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Clean Energy Nepal Newsletter
CE News is a free weekly e-mail publications that features news, information and events related clean energy, clean air and climate change. CE News is published by Clean Energy Nepal. For more information on our campaign please visit http://www.cen.org.np/ To contribute articles, news items, or event announcements for the next issue, send an email with the complete details and URL source to [email protected]

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LOCAL NEWS

Hydro Investors Protest Ministry Decision
One public private company Spark Hydroelectric Company Limited (SHCL) has announced to fight against a decision of the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) that cancelled the company's license for feasibility of generation of Tamor-Mewa Hydroelectric Project.
The SHCL investors described the ministry's decision of revoking its license as a "biased and unilateral" action against an independent and domestic investment. "This decision was taken without providing appropriate reasons, prior notice and without giving any opportunity for furnishing any clarification on the side of the investors," said Bhanendra Kumar Limbu, Chairman and Managing Director of the company at a press meet held in the capital on Wednesday.
Limbu informed that the company has already spent around 75 million rupees for the project so far. The project is estimated to cost 14 billion rupees, according to the company.
Source: http://ekantipur.com/

Hetauda Cement To Cut Pollutant Discharge
Bowing down to mounting pressure from local residents, Hetauda Cement Factory is going to install an equipment to curb air pollution from dust particles discharged by the factory.
The factory has decided to set up a Reverse Air Back House at a cost of Rs 57.4 million in a bid to control the quantity of particles going into the air, a source at the factory said.
"Quantity of dust particles will go down substantially along with control of cement wastage through such particles in the days to come," the source told the Post.
Local residents had launched a year long protest demanding installation of a new device as the old device had failed to bring down air pollution level.
The factory expects to recover the cost of the new equipment within three years by containing wastage of cement with the new installation.
Pollution is affecting the residents of Padampokhari, Churiamai VDC and wards 7, 8 and 9 of Hetauda municipality and also inflicting annual loss of Rs 20 million to the factory.
Source: http://ekantipur.com/

PM Koirala Promises Rs 1bn Loan For NOC
Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has promised that the government would provide over Rs 1 billion loan to Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) to ease its mounting dues and help it import more fuel to normalize the fuel supply.
The assurance came after the cash-strapped NOC on Thursday warned of an acute shortage of petroleum products in the country, if the government failed to hike the petroleum prices or grant loan.
NOC had said that sale and distribution of petroleum products was likely to come to a grinding halt as it was running out of stockpile. NOC officials had informed that they have petrol, diesel and kerosene available for only six more days and air turbine fuel for another eight days.
As per the latest prices sent last week by the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the sole supplier of petroleum products to NOC, the latter’s monthly losses have reached the highest ever peak at Rs 1.78 billion.
The crisis has worsened after the Indian Oil Corporation, the sole supplier of petroleum products to Nepal, cut the fuel supply after NOC failed to clear its dues to IOC. The outstanding dues that NOC owes to IOC stands at Rs 2.45 billion. The outstanding due of NOC has already crossed Rs 14.44 billion including Rs 7.30 billion loans it had borrowed from the government. It has also taken loans worth Rs 2.15 billion from the commercial banks, Rs 2.54 billion from the Citizen Investment Trust and Employees Provident Fund.
Source: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/ May 24

Government To Ease Petroleum Supply
Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Purushottam Ojha, has said that the government would soon introduce a package for trouble-free supply of the petroleum products in the country.
Sharma made the plan public at an interaction programme with the businessmen organized by the Pokhara Chamber of Commerce and Industries here today.
The package includes the adjustment of the petroleum prices on par with the international market prices, production of alternative energy, construction of hydro-electricity projects and a new scheme for the subsidy in petroleum products.
He also hinted that different price tags for the petroleum products are in the pipeline. The ministry maintained that the current price of petroleum products in Nepal dates back to the time when the international price was $ 80 per barrel, adding that the supply has faced a problem since the international price has now reached $ 135.
Replying to a query, Secretary Ojha admitted that the import to Nepal soared as the government, after being a member of the SAFTA, had to cut import duty.
Source: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/ May 25

Load-Shedding Cut To 9 Hrs Weekly
Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has further shortened load shedding hours from 21.5 hours to nine hours a week with effect from Tuesday as the water level in rivers increased in recent days.
Following enforcement of the latest load-shedding schedule, every household will face power outage three days a week. Power supply will go off continuously for four hours in the daytime (2 pm to 6 pm) once in a week. Likewise, NEA will cut power supply from 7 pm to 9:30 pm and 6:30 pm to 9 pm on two different days a week. This scheme will be applied to each of the seven area segments currently in use.
According to Sher Singh Bhatt, Director of System Operation Department at NEA, once the Khimti hydropower project comes into operation, the load-shedding hours will be significantly shortened yet again. Power generation at the 60-MW Khimti plant has been halted at present for maintenance work. Khimti will resume operation in a week, according to him.
Source: The Kathmandu Post, May 27, 2008

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Obama Says Fuel Prices Will Change Car Habits
By Jeff Mason
Barack Obama said Americans would start changing the kinds of cars they drive if gasoline prices continue to climb and said he owned a hybrid vehicle, though he doesn't drive it much.
Obama, an Illinois senator and the front-runner for his party's presidential nomination, has made fighting climate change a key issue of his campaign, and as fuel prices soar, he has repeatedly called on car makers to increase fuel efficiency standards.
Without specifically telling Americans to stop buying gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles, the Illinois senator said higher fuel prices would lead to a shift.
Obama, who spends most of his time traveling around the country on a plane and in cars driven by his Secret Service agents, does have a car of his own that is environmentally friendly.
Source: http://uk.reuters.com

Where Breathing Is Deadly
By Nicholas D. Kristof
China's biggest health disaster isn't the terrible Sichuan earthquake this month. It's the air.
The quake killed at least 55,000 people, generating a response that has been heartwarming and inspiring, with even schoolchildren in China donating to the victims. Yet with little notice, somewhere between 300,000 and 400,000 Chinese die prematurely every year from the effects of outdoor air pollution, according to studies by Chinese and international agencies alike.
In short, roughly as many Chinese die every two months from the air as were killed in the earthquake. And the problem is becoming international: just as Californians can find Chinese-made shoes in their stores, they can now find Chinese-made haze in their skies.
None of this is surprising: rural China is full of "cancer villages" caused by pollution from factories. Beijing's air sometimes has a particulate concentration that is four times the level considered safe by the World Health Organization.
The city of Shanghai charges up to $7,000 for a license plate, thus reducing the number of new vehicles, and China has planted millions of trees and hugely expanded the use of natural gas to reduce emissions.
Source: http://www.iht.com/ May 25, 2008

Sony Says Develops Cost-Efficient Solar Cells
By Kiyoshi Takenaka
Japanese electronics conglomerate Sony Corp said on Sunday it has developed dye-sensitized solar cells with an energy conversion efficiency of 10 percent, a level seen necessary for commercial use.
Dye-sensitized solar cells, which use photosensitive dye and do not require costly and large-scale production equipment, are seen as a promising next-generation solar cell variety and potential threat to silicon-based solar cells.
Sony's dye-sensitized solar cell operations are still in the research and development stage and nothing has been decided on potential commercialization, a company spokesman said.
Global sales of solar cells are growing briskly due to higher oil prices and strong demand for renewable energy.
Sharp expects its solar cell sales to rise 19 percent in the current business year to March 2009 to 180 billion yen ($1.74 billion).
Source: http://www.reuters.com/ May 25, 2008

G8 Summit Emission Cut Target Likely "Aspirational"
The Group of Eight rich nations will likely agree to an "aspirational" target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 but shun mid-term goals at a July summit, the top U.N. climate official said on Sunday.
Ministers and representatives from the G8 and major emerging countries gathered this weekend in Japan to try to build momentum for U.N.-led climate change talks, but remained at odds over who should do what when, and how much.
About 190 nations have agreed to negotiate by the end of 2009 a successor treaty to the Kyoto pact, which binds 37 advanced nations to cut emissions by an average of 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12.
But with wide gaps within the G8 and between rich and poorer nations over how to share the burden for fighting the climate change that is causing droughts, rising sea levels and more severe storms, some saw slim chance of a breakthrough in July.
Source: http://in.reuters.com/ May 25, 2008

Wind Power Could Make Norway "Europe's Battery"
Norway could become "Europe's battery" by developing huge sea-based wind parks costing up to $44 billion by 2025, Norway's Oil and Energy Minister said on Monday.
Norway's Energy Council, comprising business leaders and officials, said green exports could help the European Union reach a goal of getting 20 percent of its electricity by 2020 from renewable sources such as wind, solar, hydro or wave power.
Sufficient wind parks -- totaling 5,000 to 8,000 megawatts installed capacity -- would cost between 100 billion Norwegian and 220 billion Norwegian crowns ($43.89 billion) assuming prices of 20-28 million crowns per installed megawatt. The energy would be equivalent to up to about eight nuclear power plants. Norway pumps about 2.2 million barrels of oil per day -- $44 billion represents the value of about half a year's output.
Source: Reuters, May 26, 2008 , http://www.enn.com/

Senate Set To Take Up Climate Change Debate
The international fight to control climate change heads to a new arena in June when the Senate is to debate a bill that could cut total U.S. global warming emissions by 66 percent by 2050.
Environmentalists are supportive but want more in the legislation, the business community questions the economic impact, and the politicians who have shepherded it seem gratified that it has managed to get this far -- even though it is unlikely to become law this year.
The United States is the only major industrialized nation outside the carbon-capping Kyoto Protocol.
But the three major U.S. presidential candidates -- Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, all senators -- favor curbing carbon emissions, giving proponents of cap-and-trade hope for legislative action in 2009.
Under the measure set for Senate debate, known as the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions would drop by about 2 percent per year between 2012 and 2050, based on 2005 emission levels.
The bill would cap carbon emissions from 86 percent of U.S. facilities, and emissions from those would be 19 percent below current levels by 2020 and 71 percent below current levels by 2050, according to a summary of the bill's details released by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Total U.S. emissions could be reduced by up to 66 percent, the summary said.
Source: Reuters, May 27, 2008 , http://www.enn.com

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LOCAL NEWS


Petroleum Shortage Hits Far-West Projects Hard
By Shivraj Bhatt
Work on most development projects in the far-western region has come to a halt due to an acute shortage of petroleum products.
Thanks to the shortage, office of the Darchula-based Chameliya Hydro Electricity Project (CHEP) is finding it difficult to continue work on the development of a 30 MW power plant.
Work on the construction of a bridge over Taru river on the Khodpe-Bajhang section of the Jayaprithvi Bahadur road has also come to a halt due to the shortage of diesel, contractor Dharmaraj Koirala said.
Construction of buildings of Beladevipur School in Kailali, Dhangadhi-Khutiya road, a bridge over the Kailash river on the Sanfebagar-Mangalsen road and another bridge over the Ikadi river on the Sanfebagar-Bajura road has also been halted due to fuel shortage.
Source: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/ May 17, 2008

Climate Change Calls For Joint Effort: Experts
Experts have emphasized the need for cooperation and coordination within and among countries to resolve water-related challenges as well as risks and impact of climate change.
David Grey of World Bank (WB), while presenting a paper on the issue, recommended that regional countries work together and find a common solution as the problem was common and interrelated. He was of the view that common solutions could be instrumental in data collection, knowledge gathering, exchange analysis and exploration of sharing of responses.
Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR), Jalsrot Vikas Sanstha, and Nepal Water Conservation Foundation (NWCF) jointly organized a workshop on Himalayan Water Resources. Experts highlighted the need for joint efforts among Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal and Pakistan.
Dr Madan Lal Shrestha, scholar at Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), said that by the mid-century, annual average river runoff and water availability are projected to increase by 10 to 40 percent at high altitudes and in some wet tropical areas, and decrease by 10 to 30 percent in some dry regions.
Drought-affected areas are likely to increase in extent, according to him. "In the course of the century, water supplies stored in glaciers and snow cover are projected to decline, reducing water availability in regions supplied by melting-water from major mountain ranges, where more than one-sixth of the world population currently lives," he said.
He also stated that glacier melt in the Himalayas is projected to increase flooding, and cause avalanches from destabilized slopes, and to affect water resources within the next two to three decades.
"Nepal being a least developed country is more vulnerable to climate change, even though its contribution is little in causing the problem," Shrestha added.
Source: http://www.ekantipur.com/May 17, 2008

Climate Change Impacts On Yarsa Gumba Collection
The change in climate has caused a problem in the collection of Yarsa Gumba in the Himalayan region, one of the main sources of income for the mountain people.
The Yarsa Gumba is covered with snow and since there is more drought and snowfall this time, the collectors have to return home empty hands. However, some collectors, mostly the students still hope that there will be snowmelt and they will be able to collect them.
The collectors put their life at stake while collecting Yarsa Gumba, said Mr. Narendra Singh karki, a local resident. Changing climate has direct impacts on their livelihood, said Mr. Karki.
Source: Kantipur, May 17, 2008

Rise In Temperature Causing To Late Blooming Of Flower
Climate change has already shown its impacts on plants, said Mr. Tirtha Bahadur Shrestha, botanist who noticed the changes in the flowering plants. Plants which usually flower during the April month are flowering now, said Mr. Shrestha.
Everyone can realize that earth’s temperature is increasing just by looking at those plants blooming in an unusual time. A detail study on this field is required, said Mr. Shrestha.
According to him, Kathmandu valley’s temperature was only within 30 degree Celsius in the last 30 years. It has never rised beyond 30 degree Celsius. But now it has increased to 36 degree Celsius.
He also added that change in temperature has its adverse impacts on agriculture, biodiversity, water, forest, etc.
Source: Kantipur, May 19, 2008

25 MW From India
Nepal, for the first time as a trade between Nepal and India is importing 25 MW from India through Power Trading Corporation (PTC) for two weeks. With an agreement between two countries in the past, India has been supplying 50 MW.
According to Nepal Electricity Corporation, there will be less power outage with the import of power from India. 60 MW Khimti Hydropower will be closed for three weeks which will be compensated by India. The total cost per unit of electricity will be Rs 10.60 including distribution charge, 27 % leakage and other expenses.
Source: Kantipur, May 21, 2008

Makalu Electrification Project Incomplete
The carelessness of the workers and users of Makalu VDC has put 4 million Makalu Electrification project into stake. The project aimed to generate 25 KW electricity which would benefit 250 households.
The project also had an objective to provide lights to the tourist who comes there for research and study on biodiversity of Barun National Park.
District Rural Area Development Committee started the project and it has been said that it will require additional 3 million for the completion of the project.
Source: Kantipur, May 21, 2008

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

EU Report Calls For Faster Climate Change Curbs
By Pete Harrison
Global temperature rises should be kept well below the European Union's target of 2 degrees Celsius to avoid costly damage to people and their lifestyles, according to a European Parliament report.
European consumers must be given better information about the "carbon footprint" of goods they buy, including products imported from outside the 27-nation bloc, it added.
The European Union has said that any warming of the climate by more than 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels would be a dangerous change, bringing more damaging heatwaves, storms, coastal flooding and water shortages.
EU leaders have adopted ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one-fifth by 2020 from 1990 levels to combat global warming.
But the report by German conservative Karl-Heinz Florenz, to be debated by EU lawmakers ahead of a vote on Wednesday, seeks to go further.
The report called for the "rapid development" of eco-labeling to allow shoppers to trim their carbon footprints, and it touched on the divisive issue of so-called food miles.
Source: Reuters, May 20, 2008, http://www.reuters.com/

Climate Change Having 'Worldwide, Widespread Effects'
Many physical and ecological systems are being affected by the world's warming climate, researchers say. Scientists from across the world applied statistical models to published data on changes in 829 physical systems and around 28,800 plant and animal systems —on both global and continental scales — some with data going back to 1970.
Their analysis, published in Nature last week (15 May), looked at whether these changes were related to temperature increase, other factors such as land use change, or simply natural variability.
Around 95 per cent of the physical systems studied responded to the world's warming trend. The analysis found that glaciers in every continent have been shrinking, permafrost is melting, the peak of river levels in spring is shifting, and lake and river temperatures are rising.
And 90 per cent of the changes in plants and animals were consistent with responses to temperature rise, including earlier blooming and leaf unfolding.
The authors found little evidence that natural variability or other environmental factors were significant, and conclude that climate change is affecting these systems.
Their findings are largely consistent with the report by the second working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC WG-2), which says more than 89 per cent of the significant changes in physical and biological systems are consistent with global warming. The IPCC fourth assessment report concluded it is "likely" that global warming is human-induced.
Source: http://www.enn.com/ May 20, 2008

Most People Feel Obligated To Cut Emissions: Poll
Most British Columbians now believe they have an individual responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, even if other people don't do the same, according to a new poll on environmental attitudes.
The survey found 75 per cent of British Columbians say they are prepared to alter their behavior significantly to fight climate change. And that 66 per cent are prepared to pay more money for many products designed to address environmental problems.
A strong majority of respondents - 90 per cent - disagree with the argument that Canada should do nothing to reduce emissions unless big emitting countries such as China and India do as well.
Canadians used to worry that being green could harm business. But the likelihood of ever-increasing gas prices has convinced many people that breaking our dependency on fossil fuels is vital to both Canada's economic and environmental health, said Anderson.
Source: http://www.canada.com/ May 20, 2008

Hydrogen Fuel Cells Are Future, Says WWM Boss
USING fuel cells powered by hydrogen will help the next generation of harbour tugs to cut emissions, according to Michiel Wijsmuller, managing director of WorldWise Marine Engineering (WWM).
Part of the Offshore Ship Designers group, WWM is working with tug operators Ijmuiden-based Iskes and Rotterdam-based Smit to develop a 50 tonne bollard pull harbour tug that will have zero emissions when on standby and very low emissions in service.
"Our studies show this tug will reduce the emission of NOx, SOx and particulate matter by 95%, while oil fuel consumption, and so CO2 emission, is reduced by 50% compared to a conventional harbour tug," he added. "The concept is bringing together a number of technologies not common in marine applications and we are working with NedStack Fuel Cell Technology BV and Bakker Sliedrecht Electro Industrie BV on electrical details.
Source: http://www.enn.com/

