Friday, August 8, 2008
SOLAR HIGHWAY: Oregon installs first highway solar project. In an attempt to spur the spread of solar power, the Oregon Department of Transportation on Thursday unveiled the nation's first solar panel project on a major U.S. highway. Portland Oregonian, Oregon. 8 August 2008.
EMISSIONS TRADING: Boost for emissions trading scheme. European Union and United Nations systems for tracking the use of carbon credits will be connected before December, a move that should significantly facilitate emissions trading. London Financial Times, United Kingdom. 8 August 2008.
STATE POLICY (WI): Wisconsin Energy Plans New 150MW Wind Farm For 2010 8/8/2008 - Wisconsin Energy Corp. is planning to build a new wind farm with a capacity of around 150 megawatts by 2010 as utilities across Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula prepare to meet new environmental standards, Clean Technology Investor has learned. Wisconsin Energy, which already has the largest wind farm operating in the state of Wisconsin, is looking to further develop its wind business, said spokesman, Brian Manthey, in an interview with Clean Technology Investor. . For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/8/08
CAR CHARGING STATIONS: Tepco Plans 1,000 Car-Charging Sites Around Tokyo 8/8/2008 - Tokyo Electric Power Co. plans to have up to 200 recharging stations for electric vehicles up and running in the Tokyo area in fiscal 2009, with an eye toward expanding the network to 1,000 or so in about three years, The Nikkei reports in its Friday edition. Tepco has already developed a quick-charging device that allows an electric car to run 40 kilometers on a five-minute charge and 60 kilometers on a 10-minute charge. It plans to install the device in line with the planned launch of electric vehicles by Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the maker of Subaru automobiles, in fiscal 2009. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/8/08
AVIATION EMISSIONS: New Group Aims To Help Airlines Manage EU Fuel, Emission Rules 8/8/2008 - Three aviation fuel management companies announced on Thursday the formation of a joint venture aimed at helping the commercial airline industry meet new European Union regulations that require the tracking of aviation emissions. Flight Sciences Global Partners, the spawn of California-based Flight Sciences International, Belgium-based Sabena Flight Academy Consulting, and Canada-based BMB Fuel Consulting Services, will focus on fuel emissions consulting and will be based in Brussels. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/808
STATE POLICY (CA): Drive For Natural Gas Vehicles Faces Big Test In California 8/8/2008 - The notion of spending taxpayers' money to help fill U.S. roads with natural gas-fueled vehicles faces a major test when voters in California, the nation's largest auto market, go to the polls in November. Natural gas providers are spending millions of dollars on advertising to convince Californians to pass a ballot initiative allowing the state government to invest in the now-tiny market for natural gas-fueled cars and trucks. The push comes as gas producers, emboldened by a windfall of domestic production, press federal lawmakers to help expand the market for gas as a means for reducing dependence on foreign oil and cutting greenhouse-gas emissions. If the California ballot initiative passes, up to a million vehicles fueled by compressed natural gas, or CNG, could ultimately end up on the state's roads. If the proposal - called Proposition 10 - fails, backers will face a tougher task selling authorities on the wisdom of investing in infrastructure for natural gas-fueled vehicles, compared with spending on biofuels or electric cars and trucks. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/8/08
BIOFUELS: EPA Chief Denies Request To Cut Biofuels Mandate 8/8/2008 - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson on Thursday denied a request to cut by half the amount of ethanol that must be blended into the nation's fuel supply, a victory for the nation's corn growers and ethanol makers. The EPA chief found that a 2007 law that ramped up ethanol production was not posing severe economic harm, brushing aside complaints from Texas Gov. Rick Perry that the diversion of corn to ethanol production was damaging the state's beef, chicken and dairy industries, which use corn as a food staple. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/8/08
WIND ENERGY: UK Govt Gives Conditional OK To 2 Wind Farms Totaling 390 MW 8/8/2008 - U.K. Business Secretary John Hutton announced conditional approval for two wind farm developments in northeast England with a total generating capacity of 390 megawatts. Approvals for the two wind farms depend on technical solutions to mitigate the effects on military defense radar equipment nearby. StatoilHydro ASA and Evelop Projects are developing the 315 MW Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm, located off the coast of Norfolk. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/8/08
Monday, August 11, 2008
GREEN CITIES - EMISSIONS: US cities to measure CO2 emissions. Twenty-one US cities, including New York and New Orleans, have announced they will measure their greenhouse gas emissions, in a joint effort to seek ways to halt and reverse global warming. Agence France-Presse. 11 August 2008.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
GREEN BUILDING: Green report pushes for carbon-neutral construction. British Columbia is escalating its war on greenhouse gases, examining a measure that will require some new buildings to be carbon neutral as early as 2016 - and every new building to have no carbon footprint by 2020. Toronto Globe and Mail, Ontario. 12 August 2008.
