Archive for the ‘Express 155’ Category

Energy Efficiency in South East Asia Could Yield Multi-Billion Dollar Bonuses

Posted by admin on November 12, 2011
Posted under Express 155

Energy Efficiency in South East Asia Could Yield Multi-Billion Dollar Bonuses

The Southeast Asian market has great
potential for increasing energy efficiency, but so far countries here are failing
to take advantage of it, says a new study by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants  for the European Chamber of Commerce
(Eurocham) released at the Clean Energy Expo Asia. It found that by 2020,
Southeast Asia could potentially increase overall energy efficiency by 12 to
30%, resulting in savings of US$15 billion to US$43 billion.

Tapping into Southeast Asia’s energy efficiency

Jenny Marusiak in (3
November 2011):

The Southeast Asian market has great
potential for increasing energy efficiency, but so far countries here are
failing to take advantage of it.

A new study has found that by 2020, Southeast
Asia could potentially increase overall energy efficiency by 12 to 30 per cent,
resulting in savings of US$15 billion to US$43 billion.

The new report was launched on Thursday by
global consultancy Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and the European Chamber
of Commerce (Eurocham) at the Clean Energy Expo Asia in Singapore.

The study included five Asean countries –
Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – which together account
for 86 per cent of Asean’s gross domestic product in 2010.

Roland Berger’s managing partner for
Southeast Asia, Joost Geginat, told Eco-Business that the energy efficiency
sector has identified a US$40 billion market in the region. Now the question
is: how do they tap into that, he said.

Willi Hess, chairman of Eurocham’s
sustainability committee, said that energy efficiency technology was vital to
meeting future energy needs, given the rapidly rising demand and the shrinking
fossil fuel resources.

“At the same time, it has a potential to
benefit businesses by reducing costs to consumers, improve competitiveness and
enhance overall productivity,” he noted.

The study’s authors note that while some
progress has been made in Southeast Asia in energy efficiency, major barriers
remain. These include insufficient policies and standards for energy
management, mistrust and lack of communication between energy users and the
suppliers, energy efficiency’s low ranking in business priorities, and a
shortage of funding options for energy efficiency solutions.

According to the study, the answers lie in
getting governments and companies to work together to raise awareness and
capacity for increased energy efficiency in all sectors, including factories,
power plants, households, office buildings, public buildings and retail malls.

Specifically, governments should provide a
comprehensive range of policies that include mandatory and voluntary incentives
to increase energy efficiency, and professional accreditation programmes that
will ensure high industry standards.

The study also recommended that governments
work with industry to integrate energy efficiency improvements at all levels,
from power generation to household use. Part of this would entail setting up
funding schemes to boost energy efficiency financing.

Mr Geginat noted in a statement that the
private sector should do their part too. “Private sectors need to be more
pro-active in developing the energy efficiency market,” he said.

One industry player trying to do that is
global energy services firm Schneider Electric. Speaking to Eco-Business on the
sidelines of the Clean Energy Expo Asia, Schneider Electric vice president Jane
Goh, noted that as power costs rise, growing numbers of large energy consumers,
such as leading property developers and multi-national corporations, are
willing to spend to reduce their escalating electricity bills.

These companies, in addition to those
committed to improving sustainability and transparency in their operations, are
the main drivers of energy efficiency within the building industry, said Ms

It helps that government regulations are
imposing stricter standards on building owners. But companies do not need to
wait for a major renovation or equipment replacement to significantly improve
their building’s energy efficiency.

Building design and equipment are only part
of the solution, explained Ms Goh, adding that once a building is operational,
it is up to the building manager to keep operating costs low and make sure
resources are used efficiently.

This is where Schneider comes in, she said,
adding that the firm has helped clients save up to 30 per cent on energy costs
by overhauling the way they manage energy consuming systems such as lighting,
air-conditioning, IT networks, security systems, production equipment and

The firm often works with companies on an
organisation-wide basis, meaning that energy management for multiple sites
including offices, factories and other facilities can be rolled into one

After auditing a company’s energy patterns
and consumption, Schneider identifies ways of reducing operating costs through
more efficient electricity and staff management. This often entails automating
the different buildings systems under the control of a single software

Under this system, energy managers can access
data instantly on a single monitor and be alerted to any problems immediately.
This means building managers can do their jobs more effectively, and building
occupants have more peace of mind, noted Ms Goh.

Eliminating wasted energy through automated
lighting alone can save up to 10 per cent in energy consumption, she said, and
savings such as these mean that companies can recoup their energy saving
investments within one to three years.

