Archive for October, 2011

Facebook Co-Founder Meets Third Wave Power & GreenPost

Posted by admin on October 23, 2011
Posted under Express 154

Facebook Co-Founder Meets Third Wave Power & GreenPost

Clean tech and clean energy are at the
forefront of innovation and techno-preneurship, if this year’s Techventures
2011 show is anything to go by.  Third
Wave Power won the ‘Techventures Asiasons Innovation Awards’ for Most Eco-Friendly
Start-up –  with its mPowerpad solar
device representing the most green consciousness of all start-ups, while in the
Most Valuable Application awards, the Solution of the Year was GreenPost by
Greenbills Pte Ltd.

Techventures report by Lim Yan Liang in
Straits Times (15 October 2011)

If you always had a nagging worry that your
groceries could cost less, there is now a quick way to check how much others
are paying for the same items across the island.

The LobangClub iPhone app turns any iPhone
into a barcode scanner using its camera, and then checks a database for prices
that other users have uploaded. At a glance, a shopper can see if other shops
nearby offer the same item at a lower price.

It is fitting, then, that the money-saving
app took home the Most Valuable Application award yesterday afternoon at the
second annual ‘Asia Top 50 Apps’ ceremony, part of the Techventure 2011
conference held at Marina Bay Sands.


•Most Valuable App – LobangClub by LobangClub

•Rookie of the Year – Moglue by Moglue, Inc

•Solution of the Year – GreenPost by
Greenbills Pte Ltd

•Design of the Year – Pocket OneMap by
Nanyang Polytechnic

•People’s Choice – Justin Ng Photo by Justin
Ng Photography.

The GreenPost app lets users aggregate all
their digital bills into one location for easy viewing. They can receive email
notifications for new or unpaid bills, download their bills in PDF, and archive
them. A feature to allow users to pay the bills directly through the app is
coming soon.

Source:,, &


Third Wave Power made waves at Techventure
2011 by winning the Most Eco-Friendly Start-up award.

“As winners, we get to be mentored by a panel
of successful entrepreneurs and innovators including Eduardo Saverin
(Co-founder of Facebook), Jared Lim (Founder and Managing Director of Asiasons
Capital Ltd) and Eddie Chau (Founder and CEO of Brandtology)”, says VS
Hariharan, Co-Founder of Third Wave Power.

Eduardo Saverin personally inspected the
product at the Techventures booth and pronounced it unique: “I have not seen
anything like it!”

It’s a great recognition for us and a
fantastic introduction for mPowerpad, which will be unveiled to the world very

Third Wave Power will be launching mPowerpad
at the Clean Energy Expo Asia (CEEA) 2011 to be held at Suntec City, Singapore
from 1 – 3 November 2011.

CEEA is the premier trade fair and conference
in the Asia-Pacific region, bringing together the leading players from the
technology, services, finance and government sectors, in order to address key
issues in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable
mobility solutions.

Come visit us at Booth F05 and be among the
first to try out mPowerpad. For more, visit




Singapore, 13 October 2011 – Techventure
2011, Asia‟s premier platform to connect financiers with budding innovators,
opened today with a record breaking number of delegate and exhibitor

In its pivotal 15th year, the conference
brings together a diverse group of international participants that include
prominent technopreneurs and seasoned investors, who are gathered together to
identify the next major innovation from Asia.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo giving his opening
address at Techventure 2011

The conference saw a host of renowned heavy weights
from the finance community such as Mr. Tim Draper (Founder and Managing
Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson), Mr. Henry Nguyen (Managing General
Partner of IDG Ventures Vietnam) and Dr. Patrick Ennis (Global Head of
Technology of Intellectual Ventures), as well as the senior management of
well-known technology brands including Google, LinkedIN and Rovio, who were on
hand to share their thoughts on the conference theme of ‘The New Age of Asian

“Given the emergence of Asia as a driving force
for innovation, we are hardly surprised with the overwhelming registrations for
Techventure 2011. Besides seeing an increase in the number of delegates to more
than 500, we have also welcomed participants from some 23 countries, elevating
Techventure into a truly global affair. In addition to the large turnout this
year, we are also pleased with the quality of participating exhibitors who are
showcasing innovations that could have a profound impact on the world of
tomorrow. Chosen from more than 200 registrants, the final 40 accepted exhibitors
ensure that only the top start-ups will be on display for investors looking to
invest in the growing community of Asian innovators.”, said Mohammed Azlan
Hashim, Chairman of Asiasons WFG Financial Ltd.

Held from the 13th to 14th of October 2011 at
the Marina Bay Sands‟ Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore,
Techventure 2011 is co-presented by National Research Foundation (“NRF”) and
the Singapore Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (“SVCA”), organised
by Asiasons WFG and in partnership with SingTel Innov8.

Newly appointed Chairman of NRF, Deputy Prime
Minister Teo Chee Hean, was the Guest-of-Honour at this morning‟s opening
ceremony. The ceremony was followed by an impressive programme of keynotes and
panel discussions on topics such as „The Coming of Age of Asian Innovations‟
and “The Most Influential Investors‟ Perspectives on Asia‟s Growth

Delegates this year also had a special treat
in the form of the „Up close and personal‟ session, which saw well known tech
personalities and investors like Mr. Eduardo Saverin (Co-Founder of Facebook),
Ms. Michelle Guthrie (Director of Strategic Business Development for Asia of
Google) and Mr. Nick Yang (Co- Founder of KongZhong Corporation) share their
secrets to success and take a wide range of questions from the floor of eager

The host of programmes designed to promote
local start-ups is the particular highlight of this year‟s conference.
Delegates to Techventure 2011 were able to visit an exhibition featuring 40 of
the nation‟s hottest new start-ups, covering industries such as next generation
Information and Communications Technology (“ICT”), Mobile Applications,
Biotechnology and Medical Technology. The popular „Pitch to the Stars‟ session,
for start-ups to make a three minute pitch of their business, has also been
revamped to feature a panel of celebrity judges that will provide a sterner
test for their ideas and more valuable insights for growth.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo visiting the
start-up exhibition at Techventure 2011 (From left: Dr Francis Yeoh, CEO of
NRF, Yong Ying-I, Permanent Secretary of National Research & Development, Mohammed
Azlan Hashim, Chairman of Asiasons WFG, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean,
Exhibitor at Techventure 2011)

In addition, Techventure 2011 featured the
inaugural ‘Techventure Asiasons Innovation Awards’ to honour and recognise
excellence in innovation and technopreneurship among promising start-ups. The winners
were announced on 13 October 2011 during the gala dinner, with winners
receiving their awards from Guest-of-Honour Minister for Trade and Industry,
Mr. Lim Hng Kiang.

This year’s winners are:

a) Clearbridge BioLoc Most Disruptive
Innovation – Game changing innovation that will make competitors obsolete

b) i3D Immersive Soundscape Best of show –
Most captivating exhibitor in Techventure Exhibition

c) Third Wave Power for Most Eco-Friendly
Start-up – Start-up with the most green consciousness

d) Sofshell for Coolest Innovation – Product
with the greatest potential to „wow‟ the market

e) Mr. Johnson Chen of Clearbridge BioMedics
for Rising Star Innovator – Technopreneur with skills and business acumen to be
the next big thing

Winners of each category will get the
opportunity to be mentored directly by a panel of successful entrepreneurs and
innovators, including Mr. Eduardo Saverin (Co-Founder of Facebook), Mr. Jared
Lim (Founder and Managing Director of Asiasons Capital Ltd) and Mr. Eddie Chau
(Founder and CEO of Brandtology).

“Having seen how start-ups utilise
Techventure as a springboard for growth, we have launched these awards to
further spur them in their commercialisation efforts. We believe the diverse range
ofm experience, from branding to raising funds, that the mentors can instil into
these start-ups will prove invaluable in the early stages and give them a head
start over competitors. In addition, start-ups can leverage on the profile
generated from the awards to raise awareness and build their branding. In particular,
we were impressed by Mr. Johnson Chen the Managing Partner of Clearbridge
BioMedics winner of the Rising Star Innovator award, who incubated the ClearCellTM
System which is the next generation of non-invasive „liquid biopsy‟ for
cancer.”, added Mr. Jared Lim, Founder and Managing Director of Asiasons
Capital Ltd and judge of ‘Techventure Asiasons Innovation Awards’.

