FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享AP:Georgia Power is aiming to increase its renewable energy portfolio in the state by adding 100 megawatts of solar power.The utility firm is seeking proposals from solar facilities that are interested in selling solar power to the company, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported . Georgia Power is seeking contracts with them to provide solar power to customers at a fixed price for a period of five to 35 years.The company will review proposals that provide the best value to customers, with winning facilities beginning their contracts in November, said Wilson Mallard, Georgia Power’s director of Renewable Development.The plans are part of the company’s Renewable Energy Development Initiative.Georgia Power aims to increase its solar energy generation from 970 megawatts of solar capacity by 1,600 megawatts by 2021.Clean energy jobs on the rise in Georgia, a recent U.S. Energy and Employment report showed.Georgia added more than 4,000 jobs in the solar industry last year.Georgia ranks 10th nationally in solar capacity and has 227 solar companies in manufacturing and installation, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.More: Georgia Power shoots for the sun to increase solar energy Georgia Power seeks bids to double solar output by 2021
Surge in U.S. corporate green power buys seen spreading to Europe FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:European wind industry body WindEurope claims the region is on the verge of a corporate renewable energy power-purchase agreement (PPA) “revolution” as state subsidies tumble. A significant decline in in government-set feed-in tariffs is forcing previously reluctant investors to take PPAs seriously as a way to take projects to financial close, said the organization.Strike prices for wind have fallen significantly across Europe in recent years. Onshore, for example, pricing has dropped from €117.10 (USD $137 at today’s rates) per megawatt-hour in Italy’s first auction, in 2013, to €65 ($76) in France this year, according to WindEurope. France is a relatively high-value market that has only just started to introduce auctions. Offshore, meanwhile, the levelized revenue of electricity, including transmission costs at 2016 prices, has dropped from €156 ($182) per megawatt-hour for the U.K. Walney extension project in 2014 to €71 ($83) per megawatt-hour for the Baltic Eagle project in Germany this year.The corporate PPA market, meanwhile, has been given a boost by recent changes to the European Union Renewable Energy Directive. The new directive instructs member states to identify and remove any administrative barriers to corporate PPAs for wind and solar.Corporate renewable PPAs are already on the up. Volumes rose from 1.1 gigawatts to 1.4 gigawatts between 2016 and 2017. In August this year, automotive giant Mercedes Benz signed a PPA to buy power for its manufacturing facility in Jawor, Poland from a 45-megawatt wind farm operated by VSB Energie Odnawialne Polska. The deal was the first corporate wind PPA in Poland and the first in Europe from an automotive sector player. And while corporate PPAs have so far been restricted to onshore wind, experts believe the trend could soon extend to offshore.More: Europe on the cusp of a ‘corporate PPA revolution’
Vattenfall plans for coal-free German power sector FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Vattenfall is considering converting its German coal-fired power stations to use fuels including gas or biomass as utility companies in the country brace for a government deadline for phasing out coal altogether.Vattenfall, owned by the Swedish state, operates 2.9 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired power stations in Germany, including the 1.7 GW Moorburg site that only opened three years ago and supplies 80 percent of Hamburg’s electricity.The way German power station operators deal with their coal assets is crucial for investors, jittery ahead of a December announcement from a government-appointed commission about how coal plants will be phased out of Europe’s largest economy. “How long Moorburg will run significantly depends on what the coal commission decides,” Vattenfall board member Tuomo Hatakka told Reuters.An accelerated shutdown of Moorburg would be a major blow to Vattenfall, which spent 2.8 billion euros ($3.2 billion) on the plant. Converting coal-fired plants to fuels such as gas or biomass would also lead to marked drop in generating capacity.Hatakka also said Vattenfall was planning to shut its Reuter West and Moabit coal-fired stations no later than 2030 and partially replace them with industrial waste heat, waste burning, biomass, power-to-heat and gas technology.The use of coal to generate electricity in Germany is on the wane but it is still the most commonly used fuel. In 2017, coal and lignite, or brown coal, accounted for 37 percent of power production, down from 46 percent a decade agoMore: Vattenfall looks to gas and biomass as end of coal power looms
Pipeline sector lags investor expectations on climate risk FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence:Investors are increasingly reshaping the way the oil and gas industry talks about and mitigates its businesses’ impacts on climate change. But that remodeling has largely stopped short of the North American pipeline sector, where standardized environmental data sharing has yet to become mainstream.S&P Global Market Intelligence spoke to several companies, portfolio managers and research analysts, along with proponents of environmental, social and governance standards, who said that guidelines and policies for ranking pipeline firms’ environmental performance are developing more slowly than investors’ interest in climate change.Upstream, supermajors — including Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Exxon Mobil Corp. — and some larger independent drillers are implementing policy changes such as linking executive pay to emissions reduction performance and supporting carbon pricing mechanisms, but broad-based initiatives have not taken root among North American pipeline operators. To blame is the absence of an industrywide forum for creating and implementing performance