Nuclear Industry Report: As Reactor Growth Slows, Solar and Wind Rise

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:As renewable energy auctions continued to achieve record low prices at or around $30/MWh in Chile, Mexico, Morocco, the UAE and the U.S., the investment flow in the global energy arena has shifted away from nuclear power, resulting in only three nuclear reactors starting construction in 2016.Global nuclear power generation went up by 1.4% in 2016, due to a 23% increase in China, although the share of nuclear energy in electricity generation stagnated at 10.5% (–0.2%), reads the World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR) in an overview of the nuclear power plant data.In terms of worldwide nuclear deployment, the report identifies the “big five” generating countries by rank – the U.S., France, China, Russia, and South Korea – which generated 70% of the world’s nuclear electricity in 2016. And while the U.S. and France accounted for 48% of global nuclear generation, China moved up one place in the rankings.Painting the picture of nuclear’s lackluster performance in 2016, the report shows that the number of new projects worldwide has dropped to a decade low in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster and also due to rising costs, with only three new plants breaking ground in 2016: two in China and one in Pakistan (built by a Chinese company), totaling 3 GW capacity.From a high of 15 in 2010, the number of construction starts of nuclear reactors worldwide dropped to 10 in 2013, eight in 2015, three in 2016, and just one in India in the first half of 2017, show the WNISR findings. Meanwhile, playing the leading role in the worldwide nuclear deployment, China has slowed down its hectic activity from 10 in 2010 to six in 2015 and just two construction starts last year.Ten reactors started up in 2016, of which one-half were in China. Two reactors were connected to the grid in the first half of 2017—one in China, one in Pakistan (by a Chinese company)—the first units to start up in the world whose construction started after the Fukushima disaster began, reads the report.Providing extensive information on operation, production and construction, the reports notes that Russia and the U.S. shut down reactors in 2016, while Sweden and South Korea both closed their oldest units in the first half of 2017, adding that the change of political leadership, such as the one in South Korea, where the new president has already closed one plant and suspended the construction of two more, may bring sweeping changes for the nuclear sector.Thirteen countries are building new reactors, which is one less than in 2015, the report finds, showing that there are 37 reactor constructions behind schedule, of which 19 reported further delays over the past year. In China alone, out of 20 units under construction, 11 are behind schedule.Citing the findings of the REN21 report released earlier this year, WNISR notes that a total of 161 GW of renewable capacity was added in 2016, which is the largest increase ever, with a record growth of solar PV reaching 75 GW, compared to 9 GW for nuclear.The groundbreaking record-low prices for renewables are expected to diminish the share of nuclear even further in the coming years, the report finds, adding that for solar, a learning curve is estimated at up to 24.3% per doubling of cumulative production, with real prices plummeting by 90% since 2009 alone.More: Renewables trouncing nuclear, report shows Nuclear Industry Report: As Reactor Growth Slows, Solar and Wind Riselast_img read more

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No bidders for bankrupt Westmoreland’s core coal mine assets

first_imgNo bidders for bankrupt Westmoreland’s core coal mine assets FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Westmoreland Coal Co.’s creditors are slated to take over its core assets after the company did not secure another qualified bid for the mines.The creditors served as a stalking horse bidder during Westmoreland’s Chapter 11 proceedings and will acquire the coal producer’s core assets, including its Canadian business and operations at its San Juan and Rosebud mines, in exchange for debt relief. Westmoreland canceled a core asset auction scheduled for Jan. 22 since there were no other bidders, according to a Jan. 21 filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of Texas, Houston division.The company received several bids for its Buckingham coal mine in Ohio and intends, pending the court’s approval, to sell the mine to an as-yet-unformed holding company for $1 million and pay between $16 million and $20 million to the same entity to take on the assets of another 15 Ohio and Kentucky mines. Experts said high reclamation costs associated with the operations likely influenced the low price tag on the Buckingham mine and payment to transfer the other operations.Westmoreland said in the filing that it received bids for other noncore assets, though they were not qualified. Those assets may include the Absaloka and Savage mines in Montana, the Beulah mine in North Dakota, the Haystack mine in Wyoming and the Jewett mine in Texas. The company will continue to evaluate bids, but those assets may be acquired by the creditors as well.The sale of the noncore assets hinges largely on whether the bankruptcy court allows Westmoreland to shed its collective bargaining agreements with the United Mine Workers of America and $329.4 million in retiree benefits, which the creditors refuse to take on, according to a Jan. 16 filing. The court will hold a hearing on that proposal at 9 a.m. CT Feb. 4 in Houston.More ($): Westmoreland Coal creditors to take over its core assetslast_img read more

