China launches project to enhance international cooperation on new and renewable energy

China has launched a science and technology project to boost international cooperation on the development of renewables. Under the ‘International Science and Technology Cooperation Program on New and Renewable Energy’, China will develop new patterns for international exchange and cooperation, encourage countries to complement each other with respective technological strengths and set up a platform for technological cooperation.

The initiative was presented at an international forum in Beijing on renewable energy, organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Development and Reform Commission who will jointly implement the program:

The Program has great bearing on the energy restructuring, energy security, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emission reduction, low-carbon economy, and sustainable development.

Government support will prioritize research into five types of renewables and energy forms: biomass fuels and biomass power, wind power, solar power, hydrogen energy and fuel cells, and natural gas hydrates, of which there is a large reserve in the South China Sea and which China recently succeeded in tapping.

Through international cooperation, China will demonstrate to the global community its determination to explore new and renewable energy sources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build an environment-friendly society. – Cao Jianlin, vice-minister for science and technology

The announcement comes just a day after China hinted at the fact that it gives priority to energy security and poverty alleviation over reducing greenhouse gas emissions . In its latest World Energy Outlook published last week, the IEA warned that China’s energy demand andconsequently its emissions of greenhouse gases will grow ‘inexorably’. The People’s Republic is set to become the world’s top greenhouse-gas producer and will be accounting for 42% to 49% of global carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, more than the rest of the world combined (except India). That is, unless it aggressively invests in efficiency, renewables and conservation (previous post).

The program identifies six major tasks, namely basic research, commercialization demonstrations, scaling applications, ‘phase-out’ strategies for fossil fuels, international exchanges, and nuturing high-caliber professionals. The international cooperation could facilitate China’s efforts to introduce advanced technology, innovate in energy technology, and set up a batch of industrial demonstration projects so as to meet the strategic goal of developing its new and renewable energy sector:

Argentina export tax hike seen as strong incentive to biofuels

Leading agricultural exporter Argentina has added another major incentive to the booming biofuel industry by increasing the export tax on soybeans, soy-based products, and corn, but not on biofuels, according to analysts. The government raised the export tax on soy to 35% from 27.5% and the tax on soymeal and soyoil exports to 32% from 24%. The export tax on soy-based biodiesel was left at 5%, with a 2.5% tax credit – an effective export tax rate of 2.5%. The measures are part of Argentina’s ongoing policy efforts aimed at preparing the country to secure a share of the international biofuels market (earlier post).

Argentina is expecting to quadruple biodiesel production next year from 200 to 800 million liters (graph, click to enlarge), and by the end of the decade will be making 10 times the amount it produced in 2007, according to a recent report [*.pdf] on the sector by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

The export tax structure is the key to making the industry profitable and able to compete with fossil fuels, Renova SA Director Diego Mejuto said recently. Last month Renova, a joint venture between local grain exporter Vicentin SAIC and Glencore International AG, cut the ribbon on a $20 million biodiesel plant on the banks of Argentina’s La Plata River, the first of a wave of major projects slated to come online in the next several months.

The company expects the European Union and U.S. to be the primary markets for the soy-based biodiesel it produces, Mejuto said.

Even before the new tax incentives, Argentina was on track to produce 1.5 million metric tons of soy-based biodiesel in 2008, according to Lorena D’Angelo, of the economic studies department of the Rosario Grain Exchange.

Most of the other major grain exporters are also racing to take advantage of the tax and other incentives designed to spur on the sector. Aceitera General Deheza and Bunge Ltd. (BG) are working on a $40 million plant, Louis Dreyfus Group is investing $45 million to get into the game and Repsol YPF SA (REP) has a $30 million project in the pipes, according to the Rosario Grain Exchange.

In addition to the federal tax incentives, the province of Santa Fe has provided a host of tax breaks and financing schemes to ensure that biofuel production is concentrated in the province, Gov. Jorge Obeid said recently. Santa Fe already boasts the majority of the nation’s soy processing and shipping capacity.

