Like most colleges, Keene State College (KSC) in New Hampshire has depended on No. 6 fuel oil for decades to heat most campus buildings. Times, they are a-changing. Last August, KSC met the demand for heat and hot water entirely through the use of purified waste vegetable oil. Since then, about 36% of the KSC campus, which is situated east of the Green Mountains and experiences all four seasons quite distinctly, has been heated by biofuel, a carbon neutral product.
In fact, KSC is the first higher education institution in the U.S. to heat with 100% purified waste vegetable oil, which burns at a similar temperature as No. 6 fuel oil but is much cleaner. “By choosing to replace polluting No. 6 heating fuel oil with an innovative new fuel derived entirely from waste cooking oil, we are taking bold steps to demonstrate our values by significantly reducing our greenhouse gas footprint and improving the wellbeing of the people on our campus and the surrounding community,” said KSC Director of Campus Sustainability, Cary Gaunt.
There are two general categories of waste oil and grease. The cleanest and easiest to work with is used cooking oil, also called waste vegetable oil or used fryer oil. This is edible oil that has been used multiple times in a deep-fat fryer. KSC incurred only a nominal upfront cost for minor adaptations to heating equipment as part of the conversion.
The KSC announcement about their partial switch to biofuel came as part of Campus Sustainability Month (CSM), an international celebration of sustainability in higher education held every October. CSM takes place on- and off-campuses and engages and inspires students and others affiliated with a campus to become sustainability change agents. Events include teach-in’s, sustainability pledge-drives, zero energy concerts, waste audits, green sporting events, letter writing campaigns, and service projects, among others. CSM offers campuses the platform to raise visibility of their efforts to bring more decentralized renewable energy sources to their community. The October CSM festivities serve as a reinforcement to April’s Earth Day and was a poignant moment for KSC to reveal its recent environmental successes with biofuel.
By experimenting with an environmentally-friendly alternative, KSC is at the forefront of a movement to withdraw from dependency on polluting fossil fuels. “Sustainability is a core value at KSC,” Gaunt added. The move to biofuels is part of a long history of KSC environmental activism, as the college was one of the original signatories of the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment, now titled the Carbon Commitment.
The College continues to develop projects and an overall plan to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions campus-wide. It intends to expand biofuel use over the next few years so more campus spaces can benefit. While the college currently receives its shipments of purified waste vegetable oil biofuel from a Boston-based firm that manufactures the product, KSC also plans to recycle its own used cooking oil as heating oil in the near future. Each step helps KSC cultivate a more diversified and resilient heating fuel portfolio.
KSC environmental studies major and Eco-Rep, Victoria Drake, summed it up. “I feel a great sense of pride being a part of a community that is actively searching for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. The progress that is being made shows the dedication and concern that KSC has for our planet.”
Through a unique training programme that brought industry and academia together, the EU–funded MARE-WINT project has helped to fill a significant skills gap in the burgeoning offshore wind energy sector.
The end result of the MARE-WINT project has been impressive. PhD degree specialists covering fields such as aerodynamics, structural mechanics and operation and maintenance have come through this unique programme with the knowledge and skills to develop Europe’s offshore wind sector and enable it to realise its full potential.
‘Wind generation has been identified by policy makers and industry alike as a clean and secure means of reducing dependency on polluting fossil fuels and limiting over reliance on energy imports,’ says MARE-WINT project coordinator Professor Wiesław Ostachowicz from the Polish Academy of Sciences in Gdańsk. ‘It also requires very little water to produce electricity – unlike nuclear and fossil fuels – and this is hugely important given the growing threat posed by water scarcity.’
But while the environmental case for wind energy has been effectively made, the perceived cost of producing electricity from wind turbines has somewhat constrained market growth. ‘This is why the offshore energy industry is focused on increasing the reliability of offshore wind turbines and reducing the need for maintenance,’ explains Ostachowicz. ‘Finding new ways of achieving these aims is crucial if the offshore wind turbine sector is to accelerate and grow.’
Training tomorrow’s offshore experts
The EU–funded MARE-WINT project was launched following recognition that a crucial skills gap exists. Knowledge from disciplines ranging from mechanical engineering and material science to metrology, fluid mechanics and computer simulation are desperately needed in order to design, build and operate the next generation of reliable and efficient turbines. In order to achieve this, MARE-WINT brought together six universities, seven research institutes and ten private sector enterprises to form a training network and provide doctoral programmes tailored to the future needs of the offshore wind sector.
