miércoles, 29 de diciembre de 2010

Creating Life in the Desert

Creating Life in the Desert

Posted by johntarantino1 on Thursday, December 16, 2010 · Comments (0)

Desert Lake City
The Shimizu Corporation of Japan is pioneering new ways to help make life in desert regions more inhabitable. Their plan includes creating giant man-made lakes in the middle of the deserts. The lakes would be filled with seawater fed by canals reaching from the ocean. The lakes would be connected by canals to form a water network which would transform the desert regions into a climate that can support human development.

Artificial islands would then be built in the giant sea lakes to allow the water surrounding the cities to temper the harsh desert climate.

Securing the water would be the most important part of such a project:
1. Multiple seawater lakes, each surrounded by a continuous underground wall reaching all the way to the impermeable layer, are created.
2. Water is recirculated. Pumps are used to transport sea water to lakes. Gravity moves water to neighboring lakes.
3. A network of canals connects the manmade lakes.
4. Artificial islands are formed on the lakes.
5. The transportation network will incorporate both land and water systems.

To create the waterways, the core element of the system, pumps will be used to move water from the ocean to a manmade lake located at a higher elevation. Water collected in the lake will then flow down along natural slopes to many other lakes, eventually returning to the ocean. If necessary, booster pump stations will be established at several locations along the waterways. Creating very large lakes is expected to reduce extreme temperatures and increase humidity, creating a comfortable living environment characterized by mild weather on the artificial islands as well as in the areas around the lakes.

Such a cities would be extremely sustainable once built. Introducing seawater into the lakes will make it possible to cultivate and use marine resources. Seawater greenhouse agriculture, and energy production, fish farming, and Mangrove reforestation all would be possible around these cities.

The canals will be used to transport people and goods, promoting the development of nearby areas as well as the cities established on the manmade islands.

The manmade islands will represent high-tech oases in which technology and nature are harmoniously integrated.

For their energy needs, the cities established on the manmade islands will draw on photovoltaic systems to tap the abundant sunlight or on power-receiving facilities for solar power satellite (SPS) systems constructed on vast stretches of empty desert.

All in all, as our world becomes increasingly crowded, innovative and exciting solutions such as these will be explored in the future. It is certainly an interesting and futuristic concept.

Top 10 Environmental Blogs

Top 10 Environmental Blogs

Posted by johntarantino1 on Friday, December 10, 2010 · Comments (0)

top environmental blogsThere are so many green or environmental blogs that have come out over the years. But which ones are worth reading and which ones are not? Well I've put together a list of environmental blogs which are my most favorite and which are definitely worth a read.

1. The Environmental Blog - We know there are so many environmental blogs on the Internet, but of course we have to put ourselves on the top of the list. The Environmental Blog has gone through a major re-construction and we are poising ourselves for huge growth. The Environmental Blog is an environmental justice, human rights, green tech, green living, and sustainable online news magazine.

2. The Huffington Post Green - The Huffington Post is one of the most comprehensive news sources online today. They have a great set of writers that are solely dedicated to green news.

3. Inhabitat - is a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.

4. TreeHugger - is the leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream. Partial to a modern aesthetic, they strive to be a one-stop shop for green news, solutions, and product information.

5. Eco Geek - they try to answer those everyday questions that come up so you know what you can do to help the planet. But it’s not just about the planet – they want everyone to save money and time, be healthier, and Y! Green covers that, too.

6. Eco Chick - A modern girl's guide to living fabulously green. They also have a published book that you should check out.

7. Green Is Sexy - Learn how much water it takes to create a pair of jeans or a pint of beer, then figure out how to ... Green Is Sexy.

8. Stop Global Warming - Global warming isn't opinion. It's a scientific reality. The science shows that human activity has made enormous impacts to our planet that affect our well-being and survival. We can however begin to make significant repairs to reverse those impacts but only through immediate action. That's why this site urges you to join and have your voice counted.

9. The Sierra Club - Since 1892, the Sierra Club has been working to protect communities, wild places, and the planet itself. They are the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States.

10. Environmental Graffiti - A blog that is written by the people who visit it. Users submit news written with environmental backgrounds of all types.

Cancun Climate Change: One Small Step

"The spirit of co-operation". It's a phrase that has often been used when judging the success or failures of international talks. It's also a spirit that is essential if the world is to adopt a unified approach to tackling rising temperatures and greenhouse gas emissions.

