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China Could Invest $1.6Tn in Energy Efficiency by 2035, says IEA (Int'l., Ind. Report)
China,Energy Efficiency
Date: 2014-06-23
According to a report from the Paris-headquatrered International Energy Agency (IEA), China may invest as much as $5.7 trillion by 2035 to find, produce and save energy. The IEA says that China has made "outstanding effort' to increase energy efficiency and reduce coal use to meet global climate targets.

According to the report, China will invest $1.6 trillion in energy efficiency by 2035, accounting for about one-fifth of the global total. Transportation will be the largest target for the country's energy efficiency investments, followed by industry and the building sector. (Source: IEA, Asia News Network, Dawn, 22 June, 2014) Contact: International Energy Agency, www.iea.org

Tags International Energy Agency news,  China news,  Energy Efficiency news,  


Implementing Energy Efficiency: are IEA Countries on Track? -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)

Date: 2014-06-16
Are The attached IEA report -- Implementing Energy Efficiency Policies: are IEA member countries on track? -- examines the question of whether IEA member countries are doing enough to capture the full potential benefits from energy efficiency policy? The report provides the first assessment of IEA member countries' progress with implementing energy efficiency policy. The full publication is linked HERE. (Source: International Energy Agency) Contact: International Energy Agency, +33 1 40 57 65 09, http://www.iea.org


Rio Tinto Pushes for Carbon Capture & Storage Technologies, Slams Government’s Too Much Focus on Renewable Energy

Date: 2014-03-31
| March 24, 2014 10:35 AM EST Mining giant Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) finds the current climate change policy debate too idealistic and over focused on renewable energy. Rio Energy Division Chief Harry Kenyon-Slaney is pushing instead for the Australian government to place more investment in clean technologies such as carbon capture and storage. Kosovo and the European Union started Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) negotiations in October, an important step in Kosovo's European integration process. But Kosovo's air quality still widely exceeds the European Union standards, with high levels of pollution from increased traffic flows and two old power generating plants, Power Plant A and Power Plant B, which emit a high level of dust particles. The European Commission, quoting a 2012 World Bank report, said air pollution in Kosovo causes 835 premature deaths, 310 new cases of chronic bronchitis and 11,600 emergenc Mr Kenyon-Slaney, who spoke on Friday at the Energy Policy Institute of Australia meeting, said the mining industry can't just wish away fossil fuels and any solution to climate change must recognise the ongoing major role of fossil fuel in the global energy mix. He said that coal, gas, uranium and renewable would all be needed to meet the anticipated 69 per cent growth in energy demand in the next two decades. However, while pushing for cleaner energy technology, Rio has stopped paying the mining industry's Coal21 group, a $1-billion industry fund to finance clean coal technology as response to difficult trading conditions in the mining industry. Coal21 amended its aims in 2013 by refocusing beyond carbon emissions but also to push for use of coal in Australia and overseas. The Rio executive's views was criticised by Giles Parkinson who wrote in RenewEconomy that "As if to highlight Rio Tinto's own lack of faith in the CCs, Kenyon-Slaney said the company had invested $100 million in the technology. This from a company that earns billions from coal mining each year - earnings that most analysts say is at risk if the world gets serious about climate change." Tristan Edis wrote in Climate Spectator that based on volume of coal use in the last 10 years and projections for the next 10 years by the International Energy Agency, Mr Kenyon-Slaney has a reasonable point. He cited the numerous new coal-fired power stations in China and India, and improving the efficiency of these plants move be extremely difficult. BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie shared Rio's view that coal would continue to be the world's main energy source even if there is growth in discovery and use of natural gas. But federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane believes the carbon capture and storage is a pipedream, while on senior Liberal calls it a vaporware, which is a term used to describe new computer software promised by developers for delivery in the future but never did, although it scares off rival software development. (Source: RioTinto, International Business Times, 24 Mar., 2014)


IEA Rates Energy Efficiency Best for Cutting Emissions (Ind. Report)
IEA
Date: 2014-03-17
According to the autonomous Paris-headquartered International Energy Agency's (IEA) head of energy efficiency, Philippe Benoit, over 40 percent of the emissions cuts necessary to contain greenhouse gases at safe levels come from "boring measures" such as insulation and vehicle and appliance standards, compared with 21 percent from renewables and 8 percent from nuclear power. Benoit claims that energy efficiency is perceived as "boring, intangible and difficult to understand" and that it is easier for people to understand the installation of solar panels on their roof and seeing the kilowatt-hours they generate than putting insulation in their home and waiting for savings in energy consumption. (Source: IEA, Mar., 2014) Contact: IEA, Maria van der Hoeven, Exec. Dir., Philippe Benoit, Head of Energy Efficiency, +33 1 40 57 65 00, www.iea.org

Tags CO2 Emissions news,  Emissions news,  Energy Efficiency news,  IEA news,  CO2 news,  


Notable Quotes
Baker & McKenzie
Date: 2013-12-18
"The effectiveness of an emissions trading scheme really comes down to the extent of which it changes behavior. If you give companies free permits then there's no need to change behavior and they keep polluting. What is critical is designing the ETS such that it is not compromised." -- Martin Wilder, Head of Global Environmental Markets, Baker & McKenzie (Law)

"Like it or not, coal is here to stay for a long time. Coal is abundant and geo-politically secure, and coal-fired plants are easily integrated into existing power systems. With advantages like these, it is easy to see why coal demand continues to grow. But it is equally important to emphasize that coal in its current form is simply unsustainable." -- Maria van der Hoeven, Exec. Dir., International Energy Agency

Tags news,  Carbon Emissions news,  Carbon Emissions Trading news,  EU ETS news,  Coal news,  


China Coal Consumption Rises Despite CO2 Reduction Effort (Int'l)
China
Date: 2013-12-18
Despite the Chinese government's efforts to clean up the nation's pollution, the world's second-largest economy will continue to produce and consume as much coal as the rest of the world combined over the next five years, according to a recently released International Energy Agency (IEA) report.

The report estimates that coal demand will grow at an average rate of 2.3 percent per year through 2018, compared with last year's forecast of 2.6 percent for the five years through 2017 and the actual growth rate of 3.4 percent a year between 2007 and 2012.

The report follows China's announced ban on new coal-fired power plants in three industrial regions around Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, a move aiming to combat poor air quality. The government aims to cut coal's share of total energy usage to 65 percent by 2017. (Source: Int'l. Bus. Times, 17 Dec., 2013)

Tags Coal news,  CO2 Emissions news,  China Emissions news,  Emission Reductions news,  


Fossil Fuel Subsidies and RFS Taking Flak (Ind. Report)
Global Renewable Fuels Alliance
Date: 2013-12-11
In 2009 the leaders of the OECD countries meeting at the G20 in Pittsburgh promised to reduce and eventually eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. Since that time, fossil fuel subsidies have skyrocketed 45 percent from $300 billion to $544 billion, according to International Energy Agency's annual World Energy Outlook . The Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA), which promotes biofuels, condemned the lack of progress.

Even so, biofuels have not escaped unblemished. Biofuels detractors contend that the U.S. Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and the EU biodiesel blending mandate in transport fuels is causing problems of their own: massive rainforest destruction, driving animals such as orangutans towards extinction; increasing world hunger by using up scarce food supplies for making fuel; and driving aggressive land grabs in the global south. The GFRA represents over 65 percent of the global biofuels production from 44 countries, and promotes biofuel friendly policies internationally. (Source: Global Renewable Fuels Alliance, Ecologist, SacBee, Dec. 11, 2013) Contact: Global Renewable Fuels Alliance, Bliss Baker, (416) 847-6497, info@globalrfa.org, http://www.globalrfa.org

Tags RFS news,  Fossil Fuel Subsidies news,  Biofuel Subsidies news,  Global Renewable Fuels Alliance news,  


IEA Predicting 18% World Wind Power by 2050 (Ind. Report)
International Energy Agency
Date: 2013-12-04
According to the Paris-based autonomous International Energy Agency (IEA), as much as 18 percent of the world's electricity could be generated with wind energy by 2050. It also said the massive jump from the current 2.6 per cent would require an eight to 10-fold increase from the current nearly 300GW and cost nearly $150 billion a year. The IEA now sees a much larger penetration of wind power than the 12 per cent by 2050 share forecast in its previous 2009 edition of the Technology Roadmap: Wind Energy. Since 2008, the report noted, wind power deployment has more than doubled on the back of technological developments that have boosted energy yields and reduced operation and maintenance costs.

The report found that although wind power had only received two percent of the world's public energy R&D development funding, costs had fallen. Land-based wind power generation costs range from $60/MWh to $130/MWh at most sites, and it could be competitive "where wind resources and financing conditions are favorable, but it still requires support in most countries." the IEA said. The agency forecasts that China will be the world's leading wind power producer by 2020-2025, followed by the European members of the OECD with the U.S. running third. (Source: International Energy Agency , EcoNews, 3 Dec., 2013) Contact: IEA, Maria van der Hoeven, Exec. Dir., +33 1 40 57 65 00, www.iea.org

Tags Wind news,  International Energy Agency news,  


UNFCCC Chief tells Coal to Invest in Renewables (Ind. Report)
Christiana Figueres,UNFCCC
Date: 2013-11-25
Last week in Warsaw, the U.N.'s top climate diplomat Christiana Figueres told the coal industry it should leave most of the world's remaining coal reserves in the ground and start investing in renewable energy. sources. Figueres suggested that the coal industry needs to change radically to help reduce the carbon emissions that scientists say are warming the planet. Although coal industry officials did not directly respond to Figueres' remarks, they did say that the world cannot do without coal because in many countries it's the only available energy source.

