Bhutan’s cli­mate les­son

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

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.

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