In Ongoing Shift From Coal (and Announcement of Two Closures in Colorado), Xcel Says It Has Found ‘the Right Formula’

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Denver Post:Xcel Energy on Tuesday continued its shift away from coal, announcing an agreement to retire two of its three coal-burning units at the Comanche Generating Station in Pueblo while adding substantially more wind, solar and natural gas generation.Xcel Energy will request competitive bids before the end of the year for 1,000 megawatts of additional wind, 700 megawatts of solar and 700 megawatts of natural gas power generation under its “Colorado Energy Plan.”The state’s largest utility also said it will retire 660 megawatts of coal-generated power from Comanche Unit 1, built in 1973, and Comanche Unit 2, built in 1975. It will continue to operate the newer and cleaner coal-fired Unit 3, which came online in 2010 and has a capacity of 750 megawatts.“It is really about the economics,” David Eves, president for Xcel Energy in Colorado, said of the retirements, which will take place before the end of 2022 and 2025. “From the company’s perspective, this plan is a response to our customers”The Trump administration has made restoring coal’s prominence as a generation source and preserving mining jobs a priority. Eves said the company strongly supports “decarbonization,” but only when it makes financial sense. The decision to go with gas, solar and wind over coal, he said, wasn’t so much political as economic.“The fundamental economics of these technologies (wind and solar) is what is making these dramatic changes possible and beneficial to consumers,” he said.Customers are pushing Xcel for greener and lower emission energy sources, but also want reliability and lower costs, Eves said. The company thinks it has found the right formula and on Tuesday filed a stipulation to its 2016 electric resource plan that is before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.More:  Xcel Energy plans to retire two coal-fired plants in Pueblo, increase renewables In Ongoing Shift From Coal (and Announcement of Two Closures in Colorado), Xcel Says It Has Found ‘the Right Formula’last_img read more

Read More

S. Korea’s KEPCO buys into renewable projects in India

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Pulse News:South Korea’s state-run utility company Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) said on Tuesday it has signed an agreement with India’s Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. (PGCIL) to cooperate on new energy infrastructure projects in India, a move that will enable KEPCO to tap into India’s burgeoning new renewable energy market.PGCIL, founded in 1989, is India’s state-run utility firm that is currently responsible for 45 percent of total power demand in India.Under the agreement, KEPCO and PGCIL will work together to explore new opportunities in the areas of energy storage system, smart grid and charging infrastructure station for electric vehicles in India. KEPCO will also help to reduce the country’s 25-percent power loss during transmission with its automatic meter reading technology.The latest agreement is expected to help the Korean utility company make fast inroads into the Indian renewable energy market that is poised for rapid growth on the Indian government’s latest policy goal to expand power infrastructure in the country.Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently laid out new energy development plans and initiated various projects to build more power networks in the country. The key plans are to supply seamless electricity to all people around the clock in the country, to build 100 smart cities, to increase solar power generation to 225 gigawatts by 2022, and to add more renewable energy facilities, smart grids and energy storage systems.More: KEPCO partners with PGCIL, eyeing renewable energy infrastructure deals in India S. Korea’s KEPCO buys into renewable projects in Indialast_img read more

Read More

Fitch: Coal opposition, declining gas reserves to boost Thai renewable energy growth

