FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Anya Litvak for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:Tom Sanzillo, director of finance for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a group that promotes a move away from fossil fuels, considers the Supreme Court decision to put on hold the nation’s first regulation aimed at fighting carbon pollution “a procedural blip.”He’s seen industry advocates fight other environmental regulations and says the pattern is always the same. “They win concessions and they win delays, but they never win on the environmental issues because they won’t go away,” he said.To Pennsylvania, Mr. Sanzillo says keep calm and carry on. “This is going to get implemented at one point or another, and they should just move forward with what they’re doing,” he said.Full article: Timing for DEP’s clean power plan in flux ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’
‘U.S. Renewables vs. Nuclear: The Race Is On’ FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Solar Industry Magazine:With each providing roughly 20% of the nation’s power, U.S. renewable energy sources are in a statistical dead heat with nuclear power, according to nonprofit research group the SUN DAY Campaign.Citing the latest issue of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) “Electric Power Monthly” (with data through June 30), the group says renewables – biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar (including small-scale PV) and wind – are tied with nuclear vis-à-vis their respective shares of the U.S.’ electrical generation.During the six-month period from January through June, renewables surpassed nuclear in three of those months (March, April and May), while nuclear took the lead in the other three, says SUN DAY.In total, according to EIA’s data for the six months, utility-scale renewables plus small-scale solar PV provided 20.05% of U.S. net electrical generation, compared to 20.07% for nuclear. However, renewables may actually hold a small lead, says SUN DAY: Though EIA estimates the contribution from distributed PV solar, it does not include electrical generation by distributed wind, micro-hydro or small-scale biomass, the group points out.In a news release issued earlier this summer, EIA acknowledged the neck-in-neck status of nuclear power; however, the agency simultaneously stressed its view that “nuclear will generate more electricity than renewables for all of 2017.”However, that might not be the case, according to the SUN DAY Campaign.While renewables and nuclear are each likely to continue to provide roughly one-fifth of the nation’s electricity generation in the near term, EIA’s trend line clearly favors a rapidly expanding market share by renewables compared to a stagnating, if not declining, one for nuclear power, the nonprofit says.Electrical output by renewables during the first half of 2017 was 16.34% higher than that of same period in 2016, whereas nuclear output dropped by 3.27%. In the month of June alone, electrical generation by renewable sources was 27.15% greater than it was a year earlier, whereas nuclear output dipped by 0.24%, the group adds.More: U.S. Renewables vs. Nuclear: The Race Is On
Australia’s CWP Sees Baseload Opportunity With Hybrid Renewables Combination FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Australian renewable energy developer CWP Renewables has joined forces with global private markets investment manager Partners Group to build a total of 1,300MW of wind, solar and battery projects that they say will beat coal power on price and reliability.The commitment from Partners Group will see the 135MW Crudine Ridge project south of Mudgee begin construction soon, but Partners will inject a total of $700 million to ensure CWP’s entire 1,300MW portfolio of wind, solar and batteries goes ahead. The investment is designed, and timed, to take advantage of the closure of Liddell, and is built on expectations that closures of other coal-fired generators will follow.“We can, from this large portfolio, produce 24/7 baseload renewable power at very competitive prices,” CWP chief executive Alex Hewitt says. “This is the future of large-scale generation in Australia.”These projects – dubbed the Grassroots Renewable Energy Platform – include the 230MW Sapphire solar farm and 70MWh battery storage, which will combine with the 270MW Sapphire wind farm near Glenn Innes (pictured above) that is nearly complete. It also includes the 140MW Bango wind project, the Glen Ellen and Sundown solar projects, and the massive Uungula wind and the solar project that will total 400MW of capacity, along with other storage.Hewitt says these projects will allow morning and evening wind generation to be combined with daytime solar generation and battery energy storage. This will provide the ability to deliver “base-load” capacity or, at the very least, a “firm” supply of energy for business and other customers. The ability to firm is not just essential for business users, but could also be imperative under the new National Energy Guarantee.“We see a massive transition away from fossil fuels over the next 10 years,” Hewitt says. “The transition is on. The economics are there, and the window is there now to move really fast.” Hewitt says the combined cost of wind and solar and “firming capacity” is cheaper than the $100/MWh plus cost of keeping Liddell open, or for that matter building new coal generators.More: CWP Brings in Partners for 1,300MW of Wind, Solar and Batteries
