May 9 News: Europe Installed More Solar Capacity In 2011 Than Gas And Wind Combined

A round-up of the top climate and energy news. Please post other links below.

Solar power became the most-installed energy source in Europe last year for the first time as subsidies drove investment to records, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association said. [Bloomberg]

Microsoft has pledged to make all of its data centers, software development labs and any other direct operations carbon neutral, starting in fiscal 2013. [Washington Post]

The water that comes out of taps in New York City runs downhill 125 miles from the Catskill Mountains, every last drop the product of 19th-century genius and scheming that made the modern metropolis possible. Now comes a new proposition for what is arguably the world’s greatest urban water system: people are trying to figure out if, on its way to your shower, the water can also drive turbines and make electricity. [New York Times]

One popular climate record that shows a slower atmospheric warming trend than other studies contains a data calibration problem, and when the problem is corrected the results fall in line with other records and climate models, according to a new University of Washington study. [Environmental Protection]

President Obama is urging Congress to extend tax breaks for wind power projects that are slated to expire at year’s end and expand stimulus-law tax incentives for manufacturing green energy components. [The Hill]

Canada will probably not meet its already-diminished greenhouse gas reduction targets, the country’s environment commissioner warned on Tuesday in a report to Parliament. [New York Times]

The Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) launched its latest Report Card yesterday at the World Fisheries Congress in Edinburgh, looking at the impact of climate change on the marine environment. [The Fish Site]

The government has approved plans for the largest onshore windfarm in England and Wales. With 76 turbines, the Pen Y Cymoedd development is expected to produce 299 megawatts (MW) of energy by 2016, enough to power 206,000 homes a year. [Guardian]

6 Responses to May 9 News: Europe Installed More Solar Capacity In 2011 Than Gas And Wind Combined

  1. Sasparilla says:

    It should be noted that yesterday another moderate Republican Senator – Senator Lugar of Indiana (noted for bipartisan work and befriending our current President when he was a new Senator) was knocked off by a Tea Party backed (Koch front group backed) “conservative” primary challenge.

    As we found out in 2009 when the Democrats had all three branches of government with a veto proof majority in the Senate (barely but it was there) – because of Democrat fossil fuel turncoats moderate Republican support was and will be needed to get climate change action enacted (when the time comes) and the Koch funded and directed campaign to knock off moderate Republicans via funded and directed primary challenges continues to work very well building an ever growing mass of radical GOP candidates amendable to Koch bidding on climate change and other issues as time goes on.

  2. Leif says:

    There, but for the GOP, go us.

  3. David B. Benson says:

    Guardian is a bit confused about the physics. Megawatts are a measure of power, not energy. Integrated over time, one has megawatt-hours which is a measure of energy.

  4. Barry Saxifrage says:

    The Microsoft press release says that they will also put an internal price on carbon throughout their biz. That is an important step in that each department will be billed for their carbon and so have an incentive to reduce carbon.

  5. Barry Saxifrage says:

    The press report saying that Canada not meeting its 2020 target is premature. What is really happening is that Canada isn’t on a path to meet their 2020 target *without destroying capital*.

    Nobel Laureate Mark Jaccard who was arrested last Saturday for blocking a coal train put the issue in the correct light: “We are heading for a real crisis in which we’ll have to start ripping infrastructure apart.”

    This is the correct phrasing of the choice remaining.

    This is also what the IEA said in their last big report. We are just five years away from having too much fossil fuel infrastructure to meet climate stability goals.

    The correct way to phrase this is that we are creating a choice between destroying capital or destroying our stable climate.

    So far capital has been sacrosanct over carbon emission levels. But as the climate deteriorates that won’t be a given. Instead we will be faced with stranding capital or stranding humanity.

    I’d say it is more likely that Canada will decide by 2020 to meet their carbon goals even though it requires destroying value of their infrastructure. It is called the carbon bubble popping. To borrow a phrase, the hangover from Irrational Carbon Exuberance.

  6. Eli Rabett says:

    Well yeah, solar is easy and inexpensive to put on a roof, and with some subsidies and high prices for electricity it makes economic sense for house owners and commercial building owners