Australia will soon have a bigger battery than Musk's

The British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta will build in South Australia the largest battery in the world, surpassing the project of the founder of Tesla Elon Musk in the same state, the authorities announced on Friday.

SIMEC ZEN Energy, controlled by The GFG Alliance Group of the British industrialist, will install this storage battery with a capacity of 120 MW / 140 MWh, Port Augusta, in the north of the state.

It will support a new solar farm in being built at Whyalla Steelworks, taken over by GFC Alliance in its acquisition of Australian steel producer Arrium last year.

Sanjeev Gupta was awarded a $ 10 million Australian grant (6, € 3 million) from the Government of South Australia, which is seeking to develop renewable energies after the state was completely stripped of electricity in 2016 due to a storm.

" This announcement is another illustration of how South Australia (…) is a world leader in renewable energy, "said Premier Jay Weatherill in a statement.

"In addition to being the most powerful in the world, the SIMEC ZEN Energy battery will contribute to the long-term viability of Whyalla, while benefiting the South Australia grid."

Once built, the Port Augusta battery will exceed the capacity installed by Elon Musk in the rural community of Jamestown, north of Adelaide.

This lithium-ion battery (100 MW / 129 MWh) supplied by Tesla, a manufacturer of electric cars, built in less than 100 days, was connected at the end of 2017 with the aim of supplying 30,000 homes.

It is connected to a wind farm managed by Neoen, France's leading renewable energy company. [19659002Storageisoneofthekeystotheenergytransitionbecauseitabsorbsthesurpluselectricitygeneratedatcertainperiodstoreinjectitatatimewhenelectricitydemandisveryhighandthusoptimizeintermittentproduction

The vast continent-continent is one of the world's largest producers of coal and gas, and the blackout in South Australia has put the issue back on the map. it's energy security.

Aging coal plants were shut down. Added to the strong demand for Australian gas exports, the authorities are worried about a scarcity situation in the coming years.

M. Musk is working with South Australia to install solar panels and Tesla batteries in 50,000 homes, a project to turn residents' homes into a gigantic power plant.

This project, unveiled in February, is to to be financed by the sale of surplus electricity produced by the system.

The worrying state of biodiversity in figures

As the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) prepares to reveal the state of the world's flora and fauna, this is what we know so far: [19659002] – Two species of vertebrates have disappeared each year for an average of a century

– The Earth is facing a "massive extinction", the first since the disappearance of dinosaurs about 65 million years ago, the sixth in 500 million years

– About 41% of amphibians and more than a quarter of mammals are threatened with extinction

– Nearly half of coral reefs have disappeared in the last 30 years [19659002] – The populations of 3,706 species of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles have decreased by 60% in just 40 years from 1970

– 25,821 of the 91,523 species listed on the "Red List" established by the International Union for nature conservation (IUCN) and updated in 2017, were classified as "threatened"

– Of this total, 5,583 were "severely" endangered, 8,455 "endangered" and 11,783 "vulnerable"

– – The number of African elephants has dropped by about 111,000 between 2006 and 2016, to 415,000 specimens

– Our planet has about 8.7 million species of plants and animals according to estimates, of which 86% of terrestrial species and 91% of marine species still to be discovered

– Of those that are known and listed, 1,204 mammal species, 1,469 birds, 1,215 reptiles, 2,100 amphibians and 2,386 fish are threatened [19659002] – 1.414 insect species, 2.187 molluscs, 732 crustaceans, 237 corals, 12.505 plants, 33 mushrooms and six brown algae are also under threat

– Economic losses from deforestation and forest degradation account for up to 3.6 trillion Euro ($ 4.5 trillion)

– A conference of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) from the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, developed in Nagoya in 2010 Japan a 20-point program to halt biodiversity loss by 2020

– These "Aichi Targets" aim, among other things, to halve the rate of habitat loss, expand conservation areas terrestrial and aquatic, preventing the extinction of threatened species and restoring at least 15% of degraded ecosystems

Sources: WWF Living Planet Report, IUCN Red List, PLoS Biology scientific journal, Proceedings of the IUCN Red List National Academy of Sciences, CBD, Economics and Ecosystems Economics Task Force (TEEB)

IPBES, guardian angel of biodiversity

The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which has prepared key reports for the protection of species, is an independent body created in 2012 by some 100 UN member states. [19659002] – Its task is to gather all scientific knowledge on the state of biodiversity in order to evaluate trends, future developments and advise governments on the measures to be taken.

– To date, IPBES has 128 member states. Its secretariat is based in Bonn, Germany.

– This is not a UN agency, but it was created on the model of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the UN, which has alerted the world to the dangers of global warming and paved the way for the 2015 Paris Agreement.

– IPBES has published its first analysis, on the dangers threatening bees, in 2016.

– Its next four reports on the state of biodiversity in four regions of the world – America, Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe-Central Asia – are to be published on March 23 and a fifth on state of the planet's soils on March 26.

– Each report required three years of work, at a cost of about 806,000 euros (about one billion dollars) each.

– The IPBES is financed by a fund on the basis of voluntary contributions from its States. The highest, eight million dollars, was paid by Norway in 2014, told AFP its executive secretary, Anne Larigauderie

– The hundreds of scientists working on each report are volunteers. "We estimated that the time they invest and donate to IPBES has been between $ 5 and $ 10 million in 2017," says Larigauderie.

– Experts do not do their own research, but collect data from thousands of scientific publications and condense them into syntheses for governments, which must first approve their contents.

– This plate -form was at the center of a controversy when it appeared that two of the authors of the 2016 pollination report were working for agrochemical groups Bayer and Syngenta, which produce pesticides suspected of being involved in the increase. mysterious of bee mortality. IPBES assured that there was no conflict of interest as multiple points of view are necessary to establish a balanced analysis.

