first_imgOp-Ed: The Peril in Pipeline Overbuild FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Nancy Sorrells for the Staunton (Va.) News Leader:Dominion talks safety a lot. But the boots-on-the-ground people doing Dominion’s work are contractors coming from places far from Augusta County and may not have heard Dominion’s safety message. The result is a chasm of disconnect between corporate mantra and reality.I recently went along with Dominion contractors documenting pre-existing conditions near the proposed pipeline corridor. The West Virginia company, hired to draw pictures and take photographs, had never heard the word “karst,” were astounded that we had sinkholes, knew nothing about locations of fault lines, and had no idea about the most basic Atlantic Coast Pipeline details.We know there will be problems with ACP construction and operation. Why are we certain? Because we have witnessed Dominion contractors in action as they upgrade existing transmission lines and survey for the ACP. We have seen a sinkhole that Dominion refuses to repair, a cracked foundation from blasting they refuse to fix, erosion and sediment control violations left unattended, dead cattle from poor field maintenance and piles of human feces and used shop towels left by contractors on private property.To learn more about the disconnect between the company’s corporate public relations and its on-the-ground contractor performance, check out Dominion’s G-150 pipeline in northwestern West Virginia (a 50-mile long, 30-inch pipeline built in 2012-13) that was the subject of a consent order with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection after serial non-compliance and delayed remediation. There were 14 violation notices issued for slope failures. The Dominion spokesman stated that “in this case it did not meet its own expectations.”Or how about the Stonewall Gathering pipeline in central West Virginia (36 inches, about 50 miles, built in 2015) that incurred numerous violation notices including intentional discharge into a wetland and stream and generally poor maintenance of runoff control structures. Although not Dominion’s pipeline, at least one and perhaps two of the project contractors will be part of the ACP project. The project designer, GAI Inc., was represented at Dominion’s ACP open houses and will presumably be working for the ACP.Both of these were smaller pipelines and not in the same karst type or steep mountainous terrain through which the ACP is proposed. Dominion has never constructed a 42-inch pipeline. No company has ever attempted to build a 42-inch natural gas line in steep, forested mountainous terrain like that in western Virginia and West Virginia. Dominion has warned its stockholders about the route: “The large diameter of the pipeline and difficult terrain of certain portions of the proposed pipeline route aggravate the typical construction risks”There is a reason no one has ever run a pipeline, covered with only three or four feet of earth, over such terrain that is subjected with frequent regularity to catastrophic flooding and mudslides that occur when hurricanes dump massive amounts of rain in mountain streams. Hurricane Sandy caused 1,300 natural gas line breaks. It only takes one break to wreak havoc.Data from the Pipeline Safety Trust shows that pipelines built in the 2010s are failing at a rate similar to the failure rate for pipelines constructed before 1940, and five times the failure rate of pipelines built in the three previous decades. This is an alarming trend. If there were something for our communities to be gained from this project, then we would rightly weigh the risks against the gains. But there is not. More and more studies show that the gas in this pipeline is not needed and in reality could be supplied faster and less expensively through infrastructure upgrades. An April 2016 study by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis explains this while detailing the industry “overbuild” and the fact that existing pipelines are underutilized.So given the pipeline overbuild, the risk of uninformed contractors, the failure rate of new pipelines, and the disrespect Dominion has shown our community, the only question to ask is “why?”Dominion contractors don’t comfortlast_img read more

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first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享SNL:Utility scale solar installations during the second quarter of 2017 totaled 1,147 MW, the most the industry has seen in any second quarter.Texas led the U.S. in installed capacity during the quarter, with 321 MW of capacity added. California followed with 214 MW coming online, and North Carolina was next at 152 MW.As of Aug. 3, 18,376 MW of solar capacity with known online years through 2021 were in various stages of development across the U.S., with 3,210 MW, or 17%, designated as under construction. Another 5,131 MW, or 28%, were in advanced development. S&P Global Market Intelligence considers a solar project to be in advanced development when two of the following five criteria are met: financing is in place, a power purchase agreement is signed, panels are secured, required permits are approved or a contractor has signed on to the project.More: ($) Solar industry sees historic Q2, with 1,147 MW installed Texas, California and North Carolina Lead Record 2nd-Quarter in U.S. Utility-Scale Solar Installationslast_img read more

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first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Long Island Business News:A few months ago, the Sisters of St. Joseph in Brentwood plugged into the sun with a little help from a new solar program. EmPower Solar, in Island Park, built a 1 megawatt solar power plant owned by NextEra Energy Sources on their 212-acre campus.Through the Long Island Power Authority and PSEG Long Island’s community solar program, approved in 2016 but only leading to completed projects now, solar energy pumped into the electric grid generates energy credits used by other customers. “We are injecting power into the grid at one location,” David Schieren, CEO of EmPower Solar, said. “We credit accounts virtually with virtual credits we create at that power plant. With community solar, we can pay you rent for hosting a system. And we sell the energy off site.”Community solar is the latest path to grow solar on Long Island, letting people, essentially, buy power from each other. It provides more financial fuel for photovoltaic power.“Community solar is a huge deal. It’s a major, new advantageous program for Long Island. It’s a game changer,” Schieren said. “It’s very flexible.”Community solar essentially allows people to set up solar projects as private power plants, which caught on in some other states, although it’s new to New York. While in the past people typically generated their solar, community solar lets someone generate power, which it pours into the grid. In return, the generator gets a credit for that amount which can be used by customers elsewhere.More: New Financing Options Light Up Solar Projects Community Solar Will Be a Boon For Long Island, Developer Sayslast_img read more

