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Solar Impulse Foundation Launch World Alliance For Clean Technologies

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Solar Impulse Foundation Launch World Alliance For Clean Technologies

The World Alliance for Clean Technologies was launched by the Solar Impulse Foundation today during COP22, as a legacy to the first ever solar flight around the world.

Its goal is to federate the main actors in the field of clean technologies, in order to create synergies, promote profitable solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental and health challenges, and give credible advice to governments.

Less than four months after the landing of the first ever solar flight around the world, accomplished by Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, the Solar Impulse Foundation is launching, at COP22, the World Alliance for Clean Technologies – a second phase in the realization of Bertrand Piccard’s vision that clean technologies can accomplish impossible goals and offer tangible solutions to solve many of the challenges facing global society today, as well as reach the objectives of the Climate Action Agenda.


The Alliance’s overarching ambition is to globally advance the cause of clean technologies, which it defines as “any practical solution that allows to bridge the gap between ecology and economy. They are not limited to the production of renewable energy, but encompass technologies, systems, know-hows or processes that protect the environment, improve health, increase energy efficiency or save natural resources, while creating jobs, generating profit and sustaining growth”.

We need to embrace clean technologies, not because they are ‘eco-logical,’ but because they are ‘logical’

“We need to embrace clean technologies, not because they are ‘eco-logical,’ but because they are ‘logical,’” said Bertrand Piccard, Chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation. “Even if climate change didn’t exist, energy efficient technologies would make sense to create jobs, generate profit and boost economic development, while also reducing CO2 emissions and protecting natural resources.”

Until now, there was no such organization, gathering the clean technologies stakeholders around the world; hence the Alliance will bring together start-ups, companies, institutions and organizations producing, implementing or supporting the use of clean technologies. Together, the members will share experiences and create synergies in order to improve the overall value chain and demonstrate concrete solutions to support governments, corporations and institutions in reaching their environmental and health targets, advising them depending on their specific situation.


Commenting on the launch of the Alliance, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “The Solar Impulse flight showed the world that it is possible to push the limits of technology in order to build the foundation for a sustainable future. By harnessing this and other innovative technologies, we can achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

“Initiatives like the World Alliance for Clean Technologies are exactly what we need to further enable investors, governments, cities and citizens to harvest the rich variety of clean technologies that already exist or are under development,” added Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Patricia Espinosa, who was present at the launch. “We need the best and brightest minds – from the North and the South – to deliver clean technologies that can collectively accomplish the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement and all the Sustainable Development Goals to catalyze a healthy and prosperous future for all.”

Richard Northcote, Chief Sustainability Officer at Covestro, shared: “We are delighted to continue our relationship with Solar Impulse though the World Alliance for Clean Technologies. Our contribution to the Solar Impulse project proved that we have the technology to make the world a brighter place and through this alliance we intend to accelerate the implementation of these technologies to tackle the challenges society faces while generating business growth.”

“The success of Solar Impulse has proven to the world how powerful collaborative innovation between visionary entrepreneurs and companies that believe in science and research can be to deliver technological breakthroughs. This is just the beginning of what open collaboration and innovation can do to combat climate change,” concluded Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO of Solvay, Solar Impulse’s first partner.

The Solar Impulse Foundation offers to the Alliance its administrative support, as well as the media, political and institutional relations developed during the round the world solar flight. The Alliance is funded thanks to partners such as Covestro, Solvay and Nestlé, among others, as well as private donors.

As Bertrand Piccard said upon the final landing in Abu Dhabi “If an airplane can fly around the world without a drop fuel, clean technologies can undoubtedly be implemented on the ground to make a cleaner, more efficient and richer world.”

Energy

Are the UK Governments Plans for the Energy Sector Smart?

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The revolution in the energy sector marches on, wind turbines and solar panels are harnessing more renewable energy than ever before – so where is it all leading?

The UK government have recently announced plans to modernise the way we produce, store and use electricity. And, if realised, the plans could be just the thing to bring the energy sector in line with 21st century technology and ideologies.


Central to the plans is an initiative that will see smart meters installed in homes and businesses the length and breadth of the country – and their aim? To create an environment where electricity can be managed more efficiently.

The news has prompted some speculation about how energy suppliers will react and many are predicting a price war. This could benefit consumers of electricity and investors, many of whom may be looking to make a profit by trading energy company shares online using platforms such as Oanda – but the potential for good news doesn’t end there.

Introducing New Technology

The plan, titled Smart Systems and Flexibility is being rolled out in the hope that it will have a positive impact in three core areas.

