Australia sees sharp drop in brown coal generation, surge in solar and wind output

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Australian Financial Review:Brown coal generation fell to its lowest level in the history of the modern power grid in the December quarter, as solar and wind generation surged and coal’s retreat was exacerbated by scheduled maintenance and accidents.The development marks another milestone in the evolution of the modern eastern states’ National Electricity Market from a centralised grid dominated by huge thermal generators to a decentralised grid with a constantly changing mix of fossil fuel, solar, wind and hydro energy.Brown coal generation in Victoria was 8227 gigawatt hours in the December quarter, down from 8500 GWh in the December 2017 quarter and well below the 11,000 GWh in the December 2016 quarter, the last full quarter before Hazelwood’s closure in late March 2017, according to data compiled by Dylan McConnell, a researcher at the University of Melbourne’s College of Climate and Energy. Gas generation was also a big loser, plummeting to just 3183 GWh in the December quarter from 5692 GWH in the December 2017 quarter.The big winners were rooftop solar, which surged by more than a quarter to 2690 GWh from a year earlier, utility-scale solar, which increased fivefold to 917 GWh as more large solar farms came online, and wind, up a fifth to 3426 GWh. Hydro generation also grew 17 per cent to 3400 GWh.Black coal generation still dominates the NEM, but its contribution slipped to 27,550 GWh from 27,698 GWh a year earlier. Even so, the trend is unmistakable, with 7200 megawatts of large-scale wind and solar under construction, according to Green Energy Markets, and record rates of solar rooftop installation.More: Brown coal generation drops to lowest for NEM as solar, wind surge Australia sees sharp drop in brown coal generation, surge in solar and wind outputlast_img read more

Judge rules federal coal sales program requires environmental review

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:A federal judge on Friday ruled that the Trump administration failed to consider potential damage to the environment from its decision to resume coal sales from U.S. lands, but the court stopped short of halting future sales.U.S. District Judge Brian Morris in Montana said Interior Department officials had wrongly avoided an environmental review of their action by describing it “as a mere policy shift.” In so doing, officials ignored the environmental effects of selling huge volumes of coal from public lands, the judge said.The ruling marks another in a string of judicial setbacks for President Donald Trump’s attempts to boost North American energy production.A previous order from Morris blocked the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would transport crude from Canada’s oil sands. Other courts have issued rulings against the administration’s plans for oil and gas leasing and coal mining.More than 40 percent of U.S. coal is mined from federal lands, primarily in Western states. Companies have mined about 4 billion tons of coal from federal reserves in the past decade, contributing $10 billion to federal and state coffers through royalties and other payments.The Obama administration imposed a moratorium on most federal coal sales in 2016. The move followed concerns that low royalty rates paid by mining companies were shortchanging taxpayers and that burning the fuel was making climate change worse. President Donald Trump lifted the moratorium in March 2017 as part of his efforts to revitalize the slumping coal industry.More: Judge: Resumption of U.S. coal sales by Trump needs review Judge rules federal coal sales program requires environmental reviewlast_img read more

Cambodia moving forward with 140MW of new solar capacity

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:Cambodia’s council of ministers announced Friday that it has approved four new large-scale solar power projects with 140 MW of total capacity.The projects, which were submitted by local group Schneitec Infinite, Chinese panel maker Risen Energy, Ray Power Supply, and Green Sustainable Ventures, will be constructed on a Build-Own-Operate (BOO) basis.A 20 MW solar park will be located in the Bavet province, while another 60 MW project will be built in the Battambang province, and two additional 30 MW facilities will be installed in the provinces of Pursat and Banteay Meanchey.The Cambodian government also revealed that the 60 MW solar park in Kampong Chhnang, which was tendered at the beginning of this year, may reach completion in August. The project is the first phase of a 100 MW National Solar Park project that was launched in June 2017.All of these projects are part of the government’s strategy to respond to the country’s increasing energy demand. According to Cambodian authorities, electricity demand in the country is expected to grow from its current 1.5 GW to 2.3 GW by 2020, and 2.8 GW megawatts by 2021. So far, power imports from Laos, Vietnam and Thailand are helping the country meet its growing demand.Cambodia currently has just one operational solar park, a 10 MW project by Singapore’s Sunseap in Bavet, a special economic zone of Cambodia in the Svay Rieng province, near its border with Vietnam.More: Cambodia approves four PV projects totaling 140 MW Cambodia moving forward with 140MW of new solar capacitylast_img read more

