Latest U.S. Energy Information Agency data: solar and wind costs trend down

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Agri-Pulse:The cost of building some renewable energy generators is down, according to a data analysis released this week by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Among newly constructed utility-scale electric generators in 2016, annual capacity-weighted average construction costs for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and onshore wind turbines fell.New construction for wind and solar power were among the year’s most popular generation additions, with natural gas rounding out the top three. These three technologies accounted for approximately 93 percent of added capacity. Total electric generating capacity increased 50 percent over 2015.Solar PV construction has steadily declined since 2013 when costs were $3,705 per kilowatt (kW) for construction. In 2016, the construction cost was $2,436 per kW as 500 PV generating units added 8 gigawatts (GW) to the energy mix. The EIA could not predict how 2018 tariffs on imported panels might affect future solar PV costs.Wind capacity additions were the most popular in 2016. Utilities added 84 wind turbine projects with a total of 8.8 GW. Construction costs were down slightly from 2015, at $1,630 per kW. The data show capacity-weighted costs were lower for larger wind plants due to shared infrastructure costs.Unlike PV solar and wind generation, construction costs for natural gas generators increased slightly in 2016. In 2016, 100 natural gas-fired generators, totaling 9.8 GW, were added to the electric grid.More: Construction costs decline for wind, solarKallanish Energy:Nearly 500 PV generating units totaling 8,000 megawatts (MW) were added to the electric grid in 2016, making it the second-most common technology installed in 2016, after wind turbines.Utilities added 84 wind turbine projects, totaling 8,800 MW, to the electric grid in 2016. The construction costs for onshore wind generators in 2016 reached $1,630/kW, a slight decrease from 2015.Capacity-weighted costs tend to be lower for larger wind plants. In the past three years, most new wind capacity has been larger plants — 89% of 2016 wind turbine additions were to sites with more than 100 MW. As the capacity added at a site increases, the capacity-weighted construction cost decreases because the siting and infrastructure costs are shared by more turbines and capacity.Wind class — the wind speeds for which a wind turbine is optimized — can also affect wind generator costs; wind turbines designed for high- and medium-speed winds (classes 1 and 2) averaged about $100/kW more than turbines designed for low wind (class 3).In 2016, 100 natural gas-fired generators, totaling 9,800 MW, were added to the electric grid. Costs averaged $895/kW, an increase from $812/kW in 2015. Of the 9,00 MW added, 3,600 MW were combustion turbines.More: Average U.S. construction costs for solar, wind fell in 2016 Latest U.S. Energy Information Agency data: solar and wind costs trend downlast_img read more

System Takes Shape for Military Disaster Relief in Americas

first_imgBy Dialogo February 02, 2011 A system is in the works that will strengthen the ability of military services to contribute to civilian-led disaster response in the Western Hemisphere, a Defense Department official said on 24 January. Paul Stockton, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas Security Affairs, spoke at the Inter-American Dialogue, a policy forum on Western Hemisphere affairs. Stockton was joined by Frank O. Mora, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere. The United States is working with partners in the region, Stockton said, to plan for and better coordinate the international influx of help that follows deadly disasters such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. “When the earthquake struck, there were plenty of partner nations who stepped up to the plate, eager to provide assistance,” he said. “The problem was … we didn’t have a database of the capabilities specific countries could bring to the fight. And we had no way to match up Haiti’s most important requirements with the kinds of assistance that nations were able to provide.” The magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck in January 2010 killed an estimated 230,000 people and displaced one-third of Haiti’s population, U.S. Southern Command officials said. Southcom established Joint Task Force Haiti to conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in support of the U.S. Agency for International Development. It was the largest disaster response mission in modern U.S. military history. “Civilians will always be in charge of disaster response,” Stockton said. “Defense will only be in support of those civilian leaders. But in a catastrophe, let’s face it, sometimes defense establishments are where the capability is. We need to be able to harness those defense capabilities to serve the requirements established by civilian authorities in the country that’s been struck by the disaster in a way that’s much more effective than we had in Haiti.” A mechanism to improve the integration of defense capability and civilian authority in response to natural disasters was introduced during a November conference Western hemisphere defense ministers in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. There, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates strongly endorsed a proposal based on consultations among partners as well as on September workshops in Washington and in Lima, Peru, and lessons learned from relief operations in Haiti. The proposal, co-sponsored by 14 countries, called for: — Standardizing a system for military collaboration during disaster relief operations through a Military Assistance Collaboration Cell; — Adopting a common platform for information sharing; and — Establishing working groups to develop the framework for military support for civilian-led disaster relief operations. “We are now in the process of organizing a workshop to be held in South America where the details of all this will be ironed out, institutionalized and, hopefully, implemented,” Mora said. Stockton said such a system would help a country struck by a natural disaster detail its most urgent priorities and allow those providing assistance to match those needs with international contributions. “Let’s have a database, purely voluntary,” he said, “that enables countries in advance of an event to offer up what they might be able to provide so that can be fed in to the consultative process.” Stockton noted that 128 days remain before hurricane season begins 1 June for the United States and countries in the Caribbean, and earthquakes can happen year-round. “We have standing working groups, and we’re making progress on this because in our hemisphere a [natural] catastrophe is not a question of if, it’s a question of when,” Stockton said. “So we are moving out in a way that’s focused on saving lives in partnership with the nations of the region.”last_img read more

