The scars and pockmarks of the aging apartments and housing units under the purview of the New York City Housing Authority don’t immediately communicate the idea of innovation. The largest landlord in the city, housing nearly 1 in 16 New Yorkers, NYCHA has seen its buildings literally crumble after decades of deferred maintenance and poor stewardship.
Just as the physical infrastructure has broken down, leading to busted elevators, picked-apart playgrounds, and crumbling façades, the agency has weathered a series of scandals in recent years over mold infestations and faked lead inspections. Hurricane Sandy in 2012 just added to the toll, flooding electrical and heating systems located in building basements. All told, this forsaken subsidized housing is in the midst of what local planners have called “demolition by neglect.” It would require an estimated $40 billion or more, at least $180,000 per unit, to return the buildings to a state of good repair.
Years ago, there was evidence of innovation hidden inside these units—in the kitchens. By the late ’90s, NYCHA realized that the existing fridges in many units were basically “gas guzzlers”—hugely inefficient, aging, and costly to the agency, which pays tenants’ electricity bills. In a collaboration with the local utility, NYCHA held a contest for appliance manufacturers, asking them to create smaller, apartment-size units with superior efficiency; the winner would gain access to NYCHA and a cadre of other housing authorities interested in a purchase plan of at least 20,000 annually. Maytag won, with its then-novel Magic Chef model, which helped NYCHA cut costs by increasing energy efficiency—and also slashed emissions. Ultimately, 150,000 of the fridges were purchased between 1995 and 2003. It was a model of using the agency’s heft and market power to drive innovation.
Now NYCHA wants to do the same with heating and cooling. The Clean Heat for All Challenge is asking manufacturers to develop low-cost, easy-to-install heat-pump technologies for building retrofits. The proposed devices, which would need to fit within a standard window frame, would replace the ubiquitous window AC unit and efficiently heat and cool an apartment without using refrigerants or directly burning fossil fuels.
The agency is backing up the contest with a commitment to purchase and install at least 24,000 units of whatever model wins, part of a $250 million capital plan; meanwhile the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, or NYSERDA, is helping recruit other housing agencies across the state and nation to sign on and promise to buy new units. “We expect to utilize this mechanism again and again next time we have to meet a massive market demand,” says Emily Dean, NYSERDA’s director of housing decarbonization.
The stakes for the agency, for the winning company, and for society itself could be huge. Investing in more-efficient heating and cooling in buildings is good for people and the planet; finding an equitable way to do so at the scales and speed needed to meet the climate challenge would be transformative.
“Eight million people a year buy window AC in the US, the HVAC industry is $100 billion a year globally, and the number of AC units on the planet will triple by 2050—mostly small, room-sized units like what we’re trying to push forward,” explains Vincent Romanin, an engineer and the CEO of Gradient, one of the startups that submitted a design for the NYCHA challenge. “This is a huge market signal that can speed up the approach of these technologies.”
That’s not the only technological leap NYCHA and NYSERDA hope to make in coming years. RetrofitNY, a $30 million pilot program, seeks to support a new kind of whole-building energy retrofit that would basically attach airtight, weatherproof panels to the exteriors of older buildings—a technique invented and implemented in the Netherlands by a nonprofit called Energiesprong, which means “energy leap.” Not only would this high-tech cocoon dramatically slash energy usage, but it could be put in place without asking residents to leave. The first test project set to be completed, Casa Pasiva in Brooklyn, should fully open in October, after a pandemic-era delay.
“Doing these kinds of retrofits across our portfolio seemed infeasible a few years ago,” says Ryan Cassidy, director of sustainability and construction at RiseBoro Community Partnership, the nonprofit developer backing the Casa Pasiva project. “It may cost a little extra, but we have the means and methods right now.”
Historically, the only innovation many felt was needed for aging housing stock was demolition and new “green” construction. But it’s far more sustainable to retrofit existing buildings than to tear them down and build new ones. The climate crisis has created a fierce urgency around cutting carbon emissions, and any serious plan to do so needs to sink
By: Patrick Sisson
Title: The future of urban housing is energy-efficient refrigerators
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/06/23/1053662/energy-efficient-refrigerators-urban-housing/
Published Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2022 08:00:00 +0000
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LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Bitso, a leading cryptocurrency platform operating in Latin America, and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), today announced the joint launch of the first collectible NFT of the Mexico National Team’s jerseys that was acquired in cryptocurrencies.
This morning through their social media platforms, the FMF and Bitso announced the opportunity to acquire the new official National Team fan jerseys ahead of the team’s participation in the 2022 World Cup. In just 20 minutes, the entire collection sold out.
The NFTs of the jerseys have an exclusive design for the metaverse – each is unique on the blockchain and can be resold by its owner in subsequent transactions.
The collection consisted of 100 official physical jerseys, each with a corresponding NFT version of the jersey that fans’ avatars can wear within the Decentraland metaverse. Each physical and NFT jersey set sold for the equivalent of $1,800 MXN in ethers.
