Category Archives: News

Costa Rica’s Young President-elect Promises a Clean Energy Future


It is important to note that the new president-elect of Costa Rica Carlos Alvarado Quesada has come out with a promise to phase out the use of diesel and petrol in the country’s transport system by replacing them with clean sources of energy with a comparison of the task to that of abolishing the army.

The new president-elect in his younger days sang as a member of a college band known as Dramatika. After college, he got his first job working at a gambling centre where he staked mainly on American teams so as to earn enough money to purchase his first guitar.

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Giving the speech while addressing his supporters just after being elected president, the 38-year-old made a vow to get the economy of the little Central American nation de-carbonized while also upholding the green tradition of the nation.

Alvarado Quesada who is a former centre-left minister from the ruling party came out to make a promise of a future where the nation can bask in the euphoria of being liberated from diesel and petrol dependency in its transport system, thus replacing them with sources of clean energy.

This transformation in the words of the president-elect would be the “abolition of the army’ of our generation”, making reference to the dissolution of the country’s armed forces back in the year 1948 which still stands as a point of pride for many a Costa Ricans.

By his election, he will be the youngest among the presidents of Latin America, thus joining the exclusive league of leaders in the world who were elected at an age below 40 and also with a commitment to a future that is based on clean and renewable energy, in addition to leaders such as the Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand as well as Emmanuel Macron of France.

According to an economist, Monica Arya who is a leader in the advocacy for mobility of electricity in Costa Rica, this is simply a very young president who is sending a very clear message to the nation, with emphasis on the younger generation.

Araya made a call for the new leadership of the country to adopt the promotion of electric vehicles via the purchases of public institutions and also to form a synergy with citizens who are engaged in order to come up with greater coalitions.

The country which has a population of about 5 million people also has an electricity generation system which is almost about hundred percent low-carbon and last year (2017), the country was able to go for about 300 days without making use of fossil fuels for the purpose of electricity generation.

As against the system and policy of other countries seeking to do away with diesel and gas cars using a certain date in mind, the new Costa Rican government would instead focus on the improvement of its metrics after which it would set its own targets according to Paola Vega who was responsible for the coordination of the manifesto which the winning party made use of.

During the campaign period, Alvarado Quesada made a promise to lead the modernization and electrification of an old diesel train with a view to leading the promotion of research and development of biofuels and hydrogen by leading the transformation of the government-owned petroleum refinery and also in signing a law which would ban the exploration and exploitation of gas and oil in the country.

As far as the ban on exploration is concerned, it should be a pretty straightforward affair as there is basically no oil industry established in the country, however, the transport sector will definitely pose to be a greater challenge. The transport sector of Costa Rica is reputed to be responsible for over half of the total CO2 emission of the country; this makes the sector paradoxically quite profitable for this ecotourism purpose.

A certain analysis recently carried out has also indicated that about twenty percent of the income of the state is derived from this sector of the economy, and most of the time from taxes gotten from fuel as well as the taxes derived from the sales of brand new cars as well as property tributes.

A recent statement by Vega who won an election to Congress indicated that there was a great need to effect a change in the institutional framework. According to him, the climate change issue requires policies that emanate from the presidential palace and not just from one ministry alone.

The previous year, the Congress of Costa Rica created and passed a certain incentive package with a view to promote the electric mobility. It is necessary to keep in mind that these incentives include decreased taxes for EV’s as well as more charging stations as well as a renewed commitment to ensure that some parts of public institutions ‘fleets to be free from oil.

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)

What Exactly is Behind Zinke’s Speech on Offshore Wind Energy?


Just a week ago, Interior secretary Ryan Zinke lead to the explosion of a number of heads when he made known to a collection of stakeholders in the wind industry that his agency is willing, able and ready to assist in peppering the coastal areas of America using wind turbines. Perhaps this is one weird dream in which he is a great fan of fossil and mineral energy development repents of his evil ways and seeks an all-new way of life as a genuine advocate of renewable sources of energy?

Well, maybe you need to awake, you are probably dreaming. Besides the issue of fossil fuel, race issues as well as some other issues of concern, just a week ago, Zinke was attacked as a result of the fact that he basically broke the Hatch Act.

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However, Zinke did present a good case for American offshore wind farms a week ago, hence, what exactly is going on?

Something is probably ongoing!

Zinke presented his vision of offshore wind all the way to the offshore international wind forum (2018) in New Jersey which was bankrolled by Business Network for Offshore wind. The rundown of the event is made available by the Department of Energy:

This forum will gather well over 130 enterprises at a conference for offshore wind. People who attend will be able to interact with the leading experts in the industry hence coming up with new innovations and opportunities while also strengthening the American offshore wind energy supply and also give direction to the industry.

