Briefly Noted…Renewable Energy Worldwide News Briefs and Information on Renewable Energy– Germany will help to build a combined solar energy and natural gas power plant in Mathania, located in India’s northwestern state of Rajasthan. An agreement will be signed next week during a visit to India by German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. The plant will cost US$250 million, with half funded from soft loans by the German Development Bank, $49 million from Global Environment Facility, and the rest from the Indian government. The 140 MW plant will combine solar thermal steam generation with a conventional liquid-fuel fired plant. A similar coal-fired plant would emit 520,000 tonne of carbon dioxide annually. – The trading giant Sumitomo will design and build one of the largest solar systems in Asia, a 550 million yen, 1 megawatt facility on a 20,000 m2 site belonging to CEPALCO, a private utility company, on northern Mindanao island in the Philippines. The system, partly financed by a US$4 million World Bank loan, will be completed within a year. The plant, which will use 60,000 PV panels, will supply 500,000 homes with electricity, assuming an average power consumption of 2 kW per household. – SolarWorld AG will spend Euro 40 million to build a solar cell factory in Freidberg, Germany. The facility will be built by next year by Jenoptik subsidiary M+W Zande. The turnkey solar facility will be operated by SolarWorld subsidiary Deutsche Solar GmbH, and will supply 25 MW of solar cells, with possible expansion to 50 MW of capacity. – British energy minister Brian Wilson will visit Tokyo to examine Japan’s developments in solar PV. The visit will discuss global energy issues, including renewable and nuclear power, deregulation and increased competition in energy markets. “Japan has made very good progress in solar technology,” says Wilson. “We are developing our own photovoltaic program in the UK, and I want to see for myself the latest developments in Japan’s ambitious solar program.” Britain is committed to a 10 percent target for renewable energies by 2010.