Techventure 2011 moves into high gear in day
two with the start of Accelerate@Techventure 2011, organised by SingTel
Innovation Exchange and SingTel Innov8, to highlight pivotal technologies that
will, change enterprises and developer‟s businesses in the near future. Accelerate@Techventure
2011 will again feature its popular „Asia‟s Top 50 Apps‟ contest that allows
industry peers to nominate and vote for the top web and mobile applications for
the year. This year‟s nominees include local favourites like Chalkboard, and, with winners set to be announced during an award presentation
ceremony on the 14th of October 2011.

The National Research Foundation (NRF)

The National Research Foundation (NRF), set
up on 1 January 2006, is a department within the Prime Minister’s Office. The
NRF sets the national direction for research and development (R&D) by
developing policies, plans and strategies for research, innovation and
enterprise. It also funds strategic initiatives and builds up R&D
capabilities and capacities by nurturing local talents and attracting foreign
ones. In addition, it coordinates the research agenda of different agencies and
provides secretariat support to the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council
(RIEC), chaired by the Prime Minister. The NRF aims to:

 Transform Singapore into a vibrant R&D
hub that contributes towards a knowledge-intensive, innovative and
entrepreneurial economy; and

 Make Singapore a talent magnet for
scientific and innovation excellence.

For more information, please visit For more information, please visit

Singapore Venture Capital & Private
Equity Association

Established in 1992, the Singapore Venture
Capital & Private Equity Association (SVCA) is a not-for-profit organisation
formed to foster the growth of venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) in
Singapore and around the region. From a humble start of 2, our membership now
exceeds 100 and continues to grow with the industry’s development.

Since its inception, SVCA has championed
various efforts to promote the local VC/PE industry through talks, workshops,
seminars, conferences and networking events. The thrusts of SVCA continues to

 fostering a greater understanding of the
importance of venture capital and private equity to the

Singapore economy in support of
entrepreneurship and innovation;

 representing the local VC/PE industry
within and outside of Singapore;

 nurturing an environment conducive for
advancing VC/PE investment and profession; and

 providing a platform to match fund-seeking
businesses with our members and the investment community.

For more information about SVCA, please

Asiasons WFG

Asiasons WFG, is a subsidiary of Asiasons
Capital Ltd, a company listed on the Mainboard of the Stock Exchange of
Singapore and whose core business is in private equity investment and
management for the Emerging East Asia market. In a short span of time, Asiasons
WFG has grown from strength to strength with its rapid developments in the
Singapore capital market; and has since become a significant player in the financial
industry. It is associated with many successful listed companies in Singapore,
being lead manager for their Initial Public Offerings (IPOs). Asiasons WFG has
been ranked the top lead manager for IPOs in four consecutive years from 2002
to 2005 on the basis of number of IPOs lead managed and sponsored.

Asiasons WFG was one of the pioneers in
bringing companies from China to be listed on the Singapore Exchange. Since its
inception in June 2000, Asiasons WFG has successfully listed 77 companies on the
Singapore Exchange. These companies include those from Singapore, China, Hong
Kong, Malaysia, Australia and others in the region.

Asiasons WFG’s Vision is to be a premier
investment banking and financial group in South East Asia,bringing value to
small and medium sized companies in Asia. It has successfully established
itself in the Singapore capital market, and aspires to move forward towards a
presence in the region.

SingTel Innov8

SingTel Innov8 (Innov8), a wholly-owned
subsidiary of the SingTel Group, is a corporate venture capital fund, with its
own set of decision making, approval and funding processes. It has an initial
fund size of S$200 million. Innov8 focuses its investments on technologies and
solutions that lead to quantum changes in network capabilities, next generation
devices, digital content services and enablers to enhance customer experience.
It works closely with the ecosystem of leading innovators, developers, government
agencies, R&D and capital providers to bring cutting-edge technologies and
solutions to the various markets the SingTel Group operates in.

Source: and


“Living Architecture” Brings Nature Back to the City

Posted by admin on October 23, 2011
Posted under Express 154

“Living Architecture” Brings Nature Back to the City

It would be hard to find a more obvious
example of a “magic look at the world” than the development of
Milan’s Bosco Verticale – two residential towers in the northern Italian city
that are on their way to becoming the world’s first vertical forest. The brainchild
of architect Stefano Boeri, the towers, measuring 110 and 76 metres, will house
over 900 trees, not to mention a wide range of shrubs and floral plants –
essentially the equivalent to a 10,000 square metre forest, growing vertically.

Sophie Vorrath in Climate Spectator (21
October 2011):

In a July TED talk on energy innovation, tech
entrepreneur and Nanoholdings CEO Justin Hall-Tipping spoke about the
importance of challenging our perceptions of “normal”. The tendency
of human beings, he said, “to look at our world through the lens of
‘normal,’ is one of the forces that stops us developing real solutions.”
And while Hall-Tipping was talking about his current work with a group of
“incredibly kind and brilliant” scientists – towards the lofty goal
of decentralising energy and, essentially, making it free for one and all –
it’s comforting to note that the art of taking a “magic look at the
world,” which Hall-Tipping points to as a key starting point for
innovation, seems to be catching on.

It would be hard to find a more obvious
example of a “magic look at the world” than the development of
Milan’s Bosco Verticale – two residential towers in the northern Italian city
that are on their way to becoming the world’s first vertical forest. As the
Financial Times reported last week, the project, the brainchild of architect
Stefano Boeri, includes a balcony planted with trees for each apartment.
“In summer, oaks and amelanchiers will shade the windows and filter the
city’s dust; in winter, sunlight will shrine through the bare branches,”
says Christopher Woodward, director of London’s Garden Museum, writing in the

But, as Hall-Tipping points out during his
talk, another key part of successful innovation – and to fixing some of the
world’s thornier problems – is to convert the magical into a working reality.
So, while Boeri “begins his presentation with Ovid’s fantasy of the nymph
Daphne being turned into a tree,” he quickly switches to the practical,
says Woodward, by showing that to achieve his building’s green metamorphosis
adds only 5 per cent to construction costs. Boeri also argues that the greening
of high-rise buildings is a necessary response to the sprawl of the modern

Boeri’s magical ‘vertical wood’ has been made
possible due to a new collaboration between architects, engineers, and
botanists, says Woodward. “(He) has had to explain many times the
engineering and horticultural solutions required for an oak tree to grow up to
9m high on the 20th floor of a busy modern city. At the same time, this new
movement is a visionary reclamation of the nature that has vanished from our

So how will it work? According to Gizmag, the
towers, measuring 110 and 76 meters, will house over 900 trees, not to mention
a wide range of shrubs and floral plants – essentially the equivalent to a
10,000 square meter forest, growing vertically. As well as being what Boeri
describes as a “device for the environmental survival of contemporary
European cities” (he also describes it as part of the “living architecture”
movement, says Woodward, which differs from the legislation-driven “green
architecture” model in that it focuses on “how cities should
feel”), the greenery will help to produce humidity, absorb CO2 and dust
particles, and produce oxygen, thus improving quality of life for residents,
while also shielding the building from radiation and noise pollution. The
towers will house irrigation and filtering systems which will recycle grey
water for upkeep of the plants, while solar PV will help power the building.

All this will cost an estimated €65 million
($US87.5 million), says Gizmag, and is just the first stage of Boeri’s proposed
BioMilano – a grand plan to create a green belt around Milan, encompassing 60
abandoned farms on the city’s outskirts and restoring them to community use.

If Columbus is Blamed for Little Ice Age, who Caused the Climate to Change?

Posted by admin on October 23, 2011
Posted under Express 154

If Columbus is Blamed for Little Ice Age, who Caused the Climate to Change?

By sailing to the New World, Christopher
Columbus and the other explorers who followed may have set off a chain of
events that cooled Europe’s climate for centuries. The European conquest of the
Americas decimated the people living there, leaving large areas of cleared land
untended. This strongly suggests we humans have been tampering with climate for
centuries. New World pandemics were a major event that can’t be ignored — a
tragedy that highlighted mankind’s ability to influence the climate long before
the industrial revolution.

Depopulation of Americas may have cooled

By Devin Powell in Science News October 13th,
2011    T

MINNEAPOLIS — By sailing to the New World,
Christopher Columbus and the other explorers who followed may have set off a
chain of events that cooled Europe’s climate for centuries.

The European conquest of the Americas
decimated the people living there, leaving large areas of cleared land
untended. Trees that filled in this territory pulled billions of tons of carbon
dioxide from the atmosphere, diminishing the heat-trapping capacity of the
atmosphere and cooling climate, says Richard Nevle, a geochemist at Stanford

“We have a massive reforestation event that’s
sequestering carbon … coincident with the European arrival,” says Nevle, who
described the consequences of this change October 11 at the Geological Society
of America annual meeting.

