I’d rather have a border wall than the Green New Deal

Let me be clear: I think the border wall is a terrible idea. It is a huge waste of money and has become symbolic of values which completely contravene American ideals. It even contravenes “conservative ideals”. Do you think Ronald Reagan would have liked a border wall? I strongly doubt it.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has called fighting climate change her generation’s “WWII”. I agree. In part. If we don’t prevent catastrophic climate change, our way of life could cease to exist. Which would be bad. Note however that a potentially mortal condition says nothing about the effort needed to cure the problem. If you get rabies and don’t treat it, you will die. 100%. The cure, however, is a few shots and then problem solved.

Preventing catastrophic climate change is obviously gonna take a bit more than a rabies shot, but a WWII style mobilization? This is what Green New Deal (GND) supporters want you to swallow whole, but is their solution the best, or even a credible, way to solve the problem?

If we want to save the planet, first we should get the objective straight. The strict version of the GND espoused by the Sunrise Group states: “We’re fighting for a just transition to 100% renewable energy within 12 years — the time frame set by the world’s leading climate scientists”. 12 years (ie 2030) is indeed the time frame set out by scientists in a UN report. But not for 100% renewable energy. It’s the time frame to cut emissions by 45% from 2010 levels. It does not say our energy sources need to be renewable. If someone developed a cheap way to reduce 95% of coal and tailpipe emissions, then 2030 deadline solved. But if you’re a hardcore GNDers: not renewable, verboten! It is likely that renewable sources like wind and solar are among our best options to solve climate change. But it is also likely that some forms of pollution reduction or a 5% dirty fuel could help. If you truly fighting a war, you do not remove these options for fixations on some airy ideal.

But it gets worse (the GND that is). Even if we don’t limit our choice of technologies, getting emissions down by 45% in 12 years is going to be a formidable task on a tight schedule. It would make sense to concentrate our efforts on the goal and not waste energy on other things. Like jobs. Should we, as a society, try to make sure people have means of support? Yes absolutely. But that has nothing to do with climate change. If the best way to solve climate change involves creating jobs, great. If it involves job destruction, then…let’s worry about jobs in 2031. Or in separate legislation. Because if we don’t solve the climate problem and fry the planet, jobs really aren’t gonna matter. Ditto for “to promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of……….”. An admirable goal which we should be thinking about as a society. But separately, in a way which doesn’t distract from the climate goal. When we fought WWII we devoted all our efforts to solving the problem, defeating Germany and Japan. We did not say hmm Stalin’s gonna be a problem down the line, so we might as well go after him too. And Franco. Had we done so, it would have been catastrophic. The full-fledged GND runs the same risk.

It gets even worse. War sometimes requires questionable weapons and in times of great peril, foregoing them is a very difficult decision — think the bomb. The GNDers go one step further, however, and want to marginalize very effective, very non-WMD type pollution control mechanisms, i.e. prices and markets. The latest from AOC softens the stance and allows for a small, non-central role to carbon taxes. But as detailed here, it should be front and center.

What little progress we have made on controlling emissions to date has been driven ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY by markets and prices. This has been lucky: the cost of wind, solar and gas has gone down, while the cost of coal has stayed stagnant. Had this been reversed, we would be polluting more. However there’s a very easy way to make markets work: add the cost of pollution back into the price. This can be in the form of tradable emissions permits (cap and trade) or carbon taxes. Both work and the nice thing is that you can set them to levels consistent with the 45% goal and just let the (much maligned) human self-interest work. Uneconomic polluting energy sources become unprofitable so self-interested corporations shut them down. Conversely, technologies which can cut emissions become very profitable, so greedy corporations rush to invest in them.

Don’t believe prices work? Think back to 2008. Gas prices skyrocketed. Consumers responded by foregoing SUVs and moving closer to work. US consumption of petroleum products dropped by 5.8%, the largest annual decline since 1980 (any guesses what happened then?). And because prices work, carbon taxes work. And cap and trade works.

The real elephant in the room — which would ground the GND even were it at all realistic — is that the US is becoming less of the emissions elephant in the room. That would be China, India and the developing world. It will be difficult to get them to get their emissions down. But not impossible. Rising middle classes are clamoring for less pollution and governments are at least paying lip service to cuts.. An efficient market solution in the US could serve as a beacon. A hugely expensive set of bloated blathering policies at cross-purposes to the actual solution will just create confusion.

