Global investment in wind and solar doubles that in gas, nuclear, and coal

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wall Street Journal:Global spending on renewable energy is outpacing investment in electricity from coal, natural gas and nuclear power plants, driven by falling costs of producing wind and solar power.More than half of the power-generating capacity added around the world in recent years has been in renewable sources such as wind and solar, according to the International Energy Agency.In 2016, the latest year for which data is available, about $297 billion was spent on renewables—more than twice the $143 billion spent on new nuclear, coal, gas and fuel oil power plants, according to the IEA. The Paris-based organization projects renewables will make up 56% of net generating capacity added through 2025.Once supported overwhelmingly by cash-back incentives, tax credits and other government incentives, wind- and solar-generation costs have fallen consistently for a decade, making renewable-power investment more competitive.Renewable costs have fallen so far in the past few years that “wind and solar now represent the lowest-cost option for generating electricity,” said Francis O’Sullivan, research director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Energy Initiative.Sustained government support in Europe and other developed economies spurred the development of renewable energy. But costs have fallen for other reasons. China invested heavily in a domestic solar-manufacturing industry, creating a glut of inexpensive solar panels. Innovation helped manufacturers build longer wind-turbine blades, creating machines able to generate substantially more power at a lower cost.Renewable-energy plants also face fewer challenges than traditional power plants. Nuclear-power plants have been troubled by mostly technical delays, while plants burning fossil fuels face regulatory uncertainties due to concerns about climate change. And pension funds, seeking long-term stable returns, have invested heavily in wind farms and solar parks, allowing developers to get cheaper financing.“It is just easier to get renewables built,” said Tony Clark, a former member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. “There is that much less opposition to it.”More ($): Global Investment in Wind and Solar Energy Is Outshining Fossil Fuels Global investment in wind and solar doubles that in gas, nuclear, and coallast_img read more

Doctor tests positive for COVID-19 after working in Bali’s Sanglah hospital

first_imgA resident doctor from the University of Airlangga has tested positive for COVID-19, a respiratory illness infecting tens of thousands of people worldwide, after working at Sanglah General Hospital, the main referral hospital for the disease in Bali.The doctor worked at a Sanglah Hospital in Denpasar between March 2 and 15. The doctor had been hospitalized at the Dr. Soetomo Regional General Hospital in Surabaya, East Java.Sanglah Hospital reported the death on March 9 of a 53-year-old British woman from COVID-19. However, Bali Health Agency head Ketut Suarjaya said it could not conclude whether the doctor contracted the illness from her. “We cannot make that conclusion,” Ketut told The Jakarta Post via text message on Friday. “We are currently conducting contact tracing.”COVID-19, which first emerged last December in Wuhan in Hubei province in China, has spread to several parts of Indonesia. The country had reported 369 confirmed cases on Friday, up by 60 cases from Thursday, according to the Health Ministry’s disease control and prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto.Bali recorded three new confirmed cases on Friday, bringing the total number of cases to four. The new cases comprise a French tourist, an Indonesian cruise ship crewmember who had just returned from coronavirus-hit Italy and a Bali resident who had just returned from Jakarta, the Indonesian epicenter of the outbreak, according to Yurianto. (dfr)Topics :last_img read more

Tipp’s Kervick misses out on a place in the final

first_imgKervick was one of the stand-out performers from the Irish squad during this morning’s session when he won his heat in style, but he narrowly missed-out on qualification this afternoon.With only the top-two from each semi-final progressing, Kervick finished in fourth place in a time of 46.96 seconds.Earlier this morning, Mark English won his heat in the 800 metres to advance to tomorrow’s semi-finals, where he’ll be joined by Declan Murray. Ciara Everard is also through to the 400 metres semi-finals as a fastest qualifier, but 60 metre hurdler, Ger O’Donnell is out.last_img