IMPACTS: How giants of the deep are helping us to understand climate change. As elephant seals dive and hunt in one of the most inaccessible environments on Earth, they are feeding back information that is helping to shed light on the climate, using sensors that have been stuck to their coats. Edinburgh Scotsman, Scotland. 12 August 2008.
REGIONAL INITIATIVES: Governors to develop Southern energy plan. Southern governors, whose states represent one of the nation's major energy-producing regions, are working on a comprehensive plan to reduce the South's carbon footprint and create jobs. Associated Press. 12 August 2008.
AUTO IDLING: Idling for 3 mins burns fuel required for travelling 1 km. Automobile experts have estimated that a vehicle that idles for three minutes with the air-conditioner on, burns fuel required for travelling one km. Bombay Economic Times, India. 12 August 2008
JAPAN/POST-KYOTO: Too Early To Commit Post-Kyoto Target -Japan METI 8/12/2008 - It is too early for Japan to set a medium-term numerical target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in a post-Kyoto treaty world, given that the U.S., the developed world's largest emitter, is unlikely to come up with a definitive position before a new president is elected, a senior Japanese government official said. "Unless the U.S. lays out its plan, India and China won't tell us anything. Without any idea on what these large emitters will do, it's not wise (for Japan) to commit any numerical target," said Jun Arima, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's Deputy Director-General for Environmental Affairs. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/12/08
CHINA - ENERGY AUDITS: China To Audit Public Facilities To Achieve Energy Cut Target 8/12/2008 - China will audit public facilities' energy conservation efforts annually starting this year, as part of the government's efforts to achieve its energy reduction target for 2010. The State Council said on Monday that it will require public facilities including state agency departments and government-sponsored organizations to record their use of electricity, oil, gas, coal and heat, and to seek ways to reduce consumption. Under the new regulation to take effect Oct. 1, state agencies will submit energy conservation reports every March from next year. China aims to reduce energy use per unit of gross domestic product by 20% in 2010 compared with 2005. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/12/08
Wednesday August 13, 2008
CHINA - AUTO TAX: China raises consumption tax on big cars, cuts tax on small ones in move to fight pollution. China is raising its sales tax on big cars to as high as 40 percent, and drastically cutting taxes on small cars, in its latest attempt to combat emissions that contribute to heavy blankets of smog over most of its cities. Associated Press. 13 August 2008.
STATE POLICY (CA): Highway 50 plan may not be green enough for state. In what appears to be a California first, state highway officials are shelving a major Highway 50 widening plan in Sacramento until they can study whether the expansion will contribute to global warming. Sacramento Bee, California. 13 August 2008.
REGIONAL INITIATIVES (WCI): Group says industry lobbyists try to 'water down' climate initiative. There's an accusation recently floated by the Sierra Club that lobbyists for big industries, including utility and transportation sectors, are "pushing hard to water down" efforts of the Western Climate Initiative. Salt Lake Deseret Morning News, Utah. 13 August 2008
REGIONAL INITIATIVES (RGGI): NY joins alliance to cut CO2 emissions from power plants. New York has joined a regional system to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the state's power plants. Catskill Daily Mail, New York. 13 August 2008.
