Tag Archive: Efficiency

Stock Markets Reward Sustainable Companies

Energy efficiency and sustainability improvements are increasingly seen as an indicator for overall quality of management of companies and taken into account by stock market analysts in order to assess to long-term viability of an investment.
ON-green-policy! The stock markets do not intrinsically care about the environment. If they do, it is because financial analysts recognise the tangible advantages of more efficient companies over their unsustainable competitors. This development delivers very strong and credible arguments for green investments and policies favouring the green economy. Voters and politicians should take notice.
Source: Environmental …

Good-Bye Coal

In a surprisingly bold move, US President Obama set ambitious emission targets (1,000lbs of carbon dioxide for each megawatt hour) for new power plants, which will basically prevent the construction of new coal power plants. The only fossil energy source that will be able to comply with the new regulation is natural gas, which is booming thanks to the fracking technology.
ON-green-policy! Mr. Obama is basically heading into the right direction, acting against greenhouse gas emissions without favouring a particular energy source. Still, this approach has a few shortcomings.

Natural gas production receives a preferential treatment and it will be very …

Cost Efficiency – Lifecycle and Cost Analysis to the Rescue

Traditionally buying and building decision are taken with accounting mainly for purchasing costs. While the upfront paying for building a new house or buying a new car may seem the most relevant factor and intuitively comprehensible, it is only one – and actually quiet incomplete – part of the real costs over the lifetime of an item. According to the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) Applying “life cycle and cost analysis” (LCCA) is an efficient way to learn about the real costs of design and buying decisions and more and more engineers and customers are using it. Some interesting insights …

Biofuels – Equalling Libya’s Oil Output

Some interesting figures that are worth being noted. Biofuel production now consumes 40% of the US corn harvest. In terms of produced quantity, biofuels account for more fuel than the oil production of Libya. Biofuels become price competitive if oil costs more than 70 US$ / barrel – it has frequently topped 100 US$ in the last couple of years.
ON-green-policy. Biofuels are questionable in terms of carbon saving efficiency and also in terms of competing with food production. While the US, where 50% of the world’s biofuels are produced don’t go hungry, the recent boom in Biofuels still influences …

Solarpower – Germany Adds the Equivalent of 7 nuclear power stations in solar power

In 2011 German house owner installed an amazing 7500 megawatts of solar power production capacity. Even considering that this is largely a theoretical figure, the number corresponds to the capacity of 7 nuclear power stations. Adjusted for population this would amount to a rather impressive 30 nuclear stations in the US. Now, Germany reduces subsidies according to installed capacity and because of this huge success, subsidies will be reduced by 15% for 2012.
On-green-policy. Several things are noteworthy. First, subsidy’s reduction fails to keep up with even faster decreasing prices. Therefore, solar power installations will still get more attractive and …

Good Green Policy in Times of Global Change

Recently a study comparing attitudes to green development have come to some very interesting conclusions. Basically, many North Americans perceive green development, energy efficiency measures and environmental protection regulations as a burden for the economy; in short a luxury in tough times. Europeans on the other hand recognise that the green industry is featuring above-average growth and jobs and that efficiency regulations will not only reduce foreign dependency but also save billions of Euros; a smart investment in tough times. This notable difference showed in negotiation positions in Durban. Europe was moving forward, uniting a grand coalition of climate …

Environmental Investment Organisation – New Carbon Ranking

The Environmental Investment Organisation (EIO) in London has published a new carbon ranking. In five major reports covering Europe’s, North America’s, Asia/Pacific’s and BRICS’s 300 as well as the Global 800 biggest companies, the British NGO sheds light (based on publicly available data) on carbon transparency and efficiency of the global business leaders. The reports venture into a new dimension of carbon reporting and for the first time take into account indirect (scope 3) emissions. Combined with the important role of reporting transparency and thanks to the all inclusive (in contrast to the traditional best-in-class) approach in the ranking …

UK – Tax Breaks for Wasting Energy

The UK has ambitious plans for reducing greenhouse gases  and Prime Minister James Cameron aims to lead the greenest government ever. However, a report of the OECD highlights some major inconsistencies in British environmental policies, namely in the way energy is taxed. While pushing for substantial reductions of CO2 emissions (-20% until 2020) VAT for energy is still only 5% compared with 20% for other goods.
Quiet unlikely that this tax scheme will incite any households to save on energy, invest in insulation or renewable energy. If they become more energy-efficient it is to the contrary despite of UK tax …

China – Coal Power Stations Reduce Output

China’s generally very effective development machine faces new challenges. With inflation and particularly coal prices on the rise and heavily relying on export oriented low cost and energy intensive industries, China’s bureaucracy scrambles to keep electricity costs down. One might consider this to be an easy task. After all, utilities are state controlled and basically have to follow orders. However, this time it’s different. Confronted with dramatically rising expenses on coal, rapidly increasing demand and artificially low and inflexible prices, power utilities struggle to be profitable. Many of them actually produce at a net loss. The financial situation is …