Month: December 2020

China Solar Surge: 80% Increase Seen

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg News:China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, is poised to install a record amount of solar-power capacity this year, prompting researchers to boost forecasts as much as 80 percent.About 54 gigawatts will be put in place this year, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said Monday, raising a forecast of more than 30 gigawatts made in July. That amount of additional capacity would likely surpass all the solar energy generated in Japan in 2017.“The amount of rooftop solar plants and projects aimed at easing poverty were more than expected and developers rushed to build some ground-mounted solar projects before they have been allocated subsidies,” said Yvonne Liu, a BNEF analyst in Beijing.The growth of the market has benefited top panel producers, including JinkoSolar Holding Co. and Trina Solar Ltd. China installed 43 gigawatts of solar power in the first nine months of 2017, already above the 34.5 gigawatts for all of last year.China has been the world’s biggest solar market since 2013. It surpassed Germany as the country with the most installed photovoltaic power capacity two years ago.CCB International Securities Ltd. raised its forecast for China’s solar power capacity to 55 gigawatts from 40 gigawatts for 2018, according to a Nov. 17 note.Half of all additions to China’s electricity generating capacity since 2013 have been renewables or nuclear, according to the International Energy Agency. By 2040, the IEA sees renewables accounting for 40 percent of total power generation. Coal, which contributes about 67 percent of generation now, will fall to 40 percent over that period.More: China on Pace for Record Solar-Power Installations China Solar Surge: 80% Increase Seenlast_img read more

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PacifiCorp says more than half its coal plants aren’t economic anymore

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:The Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary used unit-by-unit analysis to calculate a net benefit or cost for taking the coal units offline by 2022, showing nearly 60% of the retirements would lead to savings. But the utility says more analysis is needed before any shutdown decisions are made.PacifiCorp’s announcement is not an official step toward early coal plant retirement, but it is part of a larger trend of economic analysis showing the difficulties of coal generation in competing with cheaper natural gas and renewable energy. Last week, the Carbon Tracker Initiative published a report concluding 42% of global coal plants are uneconomic due to high fuel costs, saying the percentage would rise due to carbon pricing and regulations.The Oregon Public Utilities Commission directed PacifiCorp at the end of 2017 to launch a comprehensive review of the cost of its coal resources. In September, a Washington Superior Court judge allowed the company to keep the analysis confidential, after the Sierra Club pressed for the figures to be made public.PacifiCorp’s analysis showed 13 units at plants in Montana, Colorado and Wyoming were more expensive to operate than replacement options. The company presented several scenarios of preparing a combination of coal units for 2022 retirement and found it could save as much as $317 million closing five units representing 834 MW. Those units, in Wyoming and Colorado, are slated to close between 2029 and 2037.The coal analysis is part of the utility’s 2019 integrated resource plan (IRP), which is due in April. Oregon’s regulators committed to evaluating early coal unit retirements as part of the utility’s IRP.More: PacifiCorp shows 60% of its coal units are uneconomic PacifiCorp says more than half its coal plants aren’t economic anymorelast_img read more

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BP boosts stake in solar developer Lightsource

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:BP has increased its stake in the British solar venture Lightsource BP, as it prepares to strike a deal to power its offices with renewable energy from next year. The companies announced plans to set up a 50:50 joint venture almost two years after BP made its return to the solar market by snapping up a 43% stake in Lightsource for £200m.BP will increase its stake in the company by buying new shares for an undisclosed price to help accelerate Lightsource BP’s solar power targets. It had hoped to grow its portfolio to 6GW of capacity by 2023 but plans to reach 10GW over the same timescale.BP has used the UK solar startup to re-establish a presence in the solar sector after it backed out of the market in 2011. It plans to use more solar power in its own offices too.Nick Boyle, the group chief executive of Lightsource BP, said: “Two years ago, we were in four countries and we’re now in 13. We had a global pipeline of 1.6GW and today it’s over 12GW. It’s that sort of additional momentum which has been facilitated [by BP].” [Jillian Ambrose]More: BP boosts stake in solar firm amid clean energy plan for its offices BP boosts stake in solar developer Lightsourcelast_img read more

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Analysts: LNG market turmoil could lead to major decline in U.S. natural gas prices this summer

first_imgAnalysts: LNG market turmoil could lead to major decline in U.S. natural gas prices this summer FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享OilPrice.com:LNG prices have already plunged to their lowest levels in a decade in Asia as the ramp up of supply in 2019 came at a time when demand has slowed. That was true before the outbreak of the coronavirus. But the quarantine of around 50 million people and the shutdown of huge swathes of the Chinese economy has sent shockwaves through commodity markets.Shipments of oil and gas are backing up at Chinese ports, which is creating ripple effects across the world. Now, Chinese state-owned CNOOC is considering declaring force majeure on its LNG import commitments, according to the FT. Sinopec and CNPC are also apparently considering the move.Prices were already in the dumps. JKM prices recently fell to 10-year lows. But they have continued to decline, approaching $3/MMBtu for the first time in history. Just a few weeks ago, JKM prices were trading at around $5/MMBtu, itself an incredibly low price for this time of year.LNG exports from the U.S. are uneconomical at these price levels. Many exporters have contracts at fixed, higher prices. But shipments can be cancelled for a fee. And any spot trade would be hit hard. The question now is whether shipments will come to halt. “Forward prices for summer are now at levels where U.S. LNG shut-ins begin to seem viable,” Edmund Siau, a Singapore-based analyst with energy consultant FGE, told Bloomberg. “There is usually a lead time before a cargo can be canceled, and we expect actual supply curtailments to start happening in summer.”But if buyers start cancelling their purchases, LNG exporters have to ramp down production. That could then ripple back to the shale gas fields in the U.S., where prices are already below $2/MMBtu and drillers can’t make any money. The CEO of Marcellus shale gas giant EQT said in December that “a lot of this development doesn’t work as well at $2.50 gas.” Henry Hub prices are now below $1.85/MMBtu. There is little relief in sight. “Even with our projected increase in power sector natural gas demand due to the current low price environment, we estimate natural gas stocks to end this summer with 3.85 tcf in the ground,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a recent note. “Such inventory level would be more than 100 bcf higher YoY, and does not leave much room for bearish errors from mild weather, high renewable generation, or reduced LNG exports.” It’s all combining to create a “gasmaggedon,” according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.[Nick Cunningham]More: “Gasmaggedon” sweeps over global gas marketlast_img read more

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What the Frack?

first_imgA plume of methane flares at a natural gas hydrofracturing site in Wetzel County, W.Va. Photo: Ray RenaudRose Baker can no longer drink the water from her well. About four years ago, natural gas drilling companies came into Wetzel County, a rural area in West Virginia near its border with Pennsylvania. Now, Baker and her neighbors have to keep their taps turned off, as their wells are full of methane and a long list of hazardous chemicals.“We didn’t have a problem until they started drilling here,” Baker says.Natural gas development has increased exponentially in the past decade in the United States, fueled, in part, by the search for a cleaner-burning domestic fuel source. But does the environmental harm inflicted by extracting the gas outweigh its benefits?Wetzel County sits atop the second largest natural gas deposit in the world. The Marcellus Shale stretches from New York through Pennsylvania and West Virginia and into parts of Maryland, Ohio and Virginia. Contained within this formation could be as much as 516 trillion cubic feet of gas — enough to meet the country’s needs for roughly twenty0 years based on current usage levels (however, only 50 trillion cubic feet, or two years worth, is recoverable using current drilling techniques).Until recently, shale gas, which is contained in small pockets within this rock thousands of feet beneath earth’s surface, had been too costly to tap. Technological advances in a process called hydraulic fracturing — hydrofracking, for short — have changed that. The process involves pumping millions of gallons of water, sand, and chemicals at extremely high pressure into a well to cause cracks in the rock so the trapped gas can escape. Of the 750 different chemicals used in fracking fluid, 29 are known or possible carcinogens. Most of the others have not been tested or researched for their toxicity.In November 2008, Baker’s neighbor and sister-in-law, Bonnie Hall, noticed her water had turned gray and started to smell bad after a second gas well was drilled near her home. A water test came back positive for methane and the toxic chemicals benzene and toluene. Chesapeake Energy and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection both said the cause was spilled gasoline from her neighbor’s property — a mile away. Hall blames the pollution on the gas well being drilled through her aquifer.“That’s kind of scary, because that’s our drinking water supply they’re going through to get to this natural gas,” Hall says.The gas industry disputes the claims of Baker, Hall, and others.“We have multiple layers of steel casing and cement that, if done properly, ensure that the hydrocarbons and fracturing fluids cannot, in any way, shape or form, communicate with freshwater aquifers,” says Travis Windle, a spokesman for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a natural gas industry group. 1 2 3last_img read more

