FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:WARSAW—Poland’s biggest power company. PGE. expects its Baltic Sea wind farms to achieve ready-to-build status in 2021, Chief Executive Henryk Baranowski said on Wednesday.Offshore wind farms and nuclear power station were two strategic options announced in 2016 by state-run PGE, which generates most of its electricity from lignite coal.“We have an optimistic and quite an ambitious plan to achieve a ready-to-build status for our offshore wind in 2021,” Baranowski told a conference with analysts.“At this moment we have a strategy, adopted in 2016, in which both nuclear and offshore are the options being considered. We have always said that we are open for any kind for partnership, but this partnership has to have reasonable business foundations,” Baranowski said.Sources said that PGE has abandoned its leading role in plans to build Poland’s first nuclear power station as it focuses on new wind farms in the Baltic Sea.More: Poland’s PGE Wants Its Offshore Wind To Be Ready To Build In 2021 Poland’s Coal-Heavy PGE Looks To Build Baltic Sea Wind Farms
Australian stock market responds weakly to coal company IPO FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Coronado Global Resources, Australia’s biggest coal mining IPO since 2012, fell as much as 8.5 percent below its float price on the first day of trading on Tuesday, even after being priced at the bottom end of the offered range. Coronado’s shares debuted at A$3.80, 5 percent below the issue price of A$4.00 and fell as low as A$3.66 in early trading on the Australian stock exchange.Local fund managers shunned the offering on the view that Coronado’s private equity owner, The Energy & Minerals Group (EMG), was selling when coking coal prices were primed to fall on declining demand from China.“I don’t think we can forecast the coking coal price, so it’s tough to buy something at peak earnings,” said Hugh Dive, chief investment officer of Atlas Funds Management.Coronado mainly produces coking coal used in steel-making, with an annual output of 8.2 million tonnes from three U.S. mines and 8.5 million tonnes from the Curragh mine in Australia, which it bought from Wesfarmers Ltd for A$700 million last December.Dive said another factor that put him off was that Coronado had bought the Curragh mine on an earnings multiple of 1.5, yet was floating the same asset, which makes up about half the company’s valuation, on a multiple of 4 to 4.5. “They have obviously made a lot of money (on Curragh),” said another Sydney-based fund manager, who did not buy shares in the initial public offering.More: Coronado coal float flops on Australian market debut
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:The Western Australian Government will be forced to forego hundreds of millions of dollars in dividends, as its state-owned energy company Synergy forecasts years of loses, after finding itself increasingly unable to compete with low cost renewable energy.In figures revealed to the WA Parliament, Synergy has forecast record losses totaling almost $180 million over the next three years, as low energy prices, and the emergence of greater amounts of solar and wind generation put pressure on Synergy’s coal and gas heavy generation fleet.Increased use of renewable energy in the state has had the combined effect of lower prices and reduced volumes of energy sales for Synergy, with increases in roof-top solar installations continuing a steady base, and Synergy’s own generation portfolio having revenues slashed as a result of lower priced renewables bidding into the large-scale energy market.“At the heart of our challenge is the changing generation profile in the State. Installed rooftop solar capacity for the year grew by 183.6 MW to a total of 918.5 MW, a 25 per cent increase. It is estimated that rooftop solar is now supplying 7 per cent of total South West Interconnected System demand.” Synergy Chairman Robert Cole said in in the company’s 2018 annual report.“A significant amount of large-scale new renewable generating capacity will be added to the network over the coming years. This major growth in renewable generation, has profound consequences for the dispatch profile of our generation fleet and our cost of generation, as well as our revenue base.”Synergy revealed late last year that increased adoption of renewable energy in the WA energy system had not just hurt profits, but had also been a hard hit on the generators themselves. Synergy was forced to take the Cockburn gas fired power station offline for repairs, one the state’s newest gas generators, in light of the toll frequent stop-starts at the plant had taken on the power station.More: Synergy caught between high gas costs and falling renewable prices Western Australia utility sees major losses coming, with coal, gas fleet increasingly uncompetitive
Analysis: Australia has an opportunity now to invest in the future FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Mirage News:The debt incurred by the Government’s coronavirus stimulus packages will force a rethink of many of its current spending commitments. But what is also crucial is that money not be wasted trying to save the unsavable.Yet, this is exactly what the government is doing via its continuing subsidies for Australia’s fossil fuel industry. Recent figures from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) show that Australia provides US$29 billion – A$47 billion – pa for fossil fuels.These subsidies include measures such as subsidising the costs of fuels used to extract resources, accelerated depreciation for assets and post-tax subsidies such as not paying clean up and health costs.Compare that to the estimated A$50 million to fund volunteer firefights in December 2019.As energy analyst Tim Buckley notes, the hit to the fossil fuel industry from the coronavirus and cheaper renewables means that it might never recover. Many fossil fuel companies, such as Santos, are also now under extreme pressure from some super funds to adopt strict emissions targets. Moreover, these subsidies produce very few direct jobs in fossil fuel extraction. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are only 64,300 direct jobs in coal, oil and gas extraction. And only around 10% of those employed in the coal industry are women.That means for every direct job in the coal, oil and gas industry, the governments of Australia spend A$730,000.Shockingly, every Australian is paying A$1,832 per year for these subsidies compared to around A$78 as a one-off payment for bushfire relief or the $750 initial coronavirus support payment.In the U.S., the coal industry has been requesting (unsuccessfully) royalty payment holidays and relief from obligations to clean up mine sites as part of Trump’s stimulus package. You can bet that such requests from miners are already being made here in Australia.[Jeremy Moss]More: What is cost of Morrison’s other stimulus
The International Union for Conservation of Nature considers some 664 species of reptiles, including turtles, snakes, lizards, alligators and crocodiles, as endangered or facing extinction. Pictured: A freshwater turtle destined for the pet trade. Photo cred: iStockPhotoEarthTalk®E – The Environmental MagazineDear EarthTalk: How are the world’s reptile species faring in terms of population numbers and endangered status? What’s being done, if anything, to help them? — Vicky Desmond, Troy, NYThe world’s reptiles—turtles, snakes, lizards, alligators and crocodiles—are indeed in trouble. The International Union for Conservation of Nature, which publishes an annual global roster of threatened and endangered species called the Red List, considers some 664 species of reptiles—representing more than 20 percent of known reptile species worldwide—as endangered or facing extinction. Meanwhile, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service considers about 10 percent of American reptiles threatened or endangered.Why care? The non-profit Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) considers reptiles “amazing creatures” with clever adaptations that have helped them survive for millions of years. CBD also points out that reptiles are valuable indicators of wider ecological health. “Because many reptile species are long-lived and relatively slow-moving, they suffer from disturbances like habitat loss or pollution for extended periods,” the group reports, adding that a diverse community of reptiles living in a given area is evidence of a healthy ecosystem that can support the plant and animal life they and other species need for food and cover.So what’s causing the reptiles’ decline? “While habitat loss is the most obvious cause of endangerment, declines are even even occurring in pristine areas from threats such as disease, UV radiation and climate change,” reports CBD. Overcollecting and unregulated hunting also are taking a toll on reptile populations.In order to help stem the tide of reptile loss, CBD leverages the court system to pressure the federal government to protect at-risk species. For instance, back in 2004 the group worked with the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection in filing a petition to add the Tucson shovel-nosed snake, which dwells in the quickly disappearing wild desert around fast-growing cities like Tucson and Phoenix, to the federal list of endangered species. Finally in 2011 the federal government agreed that it would add the snake to its list of endangered species which will help it get the habitat protection needed to ensure long term survival.CBD also works on other fronts for reptiles. The group’s campaign to outlaw “rattlesnake round-ups”—contests whereby hunters collect and kill as many snakes as they can in a year—has helped stem population declines of eastern diamondback rattlesnakes. And CBD’s efforts to educate the public about the plight of freshwater turtles, which are “overcollected” for food and the pet trade in the southern and midwestern parts of the U.S., helped convince several states for the first time to regulate turtle harvests.One way everyone can help reptile species in decline is to make our backyards friendly to them. The U.S. Geological Survey’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center offers tips on what to plant and how to arrange a landscape to encourage reptiles and other wildlife. Landowners that take these steps may be rewarded with fewer pests, given reptiles taste for large numbers of mosquitoes and other insects as well as small rodents. Other pro-reptile tips include driving carefully (road mortality is a big issue for snakes, turtles and other species) and keeping outside areas around your property free of garbage that might attract raccoons, crows and other pests that also prey on reptiles.CONTACTS: CBD, www.biologicaldiversity.org; Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, www.pwrc.usgs.gov.EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine ( www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.
