FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Keith Schneider for Circle of Blue:For over a century South Africa’s economy fueled itself with the nation’s ample coal reserves, which today generate 90 percent of the nation’s electricity and 35 percent of its liquid fuel, employ tens of thousands of workers, and consume two percent of the water. Kusile and Medupi, two of the largest coal plants in the world, were promoted by South Africa’s elected leaders as signature statements of the new era of liberty, the freedom to think big, and the determination to power a modern economy of opportunity that would serve all of the people. That sense of optimism and zeal was reflected in Kusile’s Zulu name, which means “new dawn.”Over the last several years, dawn has evolved into a gathering storm. Long construction delays and escalating costs, engineering challenges, and the intensifying risk of scarce water have pushed Kusile and its sister plant into the eye of a typhoon of economic, ecological, and social disturbances engulfing South Africa. In so many ways, the troubled development of Kusile and Medupi, and the tumult enveloping South Africa’s deteriorating financial and social condition, are not just mirror images of each other. The two plants, projected to be almost a decade late in completion and $US 20 billion or more over budget, are among the principal causes.The trouble is not simply a matter of managerial missteps. The vortex of disruption that envelops Medupi and Kusile reflects the clash between the economic and ecological operating systems of two centuries. Kusile and Medupi arguably represent the most prominent global examples of big projects that do not fit their time.Full article: South Africa Coal Projects Collide With Water Scarcity, Financial Turmoil Mega-Coal Plants in South Africa: ‘Big Projects That Do Not Fit Their Time’
GE, Mitsubishi to build massive gas-generating plant in Bangladesh FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters: General Electric and Mitsubishi Corporation are forming a joint venture with a Bangladesh private power firm to set up a 2,400 megawatt (MW) thermal power plant and related oil and LNG terminals in an investment of $3 billion, the companies said on Wednesday.The local firm, Summit, will hold 55 percent equity while Mitsubishi will take 25 percent and GE 20 percent. The project involves four thermal units of 600 MW each, a 380,000 meter cubic capacity liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and oil terminals with 100,000 metric tons capacity.Muhammad Aziz Khan, chairman of the Summit Group, said the plan is to launch the project next year and complete it by 2023.Nearly 30 percent of Bangladesh’s population do not have access to electricity. “In partnership with Summit Power, our HA technology enables unprecedented levels of efficiency to strengthen Bangladesh’s power generation,” Russell Stokes, president and chief executive officer of GE Power, said at a deal signing event in Dhaka.More: Bangladesh signs deal with General Electric, Mitsubishi to invest $3 billion in energy
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Poland’s largest power generators are slowly waking up to what many of their European peers have long internalized as part of their strategies: that coal may not be king for much longer.State-run utilities like PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA and TAURON Polska Energia SA have recently started to complement their coal-heavy portfolios with wind and solar power. The moves come as political and investor pressure around climate change is mounting and as rising carbon prices under the EU’s emissions trading scheme are squeezing earnings from the large hard coal and lignite-fired power stations that still produce most of Poland’s power.In a bow to EU climate policies, Tauron said May 27 that it would replace most of its coal-burning plants with renewables over the next decade, lifting wind and solar capacity to 65% of its power generation by 2030. At the moment, the utility runs 4,291 MW of thermal power plant capacity, compared with only 334 MW from wind farms and hydropower plants.Analysts are expecting a similar shift at state-owned PGE, by far the largest power producer in Poland, with an installed capacity of over 16,000 MW. The company will release its own strategic update in August.But on a May 29 call with analysts, Henryk Baranowski, president of the board and CEO of PGE, touted that the company had just signed what it says is Poland’s first corporate power purchase agreement, selling the output of a planned 5-MW solar farm to the operator of a local sulfur mine. Baranowski also said that the utility wants to develop 2,500 MW of additional PV capacity over the next decade.“This is of course a longer prospect, reaching 2030,” he said. “However, it is important that we have already taken the first steps toward that goal.” The company has also been busy looking for partners to build some of the first offshore wind farms in the country, competing with Polish energy group Polenergia SA.More ($): Polish utilities plot move away from coal as climate pressure, carbon costs rise Polish utilities taking small steps in transition from coal to renewables
