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Inventor Aims To Generate His Own Power

Dan Kadison, SCMP – Jun 21, 2009

Lucien Gambarota wants to go off the grid – the electrical grid, that is.
In the next couple of months, the local inventor will use alternative energy technologies to try to generate all of the electricity needed for his new Kowloon headquarters.

“My target is simple. I want to pay zero dollars to CLP, because if I pay zero dollars that means I am carbon free,” Mr Gambarota said.

The 51-year-old made the announcement during the opening of his new Wai Yip Street, Kwun Tong, workshop yesterday. There, in the nearly 8,000 sq ft space, he told dozens of guests that he had already been able to cut his carbon footprint by 88 per cent.

“This place here was using … 250 kilowatt-hours a year per square metre – and there is nothing wrong with that. This is the average in Hong Kong,” said Mr Gambarota, the founder of the MotorWave Group, a renewable energy company.

But he is in an environmentally friendly industry, and he wanted to do better. He and his workers added insulation, switched to compact fluorescent lighting and removed the air conditioning units. They “gutted, cancelled, deleted, changed, modified” everything they could, he said.

Now, “we are down to 40 [kilowatt-hours a year per square metre],” Mr Gambarota said to applause. The space was “releasing something like … 70 tonnes of [carbon dioxide] a year … now we release 8.2 tonnes.”

The difference translates to savings of more than HK$85,000 a year, but Mr Gambarota isn’t content with annual electricity costs of HK$12,000.

He plans to go up to the roof and install solar and wind energy equipment, including his own special brand of wind turbines, to see if he can produce all of his own electricity.
“Can we do it? I’ll tell you in two months. But we’ll be very, very close to that,” he said. “And why is it important? Because, most probably, we’ll be the first factory in the world to have such a low carbon print.”

Guests at Mr Gambarota’s workshop yesterday included Civic Party vice-chairman Albert Lai Kwong-tak; Civic Party legislators Audrey Eu Yuet-mee and Alan Leong Kah-kit; Carbon Care Asia chairman Chong Chan-yau; Alfred Sit Wing-hang, assistant director of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department; and Danny Ngai Kam-fai, vice-president of the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association and a shareholder in Mr Gambarota’s company.

Mr Leong, whose Civic Party has proposed a “green New Deal” job creation plan, said he supported the inventor’s efforts. “The whole Legislative Council supports redefining our supplies and demands in a new economy,” Mr Leong said. “So I think I’m in the right place today to witness how Hong Kong industrialists, Hong Kong industries, [are] doing something towards that goal.”

Mr Lai also issued a challenge to Mr Gambarota: generate additional electricity and feed it back into the grid. “We will work together,” Mr Lai told the inventor. “We will work on the policy side, and you will work on the technology side to make sure this workshop actually produces energy and not just consumes it.”

Can China Clean Up Its Act?

BusinessWeek by Adam Aston – May 14, 2009

Source: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_21/b4132040805185.htm?chan=magazine+channel_in+depth

Beijing has big plans to curb pollution and start a cleantech industry. But the global recession and looming trade frictions will test its resolve

China’s unprecedented growth in recent years has come at a terrible price. Two-thirds of its rivers and lakes are too polluted for industrial use, let alone agriculture or drinking. Just 1 in 100 of China’s nearly 600 million city dwellers breathes air that would be considered safe in Europe. At a time when arable land is in short supply, poisoned floodwaters have ruined many productive fields. And last year, ahead of most forecasts, China passed the U.S. to become the world’s largest source of greenhouse gases.

The immensity of these troubles has produced a result that may surprise many outside China: The nation has emerged as an incubator for clean technology, vaulting to the forefront in several categories. Among all countries, China is now the largest producer of photovoltaic solar panels, thanks to such homegrown manufacturers as Suntech Power (STP). The country is the world’s second-largest market for wind turbines, gaining rapidly on the U.S. In carmaking, China’s BYD Auto has leapfrogged global giants, launching the first mass-produced hybrid that plugs into an electrical outlet. “China is a very fast follower,” said Alex Westlake, a director of investment group ClearWorld Now, at a recent conference in Beijing.

