EU and China Agrees to End Solar Trade Dispute
Member countries of the European Union approved a deal with China to reduce imports of Chinese solar panels, ending the EU’s biggest commercial dispute of its kind. The agreement sets a minimum price and a volume limit on European imports of Chinese panels until the end of 2015. The deal fixes a minimum price of 56 euro cents a watt for annual imports from China of as much as 7 GW and exempted Chinese firms that are willing to take part from preliminary punitive EU import levies. Over 90 Chinese exporters have participated in the pact.
Canada’s “Energy Superpower” Bid At Risk Due to Approval Delays
Canada’s bid to become an energy superpower is at a crossroads as approval delays for new pipelines adds another blow to an industry that is already hurting from high costs and rival production. Upcoming decisions on proposed pipelines to connect oil-sands production to supertankers on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts is seen to be a major factor for the future of Canada’s energy industry. For now the world’s sixth-largest crude producer is still tethered from bringing its surging crude supplies to Asian markets where prices are higher.
EDF Lock Horns with GDF Suez Over French Wind Projects
Electricite de France SA and GDF Suez SA, France’s biggest gas and power utilities are competing to develop two 500 MW wind projects in an effort to increase the country’s green-energy output. The nation, which currently has no sea-based wind farms, invited bids last March to attract investment of about 3.5 billion euros ($4.6 billion). France has outlined goals to add 6,000 megawatts of offshore wind, tidal and wave power by 2020 to reduce its reliance on nuclear energy.
Turning the Moon Into a Solar Power Collector
Shimizu Corporation, a private Japanese construction firm, has unveiled a proposal which would see the construction of solar panels around the moon’s equator. Called the LUNA RING, the panels will collect solar energy to be sent back to Earth with the use of microwave power transmission antennas to beam the electricity to receiving stations located around the Pacific Rim. While the cost and hurdles in place have not been addressed, it does show the extent how far the Japanese people are willing to go to attain nuclear energy independence.