11/09/2020

Panaman kanavasta vesi loppumassa

 The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is seeking bids from contractors for an estimated $2 billion of water-supply infrastructure projects to help solve low water levels attirbuted to climate change that are affecting operations despite conservation measures and new fees. The program is intended to meet the canal’s water needs and local drinking water supply requirements for 50 years.  

03/08/2020

UK: Merituulivoimalan sähkön hinta yhä alemmaksi

UK can have "negative-subsidy" offshore wind online in couple of years
The UK’s contracts for difference (CfD) auctions in September 2019 will likely bring the world’s first "negative-subsidy" offshore wind farms, according to a study led by Imperial College London (ICL) researchers.
A number of tenders in Europe have contracted “subsidy-free” offshore wind energy, but the UK may be the first country to get offshore wind that would actually reduce the electricity bills of homes and businesses, the international team behind the analysis says.
Looking at likely future electricity price trends, the researchers concluded that the price for offshore wind power achieved in the third CfD auctions round is “very likely” to be below the UK wholesale price for electricity over the lifetime of the wind farms. This means that these power plants at sea will be paying money back to the government.
Offshore wind projects with almost 5.5 GW of capacity, to be brought online in the mid-2020s, secured CfDs in the 2019 auctions. The list includes projects like Seagreen 1 and Sofia. The strike prices in the auction arrived at around GBP 40 (USD 51.4/EUR 44) per MWh, or 30% below these reached in the CfD auction held in 2017, and two-thirds lower than the offshore wind strike prices in 2015.
“This amazing progress has been made possible by new technology, economies of scale and efficient supply chains around the North Sea, but also by a decade of concerted policymaking designed to reduce the risk for investing in offshore wind, which has made financing these huge billion-pound projects much cheaper,” said Dr Iain Staffell from the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial.
A fourth CfD auction round is planned for 2021.  [emp]

31/07/2020

Pientalokaavat = Kaikkea hyvää

Espoon paikallislehdessä Länsiväylä oli pieni kirjoitukseni pientalokaavoituksen hyvistä piirteistä. Samalla vähän historiaa.

07/07/2020

USA: Bird-Safe Buildings

Every year in the U.S., about one million birds die as a consequence of collisions with buildings. Now House Passes Bill To Retrofit Federal Buildings To Reduce Bird Collisions. 
Bird-safety enthusiasts, including ENR 2014 Newsmaker Christine Sheppard, are hailing the passage last week, by the U.S. House of Representatives, of H.R. 919 – Bird-Safe Buildings Act. 
Sheppard, director of the glass collisions program at the American Bird Conservancy (ABC), calls the recognition of the issue at the federal level a momentous achievement because, if passed by the Senate and put into law, it will set an example for the entire nation.
The bipartisan bill is designed to reduce bird mortality by calling for federal buildings to incorporate bird-safe building materials and design features. As many as 1 billion (?) birds a year die in collisions with buildings in the U.S. alone, according to ABC. Congressman Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) has been the driving force behind the legislation for more than a decade. The bill will soon be introduced in the Senate, and conservationists are optimistic about its passage, says ABC.

Design Techniques
Many bird-friendly design techniques—such as installing screens or grills on windows and minimizing the use of glass on lower floors—are already used in some federal buildings to control heat and light, or for security. The bill would require the U.S. General Services Administration to apply similar measures, where practicable, to all new and existing federal buildings.
In 2008, ABC founded the only national-level program dedicated to reducing bird deaths from collisions with glass, says Sheppard. Since then, more than 20 states, counties and municipalities have passed bird-friendly legislation.
Last December 2019, the New York City Council passed the nation’s most comprehensive bird-friendly buildings law. According to New York City Audubon's Project Safe Flight, 90,000 to 230,000 birds die after colliding with glass each year during their migrations through New York City alone. [enr]

Tällä viikolla 3 lintua on kuollut lennettyään omakotitaloni ikkunalasiin.

