On the Blogs: ‘The Emergence of a Class of Fossil Fuel Assets That May Never Again Be Economic’

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享David Fickling for Bloomberg News:As the planet’s climate shifts, lots of things we never expected to happen so quickly have started to occur. Each one of the last 11 months through March, for example, has been the hottest on record for that time of year, according to the U.S.’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.Here’s another thing many didn’t expect to see so soon: the emergence of a class of fossil fuel assets that may never again be economic.More than half the assets in the global coal industry are now held by companies that are either in bankruptcy proceedings or don’t earn enough money to pay their interest bills, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In the U.S., only three of 12 large coal miners traded on public markets escape that ignominious club, separate data show. It’s not true to say no one saw this coming. What’s remarkable is how quickly the forecasts of analysts have come round to match those of activists. Coal “has undergone a long-term structural decline, with little prospect for near-term recovery,” Moody’s analysts led by Anna Zubets-Anderson wrote in a note last week. Of the four major U.S. coal regions, only the Illinois basin has good long-term prospects, they said. Central Appalachia will “cease to be a major coal producing region,” while the Northern Appalachian and Powder River basins will decline too because of competition from gas.To be sure, there are some significant differences between what’s happening and the stranded-assets road map forecast by most climate campaigners. Coal isn’t dying off because of truly coordinated global action on carbon emissions, but because of a more ad hoc collection of regulations and incentives, and because of the rapid fall in natural gas and renewable energy prices.In addition, that $412 billion in assets held by publicly traded coal companies contains barely a ton of unmined rock – the “assets” focused on by climate activists. Mining companies generally don’t factor mineral reserves into their balance sheets, so the assets in Gadfly’s analysis are mostly inventories, cash and invoices, and the machinery used to wash, process and load coal onto trains. If anything, they’re the tip of the iceberg.What could improve coal’s prospects? Chapter 11 is often regarded as a blessing in disguise if it leads to the elimination of debt and the consolidation of unprofitable industries. Just look at North American airlines, which posted more profit last year than in the previous 10 combined after decades spent lurching from bankruptcy to bankruptcy.Companies that could be shuttered are numerous, but the question is whether any restructuring of obligations will be enough to restore profits. Of the $162 billion of assets owned by non-bankrupt coal companies with interest cover below 1, just $35 billion was held by firms that posted Ebit margins above 5 percent in the most recent year. Because those margins are before interest, these companies are barely profitable even ahead of debt questions coming into play. Should any of them fall into bankruptcy, their best hope of restructuring will require sloughing off environmental, employee and supply-chain liabilities, as well as cutting borrowings.Rebuilding North America’s airline industry was also made easier by the fact that demand for air travel keeps rising. That’s not the case with coal. Indeed, consumption by the two biggest consumers – China and the U.S. – is in long-term decline (it’s already fallen close to zero at times in the U.K., the country whose deposits helped ignite the industrial revolution). If supply is to chase that fall in demand, the only route back to profitability will surely pass through a huge number of pit closures. Coal’s season in hell has barely begun.Full item: Coal’s Stranded Assets On the Blogs: ‘The Emergence of a Class of Fossil Fuel Assets That May Never Again Be Economic’last_img read more

