RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (KVEO) – Weather conditions and unprecedented blackouts have left most Texans wondering how they’re going to heat their next meal.
As many entered their second day without electricity, the cold they faced at home was not the only problem.
The food that people have in their homes spoils quickly if there is no electricity, and with few places that have electricity, getting food to go is also a challenge.
The life of food in a refrigerator without electricity is only four hours, if it is kept closed, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The freezer will maintain its temperature for 48 hours if it is kept closed.
With food expiring at home and long lines at some of the powerful fast food establishments, Texans are turning to whatever coping tactics they know of for hot food.
Ovens, electric stoves, toasters, microwaves and most kitchen appliances are useless when there is no electricity. Fire remains the most reliable source of energy for heating food.
Edinburg resident Stephanie Perez used a water bottle, stove top rack and a few candles to heat up the canned soup last night after a power failure for more than 24 hours.
“I don’t want to stand in line for an hour for food, and the food I eat is stale. To be honest, I don’t know how warm it is, but I wanted to try it, “explained Perez.
She said the food took an hour to heat up, but she could enjoy the hot soup that night and eggs the next morning.
When heating anything indoors, it is recommended that you always keep an eye on it.
Donna’s resident Stella Jean and her boyfriend made their meals outdoors after surviving nearly two days without electricity.
“The temperature in the house was around 42 degrees and even our oil lamps turned to ice,” he said.
Her boyfriend’s previous military experience helps them today when they try to make food for the family.
“He used a metal chair then put coal in a shallow stainless steel pan and used a corn can in the middle with paper. He put in the remaining matchstick we had and used a piece of cardboard to oxygenate the coal. Use the “grill” from our convection oven on the inside to place on the coals / skillet and take some of the pans outside. We used what was easiest to make like chorizo, eggs, tortillas and he even made carnitas, ”he explained.
During times like these, the gas stove is one of the most reliable appliances you can have in your kitchen.
Brownsville resident Celia Moreno has used her gas stove to cook her family’s meals during the storm’s blackout and now during this winter’s blackout. He and his family have been out of electricity since 10 pm Monday.
A lone fisherman braves the heat of Hawke’s Bay at Napier’s Perfume Point. Niwa predicts weather that looks more like summer – especially in the northern and eastern regions – through to autumn. Photo / Paul Taylor
Summer-like conditions are expected to persist well past the end of the season in already dry parts of New Zealand – with some bags now roasting in severe drought.
Niwa latest views over the next three months there is a longer, hotter dry season across the country – and the potential to reduce rainfall in places north and east that feel mostly hot.
That pattern is driven by the bizarre La Niña climate system, which traditionally brings many northeastern storms to normally dry areas.
Which is called “hot spot” – or places with very dry to very dry than usual soil conditions – have now developed over large parts of Northland, parts of Auckland, northern Waikato, and parts of the East Cape.
Meteorologists also keep an eye on the hotspots in eastern Wairarapa which are scattered in the eastern Tararua District and the Hawke’s Bay coast.
The worst conditions can be seen in the upper Far North, which has officially achieved meteorological drought status.
Although some rain is expected to fall later this week, it is likely that the hotspot – especially those in the east – will only continue to expand.
Fire hazard currently very high at the tip of the North Island, and around Dargaville, Whangarei and parts of Eastland, Porangahau, Tararua and Wairarapa.
On the South Island, there is also a high risk around McKenzie Village, and most of the coast of Marlborough and central and northern Otago.
Over the next three months, Niwa forecast above-average temperatures in the north – and close to above-average temperatures elsewhere.
“We’re going to have some warm conditions that will probably last until March – and maybe April too,” said forecaster Niwa Ben Noll.
“It won’t be summer without stopping during those months – but chances are we’ll have a spell that’s like summer, overall.
“What we can see are high pressure mountains, curving over New Zealand for maybe a week or so, before being disturbed by features like we expect from the Tasman Sea. [this week].
“But the northern and eastern parts of the North Island, which are currently the driest areas relatively normal, have the lowest chance of feeling the full effect of the feature.”
Noll noted that this dry weather followed an equally hot summer last year, resulting in Auckland’s worst drought in 25 years.
“Several locations in Auckland also have the record for driest years in 2020. Piling this on top is a tough combination.”
Auckland dam level is still recovering well, and as of the week, is running at 61 percent capacity – and more than 20 percent below the historical average for this time of year.
With Auckland needing to limit its water use to 511 million liters per day, restrictions installed throughout the city which prohibits the use of hoses not equipped with a trigger nozzle.
However, the regulation is not expected to be tightened.
