Law School Study: Smart Grid collaboration needed to re-power US

first_imgVermont Law School,The United States needs unprecedented collaboration among electric utilities, government, industry and academia to create a smart grid with clear policies, empowered customers, demonstrated cost savings and a greener environment, according to early results in Vermont Law School’s national smart grid research project. Researchers at VLS’s Institute for Energy and the Environment are studying the legal, policy and regulatory hurdles to upgrading the US electric system with smart grid technology. The federal government has awarded $3.4 billion in stimulus funds to utilities and other entities, making the smart grid a key part of the US clean energy agenda. Vermont, California, Texas and a handful of other states have taken the lead in finding a well-balanced approach to demonstrating and implementing a smart grid system. VLS is conducting case studies of seven diverse utilities across the country in order to recommend best practices that can be replicated nationwide: Commonwealth Edison, Central Vermont Public Service Company, Long Island Power Authority, Pecan Street Project, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Salt River Project and San Diego Gas and Electric.VLS’s final report isn’t due until 2012, but the study’s early results suggest: Clear state policies will speed smart grid results: California and other states that have set clear policies are moving steadily toward their goals rather than getting bogged down in debate over what the goals should be.Statewide collaboration can spur progress and innovation: Unprecedented collaboration among Vermont’s utilities, government, industry and academia has secured federal stimulus money for the rollout out of a statewide smart grid and broadband system. The unique linking of broadband for underserved areas and a smart grid communications network is achieving state policy objectives with noteworthy efficiency.Delivering smarter rates: The Salt River Project’s success with time-of-use rates and customer pre-pay service offers clear promise for voluntary dynamic pricing. The project’s pre-pay program experience’giving customers timely information about their electric usage and letting them control their consumption’has resulted in satisfied customers and a 12 percent drop in power use.Demonstrating the smart grid’s future: The Pecan Street Project’s focus on how a smart grid can provide value to customers and the environment demonstrates the new technology’s end-use potential.Uncertainty will impede the smart grid: Without clear cost recovery policies for utilities, the smart’s grid’s reliability and environmental benefits won’t be fully realized. VLS’s final report will address legal, regulatory, structural and other barriers, including privacy concerns; policy requirements; energy efficiency and demand response; distributed generation and storage; electric vehicle integration; and distribution automation. More information about VLS’s Smart Grid Research Project is available at: www.VermontLaw.edu/smartgrid(link is external)Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, has the top-ranked environmental law program and one of the top-ranked clinical training programs in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. VLS offers a Juris Doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service, a Master of Environmental Law and Policy degree and two post-JD degrees, the Master of Laws in Environmental Law and the LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers). The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center and the South Royalton Legal Clinic. For more information, visit www.vermontlaw.edu(link is external).last_img read more

Banks Distance Themselves From Coal

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Gina-Marie Cheeseman for Triple Pundit:Coal is a dirty fossil fuel that is responsible for a big portion of carbon emissions. The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis predicts a bleak future for coal. It sees declining demand and the increasing use of renewables as accelerating the trend of using less fossil fuels like coal.Clearly, some banks are getting the memo that coal is a thing of the past as two big banks recently updated their coal policies. One of them is JPMorgan Chase, which released new commitments to stop financing for the coal industry. The other is Deutsche Bank which released a new corporate responsibility policy that explains the bank’s decision to phase out funding mountaintop removal coal mining.JPMorgan’s new coal policies prohibit financing new coal mines or a new coal-fired power plant in developed countries. The policies specifically prohibit “project financing or other forms of asset-specific financing where the proceeds will be used to develop a new greenfield coal mine.” A greenfield mine is an uncharted one, where coal deposits were not known to previously exist.JPMorgan’s new policies also include the following:It will reduce its “credit exposure” to companies that derive most of their revenues from extracting and selling coal.It will apply “enhanced due diligence” to transactions with diversified mining and industrial companies whose proceeds will be used to finance new coal production capacity.It will not provide financing for companies that will developed a new coal-fired power plant outside of developed countries unless ultra-supercritical steam generation technology, a method that experts say is cleaner and more efficient, is used.Full article: JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank Set New Coal Policies Banks Distance Themselves From Coallast_img read more

