California carbon reduction goals are good news for storage industry

first_imgCalifornia carbon reduction goals are good news for storage industry FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):For California to completely decarbonize its power system by 2045, as prescribed in the landmark bill recently passed by the state legislature, much more than Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature will be required. Among the prerequisites is a massively expanded energy storage industry, placing energy storage among the bill’s biggest potential beneficiaries.“This bill, in our view, would significantly activate the market for energy storage within the state,” said Kiran Kumaraswamy, market applications director at Fluence Energy LLC, an energy storage joint venture of AES Corp. and Siemens AG. Getting to a 100% zero-carbon energy system will require “several thousands of megawatts of energy storage, in addition to what’s already been proposed, to make sure that the flexibility needs of the system are met in the longer term,” he said.Proposals already range up to 10,000 MW of new energy storage in the state by 2030, compared to just 177 MW of battery storage and roughly 4,500 MW of pumped hydroelectric storage installed as of June 2018, according to the California Energy Commission.One thing is clear: without explosive growth in high-capacity, low-cost battery storage, the zero-carbon goal is almost certainly out of reach. A recent report from the California Energy Commission found that achieving 100% zero-carbon generation “appears to be cost-prohibitive without major advances in low-cost energy storage.”“There’s really not that many other options for flexibility,” said Alex Morris, policy director for the California Energy Storage Alliance. Morris cited several “major roles for storage” as the state aims to reach its interim target of 60% renewable energy by 2030. These include “deep cycling” to absorb excess solar generation during midday peak production periods, as well as instantaneously discharging to offset drops in solar output, for instance when clouds pass, and providing “fast ramping” when solar energy fades toward sunset and demand spikes.More ($): California’s zero-carbon grid bid could supercharge energy storagelast_img read more

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Ignoring skeptics, U.S. Energy Department presses forward with ‘clean coal’ initiatives

first_imgIgnoring skeptics, U.S. Energy Department presses forward with ‘clean coal’ initiatives FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy intends to fund competitive research and development of next-generation coal facilities in Fiscal Year 2019, as part of the federal government’s ongoing efforts to support the struggling coal industry.DOE dubbed its efforts the Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small and Transformative) initiative. The agency said it envisions a coal fleet of small units, sized 50 MW to 350 MW, with high efficiency and close-to-zero emissions.DOE says it plans to issue three competitively-funded R&D efforts, which may ultimately culminate in the “design, construction and operation of a coal-based pilot-scale power plant.” Opponents of costly coal development have their doubts, while proponents say the fuel remains essential. But with renewables on the rise, gas cheap and battery prices falling, can anything save coal at this point?“No one is going to build a coal plant in the U.S. for the foreseeable future. Its operational characteristics  aren’t consistent with what utilities need,” John Coequyt, Sierra Club’s global climate policy director, told Utility Dive. DOE has laid out numerous traits it wants future coal plants to have, and will direct research to focus on plants that reduce water use, are capable of high ramp rates and minimum loads, have near-zero emissions, can also burn natural gas and and are at least 40% efficient.A recent report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) predicts the U.S. will retire 15.4 GW of coal capacity this year, representing 44 generation units across 22 plants. By 2024, an additional 21.4 GW of coal capacity will go offline, according to IEEFA.DOE announced its inquiry into coal-plant improvements in May, aiming to make them more efficient, flexible and reliable. President Donald Trump campaigned on rebuilding the declining industry, and his administration has backed multiple research initiatives into long-term improvements.DOE expects to release a Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking “conceptual design for coal-based power plants of the future and an option to conduct a preliminary front end engineering design,” sometime this month.That would be followed by a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for cost-shared research and development focused on steam turbines that can be integrated into a 50 MW to 350 MW “future advanced coal plant design.” DOE expects to issue the announcement in the second quarter of next year. And a FOA for cost-shared R&D projects focused on critical components and advanced approaches will likely have two closings. The announcement is expected in the third quarter of FY2019.In its announcement, DOE said the Coal FIRST initiative “will make coal-fired power plants in the future more adaptive to the modern electrical grid.”More: DOE to fund ‘Coal FIRST’ initiative, critics say it’s political not practicallast_img read more

