German Investments – WBTS Forum http://wbts-forum.org/ Thu, 22 Jul 2021 17:30:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://wbts-forum.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/default1.png German Investments – WBTS Forum http://wbts-forum.org/ 32 32 Ross McArthur moves from administration to German takeover https://wbts-forum.org/ross-mcarthur-moves-from-administration-to-german-takeover/ https://wbts-forum.org/ross-mcarthur-moves-from-administration-to-german-takeover/#respond Thu, 22 Jul 2021 17:00:00 +0000 https://wbts-forum.org/ross-mcarthur-moves-from-administration-to-german-takeover/ Dunfermline: Ross McArthur moves from administration to German takeover Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. To cancel An icon depicting a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret A block arrow icon pointing right. E-mail An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook A Facebook “f” brand icon. Google A Google “G” brand icon. Linked […]]]>




Dunfermline: Ross McArthur moves from administration to German takeover


































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Pressure on big tech rises as Biden chooses another reviewer for key post on Justice, IT News, ET CIO https://wbts-forum.org/pressure-on-big-tech-rises-as-biden-chooses-another-reviewer-for-key-post-on-justice-it-news-et-cio/ https://wbts-forum.org/pressure-on-big-tech-rises-as-biden-chooses-another-reviewer-for-key-post-on-justice-it-news-et-cio/#respond Wed, 21 Jul 2021 03:41:00 +0000 https://wbts-forum.org/pressure-on-big-tech-rises-as-biden-chooses-another-reviewer-for-key-post-on-justice-it-news-et-cio/ By Nandita Bose and Diane BartzWASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden on Tuesday appointed attorney and Google critic Jonathan Kanter as the Justice Department’s antitrust chief in the latest sign that the White House is determined to bring the biggest companies in the world under control. world, especially Big Tech. Progressives who advocate stricter […]]]>

By Nandita Bose and Diane Bartz

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden on Tuesday appointed attorney and Google critic Jonathan Kanter as the Justice Department’s antitrust chief in the latest sign that the White House is determined to bring the biggest companies in the world under control. world, especially Big Tech.

Progressives who advocate stricter antitrust enforcement have lobbied for the appointment of Kanter, who recently launched his own law firm, Kanter Law Group LLP, which bills itself as an “antitrust advocacy shop.” .

The White House has called Kanter “a great advocate and expert in efforts to promote strong and meaningful antitrust and competition policy.”

He spent years representing Google’s rivals of Alphabet Inc, which the Justice Department sued last year, alleging he violated antitrust law by seeking to hobble his rivals.

The Biden administration had previously chosen two antitrust progressives with technological expertise, Tim Wu for the National Economic Council and Lina Khan to be commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission.

Sarah Miller, executive director of the American Economic Liberties Project, said Kanter “made many of the most successful legal arguments behind major antitrust investigations into Big Tech.”

Kanter declined to comment on the appointment.

If confirmed by the Senate, Kanter, who previously worked for Paul, Weiss, Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP and two other major law firms, will take the reins of the Justice Department’s antitrust division amid appeals. tighter enforcement overall, with particular criticism aimed at Google, Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc and Apple Inc.

The tech giants have been under investigation for about two years, and a US House of Representatives panel released a report in October that they used “murderous acquisitions” to fend off rivals , charged exorbitant fees and forced small businesses into “oppressive” contracts in the name of profit.

The companies have vigorously denied any wrongdoing.

The Kanter Justice Department’s Antitrust Division will play a key role in implementing the Biden Executive Order to promote competition in the U.S. economy. In addition to suing Google, the Justice Department is also investigating Apple.

The Federal Trade Commission shares antitrust enforcement work with the Department of Justice.

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Water management in Germany between floods and drought | Germany | In-depth news and reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW https://wbts-forum.org/water-management-in-germany-between-floods-and-drought-germany-in-depth-news-and-reporting-from-berlin-and-beyond-dw/ https://wbts-forum.org/water-management-in-germany-between-floods-and-drought-germany-in-depth-news-and-reporting-from-berlin-and-beyond-dw/#respond Tue, 20 Jul 2021 05:51:31 +0000 https://wbts-forum.org/water-management-in-germany-between-floods-and-drought-germany-in-depth-news-and-reporting-from-berlin-and-beyond-dw/ Water is a vital resource for life, but it can become a deadly danger. The catastrophic floods in western Germany highlighted these two opposing aspects at the same time. In some villages and towns in the Eifel region which have been particularly affected, there is a shortage of drinking water as the floods have damaged […]]]>


Water is a vital resource for life, but it can become a deadly danger.

The catastrophic floods in western Germany highlighted these two opposing aspects at the same time. In some villages and towns in the Eifel region which have been particularly affected, there is a shortage of drinking water as the floods have damaged the supply facilities. In the Euskirchen district, authorities advised residents to boil the generally excellent tap water before drinking it, as it could have been contaminated by burst pipes and heavy rains.

