India expands offshore wind development effort FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Recharge:The Indian government set 5 GW and 30 GW offshore wind targets after an initial expressions of interest process (EOI) attracted a roll-call of global industry players including sector leader Orsted, a clutch of European utilities, local groups ReNew Power and Suzlon, and oil majors Equinor and Shell.The country’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) said the “keen response” to the EOI for a first 1 GW offshore project prompted it to adopt the 5 GW goal for 2022 and 30 GW by 2030 in a move designed to “give confidence” to the sector.MNRE said the target “may look moderate in comparison to India’s onshore wind target of 60 GW and its achievement of 34 GW, and [a] solar target of 100 GW by 2022, [but] would still be challenging considering the difficulties in installing large wind power turbines in open seas”.The first EOI, which closed for entries on 8 June, saw a ‘who’s who’ of the sector line up to be part of the action, the earliest stage of a process that is supposed to lead to an auction to build the first project backed by a 25-year PPA.Global pacesetter Orsted and fellow European heavyweights E.ON, Engie and Innogy are all on a list of participants published by India’s National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), which shows various alliances of developers, OEMs and contractors seeking to meet the requirements laid out for the EOI.Global cost reductions seen in offshore wind have convinced its supporters it has a role in India, despite the low prices of onshore wind and solar power there.More: India sets 30 GW offshore wind goal as global players line up
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg News:Bright and breezy days are becoming a deeper nightmare for utilities struggling to earn a return on traditional power plants.With wind and solar farms sprouting up in more areas — and their power getting priority to feed into the grid in many places — the amount of electricity being generated is outstripping demand during certain hours of the day.The result: power prices are slipping to zero or even below more often in more jurisdictions. That’s adding to headaches for generators from NRG Energy Inc. in California to RWE AG in Germany and Origin Energy Ltd. in Australia. Once confined to a curiosity for a few hours over windy Christmas holidays, sub-zero cost of electricity is becoming a reality for hundreds of hours in many markets, upending the economics of the business in the process.“There is no time pattern for having negative prices in Belgium,” said Marleen Vanhecke, an official at the nation’s grid manager, Elia System Operator SA. “This phenomena is mainly determined by high wind generation in Germany and enough import capacity towards Belgium.”Periods with negative prices occur when there is more supply than demand, typically during a mid-day sun burst or early morning wind gust when demand is already low. A negative price is essentially a market signal telling utilities to shut down certain power plants. It doesn’t result in anyone getting a refund on bills — or in electric meters running backward.Instead, it often prompts owners of traditional coal and gas plants to shut down production for a period even though many of the facilities aren’t designed to switch on and off quickly. It’s left the utilities complaining that they can’t earn the returns they expected for their investment in generation capacity.“Energy market price signals are critical to telling generators where to build new resources,” said Abe Silverman, deputy general council at NRG Energy, which is concerned about the anomaly in California. “As negative prices become more prevalent, we’ll have to evolve our energy market price formation strategies to ensure that we will continue to drive efficient investment.”Prices are below zero most often in Germany, which was the first major economy to make a big push into renewables. It’s phasing out nuclear reactors and coal power, leading to more frequent swings in the electricity market. It also exported its negative costs to surrounding markets. Denmark, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and even France have all registered negative hours during this year or last.More: Power Worth Less Than Zero Spreads as Green Energy Floods the Grid Zero-cost electricity disrupts traditional power-generation models in U.S., Europe and Australia
