IEEFA Energy Finance 2016: Rampal Project in Sundarbans Forest of Bangladesh: High-Priced Electricity and Foreign Subsidies

first_imgIEEFA Energy Finance 2016: Rampal Project in Sundarbans Forest of Bangladesh: High-Priced Electricity and Foreign Subsidies FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享A controversial coal-fired power plant in southern Bangladesh would produce overpriced electricity and require massive public subsidies from neighboring India, according to an initial analyses by IEEFA.The proposed Rampal power plant, which has drawn attention for its potential impact on the Sundarbans forest, would generate power that would probably cost ratepayers US 9.5 cents per unit, or 32 percent above average electricity prices in the region, IEEFA energy analyst Jai Sharda said during a Monday presentation at Energy Finance 2016.“It would require massive subsidies,” said Sharda, including hundreds of millions of dollars from the Export Import Bank of India, which is backing the project with long-duration loans at well below-market interest rates. The capital cost of the 1.3GW plant has already blown out from US$1.5 billion toward a likely US$2 billion, and the proposed planned and construction timeline is already several years behind schedule, with full commissioning unlikely before 2020.“While Bangladesh’s need to diversify and expand its power generation sources is entirely justified, adding high risk and high-cost imported-coal-based power production capacity, like the Rampal project, is not an economically feasible solution,” Sharda said.“Solar and wind power provide attractive options for Bangladesh, making strategic sense by de-risking power generation from fuel-price and currency devaluation risks and diversifying and expanding the generation base,” he said.The site of the proposed plant lies in close proximity to the Sundarbans, a Unesco World Heritage site that straddles the borderlands between Bangladesh and India and is home to Bangladesh’s last population of tigers.last_img read more

Ohio Legislators Seek Extension of Freeze on Renewables

first_imgOhio Legislators Seek Extension of Freeze on Renewables FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Kathiann M. Kowalski for Midwest Energy News:Clean energy industry and environmental organizations say continuing the freeze will put Ohio at a further disadvantage if the EPA climate rules are upheld.“The bill on its face is something that’s going to halt innovation and the new energy economy that’s emerging pretty much all around us,” said Ted Ford, president of Ohio Advanced Energy Economy.The draft, circulated by state Sen. Bill Seitz, would suspend additional requirements under Ohio’s clean energy standards for three more years after the current two-year freeze that supporters claimed was just a “pause” and “time out” to let a special committee study the standards.Sen. Troy Balderson, co-chair of the Ohio Senate’s Public Utilities Commission, said he favors the idea of an additional freeze.“We are still looking to continue the freeze to 2019,” Balderson said.“With the [Clean Power Plan] on hold right now, that would be the nearest time frame that we would start that process again,” Balderson said. “And that’s an ‘if.’ That’s not definite as to when it would happen.”“It would be much better for us to have an understanding of where we’re going to go with the Clean Power Plan [and] what standards the feds are going to put on us before knowing what the standards should be that we should put in there also,” Balderson said.“That’s just not the way that it works,” said Trish Demeter at the Ohio Environmental Council.“The longer we have these standards frozen, the more we get behind in terms of being on track to meet the carbon reduction goals,” Demeter said. “So it makes sense to bring them back as soon as possible. Then we’ll be able to count what we’re doing now towards our final goal.”Nor are there unresolved technical issues that would make it harder for Ohio to comply with the federal rules, noted Samantha Williams of the Natural Resources Defense Council.“There is no legitimate concern about conflicting requirements,” she said. “Ohio is likely to take a mass-based approach that is streamlined and does not impose on Ohio any particular methodology…for ‘counting’ clean energy,” she explained. “In other words, if it’s real, it counts.”Ohio has other reasons to let strong clean energy standards resume, advocates say.“Forward-looking power companies and businesses across the economy are already seizing on the opportunities associated with investing in clean energy and energy efficiency,” Williams said. “The electricity sector has already embarked on an unstoppable shift from its high-pollution, dirty-fueled past to a safer, cleaner-powered future.”“As a laggard, Ohio only stands to lose,” Williams said.Ohio lawmakers cite Clean Power Plan in push for ‘freeze’ extensionlast_img read more

