first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Energy Voice:Statoil has made a slight but incredibly significant change to its brand. It starts the year as a “energy company” leaving its “oil company” persona behind.Energy Voice exclusively sat down with chief executive Eldar Sætre to discuss the shift in strategy. “The future is going to be low carbon. It has to be,” he said.“Our industry must be involved in this. The sector is an important part of the problem and the solution, when it comes to a low carbon future, so we have to take responsibility. But we also have to translate this into what are the implications and opportunities from a business perspective. This is something that is happening and the industry must be part of this. I’ve made a choice – we don’t see this as a problem.“Our renewables business has been even more integrated into our existing business, so we define ourselves firmly as an energy company,” Sætre said. “We do oil and gas, but we are an energy company. Renewables is not something we do on the side.“We have indicated we might spend between 15% to 20% of our capital expenditure by 2030 for renewables and we also indicated the type of returns we expect, because that’s important for our shareholders. They need to see returns. We’re talking about a 9% to 11% rate of return on these types of investments.”More: Exclusive: Statoil CEO Eldar Sætre on the industry’s “energy transition On the Blogs: Statoil CEO Embraces Renewables, Low-Carbon Energy Futurelast_img read more

first_imgFlorida utilities expect massive increase in solar generation in next 10 years FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Solar Industry:According to the Florida Public Service Commission’s (PSC) annual Ten-Year Site Plan Report, solar generation is anticipated to increase significantly in the Sunshine State within the next decade.Over the next 10 years, the state’s solar energy use will increase by 44%, representing 16,000 GWh of energy by 2027, says the PSC, citing the Florida Reliability Coordinating Council (FRCC). Notably, FRCC says that at current penetration levels, no impacts to reliability have been identified.As part of Florida’s total electric generating resources, renewables, overall, are expected to increase from the current 2% to 8%. Further, natural gas is predicted to increase from 64% to 66% and coal to decrease from 15% to 10%.As laid out in the Ten-Year Site Plan Report, the state’s solar industry is expected to install 7,125 MW, including 5,551 MW of utility-owned solar and 1,574 MW of contracted solar. “Utility site plans provide us with a roadmap to meet Florida’s energy needs over the next 10 years and ensure future reliability,” says Gary F. Clark, PSC commissioner. “Interestingly, this planning cycle differs from others in that renewable capacity is projected to become the second-highest installed capacity source in our state.” He adds, “With utilities deploying battery storage options, solar energy will become more useful, and its role will continue to grow.”More: Solar to play increasingly bigger role in Florida’s energy futurelast_img read more

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):RWE AG was the major winner in Germany’s first tender for shutting down hard coal-fired power plants, taking two-thirds of the compensation handed out by the government, as strong competition elsewhere drove average prices down to well below the maximum available.RWE and Vattenfall AB both secured contracts for closing two power plants each, while Uniper SE successfully bid one of its assets, according to results published Dec. 1 by Germany’s grid regulator, BNetzA.The auction was meant to secure the shutdown of 4,000 MW of hard coal capacity, but ended up awarding contracts to 4,788 MW, spread across 11 power plants. It was the first in a series of seven rounds that are supposed to whittle down a fleet of about 23,000 MW of hard coal plants still online in Germany. The country wants to phase out all coal generation by 2038.The first tender was significantly oversubscribed, BNetzA said, resulting in a volume-weighted average of just €66,259/MW — significantly below the €165,000/MW ceiling. Individual awards ranged from €6,047/MW to €150,000/MW.Overall, the low compensation bids are a sign of the unattractive economics of running coal power plants in Germany, after a year that saw production idled amid low demand caused by the lockdown. Coal operators have also had to contend with competition from cheap gas and high CO2 prices under the EU’s Emissions Trading System.In the first round, RWE was successful with its 764-MW Westfalen and 794-MW Ibbenbüren plants, while Vattenfall successfully bid the two blocks of its Hamburg Moorburg plant, which have a combined capacity of 1,600 MW. Although the mechanism is designed to prioritize the shutdown of plants with higher emissions, the awards include some of Germany’s most modern hard coal units: Moorburg has only been online since 2015 and RWE’s Westfalen went into operation in 2014.[Yannic Rack]More ($): RWE nets bulk of compensation in Germany’s first tender for coal plant closures First German coal closure auction oversubscribed as utilities look to exit uneconomic sectorlast_img read more

