Archive for the ‘Wind’ Category

Foundations of Energy Security for the DPRK: 1990-2009

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

The Nautilus Institute has put together an amazing research paper on the DPRK’s energy sector. I cannot understate the value of the quality/quantity of facts/figures/tables in this research.

You can download the PDF here.

I have also added it to my DPRK Economic statistics Page.

Here is the introduction:

Energy demand and supply in general—and, arguably, demand for and supply of electricity in particular—have played a key role in many high-profile issues involving North Korea, and have played and will play a central role in the resolution of the ongoing confrontation between North Korea and much of the international community over the North’s nuclear weapons program. Energy sector issues will continue to be a key to the resolution of the crisis, as underscored by the formation of a Working Group under the Six-Party Talks that was (and nominally, still is) devoted to the issue of energy and economic assistance to the DPRK.

The purpose of this report is to provide policy-makers and other interested parties with an overview of the demand for and supply of the various forms of energy used in the DPRK in six years during the last two decades:

  • 1990, the year before much of the DPRK’s economic and technical support from the Soviet Union was withdrawn;
  • 1996, thought by some to be one of the most meager years of the difficult economic 1990s in the DPRK; and 2000, a year that has been perceived by some observers as a period of modest economic “recovery” in the DPRK, as well as a marker of the period before the start, in late 2002, of a period of renewed political conflict between the DPRK, the United States, and it neighbors in Northeast Asia over the DPRK’s nuclear weapons development program; and
  • 2005, also a year in which observers have again noted an upward trend in some aspects of the DPRK economy, as well as the most recent year for which any published estimates on the DPRK’s energy sector and economy are available.
  • 2008, the last year in which the DPRK received heavy fuel oil from its negotiating partners in the Six-Party talks; and
  • 2009, the most recent year for which we have analyzed the DPRK’s energy sector.
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North Korea at night (2012-9-24)

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Eric T. passes along this amazing satellite photo of the Korean peninsula taken at night on 2012-9-24:

The photo comes from NASA. Click image to see larger version.

When I get some time (maybe this weekend) I will see if I can put names to the lights in North Korea.

Here is the text from the NASA web page:

City lights at night are a fairly reliable indicator of where people live. But this isn’t always the case, and the Korean Peninsula shows why. As of July 2012, South Korea’s population was estimated at roughly 49 million people, and North Korea’s population was estimated at about half that number. But where South Korea is gleaming with city lights, North Korea has hardly any lights at all—just a faint glimmer around Pyongyang.

On September 24, 2012, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite captured this nighttime view of the Korean Peninsula. This imagery is from the VIIRS “day-night band,” which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe signals such as gas flares, auroras, wildfires, city lights, and reflected moonlight.

The wide-area image shows the Korean Peninsula, parts of China and Japan, the Yellow Sea, and the Sea of Japan. The white inset box encloses an area showing ship lights in the Yellow Sea. Many of the ships form a line, as if assembling along a watery border.

Following the 1953 armistice ending the Korean War, per-capita income in South Korea rose to about 17 times the per-capital income level of North Korea, according to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Worldwide, South Korea ranks 12th in electricity production, and 10th in electricity consumption, per 2011 estimates. North Korea ranks 71st in electricity production, and 73rd in electricity consumption, per 2009 estimates.

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Some new Google Earth imagery…

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Google Earth is offering some new imagery of the DPRK so I wanted to point out a few of the new locations we can identify.  The Pyongyang imagery is dated 2011-3-15. The east-coast imagery is dated 2011-5-14.

1. Solar Equipment Center (태양열설비쎈)

(Google Earth Coordinates: 39.014504°, 125.662840° , Google Maps, Wikimapia)

Kim Jong-il visited this facility on October 9, 2011.  It produces solar water heaters (KCNA).

2. Kumkop (gold cup) Combined Foodstuff Factory (금컵체육인종합식료공장)

(Google Earth Coordinates: 39.009592°, 125.671213°, Google Maps, Wikimapia)

According to KCNA:

The factory produces rice cake, bread, confectionary, processed meat and drinks. It also has welfare facilities for its employees.

The drinks, including carbonated water and nutritious water, are made with natural medicinal materials good for recovery from fatigue and promotion of health.

3. New Taekwando Center construction:

 

(Google Earth Coordinates:  39.016453°, 125.681939°, Google Maps, Wikimapia)

This facility is due to be completed in July.  I am not sure what it offers that the other Taekwando Center located right next door doesn’t have.

4. Something new at the old baseball stadium:

 

(Google Earth Coordinates:  39.008113°, 125.679196°, Google Maps, Wikimapia)

5. Wonsan – Hamhung Road (Partial map):

(Google Earth Coordinates:  39.421286°, 127.272296°, Google Maps, Wikimapia)

Read more about this road here.

6. And not really new, but Kim Jong-il recently visited the wind power farm of KPA Air Force Unit 1016–so I thought I would post it:

This facility is located in Kwail County (과일군) at  38.442086°, 124.939944°.  I have also marked it on Wikimapia and Google Maps.  According to KCNA:

[Kim Jong-il] toured a wind power plant built by the unit. After being briefed on the plant, he went round its inside and outside to learn about its construction and output of electricity.

Very pleased to hear that servicepersons of the unit successfully completed the plant with high output capacity in cooperation with Kim Chaek University of Technology and scientific institutions, he gave a high appreciation of their merit.

I am relaxed to hear that pilots and servicepersons rejoice at the plant as they can freely use enough electricity for combat preparations while cooking and heating with it, he said.

Being told that the plant freed the unit from the shortage of electricity and some of excessive power is supplied even to a bathing resort in the unit’s stationary area, he said with high appreciation that the People’s Army has done good things for the people.

After his inspection, Kim Jong Il gave the accompanying commanding officials and staff members of the KPA Supreme Command precious teachings needed to further strengthen the KPA into an invincible revolutionary army of Mt. Paektu and thus defend the socialist motherland as firm as a rock.

Just east of this facility is an air force base, so it is reasonable to assume that this is the home of KPA Air Force Unit 1016:

This wind power farm is not the KPA Air Force’s only or even largest experiment with wind power. Below is a Google Earth image of a facility in Ongjin County:

This facility is located in Google Earth here: 37.941508°, 125.409778°. I have also tagged it on Wikimpaia and Google Maps. It contains four wind turbines on two different sites (as of 2010-7-4).

I have uploaded a short clip to You Tube that is taken from North Korean television.  It shows a romanticized account of the installation of these specific wind power turbines.  You can see the clip here.

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DPRK electricity grid

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

UPDATE: On a flight today I was able to translate most of this map.  Interestingly, it shows the incomplete Kumho Light Water Reactor (금호원자력발전소: in yellow on the right) but none of the other nuclear facilities.

ORIGINAL POST: A recent visitor to the DPRK took this picture of a map of the North Korean electricity grid:

See larger version here

This is one of the best maps of the North Korean electricity grid that I have seen (abstract as it is). This will be immensely helpful for my own efforts to map the North Korean electricity grid on Google Earth:

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North Korea on Google Earth v.18

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

North Korea Uncovered version 18 is available.  This Google Earth overlay maps North Korea’s agriculture, aviation, cultural locations, markets, manufacturing facilities, railroad, energy infrastructure, politics, sports venues, military establishments, religious facilities, leisure destinations, and national parks.

This project has now been downloaded over 140,000 times since launching in April 2007 and received much media attention last month following a Wall Street Journal article highlighting the work.

Note: Kimchaek City is now in high resolution for the first time.  Information on this city is pretty scarce.  Contributions welcome.

Additions to this version include: New image overlays in Nampo (infrastructure update), Haeju (infrastructure update, apricot trees), Kanggye (infrastructure update, wood processing factory), Kimchaek (infrastructure update). Also, river dredges (h/t Christopher Del Riesgo), the Handure Plain, Musudan update, Nuclear Test Site revamp (h/t Ogle Earth), The International School of Berne (Kim Jong un school), Ongjin Shallow Sea Farms, Monument to  “Horizon of the Handure Plain”, Unhung Youth Power Station, Hwangnyong Fortress Wall, Kim Ung so House, Tomb of Kim Ung so, Chungnyol Shrine, Onchon Public Library, Onchon Public bathhouse, Anbyon Youth Power Stations.

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North Korea Google Earth

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

North Korea Uncovered v.16
Download it here

laurent-kabila.jpg

The most recent version of North Korea Uncovered (North Korea Google Earth) has been published.  Since being launched, this project has been continuously expanded and to date has been downloaded over 32,000 times.

Pictured to the left is a statue of Laurent Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo.  This statue, as well as many others identified in this version of the project, was built by the North Koreans. According to a visitor:

From the neck down, the Kabila monument looks strangely like Kim Jong Il: baggy uniform, creased pants, the raised arm, a little book in his left hand. From the neck up, the statue is the thick, grim bald mug of Laurent Kabila (his son Joseph is the current president). “The body was made in North Korea,” explains my driver Felix. In other words, the body is Kim Jong Il’s, but with a fat, scowling Kabila head simply welded on.

This is particularly interesting because there are no known pictures of a Kim Jong il statue.  The only KJI statue that is reported to exist is in front of the National Security Agency in Pyongyang.  If a Kim Jong il statue does in fact exist, it might look something like this.

Thanks again to the anonymous contributors, readers, and fans of this project for your helpful advice and location information. This project would not be successful without your contributions.

Version 16 contains the following additions: Rakwon Machine Complex, Sinuiju Cosmetics Factory, Manpo Restaurant, Worker’s Party No. 3 Building (including Central Committee and Guidance Dept.), Pukchang Aluminum Factory, Pusan-ri Aluminum Factory, Pukchung Machine Complex, Mirim Block Factory, Pyongyang General Textile Factory, Chonnae Cement Factory, Pyongsu Rx Joint Venture, Tongbong Cooperative Farm, Chusang Cooperative Farm, Hoeryong Essential Foodstuff Factory, Kim Ki-song Hoeryong First Middle School , Mirim War University, electricity grid expansion, Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground (TSLG)” is also known as the “Musudan-ri Launching Station,” rebuilt electricity grid, Kumchang-ri suspected underground nuclear site, Wangjaesan Grand Monument, Phothae Revolutionary Site, Naedong Revolutionary Site, Kunja Revolutionary Site, Junggang Revolutionary Site, Phophyong Revolutionary Site, Samdung Revolutionary Site, Phyongsan Granite Mine, Songjin Iron and Steel Complex (Kimchaek), Swedish, German and British embassy building, Taehongdan Potato Processing Factory, Pyongyang Muyseum of Film and Theatrical Arts, Overseas Monuments built by DPRK: Rice Museum (Muzium Padi) in Malaysia, Statue de Patrice Lumumba (Kinshasa, DR Congo), National Heroes Acre (Windhoek, Namibia), Derg Monument (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), National Heroes Acre (Harare, Zimbabwe), New State House (Windhoek, Namibia), Three Dikgosi (Chiefs) Monument (Gaborone, Botswana), 1st of May Square Statue of Agostinho Neto (Luanda, Angola), Momunment Heroinas Angolas (Luanda, Angola), Monument to the Martyrs of Kifangondo Battle (Luanda, Angola), Place de l’étoile rouge, (Porto Novo, Benin), Statue of King Béhanzin (Abomey, Benin), Monument to the African Renaissance (Dakar, Senegal), Monument to Laurent Kabila [pictured above] (Kinshasa, DR Congo).
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North Korean party delegation visits Britain amid hopes for restart of dialogue

Friday, January 30th, 2009

By Michael Rank

asha_centre.jpg

Pictured above on the left: Pak Kyong Son, Vice Department Director of the Korean Workers Party Central Committee.  Pictured on the right: Glyn Ford, Member of the European Parliament.
Photo by Irina kalashnikova, irinakalashnikova@yahoo.com
www.irinakalashnikova.com

LONDON – Britain is hosting the first ever delegation from the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) amid hopes that this will help to restart a dialogue between Pyongyang and the European Union on human rights, denuclearisation and other issues and lead to transfers of renewable energy technology to North Korea.

