31 Dec
2020

BNEF: Corporate Renewable Investments Are Soaring

first_imgBNEF: Corporate Renewable Investments Are Soaring FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:AT&T Inc. and Walmart Inc. are among 36 businesses, government agencies and universities that have agreed to buy 3.3 gigawatts of wind and solar power so far this year. That’s on track to shatter the previous high of 4.8 gigawatts of disclosed deals last year, according to a report Monday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.One of the key reasons is that smaller companies are more comfortable doing these deals now. “There’s a blueprint now,” said Kyle Harrison, a New York-based analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “So it’s a lot easier for other companies to do it.” In addition to the 4.8 gigawatts in announced deals last year, BNEF also estimates 600 megawatts of undisclosed contracts were signed in Asia.The gains are also due to local renewables program and growing demand in international markets like Mexico and Australia.Google and other big technology companies have driven the trend, but the pool of clean-power buyers is deepening. Smaller companies have benefited from growing standardization in the ways companies agree to buy clean energy. Sometimes these companies are recruited to buy wind and solar power from the same power plant as larger buyers that function “like anchor tenants,” Harrison said.More: Businesses Are Buying More Renewable Power Than Ever Beforelast_img read more

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18 Dec
2020

Hurricane preparedness: Prior planning prevents poor performance

first_imgJune 1 marked the official start of Hurricane Season, which means credit unions up and down the East Coast are dusting off their checklists from last year to make sure they are prepared. Chances are you are probably feeling relatively confident with the state of your hurricane preparedness plans, given that 2005 was the last year a major hurricane hit the United States when we saw Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma come ashore. Before you get too comfortable, here are some things you should consider going into this year’s windy season:Hindsight is 20/20The last time we went this long without a major hurricane making landfall was when Ulysses S. Grant was in the White House. Modern records have been kept on hurricanes in this country since 1851. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), since that time two major hurricanes have made landfall every three years in the United States. Prior to this year, the longest streak without one was from August 1860 to September 1869.Why is this important to your credit union?History has shown that companies are most prepared for a hurricane right after they are impacted by a storm. Chances are that the employees that led you through hurricane season in 2004 and 2005 may no longer be with your credit union. In reviewing your plans this year, make sure to not only assess the strength and relevance of your plan, but also identify any employees who have previous experience with hurricanes. What new buildings and branches do you have? Both evacuation and flood zones can change quite a bit over 11 years; you may find that some of your locations would be required to evacuate sooner or are considered to be a higher flood risk than in previous years. What new third-party providers have you added, where are they located, and what will you need from them if a storm hits your credit union?Say it with CashThe Department of Homeland Security has a “Basic Disaster Supplies Kit” that includes items people will need in any natural disaster. The list includes items you would expect to see: food, water, flashlight, and a battery-powered radio. But one thing on this list could have a large impact on credit unions in particular: cash.After a hurricane, many businesses may find themselves without power. This means purchasing essential items for your family like groceries will require cash as local merchants may not be able to accept credit or debit cards. Cash quickly becomes a necessity in such a situation. During the time leading up to a storm, gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores and financial institutions see a heavy influx of customers. As a credit union, do your hurricane preparation plans take this increase in members at your branches into account? How will you handle needing more employees at the branch level when some of those same employees may be focusing on their own personal hurricane preparation? Will your ATMs need to be replenished more often than normal?Population BoomThe population that the United State Census Bureau identifies as the South has grown from 107 million to 121 million since 2005, an increase of almost 13 percent. More people require more roads, more schools and more businesses. The result is that in the event of a hurricane, mandatory evacuations will take longer.Your state’s Emergency Management officials take this into account when issuing evacuation orders. An evacuation order that would have been issued 24 hours prior to a storm making landfall in 2005 might be issued 36 hours prior to a storm making landfall today. Your plans should take into account that your credit union may have less precious hours to prepare between the identification of a credible threat of a storm making landfall and a government issued evacuation order than you had in the past.Times Have ChangedDo you remember what type of cellphone you had in 2005? Both the iPhone and Android were years away. Twitter did not exist. Neither did Dropbox. Most people had not heard of “the cloud.” Desktops still outsold laptops by a wide margin. Tablets would not be on the market until 2010. Almost all of these technologies are essential to most businesses today, and they did not even exist the last time we experienced a major hurricane. So have your plans kept up with all of these changes? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in December that 47 percent of homes in the United States no longer have landlines. If your employees do not have power to charge their cellphones, how do you plan to contact them?As the saying goes, proper prior planning prevents poor performance. By thinking through these scenarios and potential pitfalls, hopefully this year’s hurricane season will be smooth sailing for your credit union, regardless of whether we have a major storm. 23SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,James Green James Green leads the business continuity program at PSCU. He is passionate about life safety and helps credit unions understand the importance of business continuity not just during an emergency, … Web: pscu.com Detailslast_img read more

