Archive for July 2011
Approximately ten percent of energy produced in the United States is from hydropower. In this process, water spins in turbines in generators.
Hydropower is one of the renewable energy sources being researched and implemented to replace fossil fuels, which are in the process of depletion. It does not produce carbon dioxide, as coal power stations do, making it a cleaner, as well as, cheaper alternate way to produce electricity. It is also renewable, with the help of rainwater for replenishment.
The impoundment facility is the most common type of hydropower facilities. A dam is built on a large river or lake to store its water in a reservoir. When water is released from the reservoir through tunnels it flows through a turbine. Since the height of the water behind the walls is so great, the released water goes through the turbine with a great force of energy. As the turbine spins, it sets in motion a generator, which in turn produces electricity. The water then travels back into the stream or river below. Networks of transmission lines and facilities carry the electricity from the generator to users in a form they can use. The Hoover Dam is an illustration of the process just described. When it was initially built, it produced enough electricity for the entire city of Las Vegas. As Las Vegas grew, they turned to other energy sources
The pumped storage hydro plant facility is able to store power. It does so by pumping water from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir during low energy demand periods. When needs increase, the water is released from the upper reservoir back to the lower reservoir for electricity generation.
Hydroelectric plants require a lot of land in order to build a dam and reservoir. This requires a great deal of money, time and construction. There are not many ideal places to put them and most of these have already been taken. The good thing is once constructed; the electricity is free to produce. Due to costs, the tendency will be to put up smaller hydro plants that are more economical.
Hydroelectric plants using dams have a negative effect on the environment. Through the construction of a dam, there is a blockage of the flow from upstream to downstream. This disrupts the migration pattern of fish. Fish can also be killed passing through the turbines. An advantage to hydropower is the ability to control energy release to meet changing demands.
The population is growing and so will its power needs. Fossil fuels are being used up and there will come a time when they will be depleted. We need to turn to renewable energy sources to meet our needs. Natural resources seem to be a natural solution. Hydroelectric plants can meet our power needs without worries of depletion or pollution. It is also the most reliable source available today. Research and development is ongoing to provide a solution to the damage a dam can do. The potential for hydroelectricity is within our grasp and we must find a way to make this work.
In a world that is starting to focus more on how to reduce the effects of global warming, individuals and businesses alike are looking for new ways to offset the greenhouse gasses they produce and reduce their carbon footprint. While there are many who have been successful in reducing their greenhouse gas production to a minimal level, they are unable to put out zero greenhouse gasses. It is at this point that many will look at the option of purchasing carbon offsets in order to offset the greenhouse gasses they are still producing.
When looking for a company to purchase carbon offsets from, one has to do their research. It is unfortunate, but the world is not as honest as one would like to think it is. There has been the occasion where companies were purchasing carbon offsets from a company to find that the money was not being put toward what it should be. When looking for a carbon offset company, one has to look into the companies they find and do a little research. They should answer some questions before paying the company, such as where does the money go? Does the money go into research or a program? What kind of research or program does the money go into? How does carbon offsetting work? It is important to get to know the company you are dealing with to make sure that you are putting money into a company that is legitimate in its efforts to turn the world more green.
The idea of purchasing carbon offsets is fairly new and searching for the right carbon offset company to deal with might take some time, but it is best to ensure that you are dealing with the right company that shares the same goals and values that you do. To ensure this, there are three things to take into account when looking for the right carbon offset company for you. One is to find out exactly what the money you are paying them is going into and whether or not you support it. Some companies will put their money into research, while others will put their money into different programs. Another is to make sure that the company you are about to deal with is legitimate. As mentioned before, there are, unfortunately, scams going on where the carbon offset money is not put to use where it is supposed to be, eliminating the whole purpose of purchasing carbon offsets. The last thing to think about before going with the company is to find out how much of what you are pay them actually makes it to the program or research they say the money is going into. If only a small percentage makes it, then it might be a good idea to find a better carbon offset company to deal with where most, if not all, of the money makes it.
Organizations which are looking after the future of energy use needs to have a clear understanding of its own energy demand to help with its own decision making in responding to the consequences of increasing energy use. To help get a balance of energy demand and supply and to be able to benefit from available best tariffs, one solution would be to get access to the most financially viable sources of energy at its demand
In order to have a complete balance between energy supply and demand based on the range of parameters and to take advantage of the best available tariffs, an ideal solution would be to access the most economically viable energy sources when energy use is required.
