Waste to become renewable energy in Turkey’s Van

The municipality in Turkey’s eastern Van province has decided to clean up a waste depot and turn its contents into renewable energy.

The waste depot is located on the Van-Özalp road that carries many tourists from Iran, prompting the municipality to clean up the area to create a better impression on the visitors.

A strong smell and the gradual spread of the waste across the area also worried residents of the Bostaniçi and Beyüzümü neighborhoods as the waste was beginning to contaminate the nearby Lake S?hke.

Rather than simply moving the waste to another location, municipality officials developed a plan to eliminate it altogether, while adding to the city’s electric grid.

The municipality will first transport the waste to a facility further from Van city, where methane gas will be extracted from the waste to provide fuel for electricity production.

Then the former waste area near the city will then be covered with solar panels to add an extra boost to the city’s electric grid.

In light of increased environmental discourse and the global movement away from fossil fuels, Turkey has begun to focus on renewable energy.

The government announced in May that it had raised the amount of support paid for electricity produced under its Renewable Energy Resources Support Mechanism (YEKDEM) in April by TL 587.5 million ($163.34 million), compared to the same month last year, reaching a total of TL 1.7 billion ($480 million).

Through YEKDEM, approximately 4.2 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity was generated from hydroelectric power plants, while 950.8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity was produced at wind farms; another 521 million kilowatt-hour electricity was produced from biogas, biomass, geothermal, and landfill gas.

Green airports of the future

Solar panels at George Airport, South Africa

Kerala state which occupies a narrow strip in the south-western coast of India is often described as “God’s own country”.

Few places in the world – namely the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland, Yorkshire in England and a pinch of other locations globally in the then British Empire – share this accolade.

For the state of Kerala, its tourism department could have picked this slogan to match the beautiful, picturesque and perfectly laid out landscape.

Located in the city of Kochi, the state hosts Cochin International Airport, which is the world’s first fully solar-powered airport.

It’s development, dubbed aviation’s first venture owned by the public, under a public-private partnership was funded by non-resident Indians residing in over 30 different countries.

While operating on full solar power, Cochin’s airport management plans on expanding capacity and selling excess power generated to the national grid.

Interestingly this airport, commissioned in 1999, handled over 8.9 million passengers in 2016 and ranks as the seventh-busiest airport in India.

Those passenger numbers put Cochin International Airport at par with Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport – Ethiopia’s only international airport and the busiest in sub-Saharan Africa.

One would expect that with the perennial power shortage problems facing even international airports in the region, solar power would be a top consideration as an alternative source of energy.

Today, we still have several international African airports running mainly on inefficient energy sources like diesel powered generators powering critical airport systems.

But when it comes to “Green Airports” on the continent, South Africa is taking the lead so far with three solar-powered domestic airports and another three expected by end of 2017.

George Airport with an annual handling capacity of about 700,000 passengers was used by Airports Company South Africa as a “test case”.

Renewable energy sources like solar would not be the only mark of green airports for the future. There is more that travelers should expect from airports.

According to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Action Plan on Emissions Reductions –  green practices for airports – include environmental management systems, aircraft noise management, air quality management, water resource management, energy conservation, waste management and wildlife strike hazard reduction.

There are several airports in the world already leading the charge towards more eco-friendly airports for instance, Zurich Airport in Switzerland whose toilets use only rain water and the heating-cooling systems run on geothermal energy.

Another interesting example is Indira Ghandi International Airport with a water recycling system, was designed to use natural light in the daytime and whose construction was done using only recycled materials.

The airport shares the recycled material construction features with Logan airport Boston which has a heat reflecting roof and boasts of customer savvy plans.

So far, the largest solar-powered airport in the United States would be Denver International which has great power saving and recycling facilities coupled with the worlds greenest parking lot.

Amazingly when it comes to ranking of the best airports in the world, some of the features above would not count so much.

Many airport ranking bodies weight heavily annual passenger traffic capacity and surface area coverage followed by passenger experience.

According to Skytrax World Airport Awards, which lists the best airports globally on an annual basis, their reports are usually based on airline customer surveys evaluating mainly traveler experiences.

There is still no category for the most environmentally friendly airport in its ranking.