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Economic Times:India is fast moving towards an energy future with systems that will combine solar power and battery technologies, according to research firm JMK Research & Analytics. The levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of such a system is already economical for the commercial and industrial category in most of the states for both open access and rooftop solar projects, it said in a statement.“Solar+storage is also a viable option for the standalone system where there is no grid connectivity, and the electricity is generated using diesel gensets. The cost of storage systems is likely to fall further with the proposed battery manufacturing facilities. Thus, improving the financial viability of solar+storage systems,” the firm said in a press release.JMK Research considered three scenarios to understand the current cost dynamics of battery storage. In this, they analysed technical and financial parameters of the solar+storage system for behind the meter installations for the commercial and industrial segment.The rationale behind the four-hour battery backup is that the peak demand comes from 6 pm to 8 pm in the evening and as more and more states opt for the time-of-day tariff, the battery back-up of four hours would help consumers avoid the high cost of tariff applicable in these peak hours.The financial model is based on assumptions including for solar a depreciation of 3.6 per cent for 25 years and for battery a depreciation of 9 per cent for first battery life, followed by 6 per cent for second battery life.The tariff of the combined solar and battery system would range between Rs 6.6 per unit and Rs 9 per unit under different capacity scenarios for both the technologies.More: India moving towards a solar-battery combined future and faster than before Research shows solar-plus-storage is an increasingly viable option for India’s power sector
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Australia is set to see a massive expansion of renewable hydrogen production, after a $300 million project destined for Western Australia succeeded in securing investment funding.The project is being developed by Perth-based company Infinite Blue Energy, which is planning to build what will become Australia’s largest hydrogen production facility using supplies of wind and solar energy.The Arrowsmith Hydrogen Project, which will be built at a facility in the town of Dongara, located 320km north of Perth, is expected to produce 25 tonnes of green hydrogen each day, powered by wind and solar.Works on the project are expected to commence by the middle of the year. First production from the facility is planned for the final quarter of 2022.The production of renewable hydrogen has been promoted as a key solution to the need to store and transport energy, while reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Hydrogen has the potential for use in energy storage, as well as in use as a transport fuel, but has so far seen limited uptake, despite rapidly falling costs.The Arrowsmith Hydrogen project is the first of many planned by the consortium, which hopes to have many similar projects established across regional Western Australia. The company already has plans for a follow-up project that will have the capacity to produce as much as 75,000Kg/day of renewable hydrogen.[Michael Mazengarb]More: Massive hydrogen project gets green light after securing $300m investment Australian company secures funding for major green hydrogen project
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Australian energy utility Origin Energy has thrown its hat deeper into the ring for the promising green hydrogen sector, flagging plans for a huge 300MW electrolyser in Townsville and production of more than 36,000 tonnes of green hydrogen a year for the export marketsOrigin has also signaled its interest in building up to five big batteries, including at the site of Australia’s biggest coal generator, Eraring – which is due to close in 2032 – and at other sites including existing gas fired generators and a new solar farm in South Australia.In its investor day presentation on Thursday, Origin says it is working with Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries on the project in Townsville, and has already completed a feasibility study. It expects engineering and design work to begin this financial year. Its also targeting a green ammonia project in Tasmania, this time of 500MW and 420,000 tonnes for the domestic and export markets, and plans to begin engineering and design work on that project next financial year.CEO Frank Calabria says Australia is a likely supplier of renewable fuels given its renewable energy potential and geographic proximity to growing Asian markets. He says demand will be customer led, but Japan looks strong from the mid-2020s and other markets in Asia will emerge in the 2030s.Origin says it is looking at a potential big battery at the 2.6GW Eraring coal generator, the biggest in Australia and which is due to close in 2032. Origin says it is working hard to improve the flexibility of the generator’s four units to deal with the growing amounts of rooftop solar and large scale renewables.It does not reveal the likely size of the big battery at Eraring, but says it is considering batteries at three of its biggest gas generator plants – up to 300MW at Mortlake in Victoria, up to 200MW at Uranquinty, and an unspecified size at Darling Downs in Queensland. As reports last week, it is also considering a 300MW solar and storage plant at Morgans in South Australia. It has not yet narrowed down the hours of storage, as that will depend on the market opportunities that it identifies.[Giles Parkinson]More: Origin eyes huge Townsville green hydrogen project, five big battery options Australia’s Origin Energy plans major green hydrogen, battery storage projects
