Peabody Shares Fall Further on Weak Report

first_imgPeabody Shares Fall Further on Weak Report FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Ben Levisohn for Barron’s:We should have known something was up when coal miners like Peabody Energy (BTU), Cloud Peak Energy (CLD), and Consol Energy (CNX) (which, to be fair, is desperately trying to shed its coal past) got little, if any boost, from the Supreme Court’s decision to block the EPA’s rules for coal-fired utilities. Well, now shares of Peabody Energy have lost a quarter of their value after the beaten-down coal miner’s earnings missed analyst forecasts.Citigroup’s Brian Yu and Jessica Idiculla have the details:Peabody posted adjusted EBITDA of $53 mln ($67.3 mln ex a charge for assigning extra Australia port capacity), below consensus of $115 mln. Relative to our estimate of $87 mln, the EBITDA miss was driven by lower US profits ($216 mln vs our $236 mln estimate) and Trading operations (-$3.4 mln loss vs our $5 mln profit estimate). Australia results came in better at a $23.7mln profit vs our $14 mln estimate. The company recorded $377 mln of impairment charges in 4Q…Peabody is projecting 184-196 mln of coal shipments in 2016, lower than our 204 mln ton outlook due to the US. US average pricing is estimated at $19.65-$19.95/ton (lower than our $20.09 est) and costs at $14.70-$15.00/ton (in line with our $14.82 est). In Australia, costs could be $45-48/ton, higher than our initial outlook of $42.93/ton. By YE16, the high-cost Burton mine will be placed on care & maintenance. The company also assigned excess Australia port capacity to another producer, saving $60 mln of infrastructure costs through 2020, and amended contracts to reduce US transportation costs. SG&A, DD&A and capex all came in below our estimates. 1Q adjusted EBITDA will be impacted by lower seaborne coal pricing, longwall moves at Wambo & Twentymile and lower volume…2016 will be challenging for Peabody as low natural gas prices and weak electricity demand to date are pressuring shipments and pricing. Liquidity totaled $903 mln including $779 mln of cash at 2/9. Peabody continues to work in optimizing its asset portfolio and is focused on deleveraging & maintaining liquidity.Shares of Peabody Energy have plunged 25% to $2.53 at 10:37 a.m. today, while Cloud Peak Energy has tumbled 8.3% to $1.38, and Consol Energy has dropped 5.4% to $6.82.Peabody Energy Plunges on Earnings Miss, ‘Challenging’ 2016last_img read more

Coal-Plant Retirements in New England Have ‘Opened the Door’ for Alternatives

first_imgCoal-Plant Retirements in New England Have ‘Opened the Door’ for Alternatives FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Peter Marrin for SNL:The retirement of coal and nuclear generation in New England has opened the door for more natural gas-fired and renewable generation.Regional capacity auctions have successfully replaced EquiPower Resources Corp.’s Brayton Point 1-3 coal-fired units and Brayton Point 4 oil-fired unit, as well as Entergy Corp.’s Pilgrim nuclear station, both in eastern Massachusetts. Brayton Point, which is ultimately owned by Dynegy Inc., is slated to shut in June 2017, and Pilgrim is expected to shutter operations in June 2019.More than 1,500 MW of capacity will be lost due to the Brayton Point retirement and nearly 700 MW of capacity will be lost by the impending shutdown of the Pilgrim plant. Together these two plants represent 8% of ISO New England Inc.’s total reserves.However, a total of approximately 3,500 MW of new gas-fired generation will replace, and in fact outpace, the retirement losses. New capacity will include 675 MW in service by the 2017 reliability year, 985 MW in service for the 2018 reliability year and 1,800 MW in service for reliability year 2019. The reliability year begins June 1 and runs through the end of May.Relatively ambitious RPS standards support continued renewables development, which is expected to contribute 1,300 GWh by 2018, including 235 GWh in the region covering southeast Massachusetts and Rhode Island.While natural gas generation will fill in for the loss of the Pilgrim nuclear plant and could hold almost 60% of New England’s power-generating market share by 2020, Piper sees renewables capturing all incremental generation growth thereafter. By 2025, gas-fired generation is expected to step back to 56% of New England’s total while combined wind and solar resources see their market share rise from 4% in 2017 to 7% in 2020 and 10% by 2025.Full article ($): New England power market facing challenges as gas, renewables vie for market sharelast_img read more

