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Updated to include quote from DOE’s David Frantz: Energy Secretary Steven Chu wanted checks cut in four weeks. Today, the director of the Department of Energy’s much-delayed loan guarantee program for clean energy technology, David Frantz, revealed what he sees as a realistic timeline: In testimony […] Read more »

Let’s Make a Deal: Spending on clean energy, energy efficiency and public transit in the latest stimulus bill is exactly halfway between the House and Senate versions — the House had approved $72 billion, the Senate $68 billion. — Gristmill Bingaman for Ethanol Boost: With corn […] Read more »

Siting is a thorny issue for any major infrastructure project — after all, who wants a freeway in their backyard? For the pending transmission grid buildout, the challenge could be even greater because of a key difference between the Interstate Highway System that President Eisenhower championed […] Read more »

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Massachusetts-based carbon capture startup C12 Energy has just entered an exclusive group: cleantech companies backed by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. The firm, which has been less gung-ho about the green space than many of its Silicon Valley peers, has joined several undisclosed investors in a […] Read more »

Finavera Forfeits Wave Power Permits: Finavera Renewables plans to give up its FERC license for two Pacific Coast wave energy pilot projects so it can focus on developing wind power in British Columbia and Ireland. — Energy Business Review Can You Charge Me Now? Good: Evan […] Read more »

When reading the newsletter that electric car startup Tesla Motors sent to customers this morning, you could hardly be blamed for thinking the company had a Department of Energy loan in the bag. “Regarding funding,” writes CEO Elon Musk, “I am excited to report that the […] Read more »

The Indium Problem: Doping silicon photovoltaic cells with indium can push efficiency up to around 40 percent — but the metal is rare enough that the world’s reserves would be exhausted within a decade if we continue using it at current rates. — Fast Company How […] Read more »

Entrepreneurs, start your engines. The Clean Tech Open, the Silicon Valley non-profit that has helped Aurora Biofuels, Lucid Design Systems and more than a hundred other startups raise nearly $125 million over the last three years, is going big time. The group’s annual competition for early-stage […] Read more »

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Tallying the True Costs of Electricity: The quickest, if not the politically easiest, way to boost clean energy is to create a national cap-and-trade scheme — not a Manhattan project for renewables. — WSJ’s Environmental Capital Energy-Tourism Smackdown: Japan’s plan to build out clean energy infrastructure […] Read more »

Bob Lutz — the General Motors executive who for years denied climate change, made his name with muscle cars and trucks and eventually came to champion what now represents Detroit’s most serious effort to produce an alternative-fuel vehicle (the Chevy Volt) —  plans to retire at […] Read more »

UPDATED So much for the plan to achieve world domination of zero-emission cars. Nissan Motor Co. is suspending its plan to roll out electric vehicles in Japan and the U.S. by 2010, and globally by 2012. The automaker announced today that its so-called GT 2012 plan […] Read more »

Here’s an idea: Stop illegal pollution from coal plants. The Department of Justice said this week that it has launched a novel campaign to start enforcing rules already on the books, beginning with a 1.5 GW Westar Energy coal plant in northeastern Kansas. As the New […] Read more »

Washington is in the business of handing out money these days (see: bank bailout, auto bailout, stimulus), but when it comes to cutting checks for a Department of Energy program designed to support advanced vehicle manufacturing, the feds have taken nearly three years to get projects […] Read more »

Strong endorsement from President Obama and Detroit’s Big Three was not enough to keep a $16 billion “Cash for Clunkers” program on the table last night as Senators wrangled with their version of the economic stimulus bill. Amid mounting pressure to shrink the $900 billion bill, […] Read more »

Obama Wants Energy Efficiency Rules, Pronto: President Barack Obama ordered the DOE yesterday to immediately draft overdue standards for making a variety of appliances and light bulbs more efficient. — New York Times Big Bucks for Batteries: Loan guarantees and grants worth $2 billion for advanced […] Read more »

And Then There Was One: Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, shut down all but one of its assembly lines for vehicles and auto-related equipment in Japan today. The plants are scheduled to remain idle for 10 days. — CNNMoney Peugeot to Go Slow on Plug-Ins: PSA, […] Read more »

A controversial “Buy American” clause under consideration for the economic stimulus bill could trigger a trade war, President Barack Obama said earlier this week. Yesterday, steel-state lawmakers threatened to pull support for the package unless the clause — which would require  public works projects receiving stimulus […] Read more »

