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Carrard N.,University of Technology, Sydney | Crawford J.,Australian National University | Halcrow G.,Institute for Sustainable Futures | Willetts J.,University of Technology, Sydney
Waterlines | Year: 2013

This paper aims to assist practitioners and researchers in planning, identifying, and documenting gender outcomes associated with water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programmes by proposing a conceptual framework for classifying gender equality changes. Gender outcomes that have been attributed to WASH initiatives encompass those directly related to improved services as well as outcomes that move into areas of relationships, power, and status. There is a growing body of literature identifying WASH-related gender outcomes; however the types of outcomes described vary considerably and further work is needed to inform a comprehensive picture of WASH and gender links. The framework proposed in this paper is based on a synthesis of outcomes reported in WASH literature to date, empirical research in Fiji and Vanuatu, and insights from gender and development literature. It is hoped that the framework will support practitioners to engage with the inherent complexity of gender inquiry, contributing to sector knowledge about the potential for WASH initiatives to advance gender equality. © Practical Action Publishing, 2013. Source


Behirsch J.,University of Technology, Sydney | Ramirez M.,Institute for Sustainable Futures | Giurco D.,University of Technology, Sydney
ICED 11 - 18th International Conference on Engineering Design - Impacting Society Through Engineering Design | Year: 2011

This paper presents the results of an empirical study, investigating the uptake of ecodesign by industrial design consultancies (ID consultancies) in Australia, China, Germany and the USA. Designing products for a low environmental load, usually termed as ecodesign, offers high potential to reduce the environmental impact of our society, aiming for a sustainable development. However, there still appears to be no widespread uptake of ecodesign into product development praxis by industrial designers, with most ecodesign activity focusing on the engineering phase. Especially seldom are the necessary radical interventions to significantly improve the environmental performance of products. The literature review revealed that ID consultancies might be in a position to improve this situation. This paper presents the findings of a website content analysis, investigating the extent of ecodesign uptake by ID consultancies in Australia, China, Germany and the US. Those four countries were chosen to see if different, country specific frameworks impact on the attitude of ID consultancies towards ecodesign. The paper verifies that ID consultancies have a high potential to improve ecodesign uptake by using their influence especially on early phases of the product development process and by addressing also non engineering related issues for ecodesign. This potential does not appear to be fully embraced yet. The paper concludes by identifying the highest representation of ecodesign on websites of Australian ID consultancies and the lowest on websites of Chinese ID consultancies. The way ID consultancies practice ecodesign is very country specific. Understanding the differences and developing recommendations how ID consultancies can better unfold their ecodesign potential requires deeper investigations in the case specific factors. Copyright © 2002-2012 The Design Society. All rights reserved. Source


The new Global Wind Energy Outlook 2016 (GWEO) presents three visions of the future of the global wind energy industry out to 2020, 2030 and up to 2050. The scenarios compare the International Energy Agency’s central scenario from its World Energy Outlook with a Moderate and Advanced scenario developed especially for this report, detailing how the global wind industry might deliver in terms of global electricity supply, CO2 emission savings, employment, cost reductions, and investment. The Global Wind Energy Outlook will be published in October 2016. What you will learn: Steve Sawyer, has worked in the energy and environment field since 1978, with a particular focus on climate change and renewable energy since 1988. He spent many years working for Greenpeace International, representing the organization at intergovernmental and industry fora primarily on energy and climate issues. At GWEC he is focused on working with intergovernmental organisations such as the UNFCCC, IPCC, IRENA, IEA, IFC and ADB to ensure that wind power takes its rightful place in the energy options for the future; and with opening up new markets for the industry worldwide. Dr Sven Teske is a Research Principle at the Institute for Sustainable Futures. Dr Teske has 20 years experience in technical analysis of renewable energy systems and market integration concept. He has published over 50 special reports about renewable energies like the “Global Wind Energy Outlook” and “Solar Generation”. Dr Teske was the Renewable Energy Director at Greenpeace International for 10 years. Where, Sven was the project leader for five editions of the World Energy Scenario “Energy [R]evolution: A sustainable World Energy Outlook”. The energy [r]evolution is an independently produced report that provides a practical blueprint for a transition towards renewable energy supply by 2050. This research is a joined project of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), NGO’s and the Global Wind Energy Council. Sven represented the renewable energy program of Greenpeace International at the UNFCCC Climate Conferences from November 1994 (COP 1 in Berlin) until December 2014 (COP 20 in Lima / Peru). Sven was a lead author for the IPCC Special Report Renewables (Chapter 10: Scenario analysis), which was published in 2011. He was a member of the expert review committee for the IEA World Energy Outlook in 2010 and 2011 and is a member of the advisory panel of the Japanese Renewable Energy Foundation. Sven also has practical experience in small-scale utility development. He originally developed the concept for a green utility and founded in 1999 the “Greenpeace energy eG”– Germany’s first cooperative in the power sector. Greenpeace Energy eG today employs 70 people and supplies 120.000 customers in Germany with green electricity. He has been a member of the board since 2000 Sven has significant experience in applying technical concepts (infrastructure, power grids and solar photovoltaic equipment) for rural electrification projects such as the Bihar Cluster utility project. Sven also has a PhD in the Integration of solar photovoltaic and wind into power systems from the University of Flensburg in Germany.