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享OilPrice.com:Thailand’s natural gas depletion problems are causing the southeast Asian country to make significant changes to its energy mix. The capacity of non-hydro renewables in Thailand may expand to 21 percent of the country’s total power capacity mix at 14,858 MW by 2028, according to a recent report by Fitch Solutions. The report projected that capacity growth in the renewables sector to be robust over the next decade, mostly driven by the biomass and solar sectors as the country mitigates the loss of its natural gas reserves.“This view is also informed by our expectation that coal-fired power growth will stagnate amidst popular opposition, meaning that there are ample opportunities for renewables as the Thai government seeks to deliver increased power sector investment to meet rising electricity demand in the country,” Fitch Solutions added.The Fitch report also highlighted how local authorities are aiming to raise the share of renewable energy from 10 percent to 30 percent in the domestic power mix by 2037 through the country’s Power Development Plan (PDP2018-2037).Though Thailand is going long on renewables, it is still planning to invest $11.3 billion (354.7 billion baht) over the next five years to boost its natural gas portfolio and energy infrastructure, Thai state-owned energy firm PTT said last week at a news conference. The Bangkok-based company plans to invest 167.1 billion baht from 2019 to 2023, of which 44 percent will be allocated to expand its gas business and firm up infrastructure, the state-owned oil major said.PTT added that natural gas is becoming a primary energy source for Thailand because it is easier to transport, cleaner and has lower costs. It said that PTT also set aside an additional 187.6 billion baht to invest in new technologies and expand its core business should opportunities arise. “We have to build energy security for the country and also add value to from our petrochemical products,” it added. Areas of investment include expansion of petrochemical products capacity and its electricity business.More: Thailand pivots to renewables as gas dries up Fitch: Coal opposition, declining gas reserves to boost Thai renewable energy growthlast_img read more

Read More

IRENA sees potential for 2,600GW of onshore wind in Asia by 2050

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享IamRenew:Asia could grow its share of installed capacity for onshore wind from 230 Gigawatt (GW) in 2018 to over 2600 GW by 2050, becoming the dominant market in the segment, a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) finds. By that time, the region would become a global leader in wind, accounting for more than 50 percent of all onshore and over 60 percent of all offshore wind capacity installed globally.According to the new report “Future of Wind” published at China Wind Power 2019 being held in Beijing, global wind generational capacity could rise ten-fold reaching over 6000 GW by 2050. By midcentury, wind could cover one-third of global power needs and when combined with electrification, deliver a quarter of the energy-related carbon emission reductions needed to meet the Paris climate targets. To reach this objective, onshore and offshore wind capacity will need to increase four-fold and ten-fold respectively every year compared to now.“With renewables, it’s possible to achieve a climate-safe future,” said IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera. Low-cost renewable energy technologies like wind power are readily available today, representing the most effective and immediate solution for reducing carbon emissions.“Our roadmap for a global energy transformation to 2050 shows that it is technically and economically feasible to ensure a climate-safe, sustainable energy future. Unlocking global wind energy potential will be particularly important. In fact, wind energy could be the largest single source of power generation by mid-century under this path. This would not only enable us to meet climate goals, but it would also boost economic growth and create jobs, thereby accelerating sustainable development,” La Camera said.The report further adds that to accelerate the growth of global wind power over the coming decades, scaling up investments will be key. On average, global annual investment in onshore wind must increase from USD 67 billion in 2018 to 211 billion in 2050. For offshore wind, global average annual investments would need to increase from USD 19 billion to 100 billion in 2050.More: Asia poised to become dominant wind market: IRENA IRENA sees potential for 2,600GW of onshore wind in Asia by 2050last_img read more

Read More

U.K. battery storage developer Penso Power has plans for more large-scale projects

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Recharge:Plans are well advanced for at least two more giant batteries in the UK on the scale recently backed by a power deal with Shell, said the energy storage pioneer developing the projects. Richard Thwaites, chairman of Penso Power, told Recharge the company is about “three months away from being investment ready” at its next 100MW storage site, with a third of the same size “a bit further down the track”.Penso is developing the 150MW Minety battery project in southwest England, which claimed the mantle of Europe’s largest when it announced in February that it had secured a multi-year power offtake deal with Shell Energy Europe for the initial 100MW. Minety is backed by Chinese investment fund CNIC and Chinese power group Huaneng, which is building the project.Thwaites declined to give further details of the future projects or investors, but said they would follow the model established by Minety, which focused on deployment at large scale and “de-risking” the proposition for infrastructure investors by signing a power deal with a blue-chip off-taker such as Shell.“We have spoken to a number of Chinese investors – there’s a lot of Asian interest. We’ve had investors in Japan talking to us too,” said Thwaites, who added that installing 100MW battery systems means “our cost to deploy per megawatt is a lot lower than on a smaller site”.Thwaites – who was previously chairman of Limejump, the energy trading specialist that’s now a subsidiary of Shell and will trade the power from Minety for the oil giant – said Penso’s vision is to tap into the ballooning requirement for storage as more output from variable renewables flows onto the grid.The first 100MW phase of Minety is due to be installed by the autumn of this year using batteries from Samsung and CATL.[Andrew Lee]More: Two more giant batteries planned in UK, says storage pioneer selling power to Shell U.K. battery storage developer Penso Power has plans for more large-scale projectslast_img read more

