FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg New Energy Finance:Advances in distributed technologies at the frontiers of the energy system can provide power where the traditional grid is non-existent, inadequate, expensive or too distant for connection.These technologies, and the innovative business models that deploy them, can deliver not just energy but also economic opportunities to the two billion people not reliably served by the energy industry today. But where exactly are the opportunities? Who are the leaders in the sector? Which markets are they likely to capture?1. The largest solar deal in Africa this year was off the grid.Small-scale solar projects, including debt financing for distributed portfolios, accounted for five of the eleven largest solar deals in Africa between January and October 12, 2017.This is not necessarily because off-grid financing is a large market, but because many utility-scale projects in the pipeline struggle with permitting, land acquisition, securing a power purchasing agreement and financing. Off-grid solar companies may be able to move faster because they do not require regulated tariffs.2. Distributed energy outside the OECD is a $40 billion industry.Diesel generators have long been the technology of choice in areas where reliable grid electricity is unavailable. In 2015, developing countries bought and installed about 600,000 units annually, totaling an estimated 29GW of capacity. About half of this is in units smaller than 0.3MW. There is a mature market and supply chain to sell, fuel and maintain this kit. Despite usually being competitive with diesel, solar currently has less than 3% of the market for distributed energy capacity in developing countries, but considerable potential.3. Solar and storage make sense for telecoms.Hybrid energy systems consisting of solar panels, a battery and a diesel generator are the cheapest way to run the world’s one million telecom towers that today have unreliable grid supplies. Telecoms and their suppliers spend around $3.8 billion on diesel for their towers today, but solar has a market share of only 3%. But the market is picking up. Orange is working with Engie on re-powering its towers in Senegal, Ivory Coast and Cameroon. Mitsui has invested $9 million in India’s OMC, a start-up focused on solar-power for telecoms.4. Unexpected partnerships are seeking to power the next billionIn frontier markets, reaching the last mile is crucial. This is not just true for energy retailers, but for any retailer. Multinationals focused on telecoms, internet or satellite services, insurance and even beverages have all partnered with solar companies to benefit from a combination of energy, mobile connectivity, payment information and distribution channels. This is very different from the traditional utility business model.5. Powering agriculture has potential, but limited track record.Powering agriculture appears to be a missed opportunity. In India, the sector consumes just under a fifth of the electricity and an even larger share of electricity subsidies. The country could economically replace at least 8 million diesel-powered water pumps. Deployment of solar-powered water pumps has risen 270% over 2014-16, but still lags far behind the official ambitions. In Africa, the sector is even less developed. More broadly, agricultural processing powered by distributed energy could capture more value locally. It could also be easier to finance because it powers machines that produce revenue to the farmer and can service debt. Commodity companies that either buy produce from farmers or sell them fertilizer may be well positioned to run such projects.More: 5 Distributed Energy Trends in Emerging Markets Momentum Toward Decentralized Electricity Generation in Emerging Markets
Largest battery storage system in Texas enters commercial service FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Energy Manager Today:Luminant, a subsidiary of Vistra Energy, recently announced that its Upton 2 battery energy storage system project has finished construction and began operating Dec. 31, 2018.The battery system, which is the largest energy storage project in Texas and seventh largest in the United States, is located on the site of Luminant’s 180-megawatt Upton 2 Solar Power Plant in Upton County, Texas.The 10-MW/42-MWh lithium-ion energy storage system captures excess solar energy produced during the day and can release the power in late afternoon and early evening, when energy demand in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) area is highest. The battery system can also take advantage of low-priced grid power — during times of high wind output, for example — to charge the batteries to be available for higher demand periods.Vistra is also currently developing the world’s largest battery energy storage project, the 300-MW/1,200-MWh storage system at its Moss Landing Power Plant in California, scheduled for commercial operations in the fourth quarter of 2020.Texas has recently become a hotspot for renewable energy and energy storage projects. In October 2018, NestléWaters North America (NWNA), together with Engie Resources, announced that they signed a renewable energy agreement through which Engie will supply more than 50% of the energy needed for NWNA’s manufacturing and distribution facilities in Texas. With this agreement, NWNA operations in Travis, McLennan, Dallas, and Harris counties will be supplied by renewable wind energy from the Midway Wind Farm in San Patricio County, Texas, supporting Nestlé’s global goal to transition to 100% renewable energy use in its operations.More: Largest energy storage project in Texas now in operation
