Daily Geographer News from Egea Berlin Announcements / Topic of the Day / Green Planet / Gossip
Friday, April 5th 08:30 – 10:00
10:00 – 11:00
11:00 – 12:30
Dear Participants, we would like to thank you for being such amazing guests! It was stressful for us and we didn’t get a lot of sleep, but we all think that it was worth the effort and we will cherish the memories! We hope you also enjoyed the congress and that you have a safe (eco-friendly) travel back home. Please clear the rooms until 9:30 h, thanks.
Topic of the Day Tidal power plants: Using the tides as a source of energy By Gregor Qualitz Making use of the tidal forces to generate electricity has been developed for the past 50 years. The first power plant was opened in 1966 in Rance, France and is still operational, generating a maximum of 240 megawatts. Since then only a handful of other tidal power plants were constructed around the world, for example in China, Canada, Russia and South Korea. To understand why there were only such few constructions since 1966 one has to understand how tidal power plants work. A plant has to be constructed in a narrow bay or estuary which is then enclosed by a dam. The tidal range, the difference between high and low tide, has to be very high. In Rance for example it is 8m on average. The dam which separates the bay from the open ocean is equipped with turbines, which allow water to flow in and out. During rising tide the water pushes through the turbines into the bay, thus generating power. During falling tide the water flows back out into the ocean, again generating electricity. This type of power generation has the advantage that it is, unlike many other renewable energy sources, very reliable and not changing during the course of the year. The dam can also shelter the bay from strong storms. There are however some disadvantages that are the main reason why tidal power plants are not more widely distributed. One point is that the plant can only generate power for roughly twelve hours every day. During high and low, b power is generated. It is also still unclear which effects the construction of a dam has on the
ecosystem of a bay. Many organism rely on the constant movement of the tides and if that movement is restricted by the dam then the ecosystem might suffer severe damage. Migration is also very restricted, as fish and other animals, which try to enter or leave the bay through the turbines usually get killed. Furthermore it is very costly to buy such a dam and they are usually not very aesthetic. There are also very few places in the world where there is a narrow bay with a high tidal range, which limits possible construction sites. This is why alternatives to this type of tidal power plant are being developed. Tidal stream generators are a very promising concept. They often basically look like wind turbines with the exception that they are built under water. They are moved by the in and out flowing tides as well. The main advantages are that they are much cheaper to built and as far as it is know, have a less harmful influence on the environment. There are also less restrictions for the construction of these type of plants, because they don't necessarily need a narrow bay or a large tidal range. However the biggest disadvantage is again, that power is not generated constantly but only for roughly 12 hours a day. Tidal stream generators are still being developed but there are already a few promising prototypes which are being used in the United Kingdom and France. Another concept, which is not yet implemented is the so called Dynamic Tidal Power (DTP). It involves a long dam which is constructed perpendicular to the shore and equipped with turbines. As tides also move alongshore these turbines could create power even without a large tidal range. However it is estimated by the inventors of these type of plants, that the dam has to be at least 30km long in order to create a big enough difference in the water level. This means that the construction costs
are extremely high and it is not likely that this type of power plant will be constructed anytime soon. To sum it all up, you can say, that power generation has a huge potential to supply the earth with fairly clean, renewable energy. A problem is unfortunately that the investment costs are very high and that there are not yet enough prototypes. Looking at the rising oil prices though, one can expect that tidal power plants will become more and more important in the future.
Berlin, take back the reins over your energy supply! By Eliane Hartard Where ever you go nowadays, everyone keeps talking about the energy revolution. We ourselves are the best example on the Western Regional Congress 2013! Projects on huge wind parks and large solar farms, innovations for energy efficiency, e-mobility and others are currently in the pipeline and several initiatives are fighting for ‘green’ energy in their homes, cities and communities. In Germany the land Brandenburg, where we hold this congress, is one of the leading producers of biomass energy and has, as a rural area, huge potential for more. But even in big cities as Hamburg or even Berlin citizens care for climate-friendly energy production. In 2011 an initiative called Berliner Energietisch, which can be translated as ‘Energy table for Berlin’, was founded with the aim to supply the capital with electricity from renewable sources, to decrease the wastage of energy and to create an energy revolution, which is transparent, democratic and socially acceptable for all social stratum.
By the end of 2013 the concession contracts with the big energy provider Vattenfall, who is currently in charge of the energy supply in the city, are, after 20 years, phased out. This is a huge opportunity for the city to take back power over its energy supply from a private provider. An opportunity which wonâ€™t be able to call off for the next 20 years, if we let it pass by now! The initiative Berliner Energietisch is fighting to persuade the government and the citizens of Berlin to buy back the concession rights from Vattenfall and to provide municipal, green and socially acceptable electricity for Berlins 2.2 Mio. households. For buying back the concession right for the electricity grid, which costs between 370 Mio. and 2-3 Bn. â‚Ź (the exact price hasnâ€™t been determined yet), Berlin would have to take a loan, which some people, including the senate, see as an extra burden for the already indebted budget of the city. But one has to take into consideration that the loans are at an extremely low interest-rate right now and it is assured by law that the city can refinance every single Cent of investment in the grid by its returned output and compensation fee. The objective of green electricity, decentralization and decreasing energy wastage can be better pursued if the grid is municipally administrated. The city of Berlin should focus on a close partnership with Brandenburg in terms of energy production. The rural area has huge potentials to provide enough locally produced renewable energy to supply the capital and the consolidation of the local value added chain
would create a completely unspent field of employment in this sector for the region. Although the energy supply of the city is stable and Germany is one of the leading countries concerning the energy revolution, it is highly recommendable for the administration of Berlin to take back the concession right for its energy grid. Berlin, take back the reins over your energy! Useless fact of the day: Today, 399 years ago, so in 1614, Native American Pocahontas (yes, the one from the Disney movie) married English colonist John Rolfe.
