Renew On Line (UK) 61

Extracts from NATTA's journal
Renew, Issue 161 May-June2006
   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


The Energy Review

Climate Policy arrives

Tidal and wave power

Micro CHP Results

Policy developments

Where the money goes.

UK round up

Climate Threats

Global News

EU News

News around the world

Nuclear News

11. News around the world

US must get off oil addiction

The USA is ‘addicted to oil’ said President Bush in his State of the Union address. He wants to reduce imports from the middle east by 75% and expand US ethanol production, clean coal, nuclear and renewables, with a 22% energy R&D funding increase. More in Renew 162.

Canada falls behind

A review of environmental performance by Simon Fraser University for the David Suzuki Foundation has found that “Canada lags behind in almost every performance indicator”. In terms of green energy, Canada scores fifth of 29 countries, with a score on the ‘Environmental Performance Grade’ of 59.8% if large hydro is included. However, when hydro is excluded and only low-impact renewable energy sources are considered, it drops to 18th out of 30 with an EPG of 8.3%. Without hydro, Canada’s share of green power drops to 1.5%, or half of the OECD average. From 1990 to 2002, the share of electricity generated in Canada from renewables (including hydro) decreased by 4% compared to the OECD average increase of 33%. When hydro is excluded, the share of low-impact green power increased by 88% over the last decade, from 0.8% to 1.5% but, on average, the increase in renewable energy production in OECD countries is more than two times the Canadian increase.

However it’s not all bad news. The provincial government of Ontario has unveiled plans for a series of wind farms with a total capacity of 955 MW by 2010. The eight proposed projects are expected to require investment of US$1.72bn. All the developers have 20-year power purchase agreements with the Ontario Power Authority at a price of US¢7.44/kWh. Most of the projects are expected to be up and running by the end of 2007.

* The Canadian report noted that global leader in green power is Denmark, which produces 18.2% of its electricity using low-impact renewables, followed by Iceland and Finland. From 1990 to 2002, Spain reported the highest increase in non-hydro green power at more than 1,200%, followed by Germany & the UK. Sources: ReFocus Weekly/ Modern Power Systems

ACORE moving ahead in US

The American Council on Renewable Energy is promoting a ‘Phase II’ for new energy policies based on the use of renewables and seems to be making some progress. A recent forum on Capitol Hill in Washington attracted 350 delegates and got support from two key senators-the co-chairs of the Senate & House Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus.

* Over 160 cities and several states have ignored President Bush’s rejection of the Kyoto Protocol and taken their own steps to combat global warming. Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont are working to adopt emission reduction plans, modelled on the Kyoto guidelines. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governor of California, has called for the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced by 80% by 2050. And the US Dept. of Energy is providing $2.5m to 18 Native American tribes to promote the use of renewables on tribal lands.

New York seeks 30% emission cut

New York state wants to adopt ambitious Californian-styled air quality regulations from 2009, aimed at cutting car emissions by around 30% by 2016, but this plan is being fought by the auto companies, who say it will limit the availability of many sports utility vehicles, pickup trucks, vans and larger sedans, since it will push up prices by $3000- vehicles will have to be redesigned to achieve up to 40% better mileage. The state estimates that the cost of a new cleaner car or truck will only rise by about $1,000, and it claims that vehicle owners will recoup that in 3-5 years through savings at the pump.

Ten other states are considering the same approach- in US law states have the option of adopting the regulations used in other states, rather than the currently very weak federal regulations.

Source: New York Times 26/11/05

US Green-e up 18%

In 2004, the US generated 3.5 TWh of green power, up 18% over 2003, according to the Green-e programme. 82,000 residential customers bought Green-e certified products, of which 57,700 were utility green pricing, 22,200 from competitive electricity and 2,100 from RECs. In the commercial sector, most of the 2,900 customers were from utility programmes (2,200), 300 from competitive electricity & 400 REC. Overall green power sales were 573,000 MWh in the residential sector, 1,074,000 MWh in commercial, 2,268,000 MWh in wholesale sales, with wind providing the largest share of power at 78% (99% of which are new turbines), compared with 48% in 2002. Biomass supplied 21% of the total (90% new), small hydro 1% (6% new facilities), while solar PV and geothermal each provided less than 1% of the total. Source: ReFocus weekly

More solar for US

The US DoE backed ‘Solar & Efficient Water Heating: A Technology Roadmap’ calls for more effort to be given to developing solar heating, so as to reduce energy use by 25% by 2020, but noted that ‘Solar water heating and, to some extent, high performance water heaters, have had disappointing market penetration’ due to ‘higher upfront costs; lack of familiarity with buyers and the building trades; and lack of product support’.

Two large focussed-mirror solar thermal arrays, generating power using stirling engines, are planned in California. A 500 MW, 20,000 dish array in the Mojave Desert NE of Los Angeles is to sell its output to Southern California Edison under a 20-year deal- with an option to expand to 850 MW. And a 300 MW 12000 dish array will be located in the Imperial Valley of S.California near San Diego, with the output contracted to San Diego Gas & Electric, under an initial 20-year agreement, with options on two future phases that could add up to 600 MW. Source: Modern Power Systems

The California Public Utilities Commission has proposed a new 11 year $3.2bn incentive plan to install 3GW of solar PV on 1 million private & public buildings- to replace the rejected Schwarzenegger plan (See Renew160).

China- 400GW of wind?

A new report, Wind Force 12 in China, by the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA), sponsored by Greenpeace and the European Wind Energy Association, claims that China could at least double its current wind energy target for 2020. At present China is aiming at 30 GW of wind capacity by 2020 (the target was recently increased from 20GW). But, CREIA believes that 40 GW can be delivered within 15 years, rising to 400 GW by 2050. Li Junfeng, CREIA director & the report’s lead author said: ‘According to the China Meteorological Administration there is enough viable wind resource in China to power the whole country completely. The capacity of wind potential in viable windy locations in China could match current total national capacity of all China’s existing power stations combined, four times over.’

* Providing support for developments like this, the Chinese government recently announced detailed proposals for feed-in tariffs within the new Renewable Energy Law- the tariffs will vary from 4.9-7.3 €ct/kWh, depending on region & technology. They will be paid for by a levy of about 0.1 ct/kWh on power prices, paid by most power consumers. The new Renewable Energy Law in China has a target of getting 15% of the countries electricity from renewables by 2020. At present it gets about 7%. This target will mean some 20 GW wind energy and 20 GW biomass by 2020, but according to a recent report ‘China’s Renewable Energy Law- Catalyzing Asia’s largest clean energy market’ (Sieren Ernst & Sebastian Meyer of Azure International), ambitions in wind energy will even be higher: it says that “Already 30 GW of wind energy has been mentioned as a target for 2020”. Sources: Modern Power Systems/Greenprices.

* At a major conference in Bejing in Nov last year, representatives of 78 countries backed a ‘Bejing Declaration’ calling on the international community to strengthen its “commitment to the scaling up of renewable energy development and use, especially in developing countries”.

India grows

With over 4,228MW installed, India is now 4th in the world wind league- after Germany, Spain and the USA.

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