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Think $4 per gallon gas is bad? Try $6 per gallon biodiesel. While the prices for gas and diesel have been climbing higher and higher, biodiesel prices have been rising, too, crunching biodiesel makers and making large diesel purchasers rethink making the switch to biodiesel. Seattle-based […] Read more »

Now that the Democratic Party has a presumptive nominee, it’s time to take a closer look at Sen. Barack Obama’s energy plan and how he intends to use the office of the president to accelerate our transition to a greener economy. We profiled Sen. John McCain’s […] Read more »

Climate change was debated and filibustered on Capitol Hill this week as the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act came up in the Senate. The bill represents the first serious climate change legislation with a cap and trade system on carbon to make it to the Senate floor. […] Read more »

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IBM showed off a new computing system yesterday that packed layers of semiconductors in a vertical stack and cooled it with water running in hair-thin pipes along the chips themselves. This is more impressive than the water-cooled copper plates that subsequently cool chips, and a leap […] Read more »

Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla is unlikely to retire anytime soon, but he could soon be investing in cleantech with the retirement funds of some of his fellow Californians. Khosla Ventures is in “advanced talks,” peHub reports, with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), which as […] Read more »

With Trina Solar’s (TSL) announcement this morning that its quarterly earnings had more than doubled, you’d expect to see the solar cell maker’s shares at least rise slightly this morning. Not so much. There’s still that little problem of the rising cost of polysilicon, which has […] Read more »

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid faces a tough choice following a successful Republican filibuster of the first serious legislation to tackle climate change. The bill, America’s Climate Security Act of 2007, proposes to setup a cap-and-trade system to manage carbon emissions. Today Democrats fell 12 votes […] Read more »

Even though we heard about two companies (Iogen and Alico) canceling plans to build cellulosic ethanol plants in the U.S. this week, Verenium doesn’t seem to be getting cold feet. Just last week the company opened up its demonstration facility and this morning an executive said […] Read more »

UK on Track For Massive Offshore Wind Power: Eleven sites off the coasts of the UK have been earmarked for potential wind farm development as part of the country’s ambitious plan to generate 20 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020 – Energy Current. […] Read more »

At the same time that Detroit is dragging its feet, startups are moving quickly to get plug-in hybrid electric vehicles into customers’ garages. Today A123 System’s plug-in conversion company Hymotion announced the first six locations for its Green CHIP (Certified Hymotion Installation Partner) dealers. So now, […] Read more »

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Score one for Georgia in the nationwide battle to secure green jobs. Suniva, a solar startup building highly efficient solar cells with low-cost manufacturing, said this morning it will be building its first manufacturing plant in Gwinnett County, Georgia. For those of you not familiar with […] Read more »

While the attention of the world’s food crisis critics was focused on the UN’s summit in Rome, Monsanto, the agro-biotech behemoth, publicized its plans to double corn, cotton and soy bean crop yields by 2030 while cutting water, land and energy needs 30 percent. The St. […] Read more »

The CEO of SunPower Tom Werner said this week that if the U.S. federal government doesn’t renew the investment tax credit (ITC) that provides 30 percent on the investment of solar, the company will be forced to move its business “elsewhere” to make up for that. […] Read more »

When it comes to semiconductors, everyone in the chip world is thinking green. But let’s face it: It’s a lot sexier to talk about “green” server chips used in data centers consuming 1.5 percent of the nation’s energy than about reducing plug loads with chips that […] Read more »

U.S. Biofuel Subsidies Blamed by UN: The head of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization blamed U.S. biofuel subsidies for sending grain into fuel tanks, depriving the world’s poor – Guardian. William Frey Joins SunEthanol as New CEO: Hadley, Mass.-based SunEthanol, a cellulosic ethanol startup, named […] Read more »

FTL Solar, which is building products embedded with thin-film solar cells, said today that it’s closed $1 million of what it hopes will be a $50 million first round of funding (hat tip, peHub). The funding was led by Terra Firma Capital Group and included investments […] Read more »

RockPort Capital Partners has closed its third venture capital fund, which they claim has commitments of more than $450 million, making it their largest fund yet and one of the largest cleantech funds ever. It will be aimed at later-stage opportunities, specifically startups looking to exit. […] Read more »

While we just heard that land management company Alico has decided to nix its plans to build a cellulosic ethanol plant in the U.S., Canadian company Iogen tells us that it, too, is backing away from its intentions to build a cellulosic ethanol plant in the […] Read more »

Intel Capital announced eight diverse investments yesterday at its annual CEO Summit in San Francisco. Amid the online video plays and Internet retail moves, there was a single cleantech investment. Intel, along with GE and Catamount Ventures, has invested an undisclosed sum into Grid Net, a […] Read more »

