Nuclear reaction to cabinet reshuffle – South Africa

first_img BRICS Finance and Policy Featured image: David Mahlobo. Image source: Mail&Gaurdian Africa’s leading power producer has changed its Energy Minister for the second time in five months… and it seems a plot far more sinister than nametag shuffling is afoot in South Africa. We take a closer look.President Jacob Zuma’s latest cabinet reshuffle – his 12th since he came into office in 2009 – has been met with widespread condemnation across South African society, with many claiming that it is little more than a ploy to ram through the massively controversial nuclear deal with Russia that hit a High Court roadblock back in April.In case you missed the news, Mmamoloko Kubayi has been replaced by the former Minister of State Security, David Mahlobo.This edition of President Zuma’s game of musical chairs at the Energy Ministry comes only months before the much-awaited Integrated Resource Plan and Integrated Energy Plan is due to be finalised, further suggesting that vested interests and the protection of the nuclear agenda are playing a role in cabinet appointments.Including nuclear power in the energy mix is not controversial in itself; however, the governance practices around such a lucrative deal and subsequent tenders are under scrutiny. There is also the concern that Zuma’s son, Duduzane, and the controversial Gupta-owned Shiva Uranium and Gold mine will directly benefit should the nuclear deal be authorised in its current form.Let’s unpack some of the issues. With the ANC presidential election around the corner (December 2017), it can be argued that placing Mahlobo close to the heart of the nuclear deal is a desperate move by Zuma to keep his nuclear tender pot of gold firmly within grasp. In the event that former African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma does not win the ANC presidential election, there is a very real risk that Zuma could be ousted as state president.But why move Kubayi, who is also touted as a Zuma-supporter, out of this lucrative department?At this point, it is necessary to point out that Mahlobo (Minister of State Security at the time) accompanied the president on an official visit to Russia in 2014, leaving Tina Joemat-Pettersson  (the then Energy Minister) out of the picture. And since the Western Cape High Court’s ruling has set the process back to square-one, Mahlobo, who was privy to the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, is now the most trusted Zuma ally to literally push the deal through.The reshuffle is not to say that Kubayi was not doing her job as energy minister or that she isn’t firmly in the Zuma-camp; but it could be that things were not progressing as smoothly or quickly as was anticipated at the time of her placement.In fact, towards the end of June, Kubayi declared that South Africa remained committed to rollout the nuclear energy expansion in its current form as outlined in the country’s Integrated Resource Plan. She also met with Russia’s minister of energy for the Russian Federation, Alexander Novak, where they discussed various options in the nuclear and energy space.However, Kubayi’s approach to the nuclear deal may have been too cautious for the president’s liking and was probably based on her predecessor’s fate. Former energy minister Joemat-Pettersson’s actions were declared unlawful and unconstitutional by the High Court. Kubayi even went so far as to say that she “didn’t want to see herself in prison”.Now at a Parliamentary Committee meeting on Wednesday (which is investigating state-owned enterprises and the involvement of the Gupta family) and in response to a question on whether it is beneficial to build new nuclear power stations in South Africa, the former CEO of Eskom, Brian Dames, emphatically stated that not only were the power plants unnecessary, they were also too expensive.Yet, Tuesday’s announcement by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) granting Eskom environmental approval to construct a new nuclear power plant and associated infrastructure at the Duynefontein site in the Western Cape indicates that plans for the build continue to roll forward.As more controversy unfolds, is South Africa’s new nuclear build programme doomed to remain an extravagant exercise to manipulate the country at the expensive of its tax payers? Low carbon, solar future could increase jobs in the future – SAPVIA AFD and Eskom commit to a competitive electricity sector center_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Previous articleThe Gambia acquires $45m to enable energy importsNext articleMandela’s Robben Island embraces green energy Nicolette Pombo-van ZylAs the Editor of ESI Africa, my passion is on sustainability and placing African countries on the international stage. I take a keen interest in the trends shaping the power & water utility market along with the projects and local innovations making headline news. Watch my short weekly video on our YouTube channel ESIAfricaTV and speak with me on what has your attention. Generation UNDP China, CCIEE launch report to facilitate low-carbon developmentlast_img read more

