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Leyden Energy battery cells

Lithium-ion battery startup Leyden Energy has raised $20 million to expand production, the company announced Wednesday. Although the company is initially targeting the gadget market, it’s also working with a Canadian company to develop batteries for electric bicycles. Read more »

Solmentum

Going solar is an expensive undertaking, so homeowners are often eager to know whether solar adds value to their homes and if they can recoup some of the investment when they sell their homes. Read more »

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DyroCore 3

The California Energy Commission on Wednesday filed a complaint against a wind turbine maker, contending that the company has exaggerated the performance of its equipment and caused the commission to overpay in rebates. Read more »

Photo by Katie Fehrenbacher/Gigaom

Brace yourself for reports of lackluster sales and profits for solar companies for the second quarter. SunPower did just that Monday by warning that it expects to post a lower gross margin and a loss for the period. Read more »

Silicon_Ink

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 »

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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 »

SolarCity panels on a Walmart, courtesy of SolarCity.
photo: Image courtesy of SolarCity.

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 »

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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 »

Emefcy

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 »

EnerVault

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 »

PROLOGIS NEW SOLAR PROJECT

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 »

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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

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 »

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