This blog will cover some news items related to Sustainability: Corporate Social Responsibility, Stewardship, Environmental management, etc.


Telcos mull alternative energy to power towers: The companies are looking at tapping solar power, wind energy and bio-fuels, including fish and vegetable oil, to run base transceiver systems (BTS) in areas with poor power supply.

Thanks to Andy for this one

Telcos mull alternative energy to power towers
Rajesh S Kurup / Mumbai July 26, 2007

Stung by power outages and impending rural expansion plans, telecom companies, both equipment vendors and operators, are looking at alternative energy sources to expand their footprints across rural India.
The companies are looking at tapping solar power, wind energy and bio-fuels, including fish and vegetable oil, to run base transceiver systems (BTS) in areas with poor power supply.
Companies such as Ericsson AB, Reliance Communications, Idea Cellular, Vodafone Essar and state-owned BSNL and MTNL are looking at alternative fuels to power their towers. A BTS needs around 500 watts of uninterrupted power.
"The industry needs uninterrupted power to roll out services in rural and semi-urban areas. Erratic power, apart from delaying the rollout of the services, also affects the quality of services," Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (AUSPI) Secretary General S C Khanna told Business Standard.
At present, the companies are using diesel gensets. However, diesel is expensive compared to electricity, and the transportation of fuel to remote areas is also problematic, he added.
The world's largest manufacturer of wireless networks, Ericsson AB, has set up four towers that run on fish and vegetable oils. The towers are all greenfield sites put up for Aditya Birla group company Idea Cellular in Maharashtra circle.
According to Idea Cellular Managing Director Sanjeev Aga, "The use of biofuels is helping us to bring communication facilities to rural communities in India."
P Balaji, Ericsson vice president (marketing and strategy), says: "Generating biofuels from bio-mass and molasses will create job opportunities for local communities as they would be involved in the production of these fuels. Moreover, these fuels are environment-friendly and help in reducing carbon di-oxide emissions by around 70-80 per cent compared to diesel."
Reliance Communications has begun tapping wind and solar power to ensure uninterrupted power supply for its network. On the wind energy front, the telephony major has installed windmills on its towers at Kunustara and Murugathal near Durgapur in West Bengal.
The company is also looking at using solar power to run its cell sites and has initiated talks with Pune-based solar panel manufacturer Machinocraft.
Reliance Communication is planning to run 10,000 sites using either solar power or wind power by the end of this year.
The company's Group President (finance & treasury) Ramesh Venkat said wind and solar energy were being used in areas with little or no power.
On a rough estimate, a wind power turbine or a solar panel mounted on towers will generate around 1,800-2,000 watts during peak sunshine hours or high-windy days. Of this, the repeater sites consume up to 500 watt each, while the remaining is stored in batteries and used to power the network at night or low windy times.
While Hutch is also looking at wind turbines, state-owned telecos are experimenting with multiple sources like solar, wind, gobar gas and biofuel from molasses.
But there are questions regarding their sustainablity. GTL's – a company providing telecom infrastructure - Chairman and Managing Director Manoj Tirodkar has another view.
"Every company, including GTL, are experimenting with alternative fuels in rural areas. But when it comes to faster and larger rollouts of infrastructure, diesel gensets are still the reliable mode of power in the rural sector".
This is because alternative fuels are mostly used on an experimental basis and its commercial viability is under undergoing trials. But with a target of 500 million connections by 2010, every bit of innovation is welcome, he adds.

Global warming, more rain, and catastrophic sea rise (yikes)

Thanks to Brian for these cheery bits ;-)


California Utility Agrees to Buy Power Generated by Solar Array

California Utility Agrees to Buy Power Generated by Solar Array

SAN FRANCISCO, July 23 — Pacific Gas & Electric, Northern California's major utility, is announcing a commitment on Wednesday to purchase 550 megawatts of solar power to be generated by troughlike arrays of mirrors spread over nine square miles in the Mojave Desert.

The purchase, one of the largest ever of solar power, will help the utility meet California's aggressive mandate that utilities have enough renewable sources online or under contract to supply one-fifth of the electricity they sell by 2010. The new solar plant is expected to begin producing energy in 2011 or 2012.

This contract, along with similar ones recently signed by Southern California Edison, represents the resurrection of thermal solar arrays, a technology first deployed in the 1980s that failed in the 1990s because of the collapse in the price of natural gas.

But with the price picture shifting and state mandates for renewable energy spreading, an Israeli company, Solel Solar Systems of Beit Shemesh, is betting that this technology will now pay off. The approach may lack the appeal of the more familiar rooftop photovoltaic cells, like the ones used in California's "Million Solar Roofs" campaign, but it costs only around half as much for each unit of energy produced.

P.G.& E. executives said on Tuesday that during peak summer hours, power from the mirrors in the Mojave Solar Park Project would provide electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes. Fong Wan, P.G.& E's vice president for energy procurement, said in an interview on Tuesday that "we view concentrated solar as one of the most promising technologies for us."

While P.G.& E. executives and Solel's president, Avi Brenmiller, would not specify how much the utility will pay, people close to both companies put it at slightly more than 10 cents a kilowatt-hour — roughly what an average kilowatt-hour sells for at retail to American residential customers.

Electricity will be produced using a six-foot trough-shaped mirror that focuses rays of the desert sun on a pipe less than three inches in diameter, heating a fluid inside to 750 degrees Fahrenheit; the fluid will make steam to drive a turbine. Small motors will tilt the mirrors to keep them facing the sun.

The solar plant, planned to be built in the desert between the Nevada state line and Barstow, Calif., would consist of four modules of 140 megawatts each, Mr. Brenmiller said. "It's going to be similar to existing plants in style," he said, but added, "it will be a little larger than the largest one ever built."

A Spanish company, Acciona Energy, recently opened a similar but smaller plant near Boulder City, Nev., a 64-megawatt plant called Nevada Solar One.

According to Mr. Wan, about 12 percent of P.G.& E.'s electricity today comes from renewable sources, divided somewhat evenly among wind, biomass, small hydropower and geothermal. (California does not count traditional large hydroelectric dams toward the quota.)

The contract with Solel would add nearly two percentage points to the company's renewable energy total.

By contrast, Southern California Edison's renewable portfolio now accounts for about 17 percent of its power.

Both Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric have signed contracts with a different solar thermal company, Stirling Energy Systems, of Phoenix, for many hundreds of megawatts of power. Stirling uses dishes that concentrate the sun's heat to boil a fluid, which is used to drive a piston and create mechanical energy, from which electricity is made.

Mr. Wan of P.G.& E. said on Tuesday that his company was negotiating other purchases from solar thermal developers. Ideally, he said, solar thermal energy would eventually account for up to 5 percent of the utility's energy supply. The company is on track to meet the 20 percent quota, he said, even if some suppliers do not deliver as promised.

In Chicago, a Haven for Green Enterprise: Green Exchange, presents itself as a center of product and service innovation for business tenants who view natural products and care of the environment as a marketing opportunity and a way of life

In Chicago, a Haven for Green Enterprise

CHICAGO — A landmark brick and concrete factory, used in the first half of the 20th century to manufacture men's underwear and in much of the second half to make fine lamps, is set to serve a 21st-century role. The building, in the city's Logan Square neighborhood, will be the Midwest's first shopping center for environmentally focused stores and services.

The 250,000-square-foot loft building, now known as Green Exchange, presents itself as a center of product and service innovation for business tenants who view natural products and care of the environment as a marketing opportunity and a way of life. The notion is that different kinds of businesses that subscribe to common principles can benefit from being together in one place, sharing ideas and customers.

