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Category: Post Car Society

Stockholm’s congestion charge vs. Asthma

Inside Science reports on the congestion charge in Stockholm (Link to actual paper). Stockholm always has been a city with relatively clean air and PM10 and NOx levels well below limits. The introduction of a congestion charge in 2007 reduced air pollution in Stockholm by approximately 10 percent. Yet, after several years, Asthma in children 0-5 years old is reduced of 45 percent.

“It appears that what they’ve found is these cumulative effects of pollution,” he said.

The article also reminds city policy makers that a congestion charge can only work if a viable public transport infrastructure is already in place.

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Renewable Energy in Europe

The European Comission just released a press release that shows and explains the use of renewable energy in Europe.

Having achieved a share of 16% renewables in its final energy consumption in 2014 and an estimated share of close to 16.4% in 2015, the EU as a whole is well on track to reach its 20% target by 2020. However, Member States will have to keep up their efforts in order to reach their national goals.

 

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The coming low carbon age forces a tax on Saudi Arabia

The Guardian reports on the first time ever a tax is levvied after the discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia.

Residents of the energy-rich region had long enjoyed a tax-free and heavily subsidised existence but the collapse in crude prices since 2014 sparked cutbacks and a search for new revenue.

They will now get a 5% sales tax on certain good, and that is the result of chronically low crude oil prices. The 2016 budget of Saudi Arabia had a deficit of almost 100 billion dollars, and the government goal is to have a balanced budget by 2020.

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New world record in solar: 1 GW array

Yanchi, Ningxia, Solar Park

Modern Power Systems reports on a new world record: a one GW solar array in China coming online.

They write:

China has been the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels since 2008 and has over 400 PV companies. It is now the largest market for both photovoltaics and solar thermal energy. In 2013, it was the world’s leading installer of solar photovoltaics, and by mid-2015 had reached a total installed capacity of 35.78 GW, making it the largest producer of PV power. In 2015, China installed over 18 GW, reaching a total of 43 GW.

Like Germany, China has problems scaling the grid to match, and idle capacity is a problem.

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