In Germany, the management of water and wastewater is the responsibility of the municipalities. Some of them formed larger associations to improve efficiency. For example, municipalities from the Euskirchen district and other regions up to the German-Dutch border have come together to form the Eifel-Rur Water Association (WVER).

Prepare for two extremes

In principle, Germany has more than enough water to supply private homes and industry. Authorities expect an average available water supply of 188 billion cubic meters (nearly 50 trillion gallons) in the long term, double the amount of water in Lake Geneva. In 2016, according to the Federal Statistical Office, 13.5% of this amount was extracted. Incidentally, most of it was used in industry, agriculture or for cooling power stations, and not as part of the public water supply.

An annual extraction of up to 20% is considered problem-free. But since 2011, the available water supply has remained below the calculated amount – in 2018, Germany had only around 119 billion cubic meters of water as a renewable resource. After three consecutive particularly hot and dry summers, some experts warned in January that German soil was almost completely dry.

Now, at least for the time being, the water authorities are struggling to cope with the opposite extreme. Dams that had long recorded low water levels are now literally bursting at the seams. For days after the first floods, the situation at the Steinbachtal dam in the Euskirchen district remained worrying. Some towns and villages located downstream of the dam were evacuated, because the evacuation of the water which is straining the structure was taking longer than expected. Residents could only return on Monday.

The back wall of the Steinbachtalsperre dam is badly damaged

Responsibility for flood prevention

For at least a decade, a European directive obliges Member States to manage flood risks. In Germany, this management is mainly left to the different federal states, or Länder. For example, the Land of Rhineland-Palatinate, which is particularly affected by flooding, is developing risk assessments and plans and implementing protective measures such as dykes on large rivers such as the Rhine and the Moselle. The German Environment Agency (UBA) recently assessed the effectiveness of nationwide measures on major German rivers. And indeed, the water level of the Rhine was hardly a problem during the recent disaster.

Aerial view of the flooded Ahr

Compared to the larger rivers, the floods of the Ahr River were exponentially worse.

The rivers whose floods caused the worst damage – the Ahr and Kyll in Rhineland-Palatinate and the Erft in North Rhine-Westphalia – are smaller streams, however. Here, the municipalities are responsible for flood protection measures.

In Rhineland-Palatinate, the state finances up to 90% of the costs of prevention measures against floods and heavy rains at municipal level. According to Malu Dreyer, Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, 16 million euros ($ 18.88 million) have been invested in flood prevention in the Ahr Valley. In North Rhine-Westphalia. there is a special fund for these municipal projects, which amounted to 66 million euros in 2018.

The climate crisis is causing major changes

Due to the climate crisis, these two extreme situations – too much or too little water – will occur more frequently in Germany in the future. To prepare the country for these challenges, the Minister of the Environment Svenja Schulze has a national water strategy. It aims to make lakes and rivers cleaner and healthier, reform water management and tackle water shortages. One of his ideas is to have “smart” water prices that make water use less expensive during times of low demand. It also proposes the establishment of hierarchies that will determine who will have priority for water use when a particular region faces a scarcity.

The plan foresees investments to the tune of around 1 billion euros until 2030, but has yet to be approved for implementation by the next government. For this reason, the opposition Greens described the strategy as “useless if it is not finally implemented”.

The word “sponge town” is also used in the plan. In other words, he wants the cities of the future to have enough green spaces where water can easily infiltrate and flow into groundwater. This would mean that water from heavy rainfall would not end up flowing directly into the sea via the rivers.

Wuppertalsperre dam almost empty in winter 2020

This winter, the Wuppertalsperre in North Rhine-Westphalia was barely full, as seen here. Now it looks completely different.

In light of the current flood disaster, the German umbrella association for energy and water management, BDEW, has also warned that fewer areas in city centers need to be cemented and resources in remaining drinking water had to be protected from contamination. BDEW CEO Martin Weyand told media group Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland that “we must not recklessly endanger our drinking water resources”.

This article was translated from German.



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FirstFT: US banks increase their salary and technology spending https://wbts-forum.org/firstft-us-banks-increase-their-salary-and-technology-spending/ https://wbts-forum.org/firstft-us-banks-increase-their-salary-and-technology-spending/#respond Mon, 19 Jul 2021 10:25:30 +0000 https://wbts-forum.org/firstft-us-banks-increase-their-salary-and-technology-spending/ Hello. This article is an on-site version of our FirstFT newsletter. Subscribe to our Asia, Europe / Africa or Americas edit to send it straight to your inbox every morning of the week The costs of major U.S. banks jumped by more than $ 6.6 billion in the last quarter, as the intensifying battle for […]]]>


Hello. This article is an on-site version of our FirstFT newsletter. Subscribe to our Asia, Europe / Africa or Americas edit to send it straight to your inbox every morning of the week

The costs of major U.S. banks jumped by more than $ 6.6 billion in the last quarter, as the intensifying battle for talent and the growing threat from new fintech rivals forced executives to rise. their expenses.

