French auto manufacturer Renault has announced that it is to introduce a total of 400,000 square metres of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels at six of its production sites in France. The company claims that these installations will help make a 200-tonne reduction in CO2 emitted annually by electric engine production.
BMI believes that auto manufacturers will increasingly look to reduce the environmental impact of the vehicle manufacturing process as consumers continue to become fuel-conscious and the technology improves ( see our online service, November 2, 'Consumers Increasingly Fuel-Conscious').
While it is not feasible for the entire production process to be powered by renewable sources, due to limits to technical capacity, this installation will go some way to reduce the company's CO2 emissions.
Furthermore, Renault is to set up some 100,000 square metres of PV solar panels at two production facilities in Spain, and feasibility studies are underway at facilities in Slovenia, Morocco, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, and Romania. In December, the company is set to finalise the installation of 300,000 square metres of PV solar panels at a manufacturing site in South Korea.
BMI expects other auto manufacturers to move towards powering at least some of their production processes from renewable energy, particularly as the technology develops and is more viable and cost-effective. Different forms of technology may be better suited to different locations, and we expect to see further developments in this field.