Cell Forecast: $2 Billion by 2011
A newly-released report by the U.S. Fuel Cell Council (USFCC) forecasts
a $2 billion market for portable power fuel cells by 2011. According
to the market study, Fuel Cells for Portable Power: Markets,
Manufacture and Cost, the largest market for small fuel cells
is in mobile phones, followed by notebook computers and PDAs. The
report notes that the cost of the fuel cells will decrease faster
than the cost of Lithium Ion batteries and will remain at a premium,
but that this should not limit fuel cell sales.
The $2 billion market estimate is actually the conservative
projection, says Robert Rose, USFCC executive director. The
aggressive forecast calls for fuel cell penetration as high as 70
percent in the worldwide battery market by 2007.
The study was performed by Darnell Group under the direction of the
USFCCs Portable Power Working Group, and was funded by a grant
from the U.S. Department of Energy through the Breakthrough Technologies
Institute. The study is available through the Downloads
page of the councils Web site at www.usfcc.com.
Recycling Options from
Customers who purchase Dell printers can now recycle their outdated
printers at no additional cost, and without ever having to leave their
home or office. Customers who purchase a new Dell printer can recycle
their old one simply by putting it in the box their new Dell printer
came in, attaching the pre-paid shipping label supplied by Dell, and
following the return instructions enclosed with their new printer.
Customers can go on-line at www.airborne.com to arrange for printers
of any make to be picked up at their home or office.
Another Dell recycling program enhancement enables customers to order
home pick-up of unwanted notebooks, desktops, monitors and other select
computer equipment for $15 per unit. The on-line service is now available;
more information is available at www.dell4
me.com/recycling. Customers who purchase the service or donate
used equipment receive on-line discounts good for future purchases.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) was recognized by the National
Hydropower Association (NHA) for outstanding environmental stewardship
of the Mokelumne River and the North Fork Feather River. In 2000,
the company successfully completed two collaborative processes to
better balance use of the natural resources associated with the companys
Mokelumne River Hydroelectric Project and the Rock Creek-Cresta Hydroelectric
Project on the North Fork Feather River. These processes, which included
participation from multiple federal and state resource agencies, the
local county, a utility district and numerous public interest groups,
marks one of the first times that open, public collaborations were
successfully used in California to solve major hydro licensing issues.
It resulted in innovative and precedent-setting agreements that adopt
an ecosystem approach toward resource management and directly led
to the issuance of new federal licenses for the projects in 2001.
Analyzing Green Power
The World Resources Institute (WRI) has released a new installment
in its Corporate Guide to Green Power Markets series entitled Introducing
the Green Power Analysis Tool. It is accompanied by a free software
tool that WRI has developed for corporate energy managers and others
interested in purchasing green power. The tool allows users to analyze
the economic and environmental attributes of one or more green power
projects. Through an easy-to-use interface, users can research green
power projects of interest and create tables and graphs that analyze
green power projects either singly or in combination. Users can input
data about their own green power projects or learn more about green
power markets by exploring several green power projects pre-installed
into the tool.
The Corporate Guide series is based on WRIs experience with
the Green Power Market Development Group, a unique partnership of
12 companies dedicated to building corporate markets for green power.
The tool can be downloaded free of charge at www.thegreenpowergroup.org/gpat.
Inertia Exacerbates Water
Faced with inertia at the leadership level, the global
water crisis will reach unprecedented levels in the years ahead, according
to a United Nations report made public in March. Water resources will
steadily decline because of population growth, pollution and expected
The World Water Development Report: Water for People, Water for Life
is a comprehensive overview of the state of the resource. To compile
it, every U.N. agency and commission dealing with water has for the
first time worked jointly to monitor progress against water-related
targets in such fields as health, food, ecosystems, cities, industry,
energy, risk management, economic evaluation, resource sharing and
governance. The 23 U.N. partners constitute the World Water Assessment
Programme (WWAP), whose secretariat is hosted by UNESCO.
Of all the social and natural crises we humans face, the water
crisis is the one that lies at the heart of our survival and that
of our planet Earth, says UNESCO director-general Kochiro Matsuura.
No region will be spared from the impact of this crisis, which
touches every facet of life, from the health of children to the ability
of nations to secure food for their citizens. Water supplies are falling
while the demand is dramatically growing at an unsustainable rate.
