Month: December 2020

Ohio Utilities Consider Next Steps Following FERC Subsidy Decision

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first_imgOhio Utilities Consider Next Steps Following FERC Subsidy Decision FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享WKSU:Ohio utilities are considering their next steps after federal regulators knocked down a measure that would have allowed subsidies for struggling power plants. But, there are still options from state lawmakers.The proposal would have allowed utilities to charge their customers an extra fee to help prop up power plants that struggle to compete in the market. But the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission denied the measure.The outspoken head of the nation’s largest private coal-mining company, Robert Murray of Ohio-based Murray Energy Corp., called the action by FERC “a bureaucratic cop-out” that will raise the cost of electricity and jeopardize jobs and the reliability and security of the nation’s electric grid.But opponents who call these subsidies bailouts say this is a major victory and should send a clear message that these proposals are not needed. Sierra Club’s Neil Waggoner points out that four of the five members of FERC were appointed by President Donald Trump. “This isn’t just some sort of partisan issue. This is very much experts in the field saying these bailouts do not make any sense,” Waggoner said.If the plan sounds familiar, it’s because Ohio policymakers have been trying to get similar measures on the books for years now. There are bills currently in the Ohio House and Senate that would allow utilities to charge subsidies to help the state’s coal and nuclear plants. FirstEnergy, which supports those state proposals, says their plants play “an invaluable role in a well-functioning electric grid, yet the markets do not adequately compensate these assets.”Before Ohio lawmakers got involved, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approved a plan that allowed the power companies to add extra fees to electric bills to help these plants. However, FERC denied that rule as well.More: http://wksu.org/post/ohio-utilities-contemplate-next-steps-after-trump-regulators-reject-coal-nuclear-plant#stream/0last_img read more

Economy minister says Slovakia to end coal-mining subsidies by 2023

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first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Slovakia will phase out subsidies for coal mines supplying one of the country’s most polluting power plants from 2023, sooner than expected, Economy Minister Peter Ziga said on Monday.The Slovak government subsidizes mining at the country’s only coal company, privately owned Hornonitrianske Bane Prievidza (HBP), paying around 100 million euros ($114 million) a year, which helps maintain thousands of jobs. The company produced 1.8 million tonnes of brown coal last year, supplying the Novaky power plant in central Slovakia.The facility is operated by Slovenske Elektrarne, a utility co-owned by the state, Italy’s Enel and Czech energy group EPH. Slovenske Elektrarne said this year that extending the life of the 266-megawatt Novaky plant beyond 2023 would require significant investment.The Environment Ministry says the plant is the second-biggest carbon emitter in the country.“We will soon unveil an action plan and announce the year 2023 as the end of subsidies for the coal mines,” Ziga told reporters on the sidelines of an energy conference in Bratislava. “It does not mean they would have to close immediately. We have to work with the European Commission to show people alternatives,” he added.More: Slovakia to pull plug on coal subsidies from 2023: minister Economy minister says Slovakia to end coal-mining subsidies by 2023last_img read more

IRENA sees solar growth in Asia and renewables trends continuing

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first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PVTech:As had been the case in 2018, Asia reaped the lion’s share of IRENA’s solar addition figures for 2019. The global body believes 60% of solar installs worldwide was commissioned in the continent, which went from hosting a cumulative 274GW of PV to 330GW year-on-year.For its part, the US was said by IRENA to have taken installed PV capacity from 51GW in 2018 to 60GW in 2019, mirrored by year-on-year jumps in Europe minus Turkey (119GW to 138GW), Africa (5.2GW to 6.3GW) and South America (5.2GW to 6.4GW).On a country-per-country basis, IRENA’s solar highlights also included Australia, thought by the agency to have pushed cumulative PV systems from 11.3GW in 2018 to 15.9GW in 2019. Within Asia, the highest solar growth rates concentrated around China, India, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam.IRENA’s top solar mentions extended to Europe, from the continent’s largest PV market – Germany, said to have pushed installed PV from 45GW to 48.9GW – to Spain and Ukraine, with the former nearly doubling to 8.7GW and the latter surging from 2GW to 5.9GW.Director-general La Camera said the 2019 figures show a “positive” trajectory but added that climate mitigation will require more efforts on the renewable front. “At this challenging time, we are reminded of the importance of building resilience into our economies”, he added.The calls for faster green energy growth find the world fighting against the COVID-19 crisis, which is bringing some solar projects to a halt as lockdown plans are put in place. In mid-March, La Camera said he believed the pandemic would not “interrupt nor change” the shift to a low-carbon economy.[José Rojo Martín]More: IRENA: Solar again the star as renewables score 72% of global additions in 2019 IRENA sees solar growth in Asia and renewables trends continuinglast_img read more