Read More

Arizona utility proposes $144 million transition fund for communities hit by coal power plant closures

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Arizona Republic:Arizona Public Service is proposing to offer $144 million in help to three coal-country and tribal communities where the company eventually will close its remaining coal-burning power plants.The plan would not only provide large investments in the Navajo Nation, Hopi tribe and Joseph City area, but also includes plans to retain workers, electrify regions of the Navajo reservation that are off the power grid, and develop renewable energy projects like solar and wind plants.The plan represents a massive investment in communities that have suffered economically as the U.S. shifts its reliance on fossil fuels to newer technologies and reflects a commitment from the utility that it intends to continue down a path toward 100% carbon free electricity.“Really since the 1960s, these communities have provided the power that really fueled the growth of Arizona,” said Jeff Guldner, CEO of APS and its parent company, Pinnacle West Capital Corp. He said that as coal plants shutter across the country, utilities are taking a look at how to responsibly help the communities that lose major sources of jobs and income, as well as tax revenue.“It’s a conversation that is happening around the country,” Guldner said, adding that the payments would be paid overtime to help the communities rebuild their economies. “This is a pretty balanced plan,” he said. “It is the right thing to do.”[Ryan Randazzo]More: APS offering $144M to Arizona tribes and others affected by coal plant closures Arizona utility proposes $144 million transition fund for communities hit by coal power plant closureslast_img read more

Read More

Weekend Picks: Spring LEAF

first_imgHead to Black Mountain, North Carolina this weekend, May 8-11, for the spring edition of the annual LEAF Festival!The 38th LEAF Festival announced the addition of The Family Stone as Sunday’s final act. The LEAF Festival, May 8th – 11th, in Black Mountain, N.C. is also premiering Bootsy Collins and the Funk Unity Band, Beats Antique, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, Darrell Scott and Tim O’Brien, Red Baraat and much more music, art and fun.“The theme is ‘Free Your Funky Self’’ and the cosmic funk gods opened the doors for LEAF to have one of the best funk bands of all time join us,” said LEAF Founder and  Executive Director, Jennifer Pickering. “LEAF just star bursted to a new level of funk.”Four-time Grammy award winner, The Family Stone is best known for eight #1 Billboard Top hits including “Everyday People”, “Dance to the Music”, ”Thank You” and “I Wanna Take You Higher.” The Family Stone received many accolades over the years including induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Grammy Hall of Fame, Vocal Hall of Fame and was one of the Top 25 Greatest Bands of All Time by Rolling Stone. As the replacement for Los Lobos, LEAF hopes The Family Stone will attract an even wider audience as the festival’s closer on May 11th at 4:00 pm.Performing Arts Director, Ehren Cruz stated, “Family obligations have called Los Lobos home on Sunday, but The Family Stone has stepped in as the ultimate LEAF Mother’s Day surprise. We are honored to have such iconic legends perform for thousands at LEAF Festival, and share their musical magic with the community.”LEAF musicians provide the soundtrack to a memorable experience filled with cultural treasures and fun around every corner. LEAF Festival creates a family-friendly environment with a myriad of community dance; poetry and puppet slams; healing arts workshops and practitioners; exhibitions of folk art, handcrafts,visionary art, installations and interactive demonstrations; camping, water sports and outdoor activities; and seven Family Adventure Villages throughout the festival.Tickets are onsale at theLEAF.org or by phone at 828.68.MUSIC (828.686.8742). No tickets are sold at the gate, advance sales only. Adult prices start at $48 for the day or $163 for the weekend. Additional discounts apply for local commuting residents and youth ages 10 through 17. Children 9 and younger are always free. Funky costumes and festive attitudes encouraged!Spring LEAF 2014 Performing Lineup:Bootsy Collins & the Funk Unity Band • The Family Stone • Beats AntiqueSierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars • Red Baraat • Darrell Scott & Tim O’BrienBoukman Eksperyans • Zach Deputy • Elephant Revival • Locos por Juana • The Lee Boys • Town Mountain • Roosevelt Collier Presents: Funk in the Round • Zing Experience • Turkuaz • Billy Jonas BandContra w/ Wild Asparagus & Perpetual Emotion •  Alash Tuvan Throat Singers • Kim & Reggie Harris • The Whitetop Mountaineers • Empire Strikes Brass • The Fritz • Adams, Queen & Rifkin •  Molasses Creek •  Techno Contra w/ DJ Jor-D • Unifire Theater • One Leg Up • Zulu Connection • Montuno • Infinite Geometry • Darrell Rose • Whee Ahh Fairie Kin • Toy Boat Circus Arts • Jake Hollifield Art V Experience • The Screaming J’s • Kickin’ It Crew Jelly Dome • LEAF Poetry Slam w/ James Nave • Rushfest Contra Experience • Alex Krug Combo • Contra Callers: Diane Silver, George Marshall, & Jesse EdgertonLEAF Community Arts is a non-profit organization in which all donations and festival profits fund music and arts education programs locally and globally. The 19 year-old twice yearly LEAF Festival is now the flagship fundraiser for two divisions of arts education programs, LEAF Schools & Street and LEAF International. Since becoming a non-profit in 2004, LEAF has served more than 42,000 youth with programs in more than 15 Asheville community locations and 10 countries worldwide. In 2013, the non-profit legally changed its name to LEAF Community Arts, making Lake Eden Arts Festival a term only used for historical reference.last_img read more

