Sustainable Energy for Development: People, organizations, and projects active in environmentally benign energy sources for developing countries.
Ken Novak's Weblog
Thursday, March 17, 2005
China's Oil Thirst Could Push It Toward Fuel Efficiency; Eye On Solar And Wind
: "Bryant Tong, managing director of privately held Nth Power, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm that invests in energy and tech firms, says China's hunger for oil and other fuels is making its officials aware they need better ways to use and monitor energy. Tong doubles as chairman and president of the nonprofit China/U.S. Energy Efficiency Alliance, a board that advises Chinese officials on how to use energy more efficiently. ..
IBD: What types of technology is China considering to make its energy consumption more efficient?
Tong: The simple answer is products such as energy-efficient commercial lighting, commercial and residential air conditioning, industrial motors and other systems.
IBD: Can China's energy problems be solved just by using such products?
Tong: No. You need to set up an infrastructure that's backed by the right policies and programs. That's where the China/U.S. Energy Efficiency Alliance comes in. We work with other groups, like the National Resources Defense Council, a U.S. think tank, to help Chinese officials pinpoint the best practices and energy-efficient products that have worked in the U.S. ..
IBD: What types of digital and online technology is China eyeing to make energy use more efficient?
Tong: A lot of (it) will be energy monitoring technology. The Internet is a huge enabler to track energy use by factories and citizens. There are new types of sensors to help the Chinese monitor and control energy use.
IBD: What about using solar and wind energy?
Tong: China is looking at different projects in solar and wind. There was a report that GE is selling wind turbines to China. Right now, China's main focus is on more efficient hydro-energy projects. It's mainly dam-type stuff. ..
IBD: What concrete steps has China already taken to curb energy use?
Tong: They've implemented fuel efficiency standards that are tougher on SUVs than in the U.S. China is also on the verge of enacting a fuel oil tax to curb consumption.
IBD: Doesn't China have access to oil reserves in Central Asia and the South China Sea region that can supply more oil and lessen its need to conserve fuel?
Tong: China is a huge net importer of oil. Regardless of what reserves they have, they are importing tremendous amounts of oil, and their projections of what they'll be needing are enormous as well. .. The Chinese people know they are at the beginning of a new era. Growth prospects are enormous, with China leapfrogging Japan last year as the second-largest oil-importing country. They know they have to be fuel efficient." 10:01:07 PM
China's Boom Brings Fear of an Electricity Breakdown
: "According to Zhang Jun, a prominent Chinese economist who has made a comparative study of China and India, China consumes 3 times the energy and 15 times the amount of steel as its neighbor, even though the Chinese economy is only roughly twice as large, and is growing only about 10 percent faster than India's. Part of this picture comes from an intensive focus on manufacturing and exports, which many economists say has led to overindustrialization and empty growth. A lot of the responsibility for wastefulness can be laid to duplication, with each province - and indeed many city governments - simultaneously pushing for the same kind of growth..
"China will definitely be facing a huge, huge challenge in a decade or so if the growth patterns don't change," said Dr. Zhang, who is the director of the China Center for Economic Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai. "Ours is an extreme case of the East Asian model, and we are coming quickly toward the limitations in terms of the way we use energy, in terms of the environment, and even in terms of labor." ..
The toll on China's environment from this growth-at-any-cost strategy has been truly alarming. China's official development goal is to build what the government calls a well-off society by the year 2020, yet today the very growth that makes such dreams permissible has left China with 16 of the world's 20 most polluted cities, according to the World Bank. Using standards that are relatively lax when compared with those of the United Nations, the Chinese government itself reckons that fewer than half of the country's cities have acceptably breathable air. The government also says that 90 percent of urban residents face serious water pollution problems. By another estimate, 700 million Chinese must make do with contaminated drinking water. Even the country's seas are increasingly under siege from industrial pollution and are regularly choked by red tide infestations.
If the country's galloping energy needs have caught people's attention throughout China, mobilizing resources to protect the environment has been far more difficult." 9:56:24 PM
China enacts first auto fuel-efficiency standards: Oct 2004: "China has introduced its first fuel-efficiency standards for passenger cars, moving to control soaring oil consumption and ensure foreign automakers share their latest technology, the government said Friday. .. Initially some foreign carmakers opposed the plans, fearing the added costs of compliance. Foreign manufacturers have also urged China to force suppliers to clean up the substandard diesel and gasoline fuel now sold throughout the country, complaining that bad fuel ruins high-tech engines. ..
