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One day, the old-skool electricity grid will have the smart network capabilities of the Internet — distributed, self-healing, maybe even peer-to-peer. It’s a huge future business opportunity that’s prompting investors to put money into startups like GridPoint, which this morning said it closed a $48.5 million […] Read more »

Climate change means we’ll be facing more unpredictable weather — and if you’re in a weather-sensitive business like farming or owning a ski resort, unexpected weather can mean a significant loss of sales. San Francisco startup WeatherBill, founded by former Google (GOOG) exec David Friedberg, offers […] Read more »

Ztek to Bloom Energy, Stop Infringing: Fuel-cell company Ztek has accused competitor Bloom Energy of patent infringement, according to a Calif. government document reported by Greentech Media. Branson’s BioJetFuel: Richard Branson said Virgin Group wants to make biofuels at the beginning of the next decade and […] Read more »

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When Bill Joy was hired by venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Paul Kedrosky wondered if Joy would be a Bob Metcalfe (a high-profile person that moved to VC late and fits the job) or a Stewart Alsop (a high-profile person that moved to VC […] Read more »

[qi:86] In countries where international long-distance rates are high, mobile services like mig33′s mobile instant messenger and VoIP calls are starting to gain a sizable user base. The Burlingame, Calif. startup, which was an eTel/GigaOM Launch Pad startup, says it has signed up more than 7 […] Read more »

Corn-based ethanol just can’t win. Even Biotown USA — a town renamed for biofuels a couple years ago — couldn’t make the economics of an ethanol plant built by VeraSun (VSE) work in this current market. Now another ethanol producer, BioFuel Energy Corp. (BIOF), has said […] Read more »

EnerDel To Power Think: EnerDel says it has signed a deal with Think Global to supply the of choice for lithium-ion batteries — release. Governator Signs Bill for $125M Per Year For Green Cars: The California governor signed a bill to spend $125M annually on alternative […] Read more »

Steve Jobs is probably as tired of Greenpeace watching Apple’s (AAPL) eco moves as we’re sick of hearing about Nicole Richie’s pregnancy — as in, a lot. Greenpeace released a report this morning that says Apple’s mobile game changer — the iPhone — contains toxic brominated […] Read more »

Now that Silicon Valley’s own electric car company, Tesla, is planning on delivering the Roadster at least a year behind schedule, the company is doing some serious PR work in the WSJ this morning, with both an article and a video interview with co-founder and former […] Read more »

If Al Gore is the Nobel Peace Prize-winning embodiment of technology and the environment, the growing masses of eco-bloggers — bloggers waxing on all things earth-friendly — represent the intersection of broadband and the environmental movement. At no other time has the barrier to blogging and […] Read more »

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There’s no individual that exemplifies the merging of the environmental movement and the technology industry more than former Vice President Al Gore. By now everyone’s seen his Academy Award-winning plea to fight climate change, and he’s a senior adviser to Google (GOOG), an Apple (AAPL) board […] Read more »

Vinod Khosla, the 52-year venture capitalist and founder of Khosla Ventures and Sun Microsystems, is leading Silicon Valley’s biofuel gold rush. Controversial to some (corn ethanol critics) and put on a pedestal by others (venture investors that follow his lead), he’s made at least 10 biofuel […] Read more »

SmartSpark Energy Raises $$$: Solar inverter technology (converts DC to AC) is the next place for investment, a VC told me recently. He looks to be right, and SmartSpark Energy said it raised an undisclosed round from Battery Ventures — release. Solar Decathlon Starts Tomorrow: Twenty […] Read more »

In the race to produce cheaper solar cells using new manufacturing methods and materials, solar startups have been requiring more and more money to get their products to market. Over the past few months, Konarka, Miasolé, HelioVolt, and Nanosolar have all raised funding in an effort […] Read more »

Unless you’re as clued in as Ms. Teen South Carolina, you’ve noticed that corporations are increasingly focused on lowering energy consumption, reducing carbon emissions and touting their general eco-friendliness. Less obvious is that the startups that are in the business of enabling this green trend – […] Read more »

Biodiesel Plant’s New Tech: Benefuel and Seymour Biofuels will build a biodiesel refinery based on solid catalyst that can convert low-grade fats and vegetable oils into biodiesel — Seattle PI. Shell Shilling for Clean Coal: Shell is looking to license its coal gasification technology — Reuters. […] Read more »

Where do we tackle the dirty-burning coal dilemma — in the power plant or in the ground? (Or how about neither and we just go with clean energy?) Luca Technologies is betting on the ground, and the Golden, Colo.-based startup that works with naturally-occurring microbes in […] Read more »

About half of the electricity Americans consume comes from coal, and China’s economic boom is being fueled by the dirty-burning stuff. So while we’d prefer an end to all coal, technologies to capture and store the carbon emissions from coal plants will just have to help […] Read more »

When corporations say they are going “carbon neutral,” they often focus first on cutting energy consumption within their own office buildings or data centers — a positive step, but one that often doesn’t look at the more far-reaching effect of their supply chains. So it’s a […] Read more »

Craig Venter, the high-profile genetic researcher and cleantech entrepreneur, is possibly weeks away from announcing that he and a group of scientists have created the first new artificial life form on Earth, according to the Guardian. As in, today I made: a) brownies, b) a blog […] Read more »

