Month: December 2020

Forecast: Coal Share of U.S. Electricity Generation Will Remain Flat

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Platts:Coal is likely to make up 30.8% of US electricity generation in 2017 and 30.7% in 2018, both up from 30.4% in 2016, the US Energy Information Administration said Tuesday.Natural gas is again expected to exceed coal generation, totaling 31.5% in 2017 and 32.3% in 2018, the EIA said in monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook.The EIA projects the spot Henry Hub price to average $3.12/MMBtu in 2017, up 19.5% from $2.61/MMBtu last year, and $3.21/MMBtu in 2018.The average delivered price of coal is expected to be $2.13/MMBtu in 2017 and $2.20/MMBtu in 2018.The agency expects US coal production to total 789.9 million st in 2017, up 8.5% from last year, with coal production forecast to total 787.9 million st in 2018.US power sector coal consumption is expected to total 675.4 million st in 2017, down 0.3% from last year, and 682.4 million st in 2018.More: US coal generation expected to total 30.8% in 2017: EIA Forecast: Coal Share of U.S. Electricity Generation Will Remain Flatlast_img read more

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German company moves forward with green methane project

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Ars Technica:A Düsseldorf, Germany-based energy company called Uniper announced last week that it sent methane made from renewable hydrogen into the local natural gas pipeline.The methanation plant in Falkenhagen that made the synthetic methane opened in May 2018, and the plant’s operators began testing the process to combine renewable hydrogen with carbon dioxide from a nearby bioethanol plant.The synthetic methane is sent into the local natural gas pipeline, where it’s used along with traditional natural gas. “Today, the plant produces up to 1,400 cubic meters of synthetic methane (SNG) per day, which corresponds to approximately 14,500 kWh [kilowatt hours] of energy,” a Uniper press release noted.The methanation plant receives renewable hydrogen (H2) from a nearby plant that has harnessed excess wind and solar power for electrolysis-based hydrogen synthesis since 2013. The renewable-hydrogen project is run with help from Store & Go, a European Union-funded research program that recently partnered with CO2-capturing startup Climeworks to build a synthetic methane plant in Troia, Italy.Uniper’s Falkenhagen-based methanation plant combines the renewable H2 from Store & Go’s nearby electrolysis plant with captured CO2 from the nearby bioethanol plant, combining the two molecules to create methane (CH4), the primary ingredient in natural gas. That process also creates heat as a byproduct, which is used at a nearby veneering plant.A big advantage of this methanation project is that it can leverage existing natural gas infrastructure, allowing vehicles, residences, and other customers to indirectly use renewable energy for fuel and heat. The problem with methanation is generally cost. Uniper didn’t state how much its synthetic methane costs to make, but it is likely not competitive with the price of natural gas, even in Europe, where natural gas is not as plentiful as it is here in the United States. In the US, a methanation project such as this would undoubtedly be much more expensive than using traditional natural gas, at least in the absence of policy or a tax on carbon emissions.More: Natural gas pipeline in Germany holds “green” methane; Austria has similar plans German company moves forward with green methane projectlast_img read more

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Australian state government moving forward with plans for 17.7GW of new renewables, storage

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:The NSW Coalition government has reaffirmed a commitment to an ambitious ramp-up of wind, solar and storage capacity in the state of up to 17,700MW as being key to the state’s path to achieving zero net emissions by 2050.In the Net Zero Plan Stage 1: 2020–2030 released on the weekend, the NSW government has detailed how the state government will work to leverage $2 billion in funds secured under a bilateral deal with the Morrison government to accelerate the deployment of the state’s first Renewable Energy Zone.The NSW government identified a set of core priorities for the next ten years of energy system development, at the centre of which is the deployment of “proven emissions reduction technologies,” which will see the state support increases in wind and solar generation as it deals with the looming exit of its coal generation fleet.As announced in January, the NSW government will seek to establish a 3,000MW pilot Renewable Energy Zone in the state’s central-west region, around the township of Dubbo. In its newly released Net Zero Plan, the NSW government outlines how it will also progress work to establish an additional two Renewable Energy Zones, based in the South-West and New England regions of the State, delivering up to a combined 17,700MW of new clean energy generation and storage capacity.The zones mirror those proposed by the Australian Energy Market Operator, and subsequently detailed in the NSW government’s Transmission Infrastructure Strategy, which identified the regions as having good access to high quality wind and solar resources, that could be coordinated with new investments in additional transmission network capacity. Coordinating these investments could work to avoid the grid connection challenges that are currently plaguing some regions within the National Electricity Market, particularly western Victoria which has seen projects delayed or curtailed to manage constraints within the local network infrastructure.[Michael Mazengarb]More: NSW clears path for 17GW wind, solar and storage capacity with new renewable zones Australian state government moving forward with plans for 17.7GW of new renewables, storagelast_img read more