Off-peak pricing is taken up by energy consumers to have financial gain through operational flexibility. The strategy of adjusting consumption patterns based on financial incentives is not something new. Efforts to reduce the use of energy from traditional sources could lead to carbon footprint reduction as stakeholders are already putting such pressure on enterprises for such initiatives. By combining this drive with an active energy response program, optimum results on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emission will be achieved.
Automated approach to energy management is very important in active energy response. Traditional manual control is just not efficient enough based on past practices. With the help of programming a demand response manager or an active energy response manager to take into account some pre-defined scenarios like tariff-based incentives, electrical loads can be controlled. With the use of a level device or asset, electrical loads in an operation can be managed.
Controlling lighting and HVAC systems in a certain location or in an entire organization can be helped with remote data monitoring devices. Savings on electrical consumption is guaranteed and a consumer may choose to get involved in any event based on the availability of an active energy response which is specified by the utilities.
As part of its combined target in carbon footprint reduction, any organization will get help in analyzing savings and eventually implement practices which are friendly to the environment. With the use of a designated active energy response programs or enterprise energy management systems, you can initiate energy demand and control from your computer from any part of the world. It will also be possible to set ‘best case scenarios’ and manage energy portfolio with relative case.
Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the developed countries and developing countries all over the world is now a focus for lawmakers. Curtailing use of energy from traditional sources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions becomes a priority issue for companies.
With pressures from various stakeholders pressing on companies to be environmentally friendly in operations, active energy response capabilities become a necessity for the planning and execution of any company for the future.
Proposals to introduce a new 85% collection target for waste electronics and to make producers and retailers responsible for funding the collection of the waste stream directly from households were backed by the European Parliament on February 3.
A full plenary session of the Parliament in Brussels voted 580 to 37 in favour of the proposals, which were made in a report prepared by MEP Karl-Heinz Florenz, the man responsible for steering the recast of the EU WEEE Directive through the European legislative process. There were 22 abstentions.
Mr Florenz’s report, and the amendments to it which were tabled in the period since it was first considered by the Parliament’s environment committee in draft form in February 2010, feature a range of proposals, many significantly changedt to those in the European Commission’s original recast proposals.
Among the key changes backed by the Parliament are to move from the current weight-based target for WEEE collection, that the UK has easily met, to a percentage-based goal, with member states expected to collect 85% of all WEEE generated by 2016.
This represents a significant change from the 65% target originally proposed by the Commission, which was to be calculated as a proportion of the amount of new electrical equipment put onto the market.
While this 65% target is seen as challenging for the UK, some in the sector have questioned just how taxing the Parliament’s proposed target will be, noting it will be dependent on exactly what the final recast document defines as WEEE .
Collection from households
The vote also saw the Parliament back moves to make producers, retailers and consumers responsible for funding the collection of WEEE from households, a significant change from the current system, whereby producers only pay for the collection, treatment and recycling of WEEE from collection points.
Parliament has sent a strong message that public authorities, manufacturers and consumers all need to play their part to ensure we collect and recycle more of our electrical and electronic goods
Karl-Heinz Florenz MEP
The change, which was made in amendment 47 of Mr Florenz’s report, is likely to be welcomed by the Local Government Association, which believes it is necessary to boost traditionally low collection level for small household WEEE.
The report notes that the actual rules for calculating the cost of collection will be laid down by individual member states.
But, it is likely to be draw opposition by producers and retailers, who could see their costs increase, and consumers, who could see the cost of collection passed on to them.
Other changes endorsed today include:
Requiring between 50% and 75%, depending on the type of material, of WEEE collected to actually be recycled;
Introducing a new 5% reuse target;
Reducing the number of WEEE categories
Standardising registration and reporting for producers, a move the Parliament claimed would reduce their administrative burden and costs;
Allowing consumers to return “very small” WEEE directly to retailers.
Mr Florenz said: “We can no longer afford to waste our waste. Parliament has sent a strong message that public authorities, manufacturers and consumers all need to play their part to ensure we collect and recycle more of our electrical and electronic goods. We have also set out stricter rules to stop potentially harmful waste being illegally shipped to developing countries.”
At Be Seen Go Green, we offer solutions for WEEE issues. Please click on the following link to contact us.
