Monday, June 15, 2009

Egypt To Build 200MW Wind Farm, Production Expected in 2014

Egypt is thinking ahead, moving forward with plans to generate 12% of its electricity by 2020, in approving another 200MW wind farm in the Red Sea region.

The newest wind farm will be located south of Zafarna and about 120km north of Hurghada. Zafarna is a windy part of country with several already operational wind farms. The country just recently announced open bidding for a 250MW wind farm in the same area and has received bids from 26 international companies.

The bidding procedure for the latest wind farm, which should cost around 340 million euros, will hopefully start in December, 2009. The wind farm is not expected to start producing electricity before 2014.

European Investment Bank, the European Commission and German bank KfW are expected to finance 270 million euros of the total cost. KfW confirmed that it will contribute, but said it would not reveal how much until it receives final approval from the German government.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the EPA Website Part II:

In addition to the U.S. inventory, greenhouse gas emissions can be tracked at the global, state and local levels as well as by companies and individuals:
• Many other countries also develop national greenhouse gas inventories, which can be compiled into global inventories. EPA works with developing and transition countries to improve the accuracy and sustainability of their greenhouse gas inventories. EPA has developed Greenhouse Gas Inventory Capacity Building templates and software tools targeting key sources, emissions factors, good practices, institutional infrastructure and use of the latest IPCC guidelines on greenhouse gas inventories.
• Many states prepare greenhouse gas inventories, and EPA provides guidance and tools to assist them in their efforts.
• Corporate greenhouse gas inventories provide information on the emissions associated with the operations of a company.
• Individuals produce greenhouse gas emissions through everyday activities such as driving and using air conditioning or heating. EPA provides an online calculator for estimating personal emissions.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) publishes internationally accepted inventory methodologies that serve as a basis for all greenhouse gas inventories, ensuring that they are comparable and understandable. The 2006 IPCC Guidelines were completed and accepted by the IPCC in May 2006.
Top of page
Emission Trends & Projections
Estimates of future emissions and removals depend in part on assumptions about changes in underlying human activities. For example, the demand for fossil fuels such as gasoline and coal is expected to increase greatly with the predicted growth of the U.S. and global economies.
The Fourth U.S. Climate Action Report concluded, in assessing current trends, thatcarbon dioxide emissions increased by 20 percent from 1990-2004, while methane and nitrous oxide emissions decreased by 10 percent and 2 percent, respectively. The declines in methane emissions are due to a variety of technological, policy, and agricultural changes, such as increased capture of methane from landfills for energy, reduced emissions from natural gas systems, and declining cattle populations. At least some of the decline in nitrous oxide emissions is due to improved emissions control technologies in cars, trucks, and other mobile sources. (Fourth U.S.Climate Action Report, 2007)
Many, but not all, human sources of greenhouse gas emissions are expected to rise in the future. This growth may be reduced by ongoing efforts to increase the use of newer, cleaner technologies and other measures. Additionally, our everyday choices about such things as commuting, housing, electricity use and recycling can influence the amount of greenhouse gases being emitted.
The United States government prepares projections of emissions and removals of all greenhouse gases. The following links provide more detailed information on projections:
• Greenhouse Gas Projections, Chapter 5 of the U.S. Climate Action Report: In Chapter 5 of the Climate Action Report, the U.S. forecasts future emission levels using information developed from models.
• International Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gas Emission Projections
• Methane Projections
• Nitrous Oxide Projections
• Fluorinated Gases