This spirit was notably absent from last year's 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark. Despite high hopes and attendance from many major world leaders, the Copenhagen summit was beset by diplomatic back-biting and confusion.

Although the Copenhagen Accord laid out a framework for global emissions reduction, many countries were displeased with both the details of the agreement and the manner in which it was reached. The Accord was also not legally binding, with countries agreeing only to "take note" of it. For both the developed and the developing world, Copenhagen served only to create a weak agreement and put off all the tough decisions until next year.

Because of this, expectations leading into COP16 in 2010, which took place in Cancun and concluded on 10 December, were relatively modest. Few countries sent their premiers and concerns were beginning to be raised as to whether the UN was still the best place to tackle global issues.
"After a busy two weeks scepticism has given way to cautious optimism."

The negotiations crisis was acknowledged by UNFCCC executive secretary Cristiana Figueres in her address to delegates at the summit's opening ceremony. "The stakes at this particular conference are very high," she said.

"The political stakes are high because the effectiveness and credibility of your multilateral intergovernmental process are in danger. And the environmental stakes are high because we are quickly running out of time to safeguard our future."

After a busy two weeks and numerous nerve-racking setbacks, however, this scepticism has given way to cautious optimism. But what did the summit accomplish, and what challenges remain in the fight to save the world's climate in the lead-up to COP17 in Durban, South Africa?
Moving on from Copenhagen

The solid commitments achieved at the Cancun summit were fairly modest. There was a general agreement announced that echoed the Copenhagen Accord, urging developed countries to cut emissions and asking developing countries to start limiting their emissions growth and planning to reduce it in the future.

A consensus was reached on limiting global climate change to 1.5°C if at all possible, rather than the 2°C stated at Copenhagen. The green climate fund, which aims to mitigate climate change by providing $100bn a year to the developing world by 2020, was also re-emphasised as a major priority.

But a legally-binding emissions reduction plan remains elusive for now. David Symons, a director at energy consultants WSP Environment & Energy, says that while the summit was low on solid commitments, it remains promising because of the resurgence of that spirit of co-operation that was so lacking from Copenhagen. "We don't have new specific targets for curbing greenhouse gas emissions, so in some respects, you could say it's still relatively business as usual," he says. "But we've made a lot of progress, and I believe there is a lot more spirit of co-operation. It seems that there's more goodwill in the tank now."

Symons' optimistic sentiments are echoed by Will Tucker, Oxfam UK's climate change campaign leader. "The talks and negotiations have come off the life support machine, and there is the opportunity for world leaders now to get them back on track and for negotiations to progress towards the FAB [fair, adequate and binding] deal for which we've been campaigning for a few years now."

Partly as a result of the collaborative spirit coming out of the Cancun summit, both Tucker and Symons believe that the EU is now more likely to take the bold move of upping its carbon reduction commitment to 30% from 1990 levels, in the hopes that other countries will follow suit. "I believe it's now considered much more likely that Europe will move to that 30%," says Symons. "If they move, hopefully that will also encourage others and so we're then on a collaborative journey."
The Kyoto predicament

One of the major sticking points in the ongoing climate change negotiations is the potential extension of the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 environmental treaty committing developed nations to cutting emissions. The commitment period of the treaty ends on 31 December 2012, and there is currently no successor.

At the Cancun conference several developed countries, most notably Japan, took a hard-line stance against extending the treaty. In an open session of the summit, Jun Arima, an official of the Japanese Government's economics trade and industry department, made an unequivocal statement on the matter: "Japan will not inscribe its target under the Kyoto Protocol on any conditions or under any circumstances."

An unnamed British delegate told the Guardian newspaper at the time: "For Japan to come out with a statement like that at the beginning of the talks is significant. The forthrightness of the statement took people by surprise."

For Symons, Japan's position is a negotiating stance indicating its push for a more comprehensive agreement. "Remember that under Kyoto," he says, "the only onus is on those Annex I countries to do anything about reducing greenhouse gas emissions. That doesn't include the US, so if you stick with Kyoto, you end up with an agreement that is only committing the developed countries, which is less than a third of carbon emissions in the world, to do anything about emissions.

