Clean Energy News Vol. 11, Number 39, December 7, 2011
Clean Energy News
Vol. 11, Number 39, December 7, 2011
CE News is a free weekly e-mail publications that features news, information and events related tp clean energy, clean air and climate change. CE News is published by Clean Energy Nepal. For more information on our campaign please visit www.cen.org.np
• Global Day of Action in Nepal for Climate Justice
• Glacial Area in Nepal Depleted by 21 Pc Over 30 Years: ICIMOD
• Renewables Can Power Development
• Govt Picks South Korean Firm for Metro Study
• NOC Loss to Mount to Rs. 1.26 B after IOC's Revised Rates
• Solar Powered Machine to Supply Water Installed
• Sustainable Energy Provides Opportunity
• Hydropower Loans at Not Over 10 pc Interest
• Current Emission Pledges Will Raise Temperature 3.5 Degrees Celsius
• Global Carbon Emissions Reach Record 10 Billion Tons, Threatening 2 Degree Target
• China Softens Stance on Climate Treaty
• A Green Military: Saving More than Energy
• Link Of The Week
• Did You Know?
• Media Watch
• QUIZ Of The Week # 501
• Answer Of Quiz Of The Week # 500
Global Day of Action in Nepal for Climate Justice
The solidarity to global climate justice was shown on Global Day of Action through “Street Drama on Climate Change” and “Open Photography Exhibition on Climate Change Adaptation in Nepal”. The events were organized on the occasion of Global Day of Action on December 3, 2011 at Basantapur Dabali, Kathmandu. The main objective of program was to increase the understanding of climate change and human impact among the public at the local context, sensitize climate change issue at local level and to show the solidarity toward global climate campaign for climate injustice.
The event started with the opening ceremony, displaying top 20 photographs from “Nationwide Open Photography Competition on Climate Change Adaptation in Nepal” and prize distribution to winners of the competition. Paribesh Pradhan, Bhairab Sharma and Rosy Shahi won first, second and third prize respectively. Consolation prizes were won by Ram Rijhan Tiwari and Ganesh B. Gurung. Cash prize of Rs 10,000 was awarded for first position, Rs 7,000 for second position, Rs 5,000 for third position and Rs 3,000 as a consolation prize. Around 2,500 visitors observed the exhibition during exhibition time from 9:30 a.m to 5:00 p.m. Speaking at the event, Mr. Bhusan Tuladhar, coordinator of Climate Change Network Nepal (CCNN) emphasized that such events are important to raise the voice of the vulnerable and to press the world leaders to come consensus on concrete action to fight against climate change. Two shows of drama on climate change were screened at 10:00 a.m and 3:00 a.m for mass public present at Basantapur. Drama was successful in presenting climate change at local context and was able to sensitize mass public. Drama performance was applauded by mass public present at Basantapur. Feedbacks received from the viewers reported it as a great effort for raising awareness in cross cutting issues like climate change which should reach the grass roots.
The event was organized by Clean Energy Nepal (CEN), Climate Change Network Nepal (CCNN) and Nepalese Youth for Climate Action (NYCA) to mark Global Day of Action 2011. The event was being supported by European Commission and Oxfam. Different events are being held at regional level in 5 development regions in coordination with NYCA, CCNN and CEN as a part of Global Climate Campaign.
Glacial Area in Nepal Depleted by 21 Pc Over 30 Years: ICIMOD
Glacial area in Nepal has depleted by 21 percent over the past 30 year, the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) said in its report released on Sunday.
