Clean Energy News Vol. 12, Number 16, June 6, 2012
|Clean Energy News
Vol. 12, Number 16, June 6, 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|
|• Special Team for Climate Talks Soon
• PM Makes Series of Promises on Environment Day
• $18m Investment Potential in Clean, Efficient Energy in Industry: IFC
• Monsoon Rains Likely to be Late
• PM to Attend Rio+20 UN Meet
• AEPC to Remain under Environment Ministry
• Kathmandu Valley’s Ring Road widening works to start Next Year
• Cycle Rally to Mark World Environment Day
• Arctic Monitoring Stations Report CO2 Levels of 400 parts per million
• China says only it has right to monitor air pollution
• Power plants affected by climate change
• Increasing Aerosols in Atmosphere Would Make Sky Whiter
• Rise In Greenhouse Gas Emissions
• Govt cautions business over carbon tax
• Link Of The Week
• Did You Know?
• Media Watch
• QUIZ Of The Week # 516
• Answer Of Quiz Of The Week # 515
The Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology said it will form a special team of experts to represent in Nepal in global climate change negotiations.
The team, which will be permanent in nature, will comprise experts from government agencies, academia and legal and non-governmental sectors, will be responsible for taking the country’ agenda to climate negotiations, held every year under the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change. “We need a strong team that can make our voice heard at the global level. Our practice of sending officials on quota system has failed us,” said Krishna Gyawali, secretary at the ministry, which is the focal ministry for UN climate talks. “The core team will be formed soon. The decision comes after Nepal’s election as coordinator of group of least developed countries in global climate talks. Nepal is due to take over from current coordinator Gambia next year. “The responsibilities on Nepal’s shoulders have increased. We need to strengthen our team to push ou agenda in the future,” said Batu Krishna Uprety, former chief of the Climate Change Management Division. Officials said the team will be provided its terms of reference, which would have to be strictly adhered to. “We need a team of experts from various sectors as climate change is not only an environmental issue” said Raju Pandit Chhetri of the International Climate Action Network.
Source: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com June 3, 2012
Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai has pledged to establish a fund to fight against the impact of climate change in the mountain countries and move ahead by preparing new work plans.
Inaugurating a programme organised by the Ministry of Science and Technology in the capital on the occasion of the World Environment Day today, the Prime Minister expressed his commitment to making a convincing, worldwide and common forum to the declaration made by 'Kathmandu Call for Action'. A two-day International Conference of Mountain Countries on Climate Change had concluded in Kathmandu on August 6 by issuing a 10-point 'Kathmandu Call for Action'. Saying Nepal would lead of the Least Development Countries Coordination Group on climate change for two, years starting 2013, the Prime Minister said that Nepal's presence in dialogues and agreements over the issues would be made stronger and more effective. The PM said best possible steps would be taken to make the international agreements in favor of the LDCs by raising their issues strongly to open the doors of opportunities and possibilities of the mountain countries. Prime Minister said that Nepal would strongly put its issues for sustainable development, economic prosperity and environment conservation and balance in the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to be Rio de Janeiro of Brazil from 20-22 June. On the occasion, Prime Minister Dr Bhattarai said that existing laws and policies would be implemented for the conservation of environment, adoption of climate change, promotion of green economy and others.
The Prime Minister also informed that new programmes would be launched to carry out different activities related to environment with the beginning of the new fiscal year by establishing the Department of Environment with sufficient resources, means and clear accountability. The PM was of the opinion that standards made so far for the control of pollution of environment, sound and water should be reviewed. The Prime Minister also pledged to promote cycle riding and environment-friendly vehicles in the cities that are rich in cultural heritages. The Prime Minister also drew attention of the officials of the ministry concerned to carry out scientific study and research not to let reoccur the natural disasters like that of flood in the Seti River. Saying Himalayas, hills, livestock, agriculture system and human settlements were seriously affected due to the effects of climate change, the PM Dr Bhattarai urged all to conserve the environment. Nepal is in the list of top 25 countries that are rich in bio-diversity with 118 ecosystems, 25 types of forests, over 5,100 flowering plants and 1,600 mosses. On the occasion, Minister for Environment, Science and Technology Dr Keshavman Shakya said excessive exploitation of natural resources has led to negative impact on climate and stressed for guaranteeing healthy living of all citizens.
June 5 is being mark as the World Environment Day across the globe since 1972.
