Clear The Air Energy Blog Rotating Header Image


World’s largest solar farm

Photo credit: Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park

Photo credit: Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park

China is helping Pakistan build the largest solar farm in the world. When complete in 2017, the solar farm could have 5.2 million photovoltaic cells, producing as much as 1,000 MW of electricity, enough to power about 320,000 households.

Technical staff in mainland China to blame for Hong Kong electric bus prototype going up in flames: report

Compromised water sealing of battery casings led to short circuit in HK$3.8 million vehicle

A sudden fire that destroyed a HK$3.8 million prototype electric bus last year was caused by “operational errors” by mainland technical staff, who compromised testing procedures, an investigation has confirmed.

The locally designed bus, the city’s first, was part of a HK$40 million project funded by the government’s Innovation and Technology Fund for the Hong Kong Productivity Council to develop electric vehicle technologies.

The council partnered with Green Dynamic Electric Vehicle, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed China Dynamics (Holdings), which splashed out HK$20 million for the project and was granted the intellectual property rights to the technologies.

The council’s incident report stated that several Green Dynamic technical support staff members who conducted tests on the bus in Dongguan last October had kept the council in the dark about some performance test results.

“Some of the technical support staff … compromised the water sealing of the battery casings during performance tuning and inspection. Subsequent seepage of water into the compromised battery casings eventually led to short-circuiting,” the report said.

The bus was reduced to a charred wreck after it went up in flames at a parking site in Yuen Long last December, just after it had passed a road test and was ready for commercialisation.

While it was designed for Hong Kong’s winding roads, the vehicle was made on the mainland due to a lack of manpower and space to build it in the city.

The report ruled out vandalism and battery overcharging as possible causes.

A spokesman for the council said that although the prototype was destroyed in the fire, the testing and research and development work had already been completed by the end of November last year, meaning Green Dynamic can obtain the intellectual property rights for the acquired technologies.

“This is a very precious experience for us so we will pay more attention in monitoring the work of technical staff for other projects,” said Jonathan Ho, the council’s general manager for corporate communication and marketing.

China Dynamics’ chief investment officer Godfrey Mak Shiu-chung said originally they expected to roll out the electric bus to the Hong Kong market early this year at a market price of HK$5 million.

“Because of this accident, our plan has been delayed,” he said. “So far we have not received any orders. A lot of Hong Kong buyers told us they would wait for the investigative report first and see.”

Mak pledged they would not repeat the same mistake as the battery casings will be tightly sealed off preventing any water seepage.

The report made a series of recommendations, including installing devices to prevent unauthorised opening of the battery casings and automatic fire extinguishing systems in the compartments housing the battery casings.
Source URL:

China Cuts Coal Use for Second Year in a Row – But can its numbers be trusted?

The announcement yesterday that China decreased its coal consumption for the second year in a row raises hope that the world’s largest carbon dioxide emitter might peak its emissions years earlier than it promised ahead of the Paris climate talks, experts said yesterday.

Year-on-year decreases in consumption in 2014 and 2015 show China on a trajectory to meet its pledge to cap emissions by 2030—a promise that helped make a global climate deal possible in the French capital last year.

“It remains to be seen whether this trend will continue, although it is very much in line with the government’s overall goals to peak its CO2 emissions, to transition from heavy industry to services and other low-carbon industries and to fight air pollution,” said Barbara Finamore, China program director at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The nation’s coal use fell 3.7 percent last year compared with 2014, when it dropped 2.9 percent from its peak in 2013, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

The drop stems from an economic slowdown and from a reordering of the Chinese economy away from the heavy industry that helped it industrialize. Last year, the service industry accounted for 50 percent of gross domestic product for the first time this century. And while a share of that energy- and carbon-intensive production will likely relocate abroad, much of it reflects a drop in domestic demand related to China’s infrastructure needs having been met, said Finamore.

She said the decrease is also a testament to China’s effort of phasing in clean energy policies in earnest three years ago.

“2013 is the year when China really declared war on pollution,” she said. The government established a pollution control plan in urban areas that year, introduced carbon-trading pilot projects and mandated reductions in coal use.

While yesterday’s announcement establishes a downward trend in coal consumption, it is set against the backdrop of last year’s revelation that China had been underestimating its own coal consumption since 2000. An energy census conducted in 2013 using more comprehensive methods than previous surveys showed that China consumed 17 percent more coal in 2012 than previously estimated.

