How Puerto Rico Can Rebuild Its Electricity System FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Politico:Months after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, most of the island’s population is still without power, an unprecedented outcome for a territory in the world’s most advanced nation. The destruction is so great that Puerto Rico effectively needs to rebuild its electric power system from the ground up, an overhaul that will cost billions of dollars.The storm’s devastation is tragic, but it also provides a rare chance to reimagine the Puerto Rican power system, currently so expensive and unreliable that it has become a major obstacle to the island’s economic growth. Instead of rebuilding its current system, based heavily on outdated oil-burning plants, Puerto Rico should take advantage of the island’s geographic position, recent technological advancements and billions of dollars in federal funding to rebuild its future around renewable energy. Such an overhaul would deliver cheap, reliable energy to Puerto Rico’s residents and businesses for a generation. Puerto Rico should not pass up this opportunity.Until the system’s failure during Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico obtained approximately 48 percent of its electric power from oil-fired power stations, 33 percent from natural gas, 17 percent from coal and the balance, about 2 percent, from wind and sun. Burning oil is one of the most expensive ways to generate electricity, costing 15 to 20 cents per kilowatt hour. It’s so expensive that no other state or territory uses oil as its main source of power. Consequently, Puerto Rico’s electricity prices are a whopping 80 percent to 100 percent higher than those of the rest of the country, which imposes extra costs on businesses and consumers, curtailing growth on the island.The island could dramatically reduce its electricity costs by switching its power sources from oil to solar and wind. In Puerto Rico, the sun shines an average of 7.44 hours per day and the trade winds are plentiful, making the island perfectly situated to obtain its energy from renewables and cutting electricity costs by up to 80 percent. In the Caribbean, wind and solar power are the least expensive ways of generating electricity, costing as little as 3 to 5 cents a kilowatt hour. Hawaii used to be in the same position as Puerto Rico, generating expensive electricity from oil, but it recently invested in an all-renewable system, which is set to be completed in 2045.The benefits would touch every corner of the island. Lower energy costs would cut power bills for Puerto Rico’s citizens, who are some of the poorest people in the U.S., and give them extra money to spend on restaurants and retail outlets. It would also attract more businesses to the island, where stratospherically costly and unreliable power supplies are a major disincentive to economic development. Clean air would also improve the island as a tourist destination, providing another boost to its struggling economy.Solar power could also increase the resilience of power supplies in Puerto Rico. Rooftop and land arrays near users would minimize the need for long-range power lines, which are inevitably damaged in the Caribbean’s frequent storms. Short low-voltage power lines can even be buried underground, making them immune to storm damage. Because solar and wind power must be stored for use when neither is available, storage capacity is needed to smooth out power fluctuations, an argument that critics often use against renewables. But recent technological improvements have enabled cheap, easy storage of solar and wind power, an approach now being used in Hawaii. California is also following this model as it pushes hard toward an energy system dominated by renewable power. Tesla recently supplied the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery to South Australia to smooth out its intermittent wind power, and it has publicly offered to do the same for Puerto Rico.Critics argue that renewable energy is very capital-intensive relative to fossil fuels, imposing huge upfront costs on states and territories. But these capital costs are manageable since wind and solar power have no subsequent fuel or operating costs. Building a solar or wind power station is like prepaying your electric bills for the next quarter-century: You pay everything upfront and then enjoy a financial respite for the life of the plant. Any extra capital costs will be recouped from fuel savings.In addition, Puerto Rico has a ready source of funds to rebuild its power system: the federal government. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal agencies are likely to distribute billions of dollars of aid to the island in response to the hurricanes. If the funding is properly structured, Puerto Rico could invest that money in renewables, modernizing its failing power system without imposing huge costs on the cash-strapped island, which, due to its huge debt levels, is unlikely to be able to raise the necessary capital in financial markets.A smart administration could even leverage the resources of the federal government to jump-start this energy transformation, providing Puerto Rico with a grant or loan to finance the new power system. On November 28, Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced a bill to do just that, calling it a “Marshall Plan” for Puerto Rico. If congressional Republicans reject his proposal, they could instead encourage independent power producers to set up new power stations by providing favorable tax treatment for their earnings, such as a tax exemption for the first 10 years.The entire cost of the project would be around $10 billion, a large amount but relatively small compared with the $100 billion losses from Hurricane Maria. After all, Puerto Rico must spend billions of dollars to replace its destroyed power system anyway. Investing in renewables would not only provide affordable power to Puerto Rico but also provide security against future storms that inevitably, and increasingly, batter the islands and would make the island a model for successful next-generation technologies.More: How to fix Puerto Rico’s power system
