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July could go down in history as a pivotal month for green consumer products. Less than a week after retail giant Wal-Mart said its suppliers must disclose the environmental impact of their products, electronics heavyweight Samsung Electronics on Monday unveiled a plan to cut its carbon […] Read more »

General Electric’s Net Zero Energy Home project unveiled this week highlights the rising branding power of “net zero” buildings. The laudable goal of making buildings produce as much energy as they consume is easy for consumers to understand and easy for companies to use as a […] Read more »

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Over the last year, U.S. electric utilities have announced ambitious plans to own and operate their own solar projects. In two high-profile examples, California’s Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric each unveiled plans to develop 250 megawatts worth of midsized projects (1 to 20 […] Read more »

The feds on Thursday unveiled guidelines to provide $3 billion in grants for renewable energy projects including solar, wind and biomass. The hope is that the grants will help spur investment in renewable energy projects, but analysts at investment bank ThinkEquity Partners aren’t so optimistic, according […] Read more »

Information technology isn’t just aiding the green building sector in terms of energy management tools — it also can play a role in designing certified green structures. Brattleboro, Vt.-based BuildingGreen, a green building publisher and products cataloger, on Wednesday launched an online software package meant to […] Read more »

You know the solar industry is hurting when a startup with a promising cell manufacturing technology turns to systems integration to stay afloat. That’s the recent story of Blue Square Energy, which was launched to develop and manufacture low-cost solar cells using upgraded metallurgical-grade (UMG) silicon […] Read more »

Greenpeace today released the latest edition of its Guide to Greener Electronics, and once again PC makers were given low marks. The nonprofit organization ranked 18 global PC and mobile manufacturers on their policies and practices related to energy, chemicals and e-waste. On a scale from […] Read more »

Selling software as a service through the web has helped make software more affordable and distribution more efficient. Now a startup called Scientific Conservation, which officially launched today after several years in relative stealth mode, wants to bring the software-as-a-service model to the commercial building automation […] Read more »

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Starting next week, all construction projects seeking certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, must use a new version of the green building standard. One of the biggest changes to LEED with the new version has to do with energy reporting — […] Read more »

Industry watchers continue to fawn over solar panel maker First Solar because of its low-cost technology and ballooning sales contracts. But with mounting competition, analysts attending an important presentation by First Solar executives later this week want to hear the company’s plans for cutting production costs. […] Read more »

Monitoring a building’s energy use yields valuable data, but it doesn’t necessarily lead to lower electricity bills. For that, you need to manage power use and adopt less power-hungry systems. With that in mind, Optimum Energy has developed technology that automatically optimizes a building’s major sources […] Read more »

If anyone doubts the ability of renewable portfolio standards to spur the adoption of clean energy projects, they should look to California. The state is requiring that electric utilities need to get 20 percent of their power from solar, wind and other renewables by 2010, prompting […] Read more »

Data centers are energy hogs, but the country’s most prominent green building standard, LEED, doesn’t adequately address their special design considerations. That looks set to change, however, as the U.S. Green Building Council, which develops LEED, is considering tailoring existing LEED rating systems to evaluate green […] Read more »

Algae-based biofuels hold enormous promise as an alternative transportation fuel, but investors had better have patience. Fuel made from algal feedstocks is forecast to reach commercial availability by 2012, according to a report released today by Pike Research on the global biofuels industry, but isn’t expected […] Read more »

The construction industry is about as conservative as they come, but green building materials startup Hycrete has got building contractors giddy about its technology, a chemical that makes concrete waterproof. To take advantage of growing demand, the Carlstadt, N.J.-based startup, which raised $15 million in a […] Read more »

Electric utilities are increasingly offering energy-efficiency programs, but there’s a good chance their customers don’t know about them. That’s according to a survey by market research firm Gartner that found that while the vast majority of respondents said they were willing to participate in programs that […] Read more »

Cement and lumber will never be as sexy as an electric sports car, but there are still plenty of business opportunities in developing innovative materials for the growing green building market. A report published this week by NextGen Research estimates the global green building materials market […] Read more »

A growing number of companies are working on technologies to squeeze as much juice as possible from solar panels and reduce the cost of these systems over their lifetime. One of those companies, Enphase Energy, now tells us that it is working on the next frontier […] Read more »

