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Portugal to replace last coal plants in 2023 with hydro power complex

first_imgPortugal to replace last coal plants in 2023 with hydro power complex FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:A vast hydroelectric project under construction in northern Portugal will directly replace the power lost when the Iberian country closes its last coal plants, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Tuesday.Portugal was the first country in the world to commit to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and last October, it brought forward a deadline for closing its last coal plants to 2023.The Sines plant owned by domestic utility EDP will close only when a hydroelectric complex with three dams, plants and pumped-storage station being built by Spanish wind giant Iberdrola in the Douro River basin begins operating. “We will only close the Sines plant in 2023, because it will only be in 2023 that we will be able to count on this system for the country’s energy supply,” Costa told reporters at a sub-station for the complex, named Tamega.Once completed, the Tamega complex will act as a “natural battery,” Costa said. It will have capacity to supply 2 million homes, through a process of collecting water, then storing and generating energy by moving it between reservoirs at a height difference of more than 650 meters (710 yards).Iberdrola Chief Executive Ignacio Galan said such storage technology was vital to achieve emissions-cutting targets. “If you don’t have these plants, you need fossil fuel plants,” he told Reuters. “To reach the zero-emissions target you need systems that emit zero.”[Isla Binnie, Catarina Demony]More: Huge hydroelectric project to help Portugal eliminate coal: PMlast_img read more

Wood Mackenzie: Recession could slow, or stop, up to 150GW of renewable projects in Asia Pacific region

first_imgWood Mackenzie: Recession could slow, or stop, up to 150GW of renewable projects in Asia Pacific region FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):A coronavirus-led recession beyond 2020 could result in the delay or cancellation of up to 150 GW of renewable projects in Asia Pacific from 2020 to 2024, according to a Wood Mackenzie analysis.An extended recession could heavily impact demand in the region, which accounted for three-quarters of global growth from 2015 to 2019, causing an overcapacity that would limit investments in the power sector.The consultancy projects 380 TWh of demand loss in a two- to three-month disruption with strong recovery. Markets going into recession, however, could result in the loss of 1,000 TWh by 2023, or about two years of growth in the region.“The coming months will be crucial to determine if the region is moving towards a rapid recovery or extended recession future,” Research Director Alex Whitworth said in an April 22 statement.An extended recession scenario is expected to reduce the competitiveness of renewables by making it harder to secure project funding. In such a scenario, lower fossil fuel prices would mean renewables wouldn’t be able to compete with coal-fired power plants until beyond 2025, according to WoodMac.“In our base case outlook, the impact on wind and solar installations in 2020 can be offset by stronger growth and support policies in 2021. But if the situation worsens, renewables projects in [India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia] could be heavily impacted by increased financing costs, as well as forex risk due to high capex share of costs,” Whitworth added.[Nephele Kirong]More ($): Virus-led recession risks 150 GW of renewable projects in Asia Pacific – WoodMaclast_img read more

Interactive Guide to the Appalachian Trail

first_imgIt is the most honored and storied footpath in the world. It stretches 2,175 miles from Georgia to Maine, and some people hike it from end to end. Shelters along the trail allow you to sleep and commune with mice. But that’s about all that most people know about the Appalachian Trail.BRO’s Massive and Important Guide to the Appalachian Trail—the Southern Half—digs deeper into the country’s longest ribbon of dirt. Our guide includes interviews with thru-hikers, training tips, detailed descriptions of the best section hikes, and a mile-by-mile map of trail highlights.Click markers on the map below to get the details on the best places on the Appalachian Trail. View Appalachian Trail Guide in a larger maplast_img read more