Labour Party member of the European Parliament (MEP) Glyn Ford, one of Europe’s top North Korea experts who has visited Pyongyang a dozen times, told NKEW that he was pressing the delegation to agree to reopen the dialogue that was broken off in 2005 after the EU sponsored a resolution at the United Nations in Geneva that was highly critical of North Korea’s human rights record.

He said it was hard to tell whether the four-member delegation would recommend reopening of the dialogue to decision-makers in Pyongyang. “It’s not the style of North Korea to make decisions on the spot,” Ford noted. He said he personally had opposed the resolution, which was supported by the US and Japan, because it was almost certain to result in suspension of the highly sensitive dialogue which had only just begun.

The four-man delegation is visiting Britain for a week and they are also going to Bristol and Cambridge. Ford accompanied the group to Bristol as this west of England city lies in his Euro-parliamentary constituency, and it is close to the possible site of a giant barrage across the river Severn which is currently being considered as a source of generating green electricity.

He said a deal on the nuclear issue and on reviving the human rights dialogue could result in the EU agreeing to provide wind, tidal and other renewable technology to North Korea, just as the EU has provided €500 million ($640 million) in humanitarian aid over the last eight years.

The delegation includes a scientist with a background in renewable energy, added Ford who has an MSc in marine earth science. He said the west coast of Korea has a tidal range of 11 metres (36 feet), which could make it highly suitable for an electricity-generating barrage. The Severn has a tidal range of 14 metres, the second highest in the world.

Tidal barrages are an attractive means of generating electricity because tides, unlike wind, are highly predictable, but the environmental cost of building a barrage over the Severn, up to 10 miles long, could be huge and there is considerable public opposition to the plan. But such factors are likely to loom less large in North Korea.

Ford said he had met three of the four-man delegation on previous visits to Pyongyang, and that he knew two of them fairly well. He is hoping to visit Pyongyang again with a European Socialist delegation at the end of March.

The group have already had a meeting with Foreign Office officials, who Ford said had presumably also pressed the North Koreans on human rights and the nuclear issue.

Apart from the North Korean visit to the UK, Britain’s Lord Alton, a veteran campaigner for human rights in North Korea, is due to visit Pyongyang early next month. Alton, a devout Catholic, is scheduled  to meet the chairman of Korean Religion Association and visit the Russian Orthodox church and the Jangchung Catholic church in Pyongyang. He will be one of the first Western visitors to the Russian Orthodox church, which opened in 2006 amid considerable official fanfare.

The WPK delegation’s visit to Britain has received little if any media attention so far. In fact hardly anyone would have known about it if the generally extraordinarily uninformative North Korean news agency KCNA had not announced on January 27 that “A delegation of the Workers’ Party of Korea led by Pak Kyong Son, vice department director of its Central Committee, left here today to visit the UK.”

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Renewable Energy

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

NCNK Newsletter Vol. 2, Issue 1
January 13, 2009
Download PDF here

A DPRK “Shangri-la” Powered by Solar Electricity
By Victor Hsu

In 1988 Bongsu Church — the first Protestant Church built in Pyongyang since the end of the Korean War — opened its doors for the first time. The following year the Korean Christians Federation asked if my organization, Church World Service, would provide a generator for the brand new church. A generator would enable parishioners to enjoy air conditioning during the hot summer months when the temperature can reach 85 degrees Fahrenheit and above. I suggested to the church officials that we install solar generators from China. However, lacking experience with solar power, they preferred the more familiar diesel-powered generators. But the seeds of interest in alternative sources of energy were just starting to grow. Soon after this exchange I learned that the DPRK was investigating the possibility of using another form of renewable energy — windmills.

I have been visiting the DPRK for two decades in many different capacities, most recently as the DPRK National Director of World Vision International (WVI). Over this time, I have learned, as have many of my colleagues from the United States and around the world, that knowledge-sharing and knowledge transfer enhance the benefits of humanitarian assistance. There is increasing evidence that the DPRK seeks out and appreciates this form of international cooperation.

