Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα security. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα security. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Δευτέρα, 7 Αυγούστου 2017

Παρασκευή, 5 Δεκεμβρίου 2014

Fresh lawsuit filed against planned restart of nuclear reactors in Japan

Nine residents filed for an injunction order on Friday to suspend the planned restart of four nuclear reactors in western Japan, local media reported.

The nine people, who are from Fukui, Kyoto and Osaka prefectures, claimed that there is an "actual and looming risk" of nuclear accidents, and requested the Fukui District Court to call off the planned restart of four reactors at Takahama and Oi nuclear plants.


Takahama and Oi nuclear plants are both located in Fukui Prefecture. Both plants' No. 3 and No. 4 reactors are currently undergoing safety screening of the Nuclear Regulation Authority for resuming operation.

The Fukui District Court ruled in May that the Oi nuclear plant shall not be restarted. But another district court made a contradictory ruling last month, rejecting a demand by citizens seeking suspension of possible resumption of Takahama and Oi plants.

Currently, all nuclear reactors in Japan remain offline. Power utilities are desperate to bring nuclear plants back online due to high costs of thermal power generation, while public concerns over nuclear safety are still strong.

 Source: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
5/12/14
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Πέμπτη, 27 Νοεμβρίου 2014

Japanese court rejects citizens' demand for suspension of nuclear reactor restart

A Japanese court on Thursday rejected a demand by some western Japan residents seeking suspension of planned restart of nuclear reactors at Takahama and Oi plants, local media reported.

The residents, from Shiga Prefecture, claimed that there are many geological faults around the two plants which might cause earthquakes and tsunamis, and that severe nuclear accidents might occur such as in the 2011 Fukushima crisis.


The Otsu District Court in Shiga Prefecture rejected the residents' demand for suspension of restart of the reactors, and said it is "unlikely" that the safety regulator will make a hasty decision to allow the reactors to restart.

Takahama and Oi nuclear plants are both located in Fukui Prefecture, which lies to the north of Shiga Prefecture. Both plants' No. 3 and No. 4 reactors are currently undergoing safety screening by the Nuclear Regulation Authority for resuming operation.

Kansai Electric Power Co., operator of the two plants, said the court decision is "reasonable" and it will seek to restart the nuclear plants "as soon as possible" after safety confirmed by the regulator.

  • Currently, all nuclear reactors in Japan remain offline. Power utilities are desperate to bring nuclear plants back online as their earnings are deteriorating due to high costs for thermal power generation, while public concerns over nuclear safety are still strong.
Judicial rulings on the nuclear plants' operation have been divided since the Fukushima crisis. In May, another district court in Japan ruled that the Oi nuclear plant shall not be restarted. Kansai Electric has appealed this ruling.
 Sources: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
27/11/14
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Δευτέρα, 27 Οκτωβρίου 2014

Lithuania Hopes for Energy Independence, Security With New LNG Terminal

Lithuania's liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal "Independence" is a geopolitical project that will lead to energy independence and security of the whole Baltic region, Lithuania's president said at the official ceremony of welcoming the off-shore liquefied natural gas vessel Independence in the port of Klaipeda.

"Klaipeda's LNG terminal will cover almost 90 percent of gas needs of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia," Dalia Grybauskaite, Lithuania's president, said at the ceremony.


"Lithuania has managed to build the terminal alone. It took just three and a half years to implement the project. We have become a secure state in what concerns energy. It [the terminal] will become a guarantor of energy security for the whole Baltic region. We will always be able to help our neighbors in case they need it," the president said, adding that Lithuania will no longer be dependent on the "imposed gas prices".

Independence storage-vessel for the LNG terminal has the capacity of 170,000 cubic meters (approximately 6 billion cubic feet), and is leased by the state-owned energy terminal operator Klaipedos Nafta AB from Norway's Hoegh LNG Holdings liquefied natural gas services provider for the period of 10 years. Lithuania also has a contract with Norway's oil and gas company Statoil ASA to supply the terminal with LNG for five years at the prices comparable to Russian energy giant Gazprom's export to the country after this year's price reduction, according to Lithuania's Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis.

The first delivery of LNG is scheduled for Tuesday.

(RIA Novosti)
27/10/14
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Τρίτη, 7 Οκτωβρίου 2014

Benefits of investing in protection of biodiversity outweigh financial costs, says UN-backed report

UN, 7 October 2014 – Implementing measures that promote the sustainable use of biodiversity is a worthwhile investment that will bring multiple economic and environmental benefits to countries, according to a United Nations-backed report released today.
The report, released at the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-12) in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea, found that there is a gap across all countries and regions between investments needed to meet the 20 global biodiversity goals known as the Aichi targets, and the resources currently allocated to this endeavour.

“Even though political commitment is there, we don’t have a good financial investment plan behind it,” said Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, Chair of the High-Level Panel on Global Assessment of Resources for Implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, which authored the report.
“The report will help parties understand how we can develop these financial investment plans.”

The report also highlights benefits in areas such as health and well-being and food security that would benefit from higher investments in biodiversity initiatives. 

Mr. Rodriguez, who is also the Vice President for conservation policy at Conservation International, stressed that countries should not simply think of higher expenditures, but they need to look for innovative ways in which development investments also take into account biodiversity.

“Political coherence is urgently needed at the country level,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “If we see how governments behave it’s quite contradictory. On the one hand, we see agencies promoting development with a high environmental cost, and on the other hand we see environmental agencies trying to repair the damage that development agencies have created. We need governments who are able to break down this kind of silo effect.”
Recommendations in the report include diversifying sources of finance for biodiversity; investing in protecting marine and land ecosystems with the view that this will tackle not just biodiversity issues but also wider development issues such as climate change; and strengthening dialogue between governments, the private sector and civil society on biodiversity initiatives.

“We hope that this report will allow parties to move forward actions at the national level as well as the Convention level that are consistent with the political commitment of the Aichi targets,” Mr. Rodriquez added.
un.org
7/10/14

Πέμπτη, 25 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

Oettinger on energy security: “Gas can be used as a weapon and no longer be delivered" (EP -25.09.14)


Europe should ensure people and companies enjoy a secure supply of energy and this includes measures based on solidarity, said energy commissioner Günther Oettinger addressing the EP's energy committee on 24 September. In his last appearance as energy commissioner at the Parliament, Oettinger looked back at his tenure over the last five years and discussed future challenges regarding the EU's energy policy, including the continuing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.


Committee chair Jerzy Buzek, a Polish member of the EPP group, referred to the situation in Ukraine in his welcome statement: “The crisis in Ukraine reminds us that energy security of the EU does not end at the EU borders. It is a pan-European challenge.”

  • In his opening speech, Mr Oettinger said that in the field of energy, many people think that relations with Russia are more important that relations with Ukraine, but "we have to overcome this". He added: “Gas can be used as a weapon and no longer  be delivered. This is not yet the case, but we believe that Russia will do whatever they can to undermine Ukraine.” Oettinger said: “Perhaps Ukraine could purchase gas from Russia with co-finance from the EU in order to store more gas.”

The commissioner also pleaded for more collaboration on energy. The EU already has a legal basis to work on energy issues, but "we now have 28 fragmented systems", he said. Several MEPs shared his view that more should be done to combat this fragmentation and to link the energy sectors of countries within the EU.

MEPs

Martina Werner, a German member of the S&D group, said: “He has partly applied climate goals, but not fully. I’m especially critical of the directive on energy efficiency. We, the Socialists and Democrats, had hoped for much more.”

Dawid Bohdan Jackiewicz, a Polish member of the ECR group, asked whether new energy efficiency targets would hurt member states’ competitiveness and wondered how they would affect energy prices.
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20140924STO69503/
25/9/14
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Παρασκευή, 19 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

Politically motivated sanctions may jeopardize global energy security. (Russian Energy Minister)

Politically-motivated sanctions may adversely impact global energy security, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday.

He said that no one had bothered to reckon possible impacts of the anti-Russian sanctions on the global energy sector. “In Russia, we try to analyze this situation but as concerns the global situation, as has been noted here by many, it would be better not to tamper with the energy sector, since the balance of energy security is a very delicate balance,” Novak said at the international investment forum in Sochi.


“No one has considered possible consequences,” he said. “We are discussing these issues with CEOs of biggest companies operating in Russia, such as Shell and Total, and neither of them seems to understand how these companies should work in conditions of sanctions. And what will become with contracts signed earlier, what will become with their shares in projects, how they are to withdraw from the project if it comes to that? No one fully understands such things.”