With less than 5 percent of world population, the U.S. uses a third of the world’s paper, a quarter of the oil, coal and aluminum, and 19 percent of the copper. The U.S. ranks highest by a considerable margin in most consumer categories as well. Photo cred: Comstock/ThinkstockEarthTalk®E – The Environmental MagazineDear EarthTalk: I read that a single child born in the U.S. has a greater effect on the environment than a dozen children born in a developing country? Can you explain why? — Josh C., via e-mailIt is well known that Americans consume far more natural resources and live much less sustainably than people from any other large country of the world. “A child born in the United States will create thirteen times as much ecological damage over the course of his or her lifetime than a child born in Brazil,” reports the Sierra Club’s Dave Tilford, adding that the average American will drain as many resources as 35 natives of India and consume 53 times more goods and services than someone from China.Tilford cites a litany of sobering statistics showing just how profligate Americans have been in using and abusing natural resources. For example, between 1900 and 1989 U.S. population tripled while its use of raw materials grew by a factor of 17. “With less than 5 percent of world population, the U.S. uses one-third of the world’s paper, a quarter of the world’s oil, 23 percent of the coal, 27 percent of the aluminum, and 19 percent of the copper,” he reports. “Our per capita use of energy, metals, minerals, forest products, fish, grains, meat, and even fresh water dwarfs that of people living in the developing world.”He adds that the U.S. ranks highest in most consumer categories by a considerable margin, even among industrial nations. To wit, American fossil fuel consumption is double that of the average resident of Great Britain and two and a half times that of the average Japanese. Meanwhile, Americans account for only five percent of the world’s population but create half of the globe’s solid waste.Americans’ love of the private automobile constitutes a large part of their poor ranking. The National Geographic Society’s annual Greendex analysis of global consumption habits finds that Americans are least likely of all people to use public transportation—only seven percent make use of transit options for daily commuting. Likewise, only one in three Americans walks or bikes to their destinations, as opposed to three-quarters of Chinese. While China is becoming the world’s leader in total consumption of some commodities (coal, copper, etc.), the U.S. remains the per capita consumption leader for most resources.Overall, National Geographic’s Greendex found that American consumers rank last of 17 countries surveyed in regard to sustainable behavior. Furthermore, the study found that U.S. consumers are among the least likely to feel guilty about the impact they have on the environment, yet they are near to top of the list in believing that individual choices could make a difference.Paradoxically, those with the lightest environmental footprint are also the most likely to feel both guilty and disempowered. “In what may be a major disconnect between perception and behavior, the study also shows that consumers who feel the guiltiest about their impact—those in China, India and Brazil—actually lead the pack in sustainable consumer choices,” says National Geographic’s Terry Garcia, who coordinates the annual Greendex study. “That’s despite Chinese and Indian consumers also being among the least confident that individual action can help the environment.”Readers can discover how they stack up by taking a survey on National Geographic’s Greendex website. But brace yourself if you are a typical American: You might not like what you find out about yourself.CONTACTS: Sierra Club’s “Sustainable Consumption,” www.sierraclub.org/sustainable_consumption; National Geographic Society’s Greendex, www.nationalgeographic.com/greendex.EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.