Over the next 20 years, the average supply of water worldwide per
person is expected to drop by a third.
A string of international conferences over the past 25 years has focused
on the great variety of water issues including ways to provide the
basic water supply and sanitation services required in the years to
come. Several targets have been set to improve water management, but
hardly any says the report, have been met.
Attitude and behavior problems lie at the heart of the crisis,
says the report. Inertia at the leadership level, and a world
population not fully aware of the scale of the problem, means we fail
to take the needed timely corrective actions.
McDonald's Opens First
McDonalds Denmark has opened the worlds first HFC-free
restaurant, equipped with state-of-the-art refrigeration and ventilation
systems using environmentally innovative refrigerants that do not
contain freon or HFCs (hydroflurocarbons). The new restaurant was
officially opened by the Danish environmental minister, Hans Chr.
Schmidt, in the town of Vejle.
The project first began two years ago following an international Refrigeration
Summit hosted by McDonalds and the United Nations Environmental
Programme and the U.S. EPA. McDonalds was joined by a number
of other companies and NGOs, including Greenpeace. As a result of
what McDonalds learned, it decided to accelerate ways to find
sustainable refrigerant technologies.
Denmark was chosen as the ideal country in which to locate the test
restaurant, since it had already started initiatives to phase out
HFC refrigerants. McDonalds then set to work in close collaboration
with the Danish Ministry of the Environment, the Danish Technological
Institute and four Danish companies in order to find the most efficient
Kinko's Sets New Forest
Kinkos, Inc. has established a new forest-based product procurement
policy incorporating a strict set of vendor requirements and establishing
a central set of recycled content standards. Rainforest Action Network
(RAN) has hailed Kinkos new policy as one of the most effective
and meaningful policies put in place by a company to help protect
endangered forests and end old growth destruction. The policy was
developed with input from prominent environmental groups and suppliers,
including RAN and International Paper.
Kinkos new vendor requirements incorporate firm guidelines for
the forest management practices of its suppliers and engages both
its vendors and the environmental community to ensure that the company
is not aligning itself with suppliers that are logging or distributing
products from old growth or endangered forests, converting native
forests to tree plantations, or using genetically modified organisms.
In addition, suppliers must guarantee and document that none of their
supply sources or operations result in the logging of old growth or
Nets Waste Reduction Success
Roche Brothers and Stop & Shop Supermarkets are revolutionizing
the culture of supermarket waste management, one successful project
at a time. Diverting produce, dairy, bakeshop and florist waste to
local organics recycling facilities, three Roche Brothers grocery
stores in Massachusetts have saved more than $60,000 annually. Stop
& Shop stores have increased recycling by almost 80 percent. These
organics recycling projects are part of an initiative by the Massachusetts
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) designed to reduce organic
waste disposal across the state.
DEP plans to expand upon these pilot projects. It will work closely
with WasteCap and the Massachusetts Food Association, and has recently
partnered with the U.S. EPAs WasteWise program to develop a
Supermarket Challenge for Massachusetts grocery stores, offering technical
assistance and an awards program.
For information, visit: http://www.state.ma.us/dep/recycle/files/orgsumv2.htm
Rev Up Recycling
NASCAR fans had the opportunity to support the environment, as well
as their favorite driver, during the Samsung/RadioShack 500 race week
at Texas Motor Speedway in March. Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, Texas
Motor Speedway and the National Association of PET Container Resources
(NAPCOR) launched Rev It Up & Recycle, a new program
designed to encourage race fans to recycle plastic bottles and aluminum
cans. The multi-faceted program encourages campers to recycle for
the chance to win Dale Earnhardt Jr. merchandise and a VIP meet-and-greet
with Earnhardt Jr. A percentage of the recycling proceeds went to
the Texas Chapter of Speedway Childrens Charities.
