South Korean Government Announces Policy Aimed at Curbing Coal Reliance

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Korea Herald:South Korea’s environmental authorities on Tuesday unveiled a package of measures to tackle the worsening air pollution, including shutting down aged coal power plants and reducing pollutants from diesel vehicles and factories.The measures are aimed at helping reduce fine dust emissions by more than 30 percent by the end of President Moon Jae-in’s term in 2022, authorities said. According to the Ministry of Environment, the Moon administration is set to close down seven of 59 coal-fired plants aged 30 years or over within its term to mitigate air pollution, while pushing forward to expand the use of green energy production methods like solar and wind power.At present, coal provides about 40 percent of South Korea’s total power generation.“The government’s stand is that we will not be planning to build new coal-fired plants,” Ahn Byung-ok, vice minister of the Environment Ministry, said at a press conference Tuesday. President Moon earlier temporarily suspended the construction of two new nuclear facilities as part of his pledges to shift to renewable energy. The comprehensive measures came a day after Environment Minister Kim Eun-kyung and the ruling Democratic Party of Korea sought to quell public concerns over particulate matter, reiterating the importance of state efforts to fight hazardous, fine particulates. Public concerns have recently been raised over the worsening air quality as the country’s skyline has for weeks been blanketed by hazardous smog and fine dust clouds.The worries have centered mostly on the cause of the toxic air, which many critics believe is not only homegrown but also linked to neighboring China. More: South Korea aims to reduce fine dust by over 30% by 2022 South Korean Government Announces Policy Aimed at Curbing Coal Reliancelast_img read more

Pope urges oil industry to embrace transition

first_imgPope urges oil industry to embrace transition FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:Pope Francis told leading oil executives Saturday that the transition to less-polluting energy sources “is a challenge of epochal proportions” and warned that satisfying the world’s energy needs “must not destroy civilization.”The Vatican said Francis held a two-day conference with the executives as a follow-up to his encyclical three years ago that called on people to save the planet from climate change and other environmental ills.Participants included the CEOs of Italian oil giant ENI, British Petroleum, ExxonMobil and Norway’s Statoil as well as scientists and managers of major investment funds. Their remarks on the first day of the closed-door conference were not released by the Vatican.While Francis lauded the oil executives for embedding an assessment of climate change risks into their planning strategies, he also put them on notice for their “continued search for fossil fuel reserves,” 2½ years after the Paris climate accord “clearly urged keeping most fossil fuels underground.”“Civilization requires energy, but energy must not destroy civilization,” he implored.Energy experts and those who advocate fighting climate change expressed doubts before the conference that it would amount to anything other than a PR opportunity for the companies to burnish their image without making meaningful changes.In his remarks, the pope said he hoped the meeting gave participants the chance to “re-examine old assumptions and gain new perspectives.”Francis said that modern society with its “massive movement of information, persons and things requires an immense supply of energy.” And still, he said, as many as one billion people still lack electricity.The pope said meeting the energy needs of everyone on the planet must be done in ways “that avoid creating environmental imbalances, resulting in deterioration and pollution that is gravely harmful to our human family, both now and in the future.”He urged participants to use their “demonstrated aptitude for innovation” to address “two of the great needs in today’s world: the care of the poor and the environment.” He noted that the poor pay the highest price for climate change, often being forced to migrate due to water insecurity, severe weather and an accompanying collapse in agriculture.“The transition to accessible and clean energy is a duty that we owe toward millions of our brothers and sisters around the world, poor countries and generations yet to come,” the pope said.Pope to oil execs: Energy needs must not destroy civilizationlast_img read more

Vattenfall to build solar plus wind plus storage hybrid project in the Netherlands

