The Carbon Footprint
In the 1990s, two scientists, Dr. William Rees and Dr. Mathis Wackernagel developed a model known as the “ecological footprint” that provides a method of calculating and comparing human demand on our natural resources versus what the earth can actually supply. This model has been accepted by organizations around the world and has drawn attention to our habits of consumption and where we are heading as a civilization. One aspect of this model is a calculation known as the “carbon footprint.” This number represents the amount of carbon dioxide associated with any process – for example, the production of a gallon of gas. Each individual carries a carbon footprint calculation also. Think about the things you do on a daily basis and what it takes to accomplish them such as driving to the store, cooking breakfast, bathing in hot water, or dressing in clothing that was manufactured overseas.
- Planetary Health: Focus on solutions to problems that will result in a net improvement in the health of our planet.
- Quality of Life: Focus on creating responsible products and services that will improve the quality of life for customers.
BluSol Agricultural Power Solutions
The first initiative in Egypt is to provide an integrated solar power solution that can replace or augment diesel generators used for driving pumps that irrigate crops. The resulting model is simple, effective and yields powerful results both in the quality of life for the customers as well as creating a significant net reduction in CO2 production.
CO2 Reduction Calculations
- Many of these farms irrigate their crops using a system of diesel generators and pumps to lift water from the Nile, its tributaries, or underground repositories.
- There are over 7.5MM acres of farmland in Egypt with an estimated 1.5MM Egyptian farms.
- A typical 10HP diesel pump uses 1.5 liters (.4 gallons) per hour generating .72 lbs of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). These pumps can run from sunrise to sunset, so if we assume average operations of 9 hours per day X 310 days one diesel generator generates 2,008 lbs (~1 ton) of CO2 per year.
- The calculated end-user price for a solar power solution capable of replacing the diesel generator, locally manufactured in Egypt, is roughly equivalent to the cost of one year of diesel fuel at current prices (and prices are rapidly escalating in Egypt for diesel). After the first year of operation, a farmer’s costs for power drop to almost nothing, and the power in use is clean, producing no CO2.