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 07/11/03 Renewable Energy News by Edward Teague


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November 6, 2003

Middle East oil industry 'will need big investment'

By Carola Hoyos  Financial Times in London | Last Updated: November 5 2003 4:00

The oil industry will need $3,100bn (€2,700bn, £1,800bn) in investment until 2030 and a fifth of this will need to flow to the Middle East, the International Energy Agency estimated in a two-year study released yesterday.

The report comes at a time when governments of big consuming countries, including the US, Japan and the UK, are looking to shift their dependence away from the Middle East, to regions such as Latin America and Africa.
http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=
FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1066565633893

Brown slams 'outdated' trade policies

Daily Telegraph 6/11/03 (Filed: 05/11/2003)

Economic centralisation is a worry, but the legal changes may be worse, writes Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in Brussels

Denouncing moves towards "a federal fiscal policy" and " tax harmonisation", Gordon Brown told European Union finance ministers that they must move beyond outdated notions of a "sheltered trade policy" if they wanted to halt the alarming decline of the European economy.

Dissolving the old Union, the new EU will have a powerful supreme court, a full-time president and a foreign minister. Westminster will be prohibited from passing laws in most areas unless Brussels agrees, including justice and security, agriculture, fisheries, transport, energy, social policy, the environment, consumer protection, and areas of public health.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=
/news/2003/11/05/nbrown105.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/11/05/ixnewstop.html
>

Canadian Natural Resources Limited Announces Record Nine Month Results,

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE THIRD QUARTER

Record nine month net earnings of $1.2 billion ($8.61 per common share) compared with $0.4 billion ($2.87 per common share) in 2002.  (Increase of 300%)

NORTH SEA FIELDS

Canadian Natural remains excited about continuing to create value from the crude oil fields at Ninian and Murchison. During the third quarter, the Company drilled two crude oil wells and one water injector well targeting unswept crude oil reserves within the Ninian and Murchison fields. Additionally, during the third quarter, the Company further consolidated ownership interests to 87.6% in the Banff Field located in the Central North Sea. The Company also assumed operatorship of the Banff Field and the adjoining Block 29/2a. Canadian Natural now operates 99% of its North Sea production and maintains an average ownership interest of about 80% in its properties. Finally, in late July 2003, Canadian Natural was the successful bidder on 6 new exploration licenses at the UK Government's 21st Seaward Licensing Round. These Blocks provide for additional exploration lands adjacent to the Ninian hub in the Northern North Sea.

During the third quarter, one unsuccessful exploration well was drilled into the French portion of the southwest approaches of the North Sea. During the fourth quarter, Canadian Natural plans to drill a further 4 net crude oil and 3 net injector wells from the Ninian and Murchison platforms, including an exploratory drill into the Jude structure, a Ninian satellite.

In 2004, Canadian Natural anticipates drilling approximately 12 crude oil wells, implementing a secondary recovery natural gas injection scheme at Banff, optimizing Ninian and Murchison waterfloods, and continuing its successful 2003 recompletion program. Average crude oil production is expected to increase by approximately 9%, however natural gas volumes will be lower as natural gas sales at Banff are diverted to reinjection. The 2004 capital budget for the North Sea is $340 million.
http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=
news_view&newsId=20031105005308&newsLang=en

TEACHING companies to do the right thing

Guardian 6/11/03

…INTER ALIA….

Stephen Timms MP, DTI Minister  the government's current corporate social responsibility (CSR) front man, shows no sign of breaking with this trend. Dipping into his other contact book as energy minister, he recently appointed the chairman of Shell UK to head a working group designed to consider the establishment of a "CSR academy".

How to make friends and influence people in Gubment
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/story/0,3604,1078322,00.html

Draft planning guidance on renewable energy

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) has launched a consultation on a draft of a new Planning Policy Statement (PPS): Renewable Energy.  ENVIRONMENT CENTRE

The intention is that the new PPS, and an accompanying companion guide to be drafted, should, in due course, replace Planning Policy Guidance Note 22 (PPG22): Renewable Energy which was published in February 1993.

The draft PPS sets out the Government’s broad policy objectives relevant to renewable energy in England, and its proposed planning policies that will help deliver these objectives. These policies are based on the principles set out in the Government’s Energy White Paper, published in February 2003.

Many of the policies in the draft PPS22 are based on existing policies in PPG22, updated as appropriate. However, the ODPM says there is a clearer focus on assisting the UK to meet national and international targets for the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases, including the goal to cut the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions by some 60% by 2050, with "real progress" by 2020.