Read More

Thousands in California Evacuated in Anticipation of Dam Failure

first_imgSome 200,000 residents near Lake Oroville, a California reservoir contained by the tallest dam in the United States, have been forced to evacuate after erosional damage created a hole in the dams spillway.Eight cities downstream of the 770-foot dam were included in the evacuation order, issued around 5 p.m. local time on Sunday, Feb. 12, after it became clear that the integrity of the emergency spillway was severely compromised.The emergency spillway has not been used since the dam was constructed in 1968.Cracking in the earthen spillway began to appear last week and is said to be the result of unusual amounts of rainfall in the area.“Officials now anticipate a failure of the auxiliary spillway within 60 minutes,” read a warning that was released by the National Weather Service on Sunday afternoon. “This is not a drill. This is not a drill. I repeat, this is not a drill.”According to a local newspaper, three environmental groups—the Friends of the River, the Sierra Club and the South Yuba Citizens League—filed a motion with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission back in 2005 warning them about the very scenario that unfolded Sunday night but no action was taken.Officials now on the scene say that the dam itself is not currently in danger of a breach, but if it were to fail it could send a 30-foot tall wall of water down into the Feather River basin.Watch a live stream of the events below.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTWyJ1LmDsklast_img read more

Read More

Quick Hits: Artificial Athletes

first_imgCan bionic limbs and implanted technology make you faster and stronger? Meet biohackers working on the frontier.Zoltan Istvan has achieved every runner’s fantasy: the ability to run without the hassle of carrying his keys. Thanks to a tiny chip implanted in his hand, Istvan doesn’t have to tie a key onto his laces, tuck it under a rock in the front yard, or find shorts with little zipper pockets built in. Just a wave of the microchip implanted in his hand will unlock the door of his home. The chip doesn’t yet negate the need for a Fitbit, a phone, or a pair of earbuds on long runs, but Istvan says it’s only a matter of time.A long-time athlete and technology geek, Istvan identifies as a transhumanist: he believes that the transformation of the human body through ever-developing and evolving technologies will improve human life and ultimately lead to immortality.“Athletes should be able to use drugs and technologies to enable them to be more competitive. To restrict that is to go against the very best of what we can become. If somebody wants to take these risks, they should have the rights to do so in full.”“We have these technologies that literally could change the face of humanity here very soon,” Istvan says. “In a decade’s time, we’ll have intelligence at least as smart as humans, probably smarter.”For now, Istvan’s implant doesn’t do much for him as an athlete, aside from eliminating the need to carry a jangling set of keys when he’s running or surfing. But as the implant industry continues to develop, Istvan says it’s only a matter of time before people—especially athletes—are voluntarily replacing entire arms and legs with bionic limbs.“In seven to 10 years bionic arms will simply be better than human arms,” Istvan says, predicting that football players, for example, may find themselves willing to sacrifice a biological arm in favor of a robotic alternative that can repeatedly throw a flawless 100-yard pass.“I think athletes should be able to use drugs and technologies to enable them to be more competitive,” he says. “I know there are Olympic athletes who would do bad things to their bodies in order to achieve five minutes of fame, and sure there’s an ethical question, but to restrict that is to go against the very best of what we can become. If somebody wants to take these risks, they should have the rights to do so in full.”Would it be fair for athletes with biomedical enhancements (like swimmers with webbed feet, or marathon runners with bionic legs) to go up against competitors who haven’t altered their bodies? Absolutely not, Istvan says. “That’s why I think an entire new sporting environment should be created to harness those ambitions,” he says, touting a concept from his political platform: the Transhumanist Olympics. “It would be really interesting to have people wear an Ironman suit and box it out. Who wouldn’t want to watch that? I think people would say wow, this is the next level of human evolution.”Zoltan IstvanPandora’s box of prostheticsGary Hearn, a long-time ultrarunner who lives in Farmville, Virginia, has what may be the original performance enhancement implant: a pacemaker. And that’s about as far as he’s willing to go on that front. But having competed in upwards of 40 races per year during his peak running years, he says there will always be athletes who want to push the envelope.