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March 28, 2015
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Brésil : un cyclone nommé Petrobras

Un million de manifestants dfile dans tout le pays le 15 mars
Un million de manifestants défile dans tout le pays le 15 mars
© Fabio Teixeira/Pacific PR/SIPA

L’argent du groupe pétrolier public a-t-il servi à acheter des dizaines de responsables politiques de toutes obédiences ? Depuis plusieurs mois, un scandale de corruption d’une ampleur sans précédent secoue le pays. Dilma Rousseff y résistera-t-elle ?

Vue de loin, la marée jaune et vert – les couleurs de l’équipe nationale – qui a déferlé sur le Brésil, les 14 et 15 mars, pouvait faire croire à une scène de liesse après, pourquoi pas, une victoire en finale de la Coupe du monde de football. Ce n’était pas le cas, bien sûr, et cette fois les Allemands n’y étaient pour rien. La joie de vivre et la cordialité légendaires des Brésiliens étaient restées au vestiaire pour faire place à un mécontentement sourd. Pour ne pas dire à la colère. Car si, dans quelque quatre-vingts villes du pays, un million et demi de personnes sont descendues dans la rue, c’était pour exiger la destitution de Dilma Rousseff, engluée jusqu’au cou dans le scandale Petrobras. Dans la foule, quelques jusqu’au-boutistes sont allés jusqu’à demander l’intervention de l’armée pour contraindre la présidente au départ. Un comble, alors que le pays a eu tant de mal à se libérer de vingt années de dictature militaire !

Après le raz-de-marée, Rousseff ne s’est pas exprimée. Mais José Eduardo Cardozo, son ministre de la Justice, a parlé pour elle et annoncé l’adoption prochaine de mesures pour lutter contre la corruption. Il était temps ! Car, depuis plusieurs mois, une affaire de corruption d’une ampleur sans précédent secoue le pays. Comme son nom – Petrobras – l’indique, elle met en cause le grand groupe pétrolier public, soupçonné par la justice d’avoir acheté à l’instigation des gouvernements successifs plusieurs dizaines de responsables politiques de toutes obédiences. L’enquête ne fait que commencer. Et beaucoup de questions n’ont pas encore trouvé de réponse.

Qu’est-ce que l’affaire Petrobras ?

Le groupe Petrobras a longtemps fait la fierté du pays. Conséquence de la découverte de nombreux gisements de pétrole le long des côtes brésiliennes au début des années 2000, il est devenu en quelques années l’un des plus puissants d’Amérique latine.

À lire : tous les articles concernant le groupe Petrobras.

“Il y a de forts soupçons que Dieu soit brésilien”, plaisantait naguère Dilma Rousseff. Prise dans les remous du plus grand scandale de corruption jamais vu sous ces latitudes, la présidente n’a aujourd’hui plus vraiment le coeur à rire. Pour tenter de sauver sa tête, elle est même contrainte de faire profil bas.

Dans sa chute, le géant pétrolier a entraîné une cinquantaine de responsables politiques et une trentaine d’entreprises du BTP. Tout ce joli monde avait constitué une sorte de cartel dont l’unique objectif était de se partager les grands chantiers de Petrobras. Une enquête policière a été diligentée il y a près d’un an – l’opération est surnommée “lava jato”, qu’on pourrait traduire par “Kärcher”. Elle a révélé que tous les contrats, ou presque, conclus par Petrobras donnaient lieu à des surfacturations.

Au total, près de 3 milliards d’euros de pots-de-vin auraient été distribués au cours des dix dernières années. Entre 1 % et 3 % de cet argent aurait servi à alimenter les caisses noires de plusieurs partis politiques.

Qui sont les corrompus ? 

Chaque jour apporte son lot de révélations. La plus attendue était la liste, longtemps tenue secrète, des corrompus établie par le procureur Rodrigo Janot. On n’a pas été déçu. Rendue publique début mars, ladite liste fait apparaître que 49 hommes politiques, parmi lesquels 12 sénateurs et 22 députés, sont fortement soupçonnés d’avoir reçu des commissions occultes. Tous les partis, ou presque, sont concernés.

