On the Blogs: Long Odds on Coal Industry’s Hopes for Carbon Capture and Storage

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Gary Ellem for The Conversation:One of the great hopes of the industry is carbon capture and storage (CCS), a way to burn coal, remove the carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions and store it safely away from the atmosphere. While there have been several breakthroughs, the technology remains expensive.Advances in energy technologies mean that adding CCS doesn’t just need to work; it needs to work at a lower cost than its growing legion of competitors. And while the alternatives are good news for avoiding dangerous climate change, it’s a substantial challenge for the coal industry.One of the great hopes of the industry is carbon capture and storage (CCS), a way to burn coal, remove the carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions and store it safely away from the atmosphere. While there have been several breakthroughs, the technology remains expensive.Advances in energy technologies mean that adding CCS doesn’t just need to work; it needs to work at a lower cost than its growing legion of competitors. And while the alternatives are good news for avoiding dangerous climate change, it’s a substantial challenge for the coal industry.In the 1990s, many believed that renewables (other than existing hydro, geothermal and biomass for heating) might never be able to replace coal cheaply. The future of energy was going to be a centralised grid, rather than the distributed power models being discussed today, and there were only two widely backed horses in the technology race: CCS and nuclear.But the early part of this century has seen an energy revolution in both renewables and fossil fuels. Among renewables, solar and wind have both taken enormous strides in reducing production costs and building manufacturing scale.For fossil fuels, the expansion in gas pipeline infrastructure, the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping and the growth of both conventional and unconventional gas production have encouraged fuel switching from coal in European and US markets in particular.Trying to compare the costs of different types of electricity can be tricky. Power stations require capital to build and have heavy financing, operational and decommissioning costs. Nuclear and fossil fuel power stations also have to buy fuel.Analysts use the term “levelised cost of electricity (LCOE)” to aggregate and describe this combination of factors for different methods of electricity generation.A significant challenge for coal and CCS is that the LCOE for wind and solar at a comparable scale is already competitive with coal generation in many places. This is because the cost of manufacturing has fallen as production has increased.In the longer term, there’s a clear pathway for most homes to disconnect completely from the grid, should battery prices continue to fall.The reason that batteries can compete with centralised generation is because the cost of transmission and distribution from a coal-fired power station to your home is considerable.These costs are not normally considered in the LCOE calculations, because it is assumed that all power generators have access to the same, centralised electricity grid.But a battery in your home means that these costs are largely avoided. That makes home energy generation and storage much more competitive with traditional power generation in the longer term.For developing nations without a strong centralised grid it also means that energy systems can be built incrementally, without large investments in infrastructure.This is an ill wind for the competitive future of CCS, which depends on the centralised generation model and a lack of low-cost competitors to stay viable.The odds that CCS will keep coal alive as an industry into the future are getting longer each year.What we are seeing is the start of the great transition from fossil fuel mining to manufacturing as the basis for our energy systems. It’s not dominant yet, but you would be starting to get very nervous if you were betting against it.Full item: Carbon capture and storage is unlikely to save coal in the long run On the Blogs: Long Odds on Coal Industry’s Hopes for Carbon Capture and Storagelast_img read more

France boosts renewable energy spending to a record €6 billion in 2021 budget

first_imgFrance boosts renewable energy spending to a record €6 billion in 2021 budget FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):In France, government support for renewable energies will rise by 25% in the upcoming 2021 budget to exceed a record €6 billion, the country’s ministry for ecological transition announced on Sep. 17.The financial injection will be aligned with the government’s longer-term energy roadmap, released in April of this year, which is targeting the diversification of the country’s energy mix, the decarbonizing of heating and transport systems and energy efficiency measures.By 2028, the European Union’s second-largest economy wants to double installed renewable electricity capacity to up to 113 GW, compared to 2017. Onshore wind will generate up to 34.7 GW, offshore wind 6.2 GW, solar 44 GW and hydropower 26.7 GW, the government laid out in its roadmap. Meanwhile, 14 nuclear reactors in the country will be closed by 2035, two of which have already been shuttered at Electricité de France SA’s Fessenheim plant in eastern France this year.France’s power system is dominated by stable nuclear generation, but the country’s grid got an early glimpse of a more diversified power mix during the demand slump caused by coronavirus-related shutdowns. “The health crisis has demonstrated the ability of renewable energies to contribute to our security of electricity supply and their resilience. On some days in spring they provided more than 35% of the total electricity production, without noticeable difficulty on the stability of the electricity system as a whole,” the government said.EDF is still in the process of building a new nuclear power plant in Flamanville, northern France, but the construction has been delayed and costs have ballooned beyond the initial budget. A decision over new nuclear capacity and the future of nuclear in France’s power landscape is meanwhile being delayed until after the completion of the Flamanville plant.Simultaneously, adding new green power has become cheaper. “Thanks to the support provided to them and their rapid development, renewables are becoming more and more competitive: support prices for solar photovoltaic energy have fallen by 40% over the past five years, those for onshore wind power have seen a decline of 20% over the past three years,” the ministry for ecological transition said.[Camilla Naschert]More ($): France to increase renewables spending to €6B in 2021 budgetlast_img read more

