Friday, July 16, 2010

The Danish energy industry – a model for Germany?

In partnership with Energie-Fakten.

The heavily state-controlled Danish energy industry is sometimes held up as a model for Germany. On closer examination, we observe interesting developments, but also specific features, weaknesses and, more recently, a departure from its initial objectives.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

What are the prospects for solar cooling?

In partnership with Energie-Fakten.

The energy demand for air-conditioning and cooling is rising worldwide: on the one hand, this is driven by the increasing use of information-technology equipment in the work environment resulting in more need for cooling. In homes, with increasing prosperity, the demand for cooling is on the rise as well. In hot and sunny regions, air-conditioning is not a luxury, but a basic prerequisite for further development. Because of the rapid industrialization of today's emerging and developing countries worldwide, a significant expansion in the need for air-conditioning can be expected. And at the same time we can expect higher mean temperatures in summer in urban areas, both as a consequence of local and global climate change. In regions such as Southern Japan, Southern China, Southern India and California, the Near and Middle East, the power system works already close to its capacity limits in the summer months because of the high power consumption of conventional air-conditioning.

Increasing PV efficiency: R&D breakthrough

American scientists capture lost energy

The solar energy falling onto the earth is incredibly abundant but the majority gets lost anyway. So what is the big deal about improving the efficiency of solar cells? Well for starters, highly efficient PV cells could create a complete sea change on the cost, material use, and the amount of land presently employed in harvesting the sun’s energy.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Micro-gardening or solar electricity?

What is the best use of small plots of urban land?

Gardening is presently a hot topic in many metropolitan areas around the world. Small open spaces — from rooftops and patios to unused parking spaces and disused building sites — are actively being turned into vegetable, herb, and decorative gardens. Terms like 'square meter gardening', 'parking space gardening', and 'micro-gardening' seem to be blooming everywhere. Self-styled 'guerrilla gardeners' even occupy public and private strips of land to plant their greenery and vegetables.