Archive for October, 2015

Spotlight on energy

Posted by Ken on October 26, 2015
Posted under Express 213

Spotlight on energy

This is all about energy. Where it comes from and what we do with it. It’s been patently obvious for many years that the world is on a land-slide to destruction if it carries on burning fossil fuels. But hasn’t it been difficult to get normally sane people to accept this? Finally, we sense that the global drive to switch to cleaner fuels is getting real traction. And doesn’t that make sense? We are seeing that solar and wind are now on a par – possibly even cheaper – than the cost of producing energy from coal or oil, particularly if you take into account the massive infrastructure costs of large scale power plants and the cost of extracting fossil fuels. Putting aside the environmental costs. And finally, we see the evidence, that putting a price on carbon works as more and more Governments – even in China – are adopting carbon emission schemes. We even contribute to a new book “Visions 2100” that looks back to the future. How much rosier that future will be if we get some real commitments in Paris to come clean on energy. – Ken Hickson

Centre of the Global Energy Stage

Posted by Ken on October 26, 2015
Posted under Express 213

Centre of the Global Energy Stage

The energy landscape in Southeast Asia continues to shift and as the region flourishes “it is moving to the centre of the global energy stage,” according to IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol who is keynote speaker on the first day of the Singapore International Energy Week, which starts on 26 October and, in itself, is a notable platform for promoting economic development through energy. Read more

Singapore International Energy Week 26-30 October 2015

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

The appetite for economic development and urban progress, coupled with climate change concerns and the development of more efficient energy technologies, is driving change among consumers and energy industries.

SIEW aims to facilitate the exchange of ideas and discussions on pertinent energy-related issues, while simultaneously meeting the strategic objectives of Singapore’s commitment to becoming a global leading energy hub and “living lab”. At the same time, opportunities are set up for networking and deal-making among energy companies converging on the event, as well as to provide a platform to showcase innovative products and solutions in the energy marketplace.

SIEW 2015: New Sessions on Oil & Gas at Singapore International Energy Week 2015

New Sessions on Oil & Gas at Singapore International Energy Week 2015

On 15 October 2015, the Energy Market Authority provided this update for the 8th annual Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) dedicated to shaping the global discourse on key energy issues.

SIEW’s anchor event, the Singapore Energy Summit, will showcase several in-depth discussion panels featuring energy thought-leaders across governments, industry and international organisations. They will provide insights on Asia’s role in the energy landscape, as well as on energy security and energy resilience.

New for this year, the Summit will present two focus sessions on oil & gas. Charif Souki, Chairman and CEO of Cheniere Energy, and Peter Coleman, Managing Director and CEO of Woodside Energy, will share their perspectives on “Gas and Its Role in the Next Energy Transition”. “In Focus: A Turning Point for Oil?” will feature Amos J. Hochstein, Special Envoy at the Bureau of Energy Resources at the U.S. Department of State (DOE), Masakazu Toyoda, Chairman and CEO of The Institute of Energy Economics Japan (IEEJ), and Tor Martin Anfinnsen, Senior Vice President for Marketing and Trading at Statoil.

Other speakers at the Singapore Energy Summit include:

Rokas Masiulis, Minister of Energy, Lithuania

Hiroshi Ozaki, Chairman, Osaka Gas

Datuk Wan Zulkiflee bin Wan Ariffin, President and Group CEO, Petronas

Tang Kin Fei, Group President and CEO, Sembcorp Industries

Aaron A. Domingo, Executive Vice President and COO, MERALCO PowerGen Corporation (MGEN)

Wang Min, Executive Vice President, State Grid Corporation of China

Klaus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management, E.ON SE

Kyle Peters, Senior Vice President, Operations, The World Bank

Adding to the line-up of energy luminaries, this year’s SIEW Opening Keynote Address will be delivered by Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency. Dr Birol will share his views on this year’s SIEW theme, “Global Energy Transitions” which aims to focus discussions on the recent impact of volatile energy prices on the industry and strategies moving forward.

Top energy conferences and exhibitions will also be part of SIEW, namely: the Asian Energy Financial and Investment Conference, Asian Downstream Week, Platts Top 250 Asia Awards Dinner, RE@SIEW Exhibition, and the Asia Clean Energy Summit. Gastech 2015 will also be held in association with SIEW. SIEW Thinktank Roundtables will feature internationally renowned thinktanks, which will deliberate on energy challenges.

In addition, to commemorate Singapore’s Golden Jubilee, SIEW 2015 will present two events – the SG50 Jubilee Reception and the Singapore Energy Story exhibition – to celebrate Singapore’s energy sector.

SIEW 2015 will be held at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands Singapore, from 26 to 30 October 2015.


Emergence of Southeast Asia as energy giant carries risks, opportunities

IEA sees continued shift to coal and increasing dependence on oil and gas imports

IEA reports (8 October 2015)

The energy landscape in Southeast Asia continues to shift as rising demand, constrained domestic production and energy security concerns lead to a greater role for coal, a sharp rise in the region’s dependence on oil imports and the reversal of its role as a major gas supplier to international markets.

“As Southeast Asia flourishes, it is moving to the centre of the global energy stage,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said. “Countries in the region now have much in common with IEA members. We must all work together to build more secure and sustainable energy supplies and markets, as platforms for promoting economic development.”

The World Energy Outlook Special Report on Southeast Asia (WEO Special Report) presents a central scenario in which Southeast Asia’s energy demand increases by 80% in the period to 2040, though the region’s per-capita energy use remains well below the global average. Despite policies aimed at scaling up the deployment of renewable resources, the share of fossil fuels in the region’s energy mix increases to around 80% by 2040, in stark contrast to the declining trend seen in many parts of the world.

Rising imports sharpen the focus on the economic and security aspects of energy use. By 2040 the region’s net oil imports more than double to 6.7 mb/d, a level equivalent to the current oil imports of China. Southeast Asia’s oil import bill surges to over $300 billion per year by 2040, compared with around $120 billion in 2014, with increases in spending in almost all countries in the region.

Indonesia supports a continued expansion of Southeast Asia’s gas and coal output, but production is increasingly consumed within the region. As domestic natural gas demand outpaces indigenous production, intra-regional and intra-country trade increases, and Southeast Asia turns into a net gas importer of around 10 bcm by 2040, compared with net exports of 54 bcm in 2013.

The power sector shapes the energy outlook for Southeast Asia, as electricity demand almost triples by 2040, an increase greater than the current power output of Japan. The sector continues its shift towards coal due to its abundance and relative affordability. Although the average efficiency of Southeast Asia’s coal-fired power plant fleet increases by 5 percentage points throughout the projection period, less-efficient subcritical technologies account for 50% of the region’s coal power fleet in 2040, highlighting the need to accelerate the deployment of more efficient technologies in the region to reduce local pollution and slow the rise in CO2 emissions.

The WEO Special Report, prepared in collaboration with the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), analyses four key issues that will shape the future of Southeast Asia’s energy system: energy investment, power grid interconnection, energy access and fossil-fuel subsidies. “The reliability and sustainability of Southeast Asia’s energy system depends on investment,” IEA Director of Energy Markets and Security Keisuke Sadamori said at the release of the report in Kuala Lumpur during the ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting. “To secure its energy needs, the region requires $2.5 trillion of investment in energy-supply infrastructure in the period to 2040, but for this to materialise we need to see more progress with reforms to domestic energy markets and the establishment of improved policy frameworks.”

