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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Friday, May 15, 2015

Safety standards criticized after Philippines fire kills dozens

Authorities in the Philippines say charges will be laid over the deaths of more than 70 people in a Manila footwear factory. Health and safety standards in the country are again under the microscope.

Deutsche Welle, 14 May 2015


The fire killed at least 72 people when it ripped through a two-storey rubber slipper factory on Wednesday. Investigators believe sparks from welding equipment ignited nearby flammable chemicals, triggering a huge explosion.

Firefighters have spent Thursday pulling charred bones from the ruins. Police say charges will be brought against those responsible.

"Someone will definitely be charged because of the deaths. It doesn't matter if it's an accident, people died. Right now, we are investigating to clearly define what happened. For sure, someone will be charged," said national police chief Leonardo Espina.

Espina added that arson investigators were helping police in their inquiries.

Windows covered to prevent 'even cats from escaping'

The building was located in the rundown district of Valenzuela, on the northern edge of Manila, among a long line of factories. A relative of four people employed at the factory said windows were heavily reinforced.

Dionesio Candido, said iron grills and fencing wire covered windows on the second floor that "could prevent even cats from escaping."

Candido said he was allowed by authorities to enter the building, where he saw charred remains "piled on top of each other."

"When I saw them, [I felt] any parent or sibling would not be able to identify the victims," he told news agency Reuters.

Survivors say workers toiled for below the minimum wage, were not taught or made aware of safety standards, and had to work near foul-smelling chemicals. Some said they were only able to escape because they were near one of the building's few exits.

"I had never been involved in a fire drill ever," said Janet Victoriano, a five-year employee who said she left by the front door when the blaze started.

Fires are relatively common in the Philippines, where safety regulations are lax. Wednesday's incident showed the government was not doing enough, one analyst said.
"The factory fire is a blow to the [President Benigno] Aquino administration, which has prided itself on improving workplace conditions and prioritizing compliance with labor standards," said Eufracia Taylor, Asia analyst at global risk analytics firm Verisk Maplecroft.

jr/msh (Reuters, AFP)

Monday, May 4, 2015

China-constructed buildings withstand strong quakes in Nepal

English.news.cn, 2015-05-02, Editor: huaxia

The photo shows the Civil Service Hospital of Nepal constructed by China in
Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, after the 7.9-magnitude quake on April 25, 2015.
(Photo source: People's Daily)

KATHMANDU, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Tens of thousands of historic and civilian buildings were ruined when a 7.9-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on April 25. But local people have discovered that all buildings funded and constructed by China in the capital of Kathmandu remain nearly undamaged.

So far China has financed and built three major projects for Nepal in Kathmandu -- a hospital for civil servants, a training center for traditional medicine and a research center for nature conservation.

All of them have remained almost completely intact after the quake, with only minor damages to surfaces or several insignificant parts of the buildings, said Zeng Huacheng, vice director of the Department of Outward Investment and Economic Cooperation under China's Ministry of Commerce, in an interview with media this week.

The photo shows a training center for traditional medicine constructed by China
 in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, after the 7.9-magnitude quake on April 25, 2015.
(Photo source:People's Daily)

What's more, the Kathmandu Stadium, which China helped Nepal repair and maintain, has also withstood the powerful and devastating quakes all these days, only sustaining minor damages to its main gate, entrance and stands, Zeng said.

The same applied to a China-built technical school in another Nepalese city during the historic destructive quakes, he said, adding that the Nepalese side has expressed satisfaction and appreciation to China for the good quality of the aid projects.

Zeng attributed the resilience of the buildings that were funded and constructed by China to high standards for seismic-resistance, smart designs adapted to local conditions and a strong sense of responsibility on the Chinese part.



Monday, April 20, 2015

From Aceh to Papua: Jokowi’s Infrastructure Visions


Cyclists crossing the Kelok 9 flyover in Payakumbuh, West Sumatra on
 July 3, 2013. GlobeAsia Both local and international investors have turned
 their attention to President Joko Widodo’s ambitious plans. (JG Photo/Afriadi Hikmal)

The building of infrastructure in Indonesia is the key to understanding the extent of progress in the country.

During the World Economic Forum on East Asia, a question will be asked: Is Indonesia doing enough to show the public and investors they can trust that infrastructure development is moving ahead toward growth and becoming competitive in the region.

Indonesia, meanwhile, has been given the opportunity to showcase development and attract investment while playing host to the WEF event.

The administration of President Joko Widodo has set an infrastructure target, to be achieved by 2019, in which 24 seaports, 15 airports, power plants with a capacity of 35,000 megawatts and nine million hectares of agriculture land will be developed.

This was reiterated by WEF Indonesia committee member and Trade Minister Rachmat Gobel in a recent briefing to ambassadors and prominent business leaders.

The administration is confident in its programs to build dams, toll roads and railways to boost the local economy and raise the living standards of local communities.

Joko traveled to Aceh in March to inaugurate a number of projects in the area.

In North Aceh, he presided over the groundbreaking of the Keureuto dam — the largest to be built this year and expected to increase agricultural output in the region.

The construction of the dam will allow the irrigation of other regions which are in a deficit of rice production.

The dam is being built by state-owned construction companies Brantas Abipraya, Hutama Karya and Wijaya Karya.

It will hold 167 million cubic meters of water and irrigate 4,768 hectares of agricultural land. The reservoir will also prevent flooding in the downstream region.

Joko then moved on to Sabang, Indonesia’s most western tip, where he jump-started the construction of the Seunara reservoir, which has been stalled for more than nine years due to land clearance issues.

