Gas turbine sales falter in the face of renewable energy gains FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Financial Times:Natural gas is still often described as “the fuel of the future”. If you are selling turbines for gas-fired power generation, it cannot feel that way. Sales of gas turbines have fallen sharply, under pressure from low-cost renewable energy, and are expected to remain weak for at least another couple of years.While the market has been shrinking, it has also been becoming more competitive. For the largest and most advanced turbines, bought by utilities and other power producers, there are only three significant manufacturers: General Electric of the US, Siemens of Germany and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems of Japan.GE has for decades been the market leader, but this year MHPS, which is 65 per cent owned by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and 35 per cent by Hitachi, has been having a run of success, reporting a 40 per cent market share in the first six months of 2018.The ebb and flow in the market is a sign of intense competition for a diminished number of orders. In 2011, manufacturers sold gas turbines with a total generation capacity of 71.6 gigawatts, according to McCoy Power Reports. Last year, the market was less than half that size at 34.4GW, and this year it is expected to be smaller again at about 30GW.More ($): Gas turbine competition heats up
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Recharge News:The International Energy Agency (IEA) sees offshore wind as a “rising global force on the energy landscape”, executive director Fatih Birol told the opening session of the WindEurope conference yesterday.With around 20GW of offshore wind installed globally today, compared to more than 500GW of onshore wind, the offshore sector has not figured prominently in the Paris-based IEA’s previous analyses and forecasts of the global energy market. But the IEA expects the world’s offshore wind capacity to more than triple by 2025, and edge close to 200GW by 2040 — with the potential to go substantially further if ambitious government policies were put in place.Recent auction results and the introduction of larger turbines herald a period of ever more competitive offshore wind power, said Birol, who expects “strong growth, first in Europe and then around the world. The developments in Europe can spark a wave of offshore wind appetite outside of Europe — there’s some fertile grounds for that,” he said. “First of all Asia, with China followed by India. But also North America and Latin America — there’s big room [for growth] there.”The substantially higher capacity factor of offshore wind farms compared to onshore wind or solar make it a “very important opportunity” as the world’s penetration of renewables grows. Birol also tipped his hat to the growing promise of floating wind, which could unlock big electricity markets in places like California for the offshore wind sector. The IEA is “working very closely” with industry leaders to better understand the “opportunities floating turbines can provide for offshore wind developers across the world”, he saidMore: IEA: Offshore wind could reach 200GW or more by 2040 IEA: Offshore wind capacity could top 200GW by 2040
Subsidy cuts result in sharp drop in U.K. residential solar installations FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:The Labour party has accused the government of “actively dismantling” the UK’s solar power industry after new installations by households collapsed by 94% last month.Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary, used prime minister’s questions to challenge the government’s record on climate action after scrapping subsidies for domestic solar panels from April. Standing in for Jeremy Corbyn, Long-Bailey said solar power had the potential to cut household bills and carbon emissions while creating thousands of jobs.The solar feed-in tariff had encouraged more than 800,000 homes to fit to their roofs solar photovoltaics, the panels which generate electricity. The end of the scheme was widely expected after a series of cuts to subsidy levels in recent years.Renewable energy developers and green groups had hoped ministers would replace the scheme with another incentive system to avoid dashing the sector’s momentum and accelerating job losses in the industry. Instead, officials confirmed that new solar pv installations would be expected to give their unused clean power to energy companies for free.The opposition said data showed the scrapping of home panel subsidies from April caused new solar power capacity to fall from 79MW in March to only 5MW last month. The slowdown poses a big risk to plans put forward by the independent Committee on Climate Change to create a net zero carbon economy by 2045.More: Home solar panel installations fall by 94% as subsidies cut
