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Clean Energy News Vol. 12, Number 9, April 11, 2012

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Clean Energy News
Vol. 12, Number 9, April 11, 2012
CE News is a free weekly e-mail publications that features news, information and events related to clean energy, clean air and climate change. CE News is published by Clean Energy Nepal. For more information on our campaign please visit www.cen.org.np
Headlines
•    South Asian Parliamentarians prioritize Climate Change Response to protect interests of Vulnerable Poor
•    Hundreds Cycle Users Rallied Demanding Cycle Lane
•    Mountain Conference Issues Call for Action   
•    Climate Change: Local Awareness Must for Mitigating Impacts
•    Sebon Fails to Penalise National Hydro
•    Melting Glaciers Are Causing The Matterhorn To Come Apart
•    Bright Future for Alternative Energy with Greener Solar Cells
•    Cleantech Co Produces Low-Cost Electricity from Waves
•    EPA Proposes Carbon Dioxide Emissions Standards for New Fossil Fuel Power Plants
•    Link Of The Week
•    Did You Know?
•    Media Watch
•    QUIZ Of The Week #  512
•    Answer Of Quiz Of The Week # 511

 
Local News
South Asian Parliamentarians prioritize Climate Change Response to protect interests of Vulnerable Poor
 

High population densities, a large concentration of poverty, and the regional climate variability have all combined to make South Asia especially sensitive to the consequences of climate change. Climate change has the potential to compound existing development problems and to increase pressure on key resources needed to sustain growth. 40% of poor and vulnerable people in South Asia live with less than US$ 1.25 a day has limited capacity to adapt to changing climate patterns and will be the most affected by climate change.

Parliament members and experts from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka assembled for a regional climate change actions in South Asia. The ' South Asian Parliamentarian Workshop on Climate Change' in Kathmandu on 4 April 2012 was organized by Ministry of Environment, Government of Nepal, Climate Action Network, South Asia and Clean Energy Nepal with support from the European Union and Oxfam. The parliamentarians and the experts concluded in one voice on the need to augment efforts at various level of Governance complimented by regional cooperation to protect vulnerable poor.

In the opening session, Honourable Hemraj Tater, Minister of Environment, Government of Nepal extended his strong support to the civil society initiative to foster regional collaboration on climate change. Former ministers of Nepal, Deepak Gyawali and Ganesh Shah reinforced equity and justice are the central issues the developing countries need to take up in the global climate change negotiations. Secretary Krishna Gyawali, Ministry of Environment called for cooperation among South Asian countries for a collective fight against climate change. CANSA board member Mr Bhushan Tuladhar said climate change is also an opportunity to enhance mutual support among the SAARC countries.

The technical session provided a review and assessment of South Asian Climate Policy and SAARC declarations presented by Clean Energy Nepal Manjeet Dhakal and Equity and Justice on post Durban debate by Sanjay Vashist of Climate Action Network South Asia. Parliament members engaged in the panel discussions being moderated by Anil Chitrakar, wherein each of them shared the knowledge, skills and resources across South Asian that can be utilised for regional cooperation.

In the program, Parliamentarian members from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka shared experiences of the impact of climate change in their respective countries. Nawab Zada Shams Haider, member of Parliament, Pakistan said, there should be a joint investment on development and sharing of Hydropower in the region as a fast track approach to shift to clean energy. Aang Dawa Sherpa, member of constituent assembly, Nepal called for more consultations among parliamentarians in the region to come on the common
 

Hundreds Cycle Users Rallied Demanding Cycle Lane
Around 400 cycle users and other hundred people joined the cycle rally demanding dedicated cycle lanes throughout the city on April 6.

During the cycle rally, petition letter demanding the cycle inclusive city was submitted to Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, Kathmandu Valley Town Development Committee, Ministry of Physical Planning and Works, Department of Roads and Kathmandu Metropolitan City. Meanwhile, funds were collected voluntarily from cycle users to gift Prime Minister a cycle, a symbolic action to pressurize Prime Minister to promote cycle in the city.

This is also organized in the meantime that the government is widening roads with a demand to include cycle lanes in widened road.

