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Energy Storage Will Likely Follow Renewable Energy’s Rapid Growth Path

Energy Storage Will Likely Follow  Renewable Energy’s Rapid Growth Path | Political & Urban Geography | Scoop.it
As can be gleaned from recent reports in the popular and trade press, activity is swirling around energy storage systems, highlighted by Tesla’s April 30 announcement of its “Powerwall” residential energy backup system. “The development of economic, reliable energy storage systems is the missing link in the deployment of renewable energy, and in particular solar photovoltaics (PV),” said Dr. Ralph Romero, Director, Black & Veatch’s management consulting business. Storage systems can address capacity constraints, improve power quality and reliability, and allow utilities to effectively increase the percentage of renewables on the grid. “Given that energy storage is now where solar was five to 10 years ago, there are lots of new start-ups and technologies. However, there is also little standardization, lots of buzz and a lack of information as to what is out there and what the technology actually represents,” Romero said. These factors make it challenging for developers and engineers to accurately size and specify storage systems. He and Mark Manley, Manager, Black &Veatch’s management consulting business, made their comments as part of a presentation on the bankability of renewable energy and related energy storagesystems to financial services industry executives. Mandating Energy Storage California’s three investor-owned utilities were handed a mandate by the Public Utilities Commission to install 1,325 megawatts of energy storage by 2020. In at least one case, the requirements are already oversubscribed – that shows the level of interest and the robustness of the new market, Manley said. “It’s great that California put the storage mandate in place,” Manley noted. “That’s what happened with solar and wind in Germany, Japan and California – mandates were put in place to help drive the market, which is exactly what happened. It created enough volume to get costs to come down significantly. We’re now at a point where the cost of producing solar electricity is close to parity with the grid in many cases.” Part of the variability characteristic of renewable energy is that power may not be available when needed, or too much power may be available when it’s not needed. Energy storage can smooth out that cycle. Reducing Bills with Energy Storage A viable energy storage system can also help commercial power users reduce their bills, regardless of whether they have solar PV, Manley said. Commercial electric utility customers typically are assessed a demand charge based on the monthly maximum power draw, and these charges can be significant. Manley noted the example of a California convenience store chain that is installing charging stations for electric cars. “So, let’s say someone pulls up to the convenience store and plugs in his electric car at a peak time during the day. If the car charger is attached to a battery storage system, then that system could offset peak power demand on the utility grid and prevent the shop from hitting the maximum draw on its demand charges as assessed by the utility,” he said. The storage battery would then be recharged from the utility service more gradually or during periods of low demand, such as late at night. Tesla Paving the Way Tesla’s residential battery is an impressive step, Manley said. The company says shipments will begin in the summer of 2015. Black & Veatch recently announced the expansion of its relationship with Tesla. Black & Veatch provides design, engineering and construction services for large-scale commercial, industrial and municipal facilities using Tesla Energy Storage Products. The other issue facing first adopters of storage is the uncertainty of the technology. What is the lifespan of a storage system, for instance? Manley said that better data is becoming available with the increasing sales of electric vehicles, and the industry is getting better at battery longevity. “They have improved the algorithm for charging and discharging well enough that a major electronics manufacturer can offer a 10-year warranty on a commercial energy storage battery,” Manley said. And that warranty helps storage projects become bankable, a critical factor for third-party financing. Solar PV Blazing the Pathway Solar PV technology use is growing at lightning speed, providing fruitful ground for energy storage development. U.S. solar PV capacity is expected to hit 19 gigawatts (GW) in 2015, with 12 GW coming on line this year in new installations, Romero said. Five GW are expected to be utility scale, which are generally installations of 10 MW capacity or greater. The growing capacity is driven by policy incentives and reduced costs. “In 2000 there were 100,000 solar rooftop systems, and some observers estimate that in 2015 there will be 6 million. There is tremendous growth potential, therefore, for the energy storage market, as well as solar PV,” he said. Improving Technologies Boosting Solar PV Market  Many technologies are vying for a position in the market. Bankability studies can help financial and other stakeholders identify the characteristics of these technologies and receive assessments of their reliability, quality, costs, the adequacy of designs, and the strength of the companies that stand behind them, Romero said. In their bankability presentation to the financial executives, Romero and Manley pointed to these rapid developments in solar PV technology: System voltages are increasing, an equally important development, because higher voltages reduce cost and increase efficiencies. As of 2012, system voltages were around 600 volts, but today they are 1,000 volts, and there is movement to push that bar higher. The level of sophistication of module electronics is increasing with an expected positive impact on system reliability and costs. The balance of the site equipment and materials have declined in cost. Solar PV is a popular, easily installed and distributed source of energy. As it continues to mature, the energy storage sector will increasingly grow and mature right alongside. Story by Samuel Glasser, Black & Veatch   Published originally on Black & Veatch Solutions.

