European Stubbornness at its Best: The Nations That Refuse to Budge

Blog7 - European Stubbornness at its Best: The Nations That Refuse to Budge

Today, we take a closer look at European nations who are sticking to their guns. By guns, we mean their sources of unsustainable energy production.

A majority of Europe have agreed to ratify the Paris Agreement. However, not all members of the EU are following suit and are lagging behind.

Who, you may ask?

 One of these nations is France. This nation alternates between digging in their heels and putting forth the mandates given to them.

In Bosnia, there are 4 coal plants that are still operation. The residents have complained of the pollution for years but to no avail. Now, there are more plans toward more coal sites; 7 of them, in fact. Studies done regarding their proposed additional coal sites have given the figures of an 18% increase in harmful emissions. Despite the additional health risks of these new coal sites, Bosnian locals are not shying away from taking jobs in these sites.

Residents of Tuzla express that while renewable energy is still being perfected, there are no other jobs available. Therefore, they take the coal sites job with reservations.

The United Kingdom, while showing some promise, still lags behind other countries. However, since the Brexit fiasco, they are no longer really obliged to hit the target for 2020. The Netherlands, as of 2015, has only accomplished 5.8 of the goal of 14.

While there are only three years to go regarding the 2020 goal, everyone is waiting to see what the other lagging nations are planning to do.

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 Not all is lost. There are heroes.

There are now at least eleven EU nations who have managed to meet their 2020 targets. These nations are: Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, Finland, and several others.

Global Warming is the very thing that the European guideline for Renewable Energy 2020 goal is trying to address. By lowering the collective emissions of the EU, they hope to significantly slash the speed in which global warming is progressing.

As the noticeable effects of global warming continue to propagate, it is ultimately more and more necessary to adhere to stricter rules regarding the lessening of carbon emissions.  As the USA has pulled out from the Paris Agreement, it will be Europe’s responsibility to blaze the path toward clean and sustainable energy.

It is wonderful how the concepts of green energy, global warming, and sustainability are all intertwined. One cannot unravel without the others. It’s a balance that must be met and maintained. In order to lessen the rapid advancement of global warming, people as a whole do need to start taking steps toward more sustainable living.

While it is great that there are now agreements that need to be met with regard to renewable energy, it is still ultimately the dependence on foreign oil that drags everything down. As long as there is a demand for the supply of gas and oil, the fight will continue. Here’s to hoping that all the European members of the EU get to meet their targets well.

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Drastically Ignored Signs: The Irrefutable Marks Global Warming Has Left on Europe

Blog6 - Drastically Ignored Signs: The Irrefutable Marks Global Warming Has Left on Europe

Our brightest minds have tried to warn us consistently through the years but were adamantly ignored. Energy and Global Warming are intrinsically interwoven with each other.

Humans consume energy. Energy is produced from coal, oil, or gas. These resources do not recover over time. As a consequence, prices go higher and higher. The rapid consumption of these non-renewable resources emits gasses when consumed. These become trapped and continue to heat up our planet. This cycle goes on and on until something gives. In the worst case scenario, it’ll be our planet that eventually becomes completely inhabitable.

Our scientists have pointed out several irrefutable signs that global warming has left on Europe. Let’s look at some of them:

Extreme overall temperature

Europe has been subjected to the flux of temperature extremes. Mostly, these are in the form of terribly warm days and nights. These greatly affect human physiology and have even resulted in death in the elderly and infants. As the temperatures continue to go up, the desertification of certain areas in the Southern Europe have begun. This has brought it prolonged periods of drought and inability to harvest crops, devastating farming communities.

On the flip side, they have also recorded sudden and prolonged low-temperatures. In either case too much heat and too much ice is definitely not healthy from a human standpoint.

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Unpredictability of weather

If you’ve noticed that most meteorological forecasts have become increasingly unreliable as the years went by. This is particularly true especially for South East Asia. The predictability of weather events have been increasingly difficult to observe and report. As the climate continues to change (and not for the better), it’ll be harder and harder to provide accurate weather reporting.

Unavailability of water

Water is an important resource. However, river flows in southern and eastern Europe have seen massive reductions. Seasonal changes are now considered normal for places, like mountain areas, that did not used to have them before.

As potable water normally hails from mountain peaks and mountainous areas, the drastic changes in climate has made water supplies diminish. Highly populated areas like cities will start to exhibit signs of water shortages soon. This shall affect things like tourism, which is one of the primary sources on income for European cities.

