Category Archives: electricity

The Explosion of Renewable Energy Industry


The term energy is by definition the amount of motion, labor, transformation a human being, a machine or even a system can exert. In the electrical energy sector, the power generated is counted by kilowatt (kWh). Electrical energy has become an indispensable part of our daily life on the earth and the universe without it everything will stand still. What is incredible about energy that it cannot be produced! Energies are only changeable and convertible to other forms and other manifestations.

Given that, in planet earth, there are two types of energies: nonrenewable energy (Fossil Fuel and its derivations) and renewable energies. The latter as its name explains, is generated from sheer nature. It is true that not all sustainable energies are derived from the sun but basically solar energy is the most known and prominent energy source. In addition to solar energy (thermal and photovoltaic), we can talk about wind energy, biomass, hydroelectric power (from water), geothermal and other forms.

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Obviously, the world needs energy eagerly. Thus whether renewable or not, these source of powers are used in majority of case to supply the huge demand of electricity.

Why countries are going green?

Consumers think first and for most about the quality price relationship. Green energies are cheaper this is a fact. For the market prices, renewables present a stabilizer of energy prices. Renewables are the market equilibrium creator.

Moreover, companies of solar power for instance are providing the best collectors and panels to the consumers. These renewable energy companies are building a bright reputation. Other would think about the hazardous impact of fossil fuel on the planet. Greenhouse emissions are catastrophic on the environment. The repercussion of these emissions on global warming is tremendous. For these reasons, countries and consumers in general are shifting into the green choice.

A Global Decision of Renewable Energy Orientation

The criteria of renewable energy industry

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewable energy orientations would be a reality that is concretized by 40 per cent of total global energy generation by 2040. This is almost half of total the power generation of the world. This is apparently, an explosion in the renewable energy industry. Consequently, the portion of electrical generation using green energy is planned to be the fastest among other resources.

The criteria that make the renewable energy industry more prominent than nonrenewable energy are a lot. Namely, the criteria are: more technological advancements, risk management assets, advanced monitoring systems, sustainability and positive environmental influences. Taking the case of First Solar that is one of the top renewable energy companies; it produces 89-98% less CO2 emissions comparing to nonrenewable energy generation emissions.

Distinguishable feature of renewable energy industry

One of the most distinguishable feature of renewable energy is that energy generation producer and consumer lines have become blurry. Thereupon, thanks to green energy installation the consumer has become a beneficiary of both self-energy satisfaction and energy production. This is due to the fact that any excess of energy produced can be sold to the neighbor circle.

Knowing that there is a drastic increase in the energy demand in the world. Therefore, the need to renewable energy is expanding too. In explicit numbers, sustainable energy investments seize two thirds of worldwide market investment in the global energy sector.

Rapid Growth of Renewable Energy Sector

Facts and numbers about renewables sector

China and India are the biggest solar photovoltaic (PV) power generators in the world, but also they are the biggest consumers of energy.

As far as European Union (EU) is concerned, the green industry is supplying about 80 per cent of the energy generated. To be more precise, wind power would become the chief power source of electricity by 2030 in Europe. This is why European Union countries such as Germany are inaugurating the biggest offshore and onshore wind farms in the globe. Of course, these plans are consolidated by encouraging strong regulations and policies.

Equally important, renewable energy companies are not only providing electricity (direct energy needs) but also a set of other essential needs. To enumerate, renewables can be useful to heat water, to use for electric mobility (cars and means of transportation) and even for food dehydration systems and wine industry etc. IEA has found that, for example, Brazil portion of renewable energy (in its direct or indirect use) is increasing from 39 per cent to almost 45 per cent by 2040.

Baring in mind that the global population will reach 9 billion human being by 2040, one should strongly think about the global supply of energy. Together with the growing number of cities around the world, the energy industry is certainly going to witness the fastest growth and explosion ever.

Is it possible to go 100 percent green?

According to CDP (used to be called Carbon Disclosure Project), around 40 city in the world are now totally free of CO2 of fossil fuel emission. These countries have adopted fully the renewables. The list includes Burlington, Vermont, Atlanta and San Diego. Other cities are planning to be 100 percent green by 2030. For now numerous countries are almost 70 percent green. The list includes Seattle; Eugene, Oregon; and Aspen, Colorado, Montreal, Vancouver, Winnipeg, North Vancouver and Prince George, British Columbia.