Though not particularly stringent, the new requirements are stricter than U.S. standards, which haven't been updated for more than 20 years, [Energy Foundation official] Yang noted. American fuel efficiency standards are calculated using the average fuel use of the entire fleet sold by an automaker. In China, similar to Japan, the standards require that each model sold meet the criteria, Yang said. The first phase of the standards will be implemented from July 2005, with a stricter second phase from 2008 for new models introduced to China, the research center said. " 9:52:32 PM
China - US Energy Efficiency Alliance: "As a coalition between governments, businesses and NGOs, the China-U.S. Energy Efficiency Alliance will be helping China to fuel its economic growth by tapping the highly cost-effective option of energy efficiency. In partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Alliance has been invited by governments in China, such as Shanghai and Jiangsu, to provide regulatory consultation and training assistance. The assistance will help these governments transfer and adopt effective programs to quickly realize the benefits of energy efficiency. " Interesting public-private effort. Supported by Environmental Entrepreneurs (e2.org) and NRDC.
A related effort, also based in San Francisco: EF China: "In March 1999, after a series of meetings and consultations with scientists, policy-makers, business leaders, and analysts in China and the United States, the staff and boards of The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and The Energy Foundation launched the China Sustainable Energy Program. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation joined as a funding partner in 2002. The program's mission is: To assist in China's transition to a sustainable energy future by promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy. " 9:47:04 PM
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
14 CDM projects in the Philippines:
"The Philippines is ready to participate in the “clean development mechanism” under the Kyoto Protocol and 14 CDM-eligible projects have been identified for endorsement to investors, Environment Secretary Michael T. Defensor said on Wednesday. These projects are meant to limit emissions of ozone-depleting greenhouse gases while promoting sustainable development. .. “Three [projects] have already been endorsed to the World Bank Prototype Carbon Financing,” Defensor said .. Bangui’s 25-megawatt (MW) North Wind Project, Victoria’s 50-MW cogeneration project, and First Farmers’s 30-MW cogeneration project. " 9:36:22 AM
Kyoto Protocol means green energy projects for India
: "The Kyoto Protocol will bring into force a clean development mechanism (CDM) wherein developed nations would be able to trade part of their commitment to reducing greenhouse gasses by buying green energy credit from projects in developing countries like India. .. So far the government has endorsed 46 out of the 150 projects submitted for CDM credit to help them earn extra dollars. Every tonne of carbon dioxide reduction through use of clean technology like wind, hydropower and biodegradable waste can fetch anywhere from $5-$6.
In the case of projects that reduce emission of methane gas, generated from municipal waste, the returns are expected to be 20 times more, while in the case of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which is 6,000 times more harmful than carbon dioxide, the returns are proportionately higher.
"With the carbon trading mechanism expected to bring in anywhere between five and six paise per unit of clean power generated to as much as 50-60 paise per unit, green energy will now be a profitable venture," Mathur told IANS. [Ajay Mathur, president and CEO of Senergy Global, formerly with World Bank]
He cited the example of how Gujarat Fluorochemicals Ltd, by investing in a project to burn the HFCs being emitted into the air, is now getting revenue that will soon pay off its investment while helping to clean environment pollution. Gujarat Fluorochemicals was one of the first projects to be certified for CDM by Britain.
All clean energy projects that have been commissioned after January 2000 are eligible for certified carbon trading. India has emerged as the largest supplier of projects followed by Brazil. China is expected to enter the market soon, with a difference, as the Chinese government would sell the emission reduction credits through mega projects, said Mathur.
"In the 46 projects that have been endorsed so far, there is no foreign funding upfront. But there are contracts in place that will bring in extra revenue apart from the income the project would have anyway generated," said Mathur, who is a key member of the Indian Carbon Market Group. ..
Over the next few years till 2012, the first phase of commitment for developed nations under the Kyoto Protocol, an estimated two to three billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions is to be reduced through energy efficiency, clean technology and other project like afforestation.
"These efforts are expected to generate around $12-$15 billion additional revenues for new clean energy projects. This should leverage investments of over $100-150 billion in clean energy globally. Given the present trend, India can expect at least one-third of the estimated investments," said Mathur.
An important facet of the CDM is it would help promote waste management projects on the lines of the Lucknow, Hyderabad and Chennai experiments to generate power from municipal waste. This would not only help tackle growing mounds of biodegradable city waste but also reduce methane emission." 9:01:10 AM
: "The Asian Development Bank will introduce a new five-year loan programme for Pakistan and other member countries from 2006. Pakistan is expected to receive about $1 billion loans per year from the bank under the new programme, ADB Country Director in Pakistan Marshuk Shah said... in the coming two years, his bank would provide $500 million for transmission, distribution and renewable energy projects in Pakistan besides $200 million for wind, solar and other resources of alternative and renewable energy." 8:55:54 AM