Here are some of the stories we’re reading on the GreenBeat today:
GE debuts a dual-battery electric bus — Some trucks come with dual tanks, and, well, some electric buses come with dual batteries. At least that’s the idea behind GE’s announcement of a dual-battery hybrid bus (pictured) that pairs a high-energy density sodium battery, which is well-suited for storing energy, with a high-power lithium battery, which is well-suited for driving. The company’s researchers say the dual system gets the best of both worlds — and could reduce battery costs by 20 percent.
Solar startup MiaSolé’s thin-film photovoltaic modules have reached an all-time high — The company’s CIGS (copper, indium, gallium, diselenide) modules have reached an efficiency rate of 15.7 percent, besting its rate last year of 14.3 percent. The results were verified by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, CNET reports, noting that this is a nice boost for MiaSolé given that CIGS modules have had to struggle against the cheapening and predominant crystalline silicon.
Solar energy capacity could reach 980 gigawatts worldwide by 2020 — The development in photovoltaic and solar thermal projects could result in carbon emission reductions equal to taking 110 million cars off the road, according to a new report from the Solar Energy Industries Association. The report was released against the backdrop of a United Nations conference in Cancun this week to discuss the extension of the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement to cut carbon dioxide emissions, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.
China to offer new subsidies for solar developers — The country’s existing solar subsidies are already under fire from the U.S. for possibly violating free trade agreements. The new incentives proposed by China would have the government pay for up to half of the costs of solar projects, Bloomberg reports. Consultancy Ernst & Young recently declared China the clear leader in clean energy policy and development. Meanwhile the U.S. is still struggling to set federal clean energy policies and will probably not renew a key solar investment grant program that expires at the end of this year.