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Gujarat to introduce electric buses to reduce pollution

Gujarat to introduce electric buses to reduce pollution | Political & Urban Geography | Scoop.it

Gujarat Transport Minister Vijay Rupani today said the state government will introduce a pilot project to run six electric buses between Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad to reduce pollution.

"The automobile industry will be invited to manufacture electric vehicles in the state as there is a rising need to enhance pollution-free public transport system in the country," Rupani was quoted as saying by an official release.

Speaking at the meeting of transport ministers of states/UTs on 'Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles in India' in New Delhi today, Rupani urged the Centre to curtail import duty on electric buses.

The Transport Minister, in the meeting chaired by Union Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister Anant Geete also sought Centre's intervention in reduction in VAT and abolition of registration duty of electric vehicles.

The pilot project of electric buses will be handled by Gujarat Power Corporation Limited in association with Gujarat State Transport Corporation, Rupani said.

Solar powered stations will be set up at the central bus station in Gandhinagar for charging the electric buses, he said.

He also welcomed the Centre's green initiative which aims at promotion of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles so as to address issues of vehicular emissions and national fuel security, the release added.


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batuhan's curator insight, December 16, 2015 2:34 AM

India have tried to introduce a pilot project to run six electric buses between Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad to reduce pollution. The Transport ministor said that plans to make electric vehicles more interesting will include a reduction in VAT and abolition of registration duty of electric vehicles, also caiming that environmentaly efficent  Solar powered stations will be set up for charging the electric buses.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson - Climate change and the challenge to Pacific island coastlines.

Low-lying coastal areas are often the most populated parts of islands, with villages, towns, agriculture, infrastructure and tourist development competing for space. Unfortunately, coasts are also particularly vulnerable to climate hazards and weather events. Particular vulnerabilities include loss of land and islands from sea level rise and loss of homes and lives from extreme weather events such as cyclones. The resulting impacts – coastal erosion, infrastructure damage, flooding and salt water intrusion – present a critical challenge to many Pacific island coastlines. Supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) programme is the first major climate change adaptation initiative in the Pacific region. Since it began in 2009 the programme has laid the groundwork for more resilient Pacific communities that can cope with climate variability today, and climate change tomorrow. This short video, narrated by renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, highlights the PACC projects that are working to reduce the vulnerability of island coasts.


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Lauren Quincy's curator insight, March 19, 2015 10:21 AM

Unit 5: Agriculture, Food Production, and Rural Land Use


This video was about islands in the Pacific that are experiencing extreme climate change. The climate change has caused rising sea level, increased acidification, extreme cyclones and altered rainfall patterns. With the help of the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change, the United Nations and other organizations, a change in infrastructure and agricultural practices are being put in place in order to cope with changing climate and help stabilize the economy. 


This video relates to unit 5 because it covers environmental changes due to climate. In efforts to help stabilize the economy and reduce erosion. They are also working to improve infrastructure that can withstand higher intensity cyclones and flooding. Lastly, they are working toward controlling their water and acid levels in the ocean. 

Mr. Stinson's curator insight, March 25, 2015 4:41 PM

Of all of the reasons why geography matters, which one does this article seem to match?

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Urbanization and the evolution of cities across 10,000 years

"About 10,000 years ago, hunter-gatherers, aided by rudimentary agriculture, moved to semi-permanent villages and never looked back. With further developments came food surpluses, leading to commerce, specialization and, many years later with the Industrial Revolution, the modern city. Vance Kite plots our urban past and how we can expect future cities to adapt to our growing populations."


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s smith's curator insight, June 7, 2014 9:01 PM

A great look at urbanisation. 

Fathie Kundie's curator insight, June 8, 2014 9:48 AM

تاريخ التطور الحضري

Bronwyn Burke's curator insight, June 14, 2014 7:18 PM

Fabulous link between Geography and History

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Portraits of people living on a dollar a day

Portraits of people living on a dollar a day | Political & Urban Geography | Scoop.it

"More than a billion people around the world subsist on a dollar a day, or less. The reasons differ but the day-to-day hardship of their lives are very similar. A book by Thomas A Nazario, founder of the International Organisation, documents the circumstances of those living in extreme poverty across the globe, accompanied by photographs from Pulitzer prizewinner Renée C Byer. Living On A Dollar a Day is published by Quantuck Lane."


