Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The China National Renewable Energy Center, established by the National Energy Administration (NEA) with the support of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), will also draft industry standards and carry out international cooperation programs. The four major areas of focus are estimates of the potential for offshore wind power, biomass, solar power, and the grid integration of renewable energy.
Denmark is collaborating with China related to the new center, donating US$17.9 million to support billateral work in renewable energy. China will also pursue cooperation with energy agencies from other countries including the US and Spain.
Full article here: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2012-02/24/content_14686084.htm
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Article posted from the Rocky Mountain Institute
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Canada's prime minister visited China recently and touted his country's growing status as an energy producer and its desire to "sell our energy to people who want to buy our energy". Last Friday, newspapers reported that the first shipment of oilsands crude has left for China.
Chinese imports from Iran are the lowest since August. The U.S. and Europe are implementing sanctions in response to Iran's nuclear program, but it may be that China's motivation is just to squeeze better prices out of Iran, and the sanctions of other countries actually increases China's bargaining power with Iran. In January, China paid over $110 on average her barrel of Iranian oil.
Stanford is in the process of creating its next 5-year sustainability plan. Students have a unique opportunity to add their voices to a plan defining the future of Stanford. To capture your voices, we created this survey, which will take less than 5 minutes. Anyone who fills out the online survey and enters their email will be entered into a raffle to win one of fifty $10 gift cards to Coupa Café, Jamba Juice, or Ikes.
This is our campus and this is our chance to make a difference."
Monday, February 20, 2012
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Environmental groups are fighting proposals to ship coal to China from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin out of ports located in Washington and Oregon. The groups against the coal exports are concerned with contributing to burning coal in China for energy because of its dirty nature and are also concerned with the risk of accidental coal spills and coal dust in the US ports. In my home state of Washington, people are very concerned about coal spills in the Puget Sound that could occur due to a proposed export location in Bellingham, near Canada. The Puget Sound supports fragile and unique ecosystems, making it a very contentious topic. On the other hand, these projects would create much-needed jobs in the Pacific Northwest.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The author, a stanford professor, discourages ccs and nuclear power while promotes wind energy and battery electric vehicles as the best currently available technologies that can make a difference "now."
The world built 42.2 gigawatts of wind in 2011; 18 gigawatts were from China.
By Haibing Ma (and Alexander Ochs)
Describes the carbon trading system plan developing in China.
Here is a key excerpt:
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) recently issued an official notice to initiate pilot carbon-trading programs in seven regions. By embracing market-based approaches to mitigating climate change, China is seeking to facilitate a smooth and efficient transition to sustainable development. The seven pilot regions are the cities of Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, and Shenzhen, as well as Guangdong and Hubei provinces.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Major Chinese PV manufacturers, who purchase the raw material, noted that the rise in prices lowered their margins but did not prevent them from operating, while some smaller manufacturers were prohibitively affected. Analysts expect an upper bound of $40-50/kg before suppliers re-enter the market.
Being a big-time homer for raw materials use and commodity markets, I found one inference of the article fascinating. While the pricing mechanism for polysilicon isn't entirely clear, it appears to be market driven rather than centrally set (unlike power, for example). This makes for an interesting interplay of the supply chain. With fixed power prices and market-determined prices for a key input (silicon) and the power-producing product (the PV cell), who takes the profits/losses from the fixed prices? It will be interesting to see how the industrial organization of poly-crystalline PV unfolds, and I suspect that we will see some vertical integration in the sector
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Read the full story here: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2012/12/120213-us-china-teamwork-on-clean-coal/
By the way, today, on Valentine's day, the Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping has visited President Obama. Perhaps they have exchanged some words on energy ...?
Sunday, February 12, 2012
A new study shows that the level of PM2.5, the smallest solid particles in the atmosphere, is well above safe levels in most regions of China. Previous, Chinese government reported only PM10 (bigger particles) data, but due to rising public pressure it will start paying more attention to PM2.5. PM2.5 actually poses the greatest health risks and result from combustion activities (coal, wood, vehicles) as well as industrial activities.
The article has a map of China, color coded for different levels of PM2.5. Almost all of the regions surpass the level that is considered safe under the WHO guidelines (10mg/m^3)
and if you want to learn more about PM2.5 and PM10:
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Also related to the expansion of nuclear power in the country, this article, published yesterday by Bloomberg Businessweek, shows the increased demand for Uranium. China is actively seeking international ventures.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Myanmar has suspended the construction of a major hydroelectric dam that is estimated to cost $3.6 billion (and to be funded by China). China is outraged and is accusing Myanmar of breaching their contract. 90% of the power from the dam was expected to be sold back into China. The dam was also a symbolic bellwether on Myanmar's stance on Chinese investment (including that pipeline the Natural Gas presentation talked about). On top of all this there is major debate about the environmental impacts both with climate change and glacial melt and potential for earthquakes.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Local government is also undertaking a comprehensive appraisal, in preparation for the construction of a series of large-scale wind power stations."
Here is a link to a great paper about Tibet's prospects for renewable energy. The paper focuses on solar power but does a great job in conveying the overarching ecological and energy challenges in Tibet.
- Michelle Valentine
Due to the Olympics, China experienced a stimulated economy due to increase in infrastructure and tourism. Even its environmental standard dramatically improved. One of the biggest concerns was the hampered air qualities due to factories. During the Olympics China shut down upstream industrial companies to help meet regulations for hosting the event. Granted it was short lived, can China, or at least Beijing, have pristine conditions and reduce it emissions?
This article from ES&T talks about some of the fancy building that where build during the Olympics, how they had planned to reduce energy intensity by 20% by 2010, introduces its carbon program and ambition for reliance on wind.
oh and did i mention that professor Ortolano is featured in the paper? ;]
BEIJING—Chinese institutions unveiled three separate energy deals in North America and Europe on Thursday that underscore Beijing's continued interest in foreign assets as it looks for supplies to feed its booming economy.