“This is going to be one of the problems with China in particular,” said Sarah Ladislaw, energy and national security program director for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “What baseline are we talking about?”

Accounting uncertainties

Improving the integrity and transparency of China’s data is necessary if the world is to have confidence in China’s future pledges toward international climate efforts, she said. The Paris Agreement requires a review of implementation in 2018 and invites countries to revise their post-2020 reduction pledges in 2020.

“If everybody is going to be trying to increase ambition based off of Paris—which is clearly the objective—what the underlying assumptions are of what your emissions were going to be or what your baseline number is, is really, really important,” said Ladislaw. “And in China, that is recognizably not reliable information.”

But Ladislaw and others say that last year’s discovery of the error is itself evidence that Chinese data is improving.

Ranping Song, developing country climate manager for the World Resources Institute, said he has greater confidence in China’s report that it has reduced coal use for two years because it disclosed the previous underreporting.

The two-year trend is significant, he said.

“I think it’s an indicator of China’s economic structure is transitioning, and a strong willingness to fight air pollution is much more likely to be a long-term trend rather than just a one year” decline, he said.

China’s drop in energy intensity is the result in part of energy efficiency improvements, he said. The National People’s Congress is due to consider its next five-year plan in March, he said, and if it continues those trends, China will be “well-positioned to implement its Paris commitments.”

Also yesterday, the Chinese government announced that it has moved 1.8 million workers away from the coal and steel sectors to reduce excess capacity. The move shows how quickly an authoritarian government can pivot its economy, especially when it retains control of core industries.

But some questions persist about yesterday’s report. A shift to higher-quality—and higher-emitting—coal may have counteracted the carbon-related benefits of the overall reduction in coal use.

And increases in China’s oil and gas use might have offset the dip in whole or in part.

“What is clear is their economy is slowing, they don’t need to use as much coal, the enormous upsurge in coal use was prompted by very high industrial growth, and the same industries—which were very energy-intensive—have either contracted or stopped growing entirely,” said Derek Scissors, who focuses on China at the American Enterprise Institute.

Chinese industry declining

China will peak its emissions long before 2030, he said. It’s even possible that it has already, though China has not said when its emissions will decline in absolute terms.

But the days of exploding Chinese emissions rates are now over, Scissors said.

“If they had made that Paris commitment back in Copenhagen—where they weren’t at all willing to make it—it would have been a huge deal,” he said, referring to the 2009 climate summit in the Danish capital. “This is all five years too late to be interesting.”

With coal use down and green spending still steady for the time being, China may claim to be an environmental champion, Scissors said.

That may be more than the world’s second-highest emitter can do. U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern is in China through tomorrow to meet with counterparts on the Paris deal and to discuss “bilateral cooperation on climate change, international climate change goals for 2016, and U.S. and Chinese domestic policies to address climate change.”

But while China can point to its coal numbers and other developments, Stern is likely to field questions on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last month to delay implementation of U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan—a pillar of the United States’ Paris pledge.

And that’s not the only question Stern’s counterparts may have, said Robert Stavins, director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements.

“God knows, everybody is asking, ‘What if there’s a Republican administration? What happens to the U.S. [pledge]?’” he said. “So those questions are being asked on both sides.”

The Paris Agreement has provisions that are designed to boost the transparency of carbon reporting and accounting, though developed and developing countries start out with different levels of obligations that then converge over time.

Scissors said that China is unlikely to improve its transparency on any issue because of an international agreement.

“They consider information control a core element of the party’s grip on power,” he said.

What matters is whether the Communist Party decides that increasing disclosure on energy and environment issues is in its best interest, he said, adding, “I think there is some suggestion of that.”

Chinese waste-to-energy plant will be a mile in circumference


On the mountainous outskirts of Shenzhen, a fast-growing megacity in China, the largest waste-to-energy plant in the world is on the horizon.

You can bet that this disk-shaped trash-burning plant isn’t going to do any wonders for China’s notoriously bad air quality. It’s projected to burn 5,500 tons of trash per day — one-third of the waste Shenzhen produces. But the alternative isn’t very pretty, either. Fast Company reports:

In China, most waste currently goes to landfills or illegal dumps — piles of trash so huge that they can actually be dangerous, like the landfill in Shenzhen that collapsed in December and killed dozens of people nearby. It’s a space problem, but also a climate problem, because landfills emit potent greenhouse gases as garbage rots away.