There are also new policies proposed on the use of regional targets for renewable energy, buffer zones and an emphasis on "clear, criteria-based" policies for use in regional planning guidance and development plans.

The draft PPS22 has been welcomed by the Council to Protect Rural England (CPRE) as "a step towards more positive planning" for renewables. Similarly, the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) described the proposals as providing "both the planning profession and the wind industry with a more sound footing from which to move forward".

The consultation on the draft of PPS22 will run until 30 January 2004. The consultation documents can be accessed from the http://www.odpm.gov.uk/stellent/groups/odpm_planning/
documents/page/odpm_plan_025517.hcsp
>

ODPM. http://www.environment-centre.net/cgi-bin/
croner/jsp/Editorial.do?cache=true&contentId=98469

For the details please go to :-

http://www.odpm.gov.uk/stellent/groups/odpm_planning/
documents/page/odpm_plan_025517.hcsp

1.This consultation paper seeks comments on a draft of a new Planning Policy Statement (PPS) on Renewable Energy. The intention is that this PPS (and accompanying Companion Guide to be drafted) should, in due course, replace Planning Policy Guidance note 22 (PPG22), Renewable Energy (February 1993). PPG22 can be viewed at http://www.odpm.gov.uk (under <planning> < planning policy>).

http://www.odpm.gov.uk/pns/DisplayPN.cgi?pn_id=2003_0230

This is the HMG Press Release with details of how to obtain copies of proposed changes, how and when to object etc.,

PLANNING MUST WORK FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

Long term environmental considerations should be taken into account by local planning authorities, Planning Minister Yvette Cooper announced today.

Launching consultation on a new planning statement on renewable energy (PPS 22), Yvette Cooper pointed to the damage traditional energy sources can have on the environment. The average family in the UK releases over 25 tonnes of carbon dioxide and 4 kilograms of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere every year, adding to the problems of global warming and acid rain. Renewable energy sources could significantly cut this amount. That is why the planning guidance forms part of the government's response to global warming and climate change.

Yvette Cooper said:

" Local planning authorities need to take account of the wider and long term environmental considerations as well as the immediate impact on the local environment. That is why this consultation is seeking views and comments on planning guidance which will cover renewable energy including solar power, wind farms and biofuel."

"In the past some local authorities have ruled out almost any development of this sort. We want to see a more considered approach, so the planning system is used positively rather than negatively."

Details are appended — Please note that quick replies are wanted by December 5th. So no intention of rushing this change then….

5. The draft PPS 22 is available on the http://www.odpm.gov.uk ODPM website.

6. Hard copies of the document are available from:

ODPM Free Literature
PO Box 236
Wetherby
West Yorkshire.
LS23 7NB

Tel: 0870 1226 236
Fax: 0870 1226 237
Textphone: 0870 1207 405
E-mail: odpm@twoten.press.net

7. The DTI guidance forms part of wider guidance being worked on by government to assist regions developing strategic approaches to energy, as envisaged in the Energy White Paper. The wider guidance will be issued for consultation at a later date. In the meantime, quick feedback is invited by 5 December on the renewables section, particularly on how useful it is for local planners/regional bodies and what more it should cover.

8. Comments should be sent to the DTI Renewable Policy Unit, 110, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0ET. Fax: 020 7215 6528

You can also go to :- http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page4774.asp

Councils asked to think carefully on green power

Which is the No 10 Press release on this matter (Bringing in the big guns for this one) and from this site you can e-mail the Prime Minister with your views.

U.S. Appoints Renewable Energy Ombudsman Now this looks a good idea!

November 4, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton announced the appointment of Brenda Aird to serve as the department's Renewable Energy Ombudsman. In this new position Aird will be responsible for tracking all renewable energy actions. Her office also will serve as a clearinghouse for information regarding new and ongoing projects. Last year in a report to the White House prepared by the Interior Department and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), recommendations were identified to help increase renewable energy production on federal lands. Of the seven proposed actions outlined in that report, four have been completed, including the creation of the Ombudsman position and significant progress has been made on the other items, said the department

http://www.solaraccess.com/news/story?storyid=5456

Howard Dean Presents Renewable Energy Plan (Don’t forget he’s pumping ethanol which is made from good Iowan farm produce — keepin’ the voters happy — and prospects of those lovely tax dollars)

Joice, Iowa - October 24, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Democratic presidential candidate Governor Howard Dean, announced his six-point plan to create a thriving renewable energy industry to provide clean, reliable, and secure power for millions of Americans. Dean joined local Worth County residents in a discussion of the economic impact of renewable energy on communities in Worth County, home to a wind farm and future home to ethanol processing.

