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Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan

The Scottish government released a‘Zero Waste Plan’ in 2010, outlining an organised scheme for achieving zero waste production over 10 years. Readers will find special emphasis on presorting waste and banning materials from landfills, development of infrastructure for recycling, and, most importantly, recognising the importance of businesses participating in the effort.

Standard: Return stays at 9.9pc for power firms

from Kelly Ip for the Standard:

Power suppliers CLP and Hongkong Electric will continue to enjoy the 9.99 percent permitted return on capital investment.

The decision – following a just- completed mid-term review of the Scheme of Control Agreements between the government and power companies – was expected, said an Energy Advisory Committee member.

During the review, the two firms agreed to set up an energy efficiency fund from shareholders’ earnings to provide subsidies on a matching basis to owners of non- commercial buildings so they can make their structures more energy efficient.

The scheme is expected to be launched in the first half of next year.

According to previous records, the two companies are expected to invest HK$100 million into the fund, with HK$70 million coming from CLP and spread over four years.

CLP and Hongkong Electric also agreed to raise performance thresholds for both incentive payments and penalties with regard to supply reliability, operational efficiency and customer services.

They also reached a consensus on lowering the cap on the Tariff Stabilisation Fund balance, from 8 percent to 5 percent of annual total revenues from sales of electricity to local consumers, to ensure the balance of the fund can be used to alleviate the impact of tariff increases on customers.

To promote transparency, both firms will set up dedicated websites to show information relating to financial and operating data. The current Scheme of Control Agreements run for a term of 10 years and will expire in 2018.

Energy Advisory Committee member William Yu Yuen-ping said the energy efficiency fund is a breakthrough to help buildings save power.

“Since the fund is from shareholders’ earnings, it will not be included in operational costs and should not affect tariffs,” he said.

An Environment Bureau spokesman said electricity consumers can expect some benefits from the modifications.

Conservation group World Green Organization predicted CLP will increase electricity charges by 4 to 5 percent and Hongkong Electric by up to 1 percent.

22 Nov 2013

New lithium-ion battery design that’s 2,000 times more powerful, recharges 1,000 times faster

New lithium-ion battery design that’s 2,000 times more powerful, recharges 1,000 times faster

University of Illinois, 3D porous microstructure lithium-ion battery

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Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new lithium-ion battery technology that is 2,000 times more powerful than comparable batteries. According to the researchers, this is not simply an evolutionary step in battery tech, “It’s a new enabling technology… it breaks the normal paradigms of energy sources. It’s allowing us to do different, new things.”

Currently, energy storage is all about trade-offs. You can have lots of power (watts), or lots of energy (watt-hours), but you can’t generally have both. Supercapacitors can release a massive amount of power, but only for a few seconds; fuel cells can store a vast amount of energy, but are limited in their peak power output. This a problem because most modern applications of bleeding-edge tech — smartphones, wearable computers, electric vehicles — require large amounts of power and energy. Lithium-ion batteries are currently the best solution for high-power-and-energy applications, but even the best li-ion battery designs demand that industrial designers and electronic engineers make serious trade-offs when creating a new device.

Which brings us neatly onto the University of Illinois’ battery, which has a higher power density than a supercapacitor, and yet comparable energy density to current nickel-zinc and lithium-ion batteries. According to the university’s press release, this new battery could allow for wireless devices to transmit their signals 30 times farther — or, perhaps more usefully, be equipped with a battery that’s 30 times smaller. If that wasn’t enough, this new battery is rechargeable – and can be charged 1,000 times faster than conventional li-ion batteries. In short, this is a dream battery. (See: DoE calls for a chemical battery with 5x capacity, within 5 years – can it be done?)

Diagram illustrating the University of Illinois' 3D anode/cathode fabrication

These huge advances stem from a brand new cathode and anode structure, pioneered by the University of Illinois researchers. In essence, a standard li-ion battery normally has a solid, two-dimensional anode made of graphite and a cathode made of a lithium salt. The new Illinois battery, on the other hand, has a porous, three-dimensional anode and cathode. To create this new electrode structure, the researchers build up a structure of polystyrene (Styrofoam) on a glass substrate, electrodeposit nickel onto the polystyrene, and then electrodeposit nickel-tin onto the anode and manganese dioxide onto the cathode. The diagram above does a good job of explaining the process.

The end result is that these porous electrodes have a massive surface area, allowing for more chemical reactions to take place in a given space, ultimately providing a massive boost to discharge speed (power output) and charging. So far, the researchers have used this tech to create a button-sized microbattery, and you can see in the graph below how well their battery compares to a conventional Sony CR1620 button cell. The energy density is slightly lower, but the power density is 2,000 times greater. On the opposite end of the bleeding-edge spectrum — increased energy density, but lower power density — then IBM’s lithium-air battery currently leads the pack.

Energy density vs. power density for a variety of battery technologies, including University of Illinois' new microstructured anode/cathode li-ion battery

Energy density vs. power density for a variety of battery technologies, including University of Illinois’ new microstructured anode/cathode li-ion battery

In real-world use, this tech will probably be used to equip consumer devices with batteries that are much smaller and lighter — imagine a smartphone with a battery the thickness of a credit card, which can be recharged in a few seconds. There will also be plenty of applications outside the consumer space, in high-powered settings such as lasers and medical devices, and other areas that normally use supercapacitors, such as Formula 1 cars and fast-recharge power tools. For this to occur, though, the University of Illinois will first have to prove that their technology scales to larger battery sizes, and that the production process isn’t prohibitively expensive for commercial production. Here’s hoping.

Now read: We are slaves of electricity and battery technology

Research paper: doi:10.1038/ncomms2747 – “High-power lithium ion microbatteries from interdigitated three-dimensional bicontinuous nanoporous electrodes”

World Bank urges end to polluting gas flaring


Submitted by admin on Oct 26th 2012, 12:00am



The Guardian

Practice among oil giants contributes as much to climate change as a major economy like Italy

Gas flaring by oil and gas drillers contributes as much to climate change as the entire economy of Italy, according to data released by the World Bank, which called for an end to the practice.

While flaring to burn off excess gas at drill sites has been cut 30 per cent since 2005, US$50 billion worth of gas is still wasted annually, according to the World Bank.

New satellite analysis of the flares that commonly light the night skies in oil fields around the world suggests that bans and fines in some countries and the introduction of technology in newer oil fields has significantly reduced the pollution and waste in some countries but has failed in others.

Excess gas burned off by the flares can be costly or inconvenient to otherwise capture, so some drillers simply burn it off to avoid the risk of explosions.

According to the bank, Azerbaijan has cut flaring 50 per cent in two years and Mexico 66 per cent, while Kuwait now flares only 1 per cent of its excess gas. Other countries, including Qatar and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, now use large volumes of previously wasted gas to generate electricity.

The bank’s estimates show that flaring was cut from 172 billion cubic metres a year in 2007 to 142 billion cubic metres last year. But most of the reduction came between 2005-07 and only six of the world’s big 20 oil-producing countries managed to reduce flaring last year. Flaring by those 20 nations produced a greater global warming effect than all output by Italy, the bank said.

The figures show that the momentum to reduce flaring is now levelling off, with only 10 per cent overall cuts achieved by the world’s top 20 emitters since 2007 despite pledges to drastically reduce the practice.

The US, ranked fifth for highest volume in the world’s gas flaring league table, increased the amount it flared by nearly 50 per cent in 2010-11 and has nearly tripled the amount it flares in the past five years, largely because of shale oil developments in places like North Dakota. Russia, by far the greatest flarer, burned off 37.4 billion cubic metres of gas last year, 1.8 billion cubic metres more than the previous year.

The bank urged countries and companies to reduce flaring by at least 30 per cent over the next five years.

“It’s a realistic goal. Given the need for energy in so many countries – one in five people in the world are without electricity – we simply cannot afford to waste this gas any more,” said Rachel Kyte, World Bank vice-president for sustainable development.

“The direction of travel is right but whether it is at the speed or pace needed is another matter. But no country now does not want to wrestle with this issue.”

Oil companies agreed that the waste of the gas that could be used for power was a problem, but said it took time, money and technology, as well as infrastructure developments by host countries, to make cuts.





Gas flaring


Source URL (retrieved on Oct 26th 2012, 5:10am):

Public housing estates to get energy-efficient lights


The government is installing energy-efficient light fittings in public housing estates.

Work started this month and will continue until September 2015, when all the 142 estates’ public areas are expected to have the new lights.

The fittings would save 33.11 million kWh of energy and reduce emissions by 23,179 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, said Ho Wing-ip, a chief manager in the Housing Department.

Ho said one million light fittings would be replaced. Each would lead to an annual saving of HK$47 in power charges.

“Replacing each light fitting is basically the same as planting one tall tree” in terms of reducing carbon dioxide, he said.

Each light costs HK$260 – HK$60 more than an old one – and has a life expectancy of 5-1/2 years.

The lights have electronic ballasts, which enhance their energy efficiency, Ho said, compared with the traditional electromagnetic ballasts.

“The only thing that needs to be changed after 5-1/2 years would be the electronic ballast inside. The rest of the light can be reused,” he said.