The 10 percent increase in costs over last year at JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Citigroup surprised analysts. Many had predicted that spending would decline modestly this year as the additional expenses associated with doing business during the pandemic wore off.

However, in a series of conference calls to discuss quarterly earnings, executives forecast higher annual expenses due to salary increases for bankers and larger investments in technology and marketing.

The increase in spending represents a change from how banks reacted to the last financial crisis, when many relied on cost cuts to boost profits. But the stimulus packages have helped banks avoid the wave of pandemic-related loan losses that executives expected, meaning they have extra cash to spend.

Brian Foran, Banking Analyst at Autonomous Research, said:

“There is nervousness among investors that it is the cost of doing business to keep customers from bleeding fintechs.”

Five other articles in the news

1. Americans who helped Carlos Ghosn flee Japan sentenced to prison Michael Taylor, a 60-year-old former Green Beret, and his son Peter, 28, who orchestrated Carlos Ghosn’s elaborate escape from Japan, were sentenced by a Tokyo court to two years and 20 months in prison, respectively .

  • Read more: Collision course is among the first books to attempt to aptly relate and contextualize this remarkable episode, said our Asian Affairs Editor-in-Chief Leo Lewis.

2. Zoom buys cloud call center company for nearly $ 15 billion The video conferencing start-up whose services became globally popular during the coronavirus pandemic agreed to buy Five9, a cloud-based software provider, in its first major acquisition.

3. Opec + signs agreement to increase oil production OPEC and its allies reached an agreement over the weekend to increase oil production in response to soaring prices. The deal represents a victory for Abu Dhabi, which threatened to derail talks earlier this month. Subscribe to our Energy Sources Information Bulletin for the latest energy industry news.

  • US gas exporters facing EU methane restrictions U.S. oil and gas exporters have been warned that they face a squeeze European anti-pollution rules despite the exclusion of energy from a series of climate proposals introduced in Brussels last week.

4. Democrats support Powell’s second term Democrats are leaving the door open for Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell for another four-year term when his current term expires in February, as deliberations intensify within the Biden administration over key appointments to the US central bank.

5. Probe: Spyware Used to Hack Journalists, Activists, and Executives Spyware licensed from Israeli company NSO Group was used to target smartphones owned by 37 journalists, human rights activists and other figures, according to an investigation released yesterday.

Coronavirus digest

  • the we is experiencing a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” warned the head of the country’s main public health agency, as new cases of the coronavirus jumped 70% last week.

  • Three of Brittany Most cabinet ministers – including Prime Minister Boris Johnson – will self-isolate on so-called Freedom Day in England today, when the country lifts its last pandemic restrictions.

  • the Delta variant takes a heavy toll on dozens of developing countries, where immunization levels are insufficient to prevent an upsurge.

  • the Tokyo Olympics suffered a number of delays controversies, including a suspected rape, bullying scandal and a missing weightlifter – as well as 55 cases of the coronavirus this month.

Follow our coronavirus live Blog and Register now for our Coronavirus Business Update newsletter for more information on Covid-19.

The day to come

Earnings IBM, which recently unveiled a management reshuffle, is releasing its second quarter results today after the US markets close.

What else do we read

Robotaxis: a “moonshot” solution for complete automation? Since Google launched its self-driving car project in 2009, the biggest question for the technology has been: can it be safe enough to be deployed on a large scale? Now the risk for robotaxis is not whether full autonomy can be successful, but whether they can be inexpensive enough to make a business case.

Inflationary fears are exaggerated The first signs of price increases reflect more of a predictable increase in animal spirits after the lockdown than any long-term trend, writes Rana Foroohar.

  • Read more: Don’t worry, says Kenneth Rogoff, professor of economics and public policy at Harvard University, a little inflation isn’t a bad thing.

How shortages fueled protests in Cuba The pandemic has devastated the tourism industry and reduced the state’s ability to finance food imports, leading to higher prices and thousands of people taking to the streets to protest. While the government has been successful in easing the unrest, it is not yet clear how long it will be able to maintain control with a crumbling economy.

Floods in Germany put climate at the heart of elections Just over two months before election day, the devastating floods that swept through western Germany, killing at least 140 people, catapulted climate change to the heart of the country’s election campaign.

Poor workers have nowhere to hide Do mediocre workers thrive more when they work from home or when they are in the office? While some employers doubt the motivations of staff who prefer remote work, others say it’s easier to identify which staff adds the most value when a team works remotely, writes Pilita Clark.

Property

Five of the world’s best homes for sale with period features From an eight-bedroom villa in Mexico City to a five-bedroom family home in Connecticut built in 1744, these top notch properties have eye-catching original architecture and interiors.