Some of the key performance indicators in the survey review customer experience touch points principally, from check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security and immigration through to departure at the gate.

Of the nearly 40 different traveler experience touch points namely ease of airport access, courtesy and attitude of airport staff, immigration handling, ease of navigation of airport, comfort, ambiance, design, cleanliness of washroom facilities, availability of rest areas, choice of bars, cafes, restaurants, duty free shopping are just some of the items passengers classify as very important to them.

Even in its ranking of airports, Skytrax limits the categories to Best in – Cleanest, Airport Staff, Shopping, Immigration, Dining, Security, Baggage Delivery and Leisure Amenities.

Surprisingly, none of the African airports made it to the top 10 2017 listing in any of these categories – in fact on the overall listing of top 100 in 2017, Cape Town International Airport emerged nineteenth ahead of Dubai International Airport.

Regionally, Kigali International Airport emerged fifth in Best Airports in Africa 2017. It is not the largest in terms of passenger numbers or airport size but its raking was primarily because of improved passenger experience at the airport.

It is high time African airports paid more attention to the traveler airport experience and more ecofriendly solutions as it strives to improve its airport infrastructure.

Michael Otieno is an aviation consultant based in Nairobi. Twitter: @pmykee143, Email: [email protected].

Green Solutions Can Be Eco-Friendly And Cost-Effective …

Finding The Balance

Many companies eschew “green” solutions because they aren’t seen as cost-effective, but that thinking may be wrong. Consider steel. Steel is one of the most “green” building materials in the world—it’s primarily recycled. It’s also incredibly durable, and can be made to fit a variety of applications. When it comes to building, steel is preeminent.

According to FidelitySteel.com, pre-engineered metal buildings: “…bring you a high-quality product in a fashion that can fit your budget.” The metal used is, as you may have guessed, steel; but that’s not where the eco-friendly solutions end. Atop that steel building, you can add two cost-effective measures that increase sustainability.

Solar panels can be sourced as low as $.70 cents a Watt—though after installation, even if you can source panels that cheap, you’ll likely end up paying about $3.50 per Watt. At that rate, you could install a 10 kWh (kilo-Watt hour) system for $35k. Over ten years, that would be $291 a month for energy.

Throw in a $5k wind turbine and ensure both solar and wind solutions store energy in a battery of the deep cell variety, you’re set for electricity for a decade at about $45k. That’s enough for continuous use on a daily basis by ten people or more. A single family home likely isn’t going to use more than 5 kWh regularly.

Install a well, and build a pre-engineered building to tie it all together at $16 to $40 per square foot, you can get a 1,200 square foot facility constructed that exists entirely off-grid, and will cost you less than $100k to build. ($48k is $40 multiplied by 1,200. Added to $45k for a top-of-the-line solar/wind system, you’re looking at $93k.)

Own The Land Too

If you can find land on which to build such a prefabricated structure for $7k an acre or less, you can own an energy-sustainable facility of 1,200 square feet, and the land it sits on, for $100,000.

Find a way to source your own water and waste solutions—like an on-site well—and it’s conceivable that you’ll have a facility that is completely sustainable, decently-sized, and cost-effective. What’s more: all these solutions are entirely green—or as green as you can get using modern technology today. That means tax credits galore.

One reason airports and mechanical shops source steel hangars and other prefabricated solutions of this kind is because of their environmental friendliness. Another is because of the structural stability which comes with such buildings. They’ve been known to withstand hurricane-force winds.

Certainly mobile homes are technically structures of the prefabricated variety; but not in the same way a steel building like a hangar is. Additionally, such structures can be used for many things beyond industrial application. You could make a house out of one, or a restaurant, or a brewery.

Traditional Options Are Expensive

Many estimates put a traditional home at around $150 per square foot. That means a 2,400 square foot property would be about $360,000. Meanwhile, using the construction methods outlined here, you could have 2,400 square feet of usable space for only $200,000, or only 55% of the cost.

That’s incentive enough to go the sustainable prefabricated route. When you realize it’s a “green” way of building that also saves you money on utilities throughout a given month, the incentive to use such a means of construction is definitely higher.

