Month: December 2020

Uruguay as Wind Leader: Using Energy Finance in Transformational Ways

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Joe Thwaites for the World Resources Institute via Renew Economy:The developing nation went from having virtually no wind generation in 2007 to become a double world-record holder in less than a decade. By 2013, it was receiving the largest share of clean energy investment as a percentage of GDP, and in 2014, installed the most wind per capita of any country. By mid-2015, the country had installed 581 megawatts (MW) of wind capacity, providing an average 17 percent of total electricity generation over the year. Wind energy is now cost competitive in the nation, and is displacing the most expensive fossil-fuel generation.Uruguay is at the forefront of a growing movement of countries, communities and individuals who are transforming the way they generate and use energy. Meeting the goal of the Paris Agreement to keep warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in order to prevent dangerous climate change will require a rapid and deep reduction of emissions. To achieve this countries will, among other things, need to fundamentally transform their energy sectors away from fossil fuels and towards clean, renewable energy.In our new working paper, Transformational Climate Finance: An Exploration of Low-Carbon Energy, we look at how funding can be used to bring about such large-scale, long-term and rapid changes in the energy sector to boost renewable energy and energy efficiency. In order to understand how climate finance can deliver this “transformational” change, we analyzed case studies covering a variety of geographies, energy sources and degrees of transformation.Uruguay’s wind sector was one of the most successful cases we found. The way it achieved results provides powerful lessons for other nations looking to transform their energy systems, and for funders such as the Green Climate Fund, whose Board is meeting this week to consider how it can best fulfil its mandate to promote a “paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways.”Uruguay’s wind development was driven by a desire to increase energy security. The country had relied heavily on hydropower historically. But with a decade of dry years between 1997 and 2007, hydro’s share of electricity generation fell from more than 90 percent to around 50 percent, leading to an increase in fossil-fuel imports (the country has no domestic reserves). By 2007, imported fossil fuels provided a third of generation. In addition to import costs, the increased reliance on fossil fuels added to the fiscal burden of providing residential subsidies. Given the steadily rising electricity demand, the government sought ways to diversify its energy sources.How Uruguay Became a Wind-Power Powerhouse Uruguay as Wind Leader: Using Energy Finance in Transformational Wayslast_img read more

For Investors, a ‘Tipping Point’ Toward Renewables as Wind-Turbine Momentum Grows

first_imgFor Investors, a ‘Tipping Point’ Toward Renewables as Wind-Turbine Momentum Grows FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg News:The cost of renewables is plunging faster than forecasters anticipated just a few years ago as as technologies like gigantic wind turbines arrive on the market.That’s the conclusion of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, whose founder Michael Liebreich estimated that clean energy will reap 86 percent of the $10.2 trillion likely to be invested in power generation by 2040.In a presentation to the research group’s conference in London on Tuesday, Liebreich said technology that’s slashing the costs of wind and solar farms makes it inevitable that clean energy will become more economical than fossil fuels for utilities in many places. The most visible advance is in the scale of wind turbines.When it started collecting data in earnest in 2004, BNEF already could see a trend toward bigger machines in the wind industry that deliver more spark to the grid. The scale of those turbines will grow with models planned by Siemens AG and Vestas Wind Systems A/S that already are delivering ones with wing spans bigger than the Airbus A380 double-decker jetliner.The promise of bigger machines early in the next decade prompted developers of offshore wind farms in Germany to promise electricity without subsidy on their next projects.The same process of producing more electricity for a lower cost is making photovoltaics cheaper. Liebreich predicted two “tipping points” where the cost of renewables will make power generation fueled by natural gas and coal increasingly unattractive.“The first is when new wind and solar become cheaper than anything else,” Liebreich said. Japan by 2025 it will be cheaper to build a new PV plant than a coal-fired power generator. That milestone will be passed in India for wind power by 2030.“At that point, anything you have to retire is likely to be replaced by wind and solar,” Liebreich said. “That tipping point is either here or almost here everywhere in the world.”The second tipping point, a little further off, is when it’s more costly to operate existing coal and gas plants than to take power from wind and solar. That point may arrive in the middle of the next decade in both Germany and China.The economics of wind and solar are becoming compelling enough that it’s unlikely coal be able to hold onto its dominant position in the global power mix no matter what incentives President Donald Trump implements in the U.S.“This is going to happen,” Liebreich said. “Coal is declining in the U.S. Nobody is going to make coal great again.”More: Clean Energy Is Approaching a Tipping Pointlast_img read more