“At this stage, we are confident that our new water source, coupled with Auckland’s excellent water savings, will help us get through the summer and fall without the need for more severe water restrictions,” said a Watercare spokesman.
Noll said La Nina influencing the behind-the-scenes image will likely prove to stand out in the record books, given its dramatic “non-traditional” behavior.
Most of the La Nina-flavored summers usually come with widespread warmth, but also storms from the northeast, rains in the north and east, drought in the south and southwest – far different from what New Zealand saw this summer.
That can largely be explained by two factors.
One of these is the fact that the coldest ocean temperatures in the Pacific below La Nina are found farther west than usual, meaning much of its traditional tropical activity is centered elsewhere.
The other is warmer than average temperatures in the Indian Ocean, which, combined with the unusual La Nina, result in a different climatic setting for New Zealand.
Current models suggest La Nina is likely to stick around for the next few months, before largely disappearing by winter.
Meanwhile, one of La Nina’s classic effects – warmer ocean temperatures – is at least in part, with pockets of sea around the north of the North Island reaching “ocean heat wave” conditions last month.
During January, coastal waters around New Zealand ranged from 0.3C to 0.7C above average – but it remains to be seen how long this trend will continue.
Noll says the picture is a far cry from the 2017-18 and 2018-19 summers, where repeated ocean heat waves pushed ocean temperatures several degrees above average.
“To make that happen, you need currents that extend from north to northwest – and we have too much variability to allow for that.”
While there is no immediate threat from a tropical cyclone affecting New Zealand, Noll said there is potential for activity at the end of the month.
Every year, on average one of these systems sweeps within 550 km of the country, bringing destructive winds and heavy rainfall.
So far, the cyclone seasons have gone hand in hand predicted range of eight to 10 systems in the southwest Pacific, with four recorded so far.
“Of course, the season runs through April, so we are keeping an eye on if anything will actually land here in New Zealand.”
Last month marked four years since New Zealand last experienced a month with below-average temperatures – a trend driven by climate change.
The Moorburg coal-fired power station boasts important starts, important closings, and now, a bright future.
Opened in 2015 by the Swedish utility Vattenfall on the banks of the Elbe river, just outside the German port city of Hamburg. Its planning and construction were drawn amid fierce resistance. Based on Clean Energy Wire, a local newspaper marked its first day of operation with the headline “Greetings From the Stone Age”.
Now the next milestone could be as one of Europe’s first 100 megawatt-scale green hydrogen sites.
The plans were revealed last week, with Shell, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and municipal heating provider Wärme Hamburg joining Vattenfall.
With a generating capacity of nearly 1.6 gigawatts, a coal-fired power plant will likely be one of them the last five New coal power plants being built in Western Europe, according to data from Beyond Coal. Vattenfall admitted last year that the plant was not economically viable and would close in 2021.
Sweden’s state-owned Vattenfall aims to close all remaining fossil fuel plants by 2030. Agreement from Germany € 45 billion coal removal plan paved the way for a December tender that will compensate companies for the 4,788 megawatt closure at a cost of € 317 million ($ 385 million) to the government.
Vattenfall, RWE and Uniper are the biggest winners. This is Germany’s first hard coal removal tender – a reverse auction with bidders specifying a price per megawatt of capacity they will close. The results are then skewed to ensure the most carbon intensive electricity production is targeted first. That process ultimately resulted in an average bid of € 60,000 ($ 72,878) per MW closed.
The future of Moorburg’s green hydrogen
The initial plan is to build a 100 MW electrolyzer powered by wind and solar, with green hydrogen production starting around 2025. All of this will be subject to planning and financing requirements. The project also requests funding from the Important European Common Interest Project initiative.
Potential green hydrogen projects have sprung up across Europe and are competing for the same public funding. But Moorburg does have several advantages.
Much of the basics that draw Vattenfall to the site remain, such as port access by river. The power plant is connected to the national transmission network, distribution system, gas network and district heating network.
Also supporting the project are a number of offtakers already installed, with steel giant ArcelorMittal lining up.
“One of the main starting points is steel mill commitment,” Emmanouil Kakaras, senior vice president and head of innovation and new products at Mitsubishi Power Europe, said in an interview. “These are the building blocks for making the business case for demand,” he said, describing it as a “base load demand.”
The industrial hub of Hamburg offers a number of other potential customers, as will the hydrogen bus trials in Hamburg if expanded. Local gas networks have worked to develop a hydrogen pipeline connecting ports and cities in this decade.
Kakaras said Wärme Hamburg would not become a hydrogen offtaker soon, but he added that the partnership would be profitable. By utilizing excess heat from Wärme Hamburg, which has been connected to the site via an existing combined power plant, the rate of electrolysis reaction can be increased.
