This week in renewable energy: 5/23/14

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

State and federal policy

  • The Environmental Protection Agency will soon institute carbon emission regulations on existing power plants. From the Washington Post article:

The EPA plan resembles proposals made by the Natural Resources Defense Council, which would allow states and companies to employ a variety of ­measures — including new ­renewable-energy and energy-efficiency projects “outside the fence,” or away from the power-plant site — to meet their carbon- reduction target. While the overall target may fall slightly short of what environmentalists have pressed for, the approach is in line with their push to make major cuts in greenhouse gases while seeking to soften the impact on consumer electricity prices.

  • Community Renewable Energy calls Ohio home, so we pay special attention to the state’s energy policy. Recently, the legislature froze energy-efficiency and renewables standards. This week, industry groups proposed a compromise, which would halt standards for one year. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “The compromise would also allow heavy industry to escape the efficiency standards on Jan. 1, 2015 — if they agree to bid their efficiency gains into an annual auction by the company that manages the grid in Ohio and 12 other states.”
  • Illinois plans to boost its residential, rooftop solar power capacity. (Crain’s Chicago Business)
  • After years of reticence, South Carolina lawmakers are finally embracing solar. According to The State:

    The state House of Representatives voted 105-0 for a solar energy bill that is forecast to make sun-generated electricity more abundant in the Palmetto State. The compromise bill has support from South Carolina’s influential utilities and conservation groups, and a similar version of the measure has passed the Senate. Solar energy supporters said the legislation will move the state out of the dark ages in its stance toward renewable power after years of dependence almost entirely on coal, nuclear and natural gas.

Global progress

  • Schools and universities in the US have been integrating solar power onto their campuses for years– now, African nations are currently investing heavily in their clean energy sector and strengthening their power infrastructure. Today, Accra Polytechnic celebrated the addition of a solar power system. (Ghana.gov)
  • India is turning to solar and offshore wind to meets enormous energy needs. (The Economic Times)
  • Rural Tanzanians are replacing dangerous, ineffective kerosene lamps with solar power. (Take Part)
  • Aruba and other Caribbean countries are capitalizing on their renewable energy capacity. In fact, by 2020, Aruba hopes to derive all of its energy from renewable sources. (Caribbean Journal)
  • One of the Canary Islands is set to become the first fully self-sufficient island, producing 100% of its energy needs from wind power. (Triple Pundit)

Bright ideas

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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