Wave of Fossil Fuel Dislike amongst the Young

Further to our Demand May Top Out Before Supply Does, here is an interesting article on the side-lines of one of the Oil Industry’s concerns as elaborated on this report of the IBT on the recently held 22nd World Petroleum Congress – Istanbul, 2017 where it was a question of how age and gender could obviously affect the industry to survive this wave of fossil fuel dislike amongst the young.  The unleashing of a frenzy amongst today’s youth as Fossil Free is a growing international divestment movement calling for organisations, institutions and individuals to demonstrate climate leadership and end their financial support for the fossil fuel industry.

No industry for old men: Why ‘Big Oil’ needs to woo younger, female workforce

Energy industry’s lack of appeal for women and the young remains a major cause for concern.

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Further to our Demand May Top Out Before Supply Does, here is an interesting article on the side-lines of one of the Oil Industry’s main concerns as elaborated on this report of the IBT on the recently held 22nd World Petroleum Congress – Istanbul, 2017 where it was a question of how age and gender could obviously affect the industry to survive this wave of fossil fuel dislike amongst the young.  The unleashing of a frenzy amongst today’s youth as Fossil Free is a growing international divestment movement calling for organisations, institutions and individuals to demonstrate climate leadership and end their financial support for the fossil fuel industry.

No industry for old men: Why ‘Big Oil’ needs to woo younger, female workforce

WPC 2017

Energy industry’s lack of appeal for women and the young remains a major cause for concern.

By Gaurav Sharma in Istanbul, Turkey

Updated on July 14, 2017 20:22 BST

It may not be as pressing an issue for the World Petroleum Congress (WPC) as the crude oil price slump, but had you asked around the oil and gas industry’s recently concluded triennial jamboree held in Istanbul, Turkey, plenty of high profile people would point to a lack of female executives as a major concern.

Furthermore, equally concerning is the perceived loss of the industry’s appeal for young professionals choosing a career pathway. To his credit, Dr Jozsef Toth, President of World Petroleum Council, which has been organising the congress since 1933, acknowledged the problem in his very first quip of the event.

“Oil and gas will play a role in the energy mix for decades to come. Yet, at the same time the number of people joining the energy industry is declining.”

Much more needs to be done when it comes addressing the gender balance in the business, he added. “We are committed to changing this, as well as showcasing the talent of female industry executives to inspire.”

That’s all well and good; but a cursory look around the WPC plenary halls, auditoriums and corridors by your correspondent found an overwhelming number of delegates of the male and middle-aged variety, regardless of which country they were travelling from.

Of course, there was a young professionals’ floor and youth congress, and events such as a youth night and a ‘Women in Energy’ breakfast.

Despite being well-intentioned objectives aimed at promoting dialogue, to many participants interviewed by IBTimes UK they seemed to be perfunctory box-ticking exercises being conducted because a mega industry event of the WPC’s size could not possibly, not have them. The previous Congress in Doha (2011) and Moscow (2014) had the very same events.

Hope is that the hard work in attracting young recruits and tackling the gender imbalance will finally begin in earnest once WPC’s 6,000-odd delegates, 500 CEOs, 50 Ministers and heads of state go home and ponder about it.

For that to happen, it is worth getting a deeper understanding of the problem first, according to Deborah Byers, US Oil & Gas Practice leader at global consultancy EY. A recent polling exercise in the US by Byers’ colleagues found that most of the younger generation perceive oil and gas jobs as a bit too blue collar and dangerous.

“That’s generation Z – or post-Millennials – typically born in the mid-1990s to early 2000s to you and me. We also find a disconnect between what oil and gas executives think young people want from a career and what they actually want. There’s a general lack of awareness about the industry and the careers that power it, and a substantial gender gap.”

When EY asked which three considerations are the most important in selecting a future career, both Millennials and Generation Z, as a whole, prioritised salary (56%), good work-life balance (49%), job stability (37%) and on-the-job happiness (37%).”

However, oil and gas executives polled expected the leading career drivers for young people to be salary (72%), technology (43%), good work-life balance (38%), and the opportunity to try new roles (28%). The study also found that only 24% of women in the 16-35 age group find oil and gas jobs appealing, while 54% of men in the same age range find them appealing.

