Analysts expect strong, continued rise in energy storage installations FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:There’s a broad consensus that the world will deploy more grid storage in the coming years than it does today, but few people agree on exactly how much more.Here’s a new prediction: Global lithium-ion battery deployments over the next five years will grow by 55 percent annually, according to a new report from GTM Research. In other words, annual lithium-ion installations will grow more than eightfold, from 2 gigawatt-hours in 2017 to 18 in 2022.This growth is starting from a tiny baseline — for comparison, electric-vehicle sales produced demand for 112 gigawatt-hours of batteries in 2017 alone. With 55 percent annual growth, though, grid storage will soon be substantial enough to alter the performance of electrical systems around the world.The U.S. will continue to lead the pack in deployments, followed by China, Japan and Australia. The investments that states are putting in now with early battery projects, market reforms and storage mandates will bear fruit over the next several years.The accelerating deployments are made possible by a flurry of interconnected trends. The demand for EV batteries has incentivized a massive build-out in production capacity, which reduces the cost of batteries for grid applications. All told, authors Mitalee Gupta and Ravi Manghani expect battery pack prices to fall from $219/kilowatt-hour in 2017 to $39/kilowatt-hour in 2040, an 82 percent reduction.More: Lithium-Ion Storage Installs Could Grow 55% Every Year Through 2022
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:French power grid operator RTE is poised to publish a report that is expected to lay out a possible roadmap for shutting down France’s four remaining coal power plants by 2022, Ecology Minister Francois de Rugy said on Monday.The French government plans to halt the remaining coal power plants operated by state-controlled utility EDF and Germany’s Uniper as part of its efforts to curb carbon emissions.The plants have an installed capacity of about 3,000 megawatts (MW).The minister had asked RTE for an additional analysis on France’s energy needs and security of power supply before a decision this summer on whether to allow a planned conversion of EDF’s 1,200 MW Cordemais coal-fired plant into biomass power generation.“The RTE report will show us the possible ways to close the coal-fired plants by 2022,” de Rugy said during an interview on French parliamentary television channel LCP.More: Report on French coal power shutdown expected soon -minister French government looking at closing country’s four remaining coal plants by 2022
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Lexington Herald Leader:A coal company that wrote cold checks to several hundred Kentucky miners had not posted a bond to cover the cost of paying its workers, as required by state law.Blackjewel LLC should have posted the bond, but it didn’t, said Kentucky Labor Cabinet Secretary David A. Dickerson.“If Blackjewel had complied with state law, there could have been money in place to cover the miners’ last two paychecks,” said Sam Petsonk, a West Virginia attorney representing former Blackjewel miners in an effort to get them paid.Failing to post the bond was among several ways Blackjewel ignored regulatory obligations, Petsonk said.“That obligation protects the interests of the workers and the public at large — interests that are harmed by the nonpayment of wages, taxes, and benefits,” Petsonk said.About 1,100 miners in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia lost their livelihoods when Blackjewel filed for bankruptcy July 1 and abruptly shut down operations. Dozens of those workers formed a blockade across a CSX train tack on Monday to stop a train moving coal from a Blackjewel mine in Harlan County. They allowed locomotive engines with no cargo to pass Wednesday afternoon before re-blocking the track.“Following productive discussions with local stakeholders, the demonstrators agreed to briefly withdraw allowing a CSX crew to safely retrieve two locomotives from the blocked coal train so that we could continue serving other customers,” CSX said in a statement. “We continue to monitor the situation and are hopeful that a quick resolution can be reached.”More: This law protects Kentucky coal miners from cold paychecks. Blackjewel ignores Kentucky law, coal miners’ paychecks bounce
Cyberattack on solar, wind assets reveal U.S. grid weaknesses FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:A March 5 cyberattack of U.S. wind and solar assets is back in the news, with fresh documents helping shed light not just on the extent, but also the simplicity of the first-of-its-kind intrusion. Cybersecurity experts say it reveals a utility sector not sufficiently vigilant, and failing to employ the most simple fixes.The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) in September revealed details about the denial-of-service (DoS) attack, urging utilities to keep firewalls patched and up to date, but held back the name of the impacted entity. E&E News last week revealed, based on documents obtained through a public records request, the victim was sPower.Owned by AES and AIMCo, sPower bills itself as the United States’ largest private owner of operating solar assets. Though there was no loss of generation, the March cyberattack impacted the company’s visibility into about 500 MW of wind and PV across California, Utah and Wyoming.The attack is widely being called the “first” on renewable generators, though it is not clear the grid intrusion was entirely intentional. Attackers exploited a known vulnerability in an unpatched Cisco firewall, causing a series of reboots over 12 hours. But intruders did not press the attack further and E&E reports it is unclear they understood the firewall was connected to the energy grid.Security experts say the attack is a wake-up call for the electric sector and a sign that clear vulnerabilities remain.