Commentary: Stock analysis shows fossil fuel divestment will not undercut fund performance

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Grantham Foundation:I have met more investment committees than I care to think about. Perhaps a couple of thousand. There is a no more conservative group on the planet than an investment committee. You could be forgiven for thinking that if you cough at an investment committee they will think they are ruined!So if you tell them that you are going to interfere in any way, such as by removing a particular group of companies from their investment portfolio, an investment committee will likely warn that it will cause great harm to the long-term return. And the committee would definitely baulk if you wanted to remove a major group like fossil fuel companies.So my colleagues and I finally carried out a test to see exactly how an investment portfolio would have been affected by divesting from a group of companies that are listed in the Standard and Poor’s 500, the index based on the market capitalizations of 500 large companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ.These companies can be divided into 11 sectors (not including real estate). We considered the 10 long-term sectors (real estate was added relatively recently), and analyzed how the index performed without each sector.Initially, we considered the period from 1989 until 2017. The results [show] there is only a 50 basis points difference between the best and the worst. They are basically all the same!So we decided to see what happened if we chose a different period, in case there was something extraordinary about the past 28 years. We extended the analysis, first to start from 1957, and secondly to begin in 1925. You will see…that changing the period of analysis does not make much difference. The difference between the best and worst is 54 basis points instead of 50. So over 90 years, it would not have cost an investor to have divested from any one of the sectors.Who knew that the stock market was that efficient? It may be hopeless in bubbles and busts, but it has evidently priced these groups of big companies pretty well. And there is no advantage to an investor of choosing the high-growth information technology sector over, say, utilities. Utilities are priced down and information technology is priced up, but they produce the same returns. It is amazing.What does this mean for divestment? It means that if investors take out fossil fuel companies from their portfolios, their starting assumption should not be that you have destroyed the value. Their starting assumption should be until proven otherwise. that it will have very little effect and is just as likely to be positive by 17 basis points as negative. That is an amazing contradiction to what every investment committee has ever said, as far as I am concerned.More: The mythical peril of divesting from fossil fuels Commentary: Stock analysis shows fossil fuel divestment will not undercut fund performancelast_img read more

GE to build 500MW pumped hydro storage project at Australian renewable energy hub

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Global energy giant GE has signed an agreement to co-develop a proposed 500MW pumped hydro storage project at Dungowan Dam in the New England region of New South Wales state.Dungowan forms part of the massive 4,000MW renewables and storage hub being put together by Walcha Energy – in what would be the biggest integrated renewables and storage project in Australia and likely a major part of the New England renewable energy zone (REZ) proposed by the NSW state government on Friday.GE Renewable Energy Hydro Solutions has agreed to provide technical and commercial support to help accelerate the development of Dungowan pumped hydro storage power plant, which would have between six to eight hours of storage.“Dungowan PHES will help facilitate new wind and solar projects and provide firming and grid support services at a critical point on the Australian National Electricity Market,” said Simon Currie, the managing director at Energy Estate, a partner in Walcha Energy. “The project represents a unique opportunity to tap into a high-head site, in close proximity to an existing reservoir. It is strategically located between retiring coal capacity to the south and emerging wind and solar capacity to the east, west and north.”The Walcha project already includes defined projects such as the 700MW Winterbourne wind farm (in which global wind giant Vestas has bought a majority stake), the 700MW Salisbury solar farm and the 700MW Ruby Hills wind farm, and aims to unite up to 4,000MW of capacity around the Uralla Renewable Energy Hub.Currie says the Dungowan pumped hydro storage power plant would play a critical role in ensuring that new wind and solar generation can be reliably and safely fed into the grid.[Giles Parkinson]More: GE signs agreement to develop 500MW pumped hydro project in NSW GE to build 500MW pumped hydro storage project at Australian renewable energy hublast_img read more

