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Is Pisces is the Dumbest Star Sign?

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Your Slack? Insightful words by highly intelligent people. Your tech blog? Not so much. Write together. #SloggingBeta

This Slogging thread by Amy, Linh, Limarc, Utsav Jaiswal, Arthur, and Natasha occurred in hackernoon’s official #only-at-hackernoon channel, and has been edited for readability.

Rejected because pisces is the dumbest star sign

image

Apparently, that’s Norah’s star sign I learned about yesterday (I don’t care about horoscopes though)

Virgo over here

Omg virgo club yay

Missed being a pisces (and on Amy’s hate list) by a day 😂

Lololol

Oh you definitely are an Aries 😂

Wut? I’m an aquarian not an Aries. I thought the having my head up my own a$$ was a dead giveaway😂

Omggg

Do y’all believe in horoscopes? :face_with_monocle:

Not in a be all end all kind of way. But I believe in it the same way I believe things will work out as they should. So then when shit hits the fan I can be like oh it’s okay mercury is in retrograde but I’ll be fine in 12 days 😂😂

No not at all. I do believe that being born in a certain month could affect your personality and life. Did you read outliers by Gladwell?

I really strongly dislike Gladwell for his (imho) hit pieces and oversimplification of stats…so no :rolling_on_the_floor_laughing:

lol yeah Amy I believe in whatever my mom says 😂

I just love to read about pretty much everything – this is one of those

well, i’m usually affected by different stars and galaxies

There is science behind the power of the moon

but what about sun flairs?

I feel like I notice similarities between people who were born around the same time (leos are consistently obsessed with their own hair; scorpios take grudges very seriously, and taureans are stubborn AF, for example), but that might just be confirmation bias because I was raised by a raging hippie

I’m an Aries, Amy, for what it’s worth 😄

and omg yes Limarc and Amy you are SUCH Virgos ✨:rolling_on_the_floor_laughing: (or just canadian..?) Loren knows the facts: https://www.lorensworld.com/business/life-work/virgos-great-workplace/

hmm I don’t know Natasha:

“Strengths: Loyal, analytical, kind, hardworking, practical
Weaknesses: Shyness, worry, overly critical of self and others, all work and no play”

Amy is definitely not shy. I used to be shy until college and then I forced myself to grow out of it.

the rest is true though 😅, at least I hope so

I was painfully shy until college too. Well, either painfully shy or wildly unpopular. I’m not sure

I feel ya. That’s the same excuse I use when people ask why I didn’t have any long-term relationships in highschool 😣

I mostly worked on stuff during my breaks (also goes back to the all work no play virgoness)

but like was that by choice…or because we had no other options…

I’m not sure 😂 this is a very chicken vs egg scenario

You know what? We turned out fine

NO MATTER WHAT THE HOROSCOPES SAY

(Worry)

Lol

Natasha I think David, who’s a Taurus( I just learned) is truly stubborn af but at the same time I think he cares about his hair more than me, a Leo. 😂 I get what you say about general pointer through

I’d say I identify with other Leo traits such as the need to be excellent and let other people know about it :rolling_on_the_floor_laughing:

Limarc I think those describe you very well especially the practical one spot on

I still stand by everything I said in this thread 😂

by Slogging (Slack Blogging) @slogging. Your Slack? Insightful words by highly intelligent people. Your tech blog? Not so much. Write together. #SloggingBetaRead my stories

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CNBC

Europe’s green ambitions could be hit as gas prices reach record highs

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A woman on the bicycle rides pass the power station in Neurath, Germany.

NurPhoto | NurPhoto | Getty Images

LONDON — The European Union could struggle to advance its green agenda as gas prices soar across the bloc, according to experts who warn against slowing down investment into the sector.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, has vowed to become carbon neutral by 2050, presenting a concrete plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% from 1990 levels by the end of this decade.

However, these ambitions could be hit as a natural gas shortage on the continent drives prices higher. The front-month gas price at the Dutch TTF hub, a European benchmark, has risen more than 250% since the start of the year. It traded at about 74 euros ($87) a megawatt-hour on Tuesday — just shy of its record high of 79 euros it hit last week.

You can’t stop financing windmills for people’s bills.

Jacob Kirkegaard

senior fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States

The recent spike is already having a tangible impact. Spain, for instance, has announced emergency measures to limit the profits that energy companies can make from gas alternatives, including renewables. The government is also hoping to cap what consumers are paying for their electricity.

“Soaring energy prices have hit economies across Europe, and if Madrid’s actions are imitated elsewhere as governments prioritize cheap energy over the green transition, the EU’s credibility in advancing global climate action could take a hit,” Henning Gloystein, director of energy at the consultancy firm Eurasia Group, said in a note Friday.

