The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago April 15, 2021 1,747 Views Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com. Home / Daily Dose / Despite Federal Actions, Q1 Foreclosures Rise An analysis of Q1 foreclosures by ATTOM Data Solutions has found that there were a total of 33,699 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings—default notices, scheduled auctions, or bank repossessions—during the first quarter of 2021, up 9% from the previous quarter, but down 78% year-over-year.The Q1 2021 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report also shows a total of 11,880 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in March 2021, up 5% over February 2021, but down 75% from March 2020’s totals, marking the second consecutive month with month-over-month increases in U.S. foreclosure activity.”The foreclosure moratorium on government-backed loans has virtually stopped foreclosure activity over the past year,” said Rick Sharga, EVP of RealtyTrac, an ATTOM Data Solutions company. “But mortgage servicers have been able to begin foreclosure actions on vacant and abandoned properties, which benefits neighborhoods and communities. It’s likely that these foreclosures are causing the slight uptick we’ve seen over the past few months.”Nationwide, one in every 4,078 housing units had a foreclosure filing in the first quarter of 2021. States with the highest foreclosure rates were Delaware, with one in every 1,705 housing units with a foreclosure filing; Illinois, with one in every 2,175 housing units; Florida, with one in every 2,237 housing units; Indiana, with one in every 2,397 housing units; and Ohio, with one in every 2,500 housing units.Lenders began foreclosure proceedings on 17,652 U.S. properties in Q1 2021, up 3% from Q4 2020, but down 78% year-over-year. States that saw the greatest quarterly increase in foreclosure starts and had 500 or more foreclosure starts in Q1 2021, included California (up 36%); Ohio (up 25%); North Carolina (up 15%); Virginia (up 11%); and South Carolina (up 10%).Lenders repossessed 7,320 U.S. properties through foreclosure (REO) in Q1, up 14% from the previous quarter, but down 87% from a year ago. The states with the greatest number of REOs in Q1 2021 were Florida (945 REOs); Illinois (610 REOs); California (414 REOs); Texas (370 REOs); and Arizona (330 REOs).And with emergency federal foreclosure protections eventually set to expire, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently proposed changes to help prevent an impending wave of foreclosures.”The government’s foreclosure moratorium, and the CARES Act mortgage forbearance program have extended foreclosure timelines for owner-occupied homes by a full year,” Sharga said. “Hopefully, this extra time will give financially-distressed homeowners the chance to get back on their feet, and work with their lenders to avoid a foreclosure when the government programs expire.”The CFPB forecasts that if current trends continue, there may be nearly 1.7 million loans at least 90 days delinquent come September 2021. Foreclosures have an average cost to borrowers of at least $12,500, with neighboring homes also losing value, and sale prices dropping by 1%-1.6% after nearby foreclosure sales. ATTOM Data Solutions Foreclosures Q1 2021 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report RealtyTrac REOs Rick Sharga 2021-04-15 Eric C. Peck Print This Post Despite Federal Actions, Q1 Foreclosures Rise Previous: Lipscomb to Lead Compliance Efforts at Homepoint Next: Legislation Introduced to Strengthen the Housing Credit About Author: Eric C. Peck Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Share Save in Daily Dose, Featured, Journal, News Tagged with: ATTOM Data Solutions Foreclosures Q1 2021 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report RealtyTrac REOs Rick Sharga Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Related Articles Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Subscribe
