Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Green Bond Market Shows Promise



For green bond issuances globally, 2017 has been an extraordinary year. According to the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), issuances worldwide totaled US$55.8 billion in the first half of 2017 — up more than double from US$21.2 billion over the first half of 2016. While the European and Chinese markets have enjoyed most of the spoils, the U.S. green bond market has lagged behind — largely tempered by institutional and political challenges. Among them are the Trump Administration’s intent to roll back the Clean Power Plan (CPP) — the federal-level commitment to carbon reduction first proposed by President Obama — and the ongoing partisan disagreements over which direction, if any, the U.S. should take when it comes to climate initiatives.

However, these hurdles are not preventing environmental progress altogether; there continues to be a groundswell of support for decarbonization initiatives originating at the state level. In fact, many progressive states, often partnered with like-minded companies, are embarking on unilateral schemes that encourage renewable development, irrespective of the ambivalent conditions at the federal level. Though, overcoming these will be crucial if the U.S. is to play catch-up with the market frontrunners — and to realize the green bond market’s full potential.

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Market Uncertainty Slows Progress

Compared with burgeoning European and Chinese markets, green bond issuances in U.S. have received less traction for numerous reasons. Climate change mitigation — and the climate change debate, more generally — has long been subject to partisan intransigence in the U.S., evidenced in the last year by strong support, in some regions, for restoring the fortunes of coal. Establishing a consensus around cohesive principles that can underpin the U.S.’ carbon mitigation has, therefore, been fraught with challenges. And what has followed is an uncertain environment for investors and developers alike.

The lack of clarity around federal-level investment tax credits (ITC) and production tax credits (PTC) is a case in point. Introduced in 1992, PTCs have played a critical role in helping U.S. wind power generation to quadruple between 2007 and 2014 (as well as a role in solar development) — though its renewal beyond 2020 is in jeopardy as budget negotiations in Washington are underway. An absence of these incentives may hinder renewables development and the further growth of U.S.-based green bond issuances.

Compare this to the EU, for instance, where the bloc has enjoyed transparent and longstanding carbon mitigation frameworks. France’s Article 173, known as the French Energy Transition for Green Growth Law, mandates full environmental disclosure from the financial sector — and has been crucial to building investor confidence in green ventures.

The energy subsidy in Germany, the feed-in-tariff (FIT), has produced long-term, fixed-price contracts with renewable energy producers since 1991. With FITs, German developers have enjoyed certainty around reliable cash flows and without any exposure to energy prices. While the incentive has brought its own challenges (on windy days the German grid can become overloaded), the stability it has provided for investors has been understandably welcomed. What’s more, FIT’s role in modernizing the German grid is clear: 4.7 percent of U.S. electricity output was wind-generated; for Germany, it was 13.3 percent.

In this respect, the lessons to be learnt for the U.S. are evident: addressing the lack of near-term clarity on environmental policy and creating a supportive regulatory framework will be critical before the green bond market can flourish fully.

State-Level Initiatives Take Hold

Yet the U.S. climate-related markets are displaying signs of growth. Federal regulatory concerns aside, we’ve observed rising support for U.S. green projects at the state level — with the value of outstanding bonds that fund climate-related projects now eclipsing US$100 billion. Though many are not strictly green-labelled (i.e., assigned the “green” moniker at the point of issuance), these bonds all contribute to carbon reduction in some form.

Leading the charge are the country’s more progressive states and cities (New York, Massachusetts and California, in particular). New York City has committed to an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, which is helped by the issuance of green bonds that fund large-scale infrastructure projects — including a US$315 billion wastewater adaption project. Indeed, 70 percent of U.S. green bonds issued in the first half of 2017 were municipal — with both San Francisco and Los Angeles working to follow New York’s lead. With these progressive states taking the mantle on climate change, we expect renewable portfolio standards (RPS) to increase, aided by declines in installed costs — at which point more conventional solar, biomass and wind power projects, as well as next generation technologies such as offshore wind and battery storage, may enter development.

It is also believed that the development and expansion of RPSs may enhance the prospects for U.S. renewables. Mandated by 29 states (and three territories), the legally-binding agreements require utilities to deliver a specified amount of electricity using renewable sources.

The standards are determined locally and voluntarily: Hawaii and Vermont have the highest standards, at 100 percent and 75 percent, respectively; South Carolina passed an RPS as low as 2 percent; both extremes reflect the capabilities of the individual states. Ironically, some states have even introduced more ambitious RPS targets for new asset classes since the Trump Administration’s decision to roll back the CPP. And such targets are considered stimuli for new green issuances at the municipal level.

So, while the U.S. may be considered the laggards in the market by some, we see the U.S. green bond market as a potential source of growth in the coming years. Demand for green bonds continues to outstrip supply, making competition fierce and enabling municipalities the best chance of receiving a higher price for constructing green projects. And, if recent trends persist, we can expect to see more investment for climate projects coming from investor-owned utilities and public power entities in the near future.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Garage door: Installation, safety tips, and repairs



Most of the house these days have a garage and thus a garage door, thanks to the need for a big vehicle and may be an out-house. Garage doors are the big doors used as doors at the entrance of the garage. The garage doors are not just doors, but like any other door of the house add aesthetic value to the entrance of house and garage. It is due to this they must be planned well in advance before being installed. The garage doors need special attention in installing also because they are heavy. Being heavy, the garage doors must be properly installed, so that they are easy to open and close with minimum efforts. The garage doors came in various shapes and sizes and can be made of wide range of materials ranging from wood to steel. In any case the garage door must be so as to ensure the safety of the garage, add to the aesthetic sense of the house, and be easy to handle.

The most commonly used garage door types are single panel garage doors, sectional garage doors and roller doors. Single panel garage doors are carved out of single material in a single section and are attached or fixed with the help of the hinge. It opens like common house doors. The single panel door in this regard offers a disadvantage of requiring large area to open up. The car to be parked in such garages need to parked several feet away from the garage when the garage door is being opened. The sectional garage doors on the other hand are carved of three to eight sections and are fixed overhead. These doors fold overhead when opened and stay there due to action of attached machinery and the spring system. These offer an advantage over the single panel garage doors of not using the extra space to open up. However, in case the spring used to open and close these doors is not working well, these can be hectic to deal with. The roller garage doors are fitted with rollers and slide like cover windows and door coverings. They are usually carved out of steel, however, in certain cases, they can be made up of window glass even. When being constructed on the window glass the impact factor should be kept in mind. The glass windows are not meant to bear much impact. However, they can add to the aesthetic sense of the house and the garage.

So when it comes down to finally installing a  door opener (like MIGHTY MULE 350 ), one must keep certain points in mind. Do ensure that you follow these simple rules to get the best of your garage door:
Measure the garage door size well: Before installing and ordering for a garage door ensure that you measure the size of the door to be installed well. Consider if you need to install extra grill of hinges for your garage door. In most of the cases, it is better to consult an expert to do the task. Ask an expert to come down and take the measurements himself. In case you hire a professional to do this task, tell him about all your requirements. It is also a good idea to plan the things in advance i.e the kind of garage door you wish to install, the material it will be made of, and whether it be mechanical or electrical. In case you are planning to replace the old garage door and install a new one taking the measurement of the old garage doors usually works. However, if you plan to change the type of the door that will be installed be cautious of the other needs as well.
Decide well in advance: while deciding the style and material of your garage door, keep in mind your needs. The market is full of various models. You can either order a one by selecting the quotes and designs or can order one according to your specifications. A garage door with windows over it is a good option to consider. It lets the natural light in and keeps the place naturally lighted up even when the garage doors are closed.
Plan whether to keep the doors manual or motorised: these days whether you build your own garage door or order a one for installation, you always have the option to motorise it. It saves both your time and energy. If you are planning to get it installed it is a great idea. However, if you are planning to build your own door, and motorise it, it is important to check in advance the kind of machinery you will need to attach and understand the way it works. Access in advance whether the kind of the motor you purchased will be suitable for your garage door. Once you plan everything and set install the motor for the garage door, ensure that you read the manual well and follow the steps in the installation guide. Once you successfully install the garage door, do not forget to follow the same rule to program the garage motor. Program it according the manual and keep every detail in mind.

Most of the garage doors go on working for years without any maintenance or minimum maintenance. However, there can be times when your garage suddenly stops opening and closing. In such cases it is advised to seek and hire experts to find the fault with the system and fix it. If you are not a professional then trying to man-handle the system can be dangerous. It is especially important when you deal with heavy garage systems and heavy garage doors. You must know how to release the tension of the springs and several other things. Sudden release of the spring tension can be hazardous. So why not pay few bucks to the professional without doing more harm and just sit and relax, when someone expert in the field solves the problem for you, and that too in the best possible way?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

5 Tips When Buying a Portable Battery Pack for Your Mobile Device


When It Comes to External Battery Packs, Capacity Isn't Everything



Smartphones and tablets these days are effectively pocket computers. But being multi-talented comes at a cost of considerable battery drain. Until the next battery breakthrough, most people today opt to carry an external battery pack (for example: SUNJACK HEAT BANK) with them. Here are some tips on how to go about choosing one; or put another way, reasons why some battery packs are more expensive than others.

1. Capacity vs. Portability


The main spec to look out for in a portable battery pack is capacity, which is measured in milliampere-hour (mAh). The capacity of your device’s battery is also measured in mAh, so loosely speaking, if your phone has a 2,000mAh battery, a 2,000mAh battery pack is able to recharge it fully once. However, because of power lost due to voltage conversion and circuit resistance (remember, the rated capacity is usually for 3.7V, but during charging, the output is at 5V), and sometimes, the quality of the charging cable, this is rarely the case in reality. While you can get one with a higher capacity (there are battery packs which go up to 20,000mAh) so that it’s able to recharge a device multiple times over, keep in mind that this usually also means that it’s bigger, heavier, and pricier.



2. Your Mobile Device’s Input Current


Most smartphone-oriented battery packs output at most 1A (at 5V) over the USB port. While this works fine for most people, some may notice that their smartphone now takes a longer time to recharge as compared to when a wall charger is used. This is especially true if the phone is able to accept a higher current. Many recent Android smartphones have a 1.5A charging interface, and those which support Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 standard (e.g. LG G2) can draw as much as 2A. So, manage your expectations.


Most tablets require at least 1A to charge too, with some drawing up to 2.5A. Take the Apple iPad Air for example, which comes with a 12W USB wall adapter that provides 2.4A. If you were to plug the iPad Air to a battery pack’s 1A USB port, it’ll either not charge or charge super slowly. So if you’re looking to charge a tablet, our advice is to buy a battery pack that’s capable of outputting higher than 1A (at least 1.5A if you’ve an Android tablet, and 2.1A if you’ve an iPad). Lastly, there’s no harm using a higher-powered port on a smartphone, as the device only draws what is required. In fact, it may even charge faster if it’s able to draw more.


3. The Battery Pack’s Input Current


It’s easy to persuade yourself to buy a large-capacity battery pack. But one tends to forget that the higher the capacity, the longer it takes to recharge. In fact, most people we know who have 15,000mAh battery packs leave them to charge overnight. Another factor that affects how long it takes to top up the charge is the battery pack’s input current. Most battery packs accept between 0.8A and 1.5A, with the higher currents typically found on the higher capacity ones. If you come across two seemingly identically-spec’ed battery packs and both cost the same, this little detail could be the tiebreaker.


Some battery packs allow themselves to be charged while they’re charging other devices. However, we don’t recommend it because constant pass-through charging may affect the battery’s lifespan.


4. Number of Ports


Many recent battery packs come with a built-in USB cable that wraps around the case so that you don’t need to worry about leaving the USB cable at home. To cater to iOS users, some of them come with a built-in Lightning cable instead. These Lightning connector-compatible battery packs tend to cost more than their USB counterparts because of the MFi (Made For iPhone/iPod/iPad) licensing and certification program fees the manufacturers have to pay.


Higher capacity battery packs also usually come with more than one USB charging ports. Naturally, more ports cost more money, and the number of ports you should go for depends on how many devices you carry. The biggest advantage of additional ports is that you can charge more devices at the same time. The tip here is to find out the total output current of the battery pack when more than one ports are used. For example, a battery pack with two 2A/5V ports may output the 2A when only one port is used. When both ports are connected, the total output may be limited to 3A, with each port getting 1.5A. There are of course others that have a total output of 4A (so both devices are able to charge as fast as they can), but as you might expect, they usually come at a premium.


5. Quality vs. Price


Batteries can explode, and the one measure we can take to (hopefully) prevent this is to buy from name brands or reputable vendors. To allay such fears, some battery pack makers will tell you (usually on the packaging) where they source their batteries from. So while that $10 brand-less battery pack sounds like a great deal compared to a branded one that costs three times as much, we would think twice about it, because it’s often impossible to know if it cuts any corners with the short circuit, over charging, and temperature protection mechanisms in order to achieve the low price.


Lastly, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. If you chance upon a 6,000mAh battery pack that’s a quarter the size of other battery packs with the same capacity, and there’s no mention on how it achieves this feat, the capacity claim is likely to be over exaggerated.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How to Choose the Right Car for Your Business



A new vehicle is often one of the most significant purchases a business needs to make. This is especially true for small businesses who can’t afford to make a mistake choosing something that doesn’t fulfill their needs. While everyone’s criteria will be different, there are a few rules that every buyer should follow. Here’s what you need to know.

Making the Right Choice


With so many options available to you, deciding which vehicle to choose can be a real headache. This will be dependent on the type of company you run, as well as the location that your business is located. Making the right choice is crucial, especially if you plan to use this vehicle for a number of years, so researching your options will pay off in the long-term.

If your business is based in an urbanised area and you need a small vehicle that can easily weave through tight city streets, the Citreon C3 is a great choice. Available from £9,330 from retailers like Robins & Day, the new C3 has an elegant new design that’s sure to make the perfect first impression. Conversely, if you need something larger to handle heavy loads, the Ford Transit has become the number one selling van in the UK, and comes in a range of different options.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

3 Things to Keep In Mind before Launching a Business Website


When it comes to creating a business website, it is important to learn from experts. These are the people who understand what it takes to achieve consistent results. Before you can start developing your website, or even before you approach a professional company to work with you on the site, you need to first need to plan on what you want to achieve and what you want to offer with the site.


Do your Research


Before you set out to do anything related to creating a business website, it is important to first take some time and do your research. Research here will entail a lot of things from:
  • The kind of domain name you want
  • The professionals in your area that offer services that you might require when developing the site
  • The design theme you want
  • The hosting platforms that is available

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

How is GPS Technology Impacting Today’s Businesses


While consumer applications of GPS technology usually dominate the headlines, it’s the business applications that have transformed the ability of organizations to compete, whether they are small businesses or multinational corporations.

Once, you may have paid several hundred dollars for a single GPS unit to provide directions and traffic reports. Today, emboldened by decreasing costs and increasing power, GPS comes with everything from smartphones to route plan systems.

In fact, GPS has become so ubiquitous in business software, it sometimes goes unnoticed. From advanced shipping and delivery routing to just-in-time inventory systems, GPS is now often more of a component of business software than a separate application. Route planner GPS systems are also a staple of the latest tech developments.

Improved Efficiency and Cost Savings

Most businesses recognize the intrinsic efficiency that comes with GPS technology and route planner optimizers. Planned routes, easy changes, and detailed directions save time and fuel.

UPS famously saved 10 million gallons of gas from 2004-2014 simply by optimizing their delivery routes so drivers didn’t have to turn left as often. That small change reduced vehicle idling time, and the routes were more efficient. That’s a lot of money saved, not to mention the decreased vehicle emissions.

Green Bond Market Shows Promise

For green bond issuances globally, 2017 has been an extraordinary year. According to the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), issuances worldwi...