Tech-Sector Backlash Against U.S. Coal Bailout Plan

first_imgTech-Sector Backlash Against U.S. Coal Bailout Plan FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg News:Selling custom nose rings, crocheted bunnies and hand-carved Santas is energy-intensive stuff.Just ask Etsy Inc., the go-to marketplace for crafts that doubled its electricity use in two years to feed power-sucking data centers that keep the $2.8 billion-a-year business running. It’s one of the many technology giants including Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google demanding cheaper — and cleaner — electricity as their data demands grow.This hunger for power has set Silicon Valley on a collision course with the Trump administration, which is working up a plan to keep coal plants afloat by raising electricity prices. As a rare source of demand growth, these tech firms have become formidable advocates for clean energy. They’ve contracted enough renewable energy to displace at least 12 coal generators, and some are paying millions to sever ties with utilities to find their own supply.Big Tech is no longer “afraid to throw around their weight or their ability to influence — some might say bully — their local utility or local governments in what they want to get,” said Lucas Beran, a senior research analyst on IHS Markit’s data center and cloud team.It’s easy to see why the companies have become such advocates. Power used by all the nation’s data centers is set to climb 4 percent from 2014 to 2020, according to an Energy Department report. Server farms now draw enough electricity to light up Las Vegas and the rest of Nevada, twice over. Etsy alone used 10,679 megawatt-hours last year — enough to supply 1,000 homes.While coal still accounts for about a third of U.S. electricity, it’s losing ground to cheaper natural gas, wind and solar. Hundreds of mines have shut in recent years, and President Donald Trump campaigned on a pledge to revive them. His administration is now calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to enact a plan that would subsidize coal-fired power plants.This is part of a series looking at Trump’s plan to rescue coal. Read the last story here.In a letter last month, Etsy called on regulators to reject Trump’s plan, which it described as a barrier to “making creative entrepreneurship a path to economic security.” Separately, a group that includes Amazon and Microsoft Corp. said the administration is overlooking the potential of renewable power, grid technology and energy storage, warning that the proposal would create “burdensome out-of-market costs on consumers like our companies.”Their push for clean power extends well beyond Washington. Alphabet has called on utilities to create “buy-as-you-go” renewable energy programs. The demands of modern electricity consumers have outgrown the standard utility business model designed “for a bygone era,” it said in a white paper last year. The Mountain View, California-based company, which runs the world’s largest online search engine, has signed contracts to buy 2.6 gigawatts of renewable energy that it said will lead to $3.5 billion of investments.More: From Yarn Bunnies to Amazon, Tech Fights Trump Coal Planlast_img read more

Women’s hockey: WCHA title returns to Madison for second straight year

first_imgThe No. 1 University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team is riding high after a thrilling weekend sweep of No. 2 University of Minnesota, Duluth and clinching the WCHA title outright. After tying the first game in a 1-1 shootout Saturday, the Badgers came out hungry on Sunday as they torched the Bulldogs for eight goals in an 8-0 shutout.With the impressive performance on Senior Day Sunday, the Badgers secured their second straight conference title and the program’s sixth all-time since the program’s beginning in 1999. Though they earned the regular season title, head coach Mark Johnson knows the season is not over yet, he said at a Monday night news conference.“Even though we clinched the championship, in the bigger picture, there’s still a lot of things at stake,” Johnson said. “Depending on the outcome of the two games this weekend, they can certainly have ramifications of things down the road.”Women’s hockey: Roque takes home Rookie of the Week honors at right timeThe University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team just keeps collecting regular season accolades as freshman forward Abby Roque earned Rookie Read…Junior forward Baylee Wellhausen led the Badgers’ 8-point effort, had her first college career hat trick and her 14th goal on the season. Johnson had only good things to say about Wellhausen.“I’ve known her a long time, and when she comes into the rink, she always seems to be happy and upbeat,” Johnson said. “I’m really happy for her, she works hard, she’s a great kid, does well in the classroom, and it’s really enjoyable to see her get rewarding.”The regular season WCHA crown, however, should mean more to the Badgers than the impressive sweep this weekend. Every season Wisconsin has finished atop the historic conference they have reached the NCAA championship game, outside of last year in which they lost to rival Minnesota University in the Frozen Four.With a eight-goal beatdown of the second best team in the country, this senior-dominated squad looks poised to win the program’s first championship since 2010 and their fifth overall. The road to that title, however, will run through the Gophers as it always does.Women’s hockey: No. 1 Wisconsin hosts No. 2 Minnesota Duluth in battle for top spotThis weekend showcases a matchup between the two best teams in the nation as the No. 1 University of Wisconsin Read…Johnson and the Badgers will have another chance to test out their future championship goals against that No. 4 Minnesota squad this weekend. The teams met earlier this year in Madison and the Badgers split the series. This time the Badgers look to keep it rolling into the playoffs with a series sweep in Minneapolis.It will mark the sixth time this season the Badgers face a top-10 team. Wisconsin is 7-2-1 against top 10 teams this year.“I think we’ve played, by far, the hardest schedule of any team in Division 1 hockey,” Johnson said.Minnesota has been in the top five in the rankings all season long, and will by no means be an easy series win. The season’s second Border Battle series will take place in Minneapolis on Saturday and Sunday, both games at 3 p.m. CT.last_img read more

Aegean island on sale for just 14 million

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram An uninhabited private island off the coast of Greece will go on auction at a starting price of 10 million euros (AU$14,34 million) in September, the company organising the sale has announced.The island is part of the Spalathronisia archipelago that sits 500 metres from the Halkidiki peninsula, a tourist hotspot in northern Greece. The sale of the island is the latest from the country’s crisis-hit landowners.The auction of the 10.4-hectare Aegean island looks set to outstrip the sale in March of six Ionian private islands to the Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, who reportedly paid 8.5 million euros for them.Greece’s privately owned islands have been sold off in greater numbers due to a recent increase in property taxes by the government.Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev’s daughter bought the Greek resort island of Skorpios in April, where shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis married Jackie Kennedy in the 1960s.The sale price was not specified, but Greek media reports placed the value of Skorpios at more than 100 million euros.The Greek government has also got in on the act, but has agreed to long-term loans rather than sales of its own island assets.Source: Ninemsn.com.aulast_img read more