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Month: December 2020

Questions on Puerto Rico power bill

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:Last Friday, Puerto Rico’s senate debated a bill which would set the island on a path to 100% renewable energy by 2050. And while solar and renewable energy advocates all praised the vision that this represents, there were a number of concerns raised about the details.Specifically, while expressing support for the bill overall representatives of Sunrun and Sunnova both showed concern about language that would pave the way for regulators to increase charges on customers who adopt solar via net metering. Meanwhile the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has produced a more wide-reaching critique. Specifically, Sunrun expressed concern about language which would allow regulators to impose charges on customers who adopt solar via net metering. Sunrun’s solution is to go back to the language in Puerto Rico’s original net metering proposal, which made such discriminatory.The two companies are in a good position to speak for the solar industry, as Sunrun is the largest residential solar provider in the United States and Sunnova is the largest residential electricity provider in Puerto Rico next to state-run utility PREPA.The IEEFA has argued that this bill would do little to stem a rush to natural gas development, and in particular notes the bill’s coal phase-out and a mandate that oil-fired power plants – which currently make up 2/3 of the island’s generating capacity – move to dual-fuel. “In the details – where it counts – Puerto Rico will be marching forward with another generation of fossil fuel projects,” argues Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst with IEEFA.Kunkel also criticizes the privatization law passed earlier this summer, noting that that Energy Bureau, an independent regulator, is “almost entirely written out of the contracting process”, and notes that the 100% renewable energy bill misses an opportunity to fix this. “In short, the proposed new energy law appears to be setting in motion a process whereby the short-term push for natural gas and politically-driven contracts will come into conflict with the longer-term goals for renewable energy and energy efficiency,” argues Kunkel.More: Warnings about Puerto Rico 100% renewable energy bill Questions on Puerto Rico power billlast_img read more

Recent developments show progress for Puerto Rico utility

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Bond Buyer ($):The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority moved closer to restoring its credit, as it canceled a plan for a natural gas port and received five bids for its transmission and distribution system.The developments are both financially positive for the authority, Moody’s Investors Service analyst Rick Donner said Tuesday. Last month the authority canceled a plan to build a natural gas port that had been criticized as costly and possibly inflationary, depending on gas prices, and on Dec. 6 the governor announced the authority received the bids for its grid.Puerto Rico’s Public Private Partnership Authority will evaluate the bids, [Gov. Ricardo Rosselló] said. Puerto Rico hopes to pick one of them by December 2019, Donner said.How this process and the sale of PREPA’s power generation facilities will affect the debt isn’t fully clear yet, Donner said. The local government plans to use some of the proceeds to pay off the debt. How much of the debt could be paid off this way remains to be seen.In late November PREPA canceled plans for building an offshore natural gas port at Aguirre, on the south coast. The authority had been preparing for this port since 2010 and it was its chief planned capital project since at least 2012.“Natural gas investments in Puerto Rico are expensive and risky,” said Tom Sanzillo, director of finance at Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. “The island’s fiscal plan prioritizes renewable energy investments because they are cheaper and anti-inflationary. If implemented it gives Puerto Rico a fighting chase to recover and grow.”More ($): PREPA’s moves to rebuild its system seen as positive Recent developments show progress for Puerto Rico utilitylast_img read more

Owners say Gibbons Creek coal plant in Texas will remain in mothball status

first_imgOwners say Gibbons Creek coal plant in Texas will remain in mothball status FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Denton Record-Chronicle:The coal-fired power plant Denton co-owns with three other cities will be mothballed indefinitely, now that the state’s power grid officials have agreed.Denton Municipal Electric’s general manager, George Morrow, said the Texas Municipal Power Agency has no intention of operating the Gibbons Creek coal-fired power plant this summer. Denton owns the plant together with the cities of Garland, Greenville and Bryan.The plant near Bryan sat idle over the past two winters but made electricity last summer. That won’t happen this summer under the mothball status. “We need at least six months’ notice to restart,” Morrow said.For now, there are no plans to begin the expensive process of decommissioning the coal plant, Morrow said.The Electric Reliability Council of Texas included that loss of generation when it forecast the summer electric market in December. The forecast will be updated this month.More: Denton’s coal plant mothballed as state predicts tighter electric supplylast_img read more

