Monthly Archives: April 2012

Home Solar Systems: Worth the Cost?

Humanity has acknowledged the power of the sun since prehistoric times, awed by the glowing orb whose presence creates day and whose absence plunges the world into darkness.

For all our advances in science and technology, most of the power from the sun still eludes us. NASA reports that we use only one ten-thousandth of the sun’s energy.

Photovoltaic (PV) solar electrical systems offer new and ever-changing ways to harness that energy. The term “photovoltaic” literally means light-electricity.

In 1839, French physicist Edmond Becquerel discovered that sunlight could produce an electric current. Another century would pass before scientists fully understood that this process happens at the atomic level. Albert Einstein’s only Nobel Prize was awarded for his work on the photoelectric effect. By 1958, the space program was using solar cells. Continue reading

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Small enterprises: Shift to green economy underway, but not at full speed yet

According to the Eurobarometer survey on “SMEs, resource efficiency and green markets”, 37% of EU SMEs have at least one full or part-time green employee. Green jobs are largely created in SMEs as opposed to large firms: In 2012, 1 in 8 employees of small and medium-sized firms had a green job or almost 13% of all SME jobs.

In large firms it was only 1 in 33 equivalent to 3% of all large company jobs. Green jobs in SMEs are also estimated to expand dynamically with a rate of 35% in the next 2 years. Continue reading

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EU to keep carbon tax on airlines, but for how long?

The European Union will maintain its carbon tax imposed on airlines operating in its airspace, despite retaliatory trade measures by China.

As long as an international policy on carbon emissions by airlines is not found, the “EU will stick to its own ETS system”. The carbon tax imposed on airlines by the European Union came into effect on January 1, but carriers will begin receiving bills only in 2013 after this year’s carbon emissions have been assessed. Continue reading

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