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China Will Close 1,000 Mines

first_imgChina Will Close 1,000 Mines FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享From Reuters:China will aim to close more than 1,000 coal mines over this year, with a total production capacity of 60 million tonnes, as part of its plans to tackle a price-sapping supply glut in the sector, the country’s energy regulator said.China is the world’s top coal consumer but demand has been on the wane as economic growth slows and the country shifts away from fossil fuels in order to curb pollution.In a notice posted on its website on Monday, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said the closures would form part of the plan released earlier this month to shut as much as 500 million tonnes of surplus production capacity within the next three to five years.China to close more than 1,000 coal mines in 2016: energy bureaulast_img read more

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Wyoming County ‘Hoping for the Best’ on Collecting $50 Million Due From 2 Bankrupt Coal Companies

first_imgWyoming County ‘Hoping for the Best’ on Collecting $50 Million Due From 2 Bankrupt Coal Companies FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Mead Gruver for the Associated Press:Campbell County officials say they’re hoping for the best and preparing for the worst as almost $50 million in local taxes owed by two major coal companies that have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy comes due next week.Most of the amount due Tuesday is taxes based on the value of coal that Alpha Natural Resources and Arch Coal mined in 2014. The taxes aren’t considered overdue until May.Bristol, Va.-based Alpha Natural Resources filed for bankruptcy in August, followed by St. Louis-based Arch in January. The county has filed paperwork in case it has to go through bankruptcy court to collect $14.5 million from Alpha, deputy county attorney Carol Seeger said.“I just didn’t want to run the risk of being foreclosed,” Seeger said Wednesday.An Alpha spokesman declined to comment on the record Thursday. The time to file a court claim for the $34.4 million owed by Arch has not opened up yet, Seeger said.“As part of the ordinary course of business, we have paid and expect to continue to pay taxes as they come due,” Arch spokeswoman Logan Bonacorsi said by email Thursday.Almost half of the revenue goes to Campbell County government agencies and districts. Campbell County’s general budget this year, covering everything from the local community college campus to animal control, is about $170 million.“They haven’t contacted us other than their bankruptcy papers,” county Treasurer Becky Brazelton said of the coal companies. “We’re hopeful they’re going to pay, but we just won’t know until May.”Close to $27 million goes to the Campbell County School District, which sends the revenue to the state for even redistribution to school districts throughout Wyoming. The system will insulate Campbell County schools from any loss of local revenue, Associate Superintendent Kirby Eisenhauer said.A bigger concern for schools is state coal-leasing revenue that has ground to a halt. The money helped pay for a school construction boom across Wyoming, but several schools in Campbell County will need to be replaced in the years ahead, Eisenhauer said.Full article: Campbell County eyes taxes owed by Chapter 11 coal companieslast_img read more

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Largest Southeast Asia solar plant to be built in Vietnam

first_imgLargest Southeast Asia solar plant to be built in Vietnam FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Nikkei Asian Review:BANGKOK—The power generating arm of Thailand’s oldest industrial conglomerate, B. Grimm, has partnered with Vietnamese construction firm Xuan Cau to develop the largest solar power plant in Southeast Asia at a cost of $420 million. B. Grimm Power Public Company CEO Preeyanart Soontornwata said the deal was inked last week in Bangkok, witnessed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Vietnamese Premier Nguyen Xuan Phuc. The 420-megawatt solar power plant will be located in Tay Ninh, southwestern Vietnam. Commercial operations are due to start by June next year.B. Grimm, which started out in the Thai pharmaceutical business in 1878, is now a diversified corporation with interests in energy, building and industrial systems, health care, lifestyle, transport and real estate.The joint venture recently finalized a deal with a contractor to perform engineering, procurement and construction services for the project, she said. Talks are under way with several local and international financial institutions for project funding, she added.The venture is also expected to contribute to B. Grimm’s revenues from overseas power projects. B. Grimm has set a target for such projects to account for 30% of overall income in 2022, up from 6% currently. B. Grimm Power has also set a goal to have a total of 53 power projects with total power generating capacity of 2,938 megawatts in 2022. To achieve this, the company needs another 2,000 MW from new projects in neighboring countries such as Laos and Vietnam, as well as at home. The Thai government aims to increase the proportion of renewable power to 30% of total power generation in 2036, up from 12% currently.More: Thai conglomerate to build ASEAN’s largest solar plant in Vietnamlast_img read more

