Archive for the ‘resources’ Category

100% clean and renewable wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) all-sector energy roadmaps for the 50 United States

July 17, 2015 Comments off

100% clean and renewable wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) all-sector energy roadmaps for the 50 United States (PDF)
Source: Energy & Environmental Science

This study presents roadmaps for each of the 50 United States to convert their all-purpose energy systems (for electricity, transportation, heating/cooling, and industry) to ones powered entirely by wind, water, and sunlight (WWS). The plans contemplate 80–85% of existing energy replaced by 2030 and 100% replaced by 2050. Conversion would reduce each state’s end-use power demand by a mean of B39.3% with B82.4% of this due to the efficiency of electrification and the rest due to end-use energy efficiency improvements. Year 2050 end-use U.S. all-purpose load would be met with B30.9% onshore wind, B19.1% offshore wind, B30.7% utility-scale photovoltaics (PV), B7.2% rooftop PV, B7.3% concentrated solar power (CSP) with storage, B1.25% geothermal power, B0.37% wave power, B0.14% tidal power, and B3.01% hydroelectric power. Based on a parallel grid integration study, an additional 4.4% and 7.2% of power beyond that needed for annual loads would be supplied by CSP with storage and solar thermal for heat, respectively, for peaking and grid stability. Over all 50 states, converting would provide B3.9 million 40-year construction jobs and B2.0 million 40-year operation jobs for the energy facilities alone, the sum of which would outweigh the B3.9 million jobs lost in the conventional energy sector. Converting would also eliminate B62 000 (19 000–115000) U.S. air pollution premature mortalities per year today and B46 000 (12000–104 000) in 2050, avoiding B$600 ($85–$2400) bil. per year (2013 dollars) in 2050, equivalent to B3.6 (0.5–14.3) percent of the 2014 U.S. gross domestic product. Converting would further eliminate B$3.3 (1.9–7.1) tril. per year in 2050 global warming costs to the world due to U.S. emissions. These plans will result in each person in the U.S. in 2050 saving B$260 (190–320) per year in energy costs ($2013 dollars) and U.S. health and global climate costs per person decreasing by B$1500 (210–6000) per year and B$8300 (4700–17 600) per year, respectively. The new footprint over land required will be B0.42% of U.S. land. The spacing area between wind turbines, which can be used for multiple purposes, will be B1.6% of U.S. land. Thus, 100% conversions are technically and economically feasible with little downside. These roadmaps may therefore reduce social and political barriers to implementing clean-energy policies.

Improved Interactions Drive Gen Y Increase in Auto Insurance Satisfaction

July 17, 2015 Comments off

Improved Interactions Drive Gen Y Increase in Auto Insurance Satisfaction
Source: J.D. Power

Gen Y[1] customers are the driving force behind an increase in overall auto insurance satisfaction due to improvement across all customer service interaction channels, the largest contributor to the customer experience, according to the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Auto Insurance StudySM released today.

The study examines customer satisfaction in five factors: interaction; price; policy offerings; billing and payment; and claims. Satisfaction is measured on a 1,000-point scale.

Customer interaction preferences are changing. Gen Y’s preference to interact exclusively through digital self-service (Web or mobile) has increased to 27 percent in 2015 from 21 percent in 2011. A similar pattern of preference is found in other generational groups (Gen X: 23% vs. 19% in 2011; Boomers: 12% vs. 10%; and Pre-Boomers: 6% vs. 4%). Among the interaction channels, satisfaction with the website experience receives the lowest average score, most notably among Gen Y customers (816, compared with 826 for Gen X, 841 for Boomers and 861 for Pre-Boomers).

