Global coal generation expected to drop by a record 3% this year FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享BBC:The fuel that powered the industrial revolution may be in decline at last.This year looks set to see the largest fall in electricity production from coal on record, according to a new report. It is projected to drop by 3% – which is a fall of 300 terawatt hours.The report by three energy experts – published in the online journal Carbon Brief – draws on energy sector data from around the world for the first seven to 10 months of the year.Coal has been the mainstay of electricity generation for over a century and has seen decades of near-uninterrupted growth. Yet this report finds that record reductions in coal use in developed countries, including the U.S., European Union, and South Korea, could signal the beginning of the end of the industry.These reductions in use are not being matched by increases elsewhere. In previous years the reductions in coal generation in the US and EU have been offset by increases elsewhere, particularly China.This year, however, the fall in developed economies is accelerating, while coal generation in India and China is slowing sharplyMore: Coal: Is this the beginning of the end?
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Plans to build a 720MW solar farm and a very big battery of around 400MWh in the New South Wales New England region have cleared another major hurdle, after locking in a grid connection agreement with network provider Transgrid.Developer UPC\AC Renewables Australia said on Thursday that it had signed an agreement with Transgrid for connection to the 330kV transmission line from Tamworth to Armidale in northeast NSW and delivery of connection services over the life of the massive solar and storage project.Early construction works are now set to begin soon on the $768-million project near the town of Uralla, which received the final green light from the state’s Independent Planning Commission in March of this year.“This is an exciting development to finalise the connection agreement for one of the largest solar farms in the national electricity market,” said UPC\AC CEO Anton Rohner in a statement on Thursday. “This was one of the last pieces of the development puzzle and we will now look to commencing construction activities shortly,” he said.The project is expected to create up to 700 full-time jobs during construction – which will be done in two stages and over the course of around three years – and once completed, to generate enough renewable energy to power 250,000 homes.[Sophie Vorrath]More: Huge 720MW solar farm and very big battery approved for connection to NSW grid Massive solar plus battery storage project moves into construction phase in Australia
On the southern shore of Smith Mountain Lake, intertwined by idyllic rivers, and country roads is Franklin County, Va. The relatively secluded area boasts active paddling and cycling scenes among the bounty of Blue Ridge beauty. “We’re known here for the hook and bullet culture,” says Dave Wiseman of the Franklin County Freewheelers. “But we have really well-organized groups for kayaking and biking.”– Paddling Freaks –Franklin County has a big local paddling crew: The Creek Freak Paddlers. The group’s hundred-plus members predominantly paddle on the laid-back, beginner-friendly Blackwater and Pigg Rivers. On the Pigg River try the eight-mile stretch from Waid Park to Vernon Lee Lynch II Riverside Memorial Park. You can paddle the Blackwater 34 miles from Brubaker Park to Smith Mountain Lake.Every May the Pigg River Ramble is a full-weekend paddling festival with races and nighttime floats.– Land of Lakes –Smith Mountain Lake is the popular resort destination, which features 500 miles of shoreline, but the more rugged and remote Philpott Lake is also in Franklin County.– Preserved Path –Grassy Hill Natural Preserve is a popular local hiking spot with a seven-mile loop that’s owned by the Nature Conservancy, who purchased the property to save endangered plant species.– Best Road Ride –The Franklin Freewheelers ride every Thursday night along the area’s hilly country roads. A popular 36-mile loop route starts in Callaway, picks up the Blue Ridge Parkway, and returns via descent of Five-Mile Mountain.– Fat tire options –Mountain bikers ride the mix of singletrack and doubletrack at Waid Park.– Post-Ride Grub –You’ll find cyclists hanging out post-ride at El Rodeo Mexican restaurant in Rocky Mount.
