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VOA慢速英语:塞拉利昂使用新设备来提高电力供应

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  Sierra Leone Uses New Device to Improve Power Supply

  Welcome to As It Is from VOA Learning English.

  Hi. I’m Caty Weaver. Today on the program we havetwo reports on electrical power. Scientists andengineers say they have a power plan for New York Citythat could end its dependability on fossil fuel.

  But first we head to Sierra Leone. The National PowerAuthority there has already taken steps to get and keepthe country out of the dark.

  How to meet power needs, on As It Is today…

  Lighting Up Sierra Leone for the Long Term

  The people of Sierra Leone face electric power outagesalmost every day. In fact, some areas have been without electricity for years.

  Recently, the National Power Authority deployed a new device which canidentify problems in underground power lines. The hope is to provideelectricity everywhere all the time. Steve Ember has our report.

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  WInd turbines in Michigan.

  People in Sierra Leone have been without dependable electric power since the 1980s. That was when demand for power began to increase. Then in 1991, acivil war began. The fighting lasted 11 years. It left the country in ruins. Manypower stations were destroyed.

  People moved to Freetown, the capital, in search of better living conditions. As the population increased, the demand for electricity grew. The higherdemand was too much for the National Power Authority. Today, poweroutages, or blackouts, can happen in Freetown every day. And parts of SierraLeone still have no power at all.

  December is a time for celebration in Sierra Leone. Music can be heard inmany areas as carnival parties get started. But things can come to acomplete halt at night if there is no national power and you do not have agenerator to produce electricity.

  That is when the NPA’s new device comes to the rescue. The equipment canidentify breaks in large underground cables.

  Edward Parkinson is a technician who works with the device. He says that in the past, technicians had to dig up streets in an effort to find broken wiring.

  "With this new equipment it will reduce the down time and also it will help uslocate faults at a faster rate."

  He says the equipment can find a faulty cable within a few hours. In the past,discovery could take weeks.

  Scott Gavin is the deputy general manager for NPA. He says the hope is thenew equipment will also help Sierra Leone have power 24 hours a day withinabout two years.

  "And because of the ease with which we can do it, improved technology,within an hour or two, depending on the length of cable, we are able to pinpointthe fault and then we can request for permission if it's along a road, so thatexcavations can take place."

  Scott Gavin says the device has been on the market only for about one yearbut it is used worldwide. It cost the NPA about $230,000.

  He says a German company, SebaKMT, built the equipment. Similar modelshave been used for many years. But he says this new one, called the "System Classic," had everything the NPA needed.

  "This one we requested for a complete set, that would help us identify cablesin the ground, do location (find) in the event of faults, and do the necessarytests all in one vehicle. So you drive the vehicle, it has a generator in casethere's no power at that location, so you just operate the generator and youcan power the equipment. "

  This is all good news to people like Momoh Kamara, a 33-year old man whoworks in the western part of Freetown. He describes what it is like withoutelectricity.

  "For example, when you have food, you are not able to store it more than oneday, it affects that area greatly. And overnight, when you have problem, get afunny sound, like thieves, for you to detect [them], it's difficult because theplace is dark and whenever thief comes around, if the place is dark, he willhave the chance to do whatever he wants to do, so it's terrible to live in aplace where there is no electricity."

  He also says that no light means snakes can move around a house at nightwithout being seen. He says the animals sometimes attack.

  Scott Gavin of the National Power Authority knows the new equipment alonecannot bring back full power to the country. But, he notes, it surely can help.

  I’m Steve Ember.

  Big Plans for Renewable Energies

  Many people continue to express concern about damage to Earth’s climate. Scientists have linked the damage to carbon-based fuels like gas, oil andcoal. The financial costs of these fuels also are rising. As a result, someenvironmental engineers are offering plans for reaching energy independencethrough renewable power sources. One of these planners is Mark Jacobsen.

  Mark Jacobson may be the only civil engineering professor invited to appearon the television talk show “Late Night with David Letterman.” Mr. Jacobsonwent on the program in October to explain his findings on wind, water andsolar energy. He said these renewable power sources could quickly meetalmost all the world’s needs now served by fossil fuels.

  Mark Jacobson teaches at Stanford University in California. In a report in thejournal Energy Policy, he and Cornell University researchers tell how NewYork State could move to wind, water and solar power by 2030. They say thatthere would be enough energy left over to power every vehicle in the state aswell, if those vehicles are electric.

  The plan calls for thousands of wind turbines, most to be built in the Atlantic Ocean. It also requires solar andphoto-voltaic power centers, rooftop systems on 5.5million buildings and geothermal factories. Theresearchers say their proposal calls for devices tocapture tidal and ocean wave power as well asadditional hydroelectric centers.

  Marc Jacobsen says the plan calls for the use of justone percent of New York's land.

  "The technologies we’re focusing on are the cleanest and therefore the bestand most sustainable for society in the long run.”

  He and the other researchers say the only barriers to the plan are political, nottechnological.

  “There are a lot of industries that look unfavorably upon this plan, becausethey don’t benefit from it.”

  And that’s As It Is for today. I’m Caty Weaver. Thanks for joining us.


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