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One of Those Days…

first_imgThe aftermath.“Fishin’ for squirrels?” he asked as I yanked at my line, which had cat’s cradled itself into a nest of overhanging branches. It was the first day of deer season, so I tried to take this hunter’s comment with a smile. He was feeling good about hunting, I was feeling miserable about fishing…and the worst was yet to come.Let me backup.The day had started better than usual with a hot breakfast and pleasant conversation with family. With my belly full and spirits high I set out for the Hidden Valley Recreation Area along the Jackson River in Bath County, Va. This portion of the Upper Jackson River above Lake Moomaw has a reputation as a good little trout stream, and although I had never seen it and the weather was chilly, I could not resist the opportunity for some fall trout fishing. I usual pack up my gear at the end of terrestrial season due to the fact that I hate nymphing…a lot. But I like fishing, and I had nothing else to do, so I glanced at the map, hopped in the car with my trusty 5wt and hit the proverbial dusty trail.It didn’t take long to get off track. A wrong turn put me at the Hidden Valley campsite, which is not where I wanted to be, although it took me about 20 minutes to realize this and then find my way to right spot down the road. Strike one.I eventually found the correct parking area, donned my waders, and strung up my rod. I opted for a dry/dropper rig to make myself feel a little better about the nymphing; at least a fish could take a crack at the bobber. The best portion of the Upper Jackson is a special regulation area above Hidden Valley; due to the mandatory three mile hike in, it does not get as much pressure as the rest of the river. This was my plan, but I put the kibosh on that when I realized I had forgotten to bring any blaze orange for the walk. Oh, well. Plenty of other water to fish, right?In an attempt to not get shot, which would have been a real bummer, I decided that walking in the river upstream was probably my safest option. I was greeted with ultra-skinny water so I just began hoofing it, until I felt something funny below my feet. I looked down to see the felt sole of my left wade boot flapping in the current, hanging on by a sliver. Nothing is quite as unappealing as handling a sopping wet, frigid slab of felt in 40 degree weather. Strike two.Undeterred, I pressed on. I tested a few holes I thought looked promising but saw no fish. Not even a sign that any fish had ever inhabited that stretch of river in history. It was about this time that I ran into Mr. Wise-Cracking Deer Hunter. Needless to say, morale was pretty low at this point, but I was able to keep it together long enough for him to get out of ear shot before I let my true feelings be known to the woods at large (Hey, he had a gun!). I broke off my flies, tied on another tandem rig – which seemed to take an hour but in actuality only took about 55 minutes – made my way to the next pool…and promptly got snagged in another stream-side bush. I do not consider myself the world’s greatest fisherman by any means, but even this was a little too much for my already frazzled nerves.“Could this day get any worse?” I thought to myself as I tried to tug my fly out of this demon bush. Then my rod snapped in half. Steeeerike Three.As I stared down disbelieving at the broken pieces of my favorite fly rod, I felt like Roy Hobbs picking up Wonderboy after that final foul ball. Unfortunately, I had no husky, wood working bat boy to bring me a Savoy Special, and there would be no floodlight destroying homerun on this day. It was a soul crushing end to what, until that point, had been a merely soul tenderizing day.During the long, humbling walk back to the car I thought about all the things that can go wrong on a trip. I had covered most of them already: got lost, forgot essentials, came unprepared, broke vital equipment. Needless to say, it was not the finest day I’ve had on the water, but then again, I was on the water. Even though I was having a, let’s say “tough,” day out there, I could not help but smile as I schlepped back downstream, thinking about all the other good days I’ve had fishing. Sure I had gotten skunked, lost a bunch of flies, ripped apart my boot, broken a rod, and been heckled by a random stranger, but things could have been worse. I could have been doing something else besides fishing.last_img read more

