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Environmental Sustainability

The major ecological problem of today is that the pace of exploitation, degradat
ion and destruction of natural resources have become in many areas, faster than
the actual capacity of nature to restore. Not ensuring that future generations m
ay have the assets necessary to its survival. This work will discuss the develop
ment of alternative energies and Portuguese world, not in historical context, bu
t in the current environmental and political context, which demonstrate the vari
ous possible forms of alternative energy, addressing the new paradigm of sustain
ability. The choice of topic is due to reasons of timeliness, such as the shorta
ge of oil and high levels of environmental pollution. After a long search on the
topic in question, which favor the Internet, then arises a question which is de
signed as guidance and show how alternative energy has evolved and may be useful
to the world polity, "How have evolved Alternative Energy in the last 20 years?
High levels of pollution
Many countries appear in the XXI century still ok not knowing is the Kyoto Proto
col, Portugal is no exception, as well as the Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997
entered into force in February of 2005, and ratified by 155 countries. At the en
d of 2004 the association Quercus warned that Portugal would not even be able to
stabilize and then reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases. Recently the agr
eement between the U.S. - Asia on climate change could bring harm to the Kyoto P
rotocol and left the presidency in the English embarrassed because Washington co
uld enter into a climate agreement at the recent G8. The U.S. has created a Part
nership for Development Asia Pacific, joining China, India, Japan, South Korea a
nd Australia. These countries together with the U.S. account for 50% of global e
missions of greenhouse gases and this partnership does not include targets for t
he reduction of reductions. Another attempt to draw significance to Kyoto and a
message for the world to show the great power and potential of these technologie
s to alert without worrying about goals. Some of the final conclusions of the Co
nference in Johannesburg, warn of renewable energy and to pay special attention
to the Kyoto Protocol, this protocol is based on the item relating to global war
ming. The EU pressed during this conference that in 2015 ten percent of total en
ergy consumed, arose in renewables, but quickly backtracked in the face of U.S.
opposition and the OPEC countries, no matter whom this measure. Make environment
al issues a human right was responsible for the world gathered in Johannesburg,
the only way to strengthen existing laws. The Executive Director of the United N
ations Environment Programme, Klaus Toepfer said that environmental degradation
affects mainly the poorest, which needs therefore to be protected. It is also fo
r this reason that he spoke that 'the integration of environmental rights in the
list of human rights must be the way forward. A document prepared by magistrate
s also recognizes that the implementation of international environmental treatie
s need of supervision and rules of application, a proposal which is not far from
the idea of the European Parliament
a World Environment Organisation and the International Court of environmental cr
imes is true that the Kyoto Protocol and its power generation obligations on cou
ntries that have not yet attained the fullness of the world need to curb polluti
on and reduce the climatic effects caused by it but there is no denying that the
y are factors of paramount importance to the environmental change of paradigms o
n the planet today facing sustainable development. It is expected that in the ne
ar future, the determinations of the Kyoto Protocol would force the countries re
sponsible for the high emission levels of pollutants, such as USA, Russia and Ca
nada, whose interests are also internal factors of resistance to international a
greements on the need for climate stability in the world. The UK and Sweden are
the only European countries signed the Kyoto Protocol can meet their targets for
reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions at the current pace of e
conomic development, a study reveals today the IPPR, British research institute
on public policy. Following a classification based on a color scale, the IPPR ga
ve the green to the UK and Sweden;€Orange France, Greece and Germany, and red t
he other ten countries, including Italy and Spain. According to Tony Grayling As
sociate Director of IPPR "We are approaching the point of no return for climate
change, leaving us little time to begin to reduce worldwide emissions of greenho
use gases". It is therefore vital that EU countries fulfill their pledges to red
uce pollution and must act now to meet Kyoto by, for example, energy saving and
investment in renewable energy.
Solutions? Alternative Energy!
May wonder why this issue (renewable energy) is so important to us. We are now s
ix billion people, 4.8 million of whom live in developing countries. 2 Billion p
eople lack adequate access to energy sources. A wholly disproportionate percenta
ge of their time is spent searching for fuel, so they can cook and enlighten you
rself. This causes, due to the use of hazardous fuels, inefficient and expensive
, serious environmental and health concerns. It is estimated that died 4 to 5 mi
llion children per year just due to hazardous environments within their homes. O
ver the next 25 years we will be 2 billion people, 97% of which in developing co
untries. This will mean a huge pressure on resources we have available: water, c
ommunications, energy. The energy problem has become all the more pressing when
one considers the consequences of its misuse causes: health problems, environmen
tal problems. So I think this theme has a special importance and that the adopti
on of renewable energy must necessarily be expedited. In developing countries, c
reating sources of energy undergoes an annual increase of 75,000 MWatts, in whic
h only 1,000 MW comes from renewables. And this in a context where the multinati
onals themselves in the area of energy admit that in 25, 50, 50% of energy that
will inevitably come from renewables.