The issue was eventually solved as Joko negotiated with over 200 local residents who had been holding out for a larger compensation package.

“After talking to the residents, they have no problem. We have the budget, what’s important is the reservoir will be completed this year and function,” said Joko, who was accompanied by Aceh Governor Abdullah Zaini and Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimulyono.

The reservoir will provide water and help the local community boost income through the development of water tourism and aquaculture.

Veteran infrastructure expert Scott Younger says the president’s move to resolve the stalled Seunara project provides encouragement.

“He has quickly recognized the serious issue of lack of water storage across the country and acted on it. It is also positive that he has inaugurated the long-defined Keureuto project.

“With this early action it would seem that the president will certainly be trying to meet the target of 13 dam projects for this year,” Younger said.

But, he says, the longer-term concern is the lack of engineering and construction industry capacity to carry out all the work planned in the administration’s term, not just in water storage but across the infrastructure space as a whole.

Undaunted, the president pressed on to Lhokseumawe, the home of Kertas Kraft Aceh.

The company stopped production years ago, but the president has voiced he would like to see it running again as to contribute to the local economy.

“For more than 15 years I have wanted the company to be in operation again. There is adequate supply of raw materials from the forests which can be managed by the local people.

“We can plant fast-growing sub-tropical trees such as albizia or pine and we don’t have to wait 15, 20 or 30 years,” he said.

The president is no stranger to Aceh. He spent his early working years there and his first child was born in the province.

“Ibu Jokowi and I are very familiar with Aceh,” he said.

In Arun, just north of Lhokseumawe, the president launched the Arun regasification and storage terminal, marking a milestone in the country’s efforts to shift its energy consumption toward gas.

The plant sits on the now-depleted wells of Indonesia’s first natural gas resource, now run by Perta Arun Gas, a subsidiary of state-owned Pertamina Gas.

“The facility will regasify LNG sent from Kilang Tangguh in Papua,” Pertamina Gas president director Hendra Jaya explained, adding that the plant will provide the state electricity company with gas to power its generators in Belawan, Medan.

Joko’s initiative in Aceh marks a significant move in the nation’s infrastructure building, no president before him has had a similar strategy.

Dams and roads

This year, the administration is at work building at least 13 of the projected 49 dams it wants to construct over the next five years. The cost of the 13 dams will be at least Rp 12 trillion ($934 million), excluding land-clearance costs. The projects will be funded by the state budget.

Rising transportation and logistics costs have also won the attention of the government.

Many toll roads are to be constructed and work on the 2,700-kilometer Trans-Sumatra toll road, which will link Aceh and Lampung, is due to start this month.

The government has assigned Hutama Karya to undertake the project, as it is the only large state infrastructure firm not listed on the stock exchange.

Construction of the road has been estimated to cost Rp 300 trillion, with the government asking other state enterprises and local governments to cooperate without reservation.

The first stage of the project is to build 1,300 kilometers of road. Hutama Karya has been given an additional injection of funds by the government to get the job done.

Earlier Hutama Karya and other state enterprises, including banks, were ready to finance the project without relying on the state budget but the government deemed it would create too much of a burden.

During the previous administration of president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the project was also to be managed by Hutama Kaya. The project proved difficult to get started due to financial concerns with investors reluctant to commit to such a long-term project.

The focus then turned to building the Medan-Binjai toll road, but that plan has also changed, with the focus now on the link between Bakaheuni in Lampung and Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra.

The April ground-breaking date was chosen at a limited cabinet session presided over by Joko, Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Public Works Minister Basuki Hadimulyono, State-owned Enterprises Minister Rini M. Soemarno and Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro.

An important part of the decision was the revision of the previous presidential decree number 100/2014 which put an emphasis on land acquisition as a priority.

In a recent development, Rini revealed that four state enterprises — Hutama Karya, Jasa Marga, Waskita Karya and Wijaya Karya — will be tasked to jointly commission the project.

“The project will be done in sections. For instance Waskita Karya will do section 1, Wijaya Karya section 2 and so forth, Part of it will hopefully be completed in 2018,” she said, adding that some sections of the road will be commissioned by local governments involving the private sector.

Railway development

Following Joko’s pledge last year to develop railways in Papua, the Transportation Ministry will allocate at least Rp 105.6 trillion over the next five years to build railway networks beyond Java.

“We have evaluated the budget needs of the Directorate General of Railways at the ministry for the next five years and according to the new master plan pushed by the president, completion of the project is slated for 2019,” Director General for Railways Hermanto Dwiatmoko said.

In business terms, railway development beyond Java can be complex because of feasibility and financing, and as a result funding for railway development has to come either from the state budget or through public-private partnership, he said.

The plan may appear ambitious but Hermanto insisted that the project will begin in 2016.

It will contribute to what will become a total national railway network stretching 3,258 kilometers and be the longest railway project since the Dutch occupation of Indonesia.

Meanwhile, a feasibility study for the construction of the Trans Papua Railway has already begun. The new railway track will span 595 kilometers connecting Sorong and Jayapura.

Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo said that development outside Java is one of the president’s priorities.

“There are many regions and border areas which are still untouched by infrastructure development.

“The president is committed to developing the eastern part of Indonesia where infrastructure is less developed.

“We at the Ministry of Home Affairs have reached a consensus with the Ministry of Public Works to support and develop infrastructure mainly in Papua, East Nusa Tenggara and the Kalimantan border areas,” he said.

House Commission V members who have visited Papua to see the prospective railway plan say they back the government’s initiative.

They have also encouraged the people of Papua to support it.

