Vermont Third Lowest Foreclosure Rate

first_imgForeclosure Activity Decreases 7 Percent in November According to RealtyTrac(R) U.S. Foreclosure Market ReportVermont Third Lowest Foreclosure RateForeclosure Activity Still Up 28 Percent From November 2007IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ –RealtyTrac(R) (www.realtytrac.com(link is external)), the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its November 2008 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report(TM), which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — were reported on 259,085 U.S. properties during the month, a 7 percent decrease from the previous month but still up 28 percent from November 2007. The report also shows one in every 488 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in November.RealtyTrac publishes the largest and most comprehensive national database of foreclosure and bank-owned properties, with over 1.5 million properties from over 2,200 counties across the country, and is the foreclosure data provider to MSN Real Estate, Yahoo! Real Estate and The Wall Street Journal’s Real Estate Journal.”Foreclosure activity in November hit the lowest level we’ve seen since June thanks in part to recently enacted laws that have extended the foreclosure process in some states, along with more aggressive loan modification programs and self-imposed holiday foreclosure moratoriums introduced by some lenders,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “There are several indications, however, that this lower activity is simply a temporary lull before another foreclosure storm hits in the coming months.”Delinquencies on loans not yet in the foreclosure process jumped to nearly 7 percent in the third quarter, a record high, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association,” Saccacio continued. “And more than half of the homeowners who received loan modifications to reduce monthly mortgage payments in the first half of 2008 are already delinquent on their loans again, according to the U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision. Many of these delinquencies could turn into foreclosures next year.”Nevada, Florida, Arizona post top state foreclosure ratesNevada foreclosure activity in November decreased nearly 4 percent from the previous month, but the state maintained the nation’s No. 1 foreclosure rate, with one in every 76 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month — more than six times the national average. Foreclosure filings were reported on 13,962 Nevada properties, up 109 percent from November 2007.Florida foreclosure activity in November was also down from the previous month, but the state’s foreclosure rate moved up to the No. 2 spot thanks to an even bigger monthly decrease in Arizona. One in every 173 Florida housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month, nearly three times the national average.With one in every 198 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, Arizona posted the nation’s third highest foreclosure rate in November despite a nearly 25 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous month. Foreclosure filings were reported on 13,136 Arizona properties during the month, up nearly 128 percent from November 2008.Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 were California, Michigan, Georgia, Ohio, Colorado, Utah and Idaho.California, Florida, Michigan post highest foreclosure totalsForeclosure filings were reported on 60,491 California properties in November, the most of any state and a 6 percent increase from the previous month following two consecutive monthly decreases. The state’s foreclosure activity was up 51 percent from November 2007, and one in every 218 housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month — more than twice the national average.Despite a 9 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous month, Florida continued to post the nation’s second highest number of properties with foreclosure filings — 49,190. The state’s foreclosure activity was still up 68 percent from November 2007.Michigan foreclosure activity in November increased 28 percent from the previous month, giving the state 14,594 properties with foreclosure filings during the month — the nation’s third highest state total. Michigan’s foreclosure activity was up 27 percent from November 2007, and the state’s foreclosure rate ranked fifth highest in the nation for the month.Nevada, Arizona, Ohio, Georgia, Illinois, Texas and Virginia also reported foreclosure totals that were among the nation’s 10 highest.California and Florida cities account for nine of Top 10 metro foreclosure ratesWith one in every 59 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in November, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., posted the highest metropolitan foreclosure rate among the 230 metro areas tracked in the report. Two other Florida cities ranked among the top 10 in terms of foreclosure rate: Fort Lauderdale at No. 7, with one in every 117 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; and Port Lucie-Fort Pierce at No. 8, with one in every 118 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.Las Vegas was the only city not in Florida or California with a foreclosure rate that ranked among the top 10. One in every 61 Las Vegas housing units received a foreclosure filing in November, the second highest metro foreclosure rate.California accounted for the remainder of the top 10 metro foreclosure rates. Merced was at No. 3, with one in every 76 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; Modesto was at No. 4, with one in every 93 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; Stockton was at No. 5, with one in every 94 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; Riverside-San Bernardino was at No. 6, with one in every 107 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; Bakersfield was at No. 9, with one in every 129 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; and Vallejo-Fairfield was at No. 10, with one in every 133 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.U.S. Foreclosure Market Data by State – Nov 2008 Properties with Foreclosure Filings Rate State Rank Name NOD LIS NTS NFS REO — U.S. 39,416 53,827 64,136 23,527 78,179 40 Alabama 3 0 255 0 355 32 Alaska 4 0 72 0 103 3 Arizona 110 0 8,075 0 4,951 20 Arkansas 55 0 978 0 509 4 California 19,030 0 24,056 0 17,405 8 Colorado 48 0 3,144 0 2,135 16 Connecticut 0 1,286 0 455 454 34 Delaware 0 3 0 151 82 District of Columbia 109 0 142 0 93 2 Florida 0 29,653 0 11,353 8,184 6 Georgia 26 0 5,533 0 4,444 28 Hawaii 76 0 293 0 24 10 Idaho 611 0 612 0 61 17 Illinois 0 4,354 0 642 2,913 14 Indiana 0 1,322 0 1,637 1,524 38 Iowa 20 0 273 0 229 35 Kansas 0 134 0 256 318 43 Kentucky 0 115 0 106 206 41 Louisiana 0 12 0 409 83 36 Maine 76 0 200 0 24 18 Maryland 0 2,521 0 535 414 27 Massachusetts 0 1,316 0 414 541 5 Michigan 8,709 0 285 0 5,600 25 Minnesota 9 0 557 0 1,621 47 Mississippi 0 0 64 0 70 22 Missouri 367 0 1,415 0 1,103 45 Montana 0 0 6 0 52 49 Nebraska 0 0 0 12 24 1 Nevada 6,037 0 3,839 0 4,086 21 New Hampshire 1 0 449 0 221 15 New Jersey 0 3,914 0 836 832 42 New Mexico 0 50 0 53 117 39 New York 0 1,376 0 525 700 31 North Carolina 729 0 537 0 1,527 44 North Dakota 0 0 0 24 31 7 Ohio 0 4,828 0 3,370 4,685 33 Oklahoma 285 0 439 0 295 12 Oregon 912 0 1,448 0 605 30 Pennsylvania 0 1,517 0 1,429 1,028 11 Rhode Island 0 0 454 0 441 24 South Carolina 0 922 0 445 654 46 South Dakota 0 1 0 36 8 19 Tennessee 5 0 1,729 0 1,733 26 Texas 29 0 4,260 0 3,554 9 Utah 798 0 624 0 581 48 Vermont 1 0 1 0 20 13 Virginia 1,287 0 2,606 0 1,801 23 Washington 78 0 1,710 0 1,060 50 West Virginia 0 0 27 0 7 29 Wisconsin 0 503 0 839 625 37 Wyoming 1 0 53 0 46 Properties with Foreclosure Filings 1/every X Rate State HU %Chg. from %Chg. from Rank Name Total (rate) Oct 08 Nov 07 — U.S. 259,085 488 -7.32 28.29 40 Alabama 613 3,442 -26.67 -7.12 32 Alaska 179 1,545 -30.62 14.74 3 Arizona 13,136 198 -24.97 