About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the CEO of BioEnergy Consult, and an international consultant, advisor and trainer with expertise in waste management, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, environment protection and resource conservation. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biogas technology, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. Salman has participated in numerous national and international conferences all over the world. He is a prolific environmental journalist, and has authored more than 300 articles in reputed journals, magazines and websites. In addition, he is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability through his blogs and portals. Salman can be reached at salman@bioenergyconsult.com or salman@cleantechloops.com.

6 Reasons Wood Stove Sales Are Taking Off

Why are wood burning stoves selling like crazy? Most assume it’s the sustainability factor of energy-efficient stoves. But there’s more to the new surge of interest in them than that. Yes, biomass stoves offer an efficient way to produce heat, but they also look great, are affordable, and come in a huge variety of styles. Consumers can select dozens of additional features like temperature control, slow cooldown mode, smoke-free operation, and more. If you’re on the fence about investing in a wood stove, consider the following points before making a final decision.

benefits of wood burning stoves

1. They’re Efficient

Like so many other forms of biomass energy generation, wood burning stoves are highly efficient, both in terms of heat production and cost. For homeowners who are accustomed to relying on electricity for heating their homes, the pleasant surprise is that it costs less to produce the same amount of heat from a wood-burning stove. That holds true whether the fuel is wood you collect yourself, bundles purchased from a local store, or condensed pellets.

2. Homeowners Can Borrow to Pay for the Project

While most single units are competitively priced, many homeowners decide to install several stoves in their living spaces, sometimes one in each large room. But even those who opt for just one unit can do themselves a favor by paying for the environmental upgrade with a personal loan. It’s true that some dealers offer financing, but in nearly every case, you can get much more competitive rates and terms by taking out a personal loan to cover the expense of purchasing a wood stove, the ultimate bioenergy household appliance, and heating source.

Consider shopping as a first step. That way, you’ll get an accurate idea about price ranges, features, and what you want to spend. Then, when applying for a loan, aim to borrow about 10% more than what you expect to spend on the stove. The strategy makes perfect sense because the final price tag will be slightly higher than you first predicted after taxes, installation, and a few extra supplies.

3. The Units Look Great

Most discussions about biomass energy focus on statistical comparisons between products like wood-based home heating units and electrical home furnace units. But too often, overlook one of the primary advantages of wood stove units: They have a unique, attractive look that improves the overall appearance of any home. Spend a few minutes exploring some of the latest models on the major sellers’ websites. It soon becomes obvious that these old-fashioned appliances add a dose of elegance and emotional warmth to rooms of any size.

4. Power Outage? No Problem

Rolling power outages, a term that is a euphemism for planned grid breakdowns, are the bane of the modern era. In places like California and elsewhere, states are cutting electricity to millions of homes because state regulators are unable to manage the demand on grids. For homeowners who have a backup source of heat, outages are a minor inconvenience. In fact, many biofuel enthusiasts prefer to use wood burning appliances as a first line of heat generation. For many others, the units serve as reliable heat in times of state mismanagement of electrical power.

5. Buyers Can Test the Units Before Buying

Manufacturers and retail merchants offer various arrangements for first-time buyers. It’s possible for homeowners to pay a small rental fee for a basic unit, use it for a few months, and decide whether they want to make it a permanent part of their household energy array. These trial periods are popular with people who have no prior experience with bioenergy devices.

6. Newer Models are Safer, More Efficient, and Cost Less

Since 2000, there has been a great deal of advancement in the science of heat conservation in biomass stoves. Not only are the latest models less costly than older versions, but they deliver much higher heating ratios per unit burned. One reason prices have come down significantly is higher production levels due to increased consumer demand. When producers build many thousands of units per year and sell them quickly, they achieve economies of scale and can cut prices.

Likewise, the many technological breakthroughs in science have contributed to the higher efficiency levels of new biomass stoves. For consumers, that means not just more competitive pricing and higher quality but a wider range of selections from sellers.

How to Choose Weather-Resistant Siding for Your Home?

There used to be only a couple of options available to cover the exterior of your home. Nowadays, new products are hitting the market with fervor. The problem is that with added options come both advantages and disadvantages. It is no longer just a question of wood, aluminum, or vinyl siding. Now you have better and longer-lasting materials to choose from, but the cost of siding can vary significantly, and it can become overwhelming to choose a material based on budget, weather conditions and aesthetic desire.

weather-siding

The biggest problem with exterior siding, especially in warm or humid regions, is going to be its weather resilience. Water build-up is going to be one of your biggest enemies.

