Corporate Clean Energy Investment

* Corporate research, development and deployment (RD&D) into clean energy has continued to grow year on year, reaching a total of $10.5bn in 2007, up from $8.37bn in 2006. The figures show the EMEA (Europe Mid-East and Africa) region taking the largest share, with AMER (Americas) closely following and ASOC (Asia-Pacific) somewhat lagging behind.

* 57.6% of clean energy RD&D investment came from EMEA based companies, 33.8% from AMER and 8.6% from ASOC. Utility / energy companies and technology firms have the highest clean energy RD&D budgets in general, with the top 5 firms being GE, United Technologies, BP, E.ON and BASF in descending order.

* However, energy companies’ investment into clean energy RD&D still only accounts for around 2% of overall energy RD&D expenditure.
General Electric (GE) stands out among all the firms analysed (47 in total) with a RD&D budget for 2006 of $900m, which is 54% of global technology / industrial RD&D spending. Furthermore, GE has committed to increasing this budget under their ‘Ecomagination’ program to $1.5bn annually by 2010, which will be directed to the development ofrenewable energies, more efficient aircraft engines and less energy-intensive solutions to water purification and re-use.

Sector Breakdown and Analysis

Utility / Energy Sector

Spending by utilities on clean energy RD&D covered a wide variety of initiatives and developments: BP continued its research into solar, wind, hydrogen fuel cells, biofuels, combined cycle gas turbines (CCGT) and natural gas, mostly through BP Alternative Energy, which was created in 2005 with an investment of $8bn over the period 2005-2015. BP aims to build two of the world’s first industrial –scale hydrogen power plants by 2015. Shell’s RD&D was in much the same vein, though with extra focus on biofuels, which now puts Shell as the world’s leading distributor of biofuels. Endesa and Enel were pushing forward carbon capture and sequestration, while RWE maintained research into increasing the efficiency of its coal-fired plants, being well aware of its status as “Europe’s largest emitter of CO2” due to its large use of coal reserves. EDF’s main RD&D interests lay in PV, solar thermal and biomass, along with electric vehicles, of which EDF has the world’s largest fleet. As with the other French utilities (Total, Suez, and Gaz de France) a large portion of electricity production comes from nuclear power – in fact 95% of EDF’s electricity generation does not emit any greenhouse gases. The primary area of RD&D for Suez was waste and water management and since the company merged with Gaz de France, a target has been set for 10% of electricity generation to come from renewable sources by 2012 (current level: 3%). In the US, Exxon Mobil was directing the majority of its clean energy RD&D to cogeneration facilities, which reduce the company’s CO2 footprint by 10.5m tonnes/yr. Chevron was developing biofuels and hydrogen fuel cells for transport, and renewables for power generation, whereas Exelon’s spending sought further advances in clean coal technology, solar cells and wind power. Pacific Gas and Electric Company continued research into solar technology, maintaining its position as the leading solar utility in the US.

Technology Sector
As stated earlier, GE was the clear leader in clean energy RD&D in 2006. The $900m budget was spent across multiple divisions, including renewables (wind, solar and biomass), fuel efficiency of aircraft engines, efficiency of power generation and less energy-intensive solutions to water purification and re-use. Airbus also worked on the fuel efficiency of aircraft engines, along with advanced production technologies to minimise energy and water consumption during the manufacturing process. The remaining firms in this sector followed suit, with United Technologies making a significant contribution of $700m to the total figure.

Automobile Sector

The top two clean energy developers in this sector were Toyota ($240m) and Honda ($220m), with Daimler and Volkswagen also standing out ($200m and $110m respectively). As would be expected, a large share of RD&D is on biodiesel, bioethanol, hybrids and cleaner conventional engines in a bid to reduce vehicle emissions in the short term. However, there is growing research in other areas: aerodynamic and lightweight vehicles, recyclability (Volkswagen has set a goal of developing cars with 95% recyclability at the end of life-cycle), and increased efficiency in the manufacturing process (Nissan has put in place a target of reducing CO2 emissions by 2050, on 2000 levels). Last but not least, fuel cell technology is seen as a long-term solution; one that requires further development to be marketable, but one that will also replace conventional fuels and even biofuels in the long run.