What’s the Evidence Mass Surveillance Works? Not Much

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Lauren Kirchner, ProPublicaCurrent and former government officials have been pointing to the terror attacks in Paris as justification for mass surveillance programs. CIA Director John Brennan accused privacy advocates of “hand-wringing” that has made “our ability collectively internationally to find these terrorists much more challenging.” Former National Security Agency and CIA director Michael Hayden said, “In the wake of Paris, a big stack of metadata doesn’t seem to be the scariest thing in the room.”Ultimately, it’s impossible to know just how successful sweeping surveillance has been, since much of the work is secret. But what has been disclosed so far suggests the programs have been of limited value. Here’s a roundup of what we know.An internal review of the Bush administration’s warrantless program – called Stellarwind – found it resulted in few useful leads from 2001–2004, and none after that. New York Times reporter Charlie Savage obtained the findings through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit and published them in his new book, Power Wars: Inside Obama’s Post–9/11 Presidency:[The FBI general counsel] defined as useful those [leads] that made a substantive contribution to identifying a terrorist, or identifying a potential confidential informant. Just 1.2 percent of them fit that category. In 2006, she conducted a comprehensive study of all the leads generated from the content basket of Stellarwind between March 2004 and January 2006 and discovered that zero of those had been useful.In an endnote, Savage then added:The program was generating numerous tips to the FBI about suspicious phone numbers and e-mail addresses, and it was the job of the FBI field offices to pursue those leads and scrutinize the people behind them. (The tips were so frequent and such a waste of time that the field offices reported back, in frustration, “You’re sending us garbage.”)In 2013, the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies analyzed terrorism cases from 2001 on, and determined that the NSA’s bulk collection of phone records “was not essential to preventing attacks.” According to the group’s report,In at least 48 instances, traditional surveillance warrants obtained from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court were used to obtain evidence through intercepts of phone calls and e-mails, said the researchers, whose results are in an online database.More than half of the cases were initiated as a result of traditional investigative tools. The most common was a community or family tip to the authorities. Other methods included the use of informants, a suspicious-activity report filed by a business or community member to the FBI, or information turned up in investigations of non-terrorism cases.Another 2014 report by the nonprofit New America Foundation echoed those conclusions. It described the government claims about the success of surveillance programs in the wake of the 9/11 attacks as “overblown and even misleading.”An in-depth analysis of 225 individuals recruited by al-Qaeda or a like-minded group or inspired by al-Qaeda’s ideology, and charged in the United States with an act of terrorism since 9/11, demonstrates that traditional investigative methods, such as the use of informants, tips from local communities, and targeted intelligence operations, provided the initial impetus for investigations in the majority of cases, while the contribution of NSA’s bulk surveillance programs to these cases was minimal.Edward Snowden’s leaks about the scope of the NSA’s surveillance system in the summer of 2013 put government officials on the defensive. Many politicians and media outlets echoed the agency’s claim that it had successfully thwarted more than 50 terror attacks. ProPublica examined the claim and found “no evidence that the oft-cited figure is accurate.”It’s impossible to assess the role NSA surveillance played in the 54 cases because, while the agency has provided a full list to Congress, it remains classified.The NSA has publicly discussed four cases, and just one in which surveillance made a significant difference. That case involved a San Diego taxi driver named Basaaly Moalin, who sent $8,500 to the Somali terrorist group al-Shabab. But even the details of that case are murky. From the Washington Post:In 2009, an FBI field intelligence group assessed that Moalin’s support for al-Shabab was not ideological. Rather, according to an FBI document provided to his defense team, Moalin probably sent money to an al-Shabab leader out of “tribal affiliation” and to “promote his own status” with tribal elders.Also in the months after the Snowden revelations, the Justice Department said publicly that it had used warrantless wiretapping to gather evidence in a criminal case against another terrorist sympathizer, which fueled ongoing debates over the constitutionality of those methods. From the New York Times:Prosecutors filed such a notice late Friday in the case of Jamshid Muhtorov, who was charged in Colorado in January 2012 with providing material support to the Islamic Jihad Union, a designated terrorist organization based in Uzbekistan.Mr. Muhtorov is accused of planning to travel abroad to join the militants and has pleaded not guilty. A criminal complaint against him showed that much of the government’s case was based on intercepted e-mails and phone calls.Local police departments have also acknowledged the limitations of mass surveillance, as Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis did after the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. Federal authorities had received Russian intelligence reports about bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but had not shared this information with authorities in Massachusetts or Boston. During a House Homeland Security Committee hearing, Davis said,“There’s no computer that’s going to spit out a terrorist’s name. It’s the community being involved in the conversation and being appropriately open to communicating with law enforcement when something awry is identified. That really needs to happen and should be our first step.”Correction, Nov. 18, 2015: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology’s report about the effectiveness of the NSA’s bulk collection of phone records was issued in 2014. The report came out at the end of 2013.ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.last_img read more

