Germany to move forward with 8GW of new wind, solar tenders

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Germany’s governing coalition recently agreed to long-promised supplemental tenders that will add a total of 8 gigawatts of onshore wind and solar power to the grid over the next three years.In the coalition treaty agreed to by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Union alliance and the Social Democratic Party early in 2018, the governing partners pledged to add 4 gigawatts of onshore wind and 4 gigawatts of solar via “special auctions.” Generating capacity added under the auctions is on top of planned expansions under Germany’s amended Renewable Energy Act, which had capped annual onshore wind additions at 2.8 gigawatts in 2019 and 2.9 gigawatts in 2020.The German wind energy industry, among others, had pushed for the supplementary tenders out of concern that the country’s onshore wind sector faces a potential gigawatt-scale “decommissioning wave” as 20-year feed-in tariff contracts expire for existing wind projects beginning in 2020.The governing parties responded. Under an agreement reached by Germany’s Cabinet in early November, the federal government will hold auctions to procure 1 gigawatt each for onshore wind and solar in 2019, increasing to 1.4 gigawatt for each in 2020 and 1.6 gigawatt for each in 2021.Stakeholders have urged Germany’s governing coalition to ramp up renewables deployment in order to meet the country’s 2030 renewable electricity target. “We need more speed on the renewables expansion, otherwise we will not reach the target of 65 percent renewable energy by 2030,” German Association of Energy and Water Industries Chairman Stefan Kapferer said in a statement (translated from German).More: Germany greenlights 8GW of additional onshore wind and solar capacity Germany to move forward with 8GW of new wind, solar tenderslast_img read more

Chinese think tank says country’s coal demand will start falling in 2025

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:China’s coal demand will start to fall in 2025 once consumption at utilities and other industrial sectors reaches its peak, a state-owned think tank said in a new report, easing pressure on Beijing to impose tougher curbs on fossil fuels.The world’s biggest coal consumer is expected to see total consumption fall 18% from 2018 to 2035, and by 39% from 2018 to 2050, the CNPC Economics and Technology Research Institute, run by the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), forecast in a report on Thursday.Though the share of coal in the country’s total energy mix fell to 59% last year from 68.5% in 2012, overall consumption in 2018 rose 3% from a year earlier to 3.82 billion tonnes, official data showed.However, the CNPC researchers said they expected the total share of coal to drop to 40.5% by 2035 as renewable, nuclear and natural gas capacity continues to increase rapidly.“With coal demand in China falling gradually, world coal consumption is forecast to reach a peak within 10 years. Meanwhile, China’s coal demand, currently accounting for half of the world’s total, will decline to around 35% by 2050,” the report said.Li Ruifeng, vice director of the China Energy Technology and Economics Research Institute, a think tank run by the China Energy Group, China’s biggest coal producer, said coal would remain China’s major fuel over the next 15 years, with smaller mines replaced by bigger and more efficient collieries in the west. That would force utilities on China’s east coast to turn to foreign markets to guarantee supplies, with imports set to remain at around 200 million tonnes per year in the coming years “if there is no significant trade barrier,” he said.More: China’s coal demand to peak around 2025, global usage to follow: report Chinese think tank says country’s coal demand will start falling in 2025last_img read more

