Friday, August 21st, 2009
In light of our desire to Think Globally and Act Locally, CleanTechies is raising $5,000 to support GRID Alternatives during Solarthon 2009.
As mentioned in my previous post, Solarthon 2009 will be GRID’s largest event of the year, with plans to install solar electric systems on 16 low-income houses in one community in one day.
Wednesday, August 19th, 2009
First Solar, a maker of thin-film solar cells, has signed an agreement with Southern California Edison to sell the utility 550 megawatts of electricity produced by two massive photovoltaic solar farms in the Mojave Desert.
The plants, expected to go online by 2015 and produce enough electricity to power 170,000 homes, would be built on federal land set aside for such solar projects.
Wednesday, August 19th, 2009
California, which has often led the nation in emissions reductions and environmental initiatives, is not the standard bearer in producing renewable energy today. If you consider all forms of renewable energy — solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal, then California isn’t at the top in total production, and as a percentage of energy produced, it’s not even in the top five.
Washington, with its longtime investment in hydropower, produced nearly 58 percent more renewable energy from electricity than California, according to 2007 data. In California, 25 percent of all energy produced comes from renewables, which is lower than Idaho (84 percent), Washington (77 percent), Oregon (65 percent), South Dakota (50 percent, Maine (49 percent) and Montana (34 percent). Note that this is electricity generated not consumed. Many of the upper Midwest states actually export energy, while California imports the most energy in the country.
Friday, August 14th, 2009
Water technology, solar innovation, Israel’s electric cars: I’d originally written this story for ISRAEL21c a few months ago when we were planning on launching its new Environment channel. The new channel was finally up this week. Consider it a good starting point if you’d like to know more about Israeli technology and investment opportunities and what the future may hold:
When green evangelist Al Gore visited Israel last year (and Green Prophet was there) he gave a clear message. “The people of Israel can lead the way to renewable energy,” he told audiences. With its unique geographical position, and clean tech know how, he announced, Israel is a natural leader in the field.
It’s a view that is echoed by many. Ian Thomson, the Californian co-founder of CleanTechies, a web site launched for clean technology professionals, agrees.
Thursday, August 13th, 2009
In yesterday’s CleanTechies blog post on solar energy careers, I wrote about an innovative non-profit named GRID Alternatives which provides solar electric systems to low income families. CleanTechies is working with GRID Alternatives to support their largest 1 day install ever during Solarthon 2009 which will take place on September 12, 2009 in a community in Oakland, California.
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
“We will have solar energy as soon as the utility companies solve one technical problem – how to run a sunbeam through a meter” — anonymous
There is a lot of buzz going on these days about the role solar will play in the current clean tech revolution occurring around the world. Many people find solar interesting but don’t know how it works, why it is gaining so much popularity and how they can get involved. Below are some of the resources I have used to make the world of solar easier to understand.
First question to answer: What is solar? For this you should read the wiki description of solar power.
Now that you understand some of the history of solar power, you may want to understand one of the most common ways that solar power is converted into electricity, for this you should read about photovoltaics or PV.
Monday, July 27th, 2009
The “locavore” movement is big, especially in California. With the bounty of food found locally in the Bay Area, living off the land — and sea — is not only possible, but also a delicious exercise.
But there’s another, less obvious, revolution brewing here in the Bay Area: the “locavolt” movement. In response to high gasoline and natural gas prices, global warming and an increasingly unstable, scary world, people are looking to generate power right in their own homes and neighborhoods with free energy from nature.
Technology advances in computers, telecommunications, generators, inverters, and even cars, are all giving the locavolt new tools to harness renewable energy and lead a fairly normal life.
Within the next few years, plug-in hybrid cars in California will be able to serve as a mini-power generator for your home and store renewable energy from your solar photovoltaics system or your small wind turbine. Plug-in hybrids may also help balance out a smarter electricity grid capable of easily sending power back and forth between generators and consumers, much like we send and receive e-mails on the Internet today.
Friday, July 24th, 2009
BrightView Systems, a Petah Tikva, Israel-based start-up developing production process optimization tools for the solar industry, and the Thin-Film Photovoltaics Laboratory at IMT, a world leading lab in silicon-based thin-film solar cells research, part of the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), are joining forces to introduce novel solutions for the optimization of next generation thin-film solar cells production.
According to a joint press release, BrightView’s advanced solutions will be utilized to provide real-time feedback to encompass a complete framework for process optimization that is scalable from pilot line to mass production of large area panels.
In January 2009 BrightView finalized a $6 million Series A financing by Israel Cleantech Ventures and Hasso Plattner Ventures. (more…)
Friday, July 17th, 2009
Energy demand in Europe is not growing as fast as in other parts of the world but it still constitutes a significant portion of global energy demand. Europe’s share of global primary energy demand is around 14%, although it is likely to decrease to 11-12% by 2030 according to IEA forecasts. While growth is slower than 50 years ago, energy for Europe continues to be a strategic issue.
On July 13 2009, the first international agreement on the Nabucco project was signed in Ankara to ensure gas supply for Europe from the Caspian Region to Austria through Turkey and Eastern Europe. Europeans are to almost 50% dependent on foreign resources for their primary energy demand. Having experienced gas cuts in recent years, resulting in hard times for their industries and residents, Europe would like to become less dependent on Russia by securing its supply from different sources.
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.