No CCS – COP15 Copenhagen

John Herbert at energy seminar Dec 2009

Energy Seminar 4 Dec 2009 (left to right) - Joe Ng, John Herbert, Lawrence Wong, Dominic Yin, Zhao Ring, Edward Hung

The COP15 summit in Copenhagen has recognised the real risk and costs of pursuing CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) and will exclude it from the UN approved list of carbon reduction strategies [link].

CCS does sound great in principle doesn’t it? A technical solution that the West could sell, and sell into Asia that would solve all our problems.¬† However, many years after the CCS idea was conceived nobody has yet managed to build and continuously operate a single CCS plant, that says a lot about this technology. Also generation efficiency is reduced by 30% that translates in to a need to build 1/3 additional capacity just to maintain the status quo.

COP15 denial of CCS can only be good news, energy efficiency improvements are certainly more viable options and very cost effective alternative.

– John Herbert, Consultant, Kelcroft E&M Limited
lowering the cost of doing business in Asia

US – China Cooperation on Energy and Climate Change

A Source For EE Quotes

I know it is hard to find good quote for your EE presentations, so the report report by the The Asia Society  A Roadmap for U.S.-China Cooperation on Energy and Climate Change is welcome.

However, it is worth noting that the fixation with CCS (Carbon Capture and Sequestration) as a solution remains as strong as ever. Now bear in mind that over the years it was another promised solution, yet as the report recognises, nobody has as managed to build a working facility. The reports first recommends further US-China cooperation to develop CCS projects.

Yes, Energy Efficiency improvement is mentioned as part of the solution, so we must be grateful. From page 32…….

2. Improving Energy Efficiency and Conservation
To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance national energy security, and save money, the United States and China both need to prioritize and expand energy efficiency and conservation efforts.

In the near term, the most significant step that the United States and China can take to reduce their emissions and enhance their energy security is to reduce energy demand through greater efficiency and conservation. In many cases, these efforts also promise significant economic benefits, with only modest upfront investments returning substantial long-term savings through lower energy costs.

Indeed, energy efficiency measures are often characterized as “negative cost” opportunities, meaning that they result in positive economic returns over the lifetime of the investment. A recent McKinsey study estimates that 40 percent of emissions abatement opportunities in the United States could be achieved at “negative” cost by, for instance, improving building insulation and lighting, and by using more fuel-efficient vehicles and appliances. However, these potential gains often remain unrealized because of market inefficiencies, lack of information, government neglect, and shortages of upfront capital. More targeted government policies are needed in both countries to overcome these market barriers.