Since 2000, various technical cooperation and assistance projects have involved NGOs and professional organizations in Europe and North America, especially in the field of agriculture and medicine.

World Vision International (WVI) has been active in DPRK since 1995, when a serious humanitarian crisis hit the country. In 2006, shortly after becoming DPRK National Director at WVI, I suggested to the DPR-Korean American Private Exchange Society (KAPES) that they designate a province where WVI could concentrate its humanitarian interventions. Subsequently, after discussions with the DPRK Mission to the UN, North Hwanghae Province was designated as a World Vision International humanitarian zone, and we were asked to work in Dochi-ri. An ambassador at the DPRK Mission to the UN, Ambassador Han Song Ryol, told me he could envision the province becoming a DPRK Shangri-la!

Dochi-ri is a small sprawling farming community nestled in hilly terrain in Yongtan County, just about a two hours drive south of Pyongyang. A river runs through this community of 12,000 residents and the farmers enjoy a man-made reservoir. This village traditionally grows corn but has begun soybean cultivation as part of the DPRK agricultural program to replace corn with the more nutritious soybean. Like many “ris,” or villages, in the DPRK, Dochi-ri is served by a clinic and a nurse. Itinerant doctors visit the village for non-routine medical interventions. The clinic, the houses, the small primary school and the kindergarten rely on a sporadic electricity supply.

WVI agreed to provide Dochi-ri with an organic fertilizer plant, the first of its kind in the DPRK, a potable water and sanitation system, a bakery and a soymilk processing facility. We also agreed to upgrade the clinic, replace the roofs of the clinic, kindergarten and primary school, and replace the school furniture. All these projects have been completed over the last 2 years, with the exception of the potable water system, which will be finished by mid-2009. The 12, 000 Dochi-ri residents are happy with all of the various renovations, but they are most excited by one innovation: the experiment with solar generators. After careful research and planning among the DPRK partners at the national and local level with the help of a Chinese company, WVI agreed to provide solar generators to the school (5kWh), the clinic (3kWh) and the home of the village engineer (2kWh). These were purchased in China and installed by Chinese technicians.

Chinese technicians and American engineers – the latter coincidentally in Dochi-ri to drill wells and install the water and sanitation system – trained the local people’s committee managers on the use and maintenance of the generators. Our engineers have visited Dochir-ri several times over the past two years after the generators were installed and were happy to respond to all of the villagers’ technical questions. WVI engineers complimented our North Korean partners on the quality of the maintenance. Whenever the solar generator issue comes up in the conversations, our technicians assure the managers that good maintenance of the batteries will ensure at least the minimum of their five-year life span. Our engineers have no doubt that this will be the case given the track record of the DPRK’s technicians. DPRK technicians are known for the meticulousness and thoroughness of their approach to learning.

The village technician’s home with its constant supply of electricity is now the constant envy of the “ri.” In fact, the villagers are requesting WVI to supply each of their homes similar generator. When I visited Dochi-ri in September 2007 the engineer invited the WVI delegation to his home to show us how he is able to have lighting in his house and enjoy TV and music from his CD player. Though he could not speak a word of English, his smiles and a halting “Thank you!” were enough for us to know how the solar panels are making a real difference in the life of this farming community.

A year after the first generators were installed, Dochi-ri villagers determined that they needed a generator to power the water tower for the school. The decision to “go solar” was easy, based on the positive experiences with the first three generators. A fourth solar generator was installed in 2007, and it now provides water for the school. In the past two years, the cost of solar panels has soared, and China is investing heavily in anufacturing them. We hope to see a similar effort to design more powerful, maintenance-free and efficient batteries to enable us to continue to bring solar power to Dochi-ri and other villages in the DPRK.

The experience of the community has been overwhelmingly positive especially with regard to this low-maintenance but highly efficient technology. Now Dochi-ri has ready access to organic fertilizer for its crops, a water sanitation system, an upgraded school, kindergarten and clinic, and bread and soymilk for the children’s lunches. With electricity in the school and clinic, Dochi-ri is beginning to become the Ambassador’s vision of a DPRK Shangri-la!