Owego residents, officials speaking out over Teeter Road closure frustration

first_imgTown of Owego Supervisor, Don Castellucci Jr., says he understands the problems people are facing, but believes the closure is necessary until more plans are discussed. “Over the last two years, both my wife and I have had incidents in which we had to go to the hospital in an ambulance,” said Schneider. “In fact, the Campville ambulance, when they took me to the hospital, they went down this road to Twist Run Road because they said it was shorter with traffic in town.” OWEGO (WBNG) — Nearby residents along Teeter Road say they don’t want to wait until the spring for the road to re-open, but town officials say it may have to wait for safety needs. Castellucci mentioned how the road won’t be able to get repairs until spring arrive. However, the town board is offering a public meeting for residents to talk about a plan to work together on until the winter season is over. The town of Owego closed off part of Teeter Road back in early December due to reports of a plow truck getting stuck in hazardous conditions.center_img RELATED: Owego road closure causing safety concerns for residents “It’s not convenient, but at the same time, the town has the responsibility for driver safety, employee safety, and equipment safety so we have to weigh those things,” said Castellucci. Meanwhile, local resident, Paul Schneider, says this is the first time he’s seen part of the road closed off, causing drivers to take a long detour. He says among many concerns such as access for NYSEG and workers from the Greater Binghamton Airport to maintain a nearby tower, his biggest worry involves his health.last_img read more