127.78 20 Arkansas 1,542 826 -18.63 35.26 4 California 60,491 218 6.21 51.26 8 Colorado 5,327 393 -0.87 -17.09 16 Connecticut 2,195 653 -29.47 71.22 34 Delaware 236 1,622 14.01 78.79 District of Columbia 344 822 51.54 319.51* 2 Florida 49,190 173 -9.45 68.24 6 Georgia 10,003 387 1.04 11.54 28 Hawaii 393 1,272 -0.51 247.79 10 Idaho 1,284 479 9.46 92.50 17 Illinois 7,909 657 -37.63 -3.99 14 Indiana 4,483 615 -17.04 -20.43 38 Iowa 522 2,529 4.40 -30.21 35 Kansas 708 1,706 7.93 101.14 43 Kentucky 427 4,422 -19.13 -43.67 41 Louisiana 504 3,631 -21.50 -22.58 36 Maine 300 2,304 -14.29 154.24* 18 Maryland 3,470 663 16.72 10.90 27 Massachusetts 2,271 1,193 -37.44 -32.35 5 Michigan 14,594 309 28.10 27.30 25 Minnesota 2,187 1,044 -17.78 80.74 47 Mississippi 134 9,265 -31.98 -30.21 22 Missouri 2,885 909 -21.43 -13.60 45 Montana 58 7,449 45.00 -50.85 49 Nebraska 36 21,523 -28.00 -92.56 1 Nevada 13,962 76 -3.60 108.57 21 New Hampshire 671 879 -2.89 59.76 15 New Jersey 5,582 622 -34.12 31.90 42 New Mexico 220 3,864 -16.67 -15.06 39 New York 2,601 3,040 -30.84 -55.11 31 North Carolina 2,793 1,443 -13.10 -29.67 44 North Dakota 55 5,596 30.95 71.88 7 Ohio 12,883 392 6.39 -21.00 33 Oklahoma 1,019 1,577 24.72 -14.23 12 Oregon 2,965 535 4.36 142.64 30 Pennsylvania 3,974 1,372 -0.77 54.21 11 Rhode Island 895 502 53.78* 202.36* 24 South Carolina 2,021 978 -0.49 284.22* 46 South Dakota 45 7,840 32.35 104.55 19 Tennessee 3,467 773 -14.14 -10.23 26 Texas 7,843 1,176 -20.78 -32.38 9 Utah 2,003 450 10.54 104.18 48 Vermont 22 14,071 69.23* 266.67* 13 Virginia 5,694 567 -13.14 120.87 23 Washington 2,848 948 -33.43 15.16 50 West Virginia 34 25,817 -61.80 -30.61 29 Wisconsin 1,967 1,288 4.13 -17.53 37 Wyoming 100 2,392 -1.96 61.29 *Actual increase may not be as high due to data collection changes or ImprovementsReport methodologyThe RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total number of properties with at least one foreclosure filing reported during the month — broken out by type of filing at the state and national level. Data is also available at the individual county level. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and those counties account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. RealtyTrac’s report incorporates documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: Default — Notice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction — Notice of Trustee Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank). If more than one foreclosure document is filed against a property during the month or quarter, only the most recent filing is counted in the report. The report also checks if the same type of document was filed against a property in a previous month or quarter. If so, and if that previous filing occurred within the estimated foreclosure timeframe for the state the property is in, the report does not count the property in the current month.About RealtyTrac Inc.Ranked as the third largest real estate site by MediaMetrix and No. 53 on Inc. magazine’s 2006 Inc. 500 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, RealtyTrac Inc. (www.realtytrac.com(link is external)), is the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, providing all the resources that home seekers, investors and real estate agents need to locate, evaluate and buy properties below market value.Founded in 1996, RealtyTrac publishes the largest and most comprehensive national database of pre-foreclosure, foreclosure, For Sale By Owner, resale and new homes, with more than 1 million properties across the country, property reports, productivity tools and extensive professional resources. RealtyTrac hosts nearly 3 million unique visitors monthly and has been chosen to supply foreclosure data to MSN Real Estate, Yahoo! Real Estate and The Wall Street Journal’s Real Estate Journal. For current news and information regarding foreclosure-related issues and trends, visit our blog at www.ForeclosurePulse.com(link is external).SOURCE RealtyTrac Inc.last_img read more

