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Why companies get their carbon footprints wrong

Corporate carbon accounts could be delivering inaccurate results that undermine efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

That is the stark warning contained in a new report (PDF) from consultancy WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, which argues many businesses are failing to adequately account for the significant daily and seasonal fluctuations in energy-related carbon emissions.

The report argues using averages to calculate the carbon footprint of a business or building could result in a distorted picture for corporate and policy decision-makers, especially as smart grid technologies promise to make it easier for organizations take advantage of the periods when energy is at its cleanest.

The study details how the carbon intensity of grid power varies significantly on both a month-by-month basis and throughout the day.

According to the report, carbon intensity peaks at 400gCO2/Kwh for a few hours a day in January and can fall as low as 200gCO2/kWh in August. These fluctuations could become even more pronounced as more intermittent renewable energy comes on to the grid.

carbon

“In winter evenings, carbon-intensive energy (such as coal) is required to meet the demand for electricity in homes, which isn’t as high in summer afternoons, when cleaner energy such as solar is more common,” the report states. “Therefore turning on the television in the middle of the day in summer will have far lower carbon emissions than during the evening in winter.”

The report also warns that the widespread use of daily and annual averages to calculate carbon emissions could result in policies that inadvertently undermine the roll out of energy storage and demand response technologies that are designed to better match supply and demand and make it easier for consumers to use the power generated by renewables.

WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff cites the example of the Climate Change Levy, which charged per kWh amount of electricity or gas we use, regardless of when the energy is used.

“The environmental implication is that two buildings or businesses using the same amount of energy could be unknowingly producing very different levels of carbon emissions whilst being charged the same amount through the climate change levy,” the report explained.

“Further, companies that are trying to reduce CO2 emissions by using energy storage measures will be paying more in Climate Change Levy and reporting higher CO2 emissions than those that aren’t, as calculations are based on how much energy is used, not when it is used.”

Barny Evans, sustainability and energy expert at WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, said businesses needed to be aware of how their carbon footprint could vary based on the time at which they consume power.

“Buildings and businesses are under increasing pressure to meet legal requirements to reduce emissions, but it’s not as simple as counting a single number,” he warned. “Organizations with specific goals such as carbon neutrality will find their current accounting is unknowingly leading them to take policies and actions that result in higher or lower carbon emissions than they realize.”

He argued plans to deliver smarter energy grids would benefit from a better understanding of when energy has the highest levels of carbon intensity.

“As technology advances and the grid decarbonizes we need to move to a system that better recognizes the benefit of carbon reducing measures including energy storage and demand reduction,” he said. “By taking into account when energy is being used we will have the opportunity to not only work out how to reduce carbon emissions but also our bills.”

Source: greenbiz

Exosun partners with Lesedi

Exosun, worldwide leading supplier of advanced, cost-effective solar tracking solutions for groundmounted photovoltaic (PV) plants, and Lesedi Nuclear Services, a leading South African company for the power industry, based in the Western Cape, offering engineering, project management, recurrent maintenance services and technical resources are pleased to announce their partnership agreement.

Since establishing its presence on the African continent in 2015 through the registration of its Cape Town subsidiary, Exosun (Pty) Ltd has been very active in business development, understanding the capabilities of the local market and developing its manufacturing capacity in view of upcoming projects in the Sub Saharan region. In 2016, Exosun secured its first MW project in Namibia. This success has enabled Exosun to mobilise its qualified South African suppliers for this first project. From this first success, Exosun (Pty) Ltd is set to have a bright future in the region and this has lead Exosun CEO to deploy a new strategy with the light of Exosuns’ deep understanding of the importance of localisation and need of strong alliances with reputable players in the industry in South Africa.“After months of extensive research to develop the best strategy in order to benefit our prospects and clients, we have found Lesedi to be a strong reputable industry stakeholder. Our complementary approachwill ensure the success of our customers” says François Ménard, Exosun’s CEO.

He adds, “Lesedi will deliver the support needed to our customers and will ensure plant design, tracker manufacturing and installation of our single axis tracker, offering to our customers the highest possible level of local content while also providing a very high level of BBBEE compliance. Lesedi will offer all the services covering the full lifecycle of a PV plant project, ensuring plant performance and customers’ success for the long-term”.

