Hotels constitute a key element of the organized chain of activity in the travel and tourism industry, and occupy a crucial place in concerns over environmental protection related to tourism and travel. The hotel industry, because of the nature of its functions, characteristics, and services, consumes substantial quantities of energy, water, and non-durable products. It has been estimated that most environmental impacts created by the hotel industry can be attributed to site planning and facility management; excessive consumption of local and imported non-durable goods, energy, and water; and emissions into the air, water, and soil (APAT 2002; Mensah 2004; Trung and Kumar 2005).
1.1 Problem Statement
Integration of renewable energy sources into hotel operations is perceived as the most promising form of crisis mitigation. There are two types of energy: renewable which is infinite and non-renewable which will run out in the future. Alternative energy includes wood or biomass, wind energy, solar energy, fusion and hydropower. Non-renewable energy includes fossil fuels, coal, geothermal power and nuclear fission. Even if with many promising alternative energy sources, hoteliers remember that conservation is the key to efficient energy use, no matter what the source of the energy may be. Energy consumption in hotels is among the highest in the non-residential building sector in absolute values. Available specific information on the energy characteristics, thermal performance, energy losses, electric loads, and comfort conditions play significant role for the sustainable development of hotel's systems. During the past years, there has been rising interest, there has been increasing interest, in the use of the concept of energy.
The use of renewable sources in energy production with the need to promote sustainable tourism, provide energy-based amenities for tourists, and ensure environmental protection, and it focuses on solar power, wind power, the power of running water and biomass, the power of biofuel for motor vehicles, and biothermal energy.
We are in an alarming situation in Mauritius whereby there is an increase in the arrival of tourist. The hotels sector has expand a lot with new hotels constructed. Moreover, due to that increase of tourist in hotel meaning that there is indirectly and directly an increase in the level of energy consumption. The increase in the energy consumed is having an impact upon the environment, hence hoteliers are now trying to find a solution to prevent environmental degradation. There is a need in using alternative source of energy in order to reduce their consumption and also to reduce their cost.
Aims & Objective of Study
The aim is to analyse the alternative source of energy use in hotels and how it can be implemented with the following objectives:
- To analyse to which extent hotels are aware of alternative energy
- Assessing the alternative source of energy of hotels
- To assess how far the hotels are ready to implement alternative source of energy
- Evaluate the barriers in implementing alternative energy in hotel
In light of global climate change, issues of energy consumption in the international tourism industry have been receiving increased attention. In recent years, the tourism literature has increasingly recognized energy as an important issue. In particular, G ö ssling et al (2005, p. 418) state: ‘ the use of fossil fuels and related emissions of greenhouse gases is, from a global point of view, the most pressing environmental problem related to tourism'. The hotel sector has also been recognized as a key contributor of greenhouse gas emissions ( Warnken et al , 2004 ; Becken, 2005 ; Scott et al , 2007 ), research such as that conducted by Becken (2005) suggests that this has not typically been a major environmental concern for tourism stakeholders. Moreover, a major concern among the hoteliers are to adapt new strategies in implementing alternative sources of energy which will help in reducing their consumption of the actual energy which is relatively high and costly. As such, Becken (2005) argues that energy has not been a major environmental concern for tourism stakeholders.
2.1 Consumption of energy by the Hotel Sector
Energy has long been considered a component of environmental sustainability in tourism. For example, the environmental sustainability principle of the International Ecotourism Standard specifies that ecotourism products should minimize energy consumption, maximize energy efficiency, and implement procedures to train staff and provide relevant information to guests ( Green Globe, 2004 ). Hotels are among the most energy-intensive components of the tourism industry, representing essential tourist services and an important source of employment. As such In tourism's early stage, most of the energy was used to provide lighting inside and around buildings, and to provide heating. Energy was also used in storing and preserving foodstuffs, preparing and serving food, and for sanitary purposes (for bathroom facilities, laundries). Recently, the consumption of energy used in air-conditioning or for the needs of various auxiliary facilities (swimming pools, saunas, lounges) has grown considerably. About one third of all energy consumed is used in guest rooms (30 percent of total consumption of electricity, 36 per cent of total energy used in heating, ventilating and air-conditioning, and 34 per cent of total water consumption). In this situation Energy is a key precondition to tourism processes. At a final-product level, electrical energy and heat power are the forms of energy most commonly used, while mechanical energy and solar and wind power are used substantially less.
2.2 Energy sources
All other forms of energy belonging to the second group are nonrenewable: fossil fuel (coal, crude oil and natural gas), nuclear power, the Earth's internal heat energy released on its surface (hot springs), the Earth's internal heat energy that is renewed in its interior through the radioactive decay of uranium and thorium, and light atoms that are needed for fusion to take place. These nonrenewable forms are finite energy sources, and their duration depends upon the intensity with which they are exploited. Coal is the primary energy source of fossil fuels, and its combustion releases great quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. From an ecological viewpoint, this represents the pivotal problem of using fossil fuels, because CO2 and other emissions impact on the environment and pollute the atmosphere through greenhouse gasses.
At the same time, the era of cheap fossil fuel has come to an end, and newly awoken concerns about fossil fuel security have further made dependency on them less desirable. In addition, the mean annual temperatures are predicted to rise in the order of 1.20-7.07◦C between 2070 and 2099, further exacerbating the problem (Mimura et al. 2007). The prevalence of fossil-fuel generated power and the (still) marginal utilisation of renewable energy resources translate into significant emissions of particulates, nitrogen and sulphur oxides and other air pollutants, both locally and globally. Secondary pollution in the form of acid rain causes the acidification of lakes and soils, with negative effects on flora and fauna, human health and man-made structures and products. The decades of cheap fossil fuel did little to help promote the technology and subsequently it was not until the late 1990s that renewable International Journal of Sustainable Energy 95 energy gained new momentum in the energy agendas of local governments and international organisations alike. The four principal strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in accommodations include: reducing overall energy use, improving energy effi ciency, increasing the use of alternative energy sources and offsetting emissions through the development of renewable energy projects or the planting of trees to act as carbon sinks ( Ö n ü t and Soner, 2006 ; Becken and Hay, 2007 ; Dalton et al , 2007 ; Scott et al , 2007 ;UNWTO, 2007a ).