After much speculation, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney selected Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., to join his bid for the White House as his running mate. Differing opinions are emerging as to whether the addition to the GOP ticket will bolster or weaken public favor. Journalism professor Jack Colwell said the Ryan pick was made with the intention of reinvigorating the conservative base. “I think [the selection] helped initially by energizing the base, especially the very conservative and Tea Party voters, who were suspicious of Romney, and thought that maybe he was a moderate,” Colwell said. “[Romney] wanted to have the campaign focus on economic issues … he thought Ryan was kind of the ‘fiscal guy,’ chairman of the House Budget Committee.” Colwell said voter participation is likely to be the determining factor in the race. “That’s the key,” he said. “The country is pretty well split down the middle. Whichever side gets their voters to the polls could decide it.” Although the GOP ticket with Ryan stands to make gains from the right, Colwell said Ryan’s past stands on social programs and economic issues may hurt Romney’s prospects with senior citizens. “You have Medicare in the budget that [Ryan] initially passed through the House,” he said. “His proposal to have a voucher system is having real problems, especially in Florida.” Women, Colwell said, will be hesitant to vote for a ticket with the ardently pro-life candidate attached. “The big problem is that it’s not helping with women, and there’s already a big gender gap, with women, by a sizable margin, for [President Barack] Obama,” he said. Colwell said the media’s associating Ryan with recent comments made by Rep. Todd Akin, R-Miss., regarding abortion in the case of rape has created an additional challenge with the women’s vote. Ryan previous co-sponsored a bill with Akin that included an exception on prohibiting government funding of abortion in the case of “forceable” rape, Colwell said. “The worst thing is Todd Akin’s [comments],” he said. “That’s something that Romney couldn’t have envisioned. It brought up the whole abortion issue.” Sophomore Patrick Butler, director of political affairs for Notre Dame’s College Republicans, said he expects the debate to refocus on the economic issues, where the Ryan pick is bound to make a strong statement. “They want to make a very bold contrast between the current administration and how Romney will handle things,” Butler said. “It’s a very bold statement about the economy and Medicare.” Butler admitted Ryan’s tight fiscal policies are unlikely to win over many seniors, but said they may attract younger Americans concerned with the deficit. “It might help among students like us. This is our future. We kind of have to worry about [the deficit]. I’d say it really depends on how much of Ryan’s plan Romney endorses.” College Democrats president Camille Suarez said Ryan’s policies could isolate an even larger portion of the populace. “I think the Ryan pick is definitely going to lose the lower-middle class,” she said. “If you look at his budget plan, it’s going to make taxes go up for Middle America.” Suarez said his very conservative views might have more impact on the campaign process than simply winning or losing votes. “He’s kind of representing the Republican economic plan, and it’s doing a lot to polarize the election,” she said. “That isn’t good for either party, and it gives the independent voters a harder choice.” After the media frenzy surrounding the vice-presidential nomination of the then-Alaska governor Sarah Palin in 2008, Colwell said Ryan is a more reliable choice. “Ryan is no Sarah Palin,” he said. “She was not ready for primetime. I think Ryan is … If someone asks what newspapers he reads, he’ll be able to name one.” Butler said Ryan is more dependable and independent than his opposition, the sitting vice president. “Ryan can definitely hold his own,” he said. “You don’t have to be worried about what he says, unlike Joe Biden.” Butler said the Ryan choice served as a reminder for his club to stay on point. “I think it energized at least our leadership,” he said. “We have to realize we have an election coming up, and I think the Paul Ryan pick has gotten us to realize this is the home stretch.” Suarez said her club is now more driven to keep the administration in office and prevent Ryan’s policies from being implemented. “I think we’re going to focus more on the national election now he’s been nominated,” she said. “Even the [U.S. Conference of Catholic] Bishops spoke out against [Ryan’s economic plan] which raises a red flag … We need to do all we can to make sure he’s not in office.” Though Colwell said he believes Ryan is a good strategic choice for Romney, his viability as a running mate won’t be clear until November. “I thought he was a good choice, and ultimately, if Romney goes on to win, it will be analyzed as a good choice,” he said. “The jury’s out on this, the focus for weeks now is on these social issue and on what ‘legitimate rape’ is and things like that, that will just kill the Republican ticket … They’ll certainly try to avoid that, and possibly, they can get the focus on the economy.”