Green Mountain Power Proposes "Solar Rates" To Spur Vermont's Solar Energy Market
Green Mountain Power Corp. today announced a groundbreaking new approach to accelerate the adoption of solar energy by Vermont homes and businesses.
In a request for a new service filed with the Vermont Public Service Board today, Green Mountain Power proposed the adoption of solar net metered electric rates, which are designed to make solar energy an important part of Vermont’s mix of cleaner energy sources.
Green Mountain Power Chief Operating Officer Mary Powell said renewable energy sources like solar must play an increasing part in Vermont’s energy future.
Green Mountain Power transmits, distributes and sells electricity and utility construction services in the State of Vermont in a service territory with approximately one quarter of Vermont’s population. It serves approximately 94,000 customers.
Source: http://www.enn.com/

US Carbon Dioxide Emissions Up 1.6 Percent In 2007
US carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels increased 1.6 percent in 2007, a preliminary government estimate showed Tuesday.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said emissions rose to 5,984 million metric tonnes last year from 5,888 million in 2006.
Total US energy-related carbon dioxide emissions have grown by 19.4 percent since 1990, according to the agency. Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions -- from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas -- account for over 80 percent of US greenhouse gas emissions, blamed for climate change.
It said that from 1990 to 2007, the carbon dioxide intensity of the economy fell by 26.6 percent or 1.8 percent per year.
Carbon dioxide emissions from the residential and commercial sectors increased by 4.4 percent and 4.3 percent respectively in 2007, the EIA said.
Industrial carbon dioxide emissions fell by 0.1 percent in 2007, continuing a trend of falling emissions since 2004.
Transportation-related emissions, which account for about a third of total energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, increased by 0.1 percent in 2007.
Electric power generation is the largest single source of US carbon dioxide emissions, representing 40 percent of total emissions.
In 2007, emissions from the electric power sector increased by about 3.0 percent.
Source: http://afp.google.com/

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LOCAL NEWS

Kathmandu-Based Diplomats Go Electric
Norwegian ambassador Tore Toreng and visiting Deputy Minister for International Cooperation, Hakon Gulbrandsen, take the REVA out for a spin on Wednesday.
Toreng is the first Kathmandu-based ambassador to go electric, and has fitted the Norwegian flag on his tiny battery-driven REVA.
Richard Ragan, Nepal representative of WFP, with the two battery cars in his office, which also sport the WFP logo.
Norway is one of the world’s top five oil exporters, but has laid out a plan to be a carbon neutral country by 2050. Gulbrandsen told Nepali Times: "Electric transport is the best way to address the challenges of climate change, and this car sets a good example."
REVA’s distributors in Nepal, Eco-Vision, have been flooded with orders, but mostly from diplomatic missions and international agencies, which don’t have to pay a 140 percent tax. The duty puts the REVA far beyond the reach of most Nepalis.
In the past four months, Eco-Vision has received 20 orders of the new model REVA-i, and customers include the World Food Programme, the Norwegian Embassy, UNDP, DfID and GTZ. ICIMOD has even installed a solar charger in its parking lot for the two REVAs it owns.
Richard Ragan, the representative in Nepal for the World Food Programme, is also flying the flag on his electric car. WFP has a worldwide policy to reduce its carbon footprint and Ragan is working on running his entire office on solar electricity and to make it paperless. He tried to buy a hybrid Prius when he came to Kathmandu, but Toyota wasn’t selling it in Nepal because of the lack of backup. So he bought two REVAs instead.
"We must set an example," Ragan says, "the next step is to convince the government to set up incentives for people to switch to electric and use Nepal’s vast renewable energy resource and not be dependent on petroleum imports."
Source: http://www.nepalitimes.com/

Melting At Everest Draws Scientific Attention
By RAJESH KC
The impact of climate change on Himalayan glaciers is becoming apparent. A study says since the mid-1970s as the average air temperature in Nepal has risen by one degree celsius, with high elevation areas like Namche Bazaar warming the most. This is twice as much the average warming in the mid-latitudes of the northern hemisphere, which points to a higher impact of climate change in the mountain regions.
International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and various other organizations, is studying the impact of climate change on glaciers and glacial lakes in the Hindukush-Himalayan region. According to ICIMOD, the levels of 20 glacial lakes in Nepal have risen to a risky level.
Studies show that most valley glaciers are retreating. Vertical shifts of up to 100 meters have been recorded during the last fifty years with retreat rates of 50 meters per year. There is evidence that glaciers have been melting faster in recent decades. "If the present trend continues, it is estimated that most valley glacier trunks and smaller glaciers will disappear by 2050", says Samjwal Ratna Bajracharya, Geomorphologist from ICIMOD.
Lake Imja Tsho -- at 5010 meters -- in the south of Everest is one extreme example of a fast growing potentially dangerous lake. According to Samjwal, the Imja glacier is retreating at a rate as high as 74 meters per year. Before 2000, it was retreating at 41 meters per year. "In the worst-case Imja's GLOF scenario, it could cascade with catastrophic consequences on the lives and properties of the mountain people living on the Everest trekking route downstream Lukla," says Samjwal.
These days Dawa Steven is in Camp two leading the Eco Everest Expedition 2008. The expedition will climb Mount Everest in the spring of 2008 for scientific research on glacial lakes and melting glaciers. ICIMOD, in partnership with Asian Trekking and UNEP, is responsible for research and for technical support to carry out scientific studies in Khumbu, specially focusing on the Imja and Dig Tsho glacial lakes. "The objective of the expedition is also to draw the world's attention to the rapid melting of glaciers and the possibility of GLOFs and to make local communities aware of the risks," said Basanta Shrestha, Division Head of MENRIS-ICIMOD.
Source: http://www.ekantipur.com/May 8, 2008

Govt To Grant NOC Rs 800m
Government has decided to provide Rs 800 million to the cash-strapped Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) to maintain smooth supply of petroleum products. However, the grant amount is only 40 per cent of what the state-run petroleum supply utility has asked from the government to pay its due.
Earlier, NOC had asked the government to lend about Rs 2 billion, citing its failure to bear a huge loss in maintaining regular supply of petroleum products. NOC sources further said that it has also demanded the government to revise the prices of all petroleum products.
NOC has already slashed the daily supply of petroleum products in the Valley by about 50 per cent, citing a failure to pay its dues to IOC — that currently stands at over Rs 2.50 billion — on time. As a result, many private petrol pumps have already pulled down the shutters, while long queues can be seen at petrol pumps.
The sources further informed that the proposed hike in petrol is Rs 8 per litre, which will make it Rs 88 for petrol from the present Rs 80 a litre.
NOC has already started a dual pricing system in diesel distribution to lessen the loss and is planning to implement the dual pricing in the petrol also.
Source: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/ May 13

No Need For SC To Intervene On Arun-III MoU: Ministry
The Ministry of Water Resources today told the Supreme Court that there is no need for the apex court to intervene in the matters related with the Arun-III hydropower project.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Sutlej Energy Corporation on harnessing energy from Arun river is not a contract and therefore there is no need for a parliamentary approval by two-third majority, the ministry stated in its written reply to the court today.
The ministry also informed that the Indian power company has agreed to pay Rs 450 million to Nepal government for investment in basic infrastructure of the project.
In his explanation, secretary at the Ministry, Shankar Prasad Koirala claimed that the MoU has not infringed upon anyone’s right to information as claimed by the writ petitioner and that the agreement was reached after consensus among the political parties.
On March 13, a group of people, including advocate Ravin Subedi, had filed a Public Interest Litigation in the apex court claiming that the MoU should have parliamentary approval and that the government withheld information in the MoU.
Source: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/ May 11

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Hello Kitty Harnesses The Power Of The Sun
Fresh after last year’s release of the Hello Kitty space heater, this nearly 6"x 6"x 3" contraption can recharge your iPod, Blackberry, or any other portable electronic device with a USB plug.
The elements aren’t necessarily new. A massively successful brand creates an environmentally friendly product during the incline of the ever-growing green movement. Yet, if this new gadget is even as half as popular as most other Sanrio products, then potentially millions of young people across the world will be learning to charge their devices by the use of a renewable resource rather than plugging yet another object into the grid. Which begs the question, who could have thought that what we might need more in this world are things like Hello Kitty in our lives?`
Source: http://www.enn.com/

Voluntary Carbon Market Is Fast Becoming Big Business
Though still in its infancy, the voluntary carbon trading market is one of the fastest growing markets on the planet. Although there have been some growing pains, the increasing participation of some of the world's biggest financial players is expected to smooth out the road ahead and define the voluntary carbon market as an innovative model of a market-based solution to global environmental problems.
The 'State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2007: Picking Up Steam' is a comprehensive quantitative assessment of the voluntary carbon market with information on prices and volumes traded, as well as an analysis of current trends and buyer motivations. The report includes data gathered from both buyers and sellers and offers a detailed summary of the nature of transactions in the voluntary carbon sector and predicted growth.
Source: http://www.enn.com/ May 9, 2008

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LOCAL NEWS

Stress On Hydel Project
Mr. Jagadish Chandra Pokhrel, vice president, National Planning Commission, gave more stress on hydropower generation in Nepal in the 64th meeting of UNESCO held in Thailand.
Though Nepal has potential to generate 42,000 MW electricity, very less electricity is being generated and used, said Mr. Pokhrel.
In the meeting he also informed that more than 0.2 million biogas plants have been installed in Nepal. In addition, six thousand solar panel has also been distributed to the remote areas.
Source: Rajdhani, May 1, 2008

Load-Shedding
By Dr. Badri
It is welcome news that the load-shedding will be reduced by a half. The experts have opined that it can be further reduced if we could promote modern energy efficiency technologies, such as with the use of CFL bulbs in massive scale.
This is also a challenge to all users to display civic sense by minimizing the use of electricity. The government has the onerous responsibility to encourage manufacturing of high quality CFL bulbs at affordable prices so that the conventional bulbs can be replaced as soon as possible. At the same time, attention should be paid to proper disposal of used CFL bulbs to safeguard human health and conserve environment.
Source: The Kathmandu Post, May 1, 2008

Electricity In Lapilang, Charikot
With the aid from Nepal Yantra Sala Energy, Lagankhel and labors’ contribution, 19 KW energy has been generated in Lapilang VDC.
A total investment of 3.2 million has benefitted 234 households of that VDC. The locals of the VDC cheered with joy as they have been waiting for this day long ago.
Source: Annapurna Post, May 1, 2008

Electricity By Raising Fund
The locals of Dimipokhari VDC of Ramechhap districts have been able to generate 5 KW electricity by themselves in their VDC by raising fund.
Four thousand rupees from each household was raised to generate electricity, said Mr. Ganesh Upadhaya, secretary, Users Group. He also said that though it has not been managed properly, 42 households of the VDC have been benefitted with the generation of electricity.
Source: Kantipur, May 4, 2008

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Australian Petition Urges Renewable Energy Investment
The environmental group Greenpeace will today present a petition of 30,000 signatures to the Australian treasurer urging the government to invest more in renewable energy.
Members of 80 international organizations signed the statement which says the government should abandon investments in carbon capture and storage.
Julien Vincent from Greenpeace says the technology is unproven and the treasurer must consider this in next week's budget.
"At a time when we need to be drastically reducing our use of on fossil fuels because they're the major driver of climate change," he said.
"It's simply irresponsible to be using taxpayers money to fuel the problem any further and so we want Wayne swan and the federal government to live up to their word on climate change and start putting our money where their mouths are and fund renewables instead of fossil fuels".
Source: http://www.radioaustralia.net.au

Extra Funding For Clean Coal
THE Rudd Government is believed to have earmarked $275 million for six new clean coal projects in its first budget next week, alongside similar funding for renewable technologies.
A clean coal council and a taskforce to develop storage options are expected to form part of its $500 million commitment to clean coal made during last year's election campaign.
These new funds for clean coal technology follow $350 million committed to technology development under the Howard government's Low Emissions Technology Development Fund. These projects attracted more than $2 billion in matching industry investment.
Development of clean coal technology as a possible solution to the threat of climate change has been backed by environmental leaders such as former US vice-president Al Gore and British climate policy adviser Nicholas Stern.
The Government is planning to spend $50 million to further develop the use of ammonia to capture carbon dioxide from the emissions of the Munmorah coal-fired power station in the Hunter Valley in NSW, and $50 million to develop gasification technology at the Centre for Low Emission Technology in Queensland.
The programs fall under the control of Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson. He said last night he could not comment on budget speculation but backed the Government's commitment to help develop the technology, given that 83 per cent of Australia's electricity was generated from coal.
Source: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/ May 05, 2008

Audi To Offer Electric Cars In 5-10 Years: Report
By Nicola Leske
Audi, the luxury unit of Volkswagen, sees great opportunities in electric cars and will offer automobiles with no exhaust emissions within ten years, its top executive told a German weekly.
Rupert Stadler told Welt am Sonntag in an interview published on Sunday that he expects diesel and battery technology to dominate in the coming five to ten years.
"By then we will offer cars without exhaust emissions," Stadler said.
Asked if Audi was not lagging domestic rivals Mercedes and BMW in the development of lithium-ion batteries that are more powerful than batteries used now in hybrids, Stadler said Audi's research capacities were larger than those of its German competitors.
Developing fuel-saving technology tops the agenda of Germany's car industry in an effort to fulfill stricter emission regulations and conserve fuel.
Source: Reuters, http://www.enn.com/May 4, 2008

World Can Reach Climate Change Deal In 2009 - UN
By Andrew Hay
The world can reach a significant new climate change pact by the end of 2009 if current talks keep up their momentum, the head of the United Nations climate panel said on Sunday.
The United Nations began negotiations on a sweeping new pact in March after governments agreed last year to work out a treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol by the end of next year.
The United Nations hopes to go beyond Kyoto by getting all countries to agree to curbs on emissions of greenhouse gases that fuel global warming.
Getting the private sector on board with a well regulated carbon emissions trading system is key to long-term financing, according to delegates at the ADB seminar.
India's Pachauri said popular awareness of global warming had risen sharply over the last 12 months and put pressure on Washington and other governments for action.
He said he believed it would be very difficult for any country to remain outside a climate change pact.
Faced with threats, China is switching over to renewable energy sources which are expected to provide more than 30 percent of its power needs by 2050, according to the United Nations.
Source: http://uk.reuters.com/ May 4, 2008

Environmentalists Divided About Burying CO2
Greenpeace and more than 100 other environmental groups denounced projects for burying industrial greenhouse gases on Monday, exposing splits in the green movement about whether such schemes can slow global warming.
Many governments and some environmental organizations such as the WWF want companies to capture heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the exhausts of power plants and factories and then entomb them in porous rocks as one way to curb climate change.
Greenpeace and 112 green groups from 21 nations said governments should invest in wind, solar and other renewable energies rather than in capture technologies that would allow coal-fired power plants to stay in operation.
"Carbon capture and storage is not an ideal solution, but it buys us time," said Stephan Singer, head of the WWF's European Climate and Energy Program in Brussels. "We believe it is part of the solution -- an emergency exit."
The U.N. Climate Panel has said CCS could be one of the main ways for slowing climate change by 2100 -- contributing a bigger share of greenhouse gas cuts than energy efficiency, a shift to renewable energy or a push for nuclear power.
Source: Reuters, http://www.enn.com/ May 5, 2008

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LOCAL NEWS


Rush On Himalayas As Peace Returns
By Krishna Regmi
The number of mountaineering expeditions is on the rise as the climbing season gets underway in the Nepal Himalayas.
Some 31 expeditions are already headed towards Mt Everest, the central attraction, this spring season. This is more than the number of teams that arrived during the whole of last year when 24 climbing parties took a shot at the tallest peak on earth.
Meanwhile, amid the euphoria on the tourism front, global warming is emerging as a threat to the very survival of the mountains. "Our Himalayas are suffering the most severe effect of global warming, with the glaciers melting at an accelerated rate and forming lakes," said Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of Nepal Mountaineering Association.
"Imja Tsochu, which expanded from a small pond in 1962 to a lake 1.7 kilometers long and 0.9 kilometer wide, is an example of the looming crisis in the mountains," he said.
This season, an international team of mountaineers is embarking on a landmark eco-expedition to Everest to highlight the rapid climate changes taking place in the Himalayas.
Source: http://ekantipur.com/ April 22, 2008

Look For Alternative To Hydropower: Experts
Experts today urged the government to look for alternative sources of energy apart from hydropower. They were also of the view that Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is concentrating only on supply side not on the demand side.
"Electricity is one of the major sources of energy in Nepal and NEA being a focal agency should concentrate on creating consumer awareness that can help reduce duration of load-shedding," he said, addressing the one-day inception workshop on ‘Capacity Building on Electricity Reforms in Nepal’, here today.
In the technical session, Regulatory Reforms in Electricity in Nepal was discussed with the active participation of stakeholders.
Source: http://thehimalayantimes.com/ April 23, 2008

Earth Day Observed
Marking the Earth Day, various organizations on Tuesday organized environment -related awareness programs in different places of Kathmandu Valley.
As part of a six-week-long campaign beginning Tuesday, spot cleaning at Tundikhel was organized with the participation of about 100 representatives from Earth Day and Environment Day Nepal Committee.
The committee comprises 26 organizations working in the field of environment. The six-week long campaign will last till the Environment Day on June 5.
Similarly, signature campaigns on inclusion of environment issues while drafting the new constitution was organized at Basantapur the same day. The signatures collected would be later submitted to the Constituent Assembly.
Celebrating the Day, training on effective and sustainable vehicle maintenance procedure called ‘de carbonization’ was provided to various representatives at Thapathali.
Among the 26 organizations include World Wildlife Fund, Clean Energy Nepal, Kathmandu Metropolitan City and Environment and Public Health Organization, among others.
Source: http://ekantipur.com/ April 23, 2008

Micro Hydro Project Renovation Starts
Renovation of Likindi River Micro Hydroelectricity Project — that as a capacity to produce 20 kilowatt (KW) and situated at Kotdurbar VDC, Ward No 7 of Tanahun district — has begun.
Flood has, in 2064 BS, damaged half of the project’s properties.
Prime Minister’s Relief Fund and Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction have provided Rs 3,00,000 and Rs 2,00,000, respectively, for the renovation of the project.
"Voluntary labour amounting to Rs 1,00,000 would be arranged," Rural Energy Programme, Tanahun stated.
The flood had damaged electrical equipments, powerhouse, penstock pipe and canal, social mobiliser at Damouli branch of the Project, Padamraj Khanal said. Nearly 1,315 locals benefited from the project.
Source: http://thehimalayantimes.com/ April 24