Coal accounts for less than 30 percent of the world's energy supply but more than 40 percent of energy emissions, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Coal emissions have declined in the U.S. as some power plants have switched to lower-priced natural gas. But they are growing fast in China and India. Coal industry officials say significant emissions reductions can be achieved by improving the efficiency of coal-fired plants but carbon-capture technologies need to be implemented to slow climate change. (Source: Epoch Times, 21 Nov., 2013) Contact: Christiana Figueres, Secretary, UNFCCC, +49 (228) 815-1000, secretariat@unfccc.int, www.unfccc.int

Tags UNFCCC news,  Christiana Figueres news,  Coal news,  


Notable Quotes
International Energy Agency
Date: 2013-11-20
"The (Alberta, Canada) oil sands definitely make a contribution to the increase in CO2 emissions. But the difference in getting oil from oil sands, when compared to conventional oil, is such a small contribution that it will be definitely wrong to highlight this as a major source of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide." -- Fatih Birol, Chief Economist, International Energy Agency, www.iea.org

Tags Oil Sands news,  IEA news,  


IEA Offers "Takeaways" from Warsaw Climate Talks (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Union of Concerned Scientists
Date: 2013-11-18
The International Energy Agency (IEA) is offering the following observations or "takeaways" on last weeks climate negotiations in Warsaw:
  • What happens in the energy sector is crucial to our climate future. The sector is responsible for two-thirds of global warming emissions currently, and without significant policy action annual energy-related CO2 emissions will rise by 20 percent to 37.2 gigatonnes (Gt) by 2035, meaning that we would be headed for a long-term average temperature increase of 3.6 degrees C

  • Policy decisions that countries make right now can make a tremendous difference in how much more carbon we emit. This includes support for renewable energy and energy efficiency and removal of subsidies to fossil fuel producers.

  • The energy sector is in tremendous flux globally with a lot of new capacity (mainly in China and India) and replacement capacity (mainly as old power plants are retired in the U.S. and Europe) being added. This creates an opportunity to make low carbon choices; taking full advantage of that opportunity is critical to meeting climate goals.

  • Natural gas use will likely expand globally under a business as usual scenario. (But, as a recent UCS report points out, an over-reliance on natural gas comes with significant climate risks.)

  • The IEA says that under a business as usual scenario, renewable energy will grow significantly, from 20 percent of electricity generation in 2011 to 31 percent in 2035, approaching coal as a leading source of power. But this would still mean growing emissions from the power sector (an increase of between 13 to 15 Gt in that timeframe), leaving its share constant at about 40% of global emissions. NREL's recent 80 percent by 2050 renewable energy report and the IPCC special report on renewable energy shows we can be much more aggressive in cost-effective renewables deployment both in the U.S. and globally.

  • The power sector has several affordable low-carbon alternatives available already, including wind and solar energy, and electricity demand is growing rapidly. Therefore policies that encourage renewable electricity and energy efficiency are particularly vital to bending the emissions curve globally.

  • Globally, nearly 1.3 billion people still lack access to electricity and 2.6 billion still depend on traditional biomass for energy (with grave health and pollution consequences). Global climate talks have to address this fundamental inequity, even as they negotiate a pathway to lower global emissions. (Source: IEA, Union of Concerned Scientists, Blog, Rachel Cleetus, senior climate economist, Climate and Energy , 12 Nov., 2013) Contact: Union of Concerned Scientist, (617) 547-5552, www.ucsusa.org; IEA, +33 1 40 57 65 00, www.iea.org

    Tags Union of Concerned Scientists news,  IEA news,  Climate Change news,  Global Warming news,  


  • IEA says Old King Coal Still the Fuel of Choice (Ind. Report)
    International Energy Agency.
    Date: 2013-10-23
    Although the U.S. shale gas boom has played havoc with global energy market, Old King Coal is still a merry old soul and the "world's fuel of choice because of its relative abundance and availability", according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). "Coal is the fastest-growing source of energy in the world and is the primary source of fuel for electricity, accounting for 40 percent of the world's needs," adds the IEA.

    The Paris-headquartered IEA predicts that natural gas for power will fall from 44 percent to 28 percent by 2035, leaving space for coal to make up nearly half of the Asian market's energy demand. And, although the US market for coal is slipping, on a global basis coal still in high demand because it is 30 per5cent cheaper than natural gas, at least in Asian markets where it reigns supreme. The IEA says coal use "has never stopped increasing and, despite the trends in shale gas, it looks like it never will."

    Editor's Note: This article was originally written for OilPrice.com, a website that focuses on news and analysis on topics of alternative energy, geopolitics, and oil and gas. (Source: IEA, Wall St. Cheat Sheet, 19 Oct., 2013) Contact: IEA, Maria van der Hoeven, Exec. Dir., +33 1 40 57 65 00, www.iea.org

    Tags Coal news,  International Energy Agency. news,  


    Wind May Generate 18% of World Electricity in 2050, says IEA (Int'l., Ind. Report)
    International Energy Agency
    Date: 2013-10-23
    According to the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA), wind power could grow more than sixfold to generate as much as 18 percent of the world's electricity in 2050. To reach that level of capacity spending on new wind farms would need to ramp up to about $150 billion a year from $78 billion last year.

    In 2009, the IEA estimated that wind power may provide 12 percent of global power in 2050. It cited improvements in wind technology and the "changing global energy context" for today's upward revision. Wind turbines currently provide about 2.6 percent of global electricity, according to the IEA's website. said. (Source: IEA, Oct., 2013) Contact: IEA, Maria van der Hoeven, Exec. Dir., www.iea.org

    Tags International Energy Agency news,  Wind news,  


    IEA Rewards Drake Landing Solar Community for Solar Thermal Heating, Storage (Ind. Report)
    International Energy Agency
    Date: 2013-09-27
    The Drake Landing Solar Community in Okotoks, Alberta, Canada has been awarded the 2013 International Energy Agency (IEA) Solar Heating and Cooling Programme Solar Award in recognition of achievements in solar thermal market development and reductions in market barriers. ATCO Gas and Edmonton-based Sterling Homes, which operates record setting solar heating and storage system for the community, accepted the award on behalf of the partners, including the Town of Okotoks and United Communities.

    Completed in 2007, Drake Landing Solar Community (DLSC) is the first implementation of "seasonal solar thermal energy storage" in North America, by which solar thermal energy is collected in the summer, stored underground, and then is returned to the community's 52 single-detached homes as heat during the winter.

    In 2012, the community surpassed its own world record by covering nearly 100 percent of space heating needs with solar energy, and in 2011 it earned the Energy Globe World Award for Sustainability by achieving more than 80 percent of the community's space heating requirements. (Source: IEA, SolarServer, 26 Sept., 2013) Contact: IEA, Maria van der Hoeven, Exec. Dir., www.iea.org

    Tags Energy Storage news,  Solar Energy Storage news,  International Energy Agency news,  


    USGS Carbon Storage Methodology Scores IEA "Best Practice" Endorsement (Ind. Report)
    International Energy Agency,USGS
    Date: 2013-09-23
    The US Geological Survey (USGS) methodology for assessing CO2 storage potential for geologic carbon sequestration has been endorsed as a "best practice" for a country-wide storage potential assessment by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The USGS approach was praised for several primary reasons:
  • The assessment relies on a probabilistic methodology, which incorporates statistics to make resource estimates. The benefit of a probabilistic approach is that it allows for the resource to be assessed with any given level of uncertainty in the data collected.
  • The USGS based its assumptions on today's available technology and standard industry practices. Using current techniques allows the assessment to have as close to a realistic result as possible.

    The USGS approach is geologically based, as the rock layers included in the assessment were limited to those determined to have sufficient natural seals to prevent CO2 from escaping.

    The USGS released its first national assessment of technically accessible geologic CO2 storage potential in June of 2013. According to that assessment, the U.S. has the potential to store a mean of 3,000 metric gigatons of CO2 in geologic basins throughout the country. This national assessment complements the regional estimates that the Department of Energy includes in their periodically updated Atlas. (Source: USGS, 20 Sept., 2013) Contact: USGS, U.S. DOI, Peter Warwick, (703) 648-6469, http://energy.usgs.gov; IEA. +33 1 40 57 6500, www.iea.org

    Tags International Energy Agency news,  Carbon Storage news,  USGS news,  


  • Alstom, Soitec Partner on CPV Projects (Int'l., Ind. Report)
    Alstom Renewable Power, Soitec
    Date: 2013-07-29
    Alstom Renewable Power and Soitec are partnering in response to a March call for tenders from a French agency for concentrated solar (CPV) technology and turnkey power plants. The two partnering companies plan to establish a sector of excellence, which "will create jobs and be ready to meet the challenges of the French transition to renewable energy."