The owner and builder, Baum Development, says it already has commitments for nearly 30 of the 100 Green Exchange spaces. The prospective tenants include an electric vehicle dealer, a green building supply company and a treeless paper packaging company. The rents are expected to be $18 to $35 a square foot annually, in line with market rates for the area.

About 20 percent of the business spaces at Green Exchange have been designed so that the tenants can build a bathroom and small kitchen, enabling them to live there.

The novel commercial real estate project is part of the expansion of environmentally oriented investments and policies that are reshaping Chicago's economy: office buildings with green roofs, a city-built incubator for green businesses, fleets of ultraclean buses and municipal electric vehicles.

While other developments have trumpeted their green qualities in recent years, Green Exchange directly tests Chicago's market for products and services intended to produce a cleaner, more natural and healthier way of life.

Within the next two months and perhaps as early as August, according to Manuel Flores, the Democratic alderman of the First Ward who represents Logan Square, the Chicago Plan Commission is expected to issue final land use and zoning approvals.

Mayor Richard M. Daley vigorously supports the project. "Green Exchange is a great example of the public-private partnerships that are working together to help make Chicago one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the nation," Mayor Daley said in a statement last December.

The builders of Green Exchange are David L. Baum, 41, and his brother, Douglas P. Baum, 39, who own and manage a realty and development company that specializes in converting Chicago's old buildings to new residential and commercial uses.

In September 2005, just after the four-story Frederick Cooper Lamp factory closed, putting 110 people out of work, Baum Development spent $7.5 million to buy the 93-year-old building, not knowing what they would eventually do with it. At the suggestion of Mr. Flores, who insisted that the building be used to develop new businesses and not condominiums, to replace some of the jobs that were lost, the Baums embraced the idea of a hybrid building — part market, part business incubator and part professional office complex — with an eco-friendly twist.

"In order to be a tenant in Green Exchange, you must be doing something to advance the green marketplace," said David Baum, who started in business with his brother in 1989, when they bought, renovated and sold for a tidy profit an old Chicago home that held two apartments.

Mr. Baum said his company had invested $1 million on demolition and architectural designs for Green Exchange. Major construction is to begin as soon as the final land use and zoning permits are issued. The building could open by September 2008 at a total project cost of close to $40 million, he said.

"We liked the building as soon as we saw it," Douglas Baum said. "It's got great bones. It's a solid structure with high ceilings and big windows. It's in the right place. It had all the markings of something we could work with."

Situated on West Diversey Avenue and alongside the Kennedy Expressway about five miles northwest of the downtown Loop business district, Green Exchange is among Chicago's noticeable mercantile landmarks. An ornamented four-sided water tower graces the building's roof.

The Baums hired Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture to produce a design that makes use of the tower and the building's other architectural details, including a horseshoe footprint that allows natural light to penetrate from banks of big windows. The first and second floors are to provide space for retail outlets and showrooms. Offices and the live-work spaces will occupy the third and fourth floors.

The building will have an open design to encourage an almost dormlike informality enabling tenants to learn from one another.

Among other features that the Baums say will make Green Exchange one of the most environmentally sensitive and energy-efficient buildings in Chicago is a 60,000-gallon cistern on the ground floor to store rainwater to irrigate plants and grasses on the green roof and to use in an energy-efficient heating and cooling system.

Green Exchange will have escalators that use 30 percent less energy than conventional models because they will slow down when nobody is using them. Nontoxic construction materials and coatings will be used to improve the quality of the indoor air. It also will have a 9,000-square-foot garden courtyard and parking spaces with outlets to recharge electric vehicles. It is on a busy Chicago Transit Authority bus route and close to a Blue Line subway stop.

Just one other market in the United States, the Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center in Portland, Ore., is similar to Green Exchange, environmental specialists say. That 70,000-square-foot center, owned by Ecotrust, a nonprofit environmental organization, is housed in a 112-year-old warehouse close to downtown. Its 19 tenants include an organic coffee shop and an organic pizza restaurant, an environmental bank, an investment firm that specializes in sustainable companies, and several nonprofit environmental groups and foundations.

Green Exchange is nearly four times that size and will have a broader mix of tenants, executives at Baum Development say. One tenant is Rick Sbragia, a veteran car dealership manager and now the owner of Electric Avenue Auto Mall in Oak Forest, Ill., which sells electric vehicles and hybrid cars. Mr. Sbragia is negotiating with the Baums for space on the first floor of Green Exchange to showcase three- and four-wheel electric vehicles made by Myers Motors of Ohio, vehicles made by the Zenn Motor Company of Toronto, and Chinese made ZAP electric vehicles.

Other Green Exchange tenants are I-GO Car Sharing; the Consolidated Printing Company, a commercial printer that uses all-vegetable ink and recycled paper; and Distant Village Packaging, which sells hand-produced packaging for the specialty gift industry made from wild grass, banana fiber and other "tree free" paper.

Ori Sivan plans to move his company into Green Exchange because he wants a larger space. "We can't wait," said Mr. Sivan, an environmental engineer and the co-founder with his partner, Joe Silver, of Greenmaker Building Supply, a two-year-old company that sells nontoxic construction materials in a 5,000-square-foot storefront on North Pulaski Road.

"Everything you can think of in green business is in one place: health, food, building supply, transportation, paper, paint, furniture, clothing, investment," Mr. Sivan said. "It's going to be like a big family."

NY Times: Articles in this series will periodically examine the ways in which the world is, and is not, moving toward a more energy efficient, environmentally benign future.

The Energy Challenge

Articles in this series will periodically examine the ways in which the world is, and is not, moving toward a more energy efficient, environmentally benign future.

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Web Links
The Home Energy Saver
Climate Information From Grist Magazine
BP's Carbon Footprint Calculator
Possibilities in Solar EnergyVideo
Possibilities in Solar Energy
Clinton on Climate ChangeVideo
Clinton on Climate Change
Ethanol Flows at a TrickleAudio
Ethanol Flows at a Trickle
A California Solar SubdivisionVideo
A California Solar Subdivision
Fuel on the CobInteractive Graphic
Fuel on the Cob
Victims of a Coal BoomAudio & Photos
Victims of a Coal Boom
A Closer Look at Coal
A Closer Look at Coal
The Return of King CoalAudio Slide Show
The Return of King Coal
In the Desert, Harnessing the Power of the Sun by Capturing Heat Instead of Light
Scientists have struggled for years to make electricity from the sun's light at a cost competitive with power from coal or natural gas. The challenges are formidable.

Sun's Tiny Role
Solar Power Captures Imagination, Not Money
Some experts say that moving solar energy from niche to mainstream is unlikely without big breakthroughs.
Present and Future | Research
Using the Sun's Heat, Not Light | Storing Sunshine

The Cost of Saving Energy
New York City's extensive mass-transit system means lower auto emissions, but the city's residential buildings are less energy-efficient than those in many other places.

Putting Energy Hogs in the Home on a Strict Low-Power Diet
The power consumed by common electric devices — even when they're not in use — can quickly add up.

Poultry Power
Energy Answer on Turkey Farms Draws Ire
Environmental advocates question the earth-friendliness of burning turkey waste to generate electricity.

Alternative Poor
Where Now, for the Wind?
The staying power of wind energy companies is dependent on tax benefits from the capricious hands of lawmakers in Congress.

Lawmakers Push for Big Subsidies for Coal Process
The push for coal-to-liquid fuels reflects a tension between slowing global warming and reducing dependence on foreign oil.

Penny-Wise Measures
Efficiency, Not Just Alternatives, Is Promoted as an Energy Saver
Even supporters of alternative energy agree that the easiest way to cut carbon emissions and air pollution is to focus more on efficiency.

Turning Fields to Fuel
A Return to the Land, for Fuel
More companies in Hawaii are looking to its agricultural past to supply its energy-independent future.

