Featured image: Stock An innovative multi-million-dollar programme in Kenya seeks to connect 14,000 households and businesses to green mini-grids by the end of 2018. The programme dubbed the Green Mini Grid (GMG) Facility Kenya aims to achieve this through scaling up private utilities delivering renewable electricity to rural communities. It is based on results-based financing and could be a model for other sub-Saharan countries dealing with energy poverty.This initiative is the brainchild of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), recently provided funds to three private utilities namely; RVE.SOL, PowerGen Renewable Energy and Powerhive to build sites in dozens of villages located in four counties in the western part of the country. According to the companies, total grants allocated for the projects amount to about €5.2 million ($6 million).Localised power generationMini-grids are localised power generation and distribution infrastructure, ideal for serving remote residential and commercial customers.The International Energy Agency (IEA) says mini-grids and other distributed solutions are the least-cost option for electrifying more than 70% of the 1 billion people in the world still without access to electricity, two-thirds of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa.Aside from electrifying homes, one of the main value propositions of mini-grids is that they can serve a wide range of small industry, from milling, carpentry, welding and poultry incubation, to commercial businesses such as hairdressers, hotels and restaurants, as well as public street lights, health clinics and schools. Read more: Power Africa Uganda Accelerator signs MoU to boost solar energy accessBut despite the fact that mini-grids are much quicker to deploy (taking just weeks), and more affordable to build than extending the main grid, the industry has been slower to take off than the household solar market in Africa, in part because mini-grids are built to last 20-25 years and require larger upfront capital investment.“The facility was developed to jump start the private sector,” said Joyce DeMucci, GMG facility team leader.“We wanted to provide grants to make sure companies are financed for long-term sustainability. I believe we’re at the tipping point now.”The facility is also providing technical support to other developers such as Renewvia and African Solar Designs, grooming them for possible funding in the future, DeMucci said, noting that on top of the initial DFID funding, additional funding had been secured from the European Union (EU), which provides support to extend the facility and accommodate a new call for proposals later in 2018. Mini-grid sector is nascentRVE.SOL’s managing director Vivian Vendeirinho, echoed the importance of the facility: “It is both catalytic and critical. The mini-grid sector is still nascent, and the level of understanding from the financial sector is very limited. We need grants to lower capital costs and scale so we can ultimately offer a higher return that can attract commercial project debt.”“This programme is helping the mini-grid sector to scale to thousands of grids and make a significant impact on people in Kenya and beyond,” said Rik Wuts, co-founder of Powerhive, the first company to secure facility funding and deploy grids on the ground.DFID and the EU financed the facility in order to support green mini-grid development and support the Kenyan National Electrification mission to provide power to all Kenyans by 2020.The Agence Française de Developpement (AFD) is implementing the programme, and has contracted Innovation Energie Développement (IED) in association with Practical Action Consulting and I-DEV, to manage day-to-day operations.Besides straight investment grants, the Kenya initiative centres around a mechanism called results-based financing (RBF), which provides a grant for each verified connection, and other milestones such as equipment purchase. Kenya has the potential of serving as a case study for a wider RBF roll-out in Africa.The African Development Bank is now in the process of developing a continent-wide RBF facility. A recent $100 million dollar loan from the World Bank to Nigeria for rural electrification will also include an RBF component, with the goal of developing 10,000 mini-grids by 2023.“The Green Mini Grid facility in Kenya has done the work of laying a foundation for micro-grid financing,” said Sam Slaughter, CEO of PowerGen. “What’s critical now is for governments, together with the private sector and existing and new funders, to build on Kenya’s success so that we can solve the electrification challenge across Africa.”This article has been made available to ESI Africa by Power for All. Finance and Policy RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR UNDP China, CCIEE launch report to facilitate low-carbon development AFD and Eskom commit to a competitive electricity sector Generation BRICS TAGSInternational Energy AgencyKenyamicr-gridsoff-gridPower for Africarenewable energyRenewablessolar power Previous articleWebcast | Lucy Electric discusses Smart Grid SolutionsNext articleUSTDA, AfDB expand procurement partnerships in Africa Ashley TheronAshley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa. Low carbon, solar future could increase jobs in the future – SAPVIA Comments are closed.