“This greatly increases the production business case. So, given the specificity of green hydrogen, we have a relatively attractive business case configuration, “he said.
The presence of a port also means providing site access to other hydrogen carriers, such as ammonia, that can be transported to the site.
Demand is king for green hydrogen
Green hydrogen definitely has a lot of skepticism left. Energy veterans will see a cycle of hydrogen hype come and go.
But the push toward decarbonization, which allows hydrogen, means things are very different this time around, Kakaras said.
“In the early 2000s, we called it the energy internet. It never happened, “he said.” The decentralized part is the transportation side. Business actually starts with centralized supply generation and distribution to key customers. ”
To ensure things get off to a good start, the first batch of projects, which will benefit from public subsidies, will need to be selected carefully, he warned.
“They will make examples and [provide] lessons for replication and launching of this technology, “he said.
If all goes according to plan, Kakaras expects green hydrogen’s journey to scale from reliance on public funding to commercial independence to be shorter than solar PV.
In Europe, the EU has a target of 40 GW of electrolysis for 2030. If the only sector using green hydrogen comes from existing hydrogen users, such as the fertilizer industry, then we are heading for an oversupply situation.
Ben Gallagher is a senior analyst at Wood Mackenzie and author of the company’s new report, Possible Hydrogen. He considers demand to be a major challenge for the sector.
“As of now … on the production side, there has been sufficient support from this target and of this money available for deployment,” Gallagher said in an interview. “Costs can probably come down pretty quickly, because of what’s happening with the wind, sun and lithium-ion [batteries]. But the demand for electrons they generate is pretty well established, “he said.
“It’s a question about [whether] sectors that previously did not consume it will be able to receive low carbon hydrogen, “he added.
With the “base load demand” secured and infrastructure on the way to access to multiple sources of demand, Moorburg could enter its second period less than 10 years after opening. Greetings from the hydrogen age.
France-based power producer Albioma announced on December 29 the successful operation of the 48 megawatt (MW) Vale do Paraná Albioma cogeneration plant, located in Suzanápolis, São Paulo, Brazil.
The Vale do Paraná facility is the first Brazilian project where the company handles construction work and network connections, as well as subsequent operations. This facility is located adjacent to a sugar refinery and refinery which has the capacity to process up to 2 million metric tons of sugarcane annually. According to Albioma, the facility is expected to export up to 30 MW of electricity to the grid. The company also noted that a long-term power purchase agreement is in place for an annual electricity sale of 120 gigawatt hours (GWh) through 2046.
The Vale do Paraná facility is Albioma’s fourth bagasse power plant in Brazil. The company’s other three facilities are located in Rio Pardo, Codora and Esplanada and have a combined installed capacity of 202 MW. Together, the three plants export 400 GWh of electricity to the grid every year.
A complete copy of the Albioma announcement can be downloaded from the company website.
Hair: Natural, wavy texture. In short. Left natural, matt and dry. We use some hair wax to style the strands in place. Narrow sideburns.
Eyebrows: Trimmed in the middle and sides.
Face: Clean, shaved and smooth.
Skin: Beautiful, blackish skin. We use Valley View Organic’s clay-based natural and organic skin masks to clean and tighten pores and give the skin a smooth and even finish.
Lips: Thin and firm.
Others: Protruding collarbones visible under the exposed black jacket.
Ten things not to do this year:
1. Wear a coat without socks
Marvel fans should try the Spiderman socks from The Souled Store
There’s nothing worse than wearing a smart suit and a great pair of shoes without the socks. I’m not sure who or what started this trend, but it’s by far one of the worst fashion mistakes ever made. If you are a classic make-up artist, match the shoes, socks, and the suit. For variety and maybe a little fun, pick an eye-catching pair of socks and let your look elevate. It can be in a contrasting color or have an unusual print that is sure to get noticed and make you stand out from the crowd.
My choice: Try other Spiderman or Marvel character prints from The Souled Store.
2. Combine cool and warm colors
It’s a fashion mistake that many men make. Never mix cool and warm colors – so don’t wear blue with brown or brown with green. Know your colors: blue, purple, green and purple are cool colors while red, orange, brown and yellow are warm colors. This golden rule should apply to your clothes and accessories. When wearing metallic tones, stick to one color palette – all gold or silver. Never wear gold and silver together.
My tip: Men with dark skin should wear warm colors while those with pale skin should wear cool colors. Black and white, looks good on everyone.