Global electric vehicle sales to rise on back of growth in…

first_imgIf governments pull together to pursue the even more ambitious goal of reaching net-zero emissions globally by 2050, the global electric vehicle fleet would grow even bigger. More details on implications of this pathway for electric vehicles and the broader transport sector will appear in the IEA’s special report, Net Zero in 2050: A roadmap for the global energy system, which will release on 18 May. The Global Electric Vehicle Outlook finds that despite the pandemic setting off a cascade of economic recessions, a record 3 million new electric cars were registered in 2020. This is a 41% increase on 2019 figures. In comparison, the global automobile market contracted by 16% in 2020. Sign up for the ESI Africa newsletter Implications for net zero if global electric vehicle fleet grows Image: 123rf Automakers offered 370 electric car models during 2020, a 40% year-on-year increase. Eighteen of the 20 largest automakers have announced their intentions to further increase the number of available models and boost production of electric light-duty vehicles. These automakers account for 90% of all global auto sales. BRICS It’s not just cars growing the market, but bikes and trucks too RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR This highlights the need for policy makers to think about global clean energy transitions holistically across sectors to ensure that progress in one area is not being undermined by shortcomings in another. The new report finds the global fleet of electric vehicles could reach 230million if governments accelerated efforts to reach international climate and energy goals, as outlined in the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario. Have you read?Rwanda: electric motorbike company secures $3.5 million investment Urban buses have also electrified rapidly. And, heavy trucks are a segment where electric models and sales have only recently begun to grow strongly, as battery performance have improved and driving ranges have lengthened. The report emphasises that the shift of the road transport sector towards electric vehicles extends well beyond cars. The most electrified road transport mode today is two- and three-wheeled vehicles such as motorcycles and mopeds. More than 25 million units have been sold, the bulk of them in Asia. The Global Electric Vehicle Outlook 2021 is available online Finance and Policycenter_img Have you read? How to enable EV growth through smart solutions Last year’s increase brought the number of electric cars on the world’s roads to more than 10 million, plus another roughly 1 million electric vans, heavy trucks and buses. For the first time last year, Europe overtook China as the centre of the global electric car market. Electric car registrations in Europe more than doubled to 1.4million, while in China the number increased 9% to 1.2million. [Ed: read ESI Africa Issue 1 2021 for more on the African e-mobility market opportunities.] Consumer spend on electric cars increased another 50% last year to reach $120billion. At the same time, government support measures stood at $14billion. This makes five years in a row that government spend on support measures for electric vehicles has fallen as a share of their total spend. Even if government spend remains an important spur for the uptake of electric vehicles, these figures do suggest that sales are increasingly being driven by consumer choice. TAGSCOVID-19decarbonisationElectric VehiclesEV chargingIEAnet-zero emissions Previous articleMicro-grids: A solution to Africa’s electrification challenges?Next articleIFC looking to invest $20 million into capacity expansion project Theresa SmithTheresa Smith is a conference producer for Clarion Events Africa. The Global Electric Vehicles Outlook 2021 notes that governments helped to buffer the electric cars from 2020 downturn by extending existing policy and fiscal support and augmenting them with stimulus measures in response to the COVID-19 crises. Leading countries also promoted the competitive position of electric vehicles by strengthening fuel economy and emissions standards. They also redoubled their support for developing battery technology and deploying charging station infrastructure. The electric vehicle market’s strong momentum has continued into this year, with sales in the first quarter of 2021 reaching almost two and half times their level in the same period a year earlier. Low carbon, solar future could increase jobs in the future – SAPVIA Generation While the global auto industry suffered a punishing 2020 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the electric vehicle market bucked the trend with a growth of more than 40%. AFD and Eskom commit to a competitive electricity sector Not only that, but the International Energy Agency reckons the EV industry is on track for a decade of strong expansion, according to their new Global the Electric Vehicle Outlook 2021. UNDP China, CCIEE launch report to facilitate low-carbon development Fatih Birol, IEA executive director, commented: “While they can’t do the job alone, electric vehicles have an indispensable role to play in reaching net-zero emissions worldwide. Current sales trends are very encouraging, but our shared climate and energy goals calls for even faster market uptake. Governments should now be doing the essential groundwork to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles by using economic recovery packages to invest in battery manufacturing and the development of widespread and reliable charging infrastructure.” Electric vehicles on the whole have a key role to play in tackling emissions. On a well-to-wheel” basis, their net contribution to reducing emissions, already evident, will grow in tandem with the pace at which electricity generation decarbonises.last_img read more

