Thursday, February 22, 2007

China Belatedly Commences Slow Conversion Of Electrical Usage From Coal And Nuclear Powered Sources To Alternative, Sustainable Energy Sources

"China, known worldwide for its smog-choked cities and rising status as global-superpolluter, may be cleaning up its act.

The country that has let coal-belching power plants fuel its economic miracle is now eyeing a cleaner, more benign form of electricity: wind power.

According to the Brussels-based Global Wind Energy Council, China added nearly 1350 megawatts of wind-generated electricity in 2006, doubling its wind capacity.

While that's still less than 1 percent of China's total annual electricity usage, and half of what the U.S. installed over the same period, China was still fifth worldwide when it came to the amount of wind power installed in 2006.

"[The wind-power business] is going gangbusters," said Greg Yurek, chief executive of American Superconductor, a company with $51 million in 2006 sales that, among other things, licenses wind turbine designs to Chinese firms. "They need electricity, and wind is a nice way to do it."

U.S. companies in the wind-power business, along with their foreign counterparts, could stand to gain as they license wind-turbine designs and construct windmills in China for the domestic market.

Driving the push to wind power is a 2006 declaration by the government that the country should invest more in renewable energy, and should eventually have 30,000 megawatts of wind power installed by 2020. (The U.S. is projected to have 50,000 megawatts installed by then, up from 11,000 megawatts currently.)

China is not a party to the Kyoto treaty, but its leaders have recognized that its heavy reliance on a single energy source - coal - is both dirty and dangerous.

Pollution in Chinese cities, partly caused by the burning of coal, is leading to serious public health concerns and an international image problem ahead of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

"They think it's urgent to correct some of the monumental mistakes they have made so far" in energy policy, said Yingling Liu, China program manager at the Washington-based research institute Worldwatch." ...

Steve Hargreaves "Wind power blows through China: The central government's heavy hand helps spark opportunities for Chinese and international players to green up the coal-fired country" February 20, 2007


EBRD continues support to ISTIL Ukraine steel mill

$85 million facility to meet working capital needs, generate carbon credits

"The EBRD is providing an $85 million financing facility to ISTIL Ukraine, the only modern mini steel mill in Ukraine based on an electric arc furnace and continuous casting technology. The facility consists of a $40 million revolving loan for working capital needs and a $45 million term loan for energy efficiency improvements, Quality control systems installation and debt refinance. Both loans have an A/B structure, with the B loan, which has been syndicated to commercial banks, totalling up to USD 50 million.

ISTIL Ukraine, which produces steel billets and bars that are sold to re-rolling mills, seamless pipe manufacturers, machine-building, automotive producers and steel traders world-wide, has enjoyed successful cooperation with the Bank since 2001.

Energy efficiency measures being implemented by ISTIL Ukraine include the installation of a new oxygen plant, a steam generating unit and a new transformer for the electric arc furnace. These measures are expected to improve overall energy efficiency of the company and cut its CO2 emissions. ISTIL sold EUR 3 million worth of carbon credits to the EBRD (a procedure envisaged by the Kyoto Protocol) for the account of the Netherlands. It would be the first such project in the steel sector in the Bank’s countries of operations." ...

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Press Release February 13, 2007

Wind Map of Ukraine, Future European Union.

Image credit: RenewableDevelopment Initiative [Wind, Biomass, Solar, Geothermal, Hydroelectric] European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.


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