The Steel Wheels: No More Rain

first_imgIn October of 2009, I had the pleasure of hosting Trent Wagler and Jay Lapp – one half of The Steel Wheels – during one of the concert series performances I promote here in my mountain town of Wise, Virginia.  It was one of those shows that seemed to conspire against itself from the very start; the night was rainy, cold, and dreary – one of those downright ugly nights where nobody wants to come out and hear music – and a nasty flu bug had laid low the campus of UVa-Wise, where the show was to take place.  To add insult to injury, my arrival for load in was met with an out of commission elevator and I was forced to carry the PA system up five flights of twisting stairs.Needless to say, when just a dozen or so folks – most of whom had been at an earlier dinner with the band – showed up to listen, I was under no illusion that anything memorable would take place.  Boy, was I wrong.Just prior to the show beginning, I was chatting with Jay and apologized for the meager crowd, explaining that I never really knew how many folks would turn out and that the rain and flu had definitely worked against us.  His response to my apology still rings in my ears.“Don’t worry about it, man.  We’ll have fun with the ones who came.”Jay was right.  The dozen people in attendance were treated to one of the most amazing nights of music I have ever had the luck to experience.  Jay and Trent eschewed the sound system – slightly twisting the knife already buried in my back after toting it up those damned steps – and pulled up a couple chairs within the now semi-circular crowd.  For the next ninety minutes or so, we were treated to a pure and complete acoustic experience, resplendent with tight picking and tighter harmonies.Despite my earlier misgivings, neither flu, rain, nor malfunctioning elevator could derail what was destined to be a fantastic evening of music.Since then, I have chronicled many of the band’s milestone events here at Blue Ridge Outdoors.  I chatted with Trent after he and Jay completed their first bluegrass bike tour, reviewed a number of their records, and caught up with the band prior to last year’s first Merle Fest performance.Each year brings more success and acclaim for this well deserving band, and the early months of 2013 signal that this year will be no different.The Steel Wheels – Wagler, Lapp, Brian Dickel, and Eric Brubaker – released No More Rain this month.  The new record, a collection of songs played by Wagler and his mates as the four wove in and out of various sonic configurations over the years, takes its title from a lyric in the one cover on the record, Tom Waits’ “Walk Away.”  I was thrilled to find that the record includes a new rendition of “Corrine,” a song that has enchanted me since my first listen of Adrienna Valentine, a record Trent and Jay released back in 2008.  Long time followers will revel in the revisiting of these early songs, while new fans will be treated to what these guys have been doing over the last eight years.This summer also brings the inaugural Red Wings Roots Music Festival, to be held in July at Natural Chimneys Park near Mt. Solon, Virginia.  Hosted by The Steel Wheels, this brand new festie – which features The Del McCoury Band, Tim O’Brien, Sam Bush, The Duhks, J.D. McPherson, Yarn, Scott Miller, and more -promises one of the hottest roots music line ups of the summer.If you haven’t been introduced yet to The Steel Wheels, make sure to check out their take on “No More Rain” on this month’s Trail Mix.  For more information on the band, the new record, or to score tickets to the Red Wings Roots Music Festival, surf over to www.thesteelwheels.com.last_img read more

Beer Blog: Last Gasp of Summer with Rocket Girl

first_imgOkay, I know what day it is. It’s like the end of September. October’s around the corner and soon we’ll all be picking out outrageously slutty Halloween costumes and drinking coffee porters and pumpkin ales. As much as I love Fall and all it entails (college football, guys wearing scarves, blazing fire pits), I’m not ready to let go of summer. And really, there’s no reason to.Not yet. Sure, we’ve passed the equinox and the days are getting shorter and the temps are dropping slightly, but it’s still plenty warm for one last gasp of summer fun. Flip flops, tank tops, and easy drinking beers.So I headed to Panthertown, a 10,000-acre tract of waterfalls and swimming holes in the corner of Nantahala National Forest. Yes, the water is cold, but the temps are still in the 70s for one last weekend and the beer is good. I grabbed a six pack of Asheville Brewing Company’s Rocket Girl, a low abv (3.2 percent) lager built for sessioning on a hot summer day. Drink this beer in the fall or winter, next to a porter or stout or even a pale, and it tastes like water. After a long hike in the sun and a quick dip at a make-shift beach like this sandbar in the middle of Panthertown Creek, and it tastes like summer in a can.There’s plenty of time to immerse ourselves in Fall. Next week, or maybe the week after, I’ll talk about my favorite pumpkin beers from local breweries. This weekend, it’s board shorts and swimming holes and easy-drinking lagers. One last time.Follow Graham Averill’s adventures in drinking and Dad-hood at daddy-drinks.comlast_img read more