Equal Rights Amendment set to get pivotal vote after Virginia swings blue

first_imgSeanPavonePhoto/iStock(RICHMOND, Va.) — The long-gestating proposal to create an Equal Rights Amendment, or ERA, in the U.S. Constitution could be closer to reality after a Virginia statehouse committee approved a measure Tuesday to bring the amendment to a full vote. The full Virginia House of Delegates and state Senate are slated to hold votes for ratification Wednesday. If passed, the state would be the 38th in the nation to ratify the amendment, which states “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”A proposed amendment needs at least 38 states’ approvals to be added to the Constitution, and advocates have been waiting for the ERA to meet that threshold since Congress passed a resolution for it in 1972. “The United States has never known what true equality is, and this is a step in the right direction,” Carol Jenkins, co-president and CEO of the ERA Coalition/Fund for Women’s Equality, told ABC News.The amendment would provide women across the country with more protections and could be used to help set new laws concerning areas such as equal pay and gender discrimination, Jenkins said. She noted that the amendment has been called for since 1920 and was first introduced in Congress 1923 by activist Alice Paul. “It’s taken almost a century, but it’s closer than we have ever been. We’re determined to cross the finish line,” she said.The road to the amendment’s full adoption, however, is still murky as the measure is tied to a previously issued deadline that expired more than 30 years ago. Legal experts predicted that the ERA will have to go through some battles in court. After Congress passed the amendment’s resolution in 1972, it enacted a deadline of seven years for the measure to get its 38-state minimum ratification. The deadline was extended to 1982, but by that time, only 35 states ratified. Three years ago, Nevada ratified the amendment, followed by Illinois the next year.The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of the Legal Counsel (OLC) released an opinion last week that stated the amendment “is no longer pending before the States,” because of the expiration. The National Archives and Records Administration, which has to certify the amendment, said in a press release it would comply with the OLC’s opinion save for a court order.ERA proponents contend that the deadline for the measure’s passage was written in the resolution passed by Congress in 1972, but not in the wording of the amendment itself that states are ratifying. Furthermore, advocates say Article V of the Constitution explicitly states that an amendment proposal be ratified once the 38-state limit is met, with no stipulation for deadlines. Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, told ABC News it is likely that a lawsuit will be filed against the National Archives that will compel them to ratify the amendment if the threshold is met. Prakash, who published a paper on the ERA in the Harvard Law Review last year, said contentions against the ERA deadline have grown since the 27th Amendment (on congressional pay) was passed in 1992, more than 200 years after Congress made a resolution for its adoption.“The same argument could be made for the ERA,” he said. There are currently bills in the U.S. House and Senate that call for the elimination of the deadline from the ERA resolution, and those would prevent any legal barriers for the amendment, Maria Vullo, the chair of the board of the ERA Coalition, told ABC News. “The one thing we are advocating strongly is to eliminate this argument that there was this time limit for ratification,” Vullo said. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Kyle Bragg will take over as 32BJ SEIU president

