An employee walking along a thermal pipe at the Kamojang geothermal
power plant near Garut, West Java, on March 18. State utility provider
 Perusahaan Listrik Negara is targeting an additional 135 megawatts of
electricity from three new geothermal plants. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)
 

"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,.. etc.)
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) - (Text version)

“.. Nuclear Power Revealed

So let me tell you what else they did. They just showed you what's wrong with nuclear power. "Safe to the maximum," they said. "Our devices are strong and cannot fail." But they did. They are no match for Gaia.

It seems that for more than 20 years, every single time we sit in the chair and speak of electric power, we tell you that hundreds of thousands of tons of push/pull energy on a regular schedule is available to you. It is moon-driven, forever. It can make all of the electricity for all of the cities on your planet, no matter how much you use. There's no environmental impact at all. Use the power of the tides, the oceans, the waves in clever ways. Use them in a bigger way than any designer has ever put together yet, to power your cities. The largest cities on your planet are on the coasts, and that's where the power source is. Hydro is the answer. It's not dangerous. You've ignored it because it seems harder to engineer and it's not in a controlled environment. Yet, you've chosen to build one of the most complex and dangerous steam engines on Earth - nuclear power.

We also have indicated that all you have to do is dig down deep enough and the planet will give you heat. It's right below the surface, not too far away all the time. You'll have a Gaia steam engine that way, too. There's no danger at all and you don't have to dig that far. All you have to do is heat fluid, and there are some fluids that boil far faster than water. So we say it again and again. Maybe this will show you what's wrong with what you've been doing, and this will turn the attitudes of your science to create something so beautiful and so powerful for your grandchildren. Why do you think you were given the moon? Now you know.

This benevolent Universe gave you an astral body that allows the waters in your ocean to push and pull and push on the most regular schedule of anything you know of. Yet there you sit enjoying just looking at it instead of using it. It could be enormous, free energy forever, ready to be converted when you design the methods of capturing it. It's time. …”
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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Groningen houses to get earthquake-proof chimneys Housing

DutchNews, August 17, 2015

Some 800 houses in Groningen are to be fitted with aluminium chimneys which are better able to withstand earthquakes. 

Tens of thousands of buildings in Groningen province have been affected by subsidence caused by the land settling after gas has been extracted.

‘The shaking of a house during an earthquake can loosen the chimney,’ a spokesman for the centre for safe living CVW told Radio 1. ‘This can then fall, causing more damage and possibly hitting bystanders.’ 

The new chimneys are made from aluminium with a thin stone cladding to match the house, and are much lighter than the traditional brick chimneys. ‘Those can weigh 600 or 700 kilos and are much more likely to fall during a severe earthquake,’ the CVW said.

At the beginning of this year the cabinet agreed to a substantial cut in gas extraction over the next three years because of the earthquake risk. In Loppersum, the epicenter of many of the quakes, production is being reduced by 80%. 

A decision to further cut the gas supplies was made in June which will cost the cabinet hundreds of millions of euros in lost revenue.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Chinese prosecutors announce probe into deadly warehouse blasts

Chinese prosecutors are to probe whether deadly blasts at a warehouse in Tianjin were due to illegal storage of dangerous materials, state media say. The explosions killed 112 people and injured hundreds.

Deutsche Welle, 16 Aug 2015


State prosecutors in China said on Sunday they had started an investigation to see whether owners of the warehouse where the explosions occurred were guilty of violating laws on the storage of hazardous chemicals.

The announcement comes as authorities confirmed that hundreds of tons of the toxic chemical sodium cyanide had been on the site of the blasts late Wednesday evening in a mostly industrial area of the northern port city of Tianjin, 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of Beijing.

Such a large amount would be a clear violation of rules cited by state media that a maximum of 10 tons of the chemical may be stored at any one time. Chinese laws on hazmat storage also stipulate that such substances should not be kept closer than 1 kilometer from residential areas and public structures.

The Chinese military is helping with cleanup operations

Sodium cyanide can form a flammable gas upon contact with water, and members of the public have questioned whether this fact had been taken into account by firefighters responding to the accident. At least 21 firefighters were among those killed in the warehouse fire and ensuing explosions, making the disaster the deadliest for the Chinese fire brigade in more than six decades.

Eighty-five of the 1,000 firefighters sent to combat the blaze remained unaccounted for on Sunday, with 88 bodies of victims still unidentified.

