FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Financial Times:Adani Group has cancelled a A$2bn (US$1.5bn) contract with a mining services company for work on its proposed Carmichael coal mine in Australia due to its failure to raise funds for the controversial project.The cancellation of the contract with Downer, an Australian company, on Monday is the latest challenge to hit the Indian conglomerate’s project, which has become a focal point for protesters over the role played by coal in causing climate change.It also follows a decision last week by the Queensland state government to veto a A$900m low-cost loan to Adani and the failure of Chinese investors to back the Carmichael mine.Adani said it remained committed to the A$16.5bn Carmichael project but planned to develop and run the mine on an owner-operator basis to achieve the “lowest quartile cost of production”.The Carmichael project has become a symbol of the global battle between environmentalists and the fossil fuel industry, attracting a series of legal challenges that have caused lengthy delays. The proposed mine sits in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, one of the world’s largest untapped coal resources.Adani’s board gave final approval for the mine in June. But raising money for the venture has so far proved an insurmountable challenge due to the decline in global coal markets and a vocal protest movement led by international environmental groups such as 350.org and Greenpeace.The project has become a litmus test on the future of coal, amid growing investor fears about whether increasingly onerous regulations on the emissions will create stranded assets.On Monday the world’s biggest coal terminal, Port of Newcastle, warned it needed to diversify and prepare for a future without coal.“It looks like another wheel has fallen off the Adani project,” said Tim Buckley, a director at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, an opponent of the Adani project. “With all of the Chinese banks ruling out involvement in the Carmichael proposal, deal funding has fallen over.”More: Adani cancels A$2bn Australia coal mine contract amid cash crunch Adani Cancels $1.5 Billion Contract on Australian Mine Project
Poland’s coal-related mercury emissions revised upward, significantly FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享MetaMag:Polish coal-fired power plants may be cheating the European Union when reporting their toxic mercury emissions, Gazeta Wyborcza reports. As a result, a huge year-on-year increase in emissions from Europe’s biggest coal plant may be even higher than first thought.Last month META broke the story that mercury emission from Polish coal had jumped by more than 87.5% in just one year. EU data showed emissions from the giant Bełchatów plant in central Poland were eighteen times higher in 2016 than the previous year. Now a Gazeta Wyborcza story published last week has claimed that the mercury emissions for 2016 – reported as an enormous 2.82 tonnes – could in reality be even higher. The paper was shown emissions monitoring data that experts said point to mercury emissions of closer to 4.2 tonnes – 1.5 tonnes more than reported.Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin which damages human health and can destroy lives. Europe has committed to the Minamata Convention to phase out and limit mercury emissions from human sources and the EU’s Mercury Regulation was adopted last year. Across Europe burning coal is the single biggest source of mercury pollution entering the air. It is often carried over long distances and finds its way into the food-chain through bioaccumulation in large fish.Pressure grew on plant owner PGE to explain the discrepancy as campaigners explained that the increase was due to a new European law that requires the emissions reported to European authorities be based on actual monitoring data. Reported figured were previously estimated. PGE’s estimations for 2015 had been 18 times lower than the reported measured emissions for 2016.After digging deeper into the story, Gazeta Wyborcza reported that even under the new EU monitoring and reporting regime, the plant operators are allowed to take periodic measurements and then declare an average across the year. It is therefore possible that higher measurements were discarded and lower ones used to calculate annual emissions. Wyborcza also said the same practice may be being used by other power stations, including the Pątnów and Turów plants.More: Polish coal may be cheating EU on toxic mercury
Kentucky plant headed for early-2019 closure FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:Henderson Municipal Power and Light in Kentucky will close its coal plant early next year and turn to the open market for its power needs, as the aging plant’s energy production is consistently more expensive than available supplies.In a letter earlier this month, the Midcontinent ISO (MISO) approved the shutdown of Units 1 and 2 effective Feb.1, 2019, after determining the generation was not necessary as a system support resource.Coal-fired generators continue to close down, and Henderson’s power plant is only the most recent example. According to the Sierra Club, the plant is the 277th coal generator to close since 2010. And new research finds closures are accelerating.The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) on Thursday released an analysis estimating 15.4 GW of coal-fired capacity will close this year, including 44 units at 22 plants. This year at least 11 GW have retired and the final tally is predicted to eclipse the previous record of 14.7 GW retired in 2015. IEEFA estimates another 21.4GW of coal-fired capacity will close over the next six years.