first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Kathiann M. Kowalski for Midwest Energy News:Advocates for environmental groups and the wind industry say an Ohio lawmaker’s arguments for keeping tougher wind turbine restrictions are flawed and inconsistent with how other forms of energy are treated, especially fossil fuels.The 2014 law, House Bill 483, effectively tripled existing requirements, so turbines on a commercial wind farm would have to be about a quarter of a mile (1,300 feet) from the nearest property line. Except for a few projects that already had permits, the law basically halted new commercial wind farms in Ohio.A pending bill, HB 190, sponsored by Republican Reps. Tony Burkley and Tim Brown, would let counties decide whether to revert to the prior setback limits.Among other things, the supporters argue that the 2014 law interferes with the rights of property owners to lease their land for wind turbines. Supporters also say the law dealt a severe blow to the economies of rural counties, especially in northwest Ohio.“The Senator’s unsubstantiated claims of wind turbine ‘nuisance’ expose a dangerous double standard,” said Samantha Williams, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council.“Take, for instance, Ohio’s natural gas unitization program, which gives fossil fuel developers an upper hand over property owners to gain access to the resources beneath their land — even when they’re unwilling,” she said. “This practice exposes landowners to all kinds of risks they never bargained for, and should be a bitter pill to swallow for those concerned about preserving private property rights in Ohio.”“But, somehow, it’s not,” Williams continued. “Instead, lawmakers continue to grease the tracks for the oil and gas industry, but throw roadblocks in the way of wind and solar developers in the name of property rights. At a time when clean energy is so critical to Ohio’s economic and environmental well-being, we can’t afford to keep this double standard in place.”Similarly, Seitz’s reference to the possibility for a blade to break seems to call for a “no risk” standard for wind energy, noted Dayna Baird Payne, a lobbyist who represents wind energy interests in Ohio. Other forms of energy are not held to a similar standard.For example, she noted, pipelines less than a quarter-mile from homes have burst and spilled oil. A natural gas well blow-out in Monroe County required people to evacuate right before Christmas in December 2014. Accidents happen with nuclear and coal plants as well, she said.Full article: Lawmaker’s ‘secret subsidy’ claim rebuked by Ohio wind backers A Public Policy Bias in Ohio That Favors Fossil Fuels Over Windlast_img read more

first_imgChina Takes Lead In New Energy Economy, IEEFA Report Shows FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:China is moving toward becoming a global leader in renewable technology as the U.S. pulls away, a new report has said. China is the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases and still invests in coal but in recent years it has become the largest investor in domestic renewable energy. The country is now on track to lead international investment in the sector, according to the report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).“As the global transition toward renewables gains pace and as battery storage and electric vehicles technologies pick up momentum, China is setting itself up to dominate these sectors globally over the next several decades of this century,” said IEEFA.IEEFA identified a record high spend of more than US$44bn by China on international takeovers and projects worth more than $1bn – a 38% year-on-year growth.The trajectory is in stark contrast to that of the US, which last year pulled out of the Paris climate accord and has renewed its support for the coal industry. The decision to abandon the Paris agreement “led to China’s quick reaffirmation of its emissions-reduction pledge”, the report said.“That allows it to further project itself globally as a responsible major power while addressing its domestic air pollution concerns and building world-leading capacity in new energy markets.”Co-author of the report and director of IEEFA, Tim Buckley, said China was setting itself up as a global technology leader “whilst the US government looks the other way.The report also found China was “out manoeuvring other economies” in securing energy commodity supplies such as lithium, nickel and cobalt, allowing them to dominate manufacturing of batteries and electric vehicles.More: read more

