(Chatting to my colleagues at Regen, we really enjoy this, and are wondering what animal we would have in the UK…. we also find it slightly ironic that you can only see it from an aeroplane!)
Cute panda products flock markets and their videos the internet. Now pandas have entered the world of solar energy.
While most solar farms look like an Excel sheet with rows and columns, Datong, China has built a large solar farm shaped like the iconic black and white giant panda.
The 250-acre station will have a have a capacity of 100 megawatts when fully connected, providing 3.2 billion kilowatt-hour of green electricity in 25 years. That is equivalent to saving 1.056 million tonnes of coal, or reducing 2.74 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
Called the Panda Power Plant, the project is an initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It has been built by Chinese company Panda Green Energy. The company’s CEO Li Yuan explains the panda-shape by sharing that “Designing the plant in the shape of a panda could inspire young people and get them interested in the applications of solar power.”
This is only the beginning, further expansions are underway and the power plant will be 1,500 acres when complete in the next 5 years. The Telegraph has reported that ‘Young candidates from around China will be recruited to participate in summer camps at the panda power stations, with a focus on providing them with a deeper understanding of green energies.’
There are also plans to bring panda power stations to Fiji and the Philippines, with the aim of building 100 across the globe over the next five years.
Local focus, global challenges – The winners of a photography competition focused on global sustainability
Congratulations to the winners and shortlisted entries to this fabulous photography competition.
Particular congratulations to the public winner – Bridey Borda from Plymouth College of Arts for her excellent winning picture Waste to Energy
Waste to Energy
Category: Public – Sustainable Plymouth
“My photograph represents a sustainable plymouth, as it shows the waste left over after the process that happens at Plymouth’s Incinerator. Incineration is helping reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, therefore lowering the amount of carbon emissions.” Brides Borda
You can see all the shortlisted photographs here: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/research/institutes/sustainable-earth/photo-competition
Active Energy: Three Mills Invitation to the launch of the new turbine – 3.30 – 5pm Saturday 13th May 2017
At National Mills Weekend
Loraine Leeson and The Geezers invite you to celebrate their latest venture in the Active Energy arts project. A floating water wheel is being placed in the River Lee close to an historic tidal mill. The outflow from the mill pool will turn the wheel, which will then drive an aerator to oxygenate the water and counteract the effects of pollution on the river’s fish and wildlife.
This latest phase of Active Energy is supported by the Hydrocitizenship initiative. Engineer Toby Borland has worked with the team, advised by Thames 21’s Love the Lea, to realise the project. The wheel’s low-cost open source design will be posted on the project web site so that others can take up the idea.
House Mill, Three Mill Lane, Bromley-by-Bow, London E3 3DU
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Nearest tube: Bromley by Bow
Poland just unveiled an amazing new bike path that glows bright blue at night! The path near Lidzbark Warminski is illuminated by phosphor, a synthetic material that lights up after it’s charged by sunlight. Studio Roosegaarde’s Starry Night bike lane inspired TPA Instytut Badań Technicznych Sp. z o.o to create the glowing bike path.
TPA Sp. z o.o. president Igor Ruttmar told Gazeta Wyborcza that the material in the bike path can emit light for around 10 hours. Each day the path collects the energy that enables it to glow at night. Board of Regional Roads in Olsztyn director Waldemar Królikowski said the luminous bike path is meant to improve the safety of people biking at night.
According to Next Nature Network, the luminophores, or “particles” in the bike lane material can emit a variety of colors, and the designers picked blue to best fit in with the surrounding landscape. They also researched the sustainability of the materials they utilized, and how to make the materials as cost effective as possible since the bike lane does cost more than traditional lanes.
While the Starry Night bike path provided inspiration, the technology utilized in the Polish bike lane is quite different from the Van Gogh-themed lane. Studio Roosegaarde’s bike lane drew on LEDs powered by a solar array and “light-collecting paint.” TPA Sp. z o.o.’s bike lane doesn’t require any power sources. The bike lane is still being tested, as it is not known how long the lane will last before it begins to wear out.
In a major commission for Hull 2017, artist Nayan Kulkarni has transformed the historic heart of Hull city centre with Blade, a massive, monumental artwork that will change the way people see and experience Queen Victoria Square.
