Air France giving the environment some love

An Air France aeroplane exactly where it should be: on the ground, where it does no damage (CC BY NC fsll2)

Great news, everyone! Almost completely out of the blue (if you’ll pardon the pun), Air France workers have decided to take a radical step to preserve our environment and energy resources. Apparently, 20-30% of all Air France flights will not be flying today! The pretext is a mundane one – unions fighting for better working conditions, yada, yada, yada… – but there’s no fooling us and the actual, direct, hard consequences clearly show the main effects of the strike. Given a couple of numbers (Air France operates 1500 flights per day with approximately 100 passengers per flight, loosely assuming an average medium haul flight to be 3000 km, some 40 kWh of energy used per passenger per 100 km and 15 kWh of electric energy per day per household), we can conclude that Air France pilots’ grand gesture saved approximately 50 GWh of energy by keeping their planes on the ground. How much is that? Approximately sufficient for an entire month of electricity for all households in a city like Rijeka, home to about 130.000 inhabitants!

And let’s not forget the effect on climate change! Assuming Continue reading “Air France giving the environment some love”


Germany: Solar Power World Champion

Solar power station Erlasse
Solar power station Erlasse:
the kind of power station that looks like a desktop wallpaper

Why is solar power interesting? There have been some changes lately and it’s obvious just looking at the last several years. Since 2006, coal and oil prices have risen by 30%. At the same time, price of photovoltaic (PV) technology dropped by 60%. While that kind of cost reduction of PV technology won’t be possible perpetually, neither will fossil fuel industries be able to keep cost from rising much sharper, simply because their ability to provide fuel at volume will dwindle as reserves diminish and get harder to reach, while hunger for energy insatiably grows.

Germany is an important part of this post because at midday on May 25th 2012, Continue reading “Germany: Solar Power World Champion”