When Stina Nilsson, the Olympic champion and two-time world champion in classic skiing, announced her transition to biathlon this winter, it caused quite a stir in the world of winter sports. The 27-year-old Swede is looking forward to the first season in the new industry, but her summer training has become significantly more complicated.
- Japan set to accelerate PV expansion
Japan set to accelerate PV expansionA new energy plan approved by the Japanese cabinet last month makes the case for the accelerated rollout of photovoltaic power generation in communities and municipalities throughout the nation. May 15, 2014 Edgar Meza Manufacturing Markets Markets & Policy Share Japan’s cabinet approved the country’s New Basic Energy Plan last month. According to a new report by Tokyo-based research and consulting firm RTS Corporation, the government plan takes into account Japan’s mid to long-term energy supply and demand structure for the next two decades. The plan is designed as a guideline for Japan’s energy policy, including political issues to be addressed in the future. The RTS report, PV Activities in Japan and Global PV Highlights, underscores the fact that one of the plan’s significant features is the establishment of a “ministerial council on renewable energy” in order to introduce renewable energy to a maximum extent. Anticipating structural changes in energy supply around the world, the plan recommends that Japan concentrate on reforms in the 2018 to 2020 period in order to establish a stable energy supply and demand structure. With regard to renewable energy, the plan calls for a “maximum acceleration” for three years beginning in 2013 followed by a continued acceleration thereafter. In addition, grids are to be strengthened, regulations rationalized and research and development on cost reductionwill be steadily promoted, according to the RTS report. Furthermore, the government is expected to establish a ministerial council on renewable energy while also reinforcing its own function in leading the introduction of renewable energy. Other key points in the plan include facilitated collaboration among concerned ministries and agencies and an overall greater push of renewable energy than earlier energy plans. In order to achieve greater solar power generation, the Japanese plan calls for support for community-level efforts to increase PV power generation as part of promoting utilization of renewable energy in distributed energy systems. The RTS report points out that support for community-level PV projects will be readily available due to the ease of installing PV systems on a medium scale as a distributed power source without much burden on the grid. In addition, PV systems can be used as emergency power sources. The plan recognizes PV systems as suitable for distributed power sources supporting self-consumption, local production and energy consumption. The report adds that distributed energy systems are energy sources that take root in communities and it is therefore important to promote the introduction of PV systems in communities and municipalities. “Distributed energy systems offer different levels of people in the nation opportunities to recognize energy issues as their own issues,” the report notes. “They also create new industries in communities, leading to revitalization of communities. In case supply from large-scale power sources becomes difficult in an emergency, renewable energy will contribute to securing a certain supply of energy in communities.”Popular content The Hydrogen Stream: 20 MW green hydrogen plant in Finland, two Australian projects move forward Sergio Matalucci 20 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Storegga, Shell and Harbour Energy want to set up a 20 MW blue hydrogen production facility in the U.K. Australia’s Origin Energy wants to build a hy… Enabling aluminum in batteries Mark Hutchins 27 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Scientists in South Korea and the UK demonstrated a new cathode material for an aluminum-ion battery, which achieved impressive results in both speci… ITRPV: Large formats are here to stay Mark Hutchins 29 April 2021 pv-magazine.com The 2021 edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics (ITRPV) was published today by German engineering association VDMA. 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The re… Solar park built on rough wooden structures comes online in France Gwénaëlle Deboutte 26 April 2021 pv-magazine.com French company Céléwatt energized its 250 kW ground-mounted array, built with mounting structures made of raw oak wood.April 26, 2021 Gwénaëlle Debo… Spanish developer plans 1 GW solar plant coupled to 80 MW of storage, 100 MW electrolyzer Pilar Sánchez Molina 22 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Soto Solar has submitted the project proposal to the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (Miteco). The solar plant could start produc… We all trust the PV performance ratio test Dario Brivio, Partner 20 April 2021 pv-magazine.com The performance ratio test is at the core of the handover from EPC to owner. 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- CounterPoint 2012 Headliner Spotlight (Looking Back)
