More science-energy Stories

Much like the nagging sustainability issues that are plaguing biofuel production, making solar panels has a dark undercurrent as well. This weekend the Washington Post published an investigative piece looking into Chinese polysilicon manufacturing companies accused of dumping a toxic byproduct, silicon tetrachloride, into local villages. […] Read more »

John Doerr, Kleiner Perkins super VC, told a group of students, investors and entrepreneurs at the Berkeley Energy Symposium on Friday that “it’s almost criminal that we’re not investing more in energy R&D.” And Doerr, who’s firm has already put almost $300 million into clean technologies, […] Read more »

Another week goes by and it doesn’t look like we’re any closer to finishing the Democratic Primary. In case you were too busy watching the Texas and Ohio results roll in, we’ve compiled Earth2Tech’s top headlines from last week for easy access to what went down […] Read more »

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With the recent demise of the FutureGen project, and the feds and banks alike distancing themselves from the future risk of carbon intensive coal, carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) has been having a hard time lately. A panel discussion at Friday’s Berkeley Energy Symposium asked flatly […] Read more »

What do Russian rocket scientists know about wind power? A lot, at least according to entrepreneur Rick Halstead, who is creating a wind turbine design company with a group of Russian engineers that previously built submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles. Not exactly the most common resume bullet […] Read more »

Our favorite genomics guru and cleantech entrepreneur Craig Venter gave a thorough talk on digitizing biology, designing and synthesizing life, and creating “fourth-generation biofuels” (WTF are those by the way?) at the recent TED conference. TED organizers just put the clip up on the site. (TED’s […] Read more »

“Green-collar jobs” has entered the zeitgeist with the help of political promises and media infatuation. Most recently the EPA has put $2.5 million into the Brownfields environmental job training program, one of the government’s oldest efforts to train a greener workforce. The most outspoken, and well-spoken, […] Read more »

Hardware to Microsoft: Green Yourself: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spoke on the software giant’s green efforts but many still criticize the company for making power hungry software – ZDNet. Cleantech Gadgets that Save You Green: Do ionic clothes washing systems, LED lamps and a stackable worm […] Read more »

Cleantech America, a San Francisco-based solar developer, says it has received an investment from Wafer Works Corp., a Taiwan-based electronic materials supplier of silicon wafers. The size of the investment was not disclosed, although Cleantech America CEO Bill Barnes did tell us that it will close […] Read more »

Our coal deathwatch list just keeps on growing. At the behest of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, a major loan program for new rural coal power plants has been suspended. The Rural Utilities Service, a branch of the Department of Agriculture, says the […] Read more »

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When we talked with Mike Gering, CEO of thin-film solar company Global Solar back in January, he said the company would start manufacturing at a plant in Tucson, Arizona, near the end of March. Well, this morning Global Solar put out a press release officially announcing […] Read more »

A member of the cleantech elite, Tesla Chairman Elon Musk, has backed Climos, a San Francisco startup that plans to seed the ocean with iron in order to capture carbon. So what does Musk see in the controversial technology, given that other startups that worked on […] Read more »

It’s lobby week on The Hill and Congresspersons will be meeting with representatives from a variety of industries lobbying for their causes. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has organized a whole day of events, meetings and lobbying to educate Congress on the business of wind. […] Read more »

What bad luck for U.S. ethanol makers. The very day when oil hits a record high, even when adjusted for inflation, corn also hits a record high. High oil should make ethanol more desirable, but the high corn prices are more than offsetting any benefits from […] Read more »

“Why Wind Needs Feed-In Tariffs”: Wind energy is almost cost-competitive with fossil fuel sources and a feed-in tariff could be the most effective way to tip the scales in wind’s favor – The Oil Drum. Applied Materials to Sell $1.9B of Solar Equipment: The world’s largest […] Read more »

What’s the best way for the global community to speed up the dissemination of clean technologies? The first step is good policy, the likes of which can be shaped by a gathering such as this week’s Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC). If all goes well, […] Read more »

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom says that — no matter what — he is going to find a way to make tidal power happen in the Bay, SFGate reports today. The Mayor’s comments come in response to a study commissioned by the San Francisco Public Utilities […] Read more »

VeraSun Energy is putting a lot of effort into getting the word out about its branded biofuel. The ethanol maker has teamed up with Enterprise Rent-A-Car to put its “VE85″ blend into the tanks of Enterprise’s “VE85/FlexFuel” rental cars in Sioux Falls, S.D.; it will also […] Read more »

While GE usually saves its green dollars for renewable energy like solar and wind, the company said this morning that it’s making two investments in the electric vehicle space. The first is Norwegian electric vehicle maker Think Global, in which GE says it has invested $4 […] Read more »

We brought you the news in late February that the ocean seeding startup Climos had raised its first funds, just a week after another controversial ocean seeding company Planktos had drowned under “anti-offset crusaders”. Well, on Tuesday Climos named its investors, which are none other than […] Read more »

