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American manufacturers, project developers and policy makers have always had a keen interest in feed-in tariffs, which guarantee premium rates for renewable electricity. The U.K. indicated Monday that it will likely cut the pricing for large-scale solar projects because it wants to promote smaller, rooftop installations. Read more »

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A U.S. Treasury grant program popular among renewable energy developers has become a subject of lawsuit and a federal judge has denied part of the government’s wish to dismiss the case. The lawsuit could have wide-ranging ramifications, including opening the door to follow-on lawsuits. Read more »

SolarCity

Citi isn’t new to investing in solar energy projects, but the bank previously backed solar projects built for businesses and public agencies. But it has now jumped solidly into the residential solar installation market by agreeing to back $40 million in solar installations by SolarCity. Read more »

marchingband

Energy Secretary Steve Chu laid out near- to long-term research and deployment plans to meeting goals set by President Obama in his state of the union speech. Aside from solar, electric cars and energy efficiency measures, Chu also is bullish about nuclear power. Read more »

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Facade

Venture capitalists have been bemoaning the challenges of investing in solar hardware makers, but some haven’t given up. Sulfurcell, for one, announced Monday that it’s gotten €18.8 million ($25 million) from investors such as Intel Capital to market its second-generation thin films. Read more »

naturalgascompressor

Whether natural gas is friend or foe to renewable energy development has been hotly debated. For Fatih Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency, the world isn’t paying enough attention to the impact that natural gas production and pricing will have on renewable energy. Read more »

Coskata: So Close, Yet So Far for the Cellulosic Ethanol Biz

Biofuel production nationwide has been woefully behind schedule as would-be producers struggle to just get their first commercial plants rolling. The U.S. government wants to help and on Thursday announced loan guarantee commitments totaling $571 million for Coskata, Enerkem, and a JV from Valero. Read more »

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More bad news about cellulosic biofuel maker Range Fuels. The financially-strapped company reportedly plans to shut down its plant in Georgia after making just one batch of ethanol. It needs to more raise more money and tackle technical problems at its first commercial plant. Read more »

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Investors loved the wind energy sector, and they showed it by blowing the most investment dollars that way in 2010. They also were most busy with energy efficiency deals, the number of which surpassed other cleantech categories last year, according to a U.S. market report by Peachtree Capital Advisors. Read more »

First Solar installation

Solar thin films have to be cheap, and that mandate makes it difficult for startups to be profitable. In fact, these alternatives to silicon solar panels are on average 12 percent cheaper, said Paula Mints of Navigant Consulting. Read more »

wood chips

Here’s the bad news from next-gen biofuel producer Range Fuels: The company has let some workers go. But the good news the company wants you to know is that Range Fuels is still planning to produce enough cellulosic ethanol to meet a government estimate for 2011. Read more »

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Consumers love credit cards, so why not start a program to reward them for spending money on eco-friendly goods and services? That’s the idea behind a proposed government program in South Korea in which users can earn points, and cash, for buying greener products. Read more »

RayTracker

First Solar’s own power generation projects have always been mounted on racks that don’t tilt throughout the day to follow the sun, but the company is exploring the use of trackers. First Solar announced Friday it has bought RayTracker for an undisclosed sum. Read more »

Chevy Volt Eye Candy: GM's Great Green Hope Strikes a Pose (or 9)

GM and LG Chem are licensing a broad suite of patents from Argonne National Laboratory to develop lithium-ion battery cells and packs for next-generation electric cars. LG Chem will use the IP to make cells in Michigan starting next year. Read more »

Carolina Pines

AQT Solar, which opened a factory in Silicon Valley last year, is heading to South Carolina to set up a solar cell factory that will start with 30-40 MW of annual production capacity and reach about 1,000
MW by the end of 2014. Read more »

Inner Mongolia

First Solar’s big plan to eventually build 2 gigawatts of power plants in China’s Inner Mongolia has moved ahead. The company signed a memorandum of understanding with China Guangdong Nuclear Solar Energy Development Co. on Wednesday to develop the first phase, 30-megawatt project. Read more »

Stion factory equipment

Solar panel startup Stion plans to build a 500MW factory, potentially raise between $100 million to $150 million in an IPO in 2012, and fulfill at least 500MW of sales contracts, CEO Chet Farris tells us. Read more »

Sunny

This year has turned out to be a boom year for the solar industry. What will 2011 bring? Here are key trends that can emerge next year, in terms of policies, financing, project development, new markets and technology. Read more »

San Francisco waves

San Francisco’s outgoing mayor Gavin Newsom has long backed clean power, for the city but there’s one energy initiative that has remained outside his grasp: using the power of the ocean to generate electricity. Can he make it happen from state office? Read more »

Money

This year saw some improvements in public market investors’ appetite for cleantech companies, but not enough to make it a good year. As always, the hopes are that 2011 will prove a better one. Check out our picks of top 10 IPO candidates. Read more »

Solar Decathlon 2009

The average cost of solar electric systems to homeowners in the United States fell to a historic low in 2009 and reverse a trend seen in previous years, according to a report released by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Read more »

A Sungevity solar installation in the Maldives, courtesy of Sungevity.
photo: Image courtesy of Sungevity.

A couple of years ago, startup Sungevity set out to provide hassle-free services for homeowners who want to install solar electric systems. Looks like its strategy has paid off: On Wednesday, the company announced it has raised another $15 million. Read more »

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