BP: Record Drop in Global Coal Consumption in 2015

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Yukako Ono for the Financial Times:Global coal consumption dropped 1.8 per cent in 2015, its largest fall on record, according to BP, as demand increasingly shifts to greener fuels. Coal was the only fuel that lost global market share in the power market although it remained the second largest with 29.2 per cent, the lowest share since 2005.The net decline in coal consumption was due to economic growth slowdowns in the US and China where production fell too, BP said.BP said in its statistical review released today that the shift is helping carbon emission reduction:Sluggish demand growth together with the shift in the energy mix away from coal meant that the growth in carbon emissions from energy consumption stalled in 2015. This encouraging development represented the slowest growth in emissions in nearly a quarter of a century (aside from immediately following the financial crisis).Carbon emissions increased by just 0.1 per cent in 2015, BP noted.Full article: Global coal demand saw record fall last year — BP BP: Record Drop in Global Coal Consumption in 2015last_img read more

Groups Seek Federal Inquiry Into Utah-Oakland Coal-Export Subsidy

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享From KSL News (Salt Lake City):Environmental groups and other organizations sent a letter Monday asking U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other high-ranking federal officials to investigate a $53 million investment in a proposed coal shipping terminal in Oakland, California.The letter was written on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity, Living Rivers and Colorado Riverkeeper, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, Earthjustice, Alliance for a Better Utah, HEAL Utah, Sierra Club and Grand Canyon Trust. A joint statement released by the organizations Monday says the 19-page letter brings attention to “potential legal and ethical violations” of the investment.“The contents of this letter require an external review by several oversight bodies. … The economic, fiscal, financial, environmental, governance, ethical and political red flags raised by the state of Utah’s actions are too numerous to ignore,” Tom Sanzillo, an executive with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a research organization in favor of reducing coal dependence, said in a statement.The investment, passed by the Utah Legislature earlier this year, is slated to grant Carbon, Emery, Sanpete and Sevier counties 49 percent access in the as-yet unbuilt coal terminal. Proponents of the measure say it will help increase short-term coal exports to developing countries, a much-needed boon for the struggling industry.The investment is set to be facilitated by a three-way money transfer involving the state’s specially designated community impact fund, which according to its website “provides loans or grants to state agencies and subdivisions of the state that are socially or economically impacted by mineral resource development on federal lands.” The first stage of the transfer is to begin July 1.Keith Heaton, chairman of the fund’s board, has said the swapping of funds for the project is not considered unusual compared with other projects statewide, particularly transportation projects.However, opponents are also criticizing the community impact fund board, in addition to the state Legislature, and calling for an audit of the deal. Among other accusations, the letter issued Monday says the investment is tied to heavy political conflict of interest, was designed as a brazen a way around environmental and other regulations of the federal Mineral Leasing Act, and is environmentally harmful to residents close to the proposed terminal.John Weisheit, co-founder of the environmental group Living Rivers and Colorado Riverkeeper, said in a statement that the Community Impact Fund Board is complicit in an unscrupulous deal.“The Utah state Legislature and the community impact board are laundering public money through the state transportation fund to provide financial assistance to energy corporations, and not to communities where it truly belongs,” Weisheit said.The letter was also addressed to Mary Kendall, deputy inspector general for the U.S. Department of the Interior, and Gregory Gould, director of the federal Office of Natural Resources Revenue. The letter also indicated copies were distributed to Gov. Gary Herbert and John Huber, U.S. district attorney for Utah.Groups write US Attorney General asking for investigation of coal shipping terminal deal Groups Seek Federal Inquiry Into Utah-Oakland Coal-Export Subsidylast_img read more

Contura Sale of 2 Wyoming Mines Unlikely to Ease Powder River Basin’s Low-Price Problem

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享SNL:Coal prices in the Powder River Basin are low, and the recent sale of Contura Energy Inc.’s two mines in the region is unlikely to change that, according to analysts.Seaport Global Securities LLC analysts Mark Levin and Nathan Martin estimated in a Dec. 18 note that about 93 million tons of PRB coal had yet to be priced at the end of the third quarter — about 26% of total production in the region.“We think this is one major reason why PRB production will likely come in lower than flat in 2018,” they said. “Moreover, with so much coal yet to be priced, we are beginning to believe that absent a big move in natural gas prices and/or a very cold rest of December through February, PRB producers will put out 2018 volume guidance in late January/early February that is well below flat YOY.”The analysts called Contura’s decision to sell its Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines to Blackjewel LLC “a good one, maybe even a great one,” noting the move reduces Contura’s balance sheet asset retirement obligation from $200 million to $83 million, frees up $25 million in unrestricted cash, create significant income tax deductions, provides $50 million in royalty payments and reduces capital expenditures by $10 million to $12 million.However, the move will not likely help prices in the PRB.More: Western coal faces declining output, stagnant pricing despite Contura mine sale Contura Sale of 2 Wyoming Mines Unlikely to Ease Powder River Basin’s Low-Price Problemlast_img read more

