Will Chinas Planned Solar Field Lower the Cost of Alternative Energy

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (PhysOrg.com) — One of the biggest complaints that some have about solar power (and other forms of alternative energy) is that it is so much more expensive than the fossil fuels that are more commonly used today. However, this might change with China’s ambitious plans to build a 2-gigawatt solar field in Inner Mogolia. Panels from a solar farm in Spain. This solar farm will not be the largest when China’s solar field opens. Image source: Treehugger.com Citation: Will China’s Planned Solar Field Lower the Cost of Alternative Energy? (2009, September 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-09-china-solar-field-alternative-energy.html Desert power: A solar renaissance Explore further The solar field will be built by the U.S. company First Solar, and it is not scheduled to be completed for another 10 years, in 2019. The massive undertaking, though, could help make solar power more competitive in terms of energy pricing. MarketWatch reports on the project, and its possible implications:The project “represents an encouraging step forward toward the mass-scale deployment of solar power worldwide to help mitigate climate-change concerns,” First Solar Chief Executive Mike Ahearn said in a statement.The project will depend upon a “feed-in-tariff” supplied by the Chinese government, which will guarantee the pricing of the electricity it produces over a certain period, First Solar said.”This type of forward-looking government policy is necessary to create a strong solar market … which in turn continues to drive the cost of solar electricity closer to ‘grid parity’ — where it is competitive with traditional energy sources,” Ahearn said.While many are not as impressed with the idea of climate change concerns, the idea of more affordable solar power appeals on another level. Being able to develop energy sources beyond fossil fuels, which will eventually run out and are located to large extent in countries of questionable stability, would contribute to energy security. China also recognizes that it will need more energy as it moves forward in its efforts to become the next economic superpower. Fossil fuels will probably prove inadequate, so China is taking the time now to develop energy source for the future.In the end, much of what is lacking in terms of alternative energy development and mass use is the political and financial will to front the money needed to give it a start. China is hoping that by providing political and financial capital it will be able to jump start a move toward increasingly affordable solar power.© 2009 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

Scientists identify oldest wood specimens

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — Researchers studying two fossilized plants, one from New Brunswick, Canada, the other from France have been identified as being 397 and 407 million years old respectively. Both are believed to be the oldest known examples of wood, predating previously found specimens by ten million years. Lead researcher Philippe Gerrienne, of Belgium, and his team have published the results of their research in Science. © 2011 PhysOrg.com The New Brunswick sample was found by co-author Patricia Gensel, who brought it back to the University of North Carolina where she is a professor of paleobotany. The fossil remained on the shelf apparently for several years before it was included in a study being led by Gerrienne, (research associate and lecturer at the University of Liege) of the plant specimen found in France.The two specimens are believed to be not just the earliest examples of wood found, but actual samples of wood in its earliest form of existence. Both plants were very small, just 20 centimeters tall (with stems just 12 centimeters tall and 3 to 5 centimeters wide) and were a type of herb.After studying cross sections of the plants, the researchers have theorized that wood did not evolve as a means to allow plants to grow taller as has been widely assumed, but to allow for the more efficient transfer of water and nutrients from the soil to the rest of the plant. They say they believe this is so because of the way that cells are arranged in the cores of the stems, and even more so because of the existence of long thin cells that grow across several rings, extending like rays from the middle to outer edges of the stems; both are reminiscent of modern trees. The presence of thick walled cells adds to the evidence. Because these structures were in place in very small plants, it’s hard to argue that they evolved to allow for more height.The authors suggest that because these plants were living in a time (the early Devonian age – 407 to 397 million years ago) when the amount of carbon dioxide in the air was decreasing (which reduced water-use efficiency) they were forced into coming up with something quick to survive; hence, the development of wood.The plants discovered are believed to be the ancestors of modern trees, the wood that evolved to help in nourishment wound up having the side benefit of allowing the trees to grow into the comparatively mammoth specimens found around the planet today. Citation: Scientists identify oldest wood specimens (2011, August 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-08-scientists-oldest-wood-specimens.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Gene discovery to increase biomass needed for green fuel Explore further Image credit: University of Liege More information: A Simple Type of Wood in Two Early Devonian Plants, Science 12 August 2011: Vol. 333 no. 6044 p. 837. DOI:10.1126/science.1208882ABSTRACTThe advent of wood (secondary xylem) is a major event of the Paleozoic Era, facilitating the evolution of large perennial plants. The first steps of wood evolution are unknown. We describe two small Early Devonian (407 to 397 million years ago) plants with secondary xylem including simple rays. Their wood currently represents the earliest evidence of secondary growth in plants. The small size of the plants and the presence of thick-walled cortical cells confirm that wood early evolution was driven by hydraulic constraints rather than by the necessity of mechanical support for increasing height. The plants described here are most probably precursors of lignophytes.last_img read more

