first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Jeff Stanfield for SNL:The Oregon Senate on March 2 passed a measure that requires the state’s two major investor-owned utilities to quit selling electricity from all but one coal-fired generating plant by 2030 and obtain 50% of power sold to retail customers from renewable energy by 2040.Senate Bill 1547 B passed the Senate by a 17-12 concurrence vote after the House heavily amended and passed the measure in a 38-20 vote on March 1. Gov. Kate Brown, who in February joined a group of 17 governors to announce a joint commitment to promote clean energy, is expected to sign the legislation.Supporters said the measure was the result of a consensus among diverse groups of negotiators, including Oregon’s two largest electric utilities, environmentalists, business groups, clean energy industry representatives and ratepayer advocates. The agreement was reached after a coalition called Renew Oregon filed ballot initiatives to double the state’s renewable portfolio standard and force utilities to eliminate all coal-fired resources from their electric supplies to Oregon retail customers. Alarmed at the inflexibility, potential costs and strong public support for the initiatives, utilities cooperated in drafting the legislation that would give them some leeway and certainty for compliance.Full article ($): Ore. Legislature passes coal phase-out bill that doubles RPS to 50% Oregon Lawmakers Agree to 50% Renewables, Phase-out of Coallast_img read more


first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享BBC:Britain has broken its record for the longest continuous period without generating electricity from coal. National Grid said that the coal-free period lasted more than 90 hours before coming to an end on Monday afternoon.It is the longest period since the industrial revolution and breaks the previous record set in April 2018 of 76 hours and 10 minutes.The government plans to phase out Britain’s last coal power plants by 2025 to cut greenhouse gases.Duncan Burt, director of operations at National Grid, told BBC Radio 5 Live it was “a really big deal”. He said the UK generated a quarter of its energy from solar over the Easter weekend, with similar portions from nuclear and gas. The rest was imported from Europe.In April 2017 Britain went its first full day without coal since the 19th century. Coal made up less than 10% of the country’s energy mix last year and will be less than that again in 2019, according to National Grid.However, experts warned that power generated by coal was largely being replaced by gas, another fossil fuel, rather than renewable sources. They also said a reliance on gas made the UK vulnerable to the whims of international markets, and was not clean enough to meet the UK’s legal targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions.More: Britain breaks coal-free power record over Easter weekend Britain sets new coal-free generation recordlast_img read more


first_imgGE to close California gas generator 20 years early FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:General Electric Co. said on Friday it plans to demolish a large power plant it owns in California this year after only one-third of its useful life because the plant is no longer economically viable in a state where wind and solar supply a growing share of inexpensive electricity.The 750-megawatt natural-gas-fired plant, known as the Inland Empire Energy Center, uses two of GE’s H-Class turbines, developed only in the last decade, before the company’s successor gas turbine, the flagship HA model, which uses different technology.The closure illustrates stiff competition in the deregulated energy market as cheap wind and solar supply more electricity, squeezing out fossil fuels. Some utilities say they have no plans to build more fossil plants. It also highlights the stumbles of Boston-based GE with its first H-Class turbine. The complex, steam-cooled H design takes hours to start, suffered technical problems and sold poorly, experts said.“We have made the decision to shut down operation of the Inland Empire Power Plant, which has been operating below capacity for several years, effective at the end of 2019,” GE told Reuters. The plant “is powered by a legacy gas turbine technology … and is uneconomical to support further.”In a filing with the California Energy Commission on Thursday, GE said the plant is “not designed for the needs of the evolving California market, which requires fast-start capabilities to satisfy peak demand periods.”GE’s newer HA turbine can power up in under an hour, more quickly than the H to match fluctuating supplies of wind and solar power, GE said. The large market for the H turbine that GE anticipated “did not develop and has resulted in an orphan technology installation at IEEC,” the filing said.More: General Electric to scrap California power plant 20 years earlylast_img read more


