"It's been a banner year for solar energy. The United States is on track to install a record number of solar power systems -- thanks in large part to low-cost solar panels from China. That's been challenging for American manufacturers, and federal officials have put trade tariffs on Chinese panels."
Economy & Business
"A one-year extension of a key tax credit for the wind industry made it into the fiscal cliff deal the U.S. Senate and House passed on Tuesday."
"As I note in Friday’s paper, construction of new wind farms is going to grind to a halt with the end, at least temporarily, of the wind production tax credit. What’s next?"
"LOS BANOS, Calif. — The Morning Star Company’s three plants in California emit roughly 200,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year — about the same amount as the Pacific Island nation of Palau — as they turn tomatoes into ketchup, spaghetti sauce and juice used by millions of consumers around the world."
"WASHINGTON — Coal took another serious hit Wednesday — in the heart of coal country. American Electric Power, or A.E.P., the nation’s biggest consumer of coal, announced that it would shut its coal-burning boilers at the Big Sandy electric power plant near Louisa, Ky., a 1,100-megawatt facility that since the early 1960s has been burning coal that was mined locally."
"The United States on Tuesday pressed forward with plans to slap steep punitive duties on wind turbine towers imported from China at prices deemed unfairly low, even as officials welcomed a high-level Chinese delegation for trade and economic talks."
"As economic activity and populations continue to expand in coastal urban areas, particularly in Asia, hundreds of trillions of dollars of infrastructure, industrial and office buildings, and homes are increasingly at risk from intensifying storms and rising sea levels."
The federal tax credit for wind energy expires December 31, unlike many subsidies for fossil fuels. Congressional inaction could doom or hobble many green entrepreneurs.
"Spain's oldest nuclear plant Garona is shutting down on Sunday ahead of new taxes included in a government energy reform that would render the plant unviable."