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

Understanding they are in a global race, China’s leaders are supporting green businesses with policies and incentives. Beijing recently hiked China’s auto mileage standards to a level the U.S. is not expected to reach until 2020. Beijing also says it will boost the country’s share of electricity created from renewable sources to 23% by 2020, from 16% today, on par with similar targets in Europe. The U.S. has no such national goal.

While most environmentalists applaud these developments, China watchers are voicing two very different sets of concerns. Some question whether China will really stand by its ambitious targets and are worried by signs of backsliding as the recession in China’s key export markets drags down economic growth. Another group, interested mainly in America’s own industrial future, fears that China’s growing dominance in certain green technologies will harm budding cleantech industries in the U.S. After all, China’s emergence comes just as the Obama Administration is trying to nurture these same types of ventures, hoping to generate millions of green jobs. Many of these U.S. businesses will have trouble holding their own against low-price competitors from China.

Beijing’s green intentions will soon be put to the test. China is in the midst of the biggest building boom in history. A McKinsey & Co. study estimates that over 350 million people—more than the U.S. population—will migrate from the countryside into cities by 2025. Five million buildings will be added, including 50,000 skyscrapers—equal to 10 New York Cities. And as quickly as new offices and houses multiply, they are filled with energy-hungry computers, TVs, air conditioners, and the like, sharply increasing demand for electricity, which comes mainly from coal-powered plants.

Environmental groups say it is therefore critical that Beijing promote rigorous, greener standards. And to some degree, that’s happening. A government mandate states that by the end of next year, each unit of economic output should use 20% less energy and 30% less water than in 2005. Portions of Beijing’s $587 billion economic stimulus package are earmarked for cleantech. On top of that, in March the Finance Ministry unveiled specific incentives to spark solar demand among China’s builders. Included was a subsidy of $3 per watt of solar capacity installed in 2009—enough to cover as much as 60% of estimated costs to install a rooftop solar array.

USING WASTE HEAT
Steps like these will help Himin Solar Energy Group in Dezhou, Shandong Province. Founded in 1995 by Huang Ming, an oil equipment engineer turned crusader against the use of fossil fuels, the company is the world’s largest producer of rooftop piping systems that use the sun’s rays to heat water. Its eye-catching headquarters, the Sun-Moon Mansion, showcases these heaters, which Himin cranks out in immense volumes—about 2 million square meters’ worth each year, equal to twice the annual sales of all such systems in the U.S. Because its water heaters sell for as little as $220, they are becoming standard in new housing complexes and many commercial buildings across the country.

Broad Air Conditioning, based in Changsha, Hunan Province, is also set to profit as Beijing pushes toward its green targets. By using natural gas and so-called waste heat from other machines and appliances instead of electricity, Broad’s big chillers can deliver two to three times more cooling per unit of energy than a conventional unit. In a similar fashion, Haier, headquartered in Qingdao, Shandong Province, combines low-cost manufacturing and a variety of advanced technologies to create affordable, energy-sipping refrigerators and other appliances. During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Haier supplied more than 60,000 such devices for visiting athletes and tourists to use.

As these and other domestic players bump up against technological obstacles, they can draw on the expertise of many of the world’s top multinationals. In return for access to its domestic market, Beijing asks such companies as General Electric (GE), DuPont (DD), 3M (MMM), and Siemens (SI) to share their technology, help upgrade their China-based supply chains, and spread industrial processes to make manufacturing more efficient. These aren’t simply green practices, says Changhua Wu, Greater China director of the Climate Group, a consultancy in London that partners with companies to combat climate change. “They’re best practices.”

