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.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt met with Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris before deciding to reverse an earlier EPA decision to ban the company's toxic and widely used pesticide, chlorpyrifos.
According to records obtained by the Associated Press, the EPA boss met with Liveris for about 30 minutes at a Houston hotel on March 9. Later that month, Pruitt announced that he would no longer pursue a ban on chlorpyrifos from being used on food, ignoring his agency's own review that even small amounts of the pesticide could impact fetus and infant brain development.
Native communities and environmental justice advocates in Louisiana opened a new resistance camp Saturday to oppose the proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline project. Called L'eau Est La Vie, or Water is Life, the camp will consist of floating indigenous art structures on rafts and constant prayer ceremonies during its first two weeks.
Continuing its march toward elimination of key Clean Water Act protections, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday issued a formal notice of withdrawal of the Obama administration's rule defining which waters can be protected against pollution and destruction under federal law.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not doing enough to prevent weed resistance to the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) says a new report from the EPA's Inspector General's Office, which draws in part on a report from the agbiotech company, Pioneer: Weed Management in the Era of Glyphosate Resistance.
When it comes to the latest wind turbine technologies, size matters. A group of six institutions and universities is designing an offshore wind turbine that will stand 500 meters in height. That's taller than the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building.
The research team, led by researchers at the University of Virginia, believes that its wind turbine concept will produce 50 megawatts of peak power, or about 10 times more powerful than conventional wind turbines.
Natural gas is often considered the cleanest fossil fuel, but could it actually be dirtier than coal?
Watch as New York Times reporter Mark Bittman, in the above Year's of Living Dangerously video, investigates how much methane is leaking at fracking wells. Find out how the natural gas industry's claims compare to what scientists are reporting.
See what happens when Gaby Petron, an atmospheric scientist with NOAA, converts her van into a mobile methane detector and sets out across northeastern Colorado for two years, taking thousands of readings to uncover the truth.
Adrian Grenier: 'We Must Usher in a New Era of Compassion Through Forward Thinking Environmental Programs'
Adrian Grenier was named UN Goodwill Ambassador earlier this month. The Hollywood actor, best known for his iconic role of A-list movie star Vincent Chase in the HBO smash hit and film Entourage, will advocate for drastically reducing single-use plastic and protection of marine species, and encourage his followers to make conscious consumer choices to reduce their environmental footprint, according to the UN Environment announcement.
"Together we must usher in a new era of compassion and carefulness through forward thinking environmental programs to drive measurable change," Grenier said. "I am personally committed to creating ways in which the global community can come together to help solve our most critical climate crises through routine, collective action.
"The more we connect to nature in our daily lives, the more dedicated we will become to our individual commitments. Together, I believe we can go further, faster in our race to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030."
Watch the video above to learn more.