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Renewables - May 18

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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage


Alcoholics Unanimous Newsletter (biofuels)

David Bloom, www.permaculture.com
Articles include:

The Book: Alcohol Can Be a Gas! Fueling a Revolution
Peak Oil and High Prices
Alcohol from Cellulose
Sweden and Alcohol
Fortune Magazine
California Initiative
Alcohol Mandates
The American Fuels Act of 2006
Alcohol Prices

(May 2006)
For many years, permaculturalist David Bloom has been researching and writing about sustainably produced alcohol. He is currently in the last painful stages of writing a book on the subject. Anyone who has published a book knows the feeling. -BA


Cargill, ADM Differ in Food-Fuel Debate

Steve Karnowski, Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS - One agribusiness giant is enthusiastic about using farmland to produce fuel. Another says growing food should be the top priority for those fields.

Archer Daniels Midland Co., by far the country's largest ethanol producer, has taken an aggressive approach to biofuels including ethanol and biodiesel. Cargill Inc. has been more restrained, though it's hardly sitting on the sidelines.

Recent comments by the chairmen of both companies mirror a larger debate taking place on how big of a contribution ethanol can make toward reducing America's need for oil imports, and whether using more corn to make more fuel will lead to higher food prices.
(16 May 2006)


France's renewed taste for wood heating

EurActiv
Sales of modern wood-based stoves, heaters and fireplace inserts are shooting up in France with about 6 million households equipped today, according to ADEME, the French environment and energy agency.

"If France is deprived of oil, in contrast, it has a lot of wood," says Jean-Christophe Pouët, a coordinator for wood heating at ADEME who explains France's renewed taste for wood with a rural tradition of open fireplaces and rising energy prices.

In 2005, sales of modern wood stoves, fireplace inserts and boilers shot up 23% to reach 430,334 units sold against 348,080 units on the previous year, ADEME says. With 9.3 million tonne oil equivalent (mtoe) per year, France is the first country in Europe for wood heating, ahead of Sweden (8.2 mtoe) and Finland (7.2 mtoe).

The forestry sector is set to benefit from this renewed taste for wood. "The French forest is the third in Europe in terms of area covered after Sweden and Finland," says Pouët. "The potential is huge", he says, adding that consumption could double to reach 19 million tonne oil equivalent (mtoe) per year. However, a French energy law, voted on in July 2005, has an objective to increase heating wood by only 4 mtoe by 2010.
(X May 2006)
"EurActiv.com is the independent media portal fully dedicated to EU affairs."
The original has links to EU documents.


China's spending on renewable energy ranks world No. 1

Yan (editor), Newsgd.com
China has become the top investor in renewable energy in the world, experts said Tuesday at the ongoing forum for decentralized sustainable energy solutions in China.

Dr. Eric Martinot, a senior research fellow with the U.S.-basedWorldwatch Institute and senior visiting scholar of Tsinghua University, said that excluding large hydropower, China invested 6billion U.S. dollars in renewable energy in 2005 out of a global total investment of 38 billion dollars.

Soaring oil prices have made renewable energy a focus for worldinvestors, said Martinot. Government support for renewable energy was 10 billion dollars in 2004 for the United States and Europe, including budget fund and policy support. The United States and Europe provide more than700 million dollars per year for research and development, said Martinot.

...China plans to raise its electricity installed capacity for renewable energy to 10 percent of its total power capacity by 2010 and 20 percent by 2020.

By 2010, renewable energy excluding large hydropower will account for five percent of China's total primary energy consumption and the percentage is planned to rise to 10 percent by 2020.

The Chinese government has given much policy support to the industry of renewable energy. The law for renewable energy, the first of its kind is China, came into effect at the beginning of this year.
(17 May 2006)
The publisher is Newsgd.com, "the premier online source of Guangdong [China] news and information."

Denmark: Ministers want to export green cures for the energy crunch
The Copenhagen Post
Three government ministers are showing that export policy and the environment go hand in hand

Three decades of strict environmental policy have given Denmark a great leap forward when it comes to environmentally friendly energy technologies. Three government ministries are hoping to sell that green know-how to several of the world’s largest countries.

While countries such as Brazil, the US, Russia and India grapple with energy and pollution issues, the Danish Ministries of Foreign Affairs, the Environment, and Transport and Energy all see solutions to their problems in technologies springing out of the oil crises of the 1970s.

‘The time is ripe to take advantage of an increasing global demand for energy. This plays to some of our strengths built up since the 1973 oil crisis. That crisis resulted in a conscious political effort to rely on energy efficiency and environmental protection,’ said the foreign minister, Per Stig Møller, currently on an official visit in China with the minister of environmental affairs, Connie Hedegaard.

The ministers hope that their visit would increase local knowledge of Danish advances in such areas as renewable energy, waste disposal and water treatment as China embarks on its own ‘green five-year plan’.

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