I was thrilled to see this stunning image of Japan’s largest Solar Photovoltaic plant. This consists of 240,000 Kyocera panels providing a massive 70MWe capacity which should produce 78,800 MWh of electricity. The plant is set in 127 acres on a purpose-built island in the city of Kagoshima on the Southern Japanese island of Kyushu. If you want to see it on a map and appreciate its true scale, click here (although the satellite image is from before the completion of the plant).
Impressive thought this is, it pales by comparison with some of the mega-solar plants in the pipeline. India, for example, has just announced a 4GW scheme in Rajasthan to be built on a 23,000-acre (9308 ha) site close to Sambhar Lake, about 75 km from Jaipur, the state capital. This will potentially triple current solar PV output for India, although it remains to be seen if the plant goes ahead as planned. (more…)
Paul Gilding’s blog has an optimistic take on businesses’ response to climate change, which I would like to share:
I have previously reviewed Paul’s book “The Great Disruption“, which I though was very good.
What gives us the right to declare ourselves “Sustainability Practitioners”? Is is our technical understanding that lifts us above narrow domain experts – e.g. climate change or energy efficiency or corporate reporting practitioners? Is it the level of people we engage with in our client organisations? Is it the multidisciplinary change management approach we employ?
The more I think about this the more I am drawn to a much more fundamental definition: a Sustainability Practitioner is someone who delivers greater sustainability.
Sad to say that much of the environmental and social consulting profession – if we are honest to ourselves – is about enabling a status quo that is unsustainable. (more…)
In my experience many energy and resource efficiency audits are rushed. I plead guilty to multiple counts of the the most common cause: designing the budget to meet the client’s expectations rather than the engineering or technical requirements of the job. The question is: Is this approach correct? (more…)
The only measure of our progress on climate change with any integrity is the record of atmospheric concentration of CO2. None more so than the series of readings that have been taken in the middle of the Pacific Ocean at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii which have been taken uninterrupted since 1958. This is the Keeling Curve, named after Charles Keeling who initiated the measurements. On May the 9th these readings passed a milestone – they reached 400 parts per million for the first time.
The last time atmospheric CO2 was at this level was some 3M years ago in the Pliocene geologic era. At that time the temperatures were 2-4 degrees C higher than today and sea levels were between 5 and 40 meters higher. The geological record gives us an insight into the long-term physical outcome of current CO2 concentrations. What is does not tell us is the impact on our biosphere, the countless living organisms on which we depend and which is facing an unprecedented rate of change in temperature. (more…)
Just to let everyone know that I have uploaded my new Lighting Hours tool, which is free!
This was jolly fun to develop as it is a “mashup” between some code that Greg Pelletier developed which uses astronomical data to calculate sunrise and sunset at a given latitude and longitude, and some additional code from Jamie Bull which does a sexy internet lookup of a place name, postcode, landmark etc via Google Maps and returns a latitude and longitude. Add into the mix some nifty working out of TimeZones and Daylight Savings dates (e.g. First Sunday in March) for any given year and you end up with something which – IMHO – is quite neat. Hopefully useful too!
Click the link above or select Lighting Hours from the Excel Tools menu to learn more. If you want to download it you will need to give me an email address but you can opt out of marketing or future communications. Enjoy!
The Japanese have a word Mottainai which “reflects a sense of regret concerning waste” which can “lead to anger or protest when the person who is observing the utter waste is incapable of holding back their emotions”. Well that sure sounds like a polite way of describing how I am feeling just now….
We know that each year that we allow CO2 and other greenhouse gasses to accumulate in the atmosphere means that subsequent reductions need to be greater.
Back in 2000, in order to have a 50% change of global temperature rises not exceeding 2 degrees Centigrade, we needed to decarbonise our economy at the rate of 3.7% per annum to 2050. Today that target has risen to 5.1% a year because we have wasted the last decade with an average global rate of decarbonisation of just 0.8% a year.
An Amazon courier arrived at my house last Friday with one the usual book-shaped boxes. When he handed it over I almost dropped it – instead of the usual light package I was hefting 5.2 kg – yes really! – of a single title, the Global Energy Assessment. This huge tome runs to an incredible 1900 full-colour glossy pages which look to contain a veritable cornucopia of energy facts and figures. It was launched at the Rio +20 conference and “is the first ever fully integrated energy assessment that analyzes energy challenges, opportunities and strategies, for developing, industrialized and emerging economies.”
This is one book I certainly won’t be reviewing (I read all the books I review cover-to-cover). However I will give some feedback on my own thoughts as to its usefulness at some point in the future. (more…)
Welcome to the new Sustain Success Website. I have gone for a site that will allow more regular updates with articles, sections from my new book and a blog on topics that I hope energy and resource efficiency practitioners will find useful.