Building Millennials’ Financial Health Via Financial Capability

July 17, 2015 Comments off

Building Millennials’ Financial Health Via Financial Capability (PDF)
Source: University of Kansas School of Social Welfare

Today’s young adults, referred to as Millennials born between the early 1980’s and 2000’s, are coming of age in an economy unlike any other. 1 The macroeconomic conditions of the Great Recession from approximately 2007 to 2011 systematically undermined Millennials’ financial health by limiting employment opportunities, stagnating income growth, reducing net worth, and increasing reliance on debt. Millennials entered a labor market with limited opportunities and saw higher unemployment rates than the rest of the population.2 Fewer Millennials entered the labor market than young adults from any preceding generation and their unemployment rate was roughly 15 to 17 percent at the height of the recession—5 to 7 percentage points higher than the average unemployment rate for the rest of the population. They also experienced diminishing returns for participating in the labor market, earning 6 percent less per paycheck than in previous years.

Fewer employment opportunities and reduced paychecks translated into less money to save and invest. The average Millennial has about $1,000 in savings,4 suggesting that many may struggle to afford necessary expenses in the face of unemployment and to become financially independent.5 Millennials also delayed investing in homes and those who did invest experienced substantial wealth losses that were driven by declining home equity. 6 These losses are reflected in the value of Millennials’ accumulated net worth compared to that of previous generations.7 Millennials’ net worth is valued at $10,000, which is 41 percent less than the values of net worth held by Baby Boomers and Generation X’ers two decades ago.8

Health care fraud and abuse enforcement: Relationship scrutiny

July 17, 2015 Comments off

Health care fraud and abuse enforcement: Relationship scrutiny
Source: Deloitte

Where is fraud and abuse enforcement headed in health care? One emerging area of interest is relationship scrutiny. Relationships can be complex in the business of health care: tracking and analyzing them is an important part of minimizing the fraud and abuse that may result from questionable relationships and improper influence.

Many organizations depend on analytics to understand their own performance. Insights and patterns within the data are often used to inform strategy and decision making. Researchers can apply analytics to identify external trends and factors that may impact businesses. To that end, Deloitte researchers used analytics techniques to examine the text of tens of thousands of federal regulations and identify emerging trends in health care fraud and abuse enforcement. The results are telling: Federal health care regulators are emphasizing relationship scrutiny in their fraud and abuse enforcement efforts. Also, discussion of health care fraud and abuse topics – including relationship scrutiny – is recurring, as evidenced by the cyclical rise and fall in frequency and relevance of keyword groups related to “enforcement,” “value-based care,” and “fraud and abuse.” The bottom line: discussion of these topics is present; relationship scrutiny is likely here to stay.

2014 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report — Chartbook on Care Coordination

July 17, 2015 Comments off

2014 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report — Chartbook on Care Coordination (PDF)
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

This Care Coordination Chartbook is part of a family of documents and tools that support the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports (QDR). The QDR includes annual reports to Congress mandated in the Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999 (P.L. 106-129). These reports provide a comprehensive overview of the quality of health care received by the general U.S. population and disparities in care experienced by different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. The purpose of the reports is to assess the performance of our health system and to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses in the health care system along three main axes: access to health care, quality of health care, and priorities of the National Quality Strategy.

The reports are based on more than 250 measures of quality and disparities covering a broad array of health care services and settings. Data are generally available through 2012, although rates of uninsurance have been tracked through the first half of 2014. The reports are produced with the help of an Interagency Work Group led by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and submitted on behalf of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Improving Emergency Response at Airports

July 17, 2015 Comments off

Improving Emergency Response at Airports
Source: Transportation Research Board

The April 2015 issue of TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Impacts on Practice highlights how airports like Grand Forks International Airport (GFK) in North Dakota have applied the findings from ACRP Report 95: Integrating Community Emergency Response Teams (A-CERTs) at Airports. Officials at GFK credit the direction provided in ACRP Report 95 with enabling the airport to build, implement, and maintain a successful response team.

Using Your House for Income in Retirement

July 17, 2015 Comments off

Using Your House for Income in Retirement
Source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Using Your House reviews the two most common ways to use your house to boost your income in retirement – downsizing and a reverse mortgage – with clear examples, a discussion of the pros and cons of each approach, and links to tools on the web where you can get estimates of what downsizing or a reverse mortgage can do for you.


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