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Global Trends in Renewable Energy Development in 2015

April 9, 2015 Comments off

Global Trends in Renewable Energy Development in 2015 (PDF)
Source: Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

Global investment in renewable power and fuels (excluding large hydro-electric projects) was $270.2 billion in 2014, nearly 17% higher than the previous year. This was the first increase for three years, and reflected several influences, including a boom in solar installations in China and Japan, totalling $74.9 billion between those two countries, and a record $18.6 billion of final investment decisions on offshore wind projects in Europe.

The trend last year was, arguably, even more impressive than it would seem from the investment numbers, because a record number capacity of wind and solar photovoltaic power was installed, at about 95GW. This compared to 74GW in 2013, 79GW in 2012 and 70GW in 2011, the only year in which dollar investment was higher than 2014, at $278.8 billion. The main reason why investment last year was below that three years earlier was that technology costs, particularly in solar, have fallen sharply during the intervening period.

A key feature of 2014 was the continuing spread of renewable energy to new markets. Investment in developing countries, at $131.3 billion, was up 36% on the previous year and came the closest ever to overhauling the total for developed economies, at $138.9 billion, up just 3% on the year. Indonesia, Chile, Mexico, Kenya, South Africa and Turkey were all in the billion-dollar-plus club in 2014 in terms of investment in renewables, and others such as Jordan, Uruguay, Panama, the Philippines and Myanmar were in the $500 million to $1 billion range.

What Courses Should Law Students Take? Harvard’s Largest Employers Weigh In

April 8, 2015 Comments off

What Courses Should Law Students Take? Harvard’s Largest Employers Weigh In
Source: Harvard Business School Working Knowledge

We report the results of an online survey, conducted on behalf of Harvard Law School, of 124 practicing attorneys at major law firms. The survey had two main objectives: (1) to assist students in selecting courses by providing them with data about the relative importance of courses and (2) to provide faculty with information about how to improve the curriculum and best advise students. The most salient result is that students were strongly advised to study accounting and financial statement analysis, as well as corporate finance. These subject areas were viewed as particularly valuable, not only for corporate/transactional lawyers, but also for litigators. Intriguingly, non-traditional courses and skills, such as business strategy and teamwork, are seen as more important than many traditional courses and skills.

After Great Recession, More Married Fathers Providing Child Care

April 6, 2015 Comments off

After Great Recession, More Married Fathers Providing Child Care
Source: University of New Hampshire, Carsey School of Public Policy

The U.S. economy lost 8.7 million jobs between December 2007 and January 2010. Sixty-nine percent of the jobs lost during the recession were held by men, 2 and the employment rate of married fathers (whether working full or part time) with employed wives decreased from 92 percent in 2005 to 88 percent in 2011.3 The large job losses and persistently high unemployment from the Great Recession and its aftermath prompted families to adapt to financial hardship and reallocate fathers’ and mothers’ time spent in the labor force and in the home.
Scholar File Link

CREDO Study Finds Urban Charter Schools Outperform Traditional School Peers

April 1, 2015 Comments off

CREDO Study Finds Urban Charter Schools Outperform Traditional School Peers
Source: Center for Research on Education Outcomes, Stanford University

Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), the nation’s foremost independent analyst of charter school effectiveness, released today a comprehensive Urban Charter Schools Report and 22 state-specific reports that combine to offer policymakers unprecedented insight into the effectiveness of charter schools.

Across 41 regions, urban charter schools on average achieve significantly greater student success in both math and reading, which amounts to 40 additional days of learning growth in math and 28 days of additional growth in reading. Compared to the national profile of charter school performance, urban charters produce more positive results. CREDO’s National Charter School Study results in 2013 found that charter schools provided seven additional days of learning per year in reading and no significant difference in math.

CA — Are Female Baby Boomers Ready for Retirement?

March 27, 2015 Comments off

Are Female Baby Boomers Ready for Retirement?
Source: University of Waterloo

Due to their life-course socio-economic conditions, many female boomers may suffer large decreases in well-being as they head into retirement. Pension reforms which increase retirement age will disproportionately disadvantage those already in low income. While changes to the CPP will reduce losses from poor or sporadic labour force participation, these changes are too late to help the early boomer women. Likewise, while research suggests that improving retirement outcomes must begin with improved labour market conditions, inequitable conditions persist. Therefore, any current policy change will miss helping the early boomers. Finally, with increasing rates of chronic disease and longer lifespans, policy must aim toward health and wellness promotion, providing a wider range of integrated care options, and clear estimates of added costs so that Canadians can adequately prepare for retirement.

UK — National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness

March 27, 2015 Comments off

National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness
Source: University of Manchester

We found 18 deaths by suicide per year in in-patients under observation across the UK during 2006-12. We found that half of deaths examined occurred when checks were carried out by less experienced staff or agency staff who were unfamiliar with the patient. A common feature was that staff did not follow the observation plan because the ward was busy or poorly designed. We found that the current observation approach is not working safely enough. New models need to be developed and evaluated.

Play The News: Fun and Games in Digital Journalism

March 26, 2015 Comments off

Play The News: Fun and Games in Digital Journalism
Source: Columbia Journalism School (Tow Center for Digital Journalism)

More than ever before we’re consuming news in strange contexts; mixed into a stream of holiday photos on Facebook, alongside comedians’ quips on twitter; between Candy Crush and transit directions on our smartphones.

In this environment designers can take liberties with the form of the news package and the ways that audiences can interact. But it’s not just users who are invited to experiment with their news: in newsrooms and product development departments, developers and journalists are adopting play as design and authoring process.

Maxwell Foxman‘s new Tow Center report, Play The News: Fun and Games in Digital Journalism is a comprehensive documentation of this world.

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