Coming right up, your daily dose of outdoor news:White Nose Spreads to N.C.’s Bat PopulationWhite-nose syndrome, a fungal infection that has decimated bat populations in eastern North America, has made its way down to the Nature Conservancy’s Bat Cave Perserve in Rutherford County. The disease gets it’s name from the white fungus that forms around an infected bat’s muzzle, ears, and wing membranes. Since it was first identified in 2006 in upstate New York, white-nose syndrome has spread to 19 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces. Where ever it goes, the disease takes out about 80 percent of the bat population. If you’re thinking: “So, who cares about bats?” Think again. Bats help with insect control and pollination, and experts are predicting long term effects for areas with infected bat populations, like North Carolina. In an effort to protect the bats, the Nature Conservancy has closed it’s Bat Cave Perserve (cue Batman joke) until further notice.Studies Validate Commuter-BikersWe all know that biking to work has health benefits. And now we have the science to back us up. Through a four year study of 822 adults, Australian epidemiologist Takemi Sugiyama found that people who commuted to work by car gained more weight, on average, than those who biked or walked to work, even if those car-commuters worked out at a gym in their free time. Researchers have found that sixty to ninety minutes a day of physical activity is required to combat obesity, an amount of time that most people cannot fit into their busy schedules. Active transportation, like biking or walking, that is incorporated into a regular work routine solves this “not having time” problem. Not to mention, biking gets you outdoors which is always a win in our book.MTV Reality Show Star Found DeadIt’s all over social media, so you know we have to run something, too. Shain Gandee, a cast member on MTV’s reality show “Buckwild,” was found dead in his Ford Bronco Monday morning, along with his uncle and a local man. Tuesday, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office ruled the cause of death carbon monoxide poisoning. The group was last seen alive leaving a bar early Sunday morning to go off-road driving, or “mudding.” The truck was found in Sissonville, Ky. submerged in mud past the windows, preventing exhaust fumes from escaping through the tailpipe and leading to Gandee and the other men’s deaths. “Buckwild” premiered on MTV in January and follows nine friends in Sissonville and Charleston, W.Va.
Dear Road Tripper,My two-year old and I recently drove ten hours. Without a video player. Sure, when he grew sleepy, his whines turned to howls and then full on screams until he finally relented to sleep’s whisper. His discomfort tormented me from the driver’s seat. I twisted my arm to hold his foot, providing the comfort of a mama’s hand. Sometimes that worked and his cries subsided to whimpers. Sometimes it didn’t.When I told a friend who asked whether I’d used a video player that I hadn’t, her gasp led me to question whether I’d unknowingly committed a mild form of child abuse. I pointed out that I’d grown up going on road trips without the distractions of modern technology. She asked whether I found it necessary to make my child suffer in the same way given that society had come so far.Or have we. I thought back to the place where I first started writing for fun — the gas station where I worked the 5 pm to midnight shift most weekday nights. I was a junior in high school and I knew that if I wanted to go to college, I’d have to pay for it. We lived in a rural area and most nights were slow. At first I’d stare at the cars whizzing by on the highway. I started telling stories about the people driving, guessing at where they were headed. Some of those stories made me sad, others made me smile. I wrote down my favorite ones and let a teacher read them. He encouraged me to enter a writing contest. I won at the state level, beating out kids from fancy schools whose parents carted them from one after school activity to the next. I’m convinced that the stillness of working in that sterile environment nudged me to imagining a more entertaining world, whereas the kids busy taking extracurricular activities never benefitted from the same luxury of doing nothing at all.The gaps between where we are and where we dream to be can be uncomfortable, like working late nights at a gas station or sitting for a long time in a car. Inhabiting those in-between spaces requires the type of quiet that can be boring. These days we too often drown the uncomfortable spaces with the noise and distraction technology provides. But in that quiet wasteland, creativity takes root, cultivating a sense