Unsolved mysteries: where’s the hair that Kadri ripped off Joe Thornton’s face

first_imgTORONTO — As the Sharks prepare for Wednesday’s showdown with the Toronto Maple Leafs in Canada, an unsolved mystery engulfs the team: what happened to the chunk of hair that Nazem Kadri ripped out of Joe Thornton’s beard?Is it being preserved in a fridge? Prepared for sale on eBay? Maintained for a future display at the Hockey Hall of Fame?After a full-scale probe, the whereabouts of the Thornton chunk continues to baffle investigators. Maybe Robert Mueller can look into it when he’s done …last_img

Nene announces tough measures in Medium Term Budget to revive SA economy

first_img23 October 2014At a time when South Africa is experiencing sluggish economic growth, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has announced a Medium Term Budget for 2014 which looks to generate growth and reduce poverty in the country.Presenting the medium term budget on Wednesday, 22 October, Nene said South Africa is going through a difficult time, with governments around the world facing difficult choices because the gap between what is required and what can be afforded.During the tabling of the 2014 Budget in February this year, South Africa expected the economy to grow by 2.7% in 2014, according to Nene. However, this has been revised to 1.4% with Treasury projecting that growth will reach 3% in 2017.Weak global environment“This downward revision is partly because of a weak global environment, including the slowdown in Europe, China and other emerging economies. But it also reflects obstacles to our own development: energy constraints, labour market disruptions, skills shortages, administrative shortcomings and difficulties in our industrial transformation,’ said Nene.In addition, South Africa is not making enough progress in raising incomes or reducing poverty. Nene said far too many people in the country are unemployed, deepening inequality and heightening vulnerability. “We import considerably more than we export,’ he said.Government is not collecting enough taxes and government’s debt continues to rise as a percentage of GDP. Nene said the Medium Term Budget seeks restore the balance to the nation’s finances, bolster investment and achieve better value for money in public expenditure.A change of course is needed for South Africa to grow, and this growth has to be aligned to the National Development Plan’s vision to build a more equal and prosperous society. Nene said government’s actions over the next five years to achieve this vision are set out in the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF). “It highlights the need for a compact between a capable developmental state, a thriving business sector and strong civil society. It identifies employment, education and enhancing the capacity of the state as central policy objectives,’ he said.Medium Term Strategic FrameworkThe MTSF includes programmes aimed at improving South Africa’s competitiveness, particularly in new areas such as oil and gas development, renewable energy and green technology. The framework also recognises the need to support job creation through sector-based interventions, employment incentives, the expanded public works programme and the Jobs Fund.However, there are structural changes that need to be implemented, according to Nene. These shifts should focus on manufacturing, agriculture, the energy sector, mining, transport and communication, and the financial sector.“These are areas of structural transformation, Honourable Speaker, that involve investment and change across the economy as a whole, bringing together the public and private sectors, civil society and local initiatives.2014/15Adjustments AppropriationNene said Treasury has set out the Adjustments Appropriation for 2014/15, and the additional allocations for unforeseeable and unavoidable expenditure include:R157 million on the Cooperative Governance vote to repair infrastructure damaged by disasters, and R35 million for emergency water and sanitation interventionsR32.6 million for the Department of Health for Ebola control and prevention measures, including support for affected countries andR350 million for International Relations and Cooperation to compensate for the depreciation of the Rand.“The Adjustments Appropriation also includes R620 million for the digital broadcast migration programme, as indicated in the February budget speech,’ said Nene.Adding, Nene said after taking into account the unallocated reserve, declared savings and projected underspending, total expenditure in 2014/15 will be about R6 billion less than the February estimate.Revised revenue estimates“The revised revenue estimate is R956 billion, leaving a deficit on the main budget of R180 billion. Surpluses of the social security funds, provinces and public entities are estimated at R27 billion. This brings the consolidated budget deficit to R153 billion, or 4.1% of GDP, which is in line with the February budget estimate.’Turning to government spending, Nene said government has reached that point where it has to implement drastic measures. In this regard, he said fiscal consolidation can no longer be postponed.Nene said in order to reduce the budget deficit from 4.1% this year to 2.5% over the next three years, the expenditure ceiling will be lowered by R10 billion in 2015/16 and R15 billion in 2016/17.To effect the lower ceiling, national government will:Freeze budgets of non-essential goods and services at 2014/15 levelsWithdraw funding for posts that have been vacant for some time andReduce the rate of growth of transfers to public entities, particularly those with cash reserves.Nene said across national departments, planned expenditure on travel and subsistence, conference venues and catering has been cut. “Advertising and communications budgets have been reduced. Allocations for consultant services have been capped. These steps will contribute savings of about R1.3 billion over the next two years,’ he said.Revenue divisionOn division of revenue, Nene said Treasury proposes a national appropriation of R1.2 trillion in 2015/16 , rising to R1.3 trillion in 2016/17.“The proposed division of revenue allocates 48 per cent to national departments, 43 per cent to provinces and 9 percent to local government over the MTEF period. Allocations to national departments will total R495 billion in the current year and will increase to R585 billion in 2017/18,’ said Nene.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Three Creative Responses to a Shrinking Economy

first_imgBy Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, [email protected] military families and the professionals who serve them have found themselves living on less real (after inflation) income in recent years. At the same time, household expenses such as rent, food, and out-of-pocket health care costs, have continued to rise. In addition, much has been written about shrinking economies in countries such as Greece and Japan and the decreasing middle class population in the United States.When economies shrink or income levels get smaller, spending generally decreases. People lose jobs or their wages decrease or remain stagnant. This, in turn, results in household spending cutbacks. People buy less, eat out less, buy less expensive items, and look for other ways to economize.The “official” measurement of economic growth (or lack thereof) is the gross domestic product or GDP, which is calculated on an annual and quarterly basis. Used officially since 1944, GDP measures the monetary value of goods and services produced within a country. It is tracked over time to measure economic growth or decline and to determine if a recession is occurring. For example, a government report might say “GDP grew by 2.4% in 2015.”There are also informal ways to measure economic growth, including studying current retailing trends and stories about individual and household responses to a shrinking economy. These, too, provide valuable insights into spending habits. At the 2016 meeting of the Family Economics/Resource Management Association (FERMA), the following three strategies that U.S. consumers have adopted to live in a shrinking economy were described:FreeganismAt the FERMA conference, freeganism was loosely defined as the practice of reclaiming food and other items (e.g., clothing, home furnishings, etc.) that have been discarded. This movement originally started in the 1960s with discarded food and is a mash of the words “free” and “vegan.” Not only does freeganism save people money, but it is environmentally friendly and keeps usable items out of landfills. The Youtube video, Freeganism: Living Off Trash, explains the basic tenants of freeganism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCyPv0j4bPw.The description of the video states They live for free. They eat for free. Or as close to free as they can manage. They’re more than frugal; they’re freegans. With recession woes inspiring more people to look for meaning outside the mall, freeganism is gaining ground. Methods used by freegans to obtain items at no cost include taking items set outside by others for trash pick-up, pulling items out of trash receptacles (a.k.a, “dumpster diving”), re-using family hand-me-down items, and participating in community Freecycle Network programs where people donate and receive items for free in their local community (see https://www.freecycle.org/).Tiny HousesPhoto by Jon Callas. CC BY 2.0The tiny house movement has been profiled on several reality television shows. Instead of buying a typical home that averages around 2,600 square feet, people choose to live a simpler lifestyle with fewer possessions in homes that measure 100 to 500 square feet. Home purchase costs are reduced and so are costs for utilities, property taxes, and maintenance. Obviously, living and storage space are greatly reduced also, which may require downsizing. The 30-Day Downsizing Challenge is one strategy to do this. You start by donating or gifting one item on Day 1, two items on Day 2, three items on Day 3, etc. By the end of Day 30, you will have removed 465 items from your possession.MinimalismMinimalism is just what the name implies: the practice of simple, frugal living with fewer material items and less clutter. Some have even suggested a maximum number of personal possessions, such as 100 or 200 items. For clips from a 2016 documentary film about minimalism, see http://www.theminimalists.com/five-clips/. For an article that explains the concept, see http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/07/living-with-less/374544/.last_img read more

