World Energy Outlook Report 2015

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This September the International Energy Agency published a Special Report on Energy and Climate Change.
This December a very important meeting, the COP21, will let come together the most important decision takers in the field of Sustainability. In fact this sustainable innovation forum that will be happening partnership with the UNEP, the United Nation Environment Programme will be a remarkable meeting to put the world on a sustainable path.

One of the main topics that will be discussed there besides the new climate goals to reduce greenhouse effect on earth is to take some very necessary decisions in the energy sector.

Some of the most important strategies are published in the World Energy Outlook Report that you can download here.  It is a 200 pages publication that offers some detailed insight in the energy production in the whole world and gives also some interesting outlooks on how to accelerate the development of emerging technologies that are essential to transform the global energy system into one that is consistent with the worlds climate goals.

The report offers four main key pillars for the success of COP21 which are to find a peak in emissions, a continuous five-year revison, look in the vision (stop climate change as a collective long-term goal) and track the transition (track achievements in the energy sector).

Another point in the report is to gain in efficiency. Gaining in efficiency is a welcome way to reduce emissions without being restricted in output terms.

If you don’t have time to read trough the whole 200 pages manual, use the link that you can find right below for the executive manual of 12 pages. Stay tuned on the topic, COP21 could be the next Kyoto!

Consolidating Climate Change within Asset Management

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Asset management is a systematic process of deploying, operating, maintaining, upgrading, and disposing of assets cost-effectively. The term is most commonly used in the financial world to describe people and companies that manage investments on behalf of others.

This is the definition taken from Wikipedia. It’s very clear. I have nothing against it. However, recently investors have started taking into account the climate Change in Asset Management.

By using various Risk Assessments, we can secure our assets (physical) for a longer period of time. One case study is being done in UK with regard to Thames Estuary 2100 Project. The Thames Estuary 2100 Project (TE2100) has developed a strategic plan for managing flood risk on the Thames Estuary over the next 100 years.The approach to option development and adaptation was developed by David Ramsbottom (HR Wallingford Limited) and Tim Reeder (UK Environment Agency), who contributed this case study.

Incorporating Climate change will help us asses to secure our assets unlike billions of dollars lost in natural disasters like Floods in Australia or wild fire in Russia. Implementing various studies, we can measure the risk on our investments.

Since the future is uncertain, there are various models that can predict the risk involved. Of course, they are not 100% sure but still very close to it. Currently, I am studying ‘Financial Risk Managment‘ with regard to environment. It’s very heavy with maths and financial big words but I find it interesting.

On the Internet, you can find hundreds of reports on Climate Change on asset management. I can personally recommend ‘Mercers – Climate Change Scenarios‘. It is supported by IFC and Carbon Trust. It is a public report so it will be easy to find.

It gives a thorough detail on various steps that should be taken by investors for securing the present assets or for future investments. It’s a 132 page report. So have a tea with cheese crackers and have a crack at this report over the weekend. 🙂

World Air Quality Index

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Couple of hours ago, I saw this really interesting website where you can find the pollution levels city by city just by one click.

This site give you a world map with numbers on it and on the top you can find the bracket or category where the pollution limit is mentioned.

My city has 129 AQI level of pollution which is termed as ‘Unhealthy’.

I hope more and more people become aware of their surrounding and start taking action to decrease at least some of the pollution at local level

Source: WAQI

Australia: The first country to have Tesla’s power battery

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Tesla’s new ‘Powerwall’ battery which can save excess energy which can be used to later on will hit the markets of Australia late this year. It is being launched well before the predictions in early 2016. Even if those who have already installed the solar panels for them it should be a great news.

The standard model being plugged by Tesla — for the average household — is the 7kWh Powerwall. Tesla Energy will also be supplying 10kWh Powerwalls however, along with the commercial and utility scale Powerpack, which groups powerful 100kWh battery blocks for anywhere from 500kWh to upwards of 10MWh.

There are also numerous energy companies who want to distribute the Tesla’s battery in the Australian Market. Similar to the battery in the Model S, the Powerwall is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, only this one can be mounted on the wall of your house. The biggest markets for battery storage in Australia will be those areas that pay little for the output from solar arrays to the grid. This includes all new installations, and in areas like NSW ( New south wales), where 160,000 households will lose their solar premium tariffs at the end of 2016. Labor of has set a target of Australia generating 50% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030, even if there are yet no details on the implementation of it.

What will be the price and eventual feedback, we are really looking forward to it!

Source: Gizmondo, The Guardian, Renewable energy

White certificates: What are they and what are they good for?