The Things I Carried

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first_imgLive simply.It’s something I’ve always preached, one of the few things I’ll stand on my soapbox for and the underlying principle behind Live Outside and Play.In fact, I feel so strongly about the importance of living simply that I actually included it in a presentation I gave this week to a group of students from Garrett College.“Live simply,” I told them. “If you can learn to be happy with less, you’ll find more fulfillment in your lives.”I stand behind that statement and, judging from the number of nods-in-agreement that I got from the students, I think most of them do as well. But after the presentation, I opened the door to my Jeep and immediately felt like the biggest hypocrite that ever walked the face of this planet.Sweatshirts, empty cardboard boxes, a bag of almonds, hand lotion, old batteries. My passenger seat was literally buried beneath a heap of stuff.Now, I’ve never been one for OCD levels of organization. In general, my life is perfectly content to exist as, what I like to call, “organized chaos.” What may at first glance appear to be nothing more than a pile of crap is actually my organizational system. You can ask me where anything in my car is and, usually, I can tell you exactly where to find it, down to which pocket of which Deuter pack you’ll find my blue Petzl headlamp.I think I’m okay with this approach because, in general, that pile of organized chaos only contains the stuff I need. But on further inspection of my passenger seat, I realized that I had a number of things with me that were just that – things. They had no real intended purpose and I hadn’t touched them in the seven months I’d been on the road. Why had I let these things sit here for so long, cluttering up what little living space I had?The truth is, we’re all hoarders in some capacity, perhaps not to the extent that you associate the word “hoarding” with, but regardless of how simply we try to live, stuff accumulates and surprisingly quickly, too. With houses and apartments though, you can hide that hoarding pretty well. Basements and attics and crawl spaces, sheds and garages overflowing with items who’s sole purpose is to sit and collect dust. Boxes, junk drawers, baskets for old bank statements. Whether we’re out buying new things every week or not, somehow, we magically end up with more stuff than we know what to do with.Living on the road only heightens my awareness of how often this happens. I can’t live in denial about it, because that junk sits right there in the passenger seat, staring me in the face. Yet somehow, I haven’t fixed the problem. No matter how many times I clean the Jeep, all it takes is a weekend of adventuring, a few days at a festival, really anything, and it’s back to looking like an overflowing storage shed. Granted, yes, I know other people have the same issue with their cars. Even when I wasn’t living on the road, I always felt like my car acted as a second closet of sorts, a catch-all for anything and everything I might need if I was away from my house for more than a day – sleeping bags, extra sets of clothes, dishes, running shoes. It was like a yard-sale-on-wheels.But as I sat there staring at what once was my passenger seat, I decided I needed to end this once and for all, even if it was just one baby step at a time.That night, I took the first 10 things I laid eyes on and spread them out on the floor. The goal? To get rid of one thing from that pile.As I picked up each item and held it in my hand, I realized that my problem was worse than I initially thought. Not only had I let this junk accumulate, but I’d actually gone as far as to associate a memory, an emotion, an attachment to this stuff.There was the coffee mug I bought for $5 during a trip to Asheville with my best friend, a photograph of the Blue Ridge Mountains at sunrise that I’d taken on my first day of road life, a bar of handmade soap from my best friends’ wedding, a customized pocket mirror my great-grandfather made for my great-grandmother (family heirlooms warrant attachment), a palm-reader-doohickey my mother gave me during our two weeks together on the road, my first pocket knife (heavy as it is), the purple spork I’d taken to the Amazon, an empty harmonica box I’d bought with my father at Cracker Barrel (for the record, there was a harmonica in it at one point), and last but not least my road warrior Tang, a hand carved jaguar I bought on the streets of Brazil.Part of me didn’t want to get rid of any of it – they represented such positive moments in my life, memories I never wanted to forget. But the other part of me screamed, “Just throw it away and be done with it!”I mean, think about it, do I really need any of those things? Even the pocket knife I’d never used for anything more than opening boxes and spreading peanut butter. The answer is, obviously, no, but throwing the entire lot in the trash would have been a drastic step.Nonetheless, I was committed to my goal and decided to part ways with the empty harmonica box. I shed a little tear as I watched it slide down the walls of the trash can but knew that the decision was for the best – my goal now is to continue downsizing, one piece of crap at a time.###What are your thoughts on living simply? Any tips for eliminating junk from your life? I’d love to hear what you have to say!last_img read more

Trail Mix | In Rhythm With The Abide Drum Co.

