Friday, August 1, 2008
WIND ENERGY: Wind energy: Much potential, but also daunting challenges. Pioneers in the emerging wind-power industry are touting their product as The Next Big Thing as they chart a course to produce at least 20 percent of the nation's electricity in just over two decades. McClatchy Newspapers. 1 August 2008.
STATES/EPA - LEGAL: California moves ahead with plan to sue EPA. Fed up with the federal government's refusal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, California announced it will lead five states and New York City in a landmark lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency. Long Beach Press-Telegram, California. 1 August 2008.
CALIFORNIA UTILITIES: L.A. utility wary of California's emissions strategy. Hailed as a step in the right direction to fight climate change, California's proposed greenhouse gas reduction policy has worried some of its most valued customers. Associated Press. 1 August 2008.
SOLAR CELLS: Solar-cell material can soak up more sun. Today's solar cells absorb only visible light, wasting the infrared that makes up half of the Sun's output that reaches Earth. But a new material can absorb infrared too, and should make it possible to hike the power solar cells can produce, say researchers. New Scientist, England. 1 August 2008.
NUCLEAR: Nuclear future uncertain as French deal stalls. Plans for the next generation of UK nuclear power stations faced uncertainty today after France's EDF failed to agree a takeover of British Energy. London Independent, England. 1 August 2008.
RECYCLING - CARPET: Carpet recycling is gaining ground. In 2002, after negotiations with federal officials and environmental groups, US carpet manufacturers set a goal of recycling 40 percent of discarded carpeting by 2012. Since then, the number of local carpet collectors has risen from five to more than 50. San Francisco Chronicle, California. 1 August 2008.
BRITISH COLUMBIA - AUTO EMISSIONS LAWSUIT: B.C. wants to file legal brief to support California tailpipe emission suit. California may be getting some support from British Columbia in the state's bid for tougher pollution standards for cars. Canadian Press. 1 August 2008.
OFFSHORE DRILLING: Governors take stand against offshore drilling. West Coast governors urged the federal government Tuesday to keep new oil drilling rigs out of their waters and to spend more money on programs to restore the health of the Pacific Ocean. Tacoma News Tribune, Washington. 1 August 2008.
INTERNATIONAL - COAL: A dangerous untruth. Opposing plans for new coal-fired power plants in developed countries has become an international frontline of climate change politics. London Guardian, England. Opinion, 1 August 2008.
CO2 PIPELINE: CO2 Pipeline Proposals Start To Gain Interest 8/1/2008 - Carbon dioxide pipelines aren't common outside of the oil patch now, but the notion of a network of pipes crisscrossing the U.S. as part of a system to reduce the nation's emissions of greenhouse gases is gaining ground. Early interest is forming in a web of pipes, comparable to the network in place for natural gas, to move emissions captured from power plants to underground storage sites. Some state and provincial governments are starting to mull transportation options as they study the prospects for carbon sequestration. And at least one private-equity backed company already envisions a "carbon highway," delivering thousands of tons of the heat-trapping gas to safe storage sites. "It is something we have got to have answers for soon," said Bill Hoback, bureau chief of the Illinois state office of coal development. Illinois officials are in the early stages of studying the transportation of CO2, with the expectation that federal limits on emissions will require heavy emissions reductions from coal-fired power plants. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/1/08
CARBON CAPTURE: ADA-ES Picked By DOE For Emissions Reduction Project 8/1/2008 - Specialty chemical manufacturer ADA-ES Inc. said that the Department of Energy has selected it to develop a technology that will capture carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants. Littleton, Colo.-based ADA-ES will be the prime contractor for what is expected to be a several million dollar project with the DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory and several industry participants. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/1/08
CHINA - LED LIGHTING: Cree Launches LED Educational Center In China 8/1/2008 - Light-emitting diode company Cree Inc. opened an educational center near its sales office in Shenzhen, China to teach clients and others the importance of quality in the LED industry. The course it runs - which will be taught in Mandarin - will teach lighting designers and manufacturers about the basics of LEDs, how to properly use the Cree product and how to troubleshoot. Durham, N.C.-based Cree makes LED chips that are widely used by other companies in LED products. The company also makes LED lighting fixtures. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/1/08
CHINA: The Climate Group Hails China's Low-Carbon Export Push 8/1/2008 - China, the world's biggest carbon emitter, is embarking on a "clean revolution" by seizing more low carbon export opportunities, showing that developing nations can also profit from renewable energy investment, independent organization The Climate Group said. By 2020 China intends to produce 12 million tons of low carbon fuel and double its proportion of renewable energy to 15%. Moreover, the country is introducing higher fuel efficiency standards for cars which would be 40% higher than those in the U.S. In order to meet its ambitious 2020 renewable energy goals, the country needs to invest a further $398 billion by increasing its annual spending from $12 billion in 2007 to $33 billion in the future, the group said in a report titled "China's Clean Revolution." For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/1/08
Monday, August 4, 2008
GREEN CITIES: Las Vegas bets on environmentalism. The popular image of this desert gambling mecca is that of indulgence and indiscriminate consumption. Words that rarely come to mind: Conservation. Sustainability. Green. USA Today. 4 August 2008.
