Month: December 2020

first_imgFirstEnergy Falters in Ohio Campaign for Bailout of Its Failing Power Plants FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Cleveland Plain Dealer:Neither the Trump administration nor Gov. John Kasich is inclined to give FirstEnergy’s struggling power plant company a free pass around competition, even as the number of competitors is increasing and the subsidiary faces bankruptcy.FirstEnergy Solutions, the unregulated power plant subsidiary that does business in wholesale and retail markets, is negotiating with its creditor. Standard & Poor’s has further reduced the bond credit rating of the subsidiary, reasoning that a bankruptcy filing is inevitable because the old plants cannot compete against new gas turbines. The first of 10 large gas-turbine power plants already approved by the state officially opened this week, generating nearly 900 megawatts of power — about the same as FirstEnergy’s nearby Davis-Besse nuclear plant. The Oregon Clean Energy Center in suburban Toledo is selling that power directly into the regional high-voltage grid’s competitive market, where Davis-Besse must compete as well.Similar-sized gas turbine plants are under construction in Lordstown, in Carroll County and in Butler County. The plants are said to be twice as efficient as Davis-Bess and are cheaper to run, at least for now.The Ohio Power Siting Board has approved another plant in Columbiana County and a fifth one in Monroe County. Applications are pending for three more plants and another is in a “pre-application” phase.Against this backdrop, Kasich this week said flatly he does not support FirstEnergy’s proposal before Ohio lawmakers to create “zero emission credits,” or ZECs, for its two nuclear power plants in recognition that the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants do not produce carbon dioxide. The proposal, labeled a “bailout” by opponents, is stuck in legislative committees.The ZECs would run for about 17 years, subject to periodic state review, initially raising total customer bills by about $300 million a year. Average consumer bills would increase by $5 a month, says the company. The company has been clear that even if the ZECs are enacted, it hopes to sell Perry and Davis-Besse, and all of its power plants, if it has to sell power in competitive markets.Kasich’s pro-market position appears to mirror the newly emerging position of the U.S. Department of Energy and the White House which, according to wire reports, have refused to declare a federal emergency to “save” old coal-fired plants and therefore save coal mining jobs as the president promised during his election campaign.FirstEnergy Solutions owns two of FirstEnergy’s big coal-fired plants, the W.H. Sammis plant in Straton, Ohio, on the Ohio River, and the Bruce Mansfield plant in Shippingport, Pa.FirstEnergy’s other large coal plants are owned either by subsidiary Allegheny Energy Supply, which is not known to be contemplating bankruptcy, or to MonPower, a regulated West Virginia utility. More: FirstEnergy power plant bailouts rebuffed by state and federal leaderslast_img read more

first_imgVestas wins turbine contract for Senegal’s first utility-scale wind farm FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewable Energy Magazine:Vestas is providing a customised solution for the 159 MW Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye, Senegal’s first large utility-scale wind energy project and the largest wind project in West Africa. The wind farm will expand the country’s generation capacity by 15 percent, support the development of affordable renewable energy and diversify Senegal’s energy mix as well as provide positive social and economic impact for the nearby communities. The project is in advanced stage of development, ready for construction. Turbine delivery, as well as commissioning are planned to be accomplished in three phases: deliveries between the second and the third quarters of 2019, whilst commissioning between the third quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020.The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract was signed with Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye, a company majority-owned by Lekela, an experienced renewable energy company that has developed 1.3 GW of wind and solar projects across Africa, and partly-owned by French developer Sarreole that has been part of the project from its beginning.The order includes the supply, transport, installation and commissioning of 46 V126-3.45 MW turbines, as well as an Active Output Management 5000 (AOM 5000) service agreement for the operation and maintenance of the wind park over the next 20 years.Senegal’s energy mix currently depends mainly on costly imported fossil fuels. However, Senegal will be able to utilise renewable energy to generate clean, reliable and competitively-priced energy to meet the demand of a rapidly expanding local grid.Chris Ford, chief operating officer at Lekela, added that, as the first utility-scale wind power project in the country, Taiba N’Diaye forms a critical component of Senegal’s clean energy strategy that will create an impact that lasts for generations.More: Vestas enters new market with 159 MW EPC order for the first large utility-scale wind project in Senegallast_img read more