Lesedi’s CEO Mr Francis Carruthers emphasized that, “this is a strategic partnership that will be complementary to Lesedi’s expanding market offerings in the renewable sectors in Africa and we will ensure we achieve the highest degree of local content. Lesedi over the years has demonstrated that local content can be achieved across the entire value chain of projects it’s engaged in and this partnership withExosun will achieve the same again.

Morocco to give 600 mosques a green makeover

Six hundred “green mosques” are to be created in Morocco by March 2019 in a national consciousness-raising initiative that aims to speed the country’s journey to clean energy.

If all goes to plan, the green revamp will see LED lighting, solar thermal water heaters and photovoltaic systems installed in 100 mosques by the end of this year.

Morocco’s ministry of Islamic affairs is underwriting the innovative scheme, paying up to 70% of the initial investment costs in a partnership with the German government.

Jan-Christophe Kuntze, the project’s chief, said: “We want to raise awareness and mosques are important centres of social life in Morocco. They are a place where people exchange views about all kinds of issues including, hopefully, why renewables and energy efficiency might be a good idea.”

Morocco has established itself as a regional climate leader with high-profile projects, ranging from the largest windfarm in Africa to an enormous solar power plant in the Sahara desert, which opened earlier this year.

In November, Marrakech will host the COP22 climate summit to discuss preparations for implementing the Paris climate agreement.

The country’s environment minister, Hakima el-Haité, told the Guardian that religion could make a powerful contribution to the clean energy debate, shortly before an Islamic declaration on climate change last year.

“It is very important for Muslim countries to come back to their traditions and remind people that we are miniscule as humans before the importance of the earth,” she said. “We need to protect it, and to save humankind in the process.”

The new green mosques project plans to do this with established technologies that can be adapted to public buildings and residential homes. By training electricians, technicians and auditors, it hopes to direct Morocco’s clean energy along the path followed by German’s Energiewende, (energy transition).

But Kuntze stressed that Germany was offering technological support, rather than financial opportunities for its own industries.

“We are not representing any German business interests at all,” he said. “The good thing about this project is that the Moroccan government came up with the idea themselves. It is something new and really innovative and it has not been tried anywhere else before, to my knowledge.”

The initiative has broken new ground for gender equality in Morocco too. Many mourchidates (female clerics) have been involved in the project, as well as imams, and about a quarter of the participants in recent seminars have been women, Kuntze said.

Under the project’s energy service contract model, contractors will eventually be paid by the energy savings generated from the clean power systems they install. As the renovations should cut the mosques’ electricity usage by 40%, these should be substantial.

The first 100 mosques to get a green makeover are mostly based in big population centres – such as Rabat, Fez, Marrakech and Casablanca – but the project will quickly move on to smaller villages and towns. With 15,000 mosques dotted around the north African country, the idea’s growth potential is clear.

The objective was to kickstart a renovations industry for sustainable companies that could employ many Moroccans in the clean energy sector, Kuntze said.
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Source: theguardian


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How business can drive energy access for all

In the past decade, renewable energy growth has broken records year after year, and 2015 was a remarkable one for developing countries.

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For the first time in history, according to the United Nations Environment Program, total investment in renewables exceeded that in developed economies, driven in part by national policies and the improving cost-competitiveness of renewable technologies. Investors, multinational energy players and renewable developers actively are pursuing new business opportunities in these electricity-thirsty markets.

Even so, the increase in renewable capacity, most often integrated into national and local grids, is very unlikely to electrify disconnected areas. Grid connection can carry high costs for building infrastructure and low investment attractiveness for private-sector utility players, and state budgets for electrification often are limited.

According to the International Energy Agency, 95 percent of the 1.2 billion people who lack access to energy today live in sub-Saharan Africa and developing Asia and, due to very limited conventional grid connections in remote areas, they are predominantly in rural communities (around 80 percent).