World’s largest solar project now operational in Abu Dhabi

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:The 1.78 GW Noor Abu Dhabi solar park has entered commercial operation on time and on budget.The announcement, confirmed to pv magazine today by EWEC, the Emirates Water and Electricity Company referred to Noor Abu Dhabi as “the world’s largest single solar project”. The project is up and running and supplying power for AED0.08888/kWh ($0.024), a figure that marked the world’s cheapest solar power when the tender was awarded in 2017.The winners were a consortium made up of newly formed Emirati water and power investment fund the Abu Dhabi Power Corporation, Japanese industrial conglomerate Marubeni Corp. and Chinese solar giant Jinko Solar Holdings.According to the EWEC release, the AED3.2 billion ($871 million), 8km² project was built with more than 3.2 million solar panels, employed more than 2,900 workers at the height of construction at the Sweihan site and will provide power for 90,000 people.EWEC chairman Mohammad Hassan Al Suwaidi said: “The completion of the project marks a significant milestone in the UAE’s energy strategy 2050, launched in 2017, to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix to 50% by 2050 while reducing the carbon footprint of power generation by 70%. This is in line with the sector’s transformation strategy by providing alternative sources of energy that can help us improve the sustainability of the water and electricity sector.”More: Noor solar park operational World’s largest solar project now operational in Abu Dhabilast_img read more

Coal giant Murray Energy files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

first_imgCoal giant Murray Energy files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global ($):Murray Energy Holdings Co. and certain subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection following months of financial distress.The move, which will occur under the guidance of new President and CEO Robert Moore, replacing Robert E. Murray, will allow the company to access $350 million in new debtor-in-possession financing.The bankruptcy filing is necessary to implement a restructuring support agreement with an ad hoc lender group holding more than 60% of the approximately $1.7 billion in claims under the company’s superpriority credit and guaranty agreement.Murray Energy is the nation’s largest privately owned coal miner and produced the third-most coal among all U.S. producers in 2018, ousting Cloud Peak Energy Inc. from the top three with nearly 60.5 million tons last year.The Ohio-based coal producer announced earlier this month that it had entered into forbearance agreement after it failed to make amortization and interest payments that were due Sept. 30. The coal producer amended its forbearance agreements and extended the period through Oct. 28.S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service downgraded their credit ratings on the company as a result, and Ratings further reduced its ratings down to “default” after the miner missed payments on loans during a grace period that ended Oct. 7.The missed debt payments suggested the company might seek bankruptcy protection, despite founder and Murray’s vow to be the “last man standing” in the coal industry. Murray has also been critical of other coal producers that turned to the bankruptcy court and shed debt as well as financial obligations.Moody’s adjusted its outlook on the coal sector from stable to negative in August, due largely to recently declining seaborne prices coupled with reduced domestic demand for the fuel.“As we think about prospects for companies over the next several years, we’re going to pay more and more attention to specific commercial strategies around exporting: who’s developing which markets, which relationships, how and so forth,” said Benjamin Nelson, senior credit officer and lead coal analyst at Moody’s, in a September interview. “I’d also say that producers at the lower end of our ratings spectrum that have meaningful exposure to the export market, like Foresight or Murray, that’s where you’ll see the most meaningful stress.”More: Murray Energy files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protectionlast_img read more

German government pushes plan for 40GW of offshore wind capacity by 2040

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:The German government wants to increase offshore wind power capacity five-fold by 2040 as part of its plan to wean the country off fossil fuels.The Cabinet on Wednesday agreed on a bill that would set a goal of 40 gigawatts of installed offshore wind power capacity in 20 years, from about 7.5 gigawatts at present. It also raised the target for 2030 from 15 gigawatts to 20.Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said the new offshore wind target for 2030 would help Germany achieve its goal of meeting 65% of its gross electricity consumption with renewable energy in a decade. The longer-term target would provide businesses and coastal regions with planning certainty, he added.Germany’s offshore wind generation is dwarfed by the number of turbines installed on land, which already have a combined capacity of 54 gigawatts.Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she supports the goal of making Europe ‘climate neutral’ by 2050 to curb global warming. This ambitious target will require the world’s biggest economic bloc to phase out the use of fossil fuels.More: Germany seeks 5-fold increase in offshore wind power by 2040 German government pushes plan for 40GW of offshore wind capacity by 2040last_img read more