Earlier on Friday, Novak said that France’s Total said it would continue its projects in Russia that had been launched before the sanctions. Total is a partner of Russia’s LUKoil, Novatek and Gazprom in Russian projects.

 [en.itar-tass.com]

19/9/14
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  • Miller: Gazprom Maintains Steady Daily Supply of Gas to Europe

    •  Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Friday Russia will certainly fulfill all obligations on gas supplies to Europe and Asia.

    “All obligations - European and Asian - will be fulfilled. There should be no doubts here,” Medvedev said in an interview with ITAR-TASS.
    He called “the European direction [of gas supplies] very important” for Russia.

Τετάρτη, 17 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

Miller: Gazprom Maintains Steady Daily Supply of Gas to Europe

MOSCOW, September 17 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom maintains stable daily deliveries of natural gas to European customers in line with contractual obligations, the company's CEO Alexei Miller said Wednesday.

During a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Miller said that claims of some of the Western customers of periodical reductions in supplies could be referred only to additional volumes.


Miller also said that Gazprom would be able to satisfy the growing demand for Russian gas on Chinese and Asia-Pacific markets without hurting contractual deliveries to Europe.

"We are ready to satisfy the growing demand in Chinese direction, in eastern direction and in the European Union," Miller said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Ukraine's Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan wrote a letter to the European Commission, saying that the country's energy security was threatened by the alleged reduction in Russian gas supplies to Slovakia, which launched reversed deliveries to Ukraine earlier this month.

On September 11, Slovakia's electricity and gas supplier SPP claimed it was receiving only 90 percent of Russian gas transited through the Ukrainian territory. On the same day, Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said the company had not reduced gas deliveries to Slovakia, maintaining the supply at the regular level of 12 million cubic meters per day.

  • Poland's state-controlled oil and gas company PGNiG also claimed on September 11 that Russian gas deliveries to Poland had fallen.
In June, Russia introduced a prepayment mode of gas deliveries to Ukraine over its $5.3 billion debt and warned that it could reduce gas supplies to Europe should Kiev siphon off gas transited to Europe through its territory. On July 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, however, that Moscow would not aggravate the situation, although it saw the artificiality of reverse gas supplies from Europe to Ukraine.
http://en.ria.ru
17/9/14
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Παρασκευή, 25 Ιουλίου 2014

EP committee examines EU energy security plan. --Six EU countries depend on Russia as the supplier for their entire gas imports.

European Parliament (EP) industry committee debated on the energy security plans this week, seeking ways for the European Union (EU) to reduce energy dependence, EP said in a statement published on Thursday.

The energy security plan, submitted by the European Commission, aims to improve the EU's situation of relying on the external energy.

Statistics shows the EU imports 53 percent of the energy it consumes, including almost 90 percent of its crude oil, 66 percent of its natural gas and 42 percent of its solid fuels such as coal.


In 2013 the bill for importing energy amounted to about 400 billion euros (about 538.5 billion US dollars), said the EP.

Meanwhile, EU is also heavily dependent on one single supplier, namely Russia, responsible for a third of oil imports, 39 percent of gas and 26 percent of solid fuels. Six EU countries depend on Russia as the supplier for their entire gas imports.

  • That can make the EU "vulnerable to external energy suppliers", the statement said.
The EU is now seeking to reduce this dependence by diversifying energy sources and suppliers, cutting back on energy consumption, boosting energy production and cooperation between countries and investing in renewable energy.

These initiatives and others have all been outlined in the European energy security strategy, which was presented by the European commission in May and debated by the industry committee this week.

"Energy security will play a prominent role in the work of the committee in the months to come. This issue is of crucial importance to all of us." Chair of the EP industry committee Jerzy Buzek said earlier this week. (1 euro = 1.35 US dollars)

Sources: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
24-25/7/14
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Παρασκευή, 11 Ιουλίου 2014

Security of gas supply: the role of gas developments in the Mediterranean region

European Commission, Joint Statement, Malta, 11 July 2014.
Joint statement by Günther H. Oettinger, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for energy, and Konrad Mizzi, Minister for Energy and Health of the Government of Malta:

Today, Energy Ministers from the EU, North Africa and the East Mediterranean, high officials, industry representatives and key stakeholders in the energy sector met in Malta to exchange views on how gas-related developments in the Mediterranean region can enhance security of supply in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

This discussion takes place at a critical time when the wider geopolitical events could have implications on energy security. In reaction to this, and in line with the European Council conclusions of March 2014, the European Union is putting further impetus on its supply diversification objectives. North African and Eastern Mediterranean countries are also looking to develop their economies and meet increasing domestic energy demand. 

