Intelligent Design Revolutionizes the Industry with Sustainable Solutions for Modern Homes and Businesses in Tucson – Fairtrade News Today

Intelligent Design Revolutionizes the Industry with Sustainable Solutions for Modern Homes and Businesses in Tucson – Fairtrade News Today – EIN Presswire

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Our Sustainable City – Electrify Everything, the recharge

Electrify Everything!, South Portland’s electrification rebate program, has been recharged.

Launched by the city of South Portland Office of Sustainability on Sept. 1, 2022, Electrify Everything! provides rebates for the purchase of electric vehicles, electric lawn care equipment, e-bikes, heating and cooling systems, and home weatherization. Through March 2023, we have given out $100,000 in rebates, with another $150,000 still available.

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This column is to announce that Electrify Everything! has been updated to reflect our push for carbon neutrality by 2050. Beginning April 1, 2023, increased rebate amounts are available for electric bikes, e-cargo bikes and lawn mowers. We have relaxed requirements for the purchase of battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, making both used and out-of-state electric vehicle purchases eligible. We’ve also added rebates for the purchase of string trimmers.

Here is a summary of updates we have made to Electrify Everything! with the goal of improving access and accelerating our efforts:

1. Battery Electric Vehicle and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle may be purchased either new or used, and in- or out-of-state from reputable dealerships.

2. Increase the rebate for electric bikes (e-bikes) from $300 to $500.

3. Increase the rebate for electric cargo bikes (e-cargo bikes) from $500 to $800.

4. Increase the rebate for electric lawn mowers from $100 to $300.

5. Addition of string trimmer rebate for $50.

For more information and to apply, visit www.southportland.org/electrify.

The importance of beneficial electrification

Nearly a third of city-wide greenhouse gas emissions come from our transportation sector. An additional 19 percent of greenhouse gas emissions originate in our residential buildings, meaning that more than half of all city-wide emissions could be eliminated through beneficial electrification. Electrify Everything! helps South Portland advance toward our One Climate Future goals in the following ways:

1. Reduce vehicle carbon emissions: Electrify Everything! steers South Portland towards the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 through encouraging the mode shift away from gas-powered vehicles and equipment.

2. Decarbonize buildings through beneficial electrification: Maine’s energy grid is clean and the state’s governor recently doubled down on efforts to reach 100 percent renewable energy by the year 2040. To tap into Maine’s clean energy grid, One Climate Future calls for the replacement of furnaces and other appliances that burn natural gas or oil with electric appliances like heat pumps and heat pump water heaters.

3. Increase affordability of electric vehicles and appliances: In addition to Efficiency Maine and other state and federal rebates, Electrify Everything! alleviates the cost of electric vehicles and appliances for low and moderate income South Portland residents looking to make the transition away from fossil fuels.

4. Promote energy efficiency: Insulation and weatherization of buildings reduces the amount of energy required to operate them. It also helps building occupants stay safe and comfortable no matter the conditions outside.

Please reach out to the Sustainability Department with any questions about Electrify Everything! at https://southportland.org/departments/sustainability-office.

Our Sustainable City is a recurring column in the Sentry intended to provide residents with news and information about sustainability initiatives in South Portland. Follow the Sustainability Office on Instagram @soposustainability.

Steve Genovese is an AmeriCorps/Greater Portland Council of Governments Resilience Corps fellow serving in the South Portland Sustainability Office through September 2023. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Improving sustainable development outcomes for youth excluded from mainstream development in Tonga.

29 March 2023

Nukuʿalofa, Tonga – The roll out of a pilot programme to give young people a second chance at education and training is a step closer after the Tonga Chamber of Commerce and Industries (TCCI) endorsed the Pacific Youth Engagement, Empowerment, and Economic Pathways (PYEEEP) programme at a workshop held by the Pacific Community (SPC) today.

The workshop is a key step in rolling out the pilot in Tonga to empower youth not in education, employment or training (NEET), and shaping the development of a pragmatic and strategic approach towards youth NEET to achieve clear and lasting improvements in social and economic development.