It is said that Zinke said that energy from wind was an integral component of Donald Trump’s desire for a greater level of independence as far as energy is concerned, making it known that it was the best thing to do as against hunting for resources in regions that are ridden with conflict.

He basically described the offshore wind industry as a platform with great potentials. Furthermore, his speech also contained the announcement of a call for nominations and information from organizations with interest in areas of wind energy potential for Long Island’s South Shore.

With respect to Zinke’s not too distant history as regards the development of fossil energy on public land, there is quite a lot to think upon in this regard.

Then what exactly

This is perhaps what is going on. Zinke desires to retain his job in the Donald Trump administration and also desires to retain his job after Trump must have left office. However, it is becoming quite difficult to attain owing to the fact that a reasonable number of Trump’s cabinet has been relieved of their jobs.

On the positive side for Zinke, there is already a working template to follow for him. Secretary of energy Rick Perry appears to have made perfect the art of propagating the idea of fossil energy down talking climate change and being quite enthusiastic about the cleantech and science initiatives of his agency. It, therefore, suffices to say that he has retained his job and has also retained some bit of his professional credibility.

Increased Wind Farms in America

While Zinke was talking, the Interior Department came up with two really huge all new offshore announcements over the past week. First and foremost, there is one under the caption “BOEM seeks information and Interest in Offshore Wind energy development in the New York Bight area.”

A bight is basically a recession of the coastline. However, you may need to make use of an Atlantic Coast map and you will discover that the ocean tends to turn at a corner in New York City and goes on to Long Island after it must have gone up the coast of New Jersey and that is the New York Bight.

The total area being considered for lease includes 2,047 square nautical miles which are further subdivided into about four of the “Call” areas which are designated as Fairways South, Hudson South, Fairways North, and Hudson North.

The announcement in New York appeared to have caught the attention of the media; however, even of greater interest is the second announcement which came with the caption “Trump Administration Proposes Sale for Wind Energy off the Coast of Massachusetts.

What simply happened was that BOEM just picked up the announcement of wind energy and simply dropped it upon the lap of administration of Donald Trump. This reminds one of the numbers of time president Trump actually made fun of wind energy during the 2016 campaign season.

Meanwhile, only some days back, the Houston Chronicles came up with a report that Donald Trump will instruct Perry to make a declaration of an emergency measure with a view to ensuring that some money-losing nuclear and coal power plants in America from shutting. It appears to be seen if that directive will be followed.

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)

Portugal Comes Up With Enough Energy To Power The Whole Nation


Without a doubt, power is a vital component of any countries drive towards development and sustenance of same. This is why a number of Nations all around the world are seeking for viable alternatives to the conventional sources of power such as Nuclear and hydro. Portugal appears to be among those leading the pack in the scheme of things even as it came up with a new feat.

Just a month ago, Portugal was able to produce enough renewable for it to power the whole countries needs as far as energy is concerned. This feat is one that is not matched for well over 40 years, this information is based on what was made available by the Portuguese Renewable Energy Association.

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It was said by the group that the renewable energy which was produced back in the month of March was about 103.6% of the total electricity demand of the whole of mainland Portugal. It is worthy of note that Portugal also consists of a number of Islands which also have their own separate systems of energy. About 55% of the said energy was brought about via Hydro-power and about 42% of same was derived via wind, the country however still makes use of fossil fuels for balancing its demand and supply.

It was however reported that there were a few hours when the thermal fossil power plants were needed with a view to supporting the supply of power in Portugal according to the APREN. The period under review was however compensated using some other sources of great renewable energy production.

It is also expected by APREN that the said pattern of depending mainly on renewable energy sources using fossil fuels as the backup when needed will become a bit more common

Energy and Environment Collaboration

Despite the recorded progress, a number of cities still find it difficult with the rather ambitious climate goals. Expectations are on the high that by the year 2040, renewable energy production will be able to some extent guarantee in a way that is rather cost effective the net power consumption of Portugal mainland according to APREN.

For a large number of countries, a full-scale renewable energy system still appears to be a rather challenging aim. A number of little Island countries have been able to manage it as well as some bigger countries as well.

Drawing the Parallels

Norway and Iceland have been able to achieve all of their power needs via geothermal and hydro-power and have over a long period of time done this. However, these Nations leverage upon the unique advantage of the unique Geology of their regions thus making it quite difficult to copy the same feat.

Energy

Quite a number of little Islands are basically green, however, bigger Nations are quite rare. On some windy days in 2017 and 2015, Denmark overshot its needs for electricity via wind power alone. And a number of times over the past years, Costa Rica has been powered using just renewable power for a number of months, and it is fueled using heavy rains which finds its way into the hydroelectric plants. Portugal is also reported to have gained from the rainfall which was recorded as higher than normal a month ago according to Reuters. As the production of renewable gained, the overall electricity prices witnessed a fall of about 10% when compared with the previous year based on the report by the wire service.

