New labels for light bulb packaging will arrive in 2011 with the emphasis on Lumens instead of Watts as the measure of brightness and primary benchmark. This is a much anticipated overhaul by the Federal Trade Commission which will help in the marketing and comparison of CFLs and LEDs to the old incandescent bulbs being phased out. (more…)
The “trees” feature a unique, low-energy design that increases safety and attracts tourists to local businesses after dark.
“I know it may sound somewhat cliché but it really is important to be resolute and determined in everything that’s relevant to your business. As a young female minority I have faced a lot of skepticism and criticism as a business owner, way more than I initially thought.” – Laura Guiliano, CEO, TerraGlo
Another Bad Week, Or a Really Good One? Good news grows as slow as a tree, but bad news spills as fast as a broken oil main. That seems to be the lesson from this week as BP, the U.S. government and an armada of ships and volunteers tried but mostly failed to contain the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Though BP had some success at slowing the spigot, oil is pooling in the wetlands of the Mississippi Delta and resides at unmeasured quantities in the deeps. There it has joined the Loop Current with a probable next stop in Florida.
Meanwhile, 1,500 miles north, an equally momentous event drew little attention: an agreement to curtail or end logging on 72 million acres of Canada’s boreal forest, an area roughly the size of France. An unlikely consortium of logging companies and Greenpeace agreed to halt the chainsaws altogether for three years in an area as big as Montana, and to develop a sustainable-forestry program for the remainder. The accord might be the forerunner to permanent protection for an area that encompasses two-thirds of Canada’s logging concessions. (more…)
We’ve been hearing a lot about a drop in energy consumption as a result of the economic downturn. In fact, U.S. energy use per person declined last year to its lowest level since 1968.
Economic activity and energy use are directly linked. But lately, several reports have noted that the economic slowdown is not the only reason energy consumption is falling. Aggressive energy efficiency efforts also have impact.
That impact will be “major” in the years to come, according to the Energy Information Administration, the chief energy data collector for the U.S. government. The agency this week released its “Annual Energy Outlook 2010” with projections to 2035.
The federal report shows us decreasing energy use significantly if we employ best available efficiency technologies over the next 25 years – that is if we buy the most energy efficient appliances and build homes to the highest efficiency standards. Under this scenario, energy consumption could drop by as much as 27 percent. But if we stick to the status quo, homeowners will increase energy use by about 0.2 percent. (more…)
The market for light-emitting diodes (LEDs) should grow dramatically over the next decade, passing compact flourescent lightbulbs as the biggest emerging lighting product, according to a new report.
LEDs — a light source made from semiconductors — will account for 46 percent of the $4.6 million commercial and industrial lighting market by 2020, says the report by Colorado-based Pike Research. LEDs currently make up about 2 percent of the market.
A shift toward LEDs among commercial customers and municipalities, rather than homeowners, will drive this transformation, the report says, since businesses will be more likely to invest money upfront if they benefit from long-term cost-efficiencies. (more…)
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…)
As millions of people around the world observed Earth Hour on Saturday, March 27, a cement plant tucked against the Blue Ridge Mountains in southwestern Virginia turned off the lighting array on its 400-foot pre-heater tower — and has no intention of turning them back on.
Before plant managers at the Roanoke Cement Company in Troutville, Virginia, made the decision to switch off the lights almost 100 lights were visible from up to 13 miles away along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, a road that traverses high on the wooded slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The pre-heater tower now has just two prominent red lights to alert small aircrafts flying in the area. “We knew we would make the neighbors happy if we’d just shut the lights off at night,” said Kevin Baird, Plant Manager for Roanoke Cement Company. Baird said he follows the guiding energy principle that “the easiest way to save power is to not use it.”
MP2 Capital is a San Francisco firm that develops, finances and invests in distributed generation and small-scale utility solar projects throughout North America, selling the electricity produced by its projects to commercial, government and utility customers under power purchase agreements and feed-in tariffs.
Its latest project is a 445-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array in Winsted, Connecticut. MP2 Capital has entered into a power purchase agreement to sell all of the electricity generated to the Regional School District No. 7 for 20 years under a grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund.
The system, which sits atop multiple rooftops of the school district, was built by groSolar and is composed of 1,937 photovoltaic panels from Canadian Solar. It is expected to produce approximately 492,000 kilowatt hours of clean solar electricity and save the school district $26,000 in energy costs during the first year of operation. Over the term of the agreement, the system is expected to produce approximately 9,380,000 kilowatt-hours to offset the school’s energy use.
Brad Bauer, co-founder and managing director of MP2 Capital, talked with CleanTechies about the project. (more…)