Energy Saving Techniques and Renewable Energy

Energy Saving Techniques and Renewable Energy

By Francisco Francisco

The endeavor to increase the efficiency of current energy systems and reduce the dependency on fossil fuels is taken with high expectations by modern society. Today’s agenda is greatly focused on reducing carbon emissions and pollutants derived by energy conversion systems. Renewable energy technologies are believed to be the solution for the challenges placed by conventional energy conversion technologies.

The current global energy demand:

The global energy demand is met by fossil fuels (65%), nuclear energy (16%) and renewable sources (19% – of which 11% is biomass and 3.5% hydro). Projections suggest that in the near future (~ 50 years from now), energy conversion systems based on fossil fuels will reduce by 80% in favor of renewable energy. However, this is slow progress comparing to what is needed to significantly reduce carbon emissions.

Given the diversification in energy needs among countries and regions, the “one-fits-all” solution seems unrealistic. Successful implementation of renewable energy technologies is in a way dependent on the improvements of energy conversion efficiency and consumption. Technologies such as wind and solar power account for less than 0.6% each, in global energy production. This means that every little improvement in energy consumption and efficiency can significantly benefit wind, solar and other renewable energy technologies.

What is meant by energy efficiency?

Energy efficiency is the approach of controlling and reducing energy consumption without compromising the demands of society. A system is more energy efficient if it delivers more useful-work (service) for the same energy input, or the same useful-work for less energy input. An example is a compact florescent light (CFL) bulb that uses less energy (one-third to one-fifth less) than an incandescent bulb to produce the same amount of light. Here, the CFL is considered to be more energy efficient.

The energy consumption varies from about 600 kW per capita in developing countries to approximately 24.000 kW per capita in industrialized regions such as Scandinavia. This means that a single renewable energy converter such as a mid-sized wind turbine with a rated capacity of 2 MW can supply electricity to 30 people in regions such as Scandinavia and 1.220 people in regions with low energy consumption as those in most of the developing countries.

However, this scenario will improve if energy efficiency increases while decreasing consumption. Doing so, the beneficial impact of renewable energy technology will greatly increase. Less energy conversion related carbon emissions will be reduced and a higher human development index will be achieved in both developing and industrialized regions.

How to improve domestic energy efficiency (i.e. saving energy at home):

  • Avoid buying too many gadgets and appliances for personal and domestic use as most of them have little impact on everyday life.
  • Avoid putting machines on standby or idle-mode. Turn them off completely.
  • Disconnect chargers and plugs from power sockets.
  • Avoid over charging batteries i.e. keep charging a battery longer than necessary.
  • Use recommended settings of temperature in cooling machines such as fridges.
  • Use windows, curtains and doors to help regulate the indoor temperature. When building a new house, make sure it adopts energy efficient features.
  • Seal air leaks around windows, doors, fireplaces, chimneys, furnaces, and gas-fired water heater vents with fire-resistant materials.
  • Use air conditioners sized to the room dimensions. Use an interior fan along with the air conditioner. It will help evenly spread the cold air.
  • When preparing food, use the right pot size for the stove burner.
  • Avoid preheating. Stoves, ovens and other heating machines can also be switched off minutes before the cooking time is complete and the trapped heat will still cook the food.
  • Use a dishwasher only if the volume of dirty dishes is bulk.
  • Use a bowl rather than leaving the tap water running when hand washing dishes.
  • Use LED lamps and florescent light (CFL) bulbs that use less energy than an incandescent light bulb.
  • Use the appropriate lamp for the appropriate place and application.
  • Switch-off all lamps when you leave the room.
  • Use timers and motion detections sensors to trigger lamps, stoves, kettles and other machines.
  • Use machines that were recently manufactured. Modern machines have greater energy efficiency.
  • Use cars as minimum as possible. Walk, ride a bike or use public transport as much as possible.
  • Keep the running conditions of your vehicle at the best possible level: correct tire pressure and engine running conditions.
  • Remove any extra weight (objects that are not necessarily needed in the vehicle) to reduce fuel consumption.
  • Use modern vehicles. They are more efficient and emit less carbon.

Many more energy efficiency techniques can be found at a number of sites like,, etc.

Looking for ways to implement a more energy-efficient environment in your organization? We can help! Contact us today.

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