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享San Francisco Chronicle:California’s last nuclear power plant — Diablo Canyon, whose contentious birth helped shape the modern environmental movement — will close in 2025, state utility regulators decided Thursday. The unanimous vote by the California Public Utilities Commission will likely bring an end to nuclear energy’s long history in the state. State law forbids building more nuclear plants in California until the federal government creates a long-term solution for dealing with their waste, a goal that remains elusive despite decades of effort.“With this decision, we chart a new energy future by phasing out nuclear power here in California,” said commission President Michael Picker. “We’ve looked hard at all the arguments, and we agree the time has come.”Diablo Canyon’s planned shutdown is the latest blow to America’s nuclear power industry, beset by plant closures and the cancellation of proposed reactors.PG&E will…be able to shift onto its customers $241.2 million in costs related to shutting down the plant, including retaining its staff. PG&E estimated Thursday that customer bills would rise less than 0.5 percent on an annual basis as a result of the commission’s decision.PG&E opened Diablo Canyon in 1985 on a coastal bluff near San Luis Obispo despite fierce opposition from environmentalists convinced that the plant’s proximity to fault lines — one of them just 650 yards away — posed a lethal risk.More: California Regulators Vote to Close Diablo Canyonlast_img read more

first_imgGlobal corporate renewable purchases hit 13.4GW in 2018, breaking old record FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Fueled by a growing corporate appetite for clean energy, 121 companies around the world signed long-term deals for 13.4 GW of wind, solar and other renewables in 2018, smashing a prior record of 6.1 GW in 2017, BloombergNEF said in a report released Jan. 28.More than 60% of the newly contracted power, or 8.5 GW, is in the United States, where nearly three dozen first-time buyers expanded the non-utility market for renewables beyond technology companies like Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and Google LLC that have acquired large volumes of wind and solar in recent years to power their data centers.While Facebook was by far the largest corporate renewable energy buyer in 2018, contracting for more than 2.6 GW, many smaller businesses entered the market last year by pooling their purchasing power or teaming up with larger, more experienced buyers, according to the clean energy research firm.“The aggregation model has heralded in a new generation of corporate clean energy buyers,” BloombergNEF analyst Kyle Harrison said in a news release. “These companies no longer need to tackle the complexities of clean energy procurement alone.”Companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa ratcheted up their renewable energy contracting in 2018 as well, doubling their purchase agreements to 2.3 GW, the report found, while Asian-Pacific businesses signed up for a record 2 GW, almost exclusively in India and Australia.More ($): Report: Global corporate renewables deals doubled 2018last_img read more

first_imgAEMC says renewable generation will push electricity prices down across Australia FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:The price of residential electricity is estimated to start falling next year and continue to fall until 2022, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) says.The Commission’s annual report on electricity price trends shows an overall falling price outlook over the next few years, mostly due to decreases in the wholesale cost from increased generation capacity, particularly from windfarms.By the end of 2022, almost all Australians are expected to spend an average $97 less on their annual power bills after prices start falling in 2020, the Australian Energy Market Commission says.“While the overall national trend is down all across the supply chain there are regional differences across states and territories that will affect price outcomes,” said the AEMC’s chairman, John Pierce.Wholesale costs are the main driver of this decrease because of significant increases in generation capacity, particularly windfarms, the report says.“These results for FY19 to FY22 point to the state of the market over this specific period, which will see significant injection of around 5,000MW of new supply,” Mr Pierce said. [Australian Associated Press]More: Windfarms drive fall in wholesale energy price with lower bills forecast for 2020last_img read more

first_imgStudy sees potential for almost 3GW of floating PV capacity at German lignite mines FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:A study undertaken by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) for renewable energy developer Baywa re, has calculated lignite open-cast ponds in Germany could host 56 GW of floating PV project generation capacity.“After deducting the estimated areas relevant for leisure activities, tourism, nature and landscape conservation, there remains an economic potential of 2.74 GW,” the researchers added.The researchers found almost 500 open-pit lakes with a total area of more than 47,000ha in Germany, most of them in the eastern states of Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony. Some 4.9% of those water surfaces would be suitable for floating photovoltaic projects, according to the research institute, with the greatest potential reportedly lying in the Lausitz lignite mining region.The researchers pointed out open-cast lignite mines make up just under 13% of the 4,474 artificial bodies of water in Germany.It has been estimated that Germany will require a ninefold increase in its installed PV generation capacity, to around 500 GW, to complete its transition to a zero-carbon energy system.“Floating PV power plants are a relatively new concept for the use of photovoltaics but for which there is a great potential for electricity generation worldwide, not least because they allow a [land] neutral expansion,” said Fraunhofer ISE director Andreas Bett. The area utilization coefficient for floating photovoltaics is very high, at around 1.33 MW of generation capacity per hectare installed.[Sandra Enkhardt]More: German coal mines could host 3 GW of floating PVlast_img read more