At the local level, regional officials have discussed the railway project with the central government but still have questions about the source of finance.

“We will have certainty on that in one or two months,” said regional secretary Ella Loupatty.

“We think that the project will begin from Sorong in West Papua and connect the Sarmi district in Papua province. If the project is realized, the distribution of goods will be easier and prices will go down in many areas.”

Hermanto added that he had asked regional officials to help in the process of land clearance, which poses one of the major hurdles to any infrastructure project.

He believes it is feasible to complete the Papua railway project within five years.

“We expect the project to be expedited although we note that any infrastructure development in Papua is not easy. But, we can’t delay it,” he said.

Higher commodity prices

Without the development of better infrastructure in the area, the price of cement could go as high as Rp 2 million for a 50 kilogram sack, while basic commodities such as sugar could cost between Rp 15,000 and Rp 50,000 a kilogram, many times over the price for such staples on Java.

Commenting on the rail plans, Younger, the infrastructure expert, says the target dates are highly optimistic.

“While railways must be part of the transportation infrastructure build-out, an emphasis for off-Java railway construction seems difficult to reconcile,” he says.

“There is still much to do in rail in Java and especially around the main urban centers, such as Jakarta and for fast rail links between the major cities. Railways make sense when there are many people and/or a large volume of commodities to transport.

“Java and off-Java highly-populated centers, such as Medan, fill the first criterion and off-Java in certain specific locations for the movement of commodities.”

And, he adds, the public-private partnership concept has been around for more than a decade, but a workable model is still to be found.

More needs to be done to encourage private investment.

Meanwhile, a number of countries in the East Asia region such as Singapore, Japan, and China have expressed interest to invest power plants projects in Indonesia, according to the Investment Coordination Board (BKPM).

The BKPM has received 12 new applications for investment permits from foreign investors to build power plants worth $8.9 billion, or around Rp 116 trillion.

It’s not just foreign investors looking towards Indonesian infrastructure — many domestic investors are interested as well.

BKPM chairman Franky Sibarani said that his office has also received applications for investment permits from 17 local investors.

GlobeAsia and the Jakarta Globe are media partners of the World Economic Forum on East Asia. Parts of this article originally appeared in the April issue of GlobeAsia.

GlobeAsia

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Sumba Renewable Energy: A Bright Future Where the Lights Don’t Go Out

Jakarta Globe, Basten Gokkon,  Apr 10, 2015

Photovoltaics on the eastern islands of Sumba are being used for electricity
generation. (Antara Photo/Hafidz Mubarak)

Waingapu, Sumba. Five years ago, Dorkas Manuhuluk, a Sumbanese headmistress, would ask her staff to ride a bike for 45 minutes to a neighboring village just to make copies of question sheets for her students.

“It’d be free if we used our own motorcycle, but we don’t own one. We’d call an ojek [motorcycle taxi] which costs Rp 50,000 ($3.80) for one trip,” said Dorkas, who currently heads Praimarada Elementary School in Umamanu village, one-and -a-half hours’ drive southwest of Waingapu — the biggest city in East Sumba district, East Nusa Tenggara.

Markus Karepi Muama, a teacher at Praimarada, said sixth graders would light kerosene lamps as they stayed overnight at the school, studying for an upcoming national examination.

“For a whole month ahead of national exam, we teach and repeat as much material as possible with the students every evening,” said Markus.

Meanwhile, farmers in East Sumba  district’s two neighboring villages — Rakawatu and Kondamara, located some 70 kilometers west of Waingapu — would often stop growing and harvesting paddies during an unusually long dry season on the island.

“During the dry season, we would pump the water from a nearby spring,” said Made Raspita, one of the farmers.

“For a long while, we would use diesel as fuel for the water pump generator, regardless its skyhigh price,” he added.

Affected by the hot, dry air from the deserts of Northern Australia, Sumba — one of the southernmost islands in the archipelago — does not receive nearly as much rainfall as the islands to the north.

November to March is the rainy season for Sumba, while the sun shines on the island during the rest of the year. This means farmers consume massive amount of diesel to run the water pump generator to help the irrigation system.

Electricity shortage

In 2010, researchers from two international nongovernmental organizations, Hivos and Winrock, released a study that found less than 25 percent of Sumba’s 686,000 residents have access to electricity at home.

Researchers also discovered the electricity used by the locals in Sumba was heavily sourced from non-renewable energy, such as diesel and kerosene, which is shipped in from outside the island, resulting in higher operational costs.

State electric utility PLN has cited Sumba’s relatively sparse population as the reason the firm remains reluctant to install a more robust electrical grid to electrify the island’s remote villages.

“It costs about Rp 300 million per kilometer of electrical extension grid.”

“It’s too costly for us considering the small amount of people that will use the electricity,” Khairullah, area manager of PLN in Sumba, told The Jakarta Globe on Tuesday.

When the Jakarta Globe visited Praimarada Elementary School on Monday, the nearest electricity pole to the school was some five kilometers away — one that also looked questionably functional.

Meanwhile, the last standing electricity pole on the road leading to Rakawatu and Kondamara was about 40 minutes away from the two villages.

Since March 2011, PLN has instead provided remote villages across the archipelago with energy-saving lamps, known locally as Sehen, which are sources of artificial light that reduce the amount of electricity drawn from the local grid, since they are connected to a solar panel.

These lamps can stay lit for about six hours.

The light at the end of the tunnel

Joint research from the two NGOs found that Sumba is rich in renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, water and biomass.