The Pacific Youth Engagement, Empowerment, and Economic Pathways (PYEEEP) programme – funded by the New Zealand Government – will support efforts that address the situation of youth NEET who remain excluded from mainstream development efforts and are often disaffected in Tonga. The programme is aimed at supplementing conventional approaches in the formal education system by providing alternative pathways to decent work or meaningful engagement in society.

In Tonga, youth unemployment stands at 18.7 per cent according to the International Labour Organization, with the average rate for the region being 23 per cent. In every Pacific Island country and territory, the unemployment rate for young women is higher than for young men. The project therefore responds to a critical need to support and empower Tongan youth.

“This programme is an excellent example of producing skilled youths for job markets in the region. We are proud to be an integral partner in this the PYEEEP Programme, an area of great importance for the Chamber of Commerce as well” said Mr Sam Vea, President of the Tonga Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“This project offers disaffected youths a second chance at education and training. It aims to develop socially and economically responsible citizens” said Ms Arieta Matalomani, Team Leader – Inclusive and Equitable Societies, Human Rights and Social Development Division of SPC.

“The project, therefore, recognises and addresses these inequalities by creating a window of opportunity for young people, where they are able to thrive and contribute to society in meaningful ways,” she further added.

In his vote of thanks, Mr Paula Taumoepeau, the former president of the TCCI and current TCCI council member said,

“We hope the programme continues. We encourage businesses here to put their hands up and volunteer to provide work for trained interns as it gives young people an opportunity they would otherwise not have.

The project launch will take place next month.

Notes: The programme is funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade Aid Programme (MFAT). Learn more at: www.mfat.govt.nz.

The strategic goal of the programme is that Pacific Island countries improve sustainable development outcomes for youth excluded from mainstream development. The long-term outcome is that Pacific youth who are not in education, employment or training (Youth NEET) are empowered citizens and lead positive change in social and economic development.

SPC is partnering with the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Tonga to deliver the programme. Other programme stakeholders in Tonga include the Ministry of Internal Affairs Youth Development Division, Tonga National Youth Congress, Tupou Technical Institute, Ahopanilolo Technical Institute, and the Tonga Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Media Contacts:

Karine Gatellier, Information, Communications and Visibility Officer, HRSD Division, SPC Email: [email protected]

For general media enquiries, please contact [[email protected]]

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Is biogas a sustainable alternative to natural gas?

In addition to various climate goals, natural gas prices and volatility pave the way to alternative energy sources, which are not just a means to reduce national carbon footprints, but more and more a sector of strategic importance. European institutions, where bioenergy has become a hot topic, expect significant growth from the industry. 

Biogas and its upgraded, impurities-free version, biomethane, are the two forms of bioenergy best positioned to decarbonise areas in the energy system that low-carbon electricity cannot reach. 

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These two gases can increase the flexibility of renewable, electricity-based power systems, as proven by the Danish example. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the percentage of biomethane in the Danish gas grid has grown significantly, reaching 35 percent of the total gas injected towards the end of the year. 

According to the International Energy Agency, over 60 percent of biogas production capacity lies in Europe and North America. Europe is the leading biogas-producing region, with 20,000 biogas and biomethane plants.

Biogas and biomethane

Biogas is a combustible gaseous fuel that is collected from the microbial degradation of organic matter in anaerobic conditions.  Biogas is principally a mixture of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) along with other gases.  Biogas can be collected from landfills, covered lagoons, or enclosed tanks called anaerobic digesters. Biogas is commonly produced from animal manure, organic wastes, and sludge settled from wastewater.  However, biogas can also be made from almost any feedstock containing organic compounds, both wastes and biomass (energy crops). Methane is also the main component in natural gas, a fossil fuel. Biogas can be used to replace natural gas in many applications including: cooking, heating, steam production, electrical generation, vehicular fuel, and as a pipeline gas. While combustion of biogas, like natural gas, produces carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas, the carbon in biogas comes from plant matter that fixed this carbon from atmospheric CO2.  Consumption of fossil fuels replaced by biogas, under the right conditions, would lower CO2 emissions. It’s “renewable” in the sense that the feedstock could theoretically continue in perpetuity and could convert climate-warming methane to the less potent greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. But emissions reductions vary widely depending on the project.

Current biogas and biomethane production

A 2017 report by the Oxford Institute for Energy indicated that the European growth mainly occurred during a six-year window (2009 and 2015), when the number of biogas plants in Europe jumped from 6,000 to 17,000. After Germany, Italy, and France are the two countries with the most biogas plants.

Developments depend on policy frameworks, mostly incentive schemes like feed-in tariffs, but also which feedstocks can be used to produce biogas. 

For example, Germany’s biogas boom slowed down when a law aiming to reduce the use of energy crops like maize was introduced in 2014. Authorities are trying to avoid using feedstocks that could enter food production chains. The recent regional food crisis due to geopolitical tensions with Russia has made this reasoning easier to understand.  

Industry objections remain: before they make the necessary investments and cut imported natural gas, they want long-term certainties and streamlined bureaucracy.

The Danish case 

Denmark has decided that energy crops will be completely phased out by 2030. It will shift its attention to waste and feedstocks. About one-third of Danish biogas comes from slurry, with pig slurry representing 10 percent of biogas production. The remaining two-thirds of biogas production comes from agriculture and domestic organic waste.

Denmark is currently the European country set to grow the most in this domain. Biogas production increased from about 1.39 TWh (0.14 bcm) in 2014 to 7 TWh (0.7 bcm) in 2021, when biogas accounted for about 25 percent of total gas consumption. Denmark has the highest percentage of biogas and biomethane relative to total gas consumption, with 24 percent, followed by Sweden (5%) and Slovakia (12%). 

“There’s the new tender system, approved in 2020 and turned into legislation in 2021. We just miss the state aid approval from Brussels. We hope to get it very fast,” commented Bruno Sander Nielsen, director of the Danish Biogas Association. 

The position of the Danish biogas sector should improve further as the European institutions agree on more accessible state aid for specific sectors, and cooperation with neighbouring countries increases. Bioenergy should be one of the less politically sensitive sectors. 

“The increase in biomethane production, as well as the drop in natural gas consumption due to price increases, can lead to a total substitution by the end of 2027,” said Nielsen. In other words, the country might soon be completely independent of fossil gas. 

The Danish industry will not just rely on subsidies. There are also implicit incentives, like CO2 reduction obligations for the transportation sector, which will force stakeholders in the value chain to find new fuels. “Biogas is very competitive. This means that some of the biogas production within the support schemes will turn into unsubsidised biomethane.” Currently, 80 percent of the biogas is turned into biomethane and injected into the grid. 

Long-term potential and targets 

Italy is another European country with strong potential due to a short winter season and consolidated agricultural production. Unlike Denmark, it currently uses most biogas directly for heat and power generation, rather than upgrading it into biomethane. The country is working on reversing this situation.

According to local agricultural associations, around 100 new consortia could produce biogas in Italy in the next couple of years. After a 10 percent growth over the next 12 months, production could grow 500 percent by 2026, says the Italian Biogas Association (CIB), an institution representing biogas production in the agricultural sector. 

CIB explains that the Italian government expects biomethane production to reach 2.3/2.5 bcm in 2026. According to CIB, the agricultural sector could produce 6.5 bcm of biomethane by 2030. An additional 1.5 bcm would come from urban waste processing by 2030. This would also happen through EU funding. 

“The European Commission’s REPowerEu plan recognises the important strategic role of biomethane in energy transition: more than 35 bcm of biomethane are expected to be produced in the EU by 2030. Moreover, European biomethane potential can reach production of well over 167 bcm by 2050, covering 35-62 percent of the 2050 gas demand,” explained CIB.

CIB has presented a roadmap for the agroecological conversion of Italian agriculture, whose aim is to promote a circular economy and reduce emissions in line with EU objectives. Italy, in particular, is promoting sequential cropping, which consists in growing two or more crops in sequence on the same field during the same year, providing both agricultural products for food production and organic material for biogas production. 

“This model was born 10 years ago in Italy. We are very far ahead. The potential to 2050 comes from there. The strategic importance of the biogas sector has also to do with the fact that we have to restore nutrients to the soil in the Mediterranean, where erosion is a widespread phenomenon,” said David Chiaramonti, vice-rector at Turin University. 

Not all big EU agricultural producers (Spain, France, Poland, Romania, Germany) have climatic conditions that allow a straightforward implementation of sequential cropping. Still, northern member states like Denmark are also looking into it. 

Chiaramonti underlined that current discussions are ongoing at the European level, and should end within the year, including the debate on the new Renewable Energy Directive (RED3). 

Despite the recent opposition to using energy crops for biogas production in Germany, local experts are also seeing growth in the EU’s leading economy, due to the federal government’s change of mind following current geopolitical tensions. 

“There is a gap between the electric targets and where we are at the moment. At the end of December, we had a couple of days where the biogas industry was the third greatest electricity producer in Germany, because of no wind and sun. The government is realising the importance of biogas,” says Manuel Maciejczyk, COO of the German Biogas Association. 

Integrating biomethane and hydrogen 

The debate on Germany’s biomass strategy is expected to continue for the rest of the year. The core question is which input materials will be used in biogas plants in the future. Other questions are whether to use the biogas directly to produce electricity and power (Combined Heat and Power), or produce biomethane for other sectors, including transportation.

“It is feasible to integrate Power-to-Gas into biogas plants, because when you produce biomethane you have a lot of CO2 which you can use to produce methane from hydrogen. This would bring projections for biogas and biomethane in Germany to 180 TWh (18.42 bcm) and 230 TWh (23.54 bcm),” said Maciejczyk. In other words, biogas and biomethane technologies are mature, but innovation and integration with other energy sources, if encouraged, could bear sustainable fruit.

Biogas prevents nitrogen pollution and captures methane emissions that would otherwise escape from landfills or manure lagoons. However, it should be noted that an academic paper by three Imperial College London researchers, published in One Earth, suggests that emissions from the biomethane and biogas supply chains may have been underestimated so far due to high methane loss rates.

Cross-border trade, technological improvement, and a rethinking of agricultural processes could lead to a decrease in the prices of biogas and biomethane, which are already competitive on the local level. For instance, France’s energy company ENGIE expects cost reduction to reach 30 percent by 2030. Improvements are also set to push emissions down in the bioenergy industry.

As a result, the Gas for Climate association expects biogas and biomethane to increase significantly in the two decades between 2030 and 2050, growing three-fold on average in Germany, France, Italy, and Denmark. Still, the projections vary greatly, in terms of both time frame and according to the source. This is for two reasons: production estimations are particularly complicated because biogas and its derivatives are normally consumed near the point of production, and data relies on the regulatory framework, which is taking shape, though some might say too slowly.

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Sustainable Westchester’s Energy Rebate Program Not the Only Game in Town

March 28, 2023

By Alexander Roberts–

Last week, Sustainable Westchester, a non-profit energy company, announced its partnership with a for-profit company to provide cash rebates to Con Ed customers for reducing energy use during peak energy demand events. Mayors and representatives of seven rivertown villages stood together to promote the program, called GridRewards, which centers on a free mobile phone application that notifies customers of peak demand times (see https://thehudsonindependent.com/a-new-free-app-aims-to-curb-energy-use-and-pay-cash-to-consumers-who-use-it/).


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During the hottest summer days, participants receive push notifications, prompting them to lower their electricity use by reducing air conditioning or refraining use of large appliances. If too few customers utilize these “demand response” programs, Con Ed must resort to older standby “peaker plants” that emit more pollution and cost the system about $1 billion to maintain.

Under the Con Ed program, customers who sign up earn cash rebates based on the amount of energy they save, with the money split between Con Ed and Sustainable Westchester. Last week, however, a Sustainable Westchester spokesperson said she would need permission to provide the percentage of the rebate customers actually receive, and to date the company has yet to provide The Hudson Independent with that figure.

GridRewards is a product of Logical Buildings, Sustainable’s for-profit-partner, but it is only one of seven“aggregators” approved by Con Ed to enlist small residential customers. In response to the mayors’ endorsement of GridRewards, a competing company listed on the Con Ed Aggregator website (https://www.coned.com/-/media/files/coned/documents/save-energy-money/rebates-incentives-tax-credits/smart-usage-rewards/aggregator-list.pdf?la=en), asserted that it provides Con Ed customers with a better deal than GridRewards. While Con Ed uses a complicated algorithm to determine the savings payment, a spokesperson for Meltek claimed that his company provides a better split for the consumer than GridRewards: its customers get approximately 75% of the cash award, with 25% retained by Meltek. In addition, he said, Meltek fronts the Con Ed cash when earned, and customers are paid within a couple of weeks at the conclusion of the seasonal program in September. A spokesperson for Sustainable said their Con Ed customers received their rebates in February, five months later.

David Buchwald, Meltek’s Vice President for Business Development and a former State Assemblyman from White Plains, said that while GridRewards requires Con Ed customers to have an online Con Ed account and agree to share all of their data, Meltek asks only for the customer’s Con Ed account number for its free app. Unlike GridRewards, said Buchwald, Meltek also allows its customers the opportunity to take their cash rebates in the form of gift cards, through VISA, for example, or Amazon—an option Buchwald says makes the program more accessible to low-income customers that may not have bank accounts.

Asked about Westchester government officials promoting one private company over six others without comparing the services, Buchwald said, “It might have made sense when GridRewards was the only game in town a few years ago, but today government should ensure consumers know they have a choice and are as well-informed as possible.”

The new Sustainable Westchester program to save energy during peak power periods is unrelated to its Energy Services Company (ESCO) program, called Westchester Power, which is also a partnership with a for-profit company. That program signed up 40% of Westchester Con Ed customers for a guaranteed fixed rate for 100% renewable power that beat the Con Ed rate for standard non-renewable power for most of 2022. But in November 2022, thousands of Westchester households saw their guaranteed fixed rate double to 15 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is currently 50% higher than the fluctuating standard supply price offered by Con Ed.

“In light of the Westchester Power experience,” said Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, who generally endorses Con Ed programs that reward consumers for saving energy during peak periods, “government has a responsibility to perform its due diligence before selecting one company over another.”

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A New Free App Aims to Curb Energy Use–And Pay Cash to Consumers Who Use It

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By Alexander Roberts– In 2020, Sustainable Westchester, the local renewable energy supplier, began offering consumers cash inducements to reduce their…

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Local Varsity Softball Teams Ready to Take Field

March 26, 2023

By Tom Pedulla— The Hudson Independent previews the local varsity softball teams. (The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry will not…

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Irvington Native Moves from Med School to Weill Cornell

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March 23, 2023

By Barrett Seaman– For aspiring physicians, mid-March of their last year in medical school is right up there on the…

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March 22, 2023

By Rick Pezzullo— The New York Thruway Authority will be kicking off a $13.9 million project along Route 9 in…

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March 22, 2023

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March 21, 2023

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Hitachi Vantara and Golden Grove Nursery harness data-driven analytics for more sustainable water management

Hitachi Vantara and Golden Grove Nursery have applied artificial intelligence (AI), advanced analytics and sensor technology to inform data-driven irrigation water management practices for sustainable, environmentally friendly food production.  

Golden Grove has installed an innovative combination of weight scales, soil moisture sensors, and analytics developed for horticulture use by Hitachi Vantara, Greenlife Industry Australia, Applied Horticulture Research, and ICT International.

This solution measures and assesses moisture content in the growing media of pots, as well as crop water use, to provide insights that inform practices such as irrigation and fertilisation decisions.

The implementation includes a free-standing weather station to monitor the microclimate and a range of pH, temperature, soil moisture, weight, and electrical conductivity sensors to monitor water quality and leachate.  

“The best production nurseries have the best water,” said Golden Grove Nursery director Wayne Parr.

“With this project we are using the power of data to improve our irrigation management processes which will, in turn, reduce the overheads of water usage, improve environmental outcomes, and ensure we maintain compliance with regulatory requirements.” 

With the new implementation, water is automatically sampled and tested every 15 minutes, as opposed to the manual process Golden Grove has been undertaking twice a week for more than 30 years. Sensors have replaced bottles dipped into the dam and fingers poked into a pot.

Real-time data is uploaded to the cloud and presented on one screen – the Hitachi Supply Chain Control Tower, modified to holistically measure production nursery productivity and environmental stewardship by integrating sensor data, weather forecasts, and biophysical models.

Nursery personnel can easily access depictions of predictive analytics such as irrigation requirements thanks to Hitachi’s Lumada Manufacturing Insights.  

Generations of experience, instinct and know-how are now supplemented with real-time insights that can give Golden Grove Nursery a data-driven edge. Within months of implementation, the nursery improved its irrigation practices by 30 per cent.  

“It is a privilege to support both sustainability and operational efficiency objectives in tandem, in an industry like agriculture and horticulture that has such a direct impact on society,” said Hitachi Vantara, senior vice president of Business Transformation and Sustainability Maggie Laird.

“We are committed to developing the solutions and analytics that sector-leading innovators like Golden Grove Nursery need to make critical data-driven decisions that solve pressing challenges like modernising to remain competitive whilst protecting the land and surrounding waterways and fostering sustainability in food production practices.” 

A Legacy of Innovation and Technology Adoption 

A proud citrus-growing state, Queensland contributes 20 per cent of Australia’s citrus industry, the country’s largest fresh fruit exporting industry, which sends up to AU$540M worth of citrus around the world, annually. Golden Grove produces between 200,000 – 250,000 citrus nursery trees per year, supplying up to 70 per cent of Queensland’s citrus growers and commercial orchards.  

“We’re now able to monitor the irrigation systems daily and understand exactly when to water so we can avoid root damage and make sure the nutrient mix is just right,” said Parr. “We’ve already been able to identify and adjust for over watering during the winter months of 2022, and through this summer with irrigation much more firmly under control.” 

Smart Farming for Sustainable Food Production 

This digital smart farm project is part of a broader sustainable horticulture program supported by funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program as well as Hort Innovation, with co-investment from Applied Horticultural Research, Greenlife Industry Australia, AusVeg, Freshcare, Growcom, Australian Banana Growers Council, Hitachi Australia Pty Ltd and Hitachi Vantara LLC. 

For more information on how Hitachi Vantara is helping customers provide a data-driven approach to sustainability, click here. 

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President stresses need for cheap energy for sustainable growth

Jakarta (ANTARA) – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has emphasized the importance of cheap energy sources in supporting sustainable economic growth, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said at the Presidential Palace here on Tuesday.

“Mr. President asked what factors that can make us have a sustainable economy, one of which is cheap energy,” he informed.

He said that the availability of cheap energy sources is one of the issues emphasized in the drafting of the National Long-Term Development Plan (RPJPN) for 2025–2045.

The availability of energy sources is key for supporting economic growth, he added.

Energy sources need to be obtained at low costs so that economic growth can progress along with controlled inflation, he explained.

Learning from the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, controlling energy prices is essential for preventing uncontrolled inflation.

“Cheap energy was important in times of COVID-19. Inflation is strongly influenced by energy; fluctuating energy and food prices cause uncontrolled inflation in many countries,” he said.

The President has asked his ministers to prepare a grand and detailed strategy for the 2025–2045 RPJPN.

The RPJPN 2025–2045 discussion has also encompassed strategies for getting Indonesia out of the middle-income trap and advancing vocational education.