Galapagos: 22 tons of waste collected on the coast to protect the islands

A total of 22 tons of garbage stranded on the shores of the Galapagos Islands have been collected since January, and will be studied to see how to better protect these islands that include so many endemic species that they had inspired Darwin's theory

This figure was announced this weekend by the authorities of the Galapagos National Park, who explained that the waste, which sometimes arrives from as far as Asia, would be examined to verify in particular if they do not bring invasive animal species.

 View of Turtle Bay, on the island of Santa Cruz, to the Galapagos (AFP - Pablo COZZAGLIO)

View of Turtle Bay , on the island of Santa Cruz, to the Galapagos (AFP – Pablo COZZAGLIO)

Ecuador, country to which belong these islands of the Pacific situated to a thousand kilometers of its coasts, is indeed determined to protect the Galapagos, with his giant tortoises, his manch ots and innumerable other species do not exist elsewhere.

The national park, established in 1959, protects 97% of the island's area, and a 138,000 km² marine reserve was also created around the islands, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1978.

And all fishing is forbidden in a Sanctuary of 38.000 km² between two of the islands, which counts especially the greatest concentration of sharks in the world.

 A hammerhead shark baby near the island of Santa Cruz, to the Galapagos (AFP - Pablo COZZAGLIO)

A baby hammerhead shark near the island of Santa Cruz, Galapagos (AFP – Pablo COZZAGLIO)

Most of the waste in the Galapagos comes from outside, brought by the sea, since only 26,000 people live on all four islands, and the number of visitors is strictly limited

On the islands, the construction is very monitored, we use a maximum of renewable energy and plastic bags are prohibited.

Tapping into the Red Sea to Revive the Dead Sea

Tapping into the Red Sea to Produce Drinking Water and Save a Dead Sea Threatened with Dewatering? Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians' project of "peace channel" has never been so close, despite uncertainties.

"Only the sea can fill the sea", says Moussa Salim Al-Athem came to dig tomato plants near Ghor al-Haditha, south of the Dead Sea. Born in 1953, this Jordanian farmer has seen the blue waters retreat over the years, revealing a lunar landscape of gaping craters and salt sculptures.

"Before 1967, the water was ten minutes walk from my house, now it takes an hour," he says.

 Project MER roe 8 moor SEA (AFP - Sophie RAMIS)

Project MER rOUGE 8 SEA (AFP – Sophie RAMIS)

Spectacular salt lake bordered with red ocher cliffs, the Dead Sea is threatened with extinction: it has lost a third of its surface since 1960 and continues to fall more than one meter a year.

In question, intensive potash operations, which accelerate its evaporation, but especially the decrease in the flow of the Jordan River, increasingly exploited by the two countries bordering Jordan and Israel.

"Since 1950, the flow of the Jordan has dropped from 1.2 billion cubic meters to less than 200 million," said Frédéric Maurel, expert engineer of the French Development Agency (AFD).

A disaster for the Dead Sea and its residents: Jordanians, Israelis and Palestinians

– The dream of The odor Herzl –

Because with its medicinal black mud, exceptional salinity, potash reserves, and tourist appeal, "the Dead Sea has historical, biblical, natural, tourist, medical and industrial value, which makes an invaluable treasure, "argues Avner Adin, an Israeli water specialist.

Ideas to halt its decline have not failed. Around 1900, the founding father of Zionism Theodor Herzl had already thought of digging a canal to feed it from the Mediterranean.

It is finally the project of an aqueduct starting from the Red Sea and entirely built on the the Jordanian territory that was retained, with the signing in December 2013 of a tripartite agreement between Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians. Regional collaboration bringing hope to this historically troubled region

First, it plans to pump 300 million cubic meters of seawater, to desalinate it in a dedicated plant in the north of the Jordanian port of Aqaba. to obtain desperately needed drinking water in the area, and to transfer desalinated brines through a pipeline into the Dead Sea, 200 km to the north.

Not enough to stabilize the level of the Dead Sea, but a the beginning of a solution to curb its drying up, underlines Frédéric Maurel, in charge of this project for AFD. "There should also be a more economical use of water, both in agriculture and in the potash industry," he says.

In 2015, agreements also provided for reciprocal water sales: Jordan would deliver Israel's drinking water south, which in return would increase its sales of water from the Sea of ​​Galilee to supply the North from Jordan. And the Palestinians would also receive additional water supplies from Israel.

At the end of 2016, five consortia of companies were shortlisted.

– "Last impetus" –

Remains the question of financing this public-private partnership valued at $ 1 billion, including $ 400 million in public funding.

Some 120 million donations have already been pledged, including by the United States and Japan. AFD has set up a European group of donors (France, Italy, Spain, the European Union and the European Investment Bank) willing to lend $ 140 million at advantageous rates to Jordan.

"We did not never been so close to the goal, it lacks the last push of the Jordanian and Israeli authorities, "says Maurel.

For a diplomatic source in Amman," this project remains essential for the countries of the region. tourists around a salt puddle ". But "it remains subject to diplomatic vagaries".

The talks were thus totally frozen after the death in July of two Jordanians killed by an Israeli security officer at the Israeli embassy in Amman. They would be restarting after Israel apologized in mid-January.

"In my opinion, the main obstacle could be financial," Judge Avner Adin said. Israel, which is also expected to contribute $ 140 million to the project, has not yet confirmed this commitment.

In Amman, one appears determined to move forward, with or without Israel.

"It's a question of national security," said the secretary general of the Jordan Water Authority, Iyad Dahiyat. "Our groundwater is overexploited, water desalination is Jordan's future, and for us the Red Sea-Dead Sea project is essential."