first_imgForensic accountant: Australia’s Adani Mining is in ‘perilous financial condition’ FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Australian Broadcasting Corporation:Professor Sandra van der Laan casts her eyes over the complex corporate structure for Adani’s Australian operations. “It looks to me like a corporate collapse waiting to happen,” she says. “It has all the hallmarks of the big corporate failures we’ve seen over the last 20 to 30 years.”Professor van der Laan, a forensic accounting specialist who heads the discipline of finance at the University of Sydney, has a reputation for picking “corporate collapses waiting to happen”.The more immediate concern is Adani Mining Pty Ltd, the Australian-registered company which is the proponent of the Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin. As a private company, the subsidiary is only required to release reduced financial statements with limited detail — but enough to raise red flags for Professor van der Laan and other critics. The accounts show the owners have contributed less than $9 million in equity to the business and total liabilities exceed total assets by more than half a billion dollars. Current assets of less than $30 million are swamped by current liabilities, due over the next 12 months, of more than $1.8 billion.“Adani Mining is in a very fragile, even perilous, financial position,” Professor van der Laan observes. “The gap between the current assets and liabilities is what’s really concerning. Effectively on paper they are insolvent. I wouldn’t be trading with them, as simple as that. I wouldn’t have anything to do with them.”The coal is likely destined for power stations in India owned by Adani Power Ltd, listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange but controlled by the Adani family. It released its latest accounts this month. Adani Power is highly leveraged with daunting debt — on current exchange rates, about $US7 billion net, or $10 billion — and thin earnings by comparison.The poor financial position of Adani Power may be one reason why Adani has failed to find a bank anywhere that is willing to finance the Carmichael coal mine, argues Tim Buckley, research director of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a philanthropically-funded body which promotes a transition to sustainable energy. “One of the key things an external investor or financial institution would require is that you have an off-taker [for the coal] that is solvent,” says Mr Buckley, a former investment banker who has been analysing company accounts for more than 30 years. “Adani Power hasn’t made money for a decade. On any reasonable interpretation it is not solvent.”More: Adani’s Carmichael coal mine surviving on lifeline from Indian parent companylast_img read more


first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Recharge:Denmark got half its power from wind and solar last year in what its grid operator hailed as an important milestone in its hugely ambitious energy transition push.Wind accounted for more than 47% of Danish electricity in 2019, with solar taking green power to the 50% mark, said Energinet.The wind share beats a previous 43% record set in 2017, and comes as Denmark pursues an emissions reductions goal of 70% by 2030 that was enshrined in law late last year.Denmark – historically a leader in the global wind sector – has recently announced major initiatives in offshore wind and green hydrogen production as it attempts to hit that goal, and push its energy transition into harder-to-decarbonise areas like heating and transport.Energinet said of the 2019 record: “Once we thought that the power system could handle the maximum of 5% of the power being produced as the wind blew and the sun was shining. Fortunately, we have become smarter!”[Andrew Lee]More: Denmark got 50% of power from wind and solar in 2019 Wind and solar generated 50% of Denmark’s electricity in 2019last_img read more