In addition to the 112 people confirmed dead, more than 700 people were hospitalized with sometimes serious injuries. Many were hurt by glass shattered in the huge fireballs that rose over the city on Wednesday night.

The explosions caused massive
blast waves
Official reassurances

In the face of internet rumors to the contrary, authorities have sought to reassure the public that the air in Tianjin remains safe to breathe, despite slightly raised levels of some pollutants.

In a bid to further dispel public mistrust, the Chinese premier Li Keqiang arrived in the city on Sunday afternoon and came within a kilometer of the blast site without wearing any form of protective clothing.

Li also visited those injured and displaced by the disaster.

The government has also shut down a total of 50 websites and 360 social media accounts for "creating panic by publishing unverified information or letting users spread groundless rumors," according to the Cyberspace Administration of China.

The Tianjin accident was one of the deadliest to occur in China in recent years. In June 2013, a fire at a poultry plant in the northeastern province of Jilin killed 121 people. In August 2014, 97 died in an explosion at a metal plant in eastern Jiangsu province.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Chemical experts assess China blast site after 50 killed

Yahoo – AFP, Benjamin Haas, 13 Aug 2015

A damaged fire truck is seen at the site of the massive explosions in Tianjin 
on August 13, 2015 (AFP Photo)

Tianjin (China) (AFP) - A Chinese military team of nuclear and chemical experts began work Thursday at the site of two massive explosions in the city of Tianjin, state media said, as pressure grows for authorities to explain the cause of blasts that left 50 dead.

The detonation at a chemical warehouse in the major Chinese port city also injured more than 700, according to official media, leaving a devastated landscape of incinerated cars, toppled shipping containers and burnt-out buildings.

The 217-strong group of military specialists tested the air around the site for toxic gases, with rescue teams ordered to wear protective clothing in the vicinity due to the ongoing risk of leaking poisonous chemicals, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Enormous explosions in Tianjin have killed 
at least 50 people and injured more than
700, state media report (AFP Photo)
Environmental campaign group Greenpeace warned that substances from the site could be dangerous, saying it was "critical" that the potential toxins in the air were monitored closely.

Rescuers were attempting to remove 700 tons of deadly sodium cyanide from the area late Thursday, Communist Party newspaper the People's Daily reported.

Wen Wurui, head of Tianjin's environment protection bureau, told a televised briefing that harmful chemicals detected in the air were not at "excessively high" levels.

A lack of answers as to what caused the blast 24 hours on has reinforced questions about standards in the country, where campaigners say lives are sacrificed on a lack of respect for safety and poor implementation.

A panel of officials at a Thursday press conference were peppered with questions about what chemicals were in the tanks that exploded, but they refused to provide details, and the briefing ended abruptly with officials rushing off stage.

"Clearly there is no real culture of safety in the workplace in China," said Geoffrey Crothall, spokesman for Hong Kong-based China Labour Bulletin, which promotes worker rights.

Zhang Yong, the head of Binhai New District where the blasts occurred, told journalists only that "before the explosion, locals saw the fire and reported it".

Citing rescue headquarters, the official Xinhua news agency said 50 people had been killed, including at least 12 firefighters.

'I thought it was an earthquake'

Damaged cars and containers are seen 
at the site of a series of explosions in
Tianjin, on August 13, 2015 (AFP Photo)
An AFP reporter in Tianjin in the early hours of Thursday saw shattered glass up to three kilometres (two miles) from the site of the blast, which unleashed a vast fireball that dwarfed towers in the area, lit up the night sky and rained debris on the city.

"When I felt the explosion I thought it was an earthquake," resident Zhang Zhaobo told AFP. "I ran to my father and I saw the sky was already red. All the glass was broken, and I was really afraid."

The blast site sits in a giant logistics hub more than twice the size of Hong Kong.

It hosts auto plants, aircraft assembly lines, oil refineries and other service and production facilities.

The explosion was felt several kilometres away, even being picked up by a Japanese weather satellite, and images showed walls of flame enveloping buildings and rank after rank of gutted cars at an import facility.

Paramedics rushed the injured on stretchers into city hospitals as doctors bandaged up victims, many of them covered in blood.

At one city hospital a doctor wept over a dead firefighter still in uniform, his skin blackened from smoke, as he was wheeled past along with two other bodies.

Rescuers are seen at the site of the massive
 explosions in Tianjin on August 13, 2015 
(AFP Photo)
Xinhua said 701 people were hospitalised, 71 of them in critical condition.