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Top 40: Snowsports

first_img1. Head AdaptEdge BootCustom fit. That’s the story with the Head’s Adaptive Fit technology, which allows the skier to adjust the width of the AdaptEdge Boot with the turn of an allen wrench. It’s a small adjustment (2mm) but skiers know that small adjustments in their boot can make a big difference in the amount of control they have on the slopes.$549; head.com35. K2 Rival BC HelmetThis lid is built for the backcountry with an innovative beanie liner and a removable shell. What’s the advantage? Ditch the shell when you’re trekking up the slope to keep yourself cool. Re-attach it before you start shredding downhill.$119.95; k2skis.com37. MFD Alltime SystemWant to hit the backcountry stash without investing in a whole new set of skis? The MFD Alltime might be the answer. This is a plate you attach to your downhill skis that allows you to use your downhill bindings as AT bindings, so you can tour the backcountry with your regular skis. The plate has an integrated free-pivot walk mode and climber bar you can engage with your pole. You’ll still need skins for traction, but this add-on could open up a whole new world of terrain.$300; runmfd.com36. K2 LockJaw CarbonThese carbon on carbon backcountry poles adjust from 42 to 58 inches on the fly (extend them for the climb, shorten for the descent). The poles also come with K2’s newest bag of backcountry ski tricks: a bubble inclinometer so you can see how steep the slope is that you’re eyeballing. Point the tip of the pole up the fall line and read the slope angle in the bubble. The Lockjaw also includes a built-in snow depth meter.$109.95; k2skis.com32. Black Diamond Compactor PoleBlack Diamond revolutionized the trekking pole world with their folding Z-Pole, and the company hopes to do it to the snowsports world with the Compactor, an aluminum four-season pole that folds into three sections for easy storage, and has an extended height adjustment of 20cm. This is your one pole for backcountry snow.$119.95; blackdiamondequipment.com30. Zeal Optics ReconRidiculous GPS enabled goggles, you can watch your speed, video, connect to your phone, all through your goggles.$500; zealoptics.com33. Outdoor Research Ambit GloveIn the immortal words of Wooderson in Dazed and Confused, “Hey man, watch the leather.” The leather on the fingers of this glove is TouchTec, which allows you to operate the touchscreen of your smart phone without peeling off your gloves. It’s handy on a cold lift when you want to change your playlist without losing a digit. And as for the actual gloves, they’re built for biting conditions with a fully waterproof insert and toasty insulation.$99; outdoorresearch.com34. Salomon BBR SkiMost ski companies have put their innovation into fatter skis that perform better in powder. Awesome if you live in Utah. But what about us East Coast ski bums? Enter the BBR, a front-country ski that tears up the groomed runs thanks to the narrow waist and skinny tail, but floats in powder as well because of the surfboard-shaped tip with rocker. Even better, it’s considerably lighter than most powder skis on the market.$875; salomon.comlast_img read more

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Weekend Pick: Blackstrap Rail Jam

first_imgWisp Resort, in McHenry, Maryland, is kicking off the Blackstrap Rail Jam Series this Friday, January 17th.  The event takes place in the newly relocated Pro-Park with registration starting at 6pm and the competition beginning at 7pm. This is open to all skiers and snowboarders.The series is similar to that of a game of HORSE except this time we’re spelling SNOW. Participants compete against one another, trying to match each trick as they are done. The competition will be set and judged as a points series. Individuals will have the opportunity to score up to ten points within each event. The overall points leader after the finals in March will be awarded the grand prize and deemed the ultimate champion.Mark your calendar: the second event is scheduled for February 21st.last_img

