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
Friday, November 17, 2006
Dominion is planning to use the I-66 right of way but the rich horse country citizens will make it virtually impossible to build the lines anywhere. They will fund the obstructionist environmental groups to block it every else as an encroachment on scenic views. Yet all of these people probably live in large homes that gobble electricity. They probably have multiple televisions, computers and other appliances. They probably have 50 incandescent light bulbs too. Such illogical hypocricy must be challenged and overcome for the good ot the greater society.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Hitachi will take a 40% ownership share of G.E. and Hitachi will take a 20% share of Hitachi's nuclear business. (NYT)
Friday, November 10, 2006
Samuelson acknowledges global warming and agrees that something needs to be done about it. He rejects Stern's notions though that you can measure the precise economic effects based on what 'might' happen. Samuelson writes, "No one knows what [global warming's effect] might be, because we don't know how much people might adapt....Unless we develop cost-effective technologies that break the link between carbon dioxide emissions and energy use, we can't do much." Smauelson gets it.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Areva is a Bethesda based subsidiary of French nuclear power services Areva Group. Constellation is based in Baltimore, Maryland. The new UniStar Nuclear is based in Annapolis, Maryland.
Monday, November 06, 2006
These tradable carbon credits can then be used to meet emission reduction or limitation commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. JI will generate real projects which will help green the economies of central and eastern Europe. With its launch, we can expect emission reductions in the order of several hundred million tonnes of CO2 by the end of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. The JI is similar to the Kyoto Protocol’s clean development mechanism (CDM), which permits industrialized countries to invest in sustainable development projects in developing countries, and thereby generate tradable emission credits.
While smaller in terms of its emissions reduction potential, it is an equivalent to the CDM with regard to cooperation among countries that have targets under the Kyoto Protocol and a credible alternative to the much-feared ‘hot air.' ‘Hot air’ refers to the concern that some countries will have excess emission allowances under the Kyoto Protocol without undertaking specific efforts to reduce emissions and that they could then flood the carbon market by selling them at lower price, reducing the incentive for other countries to cut emissions.
The Kyoto Protocol presently requires 35 industrialized countries and the European Community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 5% below 1990 levels in its first commitment period between 2008 and 2012.
Mailing Address: CLIMATE CHANGE SECRETARIAT (UNFCCC), P.O. Box 260 124, D-53153 Bonn, Germany Office Location: Haus Carstanjen, Martin-Luther-King-Strasse 8, D-53175 Bonn, Germany Media Information Office: (49-228) 815-1005 Fax: (49-228) 815-1999 Web: http://unfccc.int
Friday, November 03, 2006
CMX can be used to complement other emissions offset programs. Our mission is to promote verifiable reductions in greenhouse and smog-forming gases. The service is open to everyone. It is a market-based system that will rely on the goodwill of the participants to conduct honest trades. The service is a dynamic portal that will serve as a gateway for innovative emissions reductions. CMX is one part of a global effort to reduce global climate change and smog in our cities.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
FPL Group derives most of its revenue from its utility subsidiary, Florida Power and Light. Constellation operates Baltimore Gas and Electric. The deal was delayed by legislation passed during a special summer session of the Maryland General Assembly focusing on increased electric rates. The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that the legislature wrongly fired the five members of the Public Service Commission. It let stand a measure barring the sitting commission from approving the merger. (Wash Post)
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Demand for electricity is expected to increase over the next 10 years by 19 percent in the U.S., but confirmed power capacity will increase by only 6 percent. The transmission system requires additional investment to address reliability issues and economic impacts. The NERC report identifies 22 necessary actions that encompass all areas of the bulk power system including generation, transmission, fuel supply and delivery, and demand response. Specific recommended actions include:
* Addition of power generation facilities;
* New and upgraded transmission facilities;
* Stronger contracts and other arrangements;
* More "demand-side" measures; and
* Addressing aging workforce issues in the electric industry.
Monday, October 23, 2006
The report projects 154 additional coal-fired power plants costing $137 billion to fuel 93 million homes by 2030. It gives the proposed new plants, capacity and investments by state.
Google will still use power from the grid provided by Pacific Gas & Electric. That is the central weakness of Photovoltaic system - - they still need grid back up. (NYT)
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
He opens with, "Our main energy problem is our huge dependence on imported oil." He closes with, "Because Americans want painless salvation, our politicians proffer visions that promise just that." The information in the rest of the article (linked above) is quite informative for the casual reader.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
1) High Desert plant in Victorville, Calif.;
2) Rio Nogales plant in Seguin, Texas;
3) Holland Energy in Shelby Co., Ill.;
4) Big Sandy in Neal, W.Va.;
5) University Park in Chicago, Ill.;
6) Wolf Hills in Bristol, Va.
