Saturday, December 30, 2006
Shen-Li High Tech Co. Ltd., a private company in Shanghai, is manufacturing a hydrogen fuel cell demonstration vehicle. It wants to produce hydrogen power for buses, taxis and generators. The company started operation in 1998 and the founder and president is Hu Liqing, 43. His factory is in Shanghai's suburban Longyang Industrial Garden. The company hopes to find a way to economically mass-produce the propulsion systems. The Shen-Li company is considering a partnership with the state-owned Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. to produce the cars, the Suzhou company would produce the buses.
A subsidiary of Fosun Pharmaceutical Corp purchased a 36 percent share of Shen-Li in 2006 and the company is now focused on electricity generators, which offer hope for more immediate sales in China and abroad.
Fuyuan Century Fuel Cell Power Co. Ltd. in suburban Beijing, headed by Zhong, 63, is researching ways to make membranes, which are the key and most expensive element in hydrogen fuel cells. DuPont, in the USA, dominates the market for these components. The Beijing city government purchased three hydrogen-powered demonstration buses from DaimlerChrysler for the 2008 Summer Olympics.
A chemical reaction in the fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electric current to power a vehicle and the waste emission is water vapor. Unfortunately, the problem is that producing, storing and distributing the hydrogen costs money and requires an infrastructure of filling stations that does not exist. (Wash Post)
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
There were no units out of compliance in 2005. In 2005, SO2 emissions from electric power generation were more than 5.5 million tons below 1990 levels. NOx emissions were down by about 3 million tons below 1990 levels. The program's emission cuts have reduced acid deposition and improved water quality in U.S. lakes and streams.The emission reductions to date also have resulted in reduced formation of fine particles, improved air quality, and human health related benefits.
A 2005 analysis in the Journal of Environmental Management estimated the value of the program's human health and environmental benefits in the year 2010 to be $122 billion annually (2000$). Most ofthese benefits result from the prevention of air quality-related health impacts, such as premature deaths and work days missed due to illness, but they also include improved visibility in parks and other recreational and ecosystem improvements.
Issued in March 2005, the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) will build upon the Acid Rain Program to further reduce SO2 and NOx emissions. CAIR achieves large reductions of SO2 and NOx emissions across 28 eastern states and the District of Columbia. When fully implemented, CAIR will reduce SO2 emissions in these states by more than 70 percent and NOx emissions by more than 60 percent from 2003 levels.
The Acid Rain Progress report summarizes human health and environmental improvements due to the program. The report also includes sections oncompliance strategies, surface water quality monitoring, environmentaljustice, and EPA's framework for accountability.
Emission & Allowance Data & Maps
The Acid Rain Program 2005 Progress Report
* Households heating primarily with electricity can expect a slight price increase this winter and the demand for electricity is likely to continue to grow through 2007.
* Prices for petroleum products and natural gas are projected to increase from their current levels, but are not expected to surpass last winter’s levels.
* Next spring’s gasoline inventories are expected to be lower than last spring’s and colder winter weather would reduce gasoline output.
* The world oil requirement is expected to increase, resulting in an increase in the demand from OPEC. OPEC is not likely to increase crude oil production.
Short-Term Energy Outlook Report
The existence of too many fuel types in a given area may present challenges for production, distribution, and storage during periodic disruptions like refinery shutdowns and weather-related incidents. To address this issue, President Bush directed EPA Administrator StephenJohnson to convene a Boutique Fuels Task Force. A report detailing the findings from this Boutique Fuels Task Force was published in late June.
Butique Fuel List
Boutique Fuel Task Force
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Although China has 1.4 billion people and the United States has 300 million people, the average U.S. citizen emits more carbon dioxide than the average Chinese citizen. The size of China and its economy is leading to the significant increase in carbon dioxide emissions.
The auctions helps establish a price for offsets. The Chief Operating Officer of the Asia Carbon Group believes the platform demonstrates the need for a trading system that allows for price discovery and transparency for the carbon markets to fully appreciate and mature in accordance with the key objectives of the Kyoto Protocol. This is especially relevant for the CER markets, which had evolved without a basis for price but used the EU allowance spot and futures markets.
China is on track to add 562 coal-fired plants - nearly half the world total of plants expected to come online in the next eight years. India could add 213 plants; the US, 72. (Christian Science Monitor)
China plans to quadruple its nuclear generation by building 40 new reactors in the next 15 years. (AFX News Ltd)
Friday, December 22, 2006
Companies in China and India are utilizing the Certified Emissions Reductions generated as a result of large-scale industrial abatement projects to generate offsets to sell through the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol. Neither country is a signatory to the protocol but the CER and CDM allow developing countries to participate through a signatory country.
