Energy Efficiency

An Alternative Power Development Plan for Guatemala

Energize Guatemala: Proposal for a Sustainable Energy Plan
Thursday, June 28, 2012
The purpose of this study is to critically examine the government’s electricity development plans and to determine if there is a more sustainable and economically efficient solution to meet the country’s future electricity needs.

Measure Energy Efficiency in Your Home

Take a look at this great talk by energy efficiency expert Saul Griffith, given at PopTech in 2008. Though it is a few years old, the video is still relevant – it walks you through an audit of Saul's home energy use and the results are surprising. Even someone as well versed in energy efficiency as Saul Griffith uses eight times more power than a person living in the Global South. Want to measure energy efficiency in your home, and find out how you could be more energy efficient? Use the WattzOn energy calculator and see a chart of your energy use. Ian Elwood is the Web Producer f

Energy Efficiency: Paid Lunch or False Shortcut?

Energy efficiency looks like the perfect solution to our energy problems. Efficiency gains not only reduce our energy consumption, but typically pay for themselves. They are “not a free lunch, but a lunch you’re paid to eat,” Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, Amory Lovins and Hunter Lovins argue in their influential book, Factor Four. Their twin benefits make efficiency improvements politically more feasible than measures such as carbon taxes. A recent story in The New Yorker magazine has cast doubts about the effectiveness of energy efficiency. “The problem with efficiency gains is

Clean, Cheap, Plentiful: Energy Efficiency Video

Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Global demand for energy is growing by leaps and bounds, and politicians the world over are responding with an environmentally damaging roll-out of big dams, more coal mining, and a push for more nuclear plants. But there is a better way to meet our needs. Efficiency is the cheapest, safest, fastest source of energy – and there is huge potential worldwide to offset new energy supply projects. If energy efficiency was made a top priority, many of the planet’s rivers could be spared from the ravages of large dams. Global warming could be dramatically slowed. Poor countries could s

China's Green Leap Forward

Shanghai at night. China’s rapid growth makes improving energy efficiency imperative
Monday, March 8, 2010
World's biggest energy user on track to become world's best energy-saver  From March 2010 World Rivers Review It is a cold winter morning in Beijing. As I prepare to write this story about energy efficiency in China, I wonder how efficient my own day will be. I enjoyed a quick shower with warm water from the solar tank on our roof, and prepared our breakfast with appliances that carry energy performance labels. All our lighting fixtures are energy efficient, and none of the electronic equipment is on standby. (Many appliances use power even when off. Standby power now accounts fo

Will China Win the Clean Energy Race With the US?

China's Liu Xiang on track to winning Olympic Gold in 2004
China's Liu Xiang on track to winning Olympic Gold in 2004 In April 2009, President Obama said, "The nation that leads the world in twenty-first-century clean energy will be the nation that leads in the twenty-first-century global economy." Will China or the United States win the race for clean energy technology and future economic predominance? Here is an update with some personal impressions from Beijing. The United States government has allocated more than $38 billion to renewable energy projects in the economic stimulus program passe

Cuba’s Energy Revolution: Yes They Can!

Che Guevara on bike
Che Guevara on bike Barack Obama has proposed to invest $150 billion in renewable energy and energy efficiency over the next ten years. He need look no further than La Havana for inspiration. Cuba has successfully greened its energy sector over the last few years, and is now exporting its energy revolution. Will we soon benefit from Cuban expertise in cleaning up the US energy sector? Just a few years ago, Cuba was plagued by frequent power blackouts – the result of inefficient generation in outdated thermal power plants, large transmission losses, and wasteful consumption. In 2006, the

To Save Amazonia, There is Another Way

Wind turbine
Wind turbine Archive Brazil's electric sector says the country's energy future hinges on damming the rivers of Amazonia. But the Amazon could be protected and people's energy needs met through aggressive investment in energy efficiency and true renewables such as biomass, small hydro, solar and wind. A study by WWF-Brazil published in 2007 showed that by 2020 Brazil could cut the expected demand for electricity by 40% through investments in energy efficiency. The power saved would be equivalent to 60 Angra III nuclear plants or 14 Belo Monte hydroelectric plants. This would result in nationa

Fontes Alternativas de Energia e Eficiência Energética

Cartaz: Fontes Alternativa de Energia  e Eficiência Energética
Thursday, June 20, 2002
Cartaz: Fontes Alternativa de Energia e Eficiência Energética Fundação Heinrich Böll, Coalizão Rios Vivos O seminário "Fontes Alternativas de Energia e Eficiência Energética: Opção para uma política energética sustentável no Brasil", organizado pela Fundação Heinrich Böll e a Coalizão Rios Vivos em Brasília em 2002 foi um marco no debate sobre o futuro energético do país. Este livro contém as apresentações de especialistas que apontam um caminho em que o Brasil poder seguir para eliminar sua dependência em grandes hidrelétricas na Amazônia. A primeira parte trata

South Africa’s Elusive Negawatts

Monday, March 2, 2009
From March 2009 World Rivers ReviewSince 2006, South Africa’s energy crisis has dealt a serious blow to Africa’s largest economy, cutting off big industries and energy-importing neighbors, and derailing planned investments. At times, the shortage has plunged the country into darkness. The shortage will be a reality for the next five years, if not longer, according to government sources. South Africa must urgently find 3,000 MW to stabilize its electricity supply system just to tackle the current shortage. One organization says they know where the cheapest power can be found. “South Afri


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