Old-School ‘Mindset and Culture’ Is Sidelining Traditional Utility Companies in Global Transition to Renewables

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享SNL:For a risk-averse industry that has been slow to embrace change, overhauling the DNA of electric utilities stands as a bigger challenge than outdated regulations in the face of a market transformation driven by a renewable energy surge that is pushing down power prices, said Fintan Slye, CEO of EirGrid plc., which operates Ireland’s electric transmission system.Like their counterparts in the U.S., incumbent utilities in Europe are dealing with a rise in variable renewable energy and the emergence of upstart companies looking to cash in on a changing landscape in which customers are taking on a larger role in generating power and helping to maintain balance on the electric grid.“I think regulation certainly needs to change and evolve, but I don’t think that it is the thing that is holding the industry back,” Slye said Sept. 18 at Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s The Future of Energy Summit in London. Instead, he pointed to issues with the “mindset and the culture and the approach in a lot of the incumbent companies, and trying to get that to a point where these new business models can, I suppose, flourish.”“We’re at a point where just because something worked for the last 50 years doesn’t mean that it’s the approach and the thing for the next 10,” Slye said.More: ($) As utilities face uncertain future, their biggest challenge may be themselves Old-School ‘Mindset and Culture’ Is Sidelining Traditional Utility Companies in Global Transition to Renewableslast_img read more

Credit Suisse to stop funding new coal-fired power plant development

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Credit Suisse will stop financing the development of new coal-fired power plants, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank said, a week after environmental groups urged it to act.“The bank has decided to no longer provide any form of financing specifically related to the development of new coal-fired power plants. This is in addition to the bank’s existing policy of not providing any form of financing that is specifically related to the development of new greenfield thermal coal mines,” it said on Wednesday ahead of an investor day in London.“This commitment also applies to cases where the majority of the use of proceeds is intended for the development of a new coal-fired power plant or a new greenfield thermal coal mine, respectively.”Credit Suisse was among 10 big European banks challenged by environmental groups to sever lending to utilities which they say are developing new coal-fired power plants.A United Nations report last year said almost all coal-fired power plants would need to close by the middle of this century to help curb a rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the level scientists say is needed to stave off the worst effects of climate change.German environmental pressure group Urgewald and BankTrack, an NGO focused on banks and the activities they finance, said an analysis of the 10 most active European lenders to companies which are still planning or developing new coal plants indicated total debt funding had risen to $56 billion between 2017 and the end of September 2019.[Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi]More: Credit Suisse to stop financing new coal-fired power plants Credit Suisse to stop funding new coal-fired power plant developmentlast_img read more

Energy Cost of Hybrids

first_imgAnd don’t worry that we’ll run out of electrical power: A 2005 study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory estimated that three-quarters of the country’s current small vehicle fleet could be charged by our existing electrical grid without building new power plants. (And if all those cars were replaced by PHEVs, it would eliminate the need for 6.5 billion barrels of oil per day, or 52 percent of current U.S. oil imports.) Dear EarthTalk: If you have an electric or plug-in hybrid car, you’re paying for electricity rather than gasoline all or most of the time. How does that cost compare to a gas-powered car’s cost-per-mile? And since the electricity may be generated from some other polluting source, does it really work out to be better for the environment?                         — Kevin DeMarco, Milford, Connecticut CONTACTS: Electric Power Research Institute, www.epri.com; HybridCars.com, www.hybridcars.com; Natural Resources Defense Council, www.nrdc.org. More than one half of our national energy grid is powered by coal, and in areas where PHEVs are charged through coal-provided electricity, says NRDC, there is the possibility of increased levels of soot and mercury emissions. However, charging up can be much less of a guilt-ridden affair where cleaner electrical sources like wind and solar are available. The website HybridCars.com points out that as more power plants are required to develop green power and emit fewer greenhouse gases, the environmental and health benefits will further increase. Regarding environmental impact, charging up your car with electricity from the grid also wins handily over filling up at the gas station. In the most comprehensive PHEV study to date, released in 2007 by EPRI and the non-profit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), results predict that all greenhouse gases will be reduced as PHEVs begin to penetrate the car market. Estimated cumulative greenhouse gas reductions from 2010 to 2050, depending upon how fast PHEVs take hold, range from 3.4 to 10.3 billion tons.center_img The calculation was made using an average cost of electricity of 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour and the estimated distance the car would travel on one charge, versus a car that gets 25 miles per gallon and is powered by $3 per gallon gasoline. Change any of those variables and the relative costs change. For example, substituting a car that gets 50 miles per gallon doubles the comparative electrical cost (though it still works out much cheaper than gasoline). On the other hand, in some areas where wind or hydropower is wasted at night—just when the PHEV would be charging—the utility might drop the kilowatt hour cost to two to three cents, making the charge much less costly. When you compare battery to gasoline power, electricity wins hands down. A 2007 study by the non-profit Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) calculated that powering a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) would cost the equivalent of roughly 75 cents per gallon of gasoline—a price not seen at the pump for 30 years. SEND YOUR ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTIONS TO: EarthTalk, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; [email protected] Read past columns at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/archives.php. EarthTalk is now a book! Details and order information at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalkbook.earthtalkelectricvsgasolinecarslast_img read more

