Performance Of Tesla’s Australia Battery Has Been ‘Outstanding’

first_imgPerformance Of Tesla’s Australia Battery Has Been ‘Outstanding’ FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Sydney Morning Herald:When it comes to hype, there is probably nobody as outlandish as US-based billionaire Elon Musk and his Tesla corporation.A…version of the hyperbole has been on show in Australia, following the installation late last year of a 100-megawatt lithium ion battery – the world’s largest. Musk famously offered to supply it for free if his firm couldn’t build it within 100 days.The big battery, located next to the Hornsdale wind farm in the mid-north region of South Australia, has already been active, drawing interest from well beyond these shores.While the hype rings a bit hollow…there’s no doubt the battery has been making a difference, responding to four coal generator trips in December alone.Franck Woitiez, managing director at Neoen – the French operator of the battery – told Fairfax Media its performance had been “outstanding. We are very proud of the battery performance throughout December and the start of January.”According to [Dylan McConnell, a researcher at Melbourne University’s Climate & Energy College], the battery dispatched about 2.5 gigawatt-hours of electricity while consuming about 3 gigawatt-hours, representing a round-trip efficiency of about 80 per cent. “The performance to date has been very impressive. It’s ramp-up from zero output to maximum in seconds (or less) is something that we haven’t seen in the electricity market before,” McConnell said, noting the current fleet of “fast start” units take five to 10 minutes to synchronise to the grid and start providing power.More: ‘All happening very quickly’: Tesla battery sends a jolt through energy marketslast_img read more


EU agrees to end coal subsidies by 2025, but gives Poland a break

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享EURACTIV:European Union legislators reached agreement in the early hours of Wednesday (19 December) over a proposed reform of electricity market rules that includes a 2025 cut-off date for coal subsidies, and a special clause for Poland. “Today’s message is clear: this is the last call for coal,” said Florent Marcellesi, a Green lawmaker from Spain who was on the European Parliament’s negotiating team. “We are taking a step beyond coal and a step towards the age of renewable energy,” he added after the conclusion of three-way talks with EU member states, under the Commission’s watch.Marcellesi was far from jubilant however, saying the deal is still insufficient to comply with the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to “well below 2°C”. Still, the new electricity market design for the first time places a limit on coal subsidies by introducing a CO2 emissions performance standard of 550g per kilowatt hour on all new power plants.The 550 rule is the cornerstone of the agreement, and effectively rules out state aid for coal. The standard will start applying for all new power stations as soon as the regulation enters into force, and as of 1 July 2025 for existing generation facilities.Agreement was a long time coming, however, and required give and take on all sides. The previous round of talks collapsed over Poland’s insistence to keep bankrolling emergency power plants running on coal, which are the heaviest emitters of CO2. Those receive government funding via so-called “capacity mechanisms” which remunerate power plants for keeping on stand-by, in order to meet peak demand for electricity.Poland finally agreed to the 550 rule applying to existing coal power plants as of 1 July 2025. In return however, Warsaw won a “grandfathering clause” that will protect contracts awarded to energy generators under the country’s capacity scheme. The clause will apply to all contracts approved before 31 December 2019.More EU forges deal on coal phase-out, with special Polish clause EU agrees to end coal subsidies by 2025, but gives Poland a breaklast_img read more


Greenko, ReNew Power win Indian contract to supply 1.2GW of firm renewable electricity

