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solar panel

Are people who don’t own homes being left out of the solar energy revolution? A bill making its way through the Legislature in California will expand the public’s access to solar energy by making it easier for renters and others to buy electricity from clean power. Read more »


The vast majority of solar cells today generate electricity by facing the sun, but what if you could engineer their backside to make use of reflected light as well? That’s the idea underlying the technology of bSolar, an Israeli startup who recently launched the so-called bifacial solar cells. Read more »

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Sunrise Powerlink

It was a project that took five years to fight off critics and secure regulatory permits. But now the Sunrise Powerlink — a transmission line to ferry clean power like solar and wind from California’s desert to its southern coastal region — is done and live. Read more »


Hanergy, a Chinese solar manufacturer, has been making news lately, first with the purchase of a German solar company and then on Wednesday with a 3-year deal to make and install solar panels on Ikea’s stores on China. But who is Hanergy? Read more »

PolyPlus Batteries, image from 2011

Funding innovation and manufacturing (and job creation) is a big theme in this election year for Obama’s administration. The DOE announced Tuesday that it’s giving away $54 million to 13 projects for technologies that will help manufacturers reduce energy use and lower production costs. Read more »

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California’s per-capita energy use has remained flat for 35 years and it wants to keep that way. That’s why state regulators are now targeting gadgets such as game consoles and event toilets in an effort to set standards that will require manufactures the reduce of rate of electricity and water their products consume. Read more »


Software tools are becoming more important –and attracting more investments — with the greater use of clean power gear, from solar and wind devices to batteries for energy storage. Here’s a look at 6 software opportunities, from energy forecasts to performance monitoring to marketing and sales. Read more »

California canal

As the planet reaches 9 billion people by 2050, technologies that reduce energy and water needs for farming will become increasingly important. A Silicon Valley startup called mOasis is working on materials that can help farmers produce more crops with less energy and water. Read more »


It’s got dry, sunny climate and an addiction to fossil fuels, and it’s set to become a hot spot for renewable energy development, especially solar. It’s the Middle East, where countries such as Saudi Arabia subsidize electricity generation by using their own oil and where natural gas is the main source of power for United Arab Emirates. Read more »

SolarCity installation

California regulators on Thursday essentially increase the amount of solar power generation that could qualify for net metering, but they left unresolved a contentious issue over whether people who don’t have solar or other renewable energy systems are subsidizing those who do. Read more »

SunRun Adds $90M From US Bancorp, Hopes for 2010 Solar Boom

Investors may not be so keen to put money into solar manufacturing these days, but they are pumping quite a bit of money into the solar retail sector. Sunrun is benefitting from this investor sentiment and announced Wednesday that it’s raised a $60 million in equity. Read more »

Bridgelux's LED chips, image courtesy of Bridgelux.
photo: Image courtesy of Bridgelux

After raising $230 million in venture capital and developing LED lighting components for a decade, Bridgelux in Livermore, Calif., is making a technology transition to drive down costs. The company is now counting on its partnership with Toshiba to make this transition a success. Read more »

GridNavigator Energy Forecast Screenshot (1)

The ability to predict energy use and do something about it will become more important as businesses look for ways to reduce costs and use energy more efficiently. A startup called GridNavigator has launched a cloud-based service that performs energy consumption forecasts throughout the day. Read more »


A123 Systems was supposed to be a success story about an innovative U.S. battery company, but it has struggled to live up to that expectation. The company on Tuesday posted lower revenues and greater losses for the first quarter of this year, about two months after it launched a program to replace defective batteries. Read more »

Siemens Media Summit 2007

China likes to do things on a grand scale, which allows it serve its vast population spreading out in huge regions and brag about its technical advancements. Here comes another one: the country is now building a transmission line with a whopping 800-kilovolt of capacity that will ferry wind and solar power over 2,210 kilometers (1,373 miles). Read more »

Solar Frontier 10 MW Komekurayama

Japan plans to close its last nuclear reactor this weekend, a move that will take nuclear power out of its energy supply for the first time since 1966. Among those who will celebrate that will be solar companies as Japan gets ready to boost its renewable energy production and opens up its market more to non-Japanese players. Read more »

The solar steam field and its distinct tower can be seen in the distance.

An 180-mile drive takes me through the farm belt of California to Coalinga, where Chevron runs an old oil field that uses steam to boost its production. It operates a demonstration project, completed last fall, that uses sun’s energy instead of natural gas to produce steam. Read more »


Solar startups have been a favorite target for Korean conglomerates looking to boost clean power investments. TenKsolar certainly has caught the attention of one of them, Hanwha, which just led a series B round of $15.5 million the companies said Wednesday. Read more »

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