Latest U.S. Energy Information Agency data: solar and wind costs trend down

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Agri-Pulse:The cost of building some renewable energy generators is down, according to a data analysis released this week by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Among newly constructed utility-scale electric generators in 2016, annual capacity-weighted average construction costs for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and onshore wind turbines fell.New construction for wind and solar power were among the year’s most popular generation additions, with natural gas rounding out the top three. These three technologies accounted for approximately 93 percent of added capacity. Total electric generating capacity increased 50 percent over 2015.Solar PV construction has steadily declined since 2013 when costs were $3,705 per kilowatt (kW) for construction. In 2016, the construction cost was $2,436 per kW as 500 PV generating units added 8 gigawatts (GW) to the energy mix. The EIA could not predict how 2018 tariffs on imported panels might affect future solar PV costs.Wind capacity additions were the most popular in 2016. Utilities added 84 wind turbine projects with a total of 8.8 GW. Construction costs were down slightly from 2015, at $1,630 per kW. The data show capacity-weighted costs were lower for larger wind plants due to shared infrastructure costs.Unlike PV solar and wind generation, construction costs for natural gas generators increased slightly in 2016. In 2016, 100 natural gas-fired generators, totaling 9.8 GW, were added to the electric grid.More: Construction costs decline for wind, solarKallanish Energy:Nearly 500 PV generating units totaling 8,000 megawatts (MW) were added to the electric grid in 2016, making it the second-most common technology installed in 2016, after wind turbines.Utilities added 84 wind turbine projects, totaling 8,800 MW, to the electric grid in 2016. The construction costs for onshore wind generators in 2016 reached $1,630/kW, a slight decrease from 2015.Capacity-weighted costs tend to be lower for larger wind plants. In the past three years, most new wind capacity has been larger plants — 89% of 2016 wind turbine additions were to sites with more than 100 MW. As the capacity added at a site increases, the capacity-weighted construction cost decreases because the siting and infrastructure costs are shared by more turbines and capacity.Wind class — the wind speeds for which a wind turbine is optimized — can also affect wind generator costs; wind turbines designed for high- and medium-speed winds (classes 1 and 2) averaged about $100/kW more than turbines designed for low wind (class 3).In 2016, 100 natural gas-fired generators, totaling 9,800 MW, were added to the electric grid. Costs averaged $895/kW, an increase from $812/kW in 2015. Of the 9,00 MW added, 3,600 MW were combustion turbines.More: Average U.S. construction costs for solar, wind fell in 2016 Latest U.S. Energy Information Agency data: solar and wind costs trend downlast_img read more

Montana-Dakota Utilities to close two coal plants

first_imgMontana-Dakota Utilities to close two coal plants FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bismarck Tribune:Montana-Dakota Utilities announced Tuesday it plans to retire Heskett Station near Mandan in 2021 and replace the coal-fired electric generation units with a new natural gas facility.Montana-Dakota Utilities, a subsidiary of MDU Resources Group, said in a news release the decision to retire the units followed an analysis of how the company could best provide safe, reliable and low-cost service to customers. The company also will retire the Lewis & Clark Station at Sidney, Mont., around the end of 2020.“The plants have served our customers well, providing low-cost energy for many years, operating roughly twice as long as expected when they were constructed in the mid-1950s and early 1960s,” Nicole Kivisto, president and CEO of Montana-Dakota, said in a statement. “The age of the plants, low-cost competition on the market and the ongoing cost to operate the plants all have contributed to the plants being too expensive to operate much longer.”The first coal-fired unit at Heskett went online north of Mandan in 1954 and the second unit in 1963, providing a combined 100 megawatts of power. The two units are projected to be retired at the end of 2021.Montana-Dakota plans to construct a new 88-megawatt natural gas peaking unit at the Heskett Station, projected to come online as early as 2023, said spokesman Mark Hanson. The company anticipates filing a request with the North Dakota Public Service Commission this fall to outline why the project is the best option for customers.The cost of building and operating the new natural gas facility, coupled with market purchases, is expected to be about half the total cost of continuing to run the Heskett and Lewis & Clark coal-fired units.More: MDU announces retirement of aging coal-fired units, including Mandan’s Heskett Stationlast_img read more

China moves forward with 20GW of subsidy-free wind, solar projects

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:China approved its first batch of subsidy-free wind and solar projects with a combined capacity of 20.76 gigawatts (GW), the country’s top planning agency said on Wednesday.That follows China’s vow in January to launch a series of unsubsidized renewable power projects this year to tackle a payment backlog amid a decline in construction costs in the sector.The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) also urged grid companies to sign long-term power purchase contracts with operators of the unsubsidized renewable projects, it said in a statement.A total of 56 wind power projects, 168 solar power projects and 26 pilot distributed renewable projects in 16 cities and regions in China were approved by the NDRC.By April, China had installed wind power capacity of 280 GW and solar capacity 130 GW, official data showed.More: China approves 20.76 GW of subsidy-free solar, wind power projects China moves forward with 20GW of subsidy-free wind, solar projectslast_img read more

IHS Markit: U.S. to see strong growth in solar-plus-storage projects through 2023