Long Lines at Job Fair in Eastern Kentucky

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Brad Myers for WSAZ:A long line of job seekers waited outside the Big Sandy Community and Technical College Wednesday, long before a job fair even opened.“It tells me there are jobs here,” Kelli Hall, BSCTC Dean of Career Education and Workforce Development said. “There are people wanting to work. We have a good strong work ethic here. There are employers here who want to hire our folks.”Hall says with coal on the decline, it’s important the people of this region focus on the future.“The coal industry has declined as we all know in eastern Kentucky, West Virginia and surrounding areas,” Hall said. “We get that, but it’s our job to create new industry and diversify our economy. That’s what were doing here today is getting coal miners back to work in new careers.”More than two dozen employers turned out for the job fair, which was hosted by Kelly Services in partnership with Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky. Toyota is looking for applicants for various positions in Georgetown, Kentucky. There are various positions, which start at $16 an hour.Another company looking to hire is Team Fishel, a Utility Construction Company out of Louisville.“We were overwhelmed when we saw it when we first got here,” Christa Druin, who serves as the Kentucky Division Manager for Team Fishel said. “We were thinking this is fantastic because in Louisville, the unemployment rate is so low. The labor pool is so small, and that’s one of the reasons we come to these job fairs is because we know there’s people that are willing to work and want to work.”Druin says Team Fishel is leading the way in a project called Kentucky Wired, an initiative to bring broadband Internet by way of fiber optics throughout the state of Kentucky. An effort that means hundreds of well-paying jobs right here in our area.“Don’t just think that it’s just for fiber,” Druin said. “There are multiple opportunities. We need mechanics. We need operators. We need directional drill people, overhead electric. There are so many positions. We’re looking for people that will show up every day. Don’t think that you have to have the experience, because we will teach you.”Full article: Hundreds of job seekers turn out to job fair in eastern Kentucky Long Lines at Job Fair in Eastern Kentuckylast_img read more

Threat to U.S. Solar Expansion in Potential Panel-Import Tariffs

first_imgThreat to U.S. Solar Expansion in Potential Panel-Import Tariffs FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Solar developers are suspending construction as the looming threat of U.S. import tariffs has driven up prices and spurred hoarding, crimping panel supplies.“We’ve had roughly $500 million worth of work that we’ve had to put on hold,” said Scott Canada, who oversees renewable energy projects for McCarthy Building Cos. of St. Louis. “The supply of panels has just evaporated as everybody is grabbing what they can.”The disruptions date to about May, after bankrupt panel manufacturer Suniva Inc. filed a trade complaint asking for protection from cheap imports. As the case gained steam, developers rushed to stockpile every available panel. The case is currently before the U.S. International Trade Commission and may eventually reach the Oval Office, where President Donald Trump has the authority to impose tariffs.The crunch is an abrupt reversal for the $29 billion U.S solar industry, which six months ago was awash in inexpensive panels. Developers say prices have swelled by about 40 percent in the past four months, making some projects uneconomical to build. And that’s if they’re lucky enough to have a supplier at all.“If you don’t have panels lined up for ’17 than you aren’t going to get them,” said Laura Stern, president and co-founder of Nautilus Solar Energy LLC in Summit, New Jersey. “The market is really tight.”Solar manufacturing is dominated by companies in China and elsewhere in Asia, where intense competition and booming output helped drag down global prices more than 50 percent in five years. While those declines have been a boon for companies that build solar farms, they’ve squeezed panel makers in markets with higher labor costs, including the U.S.Georgia-based Suniva, which filed its trade case in April, is asking for tariffs that may double the price of panels in the U.S. The trade commission has until Sept. 22 to investigate the case and send its findings to Trump, who gets final say.“We’ve got our fingers crossed that smarter minds will prevail and we won’t wind up with tariffs,” said Andrew Giraldo, president of engineering, procurement and construction at National Renewable Energy Corp. of Charlotte, North Carolina.Solar developers have vociferously opposed Suniva’s trade complaint, saying tariffs on cheap imports will hobble demand for new installations and eliminate thousands of jobs. The case has also drawn criticism from free-market trade groups, including the R Street Institute, National Taxpayers Union, American Legislative Exchange Counsel and others who released a letter Tuesday urging the trade commission to reject Suniva’s plea.More: Solar Developers Hoard Panels as U.S. Tariff Threat Loomslast_img read more

