Month: December 2020

Month: December 2020

first_imgPuerto Rico utility debt restructuring will benefit bondholders, hurt ratepayers FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享NBC News:Puerto Rico residents, who already pay almost twice as much for electricity as U.S. customers, are facing a 13 percent spike under an agreement government officials made to repay bondholders who own the debt of the island’s bankrupt power authority.The average residential household in Puerto Rico would start seeing an increase of approximately $11 per month by the summer of 2020, increasing costs to more than $130 a year, according to an analysis from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), a nonprofit that conducts research and analyses on financial and economic issues related to energy and the environment.“This deal doesn’t acknowledge the fundamental reality that the Puerto Rico economy is declining,” Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst at IEEFA, told NBC News. “I don’t understand how they expect people to pay for this.”These increased costs come as Puerto Rico continues to struggle to recover from the wallop Hurricane Maria delivered in 2017, resulting in the total collapse of the island’s power grid and the world’s second-longest blackout.Rates are expected to gradually increase this year until fiscal year 2043 if the island’s legislature and bankruptcy courts approve the deal by the end of June. In almost 25 years, Puerto Ricans would be paying almost $20 more a month than they pay now — up to about $220 more a year per household until bondholders are paid off.IEEFA analysts estimate that, under the new deal, Puerto Ricans will pay more than $23 billion over the next 48 years, plus an additional $100 million to $200 million to cover the deal’s administrative expenses. “This is a great deal for the consultants and the financial and legal counselors involved, not for Puerto Ricans,” Kunkel said.More: Puerto Ricans already pay high energy prices. They could go higher.last_img read more


Month: December 2020

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Power generators across the U.S. are not only sticking to plans to retire coal-fired power plants despite the pro-coal Trump administration, they are touting the cost savings of doing so while pushing a further transition away from the fuel.Several utilities with the largest planned coal plant retirements confirmed they are not changing course after the administration finished the Affordable Clean Energy in mid-June, S&P Global Market Intelligence recently reported. Retiring coal plants and investing in other forms of generation is helping utilities across the country hit their own emission reduction targets while mitigating some of the risks coming from increased scrutiny around climate change, a review of power generators’ second-quarter earnings calls so far suggests.About 9.7 GW of coal capacity is expected to retire in 2019 alone, nearly as much as the 13.5 GW that came offline in 2018 when power generators recorded the second-highest level of coal retirements completed in recent decades. With natural gas prices at 20-year lows and showing no signs of increasing significantly in the near term, pressure on coal generators is likely to continue.“You know there was once a time when we had to make a sucker’s choice between clean and expensive energy or the cheap and dirty stuff,” said CMS Energy Corp. President and CEO Patricia Poppe on a July 25 call. “That just isn’t true anymore.”The Michigan Public Service Commission recently signed off on a CMS Energy plan that sets a path for the retirement of the company’s coal plants while adding 6,000 MW of solar energy in the longer term. The result, Poppe said, is not a “trade-off” but a “trade-up” as the transition supports “affordable bills, a cleaner environment and a higher quality mix of earnings.”WEC Energy Group Inc. Executive Chairman Gale Klappa said recent coal-fired power plant closures decreased the company’s operating and maintenance cost by an estimated $100 million on an annual basis. The utility recently shut down three of its less efficient coal-fired power plants in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan.More ($): US power generators reporting savings, other benefits from phasing out coal Utilities reaping financial benefits from coal plant closures and turn toward renewableslast_img read more