At twelve cents per kWh, you’re looking at about $864.00 in a 30 day month for a 10 kWh system. This means that in addition to being only about half the cost of traditional construction, using green energy at that magnitude represents only about 33% of normal energy expense on a monthly basis. It’s certainly food for thought.

Kevin Bennett is an influencer marketing pro with brownboxbranding.com who is passionate about building authentic relationships and helping businesses connect with their ideal online audience. He keeps his finger on the pulse of the ever-evolving digital marketing world by writing on the latest marketing advancements? and focuses on developing customized blogger outreach plans based on industry and competition.

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Food for thought: New facility to turn food waste to renewable energy …

NORTH SALT LAKE — Think back to the last trip to the grocery store. How much food did you buy — and how much of that did you throw away?

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, around 1.3 billion tons of food is lost or wasted globally every year. That’s roughly a third of the food produced annually.

And all that discarded food usually winds up in landfills.

“We don’t really see that. We handle our waste kind of secretly — it goes out the back door. But we needed a place for that stuff to go,” said Bruce Alder, president of ALPRO Energy and Water.

To cut the amount of food waste in Utah landfills, ALPRO Energy and Water, and South Davis Sewer District are partnering to build Utah’s first anaerobic digester facility. Dozens of businessmen and women gathered at the groundbreaking for the building in North Salt Lake on Thursday.

“Everywhere we looked, we found more waste,” Alder said. “There is a real need to divert and process these organic wastes that are now being thrown away and put in a landfill, to a better and more sustainable use.”

Anaerobic digestion is a biological process where microbes break down biodegradable material without oxygen.

The Wasatch Resource Recovery facility will turn organic material — including food scraps, food manufacturing waste and expired food and beverages — into clean, renewable natural gas.

Once it is operational in the fall of 2018, the $43 million facility will divert about 360 tons of solid waste from landfills every day.

“Our available land is too scarce and too beneficial to other uses to be used to store and bury waste and organic material,” Alder said.

In the United States alone, consumers discard up to 40 percent of the annual food supply, the Department of Agriculture reported. Food waste is the single largest component going into landfills, where it generates methane, a harmful greenhouse gas and renewable energy source.

Officials estimate the Wasatch Resource Recovery facility will cut methane emissions that are equivalent to taking 75,000 cars off the highway each year.

“We’re going to diminish our landfill volume. We’re going to produce new natural gas through methane and fertilizer. It is win-win-win all the way around,” Gov. Gary Herbert said at the groundbreaking.

The digester breaks down the food and converts the methane into a pipeline grade natural gas. The amount of natural gas collected is enough to supply a community the size of Bountiful.

“We can do all the stuff that a typical composter can’t do, like the meat, bones, dairy, oil, sugar. We can take all of that,” said Morgan Bowerman, sustainability manager for Wasatch Resource Recovery.

Bowerman said multiple businesses and restaurants — including Smith’s Food and Drug Stores, Dannon, Ragnar and Harmons Neighborhood Grocer — have already signed contracts to send their food waste to the facility.

Businesses can pay a third of the cost of landfill tipping fees to send large quantities of food waste to the digester, Bowerman said. Any business that produces organic waste can contract with the facility, including restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, caterers, breweries and food processors.

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Pioneering green energy project switches on at Methill docks – The …

A pioneering green energy project that will see quieter, less polluting bin lorries on Scottish streets and provide eco-friendly power to local businesses has become operational.

Levenmouth Community Energy Project (LCEP), based at Methill docks in Fife, is one of the first of its type in the world.

It utilises renewable electricity produced locally by a wind turbine and solar panels to create hydrogen from water.

Some of the hydrogen is then used to run a fleet of 17 low-emission refuse trucks and vans, while the rest is stored in fuel cells and can be called upon to generate low-carbon electricity when output from the renewables devices is poor.

A ‘smart’ microgrid controls how much hydrogen gets stored and how much is converted into power to supply businesses.

As well as commissioning two specially adapted dual-fuel bin lorries, the scheme aims to help local firms boost their environmental credentials by offering a range of hydrogen-powered vehicles for hire.

LCEP is a partnership between locally based not-for-profit firm Bright Green Hydrogen, Fife Council and Japanese technology giant Toshiba.