The Participants agreed that secure, sustainable and affordable energy is a priority for all, and is a key factor for underpinning stability and prosperity in the region. They underlined the importance of regional cooperation to strengthen security of supply but also to favour regional trade at the interest of both gas producers and consumers in the EU, North Africa and the Middle East. 

The Participants underlined their general willingness to further strengthen regional energy cooperation and to support the progressive development of joint actions such as infrastructure plans, in order to support solutions that provide best alternatives with the objective of reinforcing the energy market in the Mediterranean region. This will provide real trade opportunities for producing North African and East-Mediterranean countries and consuming countries in the wider Mediterranean region and the EU.

In doing so the importance of a stable and predictable political, legal and regulatory framework was stressed, as was the importance of promoting an attractive investment environment for local and third party investors.

In order to progress on these issues, the Ministers agreed in principle to establish a 'Euro-Mediterranean Platform on Gas’ that would bring together policy makers, industrial representatives, regulators and energy stakeholders. This Platform will assist in the development of Euro-Mediterranean relations on gas issues. Its aim will be in particular to ensure greater convergence between the policies of the various countries, address upstream production challenges, promote third party upstream investments, improve the conditions for imports of oil and gas from producing countries, develop the necessary infrastructure of common interest, promote technology cooperation, examine gas pricing mechanisms, facilitate market access, cooperate on the domain of safety and security and work together on the promotion of regional energy security.
The Euro-Med gas platform would contribute to the ongoing efforts aimed at enhancing Europe's energy security and at meeting specific 2030 interconnection objectives. 

The scope of work and the operating rules of the 'Euro-Mediterranean Platform on Gas’, could be developed with the support of the "Observatoire Méditerranéen de l'Énergie" (OME).
The further elaboration on the modus operandi of the platform will be discussed in the coming months with a view to establishing a fully-fledged proposal to be endorsed at the High Level Conference on "Euro-Mediterranean Energy Partnership" which will take place in Rome on 19 November 2014.
Participants discussed the possibility of this platform playing a key role in the creation of a Mediterranean Gas Hub in line with the European Energy Security Strategy (EESS).

For further information
"Security of gas supply – The role of gas developments in the Mediterranean region" conference, Malta (10-11 July 2014)..............http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-14-222_en.htm?locale=en
11/7/14
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Τετάρτη, 21 Μαΐου 2014

Paving the way for European energy security

European Commission, Press release, Brussels, 21 May 2014:

Completing the internal energy market, saving energy, increasing domestic energy production as well as diversifying sources, routes and counterparties of energy imports: these are ways to reduce the EU’s energy dependence. Energy leaders discuss the crucial issue today in Brussels at the high-level conference "Paving the way for a European Energy Security Strategy", organised by the European Commission.
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso will provide orientations on a "European Energy Security Strategy", which the European Commission intends to present ahead of the European Council of 26 and 27 of June. EU Energy Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger will focus on how to strengthen Europe's security of supply and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk will present his proposal for an Energy Union for Europe

Representatives from Member States and third countries as well as energy companies, regulators, business and consumer associations, think-tanks gather today in Brussels to discuss ways to reduce the EU’s energy dependence. In the morning participants will focus on energy demand and production, energy efficiency, integrating the internal energy market, diversifying energy sources and routes and the role of the EU’s external energy policy. In the afternoon European Commission President Barroso, Energy Commissioner Oettinger and Poland’s Prime Minister Tusk will further discuss how to strengthen Europe's security of supply.

European Commission President Barroso said: "The Ukraine crisis once again confirms that it is in our own interest to choose a path towards a low carbon, competitive and energy secure European Union. Increasing our security of supply has been an overarching goal of European energy and climate policies for years - now it is time to take it one step further. It is vital for our prosperity, for our strength and our credibility. So we have to prove that European cooperation and integration is the right way – the only way - to overcome such challenges. The Commission will make very clear proposals to the June European Council. It is then for our Member States to run with that ball."

