Category: Energy Systems

Report on a Permaculture Internship – Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge (Sept-Oct, 2013, Ethiopia)

Editor’s Note: Beginning 2 December 2013, Alex is running another PDC at the developing Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge in southern Ethiopia. Following that will be a four-week Internship, starting 16 December, 2013. Why not book your place and head off for the learning and cultural immersion experience of a lifetime! This is a write up based on a brief report by Jesse Wood which he wrote at the end of […]

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Funding for Small Scale Anaerobic Digesters in England

UK government starts mining agricultural wastes for renewable energy as municipal and household wastes are becoming scarce. by Dr Mae Wan Ho On Farm Anaerobic Digestion Fund The UK government has set up the On Farm Anaerobic Digestion Fund to help farmers in England install small scale anaerobic digesters on site [1, 2]. The scheme, formally launched 12 October 2013 by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) Secretary […]

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Zero Net Energy Households

A "zero net" home is a household with zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually — essentially, the idea of a zero net home is a building with a virtually invisible carbon footprint. As renewable and clean energy sources become more affordable and accessible to everyday homeowners, we should hopefully see an increase in both zero net homes, and homes that consume slightly more energy than they produce, […]

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Japanese Farmers Producing Crops and Solar Energy Simultaneously

Revitalizing the farming sector for the next-generation and could provide more than enough electricity for the entire country. by Dr Mae-Wan Ho Restriction to solar PV installation on farmlands removed Solar sharing in Fukushima Farmers in Japan are taking advantage of new opportunities to generate electricity while growing crops. In April 2013, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) approved the installation of solar PV systems on crop-producing farms, […]

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Permaculture in the Bahamas

At the same time as the 36-inch snow storm hit the East Coast of the US in early February, 2013, I found myself standing on an island in the Bahamas. With no way to ‘escape’ I decided to accept my situation and make the best of it. I had been invited to speak at a Peace Symposium hosted by the Sivananda Yoga Retreat located on Paradise Island just north of […]

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The Three Legs of the Integrated Permaculture Design Stool

by Rob Avis I woke up this morning with a realization — nothing I didn’t already know in principle, just a clearer understanding of how certain principles fit together to create good design. My epiphany was visualizing integrated design as a three-legged stool which requires all three legs to make a stable seat/design. The three legs of the design stool are The Elements (food forest, roof, solar panel) The Placement […]

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Pollinate Energy (Bangalore, India)

One of the major consequences of industrial agriculture is the steady flight of rural populations to urban centers. Economists have widely encouraged this mass movement of people as a sign of a developing economy ‘specializing’. We are seeing this trend in all majors cities in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Young men and women leave their villages and move to the city in search of better wages and lifestyle. Unfortunately, […]

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Living Without a Fridge

by Dr Samuel Alexander, co-director of the Simplicity Institute and a lecturer with the Office for Environmental Programs, University of Melbourne. I’ve been living without a fridge for the last three months — the winter months of Melbourne, Australia. Before you send me to the asylum, however, let me tell you about this experiment which produced several interesting, and I think important, surprises, related to energy consumption and lifestyle habits. […]

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Problem: Pollution — Solution: Biogas

In this polluted world there is good news. We can create energy from some of our waste! by Zaia Kendall, PRI Maungaraeeda, Sunshine Coast Creating the biogas biodigester dome in our May 2013 Biodigester Course Debates about CSG (Coal Seam Gas) mining (otherwise known as hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’) are ongoing. There is also talk about highly contaminated human manure polluting water with oestrogens, prozac and other hormones, drugs and […]

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Dezhou Solar City (China)

For one day only we were able to make a stop in Dezhou, one of China’s famed ‘Solar Cities.’ As a bright and cheery advertisement explained, "Just like the Silicon Valley, this is the Solar Valley." The ad was remarkable for several reasons. First, China’s economic development plan of copying hallmark Western institutions was essentially nicely summarized in that simple slogan. Second, the peppy poster instilled in me images of […]

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Growing a Wild Garden

The following is adapted and extracted from the book – The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka (1978). Upon investigatiion, my garden seemed to have just as many insects as in the surrounding fields, which had been sprayed countless times with a variety of deadly chemicals. But the populations of harmful insects were a lot less in my garden, and beneficial (predatory) insects were present in far higher numbers. I realized […]

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Creating the Alternative Tour, First Stop: Solar Living Institute – Soaking Up Some Rays of Inspiration

For background on this series, please see: Creating the Alternative Tour – Intro by Mo Lohre & William Redwine Brakes begin failing in Mendocino Range By the time we reached the Solar Living Institute (SLI), north of San Francisco in Mendocino County, we had only been on tour for less than 24 hours and already had learned some crucial lessons. We realized quickly that everything to do with living in […]

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