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:India’s coal ministry is preparing a plan to cut imports of the fuel by at least a third over the next five years, counting on an increase in domestic production and a jump in renewable output, according to people familiar with the plan.Imports are seen falling to below 150 million tons by the year ending March 2024, down from 235.2 million tons India got from overseas in the last fiscal year, the people said, asking not to be named as the five-year plan is still being finalized. To meet the import reduction goal, state miner Coal India Ltd. will aim to raise its annual output to 880 million tons by fiscal year 2024, a compounded annual growth of 7.7% through the period.Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to expand the country’s economy to $5 trillion by 2024, from $2.8 trillion currently, and reducing energy imports and harnessing domestic resources are key to meeting that goal. The import reduction plan also points to the South Asian nation’s gradual shift away from coal to fight deadly air pollution that millions of Indians battle with.Imports will be dominated by coking coal purchases by steelmakers because domestic supplies are limited, the people said. Power stations that are designed to run on higher-quality imported coal would be the other major buyer.To be sure, curbing imports has been on India’s agenda for some years. Yet, difficulties in purchasing land for mining, delays in environment approvals and a clogged railway network have combined to dampen those plans, with imports surging to a record last year. To add to that, Coal India has missed its production target every year since at least 2011. The miner missed its target of 610 million tons by less than 1% last fiscal year. Still, the goal to reduce imports looks more achievable than before, as Indian Railways plans an overhaul of its British-era network and tracks reach new mines to enable output growth.A record addition of green power capacity is also seen weighing on demand. Coal’s share in India’s electricity generation is estimated to come down to 50% by 2030 from about 72% now, according to the power ministry’s Central Electricity Authority.More: India, world’s No. 2 coal buyer, plans to cut imports by a third India looking to slash coal imports by one-third in the next five years
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Fourth-quarter 2019 earnings reports are likely to be rough on U.S. coal producers yet again when miners begin reporting results over the next few weeks.Every major U.S. coal company is expected to report earnings per share for the period that is either worse than the prior quarter or year-ago quarter, an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis of analyst forecasts shows. For many producers, quarterly earnings per share will be worse compared to both periods.Moody’s Investors Service recently said it expected EBITDA across its rated portfolio of U.S.-based coal companies to fall by about one-third. Deterioration in coal export volumes will likely lead to even lower cash flow in 2020, Moody’s added in its recent report reiterating its negative outlook on the sector.“We anticipate that companies in their year-end earnings calls will outline steps they are taking to continue to generate positive free cash flow and navigate weak market conditions,” Moody’s stated. “While coal companies have not reported earnings for the fourth quarter of 2019, CSX Corp., which is more tied to exports than some other railroads, reported a 17% drop in coal volumes for the fourth quarter, and expects a 14% drop in coal revenue in 2020.”Peabody Energy Corp. and Arch Coal, two of the largest miners in the U.S. by volume with exposure to both metallurgical and thermal coal, are expected to report a loss to shareholders for the fourth quarter of 2019. Thermal coal producer Hallador Energy Co. and increasingly metallurgical coal-focused Contura Energy Inc. are also expected to report negative earnings per share for the period.[Taylor Kuykendall and Gaurang Dhotakia]More ($): Q4’19 earnings likely another rough period for US coal companies S&P: Fourth quarter results for U.S. coal sector likely to be dismal
