A new report shows 2015 was a record year for solar PV installations, a UK sports team makes plans for a low-carbon wooden stadium, and Norway makes strides toward its goal of 100 percent electric vehicle drivership. Read these stories and more in this week’s renewable energy news roundup.
Global Solar PV Capacity Surpassed 227 GW in 2015
Last year was a record year for global PV installations, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest Trends in Photovoltaic Applications report. Worldwide installed capacity amounted to 51 gigawatts in 2015, up from around 40 gigawatts in the two preceding years. After 20 years of PV development, the report finds there are now at least 227 gigawatts of PV installed around the world, making up more than 1.2 percent of global electricity demand.
Electric scooters have become relatively common in many parts of the world in recent years, but most of the best established brands in the scooter market have seemingly been slow to transition to electrics. The much loved Italian brand Vespa is perhaps the most notable example. It looks as though that’s set to change relatively soon, as Vespa is now reportedly working on an electric scooter. The electric model is expected to hit the market in late 2017.
Following an international design competition, the Forest Green Rovers have appointed Zaha Hadid Architects to construct a low-carbon stadium made almost entirely of sustainably-sourced wood. The stadium will initially accommodate up to 5,000 fans, but there will be the potential for increasing that capacity to 10,000. Phase one of the project will see the stadium built to its full size, with an extra seating level being added along the sides if necessary, but without the need for major or costly construction work.
Norway Cements Position as Global EV Leader with Tax Exemption
Norway has passed an initiative to maintain its 25 percent tax exemption on electric vehicle purchases until 2020, possibly helping it reach 100 percent EV drivership within a decade. Norway's new-car sales are now almost 30 percent plug-in electric, the global leader in EV adoption. Norway is one of a handful of European countries with a 100 percent electrification goal for its transportation sector.