Thursday, March 24, 2011

Energy + Sustainability

The conflict in Libya and the nuclear crisis in Japan. What is Libya to the rest of the world? It is a source of oil, a commodity which is crucial to the economic well-being of the world. The nuclear crisis stemmed from the fact that we cannot rely solely on oil forever. Japan has been using nuclear energy for a long time and without those nuclear plants the global oil requirements could be many times more than present. Its not bad but it certainly comes with its cons especially when you are in an earthquake-prone area. Or Chernobyl.

In Singapore's context, any radiation disaster on the mainland resulting in a 30km evacuation radius is simply not implementable... One thing we have in abundance in Singapore is sunlight. It burns your skin in June like how it burns your skin in December. Unfortunately, right now the only thing it does is encourage office workers to turn up the power on the air conditioner as they are "trapped" in glass-window-covered office blocks in the middle of the business district.

With so many cubicles inside those offices, most of the workers don't have a view anyway. Why not make the most of it but turning the exterior into solar panels to convert those sunlight into a source of energy to power the air conditioner? I'm not sure what's the ROI for using solar panels but the human race as a whole need to change the calculation of ROI from short term
gains to long term sustainability.

2 comments:

"Just Me" said...

I rem asking about installing solar panels not only to office buildings, but also residential to one of the relevant authorities several years back, all i got was some lame half bake excuse. Unlike Australia govt who did more than just talk, citizens are actually subsidised with the cost of installation of solar panels in their private home. In Singapore, it is all just empty hot air talk so far. I honestly hope to see more...i wonder how many years will it take.

WhiteDuskRed said...

It's a real pity nothing has been done to make it easier for people to install solar panels unless you stay in a landed property. There's no real benefits for a property developer to install solar panels on their building since electricity bills are bore by the occupants. And many occupants will not invest in a technology with an ROI of >10years. But that's for residential projects.

For commercial buildings I believe that effective plans to incorporate solar and green technology will be attractive to companies that have foresight. A higher rental but a lower electricity bill which more than makes up for the extra rent.. Seems like a winning package to me.

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