Liu Yu _Cedric___Final Paper by chenzhengxun


									IARU 1 Final essay--Peking University Liu Yu (Cedric)                      energy efficiency and security

                                    To be clean and efficient:

        Sustainable energy use in a background of climate change

     There is an interesting research by scientist from Florida telling that when horse evolved, it
was as small as a cat, and then dramatically increased in size, and that exactly corresponds to the
global warming event, followed by cooling. They said the same situation would happen to
     No matter whether our generation should worry about our height, the global warming is on
its way, and it may seriously threaten human`s survival. Since the early 20th century, earth's
mean surface temperature has increased by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F), with about two-thirds of the
increase occurring since 1980. This change in climate will influence the amount and pattern of
precipitation, causing an expansion of deserts; it will also threat the glaciers in the Arctic, causing
extreme-weather events and the rising of sea-level. (Wikipedia)
     In such a background, energy becomes a pivotal element in sustainable urbanism.
Sustainable development is a pattern of economic growth in which resource use aims to meet
human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the
present, but also for generations to come (Brundtland Commission, 1987). The use of energy and
the greenhouse gases it emits may be the most important cause of climate change and thus
making human development unsustainable.
     Among all the efforts the whole world made, Singapore`s attempt to use clean energy and
promote energy efficiency stands out as a model. During 2 weeks studying in Singapore, I`ve seen
a lot of elaborate design and heard a lot of thoughtful idea aimed at reducing CO2 emission.
These efforts certainly help a lot, while under in-depth analysis, parts of them are still open to

Singapore as a model: efforts and shortcomings
     In the short 50 years as an independent city-state-nation, after separation from Malaysia in
1965, Singapore has transformed itself from a declining trading post to a first World economy
despite its being devoid of all natural resources, including land, capital, labor, materials, and food
- to develop its domestic economy. In Singapore`s attempt to maintain sustainable development,
zero energy building (ZEB) and city square mall are two outstanding models for clean and
efficient use of energy.
Zero energy building:
     The first Zero Energy Building (ZEB) in South-east Asia retrofitted from an existing building.
Converted from a three-storey former workshop, ZEB houses offices, classrooms and a resource
center. In all, the building will save S$84,000 a year in energy cost compared to typical office in
IARU 1 Final essay--Peking University Liu Yu (Cedric)                    energy efficiency and security

     The building uses of green building technology and elaborate building design as follow:
      Natural ventilation: Variable speed drive controls in air fan in the way that, when there is
       sufficient ventilation, the drive will switch to a slower mode and vice versa. Energy is
       conserved because the fresh air fan and the re-circulated cooling air fan are controlled
       independently to optimize their respective airflow requirements based on the individual,
       localized demand for ventilation or cooling.
      Mirror duct: A simple system that uses duct made of highly reflective material to bring in
       natural light into the space, enabling a considerable energy natural light into the space,
       enabling a considerable energy consumption saving. There are no mechanical parts
       involved and no power is required.
      Solar energy: Grid tied photovoltaic account for most of the solar panels and is connected
       to grid supply. Surplus power generated by these solar panels would first be distributed to
       the rest of BCA Academy before any excess is supplied back to the grid. If insufficient power
       is produced, then grid supply will provide for ZEB, so that user comfort and function are
       never compromised.
      Sensors & Monitoring: CO2 Sensors are mounted in rooms and will be used to regulate the
       amount of fresh air provision by triggering the speed control of the fresh air fan; Daylight
       Sensors` detection of sufficient daylight will result in automatic reduction of artificial
       lighting to optimize energy usage.
      Greenery helps to reduce heat transmittance into a building through direct shading and
City square mall:
     City Square Mall is an ecofriendly shopping mall developed by CDL. With its efficient energy
design, over 12 million kWh electricity and over 6,000 tonnes CO2 emission are saved every year.
It`s designs and technologies are as follow:
    Sensors to adjust the lighting of the car park at B4, saving about 50,000 kWh of electricity a
    The auto-lighting and slow-down features of the lights, escalators and travelators save a lot
     of electricity.
    The mall’s high-efficiency air conditioners use less electricity, preventing the emission of
     more than 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
    Condensate water from the air-conditioning system is recycled, saving water enough to fill 2
     Olympic-sized pools yearly!

     The designs and technologies described above are highly valued in producing clean energy
and using them efficiently. Besides, Singapore government has made a lot of efforts in its policy
to reduce CO2 emission such as setting a target to reduce our energy intensity by 20% from 2005
levels by 2020. While the fact is that in the ranking CO2 emission per capital of the world,
IARU 1 Final essay--Peking University Liu Yu (Cedric)                   energy efficiency and security

