FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Fast Company:The case for a shift to more renewables seems clear. Sunshine is more abundant in the Caribbean than in California or Spain. The amount of wind is competitive with states like Texas, which leads the U.S. in wind energy production. New renewable energy is affordable to build, and could help cut electric bills in a place where residents have been paying twice as much as Americans who live on the mainland.Still, the local utility has resisted solar and wind in the past. A renewable energy law passed in 2010 required Puerto Rico to get 12% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015; That year, the utility was only at around 3%. “They were flagrantly out of compliance,” says Cathy Kunkel, an energy consultant for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The utility, which was also heavily in debt, was pushing to invest millions in natural gas instead.But the hurricane may have altered that direction. “I think one of the things that has changed dramatically as a result of the hurricane is an interest by private solar developers in getting into Puerto Rico,” she says. “That interest from private capital in getting involved is one of the crucial pieces towards shifting the political landscapes in Puerto Rico around this issue . . . [the utility] has not been able to attract private capital for its investment plans, and so now the fact that there are private solar interests that are coming in and attempting to assist with the rebuilding could make a huge difference.”More: Can Puerto Rico Be The Model For A Renewables-Powered Energy System? Emerging Case for a Puerto Rico Solar Grid
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:The Hopi Tribe and coal mining groups on Tuesday sued the operator of an Arizona aqueduct system to try and keep a coal-fired power plant running beyond 2019.The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court by the tribe, the United Mine Workers of America and Peabody Energy contends the Central Arizona Water Conservation District is obligated under federal law to buy power from Navajo Generating Station near Page. The 2,250-megawatt plant is set to close next year and the prospects of new ownership depend on finding someone to purchase the electricity.The conservation district, under the Central Arizona Project, has been one of the primary customers over the years, using the power to send Colorado River water through canals to cities, tribes and farmers in central and southern Arizona. Like the power plant’s owners, it is turning to sources that are cheaper than coal-fired power.Coal is abundant on the Navajo and Hopi reservations in northeastern Arizona. Both rely heavily on revenues to fund their governments and provide services to tribal members. They’ve been asking for help from federal officials to keep the plant open and preserve hundreds of jobs for tribal members.DeEtte Person, a spokeswoman for the conservation district, said in an email that officials are reviewing the lawsuit and considering its impact. She previously said the district is not required to take power from the plant and has other resources to pay a federal debt of more than $1 billion for construction of the canal system. The district is a public entity “with a responsibility to deliver a reliable water supply at the lowest reasonable cost,” she said.More: Hopi Tribe, Others Sue Over Power Purchases For Coal Plant Hopi Tribe, Peabody File Suit to Keep Navajo Plant Running
Tata Group looks to jump start India’s EV transition with battery manufacturing plant investment FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg Environment:A mega lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant is in the works to help support India’s transition to all-electric-powered two- and three-wheeled vehicles by 2025. As the Indian government rolls out policy incentives to speed up the transition toward electric mobility, the Tata Group is making plans to build the plant.According to media reports quoting Jai Prakash Shivhare, managing director of the government-owned Dholera Industrial City Development Ltd., a joint venture between the government of Gujarat and Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Co., the plant is expected to have a manufacturing capacity of 10 gigawatts.Shivhare confirmed to Bloomberg Environment that Tata Chemicals applied for 126 acres of land “to set up power storage solutions” within the Dholera area in the state of Gujarat, an industrial cluster that the government is setting up specifically for sunrise industries such as high-tech. “Dholera fulfills the three main criteria for industrial battery development,” he said. “Free land, ready infrastructure and reasonably priced power tariffs.”According to various media reports and to a source familiar with the matter, Tata Chemicals, a branch of Tata Group, is ready to invest 40 billion rupees ($582 million) in the new plant. A company spokesperson added that while Tata Chemicals isn’t ready to share specific details of the plan, it is investing very heavily in the battery sector.Energy storage is in its early stages of development worldwide, but it’s widely regarded as a key sector