Catch a Comp at Wintergreen

first_imgThe ESPN X-Games coming up next weekend, and if you are like me you are probably looking forward to them with equal parts enthusiasm and dread. Enthusiasm because you get to watch the best skiers and snowboarders do their thing on the big stage, pushing the limits of physics and physiology with flips, spins, and tweaks; dread because the ones pushing those limits are usually half our age. Sure, we throw the occasional foot high spread eagle on the slopes, but these guys are pros and throw tricks we could only dream about, even in our prime. Don’t get me wrong, I do not watch the Winter X-Games with a pint of ice cream longing for the days of yore and crying myself to sleep. I save that for the Summer X-Games – I always wanted to a skateboarder. No, I watch with respect and awe at what the elite can do on snow. This weekend you will be able to witness some ski and snowboard competitions that are a little more accessible and sample some of the gear the big dogs ride on game day. Wintergreen Resort will be hosting their Freestyle Demo Days in conjunction with a rail jam, the first event of their season-long terrain park series.Check out Wintergreen on Saturday where you can watch the local talent do their thing on rails starting at 6pm. If you have been working on your game, you can sign up to participate from 4:30-5:30 at the Snowsports Desk. The Demo Tent will be set up at the top of Acorn on Saturday and Sunday, so be sure to sample the latest and greatest from the industry’s leading manufacturers.View Larger Maplast_img read more

Race Ahead: 2014 Climbing Events

first_imgBlue Ridge Mountain Sports Boulder BashRichmond, Va., May 16-18The sport of bouldering has become one of the top attractions at Richmond’s annual Dominion Riverrock Festival. The bouldering competition attracts climbers of the topmost caliber such as Sasha DiGuilian and Daniel Woods. The feature is a man-made 20-foot high and 30-foot deep bouldering cage made from metal, wood, and fiberglass. The steep angles and limited smearing make this contraption one of the most challenging competition bouldering walls in the country. dominionriverrock.comBeg, Borrow, and SteelOneonta, Ala., JuneInspired by climber Tyler Willcutt’s “idealist intention to ‘fix the south,’” Beg, Borrow, and Steel gives climbers a chance to compete for a cause. Alabama-bred, Willcutt created The ACTION (Alabama Climbers Taking Initiatives On Needs) Fund to help replace faulty hardware and bolts on climbing routes across the country. This event focuses primarily on the needs of his home state’s crags, but he’s known to pay out of pocket to replace aging infrastructure in some of the country’s most prominent climbing destinations. With belly flop competitions, inflatable jousting, arm wrestling, a lot of BBQ, and of course a lot of climbing, this event not only promotes Willcutt’s vision but also defines what it means to have a good ol’ time. begborrowsteele.blogspot.comRocktoberfestSlade, Ky., OctoberHeld annually to help raise funds for the Red River Gorge Climbing Coalition, this fall event is quickly gaining reputation as more than just a bouldering and roped climbing competition. With daily yoga sessions, movie screenings, climbing clinics, local music, and delicious food, Rocktoberfest is three days of rockin’ good times all-around. All proceeds help the RRGCC to maintain trails, improve access to crags, and maintain parking lot conditions throughout the year. rrgcc.orgRaleigh RampageRaleigh, N.C., OctoberHosted annually by the Triangle Rock Club, the Raleigh Rampage is part of the American Bouldering Series and brings an energetic turnout of both climbers and spectators. Held at the new North Raleigh location, the 16-foot bouldering wall is littered with top-notch routes and problems that test even the strongest climbers. trianglerock.comTriple Crown Horse Pens 40 CompetitionSteele, Ala., November 1Three states. Three bouldering areas. One winner. That’s the way of the Triple Crown Bouldering Series, a competition that stages three different events in the top bouldering spots in the Southeast: Hounds Ear in Boone, N.C., Stone Fort in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Horse Pens 40 in Steele Ala. Often shortened to the HP40, this northern Alabama park is home to some of the oldest naturally exposed rock in the world. triplecrownbouldering.orgWhat Happened to the ‘Vous?Water Stone Outdoors co-owner Maura Kistler knows the history of the New River Gorge Rendezvous probably better than anybody else, with the exception of fellow Water Stone co-owner and Rendezvous organizer Kenny Parker. Together, Kistler and Parker have helped run this local climbing festival for a total of 10 years (with a one year hiatus in 2012). The event brought climbers from far and near to celebrate not just the New River Gorge but the climbing community in general. According to Kistler, though, the festival proved to be a source of tension between the local climbers and the National Park Service. She says the future of the ‘Vous is now uncertain at best.“Our relationship with the Park Service is really important to the New River Alliance of Climbers, and we need to make sure everything we do is in compliance with that relationship,” Kistler says. “We’ve been talking about bringing the Rendezvous back every three years because we don’t want to stick a fork in it, but the yearly New River Rendezvous is definitely done.”Although this comes as disappointing news for the local climbers and businesses in Fayetteville, W.Va., Kistler says there is talk of collaborating to host another climbing event in the not-so-distant future.“We’d like to keep the dream going,” she says, “but we’re really looking at the next local, younger generation to step up and take it over.”Best of the RestFloat the BoatAtlanta, Ga., January 18 • seclimbers.orgRock and RaveAtlanta, Ga., March 8 • rockandrave.comSand Rock Hoe-Down Clean-upSand Rock, Ala., March 15 • seclimbers.orgDixie Rock 25Chapel Hill, N.C., March 28-29 • townofchapelhill.org/dixierockCarolina CrushRaleigh, N.C., April 26 • trianglerockclub.comRiverRocksChattanooga, Tenn., October 3 • riverrockschattanooga.comTriple Crown Hound Ears CompetitionBoone, N.C., October 4 • seclimbers.orgTriple Crown Stone Fort CompetitionChattanooga, Tenn., October 11 • seclimbers.orgBoulderweenSteele, Ala., October 25 • seclimbers.orgFall Flash FestAsheville, N.C., November • climbmaxnc.comCrimpin’ Crazies Climbing CompetitionDurham, N.C., November • recreation.duke.edu_______________Check Out Our Other Race Ahead GuidesTrail RunningRoad RunningRoad BikingMountain BikingClimbingPaddlingMultisportsSnowsportslast_img read more