Source: http://thehimalayantimes.com June 5, 2012
The investment potential in energy efficient and renewable energy projects in the country´s industrial sector stands at US$17.92 million (Rs 1.6 billion), according to the latest report published by the International Finance Corporation, an investment arm of the World Bank.
The projection comes at a time when Nepal Rastra Bank, the central bank, has directed all banks and financial institutions to extend at least 10 percent of their total lending to the energy and agriculture sectors. The report Sustainable Energy Finance Market Study for Finance Sector in Nepal which incorporated surveys of 51 industrial units, says that tea processing units, which consume both thermal and electrical energy, have the highest investment potential of $8.06 million. This was followed by brick kilns, which have the potential of immediately absorbing loans of at least $2.51 million to imbed energy efficient and renewable energy technologies. Cement factories, also energy guzzlers, on the other hand, are in need of at least $1.76 million in financing to acquire green credentials. If these investments are made, together with energy efficient and renewable energy interventions, large industries can save at least $6.26 million, while small and medium industries can save $2.75 million, says the report, which was launched in Kathmandu on Wednesday. Yet not many are eager to tap these opportunities due to limited awareness about ways to reduce energy consumption and poor knowledge about renewable energy technologies. For instance, not many people know that diesel plants that industries have installed use only 35 percent of the fossil fuel as energy, while the rest is ejected into the environment in the form of smoke, which causes pollution, Alan Dale Gonzalez, executive director of Full Advantage, said at an event organized to launch the report. “But if the steam that is emitted is captured and converted into energy using a heat exchanger we can use it to, say, boil water. This can reduce energy cost by as much as 10 times and we will be doing the environment a lot of favor as well,” he said, urging industries to be more proactive in exploring energy efficient options to reduce operating costs. But even if the industries were proactive, as Gonzalez pointed out, many may not be able to introduce energy saving solutions in their units due to lack of access to credit from banks and financial institutions.
Currently, only a few banks are financing industries that want to imbed energy efficient and renewable energy technologies as they are “not aware of the wide range of sustainable energy technologies as potential financing options”. Of the eight commercial banks that were interviewed, says the report, only two explicitly understood the concept of modernization in industries that helps in maximizing output and lowering waste generation. “Besides, banks focus on large borrowers and prefer to finance existing clients rather than new ones, thus limiting the expansion of credit facilities to possible new clients,” the report says. To facilitate such industries, Clean Energy Development Bank, on Wednesday, introduced a new product that not only provides loans to industries that want to become energy efficient and promote clean energy, but also supports clients in “different aspects and stages of project development, financing and implementation”. “We can conduct the energy audit for industries that are interested in getting access to such loans,” said Manoj Goyal, CEO of the bank. Although he didn´t discuss interest rates on such credit, he said loan repayment terms are flexible and can be based on savings made from transfer to energy efficient or clean energy sources. “This is a proactive approach the bank is taking to bring awareness and solutions to customers,” Goyal said.
Source: http://myrepublica.com May 31, 2012
This year’s monsoon is likely to start a week later than expected, meteorologists said.
The monsoon clouds, which would have entered India by now, are yet to do so, said the weathermen adding that the rainy season would be behind schedule this year. “The clouds, which are formed in the Bay of Bengal, have not advanced landwards as expected. The system should have been active in most parts of India by now,” said Rajendra Shrestha, senior meteorologist at the Meteorological Forecasting Division.The monsoon clouds normally enter Nepal from the east by June 10 and leave on September 23. “The monsoon rains could be delayed by a week,” Shrestha added. “As per the schedule, the monsoon should have started in Kerala, India, today but it did not.” Most parts of the country have recorded higher temperature than normal in the past few days. Showers was recorded in Kathmandu and in east today as the west remained dry.
Source: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com May 31, 2012
Caretaker Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has decided to participate in the Rio+20, United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, scheduled for June 20 to 22. The caretaker prime minister is leaving for Brazil on June 18.
According to sources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Bhattarai is scheduled to address the Rio+20 Conference on behalf of Nepal and the group of Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Heads of the state and government from more than 130 countries are participating in the conference. He is scheduled to hold meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Brazilian President Dilma Vana Rousseff and heads of the state and government from different countries on the sideline of the conference. The conference is being organized as a 20-year follow-up to the historic 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development in the same city. The conference has three broad objectives including securing renewed political commitment to sustainable development, assessing the progress and implementation gaps in meeting already agreed commitments and addressing new and emerging challenges. It is said that there will be a separate meetings of LDCs and Mountainous countries on the sideline of the conference. Sources said a declaration -Kathmandu Call for Action-adopted by a conferences of mountain countries held in Kathmandu in April will also be presented in the Rio+20 conference. Nepal, Peru and Switzerland are jointly chairing the group of mountainous countries.