But conventional grid connection is not the only option available. Projections from theInternational Energy Agency (PDF) show that of the 315 million people in rural areas who are expected to gain access to electricity by 2040 in sub-Saharan Africa, around 65 percent will be connected through unconventional means, such as off-grid and mini-grid systems. And as we wrote in a previous blog, the unconventional grid market is booming: The rollout of well-designed systems can provide electricity to a large number of people, as demonstrated in successful models in many developing countries.

In the era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 7 — ensuring “access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all” — it’s time to close the energy-access gap. Business is well positioned for leadership in this area through partnerships, community investment and stakeholder engagement.

Different off-grid solutions for different needs

To drive access to energy, companies, governments and civil society partners first need to define what off- or mini-grid solutions are available and most appropriate to address the needs of remote communities. Then they can move to how to use investments, partnerships and more to make access possible.

The quickest win is household-level solutions such as LED-based solar lanterns. These lanterns provide basic light for individual households and can be a cheaper and cleaner substitute for kerosene lanterns, which require families to buy fuel and can cause indoor pollution. Solar lanterns can help families save money, provide illumination at night for students to do their homework, and improve health and air quality, among other benefits.

However, solar lanterns clearly cannot respond to all the energy-related needs of families and communities. Standalone, off-grid applications, such as solar photovoltaic technologies backed up by battery-storage systems, can provide reliable supply to houses or facilities disconnected from the main grid. At the household level, this means that families will be able to power additional appliances, increasing access to communication and information, such as television, mobile phones and the internet.

Standalone, off-grid technologies also can power facilities offering essential services, such as healthcare. For instance, 1 billion people (PDF) in the world are served by health centers that completely lack electricity. Healthcare facilities need round-the-clock, reliable electricity to power lights, sterilization equipment and refrigerators for perishable medicines and vaccines.

The third option is mini-grids, or community-based network systems with small-scale, locally connected electricity production facilities, which can serve the village or community level. Mini-grids connect and power community services and buildings, households and local businesses.

According to REN21 (PDF), mini-grids are an attractive option: They can be quickly deployed, encourage private-sector growth and are efficient and flexible. When powered locally by renewable sources, they also can guarantee energy security: In disconnected rural areas, local power generation usually relies on diesel fuel, often imported over long distances and carrying high costs for the communities and the environment. Yet, as shown by a recent study, these costs can be reduced by hybridizing mini-grids with solar photo­vol­taic or other renewable power sources.

Access to energy partnerships for corporate social investment strategies

Once they have identified which solutions are best for communities, companies with operations in or near rural communities that lack access to grid connection should consider including programs on access to energy in their social investment strategies. In particular, extractives, energy players, renewable developers and multinational utilities that operate in such markets could invest in or finance systems such as standalone or mini-grid installations.

Local stakeholder engagement is an essential element to identify the right scale and solution for community energy needs. In particular, renewables developers and utilities have the opportunity to provide tangible demonstrations of the local benefits that they can bring — and at the same time build good neighborly relations.

Access-to-energy programs can be designed and implemented through a range of models, from direct investments and project implementation, to co-ownership with local partners and incubation support. By building partnerships among donors or for-profit investors that have funding, community-based organizations or nonprofits that have experience or networks to reach and engage communities and organizations or businesses with technical expertise, companies can ensure scalable, successful solutions to help close the energy gap.

Opportunities also exist, particularly for utilities and energy players that have in-house expertise, to provide capacity-building trainings on how to run and maintain appliances once they have been installed. This would allow effective knowledge transfer and also create job opportunities and enhance local skills.

A multitude of stakeholders across different geographies, sectors and industries are already contributing to Goal 7 and are pioneering innovative models built or financed in partnership with companies such as Total, Engie, Enel, EDP and other funders such as national development banks. Model partnerships include those with Barefoot College (active in India and in 76 other countries with its solar programs), Powerhive in Kenya, Devergy in Tanzania and Egg Energy in East Africa. These initiatives, however, need more business leadership to reach scalable impacts.

The rallying cry of Goal 7 is mobilizing efforts to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. It is now time for companies to fully connect to this movement.
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Botswana’s new gem: eco-friendly tourism

Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated nations in the world, a country the size of France but with just over 2 million people.

