01 June 2012, 08:14 BST
The Kyocera Group has been growing "green curtains" on buildings in recent years to help a regional effort to reduce electricity demand in Japan since the shut-down after all nuclear power plants. Zach wrote about this about one month ago, but the latest news is that Kyocera has significantly increased its efforts on this front.
"This year Green Curtains are being planted at 28 Kyocera Group company locations throughout Japan, more than a 30 percent increase over the previous year," the company writes.
Kyocera Green Curtain Example Project
These green curtains are the growth of walls/curtains of plants over buildings, which block out some sunlight and help to keep buildings cooler.
Where air conditioning is used, reducing heat gain can save a massive amount of electricity, since air conditioners consume hundreds of watts of power at the very least (for example, 500 watts for a 100- to 200-square-foot room, or 1,200 watts for a 500-square-foot space), and they operate for hours a day. Air conditioners use more electricity than most household appliances.
Kyocera's Green Curtain Activities website consists of photographs and illustrations of the Green Curtain initiative, which shows you how to grow your own Green Curtains. It provides a complete list of materials and instructions, even how to start the seeds.
This initiative doesn't only reduce the demand for electricity from fossil-fueled power plants, but it also reduces the electric bills of those who utilize it.
Energy efficiency and conservation are a key piece of tackling global warming and climate change, so it's great to see such innovative approaches to saving energy.
In addition to the usage of the Green Curtains, Kyocera has a total of approximately 2 MW of solar power systems installed at 18 company facilities in Japan - generating as much power as 480 households would use.
In the past, I saw that Kyocera also covered the walls of one of its buildings with solar panels. Unusual, but an interesting sight. It looks like that could suit tall and narrow buildings which don't have enough roof space, like the one Kyocera did it with. (Plus, Kyocera is a solar panel company, so it's good advertising.)
The Green Curtain effort is one of multiple conservation projects carried out in response to the large-scale shut-down of nuclear power plants in Japan. Japan now has the opportunity to prove its ability to live without nuclear power, and it is working hard to do so.
Photo Credit: Businesswire
Source: Clean Technica