India and China ‘Now Setting the Pace for Solar Development’

first_imgIndia and China ‘Now Setting the Pace for Solar Development’ FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Financial Times:For many in the Indian energy industry, the Bhadla auction confirmed that the country is undergoing a generational shift from coal-fueled power to solar and wind.This shift is being noticed by some of the world’s biggest foreign investors, many of whom are looking to India for high-yielding green infrastructure projects, given that the pace of solar development in almost every other market has slowed this year.Masayoshi Son, founder of SoftBank, has said he plans to invest $20bn in the Indian solar power industry. (The other investors are Taiwan’s Foxconn and Indian company Bharti.) Ministers in New Delhi have calculated that hitting their renewables targets will require $160bn in capital overall.“India, along with China, is now setting the pace for solar development, and Europe is having to follow,” says Tim Buckley, director at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. “That has profound implications for energy markets around the world.”In 2015, the government of Narendra Modi caught the world by surprise by setting startlingly ambitious targets for building new renewable power. By 2022, explained the finance minister Arun Jaitley, India would build 175 gigawatts of new renewable power, of which 100 gigawatts would come from solar. The solar plans alone are equivalent to 25 large nuclear plants.Six years earlier, India and China had been blamed for “sabotaging” a meaningful deal at the UN climate talks, but Mr Jaitley’s announcement confirmed India was now at the centre of global efforts to develop cheaper renewables and tackle climate change.At first, the country struggled to build new capacity as quickly as the targets required, but over the past two years, a string of record low bids for new solar power projects have fuelled optimism that it could soon catch up.According to an analysis by Bridge to India, a consultancy focused on renewable power in the country, developers are expected to build 8.8 gigawatts of new solar capacity in 2017. This would be 76 per cent more than in 2016 and enough to make India the third-biggest solar market worldwide.Underpinning that growth has been a dramatic fall in the prices solar developers are charging for energy. In August 2015, the record low was Rs5.49 per unit of electricity. A month later, it fell to Rs5.09. The following January, it was Rs4.34, and a year after that, Rs3.30.When Acme Solar bid Rs2.44 for Bhadla in May, it meant prices had dropped 50 per cent in two years and over a quarter in just three months. It also meant that solar was now substantially cheaper than coal: when the Bhadla bid was announced, India’s largest power group, state-backed NTPC, was selling its coal-fuelled power at an average rate of Rs3.20 per unit.The successful bid raised some eyebrows in the industry. “It is good to see people are being very efficient with their systems, but honestly the Rs2.44 number — I don’t think anyone has come forward and said that it makes economic sense,” says Inderpreet Wadhwa, chief executive of Azure Power, which also bid for the Bhadla solar park. “We feel it is super-aggressive.”However, the companies behind the bid defend the offer.“We were not surprised at all by the result of the auction,” says Manoj Kumar Upadhyay, the founder and chairman of Acme, one of a handful of companies competing for solar projects against many established Indian and multinational conglomerates. As Mr Upadhyay suggests, there are good reasons the price of solar power in India is so low. In addition to its strong and reliable sunlight, the price of Chinese-made solar panels has tumbled in the past few years as a manufacturing boom has created over-supply. Moreover, India’s notoriously high cost of capital has been reduced by strong government involvement in the solar power sector. At parks like Bhadla, the government acquires the land — removing one of the biggest hurdles in a country where land rights are difficult to negotiate — as well as guaranteeing grid connections and providing payment guarantees should state utilities default.More: Reality Dawns on India’s Solar Ambitionslast_img read more

