The Chinese government has ordered over 2,087 firms in high-polluting and energy-intensive industries to shut down outdated plant by the end of September. Companies that fail to do so risk having bank loans frozen, approvals for new projects and land purchases refused and their electricity cut off. Companies effected produce steel, coal, cement, aluminium, glass and other materials and include plants owned by China’s biggest steel maker, Hebei Iron and Steel Group, and the nation’s biggest aluminium maker, Aluminum Corp of China. The reason for the dramatic action is that China’s average energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product … Continue Reading
D.Net, a non-profit research organisation, is bringing some of the benefits of modern technology to impoverished rural villages in Bangladesh through a band of "InfoLadies". The InfoLadies are young women equipped with a bicycle, phone, some medical equipment and a netbook loaded with information on topics from agriculture to health, sanitation and disaster management. The content uses simple text, pictures and engaging animations to reach all users, many of whom are illiterate. Their medical kits include items such as blood pressure monitors and pregnancy test kits.
The Indian government has approved the first phase of the proposed "Solar Mission" under which 20 gigawatts of solar capacity is to be installed by 2022 by which time it is hoped that India will have established itself as a global leader in solar power. In the first phase, which has now been formally approved, 1,300 megawatts of solar capacity will be installed by March 2013. Of this, 1,000 megawatts is to be grid connected, 200 megawatts is to be off-grid and the remaining 100 megawatt is to be rooftop or other small-scale installations. The 1,000 megawatts produced by the … Continue Reading
China has signed an agreement with the California company, eSolar, to build a 2,000 megawatt solar thermal power plant in the Yulin Energy Park in the Mongolian desert in northern China. Four months ago, an Arizona company, First Solar, secured a contract to build an equally large photovoltaic power plant just 80 kilometres south of the new location. Before these announcements, the largest solar electricity projects were a 550 megawatt plant to be built by First Solar in California and a 500 megawatt solar thermal plant being developed for the US Army in the Mojave Desert. In addition to the … Continue Reading
American solar photovoltaic panel manufacturer, First Solar, has signed a memorandum of understanding with China to partner on a 2,000-megawatt power plant in Ordos City, Inner Mongolia. This follows an agreement signed last month for Canadian Solar to develop a 500-megawatt solar power plant in Baotou, Inner Mongolia. Before these announcements, the largest solar electricity projects were a 550 megawatt plant to be built by First Solar in California and a 500 megawatt solar thermal plant being developed for the US Army in the Mojave Desert. In addition to the planned solar power plants, wind farms with a total capacity … Continue Reading
According to the market research company, The Information Network, the wholesale price of solar panels has dropped from $US4.05 per watt a year ago to $US1.85 today. The company predicts that the price could drop below $US1 per watt next year and be as low as $US0.50 per watt in 2011. The main reason for the falling price is increased manufacturing capacity in China combined with decreased demand during the global financial downturn. Not only has Chinese competition directly forced lower pices but European countries have begun scaling back their subsidies because the funds were increasingly going towards imports from … Continue Reading
India’s Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change has approved in principal the country’s "National Solar Mission" which aims to expand India’s solar power generating capacity from the current 3 gigawatts to 20 gigawatts by 2020 and 200 gigawatts by 2050, The huge scale of the plan can be seen from the fact that, under the plan, by 2020 India would be generating more solar electricity than the world’s entire current solar generating capacity, which is about 16.5 gigawatts – and by 2050, it’s solar generating capacity would far exceed India’s total current power generating capacity, which is about 150 gigawatts. … Continue Reading
Chinese vehicle manufacturer, New Power, claims to have developed a full-sized electric four-seater with a range of 400 kilometress which will go into production in China next year. The company plans to bring it to the UK “within the next couple of years”. Known as the Zhong Tai, the vehicle has lithium-ion batteries that can be recharged in 6-8 hours from a conventional socket, or in two hours from a high-power recharging point. With a top speed of 120 kilometres per hour and an estimated price tag of between £16,300 and £20,500 ($au33,000 and $au40,000) in Britain. The car is … Continue Reading
Car sales in China in April were 25 per cent higher than in the same month last year – and for the third month in a row, car sales in China exceeded those in the United States. The sales boom has been attributed to the Government’s halving of sales tax on small, fuel efficient cars. One of the beneficiencies of the sales boom has been General Motors’ Chinese subsidiary whose monthly sales were 50 percent higher than last year. Results such as this have led to speculation that Chinese car companies are seeking to take over Western car manufacturers at … Continue Reading
The Chinese government has announced what observers are describing as the most generous and aggressive power subsidy in the world. China is offerring 20 yuan (about $au4.30) per watt for solar voltaic installations greater than 50 kilowatts. This would amount to about half the cost of the installation. China has built up a sizeable solar industry based almost entirely on exports but several large-scale domestic solar power projects have been announced in the past year – including a 1 gigawatt power plant in Qinghai’s Qaidam Basin that would be the world’s largest photovoltaic project.