Chemical Sector

This emerged as a sector where clean energy RD&D facts and figures were less available and less clearly presented. Out of the chemical businesses examined in the research for this note, BASF was not only the clearest reporter but also by far the highest spender, with a total of $600m directed to clean energy RD&D (this accounted for one third of BASF’s total RD&D budget in 2006). BASF was heavily involved in the development of new materials for organic solar cells, innovative storage media for hydrogen and advanced technologies for improved insulation such as nanopore foams. Bayer continued to research super-lightweight plastics for improved energy efficiency in vehicles along with energy efficient building design. The same trend was seen for STMicroelectronics and Dow Chemical, which has also committed to a reduction in energy intensity by 25% over the period 2005-2015. DuPont had a slightly different approach which included the development of new biofuels and the design of high performance materials such as textiles from renewable sources. AIR Liquide had a different set of research criteria still, with much work carried out on clean coal, biomass, hydrogen fuel cell and gasification technologies. As is seen across all sectors, all the chemical firms were also furthering research into efficiency on their manufacturing operations with an overall aim of reducing emissions in the long-term.

Construction Sector

The cement industry accounts for 5% of all man-made CO2 emissions around the world so it would be reasonable to expect this sector to be engaged in emission reductions and climate change mitigation research. This proved to be the case, with transparent reporting throughout. Lafarge ($120m clean energy RD&D budget) was involved in creating advanced cements and cement substitutes which are less energy intensive and developing carbon capture / storage techniques. Heidelberg Cement ($100m) looked for ways of increasing the effective use of alternative raw materials and fuels in the production of cement, while also setting a target of reducing specific emissions by 15% over the period 1990-2010. This sort of commitment was common amongst construction companies: Holcim set itself a goal of reducing specific emissions by 20% from 1990-2010 and Cemex made a pledge to reduce its specific emissions by 25% by 2015 on 1990 levels. In the steel industry, Arcelor Mittal is coordinating the Ultra-Low CO2 Steelmaking Programme between 48 industrial firms. The programme develops cutting edge technologies and aims to cut CO2 emissions in the long-term by 50%.

Retail Sector

There is limited activity within this sector on clean energy RD&D, with only Tesco providing clear data ($144m). The company is developing gasification technology to turn food waste into power and is also involved in wind, solar, biomass and combined heat and power research. Further to this, Tesco is also the UK market leader in biofuels and is intending to spend $720m on low-carbon technologies over the period 2006-2010.

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Helping Children to Understand Alternative Energy

Energy Circles RoundIf you have ever spent much time with kids, you know that life is one big question and answer session. With all the topics they are always bringing up, there is no better one to introduce than the topic of our world and how to improve it. A parent could take questions about the sun and turn them into answers about solar energy.

Helping your kids understand alternative energy is very valuable.

Alternative energy is energy that does not use oil. Using natural sources such as the sun, air, water, the heat of the earth and waste products, energy can be created that is safer and less pollutive and renewable.

If children already know what the elements that form the basis of alternative energy are, you can take this information and show them how these things are used to make energy. How do we do this?

Some suggestions are:

When you talk about the sun, you can discuss how power can be derived from the sun using solar panels, that the heat from the sun is stored in panels and then converted to electricity to be used in our homes.

Besides instilling the concept of water safely in children, you can use any discussion about water to explain how it is used to create energy. Children can understand tides, waves and dams; you can explain how each of these can be used to create electricity. If you want to go further, you can discuss how water passes over turbines to create power, how generators store this energy, and how electricity is created. Once they understand this, you can show them how this concept works with tides and waves as well.

When you are explaining to your children how important air is for breathing, you can also explain how it can be converted to power via wind turbines to create safe, clean energy.

Children need to understand the danger of steam so that they do not burn themselves, but you can use this opportunity to explain that steam moves turbines and charges generators that can light our streets and power our appliances.

If you keep the concepts simple, even little children can understand. You can illustrate with items found around your home, show them pictures and even perhaps bring them to a power plant that uses alternative energy. The idea is to get them interested, aware and appreciative of these sources of energy.
Autor: meegwell


Electricity from physical pressure?

A new experiment in France will use the pressure that is made by people walking on the street to electricity!
This Idea might also be used to create electricity from cars and trains movements.
This recycling idea is great, but some more experiments will have to be done to prove it's efficiency.
The estimation is that a system like that will be able to produce approximately 120 Kwh from trains traffic.
Lets hope it will work!