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Commentary: Good jobs in energy efficiency industries

first_imgCommentary: Good jobs in energy efficiency industries FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Columbia Missourian:Developing and installing the technology to reduce fossil fuel use — known in the industry as “energy efficiency” — creates many more jobs than fossil fuels.Energy efficiency jobs in the United States totaled 2.18 million in 2016, more than double the total of fossil fuel production and fossil-fuel based electricity generation combined.They’re growing at a much faster rate, too. From 2015 to 2016, there was 53 percent employment growth in advanced and recycled building materials, and 59 percent employment growth in Energy Star appliances. Compare that to just 9 percent growth in fossil fuel-based electricity generation.These energy efficiency jobs are much cheaper to create. According to an academic study, every $1 million invested in energy efficiency creates 12 jobs, compared to just 4 or 5 for fossil fuel jobs.These are good, well-paying jobs. For example, electricians have a median hourly pay of $26, and the corresponding numbers for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) workers and carpenters are $22.64 and $21.71, respectively. (Compare that to the median hourly pay for all U.S. workers, $18.12.)These jobs are more likely to be unionized, too. And they’re a great way to lift up people who’ve been left out of the fossil fuel economy.For example, Illinois has passed legislation requiring larger utilities to create renewable energy and energy efficiency job training programs, especially for people from economically disadvantaged communities — including youth of color, formerly incarcerated people, individuals who’ve been in the foster care system as children, and others.Oregon is another success story. Forty-seven percent of new jobs created through Oregon’s statewide residential energy efficiency program — and 55 percent of the hours worked — went to women and people of color. Median hourly wages for these jobs were 7 percent higher than the median hourly wage of $17.24 for all Oregon workers, and 81 percent of workers had health benefits.More: Want to create jobs? Reduce fossil fuel uselast_img read more

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Solar mini-grids offer economic option for Nigerian electrification plans

first_imgSolar mini-grids offer economic option for Nigerian electrification plans FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Quartz:Nigeria’s electricity problems mainly revolve around a power generating system that doesn’t produce enough to match demand and an ineffective tariff system that means power distributing companies can hardly make a profit.Just as crucial, there’s a significant infrastructure gap as more than half of Nigeria’s population lacks access to the national power grid. Across the country’s rural areas, the electrification rate is even lower.One way to solve the problem is to take on the expensive and difficult task of connecting tens of millions of homes to the struggling national grid. But independent solar mini-grids offer a more feasible alternative, according to analysis in a report by the Rocky Mountain Institute and the Nigerian Renewable Energy Roundtable. With large-scale solar power projects likely to be delayed by high-level red tape, freeing developers to install mini-grids for local communities is a viable panacea.The mini-grids “fill an important gap between expensive grid extension projects and low-power solutions like solar home systems” the report says. Mini-grids already exist across Nigeria. Indeed, in making its analysis, the report audits ten existing mini-grids in Nigeria which serve 2,000 households. The success of existing mini-grids which have implemented “cost-reflective tariffs and generated customer demand,” the report states, is evidence of “the potential profitability of commercial mini-grid projects.” Crucially, the market is evolving from projects backed by the government grants to viable commercial models.There’s major upside for both customers and mini-grid developers if the local market is scaled. The report forecasts that deploying 10,000 sites with an output of 100 kilowatts (kW) by 2023 would power around 14% of the population. At that scale, tariff forecasts also show mini-grid developers can generate $3 billion in annual revenue.An added boon for local communities are lower power costs in the long-term. A majority of residents in the communities served by the mini-grids report spending less on power compared to the expense of alternatives like a diesel and petrol power generator, the report says. It also projects that tariffs, currently high relative to the national grid, will fall by 60% in the next two years as more development occurs.More: The solution to Nigeria’s big electricity problem lies in thinking smalllast_img read more

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Florida renewables giant says end of wind subsidy won’t slow new installations

first_imgFlorida renewables giant says end of wind subsidy won’t slow new installations FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:The wind sector is just a couple of years from seeing the PTC start declining, leading to broad questions about whether rapid growth of the resource can continue. But NextEra officials see little reason for concern as technological advances mature alongside a diminishing tax credit.[Armando Pimentel, president and CEO of NextEra Energy Resources], told analysts during the company’s earnings call Tuesday that the outlook for new wind energy remains strong even as the PTC is slated to begin phasing out.Asked about the size of the U.S. wind market when the federal subsidy rolls off, Pimentel said, “We think that by the mid part of the next decade that the pricing of wind is going to be pretty much on par to where we see it today with a 100% PTC.”The PTC begins to phase out in 2021, declining to 80%, then 60% in 2022, and so on. But considering improvements the company is beginning to see with technology, “we absolutely believe that by mid part of the next decade, you’re going to have the costs around the same place that you have it today,” Pimentel said. “We think there’s going to be a lot of wind that gets built over the next three to four years on top of the solar and storage that we are clearly seeing is coming to market,” Pimentel said.NextEra Energy Resources has also signed its first transaction in which a customer is combining wind and solar energy with battery storage, officials said. [John Ketchum, NextEra’s executive vice president of finance and chief financial officer], called it the next phase of renewables deployment, pairing “low cost wind and solar energy with a low-cost battery storage solution to provide a product that can be dispatched with enough certainty to meet customer needs for a nearly firm generation resource.”More: NextEra: Wind will be competitive after PTC sunset due to price declineslast_img read more

