FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Livemint:The decision of the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund to stop investing in oil and gas explorers globally may affect Indian companies, such as Reliance Industries Ltd, Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd, Indian Oil Corp. Ltd (IOC) and Oil India Ltd, where the $1 trillion fund has made investments.The decision of Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) comes against the backdrop of uncertainty in global oil markets and concerns about climate change that have led several countries to harden their focus on renewable energy.GPFG, which earlier stopped investing in coal projects, has made 253 investments in Indian equities so far totalling $7.39 billion. Of this, it has invested a total of $658 million in RIL ($485.19 million), ONGC ($108.74 million), Indian Oil ($61.6 million) and Oil India ($2.03 million). GPFG owns stakes of less than 1% in each of the four companies.To be sure, GPFG will remain invested in integrated global oil majors, while Indian E&P companies do not foresee a major impact on their market value given the marginal holdings of GPFG.Experts say multilateral and bilateral agencies as well as sovereign wealth funds have been ceasing investments in businesses that contribute to climate change.“This decision is likely to stimulate greater debate in the investment community about the viability of fossil fuel stocks. It should also encourage investors to direct fund managers to produce portfolios with less fossil fuel exposure,” said Tom Sanzillo, director of finance at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, in an emailed statement.More: Norway fund’s green shift may unsettle Reliance, ONGC, Indian Oil, Oil India Experts say Norwegian pension investment decision could affect India’s oil and gas sector
EIA estimates show U.S. coal production continuing to decline FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Total U.S. coal production for the week ended April 6 fell 10.6% year over year to 12.5 million tons from 14.0 million tons, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.For the 52 weeks ended April 6, production was 735.1 million tons, representing a year-over-year decline of 3.8%, while year-to-date coal output dropped 9.3% year over year to 181.2 million tons.The western region’s coal production for the week reached 6.8 million tons, posting a 7.8% reduction from the prior year’s 7.3 million tons. Data for the western region covers Powder River Basin mines.Coal production from Appalachian mines totaled 3.4 million tons, sliding 13.7% from the year-ago week’s 4.0 million tons.The interior region’s production shrank 13.5% to 2.3 million tons, compared to 2.7 million tons a year ago. Interior region data covers mines in the Illinois Basin.More ($): U.S. weekly coal production falls 10.6% YOY
Repsol unveils plans for 860MW wind project in Spain FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Windpower Monthly:In another sign of rising confidence in the Spanish wind industry, the oil and gas major unveiled the follow-up to its 335MW Delta wind project by unwrapping the plans for the 860MW Delta 2 complex.This takes Repsol’s total renewable energy capacity under development to just over 2GW and brings the company’s total renewable energy portfolio, including existing assets, to almost 5GW. Delta 2 will comprise 26 wind projects located in the Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel provinces of northern Spain. It will be developed and built over the next three years, Repsol said.Repsol is targeting to be a zero-emissions company by 2050.The 335MW Delta project is under construction near Zaragoza and due online by the end of 2020.[David Weston]More: Repsol project plans a sign of Spanish confidence
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:The U.K.’s largest private pension manager plans to stop investing in companies involved with tobacco, thermal coal and controversial weapons.The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), which oversees more than 68 billion pounds ($84 billion) of assets, will begin selling its holdings in these industries within two years and will exclude any further investment, according to a statement on Monday from USS’s main investment manager and adviser. In addition to tobacco production and thermal coal mining, the move covers companies that make cluster munitions, white phosphorus and land mines.Pension funds and other large institutional money managers have faced growing pressure from shareholders, clients, employees and activists to use their resources to fight climate change and advance a raft of other issues such as workplace diversity. This is the first time USS has officially announced its position on exclusions, and follows a review of the long-term financial factors associated with investing in certain sectors.USS Investment Management Ltd. concluded that the “traditional financial models used by the market as a whole to predict the future performance in these sectors had not taken specific risks into account,” according to the statement. Changing political and regulatory attitudes to certain activities will damage the prospects of businesses involved in industries like tobacco and coal mining in the future, USS said.