    Soitec's new fifth-generation Concentrix CPV systems incorporate modules with a 30 percent market-leading module efficiency; two to three times the efficiency of conventional PV technology. According to Soitec CEO Andre-Jacques Auberton-Herve, the cooperation with Alstom confirms that Soitec's CPV technology is essential to meeting the growing demand for CPV technology as a "clean, reliable and competative energy source in France and globally.

    The International Energy Agency projects that solar energy, including concentrated solar power and PV, could account for 25 percent of global electricity by 2050 and meet a third of global energy demand after 2060. (Source: Alstom, Soitec, Various Other, July, 2013) Contact: Contact: Alstom Power, Alfonso Faubel, VP, Wind business, + 33 (0)1 41 49 20 00, www.alstom.com/Power; Soitec, (978) 531-2222, www.soitec.com

    Tags Alstom Renewable Power news,  Soitec news,  CPV news,  Renewable Energy news,  


    House Cuts Clean Energy Funding, Dragging Down Entire Community of American Innovators (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Environmental Defense Fund
    Date: 2013-07-22
    This commentary originally appeared on Scientific American's "Plugged In" blog. "In my last post, I discussed a House subcommittee's shortsighted vote to slash funding for the U.S. DOE's innovative Advanced Research Projects Agency -- Energy (ARPA-E). I'm sorry to report that the rest of the House has now followed suit, passing a $30 billion energy spending bill that cuts a huge chunk out of clean energy programs. Not only does the bill contain the subcommittee's 81 percent cut to ARPA-E, it also guts energy efficiency programs and even rolls back progress in energy efficient lighting. The House's embargo on funding for clean energy doesn't just hurt our footing in the international race towards a new energy economy, it also drags down an entire community of American innovators working to achieve a sustainable future.

    "We deserve more than political posturing and moves as antiquated as the incandescent bulb. Right now, a convergence of environmental, economic and technological forces is transforming the global energy landscape. Just last month, the International Energy Agency (IEA) projected that renewable energy sources would eclipse nuclear and gas generation by 2016, and provide a quarter of the world's energy supply by 2018. Renewable energy is unequivocally a major component of the energy landscape.

    "With the global rise of renewables, clean energy has become an inextricable component of energy science and engineering. Programs in sustainability, renewable energy, smart grid, and energy efficiency have emerged at major universities all over the U.S. These programs popped up as fields like mechanical and electrical engineering identified climate change as a key challenge facing humanity. Engineers have always sought to apply scientific knowledge to overcome technical challenges and ensure human safety and progress. Now, more than ever, academic researchers are passionately seeking solutions to address global warming.

    "As top engineers and scientists have acknowledged the need to address the threat of climate change, so too have aspiring young scientists and engineers. Sustainability has become part of innovative educational programs across the country. Today, it is rare to see a science classroom without a miniature solar panel or wind turbine on its shelves. Why? Because students of all ages are compelled by the chance to design the next device or system that will help us overcome the challenges resulting from climate change. Students' passion for clean energy helps them endure difficult subjects like math and science, making the U.S. more competitive internationally. We owe it to these students to keep up the pace of clean energy education and research. Government funding agencies like ARPA-E and the DOE have a direct influence on science and engineering departments all over the country.

    "Cutting these agencies has a ripple effect that hurts students, professors and other educators across the nation. Whether our elected leaders like it or not, researchers and academics will continue to explore the potential of the new energy frontier. The question is, will the government promote their efforts, or squander the momentum thousands of talented Americans have built up over many years of dedicated work?" (Source: EDF, July 17, 2013) Contact: Environmental Defense Fund, (800) 684-3322, www.edf.org

    Tags Clean Energy news,  Environmental Defense Fund news,  


    Transport Energy Efficiency could save Trillions, says A Tale of Renewed Cities (Ind. Report)
    International Energy Agency
    Date: 2013-07-12
    The International Energy Agency has released a report that suggests improved energy efficiency of urban transport systems could save US$70 trillion to 2050. The report, A Tale of Renewed Cities, draws on examples from 30 cities across the globe to recommend policies across three broad approaches:
  • allowing travel to be avoided;
  • shifting travel to more efficient modes; and
  • improving the efficiency of vehicle and fuel technologies.

    The report concludes that this "avoid, shift and improve" approach could save up to $70 trillion through lower spending on oil, roadway infrastructure and vehicles. The report offers the tale of three case studies -- Belgrade, Seoul and New York City -- to show how can improve their transportation systems. As an example, the report notes that within the first six months of refurbishing its urban rail system, Belgrade tripled passenger levels. When Seoul pushed through reforms that no longer rewarded bus operators for carrying more people, ridership, speed and safety all increased. And New York City shaved 11 minutes off travel times within a year of introducing express bus services, while at the same time attracting more passengers. (Source: IEA, July, 2013) Contact: IEA, Maria van der Hoeven, Exec. Gir., www.iea.org

    Tags Transportation Efficiency news,  Energy Efficiency news,  International Energy Agency news,  


  • IEA says Renewables set to Pass Natural Gas by 2016 (Ind. Report)
    International Energy Agency
    Date: 2013-07-01
    According to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), wind, solar, hydro and other renewable forms of energy are growing worldwide at such a rate that they will become more popular than natural gas in just three years and double the amount of energy produced by nuclear power.

    The report says renewables are now the fastest-growing types of power generation and will comprise almost 25 percent of global energy by 2018. Only two years ago, renewables made up about 20 percent of the world's power sources.

    The IEA says two main factors are "driving the positive outlook" for renewable power generation: they're becoming cost-competitive with fossil fuels and offering a cleaner source of energy in emerging countries trying to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. (Source: IEA, ALLGOV.com, 30 June, 2013) Contact: IEA. +33 1 40 57 6500, www.iea.org

    Tags International Energy Agency news,  Renewable Energy news,  


    Carbon Trading and Coal: Making the Right Choice (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    International Energy Agency
    Date: 2013-06-14
    "It's time for the EU to make some decisions about its own future and the future of its citizens. There are two things at stake; the fiscal impetus of recovering a carbon emissions trading scheme which is perilously close to imploding, and the physical impetus of protecting the health of the millions of EU citizens who are threatened by coal plants belching particulates into their air.

    "With one, it is working towards restoring credibility to a plan which turns CO2 into a tradeable commodity while encouraging the reduction of emissions. With the other, it is respecting the basic right of people to breathe air which is not clogged with mercury, lead or arsenic.

    "Making the right choice means finding a way of making carbon trading relevant again. It's simple supply and demand: Industrial optimism and geo-political interests created a situation where too many tradeable allowances were pumped into a new and untested market -- the largest of its kind. The economic crisis slowed factory production, meaning there were less emissions, meaning the allowances they had for emissions gradually became worthless. And if allowances come cheap, why worry about blowing more pollutants into the air? Along this line, the International Energy Agency released a report earlier this week which, although having a global outlook, made it clear that the EU, as the third largest CO2 emitter in the world, needs to pull up its socks. As the IEA puts it, the current emissions trading scheme (ETS) "is a key instrument to deliver the EU's 20 percent emissions reduction target in 2020."

    "In the EU, there is no doubt what a key emission culprit is. With approximately 300 plants in operation, and about 50 more in development, coal accounts for a quarter of the EU's C02 emissions. It also accounts for 70 percent of sulphur dioxide emissions -- a dangerous pollutant. This means that making the right choice also means acknowledging that, not only is coal antiquated, it's simply too unhealthy to be considered an option. Especially in Europe where 70 percent of new electrical capacity took the form of predominantly wind and solar energy in 2012, according to the REN21's Renewables Global Status Report (GSR).

    "The two choices are not mutually exclusive. Curbing carbon emissions, through controlled allowances and an effective ETS, means turning more to clean sources of power in an economically advantageous way. Yes, predicting carbon market behavior may be tricky, but understanding the health threats of pollution is not. Clean energy will add years of life to EU citizens which, in and of itself, is a "no-brainer". (Source: Greenpeace International, Blog, 12 June, 2013)

    Tags Carbon Trading news,  Coal news,  International Energy Agency news,  Global Warming news,  


    UN Climate Change Talks Underway in Bonn (Int'l., Ind. Report)
    UNFCCC
    Date: 2013-06-05
    The United Nations has begun the second session of the "Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action" (ADP) in Bonn. The ADP is tasked both to complete a universal climate agreement by 2015 that will come into force from 2020, and to find ways to increase the current inadequate level of global ambition to address human-generated climate change before the end of the decade. The ADP is resuming its work in parallel with the annual sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). These bodies will play an essential role in the effective implementation of the outcomes of the recent UN Climate Change Conferences in Cancun (in 2010), in Durban (in 2011) and in Doha last year.

    During the first round of talks under the ADP in Bonn, which ended 3 May this year, governments undertook work on the main contours and central elements of the 2015 agreement, and also on a practical and results-oriented approach to raising immediate climate ambitions.