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Wood Mackenzie: U.S. battery storage installations set to soar to 7.5GW by 2025

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:The U.S. energy storage industry smashed its quarterly installation record with an influx of major projects in the third quarter. The industry had just broken records in the second quarter, but it beat that period’s performance by 240 percent, installing 476 megawatts, according to the Energy Storage Monitor out Wednesday from Wood Mackenzie and the Energy Storage Association.The growth came in spite of the coronavirus fallout, which slammed the broader economy and conventional energy companies in particular. But this did not stop a growing number of states from deciding that the ability to store electricity and release it on demand will be central to maintaining their grid networks amid the rise of renewable power plants.More significantly, this quarterly record does not look like an outlier. Annual deployments are expected to more than double in 2020 overall and nearly triple in 2021, according to Wood Mackenzie’s analysis. The U.S. market is expected to reach 7.5 gigawatts in 2025, which amounts to sixfold growth from 2020.“It’s the hockey stick that we’ve long expected, and it’s finally being realized,” said Daniel Finn-Foley, energy storage director at Wood Mackenzie. “It’s still remarkable to see that y-axis get adjusted so quickly.”2020 is on track to be the first year the U.S. storage market surpasses 1 gigawatt of installations and $1 billion of market value. In another sign of rapid growth, the U.S. in Q3 alone installed more storage capacity than any country besides the U.S. or China did in all of 2019, Finn-Foley said.The pipeline of storage projects seeking interconnection skyrocketed by 64 percent last quarter, he noted, surpassing 130 gigawatts. Not all of those potential projects will get built, but the pipeline surged across the country, indicating an unprecedented geographic spread in storage development interest.[Julian Spector]More: WoodMac: Biggest U.S. battery build-out ever in Q3 Wood Mackenzie: U.S. battery storage installations set to soar to 7.5GW by 2025last_img read more

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The September issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine is Live!

first_imgDEPARTMENTSEDITOR’S NOTEWalk in the Wildest WoodsFLASHPOINTA New National Park Proposal Gains Momentum in West VirginiaCONTRIBUTOR QUESTIONSMusic in the Woods?THE DIRTWorld Cycling Championships Ride into RichmondSix Best Warm BeersTHE GOODSFly Guy Brown Hobson’s Favorite Fishing GearQUICK HITSZipline legislation enacted after fatal accidentCarolina Biker Wins NationalsLance controversy at TourTRAIL MIXWidespread Panic Percussionist Records New Album in AshevilleFEATURESROCK OFFTuning into music in the woods tunes you out of the experience, argues Jess Daddio.TOP TROUT WATERSExpert angler Kevin Howell reveals his five favorite fly fishing spots in Appalachia.WHEELS OF CHANGEThe two-wheeled economy has already transformed Appalachia. How will bikes shape the future of the Blue Ridge?ZERO/ZEROBlind A.T. thru-hiker Trevor Thomas tackles his toughest challenge yet: helping more visually impaired kids explore the outdoors.SEEING IS BELIEVINGAsheville’s Jay Hardwig leads an outdoor adventure camp for blind children who use bat-like echolocation to navigate the trails.HOME ON THE TRAILJennifer Pharr Davis crosses paths with un-housed hikers on the A.T. who spend more nights under the stars than most outdoor enthusiasts.last_img read more