Incinerating trash also pollutes, but a state-of-the-art plant like the one planned for Shenzhen can dramatically reduce pollution compared to a city dump. “Burning waste naturally creates pollutants, mainly carbon dioxide — something in the region of one metric ton of CO2 per metric ton of waste,” says [architect Chris] Hardie. “This does not sound great for sure, but when you compare it to putting the waste to landfill, one metric ton of waste will ultimately produce somewhere in the region of 60 cubic meters of methane as it decomposes — and this has more than twice the negative effect on global warming.”

The Chinese government plans to build 300 waste-to-energy plants in the next three years to combat the country’s growing waste problem.

This particular incinerator-to-be is designed by the Danes. As you might expect from those same folks who are shaming the rest of the world in wind power, the Shenzhen plant has a green twist.

The design features a pedestrian path that winds along its one-mile circumference and a roof covered in 44,000 square meters of solar panels.

We’re hoping that the location is far enough from civilization to avoid displacing Shenzhen’s citizens. (After all, this is coming from the same country that just decided to displace 9,000 people to build a huge, alien-detecting telescope.)

When the plant opens in 2020, Shenzhen’s citizens will be among the few people in the world who could reasonably say, “Hey, wanna take a lap around the incinerator?” And according to the image below, those visitors are going to have a grand time admiring the wonder that is incineration.

Here’s what the inside of the plant may look like. SHL Architects

Here’s what the inside of the plant may look like. SHL Architects

Chinese firm plans €1bn Finnish biorefinery

Will produce 200,000 t/y second generation biofuel

CHINESE bioenergy company Sunshine Kaidi New Energy Group has announced plans to build a €1bn (US$1.1bn) wood-based biorefinery in Kemi, Finland.

The biorefinery will produce 200,000 t/y of second-generation biofuels, 75% of which will be biodiesel and the remainder biogasoline. The biorefinery will be the largest single investment ever made by a Chinese company in Finland, and Kaidi has established a Finnish subsidiary to oversee the project.

The biorefinery will be the first of its kind in the world, while the design will be based on Kaidi’s pilot plant in Wuhan, China. The feedstock for the plant will be sustainably-sourced wood, forestry industry waste and bark. Kaidi says it will need around 2m m3/y of wood, which will be sourced from within a 200 km radius of Kemi. The refinery will use plasma gasification to convert the organic matter into syngas, followed by a cleanup step to remove impurities. The refined syngas will then be subject to the Fischer-Tropsch process to make liquid hydrocarbons. The final products will be suitable for use as drop-in fuels or for blending with petrochemical fuels.

Construction on the site is expected to begin in 2017, with the plant beginning operations in 2019. The plant will employ around 150 permanent staff, with several hundred extra jobs created in wood harvesting, transportation and machinery manufacture. Finland’s forestry industry has suffered in recent years due to the downturn in paper demand, so this is likely to be a welcome boost.

Kaidi chairman and CEO Cheng Yilong said that Finland’s experience in the forestry industry and “positive political climate” had been big incentives to invest in the country.

“Finland is the most interesting investment target in terms of biofuels in the Northern Hemisphere. Finland’s bioeconomy policies are particularly advanced and ambitious, it has large biomass resources and many interesting co-operation partners,” said Cheng.

Hong Kong fallout from China’s reckless nuclear ambitions feared

Unproven and possibly faulty nuclear reactors are being built on Hong Kong’s doorstep and throughout China, a country not known for its transparency or industrial safety, writes Stuart Heaver

Fifty years ago, when China first revealed its nuclear power ambitions, most in the West dismissed them as Maoist propaganda, but there is nothing imaginary about the nation’s current boom in nuclear energy – and not everyone is happy about it.

Scientists and conservationists fear the ever-increasing commercial and environmental pressure to expand the nuclear power sector means not enough attention is being paid to safety. Within a couple of decades, Hong Kong could be in close proximity to as many as 39 reactors, spread across Guangdong province. Two of them are nearing completion just 140km west of Hong Kong, in Taishan, in what has been labelled by green groups as the “most dangerous nuclear power plant in the world”.

We are very worried about Taishan and the design flaws in the reactor vessel and we would like to know what [China General Nuclear Power Group] are doing
Frances Yeung, Greenpeace Asia

“China is developing its nuclear capability too fast; they just don’t have enough trained staff or adequate independent safety infrastructure,” says civil engineer Albert Lai Kwong-tak, convenor of Hong Kong think tank the Professional Commons and a long-standing opponent of nuclear energy. Yet, despite the reservations of campaigners, China is not only the world’s biggest market for nuclear technology but, according to the World Nuclear Association (WNA), it is set to “go global”.