10/04/2020

Saksa: Sähkön hinta -5 c/kWh

German day-ahead power prices plunged as low as EUR -50.26/MWh on an hourly basis for a fourth consecutive Sunday 05.04.2020 amid low demand and high renewables feed-in. 
A total of five consecutive hours saw negative prices between 12:00 and 17:00 CEST, with the hour from 14:00 CEST recording the lowest price. [emp]

10/03/2020

Euroopan suurin aurinkovoimala Espanjaan

Euroopan suurin aurinkovoimala valmistui Espanjassa viime vuoden lopulla. Nasan satelliittikuvat näyttävät nyt, miten kymmenen neliökilometrin alueelle levittäytyneet aurinkopaneelit muuttivat maalaismaisemaa avaruudesta katsottuna. Keskiaikaisen tutkimusmatkailija Núñez de Balboan mukaan nimetty voimala sijaitsee Länsi-Espanjassa Usagren kaupungissa. Sen valmistustyöt kestivät alle vuoden.

 
Aurinkopaneelit peittävät Nasan mukaan lähes 10 neliökilometrin kokoisen alueen. Voimala koostuu 1,4 miljoonasta aurinkopaneelista, ja sen kapasiteetiksi ilmoitetaan 500 MW. Voimalan on määrä tuottaa energiaa 250 000 ihmisen tarpeisiin. [tm]

14/02/2020

UK: Puolet uusiutuvaa sähköä 08.02.2020

Winter storm Ciara has helped the UK set a new wind power generation record last Saturday, when the renewable energy covered 56% of the country’s electricity demand, Kallanish Energy reports.
The storm battered Britain with heavy rain and winds of up to 100 miles per hour over the weekend.

According to data from utility Drax Group, wind power generation supplied as much as 14,880 megawatts (MW) to the national grid early Saturday. Overall on that day, wind generation from both onshore and offshore farms supplied 44.26% of the British demand, or 13,950 MW – beating the Dec. 9, 2019, record.
On Feb. 8, nuclear power accounted for an 18.40% share of demand and gas for 17.73%. Both energy sources are the backbone of power supply in a post-coal UK. [emp]

10/02/2020

EU 2019: Tuuli- ja aurinkosähkö ohittivat hiilivoiman

Last year saw the share of renewables in EU-wide power generation climb to a record high of 34.6%, or 1.8 percentage points higher than in 2018. The electricity produced by wind and solar parks rose by 64 TWh to 569 TWh in 2019 and thus, for the first time, surpassed the amount of coal-fired electricity by 100 TWh. Wind farms generated 14% more electricity in 2019 compared to 2018, while solar power plants experienced a 7% increase in their output. On the other hand, hydropower production went down by more than 6% because of ongoing drought. [emp]