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Redskins (Iyer). They haven’t a big game in a while, but it should come here in prime time at home against Colt McCoy.Full Week 13 D/ST rankingsIndianapolis Colts @ Jaguars (Lutovsky). The Colts defense has been up and down lately, and it was particularly disappointing against Jacksonville at home a few weeks ago. Now on the road, it would seem like the Colts have less upside, but facing Cody Kessler (and not facing Leonard Fournette) for a down-and-out Jags team should fire them up. Week 13 Rankings:Quarterback | Running Back | Wide Receiver | Tight End | D/ST | KickerThese sleepers should give fantasy owners a chance to win their games this week and potentially ride a sleeper into a berth in the fantasy playoffs. At the same time, don’t overdo it with these sleepers. If you’re plugging them in as FLEX plays or lower-level options, that’s fine. But don’t bench a stud for a sleeper. If you need more guidance, check out our start ’em, sit ’em advice for Week 13.WEEK 13 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endWeek 13 fantasy sleepers: Running backsJordan Howard, Bears @ Giants (Jacob Camenker). I really like Howard this week. The Giants have struggled against bigger, physical runners in recent weeks — really, since trading Snacks Harrison — as both Peyton Barber and Josh Adams were able to gash them. Howard fits that mold as a big, physical runner who could do some damage and help take pressure off the Chicago QB, whether that’s Mitchell Trubisky or Chase Daniel (currently, it looks like Daniel may be the guy).Dion Lewis, Titans vs. Jets (Vinnie Iyer). If Tennessee can’t run to big things with a lead here, it would be shocking against a reeling New York run D. Lewis has big upside as a result.Justin Jackson, Chargers @ Steelers (Matt Lutovsky). The season-long stats don’t necessarily back this up, as Pittsburgh is 23rd in fantasy points allowed to RBs, but since Week 4, they’ve allowed at least one rushing TD in all but one game. Over the past three games, they’ve allowed six total RB touchdowns. Austin Ekeler will be the primary back for the Chargers, but Jackson could poach a TD or two to go along with 50 rushing yards.WEEK 13 DFS CASH LINEUPS: Yahoo | FanDuel | DraftKingsWeek 13 fantasy football sleepers: QuarterbacksCarson Wentz, Eagles vs. Redskins (Camenker). The past two weeks have sent Wentz from one of the top fantasy QBs in the game to being benched by many owners. However, he has a chance to bounce back against the Redskins in Week 13. Playing at home, Wentz gets to take on a hot and cold Redskins defense that has surrendered two 30-plus point performances to QBs and two of 14 points or less in their last four outings. Because of this, Wentz is a feast or famine option, but the prime-time home matchup on Monday Night Football should certainly help him get closer to feast level.Case Keenum, Broncos @ Bengals (Iyer). He has enough weapons to have a strong streaming day against a now totally awful pass defense.Lamar Jackson, Ravens @ Falcons (Lutovsky). The high-floor Jackson train isn’t going to be derailed this week. Atlanta allows the second-most fantasy points to QBs, and although a lot of that damage has been because of TD passes — something you can’t expect a ton of from Jackson — they’re still vulnerable to big plays. Jackson will have between 50-100 yards on the ground, another 150-200 through the air, and at least two total TDs.Full Week 13 QB rankingsMORE WEEK 13 DFS: Values | Stacks | Lineup BuilderWeek 13 fantasy football sleepers: Wide receiversDavid Moore, Seahawks vs. 49ers (Camenker). Everybody likes to focus on Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett, and with good reason. However, Moore has been targeted 13 times in the past two weeks and has posted eight catches for 160 yards and a TD in that span. The 49ers haven’t been particularly good against the pass this year, and they have given up the eighth-most fantasy points to receivers. That could open the door for another solid week for Moore. Feel free to plug him in as a FLEX in a good matchup.Mohamed Sanu, Falcons vs. Ravens (Iyer). The Ravens are most vulnerable against slot receivers, and Sanu usually does well in those spots.Josh Doctson, Redskins @ Eagles (Lutovsky). Doctson has established himself as the Redskins’ top wide receiver, and with the Eagles allowing the second-most fantasy points to the position, he should be get plenty of opportunities in a must-win game for both teams.Full Week 13 WR rankingsWeek 13 fantasy football