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享 and ReNew Power on Friday won the auction to supply 1200 MW of clean power after Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) concluded the world’s largest renewable-cum-energy storage power purchase tender through a reverse auction method. While Hyderabad-headquartered Greenko has been awarded 900 MW after quoting a peak power tariff rate of Rs 6.12 (~$0.086)/kWh, ReNew Power will supply the residual 300 MW. Its bid for peak tariff came at Rs 6.85 (~$0.096)/kWh.The renewable power from these projects will be firm, predictable, and will meet the peak requirements of several north India state distribution companies, which otherwise have to depend on spot markets without price, supply or network assurance, and are prepaid.“It’s a unique tender and first of its kind where the bidders will be required to deliver firm renewable energy. It’ll definitely help in improving the grid integration of renewables and improve the acceptability of green power by distribution companies,” said Sumant Sinha, CMD, ReNew Power.Power from pumped hydro and battery projects, coupled with renewables, will offer lowest ever peak tariff globally, believe industry players. This is also lower than the recent stressed thermal projects tender conducted by PTC where the tariff of Rs 4.24/kWh (Cents 5.89/kWh) was discovered, for only 3 years supply, whereas the tariff discovered under this tender are fixed for a 25-year period.In the U.S., a market with more advance storage technologies, similar bids have seen price discoveries of around $120-$140/MWh (megawatt hour). In India, in comparison, Friday’s bids translate to $85/MWh. Most analysts therefore feel this is a game-changer as India can now replace conventional sources with high-quality renewable power to meet the new energy demands of the country. It is now also possible to dispatch with higher reliability due to storage technologies at a cost that are either at par or sometimes even cheaper than fossil fuels or even gas.The tender sought a contracted capacity of 1200 MW, with assured supply of 600 MW for 6 hours daily during peak demand hours (that is, 5.30-9.30 AM and 5.30 PM-12.30 midnight), on a day-ahead on-demand basis. This will require storage capacity (pumped hydro and battery) of at least 3000 MWh, and appropriate renewable energy generation capacity.[Arijit Barman]More: Greenko, ReNew win world’s largest renewable-cum-storage based firm supply tender for 1.2 GW Greenko, ReNew Power win Indian contract to supply 1.2GW of firm renewable electricitylast_img read more


Seven Beginner-Friendly Climbing Crags

first_imgClimbers use a universal number system to rate the difficulty of each climbing route, called the Yosemite Decimal System. Beginner rock climbs are in the 5.1 to 5.6 range, 5.7-5.10 are intermediate to advanced, and 5.11 and above are reserved for professional climbers. The hardest routes being climbed today are 5.15b. The letter at the end of the grade indicates the difficulty of that particular climb within the 5.15 range (“a” being the easiest 5.15 and “d” being the hardest).LITTLE STONY MAN Shenandoah National Park, Va.This cliff band sits off Skyline Drive at 3,500 feet in elevation. The routes are long (nothing less than 80 feet) and most have a convenient ledge halfway through that offers stellar views of the valley below. Trails (including the A.T.) run above and below the cliffs, offering easy access and plenty of top rope anchor possibilities. All the routes are singlepitch, but they’re long, so bring a long rope and some endurance.Best Beginner Routes: Chimney Cricket (5.3), Head First (5.6), Chimney in a Chimney (5.6) TABLE ROCK MOUNTAINPisgah National Forest, N.C.Table Rock sits on the east rim of the Linville Gorge, offering routes on quartzite faces that stretch for 600 feet. There are a few top rope routes to be found on Table Rock, but the majority are mixed trad and sport. The need for placing gear can be a barrier for beginners, but go with a paid guide or experienced mentor and this could be the mountain that takes you from top roping newbie to multi-pitch fanatic.Best Beginner Routes: Jim Dandy (5.5), My Route (5.6), The Cave Route (5.5)CROWDERS MOUNTAINCrowders Mountain State Park, N.C.Sure, climbers have dubbed this popular rock “Crowded Mountain,” but there’s a reason why so many people love to climb here. More than 100 routes traverse Crowders, which sticks out from the surrounding piedmont flats like a hippie at a country club. The mountain peaks around 1,600 feet, but you feel like you’re climbing on top of a 6,000-footer. Quartzite fins stick out of the summit, creating a mecca of super-featured climbs that are easily rigged for top roping, thanks to an access trail traversing the summit.Best Beginner Routes: Gastonia Crack (5.4), Big Crack (5.5), The Bear (5.7)SUNSET ROCKChickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Tenn.Few crags are as storied as Sunset, an 80-foot tall cliff band that stretches for a mile on the western rim of Lookout Mountain. The cliffs played a pivotal role in the Civil War as well as a pivotal role in southern rock climbing–Sunset is often considered the birthplace of sandstone. Climbers have been sending this cliff for sport since at least the 1940s, making it one of the oldest recognized crags below the Mason Dixon.Best Beginner Routes: One-Ten (5.6), Airbrush (5.6), Blonde Ambition (5.7)URBAN CRAGSThese urban crags offer stellar climbing with a fraction of the commute.MANCHESTER WALLRichmond, Va. This is actually a 60-foot tall railroad pier made from massive granite blocks cut from the Belle Isle quarry, but local climbers have turned it into a sport-route training ground and established dozens of climbs ranging from 5.3 to 5.10. A lot of local climbers use the wall as a massive bouldering traverse (the base is 150 feet wide), while newbies often tick off their first sport lead here.Best Beginner Route: Hooked on a Feeling (5.7)BOAT ROCKAtlanta, Ga. Boat Rock consists of a half-mile of massive granite boulders sitting in the middle of an Atlanta suburb near the Chattahoochee River. The Southeastern Climbers Coalition saved the area from development by purchasing the crag. A number of easier problems are scattered throughout the field, which has become a haven for Atlanta-locked climbers.Best Beginner Route: Easy Crack (5.1)MARYLAND HEIGHTSHarpers Ferry, W.Va. Maryland Heights is a 100-foot cliff band overlooking downtown Harpers Ferry, just across from the Potomac. Most of the established routes are in the 5.2 to 5.8 range, so the area is perfect for beginners, as long as you’re climbing with someone experienced in leading trad. The cliff sits inside Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, so be sure to register at the visitor’s center, and local climbers would appreciate it if you left your bolts and chalk at home.Best Beginner Climb: Hard Up (5.7)last_img read more


The Beauty of Cross-Training

first_imgPhoto: Lee TimmonsI have always been a very focused individual.  When I have a goal, I search for the most direct and efficient path to reach it.  This tunnel vision approach has been an asset to me throughout my high school and university careers… I learned how to work smart, and as a result didn’t have to study nearly as much as many of my peers.While this laser-focused mentality can come in useful in other aspects of life, it holds no water in athletics.Growing up as a competitive whitewater kayaker, I was always under the impression that I should strengthen only those muscles that I needed for my sport.  All others could fade away for all I cared; they were nothing but dead weight for that sport.  My workouts were focused on the upper body at all times, and did not involve very much flexibility or joint mobility work.  They were also very repetitive, since I thought that I had effectively targeted all of the most important muscles that I used when paddling.I operated under this mentality for a long time, but struggled with tendonitis and a myriad other injuries.  I also could not quite reach the results that I knew I was capable of.  There was something missing there, and I knew it.A few years ago, I took it upon myself to pick the brains of some of the most knowledgeable exercise sciences individuals that I knew.  These people included UNCA strength coaches, CrossFit Asheville coaches, and Olympic paddlesports coaches. They finally hammered into my stubborn brain the fact that the human body is one holistic and incredibly intertwined machine.  We cannot strengthen only a part of it and expect it to continue to operate efficiently.In response to this revelation, I applied a new workout regime… variety!  I started adapting my gym workouts, swimming, running, mountain biking, skiing, doing yoga, and basically just trying to step out of my comfort zone as much as possible.  I tried to keep my body confused, and never allow it to have a repetitive comfort zone.  Not only was this new way of thinking making me a stronger and more balanced athlete, it was way more fun!  Every athlete struggles with burnout on occasion, but by having a mixture of different training activities to choose from that still benefit your end goals, it is much easier to keep the morale up.Since I made that switch, I can absolutely tell a difference in my athletic work capacity.  I used to run cross-country in high school and put in 20+ mile weeks training for that.  In spite of my lack of time in my running shoes, I was able to achieve a PR time in the Parsec Prize 5k, a great charity event that occurred on October 15th.  I am also very proud of a 6th place finish in the Whitewater Grand Prix this May against some of the best paddlers in the world.But what is the number one advantage of applying this big picture cross-training program?It’s just more fun!last_img read more