By Seth MillerThursday NightThursday’s headliners were Big Gigantic and Beats Antique. We got in late but seamlessly, all told, from the perimeter highway in Southwest Atlanta, through the festival gates was one of the quickest entries ever. We were running late, dome light on, changing shoes in the car, a traffic cop directs us to the credentials area with a smile.After checking in and being dropped off by two staffers on a golf cart, there was that feeling of anticipation that we all know and love. Which way do you go? That way- the direction of the music. You could hear the tribal, experimental and edgy sound of Beats Antique. Forget about setting up camp, we were ready to go- this was not to miss. After walking a quick pace, some could even consider it a light jog, we made it to the crest of the hill overlooking the main stage for Thursday, the Beat Tent.Beats AntiqueBeats Antique has a sound that is kind of hard to describe because there just aren’t a lot of bands out there like them. If you were to be teleported into uncharted territory, a tribal region in the middle of Africa, into sacred ritual where everyone had some type of synth machine hooked up to their instrument. An electronic drum circle keeps the beat, occasional deep bass hits, and a witchdoctor plays the flute accompanying a small string section, you may be imaging what Beats Antique sounds like. Of course, nothing like that exists, and that’s what makes the band so fun to see live.L4LM Stock PhotoThe three piece is known to put on quite a show and has a stage presence that often pushes the boundaries of out-of-control. Frontlady Zoe Jakes enjoys crowd pleasing, and leads the audience down a strange road of mischief and mystery. At any point in time, the mood and direction of the set can completely change. The trio is able to key off of each other, creating a musical circus with Jakes starring as the main attraction and ringleader.Zoe is mesmerizing as a belly dancer, and a talented performance artist- the likes of who may actually be too interesting to book the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for a show. Not that they wouldn’t have her. She is synchronized with with the rest of the group, and her antics are both shocking and intriguing. Eyes open and jaws drop as she entrances the audience with her Siren’s Call.L4LM Stock PhotoBig GiganticAs the name implies, Big Gigantic brings a full bodied sound, escalating melodies until just the right time and then exploding the rhythm into a dubstep and jazz influenced snapshot of music. Playing familiar tunes such as their popular “I Need a Dolla” remix and a jazzed-out version of “I Can’t Stop” by Flux Pavilion, they have the ability to slow things down, mix it up, and even throw in hip-hop to keep the party fresh. Bring earplugs if you are coming to see Big G because part of what they do is play at a very high volume. Big G is the kind of set where you may feel like you need to sit down and take a break (always drink lots of water, for sure) – but your body just won’t let you.The duo drew the biggest crowd on the first night, fully packing out the Beat Tent to capacity. Here’s a video that we took from the crowd as the Rowdy Train heads into the Station: Recap Video: Pretty Lights X Fireworks SkrillexGrammy Award Winning Sonny Moore, AKA Skrillex, came in to town to throw down his signature, grungy and grimey style of dubstep on Saturday night. A lot of people at CounterPoint had not seen Skrillex live before, but for certain there were a lot there that had come to see the dubstep artist.Sonny catches flack for being trendy, because he has nice hair, makes wompy dub step music and all of the posers like him. Or whatever, that’s all nonsense and pretentious. I’m here to tell you that the Skrillmaster turned heads as he took the stage, changing a few minds in Georgia on Saturday. Seasoned EDM fans flocked to his set at the main stage, and the crowd went nuts when he dropped hits like “Make it Bun Dem” and his remix of Benny Benassi’s “Cinema.”He did joke to the crowd “Pretend like you’ve never heard this before.” – whenever he brought in his version of AVICII’s “Levels.” To my great pleasure, Skrillex played “Summit” – probably not one of his most popular songs live as it is a little slower, but it showed a true emotional side of his set that was candid and warming. If we were giving out awards for success at CounterPoint, Skrillex probably would have won the Breakout Artist award, changing minds and showcasing good energy through music.Also, Sonny was mixing live throughout his set, using improvisation and most importantly, having a good time.We stumbled into a feat of bravery during Bass Cannon – a company had come in and blew up a gigantic airbag that you could jump on to from several stories up. AVICIIAVICII’s set was a dance party the entire time. There was a nice hard-house drop that he came back into, time and time again during his set that I hadn’t heard before. There was a lot going on during AVICII’s set, which was really unfortunate as he is personally one of my favorite artists. As we were walking around we caught some artwork from graffiti artists, which would change by the day. Have a look below as we look at the art, and take you into the into the crowd to get a feel for what it was like to walk into AVICII’s set. Saturday NightEveryone is recovering from night