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Though its population may be scant, the southern African country has no shortage of wildlife. Home to 40% of Africa’s entire elephant population, the country sees a larger number of tourists coming each year than its entire population.
“The number of visitors we have into Botswana is between 2.6 and 2.7 million, which is more than the population of Botswana,” said Tshedidi Khama, Botswana’s Minister for Environment, Wildlife and Tourism.
In terms of the country’s economy, tourism ranks second in Botswana after the diamond industry. An African success story, Botswana has transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income country with a per capita GDP of $17,700 in 2015.
Though it’s still early days, ecotourism in Botswana is said to contribute 4-5% towards the country’s GDP.

Eco focus

“We have made a deliberate decision to grow tourism in this country and become imaginative in the way in which we’re doing that,” said Khama.
In 2002, the country adopted a national ecotourism strategy aimed at conserving Botswana’s natural resources and wildlife, explains Khama.
Conservation started in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, which is often referred to as the “Jewel of the Kalahari” by locals, one of the largest inland deltas in the world.
The Delta springs to life several months each year, when the rains from Angola reach its neck, transforming it into a rich wetland attracting wildlife including zebras, hippos, impalas, lions and leopards.
All the concessioners who operate in the Delta are now encouraged to have solar lighting and to recycle water, said Khama. “I believe we are probably the best destination in the world with ecotourism.”

Luxury with a reduced footprint

Chobe Game Lodge on Botswana’s northern border is one of the country’s luxurious facilities which prides itself on an environmental focus. “We’ve cut down our waste footprint by about 95%,” said Johan Bruwer, general manager of the lodge.
One way of doing this is by using solar-powered boats and electrical vehicles for game viewing. “Our goal is to, in the next 18 months to 24 months, to offer our guests a total emission-free, carbon-free game viewing experience,” said Bruwer.
Another lodge further south in the Okavanga Delta called Sandibe Okavango is proud of its eco-credentials. All water is treated and recycled onsite and 70% of the lodge’s power comes from solar panels.
“Most of the operators run on generators still but everyone is changing over to solar power. It allows us to keep power in the lodge 24 hours a day, and also allows us to greatly reduce our footprint in this area,” said lodge manager Greg Davies-Coleman.
For a small population, the fast-growing economy of Botswana is blessed with wildlife and hopes to capitalize on its mission at being one of the most eco-friendly countries too.

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China holds key to Africa’s renewable energy

NAIROBI — An environment expert has said Chinese know-how in renewable energy development could help generate clean and sustainable power in Africa, which is home to almost half the global population lacking access to electricity.

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David Rodgers, a senior climate change specialist with the US-based foundation, Global Environment Facility, said China had made wind and solar power technologies, which used to be seen as luxuries, become affordable to the world.

“China’s approach of doing things in a big way has made the country become the leader in the world by availing affordable energy to the populations,” Rodgers said on Wednesday at the United Nations Environment Assembly in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

China is the world’s largest investor in renewables excluding large hydro, with its $102.9 billion in investment in 2015 representing more than one third of the global total, according to a report issued by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in late March.

The US was a distant second, with $44.1 billion(R691billion), followed by Japan ($36.2 billion) and Britain ($22.2 billion), the report shows.

The UNEP says Africa could be one of the most promising markets for renewal energy in the next decade due to its abundant solar, wind, biomass and geothermal resources.
Rodgers said Africa should harness these renewable energy resources to help it address power shortages.

“Africa must develop strong policies to enable them to adopt solar and wind power since the continent still do not have enough supply of energy.”
In this regard, he said China’s know-how in the renewable energy sector “should be transplanted into Africa.”

“China’s investment to help make distributed power a reality, coupled with support for proper policies, would be very helpful to help African countries achieve their goals for clean and sustainable power.”

Chinese companies have been supporting African countries in developing renewable energy, engaging in solar, hydro, wind and thermal projects.

Clean energy projects are part of ten major plans for China-Africa cooperation outlined by Chinese President Xi Jinping during a China-Africa forum held in Johannesburg, South Africa in early December last year. China will provide $60 billion of funding support for the plans.

People in rural areas in Africa suffer the most from power shortages. Rodgers believes renewable energy could play a role in alleviating the problem.