first_imgFinishing last at one of the biggest stage races in the country.The freezing rain stops when I hit the first river crossing, so there’s reason to be optimistic as I sink up to my junk in Bradley Creek. It’s snowing at the higher peaks of Pisgah National Forest, where Bradley Creek is just a skinny trickle. The faster racers are probably already up there, battling it out on snowy singletrack at 5,000 feet. There are no epic battles where I am. Down here, at the back of the pack, there are just a couple of racers on the verge of getting pulled by the Grim Reaper, and a handful of icy stream crossings.I’m 10 miles into the second big day of the inaugural Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race, a multi-day event that’s attracted some of the top pro XC riders in North America. I’m the only racer sporting a beater bike adorned with glow sticks leftover from Halloween 2008. We’re all here for the course: 130 miles and 30,000 feet of climbing over marquee trails like Avery Creek, Bennett Gap, and Black Mountain. You couldn’t see a better side of Pisgah if you hired a guide.Standing in the middle of the river, my bike hung on my shoulder and legs going numb, I try to remember the warning signs of hypothermia, but come up blank, which is probably one of the warning signs of hypothermia. Still, it’s better than yesterday.Yesterday: Confucius SaysDay one saw me getting dropped by the pros on the first fire-road climb of the race. With 38 miles and 9,000 feet of climbing in a single day, my plan was to spin in granny toward the back of the pack and hope I survive the worst that Pisgah has to offer. After a five-mile ennui-inducing gravel road grind, I spent 15 minutes pushing my bike through the first big singletrack climb on Squirrel Gap. The whole damn trail is marred with off-camber root gardens and deep, thick mud pits, which cause me to eat it over and over. I leave Squirrel bruised, tender, and second-guessing my life choices. The bikers I’m riding against had nutrition plans and sponsorships. I had a bag of pretzels in my pack and the tenuous blessing of my wife.But I was the only racer smart enough to pre-stock the checkpoints with beer.The hours unfolded with more gravel road grinds and hike-a-bike singletrack. Even the famous Black Mountain downhill was too much for me to handle at the end of the day. I took the downhill gingerly with cold fingers clenched around the back break, riding across the finish line seven hours and 32 minutes after I started, comforted only by the fact that other riders were still out on the course suffering.That night, I spent an hour eating takeout lo-mein in the bathtub and feeling sorry for myself. I was ready to drop out of the race completely when I opened the obligatory fortune cookie and read, “Confucius says: it does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” No shit.Plastic BaggiesWe’re greeted with freezing rain on the five-mile road ride that kicks off Saturday’s leg of the race. We’ve got 41 miles ahead of us today, with some big, technical downhills, lots of water, and 9,500 feet of climbing.The temperature drops after I get soaked by the seven creek crossings. My toes and fingers grow numb and my face and chest burn from the wind. I wrap plastic sandwich bags around my feet to keep out the cold. I hit the checkpoint only 45 minutes in front of the mandatory cut off time. The Grim Reaper is on my tail.He catches up with me on a steep push up Laurel Mountain just before I reach the course’s peak elevation. I managed to stay ahead of Steve the Safety Sweep (aka the Grim Reaper) yesterday because of the few slower riders behind me, but they’ve all dropped out.There’s snow on the ground as I pedal onto Pilot Rock with the Grim Reaper a few feet behind me. His job is to ride the course with the last biker to make sure no one gets hurt and everyone hits the cut off times. Unless I hustle to beat the clock, I’m the next biker to drop.Pilot Rock is a downhill booby-trapped with hair-pen switchbacks and boulder gardens. Youtube it. You’ll see rad downhill porn set to booming hip-hop tracks. I take it considerably slower, walking some choice sections. My descent would be the worst Youtube video ever.  