Hivos and Winrock then chose Sumba as the island to launch it’s ambitious project — for the island’s entire population to gain access to electricity generated from renewable energy by 2025.

The project called “Sumba Iconic Island” was launched in 2010 with the full support of Indonesia’s Energy Ministry and the PLN in Sumba.

Drawing global attention. In May 2013, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) committed $1 million to support the technical side of the project.

The Norwegian Embassy in Indonesia then joined in October 2013, funding 600,000 euros ($644,000) for the program.

“This program strives for humanity sovereignty. And energy is important for people,” Stig Traavik, Norway’s ambassador to Indonesia, told the Jakarta Globe when asked why the embassy decided to partake in the project.

“Norway as a nation that cares about the environment, clean energy and resources of the future, this is a program where it all comes together — including poverty reduction. This is an illustration of what we would like to continue doing,” he added.

Fruitful and promising result

Four years after the program was launched, some areas of Sumba have experienced the same, abundant benefits from power plants that operate on renewable energy.

In April last year, a 1.5 kilowatt-hour (kWh)  solar panel was installed at Praimarada Elementary School, providing full electricity for the school’s administrative and teaching activities.

“If we want to make copies of something, we can just print it out now with our own printer. We’re spending much less money this way,” said Dorkas.

“If we receive study books late from the distributor, we can ask for the softcopy and print them out.”

“When we’re doing the preparation activity ahead of the national exam, students can now learn under sufficient lighting and we’ve stopped using kerosene lamps,” Markus added.

Across the island

Residents at other villages also said they have had a great results since power plants run with renewable energy sources were built and began operating at their villages a couple of years ago.

“The power generator can provide electricity for the whole village,” said Umbu Tamu, leader of a small management team for a biomass power plant at Rakawatu, which has capacity of 50 kilovolt-amperes.

“We’ve stopped using diesel since the water pump generator is now running on solar energy.”

“The generator can water our paddy and vegetable field,” Made said, referring to a solar panel installation set up two years ago for supplement the village’s water pump generator. It can supply up to 80,000 liters of water.

During a visit to several project sites in East Sumba district earlier this week, Energy Minister Sudirman Said and Norwegian Ambassador Stig praised the successes of the villages.

“One of Jokowi’s management programs is how to reach energy sovereignty. I think this is one of the ways that can and will expedite energy sovereignty in the country,” Sudirman told the Jakarta Globe.

“I see a great potential in Sumba. I think it would be inspiring, not only for the population here but also for Indonesia if Sumba is able to reach this goal of becoming 100 percent on renewable energy,” said Stig.

Whose responsibility?

Modern technology needs proper and periodical maintenance, which can require a massive amount of budget.

These power plants, however, are considered an off-grid electricity system, meaning it is not part of any electrical grids that are operated and monitored by the PLN.

“The PLN can only do maintenance for the on-grid system. But, we would be more than happy if there’s a regulation that lets us do maintenance for the off-grid as well,” said Khairullah.

As of now, the villages and school appoint one person from a small committee to do regular monitoring of the power plants.

The electricity has become a source of income for the villages as it is sold off to the public.

For instance, Praimarada Elementary School charges anyone from neighboring villages who wishes to use electricity for personal purposes, Rp 1,000 per use.

“People mostly come to charge their mobile phone,” Markus said.

“The money that we collect is entered into a book, and when the equipment needs service, we can use the bulk that we have.”

Praimarada’s solar panel operates on six batteries that can last for up to five years at a cost of Rp 2 million each, according to Sandra

Winarsa, program officer for sustainable energy at Hivos Regional Office Southeast Asia.

A similar fee-collecting system has also been adopted in the village of Rakawatu, where households that own television sets are charged Rp 50,000 per month and those who only use the electricity for lighting pay Rp 35,000 monthly, Tamu said.

“The monthly fee is not that much. But, that’s how much we can contribute from our income,” Tamu added.

“We don’t receive any funding from outside to help operational expenses. If the government could help us with the maintenance cost, then that would be great.”

Sudirman said the people could request funds from the regional government should they need to fix or replace parts of the power plants.

“If the residents need a huge amount of funds for maintenance, they can ask the regional government through the DAK [specific allocation fund] program.”

“It is permitted by the ministry to use the funds to substitute old units,” the energy minister told the Jakarta Globe.

Sudirman added that he would evaluate the energy subsidy in the state budget to also help people who generate electricity from renewable-energy based power plants.

“It is our homework and this is something that needs to be reviewed so that energy subsidy can be fair and even for everyone,” he said.

“The subsidy could be also by providing seed funds to help set up the power plants.”

Where’s next after Sumba?

Sudirman said he would form a special committee to help the ministry frame a nationwide blueprint for power plants that operate on renewable energy.

“The committee will also help push [Sumba] to expedite its target — if possible by 2020 — in becoming an example of an island in Indonesia that completely uses renewable energy,” Sudirman said.

“There is not yet a developed industry [in Indonesia] for renewable energy.”

“It will be soon enough we require more equipment [to support renewable energy].”

“It is then important to educate the people that renewable energy is our future,” he added.

Sudirman also believed Sumba could be a living example for other areas across the country, saying that the next government must put forward the interest of renewable energy in the country above all else.

“Do not mix politics with energy development. Political interests do not last forever, but energy development does and it takes a long time. It also requires a technical approach,” he said.

“There are many other areas in the country similar to Sumba. Should the renewable energy goal be achieved, it will be an easy example to duplicate in other areas.”