Change Lifestyle To Adapt To Climate Change: Experts
There is a need for radical change in attitudes towards their way of life among people to fight against the negative impacts of climate change, said experts on Saturday.
Speaking during a symposium on "Impacts of Climate Change and Our Role for Mitigation", Bhusan Tuladhar, director of Environment and Public Health Organization (ENPHO) said, people should decide to promote the environment friendly applications to reduce the impacts of climate change.
Giving examples on applying environment friendly application he said, "People could opt for vehicles run by electricity while traveling than on petrol or diesel run vehicles,".
People should recognize the real costs of energy which they are utilizing in their daily life, said Tuladhar. A small change in our life style can have a long-term impact, he added.
Similarly, Ghanshyam Malla, chief of environment department of Nepal Agriculture Research Council said, it is the individual decision to contribute for mitigating the negative impacts by climate change.
He also stated that the agriculture sector of the country is also facing increasing challenges due to climate change.
Source: The Kathmandu Post, April 27, 2008

Load Shedding To Be Reduced From Tuesday
With the increase of water levels in the rivers, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has decided to cut down load shedding.
Starting Tuesday, the NEA has fixed load shedding for 21 hours a week relieving people from power cut for 2 days.
The load shedding will be imposed for two and a half hour for 3 days, eight hours and six hours respectively for another two days.
Before this, the consumers had to suffer more than 40 hours of load shedding.The NEA has announced that the duration of power cut will be decreased gradually.
Source: http://ekantipur.com/ April 28

Western, Eastern Regions Face Fuel Crisis
The western and eastern regions have been facing shortage of petroleum products for one week.
The supply of petroleum products is erratic, as the prices have risen in the international market, according to the Nepal Oil Corporation Western Regional Office, Bhairahawa.
NOC regional office assistant manager Yog Raj Koirala said only six tankers of petroleum products were been imported from Belahiya border point daily, while 20 tankers of fuel used to be imported from the border daily earlier. Koirala said as the problem of petroleum products was a national problem; it should be solved at the central level.
Even the the eastern region is facing shortage of petroleum products. Stock in NOC depots of eastern regional office at Biratnagar would finish in six days, NOC regional office chief Pushkar Datta said.
Source: http://thehimalayantimes.com/ April 30

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Russia Says Has No Plans To Cap Carbon Emissions
Russia will not accept binding caps on its greenhouse gas emissions under a new climate regime, currently being negotiated to succeed the Kyoto Protocol after 2012, top officials said on Monday.
Kyoto puts a cap on the average, annual greenhouse gas emissions from 2008-12 for some 37 industrialized countries, including Russia.
Russia welcomed investment from other industrialized countries to help it clean up its energy and industry, saying in this way it could prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide.
A key way for Russia to profit from the planned 3 billion tons of emission reductions will be by trapping and processing natural gas, a by-product of oil production.
By 2012, Russia has called for 95 percent of its associated gas to be harnessed and sold, whereas more than 25 percent of it is currently flared, wasting 20 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year and releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Source: Reuters, http://www.enn.com/April 29, 2008

Higher Energy Costs From Climate Bills
People will be paying higher energy prices under a Senate bill to limit greenhouse gases, but how much will depend on how well the country can shift away from burning fossil fuels, an Energy Department analysis said Tuesday.
The Energy Information Administration said annual energy costs could increase on average of as little as $30 or as much as 10 times that much by 2020. The projected cost increases per household ranged from $76 a year more to as much as $723 a year more by 2030.
Source: http://article.wn.com/view/

Poor Children Main Victims Of Climate Change: U.N.
By Jeremy Lovell
Millions of the world's poorest children are among the most vulnerable and unwitting victims of climate change caused by the rich developed world, a United Nations report said on Tuesday, calling for urgent action.
The UNICEF report "Our Climate, Our Children, Our Responsibility" measured action on targets set in the Millennium Development Goals to halve child poverty by 2015. It found failure on counts from health to survival, education and sex equality.
The report said climate change could add 40,000-160,000 extra child deaths a year in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa through lower economic growth.
It also noted that if temperatures rose by two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels -- up to 200 million people globally would face hunger -- a figure rising to 550 million with a temperature rise of three degrees.
The UNICEF report said economic damage due to climate change would force parents to withdraw children from schools -- the only place that many of them are guaranteed at least one meal a day in many areas -- to fetch water and fuel instead.
Scientists predict that global average temperatures will rise by between 1.6 and 4.0 degrees Celsius this century due to carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels for power and transport, causing floods, famines, violent storms and droughts.
Source: Reuters, http://www.enn.com/ April 29, 2008

Climate Change Hitting Arctic Faster, Harder
Climate change is having a greater and faster impact on the Arctic than previously thought, according to a new study by the global conservation organization WWF.
According to last year’s reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, if the entire Greenland Ice Sheet were to melt, sea levels would rise 7.3 metres, making its status a global concern. While it is currently impossible to accurately predict how much of the ice sheet will be melting, and over which time, the new report shows there has been a far greater loss of ice mass in the past few years, much more than had been predicted by scientific models.
Likewise, the loss of summer arctic sea ice has increased dramatically, with record lows reached in 2005 and — way more dramatic — in 2007. In September 2007, the sea ice shrank to 39 per cent below its 1979-2000 mean, the lowest since satellite monitoring began in 1979 and also the lowest for the entire 20th century based on monitoring from ships and aircraft.
Source: http://www.enn.com/ WWF April 30, 2008

Rich World Must Back 80 Percent Carbon Cuts - Stern
Rich countries must commit to cutting carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 and developing nations must agree that by 2020 they too will set their own targets, leading economist Nicholas Stern said on Wednesday.
He said the only way the world could defeat the climate crisis was by ensuring that global carbon emissions peaked within 15 years, were then halved from 1990 levels to 20 billion tonnes a year by 2050, and cut to 10 billion thereafter.
The global carbon market had to be expanded and improved, there had to be massive investment in research and development in low carbon technologies, and rich nations had to bear the brunt and help the poorer world leapfrog into a low carbon era.
Stern said the developing world, where emissions are booming as economies grow, should be given time to prepare to sign up to caps and cuts but that time should have a strict limit and by 2020 they too should be reducing emissions.
Source: http://africa.reuters.com/30 Apr 2008,

'Small Wind' Power Plants Are Blowing Strong
By Mark Clayton
Reporter Mark Clayton talks about wind turbines to generate power for homeowners. Improved generator technology, more financial incentives, rising electric rates, and energy-security concerns have opened the way for small-wind power to bloom in unlikely places.
"Small wind really seems to be taking off for residential, small business, and farm use," says Trudy Forsyth, leader of the distributed wind program at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo. The installed capacity of "on grid" small-wind residential generators has almost tripled, from 1,300 kilowatts nationwide in 2006 to 3,000 kilowatts last year, says the American Wind En­­­ergy Association (AWEA), a Washington-based trade organization. The number of residential installations rose from 400 to 1,200 units in the same period.
Supplying that tiny but red-hot market are dozens of new companies that have popped up since 2000. Though half-dozen companies dominate the market, AWEA tracks about 45 US manufacturers. With demand strong overseas, too, the US is the world leader in small-wind power, exporting more than half of what it sells.
Source: http://www.csmonitor.com/

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LOCAL NEWS

Nepal Might Still Benefit From Bangkok Climate Change Talks
By Surya B. Prasai
Last week the UNFCCC’s first major follow-up summit took place in Bangkok, Thailand between 31 March to 4 April 2008, dubbed also as the Bangkok Climate Change talks.
The five day long meeting hosted by the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC) at Bangkok’s beautiful cherry tree lined Rajdamnern Nok Avenue aimed to foster closer understanding between the industrialized and developing countries on global climate change. But from the looks of it, this did not materialize, with old rhetoric again being passed around the table. Principal signatories of the UNFCCC’s Bali Pact, including smaller countries, such as Nepal, Maldives and Fiji had focused on the long term cooperative action and further commitment desired of the Kyoto Protocol in light of the Bali Road Map. But it had to wait in the conference backburners, with most action focusing on the growing rift between the U.S, G-8 and the developing countries, which were actively led by India, China and Brazil.
For smaller Asia-Pacific countries such as Nepal, the meeting was an additional eye awakener that helped launch, at least a more clear vision on its role in halting ecological degradation threatened by global climate change. For Nepal, both Bali and the recent Bangkok Summits were good knowledge building experiences and oriented them to some of the familiar arguments going around globally. Nepal´s ‘environmentalists’ even commented on how happy they felt that many of the delegates mentioned their country by name at least from the humanitarian standpoint of how a civil conflict had taken excruciating toll on the Nepali environment. Many industrialized countries have already promised to help Nepal in its environmental recuperation in the post-conflict recovery and rehabilitation effort. Most notably, USAID’s Regional Office for the Environment in Kathmandu stands as a strong encouragement to Nepali and SAARC environmentalists to broach further bilateral understanding in overcoming environmental strains, launch careful planning and curtail socio-economic fall back effects.

Cow Dung Cakes: An Alternative Fuel For The Poor
The use of dried cow dung cakes as a cooking fuel is increasing in Dang. The soaring price of kerosene and LPG gas and heavy deforestation forced the poor community of Dang to use cow dung cakes as an alternative fuel for cooking.
A local resident Rambachan Chaudhari said that he is using cow dung cakes as a cooking fuel for the family of 17. He also said that use of cow dung as a fuel has created a problem for the farmers who use cow dung as fertilizers. In both way poor has to suffer, said Mr. Chaudhari.
The locals said that the government should find the new alternate way for them so that they won't have to suffer from problem of cooking fuel in the future.
Source: Rajdhani, April 15, 2008

Load-Shedding Hours May Go Up Again
People, who were relieved from load shedding for the last few days, will again be facing difficulties in the coming days, according to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).
For the last couple of days, hours of power cut was shortened as far as possible as almost all government and non-government offices, industrial entities and other institutions were closed for constituent assembly (CA) polls, said an NEA officer.
However, power outages will resume probably from Tuesday. Before CA polls, the NEA had been enforcing 42 hours a week load-shedding schedule. Earlier, it was 48 hours a week.
Meanwhile, the melting of snow in the mountains with the rise in temperature and rainfall in the recent days are expected to be helpful in shortening load shedding hours. "It can be confirmed only after checking the water level on the rivers once work at NEA starts Tuesday," he said. "If the increased water level is stable, then load shedding hours may be less than 42 a week."
Source: http://www.ekantipur.com/, April 15, 2008

Electricity In Bhujung
The efforts and contribution of the locals made it possible to generate 80 KW electricity in Bujung. A total of four hundred families have been benefitted with the generation of electricity.
With the aid from ACAP and locals contribution this micro-hydro project was successfully completed with an investment of 11.934632 million. The access of electricity in the village has also benefitted small scale industries like grinding mills and bread industry.
"We can now see the news around the world, said Naumati Gurung, a local resident of Bhujung."
Source: Kantipur, April 16, 2008

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

EU Can Hit Biofuels Goal Without Conflicts: Germany
By Ilona Wissenbach
The European Union can achieve its 2020 target to get 10 percent of all transport fuel from biofuel without adding to soaring food prices and harming rainforests, Germany's environment minister said on Saturday.
EU leaders agreed last year to get a tenth of all transport fuel from biofuels by 2020 to help fight climate change.
Now ministers are having to think how to reach that goal and still avoid unwanted trade-offs, including stealing agricultural land for food production and harming tropical rainforests.
The FAO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said last year biofuels were "one of the main drivers" for forecast food price hikes of 20-50 percent by 2016. But Gabriel said grain demand for animal feed was more relevant to the higher food prices.
The EU's executive Commission proposed in January certain biofuel standards -- or sustainability criteria -- which ministers are now considering. These standards included, for example, a condition that biofuels cut emissions by at least a third and consider impacts on food prices.|
Source: Reuters, April 12, 2008 http://www.enn.com/

Government Asks Oil Producers To Rethink Policy
India on Sunday asked oil producers to rethink their policy which was imposing "crippling burden" on developing countries and sought a thorough review and overhaul of financial oversight and regulatory mechanisms.
"Given the growing complexity of ingenious financial engineering and reengineering, hindsight tells us that it would have been wiser for regulators to have erred on the side of caution," Finance Minister P Chidambaram told the 77th Meeting of Development Committee of the World Bank and IMF.
"The prices of crude oil that have shot up to the region of $110 a barrel do not reflect either the cost of producing the oil or the risks inherent in the market and in fact, not even the inter-play of demand and supply.
"These food prices which hit the poor hardest are expected to remain firm in the medium term unless we make serious interventions. The demand for biofuels will probably increase, and energy and fertilizer prices could be expected to remain high in the medium term."
He also asked developed countries to cut off subsidies on food crops for bio-fuel production.
Source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/13 Apr, 2008

Carbon Dioxide Emissions Accelerating Rapidly
Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the burning of fossil fuels stood at a record 8.38 gigatons of carbon (GtC) in 2006, 20 percent above the level in 2000.
Emissions grew 3.1 percent a year between 2000 and 2006, more than twice the rate of growth during the 1990s. Carbon dioxide emissions have been growing steadily for 200 years, since fossil fuel burning began on a large scale at the start of the Industrial Revolution. But the growth in emissions is now accelerating despite unambiguous evidence that carbon dioxide is warming the planet and disrupting ecosystems around the globe.
With CO2 emissions currently exceeding the worst-case scenario, we can expect that temperature and sea level rise will likely do the same.
Increasing evidence shows that even a warming of less than 2 degrees would constitute dangerous climate change, suggesting the world must move rapidly to reverse the long trend of growing CO2 emissions.
Source: http://www.enn.com/

Solving Climate Change Saves Billions
Amidst increasingly dire news about the economy and climate change, Architecture 2030 released a seminal study at the Eileen Rockefeller Growald Symposium on Collaborative Philanthropy today, showing how a small investment of only $21.6 billion in the Building Sector would produce 216,000 permanent jobs and save 86.7 Million Metric Tons (MMT) of CO2 in a single year. This same amount invested each year for five years would net over one million permanent jobs and save 433.5 MMT.
The study is a comparative analysis of three approaches to addressing climate change: building energy efficiency,"˜clean’ coal (coal with carbon capture and sequestration) and nuclear power. According to the study, "The economic feasibility of any proposed actions regarding climate change is a particularly important consideration in this time of looming recession. Therefore, the study is an investigation not only of the most effective actions that can be taken in addressing climate change, but also of the implications of these actions on the US economy."
The study concludes that, of the energy and climate change solutions proposed today, the one that costs the least and offers the greatest benefits to both the planet and the economy, is energy efficiency in buildings.
The study concludes that there is a clear, simple, realistic and achievable solution to addressing climate change with significant economic benefits: building energy efficiency.
Source: http://www.enn.com/ April 10, 2008

Bangladesh Introduces Improved Stove To Save Fuel
By Serajul Islam Quadir
Bangladesh has introduced an improved cooking stove that will consume 50 percent less of the biomass used for cooking in rural areas, a senior official said on Sunday.
"About 95 percent of Bangladesh, with 145 million people, uses traditional fuels like cow dung, agricultural wastage and wood totalling 60 million tonnes most inefficiently, worth 100 billion taka ($1.46 billion)," said Erich Otto Gomm, programme coordinator in Bangladesh of German Technical Cooperation (GTZ).
The SED launched a countrywide programme to popularise the improved cooking stoves developed by the state-run Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and later modified by the GTZ.
Khaleq said so far 35,000 stoves have been sold and installed across the country and now up to 10,000 were being built every month.
"Our aim is to build 1 million stoves over the next three years," he said, and hoped to have one in every rural Bangladeshi home by the end of 2018.
Currently, only 6 percent of the population has access to natural gas, primarily in urban areas, he told reporters.
Source: Reuters, April 14, 2008, http://www.planetark.org/

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LOCAL NEWS

Biofuel Or Food?
By Raju Lamichhane
Food shortage is one of the most serious problems facing the world today. At this juncture, the world has to decide whether to convert food into fuel or feed those famine struck people all around the world.
Biofuel, no doubt is an excellent alternative to the fossils fuels, but still food is the basic need of people. It seems countries like the USA are preoccupied with keeping their oil storage intact by developing biofuel at the expense of mass starvation.
Along with the oil price hike, the world has witnessed shortage of food and subsequent hike in food prices, and decrease, on the other hand, in the productive land due to urban usurpation and imminent loss in food production in the countries like Nepal. The productive plain has been used for housing on the one hand, and hills smell only dust on the other. It makes us realize that time has approached to take a decision whether to choose biofuel for rich people or food for hungry people. So, Chidambaram, Indian Finance Minister, was right to term the attempt to produce biofuel as "outrageous". (Biofuel from food burden on poor: Chidambaram, Mar27)
Source: The Kathmandu Post, March 28, 2008

Kulekhani II 16 MW Turbine Operational
A turbine with the capacity of generating 16 MW electricity here at Kulekhani II Hydro Electric Project has resumed operation since Friday.
The turbine was badly damaged one year ago. A technical team comprising 10 Japanese and 15 Nepalis had been working on the turbine for the past four months. Now on the project generates 32 MW electricity regularly while it had been generating only 16 MW for over a year. Sources said it the about 350 million rupees was spent for the maintenance of the turbine.
Source: The Kathmandu Post, March 29, 2008

Increasing Air Pollution Of Kathmandu
The study carried out in the past showed the increasing air pollution levels in the Kathmandu Valley, however the report published by Environment and Public Health Organization (ENPHO) reported the decline trend. It says that the pollution level of Kathmandu Valley has been improving since 2003 and in the year 2007, it has decreased to some extent.
The study carried out by the World Bank showed more than 18,800 people in the valley are caught with asthma due to degrading air quality. Vehicle emission contributes 42% of the total emission. Use of more electric and clean fuel run vehicles, banning of tire burning are some examples that can lessen the air pollution levels in the valley.
Source: Annapurna Post, March 30, 2008

