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Renewable Energy and the Hotel Industry: A Perfect Fit?

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  1. Renewable Energy Basics
  2. What Renewable Technologies are Appropriate for Commercial Applications?
  3. Renewable Energy and the Hotel Industry
  4. Incentives for Implementation of Renewables

Renewable energy is one of the fastest growing sectors in today's energy market. Energy from solar, wind, hydro power, tidal energy and biomass sources is being harnessed to provide energy that is both environmentally friendly and secure from the fluctuations of the international fossil fuel market. For many businesses, including the hotel and hospitality industry, utilizing on-site renewable energy generation can make economic sense, while having the added advantage of illustrating a company's commitment to a cleaner environment and a sustainable economy.

Hotels are energy intensive operations, with 24 hour demands for lighting, air conditioning, heating and hot water, food preparation and entertainment. In fact, annual energy costs for the entire hospitality sector in the UK top £1.3 Billion. Renewable energy systems can reduce peak loads and substantially benefit a hotel in terms of its overhead expenses and profitability. Renewable energy technologies can be integrated into the design for new hotels to maximize their effectiveness, or older buildings can easily be retrofitted to use cutting edge technology.

[...] Its feedstock was initially maize silage and cattle manure. What started as a strictly agricultural project has now expanded to service several other food-based businesses. Two years after construction Northwick Estates decided to diversify the feedstock of their anaerobic digester project and include food residues, coffee production residues, vegetable wastes, grass silage, oat silage, cattle manure and other waste materials from the food industry, as well as expired food. Presently, the facility has an extremely diverse feedstock mix, with over 20 different biomass materials being fed into the digester. [...]

[...] The intention of the fund is to 'leverage' private funding and not to replace it. Loans run from £50,000 to £1,000,000. The ReEnergise SmartEnergy Fund has an initial capital of million, with no "upper limit" on funding. It is solely aimed at SMEs and offers commercial loans typically between £25,000 and £250,000 to invest in energy efficiency measures and renewable energy systems. It is run by independent specialist financial services provider with seed funding from SI Capital. Standard interest rates do not apply and cost of financing will be based on a number of factors including the length of the borrowing period and the creditworthiness of the borrower. [...]

[...] Only 10 per cent of rooms are provided by large hotel chains, and it is these chains which have made most of the energy efficiency improvements in the hotel sector . This analysis has revealed that: For most hotels, energy use falls in the range 200-400 kWh/m2/yr; a "meta-analysis" (combining data from all the various studies) suggests that average energy use by hotels is in the range 305-330 kWh/m2/yr. Variation in energy use levels between hotels within each study sample, is far greater than the differences between the averages for different study samples: there is no evidence that there are any statistically significant differences in levels of energy use intensity (kWh/m2/yr) between hotels or other accommodation with different star ratings. [...]

[...] Thus energy within a hotel room is frequently consumed 24-hours-a-day, year-round regardless of whether or not the room is occupied. Various studies have estimated that hotels have the potential to save at least 10-15 per cent of the energy they consume, depending on the age and size of the hotel, as well as type of equipment installed and the maintenance and operating procedures in use. An assessment of potential energy conservation in southern European hotels revealed that there is a potential for 25-30 per cent energy savings, especially in hotels with high annual energy consumption. [...]

[...] Renewable Energy and the Hotel Industry: A Perfect Fit? Table of Contents Introduction I.1: Research Question I.2:Project Aim I.3:Report Description I.4: Methodology Section Renewable Energy Basics: 1.1 : What Are Today's Commercially Viable Technologies? Biomass Geothermal Photovolaics Solar Thermal Wind 1.2 :What Are the Driving Forces in Renewable Energy Development? Climate Change and the Environment Economics Health Section What Renewable Technologies are Appropriate for Commercial Applications? 2.1 : Photovoltaics: A Peak-Shaving Powerhouse Case Study 2.2 : Solar Thermal: Warming up to Energy savings Case Study 2.3 : Wind Energy: Turning Costal Breezes Into Cash Case Study 2.4 : Biomass: Reducing Waste and Making Energy is a Win/Win Case Study 2.5 Barriers to Implementing a Renewable Energy Project Section Renewable Energy and the Hotel Industry 3.1 : Hotel Energy Challenges 3.2 : Retrofitting with Renewables 3.3 : Improving a Hotel Profitability with Renewable Energy Payback of Renewables maintenance issues Section Incentives for Implementation of Renewables Conclusion References Introduction Renewable energy is one of the fastest growing sectors in today's energy market. [...]

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