Tag Archives: China

United States Carbon: CSI reports encouraging carbon reduction data

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)’s Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) has published the latest update to the ‘Getting the Numbers Right’ database, which shows significant CO2 emissions reductions and improved efficiency.

As the cement industry’s global database of CO2 emissions and performance, the latest ‘Getting the Numbers Right’ (GNR) data for 2011 shows that the industry has reduced its specific net CO2 emissions per tonne of cementitious product by 17 per cent since 1990 (from 756kg/t to 629kg/t)1.

The GNR figures provide evidence of the gradual decoupling of emissions and cement output, which demonstrates the significant progress made by the industry: cement production by GNR companies increased by 74 per cent between 1990 and 2011, absolute CO2 emissions increased by only by 44 per cent over this period. Between 2010 and 2011, while cement production volume covered by the GNR increased from 840Mt to 888Mt cementitious volume), specific net CO2 emissions have decreased from 638kg/t to 629kg/t of cementitious product.

Commenting on the encouraging data, Philippe Fonta, WBCSD managing director, said: “GNR demonstrates how an effective measuring, reporting and verification system can be developed and managed for and by an entire industry sector. GNR has become established as a valuable source of independently verified emissions data, which is now used globally by the cement industry to improve energy efficiency and further reduce emissions. It is also accessed widely by policy-makers, analysts and other interested stakeholders.”

According to the data, the four main drivers for the reduction in emissions are:
• investment in more efficient kiln technology
• increasing use of alternative fuels such as biomass2
• reduction in clinker content3
• an eight per cent decrease in electricity use per tonne of cement since 1990.

The 2011 data also now comprises 55 per cent of cement production outside of China, with 96 per cent coverage in Europe spanning 967 individual facilities. Four new country reports are released for the first time: Thailand, Morocco, Philippines and Egypt providing more relevant national data in these countries.

About the GNR

Now in its seventh year of publication and the largest global database of its kind, the GNR is a voluntary, independently managed database of CO2 and energy performance information on the global cement industry. The most recent data released is for 2011 in compliance with anti-trust legislation.

The GNR uses a common methodology for data collection and reporting, of which 94 per cent is independently verified.  Whilst the database is managed by the CSI, participation is nott limited to its members. Cement producers worldwide are encouraged to report their emissions through the GNR project and cement trade associations have played a particularly active role in encouraging member companies to  make their emissions data available.

The GNR data is available online at www.wbcsdcement.org/GNR

Notes

1: For specific gross CO2 emissions the reduction was 15 per cent over the same time span.
Gross CO2 emissions: direct CO2 emissions (excl. on-site electricity production) minus emissions from biomass fuel sources.

Net CO2 emissions: gross CO2 emissions minus emissions from alternative fossil fuels
Cementitious products are all clinker volumes produced by a company for cement making or direct clinker sale, plus gypsum, limestone, CKD, and all clinker substitutes consumed for blending, plus all cement substitutes produced. Clinker bought from third parties for the production of cement is excluded.

2: While a few plants have been able to replace up to over 90 per cent of conventional fuels, the global average replacement is around 13 per cent in 2011 (compared to only two per cent in 1990).

3: Clinker-to-cement ratio exhibits some variations in different regions due to the specific minerals added in the concrete manufacturing process. Globally, the average % of clinker in cement is 76 per cent (compared to 83 per cent in 1990).

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

United States Carbon: Buildings Account for 39% of CO 2 emissions in the United States

The commercial and residential building sector accounts for 39% of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions in the United States per year, more than any other sector. U.S. buildings alone are responsible for more CO 2 emissions annually than those of any other country except China. Most of these emissions come from the combustion of fossil fuels to provide heating, cooling and lighting, and to power appliances and electrical equipment. By transforming the built environment to be more energy-efficient and climate-friendly, the building sector can play a major role in reducing the threat of climate change.

A growing source of CO2 emissions:
  • In 2004, total emissions from residential and commercial buildings were 2236 million metric tons of CO 2 , or 39% of total U.S. CO 2 emissions—more than either the transportation or industrial sector
  • Over the next 25 years, CO 2 emissions from buildings are projected to grow faster than any other sector, with emissions from commercial buildings projected to grow the fastest—1.8% a year through 2030
  • When other CO 2 emissions attributable to buildings are considered—such as the emissions from the manufacture and transport of building construction and demolition materials and transportation associated wi th urban sprawl—the result is an even greater impact on the climate

Buildings consume 70% of the electricity load in the U.S. The most significant factor contributing to CO 2 emissions from buildings is their use of electricity:

  • Commercial and residential buildings are tremendous users of electricity, accounting for more than 70% of electricity use in the U.S.
  • The building sector consumed 40 quadrillion Bt us of energy in 2005 at a cost of over $300 billion. Energy use in the sector is projected to increase to 50 quadrillion Btus at a cost of $430 billion by the year 2025.
  • The energy impact of buildings is likely to be even greater when taking into account other energy use attributable to buildin gs. For example, the energy embodied in a single building’s envelope equals 8-10 times t he annual energy used to heat and cool the building.
  • Buildings have a lifespan of 50-100 years during which they continually consume energy and produce CO 2 emissions. If half of new commercial buildings were built to use 50% less energy, it would save over 6 million metric tons of CO 2 annually for the life of the buildings—the equivalent of taking more than 1 million cars off the road every year.

