German Utility Looks to Turn Excess Wind Into Clean Methane FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:German utility Uniper launched a pilot scheme at its Falkenhagen site on Wednesday to produce methane gas from wind power as the country seeks wider uses for renewable energy.The Falkenhagen plant, set up five years ago in Germany’s wind-swept Brandenburg state, already produces green hydrogen by running wind power through water to split it into oxygen and hydrogen. Methane gas would provide a higher quality material with more diversified uses.“This is an important step for a successful energy transition,” Uniper said in a statement after the company opened a new facility at the site for the scheme. “Green methane, in contrast to green hydrogen, can be used in a wider variety of ways.”Germany is looking at new ways to use and store renewable energy at a number of power-to-gas sites as a boom in wind and solar power in the country has led to excess production. Billions of euros have also been spent building up a natural gas infrastructure, which the government wants to use to store carbon-free energy rather than retiring it once renewables largely replace coal, nuclear power and gas by the middle of the century under the government’s energy policy.Under the two-year pilot scheme, the company will set out to produce green methane by using carbon dioxide from a bio-ethanol plant and mixing it with the hydrogen, creating a gas-like substance. If Uniper engineers can show the technology is viable, they hope that Germany can lead the way in providing the renewables sector with an entirely new raw material.More: Germany’s Uniper Makes Head Start In Converting Wind Power To Gas
Four of us are leaning against our bikes, and Gike (like bike but with a “G”) is worried about the water levels in the culverts running below I-75. At some point during the ride ahead, we’ll have to cross the eight-lane interstate on the north side of downtown. The plan is to ride the entire loop of the proposed Beltline trail around the city. To stick to the route, we can either go over the interstate, like a live version of Frogger, hopping between the traffic, or we can go subterranean and ride through a massive drainage culvert.“It hasn’t rained in a couple of days. We might be okay.” This is Eric Nicoletti, the “mastermind” behind today’s ride and a key member of Faster Mustache, a group of Atlanta cyclists with an impressive race program and group ride portfolio. For a while, they put on the insanely cool Faster Mustache 24—a 24-hour road race that had bikers pinning laps through downtown Atlanta. Recently, certain members have been riding exploratory loops of the proposed BeltLine Loop, a massive alternative transportation project that will turn former rail lines into a 33-mile paved multi-use trail around Atlanta.It’s one of the largest urban redevelopment projects in the country, but it’s a work-in-progress, with completed sections running into unfinished wastelands of abandoned train tracks. The trail will connect disjointed neighborhoods in this car-centric city, changing everything in Atlanta for cyclists when it’s completed.But Faster Mustache isn’t waiting. They pedal cross bikes on the proposed path over terrain that varies from smooth greenway to dilapidated rail lines. I’ve heard stories of the bikers encountering wild dogs and drug deals and mounds of coal ash as they pedal through the city. It’s a sketchy full-day ride that takes Faster Mustache from posh digs, past gorgeous graffiti, to questionable neighborhoods where everyone prays they don’t get a flat. They do this just because.We start by hitting a set of hobo trails under a power line hub that has been improved by a local biker. The singletrack twists through ivy, over logs, broken glass, roofing tiles, and a concrete foundation of sorts. It’s fun, slow, techy riding in the backyard of what Eric tells me is, “the most legit housing project in the city.”A cop car drives by and I get worried he’s going to hassle us. Nobody else is concerned. Wes, a bigger guy who says he’s too fat to climb hills says bikers in Atlanta are perfectly fine with riding renegade trails. “Nobody’s gonna care about us riding dirt, and you need to ride them today, because they might be gone tomorrow.”We head down to a proper section of the Beltline, where the signage is in place, but the path is just a vein of singletrack running along old train tracks. The railroad ties are spaced just close enough to ride, but just far enough apart to make the riding miserable. We spook the hell out of a couple of graffiti artists working under a massive underpass. The “trail” ends at a chain link fence, which we have to hop, tossing our bikes over one at a time.Throughout the day, we move from new townhome communities with their own wine shops to neighborhoods where six white guys riding bikes in spandex may as well be the circus coming to town. Gike has a little girl’s bell on his handlebars that he dings whenever we pass someone. Little kids get on their bikes and try to race us as we pass by their houses. Everyone smiles and waves.Eric tells me Atlanta has one of the most dramatic income gaps in the country, and you can see that gap first hand on this ride, moving directly from posh neighborhoods to housing projects where cars sit on the street without wheels.Eric is like a kid, always looking for the most fun line in any given situation. He brought two things on the ride with him—beef jerky and gummy bears. He uses a camo beer coozie for a wallet and phone protector. At one point, he stops, looks at Google maps on his phone, and says, “We might have to do a little bushwhacking up here.”Next thing I know, we’re shouldering our bikes through a field of briars and old mattresses. We duck through a hole in a fence and stand on the edge of a massive quarry with deep, blue water where they filmed some scenes during the first season of The Walking Dead. Eventually, Eric rides into an office complex, hops a fence and scrambles down to a sewer drainage. He gives us a thumbs up and says, “Yep, this is the right place.”Wes looks at me: “The right place for what?”We follow Eric into the concrete culvert, which turns pitch black as soon as we’re 20 feet into the tunnel. Turns out, the water isn’t too deep, so we can actually pedal our bikes, staying hunched over so we don’t scrape our helmets on the ceiling. Eric has moved his rear blinking light to his handlebars, so every couple of seconds, we get eerie red flashes of what lies ahead intercut with complete darkness.After several hundred yards of underground mountain biking, we can see daylight at the other end and pedal out and into a concrete canal, then push our bikes through a high-end condo development and pedal directly onto a beautifully finished portion of the Beltline that leads to Piedmont Park. Kids are learning to play baseball, hipsters are throwing the Frisbee—it’s such an odd juxtaposition from the grit of the culvert and the poverty from other sections of the unfinished trail.I’m having a hard time reconciling the abandoned, crumbling projects where we started to this vibrant sea of families and joggers. Eric jokes that if we did the ride in reverse, moving from the finished portion near opulent Piedmont Park to the wasteland of abandoned train tracks and graffiti, it would’ve been a commentary on the decline of civilization. Instead, it plays out like a ride into the future. We get our happy ending.
