China builds its first cute and cuddly solar power plant


UNDP

A Chinese solar power company has just completed the first phase of an ingenious PR stunt: building a 100MW solar power plant in the shape of a panda bear.

According to a release from the company, Panda Green Energy, and the Chinese state press Xinhua News Agency, the first half of the plant, with 50MW of installed capacity, was connected to the electricity grid in Datong, China, on June 29.

The image above of the project, which has gone viral, is not an actual photograph but an artist’s conceptual rendering pre-construction…

Panda Green Energy used a combination of darker monocrystalline silicon (the light-absorbing material in most solar cells) and lighter-colored thin film solar cells to design the solar farm in the likeness of China’s national animal…

While the actual plant isn’t quite as vivid as the sketch, it is nonetheless a significant addition to China’s solar fleet. According to the company, the new plant will avert the need to burn 1 million tons of coal over the next 25 years…

The Panda Power Plant initiative was also incorporated earlier this year into the “Belt and Road” initiative, China’s ambitious plan to invest in development projects in countries along the old Silk Road. The new plant in Datong is expected to be the first of 100 plants in the shape of pandas and other animals to be built in China and elsewhere as part of that effort. Another one, in Fiji, was announced in May.

The new Panda Power Plant is also just the latest showy example of China’s commitment to scaling up solar and other forms of renewable energy while cleaning up coal before eventually phasing it out. Unlike the US, China is on track to exceed its Paris carbon reduction commitments…

Gee, I wonder what Trump and the Republican Congress might come up with to express their failure to commit to cleaner energy?

Media reaps dividends from Trump’s attacks and lies

❝ Cable news outlets are pulling huge ratings and reporters are becoming overnight celebrities as the attacks between President Trump and the media enter strange new territory.

The White House has agitated for the fight, believing that every day it spends feuding with the media exposes further press bias and energizes the conservative base.

But Trump’s claim that MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski was “bleeding badly from a face-lift” unified the media, with anchors from Fox News to CNN expressing outrage at the president’s tweets and pointing to them as evidence that the press should not treat Trump like a normal president…

❝ The relationship between the White House and the media is in shambles, with the daily press briefings devolving into shouting matches and airing of grievances…The White House has long viewed attacking the media, dubbed “the opposition party” by chief strategist Stephen Bannon, as a winning strategy. But the nasty turn has also been a boon to the media and the individual reporters who register acts of protest against the administration.

❝ Left-leaning MSNBC pulled big numbers as the only network in open opposition to the president, even before the spat between Trump and “Morning Joe” hosts Joe Scarborough and Brzezinski engulfed Washington.

According to Nielsen’s second-quarter ratings, MSNBC’s total viewers are up 73 percent year-over-year, with prime-time viewership up 86 percent, easily making it the fastest-growing cable news outlet…

RTFA for lots of detail which – if you aren’t a news junkie – you may not be aware of. So far, I welcome the move away from CYA sophistry where networks try to hide in the fervent middle of differences which most often favor the Left. Today’s conservatives hate it; but, truth, verified facts, have a habit of doing just that against right-wing ideology.