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Vanishing coastal areas

As the world warms, the ice caps melt and end up raising the water level of oceans. As 1/3 of the EU population reside in coastal cities, these will be impacted when the sea start to reach areas where it previously did not. This shall also affect water availability. As sea water rises and pushes inland, this shall affect the fresh water ecosystems.

Something clearly has to be done.

The reliance on oil and gas imports is not sustainable. Fossil fuels are a rapidly depleting resource. Instead of being able to provide everyone with sufficient energy, the reliance on oil continues to drive up the prices of energy. The rapid consumption of this resource restarts the awful cycle of global warming.

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Blazing the Green Trail: UK Sets Renewable Energy Record

Blog5 - Blazing the Green Trail: UK Sets Renewable Energy Record

Summer in the UK this year has yielded a significant accomplishment for sustainability. The United Kingdom has set a new record for renewable energy output! Solar panels managed to produce 7.6 GW of power. Wind farms also helped contribute to the record.

The wind farms caught 9.5GW of energy. This record of 19.3 has helped meet more of UK’s energy demand. In an unprecedented but wholly welcome twist, renewable energy managed to provide energy more than the usual sources put together.

The production of coal was put to a sudden halt after the surge in power occurred. The United Kingdom has already begun lowering their production of coal and fully intends to do away with the practice by the year 2025.

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What’s so great about wind and solar power?

Wind turbine farms are one of the more well-known sources of clean energy. In 2011, wind managed to supply 6.3% of Europe’s energy demand. Since then, wind farms have enjoyed a progressive annual growth.

Solar energy makes use of solar modules that are used to secure and develop electricity. In 2012, photovoltaic (PV) systems in Europe accounted for about 55% PV systems on a global scale.

Why good comes out of setting a new record?

Being able to supply the UK with more than half its demand for energy is a great way to silence detractors of renewable energy. There has been a bit of criticism regarding the boom for renewable energy. The loudest arguments regarding renewable energy have always been about how there has not yet been any sort of quantification of the actual amount of energy that could be produced. Most studies generate estimates.

This event in the UK now stands to show that renewable energy like solar panels and wind mills can generate more than enough power to sustain demand. They also drive down the prices of gas, coal and oil.

Other detractors love saying that this “going green” movement manner of obtaining energy would be robbing jobs from coal miners and whatnot. What they do not take into consideration the jobs which shall be generated because of the renewable energy plants. In 2009, over 550,000 people were able to secure jobs working in the renewable energy industry.

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Ignore the Noise

When these occurrences become more and more common, the stronger the argument that supports the shift to green energy will be. There are strong criticisms about how green energy has drastically lowered shareholder value for German energy giants like E.ON. Let’s consider why. The existence of renewable energy has provided an alternative to the already established energy companies.

As more and more people are realizing that they save more money by going green, there will be less reason to patronize the old ways. Most complaints are driven by a loss in revenue. While that is understandable, it is also primarily selfish.

Europe can show the world that after the initial costs of installation, the rewards are long-lasting. If we achieve this more and more nations will adapt green energy and finally our world will catch a much needed break.

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Is There Really a Crisis: What’s the Deal With Europe and Energy?

Blog4 - Is There Really a Crisis: What's the Deal With Europe and Energy?

It has been proven that shifting to renewable energy creates jobs. With this in mind, let’s explore the relative benefits of renewable energy to the business sector of Europe. With the rising costs of energy and its production, any smart business owner would find ways to limit their consumption. However, what occurs when limiting consumption is no longer viable?

A business needs to operate in order to generate profits. If the focus is all on cutbacks, how effective will their service be? This is one of the primary reasons why corporate giants from Europe’s business sector made a massive push for sustainable and renewable energy. If you’re wondering why, let’s look at the very real benefits that business can reap.

Lower consumption costs

Renewable energies like solar or hydroelectric power can severely slash consumption costs. It is estimated to be able to halve current consumption costs. The move to renewable and sustainable energy means that a business is no longer competing to get a piece of the limited energy pie. There will be more funds available for the other facets of the business.

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PR honey pot

If you’ve ever seen The Avengers, you’ll remember a scene with Tony Stark declaring his base of operations a beacon of clean and sustainable energy. Pepper Potts immediately mentioned the need to “get some press” on this new development. It’s true for the movies and it’s also true in real life.