Recommended newsletters for you

Marsh Notes – An expert opinion on the intersection of money and power in American politics. Register now here

Trade secrets – An essential on the evolution of international trade and globalization. Register now here



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Solar energy is heating up the world’s labor market https://wbts-forum.org/solar-energy-is-heating-up-the-worlds-labor-market/ https://wbts-forum.org/solar-energy-is-heating-up-the-worlds-labor-market/#respond Sun, 18 Jul 2021 09:22:00 +0000 https://wbts-forum.org/solar-energy-is-heating-up-the-worlds-labor-market/ Cologne: “I really enjoy my job, I’m excited and I’m learning a lot,” says Fabian Rojas. The 26-year-old Argentinian has been working since last October for a small company near the city of Cologne, in western Germany, which installs solar panels on rooftops. The company’s CEO, René Hegel, who has been selling photovoltaic systems since […]]]>


Cologne: “I really enjoy my job, I’m excited and I’m learning a lot,” says Fabian Rojas.

The 26-year-old Argentinian has been working since last October for a small company near the city of Cologne, in western Germany, which installs solar panels on rooftops.

The company’s CEO, René Hegel, who has been selling photovoltaic systems since 2008, hired the Argentine engineer, then visiting Germany. In this way, the company is able to meet at least part of the rapidly growing demand in the region.

“We have a lot of inquiries, I do at least six deals a week and we already have orders for the next four to five months,” Rojas told DW. “Customers want to generate their own electricity, charge their electric cars and reduce grid consumption. It also helps protect the climate.

Rojas talks to customers, customizes photovoltaic systems and sometimes helps install them on rooftops.

“Fabian is a fast learner,” Hegel says. “Over the next few months he will gain more hands-on experience and then things will get even better.”

German solar industry: help sought
Hegel plans to expand his team of four to meet the growing demand for solar power, which picks up again after a solar boom and collapse in the early 2000s.

In Germany, solar power systems with a total capacity of 5 gigawatts (GW) were installed in 2020, and this capacity is expected to increase. Studies indicate that the expansion would need to be six-fold – to 30 GW per year – in order to keep warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) this century.

To achieve this, the solar industry needs more manpower, says Günter Haug, COO at BayWa re. The Munich-based company builds large solar and wind farms around the world and continues to grow. In 2017, BayWa re had 1,100 employees; today there are 2,700.

“We are looking for engineers, financial experts, qualified personnel for project development and people with technical background for customer service,” Haug said.

To find and retain staff, Haug says the company is “prepared to make a considerable financial investment and train the candidates itself, as there are not enough qualified workers.”

“There are currently around 50,000 photovoltaic jobs in Germany,” explains Volker Quaschning, professor of renewable energy at the University of Applied Sciences Berlin (HTW). He says a lot of people are now looking for new jobs due to the coronavirus crisis.

“We have to be smart in our approach, we have to start training programs to have enough skilled workers. Otherwise the energy transition will fail due to a lack of personnel,” Quaschning told DW.

Over 60 million solar jobs around the world
In 2019, around 11.5 million people worldwide were working in the renewable energy sector, according to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). More than a third of them worked in photovoltaics.

IRENA believes that investments to revive the economy and labor market as countries emerge from the COVID-19 crisis should prioritize energy transition.

“We estimate that every dollar spent in this area creates three times more jobs than in the fossil fuel sector,” says Francesco La Camera, Director General of IRENA. “More and more policy makers are recognizing the employment potential.”

Solar power is now the cheapest way to generate electricity, which is why researchers expect it to make a global breakthrough as a major source of energy in the future. Currently, there are photovoltaic systems with a total capacity of around 850 GW installed worldwide.

They produce about as much electricity as 190 nuclear power plants.

Studies estimate that at least 60,000 GW of solar power will be needed to achieve a global climate neutral energy supply. To do this, the industry is expected to hire more than 60 million workers over the next decade for module production and assembly, as well as system maintenance.

Fabian Rojas, the Cologne-based engineer, is fascinated by solar and wind power, and new energy-saving technologies. He regularly exchanges ideas on these topics by video call with an Argentinian friend who is building solar power systems in the United States.

“Solar power is needed all over the world, and that is why there is a global demand for workers in this field,” Rojas said, adding that this was true for Europe as well as for Asia and the ‘South America.

“Get educated, do an internship. Fortunately, there is also a lot of information on the Internet. “

In the solar sector, he sees many opportunities to work in other places around the world and share his knowledge: “I can’t wait to see who comes knocking on our door next.



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Hydrogen is plentiful and clean, but expensive. Solving this puzzle could help solve climate change. https://wbts-forum.org/hydrogen-is-plentiful-and-clean-but-expensive-solving-this-puzzle-could-help-solve-climate-change/ https://wbts-forum.org/hydrogen-is-plentiful-and-clean-but-expensive-solving-this-puzzle-could-help-solve-climate-change/#respond Sat, 17 Jul 2021 13:31:00 +0000 https://wbts-forum.org/hydrogen-is-plentiful-and-clean-but-expensive-solving-this-puzzle-could-help-solve-climate-change/ SHEFFIELD, England – Rachel Smith has lived the bumpy journey of green hydrogen, from scientists’ dream to an industry that may be on the verge of a commercial breakthrough. Engineer, two decades ago she started working in a converted barn on the first clean combustion gas production devices. Now she’s part of a team racing […]]]>


SHEFFIELD, England – Rachel Smith has lived the bumpy journey of green hydrogen, from scientists’ dream to an industry that may be on the verge of a commercial breakthrough. Engineer, two decades ago she started working in a converted barn on the first clean combustion gas production devices.