    In addition to discussions of possible types of commitments and bottom-up and top-down elements in the new agreement, a special ADP workshop meeting will focus on strengthening adaptation to climate change through the 2015 agreement. A workshop on pre-2020 ambition -- the third of its kind under the ADP -- will focus on energy, including on how to scale up renewable energy, enhance energy efficiency, and consider carbon capture and storage (CCS).

    The ADP Co-Chairs will also hear proposals from observer organizations on the question of how non-State actors can further contribute to collective action on climate change and how the 2015 agreement can catalyze such action by non-State actors. Other key discussions include talks on institutional arrangements that provide the most vulnerable populations with better protection against loss and damage caused by slow onset events such as rising sea levels; on clarifying ways to measure deforestation; and on avoiding negative consequences of climate action.

    In a seperate presentation, the International Energy Agency (IEA) will present its latest World Energy Outlook Special Report Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map laying out new insights into the future track of global greenhouse gas emissions. (Source: UN, Prevention Web., June 2, 2013) Contact: United Nations Climate Change Secretariat, Luis Davila, Programme Officer, +49 (0)228 815 1137, ldavila@unfccc.int, www.unfccc.int

    Tags UNFCCC news,  Climate Change news,  Carbon Emissions news,  


    Rising CO2 Emissions Portend a Rougher Ride (Ind. Report)
    International Energy Agency
    Date: 2013-04-12
    Turbulence on transatlantic flights will become more frequent and severe by 2050 as CO2 emissions rise, leading to longer journey times and increased fuel consumption, according to a report journal Nature Climate Change from International Energy Agency scientists at the UK universities of Reading and East Anglia.

    According to the report, increasing CO2 emissions raise the global average temperature, heating up the lower atmosphere. Warming also changes the atmosphere 10 km above ground level, making it more unstable for planes.

    The study found that the chances of encountering significant turbulence by the middle of the century will increase by between 40 and 170 percent. The average strength of turbulence would also increase by between 10 and 40 percent, leading to rougher, and time-consuming air travel.

    Air travel is one of the fastest-growing sources of CO2 emissions, but the effects of climate change on turbulence have not been previously studied. (Source: IEA, Trade Arabia, April 9, 2013) Contact: International Energy Agency, www.iea.org

    Tags Carbon Emissions news,  


    Biofuels to Boom by 2020 as Cellulosic Ethanol Becomes Competitive, survey say (Ind. Report)
    Governors Biofuels Coalition
    Date: 2013-03-20
    As much as 80 percent the world's energy supply will come from biomass by 2020, according to a survey published at the recent World Biofuels Markets conference in Rotterdam. The survey was completed by 704 respondents and commissioned by the conference organizer, Green Power Conferences. Survey respondents said biofuels will continue to grow in Europe, but at a slower pace than previously expected because of EU policy restrictions. They were split 50-50 on whether the International Energy Agency's goal of getting 27 percent of the world's transportation fuel from biofuels by 2050 will be met, despite an increase in growth expected outside the EU. The majority of respondents said road transportation will produce the most demand for biofuels in the next five years, while 24 percent thought aviation will supply the biggest chunk of demand. The remaining 6 percent chose sea transportation as the demand driver.

    The European Union has a target of supplying 10 percent of transportation fuel from renewable sources by 2020. Dutch airline KLM started last week flying a weekly New York-Amsterdam flight with a Boeing 777 running on recycled cooking oil. The carrier aims to have 1 percent of its flights operating on biofuels by 2015.

    Several countries are moving ahead with plans to use biomass in electricity generation. The United Kingdom offered last week to guarantee £75 million ($113 million) in loans to the Drax Group utility to convert the UK's largest coal-fired plant to burn biomass. Drax will spend £700 million to convert three of the six units at its 4,000-MW plant in North Yorkshire to burn wood chips instead of coal. Other utilities that have switched some coal units to biomass are RWE in Germany and DONG Energy in Denmark. (Source: Governors Biofuels Coalition, 14 Mar., 2013) Contact: Governors Biofuels Coalition, www.governorsbiofuelscoalition.org

    Tags Cellulosic Ethanol news,  Biomass news,  


    Building Energy Efficiency Vital to Hong Kong's Low-Carbon Economy Plans (Int'l)
    Hong Kong's Council for Sustainable Development
    Date: 2013-02-18
    In Hong Kong, buildings consume over 90 percent of the city's electricity and contribute 60 percent of the regions greenhouse gas emissions. These surprising statistics, which were revealed earlier this week at the conference Sustainable Development through Energy Efficiency and Conservation, confirm the importance of improving the energy efficiency of the city's building stock. to allow the development of the city's plans for a low carbon economy. The Sustainable Development through Energy Efficiency and Conservation conference was hosted by Hong Kong's Council for Sustainable Development (SDC). At the conference, SDC Chairman Bernard Charnwut Chan announced a wide range of other consumption statistics, all of which confirmed the crucial role that improved energy management and utilization, as well as building energy efficiency would play in helping Hong Kong realize it's proclaimed low-carbon economy ambitions.

    In a separate report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) stated that accelerating progress to make energy use in Hong Kong buildings more efficient is indispensable. The EAI said there is significant scope for adopting more efficient technologies in buildings. (Source: Hong Kong Council for Sustainable Development, www.susdev.gov.hk

    Tags Energy Efficiency news,  Low Carbon Economy news,  


    The State of American Energy Relies on Increased Renewable Fuel Production, BIO Says (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Biotechnology Industry Organization
    Date: 2013-01-09
    The state of U.S. energy production and energy security requires a focus on more than just increased oil production. Brent Erickson, executive vice president of Biotechnology Industry Organization's (BIO) Industrial and Environmental Section, has released the following statement in response to today's speech by American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard:

    "Experts are projecting an American energy renaissance and achievement of energy self-reliance within a few decades. The International Energy Agency's latest World Energy Outlook predicts that the United States will become a net energy exporter by 2030. But the report also shows that renewable fuels and energy efficiency will make substantial contributions to this energy renaissance if there is long-term, stable policy in place.

    "Still, the petroleum industry's trade organization contrarily calls for long-term continuation of oil and gas subsidies and a discontinuation of the primary policy for opening the fuel market to competitively priced renewable fuels. The IEA report notes that subsidies to the oil and gas industry continue to distort world energy markets and exacerbate environmental concerns. Notably, these subsidies have continued as the petroleum refining sector has shuttered refineries.

    "API clearly is not addressing the state of all U.S. energy resources. Stable, long-term policy and economic certainty are necessary for the growth of all energy producers in the United States. We cannot have a secure American energy future without alternatives. We need an all of the above approach to transportation fuels that is in the best interests of American consumers and the U.S. economy."

    BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. (Source: BIO, PR,Jan. 8, 2013) Contact: BIO, Jeff Jospeh, VP Communications, (202) 962-9230, info@bio.org, www.bio.org

    Tags Biotechnology Industry Organization news,  


    King Coal Meeting 28 percent of World Energy Needs (Int'l)
    Coal
    Date: 2012-12-21
    According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), in 2011, coal was the second most used energy source worldwide, following crude oil. That means that coal is now covering 28 percent of the world's energy needs. According to estimates by the IEA -- which has represented the interests of major industrialized countries since the oil crisis of the 1970s -- coal consumption will continue to rise by around 500,000 tpy until 2017.

    The reason for Europe's increased coal consumption is coal consumption can be partially attributed to relatively high gas prices, lower coal prices and nearly negligible CO2 price of €6 to €7 in Europe. (Source: IEA, Deutsche Welle, Dec. 20, 2012) Contact: International Energy Agency, www.iea.org

    Tags IEA news,  Coal news,  Carbon Markets news,  


    Renewables to Rival Coal by 2035 (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    International Energy Agency
    Date: 2012-11-16
    Renewable energy is set to rival coal as the main generator of the world's electricity by 2035 as the costs of technology fall and subsidies rise, according to the International Energy Agency. Wind farms, solar parks and hydroelectric dams are forecast to become the second biggest power generator in 2015 and rise to almost a third of all generation in 2035, a level approaching that of coal, the Paris-based agency that advises 28 nations on energy policy said in its annual outlook.

    Renewable energy industry groups predict wind power installations will double over the five years through 2016, with solar photovoltaic panels tripling even as solar and wind equipment manufacturers from Denmark's Vestas Wind Systems to China's Suntech Power Holdings Co. struggle with declining margins and industry-wide overcapacity.

    The IEA projected global renewable energy subsidies to rise to $240 billion in 2035 from $88 billion in 2011. That compares with $523 billion in support paid to fossil fuels last year. "Subsidy measures to support new renewable energy projects need to be adjusted over time as capacity increases and as the costs of renewable technologies fall, to avoid excessive burdens on governments and consumers," the agency said. The Global Wind Energy Council predicts installed turbines will more than double to 493 gigawatts in 2016 from 2011 levels. The European Photovoltaic Industry Association is forecasting cumulative solar panel installations to triple to 208 megawatts in 2016 from just under 70 megawatts in 2011.