The report notes that greater integration of the region’s energy markets could help catalyse development of energy resources, facilitate more efficient use of the region’s resources and enhance energy security. It also highlights the significant progress achieved by the region in expanding energy access but urges increased action as 120 million people remain without access to electricity while almost 280 million lack clean cooking facilities. The report also calls for more efforts to reduce subsidies to fossil fuels, noting that the region spent $36 billion on fossil-fuel subsidies in 2014 despite reforms in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar.

The WEO Special Report also includes an in-depth focus on Malaysia that highlights the ongoing changes for country’s energy sector. Malaysia’s energy demand almost doubles by 2040 with fossil fuels continuing to meet over 90% of demand throughout the period, with coal overtaking oil and gas to become the primary fuel in Malaysia’s energy mix. Renewables, aided by government policies and incentives, grow, especially in the power sector where their share of generation reaches 16% by 2040. Malaysia’s role in international markets shifts, as it becomes increasingly dependent on imports.

A separate IEA report issued further emphasises the importance of the power sector in the region’s future. The report, Development Prospects of the ASEAN Power Sector, highlights the role that power sector governance can play in supporting the development needs of the region, and pays particular attention to the implications of renewable energy integration in power sectors that currently rely significantly on fossil fuels. The report also says regional integration must be supported by the development of regional institutions, in particular a pan-ASEAN regulatory body which can support domestic regulators in their efforts to harmonise reliability standards and build regional interconnectors.

Fatih Birol became the Executive Director of the IEA on 1 September 2015. Dr. Birol has been named by Forbes magazine among the most powerful people in terms of influence on the world’s energy scene. He is also the recipient of numerous awards from government, industry and academia. He previously was the IEA Chief Economist and Director of Global Energy Economics, with responsibilities that included directing the Agency’s flagship World Energy Outlook publication, which is recognised as the most authoritative source of strategic analysis of global energy markets. He is also the founder and chair of the IEA Energy Business Council, which provides a forum to enhance co-operation between the energy industry and energy policy makers.


Momentum Builds for Paris Outcome

Posted by Ken on October 26, 2015
Posted under Express 213

Momentum Builds for Paris Outcome

Over 150 countries – representing 90% of global economic activity and nearly 90% of global energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – have submitted pledges to reduce emissions ahead of Paris. IEA says that these pledges, together with the increasing engagement of the energy industry, are helping to build the necessary political momentum around the globe to seal a successful climate agreement in Paris. As Australia is one of the biggest per capita emitters of greenhouse gases, it is significant that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has agreed to attend the climate change conference.


Climate pledges for COP21 slow energy sector emissions growth dramatically

But further effort will be needed to achieve two-degree goal

IEA Paris (21 October 2015)

The International Energy Agency (IEA) released a World Energy Outlook (WEO) special briefing that outlines the energy sector implications of national climate pledges submitted for the upcoming climate summit in Paris (COP21). The briefing finds that if all countries meet goals outlined in their submitted pledges, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC), growth in energy-related emissions– which account for two-thirds of total greenhouse gas emissions –will slow to a relative crawl by 2030.

“The fact that over 150 countries – representing 90% of global economic activity and nearly 90% of global energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – have submitted pledges to reduce emissions is, in itself, remarkable,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. “These pledges, together with the increasing engagement of the energy industry, are helping to build the necessary political momentum around the globe to seal a successful climate agreement in Paris”

The WEO special briefing finds that all of the INDC submissions take into account energy sector emissions and many include specific targets or actions to address them. If these pledges are met, then countries currently accounting for more than half of global economic activity will see their energy-related greenhouse gas emissions either plateau or be in decline by 2030. Global energy intensity, a measure of energy use per unit of economic output, would improve to 2030 at a rate almost three times faster than the rate seen since 2000. In the power sector, 70% of additional electricity generation to 2030 would be low-carbon. Significantly, the power sector – the world’s largest source of energy-related carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions – sees emissions plateau at close to today’s levels, effectively breaking the link between rising electricity demand and rising related CO2 emissions.

The full implementation of these pledges will require the energy sector to invest $13.5 trillion in energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies from 2015 to 2030, an annual average of $840 billion. However, despite these efforts, the pledges still fall short of the major course correction necessary to achieve the globally agreed climate goal of limiting average global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius, relative to pre-industrial levels.

“The energy industry needs a strong and clear signal from the Paris climate summit. Failing to send this signal will push energy investments in the wrong direction, locking-in unsustainable energy infrastructure for decades,” emphasised Dr Birol.

Achieving the ultimate climate goal will also hinge critically on innovation in the energy sector and on the deployment of new and emerging energy sector technologies that have the potential to deliver the transformational change needed to achieve deep levels of decarbonisation in the decades to come.

Download the World Energy Outlook special briefing for COP21.


SBS News, Australia (25 October 2015):

Climate Pledge Interactive

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will attend the upcoming United Nations climate change conference, which is expected to produce a global carbon emissions agreement.

He has told the Guardian Australia he will head to Paris for the December conference after the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malta, armed with the coalition’s 2030 emissions reduction target of 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels.

Under questioning from Labor in parliament, Malcolm Turnbull said the direct action policy would be reviewed within two years.

His predecessor Tony Abbott was not expected to attend the conference after he scrapped the carbon tax, reduced Australia’s renewable energy target and criticised wind farms for being ugly.

Before Turnbull became prime minister, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had been expected to represent Australia at the UN meeting instead of Abbott.

With its heavy use of coal-fired power, Australia is considered one of the world’s worst per capita greenhouse gas polluters.

Australia’s carbon emission targets criticised

Australia’s target of 26-28 per cent reduction at 2030 compared to 2005 levels have been criticised as falling below the recommendation set by the Climate Change Authority.

The authority suggests a 40-60 per cent reduction at 2030 compared to 2000 levels.

Australia’s 2030 climate target puts us in the race, but at the back

Australia’s target for reduction in absolute emissions is significantly weaker than that of the United States and the EU, a little weaker than Canada’s, and a little stronger than Japan’s.

Turnbull, who lost a Liberal party leadership challenge in 2009 over his support for a carbon emissions trading scheme, indicated he could be open to deepening the targets.

“Sure… arguably, that depends on the rest of the world,” he told the Guardian.

Since assuming the prime ministership, Turnbull said there will be no departure from his predecessor Tony Abbott’s policies on climate change.


Humanitarian Crisis Looms

Posted by Ken on October 26, 2015
Posted under Express 213

Humanitarian Crisis Looms

A humanitarian crisis looms in Indonesia as the prolonged dry spell, coupled with water-bombing aircraft getting nowhere near fires seething deep below peatlands, all but ended any hope of a real respite from the extreme levels of serious unhealthy air pollution (some call it “haze”), in the weeks ahead. Meanwhile, a new palm oil producer grouping being set up by Indonesia and Malaysia would replace “no deforestation” pledges made by major palm companies in favour of a joint set of standards proposed by the two countries, an Indonesian minister said last week. Read More

Some schools told to suspend classes; plans to evacuate young kids from affected areas

Straits Times Francis Chan Indonesia Bureau Chief In Jakarta (23 October 2015)

A humanitarian crisis looms in Indonesia as the prolonged dry spell, coupled with waterbombing aircraft getting nowhere near fires seething deep below peatlands, all but ended any hope of a real respite from the haze in the weeks ahead.

Schools in parts of Sumatra and Kalimantan, two of the worst-hit areas this year, were ordered to suspend classes from today. But if conditions worsen, and as a last resort, there are plans to evacuate babies and children from affected areas to ships belonging to the military or state-owned shipping firm PT Pelayaran Nasional Indonesia.

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan gave the bleak assessment at a briefing on the haze crisis yesterday, after a high-level meeting involving ministers and key government officials.