If you’re a country music fan, you might recall the 1995 Tim McGraw hit “I like It, I Love It.” The repeated refrain goes on to say “… but I like it, I love it, I want some more of it.” How does this apply to your brand? In many ways.If your consumers like your brand, that’s a good thing. For a start. If consumers like your brand, there’s a pretty good chance they might come back again.If your consumers love your brand, that’s even better. But you’re just getting the engine started. If consumers love your brand, there’s a pretty good chance they will not only come back to you again but also choose you over your many competitors.If your consumers want some more of your brand, you’ve struck branding gold. If consumers want some more of your brand, they’re much more likely to be thoroughly dedicated to it, saturated with its messages and prone to spreading the good word about it to their friends and family. This is the pinnacle for which your brand should aspire. continue reading » 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
German state and federal representatives have suggested that tenders should be launched by 2023 in order for Germany to reach its 20GW by 2030 offshore wind target.At a meeting held in Hannover, Lower Saxony’s Minister for Environment, Energy, Building, and Climate Protection Olaf Lies said that “the lid has been lifted” on offshore wind and tenders need to be published by 2023 in order for the wind farms to enter the construction phase from 2027.The Lower Saxony minister added that the 20GW expansion would require 500 offshore wind turbines to be installed, while from 2026 an annual expansion of 2GW would be possible.“The climate package is ambitious. We want to make society fit for a future with significantly less CO2. That is why we will draw up an offshore action plan with the aim of achieving 20 gigawatts of offshore wind energy in the North and Baltic Seas by 2030,” said Andreas Feicht, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.Lies promised to solve all the legal work regarding the target in the coming months and emphasized that the grid expansion still needs to be addressed.In that respect, TenneT stated that it will support the ambitious plan with the appropriate grid expansion, but the authorities need to offer planning security.State Secretary Feicht said that in November a conference will be held with federal states to formulate specific tasks and guidelines for the network expansion.As reported, last year a group of economic and energy ministers, senators of five northern German states, representatives of the coastal cities and the industry signed the Cuxhaven Appeal 2.0 calling for an expansion goal of at least 20GW instead of 15GW of offshore wind in the North and Baltic Seas by 2030.The German Climate Cabinet recently agreed to increase the country’s target.
For the first few weeks of the season, it seemed that nobody could figure out Katie Hnatyk. The junior outfielder was hitting everything that opponents could throw at her. Through the Badgers’ first 13 games, Hnatyk had already slugged eight home runs, and her batting average was hovering right around the .625 mark. She was slugging somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.200 and systematically destroying any and all who dared to challenge her at the dish.But lately, teams have found a way to successfully limit the damage that Hnatyk has been able to inflict. Over Wisconsin’s last 19 games, Hnatyk has amassed three more home runs, but with each one, it gets harder and harder to crack another.Is this due to better scouting by UW’s opponents? Perhaps. But the strategy that many teams are now employing has nothing at all to do with uncovering whatever weaknesses Hnatyk may or may not have at the plate, because the only thing scouting has revealed to coaches is that bad things happen when you pitch to Katie Hnatyk. So what pre-game instructions do coaches give their hurlers nowadays? Just don’t pitch to her.Hnatyk has been walked four times in Wisconsin’s last four games, with three of them being intentional, frequently with runners on base. For the rest of the season, expect Hnatyk to receive the “Barry Bonds” treatment more often than not.Since the first few games of the spring, Hnatyk’s batting average has predictably declined from an astronomical .625 to a still-impressive .370. Her average still leads the team, and her 10 homers and .771 slugging percentage are both good for fourth in the Big Ten. But from here on out, every pitcher she faces is going to be throwing all kinds of junk at her to try and keep her out of the headlines.Although good pitches are becoming an increasingly rare sight during Hnatyk at-bats, when someone does make a mistake over the plate, Hnatyk is still quick to make her pay. Hnatyk went 0-for-1 with two walks in Wisconsin’s loss yesterday in Game 1 of their doubleheader, but when given a chance to hit in the nightcap, she went 2-for-3 with two singles and an RBI.As more and more teams take similar approaches in efforts to neutralize the offensive production of power hitters such as Hnatyk, she says that just about the worst thing she could do is start to get anxious at the plate, or become frustrated when rivals pitch around her.”I just have to learn to be a little bit more selective and more patient,” Hnatyk said. “But if I do draw the walk, it gets me excited because I know my teammates can hit me in.”So if they want to put me on, good for them.”And if Hnatyk is able to maintain this approach through the remainder of the season, offensive production is inevitable.
A prosecutor on Wednesday laid out the volatile moments leading up to Todd Marjama Jr. fatally shooting his wife at their home in Five Corners.Marjama — who at the time was dating and living with another woman — was frustrated that his wife, Amanda Marjama, had refused to sign divorce papers. He was obsessed over her talking to another man and enraged to find out that man had been over at the house, Deputy Prosecutor Luka Vitasovic said during closing arguments in Todd Marjama’s murder trial.Marjama, 29, retrieved a handgun, made sure it was loaded, cocked the hammer and pointed it at his head. He threatened to kill himself if his wife didn’t tell the truth.“It’s not just a scare tactic,” Vitasovic said, arguing that Marjama was manipulating his wife.When that didn’t work, he followed her to the master bedroom’s bathroom, where she had locked herself inside, Vitasovic said, and threatened to break down the door.Marjama then intentionally shot through the palm of his left hand and through the closed bathroom door, knowing his wife was on the other side, Vitasovic argued.