Review: ERA’s Simple-to-Use Audio Repair Plug-ins

first_imgAudio repair tools are always in demand. The ERA 4 Bundle audio repair plug-ins claim to be simple and fast. So, let’s put them to the test.More often than not, it seems like it’s impossible to fix bad audio in post. However, more and more audio repair tools are coming to the market, especially geared toward filmmakers.Accusonus has created a set of audio repair tools called the ERA Bundle. Accusonus describes the tools as “a collection of single knob, audio cleaning plug-ins, that are incredibly fast and easy to use.”The audio tools come in two collections: the ERA 4 Bundle Standard priced at $149 and the ERA 4 Bundle Pro priced at $499.How the ERA Audio Plug-ins WorkThe ERA plug-ins work with software you’re probably already using as a filmmaker. This includes non-linear editors like: Premiere Pro, Resolve, Final Cut Pro, Avid, and more. They also work with digital audio workstations like: Audition, Pro Tools, and Audacity.I decided to test out the ERA plug-ins with Premiere Pro. After you download and install the ERA plug-ins, to enable them in Premiere Pro, navigate to the Audio section under Preferences. From there, simply select Audio Plug-in Manager and select Scan for Plug-ins. Then, you can apply them like any other audio effects available in Premiere Pro.Simplicity of the ToolsThe appeal of the ERA plug-ins is that they’re simple, single knob audio tools with professional results. This can be helpful for filmmakers (or tutorial makers) that frequently require clean audio, but may not be versed in the fine settings of a dedicated audio program. Each plugin interface has a clean look with basic features. The ERA 4 Bundle Pro has two additional plug-ins, allowing users to dive deeper into the audio settings, if needed.Let’s take a look at each of the ERA 4 plug-ins.Noise RemoverThe ERA Noise Remover is definitely one of the highlight tools. I tested it on some voiceover, with an air-conditioner roaring in background.It was very simple to use — just drag and drop — then I cranked the main processing dial up to sixty-two percent. I was quite satisfied with the final audio result. Typically, in order to do noise removal like this, it’d require round-tripping the audio into Adobe Audition, then back to Premiere Pro. There’s no doubt that the ERA Noise Remover provided faster results.On some occasions, I’d encounter a bit of a digitized sound on the voiceover when using the ERA Noise Remover. This would disappear if I increased the processing to around 60-70 percent. That seemed to be the ideal processing range for the audio I tested.Reverb RemoverIt can be difficult to identify reverb on location because our ears easily habituate and filter out the excess sound — only to later discover the produced reverb during the editing process. The ERA Reverb Remover works well at rounding off that excess sound.All I did here was drag and drop the Reverb Remover to my audio clip, and then turn the processing up to fifty-seven percent. I felt that the end audio result was definitely usable, despite the extreme reverb conditions.De-EsserThe ERA De-Esser helps smooth out audio problems caused by excessive sibilant consonants. Usually from words that contain “s,” “z,” “ch,” “j,” and “sh.”I got the best results with De-Esser when I set the processing mode to Broad and checked on the Intense processing. In some cases, the De-Esser will add a more rounded sound quality to all of your audio. Be mindful of that because the goal is to target the problematic areas, not round-off the entire voiceover.Plosive RemoverThe Plosive Remover plug-in works in a similar fashion to the De-Esser. However, the Plosive Remover targets words that have a “pop” sound, and might result in the speaker’s breath impacting the microphone. (This often occurs if you aren’t using a pop filter or wind shield with your microphone.) This results in an unwanted “thump” sound that can be distracting.I felt that the Plosive Remover plug-in did its job. It’d be ideal for use on podcasts and tutorial narration videos.Voice LevelerThe ERA Voice Leveler was the only plug-in I probably wouldn’t ever find myself using. I could see it being useful for journalists recording interview audio on-location. But, as a filmmaker, the automatic gain adjustments sounded too synthetic for my liking. However, I try not to use any automatic voice leveling effects, so I’m probably not the target audience for this particular plug-in. De-ClipperThe ERA De-Clipper plug-in has to be heard to be believed. For me, this is by far the most valuable plug-in. It can repair clipped audio that’d otherwise be unusable.(Warning: the audio is louder on this sample.)De-Clipper effectively rounds off the clipped portions of the audio, as if the clipping never occurred. This plug-in could be a lifesaver in an interview situation if you discovered clipped audio after the fact.De-Esser ProThe De-Esser Pro plug-in is only available in the ERA 4 Bundle Pro. It expands on the De-Esser plug-in, with more options and some useful presets.In addition to the main Processing dial, you also have a slider for Focus and Shaping. I got great results when I softened the Shaping settings. Compared to the standard De-Esser, I preferred the additional options offered by the De-Esser Pro plug-in.ERA-DThe ERA-D plug-in is also only available with the ERA 4 Bundle Pro. The ERA-D plug-in combines the noise remover and the reverb remover into one effective solution. It also includes quite a few more settings to customize, as well as presets.The level of customization is greatly increased with the ERA-D plug-in, which makes it appealing to audiophiles who prefer the ability to fine-tune their mix.ConclusionAfter using the plug-ins with Premiere Pro, I’d highly recommend both the ERA 4 Bundle Standard and the ERA 4 Bundle Pro. The simplicity of the plug-ins, and the amount of time you save during edits, is well worth it. The stand out plug-ins (for me) were the Noise Remover, the Reverb Remover, and the De-Clipper. Any one of these could salvage a problematic audio situation.I’d recommend the ERA 4 Bundle Standard to indie filmmakers and YouTubers looking for a cost-effective solution. The standard bundle has all of the core audio repair tools you’ll need. And, if you work for a studio that can easily afford a professional package, pick up the ERA 4 Bundle Pro.Looking for more audio editing tips? Check these out.The Complete Video Editor’s Guide to Working with MusicCreative Ways You Can Use Music Loops in Your VideosWAV vs. MP3: Why You Need Hi-Res Audio for Your VideoDownload, Prep, and Import Song Stems to Your Favorite NLEHow Video Editors Can Increase Production Value Using Song Stemslast_img read more

