China Sees 1.8 Million Coal Layoffs Ahead

Posted On Dec 31 2020 by

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Kevin Yao and Meng Meng for Reuters:China said on Monday it expects to lay off 1.8 million workers in the coal and steel industries, or about 15 percent of the workforce, as part of efforts to reduce industrial overcapacity, but no timeframe was given.It was the first time China has given figures that underline the magnitude of its task in dealing with slowing growth and bloated state enterprises.Yin Weimin, the minister for human resources and social security, told a news conference that 1.3 million workers in the coal sector could lose jobs, plus 500,000 from the steel sector.China’s coal and steel sectors employ about 12 million workers, according to data published by the National Bureau of Statistics.“This involves the resettlement of a total of 1.8 million workers. This task will be very difficult, but we are still very confident,” Yin said.For China’s stability-obsessed government, keeping a lid on unemployment and any possible unrest that may follow has been a top priority.The central government will allocate 100 billion yuan ($15.27 billion) over two years to relocate workers laid off as a result of China’s efforts to curb overcapacity, officials said last week.China’s vice finance minister Zhu Guangyao quoted Premier Li Keqiang as telling U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Monday that the fund would mainly focus on the steel and coal sectors.The number of layoffs was reasonable based on the government’s capacity closure targets, said Jiang Feitao, an industry researcher with the China Academy of Social Sciences, a top government think-tank.He said the funds being made available would be used only after the enterprises go bankrupt and settle their debts. He said local governments would also be responsible for dealing with those debts.Full article: China expects to lay off 1.8 million workers in coal, steel sectors China Sees 1.8 Million Coal Layoffs Aheadlast_img read more


Ameren Missouri Kicks Off ‘Renewable Choice’ Customer Initiative

Posted On Dec 31 2020 by

first_imgAmeren Missouri Kicks Off ‘Renewable Choice’ Customer Initiative FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享St. Louis Public Radio:In a couple of years, Missouri cities and corporations could be receiving more electricity from wind power as Ameren Missouri ramps up its wind power facilities. The utility filed a proposal with the Missouri Public Service Commission on Monday to give its largest customers the opportunity to participate the Renewable Choice Program, which would supply them with electricity from wind power. Ameren Missouri generates 100 megawatts of its electricity supply from wind, but in September, it announced plans to add 700 more megawatts of wind to its portfolio — which is roughly equivalent to serving 200,000 homes. If plans are approved by state regulators, Ameren hopes to make the program available and have new wind power facilities online by 2020. “Our customers are looking for choice to meet their sustainability goals. They can procure renewable energy through Ameren as opposed to trying to acquire it themselves,” said Ajay Arora, Ameren Missouri’s vice president of environmental services and generation resource planning. The company also announced in September that it aims to cut its 2005 emission levels by 80 percent by the year 2050.  Arora said the utility is focusing primarily on wind because of rising customer demand for renewable energy and increasing affordability of wind power. “Wind technology has improved pretty rapidly and has become highly efficient,” Arora said. “So that’s really reduced prices for wind energy when combined with federal incentives for the technology.” The state of Missouri also requires all major utilities to generate 15 percent of its energy portfolio from renewable sources by 2021; Ameren Missouri is currently at 5 percent.More: More wind energy on the horizon for Ameren Missouri’s corporate and municipal customerslast_img read more


