Guest post by Sam Marquit of Fair Marquit Value
Renewable energy is fast becoming a highly desired type of energy. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewable energy will be the second most used source of electricity in the United States by as early as 2016. But this should not come as a surprise. After all, renewable energy includes renewable sources and renewable power, it is clean and fast becoming more affordable as the cost of non-renewable energy rises. This essentially predicts the increased use of renewable energy, across various industries. One industry that has embraced renewable energy and the latest renewable energy innovations, is the travel and tourism industry. Here are some examples:
Wind energy in Fort Lauderdale
Provided that geographical location is favorable, wind energy is an excellent source of energy that hotels can apply to reduce their carbon footprint. There are a number of hotels in the United States that are using wind energy effectively. The Fort Lauderdale serves as an industry example where the Hilton has installed wind turbines to harness the wind. A total of six turbines have been installed on the roof of the hotel facility, with a generating capacity of 24,000 kWh. One clear benefit of adopting wind energy is that it has reduced the hotel’s operating costs – more specifically – the hotel’s running energy costs.
Solar energy at Carr Manor
Solar energy has increased over the past few years and hotels are embracing this form of energy especially as the costs of solar energy has decreased sevenfold over the last two decades. Usually it is the large and prominent hotels with their greening efforts that grab our attention most, but there are several smaller hotels that are making effective use of solar energy, while living up to greener ideals. Carr Manor, which features 16 rooms, invested $80,000 in solar panels. The result is that the hotel saves $1,000 a month and has reduced various energy bills by as much as 60%.
Biogas at the Hilton Stockhold Slussen
By adopting biofuel technology, hotels can reduce their waste and disposal costs. This is another way not only to apply renewable energy but to save on otherwise wasted costs. The Hilton Stockholm Slussen sends their organic waste to a specific biogas plant, created clean energy from waste products. By making use of this biogas energy system, this hotel has not reduced their waste volumes but are now also able to run company vehicles on biogas.
Geothermal in Switzerland
As the world of renewable energy exploded, geothermal energy has showed itself as an effective way to heat and cool a building. Many hotels are recognizing this and are converting their heating systems to geothermal energy. A great example of this is Switzerland’s Romantik Hotel. A few years ago, the hotel went through various changes in the facility to the end that it has reduced the amount of energy that it uses by 64%. The numbers are eye-opening when seeing that the Romantik Hotel went from 436,000 kWh to 157,400 kWh in terms of energy reduction each year. A total of 16 geothermal loops were installed and have provided the electricity that the facility needs. Romantik Hotel was given recognition of their renewable energy transformation. The PlusEnergieBau Solar Award was given to this hotel during 2011, recognizing that this hotel generates more energy than want they need to completely run the facility.
Grecotel’s reusing in catering
Reusing materials can do wonders in terms of helping the environment and keeping down costs, and this is certainly true in the realm of catering. In Greece, the Grecotel hotel chain has gone to great efforts to eliminate packaging waste. Furthermore, it has eliminated plastic water bottles and replaced them with glass bottles, which are a hundred percent reusable.
Hotels and hotel chains around the world are making a strong efforts to go green. From the desert climate of the Las Vegas strip where millions of people visit each year to the mountains of Switzerland, facilities are finding new innovative ways to go green, and ultimately, sustainable. As the renewable energy industry continues to develop, improve and unfold, we can be sure to see many more hotels and other tourism industry leaders adopting innovative ways of living within the resource limitations of one single planet.
Writer bio: I am an entrepreneurial independent contractor and home renovation/remodeling expert in New York. I’ve made it a point to share with my readers a day in the life of sustainable building. Forecasting the possible application and implementation of new green building materials and technologies is just one small part of my effort to reduce everyone’s carbon footprint.
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Photo credits: some rights reserved by Argonne National Laboratory.