Energy Standards Needed, Report Says
The McKinsey Global Institute said markets alone are unlikely to ensure the best product choices.

Cutting Back on Containers
Incredible Shrinking Packages
More companies are cutting down on packaging to reduce expenses and address growing environmental concerns.

A Trading System Goes Awry
Clean Power That Reaps a Whirlwind
The biggest beneficiary of a U.N. program designed to help poor countries combat global warming has been China.

Answers in the Ocean
Recruiting Plankton to Fight Global Warming
Several groups are working on massive fields of plankton intended to absorb carbon dioxide.

The Other Alternative
A Renewed Push for Ethanol, Without the Corn
Pressure is building to sort out the myriad production problems preventing cellulosic ethanol from becoming a reality.

Start-Up Fervor Shifts to Energy in Silicon Valley
Former dot-com entrepreneurs have found a new purpose in transforming the $1 trillion domestic energy market.

Powering Power Plants
Cleaner Coal Is Attracting Some Doubts
Power companies are planning to build about 150 coal plants in the next few years. Almost none of them will be built to capture carbon dioxide.

A Longstanding Promise
Energy Research on a Shoestring
Americans may have a love affair with renewables and the idea of cutting oil imports and conserving energy, but it is a fickle one.
Addicted to Fossil Fuels

Global Warming Frontiers
Clean Air or TV: Paying in Pollution for Energy Hunger
India and China have explored alternatives, but too often the cheap diesel generator has become the favorite way to provide electricity.

The Land of Rising Conservation
Japan, the most energy-efficient developed country, offers a lesson in using technology to reduce energy consumption.

From Product to Cause
Power-Sipping Bulbs Get Backing From Wal-Mart
The retailer is determined to push energy-saving light bulbs with the help of some unlikely partners.
Pushing a Bright Idea
Understanding Bulbs

A New Approach
Middle Stance Emerges in Debate Over Climate
Scientists are starting to describe global warming more as a risk to be managed than a problem to be fixed. (Jan. 1, 2007)

Travel Habits Must Change to Make a Big Difference in Energy Consumption
People eager to reduce their consumption can take many steps, but the size of their benefit — or cost — is not always evident. (Dec. 30, 2006)

No Perfect Solution
It's Free, Plentiful and Fickle
Wind, almost everybody's best hope for big supplies of clean, affordable electricity, is turning out to have complications. (Dec. 28, 2006)

Global Trades
Outsize Profits, and Questions, in Effort to Cut Warming Gases
A fast-growing climate plan that pushes foreign companies to clean up third-world factories has revealed hidden problems. (Dec. 21, 2006)
Cleaning Up

Fossil Fuel Economics
The Cost of an Overheated Planet
It is increasingly clear that there is a considerable cost to carbon dioxide emissions, especially to future generations. (Dec. 12, 2006)
Hungry for Power | Carbon's Possible Future

A Terrible Thing to Waste. Or Try This.
The nation's energy excesses may be politically dangerous, but the federal government isn't rushing to produce a public service campaign. Three advertising agencies give it a shot. (Dec. 10, 2006)

The Research Shortage
Budgets Falling in Race to Fight Global Warming
In the U.S., annual federal spending for all energy research and development is less than half what it was a quarter-century ago. (Oct. 30, 2006)
What Matters Most | Declining Investment in Energy R&D
Related: British Government Report Calls for Broad Effort on Climate Issues
Q&A With Andrew C. Revkin

Clearing the Air
California, Taking Big Gamble, Tries to Curb Greenhouse Gases
California's decision to impose stringent demands on suppliers even outside its borders is but one example of the state's effort to remake its energy future. (Sept. 15, 2006)
Green and Getting Greener | An Energy-Thrifty State
Video: A California Solar Subdivision

Driving the Ethanol Corridor
Fill Up on Corn if You Can
Even in the Midwest where ethanol is most popular, its success as an alternative fuel is far from assured. (August 31, 2006)

Graphic: Driving on E-85
Graphic: Where to Find E-85
Audio Feature: Ethanol Flows at a Trickle

The Nuclear Choice
Slow Start for Revival of Nuclear Reactors
Utility executives are sharply divided over whether nuclear power offers an attractive choice as they seek to satisfy a growing demand for electricity. (August 22, 2006)

Graphic: New Plants on the Way?

Liquid Coal
Search for New Oil Sources Leads to Processed Coal
Illinois alone has more energy than Saudi Arabia, but turning coal into fuel for consumers has a big catch. (July 5, 2006)

Graphic: Changing Black Rock to Black Gold

Exotic Visions
How to Cool a Planet, Maybe
The fight against global warming has largely focused on reducing greenhouse gases. But what if ... ? (June 27, 2006)

Graphic: Science Fiction? Maybe Not.

A Modern Day Gold Rush
Boom in Ethanol Reshapes Economy of Heartland
By ALEXEI BARRIONUEVO (Reported by Alexei Barrionuevo, Simon Romero and Michael Janofsky)
Small towns are becoming flashpoints in the ethanol bonanza that is reshaping rural America's economic base. (June 25, 2006)

Interactive Graphic: Fuel On-the-cob
A Range of Estimates on Ethanol's Benefits

The Not So Good Earth
Thousands of acres of land in northern China are sinking because of the ravages of underground coal mining. (June 23, 2006)

Audio & Photos: Victims of a Coal Boom

Sooty Future
Europe's Image Clashes With Reliance on Coal
Europe likes to think of itself as beyond its sooty past, yet it still depends on a cheap, plentiful fuel. (June 20, 2006)

Graphic: Generating Electricity and Emissions

The Cost of Coal
Pollution From Chinese Coal Casts a Global Shadow
Coal is China's double-edged sword — the new economy's black gold and the fragile environment's dark cloud. (June 11, 2006)

Video: China's Dark Clouds
Graphic: Future Shock

Extra Credit
The Greener Guys
Americans are increasingly identifying global warming as a serious problem, and a few companies are taking special steps to curb carbon emissions. (May 30, 2006)

Green, at a Cost
2 Industry Leaders Bet on Coal but Split on Cleaner Approach
Coal is poised to once again become the nation's favorite fuel, but its role in global warming causes concern. (May 28, 2006)

Interactive Graphic: A Closer Look at Coal
Audio Slide Show: The Return of King Coal

Turf Battles
A Greener Way to Cut the Grass Runs Afoul of a Powerful Lobby
Lawn mowers lack catalytic converters, but the dominant engine manufacturer vigorously opposes adding them. (April 24, 2006)

Turning to the Sun
Forget Computers. Here Comes the Sun
The fledgling solar-cell industry uses just about as many silicon wafers as the chip industry does, but the resemblance ends there. (April 14, 2006)

Horsepower Wars
Automakers Use New Technology to Beef Up Muscle, Not Mileage
For two decades, automakers have been concentrating on making vehicles bigger and faster instead of improving efficiency. (March 30, 2006)

G.E. Unveils Credit Card Aimed at Relieving Carbon Footprints: Many environmentalists would prefer a card that rewards only the purchase of green products. But some welcome these cards for now.

G.E. Unveils Credit Card Aimed at Relieving Carbon Footprints

Feel guilty about fueling up that gas guzzler or buying that box of incandescent bulbs? Would you feel better if, instead of frequent flier miles or cash, your credit card's rewards program allowed you to offset your role in global warming?

General Electric is betting you will. Today, G.E. will introduce the GE Money Earth Rewards Platinum MasterCard, which allows cardholders to forgo a 1 percent cash rebate on purchases and earmark that amount for projects that reduce greenhouse gases. In months when they feel short of money, cardholders can opt to contribute half and take half in cash.

