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8 OPPORTUNITIES: Getting the math right for palm oil millers 36 CASE STUDIES: One World Trade Centre rises from ashes of 911


46 PEOPLE: Amory Lovins on energyโ€™s two revolutions 49 EDITORIAL: Automobiles trending from gasoline to gas-electric 56 INFO: Climate change & insurance: :K\HYHU\RQHLVDฦจHFWHG


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Cities 2.0: Revitalising old cities (see pages 16–35)

From the managing editor’s desk




Clean energy to remain investment magnet


Fifteen percent of China’s total energy use by 2020 to be from clean sources

Getting the math right for palm oil millers


“It took extensive research for many years to develop an optimal way to treat and recycle palm oil mill waste.” Ronnie Tan, managing director of CMS Waste Management Sdn Bhd

China’s PV industry remains bullish


Proper retrofits can slash energy use by half


Cities 2.0 = Sustainability, 18 dynamism + liveability “The economic growth of Asian cities is heavily dependent on the private sector contributing where governments cannot.” Vind Sidhu, Siemens Malaysia

London: Saving the planet 21 by saving the pocket RE:FIT and RE:NEW initiatives to promote energy-saving retrofits

Auckland: One sustainable 24 city, super-sized

“There is no single silver bullet for energy efficiency in any existing building.” CK Tang, gBEET

Guardian of a green legacy 26 Interview with deputy mayor of Auckland City, Penny Hulse

Financing Melbourne’s carbon neutrality programme


“Environmental upgrade finance is a significant breakthrough in financing retrofitting of commercial buildings.” Scott Bocskay, chief executive of Sustainable Melbourne Fund

Remaking Singapore’s heartlands


Korea’s gem of nature a smart grid test-bed


Kanazawa: “Rainy city” taps power from waterways


What it takes to turn Putrajaya green


Indonesia to transform five cities using Eco Cities approach


   •   

The most expensive earthquakes in history

  

(see page 58)





Sustainable trade centre rises from the ashes of 911


Photographer with a cause




Clean energy: How much hot air?


Automobiles trending from gasoline to gas-electric


Marshalling renewables on a global scale


Rise of the biobased economy




Solar and wind power to wind down this year


Global clean energy investment: The 2011 numbers game


Climate change and insurance: Why everyone is affected


“We are all in this together and the sooner we accept that we are first and foremost global citizens, the better.”

One World Trade Centre will be one of the most environmentallysustainable buildings in the world when completed in April next year

Michael Hall, award-winning photographer

Cleantech’s big opportunities for 2012/13

Rice husk to keep rural Cambodia growing Cambodian government promotes rice husk-powered electricity generators to help increase the kingdom’s productivity


“It can’t be ignored that environmental risks and financial risks are interconnected.”

Cleantech Ventures MD Jan Dekker places his bets on solar, transportation and energy efficiency

38 Energy’s two revolutions

Ernst Rauch, head of corporate climate centre, Munich Re

46 “There are two revolutions going on in electricity. One is saving most of it that’s now wasted, and the other is making it differently.” Amory Lovins, chief scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute

    •  

News briefs



64 Thriving Beyond Sustainability: Pathways to a Resilient Society

The team Editorial Editor: Lim Siang Jin Managing editor: David Lee Boon Siew Assistant editors: Siaw Mei Li, Celia Alphonsus Contributing editors: Ann Teoh, Jason Tan Contributing writers: Eleanor Chen, G Danapal, Stephen Ng, Bhavani Prakash, Suvarna Beesetti, Tan Su-Yin, VK Shashikumar, Mallika Naguran, Jennifer Neoh-Tan Columnists: Shel Horowitz, Khoo Hock Aun, Prasad Modak, Andrew McKillop Marketing & sales Manager: Yong Wang Ching +6012 205 7928 Lim Wan Tsau (Singapore) +65 9068 0184 Email: Creative & design Khoo Kay Hong, Gordon Ling Production & advertising traffic Eddy Yap Subscription & circulation Jessica Lee, Yap Eng Jin Finance & operations Kym Chong Corporate Managing director: Lim Siang Jin Publisher Briomedia Green Sdn Bhd (924679-H) 3-3 Jalan Solaris 2, Solaris Mont Kiara 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: +603 6203 7681 (Malaysia) Tel: +65 9068 0184 (Singapore) Fax: +603 6211 2681 Email: Printer KHL Printing Co Sdn Bhd (235060-A) Lot 10 & 12, Jalan Modal 23/2 Seksyen 23, Kawasan Miel Phase 8 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia Tel: +603 5541 3695 Fax: +603 5541 3712 © 2012: Briomedia Green Sdn Bhd Letters and articles are welcome, and should be addressed to: The Editor at Green Purchasing Asia 3-3 Jalan Solaris 2, Solaris Mont Kiara 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Email: Endorsed by • Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Malaysia • International Green Purchasing Network

Disclaimer Briomedia Green Sdn Bhd (924679-H) believes that the information published at the time of printing is correct. The views expressed in the articles are not necessarily those of the publisher. While the publisher has taken reasonable care in compiling the magazine, it shall not be liable for any omission, error or inaccuracy. Editorial contributions are welcome but unsolicited materials are submitted at the sender’s risk. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage. All rights reserved by Briomedia Green Sdn Bhd (924679-H). No part of this publication may be reproduced without the publisher’s written permission.

Paper: Cover 180gsm Ningbo artcard PEFC; Text 80gsm Royal Express Silk PEFC/FSC

From the managing editor’s desk David Lee Boon Siew boonsiew@

It used to be easier for emerging economies to attract foreign investors to their shores. Provide the multinationals (MNCs) with a good location, great infrastructure and supply of semi-skilled and skilled workers – plus tax incentives – and the deal is done. Political stability helped. Today, the competition for capital has gotten much more sophisticated. A lot more thought goes into choosing the country to do business with as a wrong choice would mean expensive and disruptive relocation. As such, MNCs now look for transparency in governance and a facilitative ecosystem to support their business, and many prefer to set up shop in green-rated buildings, preferably within an eco-city. By doing so, they stand a better chance of attracting – and retaining – the best brains. This is where the push for retrofitting of existing cities will come: the global competition for foreign investment. In Southeast Asia, many of the biggest cities are old and in need of a makeover. Singapore is, however, an anomaly, and is in a leading position due to its far-sighted policy in making compliance to the Green Mark mandatory. In Malaysia, the Greater KL agenda to expand the growth potential of the capital city offers an excellent opportunity to go green. I’m already seeing all the signs that a sustainable city revolution is brewing. In our December issue, we reported that the 2011 survey of eco-cities by International Eco-Cities Initiative (IECI) profiled 174 cities around the world, of which 16% were new build, 42% expansion of existing

areas and 43% retrofits. In Asia and Australia, there were 37 retrofits of existing cities. That’s a small base from which growth will be phenomenal. A big signal came from German technology giant Siemens, which recently completed its corporation restructuring and, in the process, introduced its fourth business unit, called Infrastructure and Cities, to tap into the growth market of cities. The tentacles of such a unit will be everywhere: traffic management, rail (people movers), energy management, security and, most of all, the funding to make it all possible. Another signal came from a spate of billion-dollar corporate acquisitions of late as companies buy into technologies needed to become one-stop solution centres for city administrators. Many of them are ITrelated businesses, manifested in smart grid and water management systems. Cities need traffic management, rail infrastructure, energy management, security, smart building technology, and most of all, funding. Our cover package includes excellent case studies of the innovative funding schemes used by the municipal authorities of Melbourne and London to encourage retrofit investments. The mechanics of these schemes were designed after considering how property owners would typically behave when asked to make retrofit decisions. Asian local governments would do well to use them as templates to build on.

Next issue: Sustainable corporations: Future-proofing your business The collective wisdom of environmentally-sensitive customers is pushing corporations around the world to embrace sustainability. For some companies, however, it just makes good business sense to be as resource-efficient as possible. Does your company need a push, or is it leading the charge?    •   


 

Clean energy to remain investment magnet China’s hydroelectric and wind power installed capacities highest in the world 15% of total energy use by 2020 to be from clean sources

 

China will maintain its role as the premier target market for clean energy investment over the next ten years, according to a report released by The Pew Charitable Trusts. With the government developing a more aggressive clean energy policy to meet rising demand for energy and environmental protection, the clean energy sector is expected to attract investments of some US$620 billion by the end of 2020, far higher than most of the other G20 countries.

will continue to benefit if governments in the US and Europe fail to strengthen efforts to bolster development of the sector. China has been promoting the implementation of energy efficiency and emission reduction projects across the country while focusing on the development of clean energies so as to reduce CO2 emissions per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 40–45% and to increase the proportion of non-fossil energies as a percentage

Production of solar panels for water heaters reached 170 million sq m in 2011 A Chinese worker installs solar power water heaters on top of a building in Chongqing, China

Rapid development of the Chinese clean energy sector will cause renewable energy investment to shift from the western half of the globe to the eastern one over the next ten years. Thanks to the implementation of a series of energy efficiency policies, the Asian clean energy market has received a large number of private investments over the past two years, said an industry analyst. The region     •  

of the total energy consumption to some 15% by 2020. China now ranks first worldwide in terms of hydroelectric and wind power installed capacities and production of solar water heaters. Xie Zhenhua, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, told the China International Green Industry Expo 2011 that China’s hydropower installed

capacity is expected to reach 210 GW for the whole of 2011 while wind and nuclear power installed capacities were forecast to reach 40 GW and 9.1 GW, respectively. In addition, production of solar panels for water heaters was calculated to have reached 170 million sq m last year. According to the country’s 12th Five-Year (2011–2015) plan for the energy industry, the proportion of clean energy as a percentage of total energy consumption will jump significantly, indicating its tremendous growth potential. Many industry players said they are confident of the prospects for the Chinese clean energy market. “Energy consumption per unit of GDP has declined 15.6% over the past four years, equivalent to saving 490 million tonnes of standard coal and reducing CO2 emissions by 1.13 billion tonnes,” said Zhou Tienong, vicechairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. “In 2009, China became the largest clean energy investment market worldwide with more than 200 billion yuan (about US$32 billion) invested.” Liu Tienan, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission and head of the National Energy Administration, said at the National Energy Conference 2012 that the country made great strides in reducing total energy consumption last year and will establish an energy consumption mechanism during the 12th five-year period. This year, China will continue to adjust its energy structure, including putting in place measures to support the development of nuclear power and unconventional natural gas as well as wind and solar, according to Liu. Xiao Han, an analyst at China’s leading industry research firm CIConsulting, said the clean energy sector experienced a setback last year with its valuation shrinking significantly given the global economic downturn. To cite a few examples, the solar PV sector saw declines in both sales and prices of solar PV modules last year, while the profitability of wind power fell dramatically due to excess capacity. Nevertheless, in the long run, prospects for the sector continue to look bright, said Xiao.  – Nanjing Shanglong Communications


ECOSYSTEM Every industry is a community of synergistic stakeholders. Each of them interacts, creates and derives values within its business ecosystem. If you are involved in green businesses, we want to hear from you. Our stories and reports could promote your interest and in turn profit the overall business ecosystem as well.



Getting the math right for palm oil millers

stripping the fruitlets from the fresh fruit bunch (FFB). The POME is treated using the biogas system to generate methane which is then used for the power generation plant. After the biogas treatment, the wastewater is channeled to the composting plant (where 30% is absorbed by the compost), while the balance of 70% of POME can either undergo evaporation treatment to be turned into steam, which condenses to become pure distillate water that can be used for the boiler in the oil milling process; or be treated with reverse osmosis membrane technology, to be turned into clean water. Meanwhile, the EFB wastes will be allowed to compost under special floor aeration and controlled conditions to become bio-fertilisers which contain organic content and NPK nutrients

Palm oil mill waste solution that offers zero waste, zero discharge, and zero cost Mill owners have to commit to buying bio-fertilisers produced from the waste

By Stephen Ng

    •  

 

because of an agreement signed in February 2011 with Canadian venture capitalist Millennium Financial Exchange Corp. Funding will be provided by Millennium, while CMS will design, build and manage the plant. CMS has experience in building and operating biogas plants in Thailand that produce up to 3MW of electricity, bio-composting facilities

 

An onerous challenge that palm oil millers face today is finding an optimal method to recycle wastes – palm oil mill effluents (POME) and empty fruit bunches (EFB) – to meet stringent environmental standards and to minimise the carbon footprint. One company claims to have found a complete solution to this problem. And to make it even more attractive, milllers do not have to put up capital expenditure for the plant to process the waste. Founder and managing director of CMS Waste Management Sdn Bhd (CMS) Ronnie Tan, who has been in the environmental solutions sector for over 30 years, says his brainchild, the “Zero Waste, Zero Discharge” (ZWZD) system was developed after years of extensive research with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB). It was launched last November during the International Palm Oil Congress (PIPOC 2011) in Kuala Lumpur. Tan says it is “zero cost” because there is no capital outlay in adopting the ZWZD. “All millers need to do is to provide their palm oil mill wastes to CMS, which will then convert them into bio-fertilisers, clean water and energy.” He says millers, however, have to commit to a ten-year build, operate and transfer (BOT) concession partnership with his company, during which they have to buy the bio-fertilisers CMS produces, and still expect a saving of RM200 a tonne for a blanket order of 40,000 tonnes per annum. “The clean water and excess electricity of 4,800kW/hr/day that we generate will be given back to the palm millers at zero cost,” Tan says. After the concession expires, the plant, which costs up to RM50 million, will belong to the miller. Tan says the deal is possible

“It took extensive research work for many years together with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) to develop an optimal way to treat and recycle palm oil mill waste.” – Ronnie Tan,

“It is hard to comprehend why palm oil millers in Malaysia and Indonesia do not take up the opportunity of a project that costs almost nothing but benefits them in so many ways.” – Jacqueline Young,

in Canada and an evaporation and polishing plant in Europe. “The ZWZD plant that we will build will integrate the entire system with our specialist knowledge in oil palm. The plant has also been certified green by GreenTech Malaysia,” says Tan. Under the ZWZD system, the focus is on using the clean development mechanism (CDM) approach. The two major sources of wastes are the POME and the EFB, which are generated by

with micro elements recommended for healthy plant growth and micro bacteria. With this, a 100% of the EFB waste and POME is therefore used, instead of being disposed, says Tan. Patents for the system are pending in both Indonesia and Malaysia. The assurance that Tan can provide is that the plant will treat the wastes to meet the high standards of compliance set by the Malaysian Department of

managing director of CMS Waste Management Sdn Bhd

co-founder, director and shareholder of Millennium Financial Exchange Corp


LIVING CASES Real life offers authentic stories and case studies for business success: Pitfalls to avoid and opportunities to tap into. We call them Living Cases. These Living Cases have the potential to connect you with markets, products and suppliers to add value to your business. GPA will devote 60% of its pages to case studies – and we support the cases afterwards via regular updates on our website.

   •   

Commercial viability With zero financial and capital expenditure to build the treatment plant, the first advantage from the operational point of view for any palm miller is the huge saving on cost arising from POME treatment and EFB disposal. Currently, the bio-fertilisers produced are either NPK 10:5:10 or NPK 6:4:15. Tan explains: “This has the equivalent strength of chemical fertilisers, except that we need 1.7 tonnes of bio-fertilisers compared to one tonne of chemical fertilisers. Pricewise, it’s still cheaper, and the saving is RM200 per tonne. This is a lot of saving.” For a treatment plant with a capacity of 60 tonnes per hour, it is possible to treat 76,000 tonnes of EFB over a year. The output is 231,000 tonnes of POME and 40,341 tonnes of organic fertilisers. In terms of management cost for a miller treating 330,000 tonnes of FFB, there is a saving of RM265.64 per hectare of plantation, leading to an overall saving of RM195.9 per hectare after taking into consideration the application of bio-fertilisers and treatment of POME and evacuation cost of EFB (see table). The funding The cost of setting up the entire system is RM50 million. For a palm oil miller to fork out this amount is not easy, but for a convinced venture capitalist, the investment is well worth the money. Jacqueline Young, co-founder, director and shareholder of Millennium Financial Exchange Corp based out of Vancouver, Canada, is “very confident that investors in this project will be financially rewarded, and even more so, it is a project that benefits the earth abundantly”. She sees the project as financially viable. “It qualifies for Malaysian pioneer status, thus tax-free status, and potential for listing on stock exchanges,” she says. “It is possible to raise financing for this project by listing it on foreign stock exchanges, but we need the local palm oil plantations to participate in getting rid of their wastes.” Millennium, which is involved in     •  

private equity exchange, mergers and acquisitions, and capital raising (debt and equity financing, project financing, venture capital), is involved predominantly in energy, infrastructure, utilities and real estate development. “We are certainly very interested and supportive of high technologies, clean and green technologies,” she says. On the ZWZD system, Young says: “It is hard to comprehend as to why palm oil millers in Malaysia and Indonesia do not take up the opportunity of a project that costs almost nothing but benefits them in so many ways.”

    

Environment and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

The POME is treated using the biogas system to generate methane which is then used for the power generation plant: Gas yield is demonstrated in the picture above by the ballooning grey cover

Zero waste management cost comparison for 150,000, 200,000 and 330,000 MT of fresh fruit bunch (FFB) processed FFB processed (MT)







POME generated (m3)




Savings (RM)



















Zero waste treatment cost (RM/tonne)




Zero waste cost charged (RM/ha)







Total cost/ha (bio-fertiliser + application + zero waste) (RM/ha)




Total cost (inorganic + POME treatment + EFB evacuation cost) (RM/ha)







Palm oil mill effluents (POME) treatment cost (RM/m3)

A. Savings per hectare (RM/ha) Empty fruit bunch (EFB) mulching Application rate (tonne/palm) Cost of EFB collection and transport to field (RM/tonne) B. Cost per hectare (RM/ha) Total cost for EFB and POME management (RM/ha) [A+B]

Savings per hectare after zero waste treatment cost (RM/ha) Overall cost savings

Cost savings (RM) Source: CMS Waste Management Sdn Bhd (CMS)

Most viable proposal


CONSORTIUM Many businesses position themselves as consortiums of established partners. Together, these partners add relevant credentials and a track record for mutual advantage. Get to know who these consortiums are, what their business models are, what set them apart, and why these teams are thriving.

