Friday, November 14, 2008
Not really, but I'm sticking with that theme. That picture picture caught my attention last night, of firework smoke billowing into the air outside of the largest solar-tracking plant in the world. Located in Shinan, it's the size of 93 soccer fields. Here's an aerial shot:
Shinan is one of three counties in Jeollanam-do comprised entirely of islands. Articles say the plant is capable of providing energy to 10,000 homes, though I wonder how efficient it will be considering how sparsely populated Shinan is, with its 46,137 people spread across some 1,000 islands. Jido-eup, where the plant is located, only has 5,700 people.
Loosely based on the topic of alternative energy sources, I'm making my way through The West Wing's last season, and just finished the episode where an accident at a nuclear plant threw the Vinick campaign for a loop. There is a nuclear plant in Jeollanam-do, in Yeonggwang county, and in 2003 it leaked a little bit of radiation. You can tour the plant, but I can't find the links for that now. Also in Yeonggwang there are plans to install wind-power generators by 2015. More information on that kind of stuff from the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. I was surprised to learn from that above-quoted article that South Korea has 18 reactors at four sites that generate 40% of the country's electricity. A profile on nuclear energy in South Korea says that there are plans to have eight more built by 2015. Wikipedia presents a little different information on the topic.
And, what a coincidence, the New York Times has an article today about the terrible pollutiion in Asia. If you're curious, Suncheon currently has "moderate" air according to the "comprehensive air-quality index" from Air Korea. Incheon is "unhealthy," and alarmingly there is no reading for Dokdo. Expect an angry letter by morning.