Month: December 2020

‘The Next Big Renewable Fuel? Accountants’

first_img‘The Next Big Renewable Fuel? Accountants’ FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg News:What’s the most important innovation behind the rise of renewable energy: Taller wind turbines? Smart power grids? Spray-on solar cells?None of the above. For all the advances made by engineers that cut the cost of solar modules and new wind generation by more than half in five years, the true heroes of the renewables revolution may be a group that’s rarely recognized: accountants.To see why, consider the headlong growth of corporate power-purchase agreements — contracts where major consumers strike deals with generators to buy a fixed quantity of electricity over a decade or so.From humble beginnings around 2008, when the likes of Alphabet Inc., Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. starting taking out PPAs to power their vast data centers, these agreements grew by leaps and bounds. In the latest, between Anheuser-Busch InBev NV and Enel SpA last week, a wind farm in Oklahoma will supply half of the brewer’s U.S. electricity demand, sufficient to produce 20 billion beers a year.The capacity of renewable PPAs signed to date is more than 20 gigawatts, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Justin Wu, greater than the generation capacity of Switzerland or the Philippines.Promising to power your business with 100 percent renewable electricity certainly produces a warm fuzzy feeling in executives, but the success of PPAs can’t be put down to that alone. Far more important has been the greatest force in financial markets: risk.Power is one of the largest costs for many enterprises. Among the growing group committed to 100 percent renewables, Alphabet consumes 5.7 million megawatt hours a year and Anheuser-Busch InBev NV uses 14.6 million MWh, with electricity forming the lion’s share.It’s hard for businesses to control this cost. In the NP15 energy market that serves Silicon Valley, spot day-ahead electricity prices have veered as low as $20/MWh and as high as $130/MWh over the past decade.By entering a PPA with a renewable company whose generation costs are more or less fixed at the commissioning stage, a consumer can guarantee to meet its energy demands at a set price for years. And the generator wins a major customer whose promised cash flows can reduce the finance costs of building the plant in the first place.As costs of renewables move to, or below, parity with fossil fuels, those advantages are turbocharged. When solar or wind can be bought directly from a generator for less than it can be had from a utility, why would a major consumer not go for the lower-cost, higher-certainty option?The next leg of demand is likely to come from emerging markets, where big companies such as Apple are committing to decarbonizing manufacturing supply chains and where, in many cases, sufficient renewables capacity doesn’t yet exist.In Mexico, about 3.8GW of PPAs have been signed by the likes of ArcelorMittal, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Coca-Cola Femsa SAB, Nestle SA and General Motors Co. in recent years, according to BNEF and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. India, where HSBC Holdings Plc and Delhi Metro Rail Corp. signed solar PPAs in recent years, and 2.3GW are outstanding, is likely to be another growth area.More: The Next Big Renewable Fuel? Accountantslast_img read more

Walmart Goes Solar in Alabama

first_imgWalmart Goes Solar in Alabama FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Alabama NewsCenter:After months of construction, one of the state’s largest solar energy facilities, built in partnership with Alabama Power, is up and running in Chambers County.The 72-megawatt Alabama Solar A project sits on 1,400 rolling acres, just south of LaFayette. Seventy-two megawatts is an amount of energy equivalent to what is typically needed to power about 18,000 homes.Most of the renewable energy attributes from Alabama Solar A are going to serve Walmart through a long-term contract, to help the retailer meet its renewable energy goals. Alabama Power is marketing the remaining energy and renewable energy attributes from the project to other customers interested in supporting new renewable generation in the state.The project is operated by Boise, Idaho-based Clenera and was built by Swinerton Renewable Energy, based in San Diego. Alabama Power has a long-term power-purchase agreement with the primary owner of the facility, Houston-based Centaurus Renewable Energy, to receive all the energy and environmental attributes from the solar farm, which it can then use for its own customers or resell to others – as in the contract with Walmart.The long-term agreements make the project cost-effective for Alabama Power customers, while also supporting Walmart, one of the state’s most important retailers and employers.“This project is great for Alabama Power customers because it puts downward pressure on rates. It also helps our partner, Walmart, meet its sustainability goals. And it supports the local economy in Chambers County. It’s a win-win-win,” said John Kelley, Alabama Power’s director of Forecasting and Resource Planning.Work began in February on the $140 million project, which began generating electricity a few days ago. More than 450 people were employed at the site during peak construction, many of them local workers. The facility’s permanent employees also are being hired locally.More: Chambers County solar project now serving Walmartlast_img read more

