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Clean Energy News Vol. 12, Number 15, May 30, 2012

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Clean Energy News
Vol. 12, Number 15, May 30, 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
Headlines
•    Tsho Rolpa to get early warning system
•    Tea production drops by half due to drought
•    Energy efficiency measures stressed
•    Australian assistance to traffic police
•    MoLD to run governance section of municipals
•    163 key roads as strategic highways
•    EU CO2 prices to treble on supply cut: survey
•    Natural Gas Boom May Halt
•    Cookstoves and Carbon Credits
•    Climate Change Doubt not due to ignorance of the science
•    Greenland glacier melt was faster in 1930s than today
•    Link Of The Week
•    Did You Know?
•    Media Watch

 
Local News
Tsho Rolpa to get early warning system
The high-tech early warning system to alert the communities about the Glacier Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) is going to be installed in the Tsho Rolpa Glacial Lake, an official in the Climate Risk Management said.
Tsho Rolpa – is one of the biggest glacial lakes in the country – has been categorised by scientists as most potential dangerous glacial lake. The high-tech technology will alert people on the downstream if the level of water increases in the lake and also keep on communicating the locals about the status of lake and the daily weather systems. The system will include a sensor that would automatically inform as soon as the water level on the lake rises or dam burst. Besides, it will send the message to the Global Packet Radio System (GPRS) installed CDMA phone and thereafter the message will be sent to all locals residing in the downstream instantly thorough the system.
There will be automatic weather monitoring system, web camera like equipments that will regular the weather systems regularly and feed the system. The government of Nepal with the support from the Netherlands had installed the early warning system (siphons that create sound if lake burst) in 2,000, but due to the lack of continuous monitoring during the war time, the system got collapsed. “There is the need of strong early warning system that will involve communities and train locals about the information dissemination system. So the UNDP is working with the Department of Hydrology and Metrology and Practical Action to install the early warning system,” said Deepak K.C, project officer, Climate Risk Management, UNDP.
The new high tech installation would cost over $1,00,000 and the UNDP has already allocated the budget. According to the study, Tsho Rolpa Glacial Lake stores 1,00,000,000 cubic meters of water behind an unconsolidated moraine dam in the Rolwaling Valley, 110 km northeast of Kathmandu in Gaurishanker VDC of Dolakha district. According to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) report, Nepal has experienced 14 GLOF events in the recent past, several of which have caused considerable damage and loss of life. It has been estimated that over 6,000 people could be affected if the Tsho Rolpa Glacier Lake burst. According to ICIMOD, there are 3,252 glaciers that cover an area of 5,322 sq km with approximately 481 km of ice reserves. The number of glacial lakes in the country is 1,466 of which 21 lakes including Tsho Rolpa are categorised as the potentially critical glacial lakes.
Source: http://thehimalayantimes.com May 23, 2012
 
Tea production drops by half due to drought   
By Bhim Chapagain
Persistent drought has brought down the production of fresh tea leaves by almost 50 percent after the first harvest compared to last year said farmers and tea processors.
Tek Bahadur Bista, a farmer from Sakhejung said he would suffer loss in the income by 50 percent due to fall in production of tea leaves after the first flush harvest. “New tea buds are not emerging in tea plants in recent days after the first harvest this year due to long drought and lack of irrigation in the tea farms,” said Bista. Sakhejung orthodox tea producer Himalayan Shangri-La Tea Producer, which used to produce 7 tons of green leaves daily, is hardly producing 2 tons leaves as tea plants are not producing new buds for last one month.
“After the first flush harvest, we could not pluck fresh tea leaves for the last one month on the back of long drought, which is worse than previous years” said Ram Chandra Nepal, managing director of Himalalyan Shangri-La. The company annually produces 40 tons of organic tea procured from 41 farmers through 13 tea-producer cooperatives and farmers groups. Plight of Gorkha Tea Estate is also not that different.
Collection of green tea leaves at Gorkha Tea Estate in Phikkal of Ilam has dropped to daily 100 kg this year from 1,500 kg last year. Uday Chapagain proprietor of the company, complained that farmers were facing shortage of organic fertilizers and prolonging drought had affected the production and collection of fresh tea leaves. The tea processor had set target to export 50 tons of organic tea to Germany.