“The only country that is building plants to a significant degree is China,” says nuclear industry analyst Mycle Schneider, from his Beijing hotel room. And the driving force behind the nuclear push is no mystery. The nation is trying to meet an increasing demand for electricity while curbing its emissions of carbon dioxide. According to the United States-based Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), from 1992 to 2012, electricity consumption grew from 666 billion kilowatt-hours to 4,468 billion kilowatt-hours – an average annual growth rate of about 10 per cent – and, currently, non-fossil fuels account for only about 12 per cent of supply in China.

The climate change agreement reached in Paris last month seems only to have increased the political pressure to expand nuclear energy production. China’s senior climate negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, told a news conference in Beijing last month that nuclear energy was “essential” to meet the nation’s 2030 climate change commitments.

“A more dynamic view is that there are [many] nuclear reactors being built around Hong Kong, so immediately the risk increases,” says Lai. According to data provided by the WNA, as well as the nine reactors already in operation, 18 are currently under construction, planned or proposed for Guangdong. There are less definite proposals for a further 12. (Nationally, 30 reactors are in operation, with 64 under construction or planned and another 92 proposed.)


Lai is worried that, despite the track record at the Daya Bay nuclear plant, which has been supplying electricity to Hong Kong since 1994 and provides almost 25 per cent of the city’s needs, nuclear power is “not a mature technology”. He says there are still no proven safe means of disposing of radioactive waste and, despite pledges to build a dedicated facility, all of Daya Bay’s spent fuel rods are still in a temporary facility about 5km from the main plant.

“In Daya Bay, we adopted French technology, but we now have multiple technologies and much of it is unproven,” says Lai, echoing the official findings reported to China’s State Council in 2012 as part of a nuclear safety review in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster: “China has multiple types of nuclear reactors, multiple technologies and multiple standards of safety”.

The reactors being built in Taishan appear to be among the most problematic. Construction of the plant was begun by French nuclear energy giant Areva and the €8 billion (HK$67 billion) contract with China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) to install two third-generation European pressure reactors (EPR) there was heralded by Areva as “the largest international commercial contract signed in civil nuclear history”. The unveiling of the deal, at a ceremony in November 2007, was attended by the Chinese and French presidents in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. In order to save time and money, according to Areva’s official website, the plant was to use technology that had been proven at two EPR plants already under construction in Europe.

“Thanks to the operating experience gained by Areva’s teams on the two first-of-a-kind EPR reactors at Olkiluoto [in Finland] and Flamanville [in France], the project schedule has been shortened by 40 months,” reads a statement on Areva’s website.

It is astonishing that this statement has remained on the website because there is no operating experience to speak of; both Olkiluoto and Flamanville have yet to go online. Both are many years behind schedule and billions of euros over budget. Olkiluoto is already the subject of a complicated and expensive legal dispute between Areva and its partners in Finland.

Rather than being the third plant successfully using the technology, Taishan, surrounded by dense Pearl River Delta conurbations, is more likely to be operating untested EPR reactors, the first fully functioning ones on the planet, should they go into service. Both units are two years behind schedule and last April the news got a whole lot worse, when Pierre-Franck Chevet, head of French nuclear safety agency Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN), reported that a “serious anomaly affecting a crucial component of the nuclear power plant” had been detected.

“Some 92 nuclear power plants have already been abandoned mid-construction and Flamanville could be added to that list anytime soon,” says Schneider. “They found a technical fault [in the reactor casing] and it’s the same situation at Taishan. The material has not been manufactured to the correct technical specification. This is extremely complex.”

Chevet hastily flew to Beijing but the outcome of his meeting has yet to be made public. He had added that unless he was satisfied with the plans to rectify the problem, he could put a stop to the EPR project in France, a decision that could have disastrous and far-reaching ramifications for Beijing’s nuclear ambitions and the French economy, which is heavily reliant on the nuclear programme in China.

“The situation in France is absolutely critical because the financial status of the key nuclear companies could actually threaten the state,” says Schneider. Areva is in such a fragile financial condition, French state-owned power company EDF announced last summer that it was to take over at least 51 per cent of Areva’s reactor business.

“The share price of Areva is just going from historical low to historical low,” says Schneider, who doesn’t think there is any quick fix to the EPR problem.