sleepers: Tight endsMatt LaCosse, Broncos @ Bengals (Camenker). With Jeff Heuerman out, LaCosse is the top TE in Denver. Last week, he caught three passes for 34 yards and a score against the Steelers. This week, he gets a Bengals defense that has allowed the second-most fantasy points to TEs this year and just allowed the Browns TEs to score twice against them. LaCosse is a risky play, but he is one of the better sleepers on the board.Kyle Rudolph, Vikings @ Patriots (Iyer). New England has struggled mostly with inside receivers, especially at the tight end position. That makes Rudolph a solid start.C.J. Uzomah, Bengals vs. Broncos (Lutovsky). The Broncos snapped a three-game tight end TD streak last week — but just barely thanks to a Vance McDonald drop in the end zone. Uzomah has been a disappointment, but a new QB in Cincinnati could help spark him.Full Week 13 TE rankingsWeek 13 fantasy sleepers: DefensesNew Orleans Saints @ Cowboys (Camenker). Quietly, the Saints have put up some solid numbers on the defensive side of the ball in recent weeks. They are averaging 13.3 fantasy points in their past three outings, and they should have a chance to force some turnovers against Dallas, especially if they can get the Cowboys to play from behind early. Now is the time to jump back on the Saints D/ST bandwagon, as they should handle the Cowboys and then take on the Bucs in Week 14. We have one week of regular season fantasy football left (for most leagues). It’s now or never. The fantasy playoffs are almost upon us, and winning now is critical for most teams. Bye weeks are over, and that will make some difficult start/sit decisions as teams are now loaded with depth. There is still some talent available on the waiver wire, but for the most part, many owners will be looking internally to find sleeper candidates (barring an injury to a top player like Melvin Gordon).Our hot streak in picking sleepers continued last week, as many of our picks were smash hits. At running back, Josh Adams and Gus Edwards both scored in the double digits and emerged as true RB2s. At QB, Baker Mayfield led the charge with a massive game against the Bengals while Lamar Jackson and Jameis Winston also put up respectable numbers. We also predicted the Antonio Callaway “breakout” game (he had a TD) and saw Jordan Reed, Cameron Brate, and the Cowboys D/ST succeed, as well. We’ll try to stay on a roll with our fantasy advice as the season continues on.
Maida didn’t want to speculate on how the Leafs would replace McCarthy’s scoring.“To me losing Colton just gives someone else on the team the opportunity to step up and fill that spot,” Maida explained.McCarthy attended the Warriors camp.Moose Jaw management wanted McCarthy to stay, but the skillful sniper felt it was better to develop his game at the junior B level.Then in early November the Warriors put in a call to McCarthy to play for the WHL club during a three-game road trip to Medicine Hat, Calgary and Cranbrook to play the Kootenay Ice.Those three games have McCarthy confident the transition wouldn’t be that bumpy.“It was a great experience to play those games,” said McCarthy, with 20 goals and 10 assists in 25 games.“While I think it may take a couple of games to get comfortable, once I’m there I know I’ll be fine.”Leaf fans get one more chance to see their star in action Saturday when the Leafs host the Kimberley Dynamiters.One more opportunity to see the rookie weave his magic on the ice at the NDCC Arena before leaving for the bright lights of Tier I Junior A.“It was a hard decision,” McCarthy confessed.“I had to think about it a lot before I finally decided this was the right time to go to Moose Jaw.”It’s tough to leave Nelson but hopefully the guys get to the Cyclone (Taylor Cup, Junior B Hockey Championship) and do really well there.”And hopefully their teammate shows what Leaf hockey is all about in the Dub. Fans watching Colton McCarthy weave his way through the Grand Forks defence before setting up teammate Colton Schell for Nelson’s first goal during Wednesday’s 4-1 win at the NDCC Arena may want to file that image into their memory banks.Because there may not be very many more spectacular plays coming from the 16-year-old Salmon Arm rookie in a Green and White jersey after McCarthy accepted an offer to join the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League.McCarthy leaves Sunday for the prairies to begin his Tier I Junior Hockey career.“The Moose Jaw GM (Alan Millar) phoned me up Friday while I was in school and told me they’d like to call me up for the rest of the year,” McCarthy said before Thursday’s Leaf practice at the NDCC Arena.