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first_imgI met Coby Addison a couple months ago through a mutual friend. Our shared buddy was wearing a shirt with a killer Abide Drum Co. logo on it, and I commented on the shirt’s awesomeoness and my own desire to procure one. He pointed me towards Coby, who happened to live just minutes away and – as luck would have it – shared with me a passion for both drums and road cycling. We have spent many an hour on the road together in recent weeks, and the custom drum company he founded last year with long time friend Andrew Sergent has been one of the many things we have discussed.Addison and Sergent are the driving forces behind Abide Drum Co., based in Bristol, Tennessee. The two have delved into the world of building custom snare drums and have the soon to be realized goal of crafting complete drum kits.Theirs is a unique endeavor here in the hills of Southwest Virginia, where mountain music and bluegrass is king. Luthiers abound, but Addison and Sergent, through Abide Drum Co., stand to carve out a particular niche within the regional community of instrumental artisans. There is a distinct lack of local drum makers, particularly any that are crafting drums of the quality made by this partnership of drum enthusiasts, so theirs is the shop to visit if you are looking for a high quality, handmade drum in Northeast Tennessee or Southwest Virginia.I recently caught up with both Coby and Andrew to chat about drums and their new company.BRO – You guys are both from Southwest Virginia. Why custom drums instead of, say, custom banjos?CA – It’s funny that you mention banjos, because my uncle actually builds them. And there’s no doubt that a plethora of really talented banjo players are in the area. If we were avid banjo pickers, we would definitely be making banjos. But our passion for music is in the beat. The drums. Andrew and I grew up playing music in church, and that progressed to playing in bands together and hours and hours of jam sessions. When Andrew moved to Kingsport to pursue his dreams with music, I had a hard time finding a drummer to take his place in our band. None of the drummers we tried out really meshed, so I bought a cheap kit and learned to play myself. It’s been my passion ever since, just as it had been Andrew’s for years before that. Drums provide the heartbeat of the song, and we love playing so much that we decided to create an instrument that someone else would love playing as much as we do.BRO – What can you tell me about the drum in the picture featured with this blog post?AS – The drum you see there is a fourteen by seven inch red grandis snare with an ambrosia maple badge. We wanted to do something rare that hasn’t been done before. There are very few red grandis snares made. The timbre of this snare is completely unique and very hard to come by.BRO – How do you go about seeking out and picking the woods for your drums?CA – When we first sat down to really start hashing out the ideas that would become our drums, the one thing we talked about was experimenting with some woods that you typically don’t see in a share. We wanted materials that you can’t just find anywhere. We’re really drawn to some of the more exotic woods. The look and color, coupled with the anomalies in the grain, are things that really catch the eye, and the beauty of the wood just speaks for itself. It’s a beauty that has been growing for years and years.  And we also have to look at the density of the wood. A denser wood is going to make a better snare, as the shell is going to vibrate more evenly and give a tighter sound. Block stave shells allow us to make our snares out of a denser wood, and that sound it creates, along with the look and feel of our snares, is something we are really proud of.BRO – The badges on your drums are pretty kick ass. How did that idea evolve and how are they made?AS – We knew that branding out drums would be a vital part of building our company. We wanted to have a killer name and an even better badge. Our name comes from the Scottish clan Gordon, to which both Coby and I have family ties. On the clan badge, there is the word bydand, which means “to abide” or “abiding.” That really resonated with us and became the perfect name for what we are and stand for. Also on the clan badge is a beautiful stag, which we included in our logo and the badges you see on all of our drums. The badges are cut out of wood that we hand pick to coordinate with each snare and then applied in such a way – without drilling holes – so as to not impact the tone of the drum.BRO – Both of you are drummers. If you could get one of your snares into the hands of your favorite drummer, who would it be?CA – It’s really hard to pin down just one drummer. I’d like for all of the players who have influenced me to have an Abide drum! But one drummer I have really been digging lately is Dani Washington. He plays for a band out of the United Kingdom called Neck Deep. He’s really fluid and just a solid drummer.AS – That’s a tough question, because many drummers have inspired me over the years and brought me to where I am today as a professional drummer. I would like to get one to Orri Pall Dyrason, the drummer for Sigur Ros. He was the one drummer that taught me the full range of dynamics within every drum and cymbal in a kit. His passion and the dynamic between every beat in every song is unbelievable.CA – One thing we wanted to focus on when we started this company was to work with anyone interested in getting an Abide drum. If our drum is what they really want, I would love to work with them and make sure they have one.If you happen to be around the Bristol area, give Coby and Andrew a shout. You might happen to catch them at their shop on the Tennessee side of State Street. My guess is that they’d be happy to chat drums and let you take a peek at the snares they have completed so far. Check out their work and get information on their shop at the Abide Drum Co. website.Also, be sure to take a listen to “Nothing Beyond This Northern Town,” by Luke Whittemore, which is featured on this month’s Trail Mix. Whittemore is an artist featured on Gold Ship Records, another project of Sergent’s that is based in Bristol.And, finally, a big shout out to the good folks at L.C. King Manufacturing for opening their doors to us to snap some photos for this blog post.last_img read more

