Top 4 News Stories from 2017

Australia to ban climbing on Uluru as from 2019

As from October 2019, no one will be allowed to climb Uluru, Australia’s famous landmark. Due to indigenous sensitivity issues, the climb was ended by a unanimous vote by the board of the Uluru-Tjuta National Park. Referred to for many years as Ayer’s Rock, the massive red monolith is a sacred site to the Aboriginal people. Locals have been asking for a long time, that visitors not climb the world-famous landmark and there are signs placed at the start of the climb, requesting people to not continue out of respect for the traditional laws of the custodians of the land, the Anangu Aboriginal people.

Uluru, a listed UNESCO World Heritage site, was given back to its traditional owner’s way back in 1985. The climbing ban will begin on October 26, 2019 – 34 years after the official handover.

Nuclear power plants to be built by Russia in Nigeria

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, in an attempt to put an end to its energy crisis, has signed a deal giving Russia the go-ahead to build two power plants in the country. Sources at the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission said in an interview with the BBC, that Rosatom, a Russian state-owned company, will erect one power plant in the south of the country and another in the center.

Nigeria is hoping that the plants, which at first will be run by Rosatom prior to being handed over, will help to ease the energy deficit in the country. More than 40 percent of Nigeria was without electricity in 2014, according to World Bank figures. Despite being one of the largest oil producers in Africa, much of the country’s oil wealth has been squandered over the years. Rife with corruption at all levels has made the country broke and able to produce only a fraction of the energy needed by its 180 million citizens.

“Despicable” fraud in England costs the NHS £1 billion per year

According to Sue Frith,chief executive of the NHS Counter Fraud Agency, more is going to be done to protect England’s NHS from “despicable” acts of fraud. She promised a clampdown after releasing figures that suggested the annual bill for fraud in the NHS to be in the region of £1 billion.

The analysis carried out by her team recorded that an estimated amount of £1.25bn each year, is being committed by staff, contractors and patients, a figure that represents around 1 percent of the total NHS budget.

The two biggest areas of fraud were related to procurement of goods and services and patients, both of which will more than likely cost the NHS more than £200m each year.

Germany to pay clients for electricity usage due to renewable energy creating an enormous power surplus

Power producers in Germany are on the verge of paying clients to use electricity over the weekend. Wind generation climbed to a record high on Sunday which created more output than required, driving prices for electricity to below zero, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It would be the first time in the past year that the average price for an entire day shows negative instead of just specific hours.

With these negative prices, electricity producers will either have to shut down power stations to reduce electricity supply, or pay their customers to use electricity.

Germany had the renewable energy industry reeling in shock earlier this year, by giving contracts to developers who were prepared to erect offshore farms without a subsidy.

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