Outsourcing IT Saves Energy: Outsourcing IT and datacenter functions can mean an energy savings of up to 40 percent, according to IDC — Business Green Blog. Clipper to Make a Big Ol’ Wind Turbine: Clipper Windpower said today that it plans to develop a 7.5 megawatt […] Read more »

Compared to cleantech funds like Braemar’s $250 million or Expansion’s $100 million, a low double-digit fundraising might not turn too many heads. But Greenhouse Capital Partners, which says today it has closed $11 million for a fund that will focus between half and three quarters of […] Read more »

First there’s uber investor Vinod Khosla with his burgeoning clean tech portfolio. Then father of the Ethernet, Bob Metcalfe joined the party. Now we have FON founder Martin Varvasky getting interested in solar farms. I guess with telecom operators deciding the fate of all telecom-related start-ups, […] Read more »

Now that corn-based ethanol is looking more and more unsustainable — and is the latest media punching bag — it’s time to make way for the next generation of biofuel startups. LS9, a San Carlos, Calif-based start-up that touts itself as a “renewable petroleum company” plans […] Read more »

When PG&E (PCG) and electric car startup Tesla said last month that they plan to research “smart charging” for electric plug-in vehicles — where the rate that a plug-in vehicle charges from the grid can be controlled remotely by a utility — we checked in with […] Read more »

Tampa Electric Ditches Clean Coal: The Florida utility says its going to drop plans to use so-called “clean coal” technology — InsideGreenTech. Solar Servers: Business 2.0 checks out green server-farm company — affordable Internet services online — Business 2.0. Sustainable Silicon Valley: The coalition of […] Read more »

When we first heard this morning that Mark Jacobstein had left the mobile location-based startup Loopt to take an entrepreneur-in-residence position at Charles River Ventures, our initial thoughts were, Uh-oh — what’s up at Loopt? We haven’t heard much from the high-profile NEA- and Sequoia Capital-backed […] Read more »

Investing in cleantech — with subsectors that range from energy to IT to water — takes a good deal of focus. NGEN Partner’s Robert Koch knows it and he’s currently concentrating on solar startups and electric vehicle companies. Focus also breeds enthusiasm. When talking about the […] Read more »

Solar in Japan, Model of Government Support: NPR has a radio piece on how Japan has helped create a market for solar through government support, and reports on a solar-filled Kobe neighborhood — NPR. EnerNOC Boosts So Cal Edison Deal: EnerNoc announced a contract to provide […] Read more »

[qi:_earth2tech] Bob Metcalfe, the father of Ethernet and founder of 3Com (COMS), says the history of the Internet is a “rich vein to mine” when it comes to building the next generation of energy technology. He should know — he’s been researching network and information technologies […] Read more »

Bob Metcalfe, the father of Ethernet and founder of 3Com (COMS), says the history of the Internet is a “rich vein to mine” when it comes to building the next generation of energy technology. He should know — he’s been researching network and information technologies for […] Read more »

On Sept. 13, 2005, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels declared that the little town of Reynolds, Ind. — with a population of just over 500 — would officially become BioTown, USA. The idea was to re-energize the town and make it energy-self-sufficient through biofuels and waste-to-energy technology. […] Read more »

How Social Norms Effect Energy Consumption: If you have to read one article on this fascinating subject, check out this testimony from Robert Cialdini on this topic. Seriously, go read it now — The Oil Drum. Pentagon’s Eco Peeps: While we’re on the green military kick, […] Read more »

Wow, the bloom sure has started to come off the corn-based ethanol rose. We’ve been detailing the backlash against biofuels recently, and over the past few days, prominent articles in the mainstream media – The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Economist – […] Read more »

Another week, another round of funding raised by a company developing solar materials and struggling to get those products to market. Six-year-old Lowell, Mass.-based Konarka said this morning it has raised $45 million. The company had been rumored to be raising close to that size of […] Read more »

Google Earth’s bird’s-eye view of the globe is not just a way to check out satellite pics of your crush’s apartment building (though we’re guilty of that one). The virtual space is being used by environmentalists, concerned citizens, and yes, eco-bloggers, to map the effects of […] Read more »

While Governor Schwarzenegger chanted for “action, action, action” on global warming at the UN climate summit on Monday, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice talked up the importance of maintaining the economy through emissions reductions at the White House climate meetings yesterday, leave it to the […] Read more »

Dell Going Carbon Neutral: Dell has been one of the leading computer makers when it comes to reducing its carbon footprint, and now says its going carbon neutral by 2008. The hard part will be getting the suppliers involved — Marketwatch. Mutant Hydrogen-Producing Algae: A professor […] Read more »

Not everyone’s feeling the biofuel backlash, especially when it comes to cellulosic ethanol — biofuels made from non-food crops and plants. This morning, Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based energy crop company Ceres announced it has raised $75 million through a late-stage financing round led by private equity firm […] Read more »

Howard Berke, the co-founder and executive chairman of the board for solar polymer company Konarka, stepped down from his role as CEO in June, but we still found him out manning the company booth at the Solar Power 2007 convention this week. We chatted with him […] Read more »

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