Mei Xiaoya, 10, and her mother were turned away from the first hospital they went to because there were too many people, she told AFP.

"I'm not afraid, it's just a scratch," she said pointing to the bandage on her arm. "But mum was hurt badly, she couldn't open her eyes."

The blaze that followed the blast was brought "under initial control" on Thursday afternoon, Xinhua cited the public security ministry as saying, after 1,000 firefighters and 143 fire engines had been deployed to the site.

Xinhua described the facility as a storage and distribution centre of containers of dangerous goods, including chemicals.

Executives from the storage centre's owner, Tianjin Dongjiang Port Rui Hai International Logistics, were taken into custody by police, it said.

'All-out efforts'

State broadcaster CCTV said that President Xi Jinping had urged "all-out efforts to rescue victims and extinguish the fire".

On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was "deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people".

A man waits in a wheelchair after receiving treatment at Gangkou hospital in
 Tianjin, following a series of explosions at a warehouse in the northern Chinese
city, early on August 13, 2015 (AFP Photo/Benjamin Haas)

China has a dismal industrial safety record as some factory and warehouse owners evade regulations to save money and pay off corrupt officials to look the other way.

In 2013, a pipeline explosion at state-owned oil refiner Sinopec's facility in the eastern port of Qingdao killed 62 people and injured 136.

In July this year, 15 people were killed and more than a dozen injured when an illegal fireworks warehouse exploded in the northern province of Hebei, which neighbours Tianjin.

And 146 were killed in an explosion at a car parts factory in Kunshan, near Shanghai, in August last year.

Tianjin, about 140 kilometres (90 miles) southeast of Beijing, is one of China's biggest cities with a population of nearly 15 million people, according to 2013 figures.



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Japan ends nuclear shutdown sparked by Fukushima crisis

Yahoo –  AFP, Harumi Ozawa, 11 Aug 2015

Operators restart the nuclear reactor at the Kyushu Electric Power Sendai 
nuclear power plant in Satsumasendai, on Japan's southern island of Kyushu on
August 11, 2015 (AFP Photo)

Japan on Tuesday restarted its nuclear power programme after a shutdown triggered by the 2011 Fukushima crisis, as the government pushes to return to a cheaper energy source despite widespread public opposition.

Utility Kyushu Electric Power turned on a reactor at Sendai, about 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) southwest of Tokyo, at 10:30 am (0130 GMT).

The 31-year-old reactor -- operating under tougher post-Fukushima safety rules -- was expected to reach full capacity around 11:00 pm Tuesday and would start generating power by Friday.

People stage a sit-in rally against the
restarting of the nuclear reactor outside
the Kyushu Electric Power Sendai 
nuclear power plant in Satsumasendai 
on August 11, 2015 (AFP Photo)
Commercial operations would begin early next month, a company spokesman said.

The restart comes more than four years after a quake-sparked tsunami swamped cooling systems and triggered reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima plant, prompting the shutdown of Japan's stable of 50 reactors and starting a pitched battle over the future use of atomic power.

The accident sent radiation over a wide area and forced tens of thousands from their homes -- many of whom will likely never return -- in the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

Decommissioning of the crippled Fukushima reactors is expected to take decades and compensation expenses -- excluding the cost of the site's cleanup -- now top $57 billion.

Anti-nuclear sentiment still runs high in Japan and television showed protesters scuffling with police in front of the plant, which is on the southernmost main island of Kyushu.

Among the 200 protesters was Naoto Kan, prime minister at the time of Fukushima and now a high-profile anti-nuclear activist. He said the failure of pro-atomic premier Shinzo Abe to cancel the restart "cannot be forgiven".

The resource-poor nation, which once relied on nuclear power for a quarter of its electricity, restarted two reactors temporarily to feed its needs after Fukushima. But they both went offline by September 2013, making Japan completely nuclear-free for about two years.

'Safety first'

The country adopted stricter safety regulations to avoid a repeat of the accident, including more backup prevention measures and higher tsunami-blocking walls in some areas.

The restart of a reactor at the Kyushu Electric Power Sendai nuclear power 
plant ends a two-year nuclear shutdown in the energy-hungry country that was
sparked by public fears following the 2011 Fukushima crisis (AFP Photo/JIJI PRESS)

"It is important to restart reactors one by one from the perspective of energy security, the economy and measures against global warming, but safety always comes first," Industry Minister Yoichi Miyazawa told reporters..