China is committed to third-generation reactors on the grounds that they are safer and cheaper to operate than older technology. If it is proved that one of the two key designs – the EPR – is unworkable or unsafe, the nation’s entire nuclear programme is likely to be reviewed.

In response to inquiries regarding the safety of Taishan 1&2 and Chevet’s dash to Beijing, ASN informed Post Magazine, “P.F. Chevet was in China last July. The visit was dedicated to the bilateral exchanges about safety”, without providing any further information.

TAISHAN IS VEILED IN SECRECY, even though the safety implications directly affect tens of millions of people and the fear is that the very high levels of political and financial capital invested in the Chinese nuclear dream will eventually outweigh any public safety concerns.

The principal evacuation zone established after the Fukushima plant was damaged by the Tohoku earthquake in 2011 was 30km. Nevertheless, says Schneider, technical evaluations have found hot spots of radioactivity 60km from the plant that were higher than those found in the exclusion zones surrounding Chernobyl, the Soviet nuclear power plant that melted down in 1986.

The finances of China’s nuclear energy programme are eye-watering and the stakes are high. The total assets of CGN, which operates most of the Guangdong plants, are expected to have grown to one trillion yuan (HK$1.19 trillion) by 2020, according to state media reports, and the numbers affect economies outside China.

According to the NEI, the direct economic benefit to the US of the recently renewed 123 Agreement to continue trading nuclear technology with China is expected to be between US$70 billion and US$204 billion through to 2040, when the agreement expires. Between 20,000 and 45,000 US jobs depend on that trade and those jobs are potential political gold in an election year – and the only customer for the American Westinghouse AP1000 reactor is China, which is currently constructing four, in Zhejiang and Shandong provinces. The third-generation AP1000 is also untested in the real world, and the reactors being built in China are years behind schedule, too.

When, in November, Areva announced a possible minority stake sale to another major player, China National Nuclear Corp, and a partnership covering all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, some commentators saw it as a bailout by the Chinese. Schneider finds it astounding that anyone would seek a partnership with what he calls a “bankrupt company”.

“Everybody is scared to death about losing billions of euros if these plants don’t open,” says Schneider, adding that all eyes will be on tests in France scheduled for this year and the ASN will be under enormous pressure.

“You don’t need to be an expert to imagine the huge commercial pressure in play,” says Schneider. “But what does it mean when an almost bankrupt company is operating a nuclear facility?”

IN 2011, 172,000 PEOPLE were evacuated from the exclusion zone around Fukushima. Later that year, Nature magazine and Columbia University, in New York, reported that two-thirds of the world’s power plants have 30km radiuses that each encompasses more than 172,000 people. If that radius is widened to 75km, the plants at Longgang, in Shenzhen – Daya Bay and Ling Ao – top the league in terms of number of people most at risk, each threatening about 28 million people, including everyone in Hong Kong.

The same Nature article looked at key risks for nuclear energy plants: the likelihood of external events (tsunami/earthquake/terrorist attack, etc), the age of reactors and what experts call “the culture of safety”.


Age is a concern in China because nuclear plants are most dangerous at the beginning as well as at the end of their life cycles. The 1979 Three Mile Island accident in the US occurred in a reactor that had started operation only three months earlier, and the accident at Chernobyl occurred after only two years of operation. A serious loss of coolant occurred at the French Civaux-1 reactor in 1998, less than five months after start-up.

With regard to external threats, one of the Guangdong plants on the drawing board is proposed for Huizhou, which, it is envisioned, will have two AP1000 reactors up and running by 2025. [3] reports that no less than 16 earthquakes have shaken Huizhou in the past 30 years, the most recent, on August 31, 2012, having a magnitude of 4.4.

Nature explains that the “culture of safety” is an intangible value but extends beyond legislation and regulation to an innate appreciation of risk. Recent industrial accidents, such as the explosion at the port of Tianjin last August and the mudslide at a construction-waste site in Shenzhen last month, suggest such a culture isn’t particularly strong in China.

“We are very worried about Taishan and the design flaws in the reactor vessel and we would like to know what CGN are doing,” says Frances Yeung Hoi-shan, energy group leader for Greenpeace Asia. “We simply don’t know. Investors were informed that the plant would not open until 2017 but there was little detail.”