Investment in the sector is expected to reach $1 billion over the next four years, according to a recent report by Abeceb Consultancy:

Union of Concerned Scientists warns for pollution from liquid coal fuels; new biofuels way forward

Heightened concern about oil dependence is generating growing support for alternative transportation fuels, but some fuels, like liquid coal and gasoline from tar sands would emit significantly more global warming pollution than gasoline or diesel, according to a new report issued human hand holding a citytoday by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). In Biofuels: An Important Part of a Low-Carbon Diet, the UCS offers an overview of the lifecycle emissions of different alternative fuels, and two scenarios for their future role in America’s transportation fuel mix. It also stresses the importance of comprehensive lifecycle analyses (LCAs) to take into account the entire emissions profile of alternative fuels.

Transportation is responsible for two-thirds of US oil consumption and nearly 40 percent of the country’s global warming pollution on a life cycle basis. To dramatically cut emissions from this sector, a comprehensive solution must include improved vehicle fuel efficiency, smart growth policies that reduce vehicle miles traveled, and clean fuel alternatives.

Liquid coal, for example, can release 80 percent more global warming pollution than gasoline, the report found. Corn ethanol, conversely, could be either more polluting or less than gasoline, depending on how the corn is grown and the ethanol is produced. On average, corn ethanol can reduce emissions about 20 percent, though there is uncertainty due to differing land use practices. The cleanest alternative, cellulosic ethanol from grasses or wood chips, could reduce emissions by more than 85 percent (graph, click to enlarge). (Note that the study did not look at first generation biofuels made from tropical crops like sugarcane or sweet sorghum which reduce emissions far more than corn ethanol; for sugarcane ethanol, the reduction is as large as that of cellulosic biofuels, earlier post.)

Biofuels can quickly become a staple of a low-carbon fuel diet because they integrate well with the existing fuel distribution infrastructure and offer potentially abundant domestic supplies with significant opportunities for growth, the report says. But not all biofuels are the same. There is a wide range in the estimated heat-trapping emissions and other environmental impacts from each biofuel over its life cycle (i.e., from farm to finished fuel to use in the vehicle), depending on the feedstock, production process, and model inputs and assumptions. There are also concerns about emissions and impacts from land conversion and land use associated with biofuel production.

New rules are being developed that will require fuel providers to account for and reduce the heat-trapping emissions associated with the production and use of transportation fuels. For example, both the U.S. Congress and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are considering strategies to promote low-carbon and renewable transportation fuels (including biofuels). California, the nation’s largest market for transportation fuel, is developing a Low Carbon Fuel Standard that will require fuel providers to demonstrate reductions in global warming pollution per unit of energy delivered, regardless of fuel source. More state, regional, and federal rules will undoubtedly follow, the UCS writes.

The purposes of the report are two-fold:

  1. To ensure that we “count carbs” accurately, by explaining why we need a comprehensive accounting system for carbon emissions—one that measures global warming emissions over a transportation fuel’s entire life cycle. An effective accounting system will not only need to be robust enough to encompass the fuel life cycle, but also address uncertainties and allow for changes over time as better assessment tools and methods become available.
  2. To “make carbs count” by describing performance-based policies that will reward low-carbon transportation fuels for their performance and help them compete against highly polluting fuels such as liquid coal (gasoline or diesel made from coal). For example, low-carbon fuel standards require a reduction in the average amount of global warming pollution per gallon of fuel.

A market for low-carbon fuels can produce a rare convergence of business, agricultural, and environmental interests that, if pursued wisely, could represent a “win-win-win” opportunity. But the promise of a lower-carbon transportation future can only be realized through federal and state policies that “count carbs and make carbs count.”

Two scenarios
The report evaluated two scenarios for alternative fuels, one carbon-intensive — meaning that it would produce significantly more global warming pollution than burning gasoline – and the other low-carbon — meaning that it would produce significantly less. The analysis assumed that alternative fuels will replace 37 billion gallons of gasoline, about 20 percent of the fuel UCS projects Americans will consume in 2030.

In both scenarios, conventional biofuels would meet 25 percent of the demand for alternative fuels. In the carbon-intensive scenario, the remaining demand would be met by liquid coal. The carbon-intensive scenario would increase emissions by 233 million metric tons — equivalent to adding about 34 million cars to the road, the number of new cars and light trucks currently sold nationally over a two-year period. By contrast, the low-carbon scenario relies on advanced biofuels to meet 75 percent of the demand. That would cut global warming pollution by 244 million metric tons, akin to taking 35 million of today’s cars off the road:

GBEP calls for a Biopact: US/EU must open markets for biofuels from the South

The Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) which released its comprehensive report on the current status of bioenergy today, says the conflict between growing crops for food versus biofuels is artificial and can be resolved if the United States, Europe and other rich countries drop protectionist policies and work with developing nations to increase the use of the eco-friendly fuels. The GBEP thus joins a growing group of organisations calling for a win-win ‘Biopact’ between the global energy imagewealthy and the developing countries.