06/02/2020

Terrafamelle lupa uraanin talteenottoon


Terrafamelle lupa uraanin talteenottoon Sotkamossa
Työ- ja elinkeinoministeriö 6.2.2020
Tiedote
Valtioneuvosto myönsi 6.2.2020 Terrafame Oy:lle ydinenergialaissa tarkoitetun luvan kaivos- ja malminrikastustoimintaan. Lupa oikeuttaa yhtiön uraanin talteenottoon Sotkamon kaivoksesta saatavasta malmista. Terrafame jätti lupahakemuksensa valtioneuvostolle lokakuussa 2017.
Valtioneuvosto katsoo päätöksessään, että hanke on yhteiskunnan kokonaisedun mukainen ja täyttää ydin- ja säteilyturvallisuutta koskevat vaatimukset. Ennen käytön aloittamista uraanin talteenottolaitos tarvitsee vielä Säteilyturvakeskuksen (STUK) antaman käynnistämisluvan.
Valtioneuvosto myönsi luvan myös Harjavallan nikkelijalostusyksikössä (Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta Oy) erotetun uraanin talteenottoon, kuitenkin siten, että Sotkamoon siirrettävän uraanin enimmäismäärä on enintään 10 000 kg. Kyseessä on Sotkamon kaivokselta jatkojalostukseen toimitetun materiaalin mukana Harjavallan nikkelijalostusyksikköön (Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta Oy) vuosina 2011-2015 päätynyt uraani.
Uraanin talteenottoa varten ei kaivoksesta erikseen louhittaisi malmia, vaan talteenotto tapahtuu prosessiliuoksesta. Uraani voidaan erottaa prosessista sinkkisulfidin saostuksen jälkeen erillisessä talteenottolaitoksessa. Laitos on jo valmiina kaivosalueella.
Saatavan uraani-puolituotteen tuotantomääräksi arvioidaan enintään 250 uraanitonnia vuodessa. Se kuljetetaan Terrafamen laitokselta ns. Yellow cake -puolituotteena ulkomaille jatkojalostukseen, jossa siitä valmistetaan ydinvoimalaitosten polttoaineeksi sopivaa raaka-ainetta.
Jatkojalostusta varten tuote kuljetetaan kansallisesti ja kansainvälisesti hyväksytyille, kansainvälisen atomienergiajärjestön (IAEA) ydinmateriaalivalvonnan piiriin kuuluville laitoksille. Näin varmistetaan, että uraani hyödynnetään vastuullisesti ja vain rauhanomaisiin tarkoituksiin.
Ympäristöministeriö katsoi antamassaan lausunnossa, että talteenotolla voidaan vähentää merkittävästi uraanin kerääntymistä alueella ja vesiympäristöön. Samoin Kainuun elinkeino-, liikenne- ja ympäristökeskuksen YVA-yhteysviranomaisen lausunnossaan toteaman mukaan toiminnan ympäristövaikutukset alueella ovat pienemmät, kun uraanilaitos otetaan käyttöön kuin tilanteessa, jossa toimintaa jatketaan ilman uraanin talteenottoa.
Lupa sisältää ydinturvallisuuteen ja mahdollisiin ydinjätteisiin liittyviä ehtoja. Niiden mukaan Terrafamen on päivitettävä uraanin talteenottolaitoksen käytöstä poistamista koskeva selvityksensä perustuen ensimmäisten kolmen vuoden käyttö- ja ylläpitokokemuksiin, seurattava uraanin talteenottolaitoksen jätekertymää ja jätteiden käsittelyn toteutumista, ja raportoitava tulokset Säteilyturvakeskukselle vuosittain.
Yhtiön on myös päivitettävä jätehuoltoa koskevat selvityksensä kolmen ensimmäisen toimintavuoden käyttökokemusten perusteella, tehtävä uraanin talteenotolle ydinenergialain mukainen määräaikainen turvallisuusarvio 15 vuoden välein, sekä täydennettävä Säteilyturvakeskukselle toimittamiaan aineistoja hyvissä ajoin ennen toiminnan aloittamista.
Myönnetty lupa on voimassa kaivoksen toiminta-ajan, kuitenkin enintään vuoden 2050 loppuun. Se lakkaa olemasta voimassa, jos uraanin talteenottoa ei aloiteta kolmen vuoden kuluessa sen lainvoimaiseksi tulosta.
Päätösasiakirjat julkaistaan verkossa osoitteessa www.tem.fi/paatokset
Lisätiedot:
erityisasiantuntija Eriika Melkas, TEM, puh. 040 194 7591
teollisuusneuvos Liisa Heikinheimo, TEM, puh. 050 567 5451

USA: Uudet julkiset rakennukset klassiseen muotoon

Will the White House Order New Federal Architecture To Be Classical?



US-Department-of-Treasury-Sealy-J-via-Wikimedia-Commons.jpg
The Treasury Building is an example of Neoclassical architecture in Washington, D.C.
ENR  February 4, 2020  Cathleen McGuigan
While the country was riveted by the President’s impeachment trial, a Washington rumor was quietly bubbling about a potential executive order that, if implemented, would profoundly affect the future of federal architecture.

RECORD has obtained what appears to be a preliminary draft of the order, under which the White House would require rewriting the Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture, issued in 1962, to ensure that “the classical architectural style shall be the preferred and default style” for new and upgraded federal buildings. Entitled “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again,” the draft order argues that the founding fathers embraced the classical models of “democratic Athens” and “republican Rome” for the capital’s early buildings because the style symbolized the new nation’s “self-governing ideals” (never mind, of course, that it was the prevailing style of the day).

