Archive for November, 2013

29 November

Comet ISON Survived Perihelion (Grazing With The Sun) On Thanksgiving !

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Comet_ISON_(C/2012_S1)_by_TRAPPIST_on_2013-11-15

Great news! We earthlings inhabiting the Northern Hemisphere might be able to get a “once in a lifetime light show” in December, compliment of Comet ISON. Comet ISON  (aka C/2012 S1. The ‘C’ means that it is a non-periodic comet, the ‘S’ means September and the ‘1″ means it was the first that discovered that month. It’s more common name (ISON) comes from the Russia-based International Scientific Optical Network which first discovered it.) passed the Sun on November 28, 2013 when it was about 1 million miles or 1.6 million km from the Sun ( in space terms, it basically means grazing the Sun) and will reach the minimum distance from Earth (64.2 million km) on Dec. 26, 2013. The European Space Agency previously declared ISON’s death on Twitter late on Thursday, but now backtracks, saying Comet ISON  “continues to surprise.”  New images of faint smudge on a screen showed a streak of light moving away from the sun that brings us a sliver of hope that Comet ISON may have survived the grazing with the sun!


 

STEREO-B COR2 image of c/2012 S1 or Comet ISON re-emerging about 7 hours after perihelion

“It certainly appears as if there is an object there that is emitting material,” said Alan Fitzsimmons, an astronomer at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Comet ISON is one of the Sungrazing comets: A sungrazing comet is a comet that passes extremely close to the Sun at perihelion

Comet position of C/2012 S1 on December 11, 2013 after perihelion

– sometimes within a few thousand km (kilometers) of the Sun’s surface. While small sungrazers can be completely evaporated during such a close approach to the Sun, larger sungrazers can survive many perihelion passages. However, the strong evaporation and tidal forces they experience often lead to their fragmentation. Comet ISON is also known as  Comet Nevski–Novichonok,  a sungrazing comet discovered on September 21, 2012, by Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok. The discovery was made using the 0.4-meter (16 in) reflector of the International Scientific Optical Network (ISON) nearKislovodsk, Russia. Data processing was carried out by automated asteroid-discovery program CoLiTec. Precovery images by the Mount Lemmon Survey

Comet C2012 S1 (ISON) seen from the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter on October 8, 2013, as it passes through the constellation of Leo (credit: wikimedia commons)

from December 28, 2011, and by Pan-STARRS from January 28, 2012, were quickly located. Follow-up observations were made on  September 22 by a team from Remanzacco Observatory in Italy using the iTelescope network. The discovery was announced by the Minor Planet Center on September 24. Observations by Swift in January 2013 suggested that C/2012 S1’s nucleus was around 5 kilometers (3 mi) in diameter. Later estimates were that the nucleus was only about 2 kilometers (1 mi) in diameter. C/2012 S1 was at first suspected to have disintegrated near perihelion, but CIOC members suspect a small fragment of it has survived perihelion passage because a coma has been detected.

The path of C/2012 S1 (ISON) from December 2012 through October 2013 as it passes through Gemini, Cancer, and Leo (credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Axel Mellinger)

Comet ISON, imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope on April 10, 2013-near Jupiter's orbit; also, enhanced (coma model ratio) version (credit: NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay, ST ScI)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, what kind of light show might we be able to expect from Comet ISON or C/2012 S1 ? Its absolute magnitude or intrinsic brightness seems to be between two previous spectacular comets: Comet C/1965 S1 (Ikeya-Seki)

Comet Ikeya-Seki (credit: Roger Lynds/NOAO/AURA/NSF)

and Comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) .

Comet McNaught (source: wikipedia)

Both of these comets passed by the Sun very closely and were possibly the two brightest since the 1930s. Ikeya-Seki of the absolute magnitude 3.9 and McNaught 9.5 . The magnitude system is ordered such that fainter objects have higher values. It is also on a logarithmic scale, where a difference of 2.5 magnitudes corresponds to a factor of 10 in apparent brightness. A 5 magnitude difference is a factor of 100. Given the same distance from the Sun and distance from the Earth, Comet ISON would be roughly 25 times brighter than Comet McNaught and one-seventh as bright as Comet Ikeya-Seki. There may be quite an exciting show awaiting us in December of 2013!

