Thursday, May 13th, 2010
Clean energy is the “in” thing. You’re cool, literally and figuratively, if you can help save the earth by being a little more efficient in your energy use. You’re even “cooler” when you’re able to harness natural, renewable resources for your daily energy needs. Solar power is one such energy resource that meets these criteria, as it is both 100 percent natural and infinitely renewable.
Most of the energy on earth comes from the sun one way or another, including wind, oil, gas, coal, biomass, and biofuels. However, many of these indirect byproducts of solar energy, especially the fossil fuels, are non-renewable. Once used, they cannot be replaced. More important, energy sources like oil, gas, and coal also release huge amounts of heat and carbon into the atmosphere. If you can harness the power of the sun through more direct means, then you minimize this pollution without depleting precious resources.
Solar Energy on the Rise Globally
For many, solar power still seems like an alien concept. The idea of receiving boundless energy from the sun somehow doesn’t jibe with our understanding of how “free lunches” are often in short supply. However, in countries such as Canada, solar power production is becoming increasingly popular among governments, businesses, and homeowners. Ontario’s aggressive Green Energy Act has helped make sustainability and solar power central to the province’s economic recovery program. While solar energy is still an unfamiliar concept for some, it is gaining traction as people around the world begin paying greater attention to green technologies and sustainable growth.
Here are four things about solar energy that you probably didn’t know, and that may prompt you to become more involved. (more…)
Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
While many cleantech companies require very large amounts of capital in order to get to market, there is a quiet group of cleantech companies bucking that trend.
Companies like Heartland Biocomposites (green building materials), RealTech (water testing) and TerraLUX (LED lighting) all built significant and growing businesses with compelling intellectual property and did so initially without multimillions in capital from venture funds (let alone tens or hundreds of millions). Because TerraLUX is one of our portfolio companies and I therefore know them best, their story is one I am able to share.
TerraLUX boasts customers like Cooper Lighting, Phillips, GE Healthcare, Snap-On Tools and many others. It has six awarded patents and eight more filed. Dr. Anthony Catalano founded the company in 2003 and, with exceptional technology smarts, creative boot-strapping and some of his own capital, he built a business with significant revenues, exciting gross margins and deep intellectual property — all without a penny of outside investment capital. And now, only after all those accomplishments, has TerraLUX closed a $5.6M financing from Emerald Technology Ventures and Access Venture Partners.
How did TerraLUX pull this off? (more…)
Monday, May 10th, 2010
The belief that jobs in the solar industry are limited to working on the roof or chasing after sales leads is not really accurate today as other opportunities are available and increasing, according to solar career expert Liz Merry.
Merry, owner of Verve Solar Consulting in Davis, Calif., has been sharing insights and advice about the solar industry since 2001 through numerous courses, articles and blogs. Promising no hype and no panaceas, she offered solid advice for career seekers in the solar photovoltaics (PV) industry at a recent workshop at the California Center for Sustainable Energy in San Diego, Calif.
Merry outlined four major steps every solar job seeker should follow to understand where he or she may fit into the industry: (more…)
Sunday, May 9th, 2010
This post is part of our series on free resume help. Learn how to write resumes and why the format of your resume (and cover letter) is important.
After hours of slaving over your resume and contorting every section to fit into one or two pages, you may not be the most objective judge of whether your resume is actually readable. Keep these things in mind as you put on the final polish:
• Make sure company names and job titles are clearly differentiated.
• Make sure employment dates are listed and placed consistently across positions. (more…)
Thursday, May 6th, 2010
Although tax season just ended, addressing climate risk and sustainability should remain at the forefront of every CxO’s mind. Why? It’s about potentially missing significant opportunities to increase efficiencies and reduce costs through improved internal processes and controls, reduce risks across all areas of operations, drive innovation, and build resiliency into your firm.
The Securities and Exchange Commission guidance published in February 2010 about disclosure of climate risk is intended to highlight the concern management has about the risk they see. Any quantification of that risk is expected to be stated in the financial statements as compliance costs or unforeseen capital expenditure required for compliance of new regulations or due to physical impacts, such as flooding. (more…)
Friday, April 30th, 2010
This post is part of our series on free resume help. Learn why the format of your resume (and cover letter) is important.
If you’re a consultant, graphic designer, advertising or marketing guru, or other service provider, your roster of happy clients is likely one of your biggest accomplishments. But what happens when your client list grows to unwieldy proportions? On your resume, you want to convey the breadth and depth of your experience; but you don’t want to overwhelm readers with information that doesn’t pack a powerful punch.
Keep these tips in mind when choosing what clients to list and how to handle them on your resume: (more…)
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010
This Earth Day I thought I would give you something to do so you can avoid watching another tree planting ceremony (it’s just as painful live as on TV – don’t kid yourself). Get out and actually make a difference instead of watching other people do it.
1) Computer Recycling – Help bridge the digital divide by donating your computer to a reuse group like: Computer Recycling Center or Per Scholas . They will restore the machine and then give it to a non-profit, group or individual in need of a computer. If you don’t have a computer to recycle contact one of the many electronics recycling groups on Google for other volunteer opportunities.
2) Food Gleaning – Gleaning means to gather what’s left over. Picking fruit from trees that would normally go to waste , donating excess veggies from your garden, or sending unsold baked goods at the end of the day to a homeless shelter are all ways to glean. It feeds the hungry, keeps food local, and ensures that landfill space is not used up unnecessarily. (more…)
Thursday, April 15th, 2010
||This post is part of our series on free resume help. Learn why the format of your resume (and cover letter) is important.
You can’t judge a book by its cover — but you can, and will, judge a resume (and cover letter!) by its appearance. A recruiter’s first glimpse at your resume can make or break your chances of getting that resume read — and seriously considered. A professional resume writer is skilled at formatting your resume to maximize three things:
- Scannability (hook readers in)
- Readability (transmit information)
- Clarity (avoid confusion and obfuscation)
Friday, April 9th, 2010
As John McDonald tells it, smart grid needs GOLD. And he’s not talking money. GOLD stands for Graduates of the Last Decade, the technology savvy, risk-taking engineers and technicians who may be among the greatest benefactors of the new smart grid movement. While most recent college graduates face dismal employment prospects, for the GOLD kids, the job market is, well, golden.
“I’ve never seen electric utilities and suppliers outbidding each other for a bachelor’s degree,” said McDonald, who has had 35 years in the energy business and now serves as an IEEE Fellow and general manager of marketing for GE Energy T&D.
Friday, April 2nd, 2010
Meegan Jones has been the sustainability coordinator for such famous U.K. festivals as Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds. She’s put together her experiences in a new book, Sustainable Event Management: A Practical Guide, which talks about the ways to understand and manage the environmental impact of any event.
Using her U.K. experiences and examples from around the world, including the Burning Man, Coachella and Bonnaroo festivals in the United States, Jones discusses energy, zero emissions options, carbon and waste management and other aspects of handling the small to mid-sized cities that spring up during festival season and quickly dissolve in days.
CleanTechies: Do sustainable events cost more than non-sustainable ones? Tell us what the differences are between the two. (more…)