Businesses who have moved to renewable energy are the darlings of media. It’s a smart public relations strategy. As more and more consumers are becoming aware of “going green”, there can be a significant impact in the decision of patronizing your establishment or not. Hint: if your business has gone green, you’ll be receiving more green from your customers as well.

Employment creation

At the start of this article, we mentioned that it has been proven that renewable energy creates more jobs. The installation, upkeep, and maintenance of solar energy and the like need more manpower. If more and more businesses patronize renewable energy, the demand will create a great need for more centers which generate clean energy.

wind2 - Is There Really a Crisis: What's the Deal With Europe and Energy?

Significant return of investment potential

Going green can cost a bit at the onset. However, the long-term effects of applying a renewable energy system to your business shall be significantly positive. When you get to save half of what you’d normally pay for the usual energy consumption and add that through the years, the savings are staggering.

Under the CCL (Climate Change Levy) your business will also receive exemption from paying duties.

Lessening Emissions

Global warming is a serious issue. If steps aren’t taken to lessen greenhouse gas emissions, more damage will be done to our environment. It is important to be discerning about the form of renewable energy you choose as others still have some emissions.

To close, businesses have much to gain from choosing renewable energy. As the current form of energy is slowly but surely drying out, going green is a good way to have a secure energy supply.

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A Risk Analysis of Europe and Global Warming: Where Did All Our Ice Go?

Blog3 - A Risk Analysis of Europe and Global Warming: Where Did All Our Ice Go?

Why is everyone so concerned about Global Warming? Join us as we look closer at this unnatural phenomenon and how Europe is dealing with its effects on an international scale.

What is global warming?

Global warming is often defined as the gradual increase of the Earth’s overall temperature. It is commonly attributed to the so called “greenhouse effect”. This is the effect which occurs when certain gasses do not allow the release of heat outward. Instead, they are kept in our atmosphere and projected downwards.

The greenhouse effect has been studied immensely since the discovery of its effects in 1824. It was 1895 that a Swedish chemist had discovered that carbon dioxide makes the production of greenhouse gases worse.

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Why is global warming a problem?

As the world continues to heat up, it alters our terrain and our climate. Heat is not conducive to keeping snow and ice exactly where they are. Early this year, around July, an Antarctic iceberg broke off Larsen ice shelf. It is one of the largest break offs ever recorded. It is supposedly quadruple the size of London. Global warming contributed to the berg breaking away. The saddest thing is that this isn’t the first time we’ve seen global warming affect our climate and our topography.

 In 2003, Europe experience the hottest summer in 500 years. This resulted in 70,000 deaths. Many more may follow.

How has Europe contributed to global warming?

The EU was once the world’s leading importer of oil and gas. The emissions which this led to were abominably high.

global2 - A Risk Analysis of Europe and Global Warming: Where Did All Our Ice Go?

What is Europe doing about it?

In 2014, the EU went into an agreement to target a 40% emissions reduction by 2030. The European Commission launched The Energy Union Strategy. Its purpose was to handle the transformation of the energy supply of all European nations. The overall aim is to secure sustainable and affordable energy.

One of the goals of the EU is now the full integration of the European energy market. Doing so will provide a simultaneous standardization of how energy is created and distributed. Europe is also aiming to develop a smart electricity system.  A smart grid is a sort of electrical grid that has a variety of operational and energy measures. If successfully developed and launched, it presents a system that helps boost the rate of issue detection. It should also be able to work out issues without the intervention of specialists.

Another goal is to significantly lower the EU’s dependence of foreign energy exports.

The European Union Emission Trading scheme enacted a directive which clarified national caps on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other sources. There are several other committees and policies which have been made to lower the gas emissions of EU as a whole.

Europe is well on its way to developing smarter systems which yield better long-term effects for our energy issues. It is only a matter of time before renewable energy will be massively available to far flung parts of the EU.

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Let’s Dust Off the Bones: What in Actuality is Renewable Energy?

Blog2 - Let's Dust Off the Bones: What in Actuality is Renewable Energy?

The concept of renewable energy has always been thrown around. Just what is it, exactly? Join us as we delve a bit deeper into the concept that has so many vested in its application. The world is warm and it’s only getting warmer. Experts say that this is because we keep burning fossil fuels. Oil, which contains fossil fuel and the subsequent emissions, are responsible for a rapid decline in our planet’s health. It also does not help that this is a limited resource. This means that prices get driven up as the supply dwindles.

