- Solar Homes Popular in Southern California
- 7 Cleantech Consumer Products
- New Cleantech Technology News (Say What?)
- Ascent Solar’s Flexible CIGS Solar Panels One of TIME’s 50 Best Inventions of 2011
- 1st Small Wind Turbine Gets AWEA Certification
- Renewable Natural Gas from CO2, Water, & Sunlight
- New Solar, Wind, Wave, EV, & LED Projects (10 Stories)
- Only Way to Stop Greenhouse Gas Emissions is to Use Clean Electricity, Study Finds
- Africa at the Energy Crossroads: AfDB Finances Historic Renewable Energy Projects in South Africa, Morocco
- Bangkok Becomes First Megacity to Mull Move to Higher Ground
Posted: 25 Nov 2011 11:39 AM PST
KB Homes, one of the largest homebuilders in the U.S., is expanding its solar program in Southern California due to the program’s great popularity there. Solar power systems from SunPower will now be included in almost all of its Southern California communities.
KB notes at least one reason why its solar home options are so popular (an obvious one to CleanTechnica readers, but worth repeating) — the solar power systems “can help KB homeowners reduce their monthly energy bills by as much as 80% and lower their cost of homeownership for years to come.”
"Consumers who buy a Built to Order™ KB home get the value of a custom home-like experience plus the tremendous energy efficiency of our latest advanced building techniques. And now, having solar included is like having the sun help pay their energy bills," said Jeffrey Mezger, president and chief executive officer of KB Home. Fun phrasing there; interesting way to think about it — the sun is actually paying your electric bill!
Of course, for each home design option they offer customers, they show the electricity savings involved. Example:
“… at KB Home's Newbury at the Enclave in Eastvale, Calif., a one-story, four bedroom home without a solar power system has an estimated monthly electric and gas bill of $108. With the expansion of KB Home's solar power initiative, this home will now include a 3.15 kWp system as a standard feature and the estimated monthly electric and gas bill will be $27. Compared to a typical resale home, this new KB home is estimated to save a homeowner about $2,000 annually on energy costs.”
KB Homes started its solar offers in March 2011. At that time, 1.4 kWp SunPower systems were offered in 10 of its communities. Now, the smallest standard solar power option is 1.8 kWp, 28 communities are in the program, and over half of them include a 2.25 kWp or 3.15 kWp SunPower system as standard.
Posted: 25 Nov 2011 10:47 AM PST
I scroll through thousands of articles on dozens of sites so that you don’t have to
1. Solar-Powered, Energy-Efficient Homes & the Nissan LEAF
In one of the latest solar-EV team-ups, City Ventures and Nissan offer a green triple combo. From the news release:
2. 1st All-Electric Carsharing Service Now Alive
“car2go N.A., LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler North America Corporation, and the City of San Diego [have] officially launched North America’s first all-electric carsharing network, making emissions-free driving a widely available and affordable transportation option for all of San Diego,” Daimler announces.
3. New Electric Bikes
“Kalkhoff, the leading electric bike brand in Germany and the UK, debuts new power assistance systems across their 2012 range,” a news release this week announced. “UK distributor 50cycles.com will supply dealers with Kalkhoff e-bikes for the first time, allowing customers to test ride and buy the latest generation models locally.”
4. Electric Superbike
Italian electric motorcycle company CRP is soon going to start selling its first electric street bike, the Energica. “The bike's 100-kilowatt power plant is built upon a PMAC synchronous motor with permanent magnets generating up to 136 horsepower,” EarthTechling reports. “As you would expect, this setup is a torque monster, delivering almost 116 ft. lbs. on the way to propelling this rocket to a top speed of about 137 mph. CRP boasts that this powertrain delivers 95 percent efficiency and a driving range of almost 95 miles.”
5. Small EV from Gordon Murray Wins Award
I wrote about prolific Formula 1 designer Gordon Murray’s switch to green cars about a week ago. The featured vehicle was a super-efficient little electric car called the T27. Apparently, that little car recently won the “Most Energy Efficient Small Car (Prototype)” award in the 2nd-annual Brighton to London Royal Automobile Club Future Car Challenge.
6. New LED Bulbs from Samsung
Samsung announced the release of 7 new consumer LED bulbs this week. Prices range from $17 to $60.