Two New Epics

first_imgThe International Mountain Bike Association recently released the newest additions to its coveted list of 52 epic trails worldwide: the 22-mile Double Oak Trail near Birmingham, Ala., and the 40-mile MoCo Loop in Maryland.last_img

Clips of the Week: A Bold Plan, A Way of Life, and A Crash Reel

first_imgOur favorite outdoor web videos from the week that was:1. WVU’s Bold PlanThis is a short doc (or long web clip) of West Virginia University’s efforts, working with the WV Department of Natural Resources, to restore native brook trout to the Shavers Fork. 2. TGR’s The Way of LifeThis is the trailer for Teton Gravity Research’s upcoming release The Way of Life. You can catch the premier in Charlottesville on October 18th, or at Snowshoe Mountain Resort tonight (Sept. 27). There are other Blue Ridge towns on the film tour. To see the full slate, click here. Sickgnar. 3. Crash ReelThe Red Bull Rampage features the best riders in the world doing un-imaginable stuff on mountain bikes. Mostly they stomp, but sometimes they crash…hard. 4. Marshal Miller, Full OnSpeaking of unimaginable stuff. Here is some wingsuit/BASE/Paragliding action. I’m going to go change my shorts. Marshall Miller Go Pro Bombsquad from KAVU on Vimeo.5. The Perfect DriftA little early hatch dry fly action from Pennsylvania. The Perfect Drift: Signs Of Fall from Jake Patton on Vimeo.last_img read more

Weekend Picks: Canaan Valley Resort Wild Thing Weekend

first_imgCanaan Valley Resort in Canaan Valley, West Virginia, is inviting you to come to the valley and get wild this Saturday, March 1, for their Wild Thing Weekend. With more than 8 inches of fresh powder in the last three days and more on the way, everyone is hoping for an awesome powder weekend on the slopes. Limited lodging is still available for the weekend.  For the latest conditions, view the resort’s live webcam.Besides skiing, boarding and tubing, event activities include: a hot wing eating contest, boardercross comps, frozen t-shirt contest, and the Infamous Pond Jump. Kids will enjoy the saucer and lollipop races for the younger ones. Catch Bucky on the slopes and enjoy the outdoor live entertainment.In the evening, once the ski area closes, don’t miss the torchlight parade. Enjoy the Prime Rib Buffet in the Hickory Dining Room, DJ/Karaoke entertainment in the Laurel Lounge, and Glow Ice Skating (with free rentals). Get wild at Wild Thing Weekend.Canaan Valley Resort, 230 Main Lodge Rd., Davis, WV 26260; Reservations: (800) 622-4121last_img read more