   •   


 

China’s PV industry remains bullish Strong support from banks allowed PV enterprises to consolidate in 2011 Industry to reshuffle due to shrinkage of European economy

The National Energy Administration of China (NEA) announced last December that the country had raised its solar target from 10 GW to 15 GW by 2015. China’s photovoltaic (PV) industry has achieved rapid growth over the last ten years with strong support from the government, private enterprise and financial institutions, and is expected to achieve further growth based on favourable policies put in place by Beijing. In the Renewable Energy Development Plan recently issued by the NEA under China’s 12th FiveYear Plan, the energy administration calls for the construction of “solar cities” and solar PV power plants across China, the enhancement of the conversion efficiency of PV cells and the improvement of industry competitiveness in the international arena. The industry aims to secure 40 to 50% of the global market by establishing ten large solar cell manufacturers by the end of the period, each with an annual capacity exceeding 1GW. In support, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has drawn up the Solar Photovoltaic Industry Development Plan to promote key technological innovations and to upgrade the production processes employed by the solar cell industry, with special emphasis on the development of building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) technologies. China’s buildings provide a surface area of 48 billion sq m. If BIPV systems were installed on just 10% of those buildings, a 500 GW market would be created from that alone. China’s Sinolink Securities is bullish on the outlook for the country’s PV industry, expecting a second round of growth as PV power costs decrease, with installed capacity seeing growth over the next few years.     •  

In view of the bright prospects, leading PV companies continue to expand their capacity. In the crystalline silicon solar segment, GCL-Poly Energy, Xinjiang Tebian Electric Apparatus and LDK Solar all announced capacity expansion plans in 2011. In the same year, in the thinfilm solar segment, Hanergy Holdings Group put its facilities in Shuangliu, Sichuan province, Heyuan, Guangdong

province and Changxing, Zhejiang province into production, with annual capacity of 2 GW planned for 2012. The global thin-film solar market is expected to realise an average annual increase of 32% by 2013, compared with 18% for the global PV market, according to industry insiders. Over the last decade, China’s financial sector, through a variety of programmes, has provided strong

support for the PV industry, helping to push growth rates in China above those of other countries. Financial institutions remained optimistic about the PV industry and continued to extend loans to the sector even in 2011 despite the market being depressed due to the European debt crisis and the anti-subsidy and anti-dumping investigations undertaken by the US. In recent years, a number of leading Chinese PV enterprises have received financial support from China Development Bank, which has been providing financing services for clean energy sectors, including water, wind and solar. In 2010, Suntech Power, Trina Solar, Yingli Solar, JA Solar and LDK Solar received loans totalling tens of billions of yuan from that bank. In November 2011, it gave Hanergy Holdings Group, China’s largest privately-owned clean energy company and the first to integrate the supply chain for thin-film solar energy, a five-year credit line worth 30 billion yuan (about US$4.8 billion) to help the company build PV and hydroelectric power stations in China and to expand overseas. China Sunergy and Chaorisolar also received credit support from the bank in 2011. Other financial institutions lending to PV enterprises in 2011 included China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China CITIC Bank and Bank of Jiangsu. Their support gave Chinese PV enterprises enough time to properly consolidate during last year’s downturn. For the foreseeable future, China’s PV industry is expected to undergo a reshuffle due to the shrinkage of the European markets, although the global PV industry remains generally promising. Small- and medium-sized firms with weak financial and technical strength will be wiped out while those with differentiated advantages will continue to expand their capacity, further driving industry consolidation. The reshuffle is expected to push Chinese PV companies to improve product quality and to produce more high-end products, says Meng Xiangan, vice-president of the China Renewable Energy Society. – Nanjing Shanglong Communications


PROSPECTS Going green is increasingly important to business today. We can help you maximise results by improving your market visibility and connecting you with untapped prospects. By providing market communications support to green vendors and purchasers, we assist in building a sustainable future that is also economically viable.

   •   

 

Proper retrofits can slash energy use by half Big energy reduction only possible by exploiting all features in a building Plugging air leakage in old buildings identified as a priority area

By Stephen Ng

    •  

audit was earlier conducted in 2008. The audit provided sufficient data to produce a model for energy simulation. The conclusion is based on a total of 58 simulation cases that were conducted on the building, where a total of 52 energy-efficiency strategies were identified. The summary of the result revealed an average of 0.9% energy reduction potential for each measure taken, as shown in Figure 1. The study showed that there is no single “silver bullet” for energy efficiency in any existing building. “Although energy reduction can be brought down by 50%, it is only possible with minor improvements made on every potential energy reduction feature in the building, which ultimately provides the efficiency gain stepby-step until it reaches 50% energy reduction for the entire building,” Tang says. “There is no easy solution with the implementation of just one single design feature.” Among the 52 energy conservation measures proposed by Tang

Figure 1: Accumulated energy reduction in percentages from measured case scenarios 60% 50% 40% 30% 20%

Source: gBEET






























With proper retrofits, it is possible to slash the energy consumption of a 40-year-old building by more than 50% without compromising on the occupants’ level of comfort, says CK Tang of gBEET, a Malaysianbased company involved in retrofitting buildings. What’s even more exciting, he adds, is that there are independent financiers or venture capitalists waiting to finance such projects and share the savings from the reduced energy consumption with the building owners. Preserving the aesthetics of old buildings also helps to preserve one’s heritage, but as Tang observes, the common practice in Malaysia is to demolish and rebuild rather than refurbish, while the few recentlyretrofitted buildings in Malaysia were refurbished without consideration for energy efficiency. “This represents a loss of opportunity to optimise the energy efficiency for these retrofitted buildings,” he says. A recent technical appraisal of an office building block, Block F (about 24,000 sq m) of the Malaysian Public Works Department headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, shows that it is possible to reduce the Building Energy Index (BEI) by 50.1%, from the current electricity consumption of 172.7kWh/ m²/year to as low as 80.9 kWh/ m²/year. This is a saving of about RM660,000 (about US$216,500) a year (based on the current tariff RM0.35/ kW) or RM2.30/m²/month. Tang’s prediction was based on a two-month study he had conducted as a short-term consultant for the Building Sector Energy Efficiency Programme (BSEEP) initiative in Malaysia. The study was based on a computer simulation of an existing building, where a detailed energy

in his study, air leakage in old buildings (C1) was identified as one of the low-lying fruits that could be prioritised and tackled as a source of energy leakage. Based on the simulation case study done, the building can save 3.5% on its electricity bills or a total of RM47,000 per annum by plugging the air leakages. What is interesting is that by doing so and reducing the building’s cooling load, a “domino” effect results within the building’s energy efficiency management. It has been postulated that once the cooling load of Block F is reduced, the air supply flow rate and chilled water flow rate for the purpose of air-conditioning can be reduced too. Based on the affinity law, with every step reduction in air and water flow rate, the energy consumed to run the fans and pumps can also be reduced by a factor of three. For example, a 15% reduction in flow rate lowers the energy consumption of the pump or fan so that the heat generated by the pump or fan would also be cut down by 40%, thereby further reducing the cooling load requirement on the chiller. Improving energy efficiency is, therefore, paramount in solving any occupant complaints of discomfort, especially in old buildings. At the current baseline (C2), there are complaints raised by building occupants, which could mean spending another RM88,000 per annum in energy consumption for a chiller with a larger capacity to achieve the level of comfort required. “Buying a new chiller with a



Summary of 58 simulation steps employed on an office block at the Malaysian Public Works Department headquarters, Kuala Lumpur

larger capacity is not always the solution, especially when improvement in the energy efficiency of the building has not been addressed adequately to solve the complaint of discomfort,” says Tang. In fact, the study shows that the extra cost for a larger chiller (RM4.2 million) could be used instead to improve the energy efficiency of the building while maintaining the existing chiller capacity or even reducing the size of the existing chiller.

 


CK Tang: There is no easy solution with the implementation of just one single design feature

Reducing the general lighting level to 200 lux via delamping and providing task lights of as low as 5W to as a high of 19W (C37–C39) for building occupants, who still require 300 to 500 lux levels for reading fine prints can easily contribute to another RM55,000 in energy usage or a saving of 4.1% per annum. Varying the wattage of task lights, however, did not yield significant energy savings. Other simple measures such as harvesting natural daylight up to 4.5 m into the building (C44) can save energy by 2.3% or contribute another RM30,000 per annum to the total savings, besides solving the sick building syndrome. However, using double glazing with low-e did not produce a significant advantage in energy savings over using glazed film on clear glass due to prior improvement made to the building. CK Tang was a speaker at the recent Energy Management Summit 2011 held in Kuala Lumpur, organised by Comfori Sdn Bhd. A full report is available from http://www.jkr.

Short descriptions


% saved -6.7%

RM/year saved (88,481)


Comfortable base case



Base case as-is




Air-tight the building





Improve comfort





Reduce small power at night





Reduce lighting power





Office use of occupancy sensor/lighting switches





Toilet use of occupancy sensor





50% lift shut down after 7pm





Fresh air supply regulated by CO2 sensor





Improve comfort





Reduce chill water flow rate





Increase chill water supply temp to 9 degree





High delta temperature chill water





Fix duct leakages





Increase AHU set point temperature





Reduce AHU flow rate





Use of low pressure loss air filters





Improve fan efficiency





Use VAV system with off coil temp of 14 degree





Use VAV system with off coil temp of 16 degree





Lift lobby air temp 27 degree





Chiller efficiency (COP of 6.3)





Use of VSD chiller





Reduce condenser water flow to 2.5Gpm/tonne





Reduce condenser water flow to 2.0Gpm/tonne





Use of primary/secondary chill water system





Use of primary variable chill water system





Improve chill water pump efficiency





Improve condenser water pump efficiency





Improve all pump motor efficiency





Improve cooling tower fan efficiency





Cooling tower VSD fan, setpoint 30.5 degree





Cooling tower VSD fan, setpoint 29.5 degree





Cooling tower VSD fan, setpoint 28.5 degree





Cooling tower VSD fan, setpoint 27.5 degree





Cooling tower VSD fan, setpoint 26.5 degree





Oversize cooling tower





Reduce light level to 200lux, wt19w Task Light





Reduce light level to 200lux, wt11w Task Light





Reduce light level to 200lux, wt5w Task Light





Daylight sensor in toilet





Use of heat recovery wheel





Use of clear glazing





Daylight harvesting in offices, 3.5m depth





Daylight harvesting in offices, 4.5m depth





Apply performance filmon clear glazing





Use of double glazing high performance





Roof insulation with 50mm polystyrene





Roof insulation with 100mm polystyrene





Roof insulation with 150mm polystyrene





Increase air temperature (comfort maintained)





Resize HVAC





Resize HVAC with 12W/m2 small power





Small power back to base case (no change)





Small power up to 12 W/m2





Data centre reduces 25% energy





Data centre reduces 50% energy



*Building Energy Index

526,911 Source: gBEET

   •   


Even as “green” becomes the norm for rising new metropolises of Asia, planners in older cities are confronting the urgent need for a new kind of urban reform. The increasing number of neighbourhood revitalisation and municipal-scale retrRƩWSrojects, especially in advanced economies, underscore growing awareness of how investing in sustainable cities yields long-term dividends in economic competitiveness, energy security, climate management and social cohesion. They also yield good learning opportunities on how expensive city retrRƩWVFDQEHIXQGHG




Amsterdam, Netherlands

Curitiba, Brazil

The city will spend 100 million euros annually until 2016 to upgrade its electricity networks to smart grids

The city boasts of over 53 sq m of green space per inhabitant

Cities 2.0 = Sustainability, dynamism + liveability Sustainability enhances city attractiveness to companies and quality workforce Funding issues managed with government as facilitator

Twenty years ago, New Zealand’s Waitakere City elected advertising maverick Bob Harvey as its second mayor on the strength of his vision to create an eco-city. Harvey and his city were ahead of the curve; at that time, environmental issues were only just starting to become an international concern. “We rode the trends and were first off the block,” says Harvey, recalling council initiatives to restore local ecosystems and build libraries in cooperation with the Maori community – examples of initiatives characterising the “Waitakere way” of sustainable local collaboration that remains a benchmark of government ecostewardship to this day.     •  

  

By Celia Alphonsus

“Farsighted pioneer sustainable cities clearly now have significantly greater competitive edge in attracting investment and talents.” – Boon Che Wee, chairman of the Malaysian Green Building Index

Harvey galvanised the people’s collective conscience and served as mayor for a record 18 years until 2010. But even he has to admit that the task of implementing a sustainable city agenda is today “more difficult and complex”. The desire to protect Mother Nature is no longer the only driver for creating more sustainable and liveable cities. While citizen activism continues to push change and influence policy, local governments and city planners are increasingly tapping on the economic advantages to be gained by creating sustainable cities. The State of Green Business Report 2012 says cities are pushing forward regardless of national policies that leave sustainability measures simmering on the back-burner. “Some of the world’s largest cities are emerging as laboratories of innovative technologies, business models and efficiency measures, many of them with impressive environmental and social outcomes. It is becoming evident that a bottom-up, grassroots evolution towards sustainable eco-cities is likely,” the report says.

Copenhagen, Denmark


Over a third of Copenhagen’s citizens take the healthier, greener route by cycling to work or school every day

The island state plans to green 80% of its buildings by 2030

Global competition Boon Che Wee, chairman of the Malaysian Green Building Index accreditation panel, observes that it is global competitiveness that is driving the growth of sustainable cities. “Farsighted pioneer sustainable cities clearly now have significantly greater competitive edge in attracting investment and talents,” says Boon. A survey by the Carbon Disclosure Project and KPMG of leaders of 58 cities around the world, representing 8% of the global population, found that nearly eight in ten believe the physical impacts of climate change directly or indirectly threaten the ability of local businesses to operate successfully. As cities compete to attract companies and a high-quality workforce, sustainability will likely be a part of their competitive strategies. As the State of Green Business Report states, cities are gaining enormous power to create markets for both local and sustainably produced goods and services, in some cases helping create economies of scale that make these things cheaper and more widely available. The domino

effect of such efforts is that sustainable cities become more desirable places to live in, shop and work, attracting employees and customers, which in turn attract investors like bees to honey.

Energy retrofit A case in point is Amsterdam, among the world’s oldest and largest cities and a pioneer in going green. A pristine city with historical architecture and canals snaking through town, Amsterdam already appears every inch the eco-city of the future. However, deep in the underbelly of its infrastructure, there are ongoing efforts to transform it into an ultra energy-efficient city. In 2009, Cisco, IBM and Nuon launched an energy management project to run in 500 households. The aim was to cut energy usage by 14% and significantly reduce CO2 emissions as well. On top of that, over 700 households have been given access to financing by some major Dutch banks to buy energy-saving appliances, bulbs, roof insulation and other building retrofitting measures.

The city also plans to install solar panels on townhouses and several hundred power hook-ups for electric cars to recharge. Solar panels on riverboats along the canal are not an uncommon sight either. Until 2016, 100 million euros (US$132 million) will be spent yearly by the city upgrading its electricity networks to smart grids that will effectively lower energy consumption.

Future of Asian cities According to a report by the Asia Business Council in 2010, aggregate populations in Asian cities have almost doubled in the past 15 to 20 years and by 2030, more than half of the world’s urban populations will live in Asian cities. If urban growth is not managed well, cities will suffer from overcrowding, traffic congestion, worsening pollution and pressures on infrastructure. The future quality of life in fastdeveloping cities depends, therefore, on how urban communities tackle these challenges. Traditionally, governments were responsible for mitigating these problems but budget    •   

Advanced economies have transformed a number of older cities into model sustainable urban centres that not only yield a higher quality of life but are also economically feasible.

1 3

5  

2 These cities have been ranked as the top green cities in the world for their environmental performance and commitment towards improving the quality of living for its residents.

Funding the future How fast entire cities can adopt a longterm sustainability game plan and stick steadfastly to it, however, will depend on the availability of funds. Developing Asian cities often lack the financial capability to scale up projects, and initiatives are usually painfully slow to take off even with help from international institutions like the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank. In poorer countries, there are also com    •  

2 CURITIBA (BRAZIL): Architect Jaime Lerner, who was mayor in the 1970s, transformed the mid-sized Brazilian city into a model for other metropolises. Over 80% of its residents use public transport and the city boasts over 580 sq ft (53.9 sq m) of green space per inhabitant. 3 FREIBURG (GERMANY): Eco-housing, car-free streets and socially-conscious neighbours have made the city a shining example of sustainability.


constraints, bureaucratic processes and politics can delay intervention for years. Many great cities in North America and Europe fell into urban decay in the 70s and 80s as governments were slow to address problems in these areas. If Asian cities do not learn from these mistakes, they, too, risk de-urbanisation, unemployment and population flight, leaving behind neighbourhoods with stagnated economies, dilapidated buildings and deteriorating infrastructure.

1 VANCOUVER (CANADA): The city consistently tops the World Liveable Cities list. It draws 90% of its power from renewable sources and has developed a 100-year plan for sustainability.

4 COPENHAGEN (DENMARK): A model city for other metropolises in Europe. Apart from being the city of bicycles, it has managed to keep its water and energy consumption constant. It has also revitalised its harbour, which was once heavily polluted. 5 SINGAPORE: Named greenest city in Asia by Siemen’s Asian Green City Index 2011, it has attracted multinational companies (MNCs) to base their regional headquarters there. Many MNCs have strict corporate sustainability measures and the wide availability of green office buildings and infrastructure make Singapore an attractive choice.

peting priorities like tackling poverty and improving basic infrastructure. However, where funding is a main concern, there is a lot to learn from the advanced economies, which have come up with some innovative schemes to nudge projects along. There are some good examples: • London’s RE:FIT programme to retrofit public facilities is financed by a combination of regional funding initiatives and private banks, and from money saved through greater building energy efficiency. (See story on following page.) • Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA) launched a Building Retrofit Energy Efficiency Financing (BREEF) pilot scheme last September. By collaborating with financial institutions (FIs), BREEF helps facilitate loans of up to S$5 million (US$3.95 million) for commercial building owners and energy services companies (ESCOs) to carry out retrofits under an energy

Sustainability initiatives by some cities around the world • SEOUL plans to retrofit 10,000 buildings by 2030 • AUSTIN has a zero-waste plan for 2040 • LONDON aims to have 100,000 electric vehicles on the streets by 2020 • BUENOS AIRES is implementing a network of dedicated bus and taxi lanes to improve fuel efficiency • TOKYO is introducing higher energy efficiency standards for large urban developments • SAO PAULO plans to reduce the use of fossil fuel on public transportation by 10% each year, aiming for 100% use of renewable fuels by 2017. Note: These cities are part of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a network of large cities committed to implementing climate-related actions at the local level. Source: Carbon Disclosure Project

case studies

performance contract that specifies a minimum level of energy savings to be achieved. Under the scheme, BCA shares the risk of default with the FIs issuing the loans. Current participating FIs are Standard Chartered Bank and United Overseas Bank. (See sg for details) The economic growth of Asian cities is heavily dependent on the intervention of businesses and the private sector to contribute where governments cannot. According to Vind Sidhu, senior vice-president of Siemens Malaysia, countries in Asia and Pacific need to spend 6–7% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on infrastructure to ensure economic growth. However, public sector investment averages just 3–4% in many developing countries, resulting in a substantial investment shortfall. Vind points out that roughly




“The economic growth of Asian cities is heavily dependent on the private sector contributing where governments cannot.” – Vind Sidhu, Siemens Malaysia

two-thirds of the CO2 abatement potential that could be addressed by currently available technology would pay for itself through energy savings generated over a reasonable time frame. The key issue, however, is inadequate funding for such ventures. “Assurances in financial returns by accurate calculations of ROI do seem to be a prospective solution in attracting funding and investments,” says Vind. “Also, demonstration pilots of a larger scale can be implemented to convince stakeholders on tangible benefits.” As the pressure to contribute to national GDP growth builds up, city administrators everywhere in the world will need to put on their thinking caps to design better ways to get the private sector to collaborate on the serious business of creating sustainable cities. Their ability to compete regionally or globally may well depend on it.