Yukio Edano, a senior member of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan who criticised Abe for taking a holiday near Mount Fuji on Tuesday, said the restart was ill-advised and "trampled on the grave sacrifice seen in Fukushima".

Strengthened safety measures are key to Abe's bid to get some of about four dozen reactors back up and running. The government wants nuclear power to generate up to 22 percent of Japan's electricity needs by 2030, a lower percentage than before Fukushima.

Power companies that own the reactors are also keen for more restarts after having to import pricey fossil fuels.

Japan's post-Fukushima energy bill skyrocketed as it scrambled to fill the gap left by taking reactors offline, a problem worsened by a sharp weakening of the yen which pushed up the cost of dollar-denominated energy imports.

Several other reactors have been given a safety green light, but battle lines are drawn in many local communities strongly opposed to restarts.

About 200 protesters gathered in front of the Sendai plant to protest against
 the restart, including Naoto Kan, prime minister at the time of the Fukushima
disaster (AFP Photo)

"Abe is not listening to the voice of the people -- he is acting as if he has been given a blank cheque," said Takashi Kato, professor emeritus at Tokyo's Seikei University.

Officials have stressed that any switched-on reactor would operate under much tighter regulations than those that existed before Fukushima. Some will be decommissioned for safety reasons.

"A disaster like that at Tokyo Electric Power's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will not occur" under the new rules, Nuclear Regulation Authority chairman Shunichi Tanaka said in an interview with the Nikkei newspaper published at the weekend.

But Tanaka conceded there was "no such thing as absolute safety" and Japan's people are sceptical as the country remains deeply scarred by the legacy of Fukushima -- although no deaths have been directly attributed to the accident.

The government was strongly criticised for its cosy ties with Fukushima operator Tokyo Electric Power Co, which itself was accused of incompetence in dealing with the 2011 crisis.

Last month a judicial review panel decided that a trio of former TEPCO executives should be indicted, paving the way for the first criminal trial linked to the disaster.

Related Articles:



"Fast-Tracking" - Feb 8, 2014 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Reference to Fukushima / H-bomb nuclear pollution and a warning about nuclear  (> 20 Min)


"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) - (Text version)
“... Japan

Let us talk for a moment about Japan, and then I'll close the day of messages. There are thousands of souls on my side of the veil and they're just fine, more than fine. We have spoken so often of what happens at the Wind of Birth. I told you, before they even came in, they saw the potential. I looked in their eyes. "You may not last long. You know that, don't you? You're coming into this planet and you may not be here very long. And the passing that you will have with your family will not be pleasant, if any ever are. Why would you come in anyway?" I want to tell you what they said. When a soul has the mind of God, it understands fully what generates peace and what generates energy shift. You can clearly see what generates what the planet needs the most when you are about to arrive. So they said, "We're going to be part of one of the biggest compassion events the planet has ever seen." One earthquake, one tsunami. All of those who left that day will change the earth forever. And it already has. It was the same for the last tsunami as well.

Every single one of them on my side of the veil is getting ready to come back. Many old souls were involved, and just for a moment, if they could give you any information, if they could talk to you right now, if they could speak your language and look into your eyes, they would thank you for your compassion for them and those who are left. And they would say, "Be with those family members who are still alive. Enter their hearts every day and give them peace and keep them from crying, because we're OK."

Nuclear Power Revealed

So let me tell you what else they did. They just showed you what's wrong with nuclear power. "Safe to the maximum," they said. "Our devices are strong and cannot fail." But they did. They are no match for Gaia.

It seems that for more than 20 years, every single time we sit in the chair and speak of electric power, we tell you that hundreds of thousands of tons of push/pull energy on a regular schedule is available to you. It is moon-driven, forever. It can make all of the electricity for all of the cities on your planet, no matter how much you use. There's no environmental impact at all. Use the power of the tides, the oceans, the waves in clever ways. Use them in a bigger way than any designer has ever put together yet, to power your cities. The largest cities on your planet are on the coasts, and that's where the power source is. Hydro is the answer. It's not dangerous. You've ignored it because it seems harder to engineer and it's not in a controlled environment. Yet, you've chosen to build one of the most complex and dangerous steam engines on Earth - nuclear power.

We also have indicated that all you have to do is dig down deep enough and the planet will give you heat. It's right below the surface, not too far away all the time. You'll have a Gaia steam engine that way, too. There's no danger at all and you don't have to dig that far. All you have to do is heat fluid, and there are some fluids that boil far faster than water. So we say it again and again. Maybe this will show you what's wrong with what you've been doing, and this will turn the attitudes of your science to create something so beautiful and so powerful for your grandchildrenWhy do you think you were given the moon? Now you know.

This benevolent Universe gave you an astral body that allows the waters in your ocean to push and pull and push on the most regular schedule of anything you know of. Yet there you sit enjoying just looking at it instead of using it. It could be enormous, free energy forever, ready to be converted when you design the methods of capturing it. It's time.

So in closing, do you understand what you're seeing? You're seeing intelligent design, quantum energy and high consciousness. You are seeing changes in Human nature. You're seeing countries putting things together instead of separating. You are seeing those who don't want war and instead want peace, good schools for their children, safety in their streets and a say in their government. We told you it was going to happen this way. I want my partner to teach these things that I have said in his 3D lectures for awhile. Many won't be able to know these things otherwise.  …”

Monday, August 10, 2015

Massive mural transforms poor Mexico neighborhood

Yahoo – AFP, Sylvain Estibal, August 8, 2015

Artist nicknamed "Trejo" paints a mural honoring the wisdom of the elders in the
 Palmitas neighborhood of Pachuca, Mexico, as part of a giant mural across the
shantytown's houses (AFP Photo/Omar Torres)

Pachuca (Mexico) (AFP) - Palmitas, a hardscrabble neighborhood in the Mexican city of Pachuca, used to have a reputation as a battleground where gangs fought deadly turf wars.

But recently the bloodshed on the hillside slum's narrow streets has fallen dramatically and it has gained a far more welcome kind of attention.

General view of the giant mural in Palmitas,
Pachuca, which contains still more 
mini-murals that interact playfully with
 the overall design (AFP Photo/Omar
Torres)
A Mexican artists' collective called German Crew has painted a giant mural across the shantytown's houses, working with residents to transform their crumbling walls into a vibrant artwork.

Viewed at a distance, the entire neighborhood now forms a bright, rainbow-colored wave that has brought new pride for residents and opened new horizons for local youths.

Viewed up close, the giant mural contains still more mini-murals that interact playfully with the overall design.

The artists repainted some 20,000 square meters (215,000 square feet) of gray walls across more than 200 houses to create what the city government bills as the largest mural in Mexico.

The project was launched in 2012 with the goal of using art to repair the neighborhood's tattered social fabric and reduce crime.

Funded by the Mexican government, it cost $310,000 and employed 20 local painters.

"We had to convince residents to let us repaint their houses," said Ana Estefania Garcia, the head of city planning for Pachuca, a two-hour drive northeast of Mexico City.

"First the neighborhood was repainted in white, as if to say, 'We're starting from scratch.' That was a shock for them."

The city meanwhile cleaned the neighborhood's streets, removed the rusted-out remains of junked cars and installed new streetlights and eight security cameras.

Partial view of the giant mural in Palmitas, Pachuca, which contains still 
\more mini-murals that interact playfully with the overall design (AFP
Photo/Omar Torres)

The sprawling artwork was then painted across this new facade, relaunching the tradition of the Mexican mural, brought to world fame by artists such as Diego Rivera (1886-1957).

New beginnings

City officials credit the project with a dramatic drop in crime.

"Crime has gone down by 35 percent since the project was launched in 2012," said Garcia.

"Members of rival gangs worked together on the project. They got to know each other."

The gangs still exist, but today they "eat, paint and get along," she said.

"They're not best friends, but they know they can work together to take care of their community."

That view is echoed by Roberto Robles, a 36-year-old graffiti artist and member of German Crew.

City officials in Pachuca say a project to
 paint the walls of houses with a mural 
has reduced crime by 35 percent since its
launch in 2012 (AFP Photo/Omar Torres)
"Art makes a big difference. Colors change people's mood. Gray immerses them in monotony," he said.

"One boy told me that since we painted his house, he feels like going to school more because he's happier."

Some are skeptical, however, including the lone resident to resist the mural project.

"The cameras are the main thing that reduced the violence. A thug stays a thug, no matter what color the walls are," said Adante Lopez, who initially refused to have his house repainted before finally giving in.

But the mural has not been touched by graffiti or vandalism since its completion.

German Crew is now working on more detailed individual paintings on the walls telling the story of the neighborhood and its residents.

