Washington-based Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) plans to announce a proposal to remove tariffs on solar equipments and establish a fund to help U.S. manufacturers with contributions from China. The plan would eliminate U.S. duties on solar cells from China, as well as China’s tariffs on U.S.-made polysilicon. Instead, China’s solar-energy companies would establish a fund in the U.S. that American solar-cell manufacturers could draw from to help them scale-up, says SEIA VP John Smirnow. The proposal is similar to a settlement in which the U.S. agreed into a fund to help Brazil’s cotton industry rather than face high import duties, Smirnow adds.
Existing Coal Plants Not Required to Install Carbon Capture Gear Under New EPA Rule
Under new Environmental Protection Agency rules, existing coal-fired power plants will not be required to install equipment to capture and store the carbon dioxide they emit, says EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. On Sep. 20, the EPA issued a proposal for new coal-burning power plants to install expensive capture technology. Coal producers and Republicans in Congress have warned that the announcement would effectively outlaw construction of new coal-fired power plants. But McCarthy rejected the argument saying that by requiring carbon capture on new plants, the EPA may create a new path forward for coal.
France to Tax Nuclear In Favor of Renewables
France will introduce a tax on nuclear energy as well as a a levy on carbon emissions from fossil fuels to raise billions needed to boost renewable power and improve energy efficiency. The levy on nuclear power will be applied to Electricite de France SA’s existing atomic reactors while the carbon tax will be progressively introduced on fossil fuels. The planned carbon tax will be neutral next year and generate 2.5 billion euros in 2015 and 4 billion euros in 2016. It will be applied to diesel, gasoline, coal, natural gas as well as heavy and heating fuels.
Overruns and Delays Forces Norway to Scrap Mongstad Carbon Capture Project
Norway dropped plans for a full-scale carbon capture plant at its Mongstad refinery after cost overruns and delays, ending a project that was likened by PM Jens Stoltenberg to the U.S.’ 1960’s effort of putting a man on the moon. In 2006, the project was conceptualized to be world’s biggest venture for full-scale carbon capture and spur technology that may become an important export for Norway. Now, the project will stand as a symbol of the government’s failure on climate policy, says Frederic Hauge, head of environmental group Bellona. The government will seek to build a full-scale plant in another location, Oil and Energy Ministry Ola Borten Moe said.
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