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Topic: A Monster Wind Turbine Is Upending an Industry

Twirling above a strip of land at the mouth of Rotterdam’s harbor is a wind turbine so large it is difficult to photograph. The turning diameter of its rotor is longer than two American football fields end to end. Later models will be taller than any building on the mainland of Western Europe.

鹿特丹港口一處狹長土地上,有座風力發電機在轉動,規模大到難以近距離拍攝,葉片旋轉直徑比兩座美式足球場接起來還長,日後更新版的風機將比西歐大陸上任何建物都高。

Packed with sensors gathering data on wind speeds, electricity output and stresses on its components, the giant whirling machine in the Netherlands is a test model for a new series of giant offshore wind turbines planned by General Electric. When assembled in arrays, the wind machines have the potential to power cities, supplanting the emissions-spewing coal- or natural gas-fired plants that form the backbones of many electric systems today.

這個位於荷蘭的巨型旋轉機器,是奇異公司所規畫新系列巨型離岸風機的測試模型,配備了收集風速、電力輸出及各零件所受應力數據的感應器。這些風機若以陣列布建,具備為城市供電的潛力,取代大量排放廢氣、組成當今許多發電系統骨幹的燃煤或燃氣發電廠。

GE has yet to install one of these machines in ocean water. As a relative newcomer to the offshore wind business, the company faces questions about how quickly and efficiently it can scale up production to build and install hundreds of the turbines.

奇異公司尚未在海上安裝此類機器。奇異在離岸風電業堪稱新兵,面臨的問題是,能多快、多有效地擴大生產規模,以建造並安裝數百座風機。

But already the giant turbines have turned heads in the industry. A top executive at the world’s leading wind farm developer called it a “bit of a leapfrog over the latest technology.” And an analyst said the machine’s size and advance sales had “shaken the industry.”

然而這種巨型風機已在業界引起轟動。全球頂尖風場開發商的一位高管稱其為「超越最新技術的一次飛躍」。一位分析師表示,這款機器的尺寸與預售量「撼動了整個產業」。

The prototype is the first of a generation of new machines that are about a third more powerful than the largest already in commercial service. As such, it is changing the business calculations of wind equipment makers, developers and investors.

這是新世代風機的第一個原型機,新世代風機功能比已在商業運轉的最大風機還要強三分之一左右。因此,它正在改變風力設備製造商、開發商與投資人的盤算。

The GE machines will have a generating capacity that would have been almost unimaginable a decade ago. A single one will be able to turn out 13 megawatts of power, enough to light up a town of roughly 12,000 homes.

奇異的風機將具有十年前幾乎無法想像的發電能力,一座就能產生13百萬瓦電力,足夠點亮約有1.2萬戶家庭的小鎮。

The turbine is capable of producing as much thrust as the four engines of a Boeing 747 jet, according to GE, and will be deployed at sea, where developers have learned that they can plant larger and more numerous turbines than on land to capture breezes that are stronger and more reliable.

奇異表示,這種風機能產生相當於波音747飛機四具引擎的推力,將部署在海上,開發商已經知道在海上能安裝比陸上更大也更多的風機,以捕捉更強也更可靠的風。

The race to build bigger turbines has moved faster than many industry figures foresaw. GE’s Haliade-X generates almost 30 times more electricity than the first offshore machines installed off Denmark in 1991.

建造更大風機的競賽步調比許多業內人士預測的要快。奇異的Haliade-X風機,發電量幾乎是1991年安裝於丹麥近海的第一座離岸風機的30倍。

In coming years, customers are likely to demand even bigger machines, industry executives say. On the other hand, they predict that turbines will reach a point at which greater size no longer makes economic sense.

業界高層表示,未來幾年顧客很可能要求更大的機器。另一方面,他們預測,風機遲早會來到再大就不合經濟效益的時刻。

Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5180307

Next Article

Topic: A Scary Energy Winter Is Coming. Don’t Blame the Greens.

