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Green buildings are still far from typical across the U.S., but signs are mounting that mainstream homebuilders are starting to take energy efficiency and other green features a lot more seriously. The latest evidence came earlier this week when KB Home, one of the top five U.S. […] Read more »

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ECOtality’s executives better start practicing their Mandarin — China is fast becoming a major focus for the company. The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based charging infrastructure company, which says it was mentioned in Obama’s State of the Union address, announced Monday that its Chinese partner, Shenzhen Goch Investment, has […] Read more »

Two of the biggest players in the emerging smart building industry have joined forces. IBM and Johnson Controls announced Monday the launch of a joint initiative called Smart Building Solution — combining the business analytics and enterprise software of Big Blue with the building technology and […] Read more »

Cash for high-tech trash. That’s the basic concept for the recycling kiosk from ecoATM. You drop off old electronics at one of these machines, it calculates their value, then pays you on the spot, in cash or coupons. Think it’ll work? Apparently some venture capitalists do, […] Read more »

As the automotive industry transitions to electric vehicles, companies developing lithium-ion battery technology will be in the driver’s seat – and they’ll be carrying Chinese driver’s licenses. Li-ion technology is quickly replacing nickel-metal hydride batteries in hybrid electric vehicles, and the advanced battery market for emerging […] Read more »

Is the ice battery finally getting its day in the sun? Veolia Energy North America, a subsidiary of massive French energy and water company Veolia Environnement, announced on Wednesday that it has snapped up a district cooling system that uses ice to lower the cost of cooling buildings […] Read more »

Update: Petra Solar, which develops pole-mounted solar systems for electric utilities, announced Monday that it has raised $40 million in funding led by Craton Equity Partners and Espírito Santo Ventures with participation from existing investors including OnPoint Technologies, a venture fund for the U.S. Army.  Petra Solar […] Read more »

At times it’s seemed like geothermal power is the Rodney Dangerfield of clean energy – it’s gotten little respect compared with glitzier cousins like solar and wind. But that image is changing as more investment flows into the industry and new technologies make tapping the heat […] Read more »

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Watch out methane producers, California has just hired Picarro. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based startup announced Wednesday that it has been selected to provide its greenhouse gas-detecting sensor boxes to measure changes in methane emissions across the Golden State. CEO Michael Woelk told us last November that his […] Read more »

Hit the ground running in 2010. That appears to be the game plan for Semprius, a semiconductor technology company that is developing solar concentrator photovoltaics (CPV), systems that use mirrors and lenses to concentrate sunlight onto highly efficient solar cells. Just a month into the new year, […] Read more »

A national cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gasses might be in limbo, but that hasn’t stopped President Obama from announcing on Friday an emissions reduction target for federal operations. The president, fulfilling an executive order signed in October, said the federal government will reduce its emissions by […] Read more »

Khosla Ventures-backed LS9, which is using a genetically modified version of e.coli bacteria to make diesel, announced Wednesday that it has made a “major breakthrough” in the production of biofuels and chemicals from cellulosic biomass. The company, working with researchers from the University of California at […] Read more »

The home energy management industry has become saturated with new players looking for creative ways to be heard among the crowd. That’s at least part of the reason why People Power, which says it’s developing plug-and-play devices for monitoring home energy use, plans to launch a […] Read more »

Harvest Power, which builds, owns and operates facilities to turn yard clippings and other organic waste into renewable energy and composted soil, announced today that it is partnering with Waste Management, a leading waste services company, to expand its organics recycling operations. As part of the agreement, Waste […] Read more »

Mark Shapiro, of Berkeley, Calif.’s Center for Investigative Reporting, has written a scathing report on the carbon offset industry in the February edition of Harper’s. Policymakers crafting U.S. climate legislation, which might include provisions for offset projects, should heed the warning, but the criticism shouldn’t be […] Read more »

Venture capitalists are starting the New Year off with a deepening interest in the wind industry. About two weeks after Khosla Ventures and others invested in wind turbine maker Nordic Windpower, another wind startup, FloDesign Wind Turbine, announced yesterday that it closed a $34.5 million second […] Read more »

Just two weeks into the new year, California government authorities are helping to bolster one of our four green building trends to watch in 2010: the tightening of green building regulations. Earlier this week, a California state commission voted unanimously to approve the nation’s first mandatory statewide […] Read more »