first_imgStudy finds green investments would be best approach to spur global economic revival FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Massive programmes of green public investment would be the most cost-effective way both to revive virus-hit economies and strike a decisive blow against climate change, top U.S. and British economists said in a study published on Tuesday.With co-authors including Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz from Columbia University and prominent British climate expert Lord Nicholas Stern, the findings are likely to fuel calls for “green recoveries” gathering momentum around the world.“The COVID-19 crisis could mark a turning point in progress on climate change,” the authors wrote, adding that much would depend on policy choices made in the next six months.With major economies drawing up enormous economic packages to cushion the shock of the coronavirus pandemic, many investors, politicians and businesses see a unique opportunity to drive a shift to a low-carbon future. While think-tanks and investor groups have also been making the case for tailoring recoveries to accelerate a transition away from fossil fuels, the study aimed to assess such proposals in the light of new data.The authors examined more than 700 economic stimulus policies launched during or since the 2008 financial crisis, and surveyed 231 experts from 53 countries, including senior officials from finance ministries and central banks. The results suggested that green projects such as boosting renewable energy or energy efficiency create more jobs, deliver higher short-term returns and lead to increased long-term cost savings relative to traditional stimulus measures.“The COVID-19-initiated emissions reduction could be short-lived,” said Cameron Hepburn, lead author and director of the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at the University of Oxford. “But this report shows we can choose to build back better, keeping many of the recent improvements we’ve seen in cleaner air, returning nature and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.”[Matthew Green]More: Green recovery can revive virus-hit economies and tackle climate change, study sayslast_img read more

first_imgMassachusetts regulators okay contracts for 804MW Mayflower offshore wind project FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享 Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) has approved long-term contracts between the Commonwealth’s electric distribution companies and the 804MW Mayflower Wind offshore project off the US east coast.Mayflower Wind was selected for contract negotiation in October 2019 based on criteria established under a request for proposals (RFP) that was previously subject to public comment and approved by the DPU after review by an independent evaluator on 17 May 2019.The wind farm is expected to provide approximately 0.1% to 1.8% savings on customer’s monthly energy bills, all other bill impacts remaining equal, at a total levelised price of 7.8 cents/kilowatt hour in nominal dollars, DPU said.It said that, overall, the total net benefits, both direct and indirect, to Massachusetts ratepayers over the life of the contract are expected to be approximately $2.4bn.Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides said: “This approval ensures that the Commonwealth’s second offshore wind project offering cost-effective and locally produced clean energy can move forward. The Baker-Polito Administration’s efforts to grow the Commonwealth’s clean energy portfolio is key to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.”More: Massachusetts approves Mayflower Wind contractslast_img read more

first_imgFight the Big Bull.Most jazz musicians migrate to one of the genre’s thriving scenes in big cities like New York, Chicago, or New Orleans. Matt White decided to stay in Richmond. While Virginia’s capital isn’t known as a brass hotbed, White’s eight-piece, avant-garde ensemble Fight the Big Bull has given his hometown’s small but thriving jazz scene some national attention.White formed Fight the Big Bull during his last year of studying jazz at Virginia Commonwealth University. In a bold move, he sent a demo recording to two of his heroes: Ken Vandermark, a MacArthur Fellow and sax player from Chicago, and renowned New York City trumpeter Steven Bernstein of the Lounge Lizards and Sex Mob, who upon hearing White’s music responded with a simple two-word e-mail, “Call me.”“I recorded what was supposed to be a demo, and I made some efforts to get it in front of some artists I respected,” says White, who plays guitar and arranges the group’s multi-dimensional jazz works. “I was approaching it like a student, but those guys were both encouraging me to take the next step.”Check These OutThrough connections, some of the compositions were sent to a Portugal-based record label, Clean Feed, which released the band’s debut, Dying Will Be Easy, in 2008. Shortly after, the relatively unknown group from an unsuspecting Southern city was getting critical praise across the country and offers to play gigs in New York City jazz clubs.“It’s been interesting to be a jazz band from Richmond,” says White. “After the first record, we started getting recognition as a non-traveling jazz band from a non-industry town. There is actually an amazing jazz community in Richmond. Fight the Big Bull has been on the leading edge of getting people interested from the outside, but this town has an incredible community of acting jazz ensembles that are just as good as anything you’re going to see anywhere else.”With regular shows around Richmond, Fight the Big Bull soon fostered its own local following, drawing crowds that were attracted to the group’s mix of big band tradition and forward-thinking freeform madness. With Bob Miller on trumpet, Bryan Hooten and Reggie Pace on trombone, Jason Scott on woodwinds, John Lilley on saxophone, Cameron Ralston on bass, and Pinson Chanselle on drums, White leads the ensemble on sonic journeys that can swing with the ghost of Dizzy Gillespie, crater into chaotic improvisational cacophony, or find the appealing tuneful center of rock and American roots music—an area the composer has been exploring more lately.“I have become very interested in the American musical aesthetic,” White explains. “That has found me really digging into folk music, particularly African American folk music like old slave songs and spirituals. I started by studying jazz in school and sort of moved backwards towards old gospel and blues. It’s been very influential in my music writing.”Last year, Fight the Big Bull released a sophomore album All Is Gladness in the Kingdom with help from Bernstein, but the group also took a turn into the indie rock world, collaborating with singer-songwriter David Karsten Daniels on an album of Henry David Thoreau poems turned into songs, I Mean To Live Here Still. The band was also invited by lauded experimental roots outfit Megafaun to perform on the Duke University-commissioned “Sounds of the South,” a concert based on the rural folk songs collected by the late ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax, which also featured indie folk mega icon Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. Parts of the performance will be released as a live album with an accompanying DVD, and as a result of the show, trombonist Pace earned a spot in Bon Iver’s touring band.“Fight the Big Bull now has an interesting dynamic, heading into the future,” says White. “We have all of these great contacts in the jazz world, but we’ve also developed some indie rock currency. These worlds are very different, so we are figuring out how to connect the dots of the genre spectrum.”For now, the band still holds court with a monthly gig at Balliceaux Restaurant in Richmond, and White recently started his own label, Space Bomb Records, which he’s using to broaden Fight the Big Bull’s reach. The label will soon release solo records from Joe Westerlund of Megafaun and Nashville songstress Natalie Pratt.“I’m basing it on the old school model of classic record labels like Stax or Motown, where we’ll be the house band and work with other artists,” he explains. “We want to use the unique musical resources of Richmond to reach out to others and make records that I don’t think could be made anywhere else.”last_img read more

first_imgGetting down at the Cheat River Festival. Photo: Gabe DeWittOur annual Festival Guide is out, marking both the official beginning of festival season and the beginning of paddling season. Sure, the hardest of the core never stop getting after it on the river, but for the layperson, things don’t begin to heat up on the water until the air heats up to a tolerable temperature. The first weekend in May is usually around the time most are comfortable enough to get back on the water. Luckily for us, that is perfect timing as the Cheat River Festival is held on the first weekend in May, and has been for the past 17 years.The annual Cheat River Festival is held on the banks of the Cheat in Albright, West Virginia and is organized by the Friends of the Cheat organization. The FOC’s mission statement is “to restore, preserve, and promote the outstanding natural qualities of the Cheat watershed,” and the festival is a large part of that effort. Not only is the fest the largest fundraiser of the year for the FOC, it is also an opportunity for the community to learn about the river and its watershed. The organization sets up booths to educate festival goers of the issues concerning the river, as well as other non-profits that share the FOC vision. Over the past few years, the kids tent has been growing in popularity, hosting hands-on, educational activities aimed at having fun while learning something as well. There is also a climbing wall and tie-dying so bring a t-shirt. Did I mention kids under 12 get in free?For the big kids, there is a 5k foot race and the classic Cheat Canyon “Mass-Occurrence” Downriver Race, plus live music all day long, a silent auction, and art vendors on hand. The festival opens at noon and runs to 11pm on Saturday, May 4th. Tickets can be purchased at the gate for a scant $15.View Larger Maplast_img read more