SolarCity ticks off its many accomplishments in 2013 — including a pioneering move to sell notes backed by its solar projects — while it faces tougher competition from rivals who also are beefing up their financing and installation services. Read more »
Only a small percentage of the population needs the Cozy connected radiator cover, which makes it an interesting test case for building niche products and crowdfunding a business. Read more »
Meet Zero Site, a new concept for street lighting that includes a tiny mobile base station. Launched along with an innovative financing scheme, there are huge benefits to be had for municipalities, carriers and mobile users alike — but possible risks, too. Read more »
Introducing Granular, a startup bringing a new class of farming software to farmers. Read more »
A new battery innovation borrows from nature and could solve some big problems with using silicon in lithium in batteries. Read more »
Tesla says that the massive battery “gigafactory” is now in the plans. At the same time the electric car maker plans to significantly boost Model S production this year. Read more »
Production is expected imminently of the Fisker Karma, now that Chinese giant Wanxiang has purchased the electric car startup. Read more »
Sidecar has announced a user marketplace that helps riders and drivers connect. Read more »
Connecting your home may seem daunting, but is there enough value in connecting a lamp or a coffee maker to make smart outlets an entry point to the internet of things for mainstream consumers? Read more »
Chinese auto parts giant Wanxiang has won a bid for electric car maker Fisker for $149 million, and a judge has approved it. Will they restart production of the Karma and make the Atlantic soon? Read more »
This weekend the New York Times profiled a San Francisco-based startup called WaterFX, which is using mirrors to harness the sun’s rays to produce energy to clean water. The company has a $1 million project with the Panoche Water District in Central California to clean dirty water that lies under the surface of a wheat field.
China has long been the untapped wild card in cleantech. Now more entrepreneurs are making connections and raising funds from Asia. Read more »
In late 2013, E.ON UK (one of Europe’s leading energy suppliers) was getting about 250,000 hits per week on its consumer-facing website. Three weeks later, it was getting 500,000 hits per week. Why the spike in web traffic? Two words: customer engagement. Read more »
The Dutch tech giant has come up with a way to use connected lighting as the basis for in-store location-based services, such as finding items and offering highly targeted coupons. Read more »
The co-founders of Opower tell us about the top 5 trends they’re watching when it comes to utilities. Read more »
Apple’s supplier responsibility report reveals an increased focus on a number of important issues last year, notably that it doesn’t use the metal tantalum, which is often procured from war-torn areas. Read more »
The revolutionary solar farm in the Mojave desert is finally live. Here’s the story behind the tech, and an inside look at the launch. Read more »
SunPower had a break out year in 2013 and now is looking to see significant growth this year, including expansion of its home solar leasing program. Read more »
Gigaom got a look at the newly revamped MyLink infotainment system and LTE connectivity in new Chevy models. It’s still a work in progress, and needs a heck of lot more apps, but there’s a lot of promise. Read more »
The work out of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is promising, but researchers still have a long road ahead of them before the technology comes anywhere near to commercial viability. Read more »
It seemed like only yesterday when electric car company Tesla Motors hit $100 per share (well, a year ago). Now Tesla has bumped up over $200 per share this week, and is hovering around $196 in recent trading. Tesla will announce its latest earnings next week.
After much speculation Opower is planning on finally going public, according to a report. Read more »
Inexpensive, simple water cleaning tech could enable industries to reuse water over and over for manufacturing, mining and chemical creation. Startup Axine says it has something new. Read more »
Steve Vassallo and Trae Vassallo are among some of the more well-known cleantech and digital energy investors. Thing is, they’re married, are raising three kids, and also work at two different venture capital firms that sometimes compete on deals. Trae works for Kleiner Perkins and Steve for Foundation Capital. This is what it’s like to compete on a deal with your spouse:
“[W]e still laugh about competing over Opower; we had a sneaking suspicion that we were both engaged, based on the mystery trips back East.”
Robots are delivering the next generation of assembly lines and manufacturing, and it’s coming out of Silicon Valley. Read more »
Two major wireless charging groups, the Alliance for Wireless Power and the Power Matters Alliance, are banding together with their standards, which will make life easier for consumers who want to charge a tablet or smartphone without wires. Read more »
Brave man: Bill Gates showed up on Reddit’s Ask Me Anything Monday morning. Here are some takeaways. Read more »
Superconductors have some pretty amazing characteristics — one of them is that they repel magnets. In this demo at Google Solves for X this weekend, a scientists shows off this levitation trick, which could be used in many applications. Read more »
India has an ambitious goal to implement a massive amount of solar-powered water pumps. The project could reduce load on the neglected power grid, reduce costs for farmers, and lower carbon emissions. Read more »
Venture capital firm Khosla Ventures already has a long list of startups that it’s backed that are looking to make food more sustainable — like plant-based egg maker Hampton Creek Foods, organic candy company Unreal Candy, salt replacement product Nu-Tek Salt, and plant-based meat replacement startup Sand Hill Foods. But Fasto.co Exist has the details on the Khosla-backed vegan cheese startup Kite Hill, which uses nut milk instead of dairy to make artisanal cheeses.
Tesla boss Elon Musk says that Spotify didn’t want to work with his company, so he sealed a deal with Rdio instead. Read more »
DFJ was actually better than most at cleantech investing. Alas, even the solid ones have moved on. Read more »
Biofuel startup LS9 has been sold for $40 million to biodiesel maker Renewable Energy Group, reports MIT Tech Review. But before you congratulate them, note that LS9 raised $81 million over nine years, and still hadn’t reached a point where it was selling its green diesel to refiners. Last year the company brought in a new CEO, following restructuring and layoffs. Such are the long roads and harsh conditions facing biofuel startups. LS9 was backed by Khosla Ventures, Flagship Ventures, Lightspeed Ventures, and Chevron Technology Ventures.
Turns out cyber security might not be the biggest threat to the power grid after all. Read more »
Flow batteries are funky large batteries that use liquid tanks and pumps. There’s a new one being commercialized by a Silicon Valley startup. Read more »
The U.S, government is moving on new rules requiring future vehicles come with Wi-Fi technology necessary for cars to communicate with one another. The goal is to prevent accidents, but networked cars could become much more. Read more »
Battery innovation might be the rage — and much needed — but it’s super hard for Silicon Valley and the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Read more »
Some of the largest solar farms in the world that use the sun’s rays to make heat are just now coming online in California — at the same time that the state is suffering one of the worst droughts in five hundred years. MIT Tech Review takes a look at why solar thermal farms are so water intensive, what’s to be done about it, and checks out some of the newer “dry cooling” technologies that are being used to reduce the water needed.
Little is known about Apple’s rumored smartwatch, but new reports suggest the device could feature wireless charging and track health in a number of ways. Read more »
Drought and fears of water shortages are drumming up interest in new water technology. Just don’t count on venture capitalists to chase these new water tech deals. Read more »