first_imgMoody’s: Decline of coal in U.S. electric generating sector ‘seems to be accelerating’ FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Reduced U.S. power demand amid the global coronavirus crisis will slash the country’s electric sector emissions by 175 million to 320 million metric tons in 2020, equal to a 10% to 20% drop from 2019, Moody’s estimated in a June 30 report. Most of that will come from already beleaguered coal generators.“We project most reduced electric demand in 2020 will come from coal generation with minimal future recovery,” Moody’s analysts said.The credit ratings agency’s prior forecast that coal would fall to 11% of the U.S. power mix by 2030 “seems to be accelerating,” the report said. Coal’s share will fall to 17% or below in 2020 from 23.5% in 2019 and 27.5% in 2018. As of April 30, coal had already crashed to 17.2% of U.S. generation, down from 24.8% in the first four months of 2019, as wind, solar and natural gas continued to expand, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.Moody’s expects the pandemic’s impact on power demand, coal generation and carbon emissions to continue through 2020 and likely into 2021. When demand does recover, coal probably will not, Moody’s analysts said, citing “sustained low natural gas prices” that will likely trigger “accelerated retirements of out-of-the-money coal-fired power plants” along with increasingly cost-competitive power from wind and solar plants.Those expectations align with S&P Global Market Intelligence’s recent assessment that the economic downturn sparked by COVID-19 would combine with previous economic trends to speed up already planned retirements of coal-fired generation. As of April 17, more than 9,000 MW of coal-fired capacity was scheduled for retirement in 2020, while another 23,010 MW of coal capacity was set to close down between 2021 and the end of 2025, according to a separate S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis.Since then, several utilities have announced additional coal retirements, including Vectren Corp. affiliate Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Co., which unveiled a plan in June to shutter 730 MW of coal and add at least 1,000 MW of renewables. Also in June, Tucson Electric Power Co., a utility subsidiary of Fortis Inc., said it would eliminate all coal from its power portfolio by 2031 while dramatically expanding wind, solar and energy storage resources.[Garrett Hering]More ($): COVID-19 deepens coal’s decline as US power emissions plummet – Moody’slast_img read more


first_imgBlue Ridge Outdoors: Running vs. Biking: Which is HealthierDoes running really burn more calories than cycling? Does cycling really result in fewer injuries than running? Is one exercise better than the other in terms of overall health?Both are almost equivocally good for cardiovascular fitness and burning calories, says Dr. David Swain, director of the Wellness Institute and Research Center at the Old Dominion University and author of Exercise Prescription. According to Swain, an average athlete can burn five percent more calories running than biking, and because running is a weight-bearing activity, it can stimulate bone growth and strength as well. Because cycling is a low-impact sport, there is little bone training.The additional impact of running can lead to more orthopedic injuries. But then, mechanical injuries like crashing, are more common for cycling.But the biggest difference lies not in the activity, but in the intensity and duration of the exercise.Running StrongBlue Ridge Outdoors: Triple ThreatYou’re going to run hills. It’s a fact of life for runners.  You can either accept this, or be relegated to slogging it out on the hamster wheel at the gym day after day, with the incline set on zero and the TV set on Judge Judy. Are you ready to embrace the hill in front of you? Good. Now, if you want to master those hills instead of suffer through them, be prepared to embrace something else runners hate: strength training.“Runners typically only seek out strength training when they plateau or when they have a collection of random injuries that won’t go away,” says Samantha Pollack, a nutritionist and trainer who teaches strength training clinics for runners in Asheville. “A lot of runners don’t want to get big. There’s a misconception among runners that strength training will make them slower and heavier. The reality is, unless you’re specifically training to put on size and muscle, you’re not going to gain weight. And you won’t get slower. If anything, you’ll get faster.”Pollack recommends adding two strength-training sessions a week that focus primarily on your core and glutes. You’ll see an increase in speed and power when you’re tackling hills.Web Exclusive: Watch Pollack’s Triple Threat video to build strengthAsk the ExpertQ: Can humans really become addicted to carbs?A: Certain “comfort” or fatty, sugary, calorie-dense foods can trigger reward systems in the brain more than other foods. Higher sugar intake also tends to produce more addictive-like behaviors that can lead to craving fatty, sugary foods.In studies of mice, dopamine, the neurotransmitter in the brain associated with reward and pleasure, decreases over time when a high-comfort food diet is eaten. So even more sugars are craved in order to trigger higher dopamine levels.The bottom line: Eat a diet high in nutrient-dense foods and combine that with exercise which also increases dopamine activity and stimulates the pleasure circuits in the brain.—Namrita Odea, registered dietitian and endurance mountain biker specializing in nutrition for sports performancelast_img read more