TrailMix Virtual Festival – Celebrating 25 years of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine

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first_imgCelebrate 25 Years of Blue Ridge Outdoors during the TrailMix Virtual Musical Festival Thursday July 30, 2020 – Tune in HERE Click here to order yourself a TrailMix Virtual Festival Poster! Friday, July 31, 2020 – Tune in HERE 3:30 PM Deau Eyes4:10 PM Andrew Alli & Josh Small5:00 PM Velvet Kove5:30 PM Erin Lunsford6:05 PM The Mighty Pines7:00 PM Leftover Salmon7:35 PM Kendall Street Company Cheers to 25 years! The festival, sponsored by Starr Hill Brewery, features a lineup of amazing musicians including Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, The Infamous Stringdusters, The Judy Chops, The Mighty Pines, Kendall Street Company, Sally Rose, Erin Lunsford, Deau Eyes, Andrew Alli & Josh Small, Velvet Kove, Jacob Ritter & Graham Stone Music, and Genna Matthew Music.  Schedule 3:30 PM Genna Matthew4:20 PM Sally Rose4:55 PM The Judy Chops5:55 PM The Infamous Stringdusters7:00 PM Yonder Mountain String Band7:55 PM Jacob Ritter & Graham Stone Life is hard right now, but there’s still plenty of joy to be found. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating 25 years of sports, health, adventure and the amazing outdoor experiences we are lucky enough to have at our fingertips right here in the blue ridge.  Why celebrate with a virtual music festival? When the pandemic hit back in the spring, Blue Ridge Outdoors began hosting Friday TrailMix Live shows in the hopes of lifting the spirits of our readers. So, to celebrate 25 years in print we thought there was nothing better than hosting one big festival right before our anniversary issue releases next week. For 25 years Blue Ridge Outdoors has been bringing you everything you need to know about sports, health, and adventure travel in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Help us celebrate this momentous anniversary by joining us for an epic two days of amazing music during the TrailMix Virtual Festival taking place on Thursday, July 30 and Friday, July 31. Grab a beer, hang a hammock, and tune in for two days of incredible music. RSVP here. Comment during the two day festival for a chance to win a sweet Ramble On swag bag from Starr Hill Brewery, stuffed with goodies, shirts, hat, sweatshirt, and more! last_img read more