“I think it’ll be a Pandora’s box once you open it up, where anything goes,” he says. “I could see more along the lines of genetic engineering, trying to create superior individuals using selective breeding.”Or perhaps using injectable material to grow additional tissue, he suggests. At this point, very little seems entirely out of the realm of possibility.“This is where medical science has brought us to today, implanting things into ourselves,” he says. “How far do you go before enough is enough?”Justin Worst, COO and CFO at Grindhouse Wetware in Pittsburgh, is pushing that boundary. His company is rolling out implants that may be of particular interest to athletes. As seen on an episode of MTV’s True Life in 2015, Worst has a device roughly the size of four stacked quarters inside the back of his left hand.The medical-grade silicon-coated device is a precursor for the more advanced product they plan to roll out over the next several years called Circadia. Circadia monitors and records vital signs like blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, and blood sugar. Its capabilities will also include linking via Bluetooth to a smartphone, much like health and fitness apps.“We want Circadia to be able to look at people’s biometric stats,” says Worst. “People will be able to sync it, pull up the app, and look at all those health metrics whenever they want.”The goal, Worst says, is to make health tracking easier for everybody, not just athletes, and to normalize implant devices.“If it’s physically inside, versus a Fitbit that’s touching the outside of the skin and can be taken off, you’ll be able to get a lot more accurate readings,” Worst says. “A lot of the guys that do the Tour de France, for example, they’re constantly checking their vitals during pit stops. It’ll be a lot easier for them if they already have the device in them.”Justin Worst’s Subdermal ImplantAthlete ImplantsOnce a consumer buys a device from a biotech company like Grindhouse, the next step is finding someone who can perform the insertion. As someone who’s already well-versed in the world of tattoos and other body modifications, Worst says it didn’t hurt quite as badly as he had anticipated. Unlike with a tattoo or piercing, the procedure involved a scalpel and what he describes as a “small metal spatula” to make a pocket for the device to fit into. “The process was fairly quick, probably 10 to 15 minutes, and the stitches were the worst part,” Worst says.Despite the use of scalpels and stitches, you’d be hard-pressed to find an American medical doctor to perform the procedure. Someone’s got to do it safely and prevent well-meaning aspiring cyborgs from slicing into themselves with medical instruments, which is where people like Zack Watson come in.Quick to point out that he is not a doctor and does not perform surgeries, Watson is a Pittsburgh-based body modification artist. For years, his focus was primarily piercings, and as a self-described “techy nerd,” he was intrigued when the team at Grindhouse asked if he had any interest in doing tech implants. The industry doesn’t currently require (or even offer) formal certifications to qualify a body modifier to perform implant procedures, but Watson shadowed and trained extensively under experienced mod artists before offering the service himself. “My goal is to help people be happy with their body,” Watson says.The proud host of an in-hand microchip himself, Watson is excited to see what the future of biotech implants holds. “For athletes, these devices can monitor while under the strain of doing whatever activity you’re doing, fine-tuning your body to a much more accurate level.”He doesn’t anticipate a simple or smooth road in getting there, though. As a body piercer, Watson encounters his share of judgment and discrimination based on both his appearance and his career choice. He’s been accused of “doing the devil’s work” and “destroying God’s image” on more than one occasion, and he expects it may be a while before the general public is on board with implants.“It’s a constant battle of legislative fear and worry for public safety versus trying to pioneer a new field.”As for pushback against the products themselves, Worst says it’s a mixed bag.“It could easily be misinterpreted if you’re only hearing sound bites. Mostly I think the impressions people get are us being able to develop chips for the government and things along those lines, which, Worst says, the team at Grindhouse will never do.The biohacking movement is generating interest and support among East and West Coast millennials, Istvan says, but as Zoltan experienced firsthand during his 2015 cross-country trip in a coffin-shaped bus that he affectionately called the Immortality Bus, not everybody is on board.“The reaction really changes based on demographics. If it’s an older, Christian person, they’re not going to like what I have to say,” he says, adding that folks in the flyover states also tend to be skeptical. “But the reality is we have more opportunity than ever before, and it’s entirely based on science and technology.”last_img read more

