U.S. EPA Will Continue to Support State-by-State Move to Cleaner Electricity Generation

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Andrew Childers for Bloomberg BNA:Two days after the U.S. Supreme Court halted the Environmental Protection Agency’s signature climate change rule, Administrator Gina McCarthy struck a decidedly optimistic tone, vowing to support ongoing state efforts to shift toward a cleaner power sector.“We’ll move forward. We’ll get this done. We’ll have the [Clean Power Plan]. We’ll continue our work together,” McCarthy vowed Feb. 11 at a joint meeting of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the National Association of State Energy Officials.Although the Clean Power Plan, which limits carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector in each state, won’t go into effect while the rule faces legal challenges from 27 states and several utility and industry groups, McCarthy said the EPA will continue to support state efforts to comply with the rule on a voluntary basis.“It doesn’t preclude states, tribes and utilities from continuing to act on climate,” McCarthy said. “They’re already saying they’re going to keep moving forward. We have Colorado, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and others have already stood up and within 24 hours of this decision have said for them nothing has changed.”McCarthy said the stay also won’t deter the EPA from pursuing additional climate change regulations using its existing Clean Air Act authority.“It doesn’t preclude us from moving forward on climate. It doesn’t slow us down. Are we going to respect the decision of the Supreme Court? You bet,” McCarthy said.McCarthy underscored that the power industry is already making the shift away from coal-fired power plants to renewables or cleaner burning natural gas and that the Clean Power Plan merely followed and locked in place that transition.“This is the market momentum that we have been thinking about and hoping for and seeing happen, and it is already happening,” McCarthy said. “So if you ask me, ‘Am I disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision to stay the Clean Power Plan?’ My answer would be, ‘Absolutely yes.’ Why not? I really wanted to be the one to sign that first plan approval. But does it stop or even slow down this country in terms of our transition to a low carbon future? Absolutely not.”On a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court issued an order Feb. 9 staying the EPA’s carbon dioxide standards for power plants (RIN 2060-AR33) until the rule can be fully litigated (West Virginia v. EPA, U.S., No. 15A773, 2/9/16; 26 ECR, 2/9/16).Prior to the stay, states had until Sept. 6 to submit their initial compliance plans to the EPA. Now, some states have already said they will halt those efforts, while others will continue with their preparations in the event the rule is ultimately upheld (27 ECR, 2/10/16).Janet McCabe, the EPA’s acting assistant administrator for air and radiation, said the agency will continue to work with states that want to prepare should the rule be upheld and is moving forward with development of a system for states to submit compliance plans“We’re going to continue doing that work, but it will be in the spirit of a program we’re not implementing now,” she said.The Clean Power Plan was the centerpiece of the U.S. commitment to curb greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025 as President Obama pressed for the international climate deal reached in Paris in December.The Supreme Court’s intervention is being closely watched by other nations to see how that will affect the U.S. pledge (27 ECR, 2/10/16).“There’s a symbolic value to the Clean Power Plan, and there’s a problem with that when the Supreme Court stays it,” Joanne Spalding, the Sierra Club’s chief climate counsel, told reporters Feb. 11. “There’s no doubt that’s an issue. But in terms of actually achieving the goals in the electric sector, we’re on a trajectory to achieve that.”Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy with the Union of Concerned Scientists who is currently attending an international climate strategy meeting in Berlin, said other nations are watching the litigation progress but acknowledge that the court’s stay is a preliminary measure and not a ruling on the Clean Power Plan’s legality.“I sense a general willingness to wait and see how this plays out in the months to come,” he said.Full article: McCarthy: Clean Power Plan Stay Doesn’t Stop States U.S. EPA Will Continue to Support State-by-State Move to Cleaner Electricity Generation U.S. EPA Will Continue to Support State-by-State Modernization of Electricity Generationlast_img read more


Plan de la AEE No Va por Buen Camino

first_imgPlan de la AEE No Va por Buen Camino FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Mario Cotto for (Puerto Rico):El Instituto de Economía y Análisis Financiero de Energía (IEEFA, por sus siglas en inglés) publicó el pasado 29 de abril un informe negativo sobre el plan de recursos integrados presentado por la Autoridad de Energía Eléctrica (AEE).Según la entidad, el plan de la AEE presentado a la Comisión de Energía a principios de abril y que incluye la construcción del Aguirre Offshore Gas Port (AOGP) sufre de varias fallas fundamentales que probablemente conllevarán una carga económica innecesaria para sus abonados.Entre estas fallas señalaron el que la Autoridad no explore la posibilidad de que la isla no dependa de combustibles importados. El único escenario que plantea la AEE es uno en que $500 millones se transfieren fuera de la Isla para pagar por combustibles fósiles y se gastan sobre $1,000 millones en moverse de la dependencia al petróleo a la dependencia al gas natural.Plan de la AEE no va por buen caminolast_img read more


California, Hawaii markets drive surge in residential storage

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:The historically tiny residential energy storage segment won big in Q1 2018, according to the latest deployment data.Utility-scale projects, the usual workhorse of the energy storage industry, dropped massively compared to last year’s Q1, when the Aliso Canyon procurements came online and set a record for energy capacity. What saved the quarter from historically low performance turned out to be the aggregate growth of all the little systems popping up in customers’ homes.“Residential storage has been growing in popularity and prominence,” said Brett Simon, senior analyst at GTM Research. “It’s getting cheaper. Folks are more aware of it and are asking for it. Solar installers are doubling down on it as a new business model.”Residential deployments beat commercial deployments, 15.9 megawatts to 11.7 megawatts, according to the latest Energy Storage Monitor from GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association. Even more impressively, home batteries rivaled utility-scale deployments, which only clocked in at 16 megawatts.That’s an unprecedented and jolting development that is worth emphasizing. Ever since GTM Research began tracking storage deployments in 2013, residential batteries appeared as the faintest of slivers on the industrywide bar graph, nonzero but totally insubstantial.Dialing into the numbers, it’s clear that California and Hawaii drove this newfound strength with state-level growth that merits no less than the technical designation: “bonkers.”More: Residential batteries almost beat out utility-scale deployments last quarter California, Hawaii markets drive surge in residential storagelast_img read more


Southern California Edison moves forward with storage projects instead of gas peaker plant

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:What started as a routine gas plant procurement ended as a testament to the changing electrical grid.This week, utility Southern California Edison selected a roster of energy storage projects to supply local capacity needs around the coastal city of Oxnard, instead of the 262-megawatt natural-gas peaker plant it had chosen previously.If regulators give their approval, Strata Solar will build and own a 100-megawatt/400-megawatt-hour system in Oxnard, and dispatch it on behalf of SCE.This system will tie for largest lithium-ion battery in the world when it comes online in December 2020; the AES Alamitos plant of the same size is due around the same time.SCE wants to complement the massive battery with a portfolio of smaller units, ranging from 10 to 40 megawatts, scattered around the area. Developers of those smaller include E.ON, Able Grid, Ormat, AltaGas and Enel. Swell, which aggregates fleets of home batteries into grid assets, won a 14-megawatt contract for behind-the-meter demand response.The unprecedented outcome, in which independent power producer NRG saw its gas plant yanked before the final round of siting approval, marks a victory for local activists who rallied against what they saw as unnecessary fossil fuel infrastructure marring the Southern California coastline, as well as clean energy providers who had to prove they were ready for prime time.More: Southern California Edison picks 195MW battery portfolio in place of Puente gas plant Southern California Edison moves forward with storage projects instead of gas peaker plantlast_img read more


Opponents win round in fight against Adani’s planned Carmichael mine

first_imgOpponents win round in fight against Adani’s planned Carmichael mine FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:The federal government will have to reassess water infrastructure for Adani’s Carmichael coalmine after conceding in a legal challenge that was lodged with the federal court.The Australian Conservation Foundation has succeeded in its appeal against the government’s assessment of Adani’s north Galilee water scheme, with the federal government admitting it failed to properly consider public responses to the proposal and even lost some submissions.The new environment minister, Sussan Ley, will now have to reconsider the proposal, which would see a 100 km-long pipeline constructed to transport 12.5bn litres of water a year from the Suttor river and Burdekin basin. The project would also expand an existing 2.2bn-litre dam to 10bn litres. The government will need to reopen the project for public comment.While the decision is a win for the environment movement in its fight against the project, it will not prevent Adani from commencing preliminary construction at the mine site if it receives approval for its groundwater plans from the Queensland government on Thursday.But the ACF said the government’s concession in the case is a demonstration it has not properly scrutinised Adani’s plans. “Once again this case outcome shows the federal government failed to properly scrutinise Adani’s proposed Galilee Basin coalmine,” the ACF’s chief executive, Kelly O’Shanassy, said.The ACF lodged the appeal last year, challenging Price’s decision not to apply the water trigger in her assessment of the water scheme. Through the proceedings it became evident that the process leading to the minister’s approval hadn’t properly considered the more than 2,200 public submissions that had been made, with some even being lost.More: Adani coalmine: minister loses legal challenge on water pipeline assessmentlast_img read more


