More science-energy Stories

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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Boise, Idaho-based biomechanics startup M2E Power announced today that they have raised $8 million in Series A funding. The 22 month-old company’s investment was led by OVP Venture Partners with particiaption by @Ventures and Highway 12 Ventures. M2E has created a microgenerator and a battery storage […] Read more »

Cleantech Fringe Photo Spread: CNET has an eye-candy photo essay of cutting edge photogenic clean energy tech. Purdy — CNET Yum, Fat in a Box: Pacific Natural Energy (PNE) has developed FatBox which can transform fat into fuel. I’m sure it’s very useful but it sounds […] Read more »

It’s starting to feel like a mad dash to the legislative finish line. With just days to go before the Thanksgiving holiday, my estimation earlier this week that Congress might wholesale the environmental integrity of the Energy Bill remains a possibility, but overall, as discussions continue […] Read more »

Enter your zip code into the newly launched Carbon Monitoring for Action web site and you’re likely to uncover some information that will surprise you — there’s really a power plant that close to me spewing hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of carbon emissions into […] Read more »

Enzymes are fragile — they don’t like things such as chemicals or heat. And as enzymes are increasingly being put to work in the cleantech world, stabilizing enzymes that can be used in renewable energy applications is becoming a valuable technology. St. Louis, Miss.-based Akermin, which […] Read more »

Venture Vehicles Bruce in NYT: We got a ride with Venture Vehicle’s Ian Bruce a few weeks ago, so we can tell you the NYT’s description of “an Italian-made alligator-skin boot”-wearing Bruce driving his “three-wheel thrill machine” is spot on. Though, still cheesy as heck — […] Read more »

Looks like the $500 million Energy Biosciences Institute — a partnership between BP, and the research labs of UC Berkeley, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to work on bioenergy technology — is finally up and running. The group said Wednesday […] Read more »

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Former VP Al Gore has gone all cleantech VC, so why can’t a presidential candidate use a cleantech venture fund as a platform for election? Illinois Senator Barack Obama said on Wednesday that, if elected, he would create a ‘Clean Technologies Deployment Venture Capital Fund’ backed […] Read more »

J. Craig Venter says he expects biology to largely replace what has been created by the oil industry. If anyone can comfortably make a statement like that to a room full of venture capitalists, it’s Venter. The genomics guru, who has had his own genome sequenced […] Read more »

Scientists at the University of Virginia have announced the discovery of a new hydrogen storage material that could nearly double the capabilities of current storage technologies. If the material turns out to be something that can be commercialized, it could bring hydrogen storage tanks much closer […] Read more »

Gore NOT Donating VC Stock Options: From the AP, “The donation does not include stock options. Typically, a tiny fraction of a venture capitalist’s compensation is salary; the vast majority of wealth comes from sale of stock options when the companies the firm invests in are […] Read more »

Biofuels, specifically corn-based ethanol, are being blamed for everything from rising food prices and famine to the degradation of land for biocrops (allowing Canada to breathe a sigh of relief). A lot of these critiques are spot on, but when complex politics are involved, it can […] Read more »

The Keystone State said today it will award $5.4 million in grants for clean tech through its Energy Harvest program. Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell has been aggressively pursuing clean tech since the start of the year; just last month, the state handed out $21.1 million to […] Read more »

As bright red Coast Guard helos sliced through the sky and depressingly photogenic water fowl were plucked out of the water, a dented Cosco Busan container ship sat in anchorage in the greater San Francisco Bay, where federal investigators have begun a criminal investigation. More than […] Read more »

The laws of gravity do seem to apply to solar stocks, after all. After remaining one of the few sectors that was immune from the spreading turmoil and carnage caused by the credit crunch, an overwhelming wave of sell orders seemed to have swept aside the […] Read more »

Fat Spaniel Raises $3M More: VentureWire says solar management software and hardware startup Fat Spaniel has raised a $3 million bridge round, and raising $20 million for a Series B round — VentureBeat via VentureWire. Canadian Fund Props Up Hybrid Rail: One of Canada’s largest pension […] Read more »

If we end up stuck with corn subsidies built into the new Congressional farm bill, we might as well start looking at making corn ethanol production better. Towards that end, Syngenta said today the FDA has approved “bulk trials” of its new amylase-producing corn seed. Amylase, […] Read more »

As Congress heads into the Thanksgiving recess, legislation is being streamlined for hasty passage. The Energy Bill, which was passed earlier this year in two very different forms by the House and Senate, is being trimmed down in the hopes that it will be voted on […] Read more »

