FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享EURACTIV:The pace at which India—and China in particular—have developed solar power came as a surprise to BP analysts, the company’s chief economist told EURACTIV in an interview.When oil and gas major BP published its 2018 Energy Outlook last February, the group’s chief executive underlined in the report’s foreword that “a core theme” of this year’s edition “is the speed of the transition underway.” Speaking to EURACTIV in Brussels this week, BP’s chief economist, Spencer Dale, went further, acknowledging that the company had made a “mistake” in evaluating the speed of the transition.“We don’t pretend we haven’t made this mistake – we have made this mistake,” Dale admitted, saying BP has “revised up” its renewable energy growth forecasts as a result. “A lot of the explanation is solar,” Dale pointed out, explaining that the impressive growth in solar PV worldwide followed a typical “learning curve” where the costs come down roughly by 25% every time solar capacity doubles.“We haven’t been surprised by the steepness of that curve,” Dale pointed out, but rather by “how far along the curve” the world has got, particularly in China and India.For BP, the surprising figures are “telling us less about solar energy and more about the pace of the energy transition in China. And the pace at which essentially they’ve reduced their share of coal and filled up that hole with solar energy,” Dale said.The pattern is a familiar one. For years, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and oil majors such as BP and ExxonMobil have consistently tended to underestimate renewables growth in their annual energy outlooks. In Brussels, the European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, recently admitted it was taken by surprise by the rapid fall in renewables costs and recently updated its own projections based on new evidence.More: BP Confesses ‘Mistake’ In Forecasting Renewable Energy Growth Extent, Speed of China-India Renewable Energy Push Surprises BP Analysts
Duke’s Carolina solar installations total 2,500MW in past four years, more coming FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:There has been a fervent solar development march in the Carolinas by Duke energy over the past half-decade, a march which saw 565 MW of solar capacity installed in 2018.Overall, Duke has added a total of 2,500 MW of solar in the two states over the last four years. This was in the context of North Carolina becoming the second largest state in the country in terms of total installed capacity. South Carolina, while behind its northern namesake, has also seen a solar market start to take off.In addition to Duke’s development boom, the company has also been offering solar rebate programs in the two states. In North Carolina, Duke’s rebate is a 5-year, $62 million program, with those funds being used to administer a 60-cent per watt (¢/W) credit for solar residential customers have installed.The rebates stop at 10kW, or $6,000. Duke outlines that the average rooftop solar array is 8kW, meaning a $4,800 annual rebate. Businesses who apply will be eligible for a 50¢/W credit, while nonprofits are eligible for 75¢/W. These nonresidential projects cap out at 100 kW of installed capacity, meaning a maximum credit of $50,000 for businesses and $75,000 for nonprofits.In South Carolina, Duke pays $1 per watt for qualified residential customers who install systems up to 20 kW on their property and for business customers who install systems up to 1 MW on their property, a program which has led to exponential growth in the South Carolina residential solar market.At the end of the day, this is still Duke and there is development on the horizon. After growing its Carolinas installed capacity totals by 65 MW from 2017 to 2018, the company has even more ambitious views, aiming to add 680 MW of new solar capacity in 2019.More: Duke installed over 550 MW of solar in the Carolinas in 2018
Mali gold miner turns to off-grid solar, storage to save money, cut fuel oil use FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Kitco News:B2Gold’s board approved “one of the largest” off-grid hybrid solar/heavy fuel oil power plants to power its mine in Mali. The company made the announcement yesterday in its second-quarter results.B2Gold reported record quarterly consolidated gold production of 246,020 ounces. Consolidated gold revenues from continuing operations was $267 million on sales of 203,700 ounces.B2Gold’s solar plant will have 30 megawatts of solar generating capacity with a significant battery storage component. The company estimates the plant will reduce processing costs by 7%.“The Fekola Solar Plant will be one of the largest off-grid hybrid solar/heavy fuel oil (HFO) plants in the world,” said B2Gold in a news release. “It is expected that it will allow for three HFO generators to be shut down during daylight hours which will save about 13.1 million litres of HFO per year, at a capital cost of approximately $38 million.”The Fekola Solar Plant is scheduled for completion in August 2020 and has a four-year payback.More: ‘One of the largest’ off-grid solar plants to power B2Gold mine