There are four types of siding to choose from. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages. If you are limited either by your climate or the money you must spend, below is a breakdown to help explain which might be the best for your area, seeing as how the harshest home sidings are tested on the farm. Read to know more about how to choose weather-resistant siding for your home:

1. Vinyl siding

Vinyl siding is going to be one of the least-expensive materials you can put on the exterior of your home. That makes it one of the most common types of materials used. The advantages to vinyl siding aren’t just the price. It is impervious to water and many insects.

The biggest disadvantage is that it can melt, burn or crack. In high winds, it can also make rattling noises. Also, if you are going for an upscale look, vinyl doesn’t have the same aesthetic appeal that other siding materials can deliver, and it typically isn’t used on higher-priced homes.

2. Plastic siding

Plastic siding is a relatively new alternative. The advantage of plastic siding is that it can resemble more expensive roofing material and requires very little upkeep. It is much thicker than its vinyl alternative, but that makes it more expensive.

Although it’s costlier, if you are looking for a good weather-resistant siding, it is a grade above vinyl and may save you money in the long term as it is less prone to damage or necessary repairs.

3. Fiber cement siding

Fiber cement siding is also a new material on the market. It is typically a blend of cellulose, sand and cement and gives a much more aesthetically appealing look to the house. It looks much more like real wood than both plastic and vinyl. Its advantages are that it is insect- and fire-resistant. However, if you live in a harsh climate, it is probably not going to be your best choice.

Plastic siding is one of best options for weather-resistant conditions

Plastic siding is one of best options for weather-resistant conditions

Water that can accumulate from the freeze-thaw cycle can damage the siding if you don’t maintain it correctly by painting it with water-resilient paint. You can buy it pre-painted, but it is much costlier and the colors that you must choose from can be somewhat limited. The pre-factory paints tend to last longer. Although higher-maintenance than plastic and vinyl siding, it still requires less maintenance than wood siding.

4. Wood siding

Wood shingles and clapboard are considered the most aesthetically pleasing materials for your siding. They are also going to be the costliest and require the most maintenance. Wood siding is easily attached using a coil siding nailer and they have a traditional charm that you can’t get from other materials. Clapboard is going to be less expensive than wood siding, but it is still pricier than other alternatives such as vinyl, plastic and cement board.

Wood shingles are not going to be the best weather-resistant materials for harsh conditions. It is not uncommon for them to succumb to insects, be less fire-resistant and to twist or warp when subjected to harsh climates. Overall, it requires the most maintenance too. Painting frequently is a must. Although being capable of being factory-primed and painted, it will take periodic maintenance to keep it looking good and safe from exterior conditions.

Conclusion

Of all the choices, available, plastic siding may be the best for weather-resistant conditions. Offering you a hardy material, it can stand up to a lot. It may not be as aesthetically appealing as the other options, but you don’t have to worry about maintaining it or siding replacement. Whether budget is an issue or not, plastic siding offers the best protection against the harsh conditions of nature.

How to Reduce the Energy Consumption of Your Business

It’s crucial to keep energy consumption to a minimum as a business. Not only will this help to lower the cost of your energy bills, but it should prolong the lifespans of your appliances too.

With energy bosses warning that bills will remain high for the foreseeable future, it’s time to start taking climate change more seriously. And once your business becomes more energy efficient, you’ll have a lower carbon footprint from the moment you start taking initiative.

How to reduce energy bills of your business

How can I reduce energy bills for my business?

1. Use quality insulation

It’s crucial to make sure that your business is well insulated.

Insulation can be installed on your roof, floors, windows, and doors, but the most important thing to insulate is your walls. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that installing cavity wall insulation in detached houses could cut energy bills by £690, with similar benefits evident for commercial properties.

The materials used most frequently in the UK for loose-fill insulation include:

  • Mineral or glass wool
  • Polystyrene beads
  • Cork granules

Before choosing a material for your loft insulation, it’s important to do your research. Choosing a sustainable material like recycled newspaper or cellulose fibre could be a better choice for the long-term environmental impact your business carries.

