December 24 Energy News

December 24, 2015

Opinion:

Did Woodland, North Carolina really ban solar farms because they “suck up the sun?” • A closer look shows rational reasons why Woodland residents opposed a solar farm. But there are also kooky beliefs, misinformation, and opposition to anything that weans us off fossil fuels. [Treehugger]

Screen capture Google Street View/ Woodland

Screen capture Google Street View/ Woodland

World:

¶ In a major step towards setting up renewable energy targets, a legislative body in Israel approved a renewable energy bill. It should to help Israel achieve the emissions reduction target it submitted to the United Nations, cutting GHG emissions by 26% from 2005 levels by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Brazilian government launched a national incentive program for distributed electricity generation. The ProGD program will have a special focus on solar and will offer measures to boost the availability of distributed electricity, including tax incentives and credit. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Europe imported more than 4 million tons of wood pellets from US forests last year, classifying it as renewable. A report from Climate Central says 4.4 million tons of wood pellets were cut from American forests last year, and 98% of it was shipped to Europe to be burnt for energy. [Tech Insider]

Biomass, the unused portions of logged trees such a branches and the tree tops, sit at the Old Town Fuel and Fiber mill in Maine.

Biomass, the unused portions of logged trees such a branches and the tree tops, sit at the Old Town Fuel and Fiber mill in Maine.

¶ Taking into account the continuous decline in construction costs for both wind and solar farms, China has decided to cut its on-grid tariffs and narrow the gap between electricity bill surcharges and actual payments for renewable power. The reductions will vary regionally. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ According to Global Village Energy Partnership’s chief executive, 11.7 million people in sub-Saharan Africa now have improved access to renewable energy technologies. This cut carbon emissions by 8.6 million tonnes so far and leveraged $59 million to support business development. [AllAfrica.com]

Solar system in Dakar, Senegal. Photo by Fratelli dell'Uomo Onlus, Elena Pisano. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Solar system in Dakar, Senegal. Photo by Fratelli dell’Uomo Onlus, Elena Pisano. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ A decision in an Australian Federal Court to prevent a “solar tax” being applied in South Australia has implications nationally. A federal justice upheld an earlier decision that would prevent SA Power Networks from introducing a higher tariff, $100 per year, for solar households. [Energy Matters]

¶ The Fukui District Court on Dec. 24 nullified an injunction against restarting two nuclear reactors, paving the way for Kansai Electric Power Co. to resume its nuclear energy operations. A group of residents plans to appeal Hayashi’s decision to the Nagoya High Court. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ SunPower Corp has started commercial operations at the 50-MW Hooper solar power plant in Colorado’s San Luis Valley. SunPower designed and constructed the plant, which covers 320 acres and includes a SunPower Oasis power plant system. It is also operating the project. [reNews]

SunPower's Phoenix Lake Pleasant PV plant (SunPower)

SunPower’s Phoenix Lake Pleasant PV plant (SunPower)

¶ Westar Energy said it plans to add 480 MW of wind power to its portfolio from two wind parks that could be operational by early 2017, bringing its renewable capacity to over 1.5 GW. It will partner with Infinity Wind Power to install a 280-MW wind farm in Kansas. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Michigan can comply with the Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon emissions without changing anything until 2025, the Michigan Agency for Energy and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality announced. Michigan has to cut its 2012 emissions 31% by 2030. [MLive.com]

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