New England municipal utilities see big benefits from battery storage projects FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:NEC Energy Solutions is building momentum with its grid battery offerings for municipal utilities in New England.Two years after a pathbreaking storage project with the Sterling Municipal Light Department in Massachusetts, NEC has added five more contracts in that state and one in Maine. The projects will add up to 20 megawatts of power capacity and more than 40 megawatt-hours of energy storage.The battery systems will help the municipal utilities reduce the consumption peaks that drive monthly transmission costs and an annual capacity charge. By predicting peaks and discharging at the right time, the storage plants save money for utility customers.The 2 megawatt/4 megawatt-hour system built in Sterling, Massachusetts, for a municipal utility with less than 4,000 customers, has already saved local ratepayers more than $1 million since December 2016, NEC said.With that project as a model, the storage manufacturer and integrator has succeeded in expanding its footprint in the growing New England storage market, where supportive state policies combine with access to wholesale market revenue to make project economics viable. “This activity is added proof of an inflection point in the adoption of energy storage in the market as municipal entities are now moving forward with projects without subsidies,” sales director Doug Alderton said via email Monday.NEC Energy Solutions, the storage unit of Japan’s NEC Corp., claims to have more than 750 megawatts of storage in place around the world.More: New England’s municipal utilities get a taste for battery storage
Renewable generation supplied 46% of German electricity demand in 2019 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Renewable energy’s share of Germany’s overall power supply mix rose by 5.4 percentage points last year to 46%, data from Europe’s biggest state-funded research and development service showed. Europe’s biggest economy is aiming for renewables to provide 65% of its power mix by 2030. It says it will abandon nuclear energy by 2022 and is devising plans for an orderly long-term exit from coal. Out of last year’s total power production of 515.6 terawatt hours (TWh), solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric generation together produced 237.4 TWh, according to data from the Fraunhofer organization of applied science.Green power output was up 7% year-on-year, and increased its share of total production from 40.6% in 2018 and 38.2% in 2017, helped by ongoing capacity expansion. Coal burning accounted for 150.9 TWh last year, a 29% share of the overall market, down from 38% in 2018. Last year wind power, both onshore and offshore, produced 127.2 TWh, taking a 24.6% share of the total mix. That was up 15.7% year-on-year, overtaking domestically mined brown coal – which yielded 102.2 TWh, or 19.7% of the total – as the biggest single power source. [Vera Eckert]More: Renewable energy’s share of German power mix rose to 46% last year: research group
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Eco-Business:The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) on Friday announced it would no longer finance new coal power stations anywhere globally, closing loopholes enshrined in its previous energy policy that allowed the London-headquartered lender to bankroll coal projects in certain developing nations.Responding to shareholders’ questions online amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the finance group stated it had amended its policy aimed at phasing out coal support, removing the previous exemption of Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam, which was slammed by activist groups in 2018 as experts warned no new fossil fuel power plant could be built if climate change was to be kept at bay.HSBC said while its now obsolete energy guidelines had permitted loans to coal projects in these emerging markets to “balance local humanitarian needs with the need to transition to a low carbon economy”, it had not financed any new coal projects anywhere since.The new policy means the bank will cease its involvement in funding Long Phu 1, a planned coal project in Vietnam for which it was acting as global coordinator, and follows a decision earlier this year to withdraw from Vinh Tan 3, another major coal power station in Vietnam.The move comes as an increasing number of financial institutions cut ties with coal, the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel. Last December, Standard Chartered Bank, one of HSBC’s major rivals with a significant presence in Asia, said it would pull out of three coal projects in Southeast Asia, while three major Japanese lenders exited coal in April alone.Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies, Australasia at Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said: “Banks know coal is by far the world’s most emissions-intensive source of power and the one most easily replaced by alternative, low-emissions technologies. Coal is the first one to throw under the bus.”[Tim Ha]More: No more loopholes: HSBC closes door on new coal projects HSBC closes loopholes, exits coal plant financing market