Largest Thai wind farm now in operation

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Asian Power:The 260MW Hanuman Wind Farm project in Thailand has achieved commercial operations, an announcement by Finnish engineering firm Pöyry revealed.The project, which is owned by the Energy Absolute Public Company Limited (EA), is composed of five sub-projects located in Chaiyaphum Province, and is set to be one of the biggest of its kind in Thailand.The electricity output from this project will be sold to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), per Thailand’s power purchase agreement.“As one of the biggest wind power projects in Southeast Asia, the Hanuman project sets an example to Southeast Asian nations on how to substantially increase the domestic renewable energy production in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions, to diversify national energy production portfolio, and to reduce long term operating cost of the power system,” Esa Holttinen, Pöyry’s business director for wind power, said in a statement.More: Thailand’s largest wind farm enters commercial operations Largest Thai wind farm now in operationlast_img read more

On the Blogs: Fracking has been a ‘disaster’ for investors, former industry executive says

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享 Schlotterbeck, who led drilling company EQT as it expanded to become the nation’s largest producer of natural gas in 2017, arrived at a petrochemical industry conference in Pittsburgh Friday morning with a blunt message about shale gas drilling and fracking.“The shale gas revolution has frankly been an unmitigated disaster for any buy-and-hold investor in the shale gas industry with very few limited exceptions,” Schlotterbeck, who left the helm of EQT last year, continued. “In fact, I’m not aware of another case of a disruptive technological change that has done so much harm to the industry that created the change.“While hundreds of billions of dollars of benefits have accrued to hundreds of millions of people, the amount of shareholder value destruction registers in the hundreds of billions of dollars,” he said. “The industry is self-destructive.”Schlotterbeck is not the first industry insider to ring alarm bells about the shale industry’s record of producing vast amounts of gas while burning through far more cash than it can earn by selling that gas. And drillers’ own numbers speak for themselves. Reported spending outweighed income for a group of 29 large public shale gas companies by $6.7 billion in 2018, bringing the group’s 2010 to 2018 cash flow to a total of negative $181 billion, according to a March 2019 report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.But Schlotterbeck’s remarks, delivered to petrochemical and gas industry executives at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, come from an individual uniquely positioned to understand how major Marcellus drillers make financial decisions — because he so recently ran a major shale gas drilling firm. Schlotterbeck now serves as a member of the board of directors at the Energy Innovation Center Institute, a nonprofit that offers energy industry training programs.His warnings on Friday were also offered in unusually stark terms. “The technological advancements developed by the industry have been the weapon of its own suicide,” Schlotterbeck added, referring to the financial impacts of shale gas drilling on shale gas drillers. “And unfortunately, the industry still has not fully realized how it’s killing itself. Since 2015, there’s been 172 E&P company bankruptcies involving nearly a hundred billion dollars of debt.”More: Former shale gas CEO says fracking revolution has been ‘a disaster’ for drillers, investors On the Blogs: Fracking has been a ‘disaster’ for investors, former industry executive sayslast_img read more

Australian utility signs power purchase agreement with large solar-plus-storage project

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:A 200MW South Australia solar project that proposes to add “one of the largest” batteries in the Southern Hemisphere should be under construction by Christmas, after its developers snared a power purchase agreement with major utility, Alinta Energy.The deal, announced on Thursday, locks in finance for the $480 million Solar River Project, which is being developed by Jason May and Richard Winter near Robertstown, in South Australia’s mid-north.May, who says this moment has been two years in the making, would not disclose the financial details of the 15-year PPA, but told Renew Economy that the deal with Hong Kong-owned Alinta was for 75 per cent of the solar farm’s output, making the project “very bankable.”Solar River, which May says has been in the conceptual phase for a good deal longer than two years, is a substantial project, integrating 200MW of PV and a 100MW/300MWh battery under one generation license.Exactly who is supplying the battery is not being disclosed yet, either, but May does say it will come from one of the largest companies in the world, and use “cutting edge,” never before deployed technology.May says the energy storage system, billed in the joint press release as “one of the largest batteries in the Southern Hemisphere” will have a three-hour charge cycle, and will be cycling one to two times a day, depending on the needs of the network.More: Alinta signs up for huge solar and battery project in South Australia Australian utility signs power purchase agreement with large solar-plus-storage projectlast_img read more

