Energy-storage costs dropping faster than expected globally, threatening natural gas

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Forbes:The global energy transition is happening faster than the models predicted, according to a report released today by the Rocky Mountain Institute, thanks to massive investments in the advanced-battery technology ecosystem.Previous and planned investments total $150 billion through 2023, RMI calculates—the equivalent of every person in the world chipping in $20. In the first half of 2019 alone, venture-capital firms contributed $1.4 billion to energy storage technology companies.“These investments will push both Li-ion and new battery technologies across competitive thresholds for new applications more quickly than anticipated,” according to RMI. “This, in turn, will reduce the costs of decarbonization in key sectors and speed the global energy transition beyond the expectations of mainstream global energy models.”RMI’s “Breakthrough Batteries” report anticipates “self-reinforcing feedback loops” between public policy, manufacturing, research and development, and economies of scale. Those loops will drive battery performance higher while pushing costs as low as $87/kWh by 2025. (Bloomberg put the current cost at $187/kwh earlier this year.)“These changes are already contributing to cancellations of planned natural-gas power generation,” states the report. New natural-gas plants risk becoming stranded assets (unable to compete with renewables+storage before they’ve paid off their capital cost), while existing natural-gas plants cease to be competitive as soon as 2021, RMI predicts.RMI analyzed the four major energy-storage markets—China, the U.S., the European Union and India—and found two major trends that apply to each: 1) “Mobility markets are driving the demand and the cost declines,” and 2) “the nascent grid storage market is about to take off.”China dominates the market for electric vehicles and solar photovoltaic technologies, thanks to early, large and consistent investment. The RMI report notes that China also has an advantage in upstream ore processing, critical materials and component manufacturing.The report does not, however, explore what happens should China weaponize those advantages in the trade war, restricting or embargoing imports of critical materials to the U.S.More: Huge Battery Investments Drop Energy-Storage Costs Faster Than Expected, Threatening Natural Gas Energy-storage costs dropping faster than expected globally, threatening natural gaslast_img read more

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Strategic growth considerations for mid-sized credit unions

