Jul 222014
 
Official: Oil spill 'poses no threat' to public
WYFF Greenville
The spill happened in the Tail Race area of the Keowee River and can be seen from the bridge over Highway 183 near the Pickens County line. Gatten said about five gallons of oil spilled from what she described as an apparent equipment failure. "Keowee …
Hydroelectric plant spill releases oil into Keowee RiverGreenville News

all 3 news articles »

oil spill – read more

Jul 212014
 

Originally Published in the ECOreport

Courtesy 2014 International Energy efficiency Scorecard

Map showing ranking for Energy Efficiency – Courtesy 2014 International Energy efficiency Scorecard

Germany is #1 in the World for Energy Efficiency, according to the 2014 scorecard released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) today. Sixteen nations were studied. Six of the top 10 were from Europe. Canada was the only North American nation to make the cut, placing 9th.

Table 6 : Final Scores and ranking by country – International Energy  Efficiency Scorecard

Germany is #1 in the World for Energy Efficiency, According to Table 6 : Final Scores and ranking by country – International Energy Efficiency Scorecard

“Germany is a prime example of a nation that has made energy efficiency a top priority,” ACEEE Executive Director Steven Nadel said in a press release. “The United States, long considered an innovative and competitive world leader, has progressed slowly and has made limited progress since our last report, even as Germany, Italy, China, and other nations surge ahead.”

German Trade and Invest issued a press release noting that:

The study praised Germany’s comprehensive energy strategy and awarded the country maximum points for its building codes, retrofit policies, and tax credit and loan programs.

“Germany’s commitment to creating a framework that encourages investment in energy efficiency has made it a world-leading market in the field,” says Henning Ellermann, energy efficiency industry expert at Germany Trade & Invest.

For example, Germany’s state development bank’s building renovation loan program stimulated private investments of over EUR 34 billion (USD 46 billion) in 2013, government figures show. Germany also offers SMEs subsidies of up to 30% for improvements to the efficiency of their manufacturing processes made by upgrading technology and equipment

The ACEEE report lauded Germany’s target of a 20% reduction in primary energy consumption by 2020 and 50% by 2050, compared to 2008 levels, and awarded the country first place for energy efficiency in the industrial sector.

“We are doing well but there are still a lot of untapped business opportunities in the German energy efficiency sector that make great economic sense even without subsidies,” says Ellermann, who assists companies looking to establish a presence in Germany.

Table 19: Buildings sector scores by country  – Courtesy 2014 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard

Table 19: Buildings sector scores by country – Courtesy 2014 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard

The EU intends to establish a near zero energy standard for all new buildings by 2012.

“For Germany’s construction sector — the largest in the EU — the Energy Saving Ordinance will have a major impact,” Ellermann said.  “The regulations call for a 25 percent reduction in energy use for all new residential and non-residential buildings built from January 1, 2016. As of 2021, the EU’s nearly zero energy standard will apply to all new buildings.”

Italy was only one point behind Germany and was given the highest marks for transportation.

Table 3. Total final energy consumption per capita – Courtesy International Energy Efficiency ScorecardThe 28 member European Union was evaluated as one country and placed third overall, behind two of its members.  The EU, France and Italy tied on their scores for national energy efficiency efforts.

Canada’s relative strong standing, in North America, came about because it has “energy-savings targets in place and (is) offering incentives and loans for efficiency improvements.” The marks for buildings were also good: Canada, Australia and Spain tied for 6th in this category.

We never-the less “scored low in industrial efficiency and would benefit from establishing a mandate for plant energy managers and mandatory energy audits.”

Canada was among the worst nations in terms of the “number of vehicle miles traveled per person,” only exceeded by the US and Australia and scored lowest in terms of total energy consumption.

The report’s evaluation of the US was scathing, using terms like “inefficiency,” “a tremendous waste of energy resources and money” and “limited progress.”

“How can the United States compete in a global economy if it continues to waste money and energy that other industrialized nations save and can reinvest?” the authors ask.

U.S. Congressman Peter Welch (Vermont) said: “There’s really no excuse for the U.S. lagging behind other nations on energy efficiency.

Figure 2: Country Scores by Sector – Courtesy 2014 International Energy efficiency Scorecard

Figure 2: Country Scores by Sector – Courtesy 2014 International Energy efficiency Scorecard

Germany is #1 in the World for Energy Efficiency was originally published on CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 50,000 other subscribers: Google+ | Email | Facebook | RSS | Twitter.


CleanTechnica

Jul 212014
 
DEP reports 'light' oil spill on Monongahela River
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Investigators found a light, petroleum-like sheen on the Monongahela River this morning. John Poister, spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection Southwest region, said the agency received a call around 7 a.m. Sunday from Allegheny …

and more »

oil spill – read more

Jul 212014
 

Care2.com
Obama Plan Helps Communities Prepare For Extreme Weather Brought On By
Care2.com
Extreme weather doesn't just threaten our infrastructure. It also endangers our health. Intense heat, for instance, makes air pollution worse and contributes to asthma attacks and other respiratory problems. Powerful storms can foul drinking water and
Obama: Climate Change Is a Threat to US InfrastructureTriple Pundit

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extreme weather – read more

Jul 212014
 

Stuff.co.nz
Norwegian 'viking' won't pay Antarctica fine
Stuff.co.nz
A self-proclaimed viking who sailed a yacht from Auckland to Antarctica without permission has been fined but refuses to pay. Norwegian authorities fined Jarle Andhoy 45,000 Norwegian kroner (NZ$ 8360) for violating environmental protection protocols in …

antarctica – read more

Jul 212014
 

22,000 MW solar power capacity by 2022, a dedicated national-level program for promoting wind energy generation, implementation of the world’s largest solar power projects (with capacity of up to 4,000 MW), covering canals with solar panels, implementing dedicated transmission corridors for distributing electricity from renewable energy projects, and cleaning one of the largest rivers in India. This is just a small list of initiatives that India plans to implement in the renewable energy and the environment protection sector.