“The competitive environment for coal-fired power in the generation marketplace is becoming ever more challenging,” Seth Feaster, IEEFA data analyst and author of the report, said in a statement. He pointed to the declining cost of renewables and natural gas prices that “are expected to remain low for the foreseeable future.”As for the Henderson plant, MISO informed Big River three weeks ago that “the decision to retire is considered final and the existing interconnection rights for the generators will be terminated as of the retirement date.”More: Kentucky coal plant to close, latest among accelerating shutdowns
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:More than 3m homes are to automatically receive renewable energy from E.ON UK at no extra cost in one of the UK’s biggest green energy switches to date.The big six supplier says it will respond to rising public concern over the climate crisis by supplying its 3.3 million customers with 100% renewable electricity as standard.E.ON is one of the UK’s largest renewable energy generators and plans to draw from its own windfarms, biomass plants and solar projects to power the switch. It will also need to top up its portfolio by buying renewable “guarantee certificates”, which are sold by renewable energy developers to guarantee that a set amount of electricity has been generated from a specific project.Michael Lewis, the chief executive of E.ON UK, said the supplier has secured enough renewable energy to confidently meet the demand of its customers, even as the company undergoes a major corporate overhaul. E.ON is preparing to hand over its renewable energy portfolio to RWE in exchange for its energy network assets and supply businesses in a mega deal that is expected to be concluded by the end of the year.Lewis said E.ON’s customers will continue to receive renewable energy from its UK projects even after the assets are given to RWE. He said the switch is “an investment in our customer relationship”, which would also help “drive the market” for clean energy.More: E.ON UK to supply 3.3m customers with 100% renewable electricity E.ON switches its 3 million U.K. residential customers to 100% renewables—at no extra cost
Taiwan’s 128MW Formosa 1 offshore wind farm begins full commercial operation FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:The second phase of the 128-MW Formosa 1 offshore wind complex in Taiwan has kicked off commercial operations, Japan’s JERA Co Inc said on Monday.The Japanese firm owns a 32.5% stake in the project, in which it is partnering with Denmark’s Ørsted A/S with a 35% stake, Macquarie Group Ltd with 25% and Swancor Holding Co Ltd with 7.5%.Located off Miaoli County, northwestern Taiwan, the 120-MW second-phase power plant entered construction in June 2018 and its 22 turbines went live at the end of December 2019. The project’s 8-MW first phase was put on stream in April 2017.JERA joined Formosa 1 last February and is also participating in the Formosa 2 offshore scheme with the same partners, excluding Ørsted. To be equipped with 47 turbines, the 376-MW power plant is scheduled to begin operations at the end of 2021.[Veselina Petrova]More: Taiwan’s Formosa 1 offshore wind farm goes live
Click here to subscribe to the Pharr Out BlogHey y’all,I love brownies; brownies are my favorite dessert. I love hiking; hiking is my favorite activity. Now back to brownies…. Forget crème brulee, layer cakes, and cookies (except if they are Miles’ cookies), I want chocolate fudge brownies without nuts and with extra chocolate chips.Some people like to savor their brownies, and appreciate every bite slowly. I am not one of those people. If someone puts a brownie in front of me, I don’t just eat it; I devour it. With restraint out the window and very little concern for what others think, I scarf down however many brownies are in front of me… and then I lick the plate. Oh, and I like my brownies straight out of the oven… still warm.Now to hiking. No one can doubt that I love to hike. I love to be on a trail by a mountain, a valley, a river, on top of boulders, wherever. I can’t get enough of hiking. Sometimes when I hike I want to indulge in the trail, the miles, and the wilderness. I want to consume it so completely and quickly that at day’s end I feel like I was a hiking glutton. Some folks like to savor every step of their hike, spreading it out to make it last longer. I respect and sometimes even envy those people. Someday, after this hike, I suspect I will be more like them.But for now I have a voracious appetite for hiking. And I like my hiking hot, meaning dead of summer, 95-degree, 90% humidity hot. I complain when I see my breath on a cool mid-July morning in Connecticut, but I never complain about the heat. The heat is my friend.So why all this talk about hot brownies and hiking in warm weather? Well, I’ve realized over the years that some people- both on and off the trail- struggle to understand why I hike the way I do. I certainly don’t feel the need to justify my hiking style to them any more than