Dairy bill would stabilize milk prices

first_imgWith the Ethan Allen Farm as a backdrop, US Senators Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy today unveiled legislation to stabilize dairy prices and preserve the family farms that have been a fixture of Vermont culture for centuries.Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced The Dairy Market Stabilization Act. The bill was cosponsored by Leahy (D-Vt.), the senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who serves in Senate leadership, also is an original cosponsor of the measure.“Too many farms that have been in the same family for generations already have been forced out of business,” Sanders said at the dairy farm where John and Joyce Belter and their son Todd manage a herd of 450 Holsteins. “This is a crisis not only for our farmers and the communities that depend on them, but for consumers who demand fresh, locally-produced foods for their families.”Leahy said, “Dairy farms are vital to scores of communities and to our economy.  For decades it has been easy to take for granted the locally produced fresh milk that generations of Americans have brought to their dinner tables.  But farmers are being driven out of business by cost and price fluctuations that rarely go their way.  This quandary has long been one of the most difficult issues in American agriculture.  Farmers, their communities and dairy consumers would all be better served in the long run with a modest amount of stability.  The Dairy Market Stabilization Act would put us on the path to long term reform to help ensure the survival of our dairy industry here in Vermont and across the country.”The Vermont senators were joined at the press conference by state Agriculture Secretary Roger Allbee. The outdated system used to price milk needs fundamental reform, he said. “I want to applaud the work of Sens. Sanders and Leahy and the delegation for this legislation,” Allbee said. “This measure will be a message that reform of U.S. dairy policy is badly needed and will move forward.”Over the last 20 years, dairy industry boom and bust cycles saw the price per hundredweight soar to $19.30 in 2004 before crashing to $11.90 in 2006.  Prices recovered in 2007 to $21.80 before plummeting to $11.30 in 2009.  The sudden price drops devastated Vermont dairy farmers, who need about $18 per hundredweight to break even.  There are 11.6 gallons in a hundredweight, the unit commonly used to measure milk.Without a dramatic change, the number of dairy farms in Vermont could soon drop below 1,000. The state today has only half as many farms as there were in 1995. With prices today mired below what it costs to produce milk, as many as 200 dairy farms, one-fifth of Vermont’s remaining farms, could be forced to close by the end of this year.Under the legislation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture working with dairy farmers on a producer board would set a rate for how much farmers could boost production over the same quarter the year before. There would be an assessment on farmers that exceed the growth rate while farmers that maintained stable production would qualify for USDA payments. The growth management initiative would end after three years unless farmers vote to continue it, so a majority of dairy farmers, not the government, will decide whether or not the program is working.Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) cosponsored a companion bill in the House. “Price volatility within the dairy industry has caused tremendous hardship for Vermont’s hardworking dairy farmers. While short-term relief measures have been helpful, it is clear that only a long-term strategy aimed at stabilizing prices will return dairy farmers to prosperity,” he said. “This legislation puts farmers in the driver’s seat, allowing them to make the decisions necessary to protect their livelihood.”Unlike other proposals to fix the dairy industry, the legislation is backed by both farmers and industry groups across the country. These include Addison County Young Farmers, California Dairy Campaign, Dairy Farmers Working Together, Farmers Union Producers Association, Georgia Milk Producers, Hoard’s Dairyman Magazine, Lanco-Pennland Quality Milk Producers, Milk Producers Council, National Farmers Union, Oregon Dairy Farmers Association, Pennsylvania Holstein Association, Vermont Holstein Association, and Washington State Dairy Federation.Source: Leahy and Sanders. SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt., July 12, 2010last_img read more

U.S. solar prices fall to record low on Arizona deal

first_imgU.S. solar prices fall to record low on Arizona deal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Records don’t last long in the cleantech business.Just days ago, we were reporting that the Central Arizona Project (CAP) had secured the lowest confirmed solar price in the U.S., when it approved a 20-year power-purchase agreement at $24.99 per megawatt-hour. That’s setting aside an Austin Energy PPA from December that could be lower, but has more ambiguous terms.That Arizona record is already under threat from projects that utility NV Energy selected as part of its integrated resource planning. The portfolio of 1,001 megawatts of solar capacity and 100 megawatts/400 megawatt-hours of energy storage still needs approval from Nevada’s utility regulators. If that happens, the lowest confirmed U.S. solar price would be Sempra Renewables’ Copper Mountain Solar 5 project at $21.55 per megawatt-hour. That 250-megawatt project, though, has a 2.5 percent annual escalation as part of its 25-year contract, so the low upfront price wouldn’t last.Instead, we can turn to 8minutenergy’s 300-megawatt Eagle Shadow Mountain Solar Farm, which clocks in at a flat rate of $23.76 per megawatt-hour throughout its 25-year PPA term. That comfortably beats the CAP project on pricing, while delivering 10 times the capacity. It also marks a substantial improvement on the $29.50 per megawatt-hour median pricing for standalone solar PV in Xcel’s famous solicitation six months ago.The groundbreaking pricing was achieved through sophisticated design and engineering, but also reflects how far solar equipment and installation practices have come, 8minutenergy CEO and founder Martin Hermann wrote in an email. “Eagle Shadow Mountain is unique because it’s located in an area of great solar irradiance and with remarkable access to transmission assets,” he said. “We are able to benefit from low interconnection costs, for example, by utilizing transmission assets that had previously been allocated for the Reid Gardner coal plant, ensuring that those assets are not stranded.”More: Nevada’s 2.3-cent bid beats Arizona’s record-low solar PPA pricelast_img read more

