Short items, August 2011

Solar rooftop scheme

The US Department of Energy is to give $1.4 billion (?870 million) in loans to install solar panels on the rooftops of commercial buildings across the country. The money will go towards Project Amp - a project that aims to put 733MW of capacity on 750 buildings owned by Prologis, the world’s largest warehouse manager. The electricity generated is to be sold back to the national grid, and should power 88,000 US homes. 

Chinese premier wins meda

Wen Jiabao, premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, has been awarded the King Charles II medal by the Royal Society for his outstanding contribution to furthering scientific research. Since taking office in 2003, Wen has placed science and technology at the centre of China’s national development and overseen an ambitious national research investment programme. 

Size doesn’t matter

A report published by the University Alliance concludes that the UK government should continue to fund ’excellence’ rather than funding research on the basis of the size of the research unit. Funding research excellence  concludes that there is no relationship between research unit size and performing better in the research assessment exercise RAE2008 and that small and medium sized research units tend to be at least as productive as larger units. 

Go Figure

3.7 per cent  

The reduction in CO2 emitted per kilometre for new cars registered in the EU in 2010 compared with 2009, according to preliminary data from the European Environment Agency.