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared) Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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CIOC (NASA Comet ISON Observing Campaign)

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27 November

There Is Hope !

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Peace Ark (China's hospital ship)(credit: wikimedia commons, attribution: http://china-defense.blogspot.com/2010/09/chinese-navy-hospital-ship-sets-sail-on.html)

With respect to our post of Nov. 23, 2013, the Chinese 10,000 tonne capacity hospital ship “Peace Ark” (with the capacity of 300 beds and 428 soldiers, officers, and medical workers aboard), will be of great help to Philippines typhoon victims. Because the ship is very big, patients have to be brought to the ship via ferry. Despite a recent territorial dispute between China and Philippines over a part of the South China Sea (Philippines calls the West Philippine Sea), China had pledged about $1.6 million and sent the Peace Ark to help with Philippines typhoon victims. Such a magnanimous gesture on the  part of China gives us hope that many issues in Asia will be resolvable if all parties will maintain clarity, reason, and approach matters from a collaborative perspective. Let’s hope that any future jousting between China and Japan will only appear on the solar energy scene, vying to be the leader in our renewable energy age….for much of  the challenges we Earthlings will be facing ahead will require collaborations of all nations and resources on our planet.

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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25 November

Good News From FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission)

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Great news to share with you: a response to the recent release from FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) below:

NEWS FOR RELEASE

Sun Through Cloud (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Contact: Sky Stanfield

sstanfield@kfwlaw.com

This release is in response to the announcement and summary provided by FERC on Nov. 21st, the final rule language and decision have not yet been released.

FERC Announces Rule Changes to Facilitate More Efficient Interconnections for Small Renewable Energy Systems

November 22, 2013 – In a far-reaching decision, yesterday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) adopted significant modifications to the agency’s Small Generator Interconnection Procedures (SGIP), which should facilitate a more efficient interconnection process for small renewable generators.

“FERC’s rule changes are an important step forward for interconnection in the United States,” said Jane Weissman, president and CEO of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).  “The changes will enable utilities to more effectively process applications for small generators, while maintaining the safety and reliability of the interconnection process – critically important as the country begins to experience a greater penetration of renewables on transmission and distribution circuits.”

The final language of the rule has not yet been released, but based upon the summary provided by FERC, two particularly significant modifications to the review process were authorized that will enable a greater number of small renewable generators to safely interconnect quickly without the need for a lengthy study process.

First, the current SGIP Fast Track size limit was modified by adopting an approach pioneered by IREC’s work. Instead of utilizing a single threshold across the entire system, IREC proposed adopting a size limit that would vary depending upon the generator type, the voltage of the line at the point of interconnection, the thickness of the wire, and the generator’s distance from the substation.

IREC developed this approach after hearing from utilities across the country regarding the relevant factors that determine what size generator can safely interconnect at different points on the system without the need for detailed study.  Instead of limiting Fast Track access to generators sized below 2 MWs, the newly adopted rule will allow certain appropriately located, inverter-based generators up to 5 MWs to interconnect using this expedited process.

Second, in response to the growing volume of interconnection applications and the number of circuits that are starting to see high penetrations of renewables, FERC modified the supplemental review process to incorporate a 100 percent of minimum load screen along with two additional technical screens that evaluate a generators’ impact on safety, reliability and power quality.

Under this modified rule, if a generator fails any of the initial Fast Track review screens, including the contested 15 percent of peak load screen, it can choose to be reviewed under the supplemental review screens rather than proceeding to full study.

“IREC helped to develop these proposed changes through active engagement with a wide range of stakeholders across the country,” said Sky Stanfield of Keyes, Fox & Wiedman, LLP, who represents IREC in regulatory matters. “We believe these changes at the federal level reflect best practices on interconnection and will act as a model for state procedures across the country.”  Michael Sheehan, an electrical engineer working on behalf of IREC, agrees.  “These updated rules will ensure that small renewable projects meet the safety and reliability needs of both the energy end-user and the utility.”