Green buildings are a vital tool in the fight against climate change

Scientists predict that left unchecked, emissions of CO 2 and other greenhouse gases from human activities will raise global temperatures by 2.5ºF to 10ºF this century. The effects will be profound, and may include rising sea levels, more frequent floods and droughts, and increased spread of infectious diseases. To address the threat of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions must be sl owed, stopped, and reversed. Meeting the challenge will require dramatic advances in technologies and a shift in how the world economy generates and uses energy.

Building green is one of the best strategies for meeting the challenge of climate change because the technology to make substantial reductions in energy and CO 2 emissions already exists. The average LEED certified building uses 32% less electricity and saves 350 metric tons of CO 2 emissions annually. Modest investments in energy-saving and other climate-friendly technologies can yield buildings and communities that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthier places to live and work, and that contribute to reducing CO 2 emissions.

Green buildings provide abundant opportunities for saving energy and mitigating CO 2 emissions

Building green can reduce CO2 emissions while improving the bottom line through energy and other savings. Examples of measures that can be taken to improve building performance include:

  • Incorporating the most efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, along with operations and maintenance of such systems to assure optimum performance
  • Using state of the art lighting and optimizing daylighting
  • Using recycled content building and interior materials
  • Reducing potable water usage
  • Using renewable energy
  • Implementing proper construction waste management
  • Siting the building near public transportation
  • Using locally produced building materials

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

United States Carbon: HP Travels ‘Modern Silk Road’ To Cut Freight Footprint

When it comes to reducing emissions related to freight, trains rate better than either trucks or airplanes. With this in mind, high-tech manufacturer Hewlett-Packard negotiated a new rail route to haul notebook computers and displays made at its factories deep in Chongqing, China, out to distributors and customers as far away as Germany.

The line mirrors the fabled Silk Road, the ancient web of paths and routes used to transport spices, gems and silk fabric by camel from their Chinese sources to markets in Europe.

The modern-day edition trailblazed by HP spans 6,700 miles, covers two continents and crosses six countries. It takes about three weeks for HP’s express trains to complete a one-way journey, traveling at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour and safeguarded by armed security guards.

“Despite the distance, the journey is cost-effective and better for the environment than air transport, and it’s faster than ocean shipping,” says HP, in a blog post describing the project.

The new rail route was several years in the making. In 2010, HP developed manufacturing facilities in inland and western China in 2010 to take advantage of government economic incentives. But there was no easy way to get the products out of the region, so the company’s supply chain team negotiated government agencies and rail import/export systems operators in China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany to make the route a reality.

Now, HP dispatches express trains at least once weekly in the summer. The company plans to continue using the route for the time this coming winter, but it had to develop special packaging to protect the devices being transported: temperatures along the way can plummet to below -4 Fahrenheit, which is way too cold for most electronics to handle.

According to Tony Prophet, senior vice president of operations for HP Printing and Personal Systems, the rail route offers his company three distinct competitive advantages:

Environmental benefits – This mode of transportation carries one-thirtieth of the carbon footprint associated with air freight.

Cost and time savingsTransporting products from remote locations in inland China out to the coast where they can be shipped by air can takes up to 35 days, and it is far more expensive. The rail alternative costs about one-third the price of air transport, estimates HP.

The promise of better working conditions – By keeping its manufacturing plants in Western China, the company is contributing to economic growth in the region and can draw from a larger pool of potential factory workers.

Eventually, the route will be used for other sorts of shipments – and by other manufacturers.

Chinese authorities plan 50 trains next year, carrying $1 billion worth of goods, reports The New York Times. The first non-HP train headed north in July, with $1.5 million of tires, shoes and clothes on board. It will return with German electronics, vehicles and auto parts, and medical supplies.

HP was the No. 2 company on the latest Greenpeace Greener Electronics ranking and the Newsweek Green US ranking. It also consistently ranks as a leader for corporate responsibility reporting.

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions from developing countries will be 127 percent higher than in the world’s most developed economies by 2040

Under the policies currently in place worldwide, carbon emissions will grow 46 percent by 2040 from a 2010 baseline, the EIA projected in its biennial International Energy Outlook.