of wonder and hope. When we encourage our children to press their foreheads against the window and stare, they’ll take in plenty of strip malls and roadside construction. Those ugly and drab landscapes serve to accentuate the beauty of driving over glistening rivers and seeing the rainbow after a storm.On our road trip, my toddler learned about cranes and back hoes, tractor trailers and buses. We talked about the color of the clouds and greeted the arrival of the moon like a long lost friend. I’m pretty sure the road trip would have been easier with a video player, but then we would have missed out on scanning the horizon. Listening to my toddler’s delight at pointing out when we were going downhill or over a bridge reminded me just how often we find the extraordinary in the mundane.Road Tripper, consider unplugging and allowing your child’s mind the freedom to wander and marvel at the scenery.Enjoy your trip!Mountain Mama Dear Mountain Mama,Our young family is taking a long road trip. My wife and I are debating on whether to buy a video player to occupy our toddler during the long haul. What’s your opinion about using a video player to help children endure long periods in the car?Thanks,Road Tripper
This isn’t a poll — it’s a showdown. This year we pit our outdoor towns against one another at random, and fans can vote in as many match-ups as they want until the very end.Editors have narrowed the field to 36 contenders, listed below. They are mountain biking meccas, whitewater oases, climbing paradises, and hiking nirvanas. Voting runs through the end of August, and winners will be highlighted in the November issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine.Is the bracket dead? No, but brackets are everywhere now. Likewise, polls can benefit those who mobilize the biggest social media effort or send all their friends online to vote all day long. This new format will make for more accurate results since the town match-ups are determined randomly and readers can vote indefinitely.Each of our 36 editor-selected best towns of the Blue Ridge Mountains will be pitted against each other at random until fans determine a winner on August 31!What’s the Top Outdoor Town in the South? That’s up to you to decide.Click here to begin voting!The 36 finalists in the 2014 Top Towns Contest include:Ohiopyle, Pa.Deep Creek Lake, Md.Morgantown, W.Va.Davis, W.Va.Fayetteville, W.Va.Summersville, W.Va.Shepherdstown, W.Va.Charlottesville, Va.Richmond, Va.Harrisonburg, Va.Abingdon, Va.Damascus, Va.Roanoke, Va.Lynchburg, Va.Lexington, Va.Louisville, Ky.Prestonsburg, Ky.Elkhorn City, Ky.Chattanooga, Tenn.Knoxville, Tenn.Gatlinburg, Tenn.Brevard, N.C.Asheville, N.C.Boone-Blowing Rock, N.C.Bryson City, N.C.Charlotte, N.C.Morganton, N.C.Eden, N.C.Hot Springs, N.C.Robbinsville, N.C.Cherokee, N.C.Greenville, S.C.Ellijay, Ga.Blue Ridge, Ga.Blairsville, Ga.Helen, Ga.Rules and Regulations: Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine Top Town of 2014 contest will run online from August 1 to August 31 at 5 p.m. EST. All votes will be checked for validity and Summit Publishing reserves the right to eliminate votes for any reason and to select a winner due to a tie or fraudulent voting.
There’s a reason Blue Ridge Outdoors chose Charlottesville, Virginia, as its primary headquarters. It is an ideal mix of a vibrant urban outdoor lifestyle and easy access to world-class mountain recreation.The U.S. Bureau of National Economic Research recently awarded this small Virginia city with the distinguished title of “Happiest Place in the US.” Maybe its because of its surging craft beer reputation, nearby vineyards, or impressive music scene, Charlottesville’s proximity to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello or its exploding craft beer scene, but primarily it’s Charlottesville’s proximity to the Virginia Blue Ridge and Shenandoah National Park that keeps residents and visitors so happy and satisfied. From Charlottesville, a short drive west will get you to the gates of Shenandoah National Park and the notoriously scenic Skyline Drive, a mecca for road cyclists. Once there, you’ll find more than 500 miles of hiking trails and over 190,000 acres open to backcountry camping.Also down the road from Charlottesville is Wintergreen Resort, one of the top snowsports destinations in the South. In town, Walnut Creek State Park offers ten miles of flowy, buttermilk singletrack around a scenic lake, and the Rivanna Trail circles the entire city, enabling runenrs, bikers and hikers to explore the wild woods from their backyards.DID YOU KNOW? The 26-mile Rivanna Trail circumnavigating C’ville is one of the longest urban trails in the South.Vote now at blueridgeoutdoors.com!