G.E. will keep a running tally of the amounts, and each Earth Day it will use the total to buy offsets of greenhouse gas emissions. The offsets will be purchased by GE AES Greenhouse Gas Services, a joint venture between GE Energy Financial Services and the AES Corporation, a power company.

"G.E. has a commercial finance group that creates carbon offsets, a finance division that creates credit cards, and of course, Ecomagination," said Tom Gentile, chief marketing officer for GE Money, referring to G.E.'s program to develop green products. "We are in a perfect position to help people make a difference through their purchases."

Environmentalists are not quite as sure. "It's ironic," said Michael J. Brune, executive director for the Rainforest Action Network. "G.E. supplies parts for coal-fired plants, so its credit card offsets emissions it helps create."

Others worry about more direct conflicts of interest. At, the new card's Web site, consumers can calculate their carbon footprint and read tips for reducing it, like buying compact fluorescent light bulbs and energy-efficient appliances, items that G.E. sells.

Moreover, G.E. is a big player in carbon offset projects, both directly as an investor and indirectly as a manufacturer of wind turbines and other alternative energy devices.

Kevin Walsh, managing director of renewable energy for GE Energy Financial Services, said that G.E. is supporting only projects that have been certified by third parties to be effective and that would not have happened without carbon offsets.

The joint venture first will buy offsets from projects that capture methane from landfills and coal mines. Later, it will add reforestation and alternative energy projects. "GE Money's credit card is just one of many customers for our pipeline of projects," Mr. Walsh said.

The card will have no annual fee and will charge annual interest of 12.99 to 18.99 percent, depending on the cardholder's credit history.

G.E. insists that even small purchases add up. Twenty-five cents — or 1 percent of a $25 purchase — can offset a month's emissions from a refrigerator. If someone charges $750 each month, 1 percent would come to $90 for the year — enough to offset air conditioning, driving and pretty much all of the activities that yield the 10,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases that G.E. says a consumer produces each year on average.

"We are not sending a message that you can buy your way out of your environmental responsibility," said Lorraine Bolsinger, vice president of GE Ecomagination. "We're offering another tool in the kit for reducing carbon footprints."

G.E. is keeping everything about the card as green as possible. It is spurning paper applications, insisting that people apply online or by phone. Although by law it must send paper bills when asked, it is encouraging cardholders to receive and pay their bills online. It plans no direct mail and will advertise on search engines like Google and on environmental sites like

MasterCard, meanwhile, will sponsor the card on its Web site and may help G.E. set up arrangements to automatically pay recurring bills. "They have a lot of options on the table," said Denise Walker, the executive who handles the G.E. account at MasterCard Worldwide.

The idea is not unique to G.E. There are similar credit cards available in some parts of Europe. Matt B. Arnold, a co-founder of Sustainable Finance, a consulting firm, said he knows of five small groups negotiating with banks to offer similar credit cards in the United States. "G.E.'s announcement will probably accelerate those projects," he said.

In May, a research group, Redefining Progress, formed a company called Cooler, which is to soon unveil, a shopping site that has arranged for about 350 vendors, including Wal-Mart, to purchase carbon credits in amounts that offset the greenhouse gases resulting from the manufacture and use of items purchased through the site.

American Express may enter the fray, too. "We are evaluating a number of opportunities," said Desiree Fish, an American Express spokeswoman. "We will pick the one that resonates most with our customers."

Many environmentalists would prefer a card that rewards only the purchase of green products. But some welcome these cards for now. As Aron Cramer, the president of Business for Social Responsibility, put it, "any effort that makes it easier for consumers to address climate change is a net positive."

Toyota to Test Plug-In Hybrid, Rivaling G.M.

The New York Times

July 26, 2007
Toyota to Test Plug-In Hybrid, Rivaling G.M.

DETROIT, July 24 — Toyota Motor Company said Tuesday that it was testing hybrid vehicles with rechargeable batteries in the United States and Japan, setting up a direct challenge with General Motors to develop the industry's first plug-in hybrids.

Toyota's announcement is its first formal confirmation that it is ready to test plug-in hybrid vehicles, which environmentalists say may prove to be cleaner and more fuel-efficient than current hybrids.

In recent months, Toyota executives have said the company had plug-in hybrids under development, but would not give more details.

Toyota already is the world's biggest producer of conventional hybrid-electric vehicles, which run off a gasoline motor and a battery. Indeed, for years, executives had played down the prospects for plug-in hybrids, saying consumers preferred the convenience of vehicles that did not need to be recharged.

It has sold more than 1 million hybrid vehicles worldwide, including 750,000 Prius cars, since the Prius went on sale in Japan in 1998. Prius became available in the United States, its largest market, in the year 2000.

Industry experts say plug-in hybrid vehicles, known as PHEVs, may provide a longer battery life and prove more environmentally friendly than current hybrids.

Toyota said it would provide prototype versions of plug-in hybrid vehicles to researchers at the University of California, Irvine, and the University of California, Berkeley. It also said that the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in Japan had approved the testing of plug-in hybrid vehicles on public roads in Japan.

Toyota is the only Japanese auto company thus far that has requested permission to test plug-in hybrids in Japan.

"The Toyota Prius convinced mainstream consumers on the merits of hybrids," J. Davis Illingworth, a senior vice president with Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., said in a statement. "Although there is much work to be done with plug-ins, we see this pilot program as a significant step in the advancement of the technology."

The prototype plug-in hybrids will be powered by two oversize packs of nickel-metal hydride batteries that are meant to simulate the kind of power Toyota expects future versions of the batteries to yield. The packs are capable of storing significantly more energy than the kind of battery found on the Prius, Toyota said.

With more energy in reserve, the vehicles can run on the batteries longer and at much higher speeds than the Prius, whose top speed is about 120 miles an hour.

Toyota said the longer battery life would lead to better fuel economy and a reduction in tailpipe emissions.

Toyota has not shown pictures of the plug-in hybrids, which analysts say may be introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show in October.

But it gave a hint of what they could look like in a futuristic concept vehicle called the Hybrid-X, which Toyota showed at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

The company also has not said when it expects plug-in hybrids to go on sale, or whether they will be offered first to government agencies or to the public.

The announcement means Toyota joins G.M. in the race to develop plug-in hybrids.

Last year, G.M. said it was working on a plug-in version of its Saturn Vue hybrid, although it has not said when it will go on sale. Its chief executive, Rick Wagoner, has said plug-in hybrids are a "major priority" for G.M.

The auto company also showed another plug-in concept vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt, at the Detroit auto show in January. G.M. is pushing to introduce the Volt by 2010.

I.B.M. Plan Ties Training and Accounts

July 25, 2007
I.B.M. Plan Ties Training and Accounts

In today's economy, corporations freely roam the globe for the most efficient, lowest-cost sources of supplies and labor, while American workers are told that the way to compete is constantly to improve their skills with training and education.

Paying for it is usually up to beleaguered employees, which only adds to their sense of economic insecurity.

I.B.M., often a trendsetter in business practices, is taking a step to address the workers' economic problem — a step it hopes other companies will follow and help encourage a change in tax policy.

I.B.M., at a conference in Washington today, is announcing that it will begin offering its employees in the United States specialized savings accounts for training and education. The "learning accounts" will be modeled on 401(k) retirement accounts, which began in the late 1970s. Workers will put up to $1,000 a year into the accounts, and I.B.M. will contribute 50 cents for every dollar put in by the employee.

Under the I.B.M. plan, the employee decides how and when to spend the money, held in an interest-bearing account. When an employee leaves I.B.M., the individual takes the account.

Companies have long paid for employee education and training. Indeed, I.B.M. spends more than $600 million a year on worker education programs. Yet such spending is typically to upgrade a person's skills for their next job with the company.

