August 1, 2021

On the Blogs: U.S. Energy Secretary: Markets Are Now Driving ‘Inevitable’ Transition to Clean Energy

first_imgOn the Blogs: U.S. Energy Secretary: Markets Are Now Driving ‘Inevitable’ Transition to Clean Energy FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Jeff McMahon for Forbes.com:Climate change may have inspired the clean-energy revolution, but price has made it inevitable, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz said Thursday, citing plunging prices in solar, wind and efficient innovations like LED lighting.“The discussion about climate and climate science and mitigation and adaptation is very important, but the fact is that clean energy, the clean energy scaling, has an inevitability about it following Paris,” Moniz said at the close of the 7th Clean Energy Ministerial, a San Francisco gathering of 24 energy ministers.“This is becoming inevitable. This is the direction we’re going.”A few things had to happen before Moniz would acknowledge the “phase change.” The first was the Paris Agreement and climate conference last December that brought together an unprecedented international coalition of nations, innovators, and financiers. Secondly, the cost of clean energy and certain energy efficient products has fallen so fast that even the plummeting oil price has been unable to halt its growth.Moniz reviewed a few indicators he had noticed at the Ministerial: Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) in the range of 3¢ to 4¢ per kilowatt hour for wind and solar energy, which have made renewables competitive. PPAs are the long-term sales contracts that set the price at which utilities buy power from energy producers. In its most recent analysis of the levelized cost of energy, last September, Lazard had wind starting at 3.2¢, solar at 4.3¢, natural gas at 5.2¢ and coal at 6.5¢. “I think we may become almost expectant about this,” Moniz said, “but if you think back a short time, this kind of development would have been viewed as completely remarkable—because it is.”Plunging prices for energy efficient products like LED lights. Moniz praised India’s success in reducing the price and increasing the efficiency of LEDs. The Indian government has distributed more than 50 million LEDs, using its purchasing power to drive down the price as it seeks to replace the country’s 770 million incandescent bulbs. Led lights cost about $35 just four years ago. In India, the price has fallen to about 80¢ for a 9-watt LED, Moniz said, “and the implications of that are pretty incredible.” Among those implications, low-energy LED bulbs demand less power from solar panels, extending the panels’ usefulness.Commitments by companies to power their operations using renewable energy, spurred in some cases by a campaign of the Clean Energy Ministerial led by Germany and Denmark.“All 3 of those elements, I think, point to the way we are seeing a scaling in this clean energy realm,” Moniz said.Full article: Renewable Energy Is Now Inevitable, Energy Secretary Says, Citing Pricelast_img read more

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Imminent Closure of Arizona Plant Portends an ‘Existential’ Moment for Navajo

first_imgImminent Closure of Arizona Plant Portends an ‘Existential’ Moment for Navajo FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg News:In February, NGS’s controlling shareholder, a public utility called Salt River Project, announced that it would shut down the power plant beginning at the end of this year, another casualty of the surge in cheap natural gas. Without the power plant to buy its coal, the mine will be forced to shut down, as well. Navajo leaders railed and called on the Trump administration for help; Percy Deal and environmentalists celebrated. “Our leaders are not talking about the impact on the health of these people, respiratory diseases as a result of the industry,” Deal says.In 2014, the independent Clean Air Task Force estimated that emissions from NGS contribute to 16 premature deaths, 25 heart attacks, 300 asthma attacks, and 15 asthma emergency room visits each year, and that shutting down the plant would save $127 million in annual health-care costs, according to the task force’s assessment. That same year, the Environmental Protection Agency reached an agreement with NGS to cut its emissions of nitrogen oxide—the main pollutant linked to lung ailments, not to mention thick haze in 11 nearby national parks, including the Grand Canyon—by 80 percent over the next 16 years before shutting down permanently in 2044. “Back then, the economics projected that it would still be viable,” SRP media relations manager Scott Harelson demurs. “The analysis of utilities and the price of natural gas moving forward show that the price will continue to remain low, and that’s what ultimately caused SRP to make their decision.”For years, every economic indicator has pointed to the eventual death of coal as a power source—but with no public announcement before this year that SRP would consider shutting down the plant before its 2044 deadline, the tribe had little reason to think they needed contingency plans. “They dropped the whole thing on top of us,” says Navajo Nation chairman Russell Begaye. Each salary derived from NGS probably supports 20 to 30 people, he says—and at $141,500, on average, it is seven times greater than the median salary on the reservation. Already the poverty rate among the Navajo is three and a half times the national mean. “If we knew five years ago that they were going to be shutting down, we would have been ready.” It’s unquestionable that closing NGS is the best possible outcome for the land the Navajo and their neighbors, the Hopi, have called home for more than 800 years. It’s also unquestionable that closing NGS presents an existential threat to both tribes.More: The End of Coal Will Haunt the Navajolast_img read more