metrics, coupled with a degree of reluctance to report these kinds of data, even as pipeline projects face environmental opposition, the experts interviewed said.In the wake of the United Nations’ commitment to keep global warming below 2 degrees C, signed in 2016, and high-profile environmental opposition to energy pipeline projects such as Enbridge Inc.’s Keystone XL and Energy Transfer LP’s Dakota Access, institutional investors ramped up efforts to pressure oil and gas companies to disclose both their emissions and the financial impacts of climate change on their portfolios. That coincided with a sea change in the midstream sector, which saw frustrated income-driven shareholders vacate their positions in master limited partnerships only to be replaced by institutional investors focused on long-term financial sustainability.But any investor looking to choose among midstream operators would be hard-pressed to find standardized criteria for comparing companies on their environmental performance. Until pipeline operators establish formal policies and mechanisms for disclosing environmental practices, investment managers and investors will not be able to effectively grade and compare companies, some experts noted.More ($): Pipeline sector struggles to quantify, promote its ESG efforts to investors
U.K. wind generation sets new record, tops 16GW FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Wind power in the United Kingdom set a new record on Sunday generating for the first time more than 16GW of electricity and providing over 40% of the country’s power – so much, in fact, that thousands of households were reportedly paid to use extra renewable electricity over the weekend.RenewableUK, the country’s wind and marine renewable energy trade body, reported on Monday that the new wind power generation record was set on Sunday evening, with wind generating up to 16.162 GW of electricity, based on figures from National Grid, the UK’s grid operator.Overall, wind generation on Sunday provided 43.7% of British electricity – more than double that produced by nuclear power (which provided 20.5%): Gas supplied 12.8%, biomass 7.9%, imports 7.4%, coal 3.1%, hydro 1.7%, solar 1.3%, storage 1.1% and other sources 0.5%.The new record broke one set earlier this year, on February 8 which saw wind energy provide 15.32 GW.Conditions were so favourable to wind energy generation, in fact, that The Guardian is reporting thousands of British households were paid to use extra renewable electricity over the weekend. British homes using a new type of smart energy tariff were urged to plug in their electric vehicles or set their dishwasher on a timer to take advantage of record renewable generation in the early hours of the morning.The Guardian also quoted Greg Jackson, the founder of Octopus Energy, a UK electricity and gas supplier, who said that 2,000 homes on its Agile Octopus smart-energy tariff “made money for using energy when the wind was giving us more than enough” – paying 5.6p ($A1.08) for every kilowatt-hour of electricity used in certain overnight periods. [Joshua Hill]More: U.K. wind generation hits new record, households get paid to use energy
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:The transformation of Greek renewable energy laggard the Public Power Corporation (PPC) has continued with news the utility’s PPC Renewables arm has won tenders to develop the nation’s largest solar cluster and is planning Greece’s first unsubsidized PV project.The renewables division of the state-owned power company is planning a subsidy-free 50 MW solar plant in the Megalopoli coal mining region of the Peloponnese peninsula.“The idea is PPC Renewables’ subsidy-free plant [will] generate electricity that would sell [to] the parent company, the PPC,” said Konstantinos Mavros, who was appointed chief executive of PPC Renewables in September.The electric utility, Greece’s largest corporation, accounts for around 70% of the domestic electricity retail market but holds a much smaller chunk of the power generation mix. Until recently, the debt-saddled company followed a fossil fuel-driven business plan but a change at the top has seen the utility pivot towards clean energy with the aim of PPC Renewables developing sufficient facilities for the business to hold more generation assets.Mavros said the purchase tariff the PPC will pay its renewables subsidiary for the power generated at Megalopoli was still under negotiation but told pv magazine: “The subsidy-free plant in Megalopoli will serve to prove our concept. Once this is proven, PPC Renewables can take the lead and transform the company, the energy market and our economy.”Parent company PPC plans to install 3 GW of solar capacity on former coal mines, with the nation pledged to end coal use by 2028 at the latest. Some 2 GW of solar projects, including the latest 200 MW facility, are planned in Ptolemaida, in the Kozani region of northern Greece, with a further gigawatt earmarked for the Peloponnese.[Ilias Tsagas]More: Greek utility eyes nation’s first subsidy-free PV project Greek utility unit moves forward with country’s first subsidy-free solar development
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:The United Kingdom’s rapid decarbonisation of its electricity grid has achieved another significant milestone – completing a whole month (30 days) without coal power for the first time in 138 years.The milestone was reached on Sunday (UK) time and celebrated by National Grid ESO, the organisation that runs the grid and is responsible for keeping the lights on. It was the first time this occurred since coal power was first used on the UK power system in January 1882, at Holborn Viaduct.Within a few years, there will be no coal generation at all – with the remaining plants shuttered, and one or two converted to gas by 2025. National Grid aims to be able to operate a fully zero emission grid when weather conditions allow from 2025 and is accelerating its adoption of new technologies and management systems that will allow it to sideline gas power plants when possible.Just a few days before the new month-long coal-free milestone, National Grid released its latest end of year planning report outlining the main achievements it has made in the long path to a fully decarbonised grid before 2050.“We’re really proud of our zero carbon targets,” National Grid wrote in a blog a few days earlier. “In May 2019 there was a 2-week period where there was coal free operation of Great Britain’s electricity system. This has quickly been beaten after the record-breaking sunlight in April.”It noted that the carbon intensity of the electricity system has halved over the last five years, and is down 60 per cent when compared to 2013. “The recent low demand for energy due to COVID-19 has dramatically reduced the use of fossil fuel based generation, and this has been supported by our optimised renewable generation,” it notes.[Giles Parkinson]More: UK enjoys a month without coal power for first time for 138 years U.K. electricity goes coal-free for a month—a first in 138 years
