Solar margins improving, but a long way to go

first_imgSolar margins improving, but a long way to gopv magazine’s Michael Fuhs spoke to Jenny Chase, of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, to get the story behind the latest solar figures and find out why she thinks solar is a commodity, not a high-tech industry. October 8, 2013 pv magazine Finance Markets Markets & Policy Share Michael Fuhs: Who is earning money in the solar industry at the moment?Jenny Chase: Lawyers, some product developers and a few inverter makers but nobody else, really. But if I look at your chart, there are also some module manufacturers.Actually no. There are a few module manufacturers that made money in the last quarter, or at least had positive EBIT margins, but few of these made a net profit in the quarter.REC had a positive EBIT margin though, didn’t it?Yes, REC Solar did. That is actually quite interesting!Does REC prove the point that it doesn’t matter whether you are in China or Europe?REC Solar has a big integrated factory in Singapore – a vertically integrated wafer, cell and module plant that is one of the most automated plants in the world. I think REC has benefited a lot from the uncertainty about anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese modules, because it is seen as a relatively competitive, non-Chinese option.Do you think other European companies could benefit from the anti-dumping tariff discussion and the minimum price regulation, and could achieve positive EBIT margins?I would suspect it’s more likely that other Southeast Asian manufacturers – so Taiwanese, Malaysian, Singaporean and Korean companies – will come in and take market share from the Chinese.Why is it so difficult to have competitive production in Europe?I’m not sure it’s impossible. I don’t think labor costs are such a big part of making a module, especially with the new generation of equipment, which is highly automated. But it’s also very difficult to do anything in Europe on a scale that it’s being done in Southeast Asia. Most of these new plants benefit from massive tax breaks. Malaysia offers pretty significant tax holidays. And if you’re going to build a 1 or 2 GW fab, then you’re going to do it where you have that sort of advantage.Do those tax breaks conform to WTO regulations?I think you’re allowed to give tax breaks to manufacturing, because nearly every government does it to some extent.So there’s no excuse for European governments not to follow suit?I think they would be joining the club. I mean there have certainly been European Union grants to solar manufacturers in Europe. I’m not a lawyer; I don’t know exactly when it starts becoming a problem for the WTO, but certainly countries implementing strategic support for their high-tech manufacturing industries, is very much the way of the world.Regarding high-tech manufacturing industries, in your talk you showed that…… solar isn’t actually that high-tech?Exactly. Why, in your opinion, is solar more of a commodity than high-tech industry?There are parts of solar which are high tech. Making silicon is a very high-technology process, in fact it consists of two high-technology processes end to end. Designing inverters is probably quite high-tech too, but making solar wafers, cells and modules is a commodity manufacturing business. You’ve got to have the equipment, and you’ve got to be good at turning out lots of goods that are all the same without wasting a lot of energy on materials. And you can buy the equipment off the shelf. I mean, if you and I decided to go into business making modules in the European Union and we could get ourselves, say €20 million to start with, we could probably do it within six months.Popular content The Hydrogen Stream: 20 MW green hydrogen plant in Finland, two Australian projects move forward Sergio Matalucci 20 April 2021 Storegga, Shell and Harbour Energy want to set up a 20 MW blue hydrogen production facility in the U.K. Australia’s Origin Energy wants to build a hy… Enabling aluminum in batteries Mark Hutchins 27 April 2021 Scientists in South Korea and the UK demonstrated a new cathode material for an aluminum-ion battery, which achieved impressive results in both speci… ITRPV: Large formats are here to stay Mark Hutchins 29 April 2021 The 2021 edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics (ITRPV) was published today by German engineering association VDMA. The re… Solar park built on rough wooden structures comes online in France Gwénaëlle Deboutte 26 April 2021 French company Céléwatt energized its 250 kW ground-mounted array, built with mounting structures made of raw oak wood.April 26, 2021 Gwénaëlle Debo… Spanish developer plans 1 GW solar plant coupled to 80 MW of storage, 100 MW electrolyzer Pilar Sánchez Molina 22 April 2021 Soto Solar has submitted the project proposal to the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (Miteco). The solar plant could start produc… We all trust the PV performance ratio test Dario Brivio, Partner 20 April 2021 The performance ratio test is at the core of the handover from EPC to owner. Yet sometimes, even when best practice is applied – and without particul… The Hydrogen Stream: 20 MW green hydrogen plant in Finland, two Australian projects move forward Sergio Matalucci 20 April 2021 Storegga, Shell and Harbour Energy want to set up a 20 MW blue hydrogen production facility in the U.K. Australia’s Origin Energy wants to build a hy… Enabling aluminum in batteries Mark Hutchins 27 April 2021 Scientists in South Korea and the UK demonstrated a new cathode material for an aluminum-ion battery, which achieved impressive results in both speci… ITRPV: Large formats are here to stay Mark Hutchins 29 April 2021 The 2021 edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics (ITRPV) was published today by German engineering association VDMA. The re… Solar park built on rough wooden structures comes online in France Gwénaëlle Deboutte 26 April 2021 French company Céléwatt energized its 250 kW ground-mounted array, built with mounting structures made of raw oak wood.April 26, 2021 Gwénaëlle Debo… Spanish developer plans 1 GW solar plant coupled to 80 MW of storage, 100 MW electrolyzer Pilar Sánchez Molina 22 April 2021 Soto Solar has submitted the project proposal to