More science-energy Stories

Climate change is going to cost a lot of money. At this point, the question is whether those costs will be for mitigation and investment — or clean-up. The UN Development Program released a report this week that put a number on the cost of mitigating […] Read more »

When Martin Eberhard, co-founder and CEO of Silicon Valley electric car startup Tesla, suddenly stepped down from his post last August, we knew it would take some time to find a permanent replacement. Now roughly three months later, the company, which has raised close to $100 […] Read more »

We, the world, are burning more coal — and it’s dirty. Accounting for 25 percent of the global energy supply in 2006, coal was responsible for approximately 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, according to a report released this week by The WorldWatch […] Read more »

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For a while, it seemed like this year’s promising sector was solar power. Then it started to look like it wasn’t. Now the solar stocks are being whipsawed around on the kind of mundane news that is the bread and butter of every other industry: contracts, […] Read more »

SunPower Gets A SugarDaddy in Morgan Stanley: Solar cell maker SunPower says Morgan Stanley will provide up to $190 million in financing for commercial and public solar installations — WSJ. Zonbu’s Subscription Service Adds a Notebook: The Valley’s energy-efficient PC company says it will sell a […] Read more »

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has souped up its Clean Energy Entrepreneurship Prize Competition, offering $260,000 worth of prizes. The MIT $100K Business Plan Competition and the Ignite Clean Energy competition have joined forces and are working with the Department of Energy and Massachusetts energy company […] Read more »

It seems that government clean energy regulation continues to misguide industries, like the subsidized growth of ethanol. This week the EPA unveiled the 2008 Renewables Fuel Standard (RFS), raising the minimum amount of ethanol in U.S. gasoline to 4.66 percent, or 5.4 billion gallons, of renewable […] Read more »

The fact that billions of venture dollars are flowing into cleantech on an annual basis isn’t a real shocker these days, but the latest report out from Thomson Financial and the National Venture Capital Association deserves some attention. The report says U.S. venture capital firms invested […] Read more »

They’ve got your search, your mail, your maps. One day they might have the answer to your cheap, clean energy needs too. And they’re looking for partners. As part of Google’s announcement, aimed at developing cleaner power for less money, Google (GOOG) referenced solar thermal startup […] Read more »

It seems like Silicon Valley’s giants are in a race to out-green one another. Hewlett-Packard said today it will buy 80 gigawatts hours of renewable energy from wind farm operator Airtricity for an undisclosed sum, to be used at a number of its facilities in Ireland. […] Read more »

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Thorium for Cleaner Nuclear: Senators are pushing legislation to promote thorium, a cleaner-burning fuel for nuclear-power plants, that could cut nuclear-waste in half — MIT Technology Review. How Green is Your Web Work?: “If you telecommute, you’re not tearing up the highways and burning petroleum-based fuels […] Read more »

Today’s Wall Street Journal devotes a good part of its front page to the growing problem of air pollution produced by cargo ships, which are used to transport 90 percent of the world’s goods. The tonnage of goods sent by cargo ships has tripled since 1970, […] Read more »

As the LED market heats up, young startups and old blue chips alike are vying for a slice of the luminous pie. Dutch electronics giant Royal Philips Electronics said this week it will buy lighting company Genlyte Group, based in Louisville, Ky., for $2.7 billion, the […] Read more »

Google just announced an initiative to develop electricity from clean sources that will be cheaper than electricity produced from coal. In true geek fashion, they’re calling it “RE less than C” or “Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal.” The search giant will be looking to hire between […] Read more »

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers might have the green duo Gore and Doerr in their corner, and over at Khosla Ventures, well, obviously the biofuel Boss Vinod Khosla is leading that firm. But according to data from Thomson Financial and a post from Lawrence Aragon on […] Read more »

As the price of solar comes down, adding PV power to properties is no longer the sole pursuit of corporate giants like Google and Wal-Mart, but has gone residential as well. And as cities such as Berkeley, Calif., look to help homeowners finance the addition of […] Read more »

Semplice Energy Ltd., a green energy solutions firm out of the UK, said it has secured $1.23 million in funding from BIP Fund (I) Limited Partnership, a Bahamas-based venture capital business. The funds will be used to grow Semplice’s business, which included the installation of the […] Read more »

Remember those old sci-fi movies in which future humans would “terraform” Mars (or some more distant planet) to make it more like the relative paradise of our blue-green Earth? Well, it turns out we’re already honing those terraforming skills, and they’re aimed at making our own […] Read more »

Here’s something to chew on following your 4-day weekend of successive holiday meals: Recently departed BP CEO John Browne gave a talk at BusinessWeek’s European Leadership Forum in London this weekend and the magazine reprinted the talk in its entirety. Browne is lauded as the first […] Read more »

When Khosla Ventures and Netherlands-based biofuel startup BIOeCON announced their joint biofuel venture KiOR earlier this month, the partners kept the size of the Series A investment hush-hush. But according to a regulatory filing picked up by, KiOR has raised just over $1.4 million. It’s […] Read more »

