A barrage of new aircraft for Brazil and Scotland’s renewable targets make the number news this month.
Brazil will need 1,060 new aircraft between 2012 and 2031 according to the latest Airbus Global Market Forecast. The total comprises 700 single-aisle, 310 twin-aisle and 50 very large aircraft.
With above-average GDP growth, socio-economic indicators predict Brazil’s economy to more than double over the next 20 years. The domestic air traffic market has doubled since 2006, helping make Brazil the fourth largest passenger traffic market worldwide, following the US, China and Japan.
International traffic has grown by 34 per cent since 2009, and more than a third of long-haul traffic to Latin America arrives through Brazil, making Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro the region’s major gateways.
Scotland is aiming to meet half its electricity demand from renewable sources by 2015. First Minister Alex Salmond announced the new target at the RenewableUK conference in Glasgow, saying it was “achievable, based on the sector’s rapid progress”.
Most of Scotland’s renewable generation comes from hydro and onshore wind. Provisional estimates suggest that 35 per cent of consumption in 2011 was met by renewables.
Chancellor George Osborne says he wants to start a debate in the scientific community about the future technologies where Britain could lead the world.
Speaking at the Royal Society, he listed eight candidates for government backing but said he wanted to build consensus that they were the right goals. Osborne’s list comprises: the Big Data revolution and energy efficient computing; synthetic biology; regenerative medicine; agri-science; energy storage; advanced materials; robotics and autonomous systems; satellites and commercial applications of space.
Raytheon UK has successfully tested silicon carbide (SiC) mixed signal devices at temperatures up to 400°C at its Glenrothes facility, helping to demonstrate that SiC chips containing both logic and analogue functions can operate in harsh environments. The company wants to offer design and manufacturing services for custom chips incorporating control functions in applications such as aero engine monitoring and deep drilling.
The London Array offshore windfarm produced its first energy on 29 October 2012. The 630MW development has been under construction since March 2011 and will be the world’s largest when it is complete.
Over 150 of the 175 turbines are now installed in the Thames Estuary, with the rest due by the end of the year. The project is owned by a consortium of DONG Energy, E.On and Masdar.
ABB has developed a circuit breaker for high voltage direct current, beating rivals Alstom and Siemens in the race to announce a device that holds the key to creating large-scale DC grids. HVDC links provide efficient point-to-point power transfer over long distances, but without a high-speed breaker it has not been possible to create multi-path networks. ABB says the new device, combining very fast mechanics with power electronics, can interrupt power flows “equivalent to the output of a large power station” within 5ms.