Source: http://myrepublica.com May 29, 2012
 
Energy efficiency measures stressed
Nepal has failed to make sufficient investments in improving energy efficiency and renewable energy in the industrial sector, a study report of International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has stated.
IFC launched the Sustainable Energy Finance Market Study for Financial Sector in Nepal study Wednesday. The study has found significant investment potential for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Nepal’s 10 selected industrial sectors. The study targeted at financial institutions to help them develop the sustainable energy leading business. The study, which was conducted in order to improve the competitiveness of Nepal’s industries by pointing out that reducing both energy costs and greenhouse gas emission is becoming forceful given the country’s current energy crisis.
According to the report, due to the massive shortfall in the supply of electricity, productivity of the industrial and service sectors was adversely affected. Many industries were unable to operate full hours, leading to shutdown in cases due to an inability to meet demand and delivery schedule, the study said. Nepal’s industrial sector has been preoccupied mostly with meeting production deadline schedules, leaving it with little resources to invest in energy efficiency measures, the report said. For the purpose of this study, 10 industrial sectors--- cement, rolling mills, poultry/agribusiness, plastic, cold storage, food and beverage, steel structures, paper and pulp, brick industries and hotels were identified. The study also identified that the Nepal’s industry could save up to 30 per cent energy costs by adopting energy efficiency measures alone.
All the selected industrial sectors have consumed a significant amount of electricity, with the exception of the brick industry which uses coal for firing bricks, the report revealed. The study recommended pilot projects of energy efficiency technology adoption in the industrial units and demonstration of subsequent success and savings to encourage other industrial units to adopt sustainable energy technology. Similarly, the study has suggested that the government of Nepal should introduce fiscal incentives such as soft and low cost loans, tax benefits, grant funds, refinancing, customs duty waiver, depreciation allowance, low interest rate and subsidised funds for energy efficiency/ renewal energy for effective financing of sustainable energy projects.
IFC programme manager Thelma Tajiran said, "Energy is a major priority for Nepal’s industrial growth. The sustainable energy finance market study will help the financial institutions make strategic decision in the new market, and spur the private sector to take the lead in clean and sustainable economic development." With IFC’s support in building capacity for proposal evaluation, loan product development and due diligence, Clean Energy Development Bank Limited (CEDBL) launched a unique sustainable energy financing product. Manoj Goyal, chairman of CEDBL, said, "It invites all stakeholders to join this sustainable energy finance initiative to tackle the energy crisis responsibly and effectively."
Source: http://www.gorkhapatra.org.np May 30, 2012
 
Australian assistance to traffic police   
The Australian Embassy has handed over 1,300 pairs of protective spectacles to the Nepal Traffic Police.
Australian Ambassador to Nepal Susan Grace handed over the glasses to head of the Metropolitan Traffic Police Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Ganesh Rai amid a function at Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology (TIO) on Friday. “The TIO received funding of Rs 1.5 million through the Embassy´s Direct Aid Program to conduct 40 eye-screening camps and provide spectacles to the traffic police in Kathmandu,” reads a statement issued by the embassy.  The Australian government has also announced Rs 2 billion in official development assistance to Nepal, the statement added.
Source: http://myrepublica.com May 25, 2012
 
MoLD to run governance section of municipals
The governance section of all municipalities will remain under the Ministry of Local Development, which has been converted into the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development.
However, Solid Waste Management Technical Support Centre (SWMTSC), which was earlier under the MoLD, will be shifted to the Ministry of Urban Development. The Cabinet had restructured the ministries, creating two new ones about a month ago. The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) and the Ministry of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation (MoCPA) were created.  MoUD will look into infrastructure development of municipalities, which was earlier under the Ministry of Local Development.
The Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC) under the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works (MoPPW) and the Municipal Management Division (MMD) of MoLD was expected to be shifted to MoUD.  “Municipal management will remain under MoLD as per Terms of References prepared for the new ministries,” said joint-secretary Reshmi Raj Pandey, chief of MMD. “The governance section will be with us though MoUD will be looking into municipal development issues,” he said. “We will keep on looking into the governance and development issues of District Development Committees (DDC) and Village Development Committees (VDC).”
The MoLD and MoUD will coordinate with towns and urban oriented places in the country. Pandey further said SWMTSC would be shifted to MoUD. “SWMTSC is entirely related to development issues and not local governance,” he added. The MoPPW has been split and merged with the Ministry of Physical Planning and Transportation and given authority to deal with infrastructure development of village development committees. Earlier, MoLD and MoPPW used to deal jointly with municipals and urban development.