first_img32BJ SEIU president Kyle Bragg (Credit: 32BJ SEIU)Executive Vice President Kyle Bragg will take over as president of 32BJ SEIU following the death of its president Héctor Figueroa.Figueroa, 57, who headed the country’s largest building services union since 2012, died of a heart attack Thursday night. As stipulated by the union’s constitution, Bragg will assume Figueroa’s presidential duties, 32BJ said in a statement.Bragg has been a member of 32BJ for 30 years and helped grow its residential division by 35,000 members, according to 32BJ’s website. He’s also credited with securing raises of more than 11 percent over four years for members in a 2014 residential contract.Figueroa has long been a well respected fixture in the city’s labor community, and his sudden death shocked and saddened many elected officials and union leaders. His first position with 32BJ was as a deputy trustee in 1999, and the following year he was elected as secretary-treasurer. Since becoming president in 2012, he helped add more than 50,000 members to the union’s ranks.“It is impossible to overstate the loss of Héctor to our SEIU family. Héctor has made a lasting impact on the heart and soul of our union, and he will be sorely missed,” Mary Kay Henry, president of 32BJ’s parent SEIU, said in a statement. “Héctor’s leadership made it possible for janitors, doormen (and women), security officers, airport workers and so many other working people across the U.S. and Puerto Rico to join together and lift up their wages and improve their jobs.” This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Nowlast_img read more

HANDBALL-PLANET.COM IN 2013: 440.000 unique visitors!

first_img2 Comments Dikó 31. December 2013. at 14:50 Related Items:HANDBALL FANS 2013, HANDBALL PLANET 2013 AMBROS MARTIN Dikó 31. December 2013. at 14:48 ShareTweetShareShareEmailcenter_img 2 Comments MARTIN AMBROS ShareTweetShareShareEmailCommentsHandball-Planet.com (since 2010) making progress in number of visits, unique visitors and open pages every single. That was the case with 2013 in which we had significant growth of visits in comparation with 2012 – (915.000 – 510.000 / + 82.5%). Furthermore HP had 437.000 unique visitors in 2013 (almost doubled 221.000 in 2012). During last 12 months about 2.200.000 pages are opened.TOP 20 HANDBALL-PLANET.COM NATIONS (in thousands of visits):1. HUNGARY 1802. POLAND 1043. MACEDONIA 984. GERMANY 565. DENMARK 516. SERBIA 367. SPAIN 358. CROATIA 309. BRAZIL 2310. SLOVENIA 20…11. ROMANIA12. FRANCE13. SWEDEN14. ICELAND15. SLOVAKIA16. NORWAY17. PORTUGAL18. UNITED STATES19. UNITED KINGDOM20. ITALY Leave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published.Comment Name Email Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.last_img read more

EHF Cup 2017/18: Pots decided, draw on Thursday

first_imgPOT 3RK Nexe (CRO)Fraikin BM. Granollers (ESP)Saint-Raphael Var Handball (FRA)SC Magdeburg (GER) ShareTweetShareShareEmail ShareTweetShareShareEmailCommentsDespite the last name of the EHF Cup Group Phase will be decided next weekend between Slovakian Tatran Presov and Icelandic FH Hafnarfjordur, the draw will take place at the EHF headquarters in Vienna on Thursday 30 November at 11:00.Here are the Pots. Reigning champions Frisch Auf Goppingen and 2015 winners Fuchse Berlin are in Pot 1 together with SKA Minsk and Chambery Savoie.Men’s EHF Cup Group Phase draw:POT 1SKA Minsk (BLR)Chambery Savoie Mont Blanc Handball (FRA)Frisch Auf Göppingen (GER)Füchse Berlin (GER) Related Items:Men’s EHF Cup 2017/2018 Click to commentcenter_img POT 4RD Koper (SLO)Wacker Thun (SUI)Lugi HF (SWE)Winner QR3 TATRAN Presov/FH Hafnarfjordur POT 2Bjerringbro-Silkeborg (DEN)Helvetia Anaitasuna (ESP)Cocks (FIN)KS Azoty-Pulawy SA (POL) Leave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published.Comment Name Email Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.last_img read more