GE, for example, has transferred expertise to Chinese partners in everything from wind turbine construction to the building of low-pollution factories. At the Beijing Taiyanggong power plant, waste heat from the combustion process is recycled, resulting in around 80% efficiency, more than double the rate of most conventional power plants in the U.S. The bulk of GE’s sales of turbines for power plants in China are the ultra-efficient models. David G. Victor, a Stanford University professor who has studied China’s electric grid, says some of the coal plants being built there are “much more advanced than those we see in the U.S.”

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), which buys some $9 billion worth of goods in China each year from some 20,000 vendors, infuses its supply chain with the latest ideas about energy efficiency. For example, Chinese factories that work with Wal-Mart are obliged to track vast quantities of data on energy use and make the information available for audits. “Many Western companies can’t track their own energy consumption,” says Andrew Winston, consultant and co-author of the book Green to Gold.

TORPEDOING U.S. SOLAR?
China’s early achievements in cleantech owe a lot to collaborations such as these. The benefits: China cleans up its own pollution, and the government-backed initiatives in solar and wind help drive down the cost of renewable energy systems in countries around the world.

But there is a downside. The rock-bottom prices for made-in-China green technology could make it impossible for cleantech ventures in the U.S., Europe, or Japan to compete. How, for example, will they go up against Suntech Power, based in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, the world’s lowest-cost manufacturer of standard solar panels? The U.S. boasts plenty of advanced technology. But any efforts by Washington to nurture this sector could be quickly undercut by a flood of Chinese-made solar panels. Such a deluge is likely if there is a big increase in public subsidies for rooftop solar systems. “What [that would] do is create 10,000 Chinese jobs,” says Roger G. Little, chief executive of Spire Corp. (SPIR), a leading U.S. maker of manufacturing equipment for photovoltaics. “If we import all the [solar] modules, it will obliterate U.S. manufacturing” in this area.

A similar scenario exists in the much heralded area of electric vehicles. BYD, headquartered in Shenzhen, started selling its first plug-in hybrid, the F3DM, last year. It beat Toyota (TM) and General Motors (GM), both of which are developing such “plug-ins,” and hit the market with a price tag they probably can’t match: just $22,000. Henry Li, a BYD general manager, says the company will roll out a version of the car in the U.S. in 2011. Chevy’s answer to this car, called the Volt, is expected to cost about twice as much and won’t be out until next year.

How did BYD pull off this coup? Part of it is just being the new kid on the block. Today’s automobiles, with their advanced combustion engines, are the most complex mass-produced goods ever made, assembled from thousands of highly engineered parts provided by a web of suppliers. It’s difficult for a Chinese startup to compete on such a sophisticated playing field. But the emergence of a new, green-vehicle category clears the way. BYD was able to break in by leveraging its background as a battery maker. When it ran into technical hurdles, the company could draw on a deep pool of inexpensive, well-trained talent at China’s top engineering schools. BYD is also a leader in pure electric vehicles, the logical next step. The government is now putting some muscle behind BYD’s push. It is heavily subsidizing electric-car sales in about a dozen cities—in a stroke, making China the world’s biggest market for such advanced vehicles. Its goal is to boost domestic output of battery-powered vehicles to a half million per year in 2011.

How Washington and the beleaguered U.S. auto sector might respond to a wave of inexpensive electric vehicles from China is difficult to predict. And it is also unclear how China’s cleantech efforts in cars, energy, and other areas will be affected if key markets such as the U.S. and Europe don’t recover quickly from the recession. Chinese makers of solar photovoltaics, including Suntech, export about 98% of their production. They have been battered this year by a collapse in demand in Germany, Spain, and Japan, China’s top markets for solar gear. Suntech’s factories are currently running at half of last year’s capacity.

Even inside China, academics and business executives say Beijing needs to do more to bolster cleantech initiatives and make them recession-proof. For example, without better information on how such policies as the current Renewable Energy Law are to be enforced, “many of the terms are meaningless,” complains Himin’s Huang. And even when the terms are clear, companies don’t always adhere, says Zhou Weidong, the Guangzhou-based China director at the Business for Social Responsibility, a global consultancy promoting sustainable business practices: “Paying penalties is cheaper than complying with the law in many areas.”

