Monthly popular

Weekly popular

Daily popular


Monthly archive

November 2016

Valerian: The organic garden that soothes souls and the earth

in Agriculture by
Pont passerelle en granit, Imperata cylindrica 'Red Dragon', Prunus incisa 'Kojo No Mai', Schoenoplectus

At the Jardin de Valériane which rides between Saint Etienne and the Rive-de-Gier in the Loire, talented owners have created a garden with beautiful herbaceous borders and superb shrubs. This organic garden has a wealth of vegetable material embellished with an astonishing use of colors. Read more

India: Conversion of local waste into fuel

in Transportation by

Of the world’s 20 most polluted cities, 13 are found in India, and over 600,000 Indians die as a result of air pollution every year. Along with this, air pollution caused by vehicles is a big issue. The Indian auto industry is one of the largest in the world. Many initiatives have been planned to curb it. But the most effective one these days seem to be the use of a cost-effective fuel made from local sewage or waste known as Biogas. Read more

France: Lake Bourget’s water to be used for heating and cooling buildings

in Renewable Energy by

B’eeau Lac is a new project that took birth in the department of Savoy in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, France. Renowned as a resort for water activities, the Bourget Lake- locally known as the Grey lake- will now has a new facet. Within the next four years, water from the Bourget Lake will equally be used for heating and cooling buildings as well as enterprises in the region.

Bourget Lake. Source:
Bourget Lake. Source:

The idea to use fresh water for cooling and heating purposes is not new. Hydrothermal cooling, also known as Lake Source cooling or Seawater air conditioning, as well as geothermal heating systems have already been adopted in countries like Canada. Yet, for the department of Savoy, it is an innovative step to go green. The B’eeau (Bourget Environnement Energie Amenagement Urbanisme or Bourget Environment Energy Development Town Planning in English) has been designed following surveys regarding the possibilities of exploiting renewable energy in the region. The project was inspired from a similar one having already been implemented in Geneva.

Bourget Lake spans over an area of 44 km2 while its average depth is around 85m. It is the biggest natural lake of glacial origin in France. Diverse sports activities as well as fishing are carried out in its waters.

Once the B’eeau Lac project will be completed, it will become the pioneer in France, whereby hydrothermal energy drawn from lake water is being used


The project will be implemented by Metropole Savoie and Savoie Technolac. The B’eeau Lac project consists of pumping the waters of the lake from a depth of 35 metres at a stable temperature of 6 degrees Celsius. This system allows the production of industrial refrigeration and refreshing as well as heating in low temperature buildings.

The water is then returned to Bourget Lake. The advantages of this system are numerous: it does not require the use of land, it does not emit CO2, and it avoids the usual health risks associated with conventional cold production. Finally, it is a tremendous asset in terms of spatial planning and attractiveness to companies wishing to settle in the region.

The demand for cold production is increasing more and more in certain sectors in the region, such as plastics processing, food processing, and pharmaceutical production as well as in the IT. The innovative mode of heating and cooling will definitely represent a cut in expenditures for companies and public bodies as well.  Businesses have been keen to use hydrothermal cooling and heating as they have also been able to free space previously occupied by cooling/heating units.


EcoHelmet: An ecological and foldable helmet for cyclists

in Innovation by

Cyclists and motorcyclists wearing helmets sometimes find it difficult to carry it with them. Such was the case for America’s Isis Shiffer who decided to invent an ecological helmet known as EcoHelmet. Read more

Bordeaux: Employees encouraged to bike to work

in Transportation by
Loïc dans l'atelier vélo - Photo: Stéphanie Brossard

Bordeaux in France has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002 and since then it has worked towards a clean and soft urban transportation system.  It has considerably developed its network of bicycle paths. In spite of this, some persons are finding it difficult to take the bike to get to work and leave their car at home. The lack of a bike repair shop, in case of a problem, was a brake on this approach. But since the installation of a workshop in an enterprise this has given a boost to the employees. Read more

Wind power is gaining momentum in Scotland

in Renewable Energy by

October was an unusual month in Scotland. Thanks to its turbines and exceptional climatic conditions, the winds were so strong, that they were able to supply its entire households for more than a month. Read more

No bags or packages at zero-waste grocers in Montreal

in Waste Management by
Méga Vrac

At the beginning of the previous century, around 1925, consumers were buying food at the grocery’s store or butcher’s with their own containers. We are currently witnessing a return to these practices with Montreal’s zero-waste grocery stores. (Article inspired from Le Devoir, published on November 7, 2016)
Read more

Kenya: 30,000 farmers equipped to thwart hunger and poverty

in Agriculture by

In Kenya’s Western Province; farmers were faced with various difficulties and cannot make both ends meet. Thanks to a threefold project, 30, 000 farmers can now improve their livelihood through sustainable farming practices and milk-water-carbon value creation. Read more

A Parisian swimming pool heated by sewage system

in Sustainable development by

Winter is approaching Europe at a fast pace. The Aspirant Dunand swimming pool, located at a stone’s throw from the Catacombs of Paris, has been innovated in a totally ecological way. As such, sewer water that runs underneath the pool is now used to heat the pool as well as the showers.

