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Ethanol is pretty easy to make from pure sugar. It’s getting the sugar — either from corn and sugarcane, or hard-to-digest cellulosic materials — that’s the challenging part. That’s where Proterro, a startup that has engineered a microbe that can turn sunlight and carbon dioxide into sugar comes in. Read more »

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The demand response players continue rebranding. EnerNOC has launched its EfficiencySMART brand to tie together its building energy management, sustainability planning and energy procurement lines of business from building to enterprise. Read more »


General Electric and some high-flying venture capital partners have named 12 winners of the first $55 million of a $200 million “ecomagination challenge” they launched this summer. The list is full of some already well-funded companies, including several that GE is already investing in. Read more »


Contour Energy Systems has launched an opportunistic attack on a niche consumer market right in time for Christmas. The Caltech battery spinout formerly known as CFX Battery announced a line of disposable coin cell batteries specifically engineered to make 3-D TV glasses last longer than competitors. Read more »


Smart meter systems, like cellphone networks, transmit and crunch a lot of real-time customer data, and customers don’t particularly like it when their bills don’t come out right. But tools that phone companies use to make sure bills are accurate can also help utilities. Read more »


What makes a smart grid pilot a success — even when it’s a failure? General Electric and Accenture spent an hour Wednesday with some energy industry big shots at the World Economic Forum in Atlanta and explained it all to us. Read more »


Lockheed Martin has turned to the smart grid with a vengeance. The gigantic defense contractor has been helping utilities design, manage and secure smart meter networks, distribution grid sensor systems and microgrids for years, but in the past year has ramped up its efforts. Read more »

wind power

First Wind Holdings has canceled its IPO, joining the ranks of greentech hopefuls that have found the recent economic climate — or perhaps, their own financials — too unfavorable to risk the public markets. Read more »


Energy Secretary Steven Chu stopped by Google headquarters on Friday to talk about green technology. He would like China to invest in America’s green future, not own it. To challenge China’s growing lead, the U.S. may have to boost its support of homegrown technologies. Read more »


Intermittent solar power systems could cause lots of grid instability, unless utilities can communicate with them in some kind of common language using a set of common commands. Here’s a list of those top commands, and how they may emerge as industry standards. Read more »

Now Available: GridPoint's Home Energy Management Tool

GridPoint has replaced founding CEO Peter Corsell with a veteran of the software and communications industries. The thrice-reincarnated smart grid startup has $220 million, tons of acquisitions and a lot to prove. Read more »


Smart meters, smart thermostats, smart appliances and other smart grid devices have lots and lots of chips in them. Putting all those functions together in one system-on-a-chip can save lots of money and time spent on integration — if they give device makers the right combo. Read more »


A state court has ruled that the IC was wrong to allow utility Commonwealth Edison to pass on certain costs to its customers, including the $5 million passed on to customers in 2008 for a smart grid pilot project now getting underway. Read more »

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