Energy-related emissions will total around 45.5 billion tonnes in 2040, up from a reference level of 31.2 billion tonnes in 2010, said the agency, which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Developing countries’ carbon dioxide emissions will outpace emissions from the developed countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) over the next three decades due to their generally stronger rate of economic growth and continued use of fossil fuels.

The projection for developing countries‘ emissions to vastly exceed OECD emissions in 2040 compares with 2010, when non-OECD emissions exceeded OECD emissions by just 38 percent.

The fast economic growth of China and India over the coming years will play a central role in the global outlook for energy demand. “These two countries combined account for half the world’s total increase in energy use through 2040,” said EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski.

The report also projects that the carbon intensity of energy production will by 2040 have declined by 1.9 percent in OECD countries and by 2.7 percent in non-OECD countries from 2010 levels. Lower intensity levels mean there is less pollution produced per unit of economic output.

The EIA lowered its forecast of emissions in OECD countries in 2035 relative to its previous projection in 2011.

Although carbon emissions rose between the previous estimate and the current outlook in Japan, which had to substitute some of its lost nuclear capacity with fossil fuels after the 2011 tsunami, lower emissions in the United States due to a shift to shale gas and in the OECD nations of Europe offset the increase, said senior international energy analyst Linda Doman.

Multilateral international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the European Investment Bank, have in recent weeks sought to lower fossil fuel use in developing countries and voted to curtail their investments in coal projects overseas. (Reporting by Valerie Volcovici Editing by Ros Krasny and Eric Beech)

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

United States Carbon: We can’t afford to wait on climate change

The world cannot afford to wait for a new global climate change agreement to come into force in 2020, because doing so will mean an end to hopes of limiting global warming to moderate levels, one of the world’s foremost authorities on energy has warned.

Carbon dioxide emissions from energy rose by 1.4 percent in 2012 to a record high of more than 31 billion tonnes, according to a report from the International Energy Agency on Monday, driven in part by a striking 6 percent rise in emissions from Japan following its phase-out of nuclear power and continuing growth in emissions from China.

Decommissioning work at the Fukushima nuclear plant. There has been a 6 percent rise in emissions from Japan following its phase-out of nuclear power.

Fatih Birol, chief economist at the IEA, and one of the world’s most respected energy experts, told the Guardian that greenhouse gas emissions were continuing to rise so fast that pinning hopes on a replacement for the Kyoto protocol would set the world on a path to 5°C (9°F) of warming, which would be catastrophic.

Birol urged governments to take urgent action on improving energy efficiency, replacing fossil fuels with low-carbon power, stopping the construction of inefficient power plants and phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, as low or no-cost ways of reducing emissions quickly. “This will not harm economic growth, and they are policies that can be taken in a fragile economic context,” he said.

The IEA has calculated that making clean energy investments sooner would be cheaper than leaving them until after 2020. About $1.5 trillion should be spent before 2020 to meet climate targets, it found, but if the investments are left until after 2020 it will take $5 trillion to achieve the same results.

Governments are negotiating under the United Nations to forge a global deal on emissions that would be signed in 2015 but not come into force until 2020. Until then, most countries have their own voluntary goals to curb carbon, but these fall well short of the cuts scientists say are needed to limit temperature rises to no more than 2°C (3.6°F) above pre-industrial levels, which is regarded as the limit of safety beyond which warming is likely to become catastrophic and irreversible.

Birol said: “I am very worried about the emissions trends. The chance of keeping to 2°C (3.6°F) is still there, technically, but it is not very great. It is becoming extremely challenging.”

Officials are meeting in Bonn this week in the next round of the ongoing U.N. talks.

Officials are meeting in Bonn this week in the next round of the ongoing U.N. talks, and Birol urged “a change in political mood” in the run-up to the 2015 deadline. He noted that there were a few positive trends among the rising carbon levels identified by the IEA, the gold standard on energy and emissions data. Emissions from energy in the U.S. are now at levels not seen since the mid 1990s, having dropped by 3.8 percent in 2012 due to the effects of the shale gas boom that has led to gas replacing coal.

But Birol warned that this could not be replicated globally: “Shale gas is not a panacea. It can only be helpful if we see these other low-carbon technologies also [coming into widespread use] if we are serious about 2°C (3.6°F).”

Birol also saw positive trends in China, the world’s biggest emitter. Although China’s emissions rose by more than 300 millio tonnes, this was one of the smallest annual increases in two decades, Birol said. “The Chinese government has made huge efforts in energy efficiency, and a major effort on renewable energy such as hydroelectricity and wind.”

Lord Stern of Brentford, author of the landmark Stern review of the economics of climate change, said the IEA report showed the importance of making investments quickly in cleaner energy. He said: “Government-induced policy risk from lack of clarity on energy and climate policy is, in many parts of the world, a major deterrent to long-term investment. This is surely unacceptable at a time of idle resources, low interest rates, strong liquidity within much of the private sector, attractive medium-term prospects for low-carbon growth and a climate at great risk.”