Tying together many different lines of
evidence, Nevle estimated how much carbon all those new trees would have
consumed. He says it was enough to account for most or all of the sudden drop
in atmospheric carbon dioxide recorded in Antarctic ice during the 16th and
17th centuries. This depletion of a key greenhouse gas, in turn, may have
kicked off Europe’s so-called Little Ice Age, centuries of cooler temperatures
that followed the Middle Ages.

By the end of the 15th century, between 40 million
and 80 million people are thought to have been living in the Americas. Many of
them burned trees to make room for crops, leaving behind charcoal deposits that
have been found in the soils of Mexico, Nicaragua and other countries.

About 500 years ago, this charcoal
accumulation plummeted as the people themselves disappeared. Smallpox,
diphtheria and other diseases from Europe ultimately wiped out as much as 90
percent of the indigenous population.

Trees returned, reforesting an area at least
the size of California, Nevle estimated. This new growth could have soaked up
between 2 billion and 17 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the air.

Ice cores from Antarctica contain air bubbles
that show a drop in carbon dioxide around this time. These bubbles suggest that
levels of the greenhouse gas decreased by 6 to 10 parts per million between
1525 and the early 1600s.

“There’s nothing else happening in the rest
of the world at this time, in terms of human land use, that could explain this
rapid carbon uptake,” says Jed Kaplan, an earth systems scientist at the
Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne in Switzerland.

Natural processes may have also played a role
in cooling off Europe: a decrease in solar activity, an increase in volcanic
activity or colder oceans capable of absorbing more carbon dioxide. These
phenomena better explain regional climate patterns during the Little Ice Age,
says Michael Mann, a climate researcher at Pennsylvania State University in State

But reforestation fits with another clue
hidden in Antarctic ice, says Nevle. As the population declined in the
Americas, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere got heavier. Increasingly, molecules
of the gas tended to be made of carbon-13, a naturally occurring isotope with
an extra neutron. That could be because tree leaves prefer to take in gas made
of carbon-12, leaving the heavier version in the air.

Kaplan points out that there’s a lot of
uncertainty in such isotope measurements, so this evidence isn’t conclusive.
But he agrees that the New World pandemics were a major event that can’t be
ignored — a tragedy that highlighted mankind’s ability to influence the climate
long before the industrial revolution.


The Global Energy Landscape, Viewed from Singapore

Posted by admin on October 23, 2011
Posted under Express 154

The Global Energy Landscape, Viewed from Singapore

Experts surveying the global energy landscape
have warned of a challenging future where power demand is set to double by
2030, even as the world grapples with climate change and the urgency to reduce
mounting greenhouse gas emissions.

It is unsurprising, therefore, that energy
and energy security have emerged as top concerns for governments worldwide, and
in Singapore – a land-scarce urban nation that is almost completely reliant on
energy imports – this is no exception.

Policymakers on this small island in
Southeast Asia have responded by being flexible and thinking long-term about
the future energy landscape.

A preview by Eco-Business ahead of the
upcoming Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) held from 31 October to 4
November. Read More


Jenny Marusiak in (20
October 2011):

Experts surveying the global energy landscape
have warned of a challenging future where power demand is set to double by
2030, even as the world grapples with climate change and the urgency to reduce
mounting greenhouse gas emissions.

It is unsurprising, therefore, that energy
and energy security have emerged as top concerns for governments worldwide, and
in Singapore – a land-scarce urban nation that is almost completely reliant on
energy imports – this is no exception.

Policymakers on this small island in
Southeast Asia have responded by being flexible and thinking long-term about
the future energy landscape

The cornerstone of that strategy has been the
liberalisation and diversification of Singapore’s energy market – a process
overseen by a statutory board formed in 2001 known as the Energy Market
Authority (EMA).

In an exclusive interview with Eco-Business
ahead of the upcoming Singapore International Energy Week, EMA chief executive
Chee Hong Tat noted that the liberalisation process has made good progress, but
it had required rapid adaptation on the part of the EMA in its early days.

“Back in 2001, we were only in the early
phase of market deregulation. The newly-formed EMA, which was charged with the
task of overseeing the liberalisation process, faced a steep learning curve,”
said Mr Chee in an email interview.

The EMA studied electricity market models in
other countries, primarily Australia and New Zealand, and developed its own
model that today allows 75 per cent of Singapore’s electricity demand to be met
through competitive markets.

Since the EMA was established, Singapore’s
reliance on fuel oil for electricity has decreased from 75 per cent in 2000 to
15 per cent in 2009. Oil has been replaced largely by natural gas, which is
cheaper and cleaner than fuel oil. Today, Singapore generates about 80 per cent
of its electricity from natural gas.

Currently, all of Singapore’s natural gas
supply is piped in from its neighbours Malaysia and Indonesia. This will change
with the completion of the Republic’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG)
terminal in 2013.

LNG is natural gas that is compressed to a
fraction of its original volume, which enables it to be easily transported
around the world, supplying countries with another source of energy.

Mr Chee noted that the need to protect
against supply disruptions prompted the government’s 2009 decision to develop
the LNG terminal and diversify its fuel mix. “It will enable Singapore to
broaden its access to fuel sources from around the world,” he explained.

Now that its LNG facility will soon be
completed, the EMA will have to focus on securing a steady supply of the fuel,
he said. The agency is currently studying its options for obtaining LNG from
reliable sources at competitive prices and will launch a consultation exercise
next year for the industry.

Even while putting considerable efforts into
LNG energy supplies, the EMA recognises the need for other solutions to ensure energy

“Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet,”
said Mr Chee, adding that energy security has become an increasingly complex
challenge in light of the twin issues of declining fossil fuel supplies and
climate change.

Clean and sustainable energy

Mr Chee shared that the key to energy
security is obtaining energy that is competitively priced, diversified and
widely available, but that it must be clean and sustainable too.

While Singapore does not have significant
renewable energy options such as hydro-power, wind, wave or sufficient land for
mass solar energy production, it has not ruled out such possibilities, said Mr

“We recognise that technology is changing,
and energy solutions that are not feasible for Singapore today may become
viable in future,” he said.

With this in mind, the EMA has committed to
working with industry players, research institutions and other government agencies
to explore new energy options for Singapore. It aims to position Singapore as a
“living lab” for public-private partnerships, or joint ventures between companies
and government agencies.

Under the living lab concept, Singapore’s
agencies give companies the chance to carry out the development, testing and
commercialisation of clean technology solutions in a real-life, highly
urbanised setting.

Chee Kiong, who is director of cleantech for Singapore’s Economic Development
Board (EDB) – one of the government agencies that helps develop the public
private partnerships for the living lab concept – told Eco-Business that the
living lab approach gives Singapore an advantage in attracting global companies
from the energy industry.

“Already we are seeing the growth of the
clean energy ecosystem in Singapore,” he said, noting that projects such as
Singapore’s Punggol Eco-Town project – a district-level green building project
involving EDB, the EMA and Singapore’s Housing and Development Board – has
attracted companies such as the Japanese electronics firm Panasonic.

In August, the three local agencies inked a
public-private partnership with Panasonic to integrate solar technology,
fuel-cell batteries and Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) into an existing public
housing block.

The project will also contribute data to an
EMA smart grid project called the Intelligent Energy System (IES), which was
started in 2009 to determine how best to prepare Singapore’s electricity demand
and distribution for future energy scenarios that include more renewable energy
sources and electric vehicles.

At the same time that Singapore is exploring
the effects of electric vehicles on smart grids, its agencies are supporting
projects to promote the uptake of electric vehicles. The EMA, EDB and the Land
Transport Authority are working with technology companies Bosch and Greenlots
on trials involving charging infrastructure.

The EMA and the other government agencies
involved in the projects fill the roles of technology partner, talent developer
and sophisticated end-user for the private sector, said Mr Goh, adding that EDB
supports and connects the partnerships between the suppliers and adopters of
innovative sustainable energy solutions.

He noted that Singapore’s business-friendly
policies have also attracted firms in the renewable energy sector. Global wind
energy firms Vestas, DNV and Gamesa have set up R&D centres in Singapore,
and Singapore’s solar energy research institute (SERIS) has partnered with
solar companies such as Norway’s Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) and Chinese
solar manufacturer Trina Solar.

Other solar companies are benefitting from
the recent innovations in Singapore’s nascent solar industry. For example,
Singapore’s first solar leasing agreement was announced last month for Punggol
Eco-Town, where the EMA’s smart grid study is paving the way for more
widespread use of alternative energy initiatives.