A lot of oil companies are dead set against bioplastics, according to Trellis Earth CEO Bill Collins. Since plastics are largely made out of petroleum, many of the oil companies that own bioplastic IP won’t bring the plant-based technology to market, Collins contends. And that creates […] Read more »

Witness the jockeying between rival chipmakers Intel (INTC) and AMD (AMD) over whose chips are more energy-efficient, and it’s clear that power-saving chips are the future of the semiconductor industry. Intel is set to show off its latest line of 45-nanometer processors — code-named Penryn — […] Read more »

California filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency yesterday, seeking to force the agency to grant it a waiver so that it can enforce its own emissions standards. The Golden State plans to cut emissions back to 1990 levels by 2020 — a 25 percent […] Read more »

Wind energy company Iberdrola Renovables is slated to raise between $5.8 billion and $7.3 billion through its IPO on the Madrid Stock Exchange next month in what The Wall Street Journal calls “the world’s largest renewable-energy flotation.” Numbers like that are enough to make any energy […] Read more »

The nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) released a report today with high hopes for job growth in clean technologies. The report predicts that as many as one in four, or 40 million, American workers will be employed in the renewable energy and energy efficiency (RE&EE) […] Read more »

Wal-Mart’s Current and Former Green Guru Speak: TreeHugger interviews former Wal-Mart sustainability leader Andy Ruben, and the man that has replaced him Matt Kissler — TreeHugger. NYT’s Business of Green: If you have a chunk of time on your hands (the weekend?) read over the New […] Read more »

Whether it is made using enzymes or thermochemicals, ethanol, the biofuel that has swiftly become a hot-button political issue, requires many steps to produce. And for each step of the process there are startups attempting to develop innovative technologies that bring down the cost of production. […] Read more »

A Senate subcommittee has approved legislation to put in place a cap-and-trade system for carbon dioxide. The New York Times and AP have detailed writeups. The cap-and-trade system would attach a cost to carbon emissions, internalizing the great externality of fossil fuel energy production that is […] Read more »

Ballard has found a buyer. The nearly three-decades-old forefather of the fuel cell industry, Ballard Power Systems (BLDP), says it has agreed to sell its automotive fuel cell business to Daimler (DAI) and Ford (F). Earlier this week the Vancouver, B.C.-based hydrogen fuel cell developer confirmed […] Read more »

Stop & Shop said today that it has been selected to participate in the U.S. Green Building Council Portfolio Program pilot for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) volume certification of existing buildings. The Quincy, Mass.-based grocer and its sister company, Giant Food of Landover, […] Read more »

First Solar Soars: “First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) is trading so well after-earnings that it might be thought of as “First Stellar,” with shares up 14% at $190.00 in after-hours trading — MarketWatch. Applied Invests in Plextronics: Plextronics, a Pittsburgh, Pa.-based startup developing organic semiconductors for thin film […] Read more »

You’d have to be a real drag to not think underwater robots are cool. OK, but what do they have to do with cleantech? We found a connection. Hydroid, for example, makes Remote Environmental Monitoring Units (REMUS), which can sniff out the source of pollution deep […] Read more »

Plastic production accounts for 4 percent of U.S. energy consumption, and plastic goods generate millions of tons of waste in landfills across the country each year. Talk about bad for the environment. With such an obvious need for greener plastics, it’s no wonder startups and industrial […] Read more »

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.B) has announced that it will be expanding its collaboration with startup Codexis to further work on developing “new super enzymes” to convert biomass into fuel. Under terms of the five-year research collaboration, the oil giant will make an undisclosed equity investment in […] Read more »

New Earth makes the prettiest small-scale wind turbine on the market — its vertical-axis design uses a double helix to capture wind energy. And the San Diego-based startup is raising money to get its eye-catching product out there. New Earth CEO Ian Gardner tells us that […] Read more »

Michael Shellenberger started the discussion by explaining, “We didn’t say that environmentalism is dead. We are saying that environmentalism should die.” Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, co-authors of the now infamous “The Death of Environmentalism,” essay, are promoting its literary expansion, a book entitled “Break Through.” I […] Read more »

Massachusetts Going Biofuel-Friendly: A Massachusetts legislative package proposes mandates and incentives to promote biofuels — Boston.com. Energy Star Computer Update: The EPA says the next generation of Energy Star computers offers over $1 billion in energy savings, and already has 500 newly qualified product models already […] Read more »

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