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MsPerry's curator insight, August 25, 2014 4:47 PM

APHG-Unit 2 & Unit 6

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 11, 2014 8:26 PM

\I guess it's true what they say; a picture is worth a thousand words. Before even opening this article, you could get a sense from the picture that it wasn't going to be a good one. You can tell by their facial expressions and the environment that surrounds them. Even the colors that are portrayed in the picture send off meaning. The picture is not very bright. It sends off a sad image with all the brown everywhere. However, we do see a little peek of sunlight shining through. Before reading this, one might see this as a good sign from God, or someone watching over these people. Once I opened the article, there were many more pictures describing their lifestyles. You can tell that they don't make much money by the way they live. There was another picture in the article with a dark tint to it, representing a negative atmosphere, including one girl folding her arms and one girl with tears running down her face . There are no pictures were everyone in the images have smiles on their faces.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 7:18 PM

These picture paint a very sad and very real truth. Many of the people in the pictures are caring for children and barely have enough to make it through the day. One woman works long hours for about 50 cents a day and that is horrible, another woman is 40 years old and works at a construction site, which is obviously not the norm. These people, mainly the children, have hope of going to school, but for most of them that is just a dream that will never come true.

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A History of Conflicts

A History of Conflicts | Political & Urban Geography | Scoop.it
Browse the timeline of war and conflict across the globe.

 

This database of global wars and conflicts is searchable through space and time.  You can drag and click the both the map and timeline to locate particular battles and wars, and then read more information about that conflict.  This resource would be a great one to show students and let them explore to find what they see as interesting.  This site is brimming with potential.     


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Sakis Koukouvis's comment, August 16, 2012 8:06 AM
Oh... You are lucky ;-)
Paul Rymsza's comment, August 22, 2012 2:15 PM
the potential of this site is amazing between the interactive learning system and the correlation between the timeline and location. If the human geography class is anything like this i can't wait for it!
Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 28, 2013 3:34 PM

 

This database of global wars and conflicts is searchable through space and time.  You can drag and click both the map and timeline to locate particular battles and wars, and then read more information about that conflict.  This resource would be a great one to show students and let them explore to find what they see as interesting.  This site is brimming with potential.    

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Song: European Union

Song: European Union | Political & Urban Geography | Scoop.it

"Germany and France spent decades at each others' throats. Now, bound by a common currency, they're working together to save the euro zone. It's a story that's begging for a musical number — which, as it happens, we have right here."


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Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 5, 2014 11:21 AM

Yet, they are both singing in the English man language, like wanted to be heard by glorious England. The European Union is strong, but at the same time fragile. It feel it can break by any politic different.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 15, 2014 6:03 PM

Looking at European history as a whole this recent unity between nations, especially Germany and France is an incredibly new and unusual concept. For centuries European countries have been at one another's throats only in the late 20th century has this changed. While this idea of a musical is humors it shows that because of globalization and economics these nations have bounded together and now are heavily reliant upon one another.   

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 18, 2014 1:04 PM

Its humorous how after years of being in conflict with one another, this song manages to highlight the ways in which France and Germany, along with other European countries have manged to over their differences. Along in this song highlights the things in which these countries are known for demonstrates the pure genius in all of this.

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595 - It’s Always Chile in Norway: the Five Types of Territorial Morphology | Strange Maps | Big Think

595 - It’s Always Chile in Norway: the Five Types of Territorial Morphology | Strange Maps | Big Think | Political & Urban Geography | Scoop.it
Do Norwegians feel curiously at home in Chile, and vice versa? Do South Africans have a strange affinity with Italians? And Filipinos with Maldivians?

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Matthew Wahl's curator insight, April 22, 2013 11:07 AM

...explains the shapes of states.

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Visualization: Life expectancy at birth

Visualization: Life expectancy at birth | Political & Urban Geography | Scoop.it
Average number of years to be lived by a group of people born last year (2013) if mortality at each age remains constant in the future. The entry includes total population of both male and female components.

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Why So Many Emerging Megacities Remain So Poor

Why So Many Emerging Megacities Remain So Poor | Political & Urban Geography | Scoop.it
How globalization has changed the nature of urban development.
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How Vietnam became a coffee giant

How Vietnam became a coffee giant | Political & Urban Geography | Scoop.it

"Think of coffee and you will probably think of Brazil, Colombia, or maybe Ethiopia. But the world's second largest exporter today is Vietnam. How did its market share jump from 0.1% to 20% in just 30 years, and how has this rapid change affected the country?"