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Weekend Pick: SUP at the NOC

first_imgUgh, summer! The days are long, the sun is out, the kids are out of school, the living is easy…except that it is so dang hot. Motivating to get outside and run, bike, or hike in the heat of the day is a real chore. If only there was a way to get outside, get a good workout, AND beat the heat. Well, there is: Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP). SUP is one of the fastest growing activities on the water, and is taking the outdoor world by storm. To be honest, it may be the perfect activity for summertime in the Blue Ridge, combining water, workout, and sun.The best part though is the versatility. SUP can be used strictly as an exercise tool with the act of paddling giving your arms, back, legs, and core a solid pump as you cruise across flat water. It can also be used strictly as a leisure tool, as you paddle around the lake, checking out coves, wildlife, and taking the occasional dip. If you want to get a little more adventurous, you can take it out on some Class I-II whitewater and really challenge yourself. Some pros are even trying to run rapids up to Class IV on an SUP, which is pushing the limits for sure.Get a taste of what SUP is all about this weekend by heading over to the Nantahala Outdoor Center and getting set up with a rental. The NOC is the perfect spot to start your SUP habit: they offer clinics every weekend and the paddling pros will get you set up with the right board. You can get warmed up by paddling around nearby Lake Fontana, then move onto running the Nantahala or try surfing the wave that runs through the center of NOC.One stop, a full range of SUP options. What are you waiting for?View Larger Maplast_img read more

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Beer Blog: Getting Rauch With Starr Hill Smoke Out

first_imgYou gotta respect a beer that makes you want to eat a cow. Okay, if you’re a vegetarian, you may not respect that beer, but for the rest of us, it’s pretty impressive. I recently had the chance to try Starr Hill Smoke Out, a German-style smoke beer that comes off malty and sweet with a strong smoke flavor. You also get a big hit of bacon in there. Put it all together and Smoke Out is a hardy, rich experience of a beer, which is exactly what you want from a Rauchbier (“rauch” is German for “smoke”). Smoked beers aren’t for everyone, and they’re not for every occasion.I wouldn’t go so far as to put Smoke Out in the novelty beer category (you know, those inexplicably strange beers that employ habanero peppers, chocolate, and the wood chips collected from National Park campfire rings), but I have a hard time imagining putting six of these back in a single sitting. Actually, I can’t imagine having more than one. But that’s okay, the Smoke Out isn’t a session beer. It’s a complex beer that’s meant to be enjoyed sparingly. You pop the top of a Smoke Out and pair it with a cheeseburger, for example, and you’ve got a match made in heaven.Fullsteam Brewing, out of North Carolina, makes something similar with their Hogwash!, a hickory-smoked porter that’s brewed specifically to be consumed while eating barbecue.You gotta respect a beer that’s made specifically for a certain kind of food. If that’s not the hallmark of a thoughtful artisan, then I don’t know what is. And I love Starr Hill’s Smoke Out because it pulls on those primal, cow-eating strings so effectively. I don’t typically dig on the burger, but a couple of sips into Smoke Out, and the cow craving was overwhelming.Smoke Out hit the stores in July as part of the brewery’s new “All Access” series of limited release beers. Find it in stores in 22 ounce bottles. Even though it’s part of the new series of beer, Smoke Out already has a storied history with a couple of Great American Beer Festival awards under its belt.Vegetarians beware.Follow Graham Averill’s adventures in drinking and Dad-hood at daddy-drinks.comlast_img read more

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Race Ahead: Bearwallow Beast 5k Trail Run