    According to the agency, the projected growth in low-carbon energy won't be enough to meet the United Nations goal of limiting global warming since industrialization to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the agency said. Almost 80 percent of the emissions allowable by 2035 under a 2-degree scenario are already committed because of existing power plants, factories and buildings. (Source: International Energy Agency, Nov. 13, 2012) Contact: International Energy Agency, www.iea.org

    Tags Renewable Energy news,  Coal news,  International Energy Agency news,  


    EPA Misses Renewable Fuel Standard Waiver Deadline (Reg & Leg)
    Institute for Energy Research,RFS
    Date: 2012-11-16
    The EPA has missed Tuesday deadline to decide whether or not to issue waivers for its Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) requirement. The Renewable Fuels Standard, which was enacted in 2007 under President George W. Bush, requires refiners to mix certain amounts of biofuels, such as ethanol, with gasoline. The RFS target was 13.2 billion gallons in 2012, and will rise to 15 billion gallons by 2015.

    Although suspending the RFS mandate could reduce feed prices and take pressure off the livestock industry, many analysts and industry insiders expect the EPA to deny the waiver requests, which require the EPA to find the requirements responsible for severe economic harm.

    The oil and gas industry has been critical of the RFS since it was enacted and has argued the standard is akin to a hidden tax. Oil and gas companies paid $6.8 million in RFS penalties to the Treasury Department last year.

    According to Institute for Energy Research VP Dan Kish, the RFS will soon outlive its original purpose. "The premise of this (the RFS) has always been that we've had a scarcity of oil and gas, and therefore we should use some of our corn." But this flys in the face of the latest International Energy Agency report that predicts the U.S. will become the world's largest oil producer before 2020. (Source: IER, EPA, Congress 14, Nov., 2012) Contact: Institute for Energy Research www.instituteforenergyresearch.org

    Tags Institute for Energy Research news,  RFS news,  


    Emrill Energy Services to Tackle UAE Emissions (Int'l)
    Emrill Energy Services
    Date: 2012-11-05
    Emrill Energy Services was launched yesterday in Dubai as a strategic partnership between Emrill, a joint venture owned by Emaar, Al-Futtaim and Carillion. Crowley Carbon, based in Ireland, and UK-based Carillion Energy Services are also participating.

    With average UAE consumers using a massive 16 tonnes of oil per person per year, the facilities management specialist Emrill and two of the world's biggest energy efficiency companies are attempting to reduce carbon emissions from UAE buildings by 40 per cent. The company hopes to retrofit commercial and residential buildings to reduce some of the $6 billion (Dh22.03bn) a year the UAE spends on gas and oil. The UAE is the third-largest energy consumer per head in the world, ranking behind Qatar and Trinidad & Tobago. The US ranked ninth. In terms of carbon, the UAE produces 22.6 tonnes of CO2 per head per year, making it the sixth-highest carbon consuming country in the world. The UAE uses 50 per cent more energy per capita than the United States. The company added that according to the International Energy Agency, the UAE subsidises every man, woman and child in the country by $2,500 - the second-highest subsidy in the world behind Kuwait. (Source: Emrill, The National, 5 Nov., 2012) Contact: Emrill Energy Services, www.emrill.com

    Tags Emrill news,  Carbon Emissions news,  


    Hydropower Generation could Double by 2050 (Ind. Report)
    IEA
    Date: 2012-11-05
    The recently released Technology Roadmap: Hydropower report from the International Energy Agency and the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy suggests that global hydroelectricity production could double by 2050, preventing annual emissions of up to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 from fossil-fuel plants. The report challenges the notion that the world's hydroelectric resources have peaked, arguing instead that emerging economies -- with the proper policies in place -- have the potential to generate renewable power from large hydro plants.

    According to IEA deputy executive director Richard Jones, hydroelectricity is a very cost-effective technology but new developments face tough financial challenges. Jones says that governments must create a favorable climate for industry investment when designing electricity markets. To help foster this "favourable climate," the report recommended that governments set development plans and targets, ensure developers and operators document their approach to sustainability, include financing for hydro on policy agendas, develop risk-mitigating financial instruments for investors, and adopt a holistic approach to deployment that takes into account other aspects of water management.

    The report also highlights hydropower's diversity -- from run-of-river to reservoir plants plus pumped-storage -- and its advantages, such as "reliability, proven technology, large storage capacity, and very low operating and maintenance costs." It also notes that many hydropower plants also provide flood control, irrigation, navigation and freshwater supply.

    As the IEA points out, hydropower provides 16.3 per cent of the world's electricity, with new capacity additions since 2005 generating more electricity than all other renewable energy sources combined. (Source: IEA, REneweconomy, Oct. 30, 2012) Contact: International Energy Agency, www.iea.org

    Tags Hydropower news,  IEA news,  


    Doubling Hydropower could Cut Billions of Tons CO2 (Ind. Report)
    International Energy Agency
    Date: 2012-10-31
    According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Brazilian Mines Ministry (IEA) just released joint report -- Technology Roadmap: Hydropower -- doubling hydropower output could cut billions of tons of CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel plants. The report outlines detailed actions "needed from policy makers to allow hydroelectric production to double, and addresses necessary conditions, including resolving environmental issues and gaining public acceptance," IEA said in a statement. The report also challenged the notion that the world's hydroelectric resources had peaked, claiming that emerging economies had significant potentials to generate electricity from large plants.

    Albert Geber de Melo, General-Director of the Brazilian Electric Energy Research Centre (CEPEL), noted that in emerging economies and developing countries, "large and small hydropower projects can improve access to modern energy services, alleviate poverty and foster social and economic development, especially for local communities." Hydropower is the leading renewable electricity generation technology worldwide, with new capacity additions since 2005 generating more electricity than all other renewables combined, according to the Technology Roadmap report. The report is the latest in a series of IEA publications that focused on global low-carbon energy technologies, from biofuels to smart grids, and provided recommendations for governments and other stakeholders in policy and market design, sustainability and public acceptance, financial challenges, as well as technology development. (Source: International Energy Agency, Shanghai Daily, Oct. 30, 2012) Contact: International Energy Agency, www.iea.org

    Tags Hydropower news,  International Energy Agency news,  


    Energy Efficiency Improvements Battle Climate Change (Ind. Report)
    Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research
    Date: 2012-10-29
    Research conducted at Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia indicates that building new power stations is more popular than improving energy efficiency and end-use.

    The study found that great efforts are directed towards energy supply technologies, however much more should be done in order to improve energy efficiency and end-use. The team assessed different energy technology innovations and considered their potential to reduce greenhouse emissions, their possible technological improvements as well as their environmental and social benefits. It was established that energy efficiency and end-use offer high potential for cost reduction, emission reduction as well as high social returns. Nevertheless, a high proportion of investments is still not allocated appropriately.

    According to the International Energy Agency, since 1974, $38 billion has been spent on energy end-use and efficiency innovations. In comparison, $41 billion has been spent on nuclear fusion alone. Furthermore, fossil fuels received a total of $500 billion in subsidies, while all other energy generating technologies received a grand total of $160 billion. Small-scale innovations, no matter how efficient and environmentally-friendly they are, do not receive the needed attention. Although they might not be as fancy as solar panels or wind turbines, and do not receive as much support from the public as any of the other supply technologies, they still hold great potential for social return of investments. (Source: Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research, Green Optimistic, Oct. 27, 2012) Contact: Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research, www.tyndall.ac.uk

    Tags Energy Efficiency news,  


    Is Latin America and the Caribbean turning on to energy efficiency

    Date: 2012-10-02
    This week two different conferences adddressing energy efficiency are being held: one in Quito, Ecuador, and the other in Mexico City. In Quito, there are four events to promote energy efficiency in the productive sectors of Latin American and the Caribbean countries. The events, which together form an Energy Efficiency Week, are being organized by the Ministry of Industry and Competitiveness of Ecuador, the Latin American Energy Association (OLADE) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The Energy Efficiency Week brings together policymakers and high-level technical staff from ministries of Industry, Productivity, Environment and Energy from over 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as experts from development agencies and international financial institutions present in the region. The aim is to promote the development of technology solutions that improve competitiveness through higher productive and environmental performance, leading to job creation and poverty reduction. Meanwhile, at the same time, in Mexico City, policymakers from more than 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are participating in a regional training event on sustainable energy. This event is jointly organised by the International Energy Agency (IEA) as the lead trainer, the Mexican Department of Energy as host, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) as the lead sponsor. The Sustainable Energy Training Seminar, attended by more than 50 government and industry representatives, is focusing on low-carbon energy policies and technologies, including energy efficiency and renewables. It brings together the latest analysis, approaches and best practices from around the world, such as energy portfolio modelling and technology-specific deployment roadmaps. (Source: Carbon Solutions America, Energy Collective, Oct.1, 2012)


    Rio Tinto Whistling a New Climate Change Tune (Int'l)
    Rio Tinto
    Date: 2012-09-28
    Aussie coal mining giant RIO Tinto seems to be changing it tune on climate change and now recognizes that global warming is "largely caused by human activities" as opposed to the company's earlier claim that human activity only a contributing factor.