Sept membres du Parti du mouvement démocratique brésilien (PMDB), formation centriste qui appartient à la coalition gouvernementale, figurent ainsi sur la liste. Parmi eux, le président de la Chambre des députés et celui du Sénat. Les opposants du Parti de la social-démocratie brésilienne (PSDB) sont eux aussi mouillés jusqu’au cou. Et ne parlons pas du Parti des travailleurs de Dilma Rousseff ! Huit de ses membres sont mis en cause, notamment son trésorier et une ancienne chef du cabinet présidentiel – qui siège aujourd’hui au Sénat.

On découvre avec effarement l’ampleur de la corruption qui gangrène le pays. Et l’étroitesse de la collusion entre les secteurs privé et public. “N’ayez aucune illusion, a témoigné Paulo Roberto Costa, ex-directeur des approvisionnements chez Petrobras, devant une commission d’enquête parlementaire. Ce qui s’est passé chez nous est la norme dans tous les secteurs d’activité : les routes, les chemins de fer, les ports, les aéroports, les barrages…”

Si la corruption est omniprésente, il est rare que les corrupteurs soient identifiés et, a fortiori, poursuivis, d’où le caractère exceptionnel de cette affaire, qui en rappelle d’ailleurs une autre, celle dite du mensalão, cette “grosse mensualité” versée à des dizaines de parlementaires pour les convaincre de voter certains projets de loi. Un scandale qui, en 2006, faillit coûter sa réélection à Lula.

La présidente est-elle directement impliquée ?

Depuis le début de l’enquête, Dilma Rousseff jure de n’avoir été au courant de rien, mais ce système de défense peine à convaincre l’opinion. N’était-elle pas l’amie intime de Graça Foster, la directrice de Petrobras poussée à la démission ? N’a-t-elle pas été ministre de l’Énergie de 2003 à 2010 ? Ne siégeait-elle pas, à ce titre, au conseil d’administration de Petrobras ? Et que penser du témoignage accablant de Pedro Barusco, un ancien cadre de la société désireux d’obtenir une remise de peine ? Selon lui, aucun doute : Lula et Dilma étaient parfaitement informés. Pis, l’argent aurait servi à financer la campagne de la seconde, en 2010. Il estime que le système de corruption était en place avant l’arrivée aux affaires du Parti des travailleurs, mais qu’il se serait institutionnalisé (si l’on peut dire) ensuite. Le PT dément formellement.

Quelles conséquences politiques ?

Depuis sa réélection de justesse il y a deux mois et demi, Rousseff a le plus grand mal à exister. Après la révélation du scandale, sa cote de popularité a dévissé aussi vite que l’action Petrobras à la Bourse de Sao Paulo. Selon l’institut de sondages Datafolha, elle a perdu 19 points en février et ne recueille plus que 23 % d’opinions favorables. Elle qui avait fait du combat contre la corruption son cheval de bataille a perdu toute crédibilité aux yeux de la majorité de ses compatriotes. Pourtant, son discours reste le même : “Je pense, dit-elle, que l’enquête peut changer le Brésil pour toujours, dans la mesure où l’on va en finir avec l’impunité. C’est la première enquête sur la corruption qui englobe les secteurs privé et public.”

Quoi qu’il en soit, elle se retrouve de plus en plus isolée au Congrès. Et ses opposants se frottent les mains. Son allié centriste, le PMDB, première force politique au Sénat dont Dilma ne peut se passer pour gouverner, se rapproche ostensiblement de l’opposition. Comment va-t-elle pouvoir faire passer ses projets de loi au Congrès, en particulier la réforme fiscale promise pendant la campagne électorale afin de relancer l’économie ?

Le 8 mars à la télévision, elle a demandé à ses compatriotes de la “patience” et de la “compréhension” face aux problèmes du pays et jugé l’affaire Petrobras “lamentable”. Ses déclarations sont restées parfaitement inaudibles. Pendant l’allocution présidentielle, d’innombrables familles de la classe moyenne massées à leurs fenêtres et munies d’ustensiles de cuisine ont déclenché un panelaço, un concert de casseroles. Leur slogan était on ne peut plus explicite : “Fora Dilma !” (“dehors, Dilma !”)