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In ‘Challenging Transition,’ Navajo Generation Station Will Stay Open Through 2019

first_imgIn ‘Challenging Transition,’ Navajo Generation Station Will Stay Open Through 2019 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Hill:The coal-fired Navajo Generating Station has obtained the approval it needs to stay open through 2019.The Salt River Project, an Arizona utility that partially owns the plant and is negotiating on behalf of the other owners, announced Wednesday that the federal Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Indian Affairs had completed their environmental review of the lease extension.The plant’s owners, which include Reclamation, lease the plant’s land from the Navajo Nation. They had originally planned to close it this year, but the Trump administration and the Navajo Nation pushed for a renewal, and the other utilities involved agreed to it.“A great deal of hard work from a number of dedicated individuals representing the Navajo Nation, the owners and the federal government made this important step possible,” Mike Hummel, deputy general manager of resources and finance at Salt River Project, which manages the plant, said in a statement.“We are grateful for their effort as this agreement provides meaningful benefits for all involved and creates a path forward during this challenging transition,” he said.The utilities involved with the plant are looking to close it, citing economic pressures like the low costs of natural gas.But the plant, along with a coal mine on Navajo land that feeds it, provides more than a thousand jobs, mainly to Navajos.The Navajo Nation is still working to keep the plant open beyond 2019.Arizona coal plant to stay open through 2019Utility Dive:The largest coal plant in the Western United States will keep operating through 2019 after its owners received approval from the federal Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Indian Affairs to extend its lease on Wednesday.The plant’s owners, including Reclamation and a group of utilities, had planned to close the 2,250 MW Navajo Generating Station (NGS) in 2018. The Navajo Nation, which owns the land on which the plant sits, voted to extend its lease until 2019, but needed final approval from the federal agency. Arizona utility Salt River Project (SRP) and other owners still plan to shutter the facility after its lease expires, citing competitive pressures from cheap natural gas. The Navajo Nation and coal supplier Peabody Energy are working to find a new owner for the plant.More: West’s largest coal plant to stay open through 2019 with new approvallast_img read more

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Xcel plans to build 522MW wind farm in New Mexico

first_imgXcel plans to build 522MW wind farm in New Mexico FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享North American Windpower:Xcel Energy has announced that construction on the 522 MW Sagamore Wind Project in New Mexico will begin in the fourth quarter of the year.David Hudson, president of Xcel Energy for New Mexico and Texas, reported to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission that the company completed its development phase, including grid interconnection studies, paving the way for construction to start. Upon completion in late 2020, Sagamore will be New Mexico’s single largest wind facility, says Xcel.“Sagamore will pay for itself in the fuel cost-savings it will generate by using one of the region’s most abundant resources – the wind – to drive its generators,” Hudson says. “It will be among the cheapest generating resources on our system and will help us conserve precious groundwater and protect the environment while bringing an immense economic benefit to eastern New Mexico.”The $900 million facility, located in eastern New Mexico in Roosevelt County, will comprise 240 Vestas wind turbines. Wanzek Construction will build out the site using the skills of an estimated 400 construction workers. Xcel also expects 20 to 30 full-time positions to be created once the project is online. Initial work at the site, which covers more than 100,000 acres, will involve the construction of roads and preparations to build the 240 foundations that will support the turbines.Chicago-based Invenergy developed Sagamore before entering into an agreement in 2017 for Xcel Energy to acquire the project and erect the turbines. Sagamore is the largest and final component of a 1,230 MW expansion of wind energy on Xcel’s New Mexico-Texas system.More: Xcel finalizes plans for 522 MW New Mexico projectlast_img read more

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Italian oil major Eni buys 20% stake in U.K.’s Dogger Bank offshore wind project