It comes as no surprise that Greenpeace Asia has consistently rejected nuclear power as part of Hong Kong’s energy mix – the parent group was initially set up to protest nuclear weapons testing, after all – but it has a separate concern about the proliferation of nuclear plants in Guangdong and how transparent the safety processes will be. In April, the environmental group wrote to the Hong Kong government requesting information about Taishan 1&2 and Yeeng was not impressed with the reply, which only reaffirmed that any major incidents would be reported as an extension of the protocol set up for Daya Bay and that “tests” were being carried out.


“Transparency is very important about these plants because Hong Kong people have a right to know. The government is not proactive enough. We can’t just sit and wait to be informed when something does go wrong,” she says.

Says Lai, “If the French authorities had not told us about the problems with the EPR, we would probably have never known.”

Daya Bay is owned under a joint venture in which local power provider CLP has a 25 per cent stake, so it can exert pressure at board level and even offer public visits to the site. Its influence also extends to a limited extent to the four reactors subsequently built at the neighbouring Ling Ao plant, says CLP, in which it has no financial interest.

“Besides being represented in the board of the joint-venture company of Daya Bay, CLP has also played an instrumental role in introducing international safety practices at the plant level,” says Tang Chi-cheung, senior director, nuclear at CLP Holdings. He says his company’s involvement has improved public communication and has played a part in “enhancing transparency”. He emphasises the environmental benefits of nuclear power, which, according to CLP figures, saves 7.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from being emitted each year in Hong Kong.

“To put the environmental benefit into perspective, it is equivalent to planting a woodland area of 57 times the size of Hong Kong Island,” says Tang, who does not rule out sourcing electricity from wholly Chinese-owned plants, including Taishan 1&2.

“It is too early to get into the specifics of more nuclear imports given that it is a future decision to be reached by the government and the general community,” he says.

Tang expresses confidence in China’s regulatory body and says that, post-Fukushima, the central government “has placed a priority on safety in its nuclear programme”.


FIFTY YEARS AGO LAST MONTH, a front page headline in the South China Morning Post read, “China: ‘We can build N-power stations'”. And it has – but nuclear is still responsible for only about 2 per cent to the nation’s energy mix, and industry experts such as Schneider think China is possibly the last show in town for nuclear power, as the “smart money” moves to renewable alternatives.

While no one is alleging negligence on the part of the Chinese Nuclear Safety Administration and many agree that safety has been tightened post-Fukushima, even advocates of nuclear energy express reservations in private about the frenetic pace of growth and the lack of transparency. Schneider says one senior Chinese academic confided in him at an energy conference in Macau that he thought the speed of expansion was “more than crazy”.

One million signatures were obtained in objection to Daya Bay before it opened in 1994 and a 2013 Hong Kong government survey revealed that only 34.5 per cent of respondents were confident about the operational safety of Shenzhen’s nuclear power plants. Although a respected local operator such as CLP, with a share price to maintain, can influence decisions regarding safety at Daya Bay, such a mechanism does not apply to the other plants in Guangdong, including Taishan 1&2.

“We need to get this right,” says Lai, because if the pace of expansion continues unchecked and the public and media remain excluded from the apparent nuclear success story until a Fukushima occurs in Guangdong, it may well spell doom for everyone in the Pearl River Delta.

Source URL:

900 TPD Waste to Energy Contract for Everbright in China

Hong Kong based waste to energy developer, China Everbright International (HKSE: 00257), has won the bid for the 900 tonne per day Shandong Zoucheng waste to energy project in China.

The company said that it has now signed a concession agreement with the City Appearance & Environmental Health Bureau of Zoucheng for the Zoucheng waste to energy project which will be constructed on a BOT (Build‐Operate‐Transfer) basis with a concession period of 30 years.

The plant has a designed daily household waste processing capacity of 900 tonnes and will be constructed in two phases. Phase I has a daily household waste processing capacity of 600 tonnes.

Everbright said that the project represents a total investment of approximately RMB353 million ($55.5 million) and that gas emissions will fully comply with the Euro 2000 Standard. It is expected to generate approximately 70,000 GWh of electricity annually.

The company added that Zoucheng is a national historical and cultural attraction and one of China’s top tourist cities with sites such as Mencius Temple pictured above. Given its continued economic and social development and its increasing amount of waste generated, the Zoucheng government launched the waste‐to‐energy project to facilitate the harmless treatment, reduction and reuse of household waste.

The Zoucheng Project is the first waste to energy facility to be developed in the city.

