Category: Policy Watch

Addressing climate change through carbon taxes

Research shows that putting a price on carbon-based fuels, in the form of a fee or tax, can be an effective way of reducing GHG emissions and pollution levels across the globe. By placing higher taxes on carbon-based fuels, households and industries can reduce the level of pollution and look to alternatives like solar power and hydrogen engines, which have lower impacts on the environment. The implementation of a carbon tax system, therefore, provides an incentive for businesses and industries to develop more environmentally friendly production processes.

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Solar PV Power Opportunities and Challenges in China Under a Carbon Peak Scenario

Solar PV electricity has grown dramatically in the last decade, becoming the third-largest source of renewable energy. Solar PV power (713.97 GW) has become an important renewable energy resource, second only to hydropower (1739.88 GW), and has made substantial contributions to fulfilling global energy demand and sustainable development. Within the newly installed worldwide capacity of Solar PV, China accounted for the highest proportion of 49 GW (cumulative 254.35 GW) in 2020, with 126.84 GW (cumulative 713.97 GW).

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Green hydrogen supply: A guide to policy making

Several barriers, such as the high cost of green hydrogen compared to non-renewable alternatives and the lack of dedicated infrastructure, are still impeding hygrogen’s full contribution to the energy transition. The report on “Green Hydrogen Supply: A Guide to Policy Making”, by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) aims to provide a basis for understanding these challenges and the solutions available.

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Minnesota Advances to Become First Midwest Clean Cars State

The proposal to adopt a Clean Cars Minnesota program was given a greenlight today. An Administrative Law Judge ruled—as part of her report issued today—that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) could move forward based on the extensive, deliberative, and open process and after thousands of public comments and filings by stakeholders.

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Setting the Stage for an EV Future in Washington State

Washington State has passed two leading laws on electric vehicles. The signing of these bills will ensure that people will be able to charge their EV as easily as buying gas and will be able to charge their EVs at home, at work, and on the road as the state moves toward a new goal of all new passenger vehicles being zero-emitting by 2030. A detailed article on this policy development.

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ACT Transport Strategy: Zero-emission mobility to gain momentum

The state government of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), through its transport strategy, plans to transform Canberra into a compact and vibrant urban area. This strategy provides a direction for the city’s transport policy and investment plans till 2040. The focus is on promoting walking, cycling, and zero-emission transport. This is in line with the state government’s plans of halving greenhouse gas emissions (below 1990 levels) by 2025 and establishes a pathway for achieving net zero emissions by 2045.

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California Approves $44M for San Diego EV Charging

San Diego Gas & Electric will deploy roughly 2,000 new electric vehicle charging stations at apartment and workplaces across the San Diego region, under a $44 million program approved by the California Public Utilities Commission. The investment will allow the utility to help fill the need for charging infrastructure at workplaces and apartment complexes where cars are parked for long periods, supporting accelerated EV adoption and California’s ambitious transportation electrification goals.

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US Jumpstarts Offshore Wind: Targeting 30 GW by 2030

On March 29, 2021, President Joe Biden announced big plans to expand offshore wind power, with 30 GW planned along the US coasts by 2030, backed by billions in federal loan guarantees. According to DOE, this move could potentially power 10 million homes in the future and avoid 78 million metric tons of CO2 emissions. The 30 GW target will spur USD12 billion in capital investment annually

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Growth drivers, constraints and policy implications in the US corporate renewable PPA market

According to publicly available BNEF data, at the end of 2019, the cumulative PPA capacity contracted from renewable energy sources (excluding green tariffs) was approximately 27.2 GW, with higher penetration of wind energy in comparison to solar. The 11.2 GW of additional PPAs signed in 2019 alone represents more than 40 percent of the total corporate-contracted capacity since 2009.

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PV module recycling policies in the United States

With the rapidly increasing solar PV capacity in the U.S. the volume of modules is also expanding significantly and so is the problem of their safe disposal. There has been a growing awareness regarding the recycling of PV modules either to extract their precious metals or to manufacture new modules once the old ones reach their end of life. These concerns have enabled government- and industry-led discussions, policies, and initiatives on recycling-based resource recovery of PV modules in the U.S.

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Can voluntary carbon markets change the game for climate change?

Carbon credits are created in projects where actors implement activities resulting in lower or negative emissions. These credits can be sold by the actor who implemented the carbon reduction and can be traded and purchased by other actors, e.g. companies, to ‘compensate’ for their emissions. The motivations of the actors purchasing these offsets might be to comply with emission standards or regulations, to voluntarily improve their carbon footprint, or to support decarbonization projects.

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PV waste management in India: Landfill ban recommended for all equipments in a PV system

As everywhere else in the world, the uptake of PV technology in India will generate waste. It is therefore important to carry out an assessment of PV waste generation over the next decades to provide solutions for a sustainable energy economy and to prevent adverse environmental impacts which could arise from the wrong practices of disposal of end-of-life PV modules and their components. The report, “PV Waste Management in India: Comparative Analysis of State of Play & Recommendations” provides key insights on this theme.

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US Energy Act of 2020: Redefines future energy strategy

The industry response to the Energy Act of 2020 has been quite positive. The Act is a major step towards ensuring decarbonisation of the US economy by fostering innovation across the spectrum of technologies that are critical for the country’s energy and national security as well as long-term economic competitiveness.

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Green Mobility: Achieving carbon neutrality through transport in the Middle East by 2030

The countries in the Middle East are making concrete efforts to introduce policies to promote sustainable transport. Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are making notable efforts towards green mobility, while Saudi Arabia has announced its intention to build a zero-carbon city as part of its NEOM project. Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are also on the agenda to explore more future-forward transportation.

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Climate Neutral Europe: EC publishes offshore renewable energy strategy

Europe is taking comprehensive steps to deliver on its commitment to become climate neutral by 2050 as set out in the European Green Deal. For this, the European Commission (EC) proposes an EU strategy to make offshore renewable energy a core component of the continent’s energy system by 2050. In November 2020, the EC presented to the European Parliament its offshore renewable energy strategy titled ‘An EU Strategy to harness the potential of offshore renewable energy for a climate neutral future’.

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The European Commission’s Sustainable and Smart Mobility strategy: Targets for and impact on the mass transit segment

The existing vehicle fleet has a small proportion of low- and zero-emission vehicles. To boost the uptake of such vehicles, the commission will propose a revised CO2 standard for cars and vans by June 2021. Secondly, the commission will adopt regulations to ensure that the batteries available in the European market are sustainable and safe for their entire life cycle. Overall, the flagship area focuses on increasing the use of electric and hydrogen fuel technology in all transport fleets.

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Upgrading New York’s grid as the state prepares for higher renewable energy generation

The US is steadily moving towards the adoption of clean energy generation and its integration into the grid. In particular, New York is working rigorously towards achieving its clean energy targets set by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), which requires state-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to be 40 per cent lower than the 1990 levels by 2030 and 85 per cent lower by 2050. The state also has plans to develop 9,000 MW of offshore wind (OSW) by 2035.

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Revision of the TEN-E Regulation: Future-proofing Europe’s energy infrastructure

The EC has adopted a proposal to revise the European Union (EU) rules on Trans-European Networks for Energy (the TEN-E Regulation). The need for this revision of the TEN-E framework was confirmed by the results of a thorough evaluation and stakeholder input. The move is aimed at supporting the modernisation of the continent’s cross-border energy infrastructure and the European Green Deal.

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