Singapore always ranks among the highest, and what`s more, it`s energy intensity is also worse
than other developed countries. What`s happened between these two sides? There are several
points we should take into consideration.
Rebound effect:
        The Rebound Effect usually refers to the behavioral responses to the introduction of new
energy efficiency technologies or measures, which tend to offset the actual benefits of the new
technology or measures. In other words, actual energy savings is less than expected savings. For
example, if you replace a 20W incandescent light bulb with a 10W energy efficient compact
fluorescent bulb, the energy saving should be 50%. However, the actual energy saving is usually
less than 50% because as you find that you pay less for lighting, you tend to be less concerned
with switching it off. The increased usage thus eat away some of the energy savings from the
more efficient light bulb. The Rebound Effect results in the fact that actual energy or carbon
emission savings could be less than the expected savings from energy conservation.
Over consumption and asymmetry principle: (fieldwork)
        Over-consumption is a situation where resource-use has outpaced the sustainable capacity
of the ecosystem. A prolonged pattern of overconsumption leads to inevitable environmental
degradation and the eventual loss of resource bases. As a resource-poor country, Singapore`s
most necessary materials rely on import. In this sense Singaporeans are always in over
consumption situation. Besides this, it may make sense to infer that Singaporean can consume
        Energy economist Peter Tertzakian describes The Asymmetry Principle as the lopsided
relationship between how much raw energy is available at the primary source - for example, at a
natural gas well - and the small fraction of energy that is actually put to useful work at the
consuming end - for example, in lighting a light bulb. The principle states that a unit of energy
saved at the consumer level amplifies into multiple units of energy saved at the source.
        According to Andrew Kwok, Since Singapore’s independence in 1965, housing policy has
played a pivotal role in national development. As incomes rose, so did home ownership, surging
from 29% in 1970 to 90% in 2003. Even among the lowest 20% income households, home
ownership rates were as high as 87%. They have, on average, accumulated home equity (the sum
they would earn after selling their flat and paying off their outstanding home loans to the
Housing and Development Board) of $138,000 per household. (Andrew Kwok, Centre for
Governance and Leadership, Ethos Issue 1, October 2006).
        Overconsumption does not only exist in Singapore nor only in housing issue, according to
WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), "We are using 50 percent more resources that the Earth can
sustainably produce and unless we change course, that number will grow fast -- by 2030 even
two planets will not be enough." These overconsumptions result from overpopulation,
unreasonable diet, unreasonable allocation of resources among developing and developed
countries and many other issues. Amplified by asymmetry principle, energy wasted by
overconsumption may reach a significant level.
IARU 1 Final essay--Peking University Liu Yu (Cedric)                      energy efficiency and security

Ethics behind energy problem and solutions to it:
     In the famous 3Es model, Scott Campbell describes sustainable development as solving the
conflicts between Equity, Environment, and Economics. The economic development planner sees
the city as a location where production, consumption, distribution, and innovation take place; the
environment planner sees the city as a consumer as resources and a producer of waste; and the
equity planner sees the city as a location over the distribution of resources, services, and
production. Energy problem lies in all 3 triangle axis. At first, economic growth seems to domain
the planning of city recent years, while with the infinite oil supply getting closer to peak oil, the
resource conflict becomes more and more sever; second, developed countries benefit from their
large amount of energy use, while the whole world pay for the cost of it. This conflict is called the
property conflict. At last, the conflict between equity and environment—the developmental
conflict consists of the two conflicts described above.
     The ethics behind energy problem also influence the solution to it. From the instrumental
value viewpoint, everything on the earth is seen as a resource to be exploited to create an output
as another input resource ad infinitum. When the use of resource is not indefinite, problems
arise between exploiting them now to satisfy our need and maintaining the future generation`s
right to use them. The only solution to this problem seems to balance the consumption and the
potential of producing energy, either in ways of exploring new energy or of limiting energy
     The second ethics problem lies in distribution justice. An article in the scientific journal
Nature (Patz, 2005) concluded that the human-induced warming that the world is now
experiencing is already causing 150,000 deaths and 5 million incidents of disease each year from
additional malaria and diarrhea, mostly in the poorest nations. Death and disease incidents are
likely to soar as warming increases. Facts such as this demonstrate that climate change is
compromising rights to life, liberty and personal security. Hence, ethical analysis of climate
change policy must examine how that policy impacts on those basic rights.

Constructive ideas: what if and why not?
     It`s a difficult task to solve the problem mentioned above, for already thousands of theorists,
scientists and politicians have worked on this, and till now there is no perfect solution. While
there are still certain important suggestions we should take into consideration.
    Control overconsumption: By the time it reaches the plate, a serving of beef consumes
     about twenty times more energy than an equivalent serving of bread. Grain farming
     accounts for most of the energy used for beef but only 10 percent of the energy that goes
     into bread. So by rational planning the diet, a lot of energy will be saved.
    Developing and importing new technology. This may be the final solution to energy problem
     though the breakthrough is yet to come. Keep pace with the world leading technology
     always has potential to make a difference. For example in Japan there is a design called
IARU 1 Final essay--Peking University Liu Yu (Cedric)                    energy efficiency and security

     smart house, in which all the energy consumptions are visualized by a system, in this way we
     can easily control the balance between our life style and our energy target.
    At last, global warming is not an individual problem, and everyone contributes to it and
     suffers from it. It`s important to share experience and technology worldwide, between
     developed and developing countries, and also between developed countries.

     In the famous novel “The tale of two cities”, Dickens commented his times as follow:
           It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the
     age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the
     season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of
     despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to
     Heaven, we were all going direct the other way--in short, the period was so far like the
     present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good
     or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
     It cannot be more suitable to use this sentence to describe our epoch. Since we have so
many privileges, solving the problems we faced is not impossible. The cleaner the energy we use,
the more sustainable our development is. With all the consideration in this class, hopefully we
will realize ecotopia one day.

Robert Cervero,Balanced Transport and Sustainable            Urbanism: Enhancing Mobility and
Accessibility through Institutional, Demand Management, and Land-Use Initiatives,October 9-11,

S C Low and K T Cheong,Singapore Clean Energy Policy, New Ener gy Forum for Sustainable
Environment (NEFSE),26-27 May 2008

S C Low, Ph. D, 4th International Conference on Sustainable Energy and Environment (SEE2011),
22nd – 26th Nov 2011,Country Report - Singapore Energy security

David Fridley, Nine Challenges of Alternative Energy, The Post Carbon Reader Series: Energy, Post
Carbon Institute, 2010

David Harvey, The environment of justice, 367-402
Growing green space, Dr Geh Min, CIVIL SOCIETY & GOVERNMENT, 2008

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