[Alastair Marsh]More: U.K.’s largest private pension fund to exit coal, tobacco firms U.K.’s largest private pension manager to stop coal-related investments
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Even as the coronavirus pandemic sent the U.S. economy into free fall this spring, the energy storage industry delivered its second-best quarter ever in terms of megawatts installed.Residential storage companies installed 48.7 megawatts/112 megawatt-hours in Q2, up 10 percent from the previous quarter, according to the new Energy Storage Monitor report released Thursday by Wood Mackenzie and the U.S. Energy Storage Association. That marks the fifth consecutive quarterly deployment record for residential storage, something that larger battery segments have never achieved.That’s surprising given that home batteries are almost always sold as an add-on to rooftop solar, and the leading rooftop solar installers took a hit on sales in Q2 as face-to-face business ground to a halt due to the pandemic. Several leading installers saw solar deployments drop by 20 percent or more from Q1 to Q2; home battery installations bucked that trend, led by growth in California and Hawaii.Commercial and front-of-meter energy storage activity tends to swing wildly from quarter to quarter due to the small number of projects happening in those markets. In Q2, commercial installations were down, while front-of-meter installations surged. That was largely due to one project: The first phase of LS Power’s Gateway battery came online in June, adding 62.5 megawatts to California’s grid. The developer kept going and raised the project’s power capacity to 250 megawatts in the third quarter, guaranteeing bigger numbers for the next Energy Storage Monitor to tabulate.Ongoing construction efforts promise a massive second half to the year, which analysts believe will result in 2020 doubling the battery capacity installed in 2019.“The year is going to close out in a big way,” [Daniel Finn-Foley, energy storage director at WoodMac and an author of the report] said. “We’re going to top a gigawatt of storage deployed annually for the first time in the U.S. market.” 2021 installations are on track to surpass 3.7 gigawatts, he added, which would yield a 7x jump compared to 2019. [Julian Spector]More: As residential solar deployments fell, the U.S. home battery market powered on Wood Mackenzie: Annual U.S. battery storage installations will top 1GW in 2020
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Developer Terra-Gen LLC and construction company M. A. Mortenson Co. Inc. plan to break ground in the first quarter of 2021 on a massive 1,118-MW solar complex with 2,165 MWh of energy storage capacity in Kern County, Calif., the companies announced Dec. 10. It is heralded as the largest such project in the world.The Edwards & Sanborn facility will “push the industry to new heights,” Brian Gorda, Terra-Gen’s vice president of engineering, said in a statement. Gorda cited Mortenson’s “cutting edge battery experience” and history building large-scale solar farms as critical to completing a project of this scale. The facility will rely on more than 2.5 million solar panels and over 110,000 lithium-ion battery modules, the companies said.Scheduled for full completion by the end of 2022, the Edwards & Sanborn complex merges projects initially developed separately by Terra-Gen, combining the Sanborn Solar Project and the Edwards Air Force Base Solar Project. Both are located between Edwards Air Force Base and the town of Mojave, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence and Kern County data.The projects are underpinned by contracts with Edison International utility subsidiary Southern California Edison Co. as well as community choice aggregators Clean Power Alliance and East Bay Community Energy, with some of the output contracted for delivery in August 2021.Kern County planning documents indicate the projects ultimately could combine 1.1 GW of solar with 4 GWh of storage.Owned by private equity firm Energy Capital Partners LLC, Terra-Gen is developing several large renewable energy-plus-battery storage projects in the area, including at historic wind farms and solar projects.[Garrett Hering]More ($): 1.1-GW solar farm with 2.2 GWh of storage to break ground in California Terra-Gen, Mortenson plan world’s largest solar-plus-storage project in California
