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Renewable energy in Asia - a roundup

Renewable Energy Focus' Asian correspondent, Azam Mahmood, provides an overview over renewable energy projects and politics in Asia.

Aramco and Showa to study solar power plan

Japan's top oil refiner Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Saudi Aramco to study the possibility of a solar power business in Saudi Arabia. The two companies intend to choose several sites in Saudi Arabia for constructing solar power plants capable of generating 1000-2000 kW. Once the project gets on track, Showa Shell and Saudi Aramco plan to establish a joint venture around 2012 for similar operations in emerging countries in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America, and elsewhere.

Bangladesh - 100th country joining the IRENA

Only five months after it was founded, on 26 January 2009 in Bonn, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has already reached the 100-member mark. Bangladesh became the 100th signatory State, joining the Agency, which aims to close the global gap between renewables' huge potential and their relatively small share of the energy market.

UAE to host IRENA headquarters

Abu Dhabi has been selected to host the headquarters of IRENA. The group will be based in the Emirate's zero carbon initiative, Masdar City, which is currently under construction. This marks the first time that a developing country has hosted a major international organistaion. Vienna will host IRENA's UN and international liaison office and the innovation centre will be located in bonn, Germany.

Dubai plant to turn waste into fuel

Earth Power Group, a joint venture between South Africa's Centre of Material and Process Synthesis, the Russian Academy of Sciences and Alye International, a US green-energy company, have said a JV is in the final stages of talks with Dubai to build a plant that will turn municipal waste into transport fuel. Dubai's venture, which is expected to be operational within two years, will begin with a single module worth between US$25 million and $30m and capable of accepting 50 tons of municipal waste a day. Each ton of waste can be converted into 2.7 barrels of synthetic fuel.

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Bioenergy  •  Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity