2,278 research outputs found

    Loss of trust as disconnection in John Updike’s Trust me.

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    While the title of John Updike‚Äôs short-story collection, Trust Me (1987), and the theme of betrayed trust of the first story (‚ÄúTrust Me‚ÄĚ) offer a thematic coherence to the collection, it would be restrictive to read the stories through the simple thematic filter of betrayed trust leading to weakened human attachments. Trust is given a wider articulation in the collection, that of a mode of connection for human beings to their world, their lives, and to others. The loss of trust for the protagonists in the stories, ‚ÄúThe City‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúThe Wallet,‚ÄĚ is undergone as just such a loss of connection, engendering in both cases an existential disquiet. The article explores the nature of these existential crises, situating them within Updike‚Äôs wider deployment of the motif of the fall in his collection. The article goes on to consider the manner in which the existential theme of these two stories is informed by Updike‚Äôs own recurring existential unease, a reflection justified by the avowedly autobiographical dimension of his short fiction

    Protection Considerations of Future Distribution Networks with Large Penetration of Single Phase Residential Rooftop Photovoltaic Systems

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    Solar Photovoltaics now constitute a significant part of electrical power generation for many utilities around the world. This penetration of PVs introduces many technical challenges. This thesis has investigated the impact of high penetration level of single phase rooftop PVs on protection of low voltage and medium voltage and distribution networks and proposed necessary recommendation to improve the performance of protection systems of these networks

    Selecting SUDS in the Valencia Region of Spain

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    This paper reports on a study of the implementation of sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) in two Spanish towns (Xàtiva and Benaguasil) as part of the EU LIFE+ Project AQUAVAL, which has been conceived to introduce examples of sustainable drainage to the Valencia Region of Spain. Six sites in a range of common urban spaces and land uses are selected and appropriate SUDS techniques proposed by means of a decision-support process. This primarily consisted of the systematic application of key selection criteria through matrices and scores, followed by a brief sustainability analysis. Stakeholders’ preferences and opinions as well as educational and social opportunities are highly considered throughout the process. General monitoring requirements and major limitations in using the methodology are outlined, stressing the need for improvement of four main aspects: local data regarding SUDS performance, detail of the sustainability analysis, support through comprehensive modelling tools, and level of stakeholder engagement. The importance of creating showcases for SUDS in Mediterranean Regions, thus adapting key selection criteria as to foster sustainable drainage understanding and expertise is highlighted

    Regulating for Energy Justice

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    In this Article, we explore and critique the foundational norms that shape federal and state energy regulation and suggest pathways for reform that can incorporate principles of ‚Äúenergy justice.‚ÄĚ These energy justice principles‚ÄĒdeveloped in academic scholarship and social movements‚ÄĒinclude the equitable distribution of costs and benefits of the energy system, equitable participation and representation in energy decision making, and restorative justice for structurally marginalized groups. While new legislation, particularly at the state level, is critical to the effort to advance energy justice, our focus here is on regulators‚Äô ability to implement reforms now using their existing authority to advance the public interest and establish just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory rates, charges, and practices. Throughout the Article, we challenge the longstanding narrative that utility regulators are engaged solely in a technical ratemaking exercise in setting utility rates. We argue that rate setting is and always has been social policy implemented within a legislative framework designed to promote the public interest. As we explain, when regulators and advocates expressly recognize this fact, it creates new opportunities for the regulatory system to achieve energy justice goals. Through our reexamination of energy system governance, we evaluate new approaches to advance the public interest and set just and reasonable rates for energy consumers. These new approaches consider system benefits as well as costs, enhance universal and affordable access to utility service, alleviate income constraints on residential energy consumption as an economic development tool, increase equitable access to distributed energy resources such as energy efficiency upgrades and rooftop solar, and enhance procedural justice in ratemaking proceedings. We argue that over the long run, these pathways to a more just energy system align the interests of all system stakeholders by creating community wealth and collective prosperity

    A rapid review of the background to source control

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    Background to researchThe start of the 21st Century witnessed a revolution in drainage practices with the implementation of sustainable drainage systems (SUDS). Prior to 2000, rainfall was managed by directing it away as quickly as possible in underground pipes. Increasing pressures such as watercourse pollution, stricter environmental laws, climate change and urbanisation called for a paradigm shift with Scotland leading the way for implementing SUDS. SUDS are designed to mimic natural drainage processes, managing rainfall in stages as it drains from a development. Collectively this process is called the stormwater treatment train. The first stage is source control, with stages two and three being site and regional controls respectively. Source control principally controls and treats polluted runoff at source (where the rain falls) and if designed and implemented correctly, protect watercourses and downstream SUDS through filtration, infiltration and storage. In Scotland, site and regional control SUDS have become business as usual, however uptake of the stormwater treatment train and the use of source control SUDS in practice is less routine than would be expected.Objectives of researchThe SUDS Working Party in Scotland is an interdisciplinary stakeholder platform to discuss issues relating to the SUDS agenda and promote their use. In 2009, a consultation paper on ‚ÄėImplementing the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act‚Äô set out proposals to improve the sustainable management of Scotland‚Äôs water resources. The need for increased source control measures for the mitigation of diffuse pollution and climate change effects in urban areas was identified. To assist in this aspiration, the SUDS Working Party commissioned this study via CREW to identify opportunities and barriers to increasing the uptake of source control in Scotland. This report covers phase one of a three-phase study. It focuses on tracking the evolution of source control to gain an insight into enabling factors and obstacles for successful uptake of the systems. A literature review identified source control origins, the techniques available, and options for their application.Key findings and recommendationsIn the UK, research to validate the performance of source control measures began in the early 1990‚Äôs. This was enabled by stakeholder platforms such as the SUDS Working Party and the Scottish Universities SUDS Monitoring Group. By the mid-1990s, the SUDS concept was developed which included source control and outlined water quality, quantity and biodiversity / amenity benefits of the systems. By 2000, Scottish guidance was developed and by 2006 it became law to implement SUDS in all new developments. This was quickly followed by technical standards in 2007. SUDS for roads networks were addressed in 2010. Currently, many types of source control exist, most of which have been validated by research and are commonplace. The state of the art techniques such as rain gardens, green roofs and rainwater harvesting however, have had limited uptake in Scotland.It is evident that the enabling factors for the uptake of SUDS have been the result of top down drivers such as environmental initiatives and regulation. However, clarity surrounding the definition and application of source control as part of the stormwater treatment train is becoming a barrier to its uptake by practitioners. Extensive research provided a bottom up driver to validate effectiveness of the technologies for attenuating pollutants, mitigating flooding and creating habitats. Validation of emerging innovative techniques however, such as green roofs and rain gardens for different development types is limited in Scotland and this may prove to be a barrier in the future