EDITORIAL: Discovery reforms need to be backed by state funds

first_imgThe only way for them to keep up will be to hire additional staff, the cost of which will have to be borne by local taxpayers, at least initially.In addition to the cost of having to prepare and turn over the information, additional costs could come when cases that would normally be plea-bargained are taken to trial, resulting in greater expenses for prosecution and defense. And to speed up the transfer of huge files of evidence, some prosecutors have proposed purchasing better technology to assist them in sharing the documents with police.As with the objections to bail reform, supporters of discovery reform say the complaints from law enforcement are being overblown in order to frighten the public into demanding changes and reversing the progress that’s been made.But one can’t argue with the proven additional staff and financial burdens the law has already placed on law enforcement, just as one can’t argue that dangerous criminal suspects, including homicide suspects, who previously would have been held on bail have been released without bail.Perhaps perception of the problem is a matter of degree, but problems still exist and they must be addressed.The state has to provide some kind of direct financial support to localities to pay for these so-far unfunded mandates.It’s unfair to burden local taxpayers with solving a problem that the state initiated and didn’t plan to pay for. Categories: Editorial, OpinionBack in November, before new bail and discovery reforms took effect, a spokesman for Gov. Andrew Cuomo mocked Albany County District Attorney David Soares for expressing concerns about the costs and implementation of those reforms.“Another day, another excuse. … His math and his convictions are both questionable,” the spokesman told the Times Union.Now that both reforms have been implemented and now that reality has replaced aspiration, the only thing that seems questionable is why the warnings of prosecutors and other law enforcement officials weren’t heeded when the legislation was being prepared. And these days the only excuses seem to be coming from reformers who can’t quite seem to figure out how things could have gone awry so quickly.We’ve detailed the problems with the bail reform proposals in the past and suggested potential solutions.Now we turn to discovery reform — designed to speed up and increase the amount of information made available to criminal defendants, and to expedite disposition of their cases.Like the reforms to the cash bail system, discovery reform was long overdue because it was depriving defendants, many of them minorities and the indigent, of the ability to properly defend themselves. The result of not having timely information about their cases resulted in suspects being compelled to take plea bargains when perhaps the evidence would have supported either acquittal or a lesser sentence. It also resulted in them unduly serving time in jail awaiting disposition of their cases.The law was an attempt to restore equality to an unfair system of justice. And we agree it is needed.But like with the bail reforms, the Legislature didn’t put enough thought into the impact on the judicial system of expedited discovery before enacting the law, which requires that discovery materials be turned over to the defendant within 15 days of arraignment.In an article in Wednesday’s Gazette, prosecutors and police from around the region articulated the special challenges they’re facing of having to comply with the new law — all of which were anticipated well before it went into effect.Prosecutors have complained about the vast new workload that has resulted in adding hundreds of cases to their existing job in just the past few weeks. That’s placed an undue burden on staffs, forcing them to work weekends and nights just to keep up.The new speed at which documents such as witness lists and police reports have to be turned over has also stressed out police and crime labs.center_img Counties and cities shouldn’t have to wait for anticipated savings from fewer incarcerations and emptier jails to pay for the new initiatives — savings that many in law enforcement are doubtful will ever fully materialize.If those savings do come to bear as a result of these reforms, then the state can scale back on the financial support it provides and use those savings to offset the cost of the reforms.But until then, the local governments that are bearing the cost of these reforms shouldn’t have to front the money in order to implement them.Further, the state should look at whether the reforms themselves are creating more problems than they solve and actually hurting law enforcement’s effort to bring criminals to justice. And they should consider whether the new timetable for turning over documents is reasonable, or whether it can be modified to relieve the pressure on law enforcement while still guaranteeing defendants a speedy trial.Complaining about a legitimate problem is not the same thing as making excuses.And disregarding the seriousness of a problem is not the same as solving it.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

Experts slam govt for ‘inconsistent, poor’ COVID-19 policies after transport relaxation