Silver bullet efficient clean technologies would make the task of climate control much eaiser. It has been suggested that the real spending should not be on jobs etc, but on researching the type of cheap clean technologies which would lessen the burden on the third-world. While some of the large dollops of government spending might end up like Solyndra, given the seriousness of the problem that’s probably an acceptable cost (as mentioned before, setting the cost of pollution high enough through market mechanisms will also have this positive effect on research).

Which leads us to the Real Green Deal:

  1. Enact robust carbon taxes and/or a cap and trade system without loopholes
  2. Get rid of dirty energy subsidies (these do the exact opposite of what carbon taxes do) and other regulations/barriers which entrench traditional energy sources
  3. Use some of the carbon tax/cap and trade revenue on clean technology research (yes revenue not huge bloated costs we need a class war to fund)
  4. Share technology and create incentives for the developing world to join a system of carbon taxes/tradable emissions permits

Simple. Efficient. No class war needed.

Not the stuff to inspire gaggles of hyperventilating volunteers to support your next campaign. But it’s a plan that actually might work. 3) will be the hardest and not under our control. But without 1) and 2) to set an example, 3) will be much less likely.

That Silly Wall

In the hopefully unlikely case that the border wall does get built, I expect a wiser future generation (or the next administration) to tear it down and the history books will record how silly it was. Silly, but correctable. If, however, we let the GND misdirect our climate efforts and fry the planet, we may not have the luxury of history books anymore.

Wind turbine listening device prepares for commercial launch

Final trials of listening devices that monitor the health of wind turbines and use satellite communication to transmit data will take place in the coming months ahead of a commercial launch mid year.

Adelaide-based startup Ping was awarded an $A170,000 Australian Government Accelerating Commercialisation grant last week to help trial, upscale, connect and launch its device on domestic and international markets after six years in research and development.

The Ping Monitor is a world-first application of aero-acoustic analysis to help continually detect wind turbine blade damage.

It has the potential to replace or reduce drones and maintenance crews that routinely inspect wind turbines, sometimes long after a problem has occurred.

An initial, portable, Ping Monitor was launched in September 2018 but a new solar-powered version that is fixed magnetically to the turbine pole about two-metres above ground or sits off the ground alongside the turbine will be launched mid year.

The 2.0 version will also benefit from a collaboration between Ping and South Australian IoT satellite communications company Myriota, enabling the acoustic monitor to transmit data into the cloud from almost anywhere on Earth regardless of cellular network connectivity.

A Ping Monitor version 2.0 and associated solar panel will use magnets to affix to turbine towers.

There are about 400,000 active wind turbines in the world with blades up to 80-metres long that spin up to 300km/h.

Ping CEO Matthew Stead said pilot trials of the updated monitor are being conducted in Australia, the United States and follow extensive version one trials last year that tested analytics and fault detection algorithms.

He said the South Australian company had already generated interest among a number of local investors.

“What we are doing is dramatically different, it’s continuous sound wave monitoring so it’s definitely exciting times — it’s going to be a big year.

“We’re calling this an Intelligent Listening Platform and what we mean by that is our device can be applied to a whole range of scenarios such as surveillance, listening for aircraft or drones you don’t want to be there and monitoring for the presence of predators such as wild dogs on farms.”

The key piece of technology in the patented device is the algorithm that can rate the health of the turbine based on its acoustic signature on a scale of one to five and monitor changes over time.

Stead said there were 3800 blade failures globally per year causing up to $5 billion damage.

He said sources of damage included lightning strikes, hail, sand, rain, wind and accelerated wear in coastal environments.

“We’ve seen some sites where they’ve got damage that they didn’t know about for a year or another site hadn’t been inspected for three years — you don’t really want the damage getting worse over time,” Stead said.

Fellow South Australian startup Myriota has been scaling up since it was spun out of the University of South Australia in 2015 and last year raised $15 million through a Series A funding round, with Boeing HorizonX Ventures among the contributors.

It launched its fourth next generation nanosatellite on Spaceflight’s SmallSat Express mission aboard Falcon 9 in December.

Myriota last month announced a collaboration with another Australian company to connect mass-market water-level sensors to its low-cost earth-to-satellite transmission technology, enabling farmers to receive water level data direct to their mobile phones.

Ping has been part of the first cohort of the Venture Catalyst Space program run by the University of South Australia at its Innovation & Collaboration Centre.