New York awards contracts for 1,700MW of offshore wind FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Crain’s New York Business:New York State’s first large-scale wind-power procurement has officially been awarded to two energy developers, each of which will build separate offshore wind farms that will feed energy to New York City and Long Island, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday.At a press conference at the Fordham University School of Law, Cuomo announced the winning bids and signed the New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, legislation which he called the “most aggressive climate law in the United States of America.”The Sunrise Wind Project will be led by a joint venture between European wind-power company Ørsted and Eversource and produce 880 megawatts on Long Island and for Long Island. Ørsted and Eversource have also committed to investing $10 million to create a National Workforce Training Center in partnership with Suffolk County Community College and leading labor unions.A second project called the Empire Wind Project, will be led by European developer Equinor, producing 816 megawatts that will feed New York City. The project is expected to be developed with 60 to 80 wind turbines, with an installed capacity of more than 10 megawatts each, according to Equinor.Additionally, Cuomo announced that the state will invest $287 million to construct service and port facilities to help make New York City a hub for the energy industry. The state will also provide $20 million to develop a wind-power training program, that will be led by the State University of New York system.More: State’s first large-scale wind-power procurement awarded to two energy developers
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Smart Energy International:Da Mi Hydro Power Joint Stock Company has signed an agreement with the Asian Development Bank for the provision of funding to develop Vietnam’s first large-scale floating photovoltaic solar energy facility.The 47.5MW solar energy plant will be built at the utility’s existing 175MW hydropower plant.The ADB and the Canadian Climate Fund are providing $37 million in loan for the development of the floating solar system which is claimed to the first large-scale installation of floating solar PV panels in Vietnam and the largest installation in Southeast Asia. ADB is contributing $17.6 million in a loan, along with $15 million from the Canadian Climate Fund, and Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency will provide a combined $4.4 million loan.Christopher Thieme, deputy director-general for ADB’s private sector operations, said: “This project will help to boost the share of renewable energy in Viet Nam’s overall energy mix and decrease the dependence on imported fossil fuels such as coal. The pairing of these two clean energy technologies—hydropower and solar—is a simple but highly innovative achievement, which can be replicated elsewhere in Viet Nam and across Asia and the Pacific.”Nguyen Trong Oanh, chairman of the board of DHD, added: “We are proud to be the first company in Viet Nam to construct a floating solar power plant on a hydropower reservoir. This project aligns with DHD’s strategy of investing in renewable energy to decrease dependence on fossil fuel, contribute to energy security, mitigate climate change, and promote environmental protection and sustainable socio-economic development. Hydropower reservoirs in southern Viet Nam have vast solar power potential. Capitalizing on the strong relationship between EVN and ADB, we have worked together to catalyse a new source of power for the country.”More: Vietnam’s first, Southeast Asia’s largest floating solar project secures funding Asian Development Bank to fund region’s largest floating solar project in Vietnam
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享E&E News:Consumers Energy CEO Patti Poppe has a visual of where electric vehicles fit into the utility’s broader long-range strategy.On a whiteboard, she draws a straight line that gives way to a few big spikes that represent hot summer days when air conditioners are blowing and electricity demand peaks across the utility’s service area, which spans much of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.“We have this super-duper summer peak, and it’s literally a couple of hours a year,” she said in an interview with E&E News earlier this month. “It doubles our demand. The rest of the time we have almost double the capacity required across the entire grid.”For utility CEOs like Poppe, the goal is to flatten those peaks in demand, or “load,” into rolling hills or, ideally, something closer to a flat line. Their ability to do so has big consequences for pocketbooks and the climate, because fossil fuels supply much of the peak power during those few critical hours.Poppe, who spent 15 years at General Motors before moving to the utility business, sees EVs as an ally in that quest to flatten out electricity demand.Reductions in energy use and programs that compensate customers for reducing energy use at critical times can help the utility build natural gas plants. And demand from EVs during evenings allows the utility to better use existing power plants and transmission lines — assets that customers pay for regardless of how much use they get.The end result can be lower electric rates and a reduction in tailpipe emissions.Michigan regulators in June approved a long-range plan that calls for Consumers Energy to add more than 6 gigawatts of new solar over the next 20 years, including 1.2 GW by 2021, as it continues to phase out coal use (Energywire, June 10).More: How EVs could thwart fossil fuels, boost renewables How electric vehicles could boost transition to renewables
