We’d all love a bunch of heroes to ride into town and save us from our dilemma’s. Although Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and their buddies are no longer available to perform such a service, Newsweek’s International edition reckons there might other heroes up to the task - seven energy efficiencies. They note that the International Energy Agency (IEA) figures on a 50% surge in energy demand through to 2030, while citing the example of a German hotelier who embraced energy efficient and realised a 60% return on investment. The article then proceeds to spell out the case for the following cast of characters: 1. Insulation (36% of the world’s energy is said to be used for heating and cooling), 2. Compact Fluoro Lighting (moving to all CFL’s by 2030 would negate the need for 650 power plants - Philips last month announced they were phasing our incandescents), 3. Heat Pumps (Japan in offering subsidies has seen 1 million installed in past couple of years for heating water), > Continued >4. Industrial Manufacturing (Inefficient factories consume about a third of all the world’s energy, but producers like BASF have cut €200 million a year and nearly half their CO2 emissions through factory redesign and energy synergies), 5. Green Driving (save 6 % in fuel use by keeping car tyres properly inflated. Drive a diesel - 40% better mileage than petrol. If one third of US cars were diesel the US would no longer need to import the equivalent of 1.5 million barrels of oil a day), 6. Buy a Better Fridge (looking at actual energy use costs rather than purchase price could save 43% in total. Govt supported appliance energy labelling helps purchasers make such informed decisions) and finally 7. Energy Service Contracts (infrastructure providers don’t charge customers for installation but take a cut of the energy savings their clients make. And Amory Lovins’s ancient and beloved ‘negawatts’ idea shows that utilities spending money on energy demand, through helping customers instal the likes of CFLs and insulation saves them millions in having to cough up big bucks to create new supply.
While none of these heroes are indeed new, that Newsweek cares to share them with their readers indicates that acceptance something needs to be done and done soon is, at least, most encouraging. ::Newsweek, via O2 Network.