2.3 Alternative sources of energy
2.3.1 A solar thermal collector
A solar thermal collector is a solar collector considered to bring together heat by absorbing sunlight. The word is useful to solar hot water panels, but can also be used to denote more difficult installations like solar parabolic, solar trough and solar towers or easier installations such as solar air heat. The more multifaceted collectors are normally used in solar power plants where solar heat is used to generate electricity by heating water to fabricate steam which drives a turbine connected to an electrical generator. The simpler collectors are typically used for supplemental room heating in residential and commercial buildings. A collector is a tool for converting the energy in solar radiation into a more functional or storable form. The energy in sunlight is in the form of electromagnetic radiation from the infrared (long) to the ultraviolet (short) wavelengths. The solar power striking the Earth's surface depends on weather conditions, as well as location and direction of the surface, but in general it averages about 1,000 watts per square meter under lucid skies with the surface straight perpendicular to the sun's rays.
220.127.116.11 About Parabolic Trough Solar
Trough solar systems use parabolic rounded trough shaped reflectors center the sun's power onto a receiver pipe running at the focus of the reflector. Because of their parabolic shape, troughs can focus the sun at 30-60 times its usual intensity on the receiver pipe. The intense energy heats a heat transfer fluid (HTF), typically oil, flowing through the pipe. This fluid is then used to produce steam which powers a turbine that drives an electric generator. The collectors are united on and east-west axis and the trough is rotated to follow the sun to make best use of the suns energy input to the receiver tube. Heat transfer fluid (usually oil) runs through the tube to absorb the concentrated sunlight. This rises the temperature of the fluid to some 400°C. The heat transfer fluid is then used to heat steam in a normal turbine generator.
Biogas can bring a spotless, effortlessly controlled source of alternative energy from organic waste materials for a small labour input, replacing firewoood or fossil fuels (which are becoming more expensive as supply falls behind demand). During the conversion process pathogen levels are diminished and plant nutrients made more willingly available, so better crops can be grown while accessible resources are preserved.
Since small scale units can be moderately simple to build and function biogas should be used openly if possible (for cooking, heating, lighting and absorption refrigeration), since both electricity generation and density of gas (for storage or use in vehicles)use large amounts of energy for a small output of functional energy. This idea is suited to "distributed" systems where waste is treated close to the source, and mud is also reused locally,to reduce transport and primary capital cost compared to a "centralised" system. As the distributed system will need a sustain network, biogas contributes to the "triple bottom line"; benefiting the environment, reducing costs and contributing to the social organization.
This kind of biogas consists mainly methane and carbon dioxide. Other types of gas generated by use of biomass are wood gas, which is formed by gasification of wood or biomass. This type of gas consists mainly of nitrogen, hydrogen, and carbon monoxide, with little amounts of methane.
Biogas may be used as a low-cost fuel in the hotel industry for any heating function, such as cooking. It may also be used in present waste management amenities where it can be used to run any type of heat engine, to produce either mechanical or electrical power. Biogas can be compacted, like natural gas, and used to power motor vehicles and in the UK for example is estimated to have the potential to replace around 17% of vehicle fuel. Biogas is a renewable fuel, so it qualifies for renewable energy subsidies in a few parts of the world.
Biomass, a renewable energy source, is organic material from living, or freshly living organisms such as wood, waste, hydrogen gas, and alcohol fuels. The biomass- energy- materials technology (Pinatti, 1999)—better known by its BEM acronym—uses acid pre-hydrolysis in a vacuum reactor in order to separate municipal solid wastes into two fractions. Biomass is commonly plant matter grown to generate electricity or generate heat. In this way, organic biomass can be integrated, as plants can also engender electricity while still alive. The most conservative way in which biomass is used however, still relies on direct incineration. However, it is possible to use biogas tapped from existing dumps and resulting in nil fuel costs, and either select or compatibilize technologies for upgrading the use of future municipal solid wastes, also with negative fuel costs, or ‘‘opportunity cost of waste function'' Vollebergh (1997), based on the amount of garbage that will not disposed in dumps. Forest organic residues for example (such as dead trees, branches and tree stumps), yard clippings, wood chips and rubbish are often used for. Biomass also includes plant or animal matter used for production of chemicals. Biomass may include recyclable wastes that can be use to burn as fuel. However, it excludes such organic materials as fossil fuels, which have been altered by geological processes into substances like petroleum..
2.3.4 Flat plate collectors
Flat plate collectors, developed by Hottel and Whillier in the 1950s, are the most common type known still now. They consist of (1) a dark flat-plate absorber of solar power, (2) a transparent cover that allows solar energy to pass through but reduces heat losses, (3) a heat-transport fluid (air, antifreeze or water) to remove heat from the absorber, and (4) a heat insulating backing. It contain of a slight absorber sheet (of thermally stable polymers, aluminum, steel or copper, to which a black or selective coating is applied) often backed by a grid or coil of fluid tubing placed in an insulated casing with a glass or polycarbonate cover. Most air heat fabricates and some water heat manufacturers have a completely swamped absorber consisting of two sheets of metal which the fluid passes through. The heat exchange part is greater than they may be slightly more efficient than usual absorbers.