7. Honda Testing EVs in China
Honda has started demonstration testing of its electric vehicles (EVs) in Guangzhou, China. “For this demonstration testing, Honda's EVs will be driven in a real-world urban transportation environment in the city of Guangzhou to verify the practical convenience of EVs and identify technological issues needed to be addressed to achieve the widespread use of EVs in the future,” Honda reports. “In addition, proposals regarding re-charging infrastructure will be made based on the results of the EV range verification and other relevant information.” Honda plans to start local production in China by 2012.
Posted: 25 Nov 2011 09:40 AM PST
Aside from the cleantech project, cleantech policy, cleantech consumer product round-ups I’m in the midst of finishing, here’s a round-up of some of the latest news on new cleantech technology:
1. Wind Energy Forecasting Technology Saves Millions of Dollars a Year
“The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has developed a highly detailed wind energy forecasting system with Xcel Energy, enabling the utility to capture energy from turbines far more effectively and at lower cost,” the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research reports. “The system, which Xcel Energy formally took over last month, saves ratepayers several million dollars yearly.”
Basically, the new technology gives wind forecasts that are 35% more accurate. This allows the utility to power down costly coal and natural gas power plants more often. In 2010, the technology reportedly saved Xcel Energy $6 million.
The technology is used in Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, Texas, and Wisconsin.
2. Gamesa Wind Turbine Setting Records in Spain
“Gamesa’s new 4.5 megawatt G128 has posted a new record at a test field in Jaulin near Zaragosa, Spain,” Renewables International reports. “On November 7, it generated 97.34 megawatt-hours in a single day with 100 percent availability.” Since the start of 2011, this prototype wind turbine has fed over six gigawatt-hours to the Spanish grid. “With a rotor diameter of 128 meters and an output of 4.5 megawatts, the new G128 has a 120 meter tower and rotor blades whose diameter exceeds 62.5 meters.”
3. Shakeup in Grid Storage Technology Market, 5 Leaders Revealed
OK, grid storage is probably not something most of you go to sleep thinking about, but it’s important, and there’s a lot going on in this field.
4. Virtual Power Plants to Boom
Confused? Read on…
5. 2011 Clean Energy Challenge Finalists Getting Funding
It’s a long road to commercialization, and many don’t make it, but here are some that might:
6. University of Ottawa Students Design New Wind Turbine
“Over at the University of Ottawa, a group of students and professors who dub themselves the ‘Green Engineers‘ have come up with… a wind turbine with two sets of blades each spinning in opposite directions,” Tyler Hamilton of the Toronto Star reports.
The turbine is, apparently, also quieter.
7. Vehicle to Grid Technology to Boom
“Vehicle to grid (V2G) technologies, over time, will represent a more and more favorable alternative to investing in new power generation assets,” according to a news release earlier this week. “By 2017, according to a new report from Pike Research, approximately 90,000 light-duty vehicles and an additional 1,500 medium/heavy duty trucks will be enabled with V2G technologies, creating a strong foundation for V2G-based demand response, vehicle to building, frequency regulation, and other ancillary service applications.”
"V2G technologies are currently in the early pilot phase, with much work left to do before they will be ready for full commercialization," says research director John Gartner. "The earliest adopters will be fleet operators and large consumers of energy where vehicles have established schedules for being plugged in. As the sector develops, V2G will be utilized for an increasing array of grid support services."
8. Ground-Based Wind Turbine
“Based off the current patents, NGW created a completely novel ground based wind energy super turbine that can increase wind velocity by 79 percent and produce nearly 2x the energy of a traditional wind tower turbine unit with the same swept area (see data Figure 2). NGW’s super turbine increases the velocity of the wind as it travels through the patented funnel shaped wind collection unit. More specifically, the funnel shaped wind ‘collector’ is increasing volume density of the air mass which is then forced through a smaller tunnel where the multi-blade wind energy collection rotors and generators are located. The resulting concentration allows for optimal generating wind velocities, and provides the opportunity to harvest a larger fraction of the kinetic wind energy passing through the system, when compared to a traditional tower-based wind turbine platform.”
9. GE: Hybrid Gas-Solar-Wind Power Plant is the Answer
“General Electric is pinning its hopes on a new hybrid gas and solar energy generator to help drive down the high cost of solar thermal energy and reduce the need for extra power plants to back up intermittent wind power,” Business Green reports.