‘In practical terms, we’ve helped to provide the missing connection between employers – wind turbine industry companies – and their potential workforce by training 14 future offshore wind turbine researchers,’ says Ostachowicz. ‘This will also help to accelerate research in areas targeted by European policy makers, such as renewable energy, in order to prevent global warming and climate change.’
The participation of 13 private sector partners active in off-shore developments was essential for the success of the project. Industrial partners were involved in hosting, training and defining the training needs of the researchers. The strong involvement of industry will give PhD students the widest possible employment prospects.
Sustainable energy benefits
Whilst the MARE-WINT project achieved its key objective of decreasing skill gaps in the sector, it has also provided advances in the design and operation of turbine blades, drive–trains and support structures that will be of benefit in the long term. A number of industrial partners were able to fine tune existing tools and methods that are used on a daily basis, thereby improving performance immediately.
Finally, the project’s outcomes have been presented in a published book that will be used in universities as training material for courses on wind energy technologies. The future for wind energy remains bright; the sector contributed EUR 32 billion to the EU economy in 2010 and as of 2012, 250 000 people in Europe had a job linked to wind energy. By 2020, the sector is projected to have generated 520 000 jobs.
New analysis finds more international carbon trading could drastically reduce costs of delivering deep emissions cuts
The cost of mitigating climate change could be reduced by almost a third by 2030 through greater cooperation via carbon trading, according to a new report released this week by World Bank.
The analysis, prepared with technical support from consultancies Ecofys and Vivid Economics, found an expanded international carbon market could enable large-scale emissions reductions at a far lower cost than is currently the case.
By 2050, the international market has the potential to reduce global mitigation costs by over a half, the report calculated.
It also argued it would be difficult for the world to hit a 2C or lower target cost-efficiently without a significant expansion of carbon trading schemes.
Over 100 countries considered carbon pricing schemes as part of their national climate pledges submitted ahead of the Paris summit, including emissions trading schemes that operate inside or across borders and direct carbon taxation policies.
The Paris deal also set up a framework for global carbon market cooperation, through which countries can pay to benefit from emission reductions in another country in order to fulfil its own carbon pledges.
The report found momentum on carbon pricing has continued to grow post-Paris, with 40 national jurisdictions – including seven of the world’s 10 largest economies – now putting a price on carbon, alongside over 20 cities, states, and regions.
In addition, governments raised around $26bn in revenues from carbon pricing initiatives around the world in 2015, a 60 per cent increase on the revenues raised in 2014, the report found, potentially providing an additional source pf capital for investment in low carbon infrastructure.
“The more we co-operate through carbon trading, the larger the savings and the greater the potential to increase ambition by countries in the short term,” said John Roome, senior director for climate change at the World Bank, in a statement. “To be effective, carbon pricing policies must be coordinated with other energy and environmental policies – this will require collaboration within and between countries.”
The report added that id the Chinese national Emissions Trading System is implemented next year as planned, 2017 would see the largest ever annual increase in the amount of global emissions covered by carbon pricing initatives.
The Chinese scheme is set to surpass the EU ETS to become the largest carbon pricing initiative in the world, with initial estimates showing it would result in the portion of global emissions covered by carbon pricing almost doubling from 13 per cent to between 20 and 25 per cent.
The World Bank report was launched at the international carbon conference held in Vietnam this week.
Advocates of carbon trading argue that it provides firms with an incentive to switch to clean technologies and ensures emissions reductions are delivered in the most cost effective way possible.
However, critics have long argued that many carbon trading schemes fail to set sufficiently high carbon prices and do not always deliver promised emissions reductions
A central component of the Paris Agreement is to strengthen transparency requirements to better hold countries accountable for their commitments. National transparency mechanisms provide information to track Parties’ progress in implementing their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and will help strengthen Parties’ capacities to measure and optimize their efforts to address climate change.
Peru has now taken an important initiative to meet the forthcoming transparency requirements by publicly reporting on its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The platform INFOCARBONO was launched as part of the Climate Commitment Week 2016 by the Minister of Environment Manuel Pulgar-Vidal and provides detailed information on sectoral GHG emissions from different reference years, including a comprehensive description of the methodology applied to calculate the emissions data.