Under leasing agreements, building owners who
want clean energy without high up-front costs can hire firms such as local
solar manufacturer Sunseap Enterprises to install and maintain solar equipment.
The building owners can then purchase the electricity from the solar company.

director of Singapore firm Phoenix Solar, Christophe Inglin, told Eco-Business
that Singapore agencies have been open to leasing schemes and other initiatives
such as allowing commercial properties to feed extra renewable energy they
produce into the national grid. They also reward building developers who
incorporate clean energy technology into buildings by granting higher green
building ratings.

That flexibility has helped the solar
industry’s recent growth here, he said, but the Government’s primary influence
has been its determination not to distort the electricity market to provide
artificially low power costs to businesses and households.

“Singapore has been in resolute in not subsidising
electricity,” he said.

Mr Inglin noted that while this has meant
that the industry could not rely on the incentives that support the solar
industries in parts of Europe, it has led to higher retail electricity rates.
The result, he explained, is that as the cost of producing solar energy gets
lower, it is becoming commercially viable in Singapore ahead of other markets.

Meanwhile, EMA’s Mr Chee said that the EMA
will continue to invest in new energy research to enhance Singapore’s energy
security, widen its range of energy options, improve energy efficiency and
lower its carbon emissions.

All these issues will be among the topics
discussed at the EMA-sponsored Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) held
from 31 October to 4 November. The event, now in its fourth year, gathers
policy-makers, energy experts and industry leaders to exchange ideas that
promote long-term global energy security.

It will feature keynote speaker Nobuo Tanaka,
former executive director of the International Energy Agency, who will share
his views on the current energy challenges facing the world when he delivers
the Singapore Energy Lecture.

Other highlights of the week will include the
Singapore Energy Summit, a high-level discussion on international energy
policy, and a number of concurrent conferences on renewable and conventional
forms of energy, smart grids, and energy and carbon trading.

The event, which has attracted more than
14,000 participants from more than 60 countries in previous years, will also
feature speakers such as Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Peter Voser, GE
Energy smart grid solutions project global director Bartosz Wojszczyk, and the Asian
Development Bank director of sustainable infrastructure Gil-Hong Kim.

Mr Chee said that the EMA was hosting the
event to contribute to the global debate required to reshape the energy
landscape for a more sustainable future.

He noted that to succeed, closer
collaboration between the private and public sectors was needed to share
innovations and expertise.

“No single country will have all the answers
to tackle energy and climate change challenges,” he said.


How Sustainable is Seven Billion?

Posted by admin on October 3, 2011
Posted under Express 153

How Sustainable is Seven Billion?

By the time you read this, the
world’s population could well have reached the 7 billion mark. See the official
UN site for the latest figure: Almost all
agree that October 2011 is the month when this happens. In a mere 12 years, the
world has added a billion people. There is a strong correlation between population
and climate change, sustainability, the food crisis and even obesity! The world
produces enough food to feed everyone. World agriculture produces 17% more
calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70% population
increase.  The problem is distribution
and inequality. There are more overweight and/or obese people in the world than
there are those who are hungry! Michael Molitor believes a green revolution is
the answer to a struggling economy at home and abroad. Also highlighted this
issue is the US Energy report – a sad state of affairs – along with the continuing
problems for island states and sea level rise. And anther climate change policy
impasse? News of the Australian Green Infrastructure Council conference (coming
up) with the theme “Out Brave New World” and the Sustainable Cities event in
Singapore (just past). World Health Organisation releases is air quality report
and Michael Richardson draws attention to fire danger. What else? Greenpost and
GreenBizCheck on the move; Fujitsu and the Global Sustainability Index; The
Economist dispassionately surveys Arctic Ice melting & Triple Pundit
connects climate change and human conflict; car sharing and electric cars in
Canada and the US; Energy efficiency pays off for many and hydrogen becomes a
viable clean fuel; Nike invests in clean tech start-ups and Coca Cola puts its
money where its mouth is. We’ll drink to that! – Ken Hickson

Profile: Dr Michael Molitor

Posted by admin on October 3, 2011
Posted under Express 153

Profile: Dr Michael Molitor

“Simply put, addressing climate
change, sustainable food and energy production, and delivering more clean water
are the only economic opportunities large enough to expand global economic
output six-fold in the next 40 years.
Many people now refer to this, the biggest economic opportunity in
history, as the clean industrial revolution.” Michael Molitor writing in
Climate Spectator. Read More

Michael Molitor in Climate
Spectator (3 October 2011):

Australia is now struggling with
legislation that would introduce a carbon price in its economy through a new
tax.  The opposition leader is claiming
that the tax is a waste of time and will only create costs for Australians
without any benefits—environmental or otherwise.  Most of the key emerging macroeconomic data
is now pointing in completely the opposite direction.  In the absence of a carbon price created by
Federal legislation in Australia, it is unlikely that the Australian economy
will be able to generate sufficient new growth to meet its economic aspirations
between now and 2030.

In May of this year the OECD
celebrated its 50th anniversary and it chose the topic of green growth as the
highlight of the celebrations.  The OECD
report on green growth released at that time made it clear that, in order to
deal with the rapid expected increase in middle class consumers that will occur
between now and 2050, global GDP will need to rise from around US$55 trillion
today to US$300 trillion by 2050.  This
nearly six-fold growth requirement over the next 40 years is in dramatic
contrast  with the three-fold increase
that occurred over the last 40 years since 1970 (from US$18 trillion to US$54

Equally important, the OECD
report advances the view that the daunting challenge of doubling the global
economic growth rate over the next 40 years is going be almost impossible
without adequately dealing with a range of global environmental and resource constraints—including,
most importantly, climate change.  These
challenges act as effective road blocks keeping us from reaching a global
economy of US$300 trillion.  In response,
we will need to both address these environmental challenges while simultaneously
increasing resource productivity at least ten fold.  These are herculean objectives involving
enormous capital and massive transformative and disruptive technologies.

Fortunately, there is now
considerable discussion around the world about how we will mobilize enough
capital to deal with these global environmental and resource constraints.  At the UN climate meeting in Cancun last year
governments decided to create a large green climate fund with the capital being
used to accelerate the de-carbonization of the developing world.  The G20 process led by France this year is
also looking at climate finance. There are also efforts to use well-established
capital market instruments to try and direct more money towards green
initiatives—these include the creation of climate bonds and other green bonds
(even “reef bonds” to protect the Great Barrier Reef are under discussion).

Climate change and all other
global resource and environmental problems are, in the end, capital markets
activation challenges.  The dysfunctional
global economy is driving all of these problems because the current rules give
you credit for destroying ecosystems and fail to punish you when, for example,
you emit large quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.  Capital markets, as a result, direct enormous
sums of money towards activities that undermine the planet’s climate system,
devour natural resources faster than they can be replenished, and produce goods
and services at exceedingly poor rates of productivity.  Simply put, the global economy directs more
capital to wasteful and harmful activities than it does to activities that will
ultimately allow 9-10 billion people to live well in 2050.

There are two approaches to
correcting the dysfunctional global economy so that capital changes direction
and begins to focus on improving global economic and environmental
sustainability.  The first is to try and
create a global regime that forces the market to incorporate the costs of the
unsustainable economic activities—that is, try to make the system
functional.  We tried this with 20 years
of UN negotiations on climate change between 1991 and 2011.  The failure in Copenhagen in 2009 to reach a
global agreement that would have put a global price on carbon emissions makes
it clear that this approach has little hope of succeeding—at least on a
timescale meaningful to the problem of global climate change.

The other approach is to
recognize that we have little hope of fundamentally correcting a dysfunctional
global economy and to use the dysfunctional operating rules to achieve the
results we require.  Under this approach
the focus is on creating a better value proposition for green investments—that
is, lower risks and, more importantly, better returns but without the policy
interventions that would internalize the externalities.

What the OECD did not mention in
its green growth report is that  not only
will it be impossible to get to US$300 trillion by 2050 if we fail to address
key environmental and resource constraints but, more importantly, the only
growth platforms large enough to get us to US$300 trillion are these very same
challenges.  Simply put, addressing
climate change, sustainable food and energy production, and delivering more
clean water are the only economic opportunities large enough to expand global
economic output six-fold in the next 40 years.
Many people now refer to this, the biggest economic opportunity in
history, as the clean industrial revolution.

Australia, one of the very best
performing countries in the OECD, will struggle to achieve sufficient economic
growth out to 2030.  At the moment, the
key Australian growth activities include the export of coking and thermal coal,
iron ore and, in the near future, large expected exports of LNG. These growth
platforms are outstanding by current OECD measures yet they are insufficient to
get Australia to 2030.  How then, do you
begin to invest in new economic growth platforms today that will help get
Australia to a prosperous 2030 and beyond?