first_imgEven during the best of economic times, mid-sized credit unions struggle to expand. For such credit unions, spurts of high growth occur rarely and unpredictably, and they are difficult to sustain. During the worst of times when loan demand dips, smaller to mid-sized credit unions face an even steeper climb, while their larger counterparts have the scale to significantly leverage resources with strong bargaining power that enables the pursuit of growth strategies despite economic downturns.Breaking out of the middleThe $64-million question asks how mid-sized credit unions break out the pack to gain market share. I don’t believe they will get there with a safe 3- to 5-percent annual growth when their larger competitors are growing at a 50 percent faster rate. I don’t have a beef with larger credit unions. I am continually inspired by the great work larger credit unions do for their members, communities, and even many smaller credit unions. Some of my clients are large credit unions, and many of my friends lead large credit unions. But the fact is, large credit unions usually dominate consumer loan and membership growth in their communities. Good for them.But what about your credit union? Do you have the strategies you need to break out of the middle, positioning your credit union for longer-term growth and viability? Do you have a plan to get to scale so you can more effectively compete and gain market share? Or are you just happy to make it through another year with mediocre loan growth?I don’t believe that mid-sized credit unions can rely on the fact that they are “full-service” financial providers. Without greater scale, that message – along with friendly, personal service and great rates – is not enough.Three successful strategies for mid-sized credit unionsFirst, have an honest assessment – vision, mission, member value, differentiation. Ask yourself and challenge your group on “why” your credit union exists and why anyone should care. Next, consider these unique strategies.Culture. Filene’s “Thriving Midsize and Small Credit Union” study identified a significant number of midsized credit unions that are thriving, with assets, loans, and membership growing at rates faster than their asset peer group. The study compared the top performing 10 percent (Stars) of the study group to the bottom 10 percent (Laggards) of the group. The study identified nine key characteristics of the Star performers. The number one characteristic was that Stars are highly effective lenders. There are many factors that make Star credit unions more effective lenders, and key among these is a strong lending culture. These credit unions have aggressive lending attitudes. The board and management strongly believe that the credit union’s primary purpose is to meet member-borrowing needs. This culture and passion for lending permeates all levels of the organization.Winnable markets. Strong growth and long-term viability depends on your ability to identify markets where you can clearly compete and win. In my experience, mid-sized credit unions are struggling to leverage service and rate differentiation to the “over-served” market (i.e., top-tier credit, middle-income borrowers who can go wherever they want to for a loan). Today, some of the fastest-growing mid-sized credit unions are pursuing the following winnable markets:Credit challenged – 56 percent of consumers have subprime credit! In 2013, CFED (Corporation for Enterprise Development) reported state-by-state population counts with subprime credit. The numbers are astounding, ranging from a low of 43 percent to a high of 64 percent. This is important. If your lending pool is limited to prime borrowers, you have eliminated more than half before you have looked at one loan.Emerging markets – The Hispanic and immigrant populations are growing at an amazing rate. Smart credit unions are creating strategies and even reinventing themselves to effectively serve these markets. They know that for most of these markets, predatory lenders are the only competitor.Millennials – I listed this group separately, however I believe a majority of this group can be found in the credit challenged and emerging market groups above. Credit unions who find ways to lend to this group (e.g., first auto loans) will be embraced.Different products. For many of us, our prime loan-growth strategy revolves around loan refinances, which means we have frequently become the lender of second resort. It is difficult if not impossible to achieve big growth and/or earnings with this strategy. Changing financial-use patterns, demographics, and credit standing have fueled a robust Alternative Financial Service market. Products such as payday loan alternatives, pre-paid cards, micro small-business loans, and subprime auto lending are in high demand and represent an $80-billion per year market. For many successful credit unions, competing with these products is easier and more profitable. Average loan yields and fee income is higher, and the goodwill is great because they can save members a great deal of money. Making this move, they are no longer solely competing directly with mainstream financial institutions.Why it mattersThe competitive challenges for serving prime credit consumers with traditional products and services have never been greater for credit unions. The good news is that more credit unions are shifting and reinventing themselves to meet the rapidly changing demographics and markets. Today, these credit unions are thriving, with best-practice growth and profitability rates. Further, they are finding greater purpose and relevancy. Scott is the Principal of Your Credit Union Partner, PLLC.Your Credit Union Partner (YCUP) is a trusted advisor to the leaders of more than 100 credit unions located throughout … Web: www.yourcupartner.org Details 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Scott Butterfieldlast_img read more

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Travel Diary: Cruisin’ To Niagara In A Dodge Journey

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Sponsored Content Brought To You By NY Auto GiantBehold, the spectacle of the great, rushing, gushing thaw. Snowdrifts high atop Pennsylvania and New York’s gorgeous mountain ranges have been giving way to the healing, cleansing power of rising temperatures and spring rain, baptizing the Empire State in freshness and feeding the always-thirsty Lake Erie in preparation for a long, steamy summer. Embrace the sanctifying waters that embody our changing seasons with a road trip to Niagara. Besides the breathtaking falls, this area boasts some of the most scenic treasures of the state. You owe it to yourself to hop in your favorite vehicle, fill up the tank, and ride off to the place where falling water is transformed into dazzling and sensational beauty, rejuvenating both the senses and the spirit.What could possibly be more apropos than making this Niagara Falls trek in a new Dodge Journey? This vehicle, the most affordable midsize crossover on the market, is the perfect chariot to take you safely across roads caked with sloppy mud on your way to Western New York and its reborn glory. With efficient power, serious safety and security features, state-of-the-art technology, seven models to choose from, and excellent warranty coverage, you will be in good—and good-looking—hands. No better way to travel to Niagara than in a brand new Dodge Journey from NY Auto Giant!You would be remiss if you didn’t check out the Niagara Wine Trail. Featuring a different theme each month, replete with a distinctive signature wine glass, over a dozen of the area’s wineries participate in this event where you can taste local offerings.There’s an abundance of places to stay in Niagara, but you can’t beat the views from the Marriott Niagara Falls Fallsview Hotel and Spa on the Canadian side, which seems to sit right at the edge of the immense and stunning falls themselves. Boasting a full-service spa, Starbucks, and the acclaimed Terrapin Grille Fallsview Restaurant, which features floor-to-ceiling windows framing astonishing views of the rushing waterfalls, you’d be hard-pressed to find better lodging.For down-home meals and a festive atmosphere, check out the popular Gordie Harper’s Bazaar in nearby Newfane for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Right at the entrance, you will be greeted by bazaar treats available for purchase, such as local candies, jellies and syrups. A few steps further will bring you to the dessert case, with freshly baked turnovers, sticky buns, rugalach and cupcakes, oh my! For breakfast, order the hearty omelets with a side of potatoes. For dinner or lunch, you can’t miss the rib-sticking pot roast or the complete turkey feast. Yum yum-yum yum-yum! Just looking for a steaming cup of Joe and something light? Go no further than the Orange Cat Coffee Company, located in Lewiston. Set yourself up at an outside table (weather permitting) and take in the charm of Center Street. Try a strong cup of organic, fresh-brewed roastmaster blend, and treat yourself to a vegan cookie or muffin. They also offer an ever-changing menu of soups, wraps and salads. Click Here To Learn More About NY Auto GiantWith a full belly and caffeine running through your bloodstream, strap on your hiking boots and trek the falls themselves, with a guided hike through the gorgeous winding trails entertaining you with historical folklore as well as its majestic beauty. Could there possibly be a better way to welcome in the spring? No, no there couldn’t. Not at all.To get in your Dodge Journey and to begin your own, call Brendan Miller at Atlantic Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.last_img read more

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Local hemp growers gather to share successes, setbacks

first_imgBINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Hemp growers from across the state gathered at the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator Sunday for a discussion called ‘Hemp Growing 101.’ “Specifically we talked about how important genetics are and what to look for in terms of planting and field prep,” said Kaelan Castetter, CEO of Castetter Sustainability Group, or CSG Hemp. “We shared some of our successes and some of our setbacks in order to help them better be prepared.” Kaelan Castetter said a big focus of the event was stressing to growers that success won’t happen overnight. “The way that we as an industry are going to be able to compete with states like Oregon, California, and Colorodo is if we work together,” he said. Castetter said the key to stimulating growth in the industry is discussions like the one on Sunday. center_img “Not being subject to the ups and downs of the dairy industry which is in trouble just keeps family farms in family hands,” said Jim Castetter of CSG Hemp, a speaker at the event. “You’re going to have speed bumps and you’re going to have failures so how do you become successful through that that’s the biggest thing,” he said. Organizers hope that will mean revival for what they call a struggling agricultural industry in New York State. last_img read more

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Mayor of Amsterdam calls on ABP to halt investment in fossil fuels

first_imgThe mayor of Amsterdam has written to Dutch pensions giant ABP calling on it to stop investing in companies with links to fossil-fuel activities.In a letter to the board of the €363bn pension fund, which covers municipal employees in the Netherlands, the city’s mayor Eberhard van der Laan wrote: “If ABP does not end investments in the fossil fuel industry within a reasonable timeframe, pensions of participants will be at serious risk.”Van der Laan said his call was a response to the campaign by the group Amsterdam Fossielvrij (Fossil Free Amsterdam) and the city’s decision to rid itself of investments incompatible with its aim of speeding up the transition to a “circular economy” to prevent irreversible climate impacts.A circular economy describes an industrial economy that produces no waste and pollution. Van der Laan acknowledged that the pension fund had already terminated some of its fossil fuel-related investments in 2015 in response to requests by ABP members.But he wrote: “Despite these positive steps, you still invest in fossil-fuel businesses.“We therefore ask you to sharpen your ambition and to evaluate the investment portfolio, considering the interests and links companies have with the fossil fuel industry, and where these links are confirmed as existing, not to invest and to put an end to existing investments in the fossil fuel industry, starting with coal, nuclear power and shale gas.”If direct divestment were not possible, the mayor asked the pension fund to establish itself as an activist shareholder and encourage companies to make sustainable investments, keeping an eye on the European ambitions to reduce CO2 emissions by 80-90% from 1990 levels by the year 2050.In response to the letter, a spokesman for ABP told IPE it was also concerned about climate change.“The fund therefore has set ambitious goals in its investment policy to contribute to a better environment and a sustainable world,” he said.For example, ABP plans to reduce CO2 emissions in its portfolio in 2020 by 25% and expand its investments in renewable energy significantly, he said.  “ABP expects a decline of fossil fuels and an increase in renewable energy in its investments in the coming decades,” he added.He said this would happen in a gradual way because, as independent surveys showed, fossil fuel would be needed in the next few decades.He said ABP believes acute divestment from fossil companies right now would not help the climate.“The fund prefers to use – during the long transition period – its role as a shareholder to influence fossil fuel businesses,” the spokesman said.Sven Jense of Amsterdam Fossielvrij said: “Cutting our financial ties to the fossil fuel industry will make our city and our pensions fit for the future.”However, he said “an ambitious timeframe” also needed to be set to drop these investments and to effect a transition of the city’s harbour activities away from fossil fuels. “We don’t want our city to make money out of climate destruction,” he said.Last October, ABP outlined its new socially responsible investment policy.Apart from its aim of shrinking the portfolio’s carbon footprint, the pension fund said it was to double investments in such things as renewable energy, clean technology and commodity recycling to more than €58bn over the next five years.It also said it aimed to increase its investments in renewable energy by five times to more than €5bn.last_img read more