Source: http://myrepublica.com June 5, 2012
The Alternative Energy Promotion Centre will remain under the purview of the Ministry of Environment, officials said today.
The Cabinet had recently decided to hand over the centre, one of the most resourceful sections of the Ministry of Environment, to the Ministry of Energy. “We disagreed with the decision. It has been decided that the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre will remain with us,” said Krishna Gyawali, secretary at the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, which was formed after the Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Environment were recently merged. “We were opposed to the decision. The ministry is not ready to lose an important department,” added the Secretary. The centre, which has been running multi-million dollar projects to promote solar, wind and biogas, had caught the eye of the Energy Ministry. However, it was reluctant to work under the ministry as its work was related to climate change and renewable energy, and the Environment Ministry is the focal ministry for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. AEPC was established on November 3, 1996 under then Ministry of Science and Technology. In 2009, the newly formed Ministry of Environment was given charge of the centre.
Source: http://www.eco-business.com May 31, 2012
The widening of the Kathmandu Valley’s Ring Road will start from the next year under the assistance of People’s Republic of China. In the first phase, the current four-lane road of the Koteshwor-Kalanki stretch will be upgraded to eight lanes, according to the Ministry of Physical Planning, Works and Transport Management.
Third Railway Survey and Design Institute Group Corporation, a consultant hired by China, has completed a preliminary design for the Koteshwor-Kalanki section of the road. China has also sought suggestions in the design work from Nepal. Currently, the Department of Roads is studying the design report for the necessary inputs. “As we are busy with budget preparation for the next fiscal year, we have not been able to concentrate on the design report,” said a senior official at the department. “A team will review it at the earliest and suggest inputs to be incorporated into a final design.” The design report, submitted to the Ministry of Physical Planning about a month ago, has asked for suggestions within 20 days. Nepal and China had signed an agreement to widen the ring road under grant assistance from China in February last year. However, the work regarding the improvement project had caused the procedural delay. The Ring Road improvement project will upgrade the current four-lane road to eight lanes, with a four-lane carriageway that will also include a two-way relief road, two-way bicycle track and two-way pedestrian path, including bus stations and parking lots. The road-widening project is expected to be completed by 2015. Tulasi Prasad Sitaula, secretary at the Ministry of Physical Planning said that Chinese government was doing the final preparation to call tender for the selection of a contractor for the project. “Improvement work will start from the next fiscal year and it would take three years to complete the entire project,” he added.
Along with the report, the consultant had expressed concern over the borrow pit location advised by Nepal, saying it was far from the project area. Borrow pit is a location chosen to dig gravel, soil, and sand for use in another location. Department officials said that they had suggested Tika Bhairav in Lalitpur as the location for extracting gravel for the purpose. Similarly, the report had also asked the government to arrange enough space, mainly for the construction of an interchange at the Kalanki junction. “As per the preliminary design, 0.8 km interchange is planned for smooth operation of vehicles at the junction,” said the official at the department. In the road engineering term, an interchange is a road junction that typically uses grade separation, and one or more ramps, to permit traffic on at least one road to pass through the junction without directly crossing any other traffic stream. Under the Ring Road improvement plan, the current 27km-long Ring Road will be upgraded in three phases. Apart from the plan for the main road, according the Ministry of Physical Planning, the detailed design on improvement will also devise plans for management of public utility services lines such as drinking water, electricity, telecommunications wires and demolishing or incorporating roadside physical infrastructure affecting the road widening work.
Source: http://www.ekantipur.com June 6, 2012
The Chandbagh School organized a bicycle rally this morning marking the World Environment Day.
The school coordinated the rally to raise public awareness on the importance of environmental conservation and eco-friendly transportation. One hundred and thirty people comprising students, teachers and former students of the school participated in the bicycle rally that took to the street from the school compound. It passed through local Kapan Marga, Narayangopal Chowk, Dhumbarahi, Mandikhatar, Golfutar and Bansbari and concluded upon reaching the school.
