The article “Energy Use and Misuse” by Alam discloses the wastefulness of the citizens of Bangladesh, who misuse too much electricity every day. The author claims that many people waste energy, while some of them, especially those from rural areas, have to spend their nights without light. Then, Alam claims that it is an obligation of every person to switch off the TV or computer when the device is not in use. Moreover, the author affirms that when people misuse water, they waste energy as well, since water production requires many technologies, which need energy for such processes as extraction, elaboration, water treatment, etc. Therefore, if the citizens waste water, they waste electricity and energy reserves. Alam recommends substituting common incandescent lamps with “advanced energy efficient compact fluorescent lights”. Such action will sufficiently spare electricity and keep it for other users, such as the citizens of rural areas. The author states that the most efficient and productive way to save energy is conservation. The country should adopt conservation measures and develop some alternative sources of energy.
The article “The Use and Misuse of Photosynthesis in the Quest for Novel Methods to Harness Solar Energy to Make Fuel” by Cogdell, Gardiner, Molina, & Cronin informs about photosynthesis as a way to produce energy. The authors state that photosynthesis is a good source of renewable energy. The process requires solar energy to generate fuel. Besides, photosynthesis can be used indirectly to achieve energy conversion. The authors state that most of the contemporary methods generate electricity. However, it is problematic to supply and store such kind of energy. Therefore, it must be used at the same time when it is generated. Thus, it is difficult to produce electricity for aviation and shipping and simultaneously use it. That is why the authors propose to invent into the systems, which will be able to generate fuel from solar energy. The key issue of their study is efficiency. Cogdell et al. provide the notion and the main principles of photosynthesis. With photosynthetic activity, the world will be able to get renewable fuel and preserve energy resources, which will have a positive effect on the environment and population. The authors also explain the limits of photosynthesis. They support their evidence with figures and data. For instance, artificial photosynthesis is shown and explained. In addition, the authors claim that the lack of commonality is a positive, rather than negative, feature. In conclusion, the writers affirm that photosynthetic renewable energy can be a good solution to the problems of energy misuse and insufficiency. Moreover, by means of photosynthesis, people can both produce and conserve energy. Although it is still not cheap, studying it better will make the process cheaper and more sustainable than it is now.
In the article “Global energy use: Decoupling or convergence?”, Csereklyei & Stern discuss the main changes in energy use during the last 40 years. The intensity of energy has decreased in the USA and the United Kingdom. About 60% of the world energy use belong to non-OECD countries, and this number may become bigger by 10% in 2040. The increasing use of energy and its misuse lead to such problems as global warming and air pollution. The authors claim that energy use depends on GDP – if GDP per capita raises, then the energy use increases as well. Besides, if one country experiences some changes in energy use, it may lead to the same changes in the neighboring countries. The research was conducted in 93 countries between 1971 and 2008. In the research, Csereklyei & Stern found out that the energy use depends on climate and resource endowments. The authors illustrate their statements with figures and formulas. They extended the econometric methods and investigations proposed by the previous studies and discovered that growth, decoupling, convergence, and other time-related effects are of extreme importance for the research. They concluded that in the future, the energy use will not decrease because of economic growth. However, the richer some countries become, the more energy they will consume. Nevertheless, such countries as the USA and China have already reduced their energy use rate because of compliance to the global mean. Therefore, it will be difficult to repeat the same experience in the future.
In the article “Comfort vs. Energy Use”, Dan Int-Hout informs the readers about energy targets. The main aim of the energy industry is to force electric utility companies to use renewable energy instead of conventional methods. However, the author argues that building of the apartments has nothing to do with energy savings. First of all, they are built for the convenience of the occupants, and building materials as well as electricity consumption, depend on people’s salaries. Int-Hout claims that the main problem is in the calculation of energy consumption. In most cases, more energy is used than predicted, and this fact does not allow to apply energy saving technologies in the best ways. Besides, the author complains about practicing engineers who are forced to make their calculations of energy consumption for systems, which are not based on the computer models. As a result, energy is used inefficiently. In conclusion, Int-Hout states that energy saving is a part of the building process, but not its main task.
