Exhibition digs into complex social issues of fracking

first_img…in making a project on such a contentious topic, we wanted this exhibit to inform and bear witness…to create a more empathetic dialogue and less of a hostile, polarized conversation.” Denise Fernandes, left, and Shelby McAuliffe, right | Photo by Kenna Bruner “Denise and I came to an agreeance that in making a project on such a contentious topic, we wanted this exhibit to inform and bear witness,” McAuliffe said. “We want people to come away with their own opinions and their own understanding of why it’s here, what it’s doing to the land and try to bring some sense of empathy or reconciliation with it. And ultimately for us is to create a more empathetic dialogue and less of a hostile, polarized conversation.”The two students are fellows of the CU Boulder Nature, Environment, Science and Technology (NEST) Studio for the Arts fellows. NEST provided the funding for their project, which is on view at the Arbor Institute until Nov. 4. NEST is a network of faculty, students, centers and campus units at CU Boulder that combine artistic practice and scientific research to explore disparate ways of observing, experimenting and understanding.The exhibit focuses on the landscape of oil and gas production wells along the Boulder and Weld county line. Their work shows the divisions between the people and communities in these counties and their differing opinions about fracking. Fracking, injecting water, sand and chemicals under high pressure into bedrock formations to extract oil or gas, is a contentious environmental and development issue.They photographed seven different well sites, showing different layouts, such as singular wells, well pads, in production or plugged. Weld County alone has 23,000 wells currently in production.Invisible Disruption makes visible the divergent urban and rural views of the land. McAuliffe and Fernandes conducted research and consulted with experts, inclucing a lawyer, scientists in air and water pollution, an anthropologist and an ecologist. They read papers and articles to understand previous and current research. After collecting information, they began to recognize invisibility aspects.“I’m from India and worked on energy and landscapes there, on policy and grassroots efforts to change it, so I wanted to understand the culture and the landscapes here,” Fernandes said. “To try to understand how this identity is embedded in the land from both sides was really important for Shelby and me.”  The exhibit features light-boxes, large and small photographs of well sites and maps of the altered landscape in these two counties.“There is no energy source that is 100% clean and good,” McAuliffe. “For example, there are problems disposing of solar panels. So, even if we’re not doing fracking in Colorado, we’re doing pit mining in Africa to extract the metals so you can drive your Tesla? We’re not saying everything needs to go, because then what? Do we exploit a different energy source in another country? If it’s somewhere else, then does that mean it’s OK?”Fernandes and McAuliffe shared their collaborative process and investigation into the subtle and not so subtle ways fracking is part of Colorado’s cultural, social and environmental landscape at a workshop hosted by the Office for Outreach and Engagement and Boulder County Arts Alliance.Invisible Disruption: The Cultural Politics of Hydraulic Fracturing in Colorado can be viewed at the Arbor Institute in Boulder through Nov. 4. Categories:Pushing BoundariesCampus Community Wanting to better understand the contentious and complicated issues surrounding fracking in Colorado, social scientist Denise Fernandes and photographer Shelby McAuliffe collaborated on a project researching the cultural politics of oil and gas in Boulder and Weld counties.The result of their yearlong research is the visual exhibition Invisible Disruption: The Cultural Politics of Hydraulic Fracturing in Colorado.Fernandes is working on a PhD in environmental studies with interests in development, inequality and environmental justice. McAuliffe will graduate in May with a master’s degree in fine arts with a photography emphasis. Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail By Kenna Bruner • Published: Oct. 28, 2020 last_img read more

