Tidal Power Comes To Wales
A full-scale tidal power generator aimed at showing the potential for renewable energy has been unveiled in Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK.
An underwater tidal power turbine in Ramsey Sound, Pembrokeshire has been developed to run for a 12-month trial period, with its energy generated powering homes in St Davids. The 400kW demonstration turbine will generate clean energy that will be fed into the National Grid and used to power nearby houses. As the turbine is situated in a protected sea bed area, a Marine Special Area of Conservation, it is designed to minimise the environmental impact.
The project has been supported by £8m of European Union funding, matched by majority shareholder Eco2 Ltd. Another, larger, 10MW scheme is planned which will have up to nine turbines off St Davids Head. This scheme could generate enough power for 10,000 homes.
This is the first scheme in Wales and there are others planned in North Wales (Anglesey) and in Swansea Bay. Each are multimillion pound projects that will contribute to a sustainable renewable form of power. The Swansea Bay proposal is based upon a massive new lagoon being constructed to genre ate power. This scheme is likely to have some environmental impacts due to the nature of the scheme. Replacing a tidal environment with a lagoon will impact wild life some how.
Electric Power: Fast Charged
Norway is leading the way for new electric car sales. This is mainly due to the fact that the vehicles are not liable to have tax applied when they are sold making the cars more affordable than fossil fuel powered vehicles. Additionally there are other perks for having an electric car in Norway: they are allowed in bus lanes, they do not have to pay urban road tolls and parking is free. Together with offering charging infrastructure in car parks, electric cars are allowed to recharge without any payment either. This policy has lead to 13% of cars sold in Norway being electric models.
In Oslo the cars are now causing congestion in the bus lanes due to their rapidly increasing numbers. The incentives offered are clearly changing people’s driving habits in the area and offering benefits of zero emissions from the vehicles thus improving air quality. This development gives Norway the title of the largest per capita electric vehicle ownership. See this Ecologist report for further details.
Country’s Population Trait Influences Their Environmental Performance Index (EPI)
A recent study by the University of Toronto has suggested a link between a nation’s openness and friendliness to their commitment to environmental sustainability. The study linked the environmental performance index (EPI) that has been developed by Yale and Columbia Universities with traits from the nation’s population. Personality traits from nations seem to aggregate to form a national “personality” that could be used to reflect how a country performs in terms of sustainable development. Population differences in personality combine at a national level and tend to reflect how that national will perform on the environmental performance index scale. The index rates a country in terms of 22 environmental indicators such as renewable energy generation, carbon dioxide emissions and ecosystem management for example. Two objectives of the index are Environmental Health and Ecosystem Vitality. Environmental Health measures the ‘protection of human health from environmental harm’. Ecosystem Vitality measures ‘ecosystem protection and resource management’.
Environmental practices of entire nations can therefore be predicted by the attitudes of “population personalities”. Psychology of a population has an impact on that country’s environmental impact. Factors that were reviewed included traits such as a population’s openness and agreeableness which tend to suggest cognitive flexibility and aesthetic appreciation as well as empathy and compassion respectively. These factors along with wealth, population size and education could be used to predict the nation’s likely attitude towards the natural environment. Higher EPI scores positively correlated with these population traits. A review of the results along with a graph of the results can be found on this link.