To conclude

The electrical energy sector is a swing market among energy sector in general. Although renewable energies are expanding, the demand is sometimes decreasing. The decrease is due to the market economy crises, orientations, policies, taxations, infrastructure, culture and awareness. The energy industry is more and more challenging and controversial. However, no one can deny that there are hopeful signs of an emerging and insightful green culture in the horizon of world.

The world is in front of a dangerous environmental diversion.  It is a crossroad that humanity should think about it deeply and decide which road to undergo. If we are going to undergo the green path and substitute fossil fuels, we are in the right direction. Otherwise, humanity is in a great danger.

It is true that this cannot be done overnight, however, it is not impossible. The suitable infrastructure, sufficient political determination, the will to change are the bases of this great decision. Furthermore, renewable energies are a very effective way towards decentralization of energy. Under those circumstances, The combination of friendly environmental decisions and energy sufficiency is the successful recipe of well-being.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Is Microwave Oven in Your Kitchen Killing the Planet? Not Really.


Studies in Manchester University revealed that carbon dioxide emissions by the use of microwave ovens across the EU alone, are equivalent to what is emitted by nearly seven million cars. Researchers at the University have carried out their very first comprehensive study of the environmental influence of microwaves, considering their whole life cycle. The study revealed the following:

-> Microwaves emit 7.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year in the EU. This is equivalent to the annual emissions of 6.8 million cars.

-> Microwaves across the EU consume an estimated 9.4 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity every year. This is equivalent to the annual electricity generated by three large gas plants. Efforts to reduce consumption should focus on improving consumer awareness and behavior to use appliances more efficiently.

microwave

According to analysis from Manchester University, microwaves, of all types of ovens, are the most sold in the European Union (EU), estimated to reach about several millions sales by 2020. It seems to be that the large number of it being used currently in the EU, is what pointed the attention of the world to its impacts.

The study carried out by the University, used the “life cycle assessment, (LCA),” to estimate the impacts of microwaves on the environment,  considering the manufacture, use and how it is disposed. The research team analysed 12 different environmental factors — climate change, depletion of natural resources and ecological toxicity.

In their research, they discovered that the microwaves used across the EU emit about 7.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. This amount is equivalent to what 6.8 million cars would emit in one year. From their research, they were able to deduce that the manufacture, the use and the disposal of microwaves affect the environment greatly.

For example, the manufacturing process causes a whooping 20% depletion to the natural environment and to the Climate. In their research, they found out that the greatest impact that the use of micro waves has on the environment, is in its consumption of electricity. Also, it was said that the disposal of used electric gadgets is one of the fastest growing streams of waste products in the world.

Dr Alejandro Gallego Schmidt from the school of Chemical engineering and analytical science, Manchester University, said, “Consumers now tend to buy new appliances before the existing ones reach the end of their useful life as electronic goods have become fashionable and ‘status’ items. As a result, discarded electrical equipment, such as microwaves, is one of the fastest growing waste streams worldwide.”

The news by Manchester University seems to not take some things into consideration. It is true from studies that it consumes almost 10 terawatts of electricity, and that it emits a lot of carbon dioxide too. What this should make us aware of is that there are a lot of microwave ovens out there, and the cumulative electrical load is high, more than it needs to be because of the standby power used running the clocks and other electronics.

The University of Manchester keeps using some comparisons which we just need to properly reflect on. Their study, which found that, on average, an individual microwave uses 573 kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity over its lifetime of eight years. That is equivalent to the electricity consumed by a 7 watt LED light bulb, left on continuously for almost nine years. Really, it’s quite clear that microwaves don’t consume as much as they deduced.

For an oven which uses that amount in eight years, equivalent to what a 7 Watts LED bulb uses in nine years; or 1.14 times the power consumption of an LED bulb. This isn’t killing the planet as they supposed. The analysis is a ‘life-cycle’ analysis and that is why we have such large figures. They look at the energy and carbon generated in the manufacture and disposal of microwaves.

The Guardian noted that microwave ovens are the most efficient way to cook. Comparing them to cars is ridiculous. David Reay of the University of Edinburgh said, “Yes, there are a lot of microwaves in the EU, and yes, they use electricity, but their emissions are dwarfed by those from cars – there are around 30m cars in the UK alone and these emit way more than all the emissions from microwaves in the EU.”

Simon Bullock, senior climate change campaigner, Friends of the Earth, tells the Guardian that people should look at their source of power. “Yes, it’s important to use microwaves efficiently; but so is making sure the electricity that powers them is as low pollution as possible. The government should reverse its policy attacks on solar and onshore wind. We need green electrons powering all the nation’s tellies, microwaves and fridges.”