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U.S. solar outlook surges despite tariffs

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Projections for utility-scale solar growth from 2020 to 2022 now exceed forecasts drafted before the Trump administration’s announcement of Section 201 tariffs, according to new analysis from energy research and consulting company Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.Many external factors, like global oversupply, a spike in corporate procurements and the passage of California’s SB100 law mandating 100 percent clean energy, have helped shift the market since the January 2018 tariff announcement. Analysts say the overall health of the industry has blunted the industry’s worst-fear impacts, even if the dynamics of the market look different than they did then.“It’s absolutely not apples-to-apples, but to me that’s a really important message,” said Colin Smith, a senior solar analyst at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables who covers the utility-scale market. “Not only has the market recovered and done really well despite the tariffs, it’s actually to the point where we expect more solar — at least on the utility-scale solar side — than we did in the pre-tariff conditions.”Smith said WoodMac’s Q1 2019 utility-scale forecast for 2020 is 8 percent higher than its Q4 2017 forecast, released before the administration finalized tariffs. It’s 2021 forecast is 19 percent higher than the pre-tariff projection.Notwithstanding the jumble of tariffs impacting solar systems — on modules, inverters and aluminum and steel — prices have also hit historic lows: $0.93 per watt DC for utility fixed-tilt systems and $1.04 per watt DC for utility single-axis tracking systems.With a robust utility-scale pipeline over 23 gigawatts and expected growth in coming years, analysts say the industry has proved resilient to the tariff-tied uncertainty that once gripped it. Analysts also pointed to an “unprecedented” 13.2 gigawatts of utility-scale power purchase agreements signed last year as another indication of a bounce-back.More: Utility-scale solar projections now exceed pre-tariff forecasts U.S. solar outlook surges despite tariffslast_img read more

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SRP to build massive 250MW/1,000MWh battery storage project in Arizona

first_imgSRP to build massive 250MW/1,000MWh battery storage project in Arizona FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Arizona Republic:Salt River Project will build the biggest battery on the power grid in Arizona as part of its pledge last year to add 1,000 megawatts of solar to its supply by 2025. The big battery project is planned for the Little Rainbow Valley, south of Buckeye, and the battery system there will be many times larger than anything in Arizona today.Utilities are adding batteries to the power grid so that they can charge with abundant solar energy in the day, and discharge that power at night, when customers use a lot of electricity but solar plants don’t create any. SRP said last year it would reduce its reliance on natural-gas-burning power plants and save money by adding solar and batteries to its system.At the time, SRP only had about 200 megawatts of solar, but now the electric utility has lined up projects that get it about 60% of the way toward that 1,000-megawatt goal.The 250-megawatt project will be called Sonoran Energy Center. It will include batteries capable of storing 250 megawatts of energy for four hours, or 1,000 megawatt-hours of electricity storage.The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that as of March 2019, the two biggest operating battery projects in the country are the 40-megawatt Golden Valley Electric Association’s system in Alaska and the Vista Energy system in California.Batteries give electric companies flexibility in how they deliver the power. For example, the Sonoran Energy Center also could provide 125 megawatts of power for eight hours.More: SRP plans to install Arizona’s biggest battery for massive solar plantlast_img read more