Ørsted to use GE’s massive 12MW turbine for two offshore U.S. wind farms

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNBC:Danish firm Ørsted has chosen GE Renewable Energy as its preferred turbine supplier for two offshore wind farms in the U.S. The agreement means that Ørsted is set to use GE Renewable Energy’s huge Haliade-X 12 MW wind turbines at the projects.Ørsted’s use of the turbines will represent the first commercial deployment of the Haliade-X 12 MW. The deployment is subject to a final agreed and signed contract and project approvals.The two wind farms the turbines will be used at are the 120 MW Skipjack facility off the Maryland coast and the 1,100 MW Ocean Wind project off the coast of New Jersey. It’s expected that the facilities will be commissioned in 2022 and 2024 respectively.The U.S. offshore wind industry is relatively young. Its first offshore facility, the 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm, only commenced commercial operations in 2016. The Block Island Wind Farm is located off the coast of Rhode Island and operated by Ørsted.The scale of the Haliade-X 12 MW turbine is considerable. It will have a capacity of 12 megawatts (MW), a height of 260 meters and a blade length of 107 meters. GE Renewable Energy has repeatedly described it as “the world’s largest offshore wind turbine.” In August a wind turbine blade from LM Wind Power, designed to be used on the Haliade-X 12 MW, arrived in the U.K. for testing.“Offshore wind is a high-growth segment for our company, and like Orsted, we are enthusiastic about the potential of offshore wind, both in the U.S. and globally,” Jerome Pecresse, the president and CEO of GE Renewable Energy, said in a statement Thursday.More: Orsted set to use a massive turbine to power two of its offshore wind farms in the US Ørsted to use GE’s massive 12MW turbine for two offshore U.S. wind farmslast_img read more

Seoul government backs major expansion of rooftop solar in the South Korean capital

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:The Seoul metropolitan government has launched a new plan to increase the city’s total installed rooftop PV capacity from around 200 MW to approximately 1 GW by the end of 2022.“Solar City Seoul will supply one million households with mini solar power stations, install solar power in every single public site where installation is possible, and promote the solar power industry to increase the total solar power generation to 1 GW,” the government said.This means that the city’s current capacity of around 203.6 MW – which includes around 50 MW of new deployments from 2018 – will be raised by another 800 MW by the end of the announced time frame. “The Solar City Seoul project generated 237,805 MWh in annual energy for reductions of 109 tons of CO2 in greenhouse gases and 27.6 tons of fine particulate matter,” the city administration said.It added that the program will create up to 4,500 new jobs by 2022, without providing any other technical or financial details. According to the Foundation for Renewable Energy and Environment (FREE), the South Korean capital’s program will have a budget of around KRW 1.7 trillion ($1.46 billion).The South Korean government raised the country’s renewable energy targets at the end of 2017. Under the new plan, the nation will generate 20% of its electricity from renewables by 2030.More: Seoul launches 1 GW rooftop solar plan Seoul government backs major expansion of rooftop solar in the South Korean capitallast_img read more

Poor energy sector returns making divestment decisions easier for university fund managers

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNBC:As big endowment funds face mounting pressure to reduce their exposure to the fossil fuel industry, there’s one thing making their decision easier: the energy sector’s underperformance.In the last ten years, the S&P energy sector gained just 1% as low oil prices, high operational costs and shifting consumer sentiment set off a wave of selling. In the same time period, the broader market gained 212%.Energy’s lackluster performance coincides with college students across the United States protesting university endowments’ role in owning and supporting fossil fuel companies. Now, from the perspective of fund managers, divestment could make sense on both financial as well as moral grounds.On Feb 5. the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted in favor of the endowment divesting from the fossil fuel industry in a 179-20 vote, according to the Harvard Crimson. The vote does not ensure implementation. — Harvard President Lawrence Bacow will bring the results before the endowment committee — although the Faculty of Arts and Sciences is the University’s largest division. The vote in and of itself is important since Harvard’s endowment is the largest in the world and is looked at as an example for ways in which other universities can build their own funds. As of June 2019, it stood at $40.9 billion.One day later, on Feb. 6, Georgetown University announced that it would make no new investments in companies whose business is fossil fuel-dependent, and said over the coming years it would work to shed its exposure to fossil-fuel related companies in both the public and private market.The actions from Harvard and Georgetown follow the University of California, which in September said it was going fossil fuel free. In an op-ed for The Los Angeles Times the endowment’s chief investment officer Jagdeep Singh Bachher and the UC Board of Regents’ Investments Committee chairman Richard Sherman said the decision was “not exactly for the reasons you may think. The reason we sold some $150 million in fossil fuel assets from our endowment was the reason we sell other assets: They posed a long-term risk to generating strong returns for UC’s diversified portfolios,” they added.[Pippa Stevens]More: As big endowments spurn fossil fuel stocks, there’s one thing making this decision easy Poor energy sector returns making divestment decisions easier for university fund managerslast_img read more