The scheme has received more than £4 million in support from the Scottish Government’s Local Energy Challenge Fund, plus funding from Transport Scotland to install an additional hydrogen storage and refuelling station at the council’s Bankhead vehicle depot in Glenrothes.

The initiative has now reached a major milestone as the hi-tech control system is switched on.

It means the site is now capable of operating automatically to balance hydrogen storage against renewable generation, and both the Methil and Bankhead refuelling stations are now up and running and capable of servicing vehicles.

“It’s great news that this key stage in the project is now complete,” said George Archibald, chief executive of Bright Green Hydrogen.

“The Levenmouth project demonstrates how we can use locally produced hydrogen to reduce both carbon dioxide and toxic emissions.

“This is a vital part of meeting Scotland’s climate change targets, and hugely important to protecting public health.”

Councillor Ken Caldwell, convener of Fife Council’s Levenmouth Area Committee, said: “This is great news for Levenmouth.

“This innovative project will bring many benefits to the area.

“It’s hoped it will increase economic growth and reduce fuel poverty in the area.”

Stephen Stead, sales and business development director, at Toshiba, added: “The Levenmouth Community Energy Project has provided the perfect location to engage our technology with innovative green hydrogen applications.

“The project shows hydrogen produced from renewables has a pivotal role in local energy systems and can maximise the benefits from renewable energy for businesses and communities.”

Two thirds of any profits generated from the scheme will go to a fund set up to tackle local fuel poverty.

Food for thought: New facility to turn food waste to renewable energy

NORTH SALT LAKE — Think back to the last trip to the grocery store. How much food did you buy — and how much of that did you throw away?

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, around 1.3 billion tons of food is lost or wasted globally every year. That’s roughly a third of the food produced annually.

And all that discarded food usually winds up in landfills.

“We don’t really see that. We handle our waste kind of secretly — it goes out the back door. But we needed a place for that stuff to go,” said Bruce Alder, president of ALPRO Energy and Water.

To cut the amount of food waste in Utah landfills, ALPRO Energy and Water, and South Davis Sewer District are partnering to build Utah’s first anaerobic digester facility. Dozens of businessmen and women gathered at the groundbreaking for the building in North Salt Lake on Thursday.

“Everywhere we looked, we found more waste,” Alder said. “There is a real need to divert and process these organic wastes that are now being thrown away and put in a landfill, to a better and more sustainable use.”

Anaerobic digestion is a biological process where microbes break down biodegradable material without oxygen.

The Wasatch Resource Recovery facility will turn organic material — including food scraps, food manufacturing waste and expired food and beverages — into clean, renewable natural gas.

Once it is operational in the fall of 2018, the $43 million facility will divert about 360 tons of solid waste from landfills every day.

“Our available land is too scarce and too beneficial to other uses to be used to store and bury waste and organic material,” Alder said.

In the United States alone, consumers discard up to 40 percent of the annual food supply, the Department of Agriculture reported. Food waste is the single largest component going into landfills, where it generates methane, a harmful greenhouse gas and renewable energy source.

Officials estimate the Wasatch Resource Recovery facility will cut methane emissions that are equivalent to taking 75,000 cars off the highway each year.

“We’re going to diminish our landfill volume. We’re going to produce new natural gas through methane and fertilizer. It is win-win-win all the way around,” Gov. Gary Herbert said at the groundbreaking.

The digester breaks down the food and converts the methane into a pipeline grade natural gas. The amount of natural gas collected is enough to supply a community the size of Bountiful.

“We can do all the stuff that a typical composter can’t do, like the meat, bones, dairy, oil, sugar. We can take all of that,” said Morgan Bowerman, sustainability manager for Wasatch Resource Recovery.


1
comment on this story

Bowerman said multiple businesses and restaurants — including Smith’s Food and Drug Stores, Dannon, Ragnar and Harmons Neighborhood Grocer — have already signed contracts to send their food waste to the facility.

Businesses can pay a third of the cost of landfill tipping fees to send large quantities of food waste to the digester, Bowerman said. Any business that produces organic waste can contract with the facility, including restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, caterers, breweries and food processors.

