Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Potential for micro-generation

By 2050, we could be seeing 30-40% of UK power coming from tiny turbines and roof-top PV and thermal solar panels, says a report commissioned by the DTI, and there could be a significant uptake within just ten years. A revolution of renewables could also bring significant benefits to the carbon economy and help the UK meet its commitments in reducing emissions.

The report, Potential for Microgeneration - study and analysis, has been published by the Energy Saving Trust and was carried out to feed into the DTI's Low Carbon Building programme as well as wider policy for microgeneration.

It looks at the perceived barriers that stop 'alternative' energy sources being embraced as mainstream and when various technologies might become more cost effective and thus attractive to the wider public.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Wave energy

Wave EnergyApart from providing renewable electrical energy, wave energy is also seen as an opportunity to develop products with a worldwide exportation potential and a technology branch with applications in other marine resources exploitation.

After an initial phase (1974-1983) of great investment and development, but also of great expectation, wave energy entered a phase of some stagnation and loss recovered in the mid-nineties.

In recent years, the increased maturity of wave energy technology gave rise to a number of mainly SME-driven industrial activities that show strong commitment in bringing this technology to the market:

    Teamwork Technology/The Netherlands and Oceanergia/Portugal are developing the Archimedes Wave Swing (AWS);

    SPOK ApS/Denmark is developing the Wavedragon;

    Wavegen/UK developed the Oscillating Water Column (OWC) LIMPET plant;

    Ocean Power Delivery (OPD)/UK is developing the Pelamis;

    Energetech/Australia is developing the parabolic entry OWC;

    Ramboll/Denmark and Aquaenergy/USA are developing the Aquabuoy;

    Enerwave/Portugal is developing an overtopping breakwater - integrated shoreline plant;

    Electricidade de Portugal and Electricidade dos Açores and Efacec participated in the development of the OWC Pico plant in the Azores.

As a result of this involvement, four pilot plants of three different technologies are, or have been, under testing at the sea:

    Two shoreline Oscillating Water Column (OWC) plants built in the Azores (Pico 400 kW) and Islay in Scotland (Limpet 500 kW)

    Two MW offshore AWS pilot plant ( tested offshore Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal, 2004),

    1:4.5th scale Wavedragon plant (under testing in the Baltic Sea) and

    Pelamis (to be tested offshore Póvoa de Varzim).

The next two years will show how these pilot plants perform in real seas and how much we can expect from the corresponding technology.

Feedback on Wave energy:

Thursday, December 01, 2005

UN Climate Conference in Montreal: Kyoto operational

Beginning this week and continuing through December 9, representatives from nations around the world are meeting in Montreal to discuss plans for an environmental treaty that would succeed the Kyoto Protocol, albeit with some resistance from the United States.

Kyoto protocol became operational yesterday after final rules were adopted. Not FULLY operational, as the 34 signatory countries do not include the United States or Australia...

Harlan Watson, head of the US delegation, said Americans did not want an approach that includes objectives or a timetable to reduce emissions.

More on the topic: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Website

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Finland's wood-based biofuel use to rise 2.5-fold by 2012

The Finnish Minister of Trade and Industry, Mauri Pekkarinen, told the Finnish Parliament on Wednesday that he wanted to further strengthen Finland's position as the EU leader in the use of bioenergy.

Unveiling the energy and climate policy report, he estimated that the use of wood-based biofuels would grow 2.5-fold by 2012.

Also included in the report is to increase the use biofuels to five per cent of all traffic fuels. Mr Pekkarinen said concrete steps to hit the target were being planned.

The overall target of the Finnish energy and climate strategy is to increase the total use of renewable energy by about a half from the current level by 2025.

Monday, November 28, 2005

U.S. Ethanol Industry Surpasses First Year Goal of RFS

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) announced that the U.S. ethanol industry is now producing at a rate of more than 4 billion gallons annually - surpassing the first year goal of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), included in the recent energy bill.

According to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), ethanol production in the U.S. was averaging 261,000 barrels per day (b/d). That annualizes to just over 4 billion gallons.

Ethanol production was up 1,000 b/d over August, and up 35,000 b/d over September 2004.

Source: http://www.ethanolrfa.org

BP to double investments in renewable energy

BP today announced that it plans to double its investment in alternative and renewable energies to create a new low-carbon power business with the growth potential to deliver revenues of around $6 billion a year within the next decade.

Building on the success of BP Solar – which expects to hit revenues of $1 billion in 2008 – BP Alternative Energy will manage an investment programme in solar, wind, hydrogen and combined-cycle-gas-turbine (CCGT) power generation, which could amount to $8 billion over the next ten years.
“Consistent with our strategy, we are determined to add to the choice of available energies for a world concerned about the environment, and we believe we can do so in a way that will yield robust returns,” said BP chief executive Lord Browne.

“Our recent experience, particularly with solar, has given us the expertise and confidence to develop new products and markets alongside our mainstream business. We are now at a point where we have sufficient new technologies and sound commercial opportunities within our reach to build a significant and sustainable business in alternative and renewable energy.”

