100% Renewable Energy Is Goal For Philippines Province Palawan

by Jake Richardson

Palawan, Philippines. Image: Andrew Lillis
Palawan, Philippines. Image Credit: Andrew Lillis

Palawan is one of the Philippines natural wonders, with many tourists visiting every year. The island province is not connected to the national grid and is completely dependent upon imported diesel and bunker fuel to generate electricity.

These fuels are known to have significant emissions and can contribute to noxious air pollution. Additionally, blackouts and brownouts have been too common, and some residents don’t have access to reliable electricity sources. Power also costs about twice much in Palawan as it does in Manila.

So, moving towards being energy independent by using renewable sources is a great new direction. “Palawan is so much better off than the rest of the Philippines. Palawan is the last ecological frontier. It can prove if we can live sustainably. It can be a model to follow,” explained World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines leader Lory Tan. (Source: Rappler)

Currently, a proposed hydropower plant would partially help them reach their renewable energy goals, and create jobs. It would save money by generating power that would not need to be produced by burning imported fossil fuels and it would reduce CO2 emissions.

Palawan is a long, thin island province measuring about 280 miles long and 31 miles wide, with a human population of 771,000. There are well over 1,000 miles of coastline, mountainous areas, virgin forests, and clear waters for diving and snorkeling. There are also about 11,000 square kilometers of coral reefs. Over two hundred endemic species live there as well.

Agriculture and fishing are two of the economic staples, with a growing tourism industry due to the idyllic natural resources. So, switching to renewable energy sources makes good sense both for public health and ecological reasons. When Palawan becomes a green province, it will probably become an effective selling point for tourism. Currently, the Philippines employs geothermal and biomass as their top renewables.

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This article, 100% Renewable Energy Is Goal For Philippines Province Palawan, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Jake Richardson Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103554956530757893412/

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Geothermal Power Used In British Columbia Residential Development

by Jake Richardson

Woodland Creek residential development located in Sooke, British Columbia is using geothermal technology for its award-winning homes. Ground source heat pumps were chosen for the new craftsman style homes because they can help save an estimated $1,100 annually. Geothermal typically costs about one-third or even less than baseboard heaters powered by electricity. Additionally, no exhaust venting is required with their particular kind of geothermal system, so their homes can be better insulated. Air quality is better too in these homes, because they have superior air filtration compared with homes using electric baseboard heaters.

If the annual savings is $1,100 compared to conventional heating and cooling, they pay for themselves in about 18 years. However, in the United States a home located in Montgomery County paid their system off in 4.4 years.

After the geothermal system is paid off, it continues to save money. (It also means getting off of fossil fuels.) Another benefit is that when we invest in renewable energy we help the whole of society shift toward the new and away from the old. We need to do this because of climate change and the fact that fossil fuels are time-limited. Extraction and transportation of fossil fuels can damage the environment severely as well.

There is another potential savings for British Columbia home buyers: cash back financing for homes with a certain energy rating, and Woodland Creek homes exceed this standard. They are also constructed to Built Green standards and use Energy Star appliances.

Totangi Properties manages Woodland Creek, and won Best New Subdivision (Woodland Creek, Sooke) at the 2012 CARE Awards. In the same year they also won Built Green Builder of the Year.

Considering the decreasing cost of solar power, it may not be that far in the future that solar panels provide all the electricity for such homes, in addition to their stable geothermal systems. British Colombia is a very appropriate location for environmentally sensitive housing due to its outstanding natural beauty.

This article, Geothermal Power Used In British Columbia Residential Development, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Google Plus:

 

Renewable Energy Hits the Roof

by John Brian Shannon

Several major retailers with worldwide operations are busily installing solar panels on top of their ‘big-box’ retail stores and offices. Walmart, Walgreens, IKEA and others, are spending huge sums of money to cover their rooftop spaces with solar panels — and are installing wind turbines at, or near, their retail store locations.