“The company last week received approval from the Turkish government to nearly double the output of the world’s first Integrated Renewables Combined-Cycle plant from 570 megawatts (MW) to 1,080MW, and hopes the expanded facility can provide a template for other low carbon energy projects around the world.”
10. High-Rise Rooftops Can be Wind Farms, Too
“Eastern Wind Power (EWP) is a Cambridge, Mass.-based startup that has developed a 50-kilowatt (kW) vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT) called the Sky Farm,” EarthTechling reports. “The VAWT is designed specifically to be mounted on the roofs of high-rise buildings. The company has partnered with Siemens to develop its small wind generator and inverter system. The company erected its first prototype Sky Farm at the Martha's Vineyard Airport in 2010. The turbine is now grid-connected, and producing power for the airport.”
Posted: 25 Nov 2011 09:17 AM PST
Ascent Solar Technologies develops innovative, lightweight, flexible, thin-film solar photovoltaic modules (that’s a mouthful, I know — read it again). Ascent’s flexible CIGS solar panels are so innovative they were named one of TIME’s are designed to integrate with limitless applications, transforming unused surface area into a source of clean, renewable energy.50 Best Inventions of 2011, one of only six “green” inventions to make the list this year. The list is featured in the November 28, 2011 issue of TIME (which, somehow, is already online… oh, old media, how you amuse me).
“For each of the past 10 years, TIME has recognized the top 50 breakthroughs in science, technology and the arts,” Ascent notes. “Previous honorees have included the iPad, Nissan Leaf, 3-D cameras, and the world’s first synthetic cells.” Not a bad list of technologies to be associated with.
“TIME refers to Ascent’s solar panels as ‘ingenious’ for their ability to be directly integrated with building materials without the limitations of standard, glass solar panels.”
Ascent Solar’s Solar Panels in Use on Tents
Here on CleanTechnica, Tina wrote, nearly one year ago, how Ascent’s solar panels are being used for portable disaster relief on tents – innovative, useful application, especially in disaster-hit areas. The panels’ flexibility and light weight certainly do allow for more applications than most of us would normally consider are possible with solar, and allow for renewable energy expansion in formerly inaccessible areas and tremendously under-utilized areas.
As the company states, they are “designed to integrate with limitless applications, transforming unused surface area into a source of clean, renewable energy.” Who doesn’t love that? (Other than, perhaps, some solar panel competitors.)
Image via Ascent Solar
Posted: 25 Nov 2011 08:46 AM PST
Small wind turbines have been booming, as we’ve reported a few times this year. But, up to now, there hasn’t been much independent evaluation of how well these small turbines perform, or how safe they are. Apparently, that’s changing.
Bergey Windpower, “the nation's oldest manufacturer of small wind turbines,” announced this week that its “best-selling” BWC Excel 10 wind turbine has now received full "AWEA Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard" certification — it’s the first to get this certification.
"This new standard is the most significant milestone in the history of the small wind industry because it provides, for the first time, third-party verification of real world performance and a highly technical review of a turbine's strength and safety," said Mike Bergey, president of Bergey Windpower and the 2011 president of the Distributed Wind Energy Association. "This is huge for consumers because it addresses the ‘hucksters and hype’ problem in the small wind marketplace. We are very proud to be the first to achieve this game-changing certification." Agreed.
More from the news release:
Posted: 25 Nov 2011 08:23 AM PST
HyperSolar has filed a patent application for a “breakthrough technology” that creates renewable natural gas from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide.
“This renewable natural gas is a clean, carbon-neutral methane gas that can be used as a direct replacement for traditional natural gas to power the world, without drilling or fracking, while mitigating CO2 emissions,” the company reports.
Well, it certainly sounds good.
Is it legit?
We’ll have to wait to find out, but here’s more from the news release:
“Inspired by the photosynthetic processes that plants use to harness the power of the sun to create energy molecules, HyperSolar is developing a novel solar-powered nanoparticle system that mimics photosynthesis to separate hydrogen from water. The free hydrogen can then be reacted with carbon dioxide to produce methane, the primary component in natural gas.”
The company certainly thinks it’s on the money. "We intend to focus all our energies and resources on commercializing this breakthrough technology," HyperSolar CEO Tim Young announced.
Good luck to the patent reviewers — the title is "Photoelectrochemically active heterostructures, methods for their manufacture, and methods and systems for producing desired products." The patent application “discloses the company's novel low cost manufacturing techniques, nanostructure innovations for high efficiency, and the use of freely available sunlight, waste water and carbon dioxide to produce hydrogen, methane, and other valuable chemical products,” the company reported in a second news release.
