BNEF: Unsubsidized wind, solar are now the cheapest bulk generation sources

first_imgBNEF: Unsubsidized wind, solar are now the cheapest bulk generation sources FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Windpower Engineering & Development:Falling technology costs means unsubsidized solar and/or onshore wind are now the cheapest source of new bulk power in all major economies except Japan, according to BloombergNEF‘s (BNEF) new 2H 2018 LCOE report. The report assesses the cost competitiveness of different power generating and energy storage technologies globally (excluding subsidies).Every half year, BNEF runs its Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) analysis, a worldwide assessment of the cost competitiveness of different power generating and energy storage technologies – excluding subsidies.These are the key, high-level results:Solar and/or wind are now the cheapest new source of generation in all major economies, except Japan. This includes China and India, where not long ago coal was king. In India, best-in-class solar and wind plants are now half the cost of new coal plants.The benchmark global levelized cost for onshore wind sits at $52/MWh, down 6% from our 1H 2018 analysis. This is on the back of cheaper turbines and a stronger U.S. dollar. Onshore wind is now as cheap as $27/MWh in India and Texas, without subsidy.In most locations in the U.S. today, wind outcompetes combined-cycle gas plants (CCGT) supplied by cheap shale gas as a source of new bulk generation. If the gas price rises above $3/MMBtu, our analysis suggests that new and existing CCGT are going to run the risk of becoming rapidly undercut by new solar and wind. This means fewer run-hours and a stronger case for flexible technologies such as gas peaker plants and batteries that do well at lower utilization (capacity factor).Short-duration batteries are today the cheapest source of new fast-response and peaking capacity in all major economies except the U.S., where cheap gas gives peaker gas plants an edge. As electric vehicle manufacturing ramps-up, battery costs are set to drop another 66% by 2030, according to our analysis. This, in turn, means cheaper battery storage for the power sector, lowering the cost of peak power and flexible capacity to levels never reached before by conventional fossil-fuel peaking plants.Batteries co-located with PV or wind are becoming more common. Our analysis suggests that new-build solar and wind paired with four-hour battery storage systems can already be cost competitive, without subsidy, as a source of dispatchable generation compared with new coal and new gas plants in Australia and India.More: Onshore wind & solar lead as cheapest source of new bulk power, finds BNEFlast_img read more

Data breach forecasts: Prepare for holiday cybercrime spree

first_imgTwo cybersecurity reports paint a dreadful end-of-the year picture: one forecasts major data breaches fueling a holiday retail cybercrime spree; the other suggests financial institutions on the hook for any incidents.Fraud increased 30% overall in the third quarter 2019 and bot-driven account registration fraud is up 70% as cybercriminals test stolen credentials in advance of the holiday retail season, according to “The Q4 Fraud and Abuse” by San Francisco based Arkose Labs, which provides a platform combining telemetry with an adaptive step-up challenge to identify bad actors. The study provided insights into the cybercrime ecosystem and how criminals are preparing for large-scale digital commerce attacks in this year’s last quarter.The report analyzed over 1.3 billion transactions spanning account registrations, logins and payments, in the financial services, e-commerce, travel, social media, gaming and entertainment industries, from July 1, 2019 to Sept. 30, 2019. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

