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Updated with clarification and additional information about the utilities’ stimulus funding: Two major California utilities – Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison — were noticeably absent from the $3.4 billion in smart grid stimulus grants announced last week, despite both being widely recognized as […] Read more »

Tendril Networks, which makes energy-management technology for consumers and utilities, is partnering with an unnamed “major computer game manufacturer” to build a new computer game whose main character, an “eco-warrior,” will gain power as users reduce their energy consumption in their homes. Tendril CEO Adrian Tuck, […] Read more »

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Panel discussions at technology conferences are often pretty dry affairs, but smart grid expert Erfan Ibrahim of the influential group Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) proved today at a conference in San Francisco that even topics like home area networks can rile a crowd. Speaking at […] Read more »

The Clean Tech Open, a nonprofit business plan competition for early-stage startups focused on renewable energy, green building and other cleantech markets, announced today the three winners in the Rocky Mountain region. New Sky Energy, Rivertop Renewables and SunTrac Solar will each receive $50,000 in cash […] Read more »

Building materials typically don’t arise as examples of high technology. In the green building sector, energy management systems and building-integrated renewable power generation have drawn much of the attention from tech-oriented innovators, with less activity around green building materials. But the authors of a new report […] Read more »

Waste Management, one of the country’s largest landfill operators, today is opening what it says it the world’s largest facility to convert landfill gas to liquefied natural gas (LNG). Once at full capacity, the $13.5 million facility, located at Waste Management’s landfill site near Livermore, Calif., […] Read more »

ZETA Communities, a San Francisco-based green prefab builder, has been quietly developing an energy management system that it says will be ready to be installed in all the startup’s projects starting next year. The system, called zTherm, automatically opens vents, draws heat from thermal mass, and takes other low-cost measures […] Read more »

The Department of Energy this week announced the first round of grants under its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program, which was created to back risky but potentially breakthrough technologies. Out of the 37 projects awarded grants, three are focused on improving building energy efficiency and […] Read more »

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Just days after the White House outlined its strategy for bolstering the home energy retrofit market, a new report from research and publishing firm McGraw-Hill Construction predicts the market for nonresidential green building retrofits is set to soar and represents a better opportunity for designers and builders than […] Read more »

A new report published this week by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab offers valuable insight culled from a decade’s worth of data into perhaps the most important metric in the PV industry: installed system costs before financial incentives. Because these incentives, like government tax rebates, can’t […] Read more »

The White House believes it’s found the political version of a double whammy in the home energy efficiency retrofit market. There are about 130 million homes in the U.S. and a sizable chunk of them are good candidates for energy-saving projects, like air-duct sealing, insulation and […] Read more »

The federal stimulus bill is allocating billions for energy efficiency projects, but a new report by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab predicts that state-level, ratepayer-funded efficiency programs already in the pipeline will be an even bigger recipient of funding in coming years. The study found that funding for these […] Read more »

Solar thermal developer eSolar is continuing its rush of deal-making, saying today that it’s inked a partnership with a South African-based energy firm to expand sales operations across the sub-Saharan region of the continent. Under terms of the deal, Johannesburg-based Clean Energy Solutions will exclusively represent […] Read more »

Michelle Kaufmann has been called the high priestess of green “prefab” design. The architect, who worked for Frank Gehry early in her career, was one of the first to make a persuasive case that prefabricated design — which saves time and reduces waste compared with conventional […] Read more »

Venture capitalists often speak of green building as a promising sector, but few have actually invested in companies developing innovative building materials. Beyond Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Serious Materials, most cleantech junkies would probably struggle to name more than one or two other venture-backed green building outfits. But a stealthy […] Read more »

The world’s governments will meet in Copenhagen in December to hammer out a new global climate deal. But Al Gore, speaking on Wednesday at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting in New York, said success hinges on the U.S. Senate’s progress on legislation that would limit […] Read more »

With so much activity in Washington, D.C., these days — from funding opportunities to policies like cap and trade — that could affect cleantech industries, many startups have sent their executives to the capital or hired lobbyists in the hope of adding their voices to the […] Read more »