Operators tussle for France 5G leadership

first_img Previous ArticleEnabling digital Africa with Orange EnergieNext ArticleAircel insolvency fears intensify Related AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 04 JUL 2018 Author France’s mobile operators increased their 5G rhetoric as both Orange and SFR unveiled new test sites and Bouygues Telecom claimed the country’s first real-world pilot of the new network technology.Orange and SFR made separate announcements, within hours of each other, stating regulator Arcep had approved the expansion of 5G tests in new areas.Market leader Orange will conduct a pilot in Marseilles, in addition to its existing sites under development in Lille and Douai. SFR is set to deploy its new trial networks in Nantes and Toulouse, having already collaborated with Nokia on a scheme in Paris.As the two largest operators by connections announced new trial plans, third-placed Bouygues Telecom announced it had commenced France’s first “5G pilot in real conditions” in Bordeaux. SFR said in May it had completed the country’s first 5G test in a “real-life” situation, though this was a lab-based experiment.Earlier this week Orange unveiled initial results from its first fixed wireless access 5G test in Romania, which forms a central part of its European 5G strategy alongside the trials in France.Arcep announced in January it would offer temporary licences to operators to test 5G across nine urban areas, with the French regulator also open to requests in other regions.In June, France’s other operator Free Mobile – operated by Iliad – said 5G was an important evolution but not part of its immediate priorities. Chris Donkin Tags Mobile Mix: Buzzing for Barcelona Orange Ventures injects €30M into new fund Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved… Read more Orange makes secure cloud pact for French market Home Operators tussle for France 5G leadership 5GBouyguesFreeOrangeSFRlast_img read more

