Although new technologies are constantly being developed to complement current practices in creating greener structures, the common objective is that green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment. Below, Sara Neff explain to us which are the 4 mistakes common when pitching building efficiency.
The seniors are the people the most sensitive to the wasting of energy due to the fact that they stay at their home most of the time. Thus, they need to watch their energy consumption.
Below, a little video realized by Maxwell Haynes about senior citizens’ commitment in the green economy. The purpose of this video it’s to “improving senior citizens knowledge of saving energy, energy efficiency and the technologies which can help them to produce energy”.
“Let’s see Green” by Maxwell Haynes
Next time, we’ll see more about raising people’s awareness and behavioral sciences.
An energy audit is an inspection, survey and analysis of energy flows for energy conservation in a building, process or system to reduce the amount of energy. In commercial and industrial real estate, an energy audit is the first step in identifying opportunities to reduce energy expense and carbon footprints. More and more companies begin to make audits as specialized Deepki, a start-up specialized in the data analysis.
Here is a short video of Michael Thomas, sharing what is underlying an energy audit. What a world-record short-time video clip. 🙂
Michael Thomas intervention about the energy audit
We have already talked about ISO 50 001. But how a company can benefit from ISO 50 001? As Ken HAMILTON mentioned in a very good 2011 presentation, ISO 50 001 helps companies in their “Energy objectives and targets for energy performance improvement at relevant functions, levels, processes or facilities within an organization”.
Action plans to meet those targets and objectives include the following:
Operating controls and procedures for significant energy uses
Measurement, management, and documentation for continuous improvement for energy efficiency
Internal audit of progress reported to management based on these measurements.”
Around three fourths of Europe’s CO2 emissions are associated with households consumption. Meeting EU’s ambitious climate change targets of reductions in carbon emissions by 2050 will therefore require patterns of household consumption to change radically from the current baseline. Influencing behaviour is a key part of this.
However, ultimately behavioural change messages will not address “rebound” effect or encourage broader sustainability thinking. Indeed, often, people spend money saved on high carbon products or services, offsetting dramatically saved greenhouse gas emissions and sometimes having a huge counter-productive effect on efforts already made.
Barcelona, Singapore, Berlin, London, … What have these cities in common? They all want to become the first smart-cities. However, what do we mean by “Smart-Cities”? Have cities been not smart so far? Which concepts underlie this trendy locution? A smart-city is not only a connected city, where millions of data are crunched to offer new services, but also a resilient, energy and resource efficient and sustainable city. What a great program!
One thing certain, the way we used to produce and consume energy won’t last forever and should dramatically change. Nobody can pretend knowing how the Energy industry will evolve. Having a vision, even partial and not perfect, and sharing it is key to assess and make policy and business choices. Will the energy world be steered by shale gas, nuclear, Energy Efficiency or hydrogen?
In this thoughtful 10-minute speech, Mujica, the Uruguayan President, presented a very committed political point of view, arguing that our environmental impact no longer allows us to maintain our willingness to have more. He spoke before representatives of the 139 countries attending the Rio+20 Summit on Sustainable Development opened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012. Enjoy!
From a macro-economic point of view, is Energy Efficiency really a good thing? Or is it counter-productive? Some economist such as William Stanley Jevons used to think that “Energy Efficiency does not reduce energy consumption”. In this very thoughtful article, Tim Harford provides interesting insights to show that Energy Efficiency does reduce energy consumption.
Without trying to challenge this man of genius, Tim Harford, we can still have some doubts and not totally agree with him. Indeed, as someone commented in his blog: “Isn’t the reduction in the UK energy consumption mostly due to the fact that much industry has been displaced to other countries (China)? Wouldn’t you have to include “embodied” energy in your calculations when saying that reduced UK consumption per capita is a “mark against Khazzoom-Brookes”? How about internalizing external costs?”
As Patrick Gray said: “The Internet of Things (IoT) appears to be moving from futurist speculation to reality.” Here’s a look at what business value it may hold at Energy Efficiency industry: the 5 main reasons why Energy Efficiency business developers should look at IoT revolution.
Every things can talk.“The “thing” […] is any item that can contain an embedded, connected computing device.” For energy consuming devices, a “thing” in the IoT could be a self-powered no-battery no-wire connected meter or a light bulb that sends luminosity data to a server somewhere on the Internet.
“Energy efficiency is the most important single future source of energy to supply the growing energy demand and to protect the climate. Being energy efficient in industry, mobility and housing will offer the biggest potential to use energy more efficient.”
Everybody try to be convinced of this point. But what would be our future with or without Energy Efficiency? Energy consumption and CO2 emissions should both increase by more than 50% in 2030.
In this straightforward and educational video podcast by BASF, you’ll find comprehensive practical examples of Energy Conservation Measures in manufactories, transport, household and some convincing key messages.