At times, it seems as though Beijing is pedaling in the wrong direction. Late last year, China’s Environmental Protection Ministry loosened review standards on potentially polluting industrial projects. In an economic crunch, “environmental protection is downplayed to second, or third, or even fourth priority,” observes Guo Peiyuan of SynTao, a corporate social responsibility advisory firm in Beijing.

While acknowledging there has been some backsliding, most China watchers say the government is unlikely to stage a full-throttle retreat. Too much of its export growth is contingent on meeting strict environmental regulations. And Beijing recognizes that Chinese society can’t tolerate much more environmental degradation. The World Bank estimates damage from pollution—everything from decimated fisheries to premature human death—saps nearly 6% of China’s gross domestic product each year as well. For economic reasons alone, it will be difficult for China to turn back the clock.

with Charlotte Li and Pete Engardio

Aston is Energy & Environment editor for BusinessWeek in New York.

‘Smart’ Meters To Help 20,000 Firms Cut Power

Cheung Chi-fai, SCMP – Apr 13, 2009

About 20,000 businesses that use large amounts of power, such as restaurants and hotels, will have their meters replaced with “smart” ones that will enable them to monitor their consumption online, Hongkong Electric (SEHK: 0006) has announced.

The data fed by the meter to a business’ computer network can help the business come up with ways to reduce energy bills by as much as a few per cent, the utility says. A hotel, for instance, could decide to run its laundry at night instead of during peak hours. “It will be a useful tool for our users to understand their power consumption patterns at different time intervals,” Hongkong Electric manager Ip Pak-nin said.

“The data will help them formulate energy conservation measures accordingly and gauge the success of these measures.”

Hongkong Electric installed the meters for about 4,000 commercial and industrial users in 2002, Mr Ip said. It would install 20,000 more for other users that consume about 20,000kW a month.

Smart meters take a snapshot of consumption levels every 30 minutes and transmit the data to the users’ computer network.

Businesses can check whether energy-saving measures are working by comparing levels against previous baselines.

They can also receive suggestions on how to reduce consumption through other adjustments.

“It will be a useful tool for our users to understand their power consumption patterns at different time intervals. The data will help them formulate energy conservation measures accordingly and gauge the success of these measures,” Mr Ip said.

Bills for heavy users are calculated differently from those for the public. They are charged not only for kilowatts consumed but also on the basis of their energy demands and when they are made, which is referred to as “maximum loading”.

Hongkong Electric said that if businesses could reduce maximum loading, they could potentially cut their power bills by a few per cent.

Currently, 1,800 top power users, or those accounts consuming no less than 25,000kW a month, pay a maximum demand fee on top of the charge for units used. The fee accounts for 10 to 20 per cent of a heavy user’s bill. Hongkong Electric has invested in the city’s distribution and transmission infrastructure. The smart meter replacement will start later this year and take about 10 years. Meters approaching the end of their life span would be given priority to avoid waste, Mr Ip said.

The smart meter has a life span of about 15 years, half of the mechanical meter, and is also three times more expensive for Hongkong Electric, although it saves the utility money as staff are not required to read the meter on a regular basis.

Mr Ip said they had no plan to introduce the smart meters to homes since their consumption was lower and the basic energy-saving measures, like the use of more efficient products, were sufficient to help them conserve power.

He said the utility would continue to provide advice to the public on how to conserve energy.

Under the new scheme of control agreed last year, the power firm will receive an extra combined total of 0.02 per cent of the rate of return for completing at least 50 energy audits, and achieving a saving of no less than three gigawatt hours a year.

Government To Help Firms Take Advantage Of Green Opportunities

Cheung Chi-fai, SCMP – Apr 08, 2009

The government will organise seminars for local professionals in environmental services this month, to help them explore emerging markets locally and across the border, Environment Secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah said.