Month: December 2020

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:In a deal spanning 20 projects, seven states, two power markets and more solar than the entire state of Florida has installed to date, ACCIONA has agreed to a deal with Tenaska to acquire 3 GW of utility-scale solar and 1 GW of co-located solar and energy storage.This represents one of the largest deals known to pv magazine. What’s more is that the projects aren’t all that far from going on-line, CEO of ACCIONA’s Energy Division in North America, Rafael Esteban boldly shared: “We will bring a significant portion of the portfolio into service between 2021 and 2023.”Specially, ACCIONA envisions commissioning eight projects by the end of 2023, adding around 1.5 GW of peak capacity to its North American renewable energy portfolio.And while 3 GW of solar is massive, 1 GW of battery storage is, quite literally, unlike anything we have ever seen in the United States. To date, the country has only 899 MW of operating batter storage. And while that figure is anticipated to reach 1 GW by year’s end, even then this is 1/67th of the total installed solar capacity and an even smaller percent of installed renewable energy capacity.However, potentially the most impressive part about the deal is that none of the projects are located in what would be considered strong, traditional, solar markets. The states included are Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma.In case anyone was wondering, this 3 GW purchase represents more solar capacity than all of those states currently have on-line combined, and it’s not particularly close, either. Remember that whole bit about the future of solar being driven by the Midwest? Seems like it’s already starting to come true.More: ACCIONA buys solar + storage on a national scale Spain’s Acciona makes big foray into U.S. solar and battery storage marketslast_img read more


Month: December 2020

first_imgRystad Energy: North American oil and gas bankruptcy debt likely to top $100 billion this year FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Kallanish Energy:The debt from North American oil and natural gas bankruptcies has already reached an all-time high in 2020 and it will get even bigger in the last two months of the year, Kallanish Energy has learned.To date, there have been 84 Chapter 11 filings in 2020 among exploration and production firms and oilfield services firms, down from the historical high of 142 in 2016, Rystad Energy said in a new report based on the Chapter 11 data from the Haynes and Boone law firm. But the debt associated with those 2020 filings is $89 billion, $19 billion more than in 2016, it said.The cumulative debt is expected to top $100 billion this year, it said.The average debt per company in 2020 has been $1.05 billion, almost twice as much as the 2017 level of $576 million, it said. The average debt for E&Ps [exploration and production companies] this year has been $1.34 billion and $792 million for OFS [oil field services firms].“Yet we argue that the number of filings will still remain above the level recorded in 2019 over the next two years, as the industry keeps navigating through the challenging market environment,” said Artem Abramov, head of shale research at Rystad Energy, in a statement.The debt from the 55 E&Ps that have filed for Chapter 11 in 2020 is about $54 billion, it said. That number of bankruptcy filings could reach 61 before Dec. 31 with a total projected debt of $69 billion, it said. The number of Chapter 11 E&P filings is projected to be 54 in 2021 and 45 in 2022, assuming $40 WTI and $3 Henry Hub prices. That total debt will be $44 billion in 2021 and $32 billion in 2022.More: Record high Chapter 11 debt in 2020: Rystad Energylast_img read more



Month: December 2020

first_imgDear EarthTalk: With all the talk of desalinization of ocean water for drinking, what do we know about the impacts this might have on climate, ocean salinity and other natural processes?                                                                                                                         — Fred Kuepper, via e-mail Due to its high cost, energy intensiveness and overall ecological footprint, most environmental advocates view desalinization (or desalination)—the conversion of salty ocean water into fresh water—as a last resort for providing fresh water to needy populations. Sourcing fresh water from streams, rivers, lakes and underground aquifers and adhering to strict water conservation measures are much more viable for both economic and environmental reasons in most situations, although some desert regions with thirsty and growing populations may not have many such options. The relationship between desalinization and climate change is complex. Global warming has increased droughts around the world and turned formerly verdant landscapes into near deserts. Some long held fresh water sources are simply no longer reliably available to hundreds of millions of people around the world. Meanwhile, expanding populations in desert areas are putting intense pressure on existing fresh water supplies, forcing communities to turn to desalinization as the most expedient way to satisfy their collective thirst. But the process of desalinization burns up many more fossil fuels than sourcing the equivalent amount of fresh water from fresh water bodies. As such, the very proliferation of desalinization plants around the world—some 13,000 already supply fresh water in 120 nations, primarily in the Middle East, North Africa and Caribbean—is both a reaction to and one of many contributors to global warming. Beyond the links to climate problems, marine biologists warn that widespread desalinization could take a heavy toll on ocean biodiversity; as such facilities’ intake pipes essentially vacuum up and inadvertently kill millions of plankton, fish eggs, fish larvae and other microbial organisms that constitute the base layer of the marine food chain. And, according to Jeffrey Graham of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography’s Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine, the salty sludge leftover after desalinization—for every gallon of freshwater produced, another gallon of doubly concentrated salt water must be disposed of—can wreak havoc on marine ecosystems if dumped willy-nilly offshore. “For some desalinization operations,” says Graham, “it is thought that the disappearance of some organisms from discharge areas may be related to…the salty outflow.” Of course, as supplies of fresh water dwindle, the economic cost of desalinization—especially in coastal areas with easy access to ocean water—begins to look competitive with traditional water sourcing. To date there are about 300 desalinization plants in the United States, with 120 in Florida and less than 40 each in Texas and California. Some 20 additional plants are planned for the coast of California in the coming years, unless environmentalists extolling the virtues of conservation and wielding low-flow shower heads and toilets prevail. CONTACT: Scripps’ Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine, www.cmbb.ucsd.edu. GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/thisweek/, or e-mail: [email protected] Read past columns at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/archives.phplast_img read more