Rennovia, a stealthy renewable chemicals startup based in Menlo Park, Calif., has secured a $12.3 million first round of venture funding led by 5AM Ventures and Versant Ventures (hat tip peHUB). Details on Rennovia are slim, but its mission, according to a job posting from the […] Read more »

General Electric has never hidden its intention to gobble up startups with promising technology in order to expand its business. The conglomerate followed through on that promise again on Monday with the announcement that its energy division has acquired ScanWind, a Norwegian developer of advanced drive […] Read more »

Solix Biofuels might not have a big oil backer like a number of its algae fuel competitors, but the Fort Collins, Colo.-based startup can now list Los Alamos National Laboratory as a partner. Solix said this week that it’s entered into a research and development agreement […] Read more »

Duke Energy, one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S., has added yet another technology partner to its smart grid team. Newton, Mass.-based Ambient Corp., a decade-old company that develops data communication networks for electrical distribution systems, said this week that it has signed a “long-term agreement” with […] Read more »

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, continuing its march against government-imposed limits on carbon emissions (see here and here for examples), has added another misleading commentary to the ongoing discussion about a cap-and-trade system. This time it alleges that there is “evidence” that the Obama administration […] Read more »

The growth of the green building market has been widely celebrated recently, spurred largely by government policies and rising recognition that such structures are more economical to operate. The forces behind the industry are so strong now that research firm McGraw-Hill Construction predicts green buildings will […] Read more »

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — that $787 billion behemoth of a bill that was signed into law in February and was meant to stimulate the U.S. economy — so far seems to have had a beneficial but lackluster impact on the home energy retrofit […] Read more »

When software is designed well, it can radically improve the way an industry works. That’s the vision behind ongoing efforts at Autodesk to upgrade its building performance modeling software — to make energy retrofits of buildings cheaper and easier. The San Rafael, Calif.-based firm believes the […] Read more »

Venrock, the venture capital firm that was originally established as the venture arm of the Rockefeller family, is bulking up its cleantech team. On Monday, it announced that Matthew Nordan, co-founder and former president of Lux Research, will join as vice president with a focus on […] Read more »

As recently as two years ago, home energy retrofits might have been called esoteric territory best left to well-off eco-enthusiasts. But today, with increased attention and funding from the federal government and growing  consumer interest, energy retrofits will soon become more common as people look to […] Read more »

How does the U.S. spur 50 million energy retrofits (40 percent of homes) from the current low level of hundreds of thousands per year? The Obama administration could meet that goal with two major policy initiatives plus a hefty investment from the public and private sectors […] Read more »

Reports emerged last month that Vinod Khosla, the high-profile green venture capitalist and Sun Microsystems co-founder, was finally turning to outside investors to create two new funds that together would raise $1 billion to primarily back cleantech startups. Hard evidence has now surfaced about one of […] Read more »

Echelon might not have the biggest name in the smart meter biz, but it has scored an initial deal with one of the largest utility partners. The company, which has been a strong seller in the European market for several decades, said Monday that it signed […] Read more »

If group purchasing of solar systems reduces costs, the same should be true for home energy retrofits. We’ve learned that two San Francisco-based startups, building retrofit firm Sustainable Spaces and community organizer 1 Block Off the Grid, have launched a pilot program in the San Francisco […] Read more »

A growing San Francisco-based solar energy initiative called 1 Block Off the Grid couples do-gooder motivation with a drive for profit and scalability that you might say could only have born in the City by the Bay.  The initiative aims to lower the cost of residential […] Read more »

A section spanning just 29 pages of the 1,428-page Waxman-Markey climate bill could have an outsized impact on energy use in the United States as it would require ambitious reductions in the energy use of new homes and commercial structures through a nationwide building energy code. […] Read more »

Paying for rooftop solar systems, water conservation measures and energy-saving upgrades like weatherization to homes and commercial buildings in San Francisco should become easier if a new proposal to finance such projects with extra property tax passes the Board of Supervisors. The financing program, which was […] Read more »

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