Earlier this year, outdoor enthusiasts like you rallied to help protect Big Ivy, a section of Pisgah National Forest that’s home to some of the most rare species and old-growth forest in the East. Now, you can explore the ancient forests and cascading creeks of Big Ivy that you have helped defend.Big Ivy has more than 3,000 acres of old growth forests and more than 30 rare and endangered species. Its abundant creeks are home to native brook trout, and its celebrated waterfalls are some of the most scenic and dramatic cascades in the South.Hikes include:Douglas Falls (3 miles, little elevation change): Join Scott Dean in a carpool through the Coleman Boundary and on a short hike out to the beautiful Douglas Falls.Big Butt Trail (3.2 miles, 400′ elevation change): Join Lloyd Raleigh on a hike to explore the higher elevations up Stony Fork Road and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Take the Big Butt trail in and out for a 3.2 mile round-trip to Point Misery.Ivy Knob (4-5 miles, 500′ elevation change): Join Edward Schwartzman on a hike up to Ivy Knob via the Forest Service Road and a backcountry trail to Big Ivy.Perkins Road Trail (3 miles, 1000′ elevation change): Join H. David Clark on a hike along Perkins Road Trail, which offers rich cove habitats, old growth forests and many rare plants.Staire Branch (2.5 miles, 1000′ elevation change): Join MountainTrue’s Josh Kelly along the Staire Branch trail, located within a beautiful rich cove..Go here for more details on each trail.
The London Souls draw from yesteryear to create some of today’s freshest rock music.Tash Neal and Chris St. Hilaire – guitarist and drummer, respectively, for NYC duo The London Souls – had audacious plans for their 2011 self-titled debut record. When looking for a place to record, they found the one studio in the world best suited for their vintage rock sound.That studio? Abbey Road, arguable the most famous recording studio in the world and the one forever iconicized by its most famous patrons, The Beatles.The London Souls draw heavily on 60s and 70s psychedelia and arena rock for their raucous sound. Take a listen and you will hear hints of The Who and The Doors, with some Led Zeppelin, Cream, and The Beatles tossed in for good measure.Last month saw the band release their second album, Here Come The Girls, a project that was almost derailed due to injuries received by guitarist Neal after a hit and run accident. Defying all odds, however, Neal was out of the hospital in just one week – not the months that had been predicted by doctors – and The London Souls were soon back out on the road as a lean, mean power duo.I recently chatted with Chris St. Hilaire about recording at Abbey Road, traveling back in time, and what it means to have a London soul.BRO – Your sound is steeped in 60s/70s rock and roll. If you could travel back in time and jam with one band on one song, who would it be?CSH – It’s a trick question. My favorite recordings already have the best drumming on them, so if I were there I’d mess them up. I’d love to have been in the room for John Coltrane’s “Bye Bye Blackbird” or Band of Gypsy’s “Machine Gun,” though, just to take it in.BRO – You recorded your first record at Abbey Road Studios. Inspring? Intimidating? A little of both?CSH – Very inspiring. Not only to be there and take in the history, but to go to work every morning in that place and not feel like a tourist was pretty cool. Also working with Ethan Johns, who is insanely talented, was pretty incredible. We were very blessed with that whole trip. I only wish we there longer.BRO – We are featuring “When I’m With You” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?CSH – We fleshed that one out a few years back in a moldy basement underneath a bar in Williamsburg. Tash already had the lyrics and the changes together, so we spent a lot of time getting the right feel. The tambourine plays a big part in that track, as well as the floor tom, where I got do a a “I dig love” kind of part. Good song. Fun harmonies.BRO – The drums/guitar combo is somewhat uncommon in a touring band. Because there are just two of you, does that add a level of pressure when performing live?CSH – It is very uncommon, but people have done it. At first, I think there was pressure, because playing in bands all our lives with bass players, keyboard players, or multiple guitarists, set up a formula that’s hard to break. But, once we realized how much music was really happening between the two of us, it became pretty clear that it was the right move. It is actually quite natural at this point.BRO – What does it mean to have a London soul?CSH – To love tea, crumpets, roasted tomato, and all proper things of the Empire. God save the Queen.The London Souls spend the rest of May and early June on the West Coast before heading to Europe for shows in Germany, France, Spain, Holland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Upon returning Stateside, the band is set up for a slew of festival dates across the country.For more information on the band, tour dates, and how you can get the new record, slide over to the band’s website.Also, be sure to check out “When I’m With You” on this month’s Trail Mix.
