FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Dave Mayfield for the Virginia Pilot:Virginia could see as many as 14,000 jobs in the offshore wind energy industry over the next 15 years, according to a report issued by a group called the American Jobs Project. The report, written in partnership with Virginia Tech and issued this month, said the state is particularly well positioned for the placement of offshore turbines.The report said the Hampton Roads port could become an East Coast hub for shipments of turbines and their components.Among the report’s recommendations are overseas trade trips specifically oriented to court companies in the wind industry and the revival of a regional East Coast alliance of states to jointly promote wind projects.Virginia is a laggard in wind power. But Dominion Virginia Power is considering whether to build two test turbines off the Virginia Beach coast, and it holds an adjacent lease that would allow it to develop a large commercial wind farm.The American Jobs Project report said Virginia also has the potential for as many as 5,000 jobs in carbon fiber composite materials over the next 15 years.Report eyes jobs in Virginia offshore wind industry 14,000 Jobs Seen in Virginia Offshore Wind Expansion by 2030
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Benjamin Storrow for the Casper Star Tribune: Political flaps over coal exports get the headlines. But a deteriorating market poses a greater threat to American mining firms’ dreams of establishing a beachhead in Asia.Exports were widely viewed as a lifeline for the United States’ contracting coal industry as recently as 2014. Some analysts predicted mines in the western U.S. could annually ship up to 200 million tons to Asia, or roughly half of what Wyoming’s mines produced at their peak in 2012.Slowing economic growth, a worldwide glut of coal and high shipping costs have clouded the picture since, leaving Indonesia and Australia better positioned to compete in Asia’s contracting import market.“It doesn’t look as promising as it did in the past,” said Andy Roberts, an international coal analyst at the consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. It was Roberts who made the prediction in 2014 that mines in the western U.S. could ship up to 200 million tons annually.“At one time, PRB (coal) could be sold into Asia for a price 20 times above its cost and still compete with Indonesia,” he said. “In other words, plenty of room to make a profit. Today, to make that same sale you would have to make a sale at 12 times below costs.”Wood Mackenzie no longer assumes a series of coal export terminals proposed in the Pacific Northwest will be built.The shift reflects the sea change in global coal markets. American thermal exports, always a sliver of domestic production, are down 40 percent since their peak in 2012, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects them to decline by another 20 percent in 2016.The upheaval in the economic landscape comes as proposed terminals in the Pacific Northwest find themselves facing mounting political hurdles. The U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers last week rejected the Gateway Pacific Terminal in Bellingham, Washington, citing tribal fishing rights. SSA Marine, the project developer, is mulling an appeal.,,,The greatest factor behind the increasingly gloomy outlook for coal exports, though, is China. The world’s second-largest economy has driven global coal demand in recent decades.Chinese annual coal consumption grew at an average rate of 9 percent between between 2003 and 2011, according to the U.S. Energy Information Information Administration. That rate is expected to slow to .3 percent between now and 2040.The slowdown in Chinese coal consumption is due to several factors. Economic growth has slowed and the need for imports along the coast waned. Beijing recently announced plans to halt construction of 200 gigawatts of new coal power, enough to supply Great Britain, in attempts to battle air pollution. And, most important, China’s economy is undergoing structural changes, moving away from energy-intensive heavy industries and toward a consumer-based economy.“There is no basis for the argument that a robust global coal market will exist in the next 10 years, 15 years, 25 years,” said Tom Sanzillo, director of finance at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a think tank that has argued for a shift from coal.Full article: http://trib.com/business/energy/the-prospects-for-coal-exports-are-dimming-but-politics-have/article_f59da9b2-f454-588c-99dc-315c6fcc2609.html ‘The Prospects for Coal Exports Are Dimming, but Politics Have Little to Do with it’
Utah Coal Industry Seeks a Legal Lifeline in Oakland Courtroom FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Salt Lake Tribune:After hearing three days of testimony last week, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria will soon decide to either affirm or invalidate Oakland’s coal ban that thwarted a major Utah coal producer’s hopes of shipping 5 to 10 million tons to Asian countries.A subsidiary of Bowie Resource Partners, which operates Utah’s Dugout, Sufco and Skyline mines, holds an option to lease the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal, or OBOT, under development on a 34-acre city-owned property on the San Francisco Bay’s east shore.The judge completed the hearings Friday and will rule in the coming weeks. At trial, OBOT developer Phil Tagami’s lawyers — whose sizable legal bills Bowie is covering — highlighted what they say are glaring flaws in a coal risk assessment the city used to justify its ban.Tagami contends the city breached agreements that vested him with a right to develop the terminal at the former Oakland Army Base.In Chhabria’s courtroom, dueling expert witnesses that gave opposite views about the health and safety impacts of handling coal. The city’s witnesses testified that the coal-loading terminal could subject West Oakland, already a distressed part of town that bears a heavy legacy of industrial pollution, to unacceptable levels of coal dust.More: How the future of Utah’s coal industry rests with a federal judge in San Francisco
Trump Administration Considers Market Interventions to Stop Retirements of Coal and Nuclear Plants FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Trump administration officials are making plans to order grid operators to buy electricity from struggling coal and nuclear plants in an effort to extend their life, a move that could represent an unprecedented intervention into U.S. energy markets.The Energy Department would exercise emergency authority under a pair of federal laws to direct the operators to purchase electricity or electric generation capacity from at-risk facilities, according to a memo obtained by Bloomberg News. The agency also is making plans to establish a “Strategic Electric Generation Reserve” with the aim of promoting the national defense and maximizing domestic energy supplies.“Federal action is necessary to stop the further premature retirements of fuel-secure generation capacity,” says a 41-page draft memo circulated before a National Security Council meeting on the subject Friday.Although the memo describes a planned Energy Department directive, there was no indication whether President Donald Trump had signed off on the action nor when any order might be issued. The document, dated May 29 and distributed Thursday, is marked as a “draft,” which is “not for further distribution,” and could be used by administration officials to justify the intervention.Over dozens of pages, the memo makes the case for action, arguing that the decommissioning of power plants must be managed for national security reasons and that federal intervention is necessary before the U.S. reaches a tipping point in the loss of essential, secure electric generation resources. U.S. Defense Department installations are 99 percent dependent on the commercial power grid, one reason that electric system reliability is vitally important to national defense and homeland security, the memo asserts.For two years, the Energy Department would direct the purchase of power or electric generation capacity from a designated list of facilities “to forestall any future actions toward retirement, decommissioning or deactivation,” according to the memo. The proposed Energy Department directive also would tell some of those facilities to continue generating and delivering electric power according to their existing or recent contracts with utilities. The department’s intervention is meant to buy time for a two-year study of vulnerabilities in the American energy delivery system — from power plants that provide electricity to the natural gas pipelines that supply them. According to the memo, the planned action is a “prudent stop-gap measure” while the department addresses the nation’s “grid security challenges.”More: Trump Prepares Lifeline for Money-Losing Coal Power Plants
Orsted, Northland Power win big in first Taiwan offshore wind auction FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Recharge:Global pacesetter Orsted emerged as the big winner in Taiwan’s first offshore wind auction, winning 920 MW in a competitive process that awarded 1.66 GW and followed May’s allocation by the country of an initial 3.84 GW. Orsted said its winning price across the two projects in the Changhua region was TWD2,548/MWh, equivalent to about €72.3/MWh ($84.20).The other winner was Canada’s Northland Power, which secured 744 MW for its Hai Long 2 & 3 projects, according to a statement by Taiwan’s energy ministry.The average price across all four projects was TWD2,224/MWh, equivalent to about $73.5/MWh, according to the ministry. That is significantly lower than expected–less than half the TWD5,850 projects can receive if they signed a deal this year under the existing feed-in-tariff (FIT) scheme.The first allocation round in May was awarded on the basis of FITs, but the latest round was auction driven. The result is an average price that beats Taiwan’s average wholesale power cost, currently around TWD2,600.The Orsted projects–which subject to environmental permits will be built by 2025–add to the 900 MW Orsted secured in the May allocation, bringing its total pipeline off the Asian island nation to 1.82 GW–all in Changhua. The Danish group said the second award will allow it to make maximum use of transmission assets off Changhua and serve the projects from a common hub.Northland is developing Hai Long 2&3 with local partner Yushan Energy, which holds a 40% stake. Northland had already been allocated 300MW under the earlier FIT-based allocation process. The projects are also due for grid-connection by 2025.More: Orsted and Northland share 1.66GW in second Taiwan round
Church of England to divest from companies fighting Paris climate accord FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:The Church of England took another step in prodding companies to adopt a green strategy, saying its 12 billion pounds ($16 billion) in funds will divest those that aren’t aligning themselves with the Paris Agreement on climate change.The church’s governing General Synod passed a motion proposed by Canon Giles Goddard of its environmental working group committing the organization to sell shares in companies that haven’t lined up with the Paris goals by 2023, according to a statement.The Church of England has been a loud advocate for action on environmental issues in recent years. It has challenged Exxon Mobil Corp. and Glencore Plc on how they should disclose data relevant to their strategies on climate change. In 2015, it vowed to sell some of its holdings in the most polluting fossil fuels including coal producers and oil sands.Last year, the church voted to approve a non-binding resolution that would force Exxon to publish detailed analysis on how limits on carbon emissions could affect the value of its assets. In 2016, the church filed a resolution seeking disclosure of climate data at Glencore’s shareholder meeting, winning the support of 98 percent of shareholders.The religious body invests through several vehicles, including the Church of England Pensions Board, the Church Commissioners and the CBF Church of England Funds. The commissioners, the body’s endowment fund, manage 8.3 billion pounds.More: Church of England to divest companies not backing Paris climate deal
