SUSTAINABLE ENERGY AND TRANSPORTATION
Power system design is best viewed as part of an integrated infrastructure design. Conservation, energy, water, food production, building design and transportation can be integrated to build cost-effective, ultra-efficient energy systems. This is called the Integrated System Approach. The first priority is energy conservation, which includes ecological architecture, super-insulation, efficient equipment and the attitudes of residents.
Transportation is one of the most difficult areas to reduce the carbon footprint. We are enormously accustomed to the effectiveness of fossil fuels to provide our mobile energy. For the eco-designer, there are some options:
- Minimize the need for transportation within the local community and bioregion. Design local activities and strengthen local contacts.
- Encourage cycling – perhaps electric bikes for longer trips.
- If biofuel crops are locally available, consider pressing appropriate oils, such as rapeseed or sunflower.
- Village buses and shared cars.
- Integrate new technologies as they become more mature: e.g., electric, compressed air, and hydrogen technologies.
- Divide the group into two teams, one will focus on energy and the other on transportation.
- Use the research questions below for the assessment. Use a variety of research techniques (online information, interviews, publications, government documents, etc.)
- After conducting the above investigations, ask the teams to design a low-carbon energy system and transportation system for the village/town/neighborhood.
- Teams present their findings and solutions to the whole group.
- For the energy team: Answer the following questions: How many homes or businesses are there with solar panels or wind turbines in the village/city/neighborhood? What is green power? From which companies can green electricity be purchased in your city / village / neighborhood? Where is this green power produced? What are energy-saving devices? What are energy labels? What are LED / energy saving / incandescent / halogen lamps? How much does a 900 lm LED, energy saving, incandescent and halogen bulb use?
- For the transportation team: How practical and reliable is the local public transportation system? What alternative fuels are used for vehicles? Are there any vehicles with in the village / town / district that run on an alternative fuel? How easy is it to cycle in the village/town/neighborhood? What is a shared car? Are there any shared cars in the village/town/neighborhood?
Exploring local energy and transportation options and exploring a more low-carbon solution to infrastructure problems.
Participants will learn how their community can solve energy and transportation problems while reducing their carbon emissions.
Flipchart and marker pens, colored pencils, Computer with internet browser.
Post discussion of this experience is best done in the form of a selection contest where everyone can see and critique the diversity of solutions. Question: what didn’t work as it should have? How can this be improved?
Students What did they discover about the technical and practical aspects of alternative energy and transportation? How does this fit into society? How can this be used in the rest of the world? What was the most important thing that happened in this activity? What issues are they still missing?
Facilitators What did you notice during this activity? How well did participants do? Did they understand the directions? Have any risks or unforeseen results emerged? What would you do differently next time?