"If you get Japan saying they're not going to sign up to another round of Kyoto, that's them being honest and it's them encouraging developing countries to say, 'Look, we've got the Copenhagen Accord that we agreed last year, let's build on that rather than falling back to Kyoto which allows the majority of carbon emissions to be just left as they are.'"
Green funding

A green climate fund, originally put forward at the Copenhagen summit, was confirmed for administration by the UN during the Cancun conference to help the developing world both cut down their emissions and adapt to the environmental damage that climate change is already wreaking on eco-systems, especially in tropical regions.

In the short-term, $30bn is being raised to provide immediate support to struggling countries, but UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon stated at the conference that the speed of delivery of these funds should also be coupled with impeccable accountability. "We need to make progress on the actual delivery of funds, along with a transparent and robust accountability system," he told reporters in Cancun.
"One of the sticking points in the climate change negotiations is the extension of Kyoto."

Tucker notes that the real details of the fund are to be decided upon throughout 2011 before receiving final agreement at the next UN climate change conference in South Africa, and the committee responsible for this planning will play a vital role. "I think it's really important that we don't see South Africa as the moment where everything will be decided. One of the things that we're pleased with is the fact that there are now many processes; whether it's the fund or on innovative finances or on upping emissions reduction targets, there's a process through the year building momentum towards Durban."

Among the decisions for the fund to be hammered out over the next 12 months is where the funds will come from. Oxfam favours instituting a Robin Hood-style bank tax, as well as emissions levies on the aviation and international shipping industries. Tucker is also wary of too much of the funding coming from private investment rather than the public sector.

"Greg Barker, the Conservative climate change minister [in the UK] has been saying quite openly that he favours private finance," he says. "We recognise that there is a role for private investment, particularly on the mitigation side of tackling climate change. But it's really important, particularly with the adaptation side of climate finance, that the money is publicly sourced, because we know that private financing just doesn't get to poor people in the same way that public funds do. This is a justice issue for us. People have a right to sustainable livelihoods, and the way that private finance works won't provide them with that right."
Making green technology global

Coupled with providing funds for the developing world, the Cancun participants also set out plans for a "Technology Mechanism" that will facilitate the transfer of green technology to developing countries. This massive incentivisation for green technology transfer includes the establishment of a new technology committee, a climate technology centre, as well as a network to bring green power technology companies together with developing markets.

Symons believes that this development represents a significant opportunity for innovative companies to bring their products to new markets, as well as further their foothold on mature markets looking to switch to renewable technologies. "If you've got the likes of Europe saying it's more likely to move to a 30% target for carbon reduction from 1990 levels, then that represents a substantial opportunity for power tech, just given the contribution that fossil fuel combustion makes to greenhouse gas emissions."

As well as technologies for emissions reduction, Symons highlights the importance of climate change adaptation. "Companies have assets; understanding how climate change is going to impact on those assets will also be important," he says. "That's not just around flooding, that's also around water availability. As a business, we're working quite a lot with power companies on how water availability will change in the future, and how that will impact on their business continuity, on their ability to run their power stations or plants in the future."
"Even with the dust of the Cancun summit only beginning to settle, observers are already casting their eyes to COP17 in Durban."
Durban on the horizon

Even with the dust of the Cancun summit only beginning to settle, observers are already casting their eyes to COP17 in Durban. Cancun set out a raft of climate change plans, the details of which must be mulled over through 2011, leading up to South Africa in December. This will put significant pressure on talks throughout the year, as they will be essential to setting the groundwork for making final, hopefully binding, agreements on global co-operation against climate change.

One thing that the Cancun summit has achieved is the validation of the UN as the premier platform for approaching global problems with a global effort.

"These problems don't separate themselves out across the boundaries of Europe or American or East Asia," says Tucker. "They are global in scale and the UN is the forum for sorting out these issues. That doesn't mean, though, that different blocs of countries can't progress their positions in their own situations. It would be really positive for Europe to make that bold step and up its emissions reduction target in the first quarter or half of next year. That's quite a legitimate thing to happen outside of the UN process, and it has a nice feedback loop into the UN process as well."

With luck, the hesitant but positive steps taken at Cancun will herald a new period of international optimism and partnership on the issue of climate change. As Symons says, combating climate change does not have to be seen as a yoke around the neck of international growth. "For me, that's the wrong way of looking at it," he says. "If you look at it not as a business challenge to overcome, but as a leadership and innovation race, and to see the opportunities from developing low-carbon or climate-adapted technologies, you start doing things, you start investing in things. And that's a terrific opportunity for countries and a terrific opportunity for business. It's not a barrier to growth."

