Tech-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 Plan
ILOILO City – In partnership with various stakeholders,the city government is stepping up its disaster resilience initiatives throughtechnology-based equipment and programs. For her part, Loyzaga said, “Whatwe’re trying to do is provide a system of environment monitoring, a way togather data both for climate, weather and earthquake events. This science andtechnology component feeds into the decision-making of the leadership of thecity in the journey to resilience.” This southern city was chosen by NRCto pilot a cloud-based integrated information system as a decision-supporttool. A memorandum of agreement for this was signed October this year. The two agreements support thethree-year Resilient Local Government Systems Program, of NRC, said PresidentMa. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga. Mayor Jerry Treñas recently signed amemorandum of cooperation with the National Science and Technology Center forDisaster Reduction (NCDR) of Taiwan, National Resilience Council (NRC), andManila Observatory on improving regional resilience against natural hazards. NCDR Taiwan director Dr. Hongey Chensaid they have chosen Iloilo City as recipient of the project because, likeTaiwan, it also has its share of disasters. Taiwan hopes to share itsexperience with Iloilo City in reducing disasters, he stressed. Under this program, Iloilo Cityreceived 25 sets of new earthquake P-alert and early warning instruments andrain gauges from the NCDR. These instruments will be installed inside thecampuses of partner universities and barangays and connected to servers in thecity government, the Manila Observatory and NCDR. “In Taiwan, every year we get four toseven typhoons, heavy rainfall and a lot of disasters. We set up a disasterinformation system. We hope to share our experience to this city,” said Chen./PN The city also had agreements on theSmart Sensor Network with NRC, NCDR, Manila Observatory, Central PhilippineUniversity (CPU), John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University (JBLFMU),University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV), West Visayas State University(WVSU), Alliance Global Group, Megaworld Iloilo, and SM City Iloilo. “We are very happy and excited to workwith the private sector and the academe…for Iloilo’s ability to facedisasters,” said Treñas.
* completion of the oil spill cleanup and ensuring that water quality is restored to safe levels AC Energy Philippines says it is committed to continue cooperating with government agencies to ensure that the oil spill cleanup is completed soon, and that the needs of the affected communities are provided for. Photo shows the water around Power Barge 102 in Barangay Bo. Obrero, Lapuz, Iloilo City looking clearer as the oil spill cleanup goes on. PHOTO FROM AC ENERGY * proper collection and disposal of oil contaminated materials and wastes AC Energy also said it will take into account comments and other recommendations from said units and agencies to better address the emergency. It focuses on the detailed plans of the company and the relevant timeline for the implementation of such plans in relation to the key areas which the DENR-EMB highlighted during a technical conference Wednesday last week. The key areas include the following: “With respect to news reports released on Saturday regarding the filing by the PCG of a criminal complaint against the company and its officers for alleged violation of Section 107 of Republic Act 8550 (The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998) as amended by Republic Act 10654 for aquatic pollution, the company has not received a copy of such complaint yet and is thus unable to make any specific comment at this time,” it clarified. AC Energy Philippines, owner of Power Barge 102 that accidentally spilled bunker fuel into the coast of Iloilo City due to still undetermined causes, submitted the EMP to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) Environmental Management Bureau (EMB). ILOILO City – An environment management plan (EMP) addressing the environmental impact of the oil spill following an explosion from a power barge in Barangay Bo. Obrero, Lapuz district on July 3 is on a roll. * rehabilitation plan for the affected mangrove areas and fisheries * continued monitoring of air quality and ensuring that air quality is safe before affected families are allowed to return to their homes “Even with the submission of the EMP to the DENR-EMB, we will continue to work closely and coordinate with the DENR, as well as with various government bodies and agencies, including the local governments of Iloilo City and Guimaras, as well as the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to implement the EMP,” according to AC Energy in a statement. AC Energy also underscored that even with the filing of the case, it is committed to continue cooperating in good faith with the PCG and other government units and agencies to ensure that the oil spill cleanup is done properly and completed soon, and that the needs of the affected communities and groups are provided for. “With the submission of the EMP and the various cleanup activities we organized in coordination with industry and local government partners and the community assistance that it provided since the oil spill started, the company hopes to have demonstrated its serious commitment to do what is right for the affected communities and the environment, including to address the findings of aquatic pollution by the PCG,” it further noted./PN