Attributing the report to the findings from the most comprehensive assessment to date on climate change, snow and glacier melt in Asia´s Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region, in its own word, ICIMOD said the findings highlight the region´s extreme vulnerability to climate change threatening millions of mountain people and 1.3 billion people living downstream in Asia´s major river basins. The findings, published in three reports, were released Sunday marking the Mountain Day a convening of mountain experts, policy makers, and climate change negotiators on the sidelines of UN climate talks, according to an ICIMOD press statement. “These reports provide a new baseline and location-specific information for understanding climate change in one of the most vulnerable ecosytems in the world,” the press release quoted Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Dr Rajendra Pachauri as saying. “They substantially deepen our understanding of this region and of all mountain systems while also pointing to the knowledge gaps yet to be filled and actions that must be taken to deal with the challenge of climate change globally and to minimize the risks from impacts locally.” ICIMOD claimed the three reports provide the most up-to-date compilation of information on the current status of climate change in the HKH region and the first authoritative data on the number and extent of glaciers and the patterns of snowfall in the world´s most mountainous region. The Status of Glaciers in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan Region, one of the reports, put the number of glaciers in the region at more than 54,000 and the area covered by them 60,000 square kilometers attributing the findings to remote sensing studies. “Although field verification and additional data collection will be needed before firmer conclusions about glacier retreat can be drawn, the data represent a significant step in bridging the knowledge gap on climate change in the region,” the report claimed. Snow-Cover Mapping and Monitoring in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas, another report, said there was an indication of an overall decrease in snow cover over the decade in the central HKH region. Climate Change in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas: The State of Current Knowledge, the third report, however, pointed out that climate-related studies in the region suffer from a lack of repeat studies, field validation, and peer review, among others.
Source: http://myrepublica.com December 4, 2011
Renewables Can Power Development
Energy poverty remains the key issue in the interface of climate change and development.
According to the UNCTAD's Technology and Innovation Report 2011, Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) offer a distinct possibility of tackling the dual challenges of climate change and energy poverty. According to estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA), over 20 per cent of the global population or approximately 1.4 billion people had no access to electricity in 2010. Among them, South Asia has the largest proportion of people without access to electricity, accounting for 42 per cent of the world's total.
Sub-Saharan Africa is the most underserved region, with 69.5 per cent of region's population having no access to electricity and only 14 per cent of the rural population having access. Lack of energy is not only important for a better quality of life: alleviating global energy poverty is a fundamental prerequisite for economic development. UNCTAD's Technology and Innovation Report 2011 argued that RETs, which can be mixed with conventional energy sources, could provide countries with varied energy options to suit their specific needs and conditions. As the report revealed, RETs like solar pumps, solar PV installations, small wind, mini-hydro and biomass already provide cost-effective energy solutions that bring significant benefits to local communities. Of the 1.4 billion people not connected to electricity grids globally, approximately 85 per cent live in rural areas, where RETs can be an important means of energy supply through semi-grid and non-grid solutions. Due to the distinct features and declining cos-ts of RETs, there has been a surge in use of RETs incl-uding in developing states. The supply of energy by RETs, globally, has risen rapidly over past decade, especially since 2003, when hydrocarbon prices began surging. In 2009, developing countries accounted for about half of all electric power-generating capacity using RETs. The electricity-generating capacity from RETs in developing countries has grown rapidly, almost doubling in five years, from 160 GW in 2004 to 305 GW in 2009.
Source: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com December 4, 2011
Govt Picks South Korean Firm for Metro Study
By Prabhakar Ghimire
The Ministry of Physical Planning and Works (MoPPW) has selected Chungsuk Engineering Company (CEC) of South Korea to conduct the feasibility study of the proposed Kathmandu Metro, a mass rapid transit (underground and elevated railway) system in the capital.