first_imgSo you’ve reached a point in your life that everything annoys you. Dogs barking, kids screaming, clocks ticking… absolutely everything. This is called being a human. Unfortunately, it sucks sometimes. It sucks in that it ruins your spirits.You just want to rip your hair out and cry in a corner, with a sign that says “go away: unstable”. I get it. Your best friend gets it. Everyone gets it. But that doesn’t mean it should be normal – far from it. You’re gonna have to make some changes to your lifestyle. How can that be achieved? I’ll tell you.Surround yourself with positive peopleIs your “friend” being a mean old so-and-so who brings you down all the time? What about your brother? Sister, even?You need to get rid of them. Each and every one of them. Write a list, and cross them off. Block them from Facebook. Tell them to go where the sun don’t shine, because there’s no way you need to deal with their crap.Now, here comes the more appealing part. Finding the good people, and building a relationship with them. It sounds hard, but it’s not. Whether they’re family, friends, or strangers. Become a people person, and you’ll never have a bad day in your life (maybe not true). But, these people will be there for you when you need them the most. They won’t mess around. They also won’t leave you when someone better comes along.Remember: positivity is essential when it comes to running and training for marathons.Remind yourself that you can do itSometimes your mind can be your worst enemy, or your best friend. If it’s your worst enemy, drop everything and run.If ever you catch yourself thinking about how much you hate running and that you can never do it, I have one solution for you, and it ain’t pretty gonna be pretty at the time: run. You heard me. Get outside and run. Oh, it’s 4am? That’s no excuse!It’s crucial you drop the “poor me” attitude, and simply say “I got this”. Literally, say it. Say it in front of a mirror, and say it like you mean it. Then go and do it. Rinse and repeat whenever you’re feeling down in the dumps. Nobody will do it for you, and the world doesn’t give a hoot about your feelings. You’re the only one who can change this.Next time you run a marathon, or train for one, and catch yourself thinking “why bother?”, think back to the article you read from a nobody named Curt. You’ll thank me later.Eat healthilyThis point sucks. I often find myself craving a nice block of chocolate, but I hate the ramifications. The guilt. The thought of getting hooked on the taste. The fact that as I write this, I want some chocolate.Instead, more nutritious foods should be on your list. Are they as appealing as your favorite junk foods? Absolutely not. Everyone knows that. Firstly, how is this acceptable? Secondly, and most importantly: why is this acceptable?Eating healthy foods makes you feel better. Much better. And you know what? After a while, dare I say this… it begins to taste good. The junk cravings become scarce, and you actually feel good about it. Your mind is much clearer, and it’s like a new band of fresh air has come over you. Well, for me it was, anyway. Then again, I was never a healthy child. Healthy things were once my worst enemy.The more you put the junk away, the easier it becomes. It also helps with your positivity, and will, inevitably, help with your running (both physically and mentally).At least good comes from it!Think of things you appreciate in lifeFrom your dog, to your mother. Your beliefs to your wealth. Your fish to your kettle. Your lamp to your computer.Now, let’s look at it from the perspective nobody likes to hear about.Half of the world’s population (a staggering 3-4 billion people) live on less than $2.50 a day. Congratulations, you’re better off than half the world. You made it. You didn’t necessarily do anything, but it worked. Good job.Now, if the African children who have close to nothing can be happy, why can’t you? Providing you have no legitimate mental disorder, of course.What I’m trying to say is… you’ve got it good… real good. Make the most of it, because it can end at any time, whether you like it or not.Stay focused on what you want to achieveSetting goals is important, and can actually be fun. Crossing achievements off a list is a sensation nobody can describe. But