Video: Ford to Invest $1.8 Billion in China Market, Drone Detection Technology to Be Tested, Pilgrim to Shut / Sendai Restarts and more!

20 October 2015

Ford plans to spend big to attract Chinese drivers. A drone detection system will be tested at some U.S. airports. And it’s “so long Pilgrim” as a nuclear power plant heads toward retirement.

Ford to Invest $1.8 Billion in China Market

Published reports say that Ford plans to invest $1.8 billion in the Chinese market over the next five years to fund research into how to bring “smart” features like smartphone connectivity and autonomous driving to its Chinese products. Ford reportedly wants the technology in cars it sells in China to cater specifically to Chinese drivers, such as allowing drivers to control more of their car’s systems by smartphone and enabling mobile chat for use during China’s notorious traffic jams. IHS Automotive has reduced its full year 2015 light vehicle sales forecast for China to 23.4 million units, reflecting a growth rate over 2014 of 1.4%. That compares with the previous forecast of 4.4% year-over-year growth.

Drone Detection Technology to Be Tested

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration will work with CACI International to evaluate how the company’s technology can help detect unmanned aircraft systems flying near airports. FAA Deputy Administrator Mike Whitaker told a congressional hearing in October that flying an unmanned aircraft near a busy airport poses an "unacceptable safety hazard." Whitaker told the congressional panel the FAA signed an agreement in early October to assess the safety and security capabilities of the detection technology within a five-mile radius of airports.

Pilgrim to Shut, Sendai Restarts

Film icon John Wayne might be inclined to say “so-long, Pilgrim” as word comes that the single-unit 680 megawatt Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Massachusetts will close by mid-2019. Owner Entergy says the continued operation of the plant is not economically viable. The single-unit boiling water reactor began operating in 1972. Meanwhile, Unit 2 of the Sendai (SEN-die) nuclear power plant in Japan restarted on October 15, according to plant owner Kyushu (ki-YOU-shoo) Electric Power Co. The plant becomes the second Japanese reactor to resume operation after the country idled its fleet of nuclear power plants following the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima (foo-koo-SHE-ma) plant. The 890 megawatt pressurized water reactor at Sendai was expected to begin supplying electricity again on October 21.

Global PV Demand Set to Rise in 2016

Global photovoltaic demand is on the rise as the result of expanded deployment in the United States and in Asia, leading to an increase in the solar forecast for all of 2015, according to a report from IHS. The report says PV demand will reach 59 gigawatts in 2015, an increase over the previous forecast from IHS that was released in June. Solar installations will now grow by 33% this year, which is the fastest growth rate since 2011, IHS says. IHS also raised its 2016 solar forecast to 65 gigawatts for the year due to the acceleration of projects in the U.S. as well as faster growth in China as the result of long-term government targets.

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