EU Energy Commissioner Oettinger added: "The Commission is intensively working on a new European Energy Security Strategy. As there is no miracle solution for increasing energy security, we have to address the issue from different angles. We need to diversify our supplier countries, especially in the field of gas. The development of the Southern Corridor, which will enable gas deliveries from Azerbaijan as from the end of 2019 is crucial in this respect. In addition, we need to intensify our efforts in the area of energy efficiency. A key element for increasing energy security is of course the completion of the internal energy market and upgrading the gas and electricity infrastructure in the EU. The first call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility that helps to finance important projects is now open. In the first round €750 million - out of a total of 5.85 billion until 2020 - will be made available".

Background
Following the March European Council the European Commission is conducting an in-depth study of EU energy security and will present a Strategy to reduce Europe's energy dependence ahead of the European Council of 26 and 27 of June. This plan will include a strategy to turn the current international situation into an opportunity to rethink the EU's energy security.
Today, the EU imports 53% of the energy it consumes. Energy dependence relates to crude oil (almost 90%), to natural gas (66%), and to a lesser extent to solid fuels (42%) as well as nuclear fuel (40%). The value of imports is more than 1 billion Euros per day. In 2013 energy supplies from Russia accounted for 42% of EU natural gas imports and 33% of oil imports.
The share of renewables is constantly increasing, and in 2012 it reached 14.1% of final energy consumption. Today, more than 50% of electricity production is CO2 free (including both renewable and nuclear energy). Looking at the future, reaching the target of 20% of energy efficiency in 2020 would mean 371 Mtoe of energy savings.
[europa.eu]
21/5/14

Δευτέρα, 19 Μαΐου 2014

EU Energy Commissioner Oettinger and Russian Energy Minister Novak discuss security of gas supply

European Commission, Statement, Brussels, 19 May 2014:

European Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger met Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak today in Berlin in order to discuss issues relating to security of gas supply and transit from Russia via Ukraine to the EU. 

It was a constructive meeting that helped to prepare the ground for the second trilateral meeting between the EU, Russia and Ukraine. This is scheduled for 26 May subject to confirmation by all parties involved (a possible venue is Berlin). 
 The aim of the trilateral meetings is to ensure continued gas supplies and transit. Concerns about the outstanding debt of Ukraine and the gas price for supplies to Ukraine are being discussed in the trilateral format in order to find a solution by the end of May. Some progress has already been made. 
  • The amount of the unpaid bills for gas delivered by Russia to Ukraine is undisputed until the end of March. However, there is no breakthrough yet.
An issue that still needs to be solved is the price for gas delivered in April and May and the price that should be applicable as from June. Commissioner Oettinger met Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan on 13 May and he will also be in contact with him in the next days ahead of the trilateral meeting.........[europa.eu]
19/5/14
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Σάββατο, 26 Απριλίου 2014

Participants at UN-backed summit commit to improve ocean health, secure food security


UN, 25 April 2014 – A United Nations-backed summit wrapped up in the Netherlands today with a set of concrete actions to turn around the health of the world’s oceans and food security for millions by tackling key threats such as climate change, overfishing, habitat loss and pollution.
The summit – which brought together hundreds of Government officials, ocean science experts, business leaders, philanthropists and heads of international organizations – was an initiative of the Dutch Government, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Bank.

“This summit has put an accent on action and the route to navigate on oceans, fisheries management and aquaculture is much clearer than before,” said Árni M. Mathiesen, FAO Assistant Director-General for Fisheries and Aquaculture.
Actions agreed at the summit focused specifically on improving governance, enhancing sustainable financing, building partnerships for action and sharing knowledge on successful solution implementation.
The gathering called for, among other steps, a stand-alone Sustainable Development Goal on oceans as part of the post-2015 development framework; much stronger recognition of the escalating impacts from climate change on oceans; and eliminating harmful fisheries subsidies that contribute to overfishing.
Sharing of knowledge, experiences and solutions through information and communications technology that can enforce and monitor in real time and connect communities globally was among the other actions participants called for.
“This summit has presented the way forward for a new type of growth – blue growth which is sustainable, equitable and takes the value of the ocean’s ecosystem services into account,” World Bank representative Valerie Hickey stated.
‘Blue growth’ emphasizes conservation and sustainable management of aquatic resources and equitable benefits to the coastal communities that rely on them. The term “blue economy” stems from the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), and refers to food, jobs and opportunities for development provided by ocean and coastal assets.
“Together, we can restore ocean health at the speed and scale necessary to drive broad-based blue growth, secure food security and turn down the heat on climate change,” added Ms. Hickey. “We have the set of actions needed – let’s move on them now.” 
un.org
25/4/14