Kulkarni has taken a 75–metre rotor blade – that you would normally see at the top of a wind turbine – to create this artwork, spectacularly interrupting this newly renovated public space.
Made by hand at the Siemens factory in Hull, these blades are the largest single-cast handmade objects in the world.
B75 rotor blades, made by hand at the Siemens factory in Hull, are the largest single-cast handmade objects in the world. It is one of the first blades to come out of the factory, made by hand by the men and women of Hull.
Multimedia artist Kulkarni, best known for his work with light, said: “Blade seeks to transform Hull’s streetscape through the imposition of a single wind turbine blade. This readymade artwork, 75 metres long, will divide the square forming a temporary impediment to a free flow. Carefully positioned, it will force us to drift around its arabesque edges, our sight taking the place of the breeze. The twisting wing, although inert and at rest in the street, speaks of movement, but not of freedom.”
Blade bisects the square, from Savile Street to Carr Lane, rising to a height of more than 5.5 metres at its tip, allowing double-decker buses to pass underneath. It offers a striking contrast to the familiar facades of the neo-classical Ferens Art Gallery, the Italianate Maritime Museum and Hull City Hall.
Blade is being installed with the support of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 Major Partners Siemens and Green Port Hull and has been made possible by a range of other organisations. It is first in a series of major art commissions that will be installed in public spaces around Hull as part of Look Up, a year-long programme for Hull 2017 that will see different artists creating temporary artworks designed to make people look at and experience the city in new ways.
Despite its size, what is striking about the sculpture is its elegance.
Martin Green, CEO and director, Hull 2017, said: “Nayan Kulkarni’s Blade is a dramatic, yet graceful addition to Hull’s city centre. Despite its size, what is striking about the sculpture is its elegance. Putting this example of state– of– the–art technology against the historic charms of Queen Victoria Square makes you look at this fine public space differently. It’s a structure we would normally expect out at sea and, in a way, it might remind you of a giant sea creature, which seems appropriate with Hull’s maritime history. It’s a magnificent start to our Look Up programme, which will see artists creating site-specific work throughout 2017 for locations around the city.”
Blade will remain in Queen Victoria Square until 18 March. More installations will be unveiled at locations around the city throughout Hull’s City of Culture year as part of the Look Up programme.
Siemens UK chief executive Juergen Maier said: “We’re hugely excited to have worked with Nayan Kulkarni and the City of Culture team on this dramatic, unique installation. This collaboration reflects our desire to make a positive impact as a Hull UK City of Culture 2017 Major Partner. Blade brings to life the engineering and manufacturing excellence of which we are so proud, and makes it tangible for the people of Hull and visitors to the city.
“It feels perfect that Blade – one of hundreds of 75– metre blades we will manufacture in Hull every year – will be a prominent feature during the City of Culture Made In Hull season. We hope people enjoy it. When people see our blades close up, they often comment on how beautifully crafted they are. This installation will enable many thousands of people to appreciate that beauty and scale, in the very heart of the city.”
Following Blade, further details about Look Up, the programme of major public art commissions for Hull 2017, will be announced over the next weeks and months. The next installation, a large-scale work by artist Michael Pinsky, is set to appear at the start of February. Other artists include Bob and Roberta Smith; Tania Kovats; Claire Barber; Chris Dobrowolski; Claire Morgan; and Sarah Daniels. Look Up has been developed in partnership with a number of organisations and companies including The Deep, GF Smith, Hull School of Art and Design and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
Hull City Council has also commissioned new work in the public realm, including work by two of the Look Up artists Michael Pinsky and Nayan Kulkarni, who is creating The Golden Hour, a series of light installations across the city centre that will appear during 2017.
|An Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project ‘Exploring energy and community in the past, present and future’ aims to help to revive public and political conversations about energy by looking in a fresh way at its past, present and future. Artists led by Tipping Point and Visiting arts are working with communities and university researchers.
Story 1: Policy Story: Demanding Times gathers a novel mix of communities of interest around energy policy, and generates new accounts of energy policy and politics past, present and future. Story 2: Industry Story: Future Works is rooted in the English midlands, and seeks to unearth fresh accounts of the long relationship between energy, industrial making and landscape, and explores where it might go next. Story 3: Everyday Story: Life Cycles engages with the role that energy resources have played in shaping communities and everyday life in south Wales.