Capris new electric power station replaces the islands diesel plant

December 31, 2020 by  
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On the island of Capri in Italy , the new Terna electric power station is an innovative example of sustainable architecture that merges into the unique landscape of the Italian island. Designed by Italian studio Frigerio Design Group, the new station replaces the island’s original diesel-run power plant in an effort to highlight the importance of renewable energy all while making the island a safer place to live. The project is built on a 2,700-square-meter site, and the overall design is based on a combination of geometry, greenery and light to integrate the structure with the steep Mediterranean landscape. The power station achieves an electrical connection between the island and the mainland, made possible through an investment of 150 million euros by Terna in order to provide Capri with renewable energy and reduce emissions to zero. Related: Renewable energy is the cheapest source of electricity A new power line lies completely underwater and underground, delivering more reliability, efficiency and quality to the local electrical service. Connecting Capri to the rest of Italy’s electric grid will save the island an estimated 20 million euros per year and reduce the carbon emissions by 130,000 tons. The building itself shares the same colors as the island’s landscape, while the materials take into account the aggressive environmental conditions of the area such as salty air, humidity and UV rays. The architectural finishing of the complex consists of geometric elements to create variable and vibrant compositions. The landscaping uses only native and local scrubs and plants that will achieve autonomous growth once the roots have had time to set, completely removing the need for landscape maintenance. In order to respect the natural surroundings, the building’s lighting design minimizes any light pollution . Lighting devices have cut-off parabolas and are positioned to hide their lighting sources, while LED technology is adopted to reduce consumption and waste. Between the building’s railings and walls, a stunning lighting design illuminates the perforated sheets upward and walls downward at night. + Frigerio Design Group Photography by Enrico Cano via Frigerio Design Group

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Capris new electric power station replaces the islands diesel plant

Australian government stumbles in climate crisis response

December 30, 2020 by  
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The Australian government appears conflicted in its efforts to adopt environmentally progressive policies following the country’s recent bushfires and record temperatures. A recent Australian Institute  survey  shows that private sector leaders and the general public favor a comprehensive climate policy with renewable energy investments. However, Prime minister Scott Morrison and his administration remain tied to the fossil fuel industry, making it hard for the country to progress.  Currently, Australia is one of the heaviest greenhouse gas emitters. The country continues lagging behind Paris Agreement goals that aimed to reduce fossil fuel pollution by at least 26% come mid-century. Even these goals are now outdated, though, with several other countries having signed onto updated agreements. Australia contributes  three times  more greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere than the G20 average emissions. To make matters worse, Australia is one of the global leaders that has not committed to a clear climate change policy; the U.K., U.S., Japan and China have all committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.  While the Australian government slowly finds its way to green energy, the public sector and individual states are keen to lead the way. As CNN reports, “In November, New South Wales announced a plan to support 12 gigawatts of wind and solar and 2 gigawatts of energy storage through the construction of renewable energy zone to replace its aging coal plants.” Additionally, the two richest people in Australia are backing a project to create the world’s largest solar farm. The private sector and individual states see green energy as an economic opportunity. “Australia has a plan to put the technology in place to reduce emissions and ensure we achieve the Kyoto commitments, as we already have demonstrated, and, importantly, the Paris commitments before us. What matters is what you get done, and Australia is getting it done on emissions reduction,” Morrison  said  while addressing parliament on December 10. However, his words and actions are a complete contrast. Morrison’s government has already announced a gas -based economic recovery plan post-COVID-19. His government also authorized the exploration of Carmichael mines in Queensland. Climate experts view these coal mines as a threat to the Great Barrier Reef due to carbon pollution. Experts advise phasing out coal power in all countries by 2040 to avoid catastrophic climate change . In contrast, Australia is set to experience a 4% increase in coal mining by 2030 — unless actions are taken to stop current and new explorations. No matter how hard the private sector and individual states try to cut emissions, they can’t succeed on a large scale without proper government policy. + CNN Image via John Englart

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British wind farms have a record-breaking day