focus is very important here. Being realistic is also just as important. These are not mutually exclusive. Being focused, persistent, and realistic all come together when setting a goal. Can you beat the Kenyans in a race? Unless you’re Kenyan yourself, you’re gonna be in for disappointment if that’s your goal.If you reach a goal, then excellent! Treat yourself with a nice bottle of Champaign, and have one for me. A bit of chocolate won’t hurt – as long as it remains “a bit” and not the whole damn block. This is a one-off occasion, though. Don’t buy more than one bottle of Champaign and one block of chocolate. You’ll regret it.I hope you’ll be motivated to smash any other goals you have set after a night in with the sweetness of chocolate, and bottle of Champaign.Set realistic goalsAs mentioned earlier: beating the Kenyans is far from realistic… unless you’re Kenyan yourself. These guys are born to run. People like myself are born to sit around and eat chocolate all day.However, there’s more to it than meets the eye. When you set a foolish, unrealistic goal, and fail miserably at all your attempts, you begin to doubt yourself. Do entrepreneurs set the goal of becoming a millionaire in their first year? The successful ones don’t.Aim low, and build your way up. It’s funner that way.ConclusionIf you’re like me, being happy isn’t always easy. It can be pretty damn hard at times. Tragedies happen. Death is a reality. Disappointment is common. All these things can result in an unhappy person.As you begin to appreciate the importance of your mindset, running will be remarkably easier, and you’ll wonder what all the pessimism was about.Curt Davies is a marathon enthusiast who found the mental edge you need to finish your first marathon. He’s compiled some of his best tips into a free download you can get at his website at www.marathondriven.comlast_img read more


first_imgIn early December of 2015, Tom Gathman—aka The Real Hiking Viking—set out to accomplish a feat that, according to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, only a handful of daring hikers have ever managed: An unsupported, solo thru-hike of all 2,180 miles of the AT, from north to south, in the depths of winter. A few short months later, after persevering through treacherous snowfalls, sub-zero temperatures, encounters with icy rivers, and myriad other perils, Gathman summited Georgia’s Springer Mountain. In an effort to offer you a brief glimpse of the man behind the adventure, BRO interrupted Gathman’s present thru-hike of the Pacific Coast Trail for a phone conversation. —Blue Ridge Outdoors: After serving as a Marine scout sniper, you left combat and, in 2013, participated in a Warrior Hike’s Walk Off the War thru-hike of the AT. Shortly thereafter, you made the decision to leave the comforts of the civilian world behind and live the life of a full-time outdoor adventurer. Since then, you’ve logged over 10,000 miles of trail. Can you tell us a little about your decision to do the winter AT trek?Hiking Viking: I was taking a bit of time off long-distance trails to give my body some rest and attend a friend’s wedding in North Carolina. While I was there, amid all that comfort and civilized normality, I got struck by the idea: I want to get back on the trail—a winter thru-hike is exactly what I need.ViewFromSmartsMountainAt first I was all, “This is crazy,” and that’s because it was a little crazy. But the more I thought about it, the more I began to get excited. Like, really excited. I guess that deep-down drive most thru-hikers have was kicking in, that thing that renders us hopeless against the call for adventure and challenge. Even though a winter thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail was never on my radar, in the flash of a moment, it took hold of me. It wasn’t a question of wanting so much as having to do it.BRO: Being this was something of a sporadic decision, were you in any way prepared to take this on?Hiking Viking: Well, I didn’t really have any legitimate winter hiking experience—at least to that magnitude. I mean, sure, when I thru-hiked the Continental Divide Trail the year before, I got caught in a late, unexpected snow-dump in the south San Juan’s in spring. However, while that required an ice-axe, micro-spikes, snowshoes, and so on, it wasn’t the dead of winter. While there were some sketchy moments at 13,000-plus feet with storms rolling in, I was aware that deep winter conditions can get a lot colder and gnarlier…In my mind, going into this thing, acquiring the right gear and understanding my limits was of paramount importance—it could mean the difference between life and death. From the beginning, I recognized the risks