From The Economist:
Pinch yourself. Much that could have gone wrong in the euro zone suddenly seems to be going right. Germany’s constitutional court in Karlsruhe has given the go-ahead for a new rescue fund. A banking union is taking shape…this builds on a recent pledge from the European Central Bank (ECB) to act to stop the break-up of the currency. Even angry talk of expelling the Greeks from the euro has died down.
And Europe is moving to becoming a federalist nation, at least for monetary purposes. With many more leaders calling for political federalism too.
Should we break out the Federalist Papers from John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton in 1787?
A $25 million federal grant will speed the construction of a solar manufacturing plant in San Diego, in an effort to boost U.S. competitiveness.
Semiconductor maker Soitec Solar, recipient of the Department of Energy grant, will pour the funds into equipment at its Rancho Bernando-area plant. Production is set to start before the end of the year on concentrated photovoltaic modules that use optical lenses to focus sunlight on tiny, highly efficient solar cells.
A publicly traded company based in Bernin, France, Soitec entered the concentrated photovoltaics business in 2009 with the purchase of Concentrix Solar, a spinoff of the Fraunhofer Institutes, a network of publicly funded research centers in Germany.
Soitec received the largest share of $37 million in Energy Department grants designed to accelerate high-volume solar manufacturing over the next two years.
More on this – $25 million federal grant speeds solar factory construction
More about Soitec’s CPV (concentrated photovoltaic) modules:
Soitec’s CPV modules are built on Concentrix technology. They use Fresnel lenses to concentrate sunlight 500 times and focus it onto small, highly efficient multi-junction solar cells. This technology has helped us achieve world-leading AC system efficiency increases of 25% in actual operating conditions. This is almost twice as high as the efficiency increases achieved using conventional silicon systems.
Click for a video description of this technology – Concentrix Technology
Surfline has added/upgraded 34 cams in the last five months with many more to come.
Make sure you check back because there’s a good chance there will be a new or upgraded cam near you.
NEW HD CAMS
Beacons, CA (Feb 2012)
Oceanside Pier SS, CA (April 2012)
Salt Creek, CA (Jan 2012)
Ponce Inlet, FL (April 2012)
UPGRADED HD CAMS
Mission Beach, CA (May 2012)
Cardiff, CA (Jan 2012)
Grandview, CA (Feb 2012)
The Wedge, CA (June 2012)
Goldenwest, CA (March 2012)
Casino Pier, NJ (April 2012)
North End, VA (March 2012)
Rodanthe, NC (May 2012)
- France – 77 million
- United States – 61 million
- China – 56 million
- Spain – 53 million
- Italy – 43 million
- United Kingdom – 28 million
- Turkey – 27 million
- Germany – 27 million
- Malaysia – 25 million
- Mexico – 22 million
Interesting to note that both France and Spain receive more visitors than their entire population:
- France – population 65 million – with 77 million annual visitors
- Spain – population 46 million – with 53 million visitors.
That’s quite a tourism business for them.
Not to worry as the world seems ready to travel more than ever. Sometime this year we will set a record with 1 billion international tourists, and the graph below shows that at least half of them are heading to Europe!
Among the usual questions about attitudes to the euro and the European Union, people in eight nations (Britain, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain) were asked which country in the European Union is the hardest-working.
The Greeks ignored the obvious answer (Germany) and instead nominated themselves. (The other seven nations all plumped for Germany, as the table shows.) Yet Greek perception is not quite as misaligned with reality as it seems. Greece does actually work the longest hours in Europe…However, as any economist will tell you, working longer does not equate with higher productivity, and Greece’s productivity is relatively low.
via Economist Daily Chart
Also, very interesting to look at the “most corrupt” column where Italy dominates, but four countries consider themselves the most corrupt (even the Italians).