NewEnergyNews: TODAY’S STUDY: THE WIND BUSINESS THIS YEAR

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The challenge: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • THE STUDY: THE BENEFITS OF PUMPED HYDRO STORAGE CALCULATED
  • QUICK NEWS, Sept. 16: THE ENERGY TRANSITION TAKES SHAPE; A LABOR-ENVIRO CALL FOR NEW ENERGY, NEW WIRES; ADVANCES IN WATER POWER
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • THE STUDY: RENEWABLES IN THE COMING ARAB WORLD
  • QUICK NEWS, Sept. 15: SOLAR SUCCEEDING ON PRICE; EVEN MORE WIND THAT HONDA EXPECTED; THE HUGE UNRECOGNIZED BENEFITS OF EFFICIENCY
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    THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • Weekend Video: Climate Change For The Birds
  • Weekend Video: The Evidence Mounts
  • Weekend Video: Colbert On Birds And Climate Change
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-NOW CO2 TOO HIGH FOR PLANTS AND OCEANS TO ABSORB
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-NEW ENERGY IS THE WORLD’S BEST OPTION
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-SWEDEN WINNING SCANDINAVIAN WIND RACE
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-INDIA DISPLAYS SOLAR'S VERSATILITY
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, Sept. 11:

  • TTTA Thursday-GETTING GREEN BY MIXING RED AND BLUE
  • TTTA Thursday-PRICEWATERHOUSE COOPERS’ CLIMATE CHANGE NUMBERS
  • TTTA Thursday-THE RACE FOR EV DOMINANCE
  • TTTA Thursday-THE BIG FUTURE FOR ZERO ENERGY BUILDINGS
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • THE STUDY: THE 2013 U.S. DISTRIBUTED WIND MARKET
  • QUICK NEWS, Sept. 10: A WAY TO INVEST IN WIND ENERGY; SOLAR POWER TOWERS GET SAFER; TEST COMING FOR GIANT TURBINE BLADE
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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, is a biweekly contributor to NewEnergyNews

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT)

    November 26, 2013 (Huffington Post via NewEnergyNews)

    Everywhere we turn, environmental news is filled with horrid developments and glimpses of irreversible tipping points.

    Just a handful of examples are breathtaking: Scientists have dared to pinpoint the years at which locations around the world may reach runaway heat, and in the northern hemisphere it's well in sight for our children: 2047. Survivors of Superstorm Sandy are packing up as costs of repair and insurance go out of reach, one threat that climate science has long predicted. Or we could simply talk about the plight of bees and the potential impact on food supplies. Surprising no one who explores the Pacific Ocean, sailor Ivan MacFadyen described long a journey dubbed The Ocean is Broken, in which he saw vast expanses of trash and almost no wildlife save for a whale struggling a with giant tumor on its head, evoking the tons of radioactive water coming daily from Fukushima's lamed nuclear power center. Rampaging fishing methods and ocean acidification are now reported as causing the overpopulation of jellyfish that have jammed the intakes of nuclear plants around the world. Yet the shutting down of nuclear plants is a trifling setback compared with the doom that can result in coming days at Fukushima in the delicate job to extract bent and spent fuel rods from a ruined storage tank, a project dubbed "radioactive pick up sticks."

    With all these horrors to ponder you wouldn't expect to hear that you should also worry about the United States running out of coal. But you would be wrong, says Leslie Glustrom, founder and research director for Clean Energy Action. Her contention is that we've passed the peak in our nation's legendary supply of coal that powers over one-third of our grid capacity. This grim news is faithfully spelled out in three reports, with the complete story told in Warning: Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves (pdf). (Disclosure: I serve on CEA's board and have known the author for years.)

    Glustrom's research presents a sea change in how we should understand our energy challenges, or experience grim consequences. It's not only about toxic and heat-trapping emissions anymore; it's also about having enough energy generation to run big cities and regions that now rely on coal. Glustrom worries openly about how commerce will go on in many regions in 2025 if they don't plan their energy futures right.

    2013-11-05-FigureES4_FULL.jpgclick to enlarge

    Scrutinizing data for prices on delivered coal nationwide, Glustrom's new report establishes that coal's price has risen nearly 8 percent annually for eight years, roughly doubling, due mostly to thinner, deeper coal seams plus costlier diesel transport expenses. Higher coal prices in a time of "cheap" natural gas and affordable renewables means coal companies are lamed by low or no profits, as they hold debt levels that dwarf their market value and carry very high interest rates.

