Hybrid Cars: Panasonic Solar Roof Will Energize Toyota Prius Prime in Japan

Yesterday Panasonic unveiled a next-generation solar roof panel that will be optionally used on the Japanese-market Toyota Prius Prime.

With more than triple the energy generation of former 50-watt roof panels on the Toyota, the HIT Photovoltaic Module for Automobile could find its way onto other brand cars and will be able to power accessories and charge the battery with 180 watts output.

The idea of using available real estate on the car and capturing the sun’s energy may sound great, but even with superior photovoltaic cells, Toyota estimates on a sunny day maybe only 3.7 miles of electric range may be added.

Bloomberg: Tesla’s China Sales Triple to More Than $1 Billion

Tesla Inc.’s revenue from China last year tripled to more than $1 billion, indicating better traction in the market Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has predicted could eventually become the company’s biggest.

China accounted for more than 15 percent of Tesla’s more than $7 billion of total revenue last year, according to a U.S. regulatory filing. Sales from the U.S. more than doubled to $4.2 billion.

After a splashy start in the world’s most populous country in 2014, the electric-car maker faced setbacks including slow deliveries, orders by customers that Musk dubbed “speculators,” and concerns about charging that the CEO blamed on his local sales staff. China revenue fell by a third in 2015.

Renewable Energy World: Strong Year Ahead for Global Wind

Overall, the wind industry globally begins 2017 in good shape, with good prospects for 2017 and beyond.

Although we didn’t reach the 60 GW mark in 2016, largely because China "only" installed 23 GW instead of last year’s phenomenal 30 GW, the industry chalked up 12.6 percent growth in cumulative capacity. In addition, China, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, South Africa and Canada were down a bit on the 2015 market, but these are largely cyclical issues (except in the cases of Germany and South Africa), and we expect to see them all turn around in 2017.

New York Times: Darren Woods, Exxon’s New Chief, Begins to Make His Mark

The executive wing of ExxonMobil’s headquarters outside Dallas is nicknamed the God Pod because orders given by executives there can sometimes be as sharp as thunderbolts.

Darren W. Woods became the top god only two months ago, and he is just beginning to spread his wings. But there are hints of boldness mixed with the company’s traditional steadiness.

Even with a new administration in Washington far less interested in the problem of climate change, Mr. Woods has strongly reiterated Exxon’s support for a carbon tax. Weeks after he took over as chairman and chief executive from Rex W. Tillerson, who departed to become secretary of state, the company put a respected environmentalist on its board.

And perhaps most important, even as many of his top international competitors are cutting back investments, Mr. Woods is pushing ahead with promises of new drilling and refinery expansions.

InsideClimate News: Massive Permafrost Thaw Documented in Canada, Portends Huge Carbon Release

Huge slabs of Arctic permafrost in northwest Canada are slumping and disintegrating, sending large amounts of carbon-rich mud and silt into streams and rivers. A new study that analyzed nearly a half-million square miles in northwest Canada found that this permafrost decay is affecting 52,000 square miles of that vast stretch of earth -- an expanse the size of Alabama.

According to researchers with the Northwest Territories Geological Survey, the permafrost collapse is intensifying and causing landslides into rivers and lakes that can choke off life downstream, all the way to where the rivers discharge into the Arctic Ocean.

Similar large-scale landscape changes are evident across the Arctic including in Alaska, Siberia and Scandinavia, the researchers found.