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:The outlook for the global wind market is on the upswing. According to Wood Mackenzie’s latest global wind power market update, global wind power capacity is expected to grow by 60 percent over the next five years.Our latest forecast shows a 5-gigawatt upgrade in the global offshore sector alone, yielding 129 gigawatts of new capacity and a compound annual growth rate of 26 percent for the burgeoning segment.Eligible offtakers are rallying to capitalize on the Production Tax Credit for wind before the full-value incentive expires in 2020 and then phases down. Developers qualifying wind facilities in 2017 are eligible for 80 percent of the full credit amount, incentivizing U.S. wind market growth. As a result, Wood Mackenzie has upgraded its outlook for the U.S. market by 16 percent quarter-over-quarter, highlighted by a 3.8-gigawatt upgrade in 2021 alone.The outlook in Northern Europe has been upgraded in the forecast by 6 percent. This should offset an otherwise dismal outlook update in Europe, as the other subregions combine for a 2.2-gigawatt downgrade.Onshore and offshore policy deadlines in China underpin a 2.9-gigawatt boost in the country from last quarter’s projections. Onshore developers are rushing to comply with a new policy that requires projects to be commissioned by the end of 2020 in order to capitalize on feed-in tariffs (FIT) before a subsidy-free era begins. Offshore developers must commission projects before the close of 2021 if they are to utilize the current level of offshore FIT.More: Global wind power capacity to grow by 60% over next 5 years Wood Mackenzie: Global wind capacity to climb 60% in next five years
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Australian utility Alinta Energy is ramping up its push into renewables, citing stunning low costs that will enable dispatchable wind and solar to compete with existing fossil fuel plants.In a wide-ranging interview on RenewEconomy’s Energy Insiders podcast, Alinta CEO Jeff Dimery says the company has enjoyed record profits in the past year, but also flags the likely early closure of coal-fired power, including the Loy Yang B brown coal generator in Victoria.Alinta currently has a partly filled mandate for 1,000MW of wind and solar plants across the country, a call out for offers that attracted more than 100 different wind, solar and storage proposals. Dimery says this mandate is now being increased to 1500MW.One of the reasons is the stunning fall in wind and solar costs. Alinta has just held a formal ceremony to mark the start of construction of the 212MW Yandin wind farm in Western Australia, which will not just be the biggest in the state, but also likely the cheapest in the country.Alinta, or at least its parent company CTFE, also owns the Loy Yang B brown coal generator in Victoria, which currently has a license to operate until 2047. But Dimery makes it clear that it is unlikely to stay open that long – the lower cost of renewables, and the emergence of storage means that the transition to a renewables-dominated grid was going to happen anyway.“Do I think we’ll be there in 2047? Unlikely,” he says. “We are going through a fairly major transition…change is coming, and it is coming rapidly. Technology cost curves have made the debate about a carbon target redundant. I mentioned earlier that 2047 was our license (for Loy Yang B). I would think that we are probably talking early 2030s when those assets will really struggle to be around,” he says, based on his “gut feel” from 20 years in the industry.More: Stunning low costs inspire Alinta to ramp up renewables push, flag early coal exit Australia’s Alinta expands renewables push, expects early closing of Loy Yang coal plant
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Lenders backing away from coal financing have tipped the scales against the dirtiest fossil fuel in Southeast Asia, raising the prospect that many new power plants will never be built, according to BloombergNEF.About half of the proposed 41 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity in Indonesia and Vietnam haven’t secured funding, and plans by banks in Japan, South Korea and Singapore to exit the sector increase the risk they never will, BNEF said in a report Tuesday. The two Southeast Asian countries have the largest pipeline of coal-fired projects globally after China and India.The research highlights the pivotal role financial institutions play in the fight against climate change. In recent years, Asian banks have joined their European and American counterparts in recognizing the need to transition away from coal. Factors driving the move include cheaper renewable energy, and increasing risks of stranded assets and environmental costs.Last year “marked the biggest exodus of Asian financial institutions from new thermal coal investments,” said BNEF analyst Allen Tom Abraham in Singapore. This affects “the viability for many new coal power projects in Southeast Asia, since it would be difficult to find experienced investors and cheap capital to build these projects.”Regional banks including DBS Group Holdings Ltd., Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group are among those that announced plans last year to stop funding new coal power projects. Some Japanese and South Korean lenders said they would stop lending to low-efficiency plants.It isn’t the end of the fossil fuel in the region seen as one of the last bastions of new coal power plants. About 20 gigawatts in the pipeline in Indonesia and Vietnam have achieved financial close, with $38 billion in capital committed to build these projects.[Dan Murtaugh]More: Banks shunning coal financing bodes badly for new plants in Asia New bank policies make financing coal plant projects in Southeast Asia increasingly difficult