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Italy’s Eni is buying a 20% stake in the Dogger Bank Wind Farm project from Norway’s Equinor and Britain’s SSE as it seeks to gain expertise in the sector and cut its greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050. The project off the northeast coast of England is expected to become the world’s largest offshore wind farm, helping the companies achieve their climate targets.Eni’s investment in the development was for a combined 405 million pounds, the companies said on Friday.“Entering the offshore wind market in Northern Europe is a great opportunity to gain further skills in the sector thanks to the collaboration with two of the industry’s leading companies,” Eni chief executive Claudio Descalzi said.Along with many other oil majors Eni plans to massively increase its renewable power generation to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and meet internal climate targets. It plans to have more than 55 gigawatts of renewable capacity by 2050, up from less than 1 GW in 2019. Eni has already formed a joint venture with Norway’s HitecVision to take part in an offshore wind power tender in Norway next year.SSE and Equinor said they would each realise 200 million pounds from the Dogger Bank sale, which is expected to be completed in early 2021 subject to regulatory and lender approvals, while still holding a combined 80% stake.“Once again, we have demonstrated Equinor’s ability to create value from renewables projects,” Paal Eitrheim, the company’s head of New Energy Solutions, said. Equinor also sold a 50% stake in two U.S. wind farms to BP in September, booking a $1 billion profit.[Nerijus Adomaitis, Susanna Twidale and Stephen Jewkes]More: Italy’s Eni joins North Sea wind power grab with Dogger deal Italian oil major Eni buys 20% stake in U.K.’s Dogger Bank offshore wind projectlast_img read more

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Ibex Introduces Lightest Weight Wool Fabric for Outdoor Athletes

first_imgEveryone knows that wool is all the rage in outdoor performance apparel and it is really showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, with the introduction of new companies this year, such as Super.Natural, and a yet-to-be-released wool insulation program from Jansport co-founder Murray McCory, the innovations in wool just continue to improve. Of course, the originators such as SmartWool, Icebreaker and Ibex are also all constantly innovating to develop the most technical Merino wool fabrics for outdoor athletes.For its Spring 2014 “Peak collection” Ibex Outdoor Clothing is introducing the new Weightless Wool — or W2 — it’s lightest weight wool fabric to date. It is perfect for outdoor sports in humid environments such as the Blue Ridge and coastal regions.W2 is a lightweight, durable fabric built for running, hiking, climbing and riding with a foundation of wool and a bit of nylon for structure; and like other products in this category — it is temperature regulating, naturally odor resistant and breathable. This new fabric maintains the same performance benefits athletes have come to expect from Merino wool, knit from a new combination of 18.5 micron Merino wool and nylon. W2 is the lightest weight fabric that Ibex has ever made, weighing in at an impressive 145 g/m2.W2 pieces for Spring ’14 include:Men’s W2 Sport T: This Canadian-made technical tee boasts set-in sleeves and has a semi fit that allows you to flex and bend without compromising comfort. Available in Mountain Blue, Red Pop and Black. $75Men’s W2 Sport Zip: This semi-fit, short sleeve tee as a 12-inch front center zip. Whether you want to zip-up for a bit more warmth, or whether you want the zip down for a bit more airflow, the locking pull on the zipper keeps the zip where you want it. Available in Mountain Blue, Black and Red Pop. Sewn in Canada. $89Men’s W2 L/S Sport Zip: Perfect for those early morning jogs that start cool, and end warm, the semi-fit design of this long sleeve sport top was designed for athletic performance. Features include a 12-inch front locking zipper for maximum heat regulation. Available in Mountain Blue, Red Pop and Black. Sewn in Canada. $110Ibex_Womens_W2_SportTWomen’s W2 Sport T: This no-frills, semi-fit, technical tee has raglan sleeves and flatlock seams that even the most demanding athlete will appreciate. At only 145 grams per square meter, you will not be weighed down no matter how hard you are working. Available in Green Chard, Moon Dust and Orange Pop. Sewn in Canada. $70Women’s W2 Sprint L/S: This technical long-sleeve, semi-fit, half zip jersey that has a 12-inch front zipper with a locking pull. The raglan sleeves and on-seam thumbholes keep it in place. Available in Green Chard, Moon Dust and Orange Pop. Sewn in Canada. $100Founded in 1997 and headquartered in White River Junction, Vermont, Ibex is a designer of year-round Merino wool outdoor clothing and cycling apparel, coupling this natural renewable resource with technical innovation and inspired design to create apparel for a diverse range of outdoor and active pursuits and passions.Men’s and Women’s items are divided into Ride, Base, Zing, Peak and Live categories, and are made from the best Merino wool fabrics sustainably sourced from New Zealand, available online and through outdoor specialty stores.Ibex_W2_LS_Spring14last_img read more