Enel looking for joint venture partner to expand African renewable energy business

first_imgEnel looking for joint venture partner to expand African renewable energy business FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Enel SpA is looking for a financial partner to buy as much as 50% of its African renewable business as the Italian energy giant looks to extend wind and solar power projects across the continent.The search for a company to form a joint venture started before the coronavirus outbreak stalled the regional economy and will continue regardless, a spokesman for the Rome-based utility said in an emailed response to questions. Enel Green Power currently has sites in South Africa, Morocco and Zambia as part of an international expansion that also includes investments in Asia.The Italian company is building its future around green energy, with plans to increase its renewable capacity to 60% by 2022. Enel is adding as much as 3.6 gigawatts of new capacity in recently accessed and new markets within the next two years, mainly in Africa and Asia, the spokesman said.Like many companies, Enel is navigating the Covid-19 outbreak with a focus on digitization and home working while governments around the world impose lockdowns to curb the spread of the pandemic. Italy has been one of the worst-affected countries, with almost 22,000 deaths to date, compared with a global total of more than 134,000.[Loni Prinsloo]More: Enel seeks 50% financial partner for Africa renewable unitlast_img read more

Army Links Tactical Radios, Chat Services with Commercial Communications

first_imgBy Dialogo August 10, 2011 Army researchers have linked tactical radios and military chat systems with cell phones, instant messaging and other commercial communications technologies as part of an effort to streamline collaboration across the force. The integration of emerging commercial software with the existing tactical communications infrastructure has far-reaching potential as the Army expands communications for soldiers at the tactical edge, shares more battlefield data with NATO allies and equips users with tools to help minimize information overload. “Whether you’re at the command post or on patrol, you know when someone is online and what the best way to reach that person is,” said Osie David, Fire Support Command and Control system engineer and former solutions architect for the Army’s Project Manager Mission Command. Spearheading the effort is the Command and Control Directorate for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s communications-electronics center (RDECOM CERDEC C2D). Engineers there have integrated the software with a widely used military situational awareness application called Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below/Blue Force Tracking (FBCB2/BFT). A user can trade chat messages with an operator of FBCB2, which enables war fighters in vehicles and aircraft to exchange messages, such as the location of an enemy or an improvised explosive device, and share a common operating picture of the battlefield. Beyond text chat, CERDEC also used the software to enable voice communication between users and Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System radios, cell phones and Voice over Internet Protocol phones. With a mouse click, an individual could place a call to another user and reach him or her on whatever communication medium was available. There was no need to remember phone numbers or take extra steps to call a radio. The CERDEC C2D team is now exploring other potential uses of the technology, such as adding the software presence and functionality into Command Post of the Future, which ties together collaborative capabilities and allows commanders to share the Common Operating Picture through map displays, charts and other data. With NATO allies also investing in similar systems, the technology could potentially serve as a way for the U.S. to share battlefield data and information with other countries without providing them an actual system, David said. Within U.S. forces, CERDEC C2D’s work could also serve as a “bridge” improving communications between deployed joint forces and the supporting workforce at home, as well as within both groups, according to West.last_img read more