“While I’m very excited with the offer I’m sad that I’ll have to leave the boys here in Nelson. . . . I love it here.”McCarthy has been everything Leaf head coach Frank Maida could hope for in a rookie.His gifted hands have made him a threat to score whenever he’s been on the ice.The 6-foot, 170-pound center scored twice in his first game as a junior, and tallied in five of the first six games.McCarthy is second in goals scored in entire KIJHL — two behind Spencer Samuel of Revelstoke — and has scored in 14 of Nelson’s 29 games.“My first concern is this the right move for Colton, but that’s our goal as an organization, to develop players for the next level,” said Leaf coach Frank Maida, who last season saw sniper Patrick Martens leave the hockey team for the BCHL midway through the season.“We’ve always move players up to Junior A, but I don’t think we’ve seen one go to the WHL.”
Whoever Homo florensiensis was (see 10/27/2004 entry), it was no dumb half-ape. This miniature human packed a lot of brains into a small skull, says Michael Balter in Science1 (see also EurekAlert, National Geographic and BBC News). A cast of the brain made from the skull shows complexity: convolutions in the frontal lobe suggest an intelligent mind, a revelation corroborated by the presence of stone tools and evidence of fire nearby. Balter quotes an evolutionary anatomist on the implications: the new study “upsets one of our main concepts of human evolution, that brain size has to increase for humans to become clever.” Another calls the finding “a real stunner.” All the same, News&Nature is claiming this silences the critics, like Teuku Jacob (who took possession of the fossils till recently returning them) who claimed the creature was only a modern human suffering from the disease of microcephaly (small brain). Yet with so few microcephalic skulls available for study, others are not sure Jacob’s claim has been discredited. Because the fossil doesn’t resemble that of a pygmy or a microcephalic individual, many are ready to call it a new species of hominid. But then, because its skull showed evidence of “advanced development of the front lobes of the brain, where reasoning occurs,” ([email protected]), it is hard to consider it primitive. Paleoanthropologists are divided between explaining H. florensiensis as a degenerate form of modern human, or a case of “a small-brained, small-bodied, pre-erectus hominid managed to get to Flores in the distant past, and then, in a case of parallel evolution with modern humans, evolved a relatively advanced brain on its own.” Balter quotes Fred Spoor (University College, London) giving the bottom line: “The real take-home message here is that advanced behaviors, like making sophisticated stone tools, do not necessarily require a large, modern, humanlike brain. It can be done by reorganizing a small brain, with convolutions and rewiring, and this goes to the heart of our understanding of human evolution.”1Michael Balter, “Small but Smart? Flores Hominid Shows Signs of Advanced Brain,” Science, Vol 307, Issue 5714, 1386-1389, 4 March 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.307.5714.1386a].Any evolutionists thinking they have an “Aha!” case of a missing-link fossil to discredit creationists have a slippery object to try to hang onto. If brain size does not correlate with intelligence, then a century and a half of human-evolution storytelling goes down the drain. Fine measurements of skull capacity were a staple of human phylogenetic studies; some, like Paul Broca (now considered a racist), made a career out of it. It should have been obvious that even modern human “small people” like Tom Thumb could be smarter than local fatheads. And didn’t we learn that birds, with much smaller brains, outwit chimpanzees? (see 02/01/2005 entry). If hobbitkind were degenerate modern humankind, there is no evolution story to tell. But if they evolved smart brains independently, in parallel with other upwardly-mobile hominids, then human evolution has been falsified twice (see 12/30/2004 entry). Take your pick, Darwin Party. If indeed “this goes to the heart of our understanding of human evolution,” it whacks it with a sharp stone tool.(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
