Reuters: Bavaria Says Germany Must Curb Renewable Energy Costs
The German state of Bavaria will press the federal government to reduce supports for renewable energy, a high-ranking local policymaker said on Tuesday, calling the cost of green power a threat to economic growth.
"We have to step on the brakes of electricity costs. Germany's energy transition must not become a decisive disadvantage and a risk to our welfare," said Ilse Aigner, deputy prime minister of the southwestern German state and minister for energy.
Aigner's views matter because Bavaria has to be in line with Germany's overall energy goals, and her party, the Christian Social Union, has leverage over Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government, led by the CSU's bigger sister party, the CDU.
Star Tribune: Wind Power, Booming Nationally, Grinds to a Halt in Wyoming
In Wyoming, one of the breeziest states in the country, no new wind capacity has been added since 2010. Moreover, no new additions are expected in the near term, as projects already on the planning board work their way through a lengthy permitting process.
The main constraint facing the industry in the state remains transmission, analysts said. Wind generation boomed last decade, as projects near existing power lines flourished. The building binge abruptly stopped when the existing lines reached capacity and demand for additional power stagnated.
Climate Progress: The Next Generation of Solar Panels May Be Inspired by Ancient Japanese Papercraft
Solar designs have been inspired by leaves, windows, spray paint, and cloth. Now, a new innovation in solar technology means we can add one more inspiration to that list: the Japanese art of paper cutting, kirigami.
A study published Tuesday in Nature Communications outlines how thin, flexible solar cells shaped like cut paper would work -- and how they could end up being more efficient and better at tracking the sun than conventional panels. Trackers that enable solar panels to tilt as the sun moves across the sky already exist, but according to the study, they’re often overlooked due to their heaviness and high cost -- a cost that, the study notes, is actually increasing each year, even as overall solar costs continue to fall.
Slate: Coal Companies Are Hurting. But the Coal Industry Is Not Dying.
Climate hawks have been gleeful over the trend of big U.S. coal companies filing for bankruptcy. Patriot Coal filed for Chapter 11 in May, Walter Energy sought protection in July, and Alpha Natural Resources succumbed in August. And it makes sense: A financially unviable coal industry could be a big step in the movement toward a lower-carbon future.
But coal haters shouldn’t be too gleeful at this spate of bankruptcies. While some mines are being idled, they’re not being shuttered en masse. The financial failure of many coal companies, by itself, won’t necessarily bring about a low-carbon future -- and for particularly American reasons.
Boston Globe: A Bright Future for Roadside Solar Farms
Five solar projects sprouting along the Massachusetts Turnpike and Route 3 are not the largest in the state, but they are among the most visible and striking examples of a solar industry that has grown more rapidly than most policymakers and energy specialists ever imagined.
As tens of thousands of commuters whiz by, the gleaming rows of solar panels in locations like the Interstate 90 service plaza in Framingham, an embankment on the turnpike near Natick, or a rest area on Route 3 in Plymouth show how solar power has been integrated into daily life. The Framingham and Natick projects are already generating power; when the other sites in Framingham and Plymouth become operational later this month, the five solar farms will produce a combined 2,500 kilowatts of electricity, enough to power about 500 homes.