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EGEB: Vermont utility 100% renewable by 2030, major US solar project, German wind, and more

In today’s EGEB:

  • Vermont’s Green Mountain Power sets a goal for 100% renewable energy by 2030.
  • One of the largest proposed solar projects in the US gets approval to proceed.
  • Germany inaugurates the Baltic Sea’s largest wind farm.
  • Japan ups renewables and sees carbon emissions drop.

Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Vermont’s largest utility company, Green Mountain Power, announced it has set a goal to use 100% carbon-free energy by 2025, and 100% renewable energy by 2030. The company announced its plans at an Earth Day event this weekend, WCAX reports. CEO Mary Powell said,

“We feel that it is imperative upon us to move that way. We feel it’s possible to do it in a cost effective way for Vermonters where we continue to bring collaboration and innovation.”

The company is already making great progress. It announced in December 2018 that its energy supply was already 90% carbon-free and 60% renewable. As of December, GMP revealed the majority of its supply comes from hydro (60.6%) with 1.7% coming from solar. The remaining supply comes from nuclear (27.9%) and fossil fuels (9.8%).

Green Mountain Power also made a deal with Tesla years ago to install Powerwalls.

Big Solar

After a public battle over the project, the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors in Spotsylvania, Va. has approved the necessary special use permits for sPower’s proposed 500 megawatt solar project.

The project will become the largest on the US East Coast, and one of the largest in the entire country. It will be built over the next two years. sPower said the project will generate more than $20 million in new tax revenue, while creating 800 construction jobs and 35 full-time jobs. sPower CEO Ryan Creamer said the project will generate enough power to supply the equivalent of 111,000 homes and offset 340,000 tons of carbon emissions each year.

Residents who spoke out against the homes were concerned about the size of the project and its location relative to homes.

Baltic Breeze

Germany has officially inaugurated its largest wind farm in the Baltic Sea, DW reports. The Arkona wind farm has been generating electricity for “some months” now, but Tuesday marked its official inauguration with German Chancellor Angela Merkel attending.

The Arkona offshore wind farm is a 385 MW project that can provide around 400,000 households with electricity. It cost €1.2 billion ($1.36 billion) to build, and costs were shared by German utility E.ON and Norwegian energy company Equinor.

Germany is aiming for 65% renewable energy by 2030, and the country has created a climate cabinet to coordinate its emission reduction efforts. In March, Germany got 65-67% of its energy from renewables for two straight weeks, so the country looks to be in a strong position to hit its future marks.

Pakistan Wind

The 50 MW Zephyr Power wind farm is now operational in Pakistan:

Japan Gets Results

Japan’s Ministry of the Environment reported Tuesday that the country has seen greenhouse gas emissions drop 1.2% from 2016 to 2017. As the Japan Times notes, it’s the country’s fourth straight year of decline. The nation also announced emissions reductions of 8.4% compared to 2013, and 6.5% compared to 2005.

Japan attributed its successes to wider adoption of wind and solar, in addition to nuclear:

The main factor for the lower emissions as compared to FY2016 is the decrease in energy-related COemissions due to the increase in the share of non-fossil fuels within the domestic energy supply brought by the wider adoption of renewable energy such as solar and wind power and the resumption of nuclear power plant operation.

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