Apple expands renewable energy efforts into China

first_imgApple expands renewable energy efforts into China FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:Apple® today announced a new first-of-its-kind investment fund in China to connect suppliers with renewable energy sources. As part of Apple’s commitment to address climate change and increase the use of renewable energy within its supply chain, 10 initial suppliers and Apple will jointly invest nearly $300 million over the next four years into the China Clean Energy Fund. The fund will invest in and develop clean energy projects totaling more than 1 gigawatt of renewable energy in China, the equivalent of powering nearly 1 million homes.Transitioning to clean energy can be complex. This is especially true for smaller companies that may not have access to viable clean energy sources. By virtue of its size and scale, the China Clean Energy Fund will give its participants the advantage of greater purchasing power and the ability to attain more attractive and diverse clean energy solutions. The China Clean Energy Fund will be managed through a third party, DWS Group, which specializes in sustainable investments and will also invest in the fund.Today’s news follows Apple’s announcement earlier this year that its global facilities are powered by 100 percent clean energy and the launch of its Supplier Clean Energy Program in 2015. Since that program began, 23 manufacturing partners, operating in more than 10 different countries, have committed to powering all of their Apple production with 100 percent clean energy. Apple and its suppliers will generate more than 4 gigawatts of new clean energy worldwide by 2020—representing one-third of Apple’s current manufacturing electricity footprint.Apple is also working with its suppliers to find new ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The company recently announced it reached a breakthrough with aluminum suppliers Alcoa Corporation and Rio Tinto Aluminum on a new technology that eliminates direct greenhouse gas emissions from the traditional smelting process, a key step in aluminum production.The initial suppliers participating in the China Clean Energy Fund include: Catcher Technology Compal Electronics Corning Incorporated Golden Arrow Jabil Luxshare-ICT Pegatron Solvay Sunway Communication WistronMore: Apple Launches New Clean Energy Fund in Chinalast_img read more

WVU study sees continued decline in West Virginia coal production

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享WV Public Broadcasting:A new economic forecast shows the recent uptick in coal production is expected to level out during the next two years and decline precipitously during the next two decades.The annual coal production report, released today by West Virginia University’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, shows the recent uptick in coal production will be short-lived.The last few years have been a bright spot for West Virginia coal. Production has increased nearly 27 percent since the middle of 2016, driven largely by an uptick in coal exports to places like India, Brazil and Ukraine.By contrast, the report forecasts a 3 percent drop in coal production during the next two years, with production leveling out around 85 million tons of coal mined by 2020.“Weakening export activity will likely drive most of the anticipated drop in production through 2020, but the retirement and/or conversion of several gigawatts worth of coal-fired generating capacity that sources coal from West Virginia mines will also account for some of this decline,” the report states.Coal production in both the northern and southern parts of the state will be affected. But northern West Virginia, which largely produces thermal coal for use by U.S. power plants, will be hit harder. From 2020 through 2040, the analysts expect production to continue to drop, hitting 66 million tons by 2040, a 17 percent decline from 2016.More: Coal production report predicts downturn in the industry WVU study sees continued decline in West Virginia coal productionlast_img read more

Developer to build subsidy-free solar projects in fossil fuel-dependent Canada

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:German energy giant Innogy has finalised plans to build two solar farms in Canada that will be built without subsidies, highlighting once again the tremendous potential and growth of the global solar industry over the last few years.It was not that long ago that most every renewable energy project that reached active development and construction did so only with the support of government subsidies. Opponents of renewable energy technologies (and really, any technology that benefits from government subsidies) will often hold these subsidies up as proof that the technology cannot compete on its own – conveniently forgetting that their own preferred technology likely benefited from the same government support.Which makes the speed with which renewable energy technologies have progressed out of needing government subsidisation even more impressive. Clean energy technologies such as wind and solar are being built across the world without government subsidies, revealing a fast-tracked decline in technology costs and a need to stand apart from support in the face of intense opposition.This has been highlighted once again on Monday, this time in Canada, where Innogy, the renewable energy offshoot of utility giant RWE, announced that it had taken the Final Investment Decision (FID) to build two solar farms with a combined capacity of 57 MW (at peak).Innogy expects construction and commissioning to both be accomplished by year’s end and investment is expected to be in the mid-double-digit euro range, according to the company’s press release.The new Canadian solar projects – the 30 MW Hull and the 27 MW Vauxhall – were developed by local Solar Krafte Utilities, who transferred the project rights to Innogy in February, and will be built in Southern Alberta, close to the town of Vauxhall, with construction expected to begin in the second quarter.More: Now, even in Canada unsubsidised solar beats fossil fuels Developer to build subsidy-free solar projects in fossil fuel-dependent Canadalast_img read more

Washington state appeals court deals another blow to proposed coal export terminal

