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Combined heat and power CHP : an efficiency boosting approach Co-generation, or combined heat and power CHP , is an energy production system generating both electricity and heat from a single primary source. Wind turbines: yes, but not in buildings Wind turbines are another fast growing renewable energy technology. Storage: adapt to the variable nature of renewables to optimize energy use and master the energy bill Renewable energy sources provide CO 2 -free electrical energy, but also have some drawbacks — most significantly the variability of energy production depending on weather conditions.

A combination of electricity generation technologies maximizes benefits We have reviewed several local electricity generation technologies for buildings. Related Posts How Companies are Using Renewable Energy and Clean Technologies to Drive Sustainable Growth How to make your building —whether existing or new construction—net-zero energy What to do with photovoltaic renewable energy and why your decision matters Some figures about renewable energy. Featured Bloggers Dhaval Shah. Vanya Ignatova. Kavita Manral. Atin Chhabra. Annick Villeneuve. Shovan Sengupta. Jaimie Giarrusso. Jay Osgood.

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This page first made public: Oct 28, Summary This course will explore a variety of sustainable technologies with emphasis on understanding the fundamental scientific properties underlying each. Pedagogy will stress hands-on experimentation and learner-centered approaches.

The design will minimize the role of lecturing and promote a variety of active learning approaches in a flipped classroom setting. Strengths of the Course This course provides students with a unique approach to learning general scientific and geoscientific principles as they discover how green technologies work, and understand those technologies in the context of real-world problems.

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Show me more about fitting this material into my course. Course Goals: 1 Students will apply the geoscience principles underlying, and social implications of, implementing new technologies to address issues of energy and resource scarcity and environmental sustainability. Show key literacies and societal issues addressed in this module. Supported Earth Science Literacy Principles : Big Idea 1: Earth scientists use repeatable observations and testable ideas to understand and explain our planet. Supported Essential Principles of Climate Science : 2.

Climate is regulated by complex interactions among components of the Earth system. Climate varies over space and time through both natural and human-made processes. Human activities are impacting the climate system. Climate change will have consequences for the Earth system and human lives. Turkey had the highest implementation rate 5 , followed by Spain 2 and Greece 2.

Almost half 7 were within the European Union. Evaluation criteria in previous MCDA approaches. This section provides an overview of the evaluation criteria that were used in the MCDA approaches from articles no. The listing of publications in column 1 of Table II is repeated in Table III to indicate how often criteria appeared in the literature.

The most frequently recurring criteria are listed, and the number specifies the publication in which they appeared. In cases where criteria were used less than three times, they were categorized under 'Other'.

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The criteria in Table III are divided into categories: technical, economic, and environmental and socio-political. This was based on the results of 'types of criteria' in column 6 of Table II. The technical category addresses the physical characteristics of the electricity alternative. The economic category investigates the financial feasibility. The environmental category evaluates the impact of the alternative on nature.

Lastly, the socio-political category measures the influence on the quality of life of people affected by the project Mateo, The criteria used in the MCDA approaches are further subdivided into those used in approaches evaluating, on the one hand, mixed sources and on the other, only renewable energy sources. Criteria are noted only when they occur in more than three papers. The following provides a brief summary of the findings. A strong difference in application between mixed and renewable sources can be seen with 'maturity'.

It shows a higher regularity in the case of renewable energy sources. A significant difference can be seen with the criteria 'service life' and 'implementation period', which are used mostly with the renewable energy sources. The external costs include different types of emissions. Some MCDA approaches specified the various emissions, while others summarized this aspect into one criterion.

The criterion 'social benefit' was used only in mixed MCDA approaches. Impact on the MCDA approach for mining corporations. The purpose of this paper, as stated in the Introduction, is to investigate the internal evaluation process regarding possible electricity sources for mining corporations in South Africa. This will contribute to the foundation of an MCDA approach for mining corporations in South Africa to optimize the evaluation of electricity generation sources.