the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (Miteco). The solar plant could start produc… We all trust the PV performance ratio test Dario Brivio, Partner 20 April 2021 The performance ratio test is at the core of the handover from EPC to owner. Yet sometimes, even when best practice is applied – and without particul… The Hydrogen Stream: 20 MW green hydrogen plant in Finland, two Australian projects move forward Sergio Matalucci 20 April 2021 Storegga, Shell and Harbour Energy want to set up a 20 MW blue hydrogen production facility in the U.K. Australia’s Origin Energy wants to build a hy… 123456Share pv magazine The pv magazine editorial team includes specialists in equipment supply, manufacturing, policy, markets, balance of systems, and EPC.More articles from pv magazine Related content Asia Pacific’s solarized digitization agenda Selva Ozelli, Esq. 23 April 2021 The virtual 7th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum was hosted in March by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment,… The weekend read: PV feed in, certified pv magazine 1 May 2021 As more renewable energy capacity is built, commissioned, and connected, grid stability concerns are driving rapid regulatory changes. 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After 10 years of delays, regional pilot schemes and general uncertaint… Higher performance with bigger modules a ‘no brainer’ Sandra Enkhardt 26 April 2021 Jan Bicker, who replaced Steve O’Neil as the CEO of REC on March 1, says that one of his top priorities is the ongoing d… Optimization algorithm for vertical agrivoltaics Emiliano Bellini 30 April 2021 Developed by Swedish scientists, the proposed algorithm is said to calculate a project’s ideal design by combining clima… African solar installers feel the pinch of rising panel prices Max Hall 26 April 2021 With Chinese manufacturers having warned they will pass on escalating component costs, and shipping expenses soaring sin… iAbout these recommendations Elsewhere on pv magazine… MIBEL alcanzó nuevamente los precios más bajos de Europa mientras subieron en el resto de mercados eléctricos pv magazine 23 March 2021 En la tercera semana de marzo los precios de la mayoría de mercados eléctricos europeos subieron, mientras que MIBEL mar… Tasmanian Labor installs solar at the top of its campaign promises Blake Matich 8 April 2021 Tasmania (TAS) is going to the polls on May 1, and the opposition Labor Party has put forth a $20 million plan to fund l… India closing in on 7 GW of rooftop solar pv magazine 13 April 2021 India’s cumulative installed capacity of rooftop solar stood at 6,792 MW as of December 31, 2020, with 1,352 MW having b… Spotlight on Australian solar Bella Peacock 21 April 2021 Calculating the average sunlight hours data from the Bureau of Meteorology from January toDecember 2020, Darwin was cro… Q&A: EEW’s $500 million Gladstone solar to hydrogen project is just the start Blake Matich 18 March 2021 pv magazine Australia: Australia is the testing ground for a lot of different aspects of the future green hydrogen market. Cracking the case for solid state batteries pv magazine 29 April 2021 Scientists in the UK used the latest imaging techniques to visualize and understand the process of dendrite formation an… iAbout these recommendations Leave a Reply Cancel replyPlease be mindful of our community standards.Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *CommentName * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. 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Select one or more editions for targeted, up to date information delivered straight to your inbox.Email* Select Edition(s)*Hold Ctrl or Cmd to select multiple editions.Tap to select multiple editions.Global (English, daily)Germany (German, daily)U.S. (English, daily)Australia (English, daily)China (Chinese, weekly)India (English, daily)Latin America (Spanish, daily)Brazil (Portuguese, weekly)Mexico (Spanish, daily)Spain (Spanish, daily)France (French, daily)We send newsletters with the approximate frequency outlined for each edition above, with occasional additional notifications about events and webinars. We measure how often our emails are opened, and which links our readers click. To provide a secure and reliable service, we send our email with MailChimp, which means we store email addresses and analytical data on their servers. You can opt out of our newsletters at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of every mail. For more information please see our Data Protection Policy. Subscribe to our global magazine SubscribeOur events and webinars Reducing solar project risk for extreme weather 20 April 2021 Discussion participantsDaniel H.S. Chang, VP of Business Development | RETCGreg Beardsworth, Sr. Director of Product M… Virtual Roundtables USA 17 November 2020 We will be hosting the second edition of our successful Virtual Roundtables this year in November. The program will be f… Out with the old… A guide to successful inverter replacement , Discussion participantsRoberto Arana-Gonzalez, Service Sales Manager EMEA, SungrowFranco Marino, Regional Service Mana… iAbout these recommendations pv magazine print Pretty stressful Cornelia Lichner 7 April 2021 To find out whether a module is susceptible to potential-induced degradation, you can conduct stress tests in a climate chamber. PV feed in, certified pv magazine 7 April 2021 As more renewable energy capacity is built, commissioned, and connected, grid stability concerns are driving rapid regulatory changes. Australia’s next wave of large-scale solar development pv magazine 7 April 2021 Call it “latent energy” – Australia’s renewable resources are expected to help some of the world’s greatest polluters to… Flexible tools for the next generation Jonathan Gifford 7 April 2021 A solar manufacturing investment cycle appears to be underway in Europe, with equipment suppliers reporting surging leve… Time to standardize pv magazine 7 April 2021 Not all quality control plans, processes and agreements are created equal, writes Frédéric Dross, the VP of strategic de… Unchained: political moves shift solar supply David Wagman 7 April 2021 PV module supply chains to the U.S. industry are in flux, and not for the first time. Moves to take action alongside sti… iAbout these recommendationslast_img read more


