What Countries Are The Most Energy Efficient? [Report]

As emerging economies continue to expand, their energy needs are set to grow dramatically in the coming years. The International Energy Agency has even predicted that global energy use will increase by 30 percent over the next two and a half decades.

With crude oil the source of so much volatility around the world, there is no question that the the future of energy will be based on countries dedicated to alternative, renewable sources. So, which countries are the most energy efficient?

most energy efficient country
most energy efficient country

Well, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has ranked the world’s 16 largest economies, which account for nearly three quarters of global electricity consumption. This is based on 31 metrics, spanning energy use in buildings, industry, and transportation. It includes things like the country’s national energy savings goals, vehicle fuel economy standards, and energy consumed per foot of floor space.

4 Most Energy Efficient Countries

1. Australia

The United States ranks among the least efficient, at number thirteen. But across the board, Germany saw the greatest energy efficiency, scoring well in all metrics, but especially industry. According to the report, German industry and manufacturing is the second most fuel efficient in the world, with plans to far surpass the current leader, Australia, by 2020.

2. Germany

Energy efficiency in Germany
Energy efficiency in Germany

Part of the reason Germany is doing so well is a national policy, dedicated to lowering energy use, known as Energiewende, or Energy Transition. The goal of this program is to stop using coal and other non-renewable energy sources like oil. Clearly, it has been working so far. In 2014, Germany accounted for half of the new wind farms in the EU, and has been leading the world in energy efficiency.

3. Italy

In an extremely close second place overall, Italy actually surpasses Germany in transportation. Although they tie with the UK for vehicle fuel efficiency, at nearly 40 miles per gallon on average, Italians also travel the least per capita. This low impact, high efficiency makes Italy a world leader in transit energy.

Additionally, Italy tends to prioritize its rail system over its roads, leading to more people taking the train, and thereby saving considerable energy. Still, Italy continues to primarily use fossil fuels, and actually scores the worst in terms of commercial building energy efficiency.

4. China

When it comes to buildings, China takes the lead. Their polluting past and wide range of energy inefficiency may hold them back. But China’s residential buildings use less energy per square foot than any other country in the report. This is partially due to strict building codes, and the fact that energy intensity is one of the country’s top priorities.

China's Energy Efficiency
China’s Energy Efficiency

And despite being known for wastefulness, between 1980 and 2010, energy consumption increased five times, while the economy grew. Between Germany, Italy, and China, emerging countries can look at their journeys towards energy efficiency, and fine tune their own programs for maximum output.

country with most energy efficient
country with most energy efficient

Still, every country surveyed has a long way to go, and plenty of areas to improve. Hopefully, 2018 will see even greater use of renewable and alternative energies.

To get a close look at how a small Tanzanian village’s movie theatre deals with blackouts and electricity shortages, check out the source video below and video from Seeker Stories Channel.

Thanks for reading!

If you liked this article, make sure you look the video below, for more understanding.

Source (Text & Image): youtube.com/watch?v=ytkt2YxGou4

Is Geothermal Energy Reliable? These Are The Answers

In this article, Geothermal energy and it’s positive and negative externalities will be discussed at an economic standpoint. From that we would answer this Questions:

Is Geothermal Energy Reliable?

Renewable Energy is vital for our future of sustainability. Developing nations as well as ours uses coal and oil for a significant amount of energy production. This limited supply of fossil fuels does provide negative externalities, such as a coal which produce Air Pollutants. Some population Dense areas receive large amounts of air pollution and even acid rain from Heavy Reliance of fossil Fuels .

A. Economical Perspective of Geothermal Energy

economic advantage of geothermal energy
economic advantage of geothermal energy

The Cleaner alternative is Geothermal Energy. This form of clean energy is appealing at an environmental standpoint. Because it’s only required relatively small size of the physical plant for a geothermal facility and eliminating the need to Transport fuel. That means a small environmental impact and a small cost. These facilities must be built in areas with rift zones and natural geysers or hot springs.

In the economic sense, the low cost to operate this kind of facility and the efficiency of the energy production machines will well overcome the initial startup costs. That sounds appealing doesn’t it?

B. The Advantage of Geothermal Energy

Now let’s talk about why we should rely on it. Geothermal energy is nearly endless supply if managed properly. Geothermal hot Spots recharge at a quick rate. Besides, responsible extraction methods will prove beneficial for many years.