The ballasts cost HK$130 each – HK$100 more than electromagnetic ones.

Ho said the old light fittings would be dismantled and their parts would be recycled.

Public housing estates with older light fittings were slated to have their lights replaced first, he said.

The first stage involves 50 estates and will cost HK$260 million. Work is already being done at Oi Man Estate. Lok Fu, Tai Wo Hau, Kwai Shing West and Kwai Shing East estates are among those scheduled next.

LED light fittings were another energy-efficient option, but they cost more, Ho said. An LED light costs about HK$800 to HK$1,000 and is very sensitive to heat.

“LED lights would burn out or grow dim after being exposed to the sun’s heat for too long. This is also why we chose not to use them.”

Power Assets’ Sustainability Report 2010

From: []
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 15:07
Subject: Power Assets’ Sustainability Report 2010

(Message issued on behalf of T.C. Yee)

To:      Mr. James Middleton, Chair (

Clear The Air

Date:   31 August 2011

Dear Mr. Middleton,

Power Assets’ Sustainability Report 2010

It is my great pleasure to inform you of the publication and release of Power Assets Holdings Limited’s “Sustainability Report 2010”.

Built on our experience of independent social and environmental reporting since 2004 together with the encouraging feedback from our stakeholders over the years, this first annual Sustainability Report titled “On the Road to Sustainability” is prepared and assured to GRI A+ Application Level. The Report illustrates our enduring commitment to the journey towards sustainability. It covers the sustainability issues of Power Assets and provides our stakeholders an overall picture of our economic, environmental and social performances in 2010.

I hope you would enjoy reading the Report.  If you have any views or suggestions regarding our sustainability performance or reporting, please contact me at 3143 3889 or e-mail (   Please also feel free to tell us your views via the online feedback form of the Report.

Thank you for your continued support.

T.C. Yee

General Manger (Corporate Development)

The Hongkong Electric Company Limited

Power Assets Holdings Limited


Public Consultation on the Restriction of Sale of Energy-inefficient Incandescent Light Bulbs

Consultation document : consultation_paper_eng
Response Form PDF : response_form_eng
This paper informs Members that the Administration launched a
three-month public consultation on the restriction of sale of
energy-inefficient incandescent light bulbs (ILB) on 12 August 2011.

PURPOSE  This paper informs Members that the Administration launched a three-month public consultation on the restriction of sale of energy-inefficient incandescent light bulbs (ILB) on 12 August 2011.

Download PDF :

World Environment Day 2009


Easily Green Your Daily Routine

This year’s theme for World Environment Day (WED) is Your Planet Needs You! UNite to Combat Climate Change. But too often we are presented with environmental problems without being given the tools to act. WED is about taking action to be a part of the solution. And the Daily do something Tips are a great start.

We can all do our part to protect the planet by using less and acting more. Going green is not as difficult as you might think. Here we walk you through 30 easy ways to green your daily routine, from the moment you hit snooze on your solar-powered alarm clock to the point when you crawl into your eco-washed, organic cotton sheets.

Make your WED commitment today. But don’t stop at today and don’t stop here. Try to incorporate all of these into your life as a matter of routine. Get others to do so the same. And get involved!


  • Plant a tree! Help achieve UNEP’s Billion Tree Campaign target of planting seven billion trees – one for every person on the planet – by the end of this year! Three billion are planted. Five billion are pledged. On every continent in the world trees can be planted in June, so start your efforts on WED.
  • Find needy homes or charitable organizations for things that you no longer need or want rather than throwing it away.



  • It would seem to go without saying, but many of us forget that we can save water in simple ways like not letting the tap run while shaving, washing your face, or brushing your teeth.
  • Insulating your water heater will help save valuable energy, and you can go the extra mile by installing showerheads with a low flow in your bathrooms for bathing purposes to help save water. You can also put a timer on your heaters to save power.
  • Using an electric razor or hand razor with replaceable blades instead of disposable razors goes a long way to cutting back on waste. And plant a tree.
  • Use towels for drying your face and hands instead of tissues that are used and thrown away. Also, hang your towels to dry so that they can be reused several times. You are after all clean when you use them!
  • Juice or yoghurt lovers can do their bit by buying juice in concentrates and yoghurt in reusable containers instead of single serving packages.
  • Many of us like to leaf through the paper as we munch on breakfast, but consider reading the dailies in communal spaces like the office or coffee shops. However, if you prefer to have your own copy, make sure you recycle!
  • When packing your lunch, opt for reusable containers for food storage instead of wrapping the food with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  • As you leave the house, don’t forget to switch off all the lights and appliances at the wall unit (if you have this feature) and unplug chargers as they continue to consume even if they are not charging; saving energy helps reduce air pollution.


