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Energy Saving Business Opportunities

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Futurist Keynote Speaker: Posts, Slides, Videos - Manufacturing Industry, Logistics, Supply Chain

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Here are some examples of many other energy saving / environmental projects - each of which is a business opportunity, as well as an opportunity to help the environment.

Capture all heat in manufacturing – Story:  Lafarge Plasterboard heat recovery system saves 15% on their energy bills, and also allowing more product through the same equipment.  The project saves 1,600 tons of carbon a year – the same as used by 370 cars – and recovers / recycles 6 million litres of water annually.   Cost was $400,000 with payback time of less than 5 years.

Recycling separator technologies – huge amounts of energy go to landfill in non-separated metal, plastics, glass, wood, board and so on.  Technology already exists to separate pellets from old cars at high speed into 16 separate hoppers.  Similar systems could be engineered for many other types of recycling

Water cooled computer servers – capturing up to 30 kilowatts per rack of equipment. Heat can be used for other things.

More efficient computers -  1 billion computers use 2% of all global energy – 5% of global electricity consumption, 10% in the US.  In addition more efficient PCs and better use of data storage could reduce energy use in some businesses by as much as 30%.

Burn waste gases as fuel –expansion of landfill methane recovery, burning flared gas at petrochemical installations. Methane reduction in landfill sites is responsible for 15% of all global methane emissions, natural and man-made, and 21 times more powerful in global warming per ton than carbon dioxide.  Since methane causes 4-9% of global warming, landfill emissions may be contributing to around 1% of global warming impact of human activity.  Assuming that capture remains only partial even on well organised sites and is impractical on smaller ones, the theoretical contribution of such methane capture would be around 0.5% of global warming impact.

Reduce energy use by 20% more than your competitors

Encourage home working – and improve productivity as well as gender equality / work-life balance.  Cut office costs by 20% per person.

Genetically modified fruit and vegetables that can be grown rapidly at lower greenhouse temperatures. New types of crops for farming in drier areas – drought and salination resistant

Next generation insulating materials – for lofts, flooring, walls.  Insulation is almost unchanged over the last 20 years.

Next-generation  reflective glass – using nanotechnology surface coatings to allow light in but retain infrared.

Nanotechnology coatings for moving metal parts, ball bearings, joints in any machinery – energy savings of up to 20%

Desalination machines which are more energy efficient.  Fact: fresh water shortages will be one of the world’s greatest challenges.

Grey water systems for water re-use.  Output from sewage treatment plants being used directly for things like irrigation  or flushing toilets.  Also double systems in homes, offices and factories allowing re-use for flushing toilets of water used already in washing / cleaning.

Non-water using urinals – already in production, but better versions with zero adherence of toxic wastes using nanotechnology surfaces

Devices to reduce standby power consumption on electric devices to almost zero

Devices to reduce power consumption by battery chargers to zero on completion of charge

Zero heat-emitting lighting systems – massive roll-out of LED low voltage lights replacing 90% of all domestic and office lighting within 10 years – market cornered by Phillips but room for others

Methane reduction in agriculture – animal production creates 100 million tons of methane gas a year.  85% is from the bowels of cows and sheep, and the rest is from animal waste decomposing. Genetic engineering of cows and sheep to produce less methane.

Vegetarian meat substitutes which are attractive enough to convert meat eaters. Saving the 5kg of grain and energy in farming needed to grow 1kg of meat, plus methane gas emissions.

Reduction in plane vapour trails – Detection, dynamic avoidance (altitude corrections), lower altitude long- and short- haul flights.   That means new in-flight technologies, new traffic control systems.

Protect wetlands and marshes, bog – as these areas dry out, they decompose releasing centries-old carbon stores.

Every aspect of land use, cultivation, fallow, forestry

Biofuel production, distribution, retailing – very controversial area.  Expect major changes in government attitudes and in subsidies / taxation.  From food, from biowaste, more efficient conversion processes, consolidation of market / streamlining, small bio-reactors for local use

Storm Reinforcing, refitting existing buildings

Flood relief schemes and water management projects (domestic, commercial, government)

Coastal defences and port rebuilding projects

Specialist insurers and products for at-risk properties

Irrigation projects

Ornamental plants and bushes designed for desert-like conditions or periods of greater heat / dryness

Reservoir construction – domestic, commercial, regional / government

River diversion / management

Appliances, homes, offices which use less / zero external water supply, with up to 100% rain water capture

Water saving / recovery technologies for manufacturing

Non-water use cleaning processes / fabrics / surfaces eg textiles (nanotechnology)

Anything and everything to do with nuclear power ranging from building more of the same to researching next-generation


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