"This is truly path breaking," said Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a professor at the Harvard business school. "The significance is that it's controlled by the individual. I'm not aware of any other major corporation doing that, as opposed to programs that are part of some career scheme that the company has in mind."

The I.B.M. move, Professor Kanter said, is part of a broader evolution in corporate-worker relations. "This is reinventing how a company develops the social contract with its workers in a highly mobile, global economy," she said.

A key message in that new social contract, I.B.M. executives said, is that whether a person stays with the company for a long career or just for a few years, I.B.M. is a place where people can enhance their skills and be more competitive in a labor market buffeted by globalization and rapid technological change.

Investing to create that kind of corporate climate, they say, should eventually give the company an edge in attracting and retaining talented workers.

In an interview, Samuel J. Palmisano, the chief executive, emphasized that the program was inspired in part by corporate self-interest, noting, "I.B.M. will be more competitive."

Mr. Palmisano pushed for the learning accounts and the 401(k)-style arrangement, which he said recognized the "dual set of responsibilities in today's world" of both the individual and the corporation. "It puts the right balance of motivation into the system," he said. "Everyone has some skin in the game."

Besides encouraging other corporations, I.B.M. plans to talk with universities, urging them to consider tuition discounts for workers seeking new skills.

A tax change is needed, according to I.B.M. and some economists, to help workers to invest in their own education in new fields. Currently, workers can deduct the cost of education and training in their own occupation, as defined by government job classifications, but not in new careers.

For example, if a software engineer wanted to learn a new programming language, the training costs would be tax deductible. But if that person wanted to train to be a business consultant, that would generally not be tax deductible, even though the new job required related technology and skills. If the programmer wanted to become an emergency room nurse, the education expense would not be tax deductible because it is a different line of work.

Mr. Palmisano would also prefer the law to be changed to allow the new accounts to use pretax dollars, as a 401(k) does.

I.B.M. is by no means alone in pushing for tax change. A policy paper last month by three academics — Grant Aldonas of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Robert Z. Lawrence of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and Matthew J. Slaughter of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth — recommended, among other measures, that Congress approve full deductibility for training expenses by individuals, "even when directed at preparation for an entirely new career."

The report, "Succeeding in the Global Economy: A New Policy Agenda for the American Worker," was sponsored by the Financial Services Forum, an organization of chief executives of the largest commercial banks, investment banks and insurers.

The I.B.M. move, said Mr. Slaughter, an economist and a former member of the Council of Economic Advisers in the George W. Bush administration, is "precisely the kind of policy we'd like to see throughout the economy."

Many policy groups have recommendations to increase the opportunities for workers to upgrade their skills continually.

Last month, for example, the Third Way, a research organization aligned with centrist Democrats, called for the federal student loan program to be extended to adults seeking new skills to climb the occupational ladder.

The I.B.M. learning accounts fit into the larger policy debate about how to cope with an economy of increasing dynamism but one that creates a lot of churn in the labor market. Four million jobs a month, or 25,000 an hour in a business day, are eliminated in the American economy. But more than that are created.

I.B.M., a classic global enterprise, deals with plenty of job churn itself as its worldwide employment has increased in recent years, American employment has declined slightly, with steady hiring and layoffs. In the second quarter of this year, 3,500 I.B.M. workers worldwide were told their jobs were being eliminated. A third of the displaced employees typically find jobs elsewhere in the company.

Steps like the I.B.M. learning accounts could well help some people make transitions to new jobs, but they will do little for many workers, said Jared Bernstein, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal research group.

"This is a pretty forward-thinking move, but it's wrong to think that you can always train your way out of the box that globalization puts many of these workers in," Mr. Bernstein said. "That larger problem is where the federal government ought to be."

I.B.M.'s learning accounts will initially be available in 2008 to workers who have been with the company for at least five years in the United States, where the company employed 127,000 people at the end of last year.

The company has earmarked $40 million over the three years for contributions to the learning accounts, which is in addition to its $600 million training budget. And $20 million will be spent on two other new programs — one to send employees to developing nations to work on environmental and educational projects, and the other to train people who want second careers in nonprofit organizations, government and schools.


[IBM speakers] Carbon, Biofuels & Climate Change - 11 Leading Business Events

Thanks to Melissa for the update :-)

IBM will be speaking at Corporate Climate Response Chicago.  Susan Wallace from Industrial Sector Marketing, and Sharon Nunes are co-sponsoring.   The topic will be around "Green Operations and Energy Efficiency".  Gary Rancourt will be speaking.  More to come...

Jean-Francois Barsoum/Markham/IBM@IBMCA

06/12/2007 06:01 PM

Carbon, Biofuels & Climate Change - 11 Leading Business Events

If you are unable to read this email visit
Forthcoming Events: Please scroll down for additional information
  • Carbon Markets USA
  • Carbon Markets India
  • Corporate Climate Response - USA
  • Next Generation Biofuels Congress
  • Voluntary Carbon Markets
  • Biodiesel Congress
  • Biofuels Markets Africa
  • Carbon Markets Africa
  • Biogas Markets 2007
  • Renewable Heating & Cooling
  • World Biofuels Markets 2008

11th - 12th September 2007, San Francisco

With the GHG market transitioning from voluntary trading to compliance across several states, 9 climate change bills at Congress and leading US corporates such as General Motors (see Climate Action Partnership) demanding leadership. The pressure is certainly building on the federal government to avoid a complex patchwork of state by state schemes.

With the projections that the annual global volumes of GHG credits will increase from $21.6m (2006) and reach $60 billion (2007-8) and could eventually top $1 trillion (source: The Economist), this is a market that can no longer be ignored.

This unique meeting will bring together the leading US and International experts together for two days of intense, information rich presentations, debates and networking. Understand the latest policy actions in California and globally. Are there technological solutions available? Learn how these will impact upon your business, discover the opportunities in shifting to a low carbon economy and position yourself to benefit from the creative destruction!

Learn from 25 Global Carbon Experts including:

  • Commissioner James Boyd, Vice Chairman, California Energy Commission
  • Terry Tamminen, Energy & Environmental Advisor to Govenor Schwarzenegger
    • Plus senior representatives from US DoE, US EPA, Illinois Climate Change Advisory Group, Chevron, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Agcert International, Stark Investments, RNK Capital, Chicago Climate Exchange, Camco International, Noble Carbon Credits, Point Carbon, Oregon Carbon Allocation Task Force, BIOCAP Canada Foundation, USDA Forest Service, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Pew Center on Global Climate Change and many more
    > View Preliminary Agenda l Register Now


25th - 26th September 2007, Mumbai

The inaugural Carbon Markets India conference is a two day business networking event, run together with the Confederation of Indian Industry, that will bring together the worlds leading carbon consultants, brokers and financiers with Indian business.  

The event brings together the who's who of India's carbon markets including senior experts from Reliance Industries, Gujarat Flurochemicals, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, GTZ, Emergent Ventures, Ernst & Young, Indian Sucrose, RuMeth International, Rabobank, Triveni Engineering and Industries, Vestas Wind Systems and TUV South Asia. A Project Developer/Host Subsidised Scheme is available to encourage some of the CII's 6300 major Indian businesses to attend the event and enter the Carbon Market by hosting GHG mitigation projects.

This event joins the Carbon Markets series from Green Power Conferences and will deliver the same high quality audience and programme as previous events in the series such as Carbon Markets Americas and Carbon Markets Asia.  Over 700 attendees have attended this series of events in the last two years.

> View Preliminary Agenda l Request Further Information (please quote Carbon India in subject line)



25th - 26th September 2007, Chicago

This two-day event will bring together companies that are interested in learning how to reduce their carbon footprint and communicate their response to customers. It's being supported by and will coincide with Chicago's 'Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet' festival.