Using water force as a source of energy is not new method. Some countries, such as Canada, are dependent upon on hydro power. Clearly, the availability is restricted to specific region. And to make competent use of hydro power, the scale must be enough. While the contribution of hydro is important, it is not expected to belong to the main flow in terms of aggressive growth of green energy on a global basis (Halldo´rsson and Stenzel, 2001).
Earth heat source on the 9000 degrees Farenheit inner earth hotness and steadily reduces in temperature closer to the surfaces, but the temperature close to the surface vary greatly. Rainwater that sips in deeper parts of the earth gets hot and is known as geothermal source. In several parts of the world this water finds its means back to the surface via cracks and faults, such as geysers (i.e. in Iceland) and boiling springs. As with solar energy, the matter is how to tap that virtually unlimited spring of green energy. In most cases the trick is to bore to find and get access to the geothermal basis. The hot water can then be used both straight and in geothermal power plants, which consists of three varieties. Steam can directly be used to produce electricity with a dry steam generator. Water among 300-700 degrees Farenheit can be used in a Flash Power Plant, where hot water is flashed into vapor, Water with a warmth as low as 220 degrees Farenheit can be used in a Binary Power Plant, where the hot water in some way produces steam from a fluid with a lower boiling peak using warmth exchangers. The used water is fed back into the basis for reheating. It is renewable in a sense, as the obtainable heat capacity has its limits.
Currently, the universal capacity of geothermal power plants is over 9000MW. The energy cost of "easy access" geothermal energy power plants is similar to wind energy. An MIT study showed that it is possible to increase the capability in the US alone to at least 100,000 MW, requiring a speculation of up to US$1 billion. It is analogous to drilling for oil; the more you want, the more hard (expensive) it is to find the sources. Clearly, geothermal energy can become a major provider to the world's energy needs on the long term. Geothermal power plants can regulate the output to the required requests, which is a important advantage and makes them very suitable for "base load power" (the amount of energy that is "always" desired).
2.3.6 Tidal Energy
If there is one thing we can safely forecast and be sure of on this planet, it is the coming and disappearing of the tide. While the energy capacity is dependable, converting it into electrical power is not simple. One option is to construct a "tidal barrage" (contrast to hydro lakes) which are not only complex but also cause radical changes to the currents in the estuary that could have enormous effects on the ecosystem. Nonetheless, tidal barrages have a enormous potential, worthwhile further examination. Another option is to use offshore turbines that work analogous to wind parks, but underwater and using the tides as a basis, This technology brings no environmental issues, but as it is in an early stage, the cost is not yet aggressive (like wind energy in the premature days).
2.4 Energy Audit
To determine energy performance of a building, both constructional elements and energy production and consumption systems need to be evaluated. Depending on the purpose of the building aforementioned elements and systems have different contribution and a various methodology is needed for precise energy performance calculation. Energy audit is an analysis of thermal performance and energy systems of building with the purpose to determent its energy efficiency or non-efficiency. Energy audit also helps getting new conclusions and suggestions on how to increase the energy efficiency. Main goal of energy audit is to access and process collected data, and to get as much accurate present energy performance of building, concerning construction characteristics in terms of thermal protection, quality and efficiency of heating, ventilation and cooling systems, quality and efficiency of lighting and household appliances and building management. . For example Large-scale tidal energy production has been planned for Passamaquoddy Bay straddling New Brunswick and Maine, and the Bay of Fundy as at least the 1930s.
Even the late American President John F. Kennedy, a winner of a large-scale barragestyle tidal power plan at ‘Quoddy, envisioned a “fossil-fuel-free energy future” on the Atlantic seaboard. Newer tidal current technologies offer much more energy generation possibility, and much less environmental trouble, than the impoundment schemes superior in earlier plans.
2.5 Barriers to implement alternative sources of energy
The need for using alternate sources for energy has been progressively rising as the environment is getting worse due to human utilization. For those people who wish to make dissimilarity in their lifestyles, or want to help find better energy sources for everybody, there are government allocations that will provide the financial support to do rising energy costs are finally starting to force global leaders to research alternatives and provide the funding to make changes.
2.5.1 Solar water heating systems (SWHS)
Problems such as malfunctioning pumps, leakage from tanks etc. were experienced and maintenance and repairing facilities may not be to the required level. However, individual users in direct contact with manufacturing companies were generally satisfied. But this was true for only new systems. An encouraging response came from the potential users; 90% in the cities were willing to buy if it saved them energy. But current high prices of the system were a deterrent to them. Although solar water heating systems are simple in construction, responses indicated that minor faults could lead to serious problems, especially if not detected early. It was found that many systems did not perform as expected due to reasons such as low level of awareness, technical problems and lack of maintenance. It was also revealed that due to unsatisfactory performance, credibility of SWHS was low and there was an urgent need to restore the confidence of both existing and potential users. SWHS are still not perceived as environmentally attractive and potentially economical means of providing hot water to targeted users. Therefore, serious efforts and corrective measures both from industry and government are needed for a sustained growth of SWHS market. The key stakeholders (users, manufacturers and experts) indicated that the economic / financial barriers are the most important barriers for SWHS industry. The SWHS were considered high priced compared to conventional water heating systems and electricity made it further unattractive for the “low bill” electricity consumers. A lack of credit facilities was another obstacle in this category. Awareness / information barriers were ranked second with stakeholder indicating these as most important. Presence of SWHS industry can hardly be noticed by consumers. Industry on the other hand offers very limited choices due to a lack of significant market.
Technical barriers were ranked third with stakeholders indicating these as most important. However, some experts and users were of the opinion that technical barrier would have been ranked first if the SWHS were used more widely. SWHS manufacturers on the other hand argued that the lack of knowledge about the system design and operation, and a lack of maintenance were the root cause of the problem. The quality of the product has improved in the last three years.