Electricity In Rukum
Maikot VDC of Rukum district have access to electricity for the first time. With the aid from community program CSP, 15 KW electricity has been generated in the village. The program has benefitted five hundred households.
Bambahadur Khadka, program coordinator of CSP said that a total of 3.6 million from CSP and locals was collected and spent in the generation of electricity. The students who were bound to study in kerosene light are now very happy to have electricity in their house. They have never expected that they will have electricity in their village, said Birman Bika, a local resident of the Rukum.
Source: Annapurna Post, April 1, 2008

Alternative Energy Boom
The use of briquette is increasing in the Ilam district. The locals who always worry about running out of gas and kerosene are now heavily relying on briquette for cooking their meal. The technology is environment friendly and it is suitable for the family of 3 or 4, said the locals.
Tara Khatiwada, a local resident has been producing such briquettes at his home and more than 15 locals of the village have also been employed for making the briquette.
Source: Kantipur, April 1, 2008

Attraction Towards Gobar Gas
The multi use of gobar gas has attracted the group of farmers in Parbat. The construction of gobar gas has decreased the felling off of trees that is used for cooking and it has also improved the health of the people, said the farmers. Besides, it also saves time.
More than 350 gobar gas plants have been constructed in different VDCs of the district and more than 2000 farmers has been benefitted.
Source: Rajdhani, April 2, 2008

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

U.S. To Propose CO2 Rules This Spring
By Chris Baltimore
The Bush administration, which has resisted regulating carbon dioxide emissions, this spring, will propose rules that could affect everything from vehicles to power plants and oil refineries, the top U.S. environmental official told Congress on Thursday.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson said the agency will issue proposed rules "later this spring" on "the specific effects of climate change and potential regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from stationary and mobile sources."
The United States is the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter. The Bush administration has opposed mandatory emissions limits, citing inaction by other major emitters like China and India.
U.S. utilities generally favor a legislative fix to carbon dioxide emissions rather than a regulatory one, which could be challenged and delayed by lawsuits.
Source: Reuters, March 28, 2008, http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/33695

Environment Ministry Warns Air Pollution Levels Excessively High In Israel
By Zafrir Rinat, Haaretz
The Environment Ministry warned that air pollution levels were particularly high on Tuesday for the second time in a week. The ministry announced that those suffering from respiratory difficulties should take health precautions until the evening when winds were expected to disperse the pollution.
The cause of the pollution was said to be large quantities of dust which had blown inform Egypt. During periods when air pollution levels are high, tiny particles can enter the respiratory tract, causing damage. Those particularly at risk are the children and the elderly as well as pregnant women and sufferers of heart disease.
The ministry warns these groups to avoid exertion until pollution has subsided. Around 120 individuals received medical attention for breathing difficulties caused by elevated pollution levels last week.
Source: http://www.enn.com

China Tackles Pollution
China plans to spend 27-billion-yuan (about R32-billion) in 2008 on reducing pollution and saving energy, state media said Tuesday, a rise of 14,9 percent from a year ago.
In addition, the central government will earmark 14,8-billion yuan for environmentally friendly construction projects, the China Daily said, citing a statement by the finance ministry.
China has set a target for the period 2006 to 2010 of reducing energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20 percent, and cutting sulphur dioxide emissions and chemical oxygen demand by 10 percent each from the levels in 2005. The statement said the government is considering launching tax policies to reduce energy consumption and pollution.
The country may also seek to regulate pollution via the market by making waste-discharge and emission rights treatable, it added.
The drive has encountered stubborn resistance in the booming industrial sector and local officials who consider economic growth and job creation a more important priority than environmental protection.
Source: http://www.iol.co.za/

Solar Thermal Electricity: Catching The Eye Of Utility Companies
The American Southwest has some of the greatest solar resources on the globe, it yet remains largely untapped. This trend may be changing as solar technology matures, market forces shift and concern for climate change mounts.
One of the most common arguments against large-scale use of renewable energy is that it cannot produce a steady, reliable stream of energy, day and night. Ausra Inc. does not agree. They believe that solar thermal technology has the potential to supply over 90% of grid power, while finding solutions to environmental issues.
The ability to utilize solar thermal technology after the sun sets is made possible by a storage system that is up to 93% efficient, according to Ausra’s executive vice president John O’Donnell.
Due to cost, infrastructure and technology hurdles, it will be a while until we see solar energy generating large-scale base load capacity, thus replacing nuclear and coal power plants. Some of the factors that will push this along are a strong national high voltage transmission system, solar technology advances, high fossil fuel costs, a longer-term extension of the commercial solar tax credit, and a carbon tax.
Source: http://www.enn.com, March 28, 2008

Gore Launches Climate Change Awareness Campaign
After earning an Oscar and Nobel Prize, Al Gore knows that when he speaks, people listen. Now his voice is even louder. The Gore-led Alliance for Climate Protection, an all-out marketing blitz, launched on Monday with plans to "ignite" Americans into taking action on global climate change.
Known as the "we" campaign, the effort has launched its first national television ad, titled "Anthem." The Alliance’s ads will air on a gamut of U.S. broadcast programs, from American Idol to the local morning news, and additional ads will also run in publications like People and The New Yorker. The media campaign is the beginning of a three year, $300-million effort to lobby the United States, and later the rest of the world, to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
After months of recruitment, 1 million people have joined the "we" Web site, Hardwick said. Visitors who sign on to the site’s pledge receive e-mails about personal actions they can take to address climate change, and the Alliance also sends news about national mobilization campaigns.
Source: http://www.enn.com/, April 2, 2008

Beijing Pollution Risky For Endurance Athletes
By Nick Mulvenney
Endurance events at the Beijing Olympics could pose a health risk if they are staged on heavily polluted days, the International Olympic Committee said on Wednesday, although it was prepared to reschedule such events.
Hein Verbruggen, chairman of the IOC coordination commission, said there was a small chance of athletes suffering some damage to their health if they took part in events lasting longer than an hour, such as the marathon and cycling road races.
Beijing is one of the most polluted cities in the world and, despite a 120 billion yuan ($17.12 billion) clean-up over the last decade, air quality remains a concern for many athletes coming to the Olympics, already a lightning rod for rights protests worldwide.
IOC press commission chief Kevan Gosper said Beijing's investment had already delivered better air quality and he was confident that contingency plans would be effective.
Source: Reuters, April 2, 2008, http://www.enn.com/

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LOCAL NEWS


NEA’s Rs 1.5b Power Bonds Sold Out
The 1.5 million units of power bond with a face value of Rs 1,000 each that NEA issued on February 14, have been sold out.
The state electricity distribution monopoly issued power bonds for the first time in the country to mobilize Rs 1.5 billion from the market to finance civil work for its 30 MW Chamelia, 14 MW Kulekhani III and partially the Middle Marsyangdi project.
"The response was very encouraging. The trial has been successful," said Shrestha. "This is the first phase of our long-term goal to mobilize more local money through issuance of more power bonds."
The bond, which offers interest of 7.75 percent per annum, will mature in 5 years. Of the total units, NEA had set aside 150,000 units for public issuance and the remaining for individuals and institutions.
NEA had appointed Nepal Merchant Banking and Finance as a trustee of the bond. It has secured investments made in the bond by pledging Rs 5 billion worth of shares of Chilime Hydropower Company Limited as collateral to the trustee bank. NEA is also setting aside a reserve cash fund of over Rs 380 million every year to enable repayment.
Source: http://www.ekantipur.com/

SC Clears Path For Upper Karnali Project
Refusing to issue a stay order in the Upper Karnali Hydropower Project case, the Supreme Court on Thursday permitted the government to go ahead with the implementation of the understanding reached with Hyderabad-based GMR Energy Limited on the 300-MW power project.
A division bench of Chief Justice Kedar Prasad Giri and Justice Ram Kumar Prasad Shah refused to issue a stay order, and said the constitutional and legal questions raised by the petitioners will be settled by the court while delivering a final verdict on the case.
Gorakha Bahadur BC of Kalikot and Ram Singh Rawal of Surkhet had jointly challenged the understanding reached between the government and the GMR Energy Limited to generate 300-MW hydropower from the Karnali River.
The counsels of the petitioners claimed that the signing of the agreement between the government and the GMR limited was unconstitutional. They also claimed that it was treaty related to sharing of a natural resource, and that the government violated the constitution by not seeking a parliamentary approval for it. The constitution says any treaty related to sharing of natural resources must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the parliament.
The government however claimed that the MoU was not related to sharing of natural resources and it did not need a parliamentary approval.
Attorney-General Yagya Murti Banjade defended the government’s act of signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a joint venture company — Hyderabad-based GMR Limited — for the commissioning of the Upper Karnali Hydropower Project. The GMR Limited is commissioning the 300-MW project together with the Nepal Electricity Authority, according to Banjade.
Source: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/ March 14

NOC Cuts Diesel Rate For Bulk Customers
Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has scaled down the price of diesel for industrial consumers and other bulk customers taking the product directly from its depots to Rs 62.27 a liter.
The decision was taken in a bid to narrow down the gap between the retail rate (Rs 56.25 per liter) and the rate at which the product is supplied to the bulk customers, NOC has said. This would, however, widen the loss of the corporation. The announcement has come following a series of protests from hoteliers and entrepreneurs.
Even the general public who are willing to buy less quantity of diesel can do so at the petrol pump jointly run by the NOC and the Petroleum Dealers’ Association (PDA) at Teku, said Narad Bhandari of the PDA.
Source: http://www.ekantipur.com/ March 15

Pvt Sector Hydel Projects More Cost Effective
By Bikash Sangraula
Nepal’s private sector recently announced its biggest hydropower initiative till date - the 100 MW Kaligandaki Gorge project, estimated to cost Rs 10 billion. In stark contrast stands the under-construction 70 MW Middle Marsyangdi, whose cost is now estimated to cross Rs 26 billion.
According to Winrock International’s cost comparison of Nepal’s hydropower projects, public sector projects built under donor funding have been almost three times (US $4,000 per kilowatt on an average) costlier than projects built by local private sector (US $1,499 per kw on an average). In between lie projects built by international private sector (US $2,610 per kw on an average).
In projects built under grant money, there is restricted bidding, thus raising costs. Uttar Kumar Shrestha, deputy managing director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) said the country extending grant usually sets the condition that bidding for equipment, consultancy and contractor be done from the donor country only. The Middle Marsyangdi, which is being built under partial German financing, has German contractor and German consultant.
"The private sector does financial analysis while selecting projects, while the government does economic analysis, which considers economic needs of the country," he said. "For instance, the government has to undertake projects with the size that meets power needs of the country. Such projects may not necessarily be financially attractive."
Source: http://www.ekantipur.com/ March 17

NOC To Pay Rs 1.44b To IOC
The state-run Nepal Oil Corporation has decided to pay another Rs 1.44 billion (INR 90 million) to the Indian Oil Corporation.
"We will release the money by Wednesday," NOC supplies manager Mukunda Dhungana said. The government has, however, decided not to hike the price of petroleum products before the Constituent Assembly election.
The NOC had claimed that it has incurred a monthly loss of Rs. 777 million as per the prices forwarded by the IOC on March 1 -- Rs 2.91 in each litre of petrol, Rs 14.02 in diesel, Rs. 8.9 in kerosene and Rs 325 per LPG cylinder.
Source: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/ March 18

Deteriorating Air Quality Of Kathmandu
By Shishir Bhattarai
Vehicle emission and the smoke from brick kiln is deteriorating Kathmandu's air quality. The number of vehicles is increasing and vehicle emission testing instrument is being misused. Vehicles that do not meet the standard are also receiving green stickers.
Effective implementation of trolley bus that came into use in 2032 BS with the aid from Chinese government is lagging. And very few electric vehicles are plying in the road. The only way to get rid from the pollution problem for now is the maintenance of the vehicles in time and raising awareness.
Source: Kantipur, March 19, 2008

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LOCAL NEWS

Projects For 105 MW With Chinese Funds
China is positive about providing US $ 187 million for building the 61 MW Upper Trisuli and 44 MW Upper Trisuli 3'B' projects that will sell electricity in the Nepalese market.
The money is part of a US $ 200 million concessional credit committed to Nepal by China's state-owned Export-Import (EXIM) Bank in September 2006.
A Finance Ministry source said that the nine- member Chinese delegation that visited Nepal this week under the leadership of China's Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs. He Yafei assured Nepalese authorities that China's Commerce Ministry would be told "categorically" to provide US $ 125 million for building the upper Trisuli and US $ 62 million for the Upper Trisuli 3'B'.
Source: The Kathmandu post, March 7, 2008

India to Give 25 MW Only
Power Trading Corporation of India (PTC) has proposed to give 25 MW electricity to Nepal. Taking into account the problem of load shedding, Nepal government requested the PTC for 40 MW.
We could supply only 25 MW electricity as there is not enough transmission line, said Tantranath Thakur, president, PTC. Except the Nepalese government, Nepal Electricity Corporation (NOC) has also been requesting 20 MW to PTC.
Source: Annapurna Post, March 8, 2008

Maoist Priority On Railways, Cable Car And Trolley Bus
Maoist put forward an idea of cable car and railways to join Hilly and Himalayan regions. The party has planned to have five airports, nine hydro projects, four multipurpose irrigation projects and 10 industrial centers in different parts of the country in their vision for new Nepal.
They have also put forward the plan of operating trolley bus in the ring road of Kathmandu Valley and railways out of ring road. They said that cable car is suitable for Himalayan regions, road ways in the hilly areas while railways in the terai regions.
Source: Rajdhani, March 9, 2008

Illegal Operation of Brick Kilns
Normal lives of people are at stake due to illegal operation of brick kilns. The black smoke emitted from the kiln is creating different health problems like headache, eye strain, nausea etc, say the affected people. They also claim that 20-25% of people above 10 years are suffering from these diseases.
The harmful smoke emitted from the kiln not only risks the health of the people but it also has its adverse effect on the plants, say the locals. They say that the fruit trees have stopped to germinate and it no more produces fruits.
In addition, the heavy trucks that is used for loading and transporting the bricks has damaged the road infrastructure which results in more dust pollution and also villagers are afraid of their village getting drowned.
Source: Rajdhani, March 10, 2008

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Global Wind Power Capacity Reaches 100,000 Megawatts
"At its current growth rate, global installed wind power capacity will top 100,000 megawatts in March 2008", writes Jonathan G. Dorn in a recent Earth Policy Institute release, "Global Wind Power Capacity Reaches 100,000 Megawatts." "In 2007, wind power capacity increased by a record-breaking 20,000 megawatts, bringing the world total to 94,100 megawatts—enough to satisfy the residential electricity needs of 150 million people."
The cost of onshore wind power has decreased by more than 80 percent since the early 1980s to roughly 7¢ per kilowatt-hour at favorable wind sites. If the full cost of carbon emissions were incorporated into the price of natural gas and coal, onshore wind would become the cheapest electricity source.
With mounting concerns over global climate change and energy security, wind energy is rapidly taking center stage in the new energy economy. If the present 27-percent annual growth rate of installed wind power capacity is maintained, total capacity in 2020 will hit 2 million megawatts. With aggressive economic incentives, it could reach 3 million megawatts by that date—which would be 30 times as much as is available today.
Source: http://www.enn.com/ March 6, 2008

Low-Cost Reusable Material Could Capture Carbon Dioxide From Power Plants
Researchers have developed a new, low-cost material for capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants and other generators of the greenhouse gas. Produced with a simple one-step chemical process, the new material has a high capacity for absorbing carbon dioxide — and can be reused many times.
Combined with improved heat management techniques, the new material could provide a cost-effective way to capture large quantities of carbon dioxide from coal-burning facilities. Existing CO2 capture techniques involve the use of solid materials that lack sufficient stability for repeated use — or liquid adsorbents that are expensive and require significant amounts of energy.
Once removed from the stack gases, the CO2 might be sequestered in the deep ocean, in mined-out coal seams or in depleted petroleum reservoirs. If the CO2 capture and sequestration process can be made practical, America’s large resources of coal could be used with less impact on global climate change.
Source: http://www.enn.com/ March 7, 2008

Mass. Governor Announces Net Zero Energy Buildings Task Force
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced the establishment of a task force on net zero energy buildings Wednesday morning at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association's (NESEA) Building Energy Conference and Trade Show at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.
Governor Patrick called upon the conference participants to help him achieve his goal of net zero energy buildings. "Those of you in this room are the ones who can make this happen. You have what it takes to lead the energy revolution and my challenge to you is to help us get to zero. That is the least we can do!"
Net zero energy buildings are buildings that produce as much energy as they consume and represent the cutting edge of environmentally responsible construction. These buildings utilize state-of-the-art energy-efficient construction and renewable energy systems, such as solar and wind, to reduce the buildings' carbon emissions and impact on the environment.
Source: http://www.enn.com/ March 12, 2008

Cow Gas Power
By Nichola Groom
On a dairy farm in Riverdale, the agricultural heartland of state, utility PG&E Corp recently began producing natural gas derived from manure, in what it hopes will be a new way to power homes with renewable, if not entirely clean, energy.
The Vintage Dairy Biogas Project, the brainchild of dairyman David Albers, aims to provide the natural gas needed to power 1,200 homes a day.
Methane can be captured and treated to produce renewable gas, and California regulators have directed PG&E and other utilities to make renewable energy at least 20% of their electricity supplies by 2010. PG&E expects to reach 14% this year, thanks in small part at least to its partnership with BioEnergy Solutions.
Source: Reuters, http://thestar.com.my/

Warm Winter Curbs German CO2 Pollution In 2007
By Vera Eckert
A warm winter cut demand for heating oil and gas sending German carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2007 down by 2.7 percent to almost 857 million tons, the federal environment agency UBA said on Monday.
"The reasons for the lower CO2 emissions were lower demand for oil and gas due to the strong rise in prices for fossil fuels as well as above-average temperatures (which curbed heating demand)," said UBA president Andreas Troge.
The total for the six dropped by 2.4 percent year-on-year to 981.3 million tons of CO2 equivalents, said UBA. It said Germany had lowered their emissions by a fifth compared to levels in 1990, to a 20.4 percent drop.
This brings Germany close to meeting its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, which require a 21 percent cut by 2012. The UBA said Germany should press ahead with a package of measures to save energy and use cleaner fuels. Germany aims by 2020 to lower greenhouse gases emissions by 40 percent over 1990 levels.
Final 2007 figures for CO2 will be available in mid-2008 and final greenhouse gases numbers for 2007 in early 2009, UBA said.
Source: Reuters, March 10, 2008, http://www.enn.com/