December 23, 2020 by  
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Not everybody loves extremely windy days. But if you’re trying to generate more power via wind farms, there’s nothing like a blustery day in the winter. Last Friday, the wintry weather set a record in Britain as more than 40% of that day’s electricity was generated on wind farms. The 17.3 gigawatts (GW) generated by wind turbines just beat the former record, which was set in January of this year. High winds kept the 40% figure going through Saturday. Less than one-fifth of the day’s electricity came from coal plants and gas. “It’s great to see our onshore and offshore wind farms have smashed another record, generating more power on a cold December day than ever before, just when we need it most,” said Melanie Onn, the deputy chief executive of Renewable U.K., as reported in The Guardian . Related: UK plans to be powered entirely by offshore wind turbines by 2030 While the worldwide consensus is that 2020 has left a lot to be desired, it was a good year for green energy in Britain. Renewable energy was up, while energy demand in general fell due to lockdowns. Schools, office buildings and many businesses stayed dark. In April, solar power dominated with a record of 9.6 GW. That helped set the stage for Britain’s longest-ever coal-free streak, which lasted 1,629 consecutive hours and ended in June. Thanks to all this clean energy, electricity-related carbon emissions were way down. In March, they fell to an all-time low of 143 g carbon dioxide per kilowatt hour. To put this in perspective, Energy UK gives the following usual breakdown of electricity sources, based on 2016 figures: 42% natural gas, 9% coal, 3.1% other fossil fuels , 21% nuclear and 24.5% renewable energy, including wind, wave, marine, hydro, biomass and solar power combined. Onn said, “We expect to see many more records set in the years ahead, as the government has made wind energy one of the most important pillars of its energy strategy for reaching net-zero emissions as fast and as cheaply as possible.” Via The Guardian Image via Ed White

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Earth911 Reader: $150 Billion in Wildfire Damage, Pantanal Wetlands Burn, & Top Plastic Polluters

December 12, 2020 by  
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We keep an eye on the news for useful information … The post Earth911 Reader: $150 Billion in Wildfire Damage, Pantanal Wetlands Burn, & Top Plastic Polluters appeared first on Earth 911.

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Better Manage Your Stress With This Herbal Supplement

December 12, 2020 by  
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Who isn’t stressed these days? The pandemic and environmental crises … The post Better Manage Your Stress With This Herbal Supplement appeared first on Earth 911.

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Earth911 Podcast: Jack Kerfoot on Beating Big Oil With Renewable Energy

November 27, 2020 by  
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Earth911 talks with oil industry veteran and critic Jack Kerfoot, … The post Earth911 Podcast: Jack Kerfoot on Beating Big Oil With Renewable Energy appeared first on Earth 911.

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Earth911 Inspiration: Solving Complex Global Problems

November 27, 2020 by  
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Today’s inspiration is from Japanese philosopher, educator, and nuclear disarmament … The post Earth911 Inspiration: Solving Complex Global Problems appeared first on Earth 911.

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Engineering student turns food waste into renewable energy

November 23, 2020 by  
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What if those old carrots you never got around to eating could be a  renewable energy  source, rather than something messy you had to clean out of your refrigerator bin? That’s the basic idea — though on a much smaller scale — behind Carvey Maigue’s new AuREUS system. Maigue, a 27-year-old engineering student at Mapúa University in the Philippines, just won the James Dyson Award sustainability prize for his invention. “AuREUS is actually a material, or a technology, that allows other devices to harvest ultraviolet light and convert it into  electricity ,” Maigue explained in an interview on the James Dyson Award website. The green material looks like plastic and can be shaped into different forms. Related: Bioplastic made from fish scales wins international James Dyson Award “Organic luminescent compounds are derived from fruit and  vegetables ,” Maigue said in a video about his project. “These compounds turn high energy ultraviolet rays into visible light. I use solar panels and solar films to convert this light into electricity.” AuREUS can be integrated into many different parts of everyday life, such as clothes, cars and houses. One striking use could be attaching the material to skyscrapers. “We can use AuREUS instead of typical glass windows, so that whole buildings can become vertical solar energy farms.” The James Dyson Award is a prestigious international design award open to current and recent design engineering students. This year, the James Dyson Foundation received a record-breaking 1,800 entries. This year’s top winner was Judit Giró Benet for Blue Box, a home test for breast cancer. Benet is from Spain and studies at the University of California, Irvine. Maigue and Benet will each receive $40,000 in prize money. “It will be great to be able to buy some equipment that can be used to further the manufacturing process,” Maigue said. “Added to that, the money will mean I can finish my time at university!” + James Dyson Award Via  The Guardian Image via Mac321