News Article | April 22, 2016
Site: http://cleantechnica.com

A new report from the Institute for Sustainable Futures in Sydney says a rapid transition to a 100 per cent renewable energy system can save Australia money – with avoided fuel costs to quickly offset the extra capital expenditure of building wind, solar and other renewable energy installations. “The transition to a 100 per cent renewable energy system by 2050 is both technically possible and economically viable in the long term,” the report says. And by 100 per cent renewable, it means all energy use, including transport and heating. The report canvasses two renewable energy scenarios, one based on a high level of renewable energy in the electricity grid, but with transport largely reliant on fossil fuels. The second is the Advanced Renewables scenario, which canvasses a totally renewable electricity system by 2030 and a fully renewable energy system by 2050. This graph above shows the proposed fuel mix on the various scenarios, and how they compare to the “reference” rate of current policies, which continues to rely heavily on black and brown coal, and gas. Interestingly, the ‘advanced renewables” scenario includes a significant share of ocean energy and geothermal energy, which have yet to make their mark in Australia, along with solar thermal and storage and biomass, which will add to the “flexible” generation capacity that will fill the gaps between wind and solar. Another important component is hydrogen, which is introduced as a substitute for natural gas, and makes up a significant share of transport fuels after 2030. Hydrogen is assumed to be produced via electrolysis, via wind and solar PV – hence the large amounts of wind and PV “for transport” only in the advanced renewable scenario. Indeed, the report, commissioned by activist groups Get Up and Solar Citizens, says solar and wind will become the “main pillars” of electricity supply in Australia, in a reshaped market that is not built around the conventional “base load” concept, which the authors say is an economic construct rather than a technical one. The release of the report comes at the same time as the effective launch of an election campaign that features relatively modest policies from the mainstream parties, and highlights the yawning and growing gap between what is possible (and cost effective) and what the major parties propose. Labor is aiming for 50 per cent renewable energy in electricity by 2030, while the Coalition has no policy beyond its 33,00GWh (effectively 23 per cent) renewables target for 2020. Ironically, it was prime minister Malcolm Turnbull who helped launch an earlier 100 per cent renewables scenario by Beyond Zero Emissions, back in 2010. Get UP’s Miriam Lyons said investing in the shift to renewables would mean lower wholesale electricity prices as early as 2025. “Australia’s shambolic electricity system is not clean, cheap, modern, competitive or fair,” Lyons said. “The only people it suits are a handful of big coal-burning power companies along with network companies who spent $75 billion building far more energy infrastructure than we need. “That’s a racket, and the Homegrown Power Plan shows how we can fix it. It also shows how clean energy auctions can help deliver low prices on the way to 100% renewable power.” A 100 per cent renewable energy system has already been acknowledged as technically feasible by the likes of the Australian Energy Market Operator, despite the constant skepticism from the coal and nuclear lobbies, based around the idea that the system needs “base load”. The advanced renewables scenario suggests all coal-fired plants should be shut down by 2030, and to be combined by a doubling in energy productivity by the same date (rather than the current government target of 40 per cent increase). It also envisages renewable energy supplying 97 per cent of total electricity demand – including electrified transport – by 2035, and firm capacity remaining at today’s level of approximately 75 per cent throughout the entire scenario period. It suggests that the supply of energy is 41 per cent renewable by 2035, 64 per cent by 2040 and 100 per cent by 2050, enabling Australia to become independent from oil imports within one generation. The industry sector will be 50 per cent renewable by 2035 and 100 per cent by 2050. (Interestingly Alcoa is trialling solar technology that it says could reduce fossil fuel use by 50 per cent in various refining processes.) All of this leads to higher investment costs of $800 billion out to 2050, compared to $150 billion in the reference scenario, much of it spent switching transport and heating sectors over to electricity, and gearing it towards the use of synthetic fuels. But because renewable technologies have no ongoing fuel costs, there will be fuel savings in the power sector of $340 billion and in the transport sector of $400 billion. This will more than compensate for the higher investment costs. “The combined power and transport fuel cost savings would cover around 110 per cent of the capital investment cost,” the report says. “New renewable power generation needed for a 100 per cent renewable energy system can therefore be financed by fuel cost savings before 2050.” The report, does, however, envisage some ambitious installation rates – at well above current installation rates.   Drive an electric car? 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News Article
Site: http://phys.org/technology-news/