Browne said the first phase of investment would total some $1.8 billion over the next three years, spread in broadly equal proportions between solar, wind, hydrogen and CCGT power generation. Investment will be made step by step, and will depend on the nature of opportunities and their profitability.

“We are focusing our investment in alternatives and renewables on power generation because it accounts for over 40 per cent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, the biggest single source. It is also the area where technology can be applied most cost-effectively to reduce emissions.

Source: www.BP.com

Friday, November 25, 2005

Renewable Energy: Nigeria Targets 16,000MW By 2015

Energy Commission of Nigeria yesterday said the country is planning to produce about 15903MW of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2015.

Will they make it ? What is the required funding and who will provide it ?
Well, at least, the objective is set.

Read more on that: http://allafrica.com/stories/200511230453.html

UK: Rumours Persist about Blair Pro-Nuclear Positions

Blair is widely reported to favour a new generation of nuclear power stations. His chief scientific adviser, David King, has backed them as a reliable and carbon-free source of power.

During a session in The House of Commons this Tuesday Blair made the following statements concerning the question of nuclear power: “The facts have changed during the last couple of years” and “We have to make the decision we believe would give the largest long term profit for the country”.

UK is positionned as a champion of renewable energy, now with the (natural?) temptation to go nuclear.
Paradoxal ???

Major Biomass Gasification Workshop in New Zealand

An initiative that we hope will allow concrete developments and deployments in New Zealand.

New Zealand’s small bio-energy industry will have the opportunity to enter a new phase of research and collaboration on Monday when more than 50 specialists meet in Christchurch to explore new approaches to producing fuel gas from biomass.

International contributors to the event include Dr Suresh Babu, Vice President Research and Development, Gas Technology Institute, USA; and John Irving, General Manager McNeil Biomass Power Plant, Vermont USA.

Biomass currently provides around 5 per cent of New Zealand’s primary energy supply. The largest contribution is in the forestry industry through waste wood, black liquor in the pulp and paper industry and a limited amount of electricity production.

New Zealand has 1.8million hectares in pine plantations, providing a large source of woody biomass. The installed capacity of biomass energy plant throughout the larger wood processing sites in New Zealand is around 550MWth,yet there is no exclusive electricity generation using wood or forest residues.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

UK Nuclear Plan Criticized

UK Prime minister says nuclear power could improve the security of the UK's energy supply and help climate change.

Ex-environment minister Michael Meacher has told Tony Blair it was "patently untrue" that nuclear power was needed for the UK to meet emissions targets.

Mr Meacher explained "steady expansion" of renewable energy could allow the UK to meet its greenhouse gases targets. "We need nuclear like a hole in the head. The fact is, the 21st century, in the end, is going to be powered by solar energy."

"Renewable energy is the way forward".

Fidel Castro Leads Cuba to Energy Conservation

President Fidel Castro announced that Cuba is implementing measures to put the island at the forefront of energy conservation.

He participated on Wednesday's edition of a nationwide prime time TV and radio program, addressing the topic.

After months of encouraging the population to conserve energy, the Cuban leader explained that the increase in electricity rates for excess consumption was taken due to the increasing cost of oil on the world market and to promote power savings in the country. He noted it was time for the island to take action in order to change the local habits regarding electricity, provided the population at heavily subsidized rates.

The President said the most recent measures are geared to create a culture of energy saving and safeguarding the economy.

According to a government decree released early Wednesday, electric tariffs continue to be subsidized and unchanged for those who consume up to 100 kilowatts per month. For those consuming more, a table of progressively increasing rates was put in place as of December

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

India's renewable energy sector holds promise

Pushkala Lakshmi Ratan, a senior analyst with NEG Micon (India) Pvt Ltd, was speaking today at the 'Enviro 2005', a major conference (22-23 November 2005) on environmental safety and health organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Ratan said there were a large number of international buyers ready to enter into Emission Reduction Purchase Agreements (ERPA) with the Indian industry. India's renewable energy players have great potential in the clean development mechanism (CDM) market, an initiative under the Kyoto Protocol that seeks to lower emissions of harmful greenhouse gases.

One of India's leading private sector firms, ITC, launched an energy efficiency drive to tap the CDM market in 1999. "The company today covers 86 percent of its own emissions through plantations and hopes to become carbon positive in 2006," said HD Kulkarni, ITC's deputy general manager.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Demand for Solar Power Continues to Grow

"The worldwide demand for solar has gone through the roof in the past year or two," said Dennis Pottratz, owner of GoSolar in Decorah, Iowa, which sells solar equipment and panels. "The interest is growing," he said.

The demand has increased mostly because of the ambitious 100,000 rooftops program launched in Germany to have that many homes equipped for solar power. Germans are offered incentives to install the solar panels.
Because of that program and others that are similar, it's hard to get equipment.

"It's a good time to get in line because of the lead time on the equipment and the credits are kicking in," Pottratz said.

Starting Jan. 1, people buying systems will be eligible for incentives -- 30 percent of the costs with a $2,000 cap for residential installment.

Systems come in different sizes depending on the need, Pottratz said. The standard size he installs is a 1 or 2 kilowatt system that hooks into an electrical grid, which costs about $8 per watt. A battery-based system costs about $10,000 or $11,000.