SUP the TUCK: Day 6 & 7

first_imgJune 28, 2018, day 6,7/7 Bryson City is one of my favorite riverside towns. The friendly owners of Bear Hunter Campground welcomed us and we  set up camp on the banks of the Tuckasegee. For 2 days we read and relaxed. In the evenings we walked the mile down the railroad tracks to enjoy  a beer at Bryson City Outdoors and hung out with the eclectic locals and even met the mayor who invited us in for a piece of cake and encouragement.  On our final day we met Ashley and Daniel Hardison camping with their two small children. This energetic young couple  packed up their children for a hike to the Road to Nowhere. This hardcore family impressed us with their energy and enthusiasm for adventure. It is interesting how friendships develop on river trips. John and I met for the first time on the French Broad River in 2015 and have been paddling friends ever since. Our bantering and teasing reached a pinnacle just before we broke down camp. I turned on my iphone video and lampooned his “fancy flying cocoon tent” contrasting it with my  “humble common man’s tarp”. Our plan was to stay on the outskirts of Bryson City and retain our expeditionary mindset. There was a smooth campsite with a fire pit on river right. Securing the boats we investigated to see if this was a public campsite. As I walked out the trail from the river a cloud of dust bore down on me. I stopped and was  confronted by a wild-eyed angry woman driving a car (like the ones embedded in the riverbank!) with a small disheveled girl in the back seat. She hissed at me ”git outa here” and drove straight for John who was walking out to greet her with his usual smile and friendly wave. I whispered a silent prayer as she slammed on the brakes, skidded in the dirt and gave John an earful. Not given time for apologies we hightailed it back to the river.   The river slowly changes from wild and scenic to something akin to a back-street alley. First a giant party barn with crazy graffiti and strange colorful objects dangling from the rafters. Then a long section of stilted homes with interconnected decks reminiscent of a Bangkok fishing village. The final shock is the Automotive Riverbank Preservation Wall, a 1960’s decision to embed the riverbank with stacked cars to prevent erosion. I paddle  up to the bank and take a photo of a 1950’s car ornament set against a teal hood as John hollers “let’s get out of here!” Paddling down the final shoals we reached the expansion of Lake Fontana. This lake was not here before the Fontana dam was built in 1942. The Tuckasegee River once flowed directly into the native Little Tennessee River.  It is important to remember these historic facts when adventuring.  We encountered a fishing boat with two men, a child and a whining dog with a treble hook stuck in his snout. John is an emergency helicopter flight nurse and I am a hand surgeon so we had the skills to properly remove the hook. John quickly outpaced me in his faster kayak as we paddled several miles of flatwater in the fog and rain to backcountry campsite #2.  Soaking wet and exhausted we made a fire, set up camp and celebrated the completion of our adventure. Floating downstream,  John and I talked about this threatening encounter. We agreed  that in all our years of solo paddling this disturbed human scared us more than wild animals, poisonous snakes and hungry alligators! last_img read more

Forty Years of Books and Magazines from Spanish Artists on Exhibit in Bogotá

first_imgBy Dialogo June 05, 2009 Bogotá, 03 June (EFE).-Forty years of publications by Spanish authors, assembled for the exhibit “Browsing …. Four decades of books and magazines by artists in Spain”, which will be exhibited starting today in the Luis Ángel Arango Library in Bogotá. The exhibit includes a collection of publications of Spanish artists, painters and photographers who have compiled their works in a volume, they have designed the catalogue of their exhibitions as a supplement and they intended their creation more as an artistic magazine or as an open support to any type of format. The art curator, José Arturo Rodríguez, explained to Efe that “this exhibit is intended to disassociate the concept of what is art and what is expensive, and it attempts to eliminate the confusion between value and price”, as he defined the volume of artists as “the trade off to traditional art. Expensive, made with technical traditions in offset”. Rodríguez explained that the two hundred copies exhibited, that belong to the Spain’s Corporation for Overseas Cultural Action (SEACEX), are inexpensive and unlimited editions, and they were compiled by bridging together works from museums, expositions and galleries”. The curator asserted that “really some of these works become expensive over time, but at the time when they are published they are not a limited edition, and many times they have the price of a normal book that is re-edited because it is very successful”, The order and availability of the exhibit modules tend to follow the progression of these publications since the sixties; therefore they show the different identities which exist between the environment in Catalonia and in Madrid, and they group the themes according to the supports employed by the use of video or photography. From publications presented as an item inside a green bag to sample copies of “objectual poetry” that do not conceive the magazine as a mere compilation of pages but as a “container” for works, stand out in the exhibit for their originality. From this last type, the curator showcases the annual numbers of “The most beautiful”, which present their content in a tool case or in a gardener’s apron. Rodríguez asserted that the works of the artist Joan Fontcuberta protagonize several of the modules for the interest of their “recreations of reality”, patents in the catalogue from the “supposed doctor Ameisenhaufen and his impossible animals” and in the book entitled “Deconstructing Bin Laden”. Also a photo book from the filmmaker Carlos Saura is exhibited which illustrates a project by Ramón Gómez de la Serna and the picturesque interpretation of the “Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri on the paintbrush of the internationally renowned Miquel Barceló, as well as the photographs taken by the photographers Alberto García-Alix, Chema Madoz and Juan Muñoz. For the exhibit’s curator, the volume of artists is now experiencing its golden age, since never before has there been a production that is so extensive and with so much variety.last_img read more