Mr Yau said the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement had enabled such servicing companies to own and operate businesses on the mainland. That would increase their chances of tapping the growing demand for environmental services amid the economic transformation in Guangdong province.

“Hong Kong and Guangdong are strongly pushing forward energy efficiency and emission reduction,” he said. “There is great room for these environmental professionals to organise themselves to cater to this rising demand.”

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen announced plans last week to further explore business opportunities for the environment industry, among others, in the global financial crisis.

Mr Yau said some of the sector’s professionals might be ready to pursue their advantages; but others might need to adjust their operations, or join forces, to tap the opportunities.

The HK$450 million matching-fund scheme for energy and carbon audits and improvement works for local buildings, to be launched today, would be an opportunity for such firms to find business locally, he said. Across the border, Mr Yau said, the market was also growing gradually, after the introduction of the HK$93 million clean-production scheme. So far, 160 companies have participated in the programme. The scheme’s success has encouraged Guangdong provincial and local authorities to roll out similar incentive programmes, which would increase the demand for environmental services.

Mr Yau said green businesses were still taking shape in Hong Kong and across the border, and it was still difficult to know how big the market was. “It is like a blind man who tries to feel the size of an elephant … [he] can never tell how big the elephant is.”

Online Guide To Climate-friendly Goods Launched – New List Shows Appliances’ Footprints

Cheung Chi-fai, SCMP – Apr 02, 2009

A green group has called on electrical appliance manufacturers to provide more low-carbon-emission products for the global market, after the publication of the first local guide on climate-friendly goods.

The online guide, launched by WWF Hong Kong yesterday, lists 300 models of nine popular electrical appliances that have low carbon footprints, are made under more than 50 brands and are available on the local market.

It offers information on annual energy consumption, efficiency, carbon emissions and price references for climate-conscious shoppers.

There are also tips on the wise use of appliances.

The information was collated from data obtained from manufacturers and energy labelling schemes in Hong Kong, the United States and Europe.

“All those models in the guides are low carbon emission, but we won’t tell people how to choose as we have given them the tool to make their own choices,” said William Yu Yuen-ping, the head of WWF’s climate programme.

The appliances covered include air conditioners, compact fluorescent lamps, refrigerators, televisions, water heaters, rice cookers, laptop computers, printers and game consoles.

Dr Yu said the first six types of appliance already accounted for 85 per cent of total household electricity consumption, which grew by 34 per cent between 1990 and 2005.

The guide would fill the gaps in Hong Kong’s energy efficiency labelling scheme, which has so far made labelling mandatory only on air conditioners, compact fluorescent lamps and refrigerators.

Consumers using the guides are advised to decide what their priorities are because they might have to compromise.

For instance, the most climate-friendly model will often not be the cheapest, while the one which offers the highest energy efficiency will not necessarily be the one which consumes the least energy.

Dr Yu said it was time for individuals to act and exert their influence on the market.

“If there are demands from the public, manufacturers will be motivated to produce more low-carbon appliances.

“Let’s get started in our daily lives instead of just relying on the politicians to do something for us,” Dr Yu said, citing the Copenhagen climate conference to be held later this year.

Wat Hong-keung from the Hong Kong and Kowloon Electric Appliances Trader Federation welcomed the guide, but said consumer awareness about energy efficiency had improved in recent years.

“Many of them pay great attention to energy efficiency in case they have two choices of similar quality and price,” he said.

“But they are normally motivated by saving money rather than saving the world.”

The guide can be seen online at www.climateers.org.

HK Regulations Pull The Plug On Electric Car

Cheung Chi-fai – Mar 03, 2009 – SCMP

An electric vehicle developed in Hong Kong will hit the European market this year, but it cannot be registered as a passenger car in its city of origin because it fails to meet design standards, the manufacturer said.