“This is a humanitarian effort, we are thinking about our children, we may move them to places with safer ISPU levels,” he said, referring to Indonesia’s air pollution standard index. “We cannot wait.”

A view of Muang district in the southern province of Yala, Thailand, is pictured shrouded in haze yesterday. In many parts of southern Thailand, air pollutant readings were in the unhealthy range. According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and En

Hazy skies in Shah Alam, Selangor, yesterday. Elsewhere in Malaysia, schools in the northern states of Penang, Perlis and Perak were ordered to suspend classes today owing to the haze.

Mr Luhut added that a massive endeavour is needed to deal with the fires, and Indonesia has a critical five-week period ahead before the rains return. This, after the latest forecast by the country’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency showed there would be no rain until the end of next month.

National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told The Straits Times that there were more than 2,740 hot spots detected across Indonesia yesterday morning.

Thick smoke from the raging fires has spread across many parts of South-east Asia. Southern Thailand is recording its worst haze levels in a decade, prompting the Thai authorities to urge Indonesia to do more to mitigate the crisis. Similarly, Malaysia’s northern states such as Penang saw air quality hitting “very unhealthy” levels yesterday.

The forest and peatland fires, resulting from slash-and-burn methods to clear land for cultivation, have prevailed despite hundreds of sorties undertaken by waterbombers as part of a multilateral operation to put out the fires.

“Fires on peatland are very difficult to douse, plus our peatland can be as deep as 5m, 10m… It is almost impossible to douse the fire by air,” said Mr Luhut, who has been leading his country’s efforts to resolve the crisis. He called for more international assistance yesterday, specifically from Canada, which has experience in fighting peatland fires.

Indonesian Minister for Education and Culture Anies Baswedan yesterday reminded schools not to “prioritise education over health”.

This after he found out that some schools had stayed open because of the annual examinations.


New palm oil council would drop “no deforestation” pledge – Indonesia

By Augustinus Beo da Costa Reuters and Straits Times (14 October 2015):

A new palm oil producer grouping being set up by Indonesia and Malaysia would replace “no deforestation” pledges made by major palm companies in favour of a joint set of standards proposed by the two countries, an Indonesian minister said late Tuesday.

Indonesia wants big palm oil companies to row back on the historic pledges made at a climate change summit last year, arguing that they are hurting smallholder producers who cannot afford to adopt sustainable forestry practices.

Indonesia is the world’s biggest producer and exporter of palm oil producer, a key driver of economic growth, and legions of smallholders account for about 40 percent of its palm output.

“Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to harmonize and combine our two standards,” Indonesia’s chief natural resources minister Rizal Ramli told parliament.

“This is an example of how to fight for our sovereignty. We are the biggest palm oil producer. Why (should) the consumers from the developed countries set the standard for us as they want?”

Indonesia and Malaysia, which account for 85 percent of the world’s palm output, have since late August been discussing the plan to set up an intergovernmental organisation called Council of Palm Oil Producer Countries.

The move comes after major palm oil firms, including Cargill , Golden Agri-Resources and Wilmar International, signed the Indonesian Palm Oil Pledge (IPOP) following pressure to adopt better practices.

Indonesia, which is home to the world’s third-largest tropical forests, has been criticised by green activists and other Southeast Asian nations on forestry policy and for failing to stop the region’s annual “haze” problem from forest-burning.

Ramli said IPOP protected the interests of developed countries’ vegetable oil markets, and the new council would set a standard that would also consider the welfare of smallholders.

Top palm buyers India and China would be lobbied to accept the new standard, he said.

IPOP officials could not be reached for comment on Wednesday, a national holiday in Indonesia, but have previously said they are working with smallholder suppliers to help them meet the pledges.

The new Council would also look to promote the image of palm oil, stabilise prices, improve cooperation between top producers, and coordinate on production, stocks, biodiesel mandates and re-planting schemes, industry groups have said.

Further details are expected to be announced from late October. Previous attempts to develop better palm relations between the two countries have had limited success.

“It really depends on the will power of both governments, and I suspect they will come together more when prices are low than when prices are high,” said Ivy Ng, analyst at CIMB Investment Bank. (Additional reporting and writing by Michael Taylor; reporting by Agustinus Beo Da Costa; Editing by Richard Pullin)


Hydrogen Could Fuel Clean Energy Export Industry

Posted by Ken on October 26, 2015
Posted under Express 213

Hydrogen Could Fuel Clean Energy Export Industry

Leading Australian economist Professor Ross Garnaut and two government renewable energy agencies are championing the use of hydrogen to exploit Australia’s massive solar and wind resources. Hydrogen offered flexibility to balance out the output from rooftop solar and wind plants, allowing increased renewable generation, and offered new uses for renewable energy, such as a clean – and potentially cheaper – alternative to natural gas. And it could be used in off-grid situations, offering an alternative to solar and battery storage. Read More

Garnaut, CEFC push hydrogen to make Australia renewable power-house

By Giles Parkinson in Reneweconomy (14 October 2015)

Leading economist Professor Ross Garnaut and two government renewable energy agencies are championing the use of hydrogen to exploit Australia’s massive solar and wind resources.

They say it would make Australia a renewable energy powerhouse, allowing to build huge arrays of solar fields, and creating an export industry of “solar fuels” to northern Asia that would rival the coal and gas export industries.

At a conference in Sydney this week, Professor Garnaut – who was the Labor government advisor on climate change – also said the use of zero emissions hydrogen could also attract energy intensive industries to Australia using cheap renewable energy, making Australia a super-power” of the global low-carbon economy.

“Australia has more opportunities in the low-carbon future than in the fossil fuels of the past,” he told the 6th World Hydrogen Technologies Convention.

“Australia will be the world’s lowest cost source of renewable energy …. and Australia will become the logical location for energy intensive industries.”

Oliver Yates, the CEO of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, agreed. “Australia is blessed with unlimited renewable energy resources. It has unlimited amounts of sun, and wind and wave,” Yates told the conference in a keynote address.

“Creating an export market for those resources is a natural step for our economy.” He noted that Australia has “hundreds and hundreds” of gigawatts of stranded (meaning undeveloped) renewable energy around Australia. “It is perfect for hydrogen. It is stranded, it’s cheap and it’s available.”

Yates is also excited about the possibilities of creating a network of hydrogen refueling stations across Australia, particularly following the National Broadband Network in regional areas, where the cost of transport fuels is prohibitive.

“We like the hydrogen space, it is versatile, transportable and flexible … and it is economic in regional Australia right now.

The idea of renewable hydrogen is not limited to solar. It could take advantage of excess power from wind and hydro – indeed one of the early hydrogen export projects could take place in Tasmania.

But the vision doesn’t stop there. Some advocates are talking of vast solar arrays – of the scale of tens of gigawatts (yes, gigawatts) – that would use electrolysis to convert solar power into hydrogen, and have this shipped to Japan in the form of ammonia. This would rival the scale of the coal and LNG export industries.

Others talk of individual systems that would allow households to convert the excess power from their rooftop solar PV arrays into hydrogen, for use in their hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

Others, including Yates, talk of hydrogen fuel cells to be used in buses, trucks and other heavy vehicles, even tractors, and of fleets of FCVs (fuel cell vehicles) to be used for rentals or government or business groups.

The hydrogen economy has been talked about for years, and it’s true to say that many have been, and still are, skeptical. They say that the distribution networks for hydrogen are expensive. They are. But their defenders say it is simply a matter of scale, and liken it to solar in the late 1990s or early 2000s.