first_imgThe Bearwallow Beast 5k Trail Run on May 4, 2014Climbing from the floor of the Hickory Nut Gorge to the scenic summit of Bearwallow Mountain, the Bearwallow Beast 5k trail run features one of the most unrelenting climbs you’ll find in the southern Appalachians — more than 1,400 feet of vertical gain. Traversing asphalt, rugged gravel roads, and single-track trail, this course offers a challenge to even the most experienced runner. sponsored-eventLocated near Gerton, N.C., panoramic view of surrounding mountains, local craft brews, and music from Brushfire Stankgrass reward those who make it to the top. Gift certificates from Jus’ Running will be awarded for the top three overall male and female finishers with $100 to first, $75 to second and $50 to third. Registered runners receive a race t-shirt (tech fabric). Camp mugs from REI Asheville will be awarded to the top three male and female in the following age groups: 15 & Under, 16-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60 & Over.Not a runner? Come out to cheer the runners on and enjoy all the mountain-top festivities beginning at 1:30 pm.  Festival-goers park at Grand Highlands and catch a shuttle or walk the forest service road to the top of Bearwallow Mountain.Schedule:Beer & food available: 1:30 p.m. All beer proceeds benefit Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy. Food Vendors: Sweet Monkey Bakery will be serving up a Cinco de Mayo menu. Underground Baking Company will be on hand with an assortment of our favorite Brezels (amazing soft pretzels—perfect beer pairing). They’ll also have some big cookies make with organic flour and European style butter.Music from Brushfire Stankgrass 2:30 p.m.Kids Fire Tower Fun Run begins at 3:20 p.m.Race Contact: Glory Hound Events, Greg DuffEmail: [email protected]: 828.400.5868Visit BearWallowBeast.com for full details.Bearwallow Beast 5K Logolast_img read more

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Mountain Mama: Become a better kayaker in fifteen minutes a day

first_imgIs it possible to become a better kayaker in fifteen minutes a day?Dear Mountain Mama,The usual suspects keep me busy after my 9-5 grind – significant other, kids, and dogs. Despite my time constraints, I want to improve my paddling.Any tips for making the most of what little river time I do have?Thanks,Office Guy Dear Office Guy,They say practice makes perfect. And that can lead us to believe we need to get in the water often to become better paddlers. When we practice the same mistakes we reinforce those bad habits.For ten years I spent nearly every weekend kayaking. I hesitated and paddled backwards whenever a move intimidated me, which ironically amounted to putting on the brakes precisely when I most needed to accelerate. When I looked at the challenge lines on easy rapids, I’d think of everything that could possibly come wrong, until a Class III rapid became terrifying and I convinced myself that the only safe line was the one I’d previously paddled hundreds of times.Then I learned that improving my paddling required me to tap into my ability to visualize. By visualizing your way to better performance, you can make the most of your limited time on the water.One study showed the visualization can be as effective as practice. The study consisted of three groups of basketball players and their free throw effectiveness over time. The first group practiced free throws for twenty minutes a day, the second group visualized free throwing for twenty minutes a day, and the third group didn’t practice at all. As predicted, participants in the third group either stayed at the same level or declined. But shockingly, the group that visualized free throwing showed as much progress as the participants who practiced every day.In fifteen minutes a day, you can improve your kayaking by visualizing success on the river. Carve out fifteen minutes in the morning when your mind is still lucid from sleep and sit in a quiet area. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breath, turning your focus inward. Then imagine yourself on the river, making a move that’s difficult for you.Be as specific as possible with the scene you imagine, using all of your senses – touch, sound, sight, taste, and smell. Imagine deliberately placing your paddle, timing your strokes to the contours of the water. Imagine smelling the early evening air lift off the water’s surface as the water thunders over a drop. See the horizon line, waves, and rocks before you and the river below. Imagine nailing the boof, paddling your line exactly as you intended. Feel the happiness, relief and giddiness of success.Next time you paddle the rapid or make the move you’ve been visualizing, take a couple deliberate breathes. Channel the same buoyancy you felt after visualizing and paddle with confidence toward the horizon line.Paddle On!Mountain Mamalast_img read more

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9 Amazing Deals on Outdoor Gear for Cyber Monday 2016