Skydiving in the Blue Ridge

first_imgIf you want to experience the element, get out of the vehicle.” Those words were racing through my head on my first skydive. I was about to strap myself to a stranger and slide from the safety of a plane some two miles above ground.I arrived at the D.C. Skydiving Center (which is not actually in DC but on the rural outskirts), surprised to see laughing faces and high-fives and twirling parachutes floating softly to the ground. I looked over at my boyfriend, who would also be jumping, and we silently nodded: this is it.My first stop was the bathroom trailer parked on the side of a barn. My biggest fear was not jetting toward the ground at 120 miles per hour, but expelling some form of bodily excrement in the process. I had watched countless YouTube videos during the past few months; I knew what could happen.When I came out of the shoulder-width stall, a girl in skinny jeans, a tank top, and knee-high, lace-up boots was waiting.“Are you jumping?” I asked her.“Yeaaahh!” she said, squealing excitedly.I looked in the mirror, letting my eyes drift to my matching gray shirt, shorts, and sneakers— quite a fashionable choice for a “last outfit.”After signing in and signing away my life, a man from the Ukraine gave me and the other 19 jumpers a quick rundown of the process. I mimicked his positions, but my mind was elsewhere. I scanned the circle of jumpers, sizing myself up against them; my odds of survival looked decent at best.The first group of instructors and their clients left shortly after the safety talk. I sat with my mother and boyfriend in the flimsy plastic chairs by the runway, our necks craned toward the sky, squinting to see any sign of a jumper. In the distance, first one, then two, then six tiny white specks appeared amid the airy clouds. We watched their shapes curve left and right, growing larger as they glided back to Earth. Their landings were as peaceful as the flights had seemed, and I could feel the anxiety melt away from my pounding heart.As the second group went up, I received my harness and a rough cinching down from one of the employees. The full-body contraption was so snug I could hardly stand up straight.“My last meal was IHOP,” said one of the guys who would be on the final flight of the day.I considered the leftover Chinese food I’d crammed down a few hours ago, praying it didn’t make another appearance. The sounds of cheering from the runway announced the safe arrival of the second group. I gulped hard. This was really it.My instructor-guide-savior, Chris Whittey, slapped me on the back with a cheerful grin.“Let me pack up this chute and we’ll get to it!” he said. My group was already loading onto the plane. I could see the back of my boyfriend’s head as he disappeared into the cockpit. A knot that felt strangely like a wadded up ball of rice and General Tso’s tofu made its way to my chest.“Guess where you get to sit?” Chris said.“In your lap?” I responded, nervously laughing.“Right by the door! You’re jumping first.”Joy, I thought. We hopped on board. I looked back to give my boyfriend one last half-hysterical, half-excited smile. The roar of the plane’s engine drowned out any last-minute doubting. The trees shrank away, miniaturizing with each foot we gained in elevation.I stared ahead at the wall in front of me. Alongside the mandatory safety reminders taped to the aluminum siding was a sticker that said NO FARTING.“You don’t want to know what happens when someone farts in a closed cockpit,” Chris said. He glanced at his watch. 8,000 feet. Almost there.I started getting anxious. I must have asked Chris at least 10 times if I could put my goggles on.“Not yet,” he kept telling me. “We’ll do it 30 seconds before we jump.”When he finally nudged me to put those ridiculous triangular prisms on, I began to lose any sense of who or what or where I was. Chris double-checked all of our attachment points and locking mechanisms.“Ready?” he said.Do I have a choice? I thought.Chris slid open the airplane door and scooted us to the edge. I looked down at my feet as they dangled above the clouds.“Lean back,” he reminded me and I dipped my head back, eyes wide.Holy crap, I thought as we fell from the plane.I’m not sure why they call it jumping or even skydiving for that matter. It was more like a belly flop, like a beached whale sliding into thin air. When we rolled over I could see just how quickly we were falling; the plane had diminished to a mere dot in the sky. My mouth was open wide as I laughed and woo-hooed, all of which was silent in the roaring wind. Within seconds, I experienced the worst case of cottonmouth you could ever imagine, but I didn’t care. I was flying.With no reference point above or below, it felt like it was only the two of us in that endless expanse of white. It didn’t take long to shed any inhibitions and feel at one with the sky, but I was just as quickly brought back to reality as Chris pulled the chute and my legs swung out in front of me.“THAWAZAWTHUM,” I sputtered.Translation. That. Was. Awesome.Check out the video here!last_img read more