Solar Chargers and Clean Energy

Solar battery chargers have been around for decades, but their popularity has increased a lot in just the last two years. This is partially because of advancements in technology, and partially because of our increased awareness of the need to shift to cleaner renewable energy sources.

Advancements in technology have reduced the sizes and weights of solar panels, while increasing their efficiency. This makes it possible for small lightweight portable solar chargers to be produced. Another factor which plays a part in the rapidly expanding field of portable solar power, is the increased amount of electronic gadgets that we carry around.

Twenty years ago, not many people were walking around with cell phones. Today, most of us carry at least a cell phone, iPod or MP3 player, and a digital camera around with us - either on a daily basis, or during weekends and vacations.

With all these electronic gadgets comes the need for electricity and power. And thus solar chargers have found their niche.

There are several advantages to using portable solar chargers and solar panels. First of all, they are eco/environment-friendly. They do not produce harmful waste, and can be used anywhere where there is daylight.

Many people think that solar chargers can only be used in warm sunny areas. This is not necessarily true. Solar panels are more effective in colder temperatures. In fact, a solar panel or charger would create more electricity on a clear day in Alaska, than it would in the sun of the Arizona dessert. This is because the temperature of the solar panel influences the effectiveness with which it can convert solar energy into electrical energy.

The above fact, combined with the increased effectiveness of solar panels, has made solar chargers an attractive method of powering or recharging small electronic gadgets.

These days, a small solar battery charger can run your cell phone, iPod, or MP3 Player. It can recharge your digital camera and it can be used to recharge batteries.

Some solar chargers, such as the Solio Charger, come with internal batteries. These batteries are automatically charged when the solar charger is exposed to daylight. This allows you to recharge your cell phone, or other electronic device, from the solar charger, later on. Solar chargers with built-in batteries usually store sufficient power to recharge your cell phone twice, or to run an MP3 player or iPod for several hours. Your digital camera can also be fully recharged by one of these devices.

Solar chargers are starting to be a part of many standard emergency kits. They are a reliable source of power so long as there is daylight available.

Solar chargers are a convenient source of power in remote areas, on field trips, or when out hiking and camping. They can recharge batteries, cell phones, or other gadgets in any location.

In addition to being convenient, solar chargers are a clean energy source and do not cause pollution or other harmful emissions while creating electricity. They also reduce the need for disposable batteries, and thus reduce the overall volume of harmful chemicals and toxic waste in circulation on the planet.

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Anna Stone supports environmentally-friendly products, such as the use of solar power and other clean energy sources. For more information see Solar Battery Chargers or The Brunton Solar Battery Charger.


2006-2007 Honda Civic photographed in USA.Image via Wikipedia
There are different modes of travel that people use. Among these is that of hybrid cars. The various hybrid car brands allow people the choice of having a stylish looking vehicle at the same time that fuel is conserved and the environment is kept pollution free. The various cars which can be included in the range of hybrid cars will include the popular SUVs.
With so many choices like these you will be able to understand why people like to look at how buying hybrid cars can be of help to them. To being your hunt for a good hybrid brand you should first take a look on the internet. While this may seem time consuming it will save you time when you are actually shopping for a good car make.

You will be able to see the latest hybrid cars which are due to come on to the market. And you should see if there are any performance reviews available. This information will help you in the decision making process of which hybrid electric car to choose from. You need to understand that while there are many brands of hybrid cars, some of these may not be that easy to repair or have their parts replace.

There are as we know many different types of hybrid cars that can be bought. These will for the most part be well known car brands. You will find that Honda which is a known manufacturer of cars also has their version of a hybrid car. The Honda Civic hybrid is one such hybrid that people like to buy.

The Honda Civic hybrid will be found having a 5 speed manual overdrive transmission. This Honda car is an assist hybrid car. Unlike other hybrid cars the Honda Civic hybrid has been able to take an award for the best international engine. From Motor Trends the entire range of Hybrid cars is known to be car that people can rely on.

The various ways and means to finding the right hybrid cars can be difficult as there are many choices with which to overwhelm you. Having access to a list of hybrid cars will help cut down this mass of complications which can arise especially if you don t have a clear idea about the car that you want. Once you can see all of the hybrid cars and see their driving specifications, you can then decide which is the hybrid car for your lifestyle.