Vermont Business Magazine The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Flood Watch for all of Vermont through this weekend. Rain, snowmelt, and thawing river ice could cause localized flooding in areas of Vermont from Friday evening through Sunday night. NWS says the greatest flood threat will occur during or shortly after heavy rainfall. The flood threat will also be elevated close to rivers where there exists a potential for ice breakup and jams. Those who live near waterways should monitor water levels and seek high ground should flooding occur.Vermonters are reminded to stay clear of any floodwaters on roads by driving safe routes that are over high ground, and never driving across a flooded road. A car can be swept away by unseen currents or due to washouts on flooded roads.Monitor traditional and social media for forecasts and other information.NWS also says the rain and warm temperatures will weaken all ice surfaces and venturing out onto lakes and rivers is not recommended. We emphasize extreme caution as Vermont has seen multiple deaths this winter due to individuals falling through thin ice.The Vermont Division of Emergency Management & Homeland Security and other state agencies are monitoring the weather and will staff the state Emergency Operations Center to assist communities if needed.Cities and towns can contact the DEMHS Watch Officer through established protocols at any time should they need resources.For weather, road, or emergency updates sent directly to your e-mail or cell phone sign up for Vermont Alert at http://www.vtalert.gov(link is external).Forecast information: www.weather.gov/btv(link is external) or www.weather.gov/aly(link is external).Monitor social media for additional information:DEMHS on Facebook: www.facebook.com/vermontemergencymanagement(link is external)DEMHS on Twitter: twitter.com/vemvt(link is external) (@vemvt)VTrans on Facebook: www.facebook.com/vtransontheroad(link is external)VTrans on Twitter: twitter.com/511vt(link is external) (@511vt)National Weather Service Burlington on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NWSBurlington/(link is external)National Weather Service Burlington on Twitter: @NWSBurlingtonNational Weather Service Albany on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NWSAlbany/(link is external)National Weather Service Albany on Twitter: @NWSAlbanySource: Vermont Division of Emergency Management & Homeland Security 2.24.2017
Smith’s Marketplace at 751 Trinity Dr. in Los Alamos. Courtesy/Smith’sSMITH’S News:In response to the demand for products due to the COVID-19 issue, Smith’s Marketplace at 751 Trinity Dr., in Los Alamos and Smith’s Food and Drug at 31 Sherwood Blvd., in White Rock are temporarily modifying store hours.Until further notice, both Smith’s locations will open two hours later at 8 a.m., seven days a week to allow personnel additional time in the early morning to stock shelves. Both stores will close at 10 p.m. daily as usual.
Published: May 20, 2017 8:53 AM EDT Trump seeks to move past US troubles on first trip abroad RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) President Donald Trump, in the first stop of his maiden trip abroad, received a regal welcome Saturday in Saudi Arabia, feted by the wealthy kingdom as he aims to forge strong alliances to combat terrorism while pushing past the multiple controversies threatening to engulf his young administration.Trump arrived in Riyadh after an overnight flight and was welcomed at elaborate airport ceremony punctuated by a military flyover and a handshake from Saudi King Salman. He is the only American president to make Saudi Arabia, or any majority Muslim country, his first stop overseas – a choice designed in part to show respect to the region after more than a year of Trump’s harsh anti-Muslim campaign rhetoric.The visit kicks off an ambitious international debut for Trump. After two days of meetings here, Trump will travel to Israel, have an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican and meet with allies at a NATO summit in Brussels and the Group of 7 powerful nations in Sicily.Trump waved from the doorway after Air Force One touched down and before descending the staircase with first lady Melania Trump. The 81-year-old King Salman, who used a cane for support, was brought to the steps of the plane in a golf cart. The leaders exchanged pleasantries and Trump said it was “a great honor” to be there.Several jets then flew overhead leaving a red, white and blue trail.Soon after, Trump tweeted for the first time on international soil as president. “Great to be in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Looking forward to the afternoon and evening ahead.”At a later ceremony at the grand Saudi Royal Court, the king placed the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud, the nation’s highest civilian honor, around Trump’s neck. The medal, given to Trump for his efforts to strengthen ties in the region, has also been bestowed on Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.The king and Trump were overheard discussing natural resources and arms, and the king bemoaned the destruction caused by Syria’s civil war.White House officials hope the trip, complete with images of the accompanying pomp and pageantry of a president abroad, will help Trump recalibrate after one of the most difficult stretches of his young presidency. The White House bungled the president’s stunning firing of FBI Director James Comey, who was overseeing a federal investigation into possible ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia. This week, the Justice Department relented to pressure from Democrats and named former FBI chief Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the probe.But fresh news reports about the Russia investigation surfaced shortly after Trump departed and threatened to overshadow the nine-day trip.The New York Times reported that Trump called Comey “a real nut job” while discussing the ongoing investigation with two Russian officials in the Oval Office earlier this month. He also told them that firing Comey had “taken off” the “great pressure” he was feeling from the investigation, the Times reported.Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported that an unidentified senior Trump adviser was being considered a “person of interest” in the investigation. Separately, Comey agreed to testify at an upcoming, open hearing of the Senate intelligence committee, the panel said.Despite those troubles, Trump was warmly received in Saudi Arabia in contrast to his predecessor. Saudi’s ruling family grew deeply frustrated with Obama’s detente with Iran and his restrained approach on Syria. The king did not greet Obama at the airport when he visited last year.Billboards featuring images of Trump and the king and emblazoned with the motto “Together we prevail,” dotted Riyadh’s highways, and Trump’s hotel was bathed in red, white and blue lights and, at times, an image of the president’s face.Mrs. Trump wore a black pantsuit with a golden belt and did not cover her head, consistent with the custom for foreign dignitaries visiting Saudi Arabia. Her husband had criticized former first lady Michelle Obama for not wearing a headscarf during a 2015 visit to the kingdom.Trump arrived as Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani won re-election by a wide margin, giving the moderate cleric a second, four-year term to continue pushing for greater freedoms and outreach to the wider world.For a president who campaigned on an “America First” platform, the trip is a crucial moment for U.S. allies to size up Trump’s commitment to decades-long partnerships while trying to move behind his previous controversial statements.In a sweetener for Saudi Arabia, U.S. officials said the Trump administration planned to announce $110 billion in advanced military equipment sales and training to the kingdom. The package includes tanks, combat ships, missile defense systems, radar and communications, and cybersecurity technology.After spending much of Saturday meeting with King Salman and other royal family members, Trump was ending the day at a banquet dinner at the Murabba Palace. On Sunday, he’ll hold meetings with more than 50 Arab and Muslim leaders converging on Riyadh for a regional summit focused largely on combating the Islamic State and other extremist groups.Trump dodged one potential land mine when Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted on war crime and genocide charges, announced that he would not attend the summit for personal reasons.The centerpiece of Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia is a speech Sunday at the Arab-Islamic-American summit. White House aides view the address as a counter to Obama’s 2009 speech to the Muslim world, which Trump criticized as too apologetic for U.S. actions in the region.Trump will call for unity in the fight against radicalism in the Muslim world, casting the challenge as a “battle between good and evil” and urging Arab leaders to “drive out the terrorists from your places of worship,” according to a draft of the speech obtained by The Associated Press. The draft notably refrains from mentioning democracy and human rights – topics Arab leaders often view as U.S. moralizing – in favor of the more limited goals of peace and stability.The draft also abandons some of the harsh anti-Muslim rhetoric that defined Trump’s presidential campaign and does not contain the words “radical Islamic terror,” a phrase Trump repeatedly criticized Hillary Clinton for not using during last year’s campaign. Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. SHARE
FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Today, around 18,000 State of Alaska employees will receive pink slips. Unless the Alaska Legislature passes a budget in the next month, all non-essential state services will shut down July 1st. Speaker of the House Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham): “This is the third year in a row that extended budget negotiations have threatened thousands of hard-working state employees’ jobs. Our Coalition is seeking long-term fiscal solutions to prevent this scenario playing out year after year. Protecting vital state services remains a core principle of our Coalition. We understand how disruptive the ongoing budget negotiations are to people’s lives, not just for state employees, but for anyone who wants to buy a home, renew a driver’s license, or engage in any of the multitude of other transactions or activities in which the State of Alaska plays a role. I want to stress that we are committed to passing a budget as soon as possible because a government shutdown is not an acceptable outcome to this legislative session.” Governor Bill Walker today issued the following statement regarding layoff notices sent to State of Alaska employees….. The Special Session is scheduled to end on June 16th. A possible government shutdown in Alaska would occur on July 1st if a budget compromise is not reached. Governor Bill Walker: “Today, nearly 18,000 Alaskans received statutorily required notices they could be laid off next month if the legislature does not pass a fully funded budget. This action is not just about government jobs; it affects the overall economy and will hit the private sector as well as public services. The government employees who will be forced to stop work are the people who process your fishing permits, business licenses, driver’s licenses, and record home sales—among many other services they provide. They also have families to feed, and mortgage and car payments to make. I’m disappointed these layoff notices had to go out–but legislative leadership in both the House and the Senate have assured me they are actively working toward a compromise, and have asked that I give them one more day to reach a solution. I have honored that request, and will address tomorrow what they have accomplished. We must have a complete fiscal plan before July 1st. Alaskans deserve no less.” The Alaska Legislature is currently in a 30 day Special Session called by Governor Bill Walker to address the FY 2018 budget, oil and gas tax credit reform, several revenue measures, and a bill to help respond to the opioid epidemic in Alaska.
Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely It’s a showdown made in hoops heaven, but Durant is downplaying a matchup with James as anything worthy of stealing the spotlight from the others.“If we do end up making it to the Finals and Cleveland makes it to the Finals, it’s never going to be me versus LeBron,” Durant said. “It’s going to be team versus team. It’s not an individual sport. We’re not playing 1-on-1 out there, as much as people want us to.”They have history and a rivalry — albeit a rather one-sided one. James, then with the Miami Heat, won the first of his three NBA titles by beating Durant’s Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012.The pair is linked by talent, tenacity and drive. Olympic gold medal-winning teammates, they have become close friends and workout companions. They spent two summers pushing each other during training sessions in James’ hometown of Akron, Ohio. Little did these two realize then that their stellar NBA careers would become even more intertwined when Durant bolted from OKC and faced the constant scrutiny that came with his decision.In many ways, James actually helped show him how it’s done.He as much as anyone understood the tornado of criticism aimed at Durant for signing onto a “super team” to chase a championship. James left home in 2010 for Miami, where he won two titles and played in four straight Finals before leading Cleveland to its first major sports championship in 52 years . Before returning to Oklahoma City — a place he still holds dear and supports — earlier this season to face fans who are still stung and feel betrayed, Durant sought James out for advice on handling the hatred.Now they’re on a path toward Cavs-Dubs 3.0.James has been practically unstoppable. And Durant, who missed 19 games late in the regular season with a left knee injury, has found the right balance of taking charge and sacrificing for him teammates with the Warriors.Cavs coach Tyronn Lue is impressed with how Durant seamlessly blended in on Golden State, as Curry took a backseat.“When Steph and Klay have a bad game — which is not very often — when they do, then you can give the ball to Durant and he can go get his own basket and his own shot,” Lue said. “You saw that in this Utah series where Steph and Klay struggled one game, and they just put it to Durant in the midrange area, and he went and got it. So you have that third player who is definitely one of the top three players in this league that can go get his own shot at any time and that’s what makes them more dangerous.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Mike Brown knows both well.Golden State’s assistant , now filling in for Warriors coach Steve Kerr, spent five seasons with James in Cleveland. He appreciates his athleticism, but is more impressed by James’ all-consuming work ethic that has allowed him to evolve every year.He sees those same qualities in Durant, who now understands that when the stage enlarges he has to expand that 7-foot-5 wingspan even more.“That’s what those guys do,” Brown said. “When you have superstars like that and the competition gets tougher, they usually rise to the moment or the occasion.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Leonard-less Spurs rout Harden, Rockets to win series Presidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Duterte Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Ten years into his NBA journey, the unassuming, scoring machine everyone calls “KD”, strives to emulate those superstars. Soon, he will likely see James again in the Finals, this time in a matchup that has been talked about from the very moment Durant departed Oklahoma City to join Golden State last July.The anticipation of this potential matchup has overshadowed other postseason series.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnSPORTSBreak new groundDurant understands that like LeBron and Kobe, it’s time to take his game to another level. They each have something Durant wants.“It’s a mindset, when you don’t realize how old you are or how many years you’ve played or mileage or the moment,” Durant said. “You’ve just got to try to keep getting better. You have that mindset when you step on the court that you want to be the best player on the court. It may not happen every game. You may not be the best, you might not have the best game, but just having that mindset you never get satisfied with what you do. View comments Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Wildlife rescuers asked to turn over animals to DENR Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant guards Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James. APKevin Durant admires LeBron James from afar, marveling at how Cleveland’s main man finds ways to elevate his game at age 32 — year after year, title after title.Kobe Bryant was much the same.ADVERTISEMENT Bulacan town gears up for biggest cookie jar MOST READ Taal Volcano evacuees warned against going home “That’s the mindset he (James) has taken on, that’s the mindset Kobe did. There’s a lot of other players that did it. I feel like I’m on the same path as far as — I wouldn’t say I’m going to have four MVPs or three championships, I’m not guaranteeing that but I want that. On the basketball court, I want to be consistent and great every night.”James and Durant have squared off 23 times during their NBA careers, and James has a decisive 18-5 edge, including 4-1 in the postseason and 1-0 in battles for the championship.Now the basketball world is watching and waiting, even hoping for a Durant-James rematch. And this one could live up to the hype.After swatting aside their opponents in the first and second rounds, the Cavaliers and Warriors stand an unblemished 16-0 combined as they await their conference finals opponents.The 3-Match. Another must-see, best-of-seven series featuring arguably the league’s best players in James and Durant — both playing some of the best basketball of their careers — and a marquee All-Star cast that includes two-time MVP Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Kevin Love.ADVERTISEMENT Ex-Bulacan town vice mayor, village chief shot dead End of his agony? 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