London: Saving the planet by saving the pocket Green building retrofits to help city achieve 60% in CO reduction by 2025 Installers’ guarantee of cost savings minimises risk for building owners

 

By Siaw Mei Li

The city of London at dusk. As nearly 80% of CO emissions produced in the city are from buildings, retrofitting London is a central focus of the mayor’s climate change management strategy

In the current global recession, the green economy has taken a lot of flak for drawing large amounts of public funds into subsidies for renewable energy infrastructure and other cleantech investments. However, the city of London’s ongoing move towards a low-carbon economy has shown that measures to save the environment can be good for business, even in the short-term. A prime example of this are the London Development Agency’s (LDA) RE:FIT and RE:NEW initiatives, designed to promote and implement energy-saving retrofits in public buildings and in residences, respectively. RE:FIT won the best “Technical Project” at the ManagEnergy Annual    •   

The RE:NEW programme is currently rolling out in specific areas across London and aims to retrofit 55,000 homes by March 2012

This is the London Development Agency’s award-winning programme to promote energy-saving retrofits in public buildings. The first tranche of pilot projects tested the technical model and commercial arrangements around guarantees and paybacks. It involved retrofitting a range of buildings with diverse needs, such as fire stations and 24-hour police buildings. As at mid-2011, the Greater London Authority (GLA) Group had invested £7 million in retrofitting 42 of its buildings, with a total occupied area of 146,000 sq m. The University of London, Newham University Hospital, the Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew), Waltham Forest Primary Care Trust and the London Fire Brigade have also appointed companies

scheme, and delivered additional operational benefits over and above energy and carbon reductions.” In the case of RE:NEW, the demonstration phase ran in nine boroughs from November 2009 to July 2010. It provided 8,119 homes with energy audits by qualified assessors

 

The implementation of energysaving measures in 42 buildings produced £1 million (US$1.58 million) in annual energy savings and cut carbon emissions by 5,000 tonnes. Getting all public buildings in London on board this model could cut energy costs by an estimated £500 million. At Newham University Hospital NHS Trust (NUHT), the RE:FIT project included the installation of a quieter and more efficient ventilation system using heat recovery and free cooling, saving the hospital £50,000 a year on energy bills. Kai Kin Lee, capital design project manager at NUHT, says: “The key benefit of the project, for us, was that we only paid once we’d seen returns. The project exceeded the investment requirements set out in the RE:FIT


The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is among London’s public buildings that have implemented energy-saving retrofits     •  

  

Awards in Brussels last April. Among the agencies that took part in the first phase of this initiative were Transport for London, the London Metropolitan Police and the London Fire Brigade.

Public buildings that participated in RE:FIT include Senate House at the University of London (above) and the Transport for London headquarters at 55 Broadway

via the RE:FIT framework to do retrofits worth a total of £1.7 million. A further £30 million worth of contracts is in the pipeline.

and equipped residents with energysaving advice and basic installations to cut energy and water consumption. The result was 2,958 tonnes of CO2 saved annually, which translates to an average of 0.79 tonnes of CO2 per household or £154 in fuel bills savings per year. The programme has been expanded to other parts of London.

Savings for the people Speaking to delegates at a Sustainable Cities conference in Singapore last September, Emma Strain, LDA’s head of environment, rationalises the RE:NEW programme: “In the UK, utilities have just put up gas bills by 20% overnight, so an increasingly large proportion of the household income is being spent on utility bills. We have huge numbers of people who effectively live in fuel poverty.” Fuel poverty is defined by situations where more than 10% of a person’s income is being spent on fuel bills. For many Londoners, this is compounded by increasing rent. As a result, many find RE:NEW attractive for economic reasons rather than environmental ones. Strain says: “We no longer promote this programme on the basis

of its carbon savings – although that was how it was originally conceived – because our focus is very much on achieving cost savings for those householders and also for stimulating green jobs.”

Framing the big picture London has the potential to attract between £40 billion and £140 billion of investment in the low-carbon economy and build a green workforce of over 200,000 people in the coming decades. Against the backdrop of the UK’s Climate Change Act, which sets a mandatory target of reducing CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050, London has set its own goal of cutting CO2 annual emissions by 60% by 2025. Strain acknowledges that this will not be an easy task to carry out across

RE:NEW Targetted at homeowners, RE:NEW is a pan-London homes retrofit programme funded by the mayor of London via the London Development Agency (LDA). By working with the local council in selected areas and partnering with professional home energy advisors, this scheme supplies homeowners with tailored energy-saving advice and up to £100 worth of energysaving devices. Among them are: • Low-energy light bulbs • Energy monitor (showing home electricity use in real time) • Standby switches (automatically turn off appliances) • Reflective radiator panels (minimise heat loss through walls) • Draught proofing • Toilet cistern water savers • Shower timers • Aerating showerheads (improve pressure, reduce water flow) • Tap aerators (reduce water and energy use) • Hot water tank insulation Eligible homeowners may also receive grants for further works, such as insulation. It has been estimated RE:NEW makeovers help to lower household utility bills by up to £160 a year.

33 boroughs covering some 1,600 sq km and involving close to eight million people. The flip side of this challenge, however, is the opportunity “to make London’s size count” and have the changes in energy consumption from the two programmes add up to huge reductions in overall carbon emission levels. “The time for small demonstration projects to reduce carbon has now passed for London,” says Strain. “Our focus is on delivery at scale and tackling the challenge of how we finance this delivery in these times of economic austerity.”

Paying it forward The RE:FIT initiative is financed by a combination of regional funding initiatives and private banks, and from money saved through greater building energy efficiency. At the start of the project, the building owner identifies buildings to retrofit, and sets a target percentage of energy savings (eg, 25%) and a payback period (eg, seven years). An energy services company (ESCO) from the RE:FIT supplier framework is then appointed to design, implement and monitor the performance of the retrofits. If the targeted savings are not achieved over the specified period, the ESCO must pay the difference. This guaranteed returns means not only that the retrofitting projects are ultimately cost-neutral over the term for building owners, but also that building owners can apply to banks or to the £50 million allocation for the Energy Efficiency Urban Development Fund within the London Green Fund (LGF). Launched in October 2009, the LGF is a £100 million fund for investment in schemes to reduce London’s carbon emissions. It comprises £50 million from the London European Regional Development Fund Programme (ERDF), £32 million from the LDA and £18 million from the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB). The LGF is also part of the Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas initiative (JESSICA) developed by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB). The EIB is the

“We no longer promote this programme on the basis of its carbon savings – although that was how it was originally conceived – because our focus is very much on achieving cost savings for those householders and also for stimulating green jobs.” – Emma Strain, head of environment, London Development Agency

holding fund manager on behalf of the LDA and LWARB. In September 2011, the London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF) was set up with £50 million from LGF. LEEF offers low-cost financing for energyefficiency projects in public buildings and currently has over £100 million in available capital to be invested by December 2015.

Model for sustainable change In addition to support from the LDA and London mayor Boris Johnson, the RE:FIT programme is backed by the Clinton Climate Change Initiative (CCI), which is working with the world’s most significant cities (C40) to tackle climate change. RE:FIT is the first project to be delivered through the CCI. The mayor’s target for 100 public sector buildings to use RE:FIT is expected to be met by May this year. Work is finished or near completion on 86 buildings, which will save about £1.3 million in taxpayer money through reduced energy bills. A further 297 buildings are due to be signed up in the next year. Ultimately, RE:FIT aims to retrofit at least 40% of public buildings, with a total floor space of 11 million sq m, in order to bring down the city’s CO2 by 2.5 million tonnes by 2025. “Tackling climate change now is critical for the welfare of our planet,” says Strain. “It will also be key to solving another vital issue: the need to renew the health of our economy.”    •   


case studies


One sustainable city, super-sized Green learnings for Auckland from Waitakere, Australasia’s pioneering eco-city Intensification of downtown Auckland through innovative “shared spaces”

 

By Adam Benli

The new Auckland Council was formed out of the 2010 amalgamation of eight local governments. It is the largest local government organisation in Australasia, governing an area of nearly 500,000 hectares

Consistently ranked in the top five places to live in Mercer’s Quality of Living survey, New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, has long pursued ecological sustainability. Today, that ambition has been translated into tangible initiatives by the region’s governing body, Auckland Council, which was formed in 2010 following the amalgamation of eight local councils. The Auckland Council, the largest local government organisation in Australasia, governs an area of nearly 500,000 ha – a land mass bigger than some countries. As well as hosting New Zealand’s largest city, much of the Auckland region is rural, making the new Auckland Council the country’s largest rural council. Through its draft 30-year plan and economic development strategy, Auckland Council has a bold ambition to make Auckland the world’s most liveable city by 2040.

    •  

 

A long history Sustainability goals for the Auckland region were spearheaded some 20 years ago by the former legacy council Waitakere City Council (WCC), situated in the region’s west. Waitakere became New Zealand’s first local government to adopt the eco-city concept, cemented in 1993 when it implemented the goals and programmes proposed under Agenda 21, the United Nations’ programme of action from the Rio Summit of 1992.

By 2000, it had introduced a Better Building Code to steer the development of more environmentallysustainable public buildings. WCC also led the way on a number of retrofit schemes, which saw all traffic signals incorporate light-emitting diode (LED) technology and swimming pools fitted with variable speed drives and ultraviolet filtration technology. Other legacy councils within the Auckland region followed suit, with the North Shore City Council implementing a public transport project that eased traffic on the harbour bridge crossing, and the former Auckland Regional Council driving policies on pest control and urban planning.

“The world was waking up to environmental problems. We rode the trends and were first off the block.” – Former mayor of Waitakere City Bob Harvey

The former mayor of Waitakere City Bob Harvey says his lifelong commitment to the environment inspired him to create an eco-city and to preserve the Waitakere Ranges from development. He was elected on a vision to transform Waitakere into an environmental city and in the 18 years, the six-term mayor led his councillors on an inspiring journey. “We cleaned up our streams, replanting weeds with natives, invited the Maori to join us and made an art form of consultation, building beautiful libraries and public complexes that included sculpture and art.” Harvey says it will be hard to match what they did as the tasks have got more difficult and complex. “We were pioneers at the cutting edge of change. The world was waking up to environmental problems. We rode the trends and were first off the block,” he says, adding that his councillors were as deeply committed as the staff to make a difference. “We never gave in. We made the environment and our community perfect partners.” Harvey is now chairman of Waterfront Auckland, the city’s waterfront development agency. The waterfront is among a number of urban areas in the city targeted for a 75% housing intensification.

Carrying the torch Today’s Mayor of Auckland, Len Brown, is convinced the eco-city

concept is one that the new, more collaborative, Auckland Council should take forward. It is now embedded within the council’s draft 30-year plan, otherwise known as the draft Auckland Plan, which seeks to secure the region’s future as a globally competitive city that retains the best qualities of its natural environment.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown: Transport infrastructure is a priority for developing a more compact downtown city area without sacrificing liveability  

Population increase Auckland will need to allow for a further 500,000 residents by 2031. With energy demand predicted to increase by 65%, the council’s energy advisor says energy efficiency measures, combined with sustainable microgeneration technologies, will be key to accommodating the new demand. One of the council’s projects has been to investigate the viability of using solar energy for water heating and electricity generation. It has developed the Solar Auckland pilot scheme that will offer 250 solar hot water systems to households and

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Elliot Street

Elliott Street is one of Auckland’s five new Central Business District (CBD) shared spaces. Shared spaces are slow-speed streets where pedestrians have the right of way over vehicles and parking is not allowed at any time

businesses region-wide at competitive commercial rates. The council’s sustainability team is also studying the viability of a contractual agreement with the organisation’s electricity network provider as a mechanism to fund the generation of onsite renewable energy.

Density versus “soul” In an opinion piece for the New Zealand Herald marking the arrival of Auckland’s 1.5 millionth citizen on February 1st 2012, Mayor Brown says: “The level of investment needed to cope with Auckland’s growth is considerable. The NZ Council for Infrastructure Development estimates that the funding gap/deficit (if we are to meet Auckland’s transport needs) is around NZ$5 billion.” Such infrastructure investment is essential to safeguard the city’s productivity in the long term. A more sustainable eco-economic Auckland requires intensification within the existing city limits through a planned compact city approach. In the draft Auckland Plan, Brown recognises this and says “a denser city will not work unless we do it with sensitivity, flair and commitment to quality”. Expanding the city’s open and shared spaces, where pedestrians have priority over motorists, are a new concept to New Zealanders. Five such spaces opened in the city’s central business district last year. Now Auckland’s main retail strip, Queen Street, is being considered as one such shared space.

Queen Street

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Leading by example The Auckland Council has developed a target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% by 2031 based on 1990 levels. The council’s sustainability manager Paul Chambers says to achieve this target, the council must first get its own business in order, especially within its own property department. To this end, it has embarked on a programme to reduce corporate emissions by establishing a carbon management tool to monitor emissions. It has also implemented a state-of-the-art energy management system which utilises real-time smart meters for 56 of its major sites to identify electricity, gas and water savings in council buildings. The council property portfolio is valued at NZ$7.2 billion (US$6 billion) and covers 10,860 properties, buildings and other interests. It generates an annual income of NZ$50 million. It is one of the five largest property portfolios in the country and is the platform for most of the council’s services. The largest part of this portfolio is in the area of parks and reserves (NZ$3.86 billion).

The council’s property department has also worked on a range of environmentally-sustainable design (ESD) benchmarks for new buildings and strives for best practice by drawing inspiration from the Living Building Challenge and other sustainable building codes. The council is also committed to a regional and corporate target of 30% waste reduction per person by 2018, with an aspiration for zero waste.

Queen Street, Auckland’s main retail strip, recently underwent improvements leading to 25% more people using it, but city planners want even greater pedestrian focus. Above is an artist’s impression of what a Queen Street shared space might eventually look like with the inclusion of a light rail or a tram

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Guardian of a green legacy Penny Hulse, the former deputy mayor of Waitakere – New Zealand’s pioneering eco-city – was elected to the Auckland Council following the 2010 amalgamation of eight local governments, including Waitakere. She tells Siaw Mei Li how she intends to help the council achieve its vision of developing Auckland into a eco-super-city.

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Penny Hulse • Born in Cape Town, South Africa and moved to Auckland at 16 • Is married, with two grown-up sons, and looking forward to her first grandchild • Recently gained her open water scuba certificate; “Diving is something I’m really passionate about”

Before you were appointed by Mayor Len Brown to be his deputy, you were deputy mayor of Waitakere City Council. What led you to that job? I came to the council as a protestor on an environmental issue. Council was going to extend a landfill in my community and I led the protest against it. That was when I really understood just how important my commitment to the environment was. How did that experience prepare you for the tasks ahead? The challenge with amalgamation is keeping environmental issues at the top of the list of things that we need to be concerned about. Having had 20 years as part of Waitakere City Council, I’m well versed in the political arguments and in environmental advocacy. Our interest in Auckland Eco City was sparked off by reports on the pioneering work of Waitakere. How was the idea of an eco-city received in the 1990s? The eco-city was conceived when Bob Harvey was elected mayor in 1992 by councillors who were pro-environment. When they first mooted an eco-city, everyone thought it was a bit crazy. It took a while to convince people an eco-city was the right balance between the environment, the economy and social issues.     •  

What key learnings would you share with Asian city councils pursuing sustainability efforts today? One of the key problems we faced was a lack of understanding as to why it was important to consider the environment at a time when there was huge economic growth. We had to seed the idea in peoples’ minds that when you look after the environment, you get economic benefits as well. As soon as people started seeing the connection between the economy and the environment, the discussion around the ecocity became a lot easier. For instance, if you manage water sustainably, a city saves money in the long-term because you don’t have to pay for building new dams or continuing to expand your sewage treatment systems. By encouraging people to recycle and manage their waste efficiently, you aren’t doing the difficult work of building new landfills. You’re allowing people to compost and recycle, and involving them in the way that their rubbish is managed. An eco-city has to work for people. People have to understand how it works and why it’s good for them. What is the public sentiment in the rest of Auckland about building an eco-super-city? In some ways, the wider Auckland

region is a lot like what Waitakere was 20 years ago. We are having to educate a new group of people on how an ecosuper-city is about building a strong economy and creating a community that is employed, living in warm, affordable and sustainable houses, and enjoying the beautiful environment. We have to find simple ways of engaging people and promoting the linkage between all of those outcomes. We have a project called Project Twin Streams, which is about cleaning up our waterways in an urban area. The community does the work of replanting the stream sides and, in return, they and the wider community enjoy cleaner streams and living more sustainably. How is climate change affecting New Zealand? What mitigation efforts are in place in anticipation of future effects? We are aware of the fact that we need to plan for rising sea levels and that we need to take a long-term view on the change to the biodiversity of our fragile ecosystem because we are a farming nation. We are noticing the impacts of more severe storms, and as a council, we have to plan for how we manage storm water and flooding in a proactive way. How is the new Auckland Council scaling up its sustainability programmes across an area of nearly 500,000 hectares? We are working on a Climate Change Mitigation strategy and a Carbon Reduction strategy. The challenge is in scaling it up from the smaller councils like Waitakere that were doing this already, to getting the whole region to understand why we need to do this work. The new Auckland Council has undertaken this in a proactive way. We are working to ensure we have policies, funds and staff resources to do this.


case studies


Financing Melbourne’s carbon neutrality programme Investment programme catalyses innovations in green industry Groundbreaking legislation cuts risk for building retrofit financiers

By Siaw Mei Li

Investment programme Through its investment programmes, SMF provides loans of up to A$500,000 (US$536,767) with a loan tenure of up to six years for innovative sustainability projects throughout Victoria. Beginning with an initial investment of A$5 million at the time of its founding, the fund is now worth A$6.4 million. “Since 2002, we have invested

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While the eco-city concept is only recently entering mainstream consciousness in most parts of Asia, Melbourne – Australia’s second largest city – has been on that path for some time now. Since 2002, the City of Melbourne has pursued the goal of achieving zero net emissions by 2020 and adopted various sustainability objectives to develop itself as an eco-city. Now, just past the midway point of that two-decade roadmap, Melbourne has refined financial and legislative mechanisms to rapidly accelerate the city’s move towards carbon neutrality. Particularly exciting new initiatives have been taking place through the Sustainable Melbourne Fund (SMF). Established as a commercially-oriented independent unit trust by the Melbourne City Council in 2002, SMF has helped to integrate energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability into the city’s built environment for nearly a decade. It does this through two main channels – investment programmes and environmental upgrade finance.

Scott Bocskay, previously the Australian country director of the Clinton Climate Initiative, was appointed chief executive of Sustainable Melbourne Fund in July 2010

Two major channels of the Sustainable Melbourne Fund (SMF)


Loans of up to A$500,000 are provided by SMF to fund innovative business ventures – particularly in the areas of water, energy and waste – that deliver environmental and economic benefits

Source: Sustainable Melbourne Fund


This mechanism is available under the 1200 Buildings programme and administered by SMF to facilitate green building retrofit agreements between the property owner, financier and the City of Melbourne

Carbon neutrality and zero net emissions Being carbon neutral, or having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered, avoided or offset. Carbon offsets, the “currency” for offsetting, are quantified in metric tonnes of COe reductions, ie, one carbon offset equals one tonne of emissions reductions made through selected and verified carbon projects. Source: The CarbonNeutral Company

A$7.7 million in energy generation, energy efficiency and water efficiency business ventures and technologies through our investment programme,” says SMF chief executive Scott Bocskay. The programme seeks to catalyse innovation and investment in activities which stimulate the market, help businesses realise the value of energy and water efficiency and contribute directly to long-term sustainable environmental outcomes, says Bocskay. “Consideration of the social benefits of projects completes our triple bottom line investment approach.”

