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Double Talk From Washington

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[Fahamu] America knows pretty well that the regime in Addis Ababa is dictatorial and repressive down to its core, but US officials will never say so openly. Ethiopia is an important ally for the pursuit of US interests in the region.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Editor - June 30, 2015 at 8:09 pm

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Ethiopian National Football Team Travel to Kenya Tomorrow

[Ethiopian Herald] The Ethiopian National Football Team at the Bahir Dar Stadium

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Ethiopian Knock-Out Tourney Reaches Semi-Final Stage

[Ethiopian Herald] Four teams reached the Ethiopian knock-out tournament final stage after beating their opponents last Thursday and Friday. St. George knocked out Arba Minch City with a 1-0 margin while Mekelakeya knocked out Sidama Coffee with a 2-0 result.

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Election Report Card

[Reporter] Bettering a 99.6 percent of parliamentary seats may seem like mission impossible in democracies, but the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and its affiliates have done just that. After results from the fifth general elections are tallied in, the EPRDF and its allies are declared winners with 100 percent of parliamentary and regional council seats. The result has left the besieged opposition with a gloomy five years ahead while it may have also irked even members and supporter

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Addis Abeba to Get 50 Percent Budget Raise

[Addis Fortune] The City Administration of Addis Abeba is to see a significant jump in its budget for 2015/16, with an addition of 11 billion Br. Close to 20 billion Br budget was alloted for the current fiscal year. Yet, the budget bill is up for a final approval by the City’s all too EPRDF Council.

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Kenward Talks Alaskan Wildfires With Jim Cantore

By Climate Central

 

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Alaska Entering New Era for Wildfires Report
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With more than 1 million acres of forests scorched in June, Alaska is in the midst of a blazing wildfire season. Alyson Kenward, Climate Central’s research director, spoke with The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore on Monday about the current spate of wildfires and a recent Climate Central report that chronicles the troubling long-term changes to the state’s fire regime. A combination of rising temperatures and dwindling spring snowpack have set Alaska up for a dramatic shift in wildfire activity. Fire season is also stretching 35 days longer compared to 60 years ago. There have been nearly twice as many large wildfires in the past two decades compared to the 1950s and 60s, including a rapidly growing number in the state’s Arctic region. Unless greenhouse gas emissions are cut, the amount of area burned by wildfires is projected to double by 2050 and triple by 2100.


source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ClimateCentral-News/~3/qOKjhZ5HLeU/kenward-alaskan-wildfires-cantore-19172

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Editor - at 6:03 am

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Supreme Court Blocks EPA Rule on Mercury Emissions

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its authority with a 2012 regulation limiting mercury emissions and other pollutants from coal-fired power plants because it refused to consider the costs involved in complying with the mandate.

In a 5-4 opinion, the court said that the EPA must consider the cost of an environmental regulation before deciding if it is “appropriate and necessary.” It left it to the EPA to decide how costs should be considered and sent the case back to the federal appeals court to decide whether the rule should remain in effect in the meantime.

The Big Bend Power Station, a major coal-fired power plant, in Apollo Beach, Fla.
Credit: Mrs. Gemstone/flickr

The ruling, while a setback for the EPA, is unlikely to threaten its most significant climate change-related rule, the proposed Clean Power Plan, which would regulate carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. If finalized in August, the Clean Power Plan is widely expected to force coal-fired power plants to shutter and drastically reduce coal production across the U.S.

“The case is unlikely to be a significant setback in EPA’s efforts to regulate other forms of pollution from power plants,” Richard Revesz, director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University Law School, said in a statement. “Nothing in this decision would in any way call into question the legal legitimacy of the Clean Power Plan.”

Monday’s decision, Michigan v. EPA, involved a 2012 regulation known as the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which limited mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act. The EPA estimated the standards would cost utilities $9.6 billion annually, but it refused to consider that cost when drafting the regulation because it believed the risks to public health and the environment posed by mercury emissions were too great.

In writing the majority opinion, however, Justice Antonin Scalia said the agency’s position was deeply flawed.

“It is not rational, never mind ‘appropriate,’ to impose billions of dollars in economic costs in return for a few dollars in health or environmental benefits,” Scalia wrote,, adding, “EPA must consider cost — including cost of compliance — before deciding whether regulation is appropriate and necessary.”

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The court ruled that cost should be a major deciding factor at the earliest stages of writing a regulation — the point at which the EPA recognizes that pollution poses a risk to the environment and the public.

“By EPA’s logic, someone could decide whether it is ‘appropriate’ to buy a Ferrari without thinking about cost because he plans to think about cost later when deciding to upgrade the sound system,” Scalia wrote.

But the EPA concluded that the benefits of regulating mercury — totaling more than $80 billion annually — would far outweigh the cost of complying with the new standards, Justice Elena Kagan wrote in her dissent. “Those benefits include as many as 11,000 fewer premature deaths annually, along with a far greater number of avoided illnesses.”

She said the EPA took costs into account at multiple stages over the course of a decade of writing the rule.

