SolarWorld Seeks to Close Chinese Panel Tariff Loophole
SolarWorld Industries America is asking the government to close a loophole that allows Chinese manufacturers to avoid anti-dumping levies. SolarWorld said that Chinese competitors have avoided the 2012-imposed anti-dumping tariffs by assembling panels with solar cells made elsewhere, such as Taiwan. SolarWorld said it has filed petitions with the US International Trade Commission and the US Commerce Department against Taiwan and China. Should the loophole be filled, Chinese manufacturers will be forced to build manufacturing plants in third countries or look for overseas cooperation with local equipment manufacturing, says Wang Xiaoting, an analyst at BENF.
BP Snags Expedited Appeal of Bid to Stop Spill Payments
BP’s bid to block payments tied to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill unless the claims can be directly tagged to the disaster won fast-track consideration by New Orleans Judge Edith Brown Clement. BP previously claimed that US District Judge Carl Barbier ignored the appellate court’s earlier decision to review antecedents in determining which claims should be paid. The London-based company asked for an immediate review while lawyers for victims sought delay. BP’s request for expedited review was granted last week. Spill Victims are now directed to respond to BP’s motion by Jan.8 and both sides to file letters on the causation issue.
Minimizing Power Grid Disruptions Attributed to Wind Power
Researchers from North Carolina State University and John Hopkins University found that increased use of wind power can make the power grid more susceptible to disruptions. The researchers discovered that, under certain circumstances, wind generators can worsen transmission line oscillations or deviations from the norm. Such oscillations can even lead to widespread power failures such as the 1996 West Coast blackout. Fortunately, the researchers were able to devised ways to counteract the problem. They developed algorithms to coordinate controllers within the wind turbines and battery management systems to even out the flow of electricity from wind farms into the grid.
Japan Developing Greener Sailboats
The Japanese government is working with several maritime shipping companies and the University of Tokyo to develop more efficient sail boats. Japan will provide 10 million yen to fund the 80,000 ton pioneer project. The ship will be equipped with 5 computer-guided sails that measures 20 meters wide and 60 meters tall. The positioning of the sails will be adjusted by an on-board computer that calculates wind direction. If wind conditions are too weak, the ship will be run by oil and if the wind speed exceeds 27 mph, the vessel can sail on wind power alone.