Portugal Designs A ‘Smart’ T-Shirt That Measures Cardiac Rhythm

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first_imgBy Dialogo July 09, 2009 Two Portuguese firms have created the first ‘smart’ T-shirt that incorporates an electronic device and a variety of sensors capable of measuring the wearer’s cardiac rhythm and reporting the data in real time. “Vital Jacket” makes it possible to administer an immediate electrocardiogram or to follow the evolution of a patient’s cardiac rhythm over the course of weeks, as the manager of Biodevices, Luis Meireles, explained to EFE. Biodevices is the firm responsible for developing the technology, together with the Institute of Electronic and Telecommunications Engineering at the University of Aveiro. Compared to other devices, the principal advantage of the new system manufactured in Portugal is, according to Meireles, the continuous recording of data, making it possible “to detect cardiac anomalies that sometimes go unnoticed by the patient because they are asymptomatic.” The data obtained can be accessed in real time through several different platforms, such as a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) or Bluetooth, or can be stored on a flash drive. The Portuguese firm Petratex, maker of the swimsuits worn by U.S. Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps, is responsible for designing the stretchable, anti-perspiration, and easy-to-wash fabric used in the “Vital Jacket.” The new T-shirt, barely distinguished from a normal piece of clothing, can also be used in sports, since it measures variables like oxygen saturation and respiration rate, as well as activity, posture, and body temperature. Although the product is available in stores “for general use,” the Portuguese Secretary of Health, Manuel Pizarro, is expecting its clinical certification as a medical device, because it is “a more efficient and less uncomfortable product than those habitually used for administering electrocardiograms.” Authorization may take around “two months,” according to Meireles, who added that negotiations are underway for the sale of the T-shirt in Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and Greece. The Biodevices manager hopes to sign agreements with several hospitals and to see the T-shirt sold in pharmacies in the future, especially in light of the “positive results” obtained in clinical trials carried out with sixteen patients in Portugal. Meireles concluded that “Vital Jacket” was designed on the basis of the concept of the ‘smart house,’ aiming at including on-line monitoring for patients in need of special follow-up at home.last_img read more

Spain Respects Colombia’s “Sovereign Decision” On U.S. Troops

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first_imgBy Dialogo August 11, 2009 Spain’s deputy prime minister said that Madrid respects Colombia’s decision, “in the exercise of its sovereignty,” to reach an accord with Washington on allowing U.S. troops to be stationed at bases in the Andean nation. Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega expressed that respect during a press conference at the presidential palace in Bogota after meeting with head of state Alvaro Uribe. She denied the Spanish government had changed its position on the matter after an initial statement about it by Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, who said last week on a visit to Brazil that the pact could lead to a militarization of the region. Fernandez de la Vega said that Moratinos himself refined that statement in a subsequent telephone conversation with his Colombian counterpart. After receiving additional information from Uribe, she could say the Colombian government has taken a decision in the exercise of its sovereignty to do whatever gets results in the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking, and the Spanish administration respects that decision “because it couldn’t be any other way.” Asked whether Spain might mediate the hostility of countries like Venezuela and Ecuador for the pact between Colombia and the United States, she would only say that Spain will always work in favor of dialogue to seek a reconciliation of positions. Officials in the Spanish delegation said that Fernandez de la Vega told Uribe that the government of Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is willing to explore ways to help lower tensions by establishing contacts with governments in the region. Uribe appeared briefly with the deputy prime minister at the press conference, but made his exit before the questions started, leaving Vice President Francisco Santos to face reporters. Fernandez de la Vega took advantage of his appearance to confirm Spain’s commitment to “walk side by side with Colombia and Uribe” to achieve an end to violence in this country. A position that she also conveyed to a group of representatives of organizations working in favor of peace with whom she met previously. Fernandez de la Vega and Santos were together in describing bilateral relations as extraordinary and saying that proof is the coming transfer to Afghanistan of a Colombian military unit under the command of the Spanish contingent in the Asian nation.last_img read more

Venezuela Arrests FARC Guerrilla Wanted by Bogotá

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first_imgBy Dialogo September 21, 2012 A FARC guerrilla linked to a foiled attempt to bomb a police headquarters in Bogota in May was killed in a shoot out in Venezuela on September 19, Colombian officials said. Freddy Rojas Rincon, known by the alias “Boiteaux,” was captured in a hotel near the Colombian border after he was wounded in a shootout with Venezuelan security forces, Colombian police said. “He received medical attention but died hours later,” said Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon, adding that Colombian intelligence services had been pursuing Rojas. Venezuela did not immediately report on the death, which came a day after Colombia’s last major drug lord, Daniel “El Loco” Barrera, was taken into custody in Venezuela. The police said Rojas was believed to be the “principal organizer” of a foiled attempt to detonate a car bomb outside of a police headquarters in the Colombian capital on May 15. The bomb was deactivated before it exploded, but in another part of the city the same day a second bombing also attributed to the FARC ripped through a vehicle carrying a former interior minister, killing two bodyguards and wounding about 40 other people.last_img read more