Image credit: Toyota UK
From Israel's plans for 400MW of solar fields to a 2-mile-long solar train tunnel in Belgium, large-scale solar seems to be on a roll right now. In England, however, uncertainty over Government feed-in tariffs for large-scale solar has left many projects in limbo. Nevertheless, Toyota UK has pressed ahead with its impressive solar field that will be powering the manufacture of the first European-made hybrid car.
As the video above shows, the 4.1MW solar field is just one environmental initiative among many that has, they say, seen Toyota's Derbyshire plant also reduce energy usage per car by 70%, waste produced per car by 60%, and achieve zero waste to landfill and zero waste to incineration too. It's impressive stuff.
The plant, which is making a version of the Auris hybrid for the European market, will now be receiving 5% of its electricity from the solar installation.
Admittedly 5% is not a huge number, and one wonders what could have been achieved with a similar investment in urban wind turbines. But as fellow TreeHugger and green car nut Mike pointed out, the more large-scale solar installations we are seeing, the faster we'll see prices drop to a point where they compete with fossil fuels. Maybe predictions of solar production at $1 a watt are not too far fetched after all.
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