Coach House Geography

Interesting Geography stuff for InterHigh

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Archive for the ‘Economic geography’ Category

Renewable energy hits record high in UK

Posted by Lindy on October 18, 2011

Renewable electricity contributed an all time high of 9.6% of the UK’s grid mix in the second quarter of this year, statistics released on Thursday by the Department of Energy and Climate Change have revealed.

The 7.86TWh (terawatt hours) contributed by green energy generators represented a 50% rise on the same time last year. The surge in green energy was led by the wind energy sector, which saw output more than double in 1 year, such as the off-shore turbines in N Lincolnshire ( see left) and hydroelectricity where output rose by ¾  year on year.

Nuclear energy also saw a large rise, increasing by more than 1/3 to 17.44TWh.

It needs to be said that  wind energy output was relatively low during the second quarter of 2010, while the mild spring will have contributed to the fall in overall energy use.

However, supporters of renewable energy will also point to a steady increase in capacity evidenced by the opening of new offshore wind farms and biomass power plants as one of the factors behind the sector’s strong performance.


Posted in Climate change, Economic geography, Energy sources, Renewable, Wind | Leave a Comment »

Kenya e-Learning Centre Opened in Kibera

Posted by Lindy on October 2, 2011

The European Union in partnership with Amref yesterday commissioned an e-learning centre for nurses in a move aimed at improving the provision of health care. The centre is the first of its kind in the country where enrolled nurses (basic level trained) will undertake four module sessions in two years to qualify for diploma certificates ( high level training). The programme seeks to reduce the cost of training for nurses and at the same time minimise time taken for one to complete a full course for a registered nurse. Neelie hailed the achievements of ICT in development and challenged the students to use locally available appliances like mobile phones to undertake sessions ahead of their tutors. More than 100 e-learning centres have been established in various rural parts of the country and 27 nursing schools have adopted the programme.

Posted in Development, Economic geography, Kibera, Solution to problems | Leave a Comment »

Christmas and the global market

Posted by Lindy on December 16, 2010

Never thought I would borrow from the Sun newspaper!

Posted in Economic geography, Food supply, Fun stuff, IGCSE | Leave a Comment »

The world gets ¼ of its energy from renewable resources

Posted by Lindy on October 26, 2010


In spite of the economic crises of 2007-9, renewable energy sources continue to grow. Close to one quester of the energy supply generally and approaching 20% of the electricity comes from renewable resources. And all this is despite low oil prices and the poor performance of the Copenhagen  Summit in Dec 2009.

The prime movers are photovoltaic and wind power. China is in the lead, have added 37GW last year, of which 13,8 GW was wind power.

Germany is top of the PV market having added 3.8GW. Biomass power plants exist in over 50 countries around the world with Austria and Finland forging ahead with this.

One of the reasons for this growth, is that you can start small and cheap, unlike hugely expensive fossil fuel or nuclear power stations.

For more information on renewables:

Posted in Appropriate technology, Bio-enenrgy, Economic geography, Global warming, IGCSE, nonrenewables, Renewable, solar, Solution to problems, Sustainability, Wave, Wind | Leave a Comment »

The informal economy is saving Africa? Really?

Posted by Lindy on May 28, 2010

The informal sector is economic activity that is neither taxed nor monitored by a government, and is not included in that government’s Gross National Product (GNP), as opposed to a formal economy.

So how come it could save Africa? It is estimated that the informal economy is equivalent to 40% of the GDP of most African countries. That is a bit like taking the GDP of the USA but forgetting to count California, Texas, New York, Florida and Illinois! It seriously under-values how much money is being made.

The trouble with working off the books like this is that when it comes time to distribute official resources for development, like digging a well or building a school or paving a road the government can overlook those in the informal sector because they do not exist in the formal records. .  It’s easy to get trapped in a sort of official limbo.  You don’t get help you need because you’re not really there. But they do not choose to chase those on the informal economy to pay taxes because they perform a vital function in society and so must be tolerated and encouraged insofar as possible.  The answer in most countries is for governments to ignore the informal economy altogether.  Of course they admit it exists, but they plead a long list of difficulties when it comes time to count, tax, regulate or otherwise officially acknowledge it.  It’s simply cheaper and easier to let it go and try to tap some of the benefits indirectly.

The reason this is the best hope for Africa is that informal economies everywhere survive and thrive against the odds.  Lack of capital, education and in many cases the absence of basic services and utilities do not deter people from taking risks, even prevent them making a profit on small ventures at the bottom of the economic pyramid.  Every country in Africa depends on its informal economy to supply the needs and fill the gaps of the official one.

The link to the full article

Posted in Development, Economic geography, Human geography, IGCSE, Urban environments | Leave a Comment »

Campaign to save tropical forests failed by food giants Project to create sustainable palm oil project undermined by Western firms

Posted by Lindy on January 30, 2010

Read this article:

Palm oil, the cheapest  vegetable oil around that is used in processed foods, Dove soap and also  in biofuels has resulted in the mass destruction of the rain forest, in Indonesia in particular. Seven years ago houshold products giant Unilever and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) founded the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) seven years ago, to encourage producers of the oil to produce it in an envirnmentally sustainable way.

In November 2008, the first certified supplies in Europe arrived, yet Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Procter & Gamble, Nestle, Allied Bakeries and even Unilever did not buy any separate certified RSPO oil last year. They are waffling on (as you will see in the article) about increasing its use by 2015. What ARE they waiting for?

After a bit of a search for the Press Office emails of these companies, I have shot off a brief email to several of them – if/when I get a reply, I will add the emails to the site – so you too can make a pain of yourselves!!

[This is because I am not sure I have the correct contacts, but when someone does repsond, I will let you know]

Posted in Appropriate technology, Economic geography, Food supply, Solution to problems, Sustainability | Leave a Comment »

Fun but thought provoking too!

Posted by Lindy on January 27, 2010

Posted in Economic geography, Fun stuff, IGCSE, Sustainability | Leave a Comment »

The Super Tree

Posted by Lindy on August 28, 2009

From an article by Ochieng’ Ogodo on 27 August 2009Acacia super tree

African farmers could triple yields by planting a type of acacia tree that sheds its nitrogen-rich leaves in time for the growing season alongside their crops.

“Besides organic fertiliser and livestock fodder for farmers, it also acts as a windbreak, provides wood for fuel and construction and cuts erosion by loosening the soil to absorb water during the rainy season. The tree becomes dormant and sheds its leaves during the early rainy season at the time when seeds need fertiliser and regrows them at the beginning of the dry season, so not competing with crops for light” he said at the 2nd World Congress of Agroforestry in Nairobi this week.

Planting the trees can nearly triple yields, he says. In Malawi, maize yields under the acacia canopy are 280 per cent higher than outside it.

Posted in Development, Economic geography, Food supply, IGCSE, Solution to problems, Sustainability | Leave a Comment »

Awra Amba, a village in Ethiopia

Posted by Lindy on August 15, 2009

This is about an illiterate man, Ato Zumra, who has made his own dream come true

Posted in Development, Economic geography, Human geography, IGCSE, Y7/8, Y9 | Leave a Comment »

Where are you? In recession still?

Posted by Lindy on August 13, 2009


Posted in Economic geography, IGCSE | Leave a Comment »