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first_imgGoogle buying 190 MW of Finnish wind power FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Google said it has signed a 10-year deal to buy renewable energy from three new wind farms that are being built in Finland and which will power one of its data centers.Google said on Tuesday that the Finnish deal is the first where it is buying power from European projects that will not receive any government subsidies. “In a growing number of locations, the cost of new renewable energy is competitive with the cost of power from the grid,” Marc Oman, Google’s head of EU energy, said in a blog.The combined capacity of the three farms will be 190 megawatts (MW) and will be built by renewable energy developers Neoen of France and Germany’s CPC and WPD.Last year, the number of new corporate PPAs, primarily wind and solar, reached a record with more than 5 gigawatts contracted, up almost a third from the 2016 level, the International Renewable Energy Agency said.Some European countries, most notably Germany and the Netherlands, have recently attracted zero-subsidy bids from wind project developers, putting intense pressure on turbine makers as the industry weans itself off government support.More: Google buys into new Finnish wind energy in renewables searchlast_img read more

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first_imgIEA sees coal’s share of global energy markets remaining stagnant FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNBC:Coal consumption is expanding after two years of decline, but miners should brace for another period of sluggish growth, according to the International Energy Agency. In its latest annual report, the IEA forecasts global coal demand will remain essentially stable over the next five years, inching up by just over 1 percent between 2017 and 2023. The reason for coal’s stagnation remains unchanged from recent years: Developed nations are ditching the fossil fuel, while India and other emerging economies are turning to coal to quickly scale up electric power generation.In 2023, the IEA sees the world consuming just over 5.4 billion tons of coal equivalent. At that level, coal would provide 25 percent of the world’s energy, down from 27 percent today. The agency sees cheap, cleaner-burning natural gas and renewable energy sources continuing to eat into coal’s share of the global energy mix.Falling consumption in China, the world’s biggest market for coal, will be a major headwind for the fuel in the coming years. The nation’s coal consumption is poised to fall by about half a percent each year through 2023, the IEA projects. That’s due to policies aimed at improving the nation’s notoriously poor air quality, as well as China’s ongoing transformation from an energy-hungry industrial behemoth to a services-oriented economy. By 2020, the IEA expects growth in coal-fired power generation in China to peak.Meanwhile, the IEA sees India’s appetite growing by 4 percent per year through 2023. That’s down from an average of more than 6 percent growth over the last decade. Nevertheless, India’s appetite for coal will increase by 150 million tons of coal equivalent by 2023, which means the subcontinent will account for the biggest absolute growth in consumption.Coal demand will grow at the fastest clip in Southeast Asia, where countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam are building new coal-fired power plants to support economic development. Growth in the region is expected to rise by 5.7 percent through 2023, the IEA forecasts.In the United States and Europe, coal demand is poised to drop by more than 2 percent each year as developed economies continue to shut down coal plants in favor of natural gas and renewable energy.More: Coal demand will remain steady through 2023, International Energy Agency sayslast_img read more

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first_imgNew French tender looks to jumpstart offshore wind development FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:A French wind power tender has attracted interest from a slew of international energy heavyweights, signaling that France’s offshore wind industry could finally be taking off after years of missteps.While Britain and Germany have already built 8,200 and 6,400 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind capacity – enough to power millions of homes – France does not have a single turbine in the water.In two previous French tenders, in 2012 and 2014, a bumper 3,000 MW of capacity worth 11 billion euros ($12.4 billion) was awarded, but the projects have not materialized because of public opposition and contract wrangles.Now, France is making a new start, auctioning a modest 600 MW in the northern town of Dunkirk in a tender it hopes will finally exploit some of the best offshore wind potential in Europe.So far, investors appear to like the prospects. Ten interested companies or consortia, including some of Europe’s leading offshore wind developers, have been shortlisted to submit bids by a March 15 deadline, although one has pulled out, according to three industry sources.More: Exclusive: Big firms weigh in as France looks to revive offshore windlast_img read more