European utilities’ credit outlook stable; industry disruption poses threat

first_imgFeatured image: Stock “Energy suppliers – those utilities closest to end-customers – are comparatively vulnerable to falling demand, prices and diminished cash flow as customers find it harder to pay bills on time or are unable to pay at all,” says Zank. Changes in bad debts (receivables write-downs) and working capital requirements, if receivables are collected later than usual, are trends to watch, he says. On Wednesday [18 March], the ECB announced a EUR750 billion new bond-buying programme. Credit: Scope Ratings Sign up for the ESI Africa newsletter Finance and Policy “Most utilities also have a large unencumbered asset bases; many are government-backed, which reduces the risk of liquidity shortfalls, while reducing or suspending dividends in 2020 would also free up cash,” Zank adds. “Falling asset prices might open up defensive merger and acquisition opportunities too.” “Cash is king for any business facing a crisis, and here the significant cash cushions held by the 32 European utilities we track, plus their access to committed multi-year credit lines, should serve them well,” says Zank. The pandemic has so far had a drastic impact on Europe’s automotive sector, for example, with Volkswagen AG, Europe’s largest manufacturer by sales, and much of the rest of the sector, suspending production at factories in Europe for want of components amid plummeting demand for new vehicles. Liquidity issues due to upcoming refinancing, made more difficult under current conditions, are nonetheless unlikely to be severe given the reserves held by most utilities. Generation “For utility executives facing a recession, the main economic uncertainty surrounds the impact of lower demand for energy – for electricity and gas – from the industrial and commercial sectors, considering that they are the main drivers of demand,” says Sebastian Zank, analyst at Scope. Ultimately, a deep and prolonged recession would have repercussions on electricity demand and prices and the ease with which the capital-intensive sector can secure funding if the healthcare crisis triggers a deeper financial crisis despite policymakers’ best efforts. Low carbon, solar future could increase jobs in the future – SAPVIA RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR According to the European credit rating agency, much depends on the longevity and depth of the crisis, which might yet change the still stable credit outlook for the sector. center_img “Regulated grid operators and generators with a high proportion of regulated business in renewables are least affected from potentially decreasing demand,” he says. For example, Scope affirmed the A-/Stable issuer rating of Italy’s Terna SpA on 13 March and updated its rating case and financial forecasts for Encavis AG (held at BBB-/Stable) on 6 March. Read more:IEA calls for continued climate solutions investments amid COVID-19 AFD and Eskom commit to a competitive electricity sector Industrial, commercial and public-services sectors are responsible for 60% of electricity demand. The industrial sector, excluding power companies, is responsible for around 30% of natural gas consumption in the EU. BRICS Grid operators benefit from regulated tariffs, which are often based on load rather than on delivered volume. Regulators in many jurisdictions allow the recovery of lower volumes in later periods in case transmission and distribution volumes deviate from usual levels. Power generators that benefit from a guaranteed feed-in of generated electricity and fixed remuneration or remuneration for reserve capacity are also spared the risks associated with volatile pricing and volume risks. TAGSCOVID-19disruptionEuropeScope Ratings Previous articleAhead of schedule: 61 wind turbine installations at KangnasNext articleAustralia to build a world-first solar hydropower plant Ashley TheronAshley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa. European utilities face relatively minor short-term economic and financial consequences from the Covid-19 pandemic beyond the constraints on employees from lockdowns and sickness, says Scope Ratings. Dividends could also be held back for 2020 if deemed necessary. Most utilities – let’s not to forget – have outstanding subordinated hybrid debt that could defer interest payments. Zank noted in a formal statement that the short- and medium-term effects will likely vary significantly across the energy utilities’ value chain: from generators with regulated and/or unregulated generation assets to energy transmission and distribution system operators and suppliers. UNDP China, CCIEE launch report to facilitate low-carbon development “Still, we do not want to underplay the seriousness of the challenges the sector faces as Europe falls into recession amid significant economic and social dislocation,” says Zank. Read more:Working in a changing world as COVID-19 continues to spreadHow low-carbon investments can help economies recover amid COVID-19 Integrated utilities and generators with a large share of unregulated generation capacity are relatively more vulnerable to the impact of the pandemic as demand drops, putting downward pressure on commodity prices. Well established hedging by the sector will minimise the impact in the short to medium term, given the high proportion of one- to three-year hedged output. For example, France’s Engie SA hedged 80% of 2020’s outright production and 54% of 2021 production. Germany’s Uniper SE (rated BBB+/Stable) hedged 100% of outright production in Germany and 75% in the Nordics for 2020 and 45% and 15% for 2021. Finland’s Fortum Oyj hedged 75% for 2020 and 40% for 2021.last_img read more