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U.S. coal exports down 7.7% in first quarter compared to same period in 2018

first_imgU.S. coal exports down 7.7% in first quarter compared to same period in 2018 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Following a strong export market in 2018, U.S. coal producers shipped about 7.7% less coal abroad year over year during the first quarter of 2019 as thermal coal pricing into Europe declined.U.S. coal miners shipped 23 million tonnes of coal to other nations during the first three months of the year, an 11.9% decrease from the fourth quarter of 2018, according to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence. India was the top destination, with nearly 4 million tonnes of coal arriving in the subcontinent during the period, a 14.9% decrease from the first quarter of 2018.Ports in the Netherlands that serve as the initial point of entry for many U.S. coal shipments to the European market received more coal than India in the fourth quarter of 2018 but ranked second during the recent period. Though much of Western Europe is moving away from coal-fired generation and the API2 benchmark, which tracks the price of thermal coal sold into Europe, dropped significantly, European imports of U.S. coal through the Netherlands rose by 44.8% year over year to 2.9 million tonnes.Gregory Marmon, a senior research analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said in an interview that the increase in European imports may reflect the contracts signed six months ago, but he expects imports to the continent to normalize given Europe’s lessening demand for coal.Arch Coal Inc. President and COO Paul Lang said its 2019 exports will be down by about 1 million tons year over year, most of which will come from its thermal business, following the drop in thermal pricing. Alliance Resource Partners LP is also delaying the growth of its Illinois Basin operations, a move that is expected to reduce planned volumes by nearly 1 million tons in 2019.More ($): U.S. Q1’19 coal exports decline 7.7% YOY following strong 2018 global marketlast_img read more

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Race Ahead: New River Trail Challenge

first_imgThe New River Trail Challenge Triathlon,  September 20, 2014First run in 2000, the New River Trail Challenge has quickly become Virginia’s premiere adventure triathlon, attracting 200 athletes in 2013.The race consists of a 40 mile bike ride, 12.1 mile kayak leg, and a half marathon run in New River Trail State Park. Athletes can compete either solo or in teams of two or three, and all skill and age levels are welcome. Categories are age and gender based, trophies and medals are awarded to the top three teams in each category. After the race join in the fun for a beverage and refreshments in the “Libation Station.”sponsored-eventThe race is preceded by a fundraiser Friday night, featuring a band and local brewery to benefit the Pulaski Food Bank.Date: September 20, 2014Location: New River Trail State ParkStart Time: 8:30 a.m.Race Size: Capped at 300Race Contact: Virginia State Parks, Steve [email protected]; (804) 837-8354raceahead-new river trail challenge4last_img read more

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Meet the B.R.O. College Ambasssadors