Women’s Earth Alliance

first_imgThe Women’s Earth Alliance helps women around the world secure their rights and safety and remove barriers to full participation in society by supporting them in addressing the environmental issues impacting their lives. Pictured: A female farmer in India. Photo credit: iStockPhoto/ThinkstockEarthTalk®E – The Environmental MagazineDear EarthTalk: I heard about a group called the Women’s Earth Alliance that works on environmental projects in many parts of the world. What kinds of projects?  — Judy Stack, Barre, VTThe Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA) supports community groups around the world that work at the intersection of women’s rights and the environment. A project of the Berkeley, California-based David Brower Center, WEA partners with local women-led community groups engaged in finding solutions to vexing environmental problems. WEA helps women secure their rights and safety and remove barriers to full participation in society by supporting them in addressing the environmental issues impacting their lives. By bringing women’s leadership to these critical environmental issues, WEA helps bring vital voices, perspectives and participation to addressing the greatest and most basic challenges of our time.The idea for WEA emerged from a 2006 meeting in Mexico City where 30 women leaders from 26 countries gathered to address how women can do more to address today’s environmental challenges. WEA offers training and resources around issues of water, land, food and climate change, operating on the guiding principle that “when women thrive, communities, the environment and future generations thrive.”Of utmost importance to WEA is securing women’s access to basic resources (food, land and water) so they can enjoy economic, social and political security. Since women in many societies are responsible for the management of food and water, the group reports, they can “experience both the unequal burden of work to secure and prepare the family’s food and water as well as the vulnerability which results from traditional gender roles at home and gender discrimination in society.” Women also tend to be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, says WEA: “Women in underserved communities find themselves on the front lines of climate impacts, often witnessing their water sources and traditional land bases shift or disappear because of a dangerous mix of changing temperatures and structural inequalities.”Currently WEA focuses on three geographic areas: India, North America and Africa. Its India Program supports small and emerging women’s groups that are promoting food sovereignty, traditional knowledge and advocating for the rights of women farmers. The group’s trainings, advocacy and movement building have enabled thousands of poor Indian women to become environmental leaders in their communities.In North America, WEA links pro bono legal, policy and business advocates across the continent with Indigenous women leading environmental campaigns. “Through rapid response advocacy, long-term policy working groups, trainings and delegations, WEA’s innovative advocacy partnerships protect sacred sites, promote energy justice, and ensure environmental health on Indigenous lands,” the group reports.And in Africa, WEA partnered with Crabgrass, a California-based human rights group, to create the Global Women’s Water Initiative (GWWI) that provides training to help people implement water related strategies to improve their communities’ health, self reliance and resilience to climate change. With GWWI, WEA and Crabgrass are building a cadre of advanced female trainers skilled in applying holistic solutions with appropriate technology to environmental problems regarding water, sanitation and hygiene.CONTACTS: WEA,; Crabgrass,® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine ( Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: Free Trial Issue: read more