The firm was selected from among six firms as per the recommendation of a panel that evaluated the financial and technical proposals. The MoPPW that a couple of days back issued a Letter of Intent (LoI) to CEC has called the Korean firm for a draft agreement to conduct a feasibility study for the proposed railway. The agreement would include date of completion, mode of payment, number of stations, bridges to be covered by the railway line and dispute settlement process, among other things. The government pushed for a Mass Rapid Transit System in the valley about two years ago in a bid to manage the worsening traffic conditions in the capital. The Korean firm has already received LoI from the MoPPW - the implementing ministry - to ink an agreement to prepare the Detail Project Report (DPR) for the construction of 136 km long Bardibas-Birgunj section of the proposed Mechi-Mahakali Electrical Railway system. "Formal signing between MoPPW and CEC has been delayed in absence of Finance Secretary Krishna Hari Baskota who is out of the country. His presence is required to guarantee the payment of contract amount to the company in US dollar," Ram Kumar Lamsal, director general of Railway Department, told Republica on Sunday. The MoPPW has requested an assurance from the Ministry of Finance to pay the consulting firm in dollar. "Agreements will be immediately signed once MoF gives guarantee," said Lamsal. According to Lamsal, around Rs 400 million (around $5million) will be paid to the firm for completing the DPR of Bardibas-Birgunj section of electrical railway ($4 million) and feasibility study of Kathmandu Metro ($1 million). Meanwhile, the government is preparing to conduct DPR of 200-km Simara-Butwal section and 450-km Butwal-Mahendra Nagar section of the proposed East-West railway. "The MoF has already given consent to us to conduct DPR of Simara-Butwal section and we have also proposed the DPR for Butwal-Mahendra Nagar section of the railway," said Lamsal. The proposed 1,100-odd km east-west railway network was pushed in a bid to narrow down the travel time for long-haul passengers and make their journeys more comfortable.
Source: http://www.myrepublica.com December 5, 2011
NOC Loss to Mount to Rs. 1.26 B after IOC's Revised Rates
Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC)'s loss is expected to mount to Rs. 1.26 billion in December with the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) increasing price of the petroleum products citing rise in the international price.
As per the revised petroleum rates announced by IOC on Thursday, the NOC, the sole oil monopoly in Nepal, will incur the loss of Rs. 1.26 billion in December while its loss was around Rs. 993.50 million in November. NOC will bear the loss of Rs. 18.91 per litre in diesel, Rs. 7.12 per litre in kerosene, and Rs. 339.22 per cylinder of cooking gas. However, the corporation will gain Rs. 2.77 per litre of petrol and Rs. 12.85 per litre of aviation fuel. In November, the corporation had incurred a loss of Rs. 15.73 per litre in diesel, Re. 1.81 per litre in kerosene and Rs. 288.66 per cylinder in cooking gas while it gained profit of Re. 1.52 per litre in petrol and Rs. 18 per litre in aviation fuel.
Source: http://www.nepalnews.com December 2, 2011
Solar Powered Machine to Supply Water Installed
The installation of solar powered machines to supply drinking water to the lakes and ponds of Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve has begun.
The machines have been installed to supply drinking water on the artificial lakes as the natural lakes of the Reserve dried out in recent years. Yuba Raj Regmi, the conservation officer, said that machines will be installed in three lakes this year and two lakes next year. The water supply has been started in Bagh Pokhari, lying on the grassland of the reserve as a trial and would be extended to other lakes if the technology succeeds. "Motors have been installed with automatic machines which can pump water from as deep as 20 feet down," said Regmi adding that the machines can not pump in a cloudy day. The solar powered machines have been installed in six artificial lakes of the Reserve to supply the animals with drinking water after the natural lakes dried out due to lack of proper management. The reserve administration had constructed artificial lakes in grassland extended as far as 56 kilometers within the premises of the Reserve which is home to tigers, deer, rhinoceros and elephants among others. It is the first instance that solar powered technology has been used to supply water in the conserved area of the country. The water supply was managed using pumping sets earlier. The installation of solar powered machines has been installed with assistance from Innovative Idea.
Source: http://www.gorkhapatra.org.np December 6, 2011
Sustainable Energy Provides Opportunity
Raising living standards in poor countries can and should be done at the same time as the world shifts to ‘green’ energy use, and such a feat is possible if global efforts are well-designed and implemented, high-level officials told a conference today morning.