I took my 9-month-old puppy for her first mountain bike ride, and for once in her life she was worn out.However, I worried about her the rest of the day, even though every one else in the house was grateful for her unusual tranquility. There was no chewing on the kids’ toys, no wrestling the cat down from her feeding station, no pouncing on the 3-year-old.According to veterinarians, it’s best to ease a dog into being a riding buddy. Just like us, they’ve got to build muscle, stamina, and callused feet. That said, I took Jojo to the woods for the last several months just to get her used to staying with me and being around bikes. I have to admit that chasing an 8-year-old while the 3-year-old whines and then refuses to ride is difficult when being distracted by a hyper puppy who wants to attack and lick the face of every passerby.“JOJO! COME!”“Mamaaaaaa!!! I don’t wanna ride this STUPID bike!”“Mom! Mom! MOM! Did you SEE that jump I just made?“Come on, Wyatt! Pleeeeeease don’t make me carry you, your bike, my bike and the prancing puppy’s leash!”Somehow through all that she figured out she was supposed to stay with us.I streamlined on the next several forays to the woods, leaving behind the bikes and one child. Unlike my last dog, who would wander away and be lost for days, Jojo comes every time I call her, no matter how fast the squirrel was getting away.My next step was taking her running. She stayed with me, and of course outran me, scampering into the woods after every chipmunk. In fact, she ran circles around me as I panted along suffering.A few months ago she was afraid to get into the truck with us. As soon as she associated the truck with going to the woods, it was on. Every time I packed the children up, she would jump in and refuse to get out.It was time to take her on a real ride.She bounded happily along as we took off, knowing immediately that she was to stay with the pack. She repeatedly ran ahead and circled back around as I wondered how much of that she’d be doing by the end of our ride. I was surprised, actually.We avoided the fire roads so as to save her virgin paws as much as possible. She loped joyfully (although I realize it’s difficult to lope without joy) and especially perked up on the rolling parts where she was able to really run. Our energy levels were drastically different by the top of the climb. I checked her paws, and they looked great. It wouldn’t be a long ride, but even this 45 minutes was further than she had been. I fed her treats and made her rest until we were ready to descend. 1 2 3
Ben Friberg’s record-setting rideBen Friberg can look you in the eye and honestly tell you that he has lived his dreams. Last month, Ben traveled to the Yukon Territory of Canada and set a new 24 hour stand-up paddleboarding distance world record. Ben’s fitness, combined with the power of the mighty Yukon River, propelled him 238 miles through the subarctic Northland and into the history books. This feat is significant for many reasons, and in no small part because it puts river paddleboarding on the map. Traditionally a flatwater pastime, paddleboarding has been embraced by river adventurists, who have redefined what is possible with a board and a paddle. While Ben’s attempt was fantastically successful, it was not without its challenges. Here are Ben’s thoughts during pivotal parts of the expedition: I don’t know if I can keep this up. I did not expect this headwind and storm. As cold rain soaks my face and clothes, the support team in the boat layer up, huddle under the canopy, and sip chicken broth. At 10 miles per hour, I am making good progress, but the river is still very channelized. I know that it will slow as I get further downstream and the river braids out. I need to gain every inch possible now to have any chance at breaking the record. It is imperative that I keep my momentum.In spite of the outside conditions, my body is a metronome: heart rate, breath, paddle stroke. I have prepared for this for months, and I know what to do. Barely visible through the low-hanging rain clouds are the flanks of spectacular mountains all around. The trees are getting noticeably smaller as the river winds its way toward the desolate tundra. My vision settles just in front of the board, and in spite of the occasional words from my friends on the boat, I am alone with my thoughts and this chilling wind.I am losing precious distance every minute, with a large percentage of my output being negated by a force that seems hell-bent on pushing me backwards.“How long has it been?” I ask the support crew.