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Public Power
24 октября, 15:20

How Democrats Killed Their Populist Soul

In the 1970s, a new wave of post-Watergate liberals stopped fighting monopoly power. The result is an increasingly dangerous political system.

24 октября, 10:32

Президент китайской компании CMEC обсудит в Афинах инвестиции в энергетику

Президент китайской машиностроительной инжиниринговой корпорации CMEC Чжан Чунь (?hang Chun) во главе делегации высшего руководства компании приедет в понедельник в Грецию для обсуждения и подписания с руководством государственной энергетической компании DEI (Public Power Corporation, PPC) соглашения о стратегическом сотрудничестве в стране и регионе, сообщила греческая корпорация. Подробнее читайте на нашем сайте www.oilru.com

18 октября, 21:52

After the Hurricane, There Are Real Heroes up the Pole

From across the nation an army of men, and a few women, is on the move. They are deployed with tools and gauges, maps and their own know-how in a critical battle. They are shock troops fighting the flooding in North and South Carolina. They are electricity linemen. When disaster strikes, the nation's electric utilities spring into action, sending equipment -- which can range from temporary lighting to the familiar bucket trucks -- hundreds and thousands of miles to the battle. When these first responders reach the site of disaster, they go to work down manholes and up poles, struggle with knotted wires and fallen trees. The work is hard and the conditions are dangerous, but there is a camaraderie that binds linemen from different localities in a common purpose and danger. Those who more usually might rely on a bucket truck, in fine conditions, take out their climbing gear and up the pole they go. The constant danger is electricity itself: the threat of electrocution. Up the pole, there are many other dangers. The pole may be weakened and critters seeking safety may be up there, from raccoons to venomous snakes. When the lights go off, life as most of us know stops. It does not grind to a slow halt, it stops. Elevators, air conditioners, heating systems, ovens, refrigerators, televisions and computers are stranded. Even the pumps for removing water from a flooded basement need electricity. Everyone knows that in an emergency, it is vital to restore the juice. The linemen, often several sleeping in a single motel room or in their trucks, are the heroes who work as many as 19 hours straight to do that. It is rewarding, exacting and well-paid work. A spokesman for the American Public Power Association explains that pay varies, depending on the part of the country, but $100,000 a year is common and earnings shoot up with overtime, as in emergencies. The association represents more than 2,000 publicly owned utilities, serving about 14 percent of the nation's electricity consumers. So it is astounding that for a number of years both the publicly owned and the large, investor-owned utilities, which the Edison Electric Institute represents and account for 80 percent of the power supply, have been having a devil of a time finding workers prepared for a very secure life that has its moments of high drama -- as is the case right now with the crews restoring power to areas devastated by Hurricane Matthew. The problem is that even the most enthusiastic young person cannot just go up a pole without a lot of training: four years of training. In the world of labor, electric utilities are not the only ones gasping for help. There is an artisan labor shortage and it is worsening. One truck operator reckons there are vacancies for at least 50,000 truck drivers. Similar shortages exist for electricians, pipe-fitters, sheet metal workers, stone masons, welders and many other skilled artisans. If all the manufacturing jobs that politicians say they would like to bring back to the United States were to arrive next year, there would be no workers to build the factories, nor a trained workforce to make the goods. The unemployment crisis -- so emphasized in this election year -- is with the unskilled. Part of the artisan problem may be that too many young men and women are being herded into colleges without any knowledge of alternatives for which they might have more aptitude and interest. More college is always seen as a virtue. But who needs four years of college to become an Uber driver? When the APPA tried recruiting in high schools with a video, they found teachers trashed the video. Schools are rated on how many graduates go on to college, not on to training in trades offering job security and satisfaction. There is a future up the pole. -- For InsideSources -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

20 сентября, 17:29

8point3 Energy (CAFD) Approves Increase in Q3 Distribution

8point3 Energy Partners LP (CAFD) declared a hike in the quarterly distribution for Class A shares for the third quarter of 2016, bringing the annualized payout to 96.24 cents from 93 cents per share

14 сентября, 16:13

Greek utility PPC and China's CMEC to build coal-fired plant

ATHENS, Sept 14 (Reuters) - China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday with Greece's leading utility Public Power Corp. (PPC) to build a coal-fired plant in northern Greece.

04 сентября, 14:07

Is Rudy Giuliani Losing His Mind?

Even in New York, ‘America’s Mayor’ was always a lot more like Trump than people realized. Now we're seeing it on a national stage.

16 июня, 17:06

FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Announces Federal and Private Sector Actions on Scaling Renewable Energy and Storage with Smart Markets

President Obama believes in the need to transition to a cleaner, more reliable, and affordable 21st century power grid. Under his leadership, transformations in how we produce and consume electricity are decreasing carbon pollution, scaling up renewable energy, and generating savings on consumers’ energy bills. Since 2009, renewable energy generation has increased at a record pace, while costs have decreased dramatically.  Building on this progress, smart electricity market reforms, enhanced transparency, and flexible energy resources such as storage and demand response have the potential to further accelerate the development of a cleaner and smarter grid.  In fact, in 2015 alone, the United States doubled the installed capacity of advanced energy storage to 500 megawatts (MW) and deployment of this key resource is projected to continue to expand. With this dynamic progress as the backdrop, today the White House is hosting a Summit on Scaling Renewable Energy and Storage with Smart Markets.  The Summit brings together regulators, power companies, municipalities, and energy developers that are leading efforts to promote smart electricity markets and greater grid integration of renewable energy and flexible resources such as energy storage.  The Administration is announcing new executive actions and 33 state and private sector commitments that will accelerate the grid integration of renewable energy and storage.  Together, these announcements are expected to result in at least 1.3 gigawatts of additional storage procurement or deployment in the next five years. These actions include: A new report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers on the technical and economic considerations and opportunities relating to the grid integration of renewable energy resources. The federal government committing to increasing its storage and microgrid capacity through programs that will make our federal and military bases more resilient and provide funding for microgrids in rural communities. The U.S. Department of Energy promoting access to and standardization of energy data. Sixteen developers and power companies in at least eight states announcing new storage procurement and deployment targets for the next five years. Investors announcing $130 million in new funding commitments for energy storage.  In aggregate, these new procurement, deployment, and investment commitments announced today could lead to approximately $1 billion in investments in energy storage. Power companies and developers committing to deploy smart water heaters, smart meters, and demand response programs. Federal Executive Actions on Smart Markets and Energy Storage White House Council of Economic Advisers is releasing a report titled “Incorporating Renewables into the Grid: Expanding Opportunities for Smart Markets and Energy Storage.”  One of the report’s key findings is that current and projected levels of variable renewable energy resources are opening up opportunities for technologies such as energy storage and demand response to ensure the reliable and cost-effective supply of electricity.  The report also finds that wholesale market reforms are already helping to enable these technologies to participate in some markets.  Ongoing cost reductions and advancements in communication infrastructure are expected to further enhance the potential for these technologies going forward. Increasing the Federal Government’s Storage Capacity: U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announces that it intends to issue a Request for Information about building-level energy storage to explore a number of possible storage solutions, in particular for emergency back-up (potentially to replace diesel generators), for enhancing resiliency, and for aiding in demand response management of peak loads. Making Our Military Facilities More Resilient: The Navy’s Renewable Energy Program Office (REPO) and U.S. Air Force announce the following new projects and activities: U.S. Navy: A new 50-100 MW grid-scale battery project that will be developed by a third-party developer at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach in California. A new 7 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) system with a 6 MW (18 MWh) battery system that will be developed by a third-party developer on the local grid at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) in California.  The project will serve NBVC during electric outages, covering over 65% of the base’s peak loads for up to 3 hours. A battery second use (B2U) pilot project in Indiana with Naval Support Activity Crane, Duke Energy, and other stakeholders.  The project will repurpose the Navy’s fleet of decommissioned submarine batteries into distributed energy resources to serve mission-critical loads.  If the battery fleet is repurposed rather than recycled, the Navy’s overall battery capacity is projected to grow to 44 MWh by 2019. U.S. Air Force The Air Force’s Resilient Energy Demonstration Initiative (REDI) announces the release of a Request for Information to energy developers and technology companies to provide energy assurance services to critical facilities at Beale Air Force Base (AFB) in California.  Concurrently, the REDI program is announcing the launch of a new energy assurance collaboration with industry at Beale AFB.  The REDI program, which develops and deploys innovative energy resilience technologies and business models, will create a comprehensive energy assurance plan for Beale AFB by the end of 2016. The Air Force Research Laboratory and the Hawaii Air National Guard announce the launch of the design phase of a new distributed energy microgrid project at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The project will demonstrate the ability to integrate and demonstrate multiple renewable energy and energy storage technologies, and provide the ability to power critical mission assets during energy disruptions. The Air Force announces the launch of the Forward Operating Base of the Future project at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA). The project will integrate renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage technologies into a simulated deployed environment. The project is expected to reduce the amount of fuel required to power forward operating bases by more than 85%. Promoting Microgrids in Rural Communities: Navy’s Office of Naval Research announces funding for the Alaska Microgrid Innovation and Commercialization project at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  The project will develop practical and cost-effective solutions for operating microgrids that incorporate significant renewable power generation, with a focus on the Arctic and other remote locations and austere conditions.  This project builds on the Administration’s Clean Energy Solutions for Remote Communities initiative. Enhancing Data Access and Sharing: The Department of Energy (DOE) announces the following pilots, studies, partnerships and other actions to continue enhancing data sharing and access for utilities and consumers: DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, in keeping with the Administration's commitment to Smart Disclosure, will undertake an analysis of the private sector Green Button Alliance effort to ensure the pilot program is responsive to the consumer protection and privacy principles embodied in the DataGuard energy data privacy program.  This analysis will promote confidence among customers who consent to contribute their data to the effort that their wishes for anonymity are respected, and among participating utilities that customer data privacy is part of the fundamental design of the program. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has developed a sophisticated model of the Eastern Interconnection to understand power system operations with hundreds of gigawatts of wind and solar meeting 30% of electricity needs.  NREL commits to releasing in August 2016 the results of its study, including the power system model and visualization tools to enable academia and industry to explore the transition to renewable energy with more resolution than ever before.  NREL also announces that it recently established the Utility Rate Data Working Group (URDWG), which will identify an appropriate machine-readable data standard for utility rate data and potentially demonstrate a proof of concept in collaboration with utilities, data users, and other relevant stakeholders.  The URDWG will leverage the foundational work of the Utility Rate Database (URDB), which is produced by NREL on behalf of DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Program and includes more than 39,000 rates for over 3,700 utilities.  The development of an easy-to-use machine-readable data solution will make it easier to update utility rates as they change over time, and also make utility rate information more accessible for utilities, energy companies, consumers, researchers and policymakers across the country. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) released, in April 2016, Phase I of a study for the California Public Utilities Commission leveraging smart meter data to estimate the potential for demand response and advanced behind-the-meter storage to provide cost-effective resources as part of California’s future electricity system.  LBNL will continue to support research and analysis on grid modernization across the United States and is expanding on its Phase I with a Phase II report in the fall of 2016.  The Phase II report will explore the potential for demand response and distributed energy resources to meet capacity, ancillary services, ramping, and flexibility needs in California. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently joined San Diego Gas & Electric’s Green Button Connect program, in which residential and commercial customers in San Diego can name EIA as an electronic recipient of their daily energy consumption data.  EIA will use this to test direct data collection protocols that could be deployed on a larger scale.  EIA will also launch a pilot collection in 2017 to sub meter and record consumption by end use consuming devices within typical American homes.  Emerging sub metering technology will provide direct measurements of electric, natural gas, and water consumption and more accurate estimates of household demand than current modeling efforts allow. State, Power Company and Non-Profit Announcements Today, 16 leading grid operators, power companies, and community organizations in at least eight states are announcing new storage projects, procurement targets, pilot projects, and partnerships. California Independent System Operator (CAISO) recently released draft study results demonstrating that a regional market would promote more renewable energy at a lower cost in the Western United States.  CAISO commits to exploring the possibility of expanding its balancing authority across a larger geographic footprint to more efficiently optimize the grid and integrate renewable energy resources.  CAISO also commits to developing business rules and procedures to coordinate operation of the transmission system with distribution systems operators that are experiencing a proliferation of distributed energy resources.  California Public Utilities Commission commits to developing a regulatory framework that enables a flexible, efficient, clean and reliable power grid.  To accomplish this goal, California will continue to allow customers to effectively and efficiently choose from an array of distributed energy resources and promote the collection, analysis, and, where consistent with customer privacy protections, dissemination of smart meter and grid condition data. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts announces, as part of its Energy Storage Initiative, an initial $10 million investment for demonstration projects and a comprehensive study in order to identify the potential benefits of incorporating advanced storage technologies into the state’s energy portfolio.  Conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the study seeks to analyze the national and Massachusetts storage industry landscape, review economic development and market opportunities for energy storage, and examine potential policies and programs that could be implemented to better support energy storage deployment.  Following the release of this study in mid-2016, DOER and MassCEC will work with stakeholders to begin testing and implementing both the regulatory and the policy recommendations detailed therein, including grant opportunities to begin demonstration projects to further test the viability of energy storage technology and innovations in the Massachusetts energy market. Community Storage Initiative (CSI) announces that it has been joined by over 40 organizations, including utilities, manufacturers, and technology suppliers.  CSI was launched in February 2016 by the American Public Power Association, Edison Electric Institute, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Peak Load Management Alliance and the Natural Resources Defense Council.  The CSI also announces the Inaugural CSI Leadership Forum on July 20 and 21, 2016 at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Over 100 leading practitioners will meet to exchange their experiences in and ideas for coordinating distributed energy storage resources that are located throughout a community. Con Edison announces a new partnership with Siemens to use data from Con Edison’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure rollout, which will cover 4.8 million customers, to enable consumers to benefit from cost-effective renewable energy integration.  The new system will make available detailed data for use by consumers and renewable energy providers for planning and economic analysis purposes, as well as time-varying price signals for when renewable energy production is most valuable to the grid. The initiative includes implementing Green Button Connect to allow customers to share data with third parties. Duke Energy commits to deploy at least five megawatts of energy storage in the Asheville region of North Carolina.  Energy storage, coupled with more efficient natural gas generation, solar power, and innovative customer solutions, will enable Duke Energy to maintain a high degree of energy reliability while also reducing its carbon footprint by closing all of its coal-fired power plants in the Asheville community. Green Button Alliance announces its commitment to explore a pilot program to provide aggregated and anonymous energy usage information for research and the public benefit.  The potential energy usage data pilot would entail a database of anonymous energy-use information from participating utilities that would be collected from smart meter deployments.  By customer consent, the data would be made available in the standardized Green Button format to universities and research entities to study energy use patterns which could then be used for grid reliability and forecasting, infrastructure planning, or integration of distributed energy resources.  Participants considering the viability of a potential pilot include Green Button Alliance founding utilities: Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, and London Hydro. Green Mountain Power (GMP), building on its eHomes program, announces its partnership with Vermont's Energy Efficiency Utility, Efficiency Vermont, and the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation to pilot a community-scale comprehensive energy transformation in Panton, Vermont in June 2016.  The year-long project is expected to decrease energy usage, energy costs and carbon pollution.  It will include town buildings, local businesses, 80% of the homes in Panton, and utility-scale solar paired with battery storage to microgrid parts of the town. Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL), an AES Company, announces the commercial operation of a 20 MW energy storage array.  This is the first grid-scale battery energy storage system in the 15-state Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) region.  It is also the first grid-scale energy storage system in the United States that will be used to provide primary frequency response, an essential reliability service.  IPL’s energy storage will enhance system reliability and help reduce costs and emissions across the electric system. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) plans to procure 24 MW of energy storage by 2016 and commits to a target of 178 MW by 2021.  LADWP also plans to procure 60 MW of demand response by 2016 and commits to target the procurement of 200 to 500 MW by 2026.  LADWP will dedicate up to $2.9 million in funding for its Interval Data for Energy Efficiency effort in order to identify approximately 40 GWh in actionable savings at commercial and industrial customer sites.  LADWP will also deploy its Sustainability Analytics Tool to premier accounts and major customers over the next year. NextEra Energy’s Florida Power & Light (FPL) announces a pilot project to test storage technology applications under real-life conditions.  FPL will install different types of battery systems in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties to research energy storage benefits, including: improved reliability for isolated areas and microgrid foundations via a battery back-up system to be built at the southern tip of Everglades National Park; reuse of electric vehicle batteries and “peak shaving” via small-scale installations in residential areas in Miami and repurposing “second-life” batteries from more than 200 electric vehicles; and mobile storage capacity to prevent power interruptions at major economically important events via a portable system to be tested during the 2017 Miami Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on Key Biscayne.  These applications will also help with renewable integration as FPL continues to expand its use of solar energy to serve its 4.8 million customers. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) plans to invest approximately $3 billion a year through 2020 to make the grid more resilient and facilitate its vision of a grid that will integrate distributed solar, energy storage, electric vehicles and other low-carbon technologies.  To facilitate the integration of distributed energy resources (DERs), PG&E is proposing five pilot projects to demonstrate: Dynamic Integrated Capacity Analysis methodology for integrating all line sections or nodes within a specific distribution planning area (DPA); Optimal Location Benefit Analysis methodology for a DPA that has one near-term and one longer-term distribution infrastructure project that can be deferred due to DER integration; DER locational benefits; distribution operations at high penetrations of DERs; and DER dispatch to meet reliability needs. Portland General Electric (PGE) commits to implementing a new standard communication interface for smart water heaters that will enable customer-friendly and affordable large-scale residential demand response.  PGE, Oregon’s largest electric utility company, is co-leading a market transformation effort with the Bonneville Power Administration that would replace the region’s 3.5 million water heaters with smart water heaters, creating a 10,000 MWh “battery” for less than $40/kWh, and will launch a mass-market water heater program pilot including these new technologies in 2017.  PGE also commits to investing $366,000 in 2016 in energy storage research and development and early-stage technology deployment and to using smart meter data and distributed energy resources in its resource planning and investment decisions, including launching a second generation energy information system by the end of 2016.  PGE is also announcing a pilot on time-variant prices for residential customers. San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), as part of a pilot program, is planning to install 3,500 electric vehicle charging stations at businesses, in multi-family communities, and in underserved neighborhoods, all while maximizing the use of renewable energy to charge the cars.  SDG&E recently signed a contract for a 20-MW energy storage facility, which would be the largest in the San Diego region, and expects to reach 165 MW of storage capacity by 2020. Southern California Edison (SCE) commits to procuring at least 580 MW of energy storage projects by 2020 (which must be operational by 2024) to support grid optimization, renewable energy integration, and greenhouse gas reduction.  SCE is also committing to offset local load growth through an additional planned procurement in 2016 of a minimum of 100 MW of clean energy resources.  SCE will launch requests for offers for energy storage projects in 2016, including projects that could help maintain grid reliability to mitigate risks of outages caused by the limited operation of the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Facility. U.S. Green Building Council and its sister organization Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), in partnership with Urban Ingenuity, announce a public-private convening on July 11 to support the District of Columbia’s efforts to encourage microgrid development.  GBCI and the National Association of State Energy Offices commit to co-sponsoring at least two regional webinars in 2016 to engage utility and state stakeholders on smart grid development using PEER – the first ever rating system for power system performance – to advance innovative, more flexible, and affordable grids. Developer, Manufacturer, and Investor Announcements Today, 17 leading developers, companies, manufacturers and investors are announcing new pilot projects, storage and smart meter deployment targets and investment commitments. Aclara commits to deploy 500,000 smart meters in partnership with utilities and customers with distributed solar by 2025 to provide data and communications infrastructure to enable the optimal grid integration of solar. Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) commits to deploy 500 MWh of advanced energy storage by 2020.  AMS projects will provide advanced energy storage, demand side management software, and microgrid control technologies. AMS’s projects include the first fleet of hybrid-electric buildings, providing 60 MWh of reliable capacity to the distribution system, as well as power quality, voltage support and demand management services to ratepayers. DBL Partners commits to a goal of helping to create and grow at least three new significant energy storage companies over the next 7 years. Energy Impact Partners LP (EIP) commits to investing an aggregate amount of up to $30 million in the energy storage sector.  EIP and its utility partners, Southern Company, National Grid and Xcel are also announcing the launch of a multi-utility working group to assess innovation and investment opportunities in the energy storage sector. EnerNOC commits to piloting Green Button Connect My Data by the end of 2016.  This standard has the potential to automate data collection and facilitate the delivery of Energy Intelligence Software and demand response to a broader customer base.  EnerNOC is also committing to leverage accessible smart meter data in order to scale its operations, optimize its demand response portfolio, facilitate the integration of renewable energy resources, and support efficient and reliable grid operations. Hannon Armstrong commits to invest up to $100 million in commercial scale, proven battery-based energy storage projects by 2017. Ice Energy announces the launch of a new ice-based home cooling system based on the company’s ice battery for commercial and industrial AC systems.  Ice Energy’s home cooling system is intended to replace the conventional home AC compressor and can cool a home for 4 hours without using any electricity to create cooling, thereby removing AC load during peak hours and reducing peak demand. Invenergy commits to double its total deployment of advanced energy storage from 68 MW in 2015 to 136 MW by 2020. IPKeys commits to develop and co-fund a pilot for using smart meter data as measurement and verification inputs to various server and end point technologies certified by OpenADR 2.0, the U.S. Smart Grid standard supported by DOE and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Microsoft and Primus Power announce a pilot program to advance energy storage at Microsoft’s datacenters globally. The program will be carried out in collaboration with NRG Energy, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and battery technology providers including Primus Power.  Microsoft's global operations purchase approximately 3,500 GWh of electricity per year, 100% of which is met with renewable energy.  This new initiative will test storage technologies that use batteries to act as grid resources to improve reliability, energy efficiency and usability of renewable energy. Opower commits to leverage smart meter data to scale its behavioral demand response operations to 200,000 additional households and drive $1 million in additional customer benefits over the next year.  These programs will enhance customer awareness around the importance of peak load management and support more efficient and reliable grid operations. RES Americas commits to deploying 450MW of new energy storage in wholesale and distributed markets for grid stabilization, utility infrastructure, renewables integration, and peak energy/load shifting applications by 2020. sonnen, Inc. commits to deploying 20,000 behind-the-meter, distributed commercial and residential energy storage systems in the next three years throughout the United States. Stem commits to deploy energy storage systems for up to 100 commercial facilities totaling 4 MW (16 MWh) in Northern California through an innovative new smart grid program by the end of 2017.  These installations will automatically reduce energy bills for these buildings and provide flexible, on-demand energy to strengthen the overall distribution grid. Sunrun commits to expanding its home solar plus energy storage offering from Hawaii to three states within three years, with the goal of deploying storage plus solar in the majority of its systems within five years. UniEnergy Technologies (UET) commits to expanding tenfold the manufacturing capacity of its factory near Seattle, WA, from 10MW (40MWh) per year today to 100MW (400MWh) per year by 2020. Vaughn Thermal Corporation announces the introduction of a collaborative water heater leasing business model that can effectively remove the first-cost hurdle for homeowners and utilities. The business model provides immediate access to grid-enabled Electric Thermal Storage (ETS) water heaters through participation in a mutually-beneficial, utility-sponsored water heater leasing program.  Instead of facing emergency 'out-of-pocket' replacement costs, the homeowner has the 'least cost' option of an affordable lease on a long-life, high-efficiency grid-enabled ETS water heater that can be controlled by the local electric utility for the purposes of load management, demand response, and renewable energy storage.

15 июня, 18:34

Will Greek Reforms Boost GREK ETF?

With Greece undertaking a host of reforms, the sole ETF tracking the country - GREK - is expected to remain in the spotlight.

26 мая, 17:45

Sumner’s lease

UNDER normal circumstances, a nasty public power struggle between a company’s controlling shareholder and its chief executive might put a dampener on the share price. But the circumstances at Viacom, a media conglomerate, are anything but normal. Sumner Redstone (pictured), an ailing 92-year-old mogul, recently kept control of his $42 billion media empire after a humiliating legal battle to prise it from his hands. Now the focus has shifted to the leadership of Philippe Dauman, the CEO of Viacom, prompting another round of lawsuits. Although the drama makes the firm’s future more uncertain, investors seem more excited. Like many a television soap opera, recent events have been absorbingly far-fetched. First came a lawsuit by Manuela Herzer, a former lover of Mr Redstone’s who had been written out of his will. Her reinstatement would have threatened the tycoon’s control of Viacom and another media giant, CBS. A judge threw out that lawsuit on May 9th. Then, on May 20th, Mr Redstone ejected Mr Dauman from a trust that will decide the fate of his holdings after his death. Three days later Mr Dauman filed a lawsuit to block the move, arguing that Mr...

26 мая, 04:39

Top Donald Trump staffer abruptly let go from campaign amid internal dispute

Rick Wiley was presumptive nominee’s national political director and a close ally of the man who has been in ongoing power struggle with his campaign managerA top Trump staffer was abruptly let go on Wednesday under mysterious circumstances, after a dispute with the campaign’s Florida director.Rick Wiley was the presumptive nominee’s national political director and a close ally of Paul Manafort, a veteran political operative who has been in the middle of an ongoing and well-publicized power struggle with campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Continue reading...