Read More

Outdoor Updates: How to stay safe if you’re stuck outside in a lightning storm

first_imgVirginia Department of Conservation and Recreation protects more than 1,000 acres in 6 months U.S. Forest Service proposes to eliminate public involvement in decisions involving many national forests Friday, July 19 Check the weather. Thunderstorms tend to brew in the afternoon, so try to hike in the morning when the threat of storms is reduced.If you see a storm approaching, leave ridges, peaks and exposed elevated areas.If you can’t reach your car or a safe shelter before the storm hits, seek refuge in a valley or depression. Avoid standing near tall trees, especially if they are isolated. If you are hiking in a group, spread out so that everyone in your group is at least 100 feet apart. Make sure metal-framed backpacks and hiking poles are at least 100 feet away, too.Assume the safest position by crouching on the ground with your feet together and the weight on the balls of your feet. Lower your head and cover your ears. Do not lie flat on the ground.  How to stay safe if you’re stuck outside in a lightning storm The Forest Service is accepting public comments until August 12, 2019. Comments can be submitted directly through the Forest Service website or through the Southern Environmental Law Center. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has added more than 1,000 acres to six properties in the first six months of 2019, expanding existing state parks and adding additional land to future state parks. Land acquisitions include: According to Kentucky Heartwood, the proposed rule would amend the agency’s procedures for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act and undermine government transparency, accountability, public participation and science-based decision making. The Trump administration and the US Forest Service are proposing to end a requirement that the Forest Service notify the public, allow for public comment, and analyze environmental impacts before making decisions about logging, road building and pipeline construction in most national forests. Summer is the season we take to the trails and waterways for some warm weather adventure. But summer is also the time when thunderstorms seem to pop up out of nowhere, putting those of us unable to seek shelter at risk. Lightning strikes about 300 people each year. So what should you do if you’re out on the trails when a storm rolls through? Follow these tips to stay safe: 233 acres at forthcoming Clinch River State Park, a portion of which will provide river access for canoes and kayaks85 acres at Mount Joy Pond Natural Area Preserve to protect rare species habitat and provide a smoke buffer for prescribed burns9 acres at Hungry Mother State Park to provide a buffer at the entrance of the park401 acres at York River State Park214 acres at Mayo River State Park106 acres at Magothy Bay Natural Area Preserve which will provide migratory bird habitatlast_img read more

Read More