Massive Beijing charging station can charge 30 e-buses at up to 360 kW

EV bus charging in Xiaoying Charging Complex (PRNewsFoto/Microvast)

EV bus charging in Xiaoying Charging Complex (PRNewsFoto/Microvast)

China is now the capital of big things, especially when it comes to EVs. China State Grid has opened the world’s largest ultra-fast EV charging station in Beijing. The 26,500-square-meter charging complex at Xiaoying Terminal has 25 360 kW chargers and five 90 kW chargers, and can charge 30 electric transit buses at a time.

Xiaoying Terminal originally supported a natural gas hybrid bus fleet. At least 10 city bus routes have now converted to battery-electric buses. For example, route 13 is using Foton buses with battery technology from Microvast (featured in Charged Issue 4). Recharging takes 10-15 minutes, and takes place 2-3 times per day, during driver breaks, with several route loops between each charge.

There are already plans for the facility to be expanded as more bus routes convert to EVs.

China’s long-awaited C02 market to cover 10,000 firms

Nationwide system on course to be the world’s biggest when it launches in 2017, official says

China’s long-awaited nationwide carbon market will cover as many as 10,000 firms and regulate nearly half of the country’s total emissions once launched in 2017, a senior official said on the sidelines of the Paris climate talks yesterday.

Jiang Zhaoli, vice-head of the climate office of the state planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission, said China’s carbon market would become the world’s biggest, and its targets would be higher than those set by the state “in order to guarantee it had sufficient effect”.

“When the market begins in 2017 it will already have almost 10,000 firms,” Jiang said. “After 2020, the size will be bigger and will involve more enterprises.”

The market would cover 31 provinces, six industrial sectors and 15 sub-industries, and would involve 4 billion tonnes of annual carbon emissions at its launch, amounting to almost half of the country’s total, he said.

President Xi Jinping pledged during his visit to the United States in September that China would roll out a nationwide carbon trading scheme by 2017, building on the seven regional pilot markets first introduced in 2013.

unnamed (13)

Jiang’s comments suggest the market will begin more ambitiously than expected.

Previous estimates from market designers suggested it would regulate 3-4 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year by the end of its first phase in 2020.

While China has included the promotion of “market mechanisms” in its pledges to combat climate change, they remain controversial and were unlikely to be included in a final agreement in Paris, said Su Wei, China’s top climate negotiator, at a briefing in Paris on Saturday.

As far as market mechanisms are concerned, we think the market could play a very important role in achieving actions to mitigate and adapt to the impact of climate change

Su Wei, China’s top climate negotiator

“As far as market mechanisms are concerned, we think the market could play a very important role in achieving actions to mitigate and adapt to the impact of climate change,” he said.

“But as to whether there is going to be inclusion in the text of the Paris agreement, we think that that is not the priority,” Su said.

“There are a lot of different views about whether we should rely more on non-market mechanisms … and I don’t think that sort of difference should stand in the way of having a successful outcome in the Paris [climate] negotiations.”

China’s central government pledged last year to peak carbon output by around 2030, reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and offer help to poor countries adapting to the impact of global warming.

Source URL:

Thousands clash with police over incinerator construction in Guangdong

Violence has broken out between the police and thousands of villagers in Guangdong protesting over the building of a trash incinerator.

Villagers in Yangchun, Guangdong have been protesting since October 3, blocking the highway leading to the incinerator. Many demonstrators have been arrested. Clashes intensified this week when villagers knocked over a police vehicle and set it on fire,Apple Daily reported.

The Conch Cement Company had concealed the fact that it was building and testing an incinerator facility in its factory area. The gases and contaminants generated, such as dioxin, would affect the residents who lived nearby, according to US-backed Radio Free Asia.

“How will we survive breathing in noxious smoke?” an Internet firm employee told Reuters earlier this month.


The building of the incinerator was seen as a sign of corruption and collusion between government officials and businesses as it was reportedly pushed through without having undergone an environmental impact assessment. The public had not been informed of the project beforehand and it was also not subjected to government supervision, Stand News reported.

Videos and pictures on social media showed thousands of protesters gathered at the door of the company’s factory, holding red flags and bats. The police were reported to have used tear gas and arrested many of the protesters. Vehicles had been burnt, and many police officers and protesters were injured in the clashes.

Protests over environmental issues are common in China, especially in Guangdong.CNA News reported that a similar incident had happened this year when thousands protested over the building of an incinerator in Wuchuan, Zhanjiang in Guangdong.