Τετάρτη, 2 Απριλίου 2014

EU, US to intensify cooperation on energy security concerns

The European Union (EU) and the United States decided to intensify cooperation in promoting energy security in the EU and Ukraine, a statement said Wednesday.

According to a statement from EU-US Energy Council, the two sides are committed to addressing the issue of EU's external energy dependency through a further diversification of supplies, routes and increased energy efficiency.

The Council welcomed the prospect of US liquefied natural gas exports in the future since additional global supplies will benefit Europe and other strategic partners.


The council affirmed its strong support for Ukraine's efforts to diversify its supplies of natural gas including through the rapid enhancement of reverse flow capacities, increased gas storage capacity, and decisive measures recently announced with the IMF to build a competitive energy economy.

Meanwhile, both sides emphasized the importance of internal reform to promote energy security.

The council said they will support the EU's efforts to rapidly complete an integrated, common European energy market to bring the benefit of greater energy security and more competitive energy prices to all member states and neighboring states in the energy community. 

[globaltimes.cn]
2/4/13
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Παρασκευή, 21 Μαρτίου 2014

Europe focuses on shale gas amid Ukraine crisis. -Exploration of S.G. in the EU as a tool to further diversify its energy supply

England, Poland, Romania and Ukraine were the first countries to start distributing licenses for the exploration and exploitation of shale gas.
 
By E. Gurkan Abay 
ANKARA 
EU countries have started distributing shale gas licenses to private companies, aiming to reduce the dependence on Russian natural gas, amid the crisis in Ukraine that sparked EU’s efforts to increase its energy security.
Europe will try to formulate ways to reduce its "concerning" level of dependency on Russian natural gas, at the EU March 20-21 summit in Brussels, according to draft summit documents. Local energy sources such as shale gas should be further exploited, the papers also state. England, Poland, Romania and Ukraine were the first countries to start distributing licenses for the exploration and exploitation of shale gas.

  • European Commission spokeswoman Sabine Berger told Anadolu Agency that the Commission acknowledges the potential importance of the exploration of shale gas in the EU as a tool to further diversify its energy supply.
  • “But it’s a purely national decision by the EU member state to opt for shale gas or not,” she said, adding that the commission does not have any plans to assist the private sector financially for shale gas exploration and exploitation.
The Commission will continue facilitating the exchange of environmental information of shale gas projects, Berger explained, and from December 2014 onwards, member states will also inform the Commission each year about measures that they have put in place.
Recently, the European Commission has loosened regulations on shale gas and left the decision on environmental issues to member countries.
- Poland’s shale gas reserves are the largest in Europe
According to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Poland’s shale gas reserves are the largest in Europe, with a potential 4.1 trillion cubic meters. Keen to make use of this potential, Poland enacted a law in March 11, which exempts taxes on shale gas exploitation until 2020.
France, second only to Poland, has technically recoverable reserves of 3.8 trillion cubic meters. However, the hydraulic fracturing technique which is used in shale gas exploitation, is currently banned in France.
In 2012, France’s President Francois Hollande promised to reduce the share of nuclear power in electricity generation from 75 to 50 percent. Shale gas is seen as a potential candidate to fill the energy supply gap.
- Hydraulic fracturing to extract shale gas  
Hydraulic fracturing, or commonly known as “fracking,” rocks under 2 to 5 kilometers under the soil are fractured by using high pressured chemical waters sprayed out of horizontally installed pipes. After the fracturing ends, the fractured rocks release gas that migrates to wells.
The fracking method is the main reason behind Europe’s hesitation on the extraction of shale gas. Experts fear that the fracking technique under the soil could pollute the underground water systems and the soil. Additionally, it is also feared that the fracturing process might trigger earthquakes.
Since EU environmental legislation developed at a time when high volume hydraulic fracturing was not used in Europe, certain environmental aspects associated with the exploration and production of fossil fuels involving this practice are not comprehensively addressed in current EU legislation.
englishnews@aa.com.tr
 aa.com.tr
21/3/14
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Δευτέρα, 17 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

Northwest Saudi Arabia enjoys rare snowfall


Rare snowfall in the north-west of Saudi Arabia on Sunday drew local residents and visitors to scenic mountainous areas to enjoy the spectacle.
Snow fell intermittently from dawn in the city of Tabuk near the Jordanian border, coating nearby mountains and roads with a sheet of white.