Gebrselassie Misses Marathon Due To Pollution
Marathon world record holder Haile Gebrselassie said on Monday he would not compete in the Olympic marathon because of fears that Beijing's air pollution would damage his health.
International Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge said last year that events such as the marathon could be rescheduled if contingency measures did not have the desired effect.
Rogge told reporters last November in New York that a monitoring system would be set up in Beijing to gauge whether air pollution warranted delaying events.
Events that involve endurance, such as the marathon or cycling distance races, could be delayed for a few hours or until another day, Rogge said.
Source: Reuters, March 10, 2008, http://www.enn.com/

[top]

LOCAL NEWS

Develop Devghat Hydro: Locals
Enterpreneurs, business persons and locals have started discussion on initiatives for construction of the 400 MW Devghat Hydroelectricity Project here at the confluence of Trishuli and Kaligandaki rivers in the district.
To take necessary initiatives for the project, a five-member task force has been formed under the chairmanship of Mitraraj Dawadi, the chairman of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industries, Narayangadh chapter.
Dawadi said the feasibility study of the project was completed in 1983." The project did not start then due to fear of inundation in Devghat areas," he added.
According to Dawadi, they have requested the government and investors to pour funds to develop the project. Hydropower expert Gyanendra Lal Pradhan said the government should undertake responsibility for building the project. "There will be no progress in hydropower sector in the country if we depend on foreign investment only," he claimed.
Engineer Hariprasad Pandit said the estimated cost of the project is about 40 billion rupees. "Resident of Chitwan concluded that locals can invest up to 30 percent of the total cost while the government has been requested to bear the rest," said Dawadi.
Source: The Kathmandu post, February 27, 2008

Increase Of Dust Particles In Air
The dust particles less than 10 microgram is increasing and this will have more adverse effect on health, said the expert during the interaction program organized on Wednesday, 27 February 2008.
"We were relaxed when there was improvement in the air quality but since last year, the air quality again started to degrade", said Bhusan Tuladhar, executive director, ENPHO.
According to the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, the annual mortality rate of COPD patient has been projected to be sixteen hundred. The survey carried out to the tourist also showed that the air pollution is one of the major problems in the country.
The air quality of the valley is six times more (120 microgram per meter cube) than WHO standard (20 microgram per meter cube).
Source: Kantipur, February 28, 2008

Sutlej Bags Arun III
The government has decided to award the 402-MW Arun III project to India’s Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN), as the Sutlej agreed to all the conditions set by the government.
The Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) today signed a MoU with a SJVN team led by its deputy general manager Sanjay Upal. The decision was taken after Sutlej agreed on the conditions set by the government, said Anup Kumar Upadhyay, joint secretary at MoWR, who inked the agreement on behalf of Nepal government.
As per the nine-point MoU, Sutlej will provide 21.9 per cent (88 MW) free energy and pay Rs 451.4 million for costs involved in project feasibility and detailed report to Nepal. The developer will also have to pay royalties and export duty to Nepal in accordance with existing government policy, as well as build transmission links and access road up to the project site.
The developer will have to handover the project to the government under build-own-operate and transfer system after 30 years. The total cost of the project has been estimated at $860 million. The project site is located in Shankhuwasabha.
Source: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/ March 2

Power Cuts Down By 6 Hrs A Week
Following successful repair of one of the two turbines at the 32 MW Kulekhani II hydropower project, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has decided to bring load-shedding down to 41 hours a week per household from the exiting weekly 47 hours per household, effective from Friday.
"After complete shutdown of the project for 21 days, one turbine at Kulekhani II is back in operation, adding 16 megawatts to the national grid," said Bhuwan Kumar Chhettri, manager of Systems Operations Department at NEA.
"This has enabled us to reduce power cuts by six hours per week per household," he said. "It will come into effect from Friday."
From Friday, the existing power cuts from 12 pm to 4 am will be lifted completely, while power cuts from 4 am to 8 am will be reduced by an hour to 5 am to 8 am. Also, the power cuts from 9 am to 1 pm have been brought down by an hour to 9 am to 12 noon.
"However, the existing power cut schedule will remain unchanged in the Hetauda-Birgunj corridor," Chhettri said.
The current peak demand in the country is 680 to 700 MW. The country still faces a peak time power deficit of around 260 MW, according to Chhettri. The other turbine at Kulekhani II will need at least another month for repairs, Chhettri said.
Source: http://www.ekantipur.com/

Solar Cookers Handed Over To Tea Estate
The Korean Woman Environment Network (KWEN) handed over 10 sophisticated solar cookers to employees of the kanchanjangha Tea Estate, Nepal's 'first and biggest' tea company that has been cultivating organic tea without using chemical fertilizers and exporting it to different countries of Asia and Europe.
Use of the solar cookers was decided to be fit in this region after a test done by Lee Sangjo, representative of Korean Federation for Environment (KFE).
The cookers have been provided with the objective of encouraging the organic cultivation method of the tea estate as well as to protect the health of the estate employees and diminish environmental pollution, Sangjo of the KFE said.
Members of KWEN had proposed to provide the cookers after they saw women cooking food in firewood last year, said international marketing manager of the estate, Dilli Baskota. A total of 146 employees of the estate would benefit form the use of the cookers, Pramananda Kafle, an employee of the tea estate, said.
Source: The Himalayan Times, March 2, 2008

Control Trans-Boundary Pollution
Being a landlocked country situated between two industrialized countries India and China, the threat of trans-boundary pollution is immense in Nepal, experts said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a national stakeholder's workshop on air pollution, Meena Khanal, joint secretary at the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, said the impacts of climate change and air pollution are generally trans- boundary and global in nature.
"Pollutants are not limited within the boundary of the country and are likely to travel to other neighboring countries affecting quality of life of millions people," she said.
Khanal said the government along with concerned stakeholders should come forward to tackle the negative impacts of air pollution in the country.
Another expert, Mr Lynrararasan from United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) said, due to the high rate of urbanization in developing countries like Nepal, the problem of air pollution is increasing. Although nearly 15 percent of the total population already lives in urban areas of Nepal, the urbanization rate is very high compared to other South Asian countries, he said.
"The urbanization rate will increase in coming years, thus increasing more problems of air pollution" Lynrararasan said.
According to a report presented by Bidhya Banmali Pradhan of Integrated Center for Mountain Development (ICIMOD), the pollutants causing air pollution can be transported regionally over distances from 100 to a few 1000 kilometers, far enough to cross state, provincial, national, and even continental boundaries.
Similarly, a report by World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 0.5 million premature deaths occur throughout Asia every year due to outdoor air pollution.
Source: The Kathmandu Post, March 5, 2008

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

ADB And CDGK To Start Bus Rapid Transit System
By Irfan Aligi
A new concept in urban transport systems is in the offing as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has allocated US$ 223 million for the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS), to be launched in collaboration with the City District Government Karachi (CDGK). The BRTS would facilitate the transportation of at least 20,000 passengers on a persons-per-hour-per-direction basis.
The BRTS will resemble a network of railway stations because instead of bus stops, there will be station-like compounds. Like railway tracks, no other transport will be allowed to ply on the track of buses under the BRTS.
The CDGK Mass Transit Cell director, General Malik Zaheer, told Daily Times that the BRTS is a CDGK project that came into being after the Pakistan government planning commission conducted a 3-month study on the possibilities of environment-friendly public transport systems for Karachi. The study yielded a solution based on 2 aspects: firstly, the use of CNG buses, which the government of Pakistan has opted to work on and secondly the design and development of the BRTS, which the ADB has picked to fund.
Source: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/ February 26, 2008

Pulp And Palm Oil The Villains In Sumatra's Global Climate Impact
Turning just one Sumatran province's forests and peat swamps into pulpwood and palm oil plantations is generating more annual greenhouse gas emissions than the Netherlands and rapidly driving the province's elephants into extinction, a new study by WWF and partners has found.
The study found that in central Sumatra's Riau Province 4.2 million hectares of tropical forests and peat swamp have been cleared in the last 25 years. Forest loss and degradation and peat decomposition and fires are behind average annual carbon emissions equivalent to 122 percent of the Netherlands total annual emissions, 58 percent of Australia's annual emissions, 39 per cent of annual UK emissions and 26 per cent of annual German emissions.
Riau was chosen for the study because it is home to vast peat lands estimated to hold Southeast Asia’s largest store of carbon, and contains some of the most critical habitat for Sumatran elephants and tigers. It also has Indonesia's highest deforestation rate, substantially driven by the operations of global paper giants Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) and Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL).
Source: http://www.enn.com/

Hydrogen Gas Fueled Vehicles A Step Closer
While liquid hydrogen is denser and takes up less space, it is very expensive and difficult to produce. It also reduces the environmental benefits of hydrogen vehicles. Widespread commercial acceptance of these vehicles will require finding the right material that can store hydrogen gas at high volumetric and gravimetric densities in reasonably sized light-weight fuel tanks.
Researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, with the use of molecular dynamics simulations, have solved a decade old mystery that could one day lead to commercially practical designs of storage materials for use in hydrogen gas fueled vehicles.
Source: http://www.enn.com/

Northwest Airlines Receives Minnesota Governor's Award For Environmental Achievements
Northwest Airlines (NYSE: NWA) was honored today as the recipient of a 2007 Minnesota Governor's Award for Excellence in Waste and Pollution Prevention.
Northwest Airlines' application as "Conserving Resources - Doing Our Part," highlighted its fuel conservation and resource management, focusing on proactive fleet modernization, fuel conservation, and material recycling efforts.
The Minnesota Governor's Awards are given out annually to honor organizations, businesses and non-profit institutions for programs or projects that benefit the environment by reducing or eliminating waste and pollutants at the source. Applications are judged on benefits to the environment, economic efficiency, level of commitment and leadership, innovation and ability of the project to serve as a model for others.
In 2000, Northwest Airlines established a program of fuel conservation and resource management including a $6 billion fleet modernization effort. The re-fleeting program has resulted in a savings of more than 250 million gallons of jet fuel per year which is the equivalent of removing 500,000 cars from the road. The airline has reduced its own carbon emissions by 25 percent since 2000 through its transition to newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft, including the recent delivery of its 32nd A330 aircraft. Northwest now operates the world's largest A330 fleet, the youngest international fleet and youngest transatlantic fleet of any U.S. carrier.
Source: www.newsobserver.com

Oil Price Hits All-Time Record
It finally happened this week. The price of oil passed the all-time inflation-adjusted peak of $103.76 that was set in April 1980—and is now three times what it was just four years ago.
World crude oil production has actually fallen from 73.8 million barrels per day in 2005 to 73.2 million barrels per day in the first ten months of 2007, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. This makes 2005 the peak year for world oil production so far, though it is too early to know if this will turn out to be the all-time high.
Although the dreaded phrase "peak oil" is still used mainly by oil industry mavericks like Matthew Simmons and T. Boone Pickens, their views—if not their language—do appear to be spreading to the mainstream. Last week, oil analysts at Deutsche Bank concluded that steep decline rates of some of the world’s largest oil fields will limit future growth in oil production and could push oil prices to hit $150 as early as 2010.
It’s high time for governments around the world to wake up to the new oil era we have now entered. There are lots of ways to reduce dependence on oil, starting with more efficient cars. But it won’t happen without political leadership.
Source: http://www.enn.com/

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LOCAL NEWS

Kulekhani-II Turbine Fixed
One of the turbines producing 16 MW electricity at Kulekhani Hydro Project-II that went dysfunctional for the last three weeks came into operation on Tuesday.
With its resumption, the project generates 76 MW energy. Earlier, Kulekhani-I was producing 60 MW only. Likewise, the project is going to fix the first unit of Kulekhani II. The project is expecting to complete repair work by March 8, according to Engineer Ramesh Tiwari of Kulekhani-II. After that Kulekhani-I and II will altogether produce 92 MW electricity.
Source: The Kathmandu Post, February 21, 2008


SC Moved Against Upper Karnali Project
A writ petition was filed today at the Supreme Court challenging the government's decision on the Upper Karnali hydro-electricity project claiming that the government signed the contract by violating the Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2007.
Gorakh Bahadur BC, permanent resident of Meyalgudi VDC-9, Kalikot District, and Ram Singh Rawal, permanent resident of Lalikoili VDC-8, Surkhet, jointly filed the petition on Monday.
The Prime minister's Office and Cabinet, Ministries of Water Resources, Science and Technology, Environment, and Finance and the parliamentary committee on Natural Resources and Finance, the Electricity Development Department, the Nepal Electricity Authority and the GMR Limited, Hyderabad, India, are the defendants in the case.
The petitioners have claimed that the government signed an agreement on the Upper Karnali project, but information regarding the project has not been made public.
"The government has been hiding information on the Environmental Impact Assessment of the project," they said.
Source: The Himalayan Times, February 21, 2008

100MW Kali Gandaki Hydro Project Unveiled
At a time when the country is reeling under an acute energy shortage, a group of Nepali developers under the initiation of Hydro Solutions on Thursday announced the launch of Kali Gandaki Gorge Hydropower Project (KGGHP) for domestic consumption.
The 100 MW power project to be built at the border of Mustang and Myagdi districts, is a domestic project led by Nepali developers and financers, said Gyanendra Lal Pradhan, chief strategist at the Hydro Solutions.
The project will be the first hydropower project being promoted by Nepali and for Nepali that can significantly reduce the burden of load shedding and energy crisis, he claimed.
Pradhan claimed that ‘financing is not problem’, as they have already received commitment of over two billion rupees from local banks, business houses and developers such as Butwal Power Company. He also revealed that the developers plan to distribute shares to locals in the area and public as well as labourers who wish to work in lieu of equity.
Although the total estimated cost for the project is yet to be finalised, Pradhan said current estimation stands at $1500 per KW. He further added that the detailed project cost and promoters would be finalised within next six months.
Source: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/ February 22, 2008

NOC Move To Ease Fuel Supply
The Nepal Oil Corporation has made arrangements for the smooth supply and distribution of petroleum products. The month-long arrangement will come into effect from Monday.
The petroleum products would be made available to the essential services on a priority basis by issuing coupons.
The pumps will provide fuel not exceeding Rs 500 to motorcycles, Rs 800 to private cars, Rs 1,000 to taxis and vehicles belonging to educational institutions, Rs 2,000 to vehicles on hire and Rs 3,000 to vehicles plying on long distances.
Fuel will be provided to vehicles with even registration number on even date according to the Nepali calendar and to vehicles with odd registration number on odd days of the week, except the vehicles of the essential services.
Separate petrol pumps would be designated for filling the motorcycles, taxis, private cars and vehicles on hire. The information on the designated gas stations would be given in the media.
Source: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/ February 23, 2008

Load Shedding Affects NARC Research, DNA Stock
Fluctuating power supply is adversely affecting the invaluable stock of DNA samples in the Nepal Agricultural Research Council.
Prolonged load shedding is likely causing much loss to some 500 DNA of indigenous breed of crops and vegetation and more than 10,000 samples of seeds at the Biotechnology Unit of the NARC. "Nepal can not afford the loss of these genes," Dr Bindeshwar Prasad Sah, senior scientist at the unit told this daily.
"The Botany Pathology Division has already lost 25 of trichoderma (fungal isolates), an organism that controls soil health. The NARC had a store of 30 isolates which were tested and isolated in a lab in the UK this year. The soil samples were collected from different parts of the country, which took a lot of time and money," he said.
Source: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/ February 23, 2008

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

GM Exec Stands By Calling Global Warming A "Crock"
By Kevin Krolicki
General Motors Corp Vice Chairman Bob Lutz has defended remarks he made dismissing global warming as a "total crock of s---," saying his views had no bearing on GM's commitment to build environmentally friendly vehicles.
In a posting on his GM blog, Lutz said those "spewing virtual vitriol" at him for minimizing the threat of climate change were "missing the big picture."
GM, the largest U.S. automaker by sales and market share, has been trying to change its image after taking years of heat for relying too much on sales of large sport-utility vehicles like the Hummer and not moving faster on fuel-saving hybrid technology.
Lutz said GM was continuing development of the battery-powered, plug-in Chevy Volt and other alternatives to traditional internal combustion engines.
Automakers ended their opposition to higher fuel standards in 2007 when it became clear that proposed changes would become law with or without their support.
In December, President George W. Bush signed a law mandating a 40 percent increase in fleet wide fuel economy by 2020, the first substantial change in three decades.
Source: Reuters, February 23, 2008, http://www.enn.com/

50 Polluting Firms Blacklisted In South China
A booming province in southern China has blacklisted 50 companies for failing to meet environmental standards and warned them that they would be ordered to halt production or closed down by the local government if they do not take corrective steps.
After reviewing 164 key polluting companies, the Guangdong Environmental Protection Bureau has given "yellow or red warning cards" for failing to meet an environmental protection credit review, the provincial environmental watchdog said.
Serious polluters must improve pollutant treatment facilities within a required period and those not falling in line would be ordered to halt production or be closed, the bureau said.
As per tightened rules, the country's securities regulator would also be advised not to clear stock market initial public offerings or the refinancing applications of offending firms, it said.
Source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/23 Feb, 2008

Greece Seen Facing Bleak Climate Future
By Karolos Grohmann
Greece will face droughts, higher temperatures and sea levels, and desertification that will damage agriculture and tourism because of climate change, EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said on Friday.
Dimas said the average annual temperature around the Mediterranean had increased by 1 degree Celsius compared with a 0.74 degree rise globally. He did not say to which period this rise was compared.
Greece's average rainfall in the past few years has fallen by about 30 percent since the mid 1970s. The month of January in 2007 was the driest in half a century while last June was the hottest June on record, scientists have said.
The European Union's executive adopted plans last month to cut greenhouse gas emissions, seeking to push the world into tough climate action.
"Greece must meet its Kyoto (environmental) protocol targets diligently," Dimas said, adding the country must boost alternative energy production, increase investment in energy-saving measures and include climate change measures in every policy."Climate change is a global problem in need of a global solution," Dimas said.
Source: Reuters, February 22, 2008, http://www.enn.com/