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ET Energy.world.com:The share of coal in the world energy mix fell to its lowest level in 16 years dropping to 27 per cent in 2019, according to the latest edition of BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2020.“World coal consumption fell by 0.6 per cent, its fourth decline in six years, displaced by natural gas and renewables. As a result, coal’s share in the energy mix fell to 27 per cent, its lowest level in 16 years,” the report, released today, said.According to the report, coal consumption continued to increase in some emerging economies, particularly in China, Indonesia and Vietnam. Growth in India, usually a key driver of coal consumption was only 0.3 per cent, the lowest since 2001, it said.However, this increase in coal consumption came amid fall in demand in the developed world, led by the US and Germany. Global coal production rose by 1.5 per cent, with China and Indonesia providing the only significant increases, the report said.Apart from this, global electricity generation also witnessed the slowest growth in the past 10 years in 2019 by registering a growth of mere 1.3 per cent.More: Share of coal in global energy mix touches lowest level in 16 years, drops to 27 percent BP statistical review shows coal’s 2019 share of global energy mix at lowest level in 16 years
Best Mountain Towns of the Blue Ridge – Part I from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.Harrisonburg, Va., takes the title for Best Beer Town in our 2013 Best Mountain Town Poll. Check out the craft brew scene here and what makes Harrisonburg a great beer town through the eyes of the key players in the industry.To check out the article on the other mountain towns, check out our November issue, available online here.
Two weeks ago, 56 women came together for a single mission: to have a great day on the Green River! It was the second annual Green River Takeover, an event created to bring together the female kayaking community for a day of inspiration, camaraderie, and most importantly, fun! I don’t feel like I do the best job at putting into words what this day is all about, so I’ll mostly let the pictures do the talking.Registration started bright and early, but that didn’t seem to slow anyone down. Thanks to the Nantahala Outdoor Center, Astral, the French Broad River Academy and Girls at Play, we were lucky enough to have enough shuttle vehicles to carry us all to the put in. Also thanks to some of the local men of the kayaking community, we also had our own personal shuttle bunnies!Once at the put-in, we did a quick safety talk before splitting into smaller groups and making our way downstream. It was amazing to watch woman after woman make her way through the namesake rapids of the Class 2-3 Upper Green with cheers of support echoing through the river valley. On the Upper that day we had a huge mix of ladies, ranging from women running the section for their second time to women who run the Class 5 Narrows on a regular basis. We also had a 50 years age span, from a middle school student in her teens to a mother in her 60s (whose daughter was also on the river that day)!After arriving at the takeout to the Upper Green, the group of ladies not continuing into the Narrows began their hike out. While I was not there to experience it, I hear the group made the most of the uphill hike and managed to squeeze some fun into a typically painful experience.From there, 27 women paddled on into the Class 5 Narrows section of the Green. It was so amazing to see that steep and narrow river literally filled with women. Support and laughter were in no short supply as we boofed and slid our way through the rapids. We eventually arrived at the last rapid, Hammer Factor, and reunited with the ladies who had hiked out. They were there swimming, jumping and cheering as we all came through.At the takeout we cracked open some refreshments, ate snacks and spent time enjoying each other’s company. Phone numbers were exchanged and plans for future paddling trips were made. We wrapped up the day with a raffle to raise money for the Shannon Christy Memorial Fund, a fund to support women in paddle sports. We had some awesome prizes to raffle off, including a Seals Sprayskirt, Astral Designs Shoes, Adventure Technology Paddle and much more! In the end, we raised over $800 for the Shannon Christy Memorial Fund!The energy felt during this day on the river is empowering, but silly at the same time. It’s confidence building through laughter and friendship. It’s female kayakers of all ages and experience levels coming together to strengthen the community and build bonds that can last a lifetime. It’s awesome!The event was made possible with the support of Dagger Kayaks and AT Paddles, along with a number of other local sponsors including Astral Designs, The French Broad River Academy, the Nantahala Outdoor Center, Girls at Play, Seals Sprayskirts, Mountain Khakis, Mountain River Tap and Growlers, and of course our amazing shuttle bunnies. Thanks to all the ladies who came out! I cannot wait to come together on the river again at the 2016 Green River Takeover!If you want to learn more about what this day was all about, check out this Blue Ridge Outdoors article by Takeover participant Jess Daddio!Our BRO Athlete series is powered by Great Outdoor Provision Co., The Hub, Crozet Running, Brown Jeep, Proformance, and the Blue Ridge Cyclery.