Here’s A Big Idea For Long Island: Stop Thinking Small

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Have you felt it? There has been an awakening in Long Island’s developmental zeitgeist.Suddenly it seems that regional planning has become a popular idea.It can be heard from the soapboxes of development advocacy groups, op-ed writers and policymakers who, up until a few short months ago, dismissed the concept of geographic cohesion as an academic exercise that gets in the way of “local” progress. But now these folks are seizing on it.It’s funny how for so long the marketing of the “brain drain” illusion fueled so many policy recommendations on Long Island–and now it’s being pushed aside in favor of “flavor-of-the-day” regionalism.Mere months ago, those in the “smart” growth camp argued that less restrictive local development is what’s needed to curb the supposed exodus of millennials from our region. The reality is that millennials aren’t so much leaving, but that our region is experiencing a birth dearth. In short, how can anybody flee a region if they weren’t born here in the first place? It is on this shaky demographic ground that these urbanists first built their approach to solving Long Island’s woes. Only now are they beginning to backtrack on that narrative.The shift is so large that even Mayor Paul Pontieri of Patchogue, long considered the benchmark of downtown redevelopment efforts by developers and smart growth groups, is placing a six-month moratorium on all development. This is not surprising. The village rapidly built upwards of 700 apartments without really addressing the long-term impacts of such growth. Now they want time to absorb the surplus they have created.The change in policy is readily apparent, with Suffolk County adopting the Regional Planning Alliance Program and other initiatives to encourage more coordination. As such, the “think local” commentators and advocacy groups are jumping ship to stay relevant within the new broader policymaking environment.Despite the pendulum swinging towards a regional cohesion that will unify many of the larger real estate projects that are being proposed, don’t expect the transition to be easy.The sad truth is that Long Island’s leadership isn’t really cut out for regional thought. The little fiefdoms of Nassau and Suffolk counties are fueled by the “me-first” mantra of local politics, as well as the hard-headedness of residents who refuse to alter the status quo. As such, regional planning policymaking has always faced an uphill struggle. In its absence, a fervent parochialism has taken over, bringing out the best, and the worst on the Island.Economically, our region stagnates while aesthetically it thrives. Long Island’s middle-class neighborhoods are pristine, schools near-stellar, but our current system of “build now, worry about it later” is far from sustainable. We simply are not creating the fiscal growth necessary to maintain so many political and jurisdictional fiefdoms.Thus far, the solution for many of these economic concerns has been a loose adherence to urbanist values, in other words: increased density, walkability and sustainability. All these values are well and good. But while developers and advocates give lip service to these valuable principles, they have done very little to put them into practice. In a Suffolk analysis of completed transit-oriented projects (located near Long Island Rail Road stations), roughly only 23 percent of residents in those developments used the train to commute to work.Long Island’s history doesn’t make matters any easier. When one looks back, it’s easy to see why the regional planner became a pariah by self-proclaimed localists who espouse urbanist values, yet do little to grapple with the reality of LI’s auto-centric suburbia.Robert Moses, New York’s master builder, has cast a long shadow over any cohesive effort on Long Island. Moses is often cast in the public’s mind as a planner of colossal proportions—and the mere mention of his name taints the entire notion of large-scale thought in the mind of new-age urbanists. In reality, Moses was a builder who did not particularly enjoy the company of planners, who tended to have a little more compassion for the communities that were in his way, but that doesn’t matter much these days. Just evoking his name is enough to conjure up images of government bureaucrats steamrolling their way across Long Island, and so the concept of large-scale planning gets unfairly slammed.After the era of Moses, Suffolk actively worked to contain the rampant suburban sprawl, which one can argue was facilitated by his accomplishments. Following Suffolk’s lead, local town offices created their own planning departments, which varied in degrees of effectiveness. Some municipalities took the task of planning more seriously than others, and aside from Suffolk’s advances in open space protection, Moses was one of the last truly geographic unifiers Long Island has seen.It is by rebuking Moses where the proponents of the hyperlocal movement found their strength. Cities in particular benefited from this Jane Jacobs-esque approach to policymaking. Thanks to her grassroots activism decades ago, irreplaceable Manhattan neighborhoods like SoHo and Little Italy have retained their character. Moses would have demolished them for his cross-town expressway. Published in 1961, Jane Jacobs’ seminal book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, which criticized contemporary urban planning policy, helped inspire a community-oriented revitalization that preserved much of what would have otherwise been lost during the road building boom.On the other hand, suburban residents have benefited from Long Island’s local point of view since the first Europeans reached the shores of Shelter Island. By the 1920s, countless private developments incorporated as villages for the sole purpose of maintaining their character and exclusivity. Of course, the problem is that this policy left the Island with a disgraceful, racist, even anti-Semitic legacy. Until 1948, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on another case, Levittown had a clause in its standard lease that said each new home could not “be used or occupied by any person other than members of the Caucasian race.”Although the Island may still be one of the most segregated suburbs in the country, in more recent times local villages have experienced a renaissance of sorts. Developers have found the boundaries of Long Island’s villages easier environments to conduct business within, and thanks to advocacy and lobbying from groups like Vision Long Island, the transit-oriented philosophy caught on across Nassau and Suffolk counties. In what many would call a region inhospitable to big developments, this ability to ramp up density downtown in certain villages was a major accomplishment.It is in this environment, with this history, that fervent localism is fostered at the expense of thinking broader and acting bolder.As much as regional policymaking can be domineering in its execution thanks to the specter of Moses and his liberal use of eminent domain, local policymaking suffers from shortsightedness. Aside from municipal services, special districts and hundreds of school districts that are as redundant as they are costly, these multiple layers of government effectively block the large-scale, big-picture thinking that is needed in order to adequately address Long Island’s economic and environmental problems. Our water quality continues to be polluted, our transportation networks no longer meet our 21st century needs, and our idea of promoting economic growth is opening another big-box retail store.In the end, it’s not so important whether growth is local or regional. All that matters is that it responds to community needs, and is based upon data-backed analysis. Unfortunately, only those who stand to gain the most from additional development are steering the conversation about Long Island’s future. In the New Year, the goal should be not only to continue bridging the gap between local and regional approaches, but to solicit more input from the people who matter the most: the residents of Nassau and Suffolk counties. After all, it’s their future we’re supposed to be talking about.Rich Murdocco writes about Long Island’s land use and real estate development issues. He received his Master’s in Public Policy at Stony Brook University, where he studied regional planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s veteran master planner. Murdocco is a regular contributor to the Long Island Press. More of his views can be found on www.TheFoggiestIdea.org or follow him on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea.last_img read more