But I survive the 10-hour day, finishing just minutes ahead of the cut-off.My Little PonyAt the starting line on Sunday, the final day, we’re looking at a breezy 40 miles and 9,000 feet of elevation gain. The first forest road climb is long, steep, and boring, so I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to convince another rider that My Little Pony is an edgy cartoon. Steve the Grim Reaper is with us too, but he’s a silent partner. Always watching, never judging, ready to pull our card if we miss a checkpoint time cutoff.Bennett Gap is the highlight of the course. It’s 2.5 miles of downhill with just a touch of hike-a-bike to keep you honest. After Bennett Gap, there’s one more forest road grind, then a repeat of the last two miles of Black Mountain. With the end in sight, I’m feeling good, so I crank it into the big chain ring for the last downhill and pedal as fast as I can, cresting high on Black Mountain’s berms and launching far off its drops.The clock says six hours and change when I cross the finish line. I’m the last biker to finish again, crossing the line just a few yards ahead of Steve the Grim Reaper. He hands me a beer and cracks a smile for the first time, asking me how it feels to finish dead last at the Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race.I’m too tired to respond, but I know this race is like a traumatic childhood event. Like getting pantsed during a middle-school assembly. The initial shock to your system is brutal, but eventually, with therapy, it’ll make you stronger. •last_img read more

first_img“So easy, a caveman can do it!”Well, maybe not that easy, but consider this: the first record of brewed beer dates back to 3500 B.C. As soon as humans began sowing cereal grains, they began transforming those grains into beer. From Mesopotamia to mountain monasteries, the history of beer is as old as civilization itself and almost as diverse. The beverage has changed over the millennia, but the beauty of beer is its simplicity. It only takes a few ingredients – in Germany you can only use three: water, barley, and hops – and a little time, and voila, you got yourself some beer.The recent popularity explosion in craft beer has had a similar effect on the popularity of homebrewing. Brewing beer in your basement may not have the lore of backwoods moonshining, but it was illegal until 1979 when Jimmy Carter passed a law allowing small batches to be brewed at home. Fitting that a peanut farmer would sign this bill considering beer has been credited with the rise of cultivation and farming. People needed more beer, so they made settlements and planted more grain, and in turn formed more complex societies and even gave rise to civilization as we know it. At least that’s how the theory goes.You don’t have to be a student of sociology to enjoy brewing your own beer at home, however. There are plenty of companies selling beer-making kits of varying degrees of difficulty but virtually all beer, commercial and domestic, is made the same way:WORTThe first step in brewing beer is forming your wort. This process involves extracting the sugar from the grain you are using. Essentially, you are steeping crushed grain in hot water and harvesting the “tea” that results. This darkly tinted sugar water is your wort, the backbone of your beer.BOILOnce you have your wort, it’s time to boil. Water is extracted during the boiling process, making the liquid more condensed. Boiling also kills any enzymes or bacteria present in the wort.HOPSDuring the boiling stage, hops are added in various stages. Hops added at the beginning contribute bitterness; hops added at the middle contribute flavor; hops at the very end contribute aroma.FERMENTATIONOnce the boil is finished, the final mixture is cooled and racked into the primary fermenter, where the yeast is added to jump start fermentation. During the fermentation process, the yeast and wort turn itself into beer and particles settle out to the bottom.CARBONATIONOnce the beer has finished fermenting – a week to a month, depending on the beer – the brew needs to be carbonated. This can either take place in the sealed bottle with a little sugar added, or in a keg system.DRINKYou can figure this one out on your own. •last_img read more