Quelles conséquences économiques ?

“Le scandale Petrobras va-t-il paralyser le pays ?” s’interroge le magazine économique Exame, qui se fait l’écho de l’inquiétude des marchés après cinq années de croissance plus que poussive – elle devrait être proche de zéro en 2014. De nombreux chantiers sont à l’arrêt ; des contrats et des investissements risquent d’être annulés ou suspendus en attendant des jours meilleurs ; l’inflation augmente ; le surendettement des ménages, aussi. Et l’action Petrobras – l’entreprise représente entre 10 % et 15 % du PIB brésilien – a perdu en Bourse plus de 60 % de sa valeur depuis six mois. L’année 2014 a été mauvaise, 2015 risque d’être pire. Même Joaquim Levy, le très contesté ministre de l’Économie – sa politique d’austérité passe de plus en plus mal -, le reconnaît, c’est dire ! l

March 28, 2015
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Here’s Why Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity Is Absolutely ‘Perfect’ (PODCAST)

Albert Einstein at a lecture in Vienna in 1921.
Albert Einstein at a lecture in Vienna in 1921.

A century has passed since Albert Einstein published his seminal paper on general relativity, and scientists are still using this iconic theory to explain the world.

To Dr. Pedro G. Ferreira, a professor of astrophysics at the University of Oxford in England and the author of a new book about relativity, that’s not at all surprising. He considers Einstein’s theory of general relativity a “perfect” one.

“The theory that he comes up with in 1915, a hundred years ago, is still the theory we work with,” Ferreira (right) said in a recent interview with HuffPost’s senior science editor, David Freeman. “It’s exactly the theory we work with. pedro ferreiraThere are no modifications… It’s very simple. It’s very elegant—just a simple formula. Yet a hundred years later we’re still trying to figure out what this formula tells us.”

Perfect, maybe. But relativity is perplexing for those of us who lack sophisticated mathematical skills. Fortunately, Ferreria, whose book is entitled “The Perfect Theory,” is well equipped to explain things–from the thought experiments that fueled Einstein’s imagination to the astronomy experiment that proved his theory correct to how scientists since Einstein have put the theory to work.

Just click on the podcast link above and have a listen!

March 28, 2015
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On Scalar Waves Streams Full "Sequence" EP

On Scalar Waves Streams Full “Sequence” EP

On Scalar Waves is now streaming all five tracks off the “Sequence” EP, which was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Matteo Villambrosa at Outerspace Studio. You can also pick up the EP at Bandcamp here. The full track listing is:

1. Retrocognition 02:45
2. Apathy 01:58
3. Clarity 02:34
4. Sequence 02:43
5. Echoes to perfection 03:11

March 28, 2015
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New Board Game Pits Tesla Against Edison, History's Greatest Underdog

New Board Game Pits Tesla Against Edison, History's Greatest Underdog

Everybody knows that Nikola Tesla was a genius. But with all the attention being paid to Tesla here in the 21st century, many kids today must wonder what happened to his rival, Thomas Edison. Well, soon everybody will have a chance to tinker with technology history by putting their (fake) money behind inventors like Tesla or his less remembered counterpart, Thomas Edison.

The company Artana is currently kickstarting a board game called Tesla vs Edison: War of Currents, which has already blown past its funding goal of $20,000. The game allows players to act as an investor, giving money to an inventor of their choice from the late 19th century. Naturally, we can guess that countless people will be fighting over who gets to invest in Edison, an inventor who may be unfamiliar to many folks today who’ve grown up hearing about all of Tesla’s amazing accomplishments.

There are other 19th century inventors that players can invest in, but as you can tell from the title of the game, the real focus will be on the rivalry between Tesla and Edison. Who will you choose to invest in? The genius Tesla who’s so widely celebrated today? Or the scrappy Edison who is quickly becoming an underdog in the history of technology?

I have no doubt that countless little kids will be fighting with their Millennial parents, explaining that Thomas Edison is an often-overlooked genius who actually contributed to many of the inventions that Nikola Tesla gets credit for today.

