Reuters: Japan to Revise Scheme to Deal With Rush of Solar Power

Japan's trade ministry said on Thursday it plans to change a feed-in tariff scheme by making it possible for utilities to limit renewable power output more flexibly while trying to lower guaranteed payments to providers of such power.

The changes follow a rush of applications for solar projects since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant crisis.

A scheme put in place after the Fukushima meltdowns triggered by an earthquake and tsunami requires utilities to buy electricity generated from renewable sources such as wind, solar or geothermal, at a guaranteed rate for a set period.

National Journal: New York Moves to Ban Fracking

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that the state will not lift its ban on fracking.

The long-awaited decision marks a decisive turn in the years-long battle over fracking in New York state. Energy companies are eager to unlock potentially vast reserves of natural gas in rock underlying the state in the Marcellus Shale. But environmentalists have put strong pressure on the Democratic governor to keep fracking out of the state.

New York Times: China Criticizes Steep U.S. Tariffs on Solar Panels

China’s Commerce Ministry strongly criticized on Wednesday afternoon the United States’ decision to impose broader antidumping and antisubsidy tariffs on solar panels from China, but stopped short of threatening specific retaliation.

Solar panel manufacturing “is a strategic emerging industry related to global sustainable development,” the ministry said in a news release, adding that “China urges the U.S. to solemnly consider the serious consequences caused by the U.S. ruling, to strictly comply with international rules and regulations, and to adopt a responsible attitude and behavior to appropriately manage trade frictions.”

Guardian: Scottish Government Accused of Abandoning Wave Power

The Scottish government has been accused of abandoning wave power after one leading company has been forced into administration and another has had to shed most of its staff.

Pelamis, developers of a floating offshore wave energy converter that looks like a large red sea snake, collapsed suddenly into administration on 21 November, with the subsequent loss of 40 jobs. Aquamarine, which is behind a yellow near-shore device known as Oyster, is making about 30 staff redundant.

The deadline for offers to buy Pelamis, which is based at Leith in Edinburgh, has passed. The administrator, KPMG, said there had been interest, but will not be giving further details for “some time.”

Both wave companies have complained about the difficulties of acquiring adequate funding.

BBC: North Sea Oil Industry 'Close to Collapse'

The U.K.'s oil industry is in "crisis" as prices drop, a senior industry leader has told the BBC.

Oil companies and service providers are cutting staff and investment to save money.

Robin Allan, chairman of the independent explorers' association Brindex, told the BBC that the industry was "close to collapse."