But there are now a couple of powerful reasons why the hydrogen economy may rapidly emerge, and achieve those economies of scale. Two of those reasons are Germany and Japan, and the third is the Paris climate change conference.

Germany is phasing out nuclear and plans a high penetration renewable energy grid – 80 per cent by 2050. It is now looking at hydrogen to provide large-scale storage, both for generation and industrial processes.

Germany is rapidly scaling up R&D in technologies such as electrolysis, which uses electricity from solar or wind power, and then adds water to produce hydrogen (and oxygen). Its efforts are being compared to its big push for renewables, that led to the big falls in solar costs over the past decade.

Japan is also thinking of alternatives to nuclear, following the Fukushima disaster, and alternatives to oil and gas imports, and the emissions that come with it. It is also looking to hydrogen for the same purposes – as a transport fuel, for distributed and large scale power generation, and for industrial uses.

The Sydney hydrogen technologies conference has attracted 350 delegates from Australia and around the world, including a big contingent from Japan, including Toyota is pushing hydrogen cars, and unveiled its Mirai car at the conference.

Heavy industry is also present, including Toyota, Sumitomo, Kawasaki, Chiyoda, Iwatani, and others, along with government representatives and universities.

Japan is looking to hydrogen because it needs zero emissions fuel, and diversify away from fossil fuel imports, which account for 80 per cent of its total energy needs.

It has announced an energy plan that includes support for hydrogen fuel cells in homes, hydrogen fuel cell cars, and a refueling network, and then for hydrogen to be used in power plant generation and industrial processes.

Toyota’s Mirai fuel cell vehicle promotion puts heavy emphasis on renewable energy.

Toyoto is producing 700 Mirai FCVs this year and 3,000 by 2017, and Honda and Nissan will follow in coming years. So far, 27 refuelling stations have been built and some 130,000 homes have the Ene-farm fuel cell in their homes.

“We are in the first year of a hydrogen society in Japan,” said Shintaro Matsumuto, from the government agency NEDO.

Japan intends to start importing hydrogen from around 2030, but while Australian hydrogen advocates talk of using solar and other renewables, and acknowledge use of some fossil fuels in the initial period, they are surprised by the Japanese focus on cheap brown coal deposits in Victoria.

Matsumuto said initial projects would be based around fossil fuels for feed stock, particularly brown coal, although he insisted that Japan was looking to renewable energy – and for the hydrogen to be Co2 free – by 2040.

Toshimi Okada, from Chiyoda Corp, agreed the first step would be in fossil fuel hydrogen, before a gradual move to renewale energy. “Solar … with electrolysis …. has much potential in Australia,” he said.

However, Kawasaki Heavy Industries outlined a plan to build a pilot plant for brown coal gasification in the Latrobe Valley, with a full scale commercial plant by 2030, using offshore oil and gas fields for carbon capture and storage.

“Australia has enough brown coal to power Japan for 200 years,” Kawasaki’s Yasushi Yoshino told the conference. His company is counting on the success of the Carbon-Net CCS scheme, which is still just at the early feasibility stage, and there still being an appetite from brown coal mining in a decade’s time.

The commitment by Japan’s industrial heavyeights to put so much emphasis on fossil fuels prompted some dismay from the Australian audience. Attilio Pigneri, the chairman of the Congress, wondered if there was a “disconnect” between Japanese and Australian intentions.

Raoul Abrutat, a hydrogen enthusiast from Perth-based commercial solar firm Solarmatrix, said he was “shocked” that the Japanese hydrogen road map was based on fossil fuels.

“You are looking at the wrong state,” he said. “You should come to Western Australia and our solar resources,” he said. Andrew Want, from Renewable Hydrogen, who is planning a solar-to-hydrogen pilot plant in the Pilbara, echoed his comments. (We will have more on his plans on Thursday).

Others said the focus on brown coal highlighted how desperate the Japanese were for hydrogen fuels. Given the likely outcome of the Paris talks, the potential costs of CCS (if it works), then they would likely to turn quickly to renewable energy alternatives.

Meanwhile, Yates said the CEFC was interested in financing early developments in hydrogen fuel networks, and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency said it is also interested.

ARENA’s Danny De Schutter said hydrogen offered flexibility to balance out the output from rooftop solar and wind plants, allowing increased renewable generation, and offered new uses for renewable energy, such as a clean – and potentially cheaper – alternative to natural gas. And it could be used in off-grid situations, offering an alternative to solar and battery storage.


Climate Change Impacts: Vulnerable Nations, Mass Human Displacement & Carbon Pricing

Posted by Ken on October 26, 2015
Posted under Express 213
Climate Change Impacts: 
Vulnerable Nations, Mass Human Displacement & Carbon Pricing

The V20 group of 20 countries most at risk from the effects of climate change this month called on wealthy nations to meet US$100 billion pledge to help them tackle global warming. Meanwhile, Government Ministers and other officials of 110 nations adopted a non-binding “agenda” in Geneva to protect those displaced by earthquakes, volcanoes and climate-linked hazards such as floods, storms, droughts and rising seas. And Paris could confirm that the world is coming to terms with the idea that putting a price on carbon emissions is necessary to fight global warming. Now there’s a growing consensus on how to make it happen. Carbon pricing and emissions trading schemes are already adopted by 39 nations and 23 sub-national governments, according to the World Bank. Read More

Vulnerable nations unite to call for greater access to climate funds

Dan Collyns for The Guardian in Lima  (9 October 2015)

Finance ministers from the 20 countries most vulnerable to climate change have formed a group to call for greater access to climate finance for adaptation and mitigation in the face of the most devastating effects of global warming.

With a collective population of nearly 700 million, the vulnerable twenty, or V20, range from small Pacific nations,such as Vanuatu, to Bangladesh and the Philippines.

“In the absence of an effective global response, annual economic losses due to climate change are projected to exceed $400bn by 2030 for the V20, with impacts far surpassing our local or regional capabilities,” said Cesar Purisima, finance minister for the Philippines, at the annual meeting of the World Bank and IMF in the Peruvian capital, Lima.

“Here in Lima, we unite for what we believe is the fundamental human rights issue threatening our very own existence today,” he said. The bloc aims to mobilise climate funds through advocacy and develop and share best practices in shoring up their defences against climate change.

It called for the fulfilment of the $100bn promised to developing countries to deal with climate change. Rich countries and businesses have provided close to two-thirds of the financial assistance pledged to poorer nations as part of the global climate change negotiations, according to a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation Development.

The 20 finance ministers supported an international financial transaction tax to get additional resources to combat climate change. They also put forward the creation of a V20 climate risk pooling mechanism to distribute economic and financial risks in order to aid the countries’ recovery from extreme weather events.

Helen Clark, head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), praised the V20’s vision to “deploy innovation in finance, based on shared experiences” and said it could “knock down barriers” to climate action.

“This platform means we can speak with one voice in the international arena, especially at the upcoming COP21 [UN climate summit] in Paris,” said Maatia Toafa, the finance minister and deputy prime minister of Tuvalu, a Pacific island of around 10,000 people and a highest elevation of three-and-half metres.

“Along with Vanuatu and Kiribati we are one of the most vulnerable countries, this is not about reducing the net impact, it’s about survival,” he told the Guardian.

Climate change has been high on the agenda at the meeting of more than 180 finance ministers and central bank governors gathered in the Peruvian capital which hosted the United Nations Climate Change summit in 2014.

Laurence Tubiana, the French ambassador for the international climate negotiations in Paris, said: “Even if these 20 vulnerable countries don’t represent a big economic power they represent a very important moral force.”

