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Ozone Layer Protection May-Jun 2010

ISSN: 0971-5657

VATIS Update Ozone Layer Protection is published 6 times a year to keep the readers up to date of most of the relevant and latest technological developments and events in the field of Ozone Layer Protection. The Update is tailored to policy-makers, industries and technology transfer intermediaries.

Ozone Cell, Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change
Govt. of India

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India’s S&T agency working on clean energy fuel

Various laboratories of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India, are working on a project to develop clean energy fuel for electricity generation. The National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) is one of the laboratories that are working out different components for the fuel cell that can reduce the cost and produce hydrogen to generate electricity.

CSIR Director General Dr. Samir K. Brahmachari said that the initiative was under CSIR’s New Millennium Initiative in Technology Leadership programme. “Generating electricity through fuel cell technology is being worked out by NCL under the hydrogen fuel generating programme,” he said during NCL’s diamond jubilee celebrations. With the project also seeing a tie-up with the private sector giant Reliance Industries Limited, NCL Director Dr. S. Sivaram said the project was an academia-industry interface that will see the industry making use of the NCL process. This initiative entails fuel cells being set up at remote areas along the pipeline to Dahej, in the Godavari basin. “We have prototypes at NCL and will see the same being rolled out in two years,” he said..

Republic of Korea doubles renewable energy sales

Republic of Korea’s fast growing renewable energy sector is expected to post sales of 8.1 trillion won (US$6.9 billion) in 2010. A survey by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy showed that the sales predictions represent a 100 per cent increase from the previous year, with the sector’s exports forecast to gain 125 per cent to US$4.6 billion. The sector covers solar cells, wind power, biofuel, terrestrial heat and advanced fuel cells.

According to the survey, the sector is expected to draw 3.9 trillion won (US$3.33 billion) in private sector investment this year, up by 27 per cent year on year (YoY) and hire 11,715 workers, up by 28 per cent YoY. The government had announced that it would spend 808.4 billion won (US$6.9 million), a 6.6 fold gain from 2003, to promote renewable energy related development projects in 2010. Of the total amount, funds earmarked for technology development will reach 252.8 billion won (US$215.8 million). The Ministry said that the survey, conducted on 150 local companies from April 2009 through March 2010, showed businesses are more likely to focus on the solar cell and wind power sectors. It showed that solar cell related sales may surge 126 per cent YoY to 5.37 trillion won (US$ 4.58 billion), with exports reaching US$3.38 billion. For wind power, sales could reach 1.82 trillion won (US$1.55 billion), representing a 76 per cent YoY gain as compared to 2009, with exports to top US$1.20 billion.

Bangladesh gets clean energy loan from World Bank

Bangladesh will receive a US$100 million loan from the World Bank to fund clean energy activities. Most of the money will be spent on the government’s solar energy programmes, while the remainder of the loan money will be used to purchase CFL light bulbs. The government plans to finance installation of one million solar panels over the next couple of years and distribute about 27.5 million low-wattage CFL bulbs all across the country.

The state-run Rural Electrification Board and Infrastructure Development Company Limited are jointly implementing the renewable energy development programme of the government. The World Bank will provide the fund by the end of May 2010, an official from the Finance Ministry said, adding that the use of solar energy in Bangladesh had been rising annually by more than 50 per cent since 2004.

Funds for Philippines’ renewable-energy markets

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-sector arm of the World Bank, is partnering with Banco de Oro (BDO), a major bank in the Philippines, to expand into energy efficiency and renewable energy market. IFC stated that the partnership with BDO would allow it to encourage more investments into projects on energy efficiency and renewable energy that will also help the country manage climate change.

Under the new cooperation agreement, IFC will provide advisory services to BDO to give the local private sector appropriate financing for sustainable energy investments. Mr. Jesse Ang, IFC Resident Representative, said the agreement is part of IFC’s global efforts to help minimize the adverse effects of climate change, especially in developing economies which suffer the most from it. The sustainable energy finance programme of IFC is based on the idea that financing sustainable energy projects can be a good business while, at the same time, helping to combat climate change. Mr. William Beloe, IFC’s Head of Advisory Services & Sustainability Programme Manager for the Philippines, said his agency and the Department of Energy have found there are about US$8 billion worth of financing opportunities available and needed in renewable energy and energy efficiency. He said that IFC will provide funding and know-how to Philippine banks so that they can provide capital to renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. IFC will also work with end-users and service and technology providers, and engage regulatory authorities to help generate a policy environment conducive to investments in sustainable energy.

Thailand reviews renewable energy tariff

In Thailand, a revision of the tariff incentives for producers of renewable energy is imminent, as new technology has reduced production costs, according to the Ministry of Energy. Mr. Norkhun Sitthipong, the Ministry’s Deputy Permanent Secretary, said the revised rates should reflect the actual costs and also ensure fairness to power producers. Mr. Norkhun said the new adder rates should be finished by July 2010.