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):The United States is on pace to lead the global market for grid-connected battery storage in 2019, overtaking 2018 leader South Korea, driven by accelerating solar-plus-storage projects and peaking capacity requirements, according to a May 21 research note from IHS Markit.U.S. energy storage deployments will nearly double to 712 MW this year, surpassing South Korea, which is expected to drop below 600 MW “or even significantly lower,” according to Camron Barati, a senior analyst at IHS Markit.After installing an estimated 920 MW in 2018, the South Korean energy storage sector tumbled in the first half of 2019 following a series of fires at storage installations that prompted an ongoing government investigation. The country’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, which launched an investigation in January after more than 20 fires, plans to complete the probe in June, according to a recent article in The Korea Times. In January, the agency asked public institutions, large multipurpose facilities and private owners to shut down their energy storage systems, while suppliers were forced to discontinue shipments, battering the financial results of large battery-makers LG Chem Ltd. and Samsung SDI Co. Ltd.Both companies expect market activity to revive in the second half of 2019. In the meantime, IHS analysts see the U.S. market racing ahead, propelled by “significant regulatory and policy developments as well as the diversification in major applications and geographic activity,” Barati wrote in the research note. Those developments include a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order to open up wholesale electricity markets, the ability of developers to use the federal investment tax credit for storage projects charging on solar power, new state-level storage mandates and incentives, and growth in behind-the-meter installations.Between 2019 and 2023, more than 2,000 MW of energy storage paired with 10,000 MW of utility-scale solar photovoltaic arrays will be deployed in the United States, IHS forecasts. The firm estimates that combining 25 MW of four-hour batteries with a 100 MW single-axis tracking photovoltaic plant could reach a levelized cost of energy below $40/MWh if the developer qualifies for the federal investment tax credit.About 4,300 MW of grid-tied energy storage will be added globally in 2019, according to IHS, with annual installations growing to more than 10,600 MW by 2025. Stronger outlooks in the United States, China, Japan and Australia led the analysts to boost their prior forecast through 2025 by roughly 3,530 MW.More ($): U.S. seen as battery storage world leader in 2019 as fires stall South Korea IHS Markit: U.S. to see strong growth in solar-plus-storage projects through 2023last_img read more

MHI, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners team up to develop offshore wind projects in Japan

first_imgMHI, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners team up to develop offshore wind projects in Japan FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ReNews.biz:Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) have entered into a joint venture to develop offshore wind projects off the coast of Hokkaido, in Japan.MHI and CIP said they have “high ambitions to be significant parties in the Japan offshore wind market”, which is expected to experience “significant” growth.MHI energy systems president and CEO Kentaro Hosomi said: “MHI’s partnership with CIP, a company with extensive experience in offshore wind projects in the world, is a very meaningful starting point for MHI’s offshore wind generation business, which is one of our growth strategies.”MHI has established a presence within offshore wind via the joint venture MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, which has delivered turbines in Europe and is expanding its business to emerging markets in the Asia Pacific.The partnership with CIP will enable MHI to participate in its domestic offshore wind market as part of the group’s growth strategy, focusing on the entire offshore wind value chain.CIP is a global fund management company within renewable infrastructure investments established in 2012, having seven funds with approximately €10bn under management, investing in offshore wind, onshore wind, power transmission, biomass, energy-from-waste and solar projects. CIP entered the Japanese renewable energy market in 2018.More: MHI, CIP forge Japan offshore wind joint venturelast_img read more

Orsted, Yara International link up in green ammonia development effort

first_imgOrsted, Yara International link up in green ammonia development effort FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Orsted A/S, the world’s biggest developer of offshore wind farms, plans to use its latest Dutch installation to make green ammonia for use in fertilizer.The Danish utility will work with the fertilizer giant Yara International ASA to use wind power to create hydrogen and turn it into ammonia. The project could produce about 75,000 tons of green ammonia a year, cutting Yara’s carbon footprint.Green ammonia is seen as an option to store hydrogen or use it for industrial applications and transportation. Chemical fertilizers use ammonia, made up of nitrogen and hydrogen. The most common and cheapest way of making hydrogen today emits carbon dioxide.The proposed plant in the Netherlands would use 100 megawatts of electrolyzers — machines powered by electricity that separate the hydrogen atoms in water from the oxygen. Orsted is currently building a 752-megawatt wind farm off the Dutch coast that could provide the facility with green power.The green ammonia produced at the plant would be a small fraction of Yara’s demand, about 3% to 4% of the ammonia used at its factory in Sluiskil in the western Netherlands. But the scale would still make it one of the biggest green hydrogen facilities in the world.“Green ammonia today doesn’t exist. It’s a market that will need to be created,” Sammy Van Den Broeck, Yara’s vice president for climate neutrality, said in an interview. “This is a first step into the trajectory of climate neutrality.”[Will Mathis]More: Green ammonia for fertilizer planned by giant wind farm builderlast_img read more

