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Today in Green IT: Solar & smart thermostats in 2012

The Green IT section of our GigaOM Pro research service (subscription required) has been cranking out a lot of rock solid research and long form reports in 2012. While we’ll bring you all the breaking news and columns on this site, go check out GigaOM Pro for more indepth articles and market research.

This week we debut our first indepth solar report from Ucilia Wang: After Solyndra, Finding Opportunity in the Shifting Solar Industry. The 30-page report analyzes the current state and future concerns of the solar industry, with a particular focus on the photovoltaic industry and the U.S. market. From the silicon companies to inverter manufacturers to government and venture money, here’s what to expect as the industry marches toward its uncertain future.

For all those that have been following the Honeywell, Nest lawsuit today, go check out my report on the Battle for the Smart Thermostat in 2012. I outline who the players are and what you can expect from the big companies, startups and utilities.

If battery innovation is your thing, I also wrote a research report on The Opportunities for the Future of Batteries. These are the technical advances and innovations you can expect from scientists and entrepreneurs in 2012, and how this will effect mobile, the grid and vehicles.

And finally, what our Green IT analyst Adam Lesser has been reading about and writing about this week:

On the Nest, Honeywell lawsuit: Let’s hope that connected home energy management products like the Nest don’t face the barrage of patent lawsuits that have come to characterize mobile. After all, Samsung, Apple, and Google all have a lot more money than startups like Nest to fight lawsuits.

Peeling the cloud’s green onion: Does going to the cloud make a company greener? This perspective, from a VP at CA Technologies, points out that the more money his computing consolidation project saved, the more resources he saved. George Watt dubs it “collateral greenage.”

Element Power raises $183M in equity capital: Element Power, which develops renewable energy projects in solar and wind, has closed on $183 million in new financing.

Solar startups set new power records: Between Semprius and Alta Devices, the race is on to create solar panels that crack 20 percent efficient conversion of solar to electricity. Right now, most commercial panels are in the low teens.

California hits wind energy milestone: About 5 percent of power from wind: California hits 5 percent wind energy for its mix.