IMPACTS: Climate change could cost N.J. billions. Climate change will wallop New Jersey by 2100, endangering lives and causing tens of billions of dollars in losses, according to a recent report issued by the University of Maryland. Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania. 4 August 2008. [Registration Required]
SOLUTIONS - BAMBOO: Bamboo can play a deep role in saving the globe. An agricultural scientist says bamboo absorbs three to four times as much CO2 as any other tree and can scrub pollution from septic tanks and factory effluents as it has a natural affinity for nitrogen, phosphorous and heavy metals. The Hindu, India. 4 August 2008.
CARBON STORAGE - OHIO: Ohio counties take lead in study of underground carbon storage. Ohio researchers have gone underground - performing cutting-edge environmental experiments that are pushing the state to the front of a race to stem global warming. Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio. 4 August 2008.
STATE POLICY (FL): Crist open to drilling, but not too near shore. With gasoline just below $4 a gallon, Gov. Charlie Crist says he has to keep an open mind when it comes to drilling off Florida's coastline. But he has his limits. Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Florida. 4 August 2008.
CHINA: China likely to broaden anti-pollution monitoring. China is likely to introduce new pollution monitoring measures in 2009 and learn from action taken during the Olympics to try and ensure Beijing does not sink back into smog, officials said on Sunday. Reuters. 4 August 2008.
STATE POLICY (MA): A tax credit to save some green. The $1.78 billion environmental bond bill approved by the Legislature last week provides the state with $366 million to protect open space from the pressure of development over the next five years. Boston Globe, Massachusetts. Editorial, 4 August 2008.
SPAIN: Spanish Government Approves EUR245M Energy-Saving Plan 8/4/2008 - Spain's cabinet Friday approved a EUR245-million energy saving and efficiency plan for 2008-11 that aims to cut oil consumption by about 44 million barrels. That would be the equivalent of 10% of the country's annual oil imports over the four-year period, the Industry Ministry said in a release. The plan targets the transport sector, industry and households, with 31 measures to boost the use of electric or hybrid cars and public transport, as well as of energy-saving light bulbs and household appliances. The measures will cost the government EUR245 million. The plan includes a pilot project to introduce electric car targets to achieve an electric or hybrid car fleet in Spain of 1 million vehicles by 2014. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/4/08
STATE POLICY (OR): Oregon PUC Rules In Favor Of Third-Party Financing 8/4/2008 - The Oregon Public Utility Commission has ruled that third-party financing models for building and operating solar facilities on premises owned by utilities are legitimate under its and the state's rules. In a release, the Salem, Ore.-based commission said that the question arose when PacifiCorp and Honeywell International Inc. earlier this year asked for a ruling specifying the rights and responsibilities of all parties in three-way generating agreements. Those agreements allow the likes of Pacificorp and Honeywell to collect federal and state tax credits. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/4/08
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
GREEN CITIES: Newsom signs the nation's most stringent green building codes. San Francisco took a major step to cement its reputation as the most environmentally progressive U.S. city, signing into law stringent green building codes for new construction and renovations. San Francisco Chronicle, California. 5 August 2008.