President Obama has called for the creation of 5 million green jobs in the coming years, and the billions of dollars available for clean technology in the stimulus package — notably the $600 million aimed at green job training programs — is supposed to help get […] Read more »

Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla has made yet another bet in the struggling biofuels sector. Despite already having almost one-third of his portfolio companies in the space, his VC firm has invested an undisclosed amount in HCL CleanTech, a new startup in the cellulosic biofuels industry. Tel […] Read more »

The more you know about how you use energy, the better equipped you are to reduce your footprint. That’s the basic premise of energy management tools like Google’s PowerMeter, and increasingly, web-based tools for helping drivers achieve better fuel economy. To that end, Redwood Shores, Calif.-based […] Read more »

While Greenpeace is busy scoring and scolding the IT industry and its CEOs for a lack of leadership when it comes to climate change, Internet security company Symantec has a somewhat more encouraging takeaway. According to a report released today, Symantec found that a vast majority […] Read more »

Companies building smart meters and the network infrastructure that allows them to communicate back to electric utilities generate most of the buzz around the emerging smart grid. But all that data sent from those smart meters has to be gathered, analyzed and acted upon by utilities, […] Read more »

Semiconductor companies increasingly are positioning themselves to take advantage of the growing business opportunities surrounding energy efficiency. Teridian Semiconductor is one of them, and today the Irvine, Calif.-based firm launched a chip that can be used to measure with extreme accuracy the electricity use of data […] Read more »

Hit by a double whammy of oversupply and a worldwide recession, solar panel installations are forecast to slow by as much as 32 percent this year, according to market research firm iSuppli. So solar panel maker Energy Conversion Devices is trying a new strategy to drive […] Read more »

When it comes to energy savings around computing, data centers get most of the attention. But while giant tech companies including Sun Microsystems have launched initiatives to reduce the power consumption of these computing hubs, there’s also plenty of energy to be saved at the PC […] Read more »

Transonic Combustion, the Khosla Ventures-backed startup currently developing a high-efficiency fuel injection system that could lead to 100 mpg vehicles, said today it’s raised a third round of funding, though it declined to say exactly how much. Venrock, Rustic Canyon Partners and Saints Capital also participated […] Read more »

Another technology venture looking to capture carbon dioxide and use it to grow algae has thrown itself into the ring. BioProcessAlgae, a joint venture among filtration giant Clarcor, wastewater treatment startup BioProcessH2O, ethanol producer Green Plains Renewable Energy, and renewable energy developer NTR, has been awarded […] Read more »

If the Tesla Roadster is the sultry movie star of electric vehicles, Boulder Electric Vehicle’s delivery vans are the character actors. But for good reason. The boxy, all-electric vehicles are meant to haul loads of up to 11,000 lbs, not shuttle the well-heeled between social events […] Read more »

The nation’s ever growing push for a smarter electric grid means it will become increasingly similar to a computer network with two-way communication. While that has many benefits, it could also leave the grid more vulnerable to attack. That’s why two influential U.S. lawmakers, Rep. Bennie […] Read more »

Energy use in buildings could be cut by as much as 60 percent by mid-century, but doing so would take more than just adopting energy-saving technologies. That’s according to the findings of a four-year study looking at residential and commercial building sectors around the world and […] Read more »

Helion Energy, a startup developing engines powered by nuclear fusion, is certain to pique the interest of sci-fi fans. But the more important question for Helion President Philip Wallace is whether the same can be said of venture capitalists. That’s because the Seattle-based company is on […] Read more »

The U.S. southwest will be getting a lot more solar power if Sempra Generation has its way. CEO Michael Allman, speaking Wednesday at a Dow Jones alternative energy conference in Redwood City, Calif., said Sempra aims to be the first company to own and operate 500 […] Read more »

Much of the news these days about the smart grid buildout comes from the country’s large investor-owned utilities, like California’s Pacific Gas & Electric, which tend to be centered around major metropolitan areas. But Washington, D.C.-based Great American Broadband is betting that electric cooperatives — smaller, […] Read more »

U.S. green building rating systems have so far largely failed to address renovations of existing homes, in particular so-called multifamily dwellings like apartment buildings. But that is set to change. We’ve learned that the Berkeley, Calif.-based nonprofit Build It Green has secured grants to expand its […] Read more »

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