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20 Sep
2020

Sceaux far, so good

first_imgUn De Sceaux attempts to live up to his billing as the most exciting novice chaser around when he lines up for the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy at Cheltenham on Tuesday. The seven-year-old will ensure there is no hiding places as he loves to bowl along in front and run his rivals into the ground. He overcame a blip when he came down on his fencing debut, when well clear at Thurles in November, to win in good style at Fairyhouse the following month. Un De Sceaux then took the Grade One Irish equivalent of the Arkle at Leopardstown on his only subsequent start in impressive fashion by 15 lengths from Clarcam. His trainer Willie Mullins is already seeing him as a future Queen Mother Champion Chase contender. “He’s the type of chaser you love to train – the really fast two-miler that will maybe make into a champion chaser some day,” said the County Carlow handler. “Horses that just come down and take a fence, whatever way they meet it, are exciting to watch. His style of racing makes the whole thing very heart-stopping, but that’s the way it is and that’s what we have. “He’s an extraordinarily short price, but the punters and the bookmakers have all decided if he stands up he wins. I’m happy to go along with that! “He learnt his trade jumping in France and we think that’s a great base for chasers. He’s not mistake-prone. He normally meets his fences right and jumps them right, but I do know that he’s able to put in a short one as well. “That will stand him in good stead around Cheltenham.” His main market rival is Vibrato Valtat, who has done nothing but improve all season and has won his last three races in tremendous style. “He is obviously progressive and his rating of 162 is extremely high for a novice – at this stage of his career he is rated higher than Azertyuiop,” said the Ditcheat handler. “He was struggling with his breathing last year, which was why he was finishing tamely. This year he has turned that around. “He needed his first run and hasn’t looked back since. He’s dead straightforward now and you can ride him anyway you like. “Un De Sceaux has looked awesome when he gets round, but he has fallen once and he might find the Arkle different to the small fields he’s been running in. If he gets in a rhythm he’ll be very hard to beat. ” Josses Hill is highly rated by connections but has yet to really deliver on the track over fences, despite being successful at Doncaster and finishing second in good races at Ascot and Kempton. “He’s a brilliant jumper and has got great scope. He’s just got to put it all together,” said trainer Nicky Henderson. “If he had won by a neck at Kempton and not been beaten, people would have said it would have been OK. “The jumping will test Un Des Sceaux, as well. It promises to be a fascinating race.” Three Kingdoms has won three of his four starts over fences, with his only defeat coming at the hands of Vibrato Valtat at Kempton over Christmas. “Although he’s been winning on heavy ground, everybody who has ridden him has said he wants better ground,” said trainer John Ferguson. “I’m not saying for one second he’ll be good enough to win, but I think he’ll give a good account and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he’s battling up the hill. “When he was beaten at Kempton he jumped well but when he won at Doncaster he didn’t jump well as he’d lost his confidence schooling at home. “Since then we’ve schooled him intensively and I feel his jumping will be a lot slicker.” God’s Own was only third in that Kempton race, but his trainer Tom George believes the better ground will help the seven-year-old return to the form he showed earlier in the season when he won the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter. “He had a quiet patch in the middle of the winter struggling on the soft ground,” said the Slad trainer. “His work has been very impressive recently and I couldn’t be happier with him. He’s really come alive in the last couple of weeks. “The ground is very important to him. It wasn’t that we weren’t happy with him in the winter, but you can see a big change in him now. He’s very sharp.” The Gordon Elliott-trained Clarcam will renew rivalry with Un De Sceaux despite also being declared for the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase on Wednesday as a precaution. “Clarcam has been left in the Champion Chase in case he falls at the first in the Arkle. It’s just a precaution,” said Eddie O’Leary, racing manager for owners, Gigginstown House Stud. “Un De Sceaux looks to be a monster, but there’s no point giving him a freebie. “On the book we can’t beat Un De Sceaux, but we certainly have to have a go.” Press Associationlast_img read more

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