IREC worked in both California and Hawaii on the development of this improved process and believes it will help maintain the efficiency of the interconnection process across the country.

In its ruling, FERC also adopted an innovative Pre-Application Report that will enable generators to access greater information about existing system conditions prior to submitting a formal application. This process is expected to reduce the overall volume of interconnection requests and help make more efficient use of the existing distribution system. IREC assisted with the development of this process in California and Massachusetts and strongly supports its adoption at FERC.

Finally, FERC’s rule modifications allow generators the opportunity to comment on any upgrades that are determined by the utility to be necessary for interconnection of their system.

About IREC

IREC is a non-profit organization that believes clean energy is critical to achieving a sustainable and economically strong future. To pave this clean energy path, IREC works to expand consumer access to clean energy; generates information and objective analysis grounded in best practices and standards; and leads programs to build a quality clean energy workforce, including a unique credentialing program for training programs and instructors. Since 1982, IREC’s programs and policies have benefitted energy consumers, policymakers, utilities and the clean energy industry. As of July 2013, IREC is an accredited American National Standards Developer. For more information, visit http://www.irecusa.org

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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23 November

Please Consider This Alternative Solution To China-Japan-Taiwan Disputes in East China Sea

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The East China Sea Map, showing surrounding regions, islands, cities, and seas (wikimedia commons)

I’ve been plagued by the issue of China-Japan dispute over the Diaoyu/Senkaku/Tiaoyutai Islands (please refer to our “Let This Not Be The Beginning of WWIII-Nov. 20, 2013 post) during the past two weeks so much that it’s blocked me from writing my other 20 or so posts on solar energy.  Now, I’ve just read an article in The Washington Post by Chico Harlan about China’s new air defense identification zone in East China Sea (including the disputed islands previously mentioned in our Nov. 20, 2013 post).

For better understanding of the historical friction regarding China-Japan-Taiwan sovereignty over a group of islands in the East China Sea, please refer to the video below:


From family, friends, and some people in my community, I’ve received the question, “why worry so much about something that’s happening so far away?” My response, “because I am a pro-Earther”  Some people may not realize how tightly interconnected we all are on the planet Earth. Whatever happens in one region of the planet will have an impact every where on our planet, be it in economics, environment, ethics, social mores…it’s simply a matter of time before it will show up at our own door steps. Relieving and preventing the suffering of another human being or region will ultimately affect our very own existence.

 

We are living in a time when technology will soon be able to solve all kinds of problems. It’d be a pity if some regional warfare will delay the arrival of this day indefinitely. So, here is the proposal I hope will be considered by all parties directly involved (Taiwan-Japan-China):

Declare 20-30 mile radius within the Diaoyu/Senkaku/Tiaoyutai Islands as International waters. So no country actually has ownership to this region (that applies to air as well as water). Let’s face it, none of these countries really has tremendous attachment to these clusters of rocks of uninhabited islands. What they are all eyeing for is the promise of an oil bonanza in the seabed in the area that was suggested by an obscure 1969 United Nations report. If oil reserve is what they are all fighting over, then let’s target this issue directly: Have an arbitration team of neutral (from country such as Switzerland and without ties to America-China-Japan-Taiwan-Russia) scholarly experts (who are familiar with geology of oil reserves and international territorial rights), selected and agreed by China-Japan-Taiwan, to help develop a company formed and funded by China-Japan-Taiwan (ownership proportions worked out by this team of arbitration experts) to explore and extract the oil reserve in this region.  If there truly is oil reserve, then profits will be proportionally shared by China-Japan-Taiwan;if it all turns out to be a sham, then the loss will also be proportionally shared by China-Japan-Taiwan. To insure total impartiality and delicately focused attention of these arbitration experts, I recommend $20+ million for each of their services.