It is worthy of note that the electricity prices of Portugal are perhaps among the highest in the whole of Europe according to Reuters. It is on record that Portugal has made enormous investments into renewable sources of energy just as its next-door neighbor which is Spain.

About one decade ago, a report by Jerome Socolovsky for NPR all the way from a farm project in Agucadoura which is Portuguese farm which is the first of wave farms on the earth created by a firm from Scotland.

He made it clear that project was created in Portugal as a result of the available subsidies which includes feed-in tariff which is an artificial innovation created by the government of Portugal with a view to encouraging the use of wave power to generate electricity

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It is worthy of note that the wave farm actually closed as soon as it was opened. However, public sector investments in renewable energy went on for some years even as the high rates of power went high. A number of the spending was cut back in the year 2012 in the midst of some rather austere measures and a number more were cut back in the year 2016, according to reports by Politico Europe. However based upon this point, a number of renewable energy projects had already been offset and were functioning at a reasonable operational cost according to a 2016 report by Reuters.

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)

The Threat to Underground Freshwater Resource Unveiled; Things Happening Around You That You May Have Missed


A large chunk of the industrialized world’s agricultural productivity, high level of urbanization as well as industrial creativity depends largely on the exploitation and pumping of the freshwater resources. In some parts, the water that is being made use of is known as fossil water which is the water which was deposited millions of years before now. It is usually not being replaced by any reason whatsoever which includes the absence of rainfall, or certain impermeable layers such as calcrete that is on top or heavy clay.

When these water reserves reduce, there is usually nothing available for the purpose of having them replaced, with the end result being enormous populations, as well as farmlands that are not feasible in the said regions which are usually accompanied by large-scale migrations from the regions.

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Some regions which are quite dependent on fossil water include the Northeastern part of Africa, the American Great Plains, as well as the central southern African region.

The condition pertaining to the depletion of fossil water in some area is further made compounded by the prolonged development of the underground water recharge areas in the areas where the rainfall is hitherto not enough to have the underground water replenished and even further so by usage rates which are not sustainable which further depletes the water reserves.

As the underground water in the areas which have the tendency of recharge is being used at rates which can only be described as unsustainable, although one thing which occurs is known as underground water subsidence. In clear terms, what happens is that the ground tends to sink as a result of the absence of the support which was hitherto made available by the groundwater which is no longer available. In this sense, subsidence is quite notable owing to the fact that it leaves the aquifer under review at a capacity which is far less than capable to store water as a result of compaction.

The Underground-water pumping permanently erodes the ability of a number of aquifers to get water stored thus leaving the overall aquifer capacity at a level which is quite lower than what was previously available and hence contributes to the fading of the region that is in question.

All the issues above listed are on their own further made worse by the intrusion of saltwater in certain coastal areas as a result of excessive pumping of the groundwater resources thus leading to the vacuum effect which attracts saltwater inside the aquifers and also as a result of subsidence of the ground, sea level increase, as well as the contamination of groundwater. In a number of regions, which is mostly as a direct result of the agricultural and industrial actions which are in themselves making the most use of water?

It therefore suffices to say that what we have in the modern world when we backtrack is the coming together of increased problems of issues such as: the breakdown of the ability of a number of aquifers to retain water as a result of excessive pumping due to the subsidence of the ground, depletion of fossil water, as well as saline water intrusion of the aquifers which is as a result of excessive pumping as well as rise in sea level and the contamination of groundwater as a result of agricultural and industrial activities.

Saltwater intrusion, excessive pumping, as well as ground subsidence

The excessive pumping of the freshwater which derives its origin from the aquifers as highlighted earlier is a major cause of the subsidence of the ground as well as the intrusion of saltwater in the coastal regions. What was not made known earlier is the fact that as the levels of the aquifer drops, the water quality generally drops as well as an increase in the ground salt levels as well as a rise in the levels of contaminants and grits?

On another thing which is worthy of note on this basis is the fact that as the aquifers get reduced, the natural constituents of the area such as springs and the likes will inadvertently experience lowered flows or even get extinct.

Linking to this, the earlier mentioned ground subsidence leads to a sinking of the land, which in turn ups the possibility of floods as well as reducing the overall capacity of such an aquifer to retain aqua. It is worthy of note for instance in some areas in Texas that ground levels have reduced by as much as 9 feet in recent times as a result of too much pumping of the groundwater.

Groundwater pollution and contamination

As well as the challenge of the unavailability of freshwater is the challenge of contamination of freshwater. The contamination of freshwater has indeed become a more common challenge in recent times even as agricultural and industrial productivity has gotten to levels which are not sustainable

Climate change, glacier losses, increased atmospheric moisture and rising temperature

In addition to the contamination and depletion of the underground water resource of the freshwater resource is the above surface freshwater resources which include winter snowpack, larger glaciers as well as high altitude lakes which are disappearing at a rather rapid rate in a large portion of the earth.