But Millennials shouldn’t be discouraged by their know-it-all kids. Despite criticism that some people on the internet have turned Tesla into a cartoonish saint, many historians contend that Tesla actually does deserve recognition as a genius who helped invent our modern world. [Kickstarter]

H/T John Overholt

March 28, 2015
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Company Profile for FridgeWize

FridgeWize is a company that specializes in commercial refrigeration
retrofitting. Our business model is simple: we provide a free energy
audit of refrigeration systems and distribute and install innovative
refrigeration technologies. Our objective: to reduce our clients carbon
footprint and to save them money on their monthly utility bill. The
energy savings that we provide our customers have ranged from 60% to 80%
on their refrigeration portion of their utility bill and up to 30% on
their total utility bill! Most importantly, our savings are 100%
quantifiable, accurate and reliable.

 

Company:

 

 

FridgeWize

 

Headquarters Address:

2520 South Grand Ave, Suite 112

Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

 

Main Telephone:

(970) 987 5388

 

Website:

http://fridgewize.com/

 

Type of Organization:

Private

 

Industry:

Energy

 

Key Executives:

CEO: Ryan Grobler

Vice President: Juan Grobler

 

Public Relations

Contact:

Colleen Hickman

Phone:

4142170294

Email:

colleen@fridgewize.com

March 20, 2015
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First-Of-Its-Kind Wave Energy Farm For Largest Naval Base In Australia

Clean Power
CETO Australia wave energy

Published on March 15th, 2015
by Tina Casey

12

March 15th, 2015 by Tina Casey 

You’ve heard of wind farms and solar farms, now here’s another reason why economic growth is decoupling from fossil fuels: wave farms. The Australian company Carnegie Wave Energy Limited has just announced that a three-unit array of its CETO 5 wave energy generators is now up and running at the Perth Wave Energy Project, located off Garden Island in Western Australia, making it the first operating wave project in the world to be composed of multiple, connected units.

Garden Island happens to be the home of HMAS Stirling, the largest naval base in Australia. The new wave energy farm will provide the base with a first-of-its-kind twofer: zero emission electricity from wave energy, and pressurized water for zero emission desalination. That’s a new one on us, so let’s take a look and see what’s going on there.

CETO Australia wave energy

Wave Energy For The Australian Navy

Before we get to the good stuff, we did mention that economic growth is becoming uncoupled from fossil fuels, and our source for that information is a new report from the International Energy Agency. Here’s the money quote:

Data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicate that global emissions of carbon dioxide from the energy sector stalled in 2014, marking the first time in 40 years in which there was a halt or reduction in emissions of the greenhouse gas that was not tied to an economic downturn.

So there’s that. Wave energy has yet to play a significant role in this new trend (assuming it’s a trend and not a one-0ff), but after a long period of RD things are starting to cook.

Carnegie Wave Energy Limited, for example, has been working on its technology since 1999 before launching the Perth Project.

Of three CETO 5 units, two were already up and running earlier this year, and the third was just installed and switched on earlier this week. The eventual plan is to retrieve the first two units for inspection, but for the next month or so all three will operate in tandem.

Wave energy generators work by converting the mechanical up-and-down motion of waves into electricity.

We’re more familiar with buoy-type wave energy generators that float on the surface and tap into surfaces waves and swells. Wave Energy’s approach is different. Its fully submerged CETO 5 units tap into the less dramatic but more stable movement of subsurface waters.

The subsurface design insulates CETO 5 from storms, and it virtually eliminates the NIMBY factor since it is not visible from shore.

We’re also more familiar with wave energy designs that generate electricity offshore, then transmit it to shore by cable. The CETO 5 can do that, but it can also do something quite different. It can pump water onshore at high pressure. Some of the pressurized water goes to run a standard off-the-shelf turbine, and some goes to a desalination plant.

We’re excited about the desalination plant angle because conventional desalination plants run on a process called reverse osmosis, which requires water at high pressure. That typically involves a lot of energy, and engineers have been working diligently to devise processes that either use less energy, or use renewable energy — or something quite different.

