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Energy, environment and sustainable development

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  • Omer, Abdeen Mustafa

Abstract

Globally, buildings are responsible for approximately 40% of the total world annual energy consumption. Most of this energy is for the provision of lighting, heating, cooling, and air conditioning. Increasing awareness of the environmental impact of CO2 and NOx emissions and CFCs triggered a renewed interest in environmentally friendly cooling, and heating technologies. Under the 1997 Montreal Protocol, governments agreed to phase out chemicals used as refrigerants that have the potential to destroy stratospheric ozone. It was therefore considered desirable to reduce energy consumption and decrease the rate of depletion of world energy reserves and pollution of the environment. One way of reducing building energy consumption is to design building, which are more economical in their use of energy for heating, lighting, cooling, ventilation and hot water supply. Passive measures, particularly natural or hybrid ventilation rather than air-conditioning, can dramatically reduce primary energy consumption. However, exploitation of renewable energy in buildings and agricultural greenhouses can, also, significantly contribute towards reducing dependency on fossil fuels. Therefore, promoting innovative renewable applications and reinforcing the renewable energy market will contribute to preservation of the ecosystem by reducing emissions at local and global levels. This will also contribute to the amelioration of environmental conditions by replacing conventional fuels with renewable energies that produce no air pollution or greenhouse gases. The provision of good indoor environmental quality while achieving energy and cost-efficient operation of the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) plants in buildings represents a multi-variant problem. The comfort of building occupants is dependent on many environmental parameters including air speed, temperature, relative humidity and quality in addition to lighting and noise. The overall objective is to provide a high level of building performance (BP), which can be defined as indoor environmental quality (IEQ), energy efficiency (EE) and cost efficiency (CE). - Indoor environmental quality is the perceived condition of comfort that building occupants experience due to the physical and psychological conditions to which they are exposed by their surroundings. The main physical parameters affecting IEQ are air speed, temperature, relative humidity and quality. - Energy efficiency is related to the provision of the desired environmental conditions while consuming the minimal quantity of energy. - Cost efficiency is the financial expenditure on energy relative to the level of environmental comfort and productivity that the building occupants attained. The overall cost efficiency can be improved by improving the indoor environmental quality and the energy efficiency of a building. This article discusses the potential for such integrated systems in the stationary and portable power market in response to the critical need for a cleaner energy technology. Anticipated patterns of future energy use and consequent environmental impacts (acid precipitation, ozone depletion and the greenhouse effect or global warming) are comprehensively discussed in this paper. Throughout the theme several issues relating to renewable energies, environment and sustainable development are examined from both current and future perspectives.

Suggested Citation

  • Omer, Abdeen Mustafa, 2008. "Energy, environment and sustainable development," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 12(9), pages 2265-2300, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:12:y:2008:i:9:p:2265-2300
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Upreti, Bishnu Raj, 2004. "Conflict over biomass energy development in the United Kingdom: some observations and lessons from England and Wales," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 785-800, April.
    2. Gustavsson, Leif & Börjesson, Pål & Johansson, Bengt & Svenningsson, Per, 1995. "Reducing CO2 emissions by substituting biomass for fossil fuels," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 20(11), pages 1097-1113.
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