“The Never-Ending Story”: A New York Times journalist blogs his ongoing struggle in trying to report the climate crisis and climate critics. The post is full of links to his articles and has over a hundred interesting comments – NYTimes. Cellulosic Ethanol May Never Be Viable: […] Read more »

Have biofuels been around long enough for there to be four generations of them? Those in the biofuel industry think so. Scientists at the University of Essex have discovered a new mechanism that regulates the process of carbon fixation in plants. The research, to be published […] Read more »

Now that we’re well into 2008, researchers have had ample time to look back to 2007 and determine which venture and private equity firms were responsible for the most clean energy investments. Numbers from New Energy Finance found that venture and private equity investments in clean […] Read more »

Not many venture capitalists have yet tried to catch the small but growing trend of funding wave-powered startups. Part of that is because the technology is still in the works, as became clear when publicly traded wave company Finavera saw its test buoy sink. But Venrock, […] Read more »

Day4 Energy joined the public solar company flock at the end of 2007. Although it raised C$100 million ($101 million), as we pointed out, the company had yet to turn a profit. But we keep receiving monthly press releases from the little Canadian solar company telling […] Read more »

It’s been over a year since California utility PG&E announced that it would add the always-fun-to-talk about “cow power” to its sustainable energy options. Now this morning, the utility says that the manure-powered pipeline project from waste-to-energy company BioEnergy Solutions has officially been turned on, and […] Read more »

EPA Adds Water to Energy Star Program: Aiming to increase the energy efficiency of America’s water works, the EPA now allows water utilities to track water energy use with their Enhancements to Portfolio Manager, an energy tracking tool for commercial facilities – EPA. Suzlon to Spend […] Read more »

Altair Nanotechnologies, maker of nano-sized materials used in energy storage applications, said late Friday that Alan Gotcher has agreed to step down as Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Terry Copeland, formerly VP of operations, has been named interim CEO while the board hunts for a replacement. According […] Read more »

The economist Robert Heilbroner once said that, at first, a 21st century environmental crisis would be kind of fun, as people would be getting excited about cleaner lifestyles. And then it would start to get very hard. We may already be reaching that turning point. For […] Read more »

Oil giant Chevron (CVX) and forest products company Weyerhaeuser (WY) today unveiled Catchlight Energy, a 50-50 joint biofuels venture that will focus on developing non-food biofuels using cellulose-based biomass. The formation of Catchlight follows a letter of intent filed by the two companies a little less […] Read more »

Available at just a fraction of American gas stations, ethanol has a long way to go before it can power the country’s love affair with the internal combustion engine. Meanwhile Brazil, which gets 30 percent of its automobile fuel from ethanol, is getting tired of waiting […] Read more »

When it comes to greentech investments, Canada’s no slouch. With vast natural resources, a government that encourages research, and its proximity to the U.S., investors have lots of opportunities. We sat down with David Berkowitz, who leads cleantech investment for Canadian VC firm Ventures West, to […] Read more »

The most recent issue of The Economist features a grizzly ex-Soviet Winnie the Pooh licking sweet crude off his oily paw. Beyond the bearish petrophilic cover, there is an article inside exploring the venture capital of cleantech. Similar in tone to the New York Times’ golly-gee […] Read more »

In was quite a conference-heavy week here in San Francisco. There was the Cleantech Forum XVI up on Nob Hill, Carbon Forum America at the Moscone Center and the Carbon Footprint Consumer Products Summit over on Van Ness Avenue. We were posting up a storm and […] Read more »

2007 may be remembered as the year when venture capitalists went green. At least that’s the idea you get looking at data from Dow Jones VentureSource, which surveyed and interviewed VCs to find out that 221 companies worldwide received $3 billion in venture financing last year, […] Read more »

In the great civil tradition of taking pen to paper, 176 organizations — corporate, environmental, consumer, faith-based, energy policy research and others — sent a letter to senators today via the Sustainable Energy Network, urging them to join the Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RE/EE) […] Read more »

For all the chatter about Chinese solar stocks, Japan has long been the world’s leading producer of photovoltaics. Of course, given the number of investments Chinese companies are making in capacity, they are likely to overtake Japan in a few years. But for now, Japan has […] Read more »

If you read our write-up about four wee wind startups making turbines for the small-scale wind power market and are looking for a weekend project, there are a few things you should check out before climbing onto the roof with a pinwheel. Read more »

There’s a lot of silicon in the world. It’s the second most-abundant element on Earth. But pure silicon — the kind you can use in microchips and solar cells — is hard to come by. Back in July of last year, we reported that silicon purification […] Read more »

House Passes Bill to Tax Oil and Fund Renewables: The House of Representatives has passed HR 5351, “The Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008,” which repeals subsidies from the oil and gas industry and subsidizes renewable energy. Now it will head to the […] Read more »

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