In Portugal
Portugal seems committed with regard to alternative energies, at the beginning o
f 2005 installed the first Pelamis Portugal and it is estimated that by the end
of 2006 has already installed three Pelamis. The Pelamis is a system that consis
ts of converting wave energy, being one of the most advanced technologies for ex
ploitation of this energy. Having a capacity to generate 2.25 MW of electricity
to the grid, which corresponds to expenses of 1500 homes in Portugal, which is t
o send less than 6000 tons of emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). Interestingly,
the technology wave is not the most mentioned when talking about renewables, but
Portugal is one of the countries with the greatest potential for exploitation o
f this resource.
Worldwide level
EU increasingly away from targets in renewable
The European Union (EU) will not meet the targets set for the production of ener
gy from renewable sources, sticking to the current levels of funding. The warnin
g is made by the European Environment Agency (EEA) a comparative study between t
he levels of subsidies to conventional energy sources and clean. The AEA believe
s that the "funding levels for renewable energy has been relatively low compared
to oil and natural gas." A situation not sustainable when Europe wants to reduc
e emissions of greenhouse gases to curb global warming of the planet. To this en
d, governments agreed to produce 12 of the 15% of energy from renewable sources
by 2010, for electricity, the amount increases to 22%. A decade later, in 2020,
the goals are more ambitious: it is expected that 20% of energy is green.
Oil prices strengthen investments in renewable energy
The considerable increase in the price of crude oil in recent months reinforces
the argument of the advocates of renewable energy. Especially as there are studi
es that indicate a possible new oil crisis within a few years. Many scientists p
redict a depletion of world reserves by 2016, leading to a drastic increase in t
he price of black gold, with disastrous consequences for the world economy. Ther
e are now consumed 80 billion barrels of oil per day, with increasing tendency.
One of the reasons why Germany is committed to fund for renewable energy relates
to the need to cut emissions of toxic gases that threaten the global climate. U
nder the Kyoto Protocol, the European Union, even of 15, undertook to reduce, be
tween 1990 and 2008, 8% (337 million tons) emissions of greenhouse gases. German
y took two thirds of this reduction (225 million tonnes). Portugal,€Spain, Gree
ce, Ireland and Sweden, have the right to increase their emissions within certai
n limits. The intermediate result is a bad omen for the fulfillment of self-impo
sed goal: by 2001, emissions in Europe were reduced by 2.3%, which was due almos
t exclusively to developments in Britain and Germany. And even in this country,
the factor, not unique, but vital, for the reductions was the complete collapse
of obsolete and highly polluting industry in eastern Germany. In Austria and Ita
ly there was an increase in emissions, instead of the planned retreat. Spain, Po
rtugal and Ireland, have long exceeded the limits.
Germany recognized as a good student
Germany is internationally recognized as an exemplary student in the field of pr
omoting renewable energy. It is no coincidence that this was the first country w
here representatives of an ecological party were elected to the National Parliam
ent, for over twenty years, when the idea of a political group seriously concern
ed about environmental protection was smiling half Europe. Regarding renewables,
the wind takes pride of place: Germany produces a third of wind power in the wo
rld. The country is also the second largest producer of solar energy, then in Ja
pan, however, it raises serious criticisms of the policy of the state to promote
renewable energies such as wind, solar, geothermal or bio-mass. According to an
alysts, the industries dependent on subsidies from the outset, may not survive.
The Ministry of Environment, under the tutelage of Green, Jürgen Trittin, respo
nds by pointing the 120 000 new jobs created in recent years in this sector and
promises more 400 000 2020. The industry of alternative energy bill every year,
ten billion, a figure expected to quadruple within 15 years. The Government hope
s that the healing represent 20% of total national energy consumption by 2020. B
erlin also stresses the growing importance of export of new technologies in this
sector, a factor which has not been completely unaware of the decision to organ
ize the massive Berlin conference "Renewables 2004".
Hydrogen - Energy Vector of the Future?