A Green Free Zone To Save Energy
By Emmanuelle Landais
Enpark, the acronym for Energy and Environment Park, is the latest free zones to lay its bricks on Dubai soil in hopes of attract renewable energy experts to the country by providing facilities for industries in the field.
Ali Bin Towaih, Director of the Energy and Environment Park (Enpark) is working towards a greener and healthier Dubai. He spoke to Gulf News about his concept of living close to work, reducing cars on the road and eating healthier food.
We are looking at a practical way of applying things and turning good habits into a lifestyle. Enpark will be a people's project. It will be a new free zone with water and energy conservation programmes. It will also be for industries to showcase their products and make a difference in people's lives.
Emissions and pollution, congestion and traffic jams are problems here so with our project we want to contribute to Dubai's property infrastructure in a holistic way.
Enpark will run on renewable energy, probably solar but it depends on which is most economically viable. People who work in Enpark will live in Enpark. It's a living and working solution. If people can walk to work it reduces cars on the roads.
Source: http://www.gulfnews.com/ February 24, 2008

Amazon Nuts Help Fuel First Biofuel Flight
By Nigel Hunt
Nuts picked from Amazon rainforests helped fuel the world's first commercial airline flight powered by renewable energy on Sunday.
British billionaire Branson said, however, it was unlikely the nut of the wild growing babassu palm would play a key role as airlines turn to renewable fuel sources to cut the industry's greenhouse gas emissions.
"We did not want to use biofuels such as corn oil which were competing with staple food sources," he said, adding he believed algae produced in places like sewage treatment farms were the most likely future source of renewable fuel for the airline industry.
Many scientists believe so-called second generation biofuels, which could be made from products such as municipal waste, will provide more substantial environmental benefits without competing with food crops for land.
The biofuels blend on the Virgin flight contained 20 percent neat biofuel and 80 percent conventional jet fuel. Branson said tests had shown it was possible to fly with a 40 percent blend.
Branson, whose Virgin Group business spans an airline, a rail service, drinks, hotels and leisure, has committed to spending all the profits from his airline and rail business to combat global warming by cutting carbon emissions.
Source: Reuters, February 24, 2008, http://www.enn.com/

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Local News

Upper Tamakoshi Closer To Realization
The 309 MW Upper Tamakoshi hydropower project inched a significant step ahead Tuesday following an investment agreement between Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF).
EPF will provide Rs. 12 billion to NEA for construction of the project, out of which 10 billion will be in loan at 8.25 percent interest and 2 billion in debentures to be converted later into shares.
NEA Executive Director Arjun Kumar Karki and EPF Chief Administrator Sashi Bikram Rana signed the agreement at a function held at NEA's office in the capital.
The project to be constructed at Lamabagar VDC in Dolkha district is estimated to cost Rs 27.44 billion, exclusive of interests on loans.
NEA aims to complete the project by 2012/13. It is an attractive and low-risk project with its power generation cost standing at Rs. 1.70 per unit, and producing 1.74 billion units per annum.
Also, the project's location in central Nepal will ease the power generation imbalance as almost all power projects are now located in the Western part of the country.
According to NEA Executive Director Karki, NEA will be holding 51 percent shares in the project, while 20 percent will go to the depositors at EPF and locals at the project site will receive 10 percent. NEA staff and the general public will be offered the rest. He also said that the Upper Tamakoshi Hydro Power Limited (UTHPL) will be a separate entry."NEA will have to purchase electricity from UTHPL as a completely separate entry." He said, adding, "Therefore UTHPL will bear none of the financial burden of NEA, which is now making a loss."
After completion of the 20 MW Chilime Hydroelectricity project, this will be the biggest project to be completed through domestic investment and resources." Also, this is the first project to provide shares to locals at the project site in the district," claimed Karki, adding ," Similarly, depositors at EPF will become shareholders in the project," Detailed engineering design for the project has not been completed yet.
Source: The Kathmandu Post, January 30, 2008

Energy Consumption Is High In Household Use
According to Alternative Energy Promotion Center, household energy consumption is very high compare to other sector. About 89.21% of energy is being consumed for cooking, heating water, lighting houses etc. Only about 1.51% in business, 3.71% in transportation, 4.51% in industry and 0.81% in agriculture is being used by these sectors.
In the tenth fifth year plan, the plan of electricity facility to 8138 rural family, construction of 2837 biogas plants, improvement of 4000 water mills, installment of 72835 solar panel and improvement of 212852 cook stoves has been mentioned. The government subsidy on alternative energy played an important role in attracting more rural villages towards alternative energy, said Narayan Prasad Kafle, assistant director, AEPC.
Source: Rahdhani, 31 January 2008

Diesel Shortage: 70 Percent Vehicle 'Not Plying'
Transport entrepreneurs claimed today that more than 70 percent of the public vehicles were not plying on roads due to the "acute" shortage of diesel through out the nation.
General Secretary of the Federation of Nepali National Transport Entrepreneurs Krishna Adhikary said today that less than 30 per cent of the public vehicles were plying on the roads due to the shortage of diesel.
He claimed that the adulteration of fuel is rampant in the market." The price of Kerosene is equal to that of petrol and diesel," he claimed.
The practice of adulteration is common among petroleum dealers, he said, adding," There is no mechanism to check this illegal act," he said.
Adhikary also said that transport entrepreneurs would launch an agitation against the shortage and adulteration of fuel.
Convener of the Bagmati Zonal Committee of Federation of Nepali National Transport Entrepreneurs, Niratna Newa, said they would launch protest programmes after organizing a press conference tomorrow demanding that the agreements reached with Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula last year be implemented.
"None of the agreements reached with the Home Minister has been implemented yet," Newa said.
He said they were also planning to begin indefinite transport strike throughout the Bagmati zone.
General Secretary of the Nepal Petroleum Dealers' Association, Sharad Bhandary, said of the total quantity, only 25 percent of fuel being supplied in the market these days. The concerned government bodies should control the adulteration of fuel, he added.
Source: The Himalayan Times, January 31, 2008

Attraction Towards Improved Cook Stove
Locals of Jhapa (Puwamjhuwa VDC) are attracted towards improved cook stove after Patenagi Biodiversity Conservation Project enhanced the construction of improved cook stove in the VDC.
Due to use of less fuel wood and less emission of smoke, the use of improved cook stove is increasing in the village. More than 200 households has constructed improved cook stove and the trend is in the increasing order.
The program of improved cook stove basically aims to conserve environment and enhance biodiversity conservation, said Somnath Sunuwar, member of the project.
Source: Rajdhani, Feb 1, 2008

Use Of Tyre In Brick Kiln
Brick Kiln of Tanahu district are using tyre posing risk to environment and health. The labors working at the brick kiln say more than 50% of the brick kiln in Tanahu district use tyre at the cost of environment and health.
Dr. Ishwor Prasad Adhikari said that the labors of brick kiln can have adverse health problems like COPD, asthma, Tuberculosis, cancer etc. Brick kiln that are not registered are using tyre, said Bal krishna Ghimire, president, Business Entrepreneur. He further said that such industries should be recognized and take immediate action. He said that there are about 50 brick kilns which have not been registered yet. Though there is a policy relating to the environment but these policies have not been strictly followed, said Shiva Prasad Devkota, president, Small Industry Development Committee.
Source: Kantipur, February 2, 2008

Upper Karnali Hydel Decision Criticised
After the Upper Karnali hydropower project was given to an Indian company, border experts and lawyers at an interaction programme Wednesday expressed doubts about the Indian security force finding the pretext of giving security to the project to enter Nepal.
At the programme, advocate Bhimarjan Acharya said that this interim (temporary) government did not have the right to make contract of projects related to natural resources and of national importance.
He said the government, before making the contract, should have first asked the local people as they have more right to the use and utilization of the local resources.
He added that more than making such an agreement, this government should give priority to the upcoming constitution assembly (CA) elections.
The Upper Karnali hydropower project has the capacity of 300 MW.
Hydropower expert Ratna Sagar Shrestha said that Nepal would never be developed if the government continued selling natural resources to foreigners instead of building infrastructure for their development on its own efforts.
Gorakh Bahadur GC, local of Karnali said Karnali is not just a river but a symbol of the civilisation of the Khasas, the original people of Karnali. Selling such a resource without taking consent of the local people is a betrayal to the people and ignoring the civilisation of the region.
Source: The Rising Nepal, February 2, 2008, http://www.gorkhapatra.or

International News

Suggests $2 bln Carbon Capture Plan
By Randall Palmer and Allan Dowd
Canadian governments should spend C$2 billion ($2 billion) to encourage the capture and storage of carbon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a government-commissioned panel recommends.
The panel report, released late on Thursday, flags carbon capture as a way of curbing emissions while continuing to make economic progress, but the panel said it needs government help to get the idea off the ground.
"Canada possesses the technology, geology, and expertise to be a world leader in the development and implementation of CCS (carbon capture and storage) technology," the report said.
Harper, elected in 2006, has said Canada will not be able to meet its obligations under the Kyoto protocol on climate change without taking steps he said would cause economic havoc. He has instead looked largely to technological innovations which have yet to get off the ground in a large-scale commercial way.
Source: Reuters, February 1, 2008 , http://www.enn.com/

Responding to Climate Change
Across the country most cities, regions, and states have recognized that they must begin to address the impacts of climate change. But the speed and seriousness of these climate impacts facing each region of the country remains deeply uncertain, complicating the ability of governments at all levels to respond to the challenge.
Robert Lempert, RAND senior scientist, will discuss how new planning approaches can enable cities, water utilities, transportation, and other agencies to more effectively incorporate successful responses to climate change into their activities and plans. These approaches can help increase policy makers' confidence in their ability to address climate change as well as their willingness to recognize its potential consequences.
Lempert, who has a Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard University, leads RAND projects addressing both effective strategies for adapting to climate change impacts and reducing emissions of climate-altering greenhouse gases. He was a contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which, with former vice president Al Gore, won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
Source: http://www.enn.com/ January 31, 2008

Supermarkets to weigh up carbon labels
Shoppers may soon be able to tell what foods on the supermarket shelves are adding to global warming - in much the same way they can read the label to see if an item is high in fat or sugar.
Woolworths and the Australian Food and Grocery Council will examine the benefits of carbon labelling, which allows customers to see at a glance how much greenhouse gas was used to produce the product.
The study followed a call by the Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) for the Federal Government to adopt a national labelling system to measure the entire carbon footprint of food and household products.
VECCI said labeling would encourage business to reduce carbon emissions and help consumers to make better decisions.
Only 8 per cent of Australia's largest companies believed climate change posed a present threat to their business, a Pricewaterhouse Coopers survey found, but there is an emerging market for "green" businesses.
Source: http://www.smh.com.au/ February 3, 2008

Rooting For A Climate Change...
By Raunak Roy
The world is going crazy over global warming and climate change. But no one wants to really do anything about it. The world's leaders would rather catch a plane with delegates from another 180 countries and zero down on exotic islands to just talk about it.
The latest example is the United Nations Climate Change Conference held from December 3-14 in Nusa Dua, Bali, which culminated in the adoption of a new roadmap, which charts the course for a new negotiating process to be concluded by 2009 that will ultimately lead to a post-2012 international agreement on climate change. This is rather ironic as the 10,000 people caused as much pollution as 20,000 cars in one year!
Among other environmental campaigns, Oneworld wants to raise awareness about carbon emissions from air travel. Called Virtual Bali and still available at www.oneclimate.net/virtualbali, it is an online place where residents can come together and throw questions at the representatives from different countries and organizations attending the main event.
SL opens new possibilities for bringing the world together, for uniting people from across the world on a common platform to voice their opinions. The Bali summit is just one example. We will see more in the future.
Source: The Times of India, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/

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Local News

Imhja Glacier Lake Is At Risk
Japanese explorer and mountain climber Ken Noguchi visited Nepal for thirty six times and warns Imjha glacial lake of Solukhumbu district will burst in no time.
To draw the attention of international committee, he requested the government, civil society and media to take this issue seriously. He said due to global warming, the mountainous regions are very vulnerable; moreover Imjha glacial lake is very vulnerable from the beginning.
According to the study carried out by UNDP and ICIMOD in 2001 AD, 20 glacial lakes including Imjha, Tso- Rolpa, Barun and Thulagi are potentially dangerous lakes.
Ken said if Imjha glacial lake burst then it would have its effects down the Lukla in an hour and there would be both social and economical losses.
He also informed that Japanese private company has the technology to drain excess water out of the lake.
Source: Kantipur, January 23, 2008

Irrigation By Using Solar Energy
Farmers of Shyanjha district (Jagatbhanjyang) are using solar energy to operate irrigation facility to water vegetable farm.
With the help from DDC, VDC, agricultural office and SIMI organization, the villagers have installed solar panel, which powers the facility to supply water to 35 households for irrigation.
The farmers were facing trouble due to scarcity of water during winter but now the problem has been solved by solar energy.
Source: Rajdhani, January 20, 2008

Ex-Workers Threaten To Shut Down Hydro
Former workers of Jhimruk Hydroelectricity Project (JHP) here have threatened to obstruct power generation if the management does not address their demands.
Organizing a press meet at the premises of the power station on Tuesday, the employees said they would break open the doors of the project's reservoir if the management did not pay heed to their demands by January 31.
Some 250 temporary workers who were recruited for construction of the project and for rural electrification were sent home six years ago after the construction works who were halted following attack by Maoist cadres.
The agitating employees claimed that the management had promised to call them back soon after the works of the project started. They have demanded their immediate reinstatement, and treatment for injured workers, among others.
Shobhakar Pant, distribution chief at the power station said that he would apprise of the matter to the center soon.
The project, which was constructed with the assistance of Norwegian government is being run by Butwal Power Company now.
Source: The Kathmandu Post, January 24, 2008

Burning Of Tyres Can Cause Harm
The protests against the price hike of petroleum products ended on January 23. The Environment Management Division (EMD) of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, however, was busy for the next two days collecting the waste generated during the protests.
The nearly 35 tonnes of waste, chiefly comprising burnt tree branches, fragments of bricks, were collected from Kalimati, Putalisadak, Maharajgunj, Naxal, Lazimpat, Thamel, Boudha, New Baneshwor and other areas where the protest programmes were organized.
The EMD staffers were helped by YCL members in their task. Rabin Man Shrestha, EMD chief said the weight of the burnt items alone weighed over 10 tonnes.
According to him, two vehicles full of waste were collected from the Kalimati area alone while another vehicle full was collected from the Bir Hospital area.
The local administration in the valley, during the royal regime, had banned the burning of tyres during protests, citing health and environmental reasons.
Dr. Manohar Gupta, chief of the General Practice and Emergency Medicine Department, Teaching Hospital, said the effects of burning tyre does not end with the fire dying, its impact remains for weeks. Also the small fragments get airborne or gets into water sources thus proving hazardous to health.
"The fumes from burning tyres cause chest infections, carbon monoxide poisoning, lung cancer and even decrease the capacity of the lungs. But by consuming the carbon particles in contaminated water or food items, one may suffer from gastro-intestinal problems or even cancer in the long run," Gupta said.
Dr. Madan Kumar Piya, Chest and cancer specialist said that the burning of tyre for two days in the valley has affected especially asthma patient. He said that the flow of COPD patients in the hospital was more than usual. He also said that tyre burning is very harmful as it contains a lot of carcinogenic gases.
The black smoke emitted by burning tyre also has long-term effects on eyes, said Dr. Ananda Kumar Sharma. He insisted to find other alternate way other than tyre burning during protest programme.
Source: The Himalayan Times, January 26, 2008

Policy, Lengthy Process Hit Power Sector: Experts
Entrepreneurs and experts on Sunday blamed government's policies and lengthy procedures as major discouraging factors for private domestic investment in hydropower sector.
They further pointed out that instability in government policy and discriminatory provisions for power developers for domestic consumption as well as exports have stalled the domestic investment despite an adequate capital to finance up to 100 mega watt (MW) power projects.
Speaking at an interaction on 'Investment in Hydropower Development by Nepali Investors' organized by Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC), they also lamented government's failure at implementing one-window policy for power development and lack of coordination between different government agencies.
As a result, Nepal has been facing acute power shortage for last couple of years and it will continue for at least five to seven years more. Duration of load shedding has increased substantially with 36 hours a week these days. The power shortage has also hit the industries making the state loose billions of rupees in revenue.
"Although Nepali banking sector has adequate capital to finance up to 100 MW power projects, the commercial banks are reluctant to invest in power development because of associated risks," said Sanjeev Sainju of Kumari Bank Ltd, adding that the government's assurance to mitigate these risks can spur the investment.
According to him, various projects financed by the Nepali financial institutions have already generated more than 60 MW power and 10 MW projects are under construction. "As of the first quarter of current fiscal year, Nepali banking system has more than Rs 10 billion that can be used for long-term project financing including power development," Sainju said. "We are waiting for 'conducive environment'."
Source: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/ January 28, 2008

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Local News

Experts Lay Stress On Solar Power
Solar energy could be used to generate electricity which could help ease power crisis in urban areas, say experts.
Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) from today will be increasing load shedding hours — six hours everyday which would add up to about 36 hours each week.
Dr. Suresh Kumar Dhungel, a researcher on solar technology said, "This is an easier and environment friendly technology. Although the installation cost is a bit expensive, the urban populace, looking at various other expensive options, could afford it. The operating cost is negligible and once installed the system lasts for at least 20 years."
Small solar home systems have been installed in rural areas under various governmental programmes, but its use has not been noteworthy in the urban areas. "Due to lack of awareness about its benefits among urban people, this technology has been limited to the rural areas alone."
DK Shah, technical officer, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), said a solar system of 1,000 Watts could provide enough energy to operate everyday home appliances for a family of five.
He added newer and better solar technologies are being developed. "If such technologies would be made available, we could avail of solar energy in easier and cheaper ways."
Source: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com, January 10, 2008

