Monday, December 14th, 2009
CleanTechies catches up with Curt Robinson, executive director of the Geothermal Resources Council, for three quick questions:
CleanTechies: You’ve spoken at a number of conferences about the opportunities in international geothermal energy. What territories look most promising in 2010? What, in particular, is the outlook for China?
Curt Robinson: For 2010, we’ll see continuing interest in the US, Europe, Australia, and along the Pacific Ring of Fire. If the economy has a sustained recovery, we’ll see the capital markets opening up and supporting geothermal power development.
Thursday, December 10th, 2009
Dubai’s debt woes could have an impact on a key experiment in the renewable energy sector.
In late November, Dubai indicated that its state-controlled investment firm Dubai World needed to restructure $26 billion in debt, sending a shock through global markets.
Dubai is part of the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven city-states ruled by hereditary clans. It is largely bankrolled by neighboring Abu Dhabi, which uses Dubai as the UAE business center. (more…)
Sunday, December 6th, 2009
Seambiotic, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based cleantech start-up developing and producing marine microalgae for the nutraceuticals and biofuel industries using flue gas from electric power plants, has announced that it has signed a License Agreement and a Joint Venture Agreement with affiliates of China Guodian Corporation, to establish a Chinese joint venture for the commercial cultivation of microalgae.
China Guodian is one of China’s largest power companies with over 100 power stations. The joint venture with Seambiotic will utilize Seambiotic’s innovative technology for the cultivation microalgae for use in the animal and fish foodstock and nutraceutical industries. The first commercial farm of 12 hectares is expected to cost $10 million, will be situated in Penglai, a city in Shandong Province, China.
Wednesday, September 30th, 2009
Thank billions in government funding for helping to lift clean technology investment in the third quarter, said the Cleantech Group and Deloitte in a report Wednesday.
The quarterly analysis reiterated that the recession has kicked but not killed investments in this sector, which remain down 42 percent from the third quarter of 2008. Biotech and IT combined receive less funding than clean tech, which continues its climb from the second quarter, the report noted.
“The two largest venture deals (Solyndra and Tesla Motors) and the largest IPO (A123Systems) this quarter were all recipients of U.S. government funding,” said Cleantech Group managing director Dallas Kachan in a statement.
Thursday, September 24th, 2009
Several interesting CleanTechies articles on LEED have covered the topic from different angles — this one will add a new perspective by giving a commercial example (and make a strong case for going green).
What is LEED?
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The certification is given based on an exam facilitated by the Green Building Certification Institute on behalf of the US Green Building Council (USGBC). Multiple structures and projects are eligible for LEED certification and each is judged based on a set of criteria. LEED ratings are available for New Construction, Existing Buildings, Commercial Interiors, Core and Shell (total building minus interior), Homes, Neighborhood Development, Schools and Retail. Points are given in six categories including: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation & Design Process. Based on the score a structure receives, it will receive a label which allows an easy understanding for just how many of the LEED features the project incorporates.
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
What makes energy start-ups succeed or fail? Are energy investments wise for venture capitalists? What will shape energy finance innovations and the adoption of the smart grid?
The 2009 Wharton Energy Conference will explore these questions and more October 30 in Philadelphia. CleanTechies is excited to serve as a media partner of this one-day conference and career fair.
Sunday, September 20th, 2009
Even the CEO was initially skeptical about BioPetroClean’s simple and effective solution for cleaning up industrial wastewater, but it works; and now Dow Chemicals is onboard.
The idea that microscopic bacteria could cheaply and efficiently cleanse oceans of industrial wastewater may seem far-fetched. But it is just this premise that launched BioPetroClean, a Texas-based cleantech company with research-and-development facilities in Tel Aviv.
In fact, the technology is so effective that $57.5 billion industry giant Dow Chemical just announced a global commercial agreement whereby it will market and distribute the Dow-BPC Water Treatment System internationally. The agreement includes exclusivity across significant oil drilling and refining markets.
Friday, August 21st, 2009
The fight for leadership in clean-tech is underway. The next decade will prove pivotal in determining where the Silicon Valley of clean-tech will reside. While the U.S. is now putting considerable resources into clean-tech, the strongest competitor has only just entered the contest.
Announced in July, China’s Golden Sun program will increase installed capacity of solar power by five times its 2008 level in the next 2-3 years. China also initiated a residential program to subsidize solar. The nation has quickly emerged as a major player in one of renewable energy’s key sectors. Furthermore, China earmarked nearly $100 billion of economic stimulus for projects related to climate change. This is not to mention the enormous growth of the wind power industry in China, which required Chinese lawmakers to double their wind power prediction for 2010. The country plans to add wind capacity to match the massive Three Gorges Dam within the next decade. All the while, China has strict protectionist rules limiting the beneficiaries to local companies. The likely best hope for foreign entities is to collaborate with their Chinese counterparts similar to the success of American automakers.
Monday, August 10th, 2009
For thousands of years, the native Aymara people have been harvesting scarcely fallen raindrops along the Andean foothills in northern Chile by capturing the rainwater in nets for irrigation and drinking purposes. The people in this region, in and around the Atacama desert, are accustomed to fragile ecosystems and an extremely dry climate. However, today, even in the fertile central and southern regions of Chile, there are noticeable tensions over water rights and water availability.
Presently, it is not as if there are times when nothing flows out of the tap here. Nor are the urban folks of Santiago running outside their homes with their own polypropylene mesh nets ready to catch any drop of rain that falls. However, a convergence of factors – an increase in population growth, perceptible changes in climate patterns, and competition for water resources between various industries and hydro power – have caused a national “war over water” of sorts to emerge at the forefront of national environmental, economic, and political discussions.
Thursday, June 18th, 2009
While the slumping economy has delivered a gut shot to the CleanTech sector, many optimists are confident that a new wave of investment is coming. Even so, one must wade through a torrent of sobering news to arrive at such a conclusion.
A quick peak at recent headlines tell the story. Cleantech.com reported that venture investment in the CleanTech sector dropped 41 percent in 1Q09 compared to the last quarter. And Biofuels Digest has run a series of articles about highly regarded biofuel startups succumbing to market forces (here and here).