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Falling costs and growing project pipelines will ensure the 2020s are the “decade of hydrogen,” according to new research from Wood Mackenzie.Over the past 10 months, the global green hydrogen project pipeline has swelled from 3.5 gigawatts to more than 15 gigawatts. Green hydrogen is considered by many to be a vital component of any credible net-zero carbon plan, and it can be used to decarbonize a number of industrial processes and heavy transport.As it stands, blue and gray hydrogen derived from fossil fuels are cheaper than using renewable-energy-powered electrolyzers to produce green hydrogen from water. But green hydrogen is drawing increasing interest from oil majors and utilities alike, from Shell to NextEra Energy. And Wood Mackenzie’s research indicates that the cost of green hydrogen will fall by 64 percent by 2040 as the market scales up.“On average, green hydrogen production costs will equal fossil-fuel-based hydrogen by 2040,” said Ben Gallagher, Wood Mackenzie senior research analyst and author of the new report, in a statement. “In some countries such as Germany, that will arrive by 2030. Given the scale-up we’ve seen so far, the 2020s will likely be the decade of hydrogen. Rising fossil fuel prices will boost green [hydrogen’s] competitiveness, further strengthening the case for this technology in the coming years,” Gallagher said.“If additional explicit policy support comes to fruition in the coming months, we could see costs fall even faster, and more universally, than outlined in our report,” said Gallagher. “The energy transition is dynamic. If 2020 is any indication, so too will be the low-carbon hydrogen landscape.”[John Parnell]More: WoodMac: 2020s will be the ‘decade of hydrogen’ Wood Mackenzie: 2020s will be the ‘decade of hydrogen’
The Autumn Getaway in Kentucky’s Breaks Park is an incredible giveaway featuring lodging, food, and more. Known as the “Grand Canyon of the South,” Breaks Interstate Park is 4600 acres situated along a 5-mile gorge plunging to 1650 feet. It’s located in the mountains of Kentucky, where uncommon history, heritage, and heart offer a welcome that never wears out.Once lucky winner will receive a 2 night stay in Laurel Lake Cabins, dinner for 2 at the Rhododendron Restaurant, and 2 Breaks Park t-shirts.This giveaway is now closed, but be sure to enter the Tucker County Giveaway!
Ok, folks, here it is, my very first climbing blog post, prompted by the fine folks at Misty Mountain Threadworks and Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine who have been awesome enough to give me some support this year. If you’re a regular reader of past blog posts, please forgive me for a lack of overly-analytical, pseudo intellectual jargon here. I’m just going to talk about climbing.“I don’t want to write about climbing; I don’t want talk about it; I don’t want to photograph it; I don’t want to think about it; all I want to do is do it.” – Chuck Pratt First off, just a brief summary of where I’m at right now, and where I’ve come from as a climber.As of this season, Spring of 2015, I am 36 years old. I first roped up when I was 19, which means that I’ve been climbing for nearly half of my life. I learned first by toproping outside, and later by leading trad at Idaho’s City of Rocks and in the Southern Utah deserts. I never really spent much time in a gym until I moved to Dallas, TX for grad school in 2002, and became a regular at Exposure Rock Gym. This was the first place that exposed me to really strong plastic pullers. Dallas in particular has dozens of adolescent mutants who will scamper up your projects like cockroaches. I didn’t really do specific training, but rather just bouldered a lot, getting fairly solid in the v5/5.12 range.Much later, in 2008, I wound up moving to Columbus, Ohio, where I was easy weekend distance from both the Red and New river gorges. I also had access to an excellent co-op gym, Kinetic (which has since evolved into a great commercial facility). About this time, I began climbing with Mike Anderson, who is one of the foremost experts in climbing-specific training, and recently authored The Rock Climber’s Training Manual with his equally strong brother Mark. Climbing with Mike really opened my eyes to specific climbing workouts in the gym that went beyond just bouldering around on plastic. I won’t go into details here (you can find them on his site, or by searching “rock prodigy training”), but suffice to say that it was specific training – hangboarding, campusing, core exercises – that finally got me to break into the 5.13 range in 2011.In 2013, I left academia and opted to move to the New River Gorge, where I could put climbing and laid-back Appalachian living on the front burner of my life. My first season here at the NRG was good. I had just come off a foot injury, had really gone overboard on training upper body strength, and managed to jump back into 5.13s pretty quickly. However, eventually the lack of gym access caught up to me, and I began getting gradually weaker. It is actually really hard to stay in top shape by climbing outside all the time, especially at the NRG, where weather and hot summers can mean weeks of sub-par climbing conditions. I devoted the season of 2014 almost exclusively to trad climbing– slightly