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Royal Dutch Shell is looking to slash up to 40% off the cost of producing oil and gas in a major drive to save cash so it can overhaul its business and focus more on renewable energy and power markets, sources told Reuters.Shell’s new cost-cutting review, known internally as Project Reshape and expected to be completed this year, will affect its three main divisions and any savings will come on top of a $4 billion target set in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Reducing costs is vital for Shell’s plans to move into the power sector and renewables where margins are relatively low. Competition is also likely to intensify with utilities and rival oil firms including BP and Total all battling for market share as economies around the world go green.Last year, Shell’s overall operating costs came to $38 billion and capital spending totaled $24 billion.Shell is exploring ways to reduce spending on oil and gas production, its largest division known as upstream, by 30% to 40% through cuts in operating costs and capital spending on new projects, two sources involved with the review told Reuters. Shell now wants to focus its oil and gas production on a few key hubs, including the Gulf of Mexico, Nigeria and the North Sea, the sources said.The company’s integrated gas division, which runs Shell’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) operations as well as some gas production, is also looking at deep cuts, the sources said.For downstream, the review is focusing on cutting costs from Shell’s network of 45,000 service stations – the world’s biggest – which is seen as one its “most high-value activities” and is expected to play a pivotal role in the transition, two more sources involved with the review told Reuters.Shell’s restructuring drive mirrors moves in recent months by European rivals BP and Eni which both plan to reduce their focus on oil and gas in the coming decade and build new low-carbon businesses.[Ron Bousso]More: Exclusive: Shell launches major cost-cutting drive to prepare for energy transition Shell launches restructuring effort to prepare for energy transition
I mourn the loss of things that my children and I will never see—whether it’s the mass migration of passenger pigeons or the white blossoms of the American chestnut covering the mountains. Among these wounds there is indeed hope—a hope that can be seen, heard, and felt. For example, one can travel to Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains to hear the majestic, ear-piercing shrill of an elk bugle. This species was once lost to our mountains but is beginning to recover and reclaim its native land.But I can’t ignore the silence of animals that can no longer be heard in the Smokies. Only a few decades ago, one could still hear the howls and cries of the red wolf. Though the red wolf has been silenced in the Smokies, it can still be heard in the wilds of eastern North Carolina. This swampy stronghold is the only place in the world where endangered red wolves roam free.The red wolf was nearly driven to extinction in the 1950s through aggressive predator control programs. The red wolf population was decimated so badly that it was declared extinct in the wild in 1980. As a last-ditch effort, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rounded up all of the remaining red wolves to rebuild an “experimental population.”In 1987, a breeding population of red wolves was released at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge on an isolated coastal peninsula of eastern North Carolina. The wolves that were released included only four mating pairs. From this first generation, the population now includes over 100 animals.As the population has grown, the recovery program has faced increasing scrutiny and attacks from some unlikely foes. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission recently passed a series of resolutions that aim to undermine the protections for the red wolf and destroy the species outright. They say that it’s too challenging, too expensive, too contentious, and too late to protect the red wolf. I say, welcome to conservation.Too challenging?Conservation is inherently challenging, but since when has that stopped us? What if we had given up on the grizzly, the gray wolf, or the bald eagle? Can you imagine having our national symbol relegated to a mere picture on the back of a quarter? The NC Wildlife Resources Commission is only interested in a future without the red wolf. In my view the real challenge is revamping the apple-polishing good ol’ boy politics that pervade these agencies entrusted to serve the public.Too expensive?In 2007, the last year the data was compiled, a total of $1.4 million in federal money was spent on red wolf conservation efforts. This is less than 1% of what was spent on all endangered mammals combined. Compare that to the bald eagle, a recovered and delisted species, which cost $9.5 million.And just guess how much the state of North Carolina spent on red wolf recovery in 2007? A paltry and embarrassing $1,523. That’s roughly $15 per wild red wolf for the entire year. I would guess the NC Wildlife Resources Commission spends more than $1,500 a year on coffee and donuts for their meetings.Too contentious?When European settlers first began their war against the wild in the U.S., the only good predator was a dead one. We believed that with less predators came more game. We soon learned that ecology isn’t quite that simple as disease spread, ranges transformed to dust, and forests were denuded of new growth.Predator eradication policies of the past have damaged ecosystems and swung nature’s balance in radical directions. Nowhere have these lessons been more evident than in the East. We nearly lost all of our predators and even our prized games species. Today we celebrate the return of the white-tail deer, the wild turkey, and now the elk. But we are just now recognizing the incredible value of predators like the wolf and the cougar to these game populations and to entire ecosystems. For many agencies, though, outdated attitudes toward predators still persist.Too late?“We are doomed.” “Things have gotten so bad we are just going to have to live with it. “Species go extinct all the time with no real consequences.“ I have heard all of these statements from professional conservationists. It’s understandable to sometimes feel this way. Aldo Leopold, one of the founding fathers of conservation, wrote, “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.”Too often, though, we let these wounds fester rather than mend. Many of today’s conservation interests embrace pessimism, focusing on the magnitude of the challenge rather than the importance of the solution.It’s not too late for the 100 red wolves in east North Carolina. Do you think the red wolf wishes to pace the confines of a pen alone as the last member of its species? Is this the future we want for the world’s most endangered wolf? The red wolf will fight for its existence, and so must we. It’s never too late to try. We must not lose hope, because this is one wound we can heal.—Why is the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) proposing to end the Red Wolf Recovery program, and what can be done?As of January 2015, the NCWRC passed two resolutions that requested the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) end the Red Wolf Recovery Program and capture and remove all red wolves from private lands. This resolution threatens the very existence of the species. Over 27 years of recovery would be halted, and the species would once again go extinct in the wild. The reasons cited by the NCWRC are that the Recovery Program has been a failure, the wolves are hybridizing with coyotes, and sea level rise will force the wolves onto private lands. The latter is ironic since the state of North Carolina does not recognize the reality of climate change and passed a law banning any discussion on sea level rise until 2016.Public comments are crucial. Howl for the wolves: let the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service know that the red wolves deserve protection and the Recovery Program needs to be continued. Email comments to Cynthia Dohner, Southeast Regional Director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, at [email protected] and Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, at [email protected] there any chance of ever bringing the red wolf back to the Smokies and/or southern Appalachians?Alligator River represents the only location where red wolves have been successfully reintroduced to the wild. Other reintroduction programs have been initiated but failed. Red wolves were released into Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the early 1990s but were recaptured after the wolves left the park boundaries in search of prey. Fearing conflicts with nearby cattle farmers, the program was ended in 1998.For the red wolf to return to Southern Appalachians, human attitudes must shift. With sea level rise threatening the coastal population, the best hope for red wolves is to be returned to the vast stretches of public lands in western North Carolina.Are wolves and coyotes interbreeding? Are these coy-wolves a good or bad thing?While wolves and coyotes share much of their genes, they are classified as separate species and are managed as such. For most of their history coyotes and red wolves did not interbreed as most coyotes inhabited the western states and their migrations were suppressed by healthy wolf populations. As wolves were exterminated from their native range, the range of the coyote expanded. With wolves becoming more isolated, healthy wolf pack dynamics broke down, and wolves in search of mates began to interbreed with coyotes. This interbreeding has caused genetic introgression of coyotes into the red wolf populations and has produced coyote/wolf hybrids sometimes referred to as coy-wolves. Only a healthy population of red wolves that is allowed to expand can overcome the biological invasion of coyotes.
