Clean Energy News Vol. 12, Number 10, April 25, 2012
|Clean Energy News
Vol. 21, Number 10, April 26, 2012
|CE News is a free weekly e-mail publications that features news, information and events related to 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|
• Fuel Crisis Likely to Reappear as Stock Going Down
Fuel Crisis Likely to Reappear as Stock Going Down
The shortage of fuel is likely to reappear in the country as the petroleum stock has gone below 14,000 kilolitres while the storage capacity is 72,000 kilolitres. The present stock is likely to be enough for couple of days.
Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) on Thursday informed that the stock of petroleum has been going down as it is unable to pay for the additional supply of the fuel from Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). NOC also seek Rs. 5 billion from the government to replenish the stock of petroleum products. As the NOC has been incurring the loss of over one and a half billion rupee monthly, it is unable to import fuel, said acting managing director at NOC Suresh Kumar Agrawal. Price adjustment is the only way to minimise NOC loss and ease fuel supply, said Agrawal, adding that that there should be automatic price adjustment mechanism in the petroleum products as per the price in the international market for the easy supply of fuel. The state-oil monopoly has the total debt of Rs. 23.17 billion – government Rs 10.74 billion, Citizen Investment Trust Rs 4.13 billion, Employees Provident Fund Rs 6.40 billion, and Commercial Banks Rs 1.90 billion, according to NOC. NOC has also demanded some Rs. 18 billion from the government to ease the supply of fuel in the next fiscal year.
Source: http://www.nepalnews.com April 20, 2012
West Seti Gets a Boost
The Supreme Court today declined to issue a stay on the government bid to implement a Memorandum of Understanding reached with China’s Three Gorges International Corporation to construct the West Seti hydropower project.
Claiming that the agreement was in violation of Article 156, which deals with treaties and agreements, of the Interim Constitution, advocate Santosh Basnet had filed a writ petition seeking the apex court intervention. On March 19, the apex court had summoned the government authorities to discuss the matter on April 22. Stating that constitutional and legal questions raised in the case needed to be settled through a hearing on the case, a division bench of Justices Kalyan Shrestha and Bharat Bahadur Karki refused to issue the stay order to halt the process.
Source: http://thehimalayantimes.com April 23, 2012
Appa to Announce Climate Alliance for Himalayas
Int'l support group for Himalayan development on the horizon
Ace mountaineer Appa Sherpa, who has conquered Mount Everest for 21 times, is planning to announce a greater alliance for the preservation of Himalayan region in the country and taking an initiative to form an international support group for the overall development of the region. “With an aim to preserve the entire Himalayan region and its natural and cultural heritages, we are establishing the Climate Alliance for Himalayan Community,” Sherpa, who successfully led the Great Himalayan Trail-Climate Smart Celebrity Trek, told The Himalayan Times on Tuesday.
Many international dignitaries including former Vice President of the United States of America Al Gore, veteran mountaineer and adventurer Reinhold Messner and British actress Joanna Lumley are being approached for their support to the international support group, he informed. According to Sherpa, local communities will be actively involved in the preservation, and the private sector and the government will support their efforts. “During our trekking we interacted with locals, and saw a need for their active participation in any sorts of preservation efforts.” A four-member team —comprising of Sherpa himself, another mountaineer and tourism entrepreneur Dawa Steven Sherpa, climate champion Saurav Dhakal and photographer Samir Jung Thapa—had embarked on the 1700-km long east-west expedition from Khangla of Taplejung district on January 17. The trek’s objective was to draw the world’s attention towards the Himalayas that have affected by the climate change and global warming and spread awareness of climate change in the region. The team plans to hand over the information and data — related to climate change, tourism, youth’s perception of the development and climate change — collected during the trekking to the government. “We have generated 300 GB of digital data including videos, photographs, case studies and GPS codes,” Dhakal said, “We hope this will be helpful to the government in prioritising development and preservation efforts in the Great Himalayan Trail.” Due to heavy snowfall in some mountainous districts in the mid-western and far-western Nepal, the team was forced to take some alternative routes and it reached its final destination, Khalanga of Darchula district in the country’s western end, cutting through 1550 km of the trail across 22 districts in 97 days. After returning to Kathmandu, the team members met President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav at his office in Sheetal Niwas and briefed him about the trek today.
Source: http://thehimalayantimes.com April 24, 2012
LPG Customer Card Distribution Begins Tuesday
The government is starting distribution of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) customer cards to general consumers from Tuesday.