“The news begs a bigger question about cybersecurity regulations for the energy industry,” Phil Neray, vice president of security firm CyberX, said in an email. “The manner in which it was carried out was very basic — exposing some essential weaknesses in the way energy companies currently patch and monitor their network devices.”That means in some instances utilities are not even maintaining the most basic of protection: keeping systems up to date.“The simplicity of this attack should make generators sit up and take notice.”More: First cyberattack on solar, wind assets revealed widespread grid weaknesses, analysts say
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享E&E News:Oil drillers in the Permian Basin are burning off or exhaling more gas than ever before, as production in the country’s oil epicenter expands over land without infrastructure to gather natural gas, analysts at Rystad Energy reported yesterday.The oil and gas region of West Texas and southeastern New Mexico vented or flared an “all time high” of 750 million cubic feet per day (MMcfd) during the period from July to September, up from less than 100 MMcfd just under a decade ago, according to the energy research firm.Though the rate of meteoric growth in the United States may be slowing due to an oversupplied market depressing prices, recent Permian activity remains a growth story, according to Rystad.“Oil production in the Permian Basin is growing at an accelerated pace again, and we observe high, sustained levels of flaring and venting of associated gas in the basin,” said Artem Abramov, head of shale research at Rystad, in a statement.The Rystad report notes that current activity is migrating into areas without gathering lines, while the existing pipeline capacity is facing bottlenecks as producers try to move gas to market.In response, industry is burning off gas produced as a byproduct of oil drilling or simply releasing it into the air — part of a broader trend noted as a result of increased production. NOAA satellite data last year suggested flaring had increased by nearly 50% largely form Texas and North Dakota.More than 40% of the increased venting and flaring activity in the third quarter came from the Texas side of the Delaware Basin — a geologic sub-basin of the Permian that straddles the Texas-New Mexico border. Flaring was also up on the eastern edge of the Permian.On a company-by-company level, some producers have significantly cut their flaring, but others have sped up the rate of released gas, Rystad noted.More: Permian Basin flaring hits ‘all time high’ Record flaring in Permian Basin indicates an unsustainable boom
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:The number of insurers withdrawing cover for coal projects more than doubled this year and for the first time U.S. companies have taken action, leaving Lloyd’s and Asian insurers as the “last resort” for fossil fuels, according to a new report.The report, which rates the world’s 35 biggest insurers on their actions on fossil fuels, declares that coal – the biggest single contributor to climate change – “is on the way to becoming uninsurable” as most coal projects cannot be financed, built or operated without insurance.Ten firms moved to restrict the insurance cover they offer to companies that build or operate coal power plants in 2019, taking the global total to 17, said the Unfriend Coal campaign, which includes 13 environmental groups such as Greenpeace, Client Earth and Urgewald, a German NGO. The report will be launched at an insurance and climate risk conference in London on Monday, as the UN climate summit gets underway in Madrid.The first insurers to exit coal policies were all European, but since March, two U.S. insurers – Chubb and Axis Capital – and the Australian firms QBE and Suncorp have pledged to stop or restrict insurance for coal projects.At least 35 insurers with combined assets of $8.9 trillion, equivalent to 37% of the insurance industry’s global assets, have begun pulling out of coal investments. A year ago, 19 insurers holding more than $6tn in assets were divesting from fossil fuels.Lloyd’s, the world’s biggest insurance market, is the only major European firm which continues to insure new coal projects. Lloyd’s started excluding coal from its investments in its own £4bn central mutual fund in April 2018. However, its chief executive John Neal last month ruled out issuing guidelines on underwriting coal projects to its member syndicates.More: Coal power becoming ‘uninsurable’ as firms refuse cover Insurance becoming increasingly hard to get for global coal industry