It is thus clear that the supposed impact that microwave ovens have on Earth is due to the millions currently in use in the world and is only true for its life span, which is about 8 to 9 years. Over the same period of time, any electrical gadget could have the same impact.

Reference: Treehugger
Image credit: flickr

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Sun, Wind and Water: Africa’s Renewable Energy Set to Soar by 2022


There has been a loud cry for clean, more efficient, less carbon sources of energy all over the world. About 22 percent of electricity on the world is produced by renewable energy, while the remaining 78 percent is by the use of fossil fuels — gas, coal, etc. This accounts for the massive global warming worldwide; and also the desertification, gully erosion and flooding experienced in some parts of Africa.

Africa too is having a shift towards the use of renewable energy. Countries like South Africa, Ethiopia, and few other countries are making headway in the use of renewables. Energy officials have said that the strong demand for power in Africa would give rise to the use of renewables in the next 5 years.

solar-farm

So many communities in African nations (especially Sub-saharan Africa) just have access to electricity by the advent of the use of renewable energy in those places. Much more people now have access to power.

In Nigeria, the Energy commission have forecast that by 2030, Nigeria would need about 200,000MW of power to be able to effectively distribute electricity to it’s citizens. This can’t be achieved by the use of gas alone; but more of the renewables — sun, wind, and water; and even biomass; because of the current rate of production (which is about 5,500MW).

In some places in Nigeria, power has become affordable and easy to access. For example, in Ofetebe community in Edo State, Nigeria, a solar mini-grid produces 4kW of electricity to power a community borehole, a clinic, 30 households, a barber shop and relaxation spots like a video parlour. The cost of installation was about N4.8m, the mini grid will last for 30 years: an investment of N500 per month for each household. The community would therefore enjoy electricity every day, 365 days per year.

Ghana is currently building what is to be Africa’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant with $400m, which will consequently produce 155MW (the Nzema Solar Project). Kenya is also planning for sufficient solar power to provide more than half of the country’s electricity by 2016. Construction of the plants that would help achieve such is expected to cost $1.2bn. (For the same amount, Nigeria could build about 1,000km of gas pipelines – but this would constitute only 10% of what she needs).

The use of renewable energy in Africa is really growing. Paolo Frankl, head of the renewable division at the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) had this to say, “A big chunk of this (growth) is hydro because of Ethiopia, but then you have solar sources in South Africa, Nigeria and Namibia and wind in South Africa and Ethiopia as well.”

He forecast that the installed capacity of renewable energy in the Sub-Sahara region would almost double the current 35 gigawatts to above 60 gigawatts under the right conditions. Ethiopia has a set of hydro-power projects that are being constructed, this includes the $4.1 billion Grand Renaissance Dam along the Nile River that will produce about 6,000 megawatts when it is completed.

This is sufficient for an averagely populated city for a year. “Africa has one of the best potential resources of renewables anywhere in the world, but it depends very much on the enabling framework, on the governance and the right rules,” Frankl told Reuters on the sidelines of a wind energy conference. The advocacy for a low-carbon energy source to reduce harmful greenhouse gases is a form of threat to industries who use fossil fuels, as well as beneficiaries of such.

In Africa, South Africa’s state-owned electricity company, Eskom, best illustrates the effect of the shift from fossil energy to renewable energy. The company has shown reluctance to sign new deals with independent power producers, according to analysts.

In May 2017, the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) said that the energy regulator agreed to probe into Eskom’s refusal to sign the agreements that delayed almost 3,000 megawatts

in new solar and wind projects. Mark Pickering, chairman of SAWEA, said on Wednesday, “Our government does not appear to appreciate the forces of nature.”

Eskom’s reluctance to sign the new power purchase agreements for two years has delayed investment of $4.03 billion, and affected investors’ confidence with the record of at least one wind turbine being closed down. “The continent has a lot of potential, but the problem is financial and political issues, so all of our projects are being delayed for quite a long time, like with Eskom,” said Mason Qin, business development manager for southern and eastern Africa.

Hence, the strong demand for less carbon energy, and the prospective plans of African nations regarding electricity, and the demands to achieve such plans, has projected that, only by the use of renewable energy can these be achieved. 5 years would be sufficient to make this shift in Africa much clearer.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him. Follow him on Facebook here.

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India to be Mainstay in Global Energy Scene by 2040, Says IEA Report


Analysts have deduced that the energy demand rate in India may rise by 1,005 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe), and between a period of 2016 to 2040. This accounts for about 30 percent of the world’s energy demand within the same period of years (i.e., 2016-2040). This implies that, India’s demand alone will surpass the increase in energy demand of places like China (790 Mtoe), West Asia (480 Mtoe); and Africa (485 Mtoe), during the above period.

