Renew On Line (UK) 65

Extracts from NATTA's journal
Renew, Issue 165 Jan-Feb 2007
   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1. Energy Review-RO changes

2. Stern report

3. Policy developments

4. Around the UK

5. World Developments

6. EU Developments

7. World roundup

8. Nuclear Developments

7. World roundup

California Greening

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has endorsed a key recommendation from the states Climate Action Report, a cap and trade system to cut emissions. Some critics have pointed out that, unlike the EU Emission Trading System with its mandatory caps, Arnies cap and trade system is voluntary and ‘symbolic at best’. But he has backed the Action Report’s proposals for mandatory reporting of emissions by several major industries; and for municipal utilities to meet higher energy efficiency & renewables targets. And overall he does seem to be trying to push the green agenda.

* In June 2005 he set the USA’s most aggressive greenhouse gas emission reduction goals: 2000 levels by 2010; 1990 levels by 2020; 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. It is claimed this will cut almost 150 million tons of emissions by 2020.

* He has required government & private commercial buildings to reduce their electricity consumption by10%/square foot by 2010, 20% by 2015 and the state to acquire 20% of electricity from renewable sources by 2010 and 33% by 2020, and created a coordinated multi-agency policy on bioenergy and biofuels and set aggressive targets for the state to incorporate these fuels.

* So far he has invested $30.4 million to meet his greenhouse gas emissions goals; more than $20m overall for clean fuels and vehicles; $6.5m for the Hydrogen Highway Initiative; and $1m for the Dept. of Justice to defend emissions regulations in his 2006-07 budget. And he has worked with the California Public Utilities Commission to create the USA’s most aggressive energy efficiency campaign, which will allow California utilities to invest over $2bn in energy efficiency programmes, which should lead to $5bn savings for residential & business customers.

* Finally, last year, he inaugurated the Million Solar Roofs Initiative, which will bring 3,000 megawatts of clean energy online by 2017- although this dropped the requirement in an earlier proposal that union rates should be paid for installation workers, something Republicans had objected to- claiming it would add too much to the costs.

Arnie and Tony sign up..

With temperatures in both places reaching record levels, last summer Arnie and Tony Blair signed an Agreement to collaborate on Climate Change and Clean Energy. ‘California will not wait for our federal government to take strong action on global warming,’ Schwarzenegger said ‘International partnerships are needed in the fight against global warming and California has a responsibility and a profound role to play to protect not only our environment, but to be a world leader on this issue as well’.

The agreement commits California and the UK to evaluate and implement ‘market-based mechanisms that spur innovation’ and share best practices on emissions trading; share information on studies of ‘the economic impacts of climate change, mitigation efforts and adaptation strategies’; co-ordinate efforts to ‘switch to clean energy technologies, promote green buildings and increase the use of efficiency and renewable energy technologies’. In particular they will ‘share information regarding our efforts to reduce emissions from the transportation sector, including California’s emission standards and hydrogen highway and the UK’s experience with a renewable fuels standard and clean coal technologies’.

US U-turn on funding

The US Senate restored two core Dept of Energy renewable programmes, for geothermal and hydro, which had been eliminated in the Financial Year 2007 request. The Senate appropriated $22.5m for geothermal, nearly fully restoring the programme to the $23.1m enacted in FY 2006, and $4.0m for hydro, almost restoring the programme to the $4.9m enacted in FY 2005, and well above the $495,000 enacted in Y2006. The Senate also increased funding for biomass & biorefinery systems R&D to $213m- $63.3m (42.3%) more than the FY 2007 request. But it cut funding for wind to $39.4m, which is $4.4m (10%) less than the FY 2007 request.

* US wind-10GW The US now has 10 GW of wind capacity installed, with Texas (at 2,370 MW) overtaking long time leader California (at 2,323 MW) which had led since the early 1980’s.

* US Wave US company OPT is seeking consent for a 50MW wave buoy project off the coast of Oregon, with a 2MW version first. See Technology.

* Regional US Greenhouse Gas Initiative 7 northeast US states- most of New England- have signed up to the USA’s first mandatory cap and trade carbon market- starting in 2009 with a target of cutting CO2 emissions by 10% by 2015.

Wind world

Hong Kong Electric Holdings may build a 100 MW windfarm on two sites off the coast of Hong Kong. An application has been submitted to the territory’s government for approval, reports Bloomberg, with 40 turbines to generate electricity for 50,000 homes. The utility is controlled by billionaire Li Ka-shing.

Canada has become the 12th country in the world to install more than 1 GW of wind energy capacity.

GE Energy has opened its first wind turbine assembly plant in China at Shenyang, to produce 1.5 MW turbines. China wants 30GW of new green power capacity by 2020, and has a potential wind capacity of 250 GW onshore and 750 GW offshore.

BP has also now got into wind power with a five year supply and development agreement involving 5 US wind projects with Clipper Windpower.

In Australia, the state of Victoria has introduced a mandatory renewable energy target- 10% of electricity from renewables by 2016- and a major European wind company is planning a 200 MW wind farm.

India pushes on

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh has called for a new paradigm for developing the country’s energy sector, calling for more research in solar energy. “It is time we expanded research in the use of solar energy so that we not only develop appropriate technologies but also generate economies of scale by promoting their extensive use. By developing the decentralized modes of providing power, providing energy, the old Gandhian ideas that decentralized development is morally superior will become a realistic proposition even from economic cost-benefit calculations as well.”

Hydro resources should be used to reduce dependence on fossil fuels: in the past, hydro development was hampered ‘for want of effective, equitable, rehabilitation and resettlement policies’.

* The state government in Maharashtra says preliminary reports indicate that geothermal and tidal power have good prospects, with testing for tidal power underway since Feb 2006 at the Elephants Island off the coast of Mumbai. The Maharashtra Energy Development Agency says the geothermal potential is 4GW.

India’s National Hydroelectric Power Corporation will build three hydro facilities in the province of Uttaranchal, with total capacity of 1,045 MW, says Bloomberg News. The Indian government estimates that generation must increase 60% to give the 200 GW that is needed to meet projected annual growth of 7% over the next decade. Source: ReFocus Weekly

Meanwhile in Palestine

Two-thirds of homes in the embattled Palestinian Territory use solar heaters, varying from 75.1% in Gaza Strip to 62.8% in the West Bank. Average household electricity use last year was 211 kWh, down from 380 kWh in 2005.

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