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    Global Partners has announced that it is planning to increase its refined products and biofuels storage capacity in Providence, Rhode Island by 474,000 barrels. The partnership has entered into agreements with New England Petroleum Terminal, at a deepwater marine terminal located at the Port of Providence. PRInside - November 14, 2007.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) kicks off the meeting in Valencia, Spain, which will result in the production of the Synthesis Report on climate change. The report will summarize the core findings of the three volumes published earlier by the separate working groups. IPCC - November 12, 2007.

    Biopact's Laurens Rademakers is interviewed by Mongabay on the risks of large-scale bioenergy with carbon storage (BECS) proposals. Even though Biopact remains positive about BECS, because it offers one of the few safe systems to mitigate climate change in a drastic way, care must be take to avoid negative impacts on tropical forests. Mongabay - November 10, 2007.

    According to the latest annual ranking produced by The Scientist, Belgium is the world's best country for academic research, followed by the U.S. and Canada. Belgium's top position is especially relevant for plant, biology, biotechnology and bioenergy research, as these are amongst the science fields on which it scores best. The Scientist - November 8, 2007.

    Mascoma Corporation, a cellulosic ethanol company, today announced the acquisition of Celsys BioFuels, Inc. Celsys BioFuels was formed in 2006 to commercialize cellulosic ethanol production technology developed in the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering at Purdue University. The Celsys technology is based on proprietary pretreatment processes for multiple biomass feedstocks, including corn fiber and distiller grains. The technology was developed by Dr. Michael Ladisch, an internationally known leader in the field of renewable fuels and cellulosic biofuels. He will be taking a two-year leave of absence from Purdue University to join Mascoma as the company’s Chief Technology Officer. Business Wire - November 7, 2007.

    Bemis Company, Inc. announced today that it will partner with Plantic Technologies Limited, an Australian company specializing in starch-based biopolymers, to develop and sell renewably resourced flexible films using patented Plantic technology. Bemis - November 7, 2007.

    Hungary's Kalocsa Hõerõmû Kft is to build a HUF 40 billion (€158.2 million) straw-fired biomass power plant with a maximum capacity of 49.9 megawatts near Kalocsa in southern Hungary. Portfolio Hungary - November 7, 2007.

    Canada's Gemini Corporation has received approval to proceed into the detailed engineering, fabrication and construction phases of a biogas cogeneration facility located in the Lethbridge, Alberta area, the first of its kind whereby biogas production is enhanced through the use of Thermal Hydrolysis technology, a high temperature, high pressure process for the safe destruction of SRM material from the beef industry. The technology enables a facility to redirect waste material, previously shipped to landfills, into a valuable feedstock for the generation of electricity and thermal energy. This eliminates the release of methane into the environment and the resultant solids are approved for use as a land amendment rather than re-entering the waste stream. In addition, it enhances the biogas production process by more than 25%. Market Wire - November 7, 2007.

    A new Agency to manage Britain's commitment to biofuels was established today by Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly. The Renewable Fuels Agency will be responsible for the day to day running of the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation, coming into force in April next year. By 2010, the Obligation will mean that 5% of all the fuels sold in the UK should come from biofuels, which could save 2.6m to 3m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. eGov Monitor - November 5, 2007.

    Prices for prompt loading South African coal cargoes reached a new record last week with a trade at $85.00 a tonne free-on-board (FOB) for a February cargo. Strong Indian demand and tight supply has pushed South African prices up to record levels from around $47.00 at the beginning of the year. European DES/CIF ARA coal prices have remained fairly stable over the past few days, having traded up to a record $130.00 a tonne DES ARA late last week. Fair value is probably just below $130.00 a tonne, traders said. At this price, some forms of biomass become directly competitive with coal. Reuters Africa - November 4, 2007.

