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Ivory Coast looks to solar vehicles to replace bush taxis

Hi-tech, cheap -- and quiet. The Ivorian resort of Jacqueville just outside Abidjan is betting on solar-powered three-wheelers as it looks to replace traditional but noisy and dirty bush taxis. "It's cheaper and relaxing!" says local trader Sandrine Tetelo, of the Chinese-made "Saloni" or "Antara" tricycles, which could eventually spell the end for old-school "woro-woro" four-wheelers as Jacqueville looks to make itself Ivory Coast's premier eco city. The mini-cars, 2.7 metres (8.8 feet) long and two metres high, are…

China says US solar tariffs violate trade rules, lodges WTO complaint

SHANGHAIi: China’s commerce ministry said a U.S. decision to subsidize renewable energy firms and impose tariffs on imported products has seriously distorted the global market and harmed China’s interests, firing the latest shot in a broader trade conflict. China has lodged a complaint to the World Trade Organisation to help determine the legality of the U.S. policies, saying they not only harm China's rights but also undermine the WTO's authority, the ministry said on its website late on Tuesday. (www.mofcom.gov.cn).…

Norway solar firm signs 2.5 bn-euro deal with Iran

TEHRAN: Just days after US President Donald Trump called for further isolation of Iran, a Norwegian solar company signed a deal to invest 2.5 billion euros in the country over the next five years. "Norway is fully committed to the JCPOA (nuclear deal) and this is proof that we have taken the opening very seriously, and we will see more investment very soon," said Norwegian ambassador Lars Nordrum. He was hosting the signing at his residence in Tehran between Norway's Saga Energy, which will work with Iran's Amin Energy…

Epic world solar car race begins in Australia

DARWIN: An epic 3,000-kilometre (1,860-mile) solar car race across the desert heart of Australia designed to showcase new technology that could one day help develop commercial vehicles got underway on Sunday. The World Solar Challenge, first run in 1987 and last held in 2015, began in a high-tech, futuristic flurry from Darwin's State Square. Dutch team Nuon is aiming to defend its title but Belgium's Punch Powertrain led the 41 cars -- powered by the sun and mostly developed by universities or corporations -- off on…

New era in solar energy fuelling growth in renewables: IEA

PARIS: The renewable energy sector is growing faster than expected, driven largely by a "new era" in solar PV power and strong expansion in China, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday. "What we are witnessing is the birth of a new era in solar PV (photovoltaic)," IEA executive director, Fatih Birol, said in a new report. "We expect that solar PV capacity growth will be higher than any other renewable technology through 2022." The IEA calculated that new solar PV capacity grew by 50 percent last year,…

Rs5 bn solar village electrification afoot in rural areas, says Sindh CM

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday said that solar electrification of villages is afoot in rural areas at the cost of Rs5 billion. “Rural Development Department (RDD) has also been assigned to install solar lights in rural areas for Rs3 billion. It has also been given Rs2 billion for electrification of off-grid areas through Solar Technology under which schools and villages would be electrified,” he said while presiding a meeting of Public Health Engineering (PHE) and RDD here at the CM House.…

Stratospheric solar plane makes first test flight

PAYERNE, SWITZERLAND: The first solar plane aimed at reaching the stratosphere made an initial low-altitude test flight over Switzerland Friday. The SolarStratos, a super-light, sleek, white two-seater aircraft with long wings covered with solar panels, took off from Payerne at 8:00 am (0600 GMT), according to an AFP photographer at the airbase in western Switzerland. "The maiden flight of the prototype ... went off without a hitch," the SolarStratos team said in a statement. Pilot Damian Hischier took the craft for…

Tesla to take orders for solar roof tiles starting April

Tesla Motors Inc will start taking orders for its solar roof tiles in April, Chief Executive Elon Musk said in a Tweet on Friday. The solar-powered roof shingles were unveiled in October last year to show the benefits of combining his electric car maker with solar installer SolarCity Corp. @HolsMichael Start taking orders in April — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2017 There was no detail on cost. Read More: Tesla’s Musk adds solar roofs to his clean energy vision Tesla has said previously the cost…