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Greener fuel standards proposed for vehicles

SCMP Martin Wong
Nov 18, 2009

The government has proposed making vehicles more environmentally friendly by requiring fuel supplied in the city to meet greener standards.

Government proposals in a Legislative Council paper that lawmakers will discuss on Monday include a move to the Euro V emission standard, introduced in the European Union for heavy diesel-powered vehicles last year, and Euro 5, which will apply in the EU for cars, vans and light trucks from next year.

Currently, Hong Kong’s highest requirement for vehicles is Euro IV/4, though the paper said that diesel supplied in fuel stations in the city already met Euro V.

“If existing petrol vehicles use Euro 5 petrol, their emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons will be reduced by about 10 per cent,” the paper said.

Oil companies said it was difficult to predict the price of Euro 5 petrol. Some estimated it would sell at less than 20 HK cents per litre more than Euro 4, which now cost about HK$12-13 a litre, according to the paper.

The government stated in the paper that it was still reviewing whether it would adopt the higher standard for vehicles. “As the Japanese vehicle manufacturers require more time to produce Euro [V/5] compliant vehicles for the Hong Kong market, we are not yet ready to implement the Euro [V/5] vehicle emission standard,” the paper stated. Most heavy duty commercial vehicles in Hong Kong were imported from Japan, it stated.

Democratic Party lawmaker Andrew Cheng Kar-foo, deputy chairman of the Legco transport panel, welcomed the proposal.

“We lawmakers welcome all suggestions to make our city greener,” he said. “As for the petrol price, it is only a little more than the current price.”

10 Electric Cars VS Electric Cars in Families

Using Green energy is the trend of different governments throughout the world. After HKSAR government said that she will introduce 10 electric cars in the policy address, another government announced that she will bring green vehicles into the country.

Let’s see this news:

On Friday, October 30 at 8:30 PM, “NOW” investigates how the Danish government and Better Place are working together to put electric cars into the hands of as many Danish families as possible. The idea is still having trouble getting out of the garage here in America, but Denmark could be an inspiration.

Electric Car can help much in the environment.

Electric Car can help much in the environment.

Demark is a country famous for using green energy. She had developed wind power to produce electricity, setting a good example in creating clear power. Now she go further, not just introducing electric cars in government use, but encouraging the citizens to use electric cars. If the electric plant in Demark produces electricity by fuel such as coal, we may say the electric cars there are not clean enough. However, the electric cars in Demark are powered by wind, and contribute a lot to the Earth’s health.

Compare with Demark Government, HKSAR government seem contribute less in environmental protection. Both government talking about electric cars, the former is introducing the cars to the citizens, but the later is introducing 10 cars in government use only. We are both developed region, and we are both enjoying high technology and high quality of life. When we come to the environmental protection issues, we have no excuse. So please require the government to do more in order to clear the air.

Source: NOW, Truthout Programming Note

CLP Power replaced generators in island with wind and solar power

CLP Power introduce green technology in Island.

CLP Power introduce green technology in Island.

Transfer electricity to the islands had long been a problem for the engineers in power plants. Neither using submarine cables nor overhead lines would be practical for the electricity supply to the island. Using an overhead line would damage the sea view, but using submarine cable would damage coral in the sea. However building wind and solar power facilities can be a good alternative now. CLP Power is a good example on this ecology friendly technology.

The Dawn Island Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre located in Town Island, southern tip of Sai Kung, and using generators for electricity supply for years. However it is not effective and do harm to the environment. The generators emitted carbon dioxide while operating. At the same time they often break down, and the Centre needs to stop electricity for many times a day. The CLP Power therefore will build wind and solar power facilities to replace the generators, and the Dawn Island Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre will become the first location in Hong Kong powered entirely by renewable energy.

Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre will become first location in Hong Kong powered entirely by renewable energy.

Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre will become first location in Hong Kong powered entirely by renewable energy.

After the install of solar plants and wind turbines, they will provide 192kW of electricity which enough to run about 200 air conditioners. At the same time, carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by 70 tonnes a year, and the electricity generated can be used in hostels, visitors’ centre and other facilities.

This is a good example for us to follow, and will give us valuable experience on green energy development. For now there is a small rehabilitation centre powered by renewable energy, how about a New Territory village later on? If the scale increased, we can have a whole district powered by renewable energy, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions dramatically. Let’s support more green energy proposal just like the Dawn Island one.

Winning Toy Designer Reinvents Light Bulb

Peter So – SCMP | Updated on Oct 25, 2008

An environmentally friendly “sticker lamp” as thin as a magazine cover has won a local toy designer a top award in the Seoul Design Competition – Hong Kong’s first and only winner in the contest.

