Eco Blog (33)
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The UK economy saved nearly £250m in fuel costs last year by generating its energy more efficiently, Government figures show.
This saving is equivalent to the gas bills of more than 350,000 homes.
The Digest of UK Energy Statistics, published annually by DECC, reported an increase in combined heat and power plants, with 54 new schemes built in 2014.
However, some industrial sectors saw limited new investment and some key industrial sectors saw significant reductions in CHP capacity and generation.
ADE director Dr Tim Rotheray said: “There are hundreds more commercial and industrial sites that could benefit from generating their own heat and power locally by putting the right policy framework in place.
“A welcome tax relief implemented in 2015 is key to protecting existing industrial efficiency investments. The Government’s forthcoming Carbon Taxation review now presents a major opportunity to unlock the untapped efficiency opportunity, boost energy productivity and support UK business competitiveness.”
Common misconceptions about efficiency not only can increase energy use, but actually can end up costing consumers and business money.
We all think we know about energy efficiency. We make an effort to turn off the lights when we leave the room and close the refrigerator door after removing food. In today’s society, it is more important than ever before to start cracking down on energy use to save both money and the environment.
Many initiatives are in place to help reduce energy use, including regulations from the EPA to save billions on energy bills and reduce the need for new power supplies. Additionally, technology is constantly advancing, which allows society to better understand what is needed to improve and monitor energy use.
With all of these tools at our disposal, are consumers and businesses taking the right steps to become more energy efficient? From using less energy to energy audits to the cost dilemma, below are three common misconceptions that should be debunked.
Myth 1: Using less energy is the same as being energy-efficient.
Fact: Energy conservation means using less energy. Energy efficiency means using energy more productively.
People often struggle to grasp what energy efficiency is, at its core. Too often, people interpret it as slightly reducing comfort or quality of life, which can be a deterrent for some.
In reality, energy efficiency means “getting the same output with less input.” It means that energy should be used in a more productive manner, meaning we get more for what is used. While actions such as turning off lights or turning down the heat do use less energy, this is known as energy conservation, not energy efficiency.
While both energy conservation and energy efficiency play a role in reducing energy consumption, it is important to distinguish between the two and note that consumers do not need to sacrifice comfort or quality of living (as is common to energy conservation measures) to be energy efficient.
Myth 2: Energy audits are the best way to become more energy efficient.
Fact: Energy audits are a good tool when approached correctly, but are often overwhelming and confusing. Energy audits have become a common practice, whether at home or in an office building. Third party auditors come in to examine the office or home, the equipment, the insulation and other aspects to see where improvements can be made to make the home or office more efficient. But with all the time and investment required to complete an energy audit, is it truly the best option to make sure buildings are more energy efficient?
Standalone energy audits without the proper planning and follow-up are similar to walking into a restaurant, asking for a table, sitting down and receiving your menu — and then leaving without your meal. You know the menu, but you’re still hungry. When an energy audit is conducted without a clear goal in mind, it can leave consumers and businesses with a list of to-dos and possibilities, but no tangible outcome or actions. In many cases, too many options — lighting, window tinting, adjusting overall behavior — can be overwhelming and ultimately prevent companies from getting started.
Energy audits can be valuable, as long as consumers and building owners in offices and industrial settings alike are clear about overall objectives. This not only cuts down on confusion in the aftermath of an audit and makes it easier to take action, but also can affect the results of the audit.
Ask yourself: What are you really after? Improved productivity? Increased comfort? Cost savings? Upgraded day lighting? A clearly outlined objective is where many companies and consumers fall short. Once you define this objective, a more tailored audit can be conducted that clearly identifies ways that energy efficiency as a solution can be crafted to meet that objective.
Improvements in energy efficiency can be dramatic without breaking the bank. Just compare the lifetime cost of one of the new, affordable LED bulbs to its less-efficient predecessors.
Myth 3: Energy efficiency is expensive.
Fact: Energy efficiency is an investment, not an expense.
