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Displaying items by tag: Germany

Thursday, 11 June 2020 16:12

Airbnb Is Making A Huge Rebound

Another sign that the economy is rebounding is that Airbnb is experiencing an increase in bookings as customers emerge from several months of being cooped up in their homes because of Covid-19.
 
Airbnb said that it had more US bookings between May 17 and June 3, which encompassed Memorial Day on May 25, than the same time period a year earlier. That signals Americans are ready to travel, albeit primarily within the United States.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said he's noticed travelers are preferring to stick to drivable domestic destinations within 200 miles of their homes. The complications of international travel is making it difficult for people to explore outside of their home countries.

Chesky said customers are booking for one week or longer because of the shift to remote working. "Work from home is becoming working from any home," he said.

There has also been a rise in domestic bookings in Portugal, Germany and South Korea.

The rise in bookings is coming after the abrupt shut down of the global travel industry in late winter as Covid-19 spread.

Airbnb, like other travel companies, has had share of bad months. The San Francisco-based company axed a quarter of its workforce in May and refocused its efforts on rentals and experiences. Some hosts are even selling their properties because of the steep decline in bookings.

Travelers are opting to stick to driving in the safe space of their own car rather than flying.

But the airline industry shows just the opposite. American Airlines is bolstering its July schedule following a better-than-expected uptick in demand, particularly to Florida and mountain destinations in the West.

Friday, 05 January 2018 08:54

This Huge Project Could Change The Wind Game

Dutch propose world's biggest offshore farm, with a man-made island.

When envisioning an offshore wind farm that includes a 2.3-square-mile artificial island, it doesn’t hurt that the country behind it is exceptionally skilled at two things: reclaiming land from the sea and harnessing the power of the wind.

These uniquely Dutch strengths are driving an ambitious wind power and island-building project in the North Sea. If and when it's completed, this 30-gigawatt wind farm would be by far the largest in the world at 2,300 square miles. The farm's proposed size and capacity, which is roughly eight times the size of New York City and capable of generating double the total amount of all existing European offshore wind power, is a remarkable feat in itself. However, it’s how TenneT, a government-owned entity that oversees the Netherlands’ electric grid, plans to take full advantage of the farm's way offshore location that truly sets the scheme apart.

When envisioning an offshore wind farm that includes a 2.3-square-mile artificial island, it doesn’t hurt that the country behind it is exceptionally skilled at two things: reclaiming land from the sea and harnessing the power of the wind.

Yet because Dogger Bank is located in such a far-flung part of the North Sea, the cost of installing a multitude of direct current (DC) cables that are needed to transmit wind-harnessed energy to onshore electric grids would be prohibitive - perhaps impossible. That’s the rub with offshore wind power. When you go further out, you have less local opposition and more space - and wind - to work with. Most offshore wind farms - the largest is the 47-square-mile/630-megawatt London Array - remain relatively close to shore. What's more, the further out an offshore wind farm is, the more electricity is lost during transmission.

This is where the TenneT’s artificial North Sea island-based wind power collection and distribution hub comes into play.

Because Dogger Bank is so shallow, constructing a man-made island, like mounting wind turbines, is far easier than in a deeper stretch of sea. And as mentioned, the Dutch are old pros at this.

Rob van der Hage, manager of TenneT’s offshore wind infrastructure program, explains that if building a large island in the middle of the North Sea was a daunting task: “Is it difficult? In the Netherlands, when we see a piece of water we want to build islands or land. We’ve been doing that for centuries. That is not the biggest challenge.”

Wind power that's quite literally far out:

As envisioned by TenneT, energy generated at the massive offshore wind farm would be sent directly to the island via a series of short cables in lieu of an improbable number of very long ones reaching toward the shore. Once collected at the island's converter stations, the alternating current generated by the turbines is transformed into direct current before being transmitted to electric grids in the Netherlands and U.K. — and potentially Belgium, Denmark and Germany. Far offshore becomes near-shore, essentially. What’s more, the distribution hub would ensure that no energy is wasted, only transmitting electricity to the country or countries that need it most at any even given time.

