Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Welcome Two Double O Seven

Happy New Year everyone. It has been awhile since I was last hacking away at the keyboard to bring you this weekly blog. I have returned from my hiatus after spending a wonderful time with family and friends.

While away, I missed the darkest days of the year in Stockholm. The light is returning to the 59th parallel and the days are growing. This, of course, is good since the darkness can get a bit depressing. I am looking forward to long summer days. The one thing to note, though, is the weather has been quite mild. Not too much rain or snow, but it usually all melts or drys up the next day. Good enough for me!

So school is going to start again this week. I am quite excited for the line up of courses I am taking. I will continue with the Energy Management course from last year, except this semester I will be working in a group to redesign a Stockholm neighbourhood to be a sustainable society. The overall goal is having each person living in the neighbourhood use on average 2 kW of energy per year. To put this number into perspective, an average Canadian home for four people is rated at 2-3 kW of electricity per year. This will be quite interesting to figure out, as well, we will be working with architects from our sister department to come up with a plan on how to achieve our goal in 10-15 years.

Another course that I am taking is a business management course, titled Language of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This is an extra course that I added to my work load to get some experience in business management. I will be required to come up with an innovation and design a business plan around the idea. I will be working with many other disciplines which should diversify my learning.

Apart from these courses, the new engineering courses will be just as challenging as last semester courses. I did, by the way, pass all my first semester courses with good grades. This semester's biggest course is the design project course. A large energy corporation has asked for help to evaluate and redesign its fuel preparation unit at a waste-to-energy plant. The plant burns biomass and municipal waste to produce heat and power to a community 2 hours north of Stockholm. My expectations are very high for this project and so I hope to learn a lot from the design work. Fuel preparation is a very important topic when it comes to waste-to-energy (see posting below called Gritty City...Dirty Fuel).

The remaining courses are studies on the implications of energy production and the environment. I will learn in greater detail more about energy production and how these plants function. The environmental course will dive deep into public policy and the European experience of dealing with carbon dioxide emissions. I have read that there is interest in Canada to use the European model of dealing with CO2 emissions, so I will make sure to pay extra attention and take extra notes in this class.

Happy New Year again and come back next week to read more of my adventures.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The wallet versus the environment.
In the long run there is no decision to make a clean environment will give us health and that has no price., The problem is the length of the vision. If we see short term. the wallet always come first, can I afford to upgrade my home to be a more efficient home at the cost of xx amount of money, and amortized it in yyy amount of years. For the long term is OK, to do it, but the majority of people do not live in the same house for long time so the motivation to amortized the investment is no there anymore. Why should I upgrade "emphasis in I", my house if I am not going to receive the benefits.
So the changes should be mandatory, or giving people grants to upgrade their homes. The conservative government of Canada is investing 20 million in grants up to 5000 to improve the energy efficiency of houses.
It is better than building a new generating plant or digging a new oil well. Ade the government should have mandatory efficiency test of the houses as the transport sector has mandatory e-test of vehicles. both produce co2

may be is not so much the technology but how to motivate people to do it.

2:39 AM  

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