When consumers or businesses are asked why they haven’t taken steps to become more energy efficient, the answer is often because it is considered too expensive. In my opinion, this is the largest energy efficiency myth there is.
It’s also the most difficult myth to debunk.
The unfortunate fact is that while turning off your lights — energy conservation — is free, upgrading your air conditioning or heating system is not. However, it is important to understand the differences between long-term and short-term costs when considering energy efficiency.
Consider the LED light bulb, which has been a huge help in debunking this myth. While more costly than a regular light bulb, it lasts longer and consumes energy more productively, therefore reducing the cost to provide light. While the initial cost is higher, the long-term cost is significantly smaller.
The same is true for other energy efficiency measures. By considering the long-term costs, energy efficiency becomes an investment, rather than an expense. By changing our mindset to more closely reflect this view of energy efficiency, the upfront cost becomes more palatable to many.
These are only a few of many myths around energy efficiency today. Once you grasp the difference between energy efficiency and energy consumption, the long-term investment of energy efficiency and then clearly outline an objective to improve energy use, a more energy efficient environment soon will follow.
NOTE: If you want to read a great book on this topic, pick up How Bad are Bananas? It's a real eye-opener with regard to what really matters when making energy efficiency choices--Editor
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(Article first published on: theguardian.com | May 5, 2015 by Katie Forster)
Just further evidence of how solar lamps have helped improve the health of one community’s people, save on expensive and harmful fuel whilst reducing carbon emissions at the same time. To find out how you can access leading edge solar powered lighting technology for yourself or your business check out our site at http://www.eco.ph/
In Kenya, where less than a quarter of the 45-million population has access to electricity, a solar lamp project is helping rural communities save money on expensive and harmful fuel while reducing carbon emissions. The Use Solar, Save Lives initiative was set up in 2004 by Evans Wadongo, 29, an engineer who experienced the dangerous effects of kerosene lamps growing up in a western Kenyan village. Studying close to an open flame, he was exposed to kerosene smoke, notorious for provoking breathing and vision defects, which left him with permanent eye problems.
Determined to make a difference, Wadongo designed an alternative – a simple, sun-powered lantern dubbed a MwangaBora, which means “good light” in Swahili. The lamp is cleaner and greener, and also cuts costs. “For a family that earns two dollars a day, kerosene takes about 30-40% of their daily income. If they’re able to save that, it really makes a big difference,” says Wadongo. The lamps are made from locally sourced scrap metal and fragments of solar panels that charge a battery-powered LED light, while a USB port can be built into the base, offering an easy way to charge phones and radios.
Instead of importing solar technology from a mass producing country such as China, groups of young people are trained to manufacture the lamps. These are then given to women’s groups, who use the money they save to set up small businesses such as poultry farming or beekeeping. “When women have their own income, they spend it on their families and the whole community benefits,” says Wadongo. Winning an international Seed award in 2011 helped the organisation to circulate lamps around the country – there are now more than 50,000 MwangaBora used in Kenya alone. Fundraising exhibitions featuring the lamps have taken place in New York and at thePavilion of Art and Design in London, and Wadongo was named as one of CNN’s top 10 heroes in 2010. At the 2012 London Olympics, he was selected as one of four torchbearers for Kenya.
Despite these accolades, and donations from around the world, Wadongo says that financing the project is a challenge due to its long-term nature. Each lamp costs $25, which covers materials, training and distribution. The women’s groups can use money from their successful businesses to buy more lamps, creating a micro-finance system. “We want to make sure that in every community we get into, we leave them not only with lamps but with increased income levels,” he says.
The project has already taken off in Uganda and Wadongo is looking to further expansion. “We still have a whole lot of work to do in Kenya. By 2018, we want to be working in at least five countries in sub-Saharan Africa and have a million people benefiting from our program. Eventually we want to be able to do the same in South America, for example.”
And the impact could be global. Solar power saves lives by reducing the risk of fire caused by open flames and by improving villagers’ economic and educational prospects, but also by helping to save the planet, says Wadongo. “Burning one litre of kerosene produces 2.6kg of CO2, so with more than a billion people worldwide using it every day, you can imagine how much is emitted into the environment.”