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Go Green With Energy Efficient Kitchen Appliances

Using environmentally friendly cleaning products, recycling and using biodegradable bin liners are just a few ways families are going green in the kitchen. However one of the most important, and significant changes many households are making is buying and using energy efficient kitchen appliances.

For many families, the kitchen is the room in the house where the most energy is consumed. Refrigerators, cookers, ovens, dishwashers and other kitchen appliances can account for nearly 40% of the total energy consumed in some homes. Buying energy efficient appliances, and changing the way kitchen appliances are used on a daily basis can easily make the kitchen a greener place.

Once you make the decision to buy kitchen appliances, for your new eco-friendly kitchen, it's important that you consider the size of the kitchen appliances. Many families buy oversized kitchen appliances that they don't need and end up wasting energy in the process. Larger kitchen appliances with lots of features can be very tempting. However if you have a small family, it's best to buy energy efficient kitchen appliances that will fit your family's needs, rather than opting for larger models. You'll save space, money and you'll be helping to save the environment too.

Dishwashers are great for convenience, but it's important that you use them wisely. Did you know that many of the newer, more energy efficient dishwashers use less water than old models? Additionally, many of them are engineered so that you don't have to waste additional water rinsing your dishes before you place them into the dishwasher. When buying an energy efficient dishwasher, choose a compact model, and remember to run it only when it's full to help save both energy and water.

It's imperative for families that cook often to use energy efficient appliances. Using kitchen appliances such as cookers and ovens can require a great deal of energy. When possible, use microwaves or other smaller kitchen appliances to prepare or heat food. And if you need to boil water, try using more practical smaller kitchen appliances such as a cordless kettle, rather than utilizing the cooker.

Do you still use an oven that requires preheating? Most newer models have made preheating a thing of the past, thus just one of the ways energy efficient ovens can help you reduce energy consumption. And remember, when it's time to use the oven, always try to cook more than one dish.

Another great kitchen appliance to consider when going green is a range hood. A range hood can help with the ventilation in your home, and keep the air in your kitchen cleaner. Clean air is essential in any eco-friendly environment.

When considering buying new kitchen appliances, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the price tag. While purchasing energy efficient appliances can be a significant investment initially, you'll see the savings instantly on your energy bill and save even more in the long run. Energy efficient appliances can save you between 10 - 50% in monthly energy costs. So in reality, by purchasing energy efficient appliances you're not only doing your part to help protect the environment, you're also saving a substantial sum on energy costs too.

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Internet Kitchen'>">Kitchen Appliances is a leading online retailer of branded, quality kitchen appliances. CompareBase">CompareBase>. For more information and free, impartial advice on buying energy'>">energy efficient appliances, visit Internet Kitchen Appliances (IKA) online.


10 Ideas on how to turn things around.

Before going green, get energy efficient, and save yourselves some money.

If going green still seems a bit of a chore, you can always start by getting more energy efficient. Energy efficiency is all about doing the right thing, and finding practical ways to reduce your energy consumption. Today, using less energy not only helps fight the effects of global warming, but it can also help you to reduce your bills. Here is our top 10 energy saving ideas:

1. Heating - Turning your thermostat down by 1 , and having Central Heating Maintenance carried out could save you up to 10% off your heating bill.

2.Lighting - Low energy light bulbs last up to 15 times longer than traditional bulbs and use 80% less electricity.

3. Cooking - Remember to cover saucepans with lids to ensure the heat is kept in. You may also find you don't need the heat as high with the lid on.

4. Appliances - Don’t leave the television on standby as this wastes energy.

5. Bathing - Take a shower instead of a bath, and ensuring you have the correct Boiler Care carried out. An ordinary shower will use a third of the hot water needed for a bath.

6.Cavity Wall - Installing cavity wall insulation could save you up to £235* a year.

7. Loft Insulation - Up to 25% of heat is lost through your roof. Save as much as £90* a year by insulating your loft to 25cm*

8. Washing Machines - An energy efficient washing machine could use up to 33% less energy a year.

9. Fridges - An A-rated fridge-freezer is more energy efficient than other fridge-freezers.

10. Dishwashing - A new energy efficient dishwasher uses 60% of the energy of a typical old one.

Bonus tip: Finding a cheaper Electricity Supplier would help too.