Now she’s part of a team racing to build giant machines that will use electricity to separate hydrogen from water for big companies like Royal Dutch Shell and Orsted, the Danish offshore wind developer.

“We’ve been through those short years,” said Smith, executive director of ITM Power, which is run from a new, expansive plant in Sheffield, a dilapidated center for steel mills and coal mines. “We play in the adult world rather than in research labs.”

A consensus is forming among governments, environmentalists and energy companies that significant reductions in carbon emissions will require large amounts of a clean fuel like hydrogen.

Proponents of hydrogen have identified more than two dozen potential applications of the element to reduce carbon emissions. It could be used to power long haul trucks and train and plane travel. Energy companies are experimenting with mixing hydrogen and natural gas for home heating and cooking.

In total, more than 200 large-scale projects are underway to produce or transport hydrogen, representing investments of more than $ 80 billion. Daimler and Volvo, the world’s largest truck makers, plan to start mass-producing long-haul electric trucks in a few years that run on devices called fuel cells that convert hydrogen into electricity. Water will be the only emission from the trucks.

“You can imagine an economy that relies almost entirely on very clean electricity and very clean hydrogen,” said Ernest Moniz, Secretary of Energy in the Obama administration and now CEO of the Energy Futures Initiative, a research organization.

But he warned that “a lot has to happen” for a gas now mainly used in specialist fields to become “part of the backbone of the energy system.”

Among the obstacles to be overcome: creating enough hydrogen of the right kind, at a price that industries and consumers can accept.

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, but it must be separated from another substance, such as water or fossil fuels. For example, industries like petroleum refining use large amounts of so-called gray hydrogen which is primarily made by separating hydrogen from natural gas. And this process generates more greenhouse gas emissions than the combustion of diesel.

In fact, less than 5% of the hydrogen produced today is emission-free, and this type costs more than twice as much to manufacture as the gray version – $ 5 per kilogram versus $ 1 to $ 2 per kilogram, according to Bernstein. , a research company. . It is also more expensive than conventional fuels, such as diesel.

Smith’s company in Sheffield is one of the most promising sources of hydrogen produced without producing emissions. It makes devices called electrolysers, which use electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. This hydrogen is emission-free provided the electricity comes from sources such as wind and solar.

Electrolysers have been around for a century, but analysts say ITM’s technology, known as the polymer electrolyte membrane, has the advantage of being able to turn on and off quickly – a big advantage for machines intended for be coupled with wind and solar parks, the output of which fluctuates with the sun and the breeze.

ITM says the value of its contracts has tripled in the past year to reach 154 million pounds, or roughly $ 213 million. Analysts at Barclays, the UK bank, estimate that a $ 65 billion market for such equipment could materialize over the next decade.

The prospect of buying a weapon against climate change is flowing investors into ITM, as well as similar companies like NEL in Norway and McPhy Energy in France. Even though ITM is losing money, its market value is around £ 2.3 billion. The share price has quadrupled since early 2020.

ITM now has 310 employees. When it was still a startup, Peter Hargreaves, one of its original investors, had to save the company four times with his own money, he said.

“There was no guarantee that the business would be successful, that people would embrace the hydrogen economy,” said Hargreaves, founder of Hargreaves Lansdown, a brokerage firm. He added that he had now been “well rewarded”.

Until recently, ITM focused on building small devices for facilities such as gas stations, some operated by Shell, which served a relative handful of hydrogen-powered vehicles. Now he is pursuing much larger projects capable of producing enough hydrogen to power fleets of trucks or buses. It has partnered with Linde, the German supplier of industrial gases, which owns 17% of ITM’s capital. This year it moved to the Sheffield plant – the size of two football fields, said to be the world’s largest electrolyzer plant – with the aim of producing facilities on an industrial scale.

The bowels of these gas factories are units with tightly stacked cells, like cafeteria trays, where the separation of hydrogen from water occurs. Many modules can be linked together to form very large installations which in turn can produce abundant clean hydrogen.

Recently, Shell started operating one of ITM’s largest electrolysers at a refinery in Germany. Electricity will come from wind farms and hydrogen will be used to remove sulfur from fuels. Later, an expanded facility can produce hydrogen for an aviation fuel that burns with fewer emissions.

ITM is also working on a plant to supply up to 45 tonnes of hydrogen per day to an industrial area in the Humber region in north-east England. The electricity would come from an offshore wind farm.

Bigger machines coupled with cheaper renewable energies should improve the hydrogen economy. Researchers at McKinsey, the consulting firm, expect green hydrogen to be cheap enough by 2030 to compete with other energy sources.

For now, however, clean hydrogen projects require government subsidies, and customers should always be prepared to pay more for the energy they produce.