Stead said he hoped to move the company to Lot Fourteen, a former hospital site in the centre of Adelaide that is being transformed into an entrepreneur and defence hub, alongside existing tenants Myriota and the new Australian Space Agency.

South Australia has been a major player in the nation’s space industry and is home to major Tier 1 defence companies and several emerging space start-ups, including Fleet Space Technologies and Southern Launch, which is establishing a launch facility in the state’s north.

The Hidden Benefits of Solar Powered Energy

Are you a solar-powered energy user? Have you considered adopting solar as a source of power for your home or business?

If you answered “yes” you’re in good company. According to a recent report from the International Energy Agency, electricity generated from the sun is the fastest growing source of energy in the world.

“Solar power was the fastest-growing source of new energy worldwide last year, outstripping the growth in all other forms of power generation for the first time” The Guardian

Free, renewable and clean are some of the most compelling benefits for converting to solar- powered energy instead of traditional fossil fuel-sourced energy. While those benefits are just some of the factors driving a surge in solar installations, there are many hidden benefits that merit attention.

The hidden benefits of solar sourced energy were clearly spelled out in a recent report by the Institute for Energy Innovation. The report was created in an effort to educate policy makers attempting to manage rapid changes taking place in the power grid. Those changes reflect the move from the historical centralized source of energy generation to a grid that encompases distributed generation (DG).

“Driven by declines in the cost of solar components, greater competition among solar installers, and growing familiarity with solar DG and its benefits, national solar DG has expanded by more than 50 percent annually over the last four years” Institute for Energy Innovation

The Institute for Energy Innovation’s report is titled Solar Energy in Michigan: The Economic Impact of Distributed Generation on Non-Solar Customers. While the report merits an in-depth review by those involved in the energy industry, the jargon and acronyms make it a bit overwhelming for those already sold on the “free, renewable and clean” aspects of solar powered energy.

The list below is an attempt to convey the report’s valuable information (without jargon or acronyms) detailing the many hidden benefits of solar:

  1. Improved Reliability — when Hurricanes Irma and Maria destroyed the power lines on the island of Puerto Rico the vulnerability of a centralized grid was graphic. One story from the island clearly illustrates the improved reliability associated with generating energy at distributed or on-site locations: “While his competitors wait for diesel to restart generators knocked out by Hurricane Maria, flower grower Hector Santiago is already back in business because of solar panels powering his 40-acre nursery in central Puerto Rico.”
  2. Reduced Demand — facilities or homes generating all or most of their electricity on location will use less energy from the grid. Any reduction in overall grid demand for electricity results in a reduced need for building additional expensive power generating plants.
  3. Less Wasted Energy — when electricity is transmitted along power lines there is loss that naturally occurs. The greater the distance from the source, the greater the loss. Think of it as attempting to water a garden using a garden hose with holes in it. The amount available at the end is less than the amount produced at the source. The U.S. Government estimates 5% of the energy generated for the national grid is lost during transmission. When electricity it generated on-site the waste is kept to a minimum. Less waste equals lower cost of electricity.
  4. Improved Resilience — resilience is the ability to recover quickly. Imagine being told it will take four to six months before electricity is restored after a storm! When energy is produced in “distributed” locations, instead of at a single source, there is less vulnerability and an increased capacity to recover quickly.
  5. Predictable Energy Costs — electricity generated from burning fuel (oil, gas, coal) reflects a cost related to the price of the fuel. If fuel prices increase the cost of electricity has to rise. Because solar does not require fuel, the resultant cost of the electricity is not subject to fluctuations and the resultant cost of energy is predictable throughout the life cycle of the equipment.
  6. Clean and Quiet Communities — because the operation of generating electricity from the sun doesn’t create smoke or use noisy machinery, the choice for solar is a proven advantage for communities concerned about health.
  7. Clean Jobs — solar is driving a dramatic growth in “green collar” jobs. These jobs require advanced skills and offer a premium wage due to their technical nature. According the the United States Department of Energy “The solar workforce increased by 25% in 2016”

“In the event of a giant storm like Maria, microgrids and smaller-scale electricity generation would have made it more difficult to decimate the entire system.” Green Tech Media

To paraphrase one of the conclusions from the Institute for Energy Innovation’s report, the growth in distributed energy, represented by multiple solar generating installations attached to the electrical grid, helps reduce the overall costs and risks of centralized energy production and distribution. It represents an overall net benefit to society.