21 мая, 17:29

Америке снова нужен уран: почему «вторая экономика мира» закрывает свои АЭС

Странные вещи происходят в США: там на протяжении уже нескольких лет одна за другой закрываются атомные электростанции. При этом вывод АЭС из эксплуатации подается в СМИ как рутина и не вызывает особого интереса среди американцев. Все выглядит вполне естественно; в конце концов, 62 АЭС и 100 работающих реакторов, свыше 99 ГВт установленной мощности и почти 800 ГВт/час ежегодной выработки (19,5% от всего производства электроэнергии в США и 26,3% от «атомного электричества» во всем мире) — это крупнейшая отрасль, амортизация которой — дело, наверняка, естественное и неизбежное. Но кое-что настораживает.

Выбор редакции
17 мая, 16:05

В США закрывают еще одну АЭС по экономическим причинам

"Экономический анализ ясно показывает, что продолжение работы атомной станции Fort Calhoun не является финансово устойчивым", — заявил Берк, пояснив, что рассмотрены финансовые показатели, рыночные условия жизнедеятельности АЭС, увеличившиеся операционные затраты — за счет небольшой вырабатываемой мощности станции объем затрат не является оправданным. "Решение было трудным", — добавил Берк. Должностные лица OPPD считают, что необходимо замещать выпадающие мощности за счет строительства возобновляемых источников энергии — ветровых и солнечных электростанций, а также дополнительного приобретения природного газа. Голосование совета директоров по вопросу закрытия станции намечено на июнь текущего года.

Выбор редакции
17 мая, 13:50

В США закрывают еще одну АЭС по экономическим причинам

В США планируют закрыть атомную электростанцию Fort Calhoun в округе Вашингтон на территории штата Небраска до конца 2016 года по экономическим причинам. С соответствующей рекомендацией перед советом директоров выступил генеральный директор компании — владельца АЭС Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) Тим Берк, сообщает Nebraska Radio Network.

Выбор редакции
17 мая, 07:08

В США рекомендовано закрыть АЭС Fort Calhoun

На собрании директоров государственной компании Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) было рекомендовано закрыть атомную электростанцию Fort Calhoun в штате Небраска до конца 2016 года по экономическим причинам. Подробнее читайте на нашем сайте www.oilru.com

10 мая, 14:00

The Impact of the Blockchain Goes Beyond Financial Services

The technology most likely to change the next decade of business is not the social web, big data, the cloud, robotics, or even artificial intelligence. It’s the blockchain, the technology behind digital currencies like Bitcoin. Blockchain technology is complex, but the idea is simple. At its most basic, blockchain is a vast, global distributed ledger or database running on millions of devices and open to anyone, where not just information but anything of value – money, titles, deeds, music, art, scientific discoveries, intellectual property, and even votes – can be moved and stored securely and privately. On the blockchain, trust is established, not by powerful intermediaries like banks, governments and technology companies, but through mass collaboration and clever code. Blockchains ensure integrity and trust between strangers. They make it difficult to cheat. In other words, it’s the first native digital medium for value, just as the internet was the first native digital medium for information. And this has big implications for business and the corporation. Much of the hype around blockchains has focused on their potential to fundamentally change the financial services industry – by dropping the cost and complexity of financial transactions, making the world’s unbanked a viable new market, and improving transparency and regulation. Indeed, it is already having a big impact on that sector. However, our two-year research project, involving hundreds of interviews with blockchain experts, provides strong evidence that the blockchain could transform business, government, and society in perhaps even more profound ways. In the early days of the web, many management thinkers, present company included, speculated that the internet would reduce companies’ internal and external transaction costs, especially the cost of search, coordination, and communication. Surprisingly, however, the internet had only a peripheral impact on corporate architecture, falling short in materially dropping many transaction costs in business. As we enter the second generation of the internet, which focuses on value as well as information, blockchains may radically drop many transaction costs. For example, a global searchable database of all transactions would dramatically lower the costs of search. Smart contracts (software programs that self-execute complex instructions) on blockchains will plummet the costs of contracting, enforcing contracts, and making payments. Autonomous agents (bundles of smart contracts acting like rich applications) on the blockchain hold the promise of eliminating agency and coordinating costs, and can perhaps even lead to highly distributed enterprises with little or no management. Consider the music industry, where intermediaries capture nearly all the value and artists get paid last. Now, companies like Mycelia, founded by Grammy-winning artist Imogen Heap, have developed intelligent songs with smart contracts built in, which enable artists to sell directly to consumers without going through a label, financial intermediary, or technology company. This means that royalties and licensing agreements execute automatically and instantly—and artists get paid first. Spotify, Apple, Sony Music and other massive media companies stand to lose or gain depending on how quickly they embrace this technology. Blockchain technology can also take networked business models to a new level by supporting a whole host of breakthrough applications: native payment systems that run without banks, credit card companies, and other intermediaries will cut cost and time from transactions. Reputation systems built on social and economic capital and controlled by individuals, rather than by intermediaries like rating agencies and credit rating services, will change the dynamic between consumers and companies. Trustless transactions, where two or more people need not know nor trust each other to do business, will be feasible. There are staggering implications beyond financial services. While we’re only starting to see the possibilities of the blockchain, we expect these areas to be the first to experience a profound impact: Solving the problem of IP in a digital age. During the first generation of the internet, many creators of intellectual property were not properly compensated. Musicians, playwrights, journalists, photographers, artists, fashion designers, scientists, architects, and engineers were not only beholden to record labels, publishers, galleries, film studios, universities, and large corporations (vestiges of the pre-digital age) —these inventors now also had to deal with digital piracy that became possible on the web. Blockchain technology provides a new platform for creators of intellectual property to get the value they create. Consider the digital registry of artwork, including the certificates of authenticity, condition, and ownership. A new startup, Ascribe, which runs on the blockchain, lets artists themselves upload digital art, watermark it as the definitive version, and transfer it, so similar to bitcoin, it moves from one person’s collection to another’s. The technology solves the intellectual property world’s equivalent of the double-spend problem better than existing digital rights management systems; and artists could decide whether, when, and where they wanted to deploy it. Creating a better sharing economy. Most so-called sharing economy companies are really service aggregators. They aggregate the willingness of suppliers to sell their excess capacity (cars, equipment, vacant rooms, handyman skills) through a centralized platform and then resell them to users, all while collecting a cut off the top and valuable data for further commercial exploitation. Blockchain technology can provide the suppliers of these services a means to collaborate that delivers a greater share of the value to them.  Just about everything Uber does could be done by smart agents on a blockchain. The blockchain’s trust protocol allows for cooperatives, or autonomous associations, to be formed and controlled by people who come together to meet common needs. All revenues for services, except for overhead, would go to members, who also control the platform and make decisions. Opening up manufacturing. 3D printing is proving to be another revolutionary technology that is moving manufacturing closer to users and bringing new life to mass customization. But today, makers still need centralized platforms to sell their wares and have trouble protecting the IP of their creations. With blockchain, data and rights holders could store metadata about any substance, from human cells to powered aluminum, on the blockchain, in turn opening up the limits of corporate manufacturing while also protecting intellectual property. New markets could enable buyers and sellers to contract more easily in an open market. The so-called Internet of Things will need blockchains to manage ultimately trillions of daily transactions.  Traditional financial services companies cannot manage micropayments and settle payments, such as when a factory light purchases power from a public power auction. The Internet of Everything needs a Ledger of Everything. Changing enterprise collaboration. Today, collaboration tools are changing the nature of knowledge work and management inside organizations.  But there are clear limitations to today’s suites of tools, as we still need central intermediaries to establish trust and coordinate much of the capability. This creates an opportunity for blockchain-based systems. For example, if every employee had their own elaborate profile, which they owned and controlled, employees and companies would be able to keep their data, rather than give it to large social network companies. If current development projects, such as Enigma, being run out of MIT, are any evidence, blockchain social networks will have dramatically richer and more customizable functionality, where data is protected and consumers empowered, compared to incumbents. Existing vendors will either face disruption or embrace blockchain technologies to deliver much deeper capability to their customers. In the mid-1990s, smart managers worked hard to understand the internet and how it would affect their businesses. Today, blockchain technology is ushering in the second generation of the Internet, and if companies don’t want to get left behind, they’ll need to dodge the Innovator’s dilemma and disrupt from within.

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27 апреля, 21:36

The Guardian view on checking abuse of public power: after Hillsborough, count the value, not the cost | Editorial

The inquest into the deaths of 96 football fans might end up costing £70m. If it means the police think again about covering up their mistakes, then it was worth every pennyAfter such a catharsis as Tuesday’s verdicts of unlawful killing of the 96 victims of Hillsborough, there is a hunger for change that should be exploited before “never again” fades away, as experience suggests it surely will be. The home secretary, Theresa May, has built a reputation for being sensitive to the abuse of power by public authorities, from failure to protect children from sexual exploitation to deaths in police custody. It is notable that throughout the two long years of the Hillsborough inquest, in which both sides were state-funded, she insisted on complete equality between the families and the state agencies.But – as Hillsborough, where the bill has topped £14m and may be heading towards £70m, also showed – holding power to account has a big price tag. It also relies on citizens having the requisite entitlements in law to demand answers, too. It is an irony indeed that legal rights that were pertinent in the Hillsborough story, which require the state properly to investigate charges that it failed in its duty to protect life, are derived from a European convention which Mrs May has this week been proposing Britain should quit. MPs unquestionably want to change the culture of public bodies, to make them accountable. It won’t happen unless they also will the resources and the legal powers to prise out the truth. Continue reading...

04 апреля, 22:50

8point3 Energy to Acquire Interest in Two Solar Projects

8point3 Energy Partners LP (CAFD) has signed an agreement to acquire an interest in SunPower Corp.'s (SPWR) 50 MW Hooper Project and First Solar Inc.'s (FSLR) 40-MW Kingbird Project.

26 марта, 11:16

When Regulation Is Bad—Except for Abortion

Regulatory laws based on phony health claims erode economic liberty. But some free-market conservatives have a double standard for abortion.

