Posts Tagged ‘China’
Talk about strange bedfellows: China is the largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions in the world, but the country, in conjunction with The Nature Conservancy, is working to curb the causes and effects of climate change.
It might seem like a strange partnership between a non-profit and a huge nation, but it seems to work. TNC’s Conservation Blueprint project identified 32 regions that TNC and the Chinese government believe are most vital to the country’s environmental future. The U.S.-based conservation group is analyzing how ecosystem-based adaptation strategies “can help those regions thrive.” Read the rest of this entry »
Thanks in large part to the support the Chinese government has offered to manufacturing, cheap solar panels flooded the global market causing a great deal of damage to renewable energy businesses. The damage was fueled by subsidies from the Chinese government that allowed manufacturers to sell solar panels for less than actual cost, thus allowing these manufacturers to dominate the market and put many foreign developers out of business. Read the rest of this entry »
The short answer is: probably not. There are many reasons to question the wisdom of exporting U.S. coal to Asia through five planned terminals in the Pacific Northwest, including huge health, safety and environmental risks.
But what if the entire underlying economic rationale for this whole exercise—China’s supposed insatiable and never-ending demand for U.S. coal exports—is non-existent? What if that perceived and anticipated market, even if it once existed, is disappearing?
That’s the conclusion of a recent Greenpeace report, “The Myth of China’s Endless Coal Demand: A missing market for US Exports.”
“The US coal industry – reeling from sagging domestic demand, plummeting profits, and tanking stock prices – is desperate for a new market for its wares, and it thinks it has found one in China,” Greenpeace says. “But in reality, the Chinese market for US coal exports may dry up before major new US coal shipments ever reach its ports.” Read the rest of this entry »
If you’re wondering what to do with all of those old CD cases stacked around the ranch now that you either store and listen to your music online and/or have your faves stored on MP3s, how about building a new house or office with them? It can be done.
The China architecture firm Atelier Feichang Jianzhu (check out its amazing website) designed the stunning Shanghai Corporate Pavilion using thousands of plastic tubes made entirely from CD cases.
Even better, the polycarbonate tubes can be recycled again entirely at the end of the building’s life.
And it’s solar! Energy is collected by way of a 5,249-foot solar thermal energy system of heat conducting tubes on the roof. They heat water up to 95 F and will be used to generate electricity.
The Shanghai Pavilion also features a misting system that can be sprayed in various patterns under the entrance ceiling, but it’s not merely a cosmetic nicety. The mist also will lower the temperature, purify the air and help create a comfortable climate in the pavilion.
In addition, the company signed an agreement with the China Huadian New Energy Development Co. (HNE) to develop utility-scale and commercial rooftop solar projects totaling 500mw in China’s western provinces.
The recent announcements were the latest in a flurry of moves by the world’s largest crystalline photovoltaic module manufacturer, which has regional headquarters in Beijing, Wuxi, China and San Francisco. Suntech trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol STP.
Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Under the partnership with CECIC, the state-owned energy conservation company will be responsible for project investment and solar project development, while Suntech will supply the solar products, system design and technical support. The plan is to develop large-scale, on-grid projects, urban building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) projects, rural off-grid projects and wind-solar hybrid projects.
CECIC focuses on energy conservation investment and also consults on conservation and policy to government agencies.
In the deal with HNE, Suntech will supply silicon solar modules along with system design and tech support. HNE will oversee investment and solar project development.
Suntech said the projects developed under the collaborations could include solar initiatives previously announced by the company in Qinghai province, Shaanxi province, Ningxia province’s Shizuishan city, Panzhihua in Sichuan province and in Jiangsu province.
The transformation to a globally green and sustainable mindset eventually will happen if enough small steps are taken.
With that perspective in mind the agreement between United States and China to establish a jointly owned clean energy research center fits, or let’s hope so. The agreement between the planet’s two most prolific polluters involves an investment of only $30 million, but maybe it’s a precursor of more to come.
Under the memorandum of understanding signed recently by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Chinese Minister of Science Wan Gang, and Administrator of National Energy Administration Zhang Guo Bao, each nation will contribute $15 million to set up the research facility, which will have headquarter sites in each country.
According to the DOE the center will “facilitate joint research and development on clean energy by teams of scientists and engineers from the U.S. and China, as well as serve as a clearinghouse to help researchers in each country.” The “priority topics” will initially include energy efficiency, clean-coal including carbon capture and storage, and clean vehicles.
“Working together, we can accomplish more than acting alone,” Chu said.
Facility locations haven’t been determined. The department says the objective is for initial operations to begin by year-end.
A fact sheet distributed by DOE says collaboration “on science and technology (S&T) has long been a cornerstone of overall U.S.-China cooperation.” The first agreement between the two countries after relations were normalized in 1979 was on S&T cooperation.
DOE currently manages 12 agreements with China under that S&T framework on a variety of energy, sciences and technologies including: building and industrial energy efficiency, clean vehicles, renewable energy, nuclear energy and science, and biological and environmental research.
Opportunities abound for U.S.-China cooperation on clean-energy technologies. It makes sense, and maybe eventually cents, to start somewhere.
In the world of diplomacy just getting to this point qualifies as significant. But in the real-world climate-change battle the follow-through is what we should watch, and especially whether the research center is sidetrtacked by the ‘clean-coal’ delusion.
A China State Council policy paper released early this month aims to stimulate the country’s bioindustry by building a number of large enterprises operated by multinational companies.
The policy outline also encompasses “innovation-oriented small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and industrialization bases,” according to the June 2 People’s Daily Online report. Other reports on this appears in China Daily and Xinhua.
The measures, Policies to Accelerate Biological Industry Growth, comprise 33 items in 10 parts, involving policy targets, key fields in the biological industry, technology innovation, attracting talent and providing fund support.
China sees this bioindustry policy boost as potentially producing revenue of 500 billion yuan ($73.1 billion), although the timeframe for this is unclear.
“Efforts should be made to attract more technologies, talents and capital to the bio-industry and build an innovation system with companies playing the leading role. Important technologies, products and standards with Chinese independent intellectual property rights have to be developed,” the PD report says.
The policy document identifies priorities in the bio-pharmaceutical, bio-agriculture, bio-energy, bio-manufacturing and bio-environmental protection sectors.
”Governments at all levels are required to invest more on R&D and industrialization of bio-tech, especially on demonstration projects of priority technologies,” the PD continues. “The national government will give support to biodegradable materials and bio-energy products, including non-grain made fuel ethanol, bio-diesel, biomass thermal power, etc.”
Also, enterprises, research institutions, higher education institutions and individuals “are encouraged” to file for IP protection for new botanic varieties, patents and trademarks.
Favorable tax treatment will be granted to R&D costs for new technologies, new techniques and new products under the new policy.
The document also stresses the importance of greater efforts to protect biogenetic resources, bio-safety management and ethical review of bio-research.