2. Invest in draughtproofing

Similarly, as business premises are often large open spaces, draughtproofing is key. This could mean ensuring all windows and doors are sealed from the inside and out, repairing any structural insecurities, or upgrading to double- or even triple-glazed windows.

how to improve the energy efficiency of your home

If the premises has an essential opening to outside areas, like a delivery drop off opening, you could use PVC strip curtains such as these from RS to create a barrier against the elements. This type of protection will help to keep the heat inside while simultaneously allowing vehicles to drive through, removing the need for a larger door or gate to be opened.

3. Consider changing suppliers

If you’re already using some of the most energy efficient heating systems on the market, it could still be possible to find better deals on your bills with a different energy provider. Compare different suppliers online to see if you can get a better deal for your utilities or call your current supplier to see if they could negotiate a better fixed price or monthly rate for your company.

4. Install efficient heating systems

How long has your business been running and servicing the same boiler?

hydrogen-boiler

Regardless of its efficiency at the time you bought it, if you’re using an outdated system, it’s highly likely to be uneconomical now. Additionally, a newer boiler could be less likely to break down, reducing potential maintenance costs in the future.

With several types of government grants available, it could be worth looking into greener options like solar panels, air source heat pumps, electric heating, or biomass heating systems. Whichever one you choose, the initial cost will rapidly turn into a productive long-term investment.

6 Safety Management Tips For Dam Owners

Humans have increasingly become dependent on electricity, which is due in no small part to the many advances in technology. From healthcare and commerce to the way people communicate with each other, everything that makes life livable now requires electrical power.

With all the growing demand for electricity, government and business leaders are continually pressured by the public to find ways to generate more power while keeping the planet safe. Renewable energy is the buzzword for finding the balance between power generation and giving the environment a much-needed TLC (tender loving care).

That said, water is one of the most common sources of renewable energy – it generates hydroelectricity, which makes up around 44% of renewable energy in the U.S. alone. Harvesting hydropower involves harnessing the flow of water. In other words, hydropower plants require dams to be built to hold and control the water that’ll turn the generators or turbines, generating electricity.

But hydropower is just one part of the equation. Water is essential for humans, without which life won’t even be possible. From hydropower to drinking water supply, dams will continue to be vital for humanity’s survival. Owners must manage their dams effectively to keep them safe and working. Doing so can prevent risks that may result in loss of life and property.

dam-safety-management

Challenges Posed By Dams

Most dams used for hydropower generation and water supply are man-made–they’re made up of concrete. Hence, there are structural and stability challenges that need to be solved. You don’t need to see a movie just to know what might happen if a dam is breached.

 There was a time when operators relied on visual inspection, photos, and interpretation by engineers to analyze a dam’s safety levels. Today, there are state-of-the-art monitoring tools to help dam operators. Hence, there are now advanced solutions that allow dam owners to keep the structural integrity in check.

Take the case of Hunter Water Grahamstown Dam in Australia. This dam is designed to provide a drinking water supply and recycled water service to an area with approximately 600,000 people. As a storage dam, it constantly presents challenges that can compromise its structural integrity.

Using modern dam monitoring tools, Grahamstown Dam owners can effectively manage the dam’s integrity in a remote setting. In turn, this allows nearby residents to sleep soundly at night. The secret lies in using AI technology, such as Rezatec’s Dam Monitoring solution, to remotely churn out geospatial data that tracks everything–from ground movements to moisture levels. Nothing is left to chance or open interpretation. Also, fewer visual inspections are now required.

Dam Safety Management Tips

Indeed, humans have completely changed the way water is stored–whether for drinking or generating power. In a study aimed at monitoring and taking a closer look at the changing levels of global freshwater sources, researchers used NASA’s satellite and found that humans are now responsible for 57% of the planet’s seasonal water storage, which is happening in reservoirs and dams.

With the ever-increasing world population, it’s logical for one to think that more reservoirs and dams will be built in the foreseeable future. Whether it’s for drinking or harnessing hydropower, dams are here to stay. Owners and operators must learn to manage their dams dynamically.

Taking a cue from what operators did in managing the safety of the Grahamstown Dam, here are some tips on how to keep dams safe and functioning properly for years to come.

1. Create A Dam’s Risk Profile

No dam is perfect. For one, there’s always a trade-off among costs, location, and capacity when designing and building dams. It’s left to the owners to make the best out of the dams they’re managing. In a bid to reduce risks, owners should always know the status of their dams. For one, they should define risk areas and be aware of the dam’s weaknesses.

