Leading lignite miner in eastern Germany moves into battery storage market

By on December 31, 2020

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Clean Energy Wire:Eastern Germany’s largest energy company and lignite mine operator, LEAG, has started work on a large-scale storage project that could help close a gap in the energy transition by enabling easier integration of renewable energy in the power grid. It will consist of a lithium-ion battery with a planned capacity of 50 megawatts (MW).The battery will store electricity from the German power grid generated by a variety of energy sources (the mix in 2018 was nearly 35 percent renewables, more than 50 percent fossil fuels and almost 12 percent nuclear).Although it will not only store renewable energy, its intelligent connection with a power plant control system can provide insights that LEAG hopes will “generate application examples for other industry sectors”. The energy company touts the project as “the only one of its kind in Europe” as it “combines modern power plant infrastructure with storage technology in a completely new order of magnitude”. The state of Brandenburg is supporting the project with 25 million euros.In the long run, storage facilities like the so-called BigBattery could provide the missing link in the German energy transition. Electricity from renewable sources is not available at all times. Finding ways to store the energy generated by weather-dependent renewables could therefore be an important element for the country’s Energiewende as Germany seeks to completely phase out coal-fired power generation by 2038 at the latest, as recommended by the country’s coal exit commission.Until now, LEAG has operated lignite mines, whose coal has fired four conventional power plants and been refined to create fuel. “With the installation of this large electrical storage unit, LEAG is becoming actively involved in a technological environment that offers a wide range of potential for the future,” Helmar Rendez, head of LEAG’s management board, said in a press release. “In order to develop LEAG into a broadly-based energy company, we require time and a reliable regulatory framework,” he added.Partnering with the Schwarze Pumpe industry park association, other industrial players and research institutions, LEAG has also applied for the funding of a hydrogen storage and power plant. If funded, this pilot project could likewise contribute to securing grid stability while enabling experiments on using hydrogen for sector coupling.More: German coal mine and power plant operator builds large-scale battery Leading lignite miner in eastern Germany moves into battery storage marketlast_img read more

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Justices reveal personalities, philosophies