The incentive, known as an “adder tariff”, is a special rate that state utilities pay for power from producers using renewable sources. The rates vary depending on the fuel used. “It was crucial for renewable energy that the government help provide support. Otherwise these types of energy would never be able to compete with mainstream fuels, as coal-fired and natural-gas plants have far lower costs of fuel and are more commercially viable,” stated Mr. Norkhun. However, the rate given to producers requires constant adjustment to ensure fairness among producers. Solar power, for example, has one of the highest production costs, but that cost has fallen to between US$1.50 and US$2.00 per kWh from US$4 in 2005. The adder scheme will be provided to renewable energy operators only for the first seven years of their operations, except for wind and solar plants, which will be supported for 10 years. Once the adder period is ended, the operator will sell power at the same rate as utilities pay for coal-fired power at that time.

China promulgates revised Renewable Energy Law

The latest revision of China’s Renewable Energy Law formally came into force on 1 April 2010. Compared with the old version promulgated in February 2005, the new Renewable Energy Law has two highlights: the central government has full powers over the acquisition of renewable energy power generation, and it empowers the Finance Department of the central government to set up a renewable energy development fund.

Mr. Li Junfeng, Deputy Director of the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission, said that the detailed rules on the implementation of the new law will not be published before six months. The Energy Research Institute was one of the drafters of the revised Renewable Energy Law.

Malaysia to switch to biofuel next year

Malaysia, the second-largest palm oil producer in the world, will make it mandatory for all vehicles to use biofuel from 2011, the government has announced. Malaysia’s plans to shift to biofuel, a mixture of diesel with five per cent processed palm oil, have been delayed over the past few years due to price fluctuations.

The plan will now be implemented in stages in several central states beginning June 2011, the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry said in a statement, adding that the extra cost will be borne by petroleum companies. The Ministry said it will discuss the implementation mechanism with petroleum companies, while the government will set up six petroleum depots with blending facilities. The switch to biofuel is expected to help reduce the cost of fuel in Malaysia, where petrol is subsidised. Commodities Minister Mr. Bernard Dompok said Malaysia, which aims to be the global leader in biodiesel, has approved 56 biodiesel production licences, accounting for a production capacity of 6.8 million tonnes.

Republic of Korea to invest US$1 billion in tidal power

In the Republic of Korea, the Korea Western Power Corp. (KWP) will be investing a total of 1.22 trillion won (US$1.07 billion) to build 20 tidal power plants, likely from next year through 2014, the government and officials at the utility said recently. The power plants, which are to be located about 200 km southwest of Seoul, are tipped to be the world’s largest with a total capacity of 520 MW, they said.

KWP, wholly owned by state-run Korea Electric Power Corporation, expects the plants to boost renewable energy consumption along with the parliament’s recent approval of a bill with the same goal. The construction of the plants will start after the environmental impact assessment receives final approval, likely by early 2011, a government official stated. Renewable energy accounted for 2.4 per cent of the Republic of Korea’s total energy consumption in 2008. The country aims to increase that to 11 per cent by 2030.

Bangladesh assesses wind power prospects

The Government of Bangladesh is undertaking a comprehensive wind mapping to assess the prospect of wind power in the country. This was announced by Mr. Tawfik-e-Elahi Chowdhury, Energy Adviser to the Prime Minister, during a roundtable organised recently by the Energy and Power magazine. He said that by 2021, renewable energy could be contributing one-third of the total power generated in Bangladesh.

Currently, the government’s meteorological department maps the wind strength, but the results are often misleading as the equipment used was installed decades ago. Two previous wind-mapping reports – one by Dhaka University and the other by Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology – had indicated that wind power is not a feasible energy resource. Mr. Md Fazlur Rahman, Managing Director, Pan Asia Power Services Ltd., however, said that to determine whether wind power could be effective in Bangladesh, integrated wind mapping of the 740 km coastal belt in the south was necessary. He also pointed out that wind turbines don’t require much land and can be established in remote areas to produce power at competitive rates.

Indian defence R&D agency to develop biodiesel use

India’s Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO) has formally licensed the technology to develop biodiesel from Central Salt and Marine Chemical Research Institute (CSMCRI), according to Mr. Pushpito Ghosh, CSMCRI Director. DRDO will employ the technology to produce biodiesel for vehicles of the defence forces.

As part of the biodiesel programme, CSMCRI has installed the first zero effluent discharge biodiesel plant, with 1 tonne/day capacity, at a military farm of DRDO to generate fuel from Jatropha seeds, Mr. Ghosh said. According to a DRDO spokesperson, vehicles are still being tested for biodiesel and final results are awaited. He confirmed that a bio-diesel plant has been installed by CSMCRI for DRDO and vehicles are being tested on blends of bio-diesel. Even a 20 per cent blend using CSMCRI’s Jatropha methyl ester yielded “excellent results on emission control,” said Mr. Ghosh.


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