Local residents and visitors travelled up to 200 kilometers to Mount Allouz. Tabuk’s traffic police warned drivers against travelling up the steep and slippery mountain roads. Security, traffic and health services were on standby to organize traffic on icy roads. Two people died and another was injured in a jeep accident.
http://english.cntv.cn/program/asiatoday/20140217/105577.shtml
17/2/14 
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Rare snowfall in the north-west of Saudi Arabia on Sunday drew local residents
and visitors to scenic mountainous areas to enjoy the spectacle.
Rare snowfall in the north-west of Saudi Arabia on Sunday drew local residents
and visitors to scenic mountainous areas to enjoy the spectacle.
Rare snowfall in the north-west of Saudi Arabia on Sunday drew local residents
and visitors to scenic mountainous areas to enjoy the spectacle.

Πέμπτη, 30 Ιανουαρίου 2014

Securing crop biodiversity is key to feeding world’s growing population – UN study


30 January 2014 – Seeking to ensure that the world can feed a fast growing population, expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050, the United Nations today published voluntary international standards to improve conservation of the crops that are crucial to food security by preserving biodiversity in gene banks and in the field.
“As the world’s population grows and continues to face a wide range of climate, environmental and other challenges, maintaining a healthy variety of seeds and other plant genetic resources for the benefit of people in all countries will be essential to keeping agricultural and food systems sustainable and resilient, generation after generation,” UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Assistant Director-General Ren Wang said.

The FAO publication, Genebank Standards for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, outlines voluntary, international standards for the many repositories – or genebanks - around the world that store seeds and other materials used to reproduce plants, as well as for living plants in the field.
  • More than 7 million samples of seeds, tissues and other plant-propagating materials from food crops, along with their wild relatives, are safeguarded in about 1,750 genebanks.
“Plant genetic resources are a strategic resource at the heart of sustainable crop production,” Mr. Ren writes in a foreword. “Their efficient conservation and use is critical to safeguard food and nutrition security, now and in the future. Meeting this challenge will require a continued stream of improved crops and varieties adapted to particular agro-ecosystem conditions.
“The loss of genetic diversity reduces the options for sustainably managing resilient agriculture, in the face of adverse environments, and rapidly fluctuating meteorological conditions.”
The standards are designed to guide users in implementing the most appropriate technologies and procedures for the collection, conservation and documentation of crop diversity. Their wide application also supports research that could stem the loss of biodiversity and boost sustainability in agriculture, both necessary for feeding the world’s burgeoning population.
“Genebanks help bridge the past and the future by ensuring the continued availability of plant genetic resources for research and for breeding new varieties that meet the consumers’ continually evolving needs and a changing climate,” said Linda Collette, Secretary of FAO’s Intergovernmental Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
“They help us to conserve plant genetic resources and to improve them; they also help countries to share and exchange genetic resources with each other.”
The standards address a wide range of issues, including techniques for collecting samples; consistent labelling; protection from fungi, bacteria, pests and physical stress factors; viability and genetic integrity testing; and, developing strategies for the rapid multiplication of samples for distribution.
The world’s genebanks differ greatly in the size of their collections and the human and financial resources at their disposal. The Standards will help genebank managers strike a balance between scientific objectives, resources available, and the objective conditions under which they work, FAO says.

“Genebanks play a key role in the conservation, availability and use of a wide range of plant genetic diversity for crop improvement for food and nutrition security,” the publication stresses in its preface. “An efficient management of genebanks through application of standards and procedures is essential for the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources.”

FAO experts consulted with a wide range of partners, including those at the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a global partnership whose research is carried out at 15 centres worldwide, in particular Bioversity International; genebank managers; relevant academic and research institutions; and national focal points for plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
 un.org
30/1/14
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