Historically, our economy focused on extracting raw materials (gold, wood, cow and so on). Willing to transform these raw materials for some end-use purposes (luxury, transport, feed and so on), firms started selling goods as more or less differentiated products (jewels, boats, steak and so on). Then, firms move to services (fit jewels and clothes, offer mobility, serve hamburger in your favourite fast-food restaurant and so on). The natural evolution is to provide experience to end consumers (feeling pretty, enjoying a nice trip in a train where you can dance like in a club, enjoying tasty food in a very practical environment).
Often some myths, like economy of functionality or circular economy, can let think that their implementation is easy. The Devil’s in the details! It’s not that easy. Let’s see in this short video what role plays energy in circular economy.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Jean-Marc JANCOVICI is one of France’s most prominent energy and carbon experts, and co-founder of the Carbone 4 consultancy, which provides strategic counselling on energy-related matters. He played a key role in the build-up to the French “Grenelle of Environnement”, a national conference bringing together the government, local authorities, trade unions, business and voluntary sectors to draw up a plan of action of concrete measures. He is a guest lecturer at ParisTech Mines (engineering school) and the author of several books.
One of the key variables in an Energy Efficiency project, with the discount rate, is energy prices and their evolution through the time. Quite profitable Energy Efficiency projects have usually a few-year payback time. You may want to choose a not too bad ballpark value in order to make your project secured in the long run. Let’s not read in a crystal ball, but try to understand the main determinants, which influence energy prices.
The French Environmental and Energy Ministery (MEDDE) thinks that firms should invest the equivalent of only 8% of their revenues in Energy Efficiency in 2013. This level of investment was very similar the past years. Like we saw lately, Energy Efficiency markets don’t break through. Yet people agree that energy prices should rise and, then, make Energy Efficiency projects more profitable. So why firms don’t invest more in Energy Efficiency in France, and more broadly in Europe?
In this very provocative short animation, Guardian columnist George MONBIOT teams up with Leo Murray and green charity PIRC to explain the UK’s ‘carbon omissions’. Officially, UK carbon emissions have been falling for the past decade, but when you count the carbon outsourced to China and other countries, the UK’s emissions have actually gone up by around a fifth.
click on the picture to watch the 3-minute animation.
We’ll see sooner how carbon offsetting and carbon outsourcing can be very counter-productive to make our economies in UE more competitive.
For about a century, the world population has been multiplied by 12. We are 12 times as many today as at the end of the XIXth century. Since 1879, when was the electric bulb was created, the world energy consumption has been multiplied by more than 50.
Alongside the increase of the world population, we can indeed notice that the energy needs per person also increase greatly, despite the innovations and the technological improvements from which the population benefits. Indeed, the technical yields were generally strongly improved during the past century, but these efforts have been completely compensated by two effects:
Speaking about Energy Efficiency with everybody, you may have noticed that almost everyone has her own definition of the topic. For some of us, Renewable Energies (REn) are part of Energy Efficiency such as solar panels or green district heating. For others, only actions on active systems or building’s envelops are eligible to this so-called appellation.
What’s the truth amongst all these potential definitions? Is there really a unique definition? Does it make sense to think in terms of an overall spectrum? What if there were several relevant definitions of Energy Efficiency, each one suitable for a given context?
There are people like Jean-Marc JANCOVICI or David OWEN, who try to rectify journalists mistakes, approximations and falsehood. In this very good book, David OWEN sets out to clarify concepts and to share some insightful rough estimates. While reading this book, you understand that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and often so-called Energy Efficiency solutions can be counter-productive.
Hybrid cars, fast trains, energy-efficient light bulbs, solar panels, carbon offsets… Forget everything you ever thought you knew about living green. The Conundrum is a mind-changing manifesto about the environment, efficiency and the real path to sustainability.
In this very good Reuters article, Jason NEELY (REUTERS) sets out to show that Utilities’ volume-based model is no longer a sustainable profit-making vehicule, and that Energy Efficiency solutions providers start capturing the value from Utilities.
Here is a non exhaustive wrap-up of this article:
– European Utilities could be very affected by the decline of their energy revenues.
– As an example and according to Bain, “the big four [German] Utilities will lose about a third of their annual operating profits from generation […] by 2020”
Everybody agree that Energy Efficiency is an important matter, and that it’s a priority. However, in practice, it looks as if implementing massive energy savings is much more complex than it seems to be initially. Amongst numerous reasons detailed in the attached document, 5 definitely shape the perception we have about Energy Efficiency. Here they are:
Nobody sends you a cheque when you implement an Energy Conservation Measure! So, you can’t see it in your P&L, you can’t discount it, and you can’t value it in a Business Plan.
It’s physically impossible to prove an energy saving! So, you can’t measure it with a meter.