FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Taft Wireback for the Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record:Faith Community Church in downtown Greensboro is doubling the size and power of its rooftop solar system, which was installed last year using a method of financing for which the church is still awaiting state government approval.The local church is among leaders in a growing movement among some congregations to install solar power as an expression of their faith, because it is less harmful to the environment than electricity generated from fossil fuels.The church courted controversy last year when it acted on that premise and “bought” the initial solar array in an arrangement with nonprofit advocacy group NC WARN that critics contend is prohibited by state law.Under the arrangement, NC WARN owns the panels for the time it takes the church to pay for them by purchasing the electricity that they produce from the nonprofit group.But unlike many states, North Carolina law generally prohibits such “third-party financing,” allowing only licensed utilities such as Duke Energy to sell electricity as a retail commodity.NC WARN embarked on the arrangement with the local church last June as a test case, and it has asked the N.C. Utilities Commission to approve such transactions between nonprofit and religious groups.Duke Energy filed a protest urging the commission to outlaw the transaction with the Greensboro church and to impose a hefty fine on NC WARN, but the statewide panel has yet to rule or hold a hearing on the matter.Pastor Johnson said he believes Duke Energy is “on the wrong side of history” in protesting third-party financing and seemingly working to restrict the spread of such a beneficial technology, which he said will only become more economical in years to come.Full article: Church installs more solar while awaiting decision In Church’s Fight to Install Solar Panels, Duke Energy Is ‘on the Wrong Side of History’
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:Adani’s financing for its proposed Carmichael coalmine could face a further hurdle, with Westpac appearing to indicate it will not refinance its existing loan to Adani’s coal terminal at Abbot Point.A recent report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) revealed Adani needed to refinance more than $2bn worth of loans for its Abbot Point coal terminal in the coming year – an amount that is more than it paid for the port in 2011. That means the company has negative equity on the facility – owing banks more than it is worth.The refinancing of its port comes as the company must find $5bn of loans for its Carmichael coalmine, which every Australian bank – and many international banks – have said they will not support.Moreover, the two projects are entirely linked, meaning any bank that decides to support one project is supporting the other and taking a bet on its success: the Port’s financial viability depends on coal coming from the mine, and the mine will not be able to be built without the port operating.The news that one of Adani’s major existing lenders is likely to withdraw support for Abbott Point therefore adds to ongoing doubts about the ability of the company to find financing for the controversial coalmine, and could jeopardise any potential loan it might get from the government’s $5bn Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.Westpac’s revelation came under questioning by Greens climate and energy spokesman Adam Bandt at a House of Representatives standing committee on economics.In April Westpac released its new climate policy, in which it revealed it would only lend money to projects supporting existing coal basins – not ones that opened up new coal basins. It also said it would only lend to projects that supported mining of coal that had energy content “in at least the top 15% globally”.Both rules would rule out Westpac lending to the Carmichael mine. But Westpac already lent hundreds of millions of dollars to Adani for its Abbot point terminal, and questions remained whether it would refinance that loan at the end of its term.Bandt asked Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer whether the rules would apply to existing loans for infrastructure that were required to open up new coal basins, such as Abbot Point.Unable to name any specific project or customer, Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer said: “If in the end you had a piece of infrastructure that only related to financing in a new basin then that would most likely not meet our [lending] criteria.”Following the hearing, Bandt said: “Westpac’s position on infrastructure finance is another nail in the coffin of the Adani mine.”More: Abbot Point coal terminal: Westpac may not refinance Adani loan Australian Bank Indicates It Will Not Refinance Adani
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:The government of Côte d’Ivoire and World Bank private sector arm the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have signed an agreement for two large-scale solar projects, with a combined generation capacity of 60 MW.The IFC said in a press release the plants will be developed as public-private partnership projects and will contribute to the country’s plan to deploy 400 MW of solar by 2030. The facilities will be developed under the World Bank’s Scaling Solar program, said the IFC.“Under the agreement with Côte d’Ivoire, Scaling Solar will support the development, tendering and financing of two utility projects in the country,” read the press release. “The country has West Africa’s third largest electrical system, with an installed generation capacity of 2,200 MW.”Other utility-scale PV projects under development in Côte d’Ivoire include 66 MW and 25 MW facilities in Korhogo, in the northern Poro region and a 37.5 MW project in Boundiali department, in the northwest.The Ivory Coast has one of the highest access rates to electricity in Africa, at around 62%, and it exports power to neighbors including Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Some 60% of the nation’s power comes from thermal plants and 40% from hydropower.More: Côte d’Ivoire gets World Bank support for 60 MW of solar Ivory Coast, IFC sign deal for 60MW of new solar
