Is government intervention hampering private investment into East-African renewables?

Many experts believe the contribution of governments within East-Africa is slowing the speed of growth in the renewable energies sector. Government involvement in the design, development and operation of mini-grids is deterring potential private investments; private investments into East-African renewable energies were predicted to surge in recent years but this has not been the case.
Experts from within the sector are pointing the finger at government agencies that are crowding out the developers using legal and political tools that are in need of reforms. Private companies have indeed shown an interest in investing but they have insisted the power and subsidies given to government companies need addressing if their investment is to be warranted.
Kenya’s ministry of energy has said that overall electricity access has increased within the country from 23 percent in 2009 to 50 percent in 2015; however, the unequal distribution of this electricity is still highly prevalent with much of northern Kenya still deprived of such resource. Regions such as northern Kenya have access of about 5 percent. It says eight out of the 20 poorest parliamentary constituencies “where 74 percent to 97 percent of people live below poverty line” are found in this northern region.
A number of renewable energies companies would happily address this problem, through investment into the northern and other neglected territories of Kenya, however, the unfair position of power given to Kenya’s Rural Electrification Authority (REA), just completely deters these prospective companies.

In countries such as Kenya, which has such vast areas which do not have access to any electricity, mini-grids are definitely a better option to grid extension; it provides better quality and more reliable electricity to remote areas.

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Africa is becoming a renewable energies headquarters!

The West-African country of Senegal has recently begun the construction of a major solar farm in the sub-Saharan desert, it is a 20MW project located in Bokhol and is called ‘Senergy2’. The project is estimated to cost $28 million and is going to be developed by French renewable energy platform – Greenwish Partners, which dedicates much of its work to sub-Saharan projects. Senergy2 was also financially backed by the Senegalese state; with financial support from the UK and Norway through their joint investment vehicle Green Africa Power, according to local news
When completed and operating at full capacity, it’s predicted that 160’000 people will have access to clean power, a move that will drastically increase the countries chances of 20% renewables by 2017. “With no energy, there can be neither growth nor development. With the Bokhol facility, we are now able to take a new step and Senegal comes unreservedly into a new, clean energy period,” said President Macky Sall.

Senegal is eager to attain a position as one of the continent’s leading countries in renewable energy production, as well as positioning itself as the leader in West Africa; currently, South Africa and Morocco are the flagbearers for the continent.

 

Ta prochaine maison pourrait être un conteneur d’expédition

Les boîtes en acier sont en train de devenir les nouveaux blocs de construction urbaine avec une particulière attention à stimuler l’achat des maisons à bon marché.

Un connu architect american qui s’appelle Price et son éponyme entreprise de design ont utilisé des conteneurs d’expédition longs 12 mètres, comme des géants blocs de Lego, pour construire trois complexes d’appartements à Washington D.C., qui est une ville où habituellement le prix moyen pou un studio est de 2,250 $, selon apartmentlist.com, et dans le classement Washington se trouve seulement après Boston, San Francisco et New York.

Les conteneurs d’expédition ont 2 mètres de largeur et 12 mètres de longueur, et donc chacun peut former un espace habitable de 28 mètre carré. Ils sont liés ensemble et peuvent former un notable espace habitable horizontal ou vertical.

Price est fermement convaincu que c’est un’idée géniale parce qu’il s’agit des nouveaux blocs de construction du 21ème siècle.

Toutefois comme il s’agit d’une nouveauté, elles ont un inconvénient,c’est- à-dire qu’elles sont vu comme des maisons mobiles et donc on se pose la question s’il vaut la peine de financer cet projet. En effet les maisons mobiles ou bien les maisons préfabriquées, à cause de son nom, beaucoup de banques ne vont pas prêter une hypothèque pour la construction d’une maison mobile, à moins que les roues sont éliminées, la maison se situe sur un fondement et les installations et la plomberie sont liées. L’architect Day a dit: “S’on se attache pas à une fondation permanente, il est difficile d’obtenir une hypothèque”.