“Six hours. Keep it up man, you’re doing great!”Six hours. That means I have been battling this wind for over five hours, and it is showing no sign of relenting. It’s almost midnight, but the Northland never gets completely dark in the summertime. The sun simply rotates below the horizon slightly, and rises again a few hours later. This 24-hour daylight and the power of the 100,000-cubic-feet-per-second Yukon River are two major factors that have made this attempt possible. I will never forgive myself if I allow this opportunity to slip away.As quickly as the wind and rain started, it suddenly ebbs. I clear my eyes, release my face from a squint that I have been holding, and look around. The river is rounding a sweeping left corner, and I see an ethereal alpenglow over the top of the mountains. My body’s metronome continues.As I cross out of the shadow of the mountain, a deep red sunset explodes into view, framed by the landscape of one of the most remote and dramatic areas on the planet. The river is smooth as glass, and it reflects a perfect mirror image of the crimson sky. My board slices through the red hue silently, and I realize that this moment is why I traveled 4,000 miles from home. There is no one else within a hundred miles of us, and I am chasing the sun on my board.There are certain beauties to be found in this world that render us speechless. No words can describe what we are seeing, so no one says anything. Mesmerized by the sunset, I don’t look at the support boat behind me for a long time. When I do, I notice the rainstorm behind me that I had battled for so long. In front of it is a perfect horizon-to-horizon rainbow.As the sun slowly sets and my paddle continues its rhythm, I think of everything that has gotten me to this point. I think of the first time I got on a friend’s standup board a few years ago. So much has happened since then. I think of countless hours spent on the Tennessee River near my house training, and I think of the logistical time and uncertainties that came with planning a mission of this complexity.Even though I am only a third of the way into the journey, I know that it will be successful. The river has created these conditions just for me today, and it is my job to do it justice by doing my part and pushing my body to its limits. The sun finally disappears and the hypnosis ends. As the guys in the boat pull up next to me, I can tell that they now believe too.With spirits revived, I continue paddling North.The Moment is a monthly page where we venture into the minds of inspiring outdoor enthusiasts and athletes. Submit your most powerful outdoor experiences to [email protected]
A critical 10-acre parcel of land along the Blue Ridge Parkway was recently purchased by the Conservation Trust for North Carolina. The Fork Ridge Overlook land protects a newly opened section of the Mountains to Sea Trail between mile markers 449 and 450. It also ensures that nearby development does not encroach on the trail or the viewshed from the Blue Ridge Parkway.The 10-acre parcel was purchased for $43,000 from landowners in San Francisco who agreed to a dramatically below-market-value price. The Conservation Trust for North Carolina has already purchased two adjacent properties totaling 81 acres. This 10-acre addition is part of its plan to create Waterrock Knob – Plott Balsams Park along the Parkway.Read Karen Chavez’s full story in the Asheville Citizen-Times here.
Good things come in threes and b’s, like Blue Ridge Outdoors’ very own Bluegrass, Beer, and Bikes events this week. To celebrate the finer things in life, BRO and Travis Book of the Infamous Stringdusters will be giving a tour throughout the Blue Ridge area, each featuring local craft brews, group mountain bike rides, and Book’s musical stylings on the guitar. This weekend, BRO and Book will start in North Carolina to hit Brevard on Thursday, March 26, and Boone on Friday, March 27. The power team will also make their way up to Virginia in Roseland on Saturday and Roanoke on Sunday.This jam-packed weekend tour comes with plenty of chances for you to meet Book and the Blue Ridge Outdoors team in the best possible settings – doing what we all love! Good music, tasty drinks, exciting trails, and warm sunshine makes for our perfect combination, and we hope you’ll agree.Find information for each of the individual rides and concerts below, and plan your evening with BRO and Book:Oskar Blues Brewery’s Tasty WeaselBrevard, N.C.Thursday, March 26 at 5pmProceeds to Benefit Pisgah Area SORBAGroup Mountain Bike Ride in Pisgah National Forest at 2pm; leaving from the Tasty WeaselAppalachian Mountain BreweryBoone, N.C.Friday, March 27 at 7:30pmProceeds to benefit Boone Area CyclistsGroup Mountain Bike Ride at Rocky Knob Bike Park at 4pmDevils Backbone Base CampRoseland, Va.Saturday, March 28 at 2pmProceeds to Benefit the Charlottesville Area Mountain Bike CoalitionGroup Mountain Bike Rides at 12pm and 6pm, leaving from Devils Backbone Soaring Ridge Craft BreweryRoanoke, Va.Sunday, March 29 at 4pmProceeds to Benefit Roanoke IMBA chapterGroup Mountain Bike Ride at 12pm; leaving from Soaring RidgeEach of these four rides and shows will be free to the public, but any donations from the event will support the local bike clubs listed above. Concert-goers will also have the chance to participate in a raffle for gear from our sponsors, including Keen, Yakima, Farm to Feet, Klean Kanteen, and RIDESolutions.We’re pretty certain here at Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine that these Bluegrass, Beer, and Bikes nights come close to living the dream. Come enjoy this power trio and kick back with the best – we sure know how to throw a good party.
