On the GreenBeat: Wind turbines could help crops, Trilliant expanding to Asia

Here’s some of the latest action we’re following on the GreenBeat today:

Australia’s new clean energy projects drop sharply — The country is generally considered progressive in its pursuit of smart grid upgrades and renewable energies. Australia’s electricity output from new wind, hydro and solar power plants dropped almost 80 percent this year due to struggles to raise financing, according to an industry group; the industry added 210 megawatts of capacity in 2010, compared to 933 megawatts in 2009. The government plans to adjust incentives to meet its goal of 20 percent renewable energy by 2020, Bloomberg reports.

Think launches four-seat version of electric car (pictured) — The Norwegian company recently started producing its classic two-seat electric car in the U.S. It has announced it has added two more seats to the original Think City car without making it much bigger, Green Car Reports notes. The four-seat version won’t be available in the US anytime soon.

Wind turbines could be a boon for crops — Turbines are often criticized as a visual blight in rural areas. But a new report from Iowa State University finds that the turbulence created by the turbines’ blades could help corn and soybean plants stay cooler, dryer, healthier and more productive in extracting carbon dioxide from the earth and atmosphere, Reuters writes.

Smart grid’s Trilliant broadens Asia reach with UMC investment — Smart grid communications company Trilliant announced an investment from the venture arm of the Taiwanese semiconducter foundry company United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC). It will also broaden its Asia reach by opening an office in Asia, and will get some unspecified assistance from UMC in its regional expansion. The release states that Trilliant has an advantage in international expansion thanks to its technology being based on an international spectrum.

[Image via Green Car Reports]

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