Families warm to solar power: Rising energy bills mean 60% of households are now considering installing panelsWritten by SG Eco
(Article First Published on: dailymail.co.uk | April 21, 2015)
- Demand is being fuelled by solar panels provided through 'rent-a-roof'
- Companies offer free installation in return for pocketing surplus energy pay
- Market researchers say demand for solar panels has exploded since 2010
Rising energy bills are driving more homeowners into installing solar panels on their roofs. And experts say there is still ‘strong growth potential’, with three fifths of householders said to be considering the option. Demand is being fuelled by solar panels provided through ‘rent-a-roof’ schemes, whereby companies install the system free in return for pocketing payments for the surplus energy that is fed into the National Grid.
Soar in demand: Rising energy bills are driving more homeowners into installing solar panels on their roofs. Demand is being fuelled by 'rent-a-roof' schemes and the Government's Green Deal finance initiative.
However, a quarter of respondents to a survey by market researchers Mintel would either buy the panels themselves to get the feed-in tariff or use the Government’s Green Deal finance scheme.
Claudia Preedy, a Mintel analyst, said: ‘Although the market remains in its infancy, demand for solar panels has exploded since 2010 and there continues to be strong growth potential.
'The market was originally driven by residential roof-top installations, reflecting the introduction of the FIT scheme in April 2010.
'However, in 2013 and particularly during 2014, there was a shift in focus from roof-top to large-scale ground mounted installations.
'These policy changes reflect the current government's desire to see a shift in solar developments from large scale ground-mounted towards mid-scale building-mounted, commercial and industrial onsite generation and domestic deployment.'
Of the homeowners who have solar panels on their roofs, seven out of ten paid for them themselves and only a fifth used the 'rent-a-roof' scheme.
Reaping the benefits: A survey by market researchers Mintel found that of the homeowners who have solar panels on their roofs, seven out of ten paid for them themselves and only a fifth used the rent-a-roof scheme
Not everyone is convinced: Two fifths of those surveyed want nothing to do with the technology, Mintel found, with three out of ten concerned about maintenance costs or believing their roof was not suited
But two fifths want nothing to do with the new technology, with three out of ten believing their roof was not suited or were concerned about replacement or maintenance costs, while a quarter planned to move out before they get the financial investment back.
Only a sixth were concerned about how solar panels affecting housing prices while less than a tenth said they spent not enough time in their home during the day to benefit from the daytime electricity generated by these solar panels.
Ms Preedy added: 'Despite frequent changes in government policy and other factors, such as the strong drop in installation costs in recent years, the solar industry has proved resilient and has shown that it can reinvent itself within a changing landscape.
'The industry is expected to continue to do so in the foreseeable future, even with the uncertainties regarding future government policies.'
(Article First Published on: humanresourcesonline.net | April 01, 2015)
Want to reduce your team’s stress levels? Try giving them a seating spot with more access to natural light.
Echoing earlier reports, a new study has found employees who work in environments with natural elements such as light and green plants are more efficient and happier.
Polling 7,600 office workers from 16 countries, The Human Spaces global study highlighted staff with access to nature reported a 15% higher level of well being, are 6% more productive and 15% more creative overall.
Unfortunately however, nearly half (47%) of office employees worldwide stated they have no natural light in their working environment, and almost two thirds (58%) have no live plants in their workspace.
In Canada, 32% of workers reported having no windows. This was closely followed by Australia and the U.S., with 28% and 27% of workers respectively.
Interestingly, all three countries reported above average levels of stress.
Conversely, workers in Indonesia and India reported some of the highest levels of light and space at 93% and 92%, respectively, and reported some of the lowest levels of unhappiness.
It was, therefore, unsurprising that natural light was chosen by employees as the most wanted element in their offices. This was followed by live indoor plants, and a quiet working space.
A view of the sea and being surrounded by bright colours rounded up the top five.
“The benefit of design inspired by nature, known as biophilic design, is accumulating evidence at a rapid pace,” said organisational psychologist Professor Sir Cary Cooper, who led the study.