and didn’t take them lightly. I sought out advice and gear tips from [well-known, experienced thru-hikers] Trauma, who completed a SOBO winter PCT thru-hike in 2015, as well as Swami, a guy that’s logged more miles of hiking world-wide than anybody I know. At any rate, the goal was simple: be safe, have fun, and experience the AT in a new way. I could sit here and tell you that the goal was to complete the entire AT, but, while that was a goal, I didn’t want to set any unrealistic expectations for myself. It was a new experience for me, and I was learning on the fly. I took it one footstep at a time.BRO: Taking on a long-distance backpacking adventure in the winter-time is obviously a different experience from your typical spring/summer thru-hike. It’s out of season and there’s very little official support, very few people, not much comfort, and, needless to say, if you mess up, you can easily freeze to death. Can you tell our readers what it was like to get started? Hiking Viking: In the immediate lead-up to this trip, I’d mostly been hiking out west. Those trails were practically sidewalks compared to the shit-storm of ruggedness I threw myself into with the winter hike. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it—and I mean all of it. But it was a whole different beast… The contrast between those earlier trips and hitting the Maine woods in December was so vast as to be almost unfathomable. I mean, I remembered Maine’s beauty from when I’d hiked the AT in 2013, which, although that was two years prior, didn’t seem all that long ago. But, from a distance, it’s easy to forget the ruggedness of it all. Multiply that by sub-freezing weather, knee-deep snow, un-tempered winds, and pounds upon pounds of extra gear, and the shock factor goes through the roof. The holes in my planning became rapidly apparent.TRHV.ViewFromTheWinterATFor instance, I budgeted seven days through the 100 Mile Wilderness—which meant I’d be hiking 15 miles per day. Only, starting off, making ten miles a day was a tremendous struggle, and I lost an entire day within the first three. Which also led to me prematurely running out of food. I made it through, but I had to shed gear and reevaluate my approach. What happened was, unsure of what to expect, I’d packed all the winter gear I thought I might need—snowshoes, ice-axe, crampons, micro-spikes, et-cetera. Which meant I was carrying one heavy load—I think my pack tipped the scales at around 60 pounds the morning I set out from Monson. Going into the trip I’d thought: My legs are strong, they can handle the weight. However, I didn’t account for how the terrain would amplify the weight and slow me down. I just didn’t foresee it… So really, the 100 Mile Wilderness was like my tune-up hike for the rest of the trail. Now that’s planning. Take the most remote, and one of—if not the—most, rugged stretches on the entire trail and make that your test run. Pretty ideal. A full-length feature on Tom Gathman’s winter thru-hike will appear in our October issue. To learn more about Tom Gathman’s adventures, visit www.therealhikingviking.comlast_img read more


first_imgIn the August issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors we profiled Karl Meltzer, one of the greatest endurance athletes around today, and wrote about his plans to break the Appalachian Trail speed record.Now Meltzer is well into his journey and is on the brink of bringing down a record set just over a year ago by by ultra running legend Scott Jurek.According to sources in Meltzer’s aid crew, he’s about to enter Georgia well ahead of the record pace required to bring down Jurek’s record. image_proxy_largeLike Jurek, Meltzer, 48, is being supported by a traveling crew of trusted helpers, making his record-setting attempt what’s known as a supported thru-hike.He started where Jurek finished, in Maine’s Baxter State, where the Appalachian Trail’s northern terminus is perched atop the knife edge known as Mount Khatadin.That was August 3rd. Since then Meltzer, also known as the Speedgoat, has been traveling at a steady clip, even averaging an astonishing 40 miles per day during his first week on the trail. image_proxy_largeAccording to reports, he has maintained his record-setting pace despite losing contact with his crew at the beginning of week three. If it weren’t for the help of a stranger in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, who provided Melzter with a some much-needed trail magic in the form of a blanket, jacket, and a floor to crash on, his attempt have been derailed altogether.image_proxy_largeStay tuned to BlueRidgeOutdoors.com for more updates.last_img read more

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