continue reading » A former CEO stole more than $600,000 from his Connecticut credit union to pay for a restaurant’s operating costs where he was moonlighting as a bookkeeper.James Farrell, 55, of East Haven, Conn. pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Connecticut.Farrell served as the president/CEO of the $20.1 million New Haven County Credit Union from 1992 to June 2015. He was then retained by NHCCU’s board of directors to assist the new CEO until March 2016.From 2010 until 2016, Farrell also provided financial and bookkeeping services to The Rib House, an East Haven restaurant, which maintained a business account at NHCCU. Farrell was responsible for depositing cash sales and paying invoices for the restaurant. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
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“With the current COVID-19 situation, we can all agree that everything can change in the blink of an eye. If you want to do something for your family or your loved ones, insurance is one of the options,” he added.With more than 3 million people laid off during the pandemic as of June 2, according to the government’s data, as well as more than 55,000 recorded COVID-19 cases as of Monday, the pandemic has brought uncertainty to people’s lives, while insurance penetration in the country remained stagnant at 3 percent.Since the pandemic, a quarter of the Indonesian people feel anxious about their health, while 35 percent want to have health insurance, according to 2020 study by data analytics firms Nielsen, Kantar and consulting firm MarkPlus.Philip suggested people spend at most 10 percent of their monthly income for insurance, but he acknowledged that the general lack of willingness to spend on insurance was driven by people’s tendency to sacrifice long-term protection for short-term rewards. Indonesians have become more interested in insurance to mitigate uncertainty regarding their health and personal finances brought about by the pandemic, yet insurance penetration is still low in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, financial planners and insurers have said.For 25-year-old marketing officer Mika (not their true name), allocating part of the monthly income for insurance premiums was a problem. Mika spent most of their monthly income of Rp 6.5 million (US$455) on food, Mika said to The Jakarta Post.“This is [the same for] everyone, basically,” Philip Mulyana, an independent financial advisor, said during the Post’s Jakpost Up Close webinar series titled “How to navigate insurance during a pandemic” on Monday. Indonesia’s insurance penetration relative to gross domestic product (GDP) remains low. According to the latest data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Indonesia’s insurance spending in 2018 was only 1.79 percent of the country’s GDP, lower than in neighboring Malaysia’s, where it was 4.4 percent, and much lower than the average insurance spending in OECD member countries, where it was 8.92 percent of GDP.The growth of insurance spending in the country has also been relatively low. Between 2011 and 2018, Indonesian spending on insurance only grew by 0.16 percentage points from 1.63 percent of GDP in 2011. The insurance growth in Singapore, on the other hand, grew by 2.66 percentage points between 2011 and 2017 to 9.02 percent of the country’s GDP. Karin Zulkarnaen, chief marketing officer of insurance firm Allianz Life Indonesia, stated that another factor hampering insurance growth in the country was the public view of insurance products as intangible items.“You can’t share insurance products on social media,” Karin said, unlike other experiential-based spending, such as lifestyle, traveling, even expensive designer bags that many young people were gravitating to, Karin observed. Understanding the need for protection amid the pandemic, Karin suggested for people to decide how much they could spend on insurance and find the maximum protection with what they could afford, adding that there were many insurance products customers could choose from. Allianz has updated its policy to include a “no-waiting period” for new customers looking for COVID-19 treatments. It has also included an additional 50 percent of the basic sum insured or a maximum Rp 250 million for death benefit due to the coronavirus, Allianz Life Indonesia country manager and president director Joos Louwerier explained during the webinar.After the pandemic, insurance penetration is projected to continue to grow. The health and medical insurance market in Indonesia is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7 percent between 2019 and 2024, comprising social security schemes and private insurance providers in ratio of 2:3, Market Insights Report says. “Insurance will rise as a favorite financial platform, especially after the COVID-19 outbreak,” Ahmad Nasrullah, the Financial Services Authority’s (OJK) head of nonbank financial institutions supervision, said during the webinar. He cited consultancy McKinsey and Company data on China’s consumer spending, which saw a growth in health insurance sales by 17 percent in the first quarter of 2020 from the same period last year.“People started to buy insurance products as part of risk mitigation for the future,” Ahmad noted.Topics :