Renewables pushing prices, emissions down across Australian national grid

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:The huge additions of rooftop solar and large-scale wind and solar projects combined to help drive emissions from Australia’s main grid to a record low in the first quarter, and helped push average wholesale prices to their lowest point in four years.The Australian Energy Market Operator – in its latest Quarterly Energy Dynamics report – describes a volatile first quarter of 2020 for the main grid, which experienced days of huge demand and volatility, record temperatures, bushfires, several transmission failures that caused separations of state grids, then a spate of unusually mild weather that caused record demand lows, and finally the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, including a crash in the international oil market.The end result, however, was that emissions hit their lowest level in the first quarter since the creation of the National Electricity Market more than two decades ago, and prices fell to their lowest levels since 2016.In January, despite the volatility, the average price on the NEM was down 50% to $66 per megawatt hour (MWh), down from $130/MWh in Q1 2019, while the average price in South Australia, with the highest level of wind and solar, fell by two thirds to an average of $65/MWh.And despite the volatility brought about by that series of disparate events – heatwaves, bushfires, record demand, a high number of coal plant outages in February and March, record levels of minimum demand, and Covid-19 – the profile of the grid continued to change towards renewables and away from fossil fuels.The combination of lower demand and more renewables sent the amount of all fossil fuel generators down, with black coal the worst hit, followed by gas.[Giles Parkinson]More: Wind, solar help push grid emissions to record low, prices to four year low Renewables pushing prices, emissions down across Australian national gridlast_img read more

Wood Mackenzie expects 6.9GW of new wind capacity through 2029 in Mexico, Central America, Caribbean

first_imgWood Mackenzie expects 6.9GW of new wind capacity through 2029 in Mexico, Central America, Caribbean FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:Mexico, Central American and the Caribbean collectively installed 1,830 MW of new wind power capacity in 2019, growing additions by 126% year-on-year, according to market researcher Wood Mackenzie.The region arrived in 2020 with more than 8.4 GW of cumulative operational wind power capacity, close to 6.5 GW of which is in Mexico.WoodMac forecasts Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean to install 6.9 GW of new wind capacity through 2029. The Mexican market is again projected to dominate with 6.1 GW of new capacity, or almost 90% of the region’s total.“Capacity additions will be driven primarily by C&I demand in Mexico and projects solicited by central power authorities and state utilities throughout the Caribbean and Central America. Upside for wind power development in the region is tempered by highly competitive PV and a build-out of gas generation support infrastructure”, said Brian Gaylord, principal analyst at Wood Mackenzie.Despite being the most promising wind power market in the region, Mexico is looking at challenging times at least until President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s term is over in 2024. The Lopez Obrador government is not expected to hold a long-term power auction during its term. Still, power purchase agreements (PPAs) awarded in previous auction rounds will bring new capacity through 2022 and in 2026.Overall, auctions will result in 2 GW of new wind capacity in Mexico during the forecast period, WoodMac forecasts. By the end of 2029, PPAs with commercial and industrial off-takers are expected to propel new wind power additions in the country and add some 4 GW of capacity, according to WoodMac.[Sladjana Djunisic]More: Mexico, Central America, Caribbean add 1.83 GW of wind in 2019 – WoodMaclast_img read more

Renewables supplied record-setting 47% of U.K.’s electricity generation in first quarter

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:Renewable energy made up almost half of Britain’s electricity generation in the first three months of the year, with a surge in wind power helping to set a new record for clean energy.The government’s official data has revealed that renewable energy made up 47% of the UK’s electricity generation in the first three months of the year, smashing the previous quarterly record of 39% set last year.The government’s renewable energy data includes electricity from the UK’s windfarms, solar panels and hydro power plants as well as bioenergy generated by burning wood chips instead of coal.The “substantial increase” in the UK’s total renewable energy output was chiefly driven by a growth in electricity generated by solar panels and windfarms which climbed by more than a third over the last year, according to the government’s energy analysts.The report added that the start up of new windfarms combined with the UK’s unusually wet and windy weather at the start of the year – particularly storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge – helped to generate record wind power generation.Offshore windfarms powered the largest increase in renewable energy in the first quarter of the year, climbing by 53% compared with the previous year, while onshore wind generation grew by a fifth. In total, wind power generated 30% of the UK’s electricity in the first quarter, beating the previous record of 22.3% set in the final months of 2019.[Jillian Ambrose]More: Renewable energy breaks UK record in first quarter of 2020 Renewables supplied record-setting 47% of U.K.’s electricity generation in first quarterlast_img read more

