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DuPont announced on Monday that it has bought Innovalight, a Silicon Valley startup that makes silicon ink that solar-cell makers can use to improve the amount of electricity that the cells can squeeze out of sunlight. DuPont declined to disclose the purchase price. Read more »

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Utilities know by now that they need to adopt steps manage electricity supply and demand if electric cars become popular. The trick is to figure out what to do. The Electric Power Research Institute released a report on Tuesday that addresses the utility concerns. Read more »

Renewable Energy Group feedstocks

Biofuel companies may not get as much venture capital investments, but they sure are attracting a good number of investors in the public markets. Renewable Energy Group is turning to the public market route and on Monday said it will go public to raise up to $100 million. Read more »

SolarOr's honeycomb

Fusing solar technology with buildings is an area that tends to invite creative ideas. An intriguing design caught our attention at Intersolar in San Francisco this week: It’s a solar panel with a honeycomb structure that replaces the glass facades of a building. Read more »


Greener transportation doesn’t just involve electric vehicles and biofuels. Lighter weight steel can make a car more fuel efficient, too. That’s the idea behind the Wednesday announcement by the federal government to offer a $730 million loan to a steel maker Severstal in Michigan. Read more »

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Here are our five topics to watch for at one of the largest U.S. solar conferences, Intersolar, in San Francisco this week. Policy — how to survive with more mandates and less money — along with new technology and markets will dominate the discussions. Read more »

Cogenra at GH v2

When it comes to adopting new technologies, particularly solar, farmers and owners of ag-related operations have often led the way. We list some recent projects that rely on agricultural producers to demonstrate new technologies. Read more »


Cleantech venture investments dropped by a third in the second quarter of this year compared to the same quarter last year, according to the Cleantech Group. However, energy efficiency technologies such as LED lighting and energy management software are still getting some love from private investors. Read more »

Molycorp Betting on IPO to Open Federal Purse for Rare Earth

Japanese scientists have pinpointed large deposits of rare earth elements that are necessary for all sorts of cleantech gear. The discovery gives hopes that China’s chokehold on the rare earth supply could be over, but accessing those minerals will be difficult. Read more »

SolarCity installation

SolarCity, which has lined up investors such as Google to finance solar panel installations, is looking for money to run its business operations. The installer is seeking a $42 million round and has bagged about $14.8 million, according to its government filing Friday. Read more »

First Solar_Cimarron

First Solar has become the biggest solar beneficiary of a federal renewable energy loan guarantee program. On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Energy announced three loan guarantee offerings totaling roughly $3.73 billion for First Solar’s three photovoltaic power plants in California. Read more »


Turning wastewater – from cities or food processing plants – into electricity has always attracted investors fancy. Now an investor consortium of GE, NRG Energy and ConocoPhillips is making its first bet on an Israeli technology developer via its new fund called Energy Technology Ventures, the companies said Tuesday. Read more »


Startup EnerVault is getting closer to commercializing its flow battery, which uses large liquid tanks of chemicals to store energy. The Silicon Valley company will be building a demonstration project next year to help launch the technology into the market in 2013. Read more »


The DOE on Wednesday said it is offering a partial loan guarantee for a $1.4 billion loan that will fund Project Amp, which will erect solar panels on hundreds of rooftops around the country. The project is the largest rooftop solar plan in the country. Read more »


Making energy from poop can be a good profit-making and social enterprise. That’s the aim of a research project at Columbia University, where a professor is getting a $1.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a waste-to-energy technology. Read more »


Calisolar has become the fourth solar manufacturer to receive a federal loan guarantee offer. The company, which turns lower-grade silicon into purer version for making solar cells, is set to use the $275 million loan guarantee to help build a factory in Ohio, the U.S. Department of Energy said Thursday. Read more »

WindMade logo

Eco labels have worked well in some cases, such as organic food, but will they work for renewable energy? The wind energy industry thinks so and proposed a program Wednesday to encourage companies to invest in wind and display their eco-friendly cred. Read more »


While we’re all waiting for efficient LED lighting to one day become mainstream, venture capitalists are continuing to back LED innovation. LED chip maker startup Illumitex has raised another $13.52 million in equity, according to a government filing on Monday. Read more »

Monsht lab personnel

Adding more clean power to the grid will require utilities to redesign the network that transports solar electricity locally. Southern California Edison on Monday laid out its plan to make its distribution grid more responsive to the fluctuating infusion of solar electricity throughout the day. Read more »


General Electric is a major wind turbine maker and has announced big plans in the past year to tackle the solar market. But it may be the company’s strategy to expand its natural gas power plant equipment business that could be a significant driver of renewable energy. Read more »

Geothermal power in Iceland

The U.S. government is throwing its weight behind geothermal power this week, announcing a $350 million loan guarantee to fund a geothermal power project in Nevada, and $70 million in support for technologies that speed up geothermal energy generation across the country. Read more »

Prudent Energy

Flow batteries — big tanks of liquids that can store energy — are jockeying for a place in a growing energy storage market that will enable utilities to better manage the electric grid, provide back-up power and potentially work with the electric rates system. Read more »

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