Best Beginner Bike Rides

first_imgAre you an aspiring cyclist ready to take pedaling from the casual to competitive? Whether you’re into fat tires or skinny wheels, find your edge at one of these beginner-friendly races.Rollin’ Round the River, Wilkesboro, N.C. • September 15If you’re looking to increase your mileage, this relaxed cycling tour of the upper Yadkin River valley is a great place to start. The casual roll has distances for all abilities—from a family friendly 10-mile ride on the Yadkin River Greenway to a fast-paced 50-miler that takes a spin through the quiet agricultural community of Happy Valley. All rides (20- and 30-mile options also available) are flat and easy to follow with out-and-back routes, so novice cyclists can get comfortable going the distance. bmcc.usSorry Honey, I’ve Gotta Work Late Mountain Bike Series, Richmond, Va. • September 12, 19, 26  You’re in luck if Wednesday is liver and lima beans night at your house. Skip dinner and head to Forest Hill Park for some post-work big wheel racing. Richmond’s urban singletrack is mellow and flowy, so even if you’re new to racing you won’t be too far from the pack. Plus, the loop-course races only last about 45 minutes, so the rides are more than attainable for newbies. Cyclocross races will also be taking place. runriderace.com Northern Neck River Ride, Kilmarnock, Va. • September 29Tour the quiet peninsula on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay that sits between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers, as the flat waterfront terrain offers an ideal opportunity for beginners to stretch out. Riders will depart from the Windmill Marine Resort and weave through the scenic back roads of the Northern Neck. Whether it’s the 100-miler, metric century, one-third century, or laid back family route, cyclists will pedal through small towns built during colonial times and relaxed coastal communities that will be feeling the breeze of early fall. riverride.org  Georgia BikeFest, Columbus, Ga. • October 12-14 You’ll find rides for the whole family at this annual bike gala in downtown Columbus. There are both long and short route options offered each day on the gentle roads of the area’s rolling hills—with the main event being a fully supported century on Saturday. After long days of pedaling, cyclists can sleep under the stars at campsites along the Chattahoochee River. brag.orgTour de Pig, Lexington, N.C. • October 13 This is how you ride in true Southern style. The Tour de Pig is part of Lexington’s annual Barbeque Festival, so expect to have a plate of award-winning pulled pork waiting for you at the finish line. Before it’s time to dig in, earn your ‘cue by pedaling around the rolling roads of the Carolina Piedmont. Four different supported routes all take off from Davidson County Community College and include distances of 100K, 50K, 35K, and 20K. barbecuefestival.com    Gran Fondo of the Alleghenies, Warren, Pa. • October 13 Wind through the remote corridors of Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest at the height of foliage season. This colorful fall ride is perfect for cycling beginners looking to build mileage without a ton of elevation gain. The rural ride starting from the small town of Sheffield includes routes of 30, 60, and 100 miles with the longest route only gaining 3,500 feet. warrenadventures.com Six Hour Grind on the Greenway, Ft. Mill, S.C. • October 13Casual mountain bikers looking to make the leap into endurance racing have a friendly option just south of Charlotte, N.C. At Grind on the Greenway, new racers can go solo or grab a partner and complete as many nine-mile laps as possible in six hours on the singletrack of the 2,300-acre Anne Springs Close Greenway park. Each lap carries a manageable elevation gain of 805 feet, so you won’t break the aerobic bank as you navigate the twisty Piedmont woods. charlottemtnbike.comBack to the beach in CarolinarunLong-distance running relays continue to be the latest rage. A new option takes adventurous striders from the North Carolina Triangle on a 200-mile slog to the beach. The Tuna Run 200 will feature teams of seven to 12 runners making the long haul from Lake Benson Park near Raleigh to the boardwalk of Atlantic Beach. The runners will switch off through 36 different legs of rural terrain between the Piedmont and the coast, where a celebration of tuna and cold beer awaits. tunarun200.comrideIf you didn’t exhaust your vacation days this summer, tune up your road rig and spend a week pedaling from the peaks to the sandy beaches. Cycle North Carolina is organizing a Mountains to Coast Fall Ride that will take cyclists from Brevard to Carolina Beach through a week of riding from September 29 to October 6. Along the way, the chosen route will find riders stopping in Lake Lure, Shelby, Matthews, Rockingham, Lumberton, and White Lake. cnc.ncsports.orglast_img read more

