How Can The Growing Problem of E-Waste Be Solved?

How Can The Growing Problem of E-Waste Be Solved?In the twenty-first century, more than ever, electrical products infiltrate our everyday lives. According to research by Deloitte published in 2013, 7 in 10 people own a smartphone in the UK alone. Yet, with consumer culture constantly bombarding the public with adverts of something new, updated and better – it is not surprising that many of these devices which were once beloved handsets are abandoned in favour of the latest model.

It is what happens to these devices once they are deemed unwanted which causes grave problems. Many discarded electrical goods are transported and dumped in developing countries, resulting in high amounts of toxic pollution. This not only has disastrous, contaminating effects on the environment but also is extremely dangerous to those who work at the landfill sites, or live nearby.

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Google Goes Green: can’t find what you are searching for? The answer is blowing in the wind.

Google graphic illustrating how certificate of origin will allow google to consume renewable energy from Sweden at its Finnish data centre Google have this month bought the entire output of a Swedish Wind Farm for the next ten years. The wind farm will power the company’s Finnish data centre with renewable energy for the next decade, Google’s fourth commitment of its type worldwide and their first in Europe.

Yesterday, Google announced their deal with wind farm developer O2 and German insurance giant Allianz. O2 has obtained planning consent to construct a new 72MW wind farm in Northern Sweden, powered by highly efficient 3MW wind turbines. The geographical distance between the data centre and the farm’s output means that the company will commit to using renewable energy through a “Guarantee of Origin” certificate. Renewable energy from the farm will be passed to the Scandinavian grid, and Google will then consume the equivalent amount from the central grid.

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How Energy Secure is the UK?

UK Import Dependency Infographic

How Energy Secure is the UK?

The modern world has developed in such a way that it simply cannot afford to cope without energy; it is now essential in maintaining the fuel to power the economic engine and provide national security.

For example, within the UK, energy is delivered straight to the door, via gas pipes, electricity cables, or in the case of oil, tankers. Electricity is available at the flick of a switch and therefore demonstrates the reliance and unimaginable consequences if energy was to be cut. The problem that is increasingly occurring however is energy availability, and most commonly lack of it, particularly in developed and established countries such as the UK. As global demand for energy continues to rise- especially in rapidly industrialising and developing economies- energy security concerns become ever more important and lack of ‘energy security’ has led to significant vulnerabilities, as dependency on finite resources is excelling beyond supply.

By definition, energy security is a term for an association between national security and the availability of natural resources for energy consumption and access to cheap energy has therefore become essential for the functioning of modern economies.

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