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You Asked, I Answered.

first_imgPer my last blog post, I answered 12 of the most commonly asked questions I’ve received since I hit the road full time in May. I ended the post with an open forum for any questions my followers may have about the project, my job, road life, or J-Daddio herself.Thanks to those who responded to the call!Would love to know what kind of modifications you made to your GO? Storage in the inside? Are you using the table that came with it? Running electric to it? Got a plan for when the temp drops other than just bundle up? – Farley– The SylvanSport Go has remained entirely unaltered with the exception of adding my Yakima kayak stacker, HighRoller, and Roadshower to the factory issued crossbars. I always have three weatherproof storage bins (like these) packed in the trailer during transport mode but usually just leave them locked outside when I set up the camper. The trunks side-by-side are as wide as the trailer is, which is nice if it’s really stormy out and I want to bring them inside. Normally, though, those trunks hold items that I don’t use on a day-to-day basis like warm clothes, camping stoves/gear, and my traveling library. Normally, I pack whatever clothing I need for the week into this front-loading 28L Deuter pack.– As far as electricity goes, there is none. As I mentioned in Tuesday’s blog post, I have an external battery jumper that can not only jumpstart my Jeep‘s battery if I need it but can also charge a 400-watt power inverter that can then charge my lap top, camera batteries, etc. I have a couple sets of ENO twilights and a Black Diamond lantern that run off batteries for lighting the Go at night.– As far as staying warm in the wintertime…we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. As of right now my plan is to whip out the 15-degree down sleeping bag, don my long underwear, and hope a little flask of whiskey will get me through the night.1. Who set the tour stops, you or BRO?2. How often do you get to stop at home?3. Is the Go yours, or belong to BRO, or on loan?4. Camera of choice? (I’m still searching for the camera I will take on my 2015 A.T. Thru Hike)5. Single? 🙂 Need someone to cook and clean while you’re writing?– Jason Schultz– The project’s schedule is based off a few different things. Physical presences at events and festivals are determined by another member of the BRO team and arranged at the beginning of the year. Aside from that, I typically schedule my stops around the destinations I need to travel to in order to get footage (photo and/or video) to accompany an upcoming article.– If by “home” you mean my parents’ home, I get to see my folks every month usually, pending on my travel schedule. It’s typically just a few days here or there but I always try to make my way north for holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries.– SylvanSport is one of our main sponsors and gave Blue Ridge Outdoors the Go specifically for the Live Outside and Play project.– I personally work with a Canon Rebel T3i, though if I were to take one on a thru-hike, I might look into smaller, lighter mirrorless cameras like the Nikon AW1 or the Sony A7S.– Single? Yes. Do I need someone to cook and clean while I write? Only if foot rubs, grapes, and palm leaves are in the picture too.The only question I have would be when are you coming to Columbia SC? I know that it is hotter than your average oven here but we do have some pretty sweet mtb trails! Let this serve as the invite! We will show you around. On a unrelated note….. If I stop asking how I can get your job can I apply for chief navigator?? I am really good at calling “shot gun!” And I make a mean cup of coffee….. My resume is attached… – Mike Hahn– Mike! Big fan of Columbia. I was around in the wintertime for the Ice Man Race. Would love to actually race next year. Hopefully the winter weather will send me south. I just got a Specialized hardtail from Adventure Damascus and would love to get out on some SC singletrack!As for the chief navigator, I’d love one, but only if you accept beer and good times as payment.###Cheers everyone! Thanks again for the questions and feel free to continue asking. Promise I don’t bite (mostly).last_img read more