first_imgAccording to Adobe Digital Insights, shoppers are expected to spend $3.36 billion today, making it the biggest online shopping day in history. If you opted out of the Black Friday madness in favor of a little slice of outdoor heaven, you can still take part in some of the best deals of the year from the comfort of the your home, office, or Wifi-equipped adventure rig. Check out this list for 9 of the best Cyber Monday deals and steals from around the interwebs.—1. Waterproof, wireless headphones come in handy for outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes. Whether you need them for trail running, snowboarding or hiking, today is the day to pull the trigger on this essential product. DiscountDigger.com is offering a pair of Treblab XR500 Bluetooth Headphones (originally $179.99) for just $39.99.61ftf2_hhul-_sl1176__22. The Gerber Air Ranger folding knife is one of those items you won’t head out into the field without once you’ve got it in your possession. Pick one up today over at Cabellas.com for the insane price of $14.99. That’s $65 off the suggested MSRP of $79.99.download3. Need a bike, ski, or snowboard rack? REI is offering 20 percent off all Yakima Products!screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-11-23-41-am4. Eddie Bauer is making some of the finest outdoor apparel around these days. If you haven’t tested their products yet, today is the day to make it happen. They’re offering 50 percent off you’re entire purchase at EddieBauer.comd0883733_182c15. Lightweight two person tents have come a long way, and no company is pushing the technology quite like Big Agnes. Today, at theclymb.com, you can pick up their Bitter Springs 2 Person Ultra Light tent for 299.95—$100 off the original price of $399.95.big01330_9057416. In the market for some new eyewear? Snag a pair of Costa Tern Sunglasses with Polarized 580P Lenses for half price at SierraTradingPost.comcosta-tern-sunglasses-polarized-580p-lenses-in-retro-tortoise-copper-p-108rr_06-1500-27. Patagonia makes some of the best waders in the fly fishing game, and the Rio Azul Chest Waders are a great choice for adventurous anglers heading to far-flung destinations. Get them for 50 percent off today only at SierraTradingPost.com82186_lbog8. Cyber Monday is the perfect day to re-up your dwindling inventory of climbing gear. Get 20 percent off all items at cypherclimbing.com and 40 percent off all apparel plus 20 percent off all climbing shoes at fiveten.com!screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-12-14-29-pm9. Here’s a screaming deal for those of you in the market for a fat bike. Get 63 percent off the Framed Minnesota 1.0 Fat Bike at the-house.com. That’s an instant savings of $1,000.framed-mn-10-blkred-15Related:last_img read more

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Quick Hits: Queen of the Mole-rats + Hurricane-Climate Change

first_imgAfter a bloody fight, mole-rats at D.C’s National Zoo have selected a new queen For the last several months, mole-rats living in the Small Mammal House at the Smithsonian National Zoo have been engaging in a battle for supremacy. The mole-rats are just one of two mammalian species that live like colonies of bees or ants, where one queen reigns and challengers must fight or kill her in order to take her spot at the top. The study focused on rapid intensification, where weak tropical storms grow to a Category 4 or Category 5 hurricane in a short period of time. The study found that the Atlantic has found “highly unusual” changes in rapid hurricane intensification compared to what models would predict as a natural swing in climate, leading researchers to believe climate change plays a significant role. But officials could not be sure until the mole-rat gave birth. Last week, just hours after the latest challenger to the queen was found dead, the large mole-rat gave birth to tiny mole-rat babies, at last verifying her position as queen. Zookeepers say that the queen has settled into motherhood well. Thousands of UK students skip school for climate change Last Friday, thousands of students in the UK went on strike to demand action on climate change. The organizer, Youth Strike for Climate, said that more than 60 towns and cities, and 15,000 students, were taking part. The protest was a part of a wider global movement called Schools 4 Climate Action. The group has four key demands: the government should declare a climate emergency, it should inform the public about the seriousness of the situation, the national curriculum should be changed to include “the ecological crisis,” and the age of voting should be lowered to 16 so younger people can be involved in decision making around climate issues. center_img Only the queen is allowed to reproduce, and her subjects are assigned roles as the queen sees fit. Back in October, zoo officials were fairly sure who the queen of the Smithsonian National Zoo would be. One female mole-rat was larger than the others and asserting dominance without much push-back from the other mole-rats. A group of top hurricane experts, including several federal researchers at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, recently published a striking new study in Nature Communications suggesting hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean have grown considerably worse partially due to climate change. “We’re demanding the government listen to us and we will continue to make noise until they do so,” one of the protestors, Scarlett, told the BBC. “It can’t be about behavior change anymore; it has to be about system change.” A new startling study says that hurricanes are strengthening faster in the Atlantic due to climate change The findings come in the wake of two of the most damaging years for hurricanes. In 2017, Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma caused $306 billion in damages. In 2018, Hurricanes Florence and Michael caused $91 billion in damages. Each of these storms went through rapid intensification.last_img read more

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