first_imgIRENA: Renewables can provide 50% of Egypt’s electricity by 2030 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Arabian Industry:Egypt has the potential to generate up to 53 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).The Renewable Energy Outlook: Egypt report, released at a high-level conference in Cairo today in the presence of Egyptian government officials and regional decision makers, finds that pursuing higher shares of renewable energy could reduce the country’s energy bill by up to USD 900 million annually in 2030.Renewables could cost-effectively provide up to a quarter of Egypt’s total final energy supply in 2030, per the analysis. Achieving the higher targets would, however, require investment in renewables to grow from USD 2.5 billion per year based on today’s policies to USD 6.5 billion per year.Under current plans, Egypt aims to source 20 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2022, rising to 42 per cent by 2035. Total installed capacity of renewables in the country today amounts to 3.7 gigawatts (GW).Egypt can draw on an abundance of renewable energy resources to achieve higher shares of hydropower, wind, solar and biomass. To capitalise on this, the report suggests that national policy makers may benefit from periodically re-evaluating the long-term energy strategy to reflect rapid advances in renewable energy technology and falling renewable power generation costs.“Remarkable cost reductions in renewable energy in recent years are encouraging governments all over the world to rethink energy strategies so as to better reflect the new economics of renewables,” said Mr. Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General.More: Egypt could meet more than 50% of its electricity demand with renewable energylast_img read more

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Developing countries have added more clean power capacity than fossil fuel generation for the first time ever, charging ahead of wealthier nations in the global green energy push, according to Bloomberg NEF.Wind and solar generation accounted for just over half of the 186 gigawatts of new power capacity in developing nations last year, according to BNEF’s annual Climatescope survey released Tuesday. Not only that, they’ve added more clean energy generation than developed economies, increasing zero-carbon capacity by 114 gigawatts compared with about 63 gigawatts in richer countries.The findings show a turnaround from a decade ago when the world’s wealthiest nations dominated renewable investment and deployment activities. Many developing countries have an abundance of natural resources and lower equipment costs, allowing new renewable projects to become cheaper than fossil plants, according to the report.“Just a few years ago, some argued that less developed nations could not, or even should not, expand power generation with zero-carbon sources because these were too expensive,” Dario Traum, BNEF Climatescope project manager said in a statement. “Today, these countries are leading the charge when it comes to deployment, investment, policy innovation and cost reductions.”Emerging markets added the least new coal-fired power generating capacity last year since at least 2006. New coal plants in these countries slumped 38 percent from a year earlier to 48 gigawatts in 2017, which was about half of the peak in 2015, according to BNEF.More: Clean power sees first win over fossil fuels in emerging markets BNEF: Developing countries add more renewables than fossil fuel generation for first timelast_img read more

first_imgU.S. coal power plant retirements in 2018 topped 14GW FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享E&E News ($):A funny thing happened during an unusually cold period in November. Eastern coal generation fell compared with the year before. Normally, falling temperatures would prompt power companies to fire up their coal plants. Not in 2018.The experience sums up the industry’s challenges. Even as coal prices rose and exports boomed last year, coal plant retirements flirted with all-time highs. About 5 percent of the U.S. coal fleet flicked offline in 2018, making it the second-highest year ever for coal plant retirements.The shutdowns defined the industry’s year. President Trump tried and failed to subsidize faltering coal-burning facilities. Utility coal consumption fell to a multidecade low. And power companies announced ambitious plans to close coal plants early and slash carbon emissions.“I think one of the major stories is there seems to be a watershed moment for utilities and their thinking about the future,” said Matt Preston, who tracks the coal industry at Wood Mackenzie, a consultancy. “It seems that the utilities have embraced a carbonless future and proposed drastic emissions reductions. That is a huge turnaround in thinking.”The retirements are all the more notable given the Trump administration’s attempt to reverse the industry’s decline. The Department of Energy proposed subsidizing coal and nuclear plants that stored fuel on-site, only to see its plan shot down by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Yet the shutdowns continued. Power companies closed some 14 gigawatts of coal capacity at 20 plants in 2018, a figure that does not include plants that were idled or switched to natural gas.More: Coal got clobbered in 2018. Here’s the damagelast_img read more

