Save on your hotel - www.hotelscombined.com

Archive for October, 2015

The Stream, October 30: Malawi Hydropower Declines By Two-Thirds

Save on your hotel - www.hotelscombined.com
The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Low water levels in Lake Malawi are significantly cutting hydropower production on Malawi’s largest river, wells are going dry in northern India as groundwater levels drop, and Chinook salmon are declining in California’s Sacramento River as the state’s drought continues. Areas of several major cities in China performed poorly on a government evaluation of water pollution controls. Floods in Baghdad exacerbated poor conditions for thousands of displaced people, and New York City marked the 3-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. High temperatures and dry weather in northern Australia are bringing venomous snakes to town.

“I now spend most of my day thinking whether we will get enough water tomorrow. The hand pump has stopped working and I have to ride two kilometers every day to get water. Life has become hell.”–Raj Kumar Jaiswal, a resident of India’s Pratapgarh district, on depleted groundwater reserves that are leaving wells dry. (Reuters)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

66 percent Decline in Malawai’s hydropower production on the Shire River, the largest in the country, due to low water levels. The drop in electricity has sparked concerns about people using wood as an alternative energy source, putting pressure on the country’s forests. Reuters

217,489 fish Number of juvenile Winter Run Chinook salmon counted this year in California’s Sacramento River downstream of Shasta Dam, a 22 percent drop from the same time last year due in part to the state’s severe drought. Reuters

3 years Time since Superstorm Sandy hit New York City, causing $32 billion in damage. The city’s efforts to protect against future storms are still a work in progress. Inside Climate News

Science

Science, Studies, And Reports

Areas of Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei Province, Hubei Province, and Henan Province are not doing enough to implement water pollution control guidelines, according to an evaluation by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection. As a result, new development projects in some municipalities will be put on hold until pollution controls improve. Xinhua

On the Radar

On The Radar

Floods in Baghdad have affected thousands of people displaced from other regions of Iraq, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian said. The agency highlighted concerns about shelter, food, and clean water in the refugee camps. Xinhua

Warm, dry temperatures brought by an El Nino weather pattern are luring highly venomous eastern brown snakes into urban areas in northern Australia. In their search for water, the snakes are coming into greater contact with humans. Xinhua

The post The Stream, October 30: Malawi Hydropower Declines By Two-Thirds appeared first on Circle of Blue WaterNews.

source: http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2015/the-stream/the-stream-october-30-malawi-hydropower-declines-by-two-thirds/

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Editor - October 31, 2015 at 6:09 am

Categories: Green Power   Tags:

This Year’s Ozone Hole is the Fourth-Largest on Record

The ozone hole, an environmental problem often associated with the 1980s, is still a clear and present issue more than 30 years later. Despite efforts to clean up the stratosphere of ozone-depleting chemicals, this year’s ozone hole minimum bottomed out at the fourth lowest on record.

The ozone hole this year grew to a size of 10.9 million square miles, which is larger than the continent of North America. It’s a 1.3 million square miles bigger than last year’s size, and is the fourth largest on record since 1991.


An animation showing the ozone hole in September, the month it reaches its minimum, from 1979-2014.

This year the hole formed later and lasted two weeks longer than usual, leading to almost 100 percent ozone depletion. While ozone-depleting chemicals are still playing a role, natural factors, such as stratospheric circulation, also helped drive this year’s widespread thinning.

“During September we typically see a rapid ozone decline, ending with about 95 percent depletion in that layer by October 1,” Bryan Johnson, a researcher at the Earth System Research Laboratory, said in a press release. “This year the depletion held on an extra two weeks resulting in nearly 100-percent depletion by October 15.”

While the ozone hole is a stratospheric phenomenon, it can also stir winds in the lower levels of the atmosphere, which in turn affect Antarctic sea ice. Other factors, such as El Niño, also affect the region’s ice and could be responsible for it not hitting a record maximum this year as it has in recent years. The ozone hole could also be reducing the Southern Ocean’s ability to stash carbon.

Harmful chemicals, known as chlorofluorocarbons, are the main culprits and cause the ozone to get thinner and thinner. The hole first received public attention in the 1980s and spurred government action to take ozone-depleting chemicals, widely used as refrigerants, out of rotation.

The 1987 treaty to reduce these chemicals, dubbed the Montreal Protocol, has widely been viewed as a successful global response to an environmental problem. It also had the unfortunate side effect of creating a rise in hydrofluorocarbons — a potent greenhouse gas — as alternative coolants.