2.5.2 Recommended actions to remove SWHS barriers
The Following measures were recommended by the stakeholders to remove the barriers.
Information and awareness
Development of effective public awareness and promotion programs that are prepared based on market surveys and studies. It was proposed that the programs should concentrate on use of media especially TV and newspapers. The concept, the benefits and the required operating conditions for SWHS should be made clear to end-users through these media strategies.
Promotion of SWHS could also be done through participation in various exhibitions held in syndicates, hotels, clubs etc. The demonstration systems can be set-up in places like city councils, clubs, big factories, conference halls, and stadiums etc. where the impact can be far reaching.
Printed materials (such as leaflets, brochures) containing information on systems, selection criteria, maintenance requirements, and information about suppliers and their after sales services needs to be made available to the consumers.
ther modes for awareness building could include seminars and presentation to targetted users in schools, universities and clubs, and awareness among students by setting up of laboratories in these places.
Economic and financial
- Financial support from the governmental, private sectors and donor agencies to the SWHS needs to be put in place. Availability of credit facilities with low interest rates and reduction in SWHS prices to make it competitive with other alternatives is equally important.
- Encouraging local manufacture of SWHS by reducing taxes and customs duties on solar water heating system components.
- Financial and technical support to research and development activities for product improvement should also be provided
- Current manufacturing standards and specifications should be revised to include quality control and assurance components and installation requirements.
- SWHS and their spare parts could be made available in shops and markets. This should be accompanied with availability of maintenance centres within easy reach.
- A program or mechanism to address the problem of the systems already installed in the new cities needs to be prepared and implemented. Relevant government authorities, manufacturers and dealers of SWHS need to co-operate in this programme. The users of the system need to be made aware o f the maintenance requirements of the SWHS through the program.
- Formulation and enforcement of appropriate quality checks at the factory level, product quality and performance guarantee and mechanism for their enforceability , and setting up maintenance cum marketing centres for SWHS are other measures to increase their penetration.
- A federation, union or society, which can bring representatives of users, companies, financing sources, policy makers and researches on one platform can be very useful to co-ordinate efforts in this area.
2.5.3 PV (photo voltaic) systems for electrification
There was a consensus that economic and financial barriers are the most important barriers and should be addressed first. This was followed by policy barriers, indicating need for a governmental mechanism to promote PV technology (Ahmad and Shenawy, 2006). Market barriers were considered next in importance, indicating small size of the market and limited access to international market. Private sector involvement was limited due to small size of the market. Some PV manufacturers even suggested the need for obligatory laws for rural electrification using PVs. While experts and users considered technical problems and availability of maintenance as an important barrier, PV manufacturers did not consider this as a barrier. Important barriers within these categories were as follows:
- Lack of information
- The awareness on the applications of solar PV systems is very low.
High dissemination costs
- The target group for solar electrification lives in dispersed rural dwellings, and proportion of wealthy households is also low in these areas. Dwellings are far apart, and therefore the transaction costs for commercial dissemination, installation and after-sales services are very high. These costs are estimated to be about 30% of the total costs of PV systems.
Unfavorable tariff system
- The tariff charged by utilities does not reflect the real cost of rural electrification. Tariffs for electricity are identical in rural and urban areas, although the cost of supplying electricity is much higher in the countryside. On the other hand, consumers with low consumption of electricity pay lower tariffs. This makes PV system uncompetitive with the grid electricity. PV system is also not able to offer the range of services that a grid can offer, making it further uncompetitive. The electricity tariffs do not include external costs (environmental costs) due to use of fossil fuels in electricity generation. If these costs are considered in tariff setting, PV systems could be competitive with traditional electricity sources.
Taxes and duties
As in many other developing countries, PV system is considered a luxury product and charged very high import duty. Sometimes, tax exemptions may be available for equipment imports for a public or NGO project. But this inhibits commercialization. Further, the components that are produced locally (such as charge regulators, and batteries), attract high duties to protect the market for local manufacturers. This can cause problems if technology with the local manufacturer is not reliable. Import of equipment and materials is also a problem due to foreign exchange constraints.
18.104.22.168 Actions to overcome the PV electrification barriers
- The solar PV systems still have opportunities and potential for contribution to the rural development programs. These include the following:
- Solar radiation is high in Tropical Island, making solar PV system operation quite reliable
- and attractive.
- Technical and technological experiences are available. The actions to overcome the barriers include the following;
- Awareness campaigns need to be launched on regular basis to bring out the potential merits of PV systems and applications.
- Financial schemes need to be designed to support buyers.
- Manufacturers, suppliers, and agents should have their representatives and centres near the consumers.
- Since the PV programme is in initial stage, government supported market incentives needs to be designed to encourage commercial development and deployment.
- PV rural electrification projects can be integrated with other development programs.
- Integration of various PV rural electrification projects can help sharing of experiences in barrier removal.
2.5.4 Large Biogas Plants (LBP)
The barriers identified in the case of LBP are:
Information and awareness barriers
- A lack of awareness on LBP‟s positive economic and environmental impacts
- Absence of governmental support for development, awareness and dissemination of the technology, necessary in the early stages of such programs.
- Lack of co-operation and communication between the involved institutions, organisations and other stakeholders.
- Absence of NGOs role
Economic and financial barriers
- Competing petroleum products and electricity are subsidized and easily available.
- High capital costs of LB P compared to other organic waste treatment systems.
- There is no economic evaluation for the positive environmental impact of the LBP.
- Unavailability of land within the targeted sites.
- Policy barriers
- A lack of application of environmental laws. Moreover, due to the high revenue generated by the states upon energy provided by the state's electricity central, it is very difficult to implement alternative or renewable energy.