Indeed, office design was so important to workers that a third of global respondents stated it would unequivocally affect their decision whether or not to work somewhere.
Office design was especially vital in India (67%), Indonesia (62%) and the Philippines (60%).
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(Article First Published on: farmfutures.com | March 16, 2015)
USDA will now accept and review Rural Energy for America loan and grant applications year-round.
USDA has expanded the application and review window for Rural Energy for America grant and loan applicants, as well as provided more stable funding for the program through the 2014 Farm Bill, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said Tuesday.
"In the past, we've had to be concerned about appropriations processes that can change [program funding] year to year," Vilsack said, noting that the REAP funding is now tied to the life of the 2014 Farm Bill.
The REAP program offerings allow small businesses and farmers to purchase and install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. Vilsack said this not only helps farmers and small business cut energy costs, it also cuts carbon pollution and promotes renewable energy and jobs.
"It's also a job creator," Vilsack said, noting that installers, solar panel producers and other construction employment opportunities are boosted by producers' uses of funding. More than $280 million is now available to eligible applicants through REAP.
Grants will be available for up to 25% of total project costs and loan guarantees for up to 75% of total project costs for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements.
Eligible renewable energy projects must incorporate commercially available technology. This includes renewable energy from wind, solar, ocean, small hydropower, hydrogen, geothermal and renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters). The maximum grant amount is $500,000, and the maximum loan amount is $25 million per applicant.
Energy efficiency improvement projects eligible for REAP funding include lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, fans, automated controls and insulation upgrades that reduce energy consumption. The maximum grant amount is $250,000, and the maximum loan amount is $25 million per applicant.
Previous loan and grant recipients have used funding to build efficient greenhouses that use solar power or re-fit rural grocery stores with more efficient windows, lighting and equipment.
The REAP application window also has been expanded. USDA said it will now accept and review loan and grant applications year-round. Details on how to apply are on page 78029 of the Dec. 29, 2014, Federal Register or are available by contacting state Rural Development offices.
Additional grants for energy audits
USDA is offering a second type of grant to support organizations that help farmers, ranchers and small businesses conduct energy audits and operate renewable energy projects.
Eligible applicants include units of state, tribal or local governments; colleges, universities and other institutions of higher learning; rural electric cooperatives and public power entities, and conservation and development districts.
The maximum grant is $100,000. Applications for these particular grants have been available since Dec. 29, 2014, and are due Feb. 12.
15% of the UK’s electricity came from renewable sources in 2013, according to new analyses. Photograph: Alamy
(Article First Published on: theguardian.com | February 24, 2015)
UK is about halfway towards its commitment to meet clean energy and climate goals in 2020. Shift to more reusable energy today, visit us at www.eco.ph
The UK is on track to meet its renewable energy goals, with wind power substituting for gas and coal use and driving down greenhouse gas emissions, according to new analyses. However, the actions of the next government are likely to be crucial in deciding whether the legally binding targets can be met.
Gas use in the UK fell by more than a fifth from 2005 to 2012, as energy efficiency increased across the economy and green energy took up more of the burden.
Under European Union targets, the UK must produce 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, and is one of a small number of big member states to be judged on track to meet all of its energy and climate commitments by the European environment agency.
This was confirmed on Thursday by the Office for National Statistics, which found that 15% of the UK’s electricity came from renewable sources in 2013. This puts the UK about halfway towards its commitments, because the overall energy target includes transport and heating, as well as electricity generation. For the UK to meet its EU goals, electricity generation from renewable sources is likely to have to increase to above 30% by 2020.
Gas dominates the UK’s domestic heating supply, and for most of the past two decades has been the main source of electricity generation. But this situation has reversed in the last three years, with gas use falling sharply and the slack taken up by ageing coal-fired power stations, now the biggest source of the UK’s electricity generation. This is owing to a combination of factors, including a very low price on carbon dioxide emissions under the EU’s carbon trading scheme (a high price was intended to discourage coal use) and the knock-on effects of the shale gas boom in the US, where cheap gas use has soared creating a glut of cheap coal on the international market. Gas in the UK has remained more expensive, as North Sea supplies have been rapidly depleted.