There are only five wind turbines operating in U.S. waters today. But that will likely soon change, partly because of states with ambitious offshore wind targets.Off the Massachusetts coastline, for example, Vineyard Wind aims to build one of the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farms. This planned 800-megawatt offshore wind farm will be capable of generating enough electricity to power at least 400,000 homes. And Rhode Island has given the company Deepwater Wind a green light to build a 400-megawatt offshore wind farm as well. These turbines, all of which are slated to be located near the island of Martha’s Vineyard, would be among several big offshore wind projects that could transform the grid.We lead an offshore wind energy graduate program at the University of Massachusetts that brings together engineering, wildlife ecology, public engagement and political science students. Through this work, we have come to believe offshore will become a major new source of domestic renewable energy for the nation.Momentum from the market and the statesThe Massachusetts and Rhode Island ventures are planned to be built only a few miles away from the site that had been slated for Cape Wind, which was supposed to be the first commercial-scale offshore wind project ever built in the U.S. What changed after those plans collapsed in 2015 following a 13-year effort?Perhaps the biggest momentum is coming from market forces, which have improved. Cape Wind’s troubles stemmed from a mix of high costs and public and political opposition that doomed the project. But the pace of nuclear and coal-fired plant closures has picked up since then.Meanwhile, the cost of generating electricity through wind off the coast of Europe, the one region where the industry has gained critical mass, has decreased sharply.Here in the U.S, the Trump administration is approving new leases for offshore wind development. And the industry is gaining state-level support, especially in an East Coast corridor that runs as far south as North Carolina.Despite Cape Wind’s demise, Massachusetts became the first state to set offshore wind goals in 2016. It aims to install at least 1,600 megawatts of electricity — enough to power over 600,000 homes — by 2027.Soon after, New York released an even more ambitious master plan, which aims to install 2,400 megawatts of electricity by 2030. Then, New Jersey went further, committing to a 3,500-megawatt goal by 2030.Besides these three states, another five — Maryland, Virginia, Rhode Island, North Carolina and Delaware — are also moving forward, with federally approved leases to develop offshore windfarms. One in 5 Americans lives in these eight states. The 600,000 jobs the Energy Department predicts that onshore and offshore wind energy will create by 2050 help explain their interest.Meanwhile, things are moving forward in other states as well. Hawaii plans to rely heavily on offshore wind as part of its goal of getting all its power from renewable sources by 2045. Like states on the West Coast, Hawaii has not gotten federal approval yet for any leases.An energy gapWhen you flip a switch, you expect the lights to turn on. Yet few Americans are aware of the delicate balance between supply and demand that makes it possible for the nation’s lights, appliances and factories to keep humming.Grid operators ensure different sources of generation, primarily coal, natural gas, nuclear, and renewable energy like wind, hydropower, and solar, meet demand. This mix varies by region, time of day and season, and the balance between these different electricity sources has changed significantly in the past two decades.The biggest transformations are the rising share of power derived from natural gas and wind and the decline in coal. As recently as 2000, coal produced more than half of the nation’s electricity, while natural gas contributed only 13%, and a combination of wind, solar, and geothermal energy powered less than 1% percent of the grid. By 2017, the share of coal-fired power had fallen to 30% and natural gas had jumped to 32%. The share of electricity from renewable sources aside from hydropower — primarily wind — had hit 8% and was growing rapidly.The share of nuclear power has remained steady at about 20% of the national grid, but that will change as many old nuclear reactors are decommissioned.In New England, for example, the Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth, Massachusetts, will shut down in 2019. Four nuclear plants serving customers in Ohio and Pennsylvania are now scheduled to close as well.Meanwhile, the Brayton Point coal plant, the last in New England, also stopped operating in 2017. All told, utilities and state power authorities are retiring about 16% percent