Policy & Enforcement Briefing: China Bulb Ban, Toxics Reporting, Superfund Renewables
China is the latest country to ban the import and sale of incandescent light bulbs, Reuters reported. The country’s National Development and Reform Commission will impose a ban on certain inefficient bulbs starting next October and will enact policies to encourage the use of LED lights.
The EPA announced that it will reinstate mandatory Toxic Release Inventory reporting requirements for hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide was added to the inventory’s list of toxic chemicals by rule in 1993, but the rule was suspended a year later.
The EPA and the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory have announced a plan to study the use of renewables on Superfund, brownfields and form landfill or mining sites. The EPA said it will invest $1 million in such projects at 26 sites in 20 states as part of the RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative.
The price of European Union carbon permits continues to tank as the euro zone crisis spreads and there remains a consistent oversupply of permits on the market, Reuters reported. Permit prices have lost a third of their value since the beginning of 2011, hitting a 33-month low of 9.37 euros last week.
Despite the widespread troubles in the European carbon market and beyond, the European Commission said the bloc will still offer to increase its 2020 emissions reduction target to 30 percent if other countries commit to similar drawbacks, Reuters reported. Climate talks begin this month in Durban, South Africa to discuss a new deal that will replace the Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2012.
Increased wind production in the Pacific Northwest has led to a new problem far from the energy shortages and blackouts of years past: too much energy for the grid to handle. In response, The New York Times reports that utilities, like the Bonneville Power Administration, are asking consumers to store excess energy in special home appliances that can redistribute the energy to the grid when demand spikes.
Global nuclear generation is predicted to fall 15 percent by 2035, mainly as a result of the Fukushima radiation crisis in Japan, according to a draft copy of the International Energy Agency’s 2011 World Energy Outlook obtained by Reuters. Overall, power demand is expected to rise 3.1 percent per year.
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