Our fourth annual experience design conference Roadmap will kick off on November 18 and 19. Here’s our first speakers and our over arching theme. Tickets on sale now. Read more »
Power companies are becoming more interested in Bloom Energy’s fuel cells, while customers are asking Bloom for the PPA-style power-as-a-service deal. Read more »
Researchers at universities are delivering innovations for the good ol’ lithium ion battery. Read more »
Science is the cleantech. Well, sort of. My thoughts on the evolving way for VCs to fund tough problems. Read more »
Calling all rockstar energy entrepreneurs. There’s a kick@ss opportunity for five of you. Read more »
The value of design for the tech industry is exploding. Designer Yves Béhar is selling a 75 stake in his design firm to a Chinese marketing group. Read more »
A startup called Leyden Energy is getting rid of a bunch of assets and patents around its lithium ion battery tech. Is it finally closing up shop? Read more »
Google’s “Little Box Challenge” is now open for business and is looking to hand out $1 million prize. Read more »
GE’s got a new idea for how to make a key part for a lower cost fuel cell, and its using a new business model to launch it commercially. Read more »
Electric car maker Tesla Motors has temporarily idled production at its factory in Fremont, California, reports the San Jose Mercury News. It will use the almost two week downtime to increase production of its Model S sedan car, and to make way for manufacturing of its upcoming Model X, crossover SUV, minivan. Tesla plans to deliver 35,000 Model S cars this year, with a goal of 1,000 per week and the first Model X cars will be delivered in early 2015. Production will resume on August 4.
We take you inside a brand new factory that’s churning out disruptive solar and grid batteries in West Pennsylvania. Read more »
Airbnb was founded and is run by designers. That makes them hyper vigilant of the company’s brand and overall design, and now the company is getting a visual upgrade. On Wednesday Airbnb revealed a new symbol that it says represents Airbnb’s maturation and growth: they’re calling it the Bélo, “the universal symbol of belonging.” What do you think of it? Valleywag has its own hilarious take. And some peeps on Twitter pointed out it looks a bit like this logo.
Tesla’s goes for the mundane moniker for the third-gen car: Model 3. The Tesla brand is first, and the car brands comes second. Read more »
More Internet companies are embracing wind and solar to help power data centers. Microsoft is the latest for a huge data center in Chicago. Read more »
Ultracapacitors are showing promise in some early electric vehicle applications. Will they ever replace batteries? Read more »
Tesla’s charging network is growing fast. Read more »
Frickin’ laser beams will power Sungevity’s new instant quote service. Read more »
Turns out I’m not the only hater in town when it comes to the “solar freakin’ roadways” project. Since I wrote that “we don’t need solar roadways, we need to unleash current solar panels,” back in May the solar roadway’s Indiegogo project raised $2.2 million, over double their goal of $1 million. But Scientific American just published a well researched take down of the hard road ahead that such a technology would face — the article looks into the technical and cost hurdles. Check it out here if you’ve been following this project.
While solar companies descend on San Francisco this week, it’s the batteries that everyone’s talking about. Read more »
The state is getting a third solar panel farm from Apple to power its huge data center in the region. Read more »
Happy birthday, old man solar. It’s time for you to shine now. Read more »
Solar panels for 28 cents per watt — that’s what startup Siva Power says it could one day deliver. Read more »
Is silicon the solution to cheap abundant LED lighting? Read more »
After a short 24-hour delay, NASA launched a rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California Wednesday morning, which contains a satellite and a spectrometer that will monitor carbon emissions from on high. The tool measures the colors of sunlight that bounce off of the earth — the intensity of the colors indicates how much carbon dioxide there as the light passes through the atmosphere. Check out this article for more on how cutting-edge tech in the skies is seeking answers to the world’s changing climate.
Another big funding round for an alternative transportation startup — this time one that builds ride-sharing networks across Europe. Read more »
Tech innovations are leading to better and more low cost ways to monitor Earth’s vital signs and answer tough questions. Read more »
Should energy storage be as clean as the renewable energy that it will be paired with? Read more »
New tools for home energy — from a solar roof to better insulation — are leading to big growth for a six-year-old startup in New England. Read more »
As SunPower moves into SolarCity’s market, SolarCity moves into SunPower’s. How a young business model upstart and a three-decade old solar maker morphed into unusual competitors. Read more »
SunPower gives a sneak peek of a battery pilot project it’s been working on in California. Batteries and solar panels could transform the edge of the power grid in some places in the world. Read more »
Stop feeling so guilty about piling on the gadgets. Technology gains are leading to more energy-efficient gadgets. Read more »
Local media around Columbus, Mississippi are reporting that biofuel company Kior has started laying off workers at its Columbus-based plant, which hasn’t been in operation for more than six months. The company has close to $300 million in debt (more than $69 million to the Mississippi Development Authority) and has estimated that it has until the end of August to find new financing to help restart the plant before potentially facing bankruptcy. The stock was down to $0.36 cents per share on Friday afternoon. For the full story on Kior check out my reporting from March.
Last week Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla planned to embrace an open source philosophy for its patents and had removed the patent wall in its headquarters. A week later, this is what the wall where the patents were looks like. For more on what Musk did — and did NOT do — with the patent news check out Jeff Roberts’s analysis.
Concerns about data security will actually lead to more (not less) public cloud adoption, says a VMware exec in charge of cloud infrastructure. Read more »
Innovation in enterprise IT is starting to bloom, and it’s based on the idea of not planning, says VC Vinod Khosla. Read more »
How to disrupt the power and automotive sectors: go big and vertical. Read more »
SolarCity has jumped solidly into solar manufacturing, becoming an even more vertically integrated company. Read more »
Nifty new materials are being used to capture waste heat and turn it into electricity. That could make both your gadgets and your cars, but also high-powered industry more energy efficient. Read more »
Battery maker Boston-Power is closing on a round of $250 million from investors in China and elsewhere, reports the Wall Street Journal’s Venture Capital Dispatch blog. The company, founded in 2005 in Massachusetts, originally made lithium ion batteries for consumer electronics, but in 2011 launched its electric car lithium ion battery tech. Shortly after that, Boston-Power moved the bulk of its operations to China and raised a round led by China-based investor GSR Ventures. The WSJ report says Boston-Power has battery factory capacity for 300 megawatt-hours of batteries (with annual sales of $100 million) and next year plans to more than triple that factory capacity. The company is providing batteries for electric cars made by Beijing Electric Vehicle Company.
Tesla’s open source move is much more wide sweeping after all, though it remains to be seen how Tesla will implement this. Read more »