In this clean energy and transport news roundup, we’ve got news about a PHEV aircraft concept, geothermal desalination, flaming electric motorcycle batteries, electric buses at the DNC, a Tesla driver who calls out Elon Musk, solar trees, and more.
[CleanTechnica isn’t the only Important Media site to cover clean energy & transport news, and if you’re looking for more stories on electric mobility, bicycles, solar and wind energy, and other related issues, we’ve got them at sites such as Solar Love, Planetsave, Bikocity, Gas2, and EV Obsession.]
When you can’t see the forest for the (solar) trees:
A solar power tree developed by the Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute of India is designed to capture rays from the sun using an innovative vertical arrangement of solar cells. The solar tree uses steel “branches” to hold multiple solar panels high off the ground where they are exposed to more of the sun’s rays. The array can be reoriented during the day to stay facing toward the sun, which increases output by an additional 10%.
Bring me little (desalinated) water, Sylvie:
Steve Griffiths, the vice president for research at Abu Dhabi’s Masdar Institute, which has been studying the potential for geothermal in the UAE, said that using this kind of energy for desalination was the most viable option, as the GCC’s geothermal resources were only suitable for low-temperature applications, averaging about 100°C.
Eight days a week, Gigafactory-style:
The pace of construction is increasing, with workers in two shifts now on site 7 days a week. Why the rush? “We have to be ready with cell and pack production well ahead of vehicle production,” said JB Straubel, Tesla’s chief technical officer and co-founder, during a walk-through of the factory. “We’re accelerating our construction plans and accelerating our planned ramp up of cell production.”
Canadian company plans solar Baloch party:
As per the agreement, a Canadian company will set up 20 solar power projects of 50 MW capacity each. The projects are expected to be distributed across the province. A Canadian delegation is expected to visit Pakistan soon to finalize the various project locations.
A wind and solar Brazilian:
According to a press release by the Brazilian energy agency, Empresa de Pesquisa Energética, more than 33 GW of wind and solar power capacity has been registered for the auction scheduled on 28 October. The auction will see only wind and solar power projects allocated.
JA Solar will invest $1 billion for module factory in Vietnam:
JA Solar Holdings has announced plans to set up its largest overseas solar module manufacturing factory in Vietnam. The factory will be spread across 88 hectares at Quang Chau industrial zone. The company is expected to invest $1 billion to set up the factory.
Straight into the solar zone:
According to the policy document released recently, the Ministry will identify and designate 10 solar zones across the country having 10,000 hectares area each. The solar zones will house large-scale solar power projects, solar equipment manufacturing units, and institutes for training and skill development of youth.
Monsooner rather than later, the wind is up in Tamil Nadu:
Buoyed by a good monsoon and the availability of a transmission network, the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has got 1 GW of surplus wind energy this season.
Coal to sol:
Tamil Nadu-based lignite mining company Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) Limited announced plans to set up a 300 MW solar power project in the eastern state of Odisha. The project is the latest to be announced by the company in its plan to set up 1 GW solar power capacity.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a plug-in hybrid aircraft:
One of our friends and readers, Peter Egan, recently shared rather interesting specs for a 100-seat plug-in hybrid (PHEV) aircraft — over on the Tesla Motors Club forum, but the idea seems worth sharing here. Perhaps it’ll kick off an interesting conversation.
A plague of flaming electric motorcycle batteries:
People love stories about lithium ion batteries that catch fire. Early in its history, Tesla Motors had it share of issues with batteries. Boeing has had problems with batteries for its Dreamliner. Now the plague of flaming batteries has spread to the fleet of Zero S ZF9 electric motorcycles used by the Hong Kong police force since 2014. As a result, all 50 bikes have been taken out of service, hopefully temporarily.
Is there a lightning adapter for that?
OK. You did the right thing. You went out and bought a car with a plug. You are now doing your bit in the fight against fossil fuels. You are helping to lower carbon emissions. Congratulations. Once you get it home, though, where will you plug it in? Yes, plug-in car fans, when you decide to drive an electric car, you have to make arrangements to plug it in. What are your choices?
Lord of the Nurburgring:
How well the souped-up versions of the Tesla Model S (Tesla P85D, Tesla P90D, etc.) perform when put to the paces at serious racetracks has been an object of contention among Tesla detractors for some time now.
Yes, but they’re electric lab rats:
An angry Model X driver whose Model X crashed on a Montana back road has posted a long and bitter note on the Tesla Motors Club forum, condemning Tesla for making a beta version of its Autopilot software available in its cars. He says Tesla drivers are “lab rats.” He then calls out Elon Musk personally. “Mr. Musk should stand up as a man, face up the challenge to thoroughly investigate the cause of the accident, and take responsibility for the mistakes of Tesla product.”
In news of the obvious, cleaner cars are cleaner:
The American Lung Association and a diverse coalition of environmental groups, automakers, electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment manufacturers, and business groups are propelling Massachusetts legislators to protect critical provisions related to ZEVs in the state’s Omnibus Energy Bill.
A case for better profiling:
What else could be done with Tesla’s driver profile system that isn’t now? What could be done to expand the usability of the system?
All aboard the electric DNC bus:
As much of the nation turns its eyes to Philadelphia for the historic 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC), the city is stepping that up a notch. Philadelphia’s innovative transit agency (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, or SEPTA) is offering fully electric and free transit for attendees, in collaboration with Proterra (an American fully electric bus manufacturer) and PECO (an electric and natural gas utility subsidiary of Exelon Corporation).
Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
EV Obsession Daily!
Tesla Sales in 2023, 2024, and 2030
CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.