 


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Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 9:29 PM
Typically I would always associate coffee and coffee beans coming from Spanish speaking countries and I would associate Asian countries with drinking tea. This threw me for a little twist, The Vietnamese do drink coffee though. Coffee was introduced to Vietnam in the 19th century by the French. A majority of their coffee beans are exported since the country needs money. After the Vietnam war had ended, their communist ally, The Soviet Union did nothing to help the crippled country. Agriculture was a disaster, bu the government decided to take a risk in the 80s with growing coffee. It was a success and kept increasing 20%-30% every year in the 90s. Now it employs over two million people. Even major brands like Nestle has coffee bean growing rights there.
Richard Aitchison's curator insight, April 3, 8:22 AM
So how does a traditionally tea drinking country, become the 2nd biggest export of coffee? Well we need to look at colonization and well desperation. While the Vietnamese still prefer to drink tea many of the French that were there during colonization prefered coffee. However, coffee production never really took off until post Vietnam War and with a desperation move to help the economy. With a floundering economy and practices that were not working the government turned its eye to coffee production. At the time 60% of Vietnamese people lived below the poverty line, however nowadays they are just about under 10%. It is not without its problems as it has caused problems with destruction of land and heading into the future they have started to exhaust all of the lands that they can use to produce coffee.  They will need to continue to be innovative if they want to continue to see a surge in the coffee market. It is definitely interesting to see why and how certain items are exported out of countries and the history behind it. I for one would never think Vietnam would be a coffee giant.  
tyrone perry's curator insight, May 1, 12:59 PM
Vietnam is one of the highest coffee producers of the world.  It help bring down the poverty level in the country.  But when something good happens of course something negative has to happen.  Many of Vietnam’s fields are thought to still be filled with mines from the war.  Because of that many forests have been cut down to provide fields to grow the coffee.  Needless to say their environmental dangers are rising.
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Israel unveils plans for more settler homes

Israel unveils plans for more settler homes | Political & Urban Geography | Scoop.it
Proposed units in occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem draw criticism from Netanyahu's own coalition partners.
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Inside SoCal Edison’s Plan To Open Its Grid To Distributed Energy