Matt Trevithick, a VC helping lead Venrock’s cleantech investments, tells me to Google his name and I’ll find a distant relative – Richard Trevithick –- who invented the first working steam locomotive. I did; he does. Like his inventor ancestor, Trevithick, the venture investor, is driven […] Read more »

Looking to buy some greener gifts this holiday season without shelling out the green? As Black Friday gets under way, Target is testing sales of pre-owned electronics on its web site. Everything from $3,000 HDTVs to $65 Nintendo GameCubes and various versions of iPods are available […] Read more »

We’ve all read that biofuels are driving up the price of [insert food here], from coffee to beer to meat — even gummy bears, for heaven’s sake. Now that it’s gobble day, of course we have to blame ethanol for higher-priced turkeys. CNBC says Thanksgiving dinner […] Read more »

If you’re in the market to wow your family and friends with greentech goodies for the holidays, Earth2Tech has rounded up a number of options for your gift-giving pleasure. Carbon Offsets — One of the easiest things you can do to offset your carbon footprint is […] Read more »

Trina Solar today reported a third-quarter profit rise of 87 percent, but the results fell short of analysts expectations, sending its shares to close down nearly 24 percent. Yet even with the decline, Trina’s stock is up 84 percent since its December 2006 IPO. Trina’s shortfall […] Read more »

Leave it to the newfound interest in energy savings to liven up decades-old research in what has been a somewhat plodding area of materials science: thermoelectric materials. MIT Institute Professor Mildred S. Dresselhaus (check out her amazing volumes of research) and her co-workers are using nanotechnology […] Read more »

The global wind power capacity is forecast to rise to over 290 gigawatts by the end of 2015 from 91 GW at the end of 2007, according to a report released by Cambridge, Mass.-based consulting firm Emerging Energy Research (EER). Annual wind power growth is projected […] Read more »

It seems like poplar trees can do everything these days. In addition to naturally absorbing carbon dioxide for us, they’ve been genetically modified to remediate soil. Now, the New York Times reports that North Carolina State researchers have created a poplar variety with 50 percent less […] Read more »

Pacific Ethanol’s stock found its footing Tuesday after tumbling on the disclosure that an investment fund controlled by Bill Gates plans to sell off its 20 percent stake in the ethanol maker. Shares in the Sacramento, Calif.,-based alternative fuel company (PEIX) rebounded 6.6 percent Tuesday to […] Read more »

Fourth Tech Revolution Needs to Be Green: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave a speech in which he says climate change is driving the need for a fourth tech revolution — AFP. Solar Jobs Booming Like It’s 1999: Silicon Valley solar startups are hiring like its […] Read more »

We’ll forgive you if you’ve never heard of camelina, a flowering plant similar to canola that can be used for its oil. But it’s the potential for biodiesel production that’s putting the little seed on center stage. This morning Targeted Growth, a company that modifies plants […] Read more »

Nine members of the Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) have signed the Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord, an agreement that calls for greenhouse gas reduction targets and the development of a market-based carbon cap-and-trade system. Wisconsin Governor — and MGA Chairman — Jim Doyle said that […] Read more »

Solar technology developer SolFocus keeps adding investors. This morning the startup, which makes arrays with lenses and curved mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto solar cells, said it has added $11.6 million to its latest funding round, bringing the total to $63.6 million. This is the close […] Read more »

San Francisco’s city ordinance banning traditional plastic bags goes into effect Tuesday. The ordinance, passed in March, starts with large grocery stores and also will include chain pharmacies in six months. Other stores are not under the same mandate. Although San Francisco is the first city […] Read more »

Thou Shall Not Greenwash: Green consulting firm TerraChoice Environmental Marketing released a study that says most eco-labels are down right lame — Joel Makower. New Deets on Aptera’s Eco 3-Wheeler: The Aptera Typ-1 will be ready early next year for less than $30,000 with both an […] Read more »

Pleading everything from insurmountable expense, to a lack of filtering technology, to space limitations, oil giant BP looks desperate to dodge its August promise to not increase the pollutants it’s dumping into Lake Michigan. The Chicago Tribune reported today that engineers at the Whiting oil refinery, […] Read more »

Throughout 2007, PG&E has touted its renewable energy road map, pledging to add clean power generation from sources like solar and wind as it works to reach the California state mandate of 20 percent of utility power from renewables by 2010. While the utility is close […] Read more »

At a summit meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, this weekend, one of the main themes was “protecting our planet.” In his opening remarks, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz said his country would put $300 million into a program that […] Read more »

Chip manufacturing company Applied Materials is continuing to buy its way into the solar markets. This morning, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said it plans to acquire Italy’s Baccini, a maker of metallization and testing equipment for photovoltaic solar cell production, for about $330 million. Baccini […] Read more »

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Nobel Prize-winning group of scientists that mainstreamed the idea that carbon emissions were the main cause of climate change, on Saturday released a summary of their findings aimed at policymakers (pdf). It’s being called a “grim report,” with “more […] Read more »

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