of the region’s generating capacity between 2013 and 2021, including coal-fired plant and nuclear reactor closures.With all the coal and nuclear closures across the country, experts anticipate that the U.S. will need approximately 3 terawatt hours of new capacity by 2050. This projection, which is based on historical trends at a time when the grid is being transformed, is a massive amount of electricity, equal to about three-fourths of all the power Americans consumed in 2017. Filling that gap may be daunting, but it also creates a chance to upgrade the nation’s power infrastructure while helping to tackle climate change.Lower offshore wind pricesEven with an impending burst of demand for new power sources, the offshore wind industry would not be nearly as promising if not for the plunging prices seen in Europe, where the industry has already taken off.In 2010, electricity generated through offshore wind off the European coastline cost around 17 cents per kilowatt hour, more than twice what utilities were paying for power derived from burning gas and coal. The price fell to around 13 cents by 2017. But when Germany and the Netherlands recently awarded some of the first unsubsidized offshore wind contracts, bids had fallen to as little as 6 cents.What’s driving this decline? A number of factors. Wind turbine blades keep getting longer, doubling in length since 2000. These blades are now nearly as long as football fields – about 270 feet – on 8-megawatt turbines. The extra length means they capture more power, generating more revenue from every turbine.In addition, offshore wind turbines have grown more reliable, and government subsidies and mandates have incubated and sped the development of Europe’s industry. While electricity from U.S. offshore wind farms will initially cost system operators more in the U.S. than in Europe — as is common with any breakthrough projects — we predict that prices will fall once the market gets bigger here.The Energy Department projects that there will be a total 86 gigawatts of U.S. installed offshore wind capacity by 2050, about 7% of the capacity of today’s grid and only 4% of the vast potential to harness this kind of energy. Given the speed with which prices are falling in Europe, we believe that offshore wind could ultimately play an even bigger role than that, especially should the federal government again make fighting climate change a top priority. Matthew Lackner is associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Erin Baker is professor of industrial engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
The 2004 School Sport Touch Championships are providing plenty of action for Touch lovers. Here’s just a taste of the ever quotable quotes from those on the Gold Coast… “We’re fit as racing snakes.” – Pete Hampson Tasmanian 15 Years Boys Manager – describing his team before competition starts – don’t know what a racing snake looks like, but we’ll take Pete’s word on it! “No Touchdowns scored against us – great defensive play by the whole team – goal for Friday is to keep our clean sheet in defence.” – Qld 12 Years Girls Manager Carol Savidge reflecting on Qld’s awesome performance today. “Played well v Victoria, disappointed with result v WA, made too many basic errors in defence.” South Australian 15 Years Boys coaching staff. “Nothing, not one bit.”- Qld 15 Years Girls Coach Craig Slavin’s answer to my question about how his half time speech was received and what parts the player’s took in – didn’t seem to matter, the girls got up 5 -2. “Another solid performance in warm conditions – still areas to work on in attack and defence…. Francis Katoa and Samuel Clune were great v Qld and Daniel Thomas and Josh Drinkwater shone against ACT.”- NSW 12 Years Boys coaching staff commenting on a good day for the Blues in this division. “We need to look at our drive and defence to turn it around on Saturday…some good patches were spoilt by some lax defence and sideways attack.”