The findings were based on a survey of 1,204 US consumers and 109 industry executives conducted earlier this year. In the wider scheme of things, the consultancy’s findings offer only a glimpse into the thinking of female and young people hunting career prospects. However, what it also does is flag up the enormity of the task ahead.

“In an era of lower for longer, some say lower forever oil prices, the industry has a call to action to solve this perception problem for the sake of their future workforce and their success,” Byers concludes.

Dr Jozsef Toth, President of World Petroleum Council, says the industry must improve its appeal to younger recruits and female aspirants.Gaurav Sharma / IB Times UK

Paradoxically, Eithne Treanor, a seasoned energy sector broadcaster and conference moderator based in Dubai, feels it’s the low price environment that is putting people off.

“Oil and gas companies aren’t in hiring mode in any case to begin with, as opportunities from geology to engineering, management to on-site operations dwindle. Furthermore, young people and suitable female candidates ask themselves should I really choose a future in an industry that’s in decline or at least appears to be.”

While the oil price environment is a relatively recent development, Treanor said the industry’s problem of attracting fewer qualified female professionals and its lack of appeal to youngsters also has to do with historical reputational problems.

“The industry has been quite poor at engaging with young people, something I feel it is attempting to rectify. When the idea is to catch them young, leaving it till they are at university is a bit too late; I’d say go all the way lower to junior school.

“For example – a programme started by a science professor in Lebanon called ‘The Young Engineer’ has been running for 10 years and piques the interest of kids when they are 5-6 years old.”

Specifically on the subject of attracting female talent, Trainer said: “Look around the WPC, majority of the panel discussions and deliberations have mostly male speakers. The lack of diversity is visible. Some women have risen through the industry ranks and have become role models, and are indeed here, but there are not that many.”

Positive discrimination is needed, she added, including perhaps an introduction of the Norwegian model of mandatory quotas for women to be on corporate boards and in positions of authority.

iStock

Time is running out, and the industry needs to act fast, according Aleek Datta, Managing Director at consultancy Accenture.

“In 2011, around $590bn (£455bn) was spent on petrotechnical workforce development, which rose to a commendable $760bn in 2014. However, oil price slump hit and spending on talent fell to $570bn in 2015, and has been in decline ever since.

“If we assume oil demand will increase, yet spending on talent continues at its current level, the global industry will have 30% deficit of petrotechnical professionals as early as 2020.

“The oil and gas industry is losing the fight for top millennial talent, as young professionals prefer other industries, like the technology industry. Only 2% of US graduates, according our research, consider oil and gas as a primary career choice.”

To some it might seem counterintuitive to invest in attracting and training young professionals and wooing more women to the industry when the oil price is down, but the risk of not doing so could be even more dire.

 

Algeria facing Sub Saharan Migration with Difficulty

And it needs a strategy adapted to the new realities
Algeria facing sub Saharan migration with difficulty is currently a very sensitive subject that divides the Algerians and in the opinion of the majority of the experts I consulted it is more complex than it appears. The migration issue would, to paraphrase the military language require having a strategic vision, taking account of the present world’s socio-political mutations. So it will be a matter of posing the real problems in order to perhaps get real solutions away from any demagoguery and one-upmanship. If the security aspect has to be looked at, so be it but as guarantor of national security.

And it needs a strategy adapted to the new realities

Algeria facing sub Saharan migration with difficulty is currently a very sensitive subject that divides the Algerians and in the opinion of the majority of the experts I consulted it is more complex than it appears. The migration issue would, to paraphrase the military language require having a strategic vision, taking account of the present world’s socio-political mutations. So it will be a matter of posing the real problems in order to perhaps get real solutions away from any demagoguery and one-upmanship. If the security aspect has to be looked at, so be it but as guarantor of national security.

We are in the era of globalization where migration flows are a reality.   Transhumance as it were migration are fundamentally for the same causes of rapid urbanization and metropolization of the world, over-population pressures, sporadic unemployment, rapid spread of news and literally transnationalization of migratory networks.

The categories of migrants and countries have become more complex, the globalisation of migration with a regionalisation of migratory flows. Globally, migrations are organized geographically where complementarities are built between start and host areas. These correspond to geographical proximity, historical, linguistic and cultural ties to transnational networks built by migrants and smugglers that form a formal or informal traffic, with space or no institutional facilities of passage.

Migration has more than tripled since the middle of 1970s: 77 million in 1975, 120 million in 1999, 150 million in the early 2000s, nearly 300 million in 2017. In 2016, immigration from the Africa of 1.2 billion people exceeded the Syrian, Iraqi, and Afghan arrivals in Europe. What will it be when that continent will accommodate 2.5 billion people, or a quarter of the world’s population in 2050?

According to an article by Le Monde of January 6, 2017 citing Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, 93% of those who landed in Italy, came from that continent. This agency estimated that “this reflects the growing migratory pressure on the African continent, and particularly in Western Africa that is responsible for the bulk of the growth in arrivals by this route in 2016”.

African immigration is mixed, consisting of eligible refugees in Asylum Law (Eritreans, Sudanese, Ethiopians), but also economic, particularly from the West African migrants. The main communities arriving in Italy, the Nigerians constituted 21% of the entrants, followed by Eritreans (11.7%), Guineans (7.2%) and the Ivoirians (6.7%). This reflected the factors of mobility for different reasons: discrepancies between the levels of human development, political and environmental crises producing refugees and displaced, decreasing costs of transport, generalization of passports issuance, role of the media, rising consciousness that change to life by international migration is feasible.

Global warming that is already affecting Africa is anticipated to hit it harder by 2025/2030/2040, thus will most certainly accentuate this exodus.

 The reasons are multiple and could be that : a prevailing hopelessness in all those poor countries that are badly governed. It is up to the leaders of the South to take their responsibility instead of always taking advantage of the exceptional wealth of resources of this continent whilst encouraging corruption and enabling purchases of luxury assets deposited in tax havens.

If there is a corrupted, then there must be a corruptor. A recent report by the United Nations shows illegal capital transfers from Africa to the rest of the world between 1980 and 2010 exceeded the current gross domestic product of Africa and all related cumulated aid.  The Valletta summit in November 2015 that brought European and African leaders together was devoted to this topic, but the measures announced are not considered sufficient despite the €1.8 billion cheque signed by the European Union to these countries.

Lack of good governance and total absence of a real fight against corruption, hence demonstrating a certain lack of morality, the African leaders, would go as far as instead of avoid these fratricidal wars for either seizing power or any other objective not always honourable.  The majority of them leaders were unable to lay real development programs, not to mention having a very contemptuous attitude for their elite pushing its members to a certain brain drain, unlike their speeches that under a false guise of “nationalism” that does not carry anymore.

These factors highlight the bipolarization between three worlds that of the wealthy, the emerging and the poor countries that push their people of the latter to a certain and continuous exodus as we can daily witness from this tragic collective suicide of thousands trying desperately to cross seas and land borders for a better and / or safe life. Leaders of the North and equally of the South are largely responsible for this state of affairs.

Faced with this situation, the Algerian leaders must have a different vision because Algeria is no longer considered a transit or passage only, but a country where Africans and others settle permanently.

The agreement between the EU and Turkey, signed in March 2016 and by which Ankara agrees against finance to control the passing emigration to Europe through its territory, is an explanation to what many Africans decide to settle permanently in the neighbouring countries including Algeria.

Today Africans from south of the Sahara represent barely 10% of migrants in the world, and most of these ‘displaced’ just moved into a neighbouring country of their own. According to the IOM, in 2015, I quote from the report: “on the 32 million who took to the road, half of them have asked their bag on their continent.

A new situation is before us and it is that of the African migrants who did not come of their own accord but have fled misery and war, no longer pass but settle permanently at the level of the regions of the Maghreb including Algeria as per international agreements.

This new situation therefore calls for new solutions; certainly not from a vision of xenophobic, racist, or from a behaviour alien to the nature of the Algerian population. It comes from adapting the Algerian legislation, but especially to coordinate all actions with Europe, with neighbouring countries, with all concerned African leaders with any involved repatriation, without devaluing the human person.  Also there is need to establish some of residence and transitional system of identification for a chosen emigration depending on the particular needs of Algeria in agriculture, tourism, building and infrastructure development, etc. all whilst avoiding any demeaning assistance.

The position of Algeria since independence has been a consistent one towards Africa, its natural economic space.  It would be a trial of intention to, as we currently see it through the majority of the international media to misrepresent it as efforts against these migratory flows.  These must be pooled, Algeria being unable to endure the financial weight to it, on its own.