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Engineering student turns food waste into renewable energy

Renewable energy grows in 2020 despite pandemic

November 11, 2020 by  
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A report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has revealed that renewable energy has defied the coronavirus pandemic to hit new records. Worldwide, renewable electricity installations have reached an all-time high. According to the report, about 90% of all new electricity generation in 2020 is renewable. If the IEA report is anything to go by, the world will see a record increase of 200 gigawatts in renewable energy capacity in 2020 compared to last year. This report is a sign of hope for a future dominated by renewable energy. If the trend is maintained, renewable energy sources could overtake fossil fuels and become the largest power source by 2025. As renewable energy takes center stage, the focus will be shifted to the U.S. and China, as they are the front-runners in the sector. The IEA anticipates that if the U.S. President-elect Joe Biden implements his energy policies, the transition to green energy could be much faster than anticipated. Related: Renewable energy is the cheapest source of electricity “Renewable power is defying the difficulties caused by the pandemic , showing robust growth while others fuels struggle,” said Fatih Birol, IEA’s executive director. “The resilience and positive prospects of the sector are clearly reflected by continued strong appetite from investors.” While fossil fuels have dwindled, wind power and solar have increased in capacity significantly. Solar has increased 18 times since 2010, while wind energy has increased about four times in the same period. According to Birol, solar power is projected to become the king of clean energy in the future. According to the report, hydropower dominated the renewable energy sector in 2010, taking about 77% of the market share. However, that has reduced to just about 45% in 2020. Although renewables are doing well in 2020, it is not time to celebrate yet. IEA warns that to continue the positive trend, countries must adopt policy changes that govern the energy sector. + IEA Via The Guardian Image via Karsten W.

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Green Box: a hotel amenity kit made of compostable plastic

November 2, 2020 by  
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Designed to help tackle plastic waste in the hospitality industry, the Green Box is a circular hotel amenities kit full of bathroom items made from compostable plastic. Inside, the kit includes a comb, a toothbrush, a razor and two cotton swabs. As a standard, a good hotel is expected to have disposable amenities available for short-stay guests who have forgotten their toothbrush or are in need of a comb or razor in a hurry. These products are designed to be used only a few times as a quick fix, yet are often made out of long-lasting, hard plastics that end up in landfills or oceans, where they don’t biodegrade. Related: LastTissue offers a handkerchief for the modern world But the Green Box kit goes further by offering compostable toiletries. Each kit includes a disposal box for every room, so that guests can separate waste from the green components to either be industrially composted in a controlled environment or organically recycled. Guests are educated about sustainable practices and the compostable material itself while familiarizing themselves with the circular economy and greener waste streams. Compostable materials are placed in the green part of the box while other non-compostable parts (such as the toothbrush head, which becomes contaminated with bacteria) will go in the white part of the box to be disposed of with general waste. The compostable items from the green side of the box are mixed with the rest of the hotel’s organic waste and taken to an industrial facility, where it goes through a methanisation process. After 10 weeks, the material transforms into a combination of soil fertilizer and biogas, which qualifies as a renewable energy source. Each composted kit can create enough biogas to power a standard LED light bulb for over 27 hours. Green Box comes from Sweden-based OnMateria Collective, the sustainability-focused company responsible for renewable DuoLin Flax Seed Fibre and the TRIPÔLE series of artistic pieces created from consumer waste streams. + OnMateria Images via OnMateria

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Green Box: a hotel amenity kit made of compostable plastic

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