Middlebury College votes to divest from fossil fuels

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Burlington Free Press:Middlebury College announced on Tuesday that it would divest its endowment from fossil fuels, responding to years of pressure by students and professors and joining the growing list of colleges and universities that have taken the step as a means of combating climate change.Last April, the college’s student government sponsored a student-wide referendum in which almost 80 percent of respondents voted in favor of divestment. A non-binding faculty resolution on divestment passed in November with over 90 percent voting in favor.When the matter first came before Middlebury’s Board of Trustees in 2013, the college declined to commit to divesting its endowment — which now totals over $1 billion — from fossil fuel companies.In its announcement, Middlebury committed to stopping all new investments in fossil fuels by June 2019, and pledged to phase out all of its current investments within 15 years — a timeline that it said would protect the current value of the endowment.Middlebury now joins over 100 other educational institutions worldwide that have committed to some form of fossil fuel divestment, according to data kept by the Fossil Free movement. Middlebury is the fourth school in Vermont to divest, after Goddard College, Sterling College and Green Mountain College.More: After student and faculty pressure, Middlebury College will divest from fossil fuels Middlebury College votes to divest from fossil fuelslast_img read more

Neoen to expand Hornsdale battery in Australia, target new market opportunities

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:French renewable energy and storage developer Neoen has confirmed that the so-called Tesla big battery at Hornsdale in South Australia will get a 50 per cent lift in capacity, and add new innovations and services that will help pave the way for the state to reach its goal of “net 100 per cent renewables”.As reported exclusively in Renew Economy on Monday, the battery – officially known as the Hornsdale Power Reserve – will be the first in Australia to provide digital – or “virtual” – inertia to the grid, an important network service previously only delivered by synchronous machines (coal, gas and hydro).It is estimated that the upgraded battery could provide 3,000 “megawatt seconds”, or 50 per cent of the state’s inertia requirements, meaning that gas generators can be used more sparingly when there is enough wind and solar to meet the state’s electricity demand. It’s another key marker on the road to eliminating fossil fuels from the grid.The addition of hundreds of new Tesla Powerpack batteries – at a cost of $71 million – will add 50MW/64.5MWh capacity to the existing facilities of 100MW/129MWh, lifting its capacity by 50 per cent and reinforcing its ranking as the biggest lithium-ion battery in the world.Neoen said the inertia benefits – dubbed by Tesla as its Virtual Machine Mode (VMM) – would facilitate the transition towards a high-penetration renewable grid. In South Australia, the state Liberal government has a target of “net 100 per cent renewables” by around 2030. Neoen noted that in its first full year of operation, the battery saved consumers more than $50 million, and these savings would continue to grow once the new addition was in place in 2020. It also earned a profit of $22 million in its first full year of operations.“Alongside additional power system reliability and continued cost savings to consumers, the expansion will provide an Australian first large-scale demonstration of the potential for battery storage to provide inertia to the network which is critical to grid stability and the future integration of renewable energy,” Neoen said in a statement.More: Tesla big battery adds new capacity and services on march to 100pct renewables grid Neoen to expand Hornsdale battery in Australia, target new market opportunitieslast_img read more

Southeast utilities cancel Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Dominion also selling gas business