Neoen moving forward with largest wind, solar, storage hybrid project in Australia

first_imgNeoen moving forward with largest wind, solar, storage hybrid project in Australia FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:A $3 billion renewable energy hub in South Australia will begin construction within the next two years after French-based developer Neoen landed a contract for the first 100MW of wind capacity with the ACT government, with a record low price for Australia.The $3 billion Goyder project is one of the most ambitious in Australia, proposing to combine 1200MW of wind, 600MW of solar and 900MW/1800MWh of battery storage. Each component is the biggest of their kind in Australia, and together the hub is the biggest of its kind in the world.Neoen announced on Tuesday morning that it has been awarded a 14-year contract to supply 100MW of wind energy from Stage 1 of its Goyder Renewables Zone as the result of the Australian Capital Territory government’s latest renewables auction, a win that will also see it build a 50MW big battery in Canberra, with locals offered the opportunity to co-invest.The ACT said the contract was awarded at the price of $44.97/MWh, which is a record low for a publicly disclosed price for a wind auction or power purchase agreement in Australia. Given that this is a fixed and flat price for 14 years, the “real price” for when the contract starts in 2023 relates to $35/MWh to $37/MWh, depending on your assumed inflation rate. That equates to less than half the average wholesale price in NSW and the ACT last financial year.Goyder is expected to be able to deliver this because it has a great wind resource and will have a healthy “net” capacity factor of around 45 per cent, and the certainty of a long term contract will allow it to secure finance for the first stage, and then be able to build upon that over time.The Neoen battery in Canberra will, in effect, be a replica of Neoen’s Hornsdale big battery in South Australia and will deliver much the same services – frequency control, inertia, arbitrage and other grid services. There is no direct subsidy for the battery.[Giles Parkinson]More: Australia’s biggest renewable energy hub to deliver low-cost power for ACTlast_img read more

Iberdrola begins construction of Australia’s largest hybrid wind-plus-solar project

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:The Spanish energy giant Iberdrola has announced construction has begun of its 317MW hybrid wind and solar farm near Port Augusta, the company’s first greenfield project in Australia, and the largest wind and solar hybrid project in the country.The $500 million Port Augusta Renewable Energy Project – featuring 207MW of wind generation and 110MW of solar – is located near the former site of South Australia’s last coal-fired power station, along with the 220MW Bungala solar farm and the 214MW Lincoln Gap wind and battery projects that have helped replace it.It is also located in the heart of the electorate of state energy minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan, who wants the state to reach its target of “net 100 per cent renewables” by 2030, a target that will be accelerated if the proposed new link to NSW, Project EnergyConnect, is built as planned.Iberdrola is a global company of significant scale, with a market value of more than $A100 billion, and is one of a number of multi-nationals building large scale renewables in Australia, along with the likes of Enel Green Power, Total Eren, BP, and Shell.Iberdrola is also completing its purchase of the listed renewable energy company Infigen, which will give it an operating portfolio in Australia of more than 800MW – mostly wind and the Lake Bonney big battery – and a development pipeline of more than 1,000MW.Van Holst Pellekaan said Port Augusta will showcase a new generation of renewables designed to provide predictable power more uniformly across the day. “The project’s combined solar and wind generation output is expected to closely match South Australia’s electricity demand profile which will help place downwards pressure on electricity prices while also assisting with the security and reliability of the grid,” he said.[Giles Parkinson]More: Iberdrola begins construction of Australia’s biggest hybrid wind and solar farm Iberdrola begins construction of Australia’s largest hybrid wind-plus-solar projectlast_img read more

