Bhutan’s climate lesson
O ne hundred and seventy five countries signed up to fight global warming crisis, ‘Paris Agreement’. The new agreement will replace the ‘Kyoto Protocol’ in 2020, as global cooperation on climate change after 2020 and indicate the direction and goals. The parties will strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change
We have a National Climate Change Policy of Sri Lanka with a set of guiding principles followed by broad policy statements under vulnerability, adaptation, mitigation, sustainable consumption and production, knowledge management and general statements.
Across the world some countries are searching for options.
Bhutan, a carbon neutral country
Bhutan a country of about 750,000 people is not merely carbon neutral its forests absorb more carbon dioxide each year than its sources of pollution, such as factories, emit. The country emits around 1.5 million tons of carbon annually, while its forests absorb over six million tons. Bhutan is aiming for zero net greenhouse gas emissions, zero-waste by 2030 and to grow 100 percent organic food by 2020. The nation is currently 72 percent forested and the constitution requires that no less than 60 percent of it remains forested. The country would also like to increase its share of renewables, while decreasing its reliance on hydropower and electricity imports in the winter. So, it’s currently exploring wind, biogas and solar. The government has formed a partnership with Nissan to provide hundreds of electric cars to the country—with the promise of thousands soon after. Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay wants to eventually convert all of the country’s vehicles to electric power.
Current initiatives in Singapore
Two thousand charging points for electric vehicles will be installed across the island, Singapore’s largest train depot at Bishan will run on solar energy by the end of the year, potentially generating enough electricity to power 270 four-room public housing (HDB) flats for a year, and will be capable of meeting the depot’s operational energy needs — excluding train movements within the depot, it plans to curb its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and is moving to meet the target by tapping more of the sun’s energy. A study will review the design of existing structures — such as dams, tidal gates, dykes and spillways — and assess their adequacy to cope with projected sea level rises. The Government wants the city to be car-lite by making streets, squares and footpaths more wellconnected and conducive for walking and cycling looking at towns that are within a 30-minute cycling distance to the city.
In offices, incorporating sun-shading shutters with solar membranes and panels, which would be able to both blockout sunlight and generate carbon emissionfree electricity, while taking up minimal space is on the design boards.
In certain states in the US, the law mandates that a certain percentage of electricity produced must use
renewable sources. India has a renewable energy certificates market. After Apple’s announcement in November last year that it will power all its Singapore operations with solar energy it struck a deal with Sunseap to receive power generated by photovoltaic systems on the rooftops of more than 800 buildings in Singapore; this arrangement, which gets around the problem of space constraints, is said to be the first of its kind in South-east Asia. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, companies that want to have a significant portion of their energy usage coming from renewables have multiple options: to invest capital and own projects directly, to buy green power from renewable energy services companies producing it, or buy certificates in a regulated or voluntary market. The platform is expected to allow companies without the ability to invest in their own solar panels or other renewable energy sources to buy green energy certificates, and those with excess green power to sell to them.
An underground district cooling network, touted to be the world’s largest, is now in operation at Marina Bay. District cooling is the centralized production of chilled water that is piped to buildings for air conditioning, and as a communal utility, services buildings close to one another within a district. Customers using district cooling enjoy energy savings of more than 40 per cent, which is achieved by leveraging economies of scale, optimizing asset efficiency and upholding operational excellence. The underground centralized system has a 5 km centralized piping network in place to serve its customers in the Marina Bay financial district.
Close to half of Singapore’s waste will be treated at two new billion-dollar mega-facilities in Tuas by 2027. They will complement each other in such a way where they will be completely energy self-sufficient. For example, energy generated at the waste facility through incineration of trash will be supplied to the water treatment plant for its operations.
Treated water from the water treatment plant will be piped to the waste management facility to be used for cooling purposes for instance. The Integrated Waste Management Facility will produce 1,980,000 MWh of energy a year, enough to power close to 400,000 four-room flats. Only 10 per cent will be retained to operate the two facilities, with the rest exported to the grid. The project estimated to cost $9.5 billion in total, and will be the first of its kind in the world.
Submission for new Constitution.