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Russia monitors U.S. destroyer in Black Sea before NATO drills.

Adam Layaan Kurik Riza

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The Russian Defense Ministry said yesterday that its Black Sea Fleet was tracking the U.S. guided-missile destroyer Ross, which entered the Black Sea earlier in the day for a multinational exercise with Ukraine.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer will join 31 other ships to participate in the maritime portion of Exercise Sea Breeze 2021 starting next week, the U.S. Navy 6th Fleet said yesterday.

Ross’ participation in this year’s drills is “a tangible demonstration of U.S. support for Ukraine” and part of the enduring commitment made by the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to enhance maritime security in the Black Sea, said Charge d’Affaires Kristina Kvien, U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

However, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that the NATO-Ukraine drills are aimed at causing “endless” destabilization near the Russian borders and transferring weapons and equipment to Ukraine.

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China states that their goal is to install over 30 GW of new energy storage by 2025.

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China has an objective of installing more than 30 gigawatts (GW) of new energy storage capacity by 2025, its state planner said on Friday, as part of efforts to enhance renewable power consumption while guaranteeing stable operation of the electric grid system.

New energy storage meaning, electricity storage processes that use electrochemical, compressed air, flywheel and super capacitor systems but not pumped hydro, which uses water stored behind dams to generate electricity when needed.

According to the China Energy Storage Alliance, China has a total energy storage capacity of about 35 GW as of 2020, of which only 3.3 GW was new energy storage,

“Pumped hydro energy storage and new energy storage are significant technologies and basic equipment to support new power systems,” state economic planner the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement.

“They are vital for promoting green energy transition, responding to extreme situations and ensuring energy security.”

The world’s biggest electricity generator and carbon emitter is China and it has said that China is aiming for renewable power to account for more than 50% of its total electricity generation capacity by 2025, up from 42% now.

Sources say that at least 10 regions in China have ordered renewable power developers to install energy storage as supporting facilities of the solar and wind plants.

The NDRC said that it will study and put out a plan for new energy storage development for 2021-2025 and beyond, while advising the local energy authorities to make plans for the scale and project layout of new energy storage systems in their regions.

The Commission also said it will explore converting the existing sites of de-commissioned thermal power units to energy storage facilities.

 

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Agreement to explore hydrogen-powered flights have been signed by Icelandair.

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Icelandair has signed two Letters of Intent (LOI) on exploring the possibilities for decarbonizing the company’s domestic flights.

California-based Universal Hydrogen is the first to have signed the LOI with Icelandair, which has designed a hydrogen conversion kit for regional aircraft allowing for the conversion of Icelandair’s Dash-8s to hydrogen powered aircraft.

Icelandair Group also signed an LOI  with Heart Aerospace, a Swedish company which aims to electrify regional air travel.

Before, Icelandair has worked with Heart Aerospace for some time and will now start an in-depth analysis with Universal Hydrogen.

Jens Thordarson, Icelandair Chief Operating Officer, said: “We believe we are in a good position to become one of the world’s first airlines to fully decarbonize our domestic network. Heart Aerospace and Universal Hydrogen have introduced exciting solutions for regional aviation that are expected to be available in only a few years.”

“As technology advances, we hope to be able to use the experience of decarbonizing our domestic services to accelerate the implementation of carbon neutral energy to power our international flights.”

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The finalists for the Agent Achievements Awards have been unveiled.

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The final nominations for the 2021 Travel Weekly Agent Achievement Awards have been revealed.

The final qualifiers comprise of a variety of agencies across the UK and Ireland designated by almost 100 suppliers ranging from tour operators and airlines to cruise lines and tourist boards.

Four individual nominees also celebrate almost 30 travel agents, managers and support staff who were put forward by their colleagues for their outstanding efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Agent Achievement Awards will take place at London’s Park Plaza Westminster hotel on September 16, in association with headline sponsor Virgin Atlantic.

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