Solar Energy - The Future Is Now

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For decades, solar energy has been touted as a different power source. Increasingly, however, solar is standing toe to toe with traditional power sources as a viable, cost-effective option for electricity.

When solar energy surges onto the scene in the 1980s, nobody was making an economic case for including it in America’s utility electric fleet. The argument in favor of solar was primarily environmental. Photovoltaic (PV) panels generate energy without carbon emissions and without the constant need for fuel. Since 1998, however, the cost of panels has fallen by about 8% every year. Now, it is reaching what is known as ‘grid parity,’ which means that the electricity produced by PV is cost-competitive on a per-kilowatt basis with electricity from natural gas or coal plants. At the point of grid parity, advocates of the technology can use both pure cost analysis and environmental benefits to make the case. Recently, the EPA released its Clean Power Plan, which is likely to specify the environmental legacy of the Obama administration. The plan calls for a nationwide 30% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. While environmental benefits certainly were part of the motivation behind the plan, feasibility largely hinges on the affordability of renewable energy technology.

Market share - solar energy

Traditionally, electric utilities in the United States are vertically combined monopolies. Vertical integration means one company produces and delivers a product to consumers. Solar energy, however, is already breaking that vertical model up. While it doesn’t make sense for everyone to have their own coal plant, photovoltaic electricity gives every American the opportunity to produce their own power. This has come to be known as energy democratization. Today, individuals have an unprecedented level of the option. With this choice, many homeowners are crunching the numbers and realizing that an investment in their own electric production can protect them thousands over the life of the system.

The future of Solar Energy

It’s not only individuals taking advantage of declining prices on their own rooftops. Utility companies themselves have seen the writing on the wall and begun to invest in large-scale solar systems. There are now several solar power farms located throughout the United States. They are strategically constructed in areas with high solar resources, such as the Mojave Desert. The largest of these farms have a production capacity upwards of 500 megawatts.

Americans are considerably aware of the need for a clean energy future and the economic advantages of producing electricity at home. Solar energy is coming into its own as the economic and environmental choice of the future.

Source: EzineArticles.com

4 Ideas the Technological World Is Fighting Global Warming

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Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, debuted 10 years ago this year. See what is being done in the tech world to work to prevent the detrimental effects of global warming climate change.

It all kinda started off with a flip chart. Then, a slideshow, and eventually a movie. But really, it started with the industrial revolution. You might be wondering what I’m talking about by now, or you know with its recent ten year anniversary, I’m referring to Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” about global warming.

And Gore was right on many of his predictions. CO2 levels ARE higher now than they have been the past 650,000 years. West Antarctica and major ice sheets in Greenland DO have the potential of melting, raising sea levels by 20 feet and causing 100 million refugees.

4 Ideas the Technological World Is Fighting Global Warming

But, what is being done? Is there a plausible man-made solution, despite the The tech world has taken a stand since Gore’s film debuted back in 2006. Here are four of the biggest ways.

Breakthrough Energy Coalition:

Last November at the climate change summit in Paris, Bill Gate‘s debuted his coalition of 28 high net worth investors, all being billionaire philanthropists. Its goal is to lower the cost of implementation of clean energy plans across the globe.

The United Nations Paris Agreement

This past Earth day, 195 countries came together under the United Nations to sign the Paris Agreement. It was the first time in history that a global pact was made in regards to global climate change. One of the main goals of the agreement is to stop the temperature from rising above two degrees Celsius what the temperature patterns were pre-industrial revolution. On the tech side of things, the agreement makes all of the participating countries responsible for making financial decisions in government consistent with climate-resilient development.

Collectively, the group has pledged a collective $100 billion a year to providing preventative climate change technology to underdeveloped countries worldwide.

Job Growth in Sustainable Clean Energy

80% of energy consumption globally comes from fossil fuels. Since 2006, renewable energy has grown to be cheaper than fossil-fuel based electricity in many parts of the world. There are now 7,260 megawatts of direct current from solar power in the U.S, 6,800 megawatts more than 10 years ago. This is largely due to the rapid expansion of clean energy companies and ventures. Today, 2.5 million people work in clean energy technology jobs across the US and are now adding new jobs to the industry at a rate of approx. 30,000 new jobs per year.

Elon Musk Innovation. Period.

While this dynamic CEO seems to be at the cusp of everything future related, one could say that his biggest contribution to climate change currently is his Tesla innovations. Today, there are more than 1 million plug-in electric cars are on the road across the world, and a lot of this can be attributed to Musk’s vow for planetary health over capital gain.

A few years back, he made the patents for his electric cars open source, making it fair game for other car companies to develop fossil-fuelless car models.

Musk’s self-driving cars also work against the detriment of global warming, because of its reduction of gas emissions.
His other ventures like the Hyperloop and SpaceX work in ways to decrease our carbon footprint.

Smart cities: the coming future of sustainable living

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As digital technologies get more and more integrated into our way of life, these smart cities offer a peek into the near future of sustainable living.

Vincent Callebaut of Callebaut Architects has created smart towers that could be the future of glitzy city of Paris. The proposal, titled 2050 paris smart city, showcases eight different green tower typologies that integrate elements of nature and renewable energy – part of a research and development project that analyzes the role of high-rise architecture in Paris.

