More science-energy Stories

Ausra, that flashy solar thermal startup that’s got Kleiner and Khosla as investors, outlined its future funding plans this week in New York at the Piper Jaffray Clean Technology and Renewables Conference. And whoa, does it entail a lot of cash! While Ausra said it had […] Read more »

KLA-Tencor, the No. 4 player in the semiconductor equipment market, on Thursday offered to buy ICOS Vision Systems Corp., a supplier of solar photovoltaic manufacturing equipment. ICOS has a lead in selling equipment that inspects solar cells and LED lights, and has recently signed several multimillion […] Read more »

While the New York Times discovers solar in Silicon Valley, new solar research from just across the Bay at UC Berkeley finds that solar panels are currently just too expensive to be beneficial. That adds a cloud to the sky of California’s growing solar industry. UC […] Read more »

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Even though a carbon tax could offer more benefits than a carbon cap and trade system, taxes are just plain politically unpalatable. But that hasn’t stopped some leaders from trying — now there are two policy makers heading for political martyrdom via carbon taxation. To the […] Read more »

Oil Prices Set New High: So it’s official, oil has crossed the $100 mark and Reuters reports that gasoline has jumped to over $3 a gallon – CNBC. Nanotubes Yield Blackest Material, But Potential for Solar?: Researchers at RPI and Rice have developed a nanotube material […] Read more »

Albeo Technologies describes itself as the Dell of the light-emitting diode (LED) world — integrating LEDs and hardware into products for industrial and commercial lighting. Investors apparently see the need for a little Dell-ification of the LED world; Albeo said today it has raised $1.5 million […] Read more »

While many genetic scientists working in biofuels are trying to engineer a “super bug” to chomp through cellulosic feedstocks, scientists at DuPont are taking a different route. Researchers from Pioneer Hi-Bred International, a unit of DuPont, are trying to charge up corn’s oil output. And this […] Read more »

There were murmurs that Suntech Power’s earnings for its most recent quarter would disappoint on supply hiccups, and now it seems that was indeed the case. Suntech Power’s shares are getting slammed this morning, reportedly the biggest loser on the NYSE. The stock fell as much […] Read more »

Silicon Valley’s electric car maker Tesla tells us they have already decided on a new name for their next-generation electric sedan, currently code-named White Star. Alas, they aren’t telling us what it is, though White Star is indeed a project name and will get the boot […] Read more »

Geoengineering Isn’t So Easy: Ocean iron fertilization, the plan to dump iron into the ocean so that plankton grow and take CO2 with them down to the murky depths, may or may not work. At least that’s what the leading scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic […] Read more »

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While the New York Times doesn’t do so well with Silicon Valley’s solar industry, we’re feeling refreshed after reading ten pages of an excellently written and researched investigative journalism article into carbon footprinting, via New Yorker writer Michael Specter titled “Big Foot: In measuring carbon emissions, […] Read more »

After reading the New York Times article, “Silicon Valley Starts to Turn Its Face to the Sun” this weekend, you’d think that solar was some new stealthy phenomenon that’s just beginning to emerge from underground labs in Northern California and venture capital meeting rooms down in […] Read more »

We’re big fans of building our own cleantech maps (see ours on lost ethanol and coal power). But we also love it when researchers like those at Woods Hole Research Center put together a whole lot of data that can be really useful to those running […] Read more »

Stick your hand behind a car exhaust. OK, don’t: It’s really hot. The burning sensation you feel is wasted energy. Most car engines have a mechanical efficiency of around 20 percent, climbing to 40 percent or so at optimum efficiency. That means a lot of waste: […] Read more »

Israel’s growing solar industry, early moves on electric vehicles (the home to Shai Agassi’s first electric vehicle infrastructure project) and recently funded water startups is making the state one of the front-runners of the cleantech revolution. And Israel keeps churning out new solar startups; on Monday […] Read more »

With Tesla’s first Roadsters finally landing stateside, (first production Roadster pics here), Silicon Valley’s electric car company is starting to get serious about its second line of cars: an electric sedan with the code name of White Star. The company tells the Financial Times that it […] Read more »

The U.S. electrical grid is one of the most regulated and least sophisticated networks out there. Of course buying power off of the grid is easy enough, but what if you want to try to sell electricity back to the grid? It might not be too […] Read more »

Another week, another set of primaries. In addition to the political goings-on this week you hopefully enjoyed a green Valentine’s Day with organic flowers and sustainably harvested chocolate. If not, redeem yourself by catching up on this week’s cleantech happenings which included helpings of startup funding […] Read more »

Controversial cleantech investor Vinod Khosla chats with us about the future of energy innovation, biofuels, hybrid cars, and what’s really going to make a difference for climate change. Download it here. Read more »

The company that topped our list of the top 10 most controversial ways to save the planet, “ocean seeding” company Planktos, says it has now suspended its project to fertilize our oceans with iron. The company has put up a note on its web site stating […] Read more »