6 bad habits and how leaders can avoid them

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Whether a seasoned leader or taking on the role for the first time, there is always room to grow managerial and organizational abilities. However, on the path to growth, it can be easy to fall into poor habits that reflect badly on our organizations and team members.To prevent these habits from creeping up, it is good to reflect on our leadership styles every now and then to ensure we are on the right path. With that in mind, here are six mistakes often made and the strategies necessary to steer clear of them.Creating a habit of over-complicating. As leaders are pulled in many different directions each day, we need to be mindful that we are not clogging internal processes or organizational results. Instead, we should be looking for inefficiencies to weed out.last_img read more

The Big Breakaway shines at Cheltenham | Racing News

first_imgRacing in the front pair throughout the extended three-mile prize, the 4-9 favourite always looked in control before taking lengths out of his rivals at the third last.With The Butcher Said making a costly error when mounting a challenge at the penultimate fence, it left The Big Breakaway only needing to be pushed out from the back of the last to defeat fellow chasing debutant Doc Penfro by 10 lengths.Joe Tizzard, son and assistant trainer, said: “I’m chuffed to bits with him. He travelled and jumped really well. He was foot perfect, but he has been since day one and, if anything, he jumped too well today. You can’t fault him though, as he did everything we asked him.- Advertisement – He added: “That would seem the obvious target in my mind (Kauto Star). We will have a look at the calendar and think about it. It’s five or six weeks away and it seems to tie in perfectly. He probably wants a couple of runs between now and the Festival to make sure it doesn’t happen too easily.” “He found it a little bit too easy over that trip. He had a little bit of a think going away from the stands and Robbie (Power, jockey) said he wouldn’t mind dropping him back to two and a half (miles) to sharpen everything up. That’s food for thought.“It was a lovely performance to come here and jump like that first time out. He only had three runs last year and won a point-to-point, so it was greenness more than anything (needing to pushed momentarily).”Assessing future targets, Tizzard earmarked an outing in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton as a possible target for The Big Breakaway, who was cut from 20-1 into 12-1 for the three-mile novices’ chase at the Festival by both Coral and Paddy Power.- Advertisement – The Big Breakaway put in an almost perfect round of jumping to make a winning debut over fences in the mallardjewellers.com Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham.Last seen when finishing fourth in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival in March, the Colin Tizzard-trained five-year-old returned to winning ways with an exemplary performance.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

New contract wins for DOF Subsea vessels

first_imgDOF Subsea, a Norwegian offshore vessel operator, has been awarded a frame agreement and several short-term contracts for its vessels. Illustration. One of DOF’s vessels; Photo by Alan JamiesonDOF Subsea said on Friday that the Atlantic region has been awarded a frame agreement for marine subsea services from Wintershall.During the course of this contract, Wintershall may call-of services as required within survey, IMR and light construction using DOF Subsea’s integrated PM&E teams and fleet of subsea vessels. The duration of the agreement is three years firm, with four years of options.In addition, the Atlantic region has been awarded two new contracts for projects in the North Sea from two unnamed clients.Under these contracts, DOF Subsea will carry out environmental survey and subsea inspection work during the third quarter of 2018 utilizing the Skandi Neptune vessel.Built in 2001 and converted in 2005, Skandi Neptune is an ROV construction support vessel, equipped with a heavy duty heave compensated 250 t crane along with two 3 000 m rated WROVs. The vessel is of an MT 6016 design.last_img read more