NETHERLANDS Railways has announced plans to run additional fast passenger services from summer 1998 on routes where parallel roads are subject to acute traffic congestion. Within the Amsterdam – Rotterdam – Den Haag conurbation known as the Randstad, six to seven extra trains will operate each hour, giving a basic service of at least four trains per hour on routes to Amersfoort, Eindhoven and Arnhem. The lines to Schiedam, Zoetermeer, Gouda, Worden and Hilversum will be served by fast trains every 30min.The new services will run all day and at weekends; NS hopes to attract an extra 50000 passengers a day. The limited-stop trains will be accommodated by withdrawing lightly-used stopping services, prompting independent operator Lovers Rail to renew a request for paths for its own proposed Randstad Express service. This proposal was turned down by infrastructure company Railned last year on capacity grounds (RG 9.97 p510). oNS Reizigers and regional bus company Oostnet are to form a joint venture known as IGO+ which will operate the Zutphen – Winterswijk and Doetinchem – Winterswijk secondary routes from 1999 (RG 3.97 p133). It is hoped that the use of lightweight diesel railcars and one-person crews will help reduce operating costs down to the level where 50% are met by ticket receipts.
In its report for the previous year, the investment manager had said exclusions and the associated re-weighting had detracted 1.17 percentage points from performance since 2016.Norway’s Ministry of Finance first issued guidelines for the observation and exclusion of companies from the NOK7.8trn (€856bn) sovereign wealth fund in November 2004. The guidelines involved one set of criteria relating to specific product types, such as tobacco and weapons, and another based on corporate behaviour that risked, for example, human rights violations, environmental damage, and gross corruption.The first set was broadened to include coal last year, and the second set widened to include greenhouse-gas emissions.In December, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System decided to remain out of tobacco investments, despite a study from one of its consultants that showed the ban had cost it $3bn (€2.8bn) in lost returns between 2001 and 2014. Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) missed out on an additional 1.1% gain on its equity portfolio over the past 11 years through excluding stocks on ethical grounds, according to the fund’s manager Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM).In its 2016 return and risk report, NBIM said in the context of its ethical investment: “Over the last eleven years, the equity benchmark index has returned 1.1 percentage points less than an index which is unadjusted at constituent level.”Between 2006 and 2016, product-based exclusions – such as bans on tobacco and weapons manufacturers – reduced the return on the equity index by close to 1.9 percentage points, NBIM said in the report.“This effect has to some extent been mitigated by the positive contribution of the conduct-based exclusions, primarily the environmentally based exclusions of mining companies,” the report said. Other exclusion criteria, meanwhile, had only a minor effect on the return on the benchmark index, NBIM said.
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Sunderland goalkeeper Keiren Westwood could yet play again this season after his shoulder injury proved not to be as serious as first thought. However, the Uruguayan said on Thursday: “He has had the operation. Everything went all right, he is fine, so he starts his recovery next week. “It’s difficult to put a time on it because in the end, it was better than we thought. “Initially when they went in and they checked, it was not as bad as they thought, so it will probably be shorter, but it’s difficult to say a time.” Summer signing Vito Mannone has made the most of Westwood’s absence, starting the club’s last 15 games since taking over from the Irishman during the 1-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at Hull on November 2. Indeed, such has been the former Arsenal keeper’s form for the Black Cats that Manchester United have been credited with an interest in signing him to provide back-up to David de Gea. Coincidentally, reports of United’s interest started to circulate as Sunderland were linked with a move for Millwall’s David Forde, the man who has replaced Westwood as the Republic’s number one, with the former Coventry man’s current contract due to expire during the summer. Meanwhile, Sunderland appear to be closing in on the loan signing of central defender Santiago Vergini. Press Association Sport understands that a deal has been agreed for the 25-year-old Argentinian, who currently plays for Estudiantes. Vergini is expected to join the Black Cats, currently battling to avoid relegation from the Barclays Premier League, until the end of the season. The 29-year-old Republic of Ireland international has now undergone surgery to correct the problem which has sidelined him since November last year. Manager Gus Poyet admitted earlier this month that a lengthy period of rehabilitation would make it unlikely that Westwood would figure for either club or country before the end of the current campaign. Press Association