Friday, February 19th, 2010
By 2020, the European Union will meet its goal of generating 20 percent of its electricity from wind, solar, and other renewable sources of energy, according to the European Wind Energy Association.
The group said that 14 of the EU’s 27 member states will meet the 20 percent goal, eight will exceed it, and five will fall short, though only by one percent.
Thursday, February 18th, 2010
Terra Venture Partners, a Jerusalem-based venture capital fund focused on seed and early-stage cleantech investments, was recently named Israel’s most active venture capital investor for 2009.
According to the IVC Research Center, Terra Venture Partners made six first investments in 2009, followed closely by Carmel Ventures, Giza Venture Capital, Jerusalem Venture Partners, Magma Venture Partners, Pitango Venture Capital, Sequoia Capital, which each made five first investments in 2009.
Sunday, February 14th, 2010
This post comes from Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham, the founder of the San Francisco-based Interfaith Power & Light, a national campaign with affiliates in 30 states. The group is organizing the Valentine’s Weekend Preach-In on Global Warming.
Valentine’s Day typically conjures up images of roses and sweets for our loved ones, a time when we recognize the many virtues of romantic love. Yet this coming Valentine’s Day, leaders of communities of faith throughout the United States will be bringing forth a different kind of love — a deep, abiding love for God’s creation and our neighbors now threatened by the calamity of global climate change.
Hundreds of congregations of many faiths have signed up for a National Preach-In on Global Warming on Valentine’s Day weekend. We are showing our love for the poor, disadvantaged and most at-risk peoples and creatures of the world on this traditional day of love.
Friday, February 12th, 2010
SunPower, Silicon Valley’s biggest solar panel manufacturer, announced Thursday an agreement to buy SunRay Renewable Energy, a developer of solar power plants in Europe and Israel, for $277 million.
Although based in Malta, SunRay is managed by Israelis, including CEO Yoram Amiga and Michael Barnea, Head of Legal and M&A. SunRay established a wholly-owned Israeli subsidiary, SunRay Israel Blue & White, which is working to develop 100 megawatts of solar photovoltaic projects.
Kobi Katz, the CEO of SunRay Israel, told The Marker the sale was a vote of confidence by SunPower in the Israeli solar market.
Friday, February 12th, 2010
With this post, CleanTechies is diverging from our usual content with this light-hearted Valentine’s Day tribute to clean energy from the Vote Solar Initiative, which is working to make solar power mainstream.
People love solar. There are plenty of reasons why that’s the case. Solar creates local jobs. It produces reliable electricity when we need it most. It improves energy independence by tapping a homegrown resource. It offers real hope in the fight against global climate change. And ultimately the idea that we could be harnessing electricity from that big, yellow sun of ours just makes people feel good.
Always up for a good sun pun, Vote Solar thought we’d hammer that point home with a tongue-in-cheek Valentine Video campaign. (more…)
Thursday, February 11th, 2010
IBM researchers have increased by 40 percent the efficiency of a thin solar cell that can be applied like ink and that uses widely available materials.
The new cells can convert solar energy into electricity with an efficiency of 9.6 percent, a significant improvement on the 6.7 percent high for existing technologies and close to the level that would make the cells practical for use in commercial solar panels, according to a report published in the journal Advanced Materials.
The new technology uses a semiconductor material made of fairly abundant elements — including copper, zinc, tin, sulfur and selenium — and utilizes an inexpensive ink-based process in creating the cell.
Monday, February 8th, 2010
At a factory in Wuxi, China, workers lift solar panels onto conveyor belts, while others in white lab coats move between machines as they check on a process for etching and engraving silicon wafers to form solar cells.
This scene in itself isn’t remarkable. But there is a new sort of excitement about the work. China’s production of solar panels has grown quickly in the past two years; it is it now the world’s leading exporter. When Matt Lewis, a representative of the California-based nonprofit ClimateWorks, visited the factory in October, he said it reminded him of his native Silicon Valley: The workers, even ordinary line workers, had a sense that they were part of building the future, the hot new industry.
Saturday, February 6th, 2010
Hallowell International in Bangor, Maine, is the manufacturer of the Acadia, a combined heating and cooling system that can be combined with solar or wind installations to take users off the grid. The system can be installed in new buildings or can be retrofitted when consumers are considering green upgrades.
CleanTechies has three questions for president and founder Duane Hallowell.
CleanTechies: Acadia uses something called “boosted compression” technology. Tell us about that.
Duane Hallowell: Since the 1950s, heat pumps, which operate by exchanging air for heating and cooling, have been the most popular and environmentally-friendly heating ventilation and cooling (HVAC) application. However, because they absorb heat from the outside air, they are inefficient in cold-weather climates, requiring additional, costly heating elements in order to work correctly.
Friday, February 5th, 2010
Twenty-five solar industry and regulatory leaders shared data and forecast a positive future, especially for small-scale projects, at the third Solar Electric Utility Conference hosted by PHOTON International Thursday in San Francisco.
Smaller Is Better
Keynote speaker Pat Wood III, former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and now with Wood3 Resources, summarized the dominant theme of the day. “As I was preparing my presentation, I was struck by the growth of ‘bite-sized’ solar projects and how that is an emerging trend and is based on solid economic data,” he said.
Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010
Few places are as well suited for large-scale solar projects as California’s Mojave Desert. But as mainstream environmental organizations push plans to turn the desert into a center for renewable energy, some green groups — concerned about spoiling this iconic Western landscape — are standing up to oppose them.
Twenty years ago when an epic clash over the logging of ancient redwood forests roiled California, the battle lines were clear-cut.
On one side stood a Texas corporate raider who acquired the Pacific Lumber Co. in a junk bond-fueled takeover and began felling vast swaths of primeval redwoods to pay off the debt. On the other side was Earth First! and other grass-roots greens who staged a campaign of civil disobedience to disrupt the logging. And while mainstream environmental groups may have looked askance at such tactics, they supported the cause in the courts, suing to stop the clear-cutting of ancient trees.