"It's time we start investing in those resources we have right here and stop relying on foreign oil and fossil fuels," Dean said. "Iowa is one of the best states in the nation to produce wind energy and biofuels. Wind farms, ethanol plants, and other sources of renewable energy create jobs in communities."

Governor Dean proposes creating a renewable portfolio standard (RPS), requiring more American biofuels, boosting wind energy transmission, creating a solar power tax credit, extending the production tax credit (PTC), and investing in renewable energy and efficiency as part of the Fund to Restore America. The Dean campaign said their plan would create 15,000 new energy related jobs in Iowa and US$126 billion in new local property tax revenue by 2020.

"Renewable energy makes sense for the economy, for our environment, and for our national security," said Dean. "It is time for this country to take advantage of the technology and renewable resources already available."

The new Golden Grains ethanol facility being built in Worth County will make Iowa the number one ethanol producer in the nation. Top of Iowa wind farm in Joice will pay Worth County more than $6 million in taxes over the next 20 years and created 200 construction jobs.

Gov. Dean's campaign said the former Vermont Governor lead the way in renewable energy with a comprehensive energy program making Vermont more efficient and making more use of renewables, said his campaign. Governor Dean promoted the development and consumption of both biomass and wind energy as well as making it possible for consumers to offset energy costs by generating renewable energy and selling it back to the grid (net metering).

Dean's Plan for Renewable Energy:

Abundant energy at fair prices was at the core of American prosperity throughout the 20th Century and remains of central importance to our quality of life in the 21st. But the US is at a crossroads; the path we decide upon now will determine what kind of energy future the 21st century will hold. Unfortunately, the possibilities for a clean, affordable and sustainable energy future are being undermined by the Bush-Cheney policy of import, drill and burn (sound familiar?). Their plan has been written behind closed doors with input coming only from special interests and lobbyists. Governor Dean believes we need to replace this approach with a policy that harnesses the powers of American innovation. The comprehensive energy plan that Dean will release later this fall stresses five main goals:

  • Ensure reliable, diverse, and low cost energy supplies at stable prices to all Americans
  • Strengthen our national security
  • Create jobs and stimulate economic growth
  • Spur innovation and make America the world's energy technology leader in the 21st Century
  • Protect our environment

Central to Governor Dean's approach will be a commitment to renewable energy. His stated goals follow:

Invest in Renewable Energy Sources

Replacing dirty, inefficient power production with clean, renewable energy sources has several economic and non-economic benefits, which are not captured in the current pricing regime. As a result, renewable resources often do not look cost competitive, even when they are the best investment we can make in our future. To help overcome these marketplace distortions, Governor Dean's proposes to:

Create a Renewable Portfolio Standard 20 percent by 2020:

Despite a bipartisan plea from 53 Senators, the GOP leadership in Congress buckled under to oil and gas interests and rejected calls to require that our nation generate 10 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. Governor Dean will put the interests of Americans ahead of special interests and require that our nation generate 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. To ensure efficient and flexible implementation, Dean will create a renewable energy credit trading system.

Require More American Biofuels:

Governor Dean will require that every gallon of the US, on average, contain 10 percent American biofuels like ethanol and soy-diesel. As with the renewable energy requirement, Dean will implement a biofuels credit trading system to allow the market to determine where biofuels can be most efficiently used.

Boost Wind Energy Transmission:

To tap this massive wind energy potential of the Plains, Governor Dean will work with state and local governments, renewable generators and transmission utilities to breakdown regulatory barriers, eliminate transmission capacity deficiencies and identify possible transmission investments that could jumpstart new renewable generation

Create a Solar Power Tax Credit:

Governor Dean will boost demand for solar technology in the near-and long-terms by implementing a consumer tax credit for residential solar power and increasing federal support for R&D into solar technologies to reduce the cost of solar cells.

Extend the Production Tax Credit for More Renewables:

Governor Dean will extend the Production Tax Credit, which expires at the end of the year. Dean will also expand the tax credit to cover more types of renewable power generation including geothermal, solar and biomass.