The company is also looking at ways to get
building occupants more involved in the energy management efforts by increasing
visibility and transparency, a process Ms Goh said may very well lead to
tenants getting a share of energy costs savings.

Active metering through building management
software systems, which provides feedback to energy managers and building
occupants on their energy consumption, allows energy users to be involved in
the energy conservation process, she noted.

Roland Berger’s Mr Geginat agreed that
multi-nationals have an additional role.

“Multinationals can act as catalysts by
applying the same guidelines for energy utilisation and ensuring that best
practices are adopted across their international operations. These companies
can set the standard in energy efficiency for their industries and acting as
role models in Southeast Asia,” he said.


What a Wonderful World. Welcome to Population Explosion.

Posted by admin on November 12, 2011
Posted under Express 155

What a Wonderful World. Welcome  to Population Explosion.

This week the United Nations announced the
birth of the seven billionth human, and urged world leaders to consider the
challenges faced by our growing global population. From issues surrounding
adequate access to food and clean water to ensuring reasonable expectations of
safety, medical care and justice, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked that
despite fiscal austerity we not turn our backs on the truly impoverished and
remain vigilantly aware of our detrimental impact on the environment.

Luke Malone in Sydney Morning Herald (4
November 2011):

Eco-disaster? … population growth threatens
our way of life, say experts.

Is the baby boom threatening the Australian
way of life? Luke Malone consults the experts.

This week the United Nations announced the
birth of the seven billionth human, and urged world leaders to consider the
challenges faced by our growing global population. From issues surrounding
adequate access to food and clean water to ensuring reasonable expectations of
safety, medical care and justice, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked that
despite fiscal austerity we not turn our backs on the truly impoverished and
remain vigilantly aware of our detrimental impact on the environment.

“Today, we welcome baby seven billion.
In doing so we must recognise our moral and pragmatic obligation to do the
right thing for him, or for her,” he said at a press conference on Monday.
“I am one of seven billion. You are also one of seven billion. Together,
we can be seven billion strong – by working in solidarity for a better world
for all.”

According to Ban Ki-moon, the world’s
population will increase to nine billion by 2043 and may almost double,
swelling to 16 billion, by the end of the century. These projections suggest
the dependence we have on natural resources is likely to grow, which could have
catastrophic implications both at home and abroad.

While the highest birth rates are recorded
throughout Africa, it’s important to note that for women of developing nations
it has less to do with choice than a lack of reproductive rights and poor
access to birth control. Not only that, the majority of these nations produce a
near negligible amount of carbon emissions compared to the rest of the world.
It is countries like Australia that are leading the way when it comes to
willfully breeding the next generation of high-impact consumers.

“When you tally species threat, total
carbon emissions, deforestation rates, marine captures, fertiliser use and
water pollution, we have a huge international footprint,” says Professor
Corey Bradshaw of the Environment Institute at the University of Adelaide.
“We have the world’s highest mammalian extinction rate and one of the
highest per capita carbon emission rates, we also have one of the higher per
capita water uses, which is intriguing considering we’re also one of the driest
continents. Australia has lost about 40 per cent of its forest cover since
European colonisation. Our so-called small population is actually fairly high
relative to how many people our low-productivity land can support.”

Though prominent population control advocate
Dick Smith flirted with xenophobia last year by suggesting immigration poses
the biggest threat to the country’s environmental sustainability, in reality
statistics show that birth rates claim a higher culpability.

A study undertaken by Oregon State University
scientists Paul Murtaugh and Michael Schlax in 2008 discovered that the
children of developed countries such as the United States and Australia each
add about 9441 metric tons of carbon dioxide to their parent’s carbon legacy.
To even begin to counter this, parents need to greatly increase their car’s
fuel economy, slash their kilometres by a third, install double window panes
and compact fluorescent bulbs in the home and buy the most energy-efficient
whitegoods available. Even then, this would offset only 1/40th of the emissions
caused by the little ones of a two-child family.

“The babies will need food after they’re
weaned, or immediately if they’re on formula. Producing food requires land,
usually fertiliser and energy for shipping if it’s not homegrown,” says
Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us. They need clothing: if cotton,
that’s another crop; if wool, land was needed to graze the sheep; if polyester,
that’s a petroleum product that requires more energy to produce.  They drink water, and bathe in it. Their
nappies, if disposable, create more plasticised garbage; if not, they require
water and energy to wash. Depending on the weather, their mother may use
heating or cooling to keep them comfortable. The more babies, the more strain
on sewage systems, in addition to water supplies.  People add up.”