In the article “Sorry, Wrong Number: The Use and Misuse of Numerical Facts in Analysis and Media Reporting of Energy Issues”, Koomey et al. reveal the truth about wrong and misleading numbers in the energy field that have been represented by analysts and the media. The authors affirm that these numbers are important, since they can help prevent energy-related disasters. The article has an analytical structure. The authors establish the issue, assess the data and evaluate the validity of the findings. The first question posed by the writers is “Is 1 megawatt equal to the electricity use of 1000 homes?”. The authors claim that the wrong representation of numbers can mislead the readers, since 1000 MW is enough for 1000 dwelling houses, but may be not enough for the same number of plants.
The second issue discussed in the article is the cost of unreliable power for the American economy. The authors support their claim by the evidence from the research paper written by Clemmensen. According to the research, there are three categories of cost estimation methods: proxy, market-based, and survey methods.
The third issue is the quantity of electricity used by office buildings. According to the statistics, during California energy crisis, the Internet use amounted to 8% and office equipment - to 13% of all US electricity. The authors also mention in their article the amount of recoverable oil from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge providing figures and examples.
The article “Toward cost-effective solar energy use” by Lewis covers the information about new nanotechnological and biotechnological developments, which require low costs and help to save energy. Today, solar energy can replace fossil-based energy. However, the process requires much money. Therefore, it is necessary to find cost-effective methods that would allow to use solar energy broadly. The author states that the manufacturing costs of solar electricity can be reduced and the reduction will not influence its efficiency. Lewis affirms that if the Shokley-Queisser theoretical efficiency limit is relaxed, the improvements in efficiency may compose 31%. The argument is supported with figures. Among the cost-effective systems, there are orthogonalization of the direction of light absorption, dye-sensitized solar cell, and chemical bonds. All these methods are based on photosynthesis or electrolysis. Thus, if solar energy is produced, conserved and stored effectively, the world will have enough electricity.
In their article “Energy Use in the Life Cycle of Conventional and Low-Energy Buildings”, Sartori & Hestnes provide information about life-cycle energy of 60 buildings in nine countries. The article focuses on operating and embodied energy. The paper also concentrates on the design of low-energy buildings. The author describes passive and active technologies, which help to use energy more efficiently. Among passive technologies there is increased isolation, energy saving windows, reduction of infiltration losses, etc. Active technologies involve the combination of heat pumps and different heat sources (air, ground, water), biomass burners, solar photovoltaic panels, and others. Each case differs based on country, climate, types of buildings and their construction, energy sources, etc. During their study, the authors find out that buildings with low energy requirements perform in the most energy-efficient way. The authors illustrate the results with figures and support their arguments with evidence. Self-sufficient solar houses require no energy for their operation. However, they carry more costs for equipment and installation of all the necessary devices. The building of “green” houses requires natural materials and large amounts of embodied energy. However, even though low-energy buildings are more expensive to build and need more embodied energy, their life cycle energy efficiency is higher than that of conventional houses. The most efficient building is a passive house, as its lifetime is assumed to be 80 years, unlike that of the self-sufficient houses with the lifetime of 50 years.All in all, the authors conclude that it is important to reduce the operating energy while building houses and try to recycle energy to reduce the embodied energy. Consequently, the life cycle of building construction will be longer and more efficient, as it will spare energy and help to use it more effectively.
The article “Law Planned to Cut Energy Misuse” informs about the federal law of the government of Abu Dhabi to cut the excessive use of energy and water, which is the result of the fast-growing economy and increase in the population. The citizens of the UAE use too much electricity and water, and so the country has to pay Dh35 billion per year. The government has been asked to reduce energy subsidies. However, no measures have been taken. Besides, each emirate settles the price for electricity independently. The plan of the UAE is to create four nuclear plants that will generate 25% of energy by 2020. Thus, the renewable energy will make only 7% of Abu Dhabi’s electricity and 5% of Dubai’s energy by 2030. Two-thirds of the country’s consumption of energy belong to individual houses and commercial establishments. According to the report, the country uses as much energy as Africa or Japan in spite of the fact that the population is much smaller. Significant saving of energy may be achieved by the changes in behavior. For instance, the change in behavior of only one employee can save 30% of energy, which is in demand for buildings. According to the regulations, government’s buildings should keep the temperature of 24°C during working hours and 27°C at other times, and the light should be switched off at the end of working day. Besides, regional planning is also needed.