It is very predictable that India would likely lead the global energy demand growth by 2040, as reported by the International Energy Agency in its annual World Energy Outlook report, 2017, on Tuesday. In comparison with places of high energy demands as estimated by the agency such as China, West Asia, Africa, etc, the Indian energy demand would surpass.

renewable-energy-environment-wind

However, US, Japan and Europe may reduce their energy demand by 30 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe), 50 Mtoe, and 200 Mtoe, respectively, by. 2040. It is very clear from the analysis, that there would be much more energy demand in India than in any other place by 2040.

Considering the current state of the nation, India, as it booms in manufacturing and a bigger, richer, more-urbanized population set the nation on the path of quick and steady expansion, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said. The country’s oil demand is expected to attain a whooping quantity of about 10 million barrels per day in the next quarter of a century, marking, most probably, the IEA forecast fastest growth in the world.

The statement was by the Paris-based agency, said in a report released on Tuesday, Last month. The use of coal which is the mainstay of the country’s power generation, will also increase due to cities, adding about 315 million people, the international energy agency said in its report. India, home to a sixth of the world’s population, currently accounts for only 6 percent of global energy use at present, which implies that one out of every five Indians are yet to gain access to electricity.

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s government has pledged to bridge that abyss, promising to light up every house by 2019. In order to achieve an effective national electricity supply, the nation plans a record increase in coal production as it builds new cities and as it has taken on an unprecedented $200 billion plan to generate renewable energy.

Environmental concerns have been raised, particularly air pollution resulting from India’s expanding industrialization and urbanization, with several of its cities reporting an alarming decline in air quality. Rapid growth in energy use, especially the use of fossil fuels like coal, may exacerbate the situation, the IEA said.

India has vowed to increase power-generation capacity using non-fossil fuels to 40% by 2030. They would cut an alternative path of relying on solar, wind and other renewable energy projects, to meet its clean-energy goals, in view of the slow progress in constructing large dams and nuclear plants, according to the agency. A policy framework will be critical to meeting India’s energy demand, the IEA said, pointing to losses from local electricity distribution.

A policy overhaul will help attract necessary investments of an estimated amount of $2.8 trillion in energy supplies. While India looks all ready to have the fastest growth in energy demand, the structural shifts in China’s economy may likely result in an 85% reduction in energy use for every unit of growth there, according to the report.

The IEA report says that traditional disparities between energy producers and consumers are not clear, and that a new set of major developing countries, led by India, is moving towards centre stage. “There is a fourfold shift towards the rapid deployment and falling costs of clean energy technologies, the growing electrification of energy, to a more service-oriented economy and a cleaner energy mix in China, and the resilience of shale gas and tight oil in the United States,” the Paris based agency said in its report.

Rapid deployment of solar photovoltaic (PV), led by India and China, will help solar energy become the most prominent source of low carbon capacity by 2040, the report said. The energy agency has also deduced that electricity demand in India would double by 2040. It would be 2,504 billion units, in juxtaposition with the 1,154 billion units in 2016 and 2017.

Thus, from the IEA forecast, the large population of India, the current consumption and demand for energy in India; and the abounding industrialization and urbanization ongoing in India. It is safe to conclude that between 2016 and 2040, India would be the mainstay of global energy demand.

Source: IEA

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him. Follow him on Facebook here.

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11 Easy Ways To Beat Winter And Keep The Heat Inside


We can put on some extra layers of clothing outside, but nobody wants to sit inside in their winter jacket. So in order to defeat winter it is important to keep our homes nice and toasty. To do that we have to fix insulation from top to bottom but also update our heating systems. Technology can provide some extra help as apps can be used to control your heating remotely. We have listed a few easy tips on how to beat winter in its own game.

tablet-heating-man-pointing-manual

1. Insulate throughout

Before you jump onto using some hacks to warm up your home, check on the current insulation of your home. Though smaller hacks can, and will, help, mending your isolation is crucial.

Check on the state of your walls, roof and floors, especially around windows and doors. You can install the insulation material yourself or by calling in the pros.

Don’t be too quick to choose your insulation material. You can choose among the more conventional materials like fiberglass or mineral wool, but you can also opt for DIY materials like cardboard and paper or you can use some other recyclable material.

