31Dec/20

Key details of German coal phase-out plan still to be finalized as deadline looms

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Clean Energy Wire:Germany’s detailed coal exit path and the end-date to coal-fired power generation remain unknown only days before a highly anticipated phase-out proposal is due to be published. A leaked draft of the final report of the country’s coal commission seen by the Clean Energy Wire suggests agreements on compensation for coal plant operators, support for affected mining regions, and measures to shield consumers from rising power prices. The draft also refers to Germany’s 2030 emission reduction targets for the energy sector as a guideline for the exit in accordance with its mandate. But the most pressing details from a climate perspective still need to be thrashed out during a marathon session scheduled for Friday 25 January: How many coal-fired power plants will go offline in the near future, and when will the last one be switched off?The draft document runs to 133 pages, and contains only five pages where details still need to be settled – but these concern a plan for coal power plant closures. Passages detailing the exit path are still littered with empty brackets “[XX]” that need to be filled with dates and coal power plant capacities following the final round of negotiations. The draft also doesn’t specify whether the embattled Hambach Forest, which has become a symbol for anti-coal activism in Germany and beyond, will be preserved.Germany’s coal exit commission was set up to find economic prospects for coal workers and regions before spelling out measures to reduce carbon emissions in line with Germany’s climate targets, and naming an end date for coal-fired power production, the most prominent blemish on the former climate action pioneer’s emissions record. This order is reflected in its official title: “Commission on Growth, Structural Change and Employment.”Officially, the commission’s last meeting will take place on 1 February. But the task force hopes to wrap up negotiations on Friday 25 January, so a safety buffer remains in case a compromise can’t be reached by that date, sources close to the commission told the Clean Energy Wire.The coal commission’s proposal is not legally binding, but since the task force is backed by a large majority in parliament, the government is widely expected to follow its recommendations.From a climate policy perspective, the key issue is how many power stations Germany will switch off in the short term, because this will have the largest impact on the country’s total emissions over time compared to other measures. Seven of Europe’s ten most CO2-intensive power plants are located in Germany. Shutting these down early would save a lot of cumulated emissions over the years.More: German coal exit timetable to be settled in last minute talks Key details of German coal phase-out plan still to be finalized as deadline loomslast_img read more

30Dec/20

Barkley Marathon 2018: The Race Wins Again

first_imgMany of our readers already know the Barkley Marathon. It has a reputation for being one of the hardest and most ridiculous ultramarathons in the world. Five, twenty-mile loops, over sixty thousand feet of elevation, through the hilly backwoods of Eastern Tennessee. Oh, and you have 60 hours to cross the finish line. Since the race debuted in 1980, only 15 have finished.The 2018 Barkley Marathon started this past Saturday, March 24 at 9:30 a.m. Nobody won.The race is held at Frozen Head State Park, just outside of Petros, Tennessee. Each year, 40 competitors are selected to compete in the 100-mile ultra marathon.This year, Canadian Gary Robbins did the best. Of the 40 competitors, only four runners made it to the third loop, with Robbins coming up short, 12 minutes past the 36 hour cutoff time. He was tapped out.While the total race time is 60 hours, runners are given 12 hours to finish each loop. One second late and you’re done. Along with Robbins, Guillaume Calmettes, and Ally Beaven, started loop three.This is the second time since 2007 that no runner has finished the race.Read more over at Runners World.Photo by Josh Pattonlast_img read more

17Dec/20

Recovering card losses after third-party breaches

first_img continue reading » Payment card data breaches, in which credit and/or debit card information is stolen from a third-party, have been occurring at an alarming frequency the last several years. According to the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center, the number of data breaches in the United States alone increased from approximately 200 in 2005 to more than 1,300 in 2017.Each of these incidents can affect tens (if not hundreds) of millions of consumers. For example, Target reported that a 2013 breach of its systems compromised more than 40 million payment cards. A data breach reported by Home Depot the next year affected approximately 56 million cards. More recently, Equifax acknowledged in 2017 that a data breach exposed highly sensitive personally identifiable information for over 145.5 million people.But while consumers are often the focus of media attention surrounding payment card data breaches, it is the financial institutions that issued the affected payment cards who bear the brunt of the harm. Credit unions have been at the forefront of recent litigation to recover these costs, bringing class actions against the merchants whose allegedly lax security controls resulted in payment card information being stolen. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

16Oct/20

GO-TIME: Electronic Bidding Lowers Cost of DEP Construction Contracts

first_img June 20, 2017 Efficiency,  Environment,  GO-TIME,  Innovation,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA –  The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has decreased the cost of construction projects and improved efficiency for contractors with the launch of an electronic bidding site for construction contracts, the department’s newest GO-TIME initiative.“Developing an online tool to accept and process construction contracts continues our agency-wide efforts to increase efficiency and save money,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Not only have staff time and material costs been reduced, but bidding has become more competitive, bringing down the average cost of awarded construction contracts.”DEP seeks bids for about 50 contracts annually for construction related to abandoned mine reclamation, acid mine drainage, surface mine reclamation, cleaning and plugging oil and gas wells, waterways engineering, hazardous site remediation, removal and disposal of underground storage tanks, and wetland restoration.As more vendors see contracts online, the number of bids per project has increased from an average of 6.12 to 7.23. The increased competition has decreased the average bid amount per project and therefore the average awarded contract amount. In addition, staff time and material cost savings of approximately $36,000 per year have been achieved.Vendors enjoy time-saving, partially auto-populated forms, which help reduce errors that can cause rejection, and an e-bonding option when bid bonds are required. In addition, an email notification system alerts vendors of any addenda to contracts, so they can adjust their bid promptly.Templates lessen the time staff spend preparing and issuing contract documents and solicitations. As just one example, staff typically checked each bid manually for math; the electronic system now checks math automatically.The e-bidding site uses the third-party BidExpress system. Electronic bidding supports the Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME), which works with state entities to modernize government operations to reduce costs and improve services. State agencies already saved over $156 million last fiscal year and Governor Wolf challenged GO-TIME to build upon this success by achieving $500 million in savings by 2020.Construction e-bidding is part of a recent technology upgrade campaign at DEP that includes a mobile app that’s made DEP inspections of oil and gas sites more efficient and an electronic permit application that speeds up the permit process for surface coal mine operators. Location-based data on everything from air quality to water pollution can be found on the new DEP GIS Open Data Portal, and the public can quickly access oil and gas data through the online Oil and Gas Annual Report and public review tool for operator documents. Historical oil and gas well location is also going online, starting with Allegheny County. DEP will launch more electronic upgrades in coming months.To learn more about GO-TIME, visit https://www.governor.pa.gov/go-time/. GO-TIME: Electronic Bidding Lowers Cost of DEP Construction Contractscenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

06Oct/20

Auctioneer Haesley Cush has auctioned many unusual items over the years but never one of these

first_imgAuctioneer Haesley Cush thought he had auctioned every before — until now. AAP Image/Claudia Baxter.I have auctioned some amazing stuff over the years. Some great homes, some amazing experiences for charities, beautiful pieces of art and artefacts from around a the world.Regularly people ask, “What’s the craziest thing you’ve been asked to auction?”.But yesterday I received a call from my dear friend, Diane O’Reilly, who asked if I could do an auction at the ‘Mother of Boys Lunch’ next Friday 11th May.She is emceeing the event with Kylie Lang and they’re are raising money for the Red Rose Foundation.As I was checking my diary, I casually asked her “What are we selling?”.There was a pause.“Well Haesley you’ve probably not done one of these before” she said“Try me,” I jeered condescendingly.More from newsNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Parks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus19 hours ago“We are auctioning off a vaginal rejuvenation treatment”. Long pause.“You’re right” I replied after what seemed like an inappropriate amount of time.“What is that?”.Diane went on to explain the amazing work conducted by Brisbane gynaecologist, Rod Allen. She went to great lengths to explain that the procedure was ideal for many woman, that it was not cosmetic and it was a highly in demand procedure that could be life changing for may women.After her pep talk and knowing I would have a room full of captive women. I flicked through the diary to ensure I could recite my new insights in modern magical medicine.Unfortunately I will be overseas!!But in true Mothers of Boys spirit Diane jumped straight on the phone and my good mate Peter Bergin, from Place Estate Agents will be wielding his gavel over what I can honestly say is the most surprising prize I have ever seen on an auction catalogue.last_img read more