Eurozone says no to fresh stimulus

first_imgEurozone finance ministers last night (9 March) rejected calls for increased economic stimulus measures, despite a worsening outlook for the EU economy. They also rejected any easing of the requirements for joining the eurozone.Speaking after a meeting of the Eurogroup, which brings together the finance ministers of the 16 eurozone countries, Jean-Claude Juncker, the prime minister and finance minister of Luxembourg, said: “We don’t feel we need to pile deficit on top of deficit and add further to our debt.”Juncker, who chairs the Eurogroup meetings, added: “We would not want to give the impression we are considering putting together other recovery packages.” His remarks followed comments from Larry Summers, director of the US National Economic Council, in an interview with the Financial Times, that governments should pump more public money into their economies to fight the recession. “Recent American appeals” for a European budgetary effort are “not to our liking”, Juncker said.Juncker said ministers had rejected any relaxation of the criteria for joining the euro, including the length of time that countries have to spend in the European Exchange Rate Mechanism II. “There is no question of changing the criteria,” Juncker said. “The credibility of monetary union is at stake,” he added.Forecasts darkenBoth Juncker and Joaquín Almunia, the European commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, said that assessments of Europe’s economic outlook are now worse than they were earlier this year. Juncker said that the recession is “certainly deeper than what we saw at the beginning of the 1990s”. Almunia said that “the recovery will take longer than we were expecting a few months ago”, and that he now expects a “gradual recovery” to start in 2010.Support for RomaniaAlmunia said that the Commission will start discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) “in the coming days” on possible support measures for Romania. The IMF announced today that it will send a mission to the country on 11 March to “hold discussions on a potential IMF programme”, which would be part of a “multilateral financing package, to be supported by the EU and the World Bank, among other international financial institutions”. If a package is agreed, Romania would become the third EU country, after Latvia and Hungary, to receive joint EU-IMF assistance to help cope with the current crisis. Almunia said the Commission is “ready to react” once a request is received from Romania for access to the EU’s balance-of-payments facility, the EU support scheme used to help Latvia and Hungary.last_img read more