Source: http://thehimalayantimes.com June 6, 2012
From Thomas Schueneman
NOAA reported that six other arctic monitoring stations in their international cooperative air sampling network have reported CO2 concentrations of 400 ppm this spring. These measurements from remote high latitude stations in Alaska, Canada, Iceland, Finland, Norway and the North Pacific reflect background levels of CO2 influenced by the long-term trend of increased human emissions, as opposed to measurements of more direct emissions near population centers. NOAA’s Cape May, New Jersey station has exceeded 400 ppm in the spring for several years.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations run through a natural annual cycle, rising in the fall, winter, and early spring as plant material decays and releases its carbon. Concentrations fall as plant growth takes the CO2 back up in the late spring and summer. The Arctic region continues to serve as the global climate "canary in a coal" mine. Now, as with average temperature rise, the region is leading into a new troubling milestone as monitoring stations near a remote outpost near Barrow, Alaska are among several such stations to report that average concentrations of CO2 have reached an average of 400 parts per million (PPM) this spring. "The northern sites in our monitoring network tell us what is coming soon to the globe as a whole," reports atmospheric scientist Pieter Tans with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). "We will likely see global average CO2 concentrations reach 400 ppm about 2016."
Source: http://www.enn.com June 2, 2012
By Ben Blanchard
A senior Chinese official demanded on Tuesday that foreign embassies stop issuing air pollution readings, saying it was against the law and diplomatic conventions, in pointed criticism of a closely watched U.S. embassy index.
The level of air pollution in China's heaving capital varies, depending on the wind, but a cocktail of smokestack emissions, vehicle exhaust, dust and aerosols often blankets the city in a pungent, beige shroud for days on end. Many residents dismiss the common official readings of "slight" pollution in Beijing as grossly under-stated. The U.S. embassy has installed a monitoring point on its roof which releases hourly air-quality data via a widely followed Twitter feed. The U.S. consulates in Shanghai and the southern city of Guangzhou provide a similar service. While China tightened air pollution monitoring standards in January, the official reading and the U.S. embassy reading can often be far apart. Chinese experts have criticized the single U.S. embassy monitoring point as "unscientific". Deputy Environment Minister Wu Xiaoqing went a step further, saying such readings were illegal and should stop, though he did not directly name the United States. "According to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations ... foreign diplomats are required to respect and follow local laws and cannot interfere in internal affairs," Wu told a news conference. "China's air quality monitoring and information release involve the public interest and are up to the government. Foreign consulates in China taking it on themselves to monitor air quality and release the information online not only goes against the spirit of the Vienna Convention ... it also contravenes relevant environmental protection rules."
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin called on foreign diplomatic missions to respect China's laws and regulations and to stop issuing the readings, "especially over the Internet". "If the foreign embassies want to collect this kind of information for their own staff and diplomats, I think it's up to them," Liu told reporters. "They can't release this information to the outside world." The U.S. embassy acknowledges on its website (beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn) that its equipment cannot be relied upon for general monitoring, saying "citywide analysis cannot be done ... on data from a lone machine". Despite his criticism, Wu acknowledged that China's air quality and overall environmental situation remained precarious, with more than one tenth of monitored rivers rated severely polluted, for example. "What needs saving is the country's air quality, not the government's face," Zhou Rong, an energy campaigner for Greenpeace, said in emailed comments. "The environmental authorities must stop finger pointing and start taking actions that really address the issue."
Source: http://www.reuters.com June 5, 2012
Nuclear and coal-fired electrical plants are vulnerable to climate change, U.S. researchers say, as water used to cool their turbines is becoming too warm.
Several thermoelectric power plants in the United States and Europe have had to operate at reduced electricity production or even be shut down temporarily because of warmer water and reduced river flows, the University of Washington reported Sunday. For instance, researchers said, the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Alabama was shut down more than once last summer because the Tennessee River's water was too warm to use for cooling. Thermoelectric plants using nuclear or fossil fuels to heat water into steam to turn turbines supply more than 90 percent of U.S. electricity and three-quarters of European electricity. They require consistent volumes of cooling water at a particular temperature to prevent the turbines from overheating, but increasing air temperatures associated with climate change leading to warmer water mean higher electricity costs and less reliability, researches said. "This study suggests that our reliance on thermal cooling is something that we're going to have to revisit," said researcher Dennis Lettenmaier, a UW professor of civil and environmental engineering.
Source: http://www.upi.com June 4, 2012
One idea for fighting global warming is to increase the amount of aerosols in the atmosphere, scattering incoming solar energy away from Earth's surface. But scientists theorize that this solar geoengineering could have a side effect of whitening the sky during the day. New research from Carnegie's Ben Kravitz and Ken Caldeira indicates that blocking 2% of the sun's light would make the sky three-to-five times brighter, as well as whiter.