Trail Mix – May 2015

first_img Griggstown The Grahams Oklahoma singer/songwriter John Moreland digs deep on his latest release.Some tunes are just hell on my solar plexus.“You Don’t Care For Me Enough To Cry,” the first tune I heard from High On Tulsa Heat, the brand new record from Oklahoma singer/songwriter John Moreland, is one of those tunes. Moreland, with his hacksaw growl, subtle guitar work, and knack for lyrics that pummel my midriff, has had me fascinated for days. I can’t get enough of the new record, and each spin brings to the forefront another turn of phrase that floors me. With comparisons to the likes of Jason Isbell and Guy Clark, don’t be surprised when John Moreland is on the lips of Americana fans everywhere talking about the next great songwriter.Another newly discovered favorite showcased this month is “3 Shots,” from Hollis Brown. This NYC outfit was recently given the daunting challenge – and incredible honor – of finishing a Bo Diddley tune by The Bo Diddley Estate. The end result of their efforts was “Rain Dance,” which is featured on 3 Shots, which releases this week.A couple months ago, I mentioned here in a blog post that I have rediscovered vinyl and have begun accumulating records at an obsessive pace. One of the jazz greats that I have discovered is Wes Montgomery. This month, Resonance Records is releasing a two disc retrospective, In The Beginning, featuring recordings from 1949 through 1958. Trail Mix has “A Night In Tunisia” featured this month . . . . and while it sounds fantastic on disc, you can bet that I can’t wait to hear it on vinyl.Also featured this month are some old favorites. Trail Mix is happy to welcome back Jimbo Mathus, Otis Taylor, and Ray Wylie Hubbard.Be sure to check out brand new tunes from The Lonesome Band, Major & The Monbacks, Todd Grebe & Cold Country, Torres, Whitewash, The Deer Run Drifters, Ancient River, Leaf Rapids, Jimmy Lafave, and stay tuned to the Trail Mix blog. I have chats with Charlie Parr, The London Souls, Corbin Hayslett, and Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers queued up for your perusal.Share the word about Trail Mix. Give us a tweet. Take a picture of yourself groovin’ to a new tune and drop it on Instagram. And, as always, make sure you get out and buy some of these records. Help support these great artists who let us share their music through Trail Mix. 4:45 Ran Ran Run Pavo Pavo Eighteen Fifty-Five Heather Maloney 4:15 4:45 Air Running Backwards Chandler Travis, the Chandler Travis Philharmonic, & Three-O, the Incredible Casuals, the Catbirds, and Rabbit Rabbit When I’m with You The London Souls Reflections Django Django 3 Shots Hollis Brown 3:55 3:18 4:24 Restless Youth The Deer Run Drifters Heart Is a Muscle Used to Play the Blues Otis Taylor 5:18 2:55 3:57 Copy and paste this code to your site to embed. 3:32 Chick Singer, Badass Rockin’ Ray Wylie Hubbard 4:22 You Don’t Care For Me Enough To Cry John Moreland 3:43 Audio PlayerChandler Travis, the Chandler Travis Philharmonic, & Three-O, the Incredible Casuals, the Catbirds, and Rabbit RabbitAir Running BackwardsUse Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.00:000:00 / 3:55 3:13 3:41 4:25 3:39 My Love, My Love Nneka Ain’t That Fine Todd Grebe & Cold Country Somedays Major And The Monbacks 3:15 3:32 Dust Bowl Okies Jimmy Lafave 4:38 Holy People Dana Sipos 2:57 Night In Tunisia Wes Montgomery & The Motgomery – Johnson Quintet 3:25 Waiting On Love Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers 2:49 Together Ryan Montbleau Band Member Whitewash Galaxie 500 Leaf Rapids Make ‘Em Dance The Lonesome Band 3:32 I’m An Idiot Dustin Lovelis 4:08 Shoot Out The Lights (Shoot Out The Lights) Jimbo Mathus 4:20 This Is The Time Ancient River Embed 3:47 Sprinter Torreslast_img read more


How To: Damascus, VA

first_imgDamascus is unlike any town you’ll ever visit. Its unique characters and close proximity to some of the best outdoor opportunities on the East Coast make it stand out above all other Appalachian towns. Steep, lush mountains tower above pristine creeks and rivers that hold some of the most rare and biodiverse creatures on earth. Damascus is a quiet mountain town where one visits to escape the hustle-bustle of everyday life. You will feel warm and welcomed when you visit. The mountains surrounding the town call to people like the Sirens in the Odyssey with a similar captivating lure. If you visit Damascus, Virginia be warned, part of you will always remain there.img_6319dsc_0573PlayThere’s a reason Damascus is known as “Trail Town USA.” The Appalachian Trail, Iron Mountain Trail, and the Virginia Creeper Trail can all be accessed from Main Street. The Appalachian Trail literally is the centerpiece of town, though the VA Creeper Trail probably draws the most attention. This 38-mile rail-trail connects Whitetop Mountain to the town of Abingdon, VA, by way of a well-maintained gravel superhighway (human-powered traffic only). You can even get a shuttle from one of the many shuttle services in town that will hook you up with a bike and a lift to whichever trailhead you wish to ride from.If you are a boater, Damascus is the place to be. The South Fork of the Holston River runs right through town and is fed by Beaver Dam Creek, Whitetop Laurel Creek, and Tennessee Laurel Creek which are all excellent to paddle when the water is here. The South Fork of the Holston has reliable flow almost year round with the exception of late summer when the levels usually drop below 200 cfs. Within two hours from town you can access some of the best whitewater in the Southeast, including Watauga River, Russell Fork River, Nolichucky, French Broad, Guest River, New River, Doe River, and Wilson Creek.dsc_0745-2 dsc_0747-2If you are a climber you won’t have to look far either. About a five-minute car ride from town, just over the Tennessee/ Virginia border, sits Backbone Rock. There are a few lines to top rope here, so for the most part this area serves well as a place to learn anchor building and basic climbing techniques.Hidden Valley, however, is about 40 minutes from town, but offers excellent sandstone climbing on a wide range of bolted sport routes. The climbing here seems almost too good to be true given its close proximity to Abingdon and Damascus. Hidden Valley is beautifully positioned and a resource folks in this region are lucky to have._mg_6261Grayson Highlands State Park is about 45 minutes from Damascus and offers world-class bouldering. The quality of problems is complimented wonderfully by their exposure and setting amongst the Grayson Highlands backdrop. You can spend months here and never have to climb the same problem.img_0417StayDamascus is visited by a lot of people just passing through. There are multiple bed and breakfasts, hostels, and camp spots around town. The Lazy Fox Inn, the Old Mill Inn, and the Hiker’s Inn are all nice, quaint accommodations right in town. There are camping spots north or south on the AT about a mile either way. There are car camping spots up 58 next to Whitetop Laurel Creek and dispersed camping along the Virginia Creeper Trail (any place that isn’t marked with a No Trespassing sign, of course). You will quickly learn that everyone in town is extremely laid back and if you plan to camp, please do so responsibly so that resources last. EatMojo’s Trailside Café has great coffee and breakfast options and recently started serving gourmet dinners Thursday thru Sunday. It has a comfortable, cozy feel and is on the AT (so don’t be surprised to see a crowd of thru-hikers when you go). Bobo McFarland’s is an Irish-style pub with pizza, salads, burgers, and beer, also situated directly on the AT. Damascus also has its own brewery, aptly named The Damascus Brewery. The taproom is always packed with people, and live music echoes into the streets.last_img read more


