Iran Oil Minister Pledges to Revive Output as He Hints on Price War
In his first few days as oil minister, Bijan Namdar-Zanganeh has already initiated plans to revive Iran’s oil production to pre-2005 levels. He also hinted at a price war to win old customers and bring back managers sidelined by the previous administration. Iran, historically the second-largest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries after Saudi Arabia, has dropped to sixth place. The nation has the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves, with 157 billion proven barrels, and its biggest gas reserves, estimated at some 1,187 trillion cubic feet.
Solar Firms to Boost Capacity in Response to Increasing Asian Demand
Surging demand in Asia is soaking up the surplus and will prompt the biggest producers to expand factories, says Angelo Zino, an analyst at Standard & Poor’s in New York. Three major solar firms are already at full speed and are mulling over plans to increase capacity to meet rising demand in Asia. Trina Solar Ltd., the third-largest panel maker, has increased its forecast for shipments this year to as much as 2.4 gigawatts from an earlier range of 2 gigawatts. SunPower Corp. and JinkoSolar Holding Co. both said they are also running their factories at maximum and contemplating ways to boost output.
California Lab Chases Dream of Brewing Fuel from Water and Sunshine
With a goal to mimic 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 copy nature and slow global warming. Nate Lewis, a Caltech professor and a research star, aims to remake fuel as we know it. The endeavor 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.
SoftBank Eyeing Solar Power Station in Central Japan
SoftBank Corp., the Japanese firm that acquired Sprint Corp. for $21.6 billion, is considering to build a solar power station in central Japan, says company spokesman Kenichi Yuasa. Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, is among locations being considered for the plant and the company is already holding talks with landowners. The company currently has six operating solar stations across the country and construction of the new 40 megawatt plant in Central Japan may start in June, the Kyodo news agency reported recently.