Long-term gains A notable example of local enterprise that has benefitted from SMF investment is EKO Energy, a solar PV system installer based in Melbourne. EKO Energy CEO Erik Zimmerman recalls that funding from the fund’s investment programme made it possible for them to continue its bulk-buying strategy to make solar affordable, enabling them to grow the business and bring renewable energy “within the reach of many more Victorians”. As such, the company was able to install solar systems on 571 properties in Victoria, an investment that is expected to save two tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions every day for the next 25 years. The company is now among Australia’s largest renewable energy businesses and has completed over 7,000 solar installations in more than 300 solar neighbourhoods throughout the country.    •   

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Groundbreaking solutions There have also been exciting recent developments in the environmental upgrade finance programme, which SMF is involved in administering. This mechanism is unique in that it is underpinned by legislation under the City of Melbourne Act 2001 that allows the city council to partner with Australian financial institutions in undertaking voluntary environmental upgrades with owners of nonresidential buildings. Property owners can also pass part of the environmental upgrade charge to their tenants with the latter’s consent. This helps to overcome the “split incentive barrier” wherein building owners on one hand are not motivated by high monthly utility bills to implement energy-efficiency retrofits, whereas tenants on the other hand lack the sense of ownership and long-term commitment that would prompt investment in building sustainability measures beneficial to both parties in the long run.

The A$51 million, ten-storey building Council House 2 (CH2) building is the home of the City of Melbourne City council. Awarded a 6 Star Design Rating by the Green Building Council of Australia, it is one of the cleanest, greenest buildings on earth and has been dubbed a “lighthouse project” for sustainable building design elsewhere in the city and around the world

Retrofitting 460 Collins Street The new energyefficient chiller on the roof of 460 Collins Street

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The ground floor tenant of the building is a branch of the National Australia Bank

A stately granite and sandstone building built in 1939, 460 Collins Street is the first building to use environmental upgrade finance under the 1200 Buildings programme. The finance agreement, signed between the City of Melbourne, Sustainable Melbourne Fund (SMF) and building owner Varga Brothers last October, funds a A$400,000 retrofit of the building that will offset some 170 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (COe) per year. Retrofits include the installation of an energy-efficient chiller unit and a building management system

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upgrade that will help improve energy efficiency. It is occupied by a branch of National Australia Bank (NAB) on the ground floor and commercial tenants in the levels above. SMF chief executive Scott Bocskay congratulated NAB for developing Australia’s first commercial financing structure for environmental upgrade finance. According to NAB managing director and head of property finance Andrew Balzan, the bank worked extensively with the City of Melbourne and in partnership with Low Carbon Australia Ltd and Eureka Funds Management Ltd.

Under the environmental upgrade finance scheme, a financial institution advances funds for environmental upgrade works on a building. Repayments, which incorporate a special environmental upgrade charge, will then be collected by Melbourne City Council through its rates system and passed on to the financial institutions. This reduces the lending risk for the financial institutions, while property owners enjoy access to finance at lower-than-commercial rates. “Environmental upgrade finance represents one of the most significant breakthroughs worldwide in financing retrofitting of commercial buildings,” says Bocskay. “Financiers now have a strong incentive to advance funds for retrofit works through an environmental upgrade agreement, with the ability to recover funds as a statutory charge, reducing the risk of funding energy efficiency projects. With reduced risks, we expect more attractive terms and tenures associated with finance.”

1200: the magic number Leading the city’s charge towards more environmental upgrades in existing building stock is the 1200 Buildings programme. The initiative is so named because its mission is to catalyse the environmental retrofit of 1,200 non-residential buildings, or 70% of the city’s commercial building stock, producing an estimated 38% improvement in energy performance and potentially cutting down GHG emissions by 383,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). This programme is expected to create around 8,000 jobs, including positions for engineers, environmental consultants, builders and surveyors. Among this number are 3,000 new jobs in the manufacturing supply chain alone. Over its lifetime, the project is expected to yield A$2 billion in investment in Melbourne. Chair of the Future Melbourne (Eco-City) Committee, councillor Cathy Oke, says: “The availability of environmental upgrade finance through the 1200 Buildings programme overcomes traditional barriers to retrofitting and enables building owners to seize the business opportunities that upgrades

The Melbourne city council aims to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions across the municipality by 59% per worker and 35% per resident by 2020 (from 2006 levels)

Greening Melbourne, one building at a time



n utio trib s i d ds un

Rat es pa ym en t

Early birds and pioneers October 2011 saw the signing of the world’s first environmental upgrade agreement when the City of Melbourne, SMF and building owner Varga Brothers collaborated to fund a A$400,000 retrofit of a nine-storey downtown commercial building, 460 Collins Street. (See box story.) Two other significant agreements signed under the programme are for 123 Queen Street and the Kings Technology Park (KTP) precinct. The 123 Queen Street agreement, signed between the City of Melbourne, National Australia Bank (NAB), Low Carbon Australia Limited and the building owner, is the first privatelyfunded environmental upgrade agreement. The A$1.3 million retrofit of 123 Queen Street aims to cut GHG emissions by some 2,500 tonnes every year. Upgrades will include a trigeneration system for electricity, heating and cooling, as well as occupancy sensors and double glazing. As for the KTP agreement signed between the City of Melbourne, SMF and the building owner, it will finance a A$3.2 million retrofit of the business precinct at 100 Dorcas Street, South Melbourne. Four of the five precinct buildings will be fitted with new highefficiency chillers, cooling towers, lighting system upgrades, and heating and air-conditioning units and controls, leading to expected reductions in GHG emissions of more than 2,600 tonnes per year. The City of Melbourne and SMF are working hard to ride the momentum of these recent achievements and push for greater awareness. From February to March, information sessions are being held to equip consultants and contractors to the commercial building sector on the opportunities being generated by the 1200 Buildings programme. “We want to ensure the retrofit market understands the unprecedented commercial opportunity the change to Victorian legislation presents,” Bocskay says.

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present. There is mounting evidence that higher rated buildings have increased appeal to both buyers and tenants and appreciate more in value.”



Funds advance


Source: Sustainable Melbourne Fund Sustainable Melbourne Fund administers the environmental upgrade finance process to facilitate a three-way agreement between the building owner, financier and the City of Melbourne. Source: Sustainable Melbourne Fund

Through the city’s 1200 Buildings programme, Melbourne’s innovative environmental upgrade finance is gaining momentum in driving investment to retrofit Melbourne’s existing commercial buildings at an accelerated pace. Here is how Melbourne’s environmental upgrade finance works: 1. The building owner joins the City of Melbourne’s 1200 Buildings programme and submits an application to Sustainable Melbourne Fund (SMF). 2. SMF assesses the proposed environmental improvements for

environmental upgrade finance eligibility. 3. The building owner secures funding for retrofit works from an Australian financial institution. 4. The City of Melbourne declares an environmental upgrade charge on the building. 5. The financier advances the building owner the upfront costs for the retrofit. 6. The building owner’s payments are collected through the Melbourne City Council rates system. 7. The City of Melbourne forwards the collected charges to the financier.

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case studies


Remaking Singapore’s heartlands Thirteen urban solutions now being test-bedded at Punggol Eco-Town Living lab to cultivate freshwater-tolerant mangroves and wetland plants


By Celia Alphonsus

Solar photovoltaic panels installed on the rooftops of some HDB flats. This is increasingly being done to tap renewable sources of energy, but not at extra cost to the people

Jeju is more than an idyllic honeymoon destination set against a mystical backdrop of stunning mountains and lakes. The island is rich in biodiversity and has a past steeped in tradition and culture that harks back to the days of the Tamna Empire. Seventy-three km wide and 41 km long, with a total area of 1,848 km, Jeju is South Korea’s largest island – one with a natural environment of pristine rock formations and rich biodiversity. In 2010, the island was designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve to preserve the biodiversity of its land, shores and ocean, as well as to develop the island sustainably. Today, Jeju is known not only as an ecotourism hotspot, but also as a smart grid test-bed. The South Korean government is investing more than US$20 billion on smart grid development with the goal of reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions by 200 million tonnes over the next 20 years. The project, spearheaded by the government in 2009, is also heavily backed by key industry players like     •  

Imagine living in an urban flat that is cool and yet bright with natural lighting, that comes with lush open spaces and, to top it off, rooftop gardens to put your green thumb to practice. This is what the Housing Development Board (HDB) of Singapore is aiming for with the development of Punggol Eco-Town. Urban solutions and people are at the heart of the project as its main objective is to enhance the living environment in HDB estates and to encourage residents to adopt a greener lifestyle. Resource-efficient homes and estates with high standards of

liveability are the long-term goals. Key areas that most townships and cities struggle with are: energy management, urban mobility, water management, resource and waste management and maintenance. HDB has identified 13 urban solutions to meet these challenges and they are being test-bedded at Punggol. Among them are: Energy: HDB is testing out four energy solutions – solar photovoltaics, elevator energy regeneration systems, energy-efficient lighting in common areas and smart grid/meters. For instance, it recently implemented Singapore’s first solar leasing project that entails the installation, operation and maintenance of two MWp solar photovoltaic systems on 45 blocks (see our January issue). The solar energy generated will be used to power lifts, lighting in common areas, and water pumps. The solar leasing model is expected to help cut 20% of energy consumption by 2015. Urban mobility: A car-sharing

Korea’s gem of nature a smart grid test-bed Budget to touch US$214 million by 2013, mainly from private sector A total of 170 private firms are involved in test-bedding related technologies

US$20bil South Korea’s investment in smart grid over the next 20 years

Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and a consortium of Korean firms including LG, SK Telecoms and Korea Telecom (KT). It will showcase Korea’s foray into low-carbon, high energy-efficiency green growth through the development of smart grids. A smart grid is a next generation network that integrates information

technology (smart) into the existing power grid (grid) to optimise energy efficiency through a two-way exchange of information between suppliers and consumers in real time. The first step involves the construction of the smart grid infrastructure, which will connect buildings and transportation systems to the grid. The next phase will involve connecting renewable energy sources to the grid to provide new electricity services. Key characteristics of the new electricity services include variable pricing based on demand to reduce energy consumption. Smart meters will also be provided to consumers to offer guidance on energy usage. Finally, ICT

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scheme using electric vehicles has been launched to encourage residents to adopt greener transportation. Ebicycles are also provided as an alternative for residents to commute within the town. Various strategic charging points for electric vehicles have also been set up. Water: Water efficiency and quality is a crucial aspect of an eco town. The water solutions deployed in Punggol will promote recycling, decrease usage and enhance water quality. To achieve a 10% reduction in consumption by 2015, the buildings in Punggol Eco Town will have: • Water-efficient fittings • Rainwater harvesting • Smart water metres • Water-quality monitoring Resource and waste: Resource and waste minimisation is another key feature of an eco-town. Recycling of waste is a good way to utilise resources. To encourage a threefold increase in recyclables by 2015, all buildings will have centralised recyclable chutes

at every level in the residential blocks. Planning and design: Traversing through Punggol town is a 4.2 km man-made waterway which offers communal spaces along the promenade that will provide an

Wind power plant

sensors will allow utilities to monitor the grid in order to improve control over the electricity distribution.

Smart investment A total of 170 private companies make up a consortium that represents various fields, including realtime charging,

Digital substation Smart school

Haengwon wind ONVDQ OK@MS

Energy storage E@BHKHSX


Smart homes

Energy storage E@BHKHSX

Smart meter

Intelligent distribution Total operation centre

Energy storage E@BHKHSX

Charging station

Research institute

Charging stand

Jeju smart grid test-bed

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Why smart grid? The smart grid infrastructure is one that promises to mitigate the effects of climate change through its low-carbon features and emphasis on green industry to reduce GHG emissions. It provides for the expansion of new and renewable energy as well as supports the adoption of electric cars. It is also a powerful means of improving energy efficiency through efficient dispersal of electrical power by demand. The smart grid market is currently growing, with many nations developing related technology. Korea is looking towards an efficient way to achieve green growth and to gain pole position in the global smart grid industry.

attractive and vibrant waterfront living atmosphere. In promoting the concept of “Green Living by the Waters”, HDB will be building more green buildings that will draw from elements of nature like sun, rain and wind as inspiration for the planning and design of Punggol Eco Town. A key feature of the project is the eco drains along the promenade that capture and cleanse surface water run-off before discharging it into the waterway. At the eastern end of the waterway, HDB introduced the living laboratory to cultivate fresh watertolerant mangroves and wetland plant species. In days gone by, mangrove swamps used to line the lengths of rivers surrounding Punggol. However, the total mangrove coverage area has now reduced from 13% to 0.5% due to rapid urbanisation. Through the living laboratory, the waterway is now the only place in Singapore where visitors are able to see fresh water-tolerant mangroves.


electric car charging and renewable energy. Total investment by the private sector is expected to top US$214 million by 2013. KEPCO alone is expected to invest up to US$4.2 billion to improve power quality and efficiency.


Public relations centre

Smart building


This synergy between the government’s green initiatives and the private sector’s proactive capital involvement is quite possibly the most viable direction for rapid sustainable urban development.    •   


case studies


“Rainy city” taps power from waterways Kanazawa’s five hydropower stations can power up to 40,000 households Plan in discussion to use 55 canals as micro hydropower generation system

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Kanazawa City, in Ishikawa, capacity generation of 7,000 a north-western prefecture of kW. This new incineration Japan, is a prime example of facility is designed to have how being proactive in susrooftop greenery as well tainability efforts is the way as photovoltaic power forward. generating equipment. It In August 2011, after will also be used to teach the Great Japan Earthquake children about energy. and the subsequent nuclear Solar power is another crisis at the Fukushima renewable energy source that power plant, a study group the city is actively promoting. comprising government as Homeowners are awarded well as private sector and subsidies to install solar academic representatives photovoltaic panels. The were formed at the city level One of the 55 canals that criss-cross Kanazawa City. A local committee is now city has recently increased discussing how best to use these canals as a micro power generation system to re-examine current energy the subsidy allocated for measures. scenery-friendly solar power has been drawing from. The municipal City mayor Yukiyoshi Yamano generating systems to US$1,299 per power generation company was able to household in designated traditionwanted to generate discussions on generate 172,000 MWh of electricity – localised energy sources suitable for preservation areas. This shows the supplying 5% of the city’s total power the city, including water and forest willingness of the city to ensure that resources, to determine an appropriate consumption in 2010. the traditional cityscape remains a Power generated from the energy policy for the future. cultural asset and does not end up as incineration facilities is channelled The local government at collateral damage in the war against back to run the facilities while surplus Kanazawa understands that a oneclimate change. electricity is sold. The two centres size-fits-all approach to energy Under discussion between recover heat generated from burning management is not the best way the local government and various waste at high temperature, as well as forward. Japan is a narrow country stakeholders now are plans to utilise high-pressure steam, to supply heat stretching from north to south. the city’s waterways as a micro and electricity to nearby facilities Each region experiences different hydropower generation system. About like gymnasiums, boiler rooms and geographical and weather conditions. 55 traditional canals meander through swimming pools. Total power output It is therefore important to introduce the city, earning it the moniker “town for both centres is 29,000 MWh, with an energy policy that is best suited of waterways”. Collectively, they reach 14,800 MWh being sold to supply for the region and leverages on local close to 150 km in length, and may power to 4,000 households. experience and resources. form micro hydro systems. However, A new centre is now being built there are issues that remain to be Renewable energy and is expected to start operations ironed out, including the effect of noise Kanazawa is one of the wettest extrain April 2012 with a further expected pollution from the generators on the tropical cities of its size in the world, inhabitants as well as the stability of with 240 cm of rain a year. Thus, it supply. should not be surprising that for the This initiative by the local past 90 years, Kanazawa City has been government at Kanazawa City to generating hydropower, and is the conduct energy management projects only municipality in Japan doing so as independent of national-level energy a business. The city’s five hydropower policies is reflective of the kind of stations can generate enough electricleadership local governments can ity to power about 40,000 households. take in creating an eco-city that best Waste power generation at serves the needs of her people. – Total power output for both centres is 29,000 MWh, Adapted from an article in Japan for two incineration facilities is another with 14,800 MWh being sold to supply power to 4,000 households Sustainability newsletter renewable energy source that the city     •  


case studies


What it takes to turn Putrajaya green Eleven action plans recommended for incorporation into city planning Commercial sector will be highest COď – emitter by 2025

Several research teams, comprising mainly academics, have been collaborating with University of Kyoto to study what it takes to adopt the Low-Carbon Society (LCS) model. Using raw data from various city councils and local agencies, models of the Low-Carbon Cities (LCC) and a series of LCS scenario documents have been formulated to communicate to policymakers how to effectively integrate climate change actions in the development plans of a city. Putrajaya, the administrative capital of Malaysia, is one of the cities covered by the study. The government has expressed its intention to turn it into a green city and some initiatives are being undertaken. Professor Ho Chin Siong of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), who is in the research team, says in order for Putrajaya to achieve green city status by 2025,

ď˜‹ď˜”ď˜… ď˜”ď˜Œď˜“ď˜˜ď˜“

By Stephen Ng

Professor Ho Chin Siong of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

efforts have to be focused on three areas: • Reduce carbon emission by 60% • Reduce peak temperature by 2°C • Drastically improve solid waste management to reduce CO2 emission by 50%. Between 2007 and 2025, Putrajaya’s population is expected to

increase seven times from 49,452 to 347,700. To cater to the population increase, Putrajaya Holdings, the government-linked corporation that developed the city and now plays an administrative role as well, has identiďŹ ed the need to develop its commercial sector in the next ten years based on the garden city concept. The commercial sector now covers 139 ha or 2.8% of the total land area. Ho’s study shows the highest CO2 emission is from the government departments. In 2007, it generated as high as 180 kilotonnes of CO2 (ktCO2), followed closely by the passenger transport sector with 158 ktCO2. Private vehicles make up 70% of the transportation sector with public transport accounting for the rest. There is room to make public transportation more viable and attractive. The scenario will change in 2025 when Putrajaya, which is slated to diversify its economy, has developed its commercial sector. Instead of government buildings, in the year 2025 Business-as-Usual (BaU) scenario, the commercial sector is estimated to be the highest emitter of CO2 with 1,435 ktCO2. This will be about 22 times higher than the emission levels of the base year (2007), which recorded only 65 ktCO2. The second highest emitter of CO2 in the 2025 BaU case will be the passenger transport sector with 1,288 ktCO2.

