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

Abengoa to build biofuels plant in Kansas — Spanish multinational corporation Abegnoa said today it will build a 26.4 million-gallon capacity bioethanol plant in Hugoton, Kansas.  It is the largest commercial bioethanol production plant using biomass to date and is being jointly developed with the Department of Energy, and will use maize straw and wheat as feedstock. The company is behind a solar thermal plant planned for Arizona for which the DOE granted a $1.45 billion loan guarantee, its largest renewables loan to date.

Taiwan Semiconductor looking into LEDs, solar — The world’s largest contract chip manufacturer said it may set up units in LEDs and solar to capitalize on the growing markets in those areas, Reuters reported. The company has invested $200 million into a solar plant in Taiwan and has a stake in thin-film solar startup Stion. Last year, Taiwanese LED company SemiLEDs became a public company on the Nasdaq.

Demand for solar still strong despite Germany cutbacks — Solar stocks have largely been depressed due to fears of a regulatory overhaul in Europe, most notably in Germany, which made up about half of the world’s solar demand last year due to its generous subsidies. But a Reuters analysis argues that growth in demand in the U.S. and Italy have given solar suppliers a solid first quarter, meaning they’ll likely do well come earnings reports later this month.

GE Hitachi and Lockheed Martin sign nuclear deal — GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and Lockheed Martin joined forces on a major nuclear deal this week. The companies will collaborate to design and build advanced digital control systems and nuclear reactors. In particular, Lockheed will design and manufacture the main reactor control room systems for GE Hitachi’s reactors.

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