As such I would think that the words of the Chief Clerk of the Presidency, speaking as a supporter as a Secretary General. of a leading party can only be as or poorly formulated and therefore have been widely misinterpreted. It simply belongs to the Algerian leaders to speak with one voice so as to avoid misinterpretation. 

In short, immigration raises the issue of global security that would require quick involvement with an overhaul of international relations based on win/win partnership but also and especially a renewed governance of each and every African country.  Africa is endowed with a high and rich potential but is presently enduring growing hardship with no end in sight.  For as far as Algeria is concerned, his Excellency Mr. the President of the Republic has always paid a particular attention as demonstrated with the NEPAD initiative. 

 ademmebtoul@gmail.com 

 

Oman’s Miraah Project uses Solar Energy

In order to keep ourselves abreast of our recently published article on solar power development, we propose this article of a Gulf daily, the Times of Oman.  It does elaborate on an exceptional project not only by its size but also because of its ground-breaking technology utilisation. 
The Oman’s Miraah project uses solar energy to produce steam to tap into the country’s heavy oil reserves.

In order to keep ourselves abreast of our recently published article on solar power development, we propose this article of a Gulf daily, the Times of Oman.  It does elaborate on an exceptional project not only by its size but also because of its ground-breaking technology utilisation. The Oman’s Miraah project uses solar energy to produce steam to tap into the country’s heavy oil reserves.
Below are excerpts of this article together with links to the original document site. 
Enjoy! Thank you for your readership!

Oman technology: Is this the world’s biggest greenhouse?

July 12, 2017 | 4:47 PM


Muscat: One of the world’s largest solar steam plants is being built in Oman, and it’s about to complete phase 1, according to GlassPoint, the developers.

The $600 million 1GW Miraah project is expected to generate 6,000 tonnes of steam to tap into heavy oil reserves of the country. The “enclosed trough” technology used by GlassPoint to harness solar energy, is ripe for industrial and commercial use, said an official of GlassPoint.

The technology uses curved mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto a pipe filled with water. Heat from the sunlight boils the water to create steam that is of same quality, temperature and pressure as steam produced by burning natural gas steam. The steam in turn is fed directly to the oilfield’s existing steam distribution network. A greenhouse protects the solar array from harsh oilfield conditions like wind and dust storms.

Siddiqa Al Lawati, Project Development Analyst at GlassPoint says this is the right time to deploy solar to secure availability of scarce resources in the future.

“We are currently building Miraah, which uses thermal energy to extract heavy oil. Previously we achieved excellent results from the pilot project. We are studying other heavy oil fields in Oman and there is a huge potential. It is a groundbreaking technology that can be used for many other applications in the oilfield, like produced water treatment.”

The first phase of the Miraah project located at Amal West oil field will begin production of steam this year to replace gas generated steam saving Oman’s natural gas, reducing carbon emissions and increasing renewable footprint in the country. The process increases the amount of oil that can ultimately be recovered. The Amal oilfield can produce oil for the next 25 years using Solar EOR.

“Our aim here is to not use energy to produce energy but rather innovate to produce energy and use our resources for generating revenues,” Al Lawati said.

“Due to this, we can use lightweight and inexpensive components inside the greenhouse,” Al Lawati explained.

“GlassPoint also identifies the scarcity of water and uses it very efficiently. Every barrel of oil is produced, is extracted with nine barrels of water. We use this water to produce steam for EOR purposes. Water used to wash the greenhouse is also recyclable,” Al Lawati said. With more than 50 per cent Omanisation and many materials used processed locally, the Miraah project is also a huge job driver. According to a study conducted by Ernst Young in 2014, over the next decade, Oman can have thousands of direct, indirect and induced jobs created in the renewable energy sector.

Nearly 40 percent of Oman’s reserves are of heavy oil, which is both expensive and harder to extract due to its viscosity. Due to its high cost of extraction, estimates show that only 2 per cent of these reserves have been tapped into thereby creating a huge market for it in Oman, the largest non-OPEC oil producer in the Middle East.