Best Winter Base Layers for Cold Rain and Snow

first_imgMountain HardwearMountain Hardwear’s new baselayer, the Integral Pro Long Sleeve Zip T, provides wool’s warmth plus synthetic performance. The Integral takes full advantage of Mountain Hardwear’s exclusive Wick.Q Wool technology to provide unbeatable comfort and performance in an outdoor fitness top. Wick.Q Wool is a machine washable wool/polypropylene blend that dries quickly and wicks efficiently like a synthetic, while kicking in the consistent warmth of natural wool. www.mountainhardwear.comMountainHardware_IntegralProLSZipT While the snow and cold continue throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, you’re going to want to tap into the new technologies driving the performance apparel world. The latest and greatest material innovations are giving base layers specifically an increasingly important story to tell about protection and breathability. Think of the right base layer combination as an insurance policy for warmth and comfort. No matter the conditions or cold-weather activity, they’ll be working to keep you warm on cold mornings and wicking away sweat when you start to generate your own heat during exercise. Following is BRO’s look at some of this season’s best:Adidas OutdoorsAdidas Outdoors is bringing a number of options to the table for Fall 2013, and first up is their men’s Winter Midlayer. The employment of Climawarm technology provides thermal insulation in cold weather conditions and this mid-layer features a half-zip for ventilation. The Terrex Icesky Half-Zip Long Sleeve, as seen below also features Climawarm technology and its construction allows for ultimate performance while in motion. The final piece in the new collection is the Terrex Swift Long Sleeve Half-Zip Tee. The Swift’s activated carbon endows it with evaporative cooling, odor management and UV protection. The Swift features a half-zip design with higher fitted collar for extra protection. www.adidas.comAdidas Outdoors terrex Icesky half zip long sleevelsCore ConceptsFrom Core Concepts comes the Old Faithful, a perfect start to any three-season layering program. Idaho’s Core Concepts is an independent company that crafts authentic adventure apparel for real people that moves seamlessly from active to everyday life. The Polartec Power Dry bi-component fabric is comfortable against the skin, wicks moisture and dries quickly. The Old Faithful sports a custom designed, sublimation printed artwork in the underarm panel. www.corelayers.comCore Concepts Old Faithful PatagoniaFrom environmental leader Patagonia comes several new pieces that are sure to keep body parts warm during cold days just as they have for more than 30 years. The Merino 3 Midweight Hoody provides a slim cut which allows it to layer nicely beneath a winter or spring shell. Its quick-drying, moisture-wicking and odor-resistant qualities make this a great hoody for on or off the mountain. The Merino 2 Lightweight Crew is another great option. Stronger and more durable than 100 percent wool, this combination of Merino and polyester blends to keep the active adventurer dry and comfortable even when wet. This crew naturally controls odor and wicks perspiration, and the raglan sleeve seams won’t chafe beneath pack straps during long treks. One of the more innovative baselayers out this Fall is the Capilene 4 Expedition Weight One-Piece Suit, light, breathable and able to wick away moisture while keeping you sealed up inside. With a hood for men and a high collar for women, this baselayer takes everything into consideration, including a drop-seat in the back for when nature calls. www.patagonia.comLAYOUT_Patagonia W Merino 2 Long Sleeve CrewSalomon Salomon adds technological advancements for active baselayers with the EXO Jersey, made from extra-light fabric combined with EXO technology to provide postural support and muscle support in key areas to foster maximum skiing performance. The EXO Tight employs the same technology as the Jersey and features knee support to increase stability. Salomon’s new Halo Down Smartskin is a midweight layer that has stretch panels inside the arms and elbows to allow for easier movement and breathability. The Trail Runner Warm Long Sleeve Zip Tee is also a great option, comfy and warm enough to cut the early morning chill, yet breathable enough to stay cool as the day goes on. www.salomon.comLAYOUT_Salomon_Exo_Motion_Tight_M_Black_ExoSensifit_hi_68399 ColdPrufFrom ColdPruf comes the Premium Performance Layer. “As a vertical manufacturer, we