Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Eye-popping bug photos

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
"The Quantum Factor" – Apr 10, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Galaxies, Universe, Intelligent design, Benevolent design, Aliens, Nikola Tesla (Quantum energy), Inter-Planetary Travel, DNA, Genes, Stem Cells, Cells, Rejuvenation, Shift of Human Consciousness, Spontaneous Remission, Religion, Dictators, Africa, China, Nuclear Power, Sustainable Development, Animals, Global Unity.. etc.) - (Text Version)

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

(Live Kryon Channelings was given 7 times within the United Nations building.)

"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)

"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)

“… 4 - Energy (again)

The natural resources of the planet are finite and will not support the continuation of what you've been doing. We've been saying this for a decade. Watch for increased science and increased funding for alternate ways of creating electricity (finally). Watch for the very companies who have the most to lose being the ones who fund it. It is the beginning of a full realization that a change of thinking is at hand. You can take things from Gaia that are energy, instead of physical resources. We speak yet again about geothermal, about tidal, about wind. Again, we plead with you not to over-engineer this. For one of the things that Human Beings do in a technological age is to over-engineer simple things. Look at nuclear - the most over-engineered and expensive steam engine in existence!

Your current ideas of capturing energy from tidal and wave motion don't have to be technical marvels. Think paddle wheel on a pier with waves, which will create energy in both directions [waves coming and going] tied to a generator that can power dozens of neighborhoods, not full cities. Think simple and decentralize the idea of utilities. The same goes for wind and geothermal. Think of utilities for groups of homes in a cluster. You won't have a grid failure if there is no grid. This is the way of the future, and you'll be more inclined to have it sooner than later if you do this, and it won't cost as much….”

"Fast-Tracking" - Feb 8, 2014 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Reference to Fukushima / H-bomb nuclear pollution and a warning about nuclear > 20 Min)

Obama unveils landmark regulations to combat climate change

Obama unveils landmark regulations to combat climate change
In a bid to combat climate change, US President Barack Obama announced the Clean Power Plan on Monday, marking the first time power plants have been targeted by mandatory regulations on carbon dioxide emissions in the US.
Google: Earthday 2013

Friday, April 10, 2015

Sumba Renewable Energy: A Bright Future Where the Lights Don’t Go Out

Jakarta Globe, Basten Gokkon,  Apr 10, 2015

Photovoltaics on the eastern islands of Sumba are being used for electricity
generation. (Antara Photo/Hafidz Mubarak)

Waingapu, Sumba. Five years ago, Dorkas Manuhuluk, a Sumbanese headmistress, would ask her staff to ride a bike for 45 minutes to a neighboring village just to make copies of question sheets for her students.

“It’d be free if we used our own motorcycle, but we don’t own one. We’d call an ojek [motorcycle taxi] which costs Rp 50,000 ($3.80) for one trip,” said Dorkas, who currently heads Praimarada Elementary School in Umamanu village, one-and -a-half hours’ drive southwest of Waingapu — the biggest city in East Sumba district, East Nusa Tenggara.

Markus Karepi Muama, a teacher at Praimarada, said sixth graders would light kerosene lamps as they stayed overnight at the school, studying for an upcoming national examination.

“For a whole month ahead of national exam, we teach and repeat as much material as possible with the students every evening,” said Markus.

Meanwhile, farmers in East Sumba  district’s two neighboring villages — Rakawatu and Kondamara, located some 70 kilometers west of Waingapu — would often stop growing and harvesting paddies during an unusually long dry season on the island.

“During the dry season, we would pump the water from a nearby spring,” said Made Raspita, one of the farmers.

“For a long while, we would use diesel as fuel for the water pump generator, regardless its skyhigh price,” he added.

Affected by the hot, dry air from the deserts of Northern Australia, Sumba — one of the southernmost islands in the archipelago — does not receive nearly as much rainfall as the islands to the north.

November to March is the rainy season for Sumba, while the sun shines on the island during the rest of the year. This means farmers consume massive amount of diesel to run the water pump generator to help the irrigation system.

Electricity shortage

In 2010, researchers from two international nongovernmental organizations, Hivos and Winrock, released a study that found less than 25 percent of Sumba’s 686,000 residents have access to electricity at home.

Researchers also discovered the electricity used by the locals in Sumba was heavily sourced from non-renewable energy, such as diesel and kerosene, which is shipped in from outside the island, resulting in higher operational costs.

State electric utility PLN has cited Sumba’s relatively sparse population as the reason the firm remains reluctant to install a more robust electrical grid to electrify the island’s remote villages.

“It costs about Rp 300 million per kilometer of electrical extension grid.”

“It’s too costly for us considering the small amount of people that will use the electricity,” Khairullah, area manager of PLN in Sumba, told The Jakarta Globe on Tuesday.

When the Jakarta Globe visited Praimarada Elementary School on Monday, the nearest electricity pole to the school was some five kilometers away — one that also looked questionably functional.

Meanwhile, the last standing electricity pole on the road leading to Rakawatu and Kondamara was about 40 minutes away from the two villages.

Since March 2011, PLN has instead provided remote villages across the archipelago with energy-saving lamps, known locally as Sehen, which are sources of artificial light that reduce the amount of electricity drawn from the local grid, since they are connected to a solar panel.

These lamps can stay lit for about six hours.

The light at the end of the tunnel

Joint research from the two NGOs found that Sumba is rich in renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, water and biomass.

