Sunswift Sets Record For Fastest Long-Range EV
Australian team Sunswift shattered a 26-year old record for the world’s fastest long-range electric vehicle, logging over 310 miles on a single charge while registering an average speed of 62 mph. The previous record was at 45 mph. To qualify for the record, the team drove their Sunswift eVe vehicle with its built-in solar system turned-off so that all of the mileage came from the stored energy and not from newly generated energy from the solar panels.
Taiwan Solar Stocks Suffer After U.S. Widen Trade Penalties
Taiwanese solar stocks fell after the U.S. proposed intensifying penalties on solar-product imports. The U.S. Commerce Department issued a preliminary finding on July 25 that says that overseas manufacturers were selling solar goods at unfairly low prices, which resulted in calling for duties as high as 165 percent for some Chinese manufacturers and 44 percent for those in Taiwan. Motech Industries Inc., Taiwan’s biggest solar-cell maker, fell 6.9 percent. Gintech Energy Corp., E-Ton Solar Tech Co. and Neo Solar Power Corp. also slumped. China is hoping that the U.S. handle anti-dumping probes more cautiously as an escalation will hurt industries in both countries.
Australia Solar PV Panel Prices Dropped 50% in 2013
A report from the Australian Photovoltaic Institute (APVI) reveals that solar PV module prices in the country decreased by half over the 2012-2013 period, dropping from $1.50 /Wp in 2012 to $0.75 /Wp in 2013. The report also highlights that installed prices for small-scale rooftop solar skidded by around 20 percent – in a year that saw the biggest market for PV installations in the country since 2009. APVI said that continued increases in grid electricity prices mean PV remained a cost-effective option and caused increasing interest to the commercial sector- even without subsidies.
Inspector General Calls for Check Up on Leaky Methane Pipelines
In his July 25 report, the Inspector General recommended that the Environmental Protection Agency work with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to reduce methane leaks, as methane emission regulations in pipelines are being considered. Leaking pipes were responsible for $192 million worth of lost natural gas in 2011, and have accounted for more than 10 percent of total methane emissions from natural gas systems in 2012. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more damaging to the environment compared to carbon dioxide.