Where are the missing audited accounts?

first_imgDear Editor,Four of the largest state-owned entities: NICIL, GuySuCo, GPL, and AHI (Marriott Hotel), have failed to: (i) have their audited account laid in Parliament (due by Sept 2019 for calendar year 2018); (ii)file their Annual Return, which includes their audited financials, at the Deed Registry (due by June 2019 for 2018). Both of these statutory requirements are set out in the Companies Act.APNU/AFC campaigned on transparency and accountability; their record shows the opposite. In fact, one must conclude that their failure to comply with the law is intentional, and is intended to hide the performance of these entities. And this is the tip of the iceberg. This pattern of delinquency – in failing to produce and publish audited financials for state entities and statutory bodies – extends across dozens of entities.The evidence is partly revealed in the Auditor General’s Report on the 2018 accounts. This AG Report was made public in January 2020 after it was delivered by the AG to the Speaker of the National Assembly in September of 2019.The evidence:NICIL:Page 41 of the AG report states the last year of audited accounts is 2013; financial statements for 2014 to 2016 have been submitted by NICIL, but the audit is not complete. No financial statements for 2017 or 2018 have been tendered to the Auditor General. It now appears that, as of Jan 2020, the last audited financials of the largest company in the country is 2013 (or seven years ago). The PPP ensured that financial statements were submitted for the last complete year of its office, in 2014, to the AG for audit before the 2015 elections.The audit for 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 are all now outstanding. Where is the Board of NICIL or the Minister of Finance?NICIL consolidated accounts are also missing for many years. These accounts cover all its subsidiaries. There is no mention of this in the AG’s Report.GuySuCo:There is no mention of GuySuCo in the AG’s Report. Searches on the web indicate that the last audited account of GuySuCo is 2016. We know that at end of 2017, Government stripped out of GuySuCo, by Vesting Order, most of its assets and vested these into NICIL. But there are no audited accounts to show how this was done, and what is left in GuySuCo or how it has performed. Where is Chairman Clive Thomas during this period? Or the Board, or the Minister of Agriculture or Finance?Given the range of liabilities, the 2017 asset stripping without protection of creditors may well be illegal. We can therefore conclude that, for 2017 and 2018, there are no audited financial statements that are available, or that these are hidden from the public purview. There is also no annual report laid in Parliament for this period.Media reports show that GuySuCo production in 2019 of 90,000 tonnes was the lowest on record for this century or in the history of this company.GPL:Page 507 of the AG Report indicates that 2018 accounts are audited. This is good. What is not good is that these accounts are not in the public domain. In the last few years, GPL has stripped its website of its audited accounts, annual reports, and its filings with the PUC.Under the Electricity Sector Reform ACT (ESRA) and GPL’s licence, GPL is obligated to file a wide range of information with the PUC every quarter, and to hold public engagements on these matters. As a public utility, this is important. Apart from the compliance with the various statutes, public disclosure of financial information is extremely important. The PUC and GPL both have an obligation to ensure that this happens.Alas, disclosure and transparency both appear lacking at GPL, particularly in relation to its audited financial statements and annual report. Can GPL say which was the last year that its annual report was tabled in the National Assembly?AHI (Marriott Hotel):Page 507 reports the last year of audited accounts of AHI is 2015. Therefore, no audited accounts have been produced for 2016, 2017, 2018, or 2019 (not due until second quarter of this year). We are now in 2020. From all reports, the hotel is doing well, although the Entertainment Complex was never completed.For APNU/AFC, who criticised the PPP over NICIL, AHI, GuySuCo and GPL, the lack of producing and sharing audited accounts is a critical element of transparency, accountability, and disclosure. In fact, this is yet another broken promise from APNU’s manifesto. For all the criticisms, the PPP was considerably more transparent. And what lies beneath this lack of accountability is mismanagement, inefficiency, and inside/secret deals. All of this will be revealed in time.Finally, there were sections of the press that were attacking the PPP for accountability and disclosure. Why is the press now asleep with these glaring omissions in accountability and compliance with the law?Name withheldlast_img read more