Hivos and Winrock then chose Sumba as the island to launch it’s ambitious project — for the island’s entire population to gain access to electricity generated from renewable energy by 2025.

The project called “Sumba Iconic Island” was launched in 2010 with the full support of Indonesia’s Energy Ministry and the PLN in Sumba.

Drawing global attention. In May 2013, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) committed $1 million to support the technical side of the project.

The Norwegian Embassy in Indonesia then joined in October 2013, funding 600,000 euros ($644,000) for the program.

“This program strives for humanity sovereignty. And energy is important for people,” Stig Traavik, Norway’s ambassador to Indonesia, told the Jakarta Globe when asked why the embassy decided to partake in the project.

“Norway as a nation that cares about the environment, clean energy and resources of the future, this is a program where it all comes together — including poverty reduction. This is an illustration of what we would like to continue doing,” he added.

Fruitful and promising result

Four years after the program was launched, some areas of Sumba have experienced the same, abundant benefits from power plants that operate on renewable energy.

In April last year, a 1.5 kilowatt-hour (kWh)  solar panel was installed at Praimarada Elementary School, providing full electricity for the school’s administrative and teaching activities.

“If we want to make copies of something, we can just print it out now with our own printer. We’re spending much less money this way,” said Dorkas.

“If we receive study books late from the distributor, we can ask for the softcopy and print them out.”

“When we’re doing the preparation activity ahead of the national exam, students can now learn under sufficient lighting and we’ve stopped using kerosene lamps,” Markus added.

Across the island

Residents at other villages also said they have had a great results since power plants run with renewable energy sources were built and began operating at their villages a couple of years ago.

“The power generator can provide electricity for the whole village,” said Umbu Tamu, leader of a small management team for a biomass power plant at Rakawatu, which has capacity of 50 kilovolt-amperes.

“We’ve stopped using diesel since the water pump generator is now running on solar energy.”

“The generator can water our paddy and vegetable field,” Made said, referring to a solar panel installation set up two years ago for supplement the village’s water pump generator. It can supply up to 80,000 liters of water.

During a visit to several project sites in East Sumba district earlier this week, Energy Minister Sudirman Said and Norwegian Ambassador Stig praised the successes of the villages.

“One of Jokowi’s management programs is how to reach energy sovereignty. I think this is one of the ways that can and will expedite energy sovereignty in the country,” Sudirman told the Jakarta Globe.

“I see a great potential in Sumba. I think it would be inspiring, not only for the population here but also for Indonesia if Sumba is able to reach this goal of becoming 100 percent on renewable energy,” said Stig.

Whose responsibility?

Modern technology needs proper and periodical maintenance, which can require a massive amount of budget.

These power plants, however, are considered an off-grid electricity system, meaning it is not part of any electrical grids that are operated and monitored by the PLN.

“The PLN can only do maintenance for the on-grid system. But, we would be more than happy if there’s a regulation that lets us do maintenance for the off-grid as well,” said Khairullah.

As of now, the villages and school appoint one person from a small committee to do regular monitoring of the power plants.

The electricity has become a source of income for the villages as it is sold off to the public.

For instance, Praimarada Elementary School charges anyone from neighboring villages who wishes to use electricity for personal purposes, Rp 1,000 per use.

“People mostly come to charge their mobile phone,” Markus said.

“The money that we collect is entered into a book, and when the equipment needs service, we can use the bulk that we have.”

Praimarada’s solar panel operates on six batteries that can last for up to five years at a cost of Rp 2 million each, according to Sandra

Winarsa, program officer for sustainable energy at Hivos Regional Office Southeast Asia.

A similar fee-collecting system has also been adopted in the village of Rakawatu, where households that own television sets are charged Rp 50,000 per month and those who only use the electricity for lighting pay Rp 35,000 monthly, Tamu said.

“The monthly fee is not that much. But, that’s how much we can contribute from our income,” Tamu added.

“We don’t receive any funding from outside to help operational expenses. If the government could help us with the maintenance cost, then that would be great.”

Sudirman said the people could request funds from the regional government should they need to fix or replace parts of the power plants.

“If the residents need a huge amount of funds for maintenance, they can ask the regional government through the DAK [specific allocation fund] program.”

“It is permitted by the ministry to use the funds to substitute old units,” the energy minister told the Jakarta Globe.

Sudirman added that he would evaluate the energy subsidy in the state budget to also help people who generate electricity from renewable-energy based power plants.

“It is our homework and this is something that needs to be reviewed so that energy subsidy can be fair and even for everyone,” he said.

“The subsidy could be also by providing seed funds to help set up the power plants.”

Where’s next after Sumba?

Sudirman said he would form a special committee to help the ministry frame a nationwide blueprint for power plants that operate on renewable energy.

“The committee will also help push [Sumba] to expedite its target — if possible by 2020 — in becoming an example of an island in Indonesia that completely uses renewable energy,” Sudirman said.

“There is not yet a developed industry [in Indonesia] for renewable energy.”

“It will be soon enough we require more equipment [to support renewable energy].”

“It is then important to educate the people that renewable energy is our future,” he added.

Sudirman also believed Sumba could be a living example for other areas across the country, saying that the next government must put forward the interest of renewable energy in the country above all else.

“Do not mix politics with energy development. Political interests do not last forever, but energy development does and it takes a long time. It also requires a technical approach,” he said.

“There are many other areas in the country similar to Sumba. Should the renewable energy goal be achieved, it will be an easy example to duplicate in other areas.”

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