first_imgThis year, Blue Ridge Outdoors is excited to announce the inaugural launch of our college ambassador program! The following three college students will be hosting meet-ups, attending events, and spreading the B.R.O. love around campus, and we couldn’t be more stoked to have them on board!This week, we sat down to talk with our new ambassadors about everything from dream jobs to peanut butter. Check out their responses below and be on the lookout for their first dispatches this week!BRO BIO Pic 2Kayla MayBRO: Where are you from originally (and where do you go to school now)?KM: I am originally from Louisville, Ky., but attend school in Boone, N.C., at Appalachian State University.BRO: How do you like to go outside and play?KM: I love going on day hikes or weekend backpacking trips as often as I can.BRO: Where is your favorite place/trail/river/etc. to play?KM: My favorite spot is Calloway Peak. The hike is fairly long but the view is worth every step.BRO: What is your earliest memory of being in the outdoors?KM: I looked forward to my church’s summer camp every year. The camp was in Indiana and had hiking trails and a lot of lake activities that we could do. The best part about camp was going off the blob at the lake.BRO: What are you currently studying?KM: I am currently studying Public Relations with a minor in English.BRO: Dream job?KM: My dream job is to work as an event planner for a major league sports team.BRO: Peanut butter or almond butter? This one’s important.KM: Peanut butter! I used to eat a jar a week. It’s basically my lifeline. McGradyClimbingMatt McGradyBRO: Where are you from originally (and where do you go to school now)?MM: I’m originally from Scranton, Pa., and yes that would be the very same Scranton depicted in The Office.  Now I am attending Radford University in the heart of the New River Valley!BRO: How do you like to go outside and play?MM: When people ask me what I do, I tell them that I play outside. I’m always up for an adventure. You can usually find me working on a rock climbing project or chasing the fish in my kayak.BRO: Where is your favorite place/trail/river/etc. to play?MM: The New River Gorge has been my passion lately. The climbing is abundant and challenging. I love the idea of a gorge — it hides all the city lights with its big walls and lets you submerse in a seemingly remote wilderness. It also shows just how effective persistence can be when you look down at the river that created the whole thing!BRO: What is your earliest memory of being in the outdoors?MM: My family has a cottage in Pennsylvania on the Susquehanna River. I practically grew up there and I smile when I think of how my brother and I were always racing across the rocks on the banks of the river, hopping from one to the next. My earliest memory is catching my first catfish with my dad and brother. It was almost as big as me!!  Sitting on the shore that night by the campfire I knew this was always going to be a big part of my life.BRO: What are you currently studying?MM: Currently, I am pursuing my Masters of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.BRO: Dream job?MM: My dream job comes from my belief that nature can teach us so much about ourselves. I want to create a consulting firm that uses evidence-based strategies to help leadership teams discover and work on their strengths and weakness by using outdoor experiences and targeted coaching. In the meantime, I’m working on developing the expertise to make that a reality.BRO: Peanut butter or almond butter? This one’s important.MM: Crunchy peanut butter for the win.  IMG_1480Sarah PuckettBRO: Where are you from originally (and where do you go to school now)?SP: I was born in Richmond, Virginia, moved to Pennsylvania when I was eight, and moved back to Virginia during high school to the small town of Montpelier. Now I am attending James Madison University.BRO: How do you like to go outside and play?SP: I live for hiking, backpacking, fishing in lakes and rivers, kayaking adventures, or just simply sitting under the stars at a campfire.BRO: Where is your favorite place/trail/river/etc. to play?SP: The trail I most frequently hike is South River Falls on Skyline Drive. I love taking friends and family that don’t get out much to this trail because it is an easy hike with beautiful scenery and a large waterfall that is sure to leave them breathless and inspired by nature.BRO: What is your earliest memory of being in the outdoors?SP: My earliest memories of being in the outdoors go back to when I was six or seven and caught a pretty big trout while staying at my grandpa’s cabin in Tioga State Park. He was so proud of me and was going to cook it for dinner but forgot it in his cooler and the next day it smelled awful.BRO: What are you currently studying?SP: I am currently studying marketing and just added a minor in music industry.BRO: Dream job?SP: My dream job would be to market for an outdoor music venue or a record company.BRO: Peanut butter or almond butter? This one’s important.SP: I’m going to have to go with almond butter.last_img read more

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Weekend Pick: Charlotte Ten Miler

first_imgIf you’ve already passed the 10K milestone but aren’t quite ready to take on a half-marathon, it can be difficult to find a race to help you bridge that awkward gap. Luckily, the Charlotte Ten MilerCharlotte Ten Mileris here to meet those needs this weekend. On Saturday, February 21, lace up for a morning on the town and don’t miss this special distance opportunity!The Charlotte Ten Miler will lead runners along Charlotte’s scenic McMullen Greenway and Four Mile Creek. These paved trails feature special sights and terrain, and will show off Charlotte from a whole new angle. The event also includes a four-mile race, which will begin at 7:30 that morning with the 10 miler to follow.After the race, hang out with your fellow runners for an awards ceremony honoring the top male and female participants overall and in each age group. Ten mile finishers can look forward to a tech hoodie and a medal at the end of the race. Plus, enjoy a free hot breakfast from The Big View Restaurant and Bar.Registration will be open online throughout the week, and will also be available on the morning of the race so long as spots remain open. Registered runners can come out to Charlotte Running Company on Friday evening from 4 to 7 p.m. for packet pickup, or Saturday morning from 6 to 7 before the race.The Charlotte Ten Miler is the perfect chance to up your running game, or just enjoy this unique distance. Come join the group for this great winter fun run!last_img read more

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