The V20 is made up of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Madagascar, Maldives, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam.


States to boost international protection for people fleeing disasters

Thomson Reuters Foundation (14 October 2015):

Governments of 110 nations have promised to beef up action to help people forced to leave their homes and cross borders because of natural disasters – and to take steps to prevent them having to flee in the first place.

Ministers and other officials adopted a non-binding “agenda” in Geneva on Tuesday to protect those displaced to other countries by earthquakes, volcanoes and climate-linked hazards such as floods, storms, droughts and rising seas.

Between 2008 and 2014, 184.4 million people were displaced by disasters, an average of 26.4 million people each year, the document noted, though there is no data to show how many people moved across international borders.

“Forced displacement related to disasters, including the adverse effects of climate change … is a reality and among the biggest humanitarian challenges facing states and the international community in the 21st century,” the agenda said.

Africa, Central and South America have seen the largest number of incidences of cross-border disaster-displacement, the document issued at the end of the meeting said.

Three years ago, the Swiss and Norwegian governments launched a consultation process to find ways to support people displaced to foreign countries by environmental crises, given that the vast majority cannot claim refugee status and there was little appetite for a new international law.

The Nansen Initiative’s final global consultation in Geneva this week ended with states committing to collect more data and knowledge on those affected, make better use of humanitarian protection measures such as temporary visas to help them, and reduce the risk of displacement in their home countries.

Jan Egeland, secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, said that back in 2012, “there was a lot of denial and scepticism that this was something to look at”.

But now there is widespread recognition among governments “that we have a huge, growing, neglected problem”, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation from Geneva.

Countries whose people are likely to be displaced by climate impacts and other natural hazards – from Fiji to the Philippines and Madagascar – appealed for support at the meeting, he added.

“They explained that they are desperate – a big portion of their population is at risk, and they need help,” he said.

Walter Kaelin, a human rights lawyer and envoy for the Nansen Initiative, said effective ways to support disaster-hit people who cross borders already exist but need to be harmonised and used more systematically, particularly at a regional level.

“In a world where an international convention is not feasible – and maybe even not adequate, taking into account the huge differences from one region to another – the approach of the Nansen Initiative is a toolbox, and there are many, many tools,” he said.

Egeland said governments could provide those arriving with some form of legal status, and permits to stay and work.

States, U.N. agencies and civil society groups should consult affected people, and where possible help them obtain new housing and land in their own country so they can return home “with dignity”, he added.


The Nansen protection agenda emphasises that much can be done to avoid people having to leave home due to disasters – from setting up early warning systems to strengthening infrastructure and boosting incomes and food security.

But efforts to adapt to climate change must also accept that some may have no choice but to move, it says.

That prospect is most acute for small island developing states and countries with long low-lying coastlines that are at risk from erosion, flooding, submergence and other effects of rising seas, it adds.

Both Egeland and Kaelin expressed concern that the latest version of a draft U.N. agreement on climate change, due to be finalised in Paris in December, had removed any references to tackling climate-related displacement or migration.

“It has to figure in the (Paris) outcome,” said Kaelin.

States had already committed at earlier U.N. climate conferences to work on the issue – whether under the umbrella of adapting to climate change, or losses and damage caused by its effects, he noted. Officials in Geneva this week agreed the Paris deal should build on that, he added.

“This is ground zero for climate work – those people who have lost everything… those are the ones we have to recognise and help defend, compensate, make more resilient,” said Egeland. “I hope it will not drown in the big tug of war about (greenhouse gas) emissions.”

(Reporting by Megan Rowling, editing by Tim Pearce. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit



Alex Nussbaum and Ewa Krukowska for Bloomberg (13 October 2015):

Cap and trade finds favour with businesses and governments

Global carbon deal expected to be signed in Paris in December

The world is coming to terms with the idea that putting a price on carbon emissions is necessary to fight global warming. Now there’s a growing consensus on how to make it happen.

After years of political defeats and operational snafus, systems that let companies buy and sell the right to pollute are gaining traction as a way to reduce emissions without dragging down the economy. With less than two months before nations are expected to finish a binding global deal to rein in greenhouse gases, Japan, South Korea, dozens of U.S. states and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec are among governments coming out in favor of these carbon markets.

“While emissions trading was for some time only a European thing, times have changed,  and we have an increasing number of national and regional schemes,” said Ingo Ramming, the London-based co-head of commodity solutions at Commerzbank AG. “We believe that this trend will continue, carbon pricing and emissions trading will play an increasingly important role.”

Along with the growing number of state and and national governments backing carbon markets, China, the world’s biggest polluter, last month reiterated its plans to introduce a nationwide emissions-trading system as early as 2017. That’s raised hopes the world will end up with at least a patchwork of pollution markets, though not the global system that proponents once hoped for.

The announcements come before a United Nations meeting in Paris in December, where almost 200 countries are expected to sign a pact to cut carbon dioxide and other pollutants blamed for global warming. The deal isn’t expected to include specific policies to achieve this, and many governments have been considering two main options: carbon markets or taxing emissions.

Businesses have touted trading as a cost-effective way to shift the world away from fossil fuels, one that encourages companies to find the cheapest way to cut emissions. That’s emerging as a key selling point over taxes, which can be simpler to impose but don’t offer the same incentive to innovate, according to proponents. Worldwide, carbon markets reached $34 billion in volume last year, up $2 billion from the year before, according to the World Bank.

“We see a carbon price as a mechanism for driving innovation,” Glen Murray, Ontario’s environment minister, told a conference on emissions trading in New York in September. “We now have a critical mass of governments. We’ve passed the tipping point.”

Pollution markets, often referred to as cap-and-trade systems, typically put a total limit on emissions and then let companies buy and sell permits for each ton of greenhouse-gas they release.

European Market

The idea has been around for a while, and trading was a key part of the global warming treaty approved in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997. Implementation hasn’t gone as smoothly; after Europe introduced the world’s biggest carbon market a decade ago, prices plunged to less than 3 euros in 2013, from about 30 euros in 2008, as the financial crisis cut demand for emissions permits.

Similar programs in the U.S. also faced price slumps due to an oversupply of permits. In the U.S., President Barack Obama’s proposal for a national cap-and-trade market died in Congress in 2009, with Republicans ridiculing it as “cap-and-tax.”

Obama’s power plant pollution rules, unveiled in August, opened the door for some trading, and a national emissions market would be the “the preferred approach,” U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in an interview Oct. 1 in Istanbul. However, he said it’s “a pretty safe bet” that Congress wouldn’t approve such a system, and the U.S. instead is relying on policies that can be implemented by state and federal agencies without legislation.

Including taxes as well as trading, 39 nations and 23 sub-national governments now impose a price on carbon, the World Bank said in a report last month. They cover about 12 percent of global emissions, up from 4 percent a decade ago. The bank is helping 17 countries explore their options, including potential markets in Morocco and Thailand, according to Vice-President Rachel Kyte.

‘How and When’

“We’ve gone from whether or not to put a price on carbon to how and when,” she said in an interview.

The jumble of local programs is a far cry from what was envisioned under the Kyoto Protocol. Back then, proponents discussed a future in which robust trade between rich and poor nations helped finance environmental projects, while regulators and trading houses worked in tandem to ratchet down emissions.

Instead, climate advocates may have to settle for stitching together national and local markets, each with its own rules on tracking emissions and trading across borders.

“The real question is how is it going to be possible for such different markets to link,” said Nick Campbell, who heads the climate-change working group at BusinessEurope, the continent’s largest association of employers. The answer still isn’t clear, he said.