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):A Sept. 22 research note by Moody’s shows the extent to which state policy mandates are driving long-term growth in the renewable energy sector.Moody’s said the standards that are in place should help renewable power to take up to a 28% share of the power supply by 2030. In 2019, renewable power accounted for 17% of total U.S. power supply.Since 2010, solar and wind power in China and the EU have grown by 579 TWh and 396 TWh, respectively, compared to 313 TWh for the U.S. over the same period. Renewable sources contribute 27% to China’s power supply and 34% to the EU.“The lack of a national RPS and uncertainty about federal tax subsidies have contributed to solar and wind power growth well below global peers like China and the European Union,” Moody’s said.The District of Columbia and 37 states, representing around 75% of total retail electricity demand in the U.S., have renewable energy standards, the report said. The U.S. Southeast and some Intermountain West states stand out as islands without policy mandates. Even so, in states that lack policy mandates, environmental, social, and governance investment, economic development and corporate demand for renewable power are still driving renewable energy growth, Moody’s said.Nine states representing 20% of total U.S. power demand have goals to reach 100% zero-carbon power between 2040 and 2050. Of that group, California and New York represent the largest markets for growth because of their size and the amount of renewable power on their grids already, Moody’s said. California is the largest renewable energy market in the U.S. “given its strong policy support and the second highest electricity share at almost 7% of U.S. retail demand,” according to Moody’s.[Justin Horwath]More ($): State renewable portfolio standards driving growth in the U.S. Moody’s: State renewable standards in U.S. a driving force behind renewable energy transition
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Japan will aim to more than quadruple offshore wind generation capacity in the decade to 2040 under plans to meet its mid-century emissions reduction target.The government will seek to lift offshore wind capacity to as much as 45 gigawatts in 2040 from 10 gigawatts in 2030, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Tuesday in a statement. Reaching that goal will require a vast expansion of a sector that has current capacity of about 20 megawatts.“Offshore wind holds the key,” for Japan’s efforts to curb emissions and the government intends to use some of a proposed 2 trillion yen ($19.2 billion) green technologies fund to stimulate innovation in the sector, Economy Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama said in Tokyo. “We expect to attract investment from companies in and out of Japan to create a new industry,” he said.Offshore wind, along with hydrogen and ammonia, is seen as a key source of energy Japan can lean on to achieve its 2050 decarbonization target, as the densely populated nation has limited onshore space for solar and wind development.The new target is being set as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga looks to green investment to support the nation’s growth strategy, and amid calls from the energy sector for the government to set long-term goals to help stimulate investment in offshore projects.Beyond 2040, growth of Japan’s offshore wind sector will likely need to continue to accelerate. Capacity could jump to 90 gigawatts by 2050, Shigehito Nakamura, managing director at the Japan Wind Power Association, said in September.[Aya Takada]More: Japan plans huge offshore wind expansion to hit climate goal Japan planning major expansion in offshore wind, up to 45GW by 2040
The July 2013 print edition of Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine is on newsstands and online!We are proud to bring you the second annual Road Trips issue of BRO. Just in time for the peak summer season, our July issue is overflowing with great ideas for the all-American road trip. From north Georgia to West Virginia, and everywhere in between, Graham Averill has mapped out amazing weekend getaways to the best outdoor spots in the Blue Ridge for paddling, mountain biking, hiking, climbing, beer drinking and more. That’s why we’re here people: we do the leg work so you don’t have to. All you need is a car with your gear and a great atitude and you can make this the best summer EVER!In addition to our Road Trips Guide, we have spotlighted some of the best travel gear to get you where you need to go in comfort and style. Ky Delaney writes passionately about why the East could be better than the West for outdoor adventure, and has very cool profiles of the ZAP Fitness Olympic training facility and South Carolina’s Lake Jocassee. We shoot the entire length Chattahoochee River with Professor Robert Fuller, debate bike lanes on the Blue Ridge Parkway, get the lowdown on how to get sponsored by an outdoor company from Chris Gragtmans. Finally, the first death at a Tough Mudder race becomes motivation to run, and we profile Bela Fleck and the Flecktones bassist Victor Wooten and his music and nature camp for aspiring musicians.Whoa! This is truly one of our best issues yet, so enjoy.FeaturesBlue Ridge Road Trip GuideWest Ain’t BestWalk the PlankChasing Rio at ZAP FitnessSecret Islands of the ChesapeakeStoriesHow to Get SponsoredSummer Essentials: Adventure Travel GearThe Nature of Bass: Victor WootenGreat Lake: Explore Lake JocasseeShooting the Hooch with Prof. Robert FullerDebateBike Lanes on the Blue Ridge Parkway?