Tiger Woods Claws Way Back At Congressional

Tiger Woods – For the second consecutive day, Congressional’s Blue course played hard and fast in sweltering heat. But for Tiger Woods, the setup was slightly more conducive for scoring today. And so, he did, firing a 3-under-par 68 to move his way into the Top 10 with many golfers still on the course.Unknowns Jimmy Walker and Brendo de Jonge shared the lead at 5-under.“If the (conditions) stay like this, I don’t see the lead going anywhere,” Woods said. “But it was good today. I think the tour staff did a great job of moving some of the tees up, and we had corner pins or front pins. It was fair. Today I thought you could be a little more aggressive than yesterday.”Woods started his second round on Congressional’s long and grueling back nine that, on Thursday, played more than a shot over par. After routine pars over the first four holes on the back, Woods found the rough off the tee at the par-4 14th hole and would have to get up and down for par from 76 yards. He found the rough again at the 15th and again hit a nice spinning pitch from 93 yards that he was able to nestle close to the hole for par.Then at the 16th, he displayed some Tiger magic with a 48-foot putt eagle to get to 1 under par for the tournament.“That was actually a tricky putt because it was a double-breaking putt up that hill,” Woods said. “It’s hard left and then just want to feed back a couple of balls to the right, and I was waiting for it to feed back because it was hanging, hanging, hanging, and then it just fell right in.”After making the turn at 1 under par for the day, the 36-year-old, 14-time major winner found the rough again with a fairway metal off the tee at par-4 first hole. From there, he made his first bogey of the day. He made his first birdie on the round at the par-4 fifth hole. From there, he made another birdie at 8 and a par at the ninth to finish his round.“Today I think I got more out of my round than I did yesterday,” Woods said. “On a golf course like this, you’re not going to hit it perfect all day. It’s just too difficult. I had to make some saves, and I made two key saves there at 14 and 15.” read more