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Bulldogs Freshman Team Falls Short To Panthers

first_imgThe Batesville Freshman fell to the Jennings County Monday night 40-37.Alex Roell led the Bulldogs with 13 followed by Zach Britton with 10. Peyton Meyer (7), Gunner Olsen (5), and John Harmeyer (2) also scored in the loss.“Alex Roell had a breakout game for us tonight. He battled inside all night, and finished through contact. Our guys did a good job of feeding him in the post, and he did a good job of finding scorers as the defense collapsed on him. If we continue to get post production like that, we’re far from seeing this group’s ceiling.”  Batesville Coach Ben Siefert.After a 19 point first quarter, the Bulldogs were only able to muster up 18 points over the last 3 quarters. That stalemate proved to be the difference.“We were just unable to overcome some things not going our way in the second half. We got into foul trouble, and couldn’t find our way to the line on offense. I don’t think we stopped playing hard though, so there’s a silver lining there.”  Batesville Coach Ben Siefert.With the loss, Batesville falls to 3-3. The Bulldogs host South Dearborn Tuesday night at 6:00pm.Submitted by Batesville Coach Ben Siefert.last_img read more

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Terry happy to bide time on subs bench

first_img Terry suffered a knee injury prior to Benitez’s appointment and a setback saw him miss the defeat of Wigan before he was an unused substitute, for a fifth time under the Spaniard, in the Europa League win at Sparta Prague. The former England captain could yet return to the bench for Thursday’s second leg with Sparta, with Sunday’s Barclays Premier League clash at Manchester City the priority as Benitez bids to fulfil his brief of Champions League football next term. Benitez, with a third successive win, continued to turn the momentum following three wins in the previous 10 games. Due to the Spaniard’s association with Liverpool, he will likely never be a popular appointment – be it on his current caretaker basis or permanently – but Benitez has Terry’s support. “If you are losing games, the pressure is on the manager,” Terry said. “He has to take responsibility because he is the one who picks the team. So if we are not [winning], as with all managers, it falls on his head, unfortunately. But if we are winning games, and hopefully we can do that, it takes the pressure off him.” Terry hopes to play his part in the season run-in, but knows he cannot demand a place in the side, given the form of Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic, plus the option of David Luiz, who Benitez appears to view more as a defensive midfielder. “I’m not silly,” Terry added. “I’ve been out for four months – the other two guys have been playing really well, so it is going to be difficult for me to get back in. Naturally I want to play games; the manager doesn’t need to ask me that question to know what answer he is going to get. “I am not one to go in and knock the manager’s door down. I respect the other players. I have to fight for my place, the same as everyone. I think it is important that comes across from me directly.” Chelsea captain John Terry is adamant he is happy to sit on the substitutes’ bench, if it is what is best for the team. The 32-year-old defender on Sunday made just his third start under interim boss Rafael Benitez and scored the fourth goal as the FA Cup holders claimed a 4-0 win over Brentford to set up a fifth-round clash at Middlesbrough a week on Wednesday. “It is not about Rafa, me or Frank Lampard, it is not about anybody,” said Terry, who denied a report of a bust-up with Benitez. “It is about this football club winning games and if that’s with me in the side, great. If not, then I will be their biggest supporter and I’ll sit there and support the team like the fans will.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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No Short cuts in Sunderland manager hunt