What these imply is that the long-term availability of freshwater is being negatively impacted at a rate which is much faster than what should be. Even as the glaciers melt, there would be an increase in the scarcity of water thus having an effect on billions of people.

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)

Tesla Starts the Installation of Solar Roofs in California


A number of reports from customers on the Twitter platform indicate Tesla Solar Roof installations are beginning to spread, this is even as both Tesla and non-Tesla customers and employees alike who do not have a Tesla getting access to roofs that have the Solar roofing tiles from Tesla.

Without a doubt, the installations are quite a sight to behold; this is because they indicate that the product is quite real and also that Tesla appears to be assessing the market with the new product with different people close to its factory located in Fremont California. In addition to this, it is quite an interesting prospect owing to the fact that it gives everyone the opportunity to behold the all new process of installation as well as the product.

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Solar Legos

Just as the case is with the model 3 launch, the company appears to be selecting less complex configurations for the initial installations of its Roofing tiles (Solar) so as to hasten up the work, having come up with a totally new product which is a hybrid of solar and hybrid, it is quite an exciting sight to behold Tesla rolling out one of its many innovations to the real world for the very first time. Much more than this, it is quite a unique sight viewing the excitement of people as regards solar all thanks to Tesla.

Created on a Solid Foundation

Tesla’s solar legos come with a mind-boggling lifetime warranty that ensures their physical integrity for the life of the home or infinity, whichever comes first (in typical Tesla fashion). To this end, the first installations reveal the underlayment that Tesla is mounting under the panels that give them the confidence that the roof will indeed stand up to decades or even centuries of wear and tear.

Photos from the new installations show that Tesla’s installers put down a foundation containing water barriers with a view to preventing the water from gaining access topped using a certain new wooden structure with a view to making the water barrier firm while also presenting a place for the solar roofing tiles blocks a location to be mounted. Its Titanium PSU 30 foundation comes along with a lifetime warranty which is limited by its own gives a solid rubberized asphalt protection from all forms of liquid intrusion.

The Tesla Powerwall effect

Every single one of the Solar roof tiles come along with the Powerwall residential energy storage product of Tesla, with a certain house coming with 3 out of the 14KWh units. This is certainly more than enough for the mean American house to go on energy without the grid for about half a week without having to make use of the energy which is produced using solar panels or the changing habits.

A certain customer made a statement that the installers from Tesla were quite amazing to function with and also that the Solar roofing products were faster in terms of availability when compared with the Model 3. That is definitely not a surprise considering the just how much additional difficulty comes with setting up a totally new battery plant, vehicle manufacturing lines as well as chains of supply etc. in comparison with trailing an all-new model of the solar collector at a limited number of installations. With that already said the solar roofing tiles of Tesla do appear to offer a reasonable value to the client with just a little visual footprint. A number of people may even be of the opinion that the solar roof tiles are an Improvement over the traditional roofing types.

Some tweets such as this show just how pleased customers appear to be @Tesla solar roof tiles up, the Tesla crew is indeed a unique team to work with. We put in the order for this model earlier than the model 3s and got these ones earlier. one tweeter user indicated that the Solar roof was as awesome as he had hope, in his words “hoping @PGE4Me permits us to switch it on soonest.

The completed product

The houses which are getting the Solar Roof Tiles of Tesla are indeed making the way smooth for the projected production of Telsa’s initial two roofing tile options. The creation of both the fourth and third roofing tile styles does come sometime later. In addition to this, the slate and Tuscan tiles of Tesla make available a look which is quite alike the normal roofing materials while the glass tiles of Tesla make available a more advanced and sleeker look than what was obtainable with the traditional roofing materials- and will certainly become a normal fixture in both post-modern and modern houses in the times to come.

The customers were quite eager to relate their experiences with the products. The Smartphone app of Tesla permits the users to have access to the production of energy, as well as the flow of energy from the diverse sources as well as units of consumption. For those who own a Tesla car, roof tiles and Powerwall, the energy flow from these units is clearly displayed. The solar roof of Tesla is certainly up and running and the present output is about 5.0kw on a late morning according to a Twitter user. Pic.twitter.com/FMWhpIHgJ2.

Future projections

Without a doubt, the early installations are bound to be on the increase; however, they do not really amount to much of a physical evidence for now. In the weeks to come, Tesla will come out with the release of its first-quarter results which will certainly have a more data-based outlook at the energy business of Tesla which includes Powerwalls, Powerpacks as well as Solar Roof Tiles.