Figure 1: GHG emission reduction of all three components (Low Carbon, Cooler and 3R) 4,500



4,000 3,500 3,000 2,500 4,324

2,000 1,500 1,000 500 0

1,713 661 








Source: Ho Chin Siong, UTM

Recommended actions The study conducted by UTM and GreenTech Malaysia also showed that under the BaU situation in 2025, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions would have increased about sevenfold, from 661 ktCO2 in 2007 to 4,324 ktCO2 in 2025 (see Figure 1). In order to achieve the 2025 counter measure (CM) status, a list of 11 action plans has been recommended for incorporation into the administration of the city. These actions can be divided into three components, namely the Low-Carbon Putrajaya, the Cooler Putrajaya and the 3R Putrajaya. They ď˜‹ď˜–ď˜‰ď˜‰ď˜’ ď˜”ď˜™ď˜–ď˜‡ď˜Œď˜…ď˜—ď˜?ď˜’ď˜‹ ď˜…ď˜—ď˜?ď˜… • ď˜‘ď˜…ď˜–ď˜‡ď˜Œ ď žď źď ˝ď ž ď żď ż

case studies

are outlined in the paper Putrajaya Green City 2025. Three areas in the low-carbon component alone can cut carbon emissions by 72.2% or an equivalent of 1,553 ktCO2. This is achievable with mandatory Green Building Index standards imposed on commercial buildings (a reduction of 673 ktCO2 or 32.5% of the total emission to be expected), implementing low-carbon public transportation (another 574 ktCO2 or 25.9% reduction on total emission of CO2), followed by integrated city planning and management (which contributes a further reduction of 13.8% or equivalent of 306 ktCO2). To reduce the local temperature by 2°C, a second component of the action plan includes building cooler urban structures, action by both individuals and the community (which would collectively contribute a reduction of 2.9% in CO2) and maintaining the green lung (reduction of 1.6% of total CO2 emission). Under the 3R Putrajaya approach,


 


The Prime Minister’s Office: One of the office buildings in Putrajaya that will undergo energy retrofitting

efforts have to focus on reusing, reducing and recycling solid waste. The main targets, according to Ho, are to cut both the solid waste volume and GHG emissions by half from the 2025 BaU case. Just by encouraging people to “think before you throw”, CO2 emissions can be reduced by 15% in the 2025 CM scenario, says Ho.

Retrofit opportunities Such studies help policymakers to think of green technology when implementing the infrastructure and other public amenities around the city. There are opportunities to improve the public transportation system as well as to retrofit existing government buildings.

Indonesia to transform five cities using Eco2 Cities approach Jakarta, Surabaya and Palembang to enhance and upgrade their urban transport systems Surabaya and Makassar revitalising their waterfront areas

Indonesia, with help from the World Bank and Australia Aid, is working towards transforming several big cities – namely Jakarta, Surabaya, Makassar, Palembang and Balikpapan – as catalyst projects for implementing sustainable city development through the Eco2 Cities approach. Eco2 Cities is one of the initiatives by the World Bank under its urban strategy programme, developed in consultation with stakeholders to promote sustainable development and fight climate change. Australian Aid is an important partner in financing Eco2 Cities work in Indonesia and East Asia. Eco2 Cities supports cities and metropolitan regions in achieving greater ecological and economic     •  

The programme provides cities and metropolitan regions with a framework to plan, manage and invest in sustainable urban systems that are integrated, multi-functional and beneficial in the long term. sustainability while increasing human capital and social well being. In other words, it aims to create eco-cities that drive economic growth. The programme provides cities and metropolitan regions with a framework to plan, manage and

invest in sustainable urban systems that are integrated, multi-functional and beneficial in the long term. The framework is based on four principles: • A city-based approach Focuses on the need to enable and strengthen the leadership, capacity and decision-making abilities of cities and their regional planning institutions. It emphasises the need to enhance the unique historic, cultural and ecological resources of each city. • A platform for collaborative design and decision-making Focuses on compounding the benefits of urbanisation by leveraging and combining the unique capacities and resources of

Summary of projects undergoing the Eco2 Cities approach PALEMBANG

South China Sea



Indian Ocean


Source: Peter Ellis, World Bank





all stakeholders. It supports approaches should also value an inclusive and fair process natural, cultural and social capital. CORPORATE of urban development The ďŹ ve Indonesian cities OPERATIONS and decision-making that earmarked for eco-development LEVEL OF CONTROL involves all stakeholders. are using the Eco2 Cities LOW HIGH LOW Land Waste Environmental management, use Ecoframework to support their main • A one-system approach OTrBGaRing, oƧBe ATilCingR, Building systems Water ĆŚeet management Transit programmes articulated in the This strives to create a stocks cities’ annual and medium-term “resource regenerative and Electricity Roads Natural Sewerage gas planning (RPJMN). multi-functionalâ€? city. Sectors, Lighting Parks Industry According to Peter Ellis, senior policies and budgets need to Information Housing communications urban economist at the World Bank’s work together so that the city Agriculture Indonesian sustainable development functions as one system. Social Rural services communities unit, the World Bank has just approved • An investment framework that Transportation a project in January 2012 to dredge values sustainability and resilience the major canals in Jakarta to help with Focuses on broadening the scope The city’s collaborative working group at three ood alleviation. and extending the time-frame within tiers: corporate, municipal, and regional Moving from the inner tier to the outer tier Surabaya will also see tramways which policies, plans and investment increases the number of stakeholders and the in the historic part of its central busioptions are assessed for costs, complexity and scope of the potential benefits ness district to improve trafďŹ c ow. beneďŹ ts and risks. Decision-making Source: Sebastian Moatt, The World Bank ď˜‹ď˜–ď˜‰ď˜‰ď˜’ ď˜”ď˜™ď˜–ď˜‡ď˜Œď˜…ď˜—ď˜?ď˜’ď˜‹ ď˜…ď˜—ď˜?ď˜… • ď˜‘ď˜…ď˜–ď˜‡ď˜Œ ď žď źď ˝ď ž ď żďĄ

 

case studies

One WTC has set a new level of social responsibility in urban design with its architectural, safety and environmental standards

Fast facts on One WTC • As New York City’s tallest skyscraper, its antenna tower will rise to 1,776 ft as a symbol of renewal and hope, also commemorating the US’s year of independence • It will have 3 million sq ft of office space on 71 office floors • The designer intends the building to derive about 35% of its power from renewable energy sources. Once the building operates fully, it is expected to draw as much as 70% of its power from green energy • Its safety systems exceed code requirements and include elevators housed in a protected building core, a protected tenant collection point on each floor, dedicated stairs for firefighters, concrete-protected sprinklers, emergency risers and communications systems plus enhanced communication cabling.


Sustainable trade centre rises from the ashes of 911

One WTC showcases eco-friendly construction and operations methods Among the largest fuel cell installations in the world; waste steam recycled

• New York’s One World Trade Centre (One WTC), which is part of a 6.4-hectare complex now being built to replace the World Trade Centre Twin Towers and other buildings destroyed in a terrorist attack on September 11th 2001, will be one of the most environmentally-sustainable buildings in the world when completed in April 2013. Designed by architect David Childs of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, LLP, One WTC will be the tallest building in the US and one of the tallest in the world. It is also     •  

said to have set a new level of social responsibility in urban design with its architectural, safety and environmental standards. It will also achieve the US Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficient Design) Gold Standard. One WTC and the complex will feature these green elements: • Fuel cells: Twelve United Technologies Corporation (UTC) Power PureCell Model 400 fuel cell stacks will provide 4.8 million watts per hour of clean energy. This will be one of the

largest fuel cell installations in the world, according to UTC. Waste steam recycling: Waste heat from the fuel cell system will be reused for hot water and heating in the podium and the entrances, amounting to 70,000 BTUs of highgrade heat and 500,000 BTUs of low-grade heat. Alternatively, with the addition of an absorption chiller, the waste heat can produce about 50 tonnes of cooling for the building, reducing power needs from the grid. Recycled rainwater: Rainwater will be reused for the cooling system and fire protection, and irrigation for the complex’s extensive landscaping. Rainwater – 60 inches annually in New York – will be stored in highefficiency evaporative cooling towers located on site. Central chiller: Air-conditioning will be supplied, in part, by a highlyefficient 12,500-tonne Central Chiller Plant (CCP) that uses water from the Hudson River to cool the WTC transportation hub, National September 11 Memorial and Museum, retail space and some non-commercial areas. The plant will circulate more than 113,500 litres of river water every minute. Fresh air: A high-tech system will monitor indoor air quality. Carbon dioxide monitors will control ventilation and make the building healthier. If the monitors sense more carbon

• Green port-a-potties: During construction, workers used composting toilets instead of portable ones that use chemicals. Waste mixes with other decaying biological products to create nutrient-rich soil. After workers make their “deposits”, the solid waste is channeled into a container half full of sawdust and worms. The urine evaporates, leaving only a film of biological material. These toilets are also smaller and easier to move than large chemical portable toilets, an important feature for toilets high in the sky. Once human waste is processed, more than 90% of it is re-used. • Landscaping: The new main plaza of the complex will feature more than 400 trees, all of which were harvested within a 800-km radius. The trees’ roots will help keep temperatures regulated in the museum that lies below.

  

  

  

dioxide than is healthy, they send a signal to the air handler software, telling it more fresh air is needed in that space. The system then automatically increases the fresh air mix in the area. The buildings contain over 3,000 points of monitoring, according to Eduardo Del Valle, director of design management at One WTC. • Daylighting: When natural daylight comes through the windows, dimmers will automatically lower the interior lights. Every space within 4.5 m of the building’s facade will be equipped with dimming devices. The buildings’ windows also use ultraclear glass, which allows light in but blocks excess heat. • Low-water bathrooms: Highefficiency plumbing systems will save 30% on water consumption compared to a typical building of its size. Low-flow toilets and devices will limit water use for hand washing.

Construction of One WTC is heavily in progress and expected to see completion by April 2013

• Waste material recycling: The building site is recycling about 80% of waste materials, exceeding its own target by about 20%. • Recycled building materials: The new WTC is 75% “old”, at least in terms of materials. Everything from its gypsum boards to ceiling tiles contains a minimum of 75% postindustrial recycled content. This reduces its eco-footprint. • No cement: One WTC was built with “green concrete”, which will save about 12 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, 8 million kWh of energy and 113,500 litres of fresh water. (Green concrete, however, contains coal fly ash, which is environmentally challenging.) • Renewable energy sources: The facility will make use of off-site wind and hydropower. • Clean diesel: Construction contractors can only use ultra-low sulphur diesel fuels or “clean diesel” to reduce nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions in and around the construction area. All construction vehicles are equipped with extra particulate filters to further reduce their environmental impact on air quality. • No VOCs: Materials that contain VOCs – volatile organic compounds – are banned. • Save the ozone: Builders have barred the use of ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerants in the building’s mechanical systems. • Sustainable wood: Half the wood used in the building was sourced from Forest Stewardship Councilcertified (FSC) forests. • Mass transit: Workers commuting to One WTC will have unprecedented access to mass transit service from the new complex. New climatecontrolled corridors will connect the skyscraper to the WTC transportation hub, the new PATH terminal, 11 NYC Transit subway lines, the new Fulton Street Transit Centre, the World Financial Centre and ferry terminal, underground parking, and retail and dining facilities. Adapted from information on www.panynj. gov and “Green facts about New York’s New One World Trade Centre” by Tracey Schelmetic on    •   

case studies


Rice husk to keep rural Cambodia growing Rice mills turn power generators for own consumption and sale MoU signed with Japanese company to carry out demonstration project


By G Danapal

 

Rice husk, a valuable source of “green energy” sourced from paddy farmers, is packed for transportation to husk-powered rice mills

A furnace is where the process of husk-power generation begins     •  

Rice is a valuable source of energy; it keeps us growing and going. Its husk, on the other hand, is a source of another form of energy – electricity. Cambodia’s rice milling operation produces 1.1 million tonnes of husk – about 22% of the rice milled annually – that could be used in rice husk gasification plants to produce 155,550 tonnes of oil equivalent (TOE) to generate electricity for up to 30% of Cambodia’s current electricity demand. With research showing that burning six kilograms of rice husk can generate as much electricity as a litre of diesel in an oil-powered generator, rice husk generators look set to become a replicable trend in rural Cambodia to help power rice, brick, textile and ice industries and also to provide access to electricity to the people. This is not surprising, considering that Cambodia, in addition to being a net importer of fossil fuels such as gasoline, diesel, heavy oil, fuel oil and kerosene, also has one of the lowest electrification rates in Asia with only

12% of its population of 13 million connected to power supply. Its electricity tariffs are among the highest in the world, and outside the capital, Phnom Penh, the tariffs of the Rural Electricity Enterprises (REE) are even higher – one of the most critical issues facing the development of commercial and industrial sectors. Under the Renewable Electricity Action Plan (REAP) 2002–2012, the Cambodian government has been encouraging private sector investments in renewable and more affordable power resources, including support for rice husk power generation plants. Meng Sak Theara, director of the Department of Industry of the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy (MIME), says rice husk-powered electricity machines will help increase the kingdom’s productivity because it is cheaper to run such technology compared with alternative power sources. “I think using an electric machine powered by combustion of rice husk will enable rice exports to have more competitive prices,” he adds. In November 2011, MIME signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a Japanese energy company, New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO) in Phnom Penh, under which they agreed to carry out a demonstration project on the rice husk power generation systems. The project, following a one-year study, involves the setting up of a rice mill fuelled by rice husk in Daun Keo town, Takeo province, where there are ten large oil-powered rice mills. Due for completion in June 2012, and slated for production in 2013, the mill, according to NEDO chairman Kazuo Furukawa, “will set the standard for quality and efficiency in rice milling and become an example for rice millers throughout the country.” The project also aims to increase crop yields, including rice, by applying biochar from rice husks – the waste from electricity generation – as soil conditioner. While local rice millers in Takeo province are enthusiastic about the project, elsewhere in Cambodia, major rice millers and exporters have been quick to grab the plus-points


1 to 4 July 2012, Singapore Sands Expo & Convention Center Marina Bay Sands

HOW LIVEABLE AND SUSTAINABLE IS YOUR CITY? With urbanisation taking place on an unprecedented scale, there is an urgent need to ďŹ nd real solutions for more sustainable and liveable cities. Join international leaders and experts to discuss the world’s most pressing urban issues and challenges. Network with leading policymakers, industry professionals and business leaders to discover new opportunities and insights for city building. Learn the latest trends, best practices and practical solutions for more integrated sustainable cities. +EY(IGHLIGHTS s,EE+UAN9EW7ORLD#ITY0RIZE s7#3-AYORS&ORUM s0LENARY3ESSIONS s3ESSIONSIN0ARALLEL


Speakers s-R&LEMMING"ORRESKOV President, IFHP

CEO & MD, Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation

s$R2OLAND"USCH CEO, Infrastructure and Cities, AG Siemens

s-R'OH+OK(UAT President, GIC Real Estate Director, Beijing Municipal Urban Planning Commission Lord Mayor, Copenhagen

s0ROFESSOR*ACQUELINE-C'LADE Executive Director, European Environment Agency

s-R+AMAL.ATH Minister for Urban Development, India




s-R(ENRI0ROGLIO Chairman, ElectricitĂŠ de France (EDF)

s-R*EFFREY2HONDA VP & General Manager, Global Government and Education, IBM and more...

Register interest today at or call +65 6542 8660

Green Purchasing Asia is proud to be supporting media partner for World Cities Summit 2012


    •  

 

and incentives that come along with investments in rice husk-powered generators. Golden Rice (Cambodia) Co Ltd, the country’s leading rice miller and exporter, set up a rice huskpowered power plant in Kampong Speu province’s Oudong district in September 2011 at a cost of US$2 million to provide power to its mills in the district, and has plans to sell its output to the public. Its general manager, Chan Vuthy, says the plant will consume five tonnes of rice husk per hour to generate around 3 MW of electricity. The company’s rice mills currently require a daily supply of 2.5 MW to operate. Angkor Kasekam Roongroeung Co Ltd started operating its US$6 million rice husk-powered electricity generator in early 2011. The Kandal province-based firm has been selling excess electricity from its 2.5 MW generator to surrounding villagers at US$0.22 cents per kilowatt, lower than the US$0.27 per kilowatt price they would normally pay for power from the national grid. Meanwhile, BVB Investment Ltd, a Phnom Penh-based conglomerate with diverse business interests in Cambodia, recently announced that construction work on its US$21

Under the Renewable Electricity Action Plan (REAP) 2002–2012, Cambodia has been encouraging private sector investments in renewable and more affordable power resources, including support for rice husk power generation plants Heaps of rice husk for production of “green energy”

million rice husk-fuelled power plant in Kampong Thom province will begin mid-2012 – thus making it the first company in Cambodia to produce biofuel on an industrial scale from rice husks. Its president Duong Vibol says the power station in Steung Saen district will use 20 tonnes of rice husk a day to produce 10 MW of electricity for rice mills and consumers in the province. According to the company’s business plan, 2 MW of the electricity the plant generates will be supplied to rice mills, 6 MW will be distributed wholesale to dealers, and the

remaining 2 MW will be used as reserve power. A study of the techno-economic status of rice husk biomass utilisation in Cambodia by New Delhi-based The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) showed a market potential for 2,670 gasifier systems among the 207 rice millers surveyed. This indicated that close to 50% of the rice mills were in the position to buy gasifiers. Considering the environmental problems that would result from husk burning, the study has suggested the use of briquettes instead of raw rice husk.

Rice husk reduced to black ash, called biochar, is sold off for use as soil conditioner












 

Photographer with a cause Sydney-based Getty Images photographer Michael Hall, whose award-winning fine art work focuses specifically on exploring human impact upon the environment, embarked on a life-long quest to document the causes and effects of climate change to improve global ecological awareness after a near-fatal cycling accident in 2007. He plans to spread his message through a series of exhibitions, books and speaking events that showcase his beautiful, yet tragic imagery.