Invest in Renewable Energy and Efficiency as Part of the Fund to Restore America:

Governor Dean's economic plan calls for a $100 billion investment in America over two years: the Fund to Restore America. Dean will encourage states to dedicate a portion of the Fund to investments in renewable generation and in supplemental transmission capability needed to spark new renewable generation.

http://www.solaraccess.com/news/story?storyid=5383

see also :- http://www.hpj.com/dtnnewstable.cfm?type=story&sid=10161

Workstage Develops Alternative and Renewable Energy Center For Grand Valley State University

State-of-the-Art Facility to Receive 100% of its
Energy Needs from Alternative Sources

MUSKEGON, Mich., Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center (MAREC), a project that will lead research into alternative and renewable energy solutions, was announced today by Grand Valley State University and Workstage LLC, a real estate development and design build firm. The 26,000 square foot facility in Muskegon, Michigan is believed to be the first commercial building to receive 100% of its energy needs from alternative sources.

Fifty million consumers learned just how vulnerable the U.S. power grid is during the 2003 power outage.

The Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center aims to research and demonstrate alternative energy solutions that would avoid such widespread outages. Designed and constructed by Workstage, the facility will produce its own energy through photovoltaics, a fuel cell, and a nickel metal hydride battery storage system. As a result, the MAREC will ultimately not rely on the U.S. power grid. The building will be fully constructed and functioning by November 2003, and will serve as a model for property management and facilities personnel concerned with protecting their buildings from future blackouts.

As with most buildings designed and constructed by Workstage, the MAREC incorporates underfloor air distribution. This can reduce energy consumption by 10 to 20% because less fan energy is required. The conditioned air is introduced at the occupant's level as opposed to a traditional HVAC syste where the air is being pushed down. Other energy savings elements include windows that bring in natural light (daylight) and sensor-controlled interior lighting. The sensors measure the amount of light in a space turning off fixtures where daylight is sufficient. Each of these systems are helping the MAREC to receive the Gold LEED(TM) (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design -- http://www.usgbc.org rating for green and sustainable buildings, a distinguished title that is shared by only 19 building throughout the US.

As the Center is poised for changes in the energy industry, the building itself has been designed to accommodate future technology changes as well. The building features a state-of-the-art operating platform, dubbed by Workstage as the "Stage", integrating HVAC, voice, data, and electrical cabling under a raised floor. Housing these systems at the floor level allows quick and easy access to all utilities, making changes in technology or space requirements happen in hours instead of days. The flexibility of this system provides Grand Valley State University with a forward-thinking facility for its cutting-edge research.

As Grand Valley State University embarks upon its research into alternative solutions in the new Energy Center, companies can each do their part to reduce energy consumption through energy-efficient design, like that provided by Workstage.

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?
ACCT=SVBIZINK11.story&STORY=/www/story/10-30-2003/0002047855&EDATE=THU+Oct+30+2003,+09:03+AM

Australian renewable projects

ActewAGL has proposed to construct three wind farms in the Australian Capital Territory on private land. Commercial arrangements have been entered into with the owners of the land who will be able to continue farming around the proposed 10-15 wind turbines to be built on each site. Electricity generated from the $2 million wind turbines will be fed into the New South Wales grid and sold to ActewAGL green choice customers or as accredited green electricity. The three projects will together generate electricity to power 45,000 homes and cost $250 million. ActewAGL has also been reported to be investigating burnt-out pine forest areas in the ACT as potential sites for wind farms.

Hydro Tasmania has opened its first interstate mini hydro project. The 1.9 MW project, a joint partnership with SA Water, captures energy from Adelaide's water supply to generate 7,000 MW hours of renewable energy each year, sufficient to power 1,000 households and reduce annual carbon emissions by 6,000 tonnes. The project has received green power approval and the renewable energy generated will be sold to mainland electricity generators.

Hydro Tasmania has lodged supplementary information, with West Coast Council and the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment, to its development proposal and environmental plan for Heemskirk Wind Farm. The supplementary information deals with issues raised during the public consultation process, predominantly bird flight paths, visual amenity, pubic access, wilderness quality, historic heritage values and economic benefits.

The New South Wales Government has introduced new housing rules, effective from July 2004, requiring each new house and unit to reduce water consumption by 40 per cent and greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent. The greenhouse gas requirement will rise to 40 per cent in 2006. Compliance with emission targets will be measured by the government's point-based Building Sustainability Index (BASIX). The Urban Development Institute of Australia has argued that the targets will raise the cost of housing by $12,000 - $15,000.