    2013-11-05-Table_ES2_FULL.jpgclick to enlarge

    2013-11-05-Figure_ES2_FULL.jpg

    One leading coal company, Patriot, filed for bankruptcy last year; many others are also struggling under bankruptcy watch and not eager to upgrade equipment for the tougher mining ahead. Add to this the bizarre event this fall of a coal lease failing to sell in Wyoming's Powder River Basin, the "Fort Knox" of the nation's coal supply, with some pundits agreeing this portends a tightening of the nation's coal supply, not to mention the array of researchers cited in the report. Indeed, at the mid point of 2013, only 488 millions tons of coal were produced in the U.S.; unless a major catch up happens by year-end, 2013 may be as low in production as 1993.

    Coal may exist in large quantities geologically, but economically, it's getting out of reach, as confirmed by US Geological Survey in studies indicating that less than 20 percent of US coal formations are economically recoverable, as explored in the CEA report. To Glustrom, that number plus others translate to 10 to 20 years more of burning coal in the US. It takes capital, accessible coal with good heat content and favorable market conditions to assure that mining companies will stay in business. She has observed a classic disconnect between camps of professionals in which geologists tend to assume money is "infinite" and financial analysts tend to assume that available coal is "infinite." Both biases are faulty and together they court disaster, and "it is only by combining thoughtful estimates of available coal and available money that our country can come to a realistic estimate of the amount of US coal that can be mined at a profit." This brings us back to her main and rather simple point: "If the companies cannot make a profit by mining coal they won't be mining for long."

    No one is more emphatic than Glustrom herself that she cannot predict the future, but she presents trend lines that are robust and confirmed assertively by the editorial board at West Virginia Gazette:

    Although Clean Energy Action is a "green" nonprofit opposed to fossil fuels, this study contains many hard economic facts. As we've said before, West Virginia's leaders should lower their protests about pollution controls, and instead launch intelligent planning for the profound shift that is occurring in the Mountain State's economy.

    The report "Warning, Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves" and its companion reports belong in the hands of energy and climate policy makers, investors, bankers, and rate payer watchdog groups, so that states can plan for, rather than react to, a future with sea change risk factors.

    [Clean Energy Action is fundraising to support the dissemination of this report through December 11. Contribute here.]

    It bears mentioning that even China is enacting a "peak coal" mentality, with Shanghai declaring that it will completely ban coal burning in 2017 with intent to close down hundreds of coal burning boilers and industrial furnaces, or shifting them to clean energy by 2015. And Citi Research, in "The Unimaginable: Peak Coal in China," took a look at all forms of energy production in China and figured that demand for coal will flatten or peak by 2020 and those "coal exporting countries that have been counting on strong future coal demand could be most at risk." Include US coal producers in that group of exporters.

    Our world is undergoing many sorts of change and upheaval. We in the industrialized world have spent about a century dismissing ocean trash, overfishing, pesticides, nuclear hazard, and oil and coal burning with a shrug of, "Hey it's fine, nature can manage it." Now we're surrounded by impacts of industrial-grade consumption, including depletion of critical resources and tipping points of many kinds. It is not enough to think of only ourselves and plan for strictly our own survival or convenience. The threat to animals everywhere, indeed to whole systems of the living, is the grief-filled backdrop of our times. It's "all hands on deck" at this point of human voyaging, and in our nation's capital, we certainly don't have that. Towns, states and regions need to plan fiercely and follow through. And a fine example is Boulder Colorado's recent victory to keep on track for clean energy by separating from its electric utility that makes 59 percent of its power from coal.

    Clean Energy Action is disseminating "Warning: Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves" for free to all manner of relevant professionals who should be concerned about long range trends which now include the supply risks of coal, and is supporting that outreach through a fundraising campaign.

    [Clean Energy Action is fundraising to support the dissemination of this report through December 11. Contribute here.]

    Author's note: Want to support my work? Please "fan" me at Huffpost Denver, here (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anne-butterfield). Thanks.

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    Anne's previous NewEnergyNews columns:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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    Your intrepid reporter

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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  • Monday, August 20, 2012

    TODAY’S STUDY: THE WIND BUSINESS THIS YEAR

    Wind Funding and M&A, Q2 2012 Report; Funding and merger & acquisition activity for the wind sector

    July 2012 (Mercom Capital Group)

    Introduction

    Venture Capital (VC) funding in the second quarter of 2012 amounted to just $17 million in three deals compared to a strong first quarter where $240 million went into 12 deals.

    VC deals this quarter included $9.8 million raised by ReGen Powertech and $7.5 million raised by Southwest Windpower, both manufacturers of wind turbines.

    Announced large-scale project funding in Q2 2012 totaled $5.4 billion in 23 deals. Of that, $4 billion went to onshore projects and $1.4 billion went to offshore projects.