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Air Conditioning Alternatives

first_imgThe chlorofluorocarbon coolant widely used in air conditioners through the 1980s was phased out because it was damaging the Earth’s protective ozone layer, but the chemicals that replaced it are some 2,100 times stronger as greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide. We may have saved the ozone layer, but — whoops! — there goes the climate. Photo cred: Photos.comEarthTalk®E – The Environmental MagazineDear EarthTalk: Has an alternative to air conditioning to keep rooms cool been invented that is significantly cheaper and/or that uses significantly less energy than traditional air conditioning?                                                                                                                        — Ashutosh Saxena, Allahabad, IndiaUnfortunately the modern day air conditioner, with its constantly cycling, energy-hogging compressor and environmentally unfriendly chemical coolant, still reigns supreme throughout the world—and increasingly so in rapidly developing countries like India and China where possession of air conditioning connotes middle class status. And while the chlorofluorocarbon coolant widely used in air conditioners through the 1980s was phased out because its emissions were causing damage to the globe’s protective ozone layer, the chemicals that replaced it worldwide, and which are now in use in hundreds of millions of air conditioners, are some 2,100 times stronger as greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide. We may have saved the ozone layer, but—whoops!—there goes the climate.Just because people aren’t using them much doesn’t mean there aren’t some good alternatives. The best known is an evaporative cooler (AKA swamp cooler). Better for hot, dry climates, these electrified units cool outdoor air through evaporation and then blow it inside. They make for a nice alternative to traditional air conditioners, using about a quarter of the energy overall. They are also quicker and cheaper to install, and can be moved around to different rooms as needed. But swamp coolers can require a lot of maintenance and may not keep the interior space as cool as some AC-hungry inhabitants might like.Apartment/condo and commercial/industrial buildings might consider augmenting their existing roof-top air conditioning systems with the cooling power of ice. California-based Ice Energy makes and sells the Ice Bear system, essentially a large thermal storage tank that makes ice at night—when the cost and demand for energy is lower—and then doles out ice water into the air conditioning system during the day to efficiently deliver cooling when it’s needed. Since the air conditioner’s energy-intensive compressor can remain off during peak daytime hours, the electricity required for cooling can be minimal, with some customers achieving 95 percent electricity savings using the system. And utilities across the country are starting to encourage its use by large customers.Stanford University has been utilizing its own version of similar technology since 1999 to keep its campus buildings cool. Since upgrading to an ice-based cooling system, Stanford saves some $500,000 a year on its campus cooling bill. If such technology could be adapted to augment home air conditioning systems, it could go a long way toward reducing air conditioning’s environmental footprint overall.Of course, let’s not forget that a small investment in a fan or two to create a breeze or wind tunnel through inhabited interior spaces can go a long way to offset summer heat. Even better, get a professional to install a “whole-house fan,” which draws in cooler air through lower level open windows and exhales hotter air through specially designed attic vents synced to open when the system is operating.The race has been on in the air conditioning business for some time to find a coolant that doesn’t destroy the ozone or add to global warming, but progress has been slow. Meanwhile, global warming itself will beget the need for more air conditioning, which will only exacerbate an already dire situation, especially as the rest of the world starts to demand artificial cooling just like we’ve enjoyed in the West for decades.CONTACT: Ice Energy, www.ice-energy.com.EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.last_img read more

