Search Results for Tag: energy
Meeting the Arabian stallion in Lebanon
Can you imagine pounding a race track amid temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius? That’s no problem for the purebred Arabian stallion as our reporter Dan Hirschfeld found out while filming in Lebanon.
Horse racing is a popular sport in Lebanon with annual races held in Beirut. And the country is also home to the famed Arabian horse, one of the oldest breed of horse. It’s believed it was developed by the Bedouins of the Middle East specifically to last long distances. The powerful beasts, characterized by their flowing manes and proud heads, are used in endurance riding in equestrian sport as well as on traditional race tracks.
Dan Hirschfeld, who is doing a feature on a smart electricity grid to counter chronic power cuts, met a horse breeder near Tripoli in northern Lebanon, who has several Arabian horses.
DateApril 11, 2013
Tagsarabian, arabian stallion, dan hirschfeld, electricity, energy, grid, horse breeder, lebanon, race horses, tripoli
Tackling power cuts with renewables in Lebanon
Our reporter Dan Hirschfeld, who is filming in Lebanon, came upon an unusual sight on Tuesday – quiet streets in the usually bustling capital Beirut.
The country is going through political change with newly appointed Lebanese Prime Minister, Tammam Salam, opening talks to cobble together a government. Salam, a former culture minister, has vowed to work toward ending divisions in the nation and preventing the civil war in neighboring Syria from spilling over into his country.
But Lebanon is struggling with infrastructure challenges too, especially daily power shortages. Many people rely on polluting diesel-powered generators for electricity. That’s the focus of Dan Hirschfeld’s upcoming feature for Global Ideas. He’ll be looking at a planned smart electricity grid which is meant to store renewable energy from the sun and wind and curb power breakdowns in the country. Germany is helping train Lebanese engineers to operate the smart grid.
DateApril 9, 2013
Renting or buying – A difficult decision!
“Take a gap year and save the planet!” This could be the motto of the Kenyan based organisation “Ecofinder”. Founded in 1995 the Kenyan grass roots organisation helps communities around Lake Victoria to lead a more sustainable life. GLOBAL IDEAS has invited Nicolas, one of Ecofinder’s numerous volunteers, to write about his experience:
As a volunteer one of my main tasks is the so called “green energy promotion”. Here I try to drive the distribution of solar lamps forward. In this field we are running two different projects. The first one is called “Right Light”, it gives users of sooty kerosene lanterns the opportunity to rent a solar lamp over night for a very low price. So they don’t need to buy more expensive, health and environment damaging kerosen. The second project we call “Villageboom.” Here we encourage people to buy solar lamps as an investment in their future.
The major difference both is obvious, a person is either the owner of a solar lamp or the person rents the lamp. Both have advantages and disadvantages. For example: Almost everybody can afford the rent of one solar lamp for one night (about 9 Euro Cent). Another positive aspect is that the person who rents does not bear a risk if the lamp fails and is broken. But by possessing a solar lamp users can save a lot more money, because the sun will charge their lamp for free every day. Unfortunetaly for most of the people without electricity a good solar lamp is still very expensive.
In the long run renting a lamp will be more expensive than buying one. After one year of renting a lamp the rent will equal the value of buying a lamp twice. In conclusion I think installment payments are the best solution for poorest who are looking for a clean and cheap light. Therefore it could be very interesting and succesful to combine both concepts. For example our Solar Lamp Entrepreneurs-SLE could offer to their customers to buy a solar lamp bit by bit and not at once.
I’ll keep you updated how our solar lamp distribution is going on in future. But if you have any idea, suggestion or proposal about this issue feel free to comment and to share your thoughts.
In your opinion: “What is the best way to enable as much people as possible a solar lamp?”
DateMarch 27, 2013
Tagsecofinder, electricity, energy, green energy, kenya, solar, solar lamps, solar power, victoria lake, Volunteers
Students discuss the German “Energiewende” 5/5
Today, international students from the Hertie School in Berlin will be participating in a discussion forum with German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier and Winfried Kretschmann, the Green Party’s first state premier in Baden-Württemberg. The debate will focus on Germany’s “Energiewende,” literally an energy turnaround involving ambitious plans to phase out nuclear power and boost renewable energy.
Also today, we’ll be introducing the students taking part in the debate. Karina Campos from Argentina is our last candidate.
DateMarch 13, 2013
Tagsaltmaier, berlin, deutsche welle, energiewende, energy, Germany, global ideas, grid, hertie school, kretschmann, panel, power, storage, student, turnaround
Students vs. Environment Minister Altmaier – twitterview on Global Ideas
Germany’s energy turnaround, the so called “Energiewende,” is a hotly-debated issue in the country. It’s way too expensive for Germany to wean itself off nuclear energy and fossil fuels and boost renewables, say some. Others argue it’s a Herculean task, impossible to translate into reality.
But who else if not Germany would be able to pull it off? Given its track record in green issues, Germany could become a role model and not only for other industrialized nations. So does the planned “Energiewende” stand a real chance at being successful? The debate was further fueled after German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier said the project will cost 1 trillion Euros until the end of the 2030s. What he did not say was how exactly he arrived at this impressive number. His statement prompted huge criticism and heated debate among energy experts.
Amid this backdrop, Global Ideas held a twitterview ahead of a discussion forum at the Berlin-based Hertie School of Governance. Students from all over the world had the chance to direct their questions online at Minister Altmaier.
On Wednesday, Altmaier will be on the panel together with Winfried Kretschmann, the Green Party’s first state premier in Baden-Württemberg. The two are set to discuss pressing issues surrounding the “Energiewende” with the Hertie students. The twitterview offered a taste of what’s to come.
@timbales asked about the opportunities to reduce the costs of the “Energiewende.”
Another question by @markre referred to the role of the opposition ecologically-minded German Green Party in the energy transition process. Altmaier said the Green Party had played an important role in the process in the beginning:
Another question by @markre was if the “Energiewende” could be an insurance against rising prices. It certainly is, Altmeier said, but in the long run.
There was also a discussion in German about the upcoming federal elections in September this year. @alexzirkel wanted to know if there is a need for an “Energy minister.” A position focused exclusively on energy issues is currently not foreseen in the German parliament. The Twitter user also wanted to know who would be the best man for the job. Interestingly, neither of the two politicans in the Twitter discussion rubbished the idea of an exclusive ministry for energy issues. We’ll have to wait and see what happens after the election.
If you want to get more details on the “Energiewende,” you’ll find an overview as well as insights and background information on the Deutsche Welle website.
DateMarch 12, 2013