*The cost savings shown are approximate, are provided for illustrative purposes only and are based on a gas heated semi-detached house with three bedrooms. Savings assume a gas price of 2.57p/kWh with gas consumption, of 31,700 units per annum (prior to installing the insulation measures). Individual savings may vary depending on type, age, main heating fuel of your home or if you choose to take increased warmth following installation of the measures.

Green energy is derived from clean renewable sources such as solar, wind, water and waste which do not generate greenhouse gas emissions.

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This article has been brought to you by Jay Khan on behalf of Powergen. Powergen is part of E.ON - UK's largest integrated electricity company. Also brought to you by Powergen are Central Heating Maintenance, and Boiler Maintenance.


How to make a home more green energy efficient?

With an increased stress on environmental friendly and energy efficient technologies making a home more green energy efficient has become easy as well as cost effective. So if you are thinking of some simple ways to save up on electricity bills you can bring in some smart changes to your home by making it more eco friendly and end up in saving up a considerable amount of money on the long run.
The term green energy basically refers to the usage of heating and cooling devices which use much less energy or renewable energy such as solar and wind which is environmental friendly as well as cost effective. Contrary to popular belief installing energy efficient devices in one’s home does not involve a huge investment as there are a numerous companies in the market offering green energy solutions for homes at highly competitive and bargain prices. The following section lists some convenient ways by which you can make your home more green energy efficient:
1. Install a solar water heater: Installing a solar water heater is a great way to turn your home more green energy efficient. While purchasing a solar water heater from the market can be expensive one can also build their own solar powered heaters at relatively low prices.
2. Put up photovoltaic solar panels: Using the sun’s renewable energy and converting it into electric power can be easily done by putting up photovoltaic solar panels on the rooftops of your home.
3. Opt for a domestic windmill: If you live in a windy area, installing a domestic windmill or a wind turbine is another great way to generate power through wind energy.
4. Switch to passive solar technology: If you are constructing a new home you can make it more green energy efficient by using bricks that are made of insulated materials, installing energy efficient doors and windows as well as deigning the home to allow the optimum passage of natural light into your rooms.
5. Build a compost pit in your garden: A great way to recycle your biodegradable kitchen waste and make your garden area more green and fertile is by building a compost pit.
Turning a home green energy efficient involves utilizing renewable energy such as sun, wind and water into power through innovative technologies which are easily accessible in today’s times for domestic use. So go ahead and do yourself and the environment a great favor by adopting a more eco - friendly lifestyle by turning your home more green energy efficient.
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Melanie Hogeveen is an expert writer in varied fields and has been doing research on several topics for the past several years. She is renowned for her advices and tips to help people and environment. For more details please visit Green Energy.


Green Web Hosting

Green Web Hosting has become a major consideration over the last couple of years, and due to the already massive and still increasing global energy demands of the IT industry, green energy web hosting is here to stay.
Most web hosting as with other business is powered by electricity generated from the traditional power stations, running on coal, oil, gas and nuclear power. With the rising prices of these fossil fuels and growing concern about the safety of the nuclear industry many businesses are looking at ways to reduce their carbon footprint, the benefits of this are two fold:

1. PR, being seen to be actively trying to cut down on your emissions will ultimately win you more customers.

2. Economic Considerations, as the cost of producing fossil fuels increases so does the cost of powering your servers, in-addition it is anticipated that the worlds server farms will by the end of 2012 be creating a bigger impact on the environment than the airline industry. This will have a knock on effect as governments penalise companies not actively trying to reduce their carbon footprints.

So how do web hosting companies go green? Well there are several different methods, some produce their own electricity, using solar panels and wind turbines mounted at their server farms, some especially in Greenland use geo thermal energy or hydroelectricity. And at the other end of the spectrum some simply buy green energy credits to offset their carbon footprint.

Other ways that hosts reduce their carbon footprint is to use newer technology such as the AMD Opteron server which generates 50% less heat and therefore requires less energy to cool them, greener web hosts are also running entirely paperless offices and billing which reduces deforestation.

Which ever way you look at it green web hosting is here to stay and should be a factor in your next choice of web host.



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