easier than my max, but much scarier. You can read about this season here. But I continued to get weaker, and by this past fall, I was wondering to myself if I had gone over the hill, in my mid-30s, with no career, and a mediocre climbing life that was approaching the point of diminishing returns.Which brings us to the 2015 season.This past winter, I took a month roadtrip to the desert Southwest, which I had not done for a while. Scenery, adventure, and new routes took precedence over physical difficulty, and I mostly focused on big, 1000+ foot routes in Nevada’s Red Rock Canyon. It was amazing to say the least, and got me in better cardio shape than I’ve been in a long time. However, my climbing performance suffered. I don’t think that I sent a single thing harder than 5.12a that whole trip.Perhaps the most productive thing I did this whole trip, believe it or not, was manage to get a lecture booked at Zion National Park, where I would discuss my recent book “Wrecks of Human Ambition,” a history of the red rock canyon country. And the added bonus? I’m hoping to climb Moonlight Buttress, over a dozen pitches of mostly 5.12 fingercrack, while I’m out there. This route has been a lifetime goal for me since I started climbing, and I am beyond psyched, no matter what the outcome is.Anyway, in February, I took a 180 degree turn from the wilds of the desert, and spent the month living with my girlfriend Karen at her home outside New York City. We skied, did a bit of ice climbing, and ate way too much restaurant food. However, my main climbing objective for this month was simple: SPEND TIME IN THE GYM! I knew that I was lacking the sheer, explosive power that comes easily to climbers in their 20s, and that I would have to build this, and then gradually transition into the sort of stamina that I would need for Moonlight’s grueling pitches of enduro-jamming. Don’t laugh, I really needed this gym sabbatical in a NYC winter.By mid-February, I had rediscovered my long-lost bouldering mojo, and was able to do v7-8 of varying styles fairly consistently, in various gyms. I then gradually started mixing it up with more endurance sessions, in which Karen and I would go to the gym early in the morning to avoid crowds, and knock out dozens of roped routes back-to-back. Gyms are awesome!By the first of March, I had returned to the New River Gorge, and began what I knew would be a rough transition to applying my gym fitness to the subtle weirdness of Nuttal Sandstone. I also began a quick, controlled calorie restriction diet that would allow me to drop 6-7 lbs in this final phase (it was nice to train bouldering power while I was a bit heavier, and eating awesome food in NYC).It’s been a bit challenging, but I think that things are starting to fall into place. I’ve gotten solid on all the vertical, techy 5.12s of Endless Wall that I love so much, and also thrown in some steep, endurance routes just to get me used to operating under a full pump, which will be key on Moonlight Buttress. The best possible training for Moonlight would be massive laps on single pitch cracks at Indian Creek, but I can’t complain with what I’m working with here. Just yesterday, I really felt that my endurance was coming together, when I managed to redpoint a new 5.13a second go, and then cooled down by running a lap on a 5.12+ that I had previously sent two days before. It felt good. There are three other 5.13 routes in the area that I have whittled down to one-hangs, and will hopefully send this spring.Anyway, I’d like to wrap up with a brief list of various goals for this year. The big one is Moonlight Buttress, and honestly even the single pitch projects I have here at the NRG are just “training” for it. But here are a few other things I’ve got on my radar. Here’s to hoping I can squeeze one more good season out of my mid-30s!Black Rider (aka the Pocket Route), 5.13a, Endless Wall, New River GorgeI’ve put a few runs into this route, and have one-hung it a couple times. Most people with whom I’ve climbed it float through a techy crux involving a shallow, slopey pocket, but have trouble at a thuggish roof pull immediately afterwords. I’m the opposite; this pocket crux gets me every time, and I’ve got an ever-present gash on my right index finger from a nasty crimp too, but have never had problems with the roof pull. This route is in the shade in the afternoon, so I’m putting it on the backburner while I devote more time to sunny routes that will soon be too hot.The Racist, 5.13b, Endless Wall, New River GorgeNot gonna lie, this thing is beyond me right now. Despite the fairly “low” grade, this climb gets done way less than the popular 5.14a “Proper Soul.” I’ve gotten gradually more comfortable with the reachy, intricate, and small holds of the lower 2/3s, but the upper two cruxes are still going to take a lot of work. Adding to this, the route gets sun most of the day, and is pretty much a winter route. May have to give it a rest until November, but if there is one route I’d love to throw myself at