Energy efficiency: The missing link

first_imgOther companies are making similar inroads.Add all these small projects together and you get big energy efficiency gains across the bloc, says Stromback | Larry W. Smith/EPAPrivate investment funds “have figured out they are missing out on an important size of the market,” she added.In one example, Eiffel Investment Group, a Paris-based private equity firm, launched an energy transition fund last April that focuses on energy efficiency, renewables and sustainable development.The fund, sponsored by the European Investment Bank, teamed up in October with a Spanish ESCO to upgrade street lighting in the municipality of Illora. Today, it’s “in advanced discussions for dozens of millions of euros worth of projects,” said Pierre-Antoine Machelon, fund manager of Eiffel Investment’s energy transition fund.Before making a decision, the fund assesses an ESCO’s track record, its assets, and any risks associated with the technology or the end client. Once the work is done for one project, the fund can leverage that experience to tackle similar ventures.“It’s very likely the company will come back to you for another project, and [then] you don’t have to reinvent documentation,” Machelon said. “The company will become bigger and ask for more financing.” “There is absolutely, categorically zero way they will meet this next round of targets if they don’t deal with this issue of financing for small ESCOs and spur energy efficiency projects” — Jessica StrombackSize is an issue for many banks, which don’t see the financial return in dealing with such small businesses. ESCO projects are usually worth less than €500,000, Stromback said.“If you are a financial institution, you want to deploy as much capital as possible,” said Sebastian Carneiro, a sustainable finance expert. “That’s why it’s difficult with energy efficiency, because projects are small.”But add all these small projects together and you get big energy efficiency gains across the bloc, said Stromback. That’s crucial if the EU wants to meet an energy efficiency target of at least 30 percent by 2030. The Parliament wants the goal to be 35 percent and talks with the Council are expected to be tough.”There is absolutely, categorically zero way they will meet this next round of targets if they don’t deal with this issue of financing for small ESCOs and spur energy efficiency projects,” Stromback said. “The potential for meeting the future targets lies here.”She said the EU’s main energy savings during the current decade came mostly from improving the efficiency of household items such as dishwashers and fridges through ecodesign requirements. Even with those steps, the bloc is currently on track to miss its 20 percent energy efficiency target for 2020 by a couple of percentage points. Improving energy efficiency in Europe was meant to be easy — and affordable.In order to meet its ambitious energy goals, the European Union has pinned a lot of its hopes on companies making thousands of small-scale improvements — like installing efficient lighting, improved furnaces and smart heating. These upgrades, the theory goes, should ultimately pay for themselves, in the form of lower heating and electricity bills.The trouble is that somebody needs to put up the initial investment, and the small energy service companies — known in the trade as ESCOs — are struggling to get the loans they need to do the work. This article is part of Raw Power, a series on Europe’s clean energy revolution. Also On POLITICO raw power Big coal no more By Sara Stefanini Raw Power Germany’s green energy shift is more fizzle than sizzle By Kalina Oroschakoff That’s threatening the EU’s 2030 clean energy goals, under which Brussels aims to increase energy savings by at least 30 percent by 2030.“We keep hearing from banks: ‘You are too small, how can we trust you?’” — Anastasios Vasilopoulos, CEO of Engineering Solutions“It’s been very frustrating,” said Anastasios Vasilopoulos, the CEO of Engineering Solutions, a Greek energy service company. “We thought about giving up several times.”His business is figuring out how to boost the energy efficiency of industrial food processing plants by reusing heat that would otherwise be wasted. His company spent “a huge amount of hours” auditing one plant’s potential energy savings, but never actually carried out the project.“We’ve done a lot of work, unfortunately, pro bono,” he said.That’s because he has not been able to convince investors to give him the capital needed to do the work.center_img The EU can catch up and meet its goals for the next decades only if the bloc focuses on small-level energy efficiency measures, Carneiro said.“The potential to save is divided in relatively small measures and the gains come from adding up all these small measures,” he said. “That’s why it is important to incentivize ESCOs.”Changing timesThings are slowly starting to change, said Antonio Ciccarelli, the CEO of Italian ESCO Servizi Energia Ambiente, which is part of the eQuad platform.Ciccarelli, who has about a dozen employees, founded the company in 2005 and is focused on energy efficiency in the industrial sector. His company has completed 11 such projects over the last decade.Ciccarelli did get some funding from regular banks in the past, but said financing was a struggle. He’s now in touch with four investment funds interested in financing smaller projects.“When we started, I could not find a fund in Europe that would look at projects below €500,000,” Stromback said. “I was worried we would totally fail.” Vasilopoulos needs to borrow cash ahead of time because clients will only gradually pay him back once the project is completed and the energy savings start coming in. It’s a standard model called energy performance contracting used by most ESCOs that is supposed to make energy efficiency projects more affordable for end customers because they don’t need to pay anything upfront.“We keep hearing from banks: ‘You are too small, how can we trust you?’” he said.This message is a frustrating reality for ESCOs across the EU, said Jessica Stromback, senior vice president and chair of investment advisory group Joule Assets Europe.Stromback has been overseeing the development of a Commission-backed online platform called eQuad meant to better match financial institutions and ESCOs. Engineering Solutions is part of the platform.“Even a bank that is supposed to do small environmentally friendly investments, when it gets to [the bank’s] lower-level management, they say, ‘OK, maybe two, three years from now,’” she said. “It happens all the time.”Under current rules in the Energy Efficiency Directive, countries are supposed to promote the ESCO sector, including its access to cash. But banks and other private investors often lack the knowledge to understand how ESCOs do business, especially since this is still a young market. At the same time, ESCOs don’t have the expertise or resources to make a convincing case for themselves.The eQuad project brought together ESCO-driven energy efficiency and renewables projects worth more than €122 million, and about €18 million worth of projects are currently under review by investors, Stromback said.The overall market for ESCOs across the EU was €2.4 billion in 2015, with a forecast to grow to €3.1 billion in 2024, according to a policy report from the Commission’s Joint Research Center.Big differencesThe EU market is quite diverse. Germany is the leader with about 500 ESCOs focused on energy performance contracting, according to the report. France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Austria also have well-developed markets. On the other hand, there are only around a dozen ESCOs in Belgium, a number that hasn’t changed for more than 10 years. The Estonian and Maltese markets are non-existent.In terms of size, some ESCOs can be big, as is the case in Belgium, which means they face fewer funding issues. But many smaller firms struggle with financing.In Italy, for example, 95 percent of them are small businesses and 60 percent have less than 10 workers. Vasilopoulos’ company in Greece has less than a dozen permanent employees.last_img read more