Indiana utility to close all coal plants by 2028

Posted On Dec 31 2020 by

first_imgIndiana utility to close all coal plants by 2028 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Northwest Indiana Times:NIPSCO has a tentative plan to retire its entire coal-fired electricity generation fleet in the next decade, with the majority of its coal-fired generators to be retired in the next five years. The company made the announcement Wednesday at the fourth of five public meetings detailing the development of a new Integrated Resource Plan for the utility.Renewable sources of energy, including wind and solar, along with battery storage, will likely replace its use of coal, according to the company.NIPSCO retired the two coal-fired generators at its Bailly Generating Station along Lake Michigan earlier this year, as part of a plan to reduce its coal-fired generation by half by 2023. That left five still in use.Four coal-fired units at the R.M. Schahfer Generating Station in Wheatfield will be retired no later than 2023, and the one unit at the Michigan City Generating Station by 2028, if the plan is carried out. The Schahfer plant also has gas-fired “peaking units” that ensure a consistent flow of electricity during peak times. The move to retire its 1,800 megawatts of coal-fired generation “will significantly accelerate carbon reductions across the NIPSCO footprint,” the company said in announcing the plan. The reduction will be quicker and of greater magnitude than previously announced targets, which had only included retirement of two of the four Schahfer generators in addition to the Bailly retirement.[NIPSCO President Violet] Sistovaris said advancements in technology and changes in the energy market are the primary drivers of the change in plans. “Retiring our aging coal fleet sooner will cost substantially less compared to our original plans for extending retirements over a longer duration,” she said.More: NIPSCO plan would eliminate coal-fired electricity generation within 10 yearslast_img read more


More troubles for Powder River Basin’s Cloud Peak Energy

Posted On Dec 31 2020 by

first_imgMore troubles for Powder River Basin’s Cloud Peak Energy FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Cloud Peak Energy Inc. will be removed from the S&P SmallCap 600 prior to the opening of trading on Jan. 3.The pure-play Powder River Basin coal mining company is ranked near the bottom of the S&P Dow Jones Indices’ index and is no longer representative of the small-cap marketplace, S&P Global Inc. said in a news release Dec. 20. Cloud Peak’s stock price has been sliding throughout the year, closing at just 48 cents per share on Dec. 20.In mid-November, the company announced it had engaged a financial adviser and legal counsel to commence a review of strategic alternatives, including a potential sale of the company. Cloud Peak is one of the few large, publicly held U.S. coal companies to avoid a bankruptcy reorganization in recent years, but has been challenged by low prices for the domestic thermal coal it mines and operational challenges at its operations.More ($): Cloud Peak to be removed from S&P SmallCap 600 as coal company’s stock flounderslast_img read more


Sale of Blackjewel’s Wyoming mines in serious trouble

Posted On Dec 31 2020 by

first_imgSale of Blackjewel’s Wyoming mines in serious trouble FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Casper Star Tribune:Bankrupt coal operator Blackjewel called the sale of its two idling Wyoming coal mines “dead,” according to a statement made by a key creditor in court documents Tuesday.The announcement casts another layer of doubt over the chance Campbell County’s Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr coal mines — the nation’s fourth and sixth largest by production — will reopen in the foreseeable future.Blackjewel filed a motion Thursday to separate the sale of its two Wyoming coal mines to coal company Contura Energy from the sale of its Pax Surface Mine in West Virginia to the same company. But in response to the motion, Riverstone Credit Partners, a senior creditor owed millions of dollars, said the company’s motion to revise the sale terms violated the original settlement reached with lenders.Although a federal bankruptcy judge approved the sale of three Blackjewel mines to Contura on Aug. 7, the deal has not been finalized. The sale hinges on the final approval of the federal government, after it objected to outstanding royalties and leasing terms of the Wyoming mines.What’s more, the sale may be held up over “Contura’s insistence on shortening the existing mine plans at the western mines,” Tuesday’s court document’s revealed.More: Blackjewel says sale of Wyoming mines is ‘dead,’ according to creditorlast_img read more


First large-scale wind farm in West Africa begins producing power

Posted On Dec 31 2020 by

first_imgFirst large-scale wind farm in West Africa begins producing power FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Recharge:Power is flowing from West Africa’s first large-scale wind farm in a new milestone for the sector’s growth on the continent, said the project’s developer.The first turbines from the 159MW Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye were connected to Senegal’s national grid on Thursday, said a statement from Lekela.The developer, part-owned by global clean energy group Mainstream Renewable Power, has spent 10 months building the wind farm using 46, 3.45MW Vestas turbines, all of which are due to be in place by year’s end.Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye will deliver 450GWh annually to the Senegalese grid, boosting its capacity by 15%.The Senegal project marks another step forward for wind power in Africa, where large-scale development has so far mostly been confined to big North African markets such as Morocco, and at the other end of the continent in South Africa.In East Africa, the standout development so far has been the 310MW Lake Turkana project. [Andrew Lee]More: West Africa’s first wind power flowing to grid in new milestonelast_img read more