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Don’t Let Rain Stop You, Get Your Outdoor Thrills Indoors

first_imgWe’ve all been guilty of planning to go out and hike, climb, run, or take part in some form of outdoor recreation and let dismal weather be the excuse to not go for it. It’s in times like those that it is good to know what options you have to still get your adventure on, but under a roof. Here are a few options for outdoor enthusiasts that don’t want the rainy days to hold them back.By no means do these options compare to the fresh air, beautiful scenery, and thrill that the outdoor experience provides, but they do give you a great way to keep your body in motion, practice some new skills, and build strength all while increasing the level of confidence in your skills.An inside look at Louisville’s Mega Cavern inside mountain biking course.Photo by Team Neon VeloIndoor mountain bike courses are an incredible find, but are not found as easily as indoor stationary bikes. With these courses, you get to have the full body experience and dirt-to-wheel connection that is so rare to find anywhere indoors. These courses are a favorite for bike junkies to have a place to pedal throughout the winter months as well. Indoor mountain bike courses to look for in the Blue Ridge include The Wheel Mill of Pennsylvania and Kentucky’s Mega Cavern.Rock climbing gyms are all over the Blue Ridge and are ideal for people of any skill set from first time climbers to those with extensive experience. Rock climbing can burn between 500 to 900 calories per hour making these gyms a great option for summer workouts. An added bonus is that you’re harnessed in with a staff supervised belaying system with mats underneath, providing a safe and forgiving environment in the event that you fall or make a mistake.Paddling pools are unique in that with limited space and the right equipment, they can simulate a real rowing experience you would find in open waters. From kayaking to rowing, paddle pools hold still water for you to paddle through and test maneuvers through classes and events such as roll clinics where you get to practice how to get right side up in the event that you flipped over in your kayak going down a river. More recently, some of these indoor paddling pools feature rowing tanks. With the intention to improve endurance and technique, the tanks mimic the conditions of open waters as rower sit in fixed positions and different aspects of the moving waters in the tank can be shifted to attempt to recreate specific water types and conditions. Depending on the paddle pool near you, there may even be options to paddle board as well.Check out what indoor recreation options you have in your area and before you know it, you’ll be hitting the water, climbing rock faces, and shredding the trails all while being inside.last_img read more

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Beech Mountain Resort Set to Open for Summer Season on Friday, June 5

first_imgPatrons can enjoy 18 holes of disc golf at the resort while experiencing gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Disc golfers will be able to walk the course for free or purchase a lift ride up to the first hole at the summit for an official round, heading down the mountain to the last basket.  Beech Mountain Resort’s 5506′ Skybar will be open with outdoor seating only. Patrons can enjoy a drink and the amazing mountaintop views while respecting social distancing protocols. Beech Mountain Resort provides a variety of lift-served downhill mountain biking trails and a full-service bike shop in the resort village. Lessons and guided ride packages are available to accommodate all skill levels. The resort’s full line of rental bikes includes the addition of electric-assist bikes for 2020.  Beech Mountain, NC – Beech Mountain Resort opens for the summer season on Friday, June 5, offering scenic lift rides, mountain biking, hiking and disc golf. The resort will also have take-out food and beverage service that can be enjoyed at several outdoor locations on property. Popular round-trip scenic lift rides to the mountaintop will be available for all guests. As a special thanks to locals, all residents of Watauga and Avery counties will enjoy free lift rides for the month of June. Rules and regulations apply and more information can be found at www.beechmountainresort.com.   Beech Mountain Brewing Co. Beech Mountain Resort places the health and safety of its customers, its team, and the surrounding community at the forefront of its business practices. The resort will continue to adhere to all federal and state guidelines as each phase is enacted to ensure a safe recreational experience for all. Disc Golf The resort will operate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Enhanced sanitation practices, social distancing policies and other safety measures will be implemented to follow state and local health guidelines. Free Scenic Lift Rides for Watauga and Avery Residents During Month of Junecenter_img Mountain Biking Beech Mountain Brewing Co., located in the resort village, will offer take-out food only. Growlers of fresh-brewed beer will also be available for purchase.  *Please check website for opening date and operational times. *5506′ Skybar Scenic Lift Rides For more information about the resort’s summer activities or to purchase a season pass, go online to www.beechmountainresort.com or call 800.438.2093.last_img read more

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