FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Andy Balaskovitz for Midwest Energy News:Attorneys general in Michigan, Wisconsin and Missouri are “out of step” with the majority of voters in their state who support the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, according to polling released last week.Bloomberg Philanthropies surveyed support for the Clean Power Plan among Democrats, Republicans and Independents in those three Midwest states as well as Florida. Attorneys general in those states have each joined a lawsuit to block the federal rules seeking to cut carbon emissions 32 percent by 2030.Poll results showed that 72 percent of voters in Michigan; 68 percent in Wisconsin; and 64 percent in Missouri support the Clean Power Plan. The sample size was 801 voters.Among those states, “The polling found widespread support for the CPP and concretely showed that attorneys general Brad Schimel (WI), Pam Bondi (FL), Bill Schuette (MI), and Chris Koster (MO) are out of step with their constituents,” Bloomberg said in a news release.Full article: Poll: Public supports Clean Power Plan as their states fight it In States Fighting Clean Power Plan, Polls Show Public Is in Favor
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg News:Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal for “reforming” power markets is, in a word, nuts. One thing it isn’t, in a word, is conservative.Monday marks the deadline for initial public comments on Perry’s plan. It would subsidize unregulated power plants holding 90 days worth of fuel onsite, effectively shielding those that use either coal or uranium from the market.The ostensible objective is to reward these plants for “resilience,” an attribute that apparently isn’t rewarded under the current market structure. That’s the name for the role they play in preventing blackouts in extreme situations.There’s nothing inherently wrong with adjusting markets to reward unsung services. As Perry told a congressional committee earlier this month, the U.S. power market is replete with subsidies and regulated prices.What is inherently wrong is Perry’s cherry-picking of which special cases get recognized and his method of dealing with them.There is no agreed-upon definition of what “resilience” means. But let’s remember that the U.S. power grid is one of the largest, most complex machines ever built, balancing electricity supply and demand in real time across millions of nodes. So the idea that keeping it running smoothly involves having large piles of coal and uranium sitting around just seems a bit simplistic.Feel free not to take my word for it. In a recent report, the Rhodium Group consulting firm found that in major electricity disruptions that occurred between 2012 and 2016, the share attributed to fuel-supply issues was precisely 0.00007 percent.Singling out coal piles for special treatment looks less like a sophisticated resilience plan and more like … special treatment.PJM Interconnection, which manages the power market in the affected areas, has its own proposals for strengthening resiliency, including existing mechanisms like regular capacity auctions that reward plants for being ready to provide power if needed. These aren’t perfect, but they are at least market-based.Perry’s preference to instead simply roll back a couple of decades of deregulation is the opposite of a traditional conservative approach — and is all the more remarkable when you consider it’s the antithesis of the way the power market works in his home state, Texas.More: Subsidizing Coal Is Far From Conservative Coal Subsidies Defile Conservatism
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Eco-Business:Standard Chartered Bank has pulled out of three coal-fired power projects in Southeast Asia, marking a significant moment for corporate climate action in the region.The London and Hong Kong-headquartered bank announced in a climate disclosure statement on Tuesday that it would only support clients that “actively transition their business to generate less than 10 per cent of earnings from thermal coal by 2030,” and would be withdrawing from three coal projects.The company did not state which coal projects it would stop funding, but sources suggest that they are Vung Ang 2 and Vinh Tan 3 initiatives in Vietnam, and Java 9 and 10 in Indonesia.StanChart announced more than a year ago that it would stop financing new coal plants, becoming the first major Southeast Asian-focused finance group to rule out funding any new coal power projects. However, the bank continued to back a number of projects in the region, including the 1,200 megawatt (MW) Vung Ang 2 and 1,980 MW Vinh Tan 3 plants.In addition to the three coal project withdrawals, StanChart said it had increased its target for financing clean technology and renewables to $35 billion by 2025.DBS, Southeast Asia’s largest bank, is the only one of Singapore’s big three banks that continues to fund coal, backing the development of the Vung Ang 2 facility.[Robin Hicks]More: Standard Chartered Bank pulls out of three coal projects in Southeast Asia Standard Chartered tightens coal finance rules, will pull out of three pending projects