Source: http://thehimalayantimes.com/ may 30, 2012
 
163 key roads as strategic highways               
By Prabhakar Ghimire
The government has decided to designate existing 163 major roads including the much touted Kathmandu-Tarai fast track and Mid-hill highway as national strategic highways in a bid to lure more assistance from the donor community and allocate sufficient budget for timely implementation and regular maintenance of the highways.
The cabinet took the decision last week acting on the proposal of the Ministry of Physical Planning, Works and Transport Management (MoPPWTM). “With the cabinet decision, six more highways and 157 more subsidiary highways have earned the status of national strategic highways. Thus, it will be easier for us to get more support from donors and more budget for the construction and maintenance of these roads,” Tulasi Prasad Sitaula, secretary of MoPPWTM told Republica on Wednesday.
Earlier, a total of 15 highways and 51 subsidiary highways were designated as strategic highways. “A total of 72 highways and subsidiary highways covering around 5,000 km were maintained under donor support and national budget so far. An additional 10,000 km in the network of total 229 roads across the country have also been prioritized,” Sitaula added. The government has allocated around Rs 3 billion from the national budget for maintenance of major roads across the country. However, even the strategically important roads had not been receiving sufficient budget for construction and maintenance.
Economic Survey 2010/11 states that the government had completed construction of 326 km of earthen road, 136 km of gravel road, 185 km of track and repair of 430 km of roads by mid-March 2011. The major roads upgraded as strategic roads are Mid-Hill Highway, proposed Kathmandu Tarai Fast-track, Tarai roads, Kathmandu Ring Road, proposed Outer Ring Road and a highway in Mahakali. Despite rapid road construction over the last few years, updating of road status has been long overdue for last one-and-a-half decade. “Though status of strategic roads has to be updated every three years, we have not reviewed their status since 1997. The recent cabinet decision has paved the way for us to demand more budget for the regular repair and maintenance of roads of strategic importance,” he said. The government is preparing to publish the decision in a gazette within a couple of days.

Source: http://myrepublica.com May 31, 2012

International News
EU CO2 prices to treble on supply cut: survey
European carbon prices could treble from current levels to average above 19 euros ($23.80) over the next eight years provided European governments cut supply of permits, according to a survey by consultants PwC.
In its annual GHG Market Sentiment Survey, PwC found that 80 percent of respondents were in favor of cutting supply in a bit to boost carbon prices from under 7 euros to a level that encourages firms to invest in clean technology that cut emissions. Of those, two-thirds preferred EU regulators to cut supply by taking on a deeper 2020 emissions target rather than a one-off permanent withdrawal of allowances from the market. The 27-nation bloc is currently working towards reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20 percent below 1990 levels by the end of the decade, although some nations have called for a 30 percent cut. The European Commission is also toying with delaying the sale of allowances from the early years of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme's third phase (2013-2020) to underpin prices that have slumped to under 7 euros as flagging factory output hit demand for permits.
Other intervention options proposed by those surveyed included introducing a legally-binding CO2 cut target of 50 percent by 2030 and launching a carbon central bank to monitor prices and regulate supply in the EU ETS. Assuming supply is cut and Europe's economy recovers, EU Allowance prices could rise to more than 38 euros by 2030, the survey found, while prices for U.N. carbon credits could average nearly 12 euros each in the 2013-2020 trading period and 22 euros by 2030. The survey found that countries including Brazil, Indonesia and many from sub-Saharan Africa would be major suppliers of U.N.-backed carbon offsets by 2020. On the other hand, the role of China, the largest supplier of offsets to date, would be diminished as the country grows economically and buyers seek to source credits from less affluent countries. Russia, one of two main producers of Emissions Reduction Units (ERUs) - credits issued under Kyoto's Joint Implementation Programme - would not be supplying any offsets by 2020, all survey respondents agreed without giving reasons.
Survey participants were also skeptical that the U.N.'s aviation body would launch a global cap-and-trade market for airlines before 2015, believing instead that governments will implement similar measures to regulate airplane emissions. ICAO and its members are working on a scheme that they hope will replace the EU ETS, which from this year includes all commercial airlines using EU airports. The inclusion has triggered mass opposition to the scheme, with countries including the U.S., China and India threatening retaliatory trade measures.
A large number of survey participants predicted that carriers would simply comply with the new rules. The survey also found that action to control shipping emissions would likely come by 2015 from the sector's regulating body, the International Maritime Organisation, and would be additional to efforts to improve the energy efficiency of ships that were announced last year.

Source: http://www.reuters.com May 30, 2012
 
Natural Gas Boom May Halt
A surge in natural gas supplies worldwide could halt any meaningful growth in the renewable energy sector over the next two decades if governments don’t take action, the International Energy Agency
(IEA) warns. New technologies to extract natural gas, primarily from shale formations using a technique known as hydraulic fracturing, could triple production of unconventional gas globally between 2010 to 2035, to about 1.6 trillion cubic meters, according to a new IEA report. These new sources of supply will, in turn, help keep prices relatively low, posing an increased risk to renewable energy sources, which are more expensive in part because the costs of greenhouse gas emissions are not part of the calculation of energy costs. “Policy measures by governments for renewable energy have to be there for years to come, as it is not always as cost-effective as it could be,” Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the IEA, told a conference in London, according to the Guardian. While natural gas drilling on its face produces about half of the carbon emissions of coal burning, some experts say the methane released during the drilling process may be enough to offset the global warming benefits of switching from coal to gas.

