Briefly Noted … Other Renewables

– U.S. president George Bush has signed the Energy & Water Development Appropriations Act, which he says will have significant benefits including money for key research projects to develop renewable energy under his National Energy Policy. The US$25 billion measure will finance federal programs in 2002, and provides for more spending than last year and more than Bush requested. – The fall issue of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank magazine, Noteworthy, will feature stories on how the bank industry has responded to the September terrorist attacks and include a report on renewable energy sources and nuclear power. – Indonesian leader Megawati Sukarnoputri and Philippines president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo have discussed geothermal power, gas supplies and supply of coal to the Philippines, to boost energy trade between the two countries. Jakarta expects to increase coal exports to the Philippines from 2.76 million tonnes a year. – Tibet has 401 power plants with total capacity of 356 MW and annual output of 661 million kWh, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua. The article says there was only one facility of 125 kW when China assumed control of the nation, with hydropower as the main new energy, backed by geothermal, wind and solar energy. – Iceland may help one of the world’s largest cities to investigate the use of geothermal energy. Beijing mayor Liu Qi and mayor Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir of Reykjavik met in China. – One in five automobiles in Europe could run on alternative fuels rather than gasoline or diesel by 2020, under a plan put forward to promote renewable energy. The European Commission wants to use regulations and tax breaks to promote the use of alternative fuels, notably biofuels made from agricultural products such as vegetable oils, sugar beat, corn or animal waste. The proposals, which must be approved by the 15 EU member nations, would require governments to ensure biofuels represent 2% of all vehicle fuel sales by 2005, 5.75% by 2010, with a 20% target by 2020. The EU is committed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 8% by 2010 under the Kyoto agreement. – Swedish energy company Tranås Energi AB, will build a 10 MW bio-fuel boiler plant in the city of Tranås. The contract has been awarded to Sermet Oy of Finland to build the new cogen plant near an existing boiler plant to provide district heating steam. The plant will use Sermet’s Biograte combustion technology, which is designed to burn wood waste, bark and sawdust. – Green oil will be produced in Brazil from 1.2 million tonnes of rice bran left over from the country’s 5.3 million tonne rice crop. Processing the residue is being targeted by the Dutch BTG Biomass Technology Group B.V., which will produce oil for export to Holland for use in green power generation. A US$2 million processing unit in Rio Grande do Sul state will have a capacity of 2,000 tonne/hour and the Dutch government provided 60% of $100,000 in research funds. – The development of large-scale production of BioOil from sugar cane waste, bagasse, in Brazil may move forward following an preliminary agreement between DynaMotive Energy Systems of Canada and Intracom, an energy trader in Brazil. DynaMotive has been working with one of the largest sugar and ethanol producers in Brazil for two years, to validate the production of BioOil from sugar cane residue. – One of the largest electricity distribution companies in Brazil expects to double its power generation from combustion of sugarcane residue by 2003. CPFL expects to buy 800 MWh, or 4% of its current needs rising to 7% within two years, as new bagasse generation projects come on line. CPFL will minimize dependence on hydro generation following a drought-induced power crisis in Brazil.
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