Month: December 2020

first_imgToday’s trailer is for a feature film called Deep Powder, set in the early 80’s. The trailer starts off with the age old tale of well-off, good looking girl falling for the boy from the wrong side of the tracks, or in this case the wrong side of the ski lift. Obviously, this story has been played to death and we can see the ending coming a mile away. But then the trailer takes a sharp right turn into the land of double entendre at the :45 mark, when cocaine comes onto the scene. Like I said, set in the early 80’s.It seems our two heroes head for the greener pastures of financial independence via a backpacking/ski trip down to South America to bring back drugs. The trailer’s information section reveals a little more of the backstory:“Privileged and reckless boarding school senior Natasha Tabor (Haley Bennett) is tapped by her secret society to make its annual drug run to Ecuador. She in turn chooses a working-class local boy (Shiloh Fernandez) as her partner in crime, launching a journey with devastating outcomes for everyone involved. Inspired by true events from the early ’80s, Deep Powder is an intense and sexy drama that speaks to the character that is revealed when you find yourself trapped.”From there it’s jump cuts between danger and ecstasy with some drug dogs, scooter shots, DEA agents, and machetes thrown in for good measure. Will they get away with it? Will they stay together? Will they shred deep powder? Will the secret society be revealed?Guess we’ll have to see the movie to find out, but since it’s based on true events you can probably just Google it.last_img read more


Month: December 2020

first_imgPoor, poor Julie Tremmel. She was just trying to inform the citizens of Cranston, Rhode Island how to avoid a back ally encounter with a feisty black bear. The enthusiasm is there, the editing is solid, and the lighting is used affectively. The execution is just a little bit off. Not sure where NBC 10 gets its bear experts, but they were probably horrified (if they even exist, which is a legitimate question) at the interpretation of their safety tips. The arm flailing and the shoe tossing alone would probably attract more bear attention than ward them off. I can imaging a black bear rolling up on Julie, Julie going into her routine, and the bear indeed backing off…but only for enough time to get the rest of his bear buddies to check out the human on meth who thinks she’s scary.Let’s be straight here, these bear safety tips are best to be avoided.last_img read more