“the growth of solar DG systems in most cases helps to reduce overall costs and represents a net benefit to all utility customers.” Institute for Energy Innovation

When the many benefits of solar powered energy are clearly understood, it should encourage both private and public decision makers to do everything possible to promote the adoption of solar. Even without an understanding of all the benefits of solar, a rising demand coupled with plummeting costs makes solar energy one of the preferred sources of generated energy today and into the future.

5 Easy Ways You Can Make Your Business More Eco-Friendly

Eco-friendly businesses are becoming more and more popular everyday. By operating under “green” ethics, you are not only helping the environment but also saving company money by cutting down on waste and conserving valuable resources. Here are just some of the many ways you can start transitioning over to an eco-friendly business and life style.

1. Start Lowering Your Use of Electricity in Your Office

Did you know that 67 percent of electricity you use on a daily basis is powered from fossil fuels? Not only is this an expensive way of generating electricity, but also extremely harmful to the environment.

By opting in for power from solar panels you need less power overall to generate your office and it’s an inexpensive utility on a month to month basis. However, to help lower the use of your current electricity provider try to:

  • Turn off light and/or computers when not in use
  • Lower thermostat when it’s not needed
  • Keep blinds open during the day while using sunlight instead of opting for the light switch
  • Buying appliances with high Energy Star ratings

2. Switch to Eco-Friendly Light Bulbs

Consider trading your current light bulbs for LED or CFL (compact-fluorescent) light bulbs. Though they may cost more up front, they will end up saving you more in the long run, up to $200 per bulb. These bulbs last much longer and use less energy.

3. Make the Shift to PCW Paper Products

Your goal should be to use as little paper as possible. However, when you must use paper, ensure you are using eco-friendly paper. You can do this by switching to post-consumer waste, or PCW, paper products and packaging. Using 100% PCW is the only way to ensure you are using the paper with the least impact as it is the only paper made entirely from recycled paper. Making PCW paper creates half as much waste as traditional paper and uses 45% less energy. And don’t forget to recycle this paper when you are done with it!

4. Recycle

This is the most basic way your business can reduce its environmental footprint. Most of us are aware of the common paper, plastic, and glass recycling rules. To really make an impact, you must think outside the box with your recycling. You can recycle packing supplies, old ink cartridges, electronics, and more. With things that can’t be recycled consider donating them or listing them for free on Craigslist.

5. Limit the Number of Electronics You Use

It would be almost impossible for a company to succeed nowadays without the use of electronics. However, reducing the number of electronic devices you use on a daily basis can make a huge difference on the environment. For example, a business may give their employees a desktop computer to use in the office and a laptop to use at home or on the go. Though this is generous, they could save costs and electricity by just providing them with a laptop for work and home use. Also, when a device is past its prime and can no longer be used, make sure you dispose of it properly as well.

How One Company’s Commitment to Sustainability Affects Us All

What I learned serving on Ford’s task force on sustainability

.Ford Model T from 1921

Before there was the minivan there was the station wagon. It was the car families owned in the sixties and I can never remember when our family was without one. Ford was the company that introduced the Model T, the first simple and affordable automobile in 1903. They built trucks for the US Military in 1941 and created legends like the Ford Thunderbird in 1954 and the Mustang in 1964. Since it’s inception, Ford was a cutting edge company that was always looking to innovate and improve its technology. To us it said “America”, which was an important feature in the post-war era and part of my family’s fascination with the brand.

We owned a series of Ford wagons in a variety of colors including the Ford Country Squire LTD with its classic wood paneled exterior. Every summer my Mom loaded the four of us kids into the wagon to visit my grandparents in Colorado, laying down the backseat so we could stretch out our legs on a foam mattress that she had specially cut for this purpose. Her idea was that we would pass the time quietly reading, but the truth was my three brothers preferred to poke and prod and harass each other. As the only girl I often got the privilege of riding shot gun in the front seat where I learned to hone my skills as a map reader. My first car was a Ford Pinto and by the time I got to college I got to take the last Ford station wagon we owned with me. Even in light blue, it was not the sportiest look for a college student, but having that car did increase my popularity and added a few more Ford memories to the ones I already had.

Having so much of my childhood rooted in the iconic American history of this company, I was delighted when I was invited me to join a Ford task force on sustainability. I admit that unlike my mother who had never driven anything but a Ford, I had broadened my horizons to include other auto makers so I didn’t know what to expect the first time I attended a media event at the Dearborn headquarters, but I did not expect to discover that a company with this much longevity and now led by William Clay Ford, Jr — the great-grandson of Henry Ford, would have continued to be as innovative and as focused on a sustainable and environmentally friendly future as it is.