By creating a dam’s risk profile, managers won’t be caught unaware should disasters occur. For instance, if a barrier was designed to withstand a 10-magnitude earthquake, then a reading of 11 on the Richter scale should put workers on full alert even if the dam isn’t breached. Emergency inspections and responses should also be triggered.

2. Effective Dam Monitoring In Place

Dams, like the one in Grahamstown, require continued monitoring. There’s no shortcut to knowing or tracking the structural integrity of a dam except via monitoring.

In the past, owners relied on photography and visual inspections. The problem was the data gathered could be biased and were open to misinterpretation. Hence, it would be best to adopt AI-based solutions to ensure accurate monitoring data.

3. Ready Access To Construction Documentation

Dams are big structures and they’re often made up of different segments and materials. Making things more complicated is the fact that no two dams are the same–each has its own design features.

When managing a dam, the people responsible for it should have access to the dam’s design and construction blueprint. By doing so, managers will be less likely to do things that can compromise the dam’s structure and functionality.

4. Prioritize Incident Reports

Dam workers must be required to report all incidents that occur, including emergencies and operational shutdowns. Such reports will keep the management in the loop and enable key players to recommend a plan of action to prevent such incidents from happening again.

dam safety guide

5. Operations And Safety Manuals At The Ready

Dams are run by different people working in various shifts. While training workshops are essential for new and experienced workers, people tend to forget what they’re trained for. It’s crucial to have operations and safety manuals readily accessible to ensure that everyone is on the same page while operating the dam. This way, workers won’t be left guessing on what to do in case emergencies happen.

6. Multi-discipline Management Approach

While new technologies allow remote, scalable, and cost-effective dam management, it’s still vital to have human operators and engineers tracking changes or investigating anomalies. Environmental sciences should work with soil engineering and other disciplines. AI should also work with good old-fashioned human insights.

By combining multiple disciplines, dam owners will be more confident in reducing risks and meeting regulatory requirements across different sectors.

Conclusion

Dams are vital for human survival. They can be harnessed to provide water supply and electricity. Due to this, expect that there will be more dams built in the foreseeable future.

With that in mind, owners and operators should learn how to keep dams safe and effective to prevent loss of life and property.

Production of Machine Parts From Ceramic Waste

Never before has our society had such a massive and noticeable predilection for recycling. Many industries now want to show that they have a minimal carbon footprint and are doing everything in their power to reduce the burden they cause on the planet as a whole.

This desire has now come to the machining industry. Ceramics often go unused in many industries. This can be things such as broken or excess tiles from a construction site or any other number of ceramic using industries. Previously, we didn’t really know what to do with this excess waste and carted it off to landfills for it to live out the rest of its days.

Now, we are able to grind the ceramics into a fine powder that can then be repurposed for a staggering number of alternative uses. Turning this powder into useable machine parts is just one of these uses that is now seeing some major traction.

Why machine parts?

Many people are woefully unaware of just how prevalent ceramic parts are in the industry. Everything from electrical insulators to use in high-powered lasers and even as durable nozzles for dispensing materials from. Ceramic is highly prized for its thermal resistance, toughness, and applications in the electrical field.

Any of these parts, however, require careful machining of ceramics to get the parts to the right specifications. What this means is that there is a huge demand for people who can take ceramic waste, break it down, and then change it into a useable part.

Okay, but why ceramic?

Ceramic parts are one of the biggest places for growth in industry application currently. Both designers and engineers are finding new ways to apply ceramic to their needs, and part of this requires heavy testing. It can be prohibitively expensive for consistently machine parts from new ceramic for testing in ways that haven’t been proven to be economically viable yet, so using repurposed and recycled ceramics are a great way to test ideas before taking them to market.

The low weight and toughness of ceramics mean that over time, many parts thought only usable if they were made from metal or specialized materials can now be created from relatively simple ceramic materials. As chemistry advances and allows us to create new forms of ceramics in all manner of shapes and sizes, so do our possible applications for these ceramics.

 

In short, nobody wants to be left behind as better ceramic products are created which in turn is creating a huge demand for ceramic waste for recycling purposes.

They say that technology advances at an exponential pace, meaning that the time it takes for us to double our relative amount of technological advancement is shrinking with each major technological milestone. There’s very little opportunity for those who can’t manage to keep up, with obsolescence coming quickly, there is a major incentive to be on the cusp of any given field’s knowledge. Having the newest and best ceramic parts is just part of this drive for future-proofing businesses, meaning ceramic waste is at a premium currently.

