Thursday, July 16th, 2009
IQwind, an Israel-based start-up developing variable gear technology that improves the energy generation efficiency of wind turbines, has raised $500,000 from ISRAEL G-TEK LLC, according to an announcement by the U.S.-based investors.
IQwind received a first round of investment from Terra Venture Partners in 2007.
Sami Shiro and Uri Benhamron, principals at ISRAEL G-TEK, explain that the investment in IQWind is part of their “plan to create a balanced portfolio of greentech companies with a special focus on Israel as a breeding ground for technology.”
Wednesday, July 15th, 2009
With Intersolar taking place in San Francisco this week, solar professionals from all over the world are coming together to network and exchange ideas. The Intersolar organizers have chosen the right city for this conference: The city’s mayor Gavin Newsom is actively pushing towards renewable energy sources. Under his leadership, the City and County of San Francisco started the first local solar energy incentive program in July 2008. Since launching GoSolarSF, there has been a 450% increase in applications for solar installations in San Francisco, from 200 to 850. Last week, Newsom announced plans to install three new solar installations with over 365 kw power on the San Francisco Housing Authority as part of the GoSolar initiative. According to a report issued by Environment California last week, San Francisco ranks third in number of rooftop solar installations in California. On a per-capita basis, San Francisco leads the state’s large cities for rooftop solar.
Monday, July 13th, 2009
In a move that will surely provide an additional boost for the alternative energy industry, and perhaps T. Boone Pickens‘ plan, the US Department of Treasury has finally released guidelines for claiming the grants instead of the federal tax credit. Applications will be submitted online. However, the Treasury will not be accepting applications at this time.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed in February allowed for business taxpayers to apply for direct payments instead of claiming a tax credit on their income tax return. This applied to the credit under Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) Section 45 (Energy Produced for Certain Renewable Resources) and IRC Section 48 (Energy Credit). Property that applies to this includes geothermal, biomass, micro wind turbines, and solar amongst others.
Sunday, July 12th, 2009
Even as the irrepressible T. Boone Pickens had to scrap his “Pickens Plan” on Tuesday, in part due to a paucity of transmission capacity, last week brought another hurdle for the chances of building out the transmission infrastructure that Pickens and the country will need to bring more renewable power on-line. Why am I not surprised that we are not all rowing in the same direction here?
Earthjustice and a dozen other environmental groups filed suit against the feds on Tuesday, challenging the designation of the national interest corridors called for in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Saturday, July 11th, 2009
A Russian company has announced that it will build the world’s first floating nuclear plant, opening up the possibility that the Russians could use such reactors to power operations to extract oil and minerals in remote regions of the Arctic.
Russia’s United Industrial Corporation said its floating reactor will go into operation in 2012 off the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East and will be used to help power Vilyuchinsk, a small city that serves as an atomic submarine base. The 472-foot plant will be built in the shape of a ship, will accommodate two 35-megawatt reactors, and will cost $316 million to construct, United Industrial said.
Friday, July 10th, 2009
What would you do if you were worth $3 billion? T. Boone Pickens? Propose to build one of the largest wind farms in Texas, of course!
T. Boone Pickens, American financier and Chairman of BP Capital Management, ironically grew his wealth initially through mergers and acquisitions of oil and gas companies. From there, Pickens expanded his company, Mesa Petroleum, to be one of the largest independent oil companies in the world by 1981.
With his continued success came much criticism. During his peak, Pickens has been accused of being a “corporate raider” – investors who essentially direct or execute a hostile takeover of a company, often with the agenda of breaking up and selling various assets of the company to gain large profits. Though most of his attempts at corporate raiding failed, his endeavors drove the targeted company’s stock up, making Pickens and other investors millions of dollars.
Thursday, July 9th, 2009
Spurred by U.S. government regulations requiring improved lighting efficiency by 2012, researchers around the country are successfully turning the old, energy-burning incandescent bulb into a more efficient source of light. The New York Times reports that one company has already succeeding in producing incandescent bulbs that are 30 percent more efficient than older bulbs, which have changed little since the days of Thomas Edison and produce far more heat than light.
Tuesday, July 7th, 2009
Seambiotic, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based leader in the development and production of marine microalgae for the nutraceutical and biofuel industries, announced today that its US subsidiary, Seambiotic USA, has entered into an agreement with NASA Glenn Research Center to develop an on-going collaborative R&D program for optimization of open-pond microalgae growth processes.
Under a Space Act Agreement, NASA is partnering with Seambiotic USA to model growth processes for microalgae for use as aviation biofuel feedstock,” said Prof. Ami Ben-Amotz, Chief Scientific Adviser to Seambiotic.
Tuesday, July 7th, 2009
Transitioning away from coal-production towards cleaner forms of energy is a major concern shared by environment-conscious governments and citizens all over the world. Communities across the globe are suffering from coal-based pollution, and clean energy sources need to be developed – and implemented – to provide for a sustainable future. What are the obstacles in building a clean energy future, and how do we transition away from sources of energy that are harmful to nature and health? The United Nations COP15 Climate Change Conference taking place in Copenhagen this year will address climate change issues like these.
While only government representatives can participate in the Climate Change Conference, you might have the opportunity to be part of this event. Focus the Nation, a US non-profit organization, is offering young climate leaders with fellowships that allow them to present their ideas to the international communities participating in the Climate Treaty negotiations. If you are between 18-29 years old and live in a coal-producing or coal-consuming community, you can participate in “Coal and the Road to Copenhagen: The Focus Roots Fellowships.” What you need to do is come up with an innovative, creative idea to accelerate your community past coal.
Monday, July 6th, 2009
China will break ground this month on a gigantic, $17 billion wind power farm in the northwestern part of the country that will produce 5 gigawatts of power by next year and 20 gigawatts by 2020, according to the official Xinhua news service. The installation in Gansu Province is known as the “Three Gorges of Wind Power” after the gigantic Three Gorges hydroelectric dam on the Yangtze River. As the Wall Street Journal notes, the Gansu wind power installation is scheduled by 2020 to produce five times the power of T. Boone Pickens’ proposed wind power project on the U.S. Great Plains.