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In our RESD course we hear a lot about environmental policies and how they get applied in the real world. One of them are white certificates.

The main aim of this kind of certificates is to lower the energy consumption by installing a market to trade them relatively freely and doing so to achieve a certain target of energy savings. Relatively because this market is usually not meant for private persons but for the cluster of energy producers and large scale consumers.

White certificates are given to producers that save a certain amount of energy, this certificate can then be sold to others that are not able to meet the predefined targets. This concept is very similar to emission trading, that we already showed you in some previous posts (Emission Trading Part I and Emission Trading Part II). The theory behind both this systems is to let regulate the market trough pricing and its supply/demand characteristics a certain output at least cost.

Energy certificates are quite a big deal here in Europe: since 2005 several countries started a white tag trading scheme (like France, Denmark, Poland, UK, Netherlands, Italy ecc.)

Especially here in Italy the Certificati bianchi are of major importance in the energy market.

but also in the United States similar systems get applied in Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Nevada.
In the last years also voluntary markets for efficiency certificates are emerging, the most important is for sure  is http://www.starlingplanet.com that provides a market for renewable energy certificates.

Next week I will write about another very similar kind of certificate, the so called Green Certificates that are gonna substitute the white ones in the future.

Sustainer Homes

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As you may noticed, Pushkar and me we are reporting quite often about pilot projects and plans on how to apply new knowledge on sustainability in the real world.

Today I would like to present you another project; the dream of everyone studying and working in the field of sustainability: Sustainer Homes, a house created by a startup from the Netherlands, that produces all the energy it needs out of local renewable energy sources.

As you can see in picture above, it is a 30 square meters container that originally were just normal transport containers. Isolation on the inside is made completely out of organic and recycled material, the wall color is anti-toxic and on a hemp basis.

The watersystem within the container and the heating system is powered by solar pannels that can generate up to 5 thousand kilowatts in one year, wind powered electricity generators and a rainwater collector that supplies fresh water. The generated electricity power gets stored in such that even in moments without wind and sun there is enough electricity left to supply the container with energy. Dark water gets filtered before it gets released into the environment.

And if I tell you that the price of this “house” you wont believe it: Only 75 thousand euros is what the designers want you to pay for this kind of accommodation. And the best thing, you will never ever have to pay for water, electricity, gas and all the other bills one has to pay.

Big thumbs up to lifegate.it for the original article, and an applause to Sustainer Homes that make such an incredible thing real.

Foto © http://www.sustainerhomes.nl

Carbon bubble threat from climate change!

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A carbon bubble is the idea that there is a bubble in valuation of companies related to fossil-fuel-based energy production. This is because true costs of carbon dioxide in intensifying global warming are not taken into account in a company’s stock market valuation. Currently the price of fossil fuels companies shares is calculated under the assumption that all fossil fuel reserves will be consumed. Author Bill McKibben has estimated that to sustain human life in the world, up to $20tn worth of fossil fuel reserves will need to remain in the ground. The Stern report in 2006 stated that the benefits of strong, early action to decrease the use of oil, coal and gas considerably outweigh the costs. Fossil fuel contributors, the building industry, and land use practices ignore the responsibility of the external costs and ignore the polluter pays principle according to which climate change costs will be paid by historical climate polluters.

Some say that the companies should be forced to show their green gas emissions and then calculate the risk it poses, however, many firms do not feel threatened by carbon bubble argument. They acknowledge the climate change but at the moment Carbon Bubble poses no threat to them. If you apply the Carbon Bubble theory and strictly implement all the anti pollution policies, the firms market share would rapidly go out because if their reserve of fossil fuel is not used then they are over valued. It poses serious threat to the country’s economy too.

Bank of England investigated the risk of Carbon Bubble. They inquired a possible economic crash if the climate change rules ever came into use. Maybe that’s why some countries are reluctant to implement strict Climate change policies. It’s interesting that if you read this article on the “the Guardian’, someone mentioned in the ‘Comments Section’ that even if the country never implement strict climate change policies, they still will eventually have an economic crash.

Another report says the same if we implement such policies, there will be world economic crash. We will lose trillion of dollars in business. Stern said that far from reducing efforts to develop fossil fuels, the top 200 companies spent $674bn (£441bn) in 2012 to find and exploit even more new resources, a sum equivalent to 1% of global GDP, which could end up as “stranded” or valueless assets. HSBC warned that 40-60% of the market capitalisation of oil and gas companies was at risk from the carbon bubble, with the top 200 fossil fuel companies alone having a current value of $4tn, along with $1.5tn debt.

What is your take on this?

Source: Wikipedia, Economist, Carbon Brief, The Guardian