Renowned artists/comedians Mr. Madan Krishna Shrestha and Mr. Haribansa Acharya emphasized the needs of cycle lanes for safer mobility. “We people spend Kharab (billion rupees) to import oils form Arab and burn them to smoke”, sarcastically said Haribansa Acharya, and asked people to opt cycle for their daily mobility.

Popular Journalist and Human Rights activist Mr. Kanak Mani Dixit, Environmentalist Mr. BhushanTuladhar, Former Environment, Science and Technology Minister Er. Ganesh Shah, World Cyclist Mr. Puskar Shah, Journalist and Head of BBC Nepali Service Mr. Rabindra Mishra and Eco-entrepreneur Mr. Bharat Basnet were among the prominent figures who participated in the rally. Speaking to the participants, they emphasized the needs of cycle lanes and demanded justice for Dr. Prahlad Yonzon who was killed in road accident while cycling back home on 31st October 2011.

Sagar Prasain, an activist for rights of differently able people, said that cycle lanes not only benefits cycle users but also provides safer spaces for people in wheelchairs. The petition letter calls for cycle inclusive planning & development, policies and bicycle master plan in the city. Demanding to implement the decision of metropolitan city 10 years ago to build cycle lanes in Tinkune-Maitighar immediately, the rally participants demanded network of cycle lanes throughout the city including Ring Roads, river corridors and arterial roads. The rally also demanded to stop the flyovers project that encourage car usage and discourage non-motorized transport users, and emphasized to build safer streets for all the road users including differently able people.

The cycle rally was jointly organized by Kathmandu Cycle City 2020, Clean Air Network Nepal, Clean Energy Nepal, Nepal Cycling Association, Come on Youth Stand Up, Nepalese Youth for Climate Action, World Cyclists Foundation, Rotaract Club of Kathmandu, Nepal Unites, Association of Youth Organizations of Nepal.
 
Mountain Conference Issues Call for Action     
The two-day international conference of mountain countries on climate change concluded Friday in the capital, with 26 countries deciding to adopt a ´Kathmandu Call for Action´ while calling for dedicated funding arrangements for adaptation and mitigation programs in such countries.
In the conference, host Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Switzerland, Myanmar, France, Germany, USA and Norway, among other countries expressed commitment to the 10-point resolution emphasized in the appeal. The Kathmandu Call for Action urges development partners to support the agendas through the provision of dedicated funding arrangements for the adaptation programs in the mountain countries within the framework of sustainable development processes and build the resilience of communities, women and disadvantaged groups. It also stresses collective effort to recognize and build on high potentials of mountain ecosystem services to promote green growth strategies and strengthen linkages between ecosystem and other ecosystems to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development, among others. Speaking at the conference, Krishna Gyanwali, secretary at the Ministry of Environment, said that the Kathmandu Call for Action supported by the majority of mountain countries is indeed a huge success of the conference. "The Kathmandu Call for Action is our sincere appeal to the stakeholders and the international community and we are pleased that they have taken it very positively."
Source: http://myrepublica.com April 6, 2012
 
Climate Change: Local Awareness Must for Mitigating Impacts
By Shiva Puri
With a view to reducing impacts of climate change at the local level,environmentalists and stakeholders have held an interaction in Chandranigahapur in the district. Participants said that awareness at the local level is a must to battle the climate change.
They said that cultivating farming in an unnatural way, rampant extraction of sand, pebbles and stone, and deforestation are among the major factors behind the climate change. Forest officer Nandalal Yadav said the competition among the developed countries to expand the export of their products in the developing or under-developed countries has affected the climate. Chairperson of agriculture environment development at Gaur Sami Agrawal informed that they will launch programmes on the topic in 16 schools in the district.  She said that increasing use of chemical fertilisers on agriculture resulting in low produce increases the temperature on earth, affecting the climate.  
Source: http://www.ekantipur.com April 6, 2012
 
Discussion on Road Widening Initiative
Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai discussed the ongoing road-widening initiative in the Kathmandu Valley with government employees and members of the general public today.
According to Prime Minister's Personal Assistance, Bishow Deep Pandey, PM received a progress report on the initiative from government employees. Stating that the road widening initiative is a must to deal with traffic congestion, Bhattarai said it is the responsibility of valley people to make the city beautiful. The public advised PM to launch a campaign to make the city clean and beautiful.
Source: http://thehimalayantimes.com April 10, 2012
 