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16 февраля, 19:53

Puerto Rico approves bill to restructure power company

Legislators in Puerto Rico have approved a last-minute bill needed to finalize a deal to restructure the U.S. territory’s heavily indebted public power company.

28 января, 20:51

Colorful ex-Providence Mayor Vincent 'Buddy' Cianci dies at 74

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Former Mayor Buddy Cianci, the wisecracking political rogue who presided over the revitalization of Providence during two stints in office cut short by criminal charges and a prison sentence for corruption, died Thursday. He was 74.WLNE-TV said Cianci was taping his weekly TV show, "On the Record with Buddy Cianci," on Wednesday evening when he had severe stomach pains and was taken by ambulance to a hospital. A hospital spokeswoman said he died Thursday morning. She did not release the cause.Despite his criminal record, Cianci was beloved by many in the city who credited him with resurrection of Providence from a decaying, Industrial-age relic to a 21st-century city with gondolas plying newly uncovered rivers. His bare-fisted style of politics made Cianci larger than life even in a tiny state known for the outsized personalities of its public figures.Mayor Jorge Elorza, who defeated Cianci in his 2014 comeback bid for mayor, ordered flags in Providence flown at half-staff and said the city is making arrangements to recognize his memory.Cianci spent 21 years in office and was elected to six terms during two stints as mayor, starting in 1974 and ending in 2002, with his federal corruption conviction.During that time, he used his outsized personality to sell his city — and himself — to a national audience. With a quick wit, political smarts and flair for spectacle and legendary toupee, Cianci was able to attract national attention to the capital of the nation's smallest state.He started his own line of pasta sauce and managed to have it put on display in the window of Cartier on Fifth Avenue in New York. He became a darling of national TV and radio shows, and said often in his later years that his proudest achievement was raising the self-esteem of the people of Providence."He's the most talented politician that New England has produced since John Kennedy," former University of Rhode Island political scientist Marc Genest said in a 2002 interview.Cianci began his public career as a state prosecutor on the attorney general's anti-corruption task force and made a name for himself going after members of the powerful mob families.In 1974, at 32, he capitalized on a rift in the dominant Democratic Party to win the mayoral post as a Republican. His first three terms were marred by scandal. Twenty-two city workers and contractors were convicted of corruption charges, including Cianci's chief of staff and city solicitor. The mayor was never charged.Personal problems sidetracked Cianci's career in 1984.He pleaded no contest to attacking his estranged wife's alleged lover with an ashtray, lit cigarette, and a fireplace log. As a condition of his plea deal, he was forced to resign.Cianci took a job as a talk-radio host on a local station and regained the mayor's office in 1990. The second coming of Cianci coincided with the "Providence renaissance."Rivers that had run through underground culverts were reclaimed. People flocked to a downtown that just decades ago had been a dangerous, seamy zone. The city became a beacon for tourists and gained a hip reputation.Cianci soaked up the attention.But beneath the glitter, the city was rotting. Buddy's Providence was a town for sale, federal prosecutors said, where even routine dealings with City Hall — such as applying for jobs or bidding on contracts — meant greasing a few palms.The charismatic mayor became ensnared in an FBI investigation into City Hall corruption, code-named "Operation Plunder Dome." In 2001, he was indicted on charges he orchestrated bribes for jobs, contracts and contributions to his campaign fund.Cianci vehemently proclaimed his innocence: "I have said to you before, there are no stains on this jacket, and I assure you there still are no stains on this jacket," he said after the indictment.In a circus-like trial in 2002 that lasted seven weeks and featured a local who's who list of wise guys and mob wannabes, a jury found Cianci guilty of one count of racketeering conspiracy and sentenced to prison.Cianci maintained his innocence, and appealed his conviction while incarcerated. His appeals failed, and he served 4½ years behind bars."I love this city. It's a very, very saddening thought to be separated from it," he told The Associated Press the morning he left for prison. "My whole life, personally and professionally, has revolved around it. How do you walk away from that? I'm not sure you do. ... Providence is a part of me."In a 2011 memoir, he acknowledged misusing his office while maintaining he was innocent of the charges brought against him."I used my public power for personal reasons. I admit it," Cianci wrote. "It probably wasn't the right thing to do, but it certainly felt good."He was released from prison in 2007, and decided to leave behind his toupee, which he then jokingly referred to as "the squirrel." He would later call his prison term a "bump in the road."He then resumed his career as a radio talk show host and TV commentator, but the draw to politics was strong."All the things that they celebrate in this city are the things that I did," Cianci said in 2014 as he contemplated a comeback bid for mayor.Despite being diagnosed with cancer the same year, he chose to jump in, running as an independent.Faced with the possibility of a Cianci return to office, several Democratic candidates dropped out to consolidate support behind Elorza, a political newcomer. The idea of a new Cianci administration was so objectionable that even the Republican candidate donated $1,000 to Elorza and then voted for him.Cianci lost, but still pulled in 45 percent of the vote.In November, Cianci returned to City Hall for his first significant visit since his conviction. He told The Associated Press he was filled with nostalgia as he walked through the halls where he built his career."For some reason, it looks smaller," he said.As a portrait was unveiled that showed Cianci in his younger days, he flashed the wit that helped propel him into the national consciousness."It's not the first time I've been framed," he quipped.