Hydrogen is used today mainly in petrochemical, electronics, food and metals. Ho
wever, with the end of fossil fuels in sight, the increased population and econo
mic growth worldwide is increasing interest in its use as an energy carrier, aga
inst a backdrop of clean and sustainable energy. In this context, the Hydrogen w
ill be relevant in all sectors
energy, from industry, transport end-uses laptops or the building sector. The ad
vantages and disadvantages of hydrogen as compared with other alternative energy
sources (fossil fuels), its viability as a dominant energy carrier in the futur
e, the state of the art national and international development of technologies r
elated to hydrogen and implementation, or not, and that scale time of a hydrogen
economy, addressing some policy strategies already outlined by governments or i
nternational agencies.
The era of Hydrogen (H2)
The search for alternative energy has been one of the biggest challenges of the
automotive industry. Historically, Honda's effort in this area has been a strate
gic priority; Honda EV (electric) Honda Insight (hybrid), Honda Dream (solar), H
onda Civic GX (natural gas) in addition to gasoline engines with low emissions,
as for example the Accord ULEV - Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle. Honda's president
Hiroyuki Yoshino said, "In 1972, Honda was the first automaker to pass the inspe
ction that the EPA regulates the emissions standards established in the U.S. Mus
kie Act (the world's most demanding at the time), the which opened a new era of
reduced emissions. And now, with the approval of our fuel cell vehicle, we opene
d another door - to the era of hydrogen. "Given the state of infrastructure to s
upply hydrogen, the regions of marketing this new model will initially be limite
d to the Tokyo metropolitan area in Japan and the State of California in the U.S
. The vehicles will be available to customers in the form of leasing, with rates
and terms to be determined later.
Outline of Honda's Hydrogen System
Honda announces three prototypes of environmentally friendly scooters
Honda Electric Moped Prototype
A prototype of environmentally friendly electric moped, designed for city use an
d for trips home-work-home. Taking another step in the production of an electric
bike for the general public, the prototype could eventually lead to a vehicle f
or mass production. The Moped-EV is compact and lightweight.€Its nickel-hydroge
n battery, located inside the aluminum frame is lightweight, dissipates heat eff
iciently and with 360 watt / hours, offers exceptionally long life. Powerful eno
ugh to climb a twelve-degree incline, the electric moped offers performance comp
arable to bikes in the same class with the internal combustion engine.
Unlike most other bikes that have the throttle on the handle, the Moped-EV featu
res a lever throttle with two phases, located beneath the right handlebar. Opera
ted easily by the thumb, the lever throttle helps make riding easy even for less
-experienced riders. There is enough time that Honda conducts research to develo
p the next generation of energy sources that reduce harmful emissions and help s
low global warming. In 1994, Honda developed the CUV ES, an electric scooter use
d by government institutions. Following the tracks of that revolutionary vehicle
, the Moped-EV is designed to offer a means of transport quiet and clean place t
o travel home-work-home and leisure.
Honda Fuel Cell Scooter FCStack (appendix fig 3.)
Building on the success achieved with the technology of fuel cell vehicle, Honda
has developed a scooter powered by fuel cell system, lightweight and compact, t
he Honda FC Stack. With the ability to start in freezing conditions, the new gen
eration Honda FC Stack, high efficiency is even more lightweight and small, rede
signed for use in scooters. Honda has applied its experience in developing fuel
cells for automobiles and further miniaturized the system, so you can install it
on scooters. The new vehicle is based on a 125 cc scooter popular around the wo
rld to travel home-work-home. The space was maintained by placing the electric d
rive system in the rear wheel swing arm and placing the fuel cell stack Honda FC
in the center of the vehicle, with auxiliary systems arranged
compact form around them. The scooter has size comparable to that resulting from
a scooter with an internal combustion engine of the same class.
Honda Hybrid Scooter Prototype
A prototype of a Hybrid Scooter with 50 cm ³, which offers reduced emissions, e
xceptional fuel economy and ample space for storage. Using an internal combustio
n engine and an electric motor, the new prototype takes Honda one step closer to
mass production of a hybrid scooter. The new prototype of the Honda has an alte
rnator (ACG) with stop function at idle and electronic fuel injection system Mul
ti-point PGM-FI. In addition to an electronically controlled belt converter and
a set of Honda environmental technologies, the new scooter group has a double hy
brid power series / parallel with electric motor direct drive to rear wheel. Tha
nks to a compact power system and a rechargeable battery, nÍquelhidrogénio loc
ated under the front cowl, the hybrid scooter is the same size as the Dio Z4, a
scooter 50 cc of standard size, being only 10 kg heavier. Three prototypes with
very similar characteristics of innovative design, futuristic and attractive wit
h a common objective, deliver low emissions of pollution.