Spain is not the only country to cap energy price increases, with France and Greece making similar moves. But the plan in Spain has been the subject of some criticism.

Iberdrola, a Spanish energy firm with a focus on renewables, said the move “would undermine investor confidence in the country” at a time when the nation needs private money to achieve its climate ambitions.

Had we had the green deal five years earlier, we would not be in this position.

Frans Timmermans

EU Climate Chief

“The risk to climate policymaking lies perhaps mostly in a loss of credibility ahead of the global COP26 climate talks in Glasgow later this year,” Gloystein told CNBC via email.

“If wealthy countries in the EU are seen subsidizing energy for households that is in part supplied by fossil fuels, then the EU can hardly tell poorer countries to stop subsidizing household fuel consumption supplied by fossil fuels,” Gloystein added.

Meanwhile, Jacob Kirkegaard, senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States think tank, said he is not overly worried at this point, but that the ongoing energy crisis “makes it even more important that the Spanish government finds other sources of financing.”

“You can’t stop financing windmills for people’s bills,” he said, adding that countries should not ease their investments in greener energies.

The EU’s fault?

There is a wider problem, however: Some European leaders and lawmakers have blamed the EU for the energy price increases.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, for instance, said earlier this month that “Polish power prices are tied to the EU’s climate policies,” according to Politico.

When asked if comments like these could hurt the EU’s green ambitions, Kirkegaard said: “There’s absolutely that risk because clearly the Polish government want to extract more money from the EU for the green transition.”

Vapor rises from the cooling towers of the Turow coal powered power plant, operated by PGE SA, in Bogatynia, Poland.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Poland said Monday that it will keep a coal mine running, even though the European Court of Justice ruled it should be shut down. Under the same ruling, Krakow has to pay a 500,000 euro fine for every day that it keeps the mine open.

The EU’s climate chief, Frans Timmermans, has insisted that the price increases are not the bloc’s fault. “Only about a fifth of the price increase can be attributed to CO2 prices rising,” he told the European Parliament earlier this month. “The others are simply about shortages in the market.”

“Had we had the green deal five years earlier, we would not be in this position because then we would have less dependency on fossil fuels and natural gas,” he added.

‘Fair green transition’

Kirkegaard said that “it is too early to tell” if the price rises are going to jeopardize the EU’s green ambitions. The biggest risk, in his opinion, is whether public support for a greener economy falls because it is perceived to be impacting on their bills.

The European Commission announced earlier this summer that there would be special funds allocated to support the most vulnerable parts of the population in this green transition. The question is whether that will suffice.

“This must be a fair green transition. This is why we proposed a new Social Climate Fund to tackle the energy poverty that already 34 million Europeans suffer from,” Ursula von der Leyen, president of the commission said at a speech last week.

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Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/22/what-the-energy-crisis-means-for-europes-green-ambitions.html

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CNBC

Surging gas prices are the ‘transition premium’ in the push toward renewables, OPEC chief says

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Soaring gas prices are the cost of the attempted shift to renewable energy sources, OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo told CNBC on Tuesday. 

“I have talked about a new premium that is emerging in the energy markets that I term the transition premium,” Barkindo told CNBC’s Dan Murphy at the Gastech conference in Dubai. 

The long-time head of the oil cartel criticized what he believed was an overly emotional approach to energy policies and climate change, though he did not point a finger at specifically who was to blame for what he described as a “misrepresentation of facts.” 

Barkindo contended that there was “distortion of facts and the science, and the misrepresentation of these facts in the conversation, which is not healthy, because climate change and the energy transition are supposed to be guided by the science.” 

“The intergovernmental panel on climate change is supposed to be the most authoritative body with regard to both climate change and the transition,” he said. “And we in OPEC believe they are doing a great job, they are producing very very important, seminal reports, but unfortunately these reports are being set aside and the discussions ensuing at the moment, more or less being driven by emotions rather than the great work that this scientific body is producing for all of us.”  

Tripled gas prices 

The OPEC chief’s words reflect a growing debate among policymakers and energy executives about the future of energy, renewables, and the climate. Many governments around the world and particularly in the West are pushing for a shift away from fossil fuel use, while those in the industry argue that a rapid transition attempt will disrupt markets, harm consumers, and is ultimately unrealistic.   

Global gas prices have tripled this year alone, sending ripples through markets and raising concerns that prices of the commodity will only continue to rise. 

The roots of the price increase lie in higher demand and lower supply, as higher summer temperatures in the U.S. stoked demand for air conditioning, and longer periods of cold in the U.K. other parts of Europe in the spring meant increased needs for heating.