With a current population of just under 22.8
million, data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics predicts that
Australia’s natural increase – the excess of births over deaths – will be a
major factor in a growth that will see our nation reach upwards of 42.5 million
people by 2056.

Though population control as social policy
was a deeply misogynistic failure in China – it is, however, an ongoing success
in Iran, where mandatory contraceptive courses are required before you can
obtain a marriage license – experts say we need to consider the possibility of
voluntary depopulation as a personal choice and environmental imperative.
Alternatively, if we are to continue down this increasingly congested road we
must implement significant measures at personal, state and federal levels to
inhibit the potentially dire consequences.

“As a wealthy country we’ve come to
expect a certain high standard of living that is, in turn, driving up
consumption because of the need to import and distribute so many of our
goods,” says Bradshaw, who suggests that wholesale change is necessary if
we are to support a growing population. “We need to get over our hang-ups
about alternative energy sources. Embracing smart grids and subsidies for
renewable technologies, and overwhelmingly support incentives at the
Commonwealth level – such as a comprehensive and rising carbon price. This will
force our society to turn into a one that emits much less. We have to change
our society radically; we couldn’t live like we do now if we want to pack even
more people into our already resource-stressed country.”


Close Encounters of a Clean Energy Kind

Posted by admin on November 12, 2011
Posted under Express 155

Close Encounters of a Clean Energy Kind

Not being big on the practice of Tweeting (or
Twittering, as I once described it), my preference is to bring together in one
place at one time (fortnightly, by design) a newsletter full of news,
information and current comment on all things climate change, carbon, green, eco,
energetic  and clean.

In doing this, I draw heavily on articles and
commentary from sources far and wide, local and global, but by necessity, I also
tap into events and meetings, whether attended in person or remotely. In this
issue, I’m compelled to provide more of a personal account of meetings – with
people and at events – as the diary seems to have been full of such delightful
and inspiring close encounters of a clean energy kind.

See who’s in and who’s not. Read on

So forgive me if this appears as a personal
meandering through a resourceful minefield, but hopefully you end up with an
impression that there are a lot of people doing a lot of very positive and
purposeful things to clean up the community, the city and the country,
where-ever they may be. We’ll do this in the ABC Carbon tradition –

Amida Recruitment

The Singapore office of this global
recruitment company specialising in sustainable development jobs is well and
truly open. The launch party at Harry’s Bay, Boat Quay was a great occasion to
hear about its work, meet and listen to Aaron George and Greg Books, the
co-founders of Amida in London, as well as Director Asia Pacific Andy Clapham,
Martin Blake and Simon Thomas, who gave great insight into the sustainability
work he’s done to make the new United World College one of the greenest and
most sustainable educational institutions in the world. More to go:

Angel’s Gate

They called it a “reality tv show”, but the
one thing very real about it was the ordeal it put contending start-ups through in
their quest for funding to get their inventions and businesses off the ground. It
was a welcome introduction to the venture capital/investment world for a number
of enthusiastic early entrepreneurs, including Mike Carmichael with his Kabook-i
bamboo construction method. Watch this space – and other media – for news of
success for Singapore’s growing collection of innovators. And when the show airs with the  very professional presenter Philippa Lett. Learn more :

Blake, Martin

The inimitable and seemingly omnipresent Dr
Blake was everywhere but loose these last few weeks. Popping up at event after
event in Singapore, speaking and advising, as he does best. He works with The
Green Asia Group, but also wears some vital advisory hats for Amida and Carbon
Systems, among others. We expect to see much more of Martin in and around
Singapore, even though he’s popped down to Australia for a time to give them
the benefit of his advice and experience. More:

Canada Comes Clean

Having a strong presence at the Clean
Energy Expo, Canada seems determined to be noticed. It also organised an Energy and
Sustainability Seminar, in conjunction with the Energy Studies Institute, as
well as an excellent event at the High Commission called “Building Value in a
Low Carbon & Water Constrained Future”. If that’s a mouthful, what was
presented was a host of innovative businesses doing great things in Asia
Pacific. It was brought together by the Climate Change Infrastructure
Corporation and Tangerine Tango. Very colourful and very energetic. And clean,
of course. All in the capable hands of Paula Murphy Ives, Canada’s trade
commissioner for cleantech, green building, energy and CSR. For more: &

