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" commercial wind power is now deployed in more than 75 countries around the world"international financial institutions, the IPCC and now the new International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), GWEC represents the global wind industry to show how far we've come, but also to advocate new policies to help wind power reach its full potential in as wide a variety of markets as possible.In the climate context, wind power benefited significantly from the Kyoto Protocol's market mechanisms: particularly the Clean Development Mechanism, and particularly in China and India, but also to a lesser extent in Brazil, Mexico, Egypt and Morocco among others. But uncertainly now shrouds the future of the CDM, even if it seems that the Kyoto Protocol will survive in some form, the once-burgeoning carbon market has now flagged, awaiting new political stimulus. In the years preceding Copenhagen, we worked hard with a variety of partners to improve and enhance the effectiveness of the carbon market to stimulate investment in wind and other clean energy technologies, waiting for a sign from governments. We had hoped for that sign in Copenhagen, in Cancun, and then again in Durban; and while there was a breakthrough of sorts in Durban, by and large we are still waiting. Governments regularly pay lip service to the fact that it is the private sector that is going to have to supply the majority of the finance necessary to meet our climate protection goals, and this fact is all the more clear as budgets are slashed across the OECD and economies teeter on the brink of insolvency. But when they get together to negotiate on climate, they tend to focus primarily on what they as governments can do on their own, rather than what they as governments should do to create the legal framework and enabling environment to drive private investment towards clean energy technologies such as wind power and some of the other rapidly maturing members of the renewable energy family. The Kyoto Protocol's carbon market, though far from perfect, was a good start, and was beginning to show significant promise. Until and unless someone comes up with something better, we would urge negotiators to build on and improve what has worked to date, which in the end must be driven by legally binding emissions reduction obligations. This is, after all, what the climate needs to stabilise at anything like the 2°C target which has now been universally adopted. We have the technology to decarbonise the electricity sector by 2050, and with the right policy frameworks, the finance is available from the private sector and national, regional and multilateral financial institutions. If governments could get that right, then they could get down to the really difficult business of solving the (unfortunately) many other pieces of the climate problem which does, in fact, require their direct intervention. nABOUT THE AUTHORSteve Sawyer, Secretary-General of GWEC, has worked in the energy and environment field since 1978, with a particular focus on climate change and renewable energy. Mr Sawyer spent 30 years working for Greenpeace as CEO of both Greenpeace USA and Greenpeace International and served as Head of Delegation to Kyoto Protocol negotiations on climate change. Mr Sawyer is a founding member of REN21 and was also an expert reviewer for the IPCC's Working Group 3.Right: Pie Chart showing the Top 10 New Installed Capacity Jan-Dec 2011renewable energy 057

Solar Power: Fulfilling the Sun's PotentialReinhold Buttgereit, Secretary General, European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) In early February 2012, Europe was freezing - suffering through some of the coldest temperatures in years. On one particularly frigid day, 9 February, the demand for heat was so high in France that the country had to import electricity from Germany. Around a third of the nearly 10 GW of electricity Germany sent to France on that day came from a source you might not expect in the dead of winter: solar photovoltaic (PV) installations.To be sure, those cold days were sunny, and that helped solar installations provide much-needed energy solutions. But the surprising events of this past winter help answer a question one often hears from sceptics about whether renewables will really be able to meet the demands of a modern population. Furthermore, the realisation that solar PV is becoming an increasingly competitive electricity source - one that has the power to be a mainstream provider of electricity and a significant contributor to achieving energy, environmental and economic goals - helps rebut arguments that renewables will cost more than conventional energy sources.Solar power - infinitely renewable, clean, and decentralised - has always been popular. In a Pictured:Ground mounted installation - Thin Film technology. Copyright: First Solar058 renewable energy