After Kyoto, the UN introduced its own carbon market, the Clean Development Mechanism, that could have provided a common currency to disparate national systems. But prices there have slumped just as in Europe.

The next test comes in Paris, where proponents hope the international agreement includes at least a reference to markets that collaborate across borders.

“It’s a lost opportunity if they don’t send a signal about the importance of carbon pricing,” said Dirk Forrister, president of the Geneva-based International Emissions Trading Association. “The real power of the Paris agreement is going to be in how much cooperation it unleashes.”


Scotland’s Offshore Renewable Energy Expertise to share with Asia

Posted by Ken on October 26, 2015
Posted under Express 213

Scotland’s Offshore Renewable Energy Expertise to share with Asia

Not satisfied with capitalising on its own tremendous offshore clean energy resource, Scotland is trading and sharing with the rest of the world its technology and its expertise. So its marine energy experts are about to plan for new wave power test site in China and a team of Scottish clean energy leaders are spreading the word about clean offshore energy at the Singapore International Energy Week. Read More

Not only exhibiting and speaking at the Singapore International Energy Week in Singapore, but the Scottish Development International mission delegation from the renewable energy and smart grid sectors is going out of its way to meet with as many people as its can from the energy sectors in Singapore and the Asia Pacific region.

Go to for more or to the event site: for the full week’s programme.

We also checked up on what one of the Australian companies in the marine energy business are up to.

Carnegie Wave Energy – under the chairmanship of long-time clean energy industry leader Jeff Harding – is moving beyond its existing plant which is the only wave energy projedct in the world to be feeding into the grid in western Australia. Now the focus is on otherv places, including Europe and even Scotland. A few days ago (on 21 October) a presentation was made at the Ocean Energy Europe (OEE) conference in Dublin, Ireland by CWE UK’s CEO, Mr. Tim Sawyer. The OEE is the biggest wave and tidal conference globally and includes the main European Ministers responsible for ocean energy from Scotland, Ireland, UK, Wales and France. Scottish Renewables Marine Conference Presentation. While last month, on 16 September 2015, a presentation delivered at the Scottish Renewables Marine Conference in Inverness, Scotland by Carnegie’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Dr Michael Ottaviano. Expect to see more of Carnegie in Europe and Asia. Go to

Scottish Energy News (22 October 2015):

Edinburgh and Orkney European Marine Energy Centre, Orkney

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) – based in Orkney, Scotland and Edinburgh University – have teamed up in a deal to carry out research and share knowledge on setting up a new wave energy test site in China.

They will be working in partnership with the Ocean University of China, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, and the Qingdao Songling Power Environmental Equipment Company.

Oliver Wragg, EMEC Commercial Director, said: “Scotland and China have a common interest to support the global development of marine energy technologies. As the first test centre of its kind, EMEC has endured some steep learning curves during its own development, and we see no point in other countries having to reinvent the wheel.

“Having overseen more than 1,000 marine energy activities at our test sites in Orkney covering device deployments, grid connections, cable laying operations, data collection and various monitoring activities, we have many experiences to share with our Chinese counterparts that can make their journey a great deal smoother.

“And by working together, we can help open up markets across the world for wave and tidal energy technologies currently in development”.

Professor Hongda Shi from Ocean University of China, added: “Marine renewable energy in China has the potential for a brilliant future, but we have a long way to go.

“The short-cut for development is to cooperate with the countries which have advanced technology and abundant experience. Scotland is no doubt such a country, and EMEC is the leader of the domain.

“Enterprise, together with university, can make both theoretical and applicable achievements. We hope that collaboration between both countries will make marine renewable energy a big market which benefits Scotland and China.”

Edinburgh University’s Institute for Energy Systems (IES) – with over 50 academic and research staff – hosts the UK Centre for Marine Energy Research (UKCMER) which researches physical modelling of device concepts, development of device technology, sub-systems and components.


Is coal blocking clean energy expansion in Australia and India?

Posted by Ken on October 26, 2015
Posted under Express 213

Is coal blocking clean energy expansion in Australia and India?

Despite getting the Australian government’s go-ahead for its Carmichael coal mine and rail project in that country, the Indian company, the Adani Group is likely to exercise caution before starting more work on the project. There also remains the inability of Adani Enterprises, which has a market capitalisation of $1.6 billion, to raise funding for the greenfield mine, rail and port project. Meanwhile, renewable energy opportunities abound in India as the report by IFEEFA states the Indian Government is on track to achieve its goals of modernising the electricity grid and installing 175GW of renewable energy, underpinning sustained economic growth in India of 6-8% pa. But India still has plans to double domestic coal production. Read More

Adani Project in Australia: Many Rivers to Cross

Dev Chatterjee for the Business Standard (15 October):

Despite getting the Australian government’s go-ahead for its Carmichael coal mine and rail project in that country, the Adani Group is likely to exercise caution before starting more work on the project.

According to Tim Buckley, Director of Energy Finance Studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, the Australian federal government had previously issued environmental approval, but made a material procedural error in the process which environment minister Greg Hunt rectified today.

However, he said, the government’s approval is still being challenged in a case currently before the Queensland Land Court, and a decision is expected in the next 3-6 months.

Further, he said, Adani is yet to reach an agreement with the traditional owners of land, the W&J people.

Once these issues are resolved, there remains the inability of Adani Enterprises, which has a market capitalisation of $1.6 billion, to raise funding for the greenfield mine, rail and port project.

“With 15 of the largest global financial institutions ruling out this project or walking away from advisory roles, I would suggest the project is unbankable. The 6% year-on-year decline in Indian utility companies’ thermal coal imports in the six months to September 2015 likewise shows coal and power minister Piyush Goyal’s aim to cease Indian thermal imports is happening far faster than anyone expected. This also removes any long term strategic logic that was originally behind the proposal,” Buckley said.


India’s Electricity-Sector Transformation

New IEEFA report (10 August 2015):

India’s energy transformation gathers momentum

India’s ‘seven horses of energy’ electricity sector transformation is gathering pace, with far-reaching ramifications for renewable energy development and the structural decline of seaborne thermal coal, according to a new report released today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and Indian energy analysis firm, Equitorials.

The report – India’s Electricity Sector Transformation – states the Indian Government is on track to achieve its goals of doubling domestic coal production, modernising the electricity grid and installing 175GW of renewable energy, underpinning sustained economic growth in India of 6-8% pa.

“The profound transformation announced in 2014 by the Indian government is gaining momentum,” said Tim Buckley, Director of Energy Finance Studies at IEEFA. “While most financial commentators have questioned India’s capacity to deliver, all sign are pointing towards success.”

The installation of 175GW of renewable energy – equivalent to three times the electricity capacity of Australia – is one of a number of key policy initiatives that will enable the rapid transformation.

“India has opened the gates to a wave of multi-billion dollar investments in its renewable energy sector,” said Buckley. “There have been eight major deals in July alone with the single biggest international endorsement being SoftBanks’ US$20bn, 20GW solar joint venture.”

Major 2015 renewable energy deals include:


  • In July 2015 French energy giant ENGIE was reported to be in the process of acquiring three leading Indian solar developers with a 2GW solar pipeline;
  • May 2015 US$700 million investment in a 450MW wind farm and recapitalisation of Suzlon Energy by one of India’s richest men, Dilip Shangvi;
  • February 2015 announcement of aUS$4bn venture between Adani Enterprises and SunEdison to build an integrated, world-scale module manufacturing facility;
  • February 2015 NTPC Limited of India proposal to invest US$10bn to fund the development of 10GW of renewables within the next five years. In May 2015 NTPC also announced a 420MW Invitation for Bids for the Bhadla Phase-II Solar Park in Rajasthan and a second for 500MW at the Gani-Sakunala Solar Park in Andhra Pradesh. NTPC is facilitating 15GW of reverse auction solar tenders by 2019 on behalf of the government, in addition to its own 10GW of solar projects.