Siemens Gamesa to build 59MW wind farm in Djibouti FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA announced today it will build a wind farm in Djibouti, which will bring 59MW to a country that has just over 100MW of installed generation capacity.The project’s lead developer, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), said separately it is investing USD 63 million (EUR 58m) in the installation alongside Great Horn Investment Holdings, the investment vehicle wholly owned by Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority.Siemens Gamesa is to install 17 units of SG 3.4-132 wind turbines at a site spanning 395 hectares (976 acres) in the Ghoubet area near Lake Assal. The company will also provide maintenance services for at least ten years with an option for a renewal.The wind farm is scheduled to commence operations in mid-2021. AFC has secured a 25-year take-or-pay power purchase agreement (PPA) for the wind farm’s output with public utility Electricite de Djibouti.Djibouti, a nation on the Horn of Africa, is home to a population of 958,920, according to the World Bank’s data from 2018. The country has 126MW of total installed capacity, all thermal power, but only 57MW is reliably available, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) states in its power fact sheet. Furthermore, 110,000 households in Djibouti have no access to electricity.[Sladjana Djunisic]More: Siemens Gamesa to build 59-MW wind farm in Djibouti
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Market researcher Wood Mackenzie has trimmed its forecast for global wind installations in 2020 by 6.5 percent, or 4.9 gigawatts, as the industry grapples with the impact and implications of the coronavirus outbreak.Shuttered manufacturing capacity, closed borders and the threat of canceled or postponed tenders all play a part in the downgrade, which could hit major European markets hardest. WoodMac now expects the world to add 73 gigawatts of new wind capacity in 2020, still a solid jump from the 62 gigawatts built in 2019.Supportive policy moves were likely to enable the shifting of projects into 2021 without penalty, rather than offering new routes to market. Germany, for one, has confirmed it will waive penalties for delayed projects.Driven by booming demand in China and the U.S., where developers face declining subsidies, wind developers placed a record 100 gigawatts’ worth of turbine orders last year. Yet while the world’s top two wind markets may take the biggest hit in terms of megawatts, in percentage terms there could be greater pain in Italy, France and Spain, with aggressive lockdown measures now in place.The global nature of the wind supply chain is likely to limit the impact. Indeed, U.S. engineering, procurement and construction firms have told Wood Mackenzie that they have not seen any supply chain problems thus far.Shashi Barla, Wood Mackenzie’s principal analyst for global wind supply chain and technology, told GTM that China had lost between six and eight weeks of production. “Most companies will be running one or two eight-hour shifts per day. One option could be to increase this, to work two shifts instead of one or even 24 hours per day, if necessary, to compensate for the volume that’s been jeopardized,” Barla said.[John Parnell]More: WoodMac trims global wind energy forecast as coronavirus ripples across markets Wood Mackenzie cuts forecast for 2020 wind installations
The Genworth Virginia 10 Miler will celebrate its 40th year this coming weekend, September 27th – 28th, in Lynchburg, Virginia. There will be races for both runners and walkers of all ages and abilities. With more than 4000 people participating, this historic event, along with the many festivities, is sure to be a memorable one.Adult runners can choose between the 10 Miler, which costs $75, and the 4 Miler, which costs $50. There is also a 4 Mile walk option, which also costs $50. There will be live music and DJs throughout the course, so there’s really no need to use your own device. They encourage everyone to keep this event headphone-free.Please note that online registration has closed. However, there are still plenty of ways to sign up. You can wait until the day-of or head to the Amazement Square Warehouse Thursday and Friday. Here participants can also pick up their bibs and race packets. To keep things easy, all three of these races will start at E.C. Glass High School at 8am on Saturday. Check the event website for specific course information.The Amazing Mile has been around for more than a decade and is a race just for children. This year, they have the event split up into 3 categories, 1 mile, ½ mile and ¼ mile, allowing for even more participants who are 13 years old and younger. These races will take place on Friday, September 27th starting at 6:15pm. The Family Festival will go from 4:30-7:30pm and is another part of the weekend’s festivities. There will be concessions, a rock wall, face painting, and more.Like any good race, there will be a celebration afterwards. There will be food, cold beverages, live music, and massages inside E.C. Glass High School.View Larger MapLooking for something a little more South? Check out our other weekend pick, National Public Lands Day in Pisgah National Forest!