12 questions to ponder in this fast-paced, complicated world

first_imgAs I walk to the podium, I’ll know one thing for sure.This crowd hasn’t had it easy.This week, I’ll address 250 compliance professionals at NAFCU’s annual Regulatory Compliance Seminar.NCUA. The CFPB. TRID. RBC. HMDA. Forms. Policies. Procedures.The past seven years has seen a non-stop barrage of rule changes, regulations and new requirements.So what can I say to these dedicated professionals? Can I say that things will get easier? That regulatory change will suddenly halt?They’d laugh me off the stage.But I can do this. I can remind them that while so much of the world is outside of our control, there’s a good deal that we do affect.So here’s a series of questions for them, for you, and for me.1. Did you get enough sleep last night?2. Are you getting enough exercise?3. Are you eating well?4. Are you giving it your best at work?5. Do your emails build people up, or tear them down?6. When is the last time you mentored or coached someone who was struggling?7. Do you give your colleagues the benefit of the doubt?8. Do you keep your word?9. Do you constantly improve your communication skills?10. Do you understand the duties and responsibilities of your colleagues?11. When you don’t agree with someone or something, do you rush to judge, or try to understand?12. Did you thank someone today at work?Not so powerless, are we? 61SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Anthony Demangone Anthony Demangone is executive vice president and chief operating officer at the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU). Demangone oversees day-to-day operations and manages the association’s education, membership, … Web: https://www.cuinsight.com/partner/nafcu Detailslast_img read more

Inside Marketing: Improve the member experience with simple and cost-effective strategies

first_img continue reading » In an age of rapid digital advances, credit unions are committing significant resources to improve their members’ online and mobile experiences. With so much focus on implementing the latest and greatest in technology, it can be easy to overlook the less expensive and simpler strategies that can have a significant impact on your members’ experience—but it’s important not to let those opportunities go by the wayside. According to a 2017 report by McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, improving customer experience from average to “wow” can increase the likelihood to retain or acquire new business by 30 to 50%.Members that leave credit unions typically do so without any prior indication. In fact, almost three quarters of members won’t tell their credit union they are thinking of leaving. This means credit unions must be proactive in their approach to providing exceptional customer service. Here are some top strategies you can apply today to begin wowing your membership.Make It Easy to Be a MemberReduce repetitiveness. Perhaps nothing is more frustrating to a member than having to repeat themselves to multiple CU employees to solve a problem. This tells members your staff is not communicating with each other and can reduce member confidence in your branch. Your data processor and forms should be integrated with members’ best interests in mind. Develop processes to provide for the systematic flow of information between employees before transferring phone calls or other member hand-offs. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

House, govt drop education provisions from job creation bill

first_imgHouse Legislation Body (Baleg) chairman Supratman Andi Agtas, who chaired Thursday’s meeting, said he was glad that the government listened to aspirations from lawmakers and the public.Read also: NU, Muhammadiyah join coalition opposing educational provisions in omnibus billPreviously, lawmakers, teachers and lecturers demanded that education issues be scrapped from the draft bill as they deemed several articles within the draft as counterproductive to ongoing efforts to improve the quality of national education.Concerns were raised over the possible commercialization of the education sector and the business license requirement to establish educational institutions, as well as discrimination against teachers with a bachelor’s degree from a domestic university as the bill no longer required teachers who graduated from an accredited foreign university to have an education certificate.Though the government has agreed to scrap the education provisions from the bill, Elen said it also suggested establishing a regulation on licensing for educational institutions in special economic zones to control how education was implemented. (aly)Topics : The House of Representatives and the government agreed to drop provisions on education from the omnibus bill on job creation on Thursday.“The government, represented by the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister and the Education and Culture Ministry, suggests the working committee revoke provisions regarding four laws stipulated in the job creation bill,” an expert staff member at the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister, Elen Setiadi, said on Thursday as quoted by kompas.com.The provisions in question are some articles in Law No. 20/2003 on the national education system, Law No. 14/2005 on teachers and lecturers, Law No. 12/2012 on higher education and Law No. 20/2013 on medical education.last_img read more

