More science-energy Stories

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 »

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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 »

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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 »

Proposed DOE Budget Isn’t Good for Cleantech: As part of the President’s proposed budget, the Department of Energy would spend about $26 billion in 2009 with more money for coal, nuclear, and biofuels while solar and hydrogen would get cuts – Green Car Congress. GM Debuts […] Read more »

Between the Superbowl yesterday and Super Tuesday tomorrow, you will be forgiven for overlooking Maxwell Technologies’ announcement today that the company’s San Diego plant has just been ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certified to produce ultracapacitors. But if you’re interested in the future of the auto […] Read more »

Normally the U.S. is first in line to tick off the United Nations, but this time it’s the European Union that’s threatening to disrupt a U.N. program. The EU, as part of its recently revamped framework for reducing emissions, has threatened to severely limit trading of […] Read more »

As new forms of carbon capture technology bubble up in the labs, U.S. financial institutions are starting to see the value in using technology to capture carbon for the creation of cleaner coal plants. With the assumption that the U.S. will soon implement a cap-and-trade system […] Read more »

With advocates of “cleanish coal” bummed out about the government’s decision to pull the plug on the FutureGen coal with carbon capture and sequestration facility, we thought you might need some more positive news about sequestering gases. It comes courtesy of University of Calgary chemistry professor […] Read more »

It was a topsy-turvy week as President Bush said we should work to clean up coal technology just as his Energy Secretary announced the DOE will be pulling back from their FutureGen project. The private sector made up for the government’s cold feet with a number […] Read more »

Tesla customers have been waiting ages for the electric sports car, the Roadster, to make its way to market. Today the company’s first production Roadster, what Tesla Chairman Elon Musk called “the first production electric car on the road since God knows when,” was delivered to […] Read more »

With the Department of Energy’s decision to back off of the FutureGen project, the future of clean coal as a viable technology was looking smoky. Today, the skies cleared a bit, at least up North, when the Canadian Ministry of Natural Resources and the Alberta Ministry […] Read more »

Back in November of 2007, chip manufacturing company Applied Materials said it was planning to make yet another solar-related acquisition with Italy’s Baccini, a maker of metallization and testing equipment for photovoltaic solar cell production. The deal is now done, and the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip […] Read more »

We all know our gadgets, by nature, aren’t green — most suck power, contain toxic chemicals, and often end up in landfills. But we’re trying to see the softer (cleaner?) side of newer consumer electronics that are designed to be more eco-friendly, and this morning we […] Read more »

The State of Green Business 2008: Joel Makower and the editors of GreenBiz have put together a report, the first of an ongoing study, indexing how businesses are “greening” their operation models – StateOfGreenBusiness. Chinese Solar IPOs. Yawn: RenaSola, a Zhejiang province-based maker of the solar […] Read more »

Even if you’ve followed the ballooning costs of the clean coal project FutureGen over the past few years, the news out this week that the Bush Administration has basically cut its support for the project is still a shocker. The DOE issued a press release saying […] Read more »

Solar stocks have largely cooled in the month of January, thanks to a chilly combo of a short silicon supply and fears over losing an important investment tax credit. But this week solar stock watchers got a much-needed bout of sun from the earnings of thin-film […] Read more »

We know we’ve given cleantech venture investor Vinod Khosla a lot of ink this week, with our 5-questions interview. But, hey, we just follow where the money flows. According to a regulatory filing picked up by, Khosla Ventures is leading a Series A round of […] Read more »

The Worldwatch Institute released a report today singing the praises of carbon trading and carbon markets. The report puts the global carbon trading business up 80 percent from 2006 to $59.2 billion in traded credits. While this growth is extremely encouraging, these numbers need to be […] Read more »

DOE Scraps FutureGen: Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman announced that the DOE will be spreading its eggs across several baskets, investing in carbon capture and sequestration at multiple integrated gasification combined cycle power plants – Department of Energy. Who Will Profit at the Hawaii Climate Talks?: […] Read more »

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