Fears that the rising demand for biofuels is contributing to a global surge in food prices are founded, but such pitfalls can be avoided if top energy consumers invest in efficient crops grown in tropical nations, promote research and encourage the biofuel trade, said Corrado Clini, chairman of the GBEP.

FAO Assistant Director-General Alexander Muller joined Clini in pinpointing the core of the problem:

In Europe and the United States the production of biofuels is only possible because there are tariffs. What data shows us is that the biggest potential is in the developing world. – FAO Assistant Director-General Alexander Muller

Indeed, both Africa and Latin America have a vast potential to produce biofuels sustainably. These data are well known by now. According to the International Energy Agency’s Bioenergy Task 40, these two regions alone can produce more than 500 Exajoules of bioenergy for exports by 2050, in an explicitly sustainable way; that is, after all the food, fiber and fodder needs for rapidly growing populations are met, and without any deforestation and a look at Africa’s sustainable potential). In theory, there is no reason whatsoever for a conflict between food and fuel production.

Internationally shared rules on production could thus ensure that biofuel crops do not damage the environment by substituting forests and other sensitive ecosystems, Clini said at the World Energy Congress in Rome, a brainstorming forum that runs through Thursday. With oil prices soaring, biofuels from corn, palm oil, sugar cane and other agricultural products are increasingly seen as a cheap and cleaner alternative to fossil fuels.

Clini said that food prices are rising in part due to unfavorable climate conditions, an increasing population and a growing demand for meat and animal feed. Biofuels also are contributing to the hikes but mainly because the EU and the United States are subsidizing domestic production of crops like corn that offer low efficiency when turned into fuel and compete with other foodstuffs for large swathes of land in these already densely populated areas, Clini said.

Sugarcane-based biofuel, an approach favored by other big biofuel producers like Brazil, offers greater energy efficiency and is made with a crop that can be grown in unused lands in many tropical countries, contributing to their development, he told reporters. “It takes four times more maize than sugar cane to produce the same amount of energy,” the GBEP chairman added.

Trade barriers key problem
Rich countries should invest in biofuel production in developing nations and liberalize the international trade, which is still burdened by high tariffs put in place to protect European and American farmers from the cheaper fuel produced abroad, the chairman said:

Biologically And Enviromentally Pure Brown Sugar Scrubs And Beauty Agents

These days many women are looking for skin care ideas or solutions that are effective, natural, and less expensive than commercial products. A brown sugar scrub is one of the ideas for skin care that can produce desired results. It can help a women achieve more supple skin while eliminating dry patches and flakes that occur with combination skin. It can help unclog pores and remove some of the toxins that can lead to irritated or excessively oily skin. This type of skin care solution can be purchased as a commercial product, but will likely cost quite a bit more than making it yourself. Either way the mixture offers many benefits to the skin.

If you want a scrub with a scent a commercial product may be the best way to go. There are products with vanilla scent, citrus scents, and many other pleasing fragrances. Women who are able to tolerate scented beauty products may find a commercially prepared brand easy to use and convenient. Many products also include essential oils, which moisturize and nourish the skin while also helping slough off dead skin cells. The key is in finding a product that is suitable for one’s skin type and that has the desired essential oils.

There are many benefits of using a brown sugar scrub. While many women limit use to the face this type of beauty aid can be used on the entire body. It may be especially helpful for those who experience dry, flaking skin. The key is in finding a solution that helps get rid of the dry, flaking skin while providing nutrients and moisturizers to help maintain softer, less flaky skin. Use of the product on a daily basis is also very safe for those who need a continued skin care regimen.

Commercial brown sugar scrub products will range in price from around $10 up to $30, depending on the brand and other ingredients found in the solution. If this is too costly there are solutions and recipes available for women to make the product at home. Brown sugar is the main ingredient. Many recipes also require the addition of essential oils, olive oil, or virgin coconut oil. The type of ingredients added may depend on personal preference and what works for an individual’s skin type.

