Polar Bears International

7/19/2013 6:03:21 PM

Good News Friday {Solar Power in China & Germany, Midwestern Wind Power, Tale from a German Village}

Lowering our dependence on fossil fuels is one of the critical actions needed to stop global warming—and everywhere we look, renewable energy is gaining ground. Here are a few highlights on green energy from the past week:

  • China plans to add 10 gigawatts of solar power a year during the next three years, according to a report in Bloomberg. The plan would boost China's solar capacity fivefold to more than 35 gigawatts installed by 2015. It will also help keep solar panels affordable and encourage more widespread use.
  • Meanwhile, Germany has set a new solar record, reaching 23.9 gigawatts in July, maintaining its record as the world's solar leader. About 8.5 million people in Germany now live in buildings where solar power systems produce electricity or heat.
  • A fascinating blog post in the Yale Climate Media Forum outlines how citizen buy-in can help communities transition to green energy. Using this method, a village in Germany now generates fives times more renewable energy than it needs, selling the surplus for the benefit of citizens.
  • In the U.S., Xcel Energy announced its single largest increase in wind generation in the Upper Midwest, saying it will add three large wind farms in Minnesota and North Dakota by 2015—the equivalent of output from one large power plant. The new wind generation will save customers $180 million over the next 20 years compared with electricity generated from existing power plants.
  • And if you live in the U.S., a new website makes it easy to switch to clean energy, depending on where you live.

Have a great weekend!

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