The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Netherlands Launches Landmark Zero-Subsidy Wind Power Auction
Zero subsidy tenders have been labeled as a “game-changer" for the sector because it means that potential bidders would rely solely on wholesale electricity prices without financial aid from the government.
The landmark Dutch tender comes after wind farm auctions in Germany earlier this year, where developers grabbed some slots to build offshore wind farms without subsidies.
“The zero subsidy bid is a breakthrough for the cost competitiveness of offshore wind and it demonstrates the technology's massive global growth potential as a cornerstone in the economically viable shift to green energy systems," Samuel Leupold, the head of Denmark Dong Energy's wind power unit, one of the winning bidders, told Financial Times.
Reuters explained that Dutch subsidies have dropped due to plummeting offshore wind costs:
"At the Netherlands' two previous auctions for offshore wind power last year, subsidies granted fell by a quarter, as a combination of surging demand for wind energy, low interest rates, technological progress and competition among turbine makers made it considerably cheaper to build wind farms."
Although a Dutch official acknowledged that the subsidy-free tender could be a risk, Swedish energy group Vattenfall has already confirmed itself as a bidder on Friday.
"It is a major milestone for Vattenfall and would be an important step to become fossil free within one generation," the company announced. "Vattenfall is firmly committed to the green transition of Northern Europe, investing more than EUR 2 billion in renewable energy between 2017-2018," adding that it sees the new project "as a significant milestone for both the green transition of the Netherlands and Vattenfall."
According to Recharge, "Other potential contenders such as sector leader Orsted and Germany's EnBW—the two successful zero-bidders in Germany—have not said whether they are taking part, although the latter has set up a Dutch subsidiary that would allow it to do so."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Brian Barth
Late fall, after the last crops have been harvested, is a time to rest and reflect on the successes and challenges of the gardening year. But for those whose need to putter around in the garden doesn't end when cold weather comes, there's surely a few lingering chores. Get them done now and you'll be ahead of the game in spring.
By Bailey Hopp
If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.
(R) The measles virus pictured under a microscope. PHIL / CDC
The Pacific Island nation of Samoa declared a state of emergency this week, closed all of its schools and limited the number of public gatherings allowed after a measles outbreak has swept across the country of just 200,000 people, according to Reuters.
By Alison Cagle
Rising above the Arizona desert, the Santa Rita Mountains cradle 10,000 years of Indigenous history. The Tohono O'odham Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and Hopi Tribe, among numerous other tribes, have worshipped, foraged, hunted and laid their ancestors to rest in the mountains for generations.
Native Americans are disproportionately without access to clean water, according to a new report, "Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States: A National Action Plan," to be released this afternoon, which shows that more than two million Americans do not have access to access to running water, indoor plumbing or wastewater services.
By Nanticha Ocharoenchai
In the Czech Republic, horses have become the knights in shining armor. A study published in the Journal for Nature Conservation suggests that returning feral horses to grasslands in Podyjí National Park could help boost the numbers of several threatened butterfly species.