Race Ahead: 2014 Trail Running Events

first_imgCruel Jewel 100-MilerBlue Ridge, Ga., May 16The name of this up-and-coming 100-miler certainly alludes to the nature of the course, but by no means is able to fully do it justice. Located in the stunning Chattahoochee National Forest of northern Georgia, this out-and-back route begins and ends in Blue Ridge, Ga., with Vogel State Park as the 50-miler finish and 100-miler halfway point (although in total, the 100-miler course is actually 104 miles). With 60,000 feet of elevation change, unpredictable weather patterns, suffocating humidity, technical singletrack, steep ascents, and steeper descents, the Cruel Jewel might seem more cruel than jewel. But if those technicalities don’t deter you from coming out, the race has already established a reputation for having a challenging yet rewarding course and quality organization with extremely dedicated volunteers. dumassevents.com/cruel-jewelStump Jump 50KChattanooga, Tenn., October 4Local running enthusiast Matt Sims started this 50K in 2002 with the intention of raising awareness and support for the Cumberland Trail Conference and the community’s running scene. Only 12 years later, this race has grown to become one of the Southeast’s classic ultras. The course mostly follows the singletrack on Chattanooga’s Signal Mountain, but runners will also come across everything from pristine trails to creek crossings and the infamous Rock Garden. rockcreek.com/stumpjumpNew River Trail 50KFries, Va., OctoberOne of the oldest rivers in the world, the New River runs for over 300 miles through three states, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. The New River Trail parallels this historic river for 39 miles and serves as the route for the New River Trail 50K. For folks wanting to take that first step toward running ultras, this race is a great introductory event to the world of long-distance racing because of its even, flat, dirt terrain. ncnr.orgShut-In Ridge Trail RunAsheville, N.C., November 1More than a half, yet not quite a marathon, what this 17.8-miler lacks in distance it makes up for in difficulty. Held during peak fall weather, the course climbs 3,000 feet along leafy, rocky singletrack. Already in its 36th year, the Shut-In represents one of the oldest and toughest grassroots races in the region and attracts elite runners and amateurs alike. The course parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway for most of the race, making it easy for friends and family to stand by and cheer you on. jusrunning.comHellgate 100KFincastle, Va., December 13In 2003, ultrarunner David Horton created the Hellgate 100K, starting what would become one of the most respected and sought-after achievements among the ultrarunning community. Horton’s own passion for challenging both body and mind drove him to such accomplishments as setting a speed record for the Appalachian Trail in 1991 and, to this day, holding the third fastest time ever for the 2906-mile transcontinental crossing. His intimate relationship with challenge and, at times, utter despair helped him to mold the Hellgate 100K, a course that winds for over 60 miles through the Jefferson National Forest. With a start time of 12:01AM, more than 13,000 feet of climbing, an 18-hour time limit, and brutal winter weather, this race is a must-do for ultrarunners looking for a sizeable test. eco-xsports.com A Shut-In WinScott WilliamsScott WilliamsRegional runner Scott Williams grew up watching the annual 17.8-mile Shut-In Ridge Run and its runners. Stretching from the French Broad River to Mount Pisgah, this community-held event challenges some of the area’s top runners with its rocky terrain and steep climbing.“I’d always respected that race because it’s so hard,” Williams says. “The first time I ever ran the course I swore I was never going to race it.”Williams eventually changed his mind and joined the annual gathering of runners. In 2012, Williams won the Shut-In, a moment he says has truly been one of the highpoints of his running career.“Just trying to keep moving forward is a mind game,” says Williams. “You can be running really well but be going so slow. If you want to prepare to race Shut-In I’d suggest running a lot of uphill and downhill. Also be prepared to get beat up and switch gears a lot.”On Williams’ list of other top regional races are the 40-mile Mt. Mitchell Challenge, the DuPont Trail 12K, and the New River 50K.Best of the RestMount Mitchell 40M Challenge & Black Mountain MarathonBlack Mountain, N.C., February 22 • blackmountainmarathon.comThomas Jefferson 100KCharlottesville, Va., March 15 • tj100k.comTerrapin Mountain 50k & Half MarathonSedalia, Va., March 22 • eco-xsports.comVirginia Creeper MarathonAbingdon, Va., March 30 • runtricities.org/creepermarathonMountains-to-Sea 50K/12M Trail ChallengeRaleigh, N.C., March 30 • bullcityrunning.comDirty Kiln Half Marathon Trail RaceHolidaysburg, Penn., April 5 • alleghenytrailrunners.com/dirty-kiln-trail-raceSmoky Mountain RelayBrevard, N.C., April 25-26 • smokymountainrelay.comJackson River Scenic Trail Half Marathon and 10KCovington, Va., June 28 • visitalleghanyhighlands.comXTERRA Beech Mountain 15K/5KBeech Mountain, N.C., July 26 • dirtyspokes.comSpringmaid Splash 10KSpruce Pine, N.C., August • mitchellraces.comThe North Face Endurance Challenge 50M/50KPine Mountain, Ga., September 27 • thenorthface.com/endurancechallengeGrindstone 100 MilerStaunton, Va., October 3-5 • eco-xsports.comBlue Ridge Burn 5k & 10kRoseland, Va., October 11 • blueridgeoutdoors.com/blueridgeburnMountain Masochist 50-MilerLynchburg, Va., November 1 • eco-xsports.comUpchuck 50KChattanooga, Tenn., November 1 • rockcreek.comDuncan Ridge Trail 50K/30KBlairsville, Ga., November 22 • duncanridgetrail50k.com_______________Check Out Our Other Race Ahead GuidesTrail RunningRoad RunningRoad BikingMountain BikingClimbingPaddlingMultisportsSnowsportslast_img read more