The fuel nozzle in a car at a gasoline pump at the Citgo gas station on Lancaster Ave in Reading, PA Monday afternoon September 20, 2021.

Ben Hasty | MediaNews Group | Getty Images

This has all led to lower gas supplies for the coming winter months, meaning we are likely to see a greater squeeze on supplies and higher prices to come. 

Gas prices had remained very low since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, at around $2 per one million British thermal units, or mmBtus. But the reopening of economies and restart of travel as vaccination campaigns expand have jolted demand upward.  

‘A burden on many countries’

United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei, speaking to CNBC at the same event, contended that while gas prices appear high, they came from a very low level to begin with.

“It was coming from a very low environment,” Al Mazrouei said of the gas price situation. “I think the current prices, if they continue they will be a burden on many countries and will not see the demand side on a longer term be ready to take such prices.”  

The energy minister said that “the right balance is the balance between the affordability of the consumers and the fact that we are seeing a reasonable return for the developers and the producing countries,” but added, “We’re not there yet.” 

The costs, regulations and financing needs surrounding new energy projects are a barrier to any return to lower prices, Al Mazrouei noted.  

“This is a situation that is responding to a low gas environment that happened before,” he continued. “Now, what is sustainable, I think the market will dictate it. There are challenges, financing new projects, especially for the IOCs (international oil companies), and we need to have a realistic view on easing such restrictions for them to finance new projects.”

“That’s what I think we will be discussing between the industry, the companies and the consumers and some of the developers as well, and hopefully, during the discussions of the event, they could announce new projects that could balance the prices in the future,” he added.

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Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/21/surging-gas-prices-are-transition-premium-to-renewables-opec-chief.html

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CNBC

Able to power 50,000 homes, the ‘world’s largest floating wind farm’ takes another step forward

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Norway’s Statkraft said Tuesday that a long-term purchasing agreement related to a floating offshore wind farm dubbed “the world’s largest” had started, in another step forward for the emerging renewable energy sector.

The Kincardine Offshore Windfarm is a six turbine, 50 megawatt facility located in waters off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland. Turbine installation for the project — which Statkraft described as “the world’s largest floating wind farm” — was recently completed.

A power purchase agreement between Statkraft and developer Kincardine Offshore Windfarm Ltd, signed in 2018 but which now enters into force, will see the former buy “all electrical output from the floating wind project with a guaranteed minimum price per MWh [megawatt hour] until 2029.”

According to Statkraft, which is owned by the Norwegian state, the KOWL project will send more than 200,000 megawatt hours to the grid each year. This, it said, would be enough to power more than 50,000 homes.

“This is the first floating project that Statkraft has been involved in and we expect more to follow,” John Puddephatt, Statkraft’s manager for long term PPA origination, said in a statement.

The technology, Puddephatt said, “could help countries around the world achieve their renewable energy targets.”

Read more about clean energy from CNBC Pro

Statkraft is one of several major companies involved with floating offshore wind projects. Back in 2017 another Norwegian energy business, Equinor, opened Hywind Scotland, a 30 megawatt facility it calls “the first full-scale floating offshore wind farm.”

Earlier this month, a joint venture centered around the development of a massive floating offshore wind farm in waters off South Korea was formally established.

Oil and gas major Shell has an 80% stake in the JV, which is called MunmuBaram, with the remaining 20% held by CoensHexicon.

In a statement at the time, Shell said the project was in “a feasibility assessment stage.” If built, the 1.4 gigawatt wind farm would be situated between 65 and 80 kilometers off Ulsan, a coastal city and industrial hub in the south east of South Korea.

In August, it was announced that RWE Renewables and Kansai Electric Power had signed an agreement that will see the two businesses study the feasibility of a large-scale floating offshore wind project in waters off Japan’s coast.

Floating offshore wind turbines are different to bottom-fixed offshore wind turbines that are rooted to the seabed. One advantage of floating turbines is that they can be installed in deeper waters compared to bottom-fixed ones.

RWE has described floating turbines as being “deployed on top of floating structures that are secured to the seabed with mooring lines and anchors.”

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Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/21/worlds-largest-floating-wind-farm-takes-another-step-forward.html

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CNBC

Britain considers government intervention as gas crisis roils energy firms

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The Point of Ayr Gas Terminal in Talacre, Wales, on September 20, 2021.

Christopher Furlong | Getty Images

The British government is considering bailout loans to help steer energy suppliers through the ongoing gas pricing crisis.

U.K. Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng told Sky News on Tuesday that “a lot of options” were currently being considered, including potential state-backed loans. However, he suggested not every energy supplier would be eligible to benefit from such a scheme.