Energy Minister Martin Ferguson
recently made public the very large capital requirements to expand the
stationary energy sector in Australia to meet growing demand for electricity
out to 2030.  He suggested that the scale
of investment was more than AUD$200 billion between now and 2030 and enormous
investments would be required to both add new generating capacity as well as to
expand the existing transmission and distribution networks.  In comparison to the large costs of the
National Broadband Network, the energy system funding costs become the largest
infrastructure investments in Australian history.

Countries wishing to stimulate
growth and jobs through the clean industrial revolution will need to make
transformative changes in the ways they produce and use electricity.  Although there are numerous policy approaches
that can achieve this outcome, most economists now agree that the introduction
of a robust carbon price is the most efficient means of doing so.  Continuing to invest in inefficient centralized
energy networks that rely on fossil fuels, and mostly coal, will make it
impossible to access the enormous growth platform provided by the clean
industrial revolution.  In other words,
Australia cannot afford not to have a carbon price in place—it is the basis of
one of the very few green growth platforms that will allow Australia to meet
its future economic aspirations.

The future of economic growth is
in greatly improved resource efficiency and environmental management.
Distributed energy, smart grids, battery storage and the electrification of
urban transport are some of the key job and wealth creating opportunities and
they are already here in terms of proven technologies.  A carbon price forces Australia to start on
the road of improving resource efficiency immediately.  Although it is attractive to try and rely on
the old growth models that rely heavily on inefficient energy technologies and
fossil fuels, countries that continue to do so will be left behind.  Australia is one of the very few countries
that can harness this pathway to growth and the AUD$23 carbon price is a big
step in the right direction.


Dr. Michael Molitor is the
Principal Advisor, Round Table on Sustainable Development at the OECD in

He is also the founder of
CarbonShift Pty Ltd, an Australian company with a focus on helping clients
develop, implement and communicate robust strategies to respond to the
challenge of a climate system modified by human activity. CarbonShift, based in
Sydney, works with many leading companies and organisations to deliver carbon
management outcomes that both protect and enhance shareholder value and
stakeholder relationships.

Dr. Molitor served as Senior
Advisor on Climate Change at McKinsey & Company and, during 2000-2003, was
the global leader of Climate Change Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers based in
London. In these roles his primary activities were in assessing the risks and
opportunities presented by climate change to corporate performance, with
particular emphasis on the cost of carbon emissions abatement.

Before entering the business
world, Michael was a leading Earth Systems academic for 10 years. Dr. Molitor
was a member of the faculty at the University of California, San Diego and the
Climate Research Division at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. In this
capacity he served as an external advisor to BP on the development of the
company’s climate change strategy and attended all of the United Nations
negotiations on climate change.

Dr. Molitor earned his PhD from
Cambridge University, England and spent 3 years at Harvard University on a Ford
Foundation Post-doctoral fellowship.
After receiving his B.A. from the University of Michigan, he went on to
complete a joint M.Sc. between the London School of Economics and Political
Science and Imperial College (University of London).

Dr. Molitor has also held
academic appointments at Stanford University, the University of California,
Berkeley and Columbia University. He served as Science Advisor on the film,
‘The Day After Tomorrow’ and has appeared on numerous television and radio
programs in the US, UK, Germany, Canada and Australia.


78% of Global Energy from Fossil Fuels in 2035

Posted by admin on October 3, 2011
Posted under Express 153

78% of Global Energy from Fossil Fuels in 2035

A sad state of affairs. The
International Energy Outlook produced by the US Energy Information
Administration (EIA), makes grim reading. In spite of all the efforts all over
the world to produce clean and renewable energy, the report forecasts that
fossil fuels will continue to supply much of the energy used worldwide and
still account for 78% of world energy use in 2035.

ADMINISTRATION, WASHINGTON DC 20585 (19 September 2011):

EIA projects world energy use to
increase 53 percent by 2035; China and India account for half of the total

International Energy Outlook 2011
(IEO2011) released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) presents
updated projections for world energy markets through 2035. The IEO2011
Reference case projection does not incorporate prospective legislation or
policies that might affect energy markets.

Worldwide energy consumption
grows by 53 percent between 2008 and 2035 in the Reference case, with much of
the increase driven by strong economic growth in the developing nations
especially China and India. “China and India account for half of the
projected increase in world energy use over the next 25 years. China alone,
which only recently became the world’s top energy consumer, is projected to use
68 percent more energy than the United States by 2035.” said Acting EIA
Administrator Howard Gruenspecht.

Some key findings:

China and India lead the growth
in world demand for energy in the future. The economies of China and India were
among those least affected by the worldwide recession. They continue to lead
world economic growth and energy demand growth in the Reference case. In 2008,
China and India combined accounted for 21 percent of total world energy
consumption. With strong economic growth in both countries over the projection
period, their combined energy use more than doubles by 2035, when they account
for 31 percent of world energy use in the IEO2011 Reference case (Figure 1). In
2035, China’s energy demand is 68 percent higher than U.S. energy demand.

Renewable energy is projected to
be the fastest growing source of primary energy over the next 25 years, but
fossil fuels remain the dominant source of energy. Renewable energy consumption
increases by 2.8 percent per year and the renewable share of total energy use
increases from 10 percent in 2008 to 15 percent in 2035 in the Reference case.
Fossil fuels, however, continue to supply much of the energy used worldwide
throughout the projection, and still account for 78 percent of world energy use
in 2035. While the Reference case projections reflect current laws and policies
as of the start of 2011, past experience suggests that renewable energy
deployment is often significantly affected by policy changes.

Natural gas has the fastest
growth rate among the fossil fuels over the 2008 to 2035 projection period.
World natural gas consumption increases 1.6 percent per year, from 111 trillion
cubic feet in 2008 to 169 trillion cubic feet in 2035. Unconventional natural
gas (tight gas, shale gas, and coalbed methane) supplies increase substantially
in the IEO2011 Reference case—especially from the United States, but also from
Canada and China.

World oil prices remain high in
the IEO2011 Reference case, but oil consumption continues to grow; both
conventional and unconventional liquid supplies are used to meet rising demand.
In the IEO2011 Reference case the price of light sweet crude oil (in real 2009
dollars) remains high, reaching $125 per barrel in 2035. Total world petroleum
and other liquids fuel use increases by 26.9 million barrels per day between
2008 and 2035, but the growth in conventional crude oil production is less than
half this amount at 11.5 million barrels per day, while production of natural
gas plant liquids increase by 5.1 million barrels per day, World production of
unconventional resources (including biofuels, oil sands, extra-heavy oil,
coal-to-liquids, and gas-to-liquids), which totaled 3.9 million barrels per day
in 2008, increases to 13.1 million barrels per day in 2035 (Figure 2).

Other report highlights include:

•From 2008 to 2035, total world
energy consumption rises by an average annual 1.6 percent in the IEO2011
Reference case. Strong economic growth among the non-OECD (Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development) nations drives the increase. Non-OECD
energy use increases by 2.3 percent per year; in the OECD countries energy use
grows by only 0.6 percent per year.

•Petroleum and other liquid fuels
remain the largest energy source worldwide through 2035, though projected
higher oil prices erode their share of total energy use from 34 percent in 2008
to 29 percent in 2035.

•Projected petroleum consumption
and prices are very sensitive to both supply and demand conditions. Higher
economic growth in developing countries coupled with reduced supply from key
exporting countries result in a High Oil Price case in which real oil prices
exceed $169 per barrel by 2020 and approach $200 per barrel by 2035.
Conversely, lower economic growth in developing countries coupled with
increased supplies from key exporting countries result in a Low Oil Price case
in which real oil prices fall to about $55 per barrel in 2015 and then
gradually decline to $50 per barrel after 2030 where they remain through 2035.

•World coal consumption increases
from 139 quadrillion Btu in 2008 to 209 quadrillion Btu in 2035, at an average
annual rate of 1.5 percent in the IEO2011 Reference case. In the absence of
policies or legislation that would limit the growth of coal use, China and, to
a lesser extent, India and the other nations of non-OECD Asia consume coal in
place of more expensive fuels. China alone accounts for 76 percent of the
projected net increase in world coal use, and India and the rest of non-OECD
Asia account for another 19 percent of the increase.