Month: December 2020

first_imgFreestyle Double CrossWintergreen, Va., January 26, February 9 & 22 To celebrate the winter season, Wintergreen hosts three competitions on its slopes, which culminate in one overall winner. The races are open to both skiers and snowboarders as well as all ages and skill levels. Each competition has multiple heats of four participants who cruise through the terrain park at lightning speed. freestyleonlinenews.comCupp Run ChallengeSnowshoe Mountain Ski Resort, W.Va., February 3 Designed by Olympic gold medalist Jean Claude Killy in 1973, the short yet stout Cupp Run gives skiers a run for their money every year. The Cupp Runn Challenge has been one of the East’s most trying races since its inaugural year. The giant slalom course plunges 1,500 vertical feet downhill in just under a mile and a half. snowshoemtn.comRichard T. Trundy Memorial Sugar Cup CompetitionSugar Mountain Ski Resort, N.C., March 9The event is a giant slalom competition, intended for racers with at least intermediate or above ability levels. Competitors can feel good about racing for this event, as 100 percent of all entry fees go to the American Cancer Society. Activities like the Great Bear Race, a magic show, and of course the cake and ice cream make this a great way to hit the slopes with the family one last time before spring settles in. skisugar.comBanked Slalom RaceBeech Mountain Resort, N.C., February 22Berms, hips, slash walls, doubles. You name it, chances are the Banked Slalom course at Beech has it. Although not nearly as big of a crowd-drawer as freestyle wintersport events, banked slalom races in particular are starting to gain in popularity. An added incentive for competitors is access to a discounted lift ticket for the day. beechmountainresort.comCat Cage Rail JamCataloochee Ski Area, N.C., DecemberHead south to Cataloochee’s Cat Cage Rail Jam, a fun, community-based event that sees some pretty talented athletes busting out some pretty sweet tricks. With a season pass raffle, giveaways, food, and drinks, the best part of this rail jam party is in its inclusive atmosphere. The free entry makes getting out there to try something new a more approachable idea for first-timers. iskinc.comBest of the RestBiff-vitationalRoundtop Mountain Resort, Penn., January 4 • iraceforbiff.orgSeptuagenarian PartySugar Mountain Ski Resort, N.C., January 7 • skisugar.comK2 Pop This!Appalachian Ski Mountain, N.C., January 10 • appskimtn.comWinter Fest Rail JamBeech Mountain Resort, N.C., January 11 • beechmountainresort.comBlackstrap Friday Night Rail JamWisp Resort, Md., January 17, February 21, March 14 • wispresort.comAppalachian Snowboard SeriesBryce Resort, Va., February 8-9 • srrclub.orgPatrick Shire Memorial Giant SlalomLiberty Mountain Resort, Penn., February 9 • paracing.orgWest Virginia OpenSnowshoe Mountain Ski Resort, W.Va., February 22 • snowshoemtn.comSpring Fling 2014Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort, Tenn., March 9 • obergatlinburg.comSnowy Luau FestivalTimberline Resort, W. Va., March 14-15• timberlineresort.comMeltdown GamesAppalachian Ski Mountain, N.C., March 22 • appskimtn.comMotown ThrowdownMorgantown, W. Va., November • pathfinderwv.comJack Frost CelebrationWhite Grass Touring Center, W. Va., December 6-7 • whitegrass.comSugar FestSugar Mountain Ski Resort, N.C., December 12-14 • skisugar.comPicnic in the Park Rail JamSnowshoe Mountain Ski Resort, W.Va., December • snowshoemtn.com _______________Check Out Our Other Race Ahead GuidesTrail RunningRoad RunningRoad BikingMountain BikingClimbingPaddlingMultisportsSnowsportslast_img read more


Month: December 2020

first_imgEveryone should get Rad.Those of you born in the ‘80s probably remember the bitchin’ BMX movie RAD, which followed Cru Jones (awesome name) in his attempt to race Helltrack (awesomer name). It was one of those undeniably bad movies that helped define my childhood, and every time I see a hipster wearing an ironic T-shirt that says “Rad,” I’m immediately transported back to a dusty, homemade BMX track built quickly in the vacant lot of my best friend’s neighborhood. It was no Helltrack, but I was no Cru Jones either.Now there’s a beer that’s poised to transport me back to those dirt riding, day-glo wearing days of innocence—Sixpoint Brewery (out of Brooklyn) has released RAD, an ale mixed with a blend of fruit juices. Yep, beer and juice. They’re calling it a “Cycliquid,” (as in Cycle-Liquid). It sounds crazy, but apparently there’s some history to this sort of drink. Back in Germany in the ‘20s, an industrious bar owner started mixing beer with lemon soda and serving it to thirsty cyclists on tour. The cyclists loved it—the drink quenched their thirst without knocking them on their ass.A revived interest in sessionable beers has brought the style back.  Leinenkugel Brewery makes a Summer Shandy (beer and lemonade) and Coors is doing something similar with their new Summer Brew, which takes your standard Coors Light and blends in citrus juice.Personally, I’d like to see more of this beer, particularly from local breweries that have big cycling connections (I’m looking at you Devils Backbone and Pisgah). In the meantime, you can get Rad all on your own. Take your favorite light beer (any lager or pilsner will do) and mix in some lemonade. Try a three parts beer to two parts lemonade ratio.It’s like drinking Juicy Fruit gum with a bit of alcohol in it. Everyone get Rad.last_img read more


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