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Nonelectric Hybrid Engine Saves Fuel: Mechanical engineers in the UK are working on a combustion engine that can switch between operating as a four-stroke engine and a two-stroke engine, a system they estimate can cut fuel consumption in cars by 27 percent – MIT Technology Review. […] Read more »

As if biofuels needed any more negative press, along comes this doozy. A Brazilian ethanol firm backed by hundreds of millions of dollars from a who’s who list of investors — among them former President Bill Clinton, cleantech VC Vinod Khosla, supermarket bigwig Ron Burkle, AOL […] Read more »

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The northern California utility PG&E has announced one of the largest solar thermal contracts to date, with plans to buy a potential 900MW of power from five large solar thermal plants built by Oakland-based startup BrightSource Energy. BrightSource’s Senior VP of Marketing and Business Development, Charles […] Read more »

When we gathered together our post, 15 Algae Startups Bringing Pond Scum to Fuel Tanks, last week, we realized a lot of the companies are making some significant inroads on the microscopic green fuel. Inventure Chemical’s CEO Mark Tegen tells us his firm, based in Seattle, […] Read more »

Your cell phone company offers you a phone for free, but sells you wireless minutes each month. Similarly the cleantech industry is starting to realize it can benefit from the same type of service model, which can ease the transition to more expensive cleaner technologies by […] Read more »

“Sector Snap: Ethanol Shares Decline”: The USDA estimates that there will be 8 percent less corn planted this year as compared to last year’s record crop. Ethanol stocked dipped following the forecast for higher corn costs – AP via Climateer Investing. New Thermochemical and Catalytic Processes […] Read more »

Lotsa little funding announcements popped up on my radar today, kicking the week off with a feeling that the cleantech investing train won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Plus, it’s helping us ignore that whole recession thing. Following is more than $50 million in green-tinged deal […] Read more »

The fight against climate change in the U.S. is getting billions of VC dollars for tech innovation, the attention of presidential candidates, and game-changing legislation. So what else could it possibly need? Better advertising, at least according to Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Vice President […] Read more »

Even though silicon is one of the most abundant materials in the world, pure silicon — the kind used in solar cells — is hard to come by. In fact the growing demand for pure silicon led Ontario-based solar silicon purification startup 6N Silicon to disclose […] Read more »

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Among clean tech solutions, we often hear about wind, solar, geothermal, and then “energy efficiency.” This one large category rarely gets the specific treatment–other than a mention of compact fluorescent lightbulbs–that the other segments of the market do. But one company we found, Sustainable Spaces, has […] Read more »

Despite the fact that Google said Blackle, the all-black site based on the company’s search engine technology that claimed to save energy, was BS, the search giant turned its home page black for Earth Hour this weekend. Google said the gesture was aimed at raising awareness […] Read more »

Data centers are becoming a bigger and bigger draw on energy resources. According to a report from the Environmental Protection Agency last year, they accounted for only 1.5 percent of the energy consumed in the U.S. But an interesting story by James Niccolai of IDG suggests […] Read more »

Carbon Sponge Box: Researchers at Tucson, Arizona’s Global Research Technologies have built a refrigerator-sized device that acts like a sponge for carbon emissions. Called the Atmospheric Carbon Capture Systems (ACCESS) Air-Capture System, the secretive material used captures carbon from the air (currently at a rate of […] Read more »

If you needed further proof that fuel cells still aren’t ready for mainstream consumer electronics, here you go: Silicon Valley fuel cell maker Jadoo Power has revamped its business to focus on Uncle Sam. The company, which makes a fuel cell in the 50-watt-to-2-kilowatt range that […] Read more »

Mayor Newsom’s hopes of making San Francisco a solar city were suddenly put on hold yesterday when Supervisor Jake McGoldrick issued a resolution freezing the $3 million the Mayor and Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting had lined up for their Solar Incentive Rebate Program, which had been scheduled […] Read more »

Update: Bummer. The California Resource Board voted to cut the number of zero-emission vehicles that auto makers would be required to produce to sell in Cali by 70 percent (to 7,500 for the three years from 2012 to 2014.) While that was less than its staff […] Read more »

Sharp to Build Giant Thin-Film Solar Plant: The Japanese electronics giant says it will invest $729 million to build a thin-film solar plant in Osaka. The plant is supposed to come online in 2010, producing 480 MW a year, boosting Sharp’s total production capacity to 1 […] Read more »

Aptera sent out a newsletter yesterday saying they plan to join Tesla by moving their concept electric vehicle from vaporware to hardware. Aptera says that after two years of research and development, they are now ready to move into production of their three-wheeled Typ-1. The colloquial […] Read more »

Southern California Edison (SCE) has launched one of the most ambitious solar rooftop projects to date, promising 250 megawatts of photovoltaic power covering more than two square miles (some 65 million square feet) of southern California’s commercial building rooftops in what it claims will be the […] Read more »