In addition to my previous analogy of “breaking of the glass” in our Nov. 20, 2013 post, I’d like to share a few lessons learned from experts at warfare to increase winnings in life and battles/wars:

The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”- Sun Tzu (military expert & author of The Art of War)

Statue of Sun Tzu, well-known Chinese military strategist also admired by Japanese (in Yurihama, Tottori, in Japan) (wikimedia commons)

 

Always treat each hand on its own merit, without being influenced by hands from any of the previous plays“-  many expert poker players.

Finally, my motivation for writing this piece is the desire to get on with my writing/posting on solar energy. Truly, the real solution to China’s dispute with Japan does not lie in ownership of some rocks of  uninhabited islands, but in alternative clean fuel sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal energies.  As I’ve repeatedly written, solar energy is:  cleaner, safer,  healthier, more readily available, with great sense of timing, and requires fewer moving parts (in March 4, 2011 post) than fossil fuel or oil. If China and Japan simply cannot break away from their past and need to battle it out, let it be on the solar energy scene rather than over the energy of yester years. Then, it will be a brighter and sunnier tomorrow for all of us here on Earth!

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)

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20 November

Let This Not Be The Beginning of WWIII

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Where Diaoyu (PRC)/Senkaku (Japan)/Tiaoyutai (ROC) is located in East China Sea: in red circle above (credit: Wikimedia commons)

Please also see the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PMxZF69lEM:
As I turned on my computer in the morning, there are more  reports of simmering conflict between China and Japan over the three islands in the East China Sea (from September 18, 2013, demonstration march outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, to Japan’s nationalist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe giving order in October, 2013, to shoot down any aircraft, including Chinese surveillance drones, flying over Japanese airspace, then spokesman for China’s Defense Ministry  Geng Yansheng delivering the statement, “Chinese aircraft have never infringed on other countries’ airspace, and China never allows other countries’ aircraft to infringe on China’s airspace, adding that if Japan took such moves, it would be a severe provocation to China and “an act of war, and China will take resolute measures to strike back….” . Now in November, Russian bombers are sighted flying near Japanese air space, putting Japan’s Air Self Defense Force on alert.  What a contrast from our coverage of World Solar Challenge 2013 that just took place in Australia last month, where teams from different countries (including China, Taiwan, and Japan) were all collaborating and full of hope and optimism for all of our future in solar energy. The more reports I’ve read on the China-Japan disputes, the image of “breaking of the glass” of Jewish wedding tradition flashes in my mind’s eye.
 
So, how does “breaking of the glass” fit in? This, to me, was such a bizarre tradition the first time I attended one of my Jewish friends’ wedding. But the older I get and more weddings I’ve attended, the more I have come to appreciate what it represents. It was explained to me as a symbol of:
  1. breaking away from the past in order to start afresh toward the future
  2. breaking down of barriers between people of different cultures and faiths
  3. frailty of human relationships and love and reminding us to treat our relationship with special care
  4. destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem
  5. breaking the glass together-working through challenges together and celebrating successes of life  is best done together
  6. even in the happiest time, we must remember that there is still much suffering in the world

What does it have to do with China-Japan dispute, you might ask.
 

As I’ve previously posted in  my January 4, 2013  post, the Diaoyu Islands (also known as Senkaku Islands among Japanese) are a group of uninhabited islands  east of mainland China, northeast of Taiwan, west of Okinawa Island, and north of the southwestern end of the Ryukyu Islands.  They are currently controlled by Japan and both China and Taiwan claim sovereignty over the islands.  Some of you may wonder why is there such an escalating territorial row between Beijing and Tokyo over these bunch of rocks of uninhabited islands.  Well, the value of Diaoyu islands (Chinese) or Senkaku islands (Japanese) dramatically shot up and became the center of attention after an obscure 1969 United Nations report suggesting the seabed in the area could contain an oil bonanza.  Apparently this document produced from surveys conducted by an international team of experts (including scientists from China and Japan) never gave any estimate of the reserves. It seems, to me, that the mere suggestion of vast reserves that the continental shelf between Taiwan and Japan could hold a staggering 100 billion barrels of oil was enough to set off a territorial scramble.