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North Korea on Google Earth

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

North Korea Uncovered: Version 12
Download it here

mayday.JPGAbout this Project: This map covers North Korea’s agriculture, aviation, cultural locations, markets, manufacturing facilities, energy infrastructure, political facilities, sports venues, military establishments, religious facilities, leisure destinations, national parks, shipping, mining, and railway infrastructure. It is continually expanding and undergoing revisions. This is the 12th version.

Additions include: Tongch’ang-dong launch facility overlay (thanks to Mr. Bermudez), Yongbyon overlay with destroyed cooling tower (thanks to Jung Min Noh), “The Barn” (where the Pueblo crew were kept), Kim Chaek Taehung Fishing Enterprise, Hamhung University of education, Haeju Zoo, Pyongyang: Kim il Sung Institute of Politics, Polish Embassy, Munsu Diplomatic Store, Munsu Gas Station, Munsu Friendship Restaurant, Mongolian Embassy, Nigerian Embassy, UN World Food Program Building, CONCERN House, Czech Republic Embassy, Rungnang Cinema, Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, Pyongyang Number 3 Hospital, Electric Machines Facotry, Bonghuajinlyoso, Second National Academy of Sciences, Central Committee Building, Party Administration Building, Central Statistics Bureau, Willow Capital Food House, Thongounjong Pleasure Ground, Onpho spa, Phipa Resort Hotel, Sunoni Chemical Complex (east coast refinery), Ponghwa Chemical complex (west coast refinery), Songbon Port Revolutionary Monument, Hoeryong People’s Library, Pyongyang Monument to the anti Japanese martyrs, tideland reclamation project on Taegye Island. Additionally the electricity grid was expanded and the thermal power plants have been better organized. Additional thanks to Ryan for his pointers.

I hope this map will increase interest in North Korea. There is still plenty more to learn, and I look forward to receiving your contributions to this project.

Version 12 available: Download it here

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Download glitch fixed: North Korea Google Earth (version 11)

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

The most authoritative map of North Korea on Google Earth
Download it here

This map covers North Korea’s agriculture, aviation, cultural locations, markets, manufacturing facilities, railroad, energy infrastructure, politics, sports venues, military establishments, religious facilities, leisure destinations, and national parks. It is continually expanding and undergoing revisions. This is the eleventh version.

Additions include: Mt. Paegun’s Ryonghung Temple and resort homes, Pyongyang’s Chongryu Restaurant, Swiss Development Agency (former UNDP office), Iranian Embassy, White Tiger Art Studio, KITC Store, Kumgangsan Store, Pyongyang Fried Chicken Restaurant, Kilju’s Pulp Factory (Paper), Kim Chaek Steel Mill, Chongjin Munitions Factory, Poogin Coal Mine, Ryongwun-ri cooperative farm, Thonggun Pavilion (Uiju), Chinju Temple (Yongbyon), Kim il Sung Revolutionary Museum (Pyongsong), Hamhung Zoo, Rajin electrified perimeter fence, Pyongsong market (North Korea’s largest), Sakju Recreation Center, Hoeryong Maternity Hospital, Sariwon Suwon reservoir (alleged site of US massacre), Sinpyong Resting Place, 700 Ridges Pavilion, Academy of Science, Hamhung Museum of the Revolutionary Activities of Comrade Kim Il Sung, South Hamgyong House of Culture, Hamhung Royal Villa, Pork Chop Hill, and Pyongyang’s Olympic torch route. Additional thanks go to Martyn Williams for expanding the electricity grid, particularly in Samjiyon, and various others who have contributed time improving this project since its launch.

Disclaimer: I cannot vouch for the authenticity of many locations since I have not seen or been to them, but great efforts have been made to check for authenticity. These efforts include pouring over books, maps, conducting interviews, and keeping up with other peoples’ discoveries. In many cases, I have posted sources, though not for all. This is a thorough compilation of lots of material, but I will leave it up to the reader to make up their own minds as to what they see. I cannot catch everything and I welcome contributions.  Additionally, this file is getting large and may take some time to load.

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