I feel they need to justify their style to me. But in an effort to help folks understand why I hike this way, I’ve begun to use the brownie comparison. When I hike, I devour miles like I devour hot brownies, not so much because I want to set a record but because I want to get the most out of the experience, and to me this means consuming the trail in great chunks.Ok, enough brownie metaphors. I love it when real people bring real brownies to the trail. Brew and I have kept mostly to ourselves on this hike, but once we reached Connecticut some dear friends from my first thru-hike came to the trail bearing hordes of goodies, including some of the best brownies ever. Along with the crew came my friend J (aka “Jukebox”). He was one of my best friends on my first thru-hike and continues to be a tried and true part of my life several years later. He spent a morning pacing me on the trail and then played guitar and enjoyed a beer with Brwe while waiting for me to finish up.Once I reached New York a very hospitable and accomplished ultra runner named Steve came to make sure I was putting in my miles and working hard. That night, he and his wife Mary Ellen provided us with a shower, an amazing dinner, and a very comfortable bed. We have felt very blessed recently by the trail and the provisions, and I feel very fortunate to be out here chewing up miles… and brownies. 🙂
Bishop, Keller, Teel and Davis dish on their favorite pieces.Jeremiah BishopJeremiah Bishop has been on top of the cross country mountain bike world for almost a decade, and this year may be his strongest showing yet. The South’s reigning mountain bike king won the Trans-Epic Stage Race for a second year in a row, came in fifth at the Leadville 100 after flatting in the first five minutes, and fourth at the Olympic Test Race in London. He’s representing the U.S. at the Pan Am Games, and is a front-runner for the two-person Olympic mountain bike team for 2012.Favorite Piece of Gear: Cannondale Lefty Speed Carbon“I’ve raced bikes for 20 years, it’s a treat to ride on something so revolutionary. They took the best designs from the motocross world and created the stiffest, lightest, most active suspension on the market. It’s a 2.4-pound front shot that feels like a five-pound front fork.”$1300; cannondale.com Pat KellerPat Keller is the creek-boating phenom most famous for running big waterfalls and pushing the limits of the sport.Last summer, he ticked off a first known descent of Linville Falls, a triple-tier drop thought to be un-runnable. This year, Keller is healthy, hoping to take the top spot at the Green River Narrows Race, the most coveted creek boat race in the country.Favorite Piece of Gear: Astral Buoyancy Green Jacket Limited Edition“It’s a high flotation device that doesn’t limit my mobility when I’m paddling, but has all of the safety features you need when you’re on the water. It has a rescue harness, a tether, a pocket for a temporary breathing device, a pouch for a small rope—these are the things that will help get you out of a bad situation. Plus, the jackets look really cool. And they take the extra foam from the life jackets and turn it into pimpin’ dog beds.”$260; astralbuoyancy.com Massey TeelMassey Teel is the head guide for West Virginia’s Seneca Rocks Climbing School, one of the most respected rock institutions in the region. He typically spends more than 200 days a year on rock.Favorite Piece of Gear: Misty Mountain Cadillac Harness “The Caddy [built for multi-pitch and trad routes, it’s built wide and comfortable, like a Cadillac] is far and away the best harness I have ever owned. It is extremely comfortable and dependable with simple features. I log over 200 days a year on the rocks, and I’m happy to spend every one of them in my Caddy.”$99.95; mistymountain.com Jennifer Pharr DavisJennifer Pharr Davis set the overall Appalachian Trail speed record this summer, hiking the 2180-mile trail in 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes, almost a full day faster than the previous record held by Andrew Thompson.Favorite Piece of Gear: Salomon Women’s XA 10+3 “I have struggled for years to find the perfect day pack. I hate carrying weight on my shoulders, but waist hips don’t always offer enough room for my rain jacket, first aid kit, and snacks. Finally, I found the Salomon Women’s XA 10+3 pack. The suspension system distributes the weight so that my shoulders don’t ache and the pack does not sway and shift, even on a run. It is my go-to bag for an easy day hike or long-distance run.”$90; salomon.com
Chattanooga has received much well-deserved press for its outdoor-minded development. It has resurrected itself from an industrial wasteland to a thriving outdoor metropolis. It was even voted by our own readers as the Best Outdoor City in the South. But another Tennessee city is rising from the ashes to challenge ‘Nooga as the best outdoor town in the Blue Ridge: Knoxville, Tennessee. Knoxville, the self-proclaimed “Gateway to the Smokies,” has big plans to build a greenway system that connects it to the country’s most popular national park.Knoxville already boasts 50 miles of greenway trails within its city limits. Now it hopes to grow the system beyond its borders to connect to the doorstep of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The first piece of the greenway system was recently completed. Read more here.
