Renewable development requires more than just the adoption of clean technologies and sustainability practices, but revisiting the way we fund, build, connect and maintain cities, regions and countries. Global investment is needed, particularly within grid modernization, green building and the incorporation of new energy sources – all designed to wean us off petroleum dependency and electrify the way most people live.

Per American Clean Power, “since the passage of the IRA, the U.S. utility-scale clean energy industry has announced $242 billion of investment, 25,180 new jobs, and more than 163,750 MW of new projects.” FischTank PR is a leader in renewable energy and cleantech PR, and has been fortunate enough to have a front row seat to this global energy transition. Below is what we’re reading in renewable development this week:

China’s renewable ‘mega’ bases face hurdles even as sector charges ahead | Reuters 

“China, already the global leader in renewable energy generation capacity, is racing ahead in building new wind and solar farms, but progress is slower on its showcase wind and solar ‘mega’ bases, a think tank said on Thursday.

It looks set to reach a total of 1,200 GW of wind and solar energy by 2025, five years ahead of a government target, U.S.-based think thank Global Energy Monitor (GEM) said in a report, thanks to generous subsidies and a low-cost supply chain. 

However, GEM said progress is slower on Beijing’s most ambitious projects, dubbed ‘mega’ bases, or gigawatt-scale wind and solar energy parks located in remote regions, which are technically more challenging and face stricter requirements. 

“The application requirements for the second batch have become noticeably more stringent,” said GEM project manager Dorothy Mei. 

Alongside delays in planning and approval and construction of transmission lines, the new bases are also required to manage peak loads and integrate with the grid, said Mei, which requires use of energy storage technologies”. 

UNCTAD calls for urgent support to developing countries to attract massive investment in clean energy | UNCTAD

“The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) today called for urgent support to developing countries to enable them to attract significantly more investment for their transition to clean energy. 

UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2023 published on 5 July shows that much of the growth in international investment in renewable energy, which has nearly tripled since the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015, has been concentrated in developed countries. 

UNCTAD also emphasizes the need for debt relief to offer developing countries fiscal space to make the investments necessary for the clean energy transition and to help them attract international private investment by lowering country risk ratings. 

But a key concern is that private (non-listed) buyers, who include mostly private equity funds, often have lower or no emission-reduction goals and weaker climate reporting standards. This calls for a new model of climate-aligned dealmaking, the report says. 

The decline was mainly a result of lower volumes of financial flows and transactions in developed countries. The slowdown was driven by overlapping crises: the war in Ukraine, high food and energy prices and debt pressures. 

The global environment for international business and cross-border investment remains challenging in 2023. Geopolitical tensions are still high. Recent financial sector turmoil has added to investor uncertainty”.

How old coal plants could help fuel a renewable boom | E&E News by POLITICO 

“The issue has added importance after last year’s Inflation Reduction Act. Developers are looking to capitalize on the law’s many clean energy tax credits, including new credits for projects built near former coal mines and plants. 

Advocates for electric reliability and slashing carbon emissions say redevelopment of power plants offers a path to accelerate renewable and low-carbon projects because those plants already have links to the transmission system. Reusing those links could also bring down the costs of new projects, they say. 

The concern is that by clinging onto their rights, companies could prevent new energy facilities — including potentially cheaper, cleaner renewable facilities — from connecting to the grid at the power plant sites. Ultimately, that could make it more expensive to build clean energy, according to some observers. 

Biden administration rule would cut fees for renewable development on public lands | The Hill 

The Biden administration on Thursday announced a proposed new rule that would aim to speed the development of renewable energy on public lands.

The proposed rule would cut fees for solar and wind development on public lands by 80 percent, according to an announcement by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). 

The Biden administration has frequently sought to promote renewable development on public lands, initially cutting permitting fees in guidance released last year, while the proposed rule published Thursday would codify a deeper cut”. 

Report: Germany’s renewable energy share covered more than half of electricity consumption this year | Power Technology 

“A report from the Germany-based Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) has found that renewable energy in Germany covered more than half of total electricity production in the first half of 2023 

According to the findings, the gross electricity consumption aligns with the federal government’s requirements for expanding renewable energies. The executive director of ZWS, Frithjof Staiß, says the federal government has set the course by prioritizing the consumption of renewable energy as well as the digitalisation of grid expansion projects. 

Andreae urges organizations and governments to work with skilled workers and a suitable regulatory framework to achieve climate goals. “Regardless of whether it is for the construction of wind turbines, the development of storage systems or the digitization of the grids, ultimately it is people who implement the energy transition,” she said”. 

Vietnam eyes stronger partnership with Canada in renewable energy development | VnExpress International 

“Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang said Vietnam wants to step up cooperation with Canada in various fields as he received Canadian Ambassador for Climate Change Catherine Stewart in New York on Wednesday.

Giang, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations, thanked for the support of Canada – one of the international partners, together with Vietnam, that established the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) and said that Vietnam wants to step up cooperation with Canada in terms of finance, investment, technical assistance and experience sharing, especially in renewable energy development. 

Canada is keen on promoting a global carbon pricing initiative, and hopes that Vietnam considers participating in the initiative, she said”. 

Renewable energy dodged a bullet in Texas Legislature | Environment America

“The incredible growth of solar and wind energy and battery storage in Texas is one of the climate movement’s great success stories. Unfortunately, as I told The Guardian, at the Texas Legislature “we are seeing a rush of these bills attempting to wind the clock back on renewables…Texas is going to be critical if the U.S. is going to get to net zero emissions, so we should take this threat seriously. 

Thankfully, despite over a dozen bills filed to add crippling new fees and permitting requirements to renewable energy or even to outright ban it, the Legislature ended last month with the worst measures having failed to pass. 

In the end, our strategy worked. While lawmakers did increase transmission fees for wind and solar and kick renewables out of the state’s economic development program, the House State Affairs committee fended off measures that would have ground renewable energy development to a halt”. 

Want to learn more about renewable development PR?

FischTank PR works with brands spanning all facets of renewable development, from cleantech to grid edge technologies to smart city design and beyond. We are known for our ability to simplify complex stories, present to key journalists and media, and leverage results to increase visibility for our clients. Please contact us at [email protected] to learn more about our services.

*Article written by interns Veronica Riga and Bianca Roque*

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