Southeast Asian nations set region-wide renewable energy goal of 23 percent by 2025 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The ASEAN Post:[The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)] has set an ambitious target of securing 23 percent of its primary energy from renewable sources by 2025 with energy demand in the region is expected to grow by 50 percent. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), this objective entails a “two-and-a-half-fold increase in the modern renewable energy share compared to 2014.”With the rapidly declining cost of renewable energy generation via such methods as wind and solar photovoltaic (PV), the Southeast Asian region has been presented with a golden opportunity to meet its immense electricity demand in a cost-effective and sustainable manner.A Southeast Asia Energy Outlook report states that through this, local manufacturing industries will also be able to grow. For example, Malaysia is already the world’s third-largest producer of photovoltaic cells, while investment in Thailand’s solar manufacturing industry is increasing PV output for global markets. By deploying more renewable energy in the region, the economies of these ASEAN member states can be further strengthened.Rising energy needs and changing supply-demand dynamics are creating new and tough challenges for Southeast Asia’s policymakers. Despite existing opportunities created by appropriate policies, some challenges require a region-wide approach.“The accelerated adoption of renewable energy offers broad environmental, economic and social benefits, including creating jobs, reducing air pollution and tackling climate change,” said Adnan Z Amin, IRENA’s Director-General Emeritus. “Policymakers and other development actors should prioritise investment in clean, reliable and affordable energy as a pillar of development across the region,” he added.More: Renewable energy challenges in Southeast Asia
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Tech:French oil major Total will aim to cover all the electricity consumption of its European industrial sites from solar power by 2025 after securing a new development agreement with Spanish firm Ignis.Some 3.3GW of solar projects will be constructed by Ignis in Madrid and Andalucia, the first of which is due to start operations in 2022, with the ambition of bringing them all into production by 2025.The deal consolidates Total’s presence in Spain following two agreements it signed in February with local companies Powertis and Solarbay Renewable Energy to develop nearly 2GW of solar projects in the country. As a result, the company’s solar construction pipeline in Spain now stands in excess of 5GW.Total will purchase nearly 6TWh per year of green electricity generated by its Spanish solar sites through an agreement covering more than 3GW of solar farms, a deal it says represents “the largest corporate power purchase agreement in the world”.Total announced plans earlier this year to become net zero by 2050, including a pledge for a 60% or more reduction in average carbon intensity of energy products used worldwide by the company’s customers.[Jules Scully]More: Total maintains Spanish solar push with 3.3GW development deal French oil major Total signs 3.3GW solar deal to power its European operations
Let’s face it: the canoe does not get the respect it deserves…especially in the whitewater world. The kayak boasts of its ease of maneuvering, light weight and cool factor. How can the old canoe, who’s only claim to fame is the movie ‘Deliverance’, begin to compete?To a dedicated group of canoeing enthusiasts, the kayak doesn’t hold a candle to what the canoe can offer. Now myself, having spent over 20 years sitting in the cockpit of a kayak, I was a little hesitant about taking on the project of making a canoeing movie. These concerns were eased by our office mate here, Will Lyons, who let me know just how rad the canoe can be. A month and plane ticket later to Mexico, I am now a believer. Seeing guys like Eli Helbert, Jim Coffey and Dooley Tombras style 40 foot tall waterfalls one after another, a new found respect for the canoe has been had. Not only do I think of the canoe as a performance oriented craft now, but I am blown away by the passions of those who call themselves a canoeist. Stay tuned to The Canoe Movie Website as we work our way into the mind of the canoeist.Jim Coffey making it look good.Dooley Tombras 30 feet off the pool below!Eli Helbert halfway down a perfect 30 footer.
We are just over a week into 2013, so you have probably already broken your New Year’s resolution…and that’s ok. Don’t feel too badly, a full 75 percent of resolutions don’t survive. Goal setting is an important aspect of living a healthy, productive life but sometimes they are unrealistic, become a burden, and are better left out of your plans for the upcoming year. Some people are able to stick to their resolutions through the entire year. These people are crazy, and you can be too, with a little tweak to your approach. Instead of having cut and dry promises – saying you are going to run 50 miles a week, for example – use the resolution to frame a mindset of adventure and personal growth. A great example of this is commit yourself to taking every opportunity to “try something new” in 2013. This methodology may not have the same on-paper results you may crave, but you are definitely more likely to succeed.Take a giant step in the right direction this weekend during Winter Trail Days. Resorts across the country are offering free rentals, demos, and lessons in snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, the perfect opportunity to get out there and try either if you have not had the pleasure. If you are an old pro, why not help others get involved and either volunteer or just be on hand to assist newbies.Head up to Wisp Resort in McHenry, Maryland on Saturday for a full day of fun activities including demos, clinics, a kids snowshoe race, bonfire and giveaways. The event runs from 9am to 5pm and clinics are first come, first served so be sure to show up early.View Larger Map