En outre, les maisons-conteneurs peuvent avoir un problème de financement, parce que comme Day a dit, ils avaient presenté leur projet en disant qu’on pouvait aussi le déconstruire après pour construire quelque chose plus grande. Mais comme il était facile de le démonter, le développeur ne l’a pas acheté.

Toutefois, même si le design a rapporté beaucoup des reconnaissances, les frais pour utiliser métallurgistes et soudeurs pour joindre les conteneurs et fabriquer portes et fenêtres et aussi la méconnaissance du design comparé aux coûts de charpenterie traditionnelle (115$ pour mètre carré), rendent une vente difficile au développeur.

Les maisons-conteneurs assourent une vie accessible, et ils sont construits assez rapidement. Un projet de maisons-conteneurs a été fait à Washington, dans le quartier d’Edgewood, et il a fallu seulement sept mois pour l’élaborer et pour le construire.

Main on a été soulevé quelques préoccupations sur la sécurité des maisons-conteneurs, parce que étant donné que les casiers maritimes ont des sols en bois qui sont souvent traités avec des pesticides pour prévenir l’infestation ainsi que des substances chimiques qui préviennent la corrosion de l’air salé.

L’architect Day a dit que pour cette raison le recyclage de conteneurs d’expédition doit être fait trè minutieusement.

Le ralentissement économique globale peut aussi aider à rendre plus disponibles les containeurs d’expédition. Price a noté que chaque année il y a environ 2 millions de conteneurs laissés ”au repos” dans les ports.

Enfin, les maisons-conteneurs ne sont pas toujours économiques. Tandis que un conteneur peut être acheté avec 3,000$, une maison entièrement équipée, de luxe peut coûter 75,000$ ou bien 100,000$, dépendant de ferrures, matériaux isolants, revêtements et équipements du paroi et du sol. La seule chose qu’on économise c’est du temps. En effet la structure d’un appartement à plusieurs étages peut être assemblé en quelques heures et construit seulement en quelques jours plutôt qu’en quelques mois.

L’architect Day c’est très optimiste à propos de ce projet, il affirme: “Il y a beaucoup de personnes qui sont interessées sur ce projet. Le public c’est très excité et je pense que la nouvelle génération a envie d’un projet comme ça”.

How drones are revolutionizing the construction industry

Drones have been one of the fastest growing phenomenon’s in the last few years, both in terms of private and commercial use. To be the expansion into context, back in 2012 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimated that by 2012, 30’000 drones will be operating in US airspace; at this current time (2016) around 2.5 million drones are operational in the United States, of which 500’000 are being used commercially. Unsurprisingly, the FAA has since revised their forecast and now predicts the country will have 7 million drones in the air by 2020.
Many believe drones are the next step in the process of the ‘industrial revolution’. Before the availability of the modern cranes and industrial equipment, we rely so heavily upon today, laborers would be forced to complete every single job on the construction site by hand. Jobs that today take months to complete would have in years gone by taken years, and in maybe 20 years time, the jobs we see today taking months could take weeks, thanks to the use of drones.
Assessing the earth for the foundations of construction is also something that a drone can be considerably more efficient for. Traditional land survey equipment gets the job done and provides accurate results, however, when the apt software is installed into a drone, it will also attain accurate result but it will complete the job in a time 85-percent quicker at a cost of 10 times cheaper than traditional methods.
Furthermore, the job a project manager is also made fundamentally easier through the assistance of drones. In years gone by builders manually assessed project dimensions, which would predominantly be unreliable, timely and costly.  By using drone data tools, the drone can automatically measure essential projects components, such as stockpile volumetric, whilst also sending instant feedback to the project manager who can begin analysis.
Drones are becoming increasingly common in day-to-day life but this is just for leisure, more importantly, drones are becoming more and more prevalent in a variety of industries but none more crucially than construction. Construction is an industry very much built on efficiency, in the sense of cost and time; hence the reason drones potentially have such a pivotal role to play, when the above reasons are taken into consideration.

You would be a brave person to bet against drones being a key player in the next industrial revolution.

THE NEW WAY OF BUILD CARS!

