PARIS â€" Employees everywhere, here's one more good reason to grumble: Your boss will probably outlive you.
A new study from France's national statistics bureau (INSEE) quantifies what many might have suspected, also in light of noted correlations between wealth and life expectancy. But the latest French study, which echos similar findings from other countries in recent years, may put a face on the discrepancy for workers. Citing figures from the report, Le Monde noted that while life expectancy across France is on the rise, inequalities persist, notably with managers typically living six years longer than workers.
There is also a correlation between education level and life expectancy, with advanced-degree holders outliving those with fewer academic credentials.
Analogous findings have periodically been noted elsewhere. In Italy, La Repubblica reported back in 2014 about the negative correlation between high education levels, poverty and poor health. A report from the country's National Institute for Health, Poverty and Migration (NIHMP) suggested that male executives could expect to outlive less qualified workers of the same age and sex by five years.
And in the UK, the British Office for National Statistics found in 2010 that manual laborers were twice as likely as their supervisors to die early.
Still, even if the head honchos of the world have an edge over the masses, there is some consolation for women. On average, they consistently outlive men, regardless of their position on the company totem pole. Moreover, according to the new French study, there is a smaller gap â€" three years â€" between life expectancy of women managers and women workers.
With loans and solar panels from China, the massive solar park has been opened a year and is already powering the surrounding areas. Now the Chinese supplier is pushing for an expansion.
CAUCHARI — Driving across the border with Chile into the northwest Argentine department of Susques, you may spot what looks like a black mass in the distance. Arriving at a 4,000-meter altitude in the municipality of Cauchari, what comes into view instead is an assembly of 960,000 solar panels. It is the world's highest photovoltaic (PV) park, which is also the second biggest solar energy facility in Latin America, after Mexico's Aguascalientes plant.
Spread over 800 hectares in an arid landscape, the Cauchari park has been operating for a year, and has so far turned sunshine into 315 megawatts of electricity, enough to power the local provincial capital of Jujuy through the national grid.
It has also generated some $50 million for the province, which Governor Gerardo Morales has allocated to building 239 schools.
Abundant sunshine, low temperatures
The physicist Martín Albornoz says Cauchari, which means "link to the sun," is exposed to the best solar radiation anywhere. The area has 260 days of sunshine, with no smog and relatively low temperatures, which helps keep the panels in optimal conditions.
Its construction began with a loan of more than $331 million from China's Eximbank, which allowed the purchase of panels made in Shanghai. They arrived in Buenos Aires in 2,500 containers and were later trucked a considerable distance to the site in Cauchari . This was a titanic project that required 1,200 builders and 10-ton cranes, but will save some 780,000 tons of CO2 emissions a year.
It is now run by 60 technicians. Its panels, with a 25-year guarantee, follow the sun's path and are cleaned twice a year. The plant is expected to have a service life of 40 years. Its choice of location was based on power lines traced in the 1990s to export power to Chile, now fed by the park.
Chinese engineers working in an office at the Cauchari park
Chinese want to expand
The plant belongs to the public-sector firm Jemse (Jujuy Energía y Minería), created in 2011 by the province's then governor Eduardo Fellner. Jemse's president, Felipe Albornoz, says that once Chinese credits are repaid in 20 years, Cauchari will earn the province $600 million.
The Argentine Energy ministry must now decide on the park's proposed expansion. The Chinese would pay in $200 million, which will help install 400,000 additional panels and generate enough power for the entire province of Jujuy.
The park's CEO, Guillermo Hoerth, observes that state policies are key to turning Jujuy into a green province. "We must change the production model. The world is rapidly cutting fossil fuel emissions. This is a great opportunity," Hoerth says.
The province's energy chief, Mario Pizarro, says in turn that Susques and three other provincial districts are already self-sufficient with clean energy, and three other districts would soon follow.
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