Ratings agency sees 15GW of hybrid wind-solar projects coming online in India by 2024

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ET Energyworld.com:As the government continues to focus on increasing the share of renewable energy in the country, nearly 15,000 MW of wind-solar hybrid capacity is expected to come up over the next five years, Crisil said. [Crisil is an Indian ratings agency; it is a subsidiary of S&P Global.] Out of this 15,000 MW, works on nearly 10,000 MW are already either under construction or are being tendered and are expected to start feeding the grid by fiscal 2024.In the hybrid option, the system is designed using solar panels and small wind turbines generators for generating electricity.“We expect the hybrid market to grow and evolve as the number of projects and developers who seek to unlock value from the hybrid increases. Riding on strong support from central public sector undertaking Solar Energy Corporation of India and several state governments, we expect nearly 15,000 MW of hybrid capacity will come up over the next five years,” Crisil Director Rahul Prithiani said.According to the ratings agency, since generation of solar energy tends to peak during the day and that of wind energy at night, the resulting intermittence in supply impacts grid resilience, making discoms reluctant to buy power from standalone wind and solar projects. “In the hybrid option, however, these two energy sources complement each other, which could help overcome the problems of variability of generation and grid security, and thereby discoms’ reluctance,” Crisil said.As of March 2020, India had 37,690 MW of standalone wind energy capacity and 35,000 MW of solar capacity.The agency further said that currently there are proposals to set up 3,900 MW of pure-play hybrid projects, and another 4,500 MW of hybrid projects with energy storage systems.More: About 15,000 MW of wind-solar hybrid capacity to come up in 5 years: Crisil Ratings agency sees 15GW of hybrid wind-solar projects coming online in India by 2024last_img read more

Europe’s installed floating offshore wind capacity could hit 7GW by 2030, trade group says

first_imgEurope’s installed floating offshore wind capacity could hit 7GW by 2030, trade group says FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Offshore Wind Journal:WindEurope chief executive Giles Dickson says floating offshore wind has “huge growth potential, is no longer a niche technology,” and commercial-scale projects are ready to be built.Speaking at the FOWT 2020 in Marseille, France, Mr. Dickson told delegates that floating wind has matured and achieved significant cost reductions over the past years. Further cost reductions now depend on future volumes, he said. “If Europe puts the right policies in place, higher production volumes of floating turbines could reduce the cost of floating offshore wind to €40-60/MWh (US$47-71) by 2030.”With the 30-MW Hywind project in Scotland and the 24-MW WindFloat Atlantic project in Portugal, Europe is the global technology leader for floating wind installations. At least seven countries have concrete plans to install floating wind in the next decade. New projects are planned in France, UK, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Sweden. Further increasing the pipeline for floating wind projects will be key to exploiting floating wind’s cost reduction potential.Europe wants offshore wind to be 25% of its electricity by 2050. WindEurope analysed the potential for floating offshore wind sites in the Northern Seas, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and calculates that 330 MW of floating offshore wind can be installed by 2022 and up to 7 GW by 2030. To reach the EU expansion targets, 150 GW of floating turbines could be spinning in Europe by 2050. This would mean that by 2050, up to a third of all offshore wind installations could be floating.Today, the 62 MW of floating wind capacity in Europe still represent a small share in total offshore installations. But floating wind technology increases the potential for electricity generation from offshore windfarms. While bottom-fixed installations are limited to coastlines with low water depths and favourable seabed conditions, floating offshore wind has seemingly unlimited global growth potential. Rapidly increasing interest from governments around the world in floating technologies, lately in South Korea, offers huge international growth opportunities for the European wind industry.[David Foxwell]More: WindEurope sees potential for 7 GW of floating wind by 2030last_img read more