The rise in renewables while gas use fell also highlights the competition that clean energy represents to gas. Gas companies have been keen to emphasise the fuel as a “greener” alternative to coal – it burns more cleanly, producing much less carbon dioxide and none of some other pollutants associated with coal – and as a “transition” fuel that can help the move to a low-carbon economy alongside the use of renewable.
However, many in the green sector are concerned that investment in renewable alternatives could suffer if gas is prioritised. Many of Europe’s biggest players in renewable energy are power companies that still generate large amounts of their output from fossil fuels.
Renewable UK, the trade association for the wind industry, said renewable power generators were “doing their bit” towards the UK’s targets, but that fossil fuel use in transport and heating remained relatively high. For renewables to cut transport emissions too, through electric cars, the next government needs to show support for wind power, they said.
Gordon Edge, Renewable UK’s director of policy said: “Onshore and offshore wind farms have been growing rapidly and are now generating more than half of our clean electricity. The question is whether the UK will make fast enough progress on renewable heat and renewable transport as well – that’s looking less certain. If there’s a shortfall in those areas, we’ll need to generate more renewable electricity to hit the target.
“The cheapest way to do this would be to install more onshore wind, which is why it’s utterly baffling that the Conservative party is proposing to cap the development of onshore wind if they’re elected in May.”
He added that meeting the legally binding goal would require more effort: “Whichever party is in government next, it looks likely that they’ll need to consider an even more rapid scaling up in the generation of renewable electricity than currently planned over the next five years. Onshore and offshore wind are poised to step up and meet that demand but we’ll need the new government to set more ambitious targets early on, in terms of how much wind they want to see installed, or the UK will risk falling short of the overall target.”
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(Article First Published on: eco-business.com | February 12, 2015)
Driven by rising urbanisation and a growing middle class, demand for energy in Southeast Asia is set to increase by a staggering 80 per cent between 2013 and 2035 - a rise equivalent to the current demand in Japan, estimates the International Energy Agency.
This supports a near tripling of the region’s economy, but one of the biggest challenges facing the region is balancing the need for affordable energy with curbing greenhouse gas emissions, the main cause of climate change.
Clean, renewable sources will have to become a vital part of the energy mix, even as reliance on oil imports rises across the region. Bloomberg New Energy Finance expects that US$2.5 trillion will be spent on renewable technologies in Asia Pacific by 2030 – a hole that governments alone cannot fill.
Experts say the private sector holds the key to this funding shortfall. The good news is, there already is growing interest from the private sector to invest in the region’s clean energy sector.
These include private equity funds, companies and increasingly, family offices, which are gradually taking to the concept of sustainable investing.
Sustainable investing refers to an investment approach that seeks financial return while emphasizing social good. This usually involves promoting environmental stewardship, consumer protection, human rights, and diversity, to name a few.
“Clean energy is definitely a large trend in sustainable investing and we really see that happening across the region,” says Jessica Robinson, chief executive of the Association for Sustainable & Responsible Investment in Asia (ASrIA).
In a report called “Asia Sustainable Investment Review”, published last December, ASrIA studied sustainable investment strategies and practices by investors in Asia.
“We are seeing a lot of positive trends, and one is that governments are trying to bringing in private capital to co-share not only the capital but the returns and risks,” Robinson adds.
Potential investors are now more comfortable with the risks involved in the building and running of power assets because returns have been attractive and policy support is gradually increasing albeit the level of support varies across the region.
Furthermore, an ecoystem of companies that provide services and hardware in clean energy is emerging. All these factors are contributing to the growing awareness among private investors that the clean energy industry is viable.
Nonetheless, they still need to be nudged to invest, mainly by governments, and a good way to do that is to co-share risks.
“Companies hate uncertainty… (so) this is where policy support comes in,” Robinson says.