Solar Power

Solar power is the flow of energy from the sun. The primary forms of solar energy are heat and light. Sunlight and heat are transformed and absorbed by the environment in a multitude of ways. Some of these transformations result in renewable energy flows such as biomass, wind and waves. Effects such as the jet stream, the Gulf Stream and the water cycle are also the result of solar energy's absorption in the environment.
Solar energy also broadly describes technologies that utilize sunlight. The applications are diverse and date back millennia. The Greeks, Native Americans and Chinese warmed their buildings by orienting them toward the sun. European farmers used elaborate field orientation and thermal mass to increase crop yields during the Little Ice Age. Modern solar technologies continue to harness the sun to provide water heating, daylighting and even flight.The term solar power specifically describes technologies that convert sunlight into electricity or mechanical power. In 1866, the French engineer Auguste Mouchout successfully powered a steam engine with sunlight. This is the first known example of a solar powered mechanical device. Over the next 50 years inventors such as John Ericsson, Charles Tellier and Frank Shuman developed solar powered devices for irrigation, refrigeration and locomotion. The progeny of these early developments are concentrating solar power plants.The modern age of solar power arrived in 1954 when researchers at Bell Laboratories developed a solar cell capable of effectively converting light into electricity. This breakthrough marked a fundamental change in how power is generated. Since then solar cells efficiencies have improved from 6% to 15% with experimental cells reaching efficiencies over 40%. Prices on the other hand have fallen from $300 per watt to less than $3 per watt.The utilization of solar energy spans from traditional technologies that provide food, heat and light to electricity which is uniquely modern. The diversity of form and long history of solar energy are manifest in a wide variety of applications. These include:

* Heat (hot water, building heat, cooking, process heat)
* Lighting (daylighting, hybrid lighting, daylight savings time)
* Electricity generation (photovoltaics, heat engines)
* Transportation (solar car, solar plane, solar boat)
* Desalination
* Biomass (wood, biofuel)
* Clothes drying

Stronger green energy policies can help G-20 nations, wind power and the planet

Nations can experience tremendous renewable energy investment growth over the next decade by adopting enhanced energy and climate policies, according to a new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

The 77-page report found investments in wind power and other renewable energy assets in G-20 countries are projected to reach $189 billion by 2020 if governments implement no additional policies.

Financing increases to $212 billion if the G-20 countries enact the pledges they made shortly after the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen last December.

The report released Wednesday also found investment could reach $337 billion annually in 2020 — a 160% increase compared with 2010 investments in renewable energy assets — if “comprehensive and effective measures are introduced” to take full advantage of the global clean energy economy.

In terms of the European Union, the report said, “Member States are expected to attract $56 billion in annual investments by 2020 under current policies, $62 billion if Copenhagen pledges are met and $85 billion if enhanced clean energy policies are pursued.”

Members of the world’s wealthiest nations, or the G-20, include the EU, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.

The report said neither current policies nor emission-reduction targets pledged under the Copenhagen Accord can maximize renewable energy investment or meet goals for curbing global warming.

“If clean energy policies are strengthened significantly in the coming years, we project that $2.3 trillion will be invested in clean power assets over the next 10 years, offering companies and countries enormous opportunities to compete for investments, jobs and export markets,” the report said.

The report also noted “wind energy will continue to be the leading recipient of large-scale asset financing through 2020, reflecting its status as a relatively mature and cost-competitive, large-scale clean energy technology.”

Under the enhanced clean energy scenario, the report says, asset financing in wind is projected to be $190 billion — an increase of 222% over 10 years.

The report was published at the same time that the UN annual conference on climate change is taking place in Cancun.

In addition, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has just published a report saying Europe needs to increase its cuts to greenhouse gas emissions from 20% to 30% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels to boost economic growth, maintain its technology leadership and keep climate change in check. The EWEA report also says wind energy can play a crucial role in helping Europe meet a 30% target.

viernes, 8 de octubre de 2010

Los Jets de Nueva York con mucha energía entra en la liga de fútbol americano

Los Jets de Nueva York y Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited, propietaria de la marca Yingli Solar, han anunciado que ha concluido la instalación de una planta solar fotovoltaica en el estadio de los Jets y en el centro de entrenamiento de Florham Park, en Nueva Jersey.