have created a unique fabrication and garment fit that is ideally suited to our more active customers. Our pricing is very competitive as well. Again, it is all about the value that ColdPruf brings to the market,” said John Willingham, president of Indera Mills, the 99-year-old parent company of ColdPruf. Available for both men and women, this set of trim fitting tights and long sleeve shirts are great for fall and winter weather. This industry up-and-comer keeps the active athlete warm and comfortable while exerting high amounts of energy during colder months. The presence of spandex (85/15 blend of performance polyester and spandex) allows for optimal flexibility while the moisture-wicking Coldpruf technology keeps things dry from the inside out. www.coldpruf.comColdpruf_trim fitting tights and long sleeve shirtsSmartwoolThe men’s or women’s PhD NTS Light 195 Wind Zip T from Smartwool is a specialized top from the baselayer collection with a windproof front panel that provides warmth and protection from the elements. The top was designed for high aerobic activities in cold weather. Lightweight fabric on the back and sleeves and a venting center front zip allow for efficient cooling. Body-enhancing fit and design lines are seen in the sculpted side panels, eliminating side seams for reduced chafing, and in the contoured sleeve cuff and drop tail bottom hem for increased coverage. The Women’s NTS Mid 250 Pattern Hoody is 100 percent Merino wool and features a form fit interlock knit along with a back body seam that wraps to front for an enhanced fit. The performance fit hood with two ponytail exits can be worn underneath a helmet while flatlock seam construction is designed to eliminate chafing. Also with a form fit interlock knit, the Men’s NTS Mid 250 Pattern Crew is a 100 percent Merino wool layer complete with shoulder panels to eliminate top shoulder seams. www.smartwool.comLAYOUT_Smartwool-w_NTSMid250_pat_hoody CraftCraft provides an innovative layering system of the highest quality, ranging from the warmest and most active to windproof and warm, and are ideal for alpine and Nordic skiing, running and cycling. Craft offers three collections to choose from: Stay Cool, Be Active and Keep Warm lines. Each is specifically designed for the temperatures one can expect to be in. For winter endeavors the Keep Warm line has you covered, designed for temps ranging from 32 degrees to as low as 22 below zero. New this season is their Active Extreme Concept Piece Long Sleeve, made of a thin, lightweight and elastic fabric that is channel-stitched with two high-tech polyester fibers. A hexa-channeled fiber against the skin enhances moisture transport, which cools the body. On the outside, a hollow fiber offers insulation as well as transport of moisture to the next layer. Pieces are engineered to keep odor away. A second option is the Cool Concept Piece Short Sleeve, designed to keep you cool while exercising in warm conditions, both indoors and outdoors. The garments feature unique multi-channeled fiber constructions that effectively pull perspiration away from the body. 3D construction ensures optimal freedom of movement and a perfect fit. www.craftsports.usLAYOUT_Craft_ActiveExtreme_Concept_LongSleeve_MObermeyerNew this year, Obermeyer has engineered a smart, lightweight, 100 percent nylon-treated Dri-Core fabric used within their new baselayers for 2013. The fabric works in unison with the brand’s chosen insulation and shell goods for the ideal waterproof-breathable ski-specific combination. The first baselayer in the lineup is the Flex Dri-Core First Layer Top, a men’s full half-zip base layer body mapped to optimize moisture control performance. The Cocona, fast-drying fabric is mapped under the arms to accelerate the moisture transfer away from one’s core. The next option is the Julia Dri-Core First Layer Hooded Top, a multi-purpose technical baselayer for cold-weather activities. The Dri-Core fabric allows for superior breathability, is lightweight, and aids in insulation as the layer closest to your skin. www.obermeyer.comObermeyer_Julia Dri-Core First Layer Hooded Top_FrontColumbia SportswearFrom Columbia Sportswear comes their new Heavyweight Baselayer for both men and women. With a retro-waffle feel, this baselayer is getting back to the basics while still implementing new-age Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective technology. The durable top also features Omni-Wick technology under the arms for breathability. This lightweight baselayer with ergonomic