dinner, these accessories are not for you. At $250, the Cyber-shot QX10 will likely be the more popular “lens camera” among these two devices. It features an 18-megapixel sensor, 10x optical zoom, optical image stabilization and HD video recording support. It also features a base with integrated expandable brackets that allows the device to be clipped to any reasonably sized smartphone. The QX10 features integrated NFC that allows it to instantly connect to just about any modern Android phone. After the initial pairing, Wi-Fi is used to move data back and forth between devices, which means it can also work with phones that aren’t equipped with NFC — including Apple’s iPhone. An included “Play Memories Mobile” app for Android and iOS controls the QX10 once it is connected, and it features all of the capabilities one might expect to find on a point-and-shoot camera. Since it’s running on an Android phone or on iOS, however, it also features remarkably simple sharing features that allow users to instantly share images and videos on Facebook, Twitter or other social networks. The pricier Cyber-shot QX100 features a design that is similar to the QX10, but it is a bit more high-end. At $500, the QX100 sports a 20.2-megapixel sensor and a 28-millimeter lens with 3.6x zoom and a maximum aperture of F1.8(W)-4.8(T) compared to the QX10’s F3.3(W)-5.9(T). It also features Carl Zeiss optics, a manual focus option and an ISO range of 160-6400. The QX100 sports much more impressive specs than the QX10 and photos captured with the device reflect that. Using the devices is remarkably simple, especially if you own a Sony smartphone. Simply open the companion app, tap the lens to the phone to initiate the near-instant NFC pairing, and clip the lens to the back of your smartphone. That’s it. Connections must me made manually on devices like the iPhone that don’t have NFC, but it only takes a few extra seconds. Once connected, the QX10 and QX100 are controlled by Sony’s app. Though awkward, the devices can also be used without connecting them to a smartphone and images are saved to a microSD card or one of Sony’s proprietary Memory Stick Micro cards if there is no connected handset available. This is a nice feature for capturing a quick photo here and there, and it also means you can connect the device to an Android tablet or an iPad and use it that way. In terms of battery life, Sony says both the QX10 and QX100 will last for about 220 shots per charge. And just like point-and-shoot cameras, they feature removable batteries so users can carry one or more fully charged spares to ensure they never miss an important photo opp. Sony’s Cyber-shot QX10 and Cyber-shot QX100 will both launch later this month. The QX10 will be available in both black and white for $249.99 and the QX100 will launch in black only for $499.99. In the meantime, be sure to check out BGR’s hands-on QX10 and QX100 photo gallery.

Discover hidden collaborations