29 March 2010

Wet supply chains, wind industry expands in UK, and other company, industry, regulatory and related news

Top Stories

300 Gallons for $1 of Sugar and Other Hidden Water Use.reliability high.
A recent study from Carnegie Mellon University about the direct and indirect uses of water found, among other things, that production of $1 worth of sugar requires almost 300 gallons of water. "The researchers found that indirect use, also called embodied and virtual water, accounts for the majority of water withdrawals, coming to about 60 percent. That supply chain, or indirect, use exceeds direct use in 96 percent of all the sectors" The report analyzed water use in 498 industrial sectors. See story at GreenBiz. See abstract here (article is behind pay wall). [Sugar isn't the worst. That 300 gallons per $1 output is just for refining. Sugar farming is about 800 gallons per dollar. Grain farming costs 1,400 gallons per dollar, cotton farming 1,300 gallons per $1 raw cotton produced. Our blog will have more details soon. Supply chains hide big impacts.]

EPA proposes blocking largest mountaintop mine in West Virginia.reliability high.
"The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed to halt the largest mountaintop mine in Central Appalachia, saying the project would pollute drinking water and harm wildlife in mountain streams, and that the damage to the mountains would be irreversible. Despite the strong language, however, the EPA's action only begins another lengthy process involving the controversial mine. In the end, the agency could prohibit the mine altogether or allow it to continue with restrictions." From Kansas City Star. [Enforcing Clean Water Act rules could cut this type of coal mining, which makes up a small fraction of all U.S. coal production.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Plant expansion for recycling specialist.reliability high.
"Leigh Fibers Inc. is to invest more than US$10 million to expand its production of fibres made from recycled textiles. The investment will involve the expansion of the company’s one million-square-foot Wellford plant in South Carolina where it recycles post-industrial and post-consumer textile waste and uses the recycled material to manufacture reprocessed fibres for a variety of global industries including automotive, traditional textiles, nonwovens, construction and home furnishings. Around 40 jobs are likely to be created." From EcoTextile News.

General Electric to build offshore wind manufacturing plant in UK.reliability high.
"The US conglomerate General Electric (GE) announced plans for an offshore wind turbine manufacturing plant in Britain, creating up to 2,000 jobs. The company said it had not yet decided where to build the facility, but its plans would result in about £100m being invested in Britain, creating clean energy jobs at both the new site and in the supply chain. ... "This investment is tied to the successful deployment of the UK government's port development fund," a company statement said." Story at The Guardian.

And Siemens to build UK wind turbine plant.reliability high.
"Siemens of Germany announces plans to create hundreds of jobs in Britain and invest more than £75m in a new wind turbine plant. ... The decision comes after months of talks – including meetings at 10 Downing Street with the Siemens president, Peter Löscher – and is believed to have been finalised as a result of an important change in the budget last week, which brought public grants for ports to build green manufacturing hubs around them." Also from The Guardian.

Daimler Bus completes delivery 1,350 vehicle hybrid order for New York City.reliability high.
"Daimler Buses North America has completed the delivery of a major order for hybrid buses to the New York City Transit authority. The New York bus system bought 1,350 Orion VII buses that use a series hybrid drive system produced by BAE systems. ... New York now has 1,679 hybrid buses with all but four being sourced from Daimler. That makes it the largest operator of hybrid buses in the world." The Orion VII is a series hybrid with LiIon batteries and a 6.7 liter Diesel engine. The Diesel runs at a constant speed charging the batteries and electric motors provide all the traction. Includes press release. From Autoblog Green.

Cisco buys into WiMax for Smart Grid, acquires stake in Grid Net.reliability high.
"Cisco Systems has been scouting for major plays in the Smart Grid infrastructure arena for about a year — some analysts even speculated that it would buy wireless networking provider Silver Spring Networks. But today, it announced its decision to go with Grid Net, one of the first and only companies to trumpet WiMAX as the ultimate solution for transmitting data between utilities and smart meters." Story at GreenBeat.

Government and Regulation

Washington Imposes Mercury Recycling Fee on CFL Producers.reliability high.
"Under a new Washington state law, companies that make lights that contain mercury will need to pay for recycling programs for their products. The law goes into effect in 2013, and will require companies that create compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs and fluorescent tubes to pay $15,000 a year to fund recycling programs." Also mentions Maine's law. From GreenBiz.

U.N. ship agency adopts North America pollution cut plan.reliability high.
"Delegates from member states have met this week in London for a session of the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) marine environment protection committee. They adopted a plan on Friday to create an Emissions Control Area which would extend 200 nautical miles, which is 230 statute miles, around the coast of the two nations and aimed at the control of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, and particulate matter from ships. Once an IMO plan is adopted there needs to be 16 months for it to enter into force, meaning the Emissions Control Area would become mandatory around July 2011." See story at Reuters.

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