Climate Progress: The British Climate Department Is Gone -- But It Could Have More Power Than Ever
In her first day of office, Prime Minister May scratched “Climate Change” from the title of the former Department of Energy and Climate Change, rebranding it into the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
If there is anything that environmentalists hate, it is when “business” and “industry” are valued more than the stability of our climate, which, they would argue, is invaluable.
“This is shocking news. Less than a day into the job and it appears that the new prime minister has already downgraded action to tackle climate change, one of the biggest threats we face,” Friends of the Earth U.K. CEO Craig Bennett said in a statement emailed to ThinkProgress.
But while changing the actual name of the office that works on climate change might seem extreme, the change in branding might not be indicative of where the government plans to go.
Energy Post: Germany Sets a New Storage Record
Fully autonomous off-grid solar systems are expensive, but partial storage in grid-connected systems provides improved economy for both homeowners and power utilities in Germany. The Renewable Energy Storage Subsidy Program of the KfW Development Bank arranges low-interest federal loans and payback assistance covering up to 25% of the required investment outlays. KfW has determined that 41% of Germany’s new solar installations in 2015 included battery storage, compared with less than 14% the previous year. This level of adoption likely constitutes a world record for dedicated solar storage.
Since 2013, 43,000 applications for solar systems with battery storage have been approved -- 19,328 last year alone. As shown on the map, many installations have already entered service. The heaviest concentration of registered locations in Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia reflects higher income levels and greater electricity consumption per household.
PV Magazine: Will Solar Financing Be Affected by the Attempted Coup in Turkey?
Politics matters in business. Investors always weigh up the political stability of a country when targeting a foreign market, while political turmoil always increases the cost of financing.
However, the immediate future of solar PV in Turkey is not going to be affected by the recent political developments, claims Ates Ugurel, founder of the Turkish Solar Energy Society Solarbaba. Ugurel told PV Magazine that this is because most of the “major financing deals have already been closed. The cost of financing [for these deals] is known and fixed.”
Next City: Electric Bikes Figure Into California’s Zero Emissions Goals
California wants to get 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025, and the state Environmental Protection Agency is using cap-and-trade revenue to help them get there. Last year, the EPA’s Air Resources Board launched a $2.5 million “Car Share and Mobility Options” pilot project to help disadvantaged California communities access zero-emissions car sharing.
The first round of funding went to projects in Los Angeles and Sacramento. L.A. is using the money for car-share in low-income communities -- purchasing vehicles, conducting outreach and education, and subsidizing the program once it’s up and running.
UPI: Curbing the Marijuana Industry's Voracious Energy Appetite
When states legalize marijuana cultivation, they establish detailed regulatory and licensing schemes governing who may sell, possess and cultivate the plant, where they may do so, and how much they must pay for licenses. Policymakers should also seize this opportunity to enact rules governing the industry's climate and energy impacts.
Since indoor growers consume such enormous amounts of electricity, policymakers should start by requiring indoor cultivators to consume only carbon-free energy sources or to pay a carbon fee until such measures can be implemented.