U.S. Courthouse in Austin, Texas, photo © Tim Hursley
The draft decries the quality of architecture under the General Service Administration’s (GSA) Design Excellence Program for its failure to re-integrate “our national values into Federal buildings” which too often have been “influenced by Brutalism and Deconstructivism.” The draft document specifically cites the U.S. Federal Building in San Francisco (2007, by Morphosis), the U.S. Courthouse in Austin, Texas (2012, by Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects), and the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. U.S. Courthouse in Miami (2007, by Arquitectonica) for having “little aesthetic appeal.”
The White House did not respond to a request for comment about the executive order.
Meanwhile, last week, the GSA’s Chief Architect and Director of the Design Excellence Program, David Insinga, resigned his post.
The original Guiding Principles, written by the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, mandated that Federal architecture “must provide visual testimony to the dignity, enterprise, vigor, and stability of the American government.” The draft document uses the same words—dignity, enterprise, vigor and stability—while declaring that Brutalist and Deconstructivist styles “fail to satisfy these requirements and shall not be used.”
Yet Moynihan’s Guiding Principles also dictate that “an official style must be avoided,” and that new buildings should reflect their time. “Design must flow from the architectural profession to the government and not vice versa,” the guidelines state. “The Government should be willing to pay some additional cost to avoid excessive uniformity in design of Federal buildings.”
The mechanism for the radical upending of these principles, in order to promote classical and traditional regional architecture (Spanish colonial style, for example, would be permitted in places like Florida), would be a President’s Committee for the Re-Beautification of Federal Architecture. Its members would include the Commissioner of the GSA’s Public Building Service and at least one member of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, designated by the President. That commission, which approves architecture and design in much of the nation’s capital, is composed of seven experts, appointed by the President to four-year terms.
President Trump’s first appointment, in November 2018, was Justin Shubow, the president of the National Civic Art Society, which is devoted to furthering classical architecture. Its website contends that “contemporary architecture is by and large a failure,” and states the organization’s mission is “to help architecture return to its pre-Modernist roots.” Much of the language in the draft document echoes the website for Shubow’s organization; it also draws heavily from an article that appeared in City Journal last summer, "Why America Needs Classical Architecture," by Catesby Leigh. Leigh is listed as the 2018-2019 research fellow of the National Civic Art Society.
Shubow became well known for his dogged opposition to the proposed Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, designed by Frank Gehry (which is finally opening this May). President Trump’s two most recent appointees to the Fine Arts Commission, made this past December, are James C. McCrery II, AIA, a founder and board member of the National Civic Art Society, and the Indiana-based architect Duncan G. Stroik, AIA, whose work is “informed by the timelessness of classical architecture and the humanism of traditional cities,” according to the Commission’s website. The terms of the four other members of the Commission expire next December.
As a real estate developer, Trump’s taste in architecture tended to the glass and steel of modernism, albeit in an often glitzy style—from the 1983 Trump Tower in New York, designed by the late Der Scutt of Poor, Swanke, Hayden & Connell, to the 2009 Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, designed by Adrian Smith, then at SOM. When Trump bought the Gulf and Western building on Columbus Circle in New York in the 1990s, he hired Philip Johnson and Costas Kondylis to re-skin its facade in bronze-tinted glass, prompting the late critic Herbert Muschamp to declare it was an International Style skyscraper decked out in a gold lamé party dress.
Will an executive order to bring classical design language to new federal architecture even be issued? The White House certainly has more pressing matters on its plate. But if it happens, quietly or otherwise, the impact would be enormous.

In response to this story, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) issued the following statement:
“The AIA strongly opposes uniform style mandates for federal architecture. Architecture should be designed for the specific communities that it serves, reflecting our rich nation’s diverse places, thought, culture and climates. Architects are committed to honoring our past as well as reflecting our future progress, protecting the freedom of thought and expression that are essential to democracy.” [enr]