Every so often the tectonic geopolitical plates that hold up the world economy suddenly shift in ways that can rattle and destabilize everything on the surface. That’s happening right now in the energy sphere.

有時候,承載世界經濟的地緣政治板塊會突然移動,把地表每樣東西搖得嘎嘎作響。這種事現在就在能源領域發生。

Several forces are coming together that could make Vladimir Putin the king of Europe, enable Iran to thumb its nose at America and build an atomic bomb, and disrupt European power markets enough that the upcoming United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, could suffer blackouts owing to too little clean energy.

有幾股勢力正在匯聚,能使俄國總統普亭成為歐洲之王,使伊朗有本錢不把美國放在眼裡,進而造出原子彈,並足以打亂歐洲能源市場,讓即將登場的英國蘇格蘭格拉斯哥聯合國氣候大會可能會因為潔淨能源太少而停電。

Yes, this is a big one.

沒錯,問題很大。

Natural gas and coal prices in Europe and Asia just hit their highest levels on record, oil prices in America hit a seven-year high and U.S. gasoline prices are up $1 a gallon from last year. If this winter is as bad as some experts predict — with some in the poor and middle classes unable to heat their homes — I fear we’ll see a populist backlash to the whole climate/green movement. You can already smell that coming in Britain.

歐亞兩洲的天然氣和煤價剛剛達到史上最高,美國原油價格創七年新高,而汽油價格每加侖比去年上漲1美元。如果今年冬天跟一些專家預測的一樣糟,一些貧窮和中產階級人家負擔不起取暖費用,我擔心會出現針對整個氣候和綠能運動的民粹反彈。在英國已經可以嗅到這個跡象。

How did we get here? In truth, it’s a good-news-bad-news story.

我們怎會走到這一步?其實,這是個好消息壞消息都有的故事。

The good news is that every major economy has signed onto reducing its carbon footprint by phasing out dirtier fuels like coal to heat homes and to power industries. The bad news is that most nations are doing it in totally uncoordinated ways, from the top down, and before the market has produced sufficient clean renewables like wind, solar and hydro.

好消息是,每個主要經濟體都已同意,透過逐步淘汰煤炭這類比較髒的燃料給家庭取暖和給產業供電,減少碳足跡。壞消息則是,多數國家這麼做的時候完全沒有互相協調,由上而下執行,而且市場還沒製造出足夠多的風力、太陽能和水力等清潔能源。

But how did the bad-news side of this story emerge so fast?

這個故事的壞消息面為何這麼快出現?

Blame COVID-19. First, the pandemic erupted and signaled to every major economy that we were headed for a deep recession. This sent prices of all kinds of commodities, including oil and gas, into downward spirals.

要怪新冠肺炎。首先,疫情爆發,對每個重要經濟體而言意味我們正走向深度衰退,使原油、天然氣等各類大宗商品價格走軟。

This, in turn, led banks to choke off investment in new natural gas capacity and crude wells after seven years of already declining investments in these hydrocarbons because of lousy returns.

這進而使銀行停止投資擴充天然氣產能和油井。銀行已減少投資這些碳氫化合物達七年,因為報酬率很差。

As Bill Gates points out in his smart book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster,” the only way to reach our climate targets is to shift production of all the big heavy industries, like steel, cement and automobiles, as well as how we heat our homes and power our cars, to electricity generated from clean energy. Safe and affordable nuclear power has to be part of our mix because, Gates argues, “it is the only carbon-free, scalable energy source that’s available 24 hours a day.”

就像微軟創辦人蓋茲在他那本睿智的書「如何避免氣候災難」指出的,達成氣候目標的唯一方法是,改變所有重工業如鋼鐵、水泥、汽車業等的生產方式,以及我們在家取暖和為愛車提供動力的方式,轉而用潔淨能源發電。蓋茲主張必須接納安全可負擔的核能,因為「這是唯一不產生二氧化碳又能擴增的能源來源,每天24小時供應」。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5820545

Next Article

Topic: Londoners are better off returning to the office as bills soar

City of London workers looking to save money may want to embrace the office over winter as the cost of working from home soars alongside energy bills.