Your daily outdoor news bulletin for April 4, 2013 – the day the Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968:Pisgah Brewing Goes Non-OrganicBlack Mountain, N.C. beer maker Pisgah Brewing is bucking the trend and ditching its USDA organic certification, essentially ending the organic beer movement in Western N.C. Pisgah has brewed organic since it opened in 2005, but rule changes by the USDA – removing an exception for beer – made it difficult to continue to produce certified organic brew mainly because there are so few organic hops in the market. The good news for Pisgah is that the organic movement in brewing seems to be on the downswing, at least according to Asheville Bruisin’ Ales owner Julie Atallah, who is quoted as saying, ““Organic doesn’t mean good, and beer drinkers, on the whole, will always seek out good beer over organic beer.” That’s the truth, but the real question is: Will it still get you drunk?Yes. While this is nothing to celebrate over, it is also nothing to fret over unless you are one of those people who will not even think about putting anything in your body-temple that is not ‘orgo.’ If this be the case….drink water and save the beer for the rest of us, jerk.Riding for $1 MillionA 23-year-old Annapolis, Maryland native is going to ride his bike to 30 Major League Baseball stadiums to raise money for those who have lost their hearing. Deaf by age 10, Jacob Landis underwent a procedure for a cochlear implant that gave him back his sense of hearing. A huge baseball fan, Landis is now hoping to raise $1 million to help others with hearing problems get the same procedure. His ride will cover 10,000 miles over 175 days, taking a counterclockwise loop around the U.S. and wrapping up in Miami. This is an ambitious project and we hope Jacob the best of luck on his journey. More info can be found on his blog at www.jacobsride.com.The makers of the implant will donate $1 for every Facebook share of Jacob’s story, so log on and get to it.Ghost Rider, Requesting a Fly-ByBranching out from the Blue Ridge – way, way out – is the story of the first men to see the summit of Everest, nearly 20 years before Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. In 1933 David Fowler McIntyre and Douglas Douglas-Hamilton flew two sing-engine, open-air biplanes over the summit of the world’s highest peak. Pretty crazy stuff, especially considering all the hubbub the helicopter rescues from base camp garnered last climbing season. With the current 2013 climbing season just getting underway, it’s nice to reflect on the pioneers of a bygone age. Plus, the story of the flight is pretty awesome.
The Rocktown Beer & Music Festival begins at 2:30 p.m. this Saturday, April 26 at the Turner Pavilion in Harrisonburg, Virginia.Tickets are $34 and are selling out fast! Plan for a day of fun and entertainment presented by Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, sponsored by Blue Mountain Brewery, Jack Brown’s, and Vision Studios.Headlining music acts include Bronze Radio Return, The Kelly Bell Band and The Deadmen.For festival information please e-mail [email protected] or call 540-432-8922. Find them on Facebook!
Every fall, a team from Tröegs Independent Brewing heads to the Pacific Northwest for one of the most critical steps in brewing: hop selection. Nailing next year’s batches of Nugget Nectar, Perpetual IPA, Nimble Giant and more all starts in the hop fields.“We go to the Yakima Valley every year to make sure we get the best hops we possibly can,” says brewmaster John Trogner. “We walk the fields, we talk to the farmers. To me, it’s the most important ingredient selection we do.”Follow this year’s selection through the eyes – and nose – of our brewmaster. John [email protected] Selection Day 1Simcoe, one of my favorite hops, was up first. We found aromas of mango, orange creamsicle and a little fermented grapefruit … just what we were looking for. (Sigh of relief.) Perfect for next year’s Nugget Nectar and Nimble Giant. Great start to the trip. We spent the rest of the day visiting a couple of farms and walking a few experimental fields. Some interesting aromas got the creative juices flowing. Gummy bear, balsamic vinegar, coconut cream (with a hint of orange) and pear. It may be a while until these tiny hills are to the point we can use them, but just walking and talking to the breeder and hearing why they like certain hops was exhilarating.Hop Selection Day 2Today was all about Cascade, the foundation of a lot of our beers and the first hop I fell in love with 23 years ago. It’s great to visit so many farms and appreciate their unique ways of doing things. Segal Ranch, a second-generation, 410-acre farm, is one of my favorites. John Segal greeted us with a story of how his dad planted experimental hop number 56013 back in 1968. Eventually, that hop earned the name “Cascade.” As we climb around the picker, the racket and rhythmic mechanical movement make you feel part of the action. The drying beds are crossed with ropes, so as the hop bed dries – at just the right time – workers pull up the ropes, causing a slight fluffing and keeping the hops on the bottom from reaching the desired dryness before the ones on top.We ended with a picnic with our friends from Odell Brewing Co. Great hops. Great people. Awesome day. (Oh, and if you ever make it to Segal Ranch, beware. The peppers sting!)Hop Selection Day 3Next-day air is a beautiful thing. We sent 200 pounds of freshly harvested citra back to the brewery. They’re headed into the brew kettle as we speak, and fresh-hop Scratch beers are on the horizon. Hop Selection Day 4It’s always interesting to go out to Yakima with three or four other brewers. Each one of us has a different sense of smell. Each of us sees things from a different perspective, and each of us has a different way of communicating our experiences. When it all comes together, when we agree on the best lots – and that was 99 percent of this trip – that’s when I sleep best. As Tröegs has slowly but steadily grown, one of the ways we’ve stayed true to ourselves is by paying attention to details and working together to do what’s best for our beers … whether it was two of us in 1997 or 200 of us today. At the end of the day, that’s what moves us forward.To watch a video series on last year’s hop-selection adventure, visit troegs.com/yakima.