By on December 19, 2020

first_img August 1, 2003 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular News Justices reveal personalities, philosophies Justices reveal personalities, philosophies Associate Editor“Discussion with the Court,” a q-and-a session sponsored by the Appellate Practice Section at the Bar’s Annual Meeting, brought an informal peek into the personalities and philosophies of the two new Supreme Court justices.Justice Charles Wells turned to Raoul Cantero and said, “I remember last year you sat on the last row and asked some tough questions.”And Justice Kennth Bell, Wells said with a grin, “is from the First Circuit, and that is a part of Florida.”Justice Bell was quick to fling back: “The first part of Florida!”Looking out at the audience, Justice Bell said: “We eagerly await your cross-examination. The thing I did learn coming on this court was my Miranda rights. If you ask a question, I do have the right to remain silent.”Jack Aiello, chair of the Appellate Practice Session, asked what happens when a new justice assumes the bench. He said he knew there was a school for judges, but “is there judicial hazing?”Justice Cantero answered with a smile: “We’re not allowed to discuss that.”Justice Wells interjected: “They must be kind to the elderly.”Justice Bell recalled on his first day on the job: “I was duly escorted to the marshal of the Supreme Court, and I was feted with two boxes of files and a laptop. And I was told to be ready for oral arguments a week from Wednesday. That was the initial training.”Chief Justice Harry Lee Anstead, who announced the “crisis had passed” and the governor signed the bill so the court can maintain its education trust fund, said both Cantero and Bell attended the Trial Judges Education Conference.“Perhaps the worst thing about the two of them is they are two good athletes,” Anstead joked.Anstead told the story of inviting Cantero to his noontime basketball game at a downtown church’s gym.“I was assigned to guard him,” Anstead said with a grin. “He made a lay-up and I was in the middle of the court with my drawers down!. . . So yes, we do have hazing, but it’s reverse hazing.”Justice Cantero kept the fun going when he said, “I was worried because I thought you’d ask if I passed the school. The reality is with opinion-writing and collegiality, it’s really learn as you go along. I’ve been fortunate. My colleagues were welcoming and ready to teach me and advise me on which way to rule.”That sparked lots of laughter.“Whenever I had questions about the merits of cases,” Cantero continued, “they were very willing to discuss their opinions with me. We meet with a conference every week. The first time I was there, we all go around and give an opinion on a particular case. It got to me and I didn’t know what to say. I said, ‘I was just having fun here listening to you.’. . . Before I got on the court, I read articles and treatises on the death penalty and on the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. I am still learning. It’s still an upward learning curve.”On a more serious note, a woman from the audience said she has noticed more and more civil cases have been decided without oral arguments and she wondered why.“Are these issues more crystallized or are criminal cases overwhelming the court? Is it bad briefing on our part, and you don’t want to deal with these people?”Justice Cantero answered: “In my short time on the court, I’ve realized 75 percent of oral arguments are in criminal and half of those are death cases. When I get a civil case, I feel like I’m on vacation. I don’t think there’s a particular reason they are not set for argument. We just get more criminal cases than civil.”Justice Peggy Quince encouraged attorneys with civil cases to ask for oral argument.“My experience is a lot of people just don’t ask for it. More than likely, if you ask for it, you will get argument on your case. We like having interchange with the attorneys, to hear what you have to say.. . . Don’t think your briefs as so fantastic on civil cases that you don’t need oral argument.”Justice Wells added that the court has been “somewhat selective in non-death penalty cases.” Also, he said, “We are at a point in most instances where we have district courts who have written opinions and we are dwelling on the issues, and a lot of those cases have been honed down to where we pinpoint on issues. We have a lot of cases that end up controlled, ultimately, by the decisions in one case. We set oral argument in a lead case and do not have argument in the other cases.”Miami attorney Ben Kuehne, said “It’s a day of celebration for appellate lawyers” when they get a question certified as being of great public importance. Yet, he said, “It seems the court is declining jurisdiction in more of those cases than it has in the past. Is there anything lawyers can do in those situations to help the court make a decision to accept a case when there is certification that the district court of appeal thought important?”Justice Cantero, who came to the high court as an appellate lawyer, responded with a constructive suggestion: “The problem is when something gets certified, there are no jurisdictional briefs. The first time is the brief on the merits. Most attorneys, when they ask for briefing, they assume we are going to take the case and don’t argue jurisdiction, and assume we are going to accept it. As advocates, it’s a good idea to explain to the court in the brief for a certified question: Why is it important?”When Cantero practiced law, he said he wrote an article about when there has been a divided DCA panel and the majority is paying homage to the dissent by throwing you a consolation prize and certify the question to the court.“That doesn’t necessarily make the question of great public importance. We need to take an independent look at whether the question is of great public importance.”Sometimes a conflict has been certified, but it’s not there when you scrutinize the case. When that happens, Cantero said, “The best thing you, as advocates, can do is tell the client there is no basis for jurisdiction in the Florida Supreme Court, and let’s go home and take our losses.. . . We know the only reason you are arguing conflict is you are not happy with the DCA’s decision. Sometimes, it goes for months, and you finally get an envelope in the mail and you think it’s that 15-page opinion. But it’s a discharge of jurisdiction. Actually, at the beginning, you should have told the client there was no basis for conflict. The best think you can do for us is make sure when arguing conflict, that you have a good faith basis for it.”Justice Bell added his trial court judge’s perspective: “Concede arguments you have to concede and focus on the real issues. Sometimes, there is a tendency to cloud the issues, and we have to struggle with it more than we should.”Too often, he said, the justices have to spend frustrating hours digging through the documents to get at the “heart of the issue.”Justice Quince added that attorneys should make sure it’s really a question of great public importance, not just important to your client.And Justice Wells reminded everyone that the district courts of appeal are really courts of final appeal, “and I think it’s important that we respect that.”“Only in instances where there really is a conflict and there really is a question that needs to be resolved” will the Supreme Court take jurisdiction, he said. Yet, too often, Justice Wells said, lawyers come to court for oral argument and act surprised when the justices ask them questions about jurisdiction.Miami lawyer Steven Stark said that as an appellate lawyer it’s easy to forget that “the court of last resort for a lot of citizens is the trial court.. . . What can appellate lawyers do to help the trial courts and work to salvage that system and answer that call to action you raised today at the Judicial Luncheon that lawyers need to get out and get active, when most of our practice is the appellate courts?”Chief Justice Anstead responded: “You all are an incredible group of talented communicators. You have the ability to research records, evaluate what’s important and what has occurred, but most importantly, you have the ability to communicate. Most of you probably know a large number of practitioners out there. The cases came from some place, and you know people who practice in the trial courts. With your great communication skills, go home to your circuits and volunteer to judges. This is what we do for a living, communicate in writing and communicate orally, persuasively. This issue on court funding is one that we want to win on the merits. We need people who have, first of all, a belief that we do have a the finest court system in the country. The Business Law Section is volunteering their help because they recognize their clients will be greatly impacted by the budget cuts. I can go to Illinois and see the delays. The business community has an enormous stake that cases are processed in a timely way. All of us in the justice system and the profession have a stake and obligation to speak up when the justice system is threatened.“We have to assist our judges who go before county commissions and the legislature. There still is an important and substantial role play by counties. And the courts are caught in a squeeze, as counties say, ‘We’re not going to pay for anything any more.’ Realistically, county commissions won’t let citizens suffer. But chief judges have their work cut out for them.”Justice Cantero said that when he first got on the court, he went to a conference in Dade County, in which Senate President Jim King and Charles Canady, former state and U.S. representative, former general counsel to Gov. Jeb Bush, and now a Second DCA judge, spoke on a panel discussion.“Canady said something important to remember,” Justice Cantero said. “When he was an elected official, he listened most to his constituents. Judges and lawyers could come up to him, but the people who mattered most to him were his constituents. You all are constituents to legislators around the state. Call, write, individually or as a group, to tell them how important a fully funded court system is. If they are not getting much feedback about the trial courts, they will think people don’t care much about trial courts. They will appease and fund those who contact them. The first thing to do is impress upon the legislators that you care. Funding the trial courts is a fundamental issue in the state of Florida and needs to receive priority treatment. That will happen only when lawyers call and write as a group.. . . This is the kind of issue that makes to participate in a democracy.”Justice Bell said that having come from the trial bench, “this is really important to me.. . . If we don’t fund the trial courts, the impact on everyone is tremendous.”The Supreme Court this year asked for 37 new judges, but got zero, he noted.“It’s going to be worse next year,” Bell predicted. “We have to respond now. The governor’s proposed budget happens in September. Just as the business attorneys do, you have clients. Whether you play soccer and softball with their kids, get the ear of a legislator. Judges are uncomfortable lobbying. We shouldn’t be doing it. We need you to stand up for us. That is who they listen to, the people who contribute the money to them.”last_img read more

