LEDs are 90% more efficient than modern incandescent bulbs. Their rapid uptake has resulted in measurable cuts in energy demand and emissions. But their plummeting cost over the last ten years is also causing a “rebound effect” where people are using more and more LEDs, not least for outdoor lighting. Lucas Davis at the Haas School of Business believes we must embrace it, even if it’s counter to maximising energy savings. More and brighter … [Read more...]
Strategic home + workplace EV charging: there’s no need for extra power plants, storage, advanced demand management
High EV usage introduces new power consumption problems. At first look, extra storage and plants will be needed to cope with charging peaks. Either that, or sophisticated advanced demand management connected to every charging point, to smooth out demand. David Chandler at MIT describes research there that shows how, done right, none of that may be necessary. The study, tested on real life data in New York and Dallas, reveals that two things can … [Read more...]
Buildings “Energy Performance Certificates”: piloting new tools to ramp up renovations
In Europe, any building put up for sale or rent must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). But as climate ambitions rise, so too must the those of the EPC. That's the purpose of the TIMEPAC consortium, funded by the EU’s Horizon programme, is working to extend its effectiveness and range of tools, explains Patricia Contreras Tejada writing for the European Science Communication Institute (ESCI). She quotes experts who point out that a low … [Read more...]
Will the computing power needed for self-driving cars create a carbon emissions problem akin to data centres?
Few predicted, in their early days, that the scale-up of data centres would result in them having a measurable impact on global energy consumption. Today they contribute 0.3% of global emissions. That’s a big enough number to put it on the global radar and for the IEA to be monitoring it. Will the wide scale take-up of autonomous vehicles have the same effect? Yes, explains Adam Zewe at MIT who describes new research from there. In summary, one … [Read more...]
European gas prices have fallen sharply since August. What happens next?
Prices on the European gas market have fallen sharply since August 2022 and Europe’s gas storage facilities are almost full. That’s good news, but the problems aren’t over. Simon Göss at cr.hub, writing for Energy Brainpool, explains why by looking at the data. He runs through the main factors driving the changes, primarily strong LNG imports, Norway’s increased production, mild weather, and lower gas consumption (particularly in industry). … [Read more...]
Wellbeing peaks at just 75GJ per capita: a reachable target for poorer nations to rise to (and rich ones to fall to)
Energy consumption is strongly linked to health and wellbeing, in particular life expectancy, infant mortality, happiness, food supply, access to basic sanitation services and access to electricity. But as Josie Garthwaite at Stanford University explains, new research is saying that those improvements cease above a certain number of gigajoules per person per year. Knowing that number will make understanding and setting targets much easier. For a … [Read more...]