Asia’s offshore wind capacity growth seen hitting 9GW annually by 2030

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Asian Power:Annual offshore growth in Asia is expected to rise to 9 gigawatts a year in 2030 from 4GW, while around 5% of potential capacity is expected to be in place, Wood Mackenzie Asia Pacific Vice Chairman Gavin Thompson said in his APAC Energy Buzz blog.Almost 1,500GW of technical offshore wind potential, which offer enormous potential for Asia, have been identified mostly in China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and Vietnam.Thompson notes that as power markets slowly liberalize across Northeast Asia, there will be growing commercial demand for renewables as costs continue to decline and governments seek to attract investment. However, he adds that much still needs to be done. Costs still need to come down by half if offshore wind is to be competitive with fossil fuels and increasing competition from other renewables, such as onshore wind and solar PV. In addition, ambitious offshore wind targets will be tough to meet without sustained government support.China remains as Asia’s largest offshore wind market, with the strongest pipeline of future projects. Some 38GW of new added offshore wind capacity is expected to come online in China by 2029.Thompson estimates the offshore turbine supply chain presents over $200 billion of opportunity in the next decade globally.More: Asia’s annual offshore growth to rise to 9GW in 2030 Asia’s offshore wind capacity growth seen hitting 9GW annually by 2030last_img read more

Top 40: Packs

first_img1. Mountain Hardwear SummitRocket 30The Summit Rocket is flimsy in a good way, with just enough design and padding in the harness to keep it comfortable without loading you down. This pack feels more like a day pack than the Sierra Designs Summit Sack, but our tester liked the multi-functionality of this bag, thanks to the removable frame sheet. Keep the plate in the bag, and you’ve got enough support to haul all your gear on a long day hike. Lose the removable frame sheet and you’ve got a legit lightweight sack that you can stuff into a larger bag for short excursions without all your gear. I found myself wanting a couple of compression straps to keep the load tight, but you can’t have everything in a single bag. 16 ounces.$150; mountainhardwear.com3. Keen Springer Backseat PackNot enough room in your daypack for a camp chair to enjoy the summit vista? Keen has solved this common problem with this combo of the two in the Springer Backseat Pack. While the back of the bag drops into instant comfort, the inside holds enough for a long day on the trail, as well as a three-liter hydration reservoir.$100; keenfootwear.com3. Sierra Designs Summit SackThis super light weight bag (12 ounces, 1300 cubic inches) has a couple of day pack features, like an external pocket, key loop, and waist belt, but make no mistake, this is a minimalist sack meant for fast and light excursions from basecamp. Stuff a couple of extra layers, lunch, water, and a map into the bag and leave the rest of your gear in your tent and you’re good to go. The roll top closure is a bit more cumbersome than a typical zipper, but the pack felt good on our backs and was snug enough to handle a light jog in order to double time it back to camp before nightfall. It stuffs easily into a multi-day pack on its own, or use it to keep your clothes organized, or as your sleeping stuff sack.$49; sierradesigns.com4. Camelbak MolokaiThe Molokai is a hands-free hydration vest, specifically designed for stand-up paddleboarding. A wide, accessible opening lets you fill the two-liter reservoir quickly without the annoying bladder unloading, while easily adjusted tension straps on the harness enable a snug fit. There are also generous cargo pockets for keeping essential quick stash items close. Available in early 2012.$100; camelbak.com5. Showers Pass VeleauCarrying water on your back is so last year. The Showers Pass Veleau puts the bladder on the back of your seat, freeing your back to, well, be free. Strap the bladder to the seat post, then run the drinking tube over your bike’s top tube with a series of magnets. After you take a sip, drop the tube and a drawstring and magnets secure it back in place on the top tube. The system is easy to use, once it’s attached to your bike. But the set up is a bit cumbersome, so don’t expect to move the bladder quickly from bike to bike. Our tester liked the storage pocket that was included on the bladder. But mountain bikers beware: the bladder juts out pretty far from the back of the seat, so you won’t be able to “sink” below the seat on a steep downhill.$80; showerspass.com6. Geigerrig 500You could go on sucking water from your hydration bladder like you’ve been doing for the last decade or so, or you could evolve to Geigerrig’s pressurized hydration bladder, which delivers a jet stream of water, thanks to the pressurized air chamber. Pump air into the bladder, squeeze the nozzle, and watch water shoot out. Okay, sucking water from a hose isn’t that difficult, but it’s nice to be able to share water with ride mates and dogs without sharing spit. Even better is the inline water filtration option, which allows you to fill your bladder directly from a stream without having to worry about purifying. The pack itself is built from bomb-proof ballistic rip-stop nylon, and has some nice details like a dedicated iPod/iPhone pocket. Being able to turn the bladder inside out and wash it in the dishwasher is also a brilliant touch.$125; geigerrig.comlast_img read more

