Mexico City Building, Torre de Especialidades, Eats Smog for Lunch
For Torre de Especialidades, a hospital with a new tower currently under construction in Mexico City, Allison Dring and Daniel Schwaag of the Berlin-based firm Elegant Embellishment have developed a tile called proSolve370e, which will cover the facade of the building. The tile’s shape and chemical coating will help neutralize the chemicals present in the city’s smog which is produced by 8,750 cars driving each day.
The paint applied to the tiles is made from titanium dioxide, a pigment used to make a wide range of applications from paint to sunscreen to food coloring. Titanium (IV) oxide or Titania happens to double as a catalyst in certain chemical reactions. When UV light cuts through smoggy air and hits the titanium dioxide on the tiles, a chemical reaction occurs between the tiles and chemicals in the smog. The smog is broken down into small amounts of less noxious chemicals, including calcium nitrate, carbon dioxide, and water. This colorless salt absorbs moisture from the air and is commonly found as a tetrahydrate. It is mainly used as a component in fertilizers, but has other applications. The shape of the tiles also slows wind speeds and creates turbulence, which distributes pollution more evenly across the tiles.
While Torre de Especialidades is the first permanent exterior installation of their system, Dring is hopeful that others will follow Mexico City’s lead. “Other cities with pollution problems including Santiago, Beijing, Los Angeles, Beirut, Astana or those with tightening regulations as is the current case in Germany are ideal environments for proSolve370e.”
Mexico Promotes Rooftop Solar PV for Rural Communities
Mexico is a leader in renewable energy from solar power. Now, thanks to a new energy bill, rural Mexican communities will be able to power their homes and schools using the sun’s power. The announcement came after the Mexican government approved amendments to the country’s renewable energy bill aimed at promoting rooftop photovoltaic solar panels at public schools.
Not only will the education centers benefit from a free and environmentally friendly source of energy, but also surplus energy will be able to be sold back to others in the community.
Currently Mexico offers a generous reward scheme for those who want to invest in solar photovoltaic. Mexico was the second country in the world to implement long-term climate change targets into national legislation. The renewable energy bill calls for a 30% reduction in emission growth by 2020, and 50% by 2050 with 35% of energy to come from renewable sources by 2024.
Solar America Looks toward Mexico and Central America as Next Hot Spot for Solar Projects
Mexico and Central America are regions capable of experiencing growth in the solar market. In particular, Mexico has proven to be a viable candidate, with infrastructure already in place to power and meet the demands of an alternative energy solution.
Mexico’s energy minister has stated that less than one percent of Mexico’s land would need to be developed with solar energy to power the entire nation.
Mexico is committed to investing 31.4 billion pesos in renewable energy programs by 2020, it is no surprise that Solar America is excited to establish a niche in this rapidly growing sector in Mexico.
Moreover, Solar America recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Valdez de Cueva Constructores to implement solar energy solutions for a housing project in Tonlola, a suburb of Guadalajara.
The partnership between Solar America and Mexico will help the country reach its renewable energy target of thirty five percent from alternative sources. With such government support, viable space and an abundance of sunlight these are just a few reasons Solar America has targeted Mexico.
Mexican Solar Power Continues to Grow with Yucatan Project
In a step away from dependence on fossil fuels, Mexico has approximately doubled their solar photovolataic (PV) market in the past year. Part of this increase is owed to the dropping costs of solar modules.
Despite such an increase in the less than five year old market, however, the growth has been less than that of other countries due to the lack of government subsidies for the alternative energy source.
In recent news, one of the more extensive projects that was proposed involves the Spanish PV developer Isofotón who signed a memorandum of understanding with the Yucatan state government. This document will allow them to develop a 150 MW PV facility in Mexico; ultimately helping the nation get one step closer to their goal of a 690 MW PV power grid between 2016 and 2019.
Construction of the facility will begin in January of next year, will take about two years to complete, and will cost around $360 million.
China and Mexico Leading Fight on Climate Change With New CO2 Laws
The Globe International alliance of lawmakers met in London on January 13-14 to discuss the roles and contributions of governments in a worldwide effort to suppress global warming.
18 out of 33 countries reported “significant” progress in a 2012 study of energy and climate laws; several of which are considered emerging economies. Mexico, China, South Korea, and India have all passed laws or created programs aimed at lowering CO2 emissions and preventing climate change.
Not everyone was given a gold star though as the report showed Germany, the UK, France, and Italy were among a group of countries that made no substantive change, while Canada went so far as to perform worse than recent years.
The Globe alliance hopes that encouragement to pass laws within these countries individually will create a clearer pathway for UN treaty talks and the implementation of a plan to lower emissions by 2015. To do this, the alliance pledged support in the form of political, analytical, and administrative aid for the next three years to the lawmakers who participated in London.
