EPA Adopts Stronger Standards on Gasoline and Cars to Reduce Smog
The U.S. EPA has finalized new gasoline and car standards to reduce soot and smog pollution. The new Tier 3 standards will strengthen the existing Tier 2 standards requiring gasoline sulfur to be reduced from today’s annual average level of 30 ppm to only 10 ppm by January 2017. Tier 3 also has tighter standards on gasoline vapor emissions when a car is being driven, is idle and while being refueled. The EPA estimates that the tighter emission controls will add about $72 to the cost of a new car, but in turn, Americans will save up to $19 billion per year in avoided health care costs.
U.S. Solar Surges 41%n 2013 Due to Residential Demand
Demand for U.S. solar power jumped 41 percent last year driven by record growth in residential projects, says Washington-based trade group Solar Energy Industries Association. Demand next year will continue to climb by 26 percent as rooftop installations become more common. Residential installations grew a record 33 percent in the fourth quarter over the third quarter. Utility-scale projects also increased 58 % with 2.85 GW, but the number is expected to drop this year as fewer contracts for big solar farms are signed. The residential segment is seen to continue to lead U.S. demand this year.
$200 Million Coal Tax Revenue to Fund Solar Park in India
Solar Energy Corporation of India has announced plans to set-up a 1,000 MW solar PV park in the state of Andhra Pradesh with financial support coming from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency. The solar park may require an investment of up to $1 billion, 20 percent of which would come from the National Clean Energy Fund which gets revenue from tax on coal produced and imported into the country. The basic infrastructure for the solar park is expected to be ready within 6 months, soon after, bidders will be chosen based on competitive bidding prices.
Manitoba Hydro Inks PPA’s with Wisconsin Power
Manitoba Hydro announced last week that it has signed two major power transactions with the Wisconsin Power Service (WPS) which amounts to C$9 billion. The first sale of 108 MW will run in the 2016-2021 period. The second sale, slated to start in 2027, is for 308 MW of firm power for up to ten years. The first sale will take advantage of existing generation and transmission resources, then use some resources from Keeyask Generating Station hydroelectric when it comes online in 2019. The second sale will use around 30% og the energy produced by the proposed new Conapawa Generating Station on the Nelson River.