Douglas: Quebec a key partner in Vermont’s energy future

first_imgBy Governor Jim Douglas July 6, 2011. As Governor of Vermont, one of my first priorities was to strengthen and grow our state’s centuries-long partnership with the Canadian Province of Quebec.  I believed then as I do now that this relationship is critical to the success of our great state. Quebec is our largest trading partner and a significant source of clean, stable and, most importantly, renewable energy from Hydro-Quebec. Not only do we share an international border, but we share a deep cultural and historic connection; indeed many families have relatives on both sides.In December of 2003 I led the first of many delegations north to Montreal, Quebec City and Sherbrooke. Quebec Premier Jean Charest and I quickly established a professional rapport and close friendship because we both know the importance of the bond our people share. Our Lake Champlain Quadricentennial in 2009 was a great example of how we celebrate our shared history and Franco-American heritage. In recent years Vermont and Quebec worked together on a host of important initiatives. We committed ourselves to improve the quality of Lakes Champlain and Memphremagog; we agreed, with other states and provinces in our region, to reduce emissions into the atmosphere; we entered into an agreement on reciprocity of child support; we instituted enhanced driver’s licenses for easier transit across the border; we conducted joint training drills in emergency preparedness; and we worked on enhancing our cross-border transportation options. One of the most important relationships we have with Quebec is around energy.  I am proud that our energy portfolio is the cleanest in the nation ‘ we emit less in greenhouse gases than any other state ‘and our retail electric rates are the lowest in New England.  This due in large part to the very favorable contracts we have negotiated with our energy partners at Hydro-Quebec. As we look to a new phase in our energy future, the acquisition of our largest utility, Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS), likely by one of two Canadian companies, it is my hope that the focus will remain on what is best for families and employers who struggle everyday to make ends meet. Vermonters are right to measure the outcome of the CVPS acquisition based almost entirely on what it will mean for their electric rates. Two ways to achieve lower rates are to ensure the availability of power and streamlining its delivery to consumers. While Vermont should continue to explore alternative sources of power, it is essential that we maintain a cost-effective supply of baseload electricity.  That means stable, affordable, renewable energy from a source of which we can be proud and a country we can trust. Our neighbors to the north are not an unstable regime far from home; they are a valued ally whose success is integrally tied to our own. A key cost of doing business ‘ especially in manufacturing and other energy-intensive sectors ‘ is electricity. If we’re going to create more good-paying jobs for the next generation of Vermonters, we need to moderate that cost.   We can be proud that all of our utilities, including our two largest, CVPS and Green Mountain Power, have such a great record of service to our people. This is due to the dedication of the countless hard-working Vermonters who make these companies run. But as I have often said, in order for us to realize savings in our small state, whether in education spending, healthcare costs or electric rates, we must seek efficiencies through economies of scale wherever possible. For this reason, as Governor, I supported consolidation of our utilities.  There are few, if any, more meaningful ways to reduce costs among regulated monopolies like utilities. Improving our relationship with Quebec is one of the great accomplishments of my tenure. It is encouraging to see the new administration carry on this important mission. There will be many energy challenges in the future as the demand for electricity grows and, in an increasingly unstable world, it is a great comfort to know that Vermont can look to Quebec as a valued partner and friend.last_img read more

Japan says it will tighten rules for overseas coal plant financing

first_imgJapan says it will tighten rules for overseas coal plant financing FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:The Japanese government on Thursday said it will tighten state-backed financing criteria for overseas coal-fired power plants after facing criticism over its support for the dirtiest fossil fuel  The move marks a partial shift away from Japan’s strong official backing for coal but includes exemptions, leaving some non-governmental organizations sceptical about how much impact the new approach will have.“As a principle, the government will not provide assistance for new coal projects to those countries where Japan is not fully aware of the local energy situation and challenges or policies for decarbonisation,” the government said in a statement.It has received criticism from many quarters over its support, usually through Japan’s export credit agency, for the construction of coal-fired plants in countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam, as well as new plants at home.Japan’s latest move includes exemptions, however, such as when there are no alternatives to coal for the energy stability of a country seeking to build a coal-fired station provided it uses so-called clean coal technology from Japan.Japan’s private banks and companies have been tightening coal policies or cutting investments.That partly reflects the fact that renewable energy and natural gas are getting cheaper, with many countries turning away from coal, one analyst said.“The economics have moved so far and this is just Japan catching up with the economics,” said Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies Australia/South Asia at the Institute Economics and Financial Analysis.[Aaron Sheldrick and Yuka Obayashi]More: Japan tightens rules on support for overseas coal-fired plantslast_img read more

SB Betting strikes the right retail balance with forBET

first_imgShare Danske Spil calls for esports makeover with Pinnacle Solution August 25, 2020 Björn Nilsson: How Triggy is delivering digestible data through pre-set triggers August 28, 2020 Related Articles StumbleUpon Share Submit SBC Magazine Issue 10: Kaizen Gaming rebrand and focus for William Hill CEO August 25, 2020 SB Betting has put the early success of its self-service betting terminal (SSBT) rollout in Poland down to finding the right balance between retail and online betting.In August, the Malta-based sports betting software provider concluded nine months of development by releasing a new two-screened SSBT for one of its Polish clients, forBET – one of just six sports betting licensees in the country operating in both the retail and online space.The two-screened terminal, equipped with cash and coin acceptors, barcode scanner and a thermal printer, allows customers to place bets on pre-match, in-play and virtual markets.The top screen is used to display live streams – for both real-life and virtual sports, while the bottom half is a touch screen enabling customers to monitor latest odds and place bets.SB Betting has used this design to demonstrate its desire to boost retail returns by incorporating key aspects of the online user experience (UX), and, according to the firm’s COO Michal Glowacki, position the SSBT as a “product that finds common ground between retail betting and online play”.This is partly because the retail vs online breakdown for bets placed has been reversed in the last 12 months, from 60-40 to 40-60. Therefore, some of the other desirable online components factored into the new SSBT UX include ease of deposit and payouts, as well as the ability to save a session – and use the deposited money later.“The first few months since launching the SBBT have been very promising,” said Glowacki. “A futuristic design, combined with lots of betting options including a wide selection of virtuals, statistics and live match streaming, makes it a complete betting product.”Glowacki did admit that unlike retail customers in Poland, often 50+ and not so price sensitive, SSBT punters – mostly under the age of 40, are likely to be comparing retail vs online via mobile.Therefore, it makes sense that the SSBT strictly produces the odds you would find online, in this case with forBET, to avoid becoming something of an internal competitor for the operator.This particular arrangement is an interesting one in that forBET has no shops, in comparison to the country’s other retail operators Fortuna, Milenium, Star-Typ Sport (STS), Totolotek and Etoto, with forBET instead focusing its presence on the placement of these SB Betting terminals in pubs and sports bars – a strategy hailed by Glowacki as the “natural way to call customers to action”.This legal placement of terminals has attracted a lot of attention from retail slot players, who had previously been restricted to playing slots owned by government-controlled Totalizator Sportowy.Glowacki concluded: “The SSBT from SB Betting has given this group the opportunity to feel the spirit and comparable joy to playing on monopolized slots.”It will be interesting to plot the progress of SB Betting, and particularly its partnership with forBET, in a tricky market hindered by a 12% turnover tax on both retail and online gambling, which last year led to a spate of high profile withdrawals including William Hill, GVC and Pinnacle.last_img read more