US companies criticized for cutting jobs rather than investor payouts

first_imgUS companies laying off workers in response to the coronavirus pandemic but still paying dividends and buying back shares are drawing criticism from labor unions, pension fund advisers, lawmakers and corporate governance experts.While most US companies are scaling back payouts after a decade in which the amount of money paid to investors through buybacks and dividends more than tripled, some are maintaining their policies despite the economic pain.Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Halliburton Co, General Motors Co and McDonald’s Corp have all laid off staff, cut their hours, or slashed salaries while maintaining payouts, according to a Reuters review of regulatory filings, company announcements and company officials. “This is the time for large companies to try to help, for systemic reasons, to keep things flowing,” said Ken Bertsch, executive director of the Council of Institutional Investors. The council’s members include public pension funds and endowments that manage assets worth about US$4 trillion.Read also: Five more months to business as usual: Business playersRoyal Caribbean, which has halted its cruises in response to the pandemic and borrowed to boost its liquidity to more than $3.6 billion, said it began laying off contract workers in mid-March, though the moves did not affect its full-time employees.The company has not suspended its remaining $600 million share buyback program, which expires in May, or its dividend, which totaled $602 million last year and is set quarterly. “We continue to take decisive actions to protect (our) financial and liquidity positions,” Royal Caribbean spokesman Jonathon Fishman said. He declined to comment specifically on the layoffs or shareholder payouts.While Royal Caribbean’s rival Carnival Corp has also laid off contract workers, it has suspended dividends and buybacks as it raised more than $6 billion in capital markets to weather the coronavirus storm.Unemployment surgeGoldman Sachs analysts forecast this week that S&P 500 companies would cut dividends in 2020 by an average of 50 percent because of the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.While there has been criticism of companies maintaining investor payouts, only those receiving financial support from the US government under a $2.3 trillion stimulus package are obliged to suspend share buybacks.US companies hare buybacks and dividends payouts. (Reuters/-)Layoffs contributed to US unemployment skyrocketing last month. Jobless claims topped 6.6 million in the week ended March 28 – double the record set the prior week and far above the previous record of 695,000 set in 1982.Companies say job cuts are necessary to offset a plunge in revenue but their critics say they should consider turning off the spigots to shareholders before letting employees go.“If companies are paying dividends and doing buybacks, they do not have to lay off workers,” said William Lazonick, a corporate governance expert at the University of Massachusetts.Workers at franchised McDonald’s restaurants say they are getting fewer shifts since dining areas were closed in March, leaving only carry-out and drive-through services open.Alma Ceballos, 31, who has worked at a franchised McDonald’s near San Francisco for 14 years, said she could not pay her rent after her schedule was cut to 16 hours from 40 and her husband, a janitor at Apple Inc’s Cupertino, California, campus was laid off.McDonald’s, which has suspended buybacks but maintained its annual dividend, worth $3.6 billion in 2019, told Reuters its staffing and opening hours were not related to “making a choice between employees and dividends”.About 95 percent of its US restaurants are run by franchisees who decide staffing. McDonald’s said it was offering rent deferrals and other help to keep franchises open and employing workers.Read also: Tens of thousands of workers across Indonesia laid off because of COVID-19 outbreak“McDonald’s could commit to 30 days of income for all workers,” Mary Kay Henry, president of the labor union SEIU which has 2 million members, said in an interview with Reuters. “Corporations need to pay their fair share here.”‘It’s just wrong’General Motors has halted normal production in North America and temporarily reduced cash pay for salaried workers by 20 percent. It paid its first-quarter dividend on March 20 and has a month before declaring its next dividend, a spokeswoman said, adding that GM would assess economic conditions before deciding.“Our focus in the near term is to protect the health of our employees and customers, ensure we have ample liquidity for a very wide range of scenarios, and implement austerity measures to preserve cash,” spokeswoman Lauren Langille said.Oilfield services firm Halliburton furloughed about 3,500 workers in its Houston office starting on March 23, according to a letter sent to the Texas Workforce Commission obtained by Reuters. It has also cut 350 positions in Oklahoma.Halliburton cited disruption from the coronavirus as well as plunging oil prices as the reason for the furlough. In March, it paid its first-quarter dividend to shareholders as planned.A Halliburton spokeswoman declined to comment on the furlough and the company’s dividend policy.Read also: Coronavirus drives record US job losses amid economic shutdownSome of the companies laying off workers while still paying out shareholders, such as General Motors, signed an initiative last year from the Business Roundtable, a group of chief executives, pledging to make business decisions in the interest of employees and other stakeholders, not just shareholders.Large asset managers such as BlackRock and Vanguard have cited managing “human capital” as a priority for companies in which they invest. Yet they have been reluctant to publicly press companies to avoid layoffs during the crisis.Vanguard told Reuters it “recognizes the need for companies to exercise judgment and flexibility as they balance short- and long-term business considerations”.BlackRock did not respond with a statement when contacted for comment.“Profits should be shared with the workers who actually create them,” US Senator Tammy Baldwin, a long-standing critic of share buybacks, told Reuters in an email.“It’s just wrong for big corporations to reward the wealthy or top executives with more stock buybacks, while closing facilities and laying off workers.”Topics :last_img read more

Guyana Beverage Co. Tampico 60-mile cycle road race set for July 3

first_imgWITH the 2017 Guyana cycling season in full swing and the return to Guyana of the country’s overseas based wheelsmen, the Guyana Beverage Company sponsored 60-mile cycle road race under the Tampico Brand promises much excitement.The event is being organised by the Flying Ace Cycle Club of Berbice and will be held on July 3 in the Ancient County of Berbice and is open to all local cyclists.The participants will pedal off from outside the Guyana Beverage Company office located at Palmyra, East Berbice and proceed to the Number 51 Village Police Station before returning to the place of origin for the finish.last_img read more

Extra time heartbreak for Leinster

first_imgThe final score at the Stade Velodrome was Toulon 25 Leinster 20. Leinster have been knocked out of the European Champions Cup after losing their semi-final to Toulon in Marseille.The reigning European champions needed extra-time to put Matt O’Connor’s side to the sword after a 12-all draw at the end of 80 minutes of play.Bryan Habana’s interception try after 90 minutes was the decisive moment and Toulon will now face Clermont in the final.last_img

Arsenal announce record shirt deal with Emirates

first_img“Emirates are again demonstrating their great belief in our approach and ambition and their significantly increased investment will help us continue to compete for trophies and bring more success to the club and our fans around the world.”Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said: “Arsenal’s strong appeal and influence around the globe, combined with their ambitions as a club, make them an ideal partner for Emirates, with values that reflect ours as a brand.“As a long-standing supporter of football, we are passionate about the game and are a proud partner to the team.”Emirates have held naming rights to Arsenal’s 60,000-seater stadium since the Gunners moved in during 2006, with that deal set to run until 2028.Arsenal, currently sixth in the Premier League table, eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, are desperate to secure Champions League football for next season after missing out this year.On Sunday they meet Premier League leaders Manchester City in the final of the League Cup at Wembley.Deloitte’s “Money League” report last month ranked Arsenal in sixth place behind the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid but a separate study said Arsenal had greater financial muscle than any club in world football with the exception of Manchester City.Share on: WhatsApp London, United Kingdom | AFP | Arsenal announced the club’s biggest-ever sponsorship deal worth a reported £200 million on Monday, extending their shirt partnership with Dubai-based airline Emirates by five years.The Gunners confirmed the branding of Emirates, which began its sponsorship agreement with the north London club in 2006, would continue to feature on the shirts and training kit of all of their teams until the end of the 2023/2024 season.The size of the deal, quoted by the BBC as being worth more than £200 million ($280 million) reportedly puts the club level with Premier League rivals Chelsea, behind only Manchester United, who have a seven-year agreement with Chevrolet worth $559 million. “Our shirt partnership is the longest-running in the Premier League and one of the longest relationships in world sport,” said Ivan Gazidis, chief executive of Arsenal, who have not given a figure for the deal.“This mutual commitment is testimony to the strength and depth of our unique relationship.”last_img read more