The project, in collaboration with Setec Batimet engineers, was carried out for Paris City Hall as part of an initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75 per cent by 2050.

smart cities

Remarkably, many of these prepared futuristic high rises will grow out of existing properties by using columns installed in chimney ducts to vertically support the new structures. Other plans make use of disused railway lines or repurpose existing structures. All eight typologies have the same goal: to make Paris a model green city. Aside from foliage, the smart buildings will use a number of other green technologies including:

  • Solar voltaic panels
  • Solar heating systems
  • Hydro-electric power
  • Water re-purification and recycling systems
  • Wind turbines and flexible photovoltaic textiles will also be used to generate energy and vertical gardens will both detoxify the air as well as provide space for the farming of vegetables hydroponically.

Smart green cities of today

SmartCity Kochi, located in the Kerala Special Economic Zone in India, is the latest in a series of business townships built by the SmartCity Group. An earlier development in Malta was awarded a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certificate by the US Green Building Council. Due for completion by March 2015, SmartCity Kochi’s first building will be a LEED Platinum building with 85 per cent energy efficiency.

Some of the steps the developers took in order to achieve this rating include:

  • Conservation of the natural terrain and flora
  • Solar outdoor lighting
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Environmentally responsive building

The building cover includes double-glazed windows to minimise heat transfer. Inside, natural ventilation systems and passive cooling minimise the need for air conditioning.

Perhaps the most ambitious smart city development is the Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town (Fujisawa SST) located on the outskirts of Tokyo in Japan, aimed at bringing energy to life. Working together with Fujisawa City and 11 partner companies including Panasonic Corporation as the lead organiser, plans were unveiled to create Fujisawa SST in 2011. The city went into full-scale operation in November 2014.

Fujisawa SST architects and engineers based their design on three ‘lifestyle layers.’ The bottom layer is the infrastructure, which houses the town’s energy and information centres. The middle layer is the design of smart living spaces. The top ‘smart lifestyle’ layer focuses on the health, transportation, security, social and recreation needs of the residents.

Fujisawa SST covers around 19 hectares and has the capacity to service 1000 households with solar power and other sustainable technologies including energy storage and energy saving. Residents and visitors are encouraged to adopt mobile lifestyles through eco car sharing and rent-a-car services. As a town that promotes eco and smart lifestyles, several environmental targets were set.

Source: MyNewDesk.com

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We currently are in a place and time where everyone is important for the amount of energy they consume. Sustainability has hence become a global concern, and a major attention has shifted towards energy efficient solutions. This is not just good for humanity as a whole, but you would also directly enjoy a reduction in your energy bills.

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To compensate for this lack of light, you could use daylight G9 light bulbs. These bulbs produce a “whiter” light when compared to the yellow hues given off by incandescent bulbs. Those work spaces of visual artists have a great need for daylight bulbs as it would enable the artists to view all colors as they would under normal light.

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These days it’s entirely possible for people to utilize wind power turning them at home green smart places. In terms of using wind power for a home, one essential component is the turbine. The propeller style turbine looks very similar to an airplane propeller and generally has three blades to catch the wind. One of …

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These days it’s entirely possible for people to utilize wind power turning them at home green smart places. In terms of using wind power for a home, one essential component is the turbine. The propeller style turbine looks very similar to an airplane propeller and generally has three blades to catch the wind. One of …

Sourced through Scoop.it from: blog.smartdhomestore.com

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5 Ways to help the Environment Every Day

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Many people do not give a second thought to the environment while others think that they have to make an enormous effort to make a difference. Here are five habits you can get into to help the environment with minimal effort.

5 Ways to help the Environment Every Day

1) Turn Things Off

For many people, it is just habit rather than laziness, but it is one that costs you money and adds to an overall negative influence on your wider surroundings. Get into the habit of turning lights off when you leave the room, shutting down your computer when you’ve finished using it and decreasing the use of air conditioning and heating to a minimal level and you will also be financially rewarded.

2) Reuse and Recycle

Regardless, however, it doesn’t take much effort to throw paper or plastic waste in the appropriate recycling bins where they are available. Getting into the habit of reusing certain items will also help the environment while in some cases saving you money in the process.

3) Cut Down on Transport

Transport costs are going up all around the world and, for many, things like commuting and running a car to work can make your outgoings skyrocket. Consolidate your trips so that you can get more done in one hit rather than doing multiple journeys and spending twice as much or more on fuel.

4) Eat Healthier

Healthy eating is not only better for your own health; it is usually better for the environment. It is better for the environment, and usually your wallet too.

5) Use Fewer Appliances

Getting into the habit of reusing certain items will also help the environment while in some cases saving you money in the process. Healthy eating is not only better for your own health; it is usually better for the environment.

Get into the habit of using fewer appliances as doing so will also help you to decrease your utility bills. Some useful tips include doing the laundry only when you have a full load to wash, defrosting food in the open rather than in the microwave and drying clothes naturally rather than in a dryer. Think for a moment before using an electrical appliance— you may well be using more than you need to.

Many people do not give a second thought to the environment …

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Have you embraced smart home technology? If not, you should learn and read this article about the enormous benefits of the smart bulb. Well, this is where a Smart light bulb would come in handy. Below you will discover more information and the benefits of a Smart bulb. Smart Light Bulb It’s integrated with a …

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