Mexico Wind Power Sets New Generation Record
The latest figures from national power company CFE show that wind power in Mexico sent a record 282GWh to the grid in November, which is up 233% from the 84.5 GWh in the year-ago month. Mexico follows Brazil in the Latin American region with about 6.6 GW of installed capacity by 2025.
The Mexican Wind Energy Association projects the country’s wind power potential to be around 30 GW.
The region best suited for wind development is the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca. GWEC estimates that 10 GW of wind energy could be developed in the region, despite challenging wind and seismic conditions. Currently, 1.9 GW is under construction in Mexico and scheduled to come online by 2015.
Investment in wind power increased 68% between 2010 and 2011 and in 2012, Mexico’s installed capacity of wind power reached 1 GW, 2% of the national energy installed capacity, compared to the 519 MW of 2010. The wind sector is expected to duplicate by 2013 which in turn will generate between 30 thousand to 100 thousand jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 10%.
According to Mauricio Trujillo, Project Manager in Latin America of the Global Wind Energy Council, at today Mexico’s wind power sector is at the point where the Asian wind power sector was five years ago. This implies that Mexico is at the start of a very steep growth curve and can expect great advancements in the coming years.
German Businessman creates solar-powered ovens to make sun baked tortillas in Mexico
Central Mexicohas copious amounts of sun and tortillas, so perhaps it isn’t so surprising that someone came up with the idea of using solar power to make them. In the town of El Sauz, north of Mexico City, German businessman Gregor Schapers has created and installed giant circular solar-powered ovens to make tortillas in a carbon-free manner.
Schapers, who has lived in the town of El Sauz, 180 kilometers (110 miles) north of Mexico Citysince 2003, hopes that this environmentally-friendly solar cooker can ultimately slash energy bills inMexico’s poor rural communities.
Conventional ovens typically use gas, up to 16 gallons a month. Some might expect a solar oven to be rather anemic in the temperature ranges. However, Schapers solar cookers can reach beyond 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit.
He adapted solar energy-harnessing technology created by the Austrian Wolfgang Scheffler. Scheffler reflectors are used to heat up a griddle, oven, and cauldron. They are made in El Sauz by TrinySol and can last up to thirty years.
Inhabitat reports that one solar cooker costs about $4,000-$5,000, yet the oven more than pays for itself in a relatively short period of time. This is because, once up and running, the solar cooker has no need for anything but sunlight, and helps Gregor Schapers save the money he would otherwise be forced to spend on gas.
Continue reading German Businessman Gregor Schapers and his Solar-solar-powered ovens at Mexicotoday.org!
Mexico continues to lead on climate change at COP18 in Doha
Mexicoparticipated in the Eighteenth Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention of the United Nations on Climate Change (COP 18), which recently took place inDoha,Qatar. Francisco Barnés Regueiro, General Director of National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC), led the Mexican delegation.
“For Mexicoit is important for the agreement to be legally binding and secure the participation of all States according to their capabilities and responsibilities, focusing not only on mitigation, but in all those aspects that require further development, such as financial” said Barnés Regueiro.
Since hosting COP16 in Cancun, Mexicohas worked tirelessly to support the efforts of the international community on climate change, including the establishment of an Interministerial Commission on Climate Change, strengthening local capacities for attention of the phenomenon, and the entry into force of the Act on Climate Change.
Additionally,Mexicohas promoted the implementation of the agreements reached at the last conference of the parties, particularly theDurbanpackage that builds on the Cancun Agreements, and promoted to reflect the urgency of immediate action on climate change.
Mexican officials stressed the necessity to find a model of growth with lower carbon emissions, with an efficient use of our natural resources and conserving biodiversity.
Monarch Butterfly Migration passes through Day of the Dead celebrations
As the monarch butterflies’ annual migration brings them closer and closer to Mexico, one of Mexico’s best-known holidays is approaching. The beginning of November marks Día de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead.” This holiday celebrates and honors deceased loved ones, and coincidently occurs simultaneously with the monarch arrival in Mexico. Monarch butterflies travel thousands of miles from theUnited States andCanada to their winter nesting grounds in centralMexico.
The native Purépecha Indians believe that encapsulated within each butterfly is the soul of a returned loved one. In the Mexican state of Michoacán, monarchs drift through the cemeteries. As the butterflies dance across graves, these souls are greeted by locals celebrating the holiday.
The orange-winged beauties add a vibrant touch to the celebrations. As 300 million butterflies complete their 3,000-mile journey, the living rejoice in their annual visit from the returning souls.
In the new movie Flight of the Butterflies, the observance of Día de los Muertos plays a key role in the plot of the movie. Among the citizen scientists search for the monarch butterflies were Ken Brugger and his wife, Catalina Aguado. As Catalina and Ken visit a local cemetery during Día de los Muertos, they see monarch butterflies heading towards a nearby mountain. This mountain is later discovered to be the winter nesting place of millions of monarch butterflies.