Related Article:



Thursday, April 2, 2015

Billionaire Sy to Build Micro Cities Around His Philippine Malls

Jakarta Globe, Ian Sayson, Apr 01, 2015

Filipino residents paint homes as an AirAsia plane flies over at a housing project
in Paranaque city, south of Manila, Philippines, on March 25, 2015. Growth in the
 Philippine economy is set to pick up in 2015 as government expenditure
expands and both private consumption and investment remain strong, says a
new Asian Development Bank report. (EPA Photo/Francis R. Malasig)

Billionaire Henry Sy, the richest person in the Philippines, will start to develop apartments, offices and hotels around his shopping malls to maximize the value of property holdings in the face of similar moves by competitors.

Fifteen of 50 shopping malls now owned by Sy’s SM Prime Holdings are on land large enough for high-density, mixed-used development, executive vice president Jeffrey Lim, 53, said in an interview in Manila on Monday. Depending on demand, five so-called townships will be built in two years and about 10 more over five years, he said.

The townships will be part SM Prime’s 500-billion-peso ($11 billion) expansion from now through 2019, Lim said. They will pit the largest Philippine mall developer against Ayala Land and Megaworld, the biggest builders of mixed-used projects. Ayala and Megaworld have been building townships for several years, capitalizing on the rising office-space needs of outsourcing companies, while higher remittances from Filipinos abroad have fueled home purchases.

“SM Prime has plenty of resources around its malls, and these will become expensive parking lots if they don’t do this,” said Richard Laneda, an analyst at COL Financial Group, who has a buy rating on the company’s stock. “If they don’t do this, the market will go to the other developers.”

Publicly-held Philippine builders’ push for townships in and out of Manila boosted their capital spending to a record 331 billion pesos, according to broker Savills. Congestion in Metro Manila is driving demand in these micro-districts, it said.

‘On their toes’

Remittances climbed 5.8 percent to a record $24.3 billion last year. Money transfers from Filipinos living and working overseas account for about 10 percent of the nation’s economy, the World Bank estimates.

“The live-work-play lifestyle in these townships have resulted into a lot of success for some major developers,” Michael McCullough, Manila-based managing director at KMC MAG Group, the local associate of Savills, said in mid-March.

SM Prime “has to be on their toes to continue to have the upper hand,” said Allan Yu, first vice president at Manila- based Metropolitan Bank & Trust. He helps manage  about $7.5 billion, including SM Prime shares. “They have to upgrade their existing assets, not just expand their portfolio.”

Growing landbank

SM Prime has gained 37 percent over the last year, exceeding the 30 percent gain in Megaworld and the 29 percent advance in Ayala Land. The Philippine Stock Exchange Index has added 24 percent in that period and the Bloomberg Asia Pacific Real Estate Index 24 percent.

Net income will climb 19 percent this year to 21.87 billion pesos, according to median of 13 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The company’s landbank stands at 900 hectares, Lim said. Before Sy pooled his property assets into SM Prime in 2013, the mall builder’s landbank was about 120 hectares, Lim said.

Sy, who is 90, has an estimated net worth of $13.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He migrated to the Philippines from China in 1936 and started selling rice, sardines and soap in his father’s Manila store. He opened a shoe store in 1948 and eventually built his business empire in the 1980s by opening malls.

Manila reclamation

SM Prime plans to spend 70 billion pesos this year to build malls and homes. After constructing three to four malls a year, SM Prime has said it plans to open as many as five in 2015. It plans to start five new residential projects this year and expand existing developments if there is demand.

As part of its strategy for 2015, SM Prime aims to sell as many as 14,000 homes valued at about about 3 million pesos each, Lim said. There is not a supply glut in that portion of the market, he said. The company gets about a third of revenue from home sales.

For the longer term, the company has applied to reclaim 600 hectares of land along Manila Bay and spend about 100 billion pesos to turn the property into a master planned integrated and mixed-use community. The development is adjacent to the group’s Mall of Asia complex and the strip of four integrated casino resorts that will make up Pagcor Entertainment City.

That plan, which has won permission from the city governments of Pasay and Paranaque, will be among the single biggest contiguous developments in Manila if approved by the nation’s economic planning agency.

“A number of our malls have excess land, and these are just there untouched,” Lim said. “Our thrust is to maximize the synergies of integrated development. Building lifestyle cities will maximize the potential of our properties.”

Bloomberg

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Colombia Transforms Old Tires Into Green Housing

Jakarta Globe, Paula Carrillo, Mar 31, 2015

View of houses made with tires in Choachi, Cundinamarca, Colombia on March 16,
 2015. In the same way as igloos, thermally efficient and resistant to quakes,
a particular kind of house in central Colombia takes advantage of a material which
 is thrown away: tires. 5.3 million tires are thrown away each year in Colombia, and
since they take millions of years in decomposing, using them for building becomes
a potential. (AFP Photo/Eitan Abramovich)

Choachí, Colombia. The highlands around the Colombian capital are scattered with small buildings that look like out-of-place igloos but are in fact innovative houses made from the tires that litter the country’s roads.

The woman behind the project is Alexandra Posada, a 35-year-old environmental activist who sports a cowboy hat and jeans while she works, her buff biceps rippling in her tank top as she slings around old tires and shovels them full of dirt.

“I get these tires for free because it’s a huge problem for people to get rid of them,” she told AFP.

“They take thousands of years to decompose — which we’ve transformed from a problem into an opportunity,” she said. “If you use them as construction materials, they become virtually eternal bricks.”

Posada is currently at work on several houses in the mountains of Choachi, a city of about 15,000 people an hour’s drive east of Bogota.

She and her team take truckfuls of old tires and fill them with earth, turning them into massive bricks that weigh 200 to 300 kilograms each.

