BusinessGreen: U.K. Solar Industry Leading Europe With 3 GW Forecast to Be Added This Year

The U.K. installed more new solar power capacity than any other European country last year and is on track to retain its top-ranking position this year, due to a rush to complete projects ahead of deep cuts to subsidies at the start of this month.

However, the strong performance from the U.K. comes in the midst of a challenging period for the European solar sector. Preliminary figures by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association show installation rates across Europe have fallen sharply over the past four years. The analysis, due to be published next month and shared with BusinessGreen, reveals less than 7 GW was installed in the bloc in 2014, compared to 21 GW in 2011.

Bloomberg: China’s Checks on Solar Quality Could Spur More Consolidation

China’s National Energy Administration is pressing local governments to inspect and report how much power the nation’s solar panels are producing in an effort to crack down on defects.

The inspections come as flaws found in some Chinese solar panels continue to compromise efficiency, reducing the amount of electricity the panels produce.

Green Car Reports: Will Tesla Model 3 Electric Car Hit 2017 Production Date?

Electric-car maker Tesla Motors has done many remarkable things in its short decade of existence -- including a few the auto industry viewed as impossible.

But the company has never managed to get a car into volume production on the date it first announced. That applied to its Roadster, the Model S sedan, and the Model X electric SUV.

Last week, news emerged that the "alpha prototype" for the company's third-generation product, the 200-mile, $35,000 Model 3 sedan, has not yet been built.

Guardian: Shell Lobbied to Undermine EU Renewables Targets, Documents Reveal

Shell successfully lobbied to undermine European renewable energy targets ahead of a key agreement on emissions cuts reached in October last year, newly released documents reveal.

At the time of the deal, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said: “This package is very good news for our fight against climate change,” adding, “No player in the world is as ambitious as the EU.”

But it now appears that a key part of the agreement -- which was championed by the U.K. government -- was proposed by a Shell lobbyist as early as October 2011.

Climate Progress: California Wants to Make It Easier to Cover Old Mines With Renewables

California’s mining industry has been around since the 1800s -- producing everything from gold to rare-earth minerals -- but now policymakers are easing the way for mines to add renewable energy resources to their portfolios.

The California Assembly Committee on Natural Resources unanimously passed a bill Monday that will allow mining companies to install solar and wind power without triggering the state’s lengthy environmental review process. Under current law, mine operators must go through the California Environmental Quality Assessment in order to use the mine’s surface area for renewable energy.