New York Times: Germany Strikes Offshore Wind Deals, Subsidy Not Included
European governments have spent large sums of money in recent years subsidizing giant offshore wind projects in hopes of creating a clean source of energy that could eventually pay for itself. Now that moment may be here -- and a lot sooner than expected.
On Thursday, the Danish company Dong Energy, the largest offshore wind developer, won the right to build two large wind projects in the German North Sea with no government subsidies -- a highly symbolic first for the industry.
The company will receive the revenues from the electricity generated by the wind farms. German consumers will pay the substantial costs of connecting the wind farms at sea to the power grid.
Bloomberg: Saudis Target 30 Solar, Wind Projects in $50 Billion Pledge
Saudi Arabia will develop 30 solar and wind projects over the next 10 years as part of the kingdom’s $50 billion program to boost power generation and cut its oil consumption.
The world’s biggest exporter of crude oil will produce 10 percent of its power from renewables by 2023, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said Monday at a conference in Riyadh. It also plans to generate an unspecified amount of electricity from nuclear plants.
The country is currently seeking bids to build 700 megawatts of wind and solar power capacity in a first round of tenders.
Renewable Energy World: Geothermal Makes Breakthrough in Canada's Federal Budget
For more than a decade, advocates of geothermal energy have pushed for the same kind of treatment other energy producers receive from Canada’s federal government -- with little progress. But with the release of the federal budget on March 22, that changed.
The budget included the expansion of financial mechanisms to geothermal, which will allow these emerging renewable energy operators to write off more expenses. The change is significant for geothermal energy, which requires higher upfront investments than wind or solar.
Atlantic: How Wall Street Once Killed the U.S. Solar Industry
A new paper in Science Advances argues that enormous changes transformed the structure of the U.S. economy in the 1970s and 1980s, making it impossible for American firms to develop new industries and markets. They specifically gutted the solar industry, depriving the technology of funding at a critical moment in its development.
Max Jerneck, the paper’s author and a researcher at the Stockholm School of Economics, says that these dynamics still exist. Unless they are also addressed, they will likely limit the effectiveness of a carbon tax or cap-and-trade program, he says.
China Daily: Chinese Firm BYD Opens Electric-Bus Factory in Hungary
Chinese vehicle manufacturer BYD opened its first European electric bus factory in the northern Hungarian city of Komarom on Tuesday.
BYD is expected to invest a total of 20 million euros ($21.3 million) in the project to 2018.
Currently, there are 32 employees, but the company plans to employ around 300 people to assemble up to 400 electric buses a year on two shifts, which will be exported to customers across continental Europe.
After producing electric buses and coaches, the company will begin making electric forklift trucks and light commercial vehicles.