19 August 2010

Billions in China for trees, EVs; green M&A up, and other sustainability business news

Top Stories

Report reveals burgeoning green M&A activity.reliability high.
"The number of mergers and acquisitions completed in the alternative energy sector in the past year climbed more than 54 per cent to 391 deals worldwide, according to new figures suggesting investor confidence in the clean tech sector remains bullish. Recently released research from IMAP, a global network of M&A advisory firms, shows that M&A activity in the three largest alternative energy sectors – biofuels, wind and solar energy – was worth $20.4bn (£13bn) during the 12 months to July this year. ... The report found that China boasted the largest M&A deals over the past year, with 23 transactions worth a total of $5.4bn. The US came in second in terms of transaction value with 72 deals worth $2.6bn." See BusinessGreen. Press release with more info here. PDF of report here.

China to spend $3B on alternative energy, trees.reliability high.
"China plans to invest $3 bln in the next 10 years to develop alternative energy fuels, combat desertification and prevent landslides. Wu Jian, a senior engineer with State Forestry Administration, said at a news conference on Wednesday that the trees will fight climate change by absorbing carbon and will produce material for bio-diesel and ethanol fuels by 2020." From Economic Times. [Global Times item says "China's government will earmark a total 200 billion yuan ($30 bln) to afforestation schemes to the end of 2021, the State Forestry Administration (SFA) announced Wednesday." So is it $3B or $30B?]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Tata Motors set to launch electric Indica, Ace in Europe.reliability high.
"Tata Motors will launch its electric Indica and Ace EV in Europe this fiscal. Mr Ravi Kant, Vice-Chairman, told Business Line that the company would begin retailing electric vehicles in the UK and Scandinavian nations. Indications are that the Indica Vista is likely to be launched in the UK this September-October. ... The company is also watching the domestic market though no decision has been taken. 'Infrastructure support, primarily the network of charging stations, is practically absent in India. We cannot have electric vehicles without Government support, especially for setting up stations,' said Mr Ravi Pisharody, President, Commercial Vehicles." Article at The Hindu Business Line.

Warming trends may change global wine map.reliability high.
Guest column says "The wine industry may be among the very few in which a leading figure will smile broadly when asked about climate change and declare, 'I love it.' ... Müller is elated because growers in cooler-climate regions like the Saar often struggle to achieve ripeness in their grapes, and warmer temperatures are helping." Observations of scientists of warming in growing regions and possible consequences. "Even if such scenarios prove to be true, it won't be as simple as planting new grape varieties. Jones points to France's Burgundy and wonders whether it will remain the classic home for pinot noir. 'And if it's not climatically the best place for pinot noir then what happens when it grows syrah or merlot? Will the government allow that to happen? Will the culture of the region accept that? And then will the marketplace - a whole new generation of wine drinkers - will they accept a different wine style from a given region?' he asked." See Reuters story.

Low-carbon focus should be on existing buildings, says report.reliability high.
"Improving the energy efficiency of the existing building stock is a more cost-effective route for achieving CO2 savings than constructing new buildings, a new report reveals. ... The report, published by IHS BRE Press, considers the relative impact on UK CO2 savings targets of constructing new, zero-carbon buildings as opposed to improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings. Carbon dioxide emissions from UK buildings accounted for approximately 40 percent of total UK CO2 emissions in 2006. The UK government has stated its aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050." From Click Green. Press release here. [Access: You can order a printed copy here for £30.00, or download it as a PDF file for £35.25 (?!?).]

16 state-owned companies form electric auto alliance.reliability high.
"The Electric Vehicle Industry Alliance, which consists of 16 Chinese central state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and is led by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC), was founded in Beijing on August 18. The alliance's short-term goal is to promote the unification of electric car-related technologies, and its medium and long-term goal is to master the core technology for electric vehicles and build internationally competitive Chinese electric car brands, reported today's Shanghai Securities News. ... The main purpose of SASAC's launching the alliance is to concentrate all useful resources on promoting the development of the electric car industry. An insider said that according to the alliance's plan, total investments in the new-energy vehicle industry from the alliance members will reach 100 billion yuan by 2012." Story in People's Daily Online. [100 billion yuan is about $30 billion at purchasing power parity.]