Germany’s renewable energy industry has broken a solar power record, prompting utility company RWE to close fossil fuel power plants that are no longer competitive. RWE says 3.1 gigawatts of generating capacity, or 6 percent of its total capacity, will be taken offline as it shuts down some of its gas- and coal-fired power stations.
In China, wind power is leaving nuclear behind. Electricity output from China’s wind farms exceeded that from its nuclear plants for the first time in 2012 and out-produced it again last year, generating 135 terawatt-hours (1 million megawatts)— nearly enough to power New York state. While it takes about six years to build a nuclear plant, a wind farm can be completed in a matter of months.
China also employs a recycling-for-payment program in Beijing subway stations that accept plastic bottles as payment. Passengers receive credit ranging from the equivalent of five to 15 cents per bottle, which is applied toward rechargeable subway cards.
In the U.S., a newly installed working prototype of a pioneering Solar Road project has raised more than double its $1 million crowd-funding goal to seed the manufacturing process (Indiegogo.com/projects/solar-roadways). Watch a video at Tinyurl.com/NewSolarRoadways.
Primary Source: Earth Policy Institute