Come To Richmond For The Only Event Worth Hiking For!

first_imgCelebrate some of the best urban trails in the country this Fall by hiking for a good cause with Blue Sky Fund along the James River Park System in Richmond, VA! Transport yourself from downtown to a wild world in a matter of seconds by hopping on the trail and swapping the whirring of honking cars for a wooded oasis and rushing water. Let the cool crisp air fill your lungs as a kaleidoscope of red, yellow and orange floods your field of vision and the river roars nearby. Leaves crunching beneath your feet as you hit the open trail, with not a care in the world except the path ahead. Ah, the sweet sensation of hiking in the Fall.What if this little walk in the woods could also make a BIG impact?Join hundreds of hikers on Saturday, October 27th for the only event worth hiking for this Fall – Hike For Kids – as you challenge yourself to a 3-, 8- or 14-mile loop around the James River and know that with each step you’re helping to connect more kids in need with nature. Toast to your success on the trail at the post-hike party with Väsen beer, Boka tacos, live entertainment and a chance to win awesome outdoor gear prizes!We believe that the outdoors should be a part of every child’s life, and Blue Sky Fund makes it possible for kids living in Richmond’s poorest neighborhoods to experience the joys of the Great Outdoors. Imagine living just a mile from the giant James River, and never visiting it or knowing that it was a place that you were welcome. With both in-school and after-school programming starting in elementary school all the way through high school, Blue Sky Fund provides transformative experiences in nature to over 2,000 students each year. All of the proceeds from Hike For Kids directly supports this outdoor education programming for Richmond’s urban youth.Blue Sky Fund leads school-based, after-school, weekend, and summer programs. Elementary school students can explore the great outdoors through the Explorers program, which helps students engage in their core science requirements through hands-on, field trip experiences in nature. Outdoor Adventure Clubs for middle school students builds character as students are immersed in outdoor activities such as rock climbing, hiking, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, and camping. Through the organization’s Outdoor Leadership Institute, a diverse set of high school students bond together to meet the challenges of a week-long wilderness trip and year-round community service opportunities as a team.Hike For Kids is made possible by community sponsors, including Capital One, Dominion Energy, the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, Blakemore Construction, Blue Ridge Outdoors, One Digital, Riverside Outfitters, Väsen Brewing Company, Health Warrior, Magellan Health, REI Co-Op (Richmond store), and Walkabout Outfitters.last_img read more