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the EPA Website

Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the EPA Website
Part I:
Greenhouse Gas Overview
Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere are often called greenhouse gases. This section of the EPA Climate Change Site provides information and data on emissions of greenhouse gases to Earth’s atmosphere, and also the removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. For more information on the science of climate change, please visit EPA's climate change science home page.
Some greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide occur naturally and are emitted to the atmosphere through natural processes and human activities. Other greenhouse gases (e.g., fluorinated gases) are created and emitted solely through human activities. The principal greenhouse gases that enter the atmosphere because of human activities are:
• Carbon Dioxide (CO2): Carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal), solid waste, trees and wood products, and also as a result of other chemical reactions (e.g., manufacture of cement). Carbon dioxide is also removed from the atmosphere (or “sequestered”) when it is absorbed by plants as part of the biological carbon cycle.
• Methane (CH4): Methane is emitted during the production and transport of coal, natural gas, and oil. Methane emissions also result from livestock and other agricultural practices and by the decay of organic waste in municipal solid waste landfills.
• Nitrous Oxide (N2O): Nitrous oxide is emitted during agricultural and industrial activities, as well as during combustion of fossil fuels and solid waste.
• Fluorinated Gases: Hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride are synthetic, powerful greenhouse gases that are emitted from a variety of industrial processes. Fluorinated gases are sometimes used as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances (i.e., CFCs, HCFCs, and halons). These gases are typically emitted in smaller quantities, but because they are potent greenhouse gases, they are sometimes referred to as High Global Warming Potential gases (“High GWP gases”).
Greenhouse Gas Inventories
A greenhouse gas inventory is an accounting of the amount of greenhouse gases emitted to or removed from the atmosphere over a specific period of time (e.g., one year). A greenhouse gas inventory also provides information on the activities that cause emissions and removals, as well as background on the methods used to make the calculations. Policy makers use greenhouse gas inventories to track emission trends, develop strategies and policies and assess progress. Scientists use greenhouse gas inventories as inputs to atmospheric and economic models.
To track the national trend in emissions and removals since 1990, EPA develops the official U.S. greenhouse gas inventory each year. The national greenhouse gas inventory is submitted to the United Nations in accordance with the Framework Convention on Climate Change .

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Eco-Friendly Existence for Beginners

Going green, or eco-friendly, couldn’t be easier now more than ever before. No matter how rural our homes, most county landfills now offer the opportunity to recycle. We all use paper, glass, plastic and metal each day. All we have to do is separate them in different containers and put them by the curb, in most cases.

That’s just one simple way to ‘go green’. Another ‘free’ way to conserve energy is by planning your trips around town. If you have to go to the cleaners, take the kids to soccer and ballet classes and pick up a few items at the grocery store, planning is easy. Rather than three separate trips, or even two, try to combine trips. You can even plan it out on, including your stops, using the most economic route.

Another easy green tip: use cloth shopping bags. Cloth bags are reusable and available at most major retail stores. Target and Walmart both have them. Keep your bags in the car, in a convenient spot so you don’t forget. I keep several bags, all inside of a bag, behind the passenger seat. If you have to use plastic, reuse the bags once you bring them home. They come in handy as small trash can liners amongst other uses.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Does Hot Weather Have to Equal High Bills?

Does Hot Weather Have to Equal High Bills?
Hot weather doesn’t have to mean skyrocketing power bills and nonstop air conditioning. Here are some tips to help you maximize your summer comfort while maintaining energy efficiency.