Debate: Should Performance-Enhancing Drugs Be Legalized?

first_imgShould performance-enhancing drugs be legalized? Our experts debate.YESIn theory, banning doping prevents athletes from taking unfair shortcuts and keeps sports on a level playing field. In reality, these bans have done less to protect fairness and punish rule-breakers and more to discourage athletes from reaching the highest levels of success.Lance Armstrong, the face of doping to many, is an example of the flawed logic behind bans. Yes, Armstrong had an advantage because of his illegal activities. But is it really an unfair advantage if the majority of your competitors are also using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs)? According to Business Insider, 20 out of 21 top three Tour de France finishers from 1999 to 2005 were taking PEDs, and 36 of 45 top three finishers from 1996 to 2010 were also doping. While “everybody’s doing it” might not fly in a kindergarten classroom, sports can and should have an internal standard of behavior. The current bans simply don’t work, and keep rule-following athletes from being competitve with their peers.Sports are constantly evolving. Walter Payton wasn’t training with world-class coaches in state-of-the-art facilities when he dominated. Babe Ruth wasn’t drinking Gatorade or using creatine when he amazed his fans. We don’t ban the advantages that modern day athletes have over their predecessors, and that attitude of progress should apply across the board. Getting a better night’s sleep can enhance performance. Eating a healthy breakfast, taking vitamins and supplements, training harder or simple genetic advantages—there are countless factors that contribute to sports being “unfair.” But that’s the whole point of competition.How many people would have cared about the Tour de France without Armstrong’s stunning feats? Before failing a drug test in 2006, Shawne Merriman was in highlight reel upon highlight reel during his 2005 season as the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Who can deny the excitement of 1998’s record-breaking MLB home run chase between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa? Recently busted Alex Rodriguez is a career .300 hitter with 647 career homeruns, a 14 time all-star, a 3 time AL MVP and a World Series Champion.We can continue the trend of hand-wringing and hysteria, with one doping scandal after another, further embarrassing the field of professional athletics – or we can legalize and regulate performance-enhancing drugs to the benefit of sports and sports fans alike. Let’s do ourselves and our athletes a service by allowing them to perform at their best.Mac McCann is a columnist for The Horn at the University of Texas-Austin.NOAmericans love high performance and we love technology. Why, then, do we get our knickers in a twist when professional athletes—think Lance Armstrong or A-Rod—turn out to have achieved their great feats with a boost from performance-enhancing drugs and other banned technologies?Not everyone turns up their nose when a high-profile athlete dopes. Some offer excuses: the pressure to perform is overwhelming, and the rewards are too tempting to resist. We allow special diets, scientifically optimized training, and novel equipment, so why ban drugs, or, in Lance’s case, bags of whole blood? Aren’t they all just technologies intended to produce outstanding performances? In some sports in some eras, nearly every competitor was doping: how else could an athlete have a shot at winning?That last argument—everyone does it, so I’m just leveling the pharmaceutical playing field—provides half of the answer. When I first asked elite athletes more than 30 years ago why drugs were being used, the answer was unequivocal: Whatever reservations you might have, no one wants to give up a competitive advantage, especially to someone who might not be as talented or dedicated as you but can get enough of an edge from drugs to beat you.That story of a drug race spiraling ever upwards, much as the arms race drove nations to build more and deadlier weapons, is one of the best reasons to ban doping in sports.  It doesn’t end with the pros either. Amateur athletes, including high school and perhaps younger participants, look to their heroes for examples of how to succeed in sport. If doping was allowed, we could expect non-elite athletes to pursue the latest advances in performance enhancing drugs just as they buy the latest running shoes, bikes, or tennis rackets. In no universe is this a healthy development. Pros and those who emulate them will be driven to use drugs in doses and combinations no scientist has ever studied.Doping in pro sports is a useful prod that forces us to ask what sport is all about anyway? Why do we play? When we see an exceptional performance, when we experience one of those moments of grace and excellence in ourselves, what makes it so special? If excellence in sport is the intersection of talent and dedication, as I believe, then drugs distort and distract. eOur shared understanding of the meaning and value of sport will determine whether doping should continue to be banned. That decision is up to all of us.Thomas Murray is the president emeritus of the Hastings Center, a non-profit bioethics research institute. What do you think readers? Join the debate by leaving a comment below with your opinion.last_img read more