Clever Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency in Domestic and Commercial Property

The world’s energy bill is expected to reach $48 trillion by 2035 for power supply, fossil fuel extraction, and investment in renewables and nuclear, among other elements. Unfortunately, the cost of increased expenses goes beyond denting household or business budgets: it also affects the environment, making it more polluted and contributing to global warming. Improving energy efficiency in home and business life is vital in order to eliminate waste, save money, and help rescue the planet. Here are a few clever ways to improve energy efficiency in the domestic and commercial property:

Insulation and Air Sealing

The structure of a home or a commercial property is one of the key determinants in energy efficiency. When designing a home or renovating a building, it’s important to pay attention to insulation and air sealing. Roof cladding is vital in order to conserve heat and keep the structure cool. Double or triple-glazed windows ensure that heat is retained indoors, and stops the cold from entering a room to make a structure energy-efficient.

home-insulation

When paired with energy efficient heating and cooling appliances, this can make a huge difference to the amount of energy used within the building. It’s also a good idea to customize your windows, and choose an efficient frame that is appropriate for your climate.

For doors, caulking and weather stripping safeguard your home and enhance energy efficiency. In some cases, it makes sense to replace a door to retain energy and keep away draughts. Properly installed and conceived skylights allow you to benefit from daylight and improve ventilation. New technologies already incorporate glazing technologies in skylights to reduce the impact of summertime heat gain and winter heat loss.

Coherent Heating, Cooling and Hot Water Systems Using Renewables

It’s also imperative to think of a coherent heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) and hot water systems. One way to do this is to select effective cooling and heating equipment. Opt for dehumidifying heat pipes to reduce indoor humidity and increase comfort. Along with other actions such as increasing the thermostat and using ceiling fans, you can reduce the power consumption of aircons by 20-50%, according to Energy.gov

air quality at the workplace

 

Consider using renewable energy systems to provide electricity and cool and heat homes. Solar photovoltaics (PVs) are forms of clean energy that can provide unlimited power. Investments can be recuperated within a short time. Solar power technology has evolved for the better in the last few decades, and the costs of installing panels have gone down. In addition, many governments offer incentives to switch to clean energy, making it a win-win situation.

Upgrade Appliances And Lighting Systems

Homes and buildings can also benefit from reduced electricity use by upgrading lighting systems. Switching to light emitting diode (LED) bulbs lowers power consumption by as much as 75%. In addition, they last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting, and offer better or higher illumination without increasing energy usage – useful for areas that require constant lighting such as corridors or offices.

LED-lighting-workplace

Appliances also make a difference. Switch to energy-rated appliances, from washing machines and dishwashers to coffeemakers and copiers. When purchasing news appliances and gadgets, consider the cost of operating them. Think of smart appliances that can be connected to home or building energy management systems. These types of appliances not only shut down during peak electricity demand, but also shift energy use, smartly running when utility charges are lower, such as in the middle of the night.

Energy spending worldwide has been increasing, and will continue to do so in the future. Investing in energy efficiency will not only save money for both households and businesses, but will also help the environment and make people feel good about their commitment to the planet.

Exploring the Potential Benefits of Implementing a Telehandler in Home Construction and Maintenance

Are you a homeowner interested in utilising the latest technology for your home construction projects? If so, you may want to look into what a telehandler can do for you. A telehandler is an expanded forklift that can move material vertically and horizontally, thus making it versatile. Below, we’ll explore how implementing a telehandler could benefit your home construction endeavours. Also, we’ll look at how to choose the right telehandler for your needs.

benefits of using telehandler in home construction

 

What are the Benefits of Using a Telehandler?

Using a telehandler in home construction and maintenance projects can be beneficial for a number of reasons. Here are some potential advantages that you might experience when implementing this type of equipment:

1. Increased safety

Telehandlers can provide increased safety in home construction and maintenance projects. They have a range of features that allow the operator to work while standing away from the equipment. These include remote-control operation, height adjustability and the ability to lift heavy objects. It is especially beneficial for tasks that involve working at heights or with hazardous materials. Some also have extra safety features such as guard rails and automatic brakes. And, if you are interested in cost effective rentals of telehandlers for rail projects, there are many companies that offer cost-effective rental solutions.