Apple takes another bite out of Climate Change with 2nd billion-dollar green bond

Technology giant Apple has served up the perfect riposte to U.S. President Donald Trump’s disavowal of the Paris Agreement by issuing $1 billion of green bonds with the explicit instruction that proceeds raised be steered towards clean energy and eco-friendly projects.

The iPhone maker has long been a supportive advocate of solar power, and last year issued the biggest ever green bond sold by a U.S. company when it sold $1.5 billion worth of green bonds.

This second foray follows Apple’s signing of an open letter in which the company, and others, pledged to continue supporting efforts to meet the Paris Agreement. Having seen his efforts to dissuade Trump from withdrawing from the agreement fall on deaf ears, Apple CEO Tim Cook has, with this green bond issuance, taken tangible steps towards meeting the firm’s environmental and social initiatives.

“Leadership from the business community is essential to address the threat of climate change,” said Apple’s VP of environment, policy and social initiatives Lisa Jackson in a statement. Following this latest green bond, Apple is now the largest issuer of dollar-denominated green bonds.

The purpose of this second green bond sale is to make it easier for investors to identify projects that are eco-friendly. Proceeds from projects funded under the green bond sale are dictated by a set of guidelines called the Green Bond Principles. By raising debt in this manner, the company does not have to dip into its cash reserves to fund clean energy projects.

Apple has also specified that projects pursued under the bond offering will follow the firm’s closed-loop supply chain principle, where Apple only makes products using recycled or renewable materials.

Apple already sources an impressive 96% of its energy from renewable sources, and in August last year was authorized to sell its renewable power on the U.S. wholesale market, becoming an independent power producer in its own right.

Other PV strings to the Apple bow include large-scale solar deals and projects in the U.S., while its new HQ, Apple Park, boasts one of the largest on-site solar arrays in the world.

5 global green building trends for 2017

Thanks in part to the U.N.’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, green building projects are increasing worldwide. From 2015 to 2018, the percentage of global builders with at least 60 percent of their projects certified green will double, according to the World Green Building Trends report.

One of the main motivations driving green construction is to reduce carbon emissions, reports Interesting Engineering. And successful ways to do that revolve around energy usage – namely, to decrease energy consumption and increase energy efficiency in homes and buildings around the world.

Here’s how those goals break down into the top 5 global green building trends this year, according to the site:

1. Solar Panels in All Shapes and Sizes

The worldwide acceptance of solar as the energy of the future is causing solar technology to get better and cheaper — fast.

In 2016, India set aside $3 billion of state funding to ensure their capacity for solar power reaches 100 gigawatts by 2022. In May, the United Kingdom generated nearly a quarter of their power needs from solar panels.

And China is currently in the middle of creating the largest solar thermal farm in the world.

Huge, heavy panels with bulky grids are no longer the only options for a solar roof install. In the U.S., Tesla has already rolled out its new solar shingles, while Forward Labs’ standing seam metal solar roofing is set to be released in 2018.

In Australia, Professor Paul Dastoor of the University of Newcastle is performing the final trials on lightweight solar panels made by printing electronic ink onto plastic sheets. These solar panels are cheap to produce and ship and could potentially be a game changer for the solar panel industry.

2. Home Energy Storage

“Batteries capable of storing power at utility scale will be as widespread in 12 years as rooftop solar panels are now,” estimates Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

And that makes sense, considering the same type of lithium-ion battery used to power an electric vehicle can also be used to store power in the home. This double demand enables manufacturers to increase battery production, which drives down prices. And lower prices mean home batteries will be within reach of more people.

And some major players have already jumped in on the home battery manufacturing opportunity:

-Mercedes-Benz has produced suitcase-sized at-home energy storage for Germany since 2015, but it plans to expand internationally and has recently made the product available to California residents in the U.S.

-Powervault is the No. 1 at home battery manufacturer in the UK.

-ElectrIQ is one of the newest home energy storage manufacturers in the U.S. with a home battery that stores 10 kWh of energy.

3. Energy Management Systems

To get the most out of solar panels and batteries, energy management systems (EMSs) are often installed in green homes and businesses. EMSs monitor how much energy a building uses and can automate lighting, power and HVAC systems to ensure optimal energy savings.