Professor White, in the Sydney Morning Herald during early part of 2013, wrote that we are now witnessing the types of conditions that have historically led to war, despite the conflict being in no one’s interest.  He further indicated that the war would not necessarily be contained or short.  It does seem laughably unthinkable that the three richest countries of our planet (two of which are nuclear armed) would go to war over something so trivial.  But history reminds us not to confuse what starts a war with what causes it.  The escalation of tit-for-tat without a clear circuit-breaker may lead to some point when shots will be exchanged;once such spiraling to war begins, neither side will win  and it would be devastating not just for China and Japan, but for rest of the planet earth.

Please allow me to reshare parts of my January 10, 2013 post:
Back in July of 2012, China was mulling over the possibility of raising its 2015 photovoltaic target to over 25 GW.  With the concern over sovereignty issue (truthfully, it is an issue over oil reserves) involving Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, need of clean energy sources, and the need to make their economic growth  less dependent on fossil fuel, in January of 2013, China is now aiming to add 10 GW (gigawatts) of installed solar power capacity and 18 GW of installed wind power capacity this year alone.  For a table of China’s renewable energy targets for 2015 and 2020, please click on Reuters.

Truly, the real solution to China’s dispute with Japan does not lie in ownership of some rocks of  uninhabited islands, but in alternative clean fuel sources such as solar and wind energy.  As I’ve repeatedly written, solar energy is:  cleaner, safer,  healthier, more readily available, with great sense of timing, and requires fewer moving parts (in March 4, 2011 post) than fossil fuel or oil.  If one factors into the cost of potential WWIII/nuclear war, it is no wonder the wise leaders in China would have great incentive to increase the rate of installations for solar PV and wind.

Since our initial discussion originated from the territorial row over Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, let’s take a closer look at the cause of the problem numerically.  It is, in essence, a row over the promised potential of accessing 100 billion barrels of oil in that region. But the burning of fossil fuel/oil really would not help the already polluted air quality of either China or Japan.  So, it is a matter of energy/fuel that they are fighting over.  To have a more clear picture of the situation, please view the video clip of Michael Klare, Five Colleges professor of peace and world security studies, available at my January 10, 2013 post:

 
We are in a transitional period when wise, ethical, and skillful international diplomatic politicians are desperately needed who will not only be able to negotiate the last few barrels of oil (without triggering any war), but also be able to convince our government to shift one quarter of our military budget toward research and development in energy alternatives (as suggested by Michael Klare), and cooperate with China and Japan for research and development for renewable energy in the coming century. So we will be able to carry out the most moral and patriotic American path for our future generations. So U.S. , China, and Japan (users of more than half of earth’s energy and producers of half of the earth’s CO2 by 2030) will go down in history not as plunderers of the planet earth but rescuers of the planet earth who worked cooperatively in finding solutions to earth’s energy and pollution problems.

Our planet is suffering, be it in the form of China’s air pollution or Philippines’ typhoon.  What  Russians, Japanese, Filipinos, Chinese, and Americans…all Earthlings need to remind ourselves is that we are all so interconnected that suffering of one or one region will impact all of our planet Earth.  We need to pool our source of time, energy, and natural resources in solving the problem of climate change-pollution-energy rather than wasting them over territorial disputes that may potentially lead us all to total destruction.

 

There is hope! We’ve seen the Chinese government versatile enough to “China does a ‘180’ on air pollution policy to combat its deadly smog” The Japan-China Economic Association will be sending around 180 leaders of major businesses in Japan over to China, in the hope of improving the strained ties between the two East Asian countries. One of the spokespersons for this largest business delegation to visit Beijing since 2011, Fujio Cho, chairman of Toyota Motor Corp,  indicated that they filed a request to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang or Vice Premier Wang Yang. They hope to convince Chinese senior officials from both public and private sectors to start mending ties between the two Asian countries. They will also be showing support for Li’s structural reforms (which includes removing excess production facilities in the country) and government-affiliated firms.