Festy Gear

first_imgPacking the right gear can make or break your festival experience. Come prepared with these tent city essentials.1. Chaco Men’s Nikolai and Women’s Raja FlipsGet around the festival grounds in the open-air comfort of Chaco’s flips. The Men’s Nikolai has a laid-back leather look up top and a sticky performance-minded sole below that’s made with 25 percent recycled materials. The Women’s Raja is a little sportier, featuring the similar gritty sole with the added durability of double-strapped webbing through the toe. $85 (Nikolai) and $60 (Raja); chacos.comW_Raja_Collision_sm2. Yeti RoadieThis beast of a cooler will keep your favorite libations chilly for days. Yeti’s super-thick insulation and freezer-modeled seal offer bear-proof protection and storage longevity well beyond the average plastic cooler. The Roadie is a compact, portable model, just right for a long weekend in Tent City. $249.99; yeticoolers.comOptic-2.5-Fly_sm3. Mountain Hardwear Optic 2.5During festivals, you need the right tent to be your setbreak sanctuary. Mountain Hardwear’s new Optic 2.5 features a high, airy design that offers a little extra breathing room. The easy-pitch two-pole tent also features full-size doors that zip away to give you big open views of the surrounding landscape. $240; mountainhardwear.com4. Smith Mastermind ChromaPop PolarizedSlipping on this incarnation of Smith’s Mastermind shades offers a vivid awakening for your eyes. It sounds like hyperbole, but the company’s relatively new ChromaPop technology delivers some serious advances in visual clarity. The lenses filter light in specific areas to optimize color, resulting in an unprecedented level of vibrance. You don’t need to understand the science; just enjoy the view. $208.95; smithoptics.com5. Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 600 3-SeasonAfter long days of revelry, you need a comfortable night’s sleep. Snuggle into Sierra Designs’ new Backcountry Bed, which features wide shoulder design and an oversized integrated comforter that won’t hinder your natural sleeping position. The bag is stuffed with innovative DriDown filling—fluffy 600-fill goose down treated with a hydrophobic polymer to keep moisture to a minimum when the festival skies open. $399.95; sierradesigns.com6. Patagonia A/C ShirtPatagonia’s loosely woven organic cotton allows maximum airflow—a must when you’re wandering through a festival during the stifling Southern humidity. The performance-minded wicking fabric also dries fast, so you can quickly regain confidence when your pores start leaking. $79; 7. Patagonia Arbor Pack 26LThis old-school summit pack has been updated with modern details, so you can organize the small essentials you need to bring from stage to stage. Behind the generous main compartment a laptop sleeve doubles as a hydration reservoir, while the small zippered stash pocket is perfect for a phone, wallet, and sunscreen. $99; patagonia.com8. Selk’ BagYes, this is a sleeping bag with arms and legs. Yet it’s surprisingly functional and a fun way to stay warm. Wear your sleeping bag around the festival bonfire. And thanks to the reinforced nylon soles at the bottom of the bag, you can wander around the campgrounds like a sleepwalking mummy. No need to bring extra layers when you have the Selk’ Bag packed. $159; selkbagusa.comlast_img read more