Inside SoCal Edison’s Plan To Open Its Grid To Distributed Energy | Political & Urban Geography | Scoop.it
A groundbreaking, just-filed blueprint to bring distributed solar, batteries, EVs and more into billion-dollar grid investment plans.  Two years ago, California told its three big investor-owned utilities to do something they’ve never done before — make distributed energy resources (DERs for short) a fundamental part of their billion-dollar distribution grid investment plans. Under state law AB 327, Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric were tasked with finding a way to integrate solar PV, behind-the-meter batteries, electric vehicle chargers, building energy management systems, and other distributed energy resources into a new set of distribution resource plans (DRPs). The fundamental idea is to make DERs central to the way these utilities maintain and upgrade their last-mile electricity distribution system, rather than an afterthought. The California Public Utilities Commission set a high bar for these DRPs under its guidance released last year (PDF). Utilities have to provide much more detailed data on their distribution grids, in as close to real time as possible. They have to come up with methods to measure the benefits that DERs could provide on a circuit-by-circuit basis. And eventually, they’ll be asked to compensate DERs for these values, in lieu of traditional utility capital investments. This has profound implications for how rooftop PV installers, energy storage developers, demand response providers and other third-party DER companies will do business in the state. That’s made the DRP planning process the subject of much debate and scrutiny over the past year — and plenty of impatience for their details to be released. Now, with Wednesday the deadline for utilities to file their plans with the CPUC, the wait is over — and we’ve got details on how one utility is putting its grid-edge plan together. This week, Southern California Edison shared some fundamental features of its DRP, including some new software tools and methodologies to assess distribution grid capacity, the way it plans to assess the costs and benefits of DERs for its upcoming rate case, and new pilot projects to test these propositions in the real world. “This really represents us evolving and transforming the distribution planning process,” Erik Takayesu, director of electric system planning for SCE, said in an interview. Let’s take a look under the hood. Software tools to rank 4,600 grid circuits for DER capacity One of the first steps SCE and its fellow utilities were asked to take was to come up with an integrated capacity analysis, also known as DER hosting capacity analysis, for its distribution circuits. That’s a tall order, considering that SCE has about 4,600 circuits across its territory. To break the problem down, “we performed an analysis of our system, using 30 representative feeders,” Takayesu said. These range from lightly loaded rural distribution circuits to urban feeders serving heavy commercial and industrial customers, each with particular power line and transformer physical constraints, variations in when and for how long peak loading occurs, and other differentiating factors. To build these complex grid models, SCE vetted three different methodologies, including an internally developed one, another from theElectric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and a third from software vendor Integral Analytics. The end result is a data analysis and presentation platform that ”will be fairly representative of the 4,600-plus circuits we have,” he said. Most distribution circuits share two common characteristics, SCE noted in a CPUC presentation. First, the higher the distribution voltage, the higher the integration capacity; and second, the closer the line segment is to the substation, the more DERs it can accommodate. But because each circuit has its own unique characteristics, and because these characteristics change over time, SCE has built in processes to update them, he said. CPUC asked the state’s utilities to use their Renewable Auction Mechanism(RAM) maps, developed to guide large-scale renewable energy project developers, as a model for bringing similar visibility deeper into the distribution grid. The software tool that SCE built is like a RAM map, but with far more detail on the hosting capacity of individual circuits for different types of DERs. Here’s a screenshot from an SCE presentation, showing a single distribution circuit near Orange County’s John Wayne Airport. “For any distribution circuit, you’d see a map, and each circuit is divided into four segments,” he said. Each of the four segments has a different amount of DER that it can reliably handle, depending on whether it’s adding power to the circuit — solar PV, demand response, or batteries in a state of discharge, for example — or drawing power, largely in the form of EV or battery charging.  “It’s technology-agonistic, and it gives third parties a sense of how much capacity we have in both power-flow directions,” he said. “To the degree you can use this today, it can give a better idea for third parties looking to install these DERs, where they can locate without triggering any additional issues,” he said. In a way, this is a bit like the “click-and-claim” concept that GTM contributor Tam Hunt laid out in an article last year, and it’s one of the key features that third-party DER companies like SolarCity have been asking for out of the DRPs. But it’s not all that they want. The next step is figuring out not just where DERs can be located without problems, but how they can play a positive role on the grid. Building the costs and benefits of DERs into utility imperatives That’s a more complicated calculation than simply setting maximum DER interconnection levels. In the DRPs, this next step is called Locational Net Benefits Methodology, or LNBM, Takayesu said. CPUC’s guidance required all three utilities’ DRPs to unify their approaches to calculating these locational benefits, starting with an analysis of DER avoided costs (DERAC) provided by consultancy E3. Working with PG&E and SDG&E, as well as the nonprofit group More Than Smart, SCE came up with a framework for how it will calculate the costs and benefits of DERs across nine categories important to grid planners, he said. This chart from SCE’s presentation shows some of the key categories being measured. “We think that this framework will be useful in helping to identify, rank and prioritize locations where there will be net benefits,” Takayesu said. “There are some very specific categories — one of the avoided cost categories is for avoided sub-transmission, substation and feeder capital expenditures,” he said. There are also avoided distribution voltage and power quality categories, and others centered on DERs’ effect on grid reliability and resiliency. “Then there are larger area types of categories, such as flexible resource adequacy, integration costs, societal avoided cost, and avoided public safety costs,” he said. One of the most important categories to focus on is avoided capacity cost. “It really comes down to the integration into the utility’s annual capital-planning processes,” he said. “Every year, we have an annual process where we forecast growth for our circuits and substations. We compare that forecast of demand to the rating of our facilities, and recommend least-cost solutions to meet that load growth.” These least-cost solutions haven’t effectively included DERs as an option before. But under this new methodology, “we can compare projects that are potential candidates for DERs to have benefits, to understand what’s the most appropriate approach,” he said. That’s a highly variable calculation, depending on the situation on individual circuits. As a recent UC Berkeley study pointed out, most distribution circuits aren’t at the point where they need immediate upgrades to handle peak daily capacity. But the few that are could see outsized benefits from DERs that reduce their peak loads, saving the utilities responsible for upgrading them a lot of money. These planning efforts are part of a utility’s general rate case (GRC), which comes once every three years, each California utility taking its turn each year. SCE is filing its GRC next year, and “we are going to have a description about integration the DRP into the planning process, and mapping that to the general rate case,” he said. Piloting the multi-technology DER gridscape But even the relatively simple concept of capacity deferral gets complicated when the diversity of DER options comes into play. And that’s not including the more complex calculation of how all these multiple categories of values balance out, both at a local and system-wide level. To get a better grasp of how this will work, SCE is launching five separate pilot projects over the coming years, each testing a different aspect of the DER integration puzzle, Takayesu said. It may be a bit ahead of its fellow utilities on this front, because it’s already deep into another pilot project that will serve as the foundation for these new DRP tests. These existing projects are in Orange County, where SCE is facing significant long-term challenges to augment a grid that’s facing a double whammy in lost capacity: the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and the coming closure of seawater-cooled, natural-gas-fired power plants under state water regulations. Last year, Southern California Edison signed long-term procurement agreements for hundreds of megawatts of distributed energyresources to help meet these long-term capacity needs, tapping companies including Stem, SunPower, Advanced Microgrid Solutions, Ice Energy and NRG Energy. Alongside that broader procurement, SCE set up a Preferred Resources Pilot (PRP), which is testing the ability of targeted energy efficiency, demand response, solar PV and energy storage to meet its local capacity needs. And within the PRP project boundaries is another pilot, funded by the state’sElectric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program, dubbed the Integrated Grid Project. These projects will be testing several combinations of DERs and utility controls, he said. One will demonstrate how multiple types of DERs can be operated together to attain at least three of the avoided-cost categories that SCE has laid out. Another will integrate SCE’s distribution management system (DMS) with customer-owned, aggregated DERs. And a third will involve the creation of a microgrid that can manage its collective energy resources in a way that can allow it to “island,” or disconnect itself from the larger grid, while also helping the utility manage its grid needs. How to pay for the DER-integrated grid All of these projects will need to be paid for, as will future grid plans that take DERs into account. But for now, SCE hasn’t quantified those costs precisely. Instead, it’s asking the CPUC for permission to create a “Distributed Energy Resources Memorandum Account” (DERMA), which would record the revenue requirements for capital costs and operations and maintenance expenses from 2015 to 2017 that are to be added to its authorized funding. “The ranges of investment that will be shown really represent moving from the technologies we’re deploying today to the next generation,” Takayesu said. Like its fellow California utilities, SCE has previously deployed smart meters, installed distribution automation gear, and invested in back-office software to support it all. Now it’s seeking funding for an ongoing grid modernization. “One of the things we envision is that the grid operator of the future is going to need to have the ability to make decisions on the grid,” Takayesu said. “They operate the grid 24 hours a day, they respond to emergencies, they reconfigure the system when maintenance is needed to balance load. As events occur, the ability to collect more information will drive feature evolutions in grid management systems.” SCE’s DRP includes an assessment of how these projects will help prepare the distribution system for higher penetrations of distributed energy, and where SCE may need to do more, he said. Many questions still remain to be answered, however. One big one is how DERs might be compensated for serving a role in categories beyond their capacity value. California is still working on regulations for how DERs might be aggregated to serve the ancillary services needs of state grid operator CAISO, for example. Another CPUC proceeding is tackling how demand response — controlling power consumption at homes and businesses to meet system-wide capacity needs — might be further fine-tuned to help mitigate local grid constraints. “One thing that the filing doesn’t have in there is discussion about the details for future phases,” he said. “As we get out to the 2018-and-beyond timeframe, there are some paragraphs that discuss future visions of how the DRP will emerge in subsequent phases.” By Jeff St. John  Originally published on Greentech Media, July 1 2015.   