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Trail Spikes in Sylva – ‘Domestic Terrorism’ – Prompts State Action

first_imgSYLVA, NC – The spikes intentionally set on a hiking trail in February was such a vicious act, it prompted the town and state legislature to take serious action in what one representative calls an act of domestic terrorism.A runner and a hiker were snagged by 16-penny nails with their heads sawed or clipped off at an angle to create sharp spikes that were hammered into tree roots and branches along the Black Rock Trail in the town’s Pinnacle Park.The runner’s foot was impaled, while the walker stepped on a spike that only went through the shoe.The heavily wooded and wildly popular trail in Jackson County was closed for days while Sylva Police, town employees and volunteers scoured the woods with metal detectors, eventually finding more than 60 nails.The trail spiking occurred just before an annual trail race, the Assault on Black Rock. Volunteers removed all the nails they found and swept the trail with a metal detector before the race, which went on without incident.In March, the Sylva Town Board voted to appropriate funds to install surveillance cameras in the parking area and throughout the woods, said town manager Paige Dowling.In April, the General Assembly got involved. Rep. Mike Clampitt, R-Swain, co-sponsored a bill that makes it a misdemeanor for someone who “willfully and maliciously sets a trap in a public park for the purpose of injuring another person.”The crime rises to a felony if someone is injured by the traps, which include:Guns, ammunition or explosive devices attached to trip wires or other triggering mechanisms.Sharpened stakes, nails or spikes.Electrical devices.Lines or wires with hooks or other sharp objects attached.Devices that produce toxic fumes or gases.The bill passed the House unanimously but is now sitting in the Senate Rules Committee.“I think the people of my district, as well as people in any district, should have the freedom to go into someplace like a public park to exercise and be safe, rather than have to be worried about domestic terrorism,” Clampitt said, adding that the bill should come up for vote in the short session.Sylva Police Detective Doug Farmer said there have been no arrests and the case is still active. Police are offering a $1,000 reward to anyone with information relating to the trail spikings.“The trail has been checked again and we’ve had no further problems. We’re still trying to generate leads. We have no real motive at this point. I’m hoping somebody eventually talks or brags about it somewhere,” Farmer said.The police now check the permit box daily – visitors who are camping at the primitive sites are required to register – and regularly check the Pinnacle Park parking area and monitor the video cameras “in some unique places,” to see if anyone returns to the scene of their crime.So far, there has been no unusual activity, Farmer said.Dowling said the 1,100-acre park, owned by the town, is immensely popular, with trail runners, hikers and backpackers using it at all times and days of the week, even through the winter. On most weekends, the 20-car parking lot is packed.“It was just such a mean act and something we had never faced before,” Dowling said. “The volunteers were incredible, going in with metal detectors, helping to remove the spikes. They worked for days on end. But it didn’t deter the (Assault on Black Rock) race or any hikers.”The hateful act received national headlines. Dowling said she received calls from people in Washington, Montana, New York and other states offering to send Sylva metal detectors.“When this happened we realized there are remote places on the mountain where you don’t get cell signals. So trail cameras have been utilized to watch for criminal activity but also to let us know if someone is hurt and is not able to call for help,” Dowling said. “This was an eye opener.”Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Sylva Police Department at 828-586-2916.From the Asheville Citizen Times.last_img read more

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TDEC issues warning for anglers at Parksville Reservoir on the Ocoee River in TN

