NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, December 21: HOPE RISES IN CLIMATE FIGHT; SOLAR GETS BOOST TOWARD BOOM; WIND AT 70 GW, NEARS 5% OF U.S. POWER

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    Monday, December 21, 2015

    QUICK NEWS, December 21: HOPE RISES IN CLIMATE FIGHT; SOLAR GETS BOOST TOWARD BOOM; WIND AT 70 GW, NEARS 5% OF U.S. POWER

    HOPE RISES IN CLIMATE FIGHT Taking on the Critics of the COP21 Agreement

    December 21, 2015 (The TakeAway via WNYC/PRI radio)

    "When he first ran for president in 2007 and 2008, then-Senator Obama promised action on climate change…A number of Obama cheerleaders were disappointed with the president's environmental record in his first term, particularly after what many described as a disastrous deal in Copenhagen, in 2009…But the deal struck earlier this month in Paris meets at least some of the ambition Obama seemed to promise before he took office…

    click to listen

    “Now comes the hard part: Implementing it…The Paris climate change agreement is based on voluntary pledges by many different countries to cut carbon emissions. Critics may say this makes the agreement unenforceable, but Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, says that doesn't mean it is doomed to fail…Sachs believes the Paris agreement is a ‘diplomatic triumph’…[and] nations around the world can meet these voluntary pledges…[if they and] U.S. politicians can find the political will to stick to the agreement…” click here for more

    SOLAR GETS BOOST TOWARD BOOM Solar energy catches a break; developers who raced to qualify for tax credits before the end of 2016 get 5 more years

    Christopher Martin, December 20, 2015 (Bloomberg News)

    “A U.S. tax break for solar energy [just] approved by Congress…will slow growth next year by about 24 percent – and that’s great for the industry…[The five-year extension of solar’s 30% federal investment tax credit (ITC) will ease pressure on developers racing to prepare for its expiration at the end of 2016 and avoid the inflated costs that would have come from such a rush to build. A near-term decline] will be more than offset by increased spending over the next several years…[The ITC extension] will drive about $38 billion of investment in solar power through 2021…Congress agreed to the renew the credit as part of a broader budget deal that also included a retroactive extension of the production tax credit for wind power that expired at the end of 2014. That’s now expected to lead to an additional $35 billion in wind investments…” click here for more

    WIND AT 70 GW, NEARS 5% OF U.S. POWER American wind power breezes past 70-gigawatt milestone

    December 21, 2015 (American Wind Energy Association)

    “American wind power just passed the 70 gigawatt (GW) mark, meaning enough wind turbine capacity is now installed to supply over 19 million typical American homes with low-cost electricity…[It also means there’s now enough wind power installed in America to light the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree for over 440,000 years…[or] drive 26 million electric cars around the world…Last week, Congress passed a multi-year extension of the performance-based PTC and alternative Investment Tax Credit as part of the government spending bill, securing the predictable business environment needed to keep U.S. factories open and further scale up American wind power…There are currently over 50,000 operating wind turbines in the U.S., at more than 980 utility-scale wind farms across 40 states and Puerto Rico…[A recent Department of Energy study found] wind energy is poised to double from nearly five percent of U.S. electricity today to 10 percent by 2020, and double again to 20 percent by 2030…” click here for more

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