first_imgChairwoman Asfinawati of the Foundation of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) lambasted the new “travel relaxation”, saying that any government policy adopted solely for economic reasons and with minimal consideration of public health was off target.“It is worrying when the policies taken are not based on accurate data. The outcome may be worse, considering the small percentage of our population that has been tested compared to those of other countries,” Asfinawati told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.Despite the government’s claim that the policy was intended to accommodate essential travel for public officials, COVID-19 patients and their families and Indonesians wishing to repatriate, Asfinawati feared that the policy could easily be misused.“How are we going to verify all [travelers]? I said from the beginning [that] what are needed from the regulations are the details. With this [policy], public officials can easily fabricate a legitimate reason to go back to their hometowns. In the end, this would be class bias,” she stressed. The government’s latest move to allow public transportation services to resume, even as the mudik (exodus) ban remains in force, has added unnecessary complications to that nationwide physical distancing policy. Experts say that the move is not only poorly calculated, but also inconsistent at a time when the nation’s fight against COVID-19 should be strengthened, not relaxed. Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi reopened all air, land and sea transportation services on Thursday, saying the measure was necessary for the national economy to survive.Although the new policy applies to certain individuals like state officials and medical workers and carries certain requirements, it has compounded the nationwide ban on all domestic travel to and from the so-called COVID-19 red zones. Read also: New regulation allows businesspeople, officials to travel despite ‘mudik’ banThe government has been heavily criticized for its inconsistent stance on social distancing since the first large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) was implemented in Jakarta.Ride-hailing ojek (motorcycle taxi) drivers were left confused as to whether they could still transport passengers when the capital implemented the PSBB on April 10.While the Health Ministry rejected Jakarta’s request to allow ojek drivers to transport passengers, the Transportation Ministry issued a regulation that stipulated the opposite, which many pointed out was a contravention of the PSBB’s implementing guidelines.The government then issued the mudik travel ban on April 21, weeks after affected informal workers had started returning to their hometowns. President Joko Widodo attempted to fend off criticisms that the regulation came “too late”, with an etymological claim that the Idul Fitri tradition of mudik was not the same as the “regular” pulang kampung tradition of returning to one’s hometown.This Wednesday, however, Budi Karya said that mudik and pulang kampung were the same thing and that the government was banning both under the President’s instruction.Economist and political analyst Ichsanuddin Noorsy pointed out other instances that showed the government’s lack of commitment to COVID-19 mitigation, such as allowing international flights to operate normally despite the mudik ban.Ichsanuddin also regretted the Manpower Ministry’s plan to bring in 500 foreign workers from China in direct contravention of the Law and Human Rights Ministry’s recent temporarily ban on foreign arrivals to Indonesia.Read also: Indonesia to revise ‘overall data’ on COVID-19 cases as govt scrambles to ramp up testing“Almost all policies on COVID-19 [mitigation] are inconsistent,” he said on Wednesday as quoted by kompas.com, adding that such policy inconsistencies had led to weak inter-agency coordination in the field.“[These] policies are not based on the correct understanding of the problems – [they are] poor public policy formulations,” Ichsanuddin said, adding that he was afraid public distrust of the government could grow as a consequence.Similarly, Lokataru Legal and Human Rights Foundation executive director Haris Azhar said that the central and regional governments were out of sync in their stances on the COVID-19 social restriction policies.“The stay at home order is to reduce transmission. [So] Why is it that the government is now facilitating public transportation?” he said. “It’s confusing, because the regional administrations seem to want strict restrictions, but the central government keeps pushing the other way,” Haris told the Post on Thursday.Haris also called on the central government not to claim that Indonesia had succeeded in “flattening the curve” of COVID-19 transmission as a reason for making new policies.“It should not use language that says we are [now] safe. The numbers are still going up,” he said.Topics :last_img read more

Reopening Phase Orders Updated to Include 12 Additional Counties Moving to Green on June 26

first_imgReopening Phase Orders Updated to Include 12 Additional Counties Moving to Green on June 26 June 25, 2020 SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Press Release,  Public Health Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today signed amended green phase orders for the 12 counties moving to green at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, June 26. The counties include Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Susquehanna.With these orders effective at 12:01 a.m., tomorrow there will be 66 counties in green and one county in yellow.Philadelphia County met the criteria and will move to the state’s green phase tomorrow; however, local officials will maintain some additional restrictions until July 3. The Wolf Administration has supported specific county requests for more restrictions throughout the phased reopening process.Gov. Wolf’s Process to Reopen Pennsylvania includes details of each phase of reopening.Green PhaseAfter a county transitions to the yellow phase, we closely monitor for increased risk, such as significant outbreaks. If overall risk remains mitigated for 14 days, we transition the county to the green phase.The green phase eases most restrictions by lifting the stay-at-home and business closure orders to allow the economy to strategically reopen while continuing to prioritize public health.While this phase facilitates a return to a “new normal,” it is equally important to continue to monitor public health indicators and adjust orders and restrictions as necessary to ensure the spread of disease remains at a minimum. It is also imperative that people wear masks when leaving home and in settings where social distancing is not feasible.Work and Congregate Settings RestrictionsContinued Telework Strongly EncouragedBusinesses with In-Person Operations Must Follow Updated Business and Building Safety RequirementsAll Businesses Operating at 50% Occupancy in the Yellow Phase May Increase to 75% OccupancyChild Care May Open Complying with GuidanceCongregate Care Restrictions in PlacePrison and Hospital Restrictions Determined by Individual FacilitiesSchools Subject to CDC and Commonwealth GuidanceSocial RestrictionsLarge Gatherings of More Than 250 ProhibitedMasks Are Required When Entering a BusinessRestaurants and Bars Open at 50% OccupancyPersonal Care Services (including hair salons and barbershops) Open at 50% Occupancy and by Appointment OnlyIndoor Recreation, Health and Wellness Facilities, and Personal Care Services (such as gyms and spas) Open at 50% Occupancy with Appointments Strongly EncouragedAll Entertainment (such as casinos, theaters, and shopping malls) Open at 50% OccupancyConstruction Activity May Return to Full Capacity with Continued Implementation of ProtocolsThe latest business guidance, including outdoor recreation guidance.Preliminary sports guidance.Summer camp guidance.The Governor’s amended green phase order.The Secretary of Health’s amended green phase order.Ver esta página en español.last_img read more