Written by Syyied Haitham Hasan / haitham@timesofoman.com

Adjustments in Global Surface Temperature Readings

As reported by The Daily Caller, a new study found that there were some adjustments in global surface temperature readings by other scientists in the past few years.  And that these “are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data.” And as such, “it is impossible to conclude from the three published GAST [global average surface temperature] data sets that recent years have been the warmest ever — despite current claims of record-setting warming,” the study, published last month, noted.

As reported by The Daily Caller, a new study found that there were some adjustments in global surface temperature readings by other scientists in the past few years.  And that these “are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data.” And as such, “it is impossible to conclude from the three published GAST [global average surface temperature] data sets that recent years have been the warmest ever — despite current claims of record-setting warming,” the study, published last month, noted.
In any case here is below an article written by Michael Bastasch published by the Daily Caller on July 9, 2017.
Adjustments in global surface temperature readings

EXCLUSIVE: Study Finds Temperature Adjustments Account For ‘Nearly All Of The Warming’ In Climate Data

A new study found adjustments made to global surface temperature readings by scientists in recent years “are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data.”

“Thus, it is impossible to conclude from the three published [global average surface temperature (GAST)] data sets that recent years have been the warmest ever – despite current claims of record setting warming,” according to a study published June 27 by two scientists and a veteran statistician.

The peer-reviewed study tried to validate current surface temperature datasets managed by NASA, NOAA and the UK’s Met Office, all of which make adjustments to raw thermometer readings. Skeptics of man-made global warming have criticized the adjustments.

Climate scientists often apply adjustments to surface temperature thermometers to account for “biases” in the data. The new study doesn’t question the adjustments themselves but notes nearly all of them increase the warming trend.

Basically, “cyclical pattern in the earlier reported data has very nearly been ‘adjusted’ out” of temperature readings taken from weather stations, buoys, ships and other sources.

In fact, almost all the surface temperature warming adjustments cool past temperatures and warm more current records, increasing the warming trend, according to the study’s authors.

“Nearly all of the warming they are now showing are in the adjustments,” Meteorologist Joe D’Aleo, a study co-author, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview. “Each dataset pushed down the 1940s warming and pushed up the current warming.”

“You would think that when you make adjustments you’d sometimes get warming and sometimes get cooling. That’s almost never happened,” said D’Aleo, who co-authored the study with statistician James Wallace and Cato Institute climate scientist Craig Idso.

Their study found measurements “nearly always exhibited a steeper warming linear trend over its entire history,” which was “nearly always accomplished by systematically removing the previously existing cyclical temperature pattern.”

“The conclusive findings of this research are that the three [global average surface temperature] data sets are not a valid representation of reality,” the study found. “In fact, the magnitude of their historical data adjustments, that removed their cyclical temperature patterns, are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data.”

Based on these results, the study’s authors claim the science underpinning the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to regulate greenhouse gases “is invalidated.”

The new study will be included in petitions by conservative groups to the EPA to reconsider the 2009 endangerment finding, which gave the agency its legal authority to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Sam Kazman, an attorney with the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), said the study added an “important new piece of evidence to this debate” over whether to reopen the endangerment finding. CEI petitioned EPA to reopen the endangerment finding in February.

“I think this adds a very strong new element to it,” Kazman told TheDCNF. “It’s enough reason to open things formally and open public comment on the charges we make.”

Since President Donald Trump ordered EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to review the Clean Power Plan, there’s been speculation the administration would reopen the endangerment finding to new scrutiny.

The Obama-era document used three lines of evidence to claim such emissions from vehicles “endanger both the public health and the public welfare of current and future generations.”

D’Aleo and Wallace filed a petition with EPA on behalf of their group, the Concerned Household Electricity Consumers Council (CHECC). They relied on past their past research, which found one of EPA’s lines of evidence “simply does not exist in the real world.”

Their 2016 study “failed to find that the steadily rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations have had a statistically significant impact on any of the 13 critically important temperature time series data analyzed.”

“In sum, all three of the lines of evidence relied upon by EPA to attribute warming to human GHG emissions are invalid,” reads CHCC’s petition. “The Endangerment Finding itself is therefore invalid and should be reconsidered.

Pruitt’s largely been silent on whether or not he would reopen the endangerment finding, but the administrator did say he was spearheading a red team exercise to tackle climate science.

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry also came out in favor of red-blue team exercises, which are used by the military and intelligence agencies to expose any vulnerabilities to systems or strategies.