Mountain Mama: Pass Along the Need for Speed

first_imgDear Mountain Mama,Now that my son can walk, his favorite response to everything is “do it self.” My wife and I used to take him hiking all the time, but now he refuses to be carried. It’s cute watching him walk, but makes for an excruciatingly slow outing.Do you have any other ideas for toddler-friendly adventures?Thanks,Toddler DadDear Toddler Dad,I admire your commitment to explore the outdoors with your son. As parents, we strive to pass along the best parts of our world to our children, and often that’s our connection to the outdoors. With a little creativity, almost anything you enjoy doing can be adapted to include your family.Raise Kids to Go with the FlowWe’re lucky enough to live close to a mellow stretch of river and can often squeeze in a post-work float. There are days when I crave more action, so I’ve searched for a babysitter who doesn’t mine driving shuttle. I pack a dinner picnic, grab a paddling partner, and we all load into the truck. The sitter and my toddler son drop us off at the put-in and then play in the water or go for a hike at the take-out. An hour later we all enjoy the setting sun and eat together.For an overnight adventure, reserve one of the river-side campsites along the French Broad River and take your family on an overnight river trip. Last summer we paddled fifteen miles in two days down a mostly Class I section of the river. My son loved swimming breaks, holding the paddle, and dragging his fingers along the water’s surface.Divide and ConquerThere will be days when taking your kids on an adventure seems daunting. On these days, reach out to your childless friends. Too often we don’t call some of the people we most loved spending time with before we had kids just because they don’t also have children. My childless friends assure me they love being included on kid-friendly adventures.During this past winter’s big snow, two friends, my son, and I skied up Roan Mountain. The pickup was loaded with cross country skis and my play boat. We nestled my toddler in a Therma-rest and sleeping bag, and made a harness using kayak straps. We all took turns pulling him up the mountain while he napped. He woke up just in time to take in the spectacular view at the top and the downhill. My friends love getting their kid fix, my son soaks up the attention, and I got to share the parenting load. It’s truly a win-win when we all take turns.Pass Along the Need for SpeedInvesting in a bike trailer is the perfect way to get a work out in while spending time with your little guy. My son squeals in delight when he feels the wind on his face and shouts, “Faster mama.” Pulling the extra weight adds a strength training element to any ride. Consider a speed interval day, where you ride hard between toddler-friendly stops such as playgrounds of snack breaks.For a toddler-friendly bike vacation, combine forces with other families. A good friend spent a week cycling the parkway. The dads pedaled in the morning, while the moms took the kids on a short hike then caravanned to an agreed-upon hotel (always with a pool). When the dads arrived, the moms set out on an afternoon ride while the dads and kids played in the pool.Enjoy your time outside!Mountain Mamalast_img read more

MerleFest Is Only One Week Away!

first_imgMerleFest, presented by Window World and considered one of the premier music festivals in the country, is an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. The annual four-day event, which “USA Today” described as a “happy, family friendly festival that’s loved by musicians who come to play and those who come to add their energy by listening, as well,” will take place April 28-May 1, 2016.“Throughout the years, one of the major factors that has built MerleFest is the quality of the artists and performances that our guests see over the four days of the festival,” said Ted Hagaman, festival director. “That, in turn, creates another important element of MerleFest’s success: people truly feel that the festival is a great value. That’s probably best expressed by the fact that so many music fans and families return year after year, making MerleFest a regular spring tradition.The initial lineup for MerleFest 2016 will be announced on Tuesday, November 10, the same day that tickets will go on sale. Tickets may be purchased at www.MerleFest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857. A three-tiered pricing structure will be offered for MerleFest 2016. An Early Bird Tier 1 ticket discount is available starting November 10 through February 15, 2016. An Early Bird Tier 2 ticket discount will run from February 16, 2016, through April 27, 2016. The third price tier will be gate pricing. Fans are encouraged to take advantage of the extended early bird discount. MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the late Eddy Merle Watson, son of American music legend Doc Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles. The festival hosts over 90 artists, performing on 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. The annual event has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Endowment Corporation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs. The financial impact elevates the organizations and businesses of the surrounding communities as well, with MerleFest bringing millions into the area over the course of the festival.For more information about the festival and to get up-to-date lineup details, visit www.merlefest.org and follow the MerleFest Facebook page.last_img read more