By making the data public, the Ministry of Environment also expects the database to become a “living” platform where users can provide feedback and “monitor” the data with the end goal to present the most accurate data possible. Earlier National Communications, Biennial Update Reports (BURs) and GHG inventory reports are also available at INFOCARBONO, thereby contributing to the transparency of the Peruvian GHG emissions data management system.
As a next step, the Ministry of Environment is planning to launch a National Registry for climate change mitigation actions (NAMAs and REDD+), including upcoming climate change mitigation projects, GHG emission baselines and national emission reduction targets. Together with the data from INFOCARBONO, the National Registry will provide information that enables a comparison of the emission reduction scenario, drawing on existing and planned emission reduction initiatives and the NDC emissions reduction targets. Peru can therefore continuously assess whether the country is on the right low carbon pathway to achieve its NDC targets.
The development of INFOCARBONO was supported by the Inter-American Development Bank and theUNDP Low Emission Capacity Programme through the generous support of the European Union, Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and the Government of Australia.
After a first edition organised by Casas Históricas y Singulares and Ars Civilis in Madrid (2014), the Belgian Building Research Institute will be hosting in collaboration with public institutes from Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia, the second edition of the International Conference on Energy Efficiency and Comfort of Historic Buildings at the Royal Library in Brussels. The 2nd International Conference on Energy Efficiency and Comfort of Historic Buildings (EECHB) will include over fifty innovative peer-reviewed research papers on topics ranging from assessment and monitoring, to regulations, management and training, as well as sustainable interventions. Four keynote speakers will also present their ideas and findings during the conference. On the third conference day delegates will have ample time to explore the rich engineering, architectural, artistic and cultural offerings of the City of Brussels during the unique guided tour in Brussels that will be offered.
The EECHB 2016 Conference is organised around six major themes:
ASTANA. KAZINFORM – Kazakhstan, with its green-minded government, is the poster child for the EBRD’s green investment and 2015 – the year of the launch of the Green Economy Transition approach – was a record year. Total investment in green finance in the country hit €364 million, double the level seen a year earlier. Since 2006, the EBRD has provided €1.335 billion for a total of 68 green projects in Kazakhstan. As the EBRD’s Director in Kazakhstan Janet Heckman explains, the will to go green, both from the EBRD and from the Kazakh government, has been around for years, Kazinform has learnt from ebrd.com.
Ms Heckman, who began work in Kazakhstan nearly four years ago, recalls the then Prime Minister telling her straight away, “we want to look at the Green Economy.”
Kazakhstan is the 14th largest emitter of greenhouse gases and until recently its renewable energy use was limited to a few ageing hydropower plants constructed during the Soviet era. It experiences climatic extremes, with summer temperatures in the capital, Astana, reaching over 40 degrees Celsius, and winter temperatures reaching below -40 degrees Celsius.
Coping with this requires substantial energy use for heating and cooling. Yet, in 2013, Kazakhstan adopted an ambitious National Concept for Transition to a Green Economy, aiming to increase the share of renewable energy in electricity generation from virtually zero to 50 per cent by 2050.
As Ms Heckman recalls, the EBRD’s strategy for Kazakhstan became the first with a focus on the green economy. “A lot of the past four years has been about that. Nearly all our projects have some sort of green component,” she says.
Policy work has been a key part of the job. “With support from international donors such as the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Climate Investment Funds, we’ve worked closely with the Ministry of Environmental Protection on Green Economy legislation, such as rules for emission trading schemes and renewable energy support, and we’ve worked with the government on helping set their Paris Climate agreement goals.”
The EBRD’s engagement with improving renewable energy regulation has led to the signing of award-winning solar and wind projects and a strong pipeline of “green” projects for the next year.
Donor support has been invaluable. The EBRD’s work is strongly supported by global climate funds. In 2014, the EBRD signed the first large-scale wind power project in Kazakhstan, supported by additional concessional financing from the Clean Technology Fund | Climate Investment Funds. In 2015, this wind farm at Yereymentau received the prestigious American Chamber of Commerce Environmental and Safety Award.
Next came solar investment. The EBRD’s second renewable energy project in Kazakhstan was signed in 2015. A €80 million solar power plant project, the Burnoye solar farm, again co-financed with CTF input, the project is jointly owned by both public and private entities. In May 2016, this was named the EBRD’sSustainable Energy Project of the Year.
