29 January 2010

Freezing demand growth in L.A., mining in the dark, and other company, industry and government information

Top Stories

US submits Copenhagen Accord emission target.reliability high.
"The submission, which will be added to the annex of the Copenhagen Accord, states that the US will cut its emissions 'in the range of 17 per cent, in conformity with anticipated US energy and climate legislation, recognising that the final target will be reported to the Secretariat in light of enacted legislation'." The EU has also made its promise to cut emissions 20% from 1990 levels, Norway has promised 30% and the Marshall Islands 40%. "As of the middle of this week only nine countries had submitted commitments to the UN as part of the Accord. However, the last few days have seen a flurry of nations delivering submissions and if as expected all the BASIC countries table their plans before the deadline on Sunday then countries accounting for around 80 per cent of global emissions will have signed up the deal." From BusinessGreen. [See HaraBara's Climate League Table or the Climate Action Network's tally to see commitments that are turning the Copenhagen Accord from a piece of paper into . . . a longer piece of paper.]

SoCal Utilities Put the Chill on Peak Demand.reliability medium.
"The Southern California Public Power Authority and Ice Energy are launching a project to shift 53 megawatts of peak-time power consumption to hours of lower demand by deploying units that make and use ice to run air conditioners. SCPPA, which represents 11 municipal utilities and an irrigation district serving about 2 million customers, and Ice Energy, based in Colorado, announced their agreement today to work on what they describe as the first utility-scale, distributed energy storage project in the United States." "Ice Energy developed its Ice Bear Distributed Energy Storage System to work with standard rooftop air conditioning units on small to midsized commercial buildings. At night, when demand on the grid is low, the Ice Bear goes in to "ice charging" mode, freezes 450 gallons of water and stores it. During the day when the grid reaches peak demand levels, typically between noon and 6 p.m., the Ice Bear goes into "ice cooling" mode. It takes over from the air conditioner's energy-intensive compressor and cools the hot refrigerant using the ice made the night before." More details of project. See GreenBiz. [Chillin' on the smart grid. Demand shifting means less need for new generation capacity and distribution power lines.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Want Think’s Electric Car? Better Live in One of These Cities.reliability medium.
"'Ideally,' Think CEO Richard Canny says in a release today of the company’s top 15 “EV-Ready” cities, Think would like to sell the City nationwide next year. '[B]ut in our early commercialization phase, it is important that we first establish a strong concentration of sales in key, highly attractive markets.' Topping Think’s list are Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York . . . . 'We expect that the roll-out of EVs to the U.S. market will be quite focused in the early stages,' Canny notes in Think’s announcement. 'Some cities are more likely to be early adopters of EV technology.' " Table with scores for 15 ranked cities. From earth2tech.

Majority of Americans Still in the Dark About Federal Phaseout of Traditional Bulbs.reliability medium.
According to consumer surveys by GE and by Osram Sylvania most American consumers "are clueless about the phaseout of incandescent bulbs that starts in two years." Some survey results quoted. "The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 calls for a transition to more energy efficient lighting starting January 1, 2012, when 100-watt incandescent bulbs will no longer be sold. Seventy-five-watt traditional bulbs are the next go in 2013. Sales of 40- and 60-watt bulbs become a thing of the past in 2014." See GreenBiz. [People aren't obsessing about what kind of light bulbs they are going to buy two years from now? What's wrong with their priorities? (I know sarcasm doesn't work on the internet, but cut me some slack.)]

Lighting: A Path to a Greener Bottom Line.reliability medium.
Case studies of savings from updating lighting systems at several companies. From GreenerBuildings blog.

Mining industry ignoring climate risks.reliability high.
"Mining companies face severe business challenges as a result of climate change - and they are yet to work out how to deal with them." That is the conclusion of a new Carbon Disclosure Project report "which outlined a series of potential effects on mining companies of rising temperatures and sea levels, and documented a marked lack of risk awareness on their part." More highlights of report. See BusinessGreen. PDF of report here.

Government and Regulation

California Officials Would Not Regulate Electric Car Charging Firms.reliability medium.
"California officials have indicated they are not inclined to regulate electric car infrastructure companies that plan to sell electricity to drivers through networks of charging stations." The big utilities have argued for such regulation, but the president of the California Public Utilities Commission indicates he is siding with the entrepreneurial companies developing charging technology, who say such regulation would stifle innovation. From New York Times Green Inc. blog. [New technologies and emerging industries outrun existing regulatory frameworks.]

Massachusetts Sets Ambitious Energy Standards.reliability high.
Massachusetts announced an energy efficiency plan for utilities, claimed to be the most ambitious in the U.S., that "calls for a statewide reduction of 2.4 percent in electricity use and 1.15 percent in natural gas use annually for three years. The savings are to be achieved largely through $1.6 billion in incentives for utility customers who take certain actions to conserve energy, like insulating their houses or replacing conventional light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones." More about the plan and its provisions. See The New York Times.

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2010 HaraBara, Inc.]