Deep within the Tennessee wilds of Big South Fork, a newly-arisen enclave has grabbed the attention of nature lovers, campers, hikers, and horseback aficionados. It’s called Charit Creek Lodge, and they’re offering a beautiful, uniquely-rustic experience only two hours outside of Nashville.Big South Fork is renowned for its bewitching wilderness. A naked park fleeced with chestnut oaks and pines spanning nearly 125,000 acres, the area is consumed with hair-raising views of nature and wildlife. A 600-foot gorge bends through the innermost heart of the park’s plateau, giving the area its distinct charm, while the park pinnacles at the Twin Arches Summit—a topmost point accessible by trail with spectacular views spanning below.Hikers in particular will enjoy the many trails winding throughout the Lodge’s surrounding area. Abundant with natural swimming holes, waterfalls, and earth-formed arches cambering overhead, these hike-able paths are available to anyone staying at the Lodge. The Sheltowee Trace trailhead—a 300-mile trail that courses through Big South Fork’s entirety—even begins at Charit Creek Lodge, making the lodge an invaluable starting point for resident hikers. The majority of trails here are even navigable by horseback or mountain bike.Horses may be stabled in their own building near the cabins, and lodge-owned mountain bikes will become available to residents in Spring 2015. Those seeking the alternative solidarity of canoeing or kayaking may paddle the Big South Fork River, the water only a few miles from the Lodge. And for less adventurous, horseshoe tossing and bocce ball are readily available. The list of activities available to guests of Charit Creek Lodge is seemingly endless.What makes the Lodge interesting is it withholds some of the oldest-standing cabins in the National Park system today, some existing since the early 1800’s. Hand-built fences zigzag the collective area, encasing it within a hollow, emerald grassland peppered with wildflowers. All cabins offer toasty, wood-burning stoves and comfortable bedding. Though electricity isn’t featured, the area has fully-operable plumbing, showers, sinks, and clean water. But let’s not forget: the experience is fully-private, offering full-service accommodations at only $80 a night.When it comes to meals, breakfast and dinner are served free with this initial price. Every meal is fully-prepared beforehand by the staff, dinner experienced by the comely flicker of kerosene lamps. Chosen foods are familiar to Southern, home-style cuisine, featured plates ranging from cornbread and cast iron skillet-grilled meats, candied yams and spicy turnip greens. Bellies filled, residents may proceed to the rocking chairs upon the decks to stargaze into the infinitesimal beauty of the Cosmos, exceedingly clear amongst the solitude of nature. Novels may be read by candlelight or roaring fires kindled outside, all the while listening to the chorus of cicadas, glow bugs streaking the star-ridden sky above.The experience of Charit Creek Lodge is true charm. It offers a classical feel like no other. It returns visitors to their center, their sense of peace and belonging in the world. The spirit becomes reawakened by the placidity of nature in this place, and after gazing back in time here, one returns to the daily grind at home increasingly self-aware.–Story by R.F. Grant, a Denver-based freelance writer. View more of his work at rfgrant.com.For more information visit the Charit Creek Lodge website at www.ccl-bsf.com.