Banks Distance Themselves From Coal

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Gina-Marie Cheeseman for Triple Pundit:Coal is a dirty fossil fuel that is responsible for a big portion of carbon emissions. The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis predicts a bleak future for coal. It sees declining demand and the increasing use of renewables as accelerating the trend of using less fossil fuels like coal.Clearly, some banks are getting the memo that coal is a thing of the past as two big banks recently updated their coal policies. One of them is JPMorgan Chase, which released new commitments to stop financing for the coal industry. The other is Deutsche Bank which released a new corporate responsibility policy that explains the bank’s decision to phase out funding mountaintop removal coal mining.JPMorgan’s new coal policies prohibit financing new coal mines or a new coal-fired power plant in developed countries. The policies specifically prohibit “project financing or other forms of asset-specific financing where the proceeds will be used to develop a new greenfield coal mine.” A greenfield mine is an uncharted one, where coal deposits were not known to previously exist.JPMorgan’s new policies also include the following:It will reduce its “credit exposure” to companies that derive most of their revenues from extracting and selling coal.It will apply “enhanced due diligence” to transactions with diversified mining and industrial companies whose proceeds will be used to finance new coal production capacity.It will not provide financing for companies that will developed a new coal-fired power plant outside of developed countries unless ultra-supercritical steam generation technology, a method that experts say is cleaner and more efficient, is used.Full article: JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank Set New Coal Policies Banks Distance Themselves From Coallast_img read more

Editorial: Australia Does Not Need Adani

first_imgEditorial: Australia Does Not Need Adani FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享New York Times:While global demand for coal is falling as the nations of the world have committed themselves to slashing carbon emissions, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia wants to help a powerful Indian conglomerate build an enormous system of coal mines in a remote stretch of Queensland.Burning the estimated 66 million tons of coal a year that the Adani Group aims to produce from six open-pit and five underground complexes known as the Carmichael mine can only make it harder for the world to meet its aspirations under the Paris climate agreement. The project has prompted huge protests across Australia.“You can’t have both the Paris climate agreement and Adani’s Carmichael coal mine,” the climate change activist Bill McKibben said. “Full stop.”Mr. Turnbull has promoted the mine with the same argument President Trump has made to remove what he sees as impediments to coal mining in Appalachia, framing mining as a job creator in a region that sorely needs jobs. The prime minister has also supported Adani’s request for a taxpayer-financed loan of $800 million.But even one of Adani’s consultants has disputed the company’s claim that the project will generate 10,000 jobs. In fact, the project could cost mining jobs elsewhere in Australia.The nearby Great Barrier Reef supports some 64,000 full-time employees, but shipping all that coal to India risks further harm to this environmentally sensitive area, already endangered by global warming.The Adani Group chairman, Gautam Adani, plans to use 60 percent of the Carmichael coal, which is of a higher quality than Indian coal, for his financially stressed Mundra coal-fired power plant in Gujarat, India.It would be a regressive move for India, which is making great strides with solar and other forms of renewable energy. In fact, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has committed India to getting 40 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.Existing coal-burning plants in India are running below 60 percent capacity, and while increased demand for energy may push them to full capacity, by then, “the price of renewables will be lower than the price of coal,” observes Ajay Mathur, director general of the Energy Resources Institute in New Delhi.India’s energy minister, Piyush Goyal, was clear: “We don’t wish to import coal from anywhere in the world,” he said. “We have sufficient coal capacity in our country.”Australia is helping Mr. Adani get what he wants, but it’s the opposite of what Australia, India or the rest of the world needs.More: The Last Thing Australia and Our Planet Needlast_img read more