 

At this hour, let’s hope that the leaders in China will receive the business delegation from The China-Japan Economic Association with care. Let’s also hope that the Chinese will offer greater assistance to help relieve the sufferings of Filipinos.

 

Perhaps all of those involved in disputes and negotiations mentioned above would deeply contemplate/visualize the “breaking of the glass” scenario, be free from the historical disputes of the past (be it from China-Japan or Japan-Russia conflicts and sentiment resulting from WWII), in order to break down barriers, protect the frail international relationships, come together to face the challenge of our earthly energy-pollution-climate change problems. Only then, will there be the good luck for us to step into a cleaner, healthier, and safer renewable/solar energy future. Only then, will we be able to call out “Mazel Tov.”

 

(Perhaps if all negotiating members will be breathing in 30-60 minutes of air from oxygen bar prior to all negotiating meetings would also help.)

 

~have a bright and sunny day~
gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)

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  5. www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture
  6. www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture
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3 November

Masdar City-An Experimental City of the Sustainable Future

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Masdar City Building (wikimedia commons)

Today’s post will take you to a city outside  of Abu Dhabi (one of the fastest growing and hottest cities on planet Earth), where the luscious green lawns and spectacular fountains helped to display the fact that Abu Dhabi, even though located in the desert,  is a city harnessing the power of technology  to defy the laws of nature. But Abu Dhabi is not the city I want to focus our attention on today because it relies heavily on fossil fuel, the fuel of yesterday. Instead, I’d like to take you to a City of Tomorrow, the Masdar City, a new and green city built from the scratch just outside of Abu Dhabi, the Masdar City. It is the home to the largest solar power plant in the Middle East, covering  area equivalent to thirty-five football pitches via 88,000 solar panels, producing power for Masdar City and Abu Dhabi. Let’s take a look at this fantastic experimental city in the video below:


Masdar City is a planned eco-city in the United Arab Emirates ,

Masdar City Map

built by Masdar, a subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, with the majority of seed capital provided by the government of Abu Dhabi. It is Designed by the British architectural firm Foster and Partners and engineering and environmental consultancy Mott MacDonald , the city relies entirely on solar energy and other renewable energy sources, with a zero waste ecology. It initially aimed to be a sustainable zero-carbon car free city. Masdar City is being constructed 17 kilometres (11 mi) east-south-east of the city of Abu Dhabi, beside Abu Dhabi International Airport.  Masdar City will host the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The city is designed to be a hub for cleantech companies. Its first tenant is the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, which has been operating in the city since it moved into its campus in September 2010. The city as a whole was originally intended to be completed by 2016 but due to the impact of the global financial crisis, the date has now been pushed back to between 2020 and 2025. Due to the limitations found during the initial implementation, the city is now aiming to be low carbon. The project was projected to cost US$22 billion and take some eight years to build, with the first phase scheduled to be completed and habitable in 2009. Construction began on Masdar City in 2008 and the first six buildings of the city were completed and occupied in October 2010. Phase 1 of the city, the initial 1,000,000 square meters (0.39 sq mi), will be completed in 2015. Final completion is scheduled to occur between 2020 and 2025. The estimated cost of the city has also declined, to between US$18.7 and 19.8 billion. The city is planned to cover 6 square kilometers (2.3 sq mi) and will be home to 45,000 to 50,000 people and 1,500 businesses, primarily commercial and manufacturing facilities specialising in environmentally friendly products, and more than 60,000 workers are expected to commute to the city daily.

The initial design considered that automobiles would be banned within the city as travel will be accomplished via public mass transit and personal rapid transit (PRT) systems,

Podcar at a personal rapid transit (PRT) station in Masdar City (wikimedia)

with existing road and railways connecting to other locations outside the city. The absence of motor vehicles coupled with Masdar’s perimeter wall, designed to keep out the hot desert winds, allows for narrow and shaded streets that help funnel cooler breezes across the city.