Using a range of tires from semi trucks to cars, they stack them together around iron bars to create round structures that are at once solid and flexible — well insulated against the heat and cold, but also rubbery enough to withstand the earthquakes common in this seismically active Andes region.

The houses have rounded cement-and-steel ceilings over the bedrooms and kitchen, and flat wood-plank ceilings over the living room and dining room.

Both are covered by another layer of tires, making “an almost non-degradable, impermeable” roof, said Posada.

The houses may be made from waste, but they have a captivating beauty.

The sweeping curves of the roofs are often painted in bright colors.

The walls are covered with tan mortar made of lime and sand, giving them a smooth adobe look interrupted by flashes of color from old glass bottles inserted in the masonry.

Posada also uses glass bottles to make skylights in the bedrooms, inserting them vertically in the concrete ceilings to create a pixelated stained-glass effect.

“These houses are made with reused materials, but they’re also beautiful, airy, with more indirect light,” she said.

Millions of tires

It is an ingenious solution to a tricky problem.

Colombians throw out more than 5.3 million tires a year, according to official figures — nearly 100,000 metric tons of rubber that pollute the environment.

They often end up abandoned in unsightly piles along the country’s roads, or are burned to get rid of them, adding their acrid smell to the clouds of car exhaust that often choke Bogota, a sprawling city of more than seven million people.

“It’s a huge problem in terms of the public space, the environment and the landscape,” said Francisco Gomez, who heads the environment ministry’s response to the issue.

Tire manufacturers and importers in Colombia are only required to recycle about 35 percent of the country’s total consumption.

And sanitation workers are not responsible for removing abandoned tires because they are considered “special waste.”

“The response we’ve been able to implement is pretty small in terms of the quantity of waste being generated,” said Gomez.

Posada has so far used about 9,000 old tires to make the walls, roofs, terraces and steps of her rubber “igloos.”

One of her workers, William Clavijo, a 57-year-old mason, said the job has taught him a lesson in “valuing things.”

“People usually just throw this stuff away. Now you see that it can be put to good use,” he said as he slapped layers of mortar across a wall of tires, hiding its past as rubbery waste abandoned on the streets of Bogota.

Agence France-Presse

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Massive power failure in Noord-Holland, Flevoland

DutchNews.nl, March 27, 2015

Large parts of Noord-Holland province and Flevoland are without power on Friday morning because of a major failure at a high tension substation in Diemen. 

Power cuts have hit parts of Amsterdam, Schiphol airport, Haarlem, Almere and the Gooi region near Hilversum. 

Train services have also been disrupted in the north of the country. According to the NS website, there are no train services around Schiphol airport or Amsterdam. 

Nu.nl reports all incoming flights to Schiphol have been diverted although there is no mention of this on the Schiphol website. Motorway signage has also failed. 

It is still unclear what caused the power failure or how many households are affected. 

Related Article:

"2013 - What Now ?" – Jan 6, 2013 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) (Text version)

“… New ideas are things you never thought of. These ideas will be given to you so you will have answers to the most profound questions that your societies have had since you were born. Inventions will bring clean water to every Human on the planet, cheaply and everywhere. Inventions will give you power, cheaply and everywhere. These ideas will wipe out all of the reasons you now have for pollution, and when you look back on it, you'll go, "This solution was always there. Why didn't we think of that? Why didn't we do this sooner?" Because it wasn't time and you were not ready. You hadn't planted the seeds and you were still battling the old energy, deciding whether you were going to terminate yourselves before 2012. Now you didn't…. and now you didn't.

it's funny, what you ponder about, and what your sociologists consider the "great current problems of mankind", for your new ideas will simply eliminate the very concepts of the questions just as they did in the past. Do you remember? Two hundred years ago, the predictions of sociologists said that you would run out of food, since there wasn't enough land to sustain a greater population. Then you discovered crop rotation and fertilizer. Suddenly, each plot of land could produce many times what it could before. Do you remember the predictions that you would run out of wood to heat your homes? Probably not. That was before electricity. It goes on and on.

So today's puzzles are just as quaint, as you will see. (1) How do you strengthen the power grids of your great nations so that they are not vulnerable to failure or don't require massive infrastructure improvement expenditures? Because cold is coming, and you are going to need more power. (2) What can you do about pollution? (3) What about world overpopulation? Some experts will tell you that a pandemic will be the answer; nature [Gaia] will kill off about one-third of the earth's population. The best minds of the century ponder these puzzles and tell you that you are headed for real problems. You have heard these things all your life.

Let me ask you this. (1) What if you could eliminate the power grid altogether? You can and will. (2) What if pollution-creating sources simply go away, due to new ideas and invention, and the environment starts to self-correct? (3) Overpopulation? You assume that humanity will continue to have children at an exponential rate since they are stupid and can't help themselves. This, dear ones, is a consciousness and education issue, and that is going to change. Imagine a zero growth attribute of many countries - something that will be common. Did you notice that some of your children today are actually starting to ponder if they should have any children at all? What a concept! ….”

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Court Ruling Dries Up Private Water Provision in Jakarta


City-owned water operator PAM Jaya will now handle water supply to
Jakarta exclusively. (JG Photo/Jurnasyanto Sukarno)

Jakarta. Two private companies have lost their right to supply water to customers in some parts of Jakarta after a court ruled in favor of a coalition seeking to have water privatization struck down.

PAM Lyonnaise Jaya (Palyja) and Aetra Air Jakarta (Aetra) had their contracts with city-owned water operator PAM Jaya severed by the Central Jakarta District Court on Monday, ending an 18-year partnership.