if India wants to become an international leader in emerging technologies and successfully scale up electric mobility in the country, said Kashish Shah, a researcher at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis in Australia.Shivhare said that Dholera is “offering one of the cheapest power tariffs in the whole country,“ explaining that the power companies in the city only serve local industries and don’t have to provide free power for agriculture, which increases the price of energy for commercial users in other parts of the country. According to Shah, this means that industries such as Tata Chemicals “will be running a highly power intensive manufacturing unit at half the electricity cost, which eventually could make their batteries cheaper.”More: Tata set to build large-scale battery plant in India
EIA: Number of renewable projects paired with storage growing sharply across U.S. FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:The arrival of Australia’s first big battery – delivered by Tesla and Neoen at the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia – generated a huge amount of publicity, then and still now, largely because it was the world’s biggest, and for its transformational impact on Australia’s main grid.But it hides a growing phenomenon that began before that famous installation, and continues apace: the growth of battery storage paired with large scale wind and solar projects in the world’s biggest electricity market, the US.According to the latest data released by the US government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), the pairing of renewable energy generators with energy storage, particularly batteries, is increasingly common as the cost of energy storage continues to decrease.Its latest inventory shows that the number of solar and wind generation sites co-located with batteries has grown from 19 paired sites in 2016 to 53 paired sites in 2019. And the EIA says this trend is expected to continue, with another 56 facilities pairing renewable energy and battery storage to come online by the end of 2023.This is not surprising. Battery storage costs have fallen to a point so low that they are pushing peaking gas generators out of the market – and in a market where the price of gas is supposedly cheap.“Although the most commonly reported application for batteries co-located with renewable sources is storing excess energy, the majority of batteries serve more than one function,” the report notes. “Frequency regulation, which helps maintain the grid’s electric frequency on a second-to-second basis, is the second-most common use for batteries co-located with renewables. Batteries can also provide transmission and distribution support, helping to smooth out energy flows. The ability to support the integration of renewables into the grid’s current infrastructure, in addition to other ancillary services that they perform such as frequency regulation, are primary drivers in the growth of battery-renewable pairings.”[Giles Parkinson]More: The remarkable growth of wind and solar projects paired with big batteries
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday approved a $600 million loan for Indonesian state utility Perusahaan Listrikk Negara (PLN) to expand electricity access and promote renewable energy.The loan is part of the second phase of an electricity grid development programme covering the outer regions of Kalimantan, Maluku, and Papua in the east of the country, which began in 2017.“The programme will increase PLN’s delivery of electricity powered by renewable energy to remote communities by six-fold and reduce indoor kerosene and wood consumption, which is expected to generate significant environmental and social benefits,” ADB Energy specialist Diana Connett said in a statement.Indonesia’s government aims to have 23% of energy coming from renewable sources by 2025, up from around 9% in July, but progress on renewable projects has been slow.The country has over 400 gigawatts potential capacity for sources like hydropower, solar and geothermal, but only around 2.5% had been utilised, according to government data. It hopes to simplify pricing for electricity from renewables to encourage more investment in the sector.[Tabita Diela]More: ADB approves $600 mln loan for Indonesia’s PLN for renewable power Asian Development Bank approves $600 million loan for renewable energy development in Indonesia
Much of the Blue Ridge is enjoying mild temperatures and some rain; apparently, August is coming in like a lamb.Thankfully, Trail Mix is coming in like a lion.This is a huge month for Trail Mix. We have over thirty tracks to offer you, and the mix includes some of the biggest name in roots music – Tedeschi & Trucks, John Scofield, Guy Clark, Jason Isbell, The Greencards, and even Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell.Also check out tunes from some fantastic up and coming artists – The Tillers, The Wild Rumpus, Cale Tyson, Burning River Ramblers, and Gregory Alan Isakov.Download it often and play it loud. Tell a friend. Tell a random stranger. And, most importantly, seek out some of these records and buy them. Show your appreciation and give back to these artists that give to Trail