Click here for a list of the best telemark skiing destinations in the Southeast.On a snow-covered hill in West Virginia, there is a large group of men wearing skis and holding hands. I am one of those hand-holding men. We begin skiing together down the hill on telemark skis, and when our instructor yells “turn left,” we all drop our left knee, genuflecting in unison. To spectators, we probably look like a group of first-time skiers on a field trip. In reality, we’re all advanced alpine skiers trying to learn the mystifying art of the telemark turn.Most skiers in the U.S. grow up using traditional alpine gear—the standard downhill skis, boots, and bindings sold at every ski shop from North Carolina to Oregon. With alpine gear, the skier’s stiff plastic boots are locked into place at the toe and heel. It gives you a secure platform designed to facilitate wedge and parallel turns. Telemark skiing is a different beast altogether. The heels of a telemarker aren’t locked to the ski. They’re loose, allowing for a wide range of movement that is defined by a flamboyant ballet-like turn. Imagine a knight kneeling before his king. That’s what a telemark turn looks like—only the kneeling is done on steep, snow-covered mountains at high speeds.Telemark is considered the most difficult form of skiing. Its graceful and demanding signature turn separates telemark skiers from the rest of the skiing world. They are a small niche of purists, dedicated to the aesthetics and physicality of the elaborate motion that defines their people. By and large, the alpine skiers and snowboarders who make up the lion’s share of the snowsports demographic look at telemarkers with bewilderment and confusion. Why would anyone choose to do lunges down a mountain?For me, the telemark turn is like a magic trick, repeated over and over before my eyes. It looks so difficult and painful, and yet so beautiful and fluid. Watching a good telemark turn makes me cringe and smile at the same time.So here I am, in Canaan Valley, West Virginia, arguably the Mid-Atlantic’s epicenter of all things “freeheel,” trying to make the switch from alpine to telemark. I’m taking a clinic from Dickie Hall, president of the North American Telemark Organization (NATO), that’s booked solid with 30 other advanced downhill skiers trying to break the seal of the telemark turn. Hall teaches several of these clinics each winter across the East, each one packed with skiers just like me wanting to evolve into more graceful skiers and tap into the mystical force that surrounds freeheeling.According to the Snowsports Industry of America, telemark is the fastest growing snow sport in the country. While snowboard and alpine sales have plateaued, telemark continues to rise. But it’s not likely to become mainstream anytime soon. The learning curve is steep—and so is the cost of gear.“Skiing telemark forces you to participate with your gear on a physical level unlike any other form of skiing, “ says Dickie. “But there’s a transformation that takes place once you free your heel. Telemark is more difficult, but it changes you.”* * *We start on the baby hill displaying our primitive telemark turns for Dickie and his instructing partner, Steve “just call me Stroh” Strothers, so they can get a baseline for our current telemark skills. We ski down the hill one by one, each doing a simulation of what we think the telemark turn looks like. I watch half a dozen of the others ski before me, then dazzle Dickie and Stroh with what I feel could be the world’s greatest first telemark turn. Never mind the fact that I don’t actually turn, my rented telemark skis clanking together, my knees shaking, my entire body off balance.Sure, there are some kinks I’ll have to work out of my telemark turn, but certainly Dickie will see that I’m a natural, uniquely suited to this difficult art form. I imagine being pulled aside and offered a refund for the clinic. “There’s simply nothing I can teach you, son,” Dickie will say after seeing my virgin telemark turn. “You’ve got it down pat.”