“Green growth should be inclusive,” UNCTAD secretary-general Supachai Panitchpakdi said in opening a day’s debate on the topic of ‘How emerging economies will green the world’. The meeting that began on Tuesday afternoon and will conclude today evening is co-organised by UNCTAD and EnergyPact Foundation, a Swiss-based organisation which focuses on balanced use of energy and on what it terms ‘energy-environment-development issues.’ Supachai went on to say that the shift to renewable and sustainable energy provides a great opportunity in the developing world to ‘stimulate economic diversification, generate employment for the poor, and increase access of the poor to basic services such as energy, water, housing, education, communications, electricity, and transport.” “It is hoped that a greening economy will continue to promote a race to the top for environmental performance rather than a race to the bottom, which was feared would arise from competitive cost reductions in a globalised economy,” he said, stressing that technological advances allowing affordable renewable energy use must be shared with developing nations and that such nations’ exports, economic growth, and industrialisation must not, and do not have to be, hindered by future environmentally based restrictions on energy use. For example, developing countries have proved adept at manufacturing such renewable-energy products as solar panels, wind turbines, and energy-efficient light bulbs, and in 2008 accounted for 50 per cent of world exports of those goods, Supachai said. Speakers said that limiting damage from climate change in any case requires a seamless approach to applying renewable energy technology all nations must participate, as the effects of climate shifts apply across borders. Globally, efforts to these ends must respect the development aspirations of Africans and other poor regions of the world.
Source: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com December 1, 2011
Hydropower Loans at Not Over 10 pc Interest
Hydropower developers that have been pushing for soft loans and complaining of high lending rates at banks and financial institutions (BFIs) are finally being heeded.
Now they can get loans at 10 percent interest, announced Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) on Monday. Issuing fresh directives to the BFIs, the central bank said it is providing a refinance facility to commercial banks, development banks and finance companies at 6.5 percent, specially targeting the hydropower sector. “And BFIs in turn should lend the amount to hydropower developers at an interest rate not exceeding 10 percent,” read the directives. For this facility, the BFIs should approach the central bank with loan demands placed by the developers, technical details of the projects for which the loans are being sought and applications for refinance in a format specified by NRB. Pre-conditions for pledging such facilities are: borrowers seeking the loans should not be blacklisted and the BFIs seeking refinance should have complied with the capital adequacy and other norms of the central bank. Refinances would be provided against good loans only and the central bank said it would provide loan amounts of as much as 80 percent of the good loans or 60 percent of the core capital of the BFIs. “Such refinance will be provided for hydropower projects of up to 25 megawatts (MWs) and the period will be six months,” read the directives.
The central bank has also tightened conditions for the zero-interest lending facility, which it announced last year to encourage BFIs to open branches in 30 remote districts with low penetration of banking services. “Now the facility will not be provided for opening branches in areas adjoined major highways or village development committees and municipalities connected to major highways,” according to the directives. Under the facility, the central bank has been providing interest-free loans of up to Rs 5 million to BFIs that open branches in district headquarters and up to Rs 10 million for opening branches outside the headquarters of 30 of the districts. NRB on Monday also made it mandatory for BFIs to insure the deposits and loans issued under the deprived sector lending scheme.
Source: http://myrepublica.com December 6, 2011
Current Emission Pledges Will Raise Temperature 3.5 Degrees Celsius
By Jeremy Hance
New research announced at the 17th UN Climate Summit in Durban, South Africa finds that under current pledges for reducing emissions the global temperature will rise by 3.5 degrees Celsius (6.3 degrees Fahrenheit) from historic levels, reports the AFP. This is nearly double world nations' pledge to keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The report flies in the face of recent arguments by the U.S. and others at Durban that current pledges are adequate through 2020.
According to the analysis by Ecofys, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and Climate Analytics current pledges would push global emissions to 55 billion tonnes of CO2 by 2020. However research has shown that emissions need to be at 44 billion tons of CO2 or less by 2020 to keep the world from heating up beyond the 2 degrees Celsius target. The findings are similar to those of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), which reported a significant gap between current pledges and the 2 degrees Celsius target. "Even the 2 degrees Celsius pathway itself is difficult, as the world will have to cut global emission levels 2 percent a year (on 2000 levels) from 2020 to 2050. But leaving mitigation decisions until 2020, i.e. staying with the current pledges, would mean those emissions would need to be reduced by 3.8 percent a year after 2020, almost twice as fast," reads a press release from Ecofys. In other words, the quicker nation's start cutting emissions, the better chance the world has of keeping below the 2 degrees Celsius target. At Durban the U.S. is pushing to stick with voluntary emissions through 2020 and only then discussing a new legally binding contract that would replace the Kyoto Protocol. However, most of the world's developing nations and the EU would like to see an extension of the Kyoto Protocol for industrial nations, while building a "road map" for developing nations to start signing up for emissions cuts. The world has already warmed 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.44 degrees Fahrenheit) since the Industrial Revolution. Global climate change has been linked to melting of the Arctic sea ice, global sea level rise, increased droughts and floods, worsening extreme weather, desertification, melting glaciers, species migrations, and numerous other issues. Predicted impacts have included increased global conflict, famine, disease expansion, economic collapse, and mass extinction.