Elkington, John

What a pleasure to listen to John Elkington
on a recent visit to Singapore. He is so wise and predictive of a future, which
we might not enjoy very much at all unless we all take action to deal with burning
fossil fuels, and move to a low or zero carbon existence.  This is the man who came up with the “Triple bottom
line” as a means to measure and manage business more successfully and sustainably.
It was a launch of sorts for a 50 page book called The Future Quotient – a very
useful collection of case studies – produced by Volans and JWT. Thanks to the
NUS Business School and Bob Fleming for making it possible. For more from John,
go to:

Energy Week

The focus of much of the recent attention,
not only by clean and green locals, but visitors from afar, was Singapore
International Energy Week (31 October to 4 November).  The only thing wrong with the week was that
there was far too much to see and do, and far too many people of note to listen
to, and catch up with. But we tried to fit it all in…along with a few other
related or connected occurrences.  Congratulations
to the organisers of the week – the Energy Market Authority – as well as
Koelnmesse, who managed the two big events, Clean Energy Expo Asia (CEEA) and
Carbon Forum Asia (CFA). For more go to:

Energy Opportunities

It was great to participate and “work” with
all other voluntary contributors featured in the CNBC Brainstorm on Energy
Opportunities, support by Shell and Harvard Business Review, and ably organised
by Shaunagh Connaire and presented by Geoff Cutmore.  It was a novel and productive way to get
involved individuals – including Singapore’s Minister for the Environment and
Water Resources Dr Vivian Balakrishnan – to share their thoughts and ideas for
a clean energy future. Highlights of the brainstorm will feature on CNBC
internationally – at times and dates to be announced – and online at

ev HUB

You don’t know what David Chou will come up
with next. On show at the Clean Energy Expo was all his electric dreams which he
has so far realised. A 10-year-old Renault Kangoo van which has zipped around
the hilly terrain of Sentosa Island on only 10 cents a kilometre. evHUB
converted the diesel-powered van to an electric plug-in in 2009 and lent the
van to the Sentosa Development Corporation. It was on show along with the Yike
Bike – and its New Zealand creator Grant Ryan – and there were boats, yes
boats. The latest electric venture is electric motor powered rescue craft.
Always more at:

Green Drinks

A panel discussion on the National Climate
Change Strategy 2012 was held in consultation with the National Climate Change
Secretariat. The Permanent Secretary, Tan Yong Soon kindly kicked off the
consultation. Panel members included Jessica Cheam (The Straits Times), Vaidehi
Shah (Singapore Environment Council), Howard Shaw (Halcyon Group), David Chou
(evHUB), Abigail Alling (Biosphere Foundation), Michael Quah (NUS), P K Wong
(A*STAR), Sanjay Kuttan (DNV Clean Technologies), Allan Lim (Alpha Biofuels)
and Eugene Tay (Low Carbon Singapore / Green Future Solutions).  More on:

Green Prints

Meeting up with Mark Cheng of Green Prints,
was an eye-opener. What he is able to do with the greenest of all paper – from
sugar cane waste in India – is illuminating to say the least. Not just your run
of the mill paper for printing and copying, but a full suite of papers for
quality printing in all shapes and sizes. Check it out at:

Stormy Affair

Running into Kannan Chandran at Suntec City
was opportune. He’s editor and publisher of Storm magazine and invited me to:
1. Write on sustainability for a future issue, and 2. Attend a stormy affair at
Capella on Sentosa, which included a leadership forum on Character,
Communication, Community, Consumerism, Culture,
involving Prof Arnoud De Meyer President of SMU, jazz musician Jeremy
Montiero, Michelle Ng, Lim Soon-Hock and Shanker Iyer, Chairman, SICC. It was
ably moderated by Prof Kirpal Singh, a creative genius. It was an ideal
opportunity to connect with some old friends too. Check Storm out:

The Green Asia Group

Good to meet Victoria Burrows, who has joined
The Green Asia Group. Previously a Senior Design and Sustainability Consultant
for Inbuilt Design in UK, a world class company in this arena, she is making
her present felt in the region. So expect to see and hear more of Victoria and
TGAG team in Singapore and South East Asia. More here:

Third Wave Power

A key focus at for me and media at CEEA was
the arrival on the scene of the quite unique solar charger mPowerPad. Co-
Founders VS Hariharan and Lim Chuin Kiat (with supporting team) have done a great
job getting this device ready in a matter of months. Admittedly, I had a minor role
in launching this – and spoke at the associated Tech Talk on the global solar
scene – but it was great to see and hear the extent of media interest in this.
See the separate article on this and here for more:

I’m sure I’ve missed something and someone of
importance. But there’s room for more. In fact, there’ll be more to come about
these people and these organisations, along with others, who are making an impact
at home and abroad.

Warm wishes for a cool change!

Ken Hickson