Asia, North America, Renewables

COSPP News Nov/Dec 2005

  • $1 million to the New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan to help install a highly efficient and reliable on-site CHP system to help the hospital lower its energy costs while improving energy security.
  • $1 million in assistance to Global Common, LLC, in Union Springs of Cayuga County. At start-up, biogas from the proposed digester and gasifier will produce about 5.25 MW of electricity, and this will increase to about 15 MW over the 20-year lifetime of the project.
  • $500,000 to Verdant Power New York, LLC, of New York City, to operate a six-turbine array and perform an environmental impact study. Verdant has plans to add 5–10 MW of clean and renewable generating capacity within New York City.
  • $100,000 to E3, Inc., of the Highland and North River Waste Water Treatment Plants, to install and test a 10 kW pilot demonstration project at one of their wastewater treatment plants and assess the feasibility of additional installation at 13 other plants.

 

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World energy use and carbon emissions to grow – EIA

Growing energy demand in the rapidly developing countries of Asia will help increase world energy use by 57% over the next 20 years, according to the US Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA’s new International Energy Outlook 2005 projects a doubling of energy use in the emerging economies of China and India, while the US and other developed countries will experience a 27% growth in energy use. In addition, the EIA expects energy use to increase by 45% in Eastern Europe and the countries of the former Soviet Union.

As a result, the EIA expects world oil use to increase to 119 million barrels per day by 2025, requiring an increase in production of 35 million barrels per day relative to today’s oil production. And, despite recent escalations in oil prices, the EIA still expects prices to decline to US$31 per barrel (in 2003 dollars) by 2010, then increase to $35 per barrel by 2025.

Grid-connected renewable energy sources are expected to no more than keep pace with energy growth, maintaining an 8% share of world energy use. And although the Kyoto Protocol is now in effect, the EIA expects global carbon dioxide emissions to increase by nearly 60% over the next 20 years.

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Fuel cells to supply hospital, sewage plant in Korea

Two 250 kW ‘Direct FuelCell’ units from US-based FuelCell Energy, Inc. are being installed to provide energy for a 650-bed hospital and for a wastewater treatment facility in South Korea – as part of the Korean government’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Korean Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE) has targeted more than 20% of the country’s power generation to come from fuel cells.

One DFC300A power plant will be installed at Chosun University Hospital in Kwangju, a city of 1.4 million people, while the second unit will go to the Tancheon Sewage Treatment Plant, serving South Korea’s capital, Seoul.

A new consultation paper on micro-generation from the UK Government has had a mixed response from the DE industry, with bullish statements about the growth of micro CHP among fears that a new grants programme for low carbon buildings will be neither continuous with existing programmes nor substantial. Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks launched the consultation in June, asking industry for views on the development of the microgeneration of low-carbon energy by homes, businesses and public buildings.

The Government is developing a strategy for the development of micro-generation, including microhydro, micro-wind, solar power, fuel cells, micro-CHP, and ground and air-source heat pumps. Wicks also outlined a grant scheme that could see a series of flagship low-carbon buildings developed over the next six years. The proposed Low Carbon Buildings Programme will replace existing support mechanisms which have been helping to build the embryonic UK photovoltaics industry for the last few years and is due to end in March 2006. In the new scheme, solar PV will be married to other members of the microrenewables family, plus energy efficiency, to deliver hybrid renewable energy projects in buildings.

Philip Wolfe, Chief Executive of the Renewable Power Association, welcomed the consultation: ‘At a time when some may be tempted to focus on “big solutions to big problems”, the Government is to be congratulated for drawing attention to the significant contribution that micro-renewables can make to delivering the Government’s overall energy efficiency and renewable energy targets.’

British Gas went further, predicting that in less than five years’ time nearly 200,000 UK households will be generating their own electricity through a micro-CHP replacement for domestic boilers. The company is working with Microgen, a subsidiary of BG Group, in the development of a 1 kWe micro-CHP unit based on a Stirling engine. The Microgen appliance is going through final development and testing and is expected to be available for sale in 2007.

Meanwhile, UK photovoltaic company SolarCentury was disappointed, particularly by proposals for a new grant scheme. CEO Dr Jeremy Leggett said: ‘The spirit of the Government’s move is good. What worries me is the lack of specifics.’