Dutch Claim Gold  FEI World Para Driving Champs

first_img Email* We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding. SIGN UP Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! More from Horse Sport:Christilot Boylen Retires From Team SportAfter an exemplary career as one of Canada’s top Dressage riders, seven-time Olympian Christilot Boylen has announced her retirement from team competition.2020 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair CancelledFor only the second time in its history, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been cancelled but plans are being made for some virtual competitions.Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Statement on 2020 EventAs the Province of Ontario starts to reopen, The Royal’s Board and staff will adhere to all recommendations put forward by government and health officials.Government Financial Assistance for Ontario FarmersOntario Equestrian has recently released this update of several financial assistance packages available, including those for farm business. Horse Sport Enews The Heerlijkheid Mariënwaerdt Estate in Beesd (NED) hosted a very successful 10th FEI World Para Equestrian Driving Championships, from August 3-6. The Dutch home team claimed the gold medal in the Nations competition, with Germany in sliver and Great Britain in bronze. Germany’s Heiner Lehrter won his third individual gold medal in Grade 1 and Francisca den Elzen (NED) won individual gold in Grade 2, on her World Championship debut.For three days, 21 competitors from eight nations took part in the Championships in Beesd, venue of the 2008 FEI World Four-in-Hand Driving Championships and host of one of the largest yearly national driving competitions. Competitors from Germany, Great Britain, USA, Italy, Latvia, Belgium and the Netherlands all made the trip to the beautiful estate.Parallel to the FEI World Para Driving Championships, Beesd also hosted the National Pony Driving Championships. A total number of around 200 competitors competed at the wonderful venue in the Betuwe area.Grade 1After all horses and ponies passed the horse inspection early on Thursday morning, the para drivers prepared for their dressage test the same afternoon. Defending World Champion Jacques Poppen (NED) produced a very nice dressage test with his 11-year-old Arabo Friesian horse P.P., with whom he also won the title in 2014.As everybody expected, Poppen won the dressage, ahead of his biggest opponent Heiner Lehrter (GER), who drove his pony Dashwood, loaned to him by his wife Sabine because his other pony was not able to compete. Great Britain’s Deborah Daniel drove her 11-year-old Valeside Galaxy (Sparky) into third position and the battle for the medals had begun.In the marathon it was Lehrter who drove his small pony fast and fluently through the six obstacles, flagged by level 4 Course Designer Barry Hunter (GBR). Poppen finished second with Daniel staying at close distance in third place.After dressage and cones, Poppen was still in the overall lead but with a less than one ball advantage to Lehrter and the 55-year old most experienced driver of all, and the only German driver to have competed in every World Para Driving Championships, drove his pony relaxed and concentrated through the cones, with only one ball down and finishing within the time allowed.“I decided that I had nothing to lose so my motto was all or nothing,” said a very happy Lehrter.Poppen entered the arena to defend his small advantage but drove more carefully than usual. Although he did not have any knockdowns, the time was already going to be short for him, then he turned in error towards a wrong gate. Luckily he corrected his error in time and made a circle, however this cost him five penalty points and time, losing his gold medal and dropping to silver. The golden Dutch team medal was not affected however.Deborah Daniel won her first individual medal (bronze) and contributed to the British bronze team medal.Heiner Lehrter was extremely pleased with his gold medal: “I was not sure for a long time that I was going to be able to start. My own top pony is injured and the pony I competed with at the German Championships does not have the power for this level. Luckily, my wife gave me her pony Dashwood and it went perfect. In the dressage he was prepared at exactly the right moment. He was able to show what he could do. He is a real fighter in the marathon and we had the fastest times in five obstacles. Only in the fifth obstacle we lost seconds when we had to change route.”Grade 2Defending World Champion Alexandra Röder (GER) started well and won the dressage and the marathon ahead of her closest opponent Francisca den Elzen (NED). Röder drove the very experienced 21-year-old Rheinlander gelding Donnerstolz, kindly lent to her by Dutch international single driver Frans Hellegers and Den Elzen competed with her 8-year-old Welsh pony Bart Blom with which she had been very successful at the Dutch driving events. Beesd was her first international start and first World Championship.The difference between the 29-year old Röder and Den Elzen was less than one ball before the cones and Den Elzen drove her pony fast and supple, with one knockdown. When Röder entered the arena it seemed her nerves got the better of her and she had several knockdowns, dropping to silver. The result also moved the German team down to silver and allowed the Dutch to win the gold.The bronze medal went to Dutch individual driver Aad van Marwijk, who climbed in the rankings after German driver Ernst Botte left the arena with too many penalty points.Francisca den Elzen was very happy after her cones round: “The cones course was very difficult, but I did it! After my disappointing dressage score I did what I had to do. It has been a fantastic experience to compete here in Beesd, it was my first World Championship experience and I really enjoyed it.”Dutch chef d’equipe and trainer Harry de Ruyter was very pleased with the performances of the para drivers: “It was a joy to work with this team, they were all very focused and they train very hard. Francisca has also fought very hard after her disappointing dressage score. In the cones she showed her mental power, I am very proud of her.”Individual results Grade 1:1. Heiner Lehrter (GER) 130,412. Jacques Poppen (NED) 135,633. Deborah Daniel (GBR) 149,59Individual results Grade 2:1. Francisca den Elzen (NED) 134,712. Alexandra Röder (GER) 152,973. Aad van Marwijk (NED) 164,06Nations competition:1. The Netherlands 270,342. Germany 276,043. Great Britain 304,24 Tags: FEI World Para Equestrian Driving Championships, last_img read more


