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Battery startup A123Systems was on a roll in 2008: It went into the year with a fresh round of capital (funds totaled $132 million in October 2007) and by May seemed to be headed for an IPO. But less than two weeks into 2009, the Massachusetts-based […] Read more »

We noted last month that hybrid car startup Fisker Automotive planned to unveil a concept car called the Fisker Karma S (for “Sunset”) at the Detroit Auto Show. At the time, Fisker had leaked a close-cropped image of a car with an absent B-pillar, suggesting that […] Read more »

General Motors has contracted Compact Power, a Michigan subsidiary of Korea’s LG Chem, to supply lithium-ion polymer battery packs for its electric Chevrolet Volt. GM CEO Rick Wagoner announced the plan this morning at the Detroit Auto Show after more than a year of competition for […] Read more »

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Automakers kicked off this year’s North American International Auto Show, commonly called the Detroit Auto Show, yesterday with less glitz and more conspicuous frugality than in years past. But new plans for hybrid and electric models were hardly in short supply. Things picked up again this […] Read more »

Now that President-elect Barack Obama has presented his economic stimulus plan — and set a goal of doubling clean energy output within three years — it’s time to delve into what wind and solar industry insiders say will be the most crucial incentive for boosting production: […] Read more »

Hybrid Hacking 101: A delay with the battery pack has made Toyota pull its plug-in Prius from the Detroit Auto Show. Hybrid hackers needn’t wait for battery perfection. — The Economist X Prize Baits Big 3 to Create 100 MPG Cars: Organizers of the Progressive Automotive […] Read more »

Laying out his plan for economic stimulus yesterday afternoon, President-elect Barack Obama called for the U.S. to double renewable energy production within three years. That’s a hefty challenge for a country playing catch-up on clean power (renewables now make up less than 10 percent of U.S. […] Read more »

Wind energy company Ecotricity has launched an investigation into what caused blades to spontaneously snap off one of its wind turbines in Lincolnshire, England, last weekend. UK health and safety inspectors say a collision did not occur, and Ecotricity says it has not ruled anything out. […] Read more »

Solar service provider SunEdison and real estate company Developers Diversified Realty Corp launched a solar rooftop program yesterday that could yield up to 259 megawatts of solar generating capacity at U.S. shopping malls. Under an agreement announced yesterday, SunEdison will rent space to deploy photovoltaic systems […] Read more »

Bush Takes a Pass on MPG Rulemaking: The Bush administration has forfeit the job of raising fuel-efficiency targets to President-elect Obama’s incoming team, citing “recent financial difficulties of the automobile industry.” — Washington Post Solaria Gears Up for 100MW Production: Spire will supply Solaria Energia with […] Read more »

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Tata Motors wants to build a micro-hybrid version of the Tata Nano, the $2,500 “people’s car” unveiled last year and slated (for now) to enter production in 2009. While the Indian auto giant has encountered a series of delays for the Nano — most of them […] Read more »

Federal agencies including the Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency could have saved nearly $26 billion over the last eight years had they implemented more than 13,000 recommendations from the Inspectors General. That’s the finding in a new report released yesterday […] Read more »

Continental Airlines completed a 90-minute test flight this afternoon using biofuel derived from algae and jatropha. The twin-engine Boeing 737-800 flew out of Houston with one engine operating on a 50-50 blend of biofuels and conventional jet fuel, and the other using all conventional fuel for […] Read more »

Big Bucks for Batteries?: Congressional Democrats are making a strong push for an expected $800 billion stimulus package to include new funds for battery research and production. — The Detroit News Techno Garlic for Energy Vampires: Good for You, Good for the Planet has developed a […] Read more »

Battery developer A123Systems plans to build a manufacturing plant in Michigan with $1.84 billion in direct loans from the U.S. Department of Energy. The Massachusetts-based startup said today it expects to spend a total of $2.3 billion on several factories in the state, supplying Detroit automakers […] Read more »

North Carolina regulators gave a green light for Duke Energy‘s Carolinas subsidiary to install 10 megawatts of photovoltaic systems at hundreds of commercial and industrial buildings, homes, and schools last week. But the energy company’s plan to recover costs for the $50 million project through rate […] Read more »

Durham, N.C.-based Cree, maker of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), will soon illuminate a wing of the Pentagon that’s now undergoing renovations. Defense Department officials signed an agreement today for the company to supply more than 4,200 recessed LED fixtures for part of the Pentagon called Wedge 5. […] Read more »

Unveiled this morning at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, the new 17-inch MacBook Pro is part of what Apple is calling “the world’s greenest family of notebooks.” Is it just a ploy to keep Greenpeace’s Green My Apple groupies off its back? Not completely. This […] Read more »

Former eBay chief Meg Whitman stepped down from her seats on three corporate boards yesterday, clearing the way for a possible run in the 2010 race for California governor, the Wall Street Journal reports. For any candidate, it would be tough to match governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s […] Read more »

Growing support for nuclear energy in the U.S. has hinged on three key arguments in recent years: It offers a carbon-free alternative to coal; a domestic alternative to petroleum; and a supposedly cheaper, more reliable alternative to renewable sources like wind and solar. But according to […] Read more »