Jakarta City Council will form a transition team to take over their operations, while Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama has said employees of the two companies could possibly find employment with PAM Jaya.

“They are professional workers and we cannot abandon them, we will make preparations so they can work at PAM Jaya,” Basuki was quoted as saying by Tempo.co on Wednesday.

Basuki said he was confident PAM Jaya would be able to manage the capital’s water distribution without Palyja and Aetra.

The court ruling ends a controversial experiment in water privatization in Jakarta, and is a major victory for the Coalition of People Rejecting the Privatization of Water in Jakarta (KMMSAJ), which filed the lawsuit.

The group had argued that the sub-contracted water service was too expensive and many Jakarta residents could not afford it.

The coalition, which includes the Jakarta Legal Aid Fuundation (LBH Jakarta), and are opposed to private ownership of water, also said the service provided by Palyja and Aetra was not up to scratch.

Both Aetra and Palyja have stated that they would file an appeal.

Aetra’s Corporate Secretary Pratama S. Adi said that the company was aware that his company’s contract with PAM Jaya was not favorable to the Jakarta City Council and it was willing to negotiate.

“We have been conducting internal consolidation and next week we will file an appeal,” Pratama said.

Palyja’s spokeswoman Meyritha Maryanie confirmed the company would challenge the ruling.

“During the legal process the contract between Palyja and PAM Jaya is still valid,” Meyritha added.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Indonesia to Build Ten New Cities on Outer Islands

Jakarta Globe, Mar 24, 2015

Development Planning Minister Andrinof Chaniago, left, wants to develop new
urban areas across Indonesia to deal with poverty and unemployment. (Antara
Foto/Vitalis Yogi Trisna)

Jakarta. The government intends to build ten new cities in remote parts of Indonesia, Andrinof Chaniago, head of the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), announced on Tuesday.

The first new city will be Tanjung Selor in North Kalimantan, the new province founded in 2012 on land that used to be part of East Kalimantan province. Tanjung Selor is the capital of North Kalimantan, but currently only has 42,000 inhabitants. The administration of President Joko Widodo now wants to turn the town into a true city.

“We will start the [development of] ten cities during the term of this administration,” Andrinof said on Tuesday, as quoted by state-owned news agency Antara.

The Bappenas head explained that the purpose of  developing new urban areas throughout Indonesia was to boost equitable economic growth in the regions outside Java to decrease poverty and unemployment.

Andrinof declined to provide additional details about the plan.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Time now to act on looming water crisis, UN warns

Yahoo – AFP, Richard Ingham, 20 March 2015

Residents in Bangalore wait to collect drinking water in plastic pots
for their households on March 18, 2015 (AFP Photo/Manjunath Kiran)

Paris (AFP) - Without reforms, the world will be plunged into a water crisis that could be crippling for hot, dry countries, the United Nations warned Friday.

In an annual report, the UN said abuse of water was now so great that on current trends, the world will face a 40-percent "global water deficit" by 2030 -- the gap between demand for water and replenishment of it.

"The fact is there is enough water to meet the world's needs, but not without dramatically changing the way water is used, managed and shared," it said in its annual World Water Development Report.

"Measurability, monitoring and implementation" are urgently needed to make water use sustainable, said Michel Jarraud, head of the agency UN-Water and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

A boy washes himself from a roadside
 water tanker in Faridabad, a suburb of 
New Delhi, on March 18, 2015 (AFP
Photo/Money Sharma)
Surging population growth is one of the biggest drivers behind the coming crisis, the report said.

Earth's current tally of around 7.3 billion humans is growing by about 80 million per year, reaching a likely 9.1 billion by 2050.

To feed these extra mouths, agriculture, which already accounts for around 70 percent of all water withdrawals, will have to increase output by some 60 percent.

Climate change -- which will alter when, where and how much rainfall comes our way -- and urbanisation will add to the coming crunch.

The report pointed to a long list of present abuses, from contamination of water by pesticides, industrial pollution and runoff from untreated sewage, to over-exploitation, especially for irrigation.

More than half of the world's population takes its drinking supplies from groundwater, which also provides 43 percent of all water used for irrigation.

Around 20 percent of these aquifers are suffering from perilous over-extraction, the report said.

So much freshwater has been sucked from the spongy rock that subsidence, or saline intrusion into freshwater in coastal areas, are often the result.

By 2050, global demand for water is likely to rise by 55 percent, mainly in response to urban growth.

"Cities will have to go further or dig deeper to access water, or will have to depend on innovative solutions or advanced technologies to meet their water demands," the report said.

The overview, scheduled for release in New Delhi, draws together data from 31 agencies in the United Nations system and 37 partners in UN-Water.

It placed the spotlight on hot, dry and thirsty regions which are already struggling with relentless demand.

In the North China Plain, intensive irrigation has caused the water table to drop by over 40 metres (130 feet) in some places, it said.

In India, the number of so-called tube wells, pulling out groundwater, rose from less than a million in 1960 to nearly 19 million 40 years later.

"This technological revolution has played an important role in the country’s efforts to combat poverty, but the ensuing development of irrigation has, in turn, resulted in significant water stress in some regions of the country, such as Maharashtra and Rajasthan," the report said.

Empty taps and dry reservoirs

Water expert Richard Connor, the report's lead author, said the outlook was bleak indeed for some areas.

"Parts of China, India and the United States, as well as in the Middle East, have been relying on the unsustainable extraction of groundwater to meet existing water demands," he told AFP.