The Perth Project is designed as demonstration project. This year Wave Energy engineers will be tracking the wave farm for its reliability in terms of both electricity generation and desalination. Environmental analyses are also part of the package.

If all goes well, you’re going to see a larger, commercial-scale version, CETO 6, hit the waves in a 3 MW (megawatt) wave farm expected to start construction in 2016.

Hey, What About Wave Energy For The US Navy?

Meanwhile, the US Navy is also looking to take advantage of its seaside locations to generate local renewable energy.

The Navy recently upgraded its wave energy test bed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Oahu, as part of a public-private RD effort. Back in 2010 the base became home to the first ever grid-connected wave energy system in the US.

Last April the Energy Department announced another $10 million in funding opportunities for utility-scale wave energy developers to use the facility, and in November the Navy pumped $3 million for RD into a buoy-type wave energy system from Columbia Power Technologies called StingRAY.

wave energy US Navy StingRAY

Buoy-type wave energy system from Columbia Power Technologies.

Another company working with the Navy, Ocean Power, has also used the facility to develop a buoy-type wave energy generator it calls PowerBuoy.

Speaking of Australia, last year Ocean Power has hooked up with Lockheed Martin for another Australian wave energy project, which is expected to be the largest of its kind in the world.

If you’re surprised to see Lockheed pop up in the context of wave energy, the company better known for aircraft and US defense contracts, the company has been pivoting toward renewable energy in general, and ocean energy in particular.

Here’s the headline of the company’s page on wave and title energy: “The power plant of the future covers 71% of the planet.”

Lockheed isn’t the only US defense contractor taking up the clean energy mantle, and you’re going also going to see plenty more along those lines as the US military continues to invest more funds in renewable energy as well as energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, and habitat preservation (yes, habitat preservation).

Follow me on Twitter and Google+.

Image Credits: Top (screenshot), courtesy of Carnegie Wave Energy Limited; bottom, courtesy of Columbia Power Technologies.

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Tags: australia wave energy, Australian Navy, Carnegie Wave Energy Limited, Columbia Power Technologies, lockheed martin, navy, Ocean Power Technologies, Perth Wave Energy Project


About the Author

Tina Casey Tina Casey specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.


Related Posts






  • From a desal stand point, why would you be routing “low pressure water” from shore. Just skip that loop and take in sea water.

  • A couple of point sto add: Because the ceto units deliver pressurised water to shore they Have fewer of the issues associated with maintaining complex electrical equipment in a saltwater environment. Also, because the system apparently can be made to switch any fraction of its output between desalinization and electricity generation, it is naturally capable of smoothing electricity output or rapidly responding to demand changes i.e. it’s potentially both a base load and a peaking generator.

  • Hmmm? Is that some sort of pressure sensitive diaphragm system that pumps water from increased pressure as a wave passes over. Then a one way valve locks and chamber refills before next wave crest?

    Smart to keep the entire thing under the surface. The zone at the suface where air and sea water meet is highly degrading to mechanical devices because of increased corrosion and biological fouling. Keeping it under water may solve some of the problem other wave generating systems have encounter. Course being underwater mean increased pressure and that opens up whole nother can of worms.

  • Australia’s contribution to basic research and development of renewable technology is something to be both proud and depressed about. Proud because the Great Southern Land is contributing to making the world a better place and depressed because what happens is we develop some great technology and then throw it under a bus in the service of fossil fuel interests. Take solar PV. Australia contributed to improving the technology and it got government support in for rooftop solar before it was on big coal’s radar. We have become a world leader in low cost rooftop solar installations. And now what do we do? We allow Queensland, the sunshine state, to refuse electricity exports from larger rooftop solar systems which means coal gets burned while perfectly clean solar electricity goes to waste. Hopefully things will get turned around soon before we drown too many more babies, but it is pretty disgusting.

  • Am dying to know what Larmion’s opinion about this one. He claimed that wave as source of energy is futile endeavor.

    • Not just me, most people on this site. James too has (rightly) pointed out that waves are residual wind energy, for example.