Facilitated by a US$50 billion grid upgrade, solar electricity is key, with installs of 75GW by 2021/22 capable of delivering 110TWh,or 22% of the required electricity increase.

“India is replicating Germany’s and China’s systematic electricity sector transformation, with the added advantage that the cost effectiveness of this is accentuated by the fact that the price of solar electricity has dropped by 80% in 5 years,” said Tim Buckley, Director of Energy Finance Studies at IEEFA.

According to IEEFA, taking wind installs to 60GW could deliver 18% of the required uplift, with a combined capacity expansion across nuclear, gas, biomass and hydro providing a further 26%.

In this context, the Government of India’s ambition to more than double Indian domestic coal production to 1,500Mtpa by 2021/22 would oversupply India with coal by 400Mtpa, with dire consequences for the seaborne thermal coal market.

While many commodity forecasters have assumed Indian imports will continue to grow, as a result of the transformation, IEEFA forecasts a peak in Indian thermal coal imports in 2015, with a rapid ~20% pa decline thereafter.

Energy Minister Goyal has made it clear that India’s reliance on thermal coal imports is not sustainable for the economy, rate payers nor commercially viable for the coal-fired power plants involved. Goyal in May 2015 said: “We are confident that in the next year or two, we will be able to stop imports of thermal coal.”

In July 2015, the Telangana and Madhya Pradesh state solar tender awards highlighted that solar electricity costs are already lower than that of imported coal-fired power generation. The tariffs agreed for solar were around 1 rupee/kWh cheaper than electricity from imported thermal coal and fixed for 25 years, which will result in a considerable deflationary impact.

“With falling prices of solar, imported coal has become the most expensive source of incremental electricity generation,” said Jai Sharda, co author and a financial expert from Equatorial research. “As momentum builds, it is inevitable that the Indian electricity market will rapidly pivoting toward a significantly higher reliance on renewable energy and energy efficiency,” Sharda continued.

“This is predicated on the fact that once built, renewable energy plants and energy efficiency initiatives have an almost zero marginal cost of production; while coal-fired power plants have a high marginal cost of production. Furthermore, Minister Goyal’s plan to access global debt capital markets will significantly lower the cost of renewables in India and accelerate the transition.”


The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) conducts research and analyses on financial and economic issues related to energy and the environment. The Institute’s mission is to accelerate the transition to a diverse, sustainable and profitable energy economy and to reduce dependence on coal and other non-renewable energy resources.


Message to Industry: How to reduce energy intensity by 64% over four years

Posted by Ken on October 26, 2015
Posted under Express 213

Message to Industry: How to reduce energy intensity by 64% over four years

Industry in Singapore is getting the message and achieving some significant improvements in energy efficiency and productivity. At the National Energy Efficiency Conference earlier this month Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, noted that the nature of the projects submitted has changed since the EENP Awards were started in 2011.”This is a good sign, as it shows that more companies are looking into optimising their production processes and reducing waste, to unlock the energy savings potential,” she said. Among the winners was lighting maker Lumileds Singapore, which was recognised for reducing its energy intensity by 64 per cent from 2011 to 2014. Read More

Samantha Boh for the Straits Times (6 October 2015):

SINGAPORE – Sixteen organisations and individuals were recognised for their contributions towards saving energy, at the Energy Efficiency National Partnership (EENP) Awards.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, noted that the nature of the projects submitted for the awards has changed since the EENP Awards were started in 2011.

Instead of making improvements to common utilities such as cooling systems, organisations have taken a step further to relook their production processes, such as reducing their demand for services such as heating.

“This is a good sign, as it shows that more companies are looking into optimising their production processes and reducing waste, to unlock the energy savings potential,” she said.

“It is also heartening to note that some of these projects were undertaken in-house.”

Among them was lighting maker Lumileds Singapore, which was recognised for reducing its energy intensity by 64 per cent from 2011 to 2014.

The company targets to further cut its energy intensity by 5 to 8 per cent each year and is also in the midst of replacing all the lightbulbs across its plant to energy-efficient ones.

Keppel District Heating and Cooling Systems (DHCS) on the other hand has saved 14,283 megawatt hours of energy since 2010, which translates to a reduction of 8,577 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The company achieved its results by outlining a 10-year energy efficiency road map, and recently set up of a new research and development division to test and evaluate energy-efficient technology.

Both companies were recognised in the Excellence in Energy Management category.

The three other categories under the EENP Awards are Best Practices; Outstanding Energy Managers of the Year and Best Energy Effiency Practices in the Public Sector.

This is the fifth year of the EENP Awards organised by the National Environment Agency (NEA), the Economic Development Board and the Energy Market Authority.

Mr Ronnie Tay, chief executive of NEA said: “Through this award, NEA hopes to inspire other like-minded organisations and individuals to focus on strategies and solutions that can help their organisations’ operations to be more energy efficient.”


Report from NEA:

Energy Efficiency Achievements Recognised At Energy Efficiency National Partnership Awards 2015

National Energy Efficiency Conference 2015 Underscores Energy Resilience and Sustainable Growth

The National Environment Agency (NEA) on 6 October recognised eight companies, three energy managers, two public sector agencies and three schools for their outstanding commitment and achievements toward energy efficiency at the Energy Efficiency National Partnership (EENP) Awards 2015.

The winners received the EENP Awards from Guest-of-Honour Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, at the Awards ceremony held during the National Energy Efficiency Conference (NEEC) on 6 October 2015.

The recipients from the industrial sector this year come from a wide cross-section, comprising food manufacturing, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals as well as semiconductors and electronics. They were selected based on their excellence in driving industrial energy efficiency and leveraging on best practices, while achieving significant energy savings.

One of the best examples of how industry can make significant energy savings is Lumileds Singapore Pte Ltd

According to the citation: Lumileds Singapore has a dedicated energy conservation team comprising members from different departments. The goal is “To achieve energy conservation through system optimisation and implementing improvement projects based on economic feasibility”. Lumileds Singapore targets to reduce its energy intensity (energy usage per thousand die product output [kWh/1k]) by 5% to 8% year on year.

From 2011 to 2014, Lumileds Singapore managed to reduce its energy intensity by 64%. Some of the initiatives carried out include emphasising the importance of energy conservation through mandatory training for all new employees and contractors, encouraging and rewarding good energy saving ideas, sending 4 staff for Singapore Certified Energy Manager (SCEM) training programme and carrying out energy saving projects such as reconfiguring and optimising acid exhaust and solvent exhaust systems.

“The EENP Awards recognise organisations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the area of energy management. Through this award, NEA hopes to inspire other like-minded organisations and individuals to focus on strategies and solutions that can help their organisations’ operations to be more energy efficient,” said Mr Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer of the NEA.

The EENP Awards, now in its fifth year, is jointly organised by the NEA, the Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Energy Market Authority (EMA). The Awards aim to foster a culture of sustained energy efficiency improvements in the industrial and public sectors. The three award categories are: (1) Excellence in Energy Management, (2) Best Practices and (3) Outstanding Energy Managers of the Year. Selected public agencies were also recognised at the ceremony and conferred with commendation for ’Best Energy Efficiency Practices in the Public Sector’.

National Energy Efficiency Conference (NEEC) 2015

The National Energy Efficiency Conference (NEEC) 2015, jointly organised by NEA, EDB and EMA, will also see top energy thought leaders come together to debate and explore the latest on energy efficiency. More than 300 delegates attended the two-day event.

