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International Update Volume 47, Issue 36

HUNGARY TO BOOST SOLAR POWER GENERATION

Hungary

Hungary will modify rules on the construction of small solar power plants and subsidize loans to landowners as part of its efforts to promote renewable energy. The country’s sole nuclear power plant currently provides over half of Hungary’s electricity while 29% of its electricity is imported. The new rules would relax regulations on the use of farmland. The state would purchase all electricity generated at the new solar plants with a long-term goal of minimizing Hungary’s need to import electricity in the next two decades.

NETHERLANDS TO TEST SUBSIDY-FREE OFFSHORE WIND FARMS

Netherlands

The Netherlands launched an attempt to fund an offshore wind farm without subsidies. Only companies that require no support can participate. Companies can hand in bids for two slots available in the North Sea, each representing a 350 megawatt (MW) project, by Dec. 21. German success at limiting subsidies prompted the Dutch to go a step further and test this model. For the full story see https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-netherlands-windpower/dutch-test-the-w...

SMOG FORCES RESTRICTIONS ON FACTORIES ACROSS NORTHERN CHINA

China

Smog warnings across northern China forced officials to order factories to reduce output, order construction sites to slow work, and enforce limits on the use of diesel-fueled vehicles. The city of Taiyuan in Shanxi province had the highest concentration of hazardous breathable particles. China has launched a major effort to clean the north’s notoriously toxic air during the winter, when smog blankets colder regions as people start to increase the use of heating. Beijing was the only city among 28 being monitored where air quality hadn’t become bad enough to trigger the order.