      I’ll change my opinion when there is a single succes story to report. These things have been installed, after a few years of operation we’ll be able to tell how much energy they produce and at what cost. The ones that have been used around the world, but demonstration units and full scale ones, have been abject failures.

      Wave has some advantages. Buoy-style devices can be towed in and connected to the grid quickly, which could make them interesting in a few small niches for things like disaster relief or military missions (though rapidly deployable, containerized solar systems have also been demonstrated, at low cost). But as a mainstream source of energy generation, it beyond unlikely that a low density source of energy in a challenging environment could ever compete with much easier and denser forms of energy like wind.

  • Tina: the IEA finding is the biggest news of the decade. It’s not an aside in a post on an interesting long-shot wave energy pilot.

    • Shout that.

March 20, 2015
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Magnetic Materials Market Developing at 8.9% CAGR To 2020

The global magnetic materials market is projected to reach $45 billion by 2020 and register a CAGR of 8.9% between 2015 to 2020 in terms of value – Says
a
 New Research Available at RnRMarketResearch.com

Magnetic materials are those materials that have a property of producing a magnetic field around it and which attracts or repels when placed in an external magnetic field. Rising demand for
miniaturization and growing need for technological advancements in various applications are anticipated to drive the magnetic materials market between 2015 and 2020. Asia-Pacific is projected to be the fastest-growing region for magnetic materials market. Developing economies such as China and
India are estimated to be the key growth drivers for applications such as industrial, automotive, electronics, and energy generation. Complete report on
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Aerospace Defense, and Others)
 - Global Trends Forecasts to 2020 available at

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.

Region-wise, Asia-pacific is anticipated to lead the global magnetic materials market in 2014. Growth in Asia-Pacific region
is led by the rising demand from electronics, industrial, and automotive applications due to rapid industrialization and reviving automotive sector in the region. Asia-Pacific is also projected to be the fastest-growing market for the magnetic materials due to the region’s favorable prospects; several companies are expanding their
production capacity in Asian countries to benefit from the low-cost structures, availability of raw materials, and growing local demand for magnetic materials in various applications.

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investments required in RD and technology. The monopoly of Chinese players in the market is expected to act as a barrier to the new entrants in the market.

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March 20, 2015
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Multi-billion pound market at stake in wave energy competition challenge – Ross

A NEW research body that is part of development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise has issued a challenge to wave energy trailblazers.

Wave Energy Scotland (WES), a new research and development body which is funded by the Scottish Government, has declared itself open for business with the launch of its first international technology innovation competition.

The competitive project call is for innovative power take-off (PTO) systems.

Applications are invited from innovative technology developers who require investment to advance their technology through rigorous testing and, in time, towards commercialisation.

Successful applicants will be eligible for contracts that cover up to 100 per cent of the cost of their technology development project. Contracts will range from between £100,000 and £4 million, depending on the maturity of the technology.

The PTO system competitive call is the first of five calls to be run over the next year, with support from the Carbon Trust, the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and the University of Edinburgh.

Wave Energy Scotland’s objective is to put wave energy technology developed in Scotland on the path towards a reliable, commercial product that generates electricity at no more than £150/MWh.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “This project call is the first opportunity for innovative technology developers to get involved in Wave Energy Scotland and drive the direction of the wave energy sector. We recognise the wide range of expertise that exists beyond the energy sector.

“Wave Energy Scotland is a great platform for a collaborative effort between various industries and gives us the chance to support developers in Scotland to produce solutions for the cost effective generation of wave energy around the world.”

Tim Hurst, interim director, Wave Energy Scotland promised “a fresh approach to resolving the issues which so often hamper the early stages of developing innovative technology”.

Michael Rea, chief operating officer at the Carbon Trust declared it “critical to drive convergence of device design to ultimately reduce the costs of commercialisation of wave energy technology”.

Recent assessments of the wave energy market estimate that, by 2050, projects totalling a capacity of up to 130GW Globally could be installed with much of the development potential in well-supported markets, with strong subsidies for renewable energy, in the UK and Europe.