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 

Tell us about your training and Michael Hall your early life as a professional • Born in 1962 photographer. • Twenty-five years’ experience After five years shooting travel work as professional photographer, for stock and editorial clients, I studied now with Getty Images (www. photography at Massey University • Named Photographer of the in Wellington. I graduated with a Year in 2006 by the Federation diploma in photography. Over the of European Photographers last two and a half decades, I have • Won the Canon New Zealand shot global advertising campaigns Architectural Photographer of for the likes of Nokia, Singapore the Year award in 2004 • Finalist in the Hasselblad Airlines, Allianz, Air NZ, Emirates, Masters 2009. NZ Tourism, Singapore Tourism, DBS and Westpac. I’ve been shooting work for Getty Images since late 2005. You have embarked on a life-long You have taken photos in Australia, I love shooting for Getty as there are quest to document the causes and the US, the Polar region, North no creative constraints on this work effects of climate change to create Africa and Eastern Europe, according unlike my commercial contracts. This ecological awareness. Tell us how to reports. What about Asia, in alternately keeps the work I shoot for particular China, India and Southeast Getty more pure, fresh and creative.           you started, and what you have achieved to date. Asia? I have only touched the surface of what Asia is very much on my list, and I You had a near-fatal road accident in hope to embark on some prelimi2007 that changed your outlook. Why I wish to accomplish; to date I have documented drought, forest fires, coal nary work in China this year. China was it life-changing and what exactly burning, oil extraction, solar, wind is emerging as a leader in renewable changed? It is a rare gift to be given a second technology, deforestation, ice melt and energy, clean buildings, towns and chance at life, and somewhat lifefactory farming.  cities which are carbon neutral. It has changing to have experienced and lived through a situation where you are convinced you are going to die. This prompted me to question just what it was that I could do to make my life more meaningful. The three big pointers for me were, and still are, that I am an exceptionally passionate photographer and visual communicator, I have great knowledge and passion for this world, having travelled extensively, and I am aware of and extremely concerned about what humankind is doing to the environment and the global effects we are experiencing as a result. I wish to do my bit to help bring about a better world for my children, ourselves and all future generations and, as a photographer, feel that I am Hall: Water levels at Lake Hume in Australia dropped to 2% capacity by 2007. This series of photographs hold special significance for me. They were the first pictures I took as part of my climate series in a unique position to do so.          •  

 

Yallourn Power Station in the La Trobe Valley, Australia, a major brown coal reserve

much to teach the rest of the world. I am eager to document this very positive driving force and am reaching out to people and organisations in China who can help me in this regard. China is also going through an urban transformation unlike any other economy in history. My intention is to document and portray this urbanisation as part of my project. The future will see me visiting India, Indonesia and many other Asian countries – I have many lists! Funding is a problem for a project like this. There was an earlier report that you needed to raise US$2 million. Who have been your chief benefactors? To date my project has been selffunded. However, I am working to secure corporate backing or philanthropic funding to enable me to take it to the next level. I understand Ban Ki Moon has acknowledged your work and Al Gore has also used one of your pictures as a backdrop during a speaking tour. Have their endorsement helped in your project and, if so, in what way? I feel it has. When well-known and respected people hold my work up as an example, it lends credibility to the

project. It also serves as confirmation and encouragement for me that I am heading along the right path and that the effort I am putting in is worthwhile. How do you go about choosing your subjects? There is no shortage of subject matter. I have split the project into three separate and distinct chapters: the causes of climate change, the effects and the solutions. I am choosing examples with the most impact from across the globe that fall within these categories. This way, I am not concentrating on any particular country or continent. We are all in this together and the sooner we accept that we are first and foremost global citizens, the better. This doesn’t mean that we don’t need to work on this on a local level also; we do, all seven billion of us. What are your most memorable shots? One of my most memorable shots was taken when witnessing the enormity of the destruction of the Tasmanian old growth forest. Through deforestation, we are ripping out the lungs of the world. It is one thing to be aware of this, another to bear witness to it. This destruction of habitat is on a scale

I had never imagined. This experience altered my perspective somewhat. When invited to give talks, what messages do you impart? The message is simple really. We all have to become aware of the situation we are in and together strive for a more sustainable future. We need to start demanding that the corporations and governments of our world respect and honour the biodiversity of the planet.    As a conscientious approach to the use of energy becomes more of an issue, the industry has had to respond by shifting its visual language. Companies and other organisations need to motivate consumers to change their habits on an individual level and also inspire a sense of community to stimulate changes on a global scale. How has this influenced image trends?  Conceptual, well-crafted and honest imagery is essential to gaining acceptance of this issue. The use of secondrate imagery will only serve to oversaturate the public’s perception of an already highly-contested topic, perhaps doing harm to the importance of the message.    •   



Cleantech’s big opportunities for 2012/13 Cleantech professionals gathered at the Eighth Annual Australasian Cleantech Forum organised by Terrapinn Ltd in Melbourne late February to discuss industry developments and to better home in on opportunities. Two of the speakers, Ben Taube and Jan Dekker, share their pre-forum thoughts on how they view the coming year in three areas.

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Dekker: Most of the trends in the cleantech space in the coming year will be directly related to the global economic climate. For example, I expect to see increased cleantech investment activity in the Asia-Pac region (in particular China), which has demonstrated strong growth (albeit of a small relative base) in recent years. I believe Europe will be challenged due to its economic prospects at this time, with the US maintaining its steady performance and leadership position. A more conservative investment approach by fund managers globally will probably result in more later stage deals being done with average deal sizes therefore increasing. Capital raising will be a difficult challenge for PE and VC fund managers, particularly in western markets and possibly more so for those who are looking to raise specific “cleantech only” as opposed to “hybrid” tech funds that invest across a range of sectors. I expect to see more Asia Pac-based investment funds coming into cleantech investment markets however, and we are already seeing significant evidence of this in Australia.

The subsector of the cleantech industry likely to see the most growth and innovation Taube: There are two areas which will experience the most growth in 2012. The first is energy efficiency. Energy efficiency technology continues to show strong innovation with the pairing of traditional IT technology. Buildings are becoming more intelligent and controllable from

Jan Dekker, managing director of Melbournebased Cleantech Ventures

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The biggest trends in the cleantech industry Taube: Awareness and economic opportunity are the most pressing. Globally, the interest, concern and desire to drive clean technology into the forefront of our economy are ever present. The innovation of new technology and global deployment opportunities are key drivers for economic opportunity for the transformation of energy and environmental management. The trending incline of investment into the cleantech sector continues to display opportunity. In addition, the pairing of traditional technology and cleantech, such as the modernisation of the electric grid system, continues to prove to be a power of innovation.  

Ben Taube, chairman of Global Cleantech Cluster Association (USA)

remote access. Efficiency technology is also cost-effective the day it is installed. The second area is landfill and waste management. We are living with a situation where it is no longer sustainable to simply bury trash. It has proven to be a resourceful commodity to not only produce energy or other type of fuel product, but an economic driver for local governments to see the waste being reused for more environmental purposes.

Dekker: Globally, I expect the continued domination of the “big three” cleantech subsectors – solar, transportation and energy efficiency. I expect this will be the case in terms of the quantum of funds invested as well as number of deals done. In Australia, however, we would also expect growth in the water and waste subsectors and also significant growth in subsectors influenced by the commencement of the carbon price, ie, commercial and industrial energy efficiency. The biggest challenges and opportunities for investment in cleantech   Taube: The opportunity is innovation and ingenuity of new technology to create a clean environment. The opportunity is also the global landscape to embrace clean technology. With that comes the challenge of global adoption. It is possible to take local clean technology and make it global with the appropriate network and relations. The upcoming year should be a year where we break the global markets with clean technology.   Dekker: The biggest challenge remains in drawing institutional capital into the (cleantech) space. This will only be exacerbated by continued negative global economic conditions which will clearly drive conservative investment and asset allocation decisions throughout the coming year. The most effective way to draw institutional investment into the cleantech space is by delivering performance, both at individual investment and fund levels. In Australia, this issue is clearly a “chicken and egg” one, ie, funds are needed to be invested such that the successes can be delivered as available capital is thin on the ground. The biggest opportunity for cleantech in Australia remains its extremely strong base of R&D and quality investment candidates. Source:

The largest and most influential utility show in Asia 16 – 20 April 2012, Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, Singapore Join us to meet the complete utility value chain in 6 co-located conferences, network with over 1,000 Asian utility stakeholders, gain industry intelligence and develop business alliances. Over 200 speakers confirmed including:

Dato Che Khalib Mohd Noh President & CEO Tenaga Nasional Bhd

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Sean Sutton President Vestas Asia Pacific

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ASIA 2012


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Energy’s two revolutions Visionary and thought leader Amory Lovins is one of the world’s leading authorities on energy efficiency and sustainable supply. The co-founder, chairman and chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute shares his views on the future of energy efficiency in an interview in’s 2012 State of Green Business Report.

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Amory Lovins • Consultant, experimental physicist and leading authority on energy, especially its efficient use and sustainable supply • Chairman and chief scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute, an independent, entrepreneurial, non-profit think-and-do tank he co-founded in 1982 • Has briefed 21 heads of state, delivered thousands of lectures and written 31 books and more than 450 papers. He is also into poetry, landscape photography and music (playing and composing).

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What does the near future hold for businesses looking to make progress on improving energy efficiency? Many more business leaders will start to realise over the next year that the efficiency potential is much larger and more lucrative than had been thought and that the channels for delivering efficiency services and performance to them are maturing. We’ve just surveyed the opportunities in depth in a new business book called Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era and a supporting website ReinventingFire. com. We had extensive participation by business in both content and peerreview. The findings were startling: The book details how the US could run a 2.6-fold bigger economy in 2050 with no oil, no coal, no nuclear energy, onethird less natural gas and at a US$5 trillion lower net present value cost, assuming all externalities are worth zero – meaning we calculate savings only from market prices without counting any hidden environmental or social costs or benefits. All this requires no new inventions and no new acts of Congress: the transition is led by business for profit. We integrated all four energyusing sectors – transport, buildings, industry and electricity – and found, as you might expect, it’s a lot easier to solve the automotive and electricity problems together rather than separately. We also integrated four kinds of innovation – not just the usual two, technology and policy, but also design and strategy, which are even richer in potential. Together, these give you much more than the sum of the parts, especially in creating disruptive business opportunities. We also detail the opportunities for businesses to get more work out of the energy they’re now using. We found that the 120 million buildings in the US could triple or quadruple their energy productivity with an average

“There are two revolutions going on in electricity. One is saving most of it that’s now wasted, and the other is making it differently.” internal rate of return of 33%. That is, by investing US$0.5 trillion, you could return US$1.9 trillion in present value. In industry, too, we found ample scope for doubling energy productivity with a 21% internal rate of return. These are among the highest and least risky returns in the whole economy. A lot has been achieved in terms of energy efficiency over the past few years, especially in commercial buildings. Are there specific technologies or systems that you think hold particular promise for expanding on these gains? I think the big story in buildings, industry and vehicles efficiency is what we call integrative design. That’s not a technology; it’s a way of combining technologies to get bigger savings at lower cost – that is, to achieve expanding returns, not diminishing returns, to investments in energy efficiency.

The Empire State Building, where we co-led the design (of a recent efficiency overhaul), is a good example. The key to the Empire State Building retrofit was an unprecedented onsite remanufacturing of all 6,514 windows so they’d pass light much better than heat. Those “superwindows”, combined with better lights, office equipment and other improvements, cut the peak cooling load by a third. Then, instead of replacing and expanding the old chillers, we could renovate them in place and reduce them. That saved over US$17 million of capital expenditures, which helped pay for everything else. The overall results have been stunning: payback of the investments in three years, enormously improved financial performance, and higher occupancy with higher rent and higher-quality tenancies. And to (owner Tony Malkin’s) great credit, he’s rolling these projects out to his whole portfolio and freely sharing all of the analysis and findings with his competitors. That public-spirited generosity benefits the whole industry. How fast is all of this moving? Can we really get there quickly? There are two revolutions going on in electricity. One is saving most of it

that’s now wasted, and the other is making it differently. Most people don’t realise that half of the world’s new generating capacity since 2008 has been renewable. If you exclude the big hydro dams that are still being built in some countries, the remaining, more distributed renewables in 2010 were more than a US$151 billion business that added over 60 billion watts in that year alone, and thereby exceeded the installed global capacity of nuclear power. This is a big opportunity, not only for those who sell the equipment but also for all electricity users, because it implements the early stages of a very important shift to an efficient, distributed, diverse, renewable supply system. That’s already happening very quickly. Portugal went from 17 to 45% renewable

The book details how the US could run a 2.6-fold bigger economy in 2050 with no oil, no coal, no nuclear energy, one-third less natural gas and at a US$5 trillion lower net present value cost, assuming all externalities are worth zero.

electricity during 2005–2010, while the US went from 9 to 10%. While congressional wrangling in 2010 halved US wind-power installations, China doubled its wind capacity for the fifth year in a row and blew past its 2020 target. Germany, which gets less sun than Seattle, added 242% as much photovoltaic capacity in the month of July 2011 as the US added in all of 2010. If we catch up to what other countries, especially China, are doing, we’re in the midst of the biggest infrastructure shift in history. The efficiency and renewables revolutions are intimately intertwined; each of them helps the other happen better, faster and cheaper. Source: 2012 State of Green Business Report, produced by GreenBiz Group Inc


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Clean energy: How much hot air? Unused heat from renewables can cause microclimate temperature changes

Elisa Wood is a long-time leading energy writer. She can be reached at

Harnessing waste heat and managing energy use essential for the long term

ed heat. The article points to a study that indicates building a 1-TW solar power plant in California’s Mojave desert could raise temperatures in the air by 0.4 degrees Celsius. When dark solar panels cover light-coloured sand, they warm the air and change temperature and wind patterns within a 300-kilometre radius, the article says. Energy almost always creates some sort of waste heat, even in powering our cell phones and computers, says Eric Chaisson of the Harvard Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, in the article. Electricity heats the circuits. We don’t use this heat; it dissipates into the air. Of course, this is one of those glass half-full or half-empty issues. Heat byproducts are not a bad thing if we make use of them. Farmers already take advantage of the localised

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New Scientist’s January 28th issue is likely to unsettle clean energy advocates – but it is worth the read. The cover article, “Power paradox: Clean might not be green forever”, posits that even renewable energy can warm the planet, and eventually change climate, if we continue to ratchet up power production to serve our ever increasing demand for electricity. It turns out that wind farms create heat, albeit a miniscule amount compared with fossil fuels or nuclear power, according to the article. Research from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign indicates that wind turbines heat the ground nearby at night, apparently caused by the turbines sucking air downward from above. Solar panels, too, create unintend-

Research from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign has found that wind turbines make the immediate surrounding area warmer at night     •  

warming caused by wind turbines to fight frost, says the article. And while solar panels may generate heat when they cover light-coloured surfaces, like sand, they cool when placed over dark surfaces, like a black roof. More importantly, we can sometimes use recycled heat instead of fossil fuels. Residential solar panels are now available that convert waste heat from the panels into useful energy for cooling a house. And for many years we’ve captured and used waste heat in buildings and factories through combined heat and power (CHP) and recycled industrial waste heat systems. Plenty of need exists to channel heat energy for useful purposes, including air-conditioning in the US, as our aging population continues to shift southward. Globally, about 47% of the energy we consume goes toward heating/cooling, with industry as the largest single user, consuming about 43% of that. Homes follow at 41%, then commercial and public buildings 9%, and agriculture 6%, according to the International Energy Agency. Should we worry that renewables generate heat? Perhaps. But the impact is small. Heat from renewables poses no immediate threat. Long term, however, waste heat from all sources could become a serious contributor to climate warming, if we continue to increase our consumption of electricity at the current rate of about 2% annually, the article says. So clearly, it would be hard to take any argument against renewable energy seriously based on its heat output – particularly since renewables can displace fossil fuels that create far more warming. But the findings do underscore the value of exploring energy efficiency measures that make use of waste heat. We hear a lot about smart power; but stay tuned as smart heat rises up as a new priority.


Automobiles trending from gasoline to gas-electric Gas-electric hybrid vehicles could be the future after failed gas fleets in the US and Germany Only South Korea, Pakistan and Holland successful with LPG and CNG vehicles

Spring revolts across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), as well as to the driver of current conventional oil supply capacity starting to significantly decline, needing replacement at high investment cost. World coal supply is not threatened with shortage, but like the oil industry, is hindered by insufficient spending to replace and upgrade existing mining, processing and transport infrastructures. Investor support to high-cost nuclear power, following the Fukushima disaster remains unsure and weak. The only bright note is global gas supply. This will likely grow quite fast due to shale gas and coal seam gas development, and the price of LNG cargoes will tilt downwards due to this supply boost and global LNG overcapacity.

Energy saving with gas In some regions, especially the US, the future is mapped by a few key numbers. While US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) grade oil remains locked in to price levels around US$100 per barrel, US pipeline


On the face of it, nothing could be worse than the current context for any type of longer-term and relatively high-risk investing. Just one example is shown by Credit Agricole, France’s largest retail banking group and the eighth largest in the world, which is trying to unload several tens of millions of dollars in Asian loans held on its books at deep discounts to remain liquid. Currently on the block is a possibly large slice of a HK$9 billion (US$1.2 billion) loan to Hongkong blue-chip conglomerate Swire Pacific Offshore Holdings, which Credit Agricole is selling at 95 cents on the dollar, a steep discount for a highquality security to a solid borrower. Yet global oil prices, coal import prices and liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes imported by Asian consumers remain high, even in a global macroeconomic situation where the US teeters close to recession and Europe is headed for almost certain slump. To be sure, oil’s present high price includes a large-risk premium related to Iran and Nigeria, and to Arab

Charging an electric car: On the road to the mobility of the future

Andrew McKillop writes and consults on the interface of oil, renewable energy and the sustainable economy. Was an energy policy expert at the European Commission, Brussels.

gas supplies, boosted by shale gas extraction which has grown 20-fold since 2003, is now priced at around US$3 per million British Thermal Unit (BTU). This is equivalent to oil at US$17.40 per barrel. To be sure, these gas price levels are unrealistic given the real world economics of shale gas extraction, and will likely move to US$6 per million BTU sooner or later – but certainly not the US$12–US$15 per million BTU that Asian and European buyers often pay today for LNG cargoes from exporters like Qatar. Gas is also much cleaner than coal and has lower emission than oil. This makes road transport, industrial energy use and electric power generation natural targets for a shift to gas energy. The economic advantage is clear, and gas energy is an almost certain nearterm mover in a context where both investor support and government policy support for accelerated development and utilisation of alternate and renewable non-fossil energy is fading. As with any type of energy and especially the renewables, the infrastructure needs for spearheading gas in the energy economic system are serious handicaps, because they demand longer-term and big ticket investment – which returns us straight to the current global macro context. Taking the prime sector for raising gas exploitation in the short-term – road transport – we find that only two Asian countries and one European country have significantly moved forward with LPG and CNG (liquefied petroleum gas and compressed natural gas) in their road fleets: South Korea, Pakistan and Holland. Negative examples are very easy to find, starting with the near total failure of plans by US billionaire T Boone Pickens to develop nationwide heavy transport fleet utilisation of    •   

gas, and Germany’s failure, to date, to accelerate the use of gas in its car and light truck fleet. Germany has around 90,000 CNG cars in a national car fleet of more than 47 million, and has 900 CNG filling stations, but each station on average has only about ten fills per day, crippling the commercial potential for a hoped-for “gas shift”, and lockingin the present trend for ever growing numbers of diesel-fuelled cars and light trucks. The simple question of who pays to expand the filling stations has no simple answer, until and unless other ways are found to generate value-added, using low-cost gas, and drawing on all existing and emerging financial and legislative support for shifting away from oil and coal, to gas.

Combined heat and power Fund managers in Asia and Europe, confronted by the same current high

energy prices, are shifting faster to new and expanded concepts to “Go for Gas” than in the US, where energy prices, despite the high barrel price, are much lower than in Asia and Europe, and consumer resistance to new ideas is much higher. Fund managers are now looking at ways to integrate several commercial end-uses of gas energy, share the infrastructure costs, and deliver bankable and feasible projects. These certainly include so-called Energy Centres, typically at the edge of major cities and able to include urban commercial and real estate development or redevelopment. Using gas to generate electric power and selling recovered heat to commercial users while also fuelling local transport fleets, especially fleets servicing high-mileage and high-value transport needs, can radically lever up the project’s revenue streams. Where city authorities and

national governments have special environmental targets and restrictions, the impact studies for these projects become a key element. These studies are completed by energy-economic scoping studies, which can map all the upstream energy inputs, and all downstream economic outputs to costbenefit any proposed project. Where city and national authorities are already set for moving to low carbon transport, especially electric car and vehicle fleets, the sheer costs of this choice will soon bring in flexible policies on the type, scale, degree and speed of shifting the existing transport fleets to electric. The mid-way solution is simple: gas-electric hybrid vehicles, combining low emission and cheap gas energy, with zero emission but expensive electric traction. Movement in this direction is coming – even under the current and harsh investor conditions of global macro uncertainty.