Source: http://e360.yale.edu May 30, 2012
 
Cook Stoves and Carbon Credits
From: Jen Boynton, Triple Pundit
Take a region where charcoal is the cooking fuel of choice, switch it out for a cleaner burning fuel that doesn't contribute to global warming quite so dramatically, then, somehow, track the whole thing accurately enough that it’s possible to measure the tons of emissions the switch represents.
Take a region where charcoal is the cooking fuel of choice, switch it out for a cleaner burning fuel that doesn't contribute to global warming quite so dramatically, then, somehow, track the whole thing accurately enough that it’s possible to measure the tons of emissions the switch represents.

Source: http://www.enn.com May 25, 2012
 
Climate Change Doubt not due to ignorance of the science
A new study has dispelled the myth that the public are divided about climate change because they don't understand the science behind it.
And the Yale research published today reveals that if Americans knew more basic science and were more proficient in technical reasoning it would still result in a gap between public and scientific consensus. Indeed, as members of the public become more science literate and numerate, the study found, individuals belonging to opposing cultural groups become even more divided on the risks that climate change poses.
Funded by the National Science Foundation, the study was conducted by researchers associated with the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School and involved a nationally representative sample of 1500 U.S. adults. "The aim of the study was to test two hypotheses," said Dan Kahan, Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School and a member of the study team. "The first attributes political controversy over climate change to the public's limited ability to comprehend science, and the second, to opposing sets of cultural values. The findings supported the second hypothesis and not the first," he said. "Cultural cognition" is the term used to describe the process by which individuals' group values shape their perceptions of societal risks. It refers to the unconscious tendency of people to fit evidence of risk to positions that predominate in groups to which they belong.
The results of the study were consistent with previous studies that show that individuals with more egalitarian values disagree sharply with individuals who have more individualistic ones on the risks associated with nuclear power, gun possession, and the HPV vaccine for school girls.

Source: http://www.enn.com/ May 28, 2012
 
Greenland glacier melt was faster in 1930s than today
The discovery of 80-year-old photo plates in a Danish basement is providing vital new clues into how Greenland glaciers are melting today.
Researchers at the National Survey and Cadastre of Denmark - that country's federal agency responsible for surveys and mapping - had been storing the glass plates since explorer Knud Rasmussen's expedition to the southeast coast of Greenland in the early 1930s. In this week's online edition of Nature Geoscience, Ohio State University researchers and colleagues in Denmark describe how they analyzed ice loss in the region by comparing the images on the plates to aerial photographs and satellite images taken from World War II to today.
Taken together, the imagery shows that glaciers in the region were melting even faster in the 1930s than they are today, said Jason Box, associate professor of geography and researcher at the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State. A brief cooling period starting in the mid-20th century allowed new ice to form, and then the melting began to accelerate again in the 2000s. "Because of this study, we now have a detailed historical analogue for more recent glacier loss," Box said. "And we've confirmed that glaciers are very sensitive indicators of climate." Pre-satellite observations of Greenland glaciers are rare. Anders Anker Bjørk, doctoral fellow at the Natural History Museum of Denmark and lead author of the study, is trying to compile all such imagery. He found a clue in the archives of The Arctic Institute in Copenhagen in 2011.
"We found flight journals for some old planes, and in them was a reference to National Survey and Cadastre of Denmark," Bjørk said.

Source: http://www.enn.com May 30, 2012

Link of the Week
Rural Women in Peru Key to Adaptation of Seeds to Climate Change
Did you Know ?
A large number of Kathmandu Valley dwellers walk on foot rather than using motorised vehicles and bicycles, shows a JICA Nepal survey conducted in 2010. According to the survey of 18,100 households, about 40 per cent of Kathmanduties walk, 26 per cent travel on motorcycle and 1.5 per cent use bicycle as their everyday mode of transport (excluding public transport users). In 1991, walking made up 53 per cent of the travel mode, while bicycles and motorcycles made 6.6 per cent and 9.3 per cent, respectively. The survey shows more people travelled on foot two decades ago. The use of motorcycle has gone up by almost three folds and bicycling has dropped to less than one-fourth. According to the survey, the number of people using public transportation has slightly increased from 25.1 per cent to 26.9 per cent, mainly because of the two-fold increase in the number of people using micro and mini buses.

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)
 
 

Prepared by: Suman Udas and Pabitra Basnet
Edited by: Bhushan Tuladhar

Clean Energy Nepal (CEN) is an independent, not-for-profit organization working in the field of Energy and Environment.

CEN: 140 Bublbule Marg, Thapagaon, Kathmandu, Nepal. Tel: 977-1-44464981