2. Tin foil between walls and radiators

If your home is already insulated or you are not in the position to renovate your isolation, there are tricks to help you out. One is to place a tin foil on a wall behind the radiator. Tin foils are made from aluminum so they don’t store the heat from the radiators, but actually, they reflect the heat away from the wall and into the room.

Kitchen foil can do the trick, but you might also consider a foil specifically used for this purpose as it produces better results.

3. Check your windows

No matter how much you try and insulate your walls, if your windows are not insulated enough you will still lose heat considerably. You can remove the old ones and replaced them with PVC or double glazed windows.

But since recently windows have an even more amazing use than insulation. Today we have something called solar glazing. Basically windows today can be used to generate electricity and thus help us to power our house from a natural renewable source.

4. Heavy and thick curtains

During the day, the sunlight heats up your house through your windows but at night windows become just another way for heat to escape through. For this reason, you should draw your curtains in the evening.

The choice of curtain material is quite important and the best examples include thick and heavy materials like velvet, tapestry and suede. They are much better at insulating than, for example, cotton or linen, which are great curtain materials for warmer months.

5. Deal with the draught

Despite covering your walls with isolation materials and covering up your windows at night with heavy curtains, there might still be places through which heat might escape.

Some cracks and openings are caused by time and weather, like those around windows. These can usually be easily sealed by applying silicone rubber sealant. However, the trickier ones are the holes built in your house, including loft hatches, keyholes and letterbox openings.

These built-in openings require more creativity as you probably still want them to remain open, yet covered. In that case, you can use simple covers that can be moved or taken off when not needed.

6. Seal the chimney

It is not enough to deal with small creaks and nooks especially if you have a bigger problem like the chimney. We ignore the fact that fireplaces are more decorative nowadays and they are seldom used. In the meantime, heat keeps escaping through them.

And if you don’t wish to seal it forever you can use a fireplace plug. It is inflatable and will completely cover your chimney. Just make sure you take it out before you start a fire.

7. Cover your floors

Though your floors might be isolated, with the change in temperature wood changes its form. In time it expands and contracts over and over again and in time it cracks and creates gaps between boards. These gaps can influence the level of your home’s isolation significantly.

One possibility is to seal the gaps in your hardwood floor, for narrower ones you can use fillers and for wider ones it is better to put in narrow strips of wood or rope.

Additionally, you should cover up your floors with carpets. It is an easy and smart solution for extra protection of your home.

Put in also a few fluffier rugs around the house, especially next to beds and your favorite sitting spots. It might warm your feet just a bit but it will also give you an illusion of warmth.

8. Decorate and insulate

Insulating is a necessity, not a choice, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. You can make your own draught excluders and place them under your windows and doors. Excluders look great, just like stuffed toys sitting around and they are super easy to make: cut off a leg of some tights, choose its size and stuff it with some old socks.

After the winter is over and the sun shows it’s face, don’t throw away all of those winter curtains and excluders. Instead, keep them somewhere safe like in your basement or in an attic. Self-storage is another great solution since storages are nowadays secure, modern and will save you a lot of precious space. For example, I know for sure that Sydney storage unit is safe, always available option and you can easy find something similar in your area too.

9. Let your radiators breathe

While you are checking your walls, remember to also check the state of your radiators. Keep them clean inside and out, as their cleanliness will surely influence their effectiveness. You should have them serviced, at least once a year, to maintain them properly.

Another important thing to remember when it comes to radiators is that they need room to work. Don’t place any furniture right next to them as you will also block heat from spreading throughout your room.

10. Check your boiler

While it is important to maintain your radiators and furnaces, you should also check on your boiler as another source of heat in your home. Get it regularly serviced and cleaned and have it replaced when it starts consuming more energy than it provides for. This will make your home more efficient and it will reduce your heating costs.

11. Apps – useful and convenient

Mobile phones can do almost anything instead of us nowadays. They remember phone numbers, birthdays and anniversaries. They also allow us access to the Internet anywhere we go, but can they help us with heating?

In order to save up on heating, we might choose to turn it off when we are out but who likes to come back to a freezing house? That’s right, nobody does. Here’s where your phone, or its app, helps. You can turn on heating on your way home remotely via your phone and by the time you get there, your home is nice and warm.

Using apps for heating is useful but also convenient as nobody leaves home without their phone anymore.

After you are done with these tips, there will be no more jackets inside. You will make your home winter-proof not only for this winter but many winters to come. Insulate all, walls, floors and roofs. Remember to double check your windows and doors for possible gaps. Service your appliances regularly and keep them clean so they can be as productive as possible. When it’s time to update them, do so as it is more financially but also environmentally responsible.

Image credit: pixabay

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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