Construction starts at U.K.’s Dogger Bank, world’s largest offshore wind farm

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNBC:Construction work for a huge offshore wind farm in the North Sea is underway.In an announcement Friday, energy firm SSE said that onshore work for the 3.6 gigawatt (GW) Dogger Bank Wind Farms project had begun near Ulrome, a coastal village in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. Dogger Bank Wind Farms – which SSE described as “the world’s largest offshore wind farm” – will be made up of three 1.2 GW offshore sites: Creyke Beck A, Creyke Beck B and Teesside A. The project is a joint venture between SSE Renewables and Norwegian energy major Equinor.The scheme is set to use GE’s Haliade-X wind turbine, which has a 12-megawatt generator and stands 260 meters tall. According to SSE, the project will have the capability to produce enough renewable energy for more than 4.5 million homes per year. “Getting the first spade in the ground is a significant milestone on any project, but for what will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm, this is a major moment for a project that has already been over a decade in the making,” Steve Wilson, who is managing director of Dogger Bank Wind Farms, said in a statement.The U.K. is a major player in the offshore wind sector. It is home to projects such as the 659-megawatt Walney Extension facility, in the Irish Sea, which was officially opened in 2018.Europe as a whole is home to a significant offshore wind sector. According to industry body WindEurope, 409 wind turbines were connected to the grid in 2018. The average size of offshore turbines in 2018 was 6.8 MW, which represents a 15% rise compared to 2017.[Anmar Frangoul]More: Work starts on world’s ‘largest offshore wind farm’ that could power 4.5 million homes Construction starts at U.K.’s Dogger Bank, world’s largest offshore wind farmlast_img read more

State-owned Chinese company to develop 5GW, $3.3 billion green energy complex

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Beijing Jingneng Power Co., a Chinese state-owned utility, plans to invest 23 billion yuan ($3.3 billion) in a project that will combine wind and solar power generation, hydrogen production and energy storage.The project planned in the northern Chinese region of Inner Mongolia will have a total capacity of 5 gigawatts, according to a local government report posted on Chinese media site The Paper.Construction of the project is expected to begin this year, with operations starting in 2021. Upon completion, the plant will be able to produce 400,000 to 500,000 tons of hydrogen a year.The statement doesn’t provide capacity details for other segments of the project. Calls to Jingneng were unanswered.China is testing out integrated projects that combine intermittent renewable power with storage as a means to improve efficiency and boost clean energy consumption. Several projects have been planned in Inner Mongolia, including a $2 billion facility proposed last month by state-owned GD Power Development Co.More: Beijing Jingneng plans to build 5GW clean energy & storage plant State-owned Chinese company to develop 5GW, $3.3 billion green energy complexlast_img read more

Record 6.1GW of offshore wind installed in 2019–GWEC

first_imgRecord 6.1GW of offshore wind installed in 2019–GWEC FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:The world’s total offshore wind capacity reached 29 gigawatts (GW) in 2019 following a record 6.1 GW of new annual installations, according to a new report by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).The fresh additions last year represent a 35.5% jump on the figure reported for 2018, when a total of 4.5 GW were installed. China was the leader with close to 2.4 GW.Europe accounted for 59% of all new additions in 2019, with the Asia-Pacific region representing the rest.“While 2019 offshore wind installations were driven by established market leaders, over the next few years we will see more and more countries establish their offshore industry, expanding into new markets in Europe, the US and Asia Pacific,” commented Alastair Dutton, chair of GWEC’s Global Offshore Wind Task Force. He added that these emerging markets will require the right policy frameworks so that the world could pursue a wider build-out of capacity post-2030.The member-based industry organisation expects the world to install a further 50 GW of offshore wind parks by 2024 and approach a cumulative capacity of 80 GW. That would be a surge of 172% from today’s figure.[Ivan Shumkov]More: World adds 6.1 GW of offshore wind in 2019last_img read more