Sebon Fails to Penalise National Hydro
National Hydropower Company has failed to heed the directive of the capital market regulator to hold its annual general meeting by mid-April.
“In the recent meeting held by the company’s board, the promoters have expressed their interest to wait till the end of the current fiscal year so that they can hold the AGM of fiscal years 2009-10 and 2010-11 together,” said a board director of the company Prakash Rajoria. Public shareholders of National Hydropower had formally requested Securities Board of Nepal (Sebon) to fix the date for its annual general meeting as the company had failed to hold one on its own accord, challenging the capital market regulator and fooling investors. In response, Sebon had directed the company to hold its AGM for fiscal year 2009-10 within mid-April. The deadline expires on Thursday and the company’s board is not in the mood to hold the AGM anytime soon. “Yesterday, we again handed a formal request
to Sebon the capital market regulator to fix the AGM date and order the company in writing to hold the AGM within the next 21 days that is by May 1, so that the company’s promoters will be forced to hold the annual meeting,” informed Rajoria who is one of the two public directors of the hydropower company’s board from among the minority shareholders.
“We have even demanded Sebon to take action against the non-compliant chairman, managing director, and two directors Laxmi Bahadur Shrestha and Mohan Bahadur Basnet,” he added. “The deadline will be over in one day but the company has yet to announce its AGM so we will seek clarification from the company and take necessary action,” said spokesperson for Sebon Niraj Giri. Sebon has the authority to order the company to hold its AGM if the company delays it. Moreover, the regulator can also arrange the company’s AGM itself if the executive board does not comply despite repeated orders and can also audit the company’s balance sheet. According to regulation, a listed company has to hold its AGM within six months of the end of a fiscal year. But National Hydropower has not held its AGM since the last three years keeping retail investors in the dark about the financial status of the company and the capital market regulator is not taking any action against it, he said, questioning how the regulator could think of boosting investor confidence in such a manner. “The company has collected money from a large number of investors and it is shying away from its responsibility to disclose the financial status of the company after its financial interests have been fulfilled,” pointed out Rajoria.
Source: http://thehimalayantimes.com April 10, 2012
 
International News
Melting Glaciers Are Causing The Matterhorn To Come Apart
From David A Gabel
The Matterhorn is the iconic peak of the Alpine mountains on the border of Switzerland and Italy. Its majestic spire soars over 14,600 feet in the air, making it quite a sight to behold. The glaciers at the top of the mountain have been receding due to the changing climate, causing an increase in glacial melt water. According to a new study, the melting glaciers are causing large chunks of rock to be dislodged and tumble down the mountain. The deluge of water is penetrating cracks and fissures high up the mountain. The yearly freeze-thaw cycle causes these fissures to expand until entire boulders come loose of the Matterhorn and fall down its rocky slopes.
The study was conducted by scientists from the University of Zurich who began to closely examine the mountain in 2007. Their investigation was kick-started by an event which occurred in July, 2003. At the time, there was a huge rock fall at the Hornligrat part of the mountain, trapping 50 climbers. They had to be air-lifted to safety in one of the largest rescue operations ever in the Alps. The Zurich researchers relied on sophisticated monitoring devices located in 17 key parts of the mountain. Their research has found an increasing frequency of rockfalls which they believe are directly linked to climate change. The problem of melting glaciers penetrating fissures is not a problem solely of the Matterhorn, but of the rest of the Alps as well. The study also suggests that the effects of global warming on mountain ranges are much greater than previously believed. It not only raises temperatures, but has the ability to alter the shape of the mountain. Lead researcher, Stephan Gruber warns of the safety implications of this phenomenon. There are many ski resorts in the Alps which use gondolas to transport skiers up the mountains. The cable car structures need to be examined carefully should they rest atop one of these icy fissures. The University of Zurich study has been published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, a publication of the American Geophysical Union.
Source: http://www.enn.com April 9, 2012
 