Video Clips of the Week: Longboarding…Part Sport, Part Lifestyle

first_imgThe heart of longboarding has always been the thrill of barreling downhill at high speed. It’s the spiritual counterpart to snowboarding and surfing; the world is your mountain and every hill is a new swell. Check out this video for some sweet twists and turns.Longboarding is more than just finding the best hill to shred. It’s a lifestyle. Your board says a lot about you, so make sure you’ve got the best. Check out Kota Longboards out in Colorado for some hand made style.last_img

WATCH: Mountain Biker Charged by Grizzly in Slovakia

first_imgThis stunning GoPro footage of a grizzly bear charging a mountain biker at the Malinô Brdo Bikepark in Solvakia is making the rounds on the internet today. While grizzly bears have been known to attack mountain bikers, this type of footage has been fabricated in the past. What say you? Real or fake?last_img

The Places We Love Too Much

first_imgWhat good is getting away from the city if the mountain is just as crowded?Unfortunately—and yet, unavoidably—many of the Blue Ridge’s most celebrated outdoor oases have also become its most visited. The exposed rocks of McAfee Knob, for example, offer one of the Appalachian Trail’s most iconic panoramas, but because it’s just a short drive from Roanoke, the overlook is often filled with hikers: about 75,000 people hike there each year, with some days seeing more than 600 visitors. Not all are adequately prepared for the excursion.Crowds also result in litter, restroom disasters, wear and tear on resources, and troublesome wildlife interactions. Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park receives about two million visitors a year, mostly between Memorial Day and Labor Day, says Jamie Sanders, who served as a ranger there. The most common problem? Bear jams.“With it being an 11-mile, one-way loop road, if someone’s not managing the traffic, then one person stops in the middle of the road to see a bear, and the line of traffic can’t get around,” Sanders says.Lee Walker, outreach director with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, says the state’s trout streams can get pretty slammed in the days after they’re stocked. That process begins with a caravan of anglers who follow stocking trucks, and then explodes when the agency posts the list of stocked waterways on its website.“Trash has been the biggest challenge we’ve had over the years, and we have lost some stream access due to that,” says Walker.And for the last five years or so, the Troutville Volunteer Fire Department has offered up its station to thru-hikers, providing a place to shower, do laundry, and sleep. Recently, however, the fire department changed policy and closed its doors to hikers. Why? The increasing number of hikers had started to take up space and interfere with operations. And once, a volunteer firefighter found a loose dog in traffic near the station. When the volunteer entered the station kitchen, the dog’s owner was sitting there drinking coffee and reading the newspaper—buck naked. The hiker was doing laundry, see, and wanted to make sure all of his clothes got washed.Don’t be that guy.Wildlife viewingCades Cove (Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tenn.): You may see a bear, but you’ll sit through lots of stop-and-go traffic along the way.Instead: Check out the Cataloochee Valley on the park’s eastern side, and you may spy an elk.HikingMcAfee Knob, Va.: It’s the most photographed spot along the A.T. for a reason, but you may have to wait in line for a shot.Instead: Try Tinker Cliffs a few miles down the ridge, easily accessible from the lesser-used Andy Layne Trail.Trout FishingCherokee Trophy Water, N.C.: Great fishing but you’ve got to time the trip right to avoid crowds.Instead: Big Laurel Creek in Madison County, N.C., is a hatchery-supported trout stream with plenty of native brookies in its feeder streams.Blue Ridge Parkway OverlookGrandfather Mountain, N.C.: The highest peak on the Blue Ridge Parkway attracts motorists by the swarm in season.Instead: Rocky Knob Recreation Area, just little farther northeast in Virginia, sees fewer visitors and boasts a sweeping 10.8-mile loop trail.PaddlingNew River Gorge, W.Va.: It’s a premier rafting destination, with the crowds to prove it.Instead: Try the Gauley River, with more than 100 rapids over a 24-mile stretch.Rock ClimbingLittle Stony Man Cliffs: One of Shenandoah National Park’s busiest trails leads to a busy rock-climbing destination.Instead: The cliffs along Iron Gate Gorge, near Clifton Forge, Va., are almost always vacant.last_img read more