The 14th Annual Frederick Running Festival

first_imgThe CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Frederick Running Festival, taking place Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8, offers a terrific Health and Fitness Expo, a Twilight 5K and a Kids’ Runs on Saturday; and the Half Marathon and Two-Person Half-Marathon Relay on Sunday.  It’s innovative with numerous medal/race combinations and inventive amenities—an excellent choice for your early May running.THumbsUp-FRED15By Skip CleaverRegional runner convenience:  Corrigan Sports Enterprises was built on the idea of convenience for participants.  From multiple remote packet pickups and the excellent fairgrounds venue to the weekend schedule it is set up for ease and convenience. Even before the weekend begins they have made arrangements for packet pickup in several regional Sports Authority locations.FrederickFrederick is a quaint old town with lots of history and charm, a lot to offer, and is a great venue for running.  It has historically been a crossroads going back to colonial times, with lots of activity during the American Revolution and the Civil War.  It was settled in 1745 and was largely German until the mid 1800s.  Adding to the German founders, a regiment of Hessians was stationed there during the Revolution and most stayed after the war.  Their stone barracks still stands, as do many other historical landmarks.  Yes, this race provides an enjoyable running tour through a wonderful small, scenic, historic city.THumbsUp-BGR-FRED15Frederick is uniquely situated in the Mid-Atlantic for convenience of travel too.  It’s easy to get to from many locations and east coast metro areas.  Frederick is Maryland’s second biggest city after Baltimore and located in what has become a “tri-state” region—close to Virginia and Pennsylvania.  Frederick is accessible from several major airports and arteries (Baltimore and Washington), and at the intersection of Interstates 70 and 270 and US Route 40—and not far from Harrisburg and York, PA and the Virginia border.ScenicStreet-Crowd-FRED15Frederick is home to many historic buildings and institutions, including the famous Maryland School for the Deaf, housed in the old Hessian barracks, built during the Revolution.  It later housed prisoners of war, served as a hospital for Civil War wounded and became the first Maryland School for the Deaf in 1867. Happy-Couple-FRED15Celebrate at the Fairgrounds…All races will finish on the fairgrounds track and there is plenty of seating in the grandstands for family and friends to cheer you on. Medal-Pose-2Ladies-FRED15Finishing participants will receive their premium custom medals and tech shirts and then move on to the Celebration Village, with live entertainment.   There is plenty of room for you and your family to kick back and enjoy.  There will be beer for adults and games for kids; it will be a true celebration. Medal-Bite-Couple-FRED15Visit Frederick and Take the ChallengeRunners of all abilities are welcome at Frederick, and walkers too.  There is something for everyone.  The Kids’ Fun Runs and the Twilight 5K will go on Saturday evening and the CareFirst Half Marathon and Half Marathon Relay on Sunday morning.  And of course step up for that Nut Job Challenge- and the big time bonus medal that’s given to anyone who runs the half marathon AND the 5K!  The Frederick Running Festival is Maryland’s hidden gem for runners.  The courses are flat, fast, convenient, historic, and easy to access.NutJob-Medal_FRED15Everything is convenient at the CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Frederick Running Festival.  It’s a well run, well organized race in a scenic and historic place.  Corrigan Sports Enterprises and the city have made changes to make the event even better over the years.  So do not miss the Frederick Running Festival in Frederick, Maryland on Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8, 2016.   This is your kind of spring race—everything is just right.  It’s a great mixture of fun and challenge with just rewards and unique opportunities.  There are many reasons to attend the Frederick Running Festival.last_img read more