“We really are at the forefront of renewables,” says Ms Heckman.
The EBRD has also helped Kazakhstan switch from coal to natural gas, with two projects in Natural Resources (Bozoi Gas Storage and the Gas Network Modernisation) that will generate substantial CO2 savings.
Almost all the EBRD’s Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure (MEI) projects also have resource efficiency components
“In Almaty, we provided 400 compressed natural gas buses and 200 trolleybuses, and 60 per cent of the public transport of Almaty became energy efficient,” Ms Heckman says. “In the regions, we work in water, waste management, waste biogas, district heating, electricity distribution, public transport – all of it on the principle of conservation of scarce resources. These projects are in remote places where usually no one wants to go, but we can see projects can sometimes be bankable. Certain cities, such as Kyzylorda, are becoming models of what needs to be done.”
As well as lending the local transport company in Kyzylorda US$ 18.8 million for the purchase of 92 clean modern buses, the EBRD has financed, or expressed interest in financing, a wide range of Kyzylorda public utilities, from water and wastewater to district heating, solid waste, street lighting and transport.
The EBRD is also working to spread innovative climate-friendly technology through its FINTECC climate technology transfer arm, providing grants to companies or municipalities to complement EBRD financing.
The country’s green economy progress will be on display next year at Expo 2017, an international exhibition held in the capital, Astana, between June and September, titled “Future Energy”. Up to three million visitors are expected.
“All this doesn’t mean everything is perfect,” says Ms Heckman. “But we keep working with the ministries, pushing for legislation that is green and protects public health, and they seem to keep listening to us.”
30 November – 7 December 2016 | Groningen, The Netherlands
In order to address the prevailing social and environmental challenges in a sustainable and lasting manner, UNIDO promotes inclusive and sustainable industrial development. One important aspect of it is the necessity to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy in industrial production. Considering that energy inputs represent an important cost of production for industries, clean energy and energy efficiency have progressively become core determinants of economic competitiveness and sustained growth.
UNIDO and the Energy Academy Europe (EAE), a centre of excellence on energy located in Groningen, the Netherlands joint forces to enhance the understanding of innovative energy solutions and to contribute to building new capacities for promoting green industry and sustainable energy systems in developing countries. UNIDO and EAE are organizing a training course for professionals to address some of the key issues relating to sustainable energy by raising awareness and conveying an in-depth understanding of energy policy, technology and financing as planning tools for developing sustainable energy systems.
The 8-day course is designed to provide participants the opportunity to familiarize themselves with current and expected trends in sustainable energy solutions and to reflect on practical, innovative and cost effective ways to address sustainability problems within the energy industry and energy systems.
Participants are expected to:
Participation in the training is open to mid-level professionals from emerging and developing countries with expertise in industrial development, energy and environment and other relevant fields, engaged in the design and implementation of policies.
Participants are expected to have prior understanding and/or practical knowledge of issues related to industrial energy efficiency, renewable energy, low emission and low carbon energy technologies, as well as energy policy and regulatory frameworks.
The objective of this training course is to raise awareness about the key dimensions that need to be addressed to develop sustainable energy solutions for developing countries. The course will provide insights into energy systems modelling, best practices in energy policymaking, best available technologies and financing schemes.
The training course will furthermore explore how to best address these issues while considering the cross-cutting dimensions affecting society in the 21st century, including:
The course offers a dynamic mix of lecture-based and participatory teaching methods. The programme will be supported by guided study tours to enterprises and research centres in the Netherlands.
Training sessions and all materials will be in English. No translation will be provided.
ASTANA. KAZINFORM – CEO of JSC “NC Astana EXPO 2017” Akhmetzhan Yessimov met with Commissioner of the Austrian pavilion at the EXPO 2017 Richard Schenz in Astana on Tuesday.
At the meeting, Mr. Yessimov informed the Austraian guest that the national pavilions will be handed over to participating countries starting from November 2016, whereas apartments for members of the national delegations will be ready in late October.
Mr. Schenz, in turn, said Austria is happy to participate in the EXPO 2017. “I assume that our country is one of the world’s leaders in terms of the topic of the upcoming exhibition “Future Energy”. Presently, we get 25% of energy from alternative energy sources,” he said.