- Qld 12 Years Boys Coaching staff on the loss to NSW today. “Shade cloths covering all fields.” – suggestion from Tassie coaching staff to ward off the stifling summer sun -the tournament organisers are good, but not that good! “We’ve started scoring and we’re enjoying it!” – The Tasmanian 12 Years Boys team who could only write “an experience” after day one yesterday, now have a lot more to write about – 6 – Touchdowns in fact – they told us that they’re fast as racing snakes – we should have listened! “Katie Brown got an intercept, youngest in the team, chased by some BIG Qld girls and nearly scored…Tess Dignam great diving touch to win the game for us v Tassie…Zoe Duffy great diving Touch Down v WA…Kimberley Wigg 5 touch downs in 2 days.” – Chris Jones South Australian 15 Years Girls Manager. “Tassie has a huge cheer squad – grand parents, parents, brothers, sisters, friends – all come to the Coast to support our great kids – disappointed not to have won today, but really proud of the way the team never gave up.” Tasmanian 15 Years Girls Coaching staff. “Gutsy 2-1 win over Tassie – great individual efforts from Monique Bolding & Anna Williams …tough v Qld – but we did better than any other 12 years SA team ever, keeping them to 14…Georgia Brown was great.” SA 12 years girls coach Adrian Sim on his team’s fortunes today. “Have you seen a camera, a pair of Oakley’s, house keys, mobile phone, a drink bottle, asthma spray – continuum transfunctioner perhaps?” The constant questions from poor unfortunate souls who lose things and ask our Tournament administration for help in finding these items…silly people, misplacing things…then.. “Has anyone seen the key to the Cooler room?” – Peter Bell to the entire tournament population after the one and only key went missing…. 1 hour later and $50 poorer after having to open the lock by other means, a Manager of a State Team sidles up, fesses up and returns the key…I think that’s a fine…big time! I’m pleased it was the end of the day and Belly was too tired to bother, otherwise the gentleman in question may have spent some detention time in the cooler room! “Plenty of water and no throwing up.” The instruction of one Coach to his team regarding the Dream World excursion tomorrow…. wise counsel indeed! Compiled by Karley Banks
OTTAWA — The United Nations is warning that it will be forced to curtail its peacekeeping efforts in Mali for several months unless Canada extends its mission there to prevent a gap in lifesaving medical evacuations.The potential impacts are detailed in a new report by the House of Commons’ defence committee, which heard firsthand about the impact Canada’s withdrawal will have during a visit to the West African nation in February.Canada has eight helicopters and 250 military personnel in Mali, where they are currently scheduled to provide emergency evacuations to injured UN peacekeepers and workers until July 31.But Romanian replacements aren’t due until mid-October — a gap UN officials told the committee will be “dramatic” because without such support, they will have to reduce patrols and services to communities.The warning follows the Trudeau government’s most recent refusal to keep Canadian peacekeepers in Mali until mid-October, after the UN formally requested an extension at the end of February.The government has offered little explanation for its decision, but the committee report suggests military officials are worried about the helicopters’ mechanical condition and a need to have them ready for crises back home.The Canadian Press
Leading entertainment journal Variety partnered with UN Women’s HeForShe campaign during the weekend to host a landmark event on the subject of gender equality within the film industry.Taking place on Saturday 16 May, speakers included Academy Award-nominated actress and producer Salma Hayek (FRIDA), Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (BRIDE & PREJUDICE), and actress Parker Posey (IRRATIONAL MAN).Taking place at the Radisson Blu, the actresses were joined by award-winning film-makers Christine Vachon and Elizabeth Karlsen, producers of the much-anticipated film CAROL, which will make its world premiere at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The discussion was moderated by Variety’s Co-Editor-In-Chief, Claudia Eller and UN Women’s Elizabeth Nyamayaro.Variety Publisher, Michelle Sobrino commented: “The issue of gender equality within our industry has rarely been in greater need of frank and open discussion. We’re proud to partner with UN Women and to welcome some of the industry’s leading creative voices to impart their experiences and insights on this imperative issue.”“Following the launch of last year’s Emma Watson-fronted HeForShe campaign, the empowerment of women within the film space has been under a greater spotlight than ever before,” emphasized Ms. Nyamayaro, Senior Advisor to UN Women’s Executive Director. “Our partnership with Variety in this initiative keeps the momentum rolling, and offers a platform for some of cinema’s leading female film-makers and performers to have their say at the industry’s most prestigious festival.”