Numerous not-so-minor elements need to fall into place before this scheme with “sky-high” ambition begins to take fruition. (TenneT aims to have the island up and running by 2027 with the wind farm to follow.)

For starters, while TenneT plans to build the artificial island (and pay for most of the 1.5 billion euro price tag), the company is not allowed to build the wind farm - potentially multiple wind farms - that the island or future islands would support. Offshore wind developers would need to do that. And before that happens, other electric utilities such as the UK’s National Grid need to commit to helping TenneT shoulder the cost of the underwater cables.

Still, van der Hage is optimistic about the viability of developing wind farms located further from shore. "The big challenge we are facing towards 2030 and 2050 is onshore wind is hampered by local opposition and nearshore is nearly full. It’s logical we are looking at areas further offshore.”

Published in Going Green:
Friday, 06 November 2015 16:47

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is an official United States federal holiday that is observed annually on November 11, honoring people who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, also known as veterans.

It coincides with other holidays including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the end of World War I (major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect). The United States also originally observed Armistice Day; it then evolved into the current Veterans Day holiday in 1954.

Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who gave their lives and those who perished while in service.

Most sources spell Veterans as a simple plural without a possessive apostrophe (Veteran's or Veterans').

History:

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. In proclaiming the holiday, he said

"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations."

The United States Congress passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, requesting that President Calvin Coolidge issue another proclamation to observe November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. A Congressional Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U.S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday: "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'."

In 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. Weeks led a delegation to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, who supported the idea of National Veterans Day. Weeks led the first national celebration in 1947 in Alabama and annually until his death in 1985. President Ronald Reagan honored Weeks at the White House with the Presidential Citizenship Medal in 1982 as the driving force for the national holiday. Elizabeth Dole, who prepared the briefing for President Reagan, determined Weeks as the "Father of Veterans Day."

U.S. Representative Ed Rees from Emporia, Kansas, presented a bill establishing the holiday through Congress. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, also from Kansas, signed the bill into law on May 26, 1954. It had been eight and a half years since Weeks held his first Armistice Day celebration for all veterans.

Congress amended the bill on June 1, 1954, replacing "Armistice" with "Veterans," and it has been known as Veterans Day since.

The National Veterans Award was also created in 1954. Congressman Rees of Kansas received the first National Veterans Award in Birmingham, Alabama for his support offering legislation to make Veterans Day a federal holiday.

Although originally scheduled for celebration on November 11 of every year, starting in 1971 in accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October. In 1978, it was moved back to its original celebration on November 11. While the legal holiday remains on November 11, if that date happens to be on a Saturday or Sunday, then organizations that formally observe the holiday will normally be closed on the adjacent Friday or Monday, respectively.

Observance:

Because it is a federal holiday, some American workers and many students have Veterans Day off from work or school. When Veterans Day falls on a Saturday then either Saturday or the preceding Friday may be designated as the holiday, whereas if it falls on a Sunday it is typically observed on the following Monday. A Society for Human Resource Management poll in 2010 found that 21 percent of employers planned to observe the holiday in 2011.

Non-essential federal government offices are closed. No mail is delivered. All federal workers are paid for the holiday; those who are required to work on the holiday sometimes receive holiday pay for that day in addition to their wages.

In his Armistice Day address to Congress, Wilson was sensitive to the psychological toll of the lean War years: "Hunger does not breed reform; it breeds madness," he remarked. As Veterans Day and the birthday of the United States Marine Corps (November 10, 1775) are only one day apart, that branch of the Armed Forces customarily observes both occasions as a 96-hour liberty period.

Spelling of Veterans Day:

While the holiday is commonly printed as Veteran's Day or Veterans' Day in calendars and advertisements (spellings that are grammatically acceptable), the United States government has declared that the attributive (no apostrophe) rather than the possessive case is the official spelling.

Published in Headline News:
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