Thursday, May 21st, 2009
BioSolar Inc., a publicly traded California company, says it’s come up with a way to build a better solar panel, with plastics made from plants.
I sat down recently with company CEO David Lee, both of us at keyboards, to discuss BioSolar’s plans for a plastic revolution in sun power manufacturing.
Lee’s protective backing is derived from cotton and castor beans, and costs 25 percent less than Tedlar, the petroleum-based film made by rival DuPont, company officials say. Lee, an electrical engineer, founded the company in 2006.
Q: What makes BioSolar different from other solar companies in the United States?
Lee: BioSolar is developing a technology to produce bio-based photovoltaic (PV) components from renewable plant sources that will reduce the cost per watt of PV modules. BioSolar will gradually replace the petroleum-based portions of the PV module and do so at a substantial cost savings.
Tuesday, May 19th, 2009
The Australian government plans to build the world’s largest solar power station, a 1,000-megawatt plant that would generate three times as much electricity as the world’s largest solar electric plant, now located in California, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced.
Preliminary plans call for the construction of four individual plants — two solar thermal plants that use mirrors to focus the sun’s heat on steam-generating pipes or towers and two plants that use photovoltaic cells. Over all, the proposed facility would cost about U.S. $1 billion, Rudd said, and would generate electricity equivalent to a large coal-fired power plant.
Monday, May 18th, 2009
Ormat Technologies is combining with Itochu Corporation to build a 330 megawatt (MW) geothermal power plant in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia.
The project will cost an estimated $800 million, according a report in Reuters. Ormat and Japan’s Itochu Corp. were originally awarded the contract in 2006 and are working in collaboration with Indonesian energy firm PT Medco.
Wednesday, May 13th, 2009
CleanTechies is proud to be official media partner of two upcoming clean technology-related events that are just upon our alley: Both events connect CleanTechies from different parts of the world and allow them to share their insights and experiences with their counterparts. Both events are being held for the 5th time this year – while TABCON brings US professionals together with those from Turkey, the Germany California Solar Day unites them with their German counterparts.
Check out our Events Calendar for more upcoming CleanTech conferences, and submit more events.
If you are interested in a media partnership with CleanTechies, please contact us.
Monday, May 11th, 2009
A colleague of mine said to me recently, “No energy is clean energy.”
Which got me thinking. Of course, Clean Coal comes to mind. And people love to say that “No coal is clean,” and “Clean Coal is an oxymoron.”
OK, OK. It’s not the best marketing term I’ve ever heard. There is a U.S. Department of Energy program that uses the term, and that program has funded gasification and carbon sequestration projects. So there is such a thing, whatever you want to call it. How about “Clean(er) Coal”?
Then I thought about wind. Big, majestic, white turbines … cutting up birds that fly into them. Whoops. That’s not very clean.
Friday, May 8th, 2009
There’s a kernel of good to this story, if you care about climate change and high food prices.
Sure, ethanol has been a great example of how America can begin to overcome its dependency on foreign fossil fuels. But using a staple like corn to make the biofuel has driven up food prices and displaced other food crops.
Now comes the Obama administration, which has proposed new rules for renewable fuels, aimed at cutting carbon dioxide emissions. At the same time, he’s vowed to help prop up the corn ethanol industry with stimulus dollars, and commit stimulus funds to biofuel research.
Friday, May 8th, 2009
This article is part of a series on the Stimulus Update. Previous posts:
– Smart Grid Funding Guidelines Released
- Inching Towards Smart Grid Funding Guidelines
- EE and Conservation Block Grant Funds Releases
- Next Generation Electric Vehicles Funds Released
- Energy Efficiency Funds Released
- Climate Change, the Stimulus Bill, and how CleanTech will benefit
As part of an ongoing effort to reduce US dependence on foreign oil and address the climate crisis by increasing the use of domestic renewable fuels, Secretary of Energy Chu announced Tuesday plans to provide $786.5 million in ARRA funding to accelerate advanced biofuels research and development, and to provide additional funding for commercial-scale biorefinery demonstration projects.
The funding is available through ARRA’s Research and Development program and will be awarded through competitive grants from the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
Friday, May 1st, 2009
A wave of Green Technology innovation is sweeping the world – is the United States willing, and ready, to lead?
That was the question that Andrea Larson presented to the audience a couple hours ago at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. I was a bit disappointed in most of her comments – beginning with the fact that she chose dwell on “the ignorance” of those that don’t believe in Global Warming… please!
There is nothing less important about this issue than fighting to convince those that don’t believe in it (Peyton speaks about the argument well – I welcome you to join that ongoing discussion).
Friday, May 1st, 2009
I spent the last couple days learning about how countries in Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean might best to stimulate the implementation of renewables at the first annual REEM Conference. The conference was largely an attempt to identify and some lessons learned and best practices from the EU, and even the US, which could help shape policy in these regions.
I would contend that knowledge sharing is always constructive. Yet, as some of the entrepreneurs on the panel explained their decidedly unique and varied frustrations and successes surrounding each of their projects, I could not help but feel that the concept of pontificating on would be effective policies for a developing countries from a well lit and air conditioned downtown San Francisco hotel ball room was a bit cheeky, if not resoundingly inadvisable.
Friday, April 24th, 2009
The news out of New York was big. The New York Power Authority is working on rules for siting 120 megawatts of offshore wind turbines in Lakes Erie and Ontario.
But a bigger wind and water story was hatched this week in the Great Plains. President Barack Obama, in an Earth Day speech in Iowa, said his administration is clearing the red tape for siting windmills on the outer continental shelf.
Forbes.com reports that the Department of Interior’s Mineral and Management Service will grant wind developers leases and easements to erect wind farms on the shelf, along with rights of way to wire wind power from water to land. There’s been a moratorium on offshore wind development for about four years in the United States; all the offshore wind is in Europe for now.