Reducing CO2 will create jobs, lower cost of decarbonising the economy and provide scope for other sectors -- but we must take action soon, writes Ecocem's Donal O'Riain
15 December 2013 - A green technology revolution is sweeping through Irish construction, one which will reduce the cost of decarbonising the economy and create thousands of sustainable jobs.
You may think that being lumbered with the bailout cost of the biggest banking collapse in history would have taught us to avoid such risks in the future.
Think again. We are now well on our way to making the impact of global warming so great as to make our banking crisis seem no more than a little local difficulty. read more>>>
15 December 2013 - THE relationship between poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation has been the subject of intense debate amongst researchers and development practitioners for several decades.
Yet, consensus on how to reconcile the two disparate goals is far from being reached, particularly for Local and indigenous people in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). They rely on biodiversity for their livelihood through means such as subsistence agriculture, game hunting and extraction of resources like firewood.
Those who directly utilize biodiversity resources in an unsustainable way do so because they are poor, displaced, marginalized and are likely not to have alternatives. read more>>>
16 December 2013 - Renewable electricity records are being broken every day. In early October, Germany hit a 59 percent renewable peak, Colorado utility Xcel Energy peaked at 60 percent wind at the beginning of the year and Spain got its top power supply from wind for three months leading into 2013.
But that’s chump change compared with Denmark. According to data from Energinet, the national grid operator, wind power has produced 30 percent of gross power consumption to date in 2013. This includes more than 90 hours where wind produced more than all of Denmark’s electricity needs, peaking at 122 percent on Oct. 28, at 2 a.m. read more>>>
12/16/2013 - Hon. Zakari Mohammed, the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, has called on the media to promote green economy, to enhance development in the country.
Mohammed made the call at a media event organised to mark the 4th Annual Nigeria Renewable Energy Day in Abuja.
Mohammed, in a paper titled: ‘The role of the Press in the growth of Renewable Energy Sector’, said the media had a role to play in reporting renewable energy.
Reports say that green economy results in the well-being of people while reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. read more>>>
December 16th, 2013 - The history of mankind’s technological use of solar power is thoroughly chronicled in a new book penned by John Perlin. With Let it Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy, solar and forest conservation expert Perlin takes the reader on a journey that stretches back to ancient times, around 2,500 years ago, when Greek architects designed homes to make the most of solar light as source of thermal comfort.
However, even further back in time, in ancient China around 6.000 years ago, stone-age Chinese built their homes making sure everyone would get as much solar exposure as possible.
The Roman Empire also realized the benefits of solar power and architects at the time even published self-help books to show people how to save on fuel as firewood became scarce (deforestation is literally an ancient problem) has been a fixture of civilization, it seems). During the renaissance Galileo and his contemporaries planned the construction of sun-focusing mirrors as the ultimate weapon to burn enemy fleets and towns. read more>>>
16 December 2013 - Forest resource depletion due to the effects of climate change, forest fires and failing reforestation, as well as sub-standard and wasteful logging and wood-processing practices, are some of the challenges faced by the forestry and wood industry in the countries of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). In response, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have joined forces to assist with the development of sustainable forestry and wood-processing sectors in the region, as UNIDO said in the press release received by Lesprom Network.
Representatives of forestry education and training institutions from Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, together with FAO and UNIDO officials, met for a three-day project development meeting in George, South Africa.
Participants at the meeting validated the findings of an initial situation analysis of a project titled, “Strengthening Forestry Training Centres and Wood Industries for Green Employment in the SADC Region”. read more>>>
12/17/2013 - Since most of the world has taken electric lights, air conditioning, ubiquitous power outlets and so on for granted for several generations, it’s easy to forget that more than 1.5 billion people on the planet—about one person in five—still live without electricity.
Bringing them into even the twentieth century, much less the twenty-first, has remained a daunting challenge for many reasons, not the least of which involves the expense of connecting the mostly rural areas where most of those without power happen to live to central grids. Creating a reliable nationwide grid is a formidable engineering challenge even in some of the world’s richest countries, and is currently out of reach for too many still-developing nations. read more>>>
17.12.2013 - An investment fund for development of the green economy will be established in Kazakhstan, Tengrinews reports citing the press-service of Baiterek Holding.
"A trilateral Memorandum of Intention of Islamic Corporation for Development of Private Sector (ICD) and National Agency for Technological Development (a subsidiary of National Management Holding Baiterek) to become shareholders of Central Asia Renewable Energy Fund LP has been signed," the message says.
Baiterek Holding was the initiator of the deal and its one the main driver behind the new institution.
The new fund is being created with a mission of making 8-10-year invests into development of renewable and alternative energy sources. The target size of the fund is $50 million at the initial stage and $100 million at later stages. read more>>>
12/17/13 - Earlier this year, Scandinavian flat pack furniture masters IKEA unveiled an easily deployable solar-powered shelter that can provide sturdy, safe housing in an emergency. Designed in collaboration with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the shelters are ideal for situations such as the ongoing mass displacement of individuals fleeing from the war in Syria. However, as many Syrian refugees enter Lebanon, the Lebanese government has been hesitant to approve the use of the IKEA shelters for fear that they might prove too permanent. Now, after six months of negotiations, the IKEA housing will finally be available to Syrians in Lebanon, but they may not be ready in time to protect many from the harsh winter.
The IKEA Refugee Housing Units are 188 square feet and can safely house up to five people. While that may sound on the small side, it is twice the size of the current standard tents provided to refugees. read more>>>
Way back in 2006 (as a few of you may remember), David Anderson, Shea Gunther and I started Green Options (a brand now owned by Huddler). Our business concept wasn’t solely focused on publishing content at that point; rather, we wanted to build an online marketplace for home solar shopping. We envisioned a site that could provide the initial information you needed to make a decision, and connect you with both installers that could do the job for you, and financial services for paying for a system.
Ultimately, we failed with this plan: the technical requirements for such a site were pretty intense, and, quite frankly, we were all content folks at heart. Even spinning off a separate company focused on this goal wasn’t enough to make it happen at that point. So, I’m always interested to see what others may be doing on this front, as I still think it’s a solid business idea. read more>>>