Search Results for Tag: solar power
Kenyan Volunteers save the planet
“Take a gap year and save the planet!” This could be the motto of the Kenyan based organisation “Ecofinder”. Founded in 1995 the Kenyan grass roots organisation helps communities around Lake Victoria to lead a more sustainable life. GLOBAL IDEAS has invited one of Ecofinder’s numerous volunteers to write about his experience:
Hello, my name is Nicolas Kawerau from Germany. Currently I live in Kisumu, Kenya where I work as a volunteer with the Kenyan organisation Ecofinder for one year. I am 18 years old and have done my A-Levels this year. I know already what I would like to study: “Renewable Energy Technologies”.
To live and behave sustainable on our earth is a big challenge. You can hear the expression “Sustainability” everywhere. Everyone says it is essential and very important for our future – but the problem is you can hardly see sustainable measures anywhere: We pollute the air, we pollute the soil, we pollute the water with our waste, we destroy the world’s surface.
Everyone can start saving the planet now
It’s fine that a lot of people know already about these issues but most people don’t change their behaviour. They think it wouldn’t have an impact. It’s true that no one alone can change the world. But it’s false to believe that a single environmental friendly contribution would be nothing, every little contribution is important.
I am a volunteer for Ecofinder Kenya because I want to start giving our world community a sustainable contribution towards a greener environment. One of my tasks here in Kenya will be to help that electricity only comes from renewable energy sources. The sun provides enough energy, we don’t have to take non-renewable resources like coal, oil, gas or radioactive stuff from the earth for generating power.
Think about your conribution towards a greener environment and try to start as fast as you can! With Ecofinder I will join in and start projects about the spread of renewabel energy sources.
For more information on how to become an Ecofinder volunteer yourself visit the organisation’s homepage: http://www.ecofinderkenya.org
DateOctober 8, 2012
Grape skins as energy?
If you’re familiar with biomass, you know that an increasing amount of food products are being used to generate energy – from diesel fuel to electricity and heat, scraps of corn, soy and other crops have become big business.
But students at a technical school in Sardinia came up with a novel idea: using grape skins to create a photovoltaic system. According to the students’ teacher, who helped them develop the project, the skins of grapes contain photovoltaic power cells – and unlike blueberries, grapes are affordable and the skins are left over after wine production. The students are hoping their innovative project will give them an edge at the EU Contest for Young Scientists this September in Bratislava, Slovakia.
DateMay 2, 2012
In Germany, 2011 was sunnier than ever
No, no. Not what you might think. With a summer just as miserably rainy as the ones before and a winter mild but overcast as ever, Germany probably has not clocked more hours of sun shine than usual last year.
But price hikes in fossil fuels and plummeting costs for solar energy systems have lead Germans to opt for solar energy big time in 2011. 18 billion kilowatt-hours to be precise. That’s a staggering 60 percent more in solar electricity output than the previous year, the German Solar Industry Association announced. In 2011 Germans slapped a record number of solar panels onto rooftops and walls of their homes, public buildings and industry installations. By November the one Millionth photo-voltaic system was connected to the grid.
What’s more, even from the economics point of view nuclear power is beginning to look decidedly unsexy compared to solar power – something that die-hard supporters of nuclear hadn’t deemed possible in the foreseeable future. And that’s not just because better economies of scale and new technology are lowering the price tag on solar. Not least due to Fukushima new nuclear power plants have simply become uninsurable.
DateJanuary 5, 2012
The Solar Groupon
The city of San Francisco in the United States is taking a unique approach to the problem of expensive solar power systems. City officials have introduced a new program called “Solar@Work” to help small and medium-sized businesses in the area afford solar power.
Big businesses are usually able to pay for massive solar power systems, and individual home owners can buy small panels to install on their houses. But for mid-sized companies, or even small companies, those options just don’t work. The idea behind Solar@Work is to allow those businesses to team up and purchase (and install) solar power systems at a discounted rate. So the more companies that decide to go in on the deal, the lower the price!
One city official called it the “Groupon” for solar power – after the very popular group coupon system that’s become a huge hit across the world. By the end of the year, Solar@Work is hoping to have installed solar power systems on about 20 buildings during the test phase of the project. If it goes well, the concept could be expanded across California, the U.S. and the world.
Is this the way to reduce the cost of solar energy for everyone in the future? Let us know what you think!
DateJuly 19, 2011
1,000 solar roofs in Brazil
This project is all about introducing solar thermal water heating in 500 social housing units in Rio de Janeiro – Solar power is still rarely used in Brazil, despite ideal climate conditions and rising gas and electricity costs. But a new residential complex with solar-thermal water heating is under construction in Rio de Janeiro. City authorities have earmarked the new housing for poor families from the favelas.
DateJuly 14, 2011