    The top announced large-scale project funding deal this quarter was the $741 million raised by Colruyt for its 216 MW Northwind offshore wind farm, followed by $662 million raised by Lincs Wind Farm Limited for its 270 MW offshore wind farm, and $650 million raised by Terra-Gen Power for its 300 MW Alta Wind VII & IX wind projects. Other top project funding deals included $444 million raised by Invenergy for its 200 MW California Ridge Wind Energy Project, and $379 million raised by Iberdrola and Neoenergia for 10 wind farms totaling 288 MW.

    Large-scale project funding investors with multiple deals this quarter included BNDES, KfW IPEXBank,Union Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, BayernLB, EBRD, Lloyds, Rabobank and Santander.

    Corporate Merger and Acquisition (M&A) activity in Q2 2012 amounted to $93 million in five transactions compared to $872 million in 11 transactions in Q1 2012. Disclosed M&A transactions this quarter were the $60 million acquisition of Suzlon (Suzlon Energy Tianjin Limited), a wind turbine manufacturer, by China Power New Energy Development Co. and the $33 million acquisition of Tellhow Wind Power, a wind blade manufacturer, by Simomatech.

    There were 17 project M&As announced in Q2 2012 amounting to $705 million in six disclosed transactions. Top project M&A transactions were the $301 million acquisition of Agaoglu Group’s two wind farms (126 MW) by Dogan Sirketler Grubu Holding (~$2.39/W), and the $174 million acquisition of AGL Energy’s Hallett 5 wind farm (52.5 MW) by Eurus Energy (~$3.31/W). Other top transactions included the $85.5 million acquisition of a 49 percent stake in each of four AES Corporation wind farms (120 MW) by Sembcorp (~$1.45/W), the $62 million acquisition of the Dobrich wind farm (40 MW) by LUKERG Bulgaria, and the $42 million acquisition of AES Southern Europe Holdings’ St. Patrick wind farm and three InnoVent projects by Boralex (90.5 MW).

    In Q2 2012, VC funding in the wind sector totaled $17 million in three deals compared to $240 million in 12 deals in Q1 2012, and $64 million in three deals in Q2 2011.

    Announced large-scale project funding in Q2 2012 amounted to $5.4 billion in 23 deals.

    Large-scale onshore wind projects received $4 billion in 21 deals, compared to $1.4 billion in two deals for offshore wind.

    Top large-scale project funding deals announced in the second quarter included $741 million raised by Colruyt for its 216 MW Northwind offshore wind farm, $662 million in project funding raised by Lincs Wind Farm Limited for its 270 MW offshore wind farm, and $650 million in construction debt raised by Terra-Gen Power for its 300 MW Alta Wind VII & IX wind projects.

    Other top deals were $444 million in debt raised by Invenergy for its 200 MW California Ridge Wind Energy Project, and a $379 million loan received by Iberdrola and Neoenergia for 10 wind farms with a total capacity of 288 MW.

    Most of the large-scale project deals announced in Q2 2012 were in the United States.

    The top large-scale project investor position was shared by BNDES (Brazilian Development Bank), KfW IPEX-Bank and Union Bank, with three deals each, followed by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, BayernLB, EBRD, Lloyds, Rabobank and Santander, funding two deals each.

    Debt Funding

    Debt deals in Q2 2012 amounted to $26 million in two deals compared to $6.5 billion in six deals in Q1 2012.

    There were two other types of funding deals totaling $13 million in Q2 2012, compared to $109 million in five deals in Q1 2012.

    Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)

    M&A activity in Q2 2012 amounted to $93 million in five transactions compared to $872 million in 11 transactions in Q1 2012.

    Of $93 million in M&A activity in Q2 2012, manufacturing companies accounted for $60 million in one transaction, followed by component companies with $33 million in two transactions.

    M&A activity saw a steep downward trend in the wind sector in Q2 2012 with $93 million in five transactions. Only two transactions disclosed details.

    The top M&A transactions were the $60 million acquisition of Suzlon (Suzlon Energy Tianjin Limited), a wind turbine manufacturer, by China Power New Energy Development Co. and the $33 million acquisition of Tellhow Wind Power, a wind blade manufacturer, by Simomatech.

    There were 17 project M&As announced in Q2 2012 amounting to $705 million in six disclosed transactions.

    Top project M&A transactions in Q2 were the $301 million acquisition of Agaoglu Group’s two wind farms (126 MW) by Dogan Sirketler Grubu Holding, and the $174 million acquisition of AGL Energy’s Hallett 5 wind farm (52.5 MW) by Eurus Energy.

    Other top transactions included the $85.5 million acquisition of a 49 percent stake in each of four AES Corporation wind farms (120 MW) by Sembcorp, the $62 million acquisition of the Dobrich wind farm (40 MW) by LUKERG Bulgaria, and the $42 million acquisition of AES Southern Europe Holdings’ St. Patrick wind farm, and three InnoVent projects by Boralex (90.5 MW).

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