Articles of Interest; Solar Today Magazine

EU Pushes for More Energy Efficiency – By: Rona Fried, PH.D.

In 2008, the European Union launched an energy efficiency plan to 2020. The plan aims to increase renewable energy to 20 percent of overall use, reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent below 1990 levels, and increase energy efficiency by 20 percent compared to business-as-usual projections.

The first two targets are on track to being achieved due to the fact that they are legally binding. The third goal is on track as well, but only reaching a target of 10 percent increase. The new energy efficiency plan is focusing on the three main sources of energy consumption: buildings, transportation, and industry.

However, research is showing that the calculations used to measure success may need to be revised. Developing countries are exempt from reporting emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, while industrialized countries only report emissions that are produced within their borders. Therefore, while emissions may appear to be declining, they may actually be increasing.


Solar in Nepal: Small Systems, Big Benefits – By: David G. Hill, PH.D.

Across the globe, roughly 1.5 billion people still live without access to electricity. David and his teenaged son, Mason, believe that supporting economic development and the use of renewable energy in rural communities is extremely important. Nepal, in addition to having a wealth of hydropower potential, also has a very good solar resource equivalent to sunny areas in Colorado, Texas, and California. They decided to focus their attention on two broad objectives in Nepal: to complete at least one household project in Lahachowk and to complete at least one health post installation in Nele Bazzar. The possibilities included larger-capacity systems to support lighting and vaccine refrigeration at health posts, and systems sufficient to support computers and lighting at schools.

These projects were made possible through the Himalayan Light Foundation (HLF), a non-profit, non-governmental organization that has run solar programs for more than 15 years in Nepal and Southeast Asia, these projects were made possible. By selecting relatively small-scale projects, they were able to provide five communities with basic lighting services that will benefit thousands of people. Local partners, Young Star Club (YSC) technicians have helped install each project and are available for maintenance and expansion of the systems, for the future.


Technological Green Race

July 18, 2011

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is one of the world’s most influential business coalitions. Currently, businesses are pushing each other to become more sustainable because it is fiscally and socially responsible. However, in order to succeed, businesses and governments must partner and work together towards their sustainable development targets. Winning the “green race” will mean transforming the world market through innovation, creating demand for resource-efficient and low-pollution solutions.