01 November 2010

Reva to China, Areva to India, cities to report emissions, weak U.S. wind, and Gamers' Corner

Top Stories

"US Wind Power’s Dismal Quarter"reliability high.
"The U.S. industry added just 395 megawatts of wind-powered electric generating capacity in the third quarter of 2010, making it the lowest quarter since 2007, according to the American Wind Energy Association. ... In 2010, wind projects in the U.S. are being installed at half the rate as in Europe, and a third of the rate as in China. Factors include lack of long-term U.S. energy policies" according to the AWEA. See Environmental Leader.

"California unveils greenhouse gas trading scheme"reliability high.
"California unveiled its final draft of a market system to curb greenhouse gases, relaxing expected rules in the face of a weak economy .... Under the plan unveiled on Friday and likely to be adopted December 16 by the powerful Air Resources Board, the brunt of the market force will not be brought to bear for years. The plan insures easy compliance terms in early years, and planners reserve the right to give preferential terms to industries that are at risk of fleeing the state. See Reuters. Press release and access to the draft regs here. [California has tried to craft a program that will avoid the problems encountered in earlier cap-and-trade schemes. Because of current economic conditions it incorporates very gradual imposition of caps, generous give-aways of permits, and mechanisms to prevent permit price spikes. California voters will decide tomorrow whether to abrogate the law underlying this program.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

"Areva has Rs 13,300-crore plans for solar energy"reliability high.
French energy major Areva "is betting big on solar power in India. It plans to float two subsidiaries for channelising investment to the tune of $3 billion (Rs 13,300 crore) in solar power generation. ... The company is in talks with two financial institutions for floating a joint venture to put up 1,000 Mw of solar thermal power capacity over the next five to seven years." More in Areva's plans in India. From Business Standard.

"London, Toronto and New York to calculate city-wide carbon footprints"reliability high.
"London, Toronto and New York have become the first three cities to sign up to a new carbon report initiative from the Carbon Disclosure Project, designed to create a public database of cities' greenhouse gas emissions and climate change strategies. ... In partnership with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and the Clinton Climate initiative, the scheme is asking the 59 largest cities in the world that have previously committed to tackling climate change to voluntarily measure and report on their emissions to the CDP." See BusinessGreen. Press release here.

"Braskem to build Bio-PP plant"reliability medium.
Brazilian chemical producer "Braskem announced last week that it will now build a sugarcane ethanol-based polypropylene plant". Startup is set for 2013. "Investment of the plant is around $100m and capacity is said to be a minimum 30,000 tonne/year." Post speculates on the technology to be employed. From ICIS Green Chemicals blog.

"Mahindra & Mahindra to take Reva to China"reliability high.
"electric carmaker Reva Motors, owned by utility vehicle major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M ), plans to enter China," hoping to take advantage of its huge market and EV subsidies. "'China is one of the largest auto market and given the huge demand for eco-friendly vehicles it could generate in future, we would like to take our new cars into that market,' said Pawan Goenka, chairman, Mahindra Reva Electric." See Economic Times.

Gamers' Corner

"Climate computer game lets you decide Earth's fate"reliability high.
"Ever wondered how one person could save the planet from the effects of climate change? A British-made computer game on trial release on Monday creates different ways of doing just that. 'Fate of the World' puts the Earth's future in players' hands, placing them in charge of an international environmental body which could save the world from the effects of rising greenhouse gas emissions or let it perish by continuing to rely on emissions-heavy fossil fuels." Game is available for preorder and download of the "special edition" trial release now. See Reuters.

"Fate of the World – review"reliability medium.
Review of the new computer game "Fate of the World", which asks players to devise effective climate change strategies. "while Fate of the World arms you with environmental data and renewable energy policies rather than grenades and rocket launchers, the result is still compelling." From The Guardian. The game developer's site is here. [The interesting thing about this game is that it incorporates real climate science. "Fate of the World is brought to you by the award-winning Red Redemption games team and Battlestations: Midway Producer Klaude Thomas with climate science by Dr Myles Allen (University of Oxford), writing by David Bishop (Dr Who, 2000AD) and music composed by Richard Jacques (Mass Effect, Alice in Wonderland)." Just like other games have the physics of gravity built in, this has the physics of climate forcings. I wonder if you have "god" options to alter these parameters?]