Here’s just some of what I’ve learned:

• Ford is investing $4.5 billion in electrified vehicle solutions with a plan to add 13 new EVs to their portfolio by 2020.

• They believe in science-based climate change and doing their part to stabilize the atmospheric concentration of CO2 at 450 parts per million, the level that many believe may avoid the most serious side effects of climate change.

• Ford has created a Restricted Substance Management Standard which prohibits greenhouse gases and replaced all chlorofluorocarbons refrigerants with hydrofluorocarbons which do not contribute to ozone depletion and have significantly lower global warming impacts.

• 95% of the materials in Ford vehicles can be recovered, recycled or reused.

• Ford recycles enough aluminum scrap to build the equivalent of 30,000 F-150 truck bodies every month!

• Between 2013 and 2015 Ford’s manufacturing strategies reduced water usage by 5.6 percent per vehicle.

• They’re collaborating with governments and NGOs to develop and implement best practices to address water challenges including access, sanitation and hygiene.

• Ecoboost engines designed for fuel efficiency and to reduce CO2 emissions in gasoline-powered vehicles are part of the reason the 2016 Ford F-150 was awarded Truck of the Year for 2016 by the Green Car Journal.

• Ford is looking at ways to use voice activated in-vehicle communication systems to improve in-car health and wellness like the Allergy Alert app that lets drivers check pollen counts.

There was a time not that long ago when imported cars were flooding the market with technologically advanced options and challenging the American Auto industry. That’s no longer the case with Ford who now competes on the same playing field with the imports. I believe this has everything to do with their commitment to sustainability and how they define it. Like myself, who believes it’s about living with a green heart every hour of every day, Ford sees sustainability as more than a superior end product. They see it as the way in which they do business. That kind of thinking is why for the seventh consecutive year, Ford was named one of the world’s most ethical companies by Ethisphere Institute.

It’s also why my oldest son drives a Ford F-150 truck, my 16-year old equestrian daughter already has her eye on it and my college bound son has his eye on a F-150 of his own. Ford recognizes that millennials are changing the marketplace. The younger customer wants a great product but they’re also concerned about how that product is created, from the materials used to the way they treat their employees. The big plus with Ford is that even if you don’t drive a Ford, their commitment and innovation contributes to a greener and safer environment for us all. I’ve proudly served on Ford’s sustainability task force for five years. Not only has it been an eye-opening experience to witness what they’re doing, Ford is once again the automobile of choice in our household!

THE GLOBAL GREEN ENERGY PLATFORM!

The World’s First Global Renewable Energy Supply Marketplace performing the role of a sales facilitator offering green energy solutions, both services and goods from green energy suppliers around the world.

A Blockchain based platform to facilitate the worldwide electronic trading of energy supply at wholesale prices from Green Energy Suppliers in a B2B, B2C and P2P focused Blockchain marketplace platform targeting buyers around the world who wish to purchase, trade or resell renewable energy supply and related products and services. Trust/Reputation, Privacy, Identity, Record Keeping, Digital Assets (energy contracts), Financial Settlement , A Going Green Reward based rebate program all managed on the Blockchain.

WPP Token is being generated to serve as a featured payment method for all energy transactions conducted through the Platform. Users will be required to use WPP Token which can be obtained through the WPP Exchange Platform by converting fiat or other cryptocurrencies into WPP Tokens The combination of the Global Green Energy Platform and the use of Smart Contracts through WPP TOKEN as the featured payment method for Platform participates will accomplish a sharp reduction in energy prices for buyers using the platform and will capture market share from the polluting fossil fuel industry.

As the platform becomes heavily populated with suppliers then end consumers will be given tools on the platform to organize themselves to express an aggregated energy supply demand to a green energy supplier who is interested in growing their energy distribution network into the community expressing interest. Electricity producers can then make current and future infrastructure and distribution decisions based on captured demand in the platform.

A robust set of data will also be captured from suppliers of Green Energy Hardware (such as solar, wind or hydrogen energy hardware) which can be purchased by users of the platform and delivered throughout the world to the doorstep of a buyer. This is particulary useful when no producer of electricty is offering supply through the platform in a users geographic area, instead a solution can be shipped to their doorstep an installation cordinated with a technician on the ground.