28Sep/20

EU Goes from 12.6GW to 15.8GW of Offshore Wind in One Year

first_imgEurope added close to 3.2GW of offshore wind capacity last year, taking the total installed and grid-connected capacity from 12.6GW in 2016 to 15.8GW at the end of 2017 and thus marking a 25% increase in just one year. Including sites with partial grid connection, there are now 92 offshore wind farms in eleven European countries and 4,149 grid-connected wind turbines, WindEurope reports in its annual offshore wind statistics. Illustration; Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland/ Statoil (archive)The UK is first with 43% of all grid-connected turbines, followed by Germany (28%), Denmark (12%), the Netherlands (9%) and Belgium (6%), representing the top five markets. Combined, the top five countries represent 98% of all grid-connected turbines in Europe.Fourteen projects were completed in 2017, including the first floating offshore wind farm, with the UK and Germany leading the way in new installations last year by adding 1.7GW and 1.3GW, respectively.Work is currently underway on further eleven projects, also in Germany and the UK. Once completed, these projects will add a further 2.9GW and bring the cumulative capacity in Europe to 18.7GW. By 2020, offshore wind is projected to grow to a total installed capacity of 25GW, WindEurope states.Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO, said: “A 25% increase in one year is spectacular. Offshore wind is now a mainstream part of the power system. And the costs have fallen rapidly. Investing in offshore wind today costs no more than in conventional power generation. It just shows Europe’s ready to embrace a much higher renewables target for 2030. 35% is easily achievable. Not least now that floating offshore wind farms are also coming on line.”The average size of installed offshore wind turbine in 2017 was 5.9MW, a 23% increase on 2016. The average size of the grid-connected offshore wind farms in 2017 was 493MW, 34% higher than the previous year.last_img read more

24Sep/20

Chukwueze’s impact reflected in Villarreal’s win  against Azeez’s Granada

first_img The Yellow Submarine have won all their games since the Spanish top-flight resumed after its suspension due to the coronavirus outbreak in Spain and across the world. Villarreal started with a 1-0 win against Celta Vigo at Abanca-Balaidos before recording the same scoreline against Mallorca on Tuesday, with Chukwueze playing a key role in the outings. Against Granada, the Nigeria international started from the bench along with his compatriot Azeez, who plies his trade for the Nazaries. The Yellow Submarine hit the ground running with Gerard Moreno opening the scoring as early as the 11th-minute after he was set up by Ruben Pena, which proved to be the decisive goal in the encounter. In an effort to ensure his side secures a comfortable lead, manager Javier Calleja brought on Chukwueze for Javier Ontiveros in the 65th minute. The Super Eagles winger had a 67% successful pass rate, won one aerial contest in the encounter and made one tackle in an effort to help his side maintain their lead. He was, however, shown a yellow card after he tackled his compatriot Azeez, who was introduced in the 61st-minute, from behind. Samuel Chukwueze helped Villarreal chinch a 1-0 victory against Ramon Azeez’s Granada in Friday’s La Liga game at Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes. Loading…center_img Azeez, on the other hand, had a 77% successful pass rate in the game and had two shots, with one hitting the target, but his effort was not enough to help his side avoid defeat at home. With the result, Villarreal are seventh on the league table with 47 points from 30 games while Granada are ninth with 42 points from the same number of matches. While Chukwueze will hope to help his side continue their winning form when they face Sevilla, Azeez will look forward to playing a key role as Granada aim to bounce back against Leganes, who will be expected to parade two Super Eagles stars in Kenneth Omeruo and Awaziem Chidozie on June 22. Chukwueze has been a key member of the Nigeria national team since making his debut for the West Africans in 2019. The forward, who has 13 caps for the Super Eagles, was part of Gernot Rohr’s team that finished third at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. read also:Villarreal hold on to Chukwueze’s magic touch against Granada Azeez, meanwhile, only recently returned to the national team after a five-year absence and has six caps for the side. The duo will hope to keep on with their consistent performances in the Spanish top-flight in order to continue playing key roles for the Super Eagles. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

23Sep/20

July 16 is deadline for 2017 point fund eligibility

first_imgVINTON, Iowa – All drivers competing at sanctioned events are required to purchase licenses to make themselves eligible for the benefits of IMCA membership.Those who have not yet purchased a 2017 license are affecting their eligibility to receive point fund shares.While licenses will be sold through the Duel In The Desert at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in November, drivers who fail to buy a license by Sunday, July 16 will not receive point fund money, or plaques and jackets should they be the top driver in state or track point standings.Licenses can be purchased by calling the IMCA home office at 319 472-2201.last_img read more