Suburban home provides plenty of space for dual living

first_imgThe lovely spa at 27 Muir St, Cannon Hill.The three-bedroom, two-bathroom Queensland colonial cottage has plenty of charm and original features, including hoop pine and hardwood timber floors, high VJ timber walls, sash windows and an original ornate enclosed front-entry veranda.Ms Whitsield said her favourite part of the home was the downstairs area, which opened up onto the landscaped backyard.More from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020She said the home had three decks, one at the front, one at the back and another leading to the garden. 27 Muir St, Cannon Hill.Simone Whitsield has made the decision to downsize from her beautiful character-filled oasis at Cannon Hill.Ms Whitsield has lived there for almost eight years and said the amenities in the area drew her to the suburb.“Being close to public transport and the CBD was important to me,” she said. 27 Muir St, Cannon Hill.Walk downstairs from the deck and you will be surprised by the enormous built-in Bali-style saltwater spa and huge main bedroom which is complete with its own media room, ensuite bathroom and study. This could be the perfect space for a luxurious parent’s retreat. The large backyard at 27 Muir St, Cannon Hill.The first level of the home has two bedrooms and one bathroom with a separate sitting/reading room and an open-plan lounge which leads on to a covered deck.There is also a kitchen with modern appliances. 27 Muir St, Cannon Hill.The spa would be the ideal place to relax and unwind after a hard day at work.Ms Whitsield said the upstairs of the home was original and built in 1906.She said the property would suit a family with teenage children or a professional couple.Ray White — Coorparoo selling agent Shawn Woolf said the home was only 6km from Brisbane’s CBD.last_img read more

Iceland’s MP Banki offloads pensions business in Lithuania

first_imgThe Bank of Lithuania has already approved the sale, and Invalda took over ownership at the beginning of the week.Ramunas Stankevicius, who helped set up the fund in 2007, stays on as chief executive, and former board member Jon Sigurdson was appointed chairman of the board at the pension fund.MP Banki had been in the Lithuanian market since 2007.It said it still saw “very strong foundations” for further growth at the pension fund in a “fairly young market”.Darius Sulnis, president at Invalda LT, agreed.“The development of our country, as well as the growth of society’s wealth, will increase investments in pension funds and other long-term saving products,” he said.As of the end of June, all 26 pension funds in Lithuania made positive returns, with an overall average of 4.1% for the first six months, compared with an average 4.3% for calendar 2013.Assets in the system climbed to just over €1bn last year.Invalda stated in its annual report for 2013 that it aimed to become one of the leading private equity, real estate, investment and pension fund management companies in the region.In 2008, the company entered the Latvian market to start an asset management and pension fund business.One year later, it sold its asset management subsidiary Finasta, which managed several pension funds, to Bank Snoras. Iceland’s MP Banki has sold its only pension fund in the Baltics to local investment manager Invalda LT.The fund manages €90m for 62,000 members and was sold for €3.3m.MP Pension Funds Baltics offers second and third-pillar pension funds.In a statement, MP Banki said it did not have a strategy to grow in the Baltics, and that there was “very limited synergy with other parts of our businesses”.last_img read more

Clark on brink of first title

first_img Clark, who finished seventh at London 2012, delivered a fine cross-country round aboard Fenyas Elegance to lead by 1.5 penalties from Frenchman Jean Teulere on Matelot du Val, while American Clark Montgomery lies third. “She tried her heart out,” said Clark, following her ride on the nine-year-old Irish-bred chestnut mare. “I just tried to ride the fences positively, and she’s a super jumper, really powerful.” The Eric Winter-designed course proved influential, and only Gemma Tattersall, the highest-placed British rider in fourth place on Arctic Soul, achieved the optimum time of 10 minutes 10 seconds. Bedfordshire-based Sarah Bullimore, leader after the dressage phase on Lilly Corinne, had a run-out at fence 21b, while Britain’s world number two William Fox-Pitt fell from Before Time before retiring his second horse Running Order. Fox-Pitt, though, leads the CIC three-star class for eight and nine-year-olds following a clear showjumping round on Fernhill Pimms, his current British Intermediate champion. He was also in third place with Freddie Mac after a clear round, but was then eliminated for contravening a governing body rule on the style of hind-leg boots allowed in a young-horse championship. “It is a real shame,” Fox-Pitt said. “I think they (judges) have been quite mean. “I was disqualified after my round, as was (Australian rider) Sam Griffiths. The sad thing is that once we had been pulled up on it, they checked everyone else’s boots before they went in.” Press Associationcenter_img Irish Olympian Aoife Clark will win her first CCI three-star title if she showjumps clear at the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials in Oxfordshire on Sunday.last_img read more