It’s Summer
Your home doesn’t need to feel arctic it simply needs to be a comfortable living space. Avoid using your AC when you don’t really need it. After all, if it’s under 75 degrees out, it shouldn’t be running. Set it at a reasonable temperature when it’s operating. HVAC experts suggest 78 degrees as an ideal level to ensure comfort without wasting power.
Don’t underestimate the power of a fan. Whether you use a room or ceiling fan, it will consume far less energy than an air conditioner. A fan stirs cool air around a room, and the breeze on your skin can let you stay comfortable while relying less on the AC - or even skipping it altogether.
How to Make Your AC’s Job Easier
Summer heat is enough of a challenge for an air conditioner – don’t make it work even harder than it has to. Have your unit maintained regularly by a pro to make sure it’s operating at its peak efficiency. And you can do your part too, by regularly cleaning or replacing the air filter. A clean filter means less air resistance for the unit, and better air quality in your home.
Don’t Cool Empty Rooms
It might seem obvious but this one gets overlooked all too often: Turn off the air conditioning when you leave home. If you must have a cool house waiting for you when you return, try a timed thermostat instead of running the AC all day. Remember that turning the unit to its coldest setting won’t cool your house any faster, set it at 78 and be patient. While you’re at home, close the doors and vents in unused rooms, and consider using a portable air conditioner to only cool the living space you’re actually using.
Fuel to The Fire
Be aware of unnecessary heat sources around the house that compete with your air conditioner such as incandescent light bulbs. The reason they use so much power is that only a fraction of the electricity they consume is used for light, while the rest gets wasted in the form of heat your air conditioner must then cool down. That’s another reason to switch to compact fluorescent bulbs, or the more efficient LED lights. Another common foe of your AC are long, hot showers that raise the surrounding air temperature inside the home, and add humidity to the air, which makes it feel even warmer. Try shorter, cooler showers. You’ll feel cooler too.
Other appliances can be tough for an AC to work against. Avoid using your dishwasher, oven, and clothes drier at peak heat times of the day, and use settings that minimize their heat output and energy usage. For example, disable the air-dry function on your dishwasher, and lower the temperature on your clothes drier – or even better, use a simple clothesline to let your clothes dry in the breeze.
Ironically, your refrigerator can be one of the biggest heat sources in the home. Use a thermometer inside the refrigerator and freezer to make sure the temperature stays at ideal levels. Going colder just wastes electricity and creates more wasted heat in the kitchen. Older models are especially inefficient, look for the EnergyStar rating when purchasing new.
Made in the Shade
Shade is natural air conditioning that doesn’t cost a penny. Low-e windows are great for keeping heat out of the house, but a simple window shade or tinting will do the job too. Shade trees can dramatically reduce interior temperatures when planted on the south and west sides of your home. Lawn vegetation has the added advantage of evaportative cooling.
Keep direct sunlight out of your windows and locate AC units in the shade. Air conditioners that are in the sun all day have to work harder to cool the air that passes through. Also make sure that any screens or nearby plants don’t interfere with airflow to the unit.
What’s Up
In every home the roof and attic can be your best friend when it comes to keeping the heat outside and cutting energy consumption. Consider roofing materials and colors that efficiently reflect heat from the sun’s rays, remember that light reflects light and heat and dark absorbs. The best use of your roof will be to provide solar power. Ensure that your roofline and attic are well sealed and insulated. Use an exhaust fan to draw collected heat out of your home.
Looking For a New AC
If you’re considering a new air conditioner, it’s worth investing in an energy efficient model. They use less power, which means less pollution and lower energy bills for you. New residential evaporative cooling models use the same principle as skyscraper cooling towers and can be extremely efficient. They’re especially worth considering for residents of hot, dry climates. Although they may be more expensive initially, many high-efficiency models qualify for tax credits and possibly rebates from local utility providers. Many utility companies will allow you to finance through them at a lower normal rate. Energy Star models are available everywhere, remember the higher the SEER/EER score, the better. Please ensure that your model uses a non-flourocarbon refrigerant.
Everyone has better places to spend their money than power bills and summer is hot enough without reduce-able pollution adding to global warming. Be smart about keeping cool in the summertime, it’s a win-win scenario for everybody.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Make my Mark

Growing up, I wondered what I would do when I grew up. How would I leave my mark on the planet? What would I leave for my daughter and grandson. Now that we've learned about the size of our carbon footprints, we know we actually need to leave less of a mark.

I know there are people out there who don't think there is anything they can do. I know because I used to think that. I recycle, I use cloth shopping bags and I try to plan my drives around the city to conserve gasoline. I also know that it's not enough. I want a smaller footprint.

There are so many things available now that we couldn't afford just a few years ago. Solar and wind power, even small turbines made from recycled plastic. We can be eco friendly in our day to day lives. I'll post tips on how to conserve in further posts, so stay tuned.

There are incentives beyond what we want to leave our children, federal and state government, even our utility companies are helping us out. You can check your state incentives here: to find out what's available to you. Don't forget to check with your utility company either, they can be invaluable and even help finance improvements. It never hurts to ask!

More later,

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Solar Powered Bus Shelters equals Light Plus Wifi

If you find yourself in San Francisco, new solar-powered bus stops might make the wait for a bus more pleasant. Last week they unveiled the first solar-powered shelter which contains photovoltaic cells on its roof that power LEDs for night-time vision. Excess power is sent back to the grid.

To top it off, San Francisco’s new shelters will have free Wi-Fi access. The city expects to install 1,100 new solar-powered bus stops between now and 2013. That means a blanket of free Internet across the city, handy to get email or work done while waiting.

Each shelter costs between $25,000-$30,000, but they are being paid for in full by Clear Channel Communications.

Check out the prototype shelter at the corner of Geary and Arguello in the Richmond.