Corporate Climate Response Chicago will include sessions on energy efficiency, renewables, supply chain management, offsetting, and personal carbon accountability. It will attract 100 delegates from across the Midwest whose main responsibility is to implement climate change solutions for their organizations.

> View Preliminary Agenda l Register Now



4th - 5th October 2007, Amsterdam

As competition between food and fuel threatens to become a pressing constraint on the current biofuel industry, the biofuels world is starting the transition to next generation biofuels.  Emerging powerful market drivers and strong political influences are moving ethanol to the next stage and there is huge interest in the next generation of biofuels from the oil majors.  Could this be the beginning of a new branch of industry that could grow bigger than the existing 1st generation fuel ethanol industry?  Will cellulosic ethanol take off?  How will this nascent industry emerge from the current demo phase to produce commercial-scale quantities of ethanol?  

Find out how the market-leading players plan to tackle these barriers: DuPont, Iogen, Celunol, Poet, MIT, Royal Nedalco, Credit Suisse, Dyadic, Ceres, BioGasol, Firelake Capital Management, Novozymes, Cornell Uni, Green Biologics,  Ernst & Young, Emerald Ventures, UNFCC, Econcern, BMCH, The Copernicus Institute.

This 2 day information-rich, networking conference will build upon the success of the next generation biofuels seminar held in Brussels this March, which attracted over 250 high level executives.

> View Preliminary Agenda l Request Further Information (please quote Next Gen in subject line)



18th - 19th October 2007, Buenos Aires

Developed with support from the Argentine Secretariat of Agriculture and the Asociación Argentina de Biocombustibles e Hidrógeno, the first international Biodiesel Congress will provide an excellent platform to do business with high level executives from across the region.
  • Keynote Addresses from
    • Julio De Vido, Minister of Planning, Argentina
    • Undersecretary Cristian Folgar
    • Plus senior representatives from the Argentine Secretariat of Agriculture, Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Petrobras, Brasil Ecodiesel, Pure Biofuels, SoyEnergy, Inter-American Development Bank, Asociación Argentina de Biocombustibles e Hidrógeno, Frost and Sullivan, ABIOdiesel, Federacion Agraria Argentina
    > Event Details English l Español l Further Information (please quote Biodiesel in subject line)


16th - 17th October 2007, London

Over the past 2 years there has been tremendous well documented growth in the compliance regulatory carbon markets growing from $11bn in 2005 to $24bn+ in 2006, primarily within the EU ETS and the CDM mechanism. There is, however, another large untracked market in CO2 equivalent trading in voluntary markets for carbon offsets that has also grown tremendously ($100m+).

For sellers the markets provide an avenue for carbon projects which are uneconomical via CDM/JI. For buyers the patchwork of different markets can provide risks difficult to determine. Reliable data to the true extent of all voluntary carbon offsets is difficult to find but this event will provide attendees with answers to the following questions:

What, where and how big are the voluntary carbon markets? How do they operate? What are the risks of investing in these markets? What efforts are there to standardise the markets? How will the new standards help improve the liquidity and credibility of the markets? What barriers exist to project developers in generating offsets? What are the major challenges to future growth?

Request Further Information (please quote VCM in subject line)



5th - 6th November 2007, Cape Town

The second annual Biofuels Markets Africa conference will take place in Cape Town this November. The regions first international networking event for the whole biodiesel and ethanol value chain attracted over 200 industry executives from across Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas.

This two day conference will address strategies to develop Biofuels business opportunities in Africa, looking at regulation policies, investment opportunities, current success stories and looking ahead to next generation technologies.  With speakers from all stakeholder areas of the industry this is an essential event for all parties both within Africa & globally.

> View Preliminary Details l Request Further Information (please quote Biofuels Africa in subject line)



14th - 15th November 2007, Cape Town

The inaugural Carbon Markets Africa conference is a two day business networking event that will bring together the worlds leading carbon consultants, brokers and financiers with African business.  This event joins the Carbon Markets series from Green Power Conferences and will deliver the same high quality audience and programme as previous events in the series such as Carbon Markets Americas and Carbon Markets Asia.  Over 560 attendees have attended this series of events in the last two years.

Request Further Information (please quote Carbon Markets Asia in subject line)



November 2007, Europe

The first international Biogas Markets conference drew a crowd of over 100 delegates from 27 countries. Debate covered all angles of Biogas, Biomethane, Landfill gas, SNG, bioSNG and green natural gas.

The 2nd annual European Biogas Markets conference will take place this November. Leading experts from across the biogas value chain will address ways to increase the uptake and usage of biogas systems.

Request Further Information (please quote Biogas Markets in subject line)


November 2007, Brussels

The first international networking conference to address the huge potential of renewable energy in heating and cooling systems will take place in Brussels this November. This exciting new event will address policy, regulation, project financing, biomass heating, solar heating and cooling, geothermal heating and cooling.

Request Further Information (please quote Renewable Heating in subject line)


12-14 March 2008, Brussels Expo, Belgium

Europe's Largest Biofuels Congress & Exhibition.

2007 saw over 1300 attendees from 58 countries attended the Congress and extremely busy exhibition of 60 companies. New for 2008 - the additional of a further 2 streams (total 4), additional indepth pre-Congress seminars, The World Biofuels Markets Gala Dinner and an extension of the exhibition floor to a 100 exhibition stands.

Can you afford to miss Europe's No 1. Biofuels Meeting?

"We were quite amazed by the number of participants and importance of the issues"  European Commission

"Biofuels Markets was a success, we have had a lot of interesting & high level contacts
Desmet Ballestra

Request Further Information (please quote WBM in subject line)

Enhance your Brand Profile

Sponsor one of these leading events and benefit from:

  • Unique networking opportunities with an international audience of sustainable energy experts
  • Extensive profiling on the website, brochure and e-marketing campaign
  • Extensive on-site branding at the event
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A range of sponsorship opportunities are available (gala dinner, cocktail reception, bag, lanyard, badge sponsor etc) which offer excellent branding to help promote your company to a targeted group of industry executives.

Contact to discuss your sponsorship and/or exhibition requirements.

General Enquiries

Contact: Dana Vogel on Tel: +44 207 801 6333, Fax: +44 207 900 1853
Shakespeare House, 168 Lavender Hill, London SW11 5TF, UK
About Green Power Conferences

Green Power Conferences was established in 2003 by a team of professional, environmentally aware event experts. We have since welcomed over 4000 delegates from 76 countries, built a global database of 110,000+ contacts and gained an unparalleled reputation in the industry.

Our events provide high quality information, interactivity and networking to accelerate the uptake of sustainable energy and climate friendly technologies.

Green Power Conferences offsets the impact of its commercial activities towards renewable energy projects in the developing world.


Feedback from our past delegates:

"Your conference last week was excellent, with good speakers covering the  whole area of biofuels. It offered excellent networking opportunities" UK National Farmers Union

"I think that the best thing about this conference was that you gathered in one place people from different institutions (associations, EU authorities, producer, scientists, bankers, lawyers) with different views on the market"
SEB Venture Capital

"I found myself very much satisfied with the Speakers and could generate enough contacts for the supply of equipment, technology and also other value added resource tie-ups like Carbon Credits etc."
Nandan Biomatrix, India

 "Congratulations for the successful biofuel markets conference held in Brussels, it was an excellent conference for people to exchange and share ideas and experiences" ITRI Taiwan


"I thought this conference was really excellent and the fact that a lot of people were still hanging around at the end is a good sign of the networking opportunities they get" Business Council for Sustainable Energy

"I really found it a useful platform to meet other people involved in the sector" Triodos International Fund Management

"I found it to be both a valuable learning and business networking opportunity" LP Power Consult

"Carbon Markets Americas was one of the best climate change events that I have participated in, in the past three years" ICF Consulting

Contact: Annie Ellis, Green Power Conferences, Shakespeare House, 168 Lavender Hill, London SW11 5TF:

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Florida Governor's Bold Action on Energy Efficiency and Global Warming

Thanks Norbert :-)


Technical Contacts: R. Neal Elliott, 202-429-8873 x 707,
Maggie Eldridge, 202-429-8873 x 728,
Press Contact: Glee Murray, 202-429-0063,

ACEEE Applauds Florida Governor for Bold Action on Energy Efficiency
and Global Warming

Washington, D.C. (July17, 2007): The American Council for an
Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) applauds Florida Governor Charlie Crist
for "bold steps" announced July 13 that will change Florida's
energy future and take important actions to combat global warming.  