For hydrogen to become a major energy source, other big changes will be needed, such as regulations that encourage the use of green hydrogen in industry and heating. It will also need better infrastructure and consumers ready to adopt new habits.

To take an example, hydrogen has been slow to establish itself as a fuel for cars despite the benefits that include longer runs than contemporary electric batteries and the ability to refuel in minutes.

Shell has already built a network of hydrogen refueling stations in Europe, but German automakers have chosen to focus on battery-powered vehicles. There are only 1,200 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Germany, and Shell concedes that hydrogen attracts few customers.

At a Shell petrol station in Frankfurt, the hydrogen pump was in the back, where customers clean the inside of their cars. A digital sign to display the price of hydrogen was placed near the entrance to the station, but it was dark.

Industry projections “are overly optimistic about how easy this is going to be,” said Stephanie Searle, director of the fuels program at the International Council for Clean Transportation in Washington, DC. “It will take a lot of commitment to get there.”



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Binance Stops Selling Stock Tokens Following Regulatory Review https://wbts-forum.org/binance-stops-selling-stock-tokens-following-regulatory-review/ https://wbts-forum.org/binance-stops-selling-stock-tokens-following-regulatory-review/#respond Sat, 17 Jul 2021 04:41:15 +0000 https://wbts-forum.org/binance-stops-selling-stock-tokens-following-regulatory-review/ Binance said on Friday it had stopped selling stock-linked digital tokens, as the Hong Kong financial watchdog became the latest in a series of regulators to crack down on the platform’s “stock token” offerings. form of cryptocurrency exchange. Market tokens are digital versions of shares indexed to the value of the relevant share. They are […]]]>


Binance said on Friday it had stopped selling stock-linked digital tokens, as the Hong Kong financial watchdog became the latest in a series of regulators to crack down on the platform’s “stock token” offerings. form of cryptocurrency exchange.

Market tokens are digital versions of shares indexed to the value of the relevant share. They are usually bought and sold in fractions of units, unlike traditional stocks.

“As of now, exchange tokens are not available for purchase on Binance.com,” the exchange said on its website, adding that he would cease all support for the products in October.

The global review of the cryptocurrency industry has intensified amid concerns over lax consumer protection and the use of digital coins for money laundering, with authorities focusing in recent months on Binance, the one of the biggest platforms in the world.

Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) mentionned after Binance’s decision that the exchange was not allowed to conduct regulated activities in the city. Offering stock tokens to the Hong Kong public without permission could be an offense, he added.

“Anyone who violates a relevant provision can be prosecuted and, if found guilty, subject to criminal penalties,” the SFC said.

A Binance spokesperson declined to comment on the SFC’s decision, which came a day after Italian regulators made a similar announcement.

Binance currently has no foreign exchange trading in Hong Kong and takes its legal obligations seriously, the spokesperson added.

It was not immediately clear whether global regulators coordinated their moves, which created unprecedented global pressure on a large cryptocurrency firm.

Binance, the world’s largest exchange in terms of spot trading volumes last month, offers a wide range of services to users, from cryptocurrency and derivatives spot trading to digital wallets and stock tokens.

It offered tokens to companies such as Apple, Microsoft, and Tesla.

Later on Friday, Lithuania’s central bank said it had warned Binance against its “unlicensed investment services”. Consumers risk losing all their investments in crypto-asset related services, it mentionned.

GLOBAL REPRESSION

Regulators in Britain, Germany, Japan and other countries have stepped up warnings about Binance, with the United States also investigating the exchange.

The Italian market watchdog said on Thursday that Binance was not authorized to provide investment services and activities in the country. Its website offered product information in Italian, including stock tokens.

Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which said last month that Binance could not conduct regulated activities, declined to say whether it had been in contact with other regulators.

The FCA regularly cooperates and shares information with regulators around the world on a range of issues, a spokesperson said.

BaFin, the German regulator, said in April that Binance risked being fined for offering stock tokens without publishing a prospectus for investors.

Binance users holding exchange tokens can sell or hold them for the next 90 days, the exchange said, but will no longer be able to sell or close positions after October 14.

“We believe that shifting our business focus to other product offerings will serve our users better, and we are committed to making this transition as easy as possible for those affected,” a Binance spokesperson said.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting Founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.



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How Germany hopes to gain the edge over driverless technology, Auto News, ET Auto https://wbts-forum.org/how-germany-hopes-to-gain-the-edge-over-driverless-technology-auto-news-et-auto/ https://wbts-forum.org/how-germany-hopes-to-gain-the-edge-over-driverless-technology-auto-news-et-auto/#respond Thu, 15 Jul 2021 07:45:00 +0000 https://wbts-forum.org/how-germany-hopes-to-gain-the-edge-over-driverless-technology-auto-news-et-auto/ In Hamburg, a fleet of Volkswagen electric vans belonging to a carpooling service ply the streets to pick up and drop off passengers. Vehicles steer themselves, but technicians working from a remote control center monitor their progress using video monitors. In the event of a problem, they can take control of the vehicle and remove […]]]>


In Hamburg, a fleet of Volkswagen electric vans belonging to a carpooling service ply the streets to pick up and drop off passengers. Vehicles steer themselves, but technicians working from a remote control center monitor their progress using video monitors. In the event of a problem, they can take control of the vehicle and remove it from the cause.