EPA GLOBAL WARMING POLICY: Union slams EPA chief for ignoring staff on global warming. EPA chief Stephen Johnson stunned his staff last month when he publicly opposed their proposals for regulating greenhouse gas emissions, four union officials representing EPA staff working on global warming policies said. McClatchy Newspapers. 5 August 2008.
CARBON STORAGE - FORESTS: Virgin forests more efficient at storing carbon. Untouched natural forests store three times more carbon dioxide than previously estimated and 60 per cent more than plantation forests, a new Australian study of "green carbon" and its role in climate change says. Reuters. 5 August 2008.
CARBON CREDITS - FARMERS: Carbon Credit Program generates $8 million for farmers, ranchers. More than 2,300 farmers and ranchers will receive checks in the mail this week for capturing and storing carbon dioxide in their soil through the National Farmers Union Carbon Credit Program. Dunn County News, Wisconsin. 5 August 2008..
CARBON TRADING - CHINA: China Starts First Carbon Trading Exchange In Beijing 8/5/2008 - China Tuesday launched the country's first carbon trading exchange in Beijing to trade carbon emission quotas, the Xinhua News Agency reported on its Web site. Beijing expected the platform to raise domestic carbon prices, which are far lower than international levels, the report said. Domestic carbon prices are at 8-10 euros per ton compared with the international prices of 17 euros per ton. The exchange will allow carbon trading in a more transparent and informative process to help in increasing their prices, it said. China has been the biggest beneficiary of carbon trading, according to the World Bank, which says it now produces more than 70% of all the world's carbon emission projects. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/5/08
STATE POLICY (ID): Idaho Power Plans To Invest $71M To Convert To Smart Meters 8/5/2008 - Idaho Power Corp. plans to convert all the power meters in its service area to advanced metering technology over three years starting next January, at an estimated cost of $71 million. The utility, which serves an area populated by nearly one million people in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon, filed a request with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to install the advanced metering system, also known as smart meters. Smart meters are thermostats which have communications and monitoring technology in them to allow customers and utilities to better understand their energy usage and costs during peak and off-peak hours. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/5/08
JAPAN - EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS: Japan Environment Minister Calls For 25%-Plus Cut In Emissions 8/5/2008 - Japan should aim to have its greenhouse gas emissions down by more than 25% from the 1990 level around the 2020-30 period, Environment Minister Tetsuo Saito said Monday. "I would like to make an announcement at the appropriate time next year," Saito said in reference to setting a medium-term greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for the country. On the carbon credit trading system that is to launch in October on a trial basis, Saito said: "We need to create a full-scale system that is linked with the world's markets by 2012, which is when the Kyoto Protocol expires." For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/5/08
EU - CARBON TRADING: ECX Exchange Says July CO2 Volumes Almost Triple To 346M Tons 8/5/2008 - Carbon exchange European Climate Exchange, or ECX, said Monday volumes in July reached a record 346 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, almost three times more than in the same period last year. "July experienced significant price volatility" in the trading benchmark contracts, the London-based exchange said in a statement. The December 2008 contracts based on European Union Allowances traded at EUR29.33 a ton at the beginning of July and fell to EUR22.06/ton on the last trading day of the month. The Certified Emission Reductions contracts to December 2008 began the month at EUR21.91/ton and dropped to EUR17.72/ton by the end of July, it said. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/5/08
Wednesday August 6, 2008
STATE POLICY (MD): Gov. O'Malley announces plans for more sustainable transportation fuel system. Governor O'Malley yesterday was joined by Lt. Governor Anthony Brown and administration officials to present roadmap for a more sustainable transportation fuel system in Maryland, beginning with the construction of four new E-85 fuel pumps throughout Maryland. Bay Media Services, Maryland. 6 August 2008.