“It may not be necessary to build out the grid 100 percent when we now have technology, such as distributed power, solar PV, and wind that can be based in rural areas and in villages,” he said.

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Green Business Trends and What to Expect

Consumers care more than ever before about the environmental impact of the products they buy, and companies are incorporating green business trends in order to capitalize on this growing demand. As of 2014, “55% of consumers across 60 countries [were] willing to pay higher prices for goods from environmentally conscious companies… 71% of Americans at least consider the environment as a factor when shopping,” according to a green industry report.

In addition to the revenue-boosting effect from ‘going green’, businesses can also appreciate some significant savings from reduced energy costs by incorporating sustainability and energy efficiency into their products, practices and operations.

Innovative & Renewable Energy

Renewable sources of energy, such as wind, solar, and geothermal, have been impacting commercial industries for several years, creating more sustainable practices across the board. Renewable energy and innovative methods of sourcing energy is now more mainstream in business-to-consumer markets as well. As in residential scenarios, businesses can offset their usage and costs by implementing renewable methods like solar paneling. Businesses are also finding more unique ways to generate energy — one company is even turning food waste and sewage into usable energy!

Zero Waste

Waste is the antithesis to green behavior, whether it happens with energy, products and supplies, or food. Feeding America® reports an estimated 70 billion pounds of food is thrown away each year in the United States alone. This food waste generates more greenhouse gases that carry a greater global warming potential than carbon dioxide. Many urban restaurants, grocery stores, and food producers are cutting back on waste by donating their leftover food to homeless shelters and food banks. Meanwhile, grocery retailers are increasingly redesigning their business models to reduce food waste, going so far as developing zero-waste stores and recipe-based food delivery services.

Energy Efficient Housewares

Green business trends toward energy efficiency are affecting the residential marketplace, particularly with home renovations and the choices homeowners make for a home remodel. Construction companies and providers of home services are offering eco-friendly options that homeowners prefer. Common examples of these popular eco-friendly products include new appliances with high Energy Star ratings, tankless water heaters, solar paneling, and insulated windows or window film. Many construction firms are also incorporating green business trends in their building and sourcing methods, such as using reclaimed or recycled materials for a variety of home renovation applications, instead of brand-new materials and fixtures.

Operating Green

Tech companies and corporate businesses can do a lot to reduce their carbon footprint, beyond simply adding a recycling bin and encouraging employees and customers to go paperless. Computers and other electronic devices use up a lot of energy, especially when they are left on after-hours and when moving screen-savers are running. Office-based businesses can easily implement a ‘greener’ approach with a policy of turning off the default screen-saver triggers, and asking employees to turn their computers and electronics off at the end of each day. For companies with the budget to replace older machines, energy-efficient electronics with high Energy Star ratings or EPEAT marks are available. Another popular employment benefit for technology and media industries in particular, is to allow or encourage telecommuting. This is also a green business trend, since commuting carries a significant carbon footprint for the employee, and employers spend more in energy and financial costs with larger office spaces.

Sustainable Advertising

Marketing and advertising is a cornerstone of virtually any business. Eco-friendly advertising trends and methods are becoming more popular. For example, some companies are choosing to advertise on new billboards that showcase the business while providing an ecological benefit, such as purifying the air or hosting an urban garden. Businesses are also reducing their use of paper products, while saving lots of money in printing costs by focusing more on digital marketing and online advertising avenues.

Moving forward, green business trends are expected to continue to develop with a focus on carbon recycling, green infrastructure, microgrids, the circular economy, and the B-to-B sharing economy, according to a 2016 report from GreenBiz. Progressively, these elements of eco-friendly business practices are becoming more of an opportunity for reducing risks and increasing revenue — opening the door for mainstream investors to finance sustainable business growth.

Source: sustainablecitiescollective


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Could this venture-backed zero energy house revolutionize the home building industry?