This is a common response levelled at Sarina Kilham and her partner, Ednilson Santos, as they undertake early market research for RememberMe, a baby car-seat safety device that harnesses smartphone technology to ensure babies can't be left unintentionally in cars. The idea that you could forget your baby, leaving her in your car with potentially life-threatening results, is so abhorrent that this reaction is understandable. However, it flies against all the research into "forgotten baby syndrome", says Kilham, a PhD researcher at UTS. "The research says this can happen to anyone, anytime. It is not related to parenting ability, class, money or anything else." A small change in routine is all it takes for parents functioning on autopilot to forget they have their child with them. In Australia, even on a cool day, this mistake could cost the child's life as temperatures inside the car can be lethal within 20 minutes. "If it happens on a hot day, the situation can turn fatal in as little as 10 minutes," says paramedic Hamuera Kohu from the NSW Ambulance Service, which is frequently called out to rescue children from locked cars. "The particularly dangerous months are between now and April." For Kilham and Santos, the campaigns to raise awareness have not been enough to counteract the shocking statistics – as many as 4000 children and babies are rescued from locked cars in Australia each year. Nor have the media stories that follow a tragedy. But the birth of their second baby, during the summer months, triggered the idea for the safety device. "I could relate so much to doing things on autopilot, it just seemed crazy to me that something like this didn't already exist," says Kilham. Santos, a student nurse at UTS with a background in IT, quickly ascertained the feasibility of the device and started work on the design. RememberMe is designed to alert you via your smartphone if you leave the car while your child is still in the seat. It will also have the option of making an emergency call to someone else, giving location details via satellite navigation technology. As a researcher at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, a chief concern for Kilham is that the device be environmentally friendly. The other essential element is reliability. "Previous inventions in the US haven't been able to cope with something as simple as an orange juice spill," she says. "As parents of two small children, we want to ensure it is 100 per cent reliable." Despite the vehement reaction of parents who swear they'd never forget their child, Kilham and Santos believe there is definitely a market for their device. This was given a boost in September when their team beat 100 other students to win $5000 seed funding in Project Pitch, an annual competition to support UTS students to develop the next big idea. They are using the funding to build the prototype. They are also applying for acceleration programs to get the idea off the ground. A device such as this can't come fast enough for Kohu who says he would welcome anything that prevents the needless anguish and trauma this type of incident can cause. Saving lives is the objective for Kilham and Santos. "We would be satisfied knowing that our device had saved just one baby's life," says Santos. Explore further: Voxx gadget aims to prevent infant deaths in sweltering cars

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