A meeting of the mountains of Western North Carolina and the Malian desert of West Africa continues to evolve with the music of Toubab Krewe. The Asheville-based quintet just released a live recording of its cross-cultural fusion of traditional Afro groove and roots rock, backed by the energy of a hometown crowd at The Orange Peel. The percussive, dance-friendly sound floats melodically with Justin Perkins’ traditional string toys, the kora and kamelengoni. It also pulses with the gritty surf guitar of Drew Heller on the standout track “Moose,” which features some spoken word from Umar Bin Hassan. Add the fiddle of Uncle Earl’s Rayna Gellert on “51 ft. Ladder” and you get the full effect of a tribal Appalachian hoedown.toubabkrewe.com
Editor’s Note: Blue Ridge Outdoors contributor Chris Gallaway was thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail and contributing a blog to BRO when tragedy struck his family. Read his other dispatches from the trail: A Cold Start, Trail Magic, Difficult Winter, Monuments, Spring!, Family, and Virginia is for Limpers.I never thought I’d find myself saying, “Only a hundred miles left to walk.” As a northbound thru-hiker, when you enter the 100 Mile wilderness leading up to Katahdin it feels like the days and miles are flying by. The effort of six months (on average) and 2,000 miles are behind you, and only a few short days and the last hundred miles remain on the Trail. For many this spells feelings of relief mixed with anxiousness to finish. For me, I was feeling a desire to make it last, to stretch out every moment and get it all down in my mind’s eye. My wife-to-be, Sunshine, was by my side, and the morning we started into the wilderness we couldn’t get through a video interview for the giggle fit that overtook us. We’d been doing a lot of crying in the previous days as I remembered my young brother and continued to grieve his death, but on this clear, sunny morning laughter took us for a spin. We could not collect ourselves.That was a long day: 19.5 miles over hilly, rough terrain in the wilderness. About midday we forded Big Wilson Creek and stopped to skip stones (Sunshine showed remarkable improvement in her skipping technique). We made a late lunch at Vaughn Brook and lay down in the water at the lip of a beautiful cascade. Cooling off in the brook we were unaware that we lay almost exactly one hundred trail miles from the peak of Mt. Katahdin and the end of the trail.On tired legs late in the day we made the steep climb up Barren Mountain. Spectacular views from Barren Ledges showed us the lake-spotted landscape of western Maine and a distant thunderstorm shadowing the peaks of the Bigelow Range. We finished that day in the dark, guided by the small orbs of our headlamps into camp at Cloud Pond. We made dinner, bathed in the pond, and collapsed onto our sleeping pads thankful for a cool breath of air across the pond. In the early morning dark I awakened to the sound of what at first I took to be a guy from a neighboring tent walking out barefoot for a pee, exclaiming with each step as he crunched over roots and sticks. As my mind awoke I realized I was listening to a moose walking through our camp and grunting. I lay still and quiet as the giant animal passed uncomfortably close to our tent, knocking down small trees as it walked. Sunshine was listening, too, and we whispered to each other about how safe it might be to leave the tent and try to see it. Another moose grunted and called from across the pond, and “our” moose plunged down into the waters and crossed over to join it. It was not easy to go back to sleep after that.—Those days of walking were filled with poignant emotion. I thought about Zach a lot, sometimes lecturing him for his irresponsible choices, or recalling happy memories of good times with him, often invoking the words that had come to articulate my deepest feeling about his death: “Oh, God. Oh no.” And then there was my future wife walking by my side, happy Sunshine, recalling me to such joy and anticipation and desire for life. As we walked we often discussed the deeper things such as plans for our wedding day and whether dogs or cats are superior pets. This walking was hard on her, coming off the couch as she was and trying to keep up with me through fifteen and sixteen miles days, hot afternoons that faded into chilly