In the process of mapping out these dozen or so companies that are racing to build the first cellulosic ethanol plants in the U.S., we discovered that not all the companies are still rushing forward. Some, in fact, have quit the contest completely. Alico, a land […] Read more »

Bill Gates is making good on his plans, announced last November, to sell off his 20.6 percent stake in Pacific Ethanol. Cascade Investment, the private investment and holding company controlled by Gates, has been whittling down the stake trade by trade, according to recent filings with […] Read more »

Solar startup Xtreme Energetics of Livermore, Calif., today said it signed a deal to license the technology behind making clear transistors from Hewlett-Packard. Xtreme Energetics CEO Colin Williams says the technology will enable the startup to make a more efficient solar panel that can convert up […] Read more »

Leading Silicon Producer to Double Production: Hemlock Semiconductor says that they will double their output of silicon this year for both semiconductors and solar in a $1.5 billion expansion – Cleantech. DOE Expects More Wind than Coal: A new report form the U.S. Department of Energy […] Read more »

The race to get green cars to market continues to heat up. Today brought details of the Scorpion, an “eco-exotic” sports car with an on-board hydrogen generator made by Ronn Motor Co. The Austin, Texas-based company says it hopes to have the first production Scorpion, which […] Read more »

eSolar, the solar startup backed by and Bill Gross’ Idealab, said today that it’s inked a deal to build a 245 MW solar thermal power plant in the Antelope Valley region of Southern California and sell that solar power to utility Southern California Edison. eSolar […] Read more »

Solar startup Tigo Energy announced today it has raised $6 million for its solar optimization business (hat tip peHub). The startup, headquartered in Los Gatos, Calif., says it is making its own hardware, software and web-based applications, that are designed to boost the reliability and output […] Read more »

There are almost a dozen companies racing to build the first next-generation cellulosic ethanol plants in the United States over the next few years. The plants will be built all over the U.S. and will churn out biofuels made from waste, plant byproducts and woody energy […] Read more »

San Francisco is poised to greatly boost its number of solar rooftops pending one final full meeting of the Board of Supervisors this afternoon (full schedule available here). We’ve been following the city’s proposed solar incentive rebate program for some time now (catch up here, here […] Read more »

Bosch Makes €546.4 Bid for ersol Solar: German industrial conglomerate Bosch is offering 101 euros per share, a 68 per cent premium, in a takeover bid for ersol Solar Energy AG, which makes wafer-based silicon solar cells and is moving into the manufacture of thin-film modules […] Read more »

While Silicon Valley semiconductor manufacturers have been offshoring their fabrication lines, Kovio, a startup in the silicon circuit printing business, has just moved into a 95,000-square-foot facility in Milpitas, Calif., and says it’s now set to start printing, with products due to be delivered later this […] Read more »

Wonks are in a tizzy today in preparation for the debate of the Lierberman-Warner bill, which will bring climate change and carbon cap-and-trade to the Senate floor. But while the debate will highlight the obstacles to climate legislation, it’s unlikely that this bill will get out […] Read more »

While analysts are busy haggling over First Solar’s price — is it heading up or down? — the company got a potentially nasty sign that it could soon be heading south. Bloomberg reports that First Solar CEO Michael Ahearn, the company’s second largest shareholder, sold half […] Read more »

British Telecom (BT) said today it plans to reduce its carbon emissions 80 percent by 2020. The UK-based incumbent telecom operator is already on its way to meeting that aggressive target, and last October said it would invest close to half a billion dollars in wind […] Read more »

Leave it to San Francisco to decide that the city is not only going to recycle grease from its restaurants to be used for biodiesel, but that the city will build its own grease-to-biodiesel plant. On Friday San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said that the city […] Read more »

Here comes a potential hiccup for companies in the business of ocean seeding like startup Climos, which just last week we reported was looking to raise more funding. Delegates at a U.N. biodiversity convention on Friday decided to call for a temporary ban on the practice […] Read more »

It was a short week with the holiday but that didn’t stop VCs from dolling out the dough and entrepreneurs from making new laboratory proclamations. If you were too busy cleaning out the barbecue we’ve got all the important headlines here from this week in cleantech. […] Read more »

How do you convince home-owners to pay you to install solar panels on their roof tops? Even though solar is one of the biggest buzz words this year, it’s still tough. While we often discuss the market dynamics of silicon supplies, panel manufacturing and installation costs, […] Read more »

Woe to the ethanol makers out there, because higher corn prices this summer will mean even more shrinking profits for ethanol producers says a report from Texas A&M University. There’s also the potential for more variability in the price of corn this summer, because supply is […] Read more »

While it’s not cold fusion, the latest claimed breakthrough from the laboratories of the nefariously named Blacklight Power does defy some laws of physics. The startup announced this week that they have created a 50,000-watt prototype of a new fuel source by lowering the energy level […] Read more »

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