IHS Markit projects strong growth in U.S. corporate renewable energy demand through 2030

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ReNews.biz:Demand for renewable power by the corporate sector will account for between 44GW and 72GW of new wind and solar capacity in the US from next year through 2030, according to new analysis by IHS Markit.‘Corporate US Renewable Procurement Outlook: Optimism Amid a Pessimistic Year’ found that corporate-driven PPAs will represent about 20% of all utility-scale renewable power additions for the period, depending on the extent to which corporations expand and fulfil their renewable ambitions.IHS Markit global power and renewables director Anna Shpitsberg said: “We have now reached a tipping point for corporate sector demand for renewables. Fueled by shareholder and consumer activism, the opportunity to hedge power costs and corporate renewable targets, companies are increasingly making the connection between a specific project and a specific facility’s power demand.”Corporate sector renewable demand had been “miniscule” as recently as 2017, in the US, the analyst outfit highlighted. In 2018 corporate procurement more than doubled and increased again in 2019, with almost 16GW announced between the two years.The growth in contracting is expected to contribute nearly 8GW of wind and solar installations in 2020, a 45% annual increase in installations stemming from corporate procurement. Around 220 companies operating in the US are already procuring renewables or plan to do so and about 40% of these companies have targets that escalate through the early to mid-2020s.Significant growth potential now exists for corporate renewable procurement beyond the technology sector, Shpitsberg said. “This type of corporate-driven renewables procurement is growing beyond its tech-based roots. Sectors such as manufacturing and telecommunications that have high consumption patterns, ambitious renewable targets and low-to-moderate renewable procurement to date are poised to expand in this area,” she added.More: Corporate demand to drive US renewables surge IHS Markit projects strong growth in U.S. corporate renewable energy demand through 2030last_img read more

Fight Stress Like a Marine. Meditate

first_imgThink meditation is only for gurus looking to reach a higher level of consciousness? The Department of Defense is undergoing a series of studies to discover the practical benefits of mindful meditation, a secular practice that helps develop concentration, on combat Marines and Army Infantry.“Mindfulness is the ability to pay attention to the moment,” says John Schaldach, curriculum coordinator for the Mind Fitness Training Institute, the non-profit that’s directing the studies for the D.O.D. “Mindful practices [meditation] help a person develop the capacity to put their attention somewhere and have it stay there.”The mindful exercises that Schalbach has soldiers practice sound simple (focus on a contact point between your body and the ground) but the initial D.O.D. studies have garnered compelling results. The Marines in the pilot study who practiced mindful meditation showed an increase in “working memory capacity” (the ability to focus amid distractions), as well as an increased ability to maintain even moods during periods of great chaos.“The studies show mindful practices create a buffer against stress,” Schalbach says.Susan Grant is the founder of the Mindfulness Center of Asheville, where she guides hospital workers and chronic pain victims in mindful meditation. She’s not surprised the D.O.D. is interested in this alternative practice.“Concentration is key,” Grant says. “Practicing mindful exercises helps you develop the ability to pull yourself back into the moment and focus. When you’re starting to get anxious or discouraged or scared, you can bring your focus back to some other aspect of the present. Mindfulness changes our relationship with discomfort and stress.”Mindfulness is sometimes lumped into the same category of other meditative practices, where transcendence is the goal, but there are no candles or mantras or floating gurus in mindfulness. The exercises simply allow practitioners to push scattered thoughts out of the mind and regain focus. The end game for most mindful practitioners is the ability to be “in the moment” more.“Every experience is made up of six things: your five senses and how your mind interprets those five senses,” Schalbach says. “Life is difficult. It’s full of stress and pain. But what makes these situations more difficult is our mind’s resistance to that stress.” 1 2last_img read more