22.214.171.124 Actions to overcome the LBP barriers
Since the LBP programme is in initial stages, most of the action needed relates to formulation of a proper plan and setting up implementing agencies, and ensuring co- operation between various agencies involved in the programme. The actions may include;
- Awareness programmes bringing out benefits of LBP as a source of clean energy and provider of environmental benefits through waste treatment.
- Reforming energy pricing policy to encourage and make RETs competitive with petroleum fuels and electricity.
- Setting up financing mechanisms to provide financing at reasonable rates of interest.
- Carrying out market potential study.
- Setting up a coordinating committee for planning and implementing the national action plan as suggested above for LBP.
- Strengthening the co-operation between the concerned ministries, institutions and organisations involved in the programme.
- Encouraging NGOs role in promoting LBP technology.
2.6 Direct and Indirect Impacts
Social and environmental impacts of SWHS
Energy saved by renewable energy technologies was estimated to be about 65%. Estimated annual reduction in CO2 emissions is 190 thousand tons. Since the manufacturing is de- centralised and relatively labour intensive (at present, compared to alternatives; oil and electric heating), it is expected to have provided social benefit through increased employment. Unlike oil and gas, it does not need fuel processing, and hence air and water pollution associated with processing of these fuels is reduced. The technology is safer to use compared to other alternatives (gas, electricity). Installation of systems may however need careful planning to avoid disturbing landscape an d building attractiveness.
Impacts of PV systems
Electrification positively impacts the living conditions of consumers and they provide productive or income generating activities. This is through irrigation of agricultural and grazing lands (using PV pumping technolog y), crop drying and providing energy for small scale projects. As a source of clean energy, it reduces pollution. It also promises to be a sustainable energy source and provides global benefits through reduction of CO 2 emissions from the conventional electricity generation.
Impacts of LBPs
LBPs have potential to reduce GHG( green house gases) emissions from waste and replacing reducing fossil fuels usage. The organic fertilizer produced by LBPs can substitute a part of chemical fertilizer usage, reducing GHG emissions (emitted from energy used in producing the fertiliser) and soil pollution from chemicals. LBPs can also be expected to have positive social impacts through increased employment and income generating activities. The actions that could be taken to overcome the barriers and use the opportunities provided by the RETs are summarised below.
Economic / Financial Barriers
- Creation of financial schemes (for purchasing RETs equipment and systems.)
- Reduction in taxes and duties on the components and / or materials needed for renewable energy (RE) systems.
- Government-supported market incentives to encourage commercial development and deployment of RE technologies.
- Setting rules and legislation for quality assurance, standardization, and certification of all the RE components and systems.
- Manufacturers, suppliers, and agents should have their representatives and centres near the consumers.
Information and Awareness Barriers
Development of effective public awareness and promotion programs such as demonstrations of systems, brochures, training courses, and workshops for targeted users.
From the literature review it can be found that there are different ways to adopt so that to reduce the consumption of energy. It can be found that the solar panel is being used increasing in different industries. Moreover, new measures of alternative energy are being developed to minimize the consumption of energy. Thus the new ways of developing alternative energy will help to lead hotels and other industry to a sustainable industry. Moreover, this also an overview for hotels to know how far they are able to implement alternative source of energy and how they can also be able to reduce their cost of energy and their consumption. However, there are some barriers that they will have to face in order to implement those alternative source of energy.
This chapter provides the methodology of the survey envisaged on the implementation of renewable sources of energy in the hotel industry. In this vein, it represents the crux of the study and it therefore, seeks to outline the key aspects before, during and after conducting of the survey. It offers a framework about how the research was carried out and elaborates on the questionnaire design and enumerates several limitations pertaining to the survey.
3.1 Sources of data
For this research both primary and secondary data were used.
Table 3.1: Types of Data
The research method used to collect and analyses the primary data were the qualitative approach. This is so because these data are considered to be more critical and more likely to present a true picture of the Alternative sources of energy used in hotel industry.
3.2 Method of Data Collection
To be able to make a true and valid assessment of the present alternative sources of energy in hotels, it was deemed appropriate to carry out a face to face interview to gauge real situation within the organizations (Appendix A). The interview was addressed to the Maintenance Manager of the different hotels: namely Prince Maurice, Touessrok, Silver Beach, Long Beach and Belle-Mare Plage since they are directly involved in carrying out duties, functions, and management of energy consumption.
Since this was a comparative study and we have different hotels thus the Sampling was limited to five hotels. The hotels were contacted through email and telephone calls. These five establishments were selected due to their category, as they are among the best hotels in the district flacq.
3.4 Questionnaire Design
The questionnaire used for this survey comprises of 6 questions which Moreover, the following factors were taken into consideration when designing the questionnaire;
- The questions available in the questionnaire provide the data to meet the objectives.
- Each question is clear, relevant, concise and well-constructed to encouraged respondents to answer.
- There are both open-ended and close-ended questions to capture both the qualitative and quantitative data.
The aim of the questionnaire was to get specific answers about impletementing alternative source of energy within the hotel sector.
A face to face interview was conducted with the maintenance manager of the different hotels. Interview questions were designed so as to be more precise in the search of information. It was a structured interview that is the questions and their sequences were fixed. The interviewer reads the questions from the interview schedule previously prepared (Black and Champions 1976: 364-368; Kerlinger 1973: 481). From the interview method, the different management strategies of the different hotels were known. The results gain in the interviews will be used to compare the alternative energy used in the different hotels. The main advantages of that kind of interview are that it permits greater depth of answers and it often has a higher response rate than questionnaires. The interview lasted about an hour with the Maintenance managers for the different hotel, Le Touessrok Hotel, Le Prince Maurice and Long Beach hotel. However, hotels like Belle-Mare Plage and Silver Beach didn't respond to our request.
