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Utilities and policymakers have started to warm up to feed-in tariffs for residential and commercial solar systems over the last few years — proposing programs to buy surplus power from customers’ photovoltaic systems as a way to encourage installations. Now there’s something to show for all […] Read more »

Updated with comment from Fisker Automotive The government isn’t the only one throwing bones to startups these days: private investors have just put a few more chips on luxury plug-in sportscar startup Fisker Automotive, adding $3 million to the $65 million round that the company raised […] Read more »

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Waiting…Still Waiting: The DOE has yet to disburse $25 billion under a four-year-old loan program for green cars. One complication: It can only award money to “financially viable” companies and projects, and two applicants (GM and Chrysler) must wait another month for feds to decide whether […] Read more »

Depending on who you ask, the state of Georgia either has an abundance of untapped solar energy — or a dearth of clean energy resources. That means proposed renewable energy standards could hand the state an economic boom or bust. As renewable portfolio standards, cap-and-trade legislation […] Read more »

Given the tone of his speech before Congress earlier this week and his support of clean energy infrastructure as a tool for economic recovery, it’s no surprise that the outline of President Obama’s 2010 budget proposal, released today, includes increased funding for the Department of Energy’s […] Read more »

Honda Motor Co. has been toiling away at ethanol research since before hybrids moved in from the fringe of autoshows and well before deriving the stuff from corn ignited a heated debate over food vs. fuel. Today the company said it will build a large-scale plant […] Read more »

Kennedy Joins VC Ranks: Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has been an adviser for VantagePoint Venture Partners since 2007, has joined the firm as a partner. He will focus on clean technologies in the water sector. — Bloomberg Betting on Carbon: President Barack Obama’s proposed budget […] Read more »

Pond scum holds huge potential for capturing carbon dioxide and creating alternatives to petroleum-based fuels. But the nascent algae industry has to solve a three-part puzzle if it’s going to give oil a run for its money, according to Michael Weaver, co-founder and CEO of algae […] Read more »

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Not too long ago, executives from IBM, Wal-Mart and General Electric might have seemed a motley crew of experts for a Congressional hearing about the electric grid and clean power. But yesterday the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming heard testimony from that […] Read more »

Japan Mulls Feed-In Tariff : Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is pushing for a feed-in tariff that would guarantee a price (to be paid by utilities) for surplus electricity from residential solar systems for about a decade. — Reuters Plan B: Hack the Climate: […] Read more »

If Kleiner Perkins-backed startup Bloom Energy was “close” to unveiling its fuel cell four months ago, when the company headlined the New York Times Magazine, it’s now within inches. Back then, a reporter who spoke with tight-lipped Bloom CEO K. R. Sridhar and Kleiner VCs concluded […] Read more »

Distributing $787 billion from the federal government is bound to get complicated. As the Department of Energy and other agencies in line for big sums hunker down to draft implementation plans and application procedures, we’ve rounded up the key dates to note and sites to watch […] Read more »

The economic stimulus package opens up a world of opportunities to clean technology startups. With billions of dollars in grants, direct loans, loan guarantees and a host of incentives for smart grid and efficiency technology, renewable energy, and electric-car battery research, development and manufacturing, it might […] Read more »

U.S. to Set Single MPG Standard for Cars, Trucks? Carol Browner, assistant to the president for energy and climate, says she and others in the White House back the idea of a universal fuel-efficiency standard aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions. — Washington Post Growing the […] Read more »

Eurus Energy is no rookie in the world of renewable energy, but up until recently, wind had been its resource of choice. That’s changing — one massive solar plant at a time. The company’s Japan-based subsidiary recently completed a 1 MW photovoltaic project in South Korea, […] Read more »

No More Mashed Potatoes: Top Gear America’s car fanatics are fed up with gas sippers that look like “lumps of cold mashed potatoes.” So they’re trying to build a 70 mpg car that does zero-to-60 in seven seconds. If that makes you think of Tesla and […] Read more »