Source: http://news.mongabay.com December 6, 2011
Global Carbon Emissions Reach Record 10 Billion Tons, Threatening 2 Degree Target
Global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels have increased by 49 per cent in the last two decades, according to the latest figures by an international team, including researchers at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia.
Published December 4 in the journal Nature Climate Change, the new analysis by the Global Carbon Project shows fossil fuel emissions increased by 5.9 per cent in 2010 and by 49 per cent since 1990 the reference year for the Kyoto protocol. On average, fossil fuel emissions have risen by 3.1 per cent each year between 2000 and 2010 three times the rate of increase during the 1990s. They are projected to continue to increase by 3.1 per cent in 2011. Total emissions which combine fossil fuel combustion, cement production, deforestation and other land use emissions reached 10 billion tonnes of carbon* in 2010 for the first time. Half of the emissions remained in the atmosphere, where CO2 concentration reached 389.6 parts per million. The remaining emissions were taken up by the ocean and land reservoirs, in approximately equal proportions. Rebounding from the global financial crisis of 2008-09 when emissions temporarily decreased, last year's high growth was caused by both emerging and developed economies. Rich countries continued to outsource part of their emissions to emerging economies through international trade. Contributions to global emissions growth in 2010 were largest from China, the United States, India, the Russian Federation and the European Union. Emissions from the trade of goods and services produced in emerging economies but consumed in the West increased from 2.5 per cent of the share of rich countries in 1990 to 16 per cent in 2010.
Source: http://www.enn.com December 5, 2011
China Softens Stance on Climate Treaty
China has indicated it might consider entering into a legally binding climate treaty after 2020.
"China is willing to shoulder responsibilities in line with its development and capability as long as the legal framework after 2020 will comply with the principles of 'common but differentiated' responsibilities," said Xie Zhenhua, China's top climate negotiator, said Monday on the sidelines of the United Nations-sponsored climate change conference in South Africa, China Daily newspaper reports. Xie, who is vice-chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission, laid out five preconditions of such a legal framework, including an extension of the Kyoto Protocol and initiatives by developed countries to help developing countries adapt to climate change. Under the Kyoto Protocol all industrialized nations, with the exception of the United States, are bound to reduce emissions 5 percent from 1990 levels. The first commitment period of the treaty expires in 2012. Xie described the renewal of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol as "the most important issue of Durban." While there are no new requirements, Xie said countries need to implement the commitments and legal documents that have already been agreed to. China, the world's top emitter of greenhouse gases, has "deeply suffered from climate change and fully understands the losses suffered by less-developed countries and small island states," Xie said. But China's stance was perceived by some as a possible break from the alliance of emerging nations called BASIC Brazil, South Africa, India and China who say obligations to combat climate change are a responsibility of the developed world. Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, Xie said, however, the BASIC countries are united, adding that the Kyoto Protocol should be continued "and a second commitment period is a must," Press Trust of India reports.
Regarding climate change finance, Xie said that $30 billion should flow into the fast-track finance fund for the poorest nations and that a structure should be established for the long-term finance of $100 billion a year beginning in 2020. What appears to be missing from China's conditions said Tim Gore, climate change policy adviser for Oxfam, is the urging of deeper emission reduction targets from developed countries before 2020. "This flexibility from China is really encouraging, which shows China is going to be a partner in building a regime we need to fight climate change," he told China Daily. "But we can't let the United States and other developed countries off the hook regarding emission reduction targets."