The literature review provides an overview of how MCDA approaches have been used in energy planning in past years. The following points indicate how they contributed to, or affected, the identification of the criteria of this paper. Consequently, the previously used criteria can be used only as an indication. No such approach to energy planning was found in South Africa. As the marketing of renewable energy to mining corporations is relatively new, respondents might not include all important criteria for renewable sources. The listed criteria of energy planning serve as a checklist and might indicate that further investigations have to be conducted.

Foundations to the internal evaluation process. Type of alternatives to be evaluated. As the main purpose of this paper is to provide more information about the criteria used by mining corporations to evaluate possible electricity sources, with the final outcome of being able to compare renewable with current sources, it is important to define the exact characteristics of the types of alternatives available.

The purpose of specifying the selection standards for alternatives is to create more transparency in the process of analysing and evaluating them by comparing them with each other Stewart and Belton, In cases where alternatives are too different in nature, it becomes more difficult and less informative to compare them according to the same criteria Keeney, Earlier research by Votteler and Brent investigated the external macroeconomic environment to reveal the potential of renewable sources for mining corporations in South Africa.


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Based on this research and the previous MCDA applications in energy planning, solar PV, onshore wind power, and 'hot dry rock' geothermal power were selected as the renewable sources with the greatest potential. Owing to the intermittency, especially of solar PV and wind power, and the constant electricity demand of mining operations, hybrid versions with current electricity sources were identified as the best option.

In addition, based on the current legislative and regulatory framework in South Africa, the business model of self-generation 3 , in the form of own investment or a power purchase agreement, has the greatest potential. As the purpose of the development of the MCDA for mining corporations was to create more transparency, own investment was selected. The reason for this choice was to focus the attention on the performance of the technology and not on third parties Boyse et al.

Therefore, decision-makers at mining corporations were asked to list the evaluation criteria that they would use to evaluate the following electricity sources:. The business model has great influence on the type and number of stakeholders involved in establishing an electricity source for mining operations. All stakeholders and their influence on the decision-making process have to be identified to ensure that the best possible solution can be found Boyse et al. The selected model of self-generation and own investment involved three main stakeholders: the mining corporation, the project developer, and the legislative and regulatory body.

The mining corporation was the main stakeholder for the purpose of this research, as it is the decision-maker regarding a possible project realization. The decision-makers have to cover two main areas: operations and finance. Decision-makers selecting an alternative from an operational perspective will make use of criteria that ensure that the generating source will satisfy the electricity demands of the mine Cookie et al. Decision-makers selecting an alternative from a financial perspective will make use of criteria to find the most feasible alternative for electricity generation at the mining location Goh et al.

The project development company is responsible for the realization of the alternative.

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The companies represent the different electricity sources and will provide the data necessary to feed the evaluation criteria to execute the MCDA approach. The developer has no direct influence on the decision-making, and can only affect the attractiveness of the project Lerro, ; Aslani, The regulatory and legislative body in South Africa dictates the framework regarding the business model of how electricity projects will be realized.

As previously stated, according to this framework the model of self-generation was selected as the most lucrative. It further influences the actual development of the project with factors like compulsory environmental assessments, which also consider the surrounding communities Lerro, ; Frost, Profile of mining corporations.

To reveal the criteria that mining corporations use to evaluate possible electricity generation sources, four different mining corporations were included in this study, as illustrated in Table IV. In three the respondents were electrical engineers, and in one case the manager of a utility supply chain with responsibility for six mines.

Emphasis was placed on gaining information from a variety of mines with different resources, sizes, and targets in order to gain optimal insight. The resources mined were gold, coal, chrome, and zircon.

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The average annual electricity consumption per mine varied from 4. As the Eskom tariff varies according to factors like season or time of day, the yearly average price was stated for the sake of simplicity. All mines were connected to the grid, with diesel generators as backup systems. One of the mines had installed a 1 MW solar PV plant, and two other corporations were conducting solar PV and onshore wind power feasibility studies.

