The world’s largest commercial rooftop solar array is on a shopping mall in the Philippines. The system generates 2.9 megawatts (MW) of renewable electricity to help run the mall’s operations. The mall is located in San Fernando, in the province of Pampanga. The Philippines-based property developer who created the project has plans to add rooftop solar panels to 8 other retail centers, for a total of 12.5 MW by the end of this year. (See photo above)

Germany announced that as of January 2017 it is curbing the costs and controlling the speed of the roll-out of renewable  energy capacity. The Federal government and Germany’s 16 states have agreed to cap the expansion of onshore wind electric power capacity at 2.8 gigawatts (GW). In addition only a certain amount of new capacity will be permitted in the northern part of the country to avoid overburdening the electricity grid. Enormous government subsidies for renewables led to a boom in renewable energy and the rapid expansion has sharply raised electricity costs for residential users as well as straining the national grid. Last year solar and wind accounted for a third of Germany’s electricity production, up from 28% in 2014. Germany has a goal of having renewables supply 40-45% of its total electricity production by 2025.

Germany and Belgium have announced plans to install 278 multi-standard fast chargers for electric vehicles. In a project called Fast-E (DE/BE), 241 will be located in Germany and 37 in Belgium. They will be placed about every 80 km along main motorways by the end of 2017. The quick-charging stations employ the Combined Charging System (CCS) and CHAdeMO, each with up to 50 kilowatte power output, as well as a type 2 connector with 43 kilowatt power output.

The Canadian province of Quebec intends to set a minimum quota for the number of electric or low-emission cars sold. Legislation has been tabled that would set the quota at 15.5% of all cars sold in the province by 2025. The province is following the example of the US state of California which has set a 15% sales quota for electric and low-emission vehicles. The Quebec quota would apply to car manufacturers that sell more than 5,000 cars a year in the province. Manufacturers that fail to achieve the quota will be forced to pay a fine. Drivers in the province can receive a rebate of up to $8,000 on the purchase of an EV.

Germany has announced it will give 4,000 Euros to drivers who purchase electric cars.  In addition, buyers of EVs will be exempted from tax payments for the next 10 years. The 4,000 Euro subsidy is co-funded by the government and the auto industry.

The International Energy Agency reports that last year 477,000 electric vehicles were sold world wide. The US, China, Netherlands and Norway accounted for 70% of these sales. Altogether 72,370,000 cars were sold globally in 2015, giving EVs a 0.007 share of total automobile sales.

The IEA also reported that there are now 1.15 EVs on the roads of the world. The declaration of the Paris Climate Conference last December calls for 100 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030. That is 98,900,000 more than the number of EVs on the world’s roads today.

Volkswagen says it expects to sell around one million battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles a year worldwide by 2025. These sales are being driven by increasingly strict carbon dioxide emission limits in countries around the world. Currently VW offers three electric cars and six plug-in hybrids. By 2020, the auto company wants to expand the range with 20 new electric and plug-in hybrid cars.

In the US state of California, electric utility Southern California Edison plans to install 1500 electric-car charging stations within its service area. The charging stations will be installed at workplaces, apartment and condo complexes, fleet-vehicle parking lots, and college campuses. a minimum of 10 charging stations will be installed at any one location in most cases.  If the 1,500-station pilot program goes well, the company plans to seek approval for the installation of up to 30,000 charging stations.

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