More from Young:
The whole process occurs at a normal temperature and pressure.
“To achieve world scale operation, HyperSolar envisions acres of very inexpensive reactors installed on vacant, non-productive land, producing massive amounts of carbon neutral methane that can be piped into the existing natural gas infrastructure for everyday use in homes, power plants, factories, and vehicles.”
Breakthrough? Might be. I’ll be keeping my eye on HyperSolar.
Posted: 25 Nov 2011 07:32 AM PST
I go through dozens of sources and thousands of articles so you don’t have to
Here’s some cool clean energy, EV, and LED project news from the past week or so:
1. 3 New Wind Projects in U.S. Order Wind Turbines
“Vestas has received a 59 MW order from Exelon Wind for 33 V100-1.8 MW turbines for the Harvest II Wind Project in Huron County, Michigan, USA,” Vestas announces. “The contract includes delivery and commissioning along with a 10-year service and maintenance agreement. Delivery is scheduled for mid-2012, and commissioning is expected in late 2012.”
Vestas has also received orders for two First Wind projects, in Washington and Maine, that total to 139 MW. 77 V100-1.8 MW turbines were ordered for the 104.4-MW Palouse Wind project in Whitman County, Washington (58 wind turbines) and the 34.2-MW Bull Hill wind power plant in Hancock County, Maine (19 turbines).
2. Apple Switching from Coal to Solar in North Carolina
“Apple, ranked the least green of the big tech companies earlier this year, is moving quietly to repair its reputation by switching its vast east coast data centre from coal to solar power,” the Guardian reports. “Local officials in North Carolina say the company is preparing to build a solar farm adjacent to its $1bn data centre in Maiden.”
3. Tower Bridge is Going LED
Tower Bridge in London is about to get a lot prettier.. at least to us Greens. The 117-year-old bridge is going LED and is going to cut its electricity usage by about 40%! h/t Crisp Green
4. Arizona’s Largest Wind Farm Almost Done
“Coconino County’s first wind farm, the state’s largest, plans to begin generating electricity in December,” azdailysun.com reports. “Contractors building these turbines are from all over, including Florida, Texas, Iowa and Minnesota.” (Clean energy doesn’t create jobs, right?) The project includes 62 wind turbines, each 398-feet-tall, and has an installed power capacity of 99 MW. It can supply power for about 29,000 homes when running at peak, and 8,700 homes on average. “The wind farm is to operate from this December or January 2012 into 2042 or beyond.”
The wind turbines will most likely replace electricity provided by burning natural gas. Coconino County officials expect to plan and build more wind power projects after this one is complete. “State regulations set by the Arizona Corporation Commission require utilities to supply 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025, and Arizona Public Service is now getting about 3 percent of its electricity from renewable resources.”
5. Navajo Homes Get Solar- & Wind-Powered Electricity
An off-grid solar and wind power generator now provides electricity to 200 Navajo Homes in New Mexico. CNET has more, & pictures.
6. 1st Commercial Wave Power Plant Is Up (.. or Under) in Spain
Voith Hydro Wavegen handed over its “first grid-connected marine power plant to the Basque Energy Board in the north of Spain” last week, Business Green reports. “The 300kW wave power plant comprises 16 turbines and is housed within a breakwater at the port of Mutriku. The plant has produced 100MWh since generating its first power in July, and is expected to provide enough electricity to power 250 homes during its 25-year life.”
7. Global Solar PV Installations to Hit 24 GW in 2011
A new report out by IMS Research finds that global solar PV installation will hit 24 GW in 2011, rising 24% from the 19 GW hit in 201o. However, European installations will only rise 3%. Other notable findings from the report are that:
8. Poland Getting Its Largest Rooftop Solar Array
“Photon Energy will take part in the construction of a 311 kWp rooftop PV installation in Ruda Slaska, Southern Poland,” Solarbuzz reports. “When completed in mid 2012, it will be the largest rooftop solar power installation in Poland…. It will be will be located on the roof of the Upper Silesian water utility company – Górnośląskie Przedsiębiorstwo Wodociągów S.A. (GPW), the largest water supplier in Poland, which will also act as an investor in the project.”