Kasey Kahne sets pace in final Talladega practice

first_imgRELATED: Practice 1 results | Final practice results | Best 10-lap times | Weekend scheduleKasey Kahne landed atop the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series leaderboard Friday afternoon, leading a 1-2 Hendrick Motorsports sweep in final practice at Talladega Superspeedway.Kahne powered the No. 5 Chevrolet to a best lap of 191.222 mph around the 2.66-mile Alabama track to pace the 55-minute session. He was just ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr., his Hendrick teammate who turned a 191.069 mph lap in the No. 88 Chevrolet in preparation for his final Talladega start.Kurt Busch, Trevor Bayne and Chase Elliott rounded out the top five in final preparation for Sunday’s Alabama 500 (2 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The event is the second of three races in the Round of 12, the second phase of eliminations in the NASCAR Playoffs.Jimmie Johnson returned to the track after a spin kept him from completing a lap in Friday’s earlier practice. Johnson wound up 14th on the speed chart in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet.Final practice featured lighter participation, with just 23 of the 40 cars entered posting laps, mainly in single-car runs. Several teams took to the track in packs in opening practice, yielding higher speeds.Several cars were held out of final practice because of technical infractions and failed inspections in previous weeks.Teams with 30-minute deductions in final practice:Chip Ganassi Racing No. 1 Chevrolet for driver Jamie McMurrayStewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Ford for Kevin HarvickHendrick Motorsports No. 5 Chevrolet of Kasey KahneRoush Fenway Racing No. 6 Ford of Trevor BayneHendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet of Chase ElliottGo Fas Racing No. 32 Ford of Matt DiBenedettoFurniture Row Racing No. 77 Toyota of Erik JonesHendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt Jr.Teams with 15-minute deductions in final practice:Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet of Austin DillonStewart-Haas Racing No. 10 Ford of Danica PatrickStewart-Haas Racing No. 14 Ford of Clint BowyerRoush Fenway Racing No. 17 Ford of Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota of Kyle BuschJoe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota of Daniel SuarezJoe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota of Matt KensethTeam Penske No. 22 Ford of Joey LoganoJTG Daugherty Racing No. 37 Chevrolet of Chris BuescherJTG Daugherty Racing No. 47 Chevrolet of AJ AllmendingerHendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet of Jimmie JohnsonPremium Motorsports No. 55 Toyota of DJ KenningtonFurniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota of Martin Truex Jr.Leavine Family Racing No. 95 Chevrolet of Michael McDowellCoors Light Pole Qualifying is scheduled Saturday at 4:15 p.m. ET (NBCSN).Keselowski corrals fastest lap in first practiceBrad Keselowski secured the fastest lap in opening Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice Friday at Talladega Superspeedway.Keselowski, a four-time Talladega winner, registered a best speed of 197.859 mph on the 2.66-mile track, his Team Penske No. 2 Ford benefiting from an aerodynamic draft in a multi-car pack.Daytona 500 winner Kurt Busch was second-fastest at 197.806 mph in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Ford. Ryan Blaney was third-fastest, with Ricky Stenhouse Jr., the winner in two of the three restrictor-plate races this year, fourth-fastest in the Roush Fenway Racing No. 17 Ford. Kevin Harvick completed the top five in the opening 55-minute session.Sunday’s Alabama 500 (2 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) is the fifth of 10 races in the postseason and the middle event in the three-race Round of 12 elimination phase. The unpredictable nature of the track’s typical close-quarters racing threatens to shake up the standings ahead of next weekend’s round-ending race at Kansas.Seven-time series champ Jimmie Johnson was hit with some early unpredictability, running over a piece of debris and cutting the left-rear tire on his Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet. The car spun getting up to speed in Turns 3 and 4, but managed to avoid contact with the retaining wall.Johnson’s Chevy was pushed back to the garage to evaluate potential damage from sliding down the 33-degree banking to the apron and infield grass. He did not post a lap in the practice session.“Nothing major. It looks like we will stay with this car,” Johnson said from the garage. “There might be some panels to push out and straighten out, stuff like that. Probably a new splitter on the car. But all in all, got away with one there for sure.”Joey Logano, winner of the last two October races at Talladega, was ninth-fastest in the Team Penske No. 22 Ford.Several teams were scheduled to lose practice time Friday because of technical infractions and failed inspections in previous weeks.Two teams had 30-minute deductions enforced in opening practice — the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota of points leader Martin Truex Jr. and the JTG Daugherty No. 47 Chevrolet of AJ Allmendinger. Those two teams are also on deck for 15-minute holds in final practice, for a total of 45 minutes.last_img read more

Sick Custom Hidden Di2 Road Bike from English Cycles

first_imgStraight on, there’s virtually no indication this is a Di2 bike. No visible battery. No visible controller box. No visible wires.The battery uses Icarus’ custom internal battery with micro-USB charging port, and the port is cleanly integrated directly into the frame. The battery is about half the weight as 50% more capacity than the stock power unit.Internal wire routing through the chain stays is now pretty common. Here’s where things get trick:Rather than leave the control box zip tied to the brake cables, Rob fabricated a custom stem to hold it flush on the underside. Controls are still accessible, and wires are then run directly through the stem into the frame.To make this work, the stem and steerer tube are one piece and the fork clamps to it at the bottom. It essentially uses an upside down Aheadset nut to tighten the fork and stem/steerer into the the headset, which is tightened into place from under the fork crown. Once that’s tight, the front brake is attached using a shortened bolt that, rather than running through the entire fork crown like normal, tightens up against a curved washer on the inside front wall of the fork.The steerer tube has a cut out that’s smoothed edges to funnel the wires into the downtube. The hole allows the bar to rotate 90º, at which point it would hit the frame and stop anyway. Rob says the real stress points are where the steerer tube interfaces with the headset, so the hole doesn’t diminish the structural integrity of the system and that he thickened up the ends of the steerer tube, too.About the frame, Rob had this to say:“The frame features a Columbus aero downtube, custom butted and ovalized seattube, my signature skinny wishbone seatstays and True Temper S3 chainstays. Retro Sweet Wings steel cranks complete the steel theme, but the bike still comes in under 15lbs.”This bike’s been delivered to its owner after spending a few days in Fair Wheel Bike’s showroom. Now we just get to wait and see what he comes up with for NAHBS 2012! Rob English has been featured here before for his sweet custom builds (here and here, for example), and we’ve even teased this particular bike. Called the English Cycles Di2 Special, it takes stealth integration to the next level. Here’s the foreword:“It always seemed that the control box was an afterthought, being cable-tied to the brake cables. So I made a custom stem to house it underneath. By also making an ‘upside down’ headset arrangement, such that the steerer is part of the stem and bolts into the fork crown, I was able to run the Di2 cables completely inside from the stem to the derailleurs. Then of course the battery needed to be hidden too…”Curious? Sneak past the break and see how it all came together…last_img read more

