Toshiba Set to Venture In Solar Power Business

Solar Panels 1Japanese engineering and electronics company Toshiba, will be venturing into the solar power business.  The project is set to launch in March 2014 in Germany with the installation of photovoltaic (PV) systems in some apartment buildings operated by a German real estate company.

Germany is seeking to deregulate their energy market following a yearly spike in consumer electricity bills. Independent power providers are now able to deliver electricity.  Toshiba will be one of the companies participating in Germany’s reformation of power generation and transmission and will operate a consumption model that will alleviate the burden on the regional grid.

The power generated by Toshiba’s PV systems will be sold to apartment residents at a lower rate than what is normally charged by the electricity companies.  The company plans initiate the project with 3 megawatt solar systems and later expand to 100 megawatts by 2016.

Residential Wind Turbines in Hudson Highlands

wind turbine fore your homeRenewable energy systems can play a great role within our communities. Compared to non renewable sources of energy such as natural gas, coal and oil, renewable energy sources are far cleaner, efficient and also more reliable. If we continue to rely on non-renewable sources of energy, it will ultimately lead to detriment of our environment.

We can all play a role in reducing consumption levels of fossil fuel by not only generating renewable energy, but also by conserving energy. Some of the ways we can conserve energy are by sealing leaks, installing better insulation, car pooling, and switching to suppliers of green energy.

Wind production in Hudson Highlands has not been cost effective due to the low and unreliable wind currents in the area. However, the viability of wind energy can be increased if wind turbines are elevated high enough. Although there are some disadvantages to having wind turbines, they can be minimized by placing them well away from neighbors and avoiding major avian fly-aways.

Learn more about residential wind turbines in the Hudson area.


Luminant Shelves Plans For Licensing of Nuclear Reactors

Nuclear ProtestsOpponents of nuclear energy in Texas are rejoicing as Dallas based nuclear giant Luminant has abandoned their efforts to obtain license for two nuclear reactors. Chief opponents of Luminant’s venture, Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Coalition, view this move as clearance for Texas residents to be provided with affordable renewable energy which is also safer and cleaner.

In the wake of Luminant’s decision, reports have surfaced that announcements have been made by owners to close five existing nuclear reactors. These events are testament that the renaissance of nuclear energy is slowly coming to an end.

Following announcements five years ago of 8 reactors for Texas, the only area still seeking license now is South Texas. The majority interest of these reactors would be owned by a company in Japan. The Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Coalition are also opposing these reactors.

Low natural gas prices in recent years have kept electricity rates in Texas cheap.  This has created an even more challenging environment for renewable energy.  Renewable energy often finds it difficult to compete with fossil fuels on price.

A Green Roof in Brooklyn

greenroofHurricane Sandy brought devastation to New York in 2012, including the gallons upon gallons of dangerous sewage that was dumped into the Gowanus Canal, which had already been declared as toxic.  Lynn Shon, a middle school teacher investigated the issues of water runoff and the forced disposal of waste into natural bodies of water.

The teacher let her students delve further into the issue by participating in a class project where they realized the harmful effects of sewage overflow. The intelligent group of students concluded that a “green” roof would use plants to soak up the rainwater before it could leak onto the streets and contribute to waste disposal into rivers and canals. This roof would create a positive protection plan for the canals and rivers in Brooklyn, diminishing its level of toxicity and having a positive impact on the environment overall.

Could Technology Combat Global Warming?

Smoke StacksCan technology be used to combat global warming? The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), a trade association, decided to see if technology could make more than a minor improvement to the environment. Paper and pulp combine to be the world’s fifth-largest energy user, according to the World Resources Institute, a think-tank, which says the CO2 emissions from pulp and paper used 500m tonnes throughout the world in 2005. In Europe, however, the CEPI said its members only used 46m tonnes in 2011. Until now, environmental policies have focused on such issues as consumption, prices and subsides to wind and solar power. Technology has not brought many breakthroughs to help the environment.

One of the few innovations has been carbon capture and storage. Carbon and storage neutralize emissions from burning fossil fuels of carbon dioxide. The Norwegian government stopped its support of a big project at Mongstad.

This week, however, European pulp and paper companies announced plans to greatly reduce emissions through technological change. CEPI established to seek ideas from outsiders with carbon-reduction programs.

More information about what is being done to combat global warming through technology can be found here.