first_imgNew Mexico utility says carbon capture plan too expensive, backs coal plant closure FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:New Mexico’s largest utility has fleshed out its analysis of the environmental and economic impacts of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology as a potential lifeline for its ailing coal plant. The results are not promising.Retrofitting the San Juan Generating Station with carbon capture technology would bring the Public Service Co. of New Mexico’s (PNM) total transition plan cost to over $6 billion, $1.3 billion more than its preferred long-term scenario, which includes retiring the plant in 2022, the utility announced Monday.PNM confirmed initial assumptions it made about the economic and environmental impracticalities of prolonging the plant’s life through the technology after state regulatory staff challenged its current retirement plan in October testimony to the state’s Public Regulation Commission (PRC). Staff argued the utility had not fully explored a carbon capture scenario in its plan to abandon the coal-fired facility early.But there are too many economic and environmental unknowns in carbon capture, according to utility spokesperson Raymond Sandoval, including downstream carbon impacts of enhanced oil recovery and the risks of investing in nascent technology. Instead, the utility thinks the plant should be retired in 2022 and its leftover costs secured through bonds, as was called for in the state’s landmark Energy Transition Act (ETA).The ongoing proceeding at the PRC is bringing to light many diverse opinions on how and when the state’s 940 MW coal-fired plant should be retired.Environmental groups and PNM agree that carbon capture is not the best option, but local group Enchant Energy is banking on the technology to extend the plant’s life. Farmington, New Mexico, where the plant is sited, recently signed an agreement with Enchant to give the company 95% ownership of the plant. But to fully transfer ownership, the company needs approval from the plant’s other four owners. PNM says it doesn’t recognize the transfer because the agreement didn’t properly assess liabilities of continuing to operate the plant.More: PNM: Carbon capture would raise San Juan transition cost to $6B, as PRC, legislator battle rageslast_img read more

first_imgZurich Insurance pulls out of Trans Mountain pipeline project FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Insurer Zurich has decided not to renew cover for the Canadian government’s Trans Mountain oil pipeline, said a spokeswoman for the project, which is opposed by environmental campaigners and some indigenous groups.All financial services companies are under pressure from environmental campaigners to cease doing business with the fossil fuel industry.A planned expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which ships oil to British Columbia from Canada’s main oil-producing province of Alberta, has also drawn ire from some First Nations leaders anxious about the impact on their communities.Trans Mountain said it has the insurance it needs for its existing operations and the “expansion project”. “There remains adequate capacity in the market to meet Trans Mountain’s insurance needs and our renewal,” the spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.The Trans Mountain pipeline’s annual liability insurance contract, dated August 2019 but filed with the Canada Energy Regulator on April 30, 2020, had shown Zurich was the lead insurer for the pipeline. The insurance, which provides $508 million of cover, runs to August 2020, the filing showed.Zurich was the sole insurer for the first $8 million of potential insurance payouts and the company provided a total of $300 million in cover with other insurers, the 2019/20 energy regulatory filing showed.[Noor Zainab Hussain, Carolyn Cohn, Rod Nickel and Suzanne Barlyn]More: Zurich Insurance drops cover for Trans Mountain oil pipelinelast_img read more

first_imgWant to keep fracking chemicals out of your favorite swimming hole? Wanna protect your favorite forest from being logged? How about making sure your favorite trails aren’t bulldozed?The U.S. Forest Service is rewriting its plans for the largest national forest system in the South—the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests. This new plan will guide how these public lands are managed for the next two decades.It’s not just your next adventure that’s at stake. Forest management may sound boring, but it affects every gulp of water and breath of air you take.Extractive timber, mining, and fracking industries are already well represented in the forest planning process and are lobbying heavily to exploit our forests. So far, the recreation community has been out-shouted. About 700,000 acres, or an area larger than Great Smoky Montains National Park—will be opened to logging.If you want to protect the places where you play, now is the time to step up. Tell the U.S. Forest Service to protect your public lands from commercial logging, mining, and fracking. Ask the Forest Service to designate more wilderness, permanently protect roadless areas, build and maintain more trails, and safeguard the health of our rivers and headwaters.Most importantly, as population swells in the Southeast, we need more public lands and stronger protections for them. Popular areas will become overused and degraded without expanding the national forest boundaries.Email your comments to the Forest Service at [email protected] yourself heard. Be a voice for the trees, the trails, and the wild places you love.last_img read more

