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 The company, founded in 2005 in Massachusetts, originally made lithium ion batteries for consumer electronics, but in 2011 launched its electric car lithium ion battery tech.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 »
The Paper Battery Company isn’t making a battery out of paper; it’s doing something far more interesting. Read more »
Will solar ever be as easy as buying a TV? Well, no. But it can get a whole lot easier. Read more »
While Tesla has been operating like Apple for years, it could now take a more Google-style turn to help boost the tiny electric car market. Read more »
Following Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s suggestion last month that California could be back in the running as a contender for Tesla’s massive battery factory, the state has now started to vie pretty hard for the deal. On Thursday, the Oakland Tribune reported that new legislation (bill SB 1309) was introduced that would enable the state government to use a variety of incentives and regulatory changes as a carrot for the battery factory. The bill is co-authored by state Senator Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, and state Senate President Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and is backed by Governor Jerry Brown.
Forget Watson and its Jeopardy matches. IBM’s Watt-Sun is the intelligent computing that can help fight climate change. Read more »
These early stage lab programs and prototypes could one day be the future of solar panels. Right now they’re hot areas of research. Read more »
With the EPA proposal, the cleantech sector cheers. Read more »
We sit down with Tom Siebel, the tireless entrepreneur and billionaire that’s finally kicking energy software C3 into high gear. Read more »
Solar roads sound cool. But what would be really cool is if current solar panels met their potential in the world some day. Read more »
After about 11 years of scaling up and selling specialty products, algae oil company Solazyme has finally arrived. It just started a large factory in Brazil, and algae fuels at scale are around the corner. Read more »
Electric cars and robotic cars are moving to the market hand-in-hand and that’s a good thing. Read more »
Neural networks are the latest way Google is slashing energy consumption from its data centers. Only a computer model could crunch all the data Google has collected on its data center energy consumption. Read more »
Forget gadgets and art projects on Kickstarter. The latest place to put your money is in solar projects for rural villages, and you even get the money back, over time. Read more »
Materials science is being transformed by algorithms, and computers are now selecting new material combinations to test in the lab. Read more »
Startup EnerVault has hit a major milestone: a demonstration site for its flow battery made of iron and salt water. Read more »
Will advertising creep onto the Nest thermostat now that it’s owned by Google? The Wall Street Journal reports that Google wrote a letter to the SEC saying one day it could serve ads and other types of content on “refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities.” The disclosure was an effort by Google to defend its position to not disclose its revenue generated specifically from mobile devices (because cell phones are just one part of the equation). I asked Nest for comment, and will write more when I hear more.
Updated with comment from Google: “We are in contact with the SEC to clarify the language in this 2013 filing, which does not reflect Google’s product roadmap. Nest, which we acquired after this filing was made, does not have an ads-based model and has never had any such plans.”
Dell is working with partners to make packaging for its devices out of more sustainable materials like bamboo, wheat straw and even mushrooms, said Michael Dell at the Fortune Brainstorm Green conference on Tuesday. To prove his point, he and Fortune Managing Editor Andy Serwer ate small pieces of edible packaging made from mushrooms (see around minute 13) — of course, dipping them in soy sauce first. Michael Dell said he is enjoying the fact that the company is now private because it allows the company to be more bold, and think more long term. Looks like it!
Only 36 percent of the total cost of installing solar systems on home roofs comes from the cost of the hardware. The good news is there’s a lot we can do about that. Read more »
Energy software company Opower has built a business off of encouraging utility customers to curb their energy consumption through detailed energy bills. But will this method work as well when it’s around time-sensitive peak grid events (like a hot Summer afternoon)? This Summer Opower says it is expanding its behavioral demand response program, where Opower’s software nudges residential customers to lower their energy consumption during peak grid events, to 1 million homes. Unlike other competitors like Nest, Opower doesn’t use a device in the home like a thermostat. Baltimore Gas and Electric, Efficiency Vermont, Consumers Energy and Glendale Water & Power are all participating.
Sometimes disruption comes from something so simple in hind sight. Read more »
In its first earnings report as a public company, energy software player Opower said it’s grown its revenue for the first quarter of 2014 substantially, compared to a year ago, but also widened its quarterly loss. In Q1 Opower generated revenue of $28.57 million (up from $19.02 million in ’13), and reported a loss of $6.98 million (from a loss of $2.71 million last year). The company’s stock is down 3.41 percent today.
A hot startup just emerged around data and urban mobility. Meet Urban Engines. Read more »
The robot solar startup has found friends in two huge power companies. Read more »
Remember the Roadster? Tesla CEO Elon Musk looks back and says he would do it a bit differently. Read more »
Introducing the dual-carbon battery from a brand new startup out of Japan. Read more »
Exclusive: Hawaii’s Energy Excelerator is looking for its second class of innovative energy startups, both seed and growth stage. Read more »
President Obama will tout a wide-sweeping series of commitments and pledges from federal agencies and companies to help get more solar on the grid in the U.S. Read more »
Tesla says the auto dealer lobby in Missouri has launched a legislative “sneak attack” against it that could bar sales of Tesla cars directly to consumers. To learn more about the jujitsu maneuver, which involves a bill that will soon move to the House floor for a final vote, check out Tesla’s blog post.
If Tesla doesn’t have its battery factory ramped up when its third-gen electric car is ramping up, Tesla will be in trouble. Read more »
While Tesla has ambitions plans on the horizon it’s still working on the nuts and bolts of Model S manufacturing ramp up this year. Read more »
Greenpeace has been trying to persuade Amazon to commit to more clean power for its cloud computing service AWS, but to little avail. Now the environmentalists are turning to AWS’ big customers, like Pinterest. On Tuesday morning, Greenpeace protested outside of Pinterest’s headquarters handing out green cupcakes and calling to “make our pins green.” Other big consumer Internet users of AWS include Netflix, Spotify, Vine, Yelp, AirBnB and Reddit.
The cleantech crowd was right, at least when it comes to the impact that climate change is having on our planet. Here are some tech trends to watch while the planet is warming. Read more »
Startup Flux is emerging from stealth — and also the labs of Google X — to make designing buildings more sustainable with software and data. Read more »
They sound like science fiction, but these energy technologies are getting closer to reality. Check ‘em out. Read more »