“We will start the distribution by handing over a card to Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai,” said Commerce and Supplies Minister Lekh Raj Bhatta. Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has arranged for LPG dealers, who function as retail hands of LPG bottlers in different localities, to start card distribution to the general public right from Tuesday, said a corporation official. The government is issuing cards to LPG customers in a bid to regulate the gas distribution and supplies. For the purpose, NOC has readied four million cards, including 2.5 million cards for household consumers and 1.5 million for commercial users. Household consumers will get red cards and commercial users blue cards. Bhatta said all LPG consumers will eventually need to possess a card to get hold of LPG. Once the card distribution is completed, Bhatta said, the government plans to introduce dual pricing for LPG. Those possessing red cards will be supplied gas at a subsidized rate, while commercial users like hotels, restaurants, vehicles and other industries will need to pay more. Dual pricing has been planned mainly to plug losses, as 40 percent of total LPG imported by the country is consumed by commercial users. If the government manages to implement the plan effectively, NOC officials said the corporation´s losses, which now stand at Rs 802 per cylinder (of 14.2 kg) and total around Rs 1 billion per month, will shrink by Rs 400 million.
However, experts and NOC sources doubt such a positive outcome as the government has not put in any mechanism to control misuse of the red cards. “Uncontrolled distribution could result in over-distribution of red cards. And given that cylinders being used by householders and business ventures are the same, it will be pretty difficult to control the leakage,” said the NOC source. To do away with such probable anomaly, the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament had earlier instructed the government to first differentiate cylinders to be used by household and commercial consumers. Earlier, Bhatta had also announced that he would introduce 19-kg cylinders for commercial users. But he dropped the idea after LPG bottlers protested.
Source: http://myrepublica.com April 17, 2012
402 Power Thieves Held
By Dipendra Baduwal
Altogether 402 persons have been arrested and Rs 2.17 million collected in fine since a campaign to curb electricity theft started in the district some seven months ago.
The drive has been launched in 12 VDCs in the western part of the district and Bharatpur Municipality. Chief of Bharatpur branch of the Nepal Electricity Authority Umesh Jha said the office employees along with security personnel have been mobilised for the drive. He said that those found stealing electricity would be released after charging them fine ranging from Rs 3,000 to Rs 122,000 each based on the nature of crime. With the campaign on, electricity leakage has dropped to 26 percent from 31 percent one year ago in the areas, and the VDCs face no load-shedding now.
Source: http://www.ekantipur.com April 22, 2012
Dropping Solar Panel Costs and Grid Parity
From Scott Cooney
Solar is, by any measure, a hot industry. Even with the reduction in subsidies from Germany and Italy, the world's two largest solar markets, global spending on solar installations continues to be high. Analysts suggest that this year's solar purchases will amount to roughly the same as last year's, 27 GW globally, despite the reduction in subsidies in many parts of the world. Part of this growing demand is the reduction in costs. Solar's installed cost has dropped 10 percent just in the last 4 months, as manufacturers are being forced to compete in a heavily commoditized market.
While solar sales continue to climb, the margins for solar manufacturers continue to drop. First Solar, the U.S.'s largest solar manufacturer, has seen its share prices drop 90 percent, to a low of $20.21 per share this week. Even in China, where solar manufacturers are subsidized and labor is inexpensive, manufacturers are struggling from heavy competition. And earlier this month, Q-Cells, a German manufacturer, filed for insolvency. Q-Cells was once the world's largest solar manufacturer. Bad news on the manufacturing side, as these margins continue to trim, is good news in other areas. First, installation costs continue to drop, so more homeowners and businesses can afford to install solar arrays. But in a global sense, and perhaps more importantly, we're approaching grid parity in several states. There are effectively three markets for solar: residential, commercial, and utility-scale (typically this is more of a concentrating array of concave mirrors as opposed to panels). There are many factors that play into the cost per watt calculations, but Grid parity for solar was expected to occur within 5 years in many parts of the U.S., encompassing about 57 million Americans (including California, Hawaii, and New York). But that analysis was conducted in the summer of 2011, and did not forecast such a precipitous drop in the cost of solar panels. It may well be that grid parity will be here sooner than we think for solar.