“The Agency acted well within its authority in declining to consider costs at the opening bell of the regulatory process given that it would do so in every round thereafter,” Kagan wrote. “Indeed, EPA could not have measured costs at the process’s initial stage with any accuracy. And the regulatory path the EPA chose parallels the one it has trod in setting emissions limits, at Congress’s explicit direction, for every other source of hazardous air pollutants over two decades.”

The Cumberland Power Plant in Cumberland City, Tenn., along the banks of the Cumberland River.
Credit: Brent Moore/flickr

The ruling doesn’t prevent the EPA from regulating mercury emissions, but requires the agency to factor in the cost of compliance. What happens next is up to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which will decide whether the mercury rule can stay in effect while the EPA considers the issue.

Despite Monday’s ruling, the EPA could find its defense of the Clean Power Plan bolstered because the Supreme Court’s decision undermines one of the coal industry’s biggest arguments against it, Brian Potts, an attorney specializing in energy and environmental cases.

The industry has claimed that the Clean Air Act prevents the federal government from regulating both carbon dioxide emissions and mercury from coal-fired power plants at the same time. Without the mercury rule, that argument could be undermined, Potts said.

“This opinion could have significant impacts for both the mercury rule and the Clean Power Plan,” Potts said. “I think unquestionably this is a good thing for the Clean Power Plan regardless what the D.C. Circuit does because it creates a defense for the EPA.”

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source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ClimateCentral-News/~3/m4jPB0Yzdvg/justices-block-emissions-rule-19170

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What Is the Value of Solar Energy + Storage?

What’s the true, overall value of combined “behind the meter” energy storage plus solar PV deployment to U.S. power utilities and their customers? That’s the big question facing stakeholders in Hawaii and other U.S. states with a need to integrate fast-growing amounts of solar and renewable energy on to power grids.

 

A new valuation methodology set out in a report commissioned by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) and carried out by Clean Power Research offers utilities, grid operators and regulators the means to find out. With Hawaii’s electricity market providing the basis, the IREC-CPR report, “Valuation of Solar + Storage in Hawaii: A Methodology,” fills a gap in the analytic toolkit utilities have at their disposal, IREC and CPR explained in interviews. 

 

A rough analysis using the valuation methodology indicates the incremental value of adding battery storage capacity to solar PV installations in Hawaii comes in at 10 cents per kWh. Those net capacity added benefits accrue to the utility and rate payers. Costs of 7 cents per kWh, which include the costs of solar and storage losses, are paid for by utility customers who deploy these hybrid systems, CPR’s Ben Norris explained.

 

While these figures are specific to Hawaii, IREC-CPR’s valuation model can be used to determine the value of solar-plus-storage installations in any state or region, he added. 


source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RenewableEnergyNewsRssFeed/~3/8HOOdJu4xfA/what-is-the-value-of-solar-energy-storage.html

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‘Snail’s Pace’ in Climate Talks, Weak Pledges Frustrate UN Chief

The secretary general of the United Nations is frustrated with the pace of negotiations for what’s intended to be a crucial agreement limiting global warming.

Climate change pledges submitted so far from the world’s leading economies won’t be enough to keep the planet from warming dangerously, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Monday in New York.

Proposals to reduce heat-trapping emissions need to be “a floor, not a ceiling,” he said.

The global increase in temperatures will exceed 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) under the national pledges already submitted to UN, Ban said. That’s the goal scientists and the UN have set to avoid the worst effects due to global warming.

The proposals submitted to date “will not be enough to place us on a 2-degree pathway,” Ban said.

Without any changes to global emissions, the world is on track to warm by 4 degrees Celsius or more, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Climate Change Janos Pasztor said earlier this month.

World leaders have five months to go before a meeting of almost 200 nations in Paris that’s intended to seal a new global pact to cut planet-warming carbon emissions. If successful, the agreement would be the first ever to require both developed nations like the US and growing economies like China to address climate change.

“The pace of UN negotiations are far too slow,” Ban said. “It’s like a snail’s pace.”

The U.S., the world’s biggest historic source of greenhouse gases, pledged earlier this year to cut its emissions by as much as 28 percent by 2025. The European Union has promised a 40 percent cut by 2030. Several other major economies, including Australia and Japan, have yet to submit climate plans to the UN.


source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RenewableEnergyNewsRssFeed/~3/K4sEvLc0hzM/snails-pace-in-climate-talks-weak-pledges-frustrate-un-chief.html

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Listen Up: The Solar Maintenance Myth

Why are rooftop solar systems so reliable? First, because the solar panels themselves have zero moving parts, use tempered glass and anodized aluminum (better than most windows and skylights), and are covered by a 25 year manufacturer’s warranty. Second, because top quality microinverters carry a 25 year warranty and string inverters carry a 10 year warranty — and based on industry experience, the real-world performance of quality inverters has exceeded their warranty term. And third, because flashed rooftop mounting systems using all aluminum and stainless steel components will last at least as long as a homeowner’s roof.


source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RenewableEnergyNewsRssFeed/~3/qtNQBCFvi9E/listen-up-the-solar-maintenance-myth.html

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