Unlike Solar Energy, which provides the peak amount of power during the daylight and a small amount during the night, geothermal provides a stable amount of energy regardless of the weather conditions.

Geothermal is also dependable and relatively inexpensive due to its facilities designs. The power is derived from steam pressure by introducing water to the Earth’s heat which is then used to turn a turbine. That channels energy to generators to store energy for a later time.

Reliability of Geothermal Energy
Reliability of Geothermal Energy

Increasing our investments into geothermal energy, and increasing our scales of operation will secure our energy future with the almost non-existent Carbon footprint of geothermal. Facilities federal compliance on emission regulations is relatively easy. Geothermal energy facilities as a primary energy provider would eliminate costs that are spent reducing pollution. Also, it could be redirected back for further development, and lowering utility costs to maximize the benefits of this clean energy.

State or federal governments can oversee the facilities to keep costs down or issue subsidies to consumers if owned by a private firm. If the state or federal government’s own the facility, consumers can receive a tax break to offset these costs of energy although already low.

The private firm that will be contracted in a competitive market will be the one who can supply the energy at the lowest cost. This competition will bring about an efficient and cost-effective way of energy supplication. The negative externality of breathing dirty air from coal plants will be eliminated and the ecosystem Will thrive.

Further benefits include multiple uses of these facilities in conjunction with the energy production. Agricultural crop, growing fish, farming ,and snow melting operations can also be activities that can happen with a nearby Geothermal Facility. So we could further maximize the benefits with little or no additional costs as Mentioned years he met with water creates steam.

C. Models of Geothermal Facility

models of geothermal facilities system
models of geothermal facilities system

Which is harnessed to power a turbine and store energy in a generator. This process holds true over the geothermal systems, but there are a couple of different variants in design.

The first type of geothermal facility is the dry steam power plant. It is the grandfather to all our more modern types. The dry steam model channels steamed directly to a turbine to provide power to the generator from a natural geyser or hot spring.

The next type is the flash team style. Which is the most commonly used today. This system is a bit more complex since water at high temperatures is pumped into a separate chamber that is at a lower temperature to create vapor that powers the turbine and generator.

The final system is a closed-loop binary system in. This system the fluid passes through a heat exchanger which will then convert the fluid to vapor that drives the turbine and generator. This process occurs in a separate chamber where the steam does not make direct contact with the generator.

These are the systems that have proven dependable to us.

D. United States Area that Can be Utilized with Geothermal Energy

Geothermal Hotspots in the United States
Geothermal Hotspots in the United States

This map of the United States displays the areas that can be utilized with geothermal energy productions. Among the most popular areas are rift zones in the western United States including

Idaho, which has a good amount of favorable locations for a facility. Several have already been built enter in operation as articulated by the black dots. The Western United States is the most favorable for these facilities, and the Eastern united States is among the least favorable.

It’s great to see that a part of the united States is producing and using clean geothermal energy. As the demand will continue to rise for the future as mentioned earlier. About the economic activities that can work in accordance with the geothermal facility.

Home and swimming pools can be heated as well. Geo summer facilities are stout promoters [of] efficient heating and cooling. Overall energy consumption for heating and cooling is reduced by [using] geothermal Systems because of their heat pumps being seventy percent more efficient than conventional systems.

E. Geothermal Energy Cost

The annual cost of heating and cooling are the lowest using geothermal at right around four hundred dollars. It is versus propane that can reach above twenty-five hundred dollars a year. The future of ever-growing energy consumption can be met by utilizing our nation’s natural geysers and hot springs for energy.

Geothermal is Reliable now till the future
Geothermal is Reliable now till the future

We are constantly striving to become more efficient and reducing costs. So why not use a clean dependable form of energy to do this? Geothermal energy has been used and successful since the early 1900s. The Geothermal’s improvements that have been made in the meantime have proved useful to our needs. Here’s to the future of clean renewable energy.

Source (text & image): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGBqB2tyvKs

4 Cool Ways Geothermal Heating & Cooling for Home Works

What if geothermal systems could heat your home in winter, cool it in summer, and provide abundant hot water all year round, all while cutting your utility bills up to 80? How?

