Google signs its first renewable energy power purchase agreement in Asia FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Tech Crunch:Google has launched its first clean energy project in Asia. The company announced today that it struck a long-term agreement to buy the output of a 10-megawatt solar array in Tainan City, Taiwan, about 100 km south of its data center in the country. Google already has solar and wind projects across North and South America, as well as Europe.The agreement is a collaboration between Google, several Taiwanese energy companies, and the country’s government, which recently revised Taiwan’s Electricity Act to enable non-utility companies to purchase renewable energy directly. The revisions are part of Taiwan’s new energy policy, aimed at phasing out nuclear energy by 2025 and increasing the share of electricity generated from renewable sources to 20 percent.Google is the first corporate power buyers to take advantage of the revised law. Its development partners are Diode Ventures, Taiyen Green Energy, J&V Energy, and New Green Power.The solar array will be connected to the same regional power grid at Google’s Chuanghua County data center, one of two in Asia (the other is in Singapore). The poles supporting the solar panels will be mounted into commercial fishing ponds, an arrangement that Marsden Hanna, Google’s senior lead of energy and infrastructure, said in a blog post will maximize land-use efficiency and respect the local ecology because “fish and solar panels can coexist peacefully.” Fishing pond owners will also be compensated for hosting the panels.The agreement means Google will get a long-term, fixed electricity price for its operations in Taiwan.More: Google launches clean energy project in Taiwan, its first in Asia
The city of Richmond, Va. gets a lot of press for being a great outdoors town, and for good reason. The James River runs through downtown providing some of the best – and only – urban whitewater experiences in the nation, their urban park and trail system is top notch, and they are constantly trying to improve their outdoor lifestyle infrastructure with bike share programs, commuter lanes, etc. Yes, the River City is definitely on the up and up in terms of outdoor recreation and it shows in the types of moves they are making, not only on a regional basis, but a national one as well. Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year, you are aware Richmond will be hosting the 2015 World Road Cycling Championships and the Xterra East Championships go through the city as well. These are all great things, but one event stands above the rest year after year: Dominion RiverRock.RiverRock is one of the largest, and best, outdoor lifestyle festivals on the East Coast, and certainly one of the most fun. Held on Brown’s Island of the James River downtown, RiverRock is an epic blend of sports, races, demos, vendors, music, and pro athletes from around the country. No sport is left out of the mix when it comes to RiverRock: climbing, trail running, mountain and road biking, SUP, and slacklining are all featured against the backdrop of Richmond’s urban waterfront. You can compete in mountain bike and trail running races, SUP trials, bouldering comps, freestyle kayaking and more, but the real treat is for the casual recreationist. This is the best opportunity you will ever get to pick the brains of the experts on gear, techniques, locations, and more in you chosen sport. Venders of every make and model are on hand to answer questions as well as let you demo the latest and greatest gear coming out.The BRO Roadshow will also be on hand giving out swag, so swing by our tent, say hey to Nick and Chuck and sign up to win some great prizes from our sponsors in one of several raffles throughout the weekend. What could be better than three days of outdoor fun at one of the premier festival venues on the East Coast?View Larger Map
continue reading » 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr CUNA has received three additional board nominations for the 2018 CUNA Board elections.The nominees are:District 1, Class B, Gary E. Furtado, president/CEO, Navigant CU, Smithfield, RI;District 5, Class A, Maria J. Martinez, president/CEO, Border FCU, Del Rio, Texas; andDistrict 5, Class A, Johnny O’Hare, president/CEO, Cherokee Strip CU, Ponca City, OK.Previous nominations include:District 4, Class B: Patrick Pierce, President/CEO, City & County Credit Union, St. Paul, Minn.
A set of 30 criteria that would apply on the funds are currently being discussed, but Lundbergh said this would not be enough to deal with the underlying problems.“My recommendation is to have someone in charge of the fund platform, to ensure there is quality and good diversity there – because there should be a sheriff in town,” he said. This sheriff should be an organisation given the assignment by the Pension Group, he said. Stefan LundberghThe premium pension is a retail fund platform for Swedish consumers, but neither the Swedish Pensions Agency (Pensionsmyndigheten) nor AP7, the provider of the default investment option in the PPM, has been given the mandate to act as principal of the fund platform. Legislators must define a clear goal for the premium pension system, Lundbergh said in his report, adding that the decision should be taken at the political level because the premium pension was part of social security system.“First of all, they must create a clear goal, because then you know what you’re trying to build and only then you can evaluate the results,” he said.Because the current goals are “fuzzy”, the default investment option in the system is forced to define its own goals, Lundbergh added. Politicians should seek to set the default fund’s goals to help guide the offerings on the PPM platform.Even though deciding the actual goals was outside the scope of the review, Lundbergh listed a few target criteria for making that decision. These included:The premium pension is a compulsory social insurance for which the state has an overall responsibility;The investment strategy should prioritise a lifelong retirement income over maximising a pension pot; andThe realised return should, over time, be higher than wage inflation.The goals should be assessable so that the performance of the system can be properly evaluated in the future, Lundbergh said.“Given that it is part of the social security system, it is reasonable to assume that the risk-return tradeoff of the default in the premium pension should not be more aggressive than in the occupational pension,” he said.Lundbergh also urged the Pensions Group to bear in mind the lessons of behavioural science in their deliberations on PPM reform, in particular the fact that people have proved to be less interested in making their own choices than was originally anticipated when the system came into being in the 1990s. “The construction of the premium pension required active and informed savers who would select the good funds and abandon the bad funds,” he said in the report. If this had been the case, he argued, market forces would have limited the space for sub-par funds and rogue providers. “The reality has been different and it has turned out that more information and transparency does not help – it is impossible to inform those who are uninterested.”“The key issue is that in order to have a successful premium pension system, it’s important that choice architecture is based on fact and what people actually do,” he concluded. Sweden’s premium pension system (PPM) needs to have an agency to act as a “sheriff” to prevent the fraud that has dogged the system and assure the quality of funds on the platform, says the architect of the latest government-commissioned review.Cardano director Stefan Lundbergh officially presented his report to the Swedish government’s cross-party Pension Group at the end of August, mapping out options for reforming the PPM. The PPM is the funded part of the first pillar state pension that allows individuals to choose their own investment provider.The fund platform currently has more than 850 funds, and Lundbergh told IPE that virtually any provider was allowed to offer funds to the public as long as they are UCITS-compliant.Lundbergh said: “Right now, there is no one looking at the investments offered on the fund platform and doing some kind of quality assurance.”
Offshore workforce providers Programmed and Atlas professionals have formed a marine services joint venture in Australia and New Zealand.Programmed, which provides staffing, maintenance and facility management services, on Monday said the execution of agreements relating to the formation of a 50/50 marine services joint venture in Australia and New Zealand with Atlas Professionals, a Dutch provider of global staffing services to the offshore oil and gas industry, had been completed.As part of these agreements, originally announced in May, Programmed has sold Atlas 100% of its international marine activities and 50% of its Australian and New Zealand marine services business for $7.5 million cash up-front and $21.5 million in a vendor finance arrangement (value of transaction is $29 million). Programmed’s vendor finance will carry 5% interest.“Atlas will bring to the Australia and New Zealand joint venture, opportunities with its global customers, which will enable the marine business to enjoy the benefits of operating as a global enterprise,” Programmed said in a statement.In a separate statement on Monday, Atlas Professionals said business would operate as usual for the Programmed Marine teams in Houston, Aberdeen, Singapore and Dubai, as well as the joint venture for the Australian and New Zealand marine manning services, and that all recent points of contact in those offices would remain the same.