Monthly Archives: March 2012

BP foretells that renewable growth will surpass that of fossil fuels

According to BP PLC (BP/) wind power, solar electricity and biofuels consumption will experience a much faster growth during the next 20 years than the demand for fossil fuels; the driving force behind this is that nations are seeking to meet rising energy needs without adding to their carbon emissions.

During BP’s annual outlook the company said that global renewables consumption will increase by 8.2 per cent a year through to 2030, outperforming the annual increase of 2.1 per cent gain for natural gas, which is said to be the fastest-growing fossil fuel, as the total energy demand for power, transport and heating is predicted to expand by 1.6 per cent every year.

BP explained, “The growth of global energy consumption is increasingly being met by non-fossil fuels,” “Renewables, nuclear and hydro together account for 34 per cent of the growth; this aggregate non-fossil contribution is, for the first time, larger than the contribution of any single fossil fuel.”

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, new investment in renewable energy has increased to a record $260 billion in 2011 compared to the $243 billion in 2010, which was the first year that new money rolled into wind and solar generation and beat funds for new oil-, coal- and gas-fired output. Governments all around the globe have subsidized the extension of cleaner power production in order to satisfy energy demand while curtailing polluting emissions.

“It is in the power sector where the greatest changes in the fuel mix are expected, renewables, nuclear and hydroelectric should account for more than half the growth in power generation.” BP also said.

BP, whom is Europe’s largest oil producer after Royal Dutch Shell Plc, told their staff during 2011 that it is extiting from the solar power industry after 40 years, reason being that it’s no longer profitable. The company’s solar division will be wound down over several months, BP Solar Chief Executive Officer Mike Petrucci said in an internal letter in December 2011.

According to the company, this exit will have no influence on BP’s other renewable-energy units.  BP has been expanding its biofuels business, and in September 2011 it said it spent $96 million on two Brazilian sugar-cane processors.

They furthermore stated that biofuels will account for about 7 per cent of energy use for transport by 2030. Biofuels and other renewables combined will make up about 6.3 per cent of total energy consumption in 2030, up from 1.8 per cent in 2010.

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Biomass has the potential to surpass other renewable energy sources

The chief executive of a Pakistani non-governmental organisation (NGO) stated at the World Future Energy Summit 2012 in Abu Dhabi, that Biomass has a far greater potential to become an affordable source of renewable energy compared to solar and wind.

 

Hadi Husani, CEO of Aga Khan Planning and Building Service (AKPBS) in Pakistan said in an email interview  “Approximately 2.4 billion people, generally the world’s poorest, rely directly upon biomass for their heating and cooking needs and this number is expected to increase to 2.7 billion in 2030”

Khan Planning and Building Service has been for the Zayed Future Energy Prize, this is a result of the company’s effort to create sustainable and energy-efficient communities.

Hadi Husani carried on by explaining that a major challenge is that an enormous amount of communities, predominantly in the developing world do not have access to energy. The lack of clean, reliable and sustainable sources of energy has wide-reaching consequences — mainly economic and developmental — for these communities

He explained that the energy access is a crucial building block for these vulnerable parts of society and addressing the issue can potentially alleviate a lot more than fuel shortages.

As worldwide demand for energy continues to increase dramatically over the coming decade; access to and use of energy will play a major role in determining the maintenance and enhancement of quality of life, and there are political and security implications closely-associated with declining standards of quality of life, he said.

Zayed Future Energy Prize’s Jury assessed 13 shortlisted candidates in 2012 with the objective of selecting five finalists, who will win a total of $3.5 million (Dh12.8 million). The awards will be revealed at a ceremony in Abu Dhabi on the side-lines of the World Future Energy Summit that will be held from 16 January to 19 January 2012.

Husani said AKPBS has made significant strides in introducing sustainable energy and environmental stewardship to the mountain communities of northern Pakistan.

“Through our interventions, we have been able to bring our sustainable solutions to hundreds of thousands of the most marginalised and the most impacted by climate change,” he said.

“If we were to win the final prize, we will use the resources and the prestige as a vehicle to bring together some of the leaders in the development of sustainable and energy efficient products from the private sector and the development sector,” Husani said.


A greener start to the year with the 2012 bioenergy scheme for willow and miscanthus

The launch of the 2012 Bioenergy Scheme was announced by Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the scheme grants aid toward the planting of Willow and Miscanthus crops as part of the re-opening of a range of Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Measures.

The Bioenergy Scheme has been providing support to the planting of over 3,000 hectares of energy crops since 2007.

“The 2012 scheme will consolidate the progress made since 2007 in developing the energy crops sector in Ireland and has the potential to support in the region of 1,400 additional hectares in 2012.”  During the announcement of the 2012 Scheme, the Minister said.

He further explained. “The scheme is now open for applications and interested farmers can apply for establishment grants of up to €1,300 per hectare to cover 50% of the costs of establishing these crops”.

“I have decided to amend the terms and conditions of the scheme so that participants are no longer required to maintain the crop for seven years as a condition of receiving grant-aid.” As stated by Minister Coveney

He furthermore clarified. “I think that the removal of this condition should help to make the scheme more attractive to farmers without reducing their commitment to establishing and properly managing the crop once they make the planting investment. Taken together with the anticipated boost to demand from the proposed REFIT tariffs for biomass, I am confident that the scheme in 2012 will lead to increased interest from farmers who wish to become involved in energy crop production”.

The closing date for the submission of applications for the pre-planting approval was Wednesday 18th January 2012.

The Department of Agriculture’s website provide complete details of the scheme; however all proposed planting must receive prior written pre-planting approval from the Department.

Details that need to be given attention are that all applications will be arranged by already existent farming systems, the suitability of the proposed sites, particularly, proof  that displays the applicant has linkages with end-users to utilize the biomass crop as a source of bioenergy, as in the current climate it is essential to have a suitable market with guaranteed returns.