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    The Royal Society of Chemistry has announced it will launch a new journal in summer 2008, Energy & Environmental Science, which will distinctly address both energy and environmental issues. In recognition of the importance of research in this subject, and the need for knowledge transfer between scientists throughout the world, from launch the RSC will make issues of Energy & Environmental Science available free of charge to readers via its website, for the first 18 months of publication. This journal will highlight the important role that the chemical sciences have in solving the energy problems we are facing today. It will link all aspects of energy and the environment by publishing research relating to energy conversion and storage, alternative fuel technologies, and environmental science. AlphaGalileo - December 10, 2007.

    Dutch researcher Bas Bougie has developed a laser system to investigate soot development in diesel engines. Small soot particles are not retained by a soot filter but are, however, more harmful than larger soot particles. Therefore, soot development needs to be tackled at the source. Laser Induced Incandescence is a technique that reveals exactly where soot is generated and can be used by project partners to develop cleaner diesel engines. Terry Meyer, an Iowa State University assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is using similar laser technology to develop advanced sensors capable of screening the combustion behavior and soot characteristics specifically of biofuels. Eurekalert - December 7, 2007.

    Lithuania's first dedicated biofuel terminal has started operating in Klaipeda port. At the end of November 2007, the stevedoring company Vakaru krova (VK) started activities to manage transshipments. The infrastructure of the biodiesel complex allows for storage of up to 4000 cubic meters of products. During the first year, the terminal plans to transship about 70.000 tonnes of methyl ether, after that the capacities of the terminal would be increased. Investments to the project totaled €2.3 million. Agrimarket - December 5, 2007.

    New Holland supports the use of B100 biodiesel in all equipment with New Holland-manufactured diesel engines, including electronic injection engines with common rail technology. Overall, nearly 80 percent of the tractor and equipment manufacturer's New Holland-branded products with diesel engines are now available to operate on B100 biodiesel. Tractor and equipment maker John Deere meanwhile clarified its position for customers that want to use biodiesel blends up to B20. Grainnet - December 5, 2007.

    According to Wetlands International, an NGO, the Kyoto Protocol as it currently stands does not take into account possible emissions from palm oil grown on a particular type of land found in Indonesia and Malaysia, namely peatlands. Mongabay - December 5, 2007.

    Malaysia's oil & gas giant Petronas considers entering the biofuels sector. Zamri Jusoh, senior manager of Petronas' petroleum development management unit told reporters "of course our focus is on oil and gas, but I think as we move into the future we cannot ignore the importance of biofuels." AFP - December 5, 2007.

    In just four months, the use of biodiesel in the transport sector has substantially improved air quality in Metro Manila, data from the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) showed. A blend of one percent coco-biodiesel is mandated by the Biofuels Act of 2007 which took effect last May. By 2009, it would be increased to two percent. Philippine Star - December 4, 2007.

    Kazakhstan will next year adopt laws to regulate its fledgling biofuel industry and plans to construct at least two more plants in the next 18 months to produce environmentally friendly fuel from crops, industry officials said. According to Akylbek Kurishbayev, vice-minister for agriculture, he Central Asian country has the potential to produce 300,000 tons a year of biodiesel and export half. Kazakhstan could also produce up to 1 billion liters of bioethanol, he said. "The potential is huge. If we use this potential wisely, we can become one of the world's top five producers of biofuels," Beisen Donenov, executive director of the Kazakhstan Biofuels Association, said on the sidelines of a grains forum. Reuters - November 30, 2007.

    SRI Consulting released a report on chemicals from biomass. The analysis highlights six major contributing sources of green and renewable chemicals: increasing production of biofuels will yield increasing amounts of biofuels by-products; partial decomposition of certain biomass fractions can yield organic chemicals or feedstocks for the manufacture of various chemicals; forestry has been and will continue to be a source of pine chemicals; evolving fermentation technology and new substrates will also produce an increasing number of chemicals. Chemical Online - November 27, 2007.

    German industrial conglomerate MAN AG plans to expand into renewable energies such as biofuels and solar power. Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said services unit Ferrostaal would lead the expansion. Reuters - November 24, 2007.

    Analysts think Vancouver-based Ballard Power Systems, which pumped hundreds of millions and decades of research into developing hydrogen fuel cells for cars, is going to sell its automotive division. Experts describe the development as "the death of the hydrogen highway". The problems with H2 fuel cell cars are manifold: hydrogen is a mere energy carrier and its production requires a primary energy input; production is expensive, as would be storage and distribution; finally, scaling fuel cells and storage tanks down to fit in cars remains a huge challenge. Meanwhile, critics have said that the primary energy for hydrogen can better be used for electricity and electric vehicles. On a well-to-wheel basis, the cleanest and most efficient way to produce hydrogen is via biomass, so the news is a set-back for the biohydrogen community. But then again, biomass can be used more efficiently as electricity for battery cars. Canada.com - November 21, 2007.