first_imgIt might still be April, but at Tuck Fest 2018 this past weekend, it was full-on summer. Each year the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, North Carolina hosts the FREE (that’s right!) event that celebrates the outdoor lifestyle through competitions, exhibitions, demos, and live music.If you haven’t been to a Tuck Fest it’s a “must-add” to your yearly festival list. Tuck Fest began in 2013 with roughly 14,000 attendees and we’ve watched it grow throughout the years to host over 32,000 people in 2017. Despite the high number of attendees, the festival never feels too crowded. There’s plenty of space at the Whitewater Center for everyone.The U.S. National Whitewater Center literally has something for everyone no matter your age. Activities this year included trail running, mountain biking, yoga, deep water solo climbing, all things whitewater, clinics, a bicycle stunt show and much much more. This year the festival added a fourth day that featured live music on Thursday evening. As usual, we were hanging out in the Blueridge Outdoors Magazine tent, demoing gear, giving out awesome swag and making new friends. We had a true basecamp setup in vendor village this year. We wanted to have space for people to come hang out, have a seat in the shade and relax for a while. We nailed it. If you didn’t have a chance to swing by our camp, you missed out. We had some excellent gear raffles on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We gave away huge prizes from Nite Ize, Crazy Creek, National Geographic, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Old Town, Leki, HydraPak, UCO Gear, and Wenzel. Sunday was Earth Day. In the spirit of taking care of the land we love, we hosted an Earth Day Trash Cleanup in the morning before we opened our booth. The USNWC has a beautiful trail system. The good people of Charlotte obviously cherish this place because the trails are trash-free. We had a family with a couple of young boys join us who absolutely loved to clean up trash. We decided to take a nice walk around the water and pick up whatever little trash we could find. No matter how big or small it’s always important to help give back when you can. The festival vendor community is small and it was nice to have some time to hang out with all of our old friends in the Southeast. We even made some new van friends. Shoutout to Aaron and Tyler with Off Grid Adventure Vans for helping us out when we needed it the most!last_img read more

first_imgIn planning for last year’s Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, a good friend of mine was very excited after we confirmed Hiss Golden Messenger, the critically acclaimed project helmed by North Carolina songwriter MC Taylor.As luck would have it, the guitar player (and North Carolina native) for Hiss Golden Messenger – Ryan Gustafson – was a pretty danged good singer/songwriter in his own right and my buddy Rob was insistent that we reach out and book a solo set for Ryan under his own project, The Dead Tongues.Rob was spot on with this booking. Ryan – with just his guitar – held an early Friday afternoon crowd spellbound with his songcraft. I caught a bit of the set at Cumberland Park, stretched out on the grass, and it was a moment of peaceful repose before I began an incredibly hectic festival weekend.Unsung Passage, the brand new record from The Dead Tongues, drops today. Joined by a score of collaborators, the collection of tunes has cello, banjo, and fiddle providing a delightful sonic backdrop to Gustafson’s stellar and soul plumbing songwriting.I recently caught up with Ryan to chat about the new record, hitchhiking, and some of his favorite songwriters.BRO – You have spent a lot of time backpacking and hitchhiking around the world. What is one thing you learned about yourself out there on your solo travels?RG – It helped me realize that I need people in ways I hadn’t realized. Some of those early moments in deep solitude and aloneness, or in times of vulnerability, taught me to open up to people more than I had previously and that really went on to deepen my relationships with those close to me and in the brief interactions I had with total strangers.BRO – How has playing and working with MC Taylor helped you as a songwriter?BRO – It can be inspiring to get into the other’s creative processes, particularly someone I respect, and I certainly found that to be the case with MC. One thing I took away from the time I spent with Hiss Golden Messenger, and MC in particular, is that you can’t put a timeline on any of this thing, not your career or your songwriting. Sometimes it’s going to take 25 years of touring to start making a living at it, whereas on the other end it might take a month to write an entire album. It’s not about the end of the line. It’s about the journey there. I can’t speak for MC and say that he agrees with that statement, but given the way he’s gone about his life, I bet he would, and that’s a concept he helped illuminate a bit more to me.BRO – Last great book you read?RG – The Argonauts, by Maggie Nelson.BRO – We are featuring “Won’t Be Long” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?RG – I think of it as a song about how we can lose ourselves in life sometimes. We can get lost in the fight, whatever that may be, and disconnect in ways. Also, it’s about the journey we’re all on, in some capacity, of not only trying to survive but figuring out what do with this life we have.BRO – IF you were to invite three other songwriters over for a pickin’ party, who would you invite?RG – That’s tough. Andrew Marlin, because he knows so many old-time tunes. Chance McCoy, because he’s such a vibey fiddler. And Julie Byrne, because her album Not Even Happiness gives me chills and takes me to a very deep, watery place.Friends and fans of Ryan Gustafson can catch him tomorrow evening at Pisgah Brewing in Asheville, as he celebrates the release of Unsung Passage. After that, Ryan is off to Europe, with a host of dates across the continent on tap.For more information on The Dead Tongues, some insight into the new record, or when Ryan and his band might end up on a stage near you, be sure to check out his website.Be sure to take a listen to “Won’t Be Long,” along with new tunes from Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs, Bishop Gunn, Keats, and The Promise Is Hope on this month’s Trail Mix.last_img read more