Inquiry has come from as far away as Switzerland for this commanding Brisbane home

first_imgParts of the home look largely the same as they did decades ago.The original home is the only Brisbane example of the domestic work of renowned Sydney architects Eaton and Bates.It has stained glass windows, 13 foot high ceilings, three fireplaces, chandeliers and polished timber flooring,There is a commercial-grade cold room in the kitchen and the main bedroom overlooks the veranda with river and mountain views.There are two outdoor entertainment areas including an outdoor fireplace, barbecue and 13 metre self-cleaning swimming pool.Downstairs in the home is a refrigerated wine cellar which can hold 3000 bottles and is next to a private dining area with a double-sided dumbwaiter. This area leads to a private office and media room.The home has ornamental octagonal rotundas each with an individual dome-shaped roof.It will be auctioned this afternoon at inroom auctions at Level 1, 33 Lytton Rd, East Brisbane at 12.30pm. Former Fone Zone CEO David McMahon with his wife Tracey will auction their home, Cremorne, on October 5.UPDATE: One of Brisbane’s most commanding and prestigious homes has sold at auction today.The landmark colonial property, Cremorne, at 34 Mullens St, Hamilton, was owned by Fone Zone co-founder David McMahon and his wife, Tracey.The couple listed the circa 1905 home in September 2016, but they made a renewed push to sell it as they have now moved to Aspen, Colorado. The modern extension.Property records reveal the home last sold in December 2015 for $6.625 million.At auction on Thursday, it sold for $5.975m. There were four registered bidders.Before the auction, marketing agent Sarah Hackett of Place Bulimba said interest had been strong in the property, particularly once they had set an auction date. Three bidders had registered as of yesterday afternoon.One was Brisbane based and lived on his own, one was a farming family out west, and another was a Brisbane based family.“Yesterday we had someone fly in from Melbourne to see it before the auction desperately,’’ she said. The home last sold in December 2015 for $6.625 million.“And if you look at what is on the market on Hamilton Hill there is some beautiful modern homes on smaller allotments but if you look at some of these large properties, they just aren’t there. That demand for large parcels of land, big properties is definitely there and anyone who is looking at this, it is a time term buy. It is for their next life stage.’’The five-bedroom home sits on 2435sq m of land on Hamilton Hill and has 180 degree river and city views.The two-level award-winning home retains its heritage Queenslander exterior but inside it has undergone a complete contemporary restoration and heritage approved pavilion extension. The work received the 2009 State Residential Architecture Houses Award. Inside one of Cremorne’s living areas.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this homeless than 1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investorless than 1 hour ago“We have had a bit of expat inquiry as well from Switzerland, so it is just all over the place who is looking at it and I don’t know who will be the purchaser.’’One potential buyer had told here they considered it a “once in a lifetime opportunity’’ to buy the home.Mrs Hackett said stock at that end of the market was down about 18 per cent on where it would be expected to be.“There is a lot less choice for top end buyers,’’ she said.last_img read more