GREEN CITIES: San Francisco's carbon footprint is shrinking, mayor says. San Francisco has cut greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent from 1990 levels and is on track to meet its goal of a 20 percent reduction in four years, Mayor Gavin Newsom said today. San Francisco Chronicle, California. 6 August 2008.
FED POLICY - CAFÉ STANDARDS: Environmentalists push tougher fuel standard. Environmental groups urged federal regulators Monday to toughen proposed fuel economy rules for cars and trucks through 2015, saying a goal of 35 m.p.g. by 2020 in last year's energy bill should be moved up five years because of high gasoline costs. Detroit Free Press, Michigan. 6 August 2008.
STATE POLICY (KY): Beshear clears roads for electric car plant. Gov. Steve Beshear signed an executive order Tuesday allowing low-speed electric vehicles on some state roads in an effort to lure an electric car manufacturing plant to Kentucky. Lexington Herald-Leader, Kentucky. 6 August 2008.
ECO-FRIENDLY TUGBOAT: Eco-friendly tugboat makes waves at P.E.I. firm. A Prince Edward Island company, Xero Point Green Technology, is developing the power system for the tugboat for American firm Foss Maritime Company, the largest operator of tugboats in the U.S. Canwest News Service, Canada. 6 August 2008.
E-WASTE: Greenpeace cites rising e-waste in Africa. Greenpeace called on the world's electronics companies to eliminate hazardous chemicals from their products, saying toxic waste from wealthy nations' gadgets ends up being dumped in poor countries despite laws prohibiting it. Associated Press. 6 August 2008.
PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE POLICY (OBAMA): 1M hybrids on road by 2015. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Monday the nation should set a goal of putting 1 million plug-in electric hybrid vehicles on the road by 2015, offering $4 billion in federal aid to meet the ambitious goal. Detroit News, Michigan. 6 August 2008.
GREEN CITIES: Newsom pledges city will harvest power from sea. Mayor Gavin Newsom pledged Monday that San Francisco will begin generating electricity from the power of the sea - at least on a demonstration basis - before he leaves office. San Francisco Examiner, California. 6 August 2008.
FUEL CELLS: Nissan: Developed Advanced Battery For Fuel Cell Cars 8/6/2008 - Nissan Motor Co. said Wednesday that it has developed an advanced battery for fuel cell cars and will roadtest vehicles with this advanced battery by the end of this year. The auto maker is in the middest of efforts to catch up with domestic rivals Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. in the development of fuel cell cars. Such vehicles run on electricity generated by a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen and emit only water. Nissan, in which Renault owns a 44% stake, aims to launch its new fuel cell model sometime after 2010. Compared with the company's previous generation battery, the cost of the new battery - a key factor for fuel cell cars to reach a mass-market - has been cut by 35%. The company didn't disclose how much it costs now. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/6/08
WAVE ENERGY: Renewable Energy, Triton To Develop Bermuda Wave Farm 8/6/2008 - Renewable Energy Holdings PLC is working with Triton Renewable Energy Ltd. to build a 2 megawatt test wave farm in Bermuda, and eventually a grid-connected 20 MW farm. The companies will use Renewable Energy Holdings' wave power technology and engineering services and Bermuda-based Triton will help develop the project. The companies will then look for a power purchase agreement with the Bermuda utility, they said in a statement. The companies couldn't be reached for comment. Renewable Energy's wave power technology is expected to be available for commercial applications in 2009. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/6/08
Thursday, July 31, 2008
IMPACTS: Prepare for global temperature rise of 4C, warns top scientist. The UK should take active steps to prepare for dangerous climate change of perhaps 4C according to one of the government's chief scientific advisers. London Guardian, England. 7 August 2008.
IMPACTS: Will grasslands overtake U.S. forests due to warming? Climate change may cause grasslands to spread to parts of the United States that are currently covered in forest, a new study says. National Geographic News. 7 August 2008.