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Seattle Post-Intelligencer:Would-be builders of a massive coal export terminal, to be located along the Columbia River at Longview, suffered a severe setback Tuesday in court.The Washington State Court of Appeals ruled that the Department of Natural Resources had a valid reason when it refused to lease state-owned aquatic lands to Millennium Bulk Terminals.The terminal would receive as many as 16 coal trains a day from the Powder River and Unita Basins in Wyoming, for shipment to Asian markets.“DNR’s careful consideration of Millennium’s financial conditions and business reputation was especially reasonable given the circumstances surrounding the potential sublease,” the appellate court said in its opinion. “At the time DNR made its decision, coal market conditions were not promising, with United States coal production dropping.”As well, noted the court, Millennium “intentionally misrepresented the scope of its plans for the property in 2011 . . . Millennium intentionally concealed the extent of its plans for the coal export facility in order to avoid full environmental review.”The aquatic lands lease isn’t Millennium’s only permit problem. The state Department of Ecology refused to approve the project, specifically Millennium’s application for a water quality permit to fill 24 acres of wetlands and dredge 41.5 acres of Columbia River.More: Appeals court deals blow to big coal export terminal proposed for Longview, Washington Washington state appeals court deals another blow to proposed coal export terminallast_img read more

Japan launches its first auction for a floating offshore wind farm

first_imgJapan launches its first auction for a floating offshore wind farm FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Japan officially launched its effort to seek participants in the nation’s first auction for a floating offshore wind farm.The nation’s economy and land ministries will select the winner of the auction around June 2021 to construct the floating turbines off the southern prefecture of Nagasaki, according to a joint statement on Wednesday. The deadline for bidding in the auction is Dec. 24. Winning bidders will be chosen after consulting with experts on the feasibility and efficiency of the proposed business plans, according to a spokesman of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.The capacity of the floating farm must be a minimum of 16.8 megawatts. The feed-in tariff for the farm is set at 36 yen ($0.34) per kilowatt hour.The auction will be the first under Japan’s offshore wind promotion law, which took effect April 1, 2019, as the nation aims to achieve the target of boosting renewable energy to 24% of its total power generation by 2030, from about 17% in 2019. Developing affordable floating offshore wind technology is seen as key to meeting those goals, as available land is scarce and Japan doesn’t have the shallow coastal areas that have allowed traditional offshore turbines to prosper in places like Denmark and the U.K.BloombergNEF expects Toda Corp. to win the auction as the company is already planning to develop a 22-megawatt floating project in the same location, and the tender process gives preference to existing developers with good community ties and offshore wind experience, according to analyst Isshu Kikuma.[Aya Takada]More: Japan starts to seek bidders for first floating wind farm auctionlast_img read more

Australian electric market operator sees no need for new gas in renewable energy transition

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Australia’s federal government, urged on by the gas lobby, has sought to make a big deal about the need to promote gas as a transition fuel for the switch from coal to renewables and storage.It’s [a] view that has been hotly contested by environmentalists, who say gas is not much cleaner than coal because of its methane emission, who point out that it is really expensive, and now again by the engineers responsible for keeping the lights on, who cite both the reasons above and who say there are likely cheaper, smarter and cleaner alternatives.The Australian Energy Market Operator, in its 2020 Integrated System Plan – a 20 year blueprint to ready Australia for what it describes as the world’s “fastest energy transition” recognises that gas can provide the synchronous generation needed to balance variable renewable supply, i.e. wind and solar, and be a potential complement to storage.Under no scenario does the amount of gas burned for electricity in Australia’s main grid increase over the coming decade. It is more likely to fall significantly. Ultimately, however, it will come down to price, and while current costs favour existing gas plants, the case for new gas generators is less likely because the cost of battery storage is falling rapidly, and gas may not pass muster when it comes to considering the all-important carbon budgets.Gas currently has two roles in the electricity grid – as a provider of baseload and intermediate generation, with more flexibility than coal, and as a source of “peaking” generation that can rapidly respond to sudden changes in supply and demand. But AEMO’s forecasts suggest a fall in gas capacity, even in the central “business as usual” scenario.The outlook for the former is not good, simply because gas is expensive to extract, and even at the prices promised by the gas lobby – on condition that they receive big new subsidies from the government – won’t be able to compete with wind and solar for bulk generation. Many of these plants are old and are due to retire. They won’t be replaced like for like. Some young generators will remain in case of wind and solar “droughts”.That leaves its role as a “fast-start dispatchable” source where the need for something makes price less important. “Gas has a cost advantage over batteries at current gas and battery costs,” [the AEMO ISP notes.] “However, in the 2030s when significant investment in new dispatchable capacity is needed, this advantage could shift to batteries, especially to provide dispatchable supply during 2 and 4-hour periods. Based on the cost assumptions in the ISP, new batteries are more cost-effective than gas in the 2030s. Future climate policies may also impact the investment case for new gas.”[Giles Parkinson]More: AEMO says batteries will be cheaper and cleaner than new gas plants Australian electric market operator sees no need for new gas in renewable energy transitionlast_img read more