Buyers will be able to use data sorting tools provided, after entering through a global energy grid/map interface, to find green electricity supply data which is relevant to them. Use of a smart contract enabled WPP TOKEN as a featured method of payment will provide the ideal environment for the automatic processing, recording and tracking of a large number of transactions globally will help reduce operating/ payment processing & record-keeping costs through automation.

Use of Smart Contracts through WPP Token on a distributed storage system on a permissioned ledger will help avoid any attempted disruption or blocking of what will be energy industry changing transaction methods and increased market pressure to lower costs based on the exposure of much lower prices offered in the Global Green Energy Platform Marketplace. WPP is using a permission based blockchain model to avoid mining and to ensure we are not adding to the present and growing energy crisis caused by crypto mining. Several reaching consensus algorithm options exist that do not require any mining.

Energy Back in Your Hands

Wouldn’t it be nice to not be tied into a contract and to have the power and ability to purchase energy at the best price?

The energy industry is stale and lacks innovation, using the same processes today that have been in place for the last 40years. This lack of innovation has led to great deficiency within the space, laziness compels both the consumer and supplier to disregard efficiency and effectiveness. Consumers have a difficult time deconstructing their complex bills as energy providers and brokers try to make it as hard as possible to read to hide the outrageously high prices they are charging.

It’s very similar to the stock market, it’s hard to read and understand. However, once you learn to understand it you realise that words are used as a tool of confusion for those outside of the market. A façade to make something that is quite easy to understand into something very complex, to ensure reduced competition and a reduced amount of attention from the general public.

The industry needs disruption and recently, there has been a tech revolution in the energy sector. From this we have seen new technologies that allow the consumer to manage and understand the market with ease. The technology will allow everyone to essentially deal with the markets without the need of the big energy suppliers or brokers that don’t have their best interests at heart, and removing the mask of confusion.

We see great advancements from start-ups from across the globe, in the USA there is a start-up called Grid+ who have designed a product which replaces retailers, this allows the product itself to stay in your home and purchase energy directly for you at the best price it can. It also allows for day ahead trading just as a usual broker does for corporate clients, but now that technology is being brought to the domestic consumer for the first time.

Verv, a London based company, are introducing a smart meter that uses AI, allowing consumers the ability to view their energy consumption as it’s being consumed. This cuts out delays that traditional smart meters produce. The great thing about Verv is the AI, it seems as though the product will learn your behaviours and teach you how to use the appliances in a more efficient manner as well as alerting you if you have appliances turned on or plugged in that don’t need to be anymore.

Energi Mine itself is also causing disruption within the energy industry. We currently manage over $140m of energy and have a portfolio of over 1,100 sites across Europe. We use technology to ensure we can provide the most efficient and cost effective service to our consumers, using algorithms to monitor the markets, AI to create a bespoke portal experience for all our customers, and blockchain to create our own eco-system that rewards energy efficient behaviour.

These innovations will allow the consumer to have access to better prices of energy, become more energy efficient and reduce the impact of our behaviour on the climate.

The main idea behind the revolution in the energy sector is to reduce energy consumption, saving consumer money and saving our planet at the same time. Green energy is on the rise with almost over 90% of new power in Europe coming from renewable sources in 2016. Wind power overtook coal as the EU’s second largest form of power capacity.

Energi Mine wants to allow consumers to choose what type of energy they want to consume, so if you want to choose renewable energy but buying green energy is too expensive for 100% of your contract, you may want to purchase 10% via green sources and the rest straight from the grid. At the moment this is not possible, but we want to be able to provide ways in which it will be in future.

It’s hard for consumers to be more energy efficient without the right tools and the innovators realise this, the power needs to be in the people’s hands so they can see the advantages both financially and environmentally that can be achieved. This has not previously been implemented in an effective manner. Government schemes are usually grants for energy efficient behaviour such as purchasing an EV or punishments for inefficient behaviour, such as congestion charges for pollution.

However, no one has ever put the energy in to the consumers hand so that they can take control of their own behaviour, hopefully leading to a greener world.

Twitter — https://twitter.com/EnergiMine

LinkedIn — https://uk.linkedin.com/company/energi-mine

Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/energitoken/

Telegram — https://t.me/energitoken

Website — https://energimine.com/

Why Green Energy?

In this article we are going to talk about why we’ve chosen to fully invest in green energy.