Photo Courtesy of Bill Sublette/SELCEarly last month, Duke Power announced that it was reevaluating a plan to build a controversial transmission line in the Western Carolinas.Now, in the face mounting opposition from land owners, conservation groups, and local governments in both North and South Carolina, the power giant has decided to abandon the project altogether.The proposed power line would have run for 40-plus miles through the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Asheville, North Carolina to Campabello, South Carolina, as part of a broader project Duke had dubbed the “Western Carolinas Modernization Project.”This strongly contested proposal also included the construction of a large natural gas unit near Asheville which Duke had hoped would replace a recently retired coal fired plant, and a power substation in Campabello.The company posted a statement on its website this morning saying that the both the 45-mile transmission line and the Campbell Substation have been abandoned, while the size of the proposed natural gas plant near Asheville has been reduced.“Under the revised plan, (we) will replace (our) coal plant in Asheville with two smaller gas units rather than one large one,” the statement reads. “As a result, the proposed 45-mile Foothills Transmission Line and Campobello substation are no longer necessary.”When plans for the project were unveiled over the summer, opposition began to surface almost immediately. Thousands of citizens across the western Carolinas turned up at public meetings to decry Duke’s plans, while commenters flooded Duke’s website with negative reactions, and an online petition asking Duke to terminate the project garnered nearly 6,000 signatures.“Duke Energy’s decision to abandon its proposed power line and substation is a victory for the thousands of citizens across the western Carolinas who have stood up to protect the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Piedmont,” said Frank Holleman, senior attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center. “Through their efforts, our mountains and our quality of life have been protected against this power line and substation. This Thanksgiving, we can be thankful that our communities and our mountains will be protected against these two threats. We hope that in the future Duke Energy will look turn away from old fossil fuels and turn toward modern clean alternatives like solar, wind, and energy efficiency. ”
Stop Your Crying Jimbo Mathus Audio PlayerLizanne KnottCome For The KillUse Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.00:000:00 / 3:12 Deep Water Horizon The Batture Boys 4:27 2:37 7:14 3:12 Harvest and the Plough Kaia Kater Hook Me Up ft. Robert Randolph Ana Popovic Right Where You’re At Jared Hard How I Used To Try Don Tigra 4:07 My everyday alter ego is mild mannered teacher of fifth grade math students, so when a cool story involving a kid comes along, I can’t leave it alone.“Radiant,” the title track from Doug and Telisha Williams, the duo that forms that heart and soul of Wild Ponies, was co-written with Mariah Moore, a twelve year old student the Williamses met while working with a Country Music Hall of Fame program for kids.Veteran music duo writes song with pre-teen? Said song becomes the title track of their new record?That’s just awesome.Trail Mix is excited to be featuring Wild Ponies’ “Born With A Broken Heart” on this month’s mix. Fans can catch the band at Rooster Walk at the end of this month.Another cool addition to this month’s mix is the brand new tune from Kaia Kater, “Harvest And The Plough.” Kater, a product of the Davis & Elkins College Appalachian Ensemble, which was recently profiled on NPR, delivers a stark, haunting take on old time banjo and Appalachian music. Be sure to check out her new record, Nine Pin.Jimbo Matthus returns to Trail Mix this month, as do two of our good friends from the world of progressive bluegrass, Front Country and Fruition.Also on this mix are great new tracks from Lizanne Knott, Jared Hard, Don Tigra, The Bills, The Lark & The Loon, The Haunted Windchimes, Terri Hendrix, Mosaics, The Batture Boys, The Quaker City Night Hawks, and Elliot Lipp.Stay tuned to the Trail Mix blog. This month there are chats with Al Scorch, Ana Popovic, and New Madrid on tap, and there tickets to see Susto at Asheville’s Tiger Mountain for you to win.And, of course, please get out there and buy music from these great artists. Without your support, they cannot continue making the great music that they then share here on Trail Mix. Help spread the word, buy a concert ticket, share a track with a friend, and snag a record or two from your favorite local record shop. 3:21 3:30 Embed 3:27 5:11 Love You Strong Terri Hendrix 2:44 3:20 Everybody Out Al Scorch Under The Light Of The Moon The Lark And The Loon Labor of Love Fruition 4:05 Not Quite Awake Eliot Lipp 3:57 Come For The Kill Lizanne Knott Born With A Broken Heart Wild Ponies Summer Belles New Madrid Boys of Summer Front Country Everybody’s Talking The Haunted Windchimes 3:57 5:20 3:15 Hittin’ the Do The Bills Mockingbird Quaker City Night Hawks Year of Valor MOSAICS 3:19 Cosmic Cowboy Susto 4:14 2:52 3:10 Copy and paste this code to your site to embed.