State-controlled PetroChina Co., the Hong Kong-listed unit of China National Petroleum Corp., said it bought a 20% stake in a Canadian shale-gas project owned by Royal Dutch Shell PLC. Terms weren't disclosed. The deal marked the latest in a string involving North American shale-gas projects, which tap previously unreachable supplies and have transformed the U.S. energy industry.
Meanwhile, sovereign-wealth fund China Investment Corp. acquired a minority stake in asset-management firm EIG Global Energy Partners, according to the U.S.-based firm. A spokeswoman for CIC declined to immediately comment, and EIG didn't disclose financial terms or the size of the stake. EIG said it has investments in oil and natural-gas projects, as well as in alternative-energy technologies such as geothermal and wind power.
The investment involves no associated voting rights, EIG said, adding that CIC is also an investor in some funds managed by EIG.
In Spain, a unit of state-controlled China National Offshore Oil Corp. struck a deal with closely held solar-power-equipment maker Isofoton SA to create a joint venture that will develop solar-power projects mainly in China, a spokeswoman for Isofoton said. The venture's initial investment is estimated at $300 million for the development of 150 megawatts during 2012, and the funds will be provided by the Chinese company, she said. In addition, Cnooc will manufacture energy-storage batteries on a large scale for the venture.
The deals come as China looks to secure supplies in uncertain times. International pressure to curb business with Iran, a major oil supplier, and turmoil involving another supplier, Sudan, have called attention to China's vulnerability to disruptions in energy supplies.
China has moved cautiously recently—acquiring minority stakes and establishing joint ventures—after earlier attempts to make big purchases encountered significant political pressure and ultimately faltered, including a bid for U.S.-based Unocal, now part of Chevron Corp.
PetroChina said it bought the 20% stake in Shell's Groundbirch project, in northeastern British Columbia. PetroChina hopes to gain experience in the exploration and development of unconventional gas resources through its cooperation with Shell, the Chinese company said in a written statement. Groundbirch's natural-gas output is 125 million cubic feet per day, the company said.
Shell said the deal is the latest example of its strategic cooperation with PetroChina parent CNPC.
The acquisition comes days ahead of a visit to China by Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada. In December, Mr. Harper said Canada was "very serious" about focusing its efforts on selling oil and natural gas to Asian countries.
PetroChina, Cnooc and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp.—known as Sinopec—have all invested heavily in Canada's oil and natural-gas patch during the past two years. In January, PetroChina paid 680 million Canadian dollars (US$681 million) to buy the 40% of the MacKay River oil-sands project in northern Alberta that it didn't already own. Last year, Sinopec paid C$2.2 billion for Daylight Energy Ltd., a Canadian conventional oil and natural-gas company.North America's energy sector has been transformed in recent years by the ability of natural-gas producers to crack tight rock formations known as shale by injecting streams of water and chemicals. At the same time, companies are also pushing ahead quickly to unlock the billions of barrels of oil trapped in Canada's vast reserves of oil sands.
China's Ministry of Environmental Protection has issued a notice to developers of hydroelectric projects across the country that "projects should be planned 'comprehensively' and must pay attention to 'economic and ecological benefits, local and overall interests (as well as) immediate and long-term interests.' " This would involve a decision-making process for new project development that includes all potential stakeholders, including residents that could be affected by the dam or impounded reservoir. On paper, this process sounds similar to the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) licensing process for new and existing hydroelectric projects, and reflects a continuing gradual shift away from the completely "top-down" infrastructure decision-making process that has historically prevailed in China.
Our group intends to simulate one of these stakeholder conferences for a hypothetical project development on Tuesday, and each of you will get your chance to "wear a hat". These types of licensing processes literally take years in the United States, but we will just have to make the most of our time in class!
The article also discusses the general sentiment for additional "big hydro" in China at the moment, including the apparent trade-off between hydro and nuclear in the current planning process.
Reports are arising of Chinese workers being kidnapped and held for ransom, and an apparent willingness by companies/government to pay those ransoms may be exacerbating the situation. A rebel attack on a Chinese encampment in Sudan has prompted members of the Foreign Ministry and representatives of CNPC to speak with Sudanese government officials regarding the safety of their workers abroad. It will be interesting to see how China will address these situations, and how it may affect their future foreign investment decisions
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
(Reuters) - China has ordered seven provinces and cities to set caps on greenhouse gas emissions in preparation for the launch of local pilot carbon markets, according to a notice issued by the country's state planning agency on Friday.
The National Development and Reform Commission requested the cities of Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing and Shenzhen, along with the provinces of Hubei and Guangdong, to set "overall emissions control targets" and submit proposals as to how the targets will be allocated.
The provinces and cities have also been ordered to set up a dedicated fund to support the project and to draw up comprehensive implementation programs, the notice said.
An implementation plan drawn up by Guangdong, China's biggest CO2-emitting province, has already been approved by the State Council, the country's cabinet.
It commits the province to increasing the share of non-fossil fuels to 20 percent of total energy consumption by 2015, and to cutting the amount of carbon dioxide produced per unit of economic growth -- carbon intensity -- by 19.5 percent.
China as a whole has pledged to reduce carbon intensity by 17 percent over the 2011-2015 period, and said it is committed to using "market mechanisms" in order to reach the target.
It aims to bring 2005 levels of carbon intensity down 40-45 percent by 2020.
Besides the seven official pilot projects, there are more than 100 entities across the country trying to establish their own regional CO2 emissions trading platforms, including the coal-rich province of Shaanxi and the northeast port city of Dalian.
(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Ken Wills)