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:One of the largest utilities in America is starting to turn its back on natural gas.Dominion Energy said Sunday that it’s selling substantially all of its natural gas pipeline and storage assets to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. for $4 billion, along with Berkshire’s assumption of $5.7 billion in debt. In a separate statement, the Richmond, Virginia-based company said it also decided with partner Duke Energy Corp. to kill the controversial Atlantic Coast gas pipeline along the U.S. East Coast, citing ongoing delays and “increasing cost uncertainty.”“We offer an industry-leading clean-energy profile,” Dominion Energy Chief Executive Officer Thomas F. Farrell said in a statement, citing the company’s goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 and carbon-free electricity generation.Atlantic Coast is the latest gas pipeline to be scrapped by developers after years of delays and mounting costs. Williams Cos. earlier this year pulled the plug on the Constitution natural gas pipeline that would run from Appalachia to New York. Gas projects across America are facing intensifying opposition as local governments and environmentalists push for a transition away from fossil fuels.Berkshire is amassing more than 7,700 miles (12,400 kilometers) of natural gas storage and transmission pipelines and about 900 billion cubic feet of gas storage in the deal with Dominion. Warren Buffett’s conglomerate will also acquire 25% of Cove Point.Dominion said it will use $3 billion of the proceeds to buy back shares. The company cut its projected 2021 dividend payment to around $2.50 a share, reflecting the assets being divested and a new payout ratio that aligns it better with industry peers.[Rachel Adams-Heard and Katherine Chiglinsky]More: U.S. utility giant kills pipeline, ditches gas in Berkshire deal Southeast utilities cancel Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Dominion also selling gas businesslast_img read more

Poland’s PGE utility plans almost $10 billion in renewable energy investments by 2030

first_imgPoland’s PGE utility plans almost $10 billion in renewable energy investments by 2030 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Poland’s largest utility plans to spend 75 billion zloty ($19.4 billion) by 2030 as it aims to become climate-neutral by mid-century.PGE SA seeks to invest half of that amount in renewable energy sources, including offshore and onshore wind as well as solar power plants, it said in a statement on Monday. Its 2050 strategy is conditional on a planned spinoff of coal assets to a separate, state-owned vehicle which will enable PGE to get access to debt financing.“In order to expand, we need to split into two companies,” Chief Executive Officer Wojciech Dabrowski told a news conference in Warsaw. “Today, financial institutions refuse to fund coal ventures.”PGE follows oil refiner and power producer PKN Orlen SA in setting a zero-emission target as Polish corporates are blazing the trail for the country’s government, which is yet to commit to the European Union wide 2050 climate ambition. Poland, which depends on coal for about 70% of electricity generation, is in tough negotiations with the EU and with its own mining unions on how to reach and finance the emission cuts.PGE pledges that by 2030 zero- and low-emission sources will account for 85% of its generation portfolio, while the share of renewable energy will amount to 50% of its total generation. Offshore wind capacity installed in the Baltic Sea should amount to 2.5 gigawatts in 2030 and exceed 6.5 gigawatts by 2040.Separately, the CEO said that once Enea SA and Tauron Polska Energia SA — other state-controlled utilities — spin off their coal assets, their merger with PGE would be “sensible,” but the decision is up to the State Treasury. The spinoff by end-2021 would be “optimal.”[Maciej Martewicz]More: Poland’s PGE to invest $19 billion to meet zero-emissions goallast_img read more

U.S. Energy Department aims for 90% reduction in long-duration battery storage costs by 2030

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):With U.S. energy storage additions on pace to smash records in 2020 and 2021, despite delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Energy Department on Dec. 21 released its first comprehensive storage strategy.The DOE road map aims to scale-up America’s domestic manufacturing industry to meet all of the country’s demand for energy storage by 2030. Given Asia’s early dominant position in producing lithium-ion batteries, however, the United States faces a challenging game of catch-up.The DOE’s strategy appeared the same day Congress passed a $900 billion coronavirus economic relief package that contains $1 billion in investments for energy storage research, development and demonstration as well as extended tax incentives for energy storage systems coupled with solar arrays.As part of its overarching ambition to stimulate domestic energy storage manufacturing, initially announced in January, the DOE is betting on the need for long-duration storage to balance electric grids that increasingly rely on variable renewable energy resources. The agency set a goal for the levelized cost of energy from such resources, which it defines as capable of providing more than 10 hours of storage, to plummet to 5 cents/kWh by 2030, an estimated 90% reduction.Levelized premiums for recent solar-plus-storage contracts in the U.S. Southwest, including mostly four-hour lithium-ion battery systems, have ranged from roughly 0.3 to 1.8 cents per kWh, according to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, depending on battery system size. The DOE is also exploring alternative technologies to lithium-ion batteries, including pumped hydroelectric storage, zinc-based batteries, flow batteries and green hydrogen.“Achieving this levelized cost target would facilitate commercial viability for storage across a wide range of uses,” the DOE said. That includes meeting peak demand, preparing the grid for electric-vehicle fast charging, ensuring system reliability, boosting the flexibility of individual systems and facilitating “the transformation of the power system,” the agency said.[Garrett Hering]More ($): U.S. energy storage strategy targets domestic manufacturing boom U.S. Energy Department aims for 90% reduction in long-duration battery storage costs by 2030last_img read more