“Lay Me Down,” from The Grahams, premieres right here on Trail Mix!Trail Mix is happy to bring you “Lay Me Down,” the brand new track from The Grahams, from their brand new record Glory Bound, which releases on Tuesday, May 19th.Friends since childhood, Alyssa and Doug Graham arrived on the Americana music scene with 2013’s Riverman’s Daughter, an ode to the mighty Mississippi river. For this year’s Glory Bound, the duo once again turned to the history of American transportation for inspiration.This time, however, it was the iron highways that criss cross the country that became their wellspring. The sounds and cadences of the railroads are inextricably woven within these songs, the nation’s love affair with freight trains and the railways that built a nation evident in the lyrics.Glory Bound features guest appearances from, among others, rising star John Fullbright and members of The Turnpike Troubadours, one of the hottest bands of the moment from Texas.In conjunction with Glory Bound, The Grahams are also releasing Rattle The Hocks, a live album and film produced by North Mississippi All-Stars drummer Cody Dickinson.Here, on the Trail Mix blog, we are excited to offer you a first listen to “Lay Me Down.” Also featured on Trail Mix this month is “Griggstown,” another offering from the brand new record.For more information on The Grahams, make sure you check out the band’s website.
South Carolina is world renowned for its Southern hospitality, signature cuisine, and the quaint charm of coastal destinations like Charleston and Beaufort. But the less-heralded northwest corner of the Palmetto state, where the rolling hills of the Piedmont give way to the impressive features of the Blue Ridge Escarpment, is home to amazing opportunities for outdoor adventure and exploration. Use this guide to the 6 best hikes in the South Carolina Upstate next time you’re looking for a new place to explore in the Blue Ridge Mountains.1. Fall Creek Falls, Jones Gap State Park and Mountain Bridge Wilderness PreserveThis 100-plus foot waterfall lies deep in the heart South Carolina’s 40,000-acre Mountain Bridge wilderness preserve at the end of a strenuous 1.5-mile uphill hike. The elevation gain is tough but rewarding. When you reach the top, not only will you be rewarded with an up close encounter of an impressive water feature, you’ll also be treated to sweeping views toward Greenville of Paris Mountain and the surrounding Piedmont.2. Eastatoe Gorge, Pickens CountyThe Eastatoe Gorge is protected by the 373-acre Eastatoe Creek Heritage Preserve. Once a bastion of impressive old growth hemlock, the area saw its fair share of decimation after the accidental introduction of invasive hemlock wooly adelgids. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has now closed this heritage preserve to primitive camping due to the high volume of downed and falling trees, but it makes an excellent summer day hike, especially if you’re looking to escape the heat of the Upstate with a cool swimming hole. To access the trail head north on US 178. Eventually you’ll go through the small community of Rocky Bottom, South Carolina. Shortly after Rocky Bottom is a bridge spanning the length of Eastaoe Creek. Take a left after the bridge and follow signs for the Foothills Trail. Continue on past the Laurel Valley trailhead of the Foothills Trail to a gate blocking an old logging road on your left. Park at the gate and head into the gorge on the old logging road.3. Big Rock Mountain in the Nine Times ForestThis recently protected area is a hidden jewel with no real established trails that requires boulder scrambling, a little route finding, and some moderate bush whacking. At the top of Big Rock Mountain is a boulder strewn paradise wholly unique in the South Carolina mountains. Because Nine Mile is still relatively new and trails systems largely unestablished, the area can be dangerous if not taken seriously. Thorough research and competent back country aptitude are required for successful exploration of the Nine Mile Forest. Click here for a first hand account of Josh Simon’s recent trip to Big Rock Mountain.4. Pinnacle Mountain, Table Rock State Park At an elevation of 3,415 feet above sea level, Pinnacle Mountain is the tallest mountain completely contained within the borders of South Carolina. This hike is fairly popular, but the balds at the top offer unrivaled views of the iconic Table Rock Mountain. To get to the top start at the eastern terminus of the Foothills Trail inside Table Rock State Park. Once you reach the balds soak in the views, then bypass the true summit and continue on the Foothills Trails beyond the boundary of Table Rock State Park to a few stellar backcountry campsites.5. Moonshine FallsThe hike to Moonshine Falls requires a cable bridge crossing over Matthews Creek and a special gate access code from Asbury Hills to pass through their summer camp property, but the payoff is huge. The waterfall itself is impressive, but even more interesting are the authentic moonshine stills left over from a bygone chapter of South Carolina history. For a detailed description of the hike and the beta on an alternate route through the Natural Land Trust Trail click here.6. Jumping Off RockTake in the panoramic view of Lake Jocassee from Jumping Off Rock, and you’ll immediately understand why National Geographic Magazine named the Jocassee Gorges in a list of ‘50 of the World’s Last Great Places‘. Ironically, the pristine lake observed from this spot is a product of a man-made hydro project, formed by the flooding of the Horsepasture, Thompson, Toxaway, and Whitewater River. But the forested mountains that surround Lake Jocassee are largely untouched by the hand of man. Click here for detailed directions to the one-of-a-kind lookout point.[divider]More from BlueRidgeOutdoors.com[/divider]