Clips of the Week: May 24, 2013

first_imgOur favorite outdoor videos of the week from around the internet.New River Gorge BoulderingWith the newly opened climber’s campground at the New River Gorge, climbers will have great access to bouldering problems like these.Souvenir from Luke Padgett on Vimeo.RiverRock Urban AssaultCool video of the Thule Urban Assault Mountain Bike race at this year’s RiverRock.Urban Assault from Tijo Media on Vimeo.We Love Dogs and Candid Older LadiesWe love dogs at BRO, so this video is great despite the devastation tornados wrought across Oklahoma. If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you grab some tissues.Fly FishingThis is how I feel most of the time…and it’s one of my favorite things to do.last_img read more

Beer Blog: Happy International IPA Day

first_imgI’ll never understand people who bitch about made up “Hallmark” holidays. Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Secretary’s Day…what’s wrong with creating a completely fictional reason to celebrate? Are you really going to complain about getting to eat cake at work on a Wednesday (thanks Secretary Day!) or maybe getting to see your significant other naked (you’re awesome Valentine’s Day!). No, do not complain about made up holidays. Made up holidays are awesome.Especially International IPA Day. August 7th, 2014. Put it on your calendar. Yes, it’s complete bullsh#! with no real historical or religious significance, but so freaking what. It’s a Thursday, and it gives you a reason to hit the brewpub after (or during) work and order a really hoppy beer. Celebrate, you ungrateful son of a mother’s uncle.In honor of IPA Day, I’ve selected three of my favorite IPAs from Southern breweries, to ramble about. I’d argue that these are some of the best hop bombs below the Mason Dixon. Enjoy. And celebrate fake holidays for no good reason other than just because.The CorruptionDC BrauWashington, D.C.This one borders on “Imperial” IPA status with 80 IBUs. It’s got that dank bitterness you expect from a West Coast IPA. But it’s brewed over here, so we got that going for us.WayfarerGreen Man BrewingAsheville, N.C.It’s hard to pick my favorite home town IPA, and honestly, if you ask me in a week, I might say something different. But right now, I’m digging Green Man’s Wayfarer, which they’re billing as a “summer IPA” because it won’t knock you on your ass after just two beers. It’s just 5.5%, but has all the not-so-subtle charm you want out of an IPA.HopsecutionerTerrapin Beer CompanyAthens, Ga.Don’t let the name fool you—this is a sweetheart of a beer…if you love hops. There’s some malty notes in the bottle, but you’re gonna get big swigs of pine and a wee bit of citrus from the six different hops that Terrapin brings to this party. It’s kind of like drinking a dank forest. If you can imagine that.Long live IPA Day!last_img read more

Trout Unlimited Releases ‘State of the Trout’

first_imgThe Arlington, Virginia-based Trout Unlimited, one of the nation’s largest and most effective fresh water conservation organizations, has just released the ‘2015 State of the Trout’. This comprehensive report details the status of America’s trout fisheries, and some of the findings may be troubling to conservation-minded trout anglers.“The beauty and diversity of trout attracts the artist and photographer as well as the angler,” TU says. “Not only are the fish themselves works of art, but they occur in some of the most beautiful settings the country has to offer, from small gurgling country streams to high-mountain lakes to sweeping western rivers.Unfortunately, neither the status of native trout nor their habitat is secure. During the past century, trout have declined as a result of land development, overfishing, water pollution, poor timber, and livestock grazing practices and the introduction of non-native fishes and other aquatic invasive species. Stocking of hatchery trout has swamped the genes of the native trout through hybridization and competition.”According to the study, native brook trout in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic occupy only 55 percent of their original range and are currently threatened by climate change, energy operations, non-native species, and water demand.For more info, download the full report here, and check out this video featuring the President and CEO Trout Unlimited, Chris Wood.last_img read more