Marshalling renewables on a global scale

Shel Horowitz is the primary author of Guerilla Marketing Goes Green. He can be reached at shel@

Energy-saving technology should be made accessible for all income groups

You may have read about the Marshall Plan, which restarted the economy of Europe following World War II. With the threat of catastrophic climate change hovering over our heads, and with the economy still in tatters in many parts of the world, I’d like to suggest a worldwide Marshall Plan-style initiative to stave off global warming, create jobs, put significant discretionary spending money into the hands of citizens and lower energy prices – all at no net cost to the taxpayers, property owners and renters. Strategies would include lowering the price of clean technology by increasing demand, making energysaving technology accessible to lowand middle-income people (including renters) and using the money saved to spur sustainable economic development. The plan, which I’d hope would be adopted by national, regional and local governments around the world, will have these components: Effective immediately, starting with any plans proposed and not yet approved, all government or government-funded construction will be required to generate as much energy as it consumes, through clean and renewable technologies, such as solar, wind, small-scale hydro, magnetic, tidal, bacterial and deep conservation (this is not a comprehensive list). If compromise is necessary, aim for 10% or less energy consumption compared with traditional non-green buildings serving the same purpose. Technologies must be both clean and renewable, which means they cannot be based on fossil fuels, nuclear or most types of biomass. As prices come down due to increased demand and economies of scale, locallyadministered government programmes make renewable and clean




Large-scale solarisation could drastically cut the cost of renewable power

When, planet-wide, we see our rooftops as an energy (and possibly food) resource, and have programmes affordable to those without capital, we can eliminate oil dependence and reduce carbon emissions

“This programme is essentially self-funding, and uses the workings of the free market to create affordable alternatives for the less wealthy. It should be politically easier to accomplish than other proposals – perhaps even in time to prevent climate catastrophe.” technologies available to people who cannot afford them, but in ways that are financially self-supporting. For example, governments and utilities can join forces to set up lease-back programmes, where the company that installs an alternative energy system maintains ownership but leases the energy back to the homeowner or tenant – or the government guarantees loans that enable homeowners to purchase the systems and automatically pay back the loans out of the energy savings.


As the new government buildings save government agencies enormous amounts of money not paid to utility companies, those savings are earmarked to retrofit existing government buildings. As the private sector repays the loans or buys the leased energy, that money becomes available to retrofit non-government buildings. Large-scale implementation would bring down the price, make it affordable to every homeowner, reduce or eliminate dependence on foreign oil, and uranium and reduce CO2 buildup, and thus, global warming. When, planet-wide, we see our rooftops as an energy (and possibly food) resource, and have programmes in place to make these systems affordable to those without capital, we can eliminate oil dependence and reduce carbon emissions/global warming. By outfitting every government building and providing means for lowincome people to solarise, we can: • Bring prices way down and make clean renewable energy more affordable to middle-income homeowners


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• Free up capital currently spent on fossil fuels for economic development • Create tens of thousands of new short-term jobs • Reduce dependence on foreign oil • Reduce pressure to “solve” our energy shortage through environmentally-disastrous initiatives like tar-sands oil, fracking and nuclear • Slow or perhaps even reverse catastrophic climate change. We constantly hear dire predictions of what will happen if we don’t address the carbon issue right


away. Yet, even modest initiatives get caught in political wrangling and die a quick death. Because this programme is essentially self-funding, and uses the workings of the free market to create affordable alternatives for the less wealthy, it should be politically easier to accomplish than other proposals – perhaps even in time to prevent climate catastrophe. The groundwork for this kind of international cooperation has already been laid. As one example, Put Solar On It (, an international initiative to get world leaders to solarise their presidential palaces,


Rise of the biobased economy New USDA “biobased” label shapes new understanding of green products Biobased alternatives could help manage volatile petroleum-driven costs

Our economy is slowly but surely heeding the signal that carbon is the new watchword. During the past few years, a steady stream of so-called “biobased” products have been making their way to retail shelves – compostable dinnerware made from corn, plant-based laundry detergents and bamboo flooring among them. Coke and Pepsi are now competing to be first to market with a soft drink bottle derived entirely from sugarcane or other plant materials. In the US, the emerging biobased economy even has its own label – the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Biobased, pictured here. It’s part of a federal BioPreferred programme designed to help grow “green” jobs, stimulate the rural economy, promote energy independence and prompt a shift to renewable resources from petroleum, helping to manage the carbon cycle. Launched in February 2011, the label needs a little introduction since the term “biobased”, although familiar     •  

could be a natural organising platform to expand from residences of heads of state to all government buildings. India, Chile and the Maldives are among countries which have started solarising their presidential palaces, and the US could easily replace the solar panels that were installed on the White House back in 1979 (unfortunately removed by the subsequent president). Expanding to the hundreds of thousands of other government buildings is a logical next step. Let’s show some initiative and gumption, put aside our cultural differences, and get this done.

Sample of the USDA Certified Biobased label

sounding, represents more than meets the eye. Here’s a primer – and why you need to be thinking about forming your own biobased strategy during 2012.

What is “biobased”? Ask a consumer what “biobased” means and he might respond with somewhat erroneous definitions such as “natural”, “biodegradable” or “renewable”. The USDA (and US federal law) defines it quite specifically as “commercial or industrial products, other than food or feed, that are composed in whole, or in significant part, of biological products or renewable agricultural materials (including plant, animal, and aquatic

Jacquelyn Ottman, a green marketing consultant to Fortune 500 companies, blogs at greenmarketing. com/blog

Mark Eisen is the former environmental marketing director at Home Depot

materials), or forestry materials” – hence the label depicting the soil, sea and the sun. More important than this definition is the programme’s intention – to expand the market for alternatives to petroleum-based products by promoting new uses for agricultural commodities such as bioplastics, biofibres and biobased chemicals. It thus excludes products such as office paper, cotton T-shirts and wooden furniture introduced before 1972. (See for details.) Both finished consumer and commercial products as well as intermediate products (eg, platform chemicals and fibres) are eligible to earn the USDA Certified Biobased label. Standards for “complex” products (consisting of many components, such as automobiles) are being developed. Among the many products that have earned the label are: Procter & Gamble’s Gillette ProGuide Fusion razor package; Papermate mechanical pencils made

from Mirel biodegradable plastic, the Greenware line of cold cups made from NatureWorks’ plant-based Ingeo polymer; and intermediates such as Lenzing’s TENCEL lyocell fibre made from eucalyptus and DuPont’s Sorona polymer. Seventh Generation is so bullish about the label that they have certified over 60 of their household cleaning and personal care products – virtually their entire product line-up.

Why pursue a biobased strategy The credibility and broadscale awareness of the USDA brand positions labeled products to stand out to consumers. In an age where consumers actively seek environmentally-preferable biobased products with comparable price and performance, having the USDA certified biobased label increases shelf appeal. And marketing benefits don’t stop there. The federal government, by law and executive order, now gives purchasing preference to over 60 categories of biobased products. Biobased alternatives can also help businesses manage volatile petroleumdriven costs and ensure sustainable supplies. Measurement, transparency and product performance Not every product made with plants or other renewable resources can qualify for the Certified Biobased label. That’s because the USDA has strict minimums for biobased content in a wide range of “designated” products. For instance, a lip balm may only need 11% biobased content to qualify, while a disposable food container needs 72%. Any product category for which a target has not yet been established must achieve minimum biobased content levels of 25%. Although this bar may seem low, keep in mind that minimums are based upon the highest levels of biobased content possible without compromising performance, and to encourage participation in a market now ramping up. Biobased content is measured using a radiocarbon dating test standard, ASTM D6866. This test measures total carbon content and distinguishes the amount of “new” organic from fossil or petroleum-based carbon. This enables the “new” organic

(biobased) carbon to be expressed as a percentage of the total carbon. To foster transparency, encourage a level playing field and promote continuous improvement, the Certified Biobased label requires disclosure of the percentage of biobased content for the product and/or package.

Caution advised when making environmental claims Marketers may realise advantages if they can substantiate a product’s biobased content in support of environmental marketing claims

• Gillette ProGuide Fusion razor

• Biodegradable mechanical pencils

• Greenware line of cold cups made from plant-based Ingeo polymer

• TENCEL lyocell fibre made from eucalyptus

• Sorona polymer

such as “natural”, “biodegradable”, “renewable” or even “non-toxic”. However, none of these environmental attributes are automatic because of a product’s certified biobased content. Whether a claimed environmental attribute can be supported depends on the amount of biobased content, as well as how the product was processed and transported, and other life cycle considerations. Keep in mind too, that much consumer confusion surrounds the biodegradability and recyclability of bioplastics. For instance, some resins

may not be biodegradable but can be recycled (like Coke’s bioplastic PET PlantBottle, recyclable with petroleum-based PET). In addition, some traditional petroleum-based plastics are compostable in industrial (municipal) facilities, but not in backyard composters. And no plastic, biobased or otherwise, is designed to readily biodegrade in landfills.

What’s your biobased strategy? According to Kate Lewis, deputy manager of the USDA BioPreferred programme, since its introduction in February 2011, over 500 products have been certified to use the Certified Biobased label and over 400 applications are in the pipeline. She reports that her group is “looking forward to working with proactive brand owners to capitalise upon their certification and really drive this new bio-industrial revolution forward”. These labelers will enjoy first-mover advantage as well as the opportunity to educate their consumers and other stakeholders about the benefit biobased content brings to their products. We predict that all products will ultimately be judged by their carbon content and their potential to effect global climate change. So, credible biobased products are and will continue to be a critical component of a long-range strategy. Short-term motivations for developing a biobased strategy, while company and brand specific, can include minimising cost, enhancing image, reputation and consumer perception and avoiding potential regulatory risks. So key questions for brand owner, product manager and CEO in 2012 are What’s your biobased strategy? Do you have a team to bring biobased innovation into your brand and product portfolio? Jacquelyn Ottman and Mark Eisen advised USDA BioPreferred on the launch of the USDA Certified Biobased label during 2011 and are now advising labelers on how to market their participation in the programme. Ottman is the author of The New Rules of Green Marketing. Eisen is the former environmental marketing director at Home Depot.    •   


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Solar and wind power to wind down this year Purchases of wind turbines and related equipment to decline 18% Heavy downsizing and consolidation ahead for both wind and solar

to survive on rich helpings of government subsidies was too small to take the onrush of industrial mass production from the east. China soon beat Germany into second place for solar PV cell production, while India quickly climbed the ranks of world windpower, with Suzlon second only to Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems A/S.


By Andrew McKillop

Turbines on a wind farm in northern China. The country’s recently released 12th Five-Year Plan (2011–2015) aims to raise renewables to 11.4% of its primary energy consumption by 2015

Along with solar photovoltaic power plants, wind turbines dotting the horizon were poster children of what Barack Obama called “the Sputnik moment” in world energy. Obama had said solar and wind power were tide-turning movers for global energy and would jumpstart the global shift to green energy as the world kicked the fossil energy habit. This would prevent what Al Gore and Mikhail Gorbachev called the catastrophe of global warming. But while this catastrophe may not be coming soon, oil at US$130 a barrel could. Soft energy appeals to many, but the technology needs industrial organisation and heavy investment.

As such, it was no surprise that China, and then India, rapidly outstripped and outdistanced the roll-the-dice results from the “Silicon Valley moment” in green energy investing. Some 80% of all renewable and alternate low-carbon energy start-ups in the US and Europe folded within 18 months, with the loss of an estimated US$450 billion from total funding of about US$1 trillion from 2006 through 2011. This included large losses – even for billionaires like Bill Gates, Bill Joy and Vinod Khosla – in maize fuel alcohol and solar power adventures. The result was simple: green energy migrated to the industrial and industrious east with a vengeance. With state organised and coordinated investment and Top 6 solar countries in 2011 by new development, China soon installations (in MW) exerted dominance in solar 2011 Percent growth Country 2010 2011 power and a heavy presence rank on year previous in wind power, while India’s 1 Italy 3,577 6,900 92.9% Suzlon Corp became the 2 Germany 7,408 5,923 -20.0% world’s No 2 wind turbine 3 US 915 2,703 195.5% producer. In fact, Asian success in 4 China 537 1,726 221.4% wind power and solar power 5 Japan 990 1,300 31.3% was too total: the market 6 France 719 963 34.0% space for niche technology companies able only Source: IHS iSuppli Research, December 2011     •  

Glut and famine Purchases of wind turbines and related equipment will drop 18% this year and will not return to 2011 levels for at least five years, according to a January 31st Bloomberg New Energy Finance release. Especially in the US and Europe, but also in Asia, overcapacity is the name of the game. Likewise, for global solar PV cell arrays, the market is estimated to be massively oversupplied. A few simple figures show this, for a world solar industry picture where China alone has a current annual output capacity of around 30,000 MW. Along with the world’s second largest producer, Germany, their combined capacity is more than 43,000 MW per year. At previous typical yearly growth rates, their combined capacity in 2014 might touch 80–85 GW per year, in a literal runaway growth sequence, fed by subsidies. The real world market picture is very different. Capital investment and spending in both solar and wind power electricity generating assets worldwide will at most total US$95 billion in 2012, down from more than US$150 billion last year, as oversupply and waning government support in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, South Korea and other Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries cut demand growth rates to low single figures – or into contraction. Worldwide sales and installation of new solar power capacity in 2012 are unlikely to exceed 23 GW, while total new wind power installations are set to drop by 13% to 47 GW in 2012, with analysts forecasting that annual wind installations will at best stagnate at 40 GW per year through to 2019. Sinovel Wind Group Co, China’s top turbine maker, says it expects 2011 profits to fall by more than 50%, while the now ailing world No 1 producer, Vestas of Denmark, cut 10% of its


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Global clean energy investment: The 2011 numbers game Europe still leader with US$100 billion, led by solar energy and offshore wind



US74.9 bil



US136.6 bil


Solar took US$136.6 billion, or 36% higher than in 2010. Reason: solar PV module price dropped by almost half

China put in US$47.4 billion

2 Wind took

US$74.9 billion. The solar-wind gap has never been this big

US overtakes China with US$55.9 billion, or 33% higher than 2010

India put in US$10.3 billion, up by a whopping 52% Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

total employee numbers in a single day after twice reducing sales and earnings forecasts since October.

Industrial assets Wind equipment makers have lower capital spending needs than solar power producers – an advantage on the upturn, but the opposite when markets turn down. In the current market context, wind turbine producers are less likely to get bought than solar companies because they have less to offer buyers. Industry downsizing and consolidation in wind power therefore threatens to be more intense, with a bigger loss of productive assets than for solar power, with more smaller players simply going out of business instead of being bought up. Acquisitions of wind companies and equity purchases in utility companies with high exposure to wind and solar power in their generating portfolios radically increased until

Q3 2011. For wind power companies, equity buyouts more than doubled to US$16.6 billion from US$7.2 billion in 2010, say analysts, but since Q3 2011 the downturn has been rapid, and 2011’s final bulge was concentrated in capital and asset restructuring operations worth a combined US$11 billion, by Electricite de France and Spanish wind-rich utility Iberdrola repurchasing part-owned subsidiaries. As a sign of changing times for global wind power, the largest remaining market prospects are concentrated in offshore wind development, at necessarily high costs, needing constant big ticket government subsidies for breakeven. The few existing large offshore wind projects, like the German Alpha Ventus project operated by the E.ON-RWE-Vattenfall consortium, have few rivals for project wide capital costs per kilowatt of power generating capacity – except from EPR nuclear power and solar power plants, at up to

or more than US$6,500 per kilowatt. Further development of largescale offshore wind, like the UK Crown Estates proposal for a £199 billion (over US$300 billion) project to develop about 55 GW of capacity in Britain’s windy waters, depends on government largesse continuing at a high rate. Alternatives, including lowemission gas-powered generation and CHP (combined heat and power) using shale gas and coal seam gas, may prove radically cheaper. Relative to the hoped-for offshore wind farm mega projects, actual planned spending on offshore wind projects – of about US$6 billion in 2011 – is predicted to increase to around US$8.5 billion this year and go on growing through 2020 – but only if subsidies continue. Hopes are now moving east, especially to China for future offshore wind farm development, but this is far from certain to come about.    •   

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Climate change and insurance: Why everyone is affected Asia had only 13% of its losses from natural disasters insured between 1980 and 2011 68% of economic losses in Asia from 1980 to 2007 due to weather-related conditions

By Bhavani Prakash

If there’s one industry that has more than enough reasons to be concerned about the effects of climate change, it’s insurance. As it directly bears the brunt of disasters brought about by typhoons, floods, droughts, earthquakes and tsunamis, insurers are highly vocal in advocating the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to lower “risk of ruin”. Leading players converged in Singapore for the 2nd Climate Change Summit for Asia’s Insurance Industry from January 30th to 31st, voicing near unanimous views on the lack of adequate insurance coverage in Asia, which is vulnerable to natural catastrophes and extreme weather patterns. The 2010–2011 period has

been the worst for overall and insured losses worldwide, with Thailand, Japan, New Zealand and Australia mentioned in every insurer’s and reinsurer’s report. The figures are fairly stark for Asia. Between 1980 and 2011, Asia bore 41% of overall losses from natural disasters, but had only 13% of its losses insured, leaving a huge gap in the insurance penetration in the continent. According to the World Meteorological Association (WMO), 88% of natural hazard events, 59% of casualties and 68% of economic losses in Asia between 1980 and 2007 were due to weather-related conditions. On top of that, high population density and how people create their built

environment and behave economically, together, have a huge impact on exposure, as the recent flooding in Bangkok showed. How far is climate change on the radar screens of policymakers and CEOs? Ernst Rauch, head of the corporate climate centre at leading global reinsurer Munich Re, points out that at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland in 2011, four out of the five global risks identified by over 500 business leaders and politicians were environment-related. However, this year at Davos, only one environment-related risk – GHG emissions – figured in the top five global risks, the rest being financial ones. “The global risk assessment landscape is constantly changing, at least in the short run, but it can’t be ignored that environmental risks and financial risks are interconnected,” Rauch says.

Pressure on premiums Insurance is for unforeseen events. If floods and other climate-related natural disasters become recurrent in an area, it would increase premiums

Natural catastrophes worldwide 1980–2011: Overall losses, insured losses and fatalities 14%

Insurance penetration for natural catastrophes significantly below that of Europe and America, ie, the “insurance gap”

16% 41%


13% 66%

1% <1%

Percentage of worldwide overall losses


Percentage of worldwide insured losses

Continent America (North and South America) Europe Africa

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Asia Australia/Oceania Total

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Overall losses (US$ mil)

Percentage of worldwide overall losses

Insured losses (US$ mil)

Percentage of worldwide insured losses
































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Ernst Rauch: Four out of five global risks highlighted at Davos were environment-related

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Earthquakes 2011: The toll

Walter Stahel: Good management of scarce resources is essential to risk management

Scott Ryrie: Singapore’s funding of flood research a good example of public-private cooperation

The most expensive earthquakes took place last year. Earthquakes and the resultant tsunamis, landslides, and ground settlements, caused US$365 billion in economic losses throughout the world. There were at least 133 quakes. A total of 20,500 people died, and about a million people lost their homes.