This futuristic vision, within the reach of current technology, is on the way to becoming legal in Germany. The Berlin Parliament approved a new law on autonomous driving in May, and it is awaiting the signature of the German president, a formality. The law paves the way for companies to start making money from autonomous driving services, which could also boost development.

By requiring autonomous vehicles to be supervised by humans, German law reflects a realization in the industry that researchers are still years away from cars that can allow the driver to safely disengage while the car is on. all the work. The law also requires autonomous vehicles to travel within a defined space approved by authorities, a recognition that the technology is not advanced enough to operate safely in areas with chaotic and unpredictable traffic.

So German companies pursuing the technology have adjusted their ambitions, focusing on lucrative uses that don’t require major breakthroughs.

Germany’s national approach contrasts with the patchwork of state laws in the United States. The U.S. government released guidelines for autonomous driving, but attempts to establish mandatory rules that would apply in all 50 states failed in Congress amid disagreements between automakers and autonomous driving developers over what that the legislation should say.

Some states have encouraged research on autonomous driving; Arizona, for example, allows Waymo to offer driverless taxis in Phoenix. But it is not yet possible to roll out such services nationwide, reaching the kind of scale that would help make them cost effective.

“Germany is unique in the sense that you now have a law that applies to the whole country,” said Elliot Katz, commercial director of Phantom Auto, a California-based company that provides software to monitor and control remote vehicles. “In the United States, we do not have comprehensive federal regulations on autonomous driving. We have state laws, which is problematic because driving is inherently interstate. “

German law could also give the country’s automakers an edge in the race to design cars that can drive themselves. By commercially deploying autonomous vehicles, they will gather large amounts of data that they can use to advance technology. If the services are cost effective, they will also help pay for further development.

“There are two major topics for German automakers: the shift to electric cars and autonomous driving,” said Moritz Hüsch, a partner at the Covington law firm in Frankfurt, who has followed the legislation. “German car manufacturers are one of our crown jewels. They are really keen to be at the forefront of both subjects.

The law authorizes autonomous vehicles which remain in a defined territory and are supervised by qualified technicians. Importantly, it allows monitors to keep an eye on many vehicles from a distance. This means that a person or team could supervise a fleet of autonomous shuttles or autonomous taxis by video from a command center, eliminating the need for a supervisor in each vehicle. In the event of a problem, a technician would be able to take control of the vehicle remotely.

Supporters say the law will allow autonomous buses to serve rural areas where public transport is scarce. Other services may include automated valet parking or robotic parcel delivery. Autonomous vehicles could be used to transport components or workers in an industrial complex or students in a university.

There are already vehicles capable of following a predictable route, for example from an airport parking lot to a departure terminal, but current German law requires the presence of a human being on board, which negates any resulting savings. elimination of the driver.

While a driver can oversee a dozen buses from a command center, “there are use cases that would be attractive now,” said Peter Liggesmeyer, director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering in Kaiserslautern. This will encourage more development, he said.

In technical jargon, the new law allows level 4 autonomous driving, in which a vehicle can steer and navigate on its own most of the time but can sometimes require human intervention. It’s a step away from the nirvana of self-driving cars that can run without any human assistance.

Volkswagen, for example, tested a carpooling service in Hamburg and Hanover called Moia. The new law makes it easier for Volkswagen to meet its goal of converting Moia’s electric vans to autonomous operation by 2025, although further changes to the country’s public transport law may be required as well.

“The use of autonomous vehicles in Germany is now possible,” said Christian Senger, senior vice president of Volkswagen’s commercial vehicle division responsible for autonomous driving, in a statement. “This is something that not only Volkswagen but all market players have been waiting for.”

Tech companies like Waymo or automakers like Toyota have invested billions of dollars in autonomous driving technology, but have yet to see much return on their investment. Uber sold its autonomous driving unit last year after investing more than $ 1 billion. Fatal crashes involving Tesla’s Autopilot software have raised questions about the technology’s shortcomings.

Whether a uniform legal framework will give German companies a decisive advantage over American companies is another question. It was the intention.

“Germany may be the first country in the world to put driverless laboratory vehicles into everyday use,” said Arno Klare, member of the Social Democratic parliament, during the debate on the law in Berlin.

In the United States, as soon as an autonomous vehicle tries to cross state borders, things get complicated. California, Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania are considered leaders in providing legal parameters for autonomous driving technology. But 10 states, including New Jersey, Rhode Island and Maryland, have not passed laws or executive orders governing autonomous driving, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. Rules in other states have not followed a consistent pattern.

Raj Rajkumar, who heads the autonomous driving program at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, which has trained many leading scientists in the field, said the new legislation would give German companies an advantage. But he said he was concerned that the United States and Europe both risked falling behind China on technology and regulation.

