A report jointly released by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) concludes that if countries, developed or developing alike, commit to investing 1.5 per cent of GDP per year into renewable energy and energy efficiency projects then these efforts would generate significant economic growth and new job opportunities. The latter is sort of a no brainer – of course, new jobs will be generated, but what about those lost? Well, according to the report, more job opportunities could be created by investing clean energy sources than fossil fuels.
A new project started by Green Energy Africa in September 2014 has brought solar energy to 2,000 homes in Naiputa county alone, and put new power into the hands of women who sell affordable solar installations.
Converting the power infrastructure to rely on clean, renewable energy seems like a daunting, expensive and some would say, unachievable task. But Mark Z. Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford, and his colleagues, including U.C. Berkeley researcher Mark Delucchi, are the first to outline how each of the 50 states can achieve such a transition by 2050.
In its “Energy Security and Sustainability Strategy” (ES2 Strategy) report, the US army outlines the steps it should take to increase resilience and adapt to an ever changing world. Energy makes the go world round, and for an army it’s literally a matter of life and death. Not surprisingly, the authors note given the current climate of affairs the “army will prioritize solutions that reduce multiple resources. The Army can use energy more efficiently by purchasing energy efficient products, modernizing buildings and utility systems, purchasing energy efficient vehicles, and using more renewable/alternative energy sources.” Basically, being dependent on a finite resource (oil) is a security vulnerability, which isn’t something new. Military strategists have been aware of this for a long time – maybe the most during WWII when many lives were claimed in battles over oil rigs in North Africa and the Middle East, and oil refineries were being bombed on the clock. What’s changed today is the feasibility of renewable energy sources. Drawing the line, in those situations were oil is a liability (and we can only expect these to become ever numerous in the future), it’ll be scrapped in favor of renewable energy systems, both for generating and storing energy.
Rooftop solar is now cheaper than grid electricity for 30 million people living in 6 cities, a new report writes – even without government subsidies. This includes the cost of installing the solar panels. In other words, the future is here – solar energy is cheaper than the alternative.
A massive study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology concluded that solar has the most chances to meet our planet’s long term energy demands, while also reducing greenhouse emissions. However, governments should be more supportive of the industry’s development.
A shocking conclusion came from an International Monetary Fund report: they found that fossil fuels will be subsidized by a whopping $5.3 trillion dollars, way more than total health spendings of the entire world combined.
A Spanish startup called Vortex Bladeless has been receiving a lot hype recently once it unveiled a prototype for a bladeless wind turbine. Like conventional pin-wheel turbines, their turbine also works by harnessing the kinetic energy of the wind. However, instead of moving blades which in turn rotate a shaft connected to a generator, the “asparagus” turbine uses a magnets to transform oscillating movements into electricity. It’s a radical idea, one that might forever change the scenery most of you have already become used to – huge parks of windmills, which personally I’m rather fond of. So far, the engineers behind the project have been rather secretive and the only things we know about the Vortex Mini (the first commercial turbine of this kind set to come out next year) is what has been disclosed by the company. They’re boasting an impressive performance – to the point that it might be feasible to forego pin-wheel turbines altogether in favor of the Vortex – but until we seen some independent assessments I believe skepticism is warranted.
Using solar energy to meet your power demands does not only make you more environmentally friendly, it may actually save you money. It’s a win-win situation, but only if you’re in for long-run. Of course, it all depends on where you live since how much energy your panels can harvest, and consequently save you money, depends on constantly changing factors such as time of day, season and weather, but also geographic traits such as climate and latitude. With this in mind, before you decide to grab solar panels to add to your home, look at these six pros and cons of solar energy.
Only six months ago, a 230-foot strip of road was covered in solar panels in the Netherlands. Since then, some 3,000 kilowatt-hours of energy were produced or enough to power one Dutch home for a whole year. These news came as a surprise even to the developers of SolaRoad, as the project has been dubbed.