World’s cutest solar farm in China is shaped like a panda

July 3, 2017 by  
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Who says solar panel installations can’t be adorable? The Panda Power Plant in Datong, China is shaped like the country’s treasured animal – and the first phase offers 50 megawatts (MW) of clean energy . Panda Green Energy installed the array under an agreement with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to advocate for renewable energy . The first phase of the giant panda solar station was just connected to the grid . There’s a new contender for the cutest solar farm in the world: the Panda Power Plant, which will have an aggregate installed capacity of 100 MW. The black parts of the panda, such as the ears and arms, will be comprised of monocrystalline silicone solar cells, with the grey and white tummy and face composed of thin film solar cells. Related: China is now the largest producer of solar power in the world In addition to providing clean electricity , the panda solar stations are part of an effort to promote sustainable development among China’s young people. A youth activity center at the Panda Power Plant targeted at schoolchildren will detail the benefits of solar power . The 100 MW Panda Power Plants will be able to offer 3.2 billion kilowatt-hours of green power in 25 years, according to the company, saving 1.056 million tons of coal and reducing carbon emissions by 2.74 million tons. Panda Green Energy plans to install more panda plants in the upcoming five years as part of their Panda 100 Program in Belt and Road areas, which are part of Chinese president Xi Jinping’s economic development strategy also known as the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road. As the strategy is targeted at cooperation among Eurasian countries, some of the panda plants could be built outside China. The UNDP also plans to promote renewable energy in China with China Merchants New Energy , the largest shareholder of Panda Green Energy, through summer camps and design competitions. Via pv magazine , Panda Green Energy , and United Nations Development Programme Images via China Merchants New Energy and Panda Green Energy

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World’s cutest solar farm in China is shaped like a panda

Ireland set to ban fracking after both houses of Parliament pass bill

July 3, 2017 by  
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Ireland is one signature away from banning hydraulic fracturing, or fracking . After the country’s House of Representatives, the Dáil Éireann, passed a fracking ban the end of May, Ireland’s Senate, the Seanad Éireann, followed suit the end of June. Now the bill just needs Irish President Michael Higgins’ signature before Ireland bids farewell to the controversial practice. “We’ve made history,” said Fine Gael TD Tony McLoughlin, who introduced the bill, after the vote. President Higgins is expected to sign the bill “in the coming days,” according to the Fine Gael Party . France, Bulgaria, and Germany are the only other European Union states to have banned the practice onshore so far. Related: Ireland votes to be world’s first country to fully divest from fossil fuels “Fracking must be seen as a serious public health and environmental concern for Ireland,” McLoughlin said in a statement. “If fracking was allowed to take place in Ireland and Northern Ireland it would pose significant threats to the air, water, and the health and safety of individuals and communities here.” According to The Irish Times, politicians across the political spectrum in Ireland supported the bill. A public consultation earlier in 2017 drew 8,000 submissions, with just one opposing the ban. Environmental activists touted the bill as protecting people, the environment, and water quality in the country. There are large shale deposits in multiple counties in Ireland such as Sligo and Leitrim, the counties McLoughlin represents. Irish communities will be safe from the negative impacts of fracking seen in towns and cities in the United States, according to McLoughlin, where states are beginning to consider fracking bans . Earlier this year Maryland joined Vermont and New York to ban fracking , and they were the first state with gas reserves to do so. Via The Irish Times and EcoWatch Images via Friends of the Earth Ireland and greensefa on Flickr

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Ireland set to ban fracking after both houses of Parliament pass bill

Old warehouse transformed into a vibrant urban market in Mexico City

July 3, 2017 by  
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Architect Francisco Pardo gave new life to an old warehouse in Mexico City by transforming it into a vibrant urban market. The four-story structure once served as an auto parts shop, however it now features a two-story local grocer, restaurants, a barber’s shop and a yoga studio . The top floor is open to the public and hosts a beer bar. The main challenge for the architects was to adapt the original structure to the new dynamics of the area. They decided to integrate a regular grid of exposed concrete beams, columns and slabs into the venue’s new public role. Related: Foster + Partners unveils plans to rejuvenate Cairo’s Maspero Triangle District “Through it, the street folds to the inside and upwards” says Francisco Pardo, founder of the architectural practice “it’s like a vortex that transversely crosses the building, pulling the street right up to the rooftop ”. + Francisco Pardo Arquitecto Photos by Diana Arnau

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Old warehouse transformed into a vibrant urban market in Mexico City

Nanoleaf’s Terra light wall paints Arctic landscapes with 1,200 color-changing LEDs

July 3, 2017 by  
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Nanoleaf – creators of the first modular smart light – recently unveiled a mesmerizing light wall at Alaska ‘s Anchorage Museum that evokes remote Arctic landscapes. “Terra” is made up of 1,200 Nanoleaf Aurora LED panels, which display beautiful imagery of sunsets and polar bears with over 16 million colors. Terra is Nanoleaf’s largest Aurora installation to date – it’s made from 1,200 triangular panels that can be connected together like LEGO bricks. Related: Add a splash of ‘living paint’ to your walls with Nanoleaf’s new LED light panels Thanks to improvements made by Nanoleaf, Aurora panels now offer voice control with Amazon Alexa, IFTTT integration, and an open API – which was used to create Terra’s moving arctic imagery. “The belief that lighting should be a more joyful experience was largely what inspired the Aurora,” said Nanoleaf CEO & Co-Founder Gimmy Chu. “Even though many people only see light as a function, we know that light is vital in creating the right ambiance. We wanted to give that experience back to the user, and hopefully inspire more creative ways of using light in a space – which is exactly what we’ve seen with ‘Terra’ at the Anchorage Museum. We see the Aurora as the ultimate tool for self-expression.” + Nanoleaf

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Nanoleaf’s Terra light wall paints Arctic landscapes with 1,200 color-changing LEDs

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