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Eden, N.C.

first_imgPopulation: 15,488Public lands: Dan River, Smith River, State Park at Freedom Park, Belews Lake, Lake ReidsvilleOutdoor Highlights: RiverFest, paddling the Dan, fishing, road bikinglast_img

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Beer Blog: All Hallow’s Beer

first_imgFull disclosure: Halloween is probably my favorite holiday of the year. It edges out Christmas because it doesn’t cost me a fortune, and it beats the hell out of Arbor Day. I love trees, but, come on.I couldn’t care less about the candy on Halloween — I’m more enthralled with the principle of the holiday. I like any occasion where you’re allowed to dress up like an idiot, prowl the streets after dark, and ask your neighbors to give you free stuff. It’s just a great community building event.There was a period in my life where it was socially unacceptable to trick or treat. That awkward phase from 13 to 33, between puberty and parenthood. Those were the dark days. But now that I have kids, trick or treating is once again the highlight of my Fall. Typically, I get dressed up as something ridiculous, like Dorothy from Oz or a giant, sexy pink bunny (see the picture above. The dude in the yellow is my five-year-old son. He has that Benjamin Button disease), and hold my kids’ hands as they walk from one house to the next, trying to judge how quickly the sugar crash will come. “If we hit all the houses at the end of this block, can I get them back home before they rip off their costumes and start rolling around and screaming in the middle of the street?”Naturally, now that I’m a respected adult, I also carry a bunch of beer with me while I trick or treat. A small, rolling cooler works well. You can use it as a bench if you get winded, or as a makeshift stroller if one of your kids craps out too early. Plus, if you’re really creative, you can dress the cooler up as part of your costume. For example, if you’re Dorothy, the cooler can be ToTo. The problem with toting a cooler though, is the other dads in the neighborhood will know that you have beer and they’ll come over to you and drink all your beer.So ideally, you’ll develop a costume that allows you to stash the beer on your body. The perfect costume for stashing beer is Santa Claus. Yes, this can be a little confusing for the neighborhood children—the blending of the two holidays can have a result similar to crossing the proton pack streams in Ghostbusters for their little minds—but it’s worth it because you can easily get six tall boys of Dale’s in the belly of one of those red suits.What you stuff your Santa suit with this Halloween is entirely up to you. It should be cans, of course, because, you know, the environment. And also, we don’t want a bunch of broken glass on our neighborhood streets. This is a family holiday—show some respect.Happy Halloween.last_img read more