2. Performing Heavy Lifting

This vehicle is capable of performing heavy lifting tasks. It also helps lift and transport large amounts of materials at once. They are also highly manoeuvrable, making them ideal for tight spaces that other vehicles can’t reach. This makes them incredibly versatile for a variety of tasks and projects.

3. Capabilities on and off the Road

Telehandlers can be used both on and off the road, meaning they can be used in a variety of locations. This makes them ideal for jobs that require movement through various terrains or tasks which need to be completed quickly.

4. Service That Is Efficient and Timely

Telehandlers are designed to be efficient and speedy, allowing homeowners to complete tasks on time. It is especially helpful when completing home projects, as it can save time and money. In addition, they are easy to maintain and require minimal servicing.

5. Versatility

Telehandlers are incredibly versatile, meaning they can be used for various tasks. It also helps stack objects or moving materials. They also come with various attachments that can be customised depending on the task.

How to Choose the Right Telehandler for Home Construction and Maintenance Projects?

Now that you know the benefits that telehandlers can bring to your projects, it’s time to take a look at how to select the right one.

Here are some factors to consider when selecting a telehandler:

1. Project Requirements

One of the most important things to consider is the specific needs of your project. Different telehandlers are designed for different applications and can have vastly different capabilities. Consider the size, weight, and type of material you will be working with when selecting a telehandler that fits your needs.

construction-waste

2. Project Environment

When trying to pick the right telehandler for your project, you will also want to consider the environment it will be used in. For example, if the machine is going to be used outdoors, you may need to look for one designed for outdoor use. It means larger wheels, extended booms, and other features that make it suitable for working outside. So, if the telehandler will be used indoors, you may want to consider a smaller model with more manoeuvrability.

3. Consider the Attachments

Depending on the project, you may need certain attachments for your telehandler to be successful. For example, if you’re working on a roofing job and need to lift shingles up onto the roof, then you may need an extension ladder attachment. Consider any attachments that will help make the job easier before selecting a telehandler.

4. Weight Capacity

It’s important to ensure that the telehandler you select can handle the weight of any materials you plan on moving. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications and determine what the lift capacity is before renting one. In addition, you’ll want to ensure that the boom is rated for the weight of any load it carries.

Final Thoughts

Telehandlers can be an invaluable tool for home construction and maintenance projects. It also offers a safe and efficient way to move materials from one point to another. When selecting a telehandler, consider the project requirements, environment, attachments and weight capacity. Then, with careful selection and proper operation of the machines, you can make sure that these projects go smoother and safer. Happy lifting!

Top 5 Reasons to Use Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is extracted from environmental assets that recharge in less than half of a human lifespan without draining the earth’s resources. Sunlight, wind, rain, oceans, waves, carbon, and thermal energy deposited in the earth’s crust are all commodities that are present in some way or another almost everywhere. Renewable energy is practically inexhaustible. What’s even better is that they don’t have much effect on the economy or the atmosphere.

clean energy in italy

On the other hand, fossil resources such as gasoline, coal, and natural gas are only present in limited amounts. They will eventually run out even if you want to harvest them. Fossil fuels are not replenished as quickly as humans need them to, even though natural methods create them. Currently people have started realizing the necessity of renewable energy usage and want to learn more about its functioning and its benefits. People are opting for different courses on renewable energy to get a step closer towards a greener world. Have a look at Renewable Energy Courses Basildon Essex which has quality courses available at affordable rates.

What are the reasons for using renewable energy?

Both sources of energy affect the climate, much as every other human operation. Renewable energy is no different, and each supply comes with its own set of trade-offs. However, the benefits of renewable energy over fossil fuels are evident. Here are five prominent reasons to use renewable energy in your daily life:

1. Renewable energy is abundant

As the name implies, renewable energy is produced from naturally replenishing sources such as sunlight, air, rain, compost, and even geothermal (buried) energy.

minnesota-solar

Renewables turn natural resources efficiently into energy, unlike oil, coal, and natural gas mines, which involve large networks of heavy equipment, refining facilities, pipes, and distribution. Although certain fossil fuels are getting increasingly difficult and costly to obtain, resulting in the degradation of natural ecosystems and significant financial damages, renewable energy is infinite. 

2. Renewable energy emits little to no pollutants

Increased air emissions are caused by global growth in conventional fuel, required in road transportation, manufacturing activity, electricity production, and outdoor garbage combustion in many regions. The usage of coal and lumber for cooking and heating in many developed countries leads to low indoor air quality. Cities are physically suffocated by contaminants and other air pollution generated by fossil fuels. According to World Health Organization reports, their appearance over metropolitan skies causes millions of early casualties and costs billions of dollars.