21Sep/20

Liverpool reject Suarez bid

first_imgLiverpool have rejected a bid from Arsenal for Luis Suarez and remain steadfast in their insistence the striker is not for sale. Press Association Press Association Sport understands the Gunners made an offer in the region of £30million for the Uruguay international last week which was rejected out of hand by the Reds. Despite the 26-year-old this summer voicing his dislike of his treatment by the English media and suggesting a move to Real Madrid would appeal, the club have no intention of selling, a stance which was not even tested by an offer well below what is considered Suarez’s true value. center_img Suarez, who has three years remaining on an improved contract he signed last summer, is currently on extended leave after his involvement in the Confederations Cup. Neither he nor his representatives have spoken to Liverpool about any intention to ask for a move but his comments while on international duty in South America have left the club in a difficult position. It was expected any approach from Madrid would come after the end of the Confederations Cup but so far has nothing has materialised and the fear is the Spanish giants will leave it late in the window in order to drive the price down. Arsenal’s surprise bid may have been more strategic than realistic as they are currently trying to push through a deal to sign Real striker Gonzalo Higuain. Making an offer for Suarez may have just been a ploy intended to focus the minds of Bernabeu officials on signing off the Higuain move. Suarez is not due back for pre-season until July 22 and he will then be expected to join the club’s tour matches in Australia and Thailand. last_img read more

21Sep/20

Howson strike seals Norwich win

first_img Stoke improved after the interval and looked unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when Leroy Fer had a hand on Kenwyne Jones in the area, before Begovic pulled off a smart save to keep out a Robert Snodgrass shot. With both clubs struggling for goals this season, a tight affair had been expected and Norwich boss Chris Hughton will be delighted to have emerged from the contest with all three points. They take his side – whose victory at Manchester City in May was their only other away league win in 2013 – to a total of seven points from six games this term, and up three places to 14th in the table. They leapfrog Stoke, who are now 15th and also on seven points from six matches. Norwich looked full of purpose from the off, with Pilkington bursting forward early on and unleashing a shot that Ryan Shawcross got in the way of. Bennett struck the woodwork in the ninth minute with a sliding effort at the back post as he got the better of Shawcross from a corner, and the ball came back to the Canaries defender for a second attempt, but Begovic was able to gather. There was a suspect moment for Begovic in the 17th minute as a delivery came across the box, with the goalkeeper failing to get anywhere near the ball as it appeared he was shoved to the ground by Michael Turner. Stoke were unable to make anything of a corner at the other end, and in the 28th minute, Begovic looked unconvincing again as he came to catch a Pilkington cross. He collided with Ricky van Wolfswinkel, who was judged to have committed a foul, and saw the ball go wide of the post. The hosts tried to step things up and Arnautovic sent a shot swerving just over the crossbar, but a minute later Norwich were in front. The Canaries took advantage of sloppy play from their opponents in the 34th minute as Howson collected the ball from Anthony Pilkington and beat Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, who might have done better, from outside the box. Norwich had already hit the crossbar through Ryan Bennett and were good value for their lead, with a shot from Marko Arnautovic that whistled just over being the closest a subdued Potters side came in the opening 45 minutes. The Potters lost possession from their own throw-in and then failed to close down as Pilkington teed up Howson, who fired in a shot that seemed to catch the diving Begovic by surprise. Within five minutes Shawcross had a chance to equalise, but he could only head wide from Charlie Adam’s corner and Jones then slipped as he tried to meet a Geoff Cameron cross into the danger zone. Stoke manager Mark Hughes tried to give his side some fresh impetus by bringing on Stephen Ireland and Jermaine Pennant for Adam and Jon Walters at the interval, and shortly after the break the Potters had a strong-looking spot-kick claim turned down when Jones appeared to be pulled back in the box by Fer. Arnautovic then sent an ambitious attempt off-target, before Norwich began to probe again with the lively Pilkington striking wide and Snodgrass looping a shot over the bar. Jones struck weakly towards the near post, with John Ruddy dropping on the ball, and the Stoke frontman was then replaced by Peter Crouch. Steven Nzonzi drilled into Ruddy’s arms and Begovic then pulled off a great diving stop to keep out a curling strike from Snodgrass, the final really close effort of the game. Press Association Jonny Howson’s first-half strike steered Norwich to their second Barclays Premier League win of the season as they defeated Stoke 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium.last_img read more