3. Sleep with synthetic fabrics
Hypoallergenic sleepwear made of organic cotton from Ruh- The Soul will ensure you get a good night’s sleep
Sleeping naked is good for your skin and body. If that’s not an option, wear a night suit or sleepwear that feels like second skin! It is recommended to use breathable and ventilated fabrics that are lightweight, soft and very comfortable. Apart from the metabolic effects of sleeping in the buff, removing your clothes improves blood circulation, which is good for your heart and muscles. The quality of sleep you enjoy also increases the release of growth hormone and melatonin, both of which have anti-aging benefits.
My choice: Organic cotton sleepwear range from Ruh – The Soul. The color palette is limited, but the materials and cuts are very comfortable.
4. Wear clothes that don’t fit properly
You can buy the most expensive suits, wear the best brands but spoil it all by choosing sizes and sizes that don’t fit your body. Oversized clothes became popular in the 1980s and it’s been almost 40 years since then. Likewise, trying to fit into clothes that are too tight or clothes that you are wearing too thick, doesn’t work. To look good, you need to feel good and that only happens when the clothes fit you and look like they are made to fit you.
My tip: Make sure the shoulders don’t droop, the handcuffs don’t fall on the palms of the hands and the bottom ends just under the ankles and over the edges of the shoes.
5. Buy fake leather
Handmade leather boots by Escaro Royale are versatile and popular
There are too many faux and faux leather brands and products out there, especially on some popular e-commerce platforms. If quality and durability are important, I suggest you invest in the real thing. Footwear and ankle-length boots will be popular this year, especially when paired with skinny jeans or sexy leather pants in your wardrobe. Choose between styles that come with or without straps and pay attention to interesting elements like buckles and outer layers – both trendy and fashionable this year.
My choice: Attractive ankle length, handcrafted, custom made boots from Escaro Royale. Take a look at them for the other design and color variants they offer.
6. Put on thick coarse thermals
The Heattech range from Uniqlo is ideal for this winter
For those who live in a place where thermal is very important in winter, you should avoid fabrics that are thick or rough and make you feel uncomfortable. My advice is to wear only a soft, hypo-allergenic cloth so you don’t itch or have unwanted breakouts. In any case, avoid clothes that make you appear wrapped or stuffed under a fitted shirt or trousers or track. I suggest you go with a seamless style – meaning no one knows if you have anything underneath.
My choice: The Heattech range from Uniqlo, which is super soft, almost smooth and very warm. The collection uses four different threads that optimize comfort by absorbing body moisture and converting it to heat trapped in the fiber air pockets.
7. Making mistakes during online interactions
Make sure you don’t make a fashion mistake at the zoom meeting. You must be well dressed and for the occasion. There’s nothing worse than having a business meeting (from home), showing off your best (or worst) casual wear. Therefore, don’t look too overdressed. Looking smart is one thing while looking overdressed and overly dressed is another. Pay special attention to the top – your shirt, tie or jacket. Make sure the knot is secure, the shirt buttons are closed and the jacket looks neat and tangle-free.
My tip: Contrast the colors of your clothes against the backdrop. It will grab your attention and your face, especially on Multi-screen Zoom calls.
8. Use cables
The Bluetooth earbuds from Hammer have a secure grip and drop-free design
It’s 2021 now, and there’s no more reason to wear wired headsets. There are many wireless ear pods available to choose from. Make sure your ear pods have a secure grip and free-fall design, which makes them perfect for intense workouts, runs or even cycling trips around town. Go for a slim design but make sure the pods feel comfortable.
My choice: The Bluetooth earbuds from Hammer, which are equipped with a durable rechargeable battery that have a longer play time and standby time. Affordable and gives more than your money’s worth.
9. Stale smell
The fresh orange kistna eau de toilette from The Body Shop smells fresh and is suitable for use during the day
Make sure you follow a routine of good personal hygiene – one that makes you feel and smell good throughout the day. Choose an alcohol-free deodorant stick (or roll) and a deodorant spray to control sweat and body odor. Take them wherever you can. Finish with a fresh, long-lasting fragrance. Look for a small bottle that can fit into your men’s bag, even when you’re on a flight or traveling.
My choice: Eau de toilette for men made in France by The Body Shop, which combines fresh orange and lemon top notes and cedarwood and vanilla base notes. It smells fresh and is suitable for use during the day.
10. Don’t shave
I want to emphasize the importance of shaving in 2021 and every year thereafter. Masked or unmasked, there’s no reason (or excuse) for you to look untidy or unkempt. Facial hair (read mustache and beard, including beard) has a glorious moment and as we move back and forth to look clean shaven and groomed.
My tip: Always shave after showering – if the skin and hair above it are soft and hydrated.
The author is a consultant and trainer of drawing, style and care
From HT Brunch, January 3, 2021
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