first_imgI need coffee. It’s not a want, a treat, or an option. It is a need the same as water, food, and air. Death before decaf, the whole deal.I do not doubt that many of you reading this right now are nodding your heads in agreement. In the summer I like my iced coffees, and when the cold hits I like my drinks hot.Klean Kanteen recently sent me their 16oz vacuum insulated bottle to try out. The claim on the site is “Durable, double-walled construction and vacuum insulation assures that beverages stay hot up to 6 hours, while iced drinks stay frosty for more than 24.” Needless to say these are some hefty promises to live up to, so you bet I was going to test them.I started small by using the bottle on my commutes to work each day. I boiled my water, measured out the grinds precisely for my French press (like hell I would use a Keurig), and then poured the steaming delicious nectar into the mug. 15 minutes later I arrived at work and unsurprisingly the drink was still steaming hot, but what was nice is that it stayed quite hot for another hour with the top off.If you’re wondering about leaks etc, you can stop the worrying right now. Bumpy bike rides in the backpack or in the bottle cage (yes it fits quite nicely) yield no drips from the leakproof Stainless Loop Cap. I also tried the Café Cap and it is quite a nice option. It is splashproof and also makes the Klean Kanteen the ideal car mug.So after initial testing was done I decided to really put the Klean Kanteen through its paces. Each year we go on a Super Bowl Sunday ride in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Well I should say we start in Harrisonburg, then ride out to Reddish Knob, up to Flagpole Knob, then down and back into town. We are looking at 6-8 hours round trip depending on conditions and snow levels in the cold. Perfect environment to put the Kanteen through its paces.I woke up eager for the ride on Sunday morning and filled up my Klean Kanteen to the brim with piping hot coffee, already excited at the idea of drinking it on the top of Flagpole. I imagined my friends and I cold and wet, and then ah from my pack comes the giver of life, the item that will ignite life back into the group, the excitement was almost too much to bear.After a long ride out there on the road in 30 degree weather we climbed for about an hour and a half up to Flagpole. Arriving at the top we were greeted with a bit of wind and darn cold conditions. Fingers cold and shaky I reached into my pack and brought out the Klean Kanteen for the moment of truth. Sure enough 4 hours after I had filled it up, opening the top released a cloud of steam. Not only was my coffee hot, it was really hot!flagpole knobThe Superbowl Sunday Group at the top of Flagpole!As predicted I quickly turned into the most popular guy on the mountain. For $27.95 or $31.95 (2 cap combo) you can enjoy 16oz of hot or cold liquid anywhere. I say for this price it is well worth the money, and you won’t have to worry about any plastic toxins etc.Bottom Line: At the office, in the car, or on the trail the Klean Kanteen is a must for bringing along your hot or cold beverage of choice.last_img read more

first_imgBy now, everyone in America has their own nano-brewery and craft distilleries are so 2011. The next frontier for discerning locavores who love to imbibe? Sake. Blue Kudzu Sake Company opened last week in Asheville’s River Arts District, making it only the fourth craft sake brewer operating in the U.S. All sake is distilled brewed from polished rice but apparently, high-end craft sake tastes nothing like the warm hooch you typically get at your favorite sushi restaurant. If the table sake we’re all used to is Natural Light, then the organic craft sake that Blue Kudzu is making is Pisgah Pale.Sake brewing is still in its infancy in the U.S. We have a couple of macro-brewers in Portland, but only a few craft brewpubs scattered about the country. Lack of access to proper brewing equipment and high quality rice makes brewing sake difficult, but it looks as if we’re at the beginning of a new trend. In addition to Blue Kudzu, the popular Ben’s Tune Up, a ramen and sake bar also in Asheville, has plans to brew its own sake by the end of the year.Kanpai!Follow Graham Averill’s adventures in drinking and Dad-hood at daddy-drinks.comlast_img read more

