Research Papers/Topics in Environmental Law

Producer Responsibility and Recycling Solar Photovoltaic Modules

Rapid expansion of the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry is quickly causing solar to play a growing importance in the energy mix of the world. Over the full life cycle, although to a smaller degree than traditional energy sources, PV also creates solid waste. This paper examines the potential need for PV recycling policies by analyzing existing recycling protocols for the five major types of commercialized PV materials. The amount of recoverable semiconductor material and glass in a 1 m2 area ...

Financial Return for Government Support Financial Return for Government Support of Large-Scale Thin-Film Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing in Canada

As the Ontario government has recognized that solar photovoltaic (PV) energy conversion is a solution to satisfying society's energy demands while reducing the adverse anthropogenic impacts on the global environment that compromise social welfare, they have begun to generate policy and funding programs to support financial incentives for PV. This paper (publication below) provides a financial analysis for investment in a 1 GW per year turnkey amorphous silicon PV manufacturing plant. The fina...

Towards real energy economics: Energy policy driven by life-cycle carbon emission

Alternative energy technologies (AETs) have emerged as a solution to the challenge of simultaneously meeting rising electricity demand while reducing carbon emissions. However, as all AETs are responsible for some greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during their construction, carbon emission “Ponzi Schemes” are currently possible, wherein an AET industry expands so quickly that the GHG emissions prevented by a given technology are negated to fabricate the next wave of AET deployment. In an era...

Renewable Energy Policies and Programs in Nunavut: Perspectives from the Federal and Territorial Governments

Nunavut, the youngest Canadian territory, has developed a complete dependence on diesel-generated electricity over the last 50 years, which has led to environmental and economic stress on the territory. However, renewable energy technologies (RETs) could provide substantial electricity to communities, thereby reducing the use of diesel fuel. This study explored the perspectives of government policy-makers, northern energy consultants, and NGOs in order to understand the current status of rene...

Evaluating the geographic viability of the solar water disinfection (SODIS) method by decreasing turbidity with NaCl: A case study of South Sudan

While the solar water disinfection (SODIS) method of treating microbiologically contaminated water at the household level has proven to be effective at reducing incidence of diarrhea, its effectiveness is limited to waters of low turbidity. This study investigates the use of table salt (NaCl) to reduce turbidity in water containing dispersed colloidal clay particles as a means of expanding the user base of SODIS. Jar tests were performed on solutions of a low-activity clay, simulating the gen...

A Review of Greenhouse Gas Emission Liabilities as the Value of Renewable Energy for Mitigating Lawsuits for Climate Change Related Damages

Anthropogenic global climate change has large and mounting negative economic impacts. Companies and nations responsible for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are thus acquiring considerable potential liabilities.  If litigation becomes widespread,  renewable energy technologies (RETs) potentially offer emitters reduced liability for climate change. This benefit has been ignored because of the lack of knowledge of potential liabilities. To overcome this information deficit, this paper r...

Potential Lives Saved by Replacing Coal with Solar Photovoltaic Electricity Production in the U.S.

Poor air quality from coal combustion adversely impacts human health including mortality and morbidity effects on respiratory, cardiovascular, nervous, urinary, and digestive systems. However, the continued use of coal are no longer necessary to provide for society's electrical needs because of advances in solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. In order to inform health policy this paper reviews the data for quantifying the lives saved by a replacement of U.S. coal-fired electricity with solar P...

Tightening the Loop on the Circular Economy: Coupled Distributed Recycling and Manufacturing with Recyclebot and RepRap 3-D Printing

A promising method of enhancing the circular economy is distributed plastic recycling. In this study plastic waste is upcycled into 3-D printing filament with a recyclebot, which is an open source waste plastic extruder. The recyclebot is combined with an open source self-replicating rapid prototyper (RepRap) 3-D printer, to enable post-consumer ABS plastic filament from computer waste to be further upcycled into valuable consumer products pre-designed in the digital commons. The total electr...

Decarbonizing the boardroom? Aligning Electric Utility Executive Compensation with Climate Change Incentives

Despite the recent drastic reversal of decarbonization effort by the current Presidential administration, the majority of U.S. states continue policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increasing renewable energy technology (RET) deployment. Although electrical power utilities are required and/or encouraged to comply with these policies, their executives lack direct incentives to do so. In this study, a novel incentive mechanism is evaluated for specifically aligning elect...

Policies to Overcome Barriers for Renewable Energy Distributed Generation: A Case Study of Utility Structure and Regulatory Regimes in Michigan

Because of its environmental damage and now often being the most expensive source for electricity production, coal use is declining throughout the United States. Michigan has no active coal mining and seemingly supportive legislation for distributed generation (DG) and renewable energy (RE) technologies. However, Michigan still derives approximately half of its power production from large centralized coal plants, despite the availability of much lower cost RE DG technologies. To understand th...

The Clean Power Plan and GHG Emissions

Climate change is, without a doubt, one of the most significant emerging issues globally. It is broader than global warming, which is basically the rise in average temperature, and only one indicator of broader changes also translating into extreme temperatures, drought, flooding, storms, rising sea levels, impacts on food production, and infectious diseases. There is, however, the consensus among climatologists that the temperature of the earth is rising at nearly twice the rate it was 50 ye...

Eco-Labelling as an Environment Protection Tool: Prospects and Limitations

ABSTRACTEco-labelling was devised by the international community to help reduce the drastic effects of man’s unsustainable production and consumption patterns on the Environment.  It has been identified by Agenda 21 as a mechanism for promoting production and consumption of products with reduced environmental impacts. Unsustainable patterns of production and consumption has also been identified as a root cause of several environmental problems like climate change and loss of biodiversity.O...

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF END OF LIFE TYRE (ELT) OR SCRAP TYRE WASTE POLLUTION AND THE NEED FOR SUSTAINABLE WASTE TYRE DISPOSAL AND TRANSFORMATION MECHANISM IN NIGERIA

End of Life tyre (ELTs) or scrap tyres are a form of solid wastes emanating from the use and disposal of tyres. ELTs have become the latest menace to the environment the world over, Nigeria inclusive. Heaps of scrap tyres stockpiled or disposed of in landfills and in open dumpsites are common views in Nigeria. ELT wastes causes grave environmental pollution as well as many health problems. Open burning or landfilling is the primary mode of disposal of ELT waste in Nigeria. These methods of sc...

Corporate Civil Liability and Compensation Regime for Environmental Pollution in the Niger Delta

Petroleum activity has been highly instrumental in yielding economic rewards for resource producingcountries and supplying a vital energy source, but it also has the potential to cause profoundenvironmental impacts. Oil pollution forms part of the general malaise of environmental pollution.The disastrous effect of oil pollution is now beyond question. The restive situation in the Niger Deltacan be blamed on heinous environmental crimes and breach of good environmental management bymultination...

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