BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel is backing plans to stem the rising costs of Germany's transition to renewable energy as her new government meets to launch its legislative agenda.
Merkel decided in 2011 to accelerate Germany's exit from nuclear power, but its transition to renewable energy sources has caused some problems. Subsidies are increasing consumers' bills and the European Commission is investigating whether companies are given unfair discounts on those subsidies.
Merkel's new center-left vice chancellor, Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, is proposing to cut subsidies for new renewable energy facilities among other changes.
The EU's renewable energy targets conflict with the Emissions Trading scheme, says Harvard professor Robert Stavins, adding that scrapping them would bring benefits to the economy and the fight against climate change, Platts reports.
PALO ALTO, California (AP) — An increasing number of electric-vehicle driving employees at Silicon Valley companies are finding it hard to access car-charging stations at work, creating incidents of "charge rage" among drivers.
Installation of electric vehicle charging ports at some companies has not kept pace with soaring demand, creating thorny etiquette issues in the workplace, the San Jose Mercury News reported (http://bit.ly/1joxwJ6).
Peter Graf, chief sustainability officer for German software company SAP, says the company's 16 charging stations are now not nearly enough for the 61 employees who drive electric vehicles.
A greater-than-expected increase in crude inventories, coupled with falling stock prices and a strong dollar, sent oil prices tumbling again Wednesday. U.S. benchmark crude for December delivery slid 2.5 percent, or $1.97, to settle at $80.52 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London Brent lost $1.51 to end the trading day at $84.71, Reuters reports.
A lawsuit filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington -– or CREW -– alleges that the Environmental Protection Agency failed to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request to release documents relating to the biofuels mandate in the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard, The Hill reports.
Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good told NPR in an interview that she is focusing on making sure that the company is taking the right steps to address the Dan River coal ash spill, but she hopes that in a year or two the utility can move beyond the matter.
Three states in New England and two on the West Coast headed the list when it came to energy efficiency in 2014, while North Dakota, home to the Bakken shale, brought up the rear, in a survey published Wednesday by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Insurance companies are covering less but losing more money as a result of natural disasters, and sustainability advocate Ceres found in a survey that many “show a profound lack of preparedness” when it comes to the impact of climate change, The New York Times reports.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has cruised waters off the Rhode Island coast to view the impact of climate change on marine life, and now Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., is visiting his colleague’s home state to learn first-hand about the impact of government policy on the lives of coal miners, the Los Angeles Times reports.
An analysis of state environmental data by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that 5 million people in California already live within a mile of an active oil or gas well, and expanding drilling could expose them to greater health risks, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Four major corporations announced Wednesday they will offer employees discounts on buying or leasing home solar systems through Geostellar, in what's called the Solar Community Initiative program, The New York Times reports.
In order to cope with Western sanctions, the state-owned oil giant Rosneft is asking the Russian government for more than 2 trillion rubles, the equivalent of nearly $50 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports.