FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:One of the UK’s eight remaining coal power stations is expected to cease generating electricity this year, the government has said as it laid out new rules that will force all the plants to close by 2025. The coal phase-out is one of the Conservative party’s flagship green policies, and thelong-awaited implementation plan comes ahead of a speech by Theresa May on the environment [this] week.While three plants shut in 2016, and most are expected to halt operations by 2022, the last ones standing will be forced to close in October 2025 because of new pollution standards. However, the plan reveals the sector will continue to be propped up by hundreds of millions of pounds in backup power subsidies for several years, paid through consumer energy bills.Experts said allowing coal operators to continue receiving capacity market subsidies had thrown the sector an unnecessary lifeline. Dr. Jonathan Marshall, energy analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, a UK-based thinktank, said: “While delivering on the top line of a 2025 closure, the government’s decision to allow coal plants to compete in the capacity market on equal footing until then looks like something of a missed opportunity.”Ministers will also retain emergency powers to suspend the phase-out in the case of an emergency shortfall in electricity supplies. But officials said it was unlikely those powers would be called on, because the gap created by the coal plants’ closure would probably be filled by old gas power stations staying open longer.The government rejected calls by campaigners and industry groups for the deadline of 2025 to be brought forward, citing cost and energy security grounds. It also rebuffed suggestions of a gradual phase-out before 2025, arguing coal use was low enough to make that unnecessary.Coal’s fall has been swift and dramatic, with power generation from the polluting fuel plunging by more than 80% since 2012.More: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jan/05/uk-coal-fired-power-plants-close-2025 U.K. Details Plans For 2025 End To Coal Generation
Shell sets goal of becoming world’s largest power company FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Royal Dutch Shell Plc plans to become the world’s biggest power company within 15 years, a move that suggests it sees climate change as a bigger threat to its business than electricity’s historically weak returns.The world’s No. 2 oil explorer by market value is spending as much as $2 billion a year on its new-energies division, mainly to grow in a power sector it sees delivering 8 to 12 percent annual returns, according to Maarten Wetselaar, director of Shell’s integrated gas and new-energies unit.“We believe we can be the largest electricity power company in the world in the early 2030s,” Wetselaar said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Monday. “We are not interested in the power business because we like what we saw in the last 20 years; we are interested because we think we like what we see in the next 20 years.”Investors are putting pressure on companies to protect their business from a shift to lower-carbon fuels, driven by new laws and consumer choices. That pressure is especially acute in Europe, where Norway’s Finance Ministry last week instructed its $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund to divest some oil and gas companies to shield it from a “permanent decline” in crude prices.The region’s biggest oil majors, such as Shell, BP Plc and Total SA, were spared in the decision, partly because they’re bolstering their investments in renewables. Besides Shell’s move toward power, BP has purchased the U.K.’s biggest car-charging company, while Total has bought electricity provider Direct Energie. They’ve also invested in solar and wind-power production.For Shell, the electricity business is still in an experimental phase. Last month, the vice president of its new-energies unit, Mark Gainsborough, declined to estimate when it’ll achieve higher returns, but indicated it will introduce new combinations of power products that are more profitable than those from a traditional utility.More: Shell says it can be world’s top power producer and profit
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ReNews.biz:Saudi Arabia will become a regional heavyweight in the Middle East’s wind power market adding over 6GW in the next 10 years, according to new research by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.The report – ‘Middle East Wind Power Market Outlook, 2019-2028’ – said developers will build 6.2GW of wind capacity in the country or 46% of the region’s total wind capacity additions between 2019 and 2028.Saudi Arabia has set a 16GW target for wind by 2030 and 40GW for solar, Wood Mackenzie added.The report noted that regional volatility is expected to remain, with strong positive growth, driven by Jordan and Iran in 2018 expected to reverse in 2019. Post-2020 Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables sees regional demand returning to steady growth.Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables added that the outlook for solar in the region is “much more positive” than wind.“Compared to only 6GW of wind power capacity, developers will add 53GW of PV capacity through 2024,” said [Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables senior analyst Sohaib] Malik. He added: “Solar PV has become a natural choice for many countries in the region, which is endowed with world class solar energy resources.More: Saudis set to ‘boost wind by over 6GW’ Wind power projects gaining traction in sunny Middle East
Renewables topped fossil fuels in EU electricity generation for first time through June 2020 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Europe’s long goodbye to coal is speeding up, in a transition smoothed by the rise of wind and solar power and energy policy that has priced the fossil fuel out of many markets, according to data released on Wednesday.Renewable sources of power have taken over for the first time in 2020, generating 40% of European Union electricity, while fossil fuels generated 34%, independent think-tank Ember said in a half-yearly report.In Spain, coal generation fell 58% in the first six months of the year, even before half its remaining plants closed in June as they no longer complied with EU emissions rules. The pace of plant closures in Spain, with 69% of the entire fleet to be shuttered between 2020 and 2021, has no precedent, Global Energy Monitor program director Christine Shearer said.In Portugal, coal generation fell 95% in the first half of 2020, Ember said. Last week major utility EDP brought forward its Iberian plant closures to 2021, after writing down their value last year.The Netherlands, Austria and France all saw reductions of more than 50%. Sweden and Austria closed their last plants in March.In Germany coal generation fell 39%, taking it for the first time below Poland, which now generates as much electricity from coal as the EU’s remaining 25 countries put together.[Isla Binnie]More: Europe steams towards coal exit – research
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Korea Herald:South Korean brokerage firm Korea Investment & Securities has decided to stop its investments in coal, in line with the Moon Jae-in administration’s “Green New Deal” initiative, one of the key pillars of the so-called “Korean New Deal” economic stimulus package.“We will stop investing in coal from now on. To fulfill our social responsibility as a firm, we’ll strengthen ESG — environmental, social and governance — investments instead,” a KIS official said. “It is to follow the Paris Agreement to lower global carbon emissions as well as participate in the government’s Green New Deal policy.”Last year, the brokerage firm made a total of 800 billion won ($671.3 million) worth of ESG investments, including 200 billion won worth investments in renewable energy. The accumulated amount came to nearly 15 percent of its equity, according to KIS.Meanwhile, KIS plans to disclose its latest ESG investing results through the firm’s biennial report on corporate sustainability management. The upcoming report is slated to be published in September.[Jie Ye-eun]More: Korea Investment & Securities to divest coal assets South Korean brokerage firm Korea Investment & Securities to stop all coal business
After writing about my love for returning rigid every once in a while just to hone in the skills, I accidentally rode Laurel Mountain with my suspension locked out, and it really hurt.I was clattering along getting the crap beaten out of me, not even realizing that I had left it locked out from the last ride in which I finished with a long road climb. Usually my bike is left in the squishy mode, so I thought that I was just really sucking that badly. I bumped along, rattling my porcelain crowns, wondering why this was so exhausting.It was after most of the climb was done that I finally noticed why my shoulders were throbbing and my neck was wrecked. A simple twist of the valve fixed my suspension and, of course, my attitude. Suddenly I was able to float a few rocks and jump a log or two without being rudely interrupted by the saddle in my bum.Maybe it’s better to ride rigid when you actually know that your bike is in rigid mode. Gearing up to compress and sail over something offers much more air-time when the bike is actually loading first. I’m here to say that the landing is far different when the expectations are for a gentle bounce, but the reality is being catapulted from the exposed root that has now rearranged your inner ear due to sudden impact.I was also sore the next day. Speaking of sore, it’s not a good idea to “ride it out” after a particularly hard workout involving the core and upper body. A recent Parkour class had me so sore that I was unable to engage my core during a ride two days later. My shoulders were sore also, which prevented me from wanting to experience the burn they exhibited every time I needed to maneuver the bike over anything. In my mind, a good cardiovascular flush would rid my muscles of the lactic acid forming pools of misery.Maybe a massage would have been better than a ride. I was sloppy, lazy and whiney. But maybe I was also a lot stronger after that. After all, when the opportunity to ride arises, it’s silly to ignore it. There’s no telling when it will happen again.There’s also something to be said about riding even when you don’t want to just due to the Fun Factor. Flying through the woods with a giddy smile on the lips and rolls of laughter bubbling from the belly cannot be compared to having a rest day, no matter how sore and tired you are. The trick is to get the bike and gear into the back of the truck early in the day before too many thoughts can impede good decisions!
I was trapped in a flipped kayak, hanging upside-down in the ice-cold river. I couldn’t think. And I certainly couldn’t remember the roll technique I’d just learned. The current was spinning me downriver, where another foaming rapid bared its rocky teeth. So I did what any other air-breathing animal would do: I panicked. I bailed out on my paddle and started flailing my arms in a desperate attempt to get above water. When that didn’t work, I pulled the release strap on the skirt and wiggled out of the boat. I popped to the surface moments later, blue-faced and foggy-headed, and grabbed onto Gene’s kayak to catch my breath.I was trying to Eskimo roll on the Nantahala, a loud, hard-flowing whitewater river in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. My friend Gene—a class V kayaker—had already talked me through the roll technique dozens of times that morning: Tuck your body, cut your paddle, snap your hips. It seemed so easy above water. But every time I flipped, the words fell out of my head and washed downstream, and all I could do was flounder in the freezing flow until Gene rescued me.“Stay relaxed out there,” he suggested. “Next time you flip, clear your head and count to three.”On shore, I tried to knock the water out of my ears, which were still ringing with the underwater sound of the river. Then I climbed back into my kayak—an oversized Dagger from the early 70s that looked like a long, ripe banana—and paddled out into the current.Veils of morning mist still shrouded the river. In the gray gauze, Gene and I eddy-hopped through Patton’s Run, a bouncy rapid with a 90-degree bend, and played in the splashy wave train below Jaws, a fin-shaped rock in the middle of the river. At Delabar’s Rock, we haystacked over large tongues of whitewater. My head still felt cloudy, but it was starting to shake loose.Next up was Whirlpool—a sudsy, squirrelly rapid with a great surfing wave. Gene demonstrated a few Eskimo rolls in the rapid, then asked me to give it a try.The wave knocked me over instantly, and my mind was swallowed up again in the underwater surround-sound—a dull, low-pitched ringing that drowned out my thoughts. It reminded me of lying on my back in a bathtub while trying to listen to a radio in the other room. Only this time, the radio was my own muffled brainwork.Nothing was getting through the river’s garbled static. Like a hooked fish fighting the line, I frantically flapped around underwater, then squirmed out of the kayak again.Usually, after I wet-exited, Gene tried to come up with something positive and encouraging to make me feel better: “You almost had it … You’re getting closer … Your set-up looked really good …” But this time, he gave it to me straight: “You’re scared.”It took a few seconds to sink in. He was right, dammit. I was scared to death. I wasn’t trying to roll. I was trying not to drown.We paddled silently downstream for a while. Steep granite cliffs blocked all but a sliver of sky. Ahead, I could hear the churning, crashing sounds of Nantahala Falls — a class III rapid with swirling suckholes and skull-cracking rock ledges.Gene whirled his index finger in circles, signaling me to eddy out above the rapid. I ferried across the river and was paddling toward the pocket of calm water—when my kayak unexpectedly skimmed a rock and flipped.It caught me completely off guard. I didn’t have time to think about my roll. I didn’t get a chance to get scared. One second I was talking to Gene, the next I was blowing bubbles.Once again, the hollow hum of river water clogged my ears. I started to panic. I reached for the release strap, then stopped myself. I counted one … two … three … and suddenly, in the river’s voice, I heard my own. It said: tuck, cut, snap.Keeping my body close to the boat, I twisted my paddle and flicked my hips toward the surface. I felt the kayak rotate. And the next thing I knew, the river was below me again.I pumped my fist and screamed—a deep, throat-scorching screech that sounded strangely like the ring of the river. Gene hugged me, and I almost flipped over again. We high-fived our paddles and slapped them against the water. Not even the noisy Nanny Falls could drown out our hoots and howls.We finished our run down the falls, snaking smoothly along a seam of current and splatting onto the frothy foam below. The sun had burned off the mist, glossing the water with white light. I wasn’t scared now. And for the first time all morning, my mind was as calm and clear as the river below me. •
Established in 1990 by the Colonel Gene Nervo, Wilderness Adventure @ Eagle Landing is a year-round outdoor retreat center and summer camp located just outside Roanoke in New Castle, VA. Over the last 20-odd years, the 450 acres of the Wilderness Adventure property has been transformed from a single shack to include 3 spacious cabins (including the lodge), numerous low and high element team-building courses, and dozens of low-impact campsites. Throw in a world famous 900ft. zipline and Wilderness Adventure is the best place to host your next outdoor retreat, to send your kids to summer camp, and to kick those feet up and enjoy the great outdoors.Wilderness Adventure is a business built off the seasons, built off the experiences to be had outdoors, and is a business built from the ground up. During every season that is not the summer, W.A. specializes in hosting large groups with hospitality, professionally led adventure trips, and maintained scenic atmospheres. Whether it is an entire 9th grade class, corporate outings, bachelor parties, LARP groups, (the list goes on), or a handful of weddings, Wilderness Adventure has hosted a variety of groups and tailored their visits per specific requests. With a friendly staff, excellent dining options, and endless adventures to be had, Wilderness Adventure is the next place to bring your students, your employees, and your friends for a visit.Wilderness Adventure was originally built on the Summer Backpacking Program, and although its focus now goes towards group facilitation on the off-season, backpacking is still what they do best.The Summer Youth Program gets kids off the couch, unplugged from the X-Box, and opens the door for a life-time of natural world appreciation. All summer long W.A. sends kids (ages 9-17) for 1 – 2 week backpacking trips throughout the Jefferson National Forest. The campers and the two co-ed leaders live out of their backpacks, set up and break down a new campsite each day, and meet up with trained instructors to partake in every adventure the Blue Ridge Mountains has to offer: mountain biking, canoeing, rock climbing, team building, bear wrestling (just kidding), cooking on camp stoves, hiking, white-water kayaking, daily showering (also kidding), and spending a lot of time outdoors, breathing fresh air, and playing. Truly an experience most children do not forget, and as they grow up, so does their appreciation for the outdoors.Wilderness Adventure offers a lot, a lot more than cam be covered in this post, so why not check out their website for more information: http://www.wilderness-adventure.com/ Let the staff at W.A. help you figure out your next outdoor escapade.For updates, funny pictures, and customer feedback, check out and like the facebook page!Stay Sharp, Be Smart, Shop Local-BDL
The largest whitewater festival in the state of Virginia is going down this weekend. The 6th Annual Retro Video Night takes place on Saturday, December 7th in Richmond.A community paddle will kick off the event at 11:00am, so come join the RVA paddling locals for some kayaking tips and fun on the James. After all, it’s the James River we’re celebrating here!Anything can happen when paddlers get together for a video night.The video portion of the event will be hosted at The Camel starting at 5:00pm. Here, they will host a variety of homemade whitewater videos from boaters all over the state of Virginia. This year’s party theme is red carpet, so interpret that as you wish by wearing a suit, glittery get up, or speedo. Hey, they said loose interpretation…Both portions of the event are FREE of charge so grab your paddle and your tux and head for the James!View Larger Map
Fracking is bad enough. Now, a pipeline pumping fracked natural gas is planned for our Blue Ridge backyard.The 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline will run from Harrison County, W.Va., to Robeson County, N.C., cutting a broad swath through prized public lands, including the George Washington National Forest, and over the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.The Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is a collaboration between four large energy companies (Dominion Resources, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas, and AGL Resources), and it will pump 1.5 billion gallons of natural gas daily. The pipeline will be buried under several feet of dirt. So what’s the problem? For one thing, says Greg