What is Development and Does it Promote Environmental Sustainability?

Q: What is development and does it promote environmental sustainability? Diverse views are associated with a concept of “development”. Some define it is a process of directed change, and associate development with a country’s growth of GNP. Development is that sense perceived as process of acquiring wealth or economic growth. One of definitions of development says that development is, actually, a way of thinking. Hence, to some people it means injuries to people and nature, while to others it means {Read More}

How Sustainable is Your School? Questions to Ask Your Campus Administrator

At many colleges and universities, students have been the leading force behind sustainable water and energy use, waste generation and disposal, ecosystem conservation, sustainable food practices and many other examples of sustainable, ecologically-minded lifestyle. The philosophy of sustainability on campus has been constantly redefined and newly emerging notions are starting to embrace sustainability courses and environmental justice issues. How sustainable is your campus or school? Here are some credible questions you can ask your campus administrators. Some aspects of sustainability {Read More}

Straw Bale in Green Building and Construction

Q: Is straw bale considered a green building material for houses? Does it meet the building code standards? Straw is a renewable & natural material that has many useful applications in basketry, crafts and the production of biomass power. However, one of indigenous and prevalent uses of straw is to build and insulate houses. Straw is commonly mistaken for hay and it is important to make a difference between the two. Straw is the byproduct of cereal grains (barley, oats, {Read More}

How Much Can I Expect to Pay for a Home-Sized Wind System?

Q: I would like to become a home wind-farmer. How much can I expect to pay for a home-sized wind system?   A reliable, well-installed and productive home-sized wind system will cost between $20,000 and $200,000. Several factors will determine the cost of the system, namely your budget, your wind resource and your needs. If you are a wind energy novice, choose a knowledgeable dealer with excellent service. A good dealer will normally evaluate your energy habits and energy efficiency {Read More}

What is the Efficiency of Wind Power?

Q: What is the efficiency of wind power?   The power efficiency of the rotor is defined as a fraction of the entire accessible power that the wind blades are able to convert into useful energy. A wind turbine is not able to convert 100 percent of the energy from the wind because it is limited by the so-called Betz law. The Betz law says that at most 59.3 percent of the total wind energy can be extracted. The concept {Read More}