More recently, global warming has become undeniably important with widespread melting of ice, noticeable climate changes, and rising sea levels. This is now recognized by nearly everyone as caused by greenhouse gases, (mainly carbon dioxide), produced by burning fossil fuels such as petroleum, coal, and natural gas.

This current situation requires an immediate rebuilding of our entire energy infrastructure. Note that there are plenty of eco-friendly ways to convert energy without fossil fuels, and many of are being used, but not nearly to their full potential. We all must take actions and switch to green energy resources, such as solar power, wind power, hydroelectric power, hydrogen power, thermometric, and other renewable power sources.

Unfortunately, global warming is not our only concern. The global supply of fossil fuels is not as plentiful as it may seem today, compared to an increasing trend in the world energy consumption. This is mainly due to two factors: the growing world population and the growth of developing countries. The world population has been increasing at a more dramatic rate than it ever has been. -We keep saying this over and over, so people can see how very serious the situation is! — More people means more energy consumption, and more energy consumption, if we stick to fossil fuels as the major resource, means less time until we run out of fossil fuels.

On the other hand, developing countries are major contributors to the increasing amount of production of energy: since these latter are in the process of becoming industrialized, they are consuming more energy than industrialized countries; they may have not yet mastered efficiency, resulting in both more consumption and more waste.

All of this leaves us no choice but to adopt a green energy based system , the development of which requires only resources that we already have in abundance.

Good news is that Electrify has already thought of such system that entirely shifts electricity generation away from fossil fuels, to more sustainable energy sources in an economically profitable way.

Let’s preserve the Earth for our descendants, let’s go GREEN y’all !


SunContract: Deploying First P2P Energy market by 2018

CEO of SunContract in a company of Startups

We are the new current in town. Or in town of “Peer to Peer energy market” anyway. Our project, SunContract, is now about a year old and since we witnessed an extremely successful token sale on August 1st where we raised 2 mlm, our goal now is to introduce the first Peer to Peer energy market in the first quarter of 2018.

We are not a big corporation and such an undertaking is no small feat for a team like ours, so we intend to share our hardships (and successes!) with you regularly here, as well as on our blog and Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc.

London story

There are currently some rough seas in the crypto world. We witnessed three hard forks and we expect another to follow soon. We are proud (and a bit relieved) that in this turmoil our SNC token remained stable.

The fact that we are engaged in a world-redefining project proved true yet again during our most recent visit to “Energy Systems Catapult Whole Energy Systems Study: “System Transition to Digital Energy” conference organized by London Business School. Event was initiated by our regular advisor and leading expert in the field of digital transition of the energy sector dr. Jesus Nieto Martin.

SunContract team journeyed to London and had a chance to engage in discussion with several key players in the EU energy sector. We also had fervent talks with representatives of ENTSO-e that represents 42 most important TSOs in Europe, we discussed with people of UK Power Networks and National Grid of United Kingdom. Ofgem presented their idea of Sandbox for innovative energy concepts. We discussed a similar idea with Slovenian government and we hope that these two ideas will soon be merged for a great benefit of everyone involved.

We have also met others who are breaking the ground in fields of energy and blockchain: IBM and GridSingularity representatives with their projects.

Important business agreement

We agreed on signing a contract with the SolarPower Europe association. This is big announcement for SunContract project!

The signing of SolarPower Europe association agreement is what we are especially happy about. SolarPower Europe is about shaping the regulatory environment and enhancing business opportunities for solar power in Europe. As their member, SunContract will be ahead when it comes to green energies.

This means crucial market advantage and a bunch of new opened doors for us.

However, it is this December that we are really looking toward to. At that time, our CEO Gregor Novak will present our project to the public during the Digital Solar & Storage conference in Munich. SolarPower Europe is, along with IBESA, organizer of event.

We hope to see you there and have a talk. Until then, we’ll keep you posted with current developments.

Hydropower Plants

Is Renewable Energy Really Sustainable?

One of the major trends in our present world is the global rush to renewable energy captured from natural processes such as sunlight, wind, flowing water, biological processes, and geothermal heat flows. While the world moves to generate clean energy systems that do not contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change, non-inclusion of social consciousness and several other impacts on the ecosystem are unveiling the grey areas of these renewables.

Generally, sustainability entails the integration of environmental, social, and economic concerns into our development’s trajectory and business practices. Any intention to satisfy a given dimension of sustainability at the cost of others, for example conserving the environment without considering the health hazard or economic hardship to the people, becomes an unsustainable practice. In this case, every major renewable energy technology such as hydropower plants, wind turbines, solar energy, biofuels and more have drawn criticisms from sustainability experts and have been termed unsustainable in certain areas where adequate socio-economic impact assessments of projects were failed to be carried out.