9. 3 EV Charging Stations Now at Indianapolis Airport
They are GE WattStationTM Wall Mount EV charging stations. “An ongoing collaboration between Purdue University and GE Energy is at the heart of the new airport charging option,” GE reports. “Purdue acquired the units with funding from Energy Systems Network through a grant from the Indiana Office of Energy Development.”
“Purdue's faculty and students will collect data from the airport chargers to use in electric vehicle and smart grid research," Eric Dietz, associate professor of computer and information technology and director of Purdue's Homeland Security Institute, said.
But, there’s a lot more green going on at the Indianapolis Airport than that, actually:
10. Maui Looking to be EV Leader
“Chalk up Maui as the next hot spot for electric vehicle infrastructure. This month the Maui Electric Vehicle Alliance was launched with the support of the University of Hawaii Maui College, Hawaii State Energy Office, Honolulu Clean Cities from neighboring Oahu, and a host of other partners from government and business,” Greentech Media reports. “With the help of a $300,000 from the US Department of Energy, the group’s goal is to design a plan to prep the island for large-scale EV use through increased EV infrastructure development.” (Note that I also wrote about a leading smart grid demo project in Maui last week.)
Posted: 25 Nov 2011 05:51 AM PST
Is it possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 emissions levels by 2050? Maybe, according to a study done in (of course) California. The study was jointly conducted by consulting firm Energy and Environmental Economics, Inc. (E3) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and focused on using current technology to meet the emissions goals.
The study implies that electricity is the way out of excessive greenhouse gas emissions – specifically, moving away from oil and toward carbon-free electricity generation. Snuller Price, co-author of the study and a partner at E3, explains that “…this study means that our electric utilities will be the central players in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the long term."
Green Sources for Reduced Emissions
Dr. Jim Williams, lead author of the study and chief scientist at E3, feels that the only way to achieve reduced emissions is with clean electricity:
Of course, transportation in the United States is currently heavily dependent on oil and fossil fuel, and responsible for a significant percentage of greenhouse gas emissions. The study takes that into account, calculating how grid infrastructure would need to be changed as well as energy use, CO2 emissions, and cost. Smart EV charging and better vehicle batteries are also necessary for meeting the emissions target, according to Dr. Williams:
We Can Do It! (Probably, But Not Cheaply)
The study authors estimate that the annual cost of reducing emissions to the stated goal (whose goal? No idea) would be approximately $1,200 USD per person compared to a "business as usual" case. (Keep in mind that fluctuating oil prices do affect the "business as usual case" and make it difficult to predict the base line here.)
The clearest message coming out of the study is don't procrastinate. According to Price: “This study isn’t only about what the world needs to look like in 2050, it’s about the pathway and what we need to do now. We have to improve key technologies this decade before we need them to be widely commercialized in 2020 and beyond.”
To put it as simply as possible, the only way to stop dirty emissions is to start using clean energy and then keep using it. It seems clear and obvious on the surface, but is it worth the potential cost? You tell me, in the comments below.
Posted: 25 Nov 2011 12:33 AM PST
Ouarzazate concentrated solar power (CSP) project, the African Development Bank (AfDB) announced the signing of two historic loans totaling $365 million to South African electric utility Eskom to finance the state-owned power provider’s first large-scale renewable wind and solar energy projects.Hot on the heels of participating in the financing of Morocco’s 500 megawatt (MW)
AfDB also announced that it was pledging $498 in financing for renewable energy projects in Morocco, giving a big boost to the North African nation’s Solar Power Plan. Launched in 2009, the goal of the $9 billion plan is to deploy 2000 MW of solar power generation capacity nationwide by 2020. A final decision on the loans is anticipated from AfDB’s board of directors by the end of this year.
Africa is a continent of 54 countries and approximately 15 percent of the world's population. However, it contributes only 4% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions “and therefore is a minimal contributor to climate change and global warming,” the African Development Bank notes.
That makes the announcements all the more encouraging as they have the potential to set Morocco and South Africa on a path of clean energy and sustainable economic development, one which may foster and spur more environmentally and socially conscious economic development and good job creation by avoiding the use of fossil fuels.
"The two initiatives are the first of their kind in a region where they are seen as a test case and catalyst for larger-scale delivery of power using renewable technologies to displace considerable future CO2 emissions," stated Hela Cheikhrouhou, Director of the AfDB's Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department, in a media release.