Looks like Israel isn’t the only place that’s willing to take a chance on Shai Agassi’s electric vehicle infrastructure plan: Denmark has decided to give Project Better Place a go, too. Today Danish utility DONG Energy and Silicon Valley startup Project Better Place said they plan […] Read more »

Updated: If corn-based biofuels are the Britney Spears of the cleantech world (a fallen star but still all over the place), fuel made from algae is the next great American Idol winner (major potential in the pipeline). And despite the fact that algae-to-biofuel startups have been […] Read more »

Ohio Doles Out $21M in Cleantech Grants: Ohio will be giving out 29 separate grants totaling $20.9 million for a diverse swath of cleantech sectors including wind, solar, biofuel, energy storage and fuel cell technologies – Cleantech Media. “Why Giving Away Carbon Permits is a Bad […] Read more »

The march to the petro-bio switch continues. This morning it was Cargill and chemical manufacturing, this afternoon it’s Shell using biomass to make gasoline. Shell has entered into a five-year partnership with biofuel startup Virent Energy Systems to research and develop technology that would convert plant […] Read more »

A startup out of MIT that has developed new ways to manufacture and design silicon-based solar cells launched today with $12.4 million in funding from North Bridge Venture Partners and Polaris Venture Partners. The new solar firm, 1366 Technologies, was founded by MIT Professor Ely Sachs, […] Read more »

Not satisfied with nibbling at big oil’s transportation fuel market, agro-industrialists are now pushing to take the “petro” out of the petrochemical business. The newly launched Elevance Renewable Sciences is a biochemical venture that says it will use soy, canola and corn as feedstocks to produce […] Read more »

Tesla Motors is preparing to head to Sacramento this week to fight for the disintegrating Zero Emission Vehicle Program, Tesla CEO Ze’ev Drori blogs. This Thursday, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will host a public hearing on potential changes to the program that could further […] Read more »

Bill McKibben, one of the most prolific writers and journalists on climate change and author of the recent book on energy, “Deep Economy,” opined on the state of king coal, and his frustration over a lack of a political movement to fight climate change, this week […] Read more »

It was questionable whether the much-blogged-about Toshiba micro nuclear reactor was legit or not, but Toshiba does sell nuclear tech and it’s spending a lot of money trying to break into the U.S. market. The latest comes this afternoon: power company NRG Energy put out a […] Read more »

AES, Riverstone Make $1B Solar Entry: Virginia-based power company AES and New York private equity firm Riverstone are each putting $500 million into the new joint venture, called AES Solar, which will be an owner, operator and developer of utility-scale photovoltaic power projects – Cleantech Media. […] Read more »

The British government’s top environmental advisers had some choice words on the recent push for more biofuels. Bob Watson, chief scientific adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, warned of a “perverse outcome” saying “If one started to use biofuels…and in reality that […] Read more »

Amidst the flurry of carbon credits, lead-free electronics and green everything, the truth of the matter is that folks who are truly green don’t buy a lot of stuff. But that’s no way to push products, so we’re stuck with greenwashing. The technology industry is as […] Read more »

Today, Israeli water tech company AqWise, which uses a bio-based film to treat waste water, announced it has closed a $3.6 million round of financing. Israel’s venerable and growing water technology sector keeps offering more solutions for purification and treatment. The current round of financing came […] Read more »

Let’s face is it: Shame can be a much stronger driver of behavioral change than positive reinforcement. A mandatory note on my Facebook page that lets everyone know how much I’ve driven, or how many plane flights I’ve taken since the beginning of 2008, would be […] Read more »

The most recent dead-tree edition of Wired Magazine just arrived and the cover sports a charged headline reading: “Eco Hype: ZAPS’s No-Show Green Cars.” ZAP? That press release-happy, Santa Rosa, Calif.-based electric scooter maker? Yep, the 10-page feature tells the story of the electric vehicle startup […] Read more »

Xerox has been in a long-term makeover session, attempting to convince customers it’s more than just a copier and printer company (its hard when you’re branded as a verb). Part of that revamp has been a nod towards more sustainability, because, hey, what’s more wasteful than […] Read more »

BMW Diesel Wins ‘World Green Car Award': Going from zero to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds while getting 59 mpg sounds pretty good, eh? Too bad, the BWM 118d, which claimed its prize in New York, is not available in the U.S. – WIRED’s Autopia. Battery […] Read more »

As the Presidential hopefuls tout their climate legislation promises and Congress continues to dance around the pending carbon policy, a strange term has arisen in the climate debate: a cap and trade “safety valve.” Also called a “cost ceiling,” a safety valve is an escape hatch […] Read more »

A few weeks ago, many greens jeered when Richard Branson put a little J05 biojetfuel in the tank of one of his airliners. It was not enough, others said, and at worst, it was a distracting stunt. In the greentech world, we see the ‘problem’ as […] Read more »

While fuel cells are just starting to power industrial operations and some homes, scientists are working on fuel-cell tech that can work under hotter, dryer conditions. Researchers at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering have made a new ceramic membrane out of iron nanoparticles that could […] Read more »

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