  • Don’t go anywhere without your cloth bag so you can just say no to plastic whenever you shop.
  • Radical as it may seem, in today’s “the easier the better” society, the easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint is by avoiding driving altogether. Power down and Instead try biking, walking, carpooling, public transport or an occasional telecommute.
  • If you have no other choice than to drive to work, look for the most fuel- efficient car model for your next purchase and keep your tyres inflated to the correct pressure.
  • If you’re one of the lucky few blessed with clear stretches of road on your way to work, use cruise control, as it saves fuel and also helps you maintain a constant speed.
  • If you’re among the majority of drivers who spend their mornings stuck in traffic, consider turning your engine off if you will be idling for long periods of time. And plant a tree.
  • For those who suffer from road rage, remember that aggressive driving lowers your mileage, so if you want to save on fuel and save the planet while you’re at it, accelerate gradually– something to keep that in mind the next time that bad driver cuts you off! Just count to 10 and say the planet needs me!


  • Do you have a morning hot drink routine? Using a washable mug is an environmentally-friendly alternative to non-biodegradable styrofoam or plastic cups.
  • Leave a cup and reusable bottle for water at work to eliminate buying drinks, which get served in plastic cups, or bottled water. 80% of plastic bottles are recyclable but only 20% are actually recycled.
  • When you need a pad for lists and messages, turn over an old document and write on the back of that instead.
  • If there isn’t an office recycling system, start one yourself! Recycling our trash actually contributes to reducing global warming emissions. And it is estimated that 75% of what is thrown in the trash could actually be recycled, though currently only 25% is.
  • When you must have a paper copy, make sure you default your printer option to use both sides. This is an easy tree-saver!
  • Most computer accessories like ink cartridges and CDs and DVDs are made of materials that could be reused. Computer cords and speakers are fairly standardized, meaning they can be used for a variety of computer models and makes.
  • Lower your office’s carbon footprint by seeing computers, monitors, printers, copiers, speakers and other business equipment to their energy saving feature and turning them off at the end of the day. And plant a tree!
  • Turning off all unnecessary lights, especially in unused offices and conference rooms is an easy way to save energy.
  • If you’re in search of something to personalize your workspace, look no further than the humble houseplant. Houseplants are good for the environment because they remove quantities of pollutants present in the air.


  • In the summer/warmer months, consider using an interior fan in conjunction with your window air-conditioner to spread the cooled air more effectively through your home. While you’re at it, in winter, lower your thermostat and put on a jumper. In summer, increase it and wear lighter clothes, you will also save money!
  • Don’t place lamps or TV sets near your air-conditioning thermostat as it senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air-conditioner to run longer than necessary.
  • When cooking dinner, match the size of the pan to the size of the heating element to lower energy wastage.
  • When you are feeling at your laziest, don’t throw clean clothes in the hamper to avoid hanging them up! Wear jeans more than once…
  • When you wash, use only eco-friendly products in your home. It’s best for you and the environment! And did we mention plant a tree!


No More Bottled Water!

Government To Help Firms Take Advantage Of Green Opportunities

Cheung Chi-fai, SCMP – Apr 08, 2009

The government will organise seminars for local professionals in environmental services this month, to help them explore emerging markets locally and across the border, Environment Secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah said.

Mr Yau said the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement had enabled such servicing companies to own and operate businesses on the mainland. That would increase their chances of tapping the growing demand for environmental services amid the economic transformation in Guangdong province.

“Hong Kong and Guangdong are strongly pushing forward energy efficiency and emission reduction,” he said. “There is great room for these environmental professionals to organise themselves to cater to this rising demand.”

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen announced plans last week to further explore business opportunities for the environment industry, among others, in the global financial crisis.

Mr Yau said some of the sector’s professionals might be ready to pursue their advantages; but others might need to adjust their operations, or join forces, to tap the opportunities.

The HK$450 million matching-fund scheme for energy and carbon audits and improvement works for local buildings, to be launched today, would be an opportunity for such firms to find business locally, he said. Across the border, Mr Yau said, the market was also growing gradually, after the introduction of the HK$93 million clean-production scheme. So far, 160 companies have participated in the programme. The scheme’s success has encouraged Guangdong provincial and local authorities to roll out similar incentive programmes, which would increase the demand for environmental services.

Mr Yau said green businesses were still taking shape in Hong Kong and across the border, and it was still difficult to know how big the market was. “It is like a blind man who tries to feel the size of an elephant … [he] can never tell how big the elephant is.”