1. Japan Strategies for Energy Security
The Japan Forum on International Relations, Inc. (“THE 27TH POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS, “THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INTERNATIONAL ENERGY SECURITY SYSTEM,” May 2006) released this report in response to the growing strategic importance of energy and the need to ensure that energy security policies and strategies “are not excessively influenced by ‘short-term economic calculations.'” The policy recommendations in this report “analyze the new threats and risks surrounding international energy security and propose to review what kind of national strategy for energy Japan should employ and how to implement it from a new point of view.”
Download the report at: http://www.jfir.or.jp/e/index.htm
2. World Energy Efficiency Scenario
International Energy Agency (N. van Hulst, “WORLD ENERGY OUTLOOK AND THE POTENTIAL OF E-EFFICIENCY IN APPLIANCES AND LIGHTING,” June 21, 2006) released this presentation from the Energy Efficiency in Domestic Appliances and Lighting Conference held in London, UK on June 21-23, 2006. In the presentation, van Hulst presents a World Alternative Policy Scenario that analyses the impact of new environmental and energy security policies worldwide. In his analysis, the author discusses barriers to energy efficiency (EE) that include missing information on EE performance, lack of consumer awareness, and EE’s lack of importance in capital decision factors. Van Hulst concludes that, with rapidly increasing world energy needs and fossil fuels dominating the energy mix, more vigorous policies to decrease energy demand and increase energy efficiency are urgent.
Download the presentation at: http://www.iea.org/textbase/speech/2006/nvh_eedal.pdf
Visit the conference website at: http://www.livegroup.co.uk/eedal/
3. PRC Energy Consumption
Xinhua News Agency (“CHINA CONSUMES LESS ENERGY WITH FASTER ECONOMIC GROWTH RATE,” June 30, 2006) reported that PRC’s energy consumption growth rate reduced from 15.5 percent in 2004 to 9.5 percent last year, while the country maintained a 9.9 percent economic growth rate in 2005. A joint press conference held here Friday by British Petroleum (BP), the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said PRC has become the world’s biggest coal producer and consumer in 2004 after it successfully solved the problem of insufficient supply of coal used for generating electricity.
Xinhua News Agency (“CHINA STRUGGLING TO REDUCE ENERGY CONSUMPTION,” June 30, 2006) reported that PRC will be struggling to meet targets for reducing energy consumption unless it takes serious measures to change its economic growth patterns, experts said. While PRC’s GDP growth continues at around 10 percent this year, the country is striving to reduce its energy consumption. The aim is to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent for every 10,000yuan (1,250 US dollars) of GDP between 2006 and 2010.
4. Sino-Australian LNG trade
Xinhua News Agency (“CHINESE, AUSTRALIAN PMS UNVEIL FIRST EVER GAS PROJECT,” June 28, 2006) reported that PRC Premier Wen Jiabao and Australian Prime Minister John Howard opened the first ever Sino-Australian liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in south China’s Guangdong province on Wednesday. The two premiers pushed the start-up button together in Dapeng Bay, Shenzhen city, in a ceremony marking the opening of the first stage of the project. The project, with a total investment of 7.12 billion Yuan (890 million U.S. dollars) for its first phase construction, is the first ever project for PRC to import LNG from abroad.
5. Japanese-US Relations
The Nikkei Weekly Japan (“JAPAN, U.S. AGREE ON BROAD COOPERATION,” July 3, 2006) reported that at their final summit at the White House, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and U.S. President George W. Bush produced their joint statement, which not only reaffirmed the importance of the two nations’ security alliance but also called for a cooperative framework covering a wide range of global issues. The range of issues suitable for global cooperation envisioned by Koizumi and Bush reaches far beyond security concerns, such as the war on terrorism. In addition to coordinated responses to major natural disasters and climate change, the framework covers such efforts as clean-energy development as well as devising countermeasures against the spread of avian influenza and other potential pandemics.
6. PRC Renewable Energy
Agence France Presse (“CHINA STARTS BUILDING ITS LARGEST WIND POWER PLANT,” July 4, 2006) reported that PRC has begun building the nation’s biggest wind power plant that will generate enough electricity for 400,000 homes, state press reported Tuesday. A unit of Shenhua Group, the country’s biggest coal producer, will build the 200 megawatt plant at a cost of 1.7 billion Yuan (210 million dollars) in the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu, the Shanghai Daily reported. The plant in Dongtai city, north of Shanghai, will produce enough electricity for 400,000 homes, it said.
7. Japanese Flex Fuel Vehicles
Associated Press (H. Greimel, “JAPAN TO REPLACE GAS CARS WITH ETHANOL ONES BY 2030,” June 29, 2006) reported that Japan plans to fight global warming and surging oil prices by requiring that all vehicles on the road be able to run on an environment-friendly mix of ethanol and regular gasoline by 2030, an official said Thursday. The new policy, adopted by the Environment Ministry this month, will require all new cars to be able to run on a blend of 10 percent ethanol, an alcohol fuel often made from corn or sugar, and 90 percent gasoline, starting in 2010, said Takeshi Sekiya, an official at the ministry’s global warming division. Costs and implementation are still being studied.
8. Sino-Russian Power Cooperation
Comtex News Network (“SINO-RUSSIAN EXTENSIVE POWER COOPERATION STARTS,” July 4, 2006) reported that Xingfu County, a county in Heihe city of northeast PRC’s Heilongjiang province, was recently sited for the transforming plant of Sino-Russian DC Back-to-back Networking Project. The decision, which was released from the site evaluation conference held in Heihe city, signified the formal initiation of the bilateral extensive power cooperation between the nations. Analysts reckon that power cooperation, a significant part of the two countries’ cooperation in the field of energy, is to deepen their strategic partnership of cooperation.
9. ROK-US Clean Coal Pact
US Fed News (J. Morse, “STATE DEPT.: U.S., SOUTH KOREA SIGN PACT ON CLEAN COAL-FIRED POWER PLANT,” June 30, 2006) reported that, signing on to a U.S.-led initiative for cleaner energy production, ROK has pledged $10 million to help build and operate the world’s first zero-emissions coal-fired power plant. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says ROK is the second nation, after India, to participate in the FutureGen International Partnership. The $1 billion FutureGen initiative is a 10-year effort announced by President Bush in 2003 to integrate advanced coal gasification technology, production of hydrogen from coal, power generation and the capture and geologic storage of carbon dioxide.
10. ROK Biodiesel
The Korea Herald (Ko Kyoung-tae, “BIODIESEL DEBUTS AMID CONCERNS; MOTORISTS CAN BUY THE RENEWABLE ENERGY FROM NEXT MONTH,” June 29, 2006) reported that the [ROK] government is already facing mounting criticism from skeptics of the alternative energy [biodiesel] as well as ardent environmentalists, and this even before its launch of biodiesel next month. Despite the government’s ambitious goal to replace 5 percent of total diesel consumption with biodiesel this year, its announced annual supply of 90,000 kiloliters did not meet the expectations of many civic groups.
11. Sino-Japanese Relations
Agence France Presse (“JAPAN, CHINA TO HOLD NEW TALKS ON SEA DISPUTE,” June 30, 2006) reported that Japan said Friday it would hold fresh talks with PRC in July on a heated row over lucrative gas and oil fields in the East China Sea. “The sixth round of talks on the issue of the East China Sea will be held in Beijing on July 8-9,” Japan’s foreign ministry said in a statement. The energy reserves are among a number of disputes that have badly damaged relations between the Asian powers, which are also divided over wartime history.