Tres mil paneles solares de Yingli Solar coronan la tribuna del estadio y bordean su aparcamiento. El propietario del sistema es Syncarpha Capital, que venderá la electricidad que produzca a los New York Jets bajo un acuerdo a largo plazo Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Se estima que la instalación aportará más de 750.000 kWh de electricidad cada año, reduciendo las emisiones de CO2 en 540 toneladas y ahorrando decenas de miles de dólares en la factura eléctrica del equipo.

“Los Jets de Nueva York están entusiasmados con la idea de de ser de los primeros en introducir la energía solar en la NFL. Cuando decidimos incorporar la energía solar en el centro de entrenamiento Atlantic Health, lo que nos movía era nuestro compromiso con el medio ambiente”, afirma Thad Sheely, Vicepresidente Ejecutivo de Finanzas y Desarrollo del Estadio de los Jets de Nueva York. “Estamos muy orgullosos de ser verdes tanto en el color de nuestro equipo como en nuestras acciones. Hemos elegido los socios adecuados, y estamos muy satisfechos con lo que esta instalación va a representar para nuestra organización, nuestra comunidad y, con un poco de suerte, esperamos que sirva de inspiración para toda la liga”.

De la misma manera, Robert Petrina, Director General de Yingli Green Energy America, ha asegurado que “estamos entusiasmados con la colaboración a largo plazo establecida con los Jets de Nueva York, y de asociar nuestra marca con el deporte más popular de América”.

Mucho mas en: www.yinglisolar.com

lunes, 8 de diciembre de 2008

“La energía eólica ha sido una buena apuesta y un buen negocio para España”

Uno no dice todos los días eso de “hoy es el día más importante de …”. El presidente de la Asociación Empresarial Eólica (AEE), José Donoso, lo ha dicho esta mañana durante la presentación del “Estudio macroeconómico del impacto del sector eólico en España”. Se refería a su etapa como presidente de la AEE. Y es que los números de ese estudio deberían acabar de un plumazo con las acusaciones de caras y subvencionadas que sufre la eólica constantemente. El Ministerio de Industria parece darse por enterado.

La eólica contribuyó directamente al PIB con 1.933 millones de euros (0,21%) en 2007 y tuvo un efecto arrastre por valor de 1.337 millones (0,14%). En total, la eólica aporta directa e indirectamente 3.270 millones de euros al PIB español, lo que representa el 0,35%. Es una contribución superior a sectores como el del cuero, el calzado o la pesca.

Exportó por valor de 2.550 millones y contribuyó fiscalmente con 189 millones. Invirtió en I+D+i 174 millones y creó 37.730 empleos, 20.781 de ellos directos. Evitó la emisión de 18 millones de toneladas de CO2 y la importación de 5,7 millones de toneladas equivalentes de petróleo (tep) de combustibles fósiles. Y todo ello para cubrir ya más del 10% de la demanda eléctrica.

Con datos así es difícil tener un mal día. “La energía eólica ha sido una buena apuesta y un buen negocio para España”, repite el presidente de la AEE. El estudio, elaborado por la consultora Deloitte, desmenuza las magnitudes que conlleva el desarrollo de la energía del viento en nuestro país, centrado en el periodo 2003–2007, y una previsión de evolución hasta 2012. Previsión que podría situar la contribución total al PIB en 2010 en un 0,42%, y alcanzar el 0,45% en el año 2012.

Uno de los temas en los que más se ha incidido esta mañana es la comparación entre las primas que recibe el sector y los beneficios económicos que genera. Para ello han utilizado una balanza. En un lado, los 991 millones de euros de primas en 2007. En el otro, el valor del PIB, las exportaciones netas, las emisiones de CO2 evitadas, la inversión en I+D+i, las importaciones de combustibles fósiles que se han ahorrado, la balanza fiscal y los empleos. ¿Total? Más de 25.000 millones.

“Nosotros no estamos contribuyendo al déficit tarifario. El déficit es un problema coyuntural motivado por una mala regulación”, insiste José Donoso. “Y lo que queremos con este estudio es que los gestores políticos tengan todos los elementos para tomar las decisiones que afectan a la eólica”.

Un debate pobre
En la presentación estaba también Jorge Sanz, director general de Energía del Ministerio de Industria que, como él mismo apuntó, se encontró con “los problemas del directo” al tener que sustituir a última hora al ministro, Miguel Sebastián. Jorge Sanz reconoció que el debate de la integración económica de la eólica y de las renovables en general “ha sido hasta ahora bastante pobre”.