Vice President for University Communications and Marketing

first_imgThe Aspen Leadership Group is proud to partner with CarnegieMellon University in the search for a Vice President for UniversityCommunications and Marketing.Reporting to CMU President Farnam Jahanian, the Vice President forUniversity Communications and Marketing will conceive of andestablish a cohesive, comprehensive, high-level, multidimensionalcommunications strategy and program capable of meeting theinstitution’s objectives and further enhancing its reputation andresources. The Vice President will promote the university’s missionand preserve its reputation as an international leader in highereducation and research. The Vice President will define and lead astrategic vision for communications that unifies messaging for CMU,supports and furthers the goals of the entire university, includingits individual colleges and administrative units, and campuses andlocations worldwide. The Vice President will serve as thePresident’s principal and trusted advisor on allcommunications-related matters for CMU, and as a member of thePresident’s senior leadership team, and oversees a team ofnine.It will be integral to the success of the Vice President to be ableto understand and appreciate the unique and creative culture ofCMU. The successful Vice President will embrace the opportunity tolearn and become immersed in the CMU community. CMU seeks a VicePresident with experience producing well-crafted substantive andcohesive messages for senior leadership; high level strategic andplanning skills; a thorough understanding of traditional andemerging media, a strong grasp of best practices in thecommunications and marketing profession, and a comprehensiveunderstanding of the interconnectivity of the communicationsprocess; and a collaborative and collegial disposition withsuperlative interpersonal skills with an eagerness and ability toengage a diverse set of stakeholders and build strong professionalrelationships while convening and synthesizing many ideas.Carnegie Mellon University has been a birthplace of innovationsince its founding as an engineering and fine arts school in 1900.CMU made an early commitment to computer science and informationtechnology, where the university continues to advance discovery andimpact. CMU is renowned for its blend of technical rigor andcreativity, for its commitment to solving real-world problems, andfor its strength in interdisciplinary collaboration.Its alumni have earned distinction around the globe. CarnegieMellon is ranked as 27th among global research universities,according to the Times Higher Education World Universityrankings, 26th in U.S. News and World Report, and 20th inThe Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education U.S.College rankings. Beyond its Pittsburgh campus, CarnegieMellon University’s global presence includes campuses in SiliconValley, Qatar, and Rwanda, and degree-granting locations in LosAngeles, New York City, Washington, DC, Australia, and Portugal, aswell as numerous other research and educational partnerships aroundthe world.CMU’s tenth President, Farnam Jahanian, was appointed in 2018. Heis a computer scientist, entrepreneur, and academic leader.President Jahanian’s priorities include enrichment of the studentexperience; providing fresh resources for the fine arts;accelerating work in foundational sciences from the application ofmachine learning and data science; and supporting a broad array ofresearch in technology and the impact of such innovation onhumanity.All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter and résumé.Cover letters should be responsive to the mission of CarnegieMellon University and the position of Vice President for UniversityCommunications and Marketing as presented in the positionprospectus.last_img read more



