This week in renewable energy: 4/4/14

Every week, Community Renewable Energy shares important clean energy developments– and some that are just plain cool.

Here’s what we’ve been reading.

Global progress

  • Has Panasonic created a solar power plant in a box? The container is portable and houses batteries to allow electricity to be stored for use after the sun goes down, which could prove especially valuable for rural communities that aren’t grid-connected. (Clean Technica)
  • Ghana continues to make solar progress. This week, the nation announced plans for a 400MW thin-film PV power plant. (PV Tech)
  • Japan will welcome its largest-ever solar power plant in 2018. The plant will have enough capacity to provide electricity to 800,000 households. (Hydrogen Fuel News)
  • The Energy Collective asks: Is Solar Energy the Answer to Brazil’s Energy Crisis? They note that Latin America is one of the fastest-growing solar markets and suggest that the key may be wise long-term planning.

America goes green

  • Solar panels in the MidwestAmerica loves shared solar! Vermont will soon be home to four new community-owned solar projects. Learn more about community solar. (Brattleboro Reformer)
  • Iowa continues to position itself as a solar leader. This may surprise people who associate solar with states such as California and Arizona, but it shows that public policy plays a huge role in helping solar-supportive states go green. This week, we read about new legislation that could make it even easier for businesses and households to install solar panels, which is good for the planet– and budgets.  (Hydrogen Fuel News)
  • A new study from the Union of Concerned Scientists shows that Michigan could triple its renewable energy capacity in 15 years– without extra costs for state residents and power consumers.
  • Ohio’s renewable energy standards are under threat again. Originally, the state qould require utilities to derive 1/4 of its energy from renewable sources and advanced technology. We’ll keep you updated as the debate unfolds. (The Toledo Blade)
  • Florida residents may soon have the option to pay $9 a month to support solar development. The program is especially notable because it’s voluntary. With proper oversight, this pilot program could hold promise for other states. (CNBC)

Climate change and climate justice

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a study that shows the scope of climate change– and introduces the concept of “climate justice.” The New York Times writes:

The report, published this week by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, concludes that the world’s poorest people will suffer the most as temperatures rise, with many of them already contending with food and water shortages, higher rates of disease and premature death, and the violent conflicts that result from those problems.

Countries like Bangladesh and several in sub-Saharan Africa that are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change say the report strengthens their demand for “climate justice” — in other words, money, and plenty of it — from the world’s richest economies and corporations, which they blame for the problem.

  • You can check out the study’s fact sheets here.

What do you think was the most important renewable energy story this week? Share your insights and thoughts below or by email.

For news about sustainable community and economic development, visit Praxia Partners’ blog.

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