STATE POLICY (MA): Governor Deval Patrick signed two important bills further positioning Massachusetts as a leader in clean energy and environmental stewardship: the Green Jobs Act, which will support development of the clean energy technology industry that will move Massachusetts toward the green economy of the future, and the Global Warming Solutions Act, which will make Massachusetts a national leader in climate protection. www.mass.gov/governor
ALGAE/FUEL: Sapphire Energy Bets Big On Algae For Fuel 8/13/2008 - Sapphire Energy and its backers are sold on the potential of algae-derived biofuels, and this could set them on the crest of a tidal wave in the energy world, or leave them sinking into obscurity. The privately held San Diego company says it is producing at experimental levels a liquid fuel made from algae that is chemically identical to gasoline, and would be compatible with the current energy infrastructure. As the fuel is derived from carbon dioxide-soaking plant matter, the product wouldn't contribute to climate change. And unlike some other biofuels, such as corn-based ethanol, it doesn't require agricultural land to be produced. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/13/08
JAPAN - EMISSIONS: Japan Utilities Emitted More CO2 In FY07 8/13/2008 - Japan's 10 major power companies emitted 14.3% more carbon dioxide in fiscal 2007 than in the previous year, in part because an earthquake and an accident caused some nuclear power plants to be shut down, The Nikkei reported in its Wednesday edition. The increased CO2 output by the utilities pushed up the country's overall emissions by about 4%. This means that corporations and households will feel the pressure to take additional steps to cut emissions, given that Japan is committed to cut its fiscal 2008-12 greenhouse gas output by 6% from the fiscal 1990 level under the Kyoto Protocol. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/13/08
Thursday, August, 14, 2008
CARBON SEQUESTRATION: Carbon sequestration frustration. Burying CO2 from coal-fired plants could increase other pollutants, a new study suggests. Power plant emissions that cause acid rain, water pollution and ozone layer depletion may actually be made worse by capturing and pumping CO2 deep underground. Science News. 14 August 2008.
CARBON OFFSETS: Why carbon offsets backfire. With a city motto of "Exclusively Industrial," the town of Vernon was already a pollution magnet. Then offsets made it worse. Mother Jones. 14 August 2008.
SOLAR ENERGY: Sunlight on mirrors. A technology that uses mirrors to concentrate solar power could provide millions of homes with clean energy. Environmental Science & Technology. 14 August 2008.
AFRICA: African firms start to take action on climate change. With global warming expected to hit Africa hard, some companies in the "forgotten continent" are taking action themselves to fight climate change. Reuters. 14 August 2008.
CARBON CREDITS: New fund for carbon projects. Local companies which want to get carbon credits from their businesses yet face financial obstacles can now get a booster shot from the government. Straits Times, Singapore. 14 August 2008.
REGIONAL INITIATIVES (WCI): Climate change: Regional strength. The regional Western Climate Initiative will give this state and others considerable power to address global warming and fossil-fuel dependence. Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Washington. Editorial, 14 August 2008.
ALTERNATIVE FUELS: General Motors, PTT To Develop Alternative Fuels For Vehicles 8/14/2008 - General Motors Corp., the world's biggest car maker, said Thursday it will tie up with Thai energy conglomerate PTT PCL to develop alternative fuels for vehicles. "GM will act as a catalyst, a facilitator and a conduit to support the development and sharing of the latest technology to address energy and environmental issues confronting the Asean region," GM chairman and chief executive Richard Wagoner said in a statement. Possible collaboration between the two companies includes conducting research in areas of cellulosic ethanol and other non-food crops, expansion of biodiesel sources, development of CNG bifuel and dual fuel, as well as the development of low-cost hybrid, fuel cell and diesel engine technology for Thailand and Southeast Asian countries, said GM. For more read Clean Technology Investor 8/14/08