Tag Archives: Energy

Emerson Helps Milwaukee Turn Waste into Energy

Written by Owain Jones, MBA in Sustainability student at University of Saint Francis Recently, Emerson Electric Company has been airing a fairly strong television advertisement campaign on many channels again, resurrected from a few years ago. The gist of the advertisements is that Emerson is providing cities and companies with solutions to problems that have “never been done before.” Originally these commercials were developed back in 2009 as the “It’s Never Been Done Before” campaign and they can be seen on Emerson’s YouTube Channel and explained in this Emerson news release. As it relates to sustainability, there is one very intriguing part of this campaign that seemed very out of the ordinary. It was the way in which Emerson has helped the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin increase its initiative to produce a substantial amount of electricity through its wastewater program. What the City of Milwaukee had developed was a methane producing system in its wastewater treatment plants to create electricity. Microbes are introduced into the wastewater tanks, where they digest the sewage to expel methane. The methane is then captured and turned into energy. This process is nothing new and Emerson was not the one to develop this for Milwaukee. However, what Emerson did was show  Continue Reading »

The Larger Costs of Sustainability: The Shipping Industry

Written by Owain Jones, MBA in Sustainability student at University of Saint Francis It is obvious that doing the little things to become sustainable, like reducing energy and paper consumption and trash reduction, can be very rewarding and cost relatively little to implement. However, what about the major operations that can end up costing billions of dollars to implement substantial sustainability initiatives in their sector? The transportation sector has been able to implement more fuel efficient vehicles in their fleets to help reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, but there is still an even bigger energy user that may be commonly overlooked. Almost all consumer goods are shipped from their manufacturing origin to their destinations by overseas shipping, something many may not usually think about. As you recall these massive shipping vessels, you may clue in to how much fuel it may take to transport those thousands of shipping containers processed at ports around the US a day. This then represents a very massive area of human existence that is extremely unsustainable. As with many of the sustainability problems, this one does have solutions that have been developed through modern technology to create more sustainable overseas shipping. However, it is not as simple as  Continue Reading »

Carbon Neutrality

Written by Owain Jones, MBA in Sustainability student at University of Saint Francis   Let’s face it, becoming completely carbon emission free as a business can be very hard and especially so when your business involves transportation. However, if your business must put carbon emissions in the air, as even hybrid vehicles do, sustainability can be achieved through something called carbon neutrality. So, what does this mean? Becoming carbon neutral means that for every carbon emission produced there is a reduction of carbon emissions of an equal amount. Thus, neutrality is achieved through net carbon emissions of zero. This step is what can take a business from being environmentally conscious to sustainable. Even though it is not a perfect sustainability, it is a solution for a time in which fossil fuels are still readily used, cheap, and where there are cases wherein carbon emissions cannot be feasibly taken to zero. The goal is to use carbon neutrality as a stepping stone to having a completely sustainable business operation. The first step in becoming carbon neutral is a measurement of the business carbon footprint for a set amount of time. For example, the amount of emissions from the company cars, vans, busses, trucks, or  Continue Reading »

Blue Creek Wind Farm

I had the pleasure of joining USGBC NE Indiana for an up-close-and-personal look at Blue Creek Wind farm last week, and learned about some of the technical aspects of wind farm development.  Additionally, I gained knew insight into the community readiness aspect of alternative energy planning.  The Ohio State University Extension hosted the group, taking us right up to the base of a wind turbine to discuss how they are installed, how the site for each turbine is chosen, and the technical details of wind energy, and then walked us through a mock site selection workshop for alternative energy projects.     Blue Creek Wind Farm is located in Van Wert County and Paulding County in Ohio, and will consist of a total of 152 Gamesa G90 2.0 megawatt (MW) wind turbines on 100 meter towers, for a full capacity of 304 MW.  The turbines will generate enough electricity to power around 76,000 homes annually.  That is about 19,300 more homes than are in the two counties combined, according to the 2000 census. Iberdrola, the developer of Blue Creek Wind Farm, began the project a few years before breaking ground by opening an office in the community and opening its doors to  Continue Reading »

Infographic: Energy in an Hour

Do you own a refrigerator, a TV, a computer, and a clothes dryer?  I thought you might.  How much energy do you think those items use in just one hour?