Affordable housing embraces automated wood heat

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Not that long ago, the Hollister Hill Apartments on Austin Road in Plainfield were a rather bleak example of 1970’s architecture that had seen better days. The Housing Foundation, Inc. had a vision to rebuild them, rendering them into comfortable, affordable, and functional units for their tenants to call home. They did so in part by embracing renewable energy in the form of a central wood pellet boiler.This is the third location where The Housing Foundation has installed a pellet boiler for their units, the others being Colonial Manor Apartments in Morristown and Fairground Apartments in Moretown, with hopes for future projects. Krister Adams, Development Specialist with the Vermont State Housing Authority, said, “Wood pellet boilers are a relatively simple heating system. We have found them to be cost effective and reliable. Plus, using wood as a heat source is environmentally sound and helps our local economy.”The organization feels it is important to do their part to help Vermont reach its goal of 90% renewable energy by 2050, but also, the bottom line just makes sense. “Renewable fuels are cheaper and less volatile than fossil fuels. That’s essential when your residents rely on affordable rent for the long term. We can’t ask them to absorb a spike in oil prices,” said Adams. They also considered air source heat pumps for this property, but the economics of a pellet system made more sense.According to Andrew Perchlik, Director of the Clean Energy Development Fund, “The Housing Foundation is one of several affordable housing groups that has embraced wood heating. These organizations see pellet heating not as a possibility, but as the default top choice, with oil or propane as ‘alternative’ heating. They have realized it is the best option not just ecologically, but economically as well.” These units join more than 500 other affordable housing units across the state that are heated with wood pellets.For this installation, Lyme Green Heat installed a 191,000 Btu/hr Maine Energy Systems PES56 pellet boiler along with a 15-ton silo to hold pellets which are delivered in bulk by Bourne’s Energy. The pellet boiler provides heat and hot water for two buildings with a total of 16 apartments as well as hot water for the common building which has meeting space, laundry room, and kitchen. The boiler system was funded in part by a $16,000 custom rebate from the Clean Energy Development Fund.The apartments are about two-thirds occupied so far and will be fully occupied by the end of June. The Housing Foundation is planning an open house at the end of June as a celebration and will welcome visitors at that time who would like to check out the pellet boiler.Wood pellets are small, evenly-sized granules of 100% compressed sawdust. They are made from low-grade wood or sawdust from saw mills. They have a very low moisture content that allows them to burn very clean, and because they are small and even in shape they can be fed into automated systems, such as a pellet stove or boiler for a home. The pellets being delivered to the Hollister Hill apartments are from Vermont Wood Pellet in Clarendon.Currently, an estimated 12% of Vermont households heat at least in part with pellets (either bagged or bulk); a figure that’s expected to rise as more homes install automatic pellet boilers.Modern wood heating incentives are available for home and business owners:$3000 from the Clean Energy Development Fund, www.rerc-vt.org(link is external)$3000 from Efficiency Vermont, https://www.efficiencyvermont.com/rebates(link is external)For more information on these and all other current incentives on modern wood heat in Vermont, visit: http://fpr.vermont.gov/incentives(link is external)For more information on wood heating in affordable housing, download the Practical Guide to Modern Wood Heating: Successful Conversion to Wood Heating for Affordable Housing in Vermont here: https://www.biomasscenter.org/pdfs/Practical-Guide-to-Modern-Wood-Heating-HOUSING.pdf(link is external)Source: Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation 4.30.2018last_img read more