Coca-Cola tested a recycling program at Atlanta Motor Speedway
in 2001 and found NASCAR fans very supportive of the initiative,
said Scott Vitters, environmental project manager, Coca-Cola North
America. Its great to be able to build on this initial
test and hopefully move closer toward developing a sustainable recycling
program. With an average Winston Cup race generating more than 450
tons of waste, we believe there is an opportunity to develop environmentally
friendly programs that can be rolled out to a number of tracks across
Waste = Fuel Initiative
Earth Pledge (EP), a New York City, NY-based environmental non-profit
group, has received a combined $80,000 from the U.S. EPA and New York
State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in support
of its Waste=Fuel initiative, which will facilitate the adoption of
anaerobic digestion (AD) technology in New York City by large-scale
producers of organic waste. Anaerobic digestion is the decomposition
of organic waste by bacteria in an oxygen-free environment and produces
a methane-rich biogas that can be used to generate heat and electricity.
This landfill gas is the largest source of methane from
human activity in the U.S.
Earth Pledge hopes to eventually divert seven million tons of New
York Citys food waste to AD facilities, preventing the release
of 1.8 million tons of greenhouse gases and generating 1.4 billion
kilowatt hours of electricity, a renewable energy, in the process.
Using funds from the EPA grant, Earth Pledge will build three small-scale
anaerobic digesters in New York City, two at high schools and the
other at a community-housing center. This pilot project will educate
communities about AD and demonstrate the feasibility of using this
technology. Upon completion, EP will then replicate small-scale AD
facilities for on-site installation at concentrated urban food waste
sources, and to explore emerging renewable energy applications for
the generated biogas.
More Pollution Reported
Local manufacturing, power or disposal facilities are likely releasing
more toxic chemicals into the environment, says the Commission for
Environmental Cooperation (CEC). The trinational organization recently
released its annual Taking Stock report, which revealed that a group
of 15,000 industrial facilities across North America released and
transferred 32 percent more toxic chemicals from 1998 to 2000. These
facilities, with chemical releases and transfers up to 100 tons, represent
the majority of polluters in Canada and the U.S.
Its very discouraging to see such a large number of facilities
report releasing more pollution in our environment, since they are
found in communities across the continent, said Victor Shantora,
acting executive director for the CEC. The small p
polluter might not grab the same headlines as a large power plant
or chemical manufacturer, but their effect is being felt throughout
the North American environment.
In Canada, these small p polluters registered a 66 percent
increase in chemical releases and transfers. In the U.S., the same
group recorded an increase of 29 percent. By comparison, 3,600 facilities
reporting more than 100 tons of chemical releases and transfers, recorded
a seven percent reduction in pollutants. However, they still account
for 90 percent of the total pollution, with hydrochloric acid credited
for the largest amount of releases.
All told, the report found more than 3.3 million tons of chemicals
released and transferred in 2000.
National Award for Smart
The U.S. EPA is now accepting applications for the second annual National
Award for Smart Growth Achievement. This competition is open to local
or state governments and other public sector entities that have successfully
created smart growth, an approach that has clear environmental benefits
including improved air and water quality, greater preservation of
critical habitat and open space, and more clean-up and re-use of brownfield
Interested parties from urban, suburban and rural areas are encouraged
to submit applications for smart growth activities undertaken within
the last five years. Applications are due June 30, 2003. For details,
Disciplinary Action Proposed
Companies that have signed the United Nations Global Compact, but
fail to meet its terms, will face the prospect of disciplinary action
later this year, according to the latest issue of Ethical Performance.
The U.N. will begin to develop new procedures this summer that may
include the ability to expel errant signatories, which is not possible
under the existing regime.
The decision to introduce a disciplinary procedure is partly a response
to criticism that the compact lacks teeth. The Global Compact is a
set of principles covering human rights, labor and environmental issues
that companies choose to sign up to.
UTC Joins Climate Leaders
Carrier Corp. and its parent company, United Technologies Corp. (UTC),
have joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys Climate
Leaders program, a voluntary industry-government partnership, which
identifies manufacturers that are environmental leaders in adopting
aggressive goals and strategies for curtailing greenhouse gas emissions.
Since 1997, UTC has lowered its greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent,
and has also announced that it has surpassed its 25 percent energy
and water usage reduction goals four years ahead of schedule and is
increasing them to 40 percent.
UTC has more than 200 facilities worldwide participating in these
conservation efforts, including more than 100 in the United States,
over 50 in Europe and nearly 40 in Asia. Performance will be monitored
annually to track results and identify further conservation opportunities.
Site audits and conservation tools are also available to help facilities
identify effective savings opportunities.