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)

Deadly Oil Spill in Indonesia Caused By a Crack in the Undersea Pipeline


An undersea pipeline which is owned by the Indonesian government-owned natural gas and oil company Pertamina has burst and lead to a rather deadly spill which caused the Balikpapan Bay in Borneo looking more or less like a gas station.

The company had initially come out to say that the event had absolutely nothing to do with its refinery facility close-by or even the undersea pipes which cut across the bay; it indicated that the tests it carried out on oil spill samples showed marine fuel which was made use of for ships and not crude oil.

Crude Oil Spill Covers Greek Bay

However, on Wednesday, the company came out to accept responsibility for the catastrophe by accepting full responsibility for the spill saying that the spill was indeed their fault. One of the company managers made it clear that the distribution line was shut down as soon as divers identified the leak on Tuesday. Test carried out on a certain spill sample went ahead to indicate that it was indeed crude oil. The company is now making efforts to quantify the degree of spillage into the bay.

The government has, however, come out to declare that the said incident was not the fault of Pertamina. An official in the energy ministry has put the blame squarely upon a certain foreign coal carrying vessel which anchored in the area of the bay and went to drag the pipeline for about 120 meters from where it initially was thereby leading to a crack.

A statement by the energy and mineral resource ministry’s gas and oil Director General Djoko Siswanato made it clear that the pipe was supposedly dragged along by an anchor which was dropped down by the vessel although not one single vessel was allowed to drop an anchor or even go through the said bay based on a report by the Jakarta Post.

One thing the minister, however, failed to do was to identify which of the ships was responsible, however, the police officers who are carrying out investigations on the spill have gone on to question the crew members of the Panamanian MV Ever Judger.

According to Djoko, it was really the fault of the said vessel. And owing to the fact that there some casualties in the said incident, the vessel owner could face charges for the crime, however, it still all is dependent upon the result of the investigations which are ongoing.

According to Greenpeace Indonesia, Pertamina was obviously responsible for the ecological disaster. The group has, however, come out to condemn the state-owned and run the company on social media for the said catastrophe and has gone on to charge it with the restoration of the ecosystem of the Balikpapan Bay.

Greenpeace Indonesia has gone on to say that this is the major reason why the world needs to begin looking towards renewable energy and as such look away from the limited fossil resources which have done nothing but cause destruction to our very own planetary environment as well as the future of the human race as we know it.

A state of emergency was quickly declared by Indonesia on Monday soon after the ignition of the spill which leads to the death of about five individuals in the city of Balikpapan the past weekend. A large number of locals came out to indicate that they had health-related issues which include among others; nausea, breathing difficulties, as well as vomiting which is as a result of the smell coming from the fuel as well as the black smoke which originated from the inferno.

The warning has been issued to the residents by the local authorities that cigarettes should not be lighted in the area and has even gone on to distribute facial masks.

The ministry of the environment came out to say that the oil slick has succeeded in spreading over a 13,000 hectares (about 50 square miles of the Balikpapan waters and has succeeded in polluting about thirty-seven miles of the coastal ecosystem which includes the marine mammal habitats as well as the mangrove wetlands.

The sludge originating from the spill is said to have covered about seven square miles of water along with black bobs which cover the beaches. It certainly may take at least some weeks before there can be any real estimate of the degree of damage which has been caused to the fishing and wildlife.

An official from the fishery and marine ministry Zulficar Mochtar has come out to say that the spill indeed poses a threat to the ecosystem, the livelihood of the indigenous fishermen as well as to the economy in general.

Balikpapan is an Indonesian city which has a population of about 700,000 people and it is located on the strait of Makassar, which is a straight that runs all through the eastern coast of Borneo thus making this tragedy all the more alarming.

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)

Shell facing Litigations over its inability to fight Climate change convincingly


The British-Dutch Multinational oil and gas organization Shell faces the threat of legal action if it does not respond immediately to the demands of Friends of the Earth Netherlands to desist from its perceived destruction of the earth’s climate. This suit if lost by Shell could have rather damaging effects on the oil and gas holdings of the company on a global scale.

Advocates of climate change world over refer to the numerous oil spills as well as water contamination, abuses of human rights and wanton destruction as the handiwork of companies such as Shell. Many are of the view that shell is guilty of many of these crimes. Back in the month of July 2017, a report gotten from CDP indicated that about 71% of the greenhouse gas emissions dating back to 1998 derive their origin from the 100 producers of fossil fuels, and Shell was identified as one of the companies which were ranked as one of the highest emitters of same.

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I have said previously that a number of advocates of the environment usually adopt a rather naive approach to what the companies ordinarily should have done. However, the obtainable reality is that we cannot simply end the use of fossil fuels without it leading to a large-scale effect on lives as well as living conditions over the world. However, on the other side, it is vital to recognize that organizations such as Shell have been in the know for well over 3 decades that fossil fuels have a rather damning effect on the environment especially as it has to do with Climate change.