    The government of India's Harayana state has decided to promote biomass power projects based on gasification in a move to help rural communities replace costly diesel and furnace oil. The news was announced during a meeting of the Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency (HAREDA). Six pilot plants have demonstrated the efficiency and practicability of small-scale biomass gasification. Capital subsidies will now be made available to similar projects at the rate of Rs 2.5 lakh (€4400) per 100 KW for electrical applications and Rs 2 lakh (€3500) per 300 KW for thermal applications. New Kerala - November 1, 2007.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

China launches project to enhance international cooperation on new and renewable energy

China has launched a science and technology project to boost international cooperation on the development of renewables. Under the 'International Science and Technology Cooperation Program on New and Renewable Energy', China will develop new patterns for international exchange and cooperation, encourage countries to complement each other with respective technological strengths and set up a platform for technological cooperation.

The initiative was presented at an international forum in Beijing on renewable energy, organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Development and Reform Commission who will jointly implement the program:
The Program has great bearing on the energy restructuring, energy security, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emission reduction, low-carbon economy, and sustainable development.
Government support will prioritize research into five types of renewables and energy forms: biomass fuels and biomass power, wind power, solar power, hydrogen energy and fuel cells, and natural gas hydrates, of which there is a large reserve in the South China Sea and which China recently succeeded in tapping.
Through international cooperation, China will demonstrate to the global community its determination to explore new and renewable energy sources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build an environment-friendly society. - Cao Jianlin, vice-minister for science and technology
The announcement comes just a day after China hinted at the fact that it gives priority to energy security and poverty alleviation over reducing greenhouse gas emissions (previous post). In its latest World Energy Outlook published last week, the IEA warned that China's energy demand and consequently its emissions of greenhouse gases will grow 'inexorably'. The People's Republic is set to become the world's top greenhouse-gas producer and will be accounting for 42% to 49% of global carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, more than the rest of the world combined (except India). That is, unless it aggressively invests in efficiency, renewables and conservation (previous post).

The new S&T cooperation program identifies six major tasks, namely basic research, commercialization demonstrations, scaling applications, 'phase-out' strategies for fossil fuels, international exchanges, and nuturing high-caliber professionals. The international cooperation could facilitate China’s efforts to introduce advanced technology, innovate in energy technology, and set up a batch of industrial demonstration projects so as to meet the strategic goal of developing its new and renewable energy sector:
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It is hoped interaction with the international community will highlight key areas and help introduce advanced technologies, core technologies in particular. Given China’s vast territory, unbalanced distribution of resources, and the to-be-improved market mechanism, the government will step up macromanagement, lower the cost through expanding scales so as to bring order to the development of new energy.

Vice-minister for science and technology Cao said the Chinese government is committed to identifying and developing new energy sources and finding practical applications for them. It wants to promote international exchanges via forums, seminars and joint research centers, and work with foreign counterparts to train high-level professionals.

Under the 'International Science and Technology Cooperation Program on New and Renewable Energy', invitations will be sent to new and renewable energy experts from around to the world in a bid to establish a committee to outline key tasks and suggest areas for cooperation.

As part of its $256 billion development plan for renewable energy launched earlier this year (previous post) the government will provide additional funding for research projects and offer preferential tax rates for those involved in the development and use of renewable energy.

The international initiative will help implement the renewable energy plan, which aims at increasing the proportion of renewable energy to 10 percent of total consumption by 2010, and to 15 percent by 2020, Cao said (figure, click to enlarge). Renewables currently account for just 1 percent of China's total primary energy production.

According Shang Yong, another Vice Minister of Science and Technology, equal efforts will also be given to soliciting private capital and investment from the business sector, especially the international energy giants, to enhance international cooperation on new and renewable energy.

Ministry of Science and Technology: Press Conference of “International S&T Cooperation Program on New and Renewable Energy” - November 12, 2007.

Biopact: China: poverty reduction, energy security more important than capping emissions - November 12, 2007

Biopact: IEA WEO: China and India transform global energy landscape - demand, emissions to grow 'inexorably' - November 08, 2007

Biopact: China unveils $265 billion renewable energy plan, aims for 15% renewables by 2020 - September 06, 2007


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