•Electricity is the world’s
fastest-growing form of end-use energy consumption in the Reference case, as it
has been for the past several decades. Net electricity generation worldwide
rises by 2.3 percent per year on average from 2008 to 2035. Renewables are the
fastest growing source of new electricity generation, increasing by 3.0 percent
and outpacing the average annual increases for natural gas (2.6 percent),
nuclear power (2.4 percent), and coal (1.9 percent).

•The transportation sector
accounted for 27 percent of total world delivered energy consumption in 2008,
and transportation energy use increases by 1.4 percent per year from 2008 to
2035. The transportation share of world total liquids consumption increases from
54 percent in 2008 to 60 percent in 2035 in the IEO2011 Reference case,
accounting for 82 percent of the total increase in world liquids consumption

•In the IEO2011 Reference case,
energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rise from 30.2 billion metric tons in
2008 to 43.2 billion metric tons in 2035—an increase of 43 percent. Much of the
increase in carbon dioxide emissions is projected to occur among the developing
nations of the world, especially in Asia.

International Energy Outlook 2011
is available at:


Island Nations Adrift & New Climate Deal Unlikely

Posted by admin on October 3, 2011
Posted under Express 153

Island Nations Adrift & New Climate Deal Unlikely

As the island nations tell the UN
General Assembly of their impending climate disaster, new fears arise that failure
to agree on a new climate deal could lead to nations committing only to
voluntary steps that are unlikely to put the brakes on climate change, risking
more extreme droughts, floods, storms and crop failures.

By David Fogarty for Reuters (2
October 2011):

A new plan to curb global warming risks
becoming a battleground between rich and poor nations and could struggle to get
off the ground as negotiators battle over the fate of the ailing Kyoto climate

The 1997 Kyoto Protocol covers
only emissions from rich nations that produce less than a third of mankind’s
carbon pollution and its first phase is due to expire end-2012. Poorer nations
want it extended, while many rich countries say a broader pact is needed to
include all big polluters.

Australia and Norway have
proposed negotiations on a new agreement, but say it is unrealistic to expect
that to be ready by 2013. They have set a target date two years later, in 2015.

“This is the only way ahead.
There is no other way than failure,” said a senior climate negotiator from
a developed country on the Australia-Norway proposal, who declined to be named
because of the sensitivity of the talks.

Developing nations insist Kyoto
be extended to commit rich countries to tougher carbon cuts and fiercely resist
any attempts to side-line the world’s main climate pact, meaning the
Australia-Norway plan faces a tough time .

Failure to agree on a new climate
deal could lead to nations committing only to voluntary steps that are unlikely
to put the brakes on climate change, risking more extreme droughts, floods,
storms and crop failures. It would also weaken efforts to put in place tough
policies to promote cleaner fuels and green energy.

The proposal calls on major
economies to quickly strengthen steps to curb emissions, agree on a way to
standardise actions and a system to compare and verify what everyone else is

Marathon U.N.-led climate talks
failed to meet a 2009 deadline to agree a new pact to start in 2013 and a major
conference in Durban, South Africa, in two months is under pressure to launch a
process to negotiate a new treaty.


As negotiators haggle, data show
the world is heating up, as emissions, particularly from big developing
nations, keep growing from burning more coal, oil and gas.

Scientists say floods similar to
those that left millions homeless in Pakistan last year and ravaged parts of
Australia, could become more common, along with more intense Atlantic
hurricanes and wildfires.

The United States has already
tied its yearly record for billion-dollar weather disasters and the cumulative
tab from floods, tornadoes and heat waves this year has hit $35 billion, the
National Weather Service said in mid-August.

That doesn’t include billions in
losses and disaster relief from Hurricane Irene , which struck in late August.

All this throws the spotlight on
emissions curbs by the world’s major economies and the fact that these are not
enough. When Kyoto was agreed, emissions from poorer nations were much smaller.
Now they dwarf those of rich countries.

At the least, the talks need to
restore faith that countries can do more to fight global warming.

“We need to push away from
this annual cycle of what are we going to achieve into a more realistic
timeline of when can we achieve a new agreement. My sense is that none of the
negotiators disagree with that. It’s obvious,” said the senior delegate.

The Australia-Norway proposal
will be a focus of U.N.-led climate talks in Panama this week, the last round
before the conference in Durban.


The EU said it broadly supported
the submission.

“It tries to take forward
the international climate negotiations into the next years, seeing how we can
build a broader climate regime,” Artur Runge-Metzger, the EU’s chief climate
negotiator, told Reuters. “We think that this seems to be a workable

He said it was crucial the Durban
meeting agrees on building a new climate framework for all countries, referring
particularly to the United States and major developing economies.

China produces about a quarter of
mankind’s greenhouse gas pollution and is the top global emitter. While the
government is taking steps such as promoting energy efficiency and vehicle fuel
standards, these are voluntary.

The proposal will prove divisive
for poorer countries.

None more so than nations most
vulnerable to climate change, such as low-lying islands that face ever rising
sea levels, flooding and shrinking fresh water supplies. They want faster
action by big polluters and feel Kyoto is the way to go.

“It basically delays real
action to address climate change and vulnerable countries aren’t going to like
it,” said Ian Fry, lead climate negotiator for the Pacific island nation
of Tuvalu, told Reuters, adding: “It’s a gift to the United States.”

India, the world’s third largest
carbon polluter, has also dug in its heels over the proposal.

“Such a plan takes the focus
away from Kyoto and redraws negotiating paradigms. Why should the developing
countries agree?” said an Indian official with knowledge of the global
negotiations, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The United States, the world’s
second-biggest polluter, never ratified Kyoto, saying the pact is flawed
because it doesn’t commit big developing economies to meet legally binding emissions

The proposal could however
benefit investors in cleaner power generation, carbon-offset projects and
greener buildings.

“Anything which moves the
world towards more unified action increases the confidence level of
investors,” said Geoff Rousel, global head of commodities, carbon and
energy for Westpac Institutional Bank in Sydney.

“Therefore, if this plan was
to be accepted, you’d be more likely to see more confidence in capital
expenditure in energy efficiency and emissions abatement,” he said.

The United States remains

“A legal agreement has to
apply with equal legal force to at least the major developing countries so that
means China, India, Brazil and so forth,” said chief U.S. climate envoy
Todd Stern in recent remarks to the media. And that meant no “escape
hatches” or conditions on meeting those commitments, he said.


Reported by Associated Press (24 September

The Palestinians want the United
Nations to recognize a state. And the island nation of Tuvalu wants the United
Nations to act — now — to keep their state above water.

The high drama surrounding the
historic Palestinian bid for statehood has to a degree overshadowed other
issues facing the U.N. General Assembly, which Saturday heard from the leaders
of island nations where the impact of climate change is already having a
profound effect.

They argue that the U.N. is
moving too slowly despite many initiatives designed to reduce carbon emissions
worldwide. U.N. officials have recognized climate change as the greatest
environmental threat to the planet but efforts to slow its inexorable progress
have foundered.

The message Saturday from island
leaders was that there is little time left for concerted action that could
prevent their small, vulnerable countries from facing severe problems, or
worse, as sea levels rise and flooding and storm activity increases.

Tuvalu Prime Minister Willy
Telavi said his country’s very existence is at risk as he urged U.N. members to
move more quickly to limit the damage of climate change, and to come up with
real, practical plans to help the most vulnerable countries.

“For a small island
developing state like Tuvalu, climate change is no doubt a security issue which
threatens our survival,” he said, adding that time was quickly running out
for his tiny island nation, located roughly halfway between Australia and

The low-lying country, built on
nine coral atolls, is one of the most endangered Pacific Islands, but others are
also at risk as sea levels rise. It is not clear if Tuvalu, with its porous
coral base, can be saved without a tremendous financial commitment from the
international community, which may be reluctant to invest heavily in a country
with only about 12,000 residents.

The country’s leaders have faced
this reality — more than a decade ago, they asked Australia and New Zealand to
be willing to take in the Tuvalu’s residents if evacuation ultimately becomes

The problem goes well beyond the
vast Pacific region. Leaders from the Indian Ocean and Carribean also warned
Saturday of severe problems facing their regions.

Navinchandra Ramgoolam, prime
minister of the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius — larger and more
developed than Tuvalu — warned Saturday that the threat has to be addressed
more quickly if horrendous consequences are to be avoided. He said the
existence of some small island nations is at stake.

“Climate change is
real,” he said. “Air temperatures have risen. The sea level is rising
at the rate of 1.2 millimeters per year in the southwest Indian Ocean. Our
annual rainfall has decreased by 8 percent in comparison to the 1960s. Extreme
weather conditions like flooding are becoming more frequent. Without
international cooperation and concerted effort the impact of climate change
will be devastating for all our nations.”

