Obama Gives Top Billing to Sustainable Energy in his Inaugural Address
President Obama devoted a substantial segment of his inaugural address in re-affirming his commitment to fight climate change and invest in the development sustainable energy sources. The president also implored economic necessity in calling for renewed investments in sustainable energy sources. The focus on sustainable energy could please some environmental activists, many of whom have been disappointed with a perceived lack of action on climate change by the president followed by a presidential campaign in which climate change was not prioritized.
Duke Energy Indiana Customers In Need to Receive More Funds over the Next 5 Years
Duke Energy Indiana customers in need will be getting more funds to help with their energy bills. The company is contributing $700,000 annually over the next five years for low-income energy assistance. Additionally, Duke Energy Indiana employees and other well-off customers have contributed an additional $100,000 in assistance, raising this year’s total to $800,000. The company is expanding the program to include any Duke Energy Indiana customer who qualifies based on income guidelines. Previously, only low-income customers at least 60 years old or disabled were eligible. If funds are still available by summer, they can also be used for summer cooling bills.
China Consumes 33% of Global PV Shipments in Q4 of 2012
According to the new research by NPD Solarbuzz, the Chinese end-market dominated shipments of solar PV panels in the last quarter of 2012 with 33% of global end-market demand. Several factors contributed to China’s rise, including sluggish growth in Europe and strong Chinese domestic policies designed to assist domestic Chinese manufacturers. Global solar PV demand increased to 8.3 GW during the last quarter of 2012, providing the year-end surge that PV suppliers have come to expect. Just two years ago, the Chinese end-market was less than 10% but during Q4’12, a third of all global PV panel shipped to China.
Japan’s Solar Tariff May Plunge 12% as Costs Drop
According to the estimates by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Japan may cut its tariff for purchases of solar power by as much as 12 percent as costs to install these systems decline. The feed-in tariff for solar could fall to as low as 37 yen (41 cents) per kilowatt hour for 20 years from a current rate of 42 yen per kilowatt hour. Average system costs for non-residential solar has fallen to 280,000 yen per kilowatt since October which is 14 percent below the 325,000 yen per kilowatt amount previously used to set the solar tariff for the year ending March 31. Japan’s feed-in tariff program started in July to advocate clean energy after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis.