15 September 2010

How Brazil found $5bln for renewables, China's car challenge, LED savings, cost of overfishing and other green business news

Top Stories

"Brazil to Invest $5.5 Billion in Renewable Energy Sources by 2013"reliability medium.
Antonio Pasolini at EnergyRefuge.com posts: "The Brazilian government earlier this month held a wind, hydroelectric and biomass auction ... which contracted power from 89 wind farms, small hydroelectric plants and biomass plants, [and] will add an installed capacity of 2,892.2 MW to the national energy matrix." The auction "is expected to prompt US$ 5.52 billion in investments in renewable energies ... primarily from private enterprise." More on the auction process. See CleanTechies blog. [Why doesn't India try the same approach? An objection might be that if foreign investors build the assets they will own them and profit from them. The question is: do you want the electricity or not?]

"Report: China's auto population will exceed 200M by 2020; causing 'serious environmental issues'"reliability medium.
Post by Eric Loveday quotes remarks by Wang Fuchang, director of China's Department of Equipment Industry that appeared in English People's Daily Online: "It is estimated that automobile ownership in China will exceed 200 million in 2020, causing serious energy security and environmental issues. Striving to promote the energy efficiency of traditional automobiles and the industrialization of alternative-energy automobiles has become an urgent issue that the Chinese auto industry must address." More on his remarks at Autoblog Green.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

"Applebee’s Plans Lighting Retrofits at all NY Locations"reliability high.
Report on energy savings at Applebees restaurants and other eateries. "LED lighting retrofit projects at two Applebee’s  locations in New York City, on 42nd Street and Broadway, yielded an average kWh light load reduction of more 80 percent per location." Falling LED prices and rebates resulted in "strong return on investment." See Environmental Leader.

"Nissan, Sumitomo in JV to re-use, recycle batteries"reliability high.
Nissan and Sumitomo have formed a joint venture, 4R Energy Corp, to manage used batteries from electric vehicles. The goal is to "lower the high cost of electric vehicles by eventually giving their expensive batteries a second life through re-use, resale, refabrication and recycling." From Reuters.

"Expert: Expect More Than 100 Hybrid and EV Models in U.S. by 2015"reliability high.
According to this story Alan Baum, a Michigan-based auto industry analyst, "is tracking a whopping 108 electric-drive vehicles by model year 2015. ... Nearly half of them will be conventional hybrids, but there will also be 18 plug-in hybrids, 32 EVs, and 6 fuel-cell electric cars. Many of these models have been announced, but just as many have not yet been unveiled." At Reuters from Matter Network.

Government and Regulation

"Ecuador passes the hat for Amazon protection plan"reliability high.
Reuters reports: "In exchange for not drilling for crude in a 200,000-hectare area of Yasuni national park, the government is asking rich nations, foundations and individuals to give it $3.6 billion." More about the campaign. From Reuters. [Article mentions that Ecuador calculates significant carbon emission savings from the initiative. But are they promising not to suck out the oil under the tract through wells outside the protected ITT section? Just one of many questions about this plan.]

Science and Economics

"World pays high price for overfishing, studies say"reliability high.
Reuters reports on recent research that says overfishing has cost the food industry billions and deprived undernourished millions of valuable food supplies. "Fisheries contribute $225 billion to $240 billion to the world economy annually, but if fishing practices were more sustainable, that amount would be up to $36 billion higher, according to the four papers published in the Journal of Bioeconomics. ... "Maintaining healthy fisheries makes good economic sense, while overfishing is clearly bad business," said Rashid Sumaila, an economist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, who led the research." More on the findings. From Reuters.

"Is It Worth It to Save Oceanfront Development? Economists Wonder"reliability high.
Article discusses recent research modeling the economic impact of sea level rise and flooding at 15 miles of California beaches, including Ocean Beach in San Francisco and Venice Beach in Los Angeles. "Assuming a low-end estimate of 1 meter sea-level rise, a 100-year flood at San Francisco's Ocean Beach would cause $285 million in property damage, compared to $107 million in 2000." The results offer a better method of estimating the economic exposure to sea level rise according to the researchers. See New York Times from ClimateWire.