Public-private partnerships There is also a need for more publicprivate partnerships (PPP), seminar participants say. Scott Ryrie, former CEO of Allianz SE Reinsurance Branch Asia Pacific, Singapore, cited the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) funding of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) research on tackling floods here, as an example of how government and industry communication is growing. Another case in point is the     •  

The summit was organised by Asia Insurance Review, sponsored by Sompo Japan, and supported by Climate Wise, International Actuarial Association, General Insurance Association, German Development Cooperation and the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) under the Singapore Prime Minister’s Office.

Japan Tohoku earthquake and resulting tsunami on March 11 Economic loss: US$335 billion loss Deaths: 19,300 Rendered homeless: 450,000

New Zealand

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way Japan’s insurance industry is structured. For claims less than 115 billion yen (US$1.5 billion), the private sector is fully responsible. Between 115 billion and 871 billion yen, the government bears 50% of the risk. From over 871 billion to 5,500 billion yen, only 5% is borne by the private sector, with the rest underwritten by the government. During the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, total claims reached 1,200 billion yen, with the government rescuing the Japanese insurance industry from financial ruin. The private sector need not wait for national governments to come to an agreement with respect to adaptation. Though yet to make an impact on the kind of scale required, innovative private sector solutions are leading the way, examples being the Weather Index Insurance (WII) and CLIMBS by Munich Re. CLIMBS, which stands for “Philippine Cooperative Insurance Company Coop Life Insurance & Mutual Benefit Services” is owned by 2,000 primary cooperatives and provides micro-insurance to farmers against extreme weather events in the Philippines. This is underwritten by Munich Re, with independent consultancy DHI providing real-time data on weather events. Given the increasing exposure to climate change, a robust insurance industry is truly essential when that next rainy day arrives.

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The following were the hardest hit:

or get excluded from coverage. This will translate into increased costs for businesses and for individuals. It is also important that when long-term infrastructure is built, it is made floodproof, something that may not have been necessary a few years ago. Another thing that cannot be ignored is the increasing scarcity of raw materials, according to Walter R Stahel, vice-secretary general of Risk Management Research of Geneva Association, Switzerland. The association is a think tank of 90 of the biggest insurance companies, analysing global risks that could affect the industry. “The economy is the biggest producer of carbon dioxide. The linear throughput model which relies on cheap commodity prices doesn’t make sense any more. If manufacturers begin to realise how much more expensive commodities will be ten years from now, retaining resources will become the most profitable business model. Cradle-tocradle systems coupled with rental or operational leasing of products will have to happen. This will reduce GHG emissions by a substantial amount, without anything else changing,” Stahel says.

Earthquake near Christchurch, February Economic loss: US$20 billion Deaths: 185 Other casualties • Turkish region of Van • The region of India-Nepal-Tibet • Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Xinjiang • US state of Virginia 2010: For comparison: The devastating earthquake in Haiti caused about 137,000 casualties. Between one and two million people lost their homes. Sources: James Daniell, Centre for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology (CEDIM) of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT); Radio New Zealand Provided by Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres

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Coca-Cola’s green “fizz” with LED vending machines

The Spanish government, in an attempt to control its tariff deficit, has halted support for new renewable energy projects. According to the industry ministry, this measure is “a temporary break on a remuneration system which involves costs that are too high for the electric system, and which are causing a continuous increase in the tariff deficit.” However, the moratorium will not affect existing projects or those already included in the government’s “pre-assignation” register. The government also claims that the freeze will not jeopardise Spain’s ability to achieve the European Union’s 2020 renewable energy targets. However, Spain’s wind energy association AEE claims the moratorium puts at risk a sector whose export value in goods and services exceed 2.4 billion euros per year and is fundamental for Spain’s energy independence. (Source: Recharge)

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Thai wind developer to spend on 270 MW more

Wind Energy Holding recently unveiled plans to dominate Thailand’s wind sector, announcing a US$550 million investment to build three new plants that will generate an additional 270 MW from a previously announced 207 MW capacity build. Its vicepresident of business development Aaron Daniels says the company plans to commission three wind farms by 2016, each with a 90 MW capacity in the Korat province, 150 km north of Bangkok. The developer is looking at a 60:30 equity-debt financing ratio. Meanwhile, work has begun on two 103.5 MW wind farms, dubbed FKW and KR2, which are expected to start commercial operation by October     •  

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Spain freezes support for new renewable projects

Coca-Cola System Japan, which consists of Coca-Cola Japan and 12 bottling partners across the country, will install light-emitting diodes (LED) for product display in

2012 and February 2013. Wind Energy has chosen 90 2.3 MW Siemens turbines to outfit FKW and KR2. (Source: Recharge)

Lynas gets temporary licence for Malaysia plant Malaysia’s Atomic Energy Licensing Board has conditionally approved a pre-operating licence for a US$200 million rare earths processing plant being built by Australia’s Lynas Corp in Kuantan, Malaysia. (Source: Reuters)

Belgian palm oil market to be sustainable by 2015 The Belgian Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil has launched its charter to promote the use of certified sustainable palm oil in Belgium. The charter pledges that by the end of 2015, all palm oil designated for the Belgian market will be produced based on the sustainability criteria of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The charter was signed by several parties in the palm oil supply chain – from processors and product manufacturers to industry associations.

the company’s vending machines. The move is part of the company’s environmental initiatives and will apply to all vending machines purchased from 2012 for canned and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle beverages. Other sustainable efforts by the company include hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)-free vending machines, as well as the introduction of machines with solar panels and living green tops. (Source: Japan for Sustainability)

They have committed to produce and source RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil and boost the transformation towards a fully sustainable market. According to Darrel Webber, RSPO’s secretary-general, certified sustainable palm oil represents 11% of all palm oil produced globally. (Source: RSPO)

Kaiser to save US$5m with green medical supply chain

Kaiser Permanente, the US’s largest healthcare consortium, is shifting to intravenous (IV) equipment that is free of the industrial chemicals PVC and DEHP to green its medical supply chain. Kaiser will no longer buy IV solution bags that are made with polyvinyl chloride and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate, substances commonly used in plastics. It is also turning to DEHPfree IV tubing. The switch will affect almost 100 tonnes of medical supplies annually: Kaiser buys 4.9 million IV tubing sets and 9.2 million IV bags a year. It expects to save about US$5 million a year using the new IV equipment. (Source:

Global hype over hydropower

Hong Kong has set up a HK$300 million (US$38.7 million) Pilot Green Transport Fund to encourage the transport sector to test out green and innovative technologies that can help improve roadside air quality and reduce carbon emissions. Local transport operators can apply for subsidy to test out technologies like new vehicle type, equipment or machinery related to transport activities, or a new retrofit system. The subsidy will cover part of the product’s cost. For example, the subsidy will cover the price difference between a conventional vehicle and the alternative-fuelled vehicle, or 50% of the latter’s cost, whichever is higher. A transport operator may apply to try out different green products subject to a maximum of HK$9 million subsidy for each application and HK$12 million in total. A steering committee has been formed to assess applications. Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department says transport pollution accounts for more than 80% of the island’s carbon monoxide emissions. (Source:

Global use of hydropower increased by over 5% between 2009 and 2010, according to new research published by the Worldwatch Institute. Hydropower use reached a record 3,427 terawatt-hours, or about 16.1% of global electricity consumption, by the end of 2010, continuing the trend of rapid increase from 2003 to 2009. The cost of hydropower is relatively low, making it a competitive source of renewable electricity. A total of US$40–45 billion was invested in large hydropower projects worldwide in 2010. China was the largest hydropower producer and is expected to continue to lead global

world are currently in the audit process and are expected to follow Manildra in paving the way towards biofuels that deliver on their sustainability promises” said Peter Ryus, CEO of RSB Services Foundation. (Source: www.

Biomass investment to hit US$100 billion by 2021

The Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) announced on February 10th the first completed commercial certification of the Manildra Group, Australia. Through its subsidiary Shoalhaven Starches Pty Ltd, the Manildra Group produces bioethanol from starchy wastewater generated by their wheat-processing facility. The certification, conducted by NCS International, demonstrates that sustainable biofuels may be efficiently and economically produced at a large scale while adhering to ambitious social and environmental standards. “Several other operations around the

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RSB announces first commercial certification

Biomass power generation capacity is predicted to grow by more than 86 GW by 2021 from the current 58 GW, representing a total investment of more than US$100 billion (78 billion euros), according to Pike Research. It adds that the demand for biomass is set to hit about 1 billion tonnes a year within the next ten years. Governments around the world are beginning to invest more into bioenergy to solve problems such as energy security, increased carbon emissions and low economic development. Senior analyst Mackinnon Lawrence says: “Currently, power generation from biomass is hamstrung by policy uncertainty and

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Hong Kong commits to EV future

China’s controversial Three Gorges Dam is the world's largest hydropower project

hydro use in the coming years. The country produced 721 terawatthours in 2010, representing around 17% of domestic electricity use. (Source: Worldwatch Institute)

the high costs of feedstock relative to fossil fuels, but the combination of a burgeoning international trade in biomass pellets, implementation of emission regulations, and increased utilisation of co-firing strategies is expected to accelerate global scale-up efforts over the next decade.” (Source: BioEnergy News)

Bosch delays solar panel plant

Robert Bosch GmbH is delaying the construction of its 520 million euro (US$690 million) solar panel manufacturing plant in Batu Kawan, Penang, Malaysia to evaluate the technological direction for the plant. Construction was scheduled for end of last year with production to start by end of 2013. According to original plans, full production capacity of 640 MW was to be achieved in 2014 and 2,000 new employees hired. Bosch remains convinced that solar panels have long-term business potential and is pushing ahead for internationalisation of PVs despite the current difficult market environment. (Sources: StarBiz Malaysia, PV Magazine)    •   

Boeing-CSIRO feedstock research partnership Boeing and Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have joined forces to examine the potential for aviation biofuels’ feedstock growth in the north of the country. This follows the release of the Flight Path to Sustainable Aviation roadmap, which recommends research into the area. “It made a compelling case for the development of a new Australian biobased aviation fuel industry generating some 12,000 clean energy jobs over the next 20 years, especially in regional areas, cutting greenhouse emissions and reducing Australia’s reliance on aviation fuels imports by US$2 billion per annum,” says Michael Edwards, general manager of Boeing Research and Technology in Australia. (Source: BioEnergy News)

Australian company Algae.Tec has signed a 50/50 joint venture (JV) with Chinese company Shandong Kerui to build a 250-module algae biofuels facility in China. The plant is tipped to be the first of its kind in the world, according to Algae.Tec’s executive chairman Roger Stroud, who says the high-yield-per-acre facility’s enclosed module system will produce biofuel feedstock at less than one tenth the land footprint of pond growth options. The equally-funded facility will be built in Dongying, Shandong Province, and produce about 33 million litres of algae-derived transport oil and

nationality, must account for every metric ton of carbon emitted for any flight originating or landing in the EU. Carriers must then purchase allowances for 15% of their total emissions in Europe’s carbon markets. China claims the ETS will impose 95 million euros (US$125 million) in extra annual costs on the airlines. (Source: Triple Pundit)

Novo Nordisk named world’s most sustainable firm

China bans its airlines from ETS participation China has banned its carriers from paying for carbon allowances under the European Union’s emissions trading scheme (ETS), and disallowed them from hiking ticket prices to account for the allowances. Under the ETS, all carriers, regardless of     •  

Roger Stroud, Algae.Tec executive chairman

about 33,000 tonnes of biomass per annum at a combined value of over US$40 million, and capture 137,000 tonnes of waste carbon dioxide.

management system (HEMS) that allows homeowners to store lower-priced electricity at night to use it effectively the following day, thereby reducing power purchasing during daytime when electricity demand is higher. (Source: Japan for Sustainability)

Optitune opts for global headquarters in Singapore

Toyota Home aims for housevehicle energy synergy

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A triple bottom line business philosophy, including a massive push to slash its carbon footprint and selling basic medicines to poor countries at a discount, took Novo Nordisk to the top of the list of the world’s 100 most sustainable companies. The Danish pharmaceutical firm was ranked No 1 on the 2012 Corporate Knights Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World list. (Source:


Aussie Algae.Tec signs JV to expand in China

Toyota Housing Corporation (Toyota Home), a home builder in the Toyota Group that engages in car manufacturing, environmental business and information technology, announced in late 2011 the release of “since asuie”, an exclusive smart house. The house incorporates Toyota’s proprietary smart house technology, which includes the nation’s first attempt at energy collaboration between the home and vehicles. The core feature is a home energy

Optitune International has chosen Singapore as the company’s management and operations hub for the global solar market. The company recently announced the expansion of its research and development (R&D) capabilities in Asia through newly-established facilities located at the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS). Optitune anticipates a local investment of S$40 (US$32) million over the next five years to cover a substantial increase in its local R&D workforce as well as the establishment of its new manufacturing facilities that will also be located in Singapore. The current development projects include anti-reflective coatings for solar module glass, as well as low emissivity (Low-E) and solar control (Solar-C) coatings for the energyefficient construction glass market.

Panasonic joins solar manufacturing cluster in Malaysia

Panasonic Corporation will invest RM1.85 billion (US$611 million) in its solar manufacturing facility in Kulim Hi-Tech Park (KHTP). The groundbreaking is expected to take place on March 2nd 2012 while operations are scheduled to commence by December 2012, with an annual production capacity of 300 MW. The company will be leasing a 24-ha site from KHTP for the facility and will be the second company there after the US-based First Solar, which occupies 64-ha. Panasonic hopes to meet the growing demand of the solar cell market and to strengthen the company’s competitiveness with a vertically-integrated production system. (Source: Business World)

Knowledge & networking


Biomass Conference 2012 6th-7th March 2012 Sheraton Imperial, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 4th China Solar Energy Technology and Investment Congress 8th-9th March 2012 Changzhou, China Macao International Environmental Co-operation Forum & Exhibition (MIECF 2012) 29th-31th March 2012 Macao, China 2nd Annual EduBuild Asia 2012 27th-30th March 2011 Singapore


10% discount for GPA subscribers

6th China Qingdao International Building Energy Saving & Renewable Energy Utilisation Fair 6th-8th April 2012 Qingdao International Convention Centre, Qingdao, China

10% exhibitor discount for GPA subscribers

15% discount for Smart Electricity World Asia 2012 GPA subscribers 16th-19th April 2012 Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

No certifier support for APP’s green claims -   

15% discount for Power & Electricity World Asia 2012 GPA subscribers 16th-20th April 2012 Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 15% discount for Transmission & Distribution World Asia 2012 GPA subscribers 16th-19th April 2012 Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

A WWF survey has revealed that Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) claims of independent sustainability certification for its operations are not backed by the certification schemes and assessors it has nominated. “None of the certifiers are prepared to back APP’s claim that their certifications demonstrate its sustainability. This is another blow to the credibility of APP’s massive global greenwash campaign,” says WWF International forest programme director Rod Taylor. PEFC Chain-of-Custody certification, often mentioned in APP claims of sustainability, has been found to apply to imported material used in APP’s production, but there are no PEFC certified forests in the company’s Indonesian operations. (Source: WWF)

Asia Green Shipping Summit 2012 24th-25th April 2012 Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore Cloud Computing World Asia 2012 25th April 2012 Suntec Exhibition & Convention Centre, Singapore 10% discount upon quoting 3rd Annual Building Envelopes Asia 2012 “18485.004_GPA” 25th-27th April, 2012 Marina Bay Sands, Singapore


Clean Power Asia Conference & Expo 14th-16th May 2012 Bali International Convention Centre, Indonesia Visit for the latest event listings Green Purchasing Asia is a media partner

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Thriving Beyond Sustainability: Pathways to a Resilient Society Andres R Edwards New Society Publishers (2010)

This is the second book written by Andres Edwards relating to sustainability, after Sustainability Revolution (2005). In this book he draws a clear distinction between simply being sustainable and thriving on sustainability. The book sketches a collective map of individuals, organisations, companies and countries from around the world that are committed to building an alternative future – one that strives to restore ecological health, reinvent outmoded institutions and rejuvenate our environmental, ecological and economic health. The list of nations which qualify for inclusion is short. Of note are Sweden and New Zealand, which legislated in 2007 to become 90% reliant on renewable energy for electricity consumption by 2025. There are more companies who qualify. DuPont, Caterpillar and General Electric (GE), with its ecomagination strategy, are among the best known. Edwards notes the increasing collaboration between international companies and     •  

large NGOs as a feature of the time, and also highlights mission-based companies, such as Deans Beans and Seventh Generation, who make it part of their corporate mission to give back to the planet. Organisations mentioned include many which are government-sponsored – the Netherlands Environmental Policy Plan is one such, among several others from Europe, reflecting the leadership taken by the EU in this area. Edwards also writes about a grassroots community-based organisations in Australia and the US. A notable example is GreenTown Greensburg in Kansas. When that city was devastated by a tornado in 2007, it resolved to rebuild based on green principles. The Global Eco-Village Network, meanwhile, is an international confederation of green community initiatives being replicated around the world. There are now 400 projects using the Eco-Village approach, 100 of them in America and the rest spread from Scandinavia to Australia. Edwards explains how thriveability principles are based on nature, and discusses the three key principles promoted by Bill McDonough and Paul Hawken: cradle to cradle (a complete self-regenerating life cycle approach); waste equals food (waste from one system can be food for another); and solar income (sustaining the planet by using the sun’s energy). All of these principles can be applied nationally or at local levels. At the end of each of the seven chapters in this relatively short book – 165 pages – is a bulleted list entitled “Taking Action” to

guide readers in implementing what they have read. There is also an annotated list of websites through which readers can learn more about sustainability.

The Necessary Revolution: Working Together to Create a Sustainable World Peter Senge et al Broadway Books (2nd edition, 2010)

Peter Senge has been recognised as a leading thinker and writer on management since the publication of his first book, The Fifth Discipline, in 1990. In this book, co-written with Bryan Smith, Nina Kruschwitz, Joe Laur and Sara Schley, Senge applies some concepts from that earlier book to the area of sustainability. Senge’s main thesis is that Industrial Age thinking, which still guides the way businesses behave today, must be replaced by something new. And one of the “new” things is systems thinking, which was one of the key innovations in The Fifth Discipline, but has never really caught on the way it deserves. He suggests that if we apply systems thinking to the problems that face us today, rather than our standard, linear, cause-and-

effect thinking, we may find some new solutions. For example, while Industrial Age thinking relies on energy from fossil fuels, an eco-revolution shifts the focus to the sun as a clean and renewable energy source. Food production shifts from relying on carbon-intensive global economies of scale to more community strengthening local production systems. Senge believes that such changes can be brought about by developing and using our core learning capabilities to see systems, where presently we see none. He explores the ways some people have already created such a future with examples including the BioFuel Region in Sweden and the creation in the US – and now also in the rest of the world – green building standards such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for sustainable construction. He makes the point, echoed by many other green authors, that green business is good business, noting how many large companies, including Nike and Wal-Mart have moved from being large-scale polluters to paragons of conservation and environmental friendliness. Even banks and other financial institutions are following this lead. As well as providing many informative diagrams, Senge concludes several chapters with a “toolbox” of techniques that can be used to implement lessons learnt. This is a big book at nearly 400 pages, but it is organised into seven parts and 29 chapters that help make it comfortable for tackling over a longer period of time.

Green Purchasing Asia :: March 2012  

The March 2012 cover takes a look at city-scale revitalisation and retrofits -- how such projects can be funded and how they boost the prosp...

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