在家工作的成本隨著能源費用的飆升一起上漲,因此到了冬天,想要省錢的倫敦城上班族可能會希望進辦公室上班。

Those prepared to go into the office every day could save about €50 (US$60) per week in January 2023 if they can walk, run or cycle into their workplace. That’s thanks to the money they’ve saved by not heating a home for the whole day, according to estimates by price comparison site Uswitch.

公室的人若可以走路、跑步或騎自行車到工作地點的話,在二○二三年一月,每週可節省約五十英鎊(六十美元)。根據價格比較網站Uswitch的估計,他們之所以省下這些錢,是因為家裡整天都不開暖氣。

Those working from home in January could expect to pay around €175 a week in energy costs and other incidentals included in Bloomberg’s calculations such as buying in your own coffee, a freebie in many offices. The combined cost of energy bills — factoring in the lower consumption expected — and five return trips on the Tube from London’s Zone 4 would be about €160 a week in January 2023, a €15 saving.

一月份在家工作的人預計每週要支付大約一百七十五英鎊的能源費用,以及彭博社所計算出的其他雜費,例如自費買咖啡——很多辦公室會免費供應咖啡。二○二三年一月能源帳單的總成本(以預期較低的花費計算),加上由倫敦第四區坐地鐵來上班來回五次,每週將花費約一百六十英鎊,因此跟在家工作相比,到辦公室上班節省了十五英鎊。

For those taking the bus, the total cost is about €140, a €35 weekly saving. In both cases, any rise in the cost of the commute will eat into those savings.

坐公車上班的人,總花費則約為一百四十英鎊,每週可節省三十五英鎊。在坐地鐵和公車這兩種情況下,任何通勤成本的增加都會消耗所省下的錢。

Uswitch estimates that the average monthly energy bill could hit €683 in January for home workers, compared to €492 for those heading to the office. It assumes remote workers use 25 percent more electricity and 75 percent more gas per day including from central heating.

Uswitch估計,在家工作的人,一月份的平均能源費用可能會達到六百八十三英鎊,而到辦公室上班的人則為四百九十二英鎊。這是假設遠距上班的人每天多使用百分之二十五的電力,以及多百分之七十五的瓦斯,包括用於中央暖氣。

Coping Mechanism

“People are going to be really struggling to heat their own homes and they are going to look for warmth in other places — we know that is a coping mechanism that people use, whether that is going to a public space, such as a library or a church maybe, or whether it’s going to work when you usually would work from home” Matt Copeland, policy officer at National Energy Action said. “Those are the options people will consider and people will take to actually find warmth.”

因應機制

「要把自己家裡變暖將是難以負擔的窘境,所以人們會到其他地方取暖——我們知道這是一種因應機制,無論是去公共場所,比如圖書館或教堂,或是在你通常在家工作的時候到辦公室上班」,國家能源行動組織政策主管馬特‧科普蘭表示。「人們會考慮和採用這些選項,而實際上找到暖源」。


The incentive to come into the office is likely to be welcomed by some in the City of London, where finance bosses have been pushing for a return to the office. Right now less than half of workers in the UK’s banking sector go into the office on an average day, and just 18 percent of insurance sector employees do so, according to a survey by consultancy Advanced Workplace Associates.準備每天去辦

對於這進辦公室的動機,倫敦城某些人可能會樂見其成。這些金融業老闆一直在推動員工重返辦公室。根據諮詢公司Advanced Workplace Associates的一項調查,目前英國銀行業平均只有不到一半的員工進辦公室上班,而保險業只有百分之十八的員工這麼做。source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2022/08/23/2003783959

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