Environmental activists and climate scientists largely panned the idea, with some even arguing it would be “dangerous” to elevate minority scientific opinions.

“Such calls for special teams of investigators are not about honest scientific debate,” wrote climate scientist Ben Santer and Kerry Emanuel and historian and activist Naomi Oreskes.

“They are dangerous attempts to elevate the status of minority opinions, and to undercut the legitimacy, objectivity and transparency of existing climate science,” the three wrote in a recent Washington Post op-ed.

“Frankly, I think you could do a red-blue team exercise as part of reviewing the endangerment finding,” Kazman said.

Though Kazman did warn a red team exercise could be a double-edged sword if not done correctly. He worries some scientists not supportive of the idea could undermine the process from the inside and use it to grandstand.

Follow Michael on Facebook and Twitter

 

Solar Power Plants for North Africa

After Morocco’s ambitious but almost wholly concretised plan of a vast Solar Power Plant predicted at the time to be a Hard Act for Africa to follow, here is Tunisia coming onto the scene with its rather modest plan so as to reinforce the Solar Power Plants for North Africa

An article of Renewablesnow published this piece of information that was believed worth republishing on this site.

Tunisia sets two deadlines for 210 MW renewable energy tender

June 22 (Renewables Now) – Tunisia’s Ministry for Energy, Mines and Renewable energies has issued a calendar with two deadlines for a tender calling for the supply of 210 MW of electricity generation capacity from wind and solar photovoltaics.

Bidders are expected to submit offers by noon on November 15, 2017, at the latest for 140 MW of the capacity . . . . .

After Morocco’s ambitious but almost wholly concretised plan of a vast Solar Power Plant predicted at the time to be a Hard Act for Africa to follow, here is Tunisia coming onto the scene with its rather modest plan so as to reinforce the Solar Power Plants for North Africa
An article of Renewablesnow published this piece of information that was believed worth republishing on this site.

Tunisia sets two deadlines for 210 MW renewable energy tender

June 22 (Renewables Now) – Tunisia’s Ministry for Energy, Mines and Renewable energies has issued a calendar with two deadlines for a tender calling for the supply of 210 MW of electricity generation capacity from wind and solar photovoltaics.

Bidders are expected to submit offers by noon on November 15, 2017, at the latest for 140 MW of the capacity.

Wind capacity bids will be accepted in two batches. The first batch will seek bids with a total capacity of up to 60 MW and up to 30 MW per project. The second batch will seek smaller bids of up to 10 MW in capacity (up to 5 per project).

Wind bids for up to 70 MW will be tendered by November and another 70 MW will be tendered by August 15, 2018.

In photovoltaics, bids split into two batches as well. Both with a deadline on November 15, 2017. Again, the first batch will gather bids for up to 60 MW in capacity with 10 MW max capacity per project. The second batch will tender up to 10 MW with a 1 MW cap per project.

More information about the tender can be obtained via e-mail to ipper.autorisation@energy-mines.gov.tn .

A couple of months ago, Reuters reported that Algeria as per its Minister of Energy will invite bids to build three solar power plants.

It plans indeed to invite bids for the construction of three photo-voltaic solar power plants with a total capacity of about 4,000 MW.  The bids have yet to be made public; knowing that a new government has just been sworn into office and that any action would presumably take longer than first planned.  The former government said in a statement days before its unpredicted departure that the ministry would issue tenders for the three projects, without giving a specific timeline.

The three plants would help meet Algeria’s domestic demand for power and allow for exports of power to neighbouring countries, a source at the Energy Ministry told Reuters.

Several financial institutions, including the French Agency for Development and the African Bank for Development, have shown interest in funding the project, according to the Energy Ministry, calling it a “multi-billion dollar” project.

Sonatrach, Algeria’s giant state oil and gas firm, would fund about 50 percent of the cost of the three plants, a Sonatrach official said.

Last year, Italy’s ENI signed a deal with SONATRACH to develop renewable projects in Algeria.

U.S. firm General Electric had also shown interest in the solar plants with planned capacity of 4,000 MW, the Energy Ministry sources said.

Hit by a crash in revenues due to lower global oil prices, Algeria has been doubling efforts to increase gas exports after several years of stagnant production. Several new gas fields have come on stream in the past year.

