SANTIAGO, Feb 1 (Tierramérica).- More than 130,000 solar panels will make up the first photovoltaic plant in the middle of Chile's Atacama Desert. Construction is to begin in the coming months.
The initiative already has the approval of the regional environmental authority, headed by the governor of the northern region of Antofagasta, Cristián Rodríguez, who told Tierramérica that the site will feed the distribution network of the Calama Electrical Substation.
Rodríguez said the site has excellent characteristics for capturing solar energy, "not just because of the sun's radiation, but we also benefit from the dry climate and the clearest skies in the world."
The Calama Solar Photovoltaic Plant, Region II, will have a potential of nine megawatts, after an investment estimated of 40 million dollars for construction, operation and maintenance.
Protests Against Landfill
CARACAS, Feb 1 (Tierramérica).- Mayor Rosiris Orozco and residents of La Concepción, a municipality near Maracaibo, 500 km west of Caracas, have asked Venezuela's Environment Ministry to shut down La Ciénaga sanitary landfill, which receives 100 trucks filled with garbage each day.
"The work to fit out the landfill with new pits has been delayed, and the smoke from frequent fires there affects thousands of nearby residents," Orozco told Tierramérica.
It is also unhealthy for the hundreds of people who enter the 56-hectare site each day to look for materials that they can try to sell.
The environmental group Vitalis, which is conducting its annual survey among experts about Venezuela's environmental situation, has pointed out the management and disposal of solid waste as a leading problem.
More Trees in Havana
HAVANA, Feb 1 (Tierramérica).- The Cuban capital benefited in 2009 from the planting of more than 33,000 trees. But government officials and ecologists point to the low survival rate of the new trees.
Isabel Russó, head of the State Forest Service in Havana, said the city of 2.2 million people has about 150,000 trees and that the percentage of forest area increased from 2.4 percent in 1994 to 8.6 currently. However, she noted that tree survival is low due to "social indiscipline," but did not go into detail.
In the opinion of ecologist Isabel Díaz, the survival rate is affected by the lack of monitoring.
"Institutions are often limited to planting the tree, but lack the resources to protect them with enclosures, or to water them with the frequency needed to get past the stress of being transplanted," she told Tierramérica.
New Photovoltaic Technology
RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 1 (Tierramérica).- Researchers at the Pontificate Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul have developed a technique - which until now Brazil had to import - for transforming solar energy into electricity.
Two hundred photovoltaic panels and 12,000 solar cells have already been produced in a pilot experiment with sights on industrial-scale manufacturing at the university itself, with an investment of 3.2 million dollars from private and public entities.
Engineer Izete Zanesco, research coordinator, told Tierramérica that the advantage of the domestically produced panels is that they can easily be used in isolated communities that are not connected to the energy matrix.
"The can be installed on building facades and rooftops, creating isolated and distributive systems of energy production," she said. *Source: Inter Press Service.
up for Tierramerica's free weekly newsletter!