Aluminum builds a better vehicle. Aluminum’s use in autos and commercial vehicles is accelerating because it offers the fastest, safest, most environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to increase performance, boost fuel economy and reduce emissions while maintaining or improving safety and durability. From mass-market vehicles like the Ford F-150 to luxury cars like Audi, Mercedes Benz and Land Rover, aluminum is increasingly the “material of choice” for automakers thanks to its strength and environmental advantages. The Aluminum Association’s Aluminum Transportation Group (ATG) communicates the benefits of aluminum in transportation through research programs and related outreach activities. For more information on how aluminum is driving the cars of today and tomorrow.

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Performance benefits
Because aluminum is lighter, it allows automakers to increase dent resistance—they can make body panels thicker while still lowering weight. And a lower weight vehicle has better acceleration, better braking, and better handling. In addition, lighter vehicles can haul and tow more because the engine isn’t carrying unneeded weight.

Environmental benefits
Nearly 90 percent of automotive aluminum scrap—more than a half-million tons a year—is recovered and recycled. To place this in perspective: Recycling 1 ton of aluminum saves the energy equivalent of 21 barrels of oil. The environmental wins continue: An aluminum-intensive vehicle can achieve up to a 20 percent reduction in total lifecycle energy consumption and up to a 17 percent reduction in CO2 emissions.

The history of aluminum in cars
A growth market today, aluminum has been a key material for automakers since the beginning. The first sports car featuring an aluminum body was unveiled at the Berlin International Motor Show in 1899. Two years later, the first engine with aluminum parts was developed by Carl Benz.Following World War II, aluminum had become inexpensive enough to be considered for use in mass-produced vehicles. A breakthrough occurred in 1961 when the British Land Rover company produced V-8 engine blocks made with aluminum cylinders. From there, aluminum automobile parts gained a foothold in wheels and transmission casings and then moved into cylinder heads and suspension joints. This infinitely recyclable metal is now the leading material for use in powertrain and wheel applications and continues to gain market share in hoods, trunks, doors and bumpers—and complete vehicle structures.

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Aluminum structures are pretty strong and trustable, also has multipurpose functions. You use it in almost daily life products too. China as the top producer of aluminum sheets and Shanghai Metal Corporation which is based in China is one of the leading businesses in the manufacturing of metalworking industry. We can produce and export the best quality of multipurpose aluminum foil and other metal products and service. We prioritize the efficient of manufacturing and environmental sustainability.

Want to know more about our company? Please visit our website and you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Feel free to download our new mobile application by scanning the QR code below.

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“GUNS, GERMS AND STEEL”: A PERSPECTIVE OF PROGRESS BY JARED DIAMOND

Guns, Germs and Steel is a famous Pulitzer Prize-winning book written by Jared Diamond, an American scientist and author of other well-known science books like The Third Chimpanzee (1991) or Collapse (2005).

Guns, Germs and Steel serves to answer to why some civilizations, like the Europeans, have survived and conquered others.  Jared Diamond explains that this hegemony is primarily based on their technological and intellectual superiority. To sum up everything, the success of a civilization is essentially a question of environmental luck.

The title of this book sums up the general theory of Diamond’s ideas: farm-based societies conquered and spread influences on other populations of other areas and maintained their dominance. By using weapons and technology (guns), these elements serve immediately as a form of military superiority. Diseases (germs) – can be seen indirectly as a form of biological weapon- weakened and reduced local populations, therefore making it easier to maintain superiority over them. The last “ingredient” of power concerns steel which means the development of basic infrastructures and transport and therefore enabled imperialism.

Hence according to Jared Diamond, the success or the fall of human societies are determined by geographical luck and it’s technological means. The ideas written in this book essentially describes different factors that could contribute to a better development of any civilization. Although this book provides a different perspective of development, it is also subject of various critics.

As an international corporation, we too share the same idea that steel is an amazing material that contributes to the development of every progressing society. It is both economic and sustainable. Steel for a very long time, is a material that represents progress and innovation. Shanghai Metal Corporation manufactures and distributes a large range of Steel products of high quality all over the world. For more information, you can visit the company’s website or contact us for any inquiry.

Let us know your opinion about this famous book by Jared Diamond.

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Maria // SMC Editor