In the industrial sector, President Widodo has asked for an increase in the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the economy, which is currently at 18 percent, to 20 percent by 2045.

“The President has asked for more detailed strategies in these sectors and that is what the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) is preparing,” Hartarto said.

At the same meeting, Minister of National Development Planning and Bappenas head, Suharso Monoarfa, apprised President Widodo about the half-term report of the 2020–2024 RPJMN and made a preliminary report on the preparation of the 2025–2045 RPJPN.

Monoarfa said that starting from 2025, Indonesia will need a transformation to achieve the vision of Golden Indonesia 2045.

The Golden Indonesia 2045 vision, according to him, envisages Indonesia as a sovereign, developed, and sustainable maritime country.

Related news: BI will continue to support monetary stabilization, sustainable growth

Related news: Indonesia to clock high economic growth sustainably: Bappenas

Related news: Indonesia G20 Presidency encourages strong, sustainable global economy




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Georgia’s Water Reform: Introducing Internationally Recognized Standards for Sustainable Water Management – Economy

Georgia’s water resources will soon be managed with the help of new legislation aimed at ensuring international standards are met. This comes as a result of the association agreement between Georgia and the European Union, with USAID supporting the water management reform.

The reform will bring about a number of changes, including the imposition of new requirements and obligations on businesses and the state. The head of USAID’s economic management program, Natalia Beruashvili, has stated that the goal of the water reform is to make this resource as beneficial as possible to the development of the country.

According to Khatuna Gogaladze, head of the environmental organization Georgia’s Environmental Outlook (GEO), water is a vital resource, but access to safe and clean drinking water remains a challenge in Georgia. The new legislation is based on the directives of the European Union, and includes the introduction of the principles of basin management. This means dividing the country into river basins, and managing water resources under the basin to protect the interests of all users and prevent water pollution and degradation.

One of the challenges of the reform is the involvement of municipalities, who will have a large role in managing water resources. The priority will be providing safe drinking water to the population, but decisions on other priorities will be made within the basin management plans, which allow for the fair distribution of resources based on the needs of the region.

In addition, the law also addresses issues related to climate change, such as waterfalls and floods. The law obliges the population to have a certain plan in specific places and situations in a crisis, and monitoring stations will be introduced to gather maximum information about water.

Overall, the USAID-supported water management reform will benefit the people of Georgia, create jobs, attract investments, and promote economic growth. The new law on water resources management is set to be approved by the end of the spring session.

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Fero Labs Makes CELSA Nordic’s Steel Production More Affordable and Sustainable

Fero Labs, a factory optimization software company, announced its partnership with CELSA Nordic, part of Celsa Group, a leading European manufacturer of circular and low-emission steel.

In a pilot program with the group’s Norway plant, Fero Labs’ white-box machine learning algorithms demonstrated the ability to reduce emissions and costs by making production more efficient. 

For steel and iron, which comprise 95% of metal tonnage produced annually around the world, raw material and alloy costs are a constant challenge. As prices continue to surge due to the global supply chain crisis, steelmakers are turning to technology for answers. 

“We are always looking at how to improve our production processes to be more sustainable, to lower costs, and to be more competitive in an international market,” said Utku Öner, CEO of CELSA Nordic. “Fero helps us tackle both goals at the same time. This implementation will significantly enhance our operations, and if it delivers on expectations, we can implement it in our sister mills across Europe.” 

CELSA Nordic adds alloys to their steel to make sure their rebar products meet the quality standards in the Nordic market. Fero Labs’ software analyzes each batch while it’s still in the melt shop and recommends the optimal amount of alloys to add, reducing waste and costs. Other use cases intended to be explored during deployment include improving yield, optimizing energy consumption and minimizing defects.


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Gen Z Homebuyers Consider Smart Features, New Builds and Prioritize Sustainable Materials, New Survey Shows – Fairtrade News Today

Gen Z Homebuyers Consider Smart Features, New Builds and Prioritize Sustainable Materials, New Survey Shows – Fairtrade News Today – EIN Presswire

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