Together, the NEEC and EENP Awards 2015 provide a platform for high-level dialogue and thought leadership around Singapore’s efficient use of energy for greater energy competitiveness, energy resilience and environmental sustainability. Themed ‘Strategic Energy Management for Resilience’, the conference reflects on how industries in Singapore can navigate the emerging energy transitions and reap potential energy savings through careful energy management and the implementation of robust energy management systems to increase efficiency and improve resilience.


Energy Efficiency National Partnership Awards 2015

About the EENP

The National Environment Agency (NEA), Energy Market Authority (EMA) and the Economic Development Board (EDB) came together to launch the Energy Efficiency National Partnership (EENP) programme on 29 April 2010. It is a voluntary partnership for companies that wish to be more energy-efficient, thereby enhancing their long-term business competitiveness and reducing their carbon footprint. The EENP aims to support companies especially those affected by the Energy Conservation Act (ECA), in their energy efficiency efforts through learning network activities, provision of energy efficiency-related resources, incentives, and recognition. To complement the ECA and to support the EENP, NEA launched the Energy Efficiency Programme Centre (EEPC) in 2013 as a one-stop resource to assist companies who may need help with implementing the ECA, adopting best practices in energy efficiency, and integrating energy efficiency as a strategic management tool.


About the EENP Awards

The EENP Awards foster a culture of sustained energy efficiency improvement in Singapore, in particular within the major energy consuming industries. The EENP Awards also aim to encourage companies to adopt a proactive approach towards energy management by identifying and sharing best practices for other companies to emulate. There are three award categories for the industry and one commendation for the public sector.

Energy Efficiency National Partnership Award 2015 Recipients

1. Award Recipients in the Category of “Excellence in Energy Management”

This award recognises companies that have demonstrated a high level of commitment to excellence in energy management. The four award recipients under this category are:

Keppel DHCS Pte Ltd

Lumileds Singapore Pte Ltd

MSD International GmbH (Singapore Branch)

Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company Pte Ltd

2. Award Recipients in the Category of “Best Practices”

This award recognises corporate teams whose implementation of energy efficiency projects have led to improvements in the energy performance of their facilities. The four recipients are:

Kuraray Asia Pacific Pte Ltd

Nestlé Singapore Pte Ltd

Murata Electronics Singapore Pte Ltd (Honourable Mention)

Singapore Refining Company Pte Ltd (Honourable Mention)

3.  Award Recipients in the Category of “Outstanding Energy Manager of the Year”

This award recognises outstanding Energy Managers (EMs) within the organisation who have demonstrated leadership in driving energy efficiency improvements across the organisation, and who have played an instrumental role in promoting energy efficiency initiatives within the organisation. The recipients under this category are:

Aaron Quek Ser King – Singapore Refining Company Pte Ltd

Sebastian Choo Swee Keong – Molex Singapore Pte Ltd

Steven Huang Youzhi – Abbott Manufacturing Singapore Private Limited

4.  Award Recipients in the commendation for “Best Energy Efficiency Practices in the Public Sector”

In addition, commendations for “Best Energy Efficiency Practices in the Public Sector” were presented to five public sector agencies. These commendations recognise outstanding public sector agencies that have demonstrated exemplary performance and commitment to energy management efforts and have been proactive in implementing energy efficiency improvements. The award recipients under this category are:

Large Buildings

Woodlands Civic Centre

Singapore Aviation Academy


Nan Chiau High School

Nan Hua High School

School of Science and Technology


There’s the Blue Economy, a Big Blue Sky & the UN Turns Blue

Posted by Ken on October 26, 2015
Posted under Express 213

There’s the Blue Economy, a Big Blue Sky & the UN Turns Blue

“Blue is the colour of the sky ….in the morning when we rise …..that’s the time I love the best”. Sang a host of folksingers like Joan Baez quite a few years back. And a blue sky is what many in South east Asia are missing as Indonesia burns its way through its uncontrollable land and forest clearing policy making its one of the most deforested countries in the world. Buildings around the world just went blue with lights to mark the United Nations 70th anniversary on 24 October. Meanwhile, we are among those calling for the adoption of “the blue economy” as the most realistic and transformational way forward for industry, for cities and for nations. Blue Asia Group director and sustainability leader Martin Blake will talk about how we can all turn blue – not with cold but in a cool, calm and collected way – at the Big Blue Sky Innovation and Creativity Festival, 5 – 6 November 2015, at the Gold Coast, Australia. Read more


UN Lights up in blue as its turns 70

22 October 2015 – From Australia to Azerbaijan, Indonesia to Iraq, Saudi Arabia to South Sudan, some 300 sites around the world will be lit in ‘UN blue’ beginning on Friday as part of the global celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.

The celebration will kick off in New Zealand and from there a wave of blue – the official colour of the UN – will move across countries and continents as monuments around the world take part in the event to commemorate UN Day.

UN Headquarters in New York will light up for two nights, beginning 23 October when the annual UN Day concert will be held, and concluding on 24 October, which has been celebrated as UN Day since 1948.

The Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the Organization officially came into being.

“The timeless values of the UN Charter must remain our guide. Our shared duty is to ‘unite our strength’ to serve ‘we the peoples,’” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the Day.

“To mark this anniversary, monuments and buildings across the world are being illuminated in UN blue. As we shine a light on this milestone anniversary, let us reaffirm our commitment to a better and brighter future for all.”

Among the famous landmarks taking part in the ‘Turn the World UN Blue’ campaign will be the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, the Great Wall of China, Russia’s Hermitage Museum, and the ancient city of Petra in Jordan.

To mark this milestone 70th anniversary for the Organization, a range of activities and events have been organized throughout the year under the theme of “Strong UN. Better World.” Key events include a ceremony held in San Francisco in June to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter in that city in 1945.

Last month saw the publication of a coffee table book, “The United Nations at 70: Restoration and Renewal,” which combines a richly illustrated tribute to the recent restoration of the UN Headquarters complex in New York, designed by modernist architects Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer, with reflections on the Organization in its 70th year.

In addition, a selection of iconic photos and historical documents covering key moments from 70 years of UN history – from its founding in San Francisco to its work around the world today – are captured in ‘The UN at 70: Moments and Milestones’ photo exhibition on display at UN Headquarters in New York.


5 – 6 November 2015

Gold Coast, Australia

Big Blue Sky Event organisers says their purpose is to collaborate with delegates and specialist speakers to create projects that positively affect the City by focussing on the following Moonshots:

1. The 3 I’s

Re-writing the Gold Coast Story. How do we position our City as a leading hub of Intelligence, IT and Innovation in Australia?

2. 100% sustainable

What does this mean for life and work on the Gold Coast? How do we do it?

3. Provisioning the Impossible

A major blockage to Entrepreneurship and Emerging business all over the world is money. How do we disrupt these blockages and use the resources we have to the best of our ability?

Blue Asia Group director and sustainability leader Dr. Martin Blake will be one of three Keynote speakers at the Gold Coast’s Creativity and Innovation Festival – Big Blue Sky Event. His keynote is on the topic ‘How to Make Green into Gold’.

Staged amongst one of world’s most inspiring backdrops, Big Blue Sky will bring together the world’s most coveted game-changers in visionary thinking, the UK’s most respected digital leaders, the smartest minds of the Gold Coast and the students lighting the way of our future.

This dynamic, thought provoking and action driven event this November is set to become a benchmark for visionary thinking, creativity and innovation for the City’s future.

Source: and