Financial Wizards Wanted: Tax equity investors, the financial specialists that convert tax credits into capital that developers can use to build new wind turbines and solar farms, have all but disappeared — just when they’re needed most. — BusinessWeek Mass Transit Squeeze: More Americans than ever […] Read more »

Tesla Model S Factory Update: Tesla Motors said today it’s in “late-stage” negotiations for a soon-to-be named site where it will manufacture its long-promised Model S sedan. — San Francisco Business Times LEED for Data Centers: A coalition of data center industry groups has released a […] Read more »

First comes infrastructure, then come the cars. That was the logic behind San Francisco’s deal with vehicle-charging network startup Better Place, and today General Motors said that it’s working with that city’s utility regulators, major employers, universities and politicians to develop policies and “enablers” (likely including […] Read more »

In the latest blow to the emerging U.S. lithium-ion battery industry, Ford Motor said it’s picked the French-American joint venture Johnson Controls-Saft to supply batteries for the automaker’s first plug-in electric vehicle. Ford said today it plans to assemble the system stateside from cells produced (at […] Read more »

Adding hundreds of small transmission line projects and grid upgrades to the 57 GW of large-scale transmission initiatives now being developed in the western U.S. (many of them in Texas) could have a significant impact on wind power development in less than six years, according to […] Read more »

National security for the U.S. hinges on investment and incentives for new transmission lines, a smart grid, and converting big trucks to use natural gas as fuel (one of energy magnate T. Boone Pickens’s personal favorite fuels). That was the gist of a press call today […] Read more »

In the Money: VantagePoint Venture Partners said in Davos this weekend that it plans to invest more than $1 billion in 10 to 15 cleantech startups over the next 24 to 30 months. — Reuters Will the Real U.S. Auto Industry Please Stand Up: From 1900 […] Read more »

Updated with comment from 3M: What 3M did for sticky notes, it now wants to do for efficiency-boosting add-ons for buildings, photovoltaics, and wind turbines: make them ubiquitous and profitable. The Minnesota-based manufacturer announced today that it has created a division in which it will develop […] Read more »

If the millions of Americans expected to watch Super Bowl 43 have managed to escape the buzz about smart grids so far, that’s about to change. GE plans to air a “Wizard of Oz”-themed ad during the big game promoting its smart grid technology, building on […] Read more »

California might get all the attention for its solar resources in the Mojave desert, but it’s not the only Western state with sun-soaked lands and a growing appetite for solar power. Arizona’s largest utility, Arizona Public Service, unveiled a plan today to invest $18 billion in […] Read more »

Make Way for Lemons: GM CFO Fritz Henderson says automakers still have a lot to learn about battery science, which means there are going to be some absolute lemons in the brave new world of electrical transport. — Telegraph China, Europe, Come Together on Climate: Chinese […] Read more »

Duke Energy’s Carolinas subsidy will renege on its proposed $50 million solar rooftop program unless North Carolina utility regulators remove restrictions on how it can pay for the project, the Charlotte Business Journal reports. The energy company, which gets 70 percent of its power from coal, […] Read more »

When it comes to energy storage, lead acid can seem so last century — especially compared with nickel-metal hydride (used in the current generation of hybrid cars) and lithium-ion (used in mobile devices today and held by many to be the future of electric cars). Automakers […] Read more »

Ausra Scales Back Solar Plans: Solar startup Ausra has abandoned plans to build massive solar-thermal power plants in favor of smaller, cheaper units because of a lack of financing. — CNET’s Green Tech More Money, More Problems?: Congress plans to put $10 billion or more in […] Read more »

So it looks like San Jose, Calif., may not be getting the Tesla Motors Model S factory after all. While the Silicon Valley electric sports car maker said in September that it planned to build an assembly plant for its second-generation vehicle at an 89-acre plot […] Read more »

Global investment in clean energy must reach $515 billion per year by 2030 — triple that of last year’s investment — in order to avoid “the catastrophic impact of climate change,” according to a report from the World Economic Forum and New Energy Finance. Released this […] Read more »

Tesla Motors held the first of two planned town hall meetings with customers this week, where it explained to buyers who have not received pre-ordered 2008 Roadsters why the company has decided to charge for options previously included in the sports car’s base price. But CEO […] Read more »

The Department of Defense has awarded Science Applications International Corp. a contract worth up to $25 million to develop a $3-a-gallon algae-derived fuel for military jets. The funds come under a biofuels program in the federal department’s R&D office, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or […] Read more »

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