Air, thermal, and hydroelectric power emit little to no emissions into the atmosphere. Other alternative power generating techniques, such as biomass and geothermal, release emissions into the atmosphere, albeit at far lower levels than most fossil fuels.

energy-company

Renewable energy follows reuse and recycling goals and is a powerful engine for social and economic development, rather than depleting precious energy and polluting the atmosphere.

3. Renewable energy is cheap

Increased oil costs and insufficient access to capital are often associated with international unrest and uprisings. Since renewable energy is mainly generated locally, it is less impacted by geopolitical conflicts, price rises, or supply chain disturbances.

Using green resources can save you funds in the long run. You can save not only on repairs but also on running expenses. You don’t have to spend money to refuel if you use equipment that produces electricity from solar, wind, steam, or geological activities. The sum of money you save when you use green energy depends on various things, including the system itself. In most situations, switching to green energies results in cost cuts ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollar.

4. Renewable energy creates jobs

The renewable energy sector is more labor-intensive than fossil fuel systems, which are traditionally automated and capital intensive. Humans are required to mount photovoltaic panels, and technicians are required to maintain wind turbines.

electrical-engineering

This implies that more jobs are created on aggregate with each unit of energy produced by renewable energies than from fossil energy.

Thousands of workers are now supported by renewable energies in the United States. In 2016, the wind energy sector employed directly over 100,000 full-time-equivalent workers in processing, project production, design and turbine implementation, administration, and maintenance.

5. Renewable energy is reliable and resilient

Since renewable energy sources are dispersed and flexible, they are less vulnerable to large-scale malfunction. Because distributed grids are spread over a wide geographic area, an extreme weather incident in one place would not result in the loss of control for an entire site. Numerous independent windmills or solar panels make up modular structures. And if any of the system’s machinery is disabled, the remainder usually continues to function.

solar-energy-trends

Solar panels are becoming more accessible, for homeowners and businesses

Hurricane Sandy, for example, wreaked havoc on New York and New Jersey’s fossil-fuel-dominated electric production and delivery grids, knocking out millions of residents. On the other hand, renewable energy facilities in the Northeast escaped Hurricane Sandy with no injury or destruction.

In conclusion

Despite certain uncertainties, it is apparent that renewables can one day provide emission-free electricity to all of our households, industries, and cars.

While no one energy source will ever be able to satisfy all of the human requirements, a mixture of solar, air, biomass, geothermal, tidal, and power storage can fuel the entire planet without emitting any toxins or greenhouse gases.

Opportunities For Foreign Consultants in Africa’s Renewables Industry

Currently, more than 600 million people living in Sub-Saharan Africa, out of a total population of 900 million, do not have access to electricity. Even those with some kind of electrical connection suffer from unreliable supply, lack of sufficient power on the grid, high energy prices, or a combination of these, meaning they lack full access to power.

 

However, the solution is in sight, and it is green. It could be that the majority of the “dark continent” will skip fossil fuel- based energy entirely, and skip straight to renewable energy solutions, from those living in refugee camps, to the cities.

The renewable energy industry in Africa represents great opportunities for many, not only the local populations who will benefit from a stable electricity supply, but also local workers and international consultants whose expertise are greatly needed. Not to mention of course the benefits for the environment.

If you are a foreign consultant looking to work in the renewable energy industry in Africa, here is what you should know.

Opportunities in Renewable Energy Industry in Africa

The renewable energy industry is booming in many African countries, most notably Nigeria. Here, it is hoped that biomass will help to bridge the gap between the current electricity capacity of 12,522MW and demand of 98,000MW. This dramatic shortfall, despite Nigeria being an OPEC nation and the world’s 13th largest producer of oil, certainly shows the need for renewable energy solutions.

Currently, only 1% of Nigeria’s electricity is powered by renewable energy with a small percentage of this being biomass. However, the country’s rich resources in biomass fuels such as agricultural residues and municipal solid waste means that biomass could represent the solution to the country’s energy crisis.

Across the continent, many countries are already implementing small-scale solar, wind and geothermal technology, particularly to provide energy to remote and under-serviced populations. The World Bank is committed to promoting sustainable energy solutions in developing nations, particularly in Africa. From 2014 to 2018, the World Bank funded $11.5 billion worth of renewable energy projects in developing countries. This continues to be a funding priority for the developing world’s largest financier.