There was a combination of different types of questions. As the research is more qualitative in nature, open ended questions were used to allow the respondent to express his or her opinion freely on specific issues and to reply in his own words. The same questionnaire was applicable for all the hotels for the interview.
The research questions covered in this questionnaire was related to:
- Difficulties involved in implementing different alternatives sources of energy in the hotel industry.
- Government support
- Energy conservation programs /schemes that are or can be implemented in the hotel industry.
- Awareness of present renewable sources of energy.
- Future plan to implement renewable sources of energy
3.7 Limitation of study
Normally, no survey can experience a perfect evolution. Similarly, the present one had to undergo certain constraints and was subject to various limitations as exhibited below.
Further research on how the implementation alternative sources of energy could have been undertaken but due to the restriction such as:
- The busy schedules of respondents; some of them were not keen to respond to the interview due to time constraints
- Having access to the hotels was quite difficult since it was time consuming to have the permission and authorization to interview the maintenance managers for example like Belle- Mare Plage and Silver Beach hotel.
- The main problem were transport facilities , since we had to go to the hotels by bus and taxi
This chapter provides a thorough explanation of how data was collected, processed and analyzed for the methods of data collection. It gives further details on how the questionnaire was designed and how the interview was conducted at the hotels. Lastly, the limitations of the research were discussed that is all the constraints to be able to collect data.
RESULT AND DISCUSSION
This chapter deals with the findings gain through the interviews of the different hotels, Le touessrok hotel, Long Beach, Le Prince Maurice. These interviews helps us to understand how the two WHS are being managed and what are the different policies that are set up for managing such site. With both interviews, a comparison study of sites is done in order to judge against the strategies being used at both sites.
Q1: Are you aware of the renewable sources of energy ( Solar, Wind, Tidal, Biogas and ?
Mr, Ahbisek Sobrun, Le Touessrok Hotel: They are initially aware of renewable sources of energy. For instance, they argued that they are informed about the solar, wind, and tidal energy. Due to the increase demand for energy in the hotel, they stated that they need to venture towards new sources of energy that will have the potential to compensate at least a percentage of the required demand.
Mr. Avinash Bissesur,Le Prince Maurice: They were aware of the alternative of energy that can be implemented in the hotel industry due to the fact that they received monthly magazines that are related to those energy and also due to global warming of the earth which is occurring right now. Moreover, while attending meetings among hotels groups with potential investors towards green energy.
Mr. Christian Kim Luck, Long Beach Hotel: They are aware of the alternative source of energy. However, due to the fact of recent renovation of the hotels rating from a 3 star to a 4 star*, investment cost of renovating is so huge that investing in alternative resources of energy would have lead to a deficit.
From the above statement of the different maintenance managers of the hotels, it can be found that they are aware of the different alternatives source of energy available presently. Though, they have the knowledge about the potential benefits of these sources of energy, yet it is quite difficult implement these sources in the hotels presently. In addition that, participating in conferences, seminars and forums towards green energy, have lead certain hotels companies like sun resorts limited to invest in solar panels as it is going to be implemented at Le Touessrok Hotel in the future, approximately in seven years. Hence, it is found that the other hotel groups, like Constance, have not opted to go towards green energy presently.
Q2: Have you think about implement these alternative source of energy in the hotel?
Mr. A. Sobrun, Le Touessrok Hotel: At present the hotel have not implemented any alternative sources of energy. This is because of the initial cost that is huge to invest in these projects. However, they have future plans in investing in these projects. For instance at Le Touessrok they are going to implement the solar panel technology in 7 years.
Mr, A. Bissesur, Le Prince Maurice: The hotel has not implement any alternative sources of energy. this is so because the cost of implementing such projects are costly and the return on investment will take several years.
Mr. C. K. Luck, Long Beach Hotel:with the recent renovation, the implementation of such projects is not possible for the time being. However, they have future plans for investing in such projects after recovering from the investment cost of the renovation.
From the results above, It can be found that the hotels are indifferent for the implementation of the alternative source of energy for the moment as there are lots of research and works to be done in order to implement these sources. They are merely interested in investing in alternative sources of energy, but not for the time being. As stated above by the maintenance manager of Le Touessrok Hotel, they are working upon the implementation of those energy in the seven coming years. But this is not the case for Long Beach hotel and Le Prince Mauritius, where the Maintenance manager of the respective hotels argued that the implementation of alternative source of energy will cost them a lot money and investment. Hence, it can be found that they have an interest in implementing them in a coming future.
4.3 Barriers in implementing
Q3: What would be the difficulties involved in implementing these alternative sources of energy?
Mr, A. Sobrun,Le Touessrok Hotel: To start with, the main drawback is about the huge investment cost that should be done in order to have these sources of energy. for instance, if they want to reduce the consumption of energy by at least 30 % they will have to invest about several millions. However, we are planning to insert solar panel in the future and this will take us around 6-7 years to implement this project. The main reason is that this decision has been taken from the main office and the maintenance manager cannot take decisions alone. Investing in the solar panel in 7 years later, will help us to have the sufficient amount of finance and support from the government.
We also perceive that in 7 years the investment cost will be lowered in cost and we will have a greater return on investment. However, we do ,believe that in the future coming years we may have other alternative sources of energy that can be more efficient than solar panels. Moreover, we have to look for a better landscaping area whereby we could benefit from maximum sunlight as well as not having a scenic pollution due to the fact that solar panel takes a lot of space.
Mr. A. Bissesur, Le Prince Maurice: the main drawback is about the cost involved in the solar panel. We do believe that this will reduce our consumption of energy but it will be in the long run. If we want to supply all the hotel it will cost us about several hundred millions of rupees. We should also take into consideration about the shareholders since they won't receive too much of dividend if the hotel invest huge sum of money. We will have to take into consideration about the land clearing in order to allocate space for these panels. Moreover, care should be taken before investing in such project since this industry is seasonal and during off-peak season we won't recover our cost.
