Friday, 25 June 2010
Enough energy could be created to power the entire world if just one percent of the Sahara Desert were covered in concentrating solar panels. The European Union has decided to make use of this and earlier this week European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger announced that Europe will start importing solar energy from the Sahara within the next five years. The Desertec Initiative announced last year set a long-term plan of about 40 years.
The EU announced last year that they would lay a series of cables across the Mediterranean, build a series of solar power plants in the Sahara, and import renewable energy from across the sea. Financed by a group of European companies and supported by the EU government, the plan is to cover 6,500 square miles of the desert in photovoltaic systems and wind parks.
Previously it was thought that the system would take 10-15 years to start to show results. However, the EU has announced that they will complete the first part of the system within the next five years and will start importing a small amount of power as a test run before the entire initiative is finished. “I think some models starting in the next 5 years will bring some hundreds of megawatts to the European market,” Oettinger told Reuters.
Via: Reuters Africa
Wednesday, 23 June 2010
A Swiss not-for-profit organisation, Solafrica, has provided a portable solar power station that runs a large donated TV for residents of the Kibera slum of Nairobi - home to a million people - to gather and watch the World Cup.
Kibera residents use dangerous and heavily-polluting kerosene lamps to see at night. The solar power station is relatively compact — it consists of solar panels and accumulators, and doesn’t require complex wiring. After the World Cup, it will be installed at a nearby school.
Working with Greenpeace and the Kibera Community Youth Programme — who also participated in the World Cup project — Solafrica has also trained local youth to make simple solar-powered LED lamps that can replace kerosene lamps indoors or work as a flashlight. They’re easy to assemble and operate, increasing their chances of long-term use. The project provides jobs to Kibera Youth, and gives them a chance to do schoolwork after dark.
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
The plane’s wings make the home’s roof, the fuselage serves as the guest house, and the cockpit windows form skylights in the house. Permission had to be secured from 17 different government agencies before the project could go ahead. A new plane would cost US$200 million, but the plane scrap came relatively cheap at USD$35,000, with 4.5 million recycled parts being used!
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
Those of you living in the Miami area may be interested in attending an event on Sunday June 13 at which Prem Rawat will be speaking. This is a fantastic opportunity to listen — in a live setting — to his message of peace.
Anyone interested is welcome to attend.
The event will begin at 5:00 PM, and doors will open at 4:00 PM. Ticket pickup time will be announced. The event will be in English with translation provided in Spanish.
James L. Knight Center
400 SE Second Ave.
Miami, FL 33131
To reserve a seat, please visit this link.
Friday, 4 June 2010
The National Foundation of India commissioned Vir.Mueller Architects to design a prototype of public toilets to offer better public sanitation services to the people living in the Rajasthan area in India. The architects came up with the idea of dry-composting community toilets - a proposal that could be locally built, emit no waste and prevent groundwater contamination.
The design intended for Delwara village is a result of the problems noticed at a series of community meetings held with the villagers. Vir.Mueller Architects’ proposal is a greener answer to the present septic-tank-based toilet serving the village. The dry-composting toilet would divert the urine to on-site planter beds, while the solid waste would be collected in sealed drums, after which it would be burned in the scorching sun and sprinkled as fertilizer.
The design is seen as a way of creating a community space for the villagers. There is provision for rainwater collection from the metal roofs to a stone-wash basin, which will be used for cleansing and washing laundry. An orchard is also planned, to serve as a gathering place for village meetings and will give some relief from the sweltering heat.