Global decline in natural gas turbine demand hits Siemens

first_imgGlobal decline in natural gas turbine demand hits Siemens FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:German engineering firm Siemens plans to dismiss about 200 workers at a gas turbines parts and components service center in Houston, Texas, next year due to weaker global demand, a company spokesman said on Tuesday.The Texas operation will close between late 2019 and 2020, according to the spokesman, who called the decision “difficult.”In a letter to the Texas Workforce Commission, Siemens also pointed to overcapacity within its network.Siemens said in September that it would cut 2,900 jobs in Germany to boost the competitiveness of its Power and Gas and Process Industries divisions.Along with turbine competitors General Electric and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Siemens has faced oversupply and declining sales as demand for gas turbines has plunged.More: Siemens to shut Texas turbines service facility, dismiss workerslast_img read more

Australia rooftop solar tops 8GW mark

first_imgAustralia rooftop solar tops 8GW mark FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:The boom is small-scale rooftop solar installations has continued into 2019, with total installs for the first month of the year reaching 159.4MW – a record for the month that is typically affected by the summer holiday season.The latest data from industry statistician Sunwiz shows a 49 per cent jump on the same month last year, and Victoria posting a record for any month of any year – 41MW – beating usual leaders Queensland and NSW to become the strongest market in the country.In fact, it was the first time Victoria has taken the market lead since July 2008, when it installed the grand total of 448kW!South Australia, meanwhile, added 15MW in January and broke through the 1GW aggregate mark during the month, joining Queensland (2.4GW), NSW (1.87GW), Victoria (1.6GW) and Western Australia (1.07GW). South Australia, however, still leads the country in terms of penetration of solar on dwellings (32 per cent).All told, there is now 8.2GW of small-scale rooftop solar in Australia after the record-breaking year in 2018 when nearly 1.6GW was installed. This does not include larger rooftop solar installations (100kW and above), nor the rapidly growing number of large scale, ground mounted solar farms.Another interesting aspect of the January data is that the average system size rose to 7.7kW, a reflection of not just the larger systems being put on households, but also the growing uptake from small business (usually 30kW to 100kW systems).The rooftop solar boom is likely to continue well into 2019 and beyond. The Victoria boost is helped by the Labor government’s election promise to offer state-based rebates that aims to add another 650,000 homes over the next decade (twice its current numbers), or some 2.6GW of new rooftop solar.More: Small-scale rooftop solar installs reach record 159MW in Januarylast_img read more

China intends to cut all greenhouse gas emissions by 2060

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:China’s pledge to be carbon neutral by 2060 includes all greenhouses gases, not just carbon dioxide, according to one of the country’s top climate researchers.He Jiankun, who chairs the academic committee at the Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development at Tsinghua University, made the clarification at a conference on Monday outlining China’s road map to reaching its goal.When President Xi Jinping told the United Nations about China’s new target last month, he didn’t specify if China would target just carbon dioxide — the most prevalent greenhouse gas — or others that also contribute to global warming such as methane, ozone and nitrous oxide. He also didn’t detail how China planned to achieve the target, though the government is expected to lay out some of those measures in its upcoming five-year plan for 2021 to 2025.In line with the target, China should announce more ambitious contributions to the Paris climate accord including reducing its carbon intensity by more than 65% from 2005 levels and aiming for a higher share of non-fossil fuel energy sources by 2030, He said.However, researchers at the conference laid out scenarios that showed even that plan wouldn’t put China on the path to keeping global warming within 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels, so China would have to scale up targets even more after 2030.More: China Aims to Cut All Greenhouses Gases by 2060, Researcher Says China intends to cut all greenhouse gas emissions by 2060last_img read more

Spain’s Repsol researching direct conversion of water into renewable hydrogen with solar energy

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Recharge:Repsol is developing a technology to convert solar energy and water directly into renewable hydrogen, without the intermediate step of electrolysis.The Spanish oil major is conducting a project into so-called ‘photoelectrocatalysis’ together with Spanish gas provider Enagás and research institutes such as the Catalan Institute for Energy Research, the University of Alicante, and the Aragon Hydrogen Foundation.“Using this system, we could obtain a renewable hydrogen that is competitive and uses less energy,” said Elena Verdú, senior process development scientist at Repsol’s Technology Lab, because its main advantage compared to electrolysis “is that no electricity is used, and it, therefore, does not depend on the electricity price. This results in a significant operational cost reduction.”Photoelectrocatalysis is at the experimental stage still, but scientists have been investigating using sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, trying out various materials such as rust to tease the green gas away to mimic photosynthesis.Producing green hydrogen from renewable energy via electrolysis currently is still much more expensive than its traditional production through natural gas steam reforming.Repsol is both Spain’s leading producer and the main consumer of hydrogen at its industrial complexes. Hydrogen is a key component in refining processes, used in desulfurization and hydrocracking treatments that improve the performance and the environmental quality of refined fuels. The oil company currently is exploring various production methods to supplant its current use of hydrogen with climate-friendlier methods, as well as to use green hydrogen and ‘low-carbon’ blue hydrogen (produced from gas linked to carbon capture and storage) for the production of synthetic fuels.[Bernd Radowitz]More: ‘No electricity needed’: oil company Repsol aims to turn solar straight into hydrogen Spain’s Repsol researching direct conversion of water into renewable hydrogen with solar energylast_img read more

Heart of Darkness

first_img Wave Goodbye: Congo expedition paddlers face monstrous swells on the river for five days. Photo: Skip Brown.We had been in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for less than two hours, most of that time spent in the hot, crowded, chaotic crush of airport baggage claim. We hauled our kayaks and gear out into a pitch-black Kinshasa night and drove through a hazy gloom on a dusty road crowded with cars. Pedestrians dashed in and out of traffic with abandon. The only illumination other than our headlights came from hundreds of storefront oil lamps flickering through the dust.Suddenly, a mini-van slammed into a man crossing the road up ahead. A street vendor of some kind, his body was suddenly propelled into the smoky air, his tray of gum and trinkets briefly weightless before he crumpled to the roadside. The van never slowed and disappeared into the darkness. As we passed, it appeared that the guy was dead. Our driver motored on, explaining that we would likely end up in trouble if we stopped to help, probably get blamed for the accident and anyhow, what would we do? Where would we take him?“Welcome to the Congo,” someone said.Visiting this central African country is not for the faint of heart. The worst of colonialism followed by decades of despotic rule has left one of Africa’s largest and potentially richest countries a third-world basket case. Eighty million people live in an area half the size of the U.S. with fewer paved roads than D.C. Through this heart of darkness for nearly three thousand miles runs the Congo River, the second largest river in the world. Only the Amazon carries more water but the Congo has something the Amazon doesn’t – whitewater. Big whitewater.The Congo runs the length of the DRC twice, draining millions of square miles. Straddling both sides of the equator, it’s always raining somewhere in the Congo drainage, thus providing a fairly constant flow of between 1.5 and 3 million cubic feet per second.Just downstream of Kinshasa, and within view of the city’s crumbling skyline, the Congo begins a steep drop to the sea. It’s here that an 85-mile long canyon of pool drop whitewater known as the “String of Pearls” begins. The massive volume, combined with modest drop and incredible depths creates a hydrodynamic cauldron that has stymied explorers for centuries. In 1877, explorer Henry Stanley became the first person to travel the length of the Congo. Ultimately it took him 40 days and the loss of some of his party to get through the canyon below Kinshasa, portaging most of the way. His diaries describe the massive wave trains and his 70-foot canoes pointing to the sky as they spun in giant whirlpools.A century later, a team of French adventurers tried to run the String of Pearls. Film footage shows their rafts heading off into insane whitewater. They disappeared and were never seen again. No bodies were ever found, only a bullet-ridden raft.The daunting whitewater hasn’t only stymied adventurers. Scientists too have been kept at bay by the river’s ferocity and the DRC’s troubled past. For years it has been a difficult and dangerous place to work and the river is just recently yielding some of her secrets. The large volume, great depths and strong currents have created a habitat for unique evolution of a variety of fish and other species. Ichthyologists and hydrologists are using sophisticated equipment to map current velocities at various river depths. But they can only guess at what lies below the surface of the String of Pearls. In fact, it could be the most interesting, least studied large section of river in the world. One of the purposes of our journey was to make depth readings and hopefully prove that the Congo is the deepest river in the world.At the invitation of National Geographic Television, our team of pro kayakers was attempting a first successful descent of the String of Pearls. We were trying to run all of the rapids, take water samples at major tributaries and depth soundings, and film and photograph it all.On the eve of our journey, my mind reeled with concern over the potential dangers we might face. The DRC is an intense and paranoid place, and there are lots of people with guns. Any Army or police officer with a gun can stop you, and they usually try to shake you down with impunity. Taking photographs anywhere is an invitation for trouble.Then there’s the river: giant whitewater rapids with spine-crushing waves, huge whirlpools, shark-sized fish with shark-sized teeth, crocodiles, and hippos. Ichthyologist Melanie Stiassni said the only thing we need to worry about is the whitewater. Turned out she was wrong. center_img 1 2 3last_img read more