“Our mission is to make cryptocurrency useful in the everyday life of Mexicans; we are committed to spreading the technology through innovative opportunities that help people throughout the country familiarize themselves with this new world. We are very excited to offer the incredible, historic opportunity for the fans of our National Team so that through their Bitso account, they can wear the colors of the National Team on and ‘off’ the field in the metaverse.”
– Bárbara González Briseño, General Director of Bitso México
Created by Bitso, the virtual jersey sports the official colors of Mexico and the new National Team shield, characteristics that will make it stand out when users wear it in the virtual world of Decentraland.
The post LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys appeared first on CryptoNinjas.
Title: LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/29/latam-crypto-exchange-bitso-and-fmf-launch-nft-of-mexicos-national-team-jerseys/
Published Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 15:19:02 +0000
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Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
EXMO, a crypto exchange platform operating since 2014, announced this week a rebranded visual identity with includes a new logo, brand colors, and design features. This new branding comes as EXMO continues to grow its crypto platform while also seeking to expand its presence in other jurisdictions.
Some new developments underway at EXMO:
Soon, users will be able to earn passive income from EXMO’s new staking platform.Plans to launch an EXMO crypto debit card.Expansion of its services in international markets with the opening of offices in Poland and Lithuania.
EXMO’s new logo
The rationale for the re-brand:
“At EXMO, we have a vision of a world where crypto is in every wallet. Hassle-free. We want to achieve this by making crypto as simple and accessible to everyone as possible. And we know that you already appreciate EXMO for offering user-friendly services and helpful support. Also for the opportunity to trade anywhere and anytime, closing deals in just a few taps. Such important changes required a rethinking of our corporate style, which has long needed a massive upgrade. So today we are introducing a new brand identity for EXMO with a completely new visual concept. We are launching a new logo, brand colors, and design elements. Our key design principles are simplicity, boldness, and a pinch of fun. But most importantly, we have changed our logo. Simple and easily recognizable, it represents the humanity of our brand. The logo stands out due to the wavy letter ‘m’ which symbolizes exchange rate charts and also resembles a spring that will launch you into the crypto world.”
– The EXMO Team regarding the re-branding
The post Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth appeared first on CryptoNinjas.
Title: Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/26/long-running-crypto-exchange-exmo-unveils-lively-rebrand-amidst-growth/
Published Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 08:10:38 +0000
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Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
The blistering heat waves that set temperature records across much of the US in recent days have strained electricity systems, threatening to knock out power in vulnerable regions of the country.
The electricity has largely stayed online so far this summer, but there have been scattered problems and close calls already.
Heavy use of energy-sucking air-conditioners is the biggest problem. But intense heat can also reduce the output of power plants, blow transformers, and force power lines to sag. Severe droughts across large parts of the country have also significantly reduced the availability of hydroelectric power, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).
It’s unlikely to get better soon. A number of grid operators may struggle to meet peak summer demand, creating the risk of rolling blackouts, the NERC report notes.
The nation’s isolated and antiquated grids are in desperate need of upgrades to keep the lights, heat, and air-conditioning on in the midst of extreme weather events that climate change is making more common, severe, and dangerous. One clear way to ease many of these issues is to more tightly integrate the country’s regional grids, stitching them together with more long-range transmission lines.
If electricity generated in one area can be more easily shared across much wider regions, power can simply flow to where it’s needed at those moments when customers crank up air-conditioners en masse, or when power plants or fuel supply lines fail amid soaring temperatures, wildfires, hurricanes, or other events, says Liza Reed, a research manager focused on transmission at the Niskanen Center, a Washington, DC, think tank.
The problem is it’s proved difficult to build more long-range transmission and grid interconnections for a variety of reasons, including the permitting challenges of erecting wires through private and public lands across cities, counties, and states and the reluctance of local authorities to forfeit control or submit to greater federal oversight.
The case of Texas
The unreliability of the US grid is not a new problem. Severe heat and winter storms have repeatedly exposed the frailty of electricity systems in recent years, leaving thousands to millions of people without power as temperatures spiked or plunged.
One of the fundamental challenges is that the grids today are highly fragmented. There are three main electricity networks within the US: the Eastern Grid, the Western Grid, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). But there are numerous regional transmission organizations within those first two systems, including the California Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool, PJM Interconnection, New York ISO, and more.
These grids form a complex web of networks operating under different regulators, rules and market structures, and often with limited connections between them.
A variety of regional transmission organizations oversee different parts of the nation’s aging and fragmented grids, which operate under different rules and with often limited connections between them.
ERCOT is especially isolated, in part because of the desire among local politicians, citizens, and power companies to avoid added competition, the hassle of following other states’ rules, and oversight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But the state offers a case study in why that can be a serious problem amid increasingly harsh climate conditions, Reed says.
The Texas grid operator pleaded with customers several times earlier this month to cut electricity use as blistering summer temperatures created demand surges that threatened to outstrip supply and require rolling blackouts. Low wind conditions, cloud cover, and outages at fossil-fuel power plants added to the strains.
Shutting off the electricity needed to run air-conditioning in triple-digit temperatures
By: James Temple
Title: Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/28/1056483/stitching-together-the-grid-will-save-lives-as-extreme-weather-worsens/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000
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