Nebraska public utility plans big solar expansion, coal-to-gas conversions in next five years

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Senior management with the Omaha Public Power District in Nebraska recommended that the utility build between 400 MW and 600 MW of utility-grade solar — a capacity addition that would exponentially increase the state’s solar capacity — with natural gas for backup generation.Solar capacity additions of that magnitude likely would catapult Nebraska considerably higher in the national rankings. As of the close of the second quarter, Nebraska had 45.23 MW of installed solar capacity, ranking it 44th of all U.S. states, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. By comparison, Pennsylvania ranked 22nd, with 452.24 MW of installed solar capacity. The proposal from the Omaha Public Power District, or OPPD, also includes replacing some of the utility’s retiring coal capacity with natural gas. The utility further said it may add voltage-support devices as necessary.At the OPPD’s North Omaha Generating Station, three previously coal-fired units already have been converted to natural gas. Those three units will no longer be operational by 2024, before which point the remaining two units at the facility will be converted to natural gas.“The recommendation of our team comes after thoughtful and careful analysis of available technologies, affordability of options and what solutions might best fit our needs,” OPPD President and CEO Tim Burke said in a statement.As a result of that analysis, the OPPD ruled out certain technologies such as combined cycle, wind turbine, and new nuclear or coal baseload over concerns of “significant cost premiums, comparative ineffectiveness, or failing to meet technical or resiliency requirements,” Mary Fisher, the OPPD’s vice president of energy production and nuclear decommissioning, said in a presentation.More ($): Neb. public power utility looks to increase solar capacity by up to 600 MW Nebraska public utility plans big solar expansion, coal-to-gas conversions in next five yearslast_img read more


Cambodia’s state-run utility negotiating to build country’s first wind farm

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Khmer Times:A leading Southeast Asia energy firm’s plans to create the Kingdom’s first wind turbine farm are one step closer to being realised.Singapore-based The Blue Circle are in the early stages of negotiation with the state-run electricity supplier Electricite du Cambodge (EDC) to thrash out a power purchase agreement (PPA) over the farm, which will be located on Bokor Mountain in Kampot province.“The process could take between six months to a year to complete and the PPA could be as low as 7 cents per kilowatt-hour,” said Victor Jona, director general of Energy at the Ministry of Mines and Energy.Once a deal has been struck, construction of the clean-energy farm, which will feature a minimum of 10 wind turbines and the capability to produce 80 megawatts per year. In general, one megawatt can serve the energy needs of between 225 and 300 houses over 12 months.Power consumption across the country last year reached about 12 million kilowatt hours, an increase of 23 percent on 2018. Hydropower currently dominates and serves 33 percent of the nation’s needs, but the government is on a mission to diversify into “stable and reliable” energy sources contributing to the national grid to meet growing demand.According to a recent study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Cambodia has further potential for 10,000 megawatts (mW) of hydropower, with 8,100 mW and 6,500 mW respectively for solar and wind power.[Chhut Bunthoeun]More: Winds of change for energy industry Cambodia’s state-run utility negotiating to build country’s first wind farmlast_img read more


Denmark, European Union’s largest oil producer, to phase out production by 2050

first_imgDenmark, European Union’s largest oil producer, to phase out production by 2050 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Denmark, the European Union’s biggest oil producer, will stop offering new licenses in the North Sea and phase out production altogether in 2050 as it takes an historic step toward a fossil-fuel free future.Climate and Energy Minister Dan Jorgensen told reporters in Copenhagen that he expects the decision to “resonate around the world.”The Social Democrat government reached an agreement with a majority in the parliament late on Thursday. The deal means a planned 8th licensing round will be abandoned, as will all future exploration, Jorgensen said. About 150 million barrels of oil and equivalents that would have been drilled by 2050 will remain beneath the ocean’s surface.For oil and gas companies currently operating in Danish waters, terms and conditions will remain unchanged until production stops in 2050. The decision will cost Denmark about 13 billion kroner ($2.1 billion), according to estimates by the energy ministry.For Denmark, the decision to end its North Sea exploration fits into an agenda that has made protecting the climate a priority. The country targets cutting carbon emissions by 70% in 2030, compared with 1990 levels.Jorgensen pointed to Europe’s desire to be carbon neutral by 2050, “which means it needs to end its reliance on fossil fuels. It’s my clear impression that this development will speed up,” he said.[Morten Buttler]More: Denmark to end North Sea oil production in milestone deallast_img read more