For example, governments can back a fund specialising in clean and renewable energy and match the private-sector contributions, which Indonesia has done. They can also help with valuing projects more effectively by putting a price on carbon, she adds.
“More bankers than engineers”
In the meantime, the potential for the private sector is in Southeast Asia is huge.
“There is more money wanting to go into projects than there are projects,” says Michael Quah, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS).
“When you go to any conference on financing, 90 percent of them are bankers and money types. The rest are engineers,” says the professor, who is also the director of the NUS Energy Office.
Berkeley Energy, Armstrong Asset Management and Equis Funds Group are among the private groups that started investing in renewable energy projects in the region in the past decade.
U.K.’s Berkeley Energy’s Renewable Energy Asia Fund has stakes in small hydro, wind, geothermal, solar, landfill gas and biomass projects in Asian developing markets, focusing on the Philippines and India.
Armstrong’s Southeast Asia Clean Energy Fund, a private-equity fund based in Singapore, manages US$164 million of investments in utility-scale renewable energy and resource efficiency projects in Southeast Asia.
Armstrong’s chief executive officer Andrew Affleck said the fund’s early participation in the sector has generated goodwill among governments in the region.
“There are compelling reasons for private finance to invest in the renewable energy sector – and the subsequent success of companies like us should eventually encourage broader participation from large private sector institutions,” Armstrong told Eco-Business.
“New initiatives are being put in place to increase such participation,” he adds. For example, governments are reaching out to private companies to collaborate on public-private partnerships and working on increasing tax incentives for green projects. “
Singapore-based Equis Funds Group, meanwhile, invests in Soleq, a solar utility also based in the city that owns and operates 70 percent of 10 solar facilities - totalling 91MW - in Thailand.
Soleq is also financing the construction of two projects in Philippines totalling 50MW, with the rights to acquire and fund an additional 150MW of solar projects.
There are compelling reasons for private finance to invest in the renewable energy sector – and subsequent investment success of people like us should eventually encourage broader participation from large private sector institutions.
Andrew Affleck, chief executive officer, Armstrong Asset Management
A lot of work is also being done by development finance institutions such as International Finance Corporation (IFC), The Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO), Germany Investment and Development Corporation (DEG), Proparco, The Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (GEEREF), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Obviam in the region.
They invest in private funds such as Armstrong’s as well as directly in projects, providing both debt and equity.
The name is Bond, Green Bond
While the efforts by the private sector to invest in clean energy projects have been promising, far more is needed in terms of fund-raising for projects in the region.
One innovative funding stream that could potentially make a huge difference is green bonds.
Companies that want to build, for instance, wind or solar farms, issue these bonds, which promise a certain return over the life of the project. Investors fund them by buying the bonds.
Currently, many investors are institutions such as private companies, commercial banks, insurance firms, central banks and other government bodies, asset managers, and pension funds.
For these private-sector investors, such credit-worthy fixed income opportunities may be attractive as they provide steady returns over five to 20 years.
In recent years, green bonds have raised money for clean energy, mass transit, and other low-carbon projects that help countries adapt to and mitigate climate change.
Since the first green bond was developed by the World Bank and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) in 2007, the global market for such bonds has grown rapidly at a compound annual rate of more than 50 percent, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices, which runs the S&P Green Bond Index consisting of 150 such issuances.
In Asia, the market is tiny but growing, says Julia Kochetygova, senior director of global equities and strategy, S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a January 2015 report “Climate Change, Green Bonds and Index Investing: The New Frontier”.
“If the current trends continue, (the global green bond market) could grow from USD$150 billion to USD$200 billion over the next three to five years, thus providing an array of investment opportunities to long-term fixed income investors,” she writes in the report.
Last July, Taiwan’s Advanced Semiconductor Engineering became the first Asian company to sell green bonds, issuing US$300 million of three-year bonds.
They received more than US$2 billion in orders, reflecting the huge demand for such products and paving the way for more companies in the region follow in its footsteps.
Institutions that are advocating green bonds include ADB’s Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility (CGIF), which provides credit guarantees to companies that want to issue local-currency bonds in Southeast Asia.