Buppert, a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center, it would require a permanent 75-foot easement above ground. That means an ugly, treeless gash would ruin views, promote invasive species, and otherwise diminish the GW’s wild character forever. “The part of the forest where the pipeline is proposed contains some of the best remaining wildlife habitat in Virginia and some of the last intact contiguous forests in the Eastern U.S.,” he says. “It would permanently fragment these forests.” Neighboring Monongahela National Forest and other sensitive public and private lands also would be destined for the chain saw. Vital water supplies would be threatened, given that the pipeline would be built on fragile topography shot through with underground drainage systems, sinkholes, and caves. Sedimentation and erosion would foul high-quality streams, and soil compaction would diminish productive agricultural land. And then there’s the ever-present threat of leaks, which would poison wells and groundwater and emit a potent greenhouse gas.But concerned citizens will have their hands full if they want to stop or even slow down the project; the energy companies are hell-bent on completing it and cite the usual litany of spurious or exaggerated economic perks, including jobs and cheaper energy. But it’s clear that the main beneficiaries will be the energy companies themselves. Perpetuating Appalachia’s addiction to fossil fuels is in no one’s long-term interest except for those who produce the stuff.How will tourism be affected if classic Eastern forest vistas are marred by a giant clear-cut eyesore snaking over the landscape? How will farmers fare when they try to cultivate degraded land? How many of the purported economic gains will accrue to locals who have to live with the environmental and safety concerns?And don’t forget the massive hit to property values for everyone who is forced to grant a pipeline easement on their property. According to Nancy Sorrells of the Augusta County Alliance, pipeline companies are legally considered public utilities. That means the energy companies can claim easements on private property via eminent domain, assuming the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approves the pipeline. As a result, property owners could have part of it running 25 feet from their homes or 150 feet from wells that they and their families rely on for drinking water, along with a 75-foot swath above ground that can never be planted or built upon. “Eminent domain was created so that one curmudgeon couldn’t keep a school or a water line from being built,” Sorrells says. “Now, a for-profit corporation under the guise of being a public utility is using eminent domain for their profit.”Water sources are especially vulnerable. “150 feet is nothing. If someone has a leaking septic tank, it can affect somebody’s well miles away. It’s not an if—the pipeline will alter and permanently damage some of our water resources.” Of course, property owners will receive a one-time, lowball payment for their trouble and be dared to challenge it in court. Daunted by the legal fees necessary to take on such well-heeled adversaries, many won’t bother.Misty Boos, director of Wild Virginia, says she is “absolutely against” any pipeline, and especially one that runs through national forest land. Although she thinks the pipeline can be stopped altogether, if worse comes to worst, she has a common-sense suggestion that would limit the damage: use existing rights of way. “There are already pipelines and power lines running through those national forests,” she says. “For some reason Dominion isn’t considering them. It would certainly be less problematic if there weren’t a lot of brand-new clear-cuts.”There’s still time for the actual public interest to prevail. Right now land is being surveyed along the proposed route—a process that often involves cutting down trees with little notice and can be done without the owners’ permission. The proposed route is in the pre-filing stage, and Sorrells says a formal filing could be submitted by late summer. FERC will probably decide whether to approve the pipeline a year or so later. That means opponents need to take advantage of the public comment period this spring to provide critical information for the agency’s environmental impact statement. “It’s very important for people to express their concerns to FERC so it can make the most responsible decision possible,” Buppert says.