first_imgINFLATION rose from 2.3% in March to 2.6% in April, according to the EU’s statistical office. Among member states the highest annual inflation rates were in the Netherlands (5.3%), Portugal (4.6%) and Ireland (4.3%), Eurostat reported. The lowest were in the UK (1.1%), France (2%) and Austria (2.5%).EU RESEARCH Commissioner Philippe Busquin has signed an agreement with the US on cooperation in research on non-nuclear energy. The deal, unveiled with US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham on Monday (14 May), is aimed at addressing mutual concerns over the security of energy supply.LUXEMBOURG’S Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker has joined calls for a new EU-wide tax to make citizens more aware of Union affairs. Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt floated the idea in a January interview with European Voice.EXTERNAL Relations Commissioner Chris Patten and Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh urged the Macedonian government to address legitimate ethnic grievances on a visit to Skopje this week. CROATIA took a step closer to joining the EU when it became the second former Yugoslav state to sign a Stability and Association Agreement.THE EU is hoping to establish full diplomatic relations with North Korea after member states agreed to set up ties with Pyongyang. The move follows the recent visit of a Union delegation to North Korea led by Swedish premier Göran Persson.INDUSTRY ministers backed Commission plans to take South Korea to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over alleged unfair shipbuilding subsidies. But the ministers, meeting on Monday, stopped short of approving proposals for emergency subsidies to support European yards.last_img read more


IGE Music & Art Immersion Announces 2020 Musical Ambassador Lineup: Paul Hoffman, Jennifer Hartswick, More

first_imgInnovative Giving Enhancement (IGE) has announced the musical ambassador lineup for the 2020 installment of IGE Music & Art Immersion, taking place in Prague, Czech Republic from October 2nd-11th. The one-of-a-kind musical experience will feature Paul Hoffman, Anders Beck, Peter Rowan, Jennifer Hartswick, Nicki Bluhm, and many more.Related: Paul Hoffman & Anders Beck Announce phAb4 Dates With Billy Strings, Todd HerringtonThe 10-day event will treat fans to art, concerts, jams, and the international musical collaborations at the heart of the Immersion experience. Other artists slated to perform are Vince Herman, Grahame Lesh, Elliot Peck, Ross James, Holly Bowling, Natalie Cressman, James Casey, Ian Faquini, Steve Adams, Chris Chew, Matt Butler, Scott Law, The New Mastersounds, and more to be announced.Participants of the sixth-annual IGE Music & Art Immersion program will traverse the historic city of Prague and experience a wide range of musical performances. The shows are not limited to a stage, however, but held across a palette of venues from the sublime to the curious. Clubs, cathedrals, palaces, museums, theaters, and everything in between will see unique musical collaborations.Throughout the 10-day event, the musical ambassadors will join forces with a broad range of European artists, spanning many genres, and create momentous improvisational performances.In a statement, IGE Founder Michael Becker noted:It is one thing to see the artists in their bands, and quite another to experience them personally as they discover inspiration. IGE Immersions bring individual players out from their usual band ecosystems to explore, create and discover in fresh and spontaneous musical contexts…Each Immersion participant is integral to this intentional, co-created community and takes part in the direction of the entire experience.Paul Hoffman, of Greensky Bluegrass, who is a past and current member of the IGE Music & Art Immersion, gave insight into the uniqueness of the experience: “An IGE Immersion is like no musical excursion you will participate in. It’s incomparable to any vacation,” he says. “Becoming a community in a foreign land to appreciate the culture, art and music is the way to get to know a city like you never can sightseeing alone. On Immersions, you are simultaneously a traveler and at home with a group of common minded people.”Click here for complete information on immersion packages, rates, availability, and reservations.Watch a recap video of last year’s immersion in Lisbon, Portugal below.2019 IGE Lisbon Music and Art Immersion Recap[Video: IGE Music and Art Immersions]last_img read more


A Time to Kill Star Tom Skerritt on Making His Broadway Debut at Age 80: ‘Holy Sh*t!’