seaming is a great option for very cold weather at a value. www.columbia.comColumbia Sportswear Heavyweight Baselayer - MensThe North FaceAs usual, and for Fall 2013, The North Face has a number of baselayer options for all activities. In performance, check out the Men’s Isotherm Half-Zip, an innovative hybrid top constructed with wind-resistant core, wool blend and FlashDry mesh ventilation panels, to keep you protected and warm on cold-weather runs. For winter action, the Women’s Expedition Tight is an expedition-weight baselayer for low- to- medium-intensity activities and features an innovative two-layer, one-way moisture-transport construction and FlashDry technology, which works with your body to improve dry time. The Men’s Alloy Merino Top is a technical wool-blend baselayer that utilizes Thermo3D design, FlashDry technology and multiple fabric weights to provide optimum warmth and temperature regulation in a 10.22-ounce package. www.thenorthface.comNorth_Face_MensAlloyMerinoTopIcebreakerIcebreaker has a host of new styles that combine the natural benefits of premium wool with high-tech weather protection. Debuting in Fall/Winter 2013 are two water-resistant technical tops for trans-season running, cycling and other outdoor sports. The Dart LS Half-Zip for women and Drive Long Sleeve Half-Zip for men are lightweight technical tops that contain tiny nano particles with a ridged surface that reduces contact area, allowing water, mud and oil to simply run off. The Dart and Drive also feature Icebreaker’s Free Seam – a seam that is smooth against the skin to prevent chafing – and breathable eyelet panels. Both can be worn solo or under another layer. Also new this season are the men’s and women’s Quantum+ Hood, an upgraded version of Icebreaker’s best-selling hoody, with nanotechnology for water resistance. Stylish and dynamic, it’s ideal for running and technical sports, and for the outdoors. us.icebreaker.comIcebreaker Quantum+ HoodPolarmaxNew for 2013 from Polarmax is the ultra-soft Micro H1 and H2 and the company’s lightest base layer to date, Travel Silk, all part of their All-Year Gear line of Casual Base Layers, developed to be layers you can wear all year long from snow to summer. Made from 100 percent Acclimate Dry Polyester, Travel Silk, MSRP $30 tops and bottoms, builds on the success of their lightest weight base layer, Tech Silk. At 2.8 oz per square yard, Travel Silk is by far their lightest layer ever. With its Acclimate Dry Moisture Wicking treatment this garment will help keep you dry no matter how strenuous your plans for the day are. Micro H1, MSRP $30 tops and bottoms, is made from 94 percent Acclimate Dry Polyester and 6 percent Lycra. With the interest in their soft heather fabric debuted at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2012, Polarmax put the fabric to work in their new Micro H1 line, feeling reminiscent of bamboo or merino. With Lycra for stretch and a relaxed fit, this base layer is certain to be a hit year round. The Micro H2 tops and bottoms, uses the same fabric as the H1 line but with a plaited construction so it is twice as thick. With an athletic fit for the bottoms to be worn under pants without extra bulk and a relaxed fit in the tops for comfort, these layers are the best of both worlds. Polarmax has been manufactured with everything sourced within a 15-mile radius of West End, NC, for more than 30 years. Everything from making the thread to weaving the fabric, to the cut and sew, to the final shipping is done within 15 miles of their headquarters, allowing them to quickly make changes to product at any step of the process. www.polarmax.comPolarmax_WomensPant_1U32V_BLK_01TascTasc debuted its new Performance Bamboo:Merino Base Layer System at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2013, with even more exciting updates at Summer Market, including briefs and socks. They offer both men and women’s styles in two thicknesses, level A and level B. The main characteristics of these base layers are: comfort, temperature regulation, moisture wicking, UPF 50+, anti-odor and chemical free. “We created the base layer system by mixing merino wool and viscose from bamboo to complement and enhance the natural fibers’ ability to wick moisture and fight odor. The bamboo fibers also give the fabric a much softer hand and feel than pure merino wool competitors. All performance attributes are inherent to this mixture of natural fibers,” said Tasc’s Jessica Walther. www.tascperformance.comtasc men base SSlast_img read more