Source: http://www.enn.com April 16, 2012
New Study Says Himalayan Glaciers Not Melting As Fast As Previously Predicted, At Least for Now
By Bob Berwyn
Some glaciers have expanded in the past decade, but concerns remain about growing glacial lakes in the region
Glaciers in the Himalaya are not shrinking as fast as once predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Some glaciers in the Karakoram Range have grown slightly in the past dcade, according to a team of European researchers who recently completed one of the most detailed surveys of the region to-date. But there are still valid concerns about variability that could leave some valleys dry, at least on a seasonal basis. “The majority of the Himalayan glaciers are shrinking, but much less rapidly than predicted earlier,” said Tobias Bolch, of the University of Zurich and Dresden University of Technology. Bolch said the earlier predictions were based on erroneous mapping. The newest study, published in Science, is based on satellite data showing that glaciers in the Himalayas and Karakoram cover a total area of about 40,800 square kilometers — about twenty times larger than all glaciers of the European Alps put together,but as much as twenty percent smaller than was previously assumed. Along with satellite data, the researchers added all existing measurements of length, area and volume changes and mass budgets into their calculations. Some of the measurement series on length changes date back to 1840, and measurements of glacier mass budget that instantaneously reflect the climate signal are rare. Overall, the researchers recorded average length decreases of 15 to 20 metres and area decreases of 0.1 to 0.6 percent per year in recent decades, as well as an average 40 centimeter lowering of glacier surfaces. “The detected length changes and area and volume losses correspond to the global average,” Bolch said.
For the regions in the northwestern Himalayas and especially in the Karakoram Range, the researchers noted very heterogeneous behavior in the glaciers. Many of them are dynamically unstable and prone to surges that largely occur independently of climatic conditions. For the last decade on average, even a slight volume increase was detected. Based on their analyses, the researchers assume that glacier shrinkage will not have a major impact on the water drainage of large rivers like the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra in the coming decades. Bolch and his colleagues also said they see a very serious threat to the local population in newly formed or rapidly growing glacial lakes. The deluge of water and debris from potential outbursts of these lakes could have devastating consequences for low-lying regions. According to the scientists, increased efforts are urgently needed to monitor the lakes as well as changes in the glaciers and the climate in the Himalayas.
Source: http://summitcountyvoice.com April 20, 2012
Mexico's Senate Passes Climate Change Bill
Mexico's Senate has unanimously passed a climate change bill aimed at reducing carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2050, following Britain in creating legally binding emissions goals.
The law approved late Thursday and which still needs to be signed by President Felipe Calderon seeks to promote policies and incentives to reduce carbon emissions, decrease the use of fossil fuels and make renewable power more competitive. It will set up a National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change to coordinate efforts from various ministries as well as a fund for efforts at tackling climate change. It also seeks to encourage citizens to help conserve Mexico's environment. The senators underlined how the country of 112 million was already experiencing the effects of climate change, including a record drought in many areas this year and heavier and more frequent rains in other regions. The law was welcomed by environmental groups, amid concerns about Mexico's ability to enforce legislation. "It's something that out of necessity we have to apply... We hope that Mexico will keep being a leader on climate change," Juan Beazaury, Mexico representative for The Nature Conservancy environmental organization, told AFP. Calderon has made the global fight against climate change a key theme of his six-year presidency, due to end this December. Mexico was 13th in the world for producing greenhouse gas emissions between 2009 and 2012, according to the bill. In 2009, the United States attempted, unsuccessfully, to pass a similar climate change bill.
Source: http://news.yahoo.com April 20, 2012
UN Calls for Doubling Renewable Energy By 2030
UN chief Ban Ki-moon made a call to double global consumption of renewable energy over the next two decades in order to ensure sustainable economic development.
"It's possible if we show political leadership," Ban said about the goal that falls under a sustainable energy initiative aiming to have universal access to power by 2030. Currently, renewable energy accounts for about 16 percent of world consumption. "We have to be very austere in using energy... We have to completely change our behavior, at home, at the office," the UN secretary-general added at an event hosted by the Center for Global Development think-tank in Washington. About 1.3 billion people on Earth -- a fifth of the global population -- lacks access to electricity, while 2.7 billion do not have clean fuel to cook their food and heat their homes, relying instead on open fires or furnaces that burn coal, wood or animal waste. "Energy is central to jobs, transport, water, sanitation... climate," Ban said after meeting with finance ministers from the G20 most powerful economies. The United Nations is expecting some 120 heads of state and government to attend the Rio+20 meeting on sustainable development in Brazil in June, with a focus on developing a plan for implementation and action. On Monday, the European Union vowed fresh funds Monday to help developing nations provide sustainable energy to 500 million people by 2030. European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso pledged 50 million euros ($65 million) over two years for technical assistance and said EU nations would seek hundreds of millions of euros more to support investments in sustainable energy for developing countries. Speaking at the Center for Global Development event, Danish Development Cooperation Minister Christian Friis Bach noted that fossil fuels received four to five times more subsidies worldwide than renewable energy. The think-tank issued a report coinciding with the event saying the US government should play a key role in helping meet the UN targets. "The United States is the logical country to lead an effort to address these problems, given the size of its venture capital and investment community, the prominence of its financial markets and exchanges, and its tradition of support for business-oriented agencies," it said in a statement.