For example, The Edge, a building in Amsterdam that won the BREEAM award for offices in 2016, has 30,000 sensors that connect to a smartphone app. This app collects data from office employees and adjusts temperature and lighting according to how many people are inside the building and even keeps track of individual employee’s air and lighting preferences.

Another example is Honda’s smart home in the U.S., which has an experimental home EMS that communicates with the electrical grid to create optimal energy performance.

4. Passive Building Design

Passive building designs help minimize energy consumption by reducing the need for electrical lighting and temperature control in the first place.

How? By using advanced design techniques that allow for maximum amounts of natural daylight to come in, while restricting heat loss in the winter and reducing heat gain in the summer.

And one element of passive design that has a big impact in temperature control is what goes on the roof.

Green roofs play an important part in helping regulate the temperature inside and outside of many passive buildings and homes. The plants and soil systems put in place help insulate the building in the winter and shade it in the summer.

5. Sustainable Building Materials

Reclaimed wood and recycled materials are high on the list of sustainable building supplies. But there’s also a lot of innovation happening in the world of eco-friendly concrete.

Why is making concrete green so important? Because it’s the world’s most used construction material, and it’s responsible for producing copious amounts of CO2.

There are several concrete alternatives, such as AshCrete, Ferrock and HempCrete — but the most recent buzz is self-healing concrete. This concrete is supplemented with bacteria that when exposed to moisture will become active and grow limestone that will fill any cracks that happen over time. This is a big deal since no added concrete is needed to maintain it.

 

Elon Musk Says Tesla SuperChargers Will Run On Solar, Battery Power

There is no doubt that electric cars are more eco-friendly than fuel guzzling cars — but are they really eco-friendly? This has been a daunting question for many who have switched to these cars from their fuel cell vehicles. Tesla CEO Elon Musk finally answered the question when David Kennedy, an employee at Tesla tweeted the company’s supercharger network, which it uses to charge its cars, derives its power mostly from coal-powered plants.

Responding to him, Musk stated, “ All Superchargers are being converted to solar/battery power. Over time, almost all will disconnect from the electricity grid.”

Read: Tesla Superchargers In 2017: Faster Charging, Expanded Network, China Presence And More

Elon Musk Tesla CEO Elon Musk says all Supercharger stations will run on solar/battery power in the future. Photo: OnInnovation/Flickr

The quagmire of electric cars, from the start, has been the source of electricity. If the electricity is derived from non-renewable sources, which actually pollute the environment, they might not be eco-friendly. It could actually make them lesser polluters than fuel guzzlers, not eco-friendly in essence. Using Musk’s technology, including the company’s Powerpacks energy storage at Tesla’s Supercharging stations, these supercharger stations could actually be solar-powered, especially since the company is actually now one which produces solar panels, since its acquisition of solar energy company SolarCity last year.

Tesla is also set to come out with the version three of the superchargers, which will have 350 kilowatts power output and off grid solar energy and power packs. The new superchargers are also expected to lower the charging time from an hour to ten minutes.

Tesla has been expanding its Supercharging network recently and the company has an ambitious goal of reaching 10,000 superchargers by the end of 2017. The company will also start delivering its first mass-market car, the Tesla Model 3 next month. The company stated in April some of its Superchargers would be solar powered, but now CEO Elon Musk has stated that all of these superchargers will be powered by eco-friendly sources of energy.  It is unclear though, that whether Tesla would be powering all of its under-construction superchargers and to be constructed Superchargers with solar energy.

According to Electrek, only 6 of 800 or so current Superchargers are solar powered.

Read: Tesla Supercharger Network: More Chargers In More Locations For 2017

Whatever be the case, Tesla will need more Supercharger stations if it wants to find more takers for its electric cars. If the technology has to go mainstream, it will have to compete with the convenience that gas-guzzling vehicles offer — just like you can fill up your tank, by going to nearby gas station, in a very short duration, the alternative should be that you should easily be able to charge your car and take a long drive without worrying about the battery running out. If the company succeeds in actually building such a large number of Superchargers, it would actually succeed in its goal of mainstreaming the technology. — an endeavor in which the upcoming Model 3 might help.