Category Archives: Renewable Energy

5 Ways More Luxury Hotels Are Going Green

luxury eco friendly hotel

One of the most common causes amongst the world today, with the exception of a few outliers, is conservation and going green. We know our planet has taken a beating from an environmental standpoint due to emissions from greenhouse gases. Each person can play a small role in determining the future outcome of our planet. However, a larger role can be played by big businesses.

Luckily, there are a number of industries getting on board with going green and the hospitality industry is one them. Even the ultra-luxury hotels are beginning to realize the pivotal role they play in reducing the harm their waste gives off to the environment. Among standard recycling and water conservation, luxury hotels are also making the change to green in some very big ways.

Solar Panels

One of the main ways that luxury hotels are beginning to go green is through solar paneling. These solar panels provide the energy needed to operate their hotel without the use of fossil fuels.

A big proponent of this movement is the large hotel chain, Starwood Hotels. This global hotel establishment has been making real steps towards implementing solar energy in all of its Starwood Brand hotels. They began with one of their most luxurious resorts, located on the Virgin Islands, by installing a 1.3-megawatt solar array. Furthermore, the hotel chain has goals to decrease overall energy consumption by 30 percent and water consumption by 20 percent. It has set itself a 2020 deadline for these goals.

With so much real estate, hotels are primed candidates for solar paneling. As much as every person loves a good rooftop pool, it is nice to see some hotels make rooftop solar panels a priority.

Wind Turbines

Another way luxury hotels are going green is through the use of wind energy. Wind energy is another clean and renewable source of energy that is ideal for hotels. The Hilton in Ft. Lauderdale is a role model for other luxury hotels due to its wind turbine technology. This sustainable energy source is provided from the six wind turbines located on top of the hotel. The large wind turbines don’t detract from the overall luxuriousness or customer experience at the hotel.

Geothermal Energy

Hotel chains have also began taking advantage of geothermal energy. This sounds a lot more complex than wind and solar energy but in reality, it is an exceptional way for large industrial businesses to implement sustainable energy sources. Geothermal energy comes from large water sources, either a geothermal lake or an aquifer. The Peppermill Resort Spa Casino in Reno, Nevada opted for a geothermal aquifer that is buried 4,400 feet under its casino. The water is kept at a modest 174 degrees Fahrenheit and is pumped to the resort. This water is the resort’s heating source. Overall this system saves the resort over $2 million per year in energy costs.

Drought Resistant Greenscaping

Not all luxury resorts are created equal and not all luxury resorts have large iconic brands to fund them. However, that doesn’t mean that the smaller luxury resorts can’t play their part in an effort to go green.

One way that luxury hotels are going green is through drought resistant greenscaping. One of the biggest wastes in a hotel is the water. A combination of staff and guests pour through enormous amounts of water each day whether it is through tap water waste, showers, laundry, and toilet flushing. However, another culprit behind some massive water waste is the greenscape around hotels.

It takes a lot of watering to keep much of the plantlife looking green and lively. Automated sprinkler systems or teams of landscapers come through to greenery almost daily at luxury hotels. However, hotels have been opting for drought resistant landscaping. Among the drought resistant plants growing in popularity are succulents. These plants need very little water to keep them colorful and lively. These incredible plants can be placed almost anywhere, including adding them to the interior design plans of a hotel.

Water Harvesting

Finally, luxury hotels have also been going green through simple and almost free measures. The old saying goes, “When it rains, it pours”. Well, the new saying should be “When it rains, catch it”. Water harvesting has become increasingly popular amongst not only in the residential sector but in the commercial sector as well.

Each rainfall provides a natural resource that hotels would otherwise have to pay for. Hotels can use this rain water for a number of things including watering those indoor plants to keep them green and lively. It may not seem like a glamorous or luxurious thing to do, but hotels that do this can save money and use it elsewhere. Like on chocolate pillow mints that somehow taste better than regular chocolate mints.

Top 5 Renewable Energy Sources

Here comes the sun

There is no way around it, our energy demands continue to grow at a frenetic pace as the nation and world populations increase. The traditional means for meeting these demands are outdated and will undoubtedly come up short in the not too distant future. In addition, the once relatively cheap non-renewable sourced have seen dramatic increases in price over the last 25 years and are subject to an extremely volatile market. What’s fortunate however, is that we are becoming increasingly more efficient at delivering power across the country through clean renewable energy. While the more popular renewable power sources are growing in utilization, collectively we should be pressing hard to make the switch to generate our power predominantly from the sources below.

Hydropower Energy

Energy from moving water is the largest source of renewable electricity in the United States.

Hydropower uses a fuel (water) that is not reduced or used up in the process. Turbines and generators convert the energy from flowing water into electricity, which is then fed into the electrical grid to be used in homes and businesses. Since the water cycle is endless, hydropower is considered a renewable energy. It’s important to note however that while water is a renewable resource, rivers themselves are not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wind Energy

 

Wind is a form of solar energy that is caused by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of the earth’s surface, and rotation of the earth. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power to use in the grid. When harvested by wind turbines this energy source can be used to as a power supply for homes and businesses.

Solar Energy

One of the other major players in renewable energy and making huge gains in the sector is solar energy. Inexhaustible and cheaper than ever, solar energy now powers everything from portable radios to homes, stores and even entire neighborhoods. Photovoltaics has seen a drastic decrease in cost of production and as such, have become a popular choice among those looking for a renewable energy source. Photovoltaic (PV) devices generate electricity directly from sunlight by a process that occurs naturally in certain types of material, called semiconductors. Electrons in these are freed by solar energy and can be made to travel through an electrical circuit, powering electrical devices or sending electricity to the grid. In addition to being a clean and renewable power source, some states also allow for bill consolidations to account for the energy your system adds to the energy grid.

Biomass Energy

Plant materials, such as wood, corn, and soy, account for nearly half the renewable energy in America. While it’s widely used, it’s not always sustainable and doesn’t present near the potential of other renewable sources going forward. However, methane power plants installed in landfills do have a renewable aspect to them, as long as garbage keeps getting dumped there!

Geothermal Energy

On the other end of the spectrum, geothermal energy has immense potential going forward as a viable renewable power source. In geothermal power plants steam, heat or hot water from geothermal reservoirs provides the force that spins the turbine generators and produces electricity. In geothermal power plants steam, heat or hot water from geothermal reservoirs provides the force that spins the turbine generators and produces electricity. The used geothermal water is then returned down an injection well into the reservoir to be reheated, to maintain pressure, and to sustain the reservoir.


This article was written by Brian Levesque.  Brian is an electrical engineer and advocate for sustainable power solutions.  Brian currently researches and provides content for Ablaze Energy – the premier solar solution provider for California and New York State.