Europe, which recognises microcars as a category of vehicles, has already given the nod to the two-seater, battery-driven MyCar, which has been hailed as the first Hong Kong car made for export.

The car is expected to start selling in Britain for no more than HK$100,000 each.

But its debut in Hong Kong would not be possible unless the city also recognises microcars, said local company EuAuto Technology.

In his budget speech last week Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah unveiled plans to promote the use of electric cars in the city through tax concessions and by building a recharging infrastructure.

EuAuto Technology, which had developed the car with a total investment of about HK$70 million, including HK$2 million of initial funding from the government, had set up an assembly line in Shenzhen to manufacture the vehicles.

But Chung Sin-ling, the company’s chief executive, said local drivers had to wait longer to own the car because there was no way to register it in the city without greatly changing its unique lightweight design and lower maximum speed.

The car fully complied with European standards, she said. But it was unlikely to meet the existing requirements on structure and seat-belt designs for conventional private cars here, as well as pass crash tests.

A microcar is a light vehicle that weighs less than 400kg excluding battery, and cannot travel faster than 45km/h. In some European countries, the car is confined to intra-town travel and driving it on highways may be prohibited.

The car also would not be required to take a crash test in Europe.

Ms Chung said the company was willing to talk to the Transport Department about creating a new vehicle category – at an appropriate time – but she hoped the department would first issue more special licences to test the car in various locations, such as Discovery Bay.

Eric Cheng Ka-wai, a professor of electrical engineering at Polytechnic University, said Hong Kong should introduce a microcar vehicle class and relevant regulations to encourage the use of emissions-free cars like MyCar.

He said it was not reasonable to expect a small carmaker to meet all vehicle design standards that have been developed by major car manufacturers over past decades, especially when the car was designed for its environmental benefits.

“The car should have few safety problems, given that motorcycles are allowed on the road.”

The Transport Department said yesterday the MyCar could only be used at the MTR train depot in Siu Ho Wan under a special licence. But it refused to say if it was willing to change registration requirements for the car. “The car is not fully compliant to the requirements of the Road Traffic (Vehicle Construction and Maintenance) Ordinance and is still unsuitable for use on highways,” it said without elaborating.

More Thinking Needed On Electric Cars

Updated on Mar 03, 2009 – SCMP

Hong Kong should be an innovating city when it comes to electric cars. Our compact area, technology-savviness and obvious problem with air pollution are ideal draws. There is even a local company that has developed such vehicles. Yet they are not being sold or even driven in the city because of road regulations; in fact, there are only 31 private electric cars among the 400,000 on our roads. Given the stresses we are putting on our environment and in consequence ourselves, the situation is unacceptable.

The government has offered incentives for electric cars for 15 years. That tens rather than thousands are on our roads says much about the inducements on offer and the manner in which they have been promoted. It is good that authorities have woken up to the shortcomings and decided to get serious. Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah’s raising of the issue in his budget speech last week was the perfect forum to kick-start the process.

Mr Tsang extended the registration tax waiver for electric vehicles for another five years. He will head a body to smooth the introduction of models, while a government department will test them for suitability to our road conditions, and check battery performance. Moves will be made to determine where battery-charging stations should be located. These are long overdue moves and the pro-active stance has to be pushed with determination.

Education is central to such a strategy. Ensuring that the right vehicles are available and that they can be conveniently powered is essential, but valid reasons have to be given as to why we should buy them. The government has to lead the way by setting an example. It could show the virtues of electric-powered cars by converting its fleet; bus and taxi companies have to be convinced to follow suit.

The two-seat MyCar we report on in our City section today cannot be registered in Hong Kong because it does not fit into any of the transport department’s vehicle categories. – unlike in environment-conscious Europe. It is ironic that a Hong Kong-developed car is barred because the microcar concept is not recognised. This car may not be to everyone’s liking and its roadworthiness may mean restrictions as to where and how fast it can be driven. It is proof that when it comes to electric vehicles, authorities have to think about more than environmental-friendliness, incentives and education.

