The first threat to the electricity grid comes from nature. Severe weather disasters resulting in power outages cause between US$25 billion and $70 billion in the U.S. each year – and that’s average years, not those including increasingly frequent major storms, like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Without electricity from civilian power plants, the most advanced military in world history could be crippled. The U.S. Department of Energy has begged for new authority to defend against weaknesses in the grid in a nearly 500-page comprehensive study issued in January 2017 warning that it’s only a matter of time before the grid fails, due to disaster or attack. A new study reveals the three ways American military bases’ electrical power sources are threatened, and shows how the U.S. military could take advantage of solar power to significantly improve national security.
Incorporating nature into the workplace can take many different forms including living green walls, indoor trees and planter boxes. Just being able to see nature has been shown to increase both self-esteem and mood, particularly among younger people.
[Attention and concentration is not the same thing. Concentration is exclusion while attention excludes nothing]
~Attention restoration theory suggests that looking at nature can cause the brain to shift into a different mode of processing. Researchers studied brain scans of people who were randomly assigned to look at pictures of a green meadow or a concrete roof for 40 seconds. Even this brief glimpse of nature was enough to shift the brain into a more relaxed mode.
For all their vaunted proximity to the seas that have shaped their ancient city, locals feel the absence of nature keenly in Istanbul. A master plan by Gensler and U.S.-based design firm Dror will reintegrate Istanbul’s waterfront within the ancient city’s urban fabric for the first time in centuries.
A thousand years of Venetian records, maps and images could digitally reconstruct this city’s deep history, giving researchers insight into urban life, from disease patterns to trade trends.
Machine-learning project will analyse 1,000 years of maps and manuscripts from the floating city’s golden age. The ‘time machine’ reconstructs ancient Venice social networks.
The emerging field of plasmonics may usher in new clean & sustainable technologies & desalination systems to avert a future global water crisis. Plasmonic materials contain features, patterns & elements that enable unprecedented control of light by harnessing clouds of electrons called surface plasmons.
The name plasmon derives from the physical plasma as a state of matter in which the atoms are ionized.
Renewables were the biggest new source of electricity last year as the cost of building new wind and solar farms fell.
Clean energy provided 55 percent of all new capacity added worldwide, the most ever, and total investment was about double the amount for generators driven by fossil fuels, according to a report published Thursday by UN Environment, the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Investment in clean power dropped 23 percent from 2015 to $241.6 billion, meaning that the new capacity installed came at a lower price. The average capital expenditure for a megawatt of wind and solar fell more than 10 percent, according to the study, and they are some of the cheapest sources of electricity in some countries.
“Renewables are much more competitive than they were five years ago,” Angus McCrone, chief editor at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in an interview. “In an increasing number of places, wind and solar may be the cheapest option.”
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|An artistic rendition of the Thermoheliodome, a pavillion that cools itself via evaporation using mirrored panels that reflect heat toward water-cooled pipes. It is one of several energy-saving concepts from Forrest Meggers, who is jointly appointed in Princeton’s School of Architecture and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment.
Cities sprawl and tangle, juxtaposing ancient public squares and glistening skyscrapers. They provide homes for half of humanity, and economic and cultural centers for the rest.