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Nov. 17, 2013 Skerritt is used to challenges—in 2012, he appeared in the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s dancing adaptation of Don Quixote in Seattle, WA, even though he doesn’t dance. “I recall that surge of energy,” the actor says of performing in the ballet. “But Broadway?! Holy sh*t.” A two-time Emmy winner for Picket Fences, Skerritt has been a working actor for more than 50 years, including an extended stint in Brothers & Sisters. A Time To Kill Star Files Related Shows In addition to Skerritt, A Time to Kill stars Sebastian Arcelus, John Douglas Thompson, Fred Dalton Thompson, Tonya Pinkins, Patrick Page, Chike Johnson and Ashley Williams. Performances begin September 28 at Broadway’s Golden Theatre.center_img “I’m terrified,” revealed Skerritt, who plays Jake Brigance’s oft-inebriated mentor Lucien Wilbanks in the new courtroom drama. “Rehearsals start now. And memorization? My heritage is Irish. I’m the type who’ll just go at it. Grab it by the throat and deal with it. Having never seen the movie [adaptation of A Time to Kill], I’ll fortunately come at this with a fresh view.” View Comments Tom Skerritt It’s been a big week for Emmy-winning film and TV star Tom Skerritt, who celebrated his 80th birthday on August 25 and began rehearsals for his first Broadway play, Rupert Holmes’ adaptation of John Grisham’s bestselling novel A Time to Kill. The newly minted octogenarian just moved to New York City for the first time, and he admitted to the New York Post that the transition with his wife, five-year-old daughter and 100-pound Swiss mountain dog “will be difficult.”last_img read more


John Pollono on How a Hard Night of Drinking with Hometown Pals Drove Him to Write Small Engine Repair

first_img I was pretty weirded out to have my two worlds collide for the first time—the actors, who I had grown to really love and collaborate with as an artist, and my childhood friends, who shaped me more than they know but did not know my artistic side. This was the first play they’d ever seen and the first time they’d seen me act on stage. They were thrilled that a lot of the characters on stage were cut from the neighborhoods we grew up in. One was even named after a cop who used to harass us endlessly (and in most cases rightfully) in the small town we grew up in. Since I live in L.A., they never had a chance to see me do my thing. So this was a big deal for all of us. My “coming out” party. The next morning, hung over, I started wondering what my life would have been like had I never moved out of my hometown—bittersweet thoughts of people you love yet drive you crazy. The place you always wanted to leave yet draw more material and truth from than anything else. That’s always a great place to start as a writer. What if? And that was the spark. The drive behind writing Small Engine Repair. A story about many things, but the glue is three guys with a shared history who love each other deeply but also can’t stand each other. Funny, sad, sweet, tragic. The first spark for Small Engine Repair actually happened a few blocks from the Lucille Lortel. And (like the play) it involved booze and beer and a bit of fighting. At various points throughout the next three hours I found myself flashing back to my younger days, when I was the one who usually felt compelled to put down the drink and take care of everyone else. There was a fight with a bouncer, someone refusing to remove his leg that he laid across a strange woman’s lap, vomiting in the women’s bathroom, various nude cell phone pictures on display, shots of Jameson, more beer, dudes wandering off into the middle of the street, dudes dropping their wallet in the toilet, a near-fight in the entryway as one of them was checking IDs from every pretty girl who came in…and me in the middle of all of this, trying to keep everyone out of trouble, just like I used to. About the author: After finishing college and film school in 2000, John Pollono moved to Los Angeles to establish a career as a screenwriter. And yet, as soon as the New Hampshire-born writer and actor began taking classes at Howard Fine Studio, he became enthralled by the character-, dialogue- and performance-driven stories coming out of theater. He started the Jabberwocky Theatre Company in 2004, which morphed into Rogue Machine Theatre in 2008, and has earned critical acclaim and several L.A. theater awards for his plays, including Lost and Found and Lost Girls. BElow, Pollono reveals what inspired him to write and star in Small Engine Repair, a pitch-black comic drama about three pals who gather in a grimy workshop for some serious drinking, reminiscing and musing about the mysteries of social networking. See MCC Theater’s explosive production, which co-stars James Badge Dale, James Ransone and Keegan Allen, at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. So I took pieces of people I knew and I made these characters who, as a writer, I love but also drive me crazy. And the role I knew I’d play—Frank—is the guy who usually puts his drink down and takes care of everyone. Except in Small Engine Repair, he’s not doing that. And that’s where the fun begins… In the summer of 2010, I wrote and acted in a play called Lost and Found in the New York International Fringe Festival. Andrew Block (who would later direct Small Engine Repair in its L.A. incarnation) and I put a great group of actors together, and the show ended up doing well enough that we ran at the Lortel for a bit as part of their Fringe Encore series. One night, a bunch of the guys I grew up with, having seen enough Facebook posts about “all this New York City bullshit,” came down to see the play. Aftewards, all of us—the NYC cast and these New Hampshire/Boston dudes—grabbed some drinks at Bayard’s Ale House.center_img Small Engine Repair View Comments Related Shows And for a short time, it was really cool watching the actors and the friends get a little buzzed and hang out…but there comes a point when a New York actor slows down the drinking and goes home, and a New England buddy (“Hey back off, I’m on a mini fucking vacation”) doesn’t. Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 21, 2013last_img read more