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The Tiny Transforming Apartment That Packs Eight Rooms into 420 Square Feet

The Tiny Transforming Apartment That Packs Eight Rooms into 420 Square Feet | Political & Urban Geography | Scoop.it
Living in New York City isn't all adventure and dynamism. Unless you are wealthy the way no real person is, you probably have to settle for a living space that is cramped and cluttered.

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The Most Complex International Borders in the World

"In this video I look at some of the most complex international border. Of course, there are more complex borders in the world, but this video looks at some of my favourites."


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ELAdvocacy's curator insight, October 3, 2014 9:40 AM

There are so many reasons our immigrant students come to the United States.  Some stories are so complex and painful it can be extremely difficult for Americans to understand.

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, October 3, 2014 10:21 PM

Interesting!

Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 6, 2014 5:39 AM

The Most Complex International Borders in the World

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The Putin Factor: Russia, America and the Geopolitics of Ukraine

The Putin Factor: Russia, America and the Geopolitics of Ukraine | Political & Urban Geography | Scoop.it

"President Obama came into office promising a 'reset' in U.S.-Russia relations. Six years later, the reset, for all intents and purposes, is dead."


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Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 19, 2015 3:40 PM

Russian-American Relations are always an interesting thing to talk about because of the nations' histories in relation to one another.  It is interesting how Putin views America, in the fact that he thinks that we function like Russia without a strong legislative branch and no freedom of the press.  Putin also seeks to, in a way, rebuild the USSR of old by taking his neighbors over (or having them "join" the Eurasian Economic Region).  The article does point out that tensions from the Russian incursions into the Ukraine won't result in Cold War Era tensions because Putin welcomes American investment, and also Russia is more of a regional power than a world power.  While Russia is a regional power, they are still a very strong and threatening force, and as the article points out, they are not afraid of using their strength to get their way.  Russia, although not as strong as the old USSR, is still a concern for the NATO nations of Europe, as it shows a revived Russian spirit, and Putin is not afraid of using force to get what he wants for the country.

