In: automotive, climate change, coal, energy efficiency, government, green hops, policy, solar, transportation, water, wind
Cleantech news has been slow on The Green Leap Forward lately, so we play catchup on recent developments in the sector over the past two months…
Efficiency is King. Energy efficiency continues to be the clean energy policy priority of Beijing. New regulations governing energy efficiency in civil construction projects are on the cards, reports Cleantech. Meanwhile, the almighty National Development and Reform Commission (发改委) has announced optimistic news that 879 of 953 enterprises that had pledged to reduce energy consumption had fulfilled their goals last year. These do not include certain companies in Guizhou, apparently. Separately, China Recycling Energy Corp. (CREG) has been awarded a contract to recycle waste gas and waste heat into electricity (7MW capacity) for China Zhonggang Binhai Enterprise Ltd., a nickel-iron manufacturing joint venture between China Zhonggang Group and Boasteel Group at a facility in Cangzhou City, China, reports Renewable Energy World.
Windy and Made in China. Local wind parts manufacturers continue to benefit from China’s wind development policies, as this highly recommended in-depth article by Lou Scwhartz and Ryan Hodem discusses. This trend will also benefit the likes of HLS Systems International (China), an automation controls specialist that is seeking to diversify into clean tech by offering its automation control solutions to wind systems and is in talks with some of China’s largest wind turbine producers, as well as China Wind Systems (see also here). On the development front, Inner Mongolia is set to add some 300 to 1,000 MW of wind installations by 2010 to 2011, courtesy of China Power, Inc.
Supersize Solar. China Solar Energy Blog keeps track of the latest developments in pilot solar power plants in Beijing (10 MW, courtesy of NYSE-listed Yingli Green Energy) Shanghai (1 MW and the biggest already in operation), Ningxia (330 kw, courtesy of Ningxia Power Group) and Shilin (66 MW, courtesy of Yunnan Power Investment New Energy Development Co., Ltd. and the largest plant in China planned). Across the straits, Taiwan might become host of the first concentrating solar power (CSP) plant in Asia, while Taiwanese solar panel makers are seeing the cash roll in. The significance of these announcements are that these are some of the first announcements of power plant-scale solar projects in China, where there has been at the end of 2007 an installed capacity of only 0.08 GW of solar compared to nearly 6 GW of wind.
Get on the Bus. Xiamen’s Bus Rapid Transit system, also China’s first elevated BRT system, came into operation, reports People’s Daily. Incidentally, today (Sept 22) was supposed to be National Car Free Day. The Green Leap Forward frankly didn’t even notice.
Electric Dreams. A pilot network of electric charging stations will be built in Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin so as to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles (EV), says the State Grid Corporation, according to China Daily. Each charging station is estimated to cost between 250,000 yuan ($36,550) and 300,000 yuan ($43,860) to construct. China Daily mentions BYD Auto (see also previous post “Electric Dreams—BYD Auto Brings Electric Cars to Israel”), Dongfeng Motor, Chery Auto, Changan Auto, Wanxiang Group and Tianjin Qingyuan Electric Vehicle as domestic cars and parts makers that are investing money into EV research and development. GreenCarCongress reports that China is shaping up to be the a leading R&D center for lithium-ion batteries, a necessary component of an EV system. Australia is chipping in as well.
Water and the Paradox that is Ningxia. Ningxia Autonomous Region, located in arid Western China, has had its economy hampered by water shortages, as the article in Beijing Review accounts. So it is welcome news that Ningxia, also a coal-rich region, will be the beneficiary of China’s first million-kw air-cooling systems in ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plants. Ultra super-critical thermal generation relies on very high pressures and temperatures to achieve greater efficiency of fuel use, while air-cooling (instead of water-cooling) replaces the need for water. Yet, news that coal-to-liquids (CTL) projects in Ningxia will go ahead after most of the other CTL projects nationwide have been halted has The Green Leap Forward shaking its head. The CTL process, after all, consumes large amounts of water. This blog will take a closer look into CTL in an upcoming post. In other water news, Hebei’s role as water backstop for Beijing (see previous post “Chinese Water Torture”) has been activated, while Inner Mongolia gets a new wastewater treatment plant.
LNG, CLP and Tale of Two Cities. Hong Kong-based China Light & Power has been in the news lately with its plans to make investments in liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals. While the Hong Kong government voted against it’s LNG terminal plans in Hong Kong due to ecological reasons, CPL seems to have turned its attention to neighboring Guangdong province, reports Financial Times. Climate thug ExxonMobil is reported as possible investor in the Guangdong project. A classic environmental “race-to-the-bottom”?
GE Feeling at Home in China. As part of its China green energy business plan, General Electric is seeking to make China its second home while it expands its presence into five new locations. It currently has offices in Shanghai and Beijing but will add offices in the provincial capitals of Shenyang, Wuhan, Chengdu, Xi’an and Guangzhou.
Green Taxes. The Beijing authorities have indicated that new environmental taxes to curb pollution are in the offing. Xinhua reports that Pan Yue, the deputy minister of environmental protection, has revealed that an inter-ministerial team of officials together with experts have been convened to “come up with a research paper on environmental taxes.” This is likely the green taxation component of the Green Whirlwind policies that this blog reported earlier this year.
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