Learn how to jig for wedding gig

first_imgThe traditional dhol, wedding songs and impromptu dances at home once defined the typical sangeet, a key function in most big fat Indian weddings. Not any more. The celebrations have just gotten bigger and bolder with brides and grooms signing up for classes to train for a joint performance designed to dazzle.Be it Bollywood masala or western salsa, young couples are going out of their way to put on their dancing shoes to add that special edge to the revelry. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Sometimes the bride can’t dance, or the groom has two left feet; and then there are those families who are conservative and not in favour of their ‘to-be bahus’ shaking a leg on stage. But that’s changing. And that’s where dance instructors step in.‘Couples have preferences in terms of specific songs and often they want to depict their personal story through a dance performance,’ Atul Jindal, director, Big Dance Centre, told.‘Props and audio visuals are included in sangeet performances to give a spectacular look. Couples usually come to learn dance forms like salsa, freestyle and Bollywood that involve fun and partner work. In these dance forms, couples enjoy dancing with each other,’ he added. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAce choreographer Shiamak Davar agreed there was an upswing in the number of people who come to his institute just to learn how to groove for their special day. And he is all for the trend.‘I have so many people who want to dance at their wedding and we encourage them to do so. They love our choreography and we encourage them. They get excited to learn anything new and interesting,’ Davar told.Wedding choreographer Rahul Verma, who runs dance institute Bollywood Nach here, specialises in arranging special acts and training couples for weddings. Couples prefer dancing together rather than giving solo performances. ‘Some time back, brides and grooms used to give solo performances, but now families have become quite broad-minded, frank, and couples prefer to present a joint act. To support the couples, dancers are also provided to work as fillers,’ Verma said.‘Sometimes we use fillers also. Dancers stand in the background with props and perform while the bride and groom dance in the centre,’ he added.It costs quite a packet – ranging from anything over Rs 2,500 an hour to even packages that go up to Rs 100,000 for choreographing a complete act for the family.‘When there are family and friends, we charge Rs.100,000 for 15 days because they are not professionals at dance and want to put up a perfect performance, and enjoy it as well. For couples alone, who want private classes, we charge Rs 5,000 per hour,’ said Jindal.People are more than willing to spend.Swati Chaudhary, an animation designer by profession, and Sanjeet Chahal, who works as a relationship manager with a bank, are tying the knot 7 December. They have signed up for one such class, and feel it will also help them come closer to each other.‘We are very excited about our special day. Since our marriage is arranged, it was very important for us to know each other better. And what better than learning dance together and spending some quality time with each other,’ Chahal said.For Swati, dancing with her fiance has also helped her overcome her fear of dancing.‘I always feared dancing, but the idea of spending time with him convinced me to join the dance classes. Now I am enjoying each day and, on the other hand, our bond has strengthened,’ she said.last_img read more

Vladimir Nabokovs museum attacked

first_imgRussian Ultraconservatives have struck again in St Petersburg, where a museum of famous writer Vladimir Nabokov was attacked over ‘paedophilia’.A lone vandal broke a museum window with a bottle that contained a note which threatened the museum with ‘God’s wrath’ over its alleged propaganda of Nabokov’s paedophilia, Fontanka.ru city news website reported. The museum received a handful of anonymous letters with similar homilies over the past months, its director Tatiana Ponomaryova said. Police were looking into the incident. St Petersburg-born Nabokov is best known for Lolita (1995), a paedophile’s story, but was never accused of child abuse himself. A separate anonymous letter reportedly mailed to Fontanka.ru identified the attacker as the leader of a group of self-styled ‘St Petersburg Cossacks’ who earlier mounted non-violent attacks on the city’s cultural establishments. A one-man show based on ‘Lolita’ was cancelled in St. Petersburg by its author last year after he received threatening letters from the anonymous Cossacks. The city prosecutor’s office was also flooded with dozens of identical reports in December accusing an exhibit at the Hermitage museum by British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman of extremism over ‘blasphemous’ crucified toys on display. A prosecutor check found no evidence of extremism. The Chapmans offered ‘extreme apologies’ to whomever felt offended, and the Hermitage’s director demanded an investigation into the complainants, to no visible result. But the Cossacks have now decided to employ ‘non-Christian’ virtue enforcement methods, which prompted a split, said the letter to Fontanka.ru, whose author identified himself as belonging to the moderate non-violent group. St Petersburg never had a native Cossack community, and other Cossack groups across the nation have denounced the actions of their alleged northern brethren. However, other Cossacks have also attempted to act as a conservative militia, patrolling streets of Moscow against illegal migrants, peddlers and parkers, and attacking modern art exhibits in the southern Krasnodar Region, a Cossack heartland. Non-Cossack Christian activists have also attacked in Moscow a sex museum and supporters of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot.last_img read more