“Every year between five and eight companies exit the market and I don’t want to prop up failing companies, I don’t want there to be a reward for failure,” he said. “I don’t think we should be throwing taxpayers’ money at companies which, let’s face it, have been badly run.”

Fears that some of Britain’s energy suppliers may struggle to stay afloat have been rising in recent weeks, as wholesale gas prices continue to rise to unprecedented levels across Europe.

The October gas price at the Dutch TTF hub, a European benchmark for natural gas trading, was volatile on Tuesday, trading just above 74 euros ($86.9) per megawatt-hour by the early afternoon in London. Last week, the contract hit a record high of 79 euros per megawatt-hour.

Since January, its value has risen by more than 250%.

The British October gas price was trading lower on Tuesday at around £1.88 per therm, but it continued to hover around recent record highs.

Kwarteng said Tuesday that the U.K. would need to ensure its “Supplier of Last Resort” mechanism — which helps customers transition to a new energy supplier if their current supplier collapses — was made more robust ahead of the winter to ensure a continuous supply of energy.

“It costs a company to absorb up to hundreds of thousands of customers from a company that’s failed, and that may well be a provision for some sort of loan — that’s been discussed,” he told Sky News.

“When I became energy minister more than two years ago, there were 65 suppliers. Today the figure is around 55. Am I going to bailout all 55 of those companies? No, I don’t think we can do that because a handful of them would have exited [the market] anyway.”

Companies’ financial positions may be considered to evaluate whether they should be granted any potential financial assistance from the government, Kwarteng, who is meeting with some of the U.K.’s smaller energy firms on Tuesday, said.

Start-up Bulb, the U.K.’s sixth-largest energy supplier, is seeking a bailout, while four smaller competitors recently ceased trading, the BBC has reported.

Meanwhile, the chief executive of challenger supplier Green told BBC Radio 4 on Monday that the outlook for the company was “looking bleak.”

“We are currently in discussions with the Government and Ofgem on what measures can be taken to manage the situation and these continuing talks will include domestic suppliers of all sizes,” trade body Energy UK said in a statement on Monday.

“There are no easy solutions, but the priority of all involved is to protect customers as much as possible, and whether there needs to be additional support provided to them on top of existing mechanisms, while also trying to minimize further disruption to the retail market.”

A spokesperson for Energy UK told CNBC via email on Tuesday that it was “clearly a very difficult market for suppliers” but that the focus of discussions with the government so far had been on protecting customers rather than direct financial assistance for companies.

Why has the U.K. been hit so hard?

Gas is crucial to the U.K.’s energy supply, playing a significant role in heating, industry and power generation. More than 22 million households are connected to the country’s gas grid.

The largest single source of gas in the country is the U.K. Continental Shelf, which made up around 48% of total supply last year. However, the UCS is a mature source, meaning it has to be supplemented with gas imported from international markets.

The U.K. has limits on how much suppliers are able to charge consumers for energy, with price caps reviewed by the government every six months. Some companies are reportedly pressing the government to lift those caps, but Kwarteng stressed on Tuesday that he would not be rescinding the regulation.

Global problem

As the U.K. scrambles to mitigate the impact of the crisis, its impacts are also being felt across Europe, and industry sources have warned that the issue is a global problem.

Soaring wholesale prices have partially been caused by a surge in demand, particularly from Asia, as economies emerge from Covid-19 induced lockdowns. A cold European winter and spring also meant supplies had already been heavily depleted by the summer.

Meanwhile, falling domestic production, adverse U.S. weather conditions and essential maintenance works have created a tight gas market and made restocking gas supplies ahead of the coming winter difficult across the region.

In a note on Tuesday, analysts at Barclays warned that another harsh winter could keep prices elevated well into 2022 and push core price inflation sharply higher.

We see the gas price surge so far adding 1 percentage point year-on-year to U.K. CPI this winter, lasting for most of 2022,” they said, referring to inflation. “In the EA [euro area], we see a 0.5 percentage point contribution to HICP inflation in late 2021 and early 2022. We estimate every sustained 10% increase in consumer gas prices to generate 0.1 percentage of headline inflation in the U.K. and 0.2 percentage point in the EA.”

Limited pipeline imports, caused by a tighter Russian market, have also contributed to the crisis.

“Without additional Russian supply, European buyers will have to compete fiercely with their Asian counterparts to attract the needed LNG cargoes,” analysts at research firm Engie EnergyScan said in an update on their website on Tuesday.

Spain’s government released a decree this week to cap retail energy prices amid the crisis. Some experts have speculated that the gas crisis could damage the EU’s green ambitions, as governments could prioritize keeping energy cheap over transitioning to greener alternatives.

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Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/21/uk-considers-government-intervention-as-gas-crisis-hits-energy-firms.html

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