Green manufacturing boom isn’t powered by renewable energy — yet

Panasonic’s new $4 billion battery factory in De Soto, Kansas, is designed to be a model of sustainability — it’s an all-electric factory with no need for a smokestack. When finished, it will cover the size of 48 football fields, employ 4,000 people and produce enough advanced batteries to supply half a million electric cars per year.

But there’s a catch, and it’s a big one.

While the factory will run on wind and solar power much of the time, renewables supplied only 34% of the local…

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