    Shock to the system: dealing with falling electricity demand

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    This report argues that Australians are using less power but paying more for it, with potentially highly damaging consequences for the electricity system.OverviewElectricity use in Australia is falling. From the 1960s to the end of the 20th century, electricity consumption increased at an average annual rate of six per cent. Investment in power stations and electricity networks also rose steadily. Since 2009, however, eastern states‚Äô electricity production has fallen and in Western Australia growth has plateaued since 2011.Yet this extraordinary fall in demand has not led to a fall in price, as would occur in a conventional market. Since 2006 the average household has reduced power use by more than seven per cent. But in that period the average household power bill has risen more than 85 per cent: from 890to890 to 1660 a year. One reason is that Australians are funding billions of dollars of infrastructure that falling consumption has made redundant. These price rises are unsustainable, but who will pay for the correction: power companies, governments or ‚Äď once again ‚Äď consumers?Falling consumption has several causes. Customers are responding to high prices by reducing use or switching to a new breed of more energy-efficient appliances. The cost of solar energy has fallen: a million households now have solar PV panels on their roofs. The economy has become less energy intensive as the manufacturing sector has declined.The nature of Australia‚Äôs energy market means that these changes are not leading to lower prices. Electricity generators operate in a free market: when consumption falls they must produce power at a lower price in order to sell it, or reduce production. But network businesses ‚Äď which carry power from the generator to the business or home and which take about 45 per cent of a household‚Äôs electricity bill ‚Äď are regulated monopolies not subject to market forces.For years, regulators have allowed these companies to earn excessive profits by setting tariffs that are too high given the low risk they face as monopolies. Some states have also allowed the companies to overinvest in infrastructure. This was less of a problem when demand was rising and higher costs were spread over a larger volume of sales. But when electricity use falls, the high cost of the network is spread over a smaller volume and customers pay more. Continually rising prices could induce them to disconnect from the network. Enough disconnections would trigger a crisis that insiders call the ‚Äėdeath spiral‚Äô.To prevent this from happening governments must:Ensure that network companies make future investments that better match future power needs. Begin the hard task of reforming network tariffs so that prices companies charge reflect the costs they incur. Review the value of network assets to decide who should pay for any write-down of surplus infrastructure. These solutions are neither simple nor painless. But consumers deserve a better system. A future Grattan Institute report will produce recommendations for how that can be achieved

    Doctor of Philosophy

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    dissertationThere is a need to improve the methods involved with targeted implementation and design of distributed, watershed-scale low impact development (LID) practices. The goal of this dissertation was to improve the targeted implementation and design of distrib

    Clean Water Act Phase II: How To For Development, a Case Study

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    I am researching the use of several stormwater techniques known to reduce runoff to provide future developers and municipal officials with tools to meet the stormwater post-construction runoff standards laid out in Phase II of the Clean Water Act. Specifically, I am looking at Smart Growth, Low Impact Development, Open Space Design, and Green Infrastructure. Phase II states that any new development or re-development equaling one acre or greater must be able to capture and infiltrate the first inch of rain to fall on site following 72 hours with no measurable precipitation. There is no one way to solve the problem of stormwater management; therefore we must implement an integrated approach which synthesizes these design theories to effectively manage stormwater. I used the La Rue site on Kingston Pike just before Cherokee Blvd. as a testing ground for my hypothesis. I will proceed with two design scenarios for this project. The first scenario encompasses designing the site as if it were in the pre development stages. I will keep the same building square footage, but rearrange the footprints in a more efficient layout for stormwater management. The second scenario will be a retrofit of the site to comply with Phase II standards. Though it is not a current requirement of Phase II, many professionals believe in the coming years the EPA will require the retrofit of existing developments to meet these standards. In this scenario, the building footprints will remain exactly as they are but any other features will be malleable (infrastructure, vegetation, grading, etc.). Another component in this thesis will be to determine which design theories are best suited to each scenario. My pre-investigation belief is that for the pre-development scenario, I will be able to implement parts of all four theories. For the retrofit, I believe that I will be limited mostly to Low Impact Development and Green Infrastructure. Though, it is possible that I may still be able to fit in some principles of the Smart Growth and Open Space Design (reduce impervious footprints, reduce road widths, etc.)
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