LED Street-Lighting In Finland

Golden DRAGON LEDs in first LED street-lighting in Finland

Semiconductor Today

After extensive testing, the Levi ski resort in Kittilä is to be the first district in Finland to install LED street-lighting.

The system comprises 64 Starium Dragon 60 luminaires from EasyLed Oy, each equipped with 60 Osram Opto Semiconductors Golden DRAGON LEDs fitted with oval lenses (3840 LEDs in total). The LED street-lamps consume just 41W, cutting energy costs for the local authority and, together with minimal maintenance requirements, leading to a payback period of just 4.5 years, it is reckoned.

“We were particularly persuaded by the excellent color rendering [with a color temperature of 5600K, similar to natural light], the vibration resistance of the light sources, and the freedom to create any luminaire designs thanks to the small size of the LEDs,” says EasyLed’s product development director Mika Nummenpalo. “The stability of the luminous flux and the ideal distribution of light with no scatter – and therefore no light pollution – were key factors in the decision to install LEDs,” adds Ari Tiilikainen, a lighting designer at Lite-Design. “Thanks to sophisticated thermal management, we were able to give the luminaires a modern low-profile design, as requested by the local authority,” he adds.

“The Starium Dragon 60 offers the best luminous efficacy and therefore the greatest potential savings,” reckons Jari Kinnunen from the Technical Department in the Kittilä authority.

LEDs Light Up Jing Jiang City

Osram’s Golden DRAGON LEDs light up Jing Jiang City

Semiconductor Today

Osram Opto Semiconductors says that its Golden DRAGON LEDs are lighting up a major thoroughfare of Jing Jiang City in the Jiangsu province of China.

Jiangsu Hua Jing Photoelectronics has installed fourteen 8m-high prototype 180W LED streetlights containing Golden DRAGON LEDs in a pilot project to replace traditional 250W HID (high-intensity discharge) lamps. Based on Hua Jing’s tests, the Golden DRAGON based-street lamps offer energy savings of more than 37%, together with an improvement in night visibility.

Currently, there are about 8000 street-lights in Jing Jiang city and its development zone. Getting the new LED lamps approved in Jing Jiang will be a combined effort of the government and the local community, working closely with Jiangsu Hua Jing. China’s Ministry of Science and Technology is pushing to replace traditional incandescent lighting with more energy-efficient LEDs, and targets RMB260bn in energy savings by 2015.

“China is leading the way with its commitment to energy-efficient lighting solutions, and LEDs are increasingly recognized as the best light source to meet this commitment,” says Dr Alfred Felder, president & CEO of Hong Kong-based Osram Opto Semiconductors Asia Ltd.

Chery Automobile Unveils Plug-In Hybrid

Fresh Chery

Bloomberg – Updated on Mar 01, 2009

Chery Automobile, China’s largest maker of own-brand cars, has unveiled its first plug-in hybrid (a vehicle with more than one power source including batteries that can be recharged through a connection to an electricity socket), touting a range more than twice as far as General Motors’ planned Volt.

The S18 (pictured) can travel as much as 150km using just its batteries, according to Chery. GM’s Volt, which is due to go on sale next year, has a range of 64km. Chery has not said when the S18, which can be fully charged in as little as four hours and can be 80 per cent charged at a specialist station in 30 minutes, will go on sale.

The mainland has encouraged domestic carmakers to develop alternative-energy vehicles to curb oil imports and pollution and help local industry compete against GM and Toyota. BYD, the mainland carmaker backed by US billionaire Warren Buffett, started selling the world’s first mass-produced plug-in hybrid car in December. The F3 DM can run for 100km on its batteries, which take seven hours to fully charge and can be 50 per cent charged at a station in 10 minutes.

Science and Technology Minister Wan Gang in November said the government intended to have 60,000 alternative-energy vehicles on the roads of 10 mainland cities by 2012.