Ese debate “debería hacerse con análisis coste–beneficio y es preciso compararlo a lo largo de un horizonte temporal. No se ha hecho aún y ésta es la primera vez que se hace un trabajo serio que nos va a ayudar a tomar decisiones”, apuntó Sanz. Daba la impresión de que el Ministerio, por primera vez, tomaba consciencia de todo lo que hay detrás de la eólica, más allá de las primas.

El director general de Energía también apuntó que “la apuesta por las renovables depende de su integración en el sistema eléctrico. La gestión de la demanda puede ayudar. Y ahí está también el compromiso del Ministerio con el desarrollo del coche eléctrico”. La AEE ha confirmado que está haciendo precisamente un estudio sobre las implicaciones entre eólica y coche eléctrico pero no quieren adelantar resultados.

domingo, 7 de diciembre de 2008

El cambio que no puede esperar

Tal vez se ha dejado el cambio climático en la chistera para la sorpresa final. O tal vez se desmarque Obama con otro de esos tibios nombramientos, ni fríos ni calientes, para contentar sobre todo a los republicanos y dejar las cosas más o menos como están.

Ya puede andarse con tiento esta vez. Ya puede hilar Obama fino a la hora de elegir el secretario de Energía, al director de la Agencia de Medio Ambiente y al embajador volante para el cambio climático, o los ecologistas que han puesto la fe ciega en él no se lo van a perdonar. Si hay un cambio que no puede esperar es precisamente éste, después de estos ocho años de ceguera absoluta e inmovilismo total.
Efectos del calentamiento global en las regiones más frías.

Efectos del calentamiento global en las regiones más frías.

Treinta grupos han unido ya fuerzas para reclamarle a Obama que pase a la acción y ponga a Estados Unidos a la cabeza de la lucha contra el calentamiento global. Miles de ciudadanos han firmado la carta al presidente electo elaborada por Worldchanging y recordándole su compromiso de reducir las emisiones e impulsar las renovables.

La primera prueba de fuego la vemos estos días en la cumbre de Poznan, donde está John Kerry como emisario de Obama, midiéndose a los 'dinosaurios' Vaclav Klaus y Silvio Berlusconi, supervivientes de la era Bush, empeñados en anclar el mundo en el pleistoceno de los combustibles fósiles. Sólo faltaba que ahora que cambian los vientos en Estados Unidos, cambien también las tornas en Europa, pero en sentido contrario.

Dice Kerry que llega a Polonia con la misión de "liderar a la comunidad global a la hora de hacer frente al reto del cambio climático". Pero luego recula y advierte que habrá que "evaluar lo que es posible, dadas las circunstancias económicas". Los titulares agoreros ya lo anticipan: "La crisis puede limitar el movimiento hacia las energías limpias".

Obama anunció hace días el compromiso de crear 2,5 millones de trabajos impulsando la reconversión energética, pero procuró no hablar de un New Deal 'verde' ni exhibir una excesiva pasión. Nunca se ha destacado Obama por su entusiasmo hacia las renovables, todo hay que decirlo. Digamos que se subió sobre la marcha al coche híbrido de John Podesta, que ahora dirige su equipo de transición y que hace unos meses se desmarcó con una llamada a la Recuperación Verde.

Pero en su equipo hay fuerzas ambivalentes. Su estratega de campaña y futuro hombre para todo en la Casa Blanca David Axelrod fue asesor del gigante nuclear Exelon, que contribuyó muy generosamente a su campaña. Uno de sus consejeros más cercanos, Jason Grumet, aspirante a secretario de Energía, es un 'insider' de Washington muy vinculado a los dos partidos y a los lobbys de la industria.

Tiene también Obama asesores a la izquierda como el profesor de Berkeley Daniel Kammen, de la cuerda de Jeremy Rifkin y su tercera revolución industrial. Se habla de candidatos como la gobernadora de Kansas Kathleen Sebelius, impulsora de la energía eólica, o el gobernador de Pensilvania Ed Rendell, o el biólogo Dan Reicher, al frente del departamento de iniciativas energéticas de Google.

Al Gore parece haber dicho ya que no al puesto de embajador volante o 'zar' para el cambio climático. El puesto se lo disputan ahora el propio John Podesta y la ex directora de la Agencia de Medio Ambiente Carol Browner, con el permiso de Arnold Schwarzenegger o de su impagable asesor para asuntos ambientales Terry Tamminen, a quien entrevistamos hace tiempo.

