Energy in Architecture

Sheila Sriprakash

Energy is omnipresent and has been venerated since Vedic times. It is impossible to ignore its powerful dominance. This cultural linkage is ingrained in me since I was a child. Energy forms and shapes life, and possessing energy awareness leads to its judicious use. Architecture stimulates development through optimum use of all energies.

The revolutionary way in which paperless offices work today, and the use of the Internet has drastically reduced consumption required for movement and communication. Automobile companies are aware that it is their responsibility to create models that consume less. Despite these significant achievements, it is imperative to work towards reduction and elimination of irresponsible and thoughtless consumption that throws nature out of balance. The vicious backlash alters weather patterns resulting in devastating climate change.

Read more: Energy in Architecture

Cleaner Cookstoves and Fuels – Ingredients for a Healthy Planet

Radha Muthiah

Cooking is a daily ritual we all do. To many, it is a chore. But for nearly three billion people—about half of the world’s population—it is something much more. Like many women in the developing world, Sarah Roba and her family in Kenya cook over an open flame or use inefficient cookstoves that threaten their lives and damage the environment. “The smoke from cooking affects us,” Sarah says. “They make this world black. They also make us black inside.” Sarah’s mother died when she was ten, and her sister lost her battle with lung cancer.

To put it bluntly, this type of cooking kills. Prolonged exposure to harmful smoke and fumes contributes to illness and the premature deaths of an estimated 4 million people each year. Crude cooking stoves produce toxic emissions that poison the air, both inside the household and outdoors, and consume precious natural resources. The damage to the ecosystem cannot be understated.

Read more: Cleaner Cookstoves and Fuels – Ingredients for a Healthy Planet

Researching Tomorrow’s Critical Solutions Today

Fred Moavenzadeh

When Masdar City was announced as a dedicated clean-tech freezone and host of the sustainability engineering-focused Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, it was heralded as the City of the Future. But to many, it seemed like a distant future. A city based on clean energy, green construction, low-carbon transportation and smart systems existed in the realm of flying cars, not in the immediate.

But in just a few years, as the impacts of global climate change became more obvious, peak oil drew closer, and the global recession changed the status quo in many economies, it became widely recognized that the technologies and innovations at the core of Masdar City were not a mere novelty. They are a necessity.

Read more: Researching Tomorrow’s Critical Solutions Today

Hard Oil – The Drive to Cut Industry Costs

John Westwood

The quest to meet the world’s growing demand for oil grows more difficult by the year as conventional sources are depleted and oil companies are forced to access technically more challenging and higher cost resources from shales, oil sands, ultra-deep waters and the arctic. Looking back through the rose-tinted spectacles of time, it seems that yesterday’s challenges were lesser; it was a time of so called ‘easy oil’. But the 21st century most definitely is not; global oil discoveries peaked in the 1960s and as their own production peaks, oil majors struggle to find new sources when 80% of remaining reserves are controlled by state oil companies. Looming over all of this are soaring costs.

According to the US Energy Information Agency, between 2000 and 2008 average US well costs climbed from some $800,000 to near $3.8 million. Much of this increase was due to the costs of drilling and completing more complex shale wells. From 1987 to 2000, oil & gas exploration and production expenditure grew by 48%; between 2000 and 2013 the growth was 374%. However, oil production increase was a mere 24% (and natural gas 43%). Welcome to the world of hard oil!

Read more: Hard Oil – The Drive to Cut Industry Costs

Great Expectations: Tesla Motors

technology tesla

Aswath Damodaran started a squabble in September of last year, after publishing a blog on his website on the valuation of Tesla Motors. The valuation guru pinned Tesla at $67.12 per share, well below the market price of $168.76. By the following week stocks had dropped by 5%, leading analysts to blame Damodaran partly for the fall. News of the overvaluation was startling, considering that Tesla's stock had increased 400% for the year to date.

One year after Tesla posted its first quarterly profits, the question remains over whether Tesla can meet, or exceed investor expectations. "Tesla is not yet making money, certainly not on operations. But that's what it needs to do to fund future product development," says Autoline automobile expert John McElroy. Fourth-quarter sales for the brand's Model S sedan were 20% higher than CEO Elon Musk had previously forecast. Still, Musk has kept tight-lipped over future growth projections, including expansion plans for a second factory.

Read more: Great Expectations: Tesla Motors


Global Sustainable Energy Essay Contest
Light Up a Village
Featured Event


Global Energy Initiative is a
501 (c)(3) not-for-profit
organization, incorporated
in New York State, USA.                              

Contact GEI


866 United Nations Plaza 
Suite 471 
New York, NY, 10017 USA 
Tel:  212.574.8138
Fax: 646.476.2495
Follow GEI on Twitter
Follow GEI on Facebook
Follow GEI on LinkedIn