For a horse-racing city, Louisville, Kentucky sure loves bicycles. At the advent of the 20th century, more Louisvillians had turned onto the new sport of cycling than in any other city in the U.S. 50 years later, a stolen bicycle angered one young boy so badly, he became the greatest fighter in the world. The disgruntled bike owner was named Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali). In 2013 Louisville was the first non-European city to host The Cyclocross World Championship. Combine this passion for cycling with hip, rust-belt revivalism, southern hospitality, urban green space, and historical charm, and you’ve got one of the most dynamic cities in America. Louisville is also the epicenter of the Kentucky bourbon craft. 150 varieties of the drink exist amid trendy enclaves of artisan cuisine and indie music. Day 1: Earn your night’s bourbon and cover some ground with a long pedal. Prime up with a hearty breakfast at Wild Eggs, a four-time winner of the Louisville’s Best Breakfast Award. The Farmers Market Skillet, a Wild Eggs Local FavoriteIf it’s singletrack you’re after, Cherokee Park offers 10 miles of moderately challenging trail right downtown. Just south of the city, Fort Duffield Park yields 10 miles of trail, bolstered by jumps, berms, and log crossings. Check out the fort, an earthen Civil War garrison, and surrounding cabins used by Confederate guerrillas. A third mountain biking option takes you 100-feet underground to the Louisville Mega Cavern, a 7-acre, subterranean bike park that was once an abandoned mine. Here you’ll find 45 trails and year-round 60-degree temperatures. A four-hour pass runs $24.Cherokee Park offers 10 miles of moderately challenging trail right downtown.Louisville boasts a famed urban park system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, creator of Central Park and the Biltmore grounds in Asheville, North Carolina. Road bikers have innumerable options, but locals recommend Olmsted’s parkways. Iroquois Park affords excellent panoramas of the skyline. City planners are keen to open a 110-mile loop of paved pathway, dubbed the Louisville Loop. For repairs, gear, and advice, head to Bardstown Road Bicycle Co. Check out their mini-bike museum, where one look at a 19th-century rig quickly confirms: the golden age is now.Afterwards, grab lunch at the Blue Dog Cafe in the quaint Crescent Hill Neighborhood. If you still have energy, take a 20-minute drive to Jefferson Memorial Forest. At 6,500 acres it is the largest municipal forest in the U.S. Hike on 35 miles of trail or channel your inner primate at Go Ape Adventures, where 40 tree-top obstacles test your skills. With non-compliant weather, hit any of Louisville’s three indoor climbing facilities. Louisville nightlife revolves around food, craft cocktails, boutique neighbors, and live music. Hit the East Market District, or “Nulu”, for beer gardens, locally-sourced food trucks, and garage bands. Whiskey hounds should head to Butchertown or Clifton. Watch for nationally-touring bands, festivals, and various other events. Waterfront Park hosts Forecastle for three days every July. Widespread Panic, Modest Mouse, Sam Smith, and hometown-favorite My Morning Jacket headlined in 2015.The Jefferson National Forest is the largest municipal forest in the U.S.Day 2: Louisville owes it existence to the mighty Ohio River, hence the nickname “River City”. The river was a bastion of trade and a cultural divide. Take time to explore this iconic waterway. For a leisurely paddle, put in at the community boathouse or Charlestown State Park, just across the river in neighboring Indiana. Avoid a Huck Finnian mishap and watch for barges. The Ohio remains a commercial shipping route. Beach at Rose Island, 18-Mile Island, or 12-Mile Island, where sand and a rope swing await.When the conditions are right, seasoned whitewater paddlers can score big at the Falls of the Ohio. Like Ottawa, Canada, Louisville is an urban playboating destination. Four class III-IV waves pump within a one-mile stretch at The Falls. Check for releases from November to June. In the summer, style the class II waves on the tamer Lower Falls. Always be mindful of water levels and conditions as the Ohio River can be unfit for human-powered crafts at times. Anglers can head to Floyd’s Fork at Beckley Creek Park where bass, trout, and panfish abound in mellow waters. Kayaks and canoes are available for rent. Some prefer to fly fish the fork. Lights from Downtown Louisville Reflecting off the Mighty Ohio.Before you make your way out of town, stroll Old Louisville. The largest Victorian neighborhood in America leaves you with Louisville’s signature charm. Watch for ghosts, who reportedly haunt many of the mansions. Stay: Central Park B&B: For around $150 a night, book swanky, Victorian digs in the heart of Old Louisville.Louisville Metro KOA: Head north of the Ohio River into Indiana and save money at an urban campground. Air B&B: Numerous options plant you in homes right in the hippest neighborhoods. Eat: Proof on Main – Bison burgers, bourbon, an art gallery, and Levon Wallace the most talked about chef in Louisville.Blue Dog Cafe – A happening community cafe with the best artisan bread around. Jack’s Fry – A fine-dining staple with an old-time Louisville feel. Mayan Cafe – Recipes from the Yucatan made with food grown in Kentucky. El Mundo – $2.50 street tacos, renowned margaritas, colorful atmosphere, and an outdoor patio in Crescent Hill.Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot – Meat smokers, beer, and corn hole makes FABD Louisville’s favorite BBQ joint. Get Outfitted: Quest Outdoors – Three locations, two of which are open seven days a week, brim with gear and local expertise. Parkside Bikes – Two stores, housing the largest inventory in Louisville, have built fix-it stations on the Olmstead Parkways. Bardstown Road Bicycles – A chic store front with gear, repairs, and a mini bike museum.