 

David Lizotte's curator insight, February 27, 2015 5:04 PM

Its interesting reading an article written June 5, 2014 about Russia and the Ukraine. There has been an escalation of events since the article. This article was neat in how it gives the reader a more sound perception of Putin. Mind you though, the source was an American Ambassador to Russia, so he may be a bit biased, although he does a good job covering it throughout the interview. If he had a disagreement or judgment about Putin he said it. Its likely McFaul's ideologies would differ no matter what due to being of Western Influence and Putin... well Putin being Russia. None the less McFaul gave a professional and well-rounded/structured interview in answering the questions in detail. 

I believe Putin truly does believe in a Russia of old coming back under his regime. The past few years have certainly made a good case for that argument. A major country just taking territory from another seems outlandish. Since this article has come out there have been more advancements made into the Ukraine thus spilling bloodshed. Russian backed rebels have been slowly taking important towns and transport hubs in Eastern Ukraine. A ridiculous part of this is Putin claiming Russia is not backing the Rebels/Separatists by providing military and intelligence. Of course he is. Its clear he and his government are more than involved. 

As Russia moves more eastward it does raise the question; what exactly is there endgame? Its scary reading McFaul's opinion being Putin not truly knowing what he wants/how to proceed. Putin is usually very blunt about what he wants, yet in this case no one knows what Putin wants, probably not even Putin. Perhaps since the writing of the article Putin has formed more of a general idea/goal... In any case it is interesting to watch the events unfold. 

There was a conference of some sort just a week or two ago. The President of France, Prime Minister of Germany and Putin negotiated a seize fire and troops from both sides of the battle to pull back. There was still bloodshed after the specified seized arms agreement. This was a reminder of the first agreement made in September and just ignored by the rebels.

Personally I believe Putin to not care about what the west thinks. Rather he wants to keep pushing the limits. Putin wants to become a dominant powerhouse economic force. He also seems to wish for more physical land, like the Russia of old. The more he can have the better. As stated Putin seems to be testing the Western countries. He had no problem ignoring peace deals. He kept moving westward and in the end there are still no Western Military, just Ukrainian troops. The U.S. was not strong in opinion and neither was the U.K.

Sanctions have hurt Russia's economy but they are still finding there way around it. With that being said, Western countries such as Germany for instance have also been hurt economically by the sanctions. Some countries export a lot of goods to Russia, they now can't. This shows what happens when Russia doesn't play nice. They get cut off and other suffer from the consequences as well. But from Russia's perspective they are still claiming more land from the Ukraine. Also, with all this being said Russia is reaching out to week countries whom are criticized within the EU. For example Greece and Hungary, and the island country Cyprus. Russia is working with Cyprus on the debt situation and in return docking naval ships off the coast of Cyprus. No matter the reasoning its the same outcome...Russia is moving westward.

As of now (as in me writing this scoop) there has been 24 hours of non-violence in the Eastern Ukraine. That has not happened in a very long time. But no one truly knows what the Russian backed Separatists/Putin are thinking. They've been winning so far so why stop. All I have to say is don't sleep on Russia.   

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 7, 2015 2:37 PM

"The Bear of the East Strikes Again." It feels like news of Russian military intervention in Ukraine should be a news story of the 80's, and yet it continues to hit headlines as information is leaked of continued aggression in Eastern Ukraine. Why this sudden aggression? Geography of course! The Crimea is a vital seaport, allowing a large, international port in the Mediterranean- something that Russia has craved since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Eastern Ukraine is one of the richest areas in the world in terms of raw materials and industrial centers, which could prove to be vital additions to the Russian economy (if Western sanctions don't inflate the ruble any more than they already have). Despite this authoritarian approach to his foreign affairs, it is Putin accuses the Ukrainian government of fascist tendencies- and of attacking ethnic Russians currently residing in Ukraine. Not only is this laughable in the sense that Ukraine is not only a democracy, but there has been no history of violence between ethnic Russians and Ukrainians in the country, but also when one considers the attacks on Russian homosexuals within Putin's own borders. Putin has disregarded international law for his own purposes, the first time a major power has done so since the world was a lot "colder," and it will be interesting (and terrifying) to see how he proceeds. My heart goes out to the Ukrainians still engaging in guerrilla warfare along their Eastern border.