first_imgDear Mountain Mama,I’m headed to the beach this weekend and looking forward to some down time to read.Can you recommend any great new books?Thanks,Bookworm Dear Bookworm,Some books transport you to another place. Others change the way you think about the world. UNTAMED: The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island delivers on both fronts.Will Harlan (editor of Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine for the last 14 years) writes about Georgia’s biggest barrier island in a way that the reader comes to know Cumberland Island as a character with its own larger-than-life personality. The tides become the island’s pulse; the turtles, boars, ponies, and deer the island’s spirit. And carol-untamed-will-harlanCarol Ruckdeschel is the island’s bold voice.Carol, a long-time island resident, is dubbed the wildest woman in America. Carol eats roadkill, lives off the land, and dissects sea turtles. Even without a college degree, Carol became one of the top turtle biologists by staying up all night to track and observe the island’s sea turtles.Carol struggled to find her place in the world, and once she discovered Cumberland Island, she’s devoted her life to protecting all that’s wild and natural there. But Carol’s an unlikely heroine in many ways who’s made her fair share of mistakes. Instead of brushing over her faults, Will Harlan depicts her as human and relatable.Will’s humble and unassuming voice assures readers that we’re not boxed in by what we’ve gotten wrong. And it is Carol’s humanity that will ultimately allows readers the same hope the changing tides have given her – the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and recreate the way we live.UNTAMED gives readers the chance to reach for a place that’s worth becoming passionate about, reminding us that preserving wilderness is essential to protecting ourselves and how we relate with the natural world.Bookworm, happy beach reading!Mountain Mamalast_img read more

first_imgSue Haywood is an east coast mountain bike icon. Her career was baptized in the mud bogs of Canaan Valley. A World Cup and Olympic-caliber racer traveling the world for many years, she is now a recreational pro racing everything from XC, 100 milers, enduros, downhill, and cyclocross. Her passion is teaching mountain bike skills, especially to women, putting on training camps and skills clinics.I sat down with Haywood in Davis, W.Va., and asked her to dump out the contents of the bike pack she uses for long rides.1. Ergon BX2 Mountain Bike Pack“This German company does human engineering well with a good fit that distributes the backpack’s load for a smooth ride. The load sits off my back nicely and it is size adjustable as well.” ergon-bike.com2. Camelbak Bladder“I use a Camelbak bladder in either a 50 oz. or 70 oz. with a 16 oz. bottle on the bike.” camelbak.com3. Topeak Mountain Morph Pump“This is the best pump of the 20 or so that I’ve owned. It pumps up a tire easily and is reliable. It is a little longer than other pumps, which means you can’t fit it in a jersey pocket, but that’s what makes it so good, too.” topeak.com4. Kenda 29er Tube“And if you want to cover all bases, you could carry a 27.5-inch tube that will easily fit a 26-inch and 29er. Pro tip: Keep your good tube in either a sock or a ziplock. If you leave it free inside your pack, it can easily get nicked.” kendatire.com5. Pedros Tire Lever“Best tire lever, strong and wide. I wrap mine with a load of electrical tape for other emergencies.” pedros.com6. Stan’s NoTubes Sealant“NoTubes is a sponsor of mine and I always run tubeless wheels. I carry two sample bottles in my pack. If you nick or get a hole and lose a lot of Stan’s sealant, you can put more in. I always try to keep the bead on the tire first and air up, instead of going for the tube right away.” notubes.com7. Tubeless Tire Plugs“Probably the best invention of the last two years for people who run tubeless. They are similar to car plugs. Sometimes if your Stan’s won’t seal a hole or you have a nick at the bead, use a plug to seal it. Plugs are sticky and they coagulate with the Stan’s sealant. I was running three plugs at a time a couple weeks ago with no problems.”genuineinnovations.itwgbx.com8. CrankBros Multi-Tool“It has all the allen keys, plus it has T-25 that you’ll need on most bikes nowadays. It also has a chain tool that is easy to use. It’s heavy enough to use as a weapon, too!” crankbrothers.com9. Patagonia Torrent Shell Jacket“I love this jacket because it has pit zips, a hood, and a good fit for cycling. I can roll it up pretty small, too.” patagonia.com10. Buff“So lightweight and versatile! Neck gaiter, headband, glasses cleaner, napkin, padding.” buffusa.comBEST OF THE RESTSpare Derailleur Hanger“This little extra can make all the difference. If (and when) you kiss your derailleur on a rock, replacing the D-hanger with a fresh one will keep you rolling on.”Zip Ties“You never know, you might have to ziptie a stick to your broken carbon handlebar!”Spare Chain Link“It might be you or a friend that needs this. You might even consider carrying a 9 speed, 10 speed, and 11 speed nowadays.”iPhone“It’s my camera and I take a lot of pictures! For protection, I use a Ziploc baggie.”First Aid“I have a kit for when I’m guiding and one if I’m on a joyride. I carry a sticky ace bandage wrap: compression does me good if I get a bruise or I’m bleeding. I carry and use Yunnan Baiyao, the best-known Chinese medicine to stop bleeding.” (activeherb.com)Cycling Cap“A cap works good for three things…. keeps rain out of your eyes, keeps sun out of your eyes, and covers up helmet hair.”last_img read more