Download the New August Trail Mix Now

first_imgIt’s cool in the Appalachian Mountains this week.Lower than normal temperatures have it feeling more like an October morning than the advent of August; typically, the humidity would be up and I would be dashing for the shade or a favorite swimming hole in order to beat the heat. Instead, I am grabbing a fleece for my evenings outside with the kids or long sleeves when I hit the road on my bike.Something else that is quite cool this month is our August Trail Mix. As usual, Trail Mix has amassed quite a collection of tunes just for you; 26 of the best artists from the world of Americana (and beyond), all queued up and ready for your ears.So, as you set out for a bike ride or hike along your favorite mountain, grab Trail Mix and enjoy.We kick off this month’s list with a brand new tune from long time country stalwart Billy Joe Shaver. Approaching his 75th birthday this month, Shaver releases Long In The Tooth on August 5th. This new collection of tunes from country music’s original outlaw is everything country music is supposed to be. Shaver’s voice is as clear as ever and his songwriting hasn’t skipped a beat; evident in these new tunes are the wit and nuance that made Shaver such a favored songwriter amongst country luminaries like Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Tom T. Hall, and Waylon Jennings. Though a bit long in the tooth himself, Shaver is still very much a player in the world of country music. It’s nice to see the outlaw hang on this long.Also featured this month is a brand new tune from Cowboy Mouth, New Orleans’ favorite garage rockers. On the opening track from the new record, Go!, drummer and lead singer Fred LeBlanc can be heard announcing, “We’re back!!” And back they are. The band is as tight and raucous as the first time I heard them back during my college days in the early 90s.There are so many great artists to check out this month. Take a listen to new tunes from The Posies, The Carmonas, Ruthie Foster, Israel Nash Gripka, The Locust Honey String Band, Malcolm Holcombe, Casey Jack, J.P. Parsons & The American Bandwagon, The Weight, Jason Tyler Burton, The Hawks (of Holy Rosary), and many more.As always, please spread the link for Trail Mix around. Toss it in a tweet or post it in your next status update. Let folks know about these great artists that have given us their music to give to you. And, of course, get out and buy some of this music. Go catch these bands live when they come through your town. Give back them to since they give so freely to us.last_img read more