one and ready to do it againPretty LightsSeeing Pretty Lights is believing, we’ve included some photos and a short recap video below so that you can relive the experience with us. Pretty Lights headlined night three, and was one of the most anticipated artists at the show. With an elaborate stage that almost mimic’d a cityscape, Pretty Lights filled the air with luscious tunes and a light show that is bar none.Derek Vincent Smith (aka Pretty Lights) brought a very impressive stage setup, that included 3d projection mapping, LED lights, high output stage lights and lasers. His DJ booth appears to be wrapped by millions of watts of electricity, and with each note the stage interacts with Derek. Also at Pretty Lights, the lighting technicians do a phenonomal job of projecting the stage presence out into the crowd, by layering smoke and fog and then overlaying lasers and lights to create a blanket of rainbow visuals. The crowd at Pretty Lights was as energetic as any of the entire weekend, and the venue was again filled to capacity as the much anticipated artist entertained with not only an impressive light show, but also beats that incorporated elements of electro, funk, dubstep and soul. In ConclusionWe will be back next yearCounterPoint 2012 went off without a hitch. There was a nice selection of festival wares, from special glasses to light sticks and apparel. The crowd was great, staff worked their asses off, and there was a nice range of amenities available. CounterPoint welcomed some of the largest names in electronic music with open arms, and a sense of pride and accomplishment.Hats off to everyone who made CounterPoint possible including production, artists and management, vendors and festival staff, volunteers, the patrons, and everyone else who supported the event and brought their best. Look forward to seeing you all next year!!!Photos, HD Bassnectar & Pretty Lights video by Winston Murray Friday Night HighlightsFriday and Saturday nights, the main festival stages were open, the Point and CounterPoint stages.Bassnectar30,000 Bass Heads Represent the Bassnectar FamilyAlways a crowd favorite, Bassnectar brought a set that was precise and kept the crowd on their toes. A little dab’ll do ya, but in this case there were (we estimate) around 30,000 in attendance at the main stage, and so Bassnectar brought an extra special mix that transformed CounterPoint into a full on rage fest. The crowd stretched from the front rail of the stage to all the way back to the CounterPoint sign on the hill, and as the fog rolled in we were all dropped into a Magical Valley of Bass.Sexy mashups, remixes and new songs such as “The Bass Episode” were delivered during Bassnectar’s 90 minutes to peak the festival. As he criss-crossed tracks, new and old, experimental and improvisational, Lorin (Bassnectar) continuously kept the crowd in the action by having us sing along, and maybe even to a certain degree dictate the pace of his performance.Samples from Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode” were incorporated into a new mix, and he used some of his classics including “Here We Go” as segways and buildups into new song introductions. Just after CounterPoint, Bassnectar released his newest mixtape “Freestyle” – it turns out he featured a few of these new jams at the first annual festival.Basshead AliensLook closely at this video and you will see that even some martians flew over to get a glimpse of the scenery:All about the crowd participation, Bassnectar gave the crowd multiple opportunities to sing-along, fill in the gaps and dictate the pace of his juicy grooves.WATCH: Lorin “OMG I love you!!” as the crowd fills in for him on his Redman vs. “Wildstyle Method” mashupThe Magical ValleyThe highlight of possibly the entire festival came when Bassnectar dropped his massive hit with Nelly Furtado, “Magical World” – which although a little old – was a track that when released brought dubstep into listener’s living rooms and car stereos. Unlike other songs of the night, ‘nectar left Magical World relatively intact, and played the melodic track near the end of his set in beautiful fashion, searing life long memories into the hearts of his endearing fans. He also played his remix of “Lights”, a huge track that he remixed by Ellie Goulding which provided another slowed down – but heart warming moment in the evening. There were moments of the set that were more melodic and downtempo, which Pretty Lights used to please the audience. With a bit more of a mainstream appeal that some of the other artists at the festival, Derek made sure to play a nice selection of sub-genres during his headlining gig. During most of the weekend folks were coming and going throughout sets, but it seemed like there was no one leaving early for this one- and if anything the main stage area was more full at the end of his set than the beginning. Looking back at the stage setup for Pretty Lights at CounterPoint, it was one of the best I’ve ever seen. As the photo below demonstrates, some of the best in the business have spent numerous hours in staging and production areas, behind the scenes to make a display like this work. If you have an opportunity to see to see Pretty Lights I would highly recommend it, it may just be one of the most amazing experiences of your lifetime.