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first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:The world’s biggest tech companies fueled a record surge in the amount of renewable energy sold directly to global corporations last year, according to new figures.Tech giants including Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft have emerged as the biggest buyers of renewable energy to help power their data centres. Tech firms bought almost a quarter of the renewable energy sold to global companies last year, according to the report.BloombergNEF found that 100 companies in 23 countries struck deals to buy 19.5GW of renewable energy last year, up 40% from the record set the year before. The so-called power purchase agreements (PPAs) are likely to have cost between $20bn and $30bn (£15bn to £23bn), making up about 10% of the world’s total renewable energy investments in 2019.Kyle Harrison, the lead author of the report, said: “The clean energy portfolios of some of the largest corporate buyers rival those of the world’s biggest utilities. These companies are facing mounting pressure from investors to decarbonise.”In 2019 alone, nearly 400 companies committed to set evidence-based climate targets, more than doubling the total number of firms with these goals. Sixty-three companies vowed to buy enough clean energy to meet 100% of their energy demand. These sustainability commitments are expected to fuel clean energy investments of almost $100bn over the next decade to build 105GW of new solar and wind power plants globally, said BNEF.[Jillian Ambrose]More: Tech giants power record surge in renewable energy sales Corporate renewable energy purchases totaled 19.5GW in 2019—BNEFlast_img read more

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first_imgLeading Japanese paper says nation ‘must swiftly abandon coal’ and turn to renewable energy FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Asahi Shimbun:The growing global crisis posed by climate change allows no excuses for ignoring pressing tasks.The Paris Agreement’s goal is to keep the increase in global average temperature since the Industrial Revolution to 1.5 degrees. For that, greenhouse gas emissions must be brought down to zero by 2050.We cannot overcome the current climate crisis if we keep pinning our hopes on technological innovations of unsubstantiated efficacy and ignore the urgent issues at hand.Japan, in particular, must swiftly abandon coal and aim for greater reliance on renewable energy.But while a growing number of nations ‒ mainly European ‒ are committing to go coal-free during the 2020s and 2030s, the Abe administration is still keeping its policy of “relying on coal for 26 percent of the nation’s power sources in fiscal 2030.” Under this policy, Japan has new construction plans for about 20 coal-fired thermal power plants around the nation, and it is also continuing to export them to Southeast Asia and elsewhere.The government must promptly go ahead with a major policy change to become coal-free and consider a specific plan with a definitive target year. At the same time, the government must also introduce a carbon pricing system, such as a carbon tax and a carbon emissions trading system, to increase costs for carbon and urge utilities to end coal-fired power generation.More: EDITORIAL: To fight climate crisis, Japan should first stop burning coallast_img read more

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first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:German automotive supplier Bosch on Wednesday published details of three long-term solar power supply deals with utility companies as it switches its electricity sourcing away from fossil fuels to green energy.The contracts were arranged with utilities RWE, Vattenfall and Statkraft.Bosch is expanding green power generation at its locations and will also continue to expand sourcing via such external deals, called power purchase agreements (PPA), said chief executive Volkmar Denner.“By the end of the year, we will achieve our ambitious goal of no longer leaving a carbon footprint,” he added, upholding a carbon neutrality goal published by the company last year for its 400 sites across the globe.PPAs act as an insurance for operators of solar, wind or hydropower installations against falling power prices while locking in a purchase price for consumers, and have long been common in the United States, southern Europe and Nordic countries. They are of increasing interest to wholesale markets, consumers and project companies in Germany, which needs to harness PPA expertise to spur more renewables after fixed price support schemes end next year.The three contracts for Bosch cover a total annual volume of over 100,000 megawatt hours (MWh) – equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 30,000 households.[Vera Eckert]More: Bosch signs solar power supply deals with three utilities Germany’s Bosch takes big step toward net zero with three new solar PPAslast_img read more

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first_imgAfter a long winter, we could all use a little extra motivation to get back outside and enjoy the new season. That’s where the Rivanna Outdoor Gear and Film Festival comes in: during this event chock full of demonstrations, speakers, films, and gear sales, you’re bound to “get inspired to get outdoors”.On Sunday, March 29 from 1 to 4 p.m., gear retailers and outdoor enthusiasts alike will gather at Fluvanna County High School in Palmyra, Va., for an afternoon of films, discussion, and great deals on fancy new equipment. The feature film, beginning at 3 p.m., will be The Appalachian Trail: An American Legacy, with other short films shown throughout the event. Besides these presentations, vendors will be conducting demos and exhibitions of their best outdoor items – with an emphasis on biking and paddling sports. If you like what you see, these experienced athletes will make sure you walk away with the gear and advice you need for your personal outdoor lifestyle. Rivanna Outdoor Gear and Film FestivalBefore the event, the Festival team encourages you to take advantage of the nearby Rivanna Trail and River. After a morning of hiking, running, biking, or paddling, you can find rest and relaxation watching films, learning skills, and making conversation – all while still staying engaged with the great outdoors. Find a full schedule for the afternoon here.Best of all? You can come say hi to reps from Blue Ridge Outdoors! Alongside other organizations and vendors like the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Ragged Mountain Running Shop, and Great Outdoor Provision Co., BRO is excited to meet local adventurers and to help launch this first annual Rivanna Outdoor Gear and Film Festival.All proceeds from the Festival will benefit the Fluvanna County High School Choral Music Department. The event is entirely donation-based, with a $7 suggestion.The Rivanna Outdoor Gear and Film Festival has an important mission in mind: to kickstart your adventures! Come get some good inspiration from these leaders in outdoor sports and retail.last_img read more

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