Funding from the World Bank and others has led to a variety of renewable energy projects across Africa, which is only set to increase in future years. These projects have an intense need for foreign consultants, due to the demand for expertise outstripping local availability in many cases.

Guide For Working in African Renewable Energy Industry

Working in the renewables sector in Africa offers the opportunity not only to be part of an exciting, booming industry, but also one which has the potential to make a difference to the lives of millions of people. Working in the sector, and in Africa in general, does come with its own unique challenges, however, so it is important to be prepared.

1. Research Local Laws and Regulations

Firstly, it is important to be prepared that working in a new country will mean that many things will be unfamiliar. One of the key differences will be when it comes to laws and regulations. The company or organisation you are working with should be able to advise you on these matters, but it is also a good idea to do your own research ahead of time to get an idea of local regulations, and how these will impact on your work.

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2. Be Open to Local Customs

A big part of working in another country is adjusting to the local customs. Understanding local culture and traditions will not only help you feel more comfortable, but it will also make you more effective in your work. After you arrive in the field, make it one of your key priorities to absorb as much as you can of the local culture.

Additionally, you should be prepared that infrastructure and logistics may be very different from what you are accustomed to: this can impact on everything from internet connection and availability of supplies to transit times.

3. Make Sure Your Training is Upto Date

Availability of training while on site may be limited, so it is important to make sure your qualifications are up to date and that you have skilled up with all relevant training before you leave home. Consult with a UK-based company such as We Do Training to see what courses are on offer, and what may be helpful for you while in the field.

Eco-friendly Benefits of Fiberglass Insulation For Metal Buildings

Fiberglass insulation was first put on the market in 1938, and in all the years since, no alternative has really challenged its preeminent position as the most effective choice for insulation on both commercial and residential construction projects. Fiberglass insulation improves a structure’s energy efficiency, reduces heating and cooling costs, and makes occupants more comfortable. These are just a few of the advantages that make it the insulator of choice, even in the latest eco-friendly projects. Below are  additional benefits of fiberglass insulation:

1. Moisture Resistance

Fiberglass insulation does not absorb or retain water according to www.cyclonebuildings.com who utilise it in some instances. It can still be contaminated or compromised by moisture; insulation that has gotten wet needs to be inspected and dried to ensure that it does not lose its insulating properties.

Wet insulation can be successfully re-installed and deliver its full R-value as intended by the manufacturer so long as installers confirm that the insulation and the area around it in the structure have not been compromised by water.

In order to provide full insulating value, fiberglass insulation requires a vapor barrier. When properly selected and installed, a vapor barrier catches condensation before it can penetrate the building envelope and reach the insulation. The vapor barrier’s perm rating must be appropriate to the structure and the local climate, and it must be sealed into place with a proper adhesive so that it does not leak.

2. Fire Resistance

Fiberglass insulation is inherently non-combustible because the materials from which it is made – sand and/or recycled glass – are non-combustible themselves. Fiberglass insulation does not need to be treated with chemicals to make it fire-resistant, and it does not become any more combustible as it ages.

In many areas, local building codes even allow the use of fiberglass insulation as an effective fire stop in wall assemblies made of wood or steel.

3. Sound Dampening

Fiberglass insulation absorbs sound, and this means it reduces sound transmission through walls, ceilings, floors, and HVAC ducts where it is used. As a general rule of thumb, one inch of fiberglass insulation increases the sound transmission class, or STC, of a building assembly by three or even four points. Additional inches of fiberglass insulation each add two more points to the STC rating.

4. Use Of Recycled Materials

The manufacture of fiberglass insulation has come to rely on incorporating a significant amount of recycled material. Between 1992 and 2000, insulation manufacturers used over 8 billion pounds (3.6 billion kg) of recycled glass from pre and post-consumer sources. Using this material productively saved millions of cubic feet in landfill space.

The total amount of recycled material used in fiberglass insulation varies from brand to brand and product to product, but some products are made with as much as 80 percent recycled glass. Fiberglass insulation also requires the use of silica sand, which is an abundant and naturally-renewing resource.

Bottom Line

Fiberglass insulation remains a highly competitive and attractive insulation option, even when considered according to environmentally-friendly “green” priorities. In the decades it has been used, it has proven time and again to be a reliable and effective material.