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:French energy group Total and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group have concluded a partnership to develop five large floating offshore wind projects in South Korea, the firms said on Tuesday.Oil companies like Total have been ramping up investment in renewable projects in a bid to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and increase their exposure to low-carbon investments.The wind projects have a potential joint capacity of around 2.3 gigawatts (GW), and Total and Macquarie aim to launch construction of the first project of around 500 megawatts by the end of 2023.“Our entry in the floating offshore wind segment in South Korea is in line with Total’s strategy to profitably develop renewable energy worldwide and contribute to our net zero ambition,” Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné said.Total currently has around 5 GW of renewable power capacity and is aiming for 25 GW by 2025.South Korea wants to build more renewable power plants and reduce its reliance on coal as part of efforts to reach net zero emissions by 2050.[Susanna Twidale and Sudip Kar-Gupta]More: Total and Macquarie to develop South Korea wind projects Total, Macquarie team up to build 2.3GW of offshore wind projects in South Korea
Australia on track to install 6.3GW of new renewable energy capacity in 2020 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Australia is on track to add a stunning 6.3GW of new renewable energy capacity in 2020, thanks largely to a rooftop solar market that has defied the odds of the Covid-19 pandemic and is headed to a record total of just under 3GW for the year.According to the June 2020 Quarterly Carbon Market Report published by the Clean Energy Regulator on Thursday, renewable investment in both small and large scale renewables has exceeded expectations and punched above its weight for the Australian economy.Clean Energy Regulator chair David Parker said that large-scale renewables were on track to deliver around 3.4 GW in new generation capacity for the year, while rooftop solar was likely to exceed the CER’s previous estimate of 2.7GW in 2020 and hit a total of 2.9GW.An estimated 677MW of rooftop PV was installed in Quarter 2 2020, an 11 per cent increase on Quarter 1 2020 and 41 per cent higher than Quarter 2 2019, with the average system size rising to 8.2kW, up from 7.6kW in Quarter 1 2020.“Strong growth in installations in the first half of 2020, coupled with a step change in system sizes and negligible Covid-19 impact means that the outlook for [small-scale technology certificate (STC)] supply remains strong and the STC clearing house will stay in surplus for the remainder of 2020,” the report says.[Sophie Vorrath]More: Renewables through the roof, as small-scale solar heads to stunning new highs
Wind and solar generation in Australia’s main electricity market tops coal for first time FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:It’s the season of new records, and the most notable one in a week of new milestones in Australia’s main electricity grids is a new peak for renewable energy’s share in the National Electricity Market: It reached 50.4 per cent at 10.55am on Monday.It also likely the first time that the combined output of wind and solar was more than that of black and brown coal, traditionally the dirty bedrock of Australia’s electricity supply.Rooftop solar provided 24.6 per cent of supply at 10.55am, utility scale solar 10.1 per cent and wind energy 13.5 per cent. Together, they totalled 48.2 per cent, and the percentages might have been higher had not some wind and solar farms decided to switch off to duck negative pricing events.Even so, wind and solar – possibly for the first time – beat black and brown coal which made up 47.4 per cent of the generation mix.A 1.9 per cent contribution from hydro and a 0.2 per cent contribution from biomass took the total renewables contribution to 50.4 per cent. Gas, the so-called great “transition” fuel, contributed 1.2 per cent.Australia is expected to set more renewable energy and minimum demand records in coming weeks – a combination of good wind and solar conditions, mild temperatures, and relatively low demand, further reduced by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.[Giles Parkinson]More: Australia’s main grid hits new renewable energy record of 50.4 per cent
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Mint:State-run NTPC Ltd will not set up greenfield coal-fueled power projects as part of its pivot towards green energy, said the company’s chairman and managing director, Gurdeep Singh.NTPC, India’s largest power generation utility which runs one of the biggest coal power project fleets in the world, plans to make total capital expenditure of ₹ 1 trillion between 2019 and 2024 to become a 130-gigawatts (GW) power producer by 2032.