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:In the Goeree-Overflakkee region of the Netherlands province of South Holland, Vattenfall will realize its first full-renewable hybrid power plant, combining solar and wind power generation with a large storage facility.The energy company will invest around €35 million in a 38 MW solar power plant – its largest PV project to date – and another €26 million in a 22 MW wind farm. The two facilities will be combined with a 12 MW storage system, Vattenfall said in a press release.Groundwork for the Haringvliet Zuid Energy Park wind facility has already begun. Once the wind turbines are up, Vattenfall will begin building the PV ground-mounted system and 12 shipping containers will host the storage aspect of the scheme in the final phase of development. The energy company expects the facility to be operating in the second half of next year.“Complementary wind and solar generation profiles reduce the load on the grid compared to a single generation technology,” said Claus Wattendrup, head of the solar and batteries unit at Vattenfall. “Hybrid systems provide less pronounced peaks and we see fewer periods of time with no power generation. This leads to a more efficient use of the network infrastructure.”The three elements of the project can share a grid connection, reducing costs according to Wattendrup who added the hybrid nature of the facility opens up different business models. “In addition to energy generation we can also provide network services such as energy control,” he said. “In addition, the battery can help offset forecasting inaccuracies [associated with] generating weather-dependent renewable electricity.”More: Vattenfall to build large scale wind-solar-storage plant in the Netherlands Vattenfall to build solar plus wind plus storage hybrid project in the Netherlandslast_img read more

Australian company secures funding for novel solar-hydro storage project

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:A Victoria-made “dispatchable” concentrated solar and hydro storage technology is set to be tested at a pilot-scale in the state’s north west, with the backing of the federal government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency and in partnership with AGL Energy.The company behind the technology, RayGen Resources, said on Thursday it had locked in $3 million in funding from ARENA, to test the technical and commercial feasibility of its concentrated solar and thermal storage technology – or “solar hydro” – that uses mostly mirrors and water to generate power and heat.The flagship project, which is being developed in partnership with major Australian gen-tailer AGL, will deliver 4MW of solar generation and 3MW/50MWh (17 hours) of storage that RayGen says will be able to supply the grid with “day-night renewable electricity” and support grid reliability.The project would also be able to supply synchronous power where it is critically needed in the West Murray region, a notoriously “weak” area of the national grid that has seen the output of five solar farms cut by half and dozens more projects warned of delays to both commissioning and connection approvals.RayGen said the funding from ARENA – its third grant from the federal government Agency in the space four years – would help get the pilot project to financial close and make it shovel ready for construction, with the aim to have it commissioned in 2021.[Sophie Vorrath]More: World first “solar hydro” plant in Victoria gets backing from ARENA, AGL Australian company secures funding for novel solar-hydro storage projectlast_img read more

Distance Persistence

first_imgFew people will walk as many footsteps in the Southern Appalachians this year as Scot Ward. The 36-year-old professional thru-hiker is currently knocking off his fourth thru-hike of the Mountains to Sea Trail in North Carolina, after which he’ll head over to Kentucky to thru-hike the 280-mile Sheltowee Trace for the secnd time. Then he’ll hike the Tuscarora Trail, Allegheny Trail, Pine Mountain Trail, Pennsylvania Mid State Trail, and Standing Stone Trails. All together, he’s looking to hike seven different long trails, many of which help comprise the Great Eastern Trail (GET), for a total of 2,500 miles before October. Along the way, he’s going to write five different guidebooks for these underserved long trails. It’s all in a year’s work for one of the South’s most intriguing characters.Thru-hiking is a rough life. What makes you keep walking? It’s what I do. I’ve been doing this for 22 years. My first big trip was a bike ride from Florida to New York in 1992. Along the way, I’ve met a lot of generous people who’ve helped me out with showers, bottles of water, a place to stay. I ask how I can repay them, and they always say, “Just pay it forward. Help someone else.” I don’t have any money, I don’t really have a home. I hike and I write these guidebooks as a way of paying back all the favors I’ve been granted. Hopefully, my guidebooks will help others enjoy the adventures that have shaped my life.You’re 36. You never get the urge to settle down? I don’t plan to stop walking, not until my body can’t do it anymore. I have no desire to make money, that’s for sure. Money only causes problems. I left Florida with $7 in my pocket back in ’92 and I did just fine. I know how to survive. That Bear Grylls stuff is ridiculous. Who’s going to eat grubs from a tree? Put a camera on me, I’ll show you how to survive in the real world.You just finished a thru-hike and guidebook for the Sheltowee Trace in Kentucky. What’s that trail like? It’s a totally different experience than the A.T. or Mountains To Sea (MST). It’s not on mountain ridges, it’s in the gorges. Lots of caves, cliffs, rivers, and lakes. It goes through the Red River Gorge too, which is like a mini-grand canyon but with trees.Are you looking forward to hiking any one trail the most this year? The Allegheny Trail and Tuscarora Trail will be new territories for me. But I’m probably looking forward to this Mountains to Sea Trail hike the most. I want to make this trail as good as it can be so I want to resolve the biggest issue surrounding the trail, which is the lack of camping options. Now the state is going to close down state parks two days a week, which is only going to make the problem worse. 1 2last_img read more

Save the Date for GO Fest

first_imgThe Anthem Go Outside Festival is connecting outdoor enthusiasts to the things they love.The festival, scheduled for Oct. 14-16 in Roanoke, VA, includes more activities than you can do in three days – camping, biking, boating, races, geocaching, and more. The festival is along the Roanoke River Greenway, the perfect location for testing a new bike, pair of shoes, or even a kayak.mhp_4541editWhat’s unique about Go Fest, now in its sixth year, is that it is not an ordinary sit-in-your-seat kind of event; it is designed to encourage participation and involvement. Festival-goers walk around in the beautiful backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, touch and try out gear, sample food and drink, listen and dance to live music, and have fun. It’s the type of event where you can come for the day, or bring the tent and stay all weekend.mhp_8434editAnd best of all, admission and demos are free. Plus there will be plenty of live music (Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe is headlining Saturday night) and food, beverage and craft beer Fest is an easy opportunity to try new activities or test new gear. With a rich mix of outdoor amenities including to 600 miles of trails, 22 miles of urban greenways, 24 rivers and creeks, and 300,000 acres of national forest in the Roanoke Region, there is something for everyone.The event includes some fan favorites such as the Walkabout Outfitter Wild Gear Chase, Ultimate Air Dogs Dock Diving, Giant Pro Bike Rider Jeff Lenosky, the Keen Lumberjack Show, and Sprint BMX Stunt Pros.Plus, there are a few new things for 2016 including a “VIP glamping” option, silent disco dance party, a children’s strider bike race, and a gran fondo with 28, 66, and 100 mile options.Some of the biggest names in the outdoors industry will be on site with gear for you to test out. Grab a bike, sit in a kayak, or try on a new pair of shoes. And this is top-notch gear. You can take out a bike that retails for $5,000 and ride it out on Mill Mountain or test a pair of new shoes during a group trail run.slackline-joshPick the brains of experts in hiking, biking, backpacking for the best tips and techniques to make the most of your next outing. If you have been thinking about trying something new, this is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of an opportunity to learn. There will be plenty of experts on hand to help you learn to do everything from cast a fly rod to cook over an open flame, or roll a kayak.mhp_7933editWhen you need a break from the action, you’ll have ample opportunity to wind down with plenty of other outdoors-loving people just like you. There’s something for every family member to do with a Kid’s Zone full of activities and leashed dogs are welcome.mhpgofest_200While the focus of GO Fest is fun, it is a good time to stop and think about the Roanoke Region’s natural assets and how to preserve them for future generations. Learn about outdoor initiatives happening your community, conservation groups, trail building workshops, and opportunities to get involved.Learn more and make plans to come to Go Fest, Oct. 14-16, at read more