This month’s Instagram Takeover features Georgia-based outdoor adventurer and photographer Nick Walsh, known on Instagram at @_shootnick_. Originally from West Virginia, Nick credits his love of outdoor photography to time spent in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. When he’s not summiting Appalachian peaks in search of the next best shot, he can be found shredding waves in the Outter Banks.Check out a sampling of Nick’s work below, follow him on Instagram, and get inside his head with our exclusive Q & A located at the bottom of this post.“Last spring up top Grandfather Mountain looking South by Southwest.”“Cold mornings in the high lonesome.”“Early to rise with Wayah Bald in view courtesy of our campsite on Siler Bald, just South on the AT.”“Taking photos in this part of the world almost feels like cheating….Pre-dawn and ready to hit the trail from Nantahala Country near Wayah Bald.”“Looking west after a great day on the trail near Wesser, NC. This day made the ridge lines seem to go on for eternity.. as close to perfection as I can recall.”“Never under estimate the value of a travel partner like this. Best friends aren’t easy to come by and this one and I can always count on each other. Southern AT country.”“New year’s resolution: more of this. Dex and Tiger high above in 2016.”[divider]More from Nick[/divider]BRO: What is your current home base and where are you from originally?NW: My wife, Caroline, and I live in Buford, GA, but I grew up in Charleston, West Virginia.BRO: Outside of photography, what is your favorite outdoor activity?NW: Surfing. I guess that might be kind of an odd response for a guy from WV with a serious mountain problem, but surfing is and has been a big part of my life for a long time. I love the Outer Banks.BRO: What’s your favorite town in the Blue Ridge Mountains?NW: Black Mountain. The vibe is right and its easy to get lost around there- I dig that.BRO: How did you get into photography?NW: I really got into shooting when I sort of re-discovered the mountains. When I moved back east I had the opportunity to get up in the hills and spend some solid time wandering around and finding places to play. That move definitely inspired me to want to capture my surroundings- kind of as an immersive experiment with my resolve as an outdoorsman.BRO: How long have you been shooting?NW: Right around a year and a half.BRO: If you could only choose one area in this region to hike, explore, and photograph for the rest of your life what would it be?NW: Nantahala National Forest, for sure. It has it all: water, trees, mountains and mellow, little towns. I don’t think I’ve ever seen color like it is there.BRO: One piece of gear (minus your camera) you wouldn’t head into the woods without? NW: Definitely the Leatherman. I haven’t really gone a day without using it. It must be a sign..BRO: Favorite musician from the Southeast/Mid-Atlantic?NW: The Civil Wars. My wife turned me on to them a few years back and their sound resonated deep. Nashville counts, right?
The August issue is live! Pick up your copy or read online today to check out our annual swimming hole round up, learn about the upcoming ‘Great American Eclipse’, plan for the year ahead with our 2018 Bucket List Adventure guide and much more!Quick HitsWater women plan Green River Takeover • 112 attached runners complete a marathon • A.T. hikers protest pipeline • America’s fittest citiesThe DirtWatch the Southeast’s first total solar eclipse in centuries • Virginia towns transform abandoned coal mines into outdoor oasesThe GoodsMultisport must-haves—Joe Moerschbaecher’s favorite adventure gear.Trail MixJimmy Herring unveils new band • Allman tribute Hard Working Americans heads southSouthern Adventure Bucket ListGear up for 2018 and beyond with this year-long calendar of over 100 must-do adventures in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Athletes and experts from across the region provide their favorite picks.Earn Your SplashSave the roadside dips for the tourists and avoid the crowds with these 10 hike-in swimming holes that make you work for your play.Your 1 Million AcresThe Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest belongs to you, and this year, you will decide its future. A new forest plan could bring together hikers and hunters, timber and recreation, rural and urban, locals and newcomers. So far, however, the contentious planning process has only deepened the chasms.