The world's first macadamia nut fuelled power plant has opened in Gympie, Queensland. The $3 million co-generation facility, a joint venture between Ergon Energy and Suncoast Gold Macadamias, will use the discarded shells of macadamia nuts to power 1,200 Queensland homes and reduce the emission of 9,500 tonnes of greenhouse gases annually.

The Minister for Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp has announced that Australia's consumption of ozone depleting substances has reduced by over 70 per cent since 1992.

Shell has launched a new diesel fuel, termed 'Aquadiesel fuel', that will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 15 per cent and carbon monoxide emissions by up to 50 per cent. The Aquadiesel, which contains 13 per cent water, is currently available for commercial customers in New South Wales, and will be available in Victoria by the end of October 2003.

Green Electricity Watch has released its second report (September 2003) and the 2nd annual 'Green Electricity Watch scorecard'; a ranking of energy companies and their green credentials. All 14 electricity retailers in Australia were surveyed regarding their energy efficiency programs, their support for policies to reduce greenhouse pollution and the Green Power products they offer. Australian Inland Energy and Origin Energy topped the list. The scorecard can be viewed at http://www.acfonline.org.au/docs/general/00485.pdf

A consultation paper has been produced for the development of a 'National Biodiversity and Climate Change Action Plan', outlined in the previous Renewable Energy and Greenhouse Update. Comments on the paper close 17 October 2003. To view the paper visit http://www.erin.gov.au/nrm/publications/biodiversity/index.html

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is prosecuting Sanyo Airconditioners Manufacturing Singapore Pty Ltd for allegedly misleading consumers by not indicating that a refrigerant it uses is a greenhouse gas. The company issued brochures for its air conditioners containing the phrases 'environmentally-friendly HFC 'R407C' Added' and 'for a new ozone era — keeping the world green'. Although hydrofluorocarbon R-407C is used by various air-conditioner manufacturers as a substitute for ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons it is actually a greenhouse gas. It is also alleged that the company failed to indicate that several of their air-conditioners used R-22, also a greenhouse gas, as a refrigerant.

The Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr has signed a $172 million agreement with a French-Italian semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics to plant 12 million trees on the mid north coast of New South Wales to absorb atmospheric pollution. The native hardwoods and plantation pines will be planted on 12,000 hectares over the next seven years to absorb seven million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Victoria's first <http://www.greenhouse.vic.gov.au/roundtable.htm>Industry Greenhouse Roundtable, held in September 2003, has reported that 60 submissions were received to the 'Greenhouse Challenge' discussion paper released by the Victorian Government in June 2003. The Roundtable reported that issues raised by the submissions focused on the need for policy certainty and a national approach to greenhouse gas abatement.

Stanwell Corporation has officially opened its Wivenhoe Small Hydro. The $7.5 million hydro power station has been supplying 4,500 homes with electricity for six months. The station took 18 months to construct and is expected to abate 20,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

The Australian Building Codes Board and the Australian Greenhouse Office have issued a regulation document proposing the development and introduction of energy efficiency measures into the Building Code of Australia for Class 2, 3 and 4 buildings. The regulation document closes for public comment on 4 March 2004.

Kings Creek Hotel in Hastings, Victoria will become Australia's first wind-powered pub. The hotel plans to install a commercially-zoned micro wind turbine to reduce greenhouse gas emission by 100 tonnes per year.

The Northern Territory Government will offer a dollar-for-dollar cash rebate for Territorians living in remote regions without grid power for converting to renewable energy sources. The rebate scheme is part of the $38 million grants program to offer alternatives to diesel generated power.

http://www.mondaq.com/i_article.asp_Q_articleid_E_22953

NEWS RELEASE European Environment Agency Copenhagen, 24 October 2003

http://reports.eea.eu.int/topic_report_2003_3/en

Summer 2003 ozone pollution hits high; levels could recur for several more years

Harmful ozone pollution was the worst for almost a decade in large parts of Europe this summer, particularly during the long August heatwave, according to a preliminary assessment by the European Environment Agency.

The unusually hot and sunny weather, combined with air pollutants emitted mainly by traffic, industry and vegetation, caused very long lasting and geographically extensive ‘episodes’ with high concentrations of harmful ground-level ozone.

And this situation is likely to repeat itself in any future summers with above-average temperatures until measures taken under current legislation result in a much larger cut in emissions of the ‘precursor’ pollutants that cause ground-level ozone towards the year 2010.