When a giant nation with giant energy needs like China says it’s going to smarten up its electric grid, U.S. technology companies — not surprisingly — take note. Witness General Electric’s announcement that it’s partnering with the City of Yangzhou, China, to build a smart grid “demonstration […] Read more »

Global venture capital flow into cleantech startups dropped significantly last year compared with a record-setting 2008, while Asia emerged as the dominant region for IPO and M&A activity and energy efficiency became a hot sector in 2009, according to analysis released today by The Cleantech Group, […] Read more »

The market for new construction is still struggling to pick itself up, but the growing trend of green building promises a sort of renaissance for the centuries-old industry. That’s the hope, anyways, and if you believe (as we do, though with a healthy pinch of skepticism) […] Read more »

Signs keep mounting that the solar industry is on the upswing, the latest coming in the form of solar project developer Tioga Energy’s announcement that it’s raised $20 million in a second round of venture funding. The San Mateo, Calif.-based startup, which builds, owns and operates […] Read more »

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has likened the current state of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology to a half-baked web tool in need of debugging, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t powerful forces driving the growth of the CCS industry. Those forces — the need to […] Read more »

UPDATED High-profile cleantech investor Vinod Khosla has made his first publicly announced bet in the wind industry, backing Danotek Motion Technologies, a designer and manufacturer of advanced electrical generators for wind turbines. Khosla’s venture firm Khosla Ventures led the $13.2 million round of funding for the […] Read more »

The wind power industry is more developed than most types of renewable energy, but one segment — small wind power systems with turbines of 100 kilowatts or less — is just beginning to pick up steam. These systems, buoyed by government incentives and increased interest in […] Read more »

The photovoltaic industry has taken a hit this year, shrinking in size compared with 2008 as a result of the economic crisis, tight credit markets and changes in Spain’s generous incentive policy. The good news is that the PV industry has now passed through its first “cycle” […] Read more »

TPI Composites, which builds lightweight wind turbine blades, on Thursday announced it completed a $26 million round of funding. The deal was led by Element Partners and included participation from existing investors Landmark Growth Capital Partners, NGP Energy Technology Partners, Angeleno Group and GE Capital, the investment […] Read more »

The solar PV industry is currently dominated by silicon-based cell technology, but modules made of organic solar cells are seen as one of the most promising emerging technologies that could eventually become a serious competitor. That’s the hope of Heliatek, a German startup developing solar cells using […] Read more »

The Department of Energy earlier this week announced $18 million in funding grants from the recovery act to support innovation coming from small clean energy businesses. Here’s a look at three of the recipients focused on the green building industry: Chelix, KaZaK and Trinity Thermal Systems. The […] Read more »

Thin-film solar PV maker First Solar has been aggressively buying solar projects, hoping to drive down project costs while spurring demand for its solar modules during the economic downturn. But First Solar isn’t in the business of holding onto these projects over the long term. In […] Read more »

Step aside “Cash for Clunkers,” and make way for “Cash for Caulkers.” The White House is reportedly considering rolling out a two-year, $23 billion program to encourage homeowners to undertake weatherization projects such as adding air sealing, insulation and energy-saving light bulbs. The program would be […] Read more »

If diplomats headed to Copenhagen this December are able to negotiate a new global climate treaty, how will the world know these countries are reducing their greenhouse gas emissions as much as they claim? Michael Woelk, the chief executive of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Picarro, believes he has […] Read more »

The Departments of Agriculture and Energy late yesterday announced they will be doling out a dozen grants — ranging from $1 million to $4 million each — to private sector and university research projects focused on alternative fuels and bio-based products. In total, the departments will […] Read more »

A bevy of companies now offer flashy software packages for tracking an organization’s carbon footprint. But engineering software developer Autodesk believes existing solutions don’t do enough to tie international climate targets (i.e., the IPCC’s 80 percent greenhouse gas reduction by 2050) to a company’s own emissions […] Read more »

People Power, the latest Silicon Valley venture focused on the home energy management space, will officially launch today, hoping its consumer-friendly product design and open-source home area network platform will make it stand out in an increasingly crowded industry. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup has raised […] Read more »

The smart grid rollout is gaining momentum, spurred recently by the announcement of $3.4 billion in stimulus funding for 100 U.S. utilities and cities. Swiss meter maker Landis+Gyr has already benefited from this smart grid activity, but the firm has still grander ambitions and announced yesterday […] Read more »

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