Cool Earth Solar’s photovoltaic (CPV) balloons look a bit like those cheesy mylar balloons that you might have bought for your honey this Valentine’s Day. But they’re a lot more useful. In fact, Livermore, Calif.-based Cool Earth yesterday closed a $21 million Series A round to […] Read more »

On the heels of PG&E losing its geothermal power contract with Western GeoPower, the California utility said on Friday that it’s trying again with a geothermal power purchase agreement. This time it’s a 175 MW contract with Calpine Corporation, for the very same geyser field in […] Read more »

While the vast majority of U.S. wind generation comes from massive utility wind farms planted across stretches of our nation’s wind-blessed land, a few startups are beginning to offer smaller scale, lower-cost turbines that can fit into more compact spaces and are geared at a less […] Read more »

Nanowires Could Harvest Power From Power Walking: Georgia Tech researchers have developed a fabric made of flexible fibers coated with zinc oxide nanowires that can convert mechanical energy into electricity, harvesting power from the wearer’s walking, breathing, and heartbeats – MIT Technology Review. Shell Bets Americans […] Read more »

A cap-and-trade system to regulate carbon has the support from the presidential candidates and seven bills chilling on Capitol Hill. But what would the carbon market for the country that is one of the world leaders in CO2 emissions be worth? Researchers at New Carbon Finance, […] Read more »

House Democrats unveiled a new bill this week that could ensure cleantech gets its regulatory dues well into the next president’s administration. The House is looking to put $17.5 billion into renewable energy and building-efficiency tax credits funded by pulling a Robin Hood and repealing the […] Read more »

France’s Guy Negre has been waxing poetic about an air-powered car for years, but many have dismissed the idea as — dare we say it? — so much hot air. But yesterday Negre’s small design firm, MDI, announced a partnership with India’s Tata Motors to put […] Read more »

Lumenergi looks brighter today as the company just said it’s getting $7.5 million for their fluorescent dimming technology. The investment was led by Low Carbon Accelerator (LCA), and includes Noventi, whom we interviewed here. Lumenergi, which makes dimming electronic ballasts and lighting control software, says they […] Read more »

As the presidential candidates learn to speak the language of cleantech, green investors are using their political voices. VC legend John Doerr, Google’s Green Energy Czar William Wiehl, and more than 350 others from the cleantech, academic, venture capital, energy and nonprofit worlds have signed a […] Read more »

The Politics of Biofuels: Robert Rapier, of R-Squared Energy Blog, compares and contrasts the diverging biofuel policies of the ethanol-producing U.S. and the biofuel-importing EU – The Oil Drum. FUEL Gets $115M for Ethanol Plant: First United Ethanol LLC received $115 million in debt financing for […] Read more »

Last week, several important players in the computing industry got together at the Green Grid Technical Forum to continue trying to come up with metrics that measure how efficiently a data center operates, essentially how “green” it is. This is apparently harder than it looks due […] Read more »

With all of California state utility PG&E’s efforts to add renewable energy to its electricity portfolio, when a contract to add clean energy fizzles out, it deserves a closer look. Western GeoPower said recently that it canceled a contract with PG&E whereby the utility would have […] Read more »

The Department of Energy is brightening its portfolio with a $20.6 million investment in 13 twinkling, solid-state lighting research and development projects, which will provide a solid boost to research into LED manufacturing. Production costs are keeping LEDs from being the truly disruptive technology that LED […] Read more »

Thin-film solar stock darling First Solar has officially recovered from its New Year’s hangover. On Wednesday, the Phoenix-based company said its fourth-quarter profit grew to $62.9 million, up from $8.04 million a year earlier. Dang, that’s a nearly eightfold rise. That was also on strong sales […] Read more »

Wave powered-energy has become a splashy topic in the cleantech world, with several companies emerging to harness the power of the oceans to make clean energy. It’s less often that we hear about tapping smaller bodies of water (without damming them up). But we recently met […] Read more »

G.M. Reports $722M Loss in Q4: Citing the slowing economy and heavy losses from the automaker’s finance arm, the loss translates to a dip of $1.28 a share. Hopefully the recently repriced Volt will recharge the company’s stock – New York Times. Redwood Trees Lose in […] Read more »

With three of the major presidential candidates in favor of a cap-and-trade system on greenhouse gas emissions, it looks like we may soon have a trading scheme for carbon dioxide. There are already seven different bills in Congress, all suggesting variations on a carbon-trading scheme. We’ve […] Read more »

Many cleantech startups prefer to operate on the DL as they work on science-heavy risky technology in “stealth” for up to years at a time. So when we hear little details about companies that prefer to keep their goings on quiet, we take notice. From around […] Read more »

The ethanol industry must be in a pretty bad state if cheap and dirty coal plants need to be built to sustain it. The Oil Drum and Biofuels Digest say that two coal-powered plants are being proposed in Iowa, partly to provide power for the state’s […] Read more »

Reva, the Indian electric car company, says its namesake vehicle was the best-selling on-road electric vehicle in the world last year. Never heard of it? The company’s numbers so far may be modest — 2,500 vehicles on the road — but there are indications that it’s […] Read more »

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