The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Record-Breaking Renewable Energy Capacity Pushes Fossil Fuel Plants to Close in Germany
Germany’s renewable energy industry has again shown its strength, shattering through another solar power record, as utility company RWE announces it will close fossil fuel power plants as they are no longer competitive.
RWE said 3.1 gigawatts (GW) of generating capacity would be taken offline, as it suspends or shuts down some of its gas and coal-fired power stations. This represents six percent of RWE’s total capacity.
It said a boom in solar energy meant many of its power stations were no longer profitable.
RWE’s statement read:
Due to the continuing boom in solar energy, many power stations throughout the sector and across Europe are no longer profitable to operate. During the first half of 2013, the conventional power generation division’s operating result fell by almost two-thirds.
German rival E.On has also said it has shut down or left idle 6.5 GW of generating capacity.
And as fossil fuels show signs of decline in Germany, the country’s record-breaking renewables sector continues to show its strength.
This all-time high for energy generation comes as the country experienced an especially sunny weather, and saw a continued increase in capacity—although slower than experienced in previous years.
The 5.1 GW record was 42 percent higher than the same month in 2012.
This is an impressive result for a country that gets less than half the sun available in some of the sunnier parts of the world. The latest record also beats the five TWh of electricity the country produced from wind turbines this January.
Much of Germany’s massive solar power capacity comes from roofs of homes and businesses—around 51 percent of the country’s renewable energy is owned by citizens and this massive uptake of solar installations in the country has also helped bring down the price of solar considerably in recent years.
Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES pages for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."