Walmart is the world’s largest retailer and is fully committed to obtaining 100% of the energy it uses from renewable sources. As Walmart continues to add stores around the world and increase its car and truck fleets, it bases its calculations for CO2 emissions (from all sources) on the calculation of tonnes of CO2 used/emitted – per $1 million U.S. dollars of retail sales.

In 2005, Walmart operations emitted just over 60 tons of CO2 per $1 million (USD) it took in from retail sales. While adding more stores and adding capacity to existing stores, that ratio had decreased to just over 50 tons of CO2 per $1 million (USD) by 2009. This lowering of CO2 emissions occurred during a period of unprecedented growth for the chain, which means that Walmart got a lot more energy-efficient.

In addition to solar panels on its rooftops and wind turbines on its properties, Walmart is purchasing green energy from utility companies which operate solar and wind power plants, via power purchase agreements (PPA’s).

We are in the second year of a four-year agreement to purchase clean energy from a state-of-the-art Duke Energy wind farm in Notrees, Texas. The agreement supplies up to 15 percent of the energy needs in 350 of our Texas locations. It has reduced our carbon emissions by 139,000 metric tons per year, which is the equivalent of taking 25,000 cars off the road or eliminating the CO2 produced by 18,000 homes annually, raising environmental quality and quality of life in the communities we serve. — Walmart

And in Canada: The opening of the Balzac Fresh Food Distribution Centre on November 10, 2010, marked a major ­milestone. With hydrogen fuel cells used to power forklifts, as well as solar thermal and wind power, the 400,000-square-foot facility serves as a living lab for ­sustainability. It will boost energy efficiency by an estimated 60 percent over the company’s traditional refrigerated centres, while cutting costs by USD $4.83 million over the next five years. – Walmart

Walgreens, which owns and operates 8000 stores is building the first of many Net Zero Buildings – so designated for producing as much electricity as they use and often producing surplus electricity to sell to the local grid.

The first such store will be located at Evanston, Illinois, and according to Energy Manager Today, the store will include:

  • more than 800 roof-top solar panels,
  • two wind turbines,
  • geothermal energy obtained by drilling 550-feet into the ground below the store, where temperatures are more constant and can be tapped to heat or cool the store in winter and summer,
  • LED lighting and daylight harvesting,
  • carbon dioxide refrigerant for heating, cooling and refrigeration equipment,
  • and energy efficient building materials.

Engineering estimates, which can vary due to factors such as weather, store operations and systems performance, indicate the store will use 200,000 kWh per year while generating 256,000 kWh per year.

Walgreens will attempt to have the store achieve LEED Platinum status from the US Green Building Council, and plans to enter the store into the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge. The store will be Walgreens second showcase project in the Department of Energy Better Buildings Challenge. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, Walgreens has committed to a chain-wide 20 percent energy reduction by 2020.

The Better Buildings Challenge is gaining momentum. Recently, Sprint became the first telecommunications company to join the program. And more than 100 companies have joined the DOE’s Better Plants program. – Energy Manager Today

IKEA has a robust renewable energy program dedicated to 100% energy self-sufficiency by 2020 with plans to spend 1.5 billion euros by 2015 towards that goal.

IKEA Group’s chief sustainability officer, Steve Howard said “within three years, IKEA will receive 70% of its electricity from renewable energy [which] we own and operate” adding, “We’ll expand that from 2015 – 2020 to 100 per cent”.

In reference to utility-supplied electricity rate spikes anticipated by IKEA, Howard said, “We know we’re going to be using energy in 20 years’ time. If we can own our own renewable energy plants, it gives us complete price certainty.”

It appears that major users of electricity such as ‘big box’ stores and other large commercial spaces are predicting higher prices for utility-supplied electricity — and rather than pay those higher rates, are opting for their own solar and wind power plants. As polysilicon solar panel prices have fallen in price almost every month since September 2010 and continue to fall in price (bottoming-out in June or July of 2013) you may see solar panel installations appearing on large buildings featuring (largely empty) rooftop spaces, such as the rooftop of your favourite retail store.

JOHN BRIAN SHANNON

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