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Current International Update

International developments reported in the current issue of ELR's Weekly Update appear below. For previously reported international news, please use the filter function on the left. For older material reported between 2000 and 2010, visit the Weekly Update Archives.

Volume 44, Issue 11

NEW EU RULES TO PHASE OUT GREEN ENERGY SUBSIDIES

Country: EU

New EU rules published April 9 will replace green energy subsidies with market-based schemes. The rules will address “market distortions” that may result from renewable energy subsidies such as feed-in tariffs, which have spurred investment in renewables, with competitive bidding processes. Some critics see the rules as favoring business at the expense of consumers. Certain energy-intensive industries, such as chemicals, metals, and paper, would be exempt from charges levied for the funding of renewable energy.

HUGE LIQUEFIED GAS PROJECT PROPOSED FOR ABBOT POINT

Country: Australia

Energy World Corporation (EWC) is planning to construct a huge liquefied gas export terminal at Abbot Point on the Queensland coast. The project, which comes just months after the Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority approved plans to dump 3,000,000 tons of dredge spoil in the area as part of a coal export expansion, could involve dredging half a million meters of seabed, further damaging the sensitive region. While the EWC states that the project was designed to minimize environmental impacts, environmentalists fear the effects the dredging could have on the ecosystem.

JAPAN APPROVES ENERGY PLAN REINSTATING NUCLEAR POWER

Country: Japan

On April 11, Japan’s cabinet approved an energy policy that would incorporate nuclear power, reversing the government’s previous decision to phase out atomic energy. The plan is the first energy strategy produced by Japan since the 2011 Fukushima disaster, which called into question the country’s reliance on nuclear energy.