What if you could buy an affordable Zero Energy home that could be erected on your property in a matter of days, instead of the many months it usually takes to build a home on site? New startup Acre Designs promises to make this idea a reality, and could revolutionize the paleolithic home-building industry with their new, innovative approach to quick and efficient building using a kit home model. After receiving backing by Palo Alto startup incubator Y Combinator, Acre Designs is gearing up to start building Net Zero Energy kit homes throughout the country. They are on a mission to build better, more high-tech homes on a large scale that are both affordable and super energy efficient. And considering that the state of California is mandating all new homes to be Net Zero Energy by 2020, it seems that Acre Designs couldn’t have launched at a better time.

One of the most well-known startup incubators, Y Combinator has been around for a decade now and has been described as “the world’s most powerful startup incubator.” Their backing has the potential to catapult Acre Designs’ groundbreaking housing plans to the national level, and just in time, to meet the 2020 Title 24 demand.

In summer 2015, California revised the Title 24 green building mandate, which now stipulates that all new buildings by 2020 be Net Zero Energy. By 2030 all commercial buildings need to follow suit. With roughly 180,000 new homes being built in California each year, and almost none of them Zero Energy, you can see that there is a tall order to fill here, in the span of just four years. Clearly California needs some green building experts to help rise to this challenge.

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When Acre Design founders (married couple) Jennifer Dickson and Andrew Dickson heard about this new California law, they decided to pack up their lives, their business and their family of four in Kansas City and head to California to try to meet this new aggressive green building mandate.

We covered Acre Designs last year when they were still based in Missouri, and in the process of building a prototype outside of Kansas City. The prototype is now finished and is being lived in and loved by the Griffin family.

The Dicksons were actually originally intending to live in this cute 800 sq ft, prototype net zero energy home with their two young daughters, but the call of Y Combinator and the new 2020 energy mandate was just too irresistible. So, in January 2016, they packed up their family and headed for Palo Alto with a new goal of cranking out affordable, mass-produced Zero Energy homes to meet California’s stringent new goals.

Acre Design’s prefabricated kit homes can be assembled in a matter of days, using wall units called “structural insulated panels(SIPs) that snap together on site like LEGOs. Their first test home was just completed in December in Missouri at 860 square ft, with a 300 square ft loft. New homeowners Mark and Tammy Griffin had the farmhouse style one bedroom/one bathroom home built on their 40 acre family property.

The prototype Griffin home in Missouri is designed to be powered entirely by the sun – for electricity, heating and daylight. The house is oriented towards the sun, with south-facing windows soaking up sunshine to heat and light the home, and a radiant heating in the floor provides additional heating when needed. The home also utilizes geothermal heating and a Heat Recovery Ventilator and Mini Split to heat and cool the air. When photovoltaic solar panels are added to the home later this year, it will be fully net-zero, meaning that the Griffins will never have to deal with paying energy bills again.

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Acre Designs is currently offering two different design options to their clients; Series A (the pitched-roof ‘Modern Farmhouse’ style home, with two stories, similar to the Griffin home), and Series B (a single-story, butterfly roof style ranch house that has a more midcentury modern flavor to it). Both designs come in three different size footprints/plans; a 1200 sqft 2 bedroom home ($400K), 1500 sqft 3 bedroom home ($450K), and a 1800 sqft 4 bedroom home ($500K). We know many readers will look at these prices and ask, incredulously, “what is affordable about this”? The answer to this question is to consider the long-term value for the cost.

Until this option, Net Zero Energy homes have typically been very expensive, custom-built homes. Acre Designs is attempting to provide high end, precision-built, zero-energy homes, complete with solar panels, at about the same price it costs to build a cheap, leaky, inefficient stick-built house. And they’re also betting that economies of scale will help them lower the costs in a few years when they’re able to scale up their production. With Acre Designs prefabricated homes, you’re paying a little more up front for a quality product that saves money in the long term with no energy bills, and continual home repairs. Acre Design home prices include construction, appliances, and a photovoltaic solar system, and they’re also implementing a “Sleep-on-It” program: they’ll help finance a home if the owner plans to rent it out at least 50 days per year.

The first “Sleep-on-It” home will be built for a couple in Cannon Beach, Oregon. The couple will be listing the home on AirBnB for most of the year, so those interested in testing out an Acre Designs home will be able to do so right by the ocean.