“Your company has changed its focus and is pursuing renewable capacity addition aggressively. We have taken the decision not to acquire any further land for greenfield thermal projects in the near future and the focus will be on reducing the carbon footprint,” Singh said at the 44th annual general meeting of the public sector unit.NTPC has around 4GW of renewable capacity, mostly solar, and plans to add at least 5GW solar capacity in two years. It will acquire at least 1GW of operational solar projects as part of its strategy to have a 32GW clean energy portfolio. “By 2032, we aim to add 32GW of renewables, both by organic and inorganic route, and aim to become the largest renewable energy company in India,” Singh said.India has been trying to rejig its energy mix in favour of green energy sources and has become one of the top renewable energy producers globally, with a plan to achieve 175GW by 2022 and 500GW by 2030 as part of its climate commitments.“Discussions are in progress with the state governments of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh for allocation of land parcels for setting up of renewable projects. These would be developed under the Ultra Mega Renewable Energy Power Parks (UMREPP) scheme of the government of India,” Singh said.[Utpal Bhaskar]More: NTPC pivots from thermal to green India’s NTPC takes a step away from coal, plans 32GW clean energy portfolio by 2032
Hear and Wear: The members of Wrinkle Neck Mules are creating sounds for your ears and clothes for your back.Wrinkle Neck Mules cultivate roots rock and outdoor apparel.It’s not everyday you meet a group of guys who can successfully call themselves part-time musicians and part-time outdoor clothing designers, but for the members of Wrinkle Neck Mules creativity comes in many forms. Earlier this year the Virginia-bred alt-country outfit released their fifth full-length album Apprentice to Ghosts. Around the same time, the band’s front three—Andy Stepanian (guitar and vocals), Chase Heard (banjo and guitar), and Mason Brent (mandolin, pedal steel, and guitar)—unveiled the spring line of Howler Brothers, their coastal outdoor apparel company.“After all the years spent together in the van traveling to play shows, this seemed like a great next project for us,” said Brent. “The way we develop ideas is pretty similar.”The band formed more than a decade ago with members that resided between Richmond and Charlottesville. During long stretches of building success on the grassroots touring circuit, songwriting partners Heard and Stepanian propelled the group with a lyrical chemistry similar to tunesmith foils Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley of the Drive-By Truckers.But instead of only employing the Truckers’ electric bombast, the Mules turned heads with an Appalachian-hued brand of backwoods rock. Stepanian’s husky growl came down to earth next to Andy Stepanian’s mandolin fills and Heard’s banjo rolls. After a handful of years touring full-time, the band drastically slowed down in 2007. Heard and Stepanian moved to Texas to pursue different career options, while Brent and bassist Brian Gregory stayed on the East Coast.Despite giving up the road life, the band—especially by current standards—remains prolific in the studio. Late last year, the group members convened for a quick recording session and cranked out Apprentice to Ghosts over a short week in the shadow of Shenandoah at Bernice Lane Studio in Ruckersville, Va.“We’re great friends who still want to play music together as much as we can, despite our different life situations,” Brent added. “We pass song ideas back and forth from a distance and then put them together fully in the studio. We’re more committed to recording and coming out with albums as much as we can. It’s not the way most bands do it these days, but it works for us because we love it.”The new album finds the band cranking up the amps and embracing a harder edge. “Central Daylight Time,” which recently landed in a Geico commercial, is a gritty honky-tonk rocker, while “Stone Above Your Head” finds the place where a vintage Rolling Stones groove meets a ragged Uncle Tupelo chorus.“It’s slowly evolved from being further down the country spectrum to more of our rock side,” Brent adds, on the band’s current style. “In the last few years we’ve moved from a lot of banjos and mandolins to more of an edgy sound.”While “Banks of the James” is actually a roadhouse ballad lamenting a lover’s betrayal, the title could also describe where Stepanian, Heard, and Brent hope to see people wearing Howler Brothers’ apparel. Formed three years ago, the company designs clothes geared for water adventure. All avid paddlers, anglers, and surfers, the founders mix technical fishing shirts and board shorts with funky illustrated t-shirts and trucker hats.Heard, also an artist with a background in illustration, had longtime aspirations to start a clothing brand, so he kick-started the company with some early designs. With limited small-batch production, Howler clothes are gradually moving into outfitters around the Southeast.“We like to consider it all things coastal outdoors,” Brent says. “We try to focus on what anybody would like on the water.”Howler GearGaucho SnapshirtCowboy meets ocean with this stylin’ technical shirt that features quick-wicking nylon that’s made to dry fast during long days of casting.Loggerhead LongsleeveA classic Henley gets a technical makeover, made from 100 percent polyester that’s armed with SPF 45 sun protection. It’s ideal for keeping arms covered yet cool during marathon sea kayaking sessions.
Whether you’re hitting the trail or the town, these women’s adventure gear items will keep you at the top of your game.Trail1. Gerber ParaframeEven if you only use your knife to spread peanut butter, it’s nice to know you have something sturdy, sharp and reliable when you need it. The Paraframe is all that and weighs only 2.9oz.$25; gerbergear.com2. DivaCupPeriods suck, especially when you’re in the wilderness. For girls on the go, there’s the DivaCup, a reusable alternative to tampons that can be worn for 12 hours at a time while helping reduce environmental impact.$30; divacup.com3. Therm-a-Rest Women’s NeoAir XLiteA long day on the trail requires a long night of beauty sleep. The NeoAir XLite is not only lightweight, comfortable and ultra-packable, but the 2.5-inch-thick mattress provides cold sleepers extra padding in certain areas and a reflective coating to trap and recycle body heat for extra warmth.$160; cascadedesigns.com/therm-a-restRock4. Scarpa Force XEdges, cracks and slabs require versatility. If you’re looking for comfort and performance in a climbing shoe, the Force X provides female climbers with cushiony suede leather that conforms to the foot and a durable Vibram XS Edge sole.$129; scarpa.com5. Helly Hansen Pace ½ ZipThis long-sleeve pullover is a perfect solution for all-day adventure. From the chilly morning start to the late afternoon sun, the combination of Helly Hansen’s Cool fabric, Dry technology and mesh backing provide protection from the elements in a lightweight layer.$70; hellyhanson.com6. Ibex Rim Balance bra and briefBackcountry intimates are important to a woman’s wardrobe. The unique wool/lycra blend of the Balance line makes this bra and brief duo odor-resistant, supportive and comfortable.Bra – $60, Brief – $30; ibex.comTown7. Keen Mercer MJ CNXWhen you’re not styling the rapids and tearing up the trail, take a walk around town in these Mary Janes. Comfortable, stylish and durable, these lightweight shoes can withstand lightweight hiking while looking dressy enough for any dinner date.$90; keenfootwear.com8. Outdoor Research Trance DressThe ultimate in fashion meets function. This polyester/spandex blend dress is quick drying, breathable, and wrinkle-resistant, making it a perfect solution for looking fine on and off the trail.$75; outdoorresearch.comWater9. Sperry Top-Sider SON-R SounderWhitewater paddlers and creek-wading enthusiasts alike will find the Sounder an impressive option for close-toed water footwear. With Hydro-Grip rubber traction and anti-microbial lining, this protective shoe lets you easily travel on land and in water.$90; sperrytopsider.com10. NRS Women’s Zoya Mesh Back PFDThe last thing a woman wants to worry about is how her boobs look in her PFD. The Zoya Mesh Back provides a comfortable shelf for a lady’s ladies while offering six side and two shoulder adjustments for the perfect fit. Bonus fleece pockets keep the hands warm on those bitter winter paddles.$100; nrs.com
BRO Ultimate 100: Adventure #90 from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.New Year’s resolutions are easy to make but harder to keep. Maybe you want to run an ultra or try kayaking for the first time. Whatever your goals are, make the 2014 year a good one. Check out this month’s issue for the BRO Ultimate 100, a list of 100 must-do mountain adventures in the Blue Ridge as suggested by our readers, our region’s experts, and our staff. Big or small, we have an adventure for you!This week’s BRO-TV episode features adventure #90, a suggestion from Harrisonburg-based mountain biker and Shenandoah Mountain Touring owner Chris Scott. He says riding the singletrack in Virginia’s Douthat State Park is a must for any fat tire lover.