In addition to financing, the World Bank Group institutions are providing Eskom and Morocco’s solar energy development agency MASEN with technology transfer, operational and technical management expertise and market and business development skills and know-how.
A Clean Energy Turning Point for Eskom, South Africa?
Africa’s largest power producer, Eskom produces approximately 95% of South Africa’s electricity, and makes up around 60% of all the electricity produced on the African continent. It ranks among the top seven electric utilities in the world in terms of generation capacity and top nine in terms of sales. It’s also top of the list on the African continent in terms of environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, ranking 13th in the world.
The AfDB loans come at critical, potential turning point for Eskom and the future of clean energy and economic development in South Africa and beyond. Eskom’s long relied on thermal coal for the bulk of its electricity generation. It also operates nuclear and gas turbine power plants and produces electricity from hydroelectric and pumped hydro storage.
That’s set to change signifcantly with financial assistance from AfDB, other members of the World Bank Group and other international agencies. The South African government’s latest Integrated Resource Plan, introduced early this year calls for increasing the country’s clean energy production to 42% by 2030. Eskom has announced plans to develop a 100 MW CSP plant at Upington and the 100 MW Sere wind farm near Koekenaap in the Western Cape province.
The South African government last month announced it will enact an emissions cap and new energy industry regulations in an effort to spur development of alternative, clean and renewable energy and mitigate climate change. The new regulations will penalize heavy polluters that don't comply with greenhouse gas emission limits with fines.
AfDB’s $365 million in loans will help finance both projects. Once up and running, some 5 million tons of CO2-equivalent will be avoided over the projected 20-year life span of the Sere wind farm and another 9 million tons of CO2-equivalent avoided from the Upington solar power plant.
The two loans consist of a $265 million from AfDB’s own resources and a $100 million loan from the Clean Technology Fund, another agency of the World Bank Group. The loans are guaranteed by the South African government, in compliance with AfDB’s lending rules.
Posted: 24 Nov 2011 10:44 PM PST
After another year marked by months of epic flooding in the capital city of 12 million, this month AFP reports that lawmakers in Thailand have submitted a parliamentary motion to begin discussions of building a second capital or moving Bangkok to higher ground.
Sataporn Maneerat, a Puea Thai party MP, told AFP Thailand should think about moving the capital or looking to another city for future developments and investments.
“Another 19 Puea Thai MPs and I have signed and submitted a motion to parliament to seek approval to set up a committee, to consider whether the capital should be moved or if Thailand should have a second capital,” he said.
“Bangkok is sinking every year. The capital will face more and more problems from natural disasters and the environment,” he said, adding that the current capital was “over its peak”. Maneerat told AFP that the options for relocating the kingdom’s capital would be in the eastern and northeastern provinces.
According to a World Bank estimate in 2009:
Like New Orleans, Bangkok is a low-lying coastal city built on swampy ground. Unlike New Orleans, Bangkok is a megacity with a population of 12 million, with an annual average GDP growth rate around 7%: that has doubled its housing stock in the last decade, according to the World Bank.
The rapidly developing capital is gradually overwhelming the marshy ground, unable to support the weight of the burgeoning megacity above, and is sinking. Epic floods this year approached Bangkok in July and have now had the capital largely underwater for months.
Climate scientists have warned that the recent increase in flooding events are merely a foretaste of a grim future, as climate change makes its impact felt in heavier monsoon rains in Thailand.
In April a record breaking four feet of rain hit Thailand in a week. Since then heavier than normal monsoon rains have overwhelmed the country. By October, rice production was totaled by the nation's worst flooding in five decades after months of heavy monsoon rains. More than 1,000 industrial suppliers had been shut down. Now, 562 people have been killed across the country and the disaster is rated as the worst in a half century.
Climate change has definitely contributed to the recent unprecedented flooding taking place in Thailand, Thai Deputy Chief Negotiator for UNFCCC Dr. Sangchan Limjirakan said earlier this year. A report from the World Bank on the impact of climate change to coastal megacities said:
More bluntly, if no action is taken to protect the city, “in 50 years… most of Bangkok will be below sea level,” Anond Snidvongs, a climate change expert at the capital’s Chulalongkorn University, told AFP earlier this month.
The world’s first ever proposal to consider moving a national capital city comes up for a vote next month by Thai lawmakers.
Image: Official U.S. Navy Imagery
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