"Governor Crist has moved Florida toward the vanguard of states on
clean energy policy by recognizing that energy efficiency is the first
fuel in the race for a clean and affordable energy future," said
Steven Nadel, ACEEE's Executive Director.

Many of Gov. Crist's policies mirror recommendations in the recent
ACEEE study "Potential for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to
Meet Florida's Growing Energy Demands."  This study assessed how
energy efficiency and renewable energy can meet Florida's growing
electricity needs; electricity accounts for about half of the state's
greenhouse gas emissions.

"The Governor and his staff have recognized the importance of energy
efficiency in changing the energy discussion in Florida," said Dr.
Neal Elliott, ACEEE's Industrial Program Director and the study's
lead author. "Energy efficiency is the most affordable energy resource
in Florida - it has the potential to meet the state's growing need for
energy while reducing Floridians' future energy costs and at the same
time addressing the challenge of global warming.  But the really good
news," Elliot added, "is that our analysis shows that energy
efficiency is a productivity investment that strengthens the economy
while adding a significant number of new well-paying jobs to Florida's
employment base."

The Governor's proposals go beyond the electric power sector to
address the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions -
transportation. Most importantly, the Governor has directed the state to
adopt the California tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions regulations that
will increase the fuel economy of new vehicles purchased in the state by
40 percent. State fleets are also directed to improve their efficiency
and begin a shift to alternative fuels.

"By joining California and 11 other states, Florida has rejected the
waffling on vehicle efficiency that has delayed action at the federal
level," said Dr. Therese Langer, ACEEE Transportation Program
Director. With the addition of Florida, greenhouse gas regulations would
now cover over two-fifths of the new cars in the U.S. if the EPA grants
the waver requested by California over 18 months ago.  "We are also
pleased that Governor Crist committed to Governor Schwarzenegger last
Friday to vigorously support California in its pursuit of the waver."

Another recent ACEEE report, "State Energy Efficiency Scorecard for
2006," ranked Florida 29th in the country in energy efficiency policies.
"Gov. Crist's proposals to increase efficiency in state buildings
and fleets and to adopt California's tailpipe emission standards would
raise Florida's ranking into the top twenty. If the public service
commission adopts pending energy efficiency targets for utilities and
increases funding for efficiency programs, the state could move into the
top ten," said Maggie Eldridge, a research assistant at ACEEE and lead
author of the scorecard. "These bold steps create a beacon for energy
efficiency in the Southeast - a region that has lacked leadership in
clean energy policy."

"Energy efficiency is the first fuel in the race for affordable and
clean energy, because it is the cheapest and fastest to deploy," said
Dr. Elliott. "Combined with renewables, efficiency offers Florida a
sustainable energy future that provides greater energy security, costs
less, pollutes less, and supports economic growth better than the
current course. ACEEE stands ready to help the Governor and other state
leaders in realizing the full potential that energy efficiency can

The reports, "Potential for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to
Meet Florida's Growing Energy Demands" and "State Energy Efficiency
Scorecard for 2006," are available for free download at  and,
respectively. Hard copies can be purchased for $35 each plus $5 postage
and handling from ACEEE Publications, 1001 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.,
Suite 801, Washington, D.C. 20036-5525, phone: 202-429-0063, fax:
202-429-0193, e-mail:

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is an independent,
nonprofit research group dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a
means of protecting the environment and strengthening the economy. For
more information, see our Web site at .


----- Forwarded by Norbert Hoeller/SINet on 07/07/2007 07:48 PM -----

"ace3news" <>

26/06/2007 10:05 AM

undisclosed-recipients: ;
Energy Efficiency Could Save Florida $28 Billion and Create        14,000 Jobs


Contact: R. Neal Elliott, 202-429-8873 x 707,
Bill Prindle, 202-429-8873 x 710,
Maggie Eldridge, 202-429-8873 x 728,

Study Shows That Florida Could Save $28 Billion and Create More Than
14,000 Jobs Through Energy Efficiency

Washington, D.C. (June 26, 2007): Florida could save $28 billion --
enough to cover this year's entire education and transportation
budgets -- by using energy efficiency strategies that are available now,
says a study released today by the American Council for an
Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

The ACEEE study shows that using energy efficiency policies alone (such
as efficient windows, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and ENERGY STAR
appliances) can nearly offset the state's entire future growth in
electric demand by the year 2023. Florida would also create more than
14,000 jobs in 2023. The direct and indirect jobs created would be
equivalent to nearly 100 new manufacturing plants relocating to Florida,
but without the demand for infrastructure and other energy needs, the
study says.

The study provides specific energy efficiency and renewable energy
policy recommendations that the state should consider, especially as
Florida gears up for Gov. Charlie Crist's "Serve to Preserve"
Summit on Global Climate Change with California Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger in Miami July 12 and 13.

If  Florida both expanded its energy efficiency measures and invested
in renewable energy sources like biomass and solar, the state could cut
electricity demand by nearly a third in the year 2023 without building
expensive and environmentally risky new power plants or relying on
conventional power sources such as natural gas, coal, oil, or nuclear

Specifically, the study found that energy efficiency measures could cut
demand by 19.9 percent, and using renewable energy sources could cut
demand by 9.5 percent by 2023.

"Energy efficiency is the most affordable energy resource in
Florida," said Dr. R. Neal Elliott, Industrial Program Director at
ACEEE and lead author on the report.  "While 20% efficiency savings in
15 years may seem challenging, other states are already reducing
electricity growth faster than that, at a cost of 3.5 cents per
kilowatt-hour, only about half of what new power plants would cost."

Power from building traditional plants is more expensive, costing from
5 to 10 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The study, "Potential for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to
Meet Florida's Growing Energy Demands," comes at a time when Florida
is at a crossroads in determining its energy future. Florida's Public
Service Commission recently rejected a proposal for a new coal power
plant -- the first power plant denial in 15 years. It was also the first
time ever that global warming played a role in a PSC decision.

ACEEE's experts set out to narrowly look at where Florida gets its
energy from, what it costs, how it is used, and what the future might
hold if the state uses existing technology to slow demand without
difficult sacrifices for industry or residential users.

Florida's electricity demand is growing faster than the state's
population. A particular challenge is peak demand -- those times when
extreme heat or extreme cold crank up air conditioners and heaters. Peak
demand is growing even faster than total electricity usage, and it costs
the most to serve. Peak-hour electricity costs several times what
consumers see in average rates, because high-cost "peaker" power
plants run less efficiently and operate only a few hours a year so that
their costs drive up rates.

Florida has not aggressively implemented energy efficiency policies in
the past.

"Energy efficiency is the first fuel in the race for affordable and
clean energy, because it is the cheapest and fastest to deploy," said
Bill Prindle, ACEEE's Deputy Director.  "Combined with renewables,
efficiency offers Florida a sustainable energy future that provides
greater energy security, costs less, pollutes less, and supports
economic growth better than the current course."