Their work is published June 1st in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. Carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of coal, oil, and gas have been increasing over the past decades, causing Earth to get hotter and hotter. Large volcanic eruptions cool the planet by creating lots of small particles in the stratosphere, but the particles fall out within a couple of years, and the planet heats back up. The idea behind solar geoengineering is to constantly replenish a layer of small particles in the stratosphere, mimicking this volcanic aftermath and scattering sunlight back to space. Using advanced models, Kravitz and Caldeira along with Douglas MacMartin from the California Institute of Technology examined changes to sky color and brightness from using sulfate-based aerosols in this way. They found that, depending on the size of the particles, the sky would whiten during the day and sunsets would have afterglows. Their models predict that the sky would still be blue, but it would be a lighter shade than what most people are used to looking at now. The research team's work shows that skies everywhere could look like those over urban areas in a world with this type of geoengineering taking place. In urban areas, the sky often looks hazy and white.
Source: http://www.enn.com June 1, 2012
By Cheryl Hogue
Global release of 31.6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2011 is a record, International Energy Agency says.
Annual carbon dioxide emissions from worldwide burning of fossil fuels reached a record high of 31.6 billion metric tons in 2011, according to preliminary estimates announced in late May by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The 2011 releases are up 3.2%, or 1.0 billion metric tons, over 2010’s CO2 emissions, IEA says. The country contributing most to this increase was China, the world’s largest emitter of CO2, IEA says. China’s CO2 emissions in 2011 were up 9.3%, or 720 million metric tons, from 2010. This jump was primarily a result of increased burning of coal in China. But the rise would have been higher if China had not cut the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of its gross domestic product a measure called carbon intensity by 15% between 2005 and 2011, IEA reports. “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,” says Fatih Birol, IEA’s chief economist. The U.S., the world’s second-largest emitter, saw its CO2 releases from the burning of fossil fuels drop 92 million metric tons, or 1.7%, from 2010, IEA says. The decrease is primarily the result of a switch from coal to natural gas for power generation and a mild winter, which diminished energy demand for heating. Since 2006, U.S. emissions have fallen by 7.7%, or 430 million metric tons, the organization says. The five-year reduction is the largest anywhere in the world, IEA says. It is due to improvements in transportation efficiency, higher oil prices, and the economic downturn, IEA says.
Source: http://cen.acs.org June 4, 2012
Climate Change Minister Greg Combet has warned that businesses which hike the cost of their goods under the guise of the carbon tax will be caught.
"I heard about one pie shop for example that was going to put their pies up some extraordinary amount," Mr Combet told ABC television, noting food prices will increase by less than half a cent in the dollar. "If you are a business person thinking that you are going to use this as an opportunity to put prices up I would be very, very careful, because we will have the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) on you," he said, referring to the consumer watchdog. The government was in discussions with electricity companies to have them include information breaking down the actual cost increases of the carbon tax with every bill, Mr Combet said. He also conceded that there could be implementation problems when the carbon price takes effect. "I'm working hard to make sure that there are not ... but you never know, something might emerge." Opposition climate spokesman Greg Hunt says the cost impact of the carbon tax will be ten per cent. "On day one what we'll see is the price of turning on your lights, of opening the fridge, of turning on the television, of using your heating or cooling, go up," he told ABC television. The coalition would repeal the carbon tax within 12 months if elected to government, he said. Australia's biggest carbon emitters, fewer than 500 in number, will pay $23 for every tonne of carbon they put into the atmosphere from July. This will be followed by a market-based emissions trading scheme in 2015, with an aim to cut 160 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by 2020.
Source: http://news.smh.com.au June 1, 2012
|Link of the Week|
|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)
|QUIZ of the Week # 516|
The monthly and yearly average occupational and ambient PM10 concentration in high-density traffic areas and road intersections greatly exceeded the 24-hour average limit value of ……………………………… micrograms in Nepal.a) 100
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 an attractive prized from Clean Energy Nepal.
|Answer of the week # 515|
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. Along with satellite data, the researchers added all existing measurements of length, area and volume changes and mass budgets into their calculations. Overall, the researchers recorded average length decreases of 15 to 20 metres and area decreases of ………………………… percent per year in recent decades, as well as an average 40 centimeter lowering of glacier surfaces.a) 0.1 to 0.6
Isha Dhakal 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