“You’ve got an alpine hangover,” Dickie says to me instead. “You’re trying to apply what you’ve learned through years of alpine skiing to telemark, but it’s a different kind of skiing altogether. You have to forget everything you know about skiing and start over. You have to lose your alpine mentality.”My “alpine mentality” is affecting everything from where I carry the weight of my body to my relationship with gravity. To help break us from our wicked alpine ways, Dickie drops some key knowledge that unlocks the mystery of the tele turn:1) When you drop your back knee, balance your weight in the center of your front foot— not on your toes. This provides a stable platform throughout the lunge.2) Point your front knee in the direction you want to turn, then wait for your skis to follow your knee. Don’t force the turn; let the skis turn you.Waiting for my skis to turn demands a level of patience and trust that I do not have. The movements in alpine are quick and powerful. Telemark is more languid and controlled. I drop my back knee, keep my weight balanced in the center of my front foot, then point my knee left, but nothing happens. For maybe half a second (which feels like an eternity when you’re skiing toward a tree), I keep going straight. I force myself to stick with it, and the skis do eventually turn, allowing me to complete my first big, swooping telemark turn from one side of the hill to the next.I spend half the day practicing the mini telemark turn—a half-kneeling sort of movement—on the baby slope with a half dozen other skiers afflicted with “alpine mentality.” Eventually, my “lunges” get deeper and my turns get more precise.Later, we follow Dickie uphill through the woods, creating big “Z” patterns as we climb up a steep, forested slope. “Your universe changes when you realize this, the act of climbing, is skiing,” he says. “Alpine is all about the downhill, about the fall line. But telemark is about motion. It’s about going up and down. It’s about flow.”These sort of hippie thoughts pervade the telemark world. Dickie has been trying to convince us all morning that there’s a serious connection between telemark and tai chi. Telemark is, in essence, the counter culture movement of the snowsports world. It is a niche filled with people who are dropping out of the alpine skiing mainstream in order to satisfy a deeper, more personal connection with the mountains they love. Sure, you can ski telemark at any resort—and many people do. But learn to telemark well, and you can move beyond the industrial skiing complex of modern resorts into the backcountry.Dave Lysey is, hands down, the best telemark skier in our clinic. He’s a nationally ranked biathlete (cross country skiing and target shooting) who’s sleeping in his car in the Whitegrass parking lot this weekend. I asked him what he loves about telemark, and he gives me the standard one word answer: “Freedom.”Stroh agrees. “Alpine skiing is limited. You can only go in one direction and you can only ski at lift-served resorts. With telemark gear, you can go anywhere, ski anything. Pull your car over on the side of the road, and you can ski any hill you want.”* * *On the second day of the clinic, we head up the mountain at Canaan Valley Resort and ski off the backside of the peak, disappearing into a thick canopy of red spruce. There’s some climbing, but it’s easier than you’d think on telemark gear. The key to climbing up a steep slope is to stand up straight and pound your boot into the snow, letting the wax grip the terrain.In less than an hour, we arrive at the Pipeline, a backcountry run with 2,000 feet of drop that’s cherished by telemark skiers. We move down the Pipeline in small groups, covering a few hundred vertical feet, then resting for a few minutes before moving on to the next section of the run. The pitch is steeper than what we skied the day before, and most of my newfound telemark skills are falling apart. Instead of turning, I glide into the thick, forested edges of the trail and fall over.“You’re posing!” Dickie yells to me from the bottom of a pitch. “You’re trying to be a picture of the telemark skier.” He goes on to explain to all of us the core difference between telemark and alpine. “Forget the static jerking of alpine. Telemark is about fluid movement. As soon as you sink to the bottom of your turn, you should be rising back up again. Rise and fall softly.”Slowly, I get a little better—by ‘better,’ I mean fewer face plants and tree collisions.Soon we find ourselves at the beginning of an intimidating tree run, where each tree looks like a concussion or broken collar bone.“Eventually, you stop seeing the trees and you only see the spaces between the trees,” Dickie says, in true Zen Master form.Better skiers head straight down the line, rising and falling perfectly with their advanced telemark skills. I make my way down slowly and carefully, cutting big “S’s” into the hill by skiing against the fall line. It’s a slow process, but it feels good. I’m in the woods of Canaan Valley skiing tree runs with a foot of fresh powder. This is why I wanted to free my heel in the first place: I can ski up and down and sideways, with the entire, snowy world at my freeheelin’ feet.Click here for a list of the best telemark skiing destinations in the Southeast.