GREEN TECH CONTEST: U.S. Energy Department gives $100K to clean-technology start-up contest. The California Clean Tech Open, the 3-year-old business competition for entrepreneurs working to turn ideas into companies, got a big boost from the Department of Energy on Tuesday - $100,000 to foster green-building technologies. San Jose Mercury News, California. 7 August 2008.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Software tool to cut PC's energy use offered for free. More than half of the energy used by computers is wasted, and an industry group says a simple piece of software will help solve that problem. San Jose Mercury News, California. 7 August 2008.
GREEN BUILDING: 'Green' building codes sprout up across USA. As energy costs rise, more states and cities are adopting policies that encourage or require new construction to be energy-efficient. USA Today. 7 August 2008.
NUCLEAR: Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump cost soars 67 pct. The planned US nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain in Nevada will cost billions more than previously estimated due to a hike in the amount of waste it will have to dispose of and inflation, the Energy Department said Tuesday. Reuters. 7 August 2008.
HYDROGEN: Hydrogen generators get a test drive in the search for fuel economy and lower emissions. An alternative to the cold turkey approach of hopping on a bike may be to gradually wean ourselves off of our gasoline addiction. Reno News and Review, Nevada. 7 August 2008.
ELECTRIC CAR: $10 million invested in Zap electric cars. Zap, a Santa Rosa firm that makes electric cars, said an entrepreneur from Dubai has invested $10 million in the Bay Area company at the same time officials in Kentucky are plying it with incentives to move its factory from China to the Bluegrass State. San Francisco Chronicle, California. 7 August 2008.
BIO-WASTE: BIODenham Invests $60M To Turn Sewage Into Fertilizer Gold 8/7/2008 - Boston-based Denham Capital has committed $60 million to develop ten plants that convert municipal bio-solid waste into fertilizer. The plants will be developed by VitAG Corp., a Beech Island, S.C.-based company that has developed technology in partnership with Ferrate Technologies LLC, which manufactures a bio-solid deodorizer and with undisclosed engineering, fertilizer and equipment companies, according to a statement from the companies. Traditionally, fertilizer is made with natural gas as one of its components, and using the VitAG technology, means creating a more sustainable -- and potentially cheaper -- alternative given rising natural gas prices. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/7/08
EU/U.N. CARBON TRADING: 8/7/2008 - The European Union will link its carbon trading accounting system with that of the U.N. before December, so that CO2 credits earned outside the E.U. can count within the bloc, the Commission said Wednesday. Under the U.N. Kyoto protocol to fight climate change, countries that have an emission reduction target can earn sellable certified emission reduction credits, or CERs, by setting up CO2-cutting projects in developing countries. Once the U.N. certificate registry is linked with the European one, companies and countries will be able to count the U.N certificates as credits within the European emission allowances system. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/7/08
RGGI AUCTIONS: RGGI Signs On World Energy Solutions To Manage Auctions 8/7/2008 - World Energy Solutions Inc. said it signed a contract with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to design and manage its regional carbon dioxide allowance auctions. It is another sign that states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic intend to implement their program and not wait for the Federal government to push through its own cap-and-trade plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/7/08
SOLAR ENERGY: High Oil Prices Prompt Europeans To Turn To Solar Power 8/7/2008 - High oil and gas prices have made residential solar energy more economical for households, sparking a jump in European demand. Germany and France are among the governments underwriting the shift to solar by allowing consumers to sell the energy they produce using photovoltaic cells - which convert sunlight directly into electricity - to the national grid at a profit. In the U.K., the government grants help with the cost of solar installation, but there's no national tariff system For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/7/08
SOLAR ENERGY: Mitsubishi Electric To Step Up Marketing For Home Solar Systems 8/7/2008 - Mitsubishi Electric Corp. will beef up its marketing framework for home photovoltaic systems, increasing sales agencies trained for the firm's proprietary installation procedures by 50%, Nikkei reported. The company aims to lift domestic sales in the residential solar power systems business to 9 billion yen in fiscal 2008, up a little more than 10% on the year. Sales agents can obtain a designation as certified installers upon completion of technical training and after passing a test. As certified agents, they can offer a 10-year maintenance warranty, a favorable feature for marketing efforts. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/7/08