Capturing spirituality

first_imgAs we evolve the human race attains refinement and greater spiritual heights, so believes the artist Mahendra Kumar Aggarwal who is showcasing his premier solo art exhibition in the Capital from 20 July. With spirituality as its essence, he brings forth artworks that are of universal nature. Mahendra gave up on his IT job in early 2000 to become a serious collector of Indian art. Then on started his journey into the world of modern and contemporary  art. His works stem from the subconscious which he believes is the real mode of perceiving reality than depending upon rational thoughts and senses. His work is centered on the human figure with face as the focal point depicting it as the mirror of the soul.last_img

Readers delight

first_imgFollowing the triumphant editions in 2013, Leapvault, is all set to present the fourth edition of the India Non Fiction Festival in a span of one and half years on the 15 and 16 November at the India Habitat centre.The festival is the leading and Asia’s only festival dedicated to non – fiction literary works. It brings together noted authors and personalities from varied walks of life on one stage who engage in discussions on significant but often neglected issues. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The festival themed Be Bold. Stay Real, involves everything in Non-Fiction space – from topics like Business, Sociology, and Management to Fitness, Travel and Health. It will provide a stellar opportunity to Non-Fiction readers to watch luminaries from various fields engaging in sparkling discussions and meet the thought leaders of today and tomorrow.  Personalities like Kunwar Natwar Singh, Vinod Rai, Suhel Seth , Dipankar Gupta, Leila Seth, John Elliott, Kingshuk Nag,  and Arun Maira will grace the event this year.last_img read more

Actor lodges complaint for being tortured by husband

first_imgKolkata: An actor lodged a complaint with police alleging that she was being tortured by her husband.The actor lodged the complaint with Lake Town police station on Friday against “her husband and others”.A police officer said on conditions of anonymity that the woman told police about the level of torture that went on after the death of her brother-in-law in 2014, considering that she brought misfortune to her in-law’s family.According to a senior police officer of Bidhannagar police Commissionerate, the complainant got married to a doctor, who practices at a well known private hospital in the city, four years ago and thereafter started staying at Bangur Avenue. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeShe lodged the complaint alleging that she had been “subjected to both physical and mental torture at the bangur Avenue residence” and was “tortured’ by her husband.She further told police that they bought a flat recently. On Wednesday, she went to the flat where she was allegedly tortured by her husband and received injuries in the course of action. The woman on Thursday went to Lake Town police station and lodged a complaint in this connection. The police initiated a case under section 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 324 IPC (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means). Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIt is learnt that the complainant had earlier acted in some Tamil films. But she discontinued the same after her marriage. She told police that recently she once again has expressed her wish to continue her work in TV serials.The police initiated a probe in this connection and would speak to the victim’s husband in this connection. A senior police officer said a notice will be served summoning the doctor and we are hopeful that he would co-operate in the investigation or else necessary legal steps would be taken up.last_img read more