Source: http://www.upi.com December 6, 2011
A Green Military: Saving More than Energy
By Debra Atlas
The armed forces are moving quickly to become more energy efficient, as they realize that saving energy will save soldiers' lives.
The Pentagon says that it aims to "develop more energy-efficient weapons, embrace non-oil energy sources, and demand more energy-conscious behavior from the troops." This move towards energy efficiency in all the branches of the military was mandated by congressional directives and presidential orders, many dating to former President George W. Bush and expanded on by President Barack Obama. "The cost of energy has become a critical aspect of military operations," says Anthony Cordesman, a defense analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
The chief factor surrounding this is the cost involved in procuring and obtaining oil, which encompasses more than dollars. During World War II, supporting one soldier on the battlefield took a single gallon of fuel per day. Today, we use more than 22 gallons per day per soldier. In 2007, in order to support the 300,000 troops and contractors in Iraq, it took around 1,000 trucks a day and 35,400 troops dedicated only to moving fuel. The journey those trucks made could take weeks to deliver fuel along winding roads to remote bases, leaving them open to terrorist attacks. One out of eight U.S. Army casualties in Iraq was the result of protecting fuel convoys. "Saving energy saves lives," says Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey. "In Afghanistan, fewer supply convoys will directly relate to fewer casualties." One major use for this fuel has been to continuously air condition the thin-walled tents used by soldiers in the desert heat that can reach 120 degrees Farenheit. The Army's Rapid Equipping Force developed a way to insulate those tents, using closed-cell spray polyurethane foam that is sprayed on the exterior of tents. This single, energy-saving step took 11,000 trucks off the roads in Iraq and, as of 2010, saved an estimated $1 billion.
Source: http://www.enn.com December 6, 2011
|Link of the Week|
At least 74 percent of current warming caused by us
|Did you Know ?|
HFC-23 is a byproduct of the refrigerant HCFC-22, which is currently being phased out under the Montreal Protocol for its ozone-depleting and greenhouse gas properties. HFC-23 has a warming potential 1,810 times that of carbon dioxide.
|Media and Event Watch|
Every Monday 8:30 pm on Nepal FM 91.8 MHZ “Climate Change Mero Bhawisya Mero Chaso”
Every Sunday at 7:30 am on Radio Sagarmatha 102.4 MHz "Batabaran Dabali"
Every Monday at 5:30 pm (re-telecast every Tuesday 11 am) on ABC Television “Climate Change
Every Alternate Friday at 2 PM on ENPHO Hall – “Green Discussion” Organized by Clean Energy Nepal, Nepalese Youth for Climate Action anGrnd Green Youth Network
Every Friday on The Himalayan Times “THT Green Plus”
Environment Cycle Radio F.M.104.2Mhz (ECR FM)
|QUIZ of the Week # 501|
The World Meteorological Organization said that carbon dioxide levels rose to 389 parts per million last year, an annual rise of 2.3 ppm and edging closer to the 450 ppm level that could precipitate two degrees of warming.
While sending your answer please mention “Quiz of the week#” in the subject line and please send your answer in email@example.com
One lucky winner will get a T-shirt with an Environmental Message from Clean Energy Nepal.
|Answer of the week # 500|
According to Nepal government-set rate, travelers have to pay a minimum of Rs ……………. for up to 4-km distance and the rate increases further with the distance.
Prashanna Muni Tamrakar
Keshab Raj Joshi
Biraj Bastola is the lucky winner for this week. Please contact the CEN office within a week with your identity card.
Congratulation to the Winner and thanks to all participants.
Prepared by: Suman Udas and Pabitra Basnet
Edited by: Bhushan Tuladhar
To contribute articles, news items, or event announcements for the next issue, send an email with the complete details and URL source to firstname.lastname@example.org and to view the archives of ce-news http://cen.org.np/ce-news
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Clean Energy Nepal (CEN) is an independent, not-for-profit organization working in the field of Energy and Environment.
CEN: 140 Bulbule Marg, Thapagaon, Kathmandu, Nepal. Tel: 977-1-4464981