Guardian: Uruguay Makes Dramatic Shift to Nearly 95% Electricity From Clean Energy

As the world gathers in Paris for the daunting task of switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy, one small country on the other side of the Atlantic is making that transition look childishly simple and affordable.

In less than 10 years, Uruguay has slashed its carbon footprint without government subsidies or higher consumer costs, according to the country’s head of climate change policy, Ramón Méndez.

In fact, he says that now that renewables provide 94.5% of the country’s electricity, prices are lower than in the past relative to inflation. There are also fewer power cuts because a diverse energy mix means greater resilience to droughts.

The Hill: Wind and Solar Credits on the Chopping Block?

Congress could be close to phasing out the tax credits that have, for years, supported the booming wind and solar energy industries.

Tax writing committees in the House and Senate are working to introduce and pass a package of tax breaks before the end of the year to extend or renew a number of incentives like those for low-income housing, scientific research and small businesses.

While the wind and solar industry and their allies among environmentalists and Democrats want to protect the tax incentives for the long term, many conservatives want to phase them out.

As the committees negotiate the tax packages, lawmakers and observers say the most likely outcome is that both credits will be phased out over a five-year period.

The China Post: Experts Debate the Role of Nuclear at the Paris Climate Talks

As delegates at a Paris summit haggle over how to curb global warming, the role of nuclear energy in limiting climate-changing emissions is the subject of fierce debate between champions and critics of atomic power.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates the median value of emissions from nuclear plants at 16 grams of CO2-equivalent per kilowatt-hour, about as much as a wind turbine and far less than the footprint of plants that burn fossil fuels.

The IPCC, which tracks global warming for the U.N., puts nuclear power on a par with renewables among the low-carbon energy sources whose share of electricity generation must grow to 80 percent by 2050 -- compared with 30 percent today -- if global warming is to be capped at 2 degrees Celsius over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

Midwest Energy News: Activists Question Minnesota Utility's Community Solar Program

Activists representing clean energy, religious and environmental organizations say a Minnesota utility's proposed community solar garden program does little to encourage innovation and economic development.

An ad-hoc group of 19 members (including members organizations of RE-AMP, which publishes Midwest Energy News) held a press conference Thursday in Duluth and have submitted a letter to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission that outlines several issues they have with the program.

“We'd like Minnesota Power to follow the state statute on community solar so that they will have an open, transparent process,” said Natalie Cook, a Sierra Club North Star chapter organizer. “We would like the company to see community solar as a community resource, not a corporate service.”

The National: Chinese Investments Spur Middle East Renewable Energy Ambitions

Rising investment from China will be the next big catalyst for the Middle East’s renewable energy ambitions as firms eye opportunities in the fast-growing sector.

Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE Minister of State, will travel to Beijing next week to sign agreements to increase bilateral ties with China, according to the chief executive of the Abu Dhabi clean energy firm Masdar.

One of the priority sectors for collaboration will be energy -- particularly renewables -- as the Asian superpower looks to get more involved in the solar markets of the UAE, Morocco and Jordan, Ahmed Belhoul said.