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Trail Mix – Hayley Sabella

first_imgI have never been so interested in a press release before.So interested, in fact, that I didn’t even open it. I didn’t read it. I knew I could read it online, so I just looked at it and then propped it on my desk, near my computer, for future enjoyment. See, this particular press release was sealed, with wax, like some medieval parchment, or a message sent clandestinely from the worlds of Tolkien or Martin.I had never gotten anything like that before and I sort of geeked out.Admittedly, it was a cool touch from Hayley Sabella, a singer/songwriter from the Boston area. I am in love with her new record, Forgive The Birds, which drops later this month. Her voice is magical and the tunes on the new record, her second release, are spiced with both quiet introspection and sing-along hooks.Hayley and I recently chatted about a number of things, including growing up a bit nerdy, the new record, and a rather unfortunate introduction to skiing.BRO – I loved the wax seal on your press release. Too nerdy to say I felt like I had gotten a message via raven from King’s Landing?HS – I am so happy to hear that feedback! I wanted to make it special somehow, and I’m glad it stood out. Even though I haven’t watched Game of Thrones, I grew up assuming every parent read Lord of The Rings to their kids, so I am not one to point a finger when it comes to that brand of nerdiness.BRO – What’s the last song that gave you goosebumps?HS – I think it was when I was listening to The Tallest Man on Earth’s latest EP, the one he did with yMusic. I have a weakness for orchestra-meets-folk music. Adding a string quartet and an oboe to fingerpicking is an instant chills-factory for me.BRO – We are featuring “Turn Around” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?HS – “Turn Around” is coming from a place of angst that most of us New Englanders can relate to this time of year – begging the weather gods to turn from winter to spring.BRO – I caught some pictures on your Instagram feed. You in a walking boot. Some broken bone x-rays. You feeling better?HS – I am feeling better, thankfully. Still rocking the boot and crutches until the end of April. But I am getting stronger and more flexible every day.BRO – Recent ski mishap aside, if our readers are looking for some slope time up your way, where should they head?HS – I am sad to say that this was my first time skiing! I was really getting the hang of it and feeling like I could eventually live the life of a ski bum. Until I saw bone coming through skin. The idea of whirling down an icy hill makes me a bit nauseous at the moment. But my roommates are huge skiers and they love Sugarbush in Vermont. Come to find out, they have great doctors on staff, which is a bonus!Hayley’s tour schedule is a bit quiet now as she is recuperating from that busted leg. Fans in Plymouth, Massachusetts, can catch her on April 29th at The Spire Center. Until then, here’s hoping Hayley is on the mend and up and at it soon.For more information on Hayley Sabella, the new record, and her tour schedule, be sure to take a look at her website. And while you are surfing around, take a listen to “Turn Around,” along with new tracks from Lindsay Lou, Western Centuries, and Charley Crockett on this month’s Trail Mix.last_img read more

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Women’s Wednesday: First mother-daughter team competes in Ironman World Championships

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Beth James “Life is a gift,” Beth James told Good Morning America. “Each and every moment of each and every day is priceless. Don’t ever take it for granted. Do not ever complain. There’s always positives surrounding you.”  Photo courtesy of Beth James Photo courtesy of Beth James KAILUA KONA, HAWAII – OCTOBER 12: Beth James and daughter Liza James of Team Liza compete in the Ironman World Championships on October 12, 2019 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN) When Beth James and Liza James compete, Beth pulls Liza, who weighs about 100 pounds, in a float that is strapped to her as she swims the race distance of 2.4 miles. During the 112-mile bike ride, Beth pulls Liza behind her in a 21-pound racing chair. When it’s time to complete the marathon-length run, Beth pushes her daughter in the racing chair.center_img The mother-daughter duo finished both the swim and bike portion of the World Championship, but they missed the cut-off time for the run. Though they weren’t able to complete the race during the world championships, Beth and Liza James have completed other Ironman distance triathlons. Beth James, 54, is one heck of an “Ironmom.” The triathlete and her daughter, Liza James, recently became the first mother-daughter special team duo to compete in the Ironman World Championships. Liza James, 23, is nonverbal and unable to walk after suffering a devastating brain injury during a car accident at age 6. But that didn’t stop Liza and her mother from competing in what is arguably the most intense endurance event on the planet. Photo courtesy of Beth James First mother-daughter team competes in Ironman World Championshipslast_img read more