Renewable energy has provided 43.6% of Spain’s electricity year to date—grid operator FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:Spain produced 43.6% of its electricity with renewables energy technologies in the year to December 11, Spanish grid operator Red Electrica de Espana (REE) said in the summary of its 2020 forecast report.The figure represents the highest proportion of renewables in Spain’s power mix since the records began in 2007, REE noted. On the opposite end were coal-fired plants, which cut down production by 60% compared to 2019 and reached an all-time low share of 2% in the total generation.By the December cut-off date, Spanish plants generated 109,269 GWh of renewable power, up by 11.6% year-on-year, owing mostly to favourable weather conditions and an increase in the total installed renewable energy capacity.This year, the country added 2,706 MW of new wind and solar capacity and disconnected 3,486 MW of polluting power plants, mainly coal-burning units. Today, Spain’s total installed generation capacity stands at 109,674 MW, with renewables accounting for 53% of the total.The overall electricity production levels decreased by 4% to 250,387 GWh, while emissions stemming from power generation fell by 27.3% compared to 2019. With a 21.7% share in the total generation, wind farms were the country’s biggest producers of renewable power this year and the second biggest after nuclear energy. Solar photovoltaic (PV) plants managed to raise their output by 65.9% on the year and reach a share of 6.1%.REE said it expects some changes in the figures to pop up before the year ends, mainly due to the addition of more renewable energy capacity and a shutdown of more coal-based units.[Sladjana Djunisic]More: Spain generates 43.6% of power from renewables in 2020
The dispute over whether or not to mine uranium ore in rural southern Virginia heats up this week as a law that would lift the ban on uranium mining will be introduce to the Virginia state legislature. By ending the three-decades long ban on uranium mining in Virginia, the largest known deposit of undeveloped uranium will be open for mining by Virginia Uranium, Inc., the company founded by the owners of the 3,500 acre farm where the uranium deposit lies. Mining would boost the economy of the region and help make the U.S. energy independent. However, environmental lobbyists and many public officials and citizens across Virginia worry about pollution and radioactive contamination in the water supply.The proposed mining plan has people fiercely divided into two sides, for and against the mine. Tell us what you think: pro-mine or anti-mine?
When my partner and I were planning an extended A.T. hike, we stopped by our local outdoor shop and asked the manager what to bring. “Foremost thing you’ll need is this,” he said, reaching for a plain green book which otherwise looked a lot like a high-end car manual: David ‘AWOL’ Miller’s The A.T. Guide.“This guy, David ‘AWOL’ Miller practically lives on the trail.”Who was this AWOL? And how did the little green manual come to be?Back in the late-90s, working as a high-powered software engineer, Miller got turned on to the notion of an A.T. thru-hike via a newly retired, Katahdin-conquering ex-coworker. Miller soon viewed the 2,181-mile adventure as a potentially kickass springboard into his own retirement. But being married, a proud father of three, and not quite 40 years of age, Miller couldn’t conceive of himself as being capable of responsibly hanging up the corporate boots for at least another two decades.However, despite the pragmatic rationale—must clock the time, take max. advantage of IRA + 401k plans, continue gratingly, monotonously grinding along toward reaping the so-called Golden Years bounty—the A.T. had already infiltrated his system. Miller found himself facing an inconvenient truth: “I remember becoming increasingly aware this thru-hike was something that couldn’t wait. My life had grown precariously normal… It had to be done now.”In the spring of 2001, having procured a greenlight from the familial quintet, Miller quit his nine-to-five and lit out for Springer Mountain, the A.T.’s southern terminus.“My wife was actually happy for me to have the break from my job,” chuckled Miller. She and the kids set out to have a memorable summer of their own—beach trips, camping, and visiting relatives. I missed them, but they were aware I was doing something important I had to do for myself, and that was something they wanted to support.” He quickly earned his trail name AWOL after telling his life story to fellow thru-hikers of quitting his job and setting out for the woods. After he completed his thru-hike, he penned a memoir: AWOL On the Trail.A few years later, in 2007, Miller heard Dan “Wingfoot” Bruce was retiring from the business of maintaining his yearly-updated Thru-Hikers’ Handbook. As a software engineer, Miller realized he could present the trail data in a fresh, new way that was both functional and aesthetic.“For the next year, I spent every spare moment available working on the book, to the point of enlisting my wife and kids,” he said. His efforts yielded the most intricate, detailed, and stunningly resourceful trail guide yet produced.The popularity of The A.T. Guide is not surprising. Every year, Miller or a member of his team personally hikes each section and travels to each town to ensure the information is 100 percent accurate and updated.Miller himself isn’t planning another thru-hike anytime soon. “But if one of my kids wanted to do it and wouldn’t mind having me along, I’d definitely go with them.”
Last week, professional Austrian cyclist Markus Stöckl set the speed world record of 104.14 miles per hour on a commercial downhill mountain bike.“It’s a standard mountain bike, so there’s no part on the bike that you cannot buy,”Stöckl told Dirt afterwards. Sure, it’s a high-end bike with the best parts, but you can buy any part. Nothing has been specially made.”He took his Mondraker Summum from zero to 104.14 miles per hour in eleven seconds, down a 45-degree-angled volcano in Chile. Stöckl had a spandex suit specially designed for this record attempt. He has been setting speed records since the late 1990s.However, this isn’t the fastest speed reached by a mountain bike. Eric Barone has hit 138.8 miles per hour but on a specially designed bike.