nights. I was so impressed with her grit and strength, how she rose to the demands of each day and (mostly) kept a cheerful disposition through it all. Whenever we could we ended each day with a swim in one of Maine’s chilly ponds. I recall one night wading out in to the placid waters of Crawford Pond, looking up at the brilliant stars overhead and down at their perfect reflection in the water’s surface.And then there was the fact of the looming end of the journey. Every day we drew closer to Katahdin, and every day we would climb to a promised view of “the greatest mountain.” The mountain played coy with us, however, and day after day it remained shrouded in clouds. At most we would see the very lowest flank before it disappeared in a solid bank of cloud. Each time we were denied a good view of Katahdin I felt a pang of disappointment followed by relief at the fact that we were not climbing the mountain that day. I wanted so badly to arrive at the peak on a clear day with long views; so I counted my blessings that there was still time for the weather to clear.—We passed White Cap Mountain, White House Landing, Rainbow Pond. We saw old friends from the Trail and made new ones. One afternoon we took a long break eating blueberries and service berries on Rainbow Ledges. As we attained the top of the ridge a flock of grouse exploded from the bushes, then cooed and scuttled along the margins of the trail beside us. Then we turned a corner and saw it: beautiful, grand, clear, just sixteen miles away–Katahdin. That day only the very peak of the mountain was covered in cloud. We could see 95 percent of the end of the trail, but still not all of it. Leading up to that moment a realization had been growing in me–part of me dreaded the end of the Trail. I dreaded the conclusion of this passage in my life that had come to be so significant to me. I dreaded going back to “real” life and the world, the expectations and pressures that come with it. I dreaded the closing of this chapter of my life and the finality it would add to my brother’s death. Still, I was excited and drawn onward.Sunshine and I relished a large dinner at the Abol Bridge diner that evening and then settled into camp at the Pines. We were out of the wilderness and just fifteen miles from the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. It felt slightly unreal to be that close to the end, having walked that far. It took so long, and then suddenly we were there.The talk among thru-hikers that night was the weather (it’s always that or food). Apparently, a big storm system was moving in and threatening to sock-in Katahdin for the next three to four days. Everyone was developing contingency plans of how they could kill time in the campground or in the nearby town of Millinocket. No one, if they could help it, wanted to end their hike on a grey day with twenty-foot visibility. For Sunshine and I it was a fairly limited choice. We had at most one day of wiggle room before we had to wrap up our hike and start the trip south for home. If the weather didn’t clear up soon we would have to take what we got, what the Trail gave to us.A soft sunset reflected from the swift water of the Penobscot River as we got ready for bed that night. We conducted our usual ritual of recalling our favorite parts of the day, and then we crawled into the tent. My prayers before sleep consisted of a petition for clear weather and, if not that, then a heart that would receive and take joy in whatever came in the following days.
Dear Mountain Mama,I’ve been bitten hard by the whitewater kayaking bug. I want to advance quickly, but the only local kayaking schools I’ve found don’t offer beginner classes until June. Only advanced classes are scheduled for April, classes for which I don’t have the requisite experience.I don’t want to wait until June. Postponing kayaking classes translates into months when I could have been training, practicing, and advancing, but wasn’t. My ultimate goal is to paddle the Upper Gauley. At my age, time is of the essence.Do you know of any places within a reasonable distance to get a head start?Thanks,Bitten by Whitewater Bug Dear Bitten by Whitewater Bug,There is a reason that most kayaking instruction starts in June – the spring water is cold and the rivers run high. See the white stuff in the photo above? That’s snow and ice floating on a local beginner run. The water temperatures plunged into the low thirties. Beginners enjoy paddling more when they aren’t fighting hypothermia, and often that means waiting until the warmer months.But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck watching kayaking videos and reading manuals until June. Hands down, the best