first_imgTDEC issues warning for anglers at Parksville Reservoir on the Ocoee River in TN Photo: Mist rises from a tranquil section of the Ocoee river in Tennessee in early summer. Courtesy of Getty Images by Robert Clay Reed The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) today announced a new precautionary fish consumption advisory on Parksville Reservoir on the Ocoee River in Polk County, the department said in a news release. The advisory is due to elevated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in catfish species. Other fish species are not impacted. “Plogging is a great way for all people to stay active, enjoy their public spaces, and contribute to helping keep their community clean and beautiful, said Helen Lowman, CEO of Keep American Beautiful. “We want everyone to be safe during the pandemic, and an essential part of community health is ensuring that trash ends up where it belongs, in the bin.” Learn more or register here.  TDEC advises that pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children avoid eating the fish species included in the advisory and that all others limit consumption to one meal per month. TDEC will post warning signs at public access points on the Parksville Reservoir as a reminder.  Department of Energy to pay S.C. $600M over plutonium removalcenter_img The Department of Energy and South Carolina announced a $600 million settlement agreement over the department’s failure to remove 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium from the state, E&E News reports. The settlement is the result of the DOE’s decision to abandon their plan to turn the 34 metric tons of plutonium into nuclear fuel at a proposed mixed oxide fuel fabrication facility in South Carolina, as outlined in a nuclear arms treaty with Russia, E&E News says. The non-profit Keep America Beautiful invites the public to participate in their virtual TrashDash plogging event which seeks to raise awareness of the critical issue of littered personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks and gloves, on the ground and in waterways, the organization said in a news release. In case you were wondering, “plogging” is a combination of jogging and picking up litter. “Basically, the Department of Energy is buying 15 years of peace with South Carolina as it relates to this specific issue,” South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said during a news conference.  Keep America Beautiful invites public to participate in PPE litter pickuplast_img read more

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Brazil Launches Plan Against Organized Crime on Its Borders

first_imgBy Dialogo June 10, 2011 Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff launched a plan that integrates the operation of the Armed Forces and the police in order to confront organized crime along the country’s sixteen thousand kilometers of border and affirmed that Brazil will cooperate with the ten countries with which it shares a border. Brazil’s Border Strategic Plan is “a commitment” made during her campaign in order to guarantee public safety in Brazil, Rousseff said. “This is not an action that looks to transfer the problem of our borders to neighboring countries. On the contrary, it seeks to work with neighboring countries to build protection for that border area, where ten countries of our Latin America are living together harmoniously, without war, without conflicts,” she affirmed. Defense Minister Nelson Jobim announced that there will be dialogue and coordination with neighboring countries, with which he expects to initiate a series of meetings. Brazil has 16,000 kilometers of border, of which more than 9,000 kilometers run through rivers and lakes, while the remainder is on land, often in areas as complicated to protect as the Amazon. “We’ve never had coordination and integration (…) Now Brazil’s security forces are proceeding to function in a coordinated and integrated way,” Justice Minister José Eduardo Cardozo emphasized. More personnel on the border and more technology are the main ingredients of this Brazilian plan. “Starting in August or September” Brazil will begin to operate unmanned aircraft that will comb those borders. A joint operations center and a monitoring center that will work with satellites will also be created. Brazil borders directly on nine South American countries, Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, and Suriname, in addition to the territory of French Guiana, which belongs to France.last_img read more

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Colombian Police Chief José Roberto León Riaño Lauds Security Successes