Mr. C. K. Luck, Long Beach hotel: to start with, the main drawback is about the huge investment cost that should be done in order to have these sources of energy. The main reason is that this decision has been taken from the main office and the maintenance manager cannot take decisions alone. However, we do ,believe that in the future coming years we may have other alternative sources of energy that can be more efficient than solar panels. Moreover, we have to look for a better landscaping area whereby we could benefit from maximum sunlight as well as not having a scenic pollution due to the fact that solar panel takes a lot of space.
From the above analysis it can be found that the major constraints in implementing alternative sources of energy is merely in the investments costs involved in these projects. The second factor is concerned about land area whereby there should be clearance of certain land area in order to implement these solar panel since they cover large spaces.
In addition to that decision are taken by head office and thus it is quite difficult and time consuming. Besides, that decision is quite difficult to implement without their consentment since huge investment affect their dividend yield. Furthermore, since the tourism and hospitality industry is seasonal, during off-peak season will be quite difficult to cover the cost.
4.4 Energy Saving
Q4: What are the energy saving decisions that to implement in the hotel?
Mr, A. Sobrun, Le Touessrok Hotel : We usually place notice in the staff canteen , rooms and we lay emphasis to give initiatives to our staff and guest towards energy conservation. We are working on the implementation of the LED (light emitting diode) project whereby we would lik to replace all bulbs by LED . All our lighting system and air conditioning in rooms and villas are all link to the key of the rooms . For instance , once the key is inserted in the room th lighting system and conditioning system are in operation.
Mr. A. Bissesur, Prince Maurice : It is a mere fact that we should be aware about the increase in demand for energy in the tourism and hospitality sector. However initiative should be taken in the hotel itself, in order to have a reduction in the daily cost in energy. We have All our lighting system and air conditioning in rooms and villas are all link to the key of the rooms . For instance , once the key is inserted in the room the lighting system and conditioning system are in operation.
Mr. C. K. Luck, Long beach : For our hotel ,we have put low consumption bulbs in order to save in terms of cost, light sensors are also placed in various parts of the hotel, in order not to waste energy
During the day. We have design the hotel in such a way that we benefit from sunlight and it is not necessary to light up the rooms during the day. We also have educative campaign to all staff in order for them to be conscious about energy conservation. All our lighting system and air conditioning in rooms and villas are all link to the key of the rooms . For instance , once the key is inserted in the room th lighting system and conditioning system are in operation
From the above analysis it has been found that the three hotels take measures at least to save energy in the hotel. The more the hotel is the generating revenue the more they are trying to use certain measures for energy conservation. Moreover, the fact that energy consumption is a cost for the hotel they have to abide by the rules that the government have set up. Also use of the bulbs that the government has put into action in Mauritius is useful to save energy. The more they are going to save the energy the more the revenue will be. The fact that hotel extensive amount of air conditioning in rooms and light, it has become a great issue in the hotel industry. Therefore as these hotels are among the best hotels they are trying the maximum to implement energy saving measures. For Long Beach hotel it is a good decision whereby to use the natural light rather than electricity. More hotels should implement these simple methods so that to save energy.
4.5 New equipment to save reduce energy cost
Q5: Do you encourage energy - conscious specification in selection of new equipment?
Mr, A. Sobrun, Le Touessrok Hotel : concerning the selection of equipment it is quite difficult to implement decisions about the selection of equipment that consume less electricity this is so because the equipment are bought by the head office and they are the one who do the selection. In addition, to that, It is the research and development of the manufacturer itself to develop equipment that have low consumption of energy. For instance, we have replaced the pizza oven which was initially operational with gas and this has been replaced by an oven using wooden brickets. This is more efficient
Mr. A. Bissesur, Le Prince Maurice: when our equipment have reached their life time, we replace them with new and more efficient equipment in terms of energy saving and increase in output produced, for example, new mechanized vegetable peelers. We opt for equipment that have better yield in terms of output and energy consumption.
Mr. C. K. Luck, Long Beach Hotel: with the recent renovation, we have included low consumption equipments and materials concerning HVAC ( Heating, ventilation and Air- conditioning system. This is has been the decision of the head office in order to reduce the daily cost in energy
As per the answers above it can be seen that Le Touessrok hotel finds it difficult to buy new equipments because it does not depend on them, it is a decision that should be taken by the management moreover according to its statement the hotel is already trying to apply the new equipments to the hotel that is the pizza oven. They are not really concerned by this as for the staff it's the management that needs to take the appropriate measures. Concerning the long beach hotel and Le Prince Maurice they are already applying the new equipments to the hotel. According to them they are concerned directly by the usage of electricity that's why they are adapting low consumption equipments in their hotels. That is long beach is applying it to their HVAC system and LE Prince Maurice for their mechanized vegetable peelers.
4.6 Action to be Taken
Q6: Do you think that action needs to be taken immediately to reduce energy consumption?
Mr, A. Sobrun, Le Touessrok: since we are having more and more development, especially in the tourism and hospitality industry ,there is an increase in the demand for energy. During the dawn the amount of energy consumed by hotels ,especially electricity is enormous. If we do not venture in new alternative sources of energy, we are going to be faced with a shortage in the supply of electricity.
Mr. A. Bissesur, Le Prince Maurice: We should lay emphasis towards sensitization of our staff and guest since initiative for energy conservation should be done from the root itself. Once they are conscious it is believed that there will be a reduction in the daily cost in energy . In the future if we invest in alternative sources of energy we shall be better off in the long term towards energy consumption.