Church of England eyes private equity after 2.6% loss in 2018

first_imgPoor performance across all markets during 2018, particularly the last quarter, meant the £2.4bn (€2.6bn) Church of England Pensions Board (CEPB) slumped to a 2.6% investment loss for the year.The loss was published in the board’s annual report this morning, and compared with a 9.4% gain in 2017.CEPB’s public equities allocation lost 6.9%, and the board – which runs assets on behalf of four church pension schemes – cut its exposure to 65% of its £2bn return-seeking portfolio. The long-term target allocation is 35%. Within its public equity allocation, the CEPB has also continued to reduce its allocation to UK equities, now 6% of the return-seeking pool. The fund is split between the return-seeking pool, a £70m liability-matching pool consisting entirely of high-quality corporate bonds, and £340m of UK government bonds.Over 2018, the return-seeking pool declined by 2.2%. This brought its five-year annualised return to 7.6%, and 7.9% a year for the 15 years to 31 December 2018.Meanwhile, the board’s liability-matching pool lost 1.6% for 2018, compared with a 4.3% gain in 2017. Pierre Jameson, CEPB’s chief investment officer, told IPE: “We are reducing UK equities in order to take advantage of the bigger opportunity set in global equities. The FTSE 100 and All Share [indices] are skewed towards commodities, mining and financials, with little exposure to, say, tech companies.”He added that the decision had been vindicated by the outperformance of the MSCI World index versus the FTSE 100 over the past two years. Over the course of 2018, the MSCI World lost 3% compared with the FTSE 100’s 8.7% fall, while over three years to 29 July 2019 the global benchmark rose by 47.8%, outstripping the FTSE 100’s 29.3% gain.Church eyes private equity and venture capitalThe CEPB’s strongest performing asset classes during 2018 were emerging market sovereign bonds and private debt, which combined made up 8.5% of the return-seeking portfolio. During the year the allocation returned 11.5%.Property – 11.2% of the portfolio – returned 10.7%, while infrastructure equity (10.1% of the portfolio) returned 7.5%. The latter asset has returned 8.9% a year over the past five years, CEPB reported.Earlier this year, the fund hired Cambridge Associates to increase its private equity allocation over the long term, aiming to reach 7% of the portfolio.Jameson said the aim was to benefit from the illiquidity premium while also gaining exposure to assets that could not otherwise be accessed. The allocation would be global and would include an allocation to venture capital, he added.The CEPB has also appointed HIG Whitehorse to run a second US private debt portfolio alongside existing manager Audax. The investment was first made three years ago and has since returned 7% a year. The long-term allocation will be doubled to 8% of the portfolio. The fund also planned to change the way it calculated liabilities, and Jameson said the new private debt allocation “suits the way we will calculate liabilities, which will relate more to the yield of the portfolio”.The CEPB follows an ethical investment policy and is advised by the church’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group. Jameson said that this ethical policy had added 1.3% to the return over 2018.last_img read more

Dining experience at retirement home definitely one to remember

first_imgThe dining area at The Clayfield retirement village. When I think of food at a retirement village, I think of slop – large amounts in a bain-marie.So when I was invited to dine at The Clayfield by Aveo, a Brisbane retirement village, I cringed but decided to accept the challenge.It was an experience. A really good one in fact. Located at Albion, The Clayfield’s Carriage House Brasserie is a hit with residents enjoying the onsite independent living facilities. Some of the food on the menu at The Clayfield, retirement village.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus13 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market13 hours agoAbsolutely delicious. No purees, no slop. In fact, they were the most delicious duck spring rolls I’ve had.“What are you having over there?” a diner from nearby table asked.“The duck spring rolls,” I replied.“When my sister comes to visit me she comes here especially for the duck spring rolls,” she said.Family and friends visiting residents can dine at the restaurant, which also serves coffee and cake throughout the day.With a glass of wine to accompany our meals, it’s no wonder the restaurant is a hit with residents – it’s BYO! Out came our mains – a decadent Caesar salad with poached egg and Grana Padano parmesan ($12.50), and beer battered garfish with tartare sauce, chunky spiced fries and house garden salad ($16).Aveo National Food Services manager John Casey said The Clayfield had 165 residents, the oldest 101 and the youngest in their late 60s. He said with a user pays system in place the residents were served fresh and upmarket meals. Aveo head chef Christian Stone plating food at The Clayfield. Elizabeth Tilley and Reshni Ratnam dine at The Clayfield retirement village. center_img My colleague Elizabeth Tilley and I had only been seated for five minutes when in came a trio of ladies ready to be served.“I’m so hungover,” an older resident said to her friends. “We had a party last night and I drank more champagne than I ever have.”Her friend then chimed back as she took her seat: “Ah, I’d really like to be waited on today.”And that’s exactly what the staff at the restaurant do. They ensure your experience is one to remember.As we perused the menu, duck spring rolls took my fancy for the entree, and Liz decided on the soup of the day, an Asian broth with meatballs. Head chef at the Carriage House, Christian Stone, said Aveo recently transformed its food offering across its communities with a strong focus on healthy choices. “In partnership with Nutrition Professionals Australia we have created national nutritional guidelines to ensure optimal health and nutrition for seniors,” Mr Stone said.Aveo has also launched its first senior cookbook Live Life Cook to inspire over 65s to cook nutritious and healthy meals at home.The sales and information suite at Clayfield by Aveo is at 469 Sandgate Rd in Albion.last_img read more