PV Magazine: Germany Considers New Taxes for Renewable Energy Consumers

The German Solar Industry Association (BSW-Solar) called on the country's national government to stop the initiative for new energy tax regulations. The German Ministry of Finance wants renewable energy consumers to pay taxes of $0.02 per kilowatt-hour on power consumed directly from their own solar systems.

The initiative by the Ministry of Finance proposes tax exemption only for small renewable plants up to 20 MWh per year. BSW warns that the new regulations would heavily impact solar energy operators.

Bloomberg: China’s Solar Prices Can Fall 38%, Become Competitive With Coal

Declining costs in China’s solar industry could allow the government to reduce prices offered to photovoltaic developers by more than a third by 2020 and see plants powered by the sun become competitive with coal within a decade.

“It’s possible” to allow prices to be cut to 0.5 yuan (U.S. 8 cents) a kilowatt-hour in four years, the world’s biggest panel maker Trina Solar Ltd. said in an email, citing chairman Gao Jifan. This year developers got at least 0.8 yuan a kilowatt-hour for photovoltaic power generated for approved projects.

IBT: Exxon, Chevron Face Unprecedented Investor Pressure Over Climate Change Disclosure

Climate-conscious investors are preparing to deliver two top U.S. energy companies an unprecedented rebuke at annual shareholder meetings Wednesday.

A month after world leaders came together to sign the historic Paris agreement, cementing a promise to keep the Earth from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius, a record number of shareholder groups have backed proposals that would require ExxonMobil and Chevron to say how they would adjust to that reality.

The Guardian: The Rise of Rooftop Solar Projects in Brazil

Sunny days have long been considered a competitive advantage for Brazil. Before the 2014 World Cup, the country’s tourist board set up a website allowing visitors to compare the number of sunny days in U.S. and European capitals to cities in Brazil (e.g., Brussels 103, Rio de Janeiro 212). But while tourism may have been capitalizing on the sunshine, the solar industry has not.

According to statistics from the Brazilian electricity regulatory agency, Aneel, solar accounts for just 0.02% of the country’s energy. The bulk of the country’s energy generation (70%) is from hydropower.

Utility Dive: California Boasts Some of the Lowest Per-Capita Energy Usage in the U.S., Report Says

California has a history of investing in energy efficiency and clean power, and that shows in Next 10's report on the state's energy economy.

“Californians are among the most efficient energy users in the nation on a per-capita basis,” F. Noel Perry, founder of the group, said in a statement. “The state is continuing to build on its already robust renewable energy production, while creating a more diversified energy portfolio that will help the state meet its landmark emission-reduction targets."