Guardian: French Nuclear Power in 'Worst Situation Ever,' Says Former EDF Director

The French nuclear industry is in its “worst situation ever” because of a spate of plant closures in France and the complexities it faces with the reactor design for the U.K.’s Hinkley Point C power station, according to a former Électricité de France director.

Gérard Magnin, who called Hinkley “very risky” when he resigned as a board member over the project in July, argued that the situation for the state-owned EDF had deteriorated since he stepped down, with more than a dozen French reactors closed over safety checks and routine maintenance.

The closures have seen Britain this week exporting electricity to France for the first time in four years.

New York Times: Where Marijuana Plants Flourish Under Energy-Saving LED Lights

Behind the covered windows of a nondescript two-story building near the Olympia Regional Airport, hundreds of marijuana plants were flowering recently in the purple haze of 40 LED lights.

It was part of a high-stakes experiment in energy conservation -- an undertaking subsidized by the local electric company. With cannabis cultivation poised to become a big business in some parts of the country, power companies and government officials hope it will grow into a green industry.

The plants here, destined for sale in the form of dried flowers, joints or edible items, were just a few weeks from harvest and exuding the potent aroma of a stash room for the Grateful Dead. But the energy-efficient LED lights were the focus of attention.

“We wanted to find a way to save energy -- that was important to us,” said Rodger Rutter, a retired airline pilot who started this indoor pot-farming business, Evergrow Northwest, after Washington state legalized recreational cannabis in 2012.

Business Insider: Here’s the Stunning Electric Car Porsche Is Making to Take On Tesla

Tesla will soon be getting some serious competition.

Porsche is doubling down on its electric car efforts and plans to roll out its first fully electric vehicle, dubbed the Mission E, by 2020.

In fact, Porsche, which is a subsidiary of Volkswagen, plans to sell about 20,000 models of its Mission E a year, according to a report by the German news site Automobilwoche published Sunday.

Fortune: Swiss Reject Plan to Speed Up Exit From Nuclear Energy

Swiss voters rejected a plan to force their government to accelerate the country’s exit from nuclear energy in a referendum Sunday, turning down an initiative that would have seen the last plant shut in 2029.

A majority of cantons (states) voted against the plan. Under Switzerland’s direct democracy system, proposals need a majority of both cantons and votes to pass.

The plan promoted by the Green party would have meant closing three of Switzerland’s five nuclear plants next year, with the last shutting in 2029. Polls ahead of the referendum had shown a tight race, but a projection for SRF public television showed the initiative failing by a clear margin of 55% to 45%.

PV-Tech: How Do You Spend Almost $400 Million on R&D?

At the beginning of August, major PV inverter manufacturer Sungrow Power Supply Co. raised around $400 million in new capital via a private placement of shares with multiple Chinese banks.

Significantly, Sungrow said that the capital raised would enable it to increase investment in R&D and “deepen the company’s focus on innovation related to its PV inverter and energy storage line-ups."

To put the $400 million raised into some numerical perspective, Sungrow had generated revenue in 2015 of around $703 million, some 49% higher than in the previous year. In the first half of 2016, the company reported, coincidentally, revenue of around $366 million, while it had allocated around $16 million to R&D in the first half of 2016.