This means that more and more of us cannot afford to pay for the energy we consume. This also means that there is a need for an alternative source of energy.

What is renewable energy?

This concept refers to any energy that is harvested from renewable sources. Emphasis must be placed on the fact that these resources naturally replenish over time. Perfect examples of renewable energy are: wind, geothermal heat, sunlight, and rain. There are many other examples but are still subject to research.

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What benefits are there from using renewable energy?

Studies have shown that our activities and existence have placed a significant strain on the planet that we live in. The sheer amount of carbon dioxide produced on a daily basis, coupled with other global warming emissions, drive up the temperature of our planet.

The production of energy is responsible for much of the emissions that harm our environment. Down the line, it’s going to hurt us—big time.

No emissions

Renewable energy prevents that from happening. There are little no emissions when renewable energy is used. If our carbon emissions are severely limited by turning to renewable energy, our planet can be given a chance to bounce back from global warming.

Jobs are created

If Europe gets massive support for renewable energy, the jobs it can create is incredibly substantial. On a global scale, over 7 million jobs are linked to renewable energy industries. With such a figure at the bare minimum application of renewable energy, consider the implications if it becomes the preferred source of energy.

There is no short supply

Unlike oil and fossil fuels, renewable energy makes use of naturally occurring and naturally replenishing resources. An issue with most nations is the rising cost of energy. It simply is no longer affordable for some.

 In the rules of commerce, if the supply is low but demand is high, the prices are high. If something so readily available is made the primary source of energy, what are the odds that power costs would still be high?

What is the problem?

 There are policies that hinder the mass usage of renewable energy. As there is very little support for its application and installation, initial costs can be high. However, the long-term benefits of it cannot be emphasized enough.

This is why a lot of European agencies are galvanizing together to put renewable energy into the international spotlight. Let’s hope they succeed.

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Looking Back: Metering, Billing/CRM Europe 2012 Conference

Blog - Looking Back: Metering, Billing/CRM Europe 2012 Conference

We take a look back on an important conference held in 2012. It was held in Amsterdam on October 9th to 11th.  Join us as we discuss the important details regarding smart energy as shared by key speakers. Bear witness to rare insight and thoughtful discourse. The aim of this conference was to join together the critical blend of representatives from key energy fields, governments, as well as economic industries.

This was the year where in there was much emphasis placed upon smart metering, ICT/Data management, smart grids, and so much more. This conference provided a productive space where in learning about smart energy was provided for anyone who cared to learn.

That year, we were honored to have as speakers a plethora of industry giants like the Advisor of the Executive Board of Directors for EDP Distribuicao: Antonio Aires Messias.

crm - Looking Back: Metering, Billing/CRM Europe 2012 Conference

There were several panel debates which generated significant interest. There was a fascinating discussion regarding customer insights and behavior. Could it be possible to learn the algorithm that would help predict consumer behavior to help curb the rapid consumption of energy? Such questions were discussed in the panel discourse entitled: “Evolving customer services: new billing models, transparency and trust”. Retail and consumer behavior are always important when discussing energy consumption. Who else uses energy if not us? The emphasis placed upon the end users generated much discourse. Some thought that placing that much importance on analyzing consumer behavior was unethical. However, it is to be noted that most technological advancement we’ve had was possible because of analyzed patterns.

Symposiums are always a good place to battle out ideologies and meet people whose opinions may clash with yours. What’s important is that there was significant progress in dialogue. This is crucial given that the attendees of the conference could very well determine the path that European energy would take. It is humbling to be part of moments in history that help shape the policies we live by.

To this day, Europe’s energy consumption consistently rises each year. As we consume more and more energy, it does not make sense that the affordability of energy is getting further and further from the reach of the lower economic brackets. Energy is a right of life. It must be prerogative of those in positions of power to find suitable ways to correct the rising costs of energy. There are more sustainable and clean sources of energy, this gathering was able to accept that fact. Why is it that up to know it is difficult to completely push for methods to make energy more affordable?

We must continue to find smart solutions and progressive ideas that benefit not just the few but all. We cannot allow another year to pass wherein fossil fuel is still the primary choice for energy. We, and the coming generations, all stand to gain something from such a thing.

As it is our mission to find arguments and studies which support sustainable energy, this conference was a grand success.

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