Storck Cycles Sponsors Vanderkitten Team

first_imgStorck Bicycle will provide the rides for Vanderkitten’s elite women’s road racing team for 2009.  Storck, which has some of the lightest, fastest bikes on the road, will undoubtedly use this sponsorship to draw attention to its bikes, which recently introduced the Absolutist 1.0 so that normal people can afford to ride their brand.Vanderkitten is a women’s clothing and cycling gear brand, and if you look closely at the picture above, the girls are wearing their team jersey.Open letter to the Vanderkitten cycling team:  If we’re staring at you on the starting line, please don’t be offended, we’re just checking out your (bike’s) frame.Read our posts on Storck here and Interbike coverage here and here.last_img read more


2013 Felt Road, Mountain Bike Highlights – Details & Actual Weights

first_imgFelt’s 2013 bicycle lineup was formally introduced this summer, but we wanted some weights and a few more pics.The Nine FRD carbon fiber 29er hardtail (above) is their first bike under their new Felt Race Development program. It uses a 12k woven carbon outer layer with TeXtreme to increases toughness and save weight. It makes the frame just as strong and stiff a the 1000g standard Nine frame but lighter. This complete bike with Fox fork, XTR built and ENVE cockpit comes in at 18lb 10oz.Available as a frameset only, and more things are in the works…hopefully the Edict Nine is high on the list. Check the actual frame weights below, plus actual weights for the rest of their new bikes… This one had steel hardware, it ships with alloy hardware, so it’ll be a little lighter than the 1020g shown on the left. Just for fun, they wanted us to weigh it with only the alloy headset races and threaded inserts remaining, all other hardware removed. It came in at just 870g. This one’s an 18″ frame, as is the complete bike at the top.How particular were they about saving weight on the FRD? Jeff Soucek, director of R&D, says they used a direct mount rear dérailleur because it saves about 10 grams over a standard set up when you factor in the lack of the B-knuckle. The standard Nine frames also get their new cable guides, which bolt on. This actually adds just a few grams, but it’s a much more elegant looking solution than molded in curves that’d require unsightly zip ties.A standard Nine 1 comes in at 22lb 13oz with a much less expensive cockpit and XT/XTR drivetrain. Tires aren’t to spec, they wanted something beefier for rolling over the rocks at Bootleg Canyon.Moving into XC full suspension, the new Edict Nine 1 comes in at 26lb 4oz.The long travel Compulsion tips the scales at 31lb 9oz.It’s running a thru-axle on the alloy rear end. Depending on the spec level, the front triangle is either carbon fiber or alloy.The shock mount on the rocker arm has two positions, changing travel from 150mm to 160mm. Counterintuitively, it does actually steepen the head angle a bit in the longer travel mode. If you’re running  TALAS or other adjustable travel fork, you can overcome this.ROAD & TRIATHLONThe redesigned Z Series is their performance endurance bike. In testing, there’s a full 3cm of wheelbase compliance built into the frame. The fork and frame are designed to move in the proper ways throughout all the tubes to provide a comfortable ride without giving up stage race-able performance. The Ultegra Di2 equipped model comes in at 17lb flat.That includes a climber’s shifter pod mounted to the handlebar. Installation could be a bit cleaner than zip ties, but position is good.The Z3.The alloy Z bikes are redesigned, too, and look really good but lose some of the frame compliance. The Z85 shown here. Not shown, the ZW series is a women’s specific version of it.The B Series also gets redesigned to bring the cost of their Tri bikes down without giving up too much of the aerodynamic advantages of the more integrated DA bikes. Frame is UCI legal, the TorHans water bottle is not.They still make some of the coolest looking cruiser bikes, too. Despite pushing 50lbs for many models, we’ve been able to outsprint some friends on one.last_img read more


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