Such initiatives would require billions of dollars of investment. So India’s finance minister has decided to double the tax on every metric ton of coal mined or imported in the country. Coal mining companies and importers have paid ₹50 ($ 0.83) per metric of coal since 2010, this tax has now been increased to ₹100 ($ 1.67).

Coal_lump

The revenue raised from this tax feeds to the National Clean Energy Fund. The fund was established to provide low-cost finance to renewable energy projects and the Green Corridors transmission project. According to media reports, the fund was no way near being utilised and had an unused corpus of ₹8,300 crore. With the new government planning to spend as much as ₹1,000 crore ($ 167 million) for projects earmarked for this financial year (ending March 2015), things could change rapidly.

The government has earmarked ₹500 crore for the initial implementation work for four ultra mega solar power projects, each with a capacity between 2,000 MW and 4,000 MW. Another ₹400 crore ($ 67 million) would be provided for installation of 100,000 solar-powered irrigation sets and water-pumping stations. The Prime Minister’s pet project, the canal-top solar power plant, would receive ₹100 crore ($ 17 million) this year.

The scope of expenditure from this fund has also been widened to include environmental projects and research and development projects in the clean energy and environment sectors. Probably for the first time in India’s history, a separate ministry for cleaning the Ganga river has been established. The Ganges has been on the receiving end of blatant abuse for several decades, threatening probably the single largest source of potable and irrigation water in India. Stating the Ganges is the lifeline of Bangladesh would probably a gross understatement. The aim is to clean rivers across the country and develop their banks as major tourist and pilgrimage spots.

India’s demand for coal is not likely to subside any time in the short to medium term — thus, this tax could raise massive amounts of revenue to boost India’s renewable energy and environmental protection sectors. According to some estimates, this tax could raise up to ₹7,400 crore ($ 1.2 billion) during a period of 12 months. This amount would only increase as the demand for coal in India has been increasing for several years.

Image Credit: Nostrifikator (CC BY-SA 3.0)

India Doubles Tax On Coal To Fund Clean Energy, Environmental Projects was originally published on CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 50,000 other subscribers: Google+ | Email | Facebook | RSS | Twitter.


CleanTechnica

Jul 202014
 

California officials have ordered an emergency shut-down of 11 oil and gas waste injection sites and a review more than 100 others in the state’s drought-wracked Central Valley out of fear that companies may have been pumping fracking fluids and other …
fracking wastewater – read more

Jul 202014
 

Telegraph.co.uk
Costa Concordia: emergency response teams rush to deal with oil spill before
Telegraph.co.uk
The Oil Spill Response team was immediately activated and the area was cleaned through the use of absorbent booms,” said a statement from Costa Cruises, the company that owns the Concordia. “The team is replacing the absorbing booms in the area.” …
Costa Concordia oil spill 'nothing to worry about'The Guardian
Oil spill at Italy shipwreck siteThe News
Dutch captain unfazed over role in Costa Concordia salvageIrish Times (blog)
Scientific American
all 81 news articles »

oil spill – read more

Jul 202014
 

One of the major players in the EV industry, BYD Auto, is now currently aiming for its first Brazilian (and first South American) manufacturing plant to open sometime in 2015.

The factory — which is set to be built in the city of Campinas in the São Paulo region of the country — will cover the whole manufacturing and assembly process of the company’s highly touted long-range EV buses, including the recyclable Iron-Phosphate battery packs that they use.

Image Credit: BYD

The factory will be built with an investment of around R$ 200,000,000 ($ 89.5 million), and will result in the creation of somewhere around 450 new local jobs.

“In the first year of operation (starting in 2015), the plant will have a maximum production capacity of 1,000 electric buses as well as all of their batteries,” stated BYD Brazil’s General Manager Tyler Li. “This is the first stage of manufacturing expansion. BYD chose Campinas because of this city’s spirit of innovation and their goal of building a cleaner society. Along with the buses and batteries, our dream is to build solar panels and energy storage systems here to help the region achieve their zero emissions goals.”

BYD’s Founder and Chairman, Wang Chuanfu, echoed that statement: “BYD chose Campinas because of this city’s spirit of innovation and their goal of building a cleaner society. Along with the buses and batteries, our dream is to build solar panels and energy storage systems here to help the region achieve their zero emissions goals.”

The two (as of now) manufacturing facilities will cover about 32,000m2, and 20,000m2, respectively. In addition to said facilities, the planned “second phase” of BYD’s development at the site will include an R&D center for the company’s related businesses (solar PV, smart-grid, and LEDs).

Jonas Donizette, the Mayor of Campinas, chimed in on the subject: “BYD fits very well in our City’s quest to attract investments, it is a company that produces goods and technologies related to the use of renewable energies, and also operates in key segments for the future of cities with sustainable urban mobility plans.”

BYD Planning For First Brazilian Factory To Open In 2015 was originally published on CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 50,000 other subscribers: Google+ | Email | Facebook | RSS | Twitter.


CleanTechnica

Jul 202014
 

Mumbai: 48 personnel have been evacuated after a high pressure, highly inflammable gas leak took place at a well that the state-owned ONGC was drilling at its prime Mumbai High oil and gas fields, off Mumbai coast on Saturday evening. Drilling operations …
drilling leak – read more