In October 2010 it was announced the PRT would not expand beyond the pilot scheme due the cost of creating the undercroft to segregate the system from pedestrian traffic. Subsequently, a test fleet of 10 Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric cars was deployed in 2011 as part of a one-year pilot to test a point-to-point transportation solution for the city as a complement to the PRT and the freight rapid transit (FRT), both of which consist of automated electric-powered vehicles. Under the revised concept, public transport within the city will rely on methods other than the PRTs. Masdar will instead use a mix of electric vehicles and other clean-energy vehicles for mass transit inside the city. The majority of private vehicles will be restricted to parking lots along the city’s perimeter. Abu Dhabi’s existing light rail and metro line will connect Masdar City’s centre with the greater metropolitan area.

The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology

Building and courtyard of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi (wikipedia)

has been behind the engineering plans of Masdar City and is at the center of research and development activities. The institute, developed in cooperation with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, uses 70% less electricity and potable water than normal buildings of similar size and is fitted with a metering system that constantly observes power consumption.

Masdar will employ a variety of renewable power resources. Among the first construction projects will be a 40 to 60 megawatt PV solar power plant,

Masdar rooftop solar panels in city model (wikipedia)

built by the German firm Conergy, which will supply power for all other construction activity. This will later be followed by a larger facility, and additional solar panels will be placed on rooftops to provide supplemental solar energy totalling 130 megawatts. Besides photovoltaics, concentrated solar power (CSP) plants are also being explored. For example, so-called “beam down” CSP plants (be sure to watch the video clip) have been constructed to test the viability of the concept for use in the city. Wind farms will be established outside the city’s perimeter capable of producing up to 20 megawatts, and the city intends to utilize geothermal energy as well. In addition, Masdar plans to host the world’s largest hydrogen power plant.

Water management has been planned in an environmentally sound manner as well. A solar-powered desalination plant will be used to provide the city’s water needs, which is stated to be 60 percent lower than similarly sized communities. Approximately 80 percent of the water used will be recycled and waste water will be reused “as many times as possible,” with this greywater being used for crop irrigation and other purposes.

The city will also attempt to reduce waste to zero. Biological waste will be used to create nutrient-rich soil and fertiliser, and some may also be utilised through waste incineration as an additional power source. Industrial waste, such as plastics and metals, will be recycled or re-purposed for other uses.

The exterior wood used throughout the city is palmwood, a sustainable hardwood-substitute developed by Pacific Green using plantation coconut palms that no longer bear fruit. Palmwood features include the entrance gates, screens and doors.

There are many supporters behind this project:  World Wide Fund for Nature , sustainability group BioRegional. In response to the project’s commitment to zero carbon, zero waste and other environmentally friendly goals, WWF and BioRegional have endorsed Masdar City as an official One Planet Living Community. The project is also supported by Greenpeace, which, however, stresses that there should be more focus on retrofitting existing cities to make them more sustainable rather than constructing new zero-carbon cities from scratch. The US Government has supported the project. The US Department of Energy have signed a partnership agreement with the Masdar group in a deal that will see the two organisations share expertise to support plans on zero-carbon cities. The Alliance to Save Energy honored Masdar City with a 2012 EE Visionary Award in recognition of the city’s contributions to the advancement of energy efficiency.  (wikipedia)

Let’s hope Masdar will not just be an expensive experiment but will truly become the prototype for all cities for our sustainable future.

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on World Solar Challenge 2013 and solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.instagram.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.cafepress.com/sunisthefuture

http://sunisthefuture.logosportswear.com

www.zazzle.com/sunisthefuture

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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2 November

Tomorrow’s Cities of The Venus Project

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)

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Please show your support for Renewable Energy by visiting-signing-sharing Renewable-FIT For Sunshine State!

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To continue our series on alternative future possibilities, please allow me to present to you the video on Tomorrow’s Cities of The Venus Project. Below, is what BBC News commented on this project:

Is it possible to create a radically different society? One where material possessions are unnecessary,where buildings are created in factories, where mundane jobs are automated?

