南禅寺 水路閣 by sunnywinds*
Via Flickr:
http://www.nanzen.net/english/enanzen6.html This canal, called “Sosui”, is a waterway constructed between Lake Biwa andKyoto City. The water is drawn out at Otsu City in Shiga Prefecture, passes the Nanzen-ji Temple, and runs to Keage at Higashiyama-ku in Kyoto City. The construction of this canal was begun in 1881, and finished in 1890. The purposes of this canal lie at passing boats from Osaka Bay to Lake Biwa, spinning cotton by the energy of water wheels, irrigating water, keeping water for fire prevention and so on. By and by, in 1889 when the hydroelectricity seemed to be very profitable, the first power plant began to be built at Keage, and in 1891, started to supplyelectric power. And in order to step up hydroelectricity and guarantee running water, the construction of the second canal was started in 1908, and finished in 1912. The Keage Filtration Plant which was built during the same term, fulfills its function nowadays as the source of water supply.

“While newspapers and television talk about the lives of celebrities, the chief of the Kayapo tribe received the worst news of his life: Dilma, "The new president of Brazil, has given approval to build a huge hydroelectric plant (the third largest in the world). It is the death sentence for all the people near the river because the dam will flood 400,000 hectares of forest. More than 40,000 Indians will have to find another place to live. The natural habitat destruction, deforestation and the disappearance of many species is a fact.”
What moves me in my very bowels , making me ashamed of being part of Western culture, is the reaction of the chief of the Kayapo community when he learned of the decision—his gesture of dignity and helplessness before the advance of capitalist progress, modern predatory civilization that does not respect the differences …

But we know that a picture is worth a thousand words, showing the reality of the true price of our bourgeois “quality of life”.

Gullfoss – The Golden Waterfall

Gullfoss is a beautiful waterfall situated in the southwest of Iceland, about 100 kilometers from its capital city Reykjavík. The water from the Hvitá River plummets down into a rugged canyon with walls that reach up to 70 meters in height. The river is fed by Iceland´s second biggest glacier, the Lángjökull. It deposits sediment and debris into the fast flowing water and turning it a golden colour, when the sun shines on the waterfall.

Keep reading

Take notes, world: Austria’s largest state goes 100% renewable

Lower Austria, the largest state in Austria, is now generating 100% of its power from renewable sources, its governor Erwin Proell announced on Thursday (Nov 5th).   

“We have invested heavily to boost energy efficiencyand to expand renewables. Since 2002 we have invested 2.8 billion euros ($3.0 billion) in eco-electricity, from solar parks to renewing (hydroelectric) stations on the Danube,” Proell told a news conference.

The state in northeastern Austria now gets 63 percent of its electricity from hydroelectric power, 26 percent from wind energy, nine percent from biomass and two percent from solar.

In Austria as a whole, which voted against nuclear power in a 1978 referendum, 75 percent comes from renewables and the rest from fossil fuels.

The announcement comes ahead of a gathering of world leaders in Paris in December aimed at reaching an ambitious global deal to tackle climate change.

image credit: Andrij Bulba

Diablo Dam is part of the Hydroelectric Project that supplies Seattle with a large proportion of its power needs. Work was begun in 1917 on a six-mile tunnel through Diablo Canyon and subsequent construction of a powerhouse. Work crews had to overcome extreme weather and mountain conditions, while Seattle City Light officials had to deal with politics and diplomacy. The dam was completed in 1930, and began generating electricity in 1936.

From here and here, via the retronaut

Zero-Emission Wave-Generated Energy and Desalinated Water are Happening in Australia

On February 18th, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Minister for Industry and Science (Ian Macfarlane) officially switched on the Carnegie Perth Wave Energy Project’s onshore power station, the first renewable energy source the country has ever utilized, according to a press release. It is said to create enough energy to power 200,000 homes while also generating desalinated water from the ocean. And the whole system operates without creating emissions…

WHAT’S LOST – WHAT’S NOT? When a “type” plate tectonic locality and Geowonder is flooded by a dam in Greece.

It’s taken about fifteen years, but the new hydroelectric dam on the Aliakmon River is finished, and now the river valley is slowly filling with energy – yes, energy – the energy contained in the waters of the new lake. Hydroelectric energy is clean energy, no carbon footprint, no nuclear waste, and we’re all for it… right?

Keep reading

One of our first photosets was of the abandoned Pressmen’s Home, near Rogersville, Tennessee.   Pressmen’s Home was a fully self-sufficient community, recreational area, training facility, retirement area, and sanitarium built by the International Printing Pressmen And Assistants Union for the use of their members.   

Many pressmen ended up developing tuberculosis from exposure to the ink used in printing, and they could receive care at the Pressmen’s Home sanitarium. 

We have several photos of Pressmen’s Home near the beginning of this blog, but we were always disappointed by the fact that we didn’t locate the Home’s hydroelectric generating plant.  Further research gave us a better idea of where to look for it.    This is a photo of the dam used in conjunction with the generating plant.  

How Costa Rica is becoming one of the most environmentally friendly places on earth
Costa Rica's emerging status as a green energy leader has won renewed praise from experts discussing the country's 99 per cent fossil-free electricity use. The central American country achieved an almost completely carbon-neutral footprint when sourcing electricity for its citizens in 2015, according to the Costa Rican News.

Amazing to see a country making INCREDIBLE moves to protect the planet. The funny thing is that their technologies are not super advanced, and they don’t have more resources than most countries. They’re just actually doing something with what they have vs sitting on their hands and arguing about it. This is summed up well by the writer. "The thing about Costa Rica that’s important is that it set out to do something, and it delivered on it,“