Will Jatropha become a ‘DotCom Bubble’? We’re Discussing this at the 2nd JatrophaWorld Africa Webinar on 30 Sep…

September 17, 2009 | Comments Off on Will Jatropha become a ‘DotCom Bubble’? We’re Discussing this at the 2nd JatrophaWorld Africa Webinar on 30 Sep…

We’re hosting a live webinar, “Is the Jatropha sector becoming a DotCom Bubble?” on 30 September 2009 at 9AM New York, 1PM GMT, 3PM Amsterdam, 6.30PM India & 9PM Singapore, and we’d like to have you there!

The 1-hour webinar will be lead by Mr. Christopher Hunter, Co-Founder and Director of Viridesco Limited, which has a 4-year-old Jatropha project in Mozambique, and Mr. James Scruby, Director of Elsbett AG, a company that has manufactures engines that run on pure Jatropha oil.

Mr. Scruby and Mr. Hunter will touch on the challenges, controversies and paradoxes of the Jatropha sector. Don’t miss their analysis of common mistakes in Jatropha projects and how to avoid them.

Also on the agenda, a spirited discussion on how the Jatropha industry can take steps to counter emerging negative views on Jatropha, especially relevant in the wake of controversial findings on Jatropha’s water footprint, and accusations of “land-grabbing” for Jatropha cultivation.

To register and submit your questions for the webinar visit https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/318805314.

ADB supports clean waste-to-energy project in the PRC! Offers $200 million in Loans for upcoming projects.

September 14, 2009 | 3 Comments

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced recently, that it would provide up to $200m (£122m) in loans for the construction of waste-to-energy plants in China.

The proposed scheme marks a major chapter in China’s race to turn 30 per cent of rubbish into power by 2030.

The credit financing will be provided to a Hong Kong-based waste treatment project developer, to build power plants fuelled by municipal rubbish in second-tier Chinese cities. The credit line will comprise two $100m loans, disbursed by commercial banks, with ADB as the lender of record. Each loan has a maturity of up to 10 years.

The treatment of solid waste is a serious environmental challenge in China, the ADB noted in their statement, with the nation generating about 140m tonnes per year with a growth rate of about 10 per cent annually.

Waste-to-energy processing with clean technology is the most effective method of treating municipal solid waste since it slashes waste volumes by 90 per cent and eliminates methane gas emissions from the waste treatment process,
~ ADB investment specialist Hisaka Kimura.

China has a target of increasing the amount of municipal rubbish used in waste-fuelled power stations to 30 per cent by 2030, up from one per cent in 2002.

Find out more about China’s emerging Waste-to-Energy industry at the upcoming Biomass & WtE summit, where you will get to hear from China’s Energy and Environmental Development Research Center (EED) and Shanghai Pucheng Thermal Power Energy Co., Ltd. on Waste-to-Energy project developments in China.

>>Click here to confirm your participation for Biomass & WtE summit, on 28-29 October in Shanghai!<<

3 leading Jatropha researchers share proof that methodological errors & inadequate data was behind controversial Jatropha water footprint findings.

September 6, 2009 | 2 Comments

The controversial report by University of Twente (Gerbens-Leenes et al), which claimed that Jatropha has the highest water footprint among all the BioEnergy crops caused a stir in the jatropha sector, and now, rebuttals from the Jatropha research community are proving that the findings were wrong.

2nd JatrophaWorld Africa Speakers Prof. Bart Muys and Ir. Wouter Achten along with their colleague Wouter Maes from Belgium’s Katholieke Universiteit Leuven sent a clear message to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) rebutting the controversial findings.

Here were some of the key flaws they highlighted in the Gerbens-Leenes et al findings:

  • The data used by the authors (Gerbens-Leenes et al) were wrong. Instead of using data of real water used by jatropha, they summed the total rainfall and irrigation: the actual water used will be only a fraction of this sum, particularly in regions with very intense rainfall events; this has caused a considerable overestimation of the water footprint.
  • The other parameters necessary to calculate the water footprint of jatropha ( ffat, fdiesel, and HHVdiesel) were unfounded. The article they cited as reference did not match up to the figures they used.
  • The authors only used data of very young Jatropha plantations. Jatropha is a woody species, and at the beginning of its life, Jatropha, like other woody species, invests mainly in non-reproductive tissues, such as stem and root biomass. Mature jatropha plants invest considerably less in non-reproductive tissue and more in reproductive tissues, hence the water footprint decreases with age. Therefore, ignoring the particularities of a woody species additionally overestimated the water footprint. For a correct calculation of water footprint, the entire life span should be taken into account.
  • The authors used data of ONLY 5 jatropha plantations. They also failed to check whether the agronomical practices in these plantations were adequate.
  • A recent calculation of the water footprint in an Egyptian Jatropha plantation was only 16% of the Gerbens-Leenes estimate. Maes et al. gave a rough estimate, based on data on an Egyptian 1-year old plantation, and find that the water footprint under optimal irrigation was 65 m3/GJ, only 16% of the estimate of Gerbens-Leenes et al. However, it must be noted that the limited data currently available makes it is impossible for accurate caulculations of Jatropha’s WF.

Other world renowned Jatropha researchers have published similar rebuttals, rejecting the Gerbens-Leenes et al findings, including Raymond Jongschaap R.A.R. Blesgraaf, Thom Bogaard, E.N. van Loo and H.H.G. Savenije from University Wageningen and Delft.

>>Attend 2nd JatrophaWorld Africa<< to hear from Prof Bart Muys who will be speaking on the topic ‘First Worldwide Yield Model For Jatropha’ and Ir. Wouter Achten, who will be sharing on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Biodiesel Production!