Emissions of the main precursors — nitrogen oxides and non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) — fell by around 30% between 1990 and 2000 in the 15 European Union Member States. EU legislation setting national ceilings, to be met by 2010, on emissions of these and certain other pollutants will bring a further 30% cut.

A http://reports.eea.eu.int/topic_report_2003_3/en summary of the assessment has been sent to EU environment ministers who will discuss the summer ozone episodes at their meeting on Monday (27 October).

In contrast to the stratospheric ozone layer that protects against harmful solar radiation, ground-level ozone can cause serious human health problems and damage to ecosystems, crops and materials. It forms when the precursor pollutants react with sunlight.

High temperatures worsen the situation by increasing emissions of NMVOCs from vegetation and man-made sources such as solvents.

Out of 31 European countries reporting monitoring results this year, 23 suffered ground-level ozone pollution at concentrations well above an important human health threshold on one or more days between April and August.

Beyond this threshold, set at 180 micrograms of ozone per cubic metre of air (180 µg/m3) averaged over one hour, exposure for a short period can have limited, temporary effects on the health of children as well as of adults who are particularly sensitive to ozone.

Governments are required by European Union law to inform the public whenever the 180 µg/m3 threshold is breached.

The threshold was exceeded in at least one of the 23 countries on 137 of the 153 days monitored between April and August. Only the Nordic countries, the Baltic States and Ireland reported no exceedances (see http://org.eea.eu.int/documents/newsreleases/Ozone-en#annex>Annex).

Breaches of the threshold lasted an average of 3.5 hours, the longest average period since 1995, with a high of 4.2 hours on average recorded in the Slovak Republic. The ozone concentration during the episodes averaged 202 µg/m3 in the 23 countries affected and reached an average of 246 µg/m3 in Romania.

The number of hours during spring and summer when ozone concentrations at each monitoring station were above the 180 µg/m3 threshold averaged 31 for the EU, its highest number ever. In France the number was one-third higher than the previous record set nine years ago.

The areas with the most exceedances of the threshold were south-west Germany, Switzerland, northern and south-eastern France, Belgium, northern and central Italy and central Spain.

These are also among the regions with the highest density of emissions from traffic and industry of the main pollutants contributing to ozone.

Under revised EU ozone legislation that took effect in September, the ozone concentration above which brief exposure is considered to pose a health risk for the general population has been tightened from 360µg/m3, averaged over one hour, to 240µg/m3.Governments are required to warn the general public to take precautions whenever the threshold is exceeded.

The 360 µg/m3 threshold, which still applied this spring and summer, was breached four times - twice in mid-June, at stations in northern Italy (Varenna) and Romania (Chiciu), and twice in early August at one monitoring station in south-east France (Sausset les Pins). This number of exceedances is in line with previous years, despite this year’s hotter temperatures.

The highest ozone concentration was 417 µg/m3, reached at Sausset les Pins during the heatwave that affected much of Europe in the first half of August.

The new 240 µg/m3 threshold, which was not yet in force this summer, was exceeded in 15 countries and in around 6% of the episodes where the 180 µg/m3 information threshold was breached.

Notes for Editors

This summary of the ozone situation in 2003 is based on the forthcoming EEA report to the European Commission titled Air pollution by ozone in Europe in summer 2003: Overview of exceedances of EC ozone threshold values during the summer season April-August 2003 and comparisons with previous years. The report was prepared by the EEA’s Topic Centre on Air and Climate Change.

A day on which a threshold is exceeded for at least one hour is counted as one exceedance.

Human exposure to elevated ozone concentrations can give rise to adverse effects on the breathing system and decreases in lung function. Symptoms observed during smog events are coughing, chest pain, difficulty in breathing, headache and eye irritation. Exposure of ecosystems and agricultural crops to ozone results in visible injury to foliage and reductions in crop yield and seed production. Adverse effects on vegetation can be noted at relatively low ozone concentrations which occur frequently in Europe.

EU legislation on ozone pollution was established in 1992 by directive 92/72/EEC. This was replaced on 9 September 2003 by directive 2002/3/EC on ozone in ambient air.

Besides the 15 EU Member States, the countries which reported on their ozone levels this year were Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, FYROM, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Switzerland.

A total of 1,805 monitoring stations across these 31 countries are assumed to have been operational during the spring and summer.

http://org.eea.eu.int/documents/newsreleases/Ozone-en

Hay fever sufferers and asthmatics unite — you have nothing to lose but your lungs.

 
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