Mix. Buy a record or two – you can never have enough music. Tedeschi Trucks Band – Part of MeAlice Gerrard – Tell Me Their StoryBurning River Ramblers – CoyoteCale Tyson – Long Gone GirlDarden Smith – Seven WondersDeadfields – Let It RainEmmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell – That’s All It TookGravelRoad – Bring Me BackGregory Alan Isakov – O City LightsGuy Clark – The Death Of Sis DraperJason Isbell & John Paul White – Old FlameJohn Scofield – Boogie StupidKevin Presbrey – Always With MeLucy Schwartz – Captain SunshineMike Mangione & The Union – Cold Cold GroundMike Stinson – I May Have To Do ItNew Country Rehab – Rollin’Rob Nance – Warn The BlueSara Petite – Circus Comes To TownSlim Wray – Long Long WayThe Coalmen – StuckThe Greencards – Black, Black WaterThe Pixies – BagboyThe Tillers – Old WestsideThe Wild Rumpus – Ramblin’ NowTim Easton – Don’t LieTodd Clouser – Man With No CountryTommy Keane – Out Of The BlueTruth & Salvage Co. – Appalachian HilltopVincent Cross – A Town Called NormalWillie Sugarcapps – Gypsy TrainYellowbirds – Mean Maybe
Here at Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine we’re always striving to stay abreast of the latest and greatest breweries in our craft beer-rich Blue Ridge region. Usually our research consists of drinking said beer whenever and wherever we can get our hands on it, but this week we’re taking our efforts a bit further by launching our 4th annual craft beer contest.This year, we present “State of the Hops“, an exciting online contest showcasing 64 breweries in North Carolina and Virginia made possible by the support of Nelson County, VA Tourism. Not only do these two states have the greatest number of craft breweries in our 10 state footprint, but they are also home base to the two offices of Blue Ridge Outdoors (coincidence?).In a bracket-style format, some of our favorite breweries and their loyal patrons will battle it out to see who rises to the top in 2016. The contest starts today and runs through Tuesday, August 2nd. Each bracket round lasts one week with voting ending at 9:00 am EST every Tuesday. Voting will resume at 12:00 noon on the same day for the breweries that advance to the next round, and you can vote once every 24 hours from any device! The champion brewery will receive an article on blueridgeoutdoors.com as well as exposure in the October issue of the magazine.So rally your craft beer loving friends by getting the word out and sharing the news that your favorite brewery is in the running!VOTE NOW!
Late last month the outdoor recreation industry gathered in Utah for its annual Outdoor Retailer summer trade show, known by most as OR. Most everyone connected with outdoor recreation exhibits at or attends the event to see the latest in products and services and to plan for the next outdoor season. For the last 20 years, Salt Lake City had served as the host city for the four-day, mega trade show – estimated to generate over $44 million worth of local economic impact. In February, however, the OR’s largest annual participant, Patagonia, was a no show, choosing to boycott the event due to the host state’s failure to commit unequivocally to preserving public lands. Specifically, Patagonia was concerned about the state of Utah’s indication that it would ask the Trump administration to rescind the designation of Bears Ears as a national monument. Other companies joined the boycott.Turf War As one of his last acts as president, Barack Obama signed an executive order designating Bears Ears – a 1.34 million acre tract of land in southeast Utah – as a national monument. Bears Ears is located near the Four Corners area where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah meet. Some Utah business opposed the national monument designation, pointing to the energy and other mineral opportunities lost due to the restrictions from development. Native American tribes, outdoor enthusiasts and conservationists, however, cheered the executive order pointing to the order’s effect in protecting both the natural beauty of the red rock canyons and forested plateaus as well as the cultural significance of the area, which is filled with ancient rock art and cliff dwellings considered sacred by local tribes. Earlier this year, on February 3, Utah governor Gary Herbert signed a resolution of the state legislature urging President Trump to rescind the national monument designation. Herbert also signed a resolution seeking to rescind the designation of Escalante-Grand Staircase region in Utah as a national monument, which President Clinton authorized in 1996. The resolution caused an immediate outcry by Patagonia and others in the outdoor industry. Less than a week later, Patagonia announced it would not attend the summer trade show in Salt Lake City, citing “the creation of a hostile environment and blatant disregard for Bears Ears and other public lands.” Others like Arc’teryx, PolarTek, and Peak Designs joined the boycott. Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard said in an earlier op-ed on the company’s website: “The outdoor industry creates three times the amount of jobs than the fossil fuels industry, yet the governor has spent most of his time in office trying to rip taxpayer-owned lands out from under us and hand them over to drilling and mining companies.” Governor Herbert agreed to speak with the industry and hear their concerns, but shortly after the call, the governor said, “I guess we’re going to have to part ways,” and then traveled to Washington to lobby the current administration to rescind the designation for Bears Ears. Unhappy with the governor’s response, the Outdoor Industry Association announced on February 16 that the 2018 and future shows would be staged outside of Utah. The Rise of the Outdoor Industry In April, President Trump ordered a review of all 27 national monuments designated over the last 20 years. While troubling to outdoor recreation industry, history may later see Trump’s executive order as the proverbial “shot heard round the world” – the event that forever changed the industry’s role in the political process. Having been galvanized by the Utah protest, the industry, again led by Patagonia, REI, the Grand Canyon Trust, and others, marshaled individuals, businesses, trade organization and friendly politicians to speak up and defend the Bears Ears designation during the public comment period. The Department of the Interior received over 1 million comments. Former Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, indicated the actual number of comments received were an unprecedented 2.7 million. While the protest shifted to Washington, D.C., the 2017 Outdoor Retailer show went on in Salt Lake City one final time, but not before the industry became more organized and committed than ever in its history, recognizing its economic strength as it lead perhaps the most vocal protest involving federal lands since the battle to prevent building a dam in the Grand Canyon in 1960. Perhaps not coincidentally, OR opened with a breakfast meeting featuring the release of its an economic report featuring the impact of the outdoor recreation industry in each of the fifty states. In an industry that is highly focused on sustainability, conservation, and reinvesting corporate profits in protecting public lands and related causes, the outdoor industry is suddenly a key political player. Since “all politics are local,” the place to have a watchful eye may well be in the state houses as the industry begins to recognize the enormous impact outdoor recreation has on the local economy.To date, the Bears Ears review continues. Ryan Zinke, Trump’s appointment as Interior Secretary, has indicated that it is not a question of preserving Bears Ears, but rather what form that protection should take – preliminarily recommending that the designation be “right-sized,” that multi-use management not be “hindered,” and that the Tribal nations participate in the management of the lands.National Monument or National Park? Only Congress can create a National Park, but a 1906 act of Congress – the Antiquities Act of 1906 – permits the president to designate “monuments” for protection. Since, 1933, every president has used this authority – some more than others. Obama used it more extensively than any prior president, and one of his very last acts, as president in December 2016 was to designate Bears Ears as a monument. Earlier this year, Trump has ordered a review of all 27 “national monument” designations since 1996. What difference does it make? There are twenty different names for “areas” in the National Park System – in additional to national parks and national monuments, we have national “landscapes, “and “battlefields” and “preserves” and “parkways” and “historic sites” and many others (including the National Scenic Appalachian “Trail”). In many respects, the differences are in name only. However, usage and management specifics are spelled out in the legislation or order creating the particular area. While the “national” designation indicates a significant level of preservation and protection, many uses other than outdoor recreation can be permitted, such as grazing, hunting, mining, timber removal, and agriculture. Oil and gas exploration is even permitted in some national “parks.” Congress typically treats the different “areas” equally, but national “parks” generally get more funding. “Monuments” can become “parks,” as was the case with the Grand Canyon, Bryce, the C & O Canal. Others can become “preserves” as was the case with millions of acres of federal land in Alaska known as Denali, Gates of the Artic, and Noatak. In lobbying the Trump administration to rescind or alter the Bears Ears designation, Utah Governor Herbert indicated that past presidents had been “cavalier” with their application of the 1906 Antiquities Act. He said the act was intended to grant power to protect the “smallest area necessary to protect the objects that we’re trying to preserve.” The original purpose (and use) of the Antiquities Act was to protect Indian artifacts that were being plundered – a fairly narrow area or specific protection. Nonetheless, earlier presidents have used the national “monument” designation to preserve large land masses such as the Grand Canyon, Bryce, Denali and Grand Staircase-Escalante. Among the other, more narrowly focused monuments are the Statute of Liberty, Fort Sumter, Mount Rushmore, and Muir Woods.
