04 November 2010

Greener shipping, data centers; GM EV for China, Nukes in Korea, Arab water crisis and other green business news

Top Stories

"Analysis: Voters deliver mixed message on renewable energy"reliability high.
"Tuesday's election results sent a mixed message on alternative energy, with Republican victories in Congress likely to curb national alternative-energy policy while California results look set to help the sector." Observers say the strong endorsement of aggressive climate policies in California will boost green business there and lead to significant additional renewable energy investment, while prospects for federal legislation to cut carbon are nil. See Reuters. [This assures some sort of cap-and-trade system will continue develop at state/provincial level in North America. See New Mexico item below.]

"Shipping Industry Targets CO2 Emissions Reductions, Verification"reliability high.
Shipping line Maersk "claims that it is the first shipping company to receive independent verification of its CO2 emissions data, vessel by vessel." It says its objective is to provide transparency so that customers can accurately assess their supply chain emissions. "Maersk Line says the next challenge is to get other shipping lines to participate and to make independent verification an industry standard, enabling customers to choose shipping lines based on their environmental performance." From Environmental Leader. Press release here.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

"GM making EV in China with prototype out at year-end"reliability high.
"'Shanghai GM has started making the electric New Sail and a prototype will be available at the year-end,' a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday." Initial production will be small numbers for market testing. GM has thus stolen a march on "its rivals in the country's fledgling green vehicle business, which analysts say could be the next hotly contested sector." See Reuters.

"Data Centers Tighten Energy Belts"reliability high.
European data center companies have been pushed by the weak economy to reduce energy bills, and at the same time have found marketing benefits from being more "green". Example of Digital Realty Trust, a major data center operator, which offers technology to let customers monitor the energy efficiency of the computers they are using. "Not only is this an excellent marketing device for prospective customers, but the added benefit of efficiency means we cut costs, saving D.R.T., and customers, money," said a D.R.T. representative. More on energy saving at European data centers. From The New York Times.

"IEA: Climate pledge failure would boost oil prices: report"reliability high.
A draft of the International Energy Agency's 2010 World Energy Outlook report says lack of greenhouse gas reduction policies generate higher oil price projections. "The inflation-adjusted price of oil would be $113 by 2035 in the WEO scenario that takes into account new environmental policies, versus $135 in the main scenario, with demand at 99 million barrels per day (bpd) and 107 million bpd respectively," Reuters says of the draft, which has been leaked in the Financial Times. The report is due out next week. Reuters story. [No wonder oil companies are not so keen on emission-reduction programs.]

"South Korea set to cut coal imports ahead of green revolution"reliability high.
"South Korea aims to expand the role of renewable energy from less than five per cent of its energy mix to 11 per cent in 2020, and nuclear from 26 per cent in 2008 to 40 per cent in 2030." This will result in reduction of fuel imports, reducing ''The portion of fossil fuels [in South Korea's energy mix] ... from 40 per cent in 2008 to 30 per cent in 2030." "However, Yoo added that the country's use of gas would keep increasing until at least 2050." See BusinessGreen. [Replacing coal and oil with natural gas will help reduce carbon emissions, but the real emphasis here is on nuclear energy. Korea wants to build a leading nuclear sector and become a significant exporter of nuclear power hardware.]

Government and Regulation

"New Mexico Quietly Adopts Country's Most Comprehensive Greenhouse Gas Rules"reliability high.
Ecopolitology reports that the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board has approved two new global warming regulations, including rules for greenhouse gas reporting and verification and regulations for cap-and-trade markets under the Western Climate Initiative. "The rules will require about 63 facilities, primarily fossil fuel-fired power plants and oil and gas operations, that emit more than 25,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases annually to start cutting emissions by 2 percent per year below 2010 levels, beginning in 2012." At Reuters from Matter Network.

Science and Economics

"Arab world faces worsening water crisis: report"reliability high.
"The Arab world, one of the driest regions on the planet, will tip into severe water scarcity as early as 2015," a report by the Arab Forum for Environment and Development says. "The Arab world is already living a water crisis that will only get worse with inaction," the report says. Water supply per capita has plunged to only a quarter of its 1960 level. The report also says that climate change will affect rain-fed agriculture, "with average yields estimated to decline by 20 percent." Other highlights of report. From Reuters. Access the report here. [Maybe someone should form OWEC (the Organization of Water Exporting Countries)?]