Engine that converts alcohol into hydrogen study
The University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in São Paulo State, is developing a new en
gine that converts ethanol (alcohol) hydrogen. The new device can be used not on
ly in cars but also as a source of electrical power. The new engine is about fiv
e times cheaper than current combustion engines and, moreover, has little or no
emission of pollutants The main innovation of the engine, which is being develop
ed by a team of Hydrogen Laboratory at Unicamp, reformer is a device (converter)
of ethanol that enables the production of hydrogen from the alcohol. This makes
this engine more advantageous than those used in current prototype hydrogen car
, that for the vehicle has a good autonomy, it is necessary to place several gas
First Hydrogen-powered bike
The first hydrogen-powered scooter was presented at the Pacific Design Centre De
sign Centre in Los Angeles. ENV, the final name of the project was developed in
the UK by Intelligent Energy, in partnership with Seymourpowel, responsible for
the design of the project and expected to reach commercial channels in this year
2006. With a highly futuristic aspect, oriented mixed use in urban environments
and offroad, this motorcycle press for a number of technological innovations at
the level of the building.€Lightweight and versatile, the VNS provides benefit
s far superior to any electric motorcycle, hitting performances very similar to
that of an ordinary "accelerated" by 50cc. A maximum speed of 80 km / h is the v
alue advertised by the manufacturer, which makes VNS a very functional vehicle f
or city traffic. The Intelligent Energy, said the press that the future will pre
sent a version capable of reaching 160 km / h.
First hydrogen motorcycle
Portugal and the hydrogen-powered public transport
The fleet of public transport services do Porto (STCP) has three new hydrogen-po
wered buses. The vehicles are part of the CUTE project. A pilot experiment carri
ed out in eight European cities that want to improve air quality and stimulate t
he production of alternative energies. The project involves a fee of EUR 52 mill
ion, funded 35% by the European Commission. The H2 bus are part of a European pr
oject that seeks to test a free urban transport emissions. The objectives are to
develop alternative energies to release Europe's dependence on fossil fuels and
contribute to the reduction of pollutant emissions stipulated in the Kyoto Prot
ocol. Hydrogen is the bet of the CUTE project. Besides being the most abundant e
lement in the universe, existing in 90% of all matter, is more energy than petro
leum and combustion process has a completely clean. The High-Explosive Hydrogen
is the main concern, therefore, the construction of buses followed the special c
riteria. The deposits of hydrogen gas and the cells that produce energy for the
electric motor are located on the roof of the bus for safety. But according to t
he construction company vehicles - stated that "all
the fuel cell buses have been tested and approved by national and international
authorities. " So no problem with no additional security in these fuel cell buse
s because, and it is necessary to know this,
Hydrogen is a very lightweight, so if anything happens, he evaporase and nothing
else. "
Hydrogen-powered buses STCP
Hydrogen can be no solution
According to a recent study by the American Institute CTI (California Technology
Institute), hydrogen may eventually bring as many or more problems that we face
with fossil fuels. The difference is that in order to prevent and act to preven
t what happened with fossil fuels and other chemicals, among other problems that
led to the ozone hole, global warming, the greenhouse effect, acid rain and to
other atmospheric phenomena of a destructive nature. The problem is the loss of
hydrogen engines for cars and hydrogen will result in the atmospheric level of t
his release. As the cars current leakage at the level of the combustion gases en
tering and that leakage has been minimized through leaks in the filters and ribs
at the level of deposits, but the cars running on hydrogen is appointed a value
of around 10-20 % for these losses. This percentage could rise to the release 6
0-120 trillion grams of hydrogen per year, if we consider a scenario in which hy
drogen would replace fossil fuels altogether.
This does not affect in any way the option of the hydrogen off the world stage i
n terms of energy. The point is that the consequences of our actions, contrary t
o what happened previously, for example with the combustion engine, are already
being measured and planned even before it brings about and that's a big differen
In personal opinion, renewable energy can never replace fossil fuel consumption
and still support the general increase in energy consumption. What we need, and
clean energy sources, a new energy policy. Developed countries are obliged to re
duce its unbridled consumption of energy (which does not imply a reduction in co
mfort, on the contrary) to allow others to increase their energy consumption. Ho
wever, the "industrial revolution" in the underdeveloped countries can never be
as it was the developed countries, since there are no conditions for this. It is
necessary that we learn from the mistakes of the past. Simply do not have the t
ime to repeat. http://www.notapositiva.com/trab_professores/ecologia/sustentabam