In the defense of Multi-National company Shell; it has been making rather significant steps to mend its image as it has to do with the public. Shell has made it a part of its mandate to invest in clean sources of energy as well as electric car technologies. Back in the month of January, Shell bought into Silicon Ranch Corporation a solar owner and operator based in Nashville. This was as a part of a $20 million investment in spearheading the rural distributed company Husk power systems which operate in Africa and Asia and made an announcement for a power purchase pact for the Bradenstoke solar plant located in England.

In addition to this, back in November 2017, shell made public plans to reduce the total carbon footprint of its products by about 50% before the year 2050 with an initial projection of 20% by the year 2035.

However, despite the good all of this appears to be doing for the image of Shell, it still is considered as inadequate considering the position of the organization. It is believed that it should be doing more in its quest to fight the damning effect of global warming especially owing to the perceived direct input of shell in the issue of global warming.

By reason of this, Friends of the Earth Netherland as well as an organization Friends of the Earth International which is a synergy of about 75 member groups from different parts of the world advocating for justice for the climate- has made threats to charge shell to court if it does nothing on its request to act pertaining taking action against the destruction of the ecosystem.

In the words of Karin Nansen the chairperson of Friends of the Earth International, “this case is important for individuals all over and it is worthy of note that Shell is doing a whole lot on a global scale in terms of damaging the climate. With this lawsuit, Shell will surely be made to account for its actions.”

A notice letter was specifically sent by Friends of the Earth to the Chief executive officer of Shell Ben Van Beurden with a subject “Liability for inadequate climate policy”. In the opening statement, the brains behind the letter stated the reason why they held the opinion that Shell via its activities as well as corporate strategy is going against its legal responsibility of care by inducing damages to the climate all over the world and as such negating the Paris agreement.

The said letter is about 20 pages long and ends by asserting that in the interest of the human race as well the environment and generations unborn, Shell should take responsibility and meet up with its duty of care as well as its responsibility.

The primary aim of the legal threat is to make Shell find a solution to this rather unlawful situation by making sure that its investment decisions, as well as corporate activities, are in line with its climate targets on a global scale. If Milieudefensie is able to record success in its legal target against shell, it should make shell reduce its oil and gas investments on a global scale and hence lead to a compliance of climate agreements on the organization which should have serious effects on its business runnings.

This recent rise in legal actions as advocated for by the activist James Hansen is without doubt mounting pressure on the multi-Nationals. However, as regards it yielding any lasting or significant effect, time is the only thing that would tell.

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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Saudi Arabia Set to Build the World’s Largest Solar Project


Conferring to a recent information which was produced from the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), Saudi Arabia is a big country that produces a large percentage of the world’s oil and it also occupies the second position as the world’s oil-producing nation. It is also necessary to know that this country also gets 60% of its own electricity from petroleum.

However, Saudi Arabia recently signed the Paris Agreement action plan, but it was seen as not been enough or sufficient according to the Climate Action Tracker late last year. Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia is set to become one of the revolutionary countries to take a great action against climate change by building the biggest solar project in history.

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On Tuesday, the country publically declared that it is making plans to build the world’s largest solar project in conjunction with Japanese tech conglomerate Softbank, Bloomberg reported.

In another report by Bloomberg, it is estimated that Saudi Arabia’s project will be built in the county and the project is said to produce more than 150,000 jobs and also 200 GigaWatts of power by 2030, which is more than the next biggest project in Australia, called the Solar Choice Bulli Creek PV Plant.

Furthermore, it is also necessary to know that this is an important step in combating climate change and the Saudi Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman stated to Bloomberg that, “it’s bold and risky and we hope we can succeed in this project that we are about to undertake.

Making use of the solar energy is a reasonable choice by the Saudi government. However, due to the fact that the country’s capital, Riyadh, has an average of 8 to 9 hours of sunshine every day, the country will be greatly affected by climate change if global temperatures hit a point above 1.5 degree centigrade.

The Climate Action Tracker has a made it known that if the temperature of the world increases to three or four degrees Celsius, about 75% of the country, Saudi Arabia, would greatly turn to desert a nation at the end of the century. This is true, due to the excessive temperature as a result of climate change which would greatly make the environment inhabitable.

Saudi Arabia has a high level of sunshine and large lands which can be exploited by different works of life, like engineers. It also has a powerful labor force, and above all, the country has great plans for the future,” said SoftBank pioneer, Masayoshi Son, in a new project, which was reported by Bloomberg.