By installing a Geothermal central heating and air conditioning system in your home.

A. How does Geothermal Heating and Cooling Work

Here’s how it works:

Wherever you live, the temperature beneath your home remains constant, regardless of the season. Just a few feet down, the earth is a consistent ClimateMaster Geothermal Heat Pump Systems harness the stable underground temperature to provide heating, cooling, and hot water at remarkably high efficiencies.

geothermal heating systems for home
geothermal heating systems for home

So high, in fact, that energy use can be cut by up to 80 percent. To access this stable underground temperature, a geothermal heat pump is connected to a series of underground loop pipes. These pipes are made from an extremely strong and long-lasting material.

Water, usually mixed with an environmentally safe antifreeze solution, is pumped through this loop pipe system.

In summer, the heat pump takes heat from the air in your home, transfers it to the underground loop system, which then radiates the heat away into the cool earth. Now cooled to a comfortable temperature, the air is circulated through your home using a traditional duct system.

In winter, the system is reversed. Heat is extracted from the ground using the same loop system. In the heat pump, the heat from the underground loop is compressed to a much higher temperature and used to warm the air in your home.

Since the geothermal system uses and earth loop to provide your home with heat in the winter, there is no need to burn any fossil fuel for heating. No flame, no carbon monoxide and environmentally friendly, geothermal systems are the smart way to heat and cool your home.

B. Geothermal Heating and Cooling System

Let’s compare a high-efficiency gas furnace to a geothermal system for heating your home. A high-efficiency gas furnace will give you less than .96 units of heat for each unit of gas burned. In contrast, a geothermal system gives you up to FIVE units of heat for each unit of electricity used.

How can that be?

A furnace makes heat by burning fossil fuel. A geothermal system doesn’t make it’s own heat. It simply collects heat from the earth and moves it to your home.

Now let’s compare a geothermal heating and cooling system to an air-source heat pump for cooling. When it’s hot outside, an air-source heat pump takes heat from your home and moves it to the outside air.

geothermal cooling systems homes
geothermal cooling systems homes

As the outside air becomes warmer in summer, it becomes harder and harder for the system to dump heat from your home into the already hot outside air. Because of this, when cooling the home with an air-source heat pump, the system becomes least efficient when it needs to be most efficient.

C. How a Heat Pump Works

A geothermal heat pump system doesn’t have this problem. A geothermal system exchanges the heat in your home with the cooler ground, using it’s underground loop system.

geothermal hot water pump
geothermal hot water pump

It simply doesn’t have to deal with high outside air temperatures the way an air-source heat pump does. Add to this the fact that a geothermal system is installed safely inside your home with a loop buried under ground. Unlike an air-source heat pump, there is no outdoor equipment exposed to the elements or the risk of vandalism.

Let’s take a look at geothermal loop systems. There are several different ways to install a geothermal loop system. Where space allows, horizontal loop are the most cost-effective loop design for most home owners. If space is limited, a vertical loop system is often the best choice.

If a nearby pond or lake is available, a coiled loop system can be used. This is the fastest, easiest loop system to install.

If a well is available that produces sufficient volumes of water, and open loop system can be installed. An open-loop system takes water from the well, pumps it through the heat pump system, and then returns it to the environment in a responsible, renewable manner.

Geothermal Hot Water
Geothermal Hot Water

And geothermal systems don’t just heat and cool your home. They can also provide you with hot water. Besides a nice shower and washing your hands, you can use the large volumes of hot water a geothermal system can produce for radiant under floor heating or even for show and ice melt under your walk ways and driveway.

D. Geothermal Installation Cost

A geothermal central heating and air conditioning system from ClimateMaster can be installed in almost any home, new or existing. They can be installed in an attic, garage or utility closet. Or in the case of a retrofit installation, they can even be installed in place of an old, outdoor air conditioning compressor section.

geothermal installation cost
geothermal installation cost

There are even more ways to save with a ClimateMaster Geothermal system than just lowering your utility bills. You can save up to 30 percent off the total cost of installing a ClimateMaster geothermal system with a federal tax credit.

geothermal installation for homes
geothermal installation for homes

Additionally, many states and local governments and utilities also offer incentives for installing a geothermal system. As the world’s largest and most progressive leader in clean, renewable geothermal technology For more than 50 years ClimateMaster has designed and manufactured industry-leading heating and cooling equipment for the commercial and residential construction market world-wide.

Visit us at climatemaster.com to learn more about geothermal central heating and air conditioning systems.

Source: youtube.com/watch?v=lY3oGlgZRgI

Recycling CFL Bulbs in Nevada

Just in time for Earth Day

Articles about recycling are big around Earth Day (April 22) so we thought we’d add our effort and let you know how and where you can recycle compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL’s) and fluorescent tubing in Nevada.

This piece is prompted by a question that Speaker of the Nevada Assembly Marilyn Kirkpatrick asked SWEEP’s Howard Geller when he spoke about energy efficiency opportunities in Nevada to the Legislative Committee on Energy last week. The Speaker asked where and how her constituents could recycle the mercury-containing CFL bulbs.

Why CFLs?

CFLs’ use about a third the power of traditional incandescent bulbs and last eight to fifteen times longer. CFL’s are more expensive than incandescent bulbs, but can save over five times the purchase price in energy savings. Here’s a page on the Energy Star website where you can calculate your savings from CFL and LED bulbs.

All that energy savings is good for the environment. According to Energy Star, in 2012 Americans saved $1.8 billion by switching to Energy Star-certified CFL and LED light bulbs. Changing these bulbs removes as much greenhouse gas pollution as planting 9.5 million acres of trees or taking 2 million cars of the road each year. The energy saved could light all households in a city the size of Washington D.C. for eight years.

About mercury

But CFL’s contain small amounts of mercury, a potent neurotoxin.

(Some parenthetical perspective: a coal-fired power plant produces 13.6 mg of mercury to power one 60-watt incandescent bulb, but only 3.3 mg to power an equivalent CFL. Even if the CFL has about 5 mg of mercury inside, using CFL’s results in 5.3 fewer grams of mercury per bulb than using incandescent lighting.)

Nevertheless, because of the mercury CFL’s are classified as hazardous waste, cannot be disposed of in regular household trash, and must be recycled.

To echo Speaker Kirkpatrick, where can we recycle CFL’s in Nevada?

A wealth of CFL recycling options

It turns out we have a wealth of options to recycle CFL bulbs.

Lowe’s recycles both CFL’s and tubes at no charge and with no limit on the number. Take the bulbs to the customer service desk.

Home Depot does the same. I asked the sales rep whether they have a limit to the number of bulbs people can bring in and he said, “Nope, people bring in boxes of them.”

Batteries Plus stores in both northern and southern Nevada accept CFL’s and tubes for recycling for a charge: the northern Nevada franchise charges 66 cents per bulb for CFL’s and 12 cents a foot for tubes; the southern Nevada franchise charges 35 cents a bulb for CFL’s and 50 cents per tube.

In Las Vegas, Republic Services accepts CFL’s at hazardous waste drop-off locations in North Las Vegas and Henderson.

What happens if you break a bulb?

A recycling guide put out by Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful has good advice on what to do if you break a CFL or fluorescent tube:

  • Open the window before doing any cleaning and leave open for at least 15 minutes to avoid inhaling mercury vapors. Exit and close the door behind you to prevent children and pets from exposure.
  • Wear rubber gloves and use a stiff paper towel or cardboard to scoop up broken glass and powder and put waste in a sealable plastic bag. Do not use a vacuum or a broom as dust will become airborne.
  • Thoroughly wipe down area with a damp cloth or paper towel.
  • Put everything used for cleanup in the plastic bag with the broken glass and powder. Seal bag. Put the sealed bag into a second sealable plastic bag.
  • Wash hands after cleanup. C
  • Contact the recycling resource in your community for collection sites that accept broken bulbs.

So there you go. – all you wanted to know about recycling CFL bulbs in Nevada.  Happy Earth Day.

Playing With Smart Meter

How to monitor your home energy use using your smart meter and NV Energy’s webpage

Since I started this blog I’ve become an energy wonk. It’s an vitally important subject, from the global – how do we transition to generating our electricity from renewable resources? – to the most local of the local – my own home and our family budget.

NV Energy replaced customer’s analog meters with smart meters in 2011-2012. The process was not without controversy, with smart meter opponents showing up at PUC meetings to request the opportunity to opt out of the system, citing health and privacy concerns. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, about 9,000 out of 1.45 million customers have opted out of the program.