Freundel Stuart, prime minister
of Barbados in the Caribbean, told the General Assembly that small island
nations in the Caribbean and Pacific may be destroyed if current trends are not

“The planet has now begun to
protest,” he said.

The warnings Saturday went beyond
island leaders. Sheikh Hasina, prime minister of Bangladesh, said her country
is making contingency plans because a one meter rise in sea levels because of
global warming would inundate one-fifth of the country and displace more than
30 million people.

“This would be the largest
humanitarian crisis in history,” she said.


Sustainable Infrastructure Plus Solar Projects

Posted by admin on October 3, 2011
Posted under Express 153

Sustainable Infrastructure Plus Solar Projects

The Australian Green
Infrastructure Council’s (AGIC) national conference 2011 on 7 October in
Melbourne, with the theme “Our Brave New World”, will showcase the Australian
National Sustainability Rating scheme created to drive sustainable outcomes,
while First Solar, the market leader in thin-film solar panels, says many more
such projects will be needed to make Australia a major player in the global
solar energy industry.

Giles Parkinson in Climate
Sectator (30 September 2011):

First Solar, the world’s largest solar
company, says Australia may only have a brief window of opportunity if it wants
to position itself as a major player in the global solar energy industry.

The US company is about to start
construction on Australia’s first utility-scale solar PV project near Geraldton
in Western Australia, a 10MW facility being built with GE and Verve Energy. But
Jack Curtis, the head of Australian and Asia Pacific operations for First
Solar, the market leader in thin-film solar panels, says many more such
projects will be needed to help bring down operating, engineering and financing

The key to this, he says, will be
institutions such as proposed the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and a stable
policy environment that will allow projects to be deployed, rather than just
planned. If Australia does not get this right in the next couple of years, then
it will likely lose out.

“I would say that this is the
last chance for Australian solar,” Curtis said in an interview with Climate
Spectator. “The industry has been through this cycle a couple of time in the
last few decades. It’s at the point where it has rebuilt that credibility. We
have spent 3-4 years in this country educating utilities on benefit of solar–
but if turns out that they get on board, and the rug gets pulled – I don’t
think they will have appetite to go through that again.”

Curtis’ comments are a common
refrain in the solar industry. Although a handful of large scale solar projects
are going ahead thanks to government funding, including First Solar’s Greeenough
Project and the two Solar Flagships projects, many more could, and should, be
developed if the right incentives are there. They hope that the CEFC will
provide the solutions, and the certainty. (First Solar made two short-listed
applications for the flagships program, in partnership with AGL Energy ad

Curtis says that while the core
technology costs are falling rapidly, the key to making solar cost competitive
will lie in the cost of engineering, construction, financing and integration. And
these are all local issues. “Australia can’t wait 5 years for it to happen in
Germany, France or the US and expect to transplant that five years from now,”
he says.

“If Australia doesn’t start now
it will be 5 years behind the curve 5 years from now, and at a huge
disadvantage trying to catch up with those markets that have gotten to the
point where subsides not required.”

The irony is that Australia
should be the first market to get there, considering its solar resources,
infrastructure and technical know-how. Indeed, Curtis says that WA could be the
first market in the world to reach wholesale grid parity – that is, it’s
ability to compete with fossil fuels without the need for subsidies. He says it
could happen within a few years, but again, the key will be sufficient
deployment where the economies of scale and reduction in financing and other

The reason that WA could get to
parity first are its higher wholesale energy costs – thanks to its reliance on
gas and its exposure to the export market – excellent solar resource (about the
best in the world), and the appetite of off-takers prepared to pay a premium of
around 2-3c/kWh for solar over wind given the transmission costs and the grid
impacts of the latter.

Curtis estimates the cost of thin
film PV is currently around 16c-18c/kWh in the US, where costs have been
reduced somewhat because of deployment. This compares to Australia – where no
plants of scale have yet been constructed – of around 20c-22c/kWh in the
eastern states and 18c-20c/kWh in WA (thanks to its better sun).

“Our view is that 10 -12 c/kWh by
2015 is an aggressive but realistic goal for the Australian solar industry and
where we need to be in order to drive a greater adoption beyond government
subsidized programs,” he says. “However, sustainable and resilient
government programs are critical to bridge that gap over the next 5 years.

“While this range is not directly
on par from a cost to produce perspective with gas (or coal obviously), we
believe that with external values such as RECs, carbon, peak coincidence etc.
increasingly priced in and as the market continues to recognize the true value
of solar over and above the true cost, that range will enable a dramatic shift
for the industry.”

Curtis says the manufacturing
cost for First Solar modules is down to around $0.75/watt, which he says are
the lowest in the industry, and the company is targeting a range of
$0.52-0.63/W by 2014. The total system price, which includes modules,
inverters, steel, constrution, land acquisitions, permitting and grid
inegration, and development, is currently in the range of $2.50-$3.00/w,
depending on the region and market specific conditions, but needs to come down
to  $1.75-2.00/W to reach the 10-12 c/kWh

“The greatest swinger,” Curtis
says, “is the ability to access cheaper equity and debt.” This will
largely depend on proving the viability of the technology, and de-risking it
from a financing point of view. He says reducing the cost of funding by 20 per
cent would have a greater overall impact than reducing the capex costs by a
similar amount. He says the current thinking in the US is that solar PV could
reasonably provide 20 per cent of capacity into a regional grid, although these
estimates could evolve.

First Solar is hoping that its
10MW plant in Greenough, which will be up and running by the middle of 2012,
will have a similarly galvanizing impact than the company’s first 10MW plant in
the US, which was located not far from Las Vegas. He says Australia is
following the cycle of the US market – only around three years behind – but it
should be able to learn from that country’s mistakes, particularly about
project selection – an in issue that has come to the fore in recent weeks
following the failure of Solyndra.

Curtis also says remote power – where
solar can compete with diesel – is also a major opportunity and the company
hopes to use Australia as a test bed for the sort of products it could take to
Asia and Africa. The key to those opportunities, however, lie in the ability to
intergrate. “The relative need for remote solar in Australia won’t be as much
as in India and china, but it can provide a huge platform of opportunity.”


AGIC statement:

The Australian Green
Infrastructure Council’s (AGIC) national conference 2011 – 7 October in

Our Brave New World – where
metrics drive sustainability – will showcase the Australian National
Sustainability Rating scheme created to drive sustainable outcomes, provide
independent verification of performance and contribute to risk reduction in
infrastructure delivery and operation.

The results of the 2011 rating
tool pilot trials will be reviewed at the conference, together with in-depth
presentations on the rating tool themes and categories by the actual authors. The
tool will be launched to the industry in early 2012.

This is the premier event of the
year for anyone concerned with sustainability in infrastructure design,
construction and operation and wants to understand the metrics of the tool
(qualitative and quantitative) that will drive innovation, reduce risk and
independently verify results.

Event facts

The AGIC 2011 event will attract
representatives across different infrastructure sectors from designers,
constructors and operators to government representatives, lawyer and executives
responsible for making decisions on infrastructure projects.

The Conference will stimulate
discussion that impacts significantly on future infrastructure sustainability.

A line-up of top level speakers
from government, business and industry will present an in-depth analysis of
sustainability initiatives and discuss the AGIC Sustainability Rating tool. You
will hear first hand from the various subject matter experts who actually
developed the rating tool criteria.

The event provides excellent
networking opportunities with key players and valuable insights into the rating
tool categories and metrics.

Key people:

Professor David Hood is a Chartered Professional Engineer,
registered on NPER to practice in civil and environmental engineering. David
has over thirty five years experience in business, engineering, education,
project management, and senior executive positions in both the public and
private sectors. David is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of the Built
Environment and Engineering at Queensland University of Technology, Past
Chairman of the Australian College of Environmental Engineers, Chairman of the
Australian Green Infrastructure Council (AGIC), and is Past Deputy President of
the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC). David is also an
accredited presenter on Al Gore’s Climate Project, and lectures widely on
climate change and sustainability where his passion enthuses others to make a
difference and reduce the damage we are inflicting on the earth’s systems.
David was elected as a Fellow of the International Society of Engineering Asset
Managers in 2010. He was elected Engineers Australia’s Deputy National
President in November 2010, and will become the 2012 National President in
November 2011.