EPA Proposes Carbon Dioxide Emissions Standards for New Fossil Fuel Power Plants
From Vicki Shiah, Sive Paget & Riesel, P.C.
On March 27, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule limiting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new power plants fired by fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas. The rule applies to new fossil fuel-fired electric utility generating units in the continental United States; it does not apply to existing units or new transitional units that already have received preconstruction air emission permits and that start construction within 12 months of the proposed rule’s publication in the Federal Register.
Covered power plants would be required to meet an output-based standard of 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour. This standard is expected to favor natural gas over coal. EPA states that "new natural gas combined cycle power plant units should be able to meet the proposed standard without add-on controls." By contrast, coal-fired power plants would not be able to meet this standard without carbon capture and storage technology, which is still under development and is expected to be quite costly.
Source: http://www.enn.com April 9, 2012
 
Bright Future for Alternative Energy with Greener Solar Cells
Even alternative energy technologies can sometimes be a little greener, according to a Kansas State University graduate student's research.
Ayomi Perera, a doctoral student in chemistry, Sri Lanka, is working under Stefan Bossmann, professor of chemistry, to improve dye-sensitized solar cells. The cells are a solar technology that use a dye to help generate energy from sunlight. By creating a less toxic dye and combining it with a bacteria, Perera's solar cells are friendlier to the environment and living organisms -- making an alternative energy solution to fossil fuels even greener. "Dye-sensitized solar cells, which are solar cells with light-absorbing dye, have been around for more than 20 years, but their highest efficiency has stayed close to 11 percent for some time," Perera said. "So the thought was that rather than trying to increase the efficiency, let's try to make to make the technology more green." To make the solar cells greener and more efficient, Perera begins with the bacteria Mycobacterium smegmatis. A mycrobacterium is a type of pathogen that can cause diseases such as tuberculosis. Perera is using a species that is completely harmless and can be found in soil and cornflakes. It also produces the protein MspA, which can be used for numerous applications once it has been chemically purified. After purification, Perera combines the protein with a synthesized dye that is less toxic than traditional dyes. The protein-dye mixture is coated onto individual solar cells which form large solar panels when assembled and is then tested with artificial sunlight to measure energy output. "The idea is that the protein acts as a matrix for electron transfer for this dye that absorbs sunlight," Perera said. "We want the protein to be able to capture the electron that the dye gives out and then transfer that electron in one direction, thereby generating an electrical current."
Although the new dye-sensitized solar cells currently do not improve on the technology's ability to convert sunlight into electrical current, the technology is the first of its kind and could help low-cost solar cells become a more viable option in the alternative energy field. "This type of research where you have a biodegradable or environmentally friendly component inside a solar cell has not been done before, and the research is still in its early stages right now," Perera said. "But we have noticed that it's working and that means that the protein is not decomposed in the light and electric generating conditions. Because of that we believe that we've actually made the first protein-incorporated solar cell." In February, Perera was one of two Kansas State University graduate students named a winner at the ninth annual Capitol Graduate Research Summit in Topeka. She received a $500 scholarship from KansasBio and will present her poster, "Design of a 'Greener' Solar Cell using Mycobacterial Protein MspA," at the organization's board of director's meeting in May. Perera said the summit benefited her research because it gave her the chance to share her work with state legislators in addition to the scientific community. As a result, legislators can understand the work and how it affects Kansas. "We know that fossil fuels are going to run out in the very near future," Perera said. "Kansas is getting a reputation as one of the central places in the U.S. for alternative energy research because of the abundance of sunlight and wind. I want to contribute to that and to the betterment of humanity with this research."
Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com April 9, 2012
 
Cleantech Co Produces Low-Cost Electricity from Waves
From Yinnon Shraga
Did you ever look at the sea and found yourself in awe of the power of waves? That is what happened to Israeli engineer Shmuel Ovadia, 30 years ago. Ovadia was at the beach waiting for friends, suddenly humbled by the vast sea and its powerful waves crashing into the shore.
This sight is what he credits for the idea to use the energy of the sea for human benefit. Today he is the CEO of SDE Energy, an Israeli cleantech company that develops technologies to produce electricity from sea waves. SDE’s method uses sea wave motion to generate hydraulic pressure, which is then transformed into electricity. The system takes advantage of the wave’s speed, height, depth, rise and fall and the flow beneath the approaching wave to produce energy.
Taking advantage of the waves
The company was recently ranked by the New Energy Congress a team of international scientists as the world’s number one developer of Sea Wave Energy Technologies, number six in Tidal Energy and River Energy, and one of the Top 100 cleantech companies in the world. A full-scale model of the patented technologies was operated in Jaffa Port, Israel, in 2010 and produced 40ekW (Electrical Kilowatts) for almost one year. According to SDE, the model has been tested and approved by experienced engineers. The research conducted in Israel showed that the technology can produce electricity at a cost of$2 cents per KWH. According to the company, the cost is significantly lower compared to other renewable energy technologies such as wind energy 12 cents and solar energy 16 cents per KWH. Ovadia says he is hoping that this model will lead to significant reductions in electricity costs in areas it will be operated.
Source: http://www.enn.com April 10, 2012
 