The Austrian side also made a short presentation of the pavilion’s concept which includes innovations of three Austrian companies.
Republic of Kazakhstan, 6 September 2016
Today the RoK’s Ministry of Energy, JSC KazMunaiGas, JSC KazTransGas and Shell Kazakhstan signed the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) which aims at joint assessment and possible implementation of a number of strategic initiatives in line with the RoK’s strategic objectives. The MOC aims at strengthening the long-term relationships between the Parties and defines the key aspects of their co-operation.
The signing ceremony was attended by Minister Bozumbayev, KMG’s CEO Mynbayev, KTG’s General Director Suleimanov and Upstream International Director for Royal Dutch Shell, Mr Andrew Brown.
The MOC covers assessment of opportunities in gas based and renewable industries in Kazakhstan as well as improving oil recovery at RoK’s fields through sharing experience and new technologies.
Minister of Energy, Bozumbayev: “Cooperation under the MOC between Shell, KMG &KTG demonstrates strong partnership between the state and private businesses. We believe that the knowledge and expertise of Kazakhstani specialists combined with Shell’s international experience and technical excellence will enable the partnership to help create a diversified energy market in Kazakhstan, which in turn will positively impact the competitiveness of the national economy as a whole”.
KMG CEO Sauat Mynbayev: «As part of the Memorandum we are looking forward to cooperating together and exploring opportunities to maximise the potential of existing oilfields, carry on joint activities with Shell as part of the RoK Oil &Gas Technology Roadmap, as well as to exchange the technical know-how in the energy sector”.
Upstream International Director, Royal Dutch Shell, Andrew Brown: “We value our co-operation and mutual understanding developed with the Republic of Kazakhstan over the many years of Shell’s presence in country. Shell intends to deepen its strategic alliance with KMG and the Republic of Kazakhstan and welcomes an opportunity to further contribute to the development of energy sector through the MOC with MoE, KMG and KTG. We are looking to provide our support and technical excellence in assessing opportunities in gas processing, oil recovery and renewables.
Notes to editors:
Head quartered in the Hague, Netherlands, Shell is an international group of companies comprising of energy and petrochemical companies. Currently Shell is one of the largest foreign investors in the RoK’s economy. In Kazakhstan Shell has interest in four projects: The North Caspian Production Sharing Agreement (Shell share 16.81%), “Pearls” Production Sharing Agreement in the Kazakhstan Sector of the Caspian sea (Shell share 55%), Karachaganak Final Production Sharing Agreement (through BG Group’s share – 29.25%), and Caspian Pipeline Consortium (Shell share 7.4%), which links Kazakhstan’s oil reserves to world markets.
August 26, 2016 on behalf of Prime Minister Karim Massimov at the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan was held a meeting of the interdepartmental working group on development of the gas industry of Kazakhstan.
On the meeting all the important issues of the gas industry were discussed in details and the relevant concrete decisions on individual moments were taken.
There is a proposal for improving the pricing mechanism for gas trade.
JSC “NC” KazMunayGas “and JSC” KazTransGas “will continue negotiations with” Tengizchevroil “LLP on transfer price of natural gas from dollars to tenge.
Resumed work on the development of a feasibility study (a public examination) project on construction of gas pipeline “Saryarka” (gasification of Astana on the main gas pipeline “Beineu-Bozoi-Shymkent” route: and constructing Compressor Station “Karaozek” (Kyzylorda) – Zhezkazgan – Karaganda – Temirtau – Astana).
“KazTransGas” Company and «General Electric» in conjunction with the regional akimat begin to develop a comprehensive plan for the gasification of settlements with natural gas using new technologies.
In addition, the regional akimat of Almaty in conjunction with the “KazTransGas” JSC will make an updated forecast of consumption of natural gas by 2040. Oil and gas companies of Kazakhstan will calculate the projected gas balance in the context of deposits until 2040.
On the basis of these oil and gas companies and local executive bodies on natural gas consumption, the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan will develop a long-term gas balance forecasted until 2040.
JSC “KazTransGas” together with the akimat of Karaganda region will continue to implement the project of extracting methane coal beds in Karaganda coal basin.
Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in cooperation with JSC “NC” KazMunayGas “, JSC” KazTransGas “will continue to work on the elaboration of the issues on transit of Russian gas to China and export Kazakh gas to China.