This is a copper;ate engraving from 1616 Disneys Pocahontas
Did you knowâ€Ś? In Europe, all households combined produce more greenhouse gases than the European manufacturing industry. So together, we can affect a lot!
Did you know that...? …recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to power a TV for 1,5 hours? For every tonne of glass recycled, 135 litres of oil, and 1.2 tonnes of ash, sand and limestone are saved. …recycling just one aluminium can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours? …every ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees and 30.000 litres of water. …plastic bags can take up to 500 years to decay?
Green Page Agriwater pedia Agriwaterpedia is a knowledge platform on Agricultural Water Management aiming at the improvement of food security under conditions of climate change in developing countries. Agriwaterpedia stands for easy and free access to knowledge and invites you to share your own knowledge and experience by contributing articles and documents. Water will become one of the earthâ€™s most limited resources due to population growth, climate change and other effects of human activity. Already today, fresh water of good quality is scarce in many regions, hindering their development. As agriculture accounts for approximately 70 per cent of global water consumption it is a highly strategic field of action, through stopping wasteful use of water while increasing food production and protecting water resources and the environment. After three decades of declining investment in development cooperation for agriculture, the international community focusses on the strategic importance of food security, agricultural water management plays a major role. However, one of the obstacles is that potential investment plans lack the broadly available expertise to design and implement locally adapted policies, programmes and technics on the necessary global scale. There is, however, a wealth of experience in agricultural water management gathered through development cooperation during the eighties and nineties which, together with more recent know-how, is highly relevant for todayâ€™s urgent needs. This is why agriwaterpedia is collecting relevant documents and promoting the exchange of
knowledge and experience providing a base for further development of approaches The platform provides easy and free access for all who are interested in the subject, in particular users who work in the context of development cooperation. Agriwaterpedia focuses on two types of users: a) generalists working in development organisations and b) practitioners in development programmes. The first, generalists, may be in need of a concise overview on specific aspects of agricultural water management for informed decision-making and management tasks. The practitioners, on the other hand, frequently need context-specific and in-depth documentation for locally adapted solutions. Therefore, Agriwaterpedia, in this initial phase, consists of two main components: a) A collection of short articles which are easy to read and to understand, providing an overview on Agricultural Water Management in development cooperation, with references to documents for further study and links to Agriwaterpediaâ€™s own library.  b) An on-line library with a collection of all types of documents on agricultural water management in development cooperation. The platform is open to further development according to needs, progress made and available resources. It all began in 2011. Knowing that in achieves treasures were buried, knowledgeable human resources are going to retire, young experts in need of specific capacities and other organisations also struggling with the conservation and further development of their knowledge base. The Deutsche Gesellschaft fĂźr Internationale Zusammenarbeit, GIZ embarked to provide knowledge on efficient water use for food security under conditions of climate change for the public. Agriwaterpedia was set up to access and to share the wealth of earlier experience accumulated in archives and expert knowledge in an interactive manner. GIZ provides the technical infrastructure developed the main portals of the agriwaterpedia, started to fill in content and invites other to participate. Agriwaterpedia was launched during the Stockholm World Water Week in August 2012.
Agriwaterpedia is aiming at an involvement of practitioners, experts in water, agriculture and energy partner organisations in the South and the North, universities, civil society, the public and the private sector in order to create a knowledge platform that allows easy access to information and enhance the exchange and common discussion on sectoral and intersectoral approaches. It promotes universally accessible knowledge and experience exchange to contribute to sustainable water and food supply for all people. Agriwaterpedia is open and free for everyone. On www.agriwaterpedia.info everyone is invited to create and revise articles on technologies, approaches and projects related to agricultural water management for food security under conditions of climate change with regard to development cooperation. If you want to share your knowledge and contribute to the articles have a look at the guidelines. Or you can help to build the Agriwaterpedia online library by proposing relevant publications or papers that can be used free of charge. They may be your own or those of your organisation, provided they can be used freely.
Gossip Florian (München) told the DG editing team ALL about his bungabunga room with its nightly visitors and disturbing stories… very entertaining! Denise (Marburg) found her prince, it’s Sander (Utrecht). Kateryna (Leuven) was Belgianised: “Beer and Tieten!” Marie (Zagreb) and Felix (Münster) are taking each others clothes of on the dancefloor. Juan (Barcelona) is way too old for 24 hours of party. Antonia (Wien) and Matthias (Brussels) can’t seem to leave their hands of eachother. We all already know the cutest guy of the congres, Fabian Joas. Science can be interesting! Apparently, as Christopher (München) was still organising things, Gregor (v.d.W./ Berlin) took his chances with Janja (Ljubljana). Karen (Passau) enjoyed playing with Yannick (Berlin). if you know what I mean… Michael (Graz) found Lara (Jena) – and a new way of exchange.
Irina (Augsburg) and Ruben (Brussels) came downstairs together. Why? Seems like David (Graz) is not as shy as he claims to be… Top Secret: Michael (Graz) + Oxana (Helsinki) Manu (Marburg) is exploring Switzerland – I think he is looking forward to WRC’14 ;) Karen (Passau) and Jannick (Leuven) did some sexy dancing in the hallway Anneliese and one of the orga-team’s Gregors have been seen kissing on the dancefloor. DON’T FORGET: BDC IS JUST A GAME!!!