Home on the Carbon-Offsetting Range: Rangeland sequestration projects, which involve paying landowners to trap carbon dioxide underground by keeping grass unmowed, are on the cusp of a major boom. — Scientific American DOE Unveils Marine Energy Database: The U.S. Department of Energy released a new searchable […] Read more »

Sports car maker Lotus plans to enter the electric vehicle race, CEO Michael Kimberley told the Financial Times last week. “Don’t be surprised to see an electric Lotus shortly,” he said, adding that a concept version could debut as early as March, at Geneva’s International Motor […] Read more »

The North American International Auto Show will go light on the glitz and gas guzzlers this year, as exhibitors (two of them fresh from a bailout) seek to demonstrate efficiency, innovation and frugality. Even SUVs — most notably the 30-mpg-highway 2010 Chevy Equinox — are sporting […] Read more »

In addition to the production version of its plug-in hybrid sedan, the Fisker Karma, Fisker Automotive plans to show a concept car called the Fisker Karma S (for “Sunset”) at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month. What’s unusual about the Sunset is […] Read more »

Brits Develop Carbon-Eating Cement: A new kind of cement based on magnesium silicates requires much less heating than the conventional stuff (which accounts for 5 percent of global carbon emissions) and absorbs large amounts of CO2 as it hardens. — The Guardian Gimme a $2-a-Gallon Gas […] Read more »

China’s Qaidam Basin could become the equivalent of the Mojave Desert in terms of solar power projects, if new plans to build a 1-gigawatt solar power photovoltaic farm in China come to fruition. While utilities and startups have sited the Southern California desert for some of […] Read more »

Clean technology in Hawaii is ending the year with a bang. The Aloha State kicked off December with an agreement for Better Place to build an electric vehicle-charging network on the islands, then Khosla Ventures teamed up with utility Hawaiian Electric Co. to evaluate and test […] Read more »

With a new $6 billion bailout from the Treasury approved late yesterday, General Motors has lowered its requirements for auto loans. The bailout includes a $5 billion stake in the company’s financing arm, GMAC, plus a $1 billion loan that GM can use to reorganize the […] Read more »

UK Wind Farms Tangled in Red Tape: Britain has 262 wind projects representing seven gigawatts stuck in planning stages, and the rate of approvals is only getting slower. — The Guardian Electric Bikes Grow Up: “Even though motorcycles and scooters may represent a smaller percentage of […] Read more »

Not too long ago, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk called a government guarantee for loans to build its mass-market electric sedan factory a “when, not an if.” Supposedly all the luxury electric car startup needed to begin construction on a plant for its elusive Model S […] Read more »

Herzliya, Israel-based startup SolarEdge gave its first press interview earlier this month and closed on a $23 million Series B round of financing. So why has the company — which has raised a total of $34.8 million in venture capital from Vertex Venture Capital and Genesis […] Read more »

SolarWorld AG’s photovoltaic solar module prices will decline more than 10 percent during the next two years, tightening a squeeze on the German manufacturer’s profit margins. That’s the forecast revealed in an interview with SolarWorld CEO Frank Asbeck set to be published in tomorrow’s edition of […] Read more »

At the urging of state officials, Texas oil giant ExxonMobil has undertaken a $70 million project to capture and store 6 million metric tons of emissions annually from its natural gas plant in La Barge, Wyo., an increase of 50 percent from the current 4 million […] Read more »

Tesla vs. Recession: Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk says the Model S sedan factory is no longer a done deal, but the company will survive the recession if it watches expenses “like crazy.” — San Francisco Chronicle Here Come the Californians: California Democrats hold key positions […] Read more »

Cleantech startups were a bright spot in terms of overall venture funding in 2008. But while the sector pulled in record investment from VCs, as BusinessWeek noted recently, shares of cleantech companies fell harder than the rest of the stock market. According to the Wall Street […] Read more »

Japan will renew subsidies for residential solar power equipment next month, officials with the country’s ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced this week. The $99.6 million package of incentives pledged for the first quarter of 2009 came not a day too soon for electronics giant […] Read more »

Iowa E85 Tanks Up: Iowa’s Renewable Fuel Infrastructure Program board has awarded $1.52 million to 43 applicants for E85 and biodiesel infrastructure, including fuel dispensers and tank vehicles. — Green Car Congress Plasmonic Solar Cells: Recent research suggests lacing solar cells with nanoscopic metal particles could […] Read more »

The global market for electric vehicle batteries could grow to $19 billion by 2010, and Japan’s Toshiba Corp. wants an ample piece of it. The electronics giant stepped up the race to supply rechargeable batteries to automakers with news that it plans to build a second […] Read more »

Solar Subsidies Strike Back: Japanese officials announced plans today to bring back subsidies for solar panels on homes, starting with $99.6 million for the first quarter of 2009. — Reuters End of the SUV Era: Factory closings in recent years have left the Big Three with […] Read more »

A kerosene-based aviation fuel called Jet Propellant 8 made up more than 90 percent of the fuel used by the Department of Defense in 2006, at a cost of $6 billion, according to Cleantech Group. Take all of that fuel, and combine it with commercial airlines’ […] Read more »

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