While the development of many mega hydro dams have been successful and they generate most of the power in some countries, controversies over their socio-environmental sustainability issues present baffling facts in some tropical regions where they are incredibly destructive for river habitats and ecosystems. With growing legal disputes over indigenous land encroachments, loss of biodiversity, and its incredible amount of material requirements, hydropower plants have become controversial as well as complicated for sustainable energy investors.

For instance, when the mega Bakun Hydro Dam was constructed in Borneo — an island in Southeast Asia’s Malay Achipelago known for its biodiversity rainforest — the indigenous communities, were displaced and were reported to be experiencing emotional traumas as a result of the dispossession of their lands and their centuries-old nomadic way of life. Sadly, remote communities around these renewable energy sites are still without electricity, as the grids are built mainly to serve industrial operations in the area.

With its energy contribution towards industrialisation, hydropower plants have also been criticised for the incredible amount of materials required to construct them. This is not consonant with the concept of sustainable consumption which requires responsible and efficient use of materials without depleting them and compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.

Wind power is currently the environmentalists’ favorite source of renewable energy. Despite their celebrated status, wind powers remain uneconomic even with heavy subsidies from taxpayers and require the use of an incredible amount of material to construct. From an environmental viewpoint wind farms are noisy, land intensive, unsightly, and hazardous to birds — including endangered species.

In a given incident, a plan to anchor 170 towering wind turbines five miles off the coast of Massachusetts Cape Cod created some criticisms. Among the critics were members of the fishing community who fear the poles of the turbines, which would be sunk about 80 feet into the seabed, and could disrupt the feeding or nursing grounds of valuable fish. Previous wind-power projects showed that the plants can become virtual killing fields for migrating birds and endangered species, as seen, when the massive 7,000-turbine power plant in California’s Altamont Pass killed 182 birds over a two-year period ending in 1992.

Biomass and biofuels have been classified as renewable energy sources in the EU and UN legal frameworks just because the plant stocks can be replaced with new growth, but the ability of biomass and biofuels to contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions is doubted as they still emit large amounts of air pollution at levels above those from traditional fuel sources such as coal or natural gas in some cases such as with indoor cooking and heating.

Forest-based biomass has recently come under fire from environmental organisations, such as Greenpeace, for the harmful impacts it can have on forests and climate. For example, the harvesting of the tree for energy production encourages whole-tree harvesting which can be harmful to the long-term health of the forest.

In some cases, biomass and biofuels compete with food supply when plants are burned and believed that they can be replaced with new growth.

Unlike fossil fuel based technologies, solar power does not lead to any harmful emissions during operation, nevertheless, the adverse effects of solar power are associated with large demand for agricultural land, water stress, habitat loss, and the harmful materials used in manufacturing the solar panels.

For instance, building large solar thermal power plants usually requires a large area of land, and this can lead to interference with existing land uses if they are not properly managed.

Like all thermal electric plants, Concentrating Solar-thermal Plants (CSP) require water for cooling and cleaning of dusts on the PV (Photovoltaic) panels located in dusty or desert areas, and this in some cases leads to water stress to the host communities.

It appears that environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) reports have endorsed massive relocation of indigenous communities and offered limited or no consideration of the irreversible impact on wildlife and ecosystems from the mega renewable energy sites. But with rising awareness of the population of conscious green consumers, it becomes pertinent that every renewable energy projects should be subjected to greater scrutiny for societal and environmental impacts and accountability prior to their implementation.

Renewable energy projects are more likely to succeed if they have broad public support and the consent of local communities, or if communities are given both a say and a stake in the projects. For instance, in countries like Germany and Denmark, many renewable projects are owned by communities through cooperative structures and significantly contribute to overall levels of renewable energy deployment.

To achieve sustainable renewable energies, the very true cost of such projects — the economic, social, and environmental implications — need to be taken into account when the cost of renewable energy is calculated. This can be achieved through adequate ESIA to demonstrate greater socio-environmental accountability prior to any renewable energy project execution.

Reference

  1. Cato Institute Policy Analysis №280: Renewable Energy: Not Cheap, Not “Green”. Robert L. Bradley Jr, Forbes, August 27, 1997