In accordance to the great future plans by the country, Fortune has made it clear the summary of all the total solar power projects that exist in the world is close to 400 gigawatts, thus, only doubling the solar power project produced by Saudi Arabia. Another great fact is that Saudi Arabia’s solar power project also quadruples China’s Tengger Desert Solar Park, which is currently the biggest solar power installation and it generates more than 2 gigawatts. Due to the fact that Saudi’s project will produce about 7.2 gigawatts by next year, it will surely surpass the Chinese Tengger Desert, Solar Park.

Although the Saudi’s solar project will certainly cost more than $200 billion; the country is making efforts to achieve its dream despite what it might cost them. In addition, the country would have to purchase solar panels from other countries, and it will also need to produce the battery capacity to the store the solar energy from the sun. it also necessary to keep in mind that the first part of the project will actually cost $5 billion, although, $1 billion will be gotten from the Vision Fund, which Saudi Arabia and the SoftBank are joint investors in.

Furthermore, SoftBank pioneer made it known that the reason why he is collaborating with the Saudi government is that the project that they are about to embark on is actually worth it. Also, the pioneer also said that “The project itself will fund its own expansion and it is a great project that will be worthwhile” This project will not only benefit the Saudi government alone but to the whole world. Nevertheless, as at the time when the Saudi government announced its plans to build the world’s largest solar power project, almost all nations in the world have been astonished.

The Saudi government’s bold investment in solar power greatly shames the U.S., which is now the world’s largest oil-producing nation, according to the EIA data.

Nevertheless, ever since the inception of climate change, the world is beginning to come together to climate change, but the present American government under the leadership of President Donald Trump is not in one accord in the fight against climate change. Instead of encouraging the solar industry to produce more innovative plans powered by solar energy to decrease the manufacturing oil fossil fuels, the American government has announced that 30% tariff should be placed on imported solar panels this January.

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.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Microsoft Endorses the Biggest Solar Agreement in the United States


One of the biggest technology companies in the world, Microsoft, has declared its plans to purchase the biggest corporate solar technology in the United States. The tech company has agreed to endorse this move in conjunction with sPower to add 315 MegaWatts of electricity through the use of the solar project in Virginia.

It is important to take note that Microsoft has been running its activities on 100% renewable energy since 2014. However, one year later, the tech company amalgamated with RE100, which is a corporate leadership initiative that was formed by The Climate Group in conjunction with CDP. This initiative brings together about 130 companies that want to be fully involved in promoting and enhancing renewable energy across the globe.

solar-panels-installation-workers

Microsoft made further plans in 2016 to offer renewable energy for its various center points from local sources of energy. Right now, the tech company is making other plans and measures to increase the percentage of renewable energy in its center point by in 2018 and also in 2020.

Furthermore, Microsoft’s plan in conjunction with sPower will increase its renewable collection by 1.2 GigaWatts; this puts the tech company in the right path to achieve its goals within a short period of time and will also concurrently assist the increase of the renewable energy sector in Virginia.

The CEO of RE100, Sam Kimmins said, “Big congrats to Microsoft for their achievements so far. This is a powerful leadership from an RE100 pioneer, thus, bringing new solar capacity into the grid will surely benefit their business strategy and accelerate a market shift to renewables.”

Kimmins also stated that “The project is a clear illustration of how supportive policy environment enable corporate renewable electricity off-takers to invest at scale, driving competitiveness and increasing the change to a zero emissions economy.”

All About Exploiting the Energy Gotten From the Sun

When Pleinmont 1 and 2 is totally active and launched, more than 700,000 solar panels will be involved, which will cover 2,000 acres, thus, creating about 715,000 MWh annually. These projects are part of an enormous 500MW solar project in Virginia.

The CEO of Microsoft, Brad Smith, said, “ These projects don’t just involve producing gigawatts alone, this is due to the fact that our commitments are bigger than transforming our own activities; it also involves assisting other people to have quick access to renewable energy.”

It important to note that the solar and wind power are now cost-effective; with this in mind, lots of companies and business are beginning to see the advantages of delving into renewable energy to source their own energy needs and enhance more clean power into their machines.

A latest RE100 progress report shows the growth of business Power Purchase Agreements as a way of obtaining renewable energy. The report also states the use of Power Purchase Agreements and its growth among RE100 members in a year.

This model enlarges the capability for businesses and governments to participate in this type of project, and yet take the amount megawatts that they need for their business activities. With this, the CEO RE100 expressed joy working with Microsoft on a project of this kind.

The Collaboration of Governments and Businesses

With the recent study made by the RE100 initiative, the immense growth in PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements) in places where government laws and policies are encouraging, like the United States, Mexico, UK, Ireland, and the Netherlands has been shown.

However, due to the fact that Virginia is the cosigner of the Under2 Coalition, which is a global network of sub-national governments that are devoted to decreasing climate change, which The Climate Group acts as the secretariat, the state has lengthened its substantial exertions to decrease emissions and enhance clean energy investments. In conjunction with Microsoft to increase the growth of solar capacity entering to the grid is part of the process.