The CGIF is focusing on green bonds this year and hopes to lead the way in the development of green bond in the region, CGIF’s chief executive Kiyoshi Nishimura told Global Capital.
The agency knows there are huge green investment needs in Asean countries, especially in renewable energy and energy-efficiency areas, and there is almost no precedent for green bonds in Asia, Global Capital reported. That is why it is focusing on green bonds.
“Most likely, our initial projects for green bonds will be for renewable energy or energy efficient investments,” Nishimura says. “We are already working on transactions involving renewable energy investments in the Philippines (geothermal) and Laos (hydro) and exploring if they can be structured as green bonds.”
Despite the rosy outlook for green energy projects in Southeast Asia, challenges do exist, and can be as simple as the lack of communication between the public and private sectors.
“I think an issue is there’s not enough engagement between the private sector and government. So there’s a big question on where the opportunities are and where the private sector can help,” says ASrIA’s Robinson.
Affleck agrees, but adds that it’s “getting better in some countries.”
The Philippines Energy Regulatory Commission, for example, now holds timely public stakeholder consultations to address problems, he says. “And they do try to solve them.”
In addition, supply chain issues such as long waiting times for equipment and spare parts, weak support and
(Article First Published on: siliconindia.com | February 04, 2015)
Finland: Renewable energy brings a cheaper yet more efficient way to supply the energy needs not only in Asia but across the globe! Start saving energy today, visit our site to find better options: www.eco.ph
Finnish scientists believe that renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, will become the cheapest energy for consumers in Asia in next 10 years.
A joint project conducted by Finnish Technical Research Center (VTT) at the Lappeenranta University of Technology and the University of Turku has successfully modelled comprehensive energy systems based entirely on renewable energy sources for China, South Korea and Japan, Xinhua reported.
The project has recently won an award in Japan for its pioneering simulation work.
China, a leading energy consumer in the world, has become the world's largest investor in solar and wind energy, said VTT's Pasi Vainikka.
"China possesses significant wind and solar energy resources, so a power network based on renewable energy sources has the potential to become profitable very quickly," Vainikka was quoted as saying.
The researchers who participated in the project predicted that the price of solar electricity will drop by half within 10 to 15 years, so that the relative industries will become more profitable.
Skylights are considered to be one of the most reliable energy-saving devices utilizing the renewable energy of the sun in order to provide natural lighting inside an office or home.
With proper installation and positioning, this lighting device can allow up to five times more light than a regular window thereby improving the occupants’ utility of the interior space in a comfort in a highly cost-effective way.
Skylights can also enhance the curb value and aesthetic appeal of your property as well as contribute to reducing the Carbon Footprint that produces.
So if you want to enjoy the benefits it offers, here are some fundamental questions that you need to consider before installing skylights.
Are Skylights Applicable to any Size of House?
Skylights can be installed in any room of a house (single or multi-storey) as long as there is suitable access and sufficient ventilation as condensation can occur as it conveys light energy into the building.
What is Your Roof Framing at Home?
Before installing skylights, you should determine the kind of roof frame you have in your house. Basically, skylights can be installed on these two commonly used roof framing system- conventional and truss roof frame.
Larger size skylights can be installed on a conventional roof frame while truss roof frames usually require smaller skylights which can accommodate a maximum truss center of 2 feet.
Where is the Best Place for Your Skylights?
The best place to position your skylights should always be clear of any obstructions such as electrical wires, water heater pipes, heat and A/C ducts or anything that might serve as structural obstacle.
If you have a limited roof space, you can re-route the pipes or cable wires to clear out the space that you need in order to install them.
Does the interior colour scheme of your space affect the performance of Skylights?
Yes it does. Lighter, brighter colors will tend to reflect daylight around the room while dark colors will tend to absorb it. The best solution for this is to adjust the size or quantity of skylights to provide sufficient lighting inside your house.
