China plans to build 110 nuclear power plants by 2030 with an investment of over $78 billion (overtaking the US, which has 100 nuclear reactors). The Asian country intends to construct six to eight nuclear power plants annually for the next five years.

The Norwegian capital of Oslo is banning automobiles from the city centre in 2019. This is expected to be the first comprehensive and permanent ban of cars  for a European capital. At the same time, the city will build at least 60 kilometers of bicycle lanes by 2019 and   provide a “massive boost” of investment in public transport such as buses and trams.

Last week Japanese car company Toyota said it plans to all eliminate fossil fuel-based vehicles by 2050. Currently the company is focusing its new technologies on hybrid vehicles and a hydrogen fuel cell car, the Murai. Toyota plans to sell 30,000 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles throughout the world by 2020. The automaker prefers fuel cell vehicles over electric because their performance compares more favourably with gasoline and diesel powered vehicles.

Linde, Germany’s largest supplier of industrial gas, has developed the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell bicycle. The fuel tank of the Linde H2 bike holds 34 grams of hydrogen fuel, which takes about five minutes to refill, giving bike a range of 100 km.

Japanese automaker Honda said it will put a commercialised self-driving car on the road by 2020, challenging competitors Toyota and Nissan. Google has been testing self-driving cars in California, as have US-based Tesla and General Motors (GM), while Nissan wants to put an automated car on Japan’s highways as soon as 2016. GM hopes to have a self-driving cars ready for sale by 2017. Honda and GM are also exploring the possibility of co-operating on research and development for self-driving technologies.

Tesla said it was taking a major step toward self-driving cars by installing new autopilot software in vehicles so they can automatically change lanes, manage speed and even hit the brakes. The car can also scan for available parking spaces, alert drivers when one is spotted and then parallel park on command.

China’s wind power capacity is to hit 120 gigawatts by the end of this year according to Zhu Ming, deputy director of the National Energy Administration. By the end of 2020, China aims to increase non-fossil energy to 15% of total primary energy consumption, primarily by investing in hydro, nuclear and renewable sources.

Germany’s total production of electricity from land-based and offshore wind farms reached 59 billion kilowatt-hours at the end of September, a figure greater than the 57.4 billion kilowatt-hours for all of 2014. Wind accounts for about 13% of the country’s total electricity production.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,