According to Clean Technica, Algeria has set a long-term target to have 13,500 megawatts of solar PV power capacity by 2030. Thus, additional solar power tenders can be expected in the future. The North African country also plans to set up 5,000 megawatts of wind energy and 2,000 megawatts of concentrated solar power capacity by 2030.

Meanwhile, Dutch trains now run entirely on renewable energy these last days whilst Germany broke renewables record with coal and nuclear power responsible for only 15% of its total energy requirements.  And a plan to power Europe via massive solar arrays in the North African desert is more than a mirage but less than a reality reported by Lisa Friedman, ClimateWire on June 20, 2011 on Scientific American .

 

 

Are and why Young People leaving the Cities

This article is published in collaboration with The Conversation on 19 May 2017 and written by Jason Twill, Innovation Fellow and Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture, University of Technology Sydney.  Are and why young people leaving the cities of the developed world ?

Would it be the same for the megapolises of the MENA region or is it already happening for other reasons? 

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As more and more young people these days are unable to afford purchasing their own home, reverting to renting as the first and only substitute is progressing.  The reasons are various and no alternative would be attractive enough to allow the “Renters Generation” to settle in as easily as more and more of these are flocking to all major cities worldwide for better life and good opportunities. This article is published in collaboration with The Conversation on 19 May 2017 and written by Jason Twill, Innovation Fellow and Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture, University of Technology Sydney. Are and why young people leaving the cities of the developed world ?
Would it be the same for the megapolises of the MENA region or is it already happening for other reasons?  In any case here is that interesting article of the WEF with our compliments to the writers and thanks to the publishers.
Image above is of REUTERS

This is the bright flight, or why young people are leaving the cities

If the growth of cities in the 20th century was marked by “white flight”, the 21st century is shaping up to be the era of “bright flight”. The young, highly educated and restless are being priced out of many of the world’s major cities.

They are choosing instead to set themselves up in smaller, regional cities. These offer access to less expensive housing and abundant cheap workspace. The barriers to entering the workforce or starting up a business are lower.

The “metropolitan pressure” of rapid urbanisation is generating a talent spill-over effect, which is setting the stage for a new era of urban winners and losers. This talent leakage is primarily made up of the “forgotten ones” – those who don’t qualify for social housing, but who are unable to afford market-rate housing.

In this age of of hyper-urban migration, where talent goes, capital flows. Cities need to respond to this migration trend and provide adequate housing solutions to retain talent. If not, it could shape up to be a major economic challenge as many are relying on this cohort of knowledge sector and tech-focused workers to lead them into the digital age.

Image: UN World Cities Report

Lessons from the rise of the suburbs

Many will know the urban story, or rather sub-urban story, of the mid-20th century. It was an era marked by “white flight”, the term used to describe the phenomenon of predominantly middle and upper-class Caucasians leaving urban centres to live in the suburbs.

For some, it was a chance to have their dream home in a culturally and ideologically homogeneous neighbourhood replete with white picket fences and enabled by access to cheap debt and favourable tax incentives.

From the cities’ perspective, this migration was devastating. Cities saw their tax revenues drained as higher-income earners fled to the ’burbs. At the same time, these cities required increased investment in social services, housing and education for low-income residents who largely had no choice but to stay in urban centres.

Over a few decades, this exodus led to severe economic and social decay in many of the world’s cities. By the mid-1970s, even New York was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Reversal drives an urban renaissance

This era of “white flight”, however, began to fade in the later part of the 20th century as a new generation of urbanites flocked to cities across the world.

What we are experiencing now is nothing short of a modern urban renaissance. From the very young to the very old, from singles to families, people are moving to cities in droves, drawn by the excitement, cultural diversity, eclecticism and array of employment opportunities that urban living offers.

Global cities like London and New York have rebounded from this era of urban decay better than they could ever have expected. In many ways, however, they have been too successful for their own good. The reverse migration back to the city has placed enormous pressure on our metropolitan regions.

As urban populations grow, so too does the level of investment needed for cities to function well. The investment is required to improve ageing infrastructure, expand mass transit, increase housing supply and extend capacity of civil services.

But making all these upgrades to improve and sustainably grow our cities creates another challenge: it increases competition for space. The more we increase density in our cities, the more expensive land becomes. The more expensive land becomes, the more expensive housing becomes, so people get priced out of their city of choice and move on.