In this week’s Mountain Mama post, Ky Delaney shares how confronting rapids head on has transformed the way she deals with the dread of dealing with sweaty-palm situations in real life.We scout the lead-in rapid to Bear Creek Falls on the Cheoah River. My stomach churns as I study the swirling water leading into holes, one after another, offset just enough to make a paddler scramble to get lined up for the next one. The rapid is busy and barely slows down before the river plunges twelve feet over the falls. I cringe as I imagine flipping in that chaos, my stomach pinches at the thought of rolling, panicky that I’ll miss my roll and end up in a worse place on the river.“Take it in the face,” our animated trip leader spreads her hand over her face. “Don’t skirt around it. Don’t try to avoid the impact. Square up to each hole, punch it, and then get set up for the next one.”I nod. That makes sense. My biggest consistent paddling mistake involves wanting to miss the hit of lateral waves or breaking holes. I worry that the hydraulic might flip me. Too often I throw in a back stroke, which results in killing my speed at the precise moment I need it the most to power through a feature. Or I try to avoid that part of the river entirely by paddling into shallower sections, full of rocks waiting to pin me.We walk back up to our kayaks and put on our skirts. My palms sweat. I tell myself, “Take in in the face.” I repeat it when I want to paddle out of the flow, away from the first hole. It becomes my mantra as I spear my paddle through the trough of one breaking wave and boof the next hole. I am in the main flow, moving with the power of the current with enough momentum to maneuver myself from one hydraulic to the next.I eddy out after the last hole behind a house-sized boulder before Bear Creek Falls. My trip leader gives me a high five. I’m beaming ear-to-ear. Squaring up to things that intimidate me gave me confidence that I could handle what comes my way. All the times I had avoided features that made me afraid didn’t serve me. The more I tried to stay away from the meat of the rapids, the more I ended up in squirrely rapids above sieves and took bumpy lines with nasty rocks that could pin my kayak. Ironically, by trying to avoid danger, I had put myself in harm’s way and often felt stuck there, my fear increasing.That day I first paddled the Cheoah was almost exactly a year ago. Since then, I’ve made it a point to take fear head on, trusting myself to deal with any uncomfortable feelings that come up in other aspects of my life. Last week I had a court date to finalize my divorce, a process that’s taken years. There was the separation agreement to hammer down. Then the filing and serving divorce papers. I worried that my ex would be hurt. I thought it might disrupt the co-parenting arrangement. The fear of getting a divorce escalated and I felt trapped, married to someone without love. I felt powerless to end my marriage even though I saw no way to reconcile with my ex.Then I came across a favorite Helen Keller quote about security being a superstition. “Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.” That quote had always resonated with me, probably because I was struggling with how to embrace risks instead of running away from anything that scared me.I filed for divorce. When the court date approached to finalize it, I considered hiring an attorney even though the process was fairly mechanical at that point. I didn’t want to walk into that courtroom alone. I hated admitting that I had failed at being married, that my marriage was really over. I reminded myself of the lessons from that day on the Cheoah and realized that avoidance doesn’t reduce the dread of a particular situation. If anything, avoiding something gives it power, fueling the immobilizing hold of fear.I wore a polka dotted dress that made me feel pretty and professional, capable and confident the day of my divorce. I waited in the lobby of the courtroom, waiting for the bailiff to call my name. The bailiff swore me in, the judge asked me a few questions, and then she granted my divorce. I swelled with