    In a speech yesterday, Rio's head of coal in Australia, Bill Champion, said the company recognized the value of action on climate change. "The scale of the necessary emissions reductions and the need for adaptation, coupled with the world's increasing requirements for secure, affordable energy, create large challenges," he said. "We support a co-ordinated global approach to reduce emissions. Until that is in place, as well as after, we recognize that it will be necessary for individual jurisdictions to take actions." Rio Tinto had factored a carbon price into its investment decision-making for the past 10 years, Champion said. "We factor into our planning and decision-making, including our choice of investments, the costs and associated risks of emissions and business disruption, as well as the costs and benefits of mitigation and adaptation, and the opportunities created for our business by the move to a low-carbon economy."

    In June 2008, touching on climate change in a speech in Montreal, Rio chief executive Tom Albanese said, "We believe -- like most credible experts -- that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities do contribute to climate change." And in October 2009, Rio's US technology and innovation group executive, Preston Chiaro, told US Senate hearings that emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities "are contributing to climate change and that avoiding human-caused changes to the climate is an important international goal."

    But now, in an August statement policy document, Rio recognized that "climate change is occurring and is largely caused by human activities." That's the same language Champion was used yesterday. He said coal use represented about 25 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions but there would continue to be demand for coal even under the International Energy Agency's most aggressive scenarios for action on climate change. (Source: Sydney Morning Herald, 29 Sept., 2012) Contact: Rio Tinto, + 44 20 7781 2000, www.riotinto.com

    Tags Rio Tinto news,  Coal news,  Climate Change news,  


    IEA Stresses Importance of Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
    International Energy Agency
    Date: 2012-09-12
    In a statement from a FICCI Roundtable Energy Technology Perspectives 2012; Pathways to a Clean Energy System in Ahmedabad, International Energy Agency (IEA) executive director Maria van der Hoeven urged energy ministers of all countries to set the stage for a low-carbon future and recommended creation of an investment climate that builds confidence in the long-term potential of clean energy technologies and scales-up efforts to unlock the potential of energy efficiency. Hoeven said common goals supported by stringent and predictable policies are essential to establish the necessary credibility within the investment community. She also stressed that governments should commit to, and report on, progress on national actions that aim to appropriately reflect the true cost of energy production and consumption. Pricing carbon emissions and phasing out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, while ensuring access to affordable energy for all citizens, are central goals.

    The statement also recommended scaling up efforts to unlock the potential of energy efficiency. The IEA has developed 25 energy efficiency recommendations to help governments achieve the full potential of energy efficiency improvements across all energy-consuming sectors. Other measures advocated include acceleration in energy innovation and public research, development and demonstration.

    Governments should also develop and implement strategic energy research plans, backed by enhanced and sustained financial support. Additionally, governments should consider joint RD&D efforts to co-ordinate action, avoid duplication, and improve the performance and reduce the costs of technologies at the early innovation phase, including sharing lessons learned on innovative RD&D models, the statement stressed. (Source: International Energy Agency, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Economic Times, Sept. 4, 2012) Contact: International Energy Agency, www.iea.org Tags International Energy Agency news, Clean Energy news, Energy Efficiency news

    Tags International Energy Agency news,  Energy Efficiency news,  


    IEA Recommends Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
    International Energy Agency
    Date: 2012-09-11
    In a statement from a FICCI Roundtable Energy Technology Perspectives 2012; Pathways to a Clean Energy System in Ahmedabad, International Energy Agency (IEA) executive director Maria van der Hoeven urged energy ministers of all countries to set the stage for a low-carbon future and recommended creation of an investment climate that builds confidence in the long-term potential of clean energy technologies, levels the playing field for clean energy technologies and scales-up efforts to unlock the potential of energy efficiency. Hoeven said common goals supported by stringent and predictable policies are essential to establish the necessary credibility within the investment community She also stressed that governments should commit to, and report on, progress on national actions that aim to appropriately reflect the true cost of energy production and consumption. Pricing carbon emissions and phasing out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, while ensuring access to affordable energy for all citizens, are central goals.

    The statement also recommended scaling up efforts to unlock the potential of energy efficiency. The IEA has developed 25 energy efficiency recommendations to help governments achieve the full potential of energy efficiency improvements across all energy-consuming sectors. Committing to application of these recommendations would form a good basis for action and accelerate results. Other measures advocated include acceleration in energy innovation and public research, development and demonstration.

    Governments should also develop and implement strategic energy research plans, backed by enhanced and sustained financial support. Additionally, governments should consider joint RD&D efforts to co-ordinate action, avoid duplication, and improve the performance and reduce the costs of technologies at the early innovation phase, including sharing lessons learned on innovative RD&D models, the statement stressed. (Source: International Energy Agency, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Economic Times, Sept. 4, 2012) Contact: International Energy Agency, www.iea.org

    Tags International Energy Agency news,  Clean Energy news,  Energy Efficiency news,  


    Will Carbon Capture be Ready on Time? (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)

    Date: 2012-09-07
    Many long-term strategies for combating climate change count heavily on the ability to capture huge amounts of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels and permanently store it in deep underground rock formations. But high costs and lingering technical uncertainties mean carbon capture and storage (CCS) might not be able to play a significant role in cutting carbon emissions.

    A recent report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) warns that the development and deployment of CCS is "seriously off pace" as a way to prevent the average global temperature from rising more than 2 degrees C -- a widely used target in climate strategy. The window to begin applying CCS toward consequential emissions reduction is "shrinking fast," says the agency, which has declared that CCS must supply over a fifth of the emissions reductions needed by 2050 to keep the temperature rise below 2 degrees C.

    There are presently eight large-scale CCS projects in operation, according to the Global CCS Institute, none of which are at power plants. These projects, in all, bury nearly 20 million metric tons of CO2 per year. By comparison, coal burning in the U.S. and China emits about 2.1 billion and 6.95 billion metric tons, respectively, each year.

    To meet the 2 degree C goal, says the IEA, a minimum of 110 additional projects at power plants and industrial facilities should be brought on line by 2020 -- enough to capture and store 269 million metric tons of CO2 that year. Although 67 large-scale projects are in planning or construction phases, it can take more than a decade to build a new CCS project.

    Price is one of the biggest hinderance to CCS. Chemically separating CO2 from plant exhaust or natural gas streams is expensive. Before the gas can be buried, it must be compressed to a super-critical state and transported via pipeline to the injection site -- two processes that are also expensive. Without incentives, CCS adds too much to the price of power production from existing plants to be cost-effective.

    Information about the global storage capacity is limited, but a 2012 study by MIT researchers found that in the U.S., underground rock formations called deep saline aquifers could hold at least a century's worth of CO2 emissions from the nation's coal-fired power plants. Captured CO2 is already widely used for enhanced oil recovery in which the gas is pushed into an oil reservoir to chemically mobilize hard-to-get hydrocarbons, making them easier to pump out. The injected gas is then either trapped in the oil reservoir or is "produced" while extracting oil and re-injected. This technically qualifies as CCS.

    John Litynski, the carbon storage technology manager for the National Energy Technology Laboratory's office of coal and power, sees enhanced oil recovery as a way to kick-start the CCS industry, since the NETL estimates that around 20 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide could be economically stored this way. "You've got a market driver with the oil production and you've got really well understood reservoirs for storage," he says. "It's probably going to be the first mover." (Source: IEA, Technology Review, 2012) Contact: IEA, www.iea.org


    IEA says CO2 Emissions Hit Record High (Ind. Report)
    Carbon Emissions
    Date: 2012-08-27
    Following on our June 29 coverage, International Energy Agency (IEA) says CO2 Emissions climbed to an all-time high last year, reducing the chances that the world could avoid a dangerous rise in global average temperature by 2020. Most climatologists believe the rapid rise of CO2 in the atmosphere has led to an increase in global average temperature by about 1 degree Celsius. Scientists and the IEA contend that countries need to keep the global average temperature from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius in order to avoid profound damage to life on Earth, from water and food scarcity to rising sea levels to greater incidence and severity of disease. Last year's jump in carbon emissions sets the world even more firmly on the path to a 2 degree Celsius increase.

    China is the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide, followed by the U.S. Although China's emissions rose significantly because of its coal consumption, the increase would have been more substantial had the country not taken steps over the last decade to improve energy efficiency. CO2 emissions in the U.S. fell by 1.7 percent, in 2011, as more power companies switched to natural gas from coal and a mild winter reduced heating demand. Emissions in the United States have now fallen by 7.7 percent since 2006, according to the IEA, which called it "the largest reduction of all countries or regions." (Source: Boise State Arbitor on Line, 27 Aug., 2012) Contact: IEA, www.iea.org

    Tags Carbon Dioxide news,  Carbon Emissions news,  IEA news,  


    IEA Calls for Canadian Carbon Price (Ind. Report)
    International Energy Agency
    Date: 2012-08-14
    International Energy Agency (IEA)executive director Maria van der Hoeven told a Toronto audience yesterday that pricing carbon is one of the key elements to ensure that what people pay for energy reflects its true costs. That must be done if the world is to move toward a sustainable energy future, she said.