"In my personal opinion this is, at best, a short-sighted Plan B. As these groundwater resources become depleted, there will no Plan C, and some of these areas may indeed become uninhabitable."

A migrant labourer carries a bottle of water he filled from a water tanker 
in a camp in New Delhi on March 18, 2015 (AFP Photo/Roberto Schmidt)

Last year, the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated that around 80 percent of the world's population "already suffers serious threats to its water security, as measured by indicators including water availability, water demand and pollution."

"Climate change can alter the availability of water and therefore threaten water security," the IPCC said.

Fixing the problems -- and addressing the needs of the 748 million people without "improved" drinking water and the 2.5 billion without mains sewerage -- requires smart and responsive governance, the new UN report said.

In real terms, this means putting together rules and incentives to curb waste, punish pollution, encourage innovation and nurture habitats that provide havens for biodiversity and water for humans.

It also means learning to defuse potential conflicts as various groups jockey for a precious and dwindling resource.

Tough decisions will have to be made on pricing, and on rallying people together.

"Present water tariffs are commonly far too low to actually limit excessive water use by wealthy households or industry," the report observed.

But it added, "responsible use may at times be more effectively fostered through awareness-raising and appealing to the common good."


Related Articles:



"Recalibration of Free Choice"–  Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) SoulsMidpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth,  4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical)  8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) (Text version)

“…  4 - Energy (again)

The natural resources of the planet are finite and will not support the continuation of what you've been doing. We've been saying this for a decade. Watch for increased science and increased funding for alternate ways of creating electricity (finally). Watch for the very companies who have the most to lose being the ones who fund it. It is the beginning of a full realization that a change of thinking is at hand. You can take things from Gaia that are energy, instead of physical resources. We speak yet again about geothermal, about tidal, about wind. Again, we plead with you not to over-engineer this. For one of the things that Human Beings do in a technological age is to over-engineer simple things. Look at nuclear - the most over-engineered and expensive steam engine in existence!

Your current ideas of capturing energy from tidal and wave motion don't have to be technical marvels. Think paddle wheel on a pier with waves, which will create energy in both directions [waves coming and going] tied to a generator that can power dozens of neighborhoods, not full cities. Think simple and decentralize the idea of utilities. The same goes for wind and geothermal. Think of utilities for groups of homes in a cluster. You won't have a grid failure if there is no grid. This is the way of the future, and you'll be more inclined to have it sooner than later if you do this, and it won't cost as much.

Water

We've told you that one of the greatest natural resources of the planet, which is going to shift and change and be mysterious to you, is fresh water. It's going to be the next gold, dear ones. So, we have also given you some hints and examples and again we plead: Even before the potentials of running out of it, learn how to desalinate water in real time without heat. It's there, it's doable, and some already have it in the lab. This will create inexpensive fresh water for the planet. 

There is a change of attitude that is starting to occur. Slowly you're starting to see it and the only thing getting in the way of it are those companies with the big money who currently have the old system. That's starting to change as well. For the big money always wants to invest in what it knows is coming next, but it wants to create what is coming next within the framework of what it has "on the shelf." What is on the shelf is oil, coal, dams, and non-renewable resource usage. It hasn't changed much in the last 100 years, has it? Now you will see a change of free choice. You're going to see decisions made in the boardrooms that would have curled the toes of those two generations ago. Now "the worst thing they could do" might become "the best thing they could do." That, dear ones, is a change of free choice concept. When the thinkers of tomorrow see options that were never options before, that is a shift. That was number four. ….”




“… New ideas are things you never thought of. These ideas will be given to you so you will have answers to the most profound questions that your societies have had since you were born. Inventions will bring clean water to every Human on the planet, cheaply and everywhere. Inventions will give you power, cheaply and everywhere. These ideas will wipe out all of the reasons you now have for pollution, and when you look back on it, you'll go, "This solution was always there. Why didn't we think of that? Why didn't we do this sooner?" Because it wasn't time and you were not ready. You hadn't planted the seeds and you were still battling the old energy, deciding whether you were going to terminate yourselves before 2012. Now you didn't…. and now you didn't.

It's funny, what you ponder about, and what your sociologists consider the "great current problems of mankind", for your new ideas will simply eliminate the very concepts of the questions just as they did in the past. Do you remember? Two hundred years ago, the predictions of sociologists said that you would run out of food, since there wasn't enough land to sustain a greater population. Then you discovered crop rotation and fertilizer. Suddenly, each plot of land could produce many times what it could before. Do you remember the predictions that you would run out of wood to heat your homes? Probably not. That was before electricity. It goes on and on.

So today's puzzles are just as quaint, as you will see. (1)How do you strengthen the power grids of your great nations so that they are not vulnerable to failure or don't require massive infrastructure improvement expenditures? Because cold is coming, and you are going to need more power. (2) What can you do about pollution? (3) What about world overpopulation? Some experts will tell you that a pandemic will be the answer; nature [Gaia] will kill off about one-third of the earth's population. The best minds of the century ponder these puzzles and tell you that you are headed for real problems. You have heard these things all your life.

Let me ask you this. (1) What if you could eliminate the power grid altogether? You can and will. (2) What if pollution-creating sources simply go away, due to new ideas and invention, and the environment starts to self-correct? (3) Overpopulation? You assume that humanity will continue to have children at an exponential rate since they are stupid and can't help themselves. This, dear ones, is a consciousness and education issue, and that is going to change. Imagine a zero growth attribute of many countries - something that will be common. Did you notice that some of your children today are actually starting to ponder if they should have any children at all? What a concept! ….”