Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"China Wind Power Capacity Could Reach 1,000 GW By 2050"

Reuters / China's wind power generating capacity, already the world's largest, could reach 1,000 gigawatts by 2050, a study prepared by a think tank of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) showed on Wednesday.

China had more than 41 GW of wind power capacity at the end of 2010.

The potential capacity in 2050 would reduce the country's carbon dioxide emissions by 1.5 gigatonnes per year, roughly equivalent to the combined carbon dioxide emissions of Germany, France and Italy in 2009, the study from the Energy Research Institute under the NDRC showed.

The capacity would generate about 17 percent of China's electricity output in 2050, compared a 1 percent share now.

The International Energy Agency provided technical support for the study.

"Jellyfish image wins wildlife prize" UK

An image of a jellyfish captured off a small uninhabited Scottish island has scooped the top £5,000 prize in this year's British Wildlife Photography Awards.

The photograph taken by Richard Shucksmith from Shetland was snapped at Sula Sgeir, which means Gannet Rock, a remote island 41 miles north of Lewis that is home to a wide array of marine life.

Greg Armfield, photography and film manager at wildlife charity WWF, described the shot as "fantastic".

He said it was "a truly beautiful shot of a jellyfish that perfectly captures its iridescent colours and magical qualities; all the more remarkable that it exists in UK waters."

The competition, now in its third year, awards a top prize to the overall winner and also £1,000 of prizes from Canon for 10 categories, ranging from animal portraits and behaviour to landscapes, urban wildlife and the British seasons.

"Mexico's newest export to US: Water"


SAN DIEGO — Mexico ships televisions, cars, sugar and medical equipment to the United States. Soon, it may be sending water north.

Western states are looking south of the border for water to fill drinking glasses, flush toilets and sprinkle lawns, as four major U.S. water districts help plan one of two huge desalination plant proposals in Playas de Rosarito, about 15 miles south of San Diego. Combined, they would produce 150 million gallons a day, enough to supply more than 300,000 homes on both sides of the border.

The plants are one strategy by both countries to wean themselves from the drought-prone Colorado River, which flows 1,450 miles from the Rocky Mountains to the Sea of Cortez. Decades of friction over the Colorado, in fact, are said to be a hurdle to current desalination negotiations.

The proposed plants have also sparked concerns that American water interests looking to Mexico are simply trying to dodge U.S. environmental reviews and legal challenges.

Desalination plants can blight coastal landscapes, sucking in and killing fish eggs and larvae. They require massive amounts of electricity and dump millions of gallons of brine back into the ocean that can, if not properly disposed, also be harmful to fish.

But desalination has helped quench demand in Australia, Saudi Arabia and other countries lacking fresh water....

Water agencies that supply much of Southern California, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Tijuana, Mexico, are pursuing the plant that would produce 50 million gallons a day in Rosarito near an existing electricity plant. They commissioned a study last year that found no fatal flaws and ordered another one that will include a cost estimate, with an eye toward starting operations in three to five years.

Potential disagreements between the two countries include how the new water stores will be used.

The U.S. agencies want to consider helping pay for the plant and letting Mexico keep the water for booming areas of Tijuana and Rosarito. In exchange, Mexico would surrender some of its allotment from the Colorado River, sparing the cost of laying pipes from the plant to California.

Mexico would never give up water from the Colorado, which feeds seven western U.S. states and northwest Mexico, said Jose Gutierrez, assistant director for binational affairs at Mexico's National Water Commission. Mexico's rights are enshrined in a 1944 treaty.

"The treaty carries great significance in our country. We have to protect it fiercely," Gutierrez said.

The San Diego County Water Authority is also considering a plant at Southern California's Camp Pendleton that would produce up to 150 million gallons a day. Poseidon wants to build one in Huntington Beach, near Los Angeles, that would churn out 50 million gallons a day. Those ideas face significant challenges....

The San Diego agency wants to get 10 percent of the region's water from desalination by 2020 as a way to lessen its dependence on the Colorado River, which is connected by aqueduct about 200 miles away. Tijuana also wants to rely less on the river, a priority that gained urgency after a 2010 earthquake knocked out its aqueduct for about three weeks.