The plants helps Constellation improve its balance sheet. The gas-fired plants did not help the competitive supply portfolio or efficiencies of the baseload coal and nuclear plants. (AP, Examiner)
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Use of noncomplying fuel in motor vehicles can cause an increase in emissions that can significantly harm public health. The settlements resolve violations of various fuel standards that occurred from 1999 through 2004 at retail outlets, terminals and refineries located throughout the U.S. A number of the violations involve the summertime gasoline standard for volatility, or tendency to evaporate, which is intended to reduce smog-causing hydrocarbon emissions. Some of the violations were self-reported by BP and Shell, while others were discovered through EPA's inspection and compliance programs.
BP agreed to pay a civil penalty of $900,000 and Shell agreed to pay a civil penalty of $600,000. BP and Shell will also perform extensive remedial efforts -- including quality assurance programs and technical changes in processes and equipment -- to correct the alleged violations and to prevent the recurrence of similar violations. (Source: EPA)
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Currently and historically, power supplies have been provided by converting high-voltage alternating current to low-voltage direct current to provide multiple output voltage. These multi-voltage power supplies are not needed in today's PC's. Google wants a single 12-volt standard with an 80 percent efficiency standard. Current efficiencies vary from 20 percent to 80 percent. The motherboard would still convert the voltage, but it would be easieer to achieve efficiencies. A company called Ecos Consulting and a group of utiity companies have been measuring computer electricity use. (New York Times)
The German train runs as a demonstration about four times per week between Doerpen and Lathen near the Dutch border. The demonstration is to show off German technology. The train was manufactured by Transrapid International, a joint company of Siemens AG and ThyssenKrupp AG. The track is operated by Munich-based IABG.
There is an urgency to get this building at 130 Liberty Street down because construction has begun on the Freedom Tower. Published reports are citing concerns that the Pataki administration is trying to get standards lowered so that they can proceed with deconstruction. Of course, everyone is mum about such discussions. Regardless, the building will have to come down sooner or later. Hopefully, bureaucracy will not compromise the health of those nearby and the space will be made available for development soon.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
With one confirmed death and sickness rising in the hundreds, it is being reported that the multibillion dollar agricultural sector could lose hundreds of millions of dollars due to spinach market losses. Authorities are trying to locate and isolate the source of the E. Coli and supermarkets have already removed all spinach from its shelves. It appears that the E. coli appeared in a bag of spinach in New Mexico. It is being reported that the outbreaks have now reached 31 states. The Food and Drug Administration is continuing its investigation. (Wash Post article)
Normal E. coli is usually harmless as a bacterium in our and animal digestive systems. The acid in our stomachs is strong enough to kill the bacterium. E. coli O157: H7 is the one killing people because our stomach acid is not strong enough to kill it, thus the abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever and sometimes fatal kidney failure. A grain diet instead of a hay diet is more conducive to the production of O157: H7 E. coli. (New York Times)
The ruling is a de facto reinstatement of the Clinton "Roadless Rule," which put significant national forest acreage off limits to development. Of course, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has authority over America's forest products and has a similar Bush forest rule. (Washington Post article)
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
We are excited by reports they are consulting with hybrid-engine scientists and automakers and intend to purchase a small fleet of cars with plans to convert the engines so the cars will get 100 miles per gallon. They also plan to develop an ultra-fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid car engine that will run on ethanol, electricity and gasoline. They should work with utilities and put their energies into commercializing a plug-in, fuel cell hybrid electric vehicle that will run on fuel cell, battery and regenerative braking produced electricity.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Bluebells are his favorite wildflower. He compares the blue of the bluebells with the blue glow of the water in "swimming pool" (research) reactors and spent fuel storage pools. ("You cannot see it at a power reactor because the reactor is in a vessel that is in the containment where you cannot go"). If you want to learn about nuclear power, this is an excellent book. Rush out and buy it today and read it over and over. Albert B. Reynolds studied under and worked with top nuclear pioneers and was a Professor of Nuclear Engineering at the University of Virginia, among other positions. He is now retired. Email the author: email@example.com
Friday, September 15, 2006
The court had no problem with the legislature temporarily changing the method of appointment to increase its influence in filling vacancies. Previously, the commission's five members were chosen by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. The bill passed in June allowed Ehrlich to choose new members only from a list of names drawn up by legislative leaders. That provision remains intact. The court basically ruled that the legislature could not fire the governor appointed PSC. The court was also critical of the lack of due process standards by the legislative firing.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
The Interior Department considers itself to be acting as a “prudent” trustee of Indian lands, or a well-meaning overseer for the evidently viewed as hapless Skull Valley Goshute Indians. Although divided, the Goshute approved this project. DOI is thwarting their will and violating their sovereignty. The division revolves around jobs and sovereignty versus respecting Mother Earth. Many non-Indians, including elected officials, oppose the interim repository, possibly because their share of the income was insufficient.