Nearly all HFC-23 emissions (98 percent) are created as a byproduct in the production of chlorodifluoromethane (HCFC-22) and generally are vented to the atmosphere. In some cases the HFC-23 is captured for use in a limited number of applications. The increase in HFC emissions since the early 1990s reflects the use of HFCs as replacements for CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons), halons, and other ozone-depleting substances (ODS) that are being phased out under the Montreal Protocol because they damage the Earth’s stratospheric ozone layer. HCFCs deplete ozone. HFCs do not deplete ozone. (DOE-EIA, NYT)
Thursday, December 21, 2006
A big controversy right now is Gazprom's insistence that Shell include it as a partner in the Sakhalin II, a joint project between Shell and Japanese companies (Wikipedia). ExxonMobile's Sakhalin I (Wikipedia) project is also being forced into partnerships with Gazprom. Russia is using environmental regulations as a way to force negotiated partnerships and increased tax revenues.
Norway holds about half of Europe's oil and gas reserves and is the world's third largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia and Russia. (NYT)
Government estimates put the recoverable oil from shale at 800 billion barrels, more than three times the proven reserves os Saudia Arabia. The U.S. is the Saudi Arabia of oil shale. We estimate that oil has to reamina at between $70 to $100 to justify the expense of extracting oil from shale.
The companies have the challenge of doing this without contaminating the groundwater. They must also figure out how to produce the energy needed to heat the shale without producing huge greenhouse gas emission. Maybe a small nuke plant would work. (The New York Times)
Westinghouse wants to build facilities at Snmen in Zhejiang Province and at Yangjiang in Guangdong Province. Westinghouse wants the plants up by 2013. Westinghouse wants to build its new AP 1000 nuclear power plant. Shaw Group Inc (Westinghouse's U.S. engineering and construction services contractor) signed a companion agreement with China's State Nuclear Power Technology Co. to work out details for the contract and construction. (The Washington Post)
This trilateral collaboration leverages EPA resources and expertise to help China address environmental challenges. EPA and ADB currently have technical cooperation programs in China. In 2005, ADB approved about $1.5 billion in loans and $18.5 million in technical assistance to China. In December 2003, EPA and SEPA signed a Memorandum of Understanding that included annexes on Air Pollution, Water Pollution, and Pollution from Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and other Toxic Substances. A fourth annex on Hazardous and Solid Waste was added during Administrator Johnson's first visit to China in April 2006.
It will support the equivalent of 62 million simultaneous phone calls, more than 60 times the overall capacity of the existing cable, to support future Internet growth and advanced applications such as video and e-commerce.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
The Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that congestion charges add $8 billion, about $40 per person, to electricity charges to about 200 million people on the Eastern grid system. Transmission lines have not been maintained and expanded to keep up with growing electricity demand. The weaknesses in the transmission system also serve as a barrier to successful deregulation. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 prevents state and local officials from blocking new lines. Provisions from this law will probably be needed by Dominion Power to build new lines across the Allegheny Mountains to serve Northern Virginia.
The Department of Energy estimates that peaking plants are now being used 40 percent of the year instaead of just during times of peak electricity use just to keep enough electrons on the grid. Another factor is that congestion charges are not broken out separately in the average residential customer's electricity bill. (New York Times)
Thursday, December 14, 2006
The Center supports the plans for the 500,000 volt lines. Of course, the affluent communites oppose the lines based on visual impact. It is a NIMBY luxury view and does not consider the greater power needs of the region. Opponents beleive the lines will ruin the ambience of historic sites too.
* Since 2000, audits have declined
* The Interior Department reviews only 9 percent of all properties and 20 percent of all companies.
* The computerzied fact-checking system is inadequate.
* Government data are incomplete and inaccurate.
The eight month report was delivered as a report to Congress. (NYT)
The DEIS addresses alternative and the potential environmentali impacts associated with preparations for and implementation of the proposed mission. NASA's proposed action, Alternative 1, would use a radioisotope power source consisting of plutonium (Pu-238) dioxide. Alternative 2 would use a solar array to provide power for the rover. The DEIS also discusses the No Action alternative.
Normally, the U.S. seeks to use the NPT as an incentive for nonnuclear weapons nations to pursue civilian nuclear power by agreeing to inspections of their facilities in exchange for civilian nuclear power assistance and an agreement not to build nuclear weapons. This principle has been stood on its head with India.
The McKinsey report states that no strategy can control the growth in energy consumption unless it includes developing countries. An estimated 13 percent of the growth in global energy demand between now and 2020 will come from new Chinese power plants, with Chinese vehicles and buildings adding to the load.
* End overfishing of depleted species
* Establish a selling and trading of shares in a fishery to promote conservation
* Empower fishery scientists, not the fishing industry, to set fishing levels;
studying and protect deep sea corals; and
* Allows the U.S. to sanctions countries practicing illegal pirate fishing internationally.
The law also increased summer catch limits for New England flounder. The cap-and-trade program is unique and mirrors the same sort of approach in 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments Acid Rain Program. The 30-year-old law is the main legislation regulating fishery management in ocean waters between 3 miles and 200 miles offshore. S. 2012 & H.R. 5018, the American Fisheries Management and Marine Life Protection Act, sponsored by Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-Calif.), Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska)
Monday, December 04, 2006
Since publication of the Yucca Mountain Final Repository EIS in 2002, DOE has continued to develop the repository design and associated operational plans. The comment period closed on Nov 27, 2006. Additional information can be requested at www.ocrwm.doe.gov