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(Article First Published on: news.asiaone.com | January 18, 2015)
China’s investment in renewable energy hit a record high of US$89.5 billion in 2014. This clearly shows the country’s vigorous efforts to cut down their energy expenses through its natural sources. Join the drive toward a clean energy, see how our products can contribute: www.eco.ph
China ranks the top in the world in terms of the use of renewable energy with the increasing switch to renewable energy resources, said senior official on Saturday.
China's investment in clean energy in 2014 hit a record US$89.5 billion (S$118.7 billion), accounting for 29 per cent of the world's total.
China's renewable energy generation capacity reached 430 million kilowatts by the end of 2014, accounting for 32 per cent of the country's total power capacity, said Shi Lishan, deputy director general of the New and Renewable Energy Department of the National Energy Administration during the fifth session of the International Renewable Energy Agency Assembly held in Abu Dhabi.
According to Shi, China's renewable power generation was 1.2 trillion kilowatt-hours in 2014, accounting for 22 per cent of the country's total power consumption in the last year.
China became a member of IRENA in January 2013, a milestone in international efforts to double the share of renewable energy worldwide by 2030.
Shi said China will strengthen communication on projects and technology in renewable energy industries with other member countries and regions.
"China will also make efforts to support underdeveloped countries' renewable energy development," Shi said.
Adnan Amin, director-general of IRENA, said China's renewable power generation costs including that of solar and wind energy have significantly reduced, which will help the country to improve its energy structure in the long run."
(Article first Published on: news.stv.tv/Scotland | January 03, 2015)
December was a record month for wind power in Scotland, according to environmentalists who have hailed 2014 as a "massive year" for renewable energy.
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The biggest day for output for wind was on December 10 when there was enough energy generated to supply 6.34 million homes for the whole day, analysis from WWF Scotland showed. The charity said wind turbines generated enough power to supply over 100% of Scottish households on 25 out of the 31 days of December.
Throughout the year wind provided enough power for the electrical needs of 98% of Scottish households, with solar power meeting two-thirds or more of household electricity or hot water needs, it added.
Lang Banks, WWF Scotland's director, said: "Without doubt, 2014 was a massive year for renewables, with wind turbines and solar panels helping to ensure millions of tonnes of climate-wreaking carbon emissions were avoided.
"With 2015 being a critical year for addressing climate change internationally, it's vital that Scotland continues to press ahead with plans to harness even greater amounts of clean energy.
"December turned out to be a record-breaking month for wind power, with enough green energy generated to supply a record 164% of Scottish households with the electricity they need.
"Even on calmer days, wind still supplied the equivalent of over a third of electricity needs of every home."
Using data provided by WeatherEnergy, the charity said for homes fitted with solar photo-voltaic systems, there was enough sunshine in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow or Inverness to generate an estimated 100% or more of the electricity needs of an average property during June and July and 60% or more in the same four cities during March, April, May, August and September.
Karen Robinson, of WeatherEnergy, added: "We're famous in the UK for our obsession with the weather, but how often do we see it in a positive light? At a time when the world is desperately looking for low-carbon sources of energy, the data show that clean renewables are already playing a significant and growing role in Scotland's, and the rest of the UK's, overall energy mix. We just need to blow their trumpet a bit more.
"Scotland is clearly leading the way when it comes to wind power. However, despite misconceptions, Scotland also has potential for sun-loving renewables too. The data clearly show that there's plenty of sunshine to meet a significant proportion of an average family's electricity needs for most months of the year - even during some of the winter months. With hundreds of thousands of roofs, it would make sense to tap more of the sun's power."
SNP MSP Rob Gibson welcomed the findings and said: "Last year really was a massive year for renewable energy; these are very welcome figures which demonstrate that the Scottish Government's commitment to and investment in renewables are paying dividends.
"It is clearer than ever that Scotland's renewable electricity generation will play a key part in keeping the lights on across the UK - and to keeping energy bills down.
"With Scottish Government support our renewables industry is going from strength to strength - bringing jobs and investment to Scotland, reducing carbon emissions and performing a key role in meeting our energy needs. But there is always more that can be done."