dozens of times, it is this one.Mercy Seat, 5.13a/b, Colosseum, Summersville, WVI’ve disliked this climb for a long time. It sits right next to Apollo Reed, a route that is without a doubt my all-time favorite pitch of sport climbing, and which I have douchily repeated around 60-70 times. Unlike Apollo, this route has some very insecure, weird movement, especially a weird twist/pull over a gravel conglomerate roof. Despite this, just yesterday, I hopped on it, and managed to get up to the final crux fairly easily, for the first time ever! This climb is good throughout the summer, so I won’t be aggressively trying it this spring.Titan’s Dice, 5.13a, Endless Wall, New River GorgeI have not yet gotten on this route this season, but it felt pretty doable last year, and is a good combination of both technique and all-out enduro burliness. Plus, how often do you get to use full-on offwidth technique on a sport climb?Greatest Show on Earth, 5.13a trad, Meadow River Gorge, WVThis thing is beautiful, and I think that my bouldering over the winter is finally making its core-intensive roof crack sequence a possibility for me. It is going to take a lot of work, though, and definitely is one of the hardest traditional lines I’ve put time into.– Paul Nelson maintains a personal blog, Rivers and Stone, in between climbing sessions at his base in the New River Gorge, W.Va. You can find Paul sweating it out on one of his many projects at Endless Wall, but if you don’t see him there, never fear — he’ll likely come by your campsite later at the American Alpine Club’s campground looking for money (it’s okay — he works there).
The next day we hoped on our bikes to explore the Wilderness Road which was originally built by Daniel Boone in 1775 to connect the interior of the country with the populated coastline via the Cumberland Gap. The road exits the Park and travels east on a gently rolling trail traveling past fields of bison, other cattle and open pasture, but all the time the presence of the tall Cumberland Mountain looms over your left shoulder. We ended up at the reconstructed Martin’s Station which was a frontier fort of critical importance. Following a very educational visit thru Martin’s Station we continued on to the Wilderness Road’s terminus just beyond Caylor before the inevitable race back to the vehicle broke out.I’ve already committed to returning to the incredible Powell River Regatta and the beautiful Cumberland Gap National Historic Park next year—if not sooner—after such a fun filed weekend of adventuring. Following an invitation to participate in the inaugural Powell River Regatta in Tazewell, Tennesse, my wife and I decided to make a weekend out of it and explore the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park—an area new to both of us.The Powell River Regatta turned out to be a gem of a race. Turning into the race venue at the Well Being Conference Center in Claiborne County, you pass deep green pastures peppered with boulders, herds of curious cattle, and aging log barns barely standing.The conference center itself was a well manicured facility almost completely surrounded by the Powell River. I hosted a forward stroke clinic for the race participants through the NOC Paddling School and the Well Being Conference Center the evening before hand, giving us all a chance to get a feel for the river and the challenges it could hold.The race would be 12 miles down the Powell River and would include numerous rapids in a spectacular setting. The Powell is hugely important as it’s one of only two undammed and free flowing headwater basins of the Upper Tennessee River system. It was also designated by the EPA as the “second most biologically diverse aquatic system in the nation.”The race itself was incredibly well run, and the river never disappointed. The whitewater was just challenging enough for those of us that decided to race composite boats, while the scenery and water clarity kept your visual senses on overload.The 1 hour 27 minutes of racing seemed to be over before I knew it, and my performance was good enough to secure the overall win with my wife taking the same honors in the women’s race. By the end of the day, the Powell River Regatta had become my new favorite race because it ticked all the right boxes in terms of venue, organization, competition, and community. I am confident that Claiborne County is onto a winning combination that will result in this event becoming massively popular in the future.After refueling at Angelo’s in the Gap and getting caffeinated at the Gap Creek Coffeehouse in historic downtown Cumberland Gap, it was time to start exploring Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. This park is of National significance as it was one of the few natural breaks in the Appalachian chain used by wildlife, the native Cherokee indians, and then the settlers as they started migrating West. The towering broken limestone bluffs around the Gap makes the area feel more like the Colorado Rockies than the Appalachians.