Yesterday, President Trump signed orders to renegotiate the much-debated Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. These orders do not finalize the projects, but they do indicate that the administration plans to approve them. This is in keeping with Trump’s campaign promise to endorse the building of these pipelines.Last year, President Obama rejected the Keystone pipeline to demonstrate the United States’ stand on climate change. Later in November, Obama made a similar decision on the Dakota pipeline, stating that further research had to be done on the environmental impacts of the pipeline.In a statement given during the signing of the executive order, President Trump said the building of the pipe would bring jobs to Americans.“We’re going to put a lot of … steel workers back to work,” Trump said. “We’ll build our own pipelines, we will build our own pipes.”Read more here.
Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) today announced its sponsorship of REI Outessa, three immersive, three-day outdoor adventures designed to connect women with the outdoors in a supportive learning environment. Now in its second year, these women’s getaways are filled with activities and inspiration, offer access to coveted gear and products, serve up great food and wine, and create the environment for making new friends and lasting memories. Registration is now open at Outessa.Through the partnership, Eagles Nest Outfitters will create a hammock lounge and encourage participants to relax and take time to reflect on the weekends events. This relaxing hammock hangout will bring participants together and reinforce the connection to the event and their natural surroundings.“Our ENOpod Hammock Stands are made to hold three hammocks and encourage a sense of community among participants,” said Lane Nakaji, General Manager of ENO. “When you are relaxing in a hammock surrounded by nature it is easy to form new friendships while sharing in the experience and inspiration that has been gathered from the day’s activities. We are excited to be a part of the second year of Outessa and to continue to watch the event series grow.”“Last year, REI Outessa was a transformational experience for hundreds of women. We are excited that ENO has signed on to provide a relaxing hammock lounge for participants. ENO will also educate participants on the ease and benefits of hammock camping. Together with ENO and other partners, we will help women tap into an emotional and profound connection to nature in her journey to live a life outside,” said Sally Johnson, the events manager for REI who helped create the Outessa series.More than 20 of REI Outdoor School’s top female instructors will partner with leading outdoor brands to host a full range of adventures, including hiking, trail running, mountain biking, rock climbing, trail photography, paddle boarding, kayaking, climbing, yoga, backpacking, wilderness survival training, outdoor cooking and more.2017 REI Outessa events will be held at three breathtaking mountain playgrounds. Destinations were chosen for their inspirational alpine environments, sweeping views, pristine lake, and adventure-ready terrain with miles of trails for running, hiking and mountain biking. Each offer resort hospitality and proximity to major airports, making travel is easy for participants. The dates and locations are:July 14-16: Kirkwood Mountain Resort in Kirkwood, California near South Lake TahoeAugust 18-20: Mt. Hood Skibowl in Government Camp, Oregon and 12 miles from the Mt. Hood National ForestSeptember 22-24: Waterville Valley Resort in Waterville, New Hampshire in the White Mountain National ForestRegistration is $799 per person, which includes classes led by REI’s professional guides, use of on-site gear, chef-prepared meals, wine and beer, evening entertainment, inspirational speakers, and a goodie bag packed with products and gear. Attendees will customize their weekend from start to finish. They will choose accommodations from three options and their daily schedules will be designed from more than 200 activities based on personal interests, outdoor goals and skill levels.To learn more about the retreats and locations of the epic weekends, visit Outessa.