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Westerhof: Nigeria can surprise the world

By on August 28, 2020

first_imgClemens Westerhof has been dreaming lately. And from far away Holland, his home, the man who turned Nigeria’s football around spoke of his dreams yesterday in a telephone chat.“I sleep and in the middle of the night I wake up. They ask me what is the matter and Isay I have just dreamt of Nigeria doing well in the World Cup in Brazil.”Clemens WesterhofStephen Keshi, the Eagles coach was captain of Nigeria when Westerhof was the manager. Nigeria placed 5th in the FIFA ranking after USA ’94 World Cup which followed the Nations Cup victory in Tunisia. A television house is doing a documentary on what transformed Nigeria’s football and has invited Westerhof to Nigeria this April to speak on how he did it. Interestingly, May 3 is Westerhof’s birthday and he will be in Nigeria to celebrate it.“Westerhof could make you play like Pele,” Keshi said of the Dutch in his media chat last week. The Dutch was known for inspiring players and high discipline. And these virtues, he said, Keshi must imbibe in the current team for them to excel in Brazil.Westerhof commended Keshi, advised on selection and said “Nigeria can be among the last four in the World Cup and the time for this is now. I dream that this is Nigeria’s time and I want Keshi to make the team a family so that they can play for each other on and off the field, make discipline high so that nobody loses his head, make good preparation and select well. If it goes like this, Nigeria will be among the last four, I tell you.”He watched Nigeria’s friendly match against Mexico in Atlanta and said this of the Eagles:“You have fantastic goalkeepers. And I tell you, Nigeria have many players in Europe. Not all of them are known to Nigerians but there are many good ones. Keshi can do better than I did. He should. And he can. Nigeria can be among the last four.You have many good players but they are silent. Ike Uche is good but he must be a team player. And the boy in Newcastle (Shola Ameobi) can be made strong and made to play behind the central attacker. Emenike is strong. You must have a strong left footer like Amunike or Friday Elaho. You can make the players very fit, very strong and Oyibo is in trouble, I tell you. Then you ensure there’s strong discipline. I dream every time about Nigeria. The time for Nigeria is now and I know that Keshi can do it. At Tunisia ’94 I told the government the cup is coming to Nigeria. And in Tunisia the foreign media came and I told them the cup is ours. I allowed the players to take a stroll and the media came to me and said what have you done to your players. They are very confident and already walking like champions.I told them I made them believe so and that the cup is ours. Keshi must do same in Brazil. When we reached the final I called Amuneke and told him, listen, you will be the joker tomorrow. Are you ready to play? He said “yes, coach, I play with my heart out.I told him you play tomorrow but don’t tell anybody yet. The final was his first match and he scored the two goals that gave us the cup. Sometimes you surprise everybody. How is the Federation President?I wish Nigeria well in Brazil.”last_img read more

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