By Dialogo April 16, 2009 The most wanted drug trafficker in Colombia, Daniel Rendón Herrera, alias “Don Mario,” was captured today in a rural area of Urabá, a northern region of the country in which he established a major drug smuggling route, imposed his law, and terrorized the local population for several years. “Don Mario,” a feared paramilitary who earned over two million dollars a month from the sale of drugs – the same amount of reward offered by the government of President Álvaro Uribe for his capture – was responsible for 3,000 killings in the past 18 months, said National Police Director Óscar Naranjo. He was arrested after a police pursuit lasting eight days, and in his final five hours of freedom he was under siege by 300 police commandos mobilized for the raid. “He was surrounded, literally like a dog, eating rice with his hands, which was all that he had left,” said the head of the Judicial Police Directorate (Dijin), Colonel César Augusto Pinzón, one of the coordinators of this operation. The mafia chief, aged 45, was captured in the countryside area of Manuel Cuello, belonging to the town of Necoclí, located in the Caribbean region of Uraba, where in 2006 he created an armed group with more than 1,000 paramilitary troops to control drug trafficking. From Rio de Janeiro President Uribe, who made an official visit to Brazil today, called the event “good news” and was pleased that “after long months of patient persecution, one of those recidivist ex-paramilitaries, one of those drug trafficking criminals most feared in the world (…)” had been captured. In this way, the Colombian police terminated an operation started nine months ago, during which about fifty paramilitaries associated with him were captured, and operating assets valued in more than $100 million were seized. “He was virtually like a dog; he had been cowering under a palm tree for two days,” said Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos, to whom the prisoner was “a very valuable target.” Santos made these statements to the press after “Don Mario” was moved from Urabá to Bogotá, where he was immediately taken to the judiciary police after being seen for the first time since he had escaped from prison three years ago. “This individual had become a coordinator of criminal gangs from the Chocó to Guajira (across the northern part of the country from west to east), and in the process he encouraged a war and a number of murders that the country is aware of,” Santos said. According to the minister, there were “more than 3,000 homicides committed during the process of controlling territory for drug trafficking and committing illegal acts.” “Don Mario was Urabá’s controller, but also in his struggle to control territory” he was the “cause of homicides in cities such as Medellín; that is why this capture is of special importance to the safety of Colombians,” added the Minister of Defense. Santos took the opportunity to ask other drug kingpins to surrender, especially Oliveiro Pedro Guerrero, alias “Cuchillo,” leader of the group operating in the eastern plains and jungles of Colombia, now considered the next target of the authorities. “This means that there is no place in Colombia or in the world where these drug lords can hide, no matter how powerful they may be,” Santos said, before congratulating the police for the operation. “I want to say that my problem is inherited,” were the only words that “Don Mario” said to the journalists who had awaited his arrival in Bogotá.
By Dialogo November 29, 2010 The Central American Aeronautics and Space Association (ACAE), with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Religion and the Technological Institute of Costa Rica (ITCR), has begun tests that, at least five years from now, could conclude with the launch of the region’s first meteorological satellite into orbit. The project, named Daedalus, will contribute to high-altitude study of atmospheric pressure, elevation, temperature, luminosity, and humidity, with the objective of improving understanding of phenomena such as climate change. According to reporting by the AFP news agency, the device’s first prototype could be launched in January. The first test was recently carried out, consisting of the launch of a balloon – designed by a Costa Rican student, Yoel Wigoda – equipped with a photo and video camera and a platform carrying measuring instruments. The apparatus, almost two meters in diameter, was launched from the Tilarán university campus, in northern Costa Rica, and reached an altitude of more than thirty kilometers. During its ascent, which took almost three hours, the instruments sent back the first images of the curvature of the earth taken over Central America. This first test cost approximately two thousand dollars. “It’s the first time that this has been done in Central America,” the executive director of the Costa Rican firm Ad Astra, Ronald Chang, affirmed during the presentation. “We can talk about five to ten years at most for sending the first Central American satellite into space,” the engineer estimated. For his part, the president of the ACAE, Carlos Alvarado, affirmed that the program’s financing comes from the Central American Integration System (SICA) and indicated that the first steps are being taken in Costa Rica, but they are making progress toward other nations, such as Guatemala and El Salvador.