The ugly side of snow-removal

first_imgDear EarthTalk: What are the environmental impacts of all the de-icing and snow removal taking place on roads everywhere in the wake of all the recent storms? — Benjamin P Sander, via e-mailThe act of removing pure white snow seems innocuous enough, but it is actually fraught with negative environmental side effects. One major concern is the snow’s salt content, as most locales use sodium chloride (rock salt) to de-ice roads. But this salt can make nearby freshwater ecosystems uninhabitable for plant and wildlife species, and can affect the quality and taste of local drinking water supplies.Besides salt, removed snow contains accumulated amounts of antifreeze, engine oil, rubber and metal deposits from tire wear, and heaps of plastic litter, cigarette butts and other waste which is also poisonous to local ecosystems no matter where it ends up.Researchers in Toronto, Ontario have found that at least one local snow dump has been wreaking havoc in the nearby Don River. “Road salt adversely affects sensitive species when it exceeds 200 milligrams per liter of water,” reports journalist Michael Lehan. “Almost half of the test results taken between 2002 and 2005 in the river exceeded that, and the highest concentration recorded was almost 4,000 milligrams per liter.” The result, he says, is that the river can barely support life. “Only six pollution resistant fish species…can be found in the river.” Across town in the city’s west end, the Humber River—which doesn’t have a snow dump to contend with—supports some 30 species of fish.Many regions are working on ways to green their snow removal processes. In Maryland, for example, road crews are pre-treating major roadways with brine, a saltwater solution that helps prevent snow and ice from sticking and thus reduces the amount of salt needed after a storm. The state is also experimenting with a beet juice and brine mix with the hope that it will stick to roads better and prevent snow and ice build-up. Massachusetts pre-treats roads with magnesium chloride to help prevent incoming snow and ice from sticking, and also uses a sodium chloride and calcium chloride mix on icy roads in environmentally sensitive areas and when the temperature gets too low (below 20 degrees Fahrenheit) for rock salt to be effective. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), using de-icers properly can cut down on the amount applied overall and improve road conditions.Regardless of how much and what de-icers a given locale chooses to use, where the resulting removed snow ends up is the most important environmental consideration. In New Hampshire, another state that’s no stranger to snow, state officials require the placement of a silt fence between snow dumps and any nearby waterways, and have mandated that snow storage areas be at least 400 feet from municipal wells.Of course, those who complain about the environmental effects of snow removal should consider the root cause of the problems: The concentrated hazards in snow dumps—from rock salt to motor oil—are mostly a direct result of our society’s reliance on the private automobile. While asking your local and state government to green up their snow removal operations is one way to help, another is to choose mass transit or carpool whenever you can, and to convince as many friends as you can to do likewise.CONTACTS: Maryland Department of Transportation,; Massachusetts Department of Transportation,; U.S. EPA, YOUR ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTIONS TO: EarthTalk®, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; [email protected] Read past columns at: EarthTalk® is now a book! Details and order information at: read more

Behind the Scenes: Bedrock Sandals

first_imgBehind the Scenes at Bedrock Sandals from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.Located in a small warehouse outside of downtown Charlottesville, Va., two friends from AmeriCorps are hard at work creating the latest in minimalist footwear: the Bedrock Sandal. Modeled after the traditional huarache, these lightweight sandals are made entirely within the U.S. Check out what co-founders Nick Pence and Dan Opalacz have to say about their company and their mission.For more gear made in the Southeast, check out our Blue Ridge Gear Guide from our October, 2013 issue.last_img

Photo Gallery: Photographer Benjamin Edelstein

first_img caption test Benjamin Edelstein is a world-renowned photographer and fine artist that creates vivid, unique scenes of nature — and metropolitan areas — from the world’s most scenic viewpoints.Edelstein’s international award-winning work includes both fine art and commercial photography. What started as an escape from the complexities of every day and has evolved into his life and passion.benjiheadshotBenjamin Edelstein was born and raised in Miami, Florida, and his photographs have graced the pages of numerous leading magazines including Ocean Drive, People Magazine, Aventura Magazine, Miami Magazine, duPont Registry, 944 Magazine, Luxe Magazine, Haute Living, Allure, and Vogue.His photographs have also been showcased in cities across the U.S. Although he is constantly exploring his home state of Florida, Edelstein can be found at National Parks throughout the United States. He aspires to push creativity and show a world that not everyone gets the chance to experience.Edelstein recently showcased his work at the Red Dot Art Fair at the famed Art Basel in Miami, and prints are available for purchase. last_img read more

Weekend Picks: Shenandoah Mountain 100 Backcountry Mountain Bike Race

first_imgBefore the long sunny summer days are over, take your two wheels on a trip to the Shenandoah Mountain 100 Backcountry Mountain Bike Race in Stokesville, Virginia. There’s still time to register for the event this weekend!On Sunday, August 31, Shenandoah Mountain Touring will send bikers along a one hundred mile course through the George Washington National Forest and across six peaks.The first Shenandoah Mountain 100 took place in 1999, and has since then become a staple event in the Virginia mountain biking scene. For its 15th annual run, the course will follow last year’s same successful path over the mountains and will include six different aid stations fully stocked with water and snacks to help you beat the miles. The race now also offers a camping option at Stokesville Campground and a big pasta dinner perfect for all your carb-loading race preparation.Shenandoah Mountain Touring welcomes racers and volunteers alike for the 2014 competition. Register here for “the only true big mountain 100 on the east coast”, or go here to find out how to give your favorite bikers a hand along the way as a volunteer. Hurry to make one of the last 39 spots left and enjoy a day on the trails at the Shenandoah Mountain 100 Backcountry Mountain Bike Race!last_img read more