Charlottesville, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, provides ample space for bikers to take to the trails. The Charlottesville Area Mountain Biking Club (CAMBC) is one of the region’s premier organizations for creating and maintaining these trails, while also organizing different events throughout the year. Sam Lindblom, CAMBC President, is no stranger to the mountain biking scene. We were recently able to catch up with Sam, covering everything from scrambled eggs to singletrack.BRO: How did you get into mountain biking?SL: I’ve been riding bikes since childhood. Combine my love of the outdoors with a love of bicycles and there you have it. I’ve been mountain biking since about 1985. My first legit mountain bike was a 1988 Cannondale Red Shred. I miss that bike…BRO: When did you start working with the CAMBC?SL: I got involved about 2009 by helping out on trail work days. I joined the board on 2012, and became the board President in 2014. Being the President means that I am the primary cat herder (but far from alone!). I am the primary spokesperson, preside over board meetings, and communicate with our members (over 400) and our partners (governments, other non-profits) about trail issues, opportunities, and events. CAMBC is everything I love about Charlottesville; people doing great fun things together, outside, while making our community a better place to live.BRO: Do you have a favorite trail to ride?SL: I have way too many favorite places to ride around Cville! But specifically, I love riding in the George Washington National Forest up on Shenandoah Mountain; and you can never get bored on our Rivanna Trail (who else has 20+ miles of singletrack in the city limits?).BRO: Favorite pre-ride meal?SL: Without scrambled eggs and PB&J, I’d be bonked on the side of some mountain somewhere.BRO: Most embarrassing spill?SL: Once in college, I tried to bunny-hop a curb in front of my recent ex-girlfriend. I blew the jump, went over the bars, and left a lot of skin and blood on the sidewalk. Smooth.BRO: If you could meet anyone, past or present, who would it be?SL: That’s tough, but I’ve always been completely fascinated by Teddy Roosevelt, who, among other things, set aside 150 million acres of public land and worked with Gifford Pinchot and John Muir, two of the most incredible conservationists of all time.BRO: What is one book you think everyone should read at least once? Why?SL: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Well, it’s about my hometown, but more importantly, it teaches the most important life lessons of tolerance and understanding of differences.BRO: How have the outdoors affected your life?SL: It permeates essentially all aspects of my life. There is nothing like being in the outdoors to help you gain perspective, and reflect on the beauty of this world we’ve been given. You see some of the most amazing things on backcountry mountain bike rides—things like black bears and cubs, timber rattlesnakes, and amazing wildflowers are common, but nonetheless impressive and never get old.BRO: What’s your greatest achievement?SL: I married Paige 20 years ago, and we have two of the most amazing, outdoor loving boys, Caden and Carter. I’m pretty proud of that one…BRO: Do you have advice to offer to aspiring mountain bikers?SL: Go slow, learn skills, be patient. Don’t worry about the best gear, but you definitely need a decent rig and a good fitting helmet. More than anything have fun. The skills come quickly and the fun and health benefits never stop!For more information about trails and upcoming events in Charlottesville, check out cambc.org.Gordon Knapp is one of our 2015-2016 college ambassadors. Learn more about Gordon, and our other interns, here.