Spilling over to second-tier cities

This pattern has been playing out for a some time now in the US. The spill-over of talent from top-tier cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco has flowed into more regional cities such as Seattle, Portland, Austin, Philadelphia and Denver.

Australia doesn’t have many regional cities that, like Minneapolis in the US, offer a place for talented workers to migrate within the country.

These second-tier cities have been the beneficiaries of this new wave of tech-savvy, knowledge sector workers. With all those bright workers around, companies like Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon soon followed.

As a result, these cities now have some of the hottest property markets in the world. And they are now experiencing their own growing pains as housing prices have soared and the next wave of talent are being priced out.

And so the pattern continues and the talent spills into even more regional cities like Charlotte, Chattanooga and Minneapolis.

Read more on the original site of the WEF.
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A “CityTree” that is like a Green Wall

Would a “CityTree” that is like a Green Wall, provide an environmental impact equal to that of up to 275 normal urban trees.  in any case this has begun being used to filter toxic pollutants from the air of some cities in Europe and possibly alleviate Climate Change.
The decision of Donald Trump to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement was not a surprise. It was part of his electoral campaign anyway.  It is still too early to assess the consequences of the withdrawal from a text that will not take effect until 2020.  By the way, that will be election year when D. Trump would go back to the polls for presumably a possible second mandate.
Meanwhile, China’s commitment would be beside the fact that its leaders have expressed their disappointment and concern at the announced withdrawal of America from the Paris Agreement, part of all those countries who intend to support it.
There are several reasons for this.
The first reason is institutional. For Beijing an agreement signed by several countries in an international forum is worth more to the Chinese leaders than bilateral commitments.  The second reason is environmental and is obvious that pollution is at unprecedented levels in that country, recurrently causing social tensions mostly related to the quality of air or water, power or respect for nature.
Would we be wrong if we assume that D. Trump envisages building a number of these walls?
An CNN article written by Chris Giles, CNN and updated on June 8, 2017 is about a particular solution that could make some difference to the issue of air pollution.  It is per this article already being put to use in Europe. 

This ‘tree’ has the environmental benefits of a forest

The “CityTree” has the same environmental impact of up to 275 normal urban trees. Using moss cultures that have large surface leaf areas, it captures and filters toxic pollutants from the air.

CNN) Air pollution is one of the world’s invisible killers.

It causes seven million premature deaths a year, making it the largest single environmental health risk, according to the World Health Organization.

In urban areas, air quality is particularly problematic. More than 80% of people living in areas where pollution is monitored are exposed to air quality levels that exceed WHO limits. And given that by 2050 two thirds of the global population will be urban, cleaning up our cities’ air is a matter of urgency.

One well-established way to reduce air pollutants is to plant trees, as their leaves catch and absorb harmful particulates.

But planting new trees is not always a viable option.

That’s why the “CityTree”, a mobile installation which removes pollutants from the air, has been popping up in cities around the world, including Oslo, Paris, Brussels and Hong Kong.

A CityTree in Paris, France.

Moss is in the air

Each CityTree is just under 4 meters tall, nearly 3 meters wide and 2.19 meters deep, available in two versions: with or without a bench. A display is included for information or advertising.

Berlin-based Green City Solutions claims its invention has the environmental benefit of up to 275 actual trees.

But the CityTree isn’t, in fact, a tree at all — it’s a moss culture.

“Moss cultures have a much larger leaf surface area than any other plant. That means we can capture more pollutants,” said Zhengliang Wu, co-founder of Green City Solutions.

The CityTree includes Wi-fi enabled sensors that measure the local air quality.

The huge surfaces of moss installed in each tree can remove dust, nitrogen dioxide and ozone gases from the air. The installation is autonomous and requires very little maintenance: solar panels provide electricity, while rainwater is collected into a reservoir and then pumped into the soil.

To monitor the health of the moss, the CityTree has sensors which measure soil humidity, temperature and water quality.

“We also have pollution sensors inside the installation, which help monitor the local air quality and tell us how efficient the tree is.” Wu said.

Its creators say that each CityTree is able to absorb around 250 grams of particulate matter a day and contributes to the capture of greenhouse gases by removing 240 metric tons of CO2 a year.

Read more in the original document.