Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (2/1/12)

Here are five recommended reads for today (2/1/12)

  1. The U.N. Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability releases a report that recommends slashing the $312 billion spent every year “subsidizing fossil fuel consumption and an additional $100 billion subsidizing fossil fuel production.” The report finds that these “subsidies are not merely expensive; they also distort trade markets, harm the environment, increase greenhouse gas emissions and slow poverty alleviation.”
  2. Greentechsolar asks, “Can solar play nicely with coal and natural gas?” The answer: “Hybrid solar thermal is gaining popularity. There are more than a dozen projects in development with a total solar component of about 450 megawatts including Xcel Energy’s Cameo project in Colorado. The largest is the FPL project with 75 megawatts of solar in Florida.”
  3. According to Reuters, “The falls in prices for photovoltaic components, pushed down by economies of scale and fierce competition from China, have made solar nearly as cheap as conventional sources in Germany’s electricity grid.”
  4. Grist reports on a speech by Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, in which he says that “pumping oil out of the ground does not create many jobs…does not foster an entrepreneurial spirit, nor does it sharpen critical faculties.” Al-Naimi adds, “Greenhouse gas emissions and global warming are among humanity’s most pressing concerns.”
  5. According to Reuters, “The number of proposed solar projects in California last year was 4-1/2 times the level the state needs to meet its 33 percent renewable power target by 2020, a state regulator said on Tuesday.”