Meanwhile, back in Montreal last December, signatories to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol finalized an agreement to extend the agreement beyond its first ‘commitment’ period which ends in 2012, while a larger group of countries – including the US which is a not a signatory – agreed to non-binding talks on long-term measures.
No new emission targets were agreed, but the final accord has set the process of agreeing future targets in motion.
Conference President, Canadian Environment Minister Stéphane Dion, took a positive line: ‘Key decisions have been made in several areas. The Kyoto Protocol has been switched on, a dialogue about the future action has begun, parties have moved forward work on adaptation and advanced the implementation of the regular work programme of the Convention and of the Protocol.’Back to top
Eleven European research institutes have established a ‘network of excellence’ for work on renewable and decentralized energy resources, the DER-Lab, after an initial meeting at the research institute ISET (Institut für Solare Energieversorgungstechnik e. V.) in Kassel, Germany.
DER-Lab will serve as a European platform for the exchange of experiences, research competences and standardization activities. ‘At present, there are no uniform specifications for the connection of decentralized energy resources in Europe’, says project co-ordinator Dr Thomas Degner. ‘We want to change this with the ISET-led network of excellence DERLab and create a technically established basis for standards to be in force Europe-wide.’
The European Commission is funding the project via its general research directorate during the first six years, with a total sum of €3.1 million. The total budget amounts up to €4.1 million. Partners of the network are: ISET (Germany), University of Manchester (UK), KEMA Nederland B.V. (The Netherlands), Fundación Labein (Spain), Risø National Laboratory (Denmark), Österreichisches Forschungs- und Prüfzentrum Arsenal Ges.m.b.H. (Austria), National Technical University of Athens (Greece), Centro Elettrotecnico Sperimentale Italiano SpA (Italy), Commissariat á l´Energie Atomique (France), Technical University of Sofia (Bulgaria) and Technical University of Lodz (Poland).
Several producers of tomatoes, cucumbers, flowers and peppers in the Netherlands will be increasing production following the installation of 13 Rolls-Royce gas engines to produce electricity and heat for their greenhouses. The cogen plants will deliver the usual economic and environmental benefits to the growers and, in addition, carbon dioxide from the engines’ flue gases will be used in the greenhouses to create the correct environmental balance to increase the production rate of the fresh products.
New York Governor George E. Pataki has announced US$15.5 million in funding awarded to support 32 new distributed generation (DG) and CHP projects throughout the State, totalling some 29 MW of new generating capacity.
To be funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the 32 projects represent a total investment of more than $90 million in DG technologies and CHP applications when co-funding is factored in, reports the US Department of Energy, and over half of the projects will be fuelled by renewable fuels such as landfill or anaerobic digester gases.
NYSERDA’s DG/CHP programme has a successful history. Since its inception in 2001, the Authority has solicited DG/CHP projects through five rounds of funding, receiving nearly 500 proposals of which more than 100 CHP demonstration projects and 50 product development projects were selected for funding. As of today, 34 CHP demonstration projects are operational, producing more than 13 MW of electricity.
This fifth round for the DG/CHP solicitation received 79 proposals from which 32 were selected.
Projects selected for funding include:
- $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.