first_imgDon’t all singer-songwriters have roots in bluegrass, punk, ska, jazz, and acapella groups? Maybe not, but North Carolina’s Kevin Daniel surely does. With roots in classical music dating back to his early elementary years, Daniel has arrived at his guitar driven folk rock after adventuring across the musical landscape for the last twenty years. BRO – First record you ever bought? BRO – First instrument you learned to play? KD – I think the first record I ever bought with my own money was Dave Matthews Band’s Remember Two Things. The first record I was ever given was No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom. Both of those discs change my life and I have probably listened to each at least a hundred times a piece. Probably more. They’re two very different bands, but both have horns, which was cool to me because, at the time, I was playing saxophone in three different high school bands. Also, young Gwen Stefani’s voice was insane and sounded totally different than anyone else at the time. BRO – First song you ever danced to? BRO – First concert ticket you ever bought? Kevin Daniel will be in New Jersey this weekend taking part in the prestigious Singer-Songwriter of Cape May gathering. If you find yourself in the Garden State this weekend, drop by for a collection of panels, showcases, and discussions featuring a bevy of outstanding singer-songwriters. BRO – First song you ever played live?center_img KD – I think the first concert ticket I ever bought was to Aerosmith. I went with my girlfriend at the time because she just got a car and wanted to drive. The show was at Walnut Creek in Raleigh, but I think it’s called something else now. But, more importantly, the first concert I ever attended was Jimmy Buffett. My parents were sailors and took me and my brother and sister on a week-long sailing trip on our boat in the Bahamas. It was amazing. The night before we left, they took us to the Buffett concert, maybe to get everyone in the mood, which is hilarious. I remember at the time thinking it was awesome, although I’m sort of embarrassed that it was my first show. It was also my first introduction into serious fandom, with the whole Parrothead scene. It was probably also the first time I saw adults get really, really drunk. As “Pour Me A Drink” suggests, the end results have been well worth it. This latest single is a folky acoustic ode with some rock and roll brass, complete with a sing along chorus about love gone bad and the solace found in the bottle. KD – That would be “Hotel California” at a high school pep rally. The teachers allowed me and my band to play one song. We spent about ten hours practicing and we still sucked, but I felt like a rock star. I later learned the song is sort of about a whore house in hell, which is pretty funny, considering we played it in a gym for a bunch of teenagers. I recently caught up with Kevin, who was kind enough to dish on all manner of firsts with me. KD – I went to Jewish summer camp in Hendesonville, North Carolina, and we used to have mixers every couple of weeks. This was definitely my first time dancing with a girl, and I’m almost positive it was to “I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing,” by Aerosmith. I remember I didn’t even really know how to slow dance. I put my hands on her shoulders, not her waist, and we basically danced like two zombies facing each other. I think I’m a little better now. KD – Like many musicians, my first instrument was the piano. I used to take lessons from an elderly woman who lives across the street from my elementary school in Tarboro, North Carolina. I’d drag this huge keyboard to school with me. It was almost as big as I was. Then I’d cross the street after school and take a lesson. In hindsight, I’m surprised my parents let me cross the street alone at such a young age, but things were different back then. I was probably around five or six years old. Around eight, they got me a saxophone after I had been playing with a toy one for five months straight. I think they finally got the message, and sax soon became my obsession. For more information on Kevin Daniel, his tour dates, or when you can catch him live, swing by his website. And be sure to check out “Pour Me A Drink,” along with new cuts from Julian Lage, Joey McGee, Haint Blue, and many more on this month’s Trail Mix.last_img read more