Jockeying will be the name of the game for smart grid companies over the next several months as funding from the economic stimulus package rolls out to state and federal agencies. As Bloomberg notes this morning, now that the $787 billion has been divvied up across […] Read more »

California’s aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standard program has finally started to put a dent in the state power grid, more than six years since its launch and just around the corner from the first major deadline: 20 percent renewable energy in every utility’s portfolio by 2010. The […] Read more »

Senate to Tackle Climate Change by Summer: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is pushing for a climate bill by the end of the summer. “We have to take a whack at it,” he said in an interview. — Associated Press How ’bout a Hummer Tax?: Massachusetts […] Read more »

If cleantech startups want to get into government contracting — an option with increasing appeal given the state of today’s private markets and the size of projects covered by stimulus spending — why not ride the coattails of one of the giants? That’s the route opened […] Read more »

Cali Budget Clears State Senate: The budget plan approved today in the California legislature (after a three-month impasse) includes a provision that will delay requirements for builders to retrofit heavy diesel equipment to reduce emissions. — LA Times China’s Automakers Step Up: China’s Chery Automobile launched […] Read more »

Secretary Steven Chu has made hasty work of shaking up the Department of Energy. Today the agency announced a series of reforms designed to expedite the dispersal of loans and loan guarantees — changes that the DOE says will position it to start offering loan guarantees […] Read more »

It’s crazy fast and eerily quiet. That’s the gist of what attendees at last week’s TED summit in Southern California learned about the Mission One electric motorcycle unveiled by San Francisco-based startup Mission Motors. I spoke with the company’s chief operating officer, Jit Bhattacharya, this afternoon […] Read more »

Stimulus Sweepstakes: — The stimulus package may revive the fortunes of OptiSolar, Abengoa and other renewable energy companies stalled by the financial crisis, but the clock is ticking. — Fortune’s Green Wombat Getting Smart with Biofuels: Key policy reforms can accelerate the transition to cellulosic feedstocks […] Read more »

The electricity grid can only get so smart without a framework for interoperability; a common protocol would make it easier for utilities, appliances and software to share data about energy use and supply — in other words, it would help put the “smart” in smart grid. […] Read more »

Whatever its track record with alternative-fuel vehicles, General Motors is not giving short shrift to the 2010 Chevrolet Volt — at least not when it comes to making a case for financial viability. In the plan submitted to feds today, the struggling automaker pledged to develop […] Read more »

It’s official: The government haggling over how to revive the U.S. economy ended with the stroke of President Obama’s pen on the $787 billion stimulus bill this afternoon at the solar-powered Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Now begins a new round of jockeying — this […] Read more »

Smarty Plans: Technologies that could take our decades-old infrastructure to new levels of intelligence include traffic forecasters, remote-controlled vehicles, smart meters and electronic reservoir monitors. — Wall Street Journal Green Acres: Green Real Estate Investment Trusts, or REITs, are taking off in the residential sector as […] Read more »

Just a few days ago, it looked like carbon recyclers and startups would get the short end of the stimulus stick — doomed to an uneven battle with coal companies and their preferred strategy for carbon capture and sequestration, which involves shoving emissions into geologic formations, […] Read more »

Not to be outdone by Google and Microsoft — both of which vaulted into the high-tech power management mix this week — IBM unveiled a new service today for cutting businesses’ emissions and energy use. Where the Googlers and ‘Softies are concentrating on home electricity use, […] Read more »

Cellulosic Ethanol Ready for Prime Time (Really): Cellulosic ethanol has been “five years from commercialization” for so long that even ethanol company POET’s research director admits it has become a joke. Now he and a crew of scientists say it’s for real. — Christian Science Monitor […] Read more »

Carbon capture and storage technology has barely left the trial stage — let alone be proven as safe or effective at commercial scale. But according to a new report from Emerging Energy Research, the industry could be “well-positioned” for commercialization by 2016 if demonstration projects go […] Read more »

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