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Solar streetlights promise to shine spotlight on low-carbon city planning

Danish lighting company Scotia unveils new range of solar-powered streetlights that promise to turn local authorities into ‘energy powerhouses’

London may take a lead in zero-emissions street lighting later this year if plans go ahead to install the first wave of a pioneering streetlight that illuminates streets and feeds energy back into the grid using only solar power.

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The Monopole street light, developed by Danish solar lighting firm Scotia, collects solar energy during daylight hours and stores it in a battery for use after sundown. Not only do the lights generate enough energy to power themselves, they can also feed energy back into the local grid to turn local authorities into “energy powerhouses”, according to Scotia’s founder Steven Scott.

Scotia unveiled its new range of Monopoles at a German trade fair last week. Earlier versions have already been installed in Denmark, Nigeria, and the Middle East and the firm is now hoping to install two trial streetlights in the London borough of Westminster as part of Transport for London’s strategy to roll out solar energy across London.

According to Scotia, if all of the UK’s seven million streetlights were switched to Monopoles, it would save more than £300m in electricity costs and generate more than 4TWh of clean power per year. Some 40 per cent of this would feed back into the grid, saving more than two million tonnes of CO2 every year, it added.

“Instead of being a drain on national grids and a huge expense for local authorities, Monopoles turn streetlights into mini power stations,” Scott said in a statement. “They’ve already proved to be hugely successful in our pilots in Copenhagen, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh and we anticipate demand will be high from around the world.”

 He added: “This could effectively turn these authorities into energy powerhouses and create a larger buffer for the National Grid. It could even empower local authorities to establish their own micro-grids to make areas self-sufficient.”

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African power investors get London invitation

KAMPALA, UGANDA – African governments wishing to attract private sector money to pay for new badly needed power projects are expected to send representatives for the Africa Energy Forum scheduled for London on June 22nd.

“Being in London, the world’s finance capital, will enable Africa’s growing number of power developers to showcase their businesses to decision makers of the world’s most prolific investment organisations from around the globe,” Shiddika Mohamed, the Group Director of EnergyNet Limited and main organisers of the talks said last week.

The Africa Energy Forum which is the annual global investment meeting for Africa’s power, energy, infrastructure and industrial sectors.

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The event is expected to bring together 1,000 investors, 500 public sector stakeholders, 300 technology providers, 270 developers and representatives from 70 countries.

According to a company statement, “The decision to move the forum to the UK this year, was taken to capitalise on the investment potential of the UK and promote the strong trade relationship between the UK and Africa’.

The last three forums were held in Dubai in 2015, Istanbul (2014) and  Barcelona (2013).

The African Development Bank (AfBD) says the entire installed generation capacity of Africa’s 48 sub-Saharan countries is just 68 gigawatts, no more than Spain’s.

As much as one-quarter of that capacity is unavailable because of aging plants and poor maintenance.

More than 645 million people in sub-Saharan Africa — roughly 70% of the region’s population — do not have access to electricity. If current trends continue, fewer than 40% of African countries will reach universal access to electricity by 2050.

This lack of adequate power supplies continues to be a major deterent for investment. Per capita consumption of electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) averages only 124 kilowatt-hours a year and is falling. The rate of consumption is barely one percent of that in high-income countries. If entirely allocated to household lighting, it would hardly be enough to power one light bulb per person for six hours a day.

This year sees the Forum hosted in London for the first time – at the new London Intercontinental O2 overlooking the skyscrapers of the Canary Wharf and the famous River Thames.

New for this year will be the Growing Economies Energy Forum (GEEF), running alongside the Africa Energy Forum. GEEF will host a day of open discussions between the governments and private sector from new energy markets such as Iran, Pakistan, Myanmar and Peru, as these growing economies open up for international investment following political and economic developments.

EnergyNet will also host a typically English opening night pub quiz party on the evening of 21st June featuring some legendary British culture and food, allowing participants to network in a fun, laid back environment before the formal opening on the 22nd.

Speaking in Washington last month, Power Africa coordinator Andrew Herscowitz (a United States government initiative) said: “There is absolutely no reason the entire continent can’t be lit up because there is the money, the technology and the desire to make it happen. People have to be more forward thinking, forward leaning and have competition to bring costs down.’

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Source: busiweek


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