first_img Gen. José Roberto León Riaño, director of Colombia’s National Police, praised the government of President Juan Manuel Santos for reducing the level of drug trafficking and terrorism in his country. “Before, Colombia was viewed as a sort of narco-democracy,” said León, who was appointed to his current job by Santos nearly a year ago. Previously, he had served as deputy director of the same agency and is responsible for designing the Quadrants National Neighborhood Watch Program now in operation. León spoke at a May 22 seminar, “Citizen Security in Colombia.” His visit was sponsored by Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington think tank. At one point, León said, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia had as many as 32,000 fighters under its control. Today, FARC’s ranks have been reduced to 8,000, he said. Authorities have captured 41 of the group’s leaders while dismantling drug cartels in Medellín, Cali and Bogotá, and along the Atlantic coast. Meanwhile, the incidence of both coca production and kidnapping have dropped. Quadrants Plan put into action But once the doors to profitable drug trafficking and terrorism are closed, police will face other problems such as cell phone theft and micro-extortion — in which businesses, especially in the mining sector, are charged for daily or weekly protection. “The worries of Colombians from 15 years ago are not the same as those of today,” León said, noting that gold mining has become a particularly lucrative source of funds for organized crime. Although the leaders of gangs such as Los Urabeños, Renacer, Los Rastrojos and Héroes del Vichada have been captured — causing the gangs to lose territory and influence — some of their members are now involved in micro-trafficking instead. In order to effectively combat these new security problems, Colombia’s National Police has instituted its Quadrants Plan, whose goal is to boost police presence in vulnerable municipalities throughout the country and reduce violent crime. Under the plan, a “block officer” on every street helps ensure that police presence. Such officers must be responsive to citizens’ needs, be transparent in their actions, act in a friendly manner to locals and show empathy, León said. Kidnapping also on the decline, says NGO In April, the nonprofit group Fundación País Libre reported that the incidence of kidnapping in Colombia had dropped to the lowest level in a decade. The NGO said 58 people were kidnapped during the first three months of this year, down from 97 over the same period in 2012. This translates into an average 4.5 kidnappings per week, compared to eight per week in 2000. In Bogotá, the drop in kidnappings is even more dramatic: only three so far this year, down from 21 in January, February and March of 2012. But the foundation’s director, Clara Rojas, said “this figure is just a sample and it does not yet fully reveal the whole picture, since unfortunately around 75 percent of those affected do not report these crimes.” Police Chief José Roberto León Riaño said that at present, 32 percent of taxes paid by Colombian citizens goes toward security. The country has established 28 training schools for officers, with more in the pipeline. León said Colombia — with its stable economy and improving long-term outlook — is an example for the rest of the world when it comes to fighting terrorism and drug trafficking. In fact, Colombians now serve as advisors to 17 other countries including Afghanistan. “If someone has life experience, others should be able to take advantage of that,” he said. By Dialogo June 21, 2013last_img read more

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Colombian Government Delegates Head to Cuba to Resume Talks with FARC

first_imgBy Dialogo August 20, 2013 After discussing political participation, they will address the issues of illicit drugs, disarmaments and victims’ reparations. In late June, government delegations and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) came to an agreement over the agrarian issue, the first of the five points in the negotiation agenda. De la Calle traveled to Havana with the High Commissioner for Peace, Sergio Jaramillo, and delegates Jorge Enrique Mora, Frank Pearl and Luis Carlos Villegas. The Colombian government delegation, currently under negotiations with the FARC and headed by former Vice President Humberto de la Calle, traveled from Bogotá to Havana on August 18, in order to resume talks with the guerrillas, official sources reported. After a brief scheduled recess, the government and guerrillas will return to the negotiation table in order to discuss the guerrilla’s political participation, the second point on the agenda. On August 16, President Juan Manuel Santos appointed Villegas the new Colombian ambassador in the United States without specifying the date on which he will take office and whether or not he will continue negotiating with the FARC once he assumes his post in Washington. last_img read more

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Armed Forces Cooperate with Civilian Agencies to Battle Fires across Colombia