Report: U.S. utilities are going ‘from zero to 100’ on solar

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:New numbers show the “beautiful friendship” between utilities and solar is growing and bringing the U.S. power system’s transition to higher renewables penetrations along.“Utilities of all kinds and in many places are accelerating from zero to 100 on solar in response to record-low prices,” Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) research manager and paper lead author Daisy Chung told Utility Dive.Contrary to the word from Washington, D.C., utility-scale renewables are not “badly behaved coal plants” that threaten grid reliability and national security, Seb Henbest, lead author of the Bloomberg New Energy Finance New Energy Outlook, wrote July 25. “By 2050, we’re painting a picture of an electricity system utterly reshaped around cheap wind, solar and batteries.”Wind and solar were 8.2% of U.S. generation in 2017, with wind at 6.3% and solar at 1.9%, and U.S. grids are integrating record levels of renewables without disruption. Wind was 54% of Texas generation on October 27, 2017, and wind and solar together provided 64.6% of California’s power on May 26, 2018.Investors say “phenomenally abundant” renewables could support a trillion-dollar U.S. market by 2030 and solar will play a key part, according to an April American Council on Renewable Energy survey.Utilities have long played a central role in U.S. wind growth, which has tripled since 2007 to reach almost 89 GW of cumulative installed capacity. In the same time period, utilities added 42 GW of solar to the grid, including 7.4 GW in 2017, SEPA reports.“Utilities of all kinds and in many places are accelerating from zero to 100 on solar in response to record low prices.”Solar prices have been slower to reach competitive levels than wind prices, but the SEPA report shows utilities responding to the new low prices quickly, Chung said.Out of the 7.4 GW total, investor-owned utilities added 5,825 MW of new solar capacity in 2017 and “remain the driving force of new solar installations across the country,” SEPA reports. In the Southeast, where solar growth has historically been slowest, “several large utilities have propelled rapid solar deployment.”Southern Company and its four subsidiaries are “bullish on solar,” VP for Energy Policy Bruce Edelston told Utility Dive. They added a cumulative 375 MW for four Southeastern states in 2017 and have a pipeline that will likely deliver around 200 MW annually for the foreseeable future, he said.“The price has come down substantially in the past couple of years and is now competitive with coal and gas,” he said. “We would not be buying so much now if it was not the cheapest option.”More: An offer utilities can’t refuse: The low cost of utility-scale solar Report: U.S. utilities are going ‘from zero to 100’ on solarlast_img read more

Italy’s largest insurer to stop covering new coal projects

first_imgItaly’s largest insurer to stop covering new coal projects FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Italy’s biggest insurer Generali said on Friday it would stop offering insurance coverage for new coal mines and plants, marking a step up in the company’s support for green policies.Generali’s action, which comes ahead of a United Nations climate change conference in Poland in December, is the latest by a big insurance company that targets the coal industry as part of efforts move towards a lower carbon economy.Europe’s third biggest insurer said in a note on its website it would not provide insurance for coal-related assets of potential new clients and would not be increasing its minimal insurance exposure to coal-related activities.In late 2017, French insurer AXA said it planned to disinvest further from the coal industry. Others that have taken steps include Scor, Swiss Re and Zurich Insurance. But many companies – particularly in the United States – have lagged their European rivals.Earlier this year, Generali pledged to raise its investments in environmentally-friendly projects and eliminate its exposure to the coal sector, a package worth around 2 billion euros. To do that it said it would sell equity stakes and exit bond investments by bringing them to maturity or even divesting before maturity.More: Italy’s Generali to stop insuring new coal plantslast_img read more

Enel looking for joint venture partner to expand African renewable energy business

first_imgEnel looking for joint venture partner to expand African renewable energy business FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Enel SpA is looking for a financial partner to buy as much as 50% of its African renewable business as the Italian energy giant looks to extend wind and solar power projects across the continent.The search for a company to form a joint venture started before the coronavirus outbreak stalled the regional economy and will continue regardless, a spokesman for the Rome-based utility said in an emailed response to questions. Enel Green Power currently has sites in South Africa, Morocco and Zambia as part of an international expansion that also includes investments in Asia.The Italian company is building its future around green energy, with plans to increase its renewable capacity to 60% by 2022. Enel is adding as much as 3.6 gigawatts of new capacity in recently accessed and new markets within the next two years, mainly in Africa and Asia, the spokesman said.Like many companies, Enel is navigating the Covid-19 outbreak with a focus on digitization and home working while governments around the world impose lockdowns to curb the spread of the pandemic. Italy has been one of the worst-affected countries, with almost 22,000 deaths to date, compared with a global total of more than 134,000.[Loni Prinsloo]More: Enel seeks 50% financial partner for Africa renewable unitlast_img read more

NextEra’s renewable energy, battery storage project pipeline tops 15GW

first_imgNextEra’s renewable energy, battery storage project pipeline tops 15GW FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享E&E News:The world’s largest renewable energy developer says it has more projects in the works than it has connected to the grid — including plans for the biggest-ever stand-alone battery storage system. Renewable energy giant NextEra Energy Inc.’s competitive wholesale power unit has inked deals for more than 15,000 megawatts of wind, solar and storage projects, the utility giant announced yesterday.“Our backlog is now larger than [NextEra] Energy Resources’ entire existing renewables portfolio, which took us 20 years to complete,” Rebecca Kujawa, NextEra’s chief financial officer, said during the company’s third-quarter earnings conference call with financial analysts.South Florida-based NextEra has signed contracts for roughly 4,800 MW of renewable projects since the beginning of the year, including a record 2,200 MW in the past three months. This includes the newly announced 1,000 MW of solar and storage projects for NiSource Inc.’s Northern Indiana Public Service Co. and a 325-MW, four-hour battery storage system in California that NextEra says will be the largest of its kind in the world.NextEra has capitalized on growing demand from states and utilities that have set carbon reduction or net-zero targets. The company frequently touts that the cost of renewable energy has fallen to the point that it is more economical than most traditional forms of generation. What’s more, it has developed a battery storage system that pairs with wind and solar, removing the challenge of intermittency that comes with renewable energy. The company has dedicated $1 billion to invest in storage next year.NextEra announced a pipeline of 50 green hydrogen projects for the transportation and industrial sectors and hopes to add to that. The company considers hydrogen a long-term solution to decarbonization, particularly if [Democratic presidential nominee Joe] Biden’s plan to hit that target by 2035 for electricity becomes a reality.“Hydrogen could really be the solution for the last 10 to 15% where it gets very expensive to do with batteries, it’s more manageable to do with hydrogen,” [John Ketchum, CEO of NextEra Energy Resources,] said.[Kristi Swartz]More: NextEra announces record renewables, world’s largest batterylast_img read more

Seneca Rocks, West Virginia

first_imgSeneca Rocks rises close to 900 feet above the North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac River Valley. Although it is believed Native Americans climbed the rocks, the first recorded ascent was in the 1930s. Throughout most of the rest of the 1900s, the views that could be obtained from its west-facing wall were available only to rock climbers or those willing to endure a steep and eroded pathway on the rocks’ eastern side. In the late 1990s, the forest service constructed a trail for the rest of us. It won’t bring you to the top of the rocks, but it does take you to a grand view. The pathway gains almost 700 feet in elevation, but switchbacks and benches to rest upon make it accessible to just about anyone. Signposts along the way interpret the area’s natural history, and the information learned here will add greatly to future hikes in West Virginia.It’s only 1.5 miles of walking to reach the observation platform. Beside you are Seneca Rocks’ vertical walls, with the North Fork flowing directly below. Spread along the valley floor are the forest service’s Discovery Center and Shenandoah Shadows Campground. On the western horizon are Spruce Mountain and the state’s highest point, Spruce Knob. Since you can go no further (a sign reads “Here Ends the Realm of the Hiker”), it’s time to retrace your steps and return to your car at 3.0 miles.Before beginning the hike, consider visiting the Discovery Center to obtain more background information. Displays depict the geology, Native Americans, natural history, early settlers, and history of climbing in the area.last_img read more

Wintergreen Lift Passes Week 4

first_imgWeek 3 is now over, which means here is week 4! For the next 5 weeks we will be giving away lift passes to Wintergreen Resort!Each week we will give away 2 weekday lift passes (valid Monday-Thursday) to one lucky individual, so 16 in total over 8 weeks.To sweeten the deal, we are also giving away a pair of Bolle Nova goggles (a $40 value) with the tickets!This giveaway is now closed but week 5 of Wintergreen Lift Passes just opened!Rules and Regulations: Package must be redeemed within 1 year of winning  date. Entries must be received by mail or through the contest sign-up page by 12:00 noon EST on February 1st, 2013. One entry per person. One winner per household.  Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United  States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older.  Void wherever prohibited by law. Families and employees of Blue Ridge  Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors are not eligible. No  liability is assumed for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate,  non-delivered or misdirected mail, or misdirected e-mail, garbled,  mistranscribed, faulty or incomplete telephone transmissions, for  technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable  network connection, or failed, incomplete or delayed computer  transmission or any human error which may occur in the receipt of  processing of the entries in this Sweepstakes. By entering the  sweepstakes, entrants agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and Wintergreen Resort reserve  the right to contact entrants multiple times with special information  and offers. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine reserves the right, at their  sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry  process and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes.  Winners agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating  sponsors, their subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies  shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from  acceptance of or use of prizes. No substitutions or redemption of cash,  or transfer of prize permitted. Any taxes associated with winning any of  the prizes detailed below will be paid by the winner. Winners agree to  allow sponsors to use their name and pictures for purposes of promotion.  Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater  value. All Federal, State and local laws and regulations apply.  Selection of winner will be chosen at random at the Blue Ridge Outdoors  office on or before March 1st, 6:00 PM EST 2013. Winners will be contacted by  the information they provided in the contest sign-up field and have 7  days to claim their prize before another winner will be picked. Odds of  winning will be determined by the total number of eligible entries received.last_img read more