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No Stairway to Heaven: Rescuing Slums in Latin America

No Stairway to Heaven: Rescuing Slums in Latin America | Political & Urban Geography | Scoop.it

To reduce crime, Medellin and Bogota in Colombia, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil, and Monterrey and Ciudad Juarez in Mexico all have endeavored to extend permanent police presence and economic development to at least some of their poor neighborhoods. Yet to be effective, such policies need to overcome a multitude of complex challenges. Infrastructure projects rarely do the trick on their own.

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Beautiful Maps of Countries Made Out of Real Food

Beautiful Maps of Countries Made Out of Real Food | Political & Urban Geography | Scoop.it
Can you spot your country? In this striking new series, New Zealand-based artist Henry Hargreaves worked with New York-based stylist Caitlin Levin to create g…
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Containerization Shaped Globalization

Sometimes a single unlikely idea can have massive impact across the world. Sir Harold Evans, the author of They Made America, describes how frustration drove...

 

The economies of scale that globalization depends on, relies on logistics and transportation networks that can handle this high-volume.  In a word, the container, as mundane as it may seem, facilitated the era within which we live today. 


Via Seth Dixon, Matthew Wahl
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Michael Mazo's curator insight, December 10, 2014 7:48 PM

Globalization has connected the world in such a way that we hadn't thought possible. This idea has created rising economies all over the world and has made transport of goods and services move faster and continues to increase this rate with advances in technology. Containerization is a staple of globalization and without it, none of these products would be able to get from country to country. In essence it has developed the world of import and exports. To add to this success, globalization has also created jobs and communities which revolve heavily around the transport of goods. It saves time by using massive containers to move goods and it creates opportunities in places where it had not been possible before. 

Ricardo Cabeza de Vaca's curator insight, May 27, 2015 3:45 AM

I believe this video is very interesting. It tells us that everything we have today is thanks to globalization and the reason we have it so fast is because of shipping containers! In the video it told me that before my time it was impossible to get swordfish from Japan or cheeses from France, but now thanks to globalization it is all possible. Globalization is even behind the reason how our phones were made! 

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:28 AM

The economies of scale that globalization depends on, relies on logistics and transportation networks that can handle this high-volume.  In a word, the container, as mundane as it may seem, facilitated the era within which we live today.  This is a very useful video.  

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Superimposed Borders

Sir Archibald Mapsalot III solves regional tensions in the Middle East.

Via Seth Dixon, Mr. David Burton, Matthew Wahl
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Joy Kinley's curator insight, September 9, 2013 10:31 AM

What we think of as permanent countries were often created as part of the colonial past.  Boundaries were done for the benefit of the former colonizer not for the new country and this legacy still causes problems today.

Mrs. B's curator insight, October 5, 2013 9:40 AM

Mapsalot. 

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, September 11, 2014 2:07 PM

unit 4

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3 Cities With Freeways Going Nowhere

3 Cities With Freeways Going Nowhere | Political & Urban Geography | Scoop.it
Once thought to be symbols of prosperity, innercity highways are now just eyesores — and sources of civic dysfunction — to some new urbanists.
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The People’s Guide to Spatial Thinking

The People’s Guide to Spatial Thinking | Political & Urban Geography | Scoop.it

"One of our colleagues and leaders in spatial thinking in education, Dr. Diana Stuart Sinton, has written a book entitled The People’s Guide to Spatial Thinking, along with colleagues Sarah Bednarz, Phil Gersmehl, Robert Kolvoord, and David Uttal.  As the name implies, the book provides an accessible and readable way for students, educators, and even the general public to understand what spatial thinking is and why it matters.  It “help[s] us think across the geographies of our life spaces, physical and social spaces, and intellectual space.”  Dr. Sinton pulls selections from the NRC’s Learning to Think Spatially report and ties them to everyday life.  In so doing, she also provides ways for us in the educational community to think about teaching these concepts and skills in a variety of courses.   Indeed, as she points out, spatial thinking is particularly essential within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as geography."  - See more at: ESRI's GIS Education Community blog. 


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Fran Martin's curator insight, January 31, 2014 4:07 AM

Useful for what we mean when we say 'thinking geographically'.

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, January 31, 2014 6:17 PM

Educação geográfica! 

Mirta Liliana Filgueira's curator insight, February 2, 2014 7:02 PM

Guía popular de pensamiento espacial.

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How toilet paper explains the world

How toilet paper explains the world | Political & Urban Geography | Scoop.it
A country's most popular hygiene product has a lot to do with its demographics.
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