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EGEB: Ecuador scraps fuel subsidies, so what about its green energy? Dulles may go big on solar, more

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Ecuador scraps fuel subsidies — where does green energy fit in?
  • Kenya’s first green bond raises $41.45 million.
  • Will Washington’s Dulles Airport get a huge solar energy project from Dominion Energy?
  • The top 10 states where solar boosts your home’s value.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of the day’s important green energy news.

President Lenin Moreno of Ecuador has scrapped fuel subsidies worth $1.3 billion a year. This has resulted in widespread protests since last week. Moreno said he scrapped the subsidies to boost Ecuador’s economy and ease the country’s debt. Ecuador has agreed to cut public spending in return for a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The fuel subsidy cut took place last Thursday, and violent protests have taken place since. Moreno has declared a two-month state of emergency.

As Electrek reported last week, Ecuador belongs to a collective of Latin American countries that have pledged to reach a 70% target of renewable energy use by 2030. Ecuadorians from all over the country marched in the September 27 Climate Change Strike. But many Ecuadorians blame austerity policies for economic hardship and mistrust the IMF.

Perhaps Ecuador could increase its hydroelectric capabilities and create jobs in green energy. In March, the country launched 20 electric buses, and it needs to stay on that path of sustainable transport, and offer other alternatives to drivers.

Kenya leads again on green energy

Kenya has gotten its very first green bond. Stanbic Bank in Kenya, who arranged the deal, announced the arrangement. It has raised $41.45 million (4.3 billion Kenyan shillings), according to the bank. The bond will be used to build climate-resilient student accommodation in Nairobi.

Nuru Mugambi, a director at the Kenya Bankers Association, said that green bonds will help protect Kenya from the impact of extreme weather on the agriculture sector, which contributes about one-third of the annual GDP. She said:

With the landmark legislation that zero-rates taxes on green bonds, we expect to see more issuance coming to market.

This is another great step forward for Kenya, who are already green energy leaders in the global movement. Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta announced in December 2018 that the country intends to be powered entirely by green energy by 2020 as it scales up renewable investment.

Washington Dulles may go solar

Dominion Energy and Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority are going to jointly explore a large-scale 100-megawatt solar energy project at Washington Dulles International Airport. It would be on approximately 1,200 acres. It could power up to 25,000 homes and would be one of the largest solar facilities in Northern Virginia.

The project could launch as early as 2023. Dominion Energy has filed an application to interconnect the project to the transmission grid.

Last week, Dominion Energy announced plans to build the US’s largest offshore wind farm. The Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project would be only the second offshore wind farm in the US and the first owned by a utility company.

Top 10 states for solar premiums

Does adding solar panels to your home add value? According to Zillow, yes, in some US states.

Zillow’s research indicates that in the same way homeowners are willing to pay thousands of dollars for renovations like a new kitchen or finished basement, they need to evaluate the return on investment from investing in solar energy.

Here are the top 10 states where your return on investment pays off:

  1. New Jersey: 9.9% or $32,281 for the median-valued home.
  2. Pennsylvania: 4.9% or $8,589 for the median-valued home.
  3. North Carolina: 4.8% or $8,996 for the median-valued home.
  4. Louisiana: 4.9% or $7,037 for the median-valued home.
  5. Washington: 4.1% or $15,916 for the median-valued home.
  6. Florida: 4% $9,454 for the median-valued home.
  7. Hawaii: 4% or $24,526 for the median-valued home.
  8. Maryland: 3.8% or $10,976 for the median-valued home.
  9. New York: 3.6% or $10,981 for the median-valued home.
  10. South Carolina: 3.5% or $5,866 for the median-valued home.

It should be noted that there are fluctuations within states: for example, in Orlando, it’s 4.6%.

Photo: Hydropower plant

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.