Legal Protocols, Lack of Funding Stall Geothermal Development in Indonesia

Jakarta Globe, Nayantara Bhat, Aug 09, 2015

Indonesia holds 40 percent of the world's geothermal potential at sites such
as the Patuha Geothermal plant in Bandung. (JG Photo/Rezza Estily)

Jakarta. Despite Indonesia already having several plants and government plans to develop the geothermal industry, progress has been stalled by legal protocols and a lack of funding, the World Bank says.

Indonesia’s position on the Pacific Ring of Fire – the intersection of three tectonic plates – means that the country is a hotbed of seismic activity. The Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry estimates that the country might have the potential to generate almost 28 gigawatts of energy this way – 40 percent of the world’s geothermal energy resources.

The recent Indonesian Economic Quarterly published by the World Bank in July highlighted geothermal energy production as an area of great potential. Despite a 2012 Finance Ministry fund to develop the geothermal energy sector and capital seeding of more than $200 million, the sector has not expanded as expected.

Plans to build 44 new plants and triple production capacity to 4000 MW were included in the National Energy Policy last year. However, only 175 megawatts were added between 2010 and 2014. The World Bank attributes this to several factors, including a hesitancy to invest, and a feed-in tariff that has discouraged the market.

Additionally, the country’s legal framework protecting forest areas from mining activities was only amended to allow geothermal mining in August 2014, toward the end of then-president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s term.

The feed-in tariff, a subsidy scheme between geothermal energy suppliers and government-run electricity monopoly PLN, failed to be implemented as sellers and buyers were not able to agree on a fixed price.

The high level of upfront investment required for geothermal projects also means that pricing needs to be able to cover the costs. The government-regulated returns made by PLN, said the World Bank, were too low to cover the risks of geothermal development.

Aside from PLN, other major finance institutions such as the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation are often reluctant to fund geothermal projects from the get-go, preferring to invest once the project has been proven to have at least 50 percent of its potential.

The World Bank has recommended improvements to the tendering process for development, including not allowing areas to be put to tender without certified proof of its geological potential. The institution also suggests a tariff reform based on a continuous review process, so that present tariff can be readjusted to future rates.

With electricity demand growing at almost 4.8 percent annually and 35 percent of the country’s inhabitants living without electricity, according to the International Energy Agency, geothermal power could be the solution, especially as it is free from the price uncertainty associated with traditional fuels.

“Geothermal power represents an energy source that is not subject to volatility as the price remains flat. It will also free up other resources such as coal and oil for export,” says Rahul Shah, chief financial officer at Sorik Merapi Geothermal Power.

Geothermal energy is widely understood to be a proven technology that is more environmentally friendly, with fewer resultant greenhouse gas emissions. Development in the industry means generating power is becoming easier and more efficient.

“This energy is replenished through natural means and therefore does not lead to concerns of energy security for our future generations,” Shah said. He added that with new developments in technology, geothermal plants were now able to generate power at much lower temperatures than before.

Another development in the sector is a technology known as Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS), which artificially cracks hot rocks to release steam to power the turbines without the need for a nearby water source.

Geothermal plants are often located in forest areas and displace nearby inhabitants, raising concerns over the land space needed as well as the impact on biodiversity.

However, with research and new technology, pinpointing potential geothermal spots can be space-efficient, says Indra Sari Wardhani, climate and energy manager at WWF Indonesia. She cites the plant in Salak as an example, saying that the facility, which has a capacity of 330 MW, takes up around 175 hectares of land.

“When you have determined the amount of capacity and the potential points, the area that is used is not big,” she says.

The WWF developed guidelines last year for sustainable development of the geothermal sector in forest areas, highlighting environmental considerations such as maintaining biodiversity and mitigating deforestation and social disruption.

Indra Sari says geothermal energy is likely to be a huge part of Indonesia’s move toward renewable sources of energy.

GlobeAsia

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Office aircos are set to men’s comfort levels: Dutch researchers Jobs

DutchNews, August 5, 2015

Dutch researchers have shown that office air conditioning systems are often set to a 1960s formula based on men’s thermal comfort rather than women’s, according to a report on TheConversation.com

The research, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, shows that if the office thermostat is set for men, it will be too low for women, forcing them to put on woollies in the height of summer. 

This is because women are smaller and generate less metabolic heat than men which means they will not feel comfortable in office temperatures set for the opposite sex. 

By the same logic, if the thermostat is set for Europeans it will be too low for Asians, who weigh, on average, 30% less, the paper states. 

