Updated: 5/16/2006; 12:29:47 PM.

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daily link  Wednesday, April 13, 2005


5% of Google Visitors Offered Gmail: Interesting comment on how Google is managing a rollout to maximize control and buzz:  "According to this PCWorld.com story, on a random basis, every twentieth visitor to www.google.com is being offered a Gmail account. It's an interesting phased roll-out that Google is using for their email service. First by invitation only. Then existing users, based on their own usage, got an incremental number of accounts to offer to friends, colleagues etc. Now this. It gives them the ability to scale in a controlled way and address issues with some control. It's also a clever PR mechanism to keep Gmail in the news. Rather than blowing an announcement all at once, they're trading on the industry's media focus on Google which means they get good coverage whatever and whenever they do it."  10:54:17 AM  permalink  

SWERA assessment of wind and solar in 9 developing countries:  "Thousands of megawatts of new renewable energy potential in Africa, Asia, South and Central America have been discovered by a pioneering project to map the solar and wind resource of 13 developing countries. [Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Cuba, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sri Lanka]  .. The Solar and Wind Energy Resource Assessment (SWERA), is proving that the potential for deploying solar panels and wind turbines in these countries is far greater than previously supposed.  Since its beginning in 2001 and with substantial support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the US$9.3 million SWERA project has been developing a range of new information tools to stimulate renewable energy development, including detailed maps of wind and solar resources. [Examples:]

  • In Nicaragua, for example, SWERA assessments of wind resources demonstrated a much greater potential than the 200 megawatts (MW) estimated in the 1980s.  The results prompted the Nicaraguan National Assembly to pass the Decree on Promotion of Wind Energy of Nicaragua 2004 that gives wind generated electricity “first dispatch”, meaning it has the first priority over other options when fed into electricity grids. The US Trade and Development Agency and Inter-American Development Bank have subsequently launched [studies and investments]..
  • In Guatemala, wind estimates before SWERA were mostly unknown, but are now estimated at 7000 megawatts, based on SWERA products. The Guatemala Ministry of Energy has established, with support from SWERA, the Centre for Renewable Energy and Investment ..
  • In Sri Lanka, the SWERA assessment found a land wind power potential of about 26,000 MW representing more than ten times the country’s installed electrical capacity. 
  • While an initial assessment in Ghana, reveals more than 2,000 MW of wind energy potential, mainly along the border with Togo.  In Africa, this is quite a significant amount, as by some estimates, the continent needs just 40,000 MW of electricity to power its industrialization."

This is a very cheap project -- under $1m per country -- and could significantly change the way developing countries acquire energy.

  9:13:20 AM  permalink  

 

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Last update: 5/16/2006; 12:29:47 PM.