Professor Kate Auty, Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability,
Victoria, was appointed in 2009. In her role Professor Auty seeks to enhance
knowledge and understanding of the social, economic and environmental aspects
of an ecological sustainable future for Victoria. The Commissioner oversees the
production of strategic audits on Environmental Management Systems and a State
of the Environment report to be completed by December 2013. In 2008, Professor
Auty was appointed a Charles Joseph LaTrobe Fellow with the Centre for
Sustainable Regional Communities at LaTrobe University. In 2008 and 2009, she
was the Chair of the Victorian Ministerial Reference Council on Climate Change
Adaptation and also a member of the Premier’s Reference Committee on Climate
Change. The Commissioner is currently an Adjunct Professor in the LaTrobe
Institute for Social and Environmental Sustainability Centre within the Office
of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability) at La Trobe University. Professor
Auty holds tertiary qualifications in environmental science, law and history
from University of Melbourne (Arts (Hons)/Law), Monash University (Masters in
Environmental Science), and La Trobe University (PhD in Law and Legal Studies).
She holds a Diploma of International Environmental Law from UNITAR. Her
extensive career encompasses agriculture and academia, as a solicitor in her
own law firm and as a barrister. Professor Auty has held appointments as the
senior regional magistrate for the nine magistrates’ courts in north east
Victoria and the nine courts in Western Australia’s goldfields and western
desert, extending as far north as Kiwikurra and as far south as Esperance.

Dr Martin Blake has extensive expertise in business management,
organisational change, corporate social responsibility and sustainability. For
seven years to October 2010, he led the Social Responsibility and
Sustainability teams at Royal Mail, the largest single employer in the UK, as
well as designing and deploying an international award-winning Carbon
Management Programme to combat climate change. During those seven years Royal
Mail won over 75 National and International awards for CSR. Prior to joining
Royal Mail Dr Blake spent more than 20 years in the Middle East working for an
American Healthcare provider and later the world’s largest oil company, Saudi
Aramco. He holds an MBA in Organisational Analysis and Strategic Management and
his Doctorate in Business (DBA) focused on Organisational Change. Dr Blake now
divides his professional life between Australia, Asia and Europe. He is an
Adjunct Professor of Sustainable Business Development at both Griffith
University and the University of Southern Queensland. He is also a
non-executive director for Ecologic (green transport and logistics) in USA;
Sabien Technology Group, Industry Re Ltd and Amida Recruiting in UK; Executive
Director of The GreenAsia Group and Executive Chairman of Carbon Zero Solutions
(Sustainability and Carbon Management Consultancy) in UK and Asia-Pacific and a
member of The Strategic Advisory Board for Global Carbon Systems, Australia. Dr
Blake is a Member of the Institute of Directors and a Fellow of the Chartered
Institute of Management and chairs and advises a multitude of strategic groups,
all focused on the development and deployment of low carbon infrastructure. Dr
Blake is also a strategic advisor to the Scottish Government’s Renewable Energy


GreenPost & GreenBizCheck Take Off for New Markets

Posted by admin on October 3, 2011
Posted under Express 153

GreenPost & GreenBizCheck Take Off for New Markets

Singapore start-up, GreenPost,
the first company in Asia to help billers go paperless with an aggregating
solution for consumers, is set to aggressively expand its regional footprint
with Malaysia next on the list. Meanwhile, GreenBizCheck is one of 10
Australian start-ups taking part in ANZA Technology Network’s Gateway to the US
program, attending Silicon Valley Connect 2011 to see how business is done in
the world’s top tech hub. Adam Lyle, based in Singapore, is expanding
GreenBizCheck across Asia.

GreenPost to move into Malaysia

Business Times Malaysia (19
September 2011):

GreenPost, the first company in
Asia to offer aggregated bill presentment, is set to aggressively expand its
regional footprint.

Its co-founder, Harveen Narulla
said the company’s next step is to move into Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong,
India, Indonesia and other parts of the region. “By year-end, we see
ourselves more aggressively enter Malaysia and the rest of the region,” he
told Bernama in an interview here.

Established in 2005, and incubated
at the National University of Singapore, GreenPost is helping billers to go
paperless with its aggregating solution to help consumers move away from paper
bills towards receiving electronic bills in one easy platform.

Its aggregation technology through
intelligent extraction from biller existing infrastructure is done without
compromising billers’ access to consumers. The technology is commercially very
viable, and technically easy and risk free to implement.

Harveen said GreenPost is
currently in partnership and discussion with all big billers and already has
contracts with some of the smaller ones.

On the payment collection
services to be offered to users for seamless experience, he said:” We are in
discussion with some of the local and international banks based here.

“They (banks) want to offer
their service regionally as they have services in Singapore and Malaysia and
other countries in the region. Discussions with some of them are in an advanced

He said GreenPost allows
consumers to aggregate and see their electronic bills in one platform and
access the bills whenever they want.

The free platform allows users to
add different billers, view bills, set reminders to pay bills, and even track
spending or compare with average user spending.

Harveen pointed that billers
would have enormous benefits as they can save spending on paper bills, while
for individual users, it is in terms of the login into one portal to check all

The GreenPost platform is
currently available for consumers in Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and the
United States.

In Singapore, users can receive
electronic bills from Singapore – SingTel, StarHub, M1, SP Services, NUSS,
Keppel Club, Singapore Swimming Club, and Sunpage.

In Malaysia, it includes Maxis,
Digi, Tenaga Nasional (TNB)and Astro while in Australia, it is Optus, Telstra,
3Mobile, and Citilink. In the US, it is AT&T. Greenpost will be adding U
Mobile and Celcom soon in Malaysia.

Touching on security for users,
GreenPost Head (New Business &Sustainability), Nigel Hembrow said the
company uses the same security as for the internet and banks. — Bernama

Source:, and

Ten Australian Startups to Meet
Tech Industry Leaders, Pitch for Investment at Silicon Valley

Connect 2011

ANZA Technology Network (28
September 2011):

Entrepreneurs Ready to Explore
Global Commercialisation Opportunities as

Part of ANZA Technology Network’s
Gateway to the US Program

Much has been written lately
about Australian entrepreneurs and their presence in Silicon Valley. Success
stories abound about a so-called “Aussie mafia” hauling in hundreds
of millions of dollars for their founders through investments and acquisitions
in just a few years.

This week, 10 more Aussie
startups will experience what locals simply refer to as “the Valley”.
As part of ANZA Technology Network’s Gateway to the US program, they will be
attending Silicon Valley Connect 2011 on 29-30 September, a conference designed
to immerse them into how business is done in the world’s top tech hub.

The 10 companies are: Bright
Future, CleverMe, CodeFire, Green Biz Check, Happy Inspector, HeyLets!, Hubblr,
NoQ, Summa and WeTeachMe. Read more about them:

“The Gateway companies
attending Silicon Valley Connect 2011 will meet people from some of the major
players – Facebook, Google, Oracle, Intel, Microsoft, IBM,” said Viki
Forrest, CEO of ANZA Technology Network.

“ANZA’s team of mentors will
be on hand to help turn those introductions into sustainable connections that
accelerate market entry strategy to the US.”

The 10 Australian companies, who
will join local entrepreneurs and others from Europe, Asia and South America,
will attend a round of intensive panel discussions that cover all aspects of
doing business in the US market. Featured topics are corporate partnerships,
customer channels and distribution and logistics and requirements for working
in the US.

A number of successful startup
stories will be shared, including that of Sizhao “Zao” Yang, founder
of MyMiniLife (sold to Zynga) and creator of Farmville.

Several of the companies will
pitch to investors at Silicon Valley Bank on September 30. Investment firms
scheduled to attend include Garage Technology Ventures, Siemens Venture
Capital, Southern Cross Venture Partners and ePlanet Capital.

Silicon Valley Connect 2011 will
be held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View on September 29 and at
Silicon Valley Bank on September 30. The conference, organized by the Chamber
of Commerce International Consortium for Entrepreneurs (CCICE) and ANZA
Technology Network, welcomes technology entrepreneurs from around the world
seeking to explore and gain access to business opportunities in Silicon Valley.

Locals can attend the Thursday
session of the conference at the Computer History Museum for $299 (USD). The
Friday investor pitch session is sold out.

About ANZA Technnology Network

ANZA Technology Network assists
innovative Australian and New Zealand technology and biotechnology companies
with global commercialization in the US and China. Through our in-market
Gateway and Fast Track programs we work with committed companies to determine
the right foreign marketplace and what it will take for successful business
expansion. ANZA maintains a valuable global network of industry leaders across
numerous technology sectors and opens this portfolio to our clients to foster
funding, partnering and growth opportunities. Since 2002, ANZA has workedwith
hundreds of companies and made thousands of key connections.

GreenBizCheck is represented in
Asia by Adam Lyle in Singapore.

Source: and