Governments are now trying to figure out how to phase them out in order to slow down global warming.

{like}


source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ClimateCentral-News/~3/xjEDNNxgDeU/2015-ozone-hole-fourth-largest-19627

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Editor - at 6:09 am

Categories: Green Power   Tags:

Paris Agreement Could Put Leash Around Global Warming

King tide flooding in Pacifica, Calif. Sea level rise is worsening the effects of such tides around the world.
Credit: Dave R./Flickr

World governments are cooperating as they work to slip a leash around the monstrous problem of global warming, but new analysis shows that leash will need to be severely tightened in the coming years if damage from future warming is to be meaningfully reduced.

There is a month remaining before a critical two-week U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change begins in Paris. Following years of talks, most of the world’s governments have announced the pledges that they plan to offer under the hoped-for Paris climate pact, even as the draft agreement continues to take shape.

On Friday, the United Nations released its analysis of those pledges, showing that the global populace is beginning to pursue a rich medley of approaches for stemming warming — and for adapting to it.

Those approaches include putting caps and prices on carbon dioxide pollution, slowing deforestation, and reforming farming practices. Developing countries often emphasized the need for international help in meeting more ambitious goals, such as through financial support.

{related}

Developed countries, such as the U.S., and those in the European Union, pledged to reduce rates of greenhouse gas pollution by specific amounts in the coming years. Others, such as China, vowed to end the yearly increases in their annual pollution rates within chosen timeframes. Some countries simply listed the policies that they plan to enact to help address climate change. Policies included in many of the pledges also covered efforts to adapt to a warming world.

The pledges “begin to point us in the right direction,” said Jamie Henn, a spokesperson for the nonprofit 350.org.

“The problem is they’re still pointed a few degrees off from where we want to go,” Henn said. “I think the level of ambition can increase as the politics change. If a clear signal is sent out of Paris, that might be enough to trigger major investors to move even further toward pulling out finance for major fossil fuel projects.”

One thing is soberingly clear from the analysis: the pledges won’t be enough to hold global warming below 3.6°F, or 2°C. Although that is an official goal of the ongoing U.N. climate talks, leading scientists have warned that much warming would trigger severe impacts, including flooding and worsening wildfires. Temperatures have risen at least 1.5°F since 1880, driving up sea levels and making heat waves and storms more intense.

The pledges under the planned Paris pact collectively cover nearly the full gamut of forces that are driving increases in global temperatures, including the burning of fuel for energy, agriculture, logging, and the rotting of waste. The pledges don’t just address carbon dioxide — other greenhouse gases, including methane, nitrous oxides and some coolants are also covered.

Renewable energy prices continue to fall, offering hope that future climate pledges will do more to curb warming caused by fossil fuel burning.
Credit: Rob Campbell/Flickr

The variety of approaches taken by different countries, and the different gases and timelines covered by their pledges, made it difficult for the U.N. to precisely assess their anticipated collective impacts. Those impacts will also be influenced by economic and population trends, by the pace of growth and innovation in the renewable energy sector, and by natural disasters.

Even if all of the pledges become reality, humanity is expected to release 11 to 22 percent more climate-changing pollution in 2030 than was the case in 2010, the analysis concluded.

“The aggregate total” of the expected effects of the climate pledges should be taken “with a grain of salt,” said Alex Hanafi, an Environmental Defense Fund attorney who has been participating in lower-level U.N. climate talks in Germany and elsewhere this year. “We may be able to get more than that.”

Overall, the U.N.’s 66-page analysis emphasized hopefulness. It noted that the pledges reveal “a clear and increasing trend” toward national laws and policies that reduce rates of climate pollution. “Many” of the pledges “are already backed by existing national legislation or policies and several have triggered national processes to establish relevant policy frameworks.”

Experts are hopeful that future rounds of climate negotiations will lead to pledges that will do even more to combat climate change. During the Paris talks, diplomats will be asked to agree on timelines for reassessing climate pledges. With renewable energy prices falling, and with political backing for climate action rising, regular assessments could lead to increasingly ambitious pledges.

“They have to agree to return to negotiations periodically, in order to revisit the levels of ambition,” said Harvard University economics professor Robert Stavins, an expert on international climate diplomacy. He said he considers a proposal to review pledges every five years to be a “reasonable” one. “Will that be agreed to? I don’t know.”