Southern California Edison contracts 770MW of battery storage to replace gas plants

Posted On Dec 31 2020 by

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Southern California Edison (SCE) has signed seven contracts for a combined 770 megawatts of battery energy storage projects, one of the biggest single procurements of its kind. The utility also wants to turn them on by August 2021, which would be a record-fast turnaround for projects of that magnitude.The seven projects, which still need approval from the California Public Utilities Commission, will help meet a fall CPUC order for 3.3 gigawatts of carbon-free resources to help meet the state’s grid reliability needs. Half of that solicitation is due online by August 2021, and SCE must deliver the largest share among the state’s utilities and community choice aggregators.Most of the winning projects will be co-located with existing solar farms that will charge the batteries, making them useful for integrating and smoothing the intermittency of the state’s growing share of renewable generation, as well as providing resource adequacy for times of peak demand in the late afternoons and evenings. That’s needed to replace grid capacity provided by four natural gas-fired power plants on the Southern California coast that use seawater for cooling, and have been ordered to close as soon as possible to reduce their environmental impact.SCE’s single 770-megawatt procurement “tops the entire 2019 US storage market by more than 200 megawatts,” said Daniel Finn-Foley, head of energy storage for Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. The consultancy expects the U.S. storage market to grow by more than 7 times from 2019 to 2021.“The storage market is approaching a deployment acceleration over the next two years that will be unprecedented in recent U.S. electricity history,” Finn-Foley said.NextEra Energy Resources will build three of the SCE projects, which are also the largest of the seven selected by the utility. Those include a 230 megawatt/920 megawatt-hours project connected to NextEra’s 250-megawatt McCoy solar farm, and two projects of 115 megawatts/460 megawatt-hours apiece adjacent to NextEra’s two Blythe Solar Energy Center solar farms. All are located in Riverside County.[Jeff St. John]More: Southern California Edison contracts mammoth 770MW energy storage portfolio to replace California gas plants Southern California Edison contracts 770MW of battery storage to replace gas plantslast_img read more


Philippine bank RCBC to stop lending for new coal-fired power projects

Posted On Dec 31 2020 by

first_imgPhilippine bank RCBC to stop lending for new coal-fired power projects FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Manila Bulletin:Yuchengco-led Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) has forthrightly declared that it will no longer extend financing to new coal-fired power projects in the Philippines.That came as a daring statement from RCBC President and CEO Eugene S. Acevedo, the first bank chief executive to do so following last month’s coal moratorium declaration by the Department of Energy. “No more coal, no more coal. I’ll say that slowly — NO MORE COAL,” he told reporters who were attending the Yuchengco Groups’ Future-Proofing 2021 virtual forum.Acevedo made it clear to the journalists that the bank will be taking a milestone change and shift on its energy project funding – that the leaning moving forward will be largely on renewables and gas-fired power facilities.“The good news is, many of those who used to be coal are migrating to renewables,” the RCBC chief executive said, noting that while there might not be a set percentage on their energy loan portfolios now, the sure thing is they will just bankroll clean energy projects in the foreseeable future.“I’m going to say that moving forward, all our loans for energy projects will be non-coal, it will be 100 percent non-coal… but it’s very difficult for the country to subsist on purely renewables, so we’ll have a mix,” he said.Acevedo further opined that “to create a robust energy grid, there has to be a combination of renewables plus a few power plants that are rapidly ratcheted up — and those plants are usually gas-fired. So, we might have a combination of gas and a lot of renewables moving forward.”[Myrna M. Velasco]More: RCBC to stop funding coal power projectslast_img read more