Outdoor Updates: Gert Boyle, Chairwoman of Columbia Sportswear, dies at age 95

first_imgIf you find yourself in Florida, keep an eye out for manatees “This site is symbolic because it is the first place that people can come to honor the passengers of Flight 93 and really understand what happened out here on September 11,” Katie Cordek, the park’s public information officer told WJAC news.  Columbia Sportswear has announced the death of Gert Boyle, the tough-as-nails leader who ran the company for more than 50 years.  There were 40 passengers and crew aboard Flight 93 when it went down in the fields of Pennsylvania. The heroic efforts of the people aboard prevented the hijackers of the flight from attacking the U.S. Capitol.  A new hiking trail is unveiled at the Flight 93 National Memorial Boyle’s father founded Columbia Sportswear in 1938. After his death, Boyle’s husband, Neal Boyle, took the reins. When Neal Boyle unexpectedly died seven years later, Gert Boyle found herself in charge of the fledgling company, which was making just $800,000 in annual sales. Bankers advised her to cut her losses and sell but she kept the company and is credited with turning it around. Last year, the company boasted nearly $3 billion in sales. Over the years, Boyle became a company icon, featuring predominately in the company’s advertising and becoming known as “One Tough Mother.” In 2003, Boyle was inducted into the Sporting Goods Association Hall of Fame. center_img There’s a new hiking trail at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, PA. The ‘Trail of Remembrance’ was unveiled on Saturday, November 2. The half-mile-long trail connects the memorial plaza located in the back of the Flight 93 memorial park to the location where the temporary Flight 93 memorial was first erected.  Did you know that November is Manatee Awareness Month? When the cold weather descends this time of year the 7,000 manatees that call Florida home head out in search of warmer waters. Because manatees can’t tolerate water cooler than 68 degrees for any length of time, the manatees migrate to Florida’s warm-water springs. Disturbing manatees in their winter warm-water homes can cause them to flee to colder waters, putting their lives at risk. Gert Boyle, Chairwoman of Columbia Sportswear, dies at age 95 Boaters are asked to obey manatee protection zones identified by waterway signs and to wear polarized sunglasses to more easily see manatees swimming in the water. For more information about Florida’s manatees visit MyFWC.com/Manatee.last_img read more

British man runs marathon in his 20-foot backyard during COVID-19 lockdown

first_imgGeorgia tells residents to watch out for spring bear sightings On Wednesday, James Campbell of Cheltenham, England, ran 26.2 miles in his 20-foot backyard. The fete took over five hours. Tens of thousands tuned in to watch the live stream as Campbell ran back and forth between his back door and his garden shed in what he deemed the #6MetreGardenMarathon. The outdoor industry continues to come through in a big way during the pandemic. The most recent example is Osprey’s announcement that their Cortez, Colorado-based warranty and repair team will exclusively sew fabric masks that they will distribute to Southwest Memorial Hospital and the local health department. Osprey’s team has the capacity to sew 100 fabric masks a day. The masks can be worn over N95 medical-grade masks. “In this unprecedented time, I am inspired by our team’s response,” said Layne Rigney, President of Osprey Packs. “The repair team is giving our entire company something to be proud of.” Spring is here and bears are emerging from their dens after a winter of dormancy (biologists call it “torpor.”) Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division is reminding residents that spring sightings of black bears are common at this time of year and should be expected.  Photo from Getty Imagescenter_img Campbell is a competitive javelin thrower and told the Washington Post he had been feeling bored and restless during the coronavirus lockdown. His effort raised $22,000 for Britain’s National Health Service’s effort to fight COVID-19. “As you can imagine, bears and hungry and ready to find food when they leave those dens. This search for food can sometimes put them a little too close to people,” says Adam Hammond, a state bear biologist. To say safe, Hammond advises the public never to feed or approach bears; secure food, garbage and recycling bins; remove bird feeders when bears are active; never leave pet food outside; clean and store grills; and let your neighbors know if you see bears in your neighborhood. Osprey’s warranty and repair team to exclusively sew masks for healthcare workers British man runs marathon in his 20-foot backyard during COVID-19 lockdownlast_img read more