Weekend Pick: Star City Vicious Randonnee

first_imgHere’s a recipe for some weekend fun in the saddle: take an old world cycling event, bring it to the Roanoke Valley, extend it to impossible extremes, and give it the catch phrase “The toughest group road ride in the history of Virginia.” Sounds like a blast right? That is the aim of the aptly named Star City Vicious Randonnee. The Randonnee cycling event got its start in France and Italy in the 19th century when day-long sports aimed at challenging the body and mind became popular. Must have been all the absinthe flowing in those days. Similar to a Gran Fondo, a Randonnee event features long distances, big climbs, and groups of riders. Although it is technically a race, there is no emphasis on finishing placement, just finishing, so that gives you an idea of what you are getting yourself into. The Suiride route covers over 115 miles and 14 rated climbs totaling over 15,000 feet of climbing along a mix of pavement, gravel, dirt, and singletrack. Oh yeah, did I mention the whole thing is unsupported? I didn’t? The whole thing is unsupported.Fortunately, you don’t have to commit to the Suiride route to participate in this friendly group ride. There are shorter options in the Vicious route (96 miles, 12,389 feet of climbing), the Gran route (69 miles, 8,858 feet of climbing), the Medio route (38 miles, 5,292 feet of climbing), the Challenge route (25 miles, 3,251 feet of climbing), and the Prologue route (12.5 miles, 1,372 feet of climbing). All rides leave promptly at 9am Sunday, August 18, from the East Coasters Bike Shop in Roanoke. Last year, two riders completed the Suiride route.You may be signing up for a punishing day of riding, but there is a silver lining to the whole thing: it’s free. So hope on the bike and head for the hills around Roanoke this weekend for some punishment in the company of the likeminded.View Larger Maplast_img read more

Weekend Picks: Wintergreen Slide and Splash Bash

first_imgWintergreen Slide and Splash Bash, Roseland, Va., March 14-16Wintergreen Resort is celebrating the end of the ski and ride season with its annual Slide and Splash Pond Skimming Competition. They expand their terrain park to include all of Dobie run for the annual Park Party on Saturday with the Pond Skimming comp on Sunday, March 16 — costumes required!Wintergreen is a year-round resort spanning 11,000 Blue Ridge acres with cascading streams and lush forests.Slide & Splash Bash Schedule of Events:Friday, March 149 am-5 pm Skiing & Riding9:30 pm – 12 am Live Entertainment at The Edge Yankee Dixie local Americana bluegrass folkSaturday, March 159 am-5 pm Skiing & Riding9 am- 4 pm Discovery Ridge Adventure Center Open ext. 818010 am-4 pm Tubing at The Plunge11 am Terrain Park Party Join us the the terrain park9:30 pm – 12 am Live Entertainment at The Edge Yankee Dixie local Americana bluegrass folkSunday, March 16   9 am-5 pm Skiing & Riding9 am – 5:30 pm Mixing up the Tunes outside the Skyline Rental Shop9 am- 4 pm Discovery Ridge Adventure Center Open ext. 81809-11:30 am Pond Skimming Registration Snowsports Desk, ext. 806510 am-4 pm Tubing at The Plunge12-2 pm Pond Skimming Event Start1–3 pm NASTAR Head to Eagle Swoop (ext. 8065) and race against the clock.2:30 pm Pond Skimming AwardsHere’s how to get to Wintergreen.wintergreen resort nightlast_img read more