    The IEA is an agency formed by the biggest industrialized nations to analyze energy data and co-ordinate energy policy. In recent years it has supported a shift to renewables, but without abandoning existing fossil fuels.

    van der Hoeven said that theIEA has no preferred means of carbon pricing and that it is up to each country, group of countries, or region to decide on the best approach. The agency has, however, recommended the elimination of all fossil-fuel subsidies to level the playing field for renewables. British Columbia is the only Canadian jurisdiction that has implemented a carbon tax, although Alberta has rules that are essentially a form of cap-and-trade pricing.

    Many environmental groups have called for some form of carbon pricing across the country, and a report earlier this year from the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy said the government should set a price on pollution and carbon-dioxide emissions. (Source: IEA, Globe & Mail, Aug. 13, 2012) Contact: IEA, www.iea.org

    Tags International Energy Agency news,  Carbon Emissions news,  Carbon Price news,  


    Korean Carbon Trading Plan "Watered Down" (Int'l, Ind. Report)
    Korea,Carbon Trading
    Date: 2012-07-23
    This morning, the Korean government unveiled a detailed plan for its GHG emissions trading scheme, apparently seeking a smooth start of the program in light of persistent fears from industries about increased environmental costs. A prior notice outlining key details of a national carbon exchange system was issued on the enforcement ordinance which will launch in January 2015. It is a follow-up measure after the National Assembly on May 2 passed the legislation for the cap-and-trade scheme with near unanimity.

    Under the the legislation, the envisioned scheme is projected to cover around 60 percent of the country's carbon pollution by imposing limits on facilities that produce more than 25,000 tons of CO2 a year. Companies will be granted permits to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide. The new ordinance, however, envisions all of the permits being doled out for free in the first two years of the program. The proportion of free giveaways will then be scaled down to 97 percent for the 2018-2020 period and to below 90 percent for the 2012-2025 period.

    Steel, semiconductors and some other key export-oriented industries will be made an exception to this reduction, receiving a full 100 percent of the permits for free.

    Environmental groups immediately criticized the government for watering down its original plan in the face of industrial resistance. "The carbon trading scheme has lost its sense from its very inception, because the government accepted much of the demands of interested industries," said the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement in a statement. Most of the heavy polluters and big corporations will be granted all the permits for free for the entire span of the program, under the plan to give leniency to export-sensitive industries, it claimed. "Because carbon-emission permits are to be doled out for free, we fear the carbon market will not take off at all, or if it does, it may be seriously distorted," the group said. The carbon market plan, although it passed the parliament without much political debate, has pitted industries against environmentalists.

    Small businesses have opposed the government's move to put a price on carbon, claiming that it would put Korean firms at a disadvantage in the global market because their competitors in bigger economies with bigger polluters -- namely the U.S., Japan and China -- are not subject to such a cap.

    Environmentalists, on the other hand, view it essential for Korea to adopt the system to pursue the much-touted zero-carbon, green growth. The country, the world's eighth-largest emitter of carbon pollution based on 2009 figures from the International Energy Agency, aims to reduce emissions by 30 percent from projected levels by 2020. (Source: Korea Herald, 23 July, 2012)

    Tags Korea Carbon Trading news,  


    Will Carbon Capture be Ready on Time? (Ind. Report)
    CCS,IEA
    Date: 2012-06-29
    Many long-term strategies for combating climate change count heavily on the ability to capture huge amounts of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels and permanently store it in deep underground rock formations. But high costs and lingering technical uncertainties mean carbon capture and storage (CCS) might not be able to play a significant role in cutting carbon emissions.

    A recent report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) warns that the development and deployment of CCS is "seriously off pace" as a way to prevent the average global temperature from rising more than 2 dgrees C -- a widely used target in climate strategy. The window to begin applying CCS toward consequential emissions reduction is "shrinking fast," says the agency, which has declared that CCS must supply over a fifth of the emissions reductions needed by 2050 to keep the temperature rise below 2 degrees C.

    There are presently eight large-scale CCS projects in operation, according to the Global CCS Institute, none of which are at power plants. These projects, in all, bury nearly 20 million metric tons of CO2 per year. By comparison, coal burning in the U.S. and China emits about 2.1 billion and 6.95 billion metric tons, respectively, each year. To meet the 2 degree C goal, says the IEA, a minimum of 110 additional projects at power plants and industrial facilities should be brought on line by 2020 -- enough to capture and store 269 million metric tons of CO2 that year. Although 67 large-scale projects are in planning or construction phases, it can take more than a decade to build a new CCS project.

    A big hindrance to CCS is its price tag. Chemically separating CO2 from plant exhaust or natural gas streams is expensive. Before the gas can be buried, it must be compressed to a super-critical state and transported via pipeline to the injection site -- two processes that are also expensive. Without incentives, CCS adds too much to the price of power production from existing plants to be cost-effective.

    Information about the global storage capacity is limited, but a 2012 study by MIT researchers found that in the U.S., underground rock formations called deep saline aquifers could hold at least a century's worth of CO2 emissions from the nation's coal-fired power plants. Captured CO2 is already widely used for enhanced oil recovery in which the gas is pushed into an oil reservoir to chemically mobilize hard-to-get hydrocarbons, making them easier to pump out. The injected gas is then either trapped in the oil reservoir or is "produced" while extracting oil and re-injected. This technically qualifies as CCS.

    John Litynski, the carbon storage technology manager for the National Energy Technology Laboratory's office of coal and power, sees enhanced oil recovery as a way to kick-start the CCS industry, since the NETL estimates that around 20 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide could be economically stored this way. "You've got a market driver with the oil production and you've got really well understood reservoirs for storage," he says. "It's probably going to be the first mover." (Source: IEA, Technology Review, June 29, 2012) Contact: IEA, www.iea.org

    Tags CCS news,  IEA news,  


    $140Tn Needed for Transition to Low-Carbon Economy (Ind. Report)
    International Energy Agency
    Date: 2012-06-13
    The International Energy Agency (IEA) is calling on governments to increase CCS funding and ramp up efforts to improve energy efficiency or risk missing climate change targets. Progress in deploying nine out of 10 technologies that curb carbon emissions and reduce energy use is stalling, the Paris- based agency, which advises 28 nations, said today in a report.

    Greater use of electric vehicles and pollution-trapping CCS equipment are needed to cut energy-related CO2 emissions by half by 2050, according to the IEA. That's required to ensure an 80 percent chance of limiting the average global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius, it said. The IEA reiterated that about $140 trillion will be required to shift to a low-carbon energy industry by 2050. Public funding for CCS, which could account for about 20 percent of the required CO2 reductions by 2050 and involves the permanent storage of emissions underground, is inadequate, the report said. Energy efficiency technologies are impeded by a lack of incentives and "non-economic" barriers, according to the report.

    The Agency said 38 projects that fit CCS to power generation are required by 2020 to reach climate goals while none operate now. More progress is also needed in less mature renewable technologies such as offshore wind and concentrated solar power. (Source: IEA, June 11, 2012)

    Tags International Energy Agency news,  


    IEA says US Leads World in CO2 Cuts Since 2006 (Ind. Report)
    International Energy Agency
    Date: 2012-06-05
    According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), not surprisingly, "Global carbon-dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel combustion reached a record high of 31.6 gigatonnes in 2011." Surprisingly, the IEA added that "US emissions have fallen by 430 Mt (7.7%) since 2006, the largest reduction of all countries or regions. This development has arisen from lower oil use in the transport sector and a substantial shift from coal to gas in the power sector." 430 million tonnes of CO2 is equal to all CO2 from all Canadians outside Alberta and equal to eliminating all of the emissions from Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada combined!

    Until now, the failure by the USA to make significant emission cuts has been at the center of the global deadlock over what to do about climate pollution. Many of the biggest polluting nations, including China, India, Russia, Canada, Australia, and Brazil, have been reluctant to create policies to reduce CO2 as long as the biggest emitter of them all, the USA, wasn't joining in. Now, according to the IEA, Americans are promising CO2 cuts, delivering on their promise and leading the world in total CO2 reductions. (Source: IEA, Vancouver Observer, 4 June, 2012) Contact: IEA, www.iea.org

    Tags International Energy Agency news,  


    Coal-to-Natural Gas Shift Sees CO2 Drop in U.S. as Global Levels Peak (Ind. Report)
    International Energy Agency
    Date: 2012-05-29
    Global CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel combustion reached a record high of 31.6 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2011, according to preliminary estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA). This represents an increase of 1.0 Gt on 2010, or 3.2 percent. Coal accounted for 45 percent of total energy-related CO2 emissions in 2011, followed by oil (35 percent) and natural gas at 20 percent.

    The 450 Scenario of the IEA's World Energy Outlook 2011, which sets out an energy pathway consistent with a 50 percent chance of limiting the increase in the average global temperature to 2 degrees C, requires CO2 emissions to peak at 32.6 Gt no later than 2017, i.e. just 1.0 Gt above 2011 levels. The 450 Scenario sees a decoupling of CO2 emissions from global GDP, but much still needs to be done to reach that goal as the rate of growth in CO2 emissions in 2011 exceeded that of global GDP. "The new data provide further evidence that the door to a 2 degree C trajectory is about to close," said IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol.