Criteria characteristics and requirements. To structure the internal evaluation process, a decision table was developed. The table of mining corporations evaluating different alternatives for electricity sources had to be constructed according to certain characteristics. The decision table was based on the results of the post-it mind-maps from the interviews with decision-makers.

To be able to identify a clear structure and to use the criteria for further analysis in a MCDA approach, specific requirements had to be fulfilled by each criterion Stewart and Belton, Each person involved in the decision-making process has to know the exact meaning to prevent any confusion and misleading results Edwards et al. As the decision table is the foundation of an MCDA analysis, this requirement is important to create meaningful results.

A negative result would be to have faulty results, e. However, when selecting too many criteria the researcher has to beware of omitting to consider the previously mentioned requirements Edwards et al, ; Loken, The decision criteria. The interviews with the mining corporations showed that possible electricity sources were evaluated based on their being independent and able to supply electricity including the necessary fuel on their own, and within the investment capability of the corporation.

The criteria are listed and described in Table V. The first column provides the category and the second the criteria. The economic category included two criteria that measured the economic value of the electricity source, namely: levelized electricity costs and net present value. These criteria used several values as part of the calculation. The prediction of fuel costs was new in regard to the literature review. It is important to mention that the criteria listed in Table V represent a summary of all criteria used during the evaluation process, and that most had been applied in other energy planning evaluations at various points in time.

The sequence started with technological criteria, aimed to ensure that the potential electricity source could satisfy the electricity requirements of the mining operation. Thereafter, technologies that passed the technical criteria were analysed according to economic criteria. Lastly, environmental and social criteria were evaluated. Mining corporations have peculiarities not found in previous MCDA evaluations. Firstly, mining operations are more profit-oriented in comparison to national electricity providers. Therefore, criteria like initial investment cost, which can have a considerable influence on the balance sheet in the first years, have higher priority for mining corporations than for electricity providers.

Both were therefore used as prerequisites in the choice of the type of electricity source to be evaluated in Table V. Another criterion that had to be considered, which did not feature in previous evaluations, was the predicted lifespan of the mine, as this factor has a considerable influence on the economic criteria, and consequently on the feasibility of the project. The preparation of this paper is justified by two facts. Firstly, the difficulties with current electricity sources in South Africa have increased the attractiveness of the steadily advancing renewable technologies for mining operations in the country.

Secondly, previous research has been directed only at investigating the external influences on this market. The contribution of this paper is an investigation of the internal business approach of mining corporations towards evaluating electricity generation sources. This research has shown that the MCDA method is the most suitable approach. No application of the MCDA method in energy planning from the perspective of corporate or mining entities could be found - most MCDA adaptations were from the perspective of governmental bodies or general electricity source evaluations without a specific perspective.

Consequently, in the absence of data, qualitative interviews were conducted with four mining corporations operating in South Africa to reveal the criteria that these organizations applied in order to evaluate possible electricity sources. The differences found between the selection criteria used by the four corporations and those of previous approaches in the literature are the result of different perspectives.

Mines are profit-oriented business entities and electricity generation is not their core business, while previous approaches were more focused on the technological and environmental factors. This paper has established the basis for evaluating and comparing current and renewable electricity-generating options from the perspective of mining corporations in South Africa. The reason for subdividing the work into two papers was to create a basis of two components: the first being the current knowledge about the external framework; while the second reveals the internal framework.

Part 2 will fuse the external and internal components in order to apply the adapted MCDA framework and to feed the model with realtime data. Afgan, N. Multi-criteria assessment of new and renewable energy power plants. Energy, vol. Ahmad, S. Selection of renewable energy sources for sustainable development of electricity generation system using analytic hierarchy process: A case of Malaysia. Renewable Energy, vol. Alton, T. Introducing carbon taxes in South Africa.

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