Clean-tech investors, like those that swarmed the U.N. headquarters last week, have been drooling over investment prospects in suddenly-green China. Maybe it’s time to curb the enthusiasm.
“China expects local capital to fund 90 percent of the infrastructure and other investment needed to meet its goal to get 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020,” a top Chinese environmental official told Reuters at a climate-change shindig in Monaco (following Bali and Honolulu, yet another hardship destination for climate negotiators.)
China recently passed a renewable-energy law similar to the European Union’s that mandates a big increase in the use of clean energy like wind- and solar power over the next decade. And in China, a big percentage increase means a big increase: To make wind power 10% of the installed electricity capacity — an amount that the wind industry says is realistic – China needs to install 120 gigawatts of wind turbines. Perspective check: That’s more wind power than currently installed worldwide, or two entire Spains, or roughly 120 mid-sized nuclear plants.
Environmental Capital – WSJ.com : China: Going Green, Going It Alone.
Last November, a southern Italian village of Torraca proclaimed itself as the world’s first “LED city.” The town installed 700 LED street lamps that are powered by photovoltaic panels, making it a self-sustainable system.
South Korean towns and regional governments are fast catching up. Along with many other towns, Bucheon city has replaced its old halogen street lamps on the city hall plaza with Fawoo’s LED bulbs. The new lamps have six times the life expectancy of halogen lamps, and consume about 28,000 won of electricity per year, compared to 85,000 won. Such a low maintenance cost, the firm says, is enough to offset the hefty price of 160,000 won per lamp in a few years, compared to 40,000 won of halogen lamps.
Read more @ The Korea Times Environmentalism Sheds Brighter Light on Low-Energy Lighting
Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s initiative for renewable and alternative energy and clean technology, and Hydrogen Energy, the joint venture between BP Alternative Energy and Rio Tinto, announced the signing of an agreement to work together on the front-end engineering design of an industrial-scale hydrogen-fired power generation project with capture of the carbon dioxide (CO2), which would then be available for transportation and storage.
Masdar and Hydrogen Energy plan clean energy plant in Abu Dhabi | ADFEC.
The owners of San Francisco’s Parkmerced want to add nearly 5,700 homes to the World War II-era rental housing complex, an ambitious renovation that could rank as one of the greenest in the country.
Over 20 years, the developer says, the minimum $1.2 billion project would take the 115-acre property off the power grid by employing wind turbines and other low-emission energy sources, slash water consumption through improved plumbing and recycling, and halve tenants’ automobile use by, among other things, adding public transportation options.
“I almost consider it a moral obligation in a project of this size to be responsible and do whatever we can do to help confront the problem of climate change,” said Craig Hartman, lead architect on the project and partner with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP.
Read more at Grand green vision for S.F.’s Parkmerced – SFGate.com – James Temple
Part 1 by Pam Baker looking at different models of the future cities and talking about the practicalities of Hyperstructures,
Issues raised about building and maintaining Hyperstructures by the author and interviewees include:
– Fire Protection
– Waste Management
– Hydraulics and Maintenance
Baker also talks about Dongtan on Chongming Island near Shanghai and its future of 500,000 people and sustainable design
Technology News: Future Tech: Cities of the Future, Part 1: The Hyperstructure Concept.– Pam Baker
The second part of this series looks at City planning and Environment.
A good summary looks at the past and also the future of city planning and models for different continents based on population (Asia – Hypercites and America – architectural experimentation and knowledge societies)
Technology News: Future Tech: Cities of the Future, Part 2: If We Build Them, Will We Stay?.
MacWorld review a program loved by many landscape architects for its intuitive design layout and ability for the trained to produce great designs with ease.
MacWorld goes through all the new changes to Vectorworks 2008 such as Heads-up display, Workgroup Management, Import Export with ACAD 2008, Streamlining of Viewports. The review also looks at Landmark with its improved plant palette and image geo-referencing with shp files.
Read more at MacWorld