first_img Almost a fortnight on from the Italian’s departure, the Black Cats are yet to appoint a replacement, with Short still considering his options after speaking to a series of candidates. However, the Texan businessman is determined to get it right and as a result, will take his time. Sunderland owner Ellis Short has insisted he will make the best decision for the club as he attempts to find a successor to Paolo Di Canio. Press Associationcenter_img Writing in his programme notes ahead of Saturday evening’s Barclays Premier League clash with Manchester United, Short said: “We now have a very important decision to make. “Our only consideration in making that decision is what is best for the club. “In doing so, we feel the weight of the entire city and beyond, along with the history of this massive football club. “The appointment of a replacement head coach is our priority and I urge you to ignore the speculation in the media about the selection process, because most of it is completely wrong.” Gus Poyet has been the bookmakers’ favourite to get the job since it emerged that Roberto Di Matteo had distanced himself from the vacancy, but Rene Meulesteen, Gianfranco Zola, Tony Pulis and Alex McLeish have all been linked with the Black Cats in recent days. Interim head coach Kevin Ball, who has expressed his own interest in the post, remained at the helm for the United game with the Black Cats still looking for their first league win of the season. Short admitted: “It has been a terrible start to the season and we are now living with the inevitable disruption related to parting company with our head coach. “We owe great thanks to Paolo Di Canio for keeping us up last season. He came in and provided the fire that we needed to fight for the points necessary to stay in the league. “I appreciate that opinions are mixed amongst our fans over whether he should have been replaced. Again, this decision was based on what we felt was best for the club. “We wish Paolo the best in his future managerial career.” last_img read more

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Mahan cruises to victory

first_img “It’s such a great competition that everyone loves to play against one another. It brings out the best in everyone. It’d be a huge bonus to be a part of the team.” Mahan started brightly with two birdies in his opening five holes but a run of five successive pars left his chances of glory floundering. He exploded into life from the 11th, however, with a run of five birdies in seven holes, and his putt on the 17th, 21ft from the pin, brought the crowd to their feet. A poor tee off shot at his final hole kept them on the edge of their seats and he was lucky to avoid a bunker on his approach, with the ball nestling in the rough just above the sand. While he was unable to save par, he did hold his nerve to hole a tricky putt. Day needed an eagle on the last to enforce a play-off but he too found the rough with his tee shot and with that his hopes vanished, settling for joint second after a closing 68. Fellow Australian Appleby also finished on 12 under for the tournament after matching Mahan’s round, with Tringale carding a closing 66. World number one Rory McIlroy finished in a tie for 22nd after a one-under 70, while England’s Lee Westwood was among the 25 players to fail to qualify for the second play-off event at the Deutsche Bank Championship, despite finishing level par for the tournament after a closing 70. Hunter Mahan produced a near flawless final round to clinch a two-shot victory in the opening FedEx Cup play-off at The Barclays in New Jersey. It was Mahan’s sixth victory on the PGA Tour, and his first since April 2012, and puts him in an enviable position to claim the 10 million US dollars (£6million) bonus that comes with winning the FedEx Cup. “This is a FedEx Cup play-off event, this is where all the best players are. You need to peak your game and play some great golf and to do it on a Sunday like I did and hit some great shots and big putts down the end feels great,” he said. “I felt good in the last few weeks. I felt like I turned a corner from myself and refocused myself on doing the right things. “It feels great to get a ‘W’.” With nine players having already qualified for America’s Ryder Cup team, Mahan’s effort this weekend may go a long way to earning a wildcard spot in Tom Watson’s team for the event in Gleneagles next month. The 32-year-old from California has made two appearances for the United States but missed out on selection two years ago. However, he made it clear he would welcome a wildcard spot. “It’s the goal of every American and European player to play in the Ryder Cup. It means so much to us on both sides,” he added on Sky Sports 4. Mahan rose to the occasion on the back nine, with five birdies moving him steadily up the leaderboard and he could even afford to bogey the last, his only blemish of an otherwise fantastic display. A closing six-under 65 saw him finish comfortably ahead of American compatriot Cameron Tringale and Australian duo Stuart Appleby and Jason Day, who was joint overnight leader. Press Associationlast_img read more

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