Should wild horses be removed from Assateague Island and Cumberland Island?

first_imgPost a comment below and you’ll be entered to win a camping setup from Blue Ridge Mountain Sports!last_img

Catch the Wave

first_imgAdam Masters gets a face full of fun riding his bellyak, a body boat for whitewater and flatwater adventure.Body boating is the next big evolution in river adventure.What’s the most memorable and exciting part of whitewater rafting? Falling in. It’s what we tell stories about, what gets photographed, what gets our heart thumping. It’s why spectators set up lawn chairs beside Sweets or Nanny Falls. It’s quite simple: we want to get wet. We secretly—and safely—want to end up in the drink.We may not necessarily want to fall out in a thundering class-V rapid, but there is an instinctive draw to the river—not just floating on top of it in a giant inflatable raft or plastic kayak—but being drenched in it, feeling its power, being a part of it.That instinctive longing for immersion in the river is behind body boating, a new river sport that places you at face level with the fearsome water. Body boating pioneer Adam Masters has designed the bellyak to grow the sport.The bellyak is basically an eight-foot plastic board, indented with a body cavity, that is ridden horizontally, belly-down. The body boater holds on to grips on the front of the board and uses hand paddles to maneuver through the water.“You’re totally one with the water,” says Masters. “It’s like flying through the river.”I had to try it.Last month, I met Masters to body boat some easy rapids on the French Broad River. I strapped on some webbed gloves and hand-paddled out into the current. It was like swimming with a board beneath me. I felt fast, fluid, and free on the river. I could glide and guide with my arms rather than with a clunky paddle.Unlike kayaking, there were no straps or skirts to confine me. There was no fear of being trapped underwater in an upside down kayak. I didn’t have to worry about emptying the water out of my waterlogged canoe. When I flipped on the bellyak, I just climbed back on. Since it’s at water level, it’s easy to get on and off. And unlike riverboarding, my legs and lower torso didn’t get banged to hell.I got a face full of water plunging down class-II ledges, but the bellyak’s hull still floated me over and through the water like a traditional boat and allowed quick direction changes. I could literally reach out and grab an eddy with my arms. I could quickly pull myself behind a rock in the middle of the river or peel out of an eddy along the shore.“Anyone can do this,” Masters explains. “It requires no special skills. It’s a high-reward, low-risk way to explore rivers,” says Masters.Best of all, the bellyak completely changed my perspective of the river. A relatively tame stretch of the French Broad suddenly became an exciting new challenge. Small waves became surf spots; mini-rapids became more riveting, close-up encounters with the water. Surfing a small hole on the French Broad was an in-your-face thrill—without the worry of flipping your boat, losing your paddle, or getting stuck underwater.A wet exit in a kayak or canoe is an ordeal. But on the bellyak, it was part of the fun. I wiped out several times, washed downstream, and hopped back on the board. It took less than ten seconds.At a slim 30 pounds, the bellyak weighs less than most kayaks and is much easier to carry, making for an easy portage back up to the top of the rapids for another run. It’s cheaper than a kayak, too, retailing at $795.Adam Masters has devoted the past five years of his life to the bellyak, chopping up his old kayaks to hone the design of prototypes. Boat innovation is in his blood. His father, Bill Masters, founded Perception Kayaks in 1975 and grew it into one of the most successful companies in the outdoor industry.Designed and hand-built in Asheville, the bellyak is ready to launch a new wave of watersport. Just as stand-up paddleboarding has attracted new enthusiasts to the water, bellyaking provies an intense and intimate river adventure accessible to anyone.Says Masters, “It’s a more simple, pure, and exciting way to experience the river.”For another great August paddling article, check out The Waterman by Chris Gragtmanslast_img read more