Keikko Lee Wing-lam, 26, came up with the idea of a lamp with electroluminescent material on one side and solar panels and sensors on the other. The electroluminescent material gives out light when an electric current is passed through it, in this case generated by the solar panels.

Users attach the lamp’s sticky solar side to a window to absorb sunlight, Ms Lee said. At night, it can be taken down and placed in a room to provide light. When the power runs out, the lamp can be returned to the window to recharge.

“No extra electricity is needed,” said Ms Lee, a graduate of Polytechnic University’s school of design.

The concept landed her the gold prize in the Seoul Design Competition, which was part of the international Seoul Design Olympiad 2008, held this month.

The aim of the contest is to encourage environmentally friendly and creative design solutions for a sustainable city life.

Since the lamp is very thin and light, Ms Lee said it could reduce complicated manufacturing procedures and save on raw materials.

“I believe not only the product itself has to be ecological, but the manufacturing process should be ecological too, in order to make our environment better. Pollution and [power] usage will be reduced correspondingly.”

Ms Lee said she found the electroluminescent material on the internet three months ago and wondered why such an ecological substance had not been put to wide use.

Although the idea had yet to become a finished product, Ms Lee was confident it would be workable.

China Can Forge Ahead In Developing Renewable Energy

Green power

Michael Richardson – Updated on Oct 03, 2008 – SCMP

The latest tally of greenhouse gas emissions blamed for warming the world shows that China has emerged as the top polluter, ahead of the United States, by an increasingly big margin. Released last week, the scientific findings of the Global Carbon Project show that, last year, more than half the world ‘s emissions came from the high-growth economies of developing countries, led by China and India, and that this share is rising because emissions from developed economies are growing less fast.

The project’s Australia-based executive director, Pep Canadell, said that China alone accounted for 60 per cent of the emissions growth last year. This was due to its heavy reliance on coal for generating electricity and oil for transport fuel. Yet the world’s most populous nation is also a global leader in harnessing renewable energy, particularly hydro, wind, solar and biomass power.

As recession and the credit crisis in the west crimp lending and investment in relatively expensive alternative energy, can China seize the initiative and keep funding its drive to become less dependent on fossil fuels? This assumes, of course, that China’s banking system will remain immune from the contagion afflicting the US and Europe. If normal lending continues and business can take advantage of incentives put in place by the government, China could forge ahead of competitors in developing renewable power. This would strengthen its energy security and international efforts to prevent disastrous climate change.

China invested more than US$10 billion in new renewable energy capacity last year, second only to Germany, according to the Worldwatch Institute in Washington. Most of the money was for small hydropower projects, solar hot water and wind power. Meanwhile, annual investment in large hydropower schemes continues at a somewhat lower level. A renewable energy law, effective from the start of 2006, requires power grid operators in China to buy electricity from registered producers of renewable energy. It also offers tax incentives and subsidies to promote investment in the sector.

China gets 8 per cent of its energy and 17 per cent of its electricity from renewables – shares that will rise to 15 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively, by 2020, if the government’s target is met. The European Union, which wants to be the world’s pace-setter in combating climate change, is aiming for a somewhat more ambitious target of getting 20 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

China is not alone in the developing world in seeking a more sustainable energy future. As a group, developing countries have more than 40 per cent of the world’s renewable power capacity, over 70 per cent of solar hot-water capacity and 45 per cent of biofuels production.

In China, wind power is the fastest-expanding technology for generating electricity. With many onshore turbines working, the first offshore wind farm started in November.

China is also a manufacturing powerhouse for solar photovoltaic energy, third only to Japan and Germany. It is the world’s largest market for solar hot water, with nearly two-thirds of global capacity. More than 10 per cent of Chinese households rely on the sun to heat their water. When Chinese firms turn to exporting, the lower costs of their units – some seven times less than in Europe – could reshape global supply and demand.

However, Steve Sawyer, secretary general of the Global Wind Energy Council, says Beijing’s efforts to rein in rash lending and curb inflation are hurting financing for wind power projects in China and may prevent it from emerging as the world’s fastest-growing wind energy market.

A report last year from consultants Frost & Sullivan cautioned that China’s wind and biomass industries were not nearly as developed as their western counterparts. As a result, they had “less experience in installing, maintaining and servicing renewable facilities”, wrote analyst Linda Yan. A key restraint on growth of China’s renewable energy markets was a lack of homegrown technology and dependence on imported equipment, she added.

Even if Beijing meets its renewable energy target for 2020, it will rely heavily on fossil fuels. That is a problem not only for China but also for the world – it is expected to overtake the US soon after 2010 as the world’s top energy-consuming nation.