The OCS Lands Act requires the DOI to prepare a 5-year program that specifies the size, timing and location of areas to be assessed for Federal offshore natural gas and oil leasing. It is the role of DOI to ensure that the U.S. government receives fair market value for acreage made available for leasing and that any oil and gas activities conserve resources, operate safely, and take maximum steps to protect the environment. OCS oil and gas lease sales are held on an area-wide basis with annual sales in the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico with less frequent sales held in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and offshore Alaska. The program operates along all the coasts of the U.S. - with oil and gas production occurring on the Gulf of Mexico, Pacific and Alaska OCS.
The term United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS, also called simply the Law of the Sea or LOS) provided new universal legal controls for the management of marine natural resources and the control of pollution. LOS opened for signature - December 10, 1982 and entered into force - November 16, 1994. The U.S. has signed but not codified the treaty. The Third United Nations Conference on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III) set the limit of various areas, measured from a carefully defined baseline, as follows:
Covers all water and waterways on the landward side of the baseline. Foreign vessels have no right of passage within internal waters.
Out to 12 nautical miles from the baseline, the coastal state is free to set laws, regulate any use, and use any resource.
Beyond the 12 nautical mile limit there was a further 12 nautical miles or 24 nautical miles from the territorial sea baselines limit, the "contiguous zone", in which area a state could continue to enforce laws regarding activities such as smuggling or illegal immigration.
Exclusive economic zones
Extends 200 nautical miles from the baseline. Within this area, the coastal nation has sole exploitation rights over all natural resources.
A baseline is drawn between the outermost points of the outermost islands. All waters inside this baseline is described as Archipelagic Waters and are included as part of the state's territory and territorial waters.
Landlocked states are given a right of access to and from the sea, without taxation of traffic through transit states.
(Sources: MMS, Wikipedia)
Monday, September 11, 2006
Dominion is also planning another 500,00 volt electricity line to serve Northern Virginia that will run across parts of Prince William, Fauquier and Loudoun counties. It would be part of a 240-mile line from southwestern Pennsylvania and would connect to a substation near the Loudoun village of Aldie. The line will serve 275,000 homes and reduce stress on the entire mid-Atlantic electricity system. Traditional environmental and conservation groups are predictably opposing the project, although they have no practical alternative. The 100-mile line could receive "national interest" designation, which would allow the utility to by-pass state and local agencies. Dominion probably wants to get state and local support if it can. However, they have a fidiciary responsibility to provide power to their customers.
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers of energy, with a portfolio of about 28,000 megawatts of generation, about 6.3 trillion cubic feet equivalent of proved natural gas reserves and 7,800 miles of natural gas transmission pipeline. Dominion also operates one of the nation's largest underground natural gas storage systems with about 950 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in ten states. (Washington Post article)
We would be happy to assist them with the project if they are reluctant to improve their image. There might be other, newer locations, but just as Beverly Hills represents class in Hollywood, the Waldorf-Astoria represents class in New York. The difference is that Beverly Hills still look immaculate and the Waldorf-Astoria looks run down. The facade makes it look like a seedy motel somewhere in New Jersey. Come on. Get the sandblaster out and bring back the charm.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
The big Chevron Jack #2 deepwater well in the Gulf of Mexico is an historic find. Tapped about 5 miles (7,000 ft of water & 21,000 ft below sea floor) beneath the Gulf surface, the $100 million project is projected to produce 3 billion to 15 billion barrels of oil and natural gas. The well is 270 miles southwest of New Orleans and 175 miles offshore. The U.S. uses about 7.5 billion barrels of oil per year with more than half of that imported.
The find by Chevron, Devon Energy and StatOil will increase pressure to pass a conference committee report on the House and Senate approved offshore drilling bills. The Senate bill passed 71-25 Aug 1 and opens 8.3 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico, tripling the current drilling area off the Alabama coast near the Florida panhandle. The Senate measure gives 37.5% of annual oil production royalties to Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Alabama. The House bill passed 232-187, lifts the federal ban on offshore exploration off the East and West coasts and gives 50-70% royalties. Drilling would be allowed beyond 100 miles from shore and between 50-100 miles if state legislatures approve. States could grant exemptions to drill within 50 miles.
(Chart: Offshore 247.com)