first_imgNotwithstanding, today’s fires represent a greater threat because the current population expansion means that fires are occurring closer and closer to residences. The droughts caused by El Niño leave vegetation vulnerable to fire, lower river levels, and warm the Pacific Ocean. Almost 10 percent of fires this year were “holistic” in nature, meaning they spread rapidly through dry vegetation, Capt. Miranda said. The forest fires started after “controlled” fires, which include camp fires and the burning of trash or waste, got out of hand and engulfed large agricultural areas. Armed Forces, a fire-fighting team After that law was enacted, the DNBC began providing a series of training sessions to platoons and battalions throughout the country, primarily to members of the Disaster Response and Prevention Engineering Battalion, which consists of 16 platoons located strategically in different regions. These service members are now trained to respond effectively to a fire, serving as reinforcements in emergency situations for the Fire Department, which has 22,000 firefighters nationwide. “No aid organization in the world has the capacity to confront all cases of emergency, especially forest fires,” said Captain Germán Miranda, DNBC’s director. “So the support from the Armed Forces is crucial to battling the fires and helping the victims.” So far in the second half of the year, the Disaster Response Engineering Battalion has provided more than 1,553 flight hours, dumping 3.3 million gallons of water. The Air Force has carried out 672 flight hours to conduct over 3,000 water dumps. For its part, the Army has over 1,000 service members working full time on extinguishing the fires. The National Army Air Assault Division has provided support through a fleet of helicopters, making more than 1,070 water dumps using Bambi buckets – containers that hold between 420 and 660 gallons – to fight the forest fires directly from the air. The wave of fires that began in July and continues to plague Colombia has already destroyed 101,000 hectares in 504 municipalities. With 4,000 conflagrations detected, and that number growing daily, Colombia is facing one of its most serious forest emergencies this decade. The lack of rainfall caused by El Niño, a weather phenomenon related to the warming of the Eastern-Equatorial Pacific Ocean, is the primary reason behind the wave of fires. The weather pattern manifests in erratic cycles that last from three to eight years. Colombia has a dry season in which forest fires are common, though there are usually fewer blazes than there have been in 2015. The El Niño phenomenon General Law 1523 on Fire Departments, which was enacted in 2012, authorizes the Armed Forces and the Police to support Fire Departments in special situations, such as fires at high-rise buildings or in large or difficult access areas, as well as during natural disasters. Contingency plan to fight the firescenter_img The response to the emergency that has been impacting the country since July has been possible due to support from the Air Force and the National Army’s Aviation units, in addition to Civil Defense offices, the National Police, and the Red Cross. All of these efforts have been coordinated through the National Disaster Management Unit. Colombia is preparing a contingency plan, which includes conserving water and electricity, to counter the imminent threat posed by a prolonged and intense El Niño. Rescheduling planting times, preparing the ground substrate, and preparing sources of feed for livestock are also part of the contingency measures for the agricultural sector, which has been most severely affected by El Niño, with 60 percent of the fires striking crop-producing areas. By Dialogo December 21, 2015 It is excellent that the Colombian Military Forces help to control and put out fires caused by the intense heat waves all over the country. We must preserve our natural resources. It would be great if we could spread this good news further than the bad news of our country “The relationships between civilian agencies and the Military agencies have allowed us to respond more efficiently,” Capt. Miranda said. “Although the damages have been very severe, we have protected 72 million hectares, including all of the country’s national parks.” Dealing efficiently with an emergency of this magnitude, which has touched 29 of the country’s 32 departments, has required logistical cooperation between the Colombian National Bureau of Fire Departments (DNBC, for its Spanish acronym) and the Armed Forces. “The Army stands always ready to assist the populace in the event of an emergency, but before this law [was enacted], Soldiers did not know the appropriate ways to fight a fire,” Capt. Miranda explained. “Today, we are providing a basic, eight-day course to teach Soldiers about personal protection, how to approach a fire, levels of security, types of ignition, and how to put out a forest fire, among other basic skills that have helped us manage risk.” The El Niño phenomenon has intensified in the past few months and will affect the region through the first quarter of 2016, according to IDEAM. The reduced rainfall due to this weather variation will primarily affect Colombia’s Andean and Caribbean regions, particularly departments like La Guajira (78 percent precipitation deficit), Magdalena (54 percent), Atlántico (48 percent), and San Andrés y Providencia (47 percent). The last peak of forest fires caused by El Niño was in 2007, when more than 187,000 hectares were damaged by 1,600 incidents nationwide, according to the Colombian Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies Institute (IDEAM). However, the emergency response has been more efficient in 2015, when authorities recorded more than double the number of incidents compared to 2007, yet only 101,000 hectares have been damaged. For its part, the Armed Forces, together with the DNBC, are preparing to provide ground and air equipment. In addition to bolstering the capabilities in battalions and tactical units across the country, the DNBC signed an agreement with the Army Air Assault Division for US$ 600,000 to procure four Bambi buckets, among other firefighting equipment.last_img read more

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