Japan Lowers Carbon Emission Goal in Setback for UN Climate Change Address
Japan, the world’s fifth-largest carbon dioxide emitter, thinned-down its target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a move that critics say will defeat United Nations talks to deal with climate change. The new target turns away from the goal set four years ago by allowing a 3.1 percent increase in emissions from 1990 levels rather than pursuing a 25 percent reduction. Japan’s new goal, recently approved by the Cabinet, reflects the Asian-nation’s increased reliance on fossil fuel after shuttering its nuclear fleet because of the Fukushima disaster.
Dutch VPP Utilizes Solar PV and Fuel Cell Technology
The Dutch Island of Ameland is set to be the site for trials of a unique Virtual Power Plant (VPP) based around 6 MW of solar PV and 45 fuel-cell heat and power units. Under the first stage of the project, the first installations at residential properties are expected to start this December. The VPP project will run for five years, after which the participants can take over the fuel cell units for an administrative fee. This project is in line with Ameland’s goal of being carbon neutral by the end of the decade.
RWE Says Low Power Prices will cause a 50% Profit Drop in 2014; Cut Jobs
RWE AG, Germany’s second-biggest utility, said profit will plunge by almost half in2014 as power prices fail to recover. The Essen-based utility is also eyeing to cut around 10% of its workforce. Recurrent net income in 2014 will likely fall to around 1.3 billion euros from about 2.4 billion euros forecasted for this year. Germany’s move toward wind and solar energy has caused power prices to tumble, forcing utilities such as RWE and EON to reduce expenditures, sell assets and cut jobs.
500 MW Rooftop Solar Proposal to be Submitted to Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi’s electricity regulator is seeking to obtain 7% of the city’s electricity from clean energy sources, and it aims to implement a rooftop solar proposal to help attain that goal. This will be proposed to the country’s Executive Council in early 2014. According to PV-Magazine, the scheme will outline ways in which residents can produce their own emissions-free electricity and sell the excess power back to the electricity grid. PV-Magazine adds that oversupply has pushed solar cell prices down to rock bottom prices and now is a good time for Abu Dhabi to take advantage.