The impetus for buildings to decarbonize and move towards radical energy and water efficiency is increasingly strong and identified as a priority within the green building sector. The tiny house movement offers an opportunity to both address the challenges of affordable housing and contribute to residential building decarbonization. Tiny houses de-emphasize mass consumption and excessive belongings and have potential to address equity issues such as gentrification by providing living spaces to lowincome residents in desirable housing locations. This paper analyzes the Tiny House in My Backyard (THIMBY) project, investigating building sustainability concepts through the design-build-occupy process in a three-year-old structure. THIMBY demonstrates energy and water efficiency technologies inside an award-winning small living space (18.5 m2). THIMBY was designed to reduce energy and water use by 87 and 82% compared to California residential averages. In practice, it has reduced site energy by 88% and has emitted 96% fewer carbon emissions than a 2100 square foot California Energy Commission 2016 Title 24 minimally compliant home. We discuss the differences between design and performance of energy and water systems, which we find offer important lessons for the further expansion of the tiny house movement and other alternative and micro green housing types. We find that optimizing such houses through integration of energy and water saving technologies, home energy management systems, and strong communication between modelers, builders and occupants will be essential to achieving dramatic energy (87%), water (82%), and carbon (96%) savings.
How to address energy poverty as part of a Just Transition for energy and people and the climate in Africa. Dialog at the African Energy Forum in London: Link: https://www.africa-energy-forum.com
Episode 537 (October 12, 2021) On the "Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly" Marketplace podcast (the hosts of Marketplace), we sat down and talk about the current and future state of energy storage: Hosted by Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood Batteries are “the glue of the clean-energy economy” To download or listen: click here. Episode link: https://www.marketplace.org/shows/make-me-smart-with-kai-and-molly/
For the publication, click here.
Accelerating the rate of renewable energy deployment in Small Island Developing States is critical to reduce dependence on expensive fossil fuel imports and meet emissions reductions goals. Though many islands have now introduced policy measures to encourage RE development, the existing literature focuses on qualitative recommendations and has not sought to quantitatively evaluate and compare the impacts of policy interventions in the Caribbean. After compiling the first systematic database of RE policies implemented in 31 Caribbean islands from 2000 to 2018, we conduct an econometric analysis of the effectiveness of the following five policy interventions in promoting the deployment of RE: investment incentives, tax incentives, feed-in tariffs, net- metering and net-billing programs, and regulatory restructuring to allow market entry by independent power producers. Using a fixed effects model to control for unit heterogeneities between islands, we find evidence that net-metering/net-billing programs are strongly and positively correlated with increases in installed capacity of renewable energy - particularly solar PV. These findings suggest that the RE transition in the Caribbean can be advanced through policies targeting the adoption of small-scale, distributed photovoltaics.
Electricity and water systems are inextricably linked through water demands for energy generation, and through energy demands for using, moving, and treating water and wastewater. Climate change may stress these interdependencies, together referred to as the energy-water nexus, by reducing water availability for hydropower generation and by increasing irrigation and electricity demand for groundwater pumping, among other feedbacks. Further, many climate adaptation measures to augment water supplies—such as water recycling and desalination—are energy-intensive. However, water and electricity system climate vulnerabilities and adaptations are often studied in isolation, without considering how multiple interactive risks may compound. This paper reviews the fragmented literature and develops a generalized framework for understanding these implications of climate change on the energy-water nexus. We apply this framework in a case study to quantify end-century direct climate impacts on California’s water and electricity resources and estimate the magnitude of the indirect cross-sectoral feedback of electricity demand from various water adaptation strategies. Our results show that increased space cooling demand and decreased hydropower generation are the most significant direct climate change impacts on California’s electricity sector by end-century. In California’s water sector, climate change impacts directly on surface water availability exceed demand changes, but have considerable uncertainty, both in direction and magnitude. Additionally, we find that the energy demands of water sector climate adaptations could significantly affect California’s future electricity system needs. If the worst-case water shortage occurs under climate change, water-conserving adaptation measures can provide large energy savings co-benefits, but other energy-intensive water adaptations may double the direct impacts of climate change on the state’s electricity resource requirement. These results highlight the value of coordinated adaptation planning between the energy and water sectors to achieve mutually beneficial solutions for climate resilience.
For the video of the talk, click here.
The link is: http://hcsanfrancisco.clubs.
In this paper we present an alternative approach to addressing the problem of energy poverty. The private and community ownership in electricity factors of production, economic calculation, and the incentive for innovation through the price mechanism are discussed. A brief analysis on how this new approach can be used to address energy access problems in energy poor communities is done. Cases studies of the Nigerian off-grid mini-grid industry and the Ecoblock pilot project in California in the United States are discussed.