He added: “The IEA has also warned of the dangers of locking in fossil fuel infrastructure, which would need to be retired early, at great additional cost, in order to meet the 2°C (3.6°F) target. The IEA’s message is crystal clear: dither and delay in making the transition to a low-carbon energy system will be risky and expensive.”

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

United States Carbon: Fossil Fuels to Dominate World Energy Use Through 2040

Global energy consumption will grow by 56 percent by 2040 with fossil fuels remaining dominant energy sources. Along with that growth will come increased carbon dioxide emissions and a continued reliance on  coal, oil, and natural gas for transportation and electricity generation, according to a new report published Thursday by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The International Energy Outlook, which is released every two years, shows that strong economic growth in developing countries will be the dominant force driving world energy markets during that period.

“Rising prosperity in China and India is a major factor in the outlook for global energy demand. These two countries combined account for half the world’s total increase in energy use through 2040,” said EIA administrator Adam Sieminski in a press release. The EIA is the Department of Energy’s statistical and analytical agency.

Credit: Flickr/Otodo

Energy use in developing countries, for example, is projected to increase by 90 percent by 2040, while industrialized nations will see a comparatively paltry increase of 17 percent. By 2040, China’s energy demand is expected to be twice that of the U.S., the report projected.

“This is good news, this is rising prosperity,” Sieminski said at an energy event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Thursday. “The question is how do we accomodate rising prosperity and still maintain energy security and the environment?”

According to the report, renewable energy sources as well as nuclear power will be the fastest-growing energy sources during the next few decades, each growing at 2.5 percent per year, while natural gas will be the fastest-growing fossil fuel. However, in 2040, coal will remain the second-largest fuel source behind petroleum and other liquid fuels, assuming that governments do not enact new policies to limit the use of fossil fuels in order to rein in emissions of global warming pollutants, such as carbon dioxide (CO2). The EIA omitted potential policies from its analysis due to the uncertainties about whether, when, and how they will be implemented.

“The EIA tries to stay out of the business of forecasting policy developments,” Sieminski said at a press conference on Thursday.

Of the renewable energy sources, the report projects that wind and hydropower will see the fastest growth, with wind dominating in developed nations, and hydropower projects more limited to developing countries. By 2040, the report projects, renewables’ share of world energy use will be 15 percent, up from 11 percent in 2010.

Importantly, though, the report projects that, despite robust growth in renewables, fossil fuels will continue to supply nearly 80 percent of world energy use through 2040.

It’s predicted that in 2040, coal will remain the second-largest energy source worldwide, with a greater reliance on coal seen in developing countries such as China and India compared to industrialized nations. The report projects that coal’s share of world energy consumption will stop growing during the next decade, and will decline after 2025, due in part to government policies that have already been put in place to encourage the use of cleaner-burning fuels, as well as market developments that have made natural gas a cheaper fuel for generating electricity.

Manmade emissions of carbon dioxide in 2012 likely reached 35.6 billion tons. That’s up 2.6 percent from what was emitted in 2011, the previous record.
Click image to enlarge. Credit: Climate Central

The report projects that the greatest growth in nuclear power will take place in China, India, and South Korea, with China accounting for more than 40 percent of the global net increase in nuclear capacity. “The China story is an interesting one,” Sieminski said. “This is going to be a reach and a stretch I think for China to do this and to manage it.”

Compared to the last International Energy Outlook, released in 2011, this report projects greater growth in coal use. That has important implications for global warming, since coal-fired power plants are one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions, and studies show that the timing of emissions reductions are critical to determining how much warming the planet will experience during this century.

While coal’s share of the world energy market will be on the wane by 2040, the report shows an upward trajectory for natural gas, thanks to new technology, such as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” that allows companies to access previously inaccessible supplies. The report projects a 64 percent increase in natural gas consumption by 2040, with the vast majority of that coming from the industrial and electric power sectors.

As far as carbon emissions are concerned, the report estimates that global energy-related CO2 emissions will rise from 31.2 billion metric tons in 2010 to 36.4 billion metric tons in 2020, and 45.5 billion metric tons in 2040 — an increase of 46 percent over 30 years. During that period, the gap between emissions coming from developed nations vs. developing nations is expected to significantly widen. In 2010, developing country emissions exceeded the emissions of industrialized countries by 38 percent. In 2040, they are projected to be in the lead by about 127 percent.

In addition to potential greenhouse gas regulations at the national and international levels, the report cautions that the projections contain a number of other uncertainties, including the ramifications of the political unrest in the wake of the Arab Spring, which have temporarily raised oil prices, the anemic economic recoveries of many Western nations, and slowing economic growth in China and India.

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com