Monday, November 21, 2005

UK: Clean energy opportunities from Climate Change Bill

Malcolm Wicks recently outlined the UK Government's broad support for Mark Lazarowicz's Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Private Member's Bill, which had its second reading in the Commons on November 11.

The main purpose of the Bill is to enhance the UK's contribution to tackling climate change. It calls for an annual report to be laid before the House on the efforts being made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and an update on the implementation of the DTI's microgeneration strategy. It also calls for increased promotion of microgeneration technologies and eventual targets for their use.

The Government is seeking amendments to the Bill while adding two new measures.

The first would increase the time period of the power contained in section 185 of the Energy Act 2004. Earlier this year, the Government announced its intention to use this power to adjust transmission charges for renewable generators on the Scottish Islands. The scheme was set to run until 2014. The additional clause that he is proposing to include in the Climate Change bill would extend the deadline to 2024.

Commenting on the clause, Wicks said: "The wind, wave and tidal power potential of the Scottish islands is immense. With the right conditions, 1900MW of electricity could be feeding into the grid from the islands early in the next decade, enough to power over a million households, more than Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen combined.

"In March this year we announced our intention to adjust the otherwise high charges these generators will need to pay to National Grid to transmit their electricity. But the long lead times for developing projects on the islands mean that they will derive only minimal benefit from a scheme ending in 2014. Extending the scheme beyond this date would provide additional support to island projects and bring both environmental benefits and economic benefits to island communities."

A consultation on the adjustment of transmission charges in the north of Scotland was launched in July. Its findings will be reported early in the New Year before a final consultation process on the licence modifications needed to implement the scheme.

The second new clause would simplify the issue of the Renewables Obligation Certificates for microgenerators by removing administrative obstacles. It would allow agents to act on behalf of microgenerators and amalgamate their output. It will also remove the requirement for a sale and buy-back agreement. Currently the legislation requires that generators that consume their own electricity must first sell it to a supplier before buying it back for their own consumption.
The energy minister said: "Helping community microgenerators club together to benefit from the Renewables Obligation would help spread the incentive that has already made large scale renewables commercially viable. The Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Bill would be an appropriate piece of legislation to make these changes at the earliest opportunity. "

Source: DTI

Hydrogen-fuelled cars on Indian roads by 2020

The Indian government unveiled on Monday a roadmap to put one million hydrogen-fuelled vehicles on the country's roads and generate 1,000MW from hydrogen by 2020 through public-private initiatives.

In a presentation to Non-Conventional Energy Sources Minister Vilas Muttemwar, the Steering Group on Hydrogen Energy chaired by Ratan N Tata projected an investment of about Rs250 billion ($5.5 billion) over 15 years to achieve these objectives.

Hindustan Times

Sunday, November 20, 2005

$60M Committed to Renewable Energy Fund

The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) committed $60 million to The Carlyle Group's Carlyle/Riverstone Renewable Energy Infrastructure Fund I. Decision was announced after CalPERS' investment committee meeting last week

The energy buyout fund has a target of $300 million and plans to invest between $20 million and $60 million in power generation companies that use renewable resources.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

L.A. to Launch Major Renewable Energy Project

Project Will Deliver Clean, Green Power to L.A. Residents and Help Meet City's Goal of Achieving 20% Clean Energy by 2010 LOS ANGELES

Taking a significant step forward in his efforts to make Los Angeles the cleanest and greenest big city in America, L.A. Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa will announce that the City will construct a major transmission line to deliver "green" renewable energy to Los Angeles at a press conference on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 at 1:30 p.m. in North Hollywood.

The effort will be undertaken through a partnership between the City, its Department of Water and Power, the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) and the non-profit Citizens Energy and will deliver clean, renewable energy to Southern California while also generating funds to help low-income residents.

The Mayor will be joined by key partners in the project, including former Congressman and now Chairman and President of Citizens Energy, Joseph P. Kennedy II, and Mary Nichols, President of the City's Board of Water and Power Commissioners.

Source: Press Release

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

San Francisco Powers Up Newest Municipal Solar Installation

New 20,000 Square-Foot Solar Array atop SFPUC Southeast Wastewater Treatment Plant Brings Clean, Renewable Energy to Bayview Hunters Point community

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom joined southeast community leaders and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) today to ‘flip the switch’ and commence operation of a new 255-kilowatt solar electric system at the Southeast Wastewater Treatment Plant. The SFPUC’s latest solar electric project utilizes a photovoltaic array to convert sunlight directly into energy at the City’s largest wastewater treatment facility. Covering 20,000 square feet of rooftop, the solar project compliments San Francisco’s largest municipal installation at the Moscone Center, providing the plant with more than 300,000-kilowatt hours per year – the equivalent energy to power 200 homes. The solar array was furnished by PowerLight Corporation of Northern California.

Source: Press Release

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

US Short-Term Energy Outlook

The official energy statistics from the US government, published by the Energy Information Administration.
Overview: Hurricanes Katrina and Rita damaged, set adrift, or sunk 192 oil and natural gas drilling rigs and producing platforms, the most significant blow to the U.S. petroleum and natural gas industries in recent memory.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

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