Save the Red Wolves: Move Them to Shenandoah and Cull the Coyotes

first_imgGunshot mortality has been the primary cause of the most recent decline of the endangered red wolf. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has issued permits to landowners to kill red wolves on their property. 30 out of 65 recent red wolf deaths in the wild have been by gunshot, including breeding females preparing to give birth.There is a debate on whether the red wolf is a distinct species. The red wolf is about five feet long and weighs between 45 and 80 pounds. Coyotes are slightly smaller—around three feet long and weighing 30 pounds. There have been strong efforts to prevent the red wolf from interbreeding with coyote. For the past 10,000 years, the red wolf has been the only large canine in the Southeast until the coyote migrated in recent decades.Red wolf politics are intertwined irrevocably with coyote politics. Coyotes are literally everywhere, from Alaska to Central America, while the red wolf is virtually extinct. It is legal to shoot coyotes, but because red wolves are often mistaken for coyotes and shot to death, this right was taken away in the red wolf recovery area. A small number of hunters and ranchers got mad, and they pressured the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to request that the red wolf be exterminated from the wild altogether. They have essentially ended the red wolf recovery program in eastern North Carolina.Late last year, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced a proposal to dramatically scale back support for the wolf in the wild. Red wolf habitat has been reduced to a tiny area that can only support a single pack of wolves. Remaining wolves would be captured and placed in permanent confinement.But conservationists and red wolf supporters are fighting back. The Southern Environmental Law Center filed an injunction, and a judge recently issued a temporary restraining order against the Fish & Wildlife Service proposal.Red wolves can displace coyotes if given enough habitat. Large predators like wolves are keystone species that help keep natural systems functioning and healthy. They pose no danger to people. In the four decades of the red wolf reintroduction program, no human being has ever been threatened by a red wolf.The current recovery area on the Albemarle Peninsula is shockingly and obscenely inadequate. The area is small, mostly private land, and honeycombed with roads.Shenandoah National Park would be a dramatically better location for the recovery area. It is a massive, unbroken, almost roadless land, where hunting is illegal altogether. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife is mandated to find additional recovery sites for the red wolf, and Shenandoah would be the ideal location.Of course, establishing the park as an additional or alternate recovery area would be politically divisive. So another option would be to dramatically thin out the coyote population in eastern North Carolina. Red wolves will typically not breed with coyotes when they have a critical mass of around 150 or more. Once there are adequate numbers of large male red wolves, female wolves will not mate with coyotes.By thinning out the coyote population in eastern North Carolina, hunters could participate in an important conservation effort and play a pivotal role in protecting the red wolf. Once coyote populations are thinned, red wolves can be re-established in much greater numbers without the concern of coyote hybridization. If red wolves have an ample population size of 150 or more, they will hold their territory against future coyote migrations.It’s both a scientifically sound and politically feasible strategy.I am not an avid hunter myself. I have been almost completely vegan for 20 years. But I recognize that the hunting community can be an important ally and play a powerful role in protecting the red wolf. By reducing the coyotes in the red wolf recovery area, hunters can give red wolves a chance to establish a robust, thriving population.The wolf has proven that it can thrive in the wild if given enough space and time.  Let’s give the red wolf a fighting chance.last_img read more

Abingdon, Virginia: the perfect balance of adventure and pampering

first_imgIf you prefer to balance your outdoor adventures with some indoor leisure, then Abingdon, VA may be the perfect destination for you. Located in the midst of some of the most spectacular scenery in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Abingdon offers the right combo of epic adventure and well-deserved pampering.Once one of the last outposts on the Great Wilderness Road for settlers headed to the frontier, the 250-year-old town of Abingdon has a long history of welcoming travelers. For breakfast, peruse the sizeable Abingdon Farmers Market (Saturdays from April to November; 8 a.m.-1 p.m.), where you can grab both indulgent pastries and pick-up picnic fixings for lunch. Head to Zazzy’z Coffee House and Roastery for a quick caffeine infusion, or fuel-up with a healthy brew at the White Birch Juice Company.Next, choose from the smorgasbord of Southwest Virginia adventures on tap and easily accessible from Abingdon. For a quick hike, ride, or run—without even leaving town—head for the trailhead for the 34-mile Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail, in the heart of downtown Abingdon. Rent a bike or arrange a shuttle at the Virginia Creeper Trail Bike Shop, just steps from the trailhead.Then, pick your adventure from Southwest Virginia’s backcountry buffet. Head for Grayson Highlands State Park, where hikers can hop on the Appalachian Trail and head for the high country of Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, touted by thru-hikers as one of the highlights of the entire 2,190-mile footpath. You’ll find roving ponies graze alpine meadows in the shadow of Virginia’s highest summit.Rather spend a day on the water? Scope out Southwest Virginia’s mountain-cradled lakes. In nearby Marion, Hungry Mother State Park offers 108-acres of forest-fringed flatwater to explore—and when you need a little time on dry land, hit the 17-miles of trails ringing the lake.When you are ready for some rest and relaxation, head back to Abingdon for some well-deserved pampering. Drop your bags at the elegantly luxurious Martha Washington Inn and Spa, and head for the glasshouse enclosed saltwater pool or soak in the expansive, two-tiered hot tub. Cozy up on one of the overstuffed barstools at the hotel’s Sister’s American Grill and don’t forget to swing by the front desk for the inn’s token final nightcap—a “goodnight” glass of port.Rather hit the town instead? Mosey over to the Wolf Hills Brewing Company for a pint. The taproom offers an array of flavor-loaded brews, and the place is named for the lively local legend about Daniel Boone’s encounter with a roving wolf pack near Courthouse Hill, now the heart of town. Take a stroll down Main Street to The Tavern Restaurant. Built in 1779, the Tavern is housed in one of the oldest (and purportedly, most haunted) buildings in town. It has served as everything from the first post office on the western side of the Blue Ridge Mountains to a Civil War hospital. Charcoal-etched bed numbers still adorn the attic walls. Today, the establishment serves up elegant cuisine, including German-inspired fare, and boasts a lengthy libation list.VisitAbingdonVirginia.comlast_img read more