The five key policies that the ACEEE study recommends are:

● An Energy Efficiency Resource Standard that sets savings targets
for utilities, such as Texas and several other states have done;
● More Stringent Building Energy Codes that make Florida's
buildings much more efficient in the future;
● An Advanced Buildings Program that changes building practices,
reducing energy demand;
● Onsite Renewables policies that help meet much of these advanced
buildings' energy demand with solar energy; and
● A Renewable Portfolio Standard that sets a target for utilities to
procure a share of their power from renewable energy resources such as
wind and solar, which more than twenty other states have done.

The report, "Potential for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to
Meet Florida's Growing Energy Demands," is available for free download
at or a hard copy can be purchased for
$35 plus $5 postage and handling from ACEEE Publications, 1001
Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 801, Washington, D.C. 20036-5525, phone:
202-429-0063, fax: 202-429-0193, e-mail:

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is an independent,
nonprofit research group dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a
means of protecting the environment and strengthening the economy. For
more information, see our Web site at .


Full Site

Energy Policy
Press and Media
Consumer Resources
Publications and Meetings

Potential for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to Meet Florida's Growing Energy Demand

R. Neal Elliott, Maggie Eldridge, Anna Shipley, John "Skip" Laitner, and Steven Nadel, ACEEE
Philip Fairey, Robin Vieira, and Jeff Sonne, Florida Solar Energy Center
Alison Silverstein, Independent Consultant and
Bruce Hedman and Ken Darrow, Energy and Environmental Analysis, Inc.

June 2007

Executive Summary

Florida is among the fastest growing states in the country, and the state's electricity demand is growing even faster than the state's population. To sustain this rapid economic and population growth, Florida needs to take action to meet the resulting increases in energy needs. A particular challenge is peak demand (those times when extreme heat or extreme cold crank up air conditioners and heaters), which is growing slightly faster in recent years than regular day-to-day electricity demand, and is the most expensive type of electricity.

Florida's unique energy vulnerabilities have also become apparent during the past several years. Florida is one of the most natural-gas-dependent states in the country, with more than a third of its electricity generated by natural gas. In December 2005, the natural gas "crisis" drove utility prices from less than $3 per thousand cubic foot to over $14, a price that hurt Floridians' pocketbooks. The pain intensified when Hurricane Katrina disrupted natural gas supplies and jeopardized electricity generation. While the price of natural gas has fallen over the past year, it still costs over two and a half times more than it did when many of the state's new natural gas power plants were planned. It is not the bargain we once thought. To meet the growing electricity needs, Florida's utilities project the need for both more natural-gas- and coal-powered plants.

Opportunities for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Fortunately, another suite of energy resource options is available—slowing energy demand growth with energy efficiency resources and demand response, and diversifying the supply resources with renewables. This report explores the magnitude of the efficiency and renewable resources that are available to the state, and suggests some specific policies that could be implemented to reduce future energy demands. If all the policies we recommend were implemented, the state could reduce its projected future use of electricity from conventional sources (i.e., natural gas, coal, oil, and nuclear fuels) by about 29% in the next 15 years (see Figure ES-1). Energy efficiency accounts for about two-thirds of the 2023 total 102,513 million kWh electricity reductions, with the renewable energy provisions accounting for the balance.

To make these energy efficiency and renewable energy resources a reality, we recommend eleven specific policies that the state should consider adopting:
Utility-Sector Energy Efficiency Policies and Programs (EERS)
Appliance and Equipment Standards
Building Energy Codes
Advanced Building Program
Improved Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Policies
Industrial Competitiveness Initiative
State and Municipal Buildings Program
Short-Term Public Education and Rate Incentives
Expanded Research, Development, and Demonstration Efforts
Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)
Onsite Renewables Program

Figure ES-1. Share of Future Electricity Consumption that Can Be Met with Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Resources
2023 Savings = 102,513 Million kWh


We believe these policies would establish a foundation upon which the state could build a sustainable energy future, while improving the state's economic health. The most significant energy efficiency recommendation is for a Utility-Sector Energy Efficiency Program, specifically an Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (a utility savings target similar to the RPS concept), which accounts for 30% of the total savings in 2023 (see Table ES-1). As would be anticipated because of the importance of buildings-related electric loads, buildings policies (including an improved building energy code and advanced buildings policies) would contribute another 19% toward the total electricity savings in 2023.

Our calculations show that these energy efficiency and renewable energy policies can also reduce peak demand for electricity by over 20,000 MW in 2023, or 32% of projected peak demand. In addition, we also recommend that the state consider implementing a robust demand response effort, which could reduce peak demand by an additional 4,353 MW in 2013 and 9,637 MW in 2023, or 9% and 15% of projected peak demand, respectively (see Figure ES-2). While the utilities in the state have had various curtailable tariffs for many years, there is much more that could be done to reduce peak electrical loads. Demand response programs combined with energy efficiency and renewable energy policies could slow the rapid growth in peak demand projected by the state's utilities.

Our study asserts that energy efficiency, coupled with renewable energy, can slow future electricity demand. It would also diversify the state's energy resources, making Florida less vulnerable to global markets and volatile energy prices. The study shows that implementing energy efficiency policies alone (such as efficient windows, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and ENERGY STAR new homes and appliances) can almost offset the future growth in electric demand.

Table ES-1. Summary Results from Analysis of Recommended Policies


Figure ES-2. Impact on Summer Peak Demand of Expanded Demand Response, Energy Efficiency, and Renewable Energy


Economic and Jobs Impacts

Increased investments in energy efficiency rather than construction of new conventional power generation would result in significant reduction in consumer energy expenditures over the next 15 years, while promoting robust job growth in the state (see Table ES-2). The energy efficiency policies would reduce consumer energy costs by over $28 billion relative to constructing new power plants, and would result in the creation of more than 14,000 new jobs—many trade jobs related to the implementation of the energy efficiency measures. The direct and indirect total jobs mean that the efficiency strategy would be equivalent to nearly 100 new manufacturing plants relocating to Florida, but without the demand for infrastructure and other energy needs. And, in light of recent volatility in energy prices, the efficiency strategy would have an added benefit of balancing the fuel supply and therefore stabilizing energy prices.

The state's environment would benefit as well, with reductions in conventional power plant operations reducing sulfur dioxide (SO2) by more than 16 thousand tons and nitrogen oxides (NOX) by almost 11 thousand tons. With concern growing about global warming, these efficiency measures would reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) by over 37 million metric tons in 2023, making a down payment of reducing the state's carbon signature.

Table ES-2. Economic Impact on the State of Florida of Expanded Energy Efficiency



Based on this analysis, we are confident that energy efficiency and renewable energy can change Florida's energy future for the better. Energy efficiency resource policies can offset the majority of projected load growth in the state over the next 15 years. Expanded development of renewable energy resources in the state would further reduce future needs for conventional generation. Combined, these policies can meet nearly 30% of projected needs for electricity in 2023, deferring the need for many new electric power generation projects in the state.

The economic savings from the recommended energy efficiency policies alone in this report can cut Florida consumers' electricity bills by about $840 million by 2013 and $28 billion by 2023. While these savings will require substantial investments, they cost less than the projected cost of electricity from conventional sources. In addition, the investments would save consumers money while creating new jobs for the state.

Reducing demand for electricity with efficiency and renewables will also reduce emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels at utility power plants, offering the state a more sustainable environmental future at an affordable cost and allowing the state to start on a path to reducing its global warming emissions.

Florida faces important decisions regarding its energy future. The current course calls for investments in new coal, gas, and potentially nuclear generation to make sure that the state has enough electricity to sustain its economic prosperity. Energy efficiency and renewable energy resources would offset some of that growth in demand, offering a lower cost, cleaner, and more stable energy path, without sacrificing Florida's quality of life or its economic growth.

View full report as a PDF or click to order hard copy.

106 pp., 2007, $35.00, E072


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