Haiti Commission Assigns $1.6 Billion for Recovery

first_img A special recovery commission announced more than 1.6 billion dollars in projects to rebuild Haiti following January’s earthquake, including a 200-million-dollar plan to create fifty thousand new agricultural jobs. The projects, which also include programs to rebuild the health and education sectors, were announced at a meeting of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) in the capital, Port-au-Prince, officials said. The commission, which is jointly headed by former U.S. president Bill Clinton – UN special envoy for Haiti – and Haitian prime minister Jean-Max Bellerive, is supposed to determine what rebuilding projects will receive support from a multimillion-dollar fund offered by foreign donors. Following the devastating earthquake on 12 January, which left up to 300,000 dead in the impoverished Caribbean nation, foreign governments, multilateral organizations, and non-governmental organizations promised in March to provide $9.9 billion for Haitian reconstruction. Of these funds, $5.3 billion will be provided in the next two years. For the twenty-nine projects announced, which will cost more than $1.6 billion, almost $1 billion in funds has already been assigned, commission staff said. The projects with approved financing include a 200-million-dollar agricultural development program that will increase peasants’ total income in specific areas and will create more than fifty thousand sustainable jobs. By Dialogo August 19, 2010 I think the recovery efforts in Haiti are slow, a lot of money, little work, slow work, many meetings…many ideas, slow in acting. last_img read more

Olympics: Grenada’s Kirani James makes history

first_imgBy Dialogo August 07, 2012 LONDON – Kirani James became the first Grenadan to win Olympic gold when he won the 400-meter dash in a blistering 43.94 seconds, just a little slower than the world record of 43.18 seconds set by American Michael Johnson in 1999. “Michael’s been a huge thing for our sport and our event, and obviously everybody wants to reach that level at some point,” James told reporters. “But I’m just focused on trying to be the best I can be and don’t try to be like Michael. If I try to be like him, every time I fail it’s going to be a disappointment for me and a disappointment to everybody. I just try to be me.” James, 19, became the first non-American to win the event since 1980, and his victory set off a raucous celebration in the Caribbean nation as Grenada, with a population of 109,000, became the smallest nation ever to win Olympic gold. “The whole place is going crazy right now,” James said. “I can’t explain. I’m so excited.” Luguelín Santos of the Dominican Republic took the silver in 44.46 and Trinidad and Tobago’s Lalonde Gordon won the bronze in at 44.52. But even before the race, James already was a champion in the eyes of most fans for his actions after his semifinal heat on Aug. 5. The teenager didn’t take a victory lap or jump into the stands after finishing first. Instead, James went to South African runner Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee competing on carbon fiber prosthetic legs, and swapped bib numbers with him. Pistorius failed to post a good enough time to qualify for the final race, but the gesture by James demonstrated an incredible amount of respect for the ground-breaking double-amputee. “My hat’s off to him, just coming out here and competing,” James told reporters. “I just see him as another athlete, another competitor. What’s more important is I see him as another person. He’s someone I admire and respect.” And it’s not hard to see why James values the example set by Pistorius. James grew up in the fishing community of Gouyve where his father was a laborer. James didn’t get a way out until 2007 when a silver medal at the Youth World Championships earned him an athletic scholarship to the University of Alabama. “When you are young you don’t have anything to lose, but you have so much to gain,” James told reporters.last_img read more