{like}


source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ClimateCentral-News/~3/pp33cS2-K9E/paris-agreement-global-warming-19624

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Editor - at 6:09 am

Categories: Green Power   Tags:

SETA 2016 Event to Play Key Role in Securing Asia’s Energy Future

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Sustainable Energy & Technology Asia 2016 (SETA 2016) international conference and exhibition—under the aegis of the Ministry of Energy of Thailand—will aim to align the ten developing country members of Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) towards a collective vision of “Securing Asia’s Energy Future.”

source: https://cleanenergysolutions.org/news/seta-2016-event-play-key-role-securing-asia-s-energy-future

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Editor - at 6:09 am

Categories: Green Power   Tags:

SEAD Releases Review of Incentive Programs to Address Escalating Cooling Demand and Use

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Clean Energy Ministerial’s Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) initiative recently published a report on financial incentive programs that aim to mitigate the energy consumption attributable to the growing stock of air conditioners.

source: https://cleanenergysolutions.org/news/sead-releases-review-incentive-programs-address-escalating-cooling-demand-use

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Editor - at 6:09 am

Categories: Green Power   Tags:

Meeting discusses future of Colstrip coal-fired power plant

Montana lawmakers urged their counterparts in Washington to consider the impacts

source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/generation-rss/~3/04lazXRkEr4/meeting-discusses-future-of-colstrip-coal-fired-power-plant.html

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Editor - at 6:09 am

Categories: Green Power   Tags:

Converting Waste into Energy

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Editor - at 5:07 am

Categories: General   Tags:

How to Build a Low-Carbon Future in Developing Nations

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Editor - October 30, 2015 at 6:01 am

Categories: General   Tags:

The Stream, October 29: South Africa Begins Water Restrictions Amid Drought

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

A severe drought in South Africa forced utilities to put in place water restrictions for Johannesburg and other major cities, while state officials in drought-hit California prepared for floods from El Nino. Dry weather in Europe is creating a shortage of oil in some inland countries due to low river levels. Residents of small Pacific island nations may lose drinking water before they are flooded by rising sea levels. The World Health Organization plans to vaccinate thousands of people in Iraq against cholera.

“The whole market in the western and southern part of Germany is waiting for rain. Every day you hear availability problems in storage and have to find one (with oil) to make sure that the households and the industry stay supplied.”–An oil trader in Europe on dry weather that is creating a bottleneck for oil transportation along the Rhine River to inland countries. (Reuters)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

255,000 people Number the World Health Organization hopes to vaccinate against cholera in Iraq to curb an outbreak of the disease, which is spread through contaminated water and food. Reuters

1,200 state employees Number trained in California to help manage floods that the drought-stricken state is expecting due to a strong El Nino. The state is also preparing sandbags and other flood control supplies. Reuters

Science

Science, Studies, And Reports

Researchers studying small Pacific islands say the atolls are not so much washing away from rising sea levels, but are nonetheless at risk from inadequate drinking water supplies and saltwater intrusion. Flooding is also a significant problem on some heavily populated, low-lying islands. Nature

On the Radar

On The Radar

South Africa now has 12-hour water restrictions in place for residents of Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Ekurhuleni. The country is experiencing its worst drought in 23 years amid a heatwave. Bloomberg

The post The Stream, October 29: South Africa Begins Water Restrictions Amid Drought appeared first on Circle of Blue WaterNews.

source: http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2015/the-stream/the-stream-october-29-south-africa-begins-water-restrictions-amid-drought/

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Editor - at 6:01 am

Categories: Green Power   Tags:

How Investing in a Transformer Can Make or Break Your Solar Project

After a short dip in activity in 2013, the construction of large-scale solar power plants is leading the boom for America’s solar industry. 

There are now 7,000 megawatts of solar projects sized over 1 megawatt planned for development in the U.S. over the next year, according to GTM Research. Roughly 1,300 megawatts of those projects have signed contracts that will begin in 2017, after the assumed deadline for a reduction of the federal Investment Tax Credit.

Companies building those projects are speeding up development in an effort to capture the 30 percent ITC, and thus opting to bridge the financing gap themselves for a year. It’s yet more proof of how important 2016 will be for the solar industry.

The solar industry shouldn’t just be focused on putting up record numbers. It should be focused on ensuring every single megawatt is built to the highest standards, using the best equipment, in order to deliver the most competitive projects possible.

There are many stages of bankability when building a solar power plant. They include design, equipment procurement, installation and commissioning, and maintenance. From the inverter to the transformer to the substation, equipment procurement influences all of these areas in powerful ways. 