Robert Kennedy es el nombre más deseado para dirigir la Agencia de Medio Ambiente (pese a su oposición a la central eólica frente a la mansión de los Kennedy en las costas de Massachusetts), aunque la artífice de la Ley del Clima de California, Mary Nichols, viene también pisando fuerte.

El 'cambio' en el que podemos creer tiene una última y acaso definitiva oportunidad. Los molinos siguen girando a la espera.

España y Japón suscriben un acuerdo bilateral para impulsar las energías renovables

El Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico e Industrial (CDTI) ha suscrito hoy un acuerdo de colaboración con su homólogo japonés, la Organización para el Desarrollo de Nuevas Energías y Tecnología Industrial (NEDO). El acuerdo bilateral pretende impulsar la colaboración de las empresas de ambos países para proyectos de investigación. Los principales campos de actuación serán las energías renovables y las tecnologías de la información.

Las empresas españolas y japonesas desarrollarán conjuntamente proyectos de I+D+i a partir del Acuerdo de Cooperación Bilateral firmado hoy por el director general de CDTI, Maurici Lucena, y el presidente de NEDO, el señor Murata.

El acto de firma estuvo presidido por la ministra de Ciencia e Innovación, Cristina Garmendia, quien subrayó que “éste es un ejemplo de nuestra apuesta por la internacionalización del sistema español de educación superior, investigación, desarrollo e innovación con Japón, que es una referencia global en todos estos ámbitos”.

Con este acuerdo se iniciará un programa de colaboración de los dos países cuyo objetivo es potenciar el desarrollo de proyectos de investigación cercanos al mercado, principalmente sobre energías renovables como la fotovoltaica y la térmica, con especial énfasis en la problemática de su almacenamiento.

Japón destina en la actualidad el 3,62% de su PIB a la investigación científica, con la característica de que más del 80% de dicha inversión es realizada por el sector privado. Los expertos de NEDO, que han visitado en varias ocasiones nuestro país, están interesados especialmente en el desarrollo de proyectos en el sector energético.

Garmendia también anunció el reciente acuerdo alcanzado por el ministerio de ciencia japonés para colaborar con la Agencia Japonesa de la Ciencia y la Tecnología (JST, por sus siglas en inglés) en el campo de la nanotecnología y los materiales, y que tiene previsto extenderse a estudios como el del robot humanoide.

La noticia ha sido publicada esta semana por el Servicio de Información y Noticias Científicas de la Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología, dependiente del Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación.

El taxi solar llega a Poznan

Con el jefe de la Secretaría para el Cambio Climático de Naciones Unidas, Ivo de Boer, como pasajero, el taxi solar ha llegado hoy a la ciudad polaca de Poznan, donde se está debatiendo el protocolo de Kioto II. El vehículo lleva recorridos más de 50.000 km alrededor del mundo funcionando solo con energía solar, demostrando que las energías limpias están listas para su uso.

Al frente de la aventura se encuentra el suizo Louis Palmer, conductor e impulsor de este singuar vehículo que inició su recorrido en julio de 2007, en la ciudad suiza de Lucerna. El taxi lleva recorridos ya 52.000 km a través de 38 países –de los cinco continentes– portando por el mundo un mensaje de advertencia sobre el cambio climático. Entre los pasajeros que han ocupado el vehículo figura el Secretario General de Naciones Unidas, Ban Ki-moon.

El vehículo alcanza una velocidad máxima de 90 kilómetros por hora y funciona con células solares Q-Cells colocadas en el techo. El 40% de la energía es producida por estas células y almacenada en una batería que lleva incorporada el automóvil. El resto de la energía necesaria para su funcionamiento, obtenida a través de una instalación solar en Suiza, fue vertida en la batería del vehículo.

El coche solar, que ha sido desarrollado por una sociedad en la que participan cuatro universidades suizas, cuenta con dos cámaras de vídeo, ordenador, sistema de monitoreo, sistema de posicionamiento geográfico (GPS) y música. Todos los detalles de la aventura están siendo recogidos en solartaxi.com y asimismo comentados en blogs escritos en diversos idiomas.

El proyecto cuenta con el patrocinio del Programa de Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente. y el apoyo de numerosas empresas y entidades.