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Bitcoin energy use in Iceland set to overtake homes, says local firm

Bitcoin energy use in Iceland set to overtake homes, says local firm

Technology
Iceland is facing an "exponential" rise in Bitcoin mining that is gobbling up power resources, a spokesman for Icelandic energy firm HS Orka has said.This year, electricity use at Bitcoin mining data centres is likely to exceed that of all Iceland's homes, according to Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson.He said many potential customers were keen to get in on the act."If all these projects are realised, we won't have enough energy for it," he told the BBC.Mr Sigurbergsson's calculations were first reported by the Associated Press.Iceland has a small population, of around 340,000 people.But in recent years it has seen a marked increase in the number of new data centres, often built by firms wishing to tout green credentials. Nearly 100% of energy in Iceland comes from renewable sources.Bitcoin mini...
Scrutiny over wood and coal fires in UK homes

Scrutiny over wood and coal fires in UK homes

Science
Burning wood and coal in people's homes will come under scrutiny as part of a government drive to improve air pollution.Ministers are calling for evidence to help improve air quality in cities.They want people to ensure that wood is dry before burning, and that solid fuels are as clean as possible.But the UK is being given a final warning by the European Commission today for breaching laws on NOx emissions.The government is being told it will face court action in Europe unless its planned Clean Air Strategy does what it's supposed to.While environmentalists may wonder whether today's announcement on homes fires is a smokescreen, the government insists it's not.It says the domestic burning of house coal, smokeless solid fuels and wet wood is the single largest primary contributor of harmful...
Budget 2017: Plans to build 300,000 homes a year

Budget 2017: Plans to build 300,000 homes a year

Business
Media playback is unsupported on your devicePhilip Hammond says next week's Budget will set out how the government will build 300,000 new homes a year.But the chancellor said there was no "single magic bullet" to increase housing supply and the government would not simply "pour money in".Ministers want to speed up developments where planning permission has been granted and give more help to small building firms, he added.Labour says ministers "still have no plan to fix the housing crisis".Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show ahead of Wednesday's Budget, the chancellor also said: "There are no unemployed people" while discussing the threat to jobs posed by technological change - when pressed later, he said the government hadn't forgotten the 1.4m who are unemployedThe government was "on t...
Bengaluru sees 45% jump in demand for luxury homes

Bengaluru sees 45% jump in demand for luxury homes

Finance
Bengaluru is the only Indian city to have seen a 45% spike in demand for luxury homes costing above Rs 1.5 crore. The city, however, ranks an overall third in the country’s real estate space after Hyderabad and Chennai, according to a survey by property site Magicbricks.com. LUXURY LIVINGWhile the luxury-living space is stagnant in the rest of India, Bengaluru is the only Indian city to have seen a 45% spike in demand. While sales in the Central Business District have been rock steady, luxury constructions in the peripherals have seen a drop since 2016. Like Mumbai, Bengaluru too is going the apartment way. The villa market is niche. Sudhir Pai,CEO, Magicbricks says, "with the implementation of RERA Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 and GST, and onset of an early festive
Most homes in Hurricane Harvey's path don't have flood insurance

Most homes in Hurricane Harvey's path don't have flood insurance

Finance
NOAA: Days of miserable weather aheadMost homes in the path of Hurricane Harvey don't have the flood insurance that owners would need to rebuild if their homes are damaged or destroyed. Standard homeowners insurance policies cover damage from the high winds that are associated with a hurricane, but they don't cover damage from rain or flood waters, such as storm surges or overflowing rivers. But the National Hurricane Center is forecasting up to 35 inches of rain in some locations by the middle of next week due to the storm, which could bring flooding far beyond the Texas coastline. Related: Hurricane Harvey could cause $ 40 billion worth of damage to Texas homes Figures from the National Flood Insurance Program show that only 15% of homes in Harris Country, which includes Houston, have fl...