EPA Proposes Carbon Dioxide Emissions Standards for New Fossil Fuel Power Plants
From Vicki Shiah
On March 27, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule limiting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new power plants fired by fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas. The rule applies to new fossil fuel-fired electric utility generating units in the continental United States; it does not apply to existing units or new transitional units that already have received preconstruction air emission permits and that start construction within 12 months of the proposed rule’s publication in the Federal Register.
Covered power plants would be required to meet an output-based standard of 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour. This standard is expected to favor natural gas over coal. EPA states that "new natural gas combined cycle power plant units should be able to meet the proposed standard without add-on controls." By contrast, coal-fired power plants would not be able to meet this standard without carbon capture and storage technology, which is still under development and is expected to be quite costly.
Source: http://www.enn.com April 9, 2012
 
Link of the Week
Plug-in Electric Cars had better early adoption rate than hybrids
Please Visit:http://www.enn.com/business/article/44237
 
Did you Know ?

Department of Transport Management (DoTM), the government has raised the public transportation fare by 4.54 percent and meter taxi by 8.19 percent while 5.26 percent and 5.29 percent has been raised in trucks and tankers operating in Terai and Hilly routes, respectively.

Media and Event Watch
Every Monday 8:30 pm on Nepal FM 91.8 MHZ “Climate Change Mero Bhawisya Mero Chaso”
Every Sunday at 7:30 am on Radio Sagarmatha 102.4 MHz "Batabaran Dabali"
Every Monday at 5:30 pm (re-telecast every Tuesday 11 am) on ABC Television “Climate Change
Every Alternate Friday at 2 PM on ENPHO Hall – “Green Discussion” Organized by Clean Energy Nepal, Nepalese Youth for Climate Action anGrnd Green Youth Network
Every Friday on The Himalayan Times “THT Green Plus”
Environment Cycle Radio F.M.104.2Mhz (ECR FM)
 
QUIZ of the Week # 497

Department of Transport Management (DoTM), the government has raised the public transportation fare by ………………… percent and meter taxi by 8.19 percent while 5.26 percent and 5.29 percent has been raised in trucks and tankers operating in Terai and Hilly routes, respectively.
a)    4.54
b)    5.54
c)    6.54
d)    7.54

While sending your answer please mention “Quiz of the week#” in the subject line and please send your answer in cenews@cen.org.np

One lucky winner will get a T-shirt with an Environmental Message from Clean Energy Nepal.

Answer of the week # 496

According to the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) under the Ministry of Environment, the executive board of UNFCCC has approved 40,602 biogas plants so far. Nepal received $2.1million for about 20,000 biogas plants in 2006 where the World Bank bought carbon dioxide at $........... per tonne reduced due to the use of biogas.
a)    7
Aakriti Podel
Heerakaji Maharjan
isha dhakal
Rafiul Islam
Chandan Pandit
Shankar Adhikari
Sangeeta Pandey
Lila Shrestha
Sushmeeta Dhakal
Raju Katuwal
Rahul Ghale
Shashank Shrestha
Sheela Sharma
Keshav Thapa

Aakriti Podel is the lucky winner for this week. Please contact the CEN office within a week with your identity card.

Congratulation to the Winner and thanks to all participants.

 

Prepared by: Suman Udas and Pabitra Basnet
Edited by: Bhushan Tuladhar

Clean Energy Nepal (CEN) is an independent, not-for-profit organization working in the field of Energy and Environment.

CEN: 140 Bublbule Marg, Thapagaon, Kathmandu, Nepal. Tel: 977-1-44464981