THE GREEN PLANET BLOG - Our World and Environment...

All about conservation, ecology, the environment, climate change, global warming, earth- watch, and new technologies etc.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

South Island Kokako - Not extinct after all. Very much alive. Just waiting for some scientific proof about its existence...

South Island kokako - the grey ghost is very much alive...

The South Island kokako was (or is!) similar to the living North Island kokako, differing mainly in having orange facial wattles (blue in the North Island kokako). Both belong to the endemic family Callaeidae, along with the North Island and South Island saddlebacks (tieke), and the extinct huia.
South Island kokako occurred in forests throughout the South Island, including Stewart Island and Stephens Island. Formerly widespread and common, they declined rapidly following the introduction of ship rats, stoats and other mammalian predators, and were very rare by the early 1900s. The last generally accepted sighting was in Mount Aspiring National Park in 1967, but unconfirmed sightings continue to be reported as recently as 2007.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Walks at Franz Josef Glacier, South Island, New Zealand...

Franz Josef Glacier photographed from the vall...
Franz Josef Glacier photographed from the valley floor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
View into the valley from Franz-Josef glacier,...
View into the valley from Franz-Josef glacier, New Zealand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ice climbers practicing at Franz Josef glacier...
Ice climbers practicing at Franz Josef glacier, New Zealand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Franz-Josef glacier, New Zealand
Franz-Josef glacier, New Zealand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

South Island glaciers may retreat by 8km...

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

New Zealand is at risk of becoming the next oil exploration frontier and Kiwis don't want it because of the risk...

English: Bowen House, the Beehive and Parliame...
English: Bowen House, the Beehive and Parliament, New Zealand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deep sea drilling will threaten the marine life that New Zealand is so renowned for. The government is also gambling with the country's economy and green reputation.

Deep sea drilling will soon commence in the rough waters off the NZ coast. This could mark the beginning of an oil rush in which democratic process, public concern, environmental protection and safety considerations are all swept aside.

The logical future direction for New Zealand is blatantly obvious if it wants to live up to its green reputation
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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saudi solar plans taking shape...

English: Kingdom Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia....
English: Kingdom Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Taken by BroadArrow in 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The world's leading oil exporter has laid the groundwork for ambitious renewable energy plans in an effort to wean the country off fossil fuels. The country has set a target of 41 GW of solar power by 2032.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia's renewable energy target would boost the local economy and dramatically cut domestic oil consumption.
Eight months after releasing its white paper outlining ambitious alternative energy goals for Saudi Arabia, the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA.CARE), the agency overseeing the country’s energy strategy, has established the necessary framework to implement renewable energy projects.
In an article published Tuesday in Saudi Arabian newspaper Arab News, Abdulhadi Al Mureeh, executive director of National Solar Systems, said KA.CARE had "completed laying out the legal, organizational and economic basis for launching alternative energy projects in cooperation and coordination with government authorities like the Ministries of Finance and Petrol, Electricity and Cogeneration Regulatory Authority (ECRA), King Abdulaziz City, ARAMCO Saudi Arabia, Saudi Electric Company and other entities."
Al Mureeh added that the country was now "awaiting the activation of the legislations that will lead to new industries" in Saudi Arabia through direct investments that exceed SAR 400 billion ($106.7 billion) over the next 20 years.
The Saudi government's plans foresee 41 GW of solar power by 2032. Of that, concentrated solar power (CSP) plants would contribute 25 GW and PV facilities 16 GW. In the next five years, the nation’s grid is expected to connect some 3 GW from solar plants and up to 17 GW by 2023, including 10 GW from CSP facilities and 7 GW from PV installations.
The plan is expected to boost the local economy and generate thousands of jobs in the country while dramatically decreasing domestic consumption of petroleum reserves.
Arab News said Saudi officials were also looking at other ways to support solar energy, including government incentives, employing specialist teams to help spread solar technology in the Saudi market and intensifying educational campaigns about alternative energy through state-supported seminars and exhibitions.

Read more below:
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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Forest & Bird will not appeal Environment Court decision over Denniston Plateau open-cast mine proposal...

As part of the agreement signed late yesterday between the conservation charity and Buller Coal Ltd (owned by Bathurst Resources), the company will create and permanently protect a special reserve on the plateau, referred to as the “Denniston Permanent Protection Area (DPPA).” 
October’s Environment Court judgement only required Bathurst Resources to employ its “best endeavours” in regards to protecting this area. Forest & Bird was concerned that “best endeavours” meant the company would not be required to create the reserve, and sought a stronger outcome through the agreement. 
“The decision not to appeal the Environment Court judgement was a hard one. We consider the Denniston Plateau to be one of the most precious parts of the conservation estate,” says Forest & Bird Top of the South Field Officer Debs Martin. 
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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Solar company announces solar cell output breakthrough

A modern solar cell
A modern solar cell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Solar Company Announces Solar Cell Output Breakthrough
By Antonio Pasolini of Energy Refuge
A Californian company called HyperSolar earlier this week announced that new solar design models “show potential magnification of 300%”. HyperSolar develops technology that increases the power output of solar cells, one of the technological challenges the industry faces.
“We believe that a critical advancement will be to actually control the delivery of sunlight onto solar cells. We are developing the world’s first thin and flat light magnification layer for direct application on top of standard solar cells to increase their power output”, said HyperSolar’s CEO, Tim Young. “Our plan is to move to the prototype stage early next year and then to a commercial product.”
The magnification layer employs thousands of very small light collectors on the surface that funnel light into a proprietary light routing network in the middle. From there, light is carried to a smaller output area on the bottom where a solar cell can be attached.
Instead of using three solar cells to cover an area on a solar panel, only one solar cell is needed underneath a 300% layer called HyperSolar layer. The company says this will allow solar panel manufacturers to reduce the number of expensive solar cells in their panels by 66%, reducing the cost per watt of their solar panels.
“The higher the light magnification in the HyperSolar layer, the higher the power magnification of the attached solar cell. As part of our development plan, we are exploring various designs and microphotonic elements to increase the magnification by as much as 400% in the final process.
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