way to get a jump start on your kayaking progression is to nail both your onside and offside roll. Go to the local pool. Take rolling lessons. Commit to going weekly.Once you have your roll down, create rolling challenges for yourself. Attempt a roll and purposefully fail it three times before allowing yourself to roll right-side-up. Do sets of twenty rolls in a row. Take a break for two minutes. Roll twenty more times. Then perfect your offside roll.Having a reliable roll to depend on will allow you to push the envelope of your paddling when you do get on the river. You will have fine-tuned your balance points and will be willing to flirt with the edges of your kayak. Unlike other beginner paddlers, you’ll have no qualms trying new moves because you won’t be worried about flipping.If you’re still keen to get on a river before June, consider contacting your local paddling school and inquiring about private instruction. While the prices will be considerably higher, one-on-one instruction will allow you to progress quicker. Instruction will be tailored to your skills and willingness to take risks, and more hesitant students won’t slow you down. Most full-time kayak instructors return from their Southern hemisphere gigs sometime in March or April and are happy to pick up extra work.Bitten by the Kayaking Bug, as much as you’re itching to get on hard whitewater, savor your journey there. Many expert kayakers I know lament that they no longer get an adrenaline rush from paddling easy whitewater. That means that have to keep pushing their limits on rivers where a mistake could result in death or injury. Some of these paddlers have stopped kayaking in search of the same rush from a new sport like kite surfing or stand up paddle boarding.The best part of kayaking is getting outside and having fun while you’re on the river. Don’t miss out because you’re too focused on an arbitrary benchmark.Paddle On,Mountain Mama
Tim Kilbourne, singer and banjoist of Bristol, Virginia, based roots rock outfit Annabelle’s Curse, shares a singular distinction amongst all of the musicians whose bands have been featured here on this blog.Tim is the one and only musician who has shared a table with me at a mathematics conference for elementary and middle school teachers.It turns out that Tim and I share the same mild mannered alter ego – Southwest Virginia mathematics instructors – when we aren’t busy playing music (Tim’s case) or writing about it (mine).Annabelle’s Curse, one of my favorite regional bands, has just released its latest record, Worn Out Skin. The band has evolved to a quintet after its 2010 inception as a trio, and the music has grown accordingly. Still rooted in the acoustic sensibilities of its earliest days, Annabelle’s Curse shows a greater penchant for effects-laden rock grooves that are wonderfully accented by the vocal interplay between Kilbourne and mandolinist Carly Booher.Featured this month on Trail Mix is “Lovedrunk Desperadoes,” a tune Kilbourne describes as being about beating one of any good relationship’s pitfalls.“‘Lovedrunk Desperados’ is a song about unavoidable confrontation that occurs within any relationship,” says Kilbourne. “It is about accepting that challenge and understanding that conflict does not alter love. Love holds no bounds and it can overcome any dispute.”I recently caught up with Tim to chat about a bunch of things. I didn’t ask him which of these two things – crafting an authentic and rigorous mathematics assessment or writing a catchy riff to match a poignant lyric – was more difficult. Instead, we just got totally random.BRO – Guilty pleasure pop song?TK – Any and all Taylor Swift, of course.BRO – TV commercial you just can’t get out of your head?TK – “Give me a break, give me a break, break me off a piece of that Fancy Feast. . . . ” That’s it.BRO – If you were a character on Saved By The Bell, who would it be?TK – A hybrid mix of Mr. Belding and Screech.BRO – Beer, wine, or whiskey?TK – Whiskey, whiskey, and whiskey.BRO – Preshow ritual?TK – We always say a prayer before we start. It goes like this – “God of music, God of war, may out hammers be mighty.”BRO – Something you always have in the fridge at home?TK – Eggs and cilantro.BRO – Hiking or biking?TK – I cannot choose between those! I love road biking and hiking.BRO – A week at the beach or a week in the mountains?TK – The mountains. I’m far too white for a week at the beach.You can catch Annabelle’s Curse on December 6th at The Grey Eagle in Asheville with The Black Lillies.For more information on the band, how you can grab a copy of Worn Out Skin, or when Annabelle’s Curse might be appearing on a stage near you, check out the band’s website.