Ever lovable Lord Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has warned that climate change could threaten our cosy way of life and our capitals status as a leading world city thus he wishes to implement a strategy to cope with it, including measures such as urban greening, flood risk management and cooler buildings. Johnsons’ strategy, – apparently the first of its type for a major world city – details the ways in which to deal with global warming. Implementing ‘urban greening’ of the city – using green spaces, green roofs and tree planting to absorb and retain rainwater – and reducing water usage is necessary to adapt London to the increased risks of flooding, droughts and heat waves which are expected to be brought about by global warming.
Some other measures of the strategy include; Improving flood risk management on the Thames tributaries where properties are at significant risk of flooding. Reducing the leakage from water mains. Introducing compulsory water metering in developments where it is practical, to aid homes in becoming more water efficient. Designing new buildings and adapting old ones to minimise the need for cooling facilities.
“We need to concentrate efforts to slash carbon emissions and become more energy efficient in order to prevent dangerous climate change. But we also need to prepare for how our climate is expected to change in the future”, said Johnson.
The strategy also covered the problems London will have to deal with when facing Global warming, preparing to cope with the more frequent and extreme weather conditions and changes in the seasons, including warmer, wetter winters and hotter drier summers. Currently people can barely cope with a few days over 25C in July without it becoming a ‘heat wave’, or a couple of frosty mornings in January without general meltdown of the train service and declaration of a ‘cold snap’, however it seems we can ditch our exaggerated buzz terms and over reactions because things are going to get tougher weather wise.
“The strategy I am launching today outlines in detail the range of weather conditions facing London, which could both seriously threaten our quality of life – particularly that of the most vulnerable people – and endanger our pre-eminence as one of the world’s leading cities”, Johnson said.
It is not just London, but all major cities that are at risk, and this strategy – a legal requirement under the Greater London Authority Act – is putting London at the head of an unavoidable movement. The mayor feels that London is in a good position to take this stance on dealing with climate change, and is hopeful that it may open up ‘green’ jobs in the city.
The strategy outlines the main threats towards the city as flooding, drought and heat waves. Aprox 1.25 million people are at risk of flooding, along with almost half a million properties, 441 schools, 75 underground and DLR stations and 10 hospitals. The Thames region has lower water availability per person than Morocco, but there is larger consumption than the national average, and about 600m litres a day are lost through leaks. Alongside the water shortage, the summer’s hottest temperatures have been rising over the years.
Help Your Business with Carbon And Energy Management
Energy efficiency and reduced energy consumption are becoming mainstays of business accounting as initiatives for carbon footprint reduction. Economies of the future now consider carbon as a commodity, as it is a liability for businesses throughout the entire world.
Legislation has and will create markets for carbon trading, which could add another column on the balance sheet. As the society is already becoming very much aware of the adverse effects of carbon to the environment, pressure from the society for companies to be responsive to their energy consumption and carbon footprint will continue to increase.
Environmental sustainability may not be handled by a department or administered by the role of a junior member of staff. Carbon emissions must be addressed as a critical element of an businesses existence. To slow down the already felt impacts of climate change, sustainable planning should be measurable, visible and real being part of each corporate requirements, afterall how can you reduce that which you do not measure?
Collaborative approaches in energy and carbon management are now starting to emerge as the traditional systems are just not that good in approaching the problem. Sustainability resource planning software is an example of a software-as-a-service approach and is a way that distributed organizations can address this issue from the ground up as they move toward compliance.
The new-age energy management and carbon management systems will be heavily software-based that could monitor, report, and manage emissions which are consequences of energy consumption. A variety of IT systems already exist within the typical organization, designed to handle employee, customer, financial, raw material and finished product management. Carbon and energy management systems will become a critical addition to existing software systems and will be based on the need for greater operational efficiency, enhanced communications, mandated compliance and reputation differentiation.
Traditional methods of accounting are no longer acceptable in addressing problems of energy management and in reducing consequent greenhouse gas emissions.
Organizations are able to use carbon and energy management software to gather data from the asset level, calculating the true cost of ownership for all their assets, engage energy supply and demand management products, analyze and process utility bills, manage carbon emissions and other critical resources.
According to a market overview of carbon and energy management systems, these systems are in the early stage of adoption, but such sustainability software will become a high priority as energy management in general becomes a clear focus of attention.
At Be Seen Go Green, we offer solutions for a variety of Environmental issues. Please click on the following link to contact us.