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Apple's solar farm in North Carolina

Those of us steeped in the energy business would be happy to discuss it with 60 Minutes. We’re already creating many new jobs that address the need for more energy while staving off the impact of climate change. Read more »

On The Web

Two of venture firm Venrock’s energy investors, Matt Trevithick and Matthew Nordan, have left the firm. Trevithick is an accomplished investor who was one of my first interviews after I launched the cleantech site. We’ve published many pieces from Nordan on the state of cleantech venture capital on this site, and Nordan has launched a clean energy project development company focused on China called MNL Partners (which is keeping a low profile). Both investors worked on Venrock’s Nest deal.

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On The Web

Battery maker A123 Systems, which had its own brush with bankruptcy in 2012, wants to buy bankrupt car maker Fisker. The independent A123 made batteries for Fisker’s hybrid Karma car, but was acquired by Wanxiang Group of Hangzhou, China at auction after the bankruptcy filing. A123 is now part of Wangxiang’s U.S. subsidiary, which wants to purchase the car maker.

Both Fisker and A123 received grant or loan money from the U.S. Department of Energy.

On The Web

This article in IEEE Spectrum highlights some interesting research into making cloud computing more efficient by balancing the carbon footprints of global data centers and the latency of serving requests from those data centers. It’s an admittedly incomplete study, and one that’s probably more important to large web companies (e.g., Facebook) and cloud providers than to normal businesses just consuming cloud resources. Smarter load balancing could help providers cut operational costs and pass the savings onto users. Of course, large cloud users such as Netflix might want to research and develop their own systems, as well.

On The Web

In an attempt to jump on the solar trend, many homeowners in Oahu plunked down an investment on rooftop photovoltaic systems — but the response was so overwhelming, Scientific American reported, that the local electric company couldn’t manage the scale. The solar grid by Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO) was not built to withstand the level of solar energy surging through it, meaning that residences will have to foot the bill for an upgrade. Scaling solar is a complicated issue fraught with many costs — but how much will everyday citizens have to pay to make green energy accessible?

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