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNBC:A 475 megawatt (MW) section of what is being described by energy firm the Enel Group as South America’s “largest” solar photovoltaic (PV) facility has started operations.In an announcement Monday, the Enel Group said the 475 MW chunk of the Sao Goncalo solar PV plant, in the northeast of Brazil, had been connected to the grid and would be able to produce more than 1,200 gigawatt hours annually when “fully up and running.”Work on an additional 133 MW section of the project began last August and will bring Sao Goncalo’s total capacity to 608 MW when finished. At full output, the whole plant will eventually be able to prevent the emission of more than 860,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year, according to Enel.According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewables meet nearly 45% of “primary energy demand” in Brazil. The IEA states that “large hydropower plants” are responsible for roughly 80% of domestic electricity production.Last October, the agency said that, worldwide, renewable power capacity was forecast to increase by 50% between 2019 and 2024, with solar photovoltaics due to make up nearly 60% of the expected rise.[Anmar Frangoul]More: South America’s ‘largest’ solar photovoltaic project is up and running Largest solar plant in South America begins commercial operations
The Adventures of a Ski Newb from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.The last time I remember really trying to learn to ski was two years ago at Snowshoe Mountain Resort. After five days, I walked away with a bruised bum, a solid pizza wedge, and a burning love of skiing, despite my amateur incoordination. After a few weeks skiing on some of the East’s best slopes, my skills aren’t much better, but it felt good to be outside embracing winter and meeting the shredders of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.Major thanks to Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Snowshoe Mountain Resort, Ober Galinburg Ski Resort, and Beech Mountain Resort for being such gracious hosts. Next time let’s hope there are fewer self-clotheslinings. Here, for your entertainment, the ups and downs of being a ski newb.
Join the 3,000 runners who will toe the starting line of the Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon on May 31, 2014. The event, produced by Destination Races, begins and ends at the Doukenie Winery in Purcellville, Va., a dreamy spot for a post-race celebration that includes music and the best local wines. The course runs north of the winery on scenic and historic byways, passing vineyards, farms, ranches and estates along the way. It’s the only race in the region with wine at one of its aid stations. Hiddencroft Vineyards serves as the midpoint in the course, complete with a water and wine stop and music. The course is mostly paved, with 1.4 miles of hard-packed gravel. It’s a rolling course but not overly challenging: the net elevation gain/loss is 207 feet, starting and ending at 560 feet with maximum elevation at 633 feet.Once you cross the finish line at Doukenie Winery, the celebration gets underway with the post race Wine and Music Festival presented by Visit Loudoun! There will be several wineries from the region and a local brewery pouring, plus food and a popular live band all in a beautiful outdoor setting at Doukenie Winery. This event is open to guests so bring your friends and family to celebrate with you.For more info visit destinationraces.com/runvirginia.
On Friday May 11th please join the Chattooga Conservancy at The Block off Biltmore in Asheville for STAY WILD Chattooga, a celebration and fundraiser. There will be a guest speaker, live music, food and a silent auction. Non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks will be available at the bar. The event is from 6:30PM to 9PM. Tickets are $25 and should be purchased in advance at www.chattoogariver.orgSTAY WILD Chattooga is to celebrate the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act’s 50th anniversary, and Wild & Scenic Chattooga River, whose headwaters start in Jackson and Macon County in western North Carolina.The speaker will be Janisse Ray, author and poet from south Georgia. Her most notable work, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, has won many awards. Ray has been inducted into the Georgia Writer’s Hall of Fame and was voted one of the top 25 female environmental writers by Outside Magazine.Music will be by Marshall Ballew, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from the mountains of western North Carolina. Marshall performs a variety of American musical genres including gospel, jazz, bluegrass, folk and the blues.Silent auction items will feature pastel painting, mosaic, metal art, jewelry, Patagonia clothing and more!The event venue is The Block off Biltmore, Asheville’s first and only vegan, social justice bar and community event space, that is housed in the YMI building, one of the oldest African-American cultural centers in the country.Wadadli Dessert Oasis is the food caterer for the event, featuring vegan interpretations of savory Caribbean dishes and specially crafted modern recipes.For a great time for a great cause, please come and join the Chattooga Conservancy on Friday, May 11th at The Block off Biltmore. Tickets are $25 and should be purchased in advance at www.chattoogariver.org. Proceeds will benefit the Chattooga Conservancy’s work to protect the magnificent Chattooga River watershed.