Due to this, Gov, Ralph Northam said, “When reputable companies like Microsoft invest in Virginia solar power, they opt for clean and reliable energy as well as news in the energy economy that we are working to build.”

Gov. Northam also made this clear, “I am proud that Microsoft is expanding its commitment to solar energy in Virginia, and I look forward to building upon this victory for clean energy and the jobs that come with it.”

Lots of business are finding carbon-saving alternatives necessary in order to maintain a clean environment; these businesses and companies are now investing in carbon-reducing initiatives. The project in addition to the initiative Microsoft has to sustain a clean environment in another part of its business model has led to the company receiving an EPA Climate Leadership Award and to receive a worldwide recognition by the United Nations and World Economic Forum for its carbon fee model.

It is also essential to note that Microsoft has been ranked by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as the second largest user of green power in the United States.

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)

Research Shows That 93% of Bottled Water Samples Contains Microplastics


Due to a recent study, it is evident that sea salt isn’t the only item that contains microplastics. With a research on brands all over the world, it has been ascertained that water is often contaminated with little plastic particles that may be difficult to see with the eye.

Furthermore, a new study, which was conducted by journalism non-profit Orb Media and researchers at the State University of New York at Fredonia, has found out that about 93% of the 259 bottled water samples it tested has microplastics. The samples obtained were collected from different places around the world, and from 11 major brands. Also, these researchers have asked the WHO (World Health Organization) to launch a review on the hazards of these microplastics in drinking water.

thirsty-man-drink-drinking-water

In this study, about 259 bottles were tested from the 11 different brands purchases from 19 locations in 9 countries. However, the study was successfully carried by the use of fluorescent tagging with Nile Red dye, these researchers discovered not only microplastics but polypropylene, nylon, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) contamination. These contaminations where found to be of different sizes and widths.

However, in this study, one of the sample bottles showed a large amount microplastic particles per liter (about 10,000); 17 other bottles showed no contamination.

About an average of 10.4 microplastic particles where identified per liter which is almost two times as much contamination revealed from the previous study on tap water by the group.

It is also essential to know that the study by the group involved different brands like Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, Bisleri, Epura, Minalba, Gerolsteiner, Nestle, and Wahaha.

Everyone has the right to be informed about the safety and the quality of any brand that is purchased for use,” said Lisa Lefferts, a chief scientist at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, to the Orb. “Due to the fact that lots of consumers are paying much for bottled water, is now the duty of these bottled water companies to make sure their products are worthwhile and safe.”

I would love to ask you to choose a human being who would love to have plastic particles in his/her bottle” added Erik Solheim, an executive director of the United Nations Environment Program. “They wouldn’t like it.

Furthermore, there has been some other research on these small plastic particles seen in ice cores, deep in some part of the ocean and every other water found on the earth. In addition to this, a disconcerting UN News article stated this: “As many as 51 trillion microplastic particles- 500 times more than stars in our galaxy.”

It is also important to know that the Guardian stated through a WHO spokesman that even though there haven’t been any recorded case of the effects of these microplastics, the organization has made it clear that it is still a major worry. However, the spokesperson also made it clear that the WHO would “take a critical look at the obtainable confirmation, thus, creating a study agenda to notify detailed risk valuation.”

Several brands have replied and questioned the methods used in the study and they said that the number of plastics evaluated was exaggerated.

One brand that has had its say is Nestle. The brand, however, told the CBC that the use of Nile Red dye could “generate results that aren’t true.”

A retailer who retails Evian and Aqua, expressed herself to Orb and said, “These studies are not in any position to comment, due to the fact that the methods used are unclear and shouldn’t be used to generate false positives. There are still unclear information in the topic and the final verdicts of these research are different from one another.”

However, the American Beverage Association, which represents Nestle, Evian, Dasani, and Aquafina, stated to Orb that “the scientific study of microplastics and microfibers is still an emerging area. We stand by the safety of bottled water products and we are interested in contributing to serious scientific research that will help us all to understand the scope, impact and the right steps to take.”

A bottled water brand, Minalba, which is based in Brazil told Orb that it obeys the rules and the security standards of the Brazilian government. Although, other brands like Biserli and Wahaha did not have any say when questioned by Orb.

Even though these are microplastics and they are smaller, that doesn’t mean there are safer either. Recently, some scientist has issued different warnings about microplastics.

Due to the prevalence of these small plastics in our bottled water and even our tap water also, it is likely that we are taking these particles on a daily basis. Some of these microplastics are so small that they can pass through our membranes and into our bloodstreams.

Although we haven’t affirmed the potential dangers of these microplastics, we should just neglect this issue until people are affected.

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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