    South Korea plans to invest 20 billion won (€14.8/$21.8 million) by 2010 on securing technologies to develop synthetic fuels from biomass, coal and natural gas, as well as biobutanol. 29 private companies, research institutes and universities will join this first stage of the "next-generation clean energy development project" led by South Korea's Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy. Korea Times - November 19, 2007.

    OPEC leaders began a summit today with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez issuing a chilling warning that crude prices could double to US$200 from their already-record level if the United States attacked Iran or Venezuela. He urged assembled leaders from the OPEC, meeting for only the third time in the cartel's 47-year history, to club together for geopolitical reasons. But the cartel is split between an 'anti-US' block including Venezuela, Iran, and soon to return ex-member Ecuador, and a 'neutral' group comprising most Gulf States. France24 - November 17, 2007.

    The article "Biofuels: What a Biopact between North and South could achieve" published in the scientific journal Energy Policy (Volume 35, Issue 7, 1 July 2007, Pages 3550-3570) ranks number 1 in the 'Top 25 hottest articles'. The article was written by professor John A. Mathews, Macquarie University (Sydney, Autralia), and presents a case for a win-win bioenergy relationship between the industrialised and the developing world. Mathews holds the Chair of Strategic Management at the university, and is a leading expert in the analysis of the evolution and emergence of disruptive technologies and their global strategic management. ScienceDirect - November 16, 2007.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sony goes green with 16GWh of bioenergy; targets 4-fold CO2 reduction by 2010

As part of its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Sony Corporation is actively promoting the use of renewables across Sony Group companies in Japan and around the world. The electronics giant announces it has agreed a contract to purchase 16 million kWh of biomass energy per year to green its facilities in Japan. In 2006, the widespread implementation of renewable energy across the Sony Group helped reduce its CO2 emissions by approximately 13,000 tons worldwide. Sony will continue to advance its use of renewable energy, with the aim of increasing its contribution to CO2 reduction approximately fourfold to 50,000 tons through 2010 (compared to 2006).

In Japan, Sony Group companies have used the 'Green Power Certification System', jointly established by Sony and a the Japan Natural Energy Company, to purchase renewable energy generated at distantly located facilities since 2001. In October 2007, Sony agreed the contract to annually purchase an additional 16 million kWh of wood biomass energy. Combined with its existing contracts, the annual amount of renewable energy now purchased by the Sony Group in Japan amounts to 36.4 million kWh, making it Japan's largest buyer of renewable energy under this system. Bioenergy accounts for more than half of this amount.

Sony began introducing renewable energy at its overseas offices and sites 2002, and in November this year, converted its two Austrian sites to entirely renewable energy sources. Consequently, a total of nine European sites are now fully powered by renewable energy, representing 41% of Sony's total energy consumption in Europe.

Sony DADC (Digital Audio Disc Corporation) Austria (optical disc production facility), as well as Sony Austria (sales company) shifted their entire energy supply to hydropower this year. As a result, the 59 million kWh of energy purchased by the two facilities will now be from entirely renewable sources, representing an annual contribution to CO2 reduction of approximately 11,000 tons.

Sony will continue to implement wide-ranging measures to increase its use of renewable energy sources and promote energy conservation, and will aim to further reduce its greenhouse gas emissions through these efforts.

In October this year, Sony signed an agreement to purchase 16 million kWh of biomass renewable energy. Together with its existing contract for 15.5 million kWh of bioenergy per year, Sony is now purchasing a total of 31.5 million kWh of green energy per year under the 'Green Power Certification System'.

This latest agreement has been reached with Noshiro Forestry Resource Utilization Cooperative (Akita Prefecture), for energy generated using their wood biomass power facility. Established in February 2003, this facility generates approximately 20 million kWh of electric power per year. Under the agreement, Sony will receive an annual supply of 16 million kWh of electricity from this facility:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::
This energy is then used by Sony Group companies across Japan: Sony Corp. utilizes 31.5 million kWh, Sony Group Companies in Japan will rely on 4.9 million kWh (with Hall Network Inc. greening its operations with 2.7 million kWh), Music ON ITV Inc. draws on 700,000 kWh, and Sony Enterprise Co., Ltd will utilize 1.5 million kWh.

In total, Sony Group companies in Japan have now agreed contracts for the supply of 36.4 million kWh of renewable energy in fiscal 2007, equivalent to the reduction of approximately 13,760 tons in CO2 emissions.

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and on-line businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading personal broadband entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $70 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2007.

The Japan Natural EnergyCompany's Green Power Certification System is a scheme to encourage corporate and other customers to use natural energy as one of their voluntary measures for energy conservation and environmental protection under an arrangement that environmental value added, such as the energy-saving (fossil fuel conservation) and CO2 emission-reducing effects of electricity generated with renewable energy sources, be materialized in the form of a Certificate of Green Power.

Hat tip to Jean-Jacques!


Sony Global: Sony Advances its Use of Renewable Energy Sources; Targets Fourfold Contribution to CO2 Reduction by Fiscal 2010 - December 5, 2007.


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