Solar developers understandably focus on levelized cost of energy. But when factoring in all these stages of bankability — with equipment selection informing every stage — a project is better measured by total operating costs.

We’ve already discussed how inverters fit into this picture. Let’s take a look at another vital piece of equipment for projects: transformers.

Are you thinking ahead?

It takes significant lead-time to find the right site, file the necessary permits, and start designing the project. Thinking about transformer requirements at the earliest stages of development is critical to ultimate success.

Timeliness is one key reason. Developers with projects in the beginning stages can easily prearrange an order with a manufacturer like ABB to secure production slots for a very minimal upfront price. That enables the equipment manufacturer to deal with shifting time constraints and move production as needed on their schedule. The longer the dialogue stays open with the supplier, the easier equipment design and delivery becomes.

This early engagement also helps the developer fully evaluate whether a transformer is properly tested, designed and suited for the specific solar project requirements. If the time-constrained customer chooses equipment based only on price at the last minute, they run the risk of getting the product delivered late — and possibly getting a transformer that won’t perform optimally over the lifetime of the system. It’s also important to anticipate delivery logistics and last-minute design changes.

“Thinking about these types of issues can save lots of headaches during installation, when you are under substantial time constraints,” said Jay Sperl, a regional business manager for transformers at ABB.

Technical factors are another reason to engage with equipment suppliers like ABB early in order to make installation easier, faster and less costly over the life of the project. ABB designs transformers specifically to match the characteristics of an inverter by working closely with manufacturers to understand load characteristics. This dictates simple things like the number of windings involved, and also more complex design characteristics such as how to couple inverters in a pad-mount or substation-like design. 

There are also ways that pads can be pre-integrated into the transformer, transported, and then put in place on a gravel bed. This can save lots of installation headache if a time-constrained developer does not want to wait for pouring concrete. All of these issues can easily be addressed upfront when designing the project and reaching out to suppliers. They can mean the difference between one week of installation and three weeks of installation. 

“If you start with the end in mind, what will the equipment look like? What can we do to avoid having surprises later? That will help you engage with suppliers to get an understanding of particular needs in order to benefit you,” said Mike Engel, industrial market manager for transformers at ABB.

The actual production of a transformer might take a couple of months. The longer lead times come from design and technical review with the customer. Much of the hard work can be done far in advance if the developer engages with the supplier early in the process.

Are you considering the entire development cycle?

Thinking ahead and engaging with suppliers early will also help in the installation and commissioning process.

Solar is an elegant technology. But it still takes a complex set of components and logistics to ensure a smooth installation and operation. The equipment supplier should be intimately familiar with all steps in the development cycle.

ABB designs every component of a transformer for a specific application, giving the developer a solution with a better lifecycle cost, not just a lower first cost. Over the last few years, ABB has built the elements necessary to bundle a complete solution — dry- and wet-type transformers, inverters, wireless communications, automation, cybersecurity and installation — to give customers a turnkey service for solar project developers. 

Logistics are as crucial as the design itself. If a developer builds a solar plant in a location with harsh weather conditions, components left sitting around the site for too long could get ruined. By optimizing every part of the equipment design and delivery process, ABB can ensure products get to a site when they’re needed. This is yet another reason to think about equipment procurement very early in the development cycle.

“That’s a big part of the benefit ABB brings. We can supply the engineering, the product delivery, the commissioning and the post-installation operation,” said Doug Voda, the global segment leader for smart grid medium voltage unit at ABB.

A lot is going right for solar in America at the moment. Development activity is at an all-time high and the resource is increasingly competitive with conventional alternatives on an economic basis. In order to ensure a successful 2016 and a transition to a 10 percent ITC, it’s imperative that developers procure their equipment with the entire design, installation and commissioning process in mind.

“There’s always a tremendous push in the fourth quarter of every year. Next year will be even heavier. We understand how the market works and the hurdles developers have to deal with. We can help them work through those at an early stage for a very minimal cost to ensure timely delivery,” said Engel. 

Watch how ABB designs transformers to ensure operational excellence and timely delivery:

Recommended reading:

Evaluating the Inverter: Making Sound Equipment Decisions Before the ITC Stepdown


source: http://feeds.greentechmedia.com/~r/GreentechMedia/~3/Sv2FP3R3aWk/Investing-in-a-Transformer-Can-Make-or-Break-Your-Solar-Project

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Editor - at 6:01 am

Categories: Green Power   Tags:

Next Page »