happiness. I was finally free. I felt brave for opening my heart to love someone in the first place, I felt grateful for the child we created together, and I thought about the lessons I’d take with me about love.I’ve realized that by allowing myself to experience whatever I’m going through at that moment, the bad or scary or intimating thing passes. Allowing ourselves to feel and embrace whatever feeling is transformative. On the river, that might mean basking in the bliss that follows styling a nerve-wrecking rapid from the calm eddy below and enjoying the river dance in the sun’s golden hue. In love, I’m finding that letting go of a failed relationship has opened my heart to the possibility of a new relationship – one that is wiser, more mature and honest. Nestled in the arms of my lover, I realized that I’d never had the chance to feel the glow of his love without first confronting the end of my marriage.
First, I should say that we don’t recommend doing shots in the backcountry. Combining alcohol with adventurous sports is irresponsible and could result in a variety of dire consequences ranging from impaired decision making to hypothermia. Also, there’s a rare condition associated with boozing while hiking or biking called “having too much fun.” It’s serious. And contagious. I want to be a responsible adult, but I keep running into the same problem: bourbon tastes good. And it tastes even better when you’re deep in the woods at the end (or middle) of an epic adventure. And they make flasks so lightweight and portable these days that it seems almost silly not to take a few ounces of your favorite spirit along on your adventure. While you could sip your hooch straight from the flask like a damn animal, there are other, more civilized options for the discerning drinker. Enter the Adventure Shot Glass Set from Stanley–four stainless steel sippers that stack together and pack away in their own steel carrying case. Look at these things; they’re so cute, it would be rude not to whip them out when you reach the summit of your next peak. And any wilderness guide worth his/her salt will tell you that the number one medical issue in the backcountry isn’t a sprained ankle, it’s communicable diseases. For some reason, people are in such awe of nature that they forget to wash their hands. They go all communal and start sharing spoons and cups. But if you have these shot glasses, you don’t have to suck the bourbon straight from the flask, right after your sleazy friend with the stripper girlfriend sucks the bourbon straight from the flask. You think taking a shot of booze in the backcountry is irresponsible? Try getting herpes. See? Using these little cups is a public health issue. Be responsible.
Many cyclists have feared the development of electric mountain bikes, arguing that they will take the sport out of mountain biking. They could also destroy trails and give e-bikers an unfair advantage. And they could add motorized noise to an otherwise peaceful forest experience. After all, what’s the difference between an e-bike and a motorbike?One difference is amount of power: a KTM 250cc four-stroke motorcycle produces about 32,000 watts, while the Specialized Levo eMTB produces 530 watts.Another difference is that you must be pedaling in order for the motor to be engaged on e-bikes, unlike motorcycles that require a throttle. E-bikes give each rider about 6.5 watts per kilo of bodyweight, so an average rider could be on par with a professional cyclist.In the past couple years big name bike companies, such as Specialized, Trek, Giant, Scott, and other have been developing their own off terrain e-bikes. When electric mountain bikes first came out, they were described and bulky and clumsy on the trail, but reviews of the newly released e-bikes have been more positive.E-bikes can also serve as great haulers, so for any bikepacking, camping, or hunting trips these e-bikes will be the difference. Electric mountain bikes could also open the door to people who might not otherwise be able to enjoy this great sport for physical reasons.What are your opinions of e-bikes? Share your thoughts below.