Happy Birthday to the U.S. National Parks

first_imgHappy Birthday to the U.S. National Parks Child attacked by mountain lion in Colorado To celebrate the big event, August 25 is a fee-free day, when all national parks will open to visitors free of charge. In addition to the birthday celebration, there are two other upcoming national park fee-free days in 2019: September 28, 2019 (National Public Lands Day) and November 11, 2019 (Veterans Day). Head to the parks this Sunday to celebrate (and enjoy!) America’s best idea for free. This Sunday, August 25, the U.S. National Parks will celebrate its 103 birthday. Back in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson and Congress created the agency under the National Park Service Organic Act. Today, there are over 400 national parks and monuments under the agency’s care.  Scientists say that adoption among wild animals is rare and, when it does happen, is usually between animals of the same species. Scientists theorize that the birth of her biological calf may have triggered the bottlenose dolphin’s maternal instincts, allowing her to form a bond with the melon-headed whale. Though mountain lion attacks are rare, this marks the second attack in Colorado in two weeks. Earlier this month, a hunter fought off a mountain lion with a pocketknife near Kremmling, Colorado. A necropsy performed on that cougar showed that the animal likely attacked due to hunger, as only grass was found in its stomach. In the last 100 years in North America there have been less than a dozen fatal mountain lion attacks on people. center_img For the first known time, a dolphin mom has adopted an orphan whale A mountain lion in central Colorado attacked a child on Wednesday, sending the youngster to the hospital. Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirmed that the attack happened in a subdivision in Bailey, Colorado, 35-miles southwest of Denver. The child’s condition was not immediately known. Scientists are sharing the heartwarming story of a bottlenose dolphin that adopted an orphaned melon-headed whale. Back in 2014, researchers noticed a bottlenose dolphin doting on two calves off of the coast of French Polynesia, one of which looked a little funny. Eventually, scientists discovered that the different-looking calve was of an entirely different species. During a long-term study, scientists observed that the adoptive calf was rarely without its mother and learned to integrate himself into the family unit and the broader group of dolphins. The adoptive mother was even observed nursing the baby whale on two different occasions. Outdoor Updates: Daily Newslast_img read more

Public asked to avoid area of Blue Ridge Parkway as rescue crews search for missing hiker

first_img(Chad Seger, of Asheville, was last known to have been in the Black Balsam area of Pisgah National Forest on Monday, Oct 12. (Photo courtesy of Haywood County Sheriff’s Office) Chad Seger, 27, of Asheville, was last heard from on Monday, October 12, when he spoke briefly with a family member. His car was located Friday at the Black Balsam parking lot off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Emergency Management officials are asking the public to avoid the Black Balsam area from Highway 276 and 215 as crews search for Seger. “We are handing out his picture to everyone that [we] see,” Director of Haywood County Emergency Services Greg Shuping told ABC 13 News. Anyone with information about the missing hiker is asked to contact the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office at 828-452-6666. The missing hiker is described as physically fit and may have some hiking and camping gear with him, authorities say. He is a Marine veteran suffering from severe paranoia and does not have his medication. Seger has mental health issues and is suicidal. His phone was last pinged at Johns Rock Overlook.center_img Seger is an experienced hiker and is familiar with the Black Balsam and Shining Rock Wilderness area. Still, the terrain is described as some of the most dangerous in Pisgah National Forest. “[There’s] a lot of elevation gain and descending inside those areas, a lot of cliffs and dangerous areas that we are searching to locate Mr. Seger,” Shuping told ABC 13. Rescue crews in Haywood County, N.C. are asking people to avoid a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway as they search for a hiker that was reported missing on Friday, October 16. last_img read more