    In 2011, a 6.1 percent increase in CO2 emissions in countries outside the OECD was only partly offset by a 0.6 percent reduction in emissions inside the OECD. China made the largest contribution to the global increase, with its emissions rising by 720 million tonnes (Mt), or 9.3 percent, primarily due to higher coal consumption. "What China has done over such a short period of time to improve energy efficiency and deploy clean energy is already paying major dividends to the global environment", said Dr. Birol. China's carbon intensity fell by 15 percent between 2005 and 2011. Had these gains not been made, China's CO2 emissions in 2011 would have been higher by 1.5 Gt. India's emissions rose by 140 Mt, or 8.7 percent, moving it ahead of Russia to become the fourth largest emitter behind China, the U.S. and the European Union. Despite these increases, per-capita CO2 emissions in China and India still remain just 63 percent and 15 percent of the OECD average respectively.

    CO2 emissions in the U.S. in 2011 fell by 92 Mt, or 1.7 percent, primarily due to ongoing switching from coal to natural gas in power generation and an exceptionally mild winter. US emissions have now fallen by 430 Mt (7.7 percent) since 2006, the largest reduction of all countries or regions. This development has arisen from lower oil use in the transport sector and a substantial shift from coal to gas in the power sector.

    CO2 emissions in the EU in 2011 were lower by 69 Mt, or 1.9 percent, as sluggish economic growth cut industrial production and a relatively warm winter reduced heating needs. By contrast, Japan's emissions increased by 28 Mt, or 2.4 percent, as a result of a increase in the use of fossil fuels in power generation post-Fukushima. (Source: International Energy Agency, PR, 25 May, 2012) Contact: International Energy Agency, +33 1 40 57 65 09, www.iea.org

    Tags International Energy Agency news,  


    China to Spend $27Bn on Emission Cuts, Renewable Energy (Int'l)
    China
    Date: 2012-05-25
    The Chicago Tribune is reporting that China's central government plans to spend 170 billion yuan ($27 billion) this year to promote energy conservation, emission reductions and renewable energy, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on its website on Thursday. China is targeting cuts to its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions by 40-45 percent compared with 2003 levels and aims to boost its use of renewable energy to 15 percent of overall energy consumption.

    On Thursday, a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) said China spurred a jump in global CO2 emissions to their highest ever recorded level in 2011, offsetting falling emissions in the US and Europe. However, the EIA report said that China's carbon intensity fell by 15 percent between 2005 and 2011, suggesting the world's second-largest economy was finding less carbon-consuming ways to fuel growth. (Source: Chicago Tribune, 24 May, 2012)

    Tags China Carbon Emissions news,  


    U.K. Pledges £60Mn for CCS in Emerging Markets (Int'l)
    UK DECC
    Date: 2012-04-26
    The U.K. has allocated as much as £60 million ($97 million) to encourage CCS technology development in emerging markets. The funds will boost projects and develop new partnerships, U.K. Energy Minister Greg Barker said today in a statement. The money was drawn from International Climate Finance funding that's already been announced, according to an e-mailed statement.

    The International Energy Agency estimates that 3,400 plants using CCS technology are needed by 2050 to meet a goal of cutting carbon emissions in half. Efforts to introduce CCS are falling behind, along with nuclear power and biofuels, IEA Deputy Executive Director Richard Jones told energy ministers from 23 nations meeting in London. (Source: BBC, 25 April, 2012)


    Carbon Friendly Signs MOU with Chinese Steel Producer (Int'l)
    Carbon Friendly Solutions
    Date: 2012-03-27
    Carbon Friendly Solutions Inc. (cnsx:CFQ),through its wholly-owned subsidiary Microcoal International Inc. has signed a MOU with Hebei Iron and Steel Group Limited (HBIS), a major iron and steel producer in China, setting out the terms for a detailed project design package to be developed for a large scale industrial facility. HBIS utilizes approximately 9 million tonnes of coal per year to produce steel. Microcoal technology has been developed to reduce input costs, optimize operational performance and decrease environmental footprint.

    Microcoal is focused on upgrading coal through the use of their patented technology. International Energy Agency statistics indicate that China is one of the largest thermal and metallurgical coal markets worldwide. Thermal coal is primarily used for generating electricity, while metallurgical coal, which must contain specific coking properties, is used in steel-making. China produces 51% of the world's metallurgical coal making it world's largest producer and consumer of metallurgical coal, accounting for over 500 million tonnes of consumption in 2010.

    Further, Carbon Friendly reports that its second visit to China has been successful in establishing a number of relationships with coal-fired utilities, which may provide significant opportunities for Microcoal's patented technology, given that China relies on coal for 79% of its electricity generation. (Source: Carbon Friendly Solutions, March 26, 2012) Contact: Stan Lis, CEO, Carbon Friendly Solutions, (604) 676-9792, slis@carbonfriendly.com, www.carbonfriendly.com

    Tags Carbon Friendly Solutions news,  


    NCCS Responds to WWF's Carbon Footprint Charge (Ind. Report)
    National Climate Change Secretariat,World Wildlife Fund
    Date: 2012-03-15
    The National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) has responded to environmental group World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) findings that Singapore has the largest carbon footprint per capita in the Asia-Pacific. The NCCS issued its response to "provide a better understanding of the facts" and took issue with the WWF citing Singapore as "a society that may be one of the best examples of what we should not do" - a statement which "seriously misrepresents the situation", said the NCCS. The secretariat cited how the Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) Asian Green City Index last year had assessed Singapore as Asia's greenest metropolis and said Singapore ranked "well above average" for its policies on energy and carbon emissions.

    The EIU study found that Singapore used three megajoules of energy to generate US$1 (S$1.30) of GDP - half the Index's average of six megajoules. The Index had examined the environmental performance of 22 Asian cities in eight categories including environmental governance, air quality, energy and carbon dioxide emissions. The NCCS also noted that the methodology used by the WWF in its upcoming Asia Footprint Report differs from that of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The latter attributes emissions from goods to the country where they are produced, while WWF attributes carbon emissions from the goods to the importing country.

    Based on the UNFCCC's method, Singapore ranked below countries such as Brunei, Australia and South Korea in terms of per capita emissions, said the NCCS. Even so, the NCCS noted "inherent limitations" in the use of per capita indicators to measure carbon emissions. "Carbon emissions per capita as a measure disadvantages countries with small populations," it said. This is so for Singapore due to its small land area, with no readily available alternative energy sources.

    Singapore ranks favourably when it comes to energy intensity, the NCCS also pointed out. Its CO2 emissions per dollar or GDP is among "the lowest internationally" - or 123 out of 137 countries, based on data from the International Energy Agency. Last Monday, the WWF had revealed that Singapore topped the list of carbon emitters per capita in the Asia-Pacific, saying its high GDP per capita fueled consumption habits and citing the corporate sector and construction industry as a significant contributor. (Source: Today Online, March 14, 2012) Contact: NCCS, www.nccs.gov.sg


    AWS Truepower Joins Int'l Group to Improve Wind Turbine Wake Models (Ind. Report, R&D)
    AWS TruePower
    Date: 2012-02-10
    Renewable energy consulting and information services provider AWS Truepower LLC, has joined a model inter-comparison task from the International Energy Agency called WakeBench. The more than 40 participating organizations representing 12 countries are charged with improving best practices for wind farm modeling techniques and providing a forum for industrial, governmental and academic partners. The results aim to help develop, evaluate and improve the atmospheric boundary layer and wind turbine wake models for use in both onshore and offshore wind energy. The goal is to advance the industry's ability to accurately model wind turbine wakes, especially in large wind farms. Each WakeBench participant will run its wake model using the same initial conditions in order to do a fair comparison. The models will be validated at several different sites. This project started in October 2011, will last for three years, and is being co-managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Centre of Spain which is putting together all the test cases and will gather the results from each model and perform the comparison. (Source: AWS TruePower, February 8, 2012) Contact: AWS Truepower, Philippe Beaucage, senior research scientist, (518) 213-0044, www.awstruepower.com

    Tags AWS Truepower news,  


    South Korean Lawmakers OK GHG Emissions Limits (Reg. & Leg.)
    South Korea
    Date: 2012-02-09
    Lawmakers in South Korea have voted to impose GHG limits on the nation's largest companies, overruling industry opposition and laying groundwork for the third emissions-trading program in the Asia-Pacific region. A special committee of the National Assembly on climate change passed legislation today to establish a so-called cap-and-trade system in 2015. The bill now goes to the nation's Legislation and Judiciary Committee, and then to the assembly's plenary session on Feb. 16, the last step for the law.

    South Korea, the world's eighth-largest carbon emitter based on 2009 figures from the International Energy Agency, approved limits after disagreements between opposition and the ruling Grand National Party postponed the effort last year. The nation said in November 2009 its target for 2020 is to cut emissions by 30 percent from forecast levels, following similar programs in Australia and New Zealand. (Source: National Assembly, Korea, February 8, 2012)

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