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ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

A New Paradigm for the European Energy System

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Efficiency First: A New Paradigm for the European Energy System

In February 2015 the principle of ‘Efficiency First’  (E1st) was formally endorsed by the European Commission within the framework of the Energy Union. Based on the input of experts from the Regulatory Assistance Project, E3G, ClientEarth, eceee, the Smart Energy Demand Coalition, CAN Europe, Friends of the Earth Europe, OpenExp and the European Climate Foundation, the briefing Efficiency First: A New Paradigm for the European Energy System – Driving Competitiveness, Energy Security and Decarbonisation through increased Energy Productivity sets out how the principle can help the Energy Union to deliver on these three goals, and the changes needed to the governance framework to make it work in practice.

This initiative has been welcomed by the European Commission’s Vice President for Energy Union, Maros Šefcovic, who has provided an introduction for the briefing.

The briefing is the result of an expert process convened by the European Climate Foundation during 2016.

More detail on those changes recommended for the governance framework are given in the second document, Governance for Efficiency First: “Plan, Finance and Deliver“ – ten near-term actions the European Commission should take to make Efficiency First a reality.

  • Please download the report here.
  • Please download the summary here.

Source: https://europeanclimate.org/efficiency-first-a-new-paradigm-for-the-european-energy-system/

 

 

How does oil affect the environment?

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How does oil affect the environment?

Crude oil is used to make petroleum products used to fuel airplanes, cars, and trucks; to heat homes; and to make products like medicines and plastics. Although petroleum products make life easier, finding, producing, and moving crude oil may have negative effects on the environment. Technological advances in exploration, production, and transportation of oil and enforcement of safety and environmental laws and regulations help to avoid and reduce these effects.

Technology helps reduce the effects of drilling and producing oil

Exploring and drilling for oil may disturb land and marine ecosystems. Seismic techniques used to explore for oil under the ocean floor may harm fish and marine mammals. Drilling an oil well on land often requires clearing an area of vegetation. These impacts are reduced by technologies that greatly increase the efficiency of exploration and drilling activities. Satellites, global positioning systems, remote sensing devices, and 3-D and 4-D seismic technologies make it possible to discover oil reserves while drilling fewer exploratory wells. Mobile and smaller slimhole drilling rigs reduce the size of the area disturbed by drilling activities. The use of horizontal and directional drilling makes it possible for a single well to produce oil from a much larger area, which reduces the number of wells required to develop an oil field.

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What is Microsoft Hohm?

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Microsoft Hohm is a free Web-based beta application that helps you save energy and money. With Microsoft Hohm you can better understand your home energy usage, get recommendations to conserve energy and start saving.

Hohm uses advanced analytics licensed from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Department of Energy to give you highly personalized energy saving recommendations. These recommendations are tailored based on your specific household circumstances including home attributes and use of appliances and systems. You will also be able to compare your energy usage that of with others in your area. Hohm helps utilities to better serve their customers by providing clear insight into their energy consumption, allowing them to make more informed decisions to save energy and money.

Microsoft Hohm

How does Microsoft Hohm work?

After signing up for Hohm with your Windows Live ID and postal code, you simply enter some information about your home (e.g., occupants, appliances and systems) and receive your energy report with personalized recommendations. The more questions you answer, the more accurate and relevant the recommendations will be. As a default, Hohm will base its recommendations on local and national averages.

Alternatively, if you are a customer of a Hohm-partnered utility company you can choose to automatically upload your energy usage data into the application in the near future.


On average, how much money will Microsoft Hohm help me save on my energy bill?

The dollar amount savings varies widely based on the information you provide on your Microsoft Hohm profile, the characteristics of your household and the changes you implement. Customers are encouraged to run the Hohm application and determine the potential savings for their household.


How can I get Microsoft Hohm?

Microsoft Hohm is an online Microsoft application available at no cost to anyone in the United States with Internet access. It can be accessed from the Hohm Web site, http://www.microsoft-hohm.com/?m_sba=niagmspnia9.

 

Energy and Environment

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situation analysis

Human security and environmental stewardship are two sides of the same coin. The poor depend on the natural environment and the continent’s rich biodiversity to provide them with resources used for energy, food, shelter and medicines and for the supply of ecosystem services like pollination of crops and regulation of water supplies.

Access to clean, safe and affordable energy services is a necessary condition for meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) because energy allows people to light up their homes and schools, feed their children and stay in good health. Yet many people in Africa do not have access to these services. For instance, 80% of rural population of Africa has no access to electricity and the average electrification rate in rural areas is only 10%. Lack of access to energy, especially in rural areas, also accounts for further environmental degradation and low household productivity and it impacts on the situation of women and young girls, who are often charged with the collection of traditional fuels such as wood.
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Hydropower and the Environment

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Hydropower Is Nonpolluting, but Does Have Environmental Impacts

Hydropower does not pollute the water or the air. However, hydropower facilities can have large environmental impacts by changing the environment and affecting land use, homes, and natural habitats in the dam area.

Fish Ladder at the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River Separating Washington and Oregon.Most hydroelectric power plants have a dam and a reservoir. These structures may obstruct fish migration and affect their populations. Operating a hydroelectric power plant may also change the water temperature and the river's flow. These changes may harm native plants and animals in the river and on land.

Reservoirs may cover people's homes, important natural areas, agricultural land, and archeological sites. So building dams can require relocating people. Methane, a strong greenhouse gas, may also form in some reservoirs and be emitted to the atmosphere.

Fish Ladders Help Salmon Reach Their Spawning Grounds

In the Columbia River, along the border of Oregon and Washington, salmon must swim upstream to their spawning grounds to reproduce, but the series of dams gets in their way. Different approaches to fixing this problem have been used, including the construction of "fish ladders" which help the salmon "step up" the dam to the spawning grounds upstream.

 
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