Posts

Showing posts from July, 2017

Do we need electricity grids in emerging markets?

Electricity grids have been powering cities across the world since the early 1900s. As the world continues to develop at different speeds, and rural areas demand more and more electricity, is the traditional electricity grid still the best option?

Providing electricity to countryside homes will likely have ripple effects on eradicating poverty and increasing the sustainable development of these areas. Kerosene lamps are main source of light at night in many rural homes in developing countries. These lamps have been known to cause injuries when broken, as the highly flammable fuel can severely burn those nearby.

Companies like d.light and M-KOPA have attempted to address this safety issue associated with kerosene lamps by developing solar powered LED lights to replace the kerosene. While these LED lamps may have a much higher upfront cost than kerosene lamps, they have very little maintenance costs and much lower life-time costs. Providing electricity to such homes not only reduces the…

Wind Energy: A Love/Hate Relationship

Image
There is a continuous problem in the US surrounding wind farms. As coal prices continue to rise and renewables continue to fall, the US will likely begin switching to renewable energy, if not for the environmental benefits, then for the economic savings.
Source: Bloomberg
However, there is one problem facing this switch: everybody wants wind energy to supply the power grids, but don't want to see the turbines from their backyards.
A number of wind farm projects - both onshore and offshore - have been delayed or have been halted altogether because of aesthetic impact. Towns in New York state are trying their best to prevent wind farms from nearing their town’s borders to the extent that laws have been created to prevent large-scale industrial wind farms from supplying the grid and restrict locations of wind farms. Some other New York state residents will only support wind farm projects once they have been assured their ocean view will not be disturbed.
Other states’ residents are wor…