Five simple ways to keep weight in check

first_imgWith the festive season approaching, keeping a tab on your weight can be a little difficult. A few precautions can be taken to avoid gaining excessive weight. Here are some suggestions form an expert.Binge-eating at odd timings is a holiday delight but going overboard is very unhealthy and very easy. Skipping meals to balance out festive eating is also a very bad idea, as it only makes one ravenous later. To avoid consuming a lot of calories, eat a filling, low-calorie snack or dish before leaving for a celebration. Protein, especially, will keep you feeling full, ensuring you only eat festival treats in small amounts.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAlso try factoring in a few days of light eating prior to the festive season, in addition to consuming alkaline foods including spinach, broccoli and banana.The best way to control what you consume is to assume the role of the chef. Chefs have to do a lot of tasting and all that time spent in the kitchen does take the edge off hunger. Cooking, or at least deciding what is to be cooked and how, will allow you absolute control over the amount of calories you consume.  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveChoose the menu wisely, offer guests a range of healthy snacks. Grilling instead of frying, and steaming vegetables to retain nutrients are handy ways to reduce fat intake. Using a low-calorie spray oil is also a great way to roast food in a healthier manner.A fridge stocked with treats after celebrations are over, is not exactly your best bet. If you are the host, make sure to only order or cook as much as needed, carefully drawing up a menu and quantity list.  Liquids are an important component of our diets, and binge consumption sessions are no different. A lot of times, our bodies mistake thirst for hunger, which leads to overeating. Craving snacks repeatedly can be a sign of dehydration. A good diet hack is to drink a glass full of water and wait for 10 minutes and then reconsider whether you want to give in to those cravings or not. Drinking other liquids is also a good solution to hunger pangs, especially having fresh home-made or cold pressed juice blends as perfect and delicious alternatives. This should not be an excuse to have ‘juice drinks’ (which are loaded with sugar and chemicals) or aerated drinks. Alcohol is another high-calorie liquid that should be consumed in moderation. Try beginning the night with a refreshing mocktail, and alternate each drink with water or juice. Choosing low-calorie alcohol, including drier varieties of white and red wine, gin, champagne and light beer is also advisable.The holiday season takes up a lot of energy, throwing us off the gym schedules and even our regular sleep cycles. Countering this disruption is important, even if the effort put in is minimal. So, working out for half an hour instead of your usual hour and a half is a much better idea than skipping gym entirely.last_img read more

Grey hair linked to higher heart disease risk in men

first_imgMen with more grey hair – irrespective of age – may be at increased risk of heart disease, warns a new study.”Our findings suggest that, irrespective of chronological age, hair greying indicates biological age and could be a warning sign of increased cardiovascular risk,” said Irini Samuel, a cardiologist at Cairo University, Egypt. Atherosclerosis, build-up of fatty material inside the arteries, and hair greying share similar mechanisms such as impaired DNA repair, oxidative stress, inflammation, hormonal changes and senescence of functional cells. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Atherosclerosis and hair greying occur through similar biological pathways and the incidence of both increases with age,” Samuel added. This study – presented at EuroPrevent 2017, annual congress of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology (EAPC), being held at Malaga, Spain from April 6-8 – involved 545 adult men.The researchers assessed the prevalence of grey hair in patients with coronary artery disease – usually caused by atherosclerosis – and whether it was an independent risk marker of disease. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe amount of grey hair was graded using the hair whitening score – one referring to pure black hair, two to black more than white, three to black equals white, four to white more than black, and five to pure white. Data was collected on traditional cardiovascular risk factors including hypertension, diabetes, smoking, dyslipidaemia and family history of coronary artery disease.The researchers found that a high hair whitening score (grade three or more) was associated with increased risk of coronary artery disease independent of chronological age and established cardiovascular risk factors. Patients with coronary artery disease had a statistically significant higher hair whitening score and higher coronary artery calcification than those without coronary artery disease.”A larger study including men and women is required to confirm the association between hair greying and cardiovascular disease in patients without other known cardiovascular risk factors,” Samuel said.”Further research is needed, in coordination with dermatologists, to learn more about the causative genetic and possible avoidable environmental factors that determine hair whitening,” she add.last_img read more

A free trip to South Korea

first_img“Win the South Korea Quiz contest 2017 and get a chance to visit Korea for free,” stated Jong Sool Kwon, Director, Korea Tourism Organisation (India office). He further added, “In order to bring South Korea closer to the hearts of the youngsters in the tri-city, Korea Tourism Organization India has launched a Quiz Contest for Tri-city school students. The Quiz is open for school students from class 8th to 12th of Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula and surrounding areas”, he also affirmed that the winner will get a free trip to South Korea for six days while discounted trip would be given to the runner ups. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf The Quiz Contest will be organized by Athena Ventures with the support of Korea Tourism Organization. Participation Certificates have been promised to all participants. Athena Ventures has organized many similar programs for Korea, as well as for other countries.Naveen Sharma, chairman, Athena Ventures also said that a child can participate in the quiz through his/her school only up till July 24. He stated that more than 4,000 students are expected to take part in the quiz contest. All the material related to the quiz would be provided free of cost on the internet. The quiz will be concluded with its final level on August 13.last_img read more