Nobody in the country is promoting cellulosic ethanol this way, and nobody has our distilling process. Traditionally, you use intense heat to distill ethanol. That’s what makes it so energy intensive and expensive. We’ve created a way to do it without heat. What’s holding you back from taking Kudzunol nationwide? Funding. But we’re close. We’re talking to investors. We need $3.5 million to put up a proofing plant that could put out 15 million gallons a year. One oil company with a chain of gas stations has already promised to buy all the ethanol we can produce once we’re up and running. The USDA has a guaranteed loan project for alternative fuels where if you have 20% of the funds in place, it will put up the remaining 80%. It’s part of the new energy policy. We think it’s a precursor to even better things. When did you discover kudzu can be used as a biofuel? I started working on turning kudzu into ethanol in the late ‘90s. It occurred to me that if a plant grew this fast, it must have high concentrations of chlorophyll, which is a natural sugar. Being a good southern boy, I figured it could be a good source for moonshine. I made my first batch of kudzu moonshine on a table-top still that we called the African Queen. It was a 30-gallon milk jug with $300 worth of copper tubing. Even though I was making moonshine, I knew it could be used as a fuel, but it wasn’t commercially viable in the ‘90s. So I waited for the right time. And $4 gasoline seemed like the right time. Why make ethanol from kudzu? Why not corn? If you’ve spent any time in the South, you’re familiar with the invasive green vine called kudzu. It was introduced to America in 1876 as part of a Japanese garden display during the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. Gardeners thought it was pretty and began using it in decorative landscaping, but kudzu didn’t really spread until the 1930s, when the Civilian Conservation Corps planted it across the country for erosion control. It worked so well at halting erosion that farmers were paid $8 an acre to plant the vine in the ‘40s. By the ‘70s, the federal government realized their mistake and declared kudzu an invasive weed, but the damage was done. The Southeastern climate proved to be perfect for growing the vine (heavy rainfall, hot summers, no natural predators), which now covers more than 7 million acres throughout the region. The weed can grow a foot a day in ideal conditions and now threatens the life of our natural forests. The U.S. Forest Service has been researching how to kill kudzu for two decades but has yet to find an effective method. Industrious southerners have used the vine for basket weaving, livestock grazing, and even medicine (Harvard Medical School is researching kudzu in the treatment of alcoholism). Some folks even eat the plant (fried kudzu leaves, anyone?). Now, Agro Gas Industries, a small company in East Tennessee, wants to use kudzu as a stock for biofuel. They call it Kudzunol, and they claim it can become the country’s next great fuel source. BRO talked with Agro Gas Industries founder, Doug Mizell, about the future of this southern weed. There are 7.2 million acres of kudzu in the South. It’s growing unchecked at 125,000 acres a year. And you can harvest it twice a year without affecting its growth pattern. We have the potential to make eastern Tennessee and north Georgia the Saudi Arabia of this country. It’s not just kudzu, but agriculture waste products. It’s all readily available right here. What exactly are the agriculture waste products added to Kudzunol? Grass clippings, saw dust, food waste, the tops of potato plants and melon patches and peanut plants. We can make fuels from anything green. If it’s got cellulosic sugar, I can make fuel from it. We’re fortunate enough to live in a place where kudzu is plentiful, so we use that as the hook to our country song. But there should never be a fuel shortage in this country. You can make gas from amazing things. That’s been part of our sermon all along. Our company will never make fuel from food or feed. Corn is a commodity, so as soon as you put another pressure on it, their price goes up. But fuel from zero value feed stocks like kudzu is cheap and has none of the negative environmental or social implications. Do you have any competition in the field of kudzu ethanol?
Tsali Recreation Area’s 42-mile trail system in Nantahala National Forest is one of the most popular mountain biking destinations in the country, and according to a lot of mountain bikers, recent trail work did more damage than good.The largest concern with the work involves the creation of a high number of rolling dips for drainage implemented throughout the entire trail system. Rolling dips are the preferred form of water control in modern trail building, but according to Woody Keen, the president of the Professional Trail Builders Association, the new dips don’t meet standards. “They’re too abrupt and most of them don’t drain water,” Keen says. “The work didn’t enhance the mountain bike experience. It made it worse.”The botched trail work has prodded local bikes to create a new SORBA chapter dedicated to maintaining it. It will also reach out to other land managers in the area, like Western North Carolina University and the Fontana Village, to help develop and maintain trail systems outside of Tsali.“Tsali is like the Grand Old Dame of mountain biking,” says Bryson City Bicycles owner Andy Zivinsky. “We’re gonna bring Tsali back to what it used to be.”The next Tsali trail work weekend is scheduled for April 15-17.