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Ups and Downs of Van Life

first_img60 square feet is not a lot of space. This is true. A lot of people say to us “I don’t know how you do it,” and it gets me thinking. I remember standing up in a house and smelling Jessie’s freshly baked bread being pulled out of the oven. Though these things certainly are nice, they aren’t necessary. I always tell people who comment on the van “it’s bigger than a backpack and smaller than a house, what more do you need?” When it rains we close the doors, if the floor gets dusty we sweep it. We are quite comfortable._MG_7695 _MG_7557 _MG_5948We’ve learned to take shifts. Jess will get dressed first as I patiently wait and then take my turn, or vise versa. We’ve rigged a tarp set-up to expand our living space by more than twice as much. We’ll open the ceiling vent at night and crack the back doors. A nice cool breeze flows through the van, especially on these cool, dry Colorado nights. It seems every night is in competition with the night before. Any breach in logistics is simply a missed opportunity.IMG_7017 IMG_7006 IMG_6334 _MG_9788 _MG_9765 _MG_9738It’s funny how we have accepted different roles. We call it “being in the bitch seat,” when the van is moving. This means whoever is driving ultimately dictates the law. Get me water, grab me something to eat, etc.… This also applies to our camp set-up and take down. Jess usually positions herself on the floor of the van and hands things to me outside, I’m the runner, or person who does all the legwork. Don’t let her tell you differently. We divide and conquer quite well no matter where we go or where we are. In a camp situation we have our duties engrained. We have become efficient. I now know what Jess’ next move will be without even talking to her._MG_9663 _MG_8630 _MG_8505 _MG_8457 _MG_8163There are a few downsides to living in a van. We can’t stand up in our Econoline, so we hit our heads a lot. If you want to access something quickly, forget about it. Take a deep breath and get ready to move three things before actually reaching what you want. Patience. The side step into our van is our “mudroom” as a friend once called it. It’s always a mess. We pile shoes, water bottles, and the French press there. Every time we open the door, we pick those items up. Organization is a must. A pair of pants or shoes out of place makes the van look cluttered and messy. I hate that. We’ll organize before driving anywhere but always forget to secure at least six items, so as you can imagine, by the time we park, the van is a mess. Two people shouldn’t share a drawer. I’ll let your imagination answer why. It seems we are always out of water and are searching for places to get more. Showers are irregular. I consider a jump in the river a shower. Jess does not. A washboard dirt road will make me crazy. Everything, and I mean everything, escapes from its designated home in the van._MG_5997 _MG_7954 _MG_7773 _MG_7296I’ve learned that space isn’t necessary when two people can move in sync with one another. Our schedule is ever-changing and our ability to adapt to change has grown strong. We are aware of each other. Living in a small space is just as much about learning about yourself as it is learning about the person you share your life with. There are many moments of bliss and, of course, moments when life seems hard. We frequently acknowledge when it’s time to spend some time apart. With each day’s challenges, though, all we can do is keep on keeping on!Have any questions about vanlife? Ask away! We are more than willing to share our tips for living simply, our hard-learned lessons, and our favorite pieces of gear. Want to learn more about the van buildout itself? Check out our DIY tutorial and video!last_img read more

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Fridays on the Fly | 3 Tips for Trout Fishing in High Water

first_imgWhat are you supposed to do when you have the whole day to go fish, but your favorite stream is about twice as high as you’re used to seeing it? Well, you can always stay home and tie more flies, but there’s no reason why you can’t get out there and hook into a few, maybe even a big one. While many fly-fishers consider fishing high water to be hopeless, in actuality this situation can grant you the opportunity to catch trout you may rarely get a crack at otherwise. These three tips can help you turn the tables to your advantage during high water flows.nick41. When nymphing in high, off-color water, lengthen your leader and increase the diameter of your tippet.A longer leader will enable you to reach trout that are holding deep, and heavier tippet will help you fight and land fish in currents that are stronger than usual. Since trout can’t see as well when the water is off-color water, there is usually no need to fish 5x or 6x. Try using 4x instead, or even 3x, if you’re fishing a big weighted girdle bug or other type of stonefly nymph. If the water is high but still clear—these conditions have been common on the Davidson recently—you may want to stick to the diameter of tippet you usually use. But don’t forget to lengthen your leader to help your nymphs get down to where they need to be.2. Fish the banks, secondary currents, and eddies.When the water is up, the main current is often too strong for the trout to hold in. As a result, they tend to push toward the banks, where the flow isn’t as strong and the water isn’t as deep. Here, they can comfortably face upstream and can easily move back and forth through the softer current as they feed. Trout also seek refuge in eddies, where you may find them facing downstream as they pick off insects in the swirling current. In large rivers, you can also try fishing braids and back channels when the water is up. You may be surprised by how many fish can stack up in what looks to be just a small riffle or foam-line near the bank.nick33. Give the fish a good meal.When the water rises, the proverbial trout buffet opens for business. All kinds of goodies are washed into the river for the fish to eat, not to mention the various hatches that a rise in water level will sometimes set off. High water days are a great time to fish a streamer, either by dead-drifting it under a strike indicator or by stripping it on a sink-tip. A few of my favorites are Slump Busters, Meat Whistles, and Zonkers. Weighted general-purpose nymphs, as well as San Juan worms and egg patterns, can also be very effective. When nymphing, make sure to use enough split shot, and put your indicator way up on your leader to adjust for the change in the river’s depth. Then go find an eddy or a secondary current along the bank and fish away. When you see your indicator twitch, set the hook and hang on tight; the high water often brings the big fish out to play…last_img read more

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