China Aims for 70GW of Solar Power to Cut Coal Reliance
China, the world’s top carbon emitter, is looking to speed up solar power development, targeting to more than triple its installed capacity to 70 gigawatts by 2017 to reduce its reliance on coal. The Asian powerhouse had almost 20 GW of installed solar capacity at the end of last year. China also plans to have 150 GW of installed wind capacity by 2017, 330 GW of hydropower and 11 GW of power from biomass. The plans come as the country strives to get 13 percent of its energy from non-fossil fuels.
Musk Sees Need for Hundreds of Battery Factories
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, said that the need for lower-cost batteries for power storage means there will need to be hundreds of “gigafactory” lke the one the electronic-car maker is planning to build. Musk anticipates the battery factory will cut the cost of lithium-ion cells by 30 percent. Tesla is getting close to deciding where it will construct its first proposed facility, which is estimated to cost as much as $5 billion. Musk recently announced that groundbreaking at one of at least two potential sites could happen as early as June.
Linde to Produce Hydrogen From Surplus Wind Power at German Facility
Linde Ag will start making hydrogen from surplus power at a $23 million plant in Germany that will be the largest of its kind when completed next year. Germany is seeking to get 80 percent of its power from sustainable sources by 2050. The shift to renewable energy has raised fears that intermittent power from solar and wind may destabilize the grid. The proposed facility will be able to convert as much as 6 MW of power, mostly from nearby wind farms, into hydrogen using technology from Siemens AG. The hydrogen can be stored and will be able to protect supplies, Linde said.
Statkraft and Doedra Ventures to Produce Wood-Based Clean Fuel
Statkraft AS, a Norwegian utility, and forestry firm Soedra has agreed to tie-up and form a company that will produce clean fuel from wood. Under the deal, Statkraft will buy out Soedra Cell Tofte AS, owner of an industrial site that is capable of handling large amounts of wood. Soedra is monitoring with great interest the technology developments and business opportunities presented by using raw materials fom the forest to be used in industrial production of climate-neutral fuels, says CEO Lars Idermark. The two companies will join forces to form a biofuel company, with Soedra taking 49 percent and Statkraft the rest.
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