More science-energy Stories

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 »

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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 »

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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 »

The Young Faces of Cleantech VCs: Forbes profiles a trio of talented venture capitalists, wise beyond their years, who are shaping the cleantech venture world – Forbes. Thin-Film Solar Ascent Gets New HQ: Ascent Solar has purchased 120,000 square feet of office and manufacturing space for […] Read more »

Michelin, your source for tires, restaurant guides and anthropomorphic rubber logos, is investing $6.8 million in a research and development project with the goal of increasing vehicle fuel economy by decreasing their tires’ rolling resistance. This is part of Michelin’s goal, unveiled back in October, of […] Read more »

With the biofuel world in upheaval over the dubious energy costs of crop-based biofuels, the U.N. has put forward a new tool to assess the global potential capacity of sustainably grown bioenergy. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has unveiled a bioenergy assessment tool, and […] Read more »

Infinia, a company that has spent the past 25 years working on stirling engines, just announced this afternoon that it has raised a Series B round of $50 million. Why is it raising such a sizable round now? The company, which is backed by a who’s […] Read more »

Vinod Khosla, who has seeded more than a dozen biofuel startups, can quite comfortably lay claim to the “Baron of Biofuels” title. But apparently his former firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (where he is still an affiliated partner), is no green spring chicken when it […] Read more »

When the journal Science publishes two studies questioning the greenhouse gas reduction benefits of biofuels, it’s bound to garner attention even if the cleantech community has long known that first-generation biofuels are not the answer to global climate change. And, combined with a paper deriding the […] Read more »

Over a century ago Anderson Electric Car Company started making electric cars under the brand “Detroit Electric” out of that well-known industrial city. More recently ZAP (ZAAP) and China Youngman Automotive Group have rebranded their joint electric vehicle-making venture as “Detroit Electric” in a homage to […] Read more »

While mainstream media was feasting on the Super Tuesday coverage, the cleantech world had a notable week, on Capitol Hill and on Sand Hill Road. While candidates were stumping for green collar jobs and the Senate was cutting renewable energy out of the economic stimulus package, […] Read more »

ZeaChem, a biofuel startup that says it’s figured out the trick to cellulosic ethanol, has inked a deal securing poplar trees as a feedstock for the company’s new bio-refinery. The company plans to announce on Monday that GreenWood Resources will be supplying the poplar trees for […] Read more »

Here’s a heartening development for anyone weary of the volatility in the solar sector: Energy Conversion Devices’ costly and painful turnaround is showing signs of working. Analyst reports out today show a growing sense of cautious optimism about the company’s prospects this year following the release […] Read more »

Few people know that the construction and energy usage of buildings accounts for about half of the greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. So the more green building startups, the better. Today Arxx Building Products, the designers and makers of green home materials, received $16 million […] Read more »

British Telecom made a major bet on renewable energy last October, saying it planned to invest close to half a billion dollars in wind farms to meet 25 percent of the company’s UK power needs by 2016. Now BT’s clean energy goals are crossing the pond, […] Read more »

The old skool bulb is on its way out, and more energy efficient LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are taking their sweet time coming down in price and getting more mainstream. But acquisitions like the one LED lighting company Cree announced Friday morning will help. The company said […] Read more »

PG&E Buying PHEV SUVs: Pacific Gas and Electric Company has signed an agreement with Raser Technologies to buy two plug-in hybrid sport utility vehicles as part of a program to test the technology in the hopes of lowering PG&E’s fleet operation cost – Raser Technologies. EU […] Read more »

The solar energy community of San Francisco doesn’t take kindly to the expression “You can’t fight City Hall.” Concerned citizens, solar startup CEOs, venture capitalists, and solar maker reps alike all lined up to speak before the Rules Committee this morning in an effort to sway […] Read more »

Considering massive power company Duke Energy is the third-largest consumer of coal in the U.S., you’d think its forward-thinking CEO Jim Rogers would be upset about the government’s decision to effectively cut its financial support of clean coal facility FutureGen. Not so much. Rogers told us […] Read more »

President Bush saved a couple trees and money this year by posting his “e-budget” online instead of printing the usual 3,000 copies (yawn), but the Senate Finance Committee’s attempt to further green the budget failed yesterday. The Production Tax Credit that would have helped a variety […] Read more »

When Google pledged to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on clean energy R&D and cleantech startups back in November, we all wondered how the search engine giant would spend those funds given its lack of experience in the energy industry. Down in Palm Springs, Calif., […] Read more »

Toyota Debuts 1/X Plug-In Concept: Toyota brought out their plug-in hybrid 1/X (pronounced “one-Xth”) for the first time in North America at the Chicago Auto Show. The automaker says the car will have a 600 mile range on a tiny four gallon tank – Green Car […] Read more »

With battery technology the biggest barrier to the proliferation of electric vehicles, companies like electric sports car maker Tesla are constantly surveying their battery options. At the Clean Tech Investor Summit in Palm Springs, Tesla Chairman Elon Musk said the company is moving its battery pack […] Read more »

So you just got the latest pimped out cell phone and all is right in your world. But now what do you do with your old handheld? According to new data from iSuppli Corp.’s ConsumerTrak service, you’re probably inclined to just stuff it in a drawer […] Read more »

While the chip industry has spent decades making chips smaller and more powerful, they have only more recently focused on making them more energy efficient, too. Researchers from MIT and Texas Instruments debuted a new chip design at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco […] Read more »

When we visited next-generation ethanol startup Coskata’s pilot lab outside of Chicago in January, we learned about the startup’s deal with General Motors and its plans to build a 100 million-gallon-per-year commercial facility, which could go online as early as the end of 2010. This morning […] Read more »

We’ve been hearing about stealthy fuel-cell startup Oorja Protonics, since word got out in mid-2006 that the company was one of Sequoia’s first cleantech investments. Well, after recently surveying Sequoia’s potential killer cleantech batting average, and chatting with Sequoia partner Pierre Lamond, we thought we’d take […] Read more »

Wind Projects Lead European Renewable Energy: New statistics from the European Wind Energy Association show that wind capacity in Europe grew 18 percent in 2007, more than any other renewable energy technology. 8,554 MW of wind capacity were added, bringing the European total to 56,535 MW […] Read more »

Oil giant BP lagged behind its peers when it reported a drop in profits for the latest full-year period, to $20.85 billion from $22 billion in 2006. The drop was blamed on refining outages and rising costs. The oil company was not helped by losing its […] Read more »

Super Tuesday is upon us, and this primary season the words “energy and the environment” are more heavily loaded than they’ve ever been. Gone are the days of simple, if not myopic, “environmentalism;” energy policy now dovetails with security policy. Each candidate has to pick and […] Read more »

Solar cell maker Suniva said on Tuesday morning that it has raised $50 million, in a second round of financing. The Atlanta-based company makes its cells from silicon, but says through its manufacturing process it can make them both thin, which reduces the overall cost, and […] Read more »

It was a big day at Tesla headquarters last Friday, with the arrival of the company’s first Production vehicle 1, or “P1,” which was delivered to its new owner Tesla Chairman Elon Musk. We took a bunch of pictures, which we posted last week, and we […] Read more »

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