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Triple Crunch Log                                                                                                            

31.3.10. Businesses unsure how new UK commitment to carbon reduction will work. Indi: “Businesses are confused about and unprepared for the implementation of the Government's Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), the energy efficiency scheme which starts tomorrow. Nearly half of companies surveyed by the power supplier Npower said official advice about the new legislation had been "inadequate". About 49 per cent said they did not understand how to buy the necessary carbon allowances and 44 per cent said they do not know how to forecast their carbon emissions, according to a report published this morning. Some 5,000 businesses – between them accounting for about 10 per cent of the UK's harmful carbon dioxide emissions – will form the core of the scheme, with another 25,000 expected to register but unlikely to have to participate fully. Those affected have up to six months from tomorrow to register, and another 12 months to establish the necessary monitoring systems. The CRC is a variation of a cap-and-trade scheme. All organisations with half-hourly electricity consumption of more than 6,000 megawatt hours are required to submit annual carbon footprint audits and buy carbon permits for the following 12 months. Any surplus permits can be traded and any shortfall bought in the market. …The CRC does not make money for the Treasury. All the payments are refunded to those taking part six months later, with either a bonus or a deduction depending on the company's position in a league table ranked by reduced power use.”245

President Obama proposes oil drilling off US East coast, setting himself on course for confrontation with Democratic senators from coastal states. The Air Force had the first successful biofuel-powered test flight just last week, the president says.246

1.4.10. Oil reaches $87. It has been trading between $70 and $80 per barrel since summer 2009. Chinese demand is up more than 21% over last year's levels. Supertanker rates have risen, and nearly 13 million barrels of crude oil are sent every day to Asia from the Middle East. The US does everything it can to stem to descent, and production is actually up on last year. 502 rigs that are currently operating across the U.S, an 18 year high. With 103 rigs currently drilling in North Dakota, where the Bakken oil boom is in full swing.247

PWC show how Europe and North Africa could get to 100% renewable electricity by 2050.  To do this would require policy substantial investment, but the reports’ authors profess that experience with other large infrastructure programmes shows the financing capacity “is there.” Such a system would result in a net decrease in power imports among the countries concerned.248 249

Natural gas not such a good idea when lifecycle emissions are measured. So says Robert Howarth, a professor of ecology and environmental biology at Cornell University, His preliminary calculations suggest to him that natural gas recovered from new hydrofracturing techniques appears to have higher emissions than combustion emissions alone would suggest: at least as bad as coal from mountaintop removal and perhaps worse. He suggests leakage of methane associated with shale gas is probably far more important than normal gas production. FT: “what’s most striking about Howarth’s paper is not the alarming implications of his very rough estimates, but his statement that rigorous estimates of the emissions from developing, processing, and transporting natural gas are not available - nor are such estimates available, he says, for coal-fired power. It would be interesting to see just how detailed lifecycle studies of different energy sources would need to be in order to be fully comprehensive - and how different sources, from fossil fuels to renewables, would stack up. Perhaps none of them are what they seem.”250

Photon magazine recommends regional feed-in tariffs in Germany as solar PV market soars. PV supply including inventories was 12.4 GW in 2009, 77% up YoY, and installations of 8.8 GW, up 36%. Germany installed 3.8 GW of c 9 GW globally in 2009. 2010 will be c 10 according to EPIA, and pressing 20 if you believe Photon. Total global PV installed is now 21 GW, c 10 of it in Germany. But over half is in in the two sunny southern states. Also: at 20 GW, Photon foresees major issues for utilities, not least on their profitability.251

2.4.10. Areva guilty of lethal uranium pollution in Niger mining operation, local activists claim. Der Spiegel: “Sherpa, a lawyers' organization from Paris that fights for the rights of workers. When a Sherpa attorney interviewed more than 80 mine workers, she heard the same stories again and again: There was allegedly no safety equipment until the mid-1980s, not even dust masks. One family claimed that doctors had sent a coughing mine worker home from the Areva hospital in Arlit after diagnosing him with diabetes. When the man went to see a doctor in a larger city, Agadez, he was diagnosed with lung cancer in an advanced stage. The Sherpa attorney confronted the chief physician at the hospital. He reportedly defended himself by saying that doctors never tell patients that they have lung cancer. Another hospital employee allegedly admitted that when cancer diagnoses were given, if at all, it was only to patients who didn't work in the mine. "When workers exhibit these symptoms, we talk about malaria or AIDS," he allegedly said. Areva says that the company doctors are "independent" and calls the charges "practically slanderous." The company also insists that the doctors have "all equipment required to carry out their work."” The Greenpeace activists showed up last November and stayed for nine days. They found elevated levels of radiation everywhere. A sand sample taken near the mine in Akokan contained 100 times more radioactive material than normal sand. In the streets of Akokan, the Greenpeace team apparently even measured radiation levels that were 500 times normal levels. 252

3.4.10. Kuwait Times: Kuwait needs to be more aware of peak oil and global warming. Staff writer. Abdullah Al-Qattan, speaking of the February report by Kuwaiti scientists that peak oil might be as close as 2014, writes: If Peak Oil is this close, then, why are we failing to adapt? One reason might be widespread ignorance of the basics of environmentalism. Some people might not realize what terms such as 'green building' actually mean, with such critically important terminology missing from even our modern textbooks. This has led to a common unawareness of the global ecological crises and a consequent lack of any consideration for these urgent problems, such as global warming and pollution, which in turn will lead to further amplification of these problems.” If it wanted to, Kuwait could be a green country, developing plentiful renewables including solar, Al-Qattan says.253

Silane gas dangers in solar cell manufacture addressed with new chemical. Workers have died and been injured in silane gas explosions at manufacturing plants for solar cells and semiconductors. Scientific American: “But there is an alternative. Quebec-based manufacturer Sixtron Advanced Materials  has developed a way to make a more stable gas with similar properties via gasifying polymer pellets. The idea is to hook the SiXtron "Sunbox" to existing silicon photovoltaic manufacturing lines to provide a methyl silane gaseous mixture via the same pipes that would normally deliver silane from a canister. "The methyl silane gases are not pyrophoric, they are simply a flammable gas," says Bates Marshall, SiXtron's executive vice president of sales

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