Shooting Leaves Five Injured in Miami

first_imgFive people were reportedly shot on Thursday afternoon in Miami Gardens.Miami-Dade Fire Rescue airlifted two shooting victims from that scene to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center.Two ambulances also responded to the U-Gas station located at 16701 NW 42 Ave.In addition, another ambulance responded to a nearby home at 4030 NW 168 Terr.Photo courtesy: WPLG/MiamiMiami Gardens police officers surrounded the corner gas station, which is located near the Palmetto Expressway/State Road 826.Detectives detained seven people in front of a convenience store at 4195 NW 167 St., which is between the gas station and the home.The investigation remains underway, and authorities have not provided any additional information as to what may have led up to the shooting.This is a developing story.last_img read more

Timberland Libraries Hosts Reyna Grande Author Tour

first_imgFacebook18Tweet0Pin0submitted by Timberland Regional LibrariesThis October, Timberland Regional Library encourages everyone in the five-county library district to read the works of Reyna Grande, internationally-known author of three critically acclaimed books. “The Distance Between Us”, Grande’s memoir about her life before and after immigrating from Mexico to the United States, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and hailed by the L.A. Times as ‘the Angela’s Ashes of the modern Mexican immigrant experience.’ Grande’s first novel, “Across a Hundred Mountains”, received a 2007 American Book Award, and the 2006 El Premio Aztlán Literary Award. Her second novel, “Dancing with Butterflies”, was the recipient of a 2010 International Latino Book Award. All three books have been read widely in schools across the country and have been very popular with book clubs. Timberland Regional Library will be hosting author talks with Reyna Grande at five locations. Three of the five events will be only presented in Spanish.Dancing with Butterflies is focuses on four very different women whose lives interconnect through a common passion for their Mexican heritage and a dance company. Photo courtesy: Timberland Regional Libraries.Born in Mexico, Reyna was two years old when her father left for the U.S. to find work. Her mother followed her father north two years later, leaving Reyna and her siblings behind in Mexico. In 1985, when Reyna was nine, she entered the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant to live with her father. Through President Ronald Reagan’s 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, the Grande family all became U.S. citizens. She went on to become the first person in her family to graduate from college. She recognizes how relevant her story is to the undocumented young people who were brought over by their parents and are struggling to become members of society. Reyna teaches creative writing for UCLA Extension and speaks at libraries, high schools, colleges, and universities across the nation.Meet Reyna GrandeMeet author Reyna Grande at the following Timberland Regional Libraries:In SpanishNo más distancia.  Este programa se presentará en español. La escritora Reyna Grande hablará del tema de la inmigración a través de su historia personal, compartiendo con el público el poder de la lectura y la escritura para sanar las heridas que resultan del trauma de la inmigración. Reyna hablará sobre los efectos que tuvo la separación familiar en su relación con sus padres, su traumática asimilación, y las barreras físicas y metafóricas que tuvo que enfrentrar para poder triunfar.Wednesday, October 25 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Aberdeen Timberland LibraryFriday, October 27 from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Note Location: Saint Martin’s Norman Worthington Conference Center at 5300 Pacific Ave.SE.Saturday, October 28 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Centralia Timberland LibraryIn EnglishCrossing Borders: Reyna Grande on Immigration and the American Dream.  This program will be presented in English.Using her first-hand experience, Reyna discusses the complexities of immigration and the way it affects not only immigrants themselves but also the families they leave behind. Books will be available for purchase and signing.Thursday, October 26 from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Note Location: Washington Center for the Performing Arts; 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia.Saturday, October 28 from 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. at the Chehalis Timberland Library Copies of Reyna Grande’s books are available to borrow from your local Timberland library. Formats include print in both English and Spanish, eBook, and audiobook. “The Distance Between Us” also includes a young reader’s edition in print and eBook.last_img read more