Maastricht University researchers Boris Kingma and Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt say that energy consumption in homes and offices accounts for some 30% of carbon dioxide emissions. 

However, a more realistic approach to the temperature needs of a building’s occupants will lead to more efficiency in energy consumption and cut emissions, the researchers say.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Beijing tasked with crap job of creating 'toilet revolution' in rural China

Want China Times, Xinhua 2015-07-18

Outhouses in Quzhou, Zhejiang province. (Internet photo)

Toilets in the Chinese countryside have earned a nasty reputation, with some little more than ramshackle shelters surrounded by bunches of cornstalk and others just open pits next to pigsties.

However, a toilet revolution is under way as the Chinese government scrambles to meet a UN health target requiring 75% of rural areas to have sanitary toilets by this year.

China's national standard require toilets in rural homes to have walls, roofs, doors and windows and to be at least two square meters in size. They may be flush toilets or dry toilets with underground storage tanks.

Provincial officials around the country said they have been urged to renovate sub-standard toilets and build new ones for farmers.

"Toilets seem like quite an insignificant thing, easily overlooked, but we find it to be an important and quite difficult task," Chen Xiaojin, deputy chief of the health department in eastern China's Jiangsu province, told Xinhua.

Currently, 94% of rural Jiangsu homes have these "sanitary" toilets. Chen said Jiangsu boasts the highest number of up-to-standard toilets in the country, thanks to persistent work in persuading and assisting rural residents to upgrade their facilities.

Sanitary toilets are a health priority for Jiangsu officials. The provincial health department publishes a ranking of cities each month based on their work to build new toilets. Officials who have slacked off risk being reprimanded.

According to the National Health and Family Planning Commission, a national figure on rural toilets will not be available until the end of the year. But the commission said China should have no problem meeting the UN target, as the 2014 figure had already reached 74%. China will set an additional national target of 85% for 2020.

"We must realize the period from now to 2020 is crucial. We are under a lot of pressure, and officials at every level must advance with the campaign," said Li Bin, head of the commission, at a national conference last December.

In Yongkang Village in central Jiangsu, villager Bu has just finished building a flush toilet.

"This kind of new, high-quality toilet is much better and cleaner with no smell," he said. His old one was a thatched space full of flies and maggots. "In the countryside, toilets used to be the dirtiest places. Now they have become the cleanest spots," he said.

HEAVY FUNDING

In Bu's village, each household received 800 yuan (about US$130) from the government to rebuild or renovate their toilets during the first half of 2015. The average home toilet upgrade costs about 3,000 yuan (about US$485), and the farmers must make up the costs not covered by the subsidies.

From 2004 to 2013, China's central government earmarked 8.27 billion yuan (US$1.33 billion) to build toilets in rural areas. Farmers who have agreed to build new toilets are eligible to receive the funds. The amounts vary from 150 yuan (US$24) in central and western China to 500 yuan (US$80) in the eastern and southern regions, where building materials are more expensive. Local governments with deeper pockets may also offer additional subsidies to villagers.

However, officials claim convincing rural residents to change their toilets is a challenge. "Most villagers are used to their way of using the toilet. It is hard to change," said Wang Zhigang, Communist Party secretary in Tanggou township in northern Jiangsu.

Farmers collect feces to be composted on their farmland. If they use flush toilets, no compost will be left behind. Dry toilets with tanks bring the extra task of regular cleaning.

"We had to build a few toilets first and take villagers to visit, and then encourage them to build new ones," he said. Slogans such as "sanitary toilets improve lives" are painted on walls of rural homes. TV stations are told to air videos promoting the use of better toilet facilities.

Fu Yanfen, a researcher at China Disease Prevention and Control, warned that about 80% of contagious diseases such as diarrhea and cholera in rural China are caused by contamination from toilets.

"The improvement of rural health has a profound impact on rural life and the rural economy. The local government must keep up with their work. We should continue to help the villagers in the repair, cleaning and maintenance of these facilities," Health Minister Li Bin said.

A renovated bathroom at Guilin Central Square, Guangxi, Feb. 26. (File photo/Xinhua)

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A cleaner at work at a toilet in Xujiahui Park in Shanghai, Oct. 21, 2014.
(File photo/Xinhua

Monday, June 22, 2015

China gives new twist to world's second tallest building

Yahoo – AFP, Bill Savadove, 21 June 2015

The under-construction Shanghai Tower (bottom C), the Shanghai World 
Financial Center (L) and the Jin Mao Tower (AFP Photo/Johannes Eisele)

Shanghai (AFP) - The world's second tallest building, Shanghai Tower, will soon open in the Chinese financial capital with a twist -- a 120-degree twist, to be exact.