Aspirant-Dunand swimming pool. Source:
Aspirant Dunand swimming pool. Source:

Heating a municipal swimming pool does not only has high cost implications but also entails great energy consumption. Until now, the Aspirant Dunand pool in the 14th arrondissement of Paris was being heated exclusively with electricity, soaring consumption to 1,310 megawatt hours (MWh) per year. The department in charge of this public infrastructure decided that it would be wise and innovative to invest in a cheaper and ecological heating system for the 25-meter-long pool and showers.

After several months of testing, the project was finalized and executed in October 2016. This new system reduced the pool’s electricity consumption by 50%. It is a first in Paris.

The idea of using sewage water is ingenious because the temperature of this water varies between 13 and 20 degrees throughout the year, regardless of seasons. A system of heat exchangers allows the waste water to heat the water of the pool and showers without any direct contact.

The heat is captured by metal plates installed in the sewers meandering under the pool. The desired temperature is then distributed in the pool and showers via heat pumps. The system – known as “Blue Degrees” – was created and installed by Suez Eau France. The company already has a dozen similar projects on its account.

Paris has set itself the objective of encouraging swimming pools to reduce their energy consumption by 20% within the next four years

City Hall of Paris. Source:
City Hall of Paris. Source:

This project is part of the sustainable development plan of Paris to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This project also aims at promoting renewable energies so that the Parisian administration can rely on up to 30% of green energy by 2020.

The sewage network extending over 2,400 kilometers should be regarded as having a good potential for other uses. It presents itself as an attractive heating alternative for the 39 other swimming pools spread across Paris. Apart from the pools, 25 diverse sites have already engaged themselves into projects based on renewable energy. For example, the city hall of Paris is itself already being heated thanks to the sewage network since 2015.

What Donald Trump’s victory implies for the energy sector…

in Editorial by

The United States of America has a new president. The unexpected triumph of Donald Trump is certainly not due to his commitment to green issues over his rival Hillary Clinton. But anyway, the next occupant of the White House proposed a plan for an American Energy Renaissance.

In the seventies, the environment was a matter of great significance for a small number of people in the United States. Nowadays, it is of paramount importance for local, regional and national supremacy. So much so, that the two candidates had carefully presented their project. Hillary Clinton had a clear and well defined environmental project and has a competitive edge on her opponent. This was clearly seen in the results where American environmentalists have overwhelmingly voted for the Democratic candidate.

Donald Trump has pledged that he will reduce and eliminate all obstacles to responsible energy production, creating at least half a million jobs per year, 30 billion US dollars higher wages and cheaper energy.

But we must also face the fact that Hillary Clinton has shilly-shallied on some sensitive issues; particularly her past support for fracking, or hydraulic fracturing in the program known as the ‘Global Shale Gas Initiative’.

However, let us render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s. Donald Trump, with his outspokenness, even if he has done some damage like a bull in a china shop, has been more consistent. He did not hesitate to announce that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be dissolved under his Presidency. Donald Trump also announced he will “cancel the Paris climate agreement” and that climate change is “hoax created by and for the Chinese to make the US manufacturing noncompetitive,” at a time when Hillary Clinton has defined climate change as “an urgent threat and challenge of our time.” (Watch video)

Have Americans been seduced by the words of Republican candidate against the Democrat who seemed to have sided too much with the oil and gas industry?

Without fanfare, Donald Trump made his merry way with his energy plan. Exactly; what is up for the grabs with this American energy renaissance plan?

Donald Trump wants to make America ‘absolutely energy independent’ while creating millions of new jobs and protecting clean air and clean water. “We will maintain our natural habitats, our reserves and resources. We will trigger an energy revolution that will bring vast new wealth in our country, “he said. In the process, he intends to impose American dominance in energy as a strategic objective of economic and foreign policy of the United States.

The President-elect also wants to “encourage the use of natural gas and other US energy resources that will both reduce emissions but also reduce the price of energy and increase our economic output.” Donald Trump would also free the 50 trillion US dollars in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves. This would allow the US to “remain completely independent of any need to import energy from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel, or any nation hostile to our interests.”

Donald Trump will approve the construction of the Keystone pipeline in Canada but stressed that “Americans should have some of the profits and this is how the USA will become richer.”

It is expected that Barack Obama’s “job-destroying” decisions will be withdrawn. Donald Trump has pledged that he will reduce and eliminate all obstacles to responsible energy production, creating at least half a million jobs per year, 30 billion US dollars higher wages and cheaper energy.

While the Senate and Congress will all be to his cause, it is expected that Donald Trump will legislate to protect US interests in the environmental and energy fields.

As 9/11 will always remain in the world’s saddest memories, let us hope that 11/9 results are not going to rub salt into a wound that is slow to heal.

Go to Top