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First Solar sets world record, reaches 14.4% thin-film efficiency

Aiming to stay ahead of rivals in making the better thin-film solar panel, First Solar Inc., the world’s largest thin-film solar company, has set a new world record for the most efficient panels made of cadmium telluride. The company announced yesterday that it produced a thin-film solar panel that can convert 14.4 percent of sunlight it absorbs to electricity.


Suzlon begins 3-gigawatt wind power drive in Andhra Pradesh

Indian wind turbine maker Suzlon will be developing around 3,000 megawatts’ worth of wind power projects in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh (where a 1-megawatt solar project recently went online) from 2012 and 2016.


After Dubai, Oman announces $2-billion solar project with European partners

The Middle East is slowly becoming a region to reckon with in regard to renewable energy investment, following news that Oman plans to build a massive solar project worth up to $2 billion together with foreign investors.


Global clean energy investment up by 5% in 2011 at $260 billion

Global investment in clean energy reached $260 billion in 2011, 5 percent higher than in 2010 and almost five times the $53.6-billion investment in 2004 despite a sluggish economy, new data from London-based Bloomberg New Energy Finance showed.


3Power Energy Group to build wind, solar power plants in Italy

Renewable energy generation company 3Power Energy Group, through its subsidiary Seawind Services, will be developing both wind and solar power plants on 240-hectares of land in the Nuoro region, which is elevated by 800 meters at sea level in island of Sardinia, Italy.


PG&E says to double new renewable energy capacity this year

San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric Company added more than 220 megawatts of wind and solar power to its generation mix in 2011, and is planning to undertake future generation projects of 463 MW. "Our long-term commitment to renewable energy continued to pay off last year as more projects came online, providing our customers with some of the cleanest generation found in the United States," said PG&E senior vice president for energy procurement Fong Wan.


Wisconsin utilities launch new energy efficiency programs for 2012

Wisconsin utilities’ statewide initiative for energy efficiency and renewable energy, Focus on Energy, has laid out a set of new programs for 2012.


Alstom-led consortium to fix up 1.7 GW hydro plant in Brazil

Alstom and two Brazilian groups will fix up the São Simão hydropower plant in the Paranaíba River in Brazil. São Simão has six generating units and is capable of producing of 1,710 megawatts of current, but is in need of refurbishment to improve its performance and life cycle. It was opened in 1978.


Goldwind raises direct-drive turbines in mountainous terrain

Chinese wind turbine maker Xinjiang Goldwind Science and Technology Company has completed a 49.5-megawatt wind farm in Yunnan province, the company’s first high-altitude wind farm with direct-drive turbines. The company is the second largest manufacturer of wind turbines in China and the fourth largest globally.


T-Solar’s thin-film projects in Peru get $145 million financing

Spain’s thin-film photovoltaic company T-Solar Group, building two photovoltaic power plants in Peru, signed three loan agreements for a total of $145 million. The United States’ Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Netherlands’ FMO and France’s Proparco will co-fund the projects which are valued at over $165 million.


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