  • To offer consumers greater control by making smart meters available for all homes and businesses by 2020. Energy users will be able to monitor, control and record the amount of energy they use.
  • Incentivise energy suppliers to change the manner in which they buy electricity, to offer more smart tariffs and more off-peak periods for energy consumption.
  • Introduce new standards for electrical appliances – it is hoped that the new wave of appliances will recognise when electricity is at its cheapest and at its most expensive and respond accordingly.

How the Plans Will Affect Solar Energy

Around 7 million houses in the UK have solar panels and the government say that their plan will benefit them as they will be able to store electricity on batteries. The stored energy can then be used by the household and excess energy can be exported to the national grid – in this instance lower tariffs or even payment for the excess energy will bring down annual costs significantly.


The rate of return on energy exported to the national grid is currently between 6% and 10%, but there are many variables to take into account, such as, the cost of battery storage and light levels. Still, those with state-of-the-art solar electricity systems could end up with an annual profit after selling their excess energy.

The Internet of Things

Much of what the plans set out to achieve are linked to the now ubiquitous “internet of things” – where, for example, appliances and heating systems are connected to the internet in order to make them function more smartly.

Companies like Hive have already made great inroads into this type of technology, but the road that the government plans are heading down, will, potentially, go much further -blockchain technology looms and has already proved to be a game changer in the world of currency.

Blockchain Technology

It has already been suggested that the peer to peer selling of energy and exporting it to the national grid may eventually be done using blockchain technology.

“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”

Don and Alex Tapscott, Blockchain Revolution (2016)

The upshot of the government’s plans for the revolution of the energy sector, is that technology will play an indelible role in making it more efficient, more flexible and ultimately more sustainable.

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Energy

4 Case Studies on the Benefits of Solar Energy

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Demand for solar energy is growing at a surprising rate. New figures from SolarPower Europe show that solar energy production has risen 50% since the summer of 2016.

However, many people are still skeptical of the benefits of solar energy.Does it actually make a significant reduction in our carbon footprint? Is it actually cost-effective for the company over the long-run?


A number of case studies have been conducted, which indicate solar energy can be enormously beneficial. Here are some of the most compelling studies on the subject.

1.     Boulder Nissan

When you think of companies that leverage solar power, car dealerships probably aren’t the first ones that come to mind. However, Boulder Nissan is highly committed to promoting green energy. They worked with Independent Power Systems to setup a number of solar cells. Here were the results:

  • Boulder Nissan has reduced coal generated electricity by 65%.
  • They are on track to run on 100% renewable energy within the next 13 years.
  • Boulder Nissan reduced CO2 emissions by 416,000 lbs. within the first year after installing their solar panels.

This is one of the most impressive solar energy case studies a small business has published in recent years. It shows that even small companies in rural communities can make a major difference by adapting solar energy.

2.     Valley Electric Association

In 2015, the Valley Electric Association (VEA) created an 80-acre solar garden. Before retiring from the legislature, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid praised the new project as a way to make the state more energy dependent and reduce our carbon footprint.


“This facility will provide its customers with the opportunity to purchase 100 percent of their electricity from clean energy produced in Nevada,” Reid told reporters with the Pahrump Valley Times. “That’s a step forward for the Silver State, but it also proves that utilities can work with customers to provide clean renewable energy that they demand.”

The solar energy that VEA produced was drastically higher than anyone would have predicted. SolarWorld estimates that the solar garden created 32,680,000 kwh every year, which was enough to power nearly 4,000 homes.

This was a major undertaking for a purple state, which may inspire their peers throughout the Midwest to develop solar gardens of their own. It will reduce dependency on the electric grid, which is a problem for many remote states in the central part of the country.

3.     Las Vegas Casinos

A number of Las Vegas casinos have started investing in solar panels over the last couple of years. The Guardian reports that many of these casinos have cut costs considerably. Some of them are even selling the energy back to the grid.

“It’s no accident that we put the array on top of a conference center. This is good business for us,” Cindy Ortega, chief sustainability officer at MGM Resorts told Guardian reporters. “We are looking at leaving the power system, and one of the reasons for that is we can procure more renewable energy on the open market.”

There have been many benefits for casinos using solar energy. They are some of the most energy-intensive institutions in the world, so this has helped them become much more cost-effective. It also helps minimize disruptions to their customers learning online keno strategies in the event of any problems with the electric grid.

4.     Boston College

Boston College has been committed to many green initiatives over the years. A group of researchers experimented with solar cells on different parts of the campus to see where they could produce the most electricity. They discovered that the best locationwas at St. Clement’sHall. The solar cells there dramatically. It would also reduce CO2 emissions by 521,702 lbs. a year and be enough to save 10,869 trees.

Boston College is exploring new ways to expand their usage of solar cells. They may be able to invest in more effective solar panels that can generate far more solar energy.

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