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Nuclear energy should be part of COP21 agreement that drives meaningful reductions in carbon

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Nuclear for Climate, a global initiative supported by more than 140 regional and national nuclear associations and technical societies, said in a new position paper today that a significant expansion of nuclear energy is necessary for the world to achieve an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The position paper, entitled “Nuclear is part of the solution for fighting climate change” urges negotiators at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP21) to develop an achievable agreement for the reduction of greenhouse gasses which ensure(s) that the right of countries to choose nuclear energy in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while meeting their energy and development objectives. This choice should not be prejudiced against in any way by the new UNFCCC protocols, specifically with regards to access to climate funding mechanisms such as Green Climate Funds.

“We strongly believe the world must use all available low-carbon energy sources, including nuclear energy, if it is to mitigate the effects of climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while meeting development goals and not impeding on economic growth,” said Valérie Faudon, director-general at the French Nuclear Energy Society (SFEN).

“Nuclear energy is a proven low-carbon energy technology that makes a profound contribution to preventing greenhouses gases today and will be vital to meeting any agreement reached in Paris,” said Eugene Grecheck, president of the American Nuclear Society (ANS). “Multiple studies have shown that a significant expansion of nuclear energy is needed to achieve an 80 percent reduction in emissions by 2050. The COP21 agreement should reflect this research and support developing nations wishing to make nuclear part of their energy/climate strategy.”

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) identifies three types of carbon-free electricity: renewables, nuclear energy and fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage. According to the panel there is a limited amount of cumulative emissions that cannot be exceeded if we are to limit average global warming to 2°C. The IPCC estimates that we have already reached nearly two-thirds of this amount and that significant greenhouse gas reductions are needed now.

“All countries should have the right to choose nuclear energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet their national clean energy objectives,” said Jean-Pol Poncelet, secretary general of the European Nuclear Society. “All possible solutions have to be carefully considered and all ideologically or doctrinally driven decisions avoided. States should recognise nuclear energy as a greenhouse gas-reducing technology necessary for us to achieve the sustainability we want.”

“India is poised for a large expansion in nuclear power to supply a quarter of the country’s electricity, to help achieve the goal of meeting increasing electricity needs, while mitigating climate change at the same time” said RK Singh, Secretary of the Indian Nuclear Society.

Globally, 438 reactors generate around 11 percent of the world’s electricity, with almost no greenhouse gas emissions. In the European Union, nuclear energy accounts for more than half of all low-carbon electricity. In the United States, it accounts for 63 percent of all low-carbon electricity.

Going forward, developed and developing countries alike will expand nuclear energy as part of their transition to a lower carbon electrical grid. For exa

Energy

7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption

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Energy Consumption
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Syda Productions | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/dolgachov

Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.

This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?

Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.

New Technologies to Watch

These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:

  1. Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
  2. Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
  3. New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
  4. Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
  5. Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
  6. The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
  7. Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.

Making the Investment

All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.

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Energy

Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis

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Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/nivens

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

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