“There is an international arms race between the United States, Europe and China,” said Rajkumar, who estimates that fully autonomous vehicles are still a decade away. “China is an authoritarian country. They can make whatever rules they want overnight.



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Germany wary of reopening as England prepares to lift COVID restrictions https://wbts-forum.org/germany-wary-of-reopening-as-england-prepares-to-lift-covid-restrictions/ https://wbts-forum.org/germany-wary-of-reopening-as-england-prepares-to-lift-covid-restrictions/#respond Wed, 14 Jul 2021 10:39:44 +0000 https://wbts-forum.org/germany-wary-of-reopening-as-england-prepares-to-lift-covid-restrictions/ People are enjoying the evening on the terrace of a bar on Simon Dach Street, as cafes, bars and restaurants reopen their terraces after being closed for months, amid the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID -19), in Berlin, Germany, on May 21, 2021. REUTERS / Christian Mang / File photo German officials said on Tuesday […]]]>


People are enjoying the evening on the terrace of a bar on Simon Dach Street, as cafes, bars and restaurants reopen their terraces after being closed for months, amid the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID -19), in Berlin, Germany, on May 21, 2021. REUTERS / Christian Mang / File photo

German officials said on Tuesday (July 13) that coronavirus measures should be maintained until more of the population is vaccinated, and one called out England’s plan to lift most of the restrictions despite the spread of the Delta variant “a very risky experience”, written Maria sheahan.

England will become from July 19 the first part of the United Kingdom to lift the legal obligation to wear masks and to distance itself socially.

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said restrictions on coronaviruses were still needed to avoid another lockdown of the economy.

“We would all be well advised to take the necessary security measures,” said Altmaier Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper in an interview published Tuesday, adding that he was concerned about the relaxation of discipline regarding social distancing and mask wearing.

Germany reported 646 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, up from 440 a week ago, with an increase in the number of cases per 100,000 people over seven days to 6.4 from 4.9.

A decision by France to make vaccinations mandatory for all healthcare workers has sparked debate in Germany over whether people in certain professions should be forced to get vaccinated. Read more.

Alena Buyx, president of the German Ethics Council, said compulsory vaccinations were not necessary in Germany.

“We have much better vaccination rates among health workers than in France,” she told ZDF television. “I believe we don’t need to consider this.”

But she added that the restrictions should not be relaxed until even half of the population is fully vaccinated, describing England’s decision to lift almost all remaining restrictions on coronaviruses as a “very risky experiment. “.

The UK is ahead of most other countries with its vaccination campaign, having now given two injections to around two-thirds of its adult population. Germany has fully vaccinated 43% of its total population.

However, in Britain as well, July 19, once referred to as ‘Freedom Day’, is now being treated with caution by ministers after a further increase in cases and fears there may be as many as 100,000. new infections daily during the summer. Read more.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte conceded on Monday that coronavirus restrictions were lifted too early in the Netherlands, which borders Germany, and he apologized as infections reached their highest level in the world. year. Read more.

Markus Soeder, prime minister of the state of Bavaria in southern Germany, called for a new push to vaccinate as many people as possible, especially young people between the ages of 12 and 30, for example with ” take-home immunizations ”or in-car immunization options.

“Nothing but vaccinations will help,” he told Deutschlandfunk.



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US Treasury Department clears liquefied petroleum gas exports to Venezuela https://wbts-forum.org/us-treasury-department-clears-liquefied-petroleum-gas-exports-to-venezuela/ https://wbts-forum.org/us-treasury-department-clears-liquefied-petroleum-gas-exports-to-venezuela/#respond Mon, 12 Jul 2021 18:35:03 +0000 https://wbts-forum.org/us-treasury-department-clears-liquefied-petroleum-gas-exports-to-venezuela/ Adds details and background WASHINGTON, July 12 (Reuters) – The US Treasury Department authorized Monday until July 8, 2022 certain exports and re-exports of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to Venezuela that had been banned by executive orders under the Trump administration. The Office of Foreign Assets Control, part of the Treasury Department, issued a license […]]]>


Adds details and background

WASHINGTON, July 12 (Reuters)The US Treasury Department authorized Monday until July 8, 2022 certain exports and re-exports of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to Venezuela that had been banned by executive orders under the Trump administration.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control, part of the Treasury Department, issued a license authorizing gas shipments in transactions involving the government of Venezuela, state-owned energy company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) or any entity in which PDVSA has a 50% or more interest. The license does not allow any in-kind payment for petroleum or petroleum products, OFAC said.

Many people in Venezuela burn LPG for cooking, but it is rare due to the collapsing economy. US sanctions against PDVSA have stifled investments in its petrochemical complex, leading some consumers to burn wood for fuel, which can lead to health problems.

(Report by Timothy Gardner edited by Peter Graff)

((timothy.gardner@thomsonreuters.com; +1 202 898-8360 (Twitter @timogard); Reuters messaging: timothy.gardner.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.



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