Daily Dirt: February 22, 2013

first_imgIt’s the economy, stupid.Outdoor Recreation is Big $$$In case you hadn’t heard, outdoor recreation is a big money generator for states. Compelling opportunities to play outside will bring people to your state, and those people will spend money, to the tune of $646 billion every year. A map put out by the Outdoor Industry Association allows you to see just how much of that pie is in your state in 2012, along with how many jobs are supported by outdoor recreation and direct tax revenue. Virginia for example, nearly 140,000 jobs are supported and $923 million in taxes raised through the outdoor recreation industry. Despite some states opting to support businesses and energy companies over trail users, this is just another example of how important the outdoor industry is on the national and local level.Virginia Bike Bills De-RailedTwo bike bills went before the Virginia General Assembly this session, and both were killed on the floor. One would have imposed a fine of up to $100 for opening a door into the path of a biker; that bill was killed in committee. The other would have made tailgating bikers illegal, and moved the required three feet of clearance when passing a biker, as opposed to the two feet that is currently on the books. This is especially disheartening given the attention the Elias Webb case has been getting in Richmond, and the fact that most other states have similar laws already – but Virginia is also the state that is proposing to charge the owners of hybrid cars an annual $100 fee, just because.Bear Poachers NabbedAuthorities have made over 90 arrests in the hilariously named Operation Something Bruin, a four year undercover sting of bear poaching and other illicit hunting activities in Georgia and North Carolina. Working with federal agents, police in N.C. arrested over 80 people, while Georgia authorities brought in eight people on over 140 counts, including one suspect they called a “poaching machine.” Poachers are charged with everything from luring bears into traps with honey and hunting out of season to littering. This is good news for the bears, the environment and the people who enjoy nature, which can be a lot of people – see above.More at the Atlantic Journal-ConstitutionQuick HitsGreat story of Washington, D.C. native and WVU freshman going from inner city to mountain climber, joining the first all-African American team attempting summit of Denali.Couple attempting to cycle around the world killed by pickup truck while riding in Thailand.World Fishing Network looking for Ultimate Fishing Town in North America, taking submissions.“Moth Man” of West Virginia trains lab of bomb-sniffing moths.last_img read more


Weekend Pick: Snowshoe Gravity Series Downhill Mountain Bike Race

first_imgThere is a bit of irony in the rise in popularity of downhill mountain biking in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic. The sport is booming right now, in no small part due to the Great Recession that began in 2008. Downhill mountain biking has been popular for a long time, but mostly confined to the Mountain West and Pacific Northwest where hardcore and extreme skiers get their jollies hucking bikes around during the off-season. In this part of the country, the legacy of mountain biking has been mostly endurance and cross country based, with little in the way of downhill trails, courses, or even instruction. But that began to change in a major way during the late 2000s as resorts began to feel the pinch of the economic downturn. Looking for a four season revenue stream, resorts that were only concentrating on skiing during the winter, began to invest in mountain biking infrastructure. They committed to machine groomed, downhill trails, and began spinning the lifts during the summer to get bikers to the top so they could bomb down to the bottom, paying a premium for the privilege. Now the sport is on the rise in the Blue Ridge, with multiple options of where to ride and pros coming out of the region and standing on podiums.So, which came first, the chicken or the egg? In this case it matters not, for the people have spoken, and downhill is most likely here to stay.At first glance to the casual observer, or even the amateur cross-country mountain biker, downhill racing appears to be for the certifiably insane with riders hitting speeds up to 30 miles per hour, launching and dropping cliffs and jumps, wearing intense body armor, and riding 30 pound bikes that resemble motorcycles more than bicycles. That being said, it looks like a heck of a lot of fun.You can get a taste of what downhill mountain biking is all about this weekend at West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort during the second leg of the Snowshoe Gravity Series. Whether you just want to check out the riding, ride the race yourself, or post up at the gnarliest spot and watch the carnage, this event will have it all. The Giant Slalom and Downhill race practice will be Saturday, with the Downhill race going off on Sunday beginning at 11:30pm. With cash and gear prizes on the line, you know the riders will be giving it their all so expect spectacular rides and spectacular crashes throughout the day.View Larger Maplast_img read more