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In the headlines: construction starts on the largest solar plant in the world and Telsa thinks about expanding EV factories into Europe and Asia

27 August 2013
In the headlines: construction starts on the largest solar plant in the world and Telsa thinks about expanding EV factories into Europe and Asia

Clean Revolution news stories you may have missed:


The organising committee of the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has launched its sustainability plan, in which it says it aims to act “in a socially, environmentally and economically responsible way in everything we do”. The plan looks at ways to reduce the environmental footprint of transport, logistics and construction. It also considers the clean-up operation, waste management and ways to provide a sustainable supply chain and transparent management. Blue & Green Tomorrow, August 21.

The fifth assessment report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is set to reveal that scientists are more confident than ever that humans are causing global warming. Hundreds of scientists, 195 governments and over 100 non-governmental organisations will gather next month to discuss the study, known as AR5, which will be published in 2014. Blue & Green Tomorrow, August 23.


Three major solar manufacturers are producing panels at full speed and contemplating plans to expand capacity to meet surging demand in Asia. Trina Solar Ltd. (TSL), the third-largest panel producer, increased its forecast for panel shipments this year to as much as 2.4 gigawatts from an earlier range of 2 gigawatts to 2.1 gigawatts, according to a statement yesterday. That matches the Changzhou, China-based company’s estimated annual production, and it may boost capacity next year. SunPower Corp. (SPWR) and JinkoSolar Holding Co. (JKS) said they’re also running their factories at maximum and mulling ways to boost output. Bloomberg, August 21.


Greenhouse gas emissions from China's energy industry are likely to peak in 2027 as renewable energy and gas play an increasingly dominant role in the country's energy mix. That is the conclusion of a major new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) that predicts renewables, including large-scale hydroelectric projects, will contribute more than half of new capacity through to 2030 as the country's total power generation more than doubles. BusinessGreen, August 27.


A rising demand for green electricity across Europe could boost investment in countries’ transmission and distribution (T&D) infrastructure, says research and consulting firm GlobalData. The company’s latest report says that key European countries, including Germany, France, UK, Norway, Italy, Ireland and France, will spend substantial sums on grid expansion and upgrade programmes in order increase security of electricity supply, deploy smart grid technology and accommodate new sources of power generation – particularly renewable. Renewable Energy Focus, August 22.

Tesla thinking about building factories in Europe and Asia for upcoming mass-market EV. Tesla Motors' Fremont factory (aka the NUMMI plant that was jointly operated by GM and Toyota before it was sold) is currently producing about 20k EV on an annualized basis, with plans to make over 40k/year by the end of 2014. Treehugger, August 22.


Asia's largest single location solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant with a generation capacity of 55 MW was commissioned on Wednesday. The project was part of the first phase of the National Solar Mission. Union renewable energy minister Farooq Abdullah and chief minister Ashok Gehlot inaugurated the solar energy plant, which is commissioned by Welspun Energy Limited, at Ravra village in Phalodi. The two leaders also laid the foundation of another upcoming solar energy park in the area; calling the development a giant step towards making Rajasthan not only a pioneer but a hub of solar energy production in the country. The Times of India, August 22.

North America

The construction of what will be the world’s largest polycrystalline solar project is underway in Boulder City, Nevada. Situated on about 1,400 acres of land, this is the third phase of Sempra US Gas & Power’s landmark Copper Mountain Solar complex, currently one of the largest photovoltaic (PV) solar plants in the US. Slated for completion in 2015, Copper Mountain Solar 3 will be capable of generating enough electricity to power approximately 80,000 homes. RTCC, August 22.


An internal government review into the impact of renewable energy generation is examining whether windfarms hit rural house prices. Environment secretary Owen Paterson has brought in consultants Frontier Economics to establish the loss to house prices caused by onshore wind, the Daily Telegraph has reported. The work is part of a wider study of the impact of renewables on the countryside and the rural economy. The report is a joint project between Paterson's Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The Guardian, August 22.

Biomass electricity generators could risk losing government subsidies if they fail to prove their fuel has come from sources that have been officially certified as "sustainable", under new plans announced today. Climate Change Minister Greg Barker today unveiled new sustainability criteria for wood-fuel, which aim to ensure any fuel used delivers lifecycle carbon emissions savings of more than 70 per cent compared to coal and oil. BusinessGreen, August 22.


Scientists are hard at work on a new alchemy: brewing fuel for cars -- synthetic gasoline -- from little more than water and sunshine. Mimicking the way plants turn sunlight and carbon dioxide in the air into energy and oxygen, the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis at the California Institute of Technology is in a race to trump nature and slow global warming. The effort is backed with $122 million of U.S. Energy Department funds and combines the talents of 120 scientists at Caltech; Stanford University; the University of California’s Berkeley, Irvine and San Diego campuses; and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Bloomberg, August 22.

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