From our friends at Elevation Outdoors:Back in Salt Lake City – The snow is sparse in town but there was enough up at Solitude to try some gear out. Here’s who we visited on the snow:Tubbs SnowshoesNative EyewearG3 Genuine Guide GearLeki USAAtlas SnowshoesHelly HansenSponsored by Verde PR
Who needs a hydration bladder now that craft beer is in a can? If you came up in the South, chances are your canned beer of choice was Budweiser. If you were counting calories, make that a Bud Light. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. Your choices were limited. That’s no longer the case. Craft brewers across the country are now sticking their best beers in aluminum, which means it’s never been easier to drag a couple of cold ones to the trailhead for post-adventure hydration.And that canned beer might even taste better. The seal on a can is tighter than a bottle, and no light can penetrate the aluminum. The result is fresh beer longer. Cans also take less packaging and are easier to recycle, so feel free to drink more.Here are five of the South’s best canned beers. Stay hydrated.Full Nelson Pale Ale, Blue Mountain Brewery, Afton, Va. Blue Mountain is a legit destination brewery, with a working hop farm, full restaurant, and gorgeous tap room, but a recent expansion into a full production facility means you’ll be able to find Blue Mountain beers outside of the Charlottesville area. Lucky you. The Full Nelson is the brewery’s flagship beer, a bitter (but in a good way) American-style pale ale that’s sure to please hop-heads. bluemountainbrewery.comFestie, Starr Hill, Crozet, Va. Starr Hill was in operation long before the craft beer craze hit the Southern Appalachians. The Festie is a German lager, and Starr Hill’s salute to Oktoberfest (don’t panic, it’s available year-round). Low on the bitter scale and only 4.8 percent alcohol, it’s an ideal post-adventure brew. Starr Hill also cans its popular IPA, Northern Lights. starrhill.comShiva IPA, Asheville Brewing Company, Asheville, N.C. Of all the 700 breweries in Asheville, ABC is the only shop currently sticking their beer into cans. The brewery’s can portfolio continues to grow, but we like Shiva, a citrusy Indian Pale Ale that translates well into a can, with a grapefruit aroma and over-carbonated, light body. ashevillebrewing.com Old Chub, Okskar Blues Brewing Company, (soon to be) Brevard, N.C.Oskar Blues started the craft can craze more than 10 years ago with their supremely hoppy Dale’s Pale Ale. For several years, it was the only “decent” beer you could get in the can, earning a soft spot in the hearts of craft can lovers everywhere. Now, OB has canned their Scottish ale, Old Chub, which comes in at a whopping 8 percent alcohol by volume. What’s a Scottish ale? Think malty and semi-sweet. Think good winter drinking. And yes, Oskar Blues is yet another big craft brewery that’s decided to call North Carolina home. They have plans for a massive brewery/restaurant/music venue for downtown Brevard. oskarblues.comFarmer Ted’s Farmhouse Cream Ale, Catawba Valley Brewing, Morganton, N.C. Stuck just outside of the Asheville beer bubble in the foothills town of Morganton, Catawba Valley often gets overlooked by beer aficionados because it doesn’t have an Asheville address. Don’t hold that against them. Farmer Ted’s has a hint of sweet corn in the aroma and finish, complemented by a bit of caramel. As the name suggests, the extra carbonation gives the beer a creamy body. catawbavalleybrewing.com Shift, New Belgium Brewery, (soon to be) Asheville, N.C. Okay, New Belgium’s not a Southern brewery. But they’re working on that by building an East Coast brewery and taproom in Asheville’s uber-hip River Arts District. In the meantime, try the Shift, a pale lager that’s light on the hops, but provides a clean, crisp finish. It’s a supremely refreshing session beer, perfect for a hot summer day. You can also find New Belgium’s flagship beer, Fat Tire, and Ranger IPA in the can. newbelgium.comThe Corruption, D.C., Brau Brewing Company, Washington, D.C. Being a brewery tucked into our nation’s capital, all of D.C. Brau’s beers have political names. If the Corruption sounds bitter, that’s because it is. This hoppy IPA registers an 80 on the IBU (International Bitter Units) scale, which means it’s bold and not for the faint of heart, much like the young brewery that produces it. dcbrau.com