Growing more on less land

first_img“Erico is a very energetic, hard-working and innovative person,” Das said. “He has been quite successful both in his research and taking his ideas to the next level.” University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental doctoral student Erico Rolim de Mattos foresees a world where exploding human populations, global climate change and land overdevelopment has rendered mankind incapable of producing enough food to sustain humanity. This scenario is a very real possibility, and it has captured the minds of specialists from organizations like NASA and the United Nations. This process takes place in real time, and it ensures that the plants receive optimum lighting conditions without wasting power on traditional bulbs that burn constantly for set periods of time. UGA is one of only two U.S. universities to hold competitions for the SU program. Mattos is the third UGA graduate student to attend the program; Kausar Samli, graduate student at the UGA Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, and Brinkley Warren, a graduate of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and recent Fulbright Scholar, were SU scholarship winners the previous two years. “The biggest problem with vertical farming is energy consumption,” said Mattos, a doctoral candidate in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences department of crop and soil sciences. “Using this intelligent light system that we are developing here, we can make vertical farms feasible from the point of view of lights.” A large indoor farm using traditional grow lights would require massive amounts of electricity to operate. But Mattos’ system works much more efficiently. An energy-efficient LED array above crops provides the light. As the light shines, a device called a chlorophyll fluorometer measures the plant’s energy use efficiency and sends that information to a computer. The computer runs a mathematical algorithm, which determines if the plants need more light, less light or even light of different wavelengths, and then it turns the appropriate LEDs on or off. Because it is currently not economically practical to implement vertical farms on a large scale, Mattos and his collaborators are working to reduce the cost and boost production of a system that may prove useful in the event of a global food crisis. He proposes the use of LED lights and advanced computer monitoring systems to provide artificial light in structures known as vertical farms. These immense greenhouse-like buildings are dedicated to the production of indoor food crops. “When all these people from different areas try to solve problems and combine all their knowledge, it is a huge experience for everybody,” Mattos said. “I can come back to UGA with a lot of new ideas, new point of views and new approaches, and hopefully I can share these with faculty members and students to improve the community.” “You have to replace the sun, which is free,” Mattos said. “It is a very hard competition.” Mattos discovered the usefulness of this system while working on the production of algae at the UGA Bioconversion Research and Education Center, where researchers study and test biomass fuel sources. He is presently testing the efficacy of the LED system as a method of increasing algae biomass. His adviser, K.C. Das, a UGA professor of biological and agricultural engineering and member of UGA’s bioenergy Systems Research Institute, praised his drive and determination. Mattos has an idea that may help solve the problem, however, and it recently won him a $30,000 scholarship to an intensive 10-week graduate studies program at Singularity University, a Silicon Valley ideas incubator that seeks to solve the planet’s most pressing challenges using advanced technologies. “It is like the plants and the lights are talking,” he said. “If the plant is not using the light, the chlorophyll fluorometer can feel this and send a message to the computer.” As one of 80 students selected worldwide to attend Singularity University’s program, Mattos will have the opportunity to meet with other researchers, entrepreneurs and inventors who will help him further develop his plan.last_img read more

South Korea to build 4GW of solar and offshore wind

first_imgSouth Korea to build 4GW of solar and offshore wind FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Clean Technica:South Korea is planning to develop 4 gigawatts (GW) worth of solar and offshore wind on reclaimed land in Saemangeum, an estuarine tidal flat on the country’s southwest coast that was damned by the country’s government amidst significant controversy over 30 years ago.Asia’s fourth-largest economy, South Korea finished 2017 with 11.3 GW worth of renewable energy capacity, including at least 5 GW worth of solar. However, the country’s government is hoping to become a regional renewable energy powerhouse, and at the end of October, President Moon Jae-in announced plans to build 4 GW worth of solar and offshore wind — including 3 GW worth of solar and 1 GW of offshore wind.Specifically, South Korea intends to build a 3 GW power generation complex, to be completed by 2022, at which point it would be the world’s largest of its kind, as well as another 1 GW worth of offshore wind to be developed off the coast of Gunsan, in the North Jeolla Province, by 2026.[T]he Korean Government will seek to funnel KRW 10 trillion ($8.8 billion) in private investments to the project, with the Saemangeum Development and Investment Agency (SDIA), an agency run under the Ministry of Land, set to oversee the development of 2.6 GW worth of the projects — including 2.4 GW worth of solar, 100 MW worth of wind, and 100 MW worth of battery storage power. The country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) will oversee the development of 400 MW of solar PV. The 1 GW worth of offshore wind will be built separately.“This announcement is a follow-up of President Moon’s pledge to increase the share of renewables in Korea’s generation mix to 20% by 2030,” explained David Kang, an analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance, who spoke to me via email. “The government has implemented a series of supporting policies (e.g. increased REC multiplier for wind and storage, temporary feed-in-tariff for small-scale PV, etc.) to boost the deployment of solar and wind in Korea, but the biggest obstacle has been the country’s chronic land availability issue. Much of the land suitable for solar and wind projects in Korea are either protected under the agricultural and environmental protection law or face severe opposition from local communities including farmers and fisheries. By utilizing the idle reclaimed land in Saemangeum region, the government aims to resolve the land availability issue and kick-start the deployment of utility-scale projects.”More: South Korea plans 4 gigawatts of solar + offshore windlast_img read more

Akinyemi’s First Nigerian Athlete to Arrive Rio

first_imgBorn in England, Akinyemi is the first Nigerian to compete in the canoeing event of the Olympic Games.He qualified as Nigeria’s only canoeist to Rio 2016 in the men’s K-1 class by obtaining a top finish at the 2015 African Canoe Slalom Championships in Sagana, Kenya which makes him a medal prospect.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Nigerian canoeist, Jonathan Akinyemi, has arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games which begins on August 5.Akinyemi, who will represent Nigeria‎ at the Games for the second successive time in the canoe/slalom kayak event arrived Brazil on Tuesday, ahead of the rest members of Team Nigeria. He was received at the Games Village by officials of Team Nigeria.”He immediately got down to work and has not slowed down since he hit Rio”, an excited official of Nigeria Olympic Committee said yesterday.last_img read more