The Appalachian Mountains often get overlooked when people think about epic, hardcore adventures. In fact, the old, eroded Appalachians are so scrunched up with ripples and wrinkles that these micro features create some of the gnarliest, steepest trails and most technical, bullet-hard rock faces in the nation.Southwest Virginia, like the much of the Appalachian range, contains a lifetime’s worth of extremely tough outdoor adventures that are on par or surpass anything out west. Below you will find seven of the toughest challenges found in Southwest Virginia.After you push yourself to the limit, head back to Abingdon, Virginia for some well-deserved play time. This artsy little town of 8,000 boasts great restaurants, live music, a brewery, and a variety of overnight options, from rustic cabins to the 4-star Martha Washington Inn & Spa. 1. Summiting Mount RogersStanding at 5,729 feet, Mount Rogers is the highest peak in Virginia and the fourth highest peak east of the Mississippi. Hikers follow the Rhododendron Trail and Appalachian Trail, passing through windswept plains with hearty alpine-esque shrubbery and large exposed rock formations, wild ponies, and possible erratic weather.2. Sport Climbing at Hidden Valley LakeHidden Valley is a sandstone crag located just north of Abingdon, Virginia. Although Hidden Valley has a storied past going back more than 30 years, it only recently was officially opened to the public. Expect about 200 established single-pitch routes that are mostly clip-ups, but there are a handful of high-quality trad lines as well. 5. Running the Entire Virginia Creeper TrailThe Virginia Creeper Trail is best known as a beginner-friendly rail trail popular with cyclists. However, for hardcore runners out there looking to rack up some serious miles, the 34-mile trail is the perfect challenge6. Rack Up a 100-Point Day Bouldering in Grayson Highlands State Park!Grayson Highlands State Park, located within the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, has a lifetime’s worth of established bouldering routes. In fact, there are more than a thousand problems there. No matter how you slice it, this power-endurance day is not an easy task. 3. Trail Running the Seven Sister TrailThe Seven Sisters Trail, located on Little Walker Mountain, is a hidden gem that packs a huge punch in a relatively short distance. The 4.8-mile ridge trail is aptly named for its seven peaks that it covers. Trail runners looking for a hard hill workout with a heavy dose of backcountry adventure should tackle the Seven Sisters Trail loop. 4. Mountain Biking the Iron Mountain 100kThe Iron Mountain 100k is organized by Shenandoah Mountain Touring, which also hosts the Shenandoah 100, one of the most popular ultra-distance mountain bike races in the nation. The Iron Mountain 100k, although not as big as the Shenandoah 100, is one of the best mountain bike races on the East Coast. 7. Backpacking 20-miles through Grayson Highlands State Park!Grayson Highlands State Park will have you hiking through rhododendron tunnels, traversing windswept plains with wild ponies, crossing rocky creeks, and climbing high-elevation knobs. Plan for crazy weather swings and expect cold temperatures at night even in the summer.
Conservationists in upstate South Carolina have secured the purchase of a 955-acre tract of land adjacent to the 40,000-acre state-designated Mountain Bridge Wilderness area.The property, an undeveloped tract known as Gap Creek, is situated along Highway 25 between Jones Gap and Caesars Head state parks. It was purchased for $3.7 million by a group of local benefactors and will now be sold to the Nature Conservancy which will ultimately transfer the land to the South Carolina State Park system.Photo provided by the Nature ConservancyThe land is directly connected to Jones Gap and should be officially added to the popular state park sometime in 2018. The addition will increase the parks capacity to accommodate visitors and augment its overall size by approximately 25 percent.“Gap Creek is a dual gift for Upstate residents and visitors,” South Carolina state park director Phil Gaines told the Greenville News. “Its 955 acres include flat land that is ideal for more parking, facilities, trail heads and other visitor amenities. This property can help the park service meet its vision for expanding visitor service and making this wilderness area accessible to more South Carolinians.”The Mountain Bridge Wilderness AreaThe acquisition of Gap Creek will add to an already impressive swath of state-managed land known as the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area. This 40,000-acre wilderness preserve stretches across South Carolina’s portion of the Blue Ridge Escarpment, forming a “bridge” between the Table Rock Reservoir and the Poinsett Reservoir— both protected watersheds for the city of Greenville. Both Jones Gap and Caesars Head State Park are situated within the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area.