A smart meter collects energy use data digitally. Unlike traditional meters, it can transmit and receive data too. NV Energy’s smart meter records the amount of energy used every 15 minutes. Now that most customers have smart meters, how can we use them to operate our homes as energy-efficiently as possible?

I decided to find out.  To start, I went to NV Energy’s website and registered a username and and password. My account name came up, I  clicked on that and found myself on a dashboard page that gave all sorts of interesting information on how we use energy in our house.

How does my home compare?

I liked this one. In the 27 years we’ve owned our small house in Carson City, we’ve put a lot of work into making it as energy efficient as possible: we insulated the attic crawl space and water pipes, installed new dual-pane windows, switched to CFL lightbulbs and so on. It’s good to see it’s paid off.

 

Here’s what they told me: “ Congratulations! Your home uses less energy than most of the similar homes in your area matching your home energy profile.” Most energy suppliers will reward you for your low/economic consumption, so be sure to compare utilities its definitely worth it!

I wondered what used the most energy in our house, and this pie chart told me.

 

Food storage? That must be the refrigerator we bought with my first paycheck after we moved to Carson City. I clicked on “Control my costs” and got advice about how to operate my refrigerator most efficiently, and the estimated annual savings and cost of a new, energy-efficient model.

Actual Daily and Average Energy Use

 

January 31 is the day I did the laundry. Twice the kilowatt hours of the other days.

Electric Usage

I noticed my electricity usage went down this month. Why? I went to ‘Detailed Bill Comparison” and found this:

 

Energy by Day-of-Week

 

Why is Sunday so high? Must be our weekly Sunday dinner with my mom – usually we serve something that takes a long time on the stovetop or in the oven:

Show My Energy Use

 

What are those little blips between 12 am and 4 am? Must be when the refrigerator comes on.

So you want to buy green power

So you want to buy green power. You might want to live more sustainably. You might want to do your part to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. Your small business might be undertaking a sustainability initiative to enhance your company’s value and market position. You might want to break free from the grid.

Whatever your reasons, you’re not alone. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory reports, “Individual, corporate, and institutional purchasing of renewable energy has expanded rapidly in recent years, increasing from 11.9 million megawatt hours in 2006 to 35.6 million megawatt hours in 2010.”

But how do you do it?

It’s not as easy as it should be. Whether you’re putting solar panels on your roof, buying renewable energy credits for your company, or looking for a “green” investment for part of your retirement portfolio, there are a lot of hoops to jump through – programs available in some states but not in others, arcane rules for participation, limited supply, lotteries, shady rooftops. It’s enough to make you want to give up and go with fossils.

But never fear, we’re here to help. In this 3-part series we will cover:

1. Options available in Nevada right now.
How do you get on NV Energy’s list for a rebate for rooftop solar? What about installing rooftop solar without a rebate? What is net metering and how does it work? What about NV Energy’s new optional green energy tariff? How does it compare with renewable energy credits you can buy from other companies? Do other electricity providers in Nevada – the rural electrical co-ops – have any renewable programs? What do you have to do to get off the grid entirely? And we won’t forget energy efficiency – the cheapest energy source there is.

2. Good ideas not available in Nevada
While Nevada’s doing pretty well with renewables, it lags in distributed generation – that is, in small renewable energy installations like rooftop solar. In some other states, neighborhood solar, cooperative solar ownership, and solar gardens allow co-owners to take part in net metering, incentive payments and tax deductions even if the project is not on their property. In this section we describe some of these programs and speculate about what it would take to get some of these options in Nevada.

3. Your investments: Investing in renewables and disinvesting from fossil fuels
It’s probably already abundantly clear to you that this website is not qualified to give investment advice, but just in case not, here’s the disclaimer: we will give no investment advice in this section. What we will do is cover two things: First, we’ll look at new opportunities in crowdfunding small scale renewable energy and second, we’ll review, reference, and provide links to a couple of publications from organizations that are qualified investment advisors on how and why to disinvest from fossil fuels.

We’ll post a section a week – or maybe every other week if the research takes a long time. We encourage you to get in touch by comment or email if you have questions, or topics you’d like us to cover.