Video Clips of the Week: Daniel Woods

first_imgThe climbing world is really blowing up this new year. First the Dawn Wall, and now a second groundbreaking ascent at the hands of Daniel Woods on the hardest problem yet in the Californian Bishop’s Buttermilk boulder field, an area well-known and -loved by the some of the best climbers today.Woods, a 25 year old American boulderer, has officially added the Buttermilk area’s most recent “mega project” to his already ridiculously impressive resumé. The project, which clocks in at a difficulty rating of V16 – the highest in the world so far – has presented a long-standing challenge to Woods and fellow climbers like Dan Beall and Carlo Traversi. Woods, along with these other hopefuls, have been pushing their limits on the project for years now without success. It seemed as if this feisty line, now titled “The Process”, would prove to be too far beyond even the strongest in the crowd.However, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson’s plans for a free ascent of the Dawn Wall got pretty much the same bleak diagnosis before they went on to make history. Maybe that victory sent some motivational sparks into the air for Woods, who sent “The Process” on January 19 just days after Caldwell and Jorgeson summited the wall.In honor of his new accomplishment, check out some videos of Daniel Woods crushing it on a few of his other major projects both near and far.last_img read more

Reader Favorites: 20 Most Mentioned Destinations

first_imgNeed some ideas for your next vacation? Got plans for the weekend’s adventuring? Look no further than our top 20 list of the most mentioned destinations in B.R.O. We may cover these places frequently in the pages of the mag, but there’s definitely good reason for it. Take a Sunday drive and catch the early blooms of Spring along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Trek up on the A.T. and soak in the 360-degree views on Max Patch. Rope up and climb on at the area’s most quality and diverse rock climbing crags that are tucked away in the expansive cliff lines at the Red River Gorge in Kentucky.The options are endless, as are the adventures. Grab your bags and start packing. It’s time to hit the road.Click on the destination to read more about it.20 MOST MENTIONED DESTINATIONSBlue Ridge ParkwayAppalachian TrailGauley RiverNew River GorgeGreat Smoky Mountains National ParkShenandoah National ParkGreen RiverLinville GorgeCanaan ValleyMountains to Sea TrailOld RagMax PatchCold Mountain/Shining Rock WildernessDolly SodsGreat FallsMount MitchellMount RogersNantahala RiverRed River GorgeChattooga Riverlast_img read more

#VanLife

first_imgLet me start by saying I have a lovely home in a lovely neighborhood that comes complete with a basketball goal, pump track and all of the plumbing problems that you can expect from home ownership. What I’m saying is, I have a place to sleep every night, so there’s no logical reason for me to lust after a camper van. But I’ve never been particularly logical, so last night I found myself wandering around the Van Life Rally, a collection of 50+ bad-ass miniature homes on wheels that had taken over the grassy field at a local bar. Every type of van you can imagine showed up for this rally, from the rare and almost mystical 4×4 Volskwagen Westfalias, to retrofitted Astro Vans, to pristine Sprinters that probably cost more than the house I mentioned earlier in this paragraph. And I wanted them all. Every single one of them. You can probably trace my fascination with the van life back to all of those Kerouac books that I read during college. Those books did permanent damage on my psyche, damage that my wife and children have to pay for to this day. I’m constantly bombarding my family with my van life dreams—sending my wife links to inexpensive, half broken down vans that we could spend all of our money/time converting into a home on wheels that probably wouldn’t make it out of the nieghborhood. I show my kids pictures of sweet van build outs that I find online. Every time we pass a Westfalia, my kids will say, “there’s your van, Dad.” Then I sigh, and we carry on with our errands in my much more reasonable VW minivan. I know the van life isn’t as romantic as I’m building it up to be in my head. For instance, I’ve grown accustomed to showers with hot water and shooting baskets in my driveway whenever I want. As we walked through the aisles of vans at the rally last night, my wife kept pointing out that none of the vans really have enough room for four people to sleep, and very few of them had any room for more than a single passenger. “Where would our kids sit?” She asked, poking her head into a Sprinter with a deluxe kitchen, but no back seats. I know the van life is impractical, particularly for people in our stage of life, but I can’t help it. I’m wooed by the ability to pull over at any Walmart in the country and take a nap. That’s freedom, baby. That’s the American Dream.last_img read more