This huge potential could create a multi-billion pound market for power take-off systems, which typically represent around a quarter of the capital costs for a wave energy machine.

The inherent challenge for the wave energy sector is to convert the high force provided by low velocity waves into the high velocity movement required to generate electricity.

When coupled with the need to survive very harsh marine conditions while making a device cost-competitive with other forms of offshore renewables energy, it creates one of the great engineering challenges of the 21st century.

WES is calling for innovative ideas from Scotland’s marine energy sector and beyond to provide a step change in the capital cost and performance over current technologies.

Technology transfer from the automotive, offshore wind, aerospace, defence, maritime and oil and gas sectors could help support early step changes in the levelised-cost-of-energy (LCOE) for the wave sector via lower capital costs, and improved efficiency or reliability at the subsystem or device level.

Innovators will need to demonstrate they meet specific ‘gate entry’ criteria in order to be assessed and the competition is open to any organisation with registered operations in the Europe Union.

Applications will be assessed according to their technical and commercial merit, impact on cost reduction and performance. Any intellectual property generated through a project supported by WES will lie with the applicant.

To find out more about Wave Energy Scotland and how to apply for this open call visit www.waveenergyscotland.co.uk

March 20, 2015
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Des pièges pour compter les crapauds pendant la migration – République Seine-et

Chaque matin, le comptage des amphibiens a lieu dans des pièges répartis sur la plaine de Sorques, à Episy
Chaque matin, le comptage des amphibiens a lieu dans des pièges répartis sur la plaine de Sorques, à Episy

L’agence départementale Seine Marne Environnement a organisé à Episy une sortie ouverte au public dans le but de compter les amphibiens migrateurs.
Depuis une dizaine d’années, le conseil général a mis en place un aménagement de la D 104 pour la migration nuptiale annuelle des amphibiens, qui se déroule au printemps. C’est le moment où crapauds, grenouilles et tritons quittent le refuge de la forêt pour rejoindre la zone humide et se reproduire.

Crapauducs

Les espèces présentes sur le site sont nombreuses : grenouilles brunes (qui se divisent en grenouilles rousses et grenouilles agiles), crapauds communs, tritons (ponctués ou palmés).
Des crapauducs ont été mis à leur disposition pour traverser la route sans risquer d’être écrasés. Mais les amphibiens ont arrêté de les utiliser car leurs nombreux prédateurs (renards, belettes, hérons, etc.) les attendaient à la sortie du tunnel.
À cette époque de l’année, le risque d’accident pour les automobilistes est très élevé. En effet, certaines nuits, ce sont plus de 5 000 amphibiens qui tentent la traversée. Lorsqu’ils sont écrasés en grand nombre, ils forment des flaques glissantes pouvant entraîner des sorties de route.
Le Département a ainsi décidé de mettre en place un système de 45 pièges destinés à les recueillir avant qu’ils traversent.

Comptage

Chaque matin pendant la migration, 15 personnes du conseil général se relaient pour récupérer les amphibiens et les faire traverser. L’occasion de compter les migrateurs, excellents indicateurs écologiques, pour les études statistiques précises sur les différentes populations de la plaine de Sorques.
Leur nombre évolue au fil du temps et les scientifiques disposent d’un outil précieux pour mieux analyser le phénomène. Charlie Darenne, animateur de la sortie, explique comment manipuler avec précaution les amphibiens, afin de pouvoir déterminer leur espèce et leur sexe.
“ Il faut toujours se mouiller les mains avant de toucher un amphibien, précise l’animateur Charlie Darenne, en confiant un triton à un jeune garçon, tout ému de pouvoir faire traverser l’animal. Ils ont en effet un très mauvais système immunitaire et sont particulièrement sensibles à la pollution et aux mycoses. Il sécrètent donc un mucus pour garder leur peau humide et la protéger des agressions. Des mains sèches pourraient retirer ce mucus et mettre en danger l’amphibien ”.
Seine Marne Environnement organise des sorties à la fois pédagogiques, scientifiques et écologiques pour mieux sensibiliser le public à la richesse de ce patrimoine naturel. Renseignements au 01 64 31 11 18.