Would you want to live in a city where the main aim of daily life is to improve personal knowledge, enjoy hobbies, or solve problems that could be common to all people in order to improve the standard of living for everyone?

Some may think it is idealistic, but 97-year old architect Jacque Fresco is convinced his vision of the future is far better than how we live today. – BBC News

Let’s take a look at this vision, below:


More about The Venus Project and Jacque Fresco in www.sunisthefuture.net/2013/11/01 post.

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on World Solar Challenge 2013 and solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.instagram.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.cafepress.com/sunisthefuture

http://sunisthefuture.logosportswear.com

www.zazzle.com/sunisthefuture

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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1 November

Optimistic Future in The Venus Project

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Please show your support for Renewable Energy by visiting-signing-sharing Renewable-FIT For Sunshine State!

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Whenever I attend a solar conference or travel to different parts of the world, I like to give out my Sun Is The Future card, to help to spread the message of solar energy use and acquire more friends and

My card-Sun Is The Future, Think Positively About Alternative Future

viewers/readers. As stated in the card (at right), “Think Positively About Alternative Future” is the goal of Sun Is The Future.  So, in this month of November, I’d like to bring you a series of    alternative future possibilities, be it in terms of social values, city planning design, or construction of an environment. After viewing BBC News’ recent reports  regarding conflicts and protests that’s been brewing in Europe and Middle East, I feel compelled to share with you  views of  alternative future that will be of abundance, of clean water and air that will free human beings from wars and wants, free human beings from waste and inequality. Regardless which perspective these different views are coming from, they all have the common belief that solar energy will be playing a significant part of this hopeful future.

I have always viewed myself as a problem solver, but a year ago I came across a fascinating character who truly epitomizes all the traits of “problem solver” . His name is Jacque Fresco, an American self-taught structural designer, architectural designer, concept artist, educator, and futurist.

Jacque Fresco, searching for Utopia and founder/cofounder of The Venus Project

I would like to share with you this video below, showcasing Mr. Fresco’s feasible plan for social change that works toward a peaceful and sustainable global civilization where human beings, technology, and nature coexist where human rights are not only paper proclamations but a way of life.  Allow me to present to you, the man behind The Venus Project.In this video, Mr. Fresco reminds us that we presently have the brains, the know-how, the technology, and the feasibility to build an entirely new civilization. Below, is the description of The Venus Project at www.thevenusproject.com web site:

Jacque Fresco & Roxanne Meadows, Futurists working on The Venus Project

The Venus Project proposes an alternative vision of what the future can be if we apply what we already know in order to achieve a sustainable new world civilization. It calls for a straightforward redesign of our culture in which the age-old inadequacies of war, poverty, hunger, debt and unnecessary human suffering are viewed not only as avoidable, but as totally unacceptable. Anything less will result in a continuation of the same catalogue of problems inherent in today’s world. Today many people believe what is needed is a higher sense of ethical standards and the enactment of international laws to assure a sustainable global society. The Venus Project proposes a system in which automation and technology would be intelligently integrated into an overall holistic socioeconomic design where the primary function would be to maximize the quality of life rather than profit.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at The Venus Project below:


Located in Venus, Florida, The Venus Project research center addresses many of the difficulties we face today and proposes a more appropriate set of values relevant to a sustainable society, with more opportunities and freedoms. If you’d like to see the creation of a radically different society where material possessions are unnecessary, where buildings are created in factories, where mundane jobs are automated, where the main goal of daily life is to improve personal knowledge, enjoy hobbies, or solve problems. Then, check out The Venus Project web site and their campaign at Kickstarter Project page.

Be sure to also check out our next post on Tomorrow’s Cities proposed by The Venus Project.

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on World Solar Challenge 2013 and solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.instagram.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.cafepress.com/sunisthefuture

http://sunisthefuture.logosportswear.com

www.zazzle.com/sunisthefuture

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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