Marathon Pursuit

first_imgMarathon Pursuit (1/5): Anyone Can Run a MarathonHere is the tried and true, age-old, step-by-step plan for anyone (and I mean anyone) to run a marathon:Step 1: Run.Step 2: Repeat Step 1.All jokes aside, it is very true that anyone can run a marathon. You may not be shooting for the gold medal, but the only person you should be racing is yourself. I’m not ever going to say 26.2 miles is easy, but with enough patience and enough willpower, I believe anyone from Jared the Subway guy to Gladys Burrill (92 year-old marathon competitor) can go for the long run. To help you along the way, here are some simple guidelines to get you off that couch, into those running shoes, and across that finish line:Be Prepared – It’s going to be hard work, you cannot avoid this. Come in mentally prepared to work hard and occasionally push yourself. If you are not prepared for the long road ahead of you, it will be easy to get lost on its winding corridors. Know your limits, only so you can better push them. Along the way, keep in mind the wise words of Henry Ford, “If you say you can or you say you can’t, you’re probably right.”Stay on Track – Do you a simple Google search, ask a friend, or read a book; just get a plan. Follow the prescribed running amounts, take some days to rest, and track your progress. Lay down the groundwork and the big race will be a walk in the park.Listen to your Body – How’s that cheeseburger and fries you had for lunch treating you on the road? Watch your diet, get your sleep, and stay hydrated. Listening to your body seems like it should be easy, but how often do you respond to those tell-tale signs?Have Fun With It – This should be simple enough, if your pace is pulling you down, slow down a bit. Everyone should have their own reasons to run, but they should all revolve around self-exploration and the pursuit of happiness. Get out, enjoy the run, and have fun with it.Go For the Distance – Perhaps the most important advice is once a week, kick up the distance a notch. It takes time and some groundwork to start pulling down the double digit distances, but once you do, you’ll never want to stop. Get out and push those limits, see new things, and cross a new finish line every week.NYC MarathonLace up those running shoes, stretch those hammies, and drink water! Join me in my marathon pursuit as I keep my eyes on the finish line of the World’s Friendliest Marathon; the Richmond Marathon on November 10th.  Sweat will be involved, sore legs a guarantee, and a lot of healthy runs in between.Over and Out-Bradlast_img read more

Rutherford County Adventure Getaway Giveaway

first_imgSearching for bold adventure? Enter to win an adventure getaway prize package to Rutherford County, North Carolina!Our adventure prize package includes:Two-night stay in the beautiful Lodge on Lake LureLunch for two at Medina’s Bistro in Chimney Rock VillageHalf day pontoon rental provided by Lake Lure Adventure CompanyTwo adult passes to our two hour rock climbing lesson by Fox Mountain GuidesTwo adult passes to Chimney Rock ParkTwo adult passes for a zipline tour at Canopy Ridge Farm$250 gift card to help you get here provided by Rutherford County Tourism Development AuthorityTHIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED! THANKS TO ALL WHO ENTERED AND PLEASE CHECK OUT ALL OUR OTHER GREAT GIVEAWAYS.Rules and Regulations: Package must be redeemed within 1 year of winning  date. Entries must be received by mail or through the www.blueridgeoutdoors.com contest sign-up page by 12:00 noon EST on July 15th, 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, Rutherford County, Fox Mountain Guides, Canopy Ridge Farm, Chimney Rock, Lake Lure Adventure Company and The Lodge on Lake Lure 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 July 30th, 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