Panasonic To Develop EcoTown Project in Singapore
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Panasonic is partnering in Singapore to develop Eco Town. A housing project set to be a viable model of energy efficiency and sustainability in housing developments.
Singapore’s Housing and Development Board, Energy Market Authority and Economic Development Board has partnered with Panasonic to develop an Eco Town. Ten apartments in a housing complex in Singapore have been selected to be models of the viability of energy efficiency in open housing; the project will be officially called the Punggol Eco Town.
This is not the first project of its kind backed by Panasonic. The company was part Sin-Singapore Tianjin Eco City Project in China as well as the Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town Project in Japan. Panasonic states that this project will give headway to more projects in Asia, they want to determine the successfulness of a clean energy program in countries without inclement weather.
The project will run from 2011 to 2013. Punggol Eco Town will gradually move to run entirely clean energy and reduce energy use by 75. The Ecotown will have photovoltaic system to run their elevators; this means that their elevators will run by solar radiation that is converted to electricity. Solar panels will be installed throughout the units. The idea is that a resident will be able to open their garage door or switch on their TV without any environmental impact.
Home consumption systems will be used to monitor electricity and gas consumption throughout the complex. Singapore hopes that through this project they will be able to encourage citizens to take care of their environment while also developing in a clean, green, efficient way. They hope to encourage the preservation of their greenery and natural waterways.
The Housing and Development Board stated, “[We] see investing in this future environment as part of its goal to provide a higher quality of life for residents. As the largest developer in Singapore, we have the responsibility to promote environmental sustainability. We hope to achieve cost-effective solar PV solutions suited for our local environment that could ultimately be replicated in other HDB towns, and the whole of Singapore.”
Other countries have initiated similar projects. In London, government-sponsored programs to create new towns intended to be models of high standards of sustainability have been proposed. The proposal received support from organizations such as The Town and Country Planning Association. The new environmentally friendly towns – low-energy, carbon-neutral developments built from recycled materials – are intended to be largely car-free, with pedestrian and cycle-friendly environments.
Solar energy has become important to industrially developed countries as fossil fuels have become problematic. The use of fossil fuels not only effects the environment, global warming and pollution but is not sustainable as fossil fuel reserves are limited. Renewable energy sources are not, as the earth provides wind and sun in infinite amounts.
Solar power is becoming more affordable, each year the cost of solar energy systems drops 3-5%. The energy output of a 1 KW solar energy unit is roughly equivalent to the burning of 170 pounds of coal and 300 pounds of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. America accounts for over a quarter of world energy consumption with only 5% of the global population.
With projects like EcoTown serving as potential models, the future may hold an America, and indeed a world, that lives more green and sustainably.
Image Source: William Cho – Flicker