Mr. C. K. Luck, Long Beach: According the maintenance manager, energy conservation can be done through small incentives like installation of light sensors in toilets , rooms and pathways. In addition street lighting that are included in the pathway of the hotel could be replaced by solar lamps
From the above statement of the different maintenance managers of the hotels, it can be found that they are aware of the fact that staff as well as customers must be sensitized on the consumption of energy because according to Le Touessrok if alternative sources of energy is not used in the near future they will face a shortage in the supply of electricity. Moreover as there are new technologies being adopted in these hotels these require more and more energy thus alternative sources must be developed. According to Le Prince Maurice sensitization should start. Sensitization can be done through meeting with the staff as well during the relax time of the guest and this can take only 5 minutes to encourage them to save energy. Finally Long beach stated that the sensitization can also be done through small incentives such as like installation of light sensors in toilets , rooms and pathways.
Recommendation and Conclusion
The recommendations are intended to be comprehensive but reflect the priority energy issues. The resulting recommendations are categorised into these main areas:
5.1 Renewable Energy Initiatives
To expand the use of renewable energy technologies in hotels of Mauritius it will be critical to identify key project opportunities. One of the main fundamentals matters are to attract probable investors is a basic set of data identifying key resource locations and telling the likely quantity and quality of such assets. A broad measurement of renewable energy resources, including hydro, wind, biomass, solar and geothermal, should be assembled, building on past assessments such as the BEB.Renewable Energy Study. (1990) and the BEL .Least-cost Generation and Transmission Planning Study. (1999). Site-specific assessments should be conducted in expectation of locating quality resources with the probable for commercial utilization. All projects recognized must incorporate the issue of natural disaster attentiveness into their design and execution. Carry out renewable-energy resource assessments for hydro, wind, biomass, geothermal, and solar energy and amass these into a single Renewable Energy Resource Database to use in promoting Le Touessrok, La prince Maurice and Long beach as a destination for renewable-energy investments. The database should not only identify resources, but should contain potential project proposals.
5.2 Energy Efficiency Initiatives
From an individual perspective, it can mean significant savings over the long term. However, despite the obvious benefits, there has historically been a lack of energy-efficiency initiatives in Hotels in Mauritius. Implement a broad energy-efficiency training program for utility staff, hotel developers and engineers, possible entrepreneurs and other pertinent stakeholders. The hotels of Mauritius Building Codes should be reviewed to include potential energy saving design features. Appliance importers should be educated about energy efficiency and encouraged to import energy efficient appliances. The long-term success of energy-efficiency initiative depends on a high level of encouragement from the general public Design and initiate a national energy-efficiency education and awareness programme meant at all sectors of civil society, to correspond the overall goals of the government with respect to the country, economic development, defense of the environment, and the links to, and advantages of energy-efficiency. This programme can be conducted in conjunction with the awareness programme on renewable energy.
5.3 Solar Energy
As consumers demand more eco-friendly vacation choices, the tourism industry is responding with energy-efficient and carbon friendly resorts and hotels. Other environmental steps the hotel has taken include food composting and recycling, installation of a new kitchen exhaust hood control system to save energy costs, and converting to CFL lights wherever possible and replacing garage lights with QL lights for energy savings.
There is a need to understand that the sun is the main source of energy of the earth and the solar system. They should investigate how the water cycle transforms solar energy into hydroelectric power. Moreover they should to understand the process of photosynthesis and investigate the different methods of direct collection of solar energy. Finally, be able to recognize the use of photovoltaic cells in transforming the energy received from the sun into electrical energy.
5.4 Wind and water Energy
The hotel should understand that wind and water are major energy sources of life on earth. And be able to identify several sources of wind and water energy as alternative forms of energy. Moreover they should determine the advantages and disadvantages of using alternative energy sources and investigate the working of windmills and how they are used to obtain energy from wind. Furthermore, the hotels should understand the working of modern wind turbines and modern wind energy systems and how alternative forms of energy are directly or indirectly converted into other forms of energy, such as heat and electricity. Also to investigate the process of obtaining energy from water waves.
In the very near future, energy efficient hotels will cease to be the exception but will be the rule. Energy conservation and the intelligent utilization of renewable energy sources are prerequisite for sustainable development of tourism. Due to global warming and increased standards in hotel industry, there is an increasing demand for energy for cooling in general, although this is especially reflected in hotel industry peaking in summer period.
Furthermore, energy demand for hot water and food and beverages preparation in a hotel increases proportionally with the number of tourists. All these energy issues are overburdening the ever competing hotel industry. Hotels, in order to optimize their energy costs and implementation of renewable energy sources utilization, have to perform energy audit - an analysis of thermal performance and energy systems of building with the purpose to determent its energy efficiency or non-efficiency.
From a hotel management's perspective, energy represents a significant but one of many cost items in their balance sheets that could influence on hotel's “bottomline” profits4. Energy efficiency measures can always be implemented in a building to improve energy systems. They vary from simple measures of energy efficiency with no additional costs, measures with small expenses and fast payback period (up to 3 years) to those measures with higher expenses, longer pay back period (more than 3 years) which are connected to reconstruction activities.
Due to heterogeneity of accommodation facilities in size, age, construction material, energy appliances, luxury level, location, etc. that affect the consumption pattern, it is difficult to apply common methods of energy consumption analyses such as energy auditing in hotels without some adjustments. This induces another problem for evaluating energy efficiency in hotel industry which is deciding on what is the “industry best practice” and lack of benchmarking32. Although it is difficult to benchmark alternative sources of energy in overall hotel industry, a successfulness of the suggestion measures could be individually evaluated by the same quality of service provided and pleasure of guests achieved in the hotel while having lower energy bills than before the energy efficiency measures applied.