Recipes for brown sugar scrub are widely available. Some solutions contain only a two basic ingredients. These recipes usually call for brown sugar and some type of oil. Others may require more ingredients and may include two or more oils that are beneficial to the skin. The key is in finding the right recipe for the desired effects.

Though it takes some time to create a recipe that uses olive oil for skin care this can usually be done by preparing the solution in bulk and storing it in an airtight container for future use. Most recipes require the solution to be gently rubbed in a circular motion, which helps the sugar granules slough off dead skin. The product is then rinsed off with warm water or patted off with a warm cloth. Regardless of whether you buy or make the brown sugar scrub it can leave the skin with a smoother feeling and a healthy glow.


Information gathered from

Diamond Wedding Rings: Eco Friendly Options?

diamondsMost people who think of diamond wedding rings think of solitaire diamond rings, as these are perhaps the most common and most traditional type of wedding ring. However, there is a vast array of diamond wedding rings on the market that a couple may want to consider.

Metal Options

Diamond wedding rings can be made from white gold or yellow gold. In some cases, both colors of gold are intertwined with each other to create a two-tone ring. Other metals commonly used to make wedding rings are sterling silver, titanium and platinum.

Diamond Colors

While most wedding rings are made using clear diamonds, diamonds can be purchased in various colors. Rose, yellow, blue and even black diamond rings are available from select brick and mortar retail sites and can also be found for sale online.

Diamond Cuts

There are over half a dozen different types of diamond cuts to choose from. These include the heart cut, marquise cut, princess cut, cushion cut and emerald cut. Each cut allows the diamond to shine and brings out its natural beauty; however, some people may prefer a certain type of cut to another, depending on the size of the diamond involved.

Mixing Diamonds with Other Stones

Those who want a truly stunning wedding ring set may want to consider wedding rings that include not only one or more diamonds but also another type of stone as well. Antique diamond wedding rings were often made using both diamonds and pearls. Modern diamond wedding rings may include emeralds, rubies or sapphires. Rings with colored stones help to bring out a diamond’s beauty; however, they can be quite ostentatious and a bride and/or groom may not feel comfortable wearing such a wedding ring while out and about.


A couple may choose either a contemporary wedding ring or one that is antique in style. However, it should be noted that most antique style rings sold online are not actual antiques; they are simply modern rings that are made in an old-fashioned style. Those who want genuine antique rings would need to purchase them from sites or stores that specialize in selling antique, secondhand jewelry.

Picking the right wedding ring is no small matter. However, the fact that there are so many wedding ring options to choose from ensures that a couple should have no problem finding the rings they want at a price they can afford.

The Importance Of Parental Control Software

censor imageWhile a number of parents are happy with parental control software, there are those that will still not use it. But restricting your children on which programs, games and web content they can have access to can be quite essential. There are even some special restriction features that parents can apply which sets a time limit making it impossible for the children to play web games on the computer after a specific time.

It is easy to understand people that will not purchase internet security software to protect their computers from viruses, spyware and hackers. It is more difficult to understand why some parents will not pay little money to protect their kids from content that is deemed as indecorous. Apart from viewing content that is inappropriate, kids will go into sites where they can easily fall prey to online predators.

Because children are curious by nature, it is easy for them to go where they are not supposed to. The best way to help deal with their curiosity is to control the times they are able to access the internet, the chat programs that they are likely to use, and what they can or cannot view. Parental control software also gives you the ability to long onto the kids’ software remotely and to check on them and ensure that they are not doing what they ought not to do.

Computers and the internet are a wonderful resource for kids to use particularly for educative purposes and for entertainment. But this same resource is also quite potentially dangerous and it is essential for parents to place safeguards on it to guarantee the safety of kids while using it. The software is also helpful in protecting parents to a great extent.

Imagine if your kids entered confidential and important information online for example your credit card numbers, telephone numbers, postal address and any other such information. This might lead to identity theft, online stalking or misuse of personal and private information in many other ways and this might put you and your family in danger. This is another important reason why parental control software is essential, and in particular the ability to block Facebook is critical.

