Global environmental challenges
But executives at the two largest U.S. solar power companies took a shine to the statement, which clears the way for federal regulation and came as a global climate summit opened in Copenhagen. Now they’ll keep their eyes on Congress to act on future legislation.
First Solar’s chairman and former chief executive Mike Ahearn called the EPA’s move “an affirmation of the administration’s commitment to addressing climate change.”
“We look forward to a comprehensive legislative proposal next year that will provide a policy structure that combines putting a price on carbon emissions with rapid deployment of sustainable, non-emitting energy sources,” Ahearn said in an email.
Clean technology investors who have suffered through 2009 can find cheer in a new report by the Cleantech Group that gives its top ten predictions for 2010.
The number one prediction: Private capital growth will recover, the research group said.
But Germany’s Renewable Energy Act has given that phrase a whole new meaning. I’ve discovered that you can get paid for capturing the sun’s energy on your roof, converting it into CO2-free electricity with the help of special equipment, and feeding it into the grid — and watch the investment yield handsome long-term returns.
India has ambitious plans for solar power as the country looks to boost its solar output to 20 gigawatts by 2022 from close to zero, as Reuters reported in this story.
Some companies are already looking to capture some of the demand they see growing in India.
Supporters refer to it as the policy that lets the electric meter spin backwards. It allows people who own solar power systems, for example, export electricity to the grid and earn credits — at retail prices — on their utility bill.
A trio of U.S. senators this week introduced a bill to spur solar manufacturing jobs in the United States.
Through additional tax credits, the legislation aims to encourage more U.S. companies to make solar equipment, creating jobs and building up the country’s clean energy economy.
When California’s SunPower and China’s Suntech strode onstage at an industry conference last week, onlookers braced themselves for a bit of sabre-rattling, or at least an animated debate about two global superpowers’ role in solar energy.
Some bet on an entertaining battle of words just a day after Robert F. Kennedy, Jr took to the stage at the Solar Power International conference in Anaheim, California and said that the United States was in an “arms race” with the Chinese to make solar panels.
That goal is still on the horizon. But researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab say the industry is getting closer as the cost of going solar in the United States saw a pivotal year in 2008.
They believe solar power systems that convert sunlight into electricity can help power developing areas without going the route of dirty coal-fired power plants.
California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is working to burnish his green legacy in the Golden State. But one of his latest moves to lift a hold on air pollution permit applications is not likely to make environmentalists happy.
The governor signed a bill late Sunday that allows the agency regulating air pollution along California’s southern coast to start issuing more than 1,200 applications frozen by a state court decision in 2008.