It Would Cost About Rs 400,000 In Nepal
When the much-touted Indian Rs 100,000 Tata's new Nano car will make it to the Nepali market, it is likely to cost over four hundred thousand Nepali rupees.
On the basis of showroom price of the car in India, which is set at around IRs 120,000 (Nepali Rs 192,000), its price is projected at Rs 441, 600 in Nepal due to taxes.
While importing a vehicle from India, a combined 130 percent tax is levied, said Anup Baral, in-charge of Passenger Car Business Unit of Sipradi Trading Ltd, an authorized dealer of the Tata vehicles in Nepal. The taxes include 76 percent custom duty, 35 percent excise duty, 2.5 percent local government tax, and 13 percent value added tax.
However, Baral said that as the dealer has not received any official retail price from the manufacturer, it is too early to ascertain the exact price in the Nepali market.
Experts have cautioned on the environmental consequences of this cheapest car so far. Bhushan Tuladhar, an environmentalist, said it is good news as it is affordable for middle class families, but cautioned that it could pose serious threats to environment. "Our concentration just on price would make us compromise with other aspects that can create the negative impacts such as high per capita fuel emission and use of cheap motor parts," he said.
Tuladhar said that it could cause serious traffic congestions as those riding two-wheelers will be able to have a car of their own once the car makes its entry into the Nepali market. "More cars mean more exhaustion of fuel and more emission of harmful gases," he added. "We should move towards using clean energy vehicles instead."
Source: http://ekantipur.com/ Jan 10, 2008

Nepal Should Harness Wind Power
Nepal has not been able to tap wind energy despite its huge potential. Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) had set up two wind generators of 10-KW capacity each in Kagbeni, Mustang in 1989 but they were defunct within three months due to the low-grade technology.
However, to explore the potential of energy generation from wind, Alternative Energy Promotion Centre has been doing study and recording wind speed at five different places across the country. The centre has generated 2.5-KW electricity by using wind turbine at Hanshapur and Neta of Pyuthan, Jogepani of Palpa and Bhimdhunga of Dhading, according to Narayan Kafle, the deputy executive director of the centre.
In other parts of the world, wind is used to produce nearly 75,000 MW of electricity by the end of 2006. Germany with 20,621-MW is the first country producing highest amount of electricity followed by Spain with 11,615-MW and US with 11,603-MW.
Even India has generated 6,270-MW of electricity from wind. China, Italy, France, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland and Sweden have given priority in generating wind energy. Nepal lacks in its effort to use wind power despite power shortage.
Source: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/ January 10, 2008

Govt Readies Rs 3b Cash To Bail Out NOC
In order to tide the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) over until permanent arrangements can be made; the Ministry of Finance is releasing government-committed funding of Rs 3 billion in three tranches.
Preparations were made to make the money available immediately as it would take some time to issue the Oil Bond, and NOC was in dire need of cash to forestall a new spate of fuel shortages.
According to a senior government official, the Finance Ministry would provide the funds to NOC in three installments from various sources now and then pay them back by issuing the bond that the cabinet has approved.
"The first installment, amounting to Rs 1 billion, will probably be released on Monday," said Supplies Minister Shyam Sundar Gupta. He added that along with issuing the bond, the government would also move ahead with a plan to adjust the prices of major petroleum products and unveil a relief package for targeted needy groups.
The cabinet on Thursday began discussions on the proposal to provide direct cash relief to identified target groups. "The proposal is not only about relief, it also deals with the overall reform plan," said Gupta. Earlier, speaking at NOC's 38th anniversary function, NOC chief Digambar Jha said that the government planned to fix one price for kerosene and diesel. "While this will greatly check adulteration, it will also help control leakage," he said.
Jha added that the corporation had also expedited the process towards blending 10 percent ethanol with petrol in order to cut petrol imports. Meanwhile, petroleum dealers expressed concern over the latest reduction in oil shipments by the Indian Oil Corporation.
Shiva Prasad Ghimire, president of the Nepal Petroleum Dealers Association, said that the corporation's imports had slid by 30 percent at a time when there was a severe diesel shortage in the tarai.
Talking to the Post, NOC officials admitted that the IOC was tightening the screws on NOC for falling short in its payments.
According to them, NOC is presently receiving just over 2,000 kiloliters of petroleum products a day, whereas the country's effective daily demand is about 3,500 KL.
"Unless the government releases the committed funds soon, the corporation is going to have a tough time managing the supply," said Jha.
He also noted that fuel was in greater demand presently because of a boom in tourism, rise in construction and load shedding.
Source: http://ekantipur.com/ Jan 10, 2008

Along With The Hype Surrounding TATA Nano, Here Comes Another Interesting Car From India
Second Indian EV Being Planned -- Long the sole electric car manufacturer in India, Bangalore-based Reva is about to see its first competition in the form of a Bavina Industry's four door EV that will be based on a Chinese model that resembles a Daewoo Matiz.
Assembly to be based in India. The four-seater will have full air conditioning and electric door locks. Range with the AC running is estimated to be 110 km (68mi). The reported price will be 250,000 Rupees or about $6,300US.
Source: EV World Insider , 10 December 2007

School Curricula To Include Conservation Lessons
Conservation- related issues will be added in the government's curricula for students from grade one to ten very soon with the issues of climate change to be included in the first phase.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Nepal today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) of the Ministry of Education and Sports to launch conservation education for children all over the country.
"Considering the need to expose students to conservation issues from early school level, the WWF Nepal and the CDC has agreed to work in partnership for producing well-in-formed young students on issues related to conservation starting with climate change" said Anil Manandhar, the country representative of WWF Nepal today.
"It is the first time that the WWF Nepal is partnering with the CDC which is going to be fruitful. It's a significant step towards in incorporating conservation issues in school curricula," he said.
Hari Bol Khanal, Executive Director of the Curriculum Development Centre and Anil Manandhar, Country Representative of the WWF Nepal, today agreed to work jointly to incorporate conservation issues, with the issues of climate change in the beginning, in the curricula from grade one to ten.
Conservationists have been saying that Nepal, being one of the most vulnerable countries, needs urgent measures to adapt to negative impacts of climate change.
On the occasion, Khanal said the issues of animals, plants and wetlands conservation are important, but they have not been incorporated in the school curricula properly.
He added, "With this initiative, we will try to produce a new generation of well informed students and future conservationists."
Source: The Himalayan Times, Jan 10, 2008

International News

WMO To Seek Satellites To Monitor Climate Change
The United Nations' weather agency will ask NASA and other space agencies next week to make their next generation of satellites available to monitor climate change, a senior official at the U.N. body said on Friday.
The aim is to ensure that satellites launched over the next 20 years constantly record parameters such as sea levels and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said.
"The main focus of the meeting next week will be the expansion of the global observing system by satellites to not only monitor severe weather, which is a core function, but also to monitor climate on a very continuous and long-term basis," WMO expert Jerome Lafeuille told a news briefing in Geneva.
Scientists blame climate change mainly on human emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels and warn it will bring extreme weather including more heat waves, droughts, floods and rising seas.
At least 16 geostationary and low-earth orbit satellites currently provide operational data on the planet's climate and weather as part of WMO's global observation system.
There are also numerous experimental satellites designed for scientific missions or instrument technology demonstration -- measuring variables such as wind, precipitation and temperature -- whose data WMO wants to ensure is captured long-term.
High on WMO's agenda will be ensuring constant monitoring of sea levels for several decades, said the French expert.
Measuring the chemical make-up of the atmosphere -- including greenhouse gases such as CO2 as well as aerosols -- is also key, Lafeuille said.
A record number of 17 satellites are planned for launch in 2008 by countries from China to India and Russia, he said. "Our challenge at WMO is to make sure programs are complementary and that all together we build an optimized system."
Source: Reuters, January 11, 2008

Ocean Fertilization 'Fix' For Global Warming Discredited By New Research
Research performed at Stanford and Oregon State Universities suggests that ocean fertilization may not be an effective method of reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a major contributor to global warming. Ocean fertilization, the process of adding iron or other nutrients to the ocean to cause large algal blooms, has been proposed as a possible solution to global warming because the growing algae absorb carbon dioxide as they grow.
However, this process, which is analogous to adding fertilizer to a lawn to help the grass grow, only reduces carbon dioxide in the atmosphere if the carbon incorporated into the algae sinks to deeper waters. This process, which scientists call the "Biological Pump", has been thought to be dependent on the abundance of algae in the top layers of the ocean. The more algae in a bloom, the more carbon is transported, or "pumped", from the atmosphere to the deep ocean.
To test this theory, researchers compared the abundance of algae in the surface waters of the world's oceans with the amount of carbon actually sinking to deep water. They found clear seasonal patterns in both algal abundance and carbon sinking rates. However, the relationship between the two was surprising: less carbon was transported to deep water during a summertime bloom than during the rest of the year. This analysis has never been done before and required designing specialized mathematical algorithms.
Source: http://www.enn.com/ January 11, 2008

Face It: There Is A Solution To Global Warming
According to Architecture 2030, there is a 'silver bullet' solution to global warming and it's time the nation faced up to it. To get its message out, the non-profit research organization will be hosting a nationwide webcast, called Face It, focusing on the solution. In addition, during the webcast, they will unveil two competitions about the solution with $20,000 in prize money.
To help kick off and input Focus the Nation, the Face It webcast will be broadcast from Architecture 2030's website, www.architecture2030.org, beginning at 9 am on January 30, 2008. Focus the Nation, a national effort to engage students, faculty, administrators, citizens and government officials in discussions to address global warming, takes place January 31, 2008.
The Face It webcast will build on the information provided during Architecture 2030's highly successful webcast, The 2010 Imperative Global Emergency Teach-in. The Teach-in, which broadcast live in February 2007 and focused on the role of design education in global warming, reached a quarter of a million students, design professionals and government officials worldwide.
Source: http://www.enn.com/ January 8, 2008

Governor Supports Clean Energy For New York: Renewable An Important Part Of State Of The State Address
The Network for New Energy Choices (NNEC) is delighted about Governor Eliot Spitzer's support of clean energy technologies and policies in his State of the State speech. Specifically, NNEC is pleased with his mention of net metering. The Governor spoke encouragingly about New Yorker's ability to run their meters backwards with clean technologies, like solar and wind. Net metering is the billing arrangement by which customers realize savings from their renewable energy systems, where 1-kWh (kilowatt-hour) generated by the customer has the exact same value (in cents/kWh) as 1-kWh consumed by the customer.
"Energy policy, with its direct impact on the economy and the environment, is one of the key issues facing New York State and we commend Governor Spitzer's initiatives and comments", says NNEC Director Kyle Rabin. "In addition to the obvious benefits for the environment, a strong net metering policy will also aid in the development of New York's clean energy industry which in turn can help to reinvigorate the state's economy, in particular revitalizing the upstate economy."
Source: http://www.enn.com/ January 10, 2008

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Local News

Health Improvement By Chimney Hood
With the support from Practical Action and other organizations like Gharelu Air Pollution, chimney hood has been constructed in 355 households of Rasuwa district. Since then health improvement has been seen as 80 % of the smoke goes out of the chimney.
According to the World Health Organization, 2002, nearly 7500 people died due to indoor air pollution. After the introduction of chimney hood in the village, both the health and environment has been improved, said 80 years old Seti Lamuni.
Source: Kantipur, December 8, 2007

Alternative Energy : Mix Ethanol With Petrol, Save Money!
By Razen Manandhar
In our context, if treated properly, waste of sugar mills can produce a liquid named ethanol that can be mixed with petrol to run vehicles. It is cheaper than petrol, provides relief from petrol shortage, helps manage the industrial waste and keeps the environment clean.
"Waste of sugar industries is a source of molasses from which ethanol can be extracted," said Om Bahadur Shrestha, the team leader of the research on ethanol-petrol blend for vehicles. He has recently done a research mixing sugarcane and ethanol and successfully run eight cars and six motorcycles. He said the use of ethanol helps emit less smoke. "If we run our vehicles with 10 per cent of ethanol and 90 per cent of petrol, the emission of the poisonous gas, CO, is reduced to 36.61 per cent," he added.
As the NOC is not meeting the growing demand of petrol, any company which produces ethanol is going to make profit, he claims, adding that it is also going to provide a new market for sugarcane and create employment for farmers. He urged the government to make mandatory laws for using ethanol in its all vehicles and to cut the demand of oil. Bhushan Tuladhar, the executive director of ENPHO, said that if all sugar mills start producing ethanol and market it in Nepal, the shortage of petrol will be considerably minimized. According to him, some sugar mills have already produced ethanol but, since the government has no proper policy to promote it, they have exported the production to India.
Source: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/ December 13

NOC Forms Committee On Ethanol Issue
The Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has formed a committee to look into the matter of mixing ethanol with petrol and it is holding its first meeting tomorrow.
The NOC has formed the committee after lawmakers rebuked the corporation for failing to mix ethanol with petrol a few days ago. The committee is supposed to present its findings within a month.
Meanwhile, the Sri Ram Sugar Mills (SRSM), owned by the Golcha organization, has submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS) to supply ethanol for this purpose. This proposal has been forwarded to the NOC by the MoICS. Also, there are other companies who are looking into this matter.
According to Rabin Chandra Adhikari, engineering manager at the NOC and a member of the committee, the SRSM has proposed to provide 30,000 litres of ethanol to the NOC every day. This is about 10 percent of the daily demand for petrol in the country. Adhikari also said mixing about 10 percent ethanol with petrol in Nepal would be ideal.
Also, mixing ethanol with petrol will not prove too costly, claimed Rabin Chandra Adhikari. This is because the only infrastructural change needed for the mixture was a moisture proof system, so petrol pumps would need moisture traps that cost about Rs 5,000.
Source: The Himalayan Times, December 28, 2007

Global News

EU Moves To Include Airlines In Emissions Trade
European Union environment ministers agreed on Thursday to include airlines in the bloc's emissions trading scheme from 2012 as part of its fight against climate change.
The EU's 27 governments will now negotiate the final deal with the European Parliament, which has voted for airlines to join the system in 2011.
The trading scheme is the EU's key instrument to fight global warming. It sets limits on the amount of CO2 that industry may emit. Companies buy or sell permits based on whether they overshoot or undershoot their targets.
Under the scheme, internal EU and intercontinental flights would receive, and buy in auction, carbon permits -- certificates that essentially assign rights to emit.
Source: REUTERS NEWS SERVICE, December 21, 2007

EU Eyes Phasing In CO2 Fines For Carmakers
The European Commission is considering phasing in fees it charges to carmakers who fail to meet ambitious targets to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by 2012, a European Union source said on Monday.
Amid fierce lobbying, the EU executive is due to announce on Wednesday how it will share out cuts in the main gas blamed for global warming between makers of light and heavy cars.
Two days before the decision, senior Commission officials were not shown the figures on how the cuts would be divided between makers of big and small cars, nor the proposed level of fines, several sources said.
Source: Reuters, December 17 2007

New York, Ottawa Order Over 1,000 Diesel-Electric Hybrid Buses
New York and Ottawa are taking their public transportation systems into the hybrid age. The two cities join a growing list of cities embracing hybrid technology for mass transit.
MTA New York City Transit has ordered 850, the City of Ottawa 202 Orion VII Next Generation diesel-electric hybrid transit buses. These buses will be powered by BAE Systems' Hybrid Drive(R) diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system and delivered into 2010. Daimler Buses North America has received orders totaling 1,052 Orion VII Next Generation diesel-electric hybrid transit buses from some of North America's largest transit authorities.
With already 1,100 diesel-electric hybrid transit buses on the road, 460 pending deliveries and the announced new orders of almost 1,052 units, Orion received over 2,600 orders since the launch of the Orion hybrid bus in 2003.
A majority of the deliveries previously mentioned will incorporate lithium-ion battery energy storage technology. The clean-diesel engine is smaller than that used in conventional buses and runs at nearly constant speed for clean operation and optimum efficiency.
Compared to standard diesel propulsion, these hybrid buses deliver up to 30 percent better fuel economy while greatly reducing emissions: 90 percent less particulate matter, 40 percent less NOx and 30 percent fewer greenhouse gases. Drivers and riders enjoy a quieter, cleaner and smoother ride.
Source: http://www.enn.com/pollution/ December 17, 2007

Rs 1 Lakh Car A Threat To Environment: Pachauri
Even as big conglomerates like the Tata Group gear up to launch cars priced as low as Rs 100,000, R K Pachauri, who received the Nobel Peace prize this week as chief of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said these will be a major threat to environment.
Urging Indian industry to come forward in a big way and start being pro-active in saving the world against the dangers of global warming, Pachauri said: "Future of human race is going to be a low carbon future and the Indian industry has to take the lead and be part of the solution."
Pachauri asked it to strategies its business plans in such as way that it gradually moves towards a low carbon economy.
"Financial planning also has a major role to play in this. How we subsidize water, power and all will have an affect on the environment. We will have to start exploring immediately as to how we develop and adopt new technology," Pachauri emphasized.
He suggested new kind of corporate gifts for the festive season such as solar torches and solar lanterns to help save electr

[top]

Local News

Plant That Treats Sludge, Generates Gas
A project to treat waste water, generate biogas and discharge treated water into the Punya Mata River got underway in Shreekhandapur, Dhulikhel, on December 28.
The project is expected to see the light of the day in three months. Locals hope that this project can indeed teach a lesson to people who have been living in settlements located near the rivers and finding it hard to keep the rivers clean. The UNHABITAT has provided $ 90,000 for the project.
"Solid waste particles like human excreta will be separated from liquid waste and fed into two biogas digesters to produce biogas. Wastewater will be fed into six Reed Bed Treatment Plants. While wastewater will pass through reeds, roots of the reeds will absorb all dirt and pollutants and discharge treated water, Dr. Roshan Raj Shrestha, chief technical adviser to the UNHABITAT, says, elaborating the way the treatment plant will work." The biogas digesters will produce cooking gas, which will be enough for 30 to 40 families of the community."
Biogas will be supplied through pipelines since mechanism to store biogas is lacking. The money generated by selling biogas will help keep the plant running," Shrestha says. With support from Dhulikhel municipality, the local users' committee will manage the plant and the Environment and Public Health Organization will provide technical aid.
Anil Sthapit, director of Guthi, an NGO working for water and sanitation, said the reed-based treatment plant should be established in other parts of the nation as well to prevent contamination of rivers.
Source: The Himalayan Times, December 31, 2007

NOC Forms Committee On Ethanol Issue
The Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has formed a committee to look into the mater of mixing ethanol with petrol and it is holding its first meeting tomorrow. The NOC has formed the committee after lawmakers rebuked the corporation for failing to mix ethanol with petrol a few days ago. The committee is supposed to present its findings within a month.
Meanwhile, the Sri Ram Sugar Mills (SRSM), owned by the Golcha organization, has submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS) to supply ethanol for this purpose. This proposal has been forwarded to the NOC by the MoICS. Also, there are other companies who are looking into this matter.
According to Rabin Chandra Adhikari, engineering manager at the NOC and a member of the committee, the SRSM has proposed to provide 30,000 litres of ethanol to the NOC everyday. This is about 10 percent of the daily demand for petrol in the country. Adhikari also said mixing about 10 percent ethanol with petrol in Nepal would be ideal.
The SRSM has proposed that it will produce ethanol at the same prices that it had quoted to the NOC at around Rs 48 per litre. "But this price depends upon the price of molasses, the ingredients from which ethanol is fermented," said Adhikari.
There is also another company mulling over producing ethanol. The Himalayan Distillery could also start production if the government comes up with a concrete policy, said Deepak Adhikari, technical auditor at the company.
Also, mixing ethanol with petrol will not prove too costly, claimed Rabin Chandra Adhikari. This is because the only infrastructural change needed for the mixture was a moisture proof system, so petrol pumps would need moisture traps that cost about Rs 5,000.
"Moisture traps are needed to prevent water reaching the mixture because ethanol has a tendency to separate from petrol, if water gets into mixture," he said.
Source: The Himalayan Times, December 28, 2007

Govt Panel Invites SMEC To Renegotiate West Seti
A committee formed by the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) to renegotiate the 750 megawatt West Seti project with Australia's Snowy Mountain Engineering Corp. (SMEC) sent an invitation to SMEC on Monday to renegotiate the benefit Nepal is to get from the project.
In a faxed letter, the committee has informed the Australian company of a directive issued by the parliament's Natural Resources and Means Committee to the government in July this year concerning the project, and asked the developer to come for negotiations for the same, said Anup Kumar Upadhyay, joint-secretary at MoWR and member of ministry-formed committee.
"SMEC is willing to provide either 75 megawatts of free energy or its monetary equivalent," said Upadhyay, member of the committee. "However, SMEC has said that it cannot provide the 75 megawatts from West Seti project itself, but would build a separate project for Nepal to provide free power," Upadhyay said.
In July, the parliamentary committee had directed the government to renegotiate the project with SMEC to ensure that Nepal gets 75 megawatts of free energy from West Seti project itself, and not from a different project.
The parliamentary committee had issued such a directive, arguing that cash would not be a secure benefit as the agreement with SMEC states that money payable by SMEC to debt participants or for operating costs in connection with the project will have priority in payment over money payable to Nepal.
The committee had also reasoned that accepting free energy from a project developed elsewhere would be unfair to the people residing in the area where the project is to be developed as such power would be used in some other part of the country.
The US $1.2 billion project located in Doti district is designed to export power to India. The project is being funded by Indian, Australian and Chinese investors, apart from ADB and the government of Nepal.
Source: The Kathmandu Post, December 25, 2007

Petro Dealers Stop Buying From NOC
Nepal Petroleum Dealears’ Association (NPDA), the umbrella organisation of petrol entrepreneurs, Monday stopped buying petroleum products from Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) as part of their pressure campaign to resume the smooth supply of gasoline.
The NPDA has announced a phase-wise protest programme saying that the NOC, the state-owned petroleum dealer, has failed to maintain an adequate supply of petroleum products as per customer demand.
The NPDA will not buy petro products with the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) from today and will completely halt business at gasoline sales depot throughout the nation from Tuesday, said NPDA Chairman Shiva Prasad Ghimire.
In a bid to find a way to maintain the smooth supply of petroleum products, Minister for Industry Commerce and Supplies Shyam Sundar Gupata is holding talks with NPDA representatives.
Though the Ministry said that a mutual understanding would be reached through dialogue, the NPDA has expressed pessimism in finding a compatible solution to the fuel crisis facing the country.
However, the talks held between the Ministry and the NOC have ended inconclusively. Earlier, the association had warned that all dealers across the country will close from December 25 if their demands were not fulfilled. In addition to demanding a smooth supply of petroleum products, the association has asked for an equal pricing system for petrol, diesel and kerosene, and an amendment to the existing Petroleum Dealers Regulations, among others. Nepal has been facing a petroleum shortage for almost one year after the Indian government cut the supply by half as the NOC failed to pay huge outstanding dues.
According to the association, the demand for petroleum products in the country stands at 4.2 million liters per day, far more than the present daily supply ranging between 1.8 million to 2.5 million liters. The association has put forth a 17-point demand including an amendment to the NOC retailer regulation 2007.
Some 2154 petrol pumps are in operation throughout the country.
Source: http://www.ekantipur.com/

Criteria Change For Awarding Arun III, Upper Karnali
A cabinet meeting on Sunday directed the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) to award the 402 MW Arun III and 300 MW Upper Karnali projects on the basis of directives issued by the interim parliament's Natural Resources and Means Committee, effectively rejecting recommendation of a taskforce formed in October last year.
"The cabinet decided that the projects be awarded on the basis of directives of the parliamentary committee," said Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Ram Chandra Poudel. Minister of Water Resources Gyanendra Bahadur Karki was not available for comments.
The taskforce, headed by former secretary Bhanu Prasad Acharya, had recommended in April this year that both the projects be awarded to India's GMR Energy Ltd. Nine companies had submitted proposals for Arun III and 14 for Upper Karnali.
In July, the parliamentary committee directed the government to re-evaluate the project proposals giving top priority to free energy, free equity and other concrete benefits offered to Nepal by the prospective developers.
MoWR presented the recommendation of the taskforce as well as directives of the parliamentary committee at Sunday's cabinet meeting.
Poudel said that now MoWR will be tasked with informing the interested developers of the criteria set by the parliamentary committee, ask them how much free energy, free equity and other concrete benefits they are willing to offer, and take decisions on the two projects accordingly.
The taskforce headed by Acharya had also taken into consideration other parameters such as listing in the stock exchange, experience, financial soundness, power marketing arrangements and project completion date.
Source: http://www.ekantipur.com/ Dec 31, 2007

Power Project Delayed For Want Of DPR, Claims India
India has said that Nepal is yet top provide the detailed project report (DPR) of the Naumurey irrigation project slated to come up in western Nepal.
The project to be built by India at its cost at the behest of Nepalese Prime Minister Grija Prasad Koirala has been delayed because of non-availability of the DPR, an official of the Indian Foreign Minister said today.
India's Ministry of Water Resources today issued a press statement saying that the discussion for the project and the decision to provide 100 percent Indian financial aid for it were completed in 2006. "Since then, we are still waiting for the Nepal government to provide us a DPR on the kind of project it wants," said the foreign ministry official. Under the financial and technical assistance head, India's foreign ministry has set aside Rs. 3 crore for the Naumurey project in the financial year 2007-08. The Indian foreign ministry said political turmoil in Nepal had put the project on the background.
The project envisaged over Rapti River in western would be capable of generating 240 megawatts of electricity. The project site is in Pyuthan district of Nepal.
According to 1990 estimate, the project expected to cost $420 million will have a 200 metre high dam.
India's Water Resources Ministry has made some technical and financial changes in its plans for the Saptakoshi Hydel project. In the September 3 meeting of its public investment board, the ministry said it would draw up a new plan for the project and also reschedule its time frame. The project will cost Rs 70.55 crore and the site inspection and DPR of the project will be ready by September 30 next year.
Source: The Himalayan Times, January 3, 2008

International News

World Wakes Up, Prepares To Fight Environmental Threat
The international community in 2007 mobilized to fight the daunting challenge of global climate change, and has moved forward from awareness of the critical issue to negotiations and actions to face it.
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a new report on the phenomenon earlier this year, warning that the world’s average temperature, if left unchecked, could rise by as much as 2 to 4 degrees centigrade by 2080. This could lead to a lack of drinking water for 1.1 to 3.2 billion people and famine for 200 to 600 million people besides endangering the lives of between 200 and 700 million with floods, the report said.
It also said human beings’ activities are the major cause for climate change, which, if not controlled, will do serious harm to economies, societies and ecosystems worldwide.
This report has rung the alarm bells for the world, raised our awareness of the negative impacts of climate change and aroused a worldwide debate on the issue.
Climate change panel Chairman Rajendra Pachauri said leaders and citizens across the world must now pay unprecedented attention to the climate change problem.
Since the beginning of 2007, a series of high-level international conferences have made climate change one of their key topics to echo the sounding alarm.
Through comprehensive exchanges and negotiations, many countries have reached a variety of consensus, agreeing that negotiations on climate change should be carried out under the UN framework, adaptation to climate change should not be neglected, and technological development and fund input are key factors to tackle climate change.
Although there are still many different views between developed and developing countries as well as among the developed countries themselves, the international community adopted the Bali Roadmap on December 15 after two weeks of exhausting bargaining and negotiations.
The roadmap, agreed on by more than 180 countries meeting in Indonesia’s resort island of Bali, includes a clear agenda for the key issues to be negotiated up to 2009, including action for adapting to the negative consequences of climate change, ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, ways to deploy climate-friendly technologies and financing both adaptation and mitigation measures.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his welcome of the outcome of the climate-change conference, saying the Bali Agenda achieves three objectives: launching negotiations on a global climate change agreement, agreeing to an agenda for the negotiations, and agreeing to complete them by 2009.
Although a roadmap has been made and consensus reached by the parties involved, there are many difficulties to be faced in implementing the roadmap and more actions are desperately needed.
Source: respohttp://www.manilatimes.net , December 24, 2007

Safety And Security Risks Undercut Nuclear Power's Role In Minimizing Global Warming
An expansion of nuclear power capacity in the United States could help reduce global warming pollution, but could also increase threats to public safety and national security, according to a report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).
Those risks include a massive radiation release from a power plant meltdown or terrorist attack, and the death of hundreds of thousands from the detonation of a nuclear weapon made with materials obtained from civilian nuclear facilities.
There are 104 nuclear power reactors operating in the United States, generating approximately 20 percent of U.S. electricity. Most of these reactors have 40-year operating licenses, but several recently have received extensions for another 20 years. Even with extensions, the first plants will retire in 2029 and nearly all will retire by 2050. Currently 17 utility companies have plans to build 31 new reactors. The 74-page report assesses nuclear power's key problems and offers recommendations to strengthen nuclear plant safety, better protect facilities against sabotage and attack, ensure the safe disposal of nuclear waste, and minimize the risk that nuclear power will help more nations and terrorists acquire nuclear weapons.
It also evaluates new reactor designs. The report does not address the economics of nuclear power or the relative benefits of other energy options under consideration to reduce global warming emissions.
United States that is potentially safer and more secure than those operating today. The design, which has a double-walled containment structure, was designed to meet European safety criteria that are more stringent than NRC standards.
The disposal of highly radioactive waste contained in nuclear reactors' used, or spent, fuel rods poses another serious problem. This waste must be isolated for at least tens of thousands of years, if not longer. It ultimately should be stored in a permanent, underground geologic repository, but the proposed site at Yucca Mountain in Nevada may never be licensed.
The report recommends that the Department of Energy identify other potential sites. In the interim, the report concluded that the waste can be stored safely in dry casks for the next 50 years, but only if the casks are hardened against attack by surrounding them with earthen berms.
Source: http://www.enn.com/pollution/ December 24, 2007

Solar Energy 'Revolution' Brings Green Power Closer
The holy grail of renewable energy came a step closer yesterday as thousands of mass-produced wafer-thin solar cells printed on aluminium film rolled off a production line in California, heralding what British scientists called "a revolution" in generating electricity.
The solar panels produced by a Silicon Valley start-up company, Nanosolar, are radically different from the kind that European consumers are increasingly buying to generate power from their own roofs. Printed like a newspaper directly on to aluminium foil, they are flexible, light and, if you believe the company, expected to make it as cheap to produce electricity from sunlight as from coal.
Nanosolar is one of several companies in Japan, Europe, China and the US racing to develop different versions of "thin film" solar technology. It is owned by internet entrepreneur Martin Roscheisen who sold his company to Yahoo for $450m and, with the help of the founders of Google, the US government and other entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, has invested nearly $300m in commercializing the technology.
At the moment solar electricity costs nearly three times as much as conventional electricity to generate, but Nanosolar's developments are thought to have halved the price of producing conventional solar cells at a stroke.
However, the company, which claims to lead the "third wave" of solar electricity, is notoriously secretive and has not answered questions about its panels' efficiency or their durability. It is quite open about wanting to restrict access to the technology to give it a market advantage.
Figures released yesterday by the Earth Policy Institute in Washington showed that solar electricity generation was now the fastest-growing electricity source, doubling its output every two years. It is now attracting government and venture capital money on an unprecedented scale.
The technology is particularly exciting because it can be used nearly everywhere. "You are talking about printing rolls of the stuff, printing it on garages, anywhere you want it. It really is a big deal in terms of altering the way we think about solar," said Dan Kamman, director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley.
Source: http://www.enn.com/ December 30, 2007

Florida Makes The Grade, Adopts Top Of The Class Policies To Bring More Solar Power To The Sunshine State
"Freeing the Grid", a report released just last week by a coalition of top renewable energy policy experts, ranks and grades the 40 states with net metering and interconnection standards - policies that are vital to the establishment of a robust solar market. Conspicuously, Florida was not graded because they had not yet adopted net metering rules. They are last in class no longer, as the commission and staff have put in the extra work needed to achieve an A.
FlaSEIA, a nonprofit professional association of companies involved in the solar energy industry points out that Florida Governor Charlie Crist should also be commended for steering clean energy policy in the right direction. Executive Director Bruce Kershner has this to say, "The Florida Solar Energy Industries Association (FlaSEIA) applauds Governor Charlie Crist for his vision to establish Florida as a leader in reducing greenhouse gases through his Executive Order 07-127. We commend the PSC for their bold leadership in moving the governor's energy initiative forward quickly. The PSC's swift action this week will encourage expansion of customer-owned renewable generation across the state, while reducing costs to the consumer to interconnect to their electric utility.
The rule is being met with further applause by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), "We are pleased that the PSC is adopting rules that will give Floridians more incentive to install clean, renewable energy systems on their homes." said, Melissa Meehan the Coastal Organizer for SACE in Tampa, FL. She goes on to comment about the importance of net metering in meeting the challenge of global warming "Florida has a large solar and renewable potential, and this policy is an important step in unlocking that potential which will diversify our energy mix and reduce global warming pollution."

2008 To Be In Top 10 Warmest Years Say Forecasters
2008 will be slightly cooler than recent years globally but will still be among the top 10 warmest years on record since 1850 and should not be seen as a sign global warming was on the wane, British forecasters said.
The Met Office and experts at the University of East Anglia on Thursday said global average temperatures this year would be 0.37 of a degree Celsius above the long-term 1961-1990 average of 14 degrees and be the coolest since 2000.
They said the forecast took into account the annual Pacific Ocean La Nina weather phenomenon which was expected to be particularly strong this year and which would limit the warming trend. It also took account of rising atmospheric concentrations of so-called greenhouse gases, solar variations and natural changes in the ocean currents.
"The fact that 2008 is forecast to be cooler than any of the last seven years does not mean that global warming has gone away," said Phil Jones, director of climate research at UEA.
"What matters is the underlying rate of warming - the period 2001-2007 with an average of 0.44 degree C above the 1961-90 average was 0.21 degree C warmer than corresponding values for the period 1991-2000."
"Phenomena such as El Nino and La Nina have a significant influence on global surface temperature and the current strong La Nina will act to limit temperatures in 2008," said Chris Folland from the Met Office Hadley Centre.
The World Meteorological Organisation said last month there were indications that the 10 years from 1998 to 2007 were the hottest decade on record.
The Met Office Hadley Centre said the top 11 warmest years have all occurred in the last 13.
Source: Reuters, January 3, 2008

Solar Cell Production Jumps 50 Percent In 2007
"Production of photovoltaics (PV) jumped to 3,800 megawatts worldwide in 2007, up an estimated 50 percent over 2006," says Jonathan G. Dorn, Staff Researcher at the Earth Policy Institute, in a recent release, "Solar Cell Production Jumps 50 Percent in 2007" . "Growing by an impressive average of 48 percent each year since 2002, PV production has been doubling every two years, making it the world's fastest-growing energy source."
Photovoltaics, which directly convert sunlight into electricity, include both traditional, polysilicon-based solar cell technologies and new thin-film technologies. Thin-film manufacturing involves depositing extremely thin layers of photosensitive materials on glass, metal, or plastics. While the most common material currently used is amorphous silicon, the newest technologies use non-silicon-based materials such as cadmium telluride.
The top five PV-producing countries are Japan, China, Germany, Taiwan, and the United States. Recent growth in China is most astonishing: after almost tripling its PV production in 2006, it is believed to have more than doubled output in 2007. Having eclipsed Germany in 2007 to take the number two spot, China is now on track to become the number one PV producer in 2008. (See additional data.)
Japan, the United States, and Spain round out the top four markets with 350, 141, and 70 megawatts installed in 2006, respectively. Thanks to a residential PV incentive program, Japan now has over 250,000 homes with PV systems. But the country is currently experiencing a decrease in the growth rate of PV installations resulting from the phase-out of the incentive program in 2005 and a limited domestic PV supply due to the polysilicon shortage.
In contrast, the growth in installations in the United States increased from 20 percent in 2005 to 31 percent in 2006, primarily driven by California and New Jersey. Initial estimates for the United States as a whole indicate that PV incentives, including a tax credit of up to $2,000 available under the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005 to offset PV system costs, helped to achieve an incredible 83-percent growth in installations in 2007.
Spain tripled its PV installations in 2006 to 70 megawatts. A building code that went into force in March 2007 requires all new nonresidential buildings to generate a portion of their electricity with PV. In September 2007, a 20-megawatt PV power plant, currently the largest in the world, came online in the Spanish town of Beneixama and is producing enough electricity to supply 12,000 homes.
The average price for a PV module, excluding installation and other system costs, has dropped from almost $100 per watt in 1975 to less than $4 per watt at the end of 2006. With expanding polysilicon supplies, average PV prices are projected to drop to $2 per watt in 2010. For thin-film PV alone, production costs are expected to reach $1 per watt in 2010, at which point solar PV will become competitive with coal-fired electricity.
Source: http://www.enn.com/ December 31, 2007

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