DAGBLADET

Norway's Second Biggest City Bans Naming Streets For Men

With 9 out of 10 current streets in Bergen, Norway honoring men, the city council has decided that every new street name will be a woman's.

Norway's Second Biggest City Bans Naming Streets For Men
Carl-Johan Karlsson

The southern Norwegian city of Bergen has approved a ban on naming future streets and public spaces after men.

Norwegian daily Dagbladet reported last week that the decision came after a years-long debate over historical sexism, as 9 out of 10 streets dedicated to figures of the past have male names, including the likes of 19th century Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen and Olaf Kyrre, or Olaf III, the 11th-century King of Norway credited with founding the port city.

The move has sparked lively political debate in the city, with representatives from center and right-wing parties questioning the ban's relevance and legality.

To Charlotte Spurkeland, city council representative for the the Conservative Party, the ban is a "prohibition policy typical of the identity-political left." Meanwhile, Silje Hjemdal of the right-wing Progress Party suggests the ban could be violating anti-discrimination laws.

Council member Katrine Nødtvedt, who voted for the ban, argued that equal representation around public places in the city is crucial in order for girls to "feel they can achieve the same things."

While the ban is considered temporary, meant to stay in place only until full street-name equality has been achieved, there is much work to be done to begin naming and re-naming streets after notable women who are no longer alive. Time indeed to rethink how we look at history.

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Green

In Argentina, A Visit To World's Highest Solar Energy Park

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.

960,000 solar panels have been installed at the Cauchari park

Silvia Naishtat

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

Xinhua/ZUMA

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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