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In the headlines: Tesla's "Gigafactory" to create 6,500 direct jobs and top 10 US regions for EV growth revealed

Date
03 March 2014
In the headlines: Tesla's "Gigafactory" to create 6,500 direct jobs and top 10 US regions for EV growth revealed

Clean Revolution news stories you may have missed:

Global

Nearly 500 laws have been passed in nations around the world to control climate change, with developing economies led by Mexico and China advancing the most since last year, according to a study by Globe International. Approximately 62 of the 66 nations studied have either passed or are pushing for compelling climate or energy-relevant laws. Today, Globe reported that Venezuela, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Canada need ‘’flagship’’ legislation, according to the group of international lawmakers. Science Reporter, March 1.

Asia – Pacific

General Electric Co. considers Japan ripe for new investment in wind power as the resource-poor country diversifies energy supply in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster almost three years ago. To that end, GE has developed a 2.85-megawatt turbine for Japan that can withstand conditions unique to the Asian country. It can survive typhoon-strength winds, turbulent conditions and lighting strikes common in the nation. Bloomberg New Energy Finance, February 27.

China

China is considering to build two outdoor facilities to help research smog, the Beijing News reported on Sunday. The plan to build atmospheric simulation chambers has been submitted to the economic planning body for approval, the newspaper quoted He Hong, a researcher in charge of the project's preparatory work, as saying. The chambers, each with a volume of about 300 cubic meters, are part of a broader environment project to be built in Beijing's outer Huairou District, according to He, a researcher from the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. China.org.cn, March 2.

Chief executive of LG Chem said that the South Korean company was considering building an electric vehicle battery plant in China, expecting Beijing's efforts to tackle air pollution to drive demand. Park Jin-soo also said LG Chem, which currently supplies electric-car batteries for General Motors Co's Volt and Renault cars, will double the number of its customers to 20 in the near future. Reuters, March 1.

Europe

The global campaign to encourage institutional investors to ditch their holdings in fossil fuel assets could be about to claim its biggest scalp to date, after the Norwegian government announced it would undertake a formal review of whether the country's $840bn (£503bn) wealth fund should halt investment in carbon intensive firms. BusinessGreen, March 3.

Denmark will push for tougher EU-wide climate and energy goals when ministers gather in Brussels this week, the country’s new climate and energy minister Rasmus Helveg Petersen has told RTCC. Petersen said there is “substantial support” from EU member states to agree an overall greenhouse gas reduction target of “at least” 40%, as outlined in a White Paper launched in January. Responding to Climate Change, March 3.

India

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., India’s biggest sports utility-vehicle maker, introduced an electric car in Bhutan to help the Himalayan kingdom clear the air of fuel fumes and attract more tourists to its pristine environs. The e2o will retail at a starting price of 699,000 ngultrum ($11,300), Mumbai-based Mahindra said today in an e-mailed statement. Bhutan, which imports all its oil, signed an agreement to develop charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in the landlocked nation, the company said. Bloomberg New Energy Finance, February 28.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi launched a 130-MW solar power plant at Bhagwanpur in Neemuch, about 400 km from here, on Wednesday. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was present. The Welspun Solar MP project, the largest solar power plant in India set up at a cost of Rs. 1,100 crore on 305 hectares of land, will supply power at Rs. 8.05 a kWh. Calling it a saffron revolution, Mr. Modi said: “We have already seen the green and the white revolutions; soon, we are going to see a saffron revolution in the country ... The sun was there even during the time when there was a Congress Chief Minister. But the Congress never thought of using it to develop solar energy, and it was Chouhan who used it for energy production.” The Hindu, February 26.

North America

Tesla Motors has set off a bidding war among four states wrangling to become the site of the electric car maker's proposed giant battery plant. With the company's high-tech sheen, projected investment of $4 billion to $5 billion and planned 6,500 direct jobs, Tesla's "Gigafactory," as the company calls it, is one of the biggest economic development plums on the horizon. USA Today, March 2.

ChargePoint, which has the largest and “most open” electric vehicle charging station network, last week released a list of the top 10 US regions in terms of electric vehicle (EV) sales growth. “The rank is based on percentage of growth from quarter 3 to quarter 4 of 2013 and numbers were retrieved from states’ motor vehicle departments,” ChargePoint states. The Los Angeles region had the largest number of sales (over 5,000), but Atlanta (over 3,000 sales) absolutely crushed it in terms of EV growth (perhaps not surprising to regular CleanTechnica readers). Washington DC and Portland also came out above Los Angeles on this more relative ranking. CleanTechnica, March 3.

UK

The UK and Germany stand on “common ground” in the EU discussions on how to tackle climate change up to 2030, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a state visit yesterday. The European Council is set to meet in March. Speaking to reporters during a high profile visit to the UK, Merkel said that “climate and energy will loom large on that agenda.” Responding to Climate Change, February 28.

The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) and Societe Generale Equipment Finance (SGEF) have jointly committed £50m to finance non-residential energy efficiency projects. Funding from the alliance will allow organisations to undertake energy efficiency measures without having to cover the upfront cost of installation. The new initiative is planning to support a range of energy-saving technologies, such as combined heat and power systems, efficient boilers, building retrofits and new lighting technologies, with companies undertaking such improvements committing to repay the loans through the energy bill savings that result. BusinessGreen, February 28.

Innovation

Philips is piloting an intelligent lighting system that sends special offers and information to the shopper depending on their location in the store. The system uses intelligent LED in-store lighting to communicate location-based information to shoppers via a smartphone app which they can opt to download. The lighting communicates with the app to send special offers and information to the shopper, relevant to their location in the store. 2Degrees, February 25.

A new regional innovation hub is being launched at the Innovation Birmingham Campus. The West Midlands Regional Innovation Centre is funded by Climate-KIC, Europe's largest public-private partnership focused on tackling climate change. The hub will receive in excess of €1m (£822,000) of funding each year, spread across a number of local initiatives. Innovation Birmingham is creating five jobs to run the centre. Insider Media, February 27.

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