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Hi-Wire Brewing Adapts to Covid-19

first_imgDurham – To-go pickup of packaged beer & growlers 12-8pm every day. Our pick-up and delivery menu is available here. Customers can call to place their order at 828-738-2448. Tomorrow, 3/28, we’re hosting a Multi-Brewery Drive-Thru Pallet Sale featuring Trophy Brewing and Brewery Bhavana in our parking lot. Online Beer Store: www.shop.hiwirebrewing.comHours: 12-8pm Daily New Services:Now Shipping Beer Nationwide – We’ve opened an online beer store that ships nationwide (except to AL, AR, GA, KS, KY, MA, MN, MS, NH, NY, PA, TX, UT, and WA). We’re regularly restocking and adding new releases as well as vintage sours and wild ales.  Locations:Hi-Wire Brewing Big Top | 2A Huntsman Place, Asheville, NCHi-Wire Brewing Durham | 800 Taylor St, Durham, NCHi-Wire Brewing Knoxville | 2020 Barber St, Knoxville, TN Asheville Big Top – Drive-thru pickup of packaged beer & growlers 12-8pm every day PLUS delivery during that same time frame in the following zip codes: 28801, 28803, 28804, 28805, and 28806. Our pick-up and delivery menu is available here. Customers can call to place their order at 828-738-2448 or order online here. Tomorrow, 3/28, we’re hosting a Multi-Brewery Drive-Thru Pallet Sale featuring Hillman Beer, Bhramari Brewing, & Twin Leaf Brewery in our parking lot.  Knoxville – To-go pickup of packaged beer & growlers 12-8pm every day PLUS delivery during that same time frame in the following zip codes: 37920, 37919, 37921, 37917, 37923, and 37909. Our pick-up and delivery menu is available here. Customers can call to place their order at 828-738-2448 or order online here. Like many businesses these days Hi-Wire brewing is adapting to to Covid-19 by providing a number of ways to get their product to you, including nation wide shipping.last_img read more

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Government Launches Military Operation against Informal Mining in Peru

first_img On 19 February, a thousand Peruvian military personnel began an operation to destroy twelve dredges used by informal gold miners, who are accused of polluting the rivers of an Amazonian region on the borders with Brazil and Bolivia (in southeastern Peru), the authorities announced. The destruction of the dredges is part of a government offensive against informal mining, accused of violating the law and polluting the rivers, streams, and fish of the Madre de Dios region with mercury. Peruvian Defense Minister Jaime Thorne specified that eight of the twelve dredges had been destroyed by the time the day was almost over. “We’ve already seized eight of the twelve dredges. We’re finishing the process of locating and seizing the rest,” the minister noted, without specifying how many days the action would last. The dredges were demolished and sunk, and flames, thick columns of smoke, and forest damage could be observed from a military plane that flew over the area, an AFP reporter on board the aircraft confirmed. The operation involved the participation of 350 military personnel and 600 police officers, with support from three helicopters, two airplanes, and an undetermined number of Navy speedboats. “We have to look out for the ecosystem. It can’t be permitted that they destroy rivers and streams, and that fish have high levels of mercury, 300% more than what is permitted internationally,” Environment Minister Antonio Brack emphasized. “There’s (child) slavery, pollution; we can’t permit them to make a mockery of the population’s health,” the Peruvian official added. The dredges are located in areas neighboring the Inambari River, near the border with Brazil, spread out over a distance of 259 km. At each dredge, around five hundred people work illegally. According to the minister, the twelve main dredges, which are of Chinese origin, are worth 250,000 dollars each, so that the work of these miners “is no longer small-scale or traditional mining.” In addition to the twelve main dredges, around 250 smaller dredges are believed to exist, according to Brack. The gold economy in Madre de Dios, one of Peru’s poorest regions, generates around 800 million dollars a year from the eighteen tons extracted by informal miners. The authorities estimate that informal mining has led to the destruction of twenty thousand hectares of tropical forest in Madre de Dios. The gold rush has affected the ecosystem of that Amazonian region, leaving behind, in addition to polluted rivers, craters dug by human activity, mountains of dirt where there was previously forest, and trees buried under mine tailings. Peru is the world’s fifth-ranking producer of gold with 182 tons a year and accounts for 40% of Latin American production. By Dialogo February 22, 2011last_img read more

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