Michael Richardson is an energy and security analyst at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.

Huadian In 1.4b Yuan Wind Turbine Deal

Reuters in Shanghai – Updated on Mar 25, 2008

China Huadian Corp, one of the country’s five big power generators, has agreed to buy up to 142 wind turbines worth 1.4 billion yuan (HK$1.54 billion) from China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Industry (Group) Corp under a wind power co-operation pact.

In the initial phase of the deal, Huadian would install 20 turbines this year with a combined generating capacity of 36.3 megawatts at a wind farm in the central province of Hunan, Fang Yi, an official at Huadian’s alternative energy development subsidiary, said yesterday.

South Locomotive, a state-owned railway equipment manufacturer that is planning an initial public offering in both Hong Kong and the mainland in May, would continue supplying additional turbines if Huadian was satisfied with the performance of the initial group, Ms Fang said.

China, keen to boost the use of clean energy and reduce its reliance on highly polluting coal, last week raised its target for installed wind power capacity to 10 gigawatts by 2010 from its previous plan of 5GW.

China had 4.03 GW of wind power capacity late last year, or less than 0.6 per cent of its total power generating capacity. Coal accounts for 80 per cent of its electric power generation.

Denmark’s Vestas, the world’s biggest maker of wind turbines, announced a 197.2MW turbine order with Guangdong Nuclear Wind Power in January, with delivery due to begin in the middle of this year.

China Huadian, parent of Huadian Power International, was developing wind power projects in the Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang regions in northern and western China, as well as in coastal regions, Ms Fang said.

“This year we plan to start building up wind power capacity of 300MW,” she said.

South Locomotive started to develop wind power technology in 2006 and installed its first wind power generator last year, its website said.

A company official said it had also provided motors to Goldwind, the country’s largest maker of wind power generating equipment.

Emissions Caps Could Be Costly For Power Firms

SCMP – Cheung Chi-fai
Jan 08, 2008

Power companies may earn up to a combined HK$476 million a year less under new schemes of control that tie the emission of pollutants to returns, the Environment Bureau has said.

The companies which exceeded the emission cap of any single pollutant by between 10 and 30 per cent would have their rate of return cut by 0.2 per cent, the bureau said yesterday.

If emissions go beyond the caps by more than 30 per cent, the rates of return will be cut by 0.4 per cent. Based on 2006 assets figures, this means CLP Power (SEHK: 0002) may earn HK$290 million less and Hongkong Electric (SEHK: 0006) HK$186 million less.

Conversely, if the power companies achieve emission reductions of between 10 and 30 per cent below the caps, they will receive extra returns equalling 0.05 per cent.

If emission cuts go below the caps by more than 30 per cent, the companies will get extra returns of 0.1 per cent. That would amount to HK$73 million and HK$47 million for CLP Power and Hongkong Electric respectively. Hahn Chu Hon-keung of Friends of the Earth said it was difficult to assess if the penalty would be a sufficient deterrent.

He said little was known about 2010 or post-2010 emission caps and the limits already given were too lenient. Hong Kong has an agreement with Guangdong to cut emissions by 2010.

“The caps are quite lenient and there seems to be little difficulty for the power companies to meet them,” Mr Chu said. “It is almost guaranteed that they will get extra returns.”

Based on the 2006 emission figures of CLP’s Castle Peak power station and Hongkong Electric’s Lamma power station, the firms had already met the caps for last year, except for particulate pollutants.

Man Chi-sum, chief executive officer of Green Power, welcomed the link between emissions and returns but said the government should set out future caps clearly, especially those for after 2010.

“The precondition for its success is to gradually tighten the caps in the long term,” Dr Man said. “So it is time for us to consider the caps for beyond 2010.”

He said it would be difficult for the power companies to exceed the caps by 30 per cent. But Dr Man agreed that power companies might opt for the emission trading scheme with the mainland in case they faced a serious shortfall in the targets. He said the cost of buying credits from mainland power plants might be lower than the penalties imposed.

Apart from the penalties on exceeding emission caps, the new schemes will require the two power companies to carry out a combined 200 energy audits for clients and encourage them to adopt energy-saving measures.

They will also set up a loan fund totalling nearly HK$190 million for potential applicants to implement these measures.

If 18 million kWh could be cut, the two firms would get an extra 0.02 per cent in returns, which would equal HK$23.8 million.

But Mr Chu said the saving targets meant almost nothing as they accounted for only 0.0004 per cent of Hong Kong’s electricity consumption in 2006.

He said another scheme implemented since 2000 alone had achieved a reduction of 172 million kW.