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British PM Calls for Wind Power; Increasing Global Focus on Alternative Energy


Britain's prime minister has called for a "green revolution" in an effort to reduce his country's dependence on oil.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Thursday his government will invest about $200 billion over the next 12 years in alternative energy sources, including the construction of 7,000 wind turbines on Britain's coast.

A European Union mandate requires all member nations to produce 15 percent of their energy from renewable resources by 2020. But Britain's announcement highlights a growing focus by governments to end their reliance on fossil fuels.

France, which takes over the EU presidency next month, has said forging ahead with a common, European energy policy is one of its top priorities in the wake of surging fuel prices.

In the United States, both Republican presidential candidate John McCain and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama have endorsed the development of new, cleaner energy technologies.

And the Bloomberg news agency reports Chile's government announced today it wants to increase its use of biofuels.

Alternative Energy is also turning into big business.

Spain's Iberdrola Renovables, one of the world's biggest renewable energy companies, said today it expects to increase its earnings from almost $630 million this year to about $1.6 billion in 2012

Iberdrola also said it plans to invest almost $30 billion over the next five years to help build wind turbines across the globe. It said about half of the money will be invested in the U.S.

Also today, Norway's Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) announced it has won a $400 million contract to sell solar-energy cells to the Chinese company China Sunenergy. The Norwegian company announced Wednesday it had signed a deal with U.S.-based Suniva, Incorporated for $300 million.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.


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