Source: http://www.google.com April 21, 2012
EU Climate Change 'Worse for Women' Claim Row
By Ed Lowther
A new report from a European Parliament committee has prompted scathing criticism from Conservatives with its suggestion that women will be more at risk from climate change than men.
"Global warming is not some male plot to do women down. The climate is the same for males and females, so far as I know. When it rains we all get wet." This is how a British Conservative MEP, Marina Yannakoudakis, has responded to a report published by the women's rights committee, of which she is a member, at the European Parliament. Her fellow committee members have gone "bonkers", she suggests. The report, entitled "Women and Climate Change", is being championed by German Green MEP Nicole Kiil-Nielsen.
It concedes that the link between gender and climate change may not be "immediately obvious". But it asserts that climate change is already increasing levels of forced migration, as refugees flee areas in "environmental decline". In such circumstances, women are more vulnerable than men, it points out: "Women are the main victims of sexual violence, make up 80% of the world's refugees and displaced people, and the excess mortality rate for women in situations arising from natural disasters is up to five times higher than that for men." Although Mrs Yannakoudakis voted against the report, a majority of the committee agreed that the world's poorest people are disproportionately women, who "carry out two-thirds of all work done but own less than 1% of all goods", supposedly rendering them less able to adapt to a changing climate. Another suggestion in the report proved to be especially unpersuasive to the Conservative MEP.
"The proportion of women in political decision-making and especially in climate change negotiations is still unsatisfactory and little to no progress has been made," the committee laments. It therefore recommends that quotas should be introduced to ensure that at least 40% of EU climate negotiators are female. Mrs Yannakoudakis dismisses the notion, highlighting the crucial role played at the Durban climate-change conference by two women: EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard and India's Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan. She also points out that the conference was chaired by "an equally strong woman": South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. "Calling for quotas is an insult to the women who are already making a huge difference in the field of climate diplomacy, politics and negotiation," Mrs Yannakoudakis retorts. She concludes: "This is the kind of thing that gets the EU in general - and the Women's Rights Committee in particular - a bad name. "It would be comical if the people behind the report were not so earnest and its proposals not so patronising to women." Meanwhile, the report declares: "We can only improve our understanding of the links between women and climate change through a willingness to do so." MEPs will vote on whether they agree with Mrs Yannakoudakis or the report on Friday morning, at the plenary session in Strasbourg. But the result of the vote is unlikely to settle the argument.
Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk April 19, 2012
|Link of the Week|
Are "improved" Cookstoves in Pakistan better than the traditional ones?
|Did you Know ?|
As the jatropha (Sajiwan) farming turned lucrative, the villagers in Bharatpokhari of Kaski district have been inclined towards commercial jatropha farming, giving up their traditional farming of paddy, wheat and maize. Besides, as jatropha farming could also be done in infertile land and it also does not require a careful nursing once planted. The farmers of Bharatpokhari-5 of the district are busy these days planting jatropha saplings. Jatropha farming turning into lucrative. The Government of Finland has been supporting the jatropha farming in Nepal. The Finnish Government has selected six different districts in the country for promoting jatropha farming and making the people self-reliant. The Embassy of Finland in Kathmandu has provided around Rs. 12 million in the area for the promotion of jatropha farming.
|Media and Event Watch|
Every Monday 8:30 pm on Nepal FM 91.8 MHZ “Climate Change Mero Bhawisya Mero Chaso”
|QUIZ of the Week # 513|
Utilizing the temperature data from the HMS Challenger expedition and comparing it to contemporary temperatures, researchers writing in Nature Climate Change found that the oceans' surface— where marine warming is most intense—saw temperature rise on average by ……………… degrees Celsius (1.1 degrees Fahrenheit) over the past 135 years or so.
While sending your answer please mention “Quiz of the week#” in the subject line and please send your answer in firstname.lastname@example.org
One lucky winner will get a T-shirt with an Environmental Message from Clean Energy Nepal.
|Answer of the week # 512|
|Department of Transport Management (DoTM), the government has raised the public transportation fare by ………………… percent and meter taxi by 8.19 percent while 5.26 percent and 5.29 percent has been raised in trucks and tankers operating in Terai and Hilly routes, respectively.
Bimarsha Adhikari 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.
CEN: 140 Bublbule Marg, Thapagaon, Kathmandu, Nepal. Tel: 977-1-44464981