Many might argue against the use of this software and say it is not ethical. However, when the protection of your family and particularly your children is involved, nothing should be left to chance.

Benefits Of Natural Skin Care Products

If you have never used natural beauty products, you need to start using them. Natural skin care products are earth friendly. Products which are made from using ingredients that are conventionally produced have negative effects on the environment. Products with such chemicals expose them to the air, water and will even go down your drain. Ingredients from natural beauty products are manufactured and farmed organically.

Chemicals which are harsh and artificial colors in skin care products can cause redness and skin irritation. A lot of people are even allergic to chemicals that are found in conventionally produced products.  Make up that contains natural products work well with your skin rather than against it.

Artificial fragrances are meant to cover up the smell of other chemicals that are used in traditional beauty products.  The thing is that you will be having one chemical covering up another chemical and the smell of all these chemicals can cause a lot of headache. Natural beauty products smell like their natural ingredients and not a mixture of chemicals.

Parabens are mostly used in conventionally produced beauty products as preservatives to extend the shelf life of the products.  They are synthetic and mimic the bodys natural hormones. This then alters the functions of the body’s endocrine system. Natural beauty products use natural preservatives that are not going to have any negative effects on your body.

The skin is the largest organ in the body and it is also the path to the blood stream. Chemicals which are rubbed into the skin enter the blood stream very fast. When you use natural beauty products, you can easily remove all these harmful chemicals and then replace them with natural ingredients that are not going to protect you from any harm which can even be beneficial to your body. One of the best ingredients for your body is olive oil for skin which applied liberally can be a huge benefit.

Effective Internet Marketing Advertising Methods To Increase Profits

Your success in internet marketing depends on Internet users. For this reason, you must get them to your site and convert them into loyal buyers. There are a few effective advertising techniques for Webinternet marketing you can use to draw more customers.

Pay Per Click

Pay Per Click ads are the ones you see most often in search engine results. These ads are good for drawing more targeted traffic because they are for specific keywords. Pay Per Click lets you set your own budget. You don’t pay until someone clicks your ad. Aim for keywords with high demand and low competition. Keep in mind most of the popular keywords will likely be taken.

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored ads appear in high-traffic newletters or websites. They are bigger than most other ad types and sometimes have more text. This involves working with private website owners and newsletter publishers instead of a PPC company. The cost of ads is based on traffic or the number of newletter readers. You may be charged by the week or by the month.

Banner Ads

Banner ads are comprised of images and contain a hyperlink back to the advertiser’s site. Like sponsored ads, these ads can be found in newsletters and on websites with high amounts of traffic. They cost depends on the number of ads displayed. Advertisers pay according to how many impressions they want. This can be in lots of 10,000-250,000.

Pop-up Ads

Pop-up ads have been used less frequently over the last several years. Pop-up ads can be intrusive on visitors. However, some advertisers still display them. A variation of the pop-up ad is the pop-under ad which displays when the visitor leaves the site.

Advertising is a vital part of internet marketing. Without it, you will have no sales. It may take experimentation before you find one kind of ad that works best. is a great place to learn more.

The Benefits Of Precast Stucco Concrete Walls

The benefits of precast concrete walls cannot go overlooked. Concrete walls are used in schools, hospitals, restaurants, and other buildings. As one of the most durable and protective types of walls, the benefits are immense, providing a solid, secure structure for any home or building. Concrete is energy-efficient and can be designed to accommodate any architectural dimensions.

Whether you’re looking for fence forming systems, retaining wall forming systems, security fence forming systems, decorative concrete column forms or any other style, we can do the work for you and get the job done in a very short period of time. We have an excellent turnaround time and can even complete your job in as little as a few weeks.

If you want to have concrete walls built at your home or business space, you can rely on AFTEC to provide you with the services you need. As one of the most well-known and respected companies in the country, AFTEC has been in business for decades and knows what it takes to get the job done right the first time around. We are dedicated to each customer and work hard on every job, until it is completed to perfection. No matter what design you have in mind and when you need the job completed by, we are there to provide you with the services you need.

You can contact us at anytime to find out more information and to get started on your own project. We are here to help and it’s good to know you have a company you can rely on. We are always happy to answer any questions you may have. Someone on our knowledgeable team will be eager to offer more information on any of our available products or services, so you can find out more and get started today.