A softened triangular "outer skin" is literally twisted around a circular core, sending the glass and steel tower spiralling 632 metres (2,086 feet) into the grey sky above the city.

State-backed developer Shanghai Tower Construction and Development Co. views the modern design as a symbol of China's future, a super-tall building in the city's gleaming Pudong financial district, which did not even exist 25 years ago.

The under-construction Shanghai 
Tower, will soon open in the Chinese 
financial capital with a twist (AFP
Photo/Johannes Eisele)
People involved with the project said the building will open this summer, with office tenants moving in first, but the developer declined to comment.

"This twist is an iconic symbol of looking forward for the Chinese people," said Grant Uhlir, practice area leader and principal for Gensler, the US architecture firm whose design was chosen for the building which broke ground in 2008.

"It's been referred to as a strand of DNA. It's also been referred to a place where the ground connects with the sky," he said.

Although still dwarfed by the reigning champion Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which stands at 828 metres (2,732 feet), and with new challengers under construction, the $2.4 billion Shanghai Tower can still lay claim to a host of superlatives.

Besides being the tallest double-facade building, the world's fastest elevators travelling 18 metres per second will whisk people up and down while the globe's second highest hotel will be located on the 84th to 110th floors.

An estimated 16,000 to 18,000 people will pass through the Shanghai Tower every day. The building will sway up to a metre (three feet) in high winds, with a 1,000-tonne "damper" weight near the top reducing the effect.

'It has to be unique'

"When you do these iconic, super-tall buildings, it can't be a copy of something else. It has to be unique," said American chief architect Marshall Strabala, who participated in the project while at Gensler.

Now the head of his own firm, he spent part of his three-decade career working on some of the world's tallest buildings including the Burj Khalifa.

He said the double skin plays other roles besides pure design, providing insulation to keep the building cool in summer and warm in winter and reducing wind stress.

"This building is a giant Thermos bottle, that's all it is," he said.

But the vacuum flask metaphor masks the mind-numbing complexity involved in balancing the design, safety requirements, building codes and client demands that shaped the tower.

Marshall Strabala, the chief architect of the Shanghai Tower, poses next 
to a three-metre model of the tower (AFP Photo/Johannes Eisele)

Despite the futuristic look, concepts owing to Chinese culture are present.

A golden canopy at the base of the building was originally meant to be green, the colour of weathered copper, but the developer rejected the idea because in Chinese, the expression "wearing a green hat" means being a cuckold.

"It's not a good thing. Gold is a colour of prosperity," Strabala said.

A white stone structure dubbed the "River Wall" on the lower floors conceptually cuts the building into west and east, like Shanghai itself is divided into Puxi and Pudong on either side of the Huangpu River.

"Pudong side is business, Puxi side is fun. The retail, restaurants (in the building) are on the fun Puxi side," Strabala said.

The developer is expected to shun using floor numbers with the number four, which sounds like the Chinese word for death.

Gensler says the building has 121 "occupied" floors, while the total number has been given as 127 or 128 storeys depending on how they are counted.

'Curse' of tall buildings

Office space will take up much of the 573,000-square-metre (6.2-million-square-foot) building, while the retail space is small compared to a shopping mall -- just four floors.

The building's arrival on the Shanghai office market could potentially pull down rents and drive up the vacancy rate, analysts said.

An empty office space in the Shanghai 
Tower, which is still under construction
(AFP Photo/Johannes Eisele)
"It remains to be seen whether the pool of tenants currently in Pudong is large enough to fill the building or whether Shanghai Tower will need to start offering discounts to attract others," said Michael Stacy, executive director of Cushman & Wakefield's tenant advisory group in